Today a number that many people like and hold to be ‘lucky’.
The Number 21
Number of the perfection by excellence, 3 x 7, according to the Bible.
21 represents the harmony of the creation.
Mary, mother of Jesus, lived 21 years after the death Jesus
There were 21 years between the presentation of Jesus to the Temple at 12 years old and his death at 33 years old.
In the same day, Jesus appears in 21 different places in Palestine to confirm in His Resurrection.
The word angel is pronounced 21 times by Jesus, always to the plural.
The words Flood and star are used 21 times in the Bible.
In the Revelation, the word “capacity” (capacity of decision or to act, by opposition to “power”) is used 21 times.
21 is a Triangular, Octagonal, Fibonacci, and Motzkin Number.
In science & technology
The Chemical Element Scandium has an atomic number of 21.
There are 21 amino-acids.
21 is the standard TCP/IP port number for FTP connections
In space and aviation
Messier 21 or M21
Messier 21 or M21 (also designated NGC 6531) is an open cluster of stars in the constellation of Sagittarius. It was discovered and catalogued by Charles Messier on June 5, 1764.
It is tightly packed but contains about 57 stars. A few blue giant stars have been identified in the cluster, but Messier 21 is composed mainly of small dim stars. With a magnitude of 6.5, M21 is not visible to the naked eye; however, with the smallest binoculars it can be easily spotted on a dark night.
Expedition 21 was the 21st long-duration mission to the International Space Station (ISS). The expedition began on 30 September 2009, with Frank de Winne becoming the first ESA astronaut to command a space mission.
The handover between Expedition 20 and Expedition 21 required three Soyuz vehicles being docked to the station at the same time, the first time this has occurred.
Soyuz TMA-16 brought the final members of Expedition 21 to the ISS, along with space tourist Guy Laliberté. Laliberté returned to Earth on Soyuz TMA-14 with two members of Expedition 20 on 11 October 2009.
Nicole P. Stott was the last ISS expedition crew member to fly on the Space Shuttle. She returned to Earth aboard STS-129 in November 2009.
Luna 21 (Ye-8 series) was an unmanned space mission of the Luna program, also called Lunik 21. The spacecraft landed on the Moon and deployed the second Soviet lunar rover (Lunokhod 2). The primary objectives of the mission were to collect images of the lunar surface, examine ambient light levels to determine the feasibility of astronomical observations from the Moon, perform laser ranging experiments from Earth, observe solar X-rays, measure local magnetic fields, and study mechanical properties of the lunar surface material.
Number 21 is the name of the plane alleged flown by Gustave Whitehead two years before the Wright brothers’ flight
21st President of the United States
Chester Alan Arthur (October 5, 1829 – November 18, 1886) was the 21st President of the United States (1881–85). He became President after the assassination of President James A. Garfield.
Born in Fairfield, Vermont, Arthur grew up in upstate New York and practiced law in New York City. He devoted much of his time to Republican politics and quickly rose in the political machine run by New York Senator Roscoe Conkling.
Appointed by President Ulysses S. Grant to the lucrative and politically powerful post of Collector of the Port of New York in 1871, Arthur was an important supporter of Conkling and the Stalwart faction of the Republican Party.
In 1878 the new president, Rutherford B. Hayes, fired Arthur as part of a plan to reform the federal patronage system in New York. When James Garfield won the Republican nomination for President in 1880, Arthur was nominated for Vice President to balance the ticket by adding an eastern Stalwart to it.
After just half a year as vice president, Garfield was assassinated and Arthur unexpectedly became the 21st President of the united states.
To the surprise of reformers, Arthur took up the reform cause that had once led to his expulsion from office. He signed the Pendleton Act into law, and enforced its provisions vigorously.
Suffering from poor health, Arthur made only a limited effort to secure renomination in 1884; he retired at the close of his term. As journalist Alexander McClure would later write, “No man ever entered the Presidency so profoundly and widely distrusted as Chester Alan Arthur, and no one ever retired … more generally respected, alike by political friend and foe.”
The Twenty-first Amendment to the United States Constitution repealed the Eighteenth Amendment, thereby ending Prohibition.
