Category Archives: Podcast

291 – Everyone’s Got A Ghost Story: Listener and Personal Experiences

Everyone’s got a ghost story, from your grandma to your high school social studies teacher. In fact, some of the people that you least expect (and some skeptics as well), seem to have stories that they just can’t quite explain. One time, I remember talking to someone about ghost stories and he said, “Nothing’s really ever happened to me… well… except that time that heard my grandmother’s voice tell me to stop immediately when I was driving, and I narrowly avoided getting into a car crash that surely would have killed me.” Nope, nothing at all then.

So, this week, we decided to talk about our personal ghost stories as well as reach out to See You On The Other Side listeners to get their tales of the unexplained, so we could share them for this special episode. Wendy and I are joined by my sister, Allison from as well as Scott Markus from and we originally recorded it as a livestream on Facebook.

Here’s the video of our livestream

But there was a ghost in the machine that day, so we didn’t end up listening to several of the listener stories, because of technical issues. However, all of those stories have been saved for the audio podcast for your listening pleasure, including:

  • The ghost story Allison and my mother told us when we were kids when our parents lived across the street from a cemetery
  • Our family’s strange story of our great uncle seeing an “Angel In The Mirror” right before he died
  • A comforting ghost seen by our Patreon, Dr. Ned
  • Katie’s story, who as a young girl, was out on the road doing merchandise with a country singer calls us to let us know about a hotel she stayed at where the ghost got a little too friendly
  • Former Milwaukee ghost tour guide, Mike J., tells us of a childhood haunting in the “little pink house” that his family lived in
  • Allison and her husband’s adventures at the Haunted Larium Manor Inn in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan
  • Ghost hunter Scott Markus’ adventures investigating in Illinois
  • Quick stories recounted by Amy, Jimmy, and Tina as well…

We also read our Patreon C.E. Martin’s story, “The Closet of Terror” from his biographical paranormal novel, Stranger Than Fiction.

We’re doing more experimenting with recording the podcasts live during the lockdown of Coronavirus 2020, so thanks to everyone who’s been watching the livestreams.

For the song this week, we were inspired by Allison and my family story about our mother’s uncle who saw an angel in the mirror in the middle of the night, told his wife about it, went back to sleep, and never woke up. After hearing the tale since we were children, it seemed like it was about time that we dedicate a track to “The Angel In The Mirror”.

Far beyond its bloom 
only petals on the floor 
a broken flower wilts 
it won’t be pretty anymore 
When you hear the knock 
there’s nothing left to beg for 
how I’ve fought and how I tried 
to keep the lock on this door 

Blinded by the love 
as she holds onto me 
the angel in the mirror 
is the last thing I see 

Wake up in the night 
breathless from a dream 
When I open the door, 
I will find her ready for me. 
with open arms and a crooked smile 
it’s just a small mercy 
My struggle has ended 
I close my eyes and finally sleep 

Blinded by the love 
as she holds onto me 
the angel in the mirror 
is the last thing I see 
Blinded by the love 
as she holds onto me 
the angel in the mirror 
is the last thing I see

290 – Big Fur: Creating The Most Realistic Bigfoot Ever

In the wilds of western Alberta, Canada, Ken Walker lives, hunts, creates, and sings Roy Orbison tracks. He’s a world champion taxidermist who specializes in recreations of extinct animals. He’s brought back stunning versions of the Sabretooth Tiger and the Irish Elk and his work is featured in the Smithsonian Institution. He’s also a Squatcher and in 2015, he began a quest to create a perfect version of the Bigfoot from the infamous 1967 Patterson-Gimlin film, a not-so-little lady he calls “Patty”.

Kansas City filmmaker Dan Wayne was taking on taxidermy as a hobby when he encountered Ken on an internet forum. He found Ken’s work fascinating and was amazed by the amount of access that this first-in-class taxidermist was giving him online to help developing his own skills. And when he discovered that Ken was working on a Sasquatch, he thought it would make a great documentary.

And he was right. The ensuing documentary, which played at Slamdance Film Festival in 2020 is Big Fur, a compelling story about a man’s quest to recreate a creature that many have claim to have seen but only really has been captured on shaky 1967 filmstock. Ken said that he wanted Bigfoot experiencers to see his mount (what taxidermists call their creations) and say “That’s exactly what I saw.”

