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Wednesday, January 15, 2020

Mystery: Slender Man

Over the course of this little blog’s history. I’ve gone through a fair number of weird little stories. Blair Adams, the 3X Killer, and the 2006 Volleyball Incident are three that, in my eyes, are some of the strangest. They all have elements that really make them stand out in a sense that defies what we as a species accept as the norm.

In the case of Blair Adams, we see the elements of something that has no puzzle pieces to connect. Every piece that exists paints the picture of a disturbed man, but one who realistically has no enemies unless we’re to speculate on a darker and more sinister secret at play. As such, it shows how sometimes, we just consider the more fantastical theories when there’s nothing else to go off of.

With the 3x Killer, there’s really nothing to work with. It’s the embodiment of strange in every realistic capacity. So much so that I had to stop and wonder if I was potentially chasing a fictitious story. All of this stands out in how it showcases that reality is stranger than fiction.

Last, but certainly not least, the 2006 Volleyball Incident introduces is to a different kind of strange. It makes one wonder how the powers that be may be working against you to program you to react to tragedies by tampering with media coverage. This sort of thing I’ll cover in more detail, but there’s a lot of coverage of this kind of thing on many, many websites that specialize in conspiracies and the like.

All three of these stories have something in common though. They’re all based in reality. While the 2006 Volleyball Incident is admittedly a conspiracy theory, it’s nonetheless something that hits close to home due to the topic at hand: a sociopath causing harm to many people for seemingly no reason whatsoever.

That brings us to today’s story. It introduces to us a new sort of deviation from the norm—and it’s a very heavy deviation at that. While the aforementioned three stories all diverge in a way that remains in the realm of reality, this one doesn’t. It instead takes is to the realm of fiction.

Last month, I briefly touched upon Shadow People. I need to revisit as the time limit I had on writing about them made me leave out a lot of details (and I was beginning to get very ill). One of those details was how belief can, in the eyes of some, allow for the manifestation of whatever the believer wishes could be real. This element ties into the belief that Shadow People are a product of the energies and emotions that someone emits.

The idea I’m getting at is this: what if Shadow People aren’t limited to that manifestation? What if other entities are also products of such acts? Such a concept is likely to be laughed at, but some believe it. Our central focus today is one of the more popular “creations” of this belief.

Known as Slender Man, this creepypasta character is one that originated from a contest on the website Something Awful. Since he’s become a horror icon around the world, some have come to say the tall, thin, faceless monster of Internet legend really lurks in the forests of the world. So take a gander and see if this is true or not.

Sunday, January 12, 2020

Mystery: The Tunguska Event

Aerial view of the Tunguska blast site nowadays.

Death from the skies!

This is what seems to make tabloid headlines every few months. NASA or some other space agency (though it’s almost always NASA) supposedly says that there’s a “killer asteroid” headed our way in X years. When it hits, we’re all dead! Just like the dinosaurs before us, we will be wiped out by a giant space rock and there’s nothing we can do about it.

These claims are, of course, clickbait. No one from NASA has said that there is a dinosaur killing sized chunk of space rock that will crash into our happy little planet and make us all enter the Forever Box. Alas, we can’t let facts get in the way of some good clicks for sensationalistic journalism.

Still, that doesn’t mean that our rocky friends from space haven’t hit us before. Every year, a plethora of meteors strike Earth, but they’re either too small to do any damage or burn up as they enter our atmosphere. In other instances, they do land, but are unnoticeable or make for a good viral video because they light up the sky.

In some rare instances, they actually do some damage and kill a lot of life. One good example of this is 99942 Apophis, a 1,080 foot wide asteroid that caused a pretty big scare when it was said it may hit Earth in 2036. An asteroid the size of Apophis typically strikes Earth once every 80,000 years. It wouldn’t cause an extinction level event mind you, but folks on YouTube and tabloids would have you believe otherwise since they made it out to be a doomsday rock from the high heavens.

A comparison of the Empire State Building and Eiffel Tower to 99942 Apophis.
Nowadays, they say that Apophis has a 1 in 150,000 chance of hitting Earth on April 12, 2068. These chances are subject to change and given that’s not for another 48 years (rounded) as of the time of this writing, one can bet that it’s likely we’ll either be able to send Apophis to Mars, Venus, or just straight out of the Solar System. Or, even more likely, Apophis will whoosh by our planet and go on its merry way.

Though what if it didn’t? What if it—or another still sizable asteroid—were to hit us? What would the damage be like?

As I said before, there have been asteroids that have hit Earth. There have also been meteors and comets. The thing is: it’s very rare, but when it happens, people definitely know. The devastation can be tremendous and the loss of life can be unbelievable…

Unless it lands somewhere remote, where the loss of life is minimal and nobody really notices it. This is  the case of today’s story, which has become known as the Tunguska Event. While many have come to accept the theory that what caused this incredible event was a comet, some remain unconvinced. As such, we’re going to take a look and see if we can discover the truth behind it all. So let’s dive in!