Illinois – the ‘Land of Lincoln’ – was the 21st state to join the United States.
Abraham Lincoln moved to Illinois when he was 21 and he met his future wife – Mary Todd – in Springfield when she was 21.
Illinois currently has 21 electoral votes in the US Presidential Election.
Canada – Pier 21
Pier 21 was, from 1928 to 1971, was the place where immigrants entered Canada. It was called the “Gateway to Canada.”
France – King Louis XVI
21 was a significant number in the life of French King Louis XVI
On January 21, 1770, Louis XVI became engaged;
On June 21, 1770, he got married;
On January 21, 1782, he promulgated the suspension of a tax;
On January 21, 1784 an enormous obelisk of snow was raised for him on the place Louis XV;
On June 21, 1791, Louis XVI was arrested; and,
On January 21, 1793, he goes up to the scaffold.
Finally, the 5 letters of his first name added to XVI gives 21.
The Twenty-One Demands were a set of demands which were sent to the Chinese government by the Japanese government of Okuma Shigenobu in 1915.
The 21 Demands of MKS led to the foundation of Solidarity in Poland.
In folklore, legends and mythology
The Mayan Calendar
December 21st 2012, according to some interpretations of the Mayan calendar was the predicted date of an apocalyptic event: ‘The planets are aligned the sun will activate, let the deluge come’.
A ghost ship, also known as a phantom ship, is a ship with no living crew aboard. It may be a ghostly vessel in folklore or fiction, such as the Flying Dutchman, or a real derelict found adrift with its crew missing or dead, like the Mary Celeste. The term is sometimes also used for ships that have been decommissioned but not yet scrapped.
There have been many examples throughout history, for example,
Undated: The Caleuche is a mythical ghost ship which, according to local folklore and Chilota mythology, sails the seas around Chiloé Island, Chile, at night.
1738 onwards: The Palatine Light, a ship who lost half her crew running aground off Rhode Island, possibly being lured there and pillaged by the locals. Said to appear every December.
1748 onwards: The Lady Lovibond is said to have been deliberately wrecked on Goodwin Sands on 13 February and to reappear off the Kent coast every fifty years.
1786 onwards: The Ghost Ship of Northumberland Strait, a burning ship seen regularly between Prince Edward Island and New Brunswick.
1795 onwards: The Flying Dutchman, a ship manned by a captain condemned to eternally sail the seas, has long been the principal ghost ship legend among mariners and has inspired several works.
1813 onwards: After the American schooner Young Teazer was sunk in an explosion during the War of 1812, a burning apparition known as the “Teazer Light” has been reported off Maine.
1858 onwards: The Eliza Battle, a paddle steamer that burned in 1858 on the Tombigbee River in Alabama, is purported to reappear, fully aflame, on cold and windy winter nights to foretell of impending disaster.
1878 onwards: An apparition has been reported where the HMS Eurydice sank off the Isle of Wight. Witnesses include a Royal Navy submarine in the 1930s and Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex, in 1998.
1872 or 1882: The Iron Mountain riverboat, according to legend, mysteriously disappeared while travelling the Mississippi River and left the barges it was towing adrift. In reality, the ship sank in 1882 near Vicksburg after running aground, and its fate was never mysterious.
1928: The København was last heard from on December 28, 1928. For two years following its disappearance sightings of a mysterious five-masted ship fitting its description were reported in the Pacific Ocean.
1855: HMS Resolute was discovered drifting off the coast of Baffin Island. It had been one of four vessels from Edward Belcher’s search expedition for John Franklin that had been abandoned the previous year when it was trapped in pack ice in Viscount Melville Sound. The ship drifted some 1,200 miles (1,900 km) before it was found, freed from the ice.
1872: Amazon (later renamed Mary Celeste). In 1872 the Mary Celeste, perhaps the most historically famous derelict, was found abandoned between mainland Portugal and the Azores archipelago. It was devoid of all crew, but largely intact and under sail, heading toward the Strait of Gibraltar. While Arthur Conan Doyle’s story “J. Habakuk Jephson’s Statement” based on this ship added some strange phenomena to the tale (such as that the tea found in the mess hall was still hot), the fact remained that the last log entry was 11 days prior to the discovery of the ship.
