All posts by Mike Huberty

Co-Host of See You On The Other Side podcast Lead Vocalist & Bassist for Sunspot

183 – Controversy: The Prince Murder Conspiracy

Prince is one of the least divisive musicians out there, everyone likes at least one Prince song. His mastery of multiple instruments made it so that he could write songs in almost any genre, moving from a Rock guitar jam to a sexy R&B bump and grind to a Pop piano ballad effortlessly. His death in April of 2016 really hit home not just for people like me who grew up with his music, but multiple generations of fans. After his passing was ruled an overdose,  But for fans of conspiracy theories and the dreaded Illuminati, the idea that The Purple One was just another tragic victim of the opioid epidemic was too much.

First off, his last Instagram post is a picture along with the text  “JUST WHEN U THOUGHT U WERE SAFE…”

prince murder
Was Prince’s last Instagram post a warning?

People took that as some kind of warning and it is kind of an eerie thing to say right before you died. Some people think that was a message that he knew he was going to be murdered.

In the 1990s, Prince took on the record companies and even legally changed to an unpronounceable symbol to try and get out of his contract with Warner Brothers. He even appeared at a press conference with the word “slave” written on his face.

prince murder
Slave written on Prince’s face

Famous black comedian, Civil Rights pioneer, and late-in-career conspiracy theorist Dick Gregory even came out and connected TMZ, Time Warner, and Warner Brothers to Prince’s death.

And Prince wasn’t afraid of a little conspiracy himself. On Tavis Smiley’s PBS show in 2009, Prince mentions that he saw a Dick Gregory speech and was so inspired by Gregory’s discussion of chemtrails and conspiracies, he wrote a song about it.

“Dreamer” off his album LOTUSFLOW3R talks of chemtrails in the sky and how everyone in the neighborhood is fighting soon after. The idea behind chemtrails is that there are chemicals in the jetstream behind aircraft and those chemicals are either 1. controlling the weather or 2. acting as destructive mind control agents to influence behavior.

Why would someone do this? Well, the modern prevailing conspiracy theory is population control. A smaller group of humans that is kept in check by fighting with each other instead of the prevailing power structures is easier to manage by the elite that rule the world.

So, was Prince murdered for his beliefs? Well, you’re going to have to listen to the episode for our opinion on the subject! But at the end, we treat you to an acoustic Sunspot cover of the Prince classic, “Delirious”!

I get delirious whenever you’re near
Lose all self-control, baby just can’t steer
Wheels get locked in place
Stupid look on my face
It comes to makin’ a pass, pretty mama
I just can’t win a race
‘Cause I get delirious
Delirious
Delirious
I get delirious when you hold my hand
Body gets so weak I can hardly stand
My temperature’s runnin’ hot
Baby you got to stop
‘Cause if you don’t I’m gonna explode
And girl I got a lot
I get delirious
Delirious
Delirious
I get delirious whenever you’re near
Girl, you gotta take control ’cause I just can’t steer
You’re just to much to take
I can’t stop, I ain’t got no brakes
Girl, you gotta take me for a little ride up and down
In and out and around your lake
I get delirious
Delirious
Delirious

 

182 – Saucer State: A Unified UFO Theory with Paul Cornell

Working in TV, comics, and novels, writer Paul Cornell has created stories for some of the greatest fictional characters of all time. Doctor Who to Robin Hood, Sherlock Holmes to Batman. He’s a Hugo award winner, has a podcast about Hammer Horror Films, and has an encyclopedic knowledge of UFO lore and mythology. Paul and artist Ryan Kelly have used that knowledge in an original creation that brings the most UFO lore I’ve ever seen in one place, the critically acclaimed comics, Saucer Country and Saucer State. 

Focusing on Arcadia Alvarez, the Mexican-American governor of New Mexico and Democratic presidential candidate, Saucer Country is all about her possible alien abduction experience and the strange events that occur around her candidacy. All along, they recount stories from real UFO lore like George Adamski’s visits with Venusians, mystery airships from the 19th Century, Betty and Barney Hill, and much more.

