The Mysterious Suicide of French Politician Robert Boulin

Robert Boulin.

Robert Boulin.

On October 30, 1979, the body of Robert Boulin was found in a pond in the forest of Rambouillet in southern France. Boulin, a Gaullist politician and veteran of the French Resistance during World War II, had not been seen since the day before, when he had gone out to lunch with his son. His car and an empty container of barbiturates were found near his body. Inside the car were some letters declaring his intention to kill himself.

A note he wrote to police, dated the day of his death, was received a few days later. Boulin wrote, “I have decided to drown myself in a lake in the forest of Rambouillet, where I enjoyed horse-riding.”

The autumn of that year, Boulin was embroiled in a real-estate scandal in which he illegally acquired five acres of land in the Rambouillet area. At that time, Boulin was the Minister of Labor, and was well on his way to becoming the next prime minister. The revelation of the scandal in the press, however, harshly tarnished his political career and reputation. According to the official account of his death, Boulin was so devastated that it drove him to suicide. The authorities closed the case quickly, attributing his death to drowning.

The spot where Boulin's body was discovered.

The spot where Boulin’s body was discovered.

Boulin’s family has publicly denied this. They’ve pointed out that the water he was supposed to have drowned in was only a foot-and-a-half deep. Furthermore, as was only recorded in a second autopsy that was conducted in 1983, there were “bruises around his wrists and a blood clot behind his head.” The judge in charge of the case asked for Boulin’s lungs to be checked to confirm that they contained water, but the jars storing the lungs inexplicably disappeared. Boulin’s family believe that his death was the result of foul play, and have accused his former Gaullist colleagues of plotting and covering up the murder.


After years of keeping quiet, the local policeman who first saw Boulin’s body came out publicly in 2011 with some new information. The officer, Francis Deswarte, reported that Boulin’s head was out of the water, and had red marks all over his face. Deswarte said that he was dismissed from the case only a half-hour later. Two or three months passed, and he was then called in for questioning by federal police, who ordered him to keep quiet about what he saw. When he asked about the red marks, they told him that Boulin’s body had been dropped by the firefighters who were taking it out of the water, despite that Deswarte himself saw the body being removed without a problem.

In light of this new information, no new investigation has been opened.

This article originally appeared on Bizarrepedia, a site full of interesting articles about serial killers, unsolved crimes, and other strange things.

British Explorer Percy Fawcett and the Ancient Lost City of Z

Percy Fawcett with an Olmec (?) statue.

Percy Fawcett with an Olmec (?) statue.

Colonel Percy Fawcett was one of the most famous British explorers of his day, a friend of writers Arthur Conan Doyle and H. Rider Haggard. He had a strong interest in Atlantis and the occult, and after years of exploring South America, speculated that the ruins of a lost ancient city called Z laid somewhere in the unmapped territory of the Amazon.

Fawcett believed the city was built by an advanced civilization, once writing to his son Brian that he expected “the ruins to be monolithic in character, more ancient than the oldest Egyptian discoveries. Judging by inscriptions found in many parts of Brazil, the inhabitants used an alphabetical writing allied to many ancient European and Asian scripts.” He even heard rumors that a strange source of light would illuminate the insides of the buildings, “a phenomenon that filled with terror the Indians who claimed to have seen it.”

After two previous expeditions in the early 1920s that ended in failure, Fawcett set out for a third expedition with his 21-year-old son Jack and Jack’s friend Raleigh Rimell in 1925. Fawcett suspected that Z was located somewhere in the jungles of Mato Grosso, a little-explored region full of dangerous insects, unfriendly Indian tribes, and piranha-infested rivers.

Jack Fawcett and Raleigh Rimmell.

Jack Fawcett and Raleigh Rimmell.

By May 29th, about 5 weeks into the expedition, Fawcett and his two young companions arrived at the outpost where Fawcett had left off in his last search. He gave their native guides a letter written for his wife, and then dismissed them back to the state capital of Cuiaba. 2 years passed without anybody hearing from the team again, and some began to fear that they were dead.

