Talk:Essay:Greatest Mysteries of American History

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What scope are we using here?

Would the question of what happened to Jimmy Hoffa, Judge Crater, D. B. Cooper, and other similar famous, historic disappearances fit the article? Jinxmchue 00:04, 12 August 2008 (EDT)

Good suggestion. I'll add these. I'm not even aware of the Judge Crater mystery, and now you have my curiosity piqued!--Aschlafly 20:59, 12 August 2008 (EDT)
I think the better question is, "What is the definition of 'mystery' being used here?". Some of these items are not so much mysteries as they are speculations of alternate outcomes. For example, "What happened to the Lost Colony?" is a mystery, but "Could the South have possibly won the Civil War?" is speculation. If there's agreement on this, then items #9 and #10 should be removed as not being mysteries, and relocated to new essays or debate pages instead. -DinsdaleP 13:39, 14 August 2008 (EDT)

Not really mysteries.

  1. What caused the USS Maine to explode?
 The current theory is that there was an explosion on the ship.
  1. What caused the Great Depression?
 An unregulated economy and the dust bowl.
  1. Did FDR have advance knowledge of the attack on Pearl Harbor?
 No... Just no.
  1. Why did the U-2 spy plane crash-land in the Soviet Union?
 A surface to air missile.
You're entitled to your opinion, but it's clear you haven't solved these four mysteries. The first answer simply repeats the question; your second is obviously biased and silly; your third shows a lack of understanding of the facts; and your fails to address how high U-2's fly. Keep trying, and maybe you'll learn something in the process.--Aschlafly 20:58, 12 August 2008 (EDT)
While the U-2 does fly at a very high altitude (25,000 meters)[1], the missiles in use at that time, S-75 Dvinas, have a higher max altitude, at 33,000 meters.[2] With the Maine, I should clarify, the current theory is that a spark in one of the coal shutes caused an explosion.
If a missile hit the U-2 as you claim, then how could it have landed intact with the pilot surviving? This mystery is not solved ... yet.--Aschlafly 23:43, 12 August 2008 (EDT)
No one has ever said it landed intact, there was debris, but that is to be expected, and Powers bailed out after the first salvo. 01:19, 13 August 2008 (EDT)


Not much of a mystery. He took note of the co-ordinates and used a compass. You might as well ask "How did columbus manage to find the exact port he left from". PeterSK 00:48, 13 August 2008 (EDT)

Can maybe someone address this? Its not a mystery. Columbus was a gifted sailor and navigator. Its not a mystery all. Thanks! PeterSK 21:50, 13 August 2008 (EDT)

Wow, with your approach, I could teach American History in just a few minutes! George Washington was a "gifted" President, Douglas MacArthur was a "gifted" General, and Ronald Reagan was a "gifted" leader. Somehow I think there's more to the story than that. But thanks for your comment. Godspeed.--Aschlafly 22:51, 13 August 2008 (EDT)
Ronald Reagan was a gifted leader who used the tools he had access to, to govern. Columbus was a gifted sailor and navigator who used a compass, took note of co-ordinates and used the stars. He used the same skills to get back to the exact same port he left from. No mystery!

PeterSK 22:55, 13 August 2008 (EDT)

You could "solve" any mystery with your approach: simply work backwards and declare the successful person to have been "gifted"! In fact, of course, Columbus may not have been any more gifted than the average person. He was more motivated and prayed more, but that is generally not considered to be within the meaning of being "gifted".--Aschlafly 23:09, 13 August 2008 (EDT)

Fine, he may/or may not have been gifted but like all sailors of the time he used a compass, navigated using the stars and noted the co-ordinates. Thats how he got back to where he started also. He didnt just blindly sail. Not a mystery. PeterSK 23:13, 13 August 2008 (EDT)

I retract the celestial navigation. He used a system called dead reckoning see here. PeterSK 23:18, 13 August 2008 (EDT)

Columbus was inspired by God.

