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Mysteries

Author Reimagines the Life and Crimes of Ed Gein as a Novel

Wisconsin serial killer and grave robber Ed Gein’s deviant acts are the subject of author Frank Ladd’s first novel.

Author Frank Ladd with the Ed Gein house in the background
Author Frank Ladd with the Ed Gein house in the background, via @frankwladd

I’ve been researching and writing about Ed Gein a long time. I answer questions from visitors all over the world interested in Gein, some hoping to dig up additional facts to flesh out their school reports. If fact, I recently learned that my work is apparently being taught in at least one Canadian high school classroom. For better or worse, that will probably be the pinnacle of my achievement.

I am fascinated by this particular ghoul because his story is horrific, tragic, and, most importantly, he’s local – a gruesome campfire story that really happened right in my own backyard. This isn’t ghosts or goatman. Ed Gein really exhumed freshly buried corpses and filled his farmhouse with the creations he made from those remains.

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While there is still much mystery surrounding the case, it’s a story over 60 years old and there seems to be little new to add. Gein admitted to two murders, and was only tried and convicted of one. Yet there is evidence, including unidentified body parts found amongst his collection, that he may have killed least several other young women. Two hunters who went missing in 1951, along with their entire truck, may be buried somewhere on the Gein property. Some even claim to know where, though most of those stories come second or third hand these days.

Then there is the cauldron that hit the auction block a few years ago with a dubious story that can never be confirmed because anyone who could is long dead.

The Real Ed Gein

I thought there was nothing left to get excited about when it comes to Ed Gein, until I stumbled onto an Instagram account run by Frank Ladd, a writer who set his sights on the Butcher of Plainfield as the subject of his first novel.

Ladd’s account @therealedgein showcases “research on Ed Gein and Plainfield, Wisconsin in 1957 from my novel in progress.” Posts include vintage photos and relics of Gein and Plainfield history, which would be enough to get my attention. But it’s the captions, Ladd’s inspection of a scene in which the object or location in the photo may have been involved in Gein’s story, that drew me in.

Of course, Ed Gein has inspired numerous books, movies and other media over the years. But the historical fiction Ladd is constructing feels different, deeper – a mold-covered and moth-eaten thing exhumed from the past, still stinking of damp earth and worms. The combination of photos and prose with each post captures what feels like an authentic and eerily intimate moment, the isolation and desperation of small town life in mid-century rural Wisconsin that both enabled and drove Gein to seek companionship with the deceased.

This post, written from the perspective of Waushara County Sheriff Art Schley (whose abuse of Gein during interrogation caused the killer’s initial confession to be ruled inadmissable):

Map of Plainfield, Wisconsin showing the location of Ed Gein's property and Worden'shardware store

The western bite of the county felt like a lost cause. The great dead heart of Wisconsin—Sheriff Schley had heard the old saying and found little reason to argue with it. Plainfield put on a good show with its shops and diner and crumbling theater, but the Opera House had closed a decade ago. Same for the Mitchell House. Two filling stations counted for something, he supposed. Worden’s sold most of what notions folks might need, and Gamble’s carried the rest. The bank still gave out subsistence loans. Plainfield scratched out just enough livelihood to call itself a town.

But drive six miles west and the farms sagged. Fields browned with decay. A scatter of turkey vultures kited in the distance, late for their yearly migration, stalking the scent of death. If he kept on county trunk D into Adams county, the pine barrens and wild marsh would swallow him.

Here is another example – Ed’s perspective of his mother’s room which he sealed off after her death, and the grave directly in front of the Gein family plot in Plainfield Cemetery that Ed robbed. The grave is still empty today, though the headstone marking what was intended to be Eleanor Adams’ final resting place remains.

Ed Gein house

The summer kitchen opened to the kitchen proper. Vines and berries on the wallpaper—that’s Ma. Her old lace curtains twitched in the early winter draft. This would always be her house. We kept it for her. How many times she fried tongue or creamed peas at that cook stove, we didn’t care to reckon.

A knot in the board nailed across the hall door showed into the parlor. Her rocking chair didn’t move an inch. Ma was stubborn. We’d stood at her grave until our knees locked and neck ached for a week from all the concentrating and focusing our powers on her cold body. She refused to rise. The woman next plot over was appealing, though. We’d felt something. Maybe the ground was softer there, now that we recall. Early spring of ’46 and still brutal cold.

