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Astonishing Legends

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Astonishing Legends

Scott Philbrook & Forrest Burgess

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The world is more mysterious than most people are comfortable imagining. We cross paths with the mystical from time to time and may not even notice it. If we do, we quickly return to our usually mundane daily existence. But what if we not only acknowledged the unknown, we investigated it and spoke with those in the know? That’s what co-hosts Scott & Forrest, and their producer Tess Pfeifle do at Astonishing Legends. Over 85 million downloads and hundreds of thousands of listeners have shown ...
 
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One of the most baffling, disturbing, and popular subjects we've ever covered on the show is the mystery of Skinwalker Ranch. The groundbreaking book Hunt for the Skinwalker was the source for most of our research. And this is why we're honored and excited to discuss the follow-up book Skinwalkers at the Pentagon: An Insiders' Account of the Secret…
 
We at Astonishing Legends love… well... legends of course, and myths, and traditions. The first two often lead to the latter. But none of it, no story we've ever come across or covered, happens in a vacuum. The one constant connection between all of it, which matters most to us, is people. And so continuing on with a new tradition of our own, we'd …
 
More people have personal paranormal stories than you know. Even some of your relatives or your closest friends. They're not likely to share those stories because they know or suspect the telling will be met with, at the least, eye-rolling or good-natured ribbing, and at the worst, ridicule, scorn, and even anger. Beyond confessions of seeing ghost…
 
We're proud and pleased to bring back one of our most intriguing guests, Terry Lovelace, Esq., to talk about his new book, Devil's Den: The Reckoning. Our first interview with Terry, episode 155: "Abduction at Devil's Den," which aired on October 13, 2019, is one of our most popular and one of the most talked-about. Surprisingly, not because of its…
 
Now that we've heard the shocking details of Ronnie Hunkeler's exorcism, we're once again left to wonder at what point does a logical, scientific explanation become inadequate in accounting for all the extreme events that occurred? Looking objectively at Ronnie's behavior before, during, and after the exorcisms, those who favor a psychiatric or med…
 
We've probably all seen exorcisms performed in movies and TV, but how accurate are those portrayals? Are they really as ferociously terrifying as these shows would have us believe? Where did the writers get their ideas and details about what actually takes place during an exorcism? The Roman Catholic Church has only one sanctioned procedure, and it…
 
We've probably all seen exorcisms performed in movies and TV, but how accurate are those portrayals? Are they really as ferociously terrifying as these shows would have us believe? Where did the writers get their ideas and details about what actually takes place during an exorcism? The Roman Catholic Church has only one sanctioned procedure, and it…
 
What every horror film loves to boast, if possible, is the claim of "Based on a True Story." Because if the story is not just from some writer's imagination, if there is a thread to an actual event with real people, no matter how thin, then the fear becomes more real. William Friedkin's 1973 motion picture The Exorcist is considered one of, if not …
 
As we continue with Part Two of our discussion with Richard Hatem of Ken Webster's book, The Vertical Plane, we find that "The Mystery of the Dodleston Messages" has become even more fantastical and bizarre. As unimaginable as it would be to ostensibly communicate with a living person from hundreds of years ago, Ken and his friends now find themsel…
 
Many of us enjoy a good ghost story. Many of us enjoy Science Fiction. But how many stories do you know that start off as one and evolve into the other? What's become known as "The mystery of the Dodleston messages" is precisely just such a case. And if the story is accurate, it comes with some of the most incredible, baffling, and mind-bending imp…
 
Now that we've covered the story essentials of the strange case of Mary Lurancy Vennum, known as "The Watseka Wonder," it's time to take a look at the possible causes and mechanics of this apparent miracle. Suppose Lurancy's possession was merely the imaginative prank of an attention-seeking impressionable teenager. How then did she know intimate, …
 
An apartment complex hosts a big Halloween party with themed rooms and costumed partygoers. By the end of the night, one of the party’s hosts is murdered. And the partygoers are the main suspects in the eyes of the police: was it the guy in the devil mask, the guy dressed as Jesus, the bank robber, the construction worker? As a complex investigatio…
 
We often wonder when was the first time a now well-known phenomenon first occurred or was recorded. In the instance of spiritual possession, at least in the United States, we may have an answer in the case known as “The Watseka Wonder.” Indeed, if such a condition exists, it’s likely people have been claiming or appearing to be possessed by a super…
 
One question we often receive is, do we think the US Government will ever disclose the existence of UFOs? We believe the answer is, they've already begun. Since the groundbreaking, front-page article appeared in the December 17, 2017 edition of the New York Times with a title exclaiming "Real UFOs," the world has seen drips and drops of Pentagon-au…
 
Here's a question: What makes a haunted house spooky if you've never been there? How scary can a haunted house be if no one has repeatedly investigated it? In other words, what is more frightening, the honest anecdotes about experienced paranormal activity in a haunted location or the unverified legends and lore of a place that send the frights of …
 
