Tag Archives: conspiracy

199 – The Rock & Roll Twilight Zone: Musical Mysteries with Richard Syrett

Richard Syrett didn’t start off being a weirdo, he was a radio host who stumbled onto a Sunday night talk show in Toronto whose audience shot through the roof when they broached paranormal topics (much like Art Bell and the original Coast to Coast AM did, and now Richard is a frequent guest host of Coast to Coast as well!)

But that shift proved auspicious, because Richard Syrett has been tackling the strange and unusual each week on Canadian radio with The Conspiracy Show and that even lead to four seasons of a television program as well on Vision TV.

Richard SyrettBut just because Richard Syrett waited some time in his profession career to start exploring the paranormal, doesn’t mean that he hasn’t felt that cold strange grip of the strange. He was close with with rock n’ roll author R. Gary Patterson who had spent decades exploring musical mysteries and the dark side of rock n’ roll pop culture. Gary was a frequent guest on The Conspiracy Show and Richard and Gary were planning to work together on their program when Gary passed away in 2017. Richard goes into detail on his own strange encounter with what might have been R. Gary Patterson’s ghost in our conversation!

Syrett’s new show is called The Rock & Roll Twilight Zone and you can hear it on Chris Jericho’s Podcast One network. It is a deep dive into some of Rock’s greatest mysteries and you’re bound to hear some conspiracies and strange stories that you’ve never heard before. I’ve been listening to it all week an it’s a lot of fun.

In this interview, Allison from Milwaukee Ghosts joins Richard and I in discussing some of the great topics that he’s been covering on The Rock & Roll Twilight Zone:

  • Was Elvis murdered?
  • How Jim Morrison could have faked his own death
  • Robert Johnson’s deal with the Devil and the curse of the Crossroads

The song this week is called “Rock & Roll Heaven” but it’s not quite as hagiographic as the Righteous Brothers’ 70s’ song of the same name. While the “live fast, die young” aesthetic of the 60s and 70s rock stars certainly contributed to their mythological stature, it’s more sad than anything else. Would you sacrifice decades of your life (even if it’s the old crappy part) to amplify your legacy? Are you good enough to get into “Rock & Roll Heaven”?

When I die will I go to Rock & Roll Heaven?
Am I good, am I good enough to get into Rock & Roll Heaven?
Where the high lasts forever, all the amps go to eleven
When I die I wanna go to Rock & Roll Heaven.

Is there a chart in the skies for all your
albums that went gold?
Is that your consolation prize
because you’ll never grow old?

When I die (when I die) will I go (will I go) to Rock & Roll Heaven?
(to Rock & Roll Heaven)
Am I good (am I good), am I good enough (good enough) to get into Rock & Roll Heaven?
(to get into Rock & Roll Heaven)
Where the high lasts forever, the amps go to eleven
(all the amps go to eleven)
When I die (when I die) I wanna go (wanna go) to Rock & Roll Heaven.

Is there a chart in the skies for all your
albums that went gold?
Is that your consolation prize
because you’ll never grow old?

When I die (when I die) will I go (will I go) to Rock & Roll Heaven?
(to Rock n’ Roll Heaven)
When I die (when I die) I wanna go (wanna go) to Rock & Roll Heaven.

184 – Something In The Way: The Death and Afterlife of Kurt Cobain

February 20th, 2018 would have been Kurt Cobain’s 51st birthday and it’s  hard to believe that he’s been gone for over two decades. Nirvana sold 75 million albums which puts them in the upper echelon of recording artists, but more than that, Kurt Cobain was one of the, if not the, last rock star.

He was aloof and artistic. He hated his fame while being drawn to it. He was the antithesis of the 80s Sunset Strip rocker, eschewing their glammed up hypermasculinity and virtuoso guitarists for dirty sweaters and simple melodies.  He seemed to spite the media, but they worshipped him.

kurt cobain ghost
Live fast. Die young. That’s how a musician becomes an icon.

Long before we watched every move artists made on Twitter and were a party to their private lives on YouTube and reality television, there was a sense of otherness to our celebrities. Kurt Cobain played guitar simply and sang his heart out with a tuning of his own, but he was not just like us. There was a quality to him that matched the era and he inspired an entire generation that was ready for a change. He was the last of the mainstream rock n’ roll heroes, and just like Jimi Hendrix and Jim Morrison, he died at twenty-seven years old, apparently of a heroin overdose and suicide by shotgun.