1884: In 1884 the Resolven was found abandoned between Baccalieu Island and Catalina, Newfoundland and Labrador, with its lifeboat missing. Other than a broken yard, it had suffered minimal damage. A large iceberg was sighted nearby. It has been claimed that none of the seven crew members or four passengers were accustomed to northern waters and it was suggested that they panicked when the ship was damaged by ice, launched the lifeboat, and swamped, though no bodies were found. Three years later, Resolven was wrecked while returning to Newfoundland from Nova Scotia with a load of lumber.
1917: Zebrina, a sailing barge, departed Falmouth, England, with a cargo of Swansea coal bound for Saint-Brieuc, France. Two days later she was discovered aground on Rozel Point, south of Cherbourg, without damage except for some disarrangement of her rigging, but with her crew missing.
1921: The Carroll A. Deering, a five-masted cargo schooner, was found stranded on a beach on Diamond Shoals, North Carolina. The ship’s final voyage had been the subject of much debate and controversy, and was investigated by six departments of the US government, largely because it was one of dozens of ships that sank or went missing within a relatively short period of time. While paranormal explanations have been advanced, the theories of mutiny or piracy are considered more likely.
1931: The Baychimo was abandoned in the Arctic Ocean when it became trapped in pack ice and was thought doomed to sink, but remained afloat and was sighted numerous times over the next 38 years without ever being salvaged.
1933: A lifeboat from the 1906 wreck of the passenger steamship SS Valencia off the southwest coast of Vancouver Island was found floating in the area in remarkably good condition 27 years after the sinking. Sailors have also reported seeing the ship itself in the area in the years following the sinking, often as an apparition that followed down the coast.
1955: The MV Joyita was discovered abandoned in the Pacific. A subsequent inquiry found the vessel was in a poor state of repair, but determined the fate of passengers and crew to be “inexplicable on the evidence submitted at the inquiry”.
1959: A ghost submarine was found floating without a crew in the Bay of Biscay off northern Spain. It was later discovered that the empty sub was being towed by another vessel and the chain had snapped.
1969: The Teignmouth Electron was found adrift and unoccupied in the Atlantic Ocean. Investigation led to the conclusion that its sole crewmember, Donald Crowhurst, had suffered a psychiatric breakdown while competing in a solo around-the-world race and committed suicide by jumping overboard.
2003: The High Aim 6 was found drifting in Australian waters, 80 nautical miles (150 km; 92 mi) east of Rowley Shoals, with its crew missing. The derelict was subsequently scuttled.
2006: The tanker Jian Seng was found off the coast of Weipa, Queensland Australia in March. Its origin or owner could not be determined, and its engines had been inoperable for some time.
2006: In August the “Bel Amica” was discovered off the coast of Sardinia. The Coast Guard crew that discovered the ship found half eaten Egyptian meals, French maps of North African seas, and a flag of Luxembourg on board.
2007: A 12-metre catamaran, the Kaz II, was discovered unmanned off the coast of Queensland, northeast Australia in April. The yacht, which had left Airlie Beach on Sunday 15 April, was spotted about 80 nautical miles (150 km) off Townsville, near the outer Great Barrier Reef on the following Wednesday. When boarded on Friday, the engine was running, a laptop was running, the radio and GPS were working and a meal was set to eat, but the three-man crew were not on board. All the sails were up but one was badly shredded, while three life jackets and survival equipment, including an emergency beacon, were found on board. A search for the crew was abandoned on Sunday 22nd as it was considered unlikely that anyone could have survived for that period of time.
2008: The abandoned 50 ton Taiwanese fishing vessel Tai Ching 21 was found drifting near Kiribati on 9 November. The ship had suffered a fire several days previously, and its lifeboat and three life rafts were missing. No mayday call was received, and the ship had last been heard from on 28 October. A search of 21,000 square miles (54,000 square km) of the Pacific Ocean north of Fiji by a US Air Force C-130 Hercules and a New Zealand Air Force P-3 Orion found no trace of the Taiwanese captain or crew (18 Chinese, 6 Indonesians, and 4 Filipinos).