It's much more comfortable for most of us to think of paranormal subjects as having their origins beginning only in recent history – an amusing byproduct of mid-twentieth century foolishness or the internet age. Much easier to dismiss then. Many people, persuaded by an uninformed media, believe UFOs only started appearing to the public after pilot …
 
Our goal in covering the story of the Perron family's experience while living for a decade at the Arnold Estate, the inspiration for the motion picture, The Conjuring, was to uncover the real story behind the persistent hauntings. What we discovered once again was the actual truths at the heart of this, and other famous cases are as murky and nebul…
 
Whether you're a fan of horror films or not, you've probably heard of the 2013 motion picture, "The Conjuring." This film, starring Vera Farmiga and Patrick Wilson, struck such a chord with viewers that it spawned a franchise of related films like The Conjuring sequels, The Nun, Annabelle, and The Curse of La Llorona. But the initial movie was insp…
 
Many of us have taken an adventurous expedition to check out some local, notorious spot to see if we could witness or sense some evidence of a past famous or infamous incident. Most of the time, one only returns with a minor anecdote or pictures of an ordinary location bereft of anything noteworthy. The more realistic purpose is not so much to find…
 
So, as we close out our three-part series on Crop Circles, what have we all learned so far? Well, we've learned that Crop Circles are not just another fad from the 1980s and 90s. Generations of farmers going back at least to the turn of the last century have found them, and probably long before that if written accounts are accurate. They may have b…
 
As we dive deeper into exploring the phenomenon of Crop Circles, it seems that the story of its research takes on the shape of other histories of paranormal investigation. Misinformation and misdirection from government and military agencies, hoaxes complicating genuinely anomalous evidence, and the phenomena itself presenting an ever-moving target…
 
On a July afternoon in 1983, Colin Andrews, an electrical engineer and officer employed by the British regional government, was driving between his offices near Winchester and Hampshire when something caught his eye. Seeing something unusual in a farmer's field next to the road, he felt strongly compelled to pull over and check it out. A strange ph…
 
We have a very special guest joining us tonight, metaphysical "astralnaut," philosopher of the liminal, "Pope of the Paranormal," and host of the AM Radio talk show Dark Air, Terry Carnation. Terry first got his start in the paranormal radio genre when unexpectedly thrust into taking over for another show. While working as a late-night rock n' roll…
 
As legend would have it, or at least how the story goes from Marie Caroline Watson Hamlin's 1884 book, Legends of Le Détroit, on the evening of the 10th of March, 1701, a lively banquet took place in the castle of St. Louis, Quebec. The celebratory dinner host was the governor of "New France," Hector Louis de Callière. The guest of honor was Monsie…
 
In the years between 1764 and 1767, a real-life monster had brutally savaged the residents of the former province of Gévaudan in the highland region of south-central France. While the creature's first attack was reportedly unsuccessful in killing its intended victim, it did provide a horrific description of it. Some sort of massive, canine-like cre…
 
Who among us hasn't wanted to know the future or have insight into the hidden, at least in passing? From the first instance a human had a premonition that came true, it seems likely that the adventurous who were shocked and astounded wondered how those without the "gift" could duplicate this impossible experience. Then, when someone stared too inte…
 
As we wrap up our coverage of the Frederick Valentich story in Part 3 of our series, we'll continue our conversation with Melbourne resident Chris Tyler about his research into the case and other possibly related UFO incidents around the same time and area. We'll also examine the Australian Department of Transport accident report's remaining findin…
 
When the facts about a paranormal event yield no more answers, investigators and the public alike tend to turn their attention to the experiencer's character to ascertain its authenticity. So what kind of person was Frederick Valentich? A once-lost aircraft accident report from Australia's Department of Transport, which resurfaced in 2012, has shed…
 
On Saturday, October 21, 1978, at 6:19 p.m., 20-year-old Frederick Valentich took off from Moorabbin Airport just south of Melbourne, Australia, for what was supposed to be a routine training and pleasure flight over Bass Strait to King Island. A serious student aviator, Valentich had been flying for two years and had accumulated over 150 hours of …
 
Please join us for a very special Astonishing Legends episode – an All-Star holiday party featuring some of your favorite podcast personalities! Along with consigliere Tess Pfeifle, we welcome our very own "Alexander Leek," sage, screenwriter and good friend Rich Hatem; podcaster, compadre, and casual archaeologist Micah Hanks; our Space Brother an…
 
Tonight's episode starts with the coverage of a strange and funny case involving aliens and holiday pies. On January 4, 1979, Mrs. Jean Hingely of the town of Rowley Regis in the West Midlands region of England was visited by three fishbowl-helmeted and friendly aliens with wings. After some spiritually uplifting exchanges, her holiday visitors thr…
 
