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Unbelievably True Stories

Updated on May 18, 2012
The Chatsworth Metrolink Crash
The Chatsworth Metrolink Crash | Source

We've all heard the saying, 'Truth is stranger than fiction'. In some instances, this actually proves true.

The following real-life events are excellent examples of this. From killer molasses to dumb criminals, these stories may seem too unbelievable to be true.

- On September 12, 2008 in San Fernando Valley, California, a commuter train carrying 225 passengers collided with a freight train (The incident became known as the Chatsworth Crash). 25 people were killed, and 135 were injured. One of the passengers who had died was 49-year-old Charles E. Peck. He was going to Los Angeles for a job interview, as gaining work in California would enable him to tie the knot with his fiancé, Andrea Katz. His fiancé had heard about the accident on the radio as she was driving to pick up Peck from the station. His parents and siblings were also with her.

For the first eleven hours after the crash, his cell phone had placed numerous calls to his loved ones, including his brother, his sister, his son, his fiancé, and his stepmother. Altogether, they had received 35 calls from Peck. When they answered, though, they only heard static. When they attempted to call him back, it went right to voice mail. His calls gave them hope that he was still alive, although when search crews traced where the calls were coming from, they found his body an hour after the calls ceased.

It was determined that Peck had died on impact. No one was able to figure out how his loved ones had received all those calls from his cell phone during the eleven hours following his death...

- In January of 1919, a molasses tank in Boston burst, causing over 2 million gallons to sweep through the streets. 21 people were killed as a result and 150 others were injured. The explosion was believed to have been caused by the unusually warm temperature (46 degrees) for that time of year, as well as the fact that the tank had been filled to maximum capacity.

Prior to this incident, a similar disaster occurred in 1814 when a brewery tank burst through the streets of London. The 3,500 barrels of beer killed 9 people.

- In May of 1986, a very powerful wind lifted up 13 children in Western China and carried them for 12 miles. They were deposited in sand dunes and brush and were unharmed.

A similar incident in China occurred again in 1992 when a 9-year-old girl, who had been playing in an area near Shanghai, was picked up by a whirlwind and was dropped in a tree top about 2 miles away. She was also not hurt.

- On October 27, 1997, a tug-of-war contest of over 1,600 participants took place at a park in Taipei in celebration of Retrocession Day (the commemoration of the end of Japanese colonial rule in Taiwan). Within moments the rope snapped, tearing off the left arms of two men. The gruesome incident had been caused by the rope withstanding more force than it could handle.

The men eventually had their arms successfully reattached.

- In 1991, a 76-year-old man in Canonsburg, Pennsylvania was being transported from a nursing home to the doctor's office for an appointment. When the ambulance attendants left the stretcher that he was strapped to in the parking lot to go talk with some staff members, it rolled away and flipped over, causing a fatal injury to the man's head.

- In March of 1997, a drug dealer in California had attempted to call Mexico. However, instead of dialing 011, he dialed 911. He hung up when the operator answered, but police were dispatched to his home. They seized 42 pounds of marijuana and 2 ounces of methamphetamine. In addition, four men were arrested.

- While on vacation, a woman who was referred to as AB by the British Medical Journal had claimed to hear voices in her head that told her to return home to London immediately. They then told her an address that turned out to be the brain scan department of a hospital and that she request a scan because she had a brain tumor and her brain stem was inflamed, even though she had experienced no prior symptoms.

She eventually did have a scan done, which showed that she in fact did have a tumor and underwent surgery to remove it. AB claimed that after the operation, which had been successful, the voices told her that they were 'pleased to have helped her' and told her 'good-bye'.

- In 1998, Garry Hoy, a lawyer, was explaining and demonstrating the strength of the windows of the Toronto-Dominion Bank Tower in Canada to visiting law students (He had done this a number of other times before). During this particular demonstration, one of the panes gave way as he was testing its strength, and he tragically fell 24 floors to his death.


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    • That Grrl profile image

      Laura Brown 

      7 years ago from Barrie, Ontario, Canada

      I live near Toronto so I looked up more information about the TD Tower. Turns out Garry Hoy was not just testing the windows he was charging into them, flinging himself against the glass. Not the brightest plan.

    • snoblet profile image

      Dave Rogers 

      8 years ago from New York

      I got goose bumps reading this hub, but that's one heck of a tug-of-war to rip the arms of those men. these hubs will give me some good reading for a while, I like the goosebumps feeling :)

    • shiningirisheyes profile image

      Shining Irish Eyes 

      8 years ago from Upstate, New York

      Wow - amazing and utterly fascinating read.

      I did read about the gentlemen who passed and many phone calls were received from his cell, after his death.

      I have an amazing story that my family and I have never shared. Even though we have the proof.

      My brother took his own life three years ago. I don't have to tell you how devasting this was and life altering as well.

      My Dad passed one year later on the first aniversary of my brothers death. I moved back home to help Mom. One day, only about six months ago, I was sitting at my office computer working when the phone rang. I let the machine pick it as I had a deadline for my work. Sitting one foot away from the answering machine, I waited as the machine did its friendly welcome. Then I heard the very distinct voice of my brother say "Hello, hello. It's Tim. I'm here and happy". My Mom, who had been in the kitchen and heard it, appeared at the door and we both looked ...well, dumb struck. We still have the message and I think if we didn't have that proof we probably would have doubted it later as well.

    • ChristyWrites profile image

      Christy Birmingham 

      8 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      The story about Peck gave me goosebumps. Wow.

    • jennzie profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from Pennsylvania

      Radhikasree and Mhatter- Thanks for commenting! I appreciate it.

    • Mhatter99 profile image

      Martin Kloess 

      8 years ago from San Francisco

      You are right, unbelievable. Thank you for taking the time to share with us.

    • radhikasree profile image

      Radhika Sreekanth 

      8 years ago from Mumbai,India

      Truth may turn strange or interesting sometimes. False notions always distract us. These incidents are incredible!

      Nice hub.

    • jennzie profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from Pennsylvania

      Chris: LOL that's ok, it is definitely true. Some real-life stories just amaze me much more than any fictional one ever could- I guess also because it can be hard to believe that it really happened.

    • profile image

      Chris Hugh 

      8 years ago

      Goodness, what strange stories. Truth is really stranger than fiction. Oh, phooey, someone already said that. LOL. Well, it's still true. :)

    • jennzie profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from Pennsylvania

      Maryhoneybee: Thanks for commenting! Those two stories are pretty creepy- it goes to show that we don't know and can't explain everything that happens in a 'rational' way.

      Beth: Ain't that the truth. :) Thanks for commenting!

    • Beth100 profile image


      8 years ago from Canada

      Truth can be stranger than fiction! Never ceases to amaze me!

    • maryhoneybee profile image


      8 years ago from Richmond, Virginia

      Those ambulance attendants should have been fired. That poor elderly man. =( The first story, and the one about the "helpful voices" in the woman's head, are particularly eerie. Thanks for the bizarre, true stories. Voted up!


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