What is history? History is quite simply the study of past events. History is made up of numerous single events that have unfolded over the course of existence. We chronicle these events, tell tales of them, pass them down from generation to generation, and look upon them as basically being the building blocks of what exists today. But some of these events lack definitive explanation, or are entirely beyond belief. We know they occurred and there is some documented evidence of such. Yet, these few events still mystify us and leave many questions unanswered.
Many people have brushed these happenings away or dismissed them entirely; others have sought to shed light on them again and again in an attempt for some sort of rationalization. Some of these events occurred millennia ago, others mere decades; all have been conjectured or theorized away by some as mundane phenomena. Nevertheless, in truth, these elucidations do not hold up under scrutiny.
We really do not have any strong explanations for some of the most known events in the annals of history. Did they occur as history tells us? What of the documented accounts and stories? Are they all to be believed? Some you might have briefly heard mentioned or possibly seen something on a television program, like what might have happened at Roswell or what is the Taos Hum? Others might actually shock you!
These are ten of the most mystifying events in history, which despite our best efforts, remain unexplained.
10 The Roswell Incident
If you’re like most, you’ve heard of Roswell. It has been an enduring mystery for over sixty years. What we know for sure is that on the night of July 4, 1947 there was a heavy thunderstorm over southern New Mexico. Military radar was tracking an unidentified flying object in the skies over the same area, losing trajectory some miles northwest of Roswell. The next morning, rancher Mack Brazel found some metal debris from an apparent crash scattered throughout his property, as well as a shallow gouge mark that stretched for several hundred feet. A day or so later, Brazel drove to the Roswell Army Air Field and reported his discovery to Maj. Jesse Marcel. The Army quickly sealed off the crash site, collected the debris, and subsequently announced to the press that they had recovered a crashed flying saucer. Just as quickly, they rescinded the claim and instead reported the debris as being from a downed weather balloon. Despite changing official stories and conflicting eyewitness reports, the government has pretty much stuck to their weather balloon claim ever since.
9 The Tunguska Event
It is the early morning hours of June 30, 1908; a man is sitting on a porch in Siberia. All of a sudden he is thrown from his chair and he experiences heat so strong that he believes his clothes are on fire. That man was over 40 miles away from what would be termed the Tunguska Event. Tunguska is a remote area of Russia consisting of thick forests and large bogs. That morning witnesses described the sky opening up as if erupting in fire, a mighty bang was heard and many, who were miles away, felt the shock wave that tore through the countryside. For the next few nights after the explosion, the midnight sky throughout Europe and England was so bright you could still read while outside. Thirteen years later, a scientific expedition found the site of the blast. What they discovered was miles and miles of trees laid flat away from the blast epicenter. Theories include a meteorite or comet exploding in mid-air, yet no crater or debris has ever been found. Even today, nobody is sure of what caused the explosion.
8 The Hum Phenomenon
A small group of people have reported hearing a relentless low frequency hum, about 56 Hz. It has been localized to a specific area and an irritant for years. It has been reported around the world, including New Mexico, Europe, and New Zealand. Not everyone can hear it, but those who do describe alike, saying it not unlike a diesel engine heard from a distance, getting louder when they are indoors, with vibrations that can be felt. Some hearers have been so distraught by the hum that it has caused insomnia, dizziness, irritability, anxiety, and in one case, suicide. No definitive cause has ever been found for the persistent hum.
7 The Battle of Los Angeles
It all happened in the early morning hours of February 25, 1942; just three months after the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor. The U.S. had just entered World War II and the military was on high alert when it responded to what was believed to be another unprovoked attack above the skies of California. Witnesses reported a large, round object, glowing pale orange, in the skies above Culver City and Santa Monica, along the Pacific coast. Air raid sirens sounded and searchlights began scouring the skies over Los Angeles, as over 1,400 shells from anti-aircraft guns barraged the mysterious object as it quietly moved across the night sky, vanishing from view. No enemy aircraft were shot down and indeed no satisfactory explanation could be given for what occurred. The Army’s official statement was that “unidentified planes” had invaded Southern California air space, but Secretary of the Navy Frank Knox dismissed those claims as “war nerves” and a “false alarm.” They never could explain the bright lights in the sky that started the whole affair.
