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America's Most Mysterious Places

Source: 24 January 2009 |

Racetrack Playa — Death Valley National Park, California

The Mystery: People have long scratched their heads over the "Sailing Stones," which mysteriously move across the sandy playa's surface on their own, leaving visible tracks in their wake.

Fact: Given that these rocks chart a new course once every three years, it's no wonder no one has ever seen them in motion. Some theorize that, in winter, wet clay and strong winds-which can reach speeds of up to 90 mph-are to blame, but no one is 100 percent certain what causes this curious natural (or unnatural?) phenomena.

Mount Shasta — Redding, California

The Mystery: This stunning snow-capped peak in the Cascade Mountain range, 60 miles south of the Oregon border, has long been considered one of the planet's great "cosmic power spots," luring everyone from Native Americans to Buddhist monks and hippies. Its sacred slopes are home to a potpourri of mysteries: spontaneous altered states; UFO sightings; crystal caves; encounters with Ascended Masters; underground military bases; even the rumored home to Lemurians, surviving members of a sensitive super-race some believe existed 12,000 years ago during the time of Atlantis.

Fact: A chance encounter with a strange group of warm, seemingly enlightened people in Shasta Valley inspired James Hilton to author the classic 1933 novel Lost Horizon, a tale about the idyllic community of Shangri-La. Others claim similar real-life experiences, but the mountain's sheer natural beauty is inspiration enough for most.

EDITOR's NOTE: Is it really any 'wonder' that false prophet Bill Johnson's Bethel church cult would be centered in Redding? Bill claims such weird manifestations inside his church are from God. -POR Admin-

Skinwalker Ranch — Uintah Basin, Utah

The Mystery: Its name may be a tongue-in-cheek twist on filmmaker George Lucas's Skywalker Ranch, but this 480-acre compound in northeastern Utah is the site of many unexplained - and harrowing - incidents: roaring underground noises, the appearance of menacing blue orbs, attacks by shape-shifting beasts, and evidence of animal mutilations.

Fact: Purchased in 1994 by a couple looking to raise cattle and quickly put on the market two years later, the area-according to local Native American folklore-is legendary for its dark energies. The ranch is now managed by the National Institute for Discovery Sciences, a paranormal research organization.

Oregon Vortex — Gold Hill, Oregon

The Mystery: Measuring 165 feet in diameter and known for producing intense feelings of vertigo, this curious site in southern Oregon has attracted visitors since the 1930s. Here, balls roll uphill, brooms stand on end, and people appear to grow and shrink inside its centerpiece, a former gold mining outpost called the House of Mystery.

Fact: Whether caused by gravity anomalies, a concentration in the Earth's magnetic fields, or paranormal presence, the Vortex's strange phenomena is well documented, and animals still refuse to enter its sphere. Native Americans referred to it as Forbidden Ground.

The Paulding Light — Paulding, Michigan

The Mystery: For more than a century, on clear nights, unidentified spheres of light appear like clockwork on the horizon of this four corners town. To date, there's no logical explanation for the luminescent red, white, and green balls that dance on the edge of the forest, but they are rumored to be the ghost of a railroad brakeman who met his fate on the tracks.

Fact: Locals and the curious regularly line up by the dozens for the bizarre light show; the Michigan Forest Service has even posted signs guiding sky-gazers to the best viewing spots.

Coral Castle — Homestead, Florida

The Mystery: Made from 1,100 tons of megalithic-style limestone boulders - some heavier than the Pyramids' and bigger than those at Stonehenge - this unusual structure, located 25 miles south of Miami, was built from 1923 to 1951 by a single man, a diminutive Latvian immigrant named Edward Leedskalnin, as an homage to the love of his life who left him on the eve of their wedding. But how did he do it?

Fact: Leedskalnin claimed he knew the secret to the Great Pyramids' construction, and was once witnessed levitating stones. Other construction details-no mortar, precision seams, impossible balancing acts-have also stumped scientists for decades.

EDITOR's NOTE: Interesting that false prophet Marty Layton claims to be from Homestead, FL also. -POR Admin-

Sattva Sanctuary — Trout Lake, Washington

The Mystery: At the base of Mount Adams lies an incredible hotbed of UFO activity: a wooded ranch-cum-spiritual retreat owned by James Gilliland. The founder of Enlightened Contact with ExtraTerrestrial Intelligence and the Self-Mastery Earth Institute has been hosting seekers at "the ranch" since 1986. Thanks to so many unexplained light shows, almost no one leaves disappointed.

Fact: Countless visitors to the consciousness-raising compound, including many prominent scientists, report staggering UFO eyewitness accounts: documented sightings, sounds, even alleged contact of the third kind. One wave included as many as 50 unidentified craft. The curious public is welcome Monday through Thursday to conduct its own sky-watches. (Reservations: 509-395-2092.) Coincidentally, it was after seeing a UFO near Mount Adams in 1947 that pilot Kenneth Arnold first coined the term "flying saucer."

Ringing Rocks Park — Bucks County, Pennsylvania

The Mystery: Deep in the woods in this 128-acre park is a large field of mysterious boulders that, when struck, sound like bells, as if they are hollow and made of metal. Each summer, hundreds of visitors flock here, hammers in hand, to perform their own "rock concerts."

Fact: While scientists have determined the stones are made from a volcanic substance called diabase, there's no explanation for their unusual ringing properties, nor for the eight-acre field itself, which is situated high on a hillside, not at the bottom, ruling out that it may have been formed by a glacier or avalanche.

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