Chilling Photos Reveal A Different Side To History
Princess Diana on a yacht in Portofino, Italy, one week before she passed in 1997
Within an instant of looking at each of these photos you'll realize that something is off, but look closer and you'll see that they're absolutely chilling. These snapshots not only offer a look into the dark recesses of every day life, but they show the way in which Mother Nature seems to be conspiring against us at every turn.
These rarely seen photos are sure to shock even the most mature readers. You'll want to make sure you keep the lights on while you peruse these eerie, photographs from some of the most spine tingling moments in history.
Use caution while reading the stories behind these unforgettable photos... they're not for all ages. If you look deep into these rare photos they'll shock you to the core.
This shot of Princess Diana sitting on the diving board of the private yacht "Jonikal," owned by her boyfriend, Mohammed Al Fayed, is from the final holiday she ever took. In the summer of 1997, Diana was trying to reinvent herself, to remove herself from the public eye and become a person again.
In late July she traveled to Saint Tropez in the South of France where she spent time on Fayed's yacht and the Fayed family's 30-bedroom villa, Castle St. Therese, with her sons, William and Harry. It's clear from this photo that even when she was alone she was never really alone.
Photographers were constantly hounding her, even when she was in the middle of the ocean. There was nowhere she could go where she was safe.
Polaroid of Farrah Fawcett taken by Andy Warhol in 1979
There's no doubt that Farrah Fawcett is one of the most beautiful women of the 1970s, so it's not a surprise that Andy Warhol wanted to snap a Polaroid of her for his series of somewhat candid shots of famous people. At the time, the photo was a one-off lark, but as time has gone on, original paintings of the photo have become pieces of contention for Fawcett's family.
Warhol painted two portraits of Fawcett after she posed for him in September 1980, and even though Fawcett claimed that the portrait was hers when she passed away in 2009, he former partner Ryan O'Neal claimed that it was his. This wasn't a big deal until her will stated that "all" of her artwork would go to the University of Texas, but O'Neal wanted to keep the portrait, which has been appraised to be worth $18 million, for himself.
O'Neal won the painting in a trial after claiming that it was his final connection to Fawcett, saying:
I talk to [the painting], I talk to her. It’s her presence in my life and her son’s life. We lost her. It would seem a crime to lose it.
But now it seems that O'Neal no longer has compunctions about holding onto the piece.
A photo from inside Japan Airlines Flight 123 as it went down over Japan
There's a normalcy to this photo of Japan Airlines Flight 123 moments before crashing into the side of a mountain that's absolutely terrifying. Sure, the oxygen masks have been deployed, but everyone just seems so... calm. It's horrible.
For the passengers of Flight 123, August 12, 1985, was just another day. Some of them were going on vacation, others were visiting family, but as soon as the plane ascended to 24,000 feet the pilot reported that they were losing altitude. The plane went down to 10,000 feet, it became harder and harder to steer back to the Tokyo airport, they were staring death in the face.
45 minutes after takeoff, the plane crashed headfirst into Mount Takamagahara. It took 14 hours for emergency rescue crews to reach the crash site, of the 524 people onboard only four survived.
Juliane Koepcke was the sole survivor aboard LANSA Flight 508, she lived in the jungle for 11 days following the crash
On Christmas Eve 1971, Juliane Koepcke was ready to go home for the holidays. When she boarded LANSA Flight 508 at the Lima Airport in Peru with her mother, Maria, Koepcke thought it was just be another day, but when the plane was hit by lightning over the Peruvian rainforest it was anything but ordinary.
Koepcke survived a two-mile fall into the jungle, and at just 17 years old she maneuvered though the trees with a need to get to safety. She had a broken collarbone, cuts across her body and ruptured ligaments in her knee, but she could walk, so that's what she did.
All alone in the jungle, Koepcke avoided dangerous animals, sucked maggots out of her wounds, and survived on nothing but a bag of candy that she found before passing out in a hut that she came upon along the way. When she woke up she was surrounded by a group of locals. She told the BBC:
When [the locals] saw me, they were alarmed and stopped talking. They thought I was a kind of water goddess - a figure from local legend who is a hybrid of a water dolphin and a blonde, white-skinned woman. I introduced myself in Spanish and explained what had happened. They treated my wounds and gave me something to eat and the next day took me back to civilization. The day after my rescue, I saw my father. He could barely talk and in the first moment we just held each other.
At least 10 men being buried at sea from the USS Intrepid
This shot of a burial at sea on the USS Intrepid was taken after a kamikaze attack in November 1944, just over a year after it went to sea. The USS Intrepid was commissioned on August 16, 1943, joining the U.S. Navy in the middle of World War II, and it fought its way through the Pacific Ocean, earning accolades along the way.
While in the Philippines, the Intrepid was embroiled in brutal warfare with Japanese fighter pilots who did their best to crash in the middle of the ship's flight deck whenever they were hit. Across the Intrepid men fought fires, tried to get rid of smoke, and they still had fighter pilots to worry about.
The crew managed to save the ship but the damage was terrible. There were two gaping holes in the flight deck leading down into a burnt out hangar. Two of three aircraft elevators were out of operation, twenty-two planes were destroyed, and the ship was out of commission for the foreseeable future. On top of it all all, many men lost their lives in an attack and were buried deep in the middle of the Pacific Ocean.
After undercover cops arrested her, this exotic dancer showed off in court, Florida 1983
It's insane that in a state like Florida in a time like the *checks notes* early '80s would bust exotic dancers for wearing "revealing" bottoms, but that's how we got to this photo. This dancer figured that the best way to prove to a judge that she was dressed appropriately for work was to bend over and give him a show... but not too much.
The photo ended up going around the world thanks to getting picked up by Playboy. Tampa Bay Times staff photographer Jim Damaske snapped this classic photo, and he remembers that it was just like any other day at work... just with exotic dancers showing off their underwear:
I was shooting freelance for the Clearwater Sun and UPI when the Sun got a tip what was going to happen. I got the call. Exotic dancers said that their shorts were too big to show what the undercover officers said they saw. The judge agreed with the dancers after they bent over. The photo went out on the UPI wire, which is how it got picked up everywhere.
Criminals could be locked up in a wooden box in Mongolia
Some countries do things different, and Mongolia is definitely one of them. This photo from 1913, taken by French photographer Albert Kahn shows a woman who was condemned to a slow and painful death by starvation. She was placed inside a wooden crate and deposited the desert.
