A 'UFO detector' that set off a bomb scare, a lightning strike that shattered a tree in seconds, and a mysterious 19th-century tunnel discovered under a home in Illinois were among the strange, unusual, and enlightening stories to pop up on our radar this past week.
A farmer in Illinois found himself with a curious mystery on his hands this week when an attempt to repair a sloping sidewalk outside his home revealed a remarkably well-crafted and quite large tunnel that ran beneath his property. Comprised entirely of bricks, the intriguing passage measures approximately nine feet wide by nine feet tall and runs about 60 feet before hitting a huge pile of dirt that blocked wherever the tunnel is meant to lead. Believed to have been constructed around 1840, the purpose of the odd underpass is unknown as it could have been created to hold ice, served as a root cellar, or even been a part of the Underground Railroad.
This past week saw three amusing cases of misidentification wherein something thought to be worrisome wound up being rather benign. First, in Scotland, a viral video of what appeared to be a phantom 'plague doctor' roaming the streets turned out to be merely a grandmother with a long black coat. Then, authorities in New Jersey were forced to call in a bomb squad when a weird device dubbed a 'UFO detector' was found in a state forest. Fortunately, the odd contraption was just some kind of arts and crafts project. And, in Poland, an animal welfare group responding to a call about a terrifying creature lurking in a tree got a good laugh when they came to confront the 'beast' and discovered that it was a croissant.
The awesome power of mother nature was on full display this past week by way of a jaw-dropping video of a sizeable tree in Wisconsin being obliterated by a lightning bolt. Captured by a camera watching over the grounds of a high school in the city of Wautoma, the amazing moment unfolded as students were preparing for a test and a storm swept over the community. Much to the surprise of both the staff and the kids, a monstrous clap of thunder rocked the building and, understandably, left everyone shaken until they checked the footage from the security system and saw a single lightning bolt striking a tree and reducing it to a smoking pile of timber in mere seconds.
For more strange and unusual stories from the past week, check out the Coast to Coast AM website.