2012: The Ryou-Un Maru, a Japanese fishing vessel swept away by the March 2011 tsunami, was found floating adrift towards Canada after nearly a year at sea, no crew believed to be on board. The vessel was sunk on April 5, 2012 by the United States Coast Guard.
The jersey number 21 has been retired by several North American sports teams in honor of past playing greats or other key figures:
In Major League Baseball: the Cleveland Indians, for Hall of Famer Bob Lemon, the Milwaukee Braves, for Hall of Famer Warren Spahn (the number continues to be honored by the team in its current home of Atlanta); the Pittsburgh Pirates, for Hall of Famer Roberto Clemente (following his death in a plane crash while attempting to deliver humanitarian aid to victims of an earthquake in Nicaragua);
In the NBA: the Atlanta Hawks, for Hall of Famer Dominique Wilkins; the Boston Celtics, for Hall of Famer Bill Sharman; the Detroit Pistons, for Hall of Famer Dave Bing; the Sacramento Kings, for Vlade Divac; the Minnesota Timberwolves have not retired the number, but have not issued it since Kevin Garnett was traded from the team in 2007.
In the NHL: the Chicago Blackhawks, for Hall of Famer Stan Mikita; the Colorado Avalanche, for likely future Hall of Famer Peter Forsberg; the Pittsburgh Penguins, for Michel Brière; the Toronto Maple Leafs have a policy of not retiring numbers unless the player honored either died or suffered a career-ending incident while a member of the team. Other players whose numbers would otherwise be retired instead have their numbers enshrined by the team as “Honored Numbers”, which remain in circulation for future players. The number 21 is currently honored for Hall of Famer Börje Salming.
No NFL team has retired the number 21.
In basketball: 21 is a variation of street basketball, in which each player, of which there can be any number, plays for himself only (i.e. not part of a team); the name comes from the requisite number of baskets.
In 3×3, a formalized version of three-on-three half-court basketball, the game ends by rule once either team has scored 21 points in regulation. Scoring is significantly different from traditional basketball rules, with free throws and baskets made from inside the three-point arc worth 1 point, and baskets made from outside the arc worth 2 points.
In badminton, and table tennis (before 2001), 21 points are required to win a game.
Eyeshield 21 is a Japanese anime about football.
In the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series the number 21 has long been the car number for Wood Brothers Racing
In books, music, tv and movies
21 is the sophomore album from British singer-songwriter Adele, recently acclaimed for her title song for the Bond movie Skyfall.
Century 21 Television (producers of Sylvia and Gerry Anderson Supermarionation shows like Thunderbirds and Captain Scarlet and the Mysterons).
Cinema 21 is an independently-owned movie theatre in Portland, Oregon featuring art house films. Cinema 21,616 NW 21st Avenue,Portland, Oregon 97209 USA
Cinema 21, is also the name of the largest cinema chain in Indonesia, established in the entertainment industry in 1987.
“21” is the fact-based story about six MIT students who were trained to become experts in card counting and subsequently took Vegas casinos for millions in winnings.
Wedding In Las Vegas is a docu-drama about a group of students who, using a wedding as a cover story, also defeat the casino’s Blackjack tables using card counting techniques.
The Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-21 is a supersonic jet fighter aircraft, designed by the Mikoyan-Gurevich Design Bureau in the Soviet Union. It was popularly nicknamed “balalaika”, from the aircraft’s planform-view resemblance to the Russian stringed musical instrument or olówek (English: pencil) by Polish pilots due to the shape of its fuselage.
Early versions are considered second-generation jet fighters, while later versions are considered to be third-generation jet fighters.
Some 50 countries over four continents have flown the MiG-21, and it still serves many nations a half-century after its maiden flight. The fighter made aviation records. At least by name, it is the most-produced supersonic jet aircraft in aviation history and the most-produced combat aircraft since the Korean War, and it had the longest production run of a combat aircraft (1959 to 1985 over all variants).
IAI Kfir F-21
The Israel Aircraft Industries Kfir F-21 is an Israeli-built all-weather, multirole combat aircraft based on a modified French Dassault Mirage 5 airframe, with Israeli avionics and an Israeli-made version of the General Electric J79 turbojet engine.
