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Astonishing Legends

Scott Philbrook

Society & Culture, History

4.69.6K Ratings

Overview

The world is more mysterious than most people are comfortable imagining. We cross paths with the mystical from time to time and may not even notice it. If we do, we quickly return to our usually mundane daily existence. But what if we not only acknowledged the unknown, we investigated it and spoke with those in the know? That’s what co-hosts Scott & Forrest, and their producer Tess Pfeifle do at Astonishing Legends. Over 100 million downloads and hundreds of thousands of listeners have shown that exploring and embracing the wonders of our world can be not only enlightening but exciting.  Welcome to Astonishing Legends!

319 Episodes

Nightmarchers of Hawaii

Those who have visited Hawaii have experienced its natural beauty, soothing lifestyle, and the charm and friendliness of the inhabitants. However, only a select few may have encountered what the locals know and revere – the supernatural entities and legends that are still active and enduring. Some, like seeing "Madame Pele," can invigorate awe and wonder, while others can be terrifying. One of the latter and seemingly more prevalent is encountering the Night Marchers. They usually appear as a column of warriors floating above the ground along a predetermined path, weapons or torches in hand. Many report only hearing their presence in the form of unexplainable beating drums or the ghostly blowing of a conch shell. And just seeing them, it's said, ensures a disappearance or violent death to the witness if the proper respect isn't paid in their presence. But what is their origin story, and what do they want? Are they soldiers defeated by King Kamehameha I advancing towards a counterattack or seeking revenge? Or are they keepers and enforcers of ancient Hawaiian cultural laws and mores? To help us explore these questions and relay some of his personal experiences, tonight's guest is Kamuela "Kamu" Kaneshiro. As a native Hawaiian, content creator, and podcaster for 20 years, Kamu has extensive knowledge of the lore and heritage of his homeland. His royal lineage might even protect him from these fearsome spectral guardians. Join us for a fascinating discussion as we warily watch for the Night Marchers of Hawaii. Visit our website for a lot more information on this episode.

Transcribed - Published: 19 May 2024

The SS Kamloops and Old Whitey

When most of us think of shipwrecks, images of rough ocean waves and sailing vessels of yore come to mind. But those familiar with the Great Lakes region of the north-central United States and southern Canada know all too well that these massive bodies of fresh water produce devastating storms and treacherous swells to rival any sea. Estimates are that around 6000 vessels and 30,000 lives have fallen victim to their notoriously severe weather and deadly waters. In December 1927, a "raging blizzard" on Lake Superior claimed the steamship SS Kamloops and all 22 souls aboard. But was she really a "Ghost Ship," as the legends often describe? The ship went missing and remained undiscovered until 1977 but is in unusually, reasonably intact condition. So, although the wreck was found, the SS Kamloops is still known for a ghost of its own. At least one crew member remains, still manning his station, who is perhaps both a ghost and a corpse. Some divers on the wreck have claimed that the body of this crewman follows them around as they explore, known as "Old Whitey" because of his appearance. Others have also claimed to see a spirit nicknamed "Grandpa" because of his appearance, still on duty in the icy depths. Are these beings the same, and are their perceived actions the result of fluid dynamics and decompression sickness? Join us as we take a deep dive to get to the bottom of the legend of the SS Kamloops and Old Whitey. Visit our website for a lot more information on this episode.

Transcribed - Published: 11 May 2024

The Elusive Force: A Powerful Polish Poltergeist Part 2

For part two of our examination of the elusive force that flowed through Joasia Gajeweski, we're fortunate and honored to present a conversation with three knowledgeable professionals familiar with the case. We first learned of this fantastic story and the book that documented it from a clinical therapist, author, parapsychologist, past show guest, and friend, Brandon Massullo. Brandon then offered to put us in touch with psychologist, researcher, and author James Houran, Ph.D., who studied the case extensively. And for the trifecta, another past guest and friend, Michael Kishbucher, connected us with Joel Stern. Joel was a staff translator and reviewer in the Office of Language Services at the U.S. State Department in Washington, DC, for 28 years. He translated The Elusive Force: A Remarkable Case of Poltergeist Activity and Psychokinetic Power into English and spent decades attempting to get the book published, which finally occurred in 2023. Joel also spent time with Joasia and her family during the process and has specific insights into the people and their circumstances. Join us tonight for a lively discussion from the viewpoint of parapsychology and human behavior when it collides with the paranormal, and the impossible becomes impossible to dismiss. Visit our website for a lot more information on this episode.

Transcribed - Published: 27 April 2024

The World of Ted Serios

The Astonishing Legends Network presents the third episode of Richard Hatem's Paranormal Bookshelf! Listen, and after you love it, find and subscribe to it wherever you get your podcasts! Richard delves into challenging misconceptions held by both skeptics and believers through the lens of Jule Eisenbud's "The World of Ted Serios," which underscores the significance of caution in scientific inquiry while also exploring the debilitating doubt often encountered in paranormal exploration. “Certainly an attitude of caution and skepticism should be expected of anyone undertaking to test a hypothesis according to conventional cannons of scientific inquiry. But not the kind of gnawing, festering doubt that took possession of me." –The World of Ted Serios by Jule Eisenbud In this episode of Richard Hatem’s Paranormal Bookshelf, we’re exploring The World of Ted Serios by Jule Eisenbud. And we’re taking on one of the longest-standing feuds in the world of paranormal exploration: skeptics vs. believers. In the 1960s, Theodore Judd Serios, a Chicago bellhop, gained fame for producing "thoughtographs.” Ted, it seems, could think images onto film. Polaroid film to be exact. Parapsychologist Jule Eisenbud arranges to meet with him, and over the next three years of wild experiments, Jule goes down a rabbit hole from which he never completely emerged. As Richard immerses himself in Eisenbud's narrative, he grapples with the dichotomy between skeptics and believers, challenging misconceptions that often plague serious paranormal inquiry. Through insightful commentary, Richard sheds light on the rational pursuit of knowledge among individuals intrigued by the unexplained, contrasting it with the hasty conclusions drawn by both skeptics and true believers.

Transcribed - Published: 24 April 2024

Vote 80's TV Ladies for a Webby!

Vote for 80’s TV Ladies for Best Indie Podcast at the Webby Awards Now! Voting ends Thursday, April 18th, 2024. tinyurl.com/vote80tvl

Transcribed - Published: 16 April 2024

The Elusive Force: A Powerful Polish Poltergeist Part 1

Significant poltergeist events often start with a minor incident and incrementally grow with a bit of intensity until they eventually fade. This is somewhat true about the paranormal activity in a small town in southern Poland in 1983, except in this case, what started as a weird action by an unseen force quickly escalated into one of the most extreme and extraordinary poltergeist cases ever recorded. Around 3:00 a.m. on April 4th of that year, Marian Tomecki awoke to a decorative straw mat falling on his head. He tried to fasten it back to the wall when it "tore itself from his hands and danced around." Immediately, glassware and household items erratically fly around the apartment belonging to his daughter and son-in-law where he was staying, smashing into walls and furniture. Andrzej and Ewa Gajewski's 13-year-old daughter and Marian's grandaughter, Joasia, appeared to be the catalyst for the impossible destruction, consistent with current theories about human conduits in many cases of the phenomena. As the Gajewski family continued to be terrorized by the violent trashing, neighbors, local authorities, Joasia's school, and even a Japanese news crew became eyewitnesses to the bizarre happenings, becoming national news in Poland. What also makes the Gajewski case groundbreaking is that it continued for an extended period and with such consistent power that scientists could study it. Join us for a case of RSPK or "recurrent spontaneous psychokinesis" so disturbing and astonishing it has divided the parapsychologist community. Visit our website for a lot more information on this episode.