Ken Walker with “Patty”

I have been a Bigfoot skeptic for awhile now because I just have too many unanswered questions, but talking to Ken and Dan about their documentary and Ken’s theories on the creature have once again opened me up to the possibility. Skeptics, believers, and people just interested in Bigfoot and taxidermy will find a lot to enjoy in this wide-ranging and entertaining discussion, including:

  • Ken’s own Bigfoot experience that led him to believe in Sasquatch
  • How he ended up with several bags of what he thinks is Sasquatch feces in his freezer
  • How you can tell a Hollywood-style fake Bigfoot costume from a real one (hint: it’s all in the forehead)
  • The careful measuring of ratio and dimensions that Ken used to determine the height and size of his creation
  • The electromagnetic energy of Bigfoot
  • Hunting Bigfoot with special Faraday Cage camo suits
  • What kind of weird tree structures that Sasquatch are making out in the Alberta woods

To learn more about where you can see Big Fur, check out the movie website and here’s a quick interview done by our friend Scott Markus from when he met Dan and Ken at Slamdance.

For the song this week, we couldn’t resist a couple of things. Number one, Ken isn’t just a taxidermist but also a Roy Orbison impersonator (and he even sings a bunch in the film!) Number two, the fact that they call the sasquatch in the Patterson-Gimlin film “Patty” and I didn’t even realize it was a female, blew my mind. So, of course we couldn’t resist making a rockabilly song about our favorite new girl, “Patty”.

7 foot tall
She’s the biggest girl around
But when she’s feeling shy
She’s nowhere to be found

Oh Patty I know it’s all true
Oh Patty, baby, I believe in you

She don’t shave her legs
She don’t shave her pits
She got the hairiest face you ever gonna kiss.

Oh Patty, where you think you’re going to?
Oh Patty, baby, I believe in you.

She’s an outdoors gal,
Hiding in the trees,
She don’t wear no shoes so
I hope you like big feet.

Oh Patty. Won’t you give us a little view?
Oh Patty, baby, I be

She’s a whole lotta lady
She’s a California girl
But she don’t like showbiz

Oh Patty, They all tell me I’m a fool
Oh Patty baby, I believe in you.

7 foot tall
She’s the biggest girl around
But when she’s feeling shy
She’s nowhere to be found

Oh Patty I know it’s all true.
Oh Patty baby please don’t leave
Oh Patty baby don’t deceive
Oh Patty baby I believe in you

289 – Fortunate Phantoms: The World’s Happiest Ghost Stories

With the world under quarantine for an indefinite amount of time and people everywhere being a little freaked out by the current circumstances of our COVID-19 isolation, we thought we’d brighten things up a little bit with some ghost stories that aren’t scary, but they’re happy!

Manuco Gandia from the Gallery Inn in San Juan, Puerto Rico and the parrot that scared the crap out of Mike. Photo by Macduff Everton

Wendy and I were joined for a podcast we recorded on Facebook Live with Allison Jornlin, Milwaukee’s Paranormal Researcher of the Year and‘s Scott Markus to talk about the happiest ghost stories we know.

Milwaukee’s Indiana Jones Dr.. Stephan Borhegyi, who still haunts the Milwaukee Public Museum

In this episode, we talk about a ton of happy ghost stories and one not-so-happy one:

  • The Gallery Inn in San Juan, Puerto Rico which is haunted by the ghost of the husband of the owner, Manuco Gandia and the stories that the staff told me personally
  • Rudolph Valentino’s favorite haunts in Hollywood
  • The lovers that haunt the Miller Caves in Milwaukee, Wisconsin
  • The spirit of North Hall on the University of Wisconsin campus and the ghost story there from my high school social studies teacher!
  • How naturalist John Muir saved his professor’s life after a psychic premonition
  • Milwaukee’s own Hungarian Baron, adventurer Dr. Stephan Borhegyi who still haunts the Milwaukee Public Museum
  • The ghosts of the Eastland Disaster and the ones that haunt Oprah’s Harpo Studios in Chicago (that’s the not so happy one)
Rudolph Valentino’s most famous role and his spirit still haunts his favorite places in Hollywood

It’s a fun episode for a weird time, but we hope you’ll enjoy these timeless tales of optimism from the Great Beyond.

