Enigmas have long been something we have studied and pondered. I am no exception to this and find myself continually drawn to any enigmatic topic I come across. This page was put together to offer you some examples of some of my all time favorite enigmas.

D.B. Cooper


D.B. Cooper Money

Whether you agree or not that D.B. Cooper is worthy of being categorized as an enigma is moot. The reason I feel he deserves such ranking is because of the mere fact no one knows what happened to him. To back my opinion on this, here is the 1st provided definition of “enigma” on Dictionary.com: e·nig·ma [uh-nig-muh] noun, plural e·nig·mas; Chiefly Archaic , e·nig·ma·ta  [uh-nig-muh-tuh]  1. a puzzling or inexplicable occurrence or situation: His disappearance is an enigma that has
given rise to much speculation.

But, for me, this story has a much more personal tie and reason for being my all-time favorite enigma. It was February 10th, 1980 when the Ingram’s and my family were spending the day down at the river hanging out. Brian Ingram was up the beach from me about 15-20′ or so digging a pit for a fire to be built when he dug up the nasty bag with the semi-rotten and semi-petrified portion ($5,800 to be exact) of the original $200,000 that D.B. Cooper stole on November 24th, 1971. In all honesty, what I recall from the event was that it was downplayed when it happened (I believe in an effort to not draw attention) and the find was kept quiet until after they went home. Our families were not close, and because of other personal family matters we moved away from Vancouver. I can tell you that I have talked with Brian several years ago via Myspace and he was very guarded, not that I could blame him, but I made an effort to describe some of the small details of which I’ll omit on here to prove to him that I knew him and was there. I also conveyed that I wasn’t after the money. I don’t want stolen money. Hell, I’m happy enough to just say I was there when it was found. D.B. Cooper has always been my personal Robin Hood. The fact that we don’t know his story and why he did this makes it even more enigmatic. Many have debated what they feel was obvious or most likely the possibility to why he did this. I just stick with keeping an open mind and avoid judgment on my end.

At any rate, on with the story…

One afternoon a day before Thanksgiving in 1971, a guy calling himself Dan Cooper (the media mistakenly called him D.B. Cooper) boarded Northwest Airlines flight #305 in Portland bound for Seattle. He was wearing a dark suit and a black tie and was described as a business-executive type. While in the air, he opened his brief case showing a bomb to the flight attendant and hijacked the plane. The plane landed in Seattle where he demanded 200K in cash, four parachutes and food for the crew before releasing all the passengers. With only three pilots and one flight attendant left on board, they took off from Seattle with the marked bills heading south while it was dark and lightly raining. In the 45 minutes after takeoff, Cooper sent the flight attendant to the cockpit while donning the parachute, tied the bank bag full of twenty dollar bills to himself, lowered the rear stairs and somewhere north of Portland jumped into the night. When the plane landed with the stairs down, they found the two remaining parachutes and on the seat Cooper was sitting in, a black tie. Jets, a helicopter and a C-130 aircraft had been scrambled from the closest air force base to follow Cooper’s plane. The military was called in days after the hijacking and approximately 1,000 troops searched the suspected jump zone on foot and in helicopters. The Boeing 727 used in the hijacking was flown out over the ocean and the stairs lowered and weights dropped in an attempt to determine when Cooper jumped. The SR-71 super-secret spy plane was sent into photograph the entire flight path but no sign of D.B. Cooper was ever discovered. Nine years later in 1980 just north of Portland on the Columbia River, a young boy named Brian Ingram was digging a fire pit in the sand at a place called Tena Bar. He uncovered three bundles of cash a couple inches below the surface, with rubber bands still intact. There was a total of $5800, the Cooper serial numbers matched, and the first evidence since 1971 came to light. The FBI searched and analyzed the beach, the river was dredged by Cooper Hunters and the theories on how the money got there supercharged the Legend of D.B. Cooper. Decades passed, D.B. Cooper became famous in book, movie and song. In 2007, Special Agent Larry Carr took on his favorite case with the restriction not to waste government time or money pursuing it. Agent Carr brilliantly decided the way around the problem was to treat the hijacking like one of his bank robbery cases – to get as much information out to the public as possible. He released previously unknown facts about the case and the D.B. Cooper frenzy started anew. In 2008 the Cooper Research Team came together to take up the challenge and was given special access to investigate the case.

*Sourced from: http://www.citizensleuths.com/db-cooper-what-you-need-to-know.html

The Bermuda Triangle

The-Bermuda-Triangle-600x450 bermuda-triangle

This map shows the general location of the infamous Bermuda Triangle.

For decades, the Atlantic Ocean’s fabled Bermuda Triangle has captured the human imagination with unexplained disappearances of ships, planes, and people.

Some speculate that unknown and mysterious forces account for the unexplained disappearances, such as extraterrestrials capturing humans for study; the influence of the lost continent of Atlantis; vortices that suck objects into other dimensions; and other whimsical ideas.  Some explanations are more grounded in science, if not in evidence.  These include oceanic flatulence (methane gas erupting from ocean sediments) and disruptions in geomagnetic lines of flux.

