Enig­matic ex­trem­i­ties: a bag of mys­tery hands and a phan­tom hitch­hiker with burn­ing feet

Fortean Times - - STRANGE DAYS -

A bag con­tain­ing 54 hu­man hands has been found on an is­land in the Amur River near Khabarovsk, a city of 590,000 in south­east­ern Rus­sia close to the Chi­nese bor­der. Photos of the scene show the hands spilled out into a sin­gle pile, and then or­ga­nized into 27 match­ing pairs and placed in rows. The is­land is in the Besh­en­naya chan­nel of the Amur River, a pop­u­lar fish­ing spot. Khabarovsk res­i­dents did not no­tice any­thing sus­pi­cious. In­ves­ti­ga­tors have man­aged to lift a pair of fin­ger­prints be­long­ing to one of the hands, and the oth­ers are be­ing checked. No in­for­ma­tion was given about the age of the hands or when they might have been dis­carded, but the images sug­gest they are rea­son­ably fresh. Were the hands cut off as pun­ish­ment for theft, or per­haps as med­i­cal am­pu­ta­tions? The lat­ter is weird and un­likely, given they were found in match­ing pairs. Or were they cut off as prac­tice for med­i­cal stu­dents? This last idea is lent sup­port by the dis­cov­ery of med­i­cal bandages and hos­pi­tal-style plas­tic shoe cov­ers next to the re­mains. Siberian Times, 8 Mar 2018.


On 26 Fe­bru­ary, Pe­dro Peirone, from the town of San Jose de la Esquina, in Santa Fe, Ar­gentina, was driv­ing home when he saw a young man hitch­hik­ing on the side of the road. As he of­ten did on his busi­ness trips around the prov­ince, he pulled over and of­fered to give the hitch­hiker a ride. He seemed a bit shy, and all Peirone was able to get out of him was that he came from the neigh­bour­ing town of Arteaga and that he was 17 years old. When asked if he was go­ing all the way to San Jose de la Esquina, he said “No”, adding that he would let Peirone know where he’d like to get out. “Fi­nally, he asked me to drop him off at the junc­tion with the road lead­ing to the cemetery, and, as soon as I got there, I sensed an aw­ful burn­ing smell,” said Peirone. “I stopped to see if some­thing had caught fire, got out to check the back of the truck, and as soon as I turned around, I no­ticed there was no one in­side.” He went to check the front pas­sen­ger seat, but all he found was two foot­prints melted into the rub­ber car mat and a lin­ger­ing burnt smell. He looked around to see if the youth had just run out faster than he could spot him, but there was no sign of him any­where and no other foot­prints. Some friends of Peirone hap­pened to drive by mo­ments later and helped him look for the hitch­hiker for a while, but they couldn’t find any­thing.

Un­able to ex­plain what had hap­pened, Peirone went to the po­lice and told them the whole story. Word of his ex­pe­ri­ence spread, and soon he was con­tacted by dozens of TV and ra­dio sta­tions for in­ter­views. He even took some of the re­porters to the place where the hitch­hiker al­legedly van­ished, and showed them the burnt shoe prints melted into the car mats. The me­dia did a lit­tle digging on Peirone to find out if he was the kind of man who would make up such an un­usual story, but ev­ery­one they talked to de­scribed him as an up­stand­ing mem­ber of the com­mu­nity, a hard-work­ing man and a good Catholic. Peirone him­self ad­mit­ted that he had al­ways put his faith in the Blessed Vir­gin Mary, and never re­ally be­lieved in para­nor­mal ac­tiv­ity, but that the bizarre oc­cur­rence had left him con­fused. “I’m a lit­tle stressed, ner­vous. I’m not afraid, but I just can­not ex­plain what hap­pened,” he said. odd­i­ty­cen­tral. com, 7 Mar 2018.

ABOVE: The 54 hands found on an is­land in the Amur River. BE­LOW: Shoeprints melted into Pe­dro Peirone’s car mat.

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