Three Mysterious Men from the 20th Century

Mysterious stories, people and inexplicable phenomena have always fascinated people. Humans are drawn to enigmas, they are curious by nature, and one of their biggest goals is to somehow resolve them. Scientists and historians have dedicated their life to uncovering the greatest mysteries of the world and science. The world is full of mysterious men that have impacted history in one way or another. A few weeks back we talked about the inventor of kerosene, who also had some strange extra-curricular activities.

Today, we will present three others. Most of them were geniuses (in their own right) who lived secretive lifestyles, and left it with many unanswered questions about their motivation. The range of professions for these mysterious men includes, but is not limited to serial killers, scientists, assassins, leaders, psychics, secret spies and mafia members. Maybe it was their bizarre training, or unsubstantiated claims, but one thing is for certain, there are many conspiracy theories related to their entities. Let’s take a look at the lives of three mysterious people around the World.

3. Wolf Messing

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Wolf Messing was born in Gora Kalwaria, a city situated southeast of Warsaw, Poland, around the year 1900. Since he was merely an adolescent, he claimed to have psychic powers, which manifested in altering people’s perceptions, predicting the future, mental telepathy and interpretation of body language. Obviously, he held performances to showcase his skills, and during them he would supposedly use the power of his mind to find hidden objects.

Even Albert Einstein and Sigmund Freud were fascinated by him. In 1937 he predicted that Adolf Hitler would die if he would ever threaten Russia, or turn toward the East. Obviously, he angered the dictator and was exiled to Russia, where he continued to perform. A few years passed, until Stalin asked him to prove his psychic ability by convincing a bank teller to hand him over money while using only a piece of paper. The demonstration was successful, and Messing became a teacher of the KGB. He died in 1974, but not before completing his autobiography entitled About Myself, and even after explaining most of his life, he still remained among the most popular mysterious men in this world.

Motto: My ability to see the future may seem to contradict the materialist understanding of the world. But there is not a particle of the unknowable or supernatural about precognition”

2. Karl Koecher

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Number two on our list is Karl Koecher, a CIA spy for the USSR who was born in Czechoslovakia in 1934. At the age of 28 he was recruited by the Czech Intelligence Agency, and in 1960 he was moved to the USA where he received a doctorate in philosophy. He is so interesting to us, because he was the only person that managed to penetrate the CIA for the Soviet Union. Even more interesting is the fact that not many details about his life were ever uncovered, so it was partly unclear if Karl was actually a double agent or not.

Needless to say, he was arrested in 1984 under penalty of being a spy. USA secret agencies tried to turn him against the URSS but didn’t manage. In the end, he was absolved of accusations and set free. In the spring of 1986 he became a spy exchange that involved Anatoly Shcharansky, and he was also suggested to have been involved in The Velvet Revolution (he denied the claims). Although details of his life are not available, Karl was connected to many conspirecies, like the Mohammed Al-Fayed’s false documents, and the deaths of Princess Diana and Dodi Fayed.

1. Sidney Gottlieb

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Undoubtedly the most interesting person on this list, and an excellent example for our Mysterious men list, is Sidney Gottlieb, a New Yorker who was born under the name of Joseph Scheider. He received his PhD in Chemestry from Caltech, and specialized on lethal poisons. At some point in his career he joined the CIA, as a top secret biological warfare program expert. The project was entitled MKULTRA and during it he focused mainly on experiments and studies of the human mind. As you can probably expect, humans were used as guinea pigs, so from here the name of Dirty Trickster was given to him. At some point, he tried to contaminate General Abdul Karim’s handkerchief with botulinum.

Operation Midnight Climax, which you might have heard of, was aided by Gottlieb. To help the project, the CIA hired large groups of prostitutes, lured people to their house, drugged them and then had intercourse while the Dirty Trickster observed. Other projects that he was involved with include the Cuban Project, the Phoenix Program (where he performed mind control on test subjects) and it was also reported that he worked for Lockheed, DARPA, the U.S. Office of Naval Intelligence and the Department of Defense.

Don’t Ever Let Me Go: 3 People Who Live With Dead Family Members

Historically speaking, you can take a look at almost all cultures, ancient and modern, and at all religions in the world and see that, no matter how different and opposite their beliefs and traditions may be, they all have at least one thing in common: the respect for their dead. Burial rituals differ from one part of the world to the other, granted, but ultimately, even if some incinerate their dead, even if some put them into the ground, send them down to the river or mummify them and place them in imposing tombs, the point is that the dead don’t stay with the family anymore. Except in some cases…

Sometime ago, we talked about people marrying different “partners” and this included from the Berlin wall to a dead corpse in a cemetery, but today we will take things a step forward and see some people who live with dead family members, and by living we mean that they didn’t bury them, at least not for a while. You may have heard about them a few years back, but let’s make a roundup and see what really was going on there.

