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Odd Monuments

“Hell yeah, let’s build a statue here” –No one in particular.

For thousands of years people have been building and erecting statues and monuments.  Here is our list of monuments that can be  described as at least … odd.

Many folks have tried and succeeded in reaching the South Pole.  Many encampments have been manned and then abandoned.  But when the Soviets reached the Point of Inaccessibilty (The point on the Antarctic continent that is the most distant from any coast.) in 1957, they decided to plunk down a statue of Lenin to commemorate the 40th anniversary of the Russian Revolution. The weather and isolation insure that the statue should remain as untouched as the trinkets left on the Moon.

Here's Joe's mug literally in the middle of nowhere.

Here’s Vlad’s mug literally in the middle of nowhere.

 

Speaking of the Moon, the Apollo Astronauts left experiments, equipment and garbage on the Moon.  And if that’s not a fitting monument to mankind, how about this.

Apollo 16 pilot Charles Duke put a family portrait in a plastic folder and dropped it on the surface when he landed there on April 21, 1972.

The official reason for leaving the artifact was for intelligent life forms that would potentially come across it.

‘This is the family of Astronaut Duke from Planet Earth. Landed on the Moon, April 1972,’  the spaceman wrote on the back of the picture.  Duke has mentioned that he was making good a bet with his young son Charles Jr.

France gave us the Statue of Liberty and that was pretty cool.  But then in 2006, Russian President Putin commissioned and erected a memorial to the victims of September 11th.  In Bayonne, New Jersey.  Yes, our New Jersey.  Many have described as a gigantic vagina complete with stainless steel “Joy Button”.

Are you feeling it?

 

Scattered across the United States are giant concrete arrows. Most are in the middle of nowhere like this one in Nevada.

Scattered across the United States are giant concrete arrows. Most are in the middle of nowhere like this one in Nevada.

In the days before GPS and TACAN, the Air Mail had to go through.  It was the 1920’s and the pilots of the fledgling  U.S. Air Mail Service followed railroads to get where they were going.  Many got lost, crashed and some died.  To help them, Congress created a system of arrows the pilot could spot from the air.  Pointing out which way to go. They were improved by mounting a lighted tower on the square in the middle.  The system was used for a few years and abandoned in the 1930’s when better navigation instruments were invented.

The National Cathedral in Washington D.C. sports a gargoyle of Darth Vader. Sculpted by Jay Hall Carpenter and carved by Patrick J. Plunkett, it’s the design of Christopher Rader of Kearney, Nebraska. Rader’s rendition of Vader was the third place winner of a children’s competition sponsored by the National Geographic World Magazine.

No shit.

Replica of a Constitution-class starship in Vulcan, Alberta.

Capitalizing on this coincidence, the town has built a Star Trek–themed tourist station (the Tourism and Trek Station), which provides tourist information, displays Star Trek memorabilia, provides unique photo opportunities, and allows visitors to participate in The Vulcan Space Adventure virtual reality game. Nearby, a replica of the starship Enterprise from Star Trek V has been mounted on a pedestal which includes writing from Trek alien languages like Klingon. The town has also created space-themed murals and signs, and hosts an annual community-wide Star Trek convention known as “Spock Days”. This convention attracts hundreds of Star Trek fans from around the world.

 

Secret Vietnam Memorial

In a secret location, far from the beaten path stands a solemn memorial to soldiers of the Vietnam War.  Coins and cartridges have been left in homage and the park rangers keep the location from being on any map.  So we will NOT entertain any guesses here.

When it was erected is a mystery.  How it got there is secret, although there are rumors that one person helicoptered into position in the dead of night.  How appropriate.

Secret Vietnam Memorial

 

The translation is there on the American/English side of the memorial, “Neu khoc than …. den NGAN THU” : “If by weeping I can…. a THOUSAND AUTUMNS”; it is in the form of a poem in Vietnamese.  FYI, in Viet literature, NGAN THU means afterlife, eternity”.

In 1966, a 12 foot winged monster was seen in and around Point Pleasant, West Virginia.  Newspapers of the time dubbed the creature “Mothman”.  In 2003, Gunn Park was renamed Mothman Park, and a “life size” 12-foot-tall stainless steel sculpture of Mothman was unveiled.

mothman-statue-point-pleasant
mothman-statue-placard

26-inch thick armor from Japanese Yamato class battleship, pierced by a US Navy 16-inch gun. The armor is on display at the US Navy Museum.


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