North Dakota March 25, 2016
The 6 Weirdest And Strangest Things That Have Ever Happened In North Dakota
Like most places, North Dakota has had its fair share of the weird and unusual. Check out these six bizarre things that have happened right here in the Peace Garden state:
During these uncertain times, please keep safety in mind and consider adding destinations to your bucket list to visit at a later date.
1. Zip to Zap
The welcoming sign to this small town here in North Dakota called Zap advertises the "quiet country living." For the most part it's true, with the exception of a few days back in May of 1969. It started as just a plan for a small spring break trip for a group of NDSU students that somehow spread around until over 2000 people from all over suddenly amassed in the town - where the population was about 280 at the time - and stayed a couple of days. As you can imagine, that many college students all in one small place having what basically was a giant party got out of hand. It resulted in a huge riot (North Dakota's only riot) and it was bad enough that the North Dakota National Guard had to be called in. The residents of Zap were, understandably, never very thrilled about this whole ordeal.
2. The Piggyback Bandit
Who is the Piggyback Bandit? He's a man who is now banned from attending high school athletic events in Washington, Oregon, Montana, Minnesota, and of course, North Dakota. The man is Sherwin Shayegan. He's about 32 years old now, and for a while he was going to high school sport events - mostly basketball games - and hanging out around the benches or locker rooms with the players. He'd pass out water, just mingle, and try to blend in as much as he could. Why, you ask? Because he wanted to get a piggyback ride with some of the players, of course. His motives for this are unclear. He was spotted in North Dakota trying to get a piggyback ride at a game at Century High School in Bismarck. It certainly is very strange, and Shayegan has faced charges and jail time in multiple states because of it.
3. Sheepherders' Monuments
On top of White Butte there still stands these strange, carefully placed piles of rocks that are known as sheepherders' monuments or stone johnnies. They were placed, as you can guess, by sheepherders, usually just to pass the time when they were bored while tending to their flocks. They've mostly stood the test of time so far, even as simple as they are and as unimportant they originally were intended as. I wonder how much longer they'll last up there?
4. Overturning a DUI convinction... 20 years after the fact
This just happened recently... er, well, the court case did. The original incident happened 20 years ago and hadn't been dealt with until July of last year. The accused was found guilty then, but it was appealed on to the North Dakota Supreme Court where it was overturned March 16th of this year on the grounds that it violated the accused's right to a speedy trial. Considering 20 years is a pretty long time to handle a small case like that (and by that point, two decades later, it might not have even been worth it to bring it up again), it does seem like a pretty reasonable result.
5. The Safeguard Complex
Back in the 1960s during the fear of nuclear threats from Soviet Russia, the US government was trying out a lot of things, one of which was the Safeguard Program. A result of this program is this strange pyramid-shaped building out in the middle of nowhere in Cavalier County. It's abandoned today - it actually went up for auction a few years ago - and has been for years. It was only operational for three days even though it cost billions of dollars to build. Its original purpose was both housing a radar system to track missiles as well as a place to launch defensive missiles made to destroy incoming nuclear warheads before they ever reached their destinations. It looks like something you'd see in a sci-fi movie!
6. This weird natural phenomenon that happened on the Sheyenne River in North Dakota
Just check this video out…
If there are any other weird and perplexing things that are in or have happened in North Dakota that you can think of that we missed, please share them. Curious minds would like to know.