Transcribed - Published: 14 April 2024

Ghosts and Specters

“Whether you believe in ghosts or not—these stories are true.” –Ghosts & Specters by Bruce and Nancy Roberts Being a kid can be scary. In the premiere episode of Richard Hatem's Paranormal Bookshelf, Richard takes us on a nostalgic journey back to his childhood discovery of the book that changed everything. Travel back to 1974 as he recounts the pivotal moment when Aunt Sally gifted him Ghosts & Specters by Bruce and Nancy Roberts. This slim hardback, filled with haunting tales and eerie photographs, ignited Richard's fear and imagination and sparked a complicated lifelong fascination with the strange and unexplained that would later fuel his screenwriting career. While Ghosts & Specters by Bruce and Nancy Roberts may seem unlikely to inspire an entire life, to Richard, it is anything but. It started him on a journey into the unknown, and he’s never looked back. Published by Doubleday, this collection of 10 stories describes ghostly apparitions and happenings paired with ghoulish photographs that seem to creep right out of the pages and into reality. Each tale within these pages transports readers to a world where the inexplicable becomes possible, and fear gives way to fascination (and then moves back to fear again). Maybe YOU have a book just like this on your shelf. It terrified you so completely that you couldn't put it down. Or, even stranger, maybe this is the same book that brought you to this podcast. Join Richard as he reflects on the power of books that act as a beacon into the unknown and the transformative journey that book lovers and librarians can have in our lives.

Transcribed - Published: 27 March 2024

The Third Man Syndrome Part 2

In part two of our exploration of the Third Man Syndrome, we continue recounting harrowing tales of survival in extreme and unusual environments or “EUEs,” such as Christopher Columbus’ 15th-century pilot taking the helm for Joshua Slocum during the first solo circumnavigation of the globe; and Aron Ralston’s excruciating canyon escape after becoming trapped for 127 hours. We then explore the scientific hypotheses as to why this surprisingly not-so-rare phenomenon occurs. As researchers and authors Peter Suedfeld and John Geiger stated, theories can range from the mystical to the psychodynamic to the situational and the neurological. Listeners will also recognize that some proposed causes overlap with past show concepts such as infrasound, the “God Helmet,” and Shadow People. Whatever the explanation is for an ethereal savior appearing in a desperate moment of need, and like so many paranormal happenings, to the beholder, what matters is that it was real enough. And the Third Man was real enough to save their lives. Visit our website for a lot more information on this episode.

Transcribed - Published: 24 March 2024

The Third Man Syndrome Part 1

A strange occurrence often happens to people engaged in an adventurous activity or who fall victim to an unfortunate circumstance. They find themselves with a companion whose presence would typically be impossible. Usually, the person is at a critical moment in a life-or-death situation in an extreme and unusual environment. When they are weakened and dying from exposure, suffering privation of sustenance, lost and alone, when they are about to lose all hope and accept their demise, that’s when this otherworldly friend suddenly appears to render aid and encouragement, giving them a superhuman will or strength to survive. Psychologists label this a “sensed presence experience” but are at a loss for a simple explanation. These presences may be seen, heard, and sometimes even touched. They appear in dire situations to people from all walks of life. They may materialize as a known friend, a deceased relative, a religious figure, or an indeterminate benefactor. Still, whatever their form, there is no doubt to the one in danger that this being is real and there with them. Although this sensed presence appears most often to mountain climbers, sailors, divers, and polar explorers, it can also happen to astronauts, prisoners of war, and disaster survivors. One of the most intriguing aspects of the sensed presence experience is that the ethereal saviors aren’t just there to provide comforting words; they actually help with knowledgable advice or guidance or can even seemingly take over the actions of the afflicted – whatever is necessary to increase the odds of survival. Join us as we explore a phenomenon more common than you might think, a syndrome also known as the “Third Man.” Visit our website for a lot more information on this episode.

Transcribed - Published: 10 March 2024

The Lost City of Akakor with Kinga Philipps Part 2

Kinga Philipps is back with us for part two of our investigation into the legend of the lost city of Akakor. In this episode, we look closer at the facts in this case, attempting to separate them from the fiction. Kinga has a specific and knowledgeable insight into Tatunca Nara’s point of view as she and J.J. Kelley interviewed him at his home in Barcelos, Amazonas, in 2019 for their Travel Channel show, Lost in the Wild. In the 1980s, at least three people hired Tatunca as a guide to find Akakor. Two were never seen again, and one was found with a bullet hole in the back of their skull. Did they insist on venturing into the jungle alone, as Tatunca claimed? What became of the journalist Karl Brugger, whose book The Chronicle of Akakor could be considered the catalyst to this series of events? Is this mystery more natural, supernatural, or criminal at its core? Whatever the truth at the heart of this darkness, the fact is that an incredible account, a fantastic fable, mere words can spark quests and tragedy. Visit our website for a lot more information on this episode.

Transcribed - Published: 25 February 2024

The Lost City of Akakor with Kinga Philipps Part 1

Typically, when the concept of a Lost City captures the public’s imagination, it’s because archaeologists have discovered evidence of its ancient existence or rumors have passed down generations and inspired expeditions. But what happens when a single, modern man’s story, documented in a book, encourages a few adventurous souls to seek an elusive utopia in a treacherous locale? This is the case with the legend of the lost city of Akakor. In the early 1970s, journalist Karl Brugger met with a man who called himself Tatunca Nara, a self-proclaimed tribal chieftain and prince of the Ugha Mongulala tribe. Tatunca told Brugger an incredible tale of Akakor, a Shangri-la-like city mostly underground and hidden in caves in the Amazon jungle. Akakor was home to a magnificent and enlightened society, rich and resplendent with treasures and ancient wisdom thousands of years old. Not only did Tatunca know the location of the secretive city, but he was also one of its royalty. Although initially incredulous, Brugger became intoxicated with Nara’s story and decided to document it and publish a book about it in 1976 titled The Chronicle of Akakor. Exhilarated by the fantastic descriptions, amateur adventurers came from all over the world to try and find Akakor and see it for themselves, often hiring Tatunca to guide them there… but at least 3 of them would never make it back home. Some believe they fell victim to the dangers of the environment, while others believe they were silenced to keep Akakor hidden from the world. However, we can safely navigate this legend because we have the great fortune of being joined by Kinga Philipps, journalist, adventurer, Shark Week host, and fellow at the prestigious 120-year-old Explorer’s Club. Kinga and her Explorer’s Club colleague JJ Kelley co-hosted a series called Lost in the Wild on the Travel Channel. The show was dedicated to examining cases of missing persons that have taken place in exotic locations. In one episode, the duo traveled to Brazil to investigate the story of Akakor and Tatunca Nara, and tonight, Kinga Philipps will share what they uncovered on that harrowing quest. Visit our website for a lot more information on this episode.