And when he died, it ripped people in my generation apart. We were the ones who listened to “Smells Like Teen Spirit” as Freshmen in high school and we made the Alternative Nation the soundtrack of our lives. Kurt Cobain was the John Lennon, he was the epicenter of the movement, and his passing also symbolized a feeling that it was over. The bands that came up in Nirvana’s wake (Bush, Silverchair, etc..) felt like warmed over seconds. The moment had passed. It was the last time that Rock ruled and it was nearly the end of American mainstream culture. By the end of the decade, Hip Hop was the number one genre, MTV only showed videos sometimes, and the alternative movement turned into Nü-Metal. Kurt’s death was the beginning of the end.

Other podcasts and documentary films have covered all the conspiracy theories surrounding his death and those range from his wife Courtney Love hiring a singer to kill her husband (even her wacko father thinks she did it) to the idea that the CIA tried to kill him because he was pro-Clinton (and George H.W. Bush was a former CIA director.)

kurt cobain ghost
Chicks dig that hat, man.

But what interests us the most is that just because Kurt died doesn’t mean that people haven’t still seen him around. He inspired the kind of loyalty and love in his fans that we just don’t see anymore. He wasn’t just a popular musician, he was a rock deity and he entered the pantheon the only way you can… with his untimely death.

Here are just a few of the Kurt Cobain ghost stories out there, it seems like he’s had a very healthy afterlife so far.

kurt cobain ghost
Statue of a crying Kurt Cobain in his hometown of Aberdeen, WA

For this episode, we cover the last song off of Nirvana’s breakthrough album, Nevermind. A dark moody classic, “Something In The Way”.

Underneath the bridge
The tarp has sprung a leak
And the animals I’ve trapped
Have all become my pets
And I’m living off of grass
And the drippings from the ceiling
But it’s okay to eat fish
‘Cause they don’t have any feelings

Something in the way
Ummmmm
Something in the way, yeah
Ummmmm
Something in the way
Ummmmm
Something in the way, yeah
Ummmmm
Something in the way
Ummmmm
Something in the way, yeah
Ummmmm

Underneath the bridge
The tarp has sprung a leak
And the animals I’ve trapped
Have all become my pets
And I’m living off of grass
And the drippings from the ceiling
But it’s okay to eat fish
‘Cause they don’t have any feelings

Something in the way
Ummmmm
Something in the way, yeah
Ummmmm
Something in the way
Ummmmm
Something in the way, yeah
Ummmmm
Something in the way
Ummmmm
Something in the way, yeah
Ummmmm
Something in the way
Ummmmm
Something in the way, yeah
Ummmmm

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

 

173 – Santa Claus Is Real: Toys, Traditions, and Tulpas

Ho ho ho, friends, it’s a Yuletide tradition for us to uncover the weirdest stories we can about the Christmas season and this Holiday is no different. In the past we’ve covered everything from Krampus to Icelandic Christmas monsters to Holiday ghost stories and Alien Jesus, but we’ve hardly talked about the star of the show in most children’s imagination over the holidays, and that is Santa Claus! It’s St. Nick’s Day on December 6th, so we thought this is the perfect week to talk about him.

In this episode we go through the long history of Saint Nicholas, from his beginnings as a young holy man in 4th century Turkey who came from a rich family and was a deeply generous bishop who saved young women from lives of prostitution to eventually being venerated as a saint because he brought three murdered children back from the dead and he telepathically appeared in the dreams of Emperor Constantine. Awesome, right?

And while Saint Nicholas was a hugely popular saint in Europe in the Middle Ages, he wasn’t always a bearded fat man in a red fur suit who cam e down your chimney,  that didn’t happen until he came to the New World and was popularized as a character in Clement Clarke Moore’s “A Visit From St. Nicholas” poem in 1822 and Thomas Nast’s illustrations in the 1870s. And of course, Coke spent a ton of money advertising the jolly old elf too, helping out with that red and white suit he’s famous for.

santa claus is real coca-cola
Santa needs some of that “old school” Coca-Cola so he can stay up all night to bring you gifts!

