Feb 25, 2023 I Paul Seaburn

Bigfoot Bathing, Godzilla Egg, Five-Legged Toad, Presidential Hair in Space and More Mysterious News Briefly

A roundup of mysterious, paranormal and strange news stories from the past week.

Houston-based space company Celestis is preparing to send hair samples from U.S. presidents George Washington, Dwight Eisenhower, John F. Kennedy and Ronald Reagan into deep space later this year as a secondary payload aboard United Launch Alliance’s Vulcan Centaur rocket – the capsule will eventually settle into stable orbit around the sun. This could end up being either the best Star Trek or scariest Twilight Zone episode ever.

Egypt’s Public Prosecution office issued arrest warrants for members of a group of fraudsters who created a very realistic but fake Egyptian tomb in Beni Suef, Upper Egypt, that was filled with fake gold statues and had walls covered with what looked like ancient Egyptian drawings – the criminals had used the fake tomb to sell fake artifacts to illegal antiquities dealers. What gave them away …  did one of the mummies look like Boris Karloff?

NASA confirmed that a 1000-pound meteor about two feet in diameter entered the atmosphere on February 15 at around 5:23 p.m. near McAllen, Texas, at a speed of about 27,000 miles per hour, exploded with the energy as 8 tons of TNT, and broke into smaller pieces, many of which were found in a field in Straw County. The meteor thought about staying in one piece but then saw all of those bumper stickers that read, “Don’t Mess with Texas.”

A Texas man now living in England has closed circuit camera footage of what he claims to be a ghost moving objects in his house like cups and spoons, and causing light bulbs to explode – he says the ghost has followed him through three moves and he thinks it latched onto him after an accident while working on an oil rig caused his heart to stop three times and caused him to change jobs and become a paranormal investigator. Could the ghost be taunting the former oil worker to change his fossil fuel ways and go solar?

Ynys Enlli (Bardsey Island), off the Llŷn Peninsula in north Wales, has become the first site in Europe to be awarded International Dark Sky Sanctuary certification for having one of the best night skies in the world because it is one of the most remote and dark places on earth – it has a mountain which blocks light from the mainland and is over 70 miles from the light pollution from Dublin. It’s so dark, you need a concealed carry permit to own a flashlight.

Iwaya Giken, a startup based in Sapporo in northern Japan, announced plans to launch affordable commercial space viewing balloon flights to lure space tourists into spending hours in an airtight two-seat cabin at an altitude of 15 miles (25 km) where they will only be in the middle of the stratosphere but will still have an unobstructed view of outer space. You can see a photo of the balloon and its terrified passengers when you look up the meaning of “Timing is everything.”

Just weeks after the appearance of Toadzilla, the world’s largest cane toad, a Queensland resident spotted a rare five-legged toad in his yard which looks like a normal toad except it has an extra leg where a tail would be – a toad researcher at Macquarie University said the hand-sized amphibian probably suffered an accident or injury while still an embryo but has managed to survive a long time with it. Could it be the first cane toad with an actual cane?

A mysterious giant metal ball which washed up on a beach in Hamamatsu City caught the attention of the world as people referred to it as a "Godzilla egg", local police and a bomb squad were called out, authorities X-rayed it, and it was finally hauled away without an official identification – most people thought it was a rusty mooring buoy that broke free and may have been floating around for years. However, Godzilla’s Egg is beating Mooring Boys as the best name for a band.

Archaeologists digging in Posillipo, Italy, discovered a 2,000-year-old party hall that was once the summer home of Vedus Pollio, a Roman politician and former knight who was a friend of Emperor Augustus and bequeathed the hall to the Emperor in his will – the hall overlooked a 2,000-seat Greek-style theatre or Odeon that was used for musical performances. And toga parties?

NASA engineers used generative AI to design a series of spacecraft and mission hardware called Evolved Structures which look like they were from flying saucers but can actually be implemented in astrophysics balloon observatories, Earth-atmosphere scanners, planetary instruments, space telescopes and other NASA equipment – their odd shapes have some people suspecting the design is really from reverse engineering an alien spacecraft. Would you fly in a ship designed by ChatGPT?

