Highway to Hell – WIF Myth & Legend

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I-4 Dead Zone:

America’s Most

Haunted Highway

The Interstate 4 highway stretches over 132 miles through Florida, and is frequented daily by those on their way to work or visit friends, and certainly it’s a travel hub for those vacationing in the Sunshine State, perhaps on their way to Disney World.

While the I-4 is a very well-traveled highway, there’s one spot nicknamed the “Dead Zone” where people need to be especially careful. This quarter-mile stretch of the highway has been the location for many car accidents, electronic malfunctions, and even ghost sightings.

Why is this seemingly cursed spot on the highway so dangerous for drivers? Perhaps it’s because it was built over graves, and a disturbed grave site is the perfect recipe for strange things to happen. Or maybe it’s just a coincidence that so many people have crashed their vehicles there, although it’s a pretty frightening coincidence. The graves are under one of the eastbound lanes of the I-4, before you get to the south end of the St. Johns River Bridge, but we’ll let you decide whether it’s just a coincidence… or if there’s a more sinister aspect to the stories. Let’s take a look at the strange and eerie part of the Interstate 4 highway known as the Dead Zone…

The Dead Zone

Around the halfway point between Daytona and Orlando is a very dangerous spot for drivers. The Interstate 4 highway passes over the St. Johns River in Seminole County, and at the south end of the interstate bridge is a quarter-mile section known as the “Dead Zone.”

The Dead Zone is known for the exceptionally high amount of accidents that have happened there. Oddly enough, on the first day that the new Interstate 4 was opened, a tractor-trailer carrying frozen shrimp suddenly lost control and jackknifed directly above the disturbed graves of immigrants who had died from yellow fever.

While there isn’t an exact number, it is believed that anywhere from 1,500 to over 2,000 accidents have happened there since the opening of the highway in 1963. Unfortunately, many of those accidents resulted with death. In fact, around 440 accidents happened at that location between the 1999 and 2006. And in just a 24-month period between 1995 and 1997, there were a staggering 44 car accidents that resulted in 65 people being injured.

Many of the locals will not drive on the Dead Zone of the I-4, and instead take a much longer and more roundabout way to get to their destination.

The History Of The Location

In the years before the 1880s, the location was nothing but wilderness with a sand road that ended up at an area that was equipped with a hand-operated river ferry. Then in 1886, a railroad station was built and there was an attempt to begin a Roman Catholic colony named St. Joseph’s Colony. The owner of the land, Henry Sanford, thought that he could get some German immigrants to fill the colony. But after just four immigrant families moved there, Sanford’s efforts to establish a thriving Catholic colony ended.

One year later, there was an outbreak of yellow fever that claimed the lives of one immigrant family. There was so much fear that others would contract the fever that the four bodies were taken into the woods and burned. The priest who was also living in the colony had to go to Tampa to minister to yellow fever victims there, but unfortunately three days after arriving he also passed away from the fever. With the priest dead, there wasn’t anyone who could perform the last rites to the family of four who had passed away and they were buried without any ceremony.

By 1890, the colony had developed into a rural town named Lake Monroe. When a man named D.V. Warren bought the land north of the railroad, he cleared the area so he could do some farming, but he left the cemetery untouched. The graves looked like an island in the middle of the cultivated farmland and, over time, the names on the four wooden markers were erased by nature. Warren sold his land to Albert S. Hawkins in 1905.

Hawkins had leased his land to other farmers but he always asked them not to touch or mess with the burial site. However, one farmer ignored the warning and attempted to remove the wire fence that was around the graves. His house mysteriously burned down that exact day.

Hawkins had a home that was located at the edge of the field, and one day it burned down when he tried removing the rotting wooden markers for the graves. Since his wife was convinced that the fire was because of his tampering with the gravesite, Hawkins immediately replaced the markers.

