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90 minutes | 11 days ago
228 - The Curious Case of the Creeping Coffins
Karen Stollznow and Matt Baxter team up to discuss one of Karen's favorite mysteries: The moving coffins of Chase Vault, Barbados. Note: This episode deals with themes of suicide and death. If you're feeling at all suicidal please get help immediately by calling the national suicide hotline: 1-800-273-8255. (TALK) Some links for today's episode: Chase Vault (Atlas Obscura) Transatlantic Sketches (Vol 1) by By Sir James Edward Alexander An article with excellent photos of the tomb & cemetery. Referenced in this episode: Joe Nickell's 2-part coverage of the Chase Vaults in Fate Magazine: Nickell, J. "Barbados' restless coffins laid to rest." Fate. 1 Apr. 1982, Volume 35, Number 4: 50-56. (story continues in part 2 in the May 1982 issue pages 79-86.) Lang & Payley's folklore "bi-located story" Skeptoid coverage of the case.
90 minutes | a month ago
227 - Bigfoot and the Paranormal
I don't think it's a conspiracy per se, but there has long been an effort to (as today's guests call it) "Weirdwash" many unusual features out of Bigfoot cryptozoology. To mend that gap, they've co-written a book in two volumes: Where the Footprints End: High Strangeness and the Bigfoot Phenomenon Volume I: The Folklore Volume 2: The Evidence Joshua Cutchin is the author of several books covering weird topics including cryptozoological, Fortean phenomena, UFOs and fairies. These include A Trojan Feast, The Brimstone Deceit, and Thieves in the Night. Timothy Renner is an author, illustrator and musician living in Pennsylvania. His work can be found in books, magazines, comics and album covers. He's also a podcaster - creator of Strange Familiars, and has frequently appeared on the show Where did the Road Go. His books include Beyond the Seventh Gate, Bigfoot in PA, Bigfoot: West Coast Wild Man, and Don't Look Behind You.
63 minutes | 2 months ago
226 - Usborne book of UFOs
We are joined by entertainer Jon Culshaw to talk about the influential children's book UFOs, (affiliate link) part of the Usborne "World of the Unknown" series that was recently reissued. Jon brings his love of the mysterious and his uncanny ability to do voice impressions as we talk about how UFOs were presented in the 1970s, the wonders of space, and - of course - Doctor Who. Jon's got a Wikipedia page! In addition to his work on Dead Ringers and BBC Radio adaptations of Doctor Who, Jon will soon be taking to the stage in an adaptation of Bill Bryson's Notes from a Small Island. BBC Out of this World (1977) segments mentioned are available on YouTube: Orange Light Nordic Aliens Attached:I've added a couple of articles by the original author of the UFO book, Theodore Mather Wilding-White, from his 1970s stint as a journalist covering Space. Also, I attached a contemporary review of the book.
27 minutes | 2 months ago
225 - Thylacines and Pademelons
Blake and Karen are joined again by Matt Baxter to talk about the latest Thylacine claims from the TAGOA. The photos dropped last night (US Time) and sadly don't meet up with the hype - but there's still much to talk about with this story. Triple M Radio with Neil Waters on Thylacine News Thylacine probably didn't attack sheep in the way feared by 1920's Sheep Herders. Was climate change a big factor in the decline of Thylacine? Thylacine Awareness Group of Australia (TAGOA) What are pademelons? Example of a "Buderim Beast" news story. Karl Shuker on the Buderim Beast. Previous MonsterTalk coverage of Thylacine. Some photos from Matt & Karen's trip to look for the Buderim Beast:
64 minutes | 2 months ago
MTL014 - DOATS: The Hills Have Eyes
deBased on a True Story continues with the Wes Craven film The Hills Have Eyes (affiliate link). Allegedly the film was inspired by the "true" story of the Scot cannibal, Sawney Bean! But is that story even true? (Originally recorded live and available with Video on YouTube.)
