The Menominee Crack, photo courtesy Michigan Tech College of Engineering
Gizmodo reports that back in October of 2010 folks near Birch Creek in Menominee County heard a boom, felt the earth rock, and woke up to find a 360′ crack in the ground:
The first clue was the fact that the split happened at the top of a ridge. A pop-up isn’t a wrenching apart of some deep underground structure. It’s a large piece of ground suddenly pushing upwards, so that the ground above splits over it. The researchers discovered the pop-up by the sophisticated technique of slamming a sledgehammer against a metal ball sitting on the ground. The action caused sound waves to move through the rock beneath—and depending on the formation of the rock, the sound moves at different speeds. In this case, it moved in hugely different ways parallel to the crack, as compared to perpendicular to the crack. This indicated that there was a huge fracture in the limestone underneath the crack.
These sudden fractures occur due to extreme strain in the rock—strain that can be pent up for centuries. It’s more common around quarries, when removal of large pieces of rock can cause the rest to suddenly fracture and pop upwards. Other times, it can occur spontaneously. The Menominee Crack, as its now called, was probably the result of a spontaneous fracture—although the researchers speculate it might have happened due to the removal of a large tree from the area.
Read more at Gizmodo and check Michigan Tech for a detailed explanation of the Menominee Crack and Live Science for more photos. If you want to creep yourself out a little more, check out the probably related Wisconsin mystery booms!
Thanks Michigan Tech’s Engineering College for the photos and for all you do to help unravel the mysteries of Michigan!
If you like stuff like this, there’s plenty more Michigan weirdness on Michigan in Pictures!
Strange Sunset, photo by Craig Downing
On the last Wednesday of every month I used to do a “Weird Wednesday” feature in conjunction with Linda Godfrey. She’s still going strong and you can follow her findings at LindaGodfrey.com.
This isn’t one of Linda’s stories, but I thought I’d share it for old times sake. Via the Mutual UFO Network:
I am now age 78 but when I was about 6 or 7 and messing in the dirt with ants on the dirt dead-end road in back of the cottage about 10 miles outside of Ludington, Michigan, I saw a saucer like object flying toward me; it then stopped over Hamlin Lake and after a second, went back the way it came from the other side of Hamlin Lake and on perhaps in the direction of Lake Michigan. It didn’t make any noise and I didn’t see any windows. It just looked like a flying saucer.
The speed was relatively slow and it seemed to stop for a moment over about the middle of the lake there and then reverse course going back in the direction it had come as if to say, “Oh, I’m going in the wrong direction” I don’t know why I recall this event today as if it happened yesterday. I wish I didn’t. I recently saw on T.V. the Lake Michigan triangle between Benton Harbor, Manitowac and Ludington.
You can head over to MUFON for more reports. As to what’s actually happening over to Hamlin Lake, the Sunrays – Crepuscular rays page at Atmospheric Optics explains:
Sun rays, also called crepuscular rays, streaming through gaps in clouds are parallel columns of sunlit air separated by darker cloud shadowed regions. The rays appear to diverge because of perspective effects, like the parallel furrows of freshly ploughed fields or a road wide at your feet yet apparently narrowing with distance. Airborne dust, inorganic salts, organic aerosols, small water droplets and the air molecules themselves scatter the sunlight and make the rays visible.
View Craig’s photo bigger and see more in his Ludington slideshow.
Lots more Michigan weirdness on Michigan in Pictures!
“Foggy Forest Dawn” Lower Michigan Winter, photo by John McCormick
Well, Bigfoot Days at least. The Ogema County Voice reports:
World renowned scientist/author Dr. Igor Burtsev from Moscow, Russia, will be the keynote speaker at the West Branch Bigfoot Days conference scheduled for Friday and Saturday, Feb. 6 and 7. Burtsev will have a meet and greet and book signing on Friday from 2-6 p.m. at the Peace Tree Station in downtown West Branch. The conference will be held at the First United Methodist Church, 2490 State Rd.in West Branch and will feature Burtsev along with several other speakers, a townhall meeting, panel discussions and more on Saturday starting at 9 a.m. To register for the conference contact Shelly Schwenkler at 989-329-2110 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
More at the West Branch Bigfoot Days event on Facebook.
Michigan has logged nearly 200 Bigfoot sightings according to the Bigfoot Field Researchers Organization. If you want to delve deeper, there’s also the Michigan Bigfoot Information Center, and you can check out an interesting video exploring one possible photograph from the UP on the Animal Planet show Finding Bigfoot.
John was pretty sure Bigfoot haunts these woods. View his photo bigger, see more in his Mystery & Imagination slideshow.