John Muir and his psychic premonition that saved his former professor’s life

Ghost stories are often meant to scare and shock, and those are awesome, but they don’t have to always be that way! As Allison says, “Ghost stories mean there’s an afterlife and when there’s life, there’s hope.” So for this week’s song, we wanted to play the heaviest, meanest song we could think of with the nicest lyrics we could think of. Here’s Sunspot with “Happy”!

I’m in such a good mood
Bursting at the seams with bliss
A moment of perfection that feels just so joyous

sugar, spice and everything nice
Living in paradise
This delight is magnified
I got the whole world on my side

Rainbows and sunshine calling
Puppies and hedgehogs crawling
My cup runneth over and
This life is but a dream
Snuggles and rocking chairs
Little hugs and teddy bears
Did I mention that I’m so goddamn happy

Feeling so majestic
So gleeful you could get sick
Smiles and laughs and winks and my feet don’t touch the ground
The call me Mr. Awesome
Don’t need to feel caution
This is my lucky day, love is all around.

Rainbows and sunshine calling
Puppies and hedgehogs crawling
My cup runneth over and
This life is but a dream
Snuggles and rocking chairs
Little hugs and teddy bears
Did I mention that I’m so goddamn happy

288 – St. Patrick’s Day: Legends and Lore Of The Emerald Isle

Every year on St. Patrick’s Day, we all hear the story of St. Patrick so we know it by heart, right? Even before most of us were old enough to slurp cheap green beer and scour the streets in search of Jameson, we knew the story of Ireland’s most famous Saint. He used the shamrock to explain to the Pagan Celtic heathens the mystery of the Holy Trinity (three leaves in one shamrock equal the Father, Son, Holy Spirit all God) and he banished all the snakes from Ireland, right?

Not quite, bucko. Patrick was way cooler than that.

Sláinte from the Junior Varsity St. Patrick’s Day Parade! (Otherwise known as our Halloween show at an Irish bar)

How about this?

  • He was captured by Irish slavers
  • An ethereal voice helped him escape captivity
  • He had frickin’ magic duels with pagan wizards
  • He argued with an angel about letting him judge the Irish souls on Doomsday.

Just in time for St. Patrick’s Day, we set the record straight on one of Ireland’s favorite saints in this episode celebrating his Feast day and some of our favorite Irish creatures.

The Lady Wilde, Oscar’s Mother and Author of Ancient Legends, Mystic Charms, and Superstitions of Ireland

If you’re looking to learn about Irish legends, faeries, and cryptids, one of the perfect places to start is Lady Lady Francesca Speranza Wilde and her book Ancient Legends, Mystic Charms, and Superstitions of Ireland. She wasn’t only a remarkable researcher, writer, and suffragist, but she raised literary giant Oscar Wilde . Even better since her book is in the public domain, you can read the whole thing right here.

Wendy took a dive in to talk about the legend of the banshee, which is steeped in the Celtic tradition of “keening” where a woman or group of women wail a lament over a dead body as part of the burial and grieving process. The banshee would be a premonition of the “keening woman” and it would signal a death in the family, sometimes in the form of an innocent virginal sister of the family who died early.

This banshee image was the scariest I could find, damn.

Banshees could also be a type of fairy and Irish legends are full of those as well, including the Phouka and the Kelpie. The Celtic word for the fae is Sidhe (pronounced “she”). Of course that includes everyone’s favorite, leprechauns, whose legends have even made it off Earth and into (ahem) outer space.

Scott Markus from once again joins us to talk about the Hellfire Club, an Enlightenment-era Eyes Wide Shut-style party group whose ritualistic orgies that even Jonathan Swift (of Gulliver’s Travels fame said were “a brace of monsters, blasphemers and Bacchanalians”. Hellfire Club rumors include a huge black cat that haunts the grounds as well as stories of Satanic Black Masses where unwary passers-by were left scarred for life. In reality did they worship the Devil? Probably no more than the modern Church of Satan does, they were just rich pr!cks who wanted to party with no rules or repercussions.

Scott also did a livestream of Irish legends that you might enjoy…

It sounds like it was a lot more like Donna Tartt’s The Secret History than Ira Levin’s Rosemary’s Baby, which is actually more frightening. It’s Satan’s job to ruin people’s lives, with humans, it’s our choice.

