MYSTERIOUS WORLD


#3. The Mad Gasser of
Mattoon
In Mattoon, Illinois in the
early 1930s,
reports
started popping up of a
man or woman deliberately
spraying poisonous gasses
into people’s homes via the
windows, and in some
cases, building crude
barricades to keep the
victims inside. The
barricade thing may seem
weird, but people in the 30s
were the trusting type, and
apparently didn’t go out to
investigate when they
heard the sound of sawing
and hammering right
outside their front doors.
Anyway, the victims
complained of nausea and
sore throats, and
sometimes would catch a
glimpse of something
moving outside in the
distance. The town was
gripped with panic, terrified
that the villain would attack
again with his arsenal of
pretty much harmless
chemicals.
Finally an official inquiry
was started into the matter,
to solve it once and for all.
They gathered eye witness
reports and wound up with
descriptions of the
perpetrator as a tall, short,
male, female, fat, thin,
human, ghost, Nazi,
dinosaur … pretty much the
whole spectrum of life past
and present on planet
earth.
Investigators filed the
incident under “What the
fuck?” which just happens
to be conspiracy theorists
favorite question to
answer.
Mad Gasser?
The Obvious Answer:
Two weeks after it all
started Thomas Wright, the
commissioner of public
health came and said:
“There is no doubt that a
gas maniac exists and has
made a number of attacks.
But many of the reported
attacks are nothing more
than hysteria. Fear of the
gas man is entirely out of
proportion to the menace of
the relatively harmless gas
he is spraying. The whole
town is sick with hysteria.”
Yes, good job calming the
hysteria with the phrase
“Gas Maniac.”
The town police chief, on
the other hand, came out
and said there was actually
no gasser at all, that the
people were freaking out
because they heard a
noise, checked the window,
and smelled something
funny. Not unusual seeing
as how their town was filled
with factories and the town
itself was constantly awash
in chemical fumes (back
then environmental
regulations were pretty
much done on the honor
system).
After the reassuring
statements from Wright and
the chief of police, the
public decided maybe it was
time to calm down. Oh wait,
no they didn’t. They
decided it was time to
fucking freak out more.
There were countless more
reports, none of them ever
confirmed.
Oh, there may have been
an actual gasser at some
point,
a recent book points
to a local medical student
who could have carried out
the few actual attacks that
led to the hysteria. When
asked why, he reportedly
stated, “Because I’m
fucking insane.”
#2. The Starchild Skull
Found in a mine tunnel in
1930, this odd-shaped
skull is believed to be that
of an
alien or other magical
creature (Goblin?
Leprechaun?) After carbon
dating, the skull was found
to be about 900 years old.
Paranormal researchers
were quick to tell anyone
who would listen that it was
the skull of an alien human
hybrid, or just alien, or
anything paranormal. They
were just happy someone
was talking to them.
A paranormal researcher
(probably).
The Obvious Answer:
Well… look at it. We only
have three full-time
archeologists on the staff
here at Cracked, but it’s
pretty obvious that that is
a human skull. Luckily
skull
experts agree that it’s from
a young child, 3 to 5 years
old, with some type of
physical deformity. The list
of diseases and defects
can cause this kind of
abnormality is extensive.
The list of paranormal
reasons that have been
proven to cause this isn’t a
list at all, it’s more of a
napkin smeared with
Cheetoh smudges and
crazy.
This one goes back to
Ufologists’ rather bizarre
belief that aliens would look
exactly like us (two eyes, a
mouth, a nose, etc.) with
only tiny variations (they’re
grey or have a weird bone
in the middle of their face).
Why would beings that
evolved on different
planets under totally
different conditions look
alike? If you believe the
conspiracy theory that
often accompanies the
Starchild Skull, you’d know
it’s because aliens planted
humans on earth thousands
of years ago!
So either we’re just a giant
colony of sea monkeys for
extremely bored aliens, or
900 years ago at least one
kid had a weird-shaped
head.
#1. The Bermuda Triangle
Well for one thing, that’s
not even a triangle.
This is the granddaddy of
supposed paranormal
phenomena. You know the
story: you go into the
Triangle, you don’t come
out. It’s some kind of
magical black hole around
Florida, Puerto Rico and
Bermuda where ships,
planes and probably
countless confused whales
have disappeared.
According to paranormal
“experts” this is easily
attributable to either aliens,
interdimensional portals,
demons, ghosts, Bigfoot,
ghost Bigfoot, sea
monsters or stargates.
Or Bigfoot riding a Sea
Monster. Aaaaahhh
Even Christopher Columbus
claimed he saw weird shit
there
more than 500 years ago.
To read books about the
subject, you’d think ships
disappear by the hundreds
every week.
So what’s the deal? Are the
boats getting sucked
through a time portal?
Being sunk by savages
from the mystical lost city of
Atlantis? Or is it Cthulhu?
It’s Cthulhu, isn’t it?
“Nope!”
The Obvious Answer:
Again we must refer to the
scientific phenomenon called
People Making Up Bullshit.
As
experts have pointed
out, the entire Bermuda
Triangle mystery is based
around people taking
routine disappearances and
spicing them up in the
retelling. So for instance,
part of the legend is a
plane inexplicably vanished
off the coast of Daytona on
a sunny day in 1957. A
search of the newspaper
that day revealed that
either it didn’t happen, or
all the witnesses signed a
pact of silence in their own
blood lest the triangle take
them too.
They like to describe
missing ships as having
“disappeared” or saying
they “were never seen
again”, which immediately
brings to mind magic. In
reality when a boat sinks
you’re probably not going
to see it again because,
you know, it’s on the
bottom of the fucking ocean.
Believers often fail to
mention that many of the
disappearances happen
during storms and rough
seas, when you’d pretty
much expect ships to sink.
Other times ships would be
reported missing and thus
added to the Triangle’s
tally, then nobody bothers
to correct it when the ships
turn up later unharmed (like
because the Captain was
drunk off his ass and
accidentally sailed to
Portugal).
But the final stake into the
heart of the Dracula that is
the Bermuda Triangle
mystery is the fact that the
number of disappearances
is no larger than any other
well-traveled part of the
ocean (the Triangle
includes some of the
busiest waters on the
planet).
Once again, the only magic
at work is the mystical
human hunger for bullshit.

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