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Welcome to the Midnight Train Podcast, where we break down (and possibly tear apart) everything "scary" or "mysterious". From horror movies to folk lore, nothing is off the table. Thanks for listening!

Midnight Train Podcast


    • Jun 29, 2022 LATEST EPISODE
    • weekly NEW EPISODES
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    • 161 EPISODES

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    The Antikythera Mechanism (Nerd Overload)

    Play Episode Listen Later Jun 29, 2022 114:36

    Sign up for bonus episodes at www.themidnighttrainpodcast.com    Well since last week's episode left Logan up at night with nightmares and I still can't get the stains out of my shorts; we have decided to make this week's episode a little more on the lighter side. So we are diving deep into the wonderful world of politics! You got it, today we are going to discuss The Biden Administrations wonderful and brilliant plans and maybe even get an interview with Brandon himself! HA like that would ever happen. Fuck those guys. We are actually talking about the Antikythera Mechanism, and the mysteries surrounding it.   The Antikythera mechanism is a hand-powered orrery( a mechanical model of our solar system) from Ancient Greece that has been dubbed the world's first analog computer since it was used to forecast celestial locations and eclipses decades in advance. The ancient Olympic Games' four-year cycle, which was akin to an Olympiad, could also be followed using this method.   In 1901, wreckage from a shipwreck off the shore of the Greek island of Antikythera included this artifact. Archaeologist Valerios Stais recognized it as bearing a gear on May 17, 1902. The gadget, which was found as a single lump and then fragmented into three primary components that are now divided into 82 individual shards following conservation efforts, was contained in the remnants of a wooden box that measured 34 cm 18 cm 9 cm (13.4 in 7.1 in 3.5 in). While several of these shards have inscriptions, four of them have gears. The biggest gear has 223 teeth and is around 13 centimeters (5.1 in) in diameter.   Using contemporary computer x-ray tomography and high resolution surface scanning, a team at Cardiff University led by Mike Edmunds and Tony Freeth was able to image inside fragments of the crust-encased mechanism in 2008 and decipher the faintest writing that had once been inscribed on the machine's outer casing. This shows that it contained 37 bronze meshing gears that allowed it to mimic the Moon's erratic orbit, where the Moon's velocity is higher in its perigee than in its apogee, follow the motions of the Moon and Sun across the zodiac, and anticipate eclipses. Astronomer Hipparchus of Rhodes researched this motion in the second century BC, and it is possible that he was consulted when building the device. It is believed that a piece of the system, which also determined the locations of the five classical planets, is missing.   The device has been variously dated to between 150 and 100 BC, or to 205 BC, and it is thought to have been devised and built by Greek scientists. In any event, it had to have been built prior to the shipwreck, which has been dated to around 70–60 BC by many lines of evidence. Researchers suggested in 2022 that the machine's initial calibration date, rather than the actual date of manufacture, would have been December 23, 178 BC. Some academics disagree, arguing that the calibration date should be 204 BC. Up to the astronomical clocks of Richard of Wallingford and Giovanni de' Dondi in the fourteenth century, comparable complicated machines had not been seen.   The National Archaeological Museum in Athens currently has all of the Antikythera mechanism's fragments as well as a variety of reproductions and artistic reconstructions that show how it would have appeared and operated.   During the first voyage with the Hellenic Royal Navy, in 1900–1901, Captain Dimitrios Kontos and a crew of sponge divers from Symi island found the Antikythera shipwreck. Off Point Glyphadia on the Greek island of Antikythera, at a depth of 45 meters (148 feet), a Roman cargo ship wreck was discovered. The crew found various huge items, including the mechanism, ceramics, special glassware, jewelry, bronze and marble statues, and more. In 1901, most likely that July, the mechanism was pulled from the rubble. The mechanism's origin remains unknown, however it has been speculated that it was transported from Rhodes to Rome along with other seized goods to assist a triumphant procession that Julius Caesar was staging.   The National Museum of Archaeology in Athens received all the salvaged debris pieces for storage and examination. The museum personnel spent two years assembling more visible artifacts, like the sculptures, but the mechanism, which looked like a mass of tarnished brass and wood, remained unseen. The mechanism underwent deformational modifications as a result of not treating it after removal from saltwater.   Archaeologist Valerios Stais discovered a gear wheel lodged in one of the rocks on May 17, 1902. Although most experts judged the object to be prochronistic and too complicated to have been created during the same era as the other components that had been unearthed, he originally thought it was an astronomical clock. Before British science historian and Yale University professor Derek J. de Solla Price developed an interest in the object in 1951, investigations into the object were abandoned. The 82 pieces were photographed using X-ray and gamma-ray technology in 1971 by Price and Greek nuclear researcher Charalampos Karakalos. In 1974, Price issued a 70-page report summarizing their findings.   In 2012 and 2015, two more searches at the Antikythera wreck site turned up artifacts and another ship that may or may not be related to the treasure ship on which the mechanism was discovered. A bronze disc decorated with a bull's head was also discovered. Some speculated that the disc, which has four "ears" with holes in them, may have served as a "cog wheel" in the Antikythera mechanism. There doesn't seem to be any proof that it was a component of the mechanism; it's more probable that the disc was a bronze ornament on some furniture.   The earliest analog computer is typically referred to as the Antikythera mechanism. The production of the device must have had undiscovered ancestors throughout the Hellenistic era based on its quality and intricacy. It is believed to have been erected either in the late second century BC or the early first century BC, and its construction was based on mathematical and astronomical ideas created by Greek scientists during the second century BC.   Since they recognized the calendar on the Metonic Spiral as originating from Corinth or one of its colonies in northwest Greece or Sicily, further investigation by the Antikythera Mechanism Research Project in 2008 showed that the idea for the mechanism may have originated in the colonies of Corinth. The Antikythera Mechanism Research Initiative contended in 2008 that Syracuse could suggest a relationship with the school of Archimedes because it was a Corinthian colony and the home of Archimedes. In 2017, it was shown that the Metonic Spiral's calendar is of the Corinthian type and cannot be a Syracuse calendar. Another idea postulates that the device's origin may have come from the ancient Greek city of Pergamon, site of the Library of Pergamum, and claims that coins discovered by Jacques Cousteau at the wreck site in the 1970s correspond to the time of the device's creation. It was second in significance to the Library of Alexandria during the Hellenistic era due to its extensive collection of art and scientific scrolls.   A theory that the gadget was built in an academy established by Stoic philosopher Posidonius on that Greek island is supported by the discovery of Rhodian-style vases aboard the ship that carried the object. Hipparchus, an astronomer active from around 140 BC to 120 BC, lived at Rhodes, which was a bustling commercial port and a center for astronomy and mechanical engineering. Hipparchus' hypothesis of the motion of the Moon is used by the mechanism, raising the likelihood that he may have developed it or at the very least worked on it. The island of Rhodes is situated between the latitudes of 35.85 and 36.50 degrees north; it has lately been proposed that the astronomical events on the Parapegma of the Antikythera mechanism operate best for latitudes in the range of 33.3-37.0 degrees north.   According to a research published in 2014 by Carman and Evans, the Saros Dial's start-up date corresponds to the astronomical lunar month that started soon after the new moon on April 28, 205 BC. This suggests a revised dating of about 200 BC. Carman and Evans claim that the Babylonian arithmetic style of prediction suits the device's predictive models considerably better than the conventional Greek trigonometric approach does. According to a 2017 study by Paul Iversen, the device's prototype originated in Rhodes, but this particular model was modified for a customer from Epirus in northwest Greece. Iversen contends that the device was likely built no earlier than a generation before the shipwreck, a date that is also supported by Jones.   In an effort to learn more about the mechanism, further dives were made in 2014 and 2015. A five-year investigative program that started in 2014 and finished in October 2019 was followed by a second five-year session that began in May 2020.   The original mechanism probably came in one encrusted piece from the Mediterranean. It broke into three main parts shortly after that. In the meanwhile, more little fragments have come loose from handling and cleaning, and the Cousteau expedition discovered other fragments on the ocean floor. Fragment F was found in this fashion in 2005, suggesting that other fragments may still remain in storage, undetected since their first retrieval. The majority of the mechanism and inscriptions are found on seven of the 82 known fragments, which are also mechanically noteworthy. Additionally, 16 smaller components include inscriptions that are illegible and fragmentary.    The twelve zodiacal signs are divided into equal 30-degree sectors on a fixed ring dial that represents the ecliptic on the mechanism's front face. Even though the borders of the constellations were arbitrary, this was consistent with the Babylonian practice of allocating an equal portion of the ecliptic to each zodiac sign. The Sothic Egyptian calendar, which has twelve months of 30 days plus five intercalary days, is marked off with a rotating ring that is located outside that dial. The Greek alphabetized versions of the Egyptian names for the months are used to identify them. To align the Egyptian calendar ring with the current zodiac points, the first procedure is to spin it. Due to the Egyptian calendar's disregard for leap days, a whole zodiac sign would cycle through every 120 years.   Now we cannot show you pictures because well you couldn't see them. So we will try to describe them as best we can and we can also post them online.    The mechanism was turned by a now-lost little hand crank that was connected to the biggest gear, the four-spoked gear shown on the front of fragment A, gear b1, via a crown gear. As a result, the date indicator on the front dial was shifted to the appropriate day of the Egyptian calendar. Since the year cannot be changed, it is necessary to know the year that is currently in use. Alternatively, since most calendar cycles are not synchronized with the year, the cycles indicated by the various calendar cycle indicators on the back can be found in the Babylonian ephemeris tables for the day of the year that is currently in use. If the mechanism were in good operating order, the crank would easily be able to strike a certain day on the dial because it moves the date marker around 78 days each full rotation. The mechanism's interlocking gears would all revolve as the hand crank was turned, allowing for the simultaneous determination of the Sun's and Moon's positions, the moon's phase, the timing of an eclipse, the calendar cycle, and maybe the positions of planets.   The position of the spiral dial pointers on the two huge dials on the rear had to be observed by the operator as well. As the dials included four and five complete rotations of the pointers, the pointer had a "follower" that followed the spiral incisions in the metal. Before continuing, a pointer's follower had to be manually shifted to the opposite end of the spiral after reaching the terminal month place at either end of the spiral.   Two circular concentric scales may be seen on the front dial. The Greek zodiac signs are denoted on the inner scale, which is divided into degrees. A series of similar holes underneath the movable ring that rests flush with the surface and runs in a channel that makes up the outer scale are marked off with what appear to be days.   This outer ring has been thought to symbolize the 365-day Egyptian calendar ever since the mechanism was discovered, but new study contradicts this assumption and suggests it is really divided into 354 intervals. The Sothic and Callippic cycles had previously pointed to a 365 14-day solar year, as evidenced in Ptolemy III's proposed calendar reform of 238 BC. If one accepts the 365-day presupposition, it is acknowledged that the mechanism predates the Julian calendar reform. The dials aren't thought to represent his intended leap day, but by rotating the scale back one day every four years, the outer calendar dial may be adjusted against the inner dial to account for the effect of the extra quarter-day in the solar year.   The ring is most likely seen as a manifestation of a 354-day lunar calendar if one accepts the 354-day evidence. It is perhaps the first instance of the Egyptian civil-based lunar calendar postulated by Richard Anthony Parker in 1950, given the age of the mechanism's putative manufacture and the existence of Egyptian month names. The lunar calendar was intended to act as a daily indicator of succeeding lunations and to aid in the understanding of the Metonic(The moon phases return at the same time of year every almost precisely 19 years during the Metonic cycle. Although the recurrence is imperfect, careful examination shows that the Metonic cycle, which is defined as 235 synodic months, is only 2 hours, 4 minutes, and 58 seconds longer than 19 tropical years. In the fifth century BC, Meton of Athens determined that the cycle was exactly 6,940 days long. The creation of a lunisolar calendar is made easier by using these full integers.) and Saros(The saros, which may be used to forecast solar and lunar eclipses, is a period of exactly 223 synodic months, or around 6585.3211 days, or 18 years, 10, 11, or 12 days (depending on how many leap years there are). In what is known as an eclipse cycle, the Sun, Earth, and Moon return to about the same relative geometry, a nearly straight line, one saros time after an eclipse, and a nearly similar eclipse will take place. A sar is a saros's lower half.) dials as well as the Lunar phase pointer. Unknown gearing is assumed to move a pointer across this scale in synchrony with the rest of the mechanism's Metonic gearing. A one-in-76-year Callippic cycle correction and practical lunisolar intercalation were made possible by the movement and registration of the ring with respect to the underlying holes.   The dial also shows the Sun's location on the ecliptic in relation to the current year's date. The ecliptic serves as a useful reference for determining the locations of the Moon, the five planets known to the Greeks, and other celestial bodies whose orbits are similarly near to it.   The locations of bodies on the ecliptic were marked by at least two points. The position of the Moon was displayed by a lunar pointer, while the location of the mean Sun and the current date were also provided. The Moon position was the oldest known application of epicyclic gearing(Two gears positioned so that one gear's center spins around the other's center make up an epicyclic gear train, sometimes referred to as a planetary gearset.), and it mimicked the acceleration and deceleration of the Moon's elliptical orbit rather than being a simple mean Moon indicator that would signal movement uniformly across a circular orbit.   The system followed the Metonic calendar, anticipated solar eclipses, and computed the time of various panhellenic athletic competitions, including the Ancient Olympic Games, according to recent research published in the journal Nature in July 2008. The names of the months on the instrument closely resemble those found on calendars from Epirus in northwest Greece and with Corfu, which was formerly known as Corcyra.   Five dials are located on the rear of the mechanism: the Metonic, Saros, and two smaller ones, the so-called Olympiad Dial (recently renamed the Games dial since it did not track Olympiad years; the four-year cycle it closely matches is the Halieiad), the Callippic(a certain approximate common multiple of the synodic month and the tropical year that was put out by Callippus around 330 BC. It is a 76-year span that is an improvement over the Metonic cycle's 19 years.), and the Exeligmos(a time frame of 54 years, 33 days over which further eclipses with the same characteristics and position may be predicted.)   Both the front and rear doors of the wooden casing that houses the mechanism have inscriptions on them. The "instruction manual" looks to be behind the rear door. "76 years, 19 years" is inscribed on one of its parts, denoting the Callippic and Metonic cycles. "223" for the Saros cycle is also written. Another piece of it has the phrase "on the spiral subdivisions 235," which alludes to the Metonic dial.   The mechanism is exceptional due to the degree of miniaturization and the intricacy of its components, which is equivalent to that of astronomical clocks from the fourteenth century. Although mechanism specialist Michael Wright has argued that the Greeks of this era were capable of designing a system with many more gears, it includes at least 30 gears. Whether the device contained signs for each of the five planets known to the ancient Greeks is a subject of significant controversy. With the exception of one 63-toothed gear that is otherwise unaccounted for, no gearing for such a planetary display is still in existence.   It is quite likely that the mechanism featured additional gearing that was either removed before being placed onboard the ship or lost in or after the shipwreck due to the enormous gap between the mean Sun gear and the front of the box as well as the size and mechanical characteristics on the mean Sun gear. Numerous attempts to mimic what the Greeks of the time would have done have been made as a result of the absence of evidence and the nature of the front section of the mechanism, and of course various solutions have been proposed as a result of the lack of evidence.   Michael Wright was the first to create a model that included a simulation of a future planetarium system in addition to the existing mechanism. He said that corrections for the deeper, more fundamental solar anomaly would have been undertaken in addition to the lunar anomaly (known as the "first anomaly"). Along with the well-known "mean sun" (present time) and lunar pointers, he also provided pointers for this "real sun," Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn.   A solution that differs significantly from Wright's was published by Evans, Carman, and Thorndike. Their suggestion focused on the uneven spacing of the letters on the front clock face, which seemed to them to imply an off-center sun indication arrangement. By eliminating the requirement to imitate the solar anomaly, this would simplify the mechanism. Additionally, they proposed that simple dials for each individual planet would display data such as significant planetary cycle events, initial and final appearances in the night sky, and apparent direction changes rather than accurate planetary indication, which is rendered impossible by the offset inscriptions. Compared to Wright's concept, this system would result in a far more straightforward gear system with significantly lower forces and complexity.   After much investigation and labor, Freeth and Jones released their idea in 2012. They developed a concise and workable answer to the planetary indicator puzzle. They also suggest that the date pointer, which displays the mean position of the Sun and the date on the month dial, be separated to display the solar anomaly (i.e., the sun's apparent location in the zodiac dial). If the two dials are properly synced, Wright's front panel display may be shown on the other dials as well. However, unlike Wright's model, this one is simply a 3-D computer simulation and has not been physically constructed.   Similar devices A first-century BC philosophical debate by Cicero, De re publica (54-51 BC), discusses two devices that some contemporary authors believe to be some sort of planetarium or orrery, forecasting the motions of the Sun, Moon, and the five planets known at the time. After Archimedes' demise at the siege of Syracuse in 212 BC, the Roman commander Marcus Claudius Marcellus took both of them to Rome. One of these devices was the sole thing Marcellus preserved during the siege because of his admiration for Archimedes (the second was placed in the Temple of Virtue). The instrument was kept as a family heirloom, and according to Philus, who was present during a conversation Cicero imagined had taken place in Scipio Aemilianus's villa in the year 129 BC, Gaius Sulpicius Gallus, who served as consul with Marcellus's nephew in 166 BC and is credited by Pliny the Elder with being the first Roman to have written a book explaining solar and lunar eclipses, gave both a "learned explanation" and working demonstrations of the device.   According to Pappus of Alexandria (290–c. 350 AD), Archimedes had penned a now-lost treatise titled On Sphere-Making that described how to build these contraptions. Many of his innovations are described in the ancient documents that have survived, some of which even have crude illustrations. His odometer is one such instrument; the Romans later used a similar device to set their mile marks (described by Vitruvius, Heron of Alexandria and in the time of Emperor Commodus). Although the pictures in the literature looked to be practical, attempts to build them as shown had been unsuccessful. The system worked properly when the square-toothed gears in the illustration were swapped out for the angled gears found in the Antikythera mechanism.   This technique existed as early as the third century BC, if Cicero's story is accurate. Later Roman authors including Lactantius (Divinarum Institutionum Libri VII), Claudian (In sphaeram Archimedes), and Proclus (Commentary on the First Book of Euclid's Elements of Geometry) in the fourth and fifth century also make reference to Archimedes' invention.   Cicero also said that another such device was built "recently" by his friend Posidonius, "... each one of the revolutions of which brings about the same movement in the Sun and Moon and five wandering stars [planets] as is brought about each day and night in the heavens"   Given that the third device was almost certainly in Posidonius's possession by that time and that both the Archimedes-made and Cicero-mentioned machines were found in Rome at least 30 years after the shipwreck's estimated date, it is unlikely that any one of these machines was the Antikythera mechanism discovered in the wreck. The researchers who rebuilt the Antikythera mechanism concur that it was too complex to have been a singular invention.   This proof that the Antikythera mechanism was not unique strengthens the argument that there was a tradition of complex mechanical technology in ancient Greece that was later, at least in part, transmitted to the Byzantine and Islamic worlds. During the Middle Ages, complex mechanical devices that were still simpler than the Antikythera mechanism were built in these cultures.A fifth- or sixth-century Byzantine Empire geared calendar fragment that was mounted to a sundial and maybe used to help tell time has been discovered. The Caliph of Baghdad commissioned Bani Ms's Kitab al-Hiyal, also known as the Book of Ingenious Devices, in the early ninth century AD. Over a hundred mechanical devices were detailed in this document, some of which may have been found in monastic manuscripts from antiquity. Around 1000, the scholar al-Biruni described a geared calendar that was comparable to the Byzantine mechanism, and a 13th-century astrolabe also had a clockwork system that is similar to it. It's probable that this medieval technology was brought to Europe and had a part in the region's development of mechanical clocks.   Su Song, a Chinese polymath, built a mechanical clock tower in the 11th century that, among other things, measured the positions of several stars and planets that were shown on an armillary sphere that spun mechanically.   Conspiracy Corner The Antikythera Mechanism was thought to have been created between 150 and 100 BCE at first, but recent research dates its development to approximately 205 BCE. It's interesting that this technology seems to have just vanished because comparable items didn't start turning up until the 14th century. But why did the ancient Greeks permit such a significant development to be forgotten over time? Posidonius carried on the work of the Greek astronomer Hipparchus by instructing students at an astronomy academy. Posidonius invented a contraption that "in each rotation reproduces the identical motions of the Sun, the Moon and the five planets that take place in the skies every day and night," according to Cicero, one of Posidonius' students. Which remarkably resembles the Antikythera Mechanism. However, when the Mechanism was created in the second century BCE, Posidonius was not yet alive. Hipparchus was, though. Posidonius could have built an instrument based on Hipparchus' Antikythera Mechanism, which he made many years before. What about Posidonius' instrument, though? A time traveler from the future may have developed the Mechanism, or it may genuinely be a futuristic gadget that was taken back to ancient Greece and put there on purpose if it dates to the second century BCE and equivalent technology didn't start emerging until decades later. Some people think the entire thing is a hoax despite overwhelming scientific proof to the contrary. After all, it is challenging to reconcile the Antikythera mechanism's antiquity with its growth in technology. The Turk, a fictional chess-playing robot constructed in the 18th century, has been likened to the mechanism by some. But scientists easily acknowledge that The Turk is a fraud. Why would they fabricate evidence of the mechanism's reliability? What would they be attempting to conceal? Even though it is quite old, the Antikythera mechanism represented an enormous advance in technology. So how did the Greeks of antiquity come up with the concept, much alone construct it? They didn't, according to The Ancient Aliens: “Beings with advanced knowledge of astronomical bodies, mathematics and precision engineering tools created the device or gave the knowledge for its creation to someone during the first century BC. But the knowledge was not recorded or wasn't passed down to anyone else.” Therefore, aliens either provided humanity the ability to make this gadget or the knowledge to do so, but they didn't do anything to assure that we built on it or learnt from it. It seems like the aliens weren't planning ahead very well. This theory, like the extraterrestrial one, is based simply on the observation that the Antikythera mechanism seems to be too technologically sophisticated for its period. The mythical Atlantis was a highly developed metropolis that vanished into the ocean. Many people think the city genuinely exists, despite the fact that Plato only described it in a sequence of allegories. And some of those individuals believe the Antikythera mechanism proves Atlantis existed since it was too sophisticated for any known culture at the time; they believe Atlantis, not Greece, is where the mechanism originated. According to the notion of intelligent design, a higher power purposefully created many things on Earth because they are too sophisticated to have arisen by simple evolution. Because the Antikythera mechanism is so much more sophisticated than any other artifact from that age, some people think it is proof of intelligent design. If this is the case, you have to question what divine, omnipotent creature would spend time creating such a minute object for such a trivial goal. Greece's coast is home to the island of Rhodes. Greek artifacts were placed into the ship transporting the Mechanism, which was sailing for Rome. One explanation for this might be that the Antikythera mechanism was taken together with the spoils from the island of Rhodes. How come Rhodes was pillaged? following a victorious war against the Greeks, as part of Julius Caesar's triumphal procession. Could the loss of one of history's most significant and cutting-edge technical advancements be accidentally attributed to Julius Caesar? The Antikythera mechanism may have predicted the color of eclipses, which is thought to be impossible by scientists, according to new translations of texts on the device. Therefore, were the forecasts the mechanism provided only educated guesses, or did the ancient Greeks have knowledge that we do not? According to legend, an extraterrestrial species called the Annunaki (possible episode?) invaded and inhabited Earth (they were revered as gods in ancient Mesopotamia), leaving behind evidence of their presence. The Antikythera mechanism could be one of these hints. The Mechanism uses what appears to be distinct technology that was, as far as we are aware, extremely different from anything else that was built about 200 BCE. It estimates when lunar eclipses would occur, which advanced space invaders would undoubtedly know something about. An intriguing view on the process is held by Mike Edmunds from Cardiff University. The uniqueness and technological innovation of the item are frequently highlighted in reports about it. However, Edmunds speculates that the mechanism may have been in transit to a client when the ship carrying it went down. If one device was being delivered, might there possibly be others — if not on this ship, then potentially on others from Rhodes? — he asks in his essay. There may have been more of these amazing machines that have been lost to the passage of time or are still out there waiting to be found. MOVIES - films from the future - https://filmsfromthefuture.com/movies/