3. Tsiuri Kvaratskhelia preserved her dead son in vodka

This story was quite popular back in 2013, when the world showed signs of shock and panic at the news that a mother from Georgia (the Eurasian country, not the U.S. state, relax) kept her dead son’s body quite well mummified at first in traditional balsam sap, and then in some cocktail combinations of vodka and other spirits, as she had a revelatory dream about alcohol’s properties. The dead son, Joni Bakaradze, died at age 22 and the family preserved him in something that looked like a coffin with a glass window for 18 years, while his mother took care of the corpse every day not letting it to decompose.

2. Lim Ah Tee and the power of love

Among the people who live with dead family members, or at least lived as much as they could endure the corpse’s stench, is a man from Malaysia, whose name wasn’t reported, but who became anonymously famous for keeping his wife, Lim Ah Tee, in the house for 35 days, which wouldn’t be such a shocker if Lim wouldn’t have been dead. One day, the woman, aged 42, felt sick and died. The husband didn’t for a second consider he should take her to the hospital or at least call in the authorities, but he put her in the bedroom and closed the door. He kept lying to his son and everybody else about Lim’s disappearance, while every day he would go comb the dead woman’s hair, spray perfume, seal the room, place deodorizers inside to hide the stench and so on. The body was however discovered by the man’s brother, authorities stepped in and finally the woman was put to rest. The reason for all this? The man was madly in love with his wife and he just couldn’t let her go.

1. Vietnamese man slept next to his dead wife for five years

If you were looking for Asian strange news back in 2009, you can’t have missed this one, as it traveled the Internet with the speed of light. Mr. Le Van lost his beloved wife in 2003 and he couldn’t convince himself to let go of the past or her dead body. So at first, he slept on top of her grave for a year and so, when he decided he needed to be closer to her and avoid the unpleasantness of some weather conditions. So he dug up a tunnel and intended to sleep a bit closer to her grave. This kinda alerted the man’s close friends and relatives who considered it a stupid idea, go figure. But Le Van knew one thing and one thing only: he dug up the wife’s body, molded it in some clay to turn the corpse into a female statue and kept her in the house, sleeping by her every night, with the couple’s son hugging his “mother” before going to bed each night. For 5 years. Now if this isn’t love, nothing is. Authorities however, alerted that some sanitation rules may have been broken, came to inspect the house. The rest is history, but among all the people who live with dead family members, Mr. Le Van was the most dedicated.

If you were ever doubting that the dead are among us, fret no more. Love and commitment are stronger than death, and to paraphrase Mr. Le Van’s words, the body may have died, but their spirit is still close together with us. And besides, stranger things are known to have happened. Not to mention that there are many others who kept their dead very close to their hearts, so to speak.

Some History Secrets That Still Need Further Reasearch

You’d say that with the technological development this world managed to reach, old unsolved mysteries and historical secrets shouldn’t be a problem anymore. Come on, we are able to 3D print organs, make stem – cells transplants and send robots to Mars. How hard is it to read old manuscripts, to decipher ancient secrets or to reveal answers with questions only Indiana Jones would ask nowadays? But, as unlikely as it is, there are still some history secrets that need further research and some mysteries that still need Sherlock Holmes’ powers of solving. Not a long time ago, we presented you with mysterious books with dark powers and among them, the Voynich Manuscript, a text that is still impossible to decipher even nowadays. We will continue our journey through the mysteries of this world and see what other history secrets that still need further research are out there.

1. The Phaistos Disk

This is just a clay disk imprinted on both sides with symbols and you’d say that if somebody managed to read, understand and interpret the Egyptian hieroglyphics, then somebody should be able to tell what is this disk about, given the fact that it was found on the Greek island of Crete, dating back to the Minoan Bronze Age. And we know a lot of things about ancient Greece, right? Well, wrong. This is considered one of the most famous archeological mysteries that still needs to be revealed, as everything about it, from its original provenance, the origin of symbols and their meaning is a constant subject of debate. People tried – and vaguely succeeded – to interpret or at least to educated guess some of the symbols’ meaning, but everything else is still in a blur.

