Mystery History

There She Wasn’t – Miss America. The Ballad of Bette Cooper

Bette Cooper wound up being a 1937 Miss America contestant purely through chance. The 16-year old Hackettstown resident was at Lake Hopatcong’s Bertrand Island amusement park with a few friends when they saw a notice soliciting contestants for the “Miss Bertrand Island” contest. But her reign as pageant queen would be strange and short-lived. Continue reading

A-Bombs Away Off A.C.

On July 28, 1957 two atomic bombs were dropped from a foundering Air Force plane off the coast of New Jersey near Atlantic City. To this day the fate of the two lost nuclear bombs remains shrouded in mystery. Soon after the incident, efforts to recover the bombs were made. Published reports suggested that these efforts were unsuccessful. What was the ultimate fate of the two lost atomic bombs? Continue reading

Hunting for the Buried Treasure of Captain Kidd

Will the ill-gotten fortune of the pirate captain William Kidd ever be found? No one knows. But the next time you’re strolling the shoreline along a New Jersey beach you might just want to keep your eyes open for a shiny souvenir in the rolling surf––because sometimes what glitters may actually be gold. Continue reading

“Lindbergh of Mexico” Goes Down in the Pines

This year marks the 86th anniversary of the fatal crash of Captain Emilio Carranza, the “Mexican Lindbergh,” deep in a remote area of the New Jersey Pine Barrens. Today a isolated monument stands where the doomed aviator fell from the sky. Some say his ghost still haunts the lonely place in the pines. Continue reading

The Unsolved Case of Jeannette DePalma

In this all-but-forgotten unsolved case from 1972, the body of a teenage girl was discovered atop a cliff, high above an abandoned quarry in the town of Springfield. The corpse was found thanks to a dog that brought home a badly decomposed human forearm to its master. The deceased would later be identified as Jeannette DePalma, a local teenager who had been missing for six weeks. Before long, witchcraft, satanism and police conspiracies would all become suspects in the bizarre case. Continue reading

Henry Hudson In Atlantic Highlands

It was on this day, September 13th, in 1609 that Henry Hudson began his exploration of the river that would one day bear his name. Before he ascended the estuary though, Hudson stopped at a small freshwater spring in what is now Atlantic Highlands to collect water for his ship the Half Moon. Continue reading