The sequel, Saucer State, is all about what happens once Governor Alvarez becomes President Alvarez, and the collected edition has just been released.  From Jefferson Airplane to the Pioneer plaque, the references come fast and furious and besides Taken, the Steven Spielberg-produced SciFi channel mini-series from 2002, this is the closest thing I’ve ever seen to a “unified theory” of UFO mythology, a fictional story that ties everything together.

In this interview, you’ll learn all about the real UFO lore that inspired Paul Cornell to write Saucer State and Saucer Country. We even cover a little bit of ghosts and fairies as well.

If you’re interested in learning more about Paul, including links to his works, please check out his website right here.

And we thoroughly recommend Saucer State, this is the fictional work that’s putting Tom Delonge’s Sekret Machines to shame! He even promises that unlike another fictional property that uses real life UFO mythology as an influence in 2018 (ahem, Mr. Carter), there is an ending in mind and the story will be completed in the next volume.

pioneer 10
The Message on the Pioneer 10

One of the groups vying for power that we talk about in Saucer State are the Bluebirds, who take an extremely materialist view toward the UFO phenomenon, an approach that they call “Nuts and Bolts”.

see the light, don’t close your eyes
go to sleep, you’re paralyzed
somewhere the dreams and memories mix
and our little friends are playing tricks

a violation of our sentience
Like the old hag sits on your chest
when they put you into program mode,
don’t think that you’re a guest.

Nuts and bolts and nuts and bolts and nuts and bolts and nuts and bolts and

Wet machines with lucid dreams
Are we just hardware under the seams?
When you feed your head with magic beans
Will we find out who’s behind the scenes?

a violation of our sentience
Like the old hag sits on your chest
when they put you into program mode,
don’t think that you’re a guest.

Nuts and bolts and nuts and bolts and nuts and bolts and nuts and bolts and

Wet machines with lucid dreams
Are we just hardware under the seams?
When you feed your head with magic beans
Will we find out who’s behind the scenes?

181 – Ghost U: Haunted Colleges with Matthew Swayne

Last time we talked with Matthew Swayne it was about his book Haunted Rock & Roll, but he’s also written a book called America’s Haunted Universities: Ghosts that Roam Hallowed HallsAs a research writer at  Penn State in State College, Pennsylvania, Swayne has first hand access to university legends and ghost stories. Born on Halloween, paranormal stories have always interested him (he’s also written a book on country music’s greatest ghost stories and was a columnist for one of my personal favorites, the new version of Omni!) In this conversation, we go into his favorite and weirdest haunted stories (plus I even get in a plug for Madison Ghost Walks Haunted University of Wisconsin Campus Tour!)

Click here to pick up your copy of America’s Haunted Universities: Ghosts That Roam Hallowed Halls.

Connect with Matthew Swayne on Twitter here

For the song this week, we picked our own Sunspot track about college unrequited love, instead of being Hot For Teacher, we’re Hot for TA in our song “More Than My Degree”. Fun Fact: scenes from the video were shot on Bascom Hill in front of Abe Lincoln’s statue, which has its own haunted story (and you’ll have to listen to the episode to find out!)

I know you’re my TA but this is more than math,
and there’s a certain number I’d like to discuss after class.

I’m not nervous about this test, or that problem set
A passing grade in this dumb class is not what I hope to get.
Was it just coincidence that you called on me?
Do you know I want you more than my degree?

You don’t have to worry, I know what this is about
“Office hours” is a clever slang for making out

Can’t you see, it all adds up, like Bernoulli’s equation
When I get your prime below mine, I’d even forego graduation
Was it just coincidence that you called on me?
Do you know I want you more than my degree?

Just like science, I’ll be straight and tell it like it is:
I think that you’re really great, I wanna have your kids
Was it just coincidence that you called on me?
Do you know I want you,
Do you know I want you?

The things that you explain
what do they mean?
I don’t care
Just keep on looking at me,
Just keep on looking at me.

All the others in our class
don’t seem to get it
They wanna learn,
and I want extra credit!

