Mysteries at the Museum

Saving Teddy Roosevelt, Eliot Ness, Bigfoot

Episode Summary

This episode was narrated by Jay Thomas. A manuscript and an eyeglass case both pierced by a curious hole. How did these two artifacts save Theodore Roosevelt from an assassin's bullet? In Cleveland, five strange postcards taunt one of America's most legendary crime fighters, Eliot Ness. Are these the deranged musings of a serial killer that eluded Ness? A 1912 wireless message received by a doomed ship warns of icebergs ahead. Could this very memo have saved the Titanic from her tragic fate? In a small Northern California museum, a large primate tooth may just prove the long standing legend of Bigfoot is real.

Episode Notes

This episode was narrated by Jay Thomas.

A manuscript and an eyeglass case both pierced by a curious hole. How did these two artifacts save Theodore Roosevelt from an assassin's bullet?

In Cleveland, five strange postcards taunt one of America's most legendary crime fighters, Eliot Ness. Are these the deranged musings of a serial killer that eluded Ness?

A 1912 wireless message received by a doomed ship warns of icebergs ahead. Could this very memo have saved the Titanic from her tragic fate?

In a small Northern California museum, a large primate tooth may just prove the long standing legend of Bigfoot is real.

For even more Mysteries at the Museum, head to discovery+. Go to to start your 7-day free trial today. Terms apply.

Find episode transcripts here:

Episode Transcription


SPEAKER 1: Two simple objects miraculously saved the life of an American icon.
SPEAKER 2: Theodore gets up on the stage, and he says, I've just been shot.
SPEAKER 1: A 98-year-old message that could have saved an unsinkable ship.

1,500 people died that night. This message could have changed all that.

SPEAKER 1: And a legend of the North American woods might just be real after all.

We have high hopes that what we have is actually a Bigfoot tooth.

SPEAKER 1: Across the United States, in the nation's most revered institutions, our celebrated history is on display. Wondrous
treasures from the past, bizarre relics, but behind every amazing artifact is another tale to be told, and a secret
waiting to be revealed. These are the "Mysteries At The Museum".

New York, New York. Tucked away on the East side of the island of Manhattan, the elegant neighborhood of
Gramercy Park is home to a rather exclusive residence. The birthplace of one of America's most colorful
presidents, Theodore Roosevelt.

SPEAKER 2: Theodore Roosevelt lived here until he was 14 years old. It is now converted into a museum.
SPEAKER 1: Theodore Teddy Roosevelt served two terms as president from 1901 to 1909. During that time, he became the
first president to win the Nobel Peace Prize. He oversaw the completion of the Panama Canal, and he established
the country's first national parks, and his boisterous vivacity and stubborn can-do mentality would earn him the
lifelong nickname, the bull moose.

SPEAKER 2: Theodore was a larger than life character. He was extremely active. It's amazing how many things he did and the

fact that he was able to sleep.

SPEAKER 1: The collection held here at his childhood home tell of Roosevelt's rise from young man to accomplished
statesman and adventurer, but there are two particular artifacts on display that had a bigger impact on
Theodore Roosevelt's life than any other. One is a simple, metal eyeglass case. The other, a stack of typed
manuscript a quarter of an inch thick, and both share a strange feature.
SPEAKER 2: There's a hole of about maybe 3/4 of an inch going straight through it.
SPEAKER 1: What made this hole, and how did these artifacts save the life of one of America's greatest statesmen? Fall,
1912, William Taft is president of the United States, and ex-president Teddy Roosevelt has been a private citizen
for four years, but Roosevelt, a staunch progressive, is upset by the Taft administration's policies. He decides to
form his own party and begins campaigning to win back the presidency for a third term. It is a controversial

SPEAKER 2: People just didn't run for three terms it was understood that a president ran for two terms and then moved on.
SPEAKER 1: But one is so enraged by the former president's bid for power that he is willing to do almost anything to stop him.
On October 14, Roosevelt is in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, preparing to give a long and rousing campaign speech.
Outside of his hotel, a crowd has gathered to greet him, and Roosevelt steps out to meet his supporters.
SPEAKER 2: He loved to be at the center of attention. He loved to go out and talk to crowds. He was really a person that did

well with large groups of people.

