Fox and Scully are back! After 13 long years, Special Agent Fox Mulder (David Duchovny) and Dana Scully (Gillian Anderson) have returned in Season 10 of X-Files!
For those unfamiliar with the hit 1990s-2000s science fiction show, X-Files portrayed the paranormal cases Fox and Scully investigated in search of "The Truth" , which is about what happened to Fox's sister when he was twelve years old (possible spoiler: aliens might be involved).
With X-Files' Season 10 finally premiering, I thought this would be the perfect opportunity to present five events in Canadian history that have some "paranormal" elements to them. It would be interesting to see if the current six-part series covers any of these locations, but if they don't, I'm sure the truth is still out there.
1. Nightmarish Nahanni National Park
What the heck is going on in Nahanni National Park?
I covered this location in my "Instagramming Canada – Northwest Territories" article and discussed the weird events that have been taking place there. When I wrote that article, I got all my information from "MysteriousUniverse.org", a not-exactly-legitimate website. I was questionable about adding it to my blog since the facts were flaky, but it was a great story so I did anyway. A few months later I discover there's been an addition to the Wikipedia page that discusses the mysteries around the park with a link to a very legitimate website: the official Parks Canada website, which validated the majority of the claims.
The story goes like this: in pre-European days, the aboriginals in the area tell a story of a tribe called the "Naha" that lived in the park. The tribes around the park were terrified of the Naha people as they would raid nearby settlements, decapitate the people living there, and then vanish back into the mountains. This happened for centuries until suddenly it stopped. Nobody knows what happened to the Naha people, with many believing they were just myth.
In the 1700s, Europeans arrived in the area and began setting up trading posts. The arrivals of the fur traders changed where the aboriginal peoples lived, and many moved away from what would later be called Nahanni National Park. In the 1800s the Klondike Gold Rush brought an influx of people to the north, and stories of the Naha people once again gained stature. In 1908 two Metis gold prospectors, Willie and Frank McLeod, were found dead in the park, decapitated. Several more mysterious deaths happened in the following years, leading areas of the park to be renamed pleasant names such as Deadmen Valley, Headless Creek, Headless Range and the Funeral Range.
According to MysteriousUniverse.org, only a fraction of the park has fully been explored. Could there be something in the park? Could it be the Naha tribe, untouched for centuries? Or could it be something more paranormal?
2. Alberta's Bovine Bamboozlement
Crop circles, strange lights, little green men; unless these things are documented with non-fuzzy camera and were witnessed by legitimate sources, they're often dismissed. It takes something tangible for people to sit up and listen, and that's where Alberta's cows come in.
Alberta has a staggeringly high number of cattle mutilations for the number of farms in the province. The mutilations range across the Canadian prairies, but Alberta is the hotspot. The cows are often found in the morning by ranchers, far from the herd, dead on the ground. Autopsy reports find the animals have been completely drained of blood, have their tongue, eyes and genitals removed and are often incapable of rotting. Foxes, crows, flies, maggots, ants or any other scavenger animal you would expect to see around a dead body are mysteriously absent.
Losing a cow is hard on a farm, as the cow can be worth several thousand dollars. Some farmers have had to retire from their businesses all together because these mutilations happen so frequently. RCMP and local law enforcement have no explanation, and insurance companies aren't always willing to cover the costs of the animal since there's no way to say it died by natural causes.
Fox and Scully did once come to Alberta looking for answers, but they came looking for the killer bees. Maybe this time they will come for the cows.
3. Where's Fat Man?
The year was 1950, and the Cold War was in its infancy. It had been one year since the Soviets had exploded their first nuke, and the Arms Race was just ramping up. On February 13th, a Convair B-36 bomber (Flight 2075) left Eielson Airbase in Fairbanks Alaska to Fort Walsh, Texas, in which it would commence a "simulated combat profile" over the skies of Southern California and San Francisco. The plane would also be carrying a four megaton nuclear bomb, equivalent to the one dropped on Nagasaki five years earlier.
The flight would take 16 hours, but 6 hours in, something went wrong.
It was a frigid -40 Celsius day and after climbing to 40,000 feet into the air, Flight 2075 began experiencing heavy ice on the wings of the plane. Trying to unthaw, it lowered to 15,000 feet. Soon the instruments on the plane began failing, and one of the engines caught on fire. Two minutes later, a second engine caught on fire. Then, a third engine was plugged. The plane began dropping at 300 feet a minute.
The crew, realizing they had five minutes to cheat death, locked their final position 90 miles south of Prince Rupert, British Columbia, and jumped. On their way to safety they watched the plane circle the island and then they lost visual of it. They believed it crashed into the ocean.
Two days later, five members of the crew were presumed dead and the plane, along with the nuke, could not be found.
It would take six years before the wreckage was found, but it wasn't found in the ocean, but in the mountains 200 miles away. It is believed that after the crew jumped, the plugged engine restarted and the plane continued on its modified course until slamming into a mountain. While the wreckage of the plane was found, along with a Geiger counter and the bomb detonator, the nuclear weapon was never recovered.
4. Tunnels Below Toronto
"If I tell you what I saw, people will think I was drunk or crazy, they'll never believe me."
In March of 1957, Earnest, a resident in the area of Toronto called Cabbagetown, had lost a kitten from a litter he was supposed to be taking care of. While looking for his kitten, he discovered a small cave near his Parliament Street home. He crawled down into the cave with a flashlight, and after about 10 feet into the darkness, he saw some movement. His flashlight landed on a small creature with slate-grey fur, long teeth, lanky arms and red eyes. The creature looked back at Earnest and said in a hissing voice "Go away, go away" and then scampered down the tunnel into the darkness.
