Two Average Guys from Boston Just Found the Black Box of a Plane That Crashed in Bolivia 31 Years Ago

Dan Futrell and Isaac Stoner, two average guys from Boston, recently set out on an expedition to find the black box of Eastern Flight 980, which crashed into the Andes Mountains killing everyone on board, 31 years ago. Believe it or not, they actually did it!

A year ago, while researching the missing Malaysian Airlines Flight 370, Dan Futrell discovered a fact he found very intriguing – since 1965, crash investigators have failed to recover flight data and cockpit voice recorders from almost 20 flights, including the two planes that crashed into the World Trade Center buildings on September 11, 2001. But it was another flight that really caught his attention – Eastern Air Lines Flight 980, which took off from Paraguay for Miami, on January 1, 1985. It crashed into the side of Illimani Mountain and its black box was never recovered. Crash investigators have long suspected that the recording device had landed in an area that was nearly inaccessible, but this was something Futrell simply could not accept. “How is it that there is a place on this Earth that we can’t reach?” the young man wrote on his blog.

He and his friend Isaac Stoner spent the following year planning an expedition to the Andes Mountains, in Bolivia, with the sole purpose of searching for the missing black box of Eastern Air Lines Flight 980. “Dan and I are both remarkably average dudes: average height, average weight, average athletic ability, average lookin’…I would venture to say neither of us is beyond 2 standard deviations from average intelligence either. And yet here we are, about to try to do something pretty non-average,” Isaac wrote on their blog before flying off to Bolivia. “This is not exactly the trip that most people would book for their summer vacation. If we fail in finding the black box, I hope that this trip will at least inspire some other average folks to get off the couch and do something un-ordinary (if not extraordinary) themselves.”

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Ukraine’s ‘Land of the Twins’ – Unique Village Boasts 61 Sets of Twins

Velikaya Kopanya village is better known as Ukraine’s ‘Land of the Twins’ because of its record-breaking 61 pairs of twins among the less than 4,000 inhabitants. The village is soon expected to be included in the Guinness Book of World Records, having already made its way into Ukraine’s record book.

According to locals, the number of twins born in the village is higher than anywhere else in the country. “The ultimate baby boom came in the year 2004,” said local councillor Maryana Savka. “But ever since then we are having at least between two and three sets of twins born every year.”

Maria Chorba, the town’s oldest twin with three pairs of twins among her own grandchildren, said the town’s twin-phenomenon is not a recent one. “When we were growing up we had some friends who were twins, so we are definitely not the first ones here,” she said, recalling her twin sister Anna who died in 2007. “No one could tell us apart. Later Anna moved to live far away and we met only once a year. But if she would get sick I would know that straight away. And then I felt that something really bad had happened to her – at the very moment she died.”

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Krishna’s Butter Ball – A Precariously Perched 250-Ton Boulder Defying the Laws of Physics

For over 1,300 years, this large rock has been confounding the locals of Mahabalipuram, a beach town near Chennai, in Southern India. The mysterious landmark is perched on hill at a 45-degree angle, balancing off an extremely small surface area without slipping or even budging an inch. Men and even elephants have tried moving it from its precarious position , but every attempt so far has failed.

The locals call it ‘Vaanirai Kal’ (Stone of the Sky God), but the rock is more popularly known as ‘Krishna’s Butter Ball’, referencing Lord Krishna’s favorite food, butter, fallen from the heavens. The gravity-defying rock, measuring 20 ft high and five meters in diameter, is estimated to weigh over 250 tons, which makes it heavier than the monolithic stones of Machu Picchu, or Ollantaytambo. Despite its massive size and weight, Krishna’s Butter Ball is firmly anchored on a four-foot base along the slope of a small hill located on the outskirts of Mahabalipuram. It looks like it might slip any moment and come crashing down the hill, but it has stayed that way for several centuries now.