Inspired by God he was but he still had a compass and still kept logs of his progress and navigated using the Dead Reckoning system. I reiterate, he didnt just blindly sail. PeterSK 23:27, 13 August 2008 (EDT)

I'm sure he did use a compass, and also his eyes. But I doubt your claim that he was "gifted" and that such was the reason for his extraordinary results.--Aschlafly 23:48, 13 August 2008 (EDT)
I think I must be misunderstanding you, Andrew, but are you saying that he was guided by God because he was able to return to the same port he had sailed from? Konstanty07:37, 14 August 2008 (EDT)
Do yourself a favor and learn some history first. I'm saying it is a mystery and it requires effort to try to understand it better. Godspeed.--Aschlafly 09:30, 14 August 2008 (EDT)

I have studied enough world history to know that people were able to sail to distant ports, and return back to their home port using tools and methods still in use today in some parts of the world.

Konstanty Konstanty 09:43, 14 August 2008 (EDT)

Konstanty, you're long in talk but short in citations to support your talk. Can you give an example from the 15th century of others achieving Columbus's feat, reaching the exact same spot across an ocean as he did?--Aschlafly 10:14, 14 August 2008 (EDT)
People sailed all over the known world using the same methods. How do you think they got to India, with a GPS system? How did the Vikings get to Greenland and back? These method; compasses, stars, visual observations were basically all we had until maybe a 100 years ago. Why can't you just admit that? It's almost like you don't even know how to use the internet to research this stuff yourself. Just look it up! MAnderson 10:38, 14 August 2008 (EDT)
Columbus was a skilled navigator and had years of experience sailing in the Atlantic. At the time of his voyages, the principles of navigation by celestial observations were well-understood, so where is there a mystery as to how a skilled, experienced navigator could return to a location that had its coordinates documented in a prior voyage? -DinsdaleP 13:23, 14 August 2008 (EDT)

Pearl Harbour

From what I remember from middle school history, the US knew an attack was coming after they picked up the words "east wind, south" (or something similar) in a broadcast to the Japanese embassy. Earlier interceptions confirmed that this would be a signal that negotiations (which had merely been a stalling tactic for some time, anyway) were to end and an attack was imminent. However, most felt the attack would be against British and Dutch territories in Malaysia. By then, however, the Imperial Navy carrier fleet was already in position to launch the attack on Pearl Harbour. This is also covered in some detail in "The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich." --KotomiTOhayo gozaimasu! 07:24, 13 August 2008 (EDT)