The Hellfire Club on Montpelier Hill outside of Dublin, where rich playboys used to meet for sex and drinking parties meant to thumb their noses at Christian morality. Photo by Joe King.

Ireland is a place where it feels like anything can happen and the fanciful folk tales are legion, we also discuss:

For this week we decided to create some Irish jigs inspired by our discussion of Irish legends. This “trad set” includes three original tunes by Sunspot: Druid’s Duel, Lady Wilde’s Fetch, and The Fairy Rath!

287 – Portals To Hell: Ghost Hunting With Jack Osbourne and Katrina Weidman

Jack Osbourne and Katrina Weidman return on Friday The 13th to TRVL with the second season of Portals To Hell. Jack, of course, is the son of the rock ‘n’ roll Prince of Darkness, Ozzy Osbourne, and he grew up in the world of reality television as a star of the megapopular The Osbournes. He’s fully embraced his father’s legacy by not only producing paranormal reality TV but by becoming a ghost hunter himself! Katrina Weidman of course, rose to television fame through Paranormal State (which also featured previous guest Chip Coffey) and three seasons of Paranormal Lockdown with Ghost Adventures‘ Nick Groff.

Jack Osbourne and Katrina Weidman of Portals To Hell

We talked with Jack and Katrina about the upcoming episodes of the show and what they’ve learned about the supernatural and themselves through two seasons of investigating the paranormal together.

Then Wendy and I talk about the legends of the portals to Hell throughout history as well as one of the most famous ones, in Stull, Kansas. We visited there last year and here’s my Facebook live video:

Wendy and Scott from visited Stull in 2017 and while they didn’t find a portal to Hell, they certainly found some weird burnt dirt by the ruins of the old chapel on the cemetery grounds.

The charred earth that Wendy was talking about in the episode

So, in addition to interviewing Jack Osbourne and Katrina Weidman, we also talk about:

  • The “Gates of Hell” legends in Pennsylvania and Illinois
  • My very own “Gates of Hell” legend from Mukwonago, Wisconsin and the weird remains I found there
  • The various portals to the Underworld in Ancient Greece
  • What exactly is Charon’s Obol?
  • Why did people put pennies on the eyes of the deceased until the early Twentieth Century?
  • The truth about the Siberian “Borehole To Hell”

Now, Jack and Katrina purposefully going to places with a “dark energy” made me think about Nietzsche’s infamous passage from Beyond Good and Evil:

Whoever fights monsters should see to it that in the process he does not become a monster. And when you look long into an abyss, the abyss also looks into you.

Friedrich W. Nietzsche

And of course, Portals to Hell is going to make me think about the “Crack of Doom”, which Tolkien called the forge where Sauron from The Lord Of The Rings created the “One Ring to Rule Them All”. It’s where Frodo had to take the ring to be destroyed. But the phrase “crack of doom” originally meant something else. The word “crack” means an extremely loud noise, like a crack of thunder. And the “crack of doom” means the end of the world because that’s the loud noise of angelic trumpets that will sound at the breaking of the Seventh Seal. Which is the beginning of the last Judgement from the Book of Revelation where Jesus will return and bring the good souls to Heaven and cast the bad ones into the Lake of Fire. Catholic filmmaker Kevin Smith played with this idea in his film Red State.

So you throw together a little Nietzsche, the gates of Hell, and the Lake of Fire and that’s how you get this week’s song, “The Crack of Doom”

I took on the Devil so I could make my mark,
I went fighting monsters and I stepped into the dark

Tragedies, infamies, terrible bloody shames,
they were waiting for me
and they knew me by name

I went to the Gates of Hell
and they followed me through
When you look at the abyss
the abyss looks at you.

The crack of Doom
The crack of Doom

I played a game with Evil,
thinking it was just a goof.
I swam in the Lake of Fire
but I wasn’t fireproof.
When you focus on atrocity
the work gets worse and worse.
The self-fulfilling prophecy
will damn you like a curse.

I went to the Gates of Hell
and they followed me through
When you look at the abyss
the abyss looks at you

The crack of Doom
The crack of Doom

286 – Chip Coffey Unfiltered: Messages From A Medium

Friendly and funny, Chip Coffey in person doesn’t seem like the type who seems to have an open line with dead people. At paranormal conventions in the vendor room, he’s the boisterous laugh and endearing voice you can hear from the other side of the room. Living in Atlanta now, Chip’s charm feels more Southern than his Upstate New York upbringing would normally lead you to believe. But his unassuming and friendly manner, belie someone whose messages from the other side must be connecting with people, because his readings are always sold out.