To make matters worse (if that's possible) the bowls on the ground were filled with water and when they were empty the prisoner could beg for food and more water if they wanted, but it would really just be prolonging death.
Kahn claimed that the woman was condemned to death for adultery, but researchers doubt the authenticity of his claim.
A very pregnant Sharon Tate lounges by the pool on Cielo Drive
This photo isn't just a shot of a beautiful woman relaxing around her pool while waiting to give birth, it's the very pregnant Sharon Tate who is blissfully unaware of the fate that awaits her. Eight months pregnant when she was killed, Tate was settling at her home on Cielo Drive in Los Angeles. She was surrounded by friends Jay Sebring and Abigail Folger when Tex Watson and members of the Manson family broke into the home.
Everyone in the house on Cielo Drive was slaughtered, but things could have been different if one of the members of the Manson family had done something. Manson girl and accomplice to Tate's murder, Linda Kasabian remembers:
I saw a woman in a white dress and she had blood all over her and she was screaming and she was calling for her mom. I saw Katie stabbing her. I thought about going to a house where there were lights down the road and then I said, 'No, don't do that, because they'll find me and kill all those people'. So I went down the hill and I got into the car and I just stayed there and waited.
Underage Phoebe Cates rocking a bikini in 1982 🔞
Phoebe Cates came to prominence in the 1980s playing sultry, barely legal babes in films like Private School and Fast Times at Ridgemont High. On the surface, these sexually charged roles may not seem out of the ordinary for a young star, but Cates was incredibly young when she filmed her first nude scene in the film Paradise. Although, to hear Cates tell it, that's what she had to do if she wanted to be in film:
I was only 17 when I did my nude scenes in Paradise. They were serious and more difficult because they were not easily justified. But the topless scene in Fast Times at Ridgemont High was funny, which made it easy. In this business, if a girl wants a career, she has to be willing to strip. If you've got a good bod, then why not show it?
Marilyn Monroe in one of her final photos at Santa Monica Beach, 1962. 😘
Hanging out on the beach, enjoying the sand and surf, Marilyn Monroe looks like she's got her whole life ahead of her. Regardless of her personal ups and downs she was always a welcome presence on the big screen. Sadly, this photo and the rest of the set were some of the last shots ever taken of her.
George Barris, who snapped this photo on the beach in Santa Monica, California, on July 13, just weeks before her death in 1962 had no idea the amount of stress his subject was under. She'd just been fired from Something's Got to Give, supposedly because of her chronic lateness and absenteeism, and she was still reeling from her divorce with Arthur Miller.
Barris says that the two became lifelong friends on the set of The Seven Year Itch after she caught him taking snaps of her backside. They were so close that she called him a few days before she passed away. In 2012, he told the Los Angeles Daily News:
She called me on Friday, and I was in New York, and she wanted to know if I could come to see her that weekend and that it was urgent...
He never saw her again.
German General Anton Dostler moments before he was executed by firing squad
This chilling photo tells you everything you need to know about the trials that followed World War II. German general Anton Dostler waiting stoically for death as members of the Allied forces go about their duty; it's as if they're all performing in a play. Dostler was killed by a firing squad shortly after this photo was taken, but if he had been more cautious during the war it's likely he never would have been in this position.
On March 22, 1944, Dostler learned that some of his men had captured 15 U.S. soldiers, so he sent a memo out ordering the German soldiers to execute the commandos. The soldiers tried to convince him otherwise, after all it was a breach of the contract of war, but Dostler told them to carry out his wishes.
Following the war, Dostler was taken prisoner by the U.S. Army. When they discovered his order he was placed on trial on May 8, 1945. Dostler gave he famous defense that he was only following orders, but that didn't do much. He was found guilty of war crimes and sentenced to death by a 12-man firing squad on December 1, 1945.
Photographed in 1880, Myrtle Corbin was born a dipygus having two separately functioning pelvises and four legs
Known as P.T. Barnum’s “Four-Legged Girl From Texas," this photo of Myrtle Corbin is anything but an optical illusion. Corbin was born with two sets of legs, as well as two sets of internal and external reproductive anatomies. Corbin's seven brothers and sisters were all born without extra appendages, but Myrtle came out of the womb with two sets of legs, one average sized, and one small. The two small legs were side by side, flanked on either side by two normal legs, although one of those had a clubbed foot.
Corbin move her smaller, inner legs, but they weren't strong enough for her to walk on and not long enough to touch the ground. In 1881, when she was only 13 years old, Corbin became a sideshow performer and her father charged people a dime a piece to take a look at her.
It wasn't long before she was earning $450 a week and attracting so much attention that P.T. Barnum hired her for his sideshow. She worked for Barnum for four years before retiring at the age of 18 and settling down with a doctor in 1885. After marrying and giving birth, Corbin passed away in 1928 from a streptococcal skin infection.
A leader of the feminist movement, Gloria Steinem went undercover at the Playboy Club during its heyday
Ask 99 out of 100 people and Gloria Steinem's name will be associated with the 1960s and '70s waves of feminism, not Playboy Magazine. However, early in her career she went undercover at the Playboy Club in New York City to write an expose on the day to day of working for a company that claimed to hip with women's lib, even while it was exploiting their bodies.
This photo doesn't show Steinem, but it's an accurate representation of her outfit. Steinem ended up working the floor at the club, and discovered that the women were paid poorly and expected to wear tight fitting clothes, very high heels, and to undergo invasive medical procedures if they wanted a job. Her two part expose, "A Bunny's Tale," ran in Show magazine and made major waves.
Playboy owner Hugh Hefner paid lip service to the problems in pay and the treatment of the women brought up in the expose, and Steinem didn't work again for years.
An “icebox” facial beauty treatment, 1966
The icebox facial treatment was originally created to help keep a starlet's makeup in place between, the cold was supposed to make sure that nothing melted under the hot studio lights. Supposedly, once this Hollywood secret got out gals from all over the country started using these bad boys.
These masks didn't catch on like wildfire, but the cold is definitely good for your skin. Ice facials especially are good for taking care of puffy skin and jet lag, and they're also great for flare ups and breakouts. You don't need to wear a mask like this to take care of your skin, on the contrary, you can just hold a cold face cloth against your skin for a few seconds at a time.