I’m not nervous about this test, or that problem set
A passing grade in this dumb class is not what I hope to get.
Was it just coincidence that you called on me?
Do you know I want you more than my degree?

Every time you say isosceles,
you make it sound so dirty,
Age won’t matter,
when I’m 26 and you’re 30,

Do you know I want you?
Do you know I need you?
Do you know I got to have you?
More than my degree.

Please stand so,
please stand so,
please stand so close to me,
Please stand so,
please stand so,
please stand so close to me.

180 – Small Town Monsters: Hunting Cryptids With Lyle Blackburn

Texas cryptozoologist and paranormal researcher Lyle Blackburn has been hunting mysterious animals since he saw The Legend of Boggy Creek as a kid. A 1972 movie about a strange Bigfoot-like creature who was seen in the small town of Fouke, Arkansas starting in the 1950s, it became a traveling film sensation that made the stories renowned across the United States and had a significant impact on a young Lyle Blackburn.

LYLE BLACKBURN
Lyle Blackburn in Fouke, Arkansas at the site of the Boggy Creek sightings

And Lyle has used his inspiration to not only write two books about the Boggy Creek Monster, but also a lesser-known case (which totally needs its own movie!) about a Lizard Man who was sighted in Bishopville, South Carolina.

As a filmmaker, he’s produced and narrated two  films with the Small Town Monsters team, one on Boggy Creek and one on the Mothman of Point Pleasant, West Virginia, and they’re currently working on one set in Wisconsin (oh yeah!)

In his “Monstro Bizzaro” monthly column in Rue Morge magazine, he often delves into the lesser known cryptid stories and legends from all over America as well.

In this interview, we go in-depth with Lyle Blackburn about his favorite monster stories, his investigation style, and the difference between cryptids in different parts of the country. It’s a fun fast-moving discussion that will help you find some investigation inspiration!

Links for Lyle:

For this week’s song, we were inspired by Lyle’s quest for the lesser-known monster stories and cryptid tales of America’s wonderful smaller cities and towns, because even in the “Middle of Nowhere” the weird will find you!

It looks like apple pie and county fairs
baseball games and Sunday prayers
but something strikes uncanny all the same

Watch for the devil hiding concealed
hide from the children in the cornfield,
because you know that nothing is the way it seems.

We don’t need to lock our doors
Cuz evil don’t need to knock
And on every main street square
Lurks a Force under the block
Somewhere in America
The dead will start to walk
In the middle of nowhere
You can’t escape the dark

Watch for the devil hiding concealed
hide from the children in the cornfield,
because you know that nothing is the way it seems

We don’t need to lock our doors
Cuz evil don’t need to knock
And on every main street square
Lurks a Force under the block
Somewhere in America
The dead will start to walk
In the middle of nowhere
You can’t escape the dark

179 – The Scholar and The Psychic: Chasing the Dead with Scott Porter and Stephanie Burke

While home on break from college, Scott Porter saw a woman he thought was his mother making breakfast in the kitchen but when he came in to eat there was no one there.  Stephanie Burke was just a little girl when she saw her grandmother’s ghost and then started regularly communicating with spirits who visited her in the house she was raised in.

These paranormal experiences eventually led them both to lives of investigating the unknown. Stephanie became a psychic medium nd co-host of the Spooky Southcoast Radio show, while Porter joined the Tennessee Wraith Chasers who eventually starred in the shows Ghost Asylum and Haunted Towns on Destination America.

You can find Stephanie’s website at stephburke.com and learn more about Porter at tnwraithchasers.com, including links to where you can see investigate with them coming up.

Stephanie and Porter will be joining the fun at the Hawaii Paracon July 13-15 of this year, a first of a kind event for the islands, so make sure to check that out if you’re interested in some ghost stories and meeting fellow paranormal enthusiasts in the most beautiful place on Earth.

hawaii paracon
A paranormal paradise calls to you…

You can also follow Stephanie on Twitter as @workitburke and get in touch with Porter at @PorterTWC

Now Stephanie was just at the Lizzie Borden house for a Kindred Spirits episode and Porter and the Wraith Chasers have investigated it as well. It’s a Bed and Breakfast now and it just made us think a little bit that it’s funny that we want to stay in these places where horrible things happened. In Iowa, they have a place called the VILLASCA AXE MURDER HOUSE – are we hoping something rubs off on us? It’s this morbid curiosity that binds paranormal investigators to each other, so we used that curiosity as inspiration for a little acoustic ballad, “Spend The Night”.

