There are still some mysteries in the world, despite vigorous debunking, ongoing investigations, plain old skepticism, and in some cases, a scary lack of clues or information. On this list are just some of these.
10 The Child Eater of Bern
Switzerland is a popular holiday destination. And it’s not surprising since it boasts stunning weather, dream-like castles, delicious chocolate, and of course, the Matterhorn. But the country also has its share of mysteries, some more creepy than others.
In the city of Bern, for instance, is a huge fountain sculpture built in 1546 which depicts a giant stuffing a baby into his mouth while carrying a sack filled with three terrified infants over his shoulder. It is one of the oldest fountains in Bern, but no one seems to know why it’s there.
As with all mysteries, there are several theories on why the sculpture, named The Child Eater of Bern or the Kindlifresser, was erected. The first one says that the giant wears a hat similar to the Judenhut that Jews had been forced to wear at the time, which means that the sculpture was possibly meant to be a warning to the Jewish community living in Bern.
Other theories say that the sculpture depicts the Greek Titan, Kronos, who ate all his children to prevent them from succeeding him on the throne. Even another proposes that the giant is the older brother of the founder of Bern, Duke Berchtold. It is believed that he became insane with jealousy because of his younger brother’s successes and eventually collected and ate the town’s children in revenge.
9 The Split Moon
On June 18, 1178, Gervase of Canterbury—the chronicler of the Abbey of Christ Church—and four other monks witnessed something strange in the sky one hour after sunset. According to Gervase, the upper horn of the crescent moon was split in two. He described the incident in detail, saying, “from the midpoint of the division, a flaming torch sprang up, spewing out, over a considerable distance, fire, hot coals and sparks.” He also added that the moon “writhed, as it were in anxiety” and “throbbed like a wounded snake.”
While it remains unclear what exactly the monks witnessed, at least one astronomer believes that they saw the asteroid impact that led to the creation of the lunar crater Giordano Bruno. However, most astronomers dispute this because of the lack of historical records surrounding the meteor shower that would have been visible after the collision. The working theory, instead, is that the monks would have possibly seen a meteor passing in front of the moon.
8 Nuclear Spy Device Induces Flood?
In February 2021, the village of Raini in the Indian Himalayas was hit by a massive flood after a glacier collapse caused an avalanche that started in the Nanda Devi mountain range. More than fifty people died in the Himalayan state of Uttarakhand.
However, a significant percentage of the population in Raini village doesn’t believe that a glacier collapse caused the flooding. Instead, as generations before them did, they believe that nuclear spy devices hidden in the snow and rocks of the mountains above their village had “exploded” and caused the tragedy.
This is because of a news story that has been circulating for many years about the U.S. collaborating with India in the 1960s to get the world’s best mountain climbers to hide nuclear-powered monitoring devices across the Himalayas. This was to enable them to spy on Chinese nuclear tests. It is said that a group of Indian and American climbers lugged the devices up the mountain but got caught in a blizzard. They scampered back down to safety, leaving the devices on a “platform.” Returning to the mountain the following spring, the devices had vanished. In April 1978, Morarji Desai, then prime minister of India, confirmed that his country and the U.S. planned to plant nuclear devices on Nanda Devi but wouldn’t confirm whether the mission had been successful.
So, where are the devices now? Did they fall down the mountain during a landslide? Are they still up there, causing havoc in the form of avalanches and flooding, or did someone else secretly remove them? Maybe the Yetis have them.
7 The Clarendon Dry Pile
In 1840, an experimental electric bell named the Clarendon Dry Pile or Oxford Electric Bell was set up. The experiment is made up of two brass bells positioned beneath a dry pile, one of the first form of electric batteries. When the clapper, suspended between the piles, touches one bell, it is charged by one pile and then repelled and attracted to the other bell.
The bell holds the Guinness World Record as the most durable battery in the world and has produced around 10 billion rings since 1840. The dry pile was covered with molten sulfur for insulation when it was set up, and the bell continues to ring today even though it is protected behind two layers of glass and hardly audible anymore.
The mystery here is that no one can explain why this dry pile has lasted for more than 180 years. Experts are reluctant to open the device, because they fear that they would ruin the ongoing experiment. Instead, they are waiting to see if the battery will finally lose its charge or whether the clapper will eventually break from old age.
6 What Happened to Licorice McKechnie?
When Licorice McKechnie left home as a teenager, she was fully focused on marrying her boyfriend, Bert Jansch. However, the wedding wasn’t to be. Instead, she met musician Robin Williamson, and Jansch traveled to Morocco on his own in 1963. In 1966, McKechnie and Williamson also spent time in Morocco. Later, they recorded music and vocals for the psychedelic folk band, The Incredible String Band, which was formed by Williamson, Clive Palmer, and Mike Heron. McKechnie performed with the band at Woodstock in August 1969.
In 1972, she left the band when her relationship with Williamson ended. She appeared at a Scientology benefit concert in 1974 and shortly afterward moved to California. After divorcing her second husband, musician Brian Lambert, she again joined Williamson and his Merry Band for a performance in 1977.
In 1986, she went back to Edinburgh to see her family, but no one has heard from her since 1990. The last report on her whereabouts came when music journalist, Mark Ellen, wrote in 2000 that McKechnie was last seen hitchhiking across the Arizona Desert in 1987.
In 2019, unconfirmed reports surfaced on Facebook that Licorice McKechnie was alive and living in California. However, these reports remained rumors. Her whereabouts remain unknown, but wild theories have suggested that her connection with Scientology might have led to her disappearance.