A rare photo of the notorious Bonnie and Clyde, 1933
We think of Bonnie and Clyde as the unstoppable, rag tag couple who ran roughshod through the south, robbing banks and inspiring legends everywhere they went but this photo reveals the dark truth behind the iconic couple.
This snapshot of Bonnie and Clyde show just how young they were. Their romantic embrace in this photo makes it clear why so many people were attracted to their story. Even if they were hardened criminals, you wanted to root for them.
By the time Parker and Barrow were gunned down on May 23, 1934, the fascination surrounding them had grown dark. Crowds of people surrounded their fresh corpses, grabbing at locks of their hair and clothing before they could be cleared away by the authorities. That dark end is a long way from the love seen in this photo.
Ivanka Trump with her dad, Donald, in the back of a limo
There's something chilling about this shot of Donald Trump and his daughter Ivanka canoodling in the back of limo, although we can't quite put our finger on it. While this photo could just be a harmless shot of a father and daughter taken out of context, Trump has said some strange things about his offspring. For instance, while guesting on the Howard Stern Show in 2003 he offered up this piece of info:
You know who's one of the great beauties of the world, according to everybody? And I helped create her. Ivanka. My daughter, Ivanka. She's 6 feet tall, she's got the best body.
In a separate interview with The View he gave us another strange morsel of information, this time it was much more worrisome:
Ivanka posing for Playboy would be really disappointing…not really. But it would depend on what was inside the magazine… I don't think Ivanka would [do a nude shoot] inside the magazine, although she does have a very nice figure. I've said that if Ivanka weren't my daughter, perhaps I'd be dating her.
These melted mannequins were some of the only survivors from the fire at Madame Tussauds
If you haven't had a dose of nightmare fuel yet then this should do it for you. This horrifying scene shows what was left of a horrible fire at London's Madame Tussauds in 1925. When a blaze tore through the upper floors, the building full of wax figures became a real life house of horror.
The Baker Street attraction was pretty much entirely destroyed, and left a skeleton of its former self. There were wax limbs and body parts strewn through the once amazing English landmark.
For nearly an hour and a half on March 18, 1925, the fire burned through the building, melting members of Parliament, world leaders, sports personalities, historical characters and infamous criminals. The fire put Madame Tussauds out of business for years. Not only were the upper floors fire damaged, but the bottom of the building was soaked with water from the fire fighters. These figures were all that remained.
Hans Georg Henke, a 16 year old German soldier photographed crying
The story of Hans Georg Henke, a 16 year old German solider forever immortalized weeping after he was captured by the allies is one that has changed over time. In 1944, Henke's parents were dead and he had no choice but to join the Luftwaffe.
When hew was captured a year later he claimed that was based in Stettin with a battery of 88mm guns and captured by the Soviets. Henke claims that when the photo was taken he was crying because he learned that the Germans had lost the war.
However, American photojournalist John Florea says this isn't the case. Florea claims that he took the photos of Henke in the village of Hüttenberg-Rechtenbach, which is just north of Frankfurt am Main. Florea goes onto say that Henke wasn't crying for the end of the way, but from the shock of being overrun by American forces. Either way, it makes perfect sense that a 16 year old would be freaking out after going through war.
16 year old Demi Moore bared all for Oui magazine before she was of age
We know Demi Moore from her portrayal of young seductresses from films like St. Elmo's Fire and Ghost, but long before she became on of the most sought after stars of the era she was a teenage model who was taking whatever work she could to stay afloat.
One of her first major shoots was a not so totally above board photography session with French magazine Oui. At the time Moore just wanted to work and she claims that she lied about her age in order to get the job. She’s told various interviewers that she was either 16 or 17 years old when the photos were taken. Moore told the New York Times about this time in her life:
When I was younger, I was obligated to be of service. I wouldn’t be loved if I wasn’t — if I didn’t give of myself. My value was tied into my body.”
Ian Curtis with his daughter, days before he hung himself in 1980
Ian Curtis was able to touch the darkness inside of everyone. Listeners of Joy Division know that Curtis had an ability to speak to the emptiness that the world walks around with on a day to day basis, but his ability came with a price.
It was clear that Curtis was depressed. His lyrics, the perfect accompaniment to the cold, distant music made by his bandmates were brimming with loss, and anger at himself, his marriage, and the world around him. Curtis was a genius, but he needed serious help, help that he never received.
In April, 1980, Curtis attempted to take his own life with a bottle of pills, but told his bandmates that it was just an accidental overdose, nothing to worry about. Drummer Stephen Morris recalls that Curtis was amazing at making everyone feel at ease, even when he was going through hell. He said:
Ian would always say what you wanted to hear. He was in a spiral, and it was just getting worse... He was a very determined person. If he was going to do something he certainly wouldn't discuss it with you. I remember coming back from rehearsals one day and we took a short cut through the graveyard and I said to him, 'You're lucky, your name could be on one of those stones if you'd succeeded the other week. You really want to think about it, it's not worth ending up like that.' He was just like, 'Right, yeah, right.' No connection in the response.
On May 19th, a day before Joy Division were scheduled to leave for their first American tour, Curtis hung himself in his kitchen.
Sonny and Cher enjoying the sun in their swimsuits
Nothing says "I've Got You Babe" like this photo, well, aside from the song where Sonny and Cher sing the phrase over and over again, but you get it. The first couple of '60s pop may look like major lovebirds in this photo, but when they met in 1963, there was anything but stars in their eyes for one another.
In 1963, Cher was a 16 year old wannabe singer, and Sonny was a 27 year old man who was hitting on Cher's friends after he separated from his first wife. Both Sonny and Cher say that their early relationship was totally platonic, but it's still a little creepy, right?
After her roommates kicked her out of her apartment, Cher had no place to go bu Sonny's. He told her that she could live with him as long as she cleaned - which she never did - but after a while the two grew onto one another and formed a relationship out of the need to protect one another. Cher's mother later told Ladies' Home Journal:
It's strange, but at the time Sonny was the spitting image of her father, Johnny Sarkisian. I think the father image had a great deal to do with Cher’s feelings, but I didn’t think it would have helped it I’d told that to Cher. When a girl is as much in love with a man as she was, not much can be done about it.