Earnest fled the tunnel, and told his wife Barbara what had happened. A few days later SUN News heard the story and interviewed him. The tunnel was revisited and no creature was found, but it is believed the tunnel might access the sewer system beneath the city. Some city workers who were interviewed say it's possible he saw a homeless person living in the tunnels, or a raccoon or beaver, but they aren't completely sure.
However, some people believe there is a bigger secret under Cabbagetown than just skinny, English-speaking, sewer-dwelling beavers. Some believe Toronto is built over an ancient, underground city and that the area has extremely high electromagnetic fields. The mystery remains unfounded, but when asked if Earnest would ever visit the tunnels again he said "If we could get in there, I sure as hell wouldn't want to go down alone."
5. Mysterious Marysburgh Vortex
What sounds like a Lemony Snicket novel, the Marysburgh vortex is also called the "Bermuda Triangle of the North". This triangle sits in Lake Ontario, with two corners in Canada and the third crossing the border into the United States. The area is at the mouth of the St. Lawrence River and once was heavily populated with hundreds of vessels. Early in its history, stories began of ships mysteriously being sucked into the lake, compasses going haywire and mysterious fires being set aboard ships. Some of these paranormal events have been witnessed by crew members of nearby ships, and there have been no explanations so far. To date over 100 ships have been lost in the Marysburgh Vortex.
But it gets even weirder! According to the Ottawa Citizen, both the Canadian and United States government had a program in place called "Project Magnet" which was part of a worldwide effort to map the shifting magnetic fields of the planet. What they discovered was that something strange was happening in Lake Ontario, right in the center of the Marysburgh Vortex.
The project discovered something below the lake, approximately one kilometer in length, eighteen feet deep and with protrusions around it between two and six feet high. The "Charity Shoal Structure" appears to be a crater from around 460 million years ago during the Ordovician geological period. The Ordovician time period is unique as the Ordovician meteor event occurred around the same time, which brought an explosion of life across the world that has only been matched by the Cambrian explosion. Meteors from the Ordovician event crashed all over North America, and could have been responsible for one of the "Big Five" extinctions that occurred across the planet.
Could the crater under Lake Ontario be home to one of these meteors? Could it have a strong enough magnetic field to suck ships below the lake's waves? Could the meteor have brought interplanetary life with it? Is it possible there's a 460 year old extraterrestrial sea creature living in the lake? Probably not, but ships as recent has 2013 have been found floating in the area without any crew aboard, so the question of Marysburgh Vortex remains, and is one of Canada's Top 5 X-Files.
Image of Nahanni National Park belong to Reddit user, sfbruin. The image of the Toronto tunnel monster belongs to Toronotist. The image of Marysburgh Vortex belongs to The Ottawa Citizen.
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And, as always, a big thank you to my sweetheart Jessica Nuttall for proof reading a countless number of my articles. I couldn't do any of this without you. I love you.
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I was recently asked if I preferred my time in Montreal or Quebec City more, and while Montreal is a gorgeous city, decorated with thousands of green copper spires, hosts incredible festivals, has some of the most fantastic food I have ever tasted, and is spotted with beautiful parks, there was just something about Quebec City that spoke to me. Being over four hundred years old, Quebec City is one of the last remaining "walled cities" in North America, and is the only one north of Mexico. Quebec City was the location of some of the greatest conflicts in Canadian history, including the Siege of Quebec by the British.
Belonging to three very different countries (France, England, and Canada) in its four hundred year existence, Quebec City is a mixing pot of old traditions, new ideas, cobblestone streets and modern architecture. Since there is so much to see in Quebec City, I figured I would narrow it down to a couple and let you discover the rest! Here is "8 Places to Visit in Quebec City".
Eastern State Penitentiary in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania shut its doors in 1970. A year later, in 1971, it would briefly reopen and house inmates from Holmesburg Prison after a devastating riot. After the prisoners were returned to Holmesburg, Eastern State would sit empty for over two decades. It would rot, decay and collapse. Trees and shrubs would grow into the structure and a clowder of cats would take residence. These hallowed halls would sit empty, the only noise being the chatter of startled birds and the trotter of feline paws.
The following decades would see various discussions of what to do with the building. Eventually, it was decided to preserve it and turn it into a tourist attraction. Although it officially opened for tours in 1994, attendants would have to sign a waiver and wear hardhats before entering until 2008. They had 10,000 visitors the opening year, a number of tourists not seen in the prison since 1858.
From 1829 to 1970, Eastern State Penitentiary underwent a variety of changes and transformations. This massive, sprawling, 11-acre complex was founded under the belief that solitary confinement was the cure needed to prevent criminals from committing future crimes. It was believed criminals who served in solitary confinement would turn to a higher power to reconcile with themselves for their crimes – hence feeling "penitent". To assist in this process, each cell was equipped with a slit window on the ceiling nicknamed "The Eye of God". It would be the only light source available to the inmate.
Ever since visiting the Canadian Museum for Human Rights in Winnipeg last summer, I've wanted to include more about First Nations culture on my blog. Being of European descent, I often feel I am culturally blind to First Nations culture, and I noticed a severe lack of it in my writing. In fact, I feel in past articles a lot of my focus has been on European history in the New World, with only a side note regarding First Nations history. Now, I am trying for there to be more equal representation in my blog.
To finish off my #BucketlistAB series, I thought this article would be the perfect place to flip the tables, and instead focus on First Nations culture, with a European side note. Sometimes it is impossible to talk about one without the other, but I tried to focus more on the First Nations people and their story in this article. Please let me know what you think in the comments below.