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Some Queensland Mysteries

Figure 1. Aerial view of the great “sinkhole” at Inskip Point, Queensland, Australia, 2015.

Joe Nickell, PhD, is a former stage magician, private investigator, and scholar. He has investigated in over two dozen countries and is author, coauthor, or editor of some forty books.

Strange mysteries may be found almost anywhere, but they seem especially plentiful and interesting in Australia. I investigated several during my first (2000) and second (2016) trips Down Under (including New Zealand on the latter). And I only scratched the surface. In addition to the several articles that have resulted—some old and some more recent (e.g., Nickell 2001; 2016)—I offer three diverse mysteries I chanced upon in Queensland: a dramatic event that sparked thoughts of UFOs, a “haunted” historic inn, and an alleged miracle-working saint. Here is my take on each.

Mystery Hole Down Under

It happened on a Saturday night, September 26, 2015, when something took a monstrous bite out of a beach at Inskip Point north of Brisbane, Queensland, Australia. There was a thunder-like noise, and an entire campsite began to quickly disappear. People escaped with their lives, but some vehicles, including one with an attached “caravan” (camper), were lost to “Davy Jones’s Locker” (Gorrie 2015). Alarm spread to nearby campsites, and officials evacuated an initial 140 people, though the number later grew to an estimated 300 (Tran and Thackray 2015).

The incident, as a local newspaper noted, “attracted interest around the world” (Gorrie 2015). Internet sources adapted the story. For instance, UFO News asked, “What caused the earth to open and take a huge bite out of Inskip Point?” (Stokes 2015). A psychic even suggested it might be a sign of the Biblical “end times” (Walker 2015). This was enough for Queensland parliament member Tony Perrett to warn against wild speculation, as an investigation into the cause continued (“Call to Stay Calm” 2015).

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