SPEAKER 1: But amid the well-wishers waits and assassin.
SPEAKER 2: John Schrank was a saloon keeper from New York City who opposed a third term for any president.
SPEAKER 1: Emotionally unstable and highly agitated, Schrank has been following Roosevelt for weeks. At 8:09 PM, as
Roosevelt leaves his hotel, as the ex-president passes through the crowd to his waiting car, Schrank steps
forward, points a revolver at him, and fires. The bullet plunges into Roosevelt's chest. Schrank is wrestled to the
ground, and the shocked bystanders turn to the president fearing the worst. Instead, they find him remarkably
calm and collected. Then, against the pleas of his aides and to the surprise of all present, Roosevelt forgoes
medical attention, heads to the auditorium, and does something extraordinary.

SPEAKER 2: Theodore gets up on the stage and he says to these people, I don't know whether you realize I've just been shot,

but it takes more than that to kill a bull moose.

SPEAKER 1: The crowd is riveted. Roosevelt delivers a remarkable, 80-minute oration with the assassin's bullet still lodged in
his chest. His endurance seems superhuman. At the hospital after his speech, the full facts behind his miraculous
survival are revealed.

SPEAKER 2: He was taken to a hospital, and the doctors checked his wound, and the bullet had stopped just short of his lung.
SPEAKER 1: The only thing that prevented this close-range bullet from fatally piercing Roosevelt's lung were two items inside

the breast pocket of his overcoat.

SPEAKER 2: The case is the steel, glass case, and it was a 50-page manuscript that he was carrying in his overcoat pocket. It

was folded in half, so you will see two sets of bullet holes actually in it because it was folded.
SPEAKER 1: It is an amazing escape. Doctors stabilized the patient but elect not to conduct surgery.
SPEAKER 2: The bullet remained lodged inside of the president for the rest of his life.

SPEAKER 1: But it does no further damage. Ironically, all thanks to Roosevelt's love of public speaking and long-winded
rhetoric. Roosevelt recovers fully but not in time to finish his campaign. He loses the election, and two months
later, Woodrow Wilson is sworn in as the 28th president of the United States. Regardless, the bull moose carries
on his larger-than-life pursuits, becoming a world-renowned explorer and prolific author all with an assassin's
bullet still lodged in his chest.

SPEAKER 2: He was one of a kind individual. He took on any task that came his way. I don't think we'll ever see anyone like

him again.

SPEAKER 1: And today, at the Theodore Roosevelt birthplace, national historic site in New York, visitors can view the
damaged speech and spectacles case that saved the life of a great American president. While these artifacts
document a life preserved, eight hours away in Cleveland, Ohio, five strange postcards are linked to one of the
most gruesome killing sprees in American history. The true tale up next on "Mysteries At The Museum".

Cleveland, Ohio. This once booming industrial city has a past that brims with dark secrets for those who know
where to look. The Western Reserve Historical Society carefully preserves the region's legacy, and Dr. John
Grabowski knows these holdings better than anyone.


Within the archive's library, we're looking at over 5,000 major manuscript collections, quarter of a million books,
five million photographs.

SPEAKER 1: But of all the objects he has studied here, there is one set of artifacts that remain shrouded in mystery. They are
five postcards dating back to the 1950s. On one side, photos depict everyday scenes from Dayton, Ohio.
However, the reverse of each reveals deranged and cryptic communications, collages of strange phrases, and
sinister news clippings. These messages have a distinctly taunting tone. Three of the cards hint at the sender's
name, and all five are addressed to a single person, the famed crime fighter, Eliot Ness.


Eliot Ness, one of the best known crime fighters in the '20s and '30s. He was incredibly smart. He fits in right with
his image of the G-man, if you will, the scientific sleuth.