The Kfir entered service with the IAF in 1975, the first units being assigned to the 101st “First Fighter” Squadron. Over the following years, several other squadrons were also equipped with the new aircraft. The role of the Kfir as the IAF’s primary air superiority asset was short-lived, as the first F-15 Eagle fighters from the United States were delivered to Israel in 1976.
The Kfir’s first recorded combat action took place on November 9, 1977, during an Israeli air strike on a training camp at Tel Azia, in Lebanon. The only air victory claimed by a Kfir during its service with the IAF occurred on June 27, 1979 when a Kfir C.2 shot down a Syrian MiG-21.
Twenty-five modified Kfir C.1s were leased to the US Navy and the US Marine Corps from 1985 to 1989, to act as adversary aircraft in dissimilar air combat training (DACT). These aircraft, designated F-21A Kfir, had narrow-span canard foreplanes and a single small rectangular strake on either side of the nose which considerably improved the aircraft’s maneuverability and handling at low speeds.
Blücher 21 cm/45 (8.27″) SK L/45
Used afloat only on the Armored Cruiser Blücher which was sunk at the World War I battle of Dogger Bank. After her sinking, four reserve guns were given to the German Army.
During World War II these guns were used as coastal artillery. They were then supplied with a better ballistically shaped shell and with a larger propellant charge for increased range.
Constructed of a tube, two layers of hoops and a jacket. Used the Krupp horizontal sliding wedge breech block. About 16 guns were made.
The 45 mm anti-aircraft gun (21-K) was a Soviet design adapted from the 45 mm anti-tank gun M1937 (53-K). This was a copy of a 3.7 cm (1.5 in) German weapon designed by Rheinmetall that was sold to the Soviets before Hitler came to power in 1933 that had been enlarged to 45 mm (1.8 in) in increase its penetrating power.
It was used by the Soviet Navy to equip almost all of their ships from 1934 as its primary light anti-aircraft gun until replaced by the fully automatic 37 mm 70-K gun from 1942 to 1943.
It was used in World War II and during the Cold War as the Soviets exported their World War II-era ships to their friends and allies.
However it was not very effective as its slow rate of fire and lack of a time fuze required a direct hit to damage targets.
The M3M was designated by the U.S. Navy as the GAU-21 in 2004 and is currently used by all services within the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD).
An evolution of the M3 .50-caliber heavy machine gun, it produces a blistering 1,100 rounds per minute cyclic rate of fire through the use of open-bolt operation and a dual recoil buffer system. Operating independent of either electrical or hydraulic power sources, the M3M/GAU-21’s unique soft mount system enhances weapon accuracy and minimizes the firing vibration transmitted to the airframe.
FN Herstal has been awarded a solesource U.S. Navy contract to produce the M3M .50 caliber machine guns under the Gun, Aircraft, Unit-21 (GAU-21) designation for Navy and Marine Corps rotary-wing assault aircraft.
The FN GAU-21 (M3M) is a .50 caliber (12.7x99mm) single barrel rapid-fire machine gun suitable for rotary-wing aircraft applications providing defensive firepower ranging out to nearly 2000 meters.
BRNO is neither German nor Austrian (although it was once located in the Austro-Hungarian Empire), but they produced the BRNO model designation 21 and 22 as post-War sporting rifles.
Almpst an American icon, the Glock 21 is a .45 caliber pistol. Countless law enforcement units swear by this superior pistol for more than just its above-average magazine capacity of 13 rounds.
SIG SAUER® P210®
The SIG SAUER® P210®, the timeless pistol of the Swiss Army, is once again in production by SIG SAUER GmbH in Germany. This historic gun features the same precision and reliability as its ancestors, but also offers a number of modern improvements.
The return of the SIG SAUER P210 Legend will now ensure that many more shooters will be able to enjoy one of the world’s most accurate and legendary firearms.
21st Century Commander
Internally, the 21st Century Commander is classic Colt. The stainless 4.25-inch barrel is rifled in the standard 1:16-inch left-hand twist. Each 21st Century Commander is serialized with a unique number that contains the letters “WC” for Wiley Clapp.