2. The Tomb of Genghis Khan

The man existed, without a doubt and he was one bad conqueror. But unlike his glorious life, his death is something of a mystery. He died, that is for sure, but where exactly is he buried, nobody knows yet. He asked for a simple and unmarked funeral and tomb and apparently he got what he asked for, as just like Jimmy Hoffa, his remains are yet to be discovered. Theorists assume he is buried in his home village in Mongolia, but let’s face it: a while ago, people discovered an entire lost city well buried underground Cambodia using laser scanning. Is it that hard to find Genghis Khan tomb? Maybe we have other more important things to do, granted, but this is one of those history secrets that still need further research and luckily, there are people who haven’t given up searching yet.

3. The Loss of the USS Cyclops

The Bermuda Triangle mythology is still a hot topic among the ones with a soft spot for the paranormal, but no consolation to those who still mourn the 309 lives vanished in the thin air together with the Proteus-class collier ship built for the United States Navy. It disappeared in 1918 and even if there was a war going on back then and even if the ship was sunk by either an unimaginable sea storm or by enemy forces, there is no wreckage to be salvaged and no traces that it was even there at all. People remembering very well this horror story say

This incident, during World War I, is the largest loss of life in the history of the United States Navy of a U.S. built steel hulled warship where there simply is no direct evidence of why it happened, when it happened, or exactly how it happened
And this is the truth. Speculation, of course, surrounds this mystery, and to this day, even if everybody tries to reassure everybody that the dark forces in the Bermuda Triangle are just a myth, that there is nothing there and every disappearance that ever occurred has a more logical, obvious and mundane explanation, the USS Cyclops is still one naval mystery that needs to be put to rest.
If you think the modern world is just too busy playing with anti-matter, prove the parallel universes theories, explore the great beyond and invent pills to give us immortality, you are probably right. But this world also knows plenty of other unsolved mysteries and still has a lot of secrets just waiting to be discovered. Much like Jimmy Hoffa’s tomb, much like Hitler’s secret treasure and a lot like the Bermuda Triangle phenomenon. Fortunately, there are still people who know that for unlocking our future, we should understand our past and these one are still searching for answers to questions fewer and fewer seem to ask.

Lake Natron Turns Animals into Stone? Not Quite, but it’s Still Stunning.

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Have you ever heard about Lake Natron? It is one of the most serene lakes in all Africa, but it is also the source of some truly eerie photographs. You might have seen them circulating on the internet, and if you didn’t, we will share them with you. Lake Natron may be beautiful, but it seems that it holds a deadly secret: it turns animals that touch it into stone. Ok, it’s not really stone, but something very similar. The internet has a funny way of taking a story and transforming it into something completely fake, so before you read on, we urge you to check out this article, where the process of preservation and the ecosystem of the Natron Lake is explained. The stone that we were talking about earlier is actually a chemical process to which the animals were subjected (much like Egyptian mummification). The calcified animals were found by National Geographic photographer Nick Brandt, who supposedly found the dead animals floating around in the water, or washed up on the shore.

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I unexpectedly found the creatures – all manner of birds and bats – washed up along the shoreline of Lake Natron in Northern Tanzania. The water has an extremely high soda and salt content, so high that it would strip the ink off my Kodak film boxes within a few seconds. The soda and salt causes the creatures to calcify, perfectly preserved, as they dry.

I took these creatures as I found them on the shoreline, and then placed them in ‘living’ positions, bringing them back to ‘life’, as it were. Reanimated, alive again in death. (Source: Nick Brandt)

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The lake, with its incredible properties (which can be explained by its chemical make-up: the alkalinity varies between pH 9 and pH 10.5) has preserved these creatures. Let it be noted, however, that Lake Natron’s harsh conditions do no turn any animals that touch it into stone, but only the ones that are not adapted to them. There are still plenty of animals that did not have any problem venturing in its waters. As a matter of fact, the people living near the lake have reported that certain birds and bats have actually crashed into the water (probably confusing it with the sky), and probably died from the crash. Furthermore, as morbidly beautiful as Lake Natron’s mummies can be, they aren’t truly calcified, but rather coated with a sodium carbonate or bicarbonate solution.

“There is almost no calcium in the lake, although the inflowing fresh waters have calcium, which precipitates as it mixes with the high-pH alkaline waters of the lake.”

Let’s take a look at some of the main subjects that Nick Brand uses as photography models:

1. Bat “Mummy”

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This 2012 portrait of a calcified bat, from Lake Natron isn’t actually the stone creature that people expected it. According to Jaimi Butler, of the Great Salt Lake Institute in Utah, the shoreline of the northern arm of the Great Salt Lake is littered with birds that are “pickled”. This means that they were encrusted in salt, and you could pick them up without altering their position. He also added that many healthy animals visit the lake and aren’t turned to stone, so the ones found calcified, are probably sickly ones that were preserved within the waters.

