Between 1968 and 1987, Cornell professor William T. Keeton and his colleagues released thousands of homing pigeons from different points in upstate New York and then tracked them to see if they could find their way home.
Homing pigeons are famously good navigators, and, for the most part, the pigeons set sail in the right direction. But there was one route that caused them trouble: A 74-mile stretch from the Jersey Hill fire tower back to their loft at Cornell. Only 10 percent of the pigeons trying to make that journey ever made it home. The rest — about 900 pigeons — disappeared completely.
Except, that is, on August 13, 1969. On that date, the pigeons released at Jersey Hill flew right back to Ithaca with no problems. Down on the ground, Keeton and his team took meticulous notes about the weather and whatever else they could notice. Nothing seemed different from any other day. They were mystified.
Read more. [Image: William T. Keeton (Cornell University)]