21 Series Beretta
The 21 Series Beretta pocket pistol (Bobcat) has the same dedication to advanced design, uncompromising quality and strict quality control that make the 92F, Cougar and Cheetah such international standouts.
It has a user-friendly design, exclusive tip-up barrel allowing the user to easily load a round directly into the chamber or assisting in the safe clearing of the pistol by allowing a live round to be easily removed from the chamber and the bore quickly checked. Jamming and stovepiping problems are virtually eliminated by the open slide design shared by all small frame Berettas.
Chambered for .22LR or .25ACP (6.35 mm), this compact, rugged small frame measures just 4.9 inches (125 mm) overall and weighs only 11.5 ounces (325 grams). It features a lightweight, alloy frame, blued steel slide, tip-up barrel, and double/single action. The Bobcat comes with a 7-round magazine for .22LR ammunition, or an 8 round magazine for .25 (6.35 mm)caliber cartridges.
Twenty-one Gun Salute
Legend has it that Twenty-one guns are fired in U.S. national military salutes because the digits in 1776 add up to 21. However, despite the fact that the year 1776 is deeply significant to Americans and the total of its digits does add up to 21, the legend is untrue because the custom of the 21-gun salute antedates the American Revolution by at least several decades.
Also interesting is the fact that, although we now view weaponry salutes as honors proudly bestowed by fighting men upon those of high rank or great achievement, saluting in days long ago was an act of submission; a tangible way of demonstrating that the one performing the action was voluntarily placing himself in the power of the one being saluted. Guns would be emptied a ritual number of times, or sails would be lowered, or spears would be pointed towards the ground, the significance being that those carrying out the act were saying “I yield to your authority, and as proof I’ve just rendered my weapon incapable of being used against you.”
Over time the practice evolved into a custom honorary and ceremonial as well as practical. Today’s salute is far more a mark of respect than an act of submission.
Cannons became part of weaponry salutes in the 14th century. A just-emptied cannon was a useless piece of ordnance and so made a fine visible display of the lack of hostile intent. Warships took to firing honorary seven-gun salutes, with that number likely chosen for its astrological and biblical significance. Because those crewing cannons on land had access to far greater supplies of powder, they were able to fire three guns (a number chosen for its mystical significance) for every shot fired afloat, making the honorary salute by shore batteries 21 guns.
Eventually, an understanding was reached that the international salute should be established as 21 guns.
Today, the national salute of 21 guns is fired in honor of a national flag, the sovereign or chief of state of a foreign nation, a member of a reigning royal family, and the President, ex-President, and President-elect of the United States. It is also fired at noon of the day of the funeral of a President, ex-President, or President-elect; Washington’s Birthday; Presidents’ Day; and the Fourth of July. On Memorial Day, a salute of 21 minute guns (i.e., guns discharged at one-minute intervals) is fired at noon while the flag is flown at half staff.
In other stuff
We are currently living in the 21st Century, which spans the years from 2001 to 2100;
There are 21 letters in the Italian alphabet;
21 is the number representing the maturity and the responsibility for an individual;
In most USA states 21 is the drinking age;
In some countries 21 is the voting age;
Cities on latitude 21 North include: Aguascalientes, Cancún, and León, in Mexico; Jeddah, and Mecca in Saudi Arabia; Honolulu, Hawaii; Nagpur, Maharashtra, India; and Hanoi, Vietnam.
Cities on latitude 21 South include: Francistown, Botswana; and Nuku’Alofa, Tonga.
Cities on longitude 21 West include: Reykjavík, Iceland.