However, after the Hawkins’ new house was built, they began experiencing strange things in their new home, especially with the children’s toys. A small rocking chair would begin rocking all by itself, and several toys would move on their own. Even his neighbors told him that they had seen strange lights around the gravesite at night. Perhaps this is why many of the locals nicknamed the area the “Field of the Dead.”

Another chilling event happened in the early 1950s when a young boy was disturbing the graves, and the following night he was killed by a drunk driver. The driver was never identified or caught.

Hurricanes And The I-4

The government bought the property in 1959 for the purpose of building Interstate 4. The four graves were supposed to be relocated to another area, but never were. The surveyors of the land decided that the graves were very old and “felt it was best, as well as beneficial to construction and time issues to ignore the graves and build over them.” One of the engineers was even quoted saying, “It’s not an ancient Indian burial ground, they’re just a few old bones.” Their choice not to relocate the graves would be one of the worst decisions they could ever make.

In September 1960, dirt was poured on top of the graves in order to raise up the highway. At the same time that the fill-dirt was being poured on the graves, a powerful storm named Hurricane Donna was hammering the southern region of Florida. The hurricane was on its way to the Gulf of Mexico but suddenly and unexpectedly changed course toward the exact location where the new interstate was being built. In fact, the eye of the hurricane passed directly over the gravesite at exactly midnight on the night of September 10, 1960. The damage from the storm delayed the construction of the highway for almost a month.

Then in 2004, another major storm named Hurricane Charley took almost the exact same route Hurricane Donna had. Hurricane Charley passed directly over the graves of the four deceased immigrants, and what’s even more eerie is that there was construction happening around the graves right before the hurricane passed over. It seemed as though something – or someone – didn’t want anyone disturbing the resting place of the four deceased immigrants. Researcher and author Charlie Carlson wrote a book called Strange Florida, and has talked about the hurricanes:

“Charley followed almost the same route as Donna. They referred to Charley as the ‘I-4 Hurricane.’ Strangely enough, there was construction going on around the graves. The land where the graves are was being disturbed again. It was almost like a repeat of Donna.”

There have also been a high number of tornadoes that have ripped through the area, following the route of the Interstate 4.

An Eerie Coincidence

It’s definitely a strange coincidence that two hurricanes seemingly made sure that they hit the exact location where the graves were being disturbed by construction, as well as the many tornadoes that have traveled up Interstate 4, as if there was some sort of force or magnet attracting them to the location. But there is another coincidence that is absolutely bone-chilling and deeply disturbing.

At the beginning of this article, we mentioned that there were 44 car crashes that ended up injuring a total of 65 people between 1995 and 1997. If you take a moment to do the math, when you add up 44 and 65 you get a total of 109. In 1996, it had been exactly 109 years since the four members of the immigrant family died in 1887. Now that’s an incredibly eerie coincidence.

Paranormal Experiences

In addition to the countless car crashes, deadly tornadoes, and strong hurricanes, Interstate 4 is also known as the most haunted highway in America, especially in the quarter-mile Dead Zone.

There have been many strange occurrences and paranormal activity associated with the highway. One common claim is that cell phones, radios, and CBs stop working when people drive through the Dead Zone. Others have claimed to have heard static or the sound of children laughing coming from their electronics. They have also heard disembodied voices, such as a person asking “Who’s there?” or the simple question of “Why?” But when drivers respond through their devices, there is nobody on the other end to answer. Some people have even claimed to have heard the sounds of snarling or growling coming from their radios. What’s even more frightening is the fact that there are no cell phone or radio antennas in that area, so the strange sounds coming from electronic devices are a real mystery.

Some people have reported seeing ghost cars, shadow people, and ghostly apparitions of hitchhikers, as well as suddenly driving into thick fog that appears out of nowhere, and even feeling cold spots. Some have also witnessed unexplained balls of light that zig-zag above the road. Others have claimed to have seen the ghostly apparition of a young woman in a flowing white dress or nightgown. An even more disturbing allegation is that some drivers have claimed that an unseen force had taken over control of their vehicles.

