Throughout human history there have being quite literally thousands upon thousands of strange and bizarre discoveries that we have struggled to explain. In many cases we have actually found it impossible to explain and we are left with an unexplained mystery.
As with all unexplained mysteries and discoveries we are fascinated by them. The more bizarre and the harder something is to explain the more we seem to be drawn to it in a desperate attempt to explain the unexplainable.
1 – WOW Signal
Unexplained Deep Space Recording
The universe is certainly a big place. So big that it is nearly beyond the human imagination to realise its enormity. Each galaxy in the universe consists of billions of stars and there are over 100 billion galaxies that exist in the observable universe. The sheer size of the universe makes it difficult even for the most sceptical to deny the possible existence of life on other undiscovered planets.
Since 1963 Ohio State University began the search for Extra-terrestrial Intelligence project which became known as SETI. Part of the project led to the development of The Big Ear radio telescope which has been used to conduct a full sky survey of outer space in search of extra-terrestrial radio sources.
The biggest and most important discovery for SETI came on August 15, 1977 when The Big Ear telescope recorded a strange narrow band radio burst. The event became known as the WOW signal because Dr. Jerry R. Ehman, who documented the event, scribbled “WOW!” in the margin of the recorded printout.
The source of the WOW signal came from the direction of the Sagittarius constellation and was indicative of technological advancement as it stood out distinctly from the background noise of signals from space. The signal was determined to have all of the expected potential non-terrestrial and non-solar system origin. The signal lasted 72 seconds and has never been detected since. What makes the WOW signal even more remarkable is that 72 seconds is the exact length of time it takes the Earth to rotate the Big Ear satellite through a signal from space. The signal registered enormous strength and the shape of the signal had a strange rise and fall calculation.
It has been speculated that the WOW signal was sent to Earth by an advanced civilization. Adding to the curiosity is the fact the signal was picked up by only one of the scope’s two detectors. The second detector covered the same area of sky only three minutes later and nothing was heard of detected.
What this means is that the first beam detected something that was not there, or that the source of the signal had been shut off or redirected in the intervening time. To this very day the WOW signal remains the strongest and most clear signal that has ever been received from an unknown source in space. It is also still considered to be the most fascinating and unexplainable.
Jerry Ehman who is credited with discovering the WOW signal cares not to speculate on the source of the signal He remains scientifically sceptical about the incident. There have inevitably been many claims that an extra-terrestrial race was trying to contact Earth. The official scientific explanation of the event is interstellar scintillation of a weaker continuous signal. The Wow Signal remains a mystery of space.
2 – Marree Man
The Marree Man, also known as Stuart’s Giant, is an absolutely huge geoglyph that was discovered from the air on June 26, 1998. The massive drawing appears to depict an indigenous Australian man who is most likely part of the Pitjantjatjara tribe. The drawing is of the man hunting birds or wallabies with a throwing stick. The geoglyph drawing lies along a plateau at Finnis Springs located 60km west of the township of Marree, central South Australia. The figure in the drawing massive, measuring 4.2 km tall with a circumference of 15-28km making it the largest non-commercial geoglyph in the world.
The exact origin of the huge artwork is a complete mystery and there are no historical accounts of it creation and there is no one who claims to have witnessed its creation. On top of that there are no historical reports that anyone even noticed the artwork even existed at all until its discovery in 1998.
The Marree Man is made up of lines that are 20 to 30 centimetres deep and up to 35 meters wide in places. It is easy to see that a huge amount of time, effort and energy went into creating this artwork. According to many people who have researched and studied the geoglyph claim that it would be impossible to create such a thing without access to aerial photography or satellite imagery. The discovery of this geoglyph has fascinated Australians simply because of its size and the mystery that surrounds it. When it was first discovered there was only one track which entered the area and one track that exited. There were no footprints or tire marks anywhere in the vicinity which indicated that no one had been in the area for a very long time.
The weeks that followed the discover of the Marree Man several anonymous press releases surfaced that suggested it was created by people from the United States. The press releases quoted measurements of the artwork in miles, yards and inches rather than the metric system which is usually used in Australia. According to some of these press reports several items were discovered in a pit near the artwork. Officials apparently discovered what appeared to be a satellite photo of the Marree Man a jar containing a small United States flag and a note which referred to the Branch Davidian who are a religious group who are infamous for the Waco, Texas raid in 1993. Other than these items no other manmade objects have ever been found at the site.
In the January of 1999 public officials received a strange fax from a hotel in Oxford, England. The described a plaque which was buried five meters south of the nose of the figure. The fax also claimed that the plaque was buried there with the intention to be dug up by a ‘prominent U.S. media figure’ shortly before the start of the 2000 Sydney Olympics. There have also been similar clues which were said to be buried near the Cerne Abbas giant near Dorset and the Long Man of Wilmington, Sussex, in England.