PS: I’d be remiss if I didn’t refer you to my friend Linda’s Weird Michigan website for some Michigan Bigfoot & cryptid tales that will definitely give you a little chill!
South Arm Nessie, photo by Cvx_Wx
Absolute Michigan has been known to hold Weird Wednesdays on the last Wednesday of every month. Our Michigan Sea Monsters post featured two denizens of the deep courtesy Linda Godfrey’s Weird Michigan, the Sea Monster of the Straits and the Lake Leelanau Monster:
The story of an early 20th Century sea monster sighting was sent to The Shadowlands Web site by a reader whose great-grandfather was the witness. The boy was fishing for perch one day in 1910 in the shallows of Lake Leelanau in Leelanau County. The lake had been dammed in the late 1800’s to provide water power for the local mill and to enable logging. The dam also flooded much surrounding area, turning it into swamps and bogs punctuated by dead, standing trees.
On that particular day, the young great-grandfather, William Gauthier, rowed out to a new fishing spot near the town of Lake Leelanau. Looking for good perch habitat, he paddled up close to a tree that he estimated to stand about five feet tall above the water, with a six-inch trunk. He was in about seven feet of water, and after deciding this would be a good place to stop and cast a line, began tying the boat to the tree.
That’s when young William discovered the tree had eyes. They were staring him dead in the face at about four feet above water level. The boy and serpent exchanged a long gaze, then the creature went, “Bloop” into the water. Gauthier said later that the creature’s head passed one end of the boat while the tail was still at the other end, though it was undulating very quickly through the water. The writer noted that Gauthier always admitted to having been thoroughly frightened by his encounter, and that the event caused him to stay off that lake for many years.
The writer added that his great-grandfather came from a prominent area family and was very well-educated, and that he knew others who would admit privately but not publicly that they, too, had seen the creature. No sightings have been reported in recent times, but who knows how many people have believed they were passing by a rotting old cedar when in fact they had just grazed the Leelanau lake monster?
Could the South Arm of Lake Charlevoix hold similar creatures? Check this out big as a beastie and see more in Ed’s My Neighborhood slideshow.
More weird Michigan on Michigan in Pictures!
2011 March Du Nain Rouge, Detroit, MI, photo by vanessamiller.
Today’s tale is one of our favorites, the story of the Imp of Detroit, the Nain Rouge who some say has plagued the city since its founding over 300 years ago. It begins:
Among all the impish offspring of the Stone God, wizards and witches, that made Detroit feared by the early settlers, none were more dreaded than the Nain Rouge (Red Dwarf), or Demon of the Strait, for it appeared only when there was to be trouble. In that it delighted. It was a shambling, red-faced creature, with a cold, glittering eye and teeth protruding from a grinning mouth. Cadillac, founder of Detroit, having struck at it, presently lost his seigniory and his fortunes. It was seen scampering along the shore on the night before the attack on Bloody Run, when the brook that afterward bore this name turned red with the blood of soldiers. People saw it in the smoky streets when the city was burned in 1805, and on the morning of Hull’s surrender it was found grinning in the fog. It rubbed its bony knuckles expectantly when David Fisher paddled across the strait to see his love, Soulange Gaudet, in the only boat he could find, a wheel-barrow…
Read on for more, including more recent tales like the 1976 sighting by two employees of Detroit Edison of a small “child” climbing a utility pole on March 1st who then leaped from the top of the twenty-foot pole and scurried away. The next day Detroit was buried in one of the worst ice/snowstorms in its history.
Every March, the people of Detroit conduct the Marche Du Nain Rouge, a celebration to drive the Red Dwarf from the city. Vanessa got this shot there – see it bigger and in her 2011 March du nain rouge slideshow.
Sticks and Stones, photo by Jeff Gaydash.
Jeff took this shot of the remains of the Forester Pier last March in Lake Huron. Check it out bigger in his Great Lakes slideshow.
Safe travels and fair winds!
Michigan Snowhenge, photo by Michigan Druids
On February 13th, 2010 they were successful in completing a 1/3rd scale replica of Stonehenge at the MacKay Jaycees Family Park in Grand Rapids, Michigan. They write (in part):
The monument built out of Michigan’s most abundant natural raw material is appropriately named Snowhenge.