Transcribed - Published: 11 February 2024

The Ghosts of Versailles Part 2

In part 2 of our series on the Ghosts of Versailles, we’re looking into what transpired in the years following the initial incident. Charlotte Moberly and Eleanor Jourdain conducted intense research to figure out who or what they may have been interacting with on August 10th, 1901. That research led them, among many other things, to discover there was an insurrection on that exact day in 1792, 71 years earlier to the day. The Tuileries Place is not in Versailles but in Paris, 11 miles away. Revolutionaries with weapons wanted the Monarchy abolished. They waged an intense attack on the palace that Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette were now living in on lockdown. On that day, 650 of the Swiss Guard were massacred by Jacobins and a group known as the Paris Commune. Once the Swiss Guard ran out of ammunition, they were slaughtered, and their bodies dismembered and paraded about the palace grounds. King Louis and Marie Antoinette had moved to a safer location in the Legislative Assembly Building. Moberly and Jourdain wondered if they might have somehow intersected with what no doubt would have been Marie Antoinette’s fearful and saddened state of mind that day. Is it possible she was reminiscing about happier times at her favorite place in the world, Le Petit Trianon? Could Moberly and Jourdain have somehow crossed paths with Antoinette's ghostly memories of happiness on the anniversary of the day that would mark the beginning of the end, not only for the King and herself but the Monarchy, too? We’ll discuss that and our theories about what may have happened and how the Ghosts of Versailles evolved into the story it is today. Visit our website for a lot more information on this episode.

Transcribed - Published: 28 January 2024

The Ghosts of Versailles Part 1

In the late summer of 1901, two women journeyed to the renowned Palace of Versailles, a few miles west of Paris. This breathtaking royal home, once the epitome of the French Monarchy during the reigns of Louis XIV, XV, and XVI, was an unfamiliar territory to them. Yet, the palace grounds seemed eager to impart a history lesson they had not anticipated. While exploring the vast estate, Charlotte Anne Moberly and Eleanor Jourdain found themselves amidst various characters adorned in peculiar attire. They noticed buildings, structures, and anachronistic farm tools from a past era. It was as if they had inadvertently stepped through a portal into a bygone era. The highlight of their uncanny experience may have been an encounter with a spectral figure of what may have been Queen Marie Antoinette herself. The bewildering events of that summer day left Moberly and Jourdain perplexed. Over time, they gradually pieced together the puzzle of their extraordinary visit. Years were devoted to delving into Versailles' rich history, with additional visits undertaken to comprehend the mysterious occurrences they had witnessed. Despite being mocked by many, they remained steadfast in their quest to understand what they had seen in 1901. Today, their astonishing experience, known as the Moberly-Jourdain Incident or The Ghosts of Versailles, continues to fascinate fans of timeslips, time travel and encounters with ghosts of events that happened long ago. Tonight, Scott is joined by special guest co-hosts Richard Hatem and Marie Mayhew to dive into this bizarre tale. Visit our website for a lot more information on this episode.

Transcribed - Published: 14 January 2024

Astonishing Junk Drawer 021 - Main Feed Edition

Enjoy episode number 21 of the Patreon-exclusive Astonishing Junk Drawer!

Transcribed - Published: 30 December 2023

The Astonishing All-Star Holiday Special IV

Would you look at that? It’s already the end of 2023, and our second favorite annual holiday is upon us. We’re now into our 4th annual tradition of the Astonishing Legends All-Star Holiday Special, and it indeed has taken on a life of its own. This year, we’re welcoming back all of our guests from last year and being joined by a few new ones as well. This show was recorded and broadcast live on video to our Patrons at Patreon.com/astonishinglegends a few weeks ago and in fact, if you are a patron you can still access the uncensored and unedited version of it there. You’ll hear the audio from that presentation, slightly edited for length and propriety tonight. To the extent that’s possible, anyway. The Holiday Special topics are wide-ranging and generally unplanned; this year is no exception. We touched on everything from the ubiquitous UAP phenomenon to podcast production to some of our various guests’ favorite topics of the past year. Allison Jornlin talks about going on Shark Tank with her brother, and Micah Hanks invites us all to come and see the infamous Brown Mountain Lights in North Carolina for ourselves. So get the fire going, settle down under a warm blanket with some eggnog or even a holiday cocktail, and enjoy this wonderful tradition with our returning guests, Richard Hatem, Jim Harold, Micah Hanks, Paul Gledhill, and Allison Jornlin. And please join us in welcoming the hosts of the new Astonishing Legends Network podcast ‘Scared All the Time.’ Stay tuned after the closing credits for a special afterparty and toast to our other network show, ‘The Midnight Library’, and a wonderful visit from our own Tess Pfeifle. Visit our website for a lot more information on this episode.

Transcribed - Published: 23 December 2023

Zigmund Adamski – A Paranormal Cold Case Part 2

In Part 2 of our examination of the strange and tragic case concerning the mysterious death of Zigmund Adamski, we dive into the coal pile of odd clues and loose ends discovered by Police Constable Alan Godfrey and debate the facts from a detective’s perspective. Was Adamski’s fate a result of extraterrestrial meddling or an unintentional homicide by blundering inlaws? Was the death somehow connected to Godfrey’s following encounter or a case of “post hoc, ergo propter hoc” thinking? We’ll analyze each incident in greater detail individually and look for causal connections, emphasizing Godfrey’s experience and aftermath. We then continue with Philip Mantle’s expert insights on the circumstances and learn about the cases vexing his storied career and personal experiences. As we attempt to reach conclusions about one of the most bizarre series of events in paranormal lore, there’s no doubt that stories like these fuel the imaginations and quest for truth for those who entertain the extraordinary. Visit our website for a lot more information on this episode.

Transcribed - Published: 17 December 2023

Zigmund Adamski – A Paranormal Cold Case Part 1

Zigmund Adamski, a Polish immigrant miner, left his house in Tingley, England, heading to the corner shop to buy some potatoes. He would go missing for five days and turn up dead on a pile of coal over 25 miles away to the west in the village of Todmorden on June 11, 1980. Police Constable Alan Godfrey was called to investigate and found puzzling clues at the scene. No signs of foul play were detected on the body, with the only wounds being burn marks on the top of the head and a weeping wound at the base of the neck where it appeared a green salve had been applied. Adamski’s dress shirt was missing, but in its place was a mesh undershirt he wasn’t wearing when he left. Not only did he appear awkwardly redressed, but he seemed to have been given a crude haircut and a recent shave. There were no signs of any disturbance in the coal pile from Adamski having crawled up it nor anyone having dragged him atop it in broad daylight at an active workplace. Yet the most baffling clue may be that the coroner and toxicologists never identified what the green ointment was. Most disturbing was that Adamski was found with eyes wide open, looking as though he died of sheer terror. That may have been the end to an open and not-so-shut case, except for what happened to PC Godfrey five months later. Around 5:00 a.m. on a wet November morning in Todmorden, Alan Godfrey was on patrol looking for stolen motorbikes when a bright, diamond-shaped object blocked the road. Hovering about five feet off the pavement with its bottom half spinning, the craft was 20 feet wide and 14 feet high as Godfrey stopped to sketch it. The next thing he knew, he was driving again, having gone past the craft with around 30 minutes of missing time. While initially encouraged by his superiors to be publically interviewed about his encounter, he would soon face ridicule from his peers and a determined effort by police administrators to ruin his career. So, is there an extraterrestrial connection between the mysterious death of Zigmund Adamski and the close encounter of Alan Godfrey? We’re fortunate to get some help with this investigation from eminent and esteemed UFO researcher Philip Mantle, who grew up in the Tingley area. Mr. Mantle lays out the case that while one event may have a weird yet commonplace explanation, the seemingly connected occurrence may still be out of this world. As we’ve always thought, the ordinary and the extraordinary are not mutually exclusive and are often found together. Visit our website for a lot more information on this episode.

