Back in 1955, a mysterious phenomenon was reported. Garden hoses started to spontaneously burrow their way into dirt. It began in the garden of California resident George Di Peso. His 12-year-old daughter stuck the nozzle of a hose into the dirt to make the job of watering the garden easier, and then the hose (with the water running) started to burrow downwards. Over 20 feet of the hose disappeared into the earth.
The same phenomenon was then reported in Minnesota, Michigan, New York, Florida, Ontario, and Kansas.
Geologists speculated that the rapid flow of water was creating a vacuum at the nozzle causing the hoses to slide downward into the earth. The burrowing could be stopped by turning off the water. But Di Peso never did recover the 20 feet of hose lost in the earth. He eventually cut the hose off where it went into the earth, saying "I couldn't stand it any longer. This thing was getting out of hand. My life has been made a big mess."
Back in late 1949, people throughout Los Angeles County reported a strong odor that smelled like garlic. The smell persisted for weeks, periodically increasing in intensity. Some residents took to wearing gas masks. There were reports of the fumes being so strong that they discolored fences and buildings. There was a widespred fear that it was a poison gas attack.
Despite a lot of speculation, I'm not sure that the source of the mystery odor was ever identified, although leading theories were that it was either coming from the Los Angeles River bed, or from a chemical factory. It became known as the invasion of the Garlic Fog. [Sydney Morning Herald, Aug 7, 1949] (via Buried Words and Bushwa)
Back in 1950, newspapers were full of the story of the Phantom Whistler of Louisiana. The Whistler was terrorizing a young woman, 18-year-old Jacqueline Cadow. He would hide in the shrubbery outside her house at night and whistle a funeral dirge. Sometimes he would follow this with a "blood-curdling moan."
When she got engaged to state trooper Herbert Belsom, the harassment grew worse. He started to make threatening phone calls to the family, threatening to kill Jacqueline if she went through with the wedding.
On several occasions, a few people besides Jacqueline heard the whistling and moaning, but the strange thing was that no one ever saw the Phantom Whistler. And eventually the Sheriff began to suspect that the entire thing was an "inside job and a hoax." Later the Sheriff modified this to say that he had solved the case, but he refused to disclose who or what the Whistler was because he didn't want to "embarrass" the people involved. Jacqueline and Herbert got married without incident.
Residents of Felixstowe are wondering what caused the giant smoke circles that recently were seen floating in the sky. One resident says: "They appeared for a good ten to 15 minutes. No-one had ever seen anything like them - they just rose slowly then melted into the clouds."
Could smoke circles be the new crop circles?
(via Prof. Hex)