The plaque described in the fax was discovered in the exact location described. The plaque had a small American flag on it with an imprint of the Olympic rings. The plaque also had a message engraved upon it which said “In honour of the land they once knew. His attainments in these pursuits are extraordinary; a constant source of wonderment and admiration.” The message is actually a quote from a book named ‘The Red Centre’, by H.H. Finlayson, in a section which describes the hunting of wallabies. The book also has many photographs of hunters without Loin cloths, which just so happens to be the same depiction as the Marree Man.
The site of the Marree Man was closed to the public shortly after the discovery of the figure when some members of the Dieri tribe complained of harm and exploitation of the land. There are many people who believe that the huge geoglyph was created by an ancient civilization. The hand of the figure which is not throwing has the same posture for the normal Aboriginal technique of throwing and the initiation scar which is located on the chest is also perfectly placed.
To this day any proven theory or explanation to the creation and origin of the Marree Man remains a complete and utter mystery.
3 – The Humanzee
It is of little surprise that the DNA sequence of a human is very similar to that of a chimpanzee. According to experts humans share 95% of a chimpanzee’s DNA and this has led to much speculation that it may be possible to cross breed a human being with a chimpanzee. This led to the Humanzee which is a hypothetical chimpanzee and human hybrid.
There has never been any confirmed humanzee specimen but humans do have one fewer pair of chromosomes than apes. Amazingly, having a different number of chromosomes is not a complete barrier to cross breeding and producing offspring. This phenomenon is known as chromosomal polymorphism and was well researched in the 1920’s when a Soviet biologist Ilya Ivanovich Ivanov performed experiments that were intended to create the world’s first human and ape hybrid.
Ivanov initially began using human sperm and female chimpanzees but officially he was unsuccessful with his attempts to impregnate a female chimpanzee using human sperm. His experiments fell under intense political criticism in the Soviet Union and he was sentenced to exile.
Other research was carried out by J. Michael Bedford which managed to show how human sperm could penetrate the protective outer membranes of a female gibbon’s egg.
Over the years there have been many rumours and reports that suggest the existence of humanzees. One of the most well-known rumours is the sighting of a humanzee like creature which is commonly known as ‘Oliver.’ Oliver was a sideshow star in the 1970’s and is said to have come from somewhere in the Congo although this claim has never been proven. What makes Oliver different to other chimps is that he typically didn’t like being in the same general area of other apes and actually preferred the company of humans. This was not the only thing that made Oliver different. Oliver possesses a much flatter face than other chimps and has less hair, a smaller chin, a smaller and rounder cranium, and pointed ears. It has also been reported that he had a scent that was somewhat unusual and different from humans or chimpanzees. Oliver was also report to be habitually bipedal before he was struck down with arthritis which meant he walked upright. Oliver was never known to walk on his knuckles, a common trait of normal chimpanzees.
Over the years there have also been plenty of reports to indicate that Oliver seemed to prefer human females over female chimps. The most well-known of these reports was from animal trainers, Frank and Janet Berger. Frank and Janet are the trainers who acquired Oliver when he was still a young chimp. Oliver was put up for sale when he began a continued attempt to mount and mate with Janet. It was suggested that this behaviour began when Oliver reached the age of sixteen. Geneticists, in 1996, examined Oliver’s chromosomes and the test revealed that Oliver contained 48 chromosomes which were similar to other chimps. On another occasion Oliver’s owner claims to have tested Oliver and found he only had 47 chromosomes. Over time both results have been widely challenged and scrutinized.
Oliver’s unusual appearance and other strange traits have widely been dismissed as a genetic deformity. The majority of scientists also now refuse to perform any further tests on the hypothesis that Oliver could be an undiscovered species of chimpanzee.
Oliver is still alive and well to this day and lives at the Primarily Primates Centre in the state of Texas, USA.
4 – The Vela Incident
Unexplained Explosion Recorded
The world’s first nuclear weapon was tested in Alamogordo, New Mexico on July 16, 1945.Once the end of World War 2 came most countries in the world were determined to gain the new nuclear technology. It was in 1949 that the Soviet Union detonated its own fission weapon. The United Kingdom quickly followed on October 2, 1952, France on February 13, 1960 and then China on October 16, 1964. Under the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty these five powers are permitted to possess nuclear weapons. India, Israel, Pakistan and North Korea are among the sovereign state that is not party to the treaty. Despite not being part of the treaty India, Pakistan and North Korea have openly declared that they possess nuclear weapons, while Israel has a strict policy of opacity regarding it nuclear weapons program. Since 1945 there has been more than 2000 known nuclear tests conducted. In 1963 most states with nuclear capabilities signed the Limited Test Ban Treaty which pledged to refrain from testing nuclear weapons in the earth’s atmosphere, underwater or outer space. In 1996 the world powers also pledged to discontinue all nuclear testing.