Transcribed - Published: 10 December 2023

Amelia Earhart - Decoy for a Spy Plane?

On July 3, 1975, the Ministry of Justice in Japan responded to an inquiry by Amelia Earhart researcher and investigator Major Joe Gervais. Gervais had sent a letter to the Department of Immigration and Naturalization in Tokyo, operating on the hunch that Earhart had been taken prisoner and held on Saipan during WWII but under an assumed identity. The Ministry of Justice responded, saying the woman in their custody was known to them as Irene Craigmile. This was not a name mentioned by Gervais to the Japanese authorities. So, who is Irene Craigmile? Craigmile and Earhart were acquaintances and pilots who looked similar, but photos show they are two separate people. This begs the question for the “Japanese Capture” theory of Earhart’s disappearance: who then went down with the plane that was apparently ditched near Buka Island in Papua New Guinea? Were these two women connected via some secret mission, and is the plane at Buka a version of Earhart’s Electra 10-E? These questions and evidence are just a few of the puzzle pieces of the enduring mystery of Earhart’s fateful last flight, meticulously stitched together by William “Bill” Pennington Snavely, Jr. in his latest book, Lost in Flight: Amelia Earhart, Giving Cover as a Decoy for a Spy Plane. In 2018, Bill was a guest on our show, where he outlined his research leading to a startling theory of Earhart’s plane possibly having crashed near the coast of Matsungan Island near Buka, eventually sinking to a depth of 109 feet. Two main aspects of Bill’s investigation that remain novel are that, unlike the other researchers, he calculated his flight tracking starting from the last known location and then traced backward and that his team is the only one with an aircraft to investigate whose characteristics match the Electra. Bill’s multiple expeditions to Buka have yielded intriguing evidence supporting his claim, evidence which has previously been kept under wraps due to nondisclosure agreements. However, as his research in the intervening years continued, a new hybrid theory emerged from his discoveries that may solve the disconnect between “Japanese Capture” and the wreckage at Buka. Could it be that a failed reconnaissance mission led to one of the greatest coverups in US history? Bill Snavely is now free to disclose the shocking findings he revealed in his book. Also joining us is longtime friend and fellow podcaster Chris Williamson, whose podcast Chasing Earhart and its companion book, Rabbit Hole: The Vanishing of Amelia Earhart & Fred Noonan, is the definitive interview collection. Prepare to suit up as we dive for the truth behind one of the world’s most famous and significant aviation enigmas. Visit our website for a lot more information on this episode.

Transcribed - Published: 25 November 2023

The Legend of the Wizard Clip

Adam Livingston moved his family from Pennsylvania to a parcel of farmland near a village then known as Smithfield, West Virginia, sometime in the 1770s. The village’s name would evolve over the years to the more pragmatic name of Middleway. However, colloquially, it would also acquire the moniker of “Clip” or “Cliptown” for the bizarre events that would transpire there. A few years before 1790, the once-thriving Livingston family would begin to endure supernatural harassment so extreme that they were beleaguered and exhausted, leaving their neighbors and visitors bewildered. According to one popular account, a mysterious Irish stranger appeared at Livingston’s door seeking shelter one dark and stormy night. Livingston provided hospitality to the weary traveler until the stranger summoned his host when fearing his death was near, begging that he send for a priest to deliver last rites. While Livingston was generous in his accommodation, being a Lutheran and having a disdain for Catholic priests, he refused to send for one. The stranger died during the night and was buried in unconsecrated ground the next day. Soon after, it seems a curse had befallen the Livingstons. Progressing as many stories of prolonged poltergeist bedevilment do, the haunting started with strange and unexplained noises about the home. Then, unseen forces would smash their crockery, light their bedding on fire, and roll great balls of fire from the hearth across the floors, causing panic. Livingston’s cattle all died, and his barn burned down. The entity’s most noteworthy destruction was making a persistent sound of clipping as if by invisible shears and leaving any family or visitor’s cloth or leather sliced, often with crescent shapes cut into them. This peculiar practice would lend the phenomenon its name, the “Wizard Clip.” While we may never know the accurate details of the happenings, something otherworldly apparently did materialize at the Livingston homestead. We can more easily explore why such mystical occurrences transmogrify into enduring folklore. To help us with that challenge, we’re joined by author and intelligence analyst Michael Kishbucher, whose recent book, The Appalachian Legend of the Wizard Clip, thoroughly investigates this early American story. Aiding in the elucidation is Appalachian folklore expert, lead researcher, and producer for Small Town Monsters Heather Moser. Cautiously pull up a chair close to the fire as we examine the obscure yet harrowing tale of “America’s first poltergeist.” Visit our website for a lot more information on this episode.

Transcribed - Published: 12 November 2023

The Hitchhiker of Mogollon Rim

The Mogollon Rim in northcentral Arizona is a geological landform that spans around 200 miles east to west, demarking the southern boundary of the Colorado Plateau in the state. This topographical feature is classified as an escarpment where wide and steeply sloping cliffs and rock masses delineate the high pine-covered plateau on the northern side, which receives cold winter temperatures and light snow from the desert-like conditions below to the south. This transitional nature provides a habitat for significantly varying types of plants and animals. Perhaps because of Mogollon Rim’s liminal nature, this variance is claimed by many to also extend to creatures and phenomena that dwell beyond our understanding. Accounts and legends of UFOs, supernatural occurrences, and even its own brand of a hominin-like beast known as the “Mogollon Monster” are familiar to the territory. The supernatural element became all too real for our guest, Jay, who endured a terrifying encounter while working as a wildlife biologist for the Arizona Game and Fish Department. While studying black bears in the rugged canyons and terrain of the Rim, Jay encountered an impossible stranger in a pretty unlikely place, one that insisted on getting a ride. But who or what was this thing, and what was their intention? An ancient spirit known to the Native American cultures of the region or a physical being with mystical powers masquerading as a weird human? While it is never advisable to pick up strangers, it seems that one may be compelled to give a ride to a hitchhiker on Mogollon Rim, maybe as just a playful reminder that humans are not the apex of the paranormal food chain. Visit our website for a lot more information on this episode.