70 minutes | 3 months ago
MTL013 - Strange Arrivals with Toby Ball
We interviewed Toby Ball, the host of the podcast Strange Arrivals - a serious deep dive into the foundational UFO abduction case of Betty and Barney Hill. This interview was recorded as part of MonsterTalk Live on June 29, 2020. The video version of that discussion is available on YouTube. If you're interested in UFOs you will definitely want to check out this extremely well produced and researched show. There is so much more to this case than the polished, filtered summary that you usually see on UFO documentaries.
69 minutes | 3 months ago
MTL012 - Women in Paranormal Research
We were joined by paranormal investigator Allison Jornlin on 6/21/2020 for a discussion of women paranormal researchers. A lot of interesting historically significant figures are largely unknown today because they were limited by gender constraints during their time and we were happy to bring some of them to public attention by discussing Allison's research on this topic. Some of the people discussed: Zora Neale Hurston (1891 - 1960) - author, anthropologist and filmmaker. She studied many topics including folklore and wrote a book about Voodoo in Jamaica and Haiti titled Tell My Horse: Voodoo and Life in Haiti and Jamaica (1938). Catherine Crowe - researcher who brought Poltergeist and Doppelganger into English usage. The Night Side of Nature (book) Eleanor Sidgwick - the statistician of the paranormal. Phantasms of the Living Alexandra David-Néel - the woman who gives us "the Tulpa" as we know it in pop culture Rose Mackenberg (1892 - 1968) - Houdini's Secret Weapon Mary Hyre - the journalist behind John Keel's mothman news from Point Pleasant. Plus many more are covered in the show! If you get a chance to see Allison give this talk she's an engaging speaker and one of the most upbeat people we've met. Allison on Twitter. Allison on Facebook. She's started a web series to highlight all the women in this presentation.
67 minutes | 3 months ago
224 - Coral Castle Roundtable
Karen and Blake are joined by Mat Baxter (https://www.youtube.com/c/MonsterTalk) to discuss the mysterious story of Florida's 20th Century Megalith site - Coral Castle. Note: More images coming soon - I have to dig them out of my 2019 vacation pictures. -B Links and Images: The Coral Castle official park website. Billy Idol - Sweet Sixteen - official video Special music included in this episode is the song Night Drive by Rettward von Doernberg - there's a link in the show notes if you'd like to check that out without us talking over it. It's a lovely electronic piece mixing world and electronica styles. (world music song) Night Drive Footage from the 1944 Universal mini-feature was included in the last 3rd of this TV show. (Lots of commercials before you can get to the segment.) One version of the music-video for Sweet 16 was filmed at Coral Castle - but the only copy I could track down is of really low quality and flickers enough to trigger a seizure. Animated clip from Coral Castle episode of "Person-Oddity" (1942–1946) human interest documentaries (one-reel) produced by Thomas Mead & Joseph O'Brien: And here is a tastefully pixelated look at what "Nude on the Moon" - which was a low rent "naturism film" shot on the site:
63 minutes | 3 months ago
MTL011 - DeBased on a True Story: The Changeling
We kick off a recurring series on the facts behind popular horror films - deBased on a True Story - with the 1980 ghost-story classic The Changeling. Blake and Karen are joined by Mat Baxter. Originally streamed as part of MonsterTalk Live 6-7-2020.
65 minutes | 3 months ago
MTL0101 - Cicada 3301 - with Jerry Drake
Do you like puzzles? Were you captivated when you heard how England used a crossword puzzle to recruit code-breakers during WWII? Then join us on this episode of MonsterTalk Live where we talked with return-guest Dr. Jerry Drake to discuss the mystery of Cicada 3301. This episode streamed live May 31, 2020 during our MonsterTalk Live series.
