Archive for May, 2013

The Magnetic Strip


There are hundreds of unexplained mysteries from every corner of the planet involving cars, drivers, hitchhikers, car theft, and abduction.  One of the most unusual occurred soon after a new section of the Autobahn in Germany was opened to traffic between Bremen and Bremerhaven in 1929.  During the first year alone no fewer than a hundred cars crashed or came off the Autobahn, but the accidents were all happening in exactly the same place, very close to kilometer marker number 239.  On one particular day, September 7, 1930, nine separate accidents took place adjacent to the marker post, in each of which all vehicles were destroyed.

There appeared to be no explanation for the accidents, as the stretch of road in question was flat and straight and no hazards had been reported.  And that day in September had been particularly fine and sunny.  However, survivors told police that when they approached the marker they had felt a sensation in their stomachs as if they had crossed a humpback bridge at speed, and a "strange force then took over the steering and threw their car off the road."

German police were perplexed until a local water diviner, Carl Wehrs, suggested that a powerful magnetic force caused by an underground stream might have been the reason for the mysterious accidents.  Accompanied by witnesses, he walked with a steel divining rod toward the marker.  He was about ten feet away when, all of a sudden, the rod was ripped from his grasp, the sheer force of it spinning his body around 360 degrees, like an Olympic hammer thrower.

Wehr’s solution to the problem was to bury a box of copper next to the marker stone, and the accidents immediately stopped.  To further test his theory, he later dug the box back up, and the first three cars to pass by all crashed.  Once the box was reburied the marker post was removed, the area was sprinkled with holy water, and the accidents ceased and have never recurred.



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One evening in 1974, building workers in Indianapolis employed by the Dowling Construction Company securely locked up the site, leaving a steel demolition ball dangling from a crane more than two hundred feet above the ground. When the operator arrived for work the following morning, he climbed the crane and took his seat in the cab before he noticed the steel ball was missing. It had completely vanished. A thorough search was made and statewide appeals for information were issued. To this day, police officers are puzzle by the theft. No trace of the demolition ball – at nearly three tons in weight, not easy just to slip into one’s pocket – has ever been found.



At 10:30 PM on the evening of March 9, 1929, Mrs. Locklan Smith heard the sound of screaming coming from the building next door, a small laundry at 4 East 132nd Street in New York. She immediately called the police, who searched the deserted premises until they came across a small, securely locked room at the back. Unable to break in, officers finally managed to gain access by lifting a small boy through a tiny window; he then released the bolts to the door from the inside. In the room lay the body of the laundry owner, Isidore Fink, who had been shot twice in the chest and once through the left hand. Powder burns indicated the gun had been fired at point-blank range, and yet no gun was found in the room.

Isidore had not committed suicide, he had been murdered, although cash in the safe and in Fink’s jacket pocket suggested that robbery was not the motive. At first the police believed the murderer must have made his escape through the window as Isidore always securely bolted the doors from the inside when he worked alone at night. But not only would the window have been too small or awkward to get through (unless the murderer had been a dwarf or a small child), it also did not explain why the killer hadn’t simply unbolted the door and walked out through that instead. Others suggested Fink had been shot through the window, but tests proved the powder burns would only show if the gun had been fired from a distance of a few inches, so unless the murderer had twelve-foot arms, they would have to rule that idea out too. No other clue was ever found, and two years after the death of the unfortunate Mr. Fink, the New York police commissioner, Edward P. Mulrooney, was forced to declare the incident an “unsolvable mystery.”



At some time between June 28 and July 6, 1907, a person or persons unknown walked into the strong room of Bedford Tower in Dublin Castle and stole the Irish crown jewels, said to be worth £250,000 at the time. Whoever stole them must have had keys, as no locks were broken and there was no sign of forced entry. How the thieves could have gotten hold of a set of keys is a mystery in itself, as the sole key holder was Sir Arthur Vicars, the Ulster king of arms, who was out of the country at the time. Staff calculated it would have taken between fifteen and twenty minutes to remove the jewels from their individual cases before the thieves made their escape. During this time, none of the four heavily armed guards on duty noticed anything out of the ordinary, and despite a lengthy investigation by Scotland Yard, no trace of the crown jewels has ever been found.



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