Transcribed - Published: 28 October 2023

Booby-Trapped Halloween Candy

Join hosts Ed Voccola (Rick and Morty, Bless The Harts) and Chris Cullari (Blumhouse, The Aviary) for a wild trip through the world of what scares them. In this episode, the boys discuss razor blade apples, the Man Who Killed Halloween, and the history of "Halloween Sadism."

Transcribed - Published: 26 October 2023

Astonishing Junk Drawer 020 - Special Main Feed Edition

Enjoy episode number 5 of the Patreon-exclusive Astonishing Junk Drawer!

Transcribed - Published: 25 October 2023

Your True Halloween Stories II - Part 2

We hope your sleep has recovered after last week's round of creepy and unsettling accounts. Now, we aim to disquiet your peace with another three! Our first story comes from Megan, whose family has a history of experiencing items showing up in unexpected places. But when a letter is delivered to a vulnerable location, we wonder if it came from someone still Mad, Bad, and Dangerous to Note. Our next guest, Chad, has stories showing that growing up in Ohio can be Weird on Both Ends, with High Strangeness in the Middle. In the final narrative, Rachal, a Hospice social worker, had a patient whose reconnection with a Life Leech proved to be an exhausting experience. Join us if you dare for Part 2 of Your True Halloween Stories II, and rest easy if your life is pleasantly unremarkable. Visit our website for a lot more information on this episode.

Transcribed - Published: 22 October 2023

Your True Halloween Stories II Part 2

We hope your sleep has recovered after last week's round of creepy and unsettling accounts. Now, we aim to disquiet your peace with another three! Our first story comes from Megan, whose family has a history of experiencing items showing up in unexpected places. But when a letter is delivered to a vulnerable location, we wonder if it came from someone still Mad, Bad, and Dangerous to Note. Our next guest, Chad, has stories showing that growing up in Ohio can be Weird on Both Ends, with High Strangeness in the Middle. In the final narrative, Rachal, a Hospice social worker, had a patient whose reconnection with a Life Leech proved to be an exhausting experience. Join us if you dare for Part 2 of Your True Halloween Stories II, and rest easy if your life is pleasantly unremarkable. Visit our website for a lot more information on this episode.

Transcribed - Published: 22 October 2023

The Hat Man

Join hosts Ed Voccola (Rick and Morty, Bless The Harts) and Chris Cullari (Blumhouse, The Aviary) for a wild trip through the world of what scares them. In this first episode, the boys discuss shadow people, TikTok challenges, and the nightmarish being who ties them together: The Hat Man. Visit our show notes for a lot more information on this episode.

Transcribed - Published: 19 October 2023

Introducing Scared All The Time

Introducing Scared All The Time, the newest show on the Astonishing Legends Network.

Transcribed - Published: 18 October 2023

Your True Halloween Stories II - Part 1

Well well, dear friends, Spooky Season is upon us once again, so it's time to regale and chill you with true Halloween tales from within our ranks! Our first story, which we're calling "She is Ours," comes from Andy, whose recurring nightmare leads to a standoff with higher powers. Later, a study of palmistry plunges her into a shared vision with a stranger. The following frightening account comes from Maryann, who gets an unwelcome response when you "Speak of the Devil." And finally, Persephone endures a harrowing encounter that may be a puzzle piece to a lifelong mystery that seemed to come from "No Place at All." Light the candles, prepare the beverages, and settle in for an evening of eerie testimony from some Legenders. May all your dreams be pleasant tonight! Visit our website for a lot more information on this episode.

Transcribed - Published: 15 October 2023

Your True Halloween Stories II Part 1

Well well, dear friends, Spooky Season is upon us once again, so it's time to regale and chill you with true Halloween tales from within our ranks! Our first story, which we're calling "She is Ours," comes from Andy, whose recurring nightmare leads to a standoff with higher powers. Later, a study of palmistry plunges her into a shared vision with a stranger. The following frightening account comes from Maryann, who gets an unwelcome response when you "Speak of the Devil." And finally, Persephone endures a harrowing encounter that may be a puzzle piece to a lifelong mystery that seemed to come from "No Place at All." Light the candles, prepare the beverages, and settle in for an evening of eerie testimony from some Legenders. May all your dreams be pleasant tonight! Visit our website for a lot more information on this episode.

Transcribed - Published: 15 October 2023

Astonishing Junk Drawer 005 - Special Main Feed Edition

Enjoy episode number 5 of the Patreon-exclusive Astonishing Junk Drawer!

Transcribed - Published: 13 October 2023

Astonishing Halloween sweatpants are LIVE in the store for pre-order NOW!

We took a survey a while back, and sweatpants were far and away the number one most requested new merch item, so here’s our first batch with a glow-in-the-dark Astonishing Al on the hip! They are available for pre-order as of right now! We will start printing them over the next few weeks for them to get to you by Halloween with any luck!

Transcribed - Published: 1 October 2023

Send in Your Scary Stories Now!

We need your scariest stories! Send them in! Like…now!

Transcribed - Published: 28 September 2023

Bethurum Part 2 – UFOs and the Occult

For whatever reason, 1952, the year of Truman Bethurum's encounters with saucer Captain Aura Rhanes and her crew, was a watershed year for UFO interactions and the Contactee movement. The period is mainly known for marking an era of peaceable and friendly exchanges with aliens, deAL266: Bethurum Part 2 – UFOs and the Occult spite the predictable fears of the "other" depicted in 1950s Science Fiction and fueled by Cold War tensions. Sometimes colloquially referred to as "Space Brothers" (which could include Bethurum's "Space Sister" Rhanes) or occasionally an alien race of "Nordics," these benevolent otherworldly visitors often urged humans to live in harmony, to care for our planet, and warned us of the dangers of the atomic age. The overall message is they were here to protect us from ourselves. But as welcoming and comforting as that sounds, there is a much-overlooked aspect of some of the personalities involved in this generation of heralds – a fair number of them had ties to occult beliefs and practices. From Aleister Crowley's magick and Jack Parsons to the wackier exploits of George Hunt Williamson, MIB threats to Albert K. Bender, William Dudley Pelley's fondness for Nazism, to the more modern cult of Marshall Applewhite and the current belief by some officials that aliens are demonic, the themes grow darker and more sinister. There is no doubt that a throughline has existed with the "Saucer Seers" from hopeful communions to the Dark Arts because it requires a belief in access to the mystical. We're joined once again by Rob Kristoffersen and Rich Hatem for part two of our discussion as we explore the connection between UFOs and the occult. Visit our website for a lot more information on this episode.