SPEAKER 1: In 1931, Ness became famous for taking down Chicago's most ruthless crime boss, Al Capone. Four years later,
he was made director of public safety in Cleveland, and at the end of his life, his papers and files are donated
here. Among them are these five maniacal missives received in the 1950s long after Ness retired from public


These cards are totally bizarre. They're taunting. They're strange. They're weird, and Eliot Ness kept them.

SPEAKER 1: The question is, why? What are these postcards? Who wrote them, and what did they mean to Eliot Ness? The
story starts in the midst of one of the worst killing sprees in American history, Cleveland's torso murders.
September, 1935, alongside the train tracks and shantytowns of Kingsbury Run, one of Cleveland's grittier
waterfront districts, two young men are playing a game of catch.


They're throwing a softball back and forth, and the softball rolled down the hill, and they chase one another down
the hill to see who could find the softball.

SPEAKER 1: Instead, the boys make a horrifying discovery.

What they found was a dismembered body down there.

SPEAKER 1: It is the headless and mutilated corpse of a naked man, and he is not alone. When police arrived to investigate,
they find another male corpse only 30 feet away in a similar condition. Both severed heads are found buried
within feet of the corpses, and surprisingly, each body is bloodless and clean. The mutilations have been done
with surgical precision. Over the next three years, 10 more dismembered bodies are found in the same area,
bringing investigators to an inescapable conclusion. Cleveland has a serial killer on the loose. Police turned to the
city's director of public safety to catch the killer.


People had expectations that Eliot Ness could solve everything because of who he was.

SPEAKER 1: Ness starts by building a profile of the murderer. He identifies him as a strong man capable of moving heavy

corpses with a background in surgery or medicine.


As the murders piled up, it became apparent that whoever was cutting these bodies apart knew how to do it.

SPEAKER 1: In May, 1938, Ness discovers a one-time colleague of the first victim who fits the profile perfectly. His name is Dr.

Frances E. Sweeney.


Francis Sweeney is a physician. He had particular personal problems. His family broke apart because of his
alcoholism. He also has a physical stature that would allow him to have committed the murders.

SPEAKER 1: But Sweeney is a politically connected, well-to-do doctor, and without any direct evidence linking Sweeney to the
crimes, Ness has to tread lightly. So Ness and a few trusted detectives pick up Dr. Sweeney after an all-night
drinking binge. They take him to a hotel for a secret interrogation and employ a new technology to try and coax
a confession out of their prime suspect.


He brings in a lie detector. One of the first early lie detector tests, and they administer the lie detector test to the
man when he's sober, and the lie detector operator turns to Ness and says, you've got your man. You've got your

SPEAKER 1: After five years on the case, it appears Ness has the serial killer in his grasp, but Sweeney doesn't crack. He
denies any involvement in the crimes, and regardless of the incriminating results, the lie detector test alone is
not grounds enough to arrest him. Without physical evidence or a confession, Ness is forced to let Dr. Sweeney


I would guess that, as a professional law enforcement officer, he must have felt an extreme sense of frustration in
being unable to bring this to a conclusion.

SPEAKER 1: After the interrogation, Sweeney soon flees from Cleveland, and coincidentally, the killings stop, but no one is
ever brought to justice for the 12 murders. Eliot Ness fails to catch his killer, and the name Sweeney is buried
with the details of the secret interrogation. Until about 30 years later, when five bizarre and menacing
communications signed F.E. Sweeney M.D. Turn up among Ness's papers.


When I look at these cards, the one thing that I get from them is the sender is really trying to get under Ness's

SPEAKER 1: Why was Sweeney taunting him? Are these postcards a bizarre, belated confession to the murders Eliot Ness
failed to solve. More importantly, why did Ness keep Sweeney's name and these postcards secret for so many


This man was a cousin of a very powerful political figure, and maybe that's why Ness didn't want to touch him.
Maybe this guy was a good suspect, but you could never take this case to court and get it proven.
SPEAKER 1: All that is certain is that when these enigmatic cards are finally discovered in the Western Reserve Historical
Society's collection, they open a riveting new chapter in the long-dormant case of Cleveland's torso murders.


Whether you believe that the writer of the cards was the murderer or not, the fact that there is some suspicion
that he was just makes them more tantalizing.