I’ll spend the night in a killer’s bed
gonna spend some time in their head
i’m here to speak to the dead
and I’ll spend the night

I’ll spend the night in a murder scene
hoping some rubs off on me
No I don’t get queasy
and I’ll spend the night

Is it a fear I want to face?
is it the memory of the chaste?
Is it the blood I want to taste?
I just don’t know.
Is it a lust for the profane
or a dream of the insane?
Well we just can’t explain
But we’ll spend the night.

I’ll spend the night on a battlefield
Where the wounds never healed
we’ll see what the worms reveal
when I spend the night

I’ll spend the night with a gallows pole
In my hand, Charon’s obol
I’ll sleep in a six foot hole
and I’ll spend the night

Is it a fear I want to face?
is it the memory of the chaste?
Is it the blood I want to taste?
I just don’t know.
Is it a lust for the profane
or a dream of the insane?
Well we just can’t explain
But we’ll spend the night.

178 – Born In the Caul: Spirituality and Vodou with Louvel Delon

Louvel Devon is the owner of Chicago’s Occult Book Store. In business for almost a century, it is the oldest book store of its kind in the world. Louvel was born “in the caul” which means that he came out with part of the amniotic membrane still covering him (because it’s often over the face they call this a “cowl” or “veil”) and it’s a good omen for the child, often indicating he or she will go on to great things! From an early age, Louvel had a fascination with the spiritual and eventually he turned his interest into his business.

Louvel committed to his spiritual side by following his journey all the way to Haiti to be initiated as a Hougan, a male Haitian Vodou practitioner, but his story is also a great lesson in perseverance and making your own luck. Louvel Delon started working at the Occult Book Store when he was sixteen and became part of Chicago’s spiritual and magical community from an early age. By staying tight with the people in the circle, he eventually was able to take the reins and is now moving the store into its second century.

In this interview, you’ll have a chance to hear some of Louvel’s interesting upbringing (his memories start before he was one year old and some members of his family thought that he might be a “walk-in”, which is when an older, more advanced spirit enters the body), his leadership of the store as they become more than just a place to buy books, but a home for magic in the community, and he gives us a crash course in Vodou. If you’re interested in learning something about how real Vodou is practiced in the Modern Age (not just what you see on TV or in tourist shops), then you’re going to get a lot out of this discussion with Louvel Delon!

To see Louvel in action at his store, check out this interview that Allison from Milwaukee Ghosts did with Louvel Delon for her Haunted Road Trip channel, it’s a good preview for our longer form discussion in this episode.

This week’s song takes its inspiration from the death curse aspect of Voodoo that’s been so sensationalized over the years, the idea that even if there’s nothing wrong with you, you can die because you believe in the curse. It’s a phenomenon called  “Voodoo Death” after a paper written in the 1940s by American sociologist, William Cannon.

This song is based on one of the coolest spells in Dungeons and Dragons inspired by Black Magic. According to the D&D wiki, “You utter a single word of power that instantly kills one creature of your choice, whether the creature can hear the word or not.” Chuck Palahniuk uses the same idea in his novel, Lullaby, as well. In this case, it’s a single word that can have an extraordinarily deleterious effect on those who believe in it: “no”.

Prettier than a lullaby,
My least favorite turn a phrase,
A single syllable can be,
As nasty as a death ray.

The only reason you’re alive,
Is because she’s not in one of her moods,
The only reason you’re still warm,
Is because you’re being pursued.

In a word,
She can hurt you,
With a word,
She can make you cry.
In a word,
Obliterate you,
With a word,
She can make you die.
Power word, kill.