Transcribed - Published: 24 September 2023

AL266: Bethurum Part 2 – UFOs and the Occult

For whatever reason, 1952, the year of Truman Bethurum's encounters with saucer Captain Aura Rhanes and her crew, was a watershed year for UFO interactions and the Contactee movement. The period is mainly known for marking an era of peaceable and friendly exchanges with aliens, deAL266: Bethurum Part 2 – UFOs and the Occult spite the predictable fears of the "other" depicted in 1950s Science Fiction and fueled by Cold War tensions. Sometimes colloquially referred to as "Space Brothers" (which could include Bethurum's "Space Sister" Rhanes) or occasionally an alien race of "Nordics," these benevolent otherworldly visitors often urged humans to live in harmony, to care for our planet, and warned us of the dangers of the atomic age. The overall message is they were here to protect us from ourselves. But as welcoming and comforting as that sounds, there is a much-overlooked aspect of some of the personalities involved in this generation of heralds – a fair number of them had ties to occult beliefs and practices. From Aleister Crowley's magick and Jack Parsons to the wackier exploits of George Hunt Williamson, MIB threats to Albert K. Bender, William Dudley Pelley's fondness for Nazism, to the more modern cult of Marshall Applewhite and the current belief by some officials that aliens are demonic, the themes grow darker and more sinister. There is no doubt that a throughline has existed with the "Saucer Seers" from hopeful communions to the Dark Arts because it requires a belief in access to the mystical. We're joined once again by Rob Kristoffersen and Rich Hatem for part two of our discussion as we explore the connection between UFOs and the occult. Visit our website for a lot more information on this episode.

Transcribed - Published: 24 September 2023

Aboard a Flying Saucer Part 1

On Sunday night, July 27, 1952, Cement Batch Plant Operator Truman Bethurum took a little snooze during his break while working the swing shift on an Asphalt Mixing Plant project near Mormon Mesa, Nevada. He awoke to hear unintelligible murmuring from eight to ten small-sized men who had surrounded his truck. Initially startled by the diminutive beings who all seemed to be wearing uniforms, what would really make Truman's heart pound with excitement was that they appeared to be the crew of an enormous flying saucer that had landed just a few yards away. He described the ship as about 300 feet in diameter and six yards deep at its center, with something akin to a burnished stainless steel finish. Bethurum went aboard to meet the female captain of the ship and was able to ask her questions, to which he often received cryptic yet intriguing answers. One visitation like this would be enough to question one's reality and sanity, but Bethurum was able to meet and converse with these interplanetary visitors on ten more occasions. Unable to keep this earth-shattering secret to himself, Bethurum would end up talking about his close encounters with his coworkers and his bewildered and soon-to-be long-suffering wife, correctly suspecting there would be derision and concern for his mental well-being. But even imagining how his life would turn upside down from his claims, he felt these exchanges were too important and wonderful to keep to himself. So if this was all just a made-up story in the style of 1950s era SciFi to gain some notoriety and maybe sell some books, why would a seemingly clear-headed, hardworking man with a good job and family risk losing everything to become viewed by most as a "Saucer Seer" kook? Was there something about Bethurum's personality that was unsound or foolish and unknown to his closest associates? Perhaps he became an unwitting target of a government operation or a contactee of a broader metaphysical phenomenon that tailored his experience to his comprehension. Join us for part one of a roundtable discussion with a couple of our closest associates, Rob Kristoffersen and Rich Hatem, as we follow Truman Bethurum aboard a flying saucer. Visit our website for a lot more information on this episode.

Transcribed - Published: 10 September 2023

The Van Meter Monster Part 2

In the second part of our series on the mysterious visitor to Van Meter, Iowa, it’s time to wonder how so many credible people could see a creature so incredible and what that creature could be. An extant pterosaur, your run-of-the-mill cryptid, a Keel-like “uttraterrestrial,” something like a tulpa or an egregore, or simply a transdimensional interloper from the sacred and mystical bowels of the earth? Does a hoax that a whole town would have to be in on even make sense? Could the gestalt be a little from all of these things? We may never know precisely what the Van Meter Monster was, but we can learn how something clinically described as an unusual sensory experience affects the people who see it. Something else we can bet on is that, like it or not, we must share our reality with the surreal, and as rare as it is, people will continue to see the impossible. Visit our website for a lot more information on this episode.

Transcribed - Published: 20 August 2023

The Van Meter Monster Part 1

When most folks hear about a fantastical cryptid sighting, they just assume it was a dubious, one-off, misinterpreted encounter by the town drunk, or overimaginative prankster kids, if they believe any of it at all. But none of this applies to the incident where a mystical creature terrorized the small farming town of Van Meter, Iowa, in 1903. For five nights starting September 29, an impossible visitor made its presence known to the townsfolk. Upon returning at 1:00 am from a job out of town, implement dealer U.G. Griffith spotted a dark figure on a downtown rooftop, which seemed to be shining a bright spotlight around. Thinking it may be a burglar, Griffith approached to inspect when suddenly, the large shadow leaped to another rooftop across the street and disappeared. The following night, around the same time, the town’s doctor, Dr. Alcott, was also alerted to a bright light shining through his window and ran outside to investigate. Dr. Alcott, though, got a better view of the intruder. The figure was described by him and others as standing eight to nine feet tall, half-human, half-animal, with enormous, smooth, leathery wings, a beak, and most curiously, a blunt horn in its forehead from where this bright light was said to have shown. Most disturbingly, the creature appeared immune to the bullets fired at it on multiple occasions. Far from the town’s undesirables, these encounters happened to merchants, a doctor, and a bank manager – some of the community’s most prominent and well-respected members who didn’t care for the notoriety this story brought. Having had their fill of fearsome appearances, a heavily armed posse confronted the antediluvian monster at its lair in a mine on the edge of town, intending to rid the earth of its existence. Grab a pitchfork and a torch, and join us as we hunt down the Van Meter monster. Visit our website for a lot more information on this episode.

Transcribed - Published: 5 August 2023

Shades of Death Road

There is a road in Warren County, New Jersey, that, according to many generations of locals, seems to be a vortex or at least a hotspot of all manner of paranormal and unsettling activity. Tales of Native American spirits seen along the roadside, ghostly victims of vigilante justice dangling from “The Hanging Tree,” spectral deer running alongside cars, murder and highway robbery, UAPs and glowing orbs, the ghost from a 1950s Prom Date car accident still in her burned dress limping home, and even disturbing Polaroids of distressed people scattered in the woods are all part of the lore of this nearly 7-mile stretch of road officially and aptly named, Shades of Death Road. But with such an ominous and foreboding name, does this country road live up to the hype, and how did it get its name? Perhaps one could dismiss Shades of Death Road as just another random community locus that births Urban Legends, except that it’s not the only haunting and notorious landmark in the area. Adjacent to the road are two other mysteriously named topographical features, Ghost Lake and Jenny Jump Mountain, each with their own disturbing stories. So is the collection of incidents from these places merely a coincidence that fuels imagination and legends, or does this particular swath of earth generate the creepy activity that happens upon it? Let’s find out as we deep drive down Shades of Death Road. Visit our website for a lot more information on this episode.

