Offbeat

A Few Very Mysterious People

Down through history, there have been those whose lives have been cloaked in mystery. As the years pass without resolution, the gap between questions and answers becomes wider still. Below are some examples of a few unknowns from different periods in history; some are shrouded in myth and fantasy while others are based on fact and notoriety. Why not come along for the ride?

The Poe Toaster

A mysterious figure clad in black and believed to be a man, pays annual tribute to Edgar Alan Poe by visiting his grave every year on January 19th (the author’s birthday). The eerie tradition began in 1949, which is exactly a century after Poe’s untimely death at the age of forty. Witnesses claim that the anonymous toaster hides his face with a hood and carries a silver-tipped cane as he enters the Westminster Hall Burying Ground in Baltimore, Maryland, and raises a silent toast before placing three roses and a half-bottle of cognac on the grave. Often spectators have witnessed the event, although no one has ever attempted to interfere with the ritual or unmask the anonymous admirer.

The Babushka Lady at JFK’s 1963 Assassination

This woman was spotted during the analysis of the film footage surrounding the assassination of John Kennedy in Dallas, Texas, in 1963. Clad in a brown overcoat with a scarf around her head (hence her moniker), she is holding something in front of her face, which is thought to be a camera. Oddly, she appears in many photos, and even after other frightened spectators fled the area, she continued to film, which is why the FBI made a public appeal for her to come forward and relinquish her film footage. She never did and her purpose and identity remain a mystery.

Fulcanelli (1839 –1953)

Fulcanelli is the pseudonym of a French alchemist whose identity remains unknown. There are many tales surrounding his life and works but the most enduring concerns one of his students (Eugene Canseliet, pictured below) who successfully transformed 100 grams of lead into gold by using a small quantity of “Projection Powder” given to him by his teacher. Sought by the Nazis because of his advanced technological knowledge of nuclear weapons, Fulcanelli eluded them, but it is said that he passed on his secrets to a French atomic physicist and told him that atomic weaponry had been used against humanity since ancient times.

Canseliet swore that he was reunited with his teacher in 1953, which was years after he disappeared in 1926. Fulcanelli had been an old man in his 80s when Canseliet originally knew him and now the man standing before him was a man in his 50’s!

Go figure.

D.B. Cooper

D. B. Cooper (aka “Dan Cooper”) was a notorious airplane hijacker whose identity and whereabouts are a mystery. On November 24, 1971, he jumped off the rear air-stair of a Boeing 727 flying somewhere over the Pacific Northwest with $200,000 in ransom money. In 1980, $5,800 was recovered by an 8-year-old boy along the banks of the Columbia River, but no traces of Cooper or his parachute have ever been recovered. The serial numbers on the soggy $20 bills matched those of the ransom money, and aviation authorities have since enforced stricter measures concerning the construction of planes so that such a jump could never again occur. Also, metal detectors were installed for the first time after this event.

These are just a handful of many who have fallen into the mists of time, their memories floating somewhere between the realms of oblivion and recall.

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  1. Guest says:

    The Poe Toaster hasn't appeared for the past two years.