    The Exorcism of Anneliese Michel

    Play Episode Listen Later Jun 22, 2022 114:36

    Ep. 159 Exorcism Of  Annaliese Michel   Do you believe in the devil? Demons? Do you think the devil or demons can possess your body? Does that shit creep you out and keep you up at night? Well, if it does… you're gonna love today's episode! If you've ever seen the exorcism of Emily Rose, you'll at least know this story. The movie was based on the subject of today's episode. It's gonna get kinda crazy today as we discuss the exorcism of Annaliese Michel!   Some of you may already be familiar with this story, as it's been discussed on other podcasts and continues to be a pretty famous story in the world of exorcisms, demons, and possessions.   Annaliese Michel was born on September 21, 1952, in Leiblfing, Bavaria, West Germany. She was born into a very religious Roman Catholic family. She attended Mass twice weekly with her family and was described as "a vibrant, pretty girl on her way to becoming a gorgeous woman. She had shining black hair, an open, honest face, and a stunning smile." Four years before Anneliese was born, her mother, Anna Michel, gave birth to an illegitimate daughter. This was a source of shame for the Catholic family. After she married and gave birth to Anneliese, she apparently harbored feelings of guilt about her first daughter. Unfortunately, Anneliese's older sister died at the age of eight, but Anneliese reportedly felt like she needed to repent for her mother's sin. She supposedly spent much of her time doing penance for her mother, her sinful youth, and evil priests. Sounds like a great childhood.    All the crazy shit began in 1968, around the time of her sixteenth birthday when Anneliese had the first of several seizures. She lost consciousness during school and was found by her classmate to be in a trance-like state. Later that night, Anneliese woke up claiming she felt something was pressing down on her. She couldn't move, couldn't breathe or speak, and lost control of her bladder. Although the experience frightened her greatly, when it didn't happen again, she just forgot about it. Then, on August 24, 1969, Anneliese suffered another seizure. When examined by neurologist Dr. Siegfried Luthy, her EEG showed "a normal, physiological alpha-type brain activity." Dr. Luthy later explained to investigators, "I judged from the description I was given that this was probably a case of cerebral seizures of the nocturnal type, with the symptoms of a grand mal epilepsy."   Tonic-Clonic seizures, formerly known as grand mal seizures, comprise two stages: a tonic phase and a clonic phase. According to John Hopkins Medicine, episodes may begin with a simple or complex partial attack known as an aura, during which persons may experience sensations such as unusual smells, vertigo, nausea, or anxiety. Or my everyday life. During the tonic phase, persons may lose consciousness and experience bodily and respiratory paralysis as the muscles involuntarily contract. Finally, during the clonic phase, the person's face, arms, and legs spasm and jerk uncontrollably and rapidly. When the body relaxes, the bladder may also release. Got all that? I knew you would, you intelligent bastards.   Anneliese's symptoms certainly fit the criteria of a Tonic-Clonic seizure, and there's good reason to believe on at least one occasion, she also experienced aura. One day while praying to the rosary, she related smelling a sweetness "wafting about her like the fragrance of violets" and a euphoric feeling that lasted into the next day. She was found by other girls to be in a trance-like state with her hands rigidly outstretched "like you had a cramp or something. Like when my cat stretches her claws," and her pupils dilated, "I thought they were blue. Now they are all black."   After her third seizure, Anneliese began experiencing one of the longest-lasting side effects, continuously filling her with fratzen, which is German for "grimacing faces." Another EEG showed "an irregular alpha pattern with some theta and delta waves, but nothing pathological." By 1973, her friends and family reported her behavior had changed—she was irritable and withdrawn, prone to lashing out in anger. Again, my everyday life.    Anneliese fell into a deep and prolonged depression. This depression was severe enough that she contemplated suicide and would later describe it as "This is no longer a depression, this is a condition"; she claimed "someone else is manipulating me" and that "My will is not my own." She mentioned to her psychiatrist that she "could not love sufficiently" that she felt "castrated, ice-cold" and told her boyfriend, "I can't feel any love at all. I am all numb, sort of. I can't feel emotions like that."   Anneliese stopped associating with her usual group of friends and became drawn to a group of students considered to be religious zealots. That is not a good sign. One of her childhood friends noted, "After her illness, Anneliese was changed. She was quiet and withdrew from her friends. I also noted that she kept wanting to carry on mostly religious conversations." For her part, Anneliese became convinced of her damnation and began warning others of the world's imminent end. She believed she had personal visions and communed with the Virgin Mary and became particularly drawn to the life of Barbara Weigand, a Catholic mystic and "prophetess." She also claimed to experience visions of the Virgin Mary.    In addition to the visual hallucinations, Anneliese also claimed to begin experiencing olfactory hallucinations known as phantosmia: "She started smelling a horrid stench not perceived by others." The nature of this nasty smell changed over time. However, it was later related, "[Anneliese] exuded a stench like Frau Hein had never smelled before, like fecal matter or something burning. Everyone in the bus could smell it." This would seem to indicate that the source of the stench was, in fact, Anneliese herself. Further evidence supports this from a visit from Father Roth to the Michel household: "Herr Michel received me and took me immediately to the living room. It was filled with a horrible stench, of something burning, and of dung, that penetrated everything. Herr Michel expressly called my attention to it and told me that Anneliese had been in the room just before. In the other rooms of the Michel home and on the outside I could detect no trace."   The pungent smell was not, however, present all the time. During the criminal investigation in October 1976, Father Hagiber recalled his first meeting with Anneliese and mentioned nothing of an odor. Father Herrmann, who met with Anneliese about ten times from 1973 to 1975, stated, "From her parents I heard that on occasion she evidenced disrespect toward sacred objects and there was a stench of dung or of something burning in the room where she was. However, these symptoms never occurred in my apartment". Likewise, none of Anneliese's doctors, classmates, or teachers ever complained of a foul odor emanating from or percolating around her. Her boyfriend was utterly unaware of her problem with the smell until she mentioned how it plagued her. Based on what Anneliese revealed to her psychiatrist, we know she was intimate with her boyfriend. One might expect he would've noticed something that smelled like burning doo doo.   By 1973, she had depression and began hallucinating while praying and complained about hearing voices telling her that she was "damned" and would "rot in hell ."Michel's treatment in a psychiatric hospital did not improve her health, and her depression worsened. Long-term treatment did not help either, and she grew increasingly frustrated with the medical intervention, taking pharmacological drugs for five years. In addition, Michel became intolerant of Christian sacred places and objects, such as the crucifix."   In one instance, her family organized a trip to San Damiano to pray for God to intervene. Annaliese said standing on the shrine's soil made her feet burn, and she refused to drink water from its holy spring. As a result, she could not even walk past sacred icons. The priest accompanying them stated:   "She [Michel] approached it [the shrine] with the greatest hesitation, then said that the soil burned like fire and she simply could not stand it… She also noted that she could no longer look at medals or pictures of saints; they sparkled so immensely that she could not stand it."   Annaliese was put on several medications, but none seemed to help the situation throughout the early 70s. Finally, between the results of her pilgrimage and her increasingly strange behavior, her parents decided to put their faith in the Church. Oh... and an exorcism. Her behavior had deteriorated to the point where she would at times growl, swear, and blaspheme for no god damn reason (see what I did there?) and even urinate on the floor and lick it up.  Then, in the spring of 1973, Anneliese began to hear a knocking sound in her room. Dr. Vogt could not find anything wrong with her hearing, so he referred her to a specialist. However, her mother, Anna, began to believe something supernatural was occurring because she and her other daughters could soon hear the same sound, like rapping or thumping in the wardrobe, then above the ceiling and below the floor. In addition, Anneliese was now seeing overtly demonic faces with horns, telling her she would be damned for eternity. Her father, Josef, dismissed these weird-ass happenings as products of hysteria. However, he was disturbed by his wife's account of Anneliese staring at a statue of the Virgin with a malicious expression. Her eyes were black and dilated. Her hands contorted like an animal's paws.   On September 3, Anneliese revisited Dr. Lüthy and finally told him of the hideous faces she had been seeing. She also confided that the devil was inside her and that a judgment of fire would come upon everyone. Dr. Lüthy recalled, "She could not get her mind off these things. She had no power of decision, and everything was empty in her." Momma Anna claimed that Dr. Lüthy advised them to see a Jesuit about the demonic faces, but the doctor intensely denied that he had said that shit. It is possible that the doctor made a tongue-in-cheek comment, which he later forgot since Frau Michel was adamant that she had gotten the idea of calling a Jesuit from the doctor. She had never before heard that Jesuits were specialists at exorcisms. Either way, Dr. Lüthy did not think much of the visions since he prescribed only Aolept (periciazine) drops, a medium-intensity anti-psychotic drug for neurosis in children. That shit is mainly sold in Canada, Italy, Russia, and Australia, and you can't even get it in the states. In his words, "It could not be stated with certainty at the time that there was the beginning of a psychotic symptomatology."   Despite continued treatment with Dilantin and periciazine, Anneliese's visions did not go away, and the drugs only seemed to make her tired and depressed. The Michels believed that the images were a particular problem from the seizures and now followed Dr. Lüthy's offhand suggestion to see a priest about them. They first sought Father Habiger, pastor of the Mother of God parish in Aschaffenburg, who examined Anneliese and found only an ordinary, shy girl with no signs of possession. He recommended that she see a physician. The end.    NOPE!   The family was able to contact an elderly Jesuit, Father Adolf Rodewyk in Frankfurt, about Anneliese's case. Father Rodewyk was an expert on possession, having published a book on the subject. Still, he could not travel to Klingenberg and recommended the retired Father Herrmann of the Mother of God parish in Aschaffenburg. You got that, right? Two priests, one Church. Gross.   Father Herrmann met with Anneliese ten times in his home and found her a nice, deeply religious girl. He recommended that she see a neurologist, but she protested that she had already seen Dr. Lüthy, who could not help her. Nevertheless, father Herrmann did not observe any sacrilegious behavior by Anneliese; she calmly prayed the rosary with him many times without any demons popping out and burning their poop.   In September 1973, Father Herrmann visited Father Ernst Alt of the St. Agatha parish in Aschaffenburg. Father Alt had already heard about Anneliese's case from Thea Hein and had long had a deep interest in the paranormal, having conducted studies of extrasensory perception (ESP). This was not unusual at the time, as even nonreligious researchers took ESP seriously in the 1970s. Still, Father Alt also believed himself to have telepathy, precognition, and even dowsing powers. Evidently, he was a big believer in the paranormal, as well.   Fr. Alt offered Mass on behalf of the troubled girl he had yet to meet, and while preparing for the consecration, he had another incredible sensation.   "All of a sudden, something hit me in the back, the air turned cold, and at the same time, there was an intense stench as though something was burning. I had to lean against the altar. With great effort and only by dint of considerable concentration was I able to speak the rest of the text. I felt deeply distressed as if a negative force were surrounding me, which, however, aside from vexing me, could inflict no real harm."   Mmmhmmm   After Mass, Father Alt calmly related this experience to another priest. That night, he was unable to sleep, even with the aid of a sleeping pill. He smelled a variety of stenches, alternating from dung to sewage to something burning. Additionally, he heard a thumping sound in his wardrobe. Finally, after praying to Padre Pio repeatedly, he suddenly smelled an intense fragrance of violets. At that time, he noticed that his "field of vision had been very much narrowed," and his "color perception was reduced," but now his eyesight was restored. The following day, he spoke of his experience to his fellow priests, and suddenly they could all smell a burning stench throughout the parish house, though the windows were open. On July 30, 1975, Peter(boyfriend) visited Anneliese in Klingenberg. They went for a walk, limited by Anneliese's constant exhaustion and sluggish, stiff-limbed gait. However, when Peter suggested they head back home, she was suddenly able to move normally, even gingerly, and she exclaimed happily that she was entirely herself again.   The following day they returned to Würzburg, where Anneliese registered for the fall semester. While grocery shopping, however, her face and legs tensed up, yet she did not behave aggressively. When she returned to her room, she stood stiff in front of a crucifix, glaring at it with hatred. Peter later stated:   "Her face was totally distorted; she growled like an animal and gritted her teeth so loudly that I was afraid that all her teeth would fall out. I started praying for her in thought, without giving any indication at all of what I was doing. Immediately she ordered me with clenched teeth to stop…"   Peter had not been a churchgoing Catholic before meeting Anneliese, much less devout. Nevertheless, he had started going to Mass again for her sake, and now he was squarely facing evidence of the supernatural. For an hour, the recently lucid Anneliese stood transfixed in one spot, strangely bending her upper body away from the crucifix even as her arms reached toward it. She later explained, "I wanted to take the cross in my hand, but against my will I was pushed back, so I couldn't reach it."    It appeared that more than one consciousness was living in Anneliese's body.   After this episode, Peter said, "fuck this shit," and has never been heard from since. I'm kidding. He returned Anneliese to Klingenberg, where her condition worsened. At this point, her parents were directly petitioning Bishop Stangl for an exorcism. Father. Alt, "the psychic priest," also wanted to talk to the Bishop, who was on vacation, and finally managed to obtain oral permission to say only the short German form of the exorcism rite. On August 3, the Sunday after Anneliese's return, Father Alt recited the cliffs notes version of the exorcism. Father Roth noted Annaliese's signs of possession were not as strong as when he had last visited her, but she whimpered and moaned throughout the exorcism and at one point pleaded, "Stop! It's burning." When asked where, she said, "In my back, in my arms." At another point, she said, "I am free," suggesting she was free of demons, but then she continued to whimper and moan. The priests were in the house for a total of two hours.   Although Father Alt believed Anneliese benefited from his subpar exorcism, her behavior became alarmingly worse throughout August. She was now plagued by insomnia, unable to sleep for more than an hour or two. She would rush through the house, bucking up and down the stairs like a goat. She exhibited compulsive behaviors, repeatedly kneeling and standing in rapid succession until her knees swelled. She sometimes prayed continually from dawn to dusk: "My Jesus, forgiveness and mercy, forgiveness and mercy…." She would constantly scream, except when she would tremble and fall onto the ground, completely rigid. This immobile state could last for days, so her sister would have to try to feed and wash her.   Only after the exorcism ritual did Anneliese begin to exhibit apparently insane behavior, which, of course, coincides with classic demonic behavior. Witnesses attested that she displayed almost superhuman strength and would repeatedly kneel and rise at crazy speeds. She felt heat throughout her body and would tear off her clothes to cool herself. She put insects in her mouth, urinated on the floor, and you guessed it, licked it up, and repeatedly tried to strike her family members and destroy sacred objects.    Anneliese saw clouds of flies and small shadowy creatures that, eventually, her family could see. She had visions of the deceased, and stigmata marks appeared on her. These marks were distinct from her other injuries, yet it has long been known that stigmata can be induced by suggestion in emotionally sensitive people, at least in a mild form.  Stigmata, in Christianity, are the appearance of bodily wounds, scars, and pain in locations corresponding to the crucifixion wounds of Jesus Christ, such as the hands, wrists, and feet. Stigmata are exclusively associated with Roman Catholicism.   The local parish priest recommended that Anneliese be taken to see a psychiatrist, the Michels had already had their fill of psychiatrists, and there was no way Anneliese, now a 22-year-old adult, could be persuaded to go to a psychiatric clinic. So they contacted Father Rodewyk in Frankfurt again, and the old priest finally came to see the girl himself.   Father Rodewyk saw Anneliese lying on the floor in an apparent hypnotic trance, oblivious to those around her. She was led to the sofa by her parents, and the priest asked, "What is your name?" The response was, "Judas," uttered in a deeper, altered voice. After a while, her muscles were uncramped, and she could speak as herself with calmness and lucidity. This clear manifestation of a dual personality persuaded Father Rodewyk that this was a case of possession.   It seems strange that a man's name, Judas, should be given to a demon, yet father Rodewyk claimed that the name Judas was often provided by other possession victims. It is not that the demon was actually the Judas of the Gospels, but rather the name represents the role or function of the demon. A Judas demon attempts to force its victim to imitate the apostle in the betrayal of his Lord, often by preventing victims from swallowing during Holy Communion to steal the host. Anneliese did, in fact, feel resistance to consuming the host, so she allowed it to dissolve in her mouth. She also displayed a compulsion to kiss people while wearing a hostile expression on her face, reminiscent of the "Judas kiss." Father Rodewyk thought these behaviors confirmed his position that she was possessed by a Judas demon.   Shortly after father Rodewyk's visit, Anneliese became well again, without any demonic manifestations. She could eat meals regularly again; previously, she explained, she "was not allowed to." So yeah, she was being starved because of her "possession."   Meanwhile, based on father Rodewyk and Alt's reports, the Bishop finally granted permission on September 16, 1975, to conduct the complete rite of exorcism. This permission was given to father Arnold Renz, superior of a Salvatorian monastery and pastor of a parish near Klingenberg. He was said to be a pious, intelligent, kind, and trustworthy man. His charismatic personality won Anneliese's respect and friendship in the moments when she wasn't drinking her own urine.   Father Renz's account of his first visit on September 24, 1975, found Anneliese to be quite normal on that first day, with "nothing that would have indicated any possession." Nevertheless, he performed the standard rite of exorcism because he had been requested to do so by his fellow priests and the family, including the perfectly aware and lucid Annaliese herself. The ritual involves a fixed sequence of prescribed prayers, followed by direct questioning of the demons, and culminates in direct commands for them to get the fuck out!   In the course of the ritual, Anneliese's behavior changed. Calm, cool, and collected at first, her body began to shake violently, and she screamed and squirmed as she was held down by three men to prevent her from biting or kicking others. Sprinkling her with holy water elicited screams, and she occasionally demanded the priest stop doing this. But with many "fuck you's and suck my dicks" involved. The whole session lasted five and a half hours. At the end of it, a very awake and functioning Anneliese said they should have continued because she felt that the exorcism was just pissing off the demons. She fully recalled everything that happened, but her words and deeds hadn't come from her.   In Anneliese's case, she retained the memory of what occurred when the others took over her body, but it is unclear to what extent she knew what they thought. As for herself, she felt her own personality suppressed in what she called a "hole," while she helplessly watched what the other entities did to her body and said with her mouth. This would seem to be an authentic, and therefore rare, case of split personality since she did not simply alter her behavior, but rather her actual self co-existed with these other personalities. It would seem, then, that there was more than one mental subject or person in Anneliese's body. Like a weird, less fun mental apartment building.   We may learn something about the nature of these other personas from the recordings of the exorcism sessions. They emit hideous screams, growls, and moans and speak in a deep, hoarse voice, uttering curses and mocking the exorcist. But, on the other hand, they seem to understand Latin, though a traditionalist Catholic girl might be expected to know some Latin. Especially when they come from a family as devout as hers. Every now and then, they give evidence of understanding more advanced phrases, like when Father Renz says, "Ut discedas ab hac famula Dei Anneliese," meaning, "May you depart from this handmaid of God Anneliese,." Annaliese's reply, "No, no, she belongs to me…."   Would you like to hear some of these recordings? Fuck yes, you would. So here ya go... but do me a favor. Turn those lights off... let's get REALLY creepy.   (PLAY RECORDING)   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_3aI8kpHxDM   Renz tested the linguistic ability of the demonic-speaking person by questioning it in Chinese. The demon would not oblige this obvious search for proof of its nature and later said, "If you want to ask something, ask it in German," but followed with a taunt, "But I do too understand it." Finally, however, the demon responded to a Dutch question, "Is there anything in your family that has any relation to the case and should not become public?" The answer: "There is nothing like that."    Ok, the demon speaks dutch, german, and Latin but not Chinese. Got it.   As another test, Father Renz filled five bottles with water, some with tap water and others with holy water. Though the bottles were unmarked, the "demons" somehow knew to scream only when the holy water was used.   