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American History


Mysteries in American History

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Mysteries in American HistoryCategories & Articles:


Aliens and UFO's




Creatures & Monsters


Disappearances & Mysterious Deaths


Lost Treasure Tales


Ghost Stories


Mysterious Objects & Places


Mysterious People & Events


Twisted History


Unsolved Crimes


Vanished Civilizations



There are dozens of unexplained events and mysteries in American History. From ancient times to more recent events, questions remain unanswered, crimes were never solved, strange creatures lurk in forests and lakes, people go missing and are never found, the government is suspected of cover-ups, and accepted written history is often questioned. Some mysteries will, undoubtedly, never be solved, others prompt new generations, with advanced technologies, to search for answers; yet more, remain the subjects of intense debates.


Why did the Anasazi people abandon their cities? What is the Moth Man? Did Meriwether Lewis commit suicide or was he murdered? Did the Romans explore America? What mysteries do the Nevada and Alaska Triangles hide? Does Bigfoot really exist? What is the legend of Dudleytown, Connecticut? Where did the people of the Roanoke Colony go? These, and many more mysteries will be explored in this new section of Legends' Mysteries in American History.




Aliens and UFO's

  • Flying SaucerAliens in Dulce, New Mexico - Dulce Base is an alleged secret alien underground facility under Archuleta Mesa on the Colorado-New Mexico border. Claims of alien activity there first arose in 1979.

  • Levelland, Texas UFO Sightings - Occurring on November 2–3, 1957 in and around the small town of Levelland, Texas, this case is considered by ufologists to be one of the most impressive in UFO history, because of the large number of witnesses involved over a relatively short period of time.

  • The Roswell Incident - The hot summer of 1947 brought something new to Roswell, New Mexico, other than it historic contingent of Indians, Spaniards, longhorn cattle, and  cowboys. That was the summer that the Roswell skies, as well as the heavens all over America were filled with unidentified flying objects – UFO’s!

  • UFO in Aztec, New Mexico - in 1948. This crash allegedly Taking place not long after the famous Roswell crash of 1947, another UFO was said to have crashed in Hart Canyon northeast of Aztec, Mexico in March, 1948.




  • Victorio Peak Treasure - The Victorio Peak treasure is a cache of gold found inside Victorio Peak in Southern New Mexico. Did the Army take it from its rightful owner?

Creatures & Monsters

  • Altamaha-ha - Serpent of the Altamaha River, Georgia - Near the mouth of the Altamaha River in southeastern Georgia is said to reside a hissing sea monster. Called Altamaha-ha, for the river, or "Altie" for short, the legend predates British-English colonization and is said to have originated with the Lower Muskogee Creek Tribe.

  • The Beast of Bray Road - Labeled as a werewolf by some witnesses, this creature allegedly seen near Elkhorn, Wisconsin is described as bear-like, as a hairy biped resembling Bigfoot, and an intelligent wolf-like creature which walk on its hind legs.

  • Boggy Creek Monster - In the area of Fouke, Arkansas in Miller County, southeast of Texarkana, there allegedly lives the Boggy Creek Monster, also referred to as the Fouke Monster, who has been a legend of the area since the 1840’s.

  • Cryptozoology and Bigfoot - Bigfoot has been sighted throughout the United States, from the 16th Century to present. The first reported sightings were by Native Americans.

  • Bear Lake Sea Monster, Utah - In addition to its wonderful sporting opportunities for boaters, skiers, and fisherman, Bear Lake, Utah is allegedly called home to a sea monster.

  • Devil's Hole Cave, Arkansas - A strange and mysterious creature is said to reside within the depths of this seemingly bottomless cave.

  • El Chupacabra or the Goat Sucker - This is a heavy creature, the size of a small bear, with a row of spines reaching from the neck to the base of the tail and it takes its name from the fact that it is supposed to attack animals and drink their blood – especially goats.

  • Jackalopes in Wyoming - Myth or Reality? - The jackalope is said to be an antlered species of rabbit, sometimes rumored to be extinct. One of the rarest animals in the world, it is a cross between a now extinct pygmy-deer and a species of killer-rabbit.

  • The Jersey Devil - One of America's oldest mysteries, this legendary creature, described as a flying biped with hooves, is said to lurk in the Pine Barrens of Southern New Jersey.