Could be that the warning signs were erroneously rejected without word getting to FDR, but that seems a bit cavalier in dealing with an attack, doesn't it? Many doubt U.S. intelligence was really that weak. After all, the U.S. had clearly broken the Japanese code prior to the attack.--Aschlafly 07:35, 13 August 2008 (EDT)r
It's possible - WW2 is littered with examples of good intelligence being ignored to the detriment of either side. Although now you have me thinking. First question is why? It would be deliberate treason to allow most of the fleet to be wiped out, giving the Japanese short-term superiority (once Renown and Prince of Wales were sunk too). What could the motivation for that be, besides enter the US into the War, which probably would have happened soon anyway. Then again, were some key ships not moved from harbour a short time before the attack (sorry, my knowledge of the history of the War tends to be more focussed on the Japanese home front, obviously). If they had been in port and destroyed too, the fleet may never have recovered. Why did they leave so soon before the attack (again, I am assuming they did) --KotomiTOhayo gozaimasu! 09:27, 13 August 2008 (EDT)
Two obvious reasons for allowing the attack would be (1) to ensure full American support for fighting the war in Europe, as FDR wanted to rescue England and (2) not reveal that Americans had broken Japan's codes. Churchill allowed attacks for the same reason as (2).--Aschlafly 09:36, 13 August 2008 (EDT)
That does make sense, but it seems to be a high price to pay for secrecy (with regards to 2). --KotomiTOhayo gozaimasu! 09:42, 13 August 2008 (EDT)
It makes absolutely no sense. Are you saying that FDR allowed the Japanese to destroy most of the Pacific fleet for these reasons? If he hoped to ensure that America entered the war in Europe and he basically knew the Japanese were planning this attack, couldn't he have ordered most of the ships and planes to leave at least 12 hours prior to the attack? Wouldn't almost any attack on American soil sealed the deal? Instead you are suggesting that knowing we would be going to war in the Pacific (at least) that he purposely let this occur thus setting us back for years when he knew there would be tremendous road ahead. In any case, by that time we were basically preparing for war in Europe anyway. We were pouring tons of money and equipment into England. Ever heard of "lend lease"? This mystery is just a conservative smeer against FDR. MAnderson 13:57, 14 August 2008 (EDT)
There's no doubt we had broken the Japanese codes, there's no doubt that the attack planes were spotted early on radar, and there's no doubt that FDR badly wanted something to change public opposition to war. Now, you're free to doubt that FDR allowed the attack, but you're being illogical when you say it would not have made sense. In fact, it would have made perfect sense, and could only be described as highly successful in the long run.
Churchill did essentially the same thing in allowing attacks on his soil, and Churchill and FDR conferred closely in the early stages of the war. In fact, though most Americans are unaware of this, Churchill actually stayed for months at the White House during this time! So I don't know why you would say that FDR would never, ever do what we know his friend and mentor Churchill did do!--Aschlafly 21:43, 14 August 2008 (EDT)
Can you site some reputable and current sources for the Churchill thing. I find some allegation that he allowed the bombing of Coventry but that is disputed and most sites don't even mention it. MAnderson 14:31, 15 August 2008 (EDT)

President Reagan and SDI

You ask the question - Where did President Ronald Reagan get the idea and impetus for proposing the Strategic Defense Initiative?

I found some interesting answers in this document:


--DeanStalk 10:06, 13 August 2008 (EDT)

Very, very interesting. I'm going to study that document further and ask some people who might know more. Thanks.--Aschlafly 10:26, 13 August 2008 (EDT)

USS Maine explosion

You ask the question - What caused the USS Maine to explode?

While this article doesn't solve the mystery, it does provide an interesting analysis. What Destroyed the USS MAINE - An opinion --DeanStalk 22:05, 13 August 2008 (EDT)

Repeal of Prohibition

You ask the question - What really caused the repeal of Prohibition?

This article provides an interesting analysis. According to the article, the problems Prohibition was supposed to solve, got worse. The public became disillusioned with the Prohibition, supporters turned into dissenters and many repeal organizations were formed. The Democrats won the presidential election and the rest is history.
Repeal of Prohibition in the U.S. --DeanStalk 22:28, 13 August 2008 (EDT)

Very interesting. I wonder, though, how "disillusioned" the public really was, as opposed to simple politics here and the impact of the Great Depression.--Aschlafly 22:52, 13 August 2008 (EDT)

Vikings in North America

Why is this included in a list of mysteries when the landing and settlement of Vikings in Newfoundland has been established, documented and subsequently defended here on Conservapedia? The only source ever cited here on CP to challenge the Vikings' presence in North America concluded that they never reached New England, but definitively stated that they did land and settle in Newfoundland. The Newfoundland site has been excavated and researched over decades by a variety of teams, and accusations by Aschlafly that the settlement there is a hoax using planted evidence have no supporting evidence. Are we also going to question whether the NASA moon landings took place as well? -DinsdaleP 13:30, 14 August 2008 (EDT)

Are some of these really mysteries?

I understand that many things on this list can legitimately be classified as mysteries, but I'm skeptical about some of them. The items "Could the Civil War have been avoided with a peaceful solution?" and

"Could the South have possibly won the Civil War?" are particularly dubious, since they don't belong to the category of "what actually happened" as much as "speculation about what could have happened differently had history taken a different course." While such speculation is fun I don't know that this page is appropriate for it. Maybe creating another page for that sort of activity is a good idea--a sort of "How would history be different if..." page.--Recorder 15:56, 15 August 2008 (EDT)
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