A common form of engagement with the demons was to recite prayers or Biblical readings to test their response. They hated any invocation of St. Michael the Archangel and seemed to fear the Blessed Virgin Mary. They dreaded any mention of guardian angels and screamed in horror during the Litany of the Five Sacred Wounds, a fact possibly related to the appearance of stigmata. The demons claimed that they had oppressed Anneliese while she was studying for her exams, but only with heavenly permission, and that she passed her exams anyway only because the Lady willed it. Some Biblical passages left no impression on these malevolent entities, as they apparently did not recognize themselves as referenced. Mentioning the beast in Revelation 13 left them unmoved, as did the Gospel story of casting out a mute demon.   Direct questioning of the demons is a must by the Roman rite. This involves asking the names of the demons and how long they intend to keep their asses in their host. By learning the name and identity of a demon, the exorcist hopes to gain a sort of leverage or power over it. He uses this name in the formulas urging it to leave. This questioning gave up several characters, and as each name was revealed, the demon was forced to manifest its personality. We have already mentioned Judas, but there were others. There was Cain, Hitler, and Pastor Fleischmann. Again, these are names of men, not of demons. Cain said very little, while Hitler only offered some muffled 'Heils.' Judas said of Hitler, "He, he only has a big mouth but nothing to say," which could mean he was stripped of all power.   The Pastor Fleischmann character was based on an obscure medieval priest in distant Ettleben, where father Alt was now pastor. According to the parish records, this Fleischmann was a womanizer, drunkard, and brute who had beaten a man and a woman nearly to death. When father Alt visited the Michels in the fall of 1975, he mentioned to the family that a previous pastor of his parish had killed a man. At that moment, Anneliese gave a terrible scream, though they were not performing an exorcism at the time. Several weeks later, he visited Anneliese, accompanied by her boyfriend Peter, and asked her why she was frightened by the name Fleischmann, upon which she screamed again. Her face alternated between smiles and hideous contortions. She immediately apologized, "Please, don't take it too hard; I can't help it." That evening, while Fr. Renz performed the rite of exorcism, a demon identified itself as Fleischmann and gave many biographical details that Fr. Alt never mentioned in Anneliese's presence. Fr. Alt confirmed that the archivist in Würzburg had always possessed the medieval Ettleben parish records while she was in college there, so there was no way Anneliese could have seen them.   By October 4th-6th, two weeks after Fr. Renz had begun the exorcisms (performed every two days or so), the demonic personalities weakened and spoke less frequently. They rarely responded with the usual ferocity toward the ritual, yet they never left. This lethargic behavior by the alter egos, apparently bored by the exorcism yet sticking around, is atypical of possession cases, suggesting perhaps some other factor prevented these personalities from manifesting themselves. On October 7, Dr. Kehler issued another Tegretol prescription for Anneliese, and that same evening the demons returned in full force, even uttering a hoarse scream and high-pitched laugh simultaneously. This reinforces the suspicion that the prescription drugs may have been having an effect, though it is unclear whether they enhanced or suppressed demonic manifestations.   Still, a taped conversation between Fr. Renz and a doped-up Anneliese that evening makes clear that she was coherent most of the time and was even studying for her exams. Her mother and sister Barbara insisted she had no more physical problems, except for the jerking motion during the exorcisms. She did not try to attack people anymore, and though her appetite was weak, Anneliese insisted that the demons were not preventing her from eating. However, she slept on the floor; otherwise, the demons would force her to sit in bed. Her torments were now purely psychological, she stated, "with that frightful anxiety, with a mood of annihilation." She said she has had this feeling since the tenth grade, and it is now weakening her memory and her concentration. She felt sick if she tried to go to Church, and her mysterious tormentor caused her pain when the sign of the cross was made over her during the exorcism. When asked where he was, she replied, "That differs. Usually, he is all around, but sometimes either back there or down low."    On October 13, a strange new development occurred. Anneliese began receiving messages from the Virgin Mary. At first, she and her family were skeptical of this, which she wrote down in a diary, suspecting a demonic trick. Yet the demons cursed the writings, attributing them to the Virgin by indicating a religious portrait.   Upon learning of Anneliese's written messages, Father Renz thought of Barbara Weigand, a seer from Schippach who was respected by the Michels and had a similar practice of writing heavenly messages. Renz offered Anneliese a copy of Weigand's writings, and immediately her notes from the Virgin encouraged her to complete the mission of the deceased woman. That woman's sufferings inspired Anneliese to perceive meaning in her own torments, and on October 29, she wrote that Barbara Weigand told her she must suffer a great deal.   Regarding these visions, Anneliese said, "I don't hear voices, exactly. I am only given to understand." Though she depicts the visitations with visual imagery, she writes, "I see nothing." Thus these inspirations cannot be adequately attributed to auditory or visual hallucinations, the ordinary signs of schizophrenia. Instead, they were purely spiritual or intellectual in nature.   By October 16, Anneliese received messages from the Blessed Virgin that she would "become entirely free in October," a Marian month. However, she was also told that a terrible judgment was coming, and even the demons attested to this, saying it would be "worse than the last two" (presumably the world wars), and would take place in Europe. So now the demons were predicting a new world war. Jeesh.   Anneliese was also repeatedly visited by the spirit of Father Roth's nephew, who died at the beginning of the month. He told her he was in Heaven and there to encourage her in her tribulations.   She also recorded messages supposedly from Christ, though she repeatedly expressed doubts and fears that these messages might be tricks by the devil. In one message, she was told, "You will become a great saint," and was forced to cry to prove that she heard correctly. In another, the "Savior" tells her: "You are going to get married, Anneliese… In this one way you are not going to be like Barbara Weigand. But you are going to be like her in every other way, in suffering and in sacrifice…."    In the last week of October, Anneliese continued to receive mesages from "the Savior," urging her to bear her suffering patiently for the salvation of other souls. The presence of the Blessed Virgin was also apparent, as the demons claimed during the October 29 exorcism that she ordered them to leave by Friday, October 31. This is confirmed in Anneliese's diary entry on the 29th.   Accordingly, everyone expected that the demons would be driven out on October 31. That morning, Dr. Kehler wrote another Tegretol prescription. Father Renz then conducted an exceptionally long exorcism, preserving four and a half hours of it on audio tape. Some notable points were:   Early in the session, Anneliese shrieks in her own voice, saying, "We are not leaving." Later, she uses a low growling demonic voice to taunt the priest and resist him. The demons, which now include Cain, Judas, Lucifer, Nero, and Fleischmann, try to stall for time, saying they have the "Lady's" permission to stay and that they will not leave until ten o'clock, one after the other. Then there's a message from the Virgin: "She is happy about all of you. Because you kept on praying. You are to continue as much as you can." When everyone there began to pray, they were forced to stop because of an especially horrific, nausea-inducing bout of screaming. At ten o'clock, each demon departed (though with shit ton of verbal resistance and screaming), saying "Hail Mary full of grace," as commanded by the priest upon exiting. The human personages admit their crimes in life, and Lucifer is the last to depart. With all the demons gone by 10:40 pm, everyone sings the Te Deum in German to celebrate.   The success of the exorcism is short-lived, however. As the priest and family start to sing a Marian hymn, a demonic growl and scream interrupt them, saying, "I have not gone out yet." This demon will not give his name, saying he had not revealed his presence before. Father Renz continues trying to cast him out for three more hours, but the fucker refused to go.   Despite the persistence of this less talkative "demon," Anneliese was able to return to school a week later, cram for an examination, and pass with a good grade. Most of the time, however, she seemed apathetic, according to her classmates, though she was attentive and pleasant to them.   Anneliese continued to receive communications from "the Savior," strongly encouraging her to be patient, to pray for herself and others, to keep a humble silence, to trust in His grace with steadfastness, to struggle against temptation and not to judge others. "I will give you my grace. You will be true unto death."    On a November 9 exorcism session, the demon identifies himself as Judas, saying that he and four others returned shortly after being expelled, with the Lady's permission. For the rest of the year, Anneliese continued leading a double life and renewed her Tegretol prescriptions. She rarely demonstrated demonic behavior outside of exorcism sessions at her family's home. She continued her studies at Würzburg, with most of her school companions utterly unaware of her state of "possession." On one occasion in January, however, Anneliese's face contorted, and she struck her boyfriend, Peter. She returned to normal after he threw holy water on her, at her request.   The exorcism sessions in January were shorter (around two hours), as the demon was more subdued and just bored participating. In a tape-recorded session on February 1, Anneliese told Father Renz that she had recently begun to experience compulsions, so she was no longer permitted to eat or to cover herself from the cold. She felt that her prayers were unheard and that her suffering for the sake of others was far more difficult than she expected. She also felt the need to bang her head against the wall, strip, and go to bed. Sometimes the voices were verbal, like a sweet voice telling her that she must always wear the same pair of shoes.   On March 3, Anneliese had an episode of stiffness when trying to visit home, so she stayed in Würzburg. She was unresponsive to yet, another exorcism. However, she soon recovered, started eating more food, resumed her studies, and was examined by the school's general practitioner Dr. Wolfert on the 9th. She told him about her epileptic history but not about her possession. He thought she appeared exhausted yet "psychologically normal," and he renewed her Tegretol prescription.   In early April, while visiting home, Anneliese begged Thea Hein to promise to tell her if anyone thought of sending her to a physician. She also warned that there would soon be a powerful burning stench, and immediately they both smelled an unbearable stench in the car that endured for ten minutes after opening the windows.   On the night of April 13, the Tuesday before Easter, Anneliese felt the urge to stay kneeling in the school's chapel until the next morning. The following day, however, she could discuss her thesis with her advisor, exhibiting sound critical thinking when talking about relevant literature.   On the night of April 15 (Holy Thursday), Anneliese felt a terror and a great weight pushing down on her while kneeling in the Church to pray. She believed she was experiencing "the death agony of the Savior," and felt the pains of the stigmata. At the end of the Good Friday service the following day, Anneliese remained standing rigidly for hours, unable to move. The next day, her sister Roswitha came to nurse her as she lay in bed. Anneliese would become rigid again whenever someone tried to get her out of bed and dress to go home to Klingenberg.   By the last week of April, Anneliese had again started refusing to eat. Some friends suggested calling a physician, but she wouldn't do it. None of them were aware of the possession or exorcisms except Anna Lippert, who called Father Renz and Father Alt on April 30, after Anneliese had started screaming loudly. On the morning of May 1, she was her usual self again, casually chatting with Roswitha and Peter over breakfast. When Father Alt arrived that day, Anneliese asked him if she could work on her thesis at the parish house in Ettleben, so he would be on hand to perform an exorcism if needed. On the way to Ettleben, she told Peter that she had told Father Alt that her suffering would be over in July.   That afternoon, Anneliese urged Peter to let her see the renovated Church. Once inside, her face stiffened, and she became emotionless. When Peter tried to move her, she felt too heavy. Just like on April 15, a short prayer was enough to snap her out of it, but she returned to her state when she was brought to bed. In the early days of May, she got worse, refusing to eat, sleep, or even lie in her bed. Roswitha and a local elderly woman were soon summoned to help care for Anneliese while the parish housekeeper prepared meals. Roswitha injured her foot a week later, so the Michels brought Anneliese home to Klingenberg on May 10.   In Klingenberg, Anneliese's condition continued to worsen. She raged, screamed, struggled violently (requiring at least two men to hold her down), struck, and bit herself. Father Renz repeatedly visited to recite the exorcism rite, but no demons responded. During some sessions, she would exhibit compulsive behaviors, such as constantly kneeling and rising hundreds of times. Finally, on May 20, she could stay coherent for five hours, dictating a four-page outline of her thesis. Other than those moments, she was incapable of ordinary conversation.   The only physician to see Anneliese in this weakened state was Dr. Richard Roth, a friend of Father Alt who visited on May 30. Dr. Roth would later testify that he showed up out of scientific curiosity, not as a physician. On June 2, Father Renz reported to the Bishop that Anneliese's left cheek was severely swollen and had bruises around her eyes from her self-inflicted blows. Dr. Roth denied seeing any of these injuries. However, his testimony was inconsistent and implausible on several points, and he was likely trying to exonerate himself from a charge of criminal negligence.   According to the other witnesses in the house (the Michels, Peter, and the priests), Dr. Roth did see Anneliese from the front, remarking on her stigmata wounds, and afterward promised to Fr. Alt that he would come in case of a medical emergency. He suggested treatments for her bruises but considered her general condition untreatable by a physician, allegedly saying, "There are no injections against the devil." We must say that Dr. Roth was a reasonably respected physician, published in medical journals, and had no prior attachment to belief in exorcism. However, his new experience with exorcism led him to start going to Church.   On June 8, the last time Fr. Alt saw Anneliese, she had a sunken face from malnourishment. However, she drank fruit juices and milk, according to her parents, and on one occasion drank nearly two liters. When they tried to force-feed her, she would spit out the food or firmly press her lips. In addition, she chipped her teeth from biting the wall, repeatedly bit herself, and struck at others.   Meanwhile, the exorcisms were consistently unsuccessful in getting demons to speak. Instead of intelligible words, Anneliese repeatedly made mechanically unnatural-sounding voices taped on June 7. Fr. Renz later believed to be a "penance possession," where the possessed endures suffering in reparation of someone else's sins. Yet, he admitted he could not understand the meaning of the penance.   By June 18, Anneliese's injuries had healed, except for an open sore on her knee and nosebleeds from rubbing. Nevertheless, she still compulsively knelt and rose dozens of times until exhausted. She screamed and raged in bed, even as her mother attempted impromptu exorcism prayers. She still had many cognitive periods when she could converse normally with her family and Peter. She told them she expected all would be over by July and repeatedly told them not to call a doctor. On the last such occasion, on June 30, she told Roswitha that a physician could not help her and feared being sent to the state mental institution at Lohr, where she did not belong.   On June 27, Anneliese had a fever, but it subsided after cold compresses were applied. She refused to have a physician visit, although her father did call Dr. Roth to write another note extending her leave from school. Before the exorcism on June 30, her temperature was measured at 38.9oC (102.0oF). During one exorcism rite, she insisted on repeatedly kneeling, though her family cushioned her movements, placing a pillow on the floor. Her last words to Fr. Renz were, "Please, absolution," requesting the absolution part of the rite, which he then gave. With the rite completed, Peter and Fr. Renz left, while her parents remained with Anneliese. Anna Michel went to bed a short while afterward. Anneliese then started screaming and throwing herself around. Her father was still in the room, and as it was midnight, he told her that he commanded the demons to leave in the father's name since it was now July and they had to leave, so she could recover. After that, she turned quietly on her right side and went to sleep.   The following morning, at seven o'clock, Mr. Michel looked into Anneliese's room and saw her apparently sleeping, so he headed out to work. An hour later, his wife called and told him that Anneliese was dead.   Damn…. What an ordeal. The previous information was taken from an exceptional article(albeit a little biased at times) from arcane knowledge.org   The autopsy report declared the cause of death "advanced emaciation" due to severe malnutrition and dehydration. When asked why medical intervention had not been sought, Father Alt stated that he never considered the woman dangerously ill and that if he had, he would've immediately called for medical assistance.   Like a bitch, Father Renz said, "The exorcism ritual expressly states that the clergymen should not burden themselves with medical matters." In this, Father Renz was correct, as the rite of exorcism they were using at the time, the 1614 "De exorcizandis obsessis a daemonio" from the Rituale Romanum, said nothing about the priest's responsibilities for the physical well-being of the possessed. Instead, it suggested, "The exorcist should guard against giving or recommending any medicine to the patient, but should leave this care to physicians." In the case of Anneliese Michel, there were no physicians. One would expect that good judgment (if not pity) would have motivated the priests to act. Father Renz testified that he had written to the Bishop before Annaliese's death that her condition was deteriorating but had received no response. Bishop Stengl explained that neither he nor Father Rodewyk had any direct contact with Anneliese or her parents during the nine months of exorcisms and were unaware that she was not receiving medical treatment.   Author and cultural anthropologist Felicitas Goodman argued, "There is sufficient evidence to support the contention that Anneliese was indeed not sick, that she was not an epileptic, that what looked to the uninformed like symptoms of a disease were actually manifestations of a religious experience". These mystical or religious experiences are known as altered states of consciousness (ASC), periods of wakefulness that are pretty different from normal. Some have disagreed with Goodman's claim saying there was sufficient evidence that Anneliese did not have temporal lobe epilepsy. Goodman's argument seems predicated on the fact that multiple EEGs, in addition to the autopsy report after her death, failed to indicate anything abnormal with Anneliese's temporal lobe: she had no anatomical defects, tumors, or scarring. However, this is not unusual. In roughly one in four cases of temporal lobe epilepsy, the cause remains unknown. Many factors may cause temporal lobe epilepsy, including infections such as encephalitis or meningitis, malformations of the blood vessels in the brain, or genetic mutations.   Additionally, there is reason to believe that Anneliese may not have taken her medication as prescribed. This is something Goodman contradicts herself on, stating that "Anneliese continued taking the drugs conscientiously." "Roswitha remembers that Anneliese often took less than the three tablets per day (of Tegretol) when her prescription was beginning to run out, and then made up for it as soon as it was renewed by taking more than the prescribed dosage." If this were true, the question of why despite the anticonvulsants and the mood stabilizers, Anneliese's behavior and mental state continued to decline, and she continued to have seizures, becomes less mysterious.    The following is a description of the trial that followed from a 1978 Washington Post article:   When she died, Anneliese weighed 68 pounds. The autopsy report said that her death was caused by the malnutrition and dehydration that resulted from almost a year of semi-starvation during the rites.   The state prosecutor, after an investigation, said the women's death could have been prevented even one week before she died. Instead, he charged all four defendants with negligent homicide for failing to call a medical doctor.   A series of doctors who have testified at the trial have all told the court that the woman died of a combination of epilepsy, mental disorders and an extremely religious environment which, in the words of Professor Hans Sattes of Wuertzburg University, added up to "a spiritual sickness and heavy psychic disturbance.   Both priests have told the court they remain convinced that the woman was possessed and that her death finally freed her. The parents also remain confident that she was possessed, but not that she was released. The parents ordered their daughter's body exhumed from her grave after they said a nun told them she had a vision that their daughter's body was still intact, proof of the possession.   The exhumation, which authorities said showed normal body decay, was attended by hundreds of curious spectators, and the trial also drew intense interest.   Throughout the trial, Anneliese's father, 60-year-old Josef Michel, sat impassively, his stocky frame tilted close to a unique amplifier to help him hear. His wife, Anna, 57, took notes steadily, pausing only to moan, "Oh, dear God," when some doctor alleged that her daughter was possessed of a mental disorder rather than the devil.   The priests were defended by church-paid lawyers. The parents were defended by one of Germany's top lawyers, Erich Schmidt-Leichner, who has also defended numerous persons in Nazi war crimes trials.   Schmidt-Leichner has claimed that exorcism is legal and that the German constitution protects citizens in the free exercise of their religious beliefs.   The accused were convicted of "negligent homicide" and were given suspended prison sentences in April 1978 and were "ordered to share the costs of the proceedings." The sentences have been described as "stiffer" than requested by the prosecutor, who had asked that the priests only be fined and that the parents be found guilty but not punished. The Church approving such an old-fashioned exorcism rite drew public and media attention. According to John M. Duffey, the case was a misidentification of mental illness. One more little fun fact: On June 6, 2013, a fire broke out in the house where Anneliese Michel lived, and although the local police said it was a case of arson, some locals attributed it to the exorcism case!!!   Movies about possession   https://www.ranker.com/list/best-demonic-posession-movies/ranker-horror