The Royal Geographical Society’s George Miller Dyott organized an expedition to find the Fawcett party in 1928, but they came up with nothing. There were rumors that the trio was still alive, either the captives of hostile Indians or volunteers who had given up civilization and gone native. In the 90 years that have passed since their disappearance, over 100 people have been killed trying to look for them.

Another picture of Percy Fawcett.

Another picture of Percy Fawcett.

Missionaries in the early 1930s reported hearing stories about a tall, blue-eyed white man in the area who was forced to marry an Indian chief’s daughter. There were also sightings of a white baby boy said to be the son of either Fawcett or Jack. Fawcett’s wife believed that the men were still alive, and claimed to have received a psychic message from her husband in 1934. Psychic Geraldine Cummins also reported receiving a telepathic message from Fawcett in 1936, and received four more communications until 1948, when he told her that he was dead. Further venturing into inanity, some people in the theosophist and flying saucer communities believed that Fawcett really did find Z, which was actually a subterranean city full of UFOs and beautiful red-haired people.

These bones were said to be the remains of Percy Fawcett, but later investigation showed that they belonged to a Kalapalos Indian.

These bones were said to be the remains of Percy Fawcett, but later investigation showed that they belonged to a Kalapalos Indian.

Moving onto more “plausible” rumors, there were also stories of Fawcett being killed. One man in 1949 claimed that Fawcett and Rimmell were dead, and he had seen their shrunken heads. Author Harold Wilkins in 1952 heard that another man was shown Fawcett’s shrunken head by an Indian chief. The same year, Brazilian indigenous activist Orlando Vilas Boaz reported that the party was killed by the Kalapalo Indians. He discovered some bones in the area, but later examination showed that the remains weren’t Fawcett. Another theory suggests that Fawcett intentionally went missing so he could establish a remote theosophist-influenced commune.

Fawcett’s son Brian made several trips to Brazil in the 1950s to search for his father and brother himself, but he was unable to find any more information about what happened to them.

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15 Creepy Pictures from the Japanese Side of the Internet

15. A festival in Tochigi Prefecture.

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14. Decapitated heads work just as well as traditional scarecrows.

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13. Kids making poses.

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11. No idea where this thing is.

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10. These little kids are holding up tengu masks, a kind of Japanese demon.

9. I never thought watermelon could be so terrifying.


8. Three people died in a car accident here. That’s supposedly the face of a ghost.


7. Your guess is as good as mine.

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6. H’m, there’s just something about putting creepy faces on inanimate objects.


5. Now here’s a gritty reboot I’d like to see.


4. Some sort of ball of light hovering over a graveyard

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3. A life-sized doll dressed in a kimono.

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2. She seems happy.weird2

1. Some photoshops should just never be done. (EDIT: A reader has pointed out to me that this is actually face paint. My bad!)

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The Jiangshi, a Vampire Zombie that Moves by Hopping


The jiangshi, meaning “stiff corpse”, is a monster from Chinese folklore somewhat similar to Western vampires and zombies. There are several different ways a person can become a jiangshi, and while they are usually dead beforehand, some living people can turn into jiangshi after being bitten or attacked by one. People who commit suicide, aren’t buried after death, or whose corpses become possessed by malicious spirits can all become jiangshi. Daoist priests can also reanimate the dead and turn them into jiangshi.

A jiangshi from the 1985 Mr. Vampire movie.

A jiangshi from the 1985 Mr. Vampire movie.

Jiangshi tend to vary in appearance, an individual jiangshi’s looks depending on how exactly long it had been dead. Some that had just recently died look like ordinary human beings, while others that had died a long time ago look just like rotting corpses. All of them are known, however, for their peculiar way of movement. Because of rigor mortis, a jiangshi’s arms and legs are very stiff, so they’re forced to hop and keep their arms stretched forward to grab victims easier.