5 Sam the Sandown Clown
In May 1973, two children from the small town of Sandown, located on the east coast of the Isle of Wight, were running and playing in the green hills of the Shanklin & Sandown Golf Club when they heard a siren-like sound emanating from a nearby small bridge. They immediately made their way to the bridge out of sheer curiosity.
To their surprise, a strange being popped out from under the bridge. It seemed that it had been startled by the children and dropped a book it was holding into the stream below the bridge. After retrieving the book, the creature hopped away and entered a metal house of sorts. It returned after a short while, carrying a microphone-like device. Using it, he relayed a message: “Hello, and I am all colors, Sam.”
One of the children asked whether Sam was human, which he denied. The children then asked if he was a ghost, to which he replied, “Well, not really, but I am in an odd sort of way.” Sam expressed fear of humans and being discovered but invited the children into the metal hut. Once inside, he placed a berry in his ear, lunged forward, and caught the berry in his eye socket. He lunged again, and the berry fell into his mouth.
For half an hour, the children spoke with Sam before returning home and relaying their experience to the golf course’s groundskeeper. The groundskeeper laughed it off, which caused the children to wait several weeks before telling their parents. When the area was eventually explored by adults, no sign of Sam or his hut could be found.
The children described him as being over two meters (6.5 feet) tall with a round head too large for his body, very white skin, and paint over his face. When they said he wore a clown suit, Sam was quickly given the nickname of Sam the Sandown Clown. To date, no one else has encountered Sam, and it remains unclear what exactly he was; a creepy human wearing a clown costume or a shared hallucination.
4 Is the Holy Grail in Spain?
Believed to be the cup that Jesus drank from at the last supper and the same cup that Joseph of Arimathea used to collect Jesus’s blood after he was crucified, the Holy Grail is still the most sought-after Christian relic in modern times.
It has yet to be found, but some believe that the Knights Templars hid it away or that Joseph of Arimathea buried the grail in Glastonbury, England, where the water is said to run red.
In the Valencia Cathedral in Spain stands a relic that many believe is, in fact, the Holy Grail. Twice a year, the small chalice is taken out of a chapel at the back of the cathedral and placed inside the church. Even though the church has never claimed that this chalice is the Holy Grail, many are convinced that it is. This is because the cup is made from stone that can only be found in Israel. And the shape is reminiscent of cups used at Jewish liturgical celebrations.
Whether it will ever be confirmed as the real deal, remains to be seen.
3 The Strange Case of Heidi Wyrick
When Heidi Wyrick was eight years old, she moved with her parents to Ellerslie, Georgia. Almost immediately, she began speaking of a friendly elderly man named Gordy who came around to see her and play with her in the yard of the new home. Her mother, Lisa, thought Gordy was a new imaginary friend right up until the moment her daughter told her about another person named Con that showed up at the front door in a bloodied t-shirt. Lisa then thought someone had tried to kidnap her daughter and told her husband, Andrew. He then searched the entire neighborhood to try and find the culprit without success.
Shortly after, Lisa’s sister moved in next door, and Lisa happened to mention Gordy and Con. Her sister then told Lisa that James S. Gordy was the former owner of the house she had just bought and that he died in 1974. She had no photographs of Gordy but managed to contact another family who owned the house before Gordy. They confirmed Heidi’s description of Gordy, who said that he wore a suit with shiny black shoes and had gray hair. As for Con, in life, he was Uncle Lon “Con” Batchelor, uncle to Catherine Ledford, who was part of the family that owned the house before Gordy. He died in 1957 and was missing a hand, something that Heidi also knew.
Heidi kept seeing and talking to Gordy and Con for four years. In 1993, Lisa became pregnant, and for the first time, Heidi seemed afraid of a new spirit who had appeared. This one was malevolent. After the baby was born, Lisa noticed scratches on Heidi’s face and drew Andrew’s attention to it. He ignored it as nothing until he woke up two nights later with three claw marks on his body.
Parapsychologist, Dr. William Roll, confirmed that he believed Heidi had genuine para-psychological experiences, but there is no explanation for them. Heidi continues to see dark spirits in her adult life, seeing so many evil specters that she is no longer afraid of them.
2 The Van Heijst Lights
Christiaan van Heijst got his pilot’s license before getting his driver’s license. Later he would combine his love of flying and his love of photography, capturing images from high up in the sky.
On a 747 flight from Hong Kong to Alaska in 2014, Van Heijst heard air traffic controllers talking to other pilots about earthquakes that had occurred in San Francisco and Chile as well as a volcanic eruption in Iceland.
He was still listening when in the distance, he saw an intense light flash shooting up from the ground beyond the horizon. He took a series of photographs of the faint green so-called “earth-glow,” which could be seen all over the Northern Hemisphere. Twenty minutes later, a deep red glow appeared ahead of the plane. Approaching the lights, they became stronger, lighting up the clouds and sky in the type of orange hue that is usually seen during wildfires. Even stranger, these lights were where only the sea should have been.
While theories include a volcano underneath the surface of the ocean, an official explanation has yet to be provided.
1 The Disappearance of Kirsa Jensen
On September 1, 1983, 14-year-old Kirsa Jensen from Napier, New Zealand, went horseback riding at a local beach. She never returned home. Her horse, Commodore, was found wandering close to the Tutaekuri River, but there was no trace of the teenager.
The last confirmed sighting of Kirsa placed her and Commodore near a World War Two gun emplacement at the river mouth, where she spoke to a man inside a white utility vehicle. Witnesses who saw her said that her face was bloody and that she was held at arm’s length by a middle-aged European man. In 1985, John Russell confessed to murdering Kirsa but later retracted the confession. He was never charged and eventually committed suicide in 1992.
Search parties failed every time they started up a new search, and psychics and mediums couldn’t help in cracking the case either. Kirsa was never found, and the case remains open.