Irish guards remain at attention after a fellow guardsman faints in front of the Queen, 1966
What in the world could have caused this guard to fall face first in front of the Queen? Was it a missed shot by an assassin? A prank gone wrong? Nothing of the sort. According to the photographer behind the photo, James P. Blair, he was was just overheated. Blair explained to National Geographic:
In June, the Queen has her birthday celebration, and she rides her horse around this square, and all of the soldiers are lined up, and I was there to get pictures of the Queen riding around, and anything else that would happen. This was a very long telephoto lens, an 800-millimeter. I was on the press stand and was able to photograph across the whole courtyard, when this guy fell over... He was almost immediately scooped up. The medical people came out about 30 seconds after I took this picture and scooped him up and took him back to the infirmary and took care of him. But I was told afterwards that you’re literally trained to fall at attention. If you’re standing at attention, you fall at attention, and it was just like a toy soldier falling over. I don’t think I got the falling process. I think I saw it out of the corner of my eye and I was focused on the Queen, and I swiveled around, click, click, click, and made that photograph.
John Lennon with his killer, Mark David Chapman
John Lennon is a man whose likeness has been captured in thousands of photographs, but it's this last one that's most chilling. The photo shows the former Beatle standing next to the man who pulled the trigger and ended his life, Mark David Chapman. Taken on December 8, 1980 outside the Dakota, the apartment building where Lennon lived with his wife, Yoko Ono.
Snapped at around 5:00 PM, the photo shows Lennon signing autographs and just being a class act. When he returned to the apartment building around 10:45 PM he was met by Chapman, who brandished a .38 caliber handgun and pulled the trigger. After the murder, Chapman waited patiently for the police to arrive.
Chapman has been up for parole 11 times, and each time Lennon's widow Yoko Ono has written letters to keep him in jail. In 2015, Ono told the Daily Beast, “One thing I think is that he did it once, he could do it again, to somebody else."
No one looks good in these creepy masks for the "Miss Beautiful Eyes" contest in the 1930s
Have you ever wanted to see a beauty pageant that doesn't focus on a woman's face? What about the gorgeous eyes of all these beautiful ladies? Enter: The "Miss Beautiful Eyes" pageants of the 1930s, '40s, and '50s.
These contests specifically sought after “non-pin-up types” with different means for searching out their winners. Some contests just had women place handkerchiefs over the bottom half of their faces while other contests, like this one, had contestants wear insane masks.
As wild as these masks are, they definitely do the job of making you focus on a woman's eyes and not her face. Or maybe we're just focusing on the mask and not the eyes? Thank goodness these contests are long gone.
Duchenne de Boulogne using electrical probes to stimulate the facial muscles, 1862
To give the Duchenne smile one uses not just the mouth, but the eyes as well. It engages both the zygomatic and orbiculares oculi muscle, raising the cheeks and forming crow's feet around the eyes. How do we know this? Because Guillaume-Benjamin-Amand Duchenne de Boulogne carried out several electrophysiological studies between 1854 and 1856 to get to the bottom of exactly how the human face works.
As nice as smile experiments may sound, they were far from relaxing. Take a look at this photo and you'll see that they were downright horrifying. To study facial muscles, Duchenne placed electrical probes to the faces of his test subjects and produced chilling expressions of surprise, pain, and terror.
Thankfully, the experiments themselves where as ghastly as the photos make them seem. The photos may be horrifying but Duchenne advanced the fields of neurology in ways that have continued to help patients in the many years since his death, all by giving people al little shock.
On February 12, 1946, hours after being honorably discharged from the United States Army, Isaac Woodard was attacked while still in uniform by South Carolina police as he was taking a bus home
This horrific visual isn't the outcome of war, sadly it's what happened to 26 year old black Army veteran Isaac Woodard when he returned to the states and headed home to Winnsboro, South Carolina. During a stop on Georgia, Woodard asked if he had time to use the bathroom, and got into a verbal altercation with the bus driver.
When the bus stopped again in Batesburg, South Carolina, the bus driver told the local police about the confrontation and Woodward was removed from the bus. Before Woodard could explain what happened a police officer struck him with a nightstick and he was taken to jail where he was beaten in the face by local police chief until he blacked out. The local chief of police, Linwood Shull denied claims that he assaulted Woodward, but Woodward didn't just go blind from nothing.
Woodard was later taken to a veteran's hospital where doctors told him that he was permanently blind.
Muhammad Ali talks a suicidal veteran down from a high rise, 1981
By 1981, Muhammad Ali was no longer the brash young fighter who took on all comers and stung them with words as easily as he did with his fists. He was only months away from his final bought, a match against Trevor Berbick, one that he los after ten rounds. Ali's physical decline didn't remove his stature in the least, people continued to rally around him because of his hard work with the community and the way he defended people who couldn't help themselves.
On Jan. 19, 1981, a young man who only gave his name as Joe was suicidal and threatening to jump out of a window in the Miracle Mile neighborhood of Los Angeles. People were on the street screaming for him to jump, the police were trying to get him down, but the young man didn't listen. Joe told everyone who would listen that he was “no good,” but a few minutes later boxing legend Muhammad Ali drove up the street in a Rolls-Royce. He ran into the building and up to a nearby window where he shouted for the young man to re-evaulate his life.
According to the New York Times, Ali leaned out a nearby window and shouted, “You’re my brother! I love you, and I couldn’t lie to you,” before getting out on the fire escape and guiding the man inside and taking him to a near by veteran’s hospital.
A logger discovers a mummified dog discovered inside the trunk of a hollow tree in the 1980s
Readers, meet "Stuckie." Stuckie was a (presumably) sweet dog who got himself stuck in a tree and was mummified. It's a story that's made out of pure nightmare fuel but that's how we get this horrifying image. Stuckie was found in the 1980s by a group of loggers who were unloading their lumber truck and discovered him inside a chestnut oak tree.
Rather than pulp Stuckie, the loggers sent him to Forest World, a tourist attraction in Georgia that's all about trees. The well preserved pooch was likely mummified 20 years before his discovery, as the folks at Forest World explain:
A chimney effect occurred in the hollow tree, resulting in an upward draft of air. This caused the scent of the dead animal to be carried away, which otherwise would have attracted insects and other organisms that feed on dead animals. The hollow tree also provided relatively dry conditions, and the tannic acid of the oak helped harden the animal's skin.