  • Minnesota Iceman - In the 1960's, a male, human-like creature was exhibited across America. Described as 6 foot tall, hairy, with large hands and feet, he was promoted as a Neanderthal, Bigfoot or Yeti.

  • Sea MonstersMonsters and Sea Serpents - The remarkable sea serpent has been reported at so many points, and by so many witnesses not addicted to fish tales nor liquor, that there ought to be some reason for him.

  • Momo the Monster - Local legend in Missouri says that a strange creature, similar to Bigfoot has been sighted in the Show-Me State.

  • The Moth Man - This legendary creature, described as a man-sized bird, was reportedly seen in the Point Pleasant area of West Virginia in the mid 1960's.

  • Murphrysboro Mud Monster - Prowling Southern Illinois in the 1970's was a huge, wet, hairy, mud-slathered monstrosity.

  • Mystery of the Thunderbird Photo - A mysterious creature that was said to have been captured near the town of Tombstone, Arizona in 1890.

  • Phantom Dragoon of the Delaware River - On his first tour of duty the sentry was thrown into great alarm by the appearance of a figure robed from head to foot in white, that rode a horse at a charging gait. A short tale from Charles M. Skinner, 1896.

  • The White River Monster - "Whitey” as the locals call him, has been sighted frolicking in the White River, outside Newport, Arkansas for more than a century and a half.
  • Thunderbirds of Illinois - Tales of strange, monster birds with enormous wingspans that are large enough to carry away human victims.

  • Wendigos of the Northeast - This "monster" is a half-beast creature appearing in the legends of the Algonquian peoples along the Atlantic Coast and Great Lakes Region of both the United States and Canada. The creature or spirit could either possess characteristics of a human or a monster that had physically transformed from a person. It is particularly associated with cannibalism.

Disappearances & Mysterious Deaths:

  • Alcatraz Escape - The June 1962 Alcatraz escape may have been the only successful escape from Alcatraz Federal Penitentiary in that facility's history. On the night of June 11 or early morning of June 12, inmates Clarence Anglin, John Anglin and Frank Morris tucked papier-mâché heads resembling their own likenesses into their beds, broke out of the main prison building via an unused utility corridor, and departed Alcatraz Island aboard an improvised inflatable raft to an uncertain fate.

  • D.B. Cooper - Disappearing Into the Wilderness - D.B. Cooper is an unidentified man who hijacked a Boeing 727 aircraft between Portland, Oregon, and Seattle, Washington, on November 24, 1971, extorted $200,000 in ransom and parachuted to an uncertain fate.

  • Amelia EarhartAmelia Earhart's Fateful Flight - There is almost no physical evidence to reveal what happened to Ameila Earhart or her plane.

  • The Mysterious Death of Meriwether Lewis - Captain Meriwether Lewis of the Lewis and Clark Expedition was only 35 when he died of gunshot wounds sustained along a perilous Tennessee trail called Natchez Trace. Two hundred years later, debate continues over whether the famous explorer committed suicide or was murdered.

  • The Disappearance of Joseph Force Crater - An allegedly corrupt New York State Supreme Court judge, Crater vanished soon after then Governor Franklin D. Roosevelt named him to the bench. After hailing a cab he was never seen again.

  • Albert Jennings Fountain - Missing in the Desert - Soldier, lawyer, and politician, the mystery surrounding Albert Jennings Fountain’s disappearance in the deserts of southern New Mexico has puzzled lawmen and historians for more than a century. Also See: The Fountain Murders: Sites Today

  • Disappeared Into Thin Air - In 1854, Selma, Alabama farmer Orion Williams simply vanished while walking across his property.

  • The Last Mystery of Edgar Allan Poe - The death of Edgar Allan Poe on October 7, 1849, has remained mysterious with the circumstances leading up to it uncertain and the cause of death is disputed.

  • Mary Pinchot Meyer - Assassinated By CIA? - A socialite, painter, former wife of Central Intelligence Agency official Cord Meyer and by some accounts, the mistress of John F. Kennedy, Meyer was shot execution style in broad daylight.

  • The Riddle of Ambrose Bierce - An editorialist, journalist, and short story writer, Bierce traveled to Mexico in 1913 to gain first-hand experience of the Mexican Revolution. While traveling with rebel troops, he disappeared without a trace.