Environmental considerations could explain many, if not most, of the disappearances.  The majority of Atlantic tropical storms and hurricanes pass through the Bermuda Triangle, and in the days prior to improved weather forecasting, these dangerous storms claimed many ships.  Also, the Gulf Stream can cause rapid, sometimes violent, changes in weather.  Additionally, the large number of islands in the Caribbean Sea creates many areas of shallow water that can be treacherous to ship navigation. And there is some evidence to suggest that the Bermuda Triangle is a place where a “magnetic” compass sometimes points towards “true” north, as opposed to “magnetic” north.

The U.S. Navy and U.S. Coast Guard contend that there are no supernatural explanations for disasters at sea.  Their experience suggests that the combined forces of nature and human fallibility outdo even the most incredulous science fiction. They add that no official maps exist that delineate the boundaries of the Bermuda Triangle. The U. S. Board of Geographic Names does not recognize the Bermuda Triangle as an official name and does not maintain an official file on the area.

The ocean has always been a mysterious place to humans, and when foul weather or poor navigation is involved, it can be a very deadly place.  This is true all over the world.  There is no evidence that mysterious disappearances occur with any greater frequency in the Bermuda Triangle than in any other large, well-traveled area of the ocean.

*Sourced from: http://oceanservice.noaa.gov/facts/bermudatri.html

The Nazca Lines

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In the Peruvian Desert, about 200 miles south of Lima, there lies a plain between the Inca and Nazca (sometimes also spelled Nasca) Valleys. Across this plain, in an area measuring 37 miles long and 1-mile wide, is an assortment of perfectly-straight lines, many running parallel, others intersecting, forming a grand geometric form. In and around the lines there are also trapezoidal zones, strange symbols, and pictures of birds and beasts all etched on a giant scale that can only be appreciated from the sky. The figures come in two types: biomorphs and geoglyphs. The biomorphs are some 70 animal and plant figures that include a spider, hummingbird, monkey and a 1,000-foot-long pelican. The biomorphs are grouped together in one area on the plain. Some archaeologists believe they were constructed around 200 BC, about 500 years before the geoglyphs. There are about 900 geoglyphs on the plain. Geoglyphs are geometric forms that include straight lines, triangles, spirals, circles and trapezoids. They are enormous in size. The longest straight line goes nine miles across the plain. Discovery and Meaning Though discovered by Peruvian archaeologist Toribio Mejia Xesspe who spotted them while hiking through the surrounding foothills in 1927, the forms are so difficult to see from the ground that they were not widely known until the 1930’s when aircraft spotted them while surveying for water. The plain, crisscrossed, by these giant lines with many forming rectangles, has a striking resemblance to a modern airport. The Swiss writer, Erich von Daniken, even suggested they had been built for the convenience of ancient visitors from space to land their ships. As tempting as it might be to subscribe to this theory, the desert floor at Nazca is soft earth and loose stone, not tarmac, and would not support the landing wheels of either an aircraft or a flying saucer. So why are the lines there? The American explorer Paul Kosok, who made his first visit to Nazca in the 1940s, suggested that the lines were astronomically significant and that the plain acted as a giant observatory. He called them “the largest astronomy book in the world.” Gerald Hawkins, an American astronomer, tested this theory in 1968 by feeding the position of a sample of lines into a computer and having a program calculate how many lines coincided with an important astronomical event. Hawkins showed the number of lines that were astronomically significant were only about the same number that would be the result of pure chance. This makes it seem unlikely Nazca is an observatory. Perhaps the best theory for the lines and symbols belongs to Tony Morrison, the English explorer. By researching the old folk ways of the people of the Andes mountains, Morrison discovered a tradition of wayside shrines linked by straight pathways. The faithful would move from shrine to shrine praying and meditating. Often the shrine was as simple as a small pile of stones. Morrison suggests that the lines at Nazca were similar in purpose and on a vast scale. The symbols may have also served as special enclosures for religious ceremonies. Construction of the Lines How were they built? The lines were apparently made by brushing away the reddish, iron oxide covered pebbles that compose the desert surface and uncovering the white colored sand underneath. In most places wind, rain and erosion would quickly remove all traces of this within a few years. At Nazca, though, the lines have been preserved because it is such a windless, dry and isolated location. A writer by the name of Jim Woodman believes that the lines and figures could not have been made without somebody in the air to direct the operations. “You simply can’t see anything from ground level,” states Woodman. “You can’t appreciate any of it from anywhere except from above. You can’t tell me the Nazca builders would have gone to the monumental efforts they did without ever being able to see it.” Woodman has proposed that ancient hot-air balloons were used to get an aerial view of the construction. To prove his hypothesis, Woodman constructed a balloon using materials that would have been available to the Nazca people. He was able to conduct a successful flight, though it only lasted two minutes. Most researchers are extremely skeptical of Woodman’s conclusions, however, as they find little evidence in the remains left by the Nazca of any balloon construction or operation. It is more likely that the Nazca people used simple surveying techniques in their work. Straight lines can be made easily for great distances with simple tools. Two wooden stakes placed as a straight line would be used to guide the placement of a third stake along the line. One person would sight along the first two stakes and instruct a second person in the placement of the new stake. This could be repeated as many times as needed to make an almost perfectly-straight line miles in length. Evidence that the line makers used this technique exists in the form of the remains of a few stakes found at the ends of some of the lines. The symbols were probably made by drawing the desired figure at some reasonable size, then using a grid system to divide it up. The symbol could then be redrawn at full scale by recreating the grid on the ground and working on each individual square one at a time. Related to Water? Recently two researchers, David Johnson and Steve Mabee, have advanced a theory that the geoglyphs may be related to water. The Nazca plain is one of the driest places on Earth, getting less than one inch of rain a year. Johnson, while looking for sources of water in the region, noticed that ancient aqueducts, called puquios, seemed to be connected with some of the lines. Johnson thinks that the shapes may be a giant map of the underground water sources traced on the land. Mabee is working to gather evidence that might confirm this theory. Other scientists are more skeptical, but admit that in a region where finding water was vital to survival, there might well be some connection between the ceremonial purpose of the lines and water. Johan Reinhard, a cultural anthropologist with the National Geographic Society, found that villagers in Bolivia walk along a straight pathway to shrines while praying and dancing for rain. Something similar may have been done at the ancient Nazca lines. Human Sacrifice A recently discovered headless body suggests that human sacrifice was used by the Nazca people in religion ceremonies. “Human sacrifice and decapitation were part of powerful rituals that would have allayed fears by invoking the ancestors to ensure fertility and the continuation of Nasca society,” wrote Christina Conlee of Texas State University in an article in Current Anthropology. “The decapitation of the La Tiza individual appears to have been part of a ritual associated with ensuring agricultural fertility and the continuation of life and rebirth of the community.” The body is one of eight found in the Nazca area, buried seated with no head. A ceramic jar painted with an image of a head was found next to the remains. The head on the jar has a tree with eyes growing out of it, making it seem likely that the sacrifice was part of a fertility ceremony. What was done with the heads of the victims? The Nazca were known to collect “Trophy Heads.” The Nazca removed the brain and soft tissue from the skulls, sewed the lips closed with cactus spines and drilled a hole through the forehead to accommodate a loop of woven rope. The heads were then hung on the ropes for display. Originally these were considered to be war trophies collected from distant tribes, but recent DNA analysis shows that the heads came from the Nazca population itself, suggesting that the motive was religious in nature. Other South American Lines and Figures The lines at Nazca aren’t the only landscape figures South America boasts. About 850 miles south of the plain is the largest human figure in the world laid out upon the side of Solitary Mountain in Chile. The Giant of Atacama stands 393 feet high and is surrounded by lines similar to those at Nazca. Along the Pacific Coast in the foothills of the Andes Mountains is etched a figure resembling a giant candelabrum. Further south, Sierra Pintada, which means “the painted mountain” in Spanish, is covered with vast pictures including spirals, circles, warriors and a condor. Archaeologists speculate that these figures, clearly visible from the ground, served as guideposts for Inca traders.