A black woman watches as robed Klansmen walk in downtown Montgomery, Alabama, prior to a cross burning rally that night, November 24, 1956 ☠️
In the 1950s the south was as divided as it had ever been, even during the Civil War. At the time, Alabama was in the middle of a whirlwind of the burgeoning civil rights movement and the last gasp of the Jim Crowe era, and the having the Klan around didn't make things any easier for people of color.
In this era members of the KKK were open about their membership in this brotherhood of creeps, and they did everything they could to terrorize anyone who wasn’t a white man. Simply by walking down the street and taking up space they oppressed everyone in their vicinity.
Even though the civil rights movement stamped out this era of racism in the south, it's always going to be an unfortunate reality of life - thankfully members of this hate group have gone back to under a rock.
Barbara Roufs ended her life after she left the racing scene
There's one face synonymous with the drag racing scene in the 1960s, Barbara Roufs. This beautiful trophy girl appeared in the golden era of the two-lane black top and wowed racers and fans alike with her va-va-voom looks and hair that was as straight as a six cylinder engine.
Roufs brought races to life, giving everyone something to look forward to even if they didn't care about cars, winners, or losers. Many of the photos of Roufs that you'll see online were taken by Tom West, one of the premiere guys behind the camera of the '60s. West and Roufs were friends during her heyday, but they lost touch when he moved to New York.
It wasn't until West tried to reconnect with Roufs in the 2000s that he discovered the sad truth about his old friend. A few years after retiring from the racing circuit she committed suicide. She was 47 years old, she left behind a daughter and a grand daughter.
Budd Dwyer, moments before committing suicide on live television
One of the most shocking moments on television doesn't come from reality TV or a news story, but from the press conference of convicted politician R. Budd Dwyer, who committed suicide live on TV. In 1987, most people had no idea who Budd Dwyer was, but after his live suicide the country was sent reeling from the graphic death.
On January 15, 1987, Dwyer, the acting Pennsylvania State Treasurer, sat down for a meeting to discuss hosting a press conference. Dwyer's confidants felt that he would resign due to being convicted on convictions connected to bribery even though he held out and stated his innocence.
Months earlier, Dwyer was found guilty on 11 counts of conspiracy, mail fraud, perjury, and interstate transportation in aid of racketeering. He faced a sentence of up to 55 years of imprisonment and a $300,000 fine. Dwyer claimed innocence throughout the case, but his cries fell on deaf ears. Instead, he hosted a press conference and gave a speech before killing himself on live television. He said in part:
I’ve repeatedly said that I’m not going to resign as State Treasurer. After many hours of thought and meditation I’ve made a decision that should not be an example to anyone because it is unique to my situation. Last May I told you that after the trial, I would give you the story of the decade. To those of you who are shallow, the events of this morning will be that story... Goodbye to you all on the count of 3. Please make sure that the sacrifice of my life is not in vain.
A black police officer helps demonstrator at KKK rally
It doesn't matter who you are or what you stand for, the police are given the job of defending the free speech of someone whether they like what they’re saying or not. That's a part of the job description that few people think of, and that likely makes it hard to go to work every day. Especially when you know that you've got to patrol a KKK rally.
This photo shows a black officer who was tasked with keeping Klan members safe during a rally in Austin, Texas after things got out of hand. Which isn't a surprise. According to UPI, in 1983 2,000 protestors surrounded 70 klansmen during their march near the Capitol and started throwing bricks and rocks to get them to leave. The police had to make sure that no one got hurt.
During the rally 13 people were arrested and 11 people were injured, including four officers and one reporter.
This buff chunky monkey was four times stronger than most humans 💪🏽
You never want to run into a primate in a dark alley, that's the whole point of Murders in the Rue Morgue, but you really don't want to come face to face with this muscle bound primate when it's in a bad mood.
You might be wondering why this monkey is so shredded. Is he chomping down protein powder by the fistfuls? No way! He got ripped through science. Aside from the fact that primates have a pretty cardio heavy lifestyle as is, their muscle fibers that are closest to the bones are longer and more dense. This means that chimps are able to generate more power by using the same range of motion as a human.
Don't get jealous. Chimps have less control over their muscles so they often use more strength than necessary.
Princess Diana hides in the back of a limo moments before it crashes on the streets of Paris
For a woman who was so beautiful and well regarded as Princes Diana, it's horrendous that this is her last photo. Taken moment before her car careened into a part of a tunnel and crashing in front of the very paparazzi she was trying to escape, it shows the terror of her final moments.
After returning from holiday with her boyfriend Dodi Al Fayed, Diana was ready to take a step back from the public eye. She wanted to focus on herself for a change, and after all of her charity work she deserved it. On the night of August 30, 1997, she and Fayed enjoyed a late dinner at the Ritz's L’Espadon restaurant before trying to lose the photographers who followed her every movement.
The couple slipped into a black Mercedes S 280 driven by Henri Paul, the hotel's assistant director of security and made their way down the Seine. When their car made it to the Place de l'Alma they were circled by seven cameramen on five motorcycles, then came the crash. A waiter named Jerome Laumonier who was near the entrance of the bridge told People:
There was this huge, violent, terrifying crash followed by the lone sound of a car horn.
Fayed died on the scene, Diana held on until 4:57 a.m. and the world was shaken forever.
An Italian Girl from Tunisia - Claudia Cardinale
Claudia Cardinale is an actress who looks like she has it all: beautiful looks, a happy smile, and filmography that counts Fellini and Leone among her contemporaries. It's a life that anyone would want, but there's a darkness shrouding her early success.
After winning “Most Beautiful Italian Girl in Tunisia” in 1957 she found out that she was pregnant by a man who had no interest in raising the child with her, and when she signed her contract with Vides Cinematografica, a production company run by powerful Italian producer Franco Cristaldi he sent her child away to be raised by a family member and signed her into a contract that turned her into an indentured servant. She told the LA Times:
I was doing four movies a year. I was paid almost nothing. When I met the father of Claudia, he saw that I had nothing in the bank.
The final moments of Doctor Martin Luther King Jr.'s life
When Doctor Martin Luther King Jr. stepped out onto the balcony of the Lorraine Motel in Memphis, Tennessee, the last thing he expected was to be struck down by an assassin. This photo, snapped just moments before he was shot at 6:05 p.m. on April 4, 1968, shows him for what he was, a man who surrounded by friends.