SPEAKER 1: Six hours away in another lake-side city, a unique artifact holds the answer to a different kind of puzzle. An
engineering enigma that, once solved, would allow automobiles to eventually reach supersonic speeds. Next on
"Mysteries At The Museum".

Chicago, Illinois, the Museum of Science and Industry is the keeper of this stunning city's proud industrial and
engineering heritage. Here, 14 acres of exhibits explore everything from space travel to the marvels of the
natural world, but one room holds an artifact that stands out from all the others.

SPEAKER 3: When you walk in, you come across a very long, blue vehicle. It's a very, very mysterious shape that you've

never seen anywhere else and probably never will see again.

SPEAKER 1: It resembles a spaceship or rocket, but this vehicle is neither. It's a car. One of the fastest cars on the planet,
known as the Spirit of America. In the 1960s, this amazing automobile helped driver and engineer, Craig
Breedlove, do something no one had ever done before, travel over 407 miles an hour on land. So how did he pull
it off? Summer, 1962, Bonneville Salt Flats, Utah. 25-year-old amateur driver, Craig Breedlove, is poised to do the
extraordinary, claim the land speed record for America.

SPEAKER 3: The land speed racing field was dominated by British race car drivers. There are two famous drivers, John Cobb

and Malcolm Campbell. They held the record throughout the 1940s.

SPEAKER 1: But Breedlove, a young, outgoing Californian, is convinced he's got a way to beat the British record of 394 miles
per hour. His secret weapon, a revolutionary new car he has built from scratch, the Spirit of America.
SPEAKER 3: The idea of putting a jet engine in the car, its time was coming. Craig was the first person to do it successfully.

SPEAKER 1: To date, all of the land speed, record-holding automobiles were piston powered, wheel-driven cars. This meant
that a combustion engine powered pistons which moved the car forward by turning the wheels. But in Breedlove's
design, the car is propelled forward by 5,200 pounds of thrust coming from a GEJ 47 jet engine while the wheels
simply roll along with the car like the landing gear of an airplane.

SPEAKER 3: He knew that airplanes could go faster than cars, so he was going to take what technology he could and put it in

his car.

SPEAKER 1: The car is built out of super-light aluminum with a three-wheel design to keep it stable and tires that are specially
designed to cope with the rigors of high speed. The spirit is so revolutionary that a special land speed record
category for non-piston powered cars would be created to accommodate the design. The design Breedlove is
certain will take him past the known limits of land speed.

SPEAKER 3: If he could bring the land speed record back to America, Craig Breedlove would go down in the history books. He

would be a hero. Everything he did was focused on this goal.

SPEAKER 1: But the challenge is not without risk. One wrong move in this untested jet-powered car could prove fatal.
SPEAKER 3: It took a very special person to do this. I mean, imagine setting yourself on a rocket, lighting a fuse, and taking


SPEAKER 1: But Breedlove is ready. On the starting line, the flag drops. He powers the engine, and the Spirit roars, but as he

tries to accelerate, something goes wrong.

SPEAKER 3: A car that's going the same speed as an airplane. It's dangerous. An airplane going that fast lifts off the ground,

and he had trouble controlling it at high speed.

SPEAKER 1: Fighting to keep the car under control, Breedlove doesn't even come close to breaking the world record of 394

miles per hour.

SPEAKER 3: The first run of the Spirit was very disappointing for all.
SPEAKER 1: Breedlove's jet-powered car is a failure. It is too powerful to handle. To find a solution, Breedlove once again

turns to airplane engineering.

SPEAKER 3: The team went back to Los Angeles. They worked on the car. They rebuilt the steering, made it much simpler,

and added the most prominent feature that you see, which is the tail fin.

SPEAKER 1: On an airplane, the tail fin helps keep the plane flying level. Breedlove believes that by adding a fin to his car, it
will do the same thing, keep the car level when he accelerates past 200 miles per hour, but there is only one way
to find out. One year after his disastrous first run, Breedlove packs up his car and heads back to the salt flats.
SPEAKER 3: So in 1963, Craig gets back in the cockpit of the Spirit of America. He's looking out over 10 miles of white, barren
sand, and he's ready to try again to break the land-speed record. This time, he has a tail fin. He has new steering,
and he revs up his engine and takes off.