A Harvard University human evolutionary biologist says a genetic variant in chromosome 3, a major genetic risk factor for severe COVID-19, was inherited from Neanderthals some 50,000 to 70,000 years ago – they may have been beneficial at one time but are an obvious problem now and geneticists have no remedy so far to combat it. Can’t one of those TikTok time travelers go back 70,000 years with some extra-large face masks?

This year marks the 100th anniversary of the start of the modern era of the Loch Ness monster – in May 1933, the Inverness Courier reported that a local couple out cycling saw “a tremendous upheaval on the loch” which they believed was a whale-like creature that disappeared in a “mass of foam”, and a bus driver tried to capture Nessie using a special fishing tackle he had designed especially for catching a giant fish or beast. One hundred years later, that mass of foam is still delivering a tremendous upheaval of tourist dollars for Inverness businesses … but no monster.

While most ancient burials where the corpse is facing down are thought to be because the person was suspected of being a vampire, researchers suspect that a 3rd-century-B.C. woman from ancient Sardinia was buried face down with a nail hole in her skull because she died from a fall during an epileptic seizure – they believe the nail hole was made after she died to prevent the spread of the her epilepsy, which we now know is impossible. There’s no evidence her last words to her doctor were, “I need you like I need a hole in my head.”

A TikTok 'time traveller’ claiming to be from the year 2858 says scientists will discover an element this year that will help prolong the average person's lifespan by 50 years and a group of teenagers will find a stone that allows interplanetary travel instantly. The teens will probably use the stone immediately to get away from all the old people.

An audio recording of a pilot on a flight on January 29th from Fort McMurray, Altanta, to Yellowknife, Canada, reveals the pilot telling air traffic control about “two lights dancing around here, to the east of your field" that they could not identify and could not be picked up on TCAS (traffic collision avoidance system) nor the tower’s radar. It will be time to get worried if the lights were dancing a polka.

The owner of a short and shaky video posted on TikTok this week claims it is a Bigfoot bathing in a body of water on Vancouver Island – commenters think it is a bear or a tree stump photographed at an unusual angle. How does Bigfoot get the tangles out of its hair? (Asking for a long-maned friend.)

In what have to be the coldest of cold cases, scientists in Spain whacked replica skulls with axes and other ancient tools to help solve the mystery of a series of stone age murders - a massacre of 34 people in a cave in Germany 5,000 years ago and another murder in Spain around the same time period … they were able to differentiate between fractures caused by an axe, which create a symmetrical oval or drop-shaped fracture outline, and fractures from adze (which have a perpendicular head) strikes which make one and one convex side. The tough part now is finding actors to play stone age humans in the CSI spinoff.

American Kellin Pelrine defeated a top-ranked AI system in 14 out of 15 games at the board game Go, a surprise reversal of the 2016 computer victory over a human opponent, by taking advantage of a previously unknown flaw that had been identified by another computer that played more than 1 million games against KataGo, one of the top Go-playing systems, to find the AI “blind spot.” The Go program is now working on a new strategy – it is getting an online law degree to sue Pelrine.

The Australian military is testing a brain robotic interface in a high-tech biosensor headset that analyzes brainwave readings and transmits them from a person’s visual cortex to an advanced “robodog” – thus allowing soldiers to control robot dogs solely with their minds. If the robodog humps a humanoid robot’s leg … who gets blamed?

NASA unveiled six radar observations made of an unusual asteroid which passed Earth on February 3rd – asteroid 2011 AG5 is about the shape and size of the Empire State Building, three times as long as it is wide, making it one of the most elongated asteroids ever seen and certainly one of the slowest - it takes nine hours for the object to complete a rotation while on its 621-day orbit of the Sun. That’s so slow, rotisserie chickens call it ‘half-baked’.

Paul Seaburn

Paul Seaburn is the editor at Mysterious Universe and its most prolific writer. He’s written for TV shows such as "The Tonight Show", "Politically Incorrect" and an award-winning children’s program. He's been published in “The New York Times" and "Huffington Post” and has co-authored numerous collections of trivia, puzzles and humor. His “What in the World!” podcast is a fun look at the latest weird and paranormal news, strange sports stories and odd trivia. Paul likes to add a bit of humor to each MU post he crafts. After all, the mysterious doesn't always have to be serious.

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