50 Interesting Facts about Best Kept Secrets

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26The Rothschilds

The Rothschilds

The Rothschilds had such an efficient system of couriers that they knew Napoleon had lost at Waterloo a day before the government did. Nathan Rothschild kept it secret and immediately bought up the government bond market. He then sold the bonds for an enormous 40% profit two years later.

27. Before his death, Ed Sullivan believed he was suffering complications from his long-standing battle with ulcers. He did not know that he had been diagnosed with advanced esophageal cancer the month before, a diagnosis his family and doctors had kept secret from him.

28. The Powerpuff Girls were originally called the "Whoopass Girls" by their creator who did the pilot as a college project. The "secret ingredient" in their creation was accidentally spilling a can of Whoopass into the pot.

29. Beneath the streets of Los Angeles is a complex network of pedestrian tunnels that stretch several blocks. They've been used for secret transportation of mobsters, murderers and more than a billion dollars in cash; designated as fallout shelters and homeless shelters and used as backdrops for movies.

30. In 2000, Over 1000 priceless books disappeared from a mountaintop abbey in France to the confusion of the monks and the local police, despite reinforcing the library's doors and changing its locks. Turned out the culprit was using a long-forgotten secret passageway found in the public archives.

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31Trinity test

Trinity test

An employee of the Kodak Camera Company discovered in the 40s that there must have been some sort of nuclear test (Trinity test) on United States mainland. Realizing the importance of his discovery, he kept his findings a secret until 1949.

32. When an architecture student alerted engineers that an NYC skyscraper might collapse in an upcoming storm (Hurricane Ella), the city kept it secret then reinforced the building overnight (while police developed a ten-block evacuation plan).

33. All modern color printers print a secret, nearly invisible code onto every page to allow governments to track the serial number and timestamps.

34. In 1955, Sears published a phone number that kids could use to "call Santa". However, due to a misprint, the number Sears printed redirected to NORAD's top secret emergency line. Rather than having the ad pulled, NORAD decided to "track" Santa's progress, which they continue to do to this day.

35. In 1979, two men arrived at a sheriff's office claiming to have been abducted by aliens with lobster- claw hands. Left alone in a room with a secret recording device to expose their lie, they instead continued to talk in "terribly distressed" voices about the abduction.

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36Thomas Edison

Thomas Edison

Thomas Edison taught his second wife (Mina Miller) Morse code to tap out messages on his arm so that they could communicate in secret in front of her parents.

37. When Richard Nixon's secret "enemy list" was leaked to the media, journalist Daniel Schorr read the names on live TV. Not having read it before going on air, he was surprised to see his own name as number 17.

38. Sean Baker, a Military Policeman at Guantanamo Bay, was ordered to impersonate a prisoner in a secret training mission for US Soldiers to practice extracting uncooperative inmates from their cells. He was beaten so hard he suffered from major seizures caused by traumatic brain injury.

39. Red cell was a team of ex-navy seals tasked to take over military bases, kidnap and take hostage VIPs, steal top secret info, and even infiltrate Air Force One in order to expose security flaws.

40. The Original Illuminati was an Enlightenment-era secret society in Bavaria created on May 1st, 1776. The society's goals were to oppose superstition, prejudice, religious influence over public life and abuses of state power, and to support women's education and gender equality.

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41Kevin Cordasco

Kevin Cordasco

A 16-year-old cancer patient Kevin Cordasco was offered to read the final script of Breaking Bad but turned it down, thinking he wouldn't be able to keep it secret. He died before the finale aired.

42. Guatemalans were deliberately infected with STDs between 1945 & 1956 through US government programme. They were kept secret until discovered in 2010 by a college professor. The programme published no findings, did not inform those who were infected nor did it provide them with follow-up medical care.

43. There is a secret room behind Mount Rushmore designed to store US treasured documents.

44. Stranger Things was allegedly based on Project Montauk, a supposed secret government program involving the kidnapping of children for use in mind control experiments.

45. In 1915, San Diego hired a "rainmaker" (Charles Hatfield), who used a secret mix of chemicals to "attract rain" for $10,000, payable if he filled their reservoir. It rained for most of January, destroying bridges, dams, and causing 20 deaths.

46Atari Adventure

Atari Adventure

The first known Easter egg in a video game was a secret room in Atari Adventure (1979) that credited the game's developer, Warren Robinett. Atari did not allow their developers to be credited at the time so Robinett added the feature, told no one, and quit before anything could be done about it.

47. In order to keep the project a secret, the British army used the innocuous name "mobile water carriers" for a motorized weapons project which is the reason we call them "tanks".

48. A group of American journalists formed a secret society, 'The Order of the Occult Hand' whose only goal is to slip the meaningless phrase "It was as if an occult hand had…" past editors and into published articles.

49. During the "Red Terror" of 1918, Communist secret police in Orel "poured water on naked prisoners bound in the winter streets until they became living ice statues." In Ukraine, they "rolled people around in barrels studded internally with nails." Upwards of 1 million people died.

50. When Dr. Seuss was stuck writing his books, he and his editor would go to a secret closet filled with hundreds of hats and wear them till the words came.

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