SPEAKER 1: When he finishes the race and gets out of his car, Breedlove hears the news.
SPEAKER 3: He has set the new world record.

SPEAKER 1: Craig Breedlove and Spirit of America set the new world land speed record of 407 miles per hour, taking the title
back from Britain. Breedlove goes on to set the record two more times, breaking the 500 mile per hour mark and
the 600 mile per hour mark, which he held until 1970. And today, visitors to the Museum of Science and Industry
in Chicago, Illinois, can see firsthand the amazing machine that helped Craig Breedlove unlock the secrets of
speed. 900 miles away, a small museum is dedicated to another marvel of engineering. A groundbreaking ship
whose tragic fate could have been prevented by this simple piece of paper. The shocking story still to come on
"Mysteries At The Museum".

Indian Orchard, Massachusetts, a walk down Main Street brings you to Henry's Jewelry Store, a quaint small-town
gift shop that seems plucked from a bygone era, but past the rows of watches and greeting cards, the shop's
back rooms host a completely different kind of display. It is the official museum of the Titanic Historical Society
run by the store owner and historian, Edward Kamuda.


The Titanic was the largest ship in the world. She was the safest, most luxurious ship of her time.

SPEAKER 1: Launched in 1912 from England and bound for New York, the Titanic was dubbed unsinkable, but on April 15,

1912, the nickname would prove tragically wrong.


The Titanic struck an iceberg, and she sank. 1,507 people died that night.

SPEAKER 1: Today, this museum is dedicated to shedding new light on the ill-fated voyage of the world's most famous ocean
liner, and its unique collections are the direct result of Kamuda's dedicated outreach to Titanic survivors.


I wrote survivors, and I said someone's got to do something to preserve this material, and people started sending
postcards, scarves, buttons off their coat. This is how the whole thing began.

SPEAKER 1: Among these mementos is a single, faded piece of paper whose appearance gives no hint of its astonishing



The artifact in question is a wireless message warning of the presence of icebergs in the path of the Titanic. This
artifact could possibly have saved many, many lives on board the Titanic.

SPEAKER 1: So why didn't this warning save the Titanic from her tragic fate? The story starts in the Atlantic on a cold, Spring
day over 90 years ago. April 14, 1912, 1:00 PM, the Titanic is in the middle of the Atlantic, 1,000 miles from the
Eastern seaboard of the United States. At the helm is renowned Captain Edward Smith overseeing a complement
of over 800 crew and over 1,300 passengers, including some of the richest people in the world.


There were the very wealthy on board, like John Jacob Astor, who was worth about $100 million at the time.

SPEAKER 1: And these pampered, first-class patrons expect the same perks and services on the ship as they have on land.

This includes the ability to communicate with home while away at sea.


One of the luxuries onboard the ship was the wireless room where passengers could send messages.

SPEAKER 1: This new technology was provided by the Marconi Radio Company along with two operators that ran the wireless.
Jack Phillips and Harold Bride who are on call 24 hours a day. At 1:45, Phillips is sifting through a backlog of
communications from the day before when he comes across a message received that morning from a German
freighter, the America. While Captain Smith had already received several general ice warnings addressed directly
to the Titanic, none of them indicated that the ship was on a collision course with an ice field until now.


The message was telling of the presence of two icebergs directly in the track where the Titanic was to take.

SPEAKER 1: But the message is not addressed to the ship. It is bound for a weather station approximately 400 miles away in

Cape Race, Newfoundland, and Phillips' only job is to relay the message on.


Phillips worked for the Marconi Company, and therefore, he was under no obligation to deliver messages to the
bridge unless they were requested by those who were sending the message. I'm sure, had he been a seaman
and knew something about the latitude and longitudes, he would have delivered this to the bridge saying there's
ice right on your path. Do something.

