Hoaxes – Fake News – Satire Posts

Duluth, Minnesota and the Lost Confederate Gold

In 1861, Minnesota Governor Alexander Ramsey was in Washington D.C. when the Confederates started the Civil War. He was in the Oval Office when Lincoln received the fateful telegram detailing the attack on Fort Sumter in South Carolina — the most serious in a string of Southern aggressions, including the seizing of Federal armories across Dixie. Heeding Lincoln’s call for troops, Ramsey walked right up to the President and said, “Mr. President, let Minnesota be the first state to commit 1,000 volunteers to answer this latest outrage from the disloyal states.”

Ramsey’s commitment created the famous fighting force known as the Minnesota First Infantry Regiment. They were the Civil War’s earliest northern enlistees, and they saved the Union at Gettysburg as every Minnesota schoolchild knows. On the third day of that pivotal battle, after Pickett’s Charge, Pvt. Marshall Sherman of St. Paul emerged with the scarred battle flag of the 28th Virginia Infantry. Virginia whines about it to this day but we’re not giving it back neener neener neener.

The Janus, Ghost Ship of Lake Superior

The MV Sophia F. Janus was built, launched, and christened in 1977. It was among the first of 13 “thousand-footers” to sail the inland seas: 1013 feet long, 113 feet wide, 566 feet hull depth, containing 1,300 tons of oil for its four-story engine. It could carry more than 90,000 tons of cargo, with a crew of 23 souls. The ship was an innovative mixed-use tanker-bulk hauler, with three chemical tank holds and two bulk holds. It had a 250-foot discharge boom for the self-unloading of bulk cargo at a rate of 6,000 tons per hour. The vessel holds numerous cargo records. In the superstitious lore of the sailors, however, because a dock worker was crushed during launch, the Janus was considered cursed. Even the infinite dilution of the Great Lakes could not dissolve the stain of blood.

Communication was lost with the Janus in a storm in 1982, and it appeared to have sunk without a trace after leaving Duluth. No flotsam, oil slick, or fuel spill was discovered in the area of her last known location, which was the middle of Lake Superior.

Lake Inferior: The Underground Lake Beneath Lake Superior

Exploration Timeline

June 1679

I have lost the reference, but I read somewhere that when the French explorer Sir Duluth heard rumors of an underground lake beneath Lake Superior, he quipped in his native tongue, “Lac d’Enfer” (literally: “Lake of Hell”). This nomenclature was mistranslated by English-speakers, becoming anglicized as “Lake Inferior” — an insidious malapropism that replaced the original meaning.

Sept. 8, 1870

Copper-helmet diver William Bitter found an entrance to Lake Inferior. He was working by the breakwater wall for the city of Duluth, offshore of what is now the Lakewalk. A large storm had damaged the wall, and he was conducting an underwater survey at the end of a 20-foot lifeline.

Working the winch and the air pump, his support team on the wall heard Bitter cry out through the speaking tube, then noticed a whirlpool opening up. They winched Bitter out as loose boulders and timbers were sucked into it.

The Floating Island of Fremont, Duluth’s Breakaway Township

As documented in the book Duluth: An Illustrated History: “The opening of the Duluth canal proved to have a beneficial effect which its promoters had not anticipated. Currents flowing through the channel carried away a considerable amount of rotting timber and mucky islets which had infested the harbor. In fact, one of Duluth’s original townsites — Fremont — was thus swept out into Lake Superior and lost forever.”

The Zenith City Press website confirms the account: new currents swept several floating bogs in the harbor out to sea. The largest of these islands was 1,200 feet long and 400 feet wide — larger than the largest lake vessel — and it contained the township of Fremont. It began where Rice’s Point is today, and on May 10, 1873, it passed through the canal to the open sea.

I must correct the error, often propagated, that Fremont broke up that night in rough water. The truth is, Fremont is still out there, population 299, comprised of 20 families that each own a business. I know because I have been to Fremont. I have hiked its marshes and shopped its cute, bustling downtown. I have fished off its docks. I have traded stories, dreams, and fears with Fremonters around beach campfires.

Many people have. Lake Superior is dotted with cities that Fremont has visited. I highly recommend, next time Fremont is visible on the horizon, try to get there. The Fremont music scene is a delight. And of course anyone who loves lake culture and the outdoors probably already knows about it.

Daniel Duluth, the Duluth Stone and the Plot to Steal America

It’s been six years since the dubious Duluth Stone appeared on the History Channel series America Unearthed. The episode recently made it to YouTube, and is embedded above. Perfect Duluth Day relegated mention of the topic of the Duluth Stone to an April Fools Day post in 2016.