*Sourced from: http://www.unmuseum.org/nazca.htm

Oregon Vortex

Oregon Vortex

South end, House of Mystery at Gold Hill, no date.

The Oregon Vortex is a spherical field of force, half above the ground and half below the ground. The word “vortex” simply means a whirpool of force, like a whirling mass of water. Especially one in which a force of suction operates such as a whirlpool or a whirling mass of air or one in the form of a visible column or spiral such as a tornado.

A vortex, essentially a whirlpool of force, is the basic form of our universe. From our galaxy, whose vortex form we see as the countless suns of the Milky Way, throughout the gravitational vortex of our solar system, down to the vortex of an atom, the vortex form recurs throughout our world structure. The Phenomena that gives The Oregon Vortex its name are evident throughout the entire area. Nowhere in the circle do you normally stand erect. Inevitably the visitor assumes a posture that inclines toward magnetic north. The corona of The Vortex, as well as the minor vortices, discovered during the continuous study of The Vortex, are among the unique phenomena to be observed here.

As another person, on a level platform, recedes from you towards magnetic south, they appear taller. When they approach you, coming towards magnetic north, they become shorter. This is contrary to the laws of perspective, as we know it, and must be seen to be believed. See Photographs – Back Yard.

The scientific analysis of the disturbance constitutes an education in subjects of interest to all. The accumulated Notes and Data, written by John Litster, contains 35 pictures, diagrams, and illustrations along with other information relating specifically to The Oregon Vortex is available to all visitors.

We have gotten so many requests about our Copper Pipe and Magnet demonstration (also known as an Eddy Current Tube) that we decided to start making them. We currently have one style available. This set comes with a 10″ long, 1/2″ diameter copper pipe. The pipe is 99.99% pure copper to achieve the strongest effect. It comes with two very strong Grade N42 neodymium magnets. One is a 1/4″ cube and the other is a 5/16″ cylinder. When dropped down the copper pipe the magnets fall very slowly demonstrating eddy currents. A good name for researching this electromagnetic principle on the internet is ‘Lenz’s Law’.

*Sourced from: http://www.oregonvortex.com/science.htm