While state officials have blamed the exceptionally high amount of car accidents on congested traffic conditions, many people believe that the crashes are caused by restless spirits that are looking for revenge after their graves were disturbed.

There’s no doubt that there have been an unusually high number of car accidents on the I-4, and there are a lot of claims coming from people who have experienced strange and unexplained things in that area. Add in the fact that the Dead Zone is resting on top of four graves, and… well, it’s no surprise that this is the most haunted highway in America.


Highway to Hell –

WIF Myths & Legend

BS or Truth – WIF Confidential

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Facts That Sound

Like BS

bs

When you’ve been doing this job as long as we have, you get used to the idea that truth is stranger than fiction. History, science, art… they’re all full of factoids that seem implausible on the surface, but turn out to be true underneath. Still, there is a limit to this implausibility. It’s not like we’re going around claiming lightning magically gives you tattoos, or that you can survive jumping off the top of the Empire State Building, or that the Muppets were inspired by a porno, right?

 Wait, you mean that’s exactly what we’re about to do? And all of that is true? Yeesh…

10. Lightning Strikes Give You Sweet Tats

tat

Getting hit by a bolt of lightning is not fun. Aside from knowing that you’ve angered almighty Zeus, you suffer horrifying agony, terrible burns, and (possibly) a stopped heart. Oh, and you might just wind up getting a sweet-ass tattoo.

‘Lightning Flowers’ (also known, less-romantically, as ‘lightning trees’) are strange, fern-like, spiraling figures that can be flash-fried into your skin if a lightning bolt explodes nearby. Essentially burns that are caused by static electric traveling along the tiny blood vessels under the skin, they can last anywhere from a few hours to months and months. A type of Lichtenberg Figure, they’re weird, almost plant-like, and, to be honest, kinda cool.

See, unlike most burns, lightning flowers look intentional. The tiny little whorls, the way they radiate out from one central point… it all looks like some ink artist has spent hours agonizing over the design. Usually appearing on the arms, back, neck, chest or shoulders of lightning-strike victims, they might make you look like a tat-loving hippie, but they certainly don’t make you look like a burns victim.

They’re also useful. If paramedics bring your unconscious body in and the doctor sees your magic tat, he’s gonna know immediately that you need treating for a lightning strike.

9. The Muppets Song Mahna Mahna Came From a Porno

Even if you think you haven’t, you’ve heard Mahna Mahna. The song has appeared in everything. It was made stupendously famous by the Muppets in their 1976 TV premiere, having already featured on Sesame Street and the Ed Sullivan show years earlier (complete with Jim Henson puppets). So, where did this globe-striding, era-defining ditty come from? Err… a softcore Italian-Swedish porno.

The year was 1968, and Italian films were routinely flouting censors by filming softcore porn and dressing it up as ‘arthouse cinema’. In this instance, the titillating subject was ‘Scandinavian sexuality’, which gave the Italians plenty of excuses to include shots of hot Norwegian girls kissing, and even-hotter Danish girls posing as nude models. But the piece de resistance was a scene set in a Swedish sauna, in which a bevy of buxom blonds stripped off, giggling, for the camera. Composer Piero Umiliani was tasked with coming up with a catchy ditty for this mildly-erotic sauna centerpiece. He came up with Mahna Mahna.

The producers evidently knew he was onto something. The same year the porno came out, they released Mahna Mahna as a single. It got to 55 on the US Chart, caught the attention of Jim Henson, and the rest is (unlikely) history.

8. F1 Drivers Have Their Weight Monitored More than Catwalk Models

f1

Quick, what’s the most-restrictive profession where eating is concerned? Most of you probably said ‘catwalk models’, and it’s true that agencies routinely get their girls to starve themselves. Some of you also said ‘jockeys’, who often take diuretics to keep their weight down. Both professions are crazy-bad for weight watching. But there’s a less-likely profession that may be even worse: Formula One.

