Mystery Illustration 48

What's the product being advertised?

The answer is here.

Posted By: Paul - Fri Jun 23, 2017 - Comments (3)
Category: Advertising, 1970s

The Takeaway Rembrandt

In 1632 Rembrandt painted a portrait of Jacob de Gheyn III, an engraver living in Utrecht. The portrait is quite small, measuring approximately 12 by 10 inches. As a result, it's relatively easy to steal and has earned the nickname "The Takeaway Rembrandt" because of the number of times it's been swiped.

From wikipedia:
The painting has been given the moniker "takeaway Rembrandt" as it has been stolen four times since 1966 – the most recorded of any painting.

Between 14 August 1981 and 3 September 1981 the painting was taken from Dulwich Picture Gallery and retrieved when police arrested four men in a taxi who had the painting with them. A little under two years later a burglar smashed a skylight and descended through it into the art gallery, using a crowbar to remove the painting from the wall. The police arrived within three minutes but were too late to apprehend the thief. The painting was missing for three years, eventually being found on 8 October 1986 in a luggage rack at the train station of a British army garrison in Münster, Germany.

The other two times, the painting was found once underneath a bench in a graveyard in Streatham, and once on the back of a bicycle. Each time the painting has been returned anonymously with more than one person being charged for its disappearance.

St. Cloud Times - Feb 17, 1973

Posted By: Alex - Thu Jun 22, 2017 - Comments (4)
Category: Art, Crime, 1970s

The Naked Anthropologist

Her stage name was Wendy Brown, but she was better known as the "Naked Anthropologist." She was a young woman who, circa 1970, decided to write her master's thesis in anthropology about the culture of nude dancing — and so, for the sake of research, she got a job as a dancer at a "bottomless" club off Sunset Strip in LA. The field research also helped pay for her education.

She was arrested once for indecent exposure and lewd conduct, but managed to use her academic credentials to serve as an expert witness at her own trial, testifying that in a survey of 5000 Californians, most didn't consider nude dancing obscene. She was acquitted.

As far as I know, she never revealed her real name. Nor did she reveal where she was attending university, only saying that it was somewhere in Northern California (even though her dancing job was in LA).

Life magazine sent a photographer out to take pictures of her, although I don't think they ended up doing a story about her. At least, I can't find anything in the Life magazine archive. But you can view all the photos at the Google Cultural Institute — all 247 of them.

The Greenville Delta Democrat - Jan 20, 1970

Posted By: Alex - Tue Jun 06, 2017 - Comments (6)
Category: 1970s, Dance, Nudism

Lake City, UFO Port

In 1976, as part of America's bicentennial celebrations, the residents of Lake City, Pennsylvania raised $6000 to build a UFO Landing Port. They thought it was the first such landing port in the world, though it wasn't. Explained Jim Meeder, the businessman who organized the effort, "We said to ourselves, 'Let's not look backward 200 years. Let's look forward 200 years.' Everybody else was restoring railroad depots and things like that. We wanted to do something different."

The landing port consisted of "a grass-covered mound five feet high and 100 feet in diameter, bordered by red and blue lights." A representative from the Tucson, Arizona Aerial Phenomenon Research Organization checked it out and said approvingly that he was relieved it wasn't "a schlock thing."

Twelve years later a reporter from the Minneapolis Star-Tribune checked back and found that the landing port hadn't been visited by a UFO yet, but the town was using it as a helicopter landing pad for lake rescues. I haven't been able to figure out if the landing site is still there. I can't find anything on google maps.

Update: I used the contact form on the Lake City website to ask if they've still got the UFO port. Almost immediately got a reply back that yes, it's still there!

The Philadelphia Inquirer - July 5, 1976


The Meriden Morning Record - Mar 1, 1976

Posted By: Alex - Thu Jun 01, 2017 - Comments (7)
Category: Aliens, 1970s

Mystery Illustration 47

All of these women either won or competed for the same Beauty Queen title. What was that title?

The answer is here.

And after the jump.

More in extended >>

Posted By: Paul - Mon May 29, 2017 - Comments (3)
Category: Beauty, Ugliness and Other Aesthetic Issues, Contests, Races and Other Competitions, 1970s

Goblu and Beatosu, Ohio

The 1978-79 Michigan Highway map included some creative geography. If you looked at the part of the map that depicted neighboring Ohio, you found two new towns. There was Goblu, shown just east of Toledo near Bono, and Beatosu, shown to the west near Elmira. These names sounded a lot like the cries of University of Michigan football fans against rival Ohio State University.