Here’s another:

Ed Gein wearing lipstick

We lit a candle by Ma’s cloudy mirror. Unwrapped the secret we’d borrowed from Georgia—found among her oddments and sundries, the powders and scenty waters laid atop her dresser. Soft wax packed in a bullet shell. We unscrewed the base and a round stick rose like butter, red for a tart’s lips and dark as dried blood. Tasted of burning fat. Bitter as wormwood. We slid the lipstick across our mouth: a bright slippery gash. It was still our face staring back. A wash of moon through sooted lace mottled our skin with shadow, like the tattooed savages we’d read about in magazines, island tribes who ate their own.

You’ll notice throughout the posts that anytime Gein is referring to himself, Ladd uses “we” instead of “I” – an interesting choice I’m eager to explore.

With his work, Ladd is weaving the historical details and desolate reality of life in Plainfield into a compelling narrative of Ed Gein’s state of mind as he committed the crimes that still scar the town and its people. I feel like I can swipe a finger through the dust and grime accumulating on the garbage piled up in Gein’s house, and smell the mildew on the discarded human remains mouldering within.

If these posts are any indication of what to expect from the novel, I’ll be first in line for the pre-order.

Follow @therealedgein to keep up on Frank Ladd’s work and Ed Gein research.

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Mysteries

Archaeologists have found artifacts under the melted ice of Antarctica

As the last unexplored wilderness in the world, Antarctica is shrouded in secrets that scientists and researchers are trying to solve. To date, it is known about the 14 most fascinating mysteries of the Great White Continent.

Underground lakes

It is hard to imagine anything under the thick layers of ice in Antarctica, but scientists have discovered several underground lakes.

Scientists believe that the lakes formed after the separation of Antarctica from Gondvanald, an ancient supercontinent. Lakes do not freeze due to ice pressure.

Deep lake

Deep Lake is an inland lake in East Antarctica that has fascinated scientists for years. The lake is 55 meters below sea level, and with increasing depth, the salinity of the water increases. Salt water is comparable to the Dead Sea and ten times more saline than the ocean. This means that the water does not freeze, despite the temperature reaching -20C at the deepest point.

Bloody waterfall

In the McMurdo Dry Valley, a bright crimson five-story waterfall spills from the Taylor Glacier into Lake Bonnie. It looks like a rush of blood from a wound in the ice, but scientists have recently discovered the cause of this mysterious phenomenon.

The water that feeds Bloody Falls was once a salt lake, which is now cut off from the atmosphere due to the formation of glaciers on top of the lake.

Unusual creatures

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Antarctica is a barren, icy desert with very little rain, strong winds and the coldest temperatures on earth (the coldest recorded temperature was -89.4 ° C); yet it is also home to many unique wildlife. There are microbes, crustaceans, giant squids, transparent icefish, long-legged spiders the size of dinner plates, giant worms with shiny golden bristles and a large jaw with sharp teeth.

Ancient fossils and rainforests

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Antarctica is an ancient land that has undergone some incredible transformations over millions of years. Before Antarctica became an icy desert after the ice age, it was actually a warm region with rainforests and possibly even civilizations. The theory arose from the discovery of a petrified tree, signs of tropical trees and leaf prints that show the existence of tropical forests in Antarctica. Scientists have also discovered a ton of fossils of marine animals, birds and Cretaceous dinosaurs.

Gamburtsev mountain range

Antarctica holds many secrets under its vast ice sheets – even a massive mountain range. Gamburtsev mountains are hidden under a layer of ice from two to four thousand kilometers thick. They stretch for 1200 kilometers and rise to 3000 meters, which is one third of the height of Everest.

Singing ice

The Ross Ice Shelf is the largest ice shelf in Antarctica. Its thickness is several hundred meters and covers an area of ​​more than 500,000 square kilometers – the size of France.

Scientists have recently discovered that Ross’s ice shelf sings an eerie melody caused by winds blowing through the snow dunes. Winds create surface vibrations and almost non-stop seismic tones.

Giant hole

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In 2017, a hole the size of Ireland was discovered in Antarctica. Known as wormwood, this hole is not new – with the exception of a span of 78,000 square kilometers, it is the largest hole seen since the 1970s.

Mount Erebus

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Mount Erebus is a natural wonder, with liquid magma and ancient lava lakes that boil for about 1.3 million years. It is the southernmost active volcano in the world and the second largest volcano of Antarctica, whose height reaches 3800 meters.