SPEAKER 1: Instead, he forwards the message as requested, sets the original aside, and goes back to work. It is a decision
that will help seal the fate of thousands on board, including his own. 10 hours and three more unheeded iceberg
warnings later, the Titanic collides full speed with a massive mountain of ice.


While the ship tried to steer around the berg, but she was too close, and before you know, she had something of
a 300-foot gash in her, and it was damaged that the ship could not sustain.

SPEAKER 1: At 2:20 AM on April 15, the Titanic goes down, claiming the lives of over 1,500 men, women, and children.

Among them, Jack Phillips who freezes to death in a lifeboat.


At the time, it was the largest peacetime Maritime disaster of all time.

SPEAKER 1: Less than one week after the ship goes down, the US Senate launches an investigation into the sinking. Their star
witness, survivor Harold Bride, who reveals the details of the missed iceberg warnings, while the originals are
deemed lost at sea. That is until the 1960s when Edward Kamuda receives a gift from a German Merchant Marine
that once served aboard the America. It is this telegram, the only surviving documentation of a message that
could have prevented a tragedy.


This message is very important because it tells of two specific icebergs laying in wait for the Titanic to come and
hit it. 1,500 people died that night, and this message could have changed all that.

SPEAKER 1: Today, this message is on display at the Titanic museum in Indian Orchard, Massachusetts, as a tragic reminder
of those who perished when the unsinkable Titanic went down. 700 miles West, a simple city bus is the reminder
not of a tragedy but of a triumphant stand that changed America forever. Next, on "Mysteries At The Museum".

Dearborn, Michigan, on the outskirts of Detroit, the birthplace of the American automobile is the Henry Ford
Museum. Here, visitors can admire some of the world's most spectacular vehicles, but one vehicle on display isn't
a record breaker or a first in its class. It's a simple yellow city bus.

SPEAKER 4: This bus looks like any other bus of its time period. There's nothing distinctive about it.
SPEAKER 1: Built 23 miles from Dearborn in Pontiac, Michigan, this run-of-the-mill city transit vehicle is preserved here not for
its automotive significance but because it was the stage on which a watershed moment in American history
played out.

SPEAKER 4: The bus that is here is most famous for the time it spent in Montgomery, Alabama.
SPEAKER 1: Here, the American Civil Rights Movement struck a blow for equality and justice and all because of a moment of
quiet courage that took place on this very bus. It is a story most of us know, but whose details can still surprise
45 years later. 1955, Montgomery, Alabama. Here, as in much of the US South, racial segregation is the status
quo. There are separate Black and white stores, drinking fountains, restaurants, and bathrooms. The legal
justification for this blatant discrimination is that these facilities were separate but equal.
SPEAKER 4: But what happened, in fact, is that the races were separate, but facilities were not equal.
SPEAKER 1: This inequality effectively made African-Americans second-class citizens throughout the South, and anyone that

challenged these laws risked legal punishment and often violent retribution.
SPEAKER 4: You would be arrested. You would be fined. You would serve jail time or worse.
SPEAKER 1: One of the only places Black and whites weren't separated was on the city's public bus system. Here, Blacks and
whites rode together with whites seated in the first 10 seats in the front of the bus, and Blacks limited to the
remaining seats and standing room in the back of the bus. On December 1, 1955, at 6:00 PM, a soft spoken, 42-
year-old seamstress named Rosa Parks boarded the Cleveland-line bus and takes an empty seat.

SPEAKER 4: When the bus starts filling up, the bus driver gets out of his seat, and he demands that the Blacks move to the
back of the bus. There are three African-Americans who get up to move as they are supposed to do.
SPEAKER 1: But Rosa Parks does not. She refuses to give up her seat to a white passenger, but contrary to a popular
misconception, Rosa Parks was not sitting in the white-only section of the bus. She was in the section reserved
for African-Americans.

SPEAKER 4: Rosa Parks was sitting in a seat that was appropriately hers, as any African-American could have had that seat.
SPEAKER 1: At that time, Montgomery's bus drivers had the authority to make African-American passengers give up their

rightful seats to white passengers if the bus was full.

