The Taman Shud Case: 14 Highlights from Somerton Man Expert Professor Derek Abbott’s Reddit AMA

Somerton Man codeOne of the world’s foremost experts on the Somerton Man/Taman Shud case, Professor Derek Abbott of Australia’s University of Adelaide, took to Reddit last night to do an AMA on r/UnresolvedMysteries. Primarily a physicist and engineer — he holds a BSc in Physics and a PhD in Electrical and Electronic Engineering — he’s well known for his work on the applications of both to complex systems. He also finds uses for them regarding multi-displinary problems, including forensics (hence, his interest in the Somerton Man). If you’re at all interested in the case, I highly suggest heading over to r/Unresolved Mysteries to read the whole thing; for those who want the Cliff Notes version, though, here are a few highlights (click the images to make ’em bigger):

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The Search Terms from the Black Lagoon: Why You Shouldn’t Buy Haunted Dolls, South American Larvae, and Other Queries Answered

abandoned computerPreviously: Ghost Babies and Jungle Splash.

It’s time for another addition of The Search Terms from the Black Lagoon, in which I attempt to figure out what you were trying to find when Google sent you to my weird little corner of the Internet. This time, we’re taking a look at memes, hoaxes, and the consequences of screwing up the Midnight Game. Here we go:

1. “Why you shouldn’t buy haunted dolls”

Uh… because they’re haunted? See: Robert the Doll.

2. “Blood vessel in hand urban legend”

This one has a lot of possibilities, but I think the most likely one is the old “is our blood actually blue until it hits the air?” question. Answer: Nope. According to Mental Floss, blood is always red, even when it’s in our veins. So why do our veins look blue when we’re just, y’know, looking at them through our hands? Because of how we perceive light and color — not because of what the color of the thing actually is. Check out more over at Mental Floss.

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Haunted Road Trip: The Colonial Inn of Concord, Massachusetts  

Colonial Inn

Previously: The Stanley Hotel.

Sometimes I think that maybe the reason I’m so interested in weird stuff is because I grew up in a place with a boatload of history. I was born and raised in Concord, MA, a town known as much for its connection to the Revolutionary War as for its rich literary tradition — and on top of that, my mother was a historian. As a result, I spent a great deal of my childhood hanging around the Old Manse, the Orchard House, Sleepy Hollow Cemetery, the Old North Bridge, Walden Pond, and all the rest. When you grow up with all that history surrounding you, you can’t help but get drawn in by it — and although I haven’t called Concord my home for more than ten years, it’s still huge part of who I am. My one regret? Never having spent a night in room 24 at the Colonial Inn.

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Tamun Shud/Somerton Man Expert Professor Derek Abbott Is Doing a Reddit AMA on Saturday, August 30

Hey gang,

Quick announcement for those of you who are interested in the Taman Shud/Somerton Man mystery: Professor Derek Abbott of Australia’s Adelaide University will be doing a Reddit AMA on Saturday, August 30 at 9pm EST/6pm PST. Professor Abbott is one of the world’s leading experts on the case, so anything you might be curious about concerning it? Ask him. He’ll probably know. It’s happening on r/UnresolvedMysteries, so head on over there for more info. I’ll probably be covering it here in the days following it, as well.

Mark your calenders!

UPDATE 8/31/14: The AMA happened last night; here are some highlights. Enjoy!

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Creepypasta of the Week: “Come Follow Me,” The Original Lavender Town Syndrome Tale

Game boyPreviously: “Psychosis.”

Creeypasta loves video games. Seriously — there’s an absurd amount of stories in this particular genre, ranging from the very successful to the… shall we say, less successful. I think they speak to us for the same reason a lot of the Disney ones do; their effectiveness lies in the way they take the familiar and make it strange.

Within the larger genre of video game pastas, Pokemon-specific stories make up a huge subgenre. “Lavender Town Syndrome” is one of the best known ones; I think it’s also one of the earliest ones to hit the Internet. According to Know Your Meme, the first version of the tale, known as “Come Follow Me,” was uploaded to Pastebin on February 1, 2010. It spread rapidly from there, making its way to 4chan’s /x/ paranormal board by the beginning of March before the Internet took it and ran with it.

During the first few days of the release of Pokemon Red and Green in Japan, back in February 27, 1996, a peak of deaths appeared in the age group of 10-15.

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Abandoned: The Last Remnants of the Harlem Valley Psychiatric Center (Photos)

https://www.flickr.com/photos/kinerific/7429245830/sizes/l

Previously: North Brother Island.

In upstate New York, there’s a town called Dover. Within Dover is a hamlet known as Wingdale, and in Wingdale lies the ruins of the . Originally meant to be a correctional facility, the Wingdale Prison, complaints from the local population caused the under-construction buildings to be repurposed as a state hospital. It opened its doors in 1924; at its height in the mid-1950s, its 800 acres held 80 buildings, 5,000 employees, and more than 5,000 patients.

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Unresolved: The Untimely Death of Gareth Williams (Or, The Body in the Duffle Bag)

Luggage Back HomePreviously: The Strange Disappearance of the Beaumont Children.

By all accounts, Gareth Williams was a brilliant man. Born September 26, 1978 in Anglesey, Wales, he began studying mathematics at the university level while still in primary school; his former teachers called him an “exceptional” student, and one of the best logicians they’d ever seen. He earned a first in maths from Bangor University at the age of 17, went onto gain a PhD at the University of Manchester, and by the age of 21, had been recruited by the British intelligence and security agency GCHQ. He began a post-graduate course at St. Catharine’s College, Cambridge around the same time he began at GCHQ, but dropped out to focus instead on his budding career; work became his life, and for nearly a decade, it remained so. In 2009, he went on a one-year secondment to MI6, with his return date to GCHQ being at the beginning of September, 2010. But he would never work for GCHQ again — or for anywhere else, for that matter. On August 23, 2010, he was found dead in his flat in London’s Pimlico area. He was just a month shy of his 32nd birthday.

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