Because Christmas itself is a little bit of a Pagan holiday (burning the Yule log a the Winter Solstice has been going on way before Baby Jesus), there’s a touch of Pagan in our Santa Claus, influenced by Odin and his eight-legged horse! And of course even Saint Nick can’t please everyone, because some Christians think that Santa is actually an avatar of Satan. And while most of us might think that’s kinda funny, the same Puritans who gave us Thanksgiving (ahem… and the Salem Witch Trials) also banned Christmas and made celebrating it a punishable offense. There was too much drinking, too much revelry, and just too much fun for them. The Puritans thought of it was a wasteful and decadent celebration, so they banned it in the New World and in England for a few decades in the Seventeenth Century.

santa claus is real santa's slay
Maybe Oliver Cromwell and the Puritans knew something about St. Nick that we don’t…

Truly my favorite part of this discussion though is when we start getting down to brass tacks. Santa Claus is real and people have been reporting sightings of him for awhile now. Yes, the same way they report sightings of Bigfoot, the Loch Ness Monster, and UFOs. Kids and adults have seen Santa under the tree, they’ve seen him and his sleigh flying over their houses, they’ve seen him peering into their bedrooms… Yeah, I was taken aback as well.

So, what is it? Is there really an immortal who lives at the North Pole and stops time every year on Christmas Eve to deliver presents to the good boys and girls of the world? Could hundreds of millions of children believe him into existence? A tulpa created with the Christmas wishes of centuries of kids? Could there be something supernatural happening and the kids just interpret it as Santa Claus, kinda like the High Strangeness UFO discussion we had with Robbie Graham and Mike Clelland? That’s gotta be up for you to decide. For me, it’s like my Mom always said, “If you believe in Santa, he’s real.”

A few years back, we participated in a Christmas benefit album for the Salvation Army, we put our own spin on a track called “Hey Santa” by Madison songwriter Joe Snare, who put the compilation together.

 

Hey Santa,
You’ll be coming soon,
I cut my hair and changed my tune,
I’m a brand new man this year.
Hey Santa,
I’ve been counting days,
I cleaned up all my nasty ways,
I got your message loud and clear.

That lump of coal you gave me last year really made your point.
I’ve toned it down a notch or two,
look how I cleaned up this joint.
You’ve got Christmas right there in your hands,
Hey, Santa, won’t you give me one more chance?

Hey Santa,
I’ve been clean and straight,
you got no need to hesitate,
put me on the witness stand.

I couldn’t help but notice how my tree was kinda bare,
last time Santa came to town, you didn’t leave a present there.
You’ve got Christmas right there in your hands,
Hey, Santa, won’t you give me one more chance?

Hey Santa,
When you fill your sack,
don’t forget about me, Jack.
Because I’ll be looking out for you, you know.

Now you and I know I’m not quite an angel or a saint,
I’m doing everything I can,
to be someone that I ain’t.
You’ve got Christmas right there in your hands,
Hey, Santa, won’t you give me one more chance?

Disinformation: The Return of The X-Files

(WARNING: This blogpost contains spoilers for the first two episodes of Season 10, the majestic return of The X-Files, so watch  the new episodes, eh? They’re streaming for FREE on Fox.com right now)

They’re back!

So, how about it? They had me at the original opening credits. It’s been almost twenty-two years since we first heard Mark Snow’s spooky opening theme and saw “The Truth Is Out There”. Man, it really brought back all the memories. I was a MONSTER fan of the show (as if you didn’t already know.) In college, we used to all watch it in our dorm room common area and we wouldn’t go out on Friday nights until the show was over. It was the show that brought everyone together.

I even kept watching during the so-so Season 7 (the one that had an episode with Kathy Griffin and a pro wrestler), Season 8 (which was Duchovny-lite because he was working on his movie career)  and Season 9, which was on an upswing, but it had to end because September 11th kind of took the fun out of government conspiracies for most people.

With X-FIles: I Want To Believe (the second movie) flopping at the box office and then 2012 passing us by without new material (the alien invasion was supposed to take place that year), I thought that was the end for one of my favorite shows. But no!

So, it’s been months of anticipation. What are they going to concentrate on in these six episodes, who are going to be the new bad guys? How are they going to bring Cancer Man back to life after he was blown up in the desert in the final episode? We had a special podcast about some of our favorite episodes based on real-life cases (Episode 33 – The Truth Is Back) and wrote a song about the new series called “Don’t Mess This Up”.

So, did they mess it up? I know a lot of critics seemed underwhelmed by the first episode and while the dialogue was a bit clunky during Mulder and Scully’s argument on the porch (show don’t tell, Chris Carter!), but I like where they’re going with everything. The conspiracies fit perfectly into the second decade of the Twenty-First Century. Joel McHale’s character is basically an ultra-wealthy Alex Jones and it looks like they took the new conspiracy right off of InfoWars.com.

So, they speculate that the UFO crash at Roswell was real and that the government reverse engineered the alien spacefaring and stealth technology and has been carrying out secret experiments on women (including Scully) by impregnating them with fetuses laced with alien DNA and have been masquerading as aliens the whole time in order to throw investigators off the scent of the real perpetrators and they’re setting the planet up for a one-world government (a little John Birch Society anti-Communist conspiracy in there for ya!)

