The Unsolved Mysteries of the Everglades

The Unsolved Mysteries of the Everglades

By Sara Warden

2 min read October 2019 – The Everglades is a sprawling wonder of nature – over 1.5 million acres of swampland that is home to 350 species of birds, 300 species of fresh and saltwater fish, 40 species of mammals, and 50 species of reptiles, as well as several protected animal species. Coming in just after Yellowstone as the third-largest national park in the United States, its vast and difficult-to-navigate terrain has swallowed up many an unprepared traveler. Here are just three of the unsolved mysteries buried deep in the swamplands.

 1. The Lost Patrol

South Florida lies just at the tip of the Bermuda Triangle, and is not exempt from its fair share of missing aircraft, especially in the deep swamps of the Everglades. One such case that remains unsolved today is that of The Lost Patrol in 1945. As World War II was coming to a close, a training flight of five Grumman Avenger aircraft left Fort Lauderdale Naval Air Station and were never seen again.

A wreckage was found in 1989 but this was later attributed to a later crash, in 1947. But a research team led by entrepreneur Andy Marocco is convinced that, rather than flying east out of Fort Lauderdale and getting lost in open water over the Atlantic, the flight went down over the Everglades. As it stands, there are no known unexplained wrecks of Avengers in or near Florida, and the Lost Patrol remains to be found.

2. Eastern Air Lines Flight 401

In 1972, Eastern Air Lines Flight 401 took off from New York to Miami but crashed over the Everglades, killing 101 of the 176 on board. Among the dead were pilot, Bob Loft, and flight engineer Don Repo. The crash was found to have been caused by a minor technical fault, which was then fixed by Lockheed. Some of the parts of the downed craft were able to be salvaged for use in other airliners. 

But pilots, flight officers, even a vice president of Eastern Airlines, later reported seeing the two on flights that had reused the components from the crashed aircraft. The Eastern Airlines VP reportedly had a conversation with someone he assumed to be the captain, but as soon as he realized it was Loft, the apparition vanished. On board one aircraft, a galley oven was mysteriously repaired despite the insistence of the plane’s engineer that he did not carry out the repair and there was no other engineer on board. A flight attendant sighted a man that resembled Repo seemingly carrying out repairs on the oven.

But one of the most startling incidents happened on the Tri-Star 318, where flight attendant Faye Merryweather saw Repo’s face staring out from a galley oven. Two more witnesses backed her claims, and all three heard Repo say “Watch out for fire on this airplane” before he disappeared from sight. Later in the flight, the plane encountered serious engine trouble, and the last leg had to be canceled. Interestingly, the galley oven had originally been aboard Flight 401.

3. The Everglades Ghost Ship

According to the legends, the Everglades Ghost Ship was originally a pirate vessel in the 18th or 19th century, which targeted a merchant ship to pillage. The merchant ship led the pirate ship on a lengthy chase, and when it was finally caught in Cape Florida, the pirates were so incensed that they made every man aboard walk the plank to their death in the murky swamp. But having been forced to watch the slaughter of the crew, the wife of the skipper reportedly cursed the pirates and immediately an enormous tidal wave dragged the pirate ship far inland. To this day, it is doomed to roam the twisting waterways and labyrinthine swamplands of the Everglades, searching for a way back to sea. Natives, locals and hunters have all reported seeing the spectre of the rusted ship wandering aimlessly through the depths of the swamps.

 

5 Spooktacular Halloween Attractions You Can’t Miss in Charlotte

5 Spooktacular Halloween Attractions You Can’t Miss in Charlotte

By Felipe Rivas

2 min read October 2019 – Charlotte is attracting companies, large businesses, and families looking to enjoy everything it has to offer. This Halloween, the Queen City will likely attract pirates looking to loot the area for candy, as well as its fair share of roaming ghosts, ghouls, superheroes and villains ready to enjoy the many events happening in the area. From kid-friendly activities to parties to fear-induced screams, here are our favorite creepy attractions happening this Halloween. 

The City of Concord and its merchants will open the doors to its bite-sized residents during its Candy Crawl 2019. The little ones can enjoy a safe environment as they strut their favorite costumes and parade down Union Street in Downtown, Concord, looking for their favorite pieces of candy. Local merchants will provide trick-or-treating and a family-friendly environment for an evening of fun for the entire family. The Candy Crawl is happening Thursday, Oct. 31 from 3 p.m. – 5 p.m.

This Halloween, Charlotte will be filled with so many frightening sights sure to scare the sleep out of most, including Freddy Kreuger. For those wishing to take a break from the fright, a bar crawl is a sure bet to relax and enjoy Charlotte. The Nightmare on College Street is Charlotte’s largest bar crawl and on Halloween guests can enjoy six outings to local bars for one price. The night starts at Lucky’s Bar & Arcade then it is off to Vida Vida, Blackfinn,Whisky River Rooftop 210 and Suite for a night of spooky fun. Registration starts at Lucky’s Bar & Arcade from 6 p.m. – 8 p.m.

