New Mexico History December 09, 2016
by Juliet White The 8 Weirdest And Strangest Things That Have Ever Happened In New Mexico
Sure, New Mexicans have a few
weird habits and the Land of Enchantment certainly has its share of crazy laws. But what are the strangest things to ever happen in New Mexico? The list of bizarre incidents that have taken place here over the years is pretty long. Here are some of the highlights:
1. That time when psychologists and psychiatrists testifying in court were ALMOST required to wear cone-shaped hats and white beards, and to wave magic wands in the air.
In the 1990s, people were losing patience with endless psychiatric witnesses testifying about defendants’ competency. Ex-New Mexico state senator, Duncan Scott, added a satirical amendment to a State Bill, which would have required mental health professionals to don the hats and beards mentioned above. The senate unanimously voted in favor of the amendment. However, it was ultimately erased before the House turned this particular State Bill into New Mexico law. Had it passed, it would definitely have livened up jury duty.
2. That time when your Uncle Paul won the World Shovel Race Championships.
Fine, maybe you don’t have any athletically-inclined uncles named Paul. But, in Angel Fire, people really do climb aboard shovels and race each other down a mountain. Given the location of the shovel handle, this should count as an extreme sport – at least for male participants!
The next race is scheduled for February 3rd, 2017.
For more info.
3. That time when a headless body was discovered in Taos.
In 1929, a headless corpse was found in the home of Arthur Manby, a controversial land speculator. Some believed the body was Manby’s, while others thought he faked his own death and fled to Europe. Neighbors and local police created a coroner's jury and determined that the body was Manby, and that the death was natural - because beheading doesn’t sound suspicious in the least.
An investigator for the New Mexico attorney general later stated that
foul play was involved, but no one wanted to fork up the money to pay for an investigation so the case remains unsolved to this day. (Pictured is a band, formed in Taos, called Manby’s Head.)
4. That time a work crew stole a guy’s roof.
In July of this year, an Albuquerque man discovered that all the shingles on his roof were missing! Neighbors had witnessed a work crew dismantling the roof over the previous two days but, since the house was in the process of being sold, they assumed the work was legitimate. Was this a case of theft or a work crew demolishing the wrong roof? (The roofers pictured are for illustrative purposes only!)
5. That time when a New Mexico town changed its name in honor of a radio show.
The radio game show "Truth or Consequences" was celebrating its 10th anniversary when host Ralph Edwards pondered whether any town in the U.S. would be prepared to replace its current name with the name "Truth or Consequences."
Officials in Hot Springs, New Mexico heard about this and ran a special city election in which residents voted to change their town’s name. Edwards then came to town and broadcast a live edition of "Truth or Consequences" in Truth or Consequences.
6. Those times when UFOs supposedly landed here.
Everyone’s heard about the Roswell Incident. But that’s far from the only time people have claimed to see UFOs or aliens in New Mexico. There was a UFO crash reported in Aztec in 1948, but those claims have been fairly controversial.
However, in 1964, Sergeant Lonnie Zamora apparently saw two unidentified figures and a UFO near Socorro. The Zamora Incident is considered to be one of the more credible reported UFO encounters, and neither the Air Force nor CIA was able to fully explain the events of April 24th 1964.
7. That time the U.S. was invaded.
On March 9th 1916, Mexican Revolutionary leader, Pancho Villa, invaded the New Mexican town of Columbus. He and his men set the town on fire and murdered between 17-19 U.S. soldiers and civilians. This was the only time since the War of 1812 that foreign forces invaded the continental United States.
For more info.
8. That time when New Mexico had its own highway to hell!
Route 666 was often referred to as the Devil’s Highway and it ran through each of the Four Corners states, including New Mexico. This was a challenging road to drive and in one 60-mile stretch alone, drivers had to negotiate roughly 400 sharp curves! It was considered a hazardous road to navigate and beliefs associated with the numbering only made matters worse. In 2003, New Mexico voted to rename the road Highway 491.
For more info.
Did you know all these things happened in New Mexico? What do you think is the most bizarre incident that ever occurred here? Let us know on the
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