Shortly after this photo was taken he was struck in the neck by a bullet fired by a man named James Earl Ray. as King was taken to the hospital, Ray escaped from the crime scene. King passed away an hour after he was shot.
Ray nearly escaped his fate. He made it all the way to Heathrow Airport in London before he was arrested on June 8, and brought back to America to stand trial. He claimed that he was the victim of a deep conspiracy, but his fingerprints were all over the rifle used in the attack. For his crime he was sentenced to 99 years to life. Meanwhile, Doctor King and his teachings remain immortal.
Look closer and see the size of the snake and the kangaroo being pulled out of the water in Western Australia
If you weren't aware yet, nature is seriously effing scary. Who knew that there were snakes who could straight pull an animal out of the water when they get hungry? Does this make anyone else want to stay inside forever?
This snake is known as an olive python or a water python, and while it's not poisonous it is a seriously vicious monster. In all likelihood even if you come across one of these bad boys in the wild it's not going to attack you unless you get on its nerves.
Olive pythons can grow to up to 16 feet long, unhinge their bottom jaw and swallow animals that are much larger than their circumference. It's genuinely upsetting that a monster like this can exist, but as long as you're not in the wilds of Australia you should be fine. Right?
Conrad Veidt as Gwynplaine, the inspiration for the Joker, in "The Man Who Laughs
With his deep set eyes, angular face, and thousand yard stare, Conrad Veidt was the perfect horror villain even when he was't appearing in horror films. Born at the turn of the century in Berlin, Veidt began acting in 1916, starring in The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari, and the disfigured circus performer whose face is cut into a permanent grin in The Man Who Laughs.
This character not only served as visual inspiration for the Joker, Batman's clown-like foil, but the story of his face being forced into a grin has popped up in various forms of the character's backstory over the years.
It's hard to get anyone to agree on anything when it comes to the creation of the Joker, but the one thing that his creators can agree on is that Conrad Veidt’s Gwynplaine and his rictus grin was the catalyst for the Clown Prince of Crime who first appeared in Batman No. 1 (1940). The look of the character has changed quite a bit since his inception, but artists and writers consistently return to Veidt's performance to study the ur text of the sad clown.
A soldier burns a hut in Vietnam
Americans were already on the fence about the Vietnam War by the mid '60s, but it was the reports of soldiers destroying villages and homes that really turned up the negative feelings of anti-war protestors back home.
Reports of the burning of Cam Ne, a village in Vietnam, by U.S. Marines came in on August 5, 1965, from CBS News. Journalists stated that Marines used lighter fluid and flamethrowers to torch huts in the village after they traced enemy fire to the area.
The report by CBS created such bad buzz for the American military that Lyndon Johnson threatened reporter Morley Safer and CBS. Safer wrote:
[Then-President Lyndon] Johnson threatened that, unless CBS got rid of me and 'cleaned up its act,' the White House would 'go public' [with information about Safer's alleged communist ties.]
Safer denies that any such ties existed.
Dr. Leonid Rogozov performing surgery on himself in 1967
No one gets into the medical field expecting that they'll one day have to perform surgery on themselves, but April 29, 1961, Dr. Leonid Rogozov ran out of options. He was suffering from weakness, fever, malaise, nausea, and pain over the right side of his abdomen, in other words he had appendicitis.
Normally he could just go to the hospital, but at the time he was the only physician on the Soviet Antarctic Expedition and he was 1,000 miles away from another research station, there was no choice but to perform his own appendectomy.
After giving a meteorologist and a driver a quick training lesson he prepared a makeshift operating room and got to work. He later wrote in his diary:
It was frequently necessary to raise my head in order to see better, and sometimes I had to work entirely by feel. General weakness became severe after 30 to 40 minutes, and vertigo developed, so that short pauses for rest were necessary... Finally here it is, the cursed appendage! “With horror I notice the dark stain at its base. That means just a day longer and it would have burst…My heart seized up and noticeably slowed, my hands felt like rubber. Well, I thought, it’s going to end badly and all that was left was removing the appendix.
Rogozov survived the self-surgery, and after five days his fever diminished, and in two weeks he was back to work.
Natalie Wood monkeying around, 1960s
In the 1960s and '70s there was no star quite as bankable as Natalie Wood. She got her start as a child actor, and by the end of the '50s she was the star of Rebel Without a Cause with James Dean, but it was her work in the decades that followed that proved she was a real deal superstar.
The tragedy of Wood's life is that people don't remember her stellar career, or the films that truly changed cinema. When people hear her name they only think of one thing - death. On November 29, 1981, the 43 year old Wood's passing was listed as an accident and "probable drowning in the ocean."
Even though her arms and legs were bruised, neither the coroner of the police thought there was any foul play. On the evening before her death, Wood had been on at a small party with her husband, Robert Wagner, and supposedly drunkenly retired for the night on his yacht, "Splendour." According to Wagner, when he and guest Christopher Walken (yes, that Christopher Walken) discovered that Wood was missing they searched everywhere for her.
The Coast Guard combed the water for her, only finding her floating body on the morning of the 29th. Her death only brought up questions. However, it wasn't until recently that Robert Wagner became a person of interest in Wood's death. Even with more investigating we may never know what happened to this vivacious actress.
A woman stands near a ground rupture in Marin County, the result of the 1906 San Francisco
When we think of earthquakes we think of buildings falling, bridges crumbling, and hiding beneath tables, but we rarely think of the very real toll taken on the earth itself when fault lines shake the planet.
At 5:12 a.m. on April 18, 1906, Californians living in the San Francisco Bay area were awoken by a foreshock to one of the most intense and destructive earthquakes of the 20th century. 25 seconds later violent shocks ripped out across Marin County, lasting anywhere between 45 and 60 seconds.
Felt from southern Oregon to Los Angeles, this quake not only destroyed portions of San Francisco, but created a 296 mile rupture straight down the San Andreas fault from northwest of San Juan Bautista to Cape Mendocino.
Yikes, this giant octopus engulfing a scuba diver can be seen at the Oregon Undersea Gardens
Don't worry, this scuba diver didn't eat it in a standoff with an angry squid. This is actually a sculpture that adorned the wall of Undersea Gardens in Newport, Oregon. Sadly it's now closed, but when it opened in 1966 it was a cool way to get acquainted with aquatic animals without diving into the briny deep.