South ocean

Images for weather like in antarctica peninsula

The Southern Ocean was named the fifth ocean in the world in 2000. It is the fourth largest ocean in the world that surrounds the entire continent of Antarctica.

Dry McMurdo Valley

Pictures of Dry McMurdo Dry Valleys

The thought of the desert usually conjures up images of hot sandy plains, but Antarctica is the largest desert in the world. It is incredibly dry and windy, with only 50 mm of precipitation per year, while 99% of the continent is covered with ice. Dry valleys have a climate similar to Mars, and scientists believe that this region may contain the secrets of life on other planets.

Antarctic mushrooms

Many microorganisms and extremophiles were found in Antarctica, including endemic species of fungi.

Ancient meteorites

Antarctica is a golden field for meteorites. Although meteorites can fall all over the earth, they are easier to find in Antarctica because cold and dry conditions retain rocky fragments.

In 2013, a group of Japanese and Belgian scientists discovered the largest meteorite found in East Antarctica in the past 25 years. Extraterrestrial stone weighed 18 kilograms. The team searched for meteorites for 40 days, finding 425 meteorites with a total weight of 75 kilograms. The discoveries included a piece of the asteroid West and a meteorite from Mars.

Aliens, Nazis and the lost city

Antarctica is a breeding ground for secrets, and over the years it has had its share of conspiracy theories. From elongated skulls and strange pyramids to alien spaceships, bizarre structures and giant stairs, many people believe that extraterrestrial life once lived in Antarctica (or still exists). The secret of Antarctica is kept deep beneath its surface, where no one has entered before. They say that the lost city of Atlantis is hidden under kilometers of ice.

It is possible that the civilization of Atlantis existed in Antarctica, but it remains to be proved that the continent is the site of the legendary lost city. It is also believed that the Nazis used underground Antarctica as a secret refuge, and some believe that Hitler fled here after the war. Hitler had a passion for occultism, and he was looking for something in Antarctica – the Germans built a station in Antarctica – but it was abandoned 70 years ago after the crew was poisoned by polar bear meat. The Great White Continent is the most obscure and inexplicable corner on Earth, and despite the dedicated efforts of scientists around the world, people may never know all its secrets.

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Mysteries

The Found and Lost Atlantis Library

In 1965, on the territory of Ecuador, entrepreneur and ethnologist Juan Moricz, with the help of local Indians, discovered the oldest man-made underground communications system. According to him, he found in its halls a unique library of books, the sheets of which were thin metal plates covered with mysterious symbols. Journalists immediately called this find the Library of Atlantis.

Mysterious Metal Books

The story of this sensational discovery is very confusing, full of intrigue and tragic accidents. As a result, what could change the whole history of mankind turned out to be lost again – let’s hope not forever. It all started with the statement of the Argentine businessman Juan Moricz about the discovery in Ecuador of a huge ancient underground labyrinth, in which he discovered a mysterious library of books with metal pages.

According to Moricz, the underground tunnels discovered by him stretch for thousands of kilometers under the territories of three states at once – Argentina, Peru and Ecuador. Its main entrance is located in the inaccessible jungle region where the Santiago and Coangos rivers come together. The researcher noted that the tunnels are clearly of artificial origin, their walls are very smooth, literally polished, the ceilings are even and flat, as if covered with glaze. Passages from tunnels led the researcher to impressive underground halls. However, much more interesting than the underground communications was what Moricz discovered in them. So, according to the researcher, he found an ancient library of 20-kilogram books consisting of thin metal sheets measuring 96 by 48 cm.

On each of these pages some mysterious signs were engraved or stamped. According to Moricz, it was a library of an ancient extinct civilization.

Man Soaring Above The Earth

In addition to the library, Moricz found in the dungeons a large number of golden figures of various animals. There were elephants, bison, crocodiles, monkeys, jaguars. These figures were placed along the walls of halls and walkways. Interestingly, the floor of the tunnels was decorated with very interesting drawings. For example, one depicted a round Earth and a man hovering above it. It was clear that the representatives of the most ancient civilization clearly knew about the spherical shape of our planet.

It is worth recalling another floor drawing. Engraved on the floor of the tunnel, a fossil dinosaur was depicted! Let get reminded that, according to generally accepted data, dinosaurs became extinct 65 million years ago, however, this figure is dated at about 4-9 thousand BC. What can be said about real meetings between dinosaurs and the representatives of this ancient civilization?

