One of the most peculiar encounters with a UFO involves aliens serving breakfast in Eagle River, Wisconsin.
Some human remains get lost, some are stolen, some get used in cocktails.
Today is the 7th anniversary of Cult of Weird! Seven years…what the hell have I been doing with my life? While I try to fend off the existential dread, here is this week’s roundup of weird news, science, archaeology, and more. Of particular interest is the latest expedition to the uninhabited island of Nikumaroro to find the remains of Amelia Earhart, this time with bone-sniffing dogs.
Also, the search for Fenn’s treasure leads to death, Mothman flying around Chicago, and let’s not forget the medieval sword unearthed from a peat bog in Poland. Oh, and NASA wants to probe Uranus….
Cult of Weird shares it’s birthday with Pink Flamingo Day
Someone stole the mummified human toe used to make the Yukon’s famous Sourtoe Cocktail
Stolen brain of St. John Bosco found in kettle
New expedition will use forensic dogs to find the bones of Amelia Earhart
The search for Fenn’s Treasure claims another victim
Newly discovered diaries document cannibalism during the Nazi siege of Leningrad
Why are people seeing flying humanoids over Chicago?
A historical sighting of a minotaur-like creature in Virginia
ZOZO demon: Real or fake?
Michael Phelps to race a great white during Shark Week
Cats domesticated themselves, because they do whatever they want
NASA wants to probe Uranus in search of gas
The Mummy Returns: Egyptian dignitary’s face and brain reconstructed
A bear and her cubs have taken over Vlad the Impaler’s castle
Dried lizard penis being sold online as India tantric root
Trove of Nazi artifacts found in hidden room of Buenos Aires home
Did Hitler’s obsession with the occult lose him the war?
Iowa’s “cemetery in the middle of the road” hit by rogue driver
Curiosity rover photographed from Mars orbit
Bigfoot crossing signs go up in Round Rock, Texas
14th century medieval sword found in peat bog
Beginning of the end: Celebrating the Pagan Summer Solstice
Hamelin hasn’t forgotten the children lost to the Pied Piper over 700 years ago
Viewers terrified by hellish footage of underwater monster
Thousands of witches cast a spell to bind Donald Trump
Stephen Hawking calls for a return to the moon as Earth’s clock runs out
Cult of Weird Collection
I recently picked up this vintage Replogle Moon Globe from my friends over at Kadywumpus Antiques & Oddities. Replogle is the largest manufacturer of globes, and their 1960s moon globes are particularly interesting. They show the moon’s major topographical features, as well as the locations of the Apollo moon landings. However, since the moon is tidally locked to the Earth and we always see the same side, no one knew what the far side of the moon looked like. Because of this, early moon globes had a large blank area on the back where Replogle printed their logo.
These blank areas weren’t able to be filled in until Russian probes captured the first photos of the Moon’s dark side, Luna-3 in 1959 and Zond-3 in 1965. Moon globes from at least 1966 still lack the details gleaned from those photos, so I’m not sure when the Russian photos were made public.
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This week’s featured WEIRD BOOK
The Empire of Death explores crypts, catacombs, and other macabre masterpieces around the world in 260 morbidly full color photos from the Paris catacombs, Sedlec ossuary, the Capuchin crypts, and more.
Buy it now on Amazon
Stay safe out there this weekend, folks.
Someone stole the mummified human toe used to make the Yukon’s famous Sourtoe Cocktail.
The Sourtoe Cocktail
The Sourdough Saloon, part of the Downtown Hotel in Dawson City, is home to the time-honored tradition of serving up a unique drink for anyone brave enough to try it: The Sourtoe Cocktail. It is a shot of whiskey (usually Yukon Jack) served up with a real, shriveled human toe floating in it. To become a member of the Sourtoe Cocktail Club one must pledge the “Sourtoe Oath” and remember the most important rule: “You can drink it fast, you can drink it slow, but your lips must touch the toe.”
Also, don’t swallow or steal the toe.
Much to the hotel’s dismay, a customer ordered the drink last Saturday, and then made off with the toe. He convinced a staff member to serve him the drink outside of the designated “toe time,” and then pocketed the severed digit.
The hotel has backups, of course, (because you should always have a few spare toes) but as Terry Lee, the Toe Captain, told the Guardian, “toes are very hard to come by.”