F1 racing is a scarily-precise science. Winners and losers are declared on fractions of a second, and cars are so streamlined that they carry absolutely no unnecessary weight. An extra 5 kilograms can wipe out 0.2 seconds on every lap; a horrendous setback in F1 terms. As a result, drivers are pressured to lose weight in order to compete. Over the last few years, this has gotten insane.

Drivers now have to be between 60-65 kilograms if they want to compete in the big leagues. In 2013, Jenson Button admitted that he has to starve himself, compete in triathlons, and avoid carbs like the plague to stay F1-ready. Others develop bulimia or anorexia. Some drivers have said they’re monitored and restricted even worse than catwalk models in what they can eat, despite eating disorders in F1 getting almost no airtime whatsoever.

7. Selling Sand to Arabs is a Lucrative Global Business

desert

“He could sell sand to the Arabs!” is one of those classic, slightly-racist expressions beloved by old, slightly-racist uncles the world over. Just like “he could sell snow to the Eskimos,” it uses a seemingly-unlikely situation to big up the persuasive powers of its subject. Although, in this particular case, its subject isn’t all that impressive. Selling sand to Arabic countries is a lucrative global business.

Australia, for example, shifts tons of the stuff to Dubai every year for construction projects. Germany recently signed a deal with Saudi Arabia to supply the Wahhabist Kingdom with sand. Altogether, the global market for sand is thought to be worth over $89 billion. There’s so much money in the stuff that mafia groups have moved in and started stripping tropical beaches under cover of night. And the Middle East is one of the biggest market drivers.

The trouble is that wind-blasted desert sand, such as that found in the Gulf, is too fine to be used in construction. So Gulf countries are forced to import the stuff; a lucrative market when those same countries are trying to outdo one another with insane construction projects.

6. Female Hurricanes Kill More People than Male Ones

hurricane

If we asked you to name a deadly hurricane, we’re betting most of you would have a female name pop into your head (likely Katrina or Audrey). There’s a good reason for that. ‘Female’ hurricanes are more-likely to kill people than ‘male’ hurricanes.

Since about 1979, hurricane names have alternated between female and male. However, even when hurricanes were exclusively female (1953-1979), how masculine or feminine their names were varied. In 2014, researchers at the University of Illinois crunched the data of all hurricanes to make landfall in the USA, separating them out into names that sounded masculine or feminine. They then divided them into hurricanes that hit populated areas, and those that didn’t.

 For non-destructive hurricanes that missed population centers, names made no difference. But for those that hit areas full of people, the results were staggering. The most ‘male-sounding’ hurricanes killed on average 11 people. The most ‘female-sounding’ hurricanes killed an average of 59.

The researchers theorized that this is because we’re all hilariously sexist. We tend to think women are unthreatening and less-powerful than men, so when we hear a female hurricane is coming, we kick back and refuse to evacuate. When a male one with a testosterone-fueled turns up, by contrast, we run for the hills.

5. Stayin’ Alive by the Bee Gees Can Literally Save Your Life

Oh, come on. This is getting ridiculous now. How could a 1970s disco song that just happens to be called Stayin’ Alive possibly help you, well, stay alive? We’re glad you asked. It turns out that this particular Bee Gees song averages 103 beats per minute. That’s pretty much exactly the rhythm you need to be hitting if you’re giving someone emergency CPR.

This isn’t us pointing out a wacky coincidence. Emergency medical courses (like, say, for lifeguards or whatever) frequently train their students using Stayin’ Alive. The American Heart Association (AHA) has official advice which says, in event of a heart attack (we kid you not) “call 9-1-1 and push hard and fast in the center of the chest to the beat of the classic disco song “Stayin’ Alive.”

The song was chosen because it hit the right beats, and also because it’s famous enough to be known to the general public. In countries where the Bee Gees are less-popular, songs such as the Beatles’ Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da are used instead.