Moricz also found a very mysterious outdoor figure. A strange creature with a rectangular body and a round head stood on a globe-ball and held the sun and moon. Another figure, nicknamed the “pilot”, was in a helmet with headphones. The suit of the “pilot” resembled a spacesuit, wires led to it, a ring was attached, and the figure’s hands in gloves. One of Moricz’s astounding finds resembled the Concord model of a supersonic passenger airliner.

Juan Moritz sent one such figurine of an “airplane” to the museum of the Colombian capital Bogota, and left another in a dungeon. Experts who studied the artifact cast in pure gold came to the conclusion that the figure is actually a model of an airplane. This was indicated by geometrically regular wings and a high vertical keel, which, as you know, are not found in birds.

Squeezed By The “Grip” Of His Secret

Newspapers reported that Juan Moricz, during negotiations with the President of Ecuador, allegedly negotiated for himself the right to full control over the find and reserved the rights to filming and photography.

It seems that after his discovery, Moricz stopped sleeping soundly. Perhaps he was afraid that someone more eminent would appropriate his discovery or that some gang would plunder the treasures of the dungeons, leaving him with nothing. That’s why he kept secret the entrance to the dungeons and pulled in every way its disclosure.

However, the discovery still required him to take some action, it was necessary to maintain a certain “buzz tension” around the find, otherwise the hope for major sponsors and the assistance of well-known scientific institutions would disappear. It was then that he decided to involve Erich von Daniken, who became very famous after the publication of his book Chariots of the Gods.

In 1972, Moricz and Daniken met in South America. Daniken claimed that it was then that Moritz showed him a secret entrance to the underground communications system in in the Cueva de los Tayos (Spanish for “Cave of the Oilbirds”).

In his writings, Moricz says:

“(This is . . . ) an archaeological reality that has so far been either entirely unknown or at least flat-out denied by mainstream scientists. The first expedition serves as the steppingstone for a second part of the expedition with which we intend to obtain proof that the discovered underground cave system is an area of activity of the progenitors of mankind.”

However, the discoverer did not open the hall with a mysterious library to Daniken, but only showed him an amazing maze.

After Moricz and Daniken emerged from the caves, Moricz took him to see Father Carlos Crespi, who possessed a large collection of similar metal plates that were also covered with mysterious engravings and glyphs, and that have remained undeciphered to this day. Some of the plates look ancient, finished very elaborately and engraved with glyphs. Others appear to be almost new and made in a simplistic style. Most of the plates consist of brass, zinc and copper. (A note about the metals: the American scientist, Professor Heather Lechtmann of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, proved in a study that the pre-Columbian people of South America were masters at coating metal with very thin layers of gold, in some cases, 0.5 to 2 micrometers thick.)

Part of Father Crespi’s collection now resides in the Museum of the Banco Central in Cuenca, Ecuador. The chief restorer there, José Maldonado, wrote:

“We know nothing about the origin of these objects, nor where they were found.”

Following the trail of this “adventure”, Erich von Daniken published the book “Gold of the Gods”. In it, he described the straight and smooth walls of the tunnels that shocked him so much. However, in an interview with the German publications Stern and Spiegel, Juan Moricz unexpectedly stated that he had never been in tunnels with Erich von Daniken. This statement dealt a blow to the reputation of the Swiss, which scholars had already taken hold of after his book Chariots of the Gods.

He was accused of fabricating facts proving the presence of aliens from outer space on the planet in antiquity. Daniken claimed that it was then that Moricz showed him a secret entrance to the underground communications system. However, the discoverer did not open the hall with a mysterious library to Daniken, but only showed him an amazing maze.

Later, Moritz nevertheless admitted that he showed Erich von Daniken an insignificant cave unrelated to the main network of dungeons. Most likely, at the very last moment, Moricz realized that the Swiss, already “promoted” in the media, could well push him as a pioneer into the background. That’s why he framed the famous researcher and writer.

Daniken’s attempts to somehow justify himself were unsuccessful at that time. In an interview with the Spiegel magazine on March 19, 1973, Moricz confirmed the reality of the tunnels that he had discovered and that a certain person had indicated them to him, whose name he refused to tell. Soon, a Scottish scientist and traveler Stanley Hall contacted Moricz. He invited him to organize a joint Ecuadorian-British expedition with the participation of the Ecuadorian army, biologists, botanists and various specialists.

Stanley believed that the expedition should be led by a very authoritative person, and offered to do this to astronaut Neil Armstrong, the first person to set foot on the moon. He accepted his offer, and on August 3, 1976 a group of researchers led by Armstrong went down into the tunnels. They managed to find a funerary cave with a sitting mummified body, and the biologists who joined the expedition discovered about four hundred unknown plants near the cave.