Chip and his very stylish scarves

Chip Coffey first gained national recognition as a psychic consulting on the infamous ghost-hunting reality show Paranormal State and that turned into a deal for his own show Psychic Kids, where he’d help youngsters who were showing evidence of psychic powers to not be afraid and assisting them in developing their gifts.

He’s guested on plenty of paranormal shows since Psychic Kids left the air and he’ll be a full cast member of Kindred Spirits when that show returs for it’s fourth season in 2020.

Is Chip for real? I dunno, he didn’t read me and I wasn’t testing him. He has delivered comfort to tens of thousands of people across the country and he has a message of tolerance, compassion, and hope. I respect all of those things.

I never trust anything I see on TV, but people that I know and like have sworn that he’s received messages for them of things that they cannot believe he could have known. What I do know is that he’s a good talker and in our conversation we talk about:

  • How Chip started receiving messages from the dead suddenly in his mid-40s
  • How regular people (normies like me) can develop more of our psychic abilities
  • His answer to the Bay Area Skeptics that tried to hoax him with a fictional deceased family member
  • More on The Phillip Experiment and how intense belief creates paranormal experiences

EDIT: Chip Coffey’s Wisconsin Dells show has been moved to July 30th, but you still can get tickets for a special discount by using the code GHOST15 to save 15% (which means that you can see his gallery reading for as little as $20!) Click here to grab those tickets.

Now, one of the most significant things he said in our conversation is that he asked his spirit guides about the meaning of life and what’s the purpose of everything. Their direct and simple response was “Don’t harm yourself or others” and “Be happy.” Chip summed it up succinctly as “Don’t be a dick” and that’s the title of this week’s Sunspot track inspired by our conversation. If you have erection problems, just buy Viagra.

I was as low as you could go
like a flat tire in the heat
underneath the pileup
at the bottom of the heap

I said to my old man, heywhat’s the point of it all
Well you brought me in to this anf you got some kind of balls.
He said Son, you know I love you,
but I don’t know that much.
I tried to put you on the right path
about being good and such.
But I know it doesn’t mean alot to hear the same cliche
but if you remember just one thing
remember when I say

When my worries and the troubles were more than I could bear
I came to a crossroads
and I said a little a prayer

I fell down on my knees and screamed up at the sky
For the first time in my life there was a reply

Don’t fret my child, think the lillies of the field
just waving with the wind, their serenity their shield
There are things you can’t control and some will leave your life destroyed.
I made a lot of rules, but there’s just one that counts my boy,

Don’t be a dick
you aint got much time
every moment you spend mad
is one less moment of your life
Don’t be a dick
Let me be clear
Righteous anger has a way of taking time off your good years
so don’t be a dick

285 – Listening To The Gut Punch: Sallyanne Monti and the Power of Intuition

Sallyanne Monti always thought that her story was already told. Growing up in the same Italian-American Brooklyn neighborhood as the characters in Saturday Night Fever, getting married to her high school sweetheart and having four kids, she was on the path that was always expected of her. That’s until a typo in an email address would change her life forever.

In her memoir, Light at the End of the Tunnel, Sallyanne details her journey from New York to California, from a married mother of four to editor and author in the Golden Crown Literary Society, a non-profit dedicated to promoting lesbian-themed literature. Light at the End of the Tunnel won the non-fiction award at the 2019 Imaginarium Convention and Sallyanne’s personal journey is littered with paranormal events that seemed to be leading her towards her destination.

Sallyanne looking sharp in some of the world’s finest fashions…

From apparitions of her mother to psychics who knew things they couldn’t have, to the “gut punch” that Sallyanne has repeatedly felt on days when her life would change forever, her story is how listening to your intuition, and following the signs can lead you to your destiny.

In this episode, we talk to Sallyanne Monti about the paranormal signs in her life that eventually led her down the path to discovering her true self and that would change the course of her destiny and how we all can keep an eye and an ear out for those signs in our own lives.