  • Was John Dillinger Really Killed By the FBI? - Though officially shot by the FBI, John Dillinger who was Public Enemy No. 1 at the time, may have actually not been the man blasted down on July 22, 1834 outside Chicago's Biograph Theatre.

  • Who Killed Pat Garrett? Controversy still exists over whether Garrett's murder was a conspiracy in order to gain his land or if it was just simply the dispute with an irate enemy.

Mysterious Objects and Places:

  • Area 51Area 51 - What are the mysteries associated with the famous "secret" military base which covers over 80 miles north of Las Vegas, Nevada?

  • The Curse of Dudleytown, Connecticut - Sometimes referred to as the Village of the Damned, Dudley is said to hold the accounts of ghostly tales, demons, unexplained events, and curses within its 400 years of British and American History.

  • The Devil's Graveyard or the Alaska Triangle - Amid the untouched beauty of Alaska's varying landscape, there is a region where people seem to go missing at an eerily high rate. Planes go down, hikers go missing and Alaskan residents and tourists seem to vanish into the largely untouched backdrop.

  • Devil's Promenade & the Hornet Spook Light - Bobbing and bouncing along in the Tri-State area of southwest Missouri, southeast Kansas, and northeast Oklahoma is an orange ball of light. Referred to as the Hornet Spook Light and the Joplin Spook Light, the firelike orb, described as varying from the size of a baseball to a basketball, dances and spins down the center of the road at high speeds, rising and hovering above the treetops, before it retreats and disappears.

  • The Dighton Rock - A 40-ton boulder, originally located in the riverbed of the Taunton River at Berkley, Massachusetts, is noted for its petroglyphs and carved designs of ancient and uncertain origin.

  • The Grave Creek Stone – Scholars and archaeologists have been arguing about the authenticity of the Grave Creek Stone since it first surfaced in 1838. Discovered during the excavation of the Grave Creek Mound, in West Virginia, the small sandstone disk could provide evidence of a primitive alphabet.

  • Great Serpent Mound of Ohio - An internationally known National Historic Landmark, Serpent Mound is a 1,348-foot-long, three-foot-high prehistoric effigy mound on a plateau along Brush Creek in Adams County, Ohio. Representing a snake with curled tail, it is the largest serpent effigy in the world.

  • The Hidden City of Death Valley - Mummies -- Giants -- Underground Caverns! So said a San Diego, California newspaper in describing an event in Death Valley in 1947. This story and more telling of a lost race beneath the sands of Death Valley.

  • Legends of Fort Mountain, Georgia - Legends say that the wall on Fort Mountain, Georgia was built either by the Moon-eyed people according to Cherokee lore or to a Welsh prince who was said to have made his way to America in 1170.

  • Mel’s Hole - This nine-foot-wide bottomless hole near Manastash Ridge in Washington State is rumored to “reanimate” dead animals.

  • Mount Shasta - A Cosmic Power Spot - Near Redding, California, Mount Shasta is filled with mysteries including UFO sightings, crystal caves, spontaneous altered states, underground military bases, and even rumored to be the home to Lemurians, surviving members of a sensitive super-race some believe existed 12,000 years ago during the time of Atlantis.

  • The Moving Stones of Death Valley - In what is called the Racetrack Playa, in Death Valley, large rocks move along the smooth valley floor without human or animal intervention.

  • Nevada Triangle - In a mysterious area of Nevada and California, thousands of planes have disappeared. Conspiracy theorists have long claimed the these disappearances may be connected to Area 51.

  • San Francisco's East Bay Walls - Who built these ancient walls, ranging along the hills east of San Francisco Bay? With boulders weighing more than a ton, there is no explanation who, how, or why these walls were built.

  • Skinwalker Ranch - This 480-acre compound in northeastern Utah is the site of many unexplained—and harrowing—incidents including roaring underground noises, the appearance of menacing blue orbs, attacks by shape-shifting beasts, and evidence of animal mutilations.

  • The Taos Hum - Nestled deep within the Sangre de Cristo mountain range is Taos, New Mexico. A highly cultural, artistic, and spiritual city, it has a number of mystical qualities, one of which is known as the "Taos Hum."