    Unsolved: The Chicago Tylenol Murders

    Play Episode Listen Later Jun 1, 2022 102:00

    Today on the train we figured we'd go back to the land of unsolved true crime as we like to do, on occasion.  So, as with all these unsolved true crime episodes, we like to bring these crimes back into the limelight and bring the stories back into the conversation. Once these stories stop getting talked about any chance of solving them goes by the wayside. This one is a strange one for sure. We're talking a look at what are called the Chicago Tylenol murders.    The Chicago Tylenol murders were a series of poisoning deaths resulting from drug tampering in the Chicago metropolitan area in 1982. The victims had all taken Tylenol-branded acetaminophen capsules that had been laced with potassium cyanide. To date, no suspect has been charged or convicted of the poisonings.   The incidents led to reforms in the packaging of over-the-counter substances and to federal anti-tampering laws. The actions of Johnson & Johnson to reduce deaths and warn the public of poisoning risks have been widely praised as an exemplary public relations response to such a crisis.   There were 7 victims total from the original incident with even more deaths resulting from copycat incidents after the fact.    Let's first take a look at the victims.   MARY KELLERMAN   September 29, 1982   The first victim was 12-year-old Mary Kellerman, a seventh grader at Addams Junior High School in Schaumburg and living in Chicago's northwest suburbs. She enjoyed horseback riding and earned extra money after school babysitting for neighborhood children. Mary woke up early in the morning hours of September 29, 1982. Feeling ill, she took an Extra Strength Tylenol to help with a runny nose and sore throat. At 7 am, her parents found Mary unconscious on the bathroom floor. Her parents rushed her to the hospital where Mary was pronounced dead by 9:30 am. Her death was first assumed to be a stroke, but the toxicology report and connection to other deaths soon proved it to be a murder.  She left behind her parents Dennis and Jeanna M. Kellerman. Mary Kellerman was laid to rest in the Saint Michael The Archangel Catholic Cemetery.   ADAM, STANLEY AND THERESA JANUS   September 29, 1982   Twenty-seven-year-old Adam Janus was the next person to die after taking Extra Strength Tylenol. He was the father of two young children, and living in Arlington Heights. The day of his death, Adam thought he was coming down with a cold. He stayed home from work that day. On his way home from picking up his children from preschool, he stopped at a Jewel grocery store and purchased a bottle of Extra Strength Tylenol.   "After taking several capsules, he walked into his bedroom, collapsed and fell into a coma. He died in the emergency room at Northwest Community Hospital." — SARA OLKON, The Chicago Tribune   After the death of Adam Janus, his family gathered at his home to mourn and begin making funeral arrangements. Stanley, Adam's brother, and his wife Theresa (Adam's sister-in-law), were visiting with family when they complained of headaches and looked for a nearby remedy. In Adam's bathroom cabinet, they found the same bottle of Extra Strength Tylenol. Moments after taking the disguised cyanide capsules, Stanley and then Theresa collapsed.  Fearing carbon monoxide poisoning, the rest of the Janus family was taken to hospital for observation. They were given their last rites, but did not die.  The Januses were survived by Janus parents Tadeusz "Ted" and Alojza Janus, niece Monica Janus, brother Joseph Janus, Theresa's brother Robert Tarasewicz, her mother Helena Tarasewicz, and a host of other bereaved family members and friends. A joint funeral was held for the three Janus family victims on October 5, 1982, with the Archbishop Joseph Bernardun presiding. Adam Janus was laid to rest at Maryhill Catholic Cemetery & Mausoleum in Niles, Cook County, Illinois. Stanley and Theresa Janus were laid to rest at Saints Peter and Paul Cemetery in Naperville, DuPage County, Illinois.   MARY REINER   September 29, 1982   Mary Reiner was happily married to her husband Ed, and the couple had just welcomed their fourth child into the world. She used Tylenol to relieve symptoms of post-birth discomfort.  Like the other victims, Mary Reiner collapsed shortly after taking the fatally disguised dose of cyanide. Mary's daughter, Michelle Rosen, was just eight years old when she witnessed her mother's poisoning, collapse, and death. Mary's husband arrived at the scene shortly after: "I came home right after she had fallen on the floor. An ambulance came [and rushed her to Central DuPage Hospital in Winfield]. I'm not gonna say a whole lot more than that." — Ed Reiner, as quoted by Chicago Magazine "Mary Magdalene Reiner grew up in Villa Park and was "100 percent Irish." Rosen remembers her being a good cook and preparing corned beef and egg noodles for the family. She also loved playing softball, the drums, and bowling." — James Sotonoff, Daily Herald   Her death left husband Ed Reiner to mourn, and four children, including an infant son to grow up without a mother.   MARY MCFARLAND   September 30, 1982   Thirty-year-old Mary McFarland was working at her job at the Illinois Bell in Lombard, when she felt a bad headache coming on. According to her brother Jack Eliason, Mary took Tylenol in the back room of her workplace, and died shortly after. He told the Associated Press:   "...she went in the back room and took I don't know how many Tylenol — at least one, obviously — and within minutes she was on the floor."    She was a single mother, working and raising two young sons at the time of her death. Her two boys Ryan and Bradley McFarland, now grown, survive Mary McFarland. She was also survived by parents John and Jane Eliason, brother Jack Eliason and sister-in-law Nancy Eliason, and siblings. A granddaughter she never had the chance to meet was named Mary in her honor.    PAULA PRINCE   October 1, 1982   Paula Jean Prince, 35, was a flight attendant who worked for United Airlines. On the day of her death, she flew from Las Vegas to O'Hare International Airport. She purchased Tylenol from a Walgreens on her way home. An ATM surveillance camera captured the purchase.  Exhausted from a long flight, Paula took Tylenol to relieve the symptoms of a cold as she got ready for bed. She was found dead in her apartment, and an open bottle of Tylenol was found on her bathroom counter. While other victims of the Tylenol Scare were from the suburbs of Chicago, Paula was the only victim to live in the city. The deaths of Mary Kellerman, Adam Janus, Stanley Janus, Theresa Janus, Mary Reiner, Mary McFarland and Paula Prince shared many similarities. All turned to Tylenol, a trusted, safe and common over-the-counter drug, to relieve minor ailments, and lost their lives. Their stories are almost universally relatable. Who hasn't taken a Tylenol for quick relief from a headache, cold or other aches and pain? The ordinariness of the circumstances coupled with the heinousness of the crime created a wave of panic in the Chicago metropolitan area. Paula's funeral was held in Omaha at the same time as the Janus family victims, on October 5, 1982. She was laid to rest at Calvary Cemetery in Omaha, Douglas County, Nebraska. She was survived by her father Lloyd Prince, mother Margaret Prince, and siblings Carol Lisle, Margaret Conway and Robert Prince.    All of the victim information was taken from an article on beyondthedash.com   Next up let's look at the suspects…what few there actually were!   First up is James William Lewis. Here is what we know about Lewis as it pertains to this case:   Worked as a tax accountant   Also known to be a fraudster   Handwriting was positively matched to that of two letters sent to Johnson & Johnson and the White House, the Johnson & Johnson letter demanding an end to the poisonings, The White House letter threatening to bomb it and continue the Tylenol poisonings   Was at New York City with his wife during the time of the murders, left the Chicago area in the early days of September 1982.   Was able to show the authorities how an offender could, hypothetically, tamper Tylenol pills with Cyanide. Claimed he did it for helping out. This is typical of other offenders, such as Ted Bundy   An unidentified man seen in a CCTV footage of one of the affected drugstores bears a striking resemblance to him. The man appears to have been watching victim Paula Prince, who is also shown in the footage, buying the tainted pills.   Sentenced to 20 years in prison for extortion and letter and credit-card fraud, but served only 13 years of the sentence and was paroled in 1995   In February 2009 his Cambridge, Mass., home was raided by the FBI; agents were seen leaving with boxes of evidence and an Apple computer.   In 2010, Lewis, then 63, and his wife, Leann, appeared at a closed hearing at the Middlesex Superior Court Wednesday to determine whether they have to submit to the grand jury's subpoena, which was a request to submit DNA, according to sources close to the case.   The judge ordered them to comply with the subpoena and both James and Leann Lewis turned over samples, according to investigators.    But Lewis has always maintained his innocence in the actual poisonings of the Tylenol capsules. When asked about the drawings, he has claimed he was only trying to be a "good citizen" by giving authorities detailed sketches depicting how someone might go about injecting cyanide into Tylenol capsules.   "I could tell you how Julius Caesar was killed, but that does not mean I was the killer," Lewis told the Chicago Tribune in a 1992 jailhouse interview.   Pressed as to why he and his wife would have been subpoenaed for DNA if they are innocent, Lewis declined to comment.    According to the Daily Herald in Chicago in in 201⁰0 new scientific technology available to analyze a smudge on one of the original Tylenol bottles could help establish a link between Lewis and the crimes.   The paper, quoting an ex-state official involved in the original investigation whose name was not mentioned because he agreed to speak only with a guarantee of anonymity, said that "advances in DNA and fingerprint technology may make the 'smudge' evidence relevant today."   In receding to whether all of the evidence collected could've bring about a trial:          "The evidence investigators presented to prosecutors so far remains circumstantial, but it could be bolstered by statements from potential witnesses who have declined to sit for interviews, according to sources close to the investigation.   So far, however, no decision has been made on whether to give the grand jury a green light. Sources say both state's attorneys from Cook and DuPage counties have been briefed on the evidence. The investigation, handled by an FBI-led task force of law-enforcement agents, still centers on the same man: James W. Lewis, sources tell the Sun-Times."   In a lengthy chronicle of the case for the Reader, Joy Bergmann paints Lewis as a suspicious character… but not, aside from his extortion, necessarily suspicious as the Tylenol killer:   Lewis maintained he was a "political prisoner," a "scapegoat," and an "all-purpose monster…fathered by the wild-eyed hyperventilated imaginations of two brutal men, Tyrone Fahner and Daniel K. Webb," who simply "blew" the Tylenol investigation thanks to "bureaucratic blundering incompetence."   McGarr had already listened to Dan Webb reiterate Lewis's biography: the violence toward his parents, the mental hospital commitment, the Raymond West murder charge, the Kansas City fraud schemes for which he was convicted in May of 1983 and sentenced to ten years, the fugitive flight, the extortion conviction, the breadboard schematic, the grandiose and quick-to-explode temperament, the innumerable aliases and deceptions.   Years later, some still show skepticism towards Lewis as the killer:   Superintendent Brzeczek It wasn't James Lewis. James Lewis was an asshole, an opportunist. He tried to extort some money from Johnson & Johnson, and he went to jail. He was in the joint a long time. When someone is in the penitentiary, you can go and talk to him, with or without his lawyer present. In all those years, all the work on James Lewis to put it together: nothing.   Attorney General Fahner Do I think James Lewis was involved? I did, and I do. And the head of the FBI office here at the time—I can't speak for him, but I think he felt as I did. But we could never put him in the city, in the places, at the right time.   August Locallo Lieutenant with the Chicago Police Department I was the top man in violent crimes. [Lewis] had lived in Chicago, and that's why they zeroed in on my unit. He was in custody in New York, and I was assigned to go to New York to interview him. Basically, the FBI had him in custody, and by the time we got to New York, he had his attorney and he wouldn't talk to us. That was a futile effort. He's a con man. Strictly a con man. And he'll do anything to get to his goal. I really believed he might have killed somebody, but they couldn't put anything on him.   Interesting to say the least. Why would this guy straight up insert himself in the crime for no reason? Did he really think an extortion letter would work?   Interesting either way!   There were a  couple more suspects besides Lewis.   Roger Arnold:   Roger Arnold was a 48-year-old dock worker. He was overheard saying some “suspicious things” about the Tylenol murders in a bar. While the police were questioning him, they found several connections. He worked at a jewel warehouse with Mary Reiner's father, Adam Janus bought his Tylenol from a Jewel convenience store, Mary Reiner bought her bottle from a store that is right across from the psychiatric ward where Arnold's wife was.   The officers found “How-to” crime books in Arnold's home and there was evidence of “chemistry” as well. The evidence of “chemistry” included beakers and other equipment, along with a bag of powder that turned out to be potassium carbonate.   Arnold refused to take a polygraph and there was never enough evidence to prosecute him.   Arnold went on to have a nervous breakdown from the attention in the media. He blamed everything on a bar owner, Marty Sinclair. In 1983, during the summer, Arnold shot and killed a man named John Stanisha, he thought Stanisha was Sinclair. Roger Arnold received a 30-year sentence for second-degree murder but only served 15 years of it. He died in June of 2008.   Laurie Dann:   Not much evidence to tie her to the murders but an interesting case with this one.   Laurie Dann  shot and killed one boy, Nick Corwin, and wounded two girls and three boys in a Winnetka, Illinois elementary school. She then took a family hostage and shot another man, non-fatally, before killing herself.   Dann was born in Chicago and grew up in Glencoe, a north suburb of Chicago.   She met and married Russell Dann, an executive in an insurance broker firm in September 1982, but the marriage quickly soured as Russell's family noted signs of obsessive-compulsive disorder and strange behavior[2] including leaving trash around the house.[3] She saw a psychiatrist for a short period, who identified her childhood and upbringing as a cause of her problems.[3]   Laurie and Russell Dann separated in October 1985.[2] The divorce negotiations were acrimonious, with Laurie claiming that Russell was abusive. In the following months, the police were called to investigate various incidents, including several harassing phone calls made to Russell and his family.[3] In April 1986, Laurie Dann accused Russell of breaking into and vandalizing her parents' house, where she was then living. Shortly after, she purchased a Smith & Wesson Model 19 .357 Magnum, telling the salesman that she needed it for self-defense. The police were concerned about her gun ownership and unsuccessfully tried to persuade Dann and her family that she should give up the gun.[2]   In August 1986, she contacted her ex-boyfriend, who was by then a resident at a hospital, and claimed to have had his child. When he refused to believe her, Dann called the hospital where he worked and claimed he had raped her in the emergency room.[3][5]   In September 1986, Russell Dann reported he had been stabbed in his sleep with an icepick. He accused Laurie of the crime, although he had not actually seen his attacker. The police decided not to press charges against Laurie based on a medical report which suggested that the injury might have been self-inflicted, as well as Russell's abrasive attitude towards the police and his failed polygraph test.[2][3] Russell and his family continued to receive harassing hang-up phone calls, and Laurie was arrested for calls made to Russell's sister. The charges were dropped due to lack of evidence.[3]   Just before their divorce was finalized in April 1987, Laurie accused Russell of raping her. There were no physical signs supporting Laurie's claim, although she passed two polygraph tests.[3] In May 1987, Laurie accused Russell of placing an incendiary device in her home.[2] No charges were filed against Russell for either alleged event. Laurie's parents believed her claims and supported and defended her throughout. By this time, Laurie Dann was being treated by another psychiatrist for obsessive-compulsive disorder and a "chemical imbalance"; the psychiatrist told police that he did not think Laurie was suicidal or homicidal.   In the summer of 1987, Dann sublet a university apartment in Evanston, Illinois. Once again, her strange behavior was noted, including riding up and down in elevators for hours, wearing rubber gloves to touch metal, and leaving meat to rot in sofa cushions. She took no classes at the university.   In the fall of 1987, Dann claimed she had received threatening letters from Russell and that he had sexually assaulted her in a parking lot, but the police did not believe her. A few weeks later, she purchased a .32-caliber Smith & Wesson Model 30-1 revolver.[2]   With her condition deteriorating, Dann and her family sought specialized help. In November 1987, she moved to Madison, Wisconsin, to live in a student residence while being observed by a psychiatrist who specialized in obsessive-compulsive disorder. She had already begun taking clomipramine, a drug for OCD, and her new psychiatrist increased the dosage, adding lithium carbonate to reduce her mood swings and initiating behavioral therapy to work on her phobias and ritualistic behaviors.[3] Despite the intervention, her strange behavior continued, including riding elevators for long periods, changing television channels repetitively, and an obsession with "good" and "bad" numbers. There were also concerns about whether she was bulimic.   Dann purchased a .22-caliber Beretta 21A Bobcat at the end of December 1987. In March 1988, she stopped attending her appointments with the psychiatrist and behavior therapist.[3] At about the same time, she began to make preparations for the attacks. She stole books from the library on poisons, and she diluted arsenic and other chemicals from a lab. She also shoplifted clothes and wigs to disguise herself and was arrested for theft on one occasion. Both her psychiatrist and her father tried to persuade her to enter the hospital as an inpatient, but she refused.[3]   Dann continued to make numerous hang-up phone calls to her former in-laws and babysitting clients. Eventually, the calls escalated to death threats. An ex-boyfriend and his wife also received dozens of threatening calls. In May 1988, a letter, later confirmed to have been sent by Laurie Dann, was sent to the hospital administration where her ex-boyfriend then worked, again accusing him of sexual assault. Since the phone calls were across state lines, the FBI became involved, and a federal indictment against Dann was prepared. However, the ex-boyfriend, fearful of publicity,[2] and concerned about Dann getting bail and then attempting to fulfill her threats against him, decided to wait until other charges were filed in Illinois.[3][5][6] In May 1988, a janitor found her lying in the fetal position inside a garbage bag in a trash room. This precipitated a search of her room and her departure back to Glencoe.   During the days before May 20, 1988, Laurie Dann prepared rice cereal snacks and juice boxes poisoned with the diluted arsenic she had stolen in Madison. She mailed them to a former acquaintance, ex-babysitting clients, her psychiatrist, Russell Dann, and others. In the early morning of May 20, she personally delivered snacks and juice "samples" to acquaintances, and families for whom she had babysat, some of whom had not seen her for years.[2][3] Other snacks were delivered to Alpha Tau Omega, Psi Upsilon, and Kappa Sigma fraternity houses and Leverone Hall at Northwestern University in Evanston.[2][3] Notes were attached to some of the deliveries.[7][8][9] The drinks were often leaking and the squares unpleasant-tasting, so few were actually consumed. In addition, the arsenic was highly diluted so nobody became seriously ill.[2]   At about 9:00 a.m. on the 20th, Dann arrived at the home of the Rushe family, former babysitting clients in Winnetka, Illinois, to pick up their two youngest children. The family had just told Dann they were moving away.[3] Instead of taking the children on the promised outing, she took them to Ravinia Elementary School in Highland Park, Illinois, where she erroneously believed that both of her former sister-in-law's two sons were enrolled (in fact, one of Dann's intended targets was not even a student at the school). She left the two children in the car while she entered the school and tried to detonate a fire bomb in one of the school's hallways. After Dann's departure, the small fire she set was subsequently discovered by students, and quickly extinguished by a teacher. She drove to a local daycare attended by her ex-sister-in-law's daughter and tried to enter the building with a plastic can of gasoline, but was stopped by staff.   Next Dann drove the children back to their home and offered them some arsenic-poisoned milk, but the boys spat it out because it tasted strange to them. Once at their home, she lured them downstairs and used gasoline to set fire to the house, trapping their mother and the two children in the basement (they managed to escape).[2][3][10] She drove three and a half blocks to the Hubbard Woods Elementary School with three handguns in her possession. She wandered into a second grade classroom for a short while, then left. Finding a boy in the corridor, Dann pushed him into the boys' washroom and shot him with a .22 semi-automatic Beretta pistol. Her Smith & Wesson .357 Magnum revolver jammed when she tried to fire it at two other boys, and she threw it into the trash along with the spare ammunition. The boys ran out of the washroom and raised the alarm.[2] Dann then reentered the second grade classroom where students were working in groups on a bicycle safety test. She ordered all the children into the corner of the room. The teacher refused and attempted to disarm Dann, managing to unload the Beretta in the struggle. Dann drew a .32 Smith & Wesson from the waistband of her shorts and aimed it at several groups of the students. She shot five children, killing eight-year-old Nick Corwin and wounding two girls and two boys before fleeing in her car.[3]   Dann was prevented from leaving the area by car because the roads were closed for a funeral cortege. She decided to drive her car backwards down the nearby street, but the road dead-ended into a private drive. Abandoning her car, she removed her bloodstained shorts and tied a blue garbage bag around her waist. With her two remaining guns she made her way through the woods and came upon the house of the Andrew family. Dann entered the house and met a mother and her twenty-year-old son, who were in the kitchen. She claimed she was raped and had shot the rapist in the struggle.[3][11] The Andrews were sympathetic[11] and tried to convince her that she need not fear the police because she had acted in self-defense. Mrs. Andrew gave Dann a pair of her daughter's pants to wear. While she was putting them on, Philip Andrew was able to pick up and pocket the Beretta. He suggested that she call her family. Dann agreed and called her mother, telling her she had done something terrible and that the police were involved. Philip took the phone and explained Dann's story about the rape and shooting, suggesting that Mrs. Wasserman come to get Dann; Mrs. Wasserman said she could not come because she did not have a car.   Mr. Andrew arrived home, and they continued to argue with Dann, insisting she give up the second gun. Dann called her mother again and this time Mr. Andrew spoke with Mrs. Wasserman, asking her to persuade Dann to give up the gun. While Dann spoke with her mother, Mrs. Andrew left the house and alerted the police. Mr. Andrew told Dann that he would not remain in the house if she did not put down the gun, and also left the house. Dann ordered Philip to stay. Just before noon, seeing the police advancing on the house she shot Philip in the chest, but he managed to escape out the back door before collapsing and being rescued by the police and ambulance personnel.   With the house surrounded, Dann went upstairs to a bedroom. The Wassermans and Russell Dann were brought to the house. At about 7:00 p.m., an assault team entered the house while Mr. Wasserman attempted to get Dann's attention with a bullhorn. The police found her body in the bedroom; she had shot herself in the mouth.   Soooooo yea…there's that…she did try and poison people and she was definitely crazy…   So there's pretty much everything known in this case .. Which is to say… Not a ton. It's an interesting case that remains open to this day. And while it seems Lewis is a strong suspect as they kept after him  as late as 2012…still no one has been charged.   The aftermath literally changed the way medication is sold.    McNeil Consumer Products, a subsidiary of the health care giant, Johnson & Johnson, manufactured Tylenol. To its credit, the company took an active role with the media in issuing mass warning communications and immediately called for a massive recall of the more than 31 million bottles of Tylenol in circulation. Tainted capsules were discovered in early October in a few other grocery stores and drug stores in the Chicago area, but, fortunately, they had not yet been sold or consumed. McNeill and Johnson & Johnson offered replacement capsules to those who turned in pills already purchased and a reward for anyone with information leading to the apprehension of the individual or people involved in these random murders.   The case continued to be confusing to the police, the drug maker and the public at large. For example, Johnson & Johnson quickly established that the cyanide lacing occurred after cases of Tylenol left the factory. Someone, police hypothesized, must have taken bottles off the shelves of local grocers and drug stores inJohnson & Johnson developed new product protection methods and ironclad pledges to do better in protecting their consumers in the future. Working with FDA officials, they introduced a new tamper-proof packaging, which included foil seals and other features that made it obvious to a consumer if foul play had transpired. These packaging protections soon became the industry standard for all over-the-counter medications. The company also introduced price reductions and a new version of their pills — called the “caplet” — a tablet coated with slick, easy-to-swallow gelatin but far harder to tamper with than the older capsules which could be easily opened, laced with a contaminant, and then placed back in the older non-tamper-proof bottle.   Within a year, and after an investment of more than $100 million, Tylenol's sales rebounded to its healthy past and it became, once again, the nation's favorite over-the-counter pain reliever. Critics who had prematurely announced the death of the brand Tylenol were now praising the company's handling of the matter. Indeed, the Johnson & Johnson recall became a classic case study in business schools across the nation. the Chicago area, laced the capsules with poison, and then returned the restored packages to the shelves to be purchased by the unknowing victims.   In 1983, the U.S. Congress passed what was called “the Tylenol bill,” making it a federal offense to tamper with consumer products. In 1989, the FDA established federal guidelines for manufacturers to make all such products tamper-proof.   Copycats:   Hundreds of copycat attacks involving Tylenol, other over-the-counter medications, and other products also took place around the United States immediately following the Chicago deaths.[1][25]   Three more deaths occurred in 1986 from tampered gelatin capsules.[26] A woman died in Yonkers, New York, after ingesting "Extra-Strength Tylenol" capsules laced with cyanide.[27] Excedrin capsules in Washington state were tampered with, resulting in the deaths of Susan Snow and Bruce Nickell from cyanide poisoning and the eventual arrest and conviction of Bruce Nickell's wife, Stella Nickell, for her intentional actions in the crimes connected to both murders.[28] That same year, Procter & Gamble's Encaprin was recalled after a spiking hoax in Chicago and Detroit that resulted in a precipitous sales drop and a withdrawal of the pain reliever from the market.[29] In 1991 in Washington state, Kathleen Daneker and Stanley McWhorter were killed from two cyanide-tainted boxes of Sudafed, and Jennifer Meling went into a coma from a similar poisoning but recovered shortly thereafter. Jennifer's husband, Joseph Meling, was convicted on numerous charges in a federal Seattle court regarding the deaths of Daneker and McWhorter and the attempted murder of his wife, who was abused during the Melings' marriage. Meling was sentenced to life imprisonment and lost an appeal for a retrial.[30][31]   In 1986 a University of Texas student, Kenneth Faries, was found dead in his apartment after succumbing to cyanide poisoning.[32] Tampered Anacin capsules were determined to be the source of the cyanide found in his body. His death was ruled as a homicide on May 30, 1986.[33] On June 19, 1986 the AP reported that the Travis County Medical Examiner ruled his death a likely suicide. The FDA determined he obtained the poison from a lab in which he worked.   There you have it…the Tylenol murders! Crazy shit for sure!   Top ten medical horror movies   https://www.dazeddigital.com/artsandculture/article/17726/1/top-ten-medical-horror-films

