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December 4th 1966:

Pennsylvanian physician Dr John Bentley was last seen alive when his friends left his house at 9pm on December 4th. The following morning, Don Gosnell let himself in to read the meter and smells smoke. Investigating, he finds a hole burned through the wooden floor of the ground-floor bathroom right through to the basement below, the aging doctor’s walking aid laying across the hole, and all that remained of the doctor: the lower half of his right leg, still wearing a slipper. The rest of the body was a big pile of ash in the basement.

History Mysteries Timeline

Aug 1877: Spring-heeled Jack; Aldershot Barracks

A sentry on night duty at the barracks in Aldershot, Hampshire reports seeing a peculiar figure “advancing towards him"from the surrounding darkness. The soldier issued a challenge but was ignored, and when the figure got close enough he slapped the soldier several times in the face. A sentry then shot at him, but apparently this had no effect. The figure then disappeared back into the darkness "with astonishing bounds”. Several other guards backed up the sentry’s story, but the assailant was not found.

Spring-Heeled Jack: Aldershot Barracks

August 1877:

A sentry on night duty at the barracks in Aldershot, Hampshire reports seeing a peculiar figure “advancing towards him"from the surrounding darkness. The soldier issued a challenge but was ignored, and when the figure got close enough he slapped the soldier several times in the face. A sentry then shot at him, but apparently this had no effect. The figure then disappeared back into the darkness "with astonishing bounds”. Several other guards backed up the sentry’s story, but the assailant was not found.

History Mysteries Timeline

Loch Ness Monster: First Sighting

22nd July 1933:

George Spicer and his wife are driving in their car along a stretch of road running close to Loch Ness in Scotland, when they see “a most extraordinary form of animal” cross the road ahead, heading towards the Loch and leaving a trail of broken undergrowth in its wake. They both describe it as having a large body and long narrow neck, the neck having a number of undulations in it. George Spicer said it was “the nearest approach to a dragon or pre-historic animal that I have ever seen in my life”.

History Mysteries Timeline

Abominable Snowman sighting: Everest Expedition

September 1921:

Upon their unsuccessful return to Darjeeling, the Everest Reconnaissance Expedition that had set out to find a route to the summit tell of finding footprints to reporter Henry Newman. They say that their Sherpa guides describe “The Wild Man of the Snow” named Metoh-Kangmi (“Manbear snowman”), which Newman falsly translates as “Filthy Snowman” or (more impressively for a headline) “Abominable Snowman”.

History Mysteries Timeline

Jan 9th 1838: Spring-Heeled Jack; Official Recognition

The Lord Mayor of London at the time, Sir John Cowan, was conducting a public session and was recorded to have read out an anonymous letter of complaint concerning the activities of Spring-heeled Jack. In it, the letter claimed that the mysterious assailant had “succeeded in depriving seven ladies of their senses” and asked why the papers had remained mostly silent on the matter.

The Lord Mayor himself was skeptical, but a member of the audience confirmed reports of “this ghost or devil” in parts of Kensington, Hammersmith, and Ealing. Following this, the Lord Mayor was said to have received a large pile of letters (the pile itself being shown at a later public session) from across London telling of similar attacks.

Sir Cowan remained skeptical of the more supernatural parts of the tales, calling them “the greatest exaggerations”, but he did task the police force with tracking down the man behind the attacks, and rewards were offered.

Nov 1876: Yowie Sightings

Yowies, also called Yahoos, are a Bigfoot-type hominid creature said to live in Australia. One of the earliest account of the creature appears in the November 1876 edition of ‘Australian Town and Country Journal’, which asks readers “Who has not heard, from the earliest settlement of the colony, the blacks speaking of some unearthly animal or inhuman creature… namely the Yahoo-Devil Devil, or hairy man of the woods”

Feb 28th 1838: Spring-Heeled Jack; The Scales Case

18-year-old Lucy Scales and her sister were walking down Green Dragon Alley in London, heading home after visiting their brother, a butcher in Limehouse. According to Lucy’s testimony, she and her sister saw a tall, thin man of “gentlemanly appearance” covered in a large cloak and carrying a small lamp, standing in a corner of the passage. As the girls went to pass him, he spurted “a quantity of blue flame” into Lucy’s face and caused her temporary blindness.

