Captain FitzRoy was a temperamental man who didn’t have much luck in life, post-Darwin Tour. His fame, fortune, and political power slowly dwindled. He sought solace in religion, and became a committed Christian fundamentalist by the time Darwin published The Origin of Species in 1859. FitzRoy thought the whole “apes are our ancestors” thing was particular bullshit, and made sure Darwin knew this via several letters of condemnation. By 1860, FitzRoy was in full impotent-rage mode, and actually turned up at the great Wilberforce-Huxley Oxford evolution debate to renounce Darwin’s theories in person. Two guesses as to how that went for him.

via Wiki Commons

If you guessed “he died penniless by his own hand five years later,” good job.


The Former FBI Agent Who Tried To Warn Everybody About Impending Al-Qaeda Attacks Died… On 9/11

John P. O’Neill was an office nuisance: That guy who won’t shut up about that one little thing that nobody else cares about. Only, instead of whining about photocopier restocking protocol or dual dental plans, O’Neill kept prattling on about the possibility of an al-Qaeda-orchestrated terror attack within the United States.


“The good guys from Rambo III? Get real.”

O’Neill wasn’t the easiest guy to work with. Though he rose to the rank of chief of counterterrorism for the FBI, and managed to track down the 1993 World Trade Center bomber, he was still a divisive figure. Although brilliant, he was both arrogant and brash, and so bullish about his theories that others often actively ignored him. Unfortunately, this included his theory that the FBI and the CIA needed to start preparing for an inevitable major terror attack on home soil, likely perpetrated by al-Qaeda.

In the summer of 2001, the rest of the Bureau finally caught on and started looking into this whole “attack on American soil” thing, but that was too late for O’Neill — he had been worn out by financial troubles, tumultuous personal and professional problems, and a growing paranoia about enemies within the intelligence community. In search for greener pastures, O’Neill left the FBI and got himself a cozy, lucrative new job… as the chief of security at the World Trade Center in New York.

Carol M. Highsmith

Ruh roh.

Mere weeks into his new job, O’Neill was on the receiving end of the exact worry that had cost him his last job and landed him his new one. He was one of the thousands of victims who perished in the 9/11 attacks. We hope his last words were “I told you so.” Nobody has ever earned them more.

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