Category: Random Thursdays

Alan Shepard: American Badass

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Alan Shepard entered the history books by being the first American in space. And while his launch was overshadowed by that of Yuri Gagarin – which beat his by only a few weeks – his career, talent, and legacy are nothing short of legendary.

Alan Shepard was one of the Mercury 7 astronauts along with Deke Slayton, Gus Grissom, Scott Carpenter, John Glenn, Wally Shira, and Gordon Cooper. This was NASA’s first manned space program.

Alan’s mission was given the name Freedom 7 and he went up on a Mercury Redstone rocket. His flight was suborbital and only lasted 15 minutes, but started the US on the course for the moon.

But Alan Shepard’s early career started as a pilot in the Navy, where he ascended to become a test pilot, testing out the newest fighter jets and helping to decide which ones became part of the Navy’s arsenal.

After his Mercury flight, Shepard was grounded on account of Meniere’s Disease, which causes pressure in the inner ear and creates balance and orientation issues. But after corrective surgery, he was reinstated into the space program and served a commander on the Apollo 14 mission.

The Tragic Life Of Lucia Zarate: The Smallest Woman Ever

Lucia Zarate was a popular sideshow performer in the late 1800s and was billed as the human doll for the fact that she was only 24 inches tall and weighed only 4.7 pounds, a world record to this day.

Learning about Lucia tells us a lot about how the shortest person in the world is determined. It’s more complicated than you think.

Are Repressed Memories Real?

Repressed memories are a subject of intense debate in the academic, therapeutic, and legal fields as people have been charged for crimes based on a mental phenomenon that some believe does not exist.

A repressed memory is a memory of a traumatic event that your mind purposefully forgets in order to protect itself, but in theory the memory never really goes away, it instead enters your subconscious, where it creates anxiety, depression, and self-sabotaging behavior.

Some therapists believe that reviving these memories can help people deal with their issues, but sometimes these memories involve childhood abuse at the hands of people they know, people who often get prosecuted on the basis of these repressed memories.

And this is where things get hazy because many researchers don’t think that repressed memories are really a thing. They also point to the fact that it’s a fairly modern phenomenon, and it’s possible people are actually remembering events of sleep paralysis, where waking people experience vivid, often terrifying hallucinations.

Did The US Navy Teleport A Ship?

The Philadelphia Experiment is the story of a military exercise gone horribly wrong. In October of 1943, the USS Eldridge supposedly was teleported from the shipyards of Philadelphia to Norfolk, Virginia, with some disastrous results.

Much of the mythology of the story comes from a man who went by the name of Carlos Allende, but was he a credible witness? Did the US Navy have a secret program in place in WWII? And is teleportation possible?

The Truth About HH Holmes, America’s First Serial Killer

HH Holmes became known as the Devil in the White City because of the legend that he built a murder castle in Chicago in 1893 with the intent of murdering hundreds of people as they visited the Chicago World Columbian Exposition (which became known as the White City).

He built a hotel with secret walls and rooms so that he could kill people and dispose of their bodies in the basement.

At least, this is the story we’ve all been told. The real story is quite different.