3 minutes | 4 months ago
MonsterTalk end of year message - 2020
It's been a rough year but we've high hopes for 2021. Hope to see you there. Remember Karen's got short stories and books available on Amazon, including her latest On The Offensive. ----- Shop for MonsterTalk gear Connect with me on Linkedin
66 minutes | 4 months ago
223 - The Loveland Frog
Ryan Haupt joins us to discuss the strange case of "the Loveland frog." Links: Hot Damn! It's the Loveland Frog! A musical based on the Loveland Frog Hell Comes to Frogtown (1988) post-apocalyptic movie with Rowdy Roddy Piper Ryan Haupt podcast Science...Sort Of Skeptoid on Loveland Frog Wikipedia on Loveland Frog Full version: CUFOS doc on KY Goblins (includes Loveland Frog) Full version: CRIFO 1955 (Leonard Stringfield) Karen's Frog Boy research Excerpt from CUFOS PDF Excerpt from CRIFO PDF
50 minutes | 4 months ago
Christmas Ghost Story #008 - The Upper Berth
Turn down the lights and settle in for a nautically themed classic ghost tale from Francis Marion Crawford. A dull dinner party gets quite lively when one of the guests shares the story of the time he had a ghostly encounter on a transatlantic crossing. We hope you have a safe and healthy holiday!
49 minutes | 5 months ago
Wild Thing 2: Space Invaders
Blake and Karen talk with Laura Krantz, host of the podcast Wild Thing, about season two of her show which deals with UFOs, SETI, and more and features interviews with scientists and researchers looking into these topics. Wild Thing at foxtopus.ink The Cult of Alien Gods: H.P. Lovecraft and Extraterrestrial Pop Culture (Amazon) Jason Colavito's Blog SETI METI StarTalk Radio Cosmos Previous episode with Laura Krantz (#176) Annihilation (There is some spoiler discussion about the film after the show credits.)
47 minutes | 5 months ago
221 - They Are Already Here - with Sarah Scoles
Author Sarah Scoles joins us to discuss her amazing book They Are Already Here: UFO Culture and Why We See Saucers. It's a terrific ride through UFO culture and the fallout from the 2017 New York Times front-page article about the US Government Program to examine unidentified objects in the sky. Links/Additional Reading/Terms: AATIP - the Advanced Aerospace Threat Identification Program - the pentagon program associated with Luis Elizondo. TTSA - To The Stars Academy - the entertainment/media company set up by BLINK-182 frontman Tom Delonge and storied paranormal researcher Harold Puthoff. UAP - Unidentified Aerial Phenomenon - the new terminology used by the military to discuss unknown flying objects while trying to avoid all the connotations of UFOs. UFO - Unidentified Flying Objects - a perfectly reasonable term for unknown flying things in the sky (coined in 1953), except for the wacky cultural baggage it immediately picked up. Honestly, the term UFO attracts "wacky" like a piece of half-chewed bubble gum dropped in a dog bed attracts hairs. Robert Bigelow - Hotelier, sugar-daddy to weirdness, and also space entrepreneur. The New York Times story that broke the AATIP program publicly. The follow-up story from two of the authors (Kean & Blumenthal) The incredibly long-running joke Paul Rudd has been doing on the Conan show
66 minutes | 6 months ago
220 - Monster Manual
Roll for initiative as Karen and Blake discuss the history of roleplaying games and the Monster Manual with Jon Peterson. Jon Peterson (@docetist) is the author of PLAYING AT THE WORLD A HISTORY OF SIMULATING WARS, PEOPLE, AND FANTASTIC ADVENTURES, FROM CHESS TO ROLE-PLAYING GAMES. He was also a contributor to the recent retrospective volume looking at the game DUNGEONS & DRAGONS ART & ARCANA: A VISUAL HISTORY. His latest book is the official D&D cookbook (for real and actual food) titled HERO'S FEAST. Mentioned in this episode: Painting miniatures H. G. Wells' Little Wars E. Gary Gygax Dave Arneson TSR (now Wizards of the Coast) Telengard (computer RPG) PLATO computer system Mazes and Monsters Backlash against D&D from Patricia Pulling The "steam tunnel" case of James Dallas Egbert III. The D&D Cartoon Dungeons & Dragons today
61 minutes | 6 months ago
219 - The Usborne book of Ghosts - Christopher Maynard
Join us for a very Halloween themed look at a book which was deeply influential on Karen and Blake. Usborne's WORLD OF THE UNKNOWN: GHOSTS authored by our very special guest, Christopher Maynard.