Cities on longitude 21 East include: Warsaw, Poland; Pristina, Kosovo; and Skopje, Macedonia.21 is a card game, also called vingt-et-un (French for “twenty-one”), pontoon, or blackjack;
Twenty One, was the name of a TV quiz show that ran from 1956 to 1958, most remembered for the scandal that the wins were fixed – it was remade in 2000;
There are 21 spots on a standard cubical (six-sided) die (1+2+3+4+5+6);
There are 21 trump cards of the tarot deck if one does not consider The Fool to be a proper trump card;
In Israel, the number is associated with the profile 21 (the military profile designation granting an exemption from the military service);
21 grams is the weight of the soul, according to research by Duncan MacDougall;
21 is the designation of a US Highway connecting Wytheville, Virginia and Beaufort, South Carolina, a truncation of a route that once connected Cleveland, Ohio and Jacksonville, Florida, among other highways past and present;
21 is the number of the French department Côte-d’Or;
In France XXI is a journal devoted to long-form journalism;
’21’ is a landmark New York restaurant perfectly positioned in midtown Manhattan;
Forever 21 is an American chain of clothing retailers with branches in major cities in the Americas, Europe, Asia, and the Middle East that offers trendy clothing and accessories for young women, men, and girls at low, affordable prices.
Just as a bit of a contrast to yesterday’s post, today I have ten stories, which are either about thieves who were smart enough to get away with it, or police who were too dumb to catch them.
The readers can make up their own minds.
1. Double Trouble
On Feb 25, 2009, three masked robbers boldly busted into Kaufhaus Des Westens, the second largest department store in Europe.
Via a rope ladder, the men were able to enter and ransack the main floor without tripping any sensors or alarms.
But what may have been a fatal error – leaving behind a single glove – ended up creating a bizarre situation.
DNA found on the glove matched TWO people: identical twins identified as Hassan and Abbas O.
German law however requires that each person be individually convicted and because their DNA is so similar, neither can be exclusively pinned to the evidence.
German police were forced to set them both free, and the third man has yet to be found.
. 2. The World’s Most Famous Fugitive
No, it’s not the one about Dr Richard Kimble trying to hunt down the one-armed man, although many readers may well be familiar with this story too which is about probably the world’s most famous fugitive.
On the night before Thanksgiving, November 24, 1971, a passenger by the name of Dan Cooper boarded a plane in Portland, OR bound for Seattle.
Clad in a suit and raincoat, wearing dark glasses and carrying a briefcase, he sat silently in the back of the plane. After calmly lighting a cigarette (yes smoking was permitted in airplanes in those days), he ordered a whiskey from the stewardess and then handed her a note.
It read, ‘I HAVE A BOMB IN MY BRIEFCASE. I WILL USE IT IF NECESSARY. I WANT YOU TO SIT NEXT TO ME. YOU ARE BEING HIJACKED.’
He demanded $200,000 and four parachutes delivered to him in Seattle.
When the plane landed, he released all the passengers, save for the pilot, co-pilot, and stewardess.
Once the money was delivered in the middle of the brightly-lit tarmac, Cooper demanded the pilot take off for Mexico, flying at an altitude of 10,000 feet.
Shortly after takeoff, over the mountains northwest of Portland, the six-foot-tall Cooper strapped on a parachute and jumped.
He was never heard from again.
Did he survive?
In 1980, roughly $6000 was found of the money in bundles on a beach, but no signs of a body.
The case remains open and is the only unsolved crime in US aviation history.
. 3. Cops And Robbers – Boston Style
On March 18, 1990, the day after Saint Patrick’s Day, policemen arrived at the door of the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston, claiming to have received a call about a disturbance.
Breaking protocol, the security officer let them in.
One of the men said he had a warrant for the guard’s arrest, and they convinced him to step away from his post.
Bad move: the “policemen” were really criminals in disguise, and they quickly handcuffed him and ordered him to call the other guard to the front, who was also subdued.
The thieves absconded with 13 paintings, including masterworks by Rembrandt, Vermeer, and Degas, worth a third of a billion dollars.
To this date, no one has been arrested in conjunction with the crime, nor have the paintings ever been recovered.
4. Cops And Robbers – Japanese Style
On December 10, 1968, in Tokyo, Japan, a Nihon Shintaku Ginko Bank car, transporting 300 million Yen ($817,000 US) in its trunk, was pulled over by a policeman on a motorcycle, who warned them of a bomb planted underneath.
Since there had already been bomb threats against the bank, the four passengers exited the vehicle as the uniformed patrolman inspected below the car.
Moments later, smoke and flames could be seen under the vehicle, causing the men to run for cover.