A nuclear explosion generates intense light, heat and an incredible explosive force and this is why many national defence programs have put into orbit satellites which have sensors to detect nuclear explosions.
The American Vela Hotel satellite detected what is known as a ‘double flash’ on September 22, 1979. The data collect was studied by world specialists who felt the double flash had all the characteristics of a nuclear explosion and may have been the result of a nuclear weapons test. The data also seemed to indicate that the double flash had characteristics of an atmospheric nuclear explosion. The double flash was detected in the Indian Ocean between Bouvet Island and the Prince Edward Island, which belong to South Africa. The data collected and the recording was promptly labelled the Vela Incident.
Since the incident there has been a huge amount of doubt as to just how accurate the date collect from the satellite was. South Africa has always officially declared that they made no such test. The United Nations Security Council Resolution 418 of November 4, 1977 introduced a mandatory arms embargo against South Africa, which also required all states to refrain from “any co-operation with South Africa in the manufacture and development of nuclear weapons.”
A Special Presidential panel suggests the most likely explanation for the Vela detection was due to a meteoroid hitting the satellite which collected the data. The U.S. Defence Intelligence Agency was, and still is, convinced that a nuclear explosion was detected by the satellite and no error was made. This is despite the fact that no evidence of a nuclear explosion was found, such as the presence of nuclear waste in the air. Low levels of iodine-131 were reportedly found in the thyroid gland of sheep in the Australian States of Victoria and Tasmania soon after the light flashes were originally detected. Later studies of the wind patterns around the time of the explosion confirmed that fall-out from an explosion in the southern Indian Ocean could have easily been carried to south Western Australia.
A Puerto Rico observation station reported detecting an anomalous ionospheric wave during the morning of September 22, 1979, which moved from the south east to the North West. It is known that the Republic of South Africa did have a nuclear weapons program during the 1970’s. Since the fall of the republic, South Africa has officially disclosed most of the information about its nuclear weapons program and according to several international inspections there was no mention of the incident in any official document.
In February 1994, Commodore Dieter Gerhardt, a convicted Soviet spy and the commander of South Africa’s Simon’s Town naval base at the time, talked about the incident upon his release from prison. He is quoted as saying “Although I was not directly involved in planning or carrying out the operation, I learned unofficially that the flash was produced by an Israeli-South African test, code-named Operation Phoenix. The explosion was clean and was not supposed to be detected. But they were not as smart as they thought, and the weather changed, so the Americans were able to pick it up.” It remains uncertain whether the South Atlantic flash in September 1979 was a nuclear detonation and, if so, to whom it belonged.
5 – The Bloop
Unexplained Deep Sea Recording
In the summer of 1997 the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) detected an ultra-low frequency and extremely powerful underwater sound that was named ‘The Bloop’. The sound was detected several times during the summer of 1997 and traced to a remote point in the South Pacific Ocean west of the southern tip of South America.
Reports from the NOAA state that the sound came rapidly in frequency and lasted for around one minute. The sound was of sufficient amplitude to be heard on multiple sensors and at a range of over 5,000 kilometres. The system that is used by the NOAA ruled out any known man-made sound such as submarine, bomb or familiar geological sounds such as volcanoes or earthquakes. The Bloop has an audio profile which resembles that of a living creature. The NOAA identified the sound as unknown because it was many times louder than any other known biological sound.
The Bloop was recorded by a microphone and computer system which is considered a relic of the Cold War. Back in the 1960’s the U.S. Navy set up the array of underwater microphones, or hydrophones, around the globe to track Soviet submarines. The network was known as the Sound Surveillance System. The listening stations for the system are located hundreds of yards below the surface of the ocean at a depth where the sound of the waves become trapped in a layer of water known as the deep sound channel. It is in the deep sound channel that the temperature and pressure causes sound waves to continue travelling without being scattered by the ocean surface of bottom. Over the years the system in question has detected hundreds of sounds but they usually come from whales, ships, earthquakes or other easily explained sources.
It has been speculated by cryptozoologists that the Bloop may have come from a giant sea monster that was several times bigger than any known living creature. There have also been suggestions that it could have been bubbles from some unusual chemical reaction in the seabed or have something to do with the interaction of extremely powerful ocean currents.
When considering a possible source for the sound it is important to remember that the sound profile of the Bloop represented that of a living creature. It is also worth considering that the location of the Bloop originated from the southern Pacific Ocean, which is the claimed location of R’lyeh, linking the sound to the sleeping Great Old One Cthulhu, from the works of H.P. Lovecraft.
To this day the Bloop remains a mystery of the deep sea. NOAA has only ever detected five other significant unexplained sounds. They are named Julia, Train, Slowdown, Whistle and Upsweep.