Your ego bleeds like a stuck pig,
As you soak up the rejection.
Yeah, it sucks you’re out of luck in,
Using your erection.

Poked through like a voodoo doll,
Ripped a hair right out from your head,
You failed your only saving throw,
And now you’re gonna be dead…

In a word,
She can hurt you,
With a word,
She can make you cry.
In a word,
Obliterate you,
With a word,
She can make you die.
Power word, kill.

Prettier than a lullaby,
My favorite turn a phrase,
A single syllable can be,
As deadly as a blade.

In a word,
With a word,
In a word,
With a word,
Power word, kill.
In a word,

She can hurt you,
With a word,
She can make you cry.
In a word,
Obliterate you,
With a word,
She can make you die.
Power word, kill.
Power word, kill.
Power word, kill.

177 – Mothman Delusion: A New Year’s Resolution for Paranormal Research

The biggest paranormal story in the Midwest in 2017 was the winged humanoid sightings over Chicago and we have covered the Chicago Mothman extensively over the past several months. First in episode 159, we interviewed the editor of Phantoms and Monsters blog where many of the Mothman sightings have been reported, then we brought on the great cryptozoologist Loren Coleman who just released a new book Mothman: Evil Incarnate.

What’s the Mothman? A dark winged humanoid with glowing red eyes, made most famous by a series of sightings in Point Pleasant, West Virginia in the late 1960s. The sightings were followed by UFOs, Men in Black, and a tragic bridge collapse 13 months after the initial sighting.

The Mothman statue in Point Pleasant, West Virginia

Fast forward to 2017 and the Mothman has been reported seen over the Chicagoland area dozens of times mostly to a blog called Phantoms and Monsters. My sister Allison has been looking at the stories and then doing investigations of the sites of each reported sighting over at her YouTube channel, http://www.youtube.com/mothman.

As she was digging she found inconsistencies in more and more of the accounts even going so far as having a private investigator look into a possible police report that was a featured account over the Summer. (She didn’t find it and either did the Chicago Tribune.) Plus, 3 out of the 4 Mothman reports that came into Illinois MUFON came from the same IP address (meaning same Wi-Fi network, meaning the same house.) She began to get skeptical whether or not there really are winged humanoids flying over Chicago.

For her efforts, she’s been interviewed on Midnight In The Desert  and featured on the Mysterious Universe blog, but needless to say it hasn’t made her popular with the Chicago Mothman investigators. So for this first episode of 2018, we wanted to give the Chicago Mothman one more discussion because it was such a big story around these parts. Sure, we’ll come back when there’s a “break” in the case, but the important part is that in this episode we talk about our renewed resolve to use the scientific method in our paranormal research (and Patrick Swayze, but you’ll have to listen to figure how he fits in!)

Joining us for this discussion are two Chicago Forteans, Madeline Kate from Measuring The Circle podcast and Sam Maranto, the state director of Illinois MUFON (who received some of the original reports!) Allison Jornlin of course is involved, as is Tobias Wayland of the Singular Fortean Society, who has been collecting the Mothman stories as part of the original Chicago Mothman Taskforce – he even shares a Mothman story from Rockford that he interviewed the witness personally!

It’s a good frank discussion about the Chicago Mothman – doubts, inconsistencies, disinformation campaigns, hoaxes, and all, as well as how we can try to all get along better as Fortean researchers.

UPDATE: Here’s an extra interview with a Mothman researcher (and Chicago native!)

And for this week’s song, we used some inspiration from good old Carl Sagan, the man who coined the phrase “extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence”. His book The Demon-Haunted World: Science as a Candle in the Dark is a treatise on the scientific method and critical thinking. Yeah, it’s a buzzkill but if we’re ever going to convince the skeptics we gotta take getting the facts seriously. Here’s Sunspot with “House of Cards”.