Standing 6.5 feet tall and 30 feet in diameter and consisting of nearly 1000 cubic feet of packed snow, Snowhenge’s 12 pillars and 12 lintels are perfectly aligned astronomical markers. Looking directly through the hole in the center of pillar 3 soon after sunset on Winter Solstice extraordinarily reveals an almost equilateral triangle formed by the visible planets Saturn (left), Mars (top), and Venus (right). A curious carving on pillar 4 shows four stars inside a trapezium which matches the Trapezium Star Cluster in the Orion Nebula. The imaginary end point of a line dissecting the trapezium matches the coordinates of the star Sirius, the brightest star in the Milky Way. An obelisk inside the snow circle marks the passage of the sun as its shadow moves in a figure eight on the ground below. Stone plaques strategically placed on the ground display the constellations of the zodiac. Outside the circle, three pairs of standing snowmen show where the sun rises and sets for each of the solstices and equinoxes.
Every key point also has a rock plaque denoting its seasonal significance engraved with a simple phrase like “Midsummer Solstice Sunrise”. Others describe local area seasonal events such as “Blandford Sugarbush”, “Grand Rapids Festival of the Arts”, “28th Street Metro Cruise” and “Celebration on the Grand”. The 12 lintels, supported by 144 rods of ice rebar, also contain markings that coincide with the orbital patterns of Earth and Venus which are designed to forecast solar eclipses, the appearance of comets, and the end of the world on December 23rd of 2012, exactly matching the Mayan calendar prediction. What’s most truly remarkable, pillar 1 is precisely parallel with 28th Street! Curiously, the phenomenon known as global warming which has created isolated heat zones around the globe inversely causes cold spots on the opposite side of the globe. Numerous consecutive years of record heat spikes in Perth, Australia are directly responsible for the extraordinary cold snaps at MacKay Jaycees Family Park which will amazingly keep Snowhenge frozen all year round.
Read more and see pictures at snowhenge.blogspot.com, and also check out this picture of Snowhenge at night.
Not enough Michigan weirdness for you? The last Wednesday of every month is a Weird Wednesday on Absolute Michigan!
If you’ve ever wondered what the most popular post on Michigan in Pictures was, you’ve arrived. Over 100,000 people followed a Reddit post here to learn about an underwater discovery.
September 29, 2011 Welcome everyone from Reddit. We don’t have any update to this story right now but I’ve emailed Mark and will post anything I learn. You might enjoy some of our Weird Michigan features from Absolute Michigan too!
Lake Michigan Stones, photo via bldgblog.
In a surprisingly under-reported story from 2007, Mark Holley, a professor of underwater archaeology at Northwestern Michigan University, discovered a series of stones – some of them arranged in a circle and one of which seemed to show carvings of a mastodon – 40-feet beneath the surface waters of Lake Michigan. If verified, the carvings could be as much as 10,000 years old – coincident with the post-Ice Age presence of both humans and mastodons in the upper midwest.
Regarding the slightly repurposed “sector scan sonar” device that Northwestern Michigan
University College professor and underwater archaeologist Dr. Mark Holley & Brian Abbott were using to survey some old wrecks when they made their discovery, Geoff writes:
The circular images this thing produces are unreal; like some strange new art-historical branch of landscape representation, they form cryptic dioramas of long-lost wreckage on the lakebed. Shipwrecks (like the Tramp, which went down in 1974); a “junk pile” of old boats and cars; a Civil War-era pier; and even an old buggy are just some of the topographic features the divers discovered.
You’ll definitely want to click through to read the rest and see more pictures!
You can read a detailed feature about this in U.S. archeologists find possible mastodon carving on Lake Michigan rock at NowPublic and listen to some radio reports from the time of the discovery in August of 2007 that include an interview with Dr. Holley and another with Grand Traverse Bay Ottawa Indian tribal member and historian John Bailey in Mammoth discovery beneath Grand Traverse Bay? on Absolute Michigan.
A Haunting at Historic Fort Wayne, photo by milminedesign.
Linda doesn’t have a corner on the unexplained though – here’s a photo from the Absolute Michigan pool by Karen who writes:
I took this photo on a sunny spring day in early April. Late afternoon at Historic Fort Wayne in Detroit. No one was in front of me when the photo was taken, nor did I see this apparition until reviewing my photos. I am an investigator with Metro Paranormal Investigations here in Michigan and we were preparing for an investigation. Notice that the figure does not have a head. Pictures taken immediately before and after this one show normal lighting and look nothing like this one. This photo has been analyzed many times by several individuals and the current conclusion is that it is unexplained.
At the Metro Paranormal Investigations you can check out paranormal reports and more photos in their gallery.
The Wikipedia entry for Fort Wayne in Detroit doesn’t mention any hauntings, but you should probably go there to check! One thing I do know about Fort Wayne is that the whole facility is in peril due to a lack of funding for historic preservation. You can learn more about that from the Historic Fort Wayne Coalition and at Save Fort Wayne.