    Man-Eating Animals

    Play Episode Listen Later May 26, 2022 88:39

    Ep. 157 Man Eaters   Tonight we're gonna talk about something everyone loves, something everyone needs, and something both Moody and myself know quite a bit about…that's right platonic love between two males…wait, wrong podcast… actually it's ……FOOOOOOOD!!   I know what you're thinking… "Jon, how is that creepy?" Well let me tell you how  it is creepy, it's creepy when humans are on the menu. Today we are talking about man eaters. And no.. Not the Hall and Oates classic. We're talking about animals who put humans on the menu!   Throughout time humans have come to be thought of as the top of the food chain. For the most part we are because we have no real natural predators aside from ourselves. But this can change when humans encroach on an animal's territory. There are several reasons animals can attack humans. Not all attacks turn into man eating scenarios but it is important to understand why animals attack.   Perceived Threat or Fear Most animals face the threat of predation. To avoid the risk of being injured or killed, animals employ tactics to fool predators – in some cases that's us, the humans. In the event those strategies fail, their ‘killing' instinct kicks in and launches attacks.   Cape Buffaloes (aka Black Death) is the best example. Cape Buffalo is most aggressive when it has been wounded, or if they detect a threat to the young ones in the herd. Lions could attack humans out of fear to defend themselves when they are approached at close range.   For Food When a carnivorous animal attacks a human, wildlife experts often point to the absence of wild prey species. According to a study in the journal Human-Wildlife Interactions, researchers at the Berryman Institute of Utah State University analyzed leopard attacks in and around Binsar Wildlife Sanctuary in India. They concluded that leopards had been forced to kill livestock due to the low population of their natural prey. In certain cases, leopards also become man-eaters.   Self-Preservation Sometimes animals attack humans because they have to, or they are forced to. Since the beginning of time, humans have attacked wild animals, caged, or killed them. This left animals with a deep-seated fear of humans, and an increased urge to attack if they feel stressed, anxious, or frightened by our mere presence.   Protect Their Young Animals are super protective of their young. The animal kingdom has the most devoted dads like lions, Arctic wolves, gorillas, and golden jackals and moms like elephants who will stop at nothing to rescue their young ones from harm. And that includes driving away or killing humans.   New Territories Due to the population explosion, the world needs to build billions of new homes every year. With increased household demands, it's inevitable that the human race will continue moving into new places. As we do, we become instrumental in deforestation and threaten wildlife. The result – wild animals hunting people who threaten their home.   A good example is hippos. They kill more people than any other animal. Most of the hippo attacks are out of fear of losing their territory. The chances of deliberate attacks are high especially when humans get between hippos when they are in the shallows, cut off from the safety of deep water.   Humans Don't Usually Put up a Good Fight Over the years, we humans have effectively removed ourselves from the food chain. This is good in one way because we don't have to go on hunting parties to get food or fight for territories and survival with other animal species as wildlife.   But the downside is that it makes humans easy prey. We're so unused to being hunted that when things go south, we panic instead of fleeing or fighting and end-up being the prey.   Mistaken Identity One of the most common reasons behind shark attacks. They often think we're food because they can't really see us very well and differentiate from their natural prey. Surfers are more likely to be in danger zone because the surfboard makes them look like a seal, which is the favorite meal of many shark species.   Human Ignorance In most cases, humans get attacked for their own fault. Seeing wildlife up close and taking pictures are fascinating. But there's a huge difference between keeping a safe distance and approaching them closer for a selfie or video. Unfortunately, many people venturing out for wildlife holidays don't know that. They simply invade animals' homes and space and get attacked in return. So those are the main reasons for animal attacks in general…you know…so mostly just fucking leave wild animals alone. Or learn how to fight a bear or wolf or something!   So while most attacks don't involve humans being eaten there are many interesting cases of man eaters out there throughout history. The ones that don't involve eating people…. Well we don't care about those…we are here for the gruesome, gory, man eating details!   There are many different types of animals that have been reported as man eaters. We are going to go through some of those and some of the cases involving those animals!   First up we're gonna look at the big cats! Lions and tigers and leopards and jaguars and cougars…oh my! All have been reported at times to be man eaters.    Tiger attacks are an extreme form of human–wildlife conflict which occur for various reasons and have claimed more human lives than attacks by any of the other big cats. The most comprehensive study of deaths due to tiger attacks estimates that at least 373,000 people died due to tiger attacks between 1800 and 2009 averaging about 1800 kills per year, the majority of these attacks occurring in India, Nepal and Southeast Asia.      For tigers, most commonly they will become man eaters when they are injured or incapacitated making their normal prey to hard to catch.   Man-eating tigers have been a recurrent problem in India, especially in Kumaon, Garhwal and the Sundarbans mangrove swamps of Bengal. There, some healthy tigers have been known to hunt humans. However, there have been mentions of man eaters in old Indian literature, so it appears that after the British occupied India and built roads into forests and brought the tradition of 'shikaar', man eaters became a nightmare come alive. Even though tigers usually avoid elephants, they have been known to jump on an elephant's back and severely injure the “mahout” riding on the elephant's back. A mahout is an elephant rider, trainer, or keeper. Mahouts were used since antiquity for both civilian and military use. Kesri Singh mentioned a case when a fatally wounded tiger attacked and killed the hunter who wounded it while the hunter was on the back of an elephant. Most man-eating tigers are eventually captured, shot or poisoned.   During war, tigers may acquire a taste for human flesh from the consumption of corpses which were just laying around, unburied, and go on to attack soldiers; this happened during the Vietnam and Second World Wars.   There are some pretty well known tigers that were man eaters.    The Champawat Tiger was originally from Nepal where it had managed to kill approximately 200 people starting in 1903 before the Napalese drove her out (without killing her) to the Kumaon region of India in the early 20th century. After the tiger's arrival, she managed to kill another 234 before an exasperated government called in Jim Corbett.   Edward James Corbett was born on July 25, 1875, the son of British colonists in India. He had become a colonel in the British Indian army. Being raised in the valley of Nainital and Kaladhungi region full of natural wonder, he grew up appreciative of wildlife and the need to conserve it. As was typical of early naturalists, he took to hunting and viewed the conservation of wildlife as being more to preserve stock for hunters rather than the preservation of the ecology per se. His skill as a hunter was well-known although this would be the first time he would attempt to take a reputed “man-eater.”   The attacks began in the Himalayas of western Nepal in a Rupal village. Despite the stealth of the massive cat, she left a trail of blood that set hunters headlong in pursuit. Yet, the tiger evaded capture and death. Despite the failed first efforts of hunters, the Nepalese Army knew something had to be done. So, they organized a massive patrol, forcing the tiger to abandon her territory. Unfortunately, danger relocated with her.   Driven over the river Sarda and the border into India, the move did little to slow her thirst for human flesh. In the Kumaon District, she preyed on countless unprepared villagers. The tigress adjusted her hunting strategy to optimize success while diminishing the risk of containment. By some accounts, she traveled upwards of 20 miles (32 km) per day to make a kill and then avoid capture.   She targeted young women and children. They were the ones who most often wandered into the forest to collect firewood, food for livestock, and materials for handicrafts. She only killed during daylight, typical behavior for man-eating tigers. As word got out about the Chapawat tiger's vicious attacks, daily life drew to a standstill. Hearing the Bengal tigress's roars from the forest, men refused to leave their huts for work.   Just two days before he brought down the “Tiger Queen,” Corbett tracked the beast by following the blood trail of her latest victim. Premka Devi, a 16-year-old girl from the village of Fungar near the city of Champawat. She had disappeared, and villagers and Corbett quickly guessed the girl's fate.   After locating Premka's remains and confirming her violent death by the tigress, he nearly got ambushed by the big cat herself. Only two hastily fired shots from his rifle managed to scare the cat away. Only then did he recognize the real danger associated with hunting a man-eater. The Bengal tiger felt no fear of humans.   The next day, with the help of Chapawat's tahsildar, Corbett organized a patrol of 300 villagers. Around noon, he finally had the murderer in his sights and made the kill. Life could return to normal. Because of the legacy he gained by saving the residents of Chapawat and its surrounding villages from the big cat, he went on to pursue and kill about a dozen more well-documented man-eaters.   When the tiger was finally brought down it was noted that both the top and bottom canines on her right side were broken, the top one on half, and the bottom one broken to the jaw bone. The thought is that this is the thing that caused her to turn into a man eater. She couldn't kill and eat her normal prey, so she went after easier prey in humans. Pussy ass humans.   Her final body count is recorded at around 436 people…holy shit!   Tiger of Segur The Tiger of Segur was a young man-eating male Bengal tiger. Though originating in the District of Malabar-Wynaad below the south-western face of the Blue Mountains, the tiger would later shift its hunting grounds to Gudalur and between Segur and Anaikutty. It was killed by Kenneth Anderson, who would later note that the tiger had a disability preventing it from hunting its natural prey. His body count was 5.   The Tigers of Chowgarh were a pair of man-eating Bengal tigers, consisting of an old tigress and her sub-adult cub, which for over a five-year period killed a reported 64 people in eastern Kumaon over an area spanning 1,500 square miles (3,900 km2). The tigress was attacking humans initially alone, but later she was assisted by her sub-adult cub. The figures however are uncertain, as the natives of the areas the tigers frequented claimed double that number, and they do not take into account victims who survived direct attacks but died subsequently. Both tigers were killed by.... Good ol Jim Corbett.   Most recently, the Tigers of Bardia, In 2021, four tigers killed ten people and injured several others in Bardia National Park of Nepal. Three of the tigers were captured and transferred to rescue centers. One of the tigers escaped from its cage and is yet to be captured.   The tigers were identified and captured from Gaida Machan on 4 April, from Khata on 18 March and from Geruwa on 17 March. The tigers were found with broken canine teeth, possibly due to fighting between two males. After the capture, one of the tigers escaped from the iron cage and went back to the forest in the Banke district. Two were housed at the rescue facility in Bardia National Park in Thakurdwara and Rambapur. One was transferred to the Central Zoo in Jawalakhel, Kathmandu. How about lions…y'all like lions…maybe not after hearing some of this shit.   Man-eating lions have been recorded to actively enter human villages at night as well as during the day to acquire prey. This greater assertiveness usually makes man-eating lions easier to dispatch than tigers. Lions typically become man-eaters for the same reasons as tigers: starvation, old age and illness, though as with tigers, some man-eaters were reportedly in perfect health.   The most famous man eating lions would probably be the Tsavo man eaters. The story of the Tsavo lions begins in March 1898, when a team of Indian workers led by British Lt. Col. John Henry Patterson arrived in Kenya to build a bridge over the Tsavo River, as part of the Kenya-Uganda Railway project. The project, it seems, was doomed from the start. As Bruce Patterson (no relation) writes in his book "The Lions of Tsavo," "Few of the men at the railhead knew that the name itself was a warning. Tsavo means 'place of slaughter'" in the local language. That actually referred to killings by the Maasai people, who attacked weaker tribes and took no prisoners, but it was still a bad omen.   Lt. Col. Patterson and company had only just arrived when they noticed that one of their men, a porter, had gone missing. A search quickly uncovered his mutilated body. Patterson, fearing that a lion had killed his employee, set out the next day to find the beast. Instead he stumbled upon other corpses, all men who had disappeared from previous expeditions.   Almost immediately, a second of Patterson's men disappeared. By April, the count had grown to 17. And this was just the beginning. The killings continued for months as the lions circumvented every fence, barrier and trap erected to keep them out. Hundreds of workers fled the site, putting a stop to bridge construction. Those who remained lived in fear of the night.   The violence didn't end until December, when Patterson finally stalked and killed the two lions that he blamed for the killings. It wasn't an easy hunt. The first lion fell on Dec. 9, but it took Patterson nearly three more weeks to deal with the second. By then, Patterson claimed, the lions had killed a total of 135 people from his crew. (The Ugandan Railway Company downplayed the claim, putting the death toll at just 28.)   But that wasn't the end of the story. Bruce Patterson, a Field Museum zoologist and curator, spent years studying the lions, as did others. Chemical tests of their hair keratin and bone collagen confirmed that they had eaten human flesh in the few months before they were shot. But the tests revealed something else: one of the lions had eaten 11 people. The other had eaten 24. That put the total at just 35 deaths, far lower than the 135 claimed by Lt. Col. Patterson.   I mean…35…135…still fucking crazy   Lions' proclivity for man-eating has been systematically examined. American and Tanzanian scientists report that man-eating behavior in rural areas of Tanzania increased greatly from 1990 to 2005. At least 563 villagers were attacked and many eaten over this period. The incidents occurred near Selous National Park in Rufiji District and in Lindi Province near the Mozambican border. While the expansion of villages into bush country is one concern, the authors argue conservation policy must mitigate the danger because in this case, conservation contributes directly to human deaths. Cases in Lindi in which lions seize humans from the centers of substantial villages have been documented. Another study of 1,000 people attacked by lions in southern Tanzania between 1988 and 2009 found that the weeks following the full moon, when there was less moonlight, were a strong indicator of increased night-time attacks on people.   The leopard is largely a nocturnal hunter. For its size, it is the most powerful large felid after the jaguar, able to drag a carcass larger than itself up a tree.  Leopards can run more than 60 kilometres per hour (37 mph), leap more than 6 metres (20 ft) horizontally and 3 metres (9.8 ft) vertically, and have a more developed sense of smell than tigers. They are strong climbers and can descend down a tree headfirst. Man-eating leopards have earned a reputation as being particularly bold and difficult to track.   The Leopard of ​Panar killed over 400 people during the early 20th century, and is one of the most prolific man-eaters in recorded history, second only to the Great Champawat Tigress who lived at the same time.    The Panar Man-eater was a male Leopard that lived in Northern India. The big cat first began to consume human flesh from the numerous diseased corpses that littered the jungle, as a result of a Cholera plague. When the Cholera pandemic ended, and the corpses ceased, he began to hunt humans. Of this Jim Corbett (this guy again) wrote:    "A leopard, in an area in which his natural food is scarce, finding these bodies very soon acquires a taste for human flesh, and when the disease dies down and normal conditions are established, he very naturally, on finding his food supply cut off, takes to killing human beings"   ​For many years the villagers attempted to hunt and trap the demon cat, to no avail. Panars man-eating Leopard could recognize the traps and was a master of camouflage and evasion. He was rarely seen until the moment he struck, sometimes even taking people right from inside their homes, in front of their families.   After trekking through hills, crossing a flooded river with no bridges, and sleeping on open ground in the heart of the Leopards territory Corbett reached the village. The most recent attacks had occurred here, four men had just been killed.     ​Corbett staked out two goats to lure the Panar Leopard and laid in wait. The great cat took the first goat and vanished. Then three days later Corbett had the second goat tied about 30 yards from a tree and he laid in wait, all day, and then into the night. The Leopard finally came, he could only make out the sounds of the Leopard killing his prey and a faint white blur of the goats fur. By hearing alone he fired his shotgun and wounded the great cat,  but again it escaped.   Corbett then lined his men up behind him with torches. He made them each promise not to run, so he would have enough torch light to target the wounded cat. They then walked out across the field toward the brush at the far side.  There, suddenly the legendary man-eater lunged from the brush, and charged the legendary hunter. All of the men turned and ran instantly, though luckily one dropped his torch in flight giving Corbett just enough light to shoot the Leopard in the chest, ending its reign of terror. Corbett was simply a fucking bad ass. Period. In a world full of scared villagers, be a Corbett.   Ok so we've talked about cats…how about dogs.    Wolves are generally not known to be man eaters. Contrasted to other carnivorous mammals known to attack humans for food, the frequency with which wolves have been recorded to kill people is rather low, indicating that, though potentially dangerous, wolves are among the least threatening for their size and predatory potential. In the rare cases in which man-eating wolf attacks occur, the majority of victims are children. We did find a couple accounts of man eating wolves though.    Wolf of Gysinge (Hello, Sweden) A historical account of the attacks says that the wolf involved in the attacks was captured as a wolf pup and kept as a pet for several years starting in 1817. While that may seem like the beginning of a sweet made-for-TV movie, it was almost certainly a deadly mistake. When wolves are kept as pets, the animals lose their instinctual fear of humans.   