Alarmed by this, she dropped to the ground and was seized by violent fits for several hours. The figure quickly walked away, and Lucy’s brother was swiftly on the scene after hearing the screams from his nearby house. Although several persons were questioned by the police, the culprit was never found.

Feb 19th 1838: Spring-Heeled Jack; The Alsop Case

Jane Alsop reported that a policeman in a large cloak knocked on her door at night and asked her to bring a light, claiming to “have caught Spring-heeled Jack here in the lane”. Alsop claims that when she brought a candle out to the lane, the man threw off his cloak to reveal “a most hideous and frightful appearance” and proceeded to breath blue and white fire.

Alsop described him as wearing a large helmet and that his eyes were like “red balls of fire”, and he wore strange clothing resembling very tight-fitting white oilskin. He began tearing at her gown and skin with his claws, which she was convinced were “of some metallic substance”. Apparently she managed to get away and run towards the house, where she was rescued by one of her sisters, at which point the man fled.

21st April 1934:

The iconic “Surgeon’s Photo” featuring the sillouette of a long neck and head of the Loch Ness Monster coming out of the Loch is published in the Daily Mail, attributed to gynacologist Dr Robert Wilson. The photo was eventually exposed as a hoax in 1975, when it was revealed that it was a toy submarine with a specially sculpted head attached. The supposed sculptor, Christian Spurling, said it was done for revenge on the Daily Mail, for them mocking his father-in-law Marmaduke Wetherell (who also helped in the hoax) in the paper.

History Mysteries Timeline

The St Augustine Monster

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November 30th 1896:

2 young boys playing on the beach near St Augustine, Florida discover a strange unidentifiable carcass washed up on shore. The boys report their discovery to local physician and keen naturalist Dr DeWitt Webb, who goes down the next day to study the creature.

He reports that the carcass is very pale pink with a silvery reflection in the sunlight, and that the skin is made from a tough rubbery substance quite hard to cut. The carcass is about 18 feet in length and 7 feet wide, and appears to have the stumps of 4 arms with another arm buried nearby. It is very mutilated and in an advanced state of decay by this point, but Webb tentatively identifies it as the body of a giant octopus (this is disputed by some experts).

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The carcass is dragged back out to sea by a storm tide some time between Jan 9th and Jan 15th, and is washed ashore again about 2 miles south of its initial position. The carcass is dragged inland with the help of 6 horses, to protect it from further tides. It became quite a tourist attraction for a time, but it was eventually lost track of and it’s unknown what became of it.

History Mysteries Timeline

Bigfoot Becomes A Household Name

August 1958:

Bulldozer operator Gerald Crew finds sets of large footprints, which appear multiple times around a road construction site in Bluff Creek, Del Norte County California. The locals of Bluff Creek get so used to the phenomenon that they nickname the mystery track-maker as “Big Foot”, which was shortened to the one-word “Bigfoot” in a Humboldt Times article of the time. Even though the footprints were later exposed as fakes, Bigfoot became a hugely popular myth, and Bigfoot hunts and organised searches began across the area not long after.

History Mysteries Timeline

Chupacabra: First Evidence

March 1995:

The Chupacabra is a legendary beast said to inhabit Puerto Rico, Mexico, and parts of America, supposedly the size of a small bear and resembling a bipedal lizard with a row of spikes or spines running down the back and along the tail. Some time in March 1995 in Puerto Rico, 8 sheep are discovered dead and completely drained of blood, with 3 unexplained puncture wounds in each chest.

History Mysteries Tiimeline

Abominable Snowman Sighting: Everest Expedition

September 1921:

Upon their unsuccessful return to Darjeeling, the Everest Reconnaissance Expedition that had set out to find a route to the summit tell reporter Henry Newman of finding unnaturally large footprints on the mountainside. They say that their Sherpa guides explained the footprints as coming from “The Wild Man of the Snow” named Metoh-Kangmi (“Manbear snowman”), which Newman falsly translates as “Filthy Snowman” or (more impressively for a headline) “Abominable Snowman”.

History Mysteries Timeline