Undoubtedly, petrifying monsters will control Charlotte this Halloween and Petra’s Piano Bar is looking for the scariest of them all. All monsters should head to Petra’s Annual Halloween Bash as they might leave $100 richer. Petra’s is hosting its famous costume contest with a cash prize for the scariest monster of them all. Live music, dance party and cocktails will be part of the celebration.  It takes place Thursday, Oct. 31, 2019, from 8 p.m. – 2 a.m.

If you believe you have a strong bladder, this place will put it to the test … and they are waiting for you. Located in Mooresville, Scarrigan Farms turns its 170-acre farm into one of the scariest haunted trails in the Charlotte Metro Area. Filled with clowns, hockey-masked machete-wielding psychopaths, and countless other frightening sights, Scarrigan Farms makes it their mission to scare the pee out of their visitors, really. Their motto: “ If someone hasn’t peed in their pants by the end of the night we know we haven’t done our job.” Do you dare to find out? Bring a diaper just in case. 

Aside from the fun, candy and parties and haunted houses, Charlotte offers a rich history for sleuths and thrill-seekers to discover. Carolina History and Haunts presents Beyond the Grave, a lantern guided tour that explores sites where they say past inhabitants are still seen lingering around. The tour takes the valiant and curious through Charlotte’s most famous and infamous landmarks as it recounts hair-raising tales native to the Charlotte area. The tour is open year long but it takes special courage to experience it during Halloween.

Our Pick: 5 Scariest Halloween Attractions in Philly

Our Pick: 5 Scariest Halloween Attractions in Philly

By Yolanda Rivas

2 min read October 2019 — Philadelphia is a city of firsts, from its rich history to its famous Philly cheesesteaks, the city excels in numerous areas. There’s no doubt that Philadelphians also know how to throw a spooky Halloween event. Here are our favorite scary attractions you can’t miss this Halloween.

Terror Behind the Walls at Eastern State Penitentiary

What once was the most famous and expensive prison in the world, is now the perfect setting for a haunted attraction. Featured in many TV shows and horror movies, Eastern State Penitentiary’s six haunted attractions will take your breath away. Starting in the 1940s, officers and prisoners reported mysterious visions and eerie experiences within the 30-foot high castle-like walls, which has driven many people to believe the place is haunted. Terror Behind the Walls is consistently ranked among the nation’s top haunted attractions and will be open through Nov. 10. 

PennHurst Asylum

After being abandoned for 25 years, former PennHurst Asylum reopened its doors a few years ago as one of the state’s scariest haunted destinations. Visitors can experience four terrifying attractions: the main Asylum, the Morgue, Containment and Mayflower After Dark. Events and tours include a photography tour, a daytime history tour and overnight paranormal investigations. You won’t sleep, literally, during the overnight paranormal investigations, which give access to all four floors of the haunted Mayflower Hall and the underground tunnels of Philadelphia, Devon, and Rockwell from 9 p.m. to 5 a.m. PennHurst attractions will open through Nov. 4. 

Bates Motel & Haunted Hayride

Arasapha Farms’ three main attractions, the Bates Motel, the Haunted Hayride and the Haunted Trail, have been consistently recognized with top national awards. It has been called the “best haunted house in America” by CNN Travel and one of America’s scariest haunts by the Travel Channel. Bates Motel brings a close and personal level of horror, with high-tech special effects, digital soundtrack, lighting and astonishing realism. The Haunted Hayride is a 25-minute ride through the dark forest of Arasapha Farm with scenes featuring a 100-foot-long, 40-foot-tall drive-thru insane asylum, a New England church, a 200-foot-long cave and a Headless Horseman. Finally, the revenge of the Scarecrows Haunted Corn Trail will give you the chills with a terrifying walk through a tall corn field, filled with walk-through buildings, sets and animatronic monsters. Arasapha Farm attractions will be open through Oct. 31. 

Fright Factory

This adult-themed haunted house is located inside a 120-year-old factory. It has been featured on the Travel Channel as one of the scariest haunted attractions in America and called “scariest haunted attraction in Philadelphia’’ by FOX29. The factory offers three themed attractions: Fright Factory Unholy, Industrial Nightmare and South Side Sanatorium. Through this year’s partnership with Scream Cams, visitors now have the option to be recorded through the scariest parts of the haunted house. Fright Factory will be open through Oct. 31. 

Ghost Tours of Philadelphia

Of course, you wouldn’t want to miss a touch of history while in Philly. Ghost Tours of Philadelphia’s 90-minute walking tour has been named one of the top 15 “must see” attractions in the United States. The tour is based on the book Ghost Stories of Philadelphia, PA and walks visitors along the back streets and secret gardens of Independence National Park, Old City, and Society Hill. Although Halloween is the perfect time to enjoy a ghostly experience, this tour is offered year round.  

To learn more, visit:

Terror Behind the Walls at Eastern State Penitentiary: https://www.easternstate.org/halloween/node/3 

PennHurst Asylum: https://pennhurstasylum.com/ 

Bates Motel & Haunted Hayride: https://thebatesmotel.com/ 

Fright Factory: http://frightfactoryphilly.com/

Ghost Tours of Philadelphia: https://www.ghosttour.com/philadelphia.html