4. A Woman Survived Jumping Off the 86th Floor of the Empire State Building

empire

Stepping off the top of the Empire State Building is pretty final. You plunge 86 stories onto hard, unforgiving concrete. That’s not something anybody survives… unless their name is Elvita Adams. In 1979, the Bronx resident decided to end it all. She took a ticket to the observation deck at the top of the Empire State building, climbed the security fence, and jumped. When she arrived at hospital, she was still alive.

If you’re wondering how the heck this is possible, we’ll end your suspense. Adams did jump off the Empire State, and she did go crashing down onto concrete. But the concrete in question wasn’t the sidewalk far below. After despairingly leaping out into the unknown, Adams was buffeted by a freak gust of wind. It just happened to be strong enough to blow her onto the ledge of the 85th floor, fracturing her hip. Before Adams could try jumping again, security guards had grabbed her and dragged her back inside.

Although no-one else has ever survived leaping off the Empire State Building, freaks of nature occasionally do save those plummeting from great heights. In 2007, a window cleaner plunged 47 stories and managed to survive thanks to pure luck.

3. Soccer Has Ended Multiple Wars (and caused one)

pele

Passions run high at soccer matches. Heck, Europeans consistently beat each other into comas while watching the sport. But could they run high enough to change the entire fate of a beleaguered nation? The answer is undoubtedly ‘yes’. In the past century, soccer has been the driving factor in ending three separate civil wars.

Two of those civil wars took place in the Ivory Coast. The first Ivorian Civil War lasted from 2002-2007, and killed nearly 2,000 people. The reason it stopped? The local soccer team qualified for the World Cup.

On the back of their qualifier win, the Ivory Coast soccer team dropped to their knees on live television, and begged the nation to put aside their differences. They then arranged for a qualifier for the African Cup to be held in a rebel-controlled city. This led to dialogue between the two sides, leading to a peace agreement. When the second civil war erupted in 2011, killing 3,000, soccer player Didier Drogba was instrumental in helping reach peace.

The third incident took place in Nigeria. In 1969, during the worst of the apocalyptic Biafran War, Pele brought his Brazilian club to the country to play the Nigerian national team. Both sides agreed a 3-day ceasefire to watch the match.

On the other hand, soccer has also directly caused at least one war. In 1969, El Salvador and Honduras faced each other in three grudge matches. Blood was so bad that the final 3-2 to El Salvador culminated in Salvadoran troops invading Honduras.

2. The Digit 1 Starts Most Significant Numbers

1

Random numbers are the bane of the trivia aficionado. Go to a quiz, and you might be asked to guess the liters of wine Moldova produces, or the weight of each planet in the solar system, or he population figures for random counties in Louisiana, or whatever. By nature, these questions are designed to be impossible to answer. But if you want a head start, you should make sure your guesstimate begins with the digit 1. There’s about a 30% chance that any random, significant number will start with a 1.

Logic tells us that this is plainly nuts. The chances of 1 or 2 or 3 or so-on starting any randomly-selected longer number should equal around 11%. In practice, this doesn’t happen. After 1, the chances of a 2 starting the number are 18%, and so-on until 9, which has an infinitesimal chance of showing up. This means that you can go combing through any random set of significant data – baseball batting averages, the length of the world’s longest rivers, the number of McDonald’s in a certain area – and your figures will be significantly more-likely to start with a 1.

No-one knows why this should be, but it happens. It’s even got a name: Benford’s Law, and it has real-world purposes. People faking tax returns tend to insert too many figures from the mid-range (4,5,6), instead of figures starting with 1, giving their game away.

1. Cleopatra Existed Closer in Time to the First Pizza Hut than the Pyramids

cleopatra

We all know the Pyramids are old. They were built around 2,500BC, over 1,000 years before Moses is thought to have lived. But few of us realize just quite how old they are. When Cleopatra was queen of Egypt, she was closer in time to the building of the first Pizza Hut than she was the first Pyramid.