Of course, it turned out the smoke was from a flare and the cop was a phony.
He jumped in the car and sped off with the loot.
Even though there were 120 pieces of evidence, 110,000 suspects and 170,000 police investigators, the man was never caught.
In 1975, the statute of limitations ended, and in 1988 all civil liabilities were voided, but still no one ‘fessed up.
5. Diamonds Are Forever – Unless Someone Steals Them
The largest diamond heist in history was stolen from the world’s most impenetrable vault, located in Antwerp, Belgium.
Two floors below the Diamond Centre, it was protected by a lock with 100 million possible combinations, as well as heat/motion sensors, radar, magnetic fields, and a private security force.
However, on the weekend of Feb 15, using a series of moves that would make Danny Ocean jealous, the thieves were able to silently enter the vault, bust open the safe deposit boxes, and make off with the glittering loot.
And although the purported ring leader Leonardo Notarbartolo was caught and sentenced to 10 years, he has since been released on parole.
Notarbartolo claimed in an interview in Wired Magazine that the true take was only $20 million and was part of a larger conspiracy involving insurance fraud.
Whatever — the loot was never recovered.
6. The Disappearing $million
On Friday October 7, 1977, before Columbus Day Weekend, a bank worker counted $4 million dollars in cash and stored it in a locked money cart within a heavily guarded vault, two floors below the Chicago First National Bank.
Tuesday morning, the money is counted again, and exactly $1 million dollars – in $50 and $100 dominations and weighing over 80 pounds – had vanished into thin air.
In 1981, $2300 of the money showed up in a drug raid, but otherwise both the perpetrators and the cash are still at large.
7. The Pink Panthers
The winner for boldest burglary goes to the perpetrators of the so-called Harry Winston Heist.
On December 4, 2008, four men, three of whom wore long blonde wigs and disguised themselves as women, charmed their way into the famous Harry Winston Paris jewelry store just before closing time.
Once inside, they brandished a .357 revolver and a hand grenade and began their pillaging.
Less than 15 minutes later they escaped with diamonds, rubies, and emeralds worth an estimated $108 million US.
Investigators believe it to be the work of the notorious Serbian criminal gang The Pink Panthers, responsible for $132 million in robberies around the world.
They have never been caught.
Obviously the police needed Inspector Clouseau on the case.
8. Tucker Cross Or Double Cross?
The Tucker Cross, was named after diver Teddy Tucker who, in 1955, recovered it from the 1594 wreck of the San Pedro.
It was a 22-karat gold cross embedded with sparkling green emeralds and considered priceless.
Nonetheless, Tucker sold it to the Government of Bermuda for an undisclosed sum.
In 1975, the Cross was moved to the Bermuda Museum of Art to be displayed for Queen Elizabeth II.
No one knows when or how, but during this transition, a clever thief replaced the original with a cheap plastic replica.
Presumably, this historical artifact was melted down, stripped of its jewels, and funneled into the Black Market.
9. Fancy A Brazilian?
No, nothing to do with Kim Kardashian or the netherlands. This happened in 2005, in Fortaleza, Brazil at the Banco Central, when a gang of enterprising thieves managed to carry off one of the biggest heists of all time.
This heist was the result of painstaking planning by a small gang of burglars who tunneled over 250 feet to the bank’s vault from a nearby property.
The robbers used a landscaping business as a front that allowed them to move massive amounts of dirt and rock without looking suspicious.
The tunnel was expertly constructed and had sophisticated lighting and even an air conditioning system.
After three months of digging, the thieves finally broke into the vault and made off with what was equivalent to $70 million dollars.
Since then, police have made a number of arrests in connection with the burglary and recovered roughly $9 million dollars of the haul, but the majority of the suspects are still at large.
10. The Thieves Of Baghdad
On July 11th, 2007 in Baghdad a private financial institution, Dar Es Salaam, was robbed by two, or possibly three guards.
They got away with a third of a billion in cash, all US bills.
Perhaps the bank itself did not want people to start wondering where, how, and why it had so much cash at hand, so they have kept mum and there has been minimal press.
But somewhere, the successful thieves are laughing all the way from this bank.