According to the legend, a rum-runner in the 1920s named Louie Linken got frostbite on his big toe during a cross-border delivery. To prevent gangrene, his brother Otto amputated the frozen toe with an axe, and preserved it in a jar of alcohol to commemorate the moment. Years later the toe was discovered in an abandoned cabin and brought to the Downtown where, naturally, it became the primary ingredient in “the most disgusting cocktail in the world.”
The toe was accidentally swallowed seven years later. In 2013 a writer from New Orleans intentionally swallowed the toe and paid the C$500 fine. The hotel then raised the fine to C$2,500. In total, at least 8 other toes have gone missing since the tradition started in 1973, and 10 have been donated. The toe in question is their latest acquisition, donated by a man who had it surgically removed. After six months of being cured in salt, the toe had just made it’s debut that weekend.
Fortunately, the thief returned the toe this week. Police were able to track him down because he left his Sourtoe Cocktail Club certificate behind, already filled out with his name on it. He sent the toe back to the hotel in mail along with an apology.
There are over 100,000 members of the Sourtoe Cocktail Club from all over the world. If you can’t make it to Dawson City, here’s the recipe to try at home:
- 1 ounce (minimum) of alcohol
- 1 dehydrated toe
- garnish with courage
Photo recently captured by NASA from Mars orbit shows the Curiosity Rover in a lonely expanse of the Red Planet.
Curiosity Rover on Mars
See that blue speck? That’s the Curiosity Rover photographed by NASA in high definition from the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter.
“When the image was taken,” NASA says, “Curiosity was partway between its investigation of active sand dunes lower on Mount Sharp, and ‘Vera Rubin Ridge,’ a destination uphill where the rover team intends to examine outcrops where hematite has been identified from Mars orbit. The rover’s surroundings include tan rocks and patches of dark sand.”
Curiosity landed on Mars August 6, 2012. According to NASA, “Lower Mount Sharp was chosen as a destination for the Curiosity mission because the layers of the mountain offer exposures of rocks that record environmental conditions from different times in the early history of the Red Planet. Curiosity has found evidence for ancient wet environments that offered conditions favorable for microbial life, if Mars has ever hosted life.”
Forrest Fenn buried a treasure worth $2 million somewhere in the Rocky Mountains, and now two men have died trying to find it.
The New York Times reports a Colorado pastor who went in search Forrest Fenn’s buried treasure was found dead Sunday by New Mexico authorities after his family reported him missing. He is the second treasure hunter found dead since the hunt for Fenn’s riches began.
When Fenn published his memoir The Thrill of the Chase in 2010, he wrote about burying a bronze chest filled with “265 gold coins, hundreds of gold nuggets, hundreds of rubies, eight emeralds, two Ceylon sapphires, many diamonds, two ancient Chinese jade carvings, pre-Columbian gold bracelets and fetishes, and more.”
A poem provided 9 clues to the whereabouts of the treasure:
As I have gone alone in there
And with my treasures bold,
I can keep my secret where,
And hint of riches new and old.
Begin it where warm waters halt
And take it in the canyon down,
Not far, but too far to walk.
Put in below the home of Brown.
From there it’s no place for the meek,
The end is ever drawing nigh;
There’ll be no paddle up your creek,
Just heavy loads and water high.
If you’ve been wise and found the blaze,
Look quickly down, your quest to cease,
But tarry scant with marvel gaze,
Just take the chest and go in peace.
So why is it that I must go
And leave my trove for all to seek?
The answers I already know,
I’ve done it tired, and now I’m weak.
So hear me all and listen good,
Your effort will be worth the cold.
If you are brave and in the wood
I give you title to the gold.
With only Fenn’s words to go on, an estimated 65,000 people have joined the search, knowing only that the treasure is buried somewhere in the Rocky Mountains north of Santa Fe, higher than 5,000 feet above sea level. But now, with two dead in search of a treasure that may or may not actually exist, the victim’s families along with the chief of the New Mexico State Police are asking Fenn to call it off. They believe Fenn is “endangering lives for his own selfish reasons.”
“Life is too short to wear both a belt and suspenders,” Fenn told the New York Times. “If someone drowns in the swimming pool we shouldn’t drain the pool, we should teach people to swim.”
Fenn said he is thinking of ways to make the treasure hunt safer, and is expected to make that announcement soon.