They were included in the map at the order of Peter Fletcher, the highway commission chairman, who said he included the names to demonstrate his "loyalty to the Athens of the West, the University of Michigan." The fictitious towns were deleted from the next edition of the map. The map with the towns is now a collector's item. One is currently available for $32.55 on eBay.

More info: wikipedia

Lansing State Journal - Dec 23, 1977 (click to enlarge)

Posted By: Alex - Wed May 17, 2017 - Comments (4)
Category: Geography and Maps, Hoaxes and Imposters and Imitators, 1970s

Long arm saves dolphin

February 1978: A dolphin named Dr. Spock who lived at Marine-World swallowed a 3-inch bolt. The animal doctors there didn't have any instruments long enough to reach into the dolphin's stomach and remove the bolt. So, hoping to avoid surgery, they called up basketball player Clifford Ray of the Golden State Warriors and asked him if he would be willing to use one of his four-foot long arms to reach into Dr. Spock's stomach. Ray hurried over, removed the bolt, and saved Dr. Spock's life. Ray said that Dr. Spock later always recognized him when he visited Marine World and would come over to say hello.

More info: SFGate, NY Times

Muncie Star Press - Feb 25, 1978

Ray shows off the bolt to his teammates
Hattiesburg American Sun - Feb 26, 1978

Posted By: Alex - Tue May 16, 2017 - Comments (7)
Category: Animals, 1970s

Captain Sky

His Wikipedia page.

Posted By: Paul - Mon May 15, 2017 - Comments (2)
Category: Aliens, Eccentrics, Music, 1970s

Page 3 of 42 pages  < 1 2 3 4 5 >  Last ›

Get WU Posts by Email

Enter your email address:

Delivered by FeedBurner

weird universe thumbnail
Who We Are
Alex Boese
Alex is the creator and curator of the Museum of Hoaxes. He's also the author of various weird, non-fiction books such as Elephants on Acid.

Paul Di Filippo
Paul has been paid to put weird ideas into fictional form for over thirty years, in his career as a noted science fiction writer. He has recently begun blogging on many curious topics with three fellow writers at The Inferior 4+1.

Our banner was drawn by the legendary underground cartoonist Rick Altergott.

Contact Us
Monthly Archives
September 2017 •  August 2017 •  July 2017 •  June 2017 •  May 2017 •  April 2017 •  March 2017 •  February 2017 •  January 2017

December 2016 •  November 2016 •  October 2016 •  September 2016 •  August 2016 •  July 2016 •  June 2016 •  May 2016 •  April 2016 •  March 2016 •  February 2016 •  January 2016

December 2015 •  November 2015 •  October 2015 •  September 2015 •  August 2015 •  July 2015 •  June 2015 •  May 2015 •  April 2015 •  March 2015 •  February 2015 •  January 2015

December 2014 •  November 2014 •  October 2014 •  September 2014 •  August 2014 •  July 2014 •  June 2014 •  May 2014 •  April 2014 •  March 2014 •  February 2014 •  January 2014

December 2013 •  November 2013 •  October 2013 •  September 2013 •  August 2013 •  July 2013 •  June 2013 •  May 2013 •  April 2013 •  March 2013 •  February 2013 •  January 2013

December 2012 •  November 2012 •  October 2012 •  September 2012 •  August 2012 •  July 2012 •  June 2012 •  May 2012 •  April 2012 •  March 2012 •  February 2012 •  January 2012

December 2011 •  November 2011 •  October 2011 •  September 2011 •  August 2011 •  July 2011 •  June 2011 •  May 2011 •  April 2011 •  March 2011 •  February 2011 •  January 2011

December 2010 •  November 2010 •  October 2010 •  September 2010 •  August 2010 •  July 2010 •  June 2010 •  May 2010 •  April 2010 •  March 2010 •  February 2010 •  January 2010

December 2009 •  November 2009 •  October 2009 •  September 2009 •  August 2009 •  July 2009 •  June 2009 •  May 2009 •  April 2009 •  March 2009 •  February 2009 •  January 2009

December 2008 •  November 2008 •  October 2008 •  September 2008 •  August 2008 •  July 2008 •