Transcribed - Published: 23 July 2023

Wondery Presents: Don’t Panic with Anthony Atamanuik

Staying alive in the most ridiculous situations keeps comedian Anthony Atamanuik up at night. If you’re attacked by a swarm of killer bees, do you lay on the ground and play dead? Climb up a tree? Jump into the nearest body of water with a little straw poking out as a breathing apparatus? We could find ourselves caught in a million wild situations, and if you don’t know what to do, you might not make it out alive! On Don’t Panic, Wondery’s new comedy show, super-worrier Anthony Atamanuik brings to life our most irrational fears and anxieties with some of the funniest people on the planet. Along the way, guests will also share what keeps them doom scrolling on their phones, and learn what to do in every ridiculous, worst-case scenario situation that couldn’t possibly happen in real life. Or could it? Enjoy Don’t Panic on the Wondery App or wherever you get your podcasts. You can listen to Don’t Panic early and ad-free on Wondery Plus. Join Wondery Plus in the Wondery App or on Apple Podcasts: Wondery.fm/DP_EIC

Transcribed - Published: 18 July 2023

The Debrief on Disclosure

In December 2017, the New York Times published a ground-breaking article titled “Glowing Auras and Black Money: The Pentagon’s Mysterious UFO Program.” The report was noteworthy not only for what it brought to light about the earnest government/military study of the UAP phenomenon but also that such a storied and seemingly no-nonsense newspaper like the New York Times finally took the subject seriously as well. We followed up in January 2018 with a two-part episode called “Imminent Disclosure?” The question mark on the title indicated we weren’t sure when FULL disclosure would arrive, but drips and drops of astounding revelations were indeed on the horizon. Five and a half years later, since that watershed coverage made a splash, two of its original journalists, Ralph Blumenthal and Leslie Kean, have done it again. On June 5th, 2003, they published an article about a former intelligence official and whistleblower named David Grusch. That article is called “Intelligence Officials Say US Has Retrieved Craft of Non-human Origin.” The title alone should speak to the world-changing implications. Because this story needed daylight quickly, it was published on an independent news website called TheDebrief.org. As it turns out, our good friend and colleague, Micah Hanks, also co-founded that news organization. Thanks to Micah, we were fortunate to be granted an interview with Ralph Blumenthal to get the story behind the story. Following our discussion, we’ll hear from Micah, the Editor in Chief at The Debrief, and Chrissy Newton, their head of Media Relations and a long-time podcaster herself, to consider where we all go from here. Visit our website for a lot more information on this episode.

Transcribed - Published: 25 June 2023

Tales from Monster Fest 2023

We were honored to be invited to the inaugural celebration of Monster Fest 2023, produced by our good friends Seth Breedlove and his crew at Small Town Monsters. Taking place at the DoubleTree hotel in downtown Canton, OH, the evening of Friday, June 2, saw the premiere of STM’s latest documentary, On the Trail of Bigfoot: Land of the Missing, at the historic (and haunted) Canton Palace Theater. Saturday, June 3, was the main event which featured a packed and exciting ballroom full of vendors with the most creative and coolest wares on display, expert researchers, authors, artists, podcasters, filmmakers, speakers, special guests... and then there was us, along with legendary screenwriter Rich Hatem. No question, we loved catching up with friends in our fields and meeting new contemporaries. Still, meeting so many of our wonderful listeners was an even bigger highlight. And we’re all fortunate that several generously and bravely shared their stories of paranormal encounters for our live taping in front of an audience, which is what you’ll hear on tonight’s episode. We hope you’ll enjoy this first-of-a-kind show for us and take comfort or trepidation in knowing that when it comes to our weird world, we’re all in it together.

Transcribed - Published: 11 June 2023

Interstellar with Dr. Avi Loeb

We’re pleased and honored to present a special guest for this episode, Dr. Abraham “Avi” Loeb. Dr. Loeb is the Frank B. Baird, Jr. Professor of Science at Harvard University and received his Ph.D. in Physics from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem in Israel at the age of 24. He has written nine books and nearly 1000 papers, led the first international project supported by the Strategic Defense Initiative, and served as a long-standing member of the Institute for Advanced Study at Princeton, among many other achievements. Although his work with the Breakthrough Starshot project to send “light sails” speeding toward nearby stars may have initially gained him the most notoriety in science news, his study and theory of a recent anomalous visitor put him on the radar of the general public. In October 2017, a Hawaiian observatory detected the first interstellar object to pass through our solar system, which was subsequently named Oumuamua, meaning “scout” in the Hawaiian language. That fact alone may have registered a blip of mild interest to most. Yet the first artists’ conceptions of the object as a cigar-shaped asteroid put further curiosity of the masses to rest as it being, albeit odd, just another space rock. However, analysis of sensor data of Oumuamua, with no visual inspection obtained during its visit, led Dr. Loeb and his team to conclude that it was nothing like it was portrayed to the public. Instead, their research showed it was roughly the size of a football field, reflective, spinning, thin as a sheet of paper, and moving unusually. Dr. Loeb hypothesized that Oumuamua could likely be a probe, perhaps manufactured by an ancient alien civilization to gather information as star systems pass by. Not surprisingly, many of his peers met this open-minded thinking with dismissive resistance, hesitant or unwilling to entertain such bold and adventurous speculation. Join us for a fascinating discussion with one of the world’s leading astrophysicists on the challenges of searching for extraterrestrial life on the eve of his appearance at the upcoming annual Contact in the Desert conference taking place June 2 through 4, 2023, in Indian Wells, California. Visit our website for a lot more information on this episode.

Transcribed - Published: 28 May 2023

Astonishing Trailer 1 2023

Astonishing Promo Trailer 1 - 2023

Transcribed - Published: 24 May 2023

Mantis Men

Anyone familiar with UFO and alien abduction lore knows that all manner of creatures have been reported to be associated with the phenomenon. While the "Grays" have dominated the popular culture imagination, some who claimed encounters recall things as fantastic and diverse as robots, androids, simians, reptilians, humanoid hybrids, and even Nordic-looking "Space Brothers and Sisters." Yet one scary entity may be at the apex of strange intruders, an evolved lifeform with telepathic powers, a tall, biped body, and a triangular-shaped head resembling an earthly mantis insect. But what if these insectoid organisms existed apart from the transportation technology we'd like to think they travel with? What if they were a natural, independent species from another world that overlaps ours, unintentional visitors from another planet or dimension, or maybe they've been here all along and just developed a way to cloak themselves, but it sometimes fails? While many tales of these characters connect to UFOs, a significant number of testimonies describe terrifying singular surprise appearances in wilderness settings. Two such separate anecdotes come from fishermen along the same stretch of the upper Musconetcong River near Stephens State Park in New Jersey. One interesting note is that the men strikingly felt that, whatever they were, the beings were just as shocked to see them as they were to see the beings. So who are they, and what do they want? Should we fear them, or with their advanced intelligence, are they apprehensive about us and feel they need to control us? Wade with us into the frightening and mysterious waters of the Mantis Men. Visit our website for a lot more information on this episode.

Transcribed - Published: 14 May 2023

Entombed in Tsarichina Part 2

In Part Two of our series on the mysterious hole in Tsarichina, Bulgaria, we take a closer look at the history of the legendary Tsar Samuel, whose legacy sparked the initial search and the likelihood of his treasure hoard. We’ll also examine the role of the famous Bulgarian prophet, Baba Vanga, whose consultation decreed that the hole was a phenomenon mankind could not explain, along with a message from another world. She also warned that if they continued digging, they would reach a suspended animation capsule containing some form of simian-like, asexual being that was not meant to be disturbed, asking, what would they do once it woke up? Whether what was buried in Tsarichina was a cover story for toxic waste disposal, a government boondoggle, or truly reality-altering secrets of the universe we aren’t ready for, perhaps it’s best to let sleeping primordial protohumans lie. Visit our website for a lot more information on this episode.