Another scene from Mr. Vampire. These jiangshi were put to sleep by a Daoist priest.

Another scene from Mr. Vampire. These jiangshi were put to sleep by a Daoist priest.

In popular culture, especially in Hong Kong movies, they are usually depicted with claw-like fingernails, greenish-white skin, and wide open mouths. They wear the uniform of a Qing official, the period of Chinese history (1644-1912) when the Han Chinese were ruled by the Manchu.

A man wearing a Qing-era costume.

A man wearing a Qing-era costume.

Jiangshi avoid the sun, and because they’re afraid of rooster calls, rest in caves or coffins during the day. Once night-time comes around, they emerge from their hiding places and look for victims whose life force they can suck up. There are many ways a jiangshi can be defeated, including showing them their reflection in a mirror, setting them on fire, or throwing the blood of a black dog on them.

The word “jiangshi” has been used in Chinese literature as early as the time of the Han Dynasty (206 BC-220 AD), but this early usage referred to a corpse. By the time of the Qing, it had come to denote a supernatural reanimated corpse. Jiangshi stories were quite popular during the Qing-era, and their conventional costume might be a reinforcement of anti-Manchu backlash.

An illustration showing what the method of

An illustration showing what the method of “transporting a corpse over 1000 li” looked like.

The source of the jiangshi monster might have come from the practice of “transporting a corpse over a thousand li”, a common method of moving dead bodies in the region of Xiangxi. Dying away from home was considered a very big deal in traditional China, and families who were too poor to afford transportation to bring back a relative who died in a far away location would buy the services of “corpse walkers”. Corpse walkers, typically a team of two men, would tie corpses upright upon long bamboo rods that were carried horizontally. When seen from far away, because the rods would bump up and down, the corpses looked like they were hopping. This practice was often done at night, to avoid seeing people and because it was cooler outside.

The “Death to Pedophiles” Skull

Antibes, France.

Antibes, France.

On February 10, 2012, a professional diver looking for sea urchins off the resort of Antibes in southeastern France found something far grislier: a human skull. The skull, which was discovered on a seabed that was 10 meters (32 feet) deep into the water, had the words “Death to pedophiles” drawn on it, along with the scribbling of a shooting target.

The diver called the police, and several more dives in the area turned up a pair of arm bones, a leg bone, and part of a jawbone. Forensic tests determined that the bones had belonged to four different people, two men and two women. The skull was estimated to have been that of a 50-year-old man, and the rest of the bones, which were difficult to examine, might have come from people under the age of 30. It’s possible that the bones had been underwater for over a decade.

The upper arm bone discovered.

One of the discovered arm bones.

Authorities have launched an inquiry into cases of murder, kidnapping, imprisoning, and taking and receiving corpses. It’s believed that the bones belonged to the victims of a serial killer. Stephane Bourgoin, a criminologist and expert on serial killers, has suggested that the murderer lives in the area or knows it well.

Stephane Hirson.

Stephane Hirson.

Through further DNA tests, one of the arm bones was eventually identified as belonging to Stephane Hirson, a 17-year-old teenager from Paris who went missing shortly before his 18th birthday in February 1994. Hirson, who suffered from mental problems and had spent time in a psychiatric hospital, left his house without any money or personal belongings.

Some family members, however, were skeptical. One relative said in an interview with French radio that Hirson had no reason to be in southern France, and he had earlier told his mother that he was planning to go to Spain. Another DNA test was conducted, this time from the young man’s father, and the results determined that the bone wasn’t Hirson’s after all.

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The 1965 Maurice Masse UFO Incident

Maurice Masse.

Maurice Masse.

On July 1, 1965, at approximately 6 AM, Maurice Masse was getting ready for work on his farm in Valensole, France when he heard a strange noise coming from his lavender field. Masse assumed it was one of the military helicopters that would sometimes land on his property. Worried that the helicopter might be crushing his lavender, he made his way over to the field and intended to tell the pilot to park someplace else. Rather than a helicopter, however, Masse stumbled upon an egg-shaped vehicle about the size of a car. It stood on six thin legs, sitting about 200 feet away from him. He noticed two small boys, about four feet tall, standing near the craft, apparently observing the lavender.

