Tag Archives: solved

Angikuni Lake

23 Mar

The remote Angikuni Lake lies in Canada’s northernmost territory, Nunavut, and has been the subject of urban legends and UFO conspiracy theories for quite some time. This is because for many years, it was thought to be the site of an unexplained disappearance. Not just one person disappeared, though; apparently, an entire Inuit village vanished.

Location Of Angikuni Lake in Canada

Location Of Angikuni Lake in Canada

The mystery began in the early 1930’s, when a fur trapper named Joe Labelle alleged that he often visited the village, but had gone back to find that everyone was gone. He claimed that it didn’t seem as if they had all just packed up and left, and that there was evidence at the site that purportedly showed how something awful must have occurred, causing the villagers to leave as fast as they could. This ‘evidence’ included his claim that there was still food left in pots over fires, and unfinished garments left with the needle and thread still attached. Several sled-dogs were apparently dead, and a grave was said to have been dug up. Furthermore, around the same time, another trapper named Arnald Laurent claimed that he and his son had observed a strange light crossing the sky, heading towards Angikuni Lake (they may well have seen something, but I think it was probably just a shooting star).

Shooting star. Credit: Navicore

However, unfortunately for all the conspiracy theorists, this is yet another mystery that has been more or less solved. Records from the Royal Canadian Mounted Police showed that at the time (1931), they considered the case to be… well, not actually a case at all. Investigations showed that there were some semi-permanent dwellings in the area that a group of Inuit peoples used seasonally, abandoning them for other areas at certain times of the year. There was no evidence that anyone had left abruptly, as claimed, but it is easy to see why the fur trapper may have been alarmed by the whole occurrence, as in his culture, people generally didn’t pack up and leave when the seasons changed. The other seemingly strange aspects of the story (eg. the dug-up grave) were probably the result of embellished re-tellings of the story over the years. Doubts have even been raised as to whether Joe Labelle had even been to the area.

So, sorry to all the mystery buffs out there, but it seems as if Angikuni Lake is yet another case that can be safely considered as an exaggerated story with a decent explanation.

For more information, check out Robert Columbo’s book ‘Mysterious Canada: strange sights, extraordinary events, and peculiar places’.  

The Bloop – No Longer a Mystery

23 Mar

The infamously-named ‘Bloop’ refers to to an ultra-low frequency underwater sound that was detected in 1997, by the U.S National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. The sound was traced to the southern Pacific Ocean and was extremely powerful; far too loud to be a blue whale or some such other large ocean creature that we know of.

 bloop

For several years, it was considered to be one of the strangest unexplained underwater mysteries in the world, because no one knew what it was. At first, scientists attributed it to the sound of ‘ice calving’, a process that involves enormous chunks of ice breaking away from glaciers or other icy shelves. However, the sound was considered to be more likely to have originated from an animal, because its frequency was more similar to those of other marine animals, only much louder.

So, was it a mistake on the hydrophone (the machine used to monitor marine sounds)? Or, was it indicative of some terrifyingly large monster lurking the depths of the ocean, far larger than we could imagine?

Unfortunately for mystery-lovers, it was neither. Scientists later found that the sound was coming from something called ‘icequakes’; a seismic event caused by movement of glaciers or icebergs. As much as I would have liked to believe that Cthulu was roaming the oceans and finally been recorded, it seems that this mystery can be firmly categorised as solved. You can listen to ‘The Bloop’ on the Wikipedia entry here.

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