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Mysterious Boiling River in Peru is So Hot It Boils Animals Alive

There is a mysterious river flowing deep through the Amazon rainforest in Mayantuyacu, Peru, that can literally boil small animals almost instantly. While water temperatures along the 6.4-km-long river range between 50 and 90 degrees Celsius, in some parts almost reaching the boiling point of 100 degrees. That’s hot enough to cause third-degree burns in a matter of seconds.

The local Asháninka people have known about the mysterious Boiling River for centuries, referring to it as ‘Shanay-timpishka’, which translates to ‘boiled with the heat of the sun’. Ancient legend has it that the hot water is unleashed by a giant serpent named Yacumama (mothers of the waters) and a large boulder shaped like a serpent’s head lies at the river’s headwaters, as a testimony to the primitive tale’s veridity.

For the rest of the world, however, this natural oddity was just that – a legend. Apart from a few references dating back to the 1930’s there was no scientific documentation of the boiling river and most geologists simply dismissed its existence based on the fact that it would take huge amounts of geothermal heat to boil entire sections of a river, which would be impossible because the Amazon basin is located 400 miles away from the nearest active volcano. Except for a few tourists who visit Mayantuyacu each year to experience the traditional healing methods practiced by the Asháninka people, the civilized world was oblivious to the existence of a real boiling river.

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The Mysterious Giant Craters of Siberia

Something bizarre is happening to Siberia and it’s got experts all over the world worried. It seems that the vast Russian province is simply cleaving into unexplained giant craters that are so huge they can be viewed from outer space!

It all started in 2013, when helicopter pilots spotted a mysterious hole in the permafrost while flying over the Yamal region in northern Russia. A few days later, reindeer herders spotted another hole, and a third crater was found not long after. In February this year four new ‘giant’ craters were found, surrounded by dozens of ‘baby’ funnels, some of which had turned into lakes. And a leading geological expert predicted that about 30 more craters are waiting to be discovered.

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Creepy Cloaked Figure Dropping Raw Meat on North Carolina Playgrounds Has Locals Spooked

The appearance of a cloaked person outside an apartment complex in North Carolina has spooked not just local residents, but the whole internet as well. Pictures of the pale figure dressed in a black hooded cloak surfaced online earlier this week, creating panic among social media users.

The ‘creepy’ figure was photographed outside a building off Hudson Boulevard in Gastonia. No one knows what it was trying to accomplish, and its gender and identity remain unknown. Naturally, there are tons of rumors doing the rounds – some believe it was a witch performing a ritual, while others say it was just a prankster trying to fool people. A bizarre theory even suggests that the figure dropped raw meat on the ground to poison stray dogs!

“We don’t know if it’s one of our residents with an interesting way of presenting themselves, or if it’s a trespasser,” said Lance Calhoun, director of operations for Southwood Realty. Lots of people suspect that it could have been one of the residents of Hudson Woods apartment complex, where the sighting occurred, but the police haven’t been able to confirm that. “There’s no validation that it was Hudson Woods,” said Gastonia police spokesperson Donna Lahser. “It could have come from anywhere. We don’t know if this is some bogus prank somebody is playing.”


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Deep Springs College – An Exclusive All-Male College in the Middle of a California Desert

One of the most exclusive colleges in the world is located bang in the middle of the remote high California desert. The institution accepts only 12 male students a year, and believe it or not, it consistently tops Harvard’s yield rate!

Deep Springs College, founded in 1917, is unusual in every imaginable way. It has a miniscule student body, an alfalfa-farm-and-cattle-ranch campus, and a mandatory 20 hours of manual labor per week. In fact, the college was built on the concepts of self-governance, manual labor, and rigorous academics. So the 24-odd guys up there spend their college years studying hard and, farming even harder.

Located in the Inyo-White Mountains, just east of the Owens Valley and the Sierra Nevada range, the campus spans 50 square miles in Deep Springs Valley. It offers a two-year liberal arts course, technically making it a junior college. But according to Vanity Fair, “Roughly 80 percent go on as juniors to colleges such as Harvard, Yale, Brown, Columbia and Oxford, while the remainder typically embark on a year of service first.” This places Deep Springs college in a category of its own.