6 The “WOW!” Signal
It remains the strongest evidence to date of extraterrestrial life and it was recorded one August night in 1977. Jerry Ehman, volunteering for the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI), was scanning radio waves from deep space in hopes of finding that one signal that establishes an intelligent alien civilization exists. On that night, he recorded a huge spike in activity with a signal, lasting 72 seconds, originating from near a star called Tau Sagittarii, 120 light years away. Ehman wrote “Wow!” in the margin of the printout. The alphanumerical scale to register such signals ranges from 1 to 9, then A to Z, with most radio waves registering just 1’s and 2’s. However, this signal had a sequence of “6EQUJ5;” very strong indeed! The signal was on just the right frequency that it would easily be differentiated from background noise, exactly the frequency we would use to send a similar signal out into space. All attempts to find the signal again have failed.
5 The Sea Peoples
It is known as the Bronze Age collapse. Advanced civilizations in the Aegean and Mediterranean areas had risen. The Mycenaeans, Minoans, Hittites, and Canaanites all possessed technology and arts far in advance of surrounding areas. Then around 1200 BCE, this would all change. Within a single generation, these mighty civilizations would almost cease to exist with those survivors set back hundreds of years in terms of art, architecture, and technology. One of the causes of this collapse was attributed to the mysterious “Sea Peoples,” a group of seafaring raiders, technologically inferior to these great ancient civilizations. How did they conquer these advanced peoples? Historians have very little idea of where these warriors came from or what became of them after finally being defeated by Pharaoh Rameses III of Egypt in 1178 BCE. All that is known is that these “Sea Peoples,” were able to topple civilizations with weaponry hundreds of years more advanced than year own and then simply vanish.
4 The Immortal Count of Saint Germain
He is one of the most mysterious men in history. There is no known official record of his birth, though some say it was around 1690. Others believe he was an immortal. What is known is that records show him in Europe as early as 1710, and that he appeared to never age throughout the many years of his public life. He travelled throughout the world, rubbing elbows with the many celebrities of the day. Officially he died on February 27, 1784, though his grave has never been found. Reportedly his appearance was striking with piercing eyes, dressed heavily in jewels. He spoke twelve languages, was an accomplished painter and a talented musician, and made strange comments whenever asked about his always-youthful appearance despite his growing age. He seemed to have a never-ending supply of wealth, but was not known to possess any bank accounts. There are many stories about the Count, but we never know the truth about this enigmatic man.
3 The Speech of the Unknown
During the American Revolution, delegates to the Continental Congress that July 1776, found themselves at an impasse. Everyone present was hesitant to affix their signature to the newly drafted Declaration of Independence, an act surely punishable as treason with horrendous torture and execution by the British. Then an unknown man stood and delivered a rousing address to the delegates. “They may pour our blood on a thousand scaffolds, and yet from every drop that dyes the axe a new champion of freedom will spring into birth!...Sign, and not only for your selves, but for all ages, for that parchment will be the textbook of freedom, the bible of the rights of man forever.” The speech continued and motivated the delegates to vigorously sign the document. Then, when the signers turned to address the man, he had vanished. Nobody knew his identity. Some say he was the immortal Count St Germain, being present, as it were, at pivotal events in history. In truth we may never know who gave the speech that helped birth a nation.
2 Symbol in the Sky
On the night October 27, 312 CE, Constantine I, Emperor of the Roman Empire, was on the eve of a great battle against the forces of his rival, Maxentius. Constantine had a vision in the sky of the Chi-Rho symbol, a Christogram formed from the first two Greek letters of the word “Christ.” He ordered the sign of Christ to be placed on the standards and shields of his legions. He won the battle, converted, and became the first Christian Roman Emperor. Ten years later, Christianity became the official religion of the Roman Empire. His unexpected conversion turned the small religion into one of the largest in the world. What did Constantine actually see? Was it divine intervention? We may never know.
1 Fatima's Miracle of the Sun
On October 13, 1917, in the village of Fatima, Portugal, thousands gathered along a hill where three children had announced the Virgin Mary would make her presence known. What occurred next is unbelievable. The looming storm clouds broke open to reveal the sun turning opaque and beginning to spin, emanating brilliant rays of different colored lights down upon the crowd. The light show lasted for ten minutes. Many claimed they saw a vision of the Virgin Mary in the light. As many as 100,000 witnesses claim to have seen the event. Despite some theories, no one can adequately explain what people saw or the visions of the children that led to the occasion. Known as the Miracle of the Sun, the event was officially declared a Biblical miracle by the Roman Catholic Church in 1930.