the Wolf of Gysinge became tired of being cooped up and broke out. We don't know how long it took for the Wolf of Gysinge to start hunting humans, but we know that it became the world's deadliest wolf.   The Wolf of Gysinge was responsible for 31 attacks against human beings. The wolf killed 12 people and injured 19 others. Most of the victims were under the age of 12. One 19-year-old woman was killed, and one 18-year-old man was injured during the attacks.   Most of the 12 humans killed during this attack were at least partially eaten by the wolf by the time they were discovered.   The attacks occurred between December 30, 1820, and March 27, 1821. That averages out to one attack every 3 days over 3 months.   The Wolves of Ashta were a pack of 6 man-eating Indian wolves which between the last quarter of 1985 to January 1986, killed 17 children in Ashta, Madhya Pradesh, a town in the Sehore district. The pack consisted of two adult males, one adult female, one subadult female and two pups. Initially thought to be a lone animal, the fear caused by the wolves had serious repercussions on the life of the villagers within their hunting range. Farmers became too frightened to leave their huts, leaving crops out of cultivation, and several parents prohibited their children from attending school, for fear that the man-eaters would catch them on the way. So great was their fear, that some village elders doubted the man-eaters were truly wolves at all, but Shaitans, which of you are truly a fan of the show, you'll remember us talking about shaitan in the djinn episode, episode 118 from back in August of 2021 . With the exception of the pups, which were adopted by Pardhi tribesmen, all of the wolves were killed by hunters and forest officials.   The wolves of Perigord were a pack of man-eating wolves that attacked the citizens of the northwestern area of Perigord.  The incident was recorded in February of 1766.  Based on the accounts of the authority, at least 18 people were killed during the attack of the wolves before they were finally killed.   Louis XV (15th) offered a reward to those who would manage to kill the wolves.  He also offered them prize money and exemption on the military service of their children if they would be able to save a victim.  An old man around 60-years of age and with a billhook, which is a large machete type knife with a hooked blade at the end, as his weapon was able to save a marksman and his friends after they were attacked by the rampaging wolves when their armaments have been depleted.   According to the records, citizens that were named Sieurs de Fayard killed three of them and a pro-hunter managed to kill the 4th wolf.  One general hunted the wolves and managed to kill 2 of them.  When one of the wolves was examined they noticed that the wolf had two rows of teeth on its jaw, a one of a kind wolf that they concluded to be a hybrid.   Here's one for our Australian listeners. Attacks on humans by dingoes are rare, with only two recorded fatalities in Australia. Dingoes are normally shy of humans and avoid encounters with them. The most famous record of a dingo attack was the 1980 disappearance of nine-week-old Azaria Chamberlain. Yes…the “dingo ate my baby” case. We're not gonna go into that much here but…we'll probably do a bonus on it as it's been brought up for us to cover.   Almost all known predatory coyote attacks on humans have failed. To date, other than the Kelly Keen coyote attack and the Taylor Mitchell coyote attack, all known victims have survived by fighting, fleeing, or being rescued, and only in the latter case was the victim partially eaten, although that case occurred in Nova Scotia where the local animals are eastern coyotes or coywolves. A coywolf is a hybrid of coyotes, grey wolves, and eastern wolves.   Now I know what you're thinking…man it's crazy that that many animals eat humans…well, strap in passengers, cus there's more.   How about…well I dunno…polar bears! Polar bears, particularly young and undernourished ones, will hunt people for food. Truly man-eating bear attacks are uncommon, but are known to occur when the animals are diseased or natural prey is scarce, often leading them to attack and eat anything they are able to kill. Scott Haugen learned to hunt elk, cougar and black bear just beyond his hometown of Walterville, Oregon., but nothing he had experienced compared with the situation he faced when he shot a polar bear after it had dragged a man away and eaten part of him.   Haugen, a 1988 University of Oregon graduate, found the body of a man killed by a polar bear in Point Lay, a small whaling village in northern Alaska.   When he pulled the trigger on his 30.06 rifle, Haugen was standing near the body of a man who was “three-fourths eaten.” It was dark and 42 degrees below zero, and the polar bear was less than 100 yards away, moving slowly toward him. Polar bears can outrun a man and they can give a snowmobile a good chase. Oh, and they can literally take a human's head off with one swipe of its huge paws.   The dead man, identified as Carl Stalker, 28, had been walking with his girlfriend when they were chased into the village of 150 by the bear. The friend escaped into a house. Stalker was killed “literally right in the middle of the town,” Haugen said.   All that remained in the road where the attack took place were blood and bits of human hair, Haugen said. While villagers on snowmobiles began searching a wide area, Haugen was told by the officer to take his rifle and follow the blood trail. He tracked the bear's progress about 100 yards down an embankment toward the lagoon. “I shined a light down there and I could see the snow was just saturated with blood.” A snowmobiler drove up, and in the headlights Haugen discovered what was left of Stalker. He couldn't see the bear, however. Then, as the lights of another snowmobile reflected off the lake, Haugen saw the hunkered form of the polar bear. “When they hunt, they hunch over and slide along the ice” to hide the black area of their eyes and snout, Haugen said. “It wasn't being aggressive toward us, but I wasn't going to wait,” he said. “I ended up shooting it right there.”   Crazy shit   Brown bears are known to sometimes hunt hikers and campers for food in North America. For example, Lance Crosby, 63, of Billings, Montana, was hiking alone and without bear spray in Yellowstone National Park in August 2015 when he was attacked by a 259-pound grizzly bear. The park rules say people should hike in groups and always carry bear spray - a form of pepper spray that is used to deter aggressive bears. His body was found in the Lake Village section of the park in northwest Wyoming. Timothy Treadwell and his girlfriend Amie Huguenard were killed and almost fully eaten by a 28-year-old brown bear on October 5, 2003. The bear's stomach was later found to contain human remains and clothing. In July 2008, dozens of starving brown bears killed two geologists working at a salmon hatchery in Kamchatka.  After the partially eaten remains of the two workers were discovered, authorities responded by dispatching hunters to cull or disperse the bears.   Anything else .. Sure is…like…I dunno…pigs?   Although not true carnivores, pigs are competent predators and can kill and eat helpless humans unable to escape them.  Terry Vance Garner, 69, went to feed his animals one day on his farm by the coast, but never returned.   His dentures and pieces of his body were found by a family member in the pig enclosure, but the rest of his remains had been consumed.   The Coos County Oregon district attorney's office said that one of the animals had previously bitten Garner.   Reduced to dentures and "pieces"... Damn.   In 2019, a Russian woman fell into an epileptic emergency while feeding her hogs. She was eaten alive, and her remains were found in the pen.   In 2015, a Romanian farmer died of blood loss after being attacked by his hogs. And a year prior, a 2-year-old toddler from China was eaten when he wandered into a hog enclosure.   In 2013, a mob boss was still alive when he was fed to hogs by a rival family. In fact, it's been whispered for years that the Mafia uses hogs to help them dispose of bodies.   A pig will “eat meat if they are able to come by it. Fact of the matter is, pigs can eat almost anything they can chew. (They've even been known to eat pork if they find it.)” Cannibalistic pigs. Yup.   However,  pigs cannot chew the larger bones of the human body, but they will break them into smaller bits to make them more manageable. Human hair and teeth, on the other hand (or hoof), are not digestible to hogs and will get left behind.   But, it should be a simple matter to shave your victims' heads and pull out their teeth before chow time, right?   So far…all mammals, right? You're probably thinking, “any reptiles?…well fuck yes we have reptiles!   The saltwater and Nile crocodiles are responsible for more attacks and more deaths than any other wild predator that attacks humans for food.    Each year, hundreds of deadly attacks are attributed to the Nile crocodile within sub-Saharan Africa. Because many relatively healthy populations of Nile crocodiles occur in East Africa, their proximity to people living in poverty and/or without infrastructure has made it likely that the Nile crocodile is responsible for more attacks on humans than all other species combined. In Australia, crocodiles have also been responsible for several deaths in the tropical north of the country. The mugger crocodile is another man-eater that kills many people in Asia each year, although not to the same level as the saltwater and Nile crocodiles. All crocodile species are also dangerous to humans, but most do not actively prey on them.    Gustave is a large male Nile crocodile from Burundi. He is notorious for being a man-eater, and is rumored to have killed as many as 300 people from the banks of the Ruzizi River and the northern shores of Lake Tanganyika.  In order to capture his human prey, Gustave uses his tail and kills them by suffocation. He was allegedly responsible for the death of an employee of the Russian embassy while she was bathing in the water.   Gustave's fame only grew and in 2010, French hunter Patrice Faye tried to capture the reptile using a large crocodile trap – which clearly did not work. In a note to the BBC, Faye alleges that Gustave is very smart and his survival instinct leaves nothing to be desired.   For two years Faye studied the possibilities, even creating a documentary called Capturing the Killer Croc, which aired in 2014 and recorded Gustave's several capture attempts.   In the first attempt, a giant cage that weighed a ton and was about 9 meters long was used. Different baits were placed inside the cage, but none of them attracted Gustave or any other creature. The scientists installed three giant traps on strategic river banks to increase their chances of capture; then, only smaller crocodiles were captured by the traps.   In its last week before having to leave the country, the team put a live goat in the cage and, one night, the camera broke due to a storm. The next morning the cage was found partially submerged and the goat wasn't there. It was not clear what happened that night.    All attempts failed to capture Gustave. He's never been brought to justice. An article rumored he had over 300 victims!   American alligators rarely prey upon humans. Even so, there have been several notable instances of alligators opportunistically attacking humans, especially the careless, small children, and elderly.    A 12ft-long, 504lb alligator believed to have attacked and killed a 71-year-old Louisiana man in Hurricane Ida's aftermath, was captured with what appeared to be human remains in its stomach, local authorities said.   Timothy Satterlee Sr vanished on 30 August, while checking on the contents of a shed at his home in Slidell, Louisiana, as flood waters engulfed the area.   After his wife heard a splash, she discovered her husband being gripped in a “death roll” by a huge alligator.   By the time she could intervene, the beast had already ripped off Satterlee's arm and rendered him unconscious.   She pulled him to the steps of their home and — with neither her phone nor 911 working — in a desperate move she climbed into a small boat in search of help.   But when deputies finally arrived, Satterlee wasn't there any more.   “She just never thought in her wildest nightmares that she would get back and he'd be gone,” said Lance Vitter, a spokesperson for the sheriff's office.   Satterlee's disappearance set off a two-week search that ended  after an alligator was caught in a trap near where Satterlee had gone missing, the St Tammany Parish Sheriff's Office said.   Agents euthanized and cut open the alligator, where they discovered “the upper parts of a human body”, according to Vitter.   “Once the alligator was searched, it was discovered to have what appears to be human remains inside its stomach,” the sheriff's office said.   Oof   Now everyone's favorite…snakes!    Only very few species of snakes are physically capable of swallowing an adult human. Although quite a few claims have been made about giant snakes swallowing adult humans, only a limited number have been confirmed. A large constricting snake may constrict or swallow an infant or a small child, a threat that is legitimate and empirically proven. Cases of python attacks on children have been recorded for the green anaconda, the African rock python, and the Burmese python.    Wa Tiba, 54, went missing while checking on her vegetable garden on Muna island in Sulawesi province. A huge search was mounted by local people.   Her sandals and machete were found a day later - a giant python with a bloated belly was lying about 30m away.   "Residents were suspicious the snake swallowed the victim, so they killed it, then carried it out of the garden," local police chief Hamka told news outlet AFP.   "The snake's belly was cut open, slowly revealing the man's clothed body.   Multiple cases are documented of medium-sized (3 m [9.8 ft] to 4 m [ft]) captive Burmese pythons constricting and killing humans, including several non intoxicated, healthy adult men, one of whom was a "student" zookeeper. In the zookeeper case, the python was attempting to swallow the zookeeper's head when other keepers intervened. In addition, at least one Burmese python as small as 2.7 m (8.9 ft) constricted and killed an intoxicated adult.   How about fish?! Sounds like a good place to do some quick hitters!   Contrary to popular belief, only a limited number of shark species are known to pose a serious threat to humans. The species that are most dangerous can be indiscriminate and will take any potential meal they happen to come across (as an oceanic whitetip might eat a person floating in the water after a shipwreck), or may bite out of curiosity or mistaken identity (as with a great white shark attacking a human on a surfboard possibly because it resembles its favored prey, a seal). Of more than 568 shark species, only four have been involved in a significant number of fatal unprovoked attacks on humans: the great white shark, tiger shark, bull shark, and the oceanic whitetip shark. These sharks, being large, powerful predators, may sometimes attack and kill humans; it is worth noting that they have all been filmed in open water by unprotected divers.   So, I found a pretty cool yet messed up story. On July 1, 1916, Charles Vansant was maimed in the water in front of a hotel in Beach Haven, New Jersey. He died as a result of his wounds. Less than a week later, Charles Bruder perished in Spring Lake, just 50 miles up the Jersey Shore. His legless body was pulled from the water.  Then 10-year-old Lester Stilwell was bitten and dragged under the water while playing with his friends in Matawan Creek. A 24-year-old local, Watson Stanley Fisher, hurried into the creek to look for Stilwell's body, but he, too, was mauled by the shark and eventually died.  That same day, just a mile downstream, 14-year-old Joseph Dunn was also bitten. He survived the attack. These third and fourth deaths thrust New Jersey's shark problem into the national spotlight, and marked a turning point in America's collective psyche, according to Burgess: Sharks were no longer just interesting marine animals, they could be killers. President Woodrow Wilson allotted federal aid to "drive away all the ferocious man-eating sharks which have been making prey of bathers," the Philadelphia Inquirer reported on July 14, 1916.  The Philadelphia Evening Ledger said on July 15 that "the shark menace was formally discussed the day before at a Cabinet meeting in Washington." The newspaper reported that a ship would be dispatched to cooperate with the Coast Guard, and "active warfare against sharks instituted." Meanwhile, New Jersey fishermen, Coast Guard members, and townspeople threw sticks of dynamite into Matawan Creek and used wire nets to try to capture the offending animal. Local fishermen ended up catching various shark suspects, including a 215-pound, 9.5-foot-long female shark with 12 babies in her belly.  Finally, New Yorker Michael Schleisser caught and killed an 8-foot, 325-pound great white just a few miles from where Stilwell and Fisher were attacked. The creature had 15 pounds of human remains in its stomach.  This story is what is said to be the inspiration for the movie, JAWS! Piranhas   Attacks by piranhas resulting in deaths have occurred in the Amazon basin. In 2011, a drunk 18-year-old man was attacked and killed in Rosario del Yata, Bolivia. In 2012, a five-year-old Brazilian girl was attacked and killed by a shoal of P. nattereri. Some Brazilian rivers have warning signs about lethal piranhas.   Catfish   Reports have been made of goonch catfish eating humans in the Kali River in India. The Kali River goonch attacks were a series of fatal attacks on humans believed to be perpetrated by a goonch weighing 90 kilograms (200 lb) in three villages on the banks of the Kali River in India and Nepal, between 1998 and 2007. The first attack occurred in April 1998, when at 13:00, 17-year-old Dil Bahadur, while swimming in the river, was dragged underwater in front of his girlfriend and several eyewitnesses. No remains were found, even after a three-day search spanning 5 kilometers (3.11 miles). Three months later, at Dharma Ghat, a young boy was pulled underwater in front of his father, who watched helplessly. No corpse was ever found. The final attack occurred in 2007 when an 18-year-old Nepalese man disappeared in the river, dragged down by something described as a mud-colored "water pig".    Additionally there have been reports of Wels catfish killing and eating humans in Europe. Large predatory catfish such as the Redtail catfish and Piraiba are thought to have contributed to the loss of life when the Sobral Santos II ferry sank in the Amazon River in 1981.   Groupers   The Giant grouper is one of the largest species of bony fish in the world, reaching a maximum length of 3 meters and weight of 600 kilograms.  There have been cases of this species attacking and possibly consuming humans, along with the closely-related Atlantic goliath grouper.   Lizards   Large Komodo dragons are the only known lizard species to occasionally attack and consume humans. Because they live on remote islands, attacks are infrequent and may go unreported. Despite their large size, attacks on people are often unsuccessful and the victims manage to escape with severe wounds.   Well there you have it folks…man eating animals! It seems after this…we are only at the top of the food chain because certain animals allow us to be there.    In closing, here are the man-eater body counts Individual man-eater death tolls include:   436 — Champawat tiger (Nepal/India) 400 — Leopard of Panar (Northern India) 300+ — Gustave (crocodile) (Burundi), rumoured 150 — Leopard of the Central Provinces of India 135 — Tsavo's man-eating lions (Kenya) 125+ — Leopard of Rudraprayag (India) 113 — Beast of Gévaudan (France) 50+ — Tigers of Chowgarh (India) 42 — Leopard of Gummalapur (India) 40 — Wolves of Paris (France)   Movies:   https://screenrant.com/best-killer-animal-movies/