2 minutes | 7 months ago
Introducing: On The Offensive
Check out Karen's latest book - a linguist's look at the nature of offensive language. Use this Amazon affiliate link and a small portion of the sale will support MonsterTalk: http://bit.ly/OnTheOffensive
72 minutes | 7 months ago
218 - Season of the Witch
Peter Bebergal returns (previously on episode #180 with his book Strange Frequencies) to discuss magic, witchcraft, and the occult and how those things impacted the world of Rock & Roll music. Check the attachment to this episode for a bunch of music links relevant to the show and Peter's book Season of the Witch. Speaking of books - Karen has a new one and I made an easy to remember shortcut to it on Amazon: http://bit.ly/OnTheOffensive (The lettering case in that link does matter.) Discussed in the episode: Image of David Bowie in "Diamond Dogs" album (MOMA) Made for TV Movie: Devil Dog - The Hound of Hell The George Harrison "documentary" Karen mentions - Paul McCartney Really Is Dead: The Last Testament of George Harrison (There is a lot of mixed messaging out there on whether this is a serious but wacky documentary or a silly but confusing mockumentary. It was originally released as a documentary but the filmmaker has since reclassified it as "mockumentary" - was this for legal reasons?) FYI: The narration is not by George Harrison. The UFO Club in London was a short-lived hub of early lights & sounds and psychedelic imagery. It only operated over a two-year span but had a tremendous impact on music culture - and on posters for bands. Peter's original SOTW Spotify List (link) Song/Album Notes Fire (The Crazy World of Arthur Brown) Starts with the iconic (and parent-frightening) "I AM THE GOD OF HELLFIRE..." Sacred Songs (Daryl Hall) Daryl Hall (!?) album inspired by the work of Aleister Crowley Cross Road Blues (Robert Johnson) While the legend of the blues musician at the crossroads is often applied to Robert Johnson, it has earlier roots with... Cool Drink of Water Blues (Tommy Johnson) Tommy Johnson, not related to Robert, was the focus of an earlier version of the crossroads legend Anthology of American Folk Music (via archive.org) A partial selection of the 6-album (3, 2-record ea) set of American Folk Music curated by Harry Smith. The Piper at the Gates of Dawn (Pink Floyd) The Syd Barrett-led Pink Floyd would change a lot after Barrett's descent into mental illness, but there are psychedelic and occult themes in this eclectic early Floyd album. Interstellar Overdrive is a good long instrumental track to read Bebergal's book to. My Sweet Lord (George Harrison) Perhaps the most public of the musician seekers, Harrison's ode to the search for a connection to the numinous was very successful - and also (accidentally?) directly copied He's So Fine by The Chiffons. Shankar: Dhun (Ravi Shankar) Sitar would meet Guitar when the Beatles went to India and met gurus and traditional Indian musicians, most famously Ravi Shankar. Lucifer Rising soundtrack (Bobby BeauSoleil) The soundtrack to occult filmmaker Kenneth Anger's movie Lucifer Rising was supposed to be done by Led Zeppelin's Jimmy Page, but things happened. (This complicated story is covered in Bebergal's book.) War Pigs (Black Sabbath) The Ozzy Osborne led band would take its name from an Italian horror film, but like Alice Cooper, the "occult" aspects of Sabbath appear to be entirely performative. Consider Ozzy's paean to Aleister Crowley in which he fails to pronounce the old occultist's name right. (Crowley rhymes with holy.) Sympathy for the Devil (The Rolling Stones) The Stones' "wicked" song - was it inspired by Baudelaire or Kenneth Anger? And how many times do the band sing "who? who?" in this 6-minute treat? Misty Mountain Hop (Led Zeppelin) Combining elements of Tolkien fantasy and drug-fueled psychedelic experiences, LZ music combined many elements of fictional and authentic occult imagery. Jimmy Page's interest in Aleister Crowley is legendary with him even buying Crowley's Loch Ness adjacent home Boleskin. Mephisto Waltz (Misfits) The punk band Misfits took their imagery