Mysterious and Unexplained People & Events:

  • Dahlgren Affair - An incident in the Civil War, which involved a failed Union raid on the Confederate capital of Richmond, Virginia on March 2, 1864. According to mysterious papers found on the body of the raid's commanding officer, Colonel Ulric Dahlgren, one of their mission objectives was to assassinate Confederate President Jefferson Davis and his cabinet.

  • Did the Romans explore America? - Evidence of contacts with the civilizations of Classical Antiquity, including the Roman Empire, have been found across the Americas, including coins, pottery, inscriptions and more.

  • Flight 19 Mystery - On December 5, 1945, five U.S. bombers took off from a U.S. Naval Air Base in Fort Lauderdale, Florida and subsequently disappeared. Neither the 14 men of Flight 19 nor the 13-man crew of a PBM Mariner sent out to search for them were ever to return.

  • The Knights of the Golden Circle - A secretive organization created in 1854, proposed to establish a slaveholding empire encompassing the southern United States, the West Indies, Mexico, and parts of Central America.

  • Livestock Mutilations - Reports of mutilated cattle first surfaced in the United States in the early 1960's. Killed under mysterious circumstances, sheep and horses have also been victims.

  • Little People & the Pedro Mountain Mummy - Oral traditions of many Native American tribes, including the Arapaho, Sioux, Cheyenne, and Crow, tell of "little people” who stand from just 20 inches to three feet tall.

  • Missing Ships Through the Decades - Dozens of American boats and ships have gone missing through the decades, with no sign of the ship or crew ever found.

  • Spontaneous Human Combustion - Reported for some 300 years, there have been some 200 reported cases worldwide of of people who have burned without an apparent external source of ignition.

  • TWA Flight 800 Tragedy - On July 17, 1996 TWA Flight 800 exploded and crashed into the Atlantic Ocean near East Moriches, New York, 12 minutes after takeoff from John F. Kennedy International Airport, killing all 230 people on board. Evidence recovered led credibility to the claim that explosives brought down TWA Flight 800. It still remains a mystery.

Unsolved Crimes:

  • The Axeman of New Orleans - A serial killer who killed at least 11 people in New Orleans, Louisiana and surrounding communities in 1918-1919, he was never caught.

  • D.B. Cooper -  This unidentified man hijacked a Boeing 727 aircraft between Portland, Oregon, and Seattle, Washington, on November 24, 1971, extorted $200,000 in ransom and parachuted to an uncertain fate. Despite an extensive manhunt and protracted FBI investigation, the perpetrator has never been located or identified. 

  • Gypsy Hill Killings - A group of five unsolved homicides of young women and girls in San Mateo County, California, during early 1976. The killer became known in the media as "the San Mateo slasher."

  • Mad Gasser of Mattoon - The person believed to be responsible for a series of apparent gas attacks that occurred in Botetourt County, Virginia, during the early 1930s, and in Mattoon, Illinois, during the mid-1940s.

  • Servant Girl Annihilator - In 1884 and 1885, an unknown serial killer preyed upon the city of Austin, Texas. The murderer killed seven women and one man, and seriously injured six more women and two men, attacking them in their beds at night. He was never caught.

  • Texas Killing Fields - Described as a perfect place for killing somebody and getting away with it, the Texas Killing Fields is an area bordering the Calder Oil Field, a 25-acre patch of land situated a mile from the stretch of Interstate 45 in southeast Texas.

  • The Zodiac Killer - One of the great unsolved serial killer mysteries of all time, taking only second place to Jack the Ripper. Even though police investigated over 2,500 potential suspects, the case was never officially solved.

Vanished Colonies and Civilizations:

  • Wupatki National Monument near Flagstaff, ArizonaThe Lost Clovis Culture - The Clovis were a prehistoric Paleo-Indian people that were thought to have been the first human inhabitants of North America, dating back some 13,500 years.

  • Mysterious Mound Builders - These indigenuos people of the United States built mounds in a large area from the Great Lakes to the Gulf of Mexico and from the Mississippi River to the Appalachian Mountains.

  • The Vanished Anasazi - In about 700 BC the Anasazi Indians (Ancient Puebloans) established numerous large settlements in the Southwest. However, by the time European explorers arrived, the people were gone.

  • What happened to the Roanoke Island Colony of North Carolina? Roanoke Island was the site of the 16th-century Roanoke Colony. Three years later, every man, woman and child was gone.



Compiled by Kathy Weiser/Legends of America, updated May, 2017.


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