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Owners Forced Out of Newly-Bought Million-Dollar Home by Creepy Letters from “The Watcher”

The otherwise quiet town of Westfield, New Jersey, has become the focus of international media attention, after a family was reportedly forced out of their home by a series of bone-chilling letters from a stalker who calls himself “The Watcher”.

Derek and Maria Broaddus bought the six-bedroom, 4,000-square-foot turn-of-the century home for $1.3 million, in June 2014. Three days after signing the papers, they started receiving creepy letters from someone who claimed to be watching the house. “My grandfather watched the house in the 1920s and my father watched in the 1960s. It is now my time,” the first one read. “I have been put in charge of watching and waiting for its second coming.”

The creepy letters also mentioned the Broaddus’ children: “Do you need to fill the house with the young blood I requested?” the mysterious stalker asked. “Once I know their names I will call to them and draw them out to me.”

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Cicada 3301 – The Internet’s Most Baffling Mystery

Cicada 3301 is often referred to as the internet’s most elaborate and mysterious puzzle, one that often leaves cryptoanalysts and hackers scratching their heads. A sort of cross between a contest, job interview and highly complex puzzle, Cicada 3301 recurs each year, but no one knows who is behind it or what prize awaits the person who solves it.

The first internet puzzle appeared online on January 5, 2012, and two subsequent rounds were released on the same day of the following years. During the first year, Cicada 3301 started with a picture on 4Chan, along with the message: “Hello. We are looking for highly intelligent individuals. To find them, we have devised a test. There is a message hidden in this image. Find it, and it will lead you on the road to finding us. We look forward to meeting the few that will make it all the way through.” The message was simply signed 3301.

The ensuing puzzle provided focused heavily on data security, cryptography and steganography. The clues were scattered in locations all over the world – from the US to France and Poland, within various forms of communication including the internet, telephone, bootable Linux CDs, digital images, and physical paper signs. The clues have also referenced several books, poetry, artwork and music. Clues are always signed by the same cryptic private key to confirm authenticity.


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Inexplicably Green Cat Turns Heads in Bulgaria

A purring feline in the Bulgarian seaside resort town of Varna has been making headlines because of its unusually emerald green fur. Although several theories have tried to explain the radioactive color of the stray animal, the true cause of its coloration remains a mystery.

The ‘green cat of Bulgaria’, as the brightly colored feline has come to be known online, was spotted prowling the streets of Varna a few days ago, and as soon as photos of it appeared on the internet, it became an international news topic. Truth be told, it’s not every day that you get to see a real-life emerald cat, and the inexplicable cause of its bizarre color simply made the topic even more intriguing.

According to some sources, until not too long ago, the stray feline only displayed a hint of green on its fur, but gradually grew greener until attaining the bright emerald color you see below. This makes the original assumption that vandals had dyed its fur green as a cruel joke, unlikely. Before this report from local eye witnesses came to light, Bulgarian animal lovers had even set up a Facebook page entitled “Punishment to the perpetrator of this criminal act!”


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Italian Village Plagued by Mysterious Fires Has Been Puzzling Scientists for Years

For 10 years, the residents of the Sicilian village of Canneto di Caronia have been utterly spooked by hundreds of mysterious, unexplained fires that seem to erupt out of nowhere. The bizarre phenomenon, which has seen a sudden surge this year, includes spontaneous combustion of mattresses, beds, cars, and devices like fridges and mobile phones, even when switched off.

The episodes have attracted the attention of geologists, physicists and volcanologists for several years, but no one has been able to provide an accurate scientific explanation so far. Naturally, the villagers are blaming supernatural entities like UFOs, poltergeists, or other demonic forces. And with no other logical reason in sight, one tends to wonder if they actually might be right.