2. Floating Flamingo

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Arguably the most powerful image in the collection, the Floating Flamingo, with its beautiful reflexion in the water (notice how perfectly clear it is), was taken back in 2010. Lake Natron is an important habitat for lesser flamingos (3/4 of the bird’s population uses this location for its abundant food supplies and as a breeding place).

3. Regal Eagle

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Brandt truly managed to bring this eagle “back to life”, by putting it in such a proud position. Another interesting piece of trivia about the lake is the fact that it is not only salty, but also extremely hot. Daily temperatures can reach even 40 degrees Celsius.

In conclusion, the lake may not have turned anyone into stone yet (at least not instantly), but the animal mummies that it managed to create are still morbidly fascinating. These photographs stand testimony at the incredible things that nature can create.

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3 Magic Books and Their Dark Powers

When it comes to the realm of the supernatural and the dark side, this world recorded a lot of happenings and a lot of archived documents speaking of the unspeakable, forces beyond our comprehension, magic, summoning of the dark monsters from “out there”, religious stories and practices which are often described as mystic, mysterious and paranormal. From black masses to witchcraft, from ghosts to spells, from bloody rituals to detailed descriptions of horror, we had them all and we can explore them better if you are really interested. But in this whole X Files kind of research, one cannot ignore the recurrence and the references to some magic books and their dark powers. While some of these famous manuscripts still exist and still raise a lot of questions among scholars, the entertainment industry,  literature included, exploited their dark fame and presented them in an even more terrible aura. Today we will look at three books and their dark powers which are still a subject of debate and which still ignite peoples’ imagination.

3. The Book of the Dead

This ancient Egyptian manuscript is considered one of the most mind blowing religious and funerary texts ever known to mankind. You may have heard about it in video games, such as Darksiders II or referenced in the Blair Witch Project 2 under the name of the Book of Shadows, but the original manuscript contains a lot of spells, funerary guidelines, explanations about preservation, the afterlife, reincarnation and so on. It is still hard to understand everything it talks about and there are still many chunks of text which remained untranslated and unpublished. Of course, just as any powerful book, it is surrounded by a mystic, powerful aura, as it speaks about judgement and is said that since the book talk about curses of the past, present and future curses, there are some spells there which can bring death.

2. Pseudomonarchia Daemonum

This is only an annex to another very dark book, De praestigiis daemonum, written by demonologist Johann Weyer. This annex is said to contain a list of all demons which can be summoned for dark purposes, together with detailed described rituals people can use in order to achieve the summoning. Both the book and its annex became quite popular and were translated into English, French and German. The purpose of the book was not intended as to give all the regular Joes an instrument for summoning demons and becoming masters of the dark arts, but as a means to put back into their places the ones who boasted about being mages and having supernatural abilities.

1. The Voynich Manuscript

This is one of the most famous dark books ever known to man, simply because nobody managed to decipher it yet. It is a codex and blends drawings and written symbols (in an unknown language) and it seems to have a lot to do with medicine or some very disturbing practices, as the illustrations have a lot of nerve shattering effects. In the world of cryptography, this book is famous, as nobody managed to understand if this is a message from beyond, the product of a very disillusioned and sick mind, an instruction manual sent by entities we can’t comprehend and so on. The language seems to be a natural one and the drawings do look like something that can relate to botanic, anatomy or physiology,  just as well as they could be graphic explanations for summoning spirits. Nobody knows exactly.

BONUS: The Necronomicon

Now this one is so famous, we are wondering how nobody thought about making a movie from it. The story goes like this: once upon a time, there was this “Mad Arab” called Simon, who seems to have discovered the most dangerous, deadly and disturbing grimoire that ever cursed humanity, a book filled with dark magic rituals, incantations, curses, summoning practices, sacrifice rituals and so many other unspeakable things that only Satan could have put on paper. The problem with the Necronomicon is that sometime in its history, it was used as courtroom evidence against people accused of ritualistic murders, while it is quite obvious among the scholars that it is a well constructed hoax, a fake so well executed, it can be considered genuine. The biggest problem with the Necronomicon is that this “book” is a fake document that shows up frequently in H.P. Lovecraft’s stories and novels and it kinda comprises all Lovecraft’s lore regarding the Old Ones.

Oh, there are more, don’t fret about it. There is virtually no modern novel or movie to relate to magic and dark powers and not have a book in it, a book of spells and incantations. You can read about Clavis Salomonis, The Devil’s Bible (Codex Gigas), the Edwin Smith Papyrus and many other more.