Friday, January 10, 2020

Mystery: The Assyrian Monster Invasion

A map of the Assyrian Empire.

There’s a lot of interesting stuff located in the Middle East. Archaeological marvels like the Pyramids, supposed lost cities, religious artifacts, and much more. Geopolitical strife has made the region unfortunately a no-go zone for decades now and as such, discovering the truth to many of these mysteries is, for the foreseeable future, unlikely to happen.

The central focus of today’s story is one mystery that is likely to never be fully answered though. The Assyrian Monster Invasion is a case that reads like something out of a fantasy novel. A mesmerizing tale of killer monsters attacking a town that wreaked unbelievable havoc left and right. Let’s go on a hunt for some monsters.

Tuesday, January 7, 2020

Mystery: The Swirling Basement Thing

Here's a creepy image of basement stairs and someone poking their head out. So scary.
It’s a new year —and a new decade. Just like last year, I’ve come down a really nasty upper respiratory infection. As such, I’ve swapped two stories around. Today, we’ll be discussing a story that was intended for Decemystery last year. Known as the Swirling Basement Thing, this thing is a lot less strange than it may sound Let’s dig in.

Thursday, January 2, 2020

Mystery: The Black Dahlia. A Tragedy Turned Mythical

The Case of the Black Dahlia, A Tragedy Turned Mythical

Here’s a simple question: how does someone solve a crime? “Evidence,” you say, “you need evidence to solve a crime.” You look for motive, a weapon, things left by the perpetrator. You learn about the victim if someone died. You check with people who knew the victim, people last seen with the victim, the whole nine yards. You start with a large group of suspects and narrow it down, sometimes you find the right person, sometimes not. Sometimes you missed something, sometimes very little could be done. 

Okay, now think about the many infamous American crimes, OJ Simpson, the Zodiac, Lizzie Borden. There are misconceptions of course but it’s not hard to find out what the evidence was. In the case of Borden: a young woman’s father and step mother were brutally murdered with an ax, said woman had a negative relationship with the two and there were some issues involving inheritance. The primary suspect was the daughter, who after a long trial was found innocent but doubt still lingers. Also something something lesbian conspiracy theory, an idea that will come up later, but we’re getting ahead of ourselves now.  

OJ: a famous football player’s wife is brutally murdered along with another man she was seeing. Said player was known to be aggressive and had previously beaten her. There is a bloody glove, a car chase, and a lack of other suspects. There is a long drawn out trial where the prime suspect is found innocent but doubt lingers.  

Zodiac: a man goes around San Francisco and neighboring areas, shooting and stabbing various people while sending cryptic messages and puzzles. Many people are suspected but nobody is found guilty and the crime spree stops by the 1970s. These statements are all broadly speaking, true. All of these crimes are technically unsolved, although with Borden and OJ many people strongly believe the courts got it wrong.  

Now finally we have what is arguably the most famous unsolved murder in US history, or at least the most famous unsolved Los Angeles murder. A beautiful girl who is an up and coming actress, brutally tortured and murdered. She is found cut in half in a vacant lot. It later comes out that she was promiscuous, perhaps even a lady of the night. The prime suspect is a creepy doctor obsessed with a surrealist artist who is a suspect in several other murders. He is almost arrested, but flees to another country never to return. The press nicknames this poor soul the Black Dahlia and it passes into legend as what fate awaits young aspiring stars.  

There is just one problem, unlike the other summaries, almost everything I just said is bullshit. Unlike many famous criminal cases, like Jack the Ripper, the objective truth is fairly difficult to obtain. Odds are, your understanding of the Dahlia case is wrong in some form. It’s not your fault, the facts started to become blurry not long after her tragic death. With each retelling the truth becomes hazier. By now the woman who was once named Elizabeth Short has more in common with Elizabeth Bathory then Nicole Brown Simpson. Less a human, more a legend. Her case is still open to this day, staffed by LAPD officers who were born years after the murder took place.  

There has never been a good book written about the subject. There has never been an accurate movie. There has never been a truthful television show. There has never been a fully honest video game. Every secondary source you can obtain is flawed, which makes researching this crime, especially if you don’t live in the LA area, incredibly difficult. I can’t claim to know all the facts and I’m sure I made some mistakes. With all that said, tonight let’s talk about the tale of Elizabeth Short, at least to the best of my knowledge.

Preface: almost all of the information in this post comes from former LA Times writer Larry Harnisch. He is the foremost expert on the history of LA and the Black Dahlia case. He has been writing a book on the subject for almost 20 years. If he is reading this, God bless your heart Larry, you are a great writer. I pray that book comes out soon. Here is a link to his old site. Here’s one to his current site.

A photo of Larry Harnisch. From Tyler and I, thank you for your assistance and kindness. It means the world to us!