In a rare dual-subject episode for us, we take a look at two somewhat Christmas-themed stories, the mysterious yet not-so-mysterious "Utah Monolith" and the Warminster "Thing." In the first part of the show, we discuss the recent discovery of a 9.5-foot-tall metal triangular prism-shaped pillar we've dubbed "The Christmas Monolith." This story made…
 
In tonight’s Part Two of our discussion of Joe Fisher’s book, The Siren Call of Hungry Ghosts, with Special Guest Rich Hatem, we continue to examine the narrative of Fisher’s interactions with Spirit Guides through Channeling and their troubling results. With the messages and guidance becoming increasingly confusing, frustrating, and seemingly misl…
 
Sure, maybe most of us would find it enticing to receive "inside information" from a mystical plane, our very own oracle of knowledge beyond what's possible in our earthly human existence. Who wouldn't want access to a Spirit Guide, one that could lend us valuable insight to better our lives and give a glimpse of what awaits us on the other side? P…
 
In tonight's continuation of our conversation with author and paranormal researcher David Weatherly, we discuss the rest of the creatures from the remainder of his book, Strange Intruders. This unholy host of insidious beings include such wide-ranging descriptions as reptoids appearing as aliens or disguised as humans, black-eyed kids and adults, t…
 
Visiting a spooky location can be scary because of the spirits and monsters which may await you there. However, one can avoid these horrors by merely not going to these places, right? But what if these frightening creatures came to visit YOU? What if they knew where you lived, your secrets, what terrified you the most, then used that knowledge and …
 
Last week's episode on the Ouija board's history and sociological context illustrated that its use was regarded mostly as a virtuous parlor game for over half its life. But then, in the later period of the 20th century, the board's reputation changed from being an innocent way to contact the deceased to often being an oracle and instigator of super…
 
Most of us are familiar with the name and iconic image of the magical Ouija board. Many have dared to test it, either seeking answers from the great beyond or for spooky entertainment or both. The Ouija board has always been advertised as a family-friendly game. However, for about the last 50 years, Ouija became associated with the forbidden, a tab…
 
In Part Three, the commercial-free final "mega-sode" of our D. B. Cooper series, we continue with the FBI's profiling of the infamous skyjacker and learn of their Lead Agents' conclusions, Ralph P. Himmelsbach and Larry Carr. While the FBI investigation would practically come to a dead-end stalemate with their inability to "prove culpability beyond…
 
What makes the legend of D. B. Cooper so enduring is not so much the crime itself, but everything that happened after. Cooper's skyjacking was just one of many during a wave in the era. His method of escape was only somewhat novel. Although he seemed to know about some commercial jet aviation aspects, a few of his choices left authorities questioni…
 
On the afternoon of Thanksgiving eve, November 24, 1971, a smartly dressed man approached the flight counter for Northwest Orient Airlines at Portland International Airport and purchased a one-way ticket to Seattle. The name he gave was "Dan Cooper" as he paid cash to board Flight 305, a short 30-minute trip that would turn into one of the longest …
 
In the continuation of our interview with the mastermind behind the infamous and legendary Alien Autopsy film, director, producer, conceptual artist, and magician, Spyros Melaris, we learn more about the process of its creation and the aftermath of its release upon the world. But if you think this is just one more case of "Mystery Solved! Nothing t…
 
Indeed, there is no shortage of debatable evidence and probable hoaxes when it comes to the subject of UFOs and aliens. Yet as with any cultural phenomenon, there are those prime examples that rise to the top to become forever cemented into our collective consciousness. One such artifact is a 17-minute black-and-white film that became so iconic it …
 
In the continuation of our interview with esteemed UFO and paranormal investigator Stan Gordon, he relays case studies that indicate that the event at Kecksburg may have been merely one incident in a long and continuing saga of High Strangeness. In his 61 years of research so far, beginning in 1959 at the age of ten, Stan has interviewed thousands …
 
Tonight's show will be a special treat for those listeners who've been patiently awaiting a revamping of our coverage of the Kecksburg UFO incident. Those unfamiliar with the case but entertain a curiosity with mysterious, non-organic objects falling from our skies meeting an equally mysterious fate will also find this episode fascinating. In the l…
 
For children, the world is still new and full of wonder. Every day is a chance for an adventure, discovering exciting possibilities, and meeting interesting people. Sadly, today's world is a little less safe for kids to explore on their own than it was in the nostalgically idyllic year of 1973. In early May of that year, two kids would make a new f…
 
In the second & final part of our Question & Answer interview with the inimitable Rich Hatem, Scott & Forrest continue to babble & blather on & on about everything from UFOs & Ghosts to vampires & Yetis, and everything in-between. Because, you know, everything is connected. And if everything is indeed connected, then is anything really, a long, dra…
 
Believe it or not, we've always viewed this podcast as a journey. Initially, we wanted the feel of the show to embody the spirit of why we wanted to start a podcast in the first place – because we enjoyed discussing the strange and mysterious stories of this weird and wonderful world of ours with good friends. We hope that spirit of camaraderie, cu…
 
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