Picture by Michael Buhler of the Maurice Masse UFO encounter.

Picture by Michael Buhler of the Maurice Masse UFO encounter.

As Masse began to walk closer to confront them, he realized that the two figures weren’t boys. They weren’t even human. Dressed in green one-piece suits, the creatures had abnormally large and bald heads, no lips, pointed chins, pale skin, and small hands. One of the creatures suddenly turned around and pointed a small tube at Masse, blasting him with a light that paralyzed him. They stared at Masse for about a minute, communicating with one another by low, guttural grunts. A door then slid open across the craft, and the two mysterious beings disappeared into it. After the door closed, the craft took off into the sky, out of Masse’s sight.

Lavender farmer Maurice Masse encounters a landed UFO and its occupants on his land early in the morning ; they paralyse him by pointing 'ray- guns' at him - Date: 1 July 1965

Masse was paralyzed for 15 minutes before he could move again. After checking to inspect the marks the craft’s legs had made on his lavender, he rushed to town and told a cafe owner what had happened. It wasn’t long before the story hit the media and authorities, and Masse’s farm soon became infested with tourists. UFO investigators took samples of the lavender and soil allegedly touched by the craft, and Masse freely talked to them about his experience.

Picture of where the craft is said to have landed.

Picture of where the craft is said to have landed.

He said that he wasn’t afraid at all during the encounter and paralysis, and believed that the creatures had no desire to hurt him. Masse did, however, refuse to elaborate on the psychological and physical effects he felt afterward. He did admit to feeling extremely sleepy during the first few weeks, sometimes sleeping up to 12 hours a day. In particular, there was one big detail of the encounter that he refused to discuss with anybody.“Nobody will make me tell it,” he is reported as saying. His wife later said in an interview that he constantly thought about the creatures, and “considered his encounter with them a spiritual experience”. Whatever else he saw, Masse took it to the grave with him, dying on May 14th, 2004.

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The Lobishomen: A Werewolf Whose Blood Can Kill You


The lobishomen is a type of werewolf that appears in Portuguese folklore, most prominently in the southern region of Alentejo. It’s usually described as a typical werewolf, although others have said it looks more like a small, hunchbacked monkey. Explanations for how people become lobishomen varies across the country, from being the murder victims of witchcraft to being the children of parents who had committed incest. The most common explanation, however, is that a lobishomen is born if his mother has had seven (sometimes five) sons in a row. Daughters can become lobishomen too, although they are generally called “loberia”.

The victim’s life is completely normal until he’s hit puberty. For the next seven years, every Saturday night, the adolescent child has an unstoppable urge to quit whatever he’s doing and go out into the woods. He’ll then take off his clothes, fall to the ground, and transform into an ugly and oversized animal, typically a rabbit, wolf, or donkey. Immediately, he starts to run throughout the forest, and he can’t stop until the sun’s come up. According to some variations, he runs because he’s being chased by demon dogs.


Once the seven years are up, the victim finally becomes a lobishomen. During the daytime, he looks like any other man, but he’s very thin and has a yellowish tint to his skin. He continues to suffer an involuntary transformation every Saturday night, but now has an insatiable thirst for human blood. The curse is lifelong, although it can be broken if somebody draws blood from the lobishomen at the exact moment he is transforming. This is really dangerous, however, because humans can die if even a single drop of lobishomen blood falls on them.


The lobishomen legend is also found in Brazil, although it’s considered more of a vampire in that country. Unlike its Portuguese cousin, the Brazilian lobishomen doesn’t kill people, and only attacks women. Women who are bitten by a lobishomen then attack children and drink their blood. The only way to keep lobishomen away is to smear a paste made of Wolf’s Bane and sweet onion around doors, windows, and graves of people believed to be lobishomen.