Cleopatra reigned between 69-31 BC. The first Pizza Hut was built in 1958. That means the gap between Cleo and a great, big pile of disappointing pizza was 2,000 years. By contrast, the gap between the queen and her ancestors building the first pyramid was 2,450 years.

 Look at other comparatives, and this factoid just gets crazier. Julius Caesar (whose own namesake pizza chain, Little Caesar’s, was founded in 1959, in case you were wondering) famously got involved with Cleopatra, and probably spent some time admiring the Pyramids. At that point, the pyramids were to Caesar older than the oldest Roman ruins are to us now. Makes you think, huh?

BS or Truth

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– WIF Confidential

Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #106

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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #106

…”The next time we get decent warning before a blow, will be the first time.”…

 

Anti-slavery-001

And no sooner than the temporal needs are restored to those who have fortunately endured, which nearly all Floridians are, relief crews are assembled to aid in whatever way possible. Phoebe Love organizes the Gadsden/Leon contingent, able to gather the majority of the disbanded Gadsden County Anti-Slavery Society, especially those involved in liberating the Campbells four years ago. Main man Willy Campbell, Hillside Joseph, Harv Pearson of the Quincy Reporter, liberation specialist Jacob Haley and of course John Ferrell, who favors the chance to get anywhere near New Orleans.

Doctor Ziggy has joined up for medical support, likely in short supply, with, going on twelve year old, Alfrey along side. Apothecary Jacques Francoise has emptied his shelves to aid them in dealing with disease and infection.

Bleaker Brothers-001

The now Famous Fabulous Flying Bleaker Brothers would surely have added their skills, but they are working the Virginia State Fair followed by the Ohio State Fair; for all their talent, they unable to juggle their schedule.

The rest have been absorbed by the Washington relief train, selfishly diverted to Florida by Herbert Love. But any questioning the stopover is lost in the spirit of volunteerism.

“I am so sorry we did not issue a storm warning’” Love apologizes, perhaps unnecessarily, to the group, while holding fast to his wife, “something, anything that would have saved lives.”

Quincy Reporter-001

“Hurricanes are devilish, Herb. The next time we get decent warning before a blow, will be the first time.” Quincy friend and historian, publisher Harv Pearson has seen and reported on many storms in his long career and though none packed the wallop of 8 September, he knows how fast a tropical storm can explode into a hurricane and ways to predict are slow to improve.

“Thank you for taking me off the hook, Harv, but I promise you folks that, from now on, we will find a way to predict the path and intensity of hurricanes, storms of tropical nature. There are over six thousand casualties in Galveston alone. 6000 Texans no more and John Ferrell here does not know if two members of his family are alive or not. I imagine that every one of you have been directly affected somehow.”


Alpha Omega M.D.

Episode #106


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Contents Alpha Omega 12-15 #78

Naming Tropical Storms

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George Carlin

“Do you know why hurricanes have names instead of numbers? To keep the killing personal. No one cares about a bunch of people killed by a number. ‘200 Dead as Number Three Slams Ashore’ is not nearly as interesting a headline as ‘Charlie kills 200.’ Death is much more satisfying and entertaining if you personalize it.Me, I’m still waitin’ for Hurricane Ed. Old Ed wouldn’t hurt ya, would he? Sounds kinda friendly. ‘Hell no, we ain’t evacuatin’. Ed’s comin’!”

― George CarlinBrain Droppings

Caitlín R. Kiernan

“Demons never die quietly, and a week ago the storm was a proper demon, sweeping through the Caribbean after her long ocean crossing from Africa, a category five when she finally came ashore at San Juan before moving on to Santo Domingo and then Cuba and Florida. But now she’s grown very old, as her kind measures age, and these are her death throes. So she holds tightly to this night, hanging on with the desperate fury of any dying thing, any dying thing that might once have thought itself invincible.”

Caitlín R. Kiernan

John Green

“If people were rain, I would be a drizzle and she would be a hurricane.”
― John GreenLooking for Alaska

NAMING TROPICAL STORMS