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Case Closed

May 2024
1min read


I am rereading the complete file of A MERICAN H ERITAGE magazine. I have just finished your October 1973 issue, in which you state in “Postscripts” that you have no explanation for the mysterious Thing hovering over the dear ladies who are repairing the original Star-Spangled Banner in the August 1972 issue.

Although the information comes almost ten years late, you will be pleased to know that the Thing is a life-size model of the rare giant squid. This creature can measure up to sixty feet in length and weigh up to half a ton.

At the time or your photo the papier-mâche model was hanging in the Great Hall of the Smithsonian Castle. Mike Sweeny of the department of Cephalopods at the Smithsonian told me that the model is no longer in existence. I recall seeing a similar model, probably from the same mold, hanging from the ceiling of Pittsburgh’s Carnegie Museum back in the 1920s.

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