However, this all ended – they never got to the metal library. It seems that Juan Moricz was once again afraid that all the laurels of discovery would go to a different person, because Armstrong was much more authoritative than Daniken.

Fading Ray Of Hope

In 1991, Moricz died, but Hall managed to find a man who showed him the entrance to the tunnel. It was Petronio Jaramillo. He agreed to meet with Hall and stated that Moricz had shown Armstrong’s expedition a completely different cave. If you believe Petronio, then he got into the room with a library of metal books back in 1946 with his uncle, who was friends with the Shuar tribe, which guarded the entrance to the labyrinths. Jaramillo confirmed that he personally saw thousands of metal books on the shelves.

He visited the dungeons again and chose to take out 7 books from the shelves, but could not take pull them out, it was extremely hard. By the way, he said that in the second hall there were some quartz tablets, possibly also carriers of information. Petronio talked about the numerous statues of people and animals and the sealed golden doors leading, most likely, to the graves. Wandering through the dungeons, he went into the room where there was a large translucent sarcophagus of a huge gilded mummy. Hall agreed with Jaramillo to organize an expedition to research the dungeons. Alas, the conflict between Peru and Ecuador that arose in 1995 forced researchers to postpone it. Then, in Ecuador, the political regime changed, and a sharp aggravation of the situation in the country forced Hall to return to Europe.

In 1998 he received terrible news – Petronio was killed right next to his house. Although the attack looked like a street robbery, it cannot be ruled out that someone eliminated the “key” to discovering the Atlantis library.

Although Hall never knew the exact location from Petronio Jaramillo, after the death of Jaramillo in May 1998, Hall arranged a trip with Mario Petronio, the son of Jaramillo, during which they combined their knowledge. The journey was only aimed at reaching the “zero point”.

In May 2000, Hall returned.

He showed aerial maps, indicating a bend on the river and a cliff line that hides the entrance cave – the entrance to the system, which stretches for several miles. His assumption – a rock collapse (evidence of an ancient earthquake) opened an underground network. Hall visited this place and concluded that it fits perfectly with Jaramillo’s description.

Need for cooperation

The information that Jaramillo managed to share with Hall prompted the researcher to speculate where the entrance to the cave could be, because, as Jaramillo said, the entrance is hidden under river water, and to get into the maze, you need to swim through an underwater tunnel.

So, on January 17, 2005, Hall informed the Ecuadorian government about the location of the cave, which meets the description of Jaramillo, and which, he hoped will be the goal of the expedition, this place turned out to be the bend of the Pastaz river.

For anyone who is interested, the coordinates are: – 77 ° 47’34 ′ west longitude and 1 ° 56’00 ′ south latitude.

Hall thinked it would take decades or a shift in worldview before people can work together for a common purpose. He argued that the 1976 expedition took place only because the military regime was in power; “The democratic bureaucracy will flood the expedition before at least one marshy river meets on the way.”

All that is required is a sense of cooperation and openness. Too many people have tried to use the library as evidence of their own theory of an alien coming, all-conquering Hungarians or the Hall of Records. Perhaps that is why these missions were doomed. Maybe we should let the library speak for itself. Answers to questions regarding who built it, where they came from, etc. we can find inside. After all, is it a library or not?

To this day, dozens of enthusiasts and treasure hunters are engaged in its searches, but so far without success.

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Mysteries

The mystery of strange sounds coming from the sky over Anchorage, Alaska

Recently, many Anchorage residents have heard a strange noise in the early morning hours. A loud noise comes in a distant hum, gets louder, and then disappears. 

Anchorage is the largest city in Alaska, located in the south central part of the state on the shores of Cook Bay.

People many kilometers from each other report that a strange sound abruptly wakes them, sometimes one or even several times for several hours. But no one knows what exactly causes this mysterious metal moan.

The last time it was heard was around 5 a.m. Monday. This signal woke residents from the city center to West Anchorage.

It has been described as creepy, symphonic and also sporadic, sounding for about 20 seconds and then disappearing. This sound is internally loud. You feel this sound.

It’s almost like a foghorn, and screeching metal on metal. It sounds like a submarine scraping the bottom of a pool or something,

Another eyewitness describes this rumble as an “underwater moan.”

Anchorage sound recording 1
Anchorage sound recording 2
Anchorage sound recording 3

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