In 2000, Pope John Paul II himself had to carry out an impromptu exorcism on a 19-year-old girl after she began “screaming insults in a cavernous voice” during an audience with Pope in the Vatican City. Pope and Father Gabriele Amorth (Vatican’s official exorcist) sat with the girl for half an hour and despite their best efforts, she remained possessed. She muttered “not even the head of the church can send me away” as the Pope walked off, defeated.
2London Grave Beast
Archaeologists in London were excavating the graveyard of St. Pancras Old Church in 2003, in preparation for the construction of a rail terminal. It was the site of mass graves holding the bodies of 44,000 people, who were victims of a number of epidemics during the 19th century. When scientists opened up one particular coffin, they found the remains of eight people and a sizeable beast, which turned out to be a walrus. No one knows how it got to London or why it was buried there.
3Zana, The Female Yeti?
In a remote village in Georgia in Russia, a 6.5 feet tall wild woman was caught from the mountains in the 1850s. She had red hair all over her body and was very muscular. She was named ‘Zana’ and she spent several years in a cage. Eventually, she was let out. She roamed the village but always came back. She was trained in simple chores and never wore clothes. Her strength was legendary, and she did not seem to be affected by the frigid winter air. She enjoyed grapes and also had a weakness for wines, often drinking so heavily she would sleep for hours. This is likely how she became the mother of many children to different fathers. Her first two children died when she tried to wash them in the freezing river. The villagers then started to take her children away from her and raised them as their own. She died in 1890. When her grandchildren were researched by a professor, one of her grandsons, had jaws so powerful he could lift a chair with a man sitting in it. Their DNA test shockingly showed that Zana’s ethnic background was ‘100% sub-Saharan African’.
4Grand Canyon Egyptian Treasure
The Arizona Gazette published a front-page article on April 5, 1909, that ran several pages entitled “Explorations in Grand Canyon: Remarkable finds indicate ancient people migrated from Orient.” The article mentioned that an expedition financed by the Smithsonian Institute discovered tablets bearing hieroglyphics, copper weapons, and tools, statues of Egyptian deities, and mummies. Smithsonian denied all knowledge of the discovery, and several expeditions searching for the cavern have come up empty. Was it just a hoax? Supporters claim that the restricted areas in the Canyon are evidence of the cover-up.
5Unknown Woman of Seine
The ‘Woman of Seine’ was an unknown woman whose body was pulled out of the Seine River in Paris in the 1880s. A post-mortem pathologist at the morgue was so taken by her beauty that he made a plaster cast death mask of her face. She was estimated to be 16 years old and she quickly became famous for her smile. It was compared to Mona Lisa and girls all over the world, most notably in France and Germany, copied her look. Her death mask is now used as the face of the CPR mannequin and it is the most kissed face on earth. The true details surrounding her death have been debated for years and her identity still remains unclear.
6Malawi Terror Beast
Malawi terror beast was an unidentified wild animal that killed at least 3 people and severely injured 16 others in Malawi in 2003. It crushed their skulls and ate their intestines and genitals. 4,000 people left their villages in order to escape it. Authorities identified it as a rabid hyena, but those people who saw the animal dismissed the claims that it was a Hyena, due to its large hind legs. Locals believed it was the soul of a similar beast that was killed a year before. The beast was never caught and it remains a mystery as to what it really was.
7Mad Gasser of Mattoon
The Mad Gasser of Mattoon was an alleged maniac who may have attempted to covertly gas over 20 peoples’ homes for unknown reasons in the 1940s. Victims reported smelling a strong, sweet odor and immediately began to feel weak and nauseated. Police often found a hole made somewhere in the house where the gas was most concentrated and presumed to have been used to inject gas into the houses. One witness claimed to have seen the gasser and described “him” as a tall thin woman dressed as a man and footprints belonging to a woman were discovered at some of the scenes. The perpetrator was never caught.
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8Hungarian Gold Train
In 1944, Nazis ran a train to Berlin to transport the valuables plundered from some 800,000 Hungarian Jews. Gold, gems, diamonds, pearls, watches, about 200 paintings, Persian and Oriental rugs, silverware, chinaware, furniture, fine clothing, linens, porcelains, cameras, stamp collections, and currency were filled on a 42 car freight train. Estimated to be worth $350 million ($4 billion in 2007), the train was seized by Allied troops and that’s where most the most notable objects started disappearing. US Army auctioned the assets it received for just $152,850 in 1948. US government kept details of this train a secret until 1998 when President Bill Clinton prepared a report detailing the handling of the train's assets by the US and cited a multitude of “shortcomings” of the US restitution efforts. In 2001, a lawsuit against the US government was filed by Hungarian Holocaust survivors in Florida over the mishandling of assets on the Hungarian Gold Train. In 2005, the government reached a settlement worth $25.5 million. It is still a mystery what happened to most of the valuables on the train.
9Irish Crown Jewels Theft
In 1907, Ireland’s crown jewels (worth several million euros) were stolen from a safe in a strong room at Bedford Tower in Dublin Castle, under the eyes of 4 men assigned to guard them. A long investigation by Scotland Yard produced a report that was never released. It is said to have named the culprit and to have been suppressed by the Royal Irish Constabulary (RIC). Francis Shackleton, brother of renowned Antarctic explorer Ernest Shackleton, was one of the main suspects behind the robbery. The whereabouts of the treasure and the identity of the thief are still unknown.
10Eilean Mor Mystery
In 1900, three lighthouse keepers mysteriously disappeared from the lighthouse on Eilean Mor, an island north of Scotland. The door to the lighthouse was unlocked, coats were missing and half-eaten food was left behind. The last entries on the log described a storm on December 12th of severe winds, but all other reports in the area stated the weather was clear that day.