It’s a demon-haunted world
and you don’t get to dig a grave in my backyard.
you know we have to be the candle in the dark
You can’t build a dynasty on a house of cards.You might think that you’re a monster but you’re just a quack
talking a lot of smack setting the whole field back
a lotta tall tales comin piling up to nothin
looking for the clicks and acting like like a d$%@.

it’s a curiosity, all this privacy
anonymity, who can you believe?
You can tell me all day ‘bout the trash you heard
doesn’t matter how absurd unless stand by your word

All this animosity comes down to money
You’re misrepping all the data just to fit your theory
You wanna sell books or you want some truth?
It sure looks to me you ain’t much of a sleuth

It’s a demon-haunted world
and you don’t get to dig a grave in my backyard.
you know we have to be the candle in the dark
You can’t build a dynasty on a house of cards.

Extraordinary claims, extraordinary proof
winged dudes on the roof kinda sounds like a goof
we need a real witness not all anonymous
how bout some testimony don’t sound like baloney.

Detail needs to be there, you know they’re gonna nitpick,
eaten by the cynics, defeated by the skeptics
t’s need to be crossed, you can’t just gloss,
over all the small stuff or things are gonna get rough.

Gotta share the data, info wants to be free,
transparency, no secrecy,
It takes all kinds of different minds
if we want it to be better, we gotta work together.

It’s a demon-haunted world
and you don’t get to dig a grave in my backyard.
you know we have to be the candle in the dark
You can’t build a dynasty on a house of cards.

176 – New York Times UFO Bombshell: Debriefing With John E. L. Tenney

 When the New York Times UFO story came out online on December 16th, it was the very definition of a bombshell in the paranormal community. When the “Paper of Record” decides to write about heretofore unknown government program out of the blue on a Saturday in December, several questions immediately spring to mind…

  • Are they finally coming clean on what they really know?
  • Who saw this coming?
  • Why is the story coming out now, 5 years later?
  • Is that the guy from Tom DeLonge’s To The Stars Academy?
  • Wait, is the guy from Blink-182 right about this?

If you missed it, the New York Times UFO  story is about a now partly-declassified government program initiated in 2007 by Nevada senator Harry Reid. Much of the money went to the aerospace company of Robert Bigelow, a billionaire and friend of Reid who has been interested in UFOs for a long time. The funding was called “Black money” because it wasn’t debated the floor of the Senate, but with a meager budget appropriation of 22 million dollars and its security-sensitive nature, it was able to slip under the radar.

new york times ufo luis elizondo
Here’s Luis Elzondo. You trust a guy with a beard like that?

Featured in the article is Luis Elizondo, who worked for the Pentagon investigating these cases until he resigned in October of this year and joined Tom DeLonge’s To The Stars Academy. The story basically states that yes, pilots have seen craft flying that they cannot explain, some elements of the government believe that they are extraterrestrials, and there has been research into “mysterious alloys” that might be related to the UFO sightings.

new york times ufo john tenet
John Tenney

Our guest this week, John E.L. Tenney is a supernatural shamus who has been studying paranormal phenomena for over thirty years. He is the host of the excellent Realm of the Weird podcast as well as a noted lecturer. We first met John in person at this year’s Michigan Paranormal Conference after being a fan of his podcast and writing.

John wrote an excellent blogpost with a very sober analysis of the New York Times UFO story and we knew we had to feature him on the show for an in-depth exploration of that same topic, so this episode Allison from Milwaukee Ghosts and I had a long and fun discussion with John focused on this story but also touching on ghosts, UFOs, and the cyclical nature of paranormal investigation.

For more on John Tenney, please visit his site at http://www.weirdlectures.com

Since our conversation with John, there’s been some more discussion of the story, with scientists chiming in on these “mysterious alloys” hinted at in the article. Scientific American has a decent clarification that any strange metal wouldn’t remain strange for long using modern but basic scientific methods and that we have a lot of experience with objects that have crashed to earth from space. The article states that the real research was into the physiological effects that people claimed happened to them after coming into contact with the objects. So the jury is still out on that one.

Well, since we’re talking about Blink-182 and Tom DeLonge, we thought it was a perfect opportunity to write a Blink-style 90s pop-punk track. We laughed about their music being mostly “Power Chords and Poop Jokes”, but that we enjoyed it anyway, and really we just couldn’t resist naming a song that!