SPEAKER 4: There was discourteous coarseness all in the Montgomery bus system with really awful conditions in the way that

African-Americans were treated.

SPEAKER 1: And on this day in December, Rosa Parks decides she will not tolerate it any more.
SPEAKER 4: Rosa Parks had always given up her seat before, but something in her said, enough, enough. Today is enough.

Today was the day. No more.

SPEAKER 1: In response, she is arrested and fined.
SPEAKER 4: What's remarkable about this is that Rosa Parks being arrested is not the end of the story. It's the beginning of

the story.

SPEAKER 1: Outrage by Mrs. Parks' arrest, the Black community in Montgomery, led by a young Reverend Martin Luther King

Junior, organizes a boycott of the city-bus system.


All in favor, let it be known by standing on your feet.


SPEAKER 4: For 381 days following this act, people refuse to ride the bus. People whose livelihood depended on getting to

work that they found ways.

SPEAKER 1: From December, 1955, to the end of 1956, the buses in Montgomery, Alabama, are practically empty. The transit
companies suffer heavy financial losses, and the boycott gains national attention. Finally, in November, 1956,
Rosa Parks' case makes it to the Supreme Court.

SPEAKER 4: The Supreme Court rules that segregation on buses is no longer legal in the United States.
SPEAKER 1: And shortly thereafter, African-Americans in Alabama begin to reboard the city buses, sitting where they please,

all because of Rosa Parks' single act of defiance.

SPEAKER 4: That simple statement became a catalyst that galvanizes this community that is really ready to say enough is


SPEAKER 1: Today, visitors to the Henry Ford Museum in Dearborn, Michigan, can see for themselves the very seat where
Rosa Parks took a historic stand by simply sitting down. Across the country in Northern California, an artifact in a
small museum may just prove a long-standing legend is real. The story next on "Mysteries At The Museum".

Felton, California, nestled in the heart of Northern California's epic Redwood Forest, this small town boasts a
museum dedicated to the region's most famous alleged inhabitant, Bigfoot.


The area is definitely a Bigfoot habitat. We've had six years now of people coming in and reporting sightings.

SPEAKER 1: Michael Rugg is the founder and curator of the Bigfoot Discovery Museum. He is also a firm believer that this

supposedly mythological ape man is indeed real.


When I was about four years old, I saw a Bigfoot in Northern California. I was with my parents on a little camping
trip. I strayed away from the campsite, and there was a very large, hairy man standing there.

SPEAKER 1: This childhood encounter and lifetime of Bigfoot research led Rugg to open the Bigfoot Discovery Museum in

  1. Its mission is to document the phenomenon of Bigfoot in all its forms.


You'll find that every native dialect across the country, all the different Indian tribes, all have terms to describe
this creature.

SPEAKER 1: From [? Oba ?] to Sasquatch, descriptions from sightings across the country all detail the same figure, a six to 10
foot tall, Neanderthal-like ape man with brown or reddish hair, and as the nickname implies, enormously large
feet. Yet to date, no one has produced conclusive evidence that this wild man exists.


We have all these eyewitness reports of this big, hairy, human-like creature, and yet the scientific establishment
hasn't anointed it yet, and when something is in denial, then it becomes a mystery, and here we go. So it's a
fascinating mystery.

SPEAKER 1: A mystery that Rugg believes he can finally unravel amid the museum's recordings of alleged Bigfoot howls.

I was there listening to this live, and I had chills going up and down my back.

SPEAKER 1: And blurred sighting photographs. There is a collection of small, yellow fragments that when pieced together

form an object prized beyond all others.


The most important artifact in our collection would probably be a tooth which we believe to be a Bigfoot tooth.

SPEAKER 1: This fully-intact tooth was broken down into fragments for closer study, but a silicone cast of the original reveals
it to be an unusually large molar. Where did this tooth come from, and can it actually put an end to the age-old
debate of whether or not Bigfoot is real? 2002, not far from Felton, an amateur fossil hunter named Matt Bento is
digging in a unique geologic area of sand hills that were once the floor of a prehistoric ocean.