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Australian Car-Crash Victim Wakes Up from Coma Speaking Fluent Mandarin

When 22-year-old Australian car-crash victim Ben McMahon woke up from a week-long coma, the only language he could speak was fluent Mandarin. So fluent, in fact, that he is now a popular TV star in China!

The incident took place in early 2012 – Ben was in a terrible car crash in Melbourne that left him battling for his life. While his survival seemed like a miracle, nobody was prepared for the bizarre twist that occurred when he finally regained consciousness a week later – his brain simply decided to switch from English to Mandarin.

“Most of it’s hazy, but when I woke up seeing a Chinese nurse, I thought I was in China,” recalled Ben. “It was like a dream. It was surreal. It was like my brain was in one place but my body was in another. I just started speaking Chinese – they were the first words that left my mouth.”


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The Ringing Rocks of Pennsylvania – A Famous Geological Oddity

If you strike a rock, you’d expect to hear a dull ‘thud’. Or maybe a ‘chink’. Definitely not a ringing sound. So you’d be surprised to know that ringing rocks actually do exist. Nestled in the midst of the 128-acre Ringing Rocks County Park in Pennsylvania, is a field of unique boulders. Spread out across seven to eight acres, the boulders produce a distinctive metallic ‘clang’ when struck with a hammer or another piece of rock. Native Americans have known about the rocks for centuries, and passed on their knowledge to the first White settlers in the mid-1700s.

The sound produced by the rocks is so unexpected that it could get you wondering if they are really made of stone. They actually sound hollow and metallic. The strange phenomenon has baffled scientists and geologists for years. Several experiments have been conducted on the ringing rocks, but the exact reason for the unusual sound remains unknown.

Richard Faas, a geologist from Pennsylvania, tested a few of the rocks in his lab in 1965. He discovered that when struck, each individual rock produced low frequency tones that aren’t audible to the human ear. The tones from multiple rocks interact with each other and it’s the collective sound that we get to hear.


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The Creepy Moving Mannequins of One Mysterious New Hamburg House Will Probably Freak You Out

The John Lawson House, located in the vicinity of the New Hamburg train station in New York, is a mystery in its own right. You couldn’t really say it’s haunted, but it has its own share of secrets that no one has managed to reveal. Yet.

Every day, the porch at the John Lawson House is occupied by life-sized female mannequins dressed in clothes from the last century. Their number, position and theme varies from day to day. But no one knows how they get there. No living person has ever been spotted at the house, which is one of six properties at Main Street Historic District.

Some believe that the dolls have a message to convey. They think the dolls are trying to gesture and point towards an unsolved riddle. Others say that the dolls’ mystery lies in the history of the house. In 1871, during a two-week cold wave, a train crashed just 200 feet from the house, instantly killing 22 people. It is believed that the dolls are always pointing towards that crash site.


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Mystery Surrounds Colombian Cemetery That Turns Buried Bodies into Mummies

The ancient Egyptians spent centuries developing their mummifying techniques, but at a cemetery in San Bernardo, a small Colombian town, corpses somehow become naturally mummified in their coffins.

The phenomenon was first noticed 15 years ago, by grave digger Eduardo Cifuentes. “The burial pit was full of bodies,” he said. “I didn’t like stepping on them because they were humans like us so I started organizing them.” It’s only because of Eduardo’s efforts that the mummies are being talked about. He said that the mummified bodies have been around since about 1957, but no one paid any attention to them. “I liked the idea of keeping them for posterity,” he said. With the passage of time, the mummies’ clothes and skin have turned brown. Their skins look pasty and wrinkled.

Scientists have no idea why this is happening. The only other site in Latin America where natural mummification takes place is the Guanajuato, a town in central Mexico, where underground gas and soil conditions are the secret. But the same cannot be said for San Bernardo, because bodies are buried in chambers above the ground (as is customary in Colombia) so they do not come into contact with the earth. Read More »

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