Transcribed - Published: 30 April 2023

Entombed in Tsarichina Part 1

In 1990 in the small village of Tsarichina in western Bulgaria, a resident kept having vivid dreams and what he claimed were psychic messages directed at him. Dimitar Kekemenov claimed that famous historical Bulgarian notables told him he was descended from the heroic Tsar Samuel of the First Bulgarian Empire in the 11th century and that it was his national duty to find Samuel’s lost treasures and restore prosperity to the country. A disembodied entity also told him that not only if he followed their instructions precisely would he find the buried treasure, but that other hidden mysteries would be revealed that would change the world. While this may sound outlandish to most, curiously, it was taken quite seriously by high-ranking military officers of the Bulgarian Defense Ministry, who decided excavation should commence immediately. From December 6, 1990, to November 19, 1992, heavily guarded tunneling proceeded day and night, spiraling down into the hard earth. Eventually, work was halted, and the hole was sealed with concrete, with the official explanation given as the rising costs, totaling over 16 million Levs in Bulgarian currency. That might be the final word on what would rationally seem like a fool’s errand spurred by ridiculous claims, except that the phenomena reported by authorities leading the dig were wild beyond belief. Body-piercing bolts of light, a mysterious stone tablet, a silvery chamber covered in unknown writing, and even combat with unseen entities deploying bullet-stopping forcefields were all claimed to have been encountered. Again, it would be easy to pass this off as fantastical gossip from a sleepy hamlet or internet fiction, except these accounts were detailed by one of the project leaders, Colonel Tsvetko Kanev, in his book, The Tsarichina Phenomenon. Along with Colonel Kanev, who was the Deputy Chief of the Military Scientific Department of the General Staff, the operation was also reported on by numerous European news outlets. Join us as we burrow down the rabbit hole for the truth about what was entombed in Tsarichina. Visit our website for a lot more information on this episode.

Transcribed - Published: 16 April 2023

Let's Not Meet - A True Horror Podcast Crossover Promo

Listen to Scott and Forrest on Let's Not Meet: A True Horror Podcast this April 3rd, 2023!

Transcribed - Published: 3 April 2023

Our Strange Skies Crossover Promo

Forrest and Scott join their good friend Rob Kristoffersen over at Our Strange Skies for a special April 1st crossover show!

Transcribed - Published: 1 April 2023

Conjuring Philip Part 2

As stated in the book, Conjuring up Philip: An adventure in psychokinesis, written by Iris M. Owen, in the introduction written by her husband, Dr. A.R. George Owen, the “Group of 8’s” initial goals were to first find out whether seemingly interactive spirit communication could be produced in bright light. Secondly, they wanted to know if a spirit medium was necessary or if ordinary people could generate this phenomenon. Third, if this force was produced by a disembodied spirit or was caused by the experiment’s living participants. They also hoped for what they thought would be their pinnacle of success: to produce a collective hallucination of their imaginary friend Philip, which everyone could document and witness. Unfortunately, Philip never physically materialized, but amazingly their other objectives did. However, one question remains, perhaps to be answered by neuroscientists and metaphysicists of the future – what exactly is this phenomenon, and what is its cause? If this invisible psychokinetic force of “table-turning” is produced by living human consciousness via quasi-involuntary action, as famed scientist Michael Faraday was thinking, or the “ideo-motor principle” put forth by Dr. William B. Carpenter, then just how powerful are our brains and what else could be achieved? Or perhaps Philip was more like the concept of a tulpa or, more appropriately, to this situation, an egregore, and if so, does an element of Philip still exist somewhere in the ether, and what about the multitudes of manufactured entities throughout the ages? Maybe there is straight-up spirit activity in the mix? Most researchers who dabbled in this subject agreed that optimal success requires a firm belief in the possibility, eager anticipation of the interaction, and an unwavering expectation that results would be forthcoming. Although the Philip Experiment would eventually fade from scientific and public interest, there is renewed interest in the age-old wisdom that with focused intention combined with practice, the mind can create magic... or at least someone to talk to. Visit our website for a lot more information on this episode.

Transcribed - Published: 26 March 2023

Conjuring Philip Part 1

In 1972, the Toronto Society for Psychical Research, led by mathematical geneticist Dr. A.R. George Owen, assembled a group of volunteers from various backgrounds to try something never before attempted. For their experiment, they aimed to manifest a fictional ghost they named “Philip Aylesford” and would try to communicate with this fabricated entity through séance-like sessions conducted under laboratory conditions and bright lighting. A fictional biography was created for Philip that the group could focus on. He was to be born in England in 1624 and connected to real places and events but with intentional historical errors inserted as control markers. For over a year, the “Group of 8” met weekly, and for over a year… nothing happened. But then, upon the advice of two pioneering paranormal researchers, the group changed their tactics to make their attempts more in the style of seances from the turn of the 20th century. This made the meetings more like festive social gatherings, with singing and laughter, under dimmer lighting. Soon, they would experience tangible responses to their questions in the form of knocking for “yes” and “no.” But the psychokinetic activity didn’t stop there. The group also felt a presence in the room with palpable energy, unexplainable breezes, and vibrations of the card table they used, which would tilt and scoot across the room seemingly under its own power. This might seem like fanciful exaggerations from overly enthusiastic true believers or downright kooks, but this phenomenon was continually repeatable under various conditions and even captured by TV cameras. If it were a parlor trick, this result would be mind-blowing. Even more astounding, however, is considering the implications to our reality if an invisible, conscious force exists and is demonstrable. What is the source and nature of this ethereal influence? In other words, if Philip was wholly made up, who or what was this group communicating with? Visit our website for a lot more information on this episode.

Transcribed - Published: 12 March 2023

The Great Mull Air Mystery

On Christmas Eve, 24 December 1975, concert violinist Peter Gibbs was just finishing dinner with his girlfriend at the Glenforsa Hotel on the Isle of Mull in Argyll and Bute, Scotland. The pair had traveled to this island in the Inner Hebrides four days earlier to look for hotels to purchase for his property investment company. Gibbs had rented an airplane to island hop during their holiday to use in his search, and the Glenforsa, with its adjacent airstrip, would serve as their base camp. But after dinner, Gibbs did something most of us would find odd, perhaps not for the bold World War II RAF Spitfire veteran fighter pilot; he decided to take a solo plane flight to demonstrate that night flights to the island were possible. It was supposed to be a 10-minute joyride while Gibbs' girlfriend, Felicity Grainger, waited on the unlit grass runway with two flashlights to guide him back in. No one would see Gibbs' Cessna F150H ever again. But, four months later, Gibbs' body would be found 400 feet up a rocky hillside and splayed over a fallen tree. Usually, finding the missing person in a disappearance means "case closed," but not in this case. The condition and location of Gibbs' remains would generate many more questions than answers. He didn't seem to suffer injuries consistent with falling or jumping while airborne. Nor was it likely that he would've made the arduous hike to that location after ditching in the freezing ocean. To add to the enigma, Gibbs appeared in an area thoroughly searched immediately following his disappearance and routinely patrolled by local shepherds. These baffling clues combine into what has become known as "The Great Mull Air Mystery." Visit our website for a lot more information on this episode.

Transcribed - Published: 26 February 2023

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