These sand hills are literally filled with shark's teeth, and so the man was there looking for shark's teeth, and he
noticed a spot where a swale of water had run down a hill. And as he walked by, he looked down and he spotted

SPEAKER 1: What he finds is a large, yellow tooth resembling a human molar but much, much bigger.

And is a veterinary nurse by trade, so it's pretty obvious to anybody who's familiar with animal teeth that it's
very much primate like. It-- you know, it looks like a primate tooth.

SPEAKER 1: Its size suggests the tooth belongs to some kind of large ape, but since apes are not native to Northern
California, the discovery is baffling, until Bento visits the Bigfoot Discovery Museum in 2008 and shares his find
with Michael Rugg, who is struck by the tantalizing possibility that this strange tooth could actually belong to


Five different dentists looked at the tooth and said it looks like a human upper molar, but it's way too big. And
that last part, way too big, at least three of them used that exact expression.

SPEAKER 1: So, if it's not human, what other large primate could have lost a tooth in the woods of Northern California?


When you take a close look at this thing, you get the impression that it's petrified.

SPEAKER 1: Is this specimen actually the mineralized remains of an ancient ape?

Now, some people think that the Bigfoot is actually gigantopithecus, a living relic a fossil ape that still exists.

SPEAKER 1: Gigantopithecus is a genus of giant apes believed to have lived between one million and 300,000 years ago.
Based on teeth and skull fragments found in Asia, scientists have speculated that these orangutan-like apes grew
up to nine feet in height and would have had correspondingly large feet. Is it possible that a small contingent of
this species migrated over an ancient land bridge from Asia and somehow survived extinction to roam the woods
of North America?


This tooth that we have does not actually match up and resemble gigantopithecus teeth because we've checked
that, and it's not quite as big as the giganto teeth, and it's actually more human like than the giganto teeth.
SPEAKER 1: Does this mean that the tooth is indeed the remains of the supposed human-ape hybrid that people have come

to refer to as Bigfoot?


We have high hopes that what we have is actually a Sasquatch tooth.

SPEAKER 1: Rugg is working with scientists to extract a viable sample of the tooth's DNA for testing. Until they succeed, the
age and origins of this curious cuspid on display at the Bigfoot Discovery Museum in Felton, California, will
remain a mystery, as will the veracity of the creature called Bigfoot.


I've seen a Bigfoot with my own eyes. I've interviewed hundreds of people who've seen them. I've never seen the
Eiffel Tower, but I believe other people when they tell me it exists.

SPEAKER 1: Life-saving speeches, ill-fated messages, and bizarre postcards. Cars of the future and hallmarks of the past.

These are the "Mysteries At The Museum".

SPEAKER 3: Craig Breedlove was sort of a natural-born charmer. He was bold. He had ambitions, and he was determined. He

had set his sights on being the world's most renowned racer, and he was going to achieve it.

SPEAKER 1: And his mechanical background as a do it yourself hot rodder gives him an engineering edge on his professional


SPEAKER 3: Hot rodding really came into its own in Southern California. A lot of people got involved with taking old cars, stock

cars, cars you could buy at the dealer, and adding souped-up, turbocharged engines and racing them.

SPEAKER 1: And Craig Breedlove was one of hot-rod racing's rising stars.
SPEAKER 3: He had started working on engines when he was 14, won his first trophy at 17, and he was determined to win the
land-speed record, to win that prize back for America. So this vehicle actually has three wheels, and you can't
see the front one really at all, and the two wheels at the back are completely encased in fins. They come out
from the car. They're four feet in diameter. They're huge, huge wheels, about five inches wide.

SPEAKER 1: Unlike a standard automotive wheel, these massive tires have to be able to handle extreme lateral forces and

high friction.

SPEAKER 3: The wheel is unlike most wheels you'd find on your own car. There is very little rubber in comparison to the metal

hub, which is made out of aluminum, and there's hardly any tread.

SPEAKER 1: But the force most taxing on the tires is the pressure caused as the tire heats up and expands at high speeds.