    What Happened to the Sodder Children?

    Play Episode Listen Later May 18, 2022 113:28

    Welcome aboard for another crazy episode! Today on the train we step into a familiar world…or should we say .. Worlds? A couple episodes ago we did some mass disappearances and you know we love some true crime so today we sort  of combine the two. You see, for the mass disappearances episode there was one case that kept popping up. Now this was interesting to us because we've had that particular case on our list of shows to do for some time now. We figured this would be a good time to go ahead and finally do it. Today we are talking about the disappearance of the Sodder children.  The incident happened on Christmas Eve in 1945 in Fayetteville, West Virginia. George and Jenny Sodder lived with 9 of their 10 children. At the time, the oldest son was off fighting in WW2. The night of the incident, Jennie was awoken three times.   First, at 12:30 a.m., she was awoken by a phone call during which she could hear a woman's voice she didnt recognize asking for a name she didn't know, as well as glasses clinking in the background. Jennie told the caller she had reached the wrong number, later recalling the woman's "weird laugh". As she did, she noticed that some of the lights were still on and the curtains hadn't been closed, two things the children normally did when they stayed up later than their parents. Marion had fallen asleep on the living room couch, so Jennie assumed the other children ,who had stayed up later, had gone back up to the attic where they slept. She closed the curtains, turned out the lights, and returned to bed. She then went back to bed only to be startled by a loud bang and a rolling noise on the roof. She soon dozed off again and finally awoke an hour later at around 130, to see the house engulfed in smoke. She found that the room George used for his office was on fire, around the telephone line and fuse box.   Those are pretty much the facts that can be proven for the most part. Everything else…well it's strange to say the least.   George and Jennie made it out of that fire, as did Sylvia, just a toddler at the time. Also two of their teenage children, Marion and George Jr, made it out. 23 year old John rounded out the kids that made it out alive. Or did he? John said in his first police interview after the fire that he went up to the attic to alert his siblings sleeping there, though he later changed his story to say that he only called up there and did not actually see them. The children remaining inside were Maurice 14 , Martha 12, Louis 9, Jennie 8, and Betty 5. According to accounts, Marion, ran to the neighbors house to call the fire department because their phone was not working. A driver on the nearby road had also seen the flames and called from a nearby tavern; they too were unsuccessful either because they could not reach the operator or because the phone there turned out to be broken. It was Christmas Eve and I've read that the police chief sent everyone home to their families. She couldn't get an answer so another neighbor went to find the fire chief and let him know what was happening.    While this was going on, George, who climbed an outside wall, barefoot, to get to the attic and Jennie tried desperately to save their other children. This is where some of the strange things happen. First off neither of the Sodders trucks would start, despite having worked perfectly during the previous day.. Then their ladder was found to be mysteriously missing. Because of the family not being able to get help from the neighbor and their trucks oddly not starting when they tried to leave to look for the fire chief, help didn't arrive until 8am, almost 7 hours later. The fire department is just 2 miles from the home. The fire department was low on manpower due to the war and relying on individual firefighters to call each other. Chief F.J. Morris said the next day that the already slow response was further hampered by his inability to drive the fire truck, requiring that he wait until someone who could drive was available. Because he was fucking drunk; partying at a local pub, celebrating Christmas Eve. Oh, and one of the firefighters was Jennie's brother, their children's uncle.   The fire was initially blamed on faulty wiring, even though the Sodders claim there had never been any kind of issues with the electrical wiring before. In fact, A visitor to the house, seeking work, went around to the back of the house and warned George that a pair of fuse boxes would "cause a fire someday." George was puzzled by the observation, since he had just had the house rewired when an electric stove was installed, and the local electric company had said afterwards it was safe.   During the investigation something happened that makes this case the crazy thing that we are talking about. 5 of the Sodder children allegedly perished in the fire but the body's were never found. The fire chief told them the fire had cremated the bodies. Jennie asked a crematorium worker if that was possible, the worker told Jennie that bones remain even after bodies are burned at 2,000 degrees for two hours. The Sodder home only took 45 minutes to burn to the ground. So we did a little fact checking about this and there is a lot of argument about whether a house fire can burn bones to ash, but, it seems like those who have degrees and a bunch of letters after their name all agree that a house fire typically will not burn hot enough to get rid of bones. Also another thing we found is that even during cremations bones do not actually turn to dust. In fact after being incinerated at usually between 1800-2000°f, for about 2 hours, the bones are the only thing left. Now, the bones are not the same, granted, as with all the heat, it destroys the structure of the bone but does not turn it to ash. The ashes you receive are actually the bones of the deceased that have been put into what is essentially a big mixer, to pulverize them into dust. So enjoy that thought.    At any rate, due to what the experts said, the family did not believe that the other children simply burned up in the fire. They believed something else happened to the kids. But what else could have happened?   What else would lead one to think something possibly nefarious happened? Well according to some reports, some strange things happened in the lead up to the fire. One strange thing that happened was that in the months before the fire a "ominous drifter, hinted at doom '' We're assuming it was like Friday the 13th…the guy just points and goes…you're all dooooooomed, doomed! Whatever happened it sounds funny.    A few weeks earlier, not too far out from the incident, an angry insurance salesman berated George, telling him that his house was going to go up in smoke and his children would be destroyed as a retaliation for his criticisms of Mussolini in the mostly Italian immigrant community. Actually he said "the dirty remarks you have been making about Mussolini." If it was a sales tactic, it definitely needs work, otherwise, it's oddly specific! Also a bus driver came forward and spoke of how she saw "fireballs" being thrown into the roof of the house, could that be the noise she heard?   In the weeks before Christmas that year, George's older sons had also noticed a strange car parked along the main highway through town, its occupants watching the younger Sodder children as they returned from school.   What about the man who cut off the telephone lines at the Sodder residence? Someone witnessed him taking away a block and tackle used to remove car engines during the fire. He admitted to the theft but answered that he had no part in starting the fire; he had just wanted to cut off the power lines but instead clipped the telephone line. He was let go, and no records exist identifying him or questioning why he wanted to cut lines to steal a block and tackle.    Then on top of that you have the incidents on the night of the fire. There was the phone call and then the noise on the roof and she woke up to smoke in the house. Put all that together, and one could see where people may start to form some theories that this was more than just a tragic house fire.  You know we love a good conspiracy theory as much as the next folks…well at least Moody does.    Not only that, sightings of the children started almost immediately. For starters, locals reported seeing the 5 children in a car that was driving past and watching the fire. Then the next morning a woman operating a truck stop claimed she saw the children come in for breakfast with 4 Italian speaking adults.  Once pictures began to circulate, more sightings came in. a woman said that she saw four of the children (where was the fifth?) in the company of four adults at a hotel in South Carolina.  Which could lend credence to the truck stop story, which also mentioned 4 adults.    Armed with all these facts, George and Jennie went back to the police and demanded to have the fire further investigated. But the police refused, claiming that the coroner's inquiry determined that no crime had been committed.   This is when George and Jennie decided they would continue the search on their own.   George would constantly go and dig through the rubble trying to find something. At one point his searching seemed to find the first evidence of the children. He found what appeared to be an internal organ and also some small pieces of bone. They were sent for testing and the tests revealed that the "organ" was a cow's liver, and that the bones were from someone older than any of the missing children. The small bone fragments that were unearthed were determined to have been human vertebrae. The bone fragments were sent to Marshall T. Newman, a specialist at the Smithsonian Institution. They were confirmed to be lumbar vertebrae, all from the same person. "Since the transverse recesses are fused, the age of this individual at death should have been 16 or 17 years", Newman's report said. "The top limit of age should be about 22 since the centra, which normally fuse at 23, are still unfused". Thus, given this age range, it was not very likely that these bones were from any of the five missing children, since the oldest, Maurice, had been 14 at the time (although the report allowed that vertebrae of a boy his age sometimes were advanced enough to appear to be at the lower end of the range). Also the bones show no sign of being affected in any way by the fire. It was speculated that the bone fragments were mixed in with some dirt brought in to help fill in the basement. Later, Tinsley supposedly confirmed that the bone fragments had come from a cemetery in nearby Mount Hope, but could not explain why they had been taken from there or how they came to be at the fire site. The Smithsonian returned the bone fragments to George in September 1949, according to its records; their current location is unknown.  As far as the liver, it is said that a private investigator found out that the liver was put there by the fire chief at some point in hopes the family would find it and accept the idea that the kids perished in the fire.  George sometimes made his own sightings. On one occasion, George saw a magazine photo of a group of young ballet dancers in New York City, one of whom looked like his missing daughter Betty. He drove all the way to the girl's school, where his repeated demands to see the girl himself were refused.   The investigation and its findings attracted national attention, and the West Virginia Legislature held two hearings on the case in 1950. Afterwards, however, Governor Okey L. Patteson and state police superintendent W.E. Burchett told the Sodders the case was "hopeless" and closed it at the state level. The FBI decided it had jurisdiction as a possible interstate kidnapping, but dropped the case after two years of following fruitless leads.   After this second official investigation ended, George and Jennie continued their search.   George followed up on many leads on his own including heading to St Louis where a woman claimed Martha was being held in a convent but nothing came of that. Another woman in Texas claimed that she overheard two other patrons making incriminating remarks about a fire that happened on Christmas Eve in West Virginia several years before. Again nothing here proved significant.    At one point George heard that a relative of Jennies who lived in Florida had children that looked exactly like his had. He went down there to check it out and only when the relative was able to prove the children were his that George would leave it alone.         In 1967, George went to the Houston area to investigate another tip. A woman there had written to the family, saying that Louis had revealed his true identity to her one night after having too much to drink. She believed that he and Maurice were both living in Texas somewhere. However, George and his son-in-law, Grover Paxton, were unable to speak with her. Police there were able to help them find the two men she had indicated, but they denied being the missing sons. Paxton said years later that doubts about that denial lingered in George's mind for the rest of his life.   That same year the family would receive something pretty crazy. A photo showed up in the mail one day. The photo showed a man that appeared to be around his early 30s with strikingly similar features as their son Louis had had.    Written on the back of the photo was this:               Louis Sodder I love brother Frankie Ilil boys A90132 or 35   Interesting…. Very interesting.    The photo was in an envelope postmarked central city Kentucky. There was no return address.    The Sodders hired a private detective to go to Central city and try and track down where this letter came from and follow this lead. The private detective headed to Central city and guess what he fucking found….. well no one will ever know because after he left he was never heard from again. He never reported back to the Sodders and they were unable to ever locate him. Did he disappear with their money or was he made to sleep with the fishes?   Unfortunately, this took a pretty heavy toll on George. He said in an interview the following year that the lack of information had been "like hitting a rock wall—we can't go any further". "Time is running out for us", he admitted in another interview around that time. "But we only want to know. If they did die in the fire, we want to be convinced. Otherwise, we want to know what happened to them".   George would pass a year later in 1969 believing that his children were never killed in that fire and they were still out there someplace.    After this the rest of the family would continue to search and publicize the case. The only one that would not get involved was John. John believed that the family should accept what happened and all move on with their lives. Jennie stayed in the family home and built a fence around it and added rooms. She wore black for the mourning for the rest of her life and tended the garden at the site of the former house.    These are basically the facts as we know them. Since there's not much in the way of actual forensic evidence in this case, there's no way of telling for sure what happened as far as the children's bodies being burned. Obviously the investigation was quick, taking only 2 hours, and there wasn't a ton of forensic detective work back then. Plus DNA testing wasn't a thing. And just in general investigating wasn't generally as thorough as it is these days.   The surviving Sodder children, joined by their own children, along with older Fayetteville residents, have theorized that the Sicilian Mafia was trying to extort money from George and the children may have been taken by someone who knew about the planned arson and said they would be safe if they left the house. They were possibly taken back to Italy. If the children had survived all those years and were aware that their parents and siblings had survived too, the family believes, they may have avoided contact in order to keep them from harm.   Sylvia Sodder Paxton, the youngest of the surviving Sodder siblings, died in 2021. She was in the house on the night of the fire, which she said was her earliest memory. "I was the last one of the kids to leave home", she told the Gazette-Mail in 2013. She and her father would stay up late, talking about what might have happened. "I experienced their grief for a long time". She believed that her siblings survived that night, and assisted with efforts to find them and publicize the case. Her daughter said in 2006: "She promised my grandparents she wouldn't let the story die, that she would do everything she could".   George and Jennie passed out flyers and put up a billboard on route 16 in Fayetteville. The Sodders purchased the billboard in 1952. It featured black-and-white photographs of each missing child and an account of the fire with a $5000 reward that was increased to $10,000. It was taken down shortly after Jennie's death in 1989. It read:  “After thirty years, it's not too late to investigate. So what happened to the children if they didn't die in the fire? Well there's a few  theories but nothing solid.   One of the biggest questions is how someone could abduct 5 children with nobody being woken up. Well truecrimefiles.com say of that question:             "One of the most puzzling questions is how the actual alleged abduction took place. How did the kidnapper(s) get the five children out of the house, considering that the eldest sister was asleep on the sofa in the living room and the parents were asleep in a bedroom less than 20 feet away? Surely at least one of the children would have made some noise had a stranger (or even someone known to the family) come into the house and taken them away. There is at least one scenario that may have happened that would solve this specific puzzle. One of the chores the two boys were told to do was to attend to the family's handful of farm animals.”   On a side note, Marion, the oldest daughter, had been working at a dime store in downtown Fayetteville, and she surprised three of her younger sisters—Martha, Jennie, and Betty—with new toys she had bought for them. The younger children were so excited that they asked their mother if they could stay up past what would have been their usual bedtime.   At 10 p.m., Jennie told them they could stay up a little later, as long as the two oldest boys who were still awake, 14-year-old Maurice and his 9-year-old brother Louis, remembered to put the cows in and feed the chickens before going to bed themselves.    ”It is possible that all five of the children left the house to perform these chores (the three girls went along to watch) and were taken once they were outside and away from the house."   But an even bigger question would be why would someone do this. Many people believe that it had to do with George's and his background.    George immigrated from Italy and changed his last name from Soddu to Sodder upon arrival. Nobody really knows why he came to America or the circumstances behind his immigration. He would never discuss the issues and whenever it was brought up he would change the conversation. So that's kind of strange. Also George owned a coal trucking business, and at that time the coal industry was under a lot of pressure from the mafia. That plus his little known about past, have lead many people to speculate about mafia involvement in the crime.    Another theory suggests the kids were abducted by an illegal child-selling agency similar to Georgia Tann's with help from the local police. And remember that insurance guy George argued with, the guy that warned that their house would burn and the children would vanish. He was also a member of the coroner's jury which ruled the fire accidental. Leading many to suspect foul play.   For those of you wondering, For more than 20 years, Georgia Tann ran the Tennessee Children's Home Society, where she and an elaborate network of co-conspirators kidnapped and abused children to sell them off to wealthy adoptive parents at a steep profit. This is too crazy a story to not talk about a little here because if there was a network similar to this operating in that area, it seemed like another plausible theory.    Beulah George "Georgia" Tann was born in 1891 in Philadelphia, Mississippi. Named for her father, a powerful judge, she hoped to follow in his footsteps and practice law. Instead, her domineering father forbade it, and she instead pursued a career in social work — one of the few socially acceptable positions for a woman of her means.   She first went to work in Mississippi, but she was soon fired for inappropriately removing children from impoverished homes without cause. She made her way to Texas, where it's believed she adopted her daughter, June, in 1922. Later, in 1923, she adopted Ann Atwood Hollinsworth, a woman believed to be Tann's longtime same-sex partner. It was common at the time for same-sex couples to use adult adoption as a means of transferring property or inheritances.   Tann then moved on to Memphis, where her father used his political connections to secure a new job for her as executive secretary at the Memphis branch of the Tennessee Children's Home Society in 1922.   By 1929, she had staged a takeover and named herself executive director.   Tann's scheme coincided with a sharp increase in families looking to adopt kids In the 1900s and 1910s, formalized adoptions were fairly rare, but in the 1920s adoption began to be marketed as a shortcut to societal improvement. According to one ad from the National Home Finding Society, adopting would "reduce divorces, banditry, murder, and control births, fill all the churches and do real missionary work at home and abroad, exchanging immigrants for Americans and stopping some of the road leading to war."   At the time, the theory of eugenics — that is, the controlling of the reproduction of genetically "inferior" people through sterilization — was popular. The movement claimed that people of better genetic endowment were subject to greater infertility. It became important in adoption not just to get babies but to get the best babies. A campaign to explain the superiority of adoption was launched.   This new outlook, along with the popularization of baby formula, helped Tann's baby-trafficking business grow. Suddenly, nonnursing mothers could easily and affordably feed their babies. The demand for adoptable infants rose, especially among busy, successful women.   Tann was calculated in her approach and targeted the rich and famous, who paid premium prices for their adopted children. Actors, authors, and entertainers, including Dick Powell and June Allyson, Lana Turner, Pearl S. Buck, Smiley Burnette, and New York Gov. Herbert Lehman, all adopted Tann babies. In 1947, Joan Crawford adopted twins, Cathy and Cindy, from Tann.   Stealing children wasn't a small side business. During the 21 years Tann ran the Children's Home Society, it's believed she made more than $1 million from taking and selling children — about $11 million in today's money. And she didn't do it alone.   Tann's extensive child-trafficking operation required connections, and she quickly linked up with E.H. "Boss" Crump, who ran a powerful Tennessee political machine. Crump offered Tann protections in exchange for kickbacks.   To kidnap and traffic her victims, Tann paid off a network of social workers, police officers, doctors, and lawyers. Some kidnapped children from preschools, churches, and playgrounds for her. Kidnappers preyed on poor children and families who didn't have the means to fight back. Tann's coconspirators were authority figures — people not to be contradicted — so children often went with them willingly. Sometimes, Tann would approach families and offer medical or other help. Tann would tell parents she could get their children into a clinic at no cost, but if they came along as well they'd be charged a large bill.   In the era before internet and with few phones, Tann relied on her network of spotters. They alerted Tann to children on riverbanks, in shantytowns, or walking home from school. She drove up in her big black car and offered them rides.   Tann was also in cahoots with a local judge who helped procure children, specifically from impoverished single or widowed mothers. One of her most high profile coconspirators was Judge Camille Kelley, who presided over the juvenile court in Shelby County, Tennessee, for 30 years.   "She had a stooge down in the welfare department when someone would apply for assistance, this person would get their name, and get in touch with Camille Kelley," Robert Taylor, an investigator, said in a 1992 interview with "60 Minutes."   In 1950, Taylor, a local lawyer, was asked by newly elected Gov. Gordon Browning to do an in-depth investigation into Children's Home Society and Tann. "Camille Kelley would send a deputy out to pick them up and award custody to Georgia Tann," he added.   Tennessee law required children to be adopted in state for a fee of $7, about $75 in today's money. But Tann moved her "merchandise" at $1,000 per head — $10,000 today. When the state finally investigated, the report on the Children's Home Society, the Browning report, found that Tann conducted "private" adoptions and pocketed up to 90% of the fee. She would gouge prospective parents on everything from travel costs, to home visits, and attorney's fees.   The report also detailed how children were then spirited away from the Home Society in the middle of the night to avoid detection by authorities who weren't in the know or others who might ask too many questions. Her "nurses" had regular circuits to New York and California, though she shipped to all US states and Great Britain.   Elaborate backstories were added to stolen children's files to make them more "marketable." Their files said they came from "good homes" with "very attractive" young mothers. Fathers were described as "intelligent" and often in medical school.   Tann also knew how to capitalize on opportunities in the adoption market. Few agencies adopted to Jewish families, and Tann saw her chance. A few pen strokes turned a Southern Baptist child into a baby from a "good Jewish" family. As the Children's Home Society scandal was exposed, the scenario played out in the adoption records over and over again.   If parents, biological or adoptive, asked too many questions about children, Tann threatened to have them arrested or the child removed. She was known for "repossessing" children whose adoptive parents couldn't make full payments on time. And she wasn't above blackmailing customers for more money later.   Often she would return to adoptive parents months later and say relatives of the child had come around asking for a baby's return. But for a hefty fee she had lawyers who could make the situation go away.   Homes for unwed mothers, welfare hospitals, and prisons were targeted. Doctors, working with Tann, told new mothers their babies had died during birth. Those children were "buried" at no cost to the families.   Other mothers were coerced into signing their children away while still under sedation from labor. Tann preyed on women's desperation, their poverty, and their sense of shame.   "If they were unsedated and tried to hold on to the babies after the baby was born, then Georgia Tann would step in and say, 'Well, you don't want people in your home town to know about [your pregnancy], do you?'" Robert Taylor, a lawyer who investigated the Tennessee Children's Home Society scandal for Gov. Gordon Browning, said in his 1992 "60 Minutes" interview.   By the 1930s, as a result of Tann's scam, Memphis had the highest infant mortality rate in the US.   Archives at the Benjamin Hooks Library, in Memphis, reveal some of the cruelties children were subjected to. Babies were kept in sweltering conditions, and some children were drugged to keep them quiet until they were sold. Other children were hung in dark closets, beaten, or put on starvation rations for weeks at a time. Drug addicts and pedophiles were hired to watch over them.   According to "The Baby Thief: The Untold Story of Georgia Tann, the Baby Seller Who Corrupted Adoption," sexual abuse was a common occurrence at the home.   Tann was brutally unsparing in her cruelty. Former Home Society employees revealed to Taylor that if an infant was deemed too weak, it might be left in the sun to die. If a child had a congenital disability or was considered "too ugly" or "old" to be of use, Tann had people get rid of them. Many were buried on the property, though about 20 children were buried in an unmarked plot of land within Elmwood Cemetery in Memphis.   In the 1940s, Tann developed a new publicity stunt.   "They would raffle 20 or 30 babies off every year in the 'Christmas Baby Give Away' in the newspaper," Wingate said. "How did anyone ever think that was all right?"   For $25 a ticket — about $350 today — purchasers could buy as many raffle tickets as they liked.   Tann pocketed thousands of dollars that ticket holders assumed went to the Home Society, and had to give away just a fraction of her "merchandise" in the process.   Tann's baby-selling scheme carried on unabated for over two decades. But in 1949 things took a turn. Tennessee elected a new governor, Gordon Browning. Weakened, E.H. Crump, Tann's crony, lost his hold on Memphis politics.   On September 12, 1950, Gov. Browning held a press conference during which he revealed Tann and her network managed to amass more than $1 million from her child-selling scheme — again, nearly $11 million in today's money.   But Tann was never held accountable. Three days later, she died at home after slipping into a mysterious coma from untreated uterine cancer.   On November 11, 1950, Judge Camille Kelley, who had worked so closely with Tann, quietly resigned. It took until late November or early December to find safe homes for the remaining children. Somewhere in the waning days of 1950, the doors to the Tennessee Children's Home Society were closed for good.   No one was ever prosecuted for their roles in the black-market baby ring.   Holy fuck…. So we know that was a tangent but you got a 2 fer here with that crazy tale, and again the reason we went into the  details on this are because there is speculation that the Sodder children could have been victims of a similar scheme. I mean.. If it happened on that scale in one place who's to say it didn't happen here as well. https://www.ranker.com/list/best-movies-about-kidnapping/ranker-film