They came in a dream
when I was thirteen
They said I was the chosen one.
To lead the human race
out of this lonely place
to meet spacemen beyond the sun

Only a Top Ten Hit
can expose the government.

You just need guitars
To go to the stars
with power chords and poop jokes
if you’ve got power chords and poop jokes
Even a poser,
can get disclosure
with power chords and poop jokes
you need power chords and poop jokes
and when the aliens finally come they’ll know our band is number one.

Just because you’re famous,
You’re not an ignoramus
even if you are a bit uncouth
Have an X-Files fiesta
Hangout with John Podesta
and you can finally learn the truth

I heard that UFO buffs
just love to buy more stuffs

You just need guitars
To go to the stars
with power chords and poop jokes
if you’ve got power chords and poop jokes
Even a poser,
can get disclosure
with power chords and poop jokes
you need power chords and poop jokes
and when the aliens finally come they’ll know my band is number one.

175 – Elves: More Than Just Santa’s Little Helpers

When most people think about elves in the modern day, they either think about Legolas in The Lord of the Rings or they think about the short little fairy like creatures with Mr. Spock ears that make toys for Santa Claus.

elves
I’m a sexy elf.
elves
I am not a sexy elf.

Now, Santa’s Workshop and the elves that build his toys is a creation of mid-Nineteenth Century magazines, but the history of elves goes a lot deeper than just working overtime at the North Pole.

In this episode, we talk about where Santa’s helpers came from historically, but we also explore the millennia-old legends of elves, how Christian missionaries turned them into Satan’s little helpers (not a typo!) and how these nature spirits might still just be running around Iceland. In fact, in Iceland there’s The Elf School which teaches their history on the island and an Elf Whisperer who will have you over for tea with leaves grown by her little friends!

And here’s an interview Allison got with Magnus from The Elf School!

elves
These Icelandic elves are ready to haunt your dreams

For this week’s song, we took a poem that was written anonymously in 1857 for Harper’s Weekly and put some music to it. There just aren’t enough Christmas songs that talk about Santa’s elves. Since this poem was one of the first documents of St. Nick’s sweatshop, we are excited to be the first ones to immortalize it in song! Here is Sunspot with “The Wonders of Santa Claus”.

Beyond the ocean many a mile,
And many a year ago,
There lived a queer old man
In a wonderful house of snow;
And every little boy and girl,
As Christmas Eves arrive,
No doubt are overjoyed to hear,
The old man’s still alive.

In his house upon a hill,
And almost out of sight,
He keeps his many elves at work,
working with all their might,
To make a million pretty things,
Cakes, sugar-plums, and toys,
To fill the stockings, hung up
By the little girls and boys.

It would be capital for sure,
to glimpse his wondrous shop;
But when he hears a stranger he
Orders the elves to stop;
And the house, and work, and workmen all
just take a little twist,
just when you think they that are there,
They’re off in a frosty mist.

In his house upon a hill,
And almost out of sight,
He keeps his many elves at work,
working with all their might,
To make a million pretty things,
Cakes, sugar-plums, and toys,
To fill the stockings, hung up
By the little girls and boys.

It were an endless task to tell,
The length his list extends,
Of curious gifts the queer old man
Prepares for Christmas friends.
You might be guessing who he is,
And the country whence he came.
Why, he was born in Turkey,
And St. Nicholas is his name.

In his house upon a hill,
And almost out of sight,
He keeps his many elves at work,
working with all their might,
To make a million pretty things,
Cakes, sugar-plums, and toys,
To fill the stockings, hung up
By the little girls and boys.

174 – Mothman: Evil Incarnate with Loren Coleman

This week we have two 50th anniversary tragedies that we talk about on the podcast, one musical and one paranormal. The first is that in Madison we’re acknowledging the half-centennial of the death of Otis Redding, whose plane crashed into Lake Monona on December 10th, 1967. He was only 26 years old, just a year off the cursed 27 Club.