and themes from horror movies and the occult as well. Jack Parsons (The Claypool Lennon Delirium) This came out after Bebergal's book, but this is an amazing modern throwback to the psychedelic era that also tells a weirdly surprisingly accurate story of Jack Parsons, occultist, and rocketeer. Hotter than Hell (KISS) KISS aligned itself with wild stage antics and imagery, but in the 1970s even having the word "hell" in your song titles could lead to allegations that your band's name really stood for "Knights in Satan's Service." (Narrator: It didn't.) Life on Mars? (David Bowie) Bowie's role in occult rock history is really quite peculiar and not what I expected. Often in drug-fueled paranoia of the occult, his off-stage behavior stands in stark contrast from the on-stage cool presence. I wanted to include a song from him on this list and this peculiar antithesis to My Way is one I really like. After Cease to Exist (Throbbing Gristle) I'm not recommending this 20 min weird and disturbing soundscape - but if you're feeling a bit like Frank in Hellraiser and just wonder what the cenobites probably jam to? Anyway, in Bebergal's book, there are some interesting tidbits about how Throbbing Gristle's members became involved with William S. Burroughs and the occult aspects of his life. Bela Lugosi's Dead (Bauhaus) The song that kicked off the goth scene. It doesn't take 9 mins to tell people that Bela Lugosi (the actor who played Dracula in the 1931 Universal horror film) is dead… but it does the Bauhaus way. Hallowed Be Thy Name (Iron Maiden) Peter doesn't write about Iron Maiden in the book, but growing up in the 80s, Iron Maiden was one of the many reasons I refused to get a 96 Rock Card. I was so not into heavy metal and it was weird catching up on that stuff in my 40s instead of my teens. In Search Of Space (Hawkwind) Before Motorhead, Lemmy sang about UFOs. (Well, I think that's what he's singing about?) Door of the Cosmos (Sun Ra) Sun Ra's jazz music isn't really rock, but it's something. And I think magician Penn Jillette mentions Sun Ra about as often as he mentions James Randi. Witch Trial (Black Mass Lucifer) The pioneering electronic album Black Mass Lucifer - or is it Black Mass by Lucifer? - is an album by electronic music audio explorer Mort Garson. It's occult-themed but its weird MOOG tonal tapestries, without the context of title or lyrics, would be hard to classify as specifically "magic" themed. The Tales of Topographic Oceans (Yes) A friend once described to me how that in the 1970s it was common to put on long, trippy albums and just stare at album artwork and go on imaginary journeys. With a cover by Roger Dean and just four songs, each about 20 mins in length, I think this is exactly what he was talking about. I once had an angry Navy training instructor basically spit at Yes's "Owner of a Lonely Heart" and shout to the class "It ain't Yes unless it takes 15 minutes to listen to and has a 5-minute guitar solo!" Apes**t (Beyonce and Jay-Z) Jay-Z has played around with the imagery of the illuminati and occult. Here's an article about the imagery use in the video for this song. Secular Haze (Ghost B.C.) Combines ghoulish occult imagery with monk garb and skeletal makeup. Swedish in origin, but not flat-packed.
59 minutes | 7 months ago
217 - The Unidentified
Author Colin Dickey is back with another fantastic book - this time it's taking a look at the culture of the weird including UFOs, doorways to Atlantis, cryptozoology, and jarring Fortean events. The Unidentified is available in paper, and audio via audible. Colin's previous episode was #149 and covered his fantastic book Ghostland. Discussed in this episode: Mt. Shasta - the doorway to the hollow earth and Atlantis The stabilized PGF film of Bigfoot The Kentucky Meat Shower Charles Fort Ignatius Donnelly (father of Modern Atlantis nonsense) The Maury Island UFO The patch campaign on Kickstarter from "The Monsterologist" George Coghill still has patches available and they're gorgeous. Details on the patch give away are here.
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