    Creepy Portugal

    Play Episode Listen Later May 11, 2022 102:58

    Become a Patreon supporter at www.themidnighttrainpodcast.com   This week we're taking the train across the pond for another creepy adventure. That's right, we are doing one of our creepy episodes! It's been a while so we figured it was time. This week we are headed to what some people say is one of the top scariest countries in the world! Not only that…we know we have some awesome listeners here. This week we are headed to creepy Portugal! We are gonna try our best to find the coolest, creepiest places for you guys. I'm just going to assume there's going to be a bridge in here someplace.  So without further Ado.. Let's fucking rock and roll!!!   So first up we're gonna do a little history lesson. Will keep it somewhat sorry and sweet since if we got into the complete history of a country of the age of Portugal, it would be an entire episode on its own. To get there history of this country we went to the source, portugal.com and an article written by Goncarlo Costa.    The history of Portugal starts many ages ago, when the so-called Iberian tribes inhabited the territory of today's Portugal. Then, in the beginning of the first millennium BC, Celtic tribes invaded and intermarried with the local Iberians, creating what is now known as the Celtiberians.   The Lusitanians, who inhabited the interior region of Portugal since the Iron Age, are considered the forefathers of the Portuguese nation. This is why today we have names like Lusophone, someone who speaks Portuguese, or Luso-American, a Portuguese American person. They were known for successfully fending off the Roman armies until the death of their leader, Viriathus, known as a hero in Portugal.   The tribe was considered a worthy adversary by the Romans, so much that they named the province of the whole territory of modern Portugal (south of the Douro River) and part of western Spain after them.   The Romans left various works, such as baths, temples, bridges, roads, theaters and statues; some of them are still found in different parts of the country.   This lasted until the Barbarian invasions, when Germanic tribes migrated to various parts of the Roman Empire. In Portugal, the territory became controlled by the Germanic in the 5th century. The Kingdom of the Suebi controlled Galicia and the North and Center of Portugal, while the Visigothic Kingdom controlled the rest of the Iberian Peninsula, including the rest of Portugal, until eventually conquering the Suebi and, consequently, the whole of Iberia. This is when the rigid class structure appeared in the country, with a Nobility and Clergy getting more and more political and social power.   In the 8th century, the Islamic Umayyad Caliphate invaded the Iberian Peninsula from the North of Africa. Al-Andalus, the Islamic name for the Peninsula, became a part of the Caliphate, and Portugal with it. The Portuguese kept lots of things from their Muslim past, like many of their words, architecture and the famous ‘azulejos'.   The Christians held on in the North of the Peninsula, creating the Kingdom of the Asturias. This was until the Reconquista, when they reconquered the lands from the Moors, the Muslims.   In this Kingdom, at the end of the 9th century, a county based in the now north of Portugal was established, the County of Portugal. The county grew in power and, at the end of the 11th century, a Burgundian knight named Henry, who was fighting in the Reconquista, was crowned as ‘Count of Portugal' and merged it with the County of Coimbra.   Henry's son, Afonso Henriques, proclaimed himself King of Portugal in 1139 with Guimarães as its capital. This city remains known until this day as the “Cradle of the Nation' by the Portuguese.   However, it was only in 1179 that a papal bull officially recognized Afonso I as king. The Reconquista continued with the Algarve, the south of the country, finally being conquered in 1249, and Lisbon becoming the capital in 1255. Since then, Portugal's land borders have remained almost unchanged, being considered one of the longest standing borders in Europe.   The Kingdom of Portugal remained very important in Europe's (and especially Iberian) politics, waging several wars against Spain, creating an alliance with England (the longest standing alliance in the world, lasting until today) and starting the “Age of Discovery”.   In this Age, the country built a vast empire, having territory all over the world, from South America to Oceania. They started by exploring their coast and adventuring into the Moroccan coast, hoping to continue the Reconquista to the North of Africa. Then, the Portuguese sailors started to adventure into the open sea, when they discovered the islands of the Canaries, Madeira, Azores and Cape Verde. Subsequently, the Portuguese explored the coast of Africa, setting trading ports, and tried to discover the maritime route to India, which they did in 1498, under the explorer Vasco da Gama.   They continued to explore and look for trade around the world, from Africa, passing through Arabia, and reaching Japan, setting several outposts, many of them having developed into colonies later on. In 1500, they reached South America and started the colonization of Brazil.   The Empire started to decline, however, when the Dutch, English, and French got in the game. They started to surround or conquer the scattered Portuguese trading posts and territories, diminishing their power. On the Battle of Alcácer-Quibir, in 1578, Portugal lost its king, becoming part of a dynastic union with Spain that lasted until 1640, when it finally gained its independence again.   After that, the country never became the great power it once was. It lost several colonies (including its largest one, Brazil) and trade routes, it saw its capital being destroyed by an earthquake in 1755 and it was occupied during the Napoleonic Wars.   From then on, Portugal was a minor power in Europe, having just some colonies in Africa and Asia and never becoming an economic powerhouse.   Then, in 1910, due to corruption, dissatisfaction with the several Kings and the loss of claimed African lands to the English, the monarchy ended and a Republic was created. Fiercely secular, to the point where it was antichurch, filed with corruption, government instability and near to bankruptcy, the regime came to an end with a military coup in 1926.   A military dictatorship was installed and then, a fascist-like regime, the ‘Estado Novo' (‘New State'), headed by António de Oliveira Salazar. This period was marked by authoritarianism, lack of freedom and, from 1961, by the Portuguese Colonial War.   All of this ended when, in April 25th 1974, the Carnation Revolution happened, carried out by the Armed Forces Movement (Movimento das Forças Armadas – MFA), a movement of young left-leaning captains of the Portuguese Armed Forces. With the Revolution, democratic reforms were made and the first free elections with multiple parties happened, as well as the independence of all of Portugal's colonies.   It also started the PREC (Processo Revolucionário Em Curso – Ongoing Revolutionary Process), a period when conservative and left-leaning forces inside the MFA confronted each other, marked by political turmoil, violence, instability, and the nationalization and expropriation of private lands. It came to an end on the 25 November 1975, when the MFA moderates appeared as the main force.   Nevertheless, revolutionary achievements were not forgotten, with the Constitution pledging until this day to realize socialism, as well as declaring extensive nationalizations and land seizures as irreversible, many, however, now overturned.   Nowadays, Portugal is one of 15 most sustainable states in the world and considered the third most peaceful. It has high living standards and a good economy. It was a founding member of NATO, the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), the European Free Trade Association (EFTA) and the Community of Portuguese Language Countries. It entered the European Economic Community (now the European Union) in 1986 and is one of its fiercest supporters, even having produced a European Commission President.   Ok so that's a brief…incredibly brief mini history of Portugal. Really the take aways are…super old, plenty of things happened to make the place creepy over that many years. So let's see what creepy stuff Portugal has to offer!   What better way to start than with a sanatorium! Valongo Sanatorium to be exact. The construction of the Mont'Alto Sanatorium began in 1932. Due to the appearance of a large number of people who had contracted tuberculosis, there was a need to expand the facilities, and these expansion works were completed in 1958. construction of these hospital units were carried out in high altitude places, due to the purity of the air, and also because they were away from the populations to avoid the effects of contagion. The sanatorium only operated for a short period, having been inaugurated in 1958 and closed in 1975, after which it entered a profound state of disrepair. Due to its dimensions, it is considered one of the most imposing buildings of its type in Portugal.Its building is large, with an area of ​​approximately 88,000 m², having been built with a view to housing about 300 patients. The building was designed by the architect José Júlio de Brito , who was also responsible for other prominent structures in the city of Porto, such as the Coliseu or Teatro Rivoli . The sanatorium complex, which occupied nine hectares, also included a school, a laundry room, a water reservoir, and a chapel dedicated to Our Lady of the Sick.    The installation of the Sanatorium in Valongo was part of a phase in the history of health in Portugal, during which the government undertook the construction of several specialized establishments to combat tuberculosis, a disease that was ravaging the country at the time. This period began in 1899, with the foundation of the National Institute of Assistance to Tuberculosis, which began the construction of several sanatoriums in different parts of the national territory. In 1930, efforts against tuberculosis were renewed in the north of the country, with the creation of the Assistance to Tuberculosis of Northern Portugal by António Elísio Lopes Rodrigues, and at that time, planning began to build a sanatorium that would house the sick in that region, who had lower economic resources.  Serra de Santa Justa was chosen, where the air was healthier, in addition to being isolated from urban centers, in order to reduce the risk of contagion.   Shortly after, the Sá family donated a plot of land in Serra de Santa Justa, allowing the construction of the building, whose works began in 1932.  However, the works were suspended due to lack of funding, having been resumed due to the support of the local populations.  On July 5, 1940, ATNP began building the Casa de Nossa Senhora da Conceição, to support the children of the sanatorium's patients. According to the Diário Popular of 3 January 1956, the finishing works and equipping of the sanatorium were already under way, and it was expected to be completed during the following year, and that it would have a capacity for 350 beds.  However, the works were only completed in 1958.  Another reason for the delay in the work may have been the opposition by the Companhia das Minas de São Pedro da Cova to the construction of the building, because it was being installed inside an area destined for coal mining, a few kilometers away from the mines.  However, at the time of the sanatorium's inauguration, mining was already entering its final phase, ending up closing