Icons of Aviation: The “Que Sera Sera”

In 1956, a US Navy R4D Skytrain transport plane named “Que Sera Sera” touched down at the South Pole as part of an international scientific study. It was the first aircraft to land at the pole, and the first people to visit there in 44 years.


The R4D Skytrain “Que Sera Sera”, on display in Pensacola

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How Kodak’s Own Invention Killed the Company

In 2012, the Kodak film company, which had once been one of the largest corporations in the country with a 90% market share, filed for chapter 11 bankruptcy. The company had, ironically, been driven almost to extinction by a product that Kodak itself had invented.


Kodak advertisement                                                        photo from WikiCommons

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Lincoln Conspiracy: The Other Victims

Everyone knows that stage actor and Southern sympathizer John Wilkes Booth shot and killed President Abraham Lincoln at Ford’s Theater on April 14, 1865. Less well-known, however, is the rest of the plot: Booth’s co-conspirators also planned to assassinate Vice President Andrew Johnson and Secretary of State William Seward at the same time. There is also debate among some historians about the extent of Confederate Government involvement in the assassination, and even whether the plot included Lincoln’s own Secretary of War.


Ford’s Theater

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Ghost Bomber: The Mystery of the Missing B-25

In 1956, at the height of the Cold War, an Air National Guard B-25 bomber made an emergency water landing into the Monongahela River, in the middle of Pittsburgh, in broad daylight, and sank. But the next day, when the Air Force tried to recover the sunken plane, it was completely gone, and hasn’t been found since. What happened to the “Ghost Bomber”? Conspiracy theories abound….


A B-25 bomber in 1942.                                            photo by US Army Air Force

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The Quasi War: When the US Fought France (Sort Of)

In the closing years of the 18th century, the United States found itself in an undeclared conflict with the newly-established French Republic. The “Quasi War” brought General George Washington out of retirement, led to draconian laws that stifled political opposition, and provoked a political fight over the wartime powers of the President that still has not been resolved today.


A French privateer is captured by US Marines during the Quasi War. photo from Wiki Commons
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Forgotten mysteries, oddities and unknown stories from history, nature and science.