For more on Sallyanne’s life and writing, please check out her website at and if you’d like to learn more about the Golden Crown Literary Society, you can find them at

And here’s Sallyanne playing some guitar! She’s a musician as well as an author and paranormal experiencer…

The feeling of the gut punches that changed Sallyanne’s life are a testament to the power of intuition and how your body seems to know the right place you should be even when your mind is far behind. It took Sallyanne Monti decades to find out where she was supposed to be, and hopefully we can all find our places a lot faster than that. That’s the inspiration behind this week’s song, “The Closer You Get”.

I didn’t go looking,
but you showed up anyway.
I didn’t go looking
but I guess I’ll share the blame.

Even before I knew what
it hit me like a punch to the gut
Beautiful, wonderful, and strange.

the closer you get
the closer you get
the closer you get to the truth, the less you hide.
the closer you get
the closer you get
the closer you get to me,
the more it’s right.

You don’t have to go looking
to find your perfect lane
you don’t have to go looking
you’ll know when it’s your day

Even before I knew what
it hit me like a punch to the gut
And until it hurts you know it ain’t gonna change.

the closer you get
the closer you get
the closer you get to the truth, the less you hide.
the closer you get
the closer you get
the closer you get to me,
the more it’s right.

284 – Death From Above: When Big Bird Attacks

Gigantic birds. They’re fricking terrifying . And there might be some kind of genetic memory (or epigentic inheritance) as to why when CNN posts headlines like “Bones reveal Neanderthal child was eaten by a giant bird”. We’ve had Seth Breedlove talk about his Terror In The Skies documentary which talks specifically about giant birds in Illinois, but in this episode we wanted to widen the net.

Photo Credit: Burfalcy 2008

First of all, we recorded this episode in Alton, IL during the American Hauntings 2020 Dead of Winter event. Alton is famous not only for birthing the tallest man in the world, but for a giant scary bird mural on the side of a cliff on the Mississippi River. The “Piasa Bird”

We’ve discussed in the past where the word Piasa came from and the original Indian legends surrounding it but Allison Jornlin from Milwaukee Ghosts has some really interesting research in how the Piasa bird might not have originally been a bird at all, but a very different monster of Indian legend and can even trace its origins to a very real predator. So, is the Piasa monster really supposed to be a scary giant bird? We delve in.

Then it’s time to talk about other monster bird attacks in history and actual newspaper reports and eyewitness sightings. My personal favorite is this one in Texas where you can just hear the racism dripping off this Police Captain’s words…

However this next story is a little too sad and this 1926 article about a 2 year old infant being murdered by a giant condor in Argentina was too much for even a stone heart like mine to take.

We also tell the story of our cousin who saw a Thunderbird himself in the late 80s while in a Southeastern Wisconsin hospital awaiting the birth of his first son. Here’s how he describes the size of what he saw:

In this episode, we tackle all these giant bird stories as well as coming up with a brand new Sunspot paranormal rock song.

Winston Churchill famously said, “He who controls the skies controls the war.” and as earthbound creatures, there’s something extra terrifying about being attacked from the sky. Airborne predators pick their targets from far away and swoop in to snatch their prey. The stories of these giant bird attacks are certainly arbitrary and horrifying. It makes us realize how precarious and precious our life is when we we live on a knife edge of randomness. Whether it’s cancer, tsunamis, car accidents, or gigantic condor kidnappings, we all live under the constant threat of “Death From Above”.

Scratch marks on the shoulders
clawed holes in the chest
A victim of capricious randomness
Mice under the eagle
picked off from the dirt
carried somewhere far beyond the earth

The thief in the night
that takes everything you love
There’s a killer in the sky
Death from above

Chance and serendipity
and the consequence of luck
We’re just fate and fury
Death from above

Until you’re back on solid ground,
You just can’t let it go
terra firma, illusion of control

A casualty of chaos that was
cast out of paradise
To pacify, we need a sacrifice

The thief in the night
that takes everything you love
There’s a killer in the sky
Death from above

Chance and serendipity
and the consequence of luck
We’re just fate and fury
Death from above

283 – Call Of The Wild: Jack London And The Paranormal

When you think of turn of the Twentieth Century writer Jack London, you immediately think about of the Yukon and his most famous works like White Fang or Call Of The Wild. And in fact, Harrison Ford returns to the screen next week with the latest version of the classic novel (written from the dog’s perspective, there are few works like it!)