David Duchovny doing his best rugged Harrison Ford impersonation here…

Does this mesh with the old mythology? A little, but not a lot. Considering the old conspiracies of the show got real messy after Season 5, I’m okay with it, and it fits with a more modern take. I’ve said this before, but prior to our interview with Robbie Graham in our “Silver Screen Saucers” episode, I had legitimately never thought that the government would want people to believe that they were colluding with aliens. I mean, why would they want their own people to think that they’re secretly hiding one of the biggest stories of all time, that we’re not alone in the universe?

Disinformation, baby. When you’re not fighting any actual physical battles like in the Cold War, then the rumors of your power are just as important as your power. It’s kind of like why new inmates will fight the baddest meanest guy they can when right when they get sent to prison. You create an aura around yourself of toughness, and nothing’s tougher than your enemy thinking that you have secret alien technology in your war machine. And in the show, the conspiracy is all about covering their tracks until they invade the United States.

The second episode (“Founder’s Mutation”) was just like going home again. It didn’t have to do any narrative lifting, the team was back together and it was just like the wonderful old days of Mulder and Scully hitting the pavement and looking for the paranormal. Now the conspiracy is using those alien DNA babies to make psychic-powered superheroes. I can’t be the only one that got a Quicksilver/Scarlet Witch vibe from Kyle and Molly shattering glass and throwing people across the room with their Force alien mind powers.

In the age of The “Patriot” Act, Edward Snowden, and the Carnivore e-mail spy program, we’ve got brand new reasons to be paranoid and question Authority. Thank God we’ve got Special Agents Fox Mulder and Dana Scully back to investigate.

Why Would Terrorists Attack the Milwaukee Masonic Temple?

On Monday, January 25th, the FBI just barely stopped a terrorist attack at the Milwaukee Masonic Temple, where  a twenty-three year old man was planning on carrying out a mass shooting and dreamed of killing thirty or more people in the name of Islam. Samy Mohamed Hamzeh was just a personal trainer in Milwaukee who made the decision that he wanted to kill people to strike fear into the hearts of the infidel.

samy mohamed homzeh
Do you even kill people, bro?

Terror doesn’t have a military strategy, it’s designed to break down the morale of non-combatants.  I’ve often said that if terrorists wanted to really scare the United States they would’t attack New York City or Los Angeles, they’d attack smaller cities in the USA, and particularly in the Midwest, to show that no one is safe. And being a native to the area, this was particularly scary. Milwaukee did have  a white supremacist mass shooting at a Sikh Temple in 2012 and that guy was even worse. He was a musician as well as embarrassingly stupid and tried to start some kind of Holy Race War by attacking the Sikhs, who are non-violent, but wear turbans (like I said, embarrassingly stupid.)

But why attack the Milwaukee Masonic Temple? What did they do to Samy Mohamed Hamzeh? Here’s what the would-be terrorist said:

“They are all Masonic; they are playing with the world like a game, man, and we are like asses, we don’t know what is going on, these are the ones who are fighting, these are the ones that needs to be killed, not the Shi’ite (Mike’s note: another branch of Islam), because these are the ones who are against us, these are the ones who are making living for us like hell”

samy-hamzeh
That’s a good boy, that’s a really good boy, now let’s go kill people!

“These are the ones who are making living for us like hell” – the Masons? You mean the guys who drive the little cars from the Circus? (No, that’s Shriners, but the Shriners did develop from Freemasonry…) But it’s a society that keeps some of its initiation rituals secret and its membership often includes a lot of prominent individuals in the community. It’s a club with secrets that has business leaders, politicians, and rich people as members. It’s pretty easy to figure why you think that they’re up to no good.

The Freemasons will get their own episode of the See You On The Other Side podcast soon because there’s centuries of conspiracies surrounding them. The idea is that this secret society presents themselves as charitable citizens who are getting together to perform good works, really they are a criminal organization who controls the media and has a sinister agenda.

I’m sure there are bad Freemasons and I’m sure a judge or a cop has let one of his Masonic brothers off easy a few times. But are these low level Milwaukee masons really the kind of world dominators that make life a living Hell for Muslim fitness trainers in the Brew City?

This is why it’s important to pay attention to conspiracy theories in real life as well as in Pop Culture (like these “Top Ten Masonic Conspiracy Theories“)? Because sometimes those theories can provide excuses and justification for killing innocent people.