Plenty of strange occurrences end up having completely rational explanations. But there are also a bevy of events so strange that they continue to mystify us till this day.
The SS Ourang Medan Tragedy - 1948
Perhaps one of the most eerie and perplexing mysteries is that of the ill-fated SS Ourang Medan. A cryptic SOS message was emitted from the Dutch merchant ship sometime around 1948 that said: “All officers including captain are dead lying in chartroom and bridge. Possibly whole crew dead.” This message was followed by some jumbled Morse code and then the straight-to-the-point last words of, “I die.”
The first responders found the corpses of everyone on board, including the dog, scattered amongst the deck lying on their backs, with their eyes and mouths agape in horror, seemingly pointing at some unknown horror. When they disembarked from the vessel, something on the ship exploded and sent the SS Ourang Medan in pieces down to “ole Davey Jones’ locker.”
The event was first publicized in May of 1952 in the Proceedings of the Merchant Marine Council by the U.S. Coast Guard.
Skeptical Explanation: The ship never existed. Attempts to locate the ship’s registers over the years have been unsuccessful leading some to believe this event never occurred. Others suggested that the merchant ship had been carrying toxic chemicals onboard killing both the crew and the ship in the end.
Sinister Explanation: The supernatural explanations range from ghosts to UFOs. I think it’s safe for us to say that some diabolical entity of mass destruction was at play here.
Dyatlov Pass incident - 1959
In 1959, the bodies of nine skiers were found in the Ural Mountains in Russia with horrific internal injuries but no signs of a struggle and no apparent cause of death. Investigators likened their injuries to those sustained in a car accident and stated that they could not have been caused by a human assailant. The corpses were found in three groups, some wearing only their underwear. Their tents were found cut open from the inside suggesting they were fleeing from something. The injuries included broken ribs and fractured skulls, but the strangest injury was the missing tongue of one of the female victims.
Some investigative reports claimed that the bodies were surrounded by high levels of radioactivity and the last photo taken with their camera revealed what appear to be lights in the sky. These facts prompted speculation that aliens were to blame. However, the official cause of death was ruled as a “compelling unknown natural force.”
Skeptical Explanation: They were running from an avalanche and experienced paradoxical undressing, a phenomenon which causes hypothermia victims to tear off their clothing. The force of the snow caused their injuries and they froze to death.
Sinister Explanation: They were attacked by an extraterrestrial spacecraft, eaten by a Russian Yeti, or part of a covert government experiment gone awry.
Overtoun Bridge – 1950 to present
Just outside of West Dunbartonshire, Scotland sits the Overtoun Bridge. The bridge has allegedly been the host to countless suicides, which isn’t too shocking until you hear that the ones taking their lives are not human.
Allegedly, more than 500 dogs have catapulted themselves to their grisly demise since 1950. Oddly enough, all the jumps took place in between the last two parapets on the right hand side of the ornate Gothic stone structure. Investigations into “Rovers Leap” revealed that the dogs became increasingly anxious when reaching this spot.
Skeptical Explanation: The dogs did not know they were on a bridge and were driven to jump on the wall by the scent of mink’s nests, accidentally falling over the edge.
Sinister Explanation: These dogs were intentionally committing suicide due to regional depression oozing off their humans, or others believe that ghosts that haunt the house and bridge continually spook the dogs, causing their feelings of unease and rash behavior.
The Flatwoods Monster
In 1952, a group of boys, along with a few other individuals, witnessed a circular object glowing red and hovering in the sky before appearing to land in the forest near Flatwoods, VA. When they went to investigate, they came across a raunchy-smelling mist and the glowing sphere that they claimed was as large as a house. After shining their flashlight at a nearby tree, the witnesses claim they saw a repulsive-looking creature with a face like an “ace of spades.” One individual fainted, and the rest ran when it screeched and began gliding towards them before turning towards the glowing sphere.
A reporter returned to the scene the next day and found evidence of a skid-mark and matted grass as if an object had recently been there. The incident was even investigated by the U.S. Air Force.
Skeptical Explanation: A meteor crashed to the ground and the monster was actually a barn owl exaggerated by witnesses due to hysteria.
Sinister Explanation: Those boys straight up witnessed a UFO crash into the forest and a seven-foot tall extraterrestrial being with some pretty evil eyes survived, got out, and was lurking around the forest that night.
The Pollock Twins
A woman in England, who tragically lost her two daughters Joanna and Jacqueline in a car crash, gave birth to twin girls just a year later. It was noticed that one of the twins shared the exact same birthmark as that of the younger girl Jacqueline. The twins, without knowledge of their deceased sisters, started asking for toys that belonged to the former daughters. After the girls requested to go to a park they had never been to, and knew details they couldn’t possibly have known, the parents sent them to a well known psychologist, Dr. Ian Stevenson. After studying the girls, Stevenson gave his professional opinion that the twin girls were actually the reincarnations of Joanna and Jacqueline.
Skeptical Explanation: The father of the girls believed in reincarnation and, by suggestive behavior, the girls knew about their sisters and their behaviors.
Sinister Explanation: The two deceased girls were not quite ready to leave this dimension and found new hosts within their younger twin sisters.
Could these mysteries have natural explanations, or are more sinister forces at work here? We may never know the truth . . .