Undersea Gardens was essentially an aquarium in reverse. Upon arrival, visitors walked down a set of steps to see fish that were being kept in an outer tank. Rather than offer a bunch of crazy fish to check out, Undersea Gardens wanted to show viewers a realistic look at what you might find off the Oregon coast.
Aside from putting weird statues around his buildings, owner Charlie White also invented the "Son of Hibachi" portable barbecue.
Cars Left by North American Soldiers at The Chatillon Car Graveyard in Belgium
If you travel to the Belgian town of Chatillon, you'll find one of the largest car graveyards on the planet. But how did the cars arrive in this place? And why would someone just abandon so much horsepower and steel?
The story goes that the cars were abandoned by U.S. soldiers following World War II because of tax reasons, but that's not exactly the case. Following World War II, NATO set up shop in Chatillon and along with it came members of the Canadian military who started driving around the area in their big American cars.
To take care of the cars, a garage opened up in the town, and rather than order spare parts one at a time, the owner collected entire cars so he could grab what he needed when he needed it. After France pulled out of NATO, the Canadian forces were moved out of Belgium and sent to Germany. The owner of the garage switched to working on European cars, and the graveyard of North American muscle remains in Chatillion to this day.
A politician in the Philippines, Reynaldo Dagsa photographs his own assassination
This chilling image of an assassin pointing his gun right at the camera is absolutely horrifying. Taken by Philippine councilman Reynaldo Dagsa on New Year's Day, this shot features Dagsa's family and his killer, and while it's absolutely mortifying to think that this was the last thing that Dagsa saw before his death, his quick thinking helped catch his killer. The Philippine Daily Inquirer writes:
Chief Inspector Cresencio Galvez, Caloocan police intelligence chief, said the suspects were known car thieves and holduppers out on bail. It is likely that they bear a grudge against Dagsa who had them arrested last year, he said.
Thanks to the photo the assassin was caught, and his accomplice was picked up in a different police raid on the same day.
Steven Spielberg relaxing in the mouth of Jaws, the 1975 film classic.
No, this isn't some hapless swimmer stunting for his friends on Instagram, it's Steven Spielberg hanging out in the jaws of Bruce the Shark, the mechanical monster at the heart of Jaws. This shot looks like it was from early on in the filming process when everything wasn't falling apart around the director, or when the shark at the center of his film stopped swimming.
Even though Jaws became the template for the summer blockbuster, during production it was anything but a fun experience. The shark constantly malfunctioned, the 50 day shoot ballooned to 155 day shoot, and the script was constantly being rewritten. Things were so bad that Spielberg says he was traumatized for years after the shoot. He told Entertainment Weekly about his horrible time on set:
I would work through my own trauma, because it was traumatic. I would just sit in that boat alone for hours, just working through, and I would shake. My hands would shake.
Poor guy, what do you think he ever got over it?
You wouldn't want to get lost on this country road in Northern Ireland
Known to locals as the Dark Hedges, this avenue of beech trees that curves over Bregagh Road between Armoy and Stranocum in County Antrim, Northern Ireland is an atmospheric trip into nature, and anyone who watches Game of Thrones should recognize it.
It's not an accident that the Dark Hedges grew like this. The trees were planted in the 18th century to create an imposing entrance to the Stuart family's Georgian mansion, Gracehill House. Mission accomplished. In 1775, James Stuart planted more than 150 beech trees along the entrance road to the home, and as of 2016 about 90 of the original trees remain.
As one of the biggest tourist attractions in Northern Ireland, the Dark Hedges is a must see experience, just make sure you don't go at night, who knows what's waiting for you in those woods?
Many bars in Istanbul offered to take drunks home in a basket, this photo from the 1960s shows that it wasn't so easy
Now this is what you call service. We've all had that friend who just refuses to go home when they've had one too many. Istanbul in the 1960s had that pretty much figured out thanks to "the drunk basket."
Clearly, it wasn't easy to get a raving drunk guy home on someone's back, but it must have been an effective tool for convincing someone not to drink so much the next time they went out. Can you imagine being carted home like this more than once in your life?
This early version of a ride share service comes from the saying “küfelik olmak," which means “needing to be carried home in a basket,” which itself is slang for "you're too drunk."
Mark Matays falling to his death, 1974
This isn't a staged photograph. In face, it's all too real. On May 15, 1974, 21 year old Mark Matays stood at the top of building in the heart of Trump Village, a middle class housing project on Coney Island and threatened to end his life.
After police arrived on the scene they spent an hour trying to get Matays down from the ledge. The authorities tried everything in the book to save his life to no avail.
Matays stopped the conversation with the police about an hour into their rescue attempt and jumped from the building, falling 23 stories to his death. Photographer Bruce Page was on hand to catch the jumper's brutal final moment.
Martin Luther King Jr. removing a burned cross from his lawn
Sadly, this image is one that was commonplace in the 1960s. As civil rights leaders across the south attempted to put an end to the Jim Crow era and move the country into a place of harmony, members of the Klu Klux Klan did whatever they could to keep their part of the country in the dark ages.
This shot of Reverend Martin Luther King Jr. removing a four foot cross that was burned on the front lawn of his home on April 26th, 1960, with his two year old son, Martin Luther III, is horrifying. Not only because of the stark racism on display, but because it's something that both King and his son have gotten used to.
King never eradicated racism, but he did bring the world closer together with his work and his calls for peaceful demonstration.
Mick Jagger and Jerry Hall pose in drag for Brigitte Lacombe
This surreal shot of the Rolling Stones front man and his then-wife Jerry Hall is a look into Jagger's home life in more ways than one. According to photographer Brigitte Lacombe, she was set to shoot photos of Jerry Hall at the home she shared with Jagger and asked if he would appear in one. He agreed, but with exceptions. Lacombe explains:
Mick had agreed to do one picture. He suddenly appeared in full make-up. The gown was his idea, he thought it would be fun. I love that the image is so genuine, not too jokey, not too camp.
Taken outside the couple's French chateau, this shot looks like an alternate version of history, don't you think?
