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The Weird Week in Review

Ned Kelly's Head Possibly Found

The remains of famed Australian outlaw Ned Kelly were identified from a mass prison grave and returned to his family earlier this moth, with the exception of his head, which was missing. Now 74-year-old New Zealander Anna Hoffman has come forward and says she has Kelly's skull, given to her years ago by a security guard while she was visiting Melbourne. Hoffman has a collection of more than 20 human skulls. Forensic investigators will conduct DNA tests on the skull to determine if it is Kelly's, although an examiner says it's a long shot.

Cow Stuck In Tree Rescued By Firemen

A farmer in Cumbria, England, noticed one of his cows was missing, and found that it had toppled ten meters down an embankment. The cow didn't fall to the bottom, as its fall was broken by a tree growing out of the hill. The Cumbria Fire and Rescue Service was called, and firemen were a bit surprised to be asked to get a cow out of a tree. They used a winch and other specialized equipment to remove the cow from the tree. A veterinarian checked the animal out and declared she was fine after her misadventure.

Wisconsin Cow Patties Scarce Due To Drought

The drought that has gripped the midsection of the U.S. this summer has far-reaching ramifications. The Wisconsin State Cow Chip Throw and Festival in Prairie du Sac is finding it hard to scare up enough quality cow patties to throw. Cows tended to stay near the barn for food and shade, and manure didn't dry out in the sun as much as it should have. Organizers have only collected a third of the usual number of chips. Since they keep unbroken patties from previous years, they have a reserve supply they will have to dip into.

Student Asked to Change His Name for School

Three-year-old Hunter Spanjer is deaf and talks with his hands. In the S.E.E. (Signing Exact English) language, the gesture that means his name violates his school's weapons policy. Grand Island Public School wants Hunter to change his name so he won't have to use the sign. The sign may look a bit like a gun, but Hunter's name is a slightly modified sign to designate it as his personal identifier, in which he crosses his fingers. His fingers still look too much like a gun for school authorities. The National Association of the Deaf has been notified, and is expected to send lawyers to talk to officials from the school.

Lost Woman Looks for Herself

A bus driver alerted police and emergency personnel when one of the tourists went missing. The excursion to Iceland's Eldgjá volcanic canyon was put on hold for hours while a search was carried out.

However, the search was called off at 3 am when it turned out that the missing woman had been on the bus all along and even participated in the search for herself, mbl.is reports.

Before reentering the bus after the stop at Eldgjá, the woman had changed her clothes and freshened up, resulting in the other passengers not recognizing her.

According to information from the Coast Guard, a helicopter was ready to be sent to the area to assist with the search but the plans were put off due to foggy conditions. Around 50 people participated in the search on vehicles and by foot.

The unidentified woman hadn't recognized herself in the description of the lost woman, as her clothing had been described incorrectly.

Lion Hunt in Essex

A big cat sighting in Clacton-on-Sea, Essex, England had authorities on the prowl for about 24 hours. Residents reported seeing a "lion" roaming the neighborhood on Sunday evening, and one person gave police a fuzzy picture of the cat. Officials called in zoo experts and a heat-seeking helicopter for the search, but turned up nothing. Police called off the search the next day, saying that they believe the creature was actually a wildcat or a big house cat. They say many doctored photographs were circulated on the internet, but those were not the original picture that police were using.

Original image
FRED TANNEAU/AFP/Getty Images
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Animals
Fisherman Catches Rare Blue Lobster, Donates It to Science
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FRED TANNEAU/AFP/Getty Images

Live lobsters caught off the New England coast are typically brown, olive-green, or gray—which is why one New Hampshire fisherman was stunned when he snagged a blue one in mid-July.

As The Independent reports, Greg Ward, from Rye, New Hampshire, discovered the unusual lobster while examining his catch near the New Hampshire-Maine border. Ward initially thought the pale crustacean was an albino lobster, which some experts estimate to be a one-in-100-million discovery. However, a closer inspection revealed that the lobster's hard shell was blue and cream.

"This one was not all the way white and not all the way blue," Ward told The Portsmouth Herald. "I've never seen anything like it."

While not as rare as an albino lobster, blue lobsters are still a famously elusive catch: It's said that the odds of their occurrence are an estimated one in two million, although nobody knows the exact numbers.

Instead of eating the blue lobster, Ward decided to donate it to the Seacoast Science Center in Rye. There, it will be studied and displayed in a lobster tank with other unusually colored critters, including a second blue lobster, a bright orange lobster, and a calico-spotted lobster.

[h/t The Telegraph]

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Master Sgt. Rose Reynolds, U.S. Air Force, Wikimedia Commons // Public Domain
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How the U-2 Aircraft Made Area 51 Synonymous With UFOs
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Master Sgt. Rose Reynolds, U.S. Air Force, Wikimedia Commons // Public Domain

Area 51 may be the world’s most famous secret military base. Established on an abandoned airfield in the Nevada desert, the facility has fueled the imaginations of conspiracy theorists scanning the skies for UFOs for decades. But the truth about Area 51’s origins, while secretive, isn’t as thrilling as alien autopsies and flying saucers.

According to Business Insider, the U.S. government intended to build a base where they could test a top-secret military aircraft without drawing attention from civilians or spies. That aircraft, the U-2 plane, needed to fly higher than any other manmade object in the skies. That way it could perform recon missions over the USSR without getting shot down.

Even over the desert, the U-2 didn’t go completely undetected during test flights. Pilots who noticed the craft high above them reported it as an “unidentified flying object.” Not wanting to reveal the true nature of the project, Air Force officials gave flimsy explanations for the sightings pointing to either natural phenomena or weather research. UFO believers were right to think the government was covering something up, they were just wrong about the alien part.

You can get the full story in the video below.

[h/t Business Insider]

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