Is it a hoax? Well, if only we could ask Daniel de Gresolon, the Sieur Dulhut. Or “Daniel Duluth,” as they call him on the History Channel.

AP: Lake Superior Bull Shark Eradicated by Duluth Autonomous Navy

DULUTH, Minn. (AP) – On August 10, 2020, Duluth Mayor Emily Larson commissioned the Duluth Autonomous Navy to eradicate the bull shark terrorizing Duluth’s beaches. Only four days later, the DAN co-Admirals have announced “mission accomplished.”

Lake Superior Bull Shark encounter, Duluth MN, 8/8/20

[Update: Not a real shark! I’m writing it all up for my next Saturday essay at the end of August, stay tuned…]

Lake Superior Shark Pics


 

The Mysterious and Ferocious Serpent Monster of Lake Superior

Duluth politicians can keep bragging about keeping Lake Superior free of sharks, but what about the “enigmatic lake monster”?

What about the “giant and ferocious serpent”? The “underwater panther”? The “lizard like fish around 10 feet long” with “a head like a turtle”? The “hideous” thing “cruising through the water with a 15-foot long neck and a huge jaw”? The “immense humped creature” with “huge horse shaped head and large dark left eye” with a nose bearing “a visible catfish type whisker, maybe two feet in length and wiggling”? The “gigantic serpent with 3 to 5 humps” rising out of the water?

Well, for those into myths, legends and stories short on attribution but with the words “supposedly” and “apparently” repeated throughout, there’s a new article that has it all.

“Seen or Heard Sasquatch? Report Discreetly.”

This ad appeared in the Sunday Duluth News Tribune and other Forum Communications publications. I bet there’s a story here.

SEEN OR HEARD SASQUATCH? REPORT DISCREETLY.
If you’ve heard or seen something similar to what is described below, we want to know. You are one of many people in this area who have had a possible encounter. You’re not crazy. This is real, and I want to hear from you. If you’ve experienced High Pitched Sustained Screams, Long Howls, much deeper then that of a Wolf or Coyote, Loud Penetrating Roars, Grunts, Growls, Wood Knocks, Yelps, Whoops, Barks, Stacked Rock Displays, Stick Shelters, Organized Tree Structures made with Uprooted Uncut Sticks, or even if you’ve seen Heard Indistinguishable Talking, found Footprints or witnessed the Animal itself, please contact me. Your name will not be used without express permission from you. As a side note, it can be quite liberating to speak to someone who knows the truth. I want nothing from you except your story. Call, Text or email me. Jeff 651-302-3800, jjs5perctr @ gmail.com

Perfect Duluth Day launching two new community websites — Perfect East Duluth Day and Perfect West Duluth Day

In an effort to better serve the community, Perfect Duluth Day announced today it will convert its nearly 15-year-old website into an all-advertising format, then launch two new websites to separately serve eastern and western Duluth with neighborhood-specific features and folksy tidbits.

Swim Creative rebrands

Designs by Patrice

Duluth-based marketing agency Swim Creative has at times been confused with swimwear companies and pool manufacturers, so today it changed its name and launched a rebranding effort. Check it out at DesignsByPatrice.net.

History Unearthed: The Du Luth Stone

Duluth RockA stone that bears the marking “Du Luth 1679” has been found in Pine County, one hour southwest of Duluth. A prominent geologist says the discovery could be one of the oldest carved artifacts ever found in Minnesota, potentially carved by the French explorer Daniel de Gresolon, the Sieur du Lhut.

Forensic geologist Scott Wolter, developer of archaeopetrography, a scientific process used to date the origins of stone artifacts, says the stone is “absolutely authentic.”

History texts indicate Gresolon landed his canoe on Minnesota Point on June 27, 1679, with the mission to meet with natives and persuade them to trade fur with the French instead of the British. Five days later he took possession, in the name of the King of France, of the Dakota territories at the village of Izatys, attaching the coat of arms of King Louis XIV to a tree on the shore of Mille Lacs Lake, just west of Pine County.

Led Zeppelin Live in Duluth | Oct. 19, 1968

Led Zeppelin - Minnesota Blues - Live in Duluth

Don’t let the “Minnesota Blues” or the “Live in Duluth” on this album cover fool you, Led Zeppelin never performed in Duluth. But what is the story behind this Zep bootleg?

Leaning Tower of Enger

Breaking News

Thanks to Eric Plumb for tipping us off on this breaking news. Fox 21 is confirming the story right now by sending someone to shoot footage of Enger Tower standing perfectly upright.

Do NOT follow this link or you will be banned from the site!