Sally Mann, Candy Cigarette (1989)
This stark, eerie image captured by Sally Mann with her 8 X 10 view camera is a look into darkness that's omnipresent in childhood. By having her family members act out the social and familial roles of others surrounded by the rural and lush landscape of Virginia, she captures a world that so many of us forget.
Mann often used her children in her photos which convey mundane aspects of human behavior, but when the focus is on someone so young the shot seems almost surreal.
Candy Cigarette (1989) shows the power of Mann's specific combination of careful planning and serendipity. In this photo Mann's daughter, Jessie, stops what she's doing to balance a candy cigarette in her hand, appearing to be the innocent, tiny clone of a blonde and gangling twenty-something beauty.
Marilyn Monroe was beautiful but never felt like it
Marilyn Monroe led an extraordinary life that was unfortunately marred by mental health body issues that many people never think of when they see someone so beautiful and famous. She wasn't technically orphaned, but at a young age she was forced to live with a series of foster parents as her mother went in and out go psychiatric facilities.
In Monroe's teenage years she felt unworthy and vulnerable, especially around men, something that she knew about herself but was never able to get to the bottom of. She wrote in her diary, "I had always felt a need to live up to that expectation of my elders."
This feeling continued throughout Monroe's life, leading her to change her body through plastic surgery, fad diets, and exercise, but even when she looked good (which was always), she felt awful. Sadly, she never let anyone into her personal life to save her from herself.
Hocking Hills road in Hocking County, Ohio. (1908)
Hocking Hills, Ohio is a beautiful place, but that grandeur is terrifying when you think about how things could go wrong in an instant if this giant rock takes a tumble.
For people traveling this way in the late 19th century they were likely counting their blessings every time they passed this rock safely, but they probably didn't realize that they were super safe on this trip, it's not like the rock was just going to fall over or anything.
The whole Hocking County area is absolutely beautiful and filled with gorgeous diversions that are just as dangerous as they are deadly.
Students learning to swim without water, England in 1920
England may be surrounded by the Atlantic, but it's not exactly easy to learn how to swim in the ocean. In 1920, there weren't a ton of swimming pools where kids could learn but there were a ton of empty flat places in the middle of boarding schools where children could learn the basics of treading water and making waves.
Is stacking children on top of one another the best way to teach someone how to swim? It's not how we would do it but this method does create the kind of base line resistance you experience while in the water, right?
Unfortunately there's no information on how much this kind of swimming lessons actually works. Hopefully these kids had a chance to hit some shallow water before jumping in the ocean.
Taken moments before the crash of the test of the CG-4A military troop and cargo transport glider 1943
On August 1, 1943, one of the worst air disasters ever occurred over St. Louis Lambert Field. In '43, ten people, including mayor William Becker, died while demonstrating a CG-4A military troop and cargo transport glider, also known as a flying coffin.
With World War II underway, transportation manufacturers were looking for a way to deliver manpower and equipment to places behind enemy lines without drawing a lot of notice. The CG-4A glider was meant to be a silent, disposable craft, but it was incredibly dangerous.
To show off the glider, multiple VIPs hopped onboard for a demonstration. Shortly after took off disaster struck. Bob Cieslak, who was five at the time, recalled the crash:
As soon as it left the ground it went right over the crowd and I remember distinctly the sound of the glider as it came over, like a whistling sound, the wind was coming through it like a whooooosh. As soon as the tow line was released from the glider, the first thing I remember seeing was the glider made a pitch up. The right wing folded over and buckled over, and just left the airplane completely and that glider just went straight down to the ground and hit with a thump. No explosion, no fire or anything. It just hit with a thump.
The Eiffel Tower under Nazi occupation, 1940
This eerie sight is from the not so distant past, when Nazi Germany plowed through France and took Paris for themselves. Everything about this treatment of the Eiffel Tower is odd, from the V for victory to the sign that translates to: “Germany is victorious on all fronts.”
This upsetting visual was used as propaganda throughout the war, but not everything here is as it seems. When Germany first occupied France in 1940, the French Resistance cut the lift cables of the tower, meaning that Nazi forces had to physically climb the tower to hang this ridiculous banner.
There was also a large flag with a swastika on the tower, but the wind blew so hard that the flag flew away. The soldiers had to climb the tower again to put up a smaller one. Following the war the lift cables were repaired.
This girl, who grew up in a concentration camp, was asked to draw "home," while living in a residence for disturbed children. Warsaw, Poland in 1948
This image of a young girl named Tereska drawing an endless spiral on chalkboard was taken after she was asked to draw a picture of "home." It's one of the most emblematic photos of World War II, and shows the way in which the children of Europe internalized the explosions, the fighting, and the deaths of millions.
Tereska was photographed in 1948 when David "Chim" Seymour was sent by UNICEF to to photograph a group of children from Europe who were left homeless, wounded and traumatized by the war.
Seymour snapped this photo of Tereska in a school for “backward and psychologically upset children,” as Chim states in his story’s caption. The young woman spent the rest of her life in an institution, she passed away in 1978 at the Tworki Mental Asylum after accidentally choking on a piece of food that she stole from another patient.
This lava pit looks like it's sucking the souls of the damned into Hell
The inky tendrils giving way to a fiery pit may look like twisted bodies dragging themselves from a hole straight to Hell, but this is really nothing to be afraid of. Well, aside from the whole "super hot lava" thing. Taken in 1996, this photo shows masses of different lava flows that dripped into a lava skylight, forming a crust around the hole.
Molten lava can travel through what's known as lava tubes, essentially channels of molten lava that are buried underground. They only become visible when the "roof" of ground above them collapses, revealing the tubes, and if we're lucky, a lava skylight.
This particular skylight is surrounded by different lava flows, creating a beautiful, albeit freaky, natural lava formation that looks like a portal to the underworld.
Was this moose struck by lightning or nah?
"What's wrong with this moose?" That's the question that's been on the internet's lips since 2016 when the photo first started making its way online. Initially, people believed that it had survived a bear attack, but there are some people who think it was struck by lightning. Although, the truth may not be that simple.
Alaska state veterinarian, Dr. Kimberlee Beckmen, believes that the moose was suffering from winter ticks, parasites found in New Hampshire that had yet to make their way to Alaska.
Unfortunately, the only way to know exactly what harmed this animal it has to be caught and researchers have to perform a necropsy. It's likely that we'll never see this moose again.