The second tragic anniversary has many more overtones of high strangeness. The Silver Bridge collapsed in Point Pleasant, West Virginia on December 15th, 2017 thirteen months to the day after the first reported sighting of the Mothman.

mothman evil incarnate loren coleman
The Mothman as drawn by an eyewitness in 1966.

The Mothman was a winged humanoid with red eyes that people were seeing in the area as well as getting an overwhelming sense of dread.  Once the mothman sightings started happening, other paranormal events began rearing their head. Reports of Men in Black, UFOs, prophetic dreams, and a strange grinning man by the name of Indrid Cold started circulating and everything culminated in the tragic Silver Bridge collapse that killed 46 people on December 15th, 1967.

Researcher John Keel famously collected all these stories and really created the modern narrative of the Mothman with his book, The Mothman Prophecies, in 1975.  It famously becomes a big Hollywood movie in 2002. When Keel became unable to do press for the film, he called upon his old friend  Loren Coleman to handle the interviews.

loren coleman mothman evil incarnate
Allison Jornlin with Loren Coleman (second from left) at the 2016 Milwaukee Paranormal Conference

Now to say that Loren is a noted cryptozoologist is an understatement, he’s one of the most respected researchers in the field and I’ve been reading his books for decades. He wrote Mothman and Other Curious Encounters in 2002 and even John Keel called it “the most complete overview of the phenomenon.”

Fast forward to 2017 and the Mothman is back in the headlines. This time with alleged sightings all over the Chicagoland area. Allison from Milwaukee Ghosts has been going to the location of the sightings that have been reported and creating videos of the area to help people visualize them. It’s an eye opening look into the painstaking investigative process. Check out her YouTube channel to see her dozens of on-location videos at http://www.youtube.com/mothman.

The anniversary of the Silver Bridge collapse, December 15th, is also  Loren Coleman’s latest book comes out , Mothman: Evil Incarnate. The Mothman hasn’t been content to be in the shadows. Loren talks about the Mothman Death Curse and the misfortune that seems to surround people who find themselves investigating this strange phenomenon decades after the original incident, book, and movie.

This episode is not only a great primer in the history of the Mothman case, but it’s also an insightful look into how Loren Coleman became one of the world’s greatest cryptozoologists as Allison and I get to discuss his investigative process with him.

To get a signed copy of Mothman: Evil Incarnate, click here to buy a signed copy from Loren’s awesome International Cryptozoology Museum in Portland, Maine.

In the episode, we also talk about Wendy’s visit to the Mothman museum in Point Pleasant, West Virginia and her pilgrimage to the new Silver Bridge. Wendy watched The Mothman Prophecies and listened to the original book this summer on a roadtrip and you can check out her reactions above as part of Scott Markus‘ fun video series “A Ghost Hunter Watches”.

One of the things that was surprising about the Mothman story is how UFOs and weirdness seems to occur in Point Pleasant as well, it’s like they didn’t just get one X-File, they got the whole cabinet. Indrid Cold was a mysterious character who showed up during the events and asked people about the lights they saw in the sky. He made mysterious phone calls to Keel, talked to the local reporter, and even was said by one report to speak to someone telepathically.  He was so smily and strange, they called him The Grinning Man.

We don’t feel there’s been enough attention given to Mr. Cold so for this week’s track, we decided to write him his own song. This is Sunspot with “The Grinning Man”.

A form made of chaos
it can smell the blood on you
this planet haunted by us
and the owners want their due

a thin veneer
hiding a zone of fear

it knows your wobbliest spots
sees inside your darkest of hearts
knows every little trick that helps you lose your soul

a banshee screams
burned right into your dreams

When the black wings flutter and red eyes look about
you’ll see the grinning man when the lights go out
then the telephone rings, there’s no one at the end
you’ll see the grinning man when the lights go dead

it knows your wobbliest spots
sees inside your darkest of hearts
this planet haunted by us
the owners want their due

a thin veneer
hiding a zone of fear

When the black wings flutter and red eyes look about
you’ll see the grinning man when the lights go out
then the telephone rings, there’s no one at the end
you’ll see the grinning man when the lights go dead