When the mushrooms wear off and you realize you’re not an intergalactic smuggler with a Wookiee…

Jack London led a tumultous and adventurous life, just like his characters. And he didn’t just write stories about the Gold Rush to Alaska, but also wrote plenty of ghost stories and science fiction. And even though he was an avowed atheist, that didn’t mean that the rest of his family was. And that doesn’t mean that the people around him didn’t experience paranormal activity like:

So whether it was the rejection of his real father or the fact that his mother famously attempted suicide twice after she found out she was pregnant, Jack London wasted little time in his life. In fact, two months before he died he said this quote to his friends that would later be known as his credo:

I would rather be ashes than dust! I would rather that my spark should burn out in a brilliant blaze than it should be stifled by dry-rot. I would rather be a superb meteor, every atom of me in magnificent glow, than a sleepy and permanent planet. The proper function of man is to live, not to exist. I shall not waste my days in trying to prolong them. I shall use my time.

Jack London

And that’s the theme of this week’s song, “I’d Rather Be Ashes Than Dust”.

‘fore I was born my mother did her best to die 
but the bottle and the bullet didn’t kill her 
So I came out a little stronger, stronger than the average guy 
Gonna write my bio as a thriller 

Ohh ohh 
I got to hit the road 
ohh ohh 
Don’t you hear the call 
I’m gonna go out shooting ‘fore my body turns to rust 
cuz I’d rather be ashes than dust 

Half a world away is where I will find my passion 
Someone told me that there’s mountains full of gold 
Headfirst into the fray looking for some action 
I’ve got to see this world before I’m old 

Ohh ohh 
I got to hit the road 
ohh ohh 
Don’t you hear the call 
I’m gonna go out shooting ‘fore my body turns to rust 
cuz I’d rather be ashes than dust

282 – Coronavirus Conspiracy: A Pandemic of Misinformation

Here we go again, it’s a new year and there’s a new type of flu going around that’s going to kill us. The 2019 Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) first originated in Wuhan, a city of eleven million people in China, and since it began, internet rumors have been flying fast and furious, in many places spread through memes.

Some are fun…

Some aren’t:

How does bogus information spread so quickly? Trust.

Trust in the media is at an all time low. Only 41% of Americans have a lot or a good amount of faith in the veracity of mass media. Trust in the government is even lower. In 1958, 73% of Americans had faith in their government, in 2019, it was at 17%. People just don’t believe what they’re told. And it’s not like the government hasn’t lied to them before or that the media has completely gotten a story wrong. When you don’t trust the institutions that are supposed to tell you the truth, conspiracy theories start looking a lot better.

How are people just supposed to trust the party line when official stories look ridiculous (looking at you Jeffrey Epstein)?! And we know that China censors the Internet, how can we trust anything coming out of there? That’s what we tackle this week as we discuss conspiracy theories, the Coronavirus, and why people are attracted to misinformation.

So what are some of our favorite Coronavirus conspiraces?

  • That the Virology Institute of Wuhan is a “real life” Umbrella Corporation like in the video game and movie, Resident Evil
  • Bill Gates patented the Coronavirus in 2015 and now he’s going to use it to depopulate the planet
  • It’s a Chinese bioweapon that escaped from the lab
  • That using a special soution called MMS (miracle mineral solution) can cure you of the Coronavirus, even though it’s actually just bleach
  • That China is doing a media blackout as crematorium employees report hundreds of bodies being burned so the disease won’t spread
  • That the virus contains 4 “protein inserts” from HIV that show the virus was designed and didn’t just occur naturally

For conspiracies to work like crackpots think they do, it would require geniuses at the top. Benjamin Franklin famously said, “Three can keep a secret, if two of them are dead.” Whether it’s UFOs, cars that are powered by water, or bioengineered virii, the truth would get out. We keep believing that humans are actually smarter than they are, when the truth is that the inmates are running the asylum.

And in the jungle we’d be compost,
in the Savannah we’d be meat.
We’re so petty and we’re so mean,
We are everything we hoped we wouldn’t be.

Just so you know, the inmates are running the asylum.
Just so you know, they’re just as dumb as they seem.

And in the water we’d be sharkbait,
In the Taiga, freezer burn.
How old were you, when you finally knew,
that no one really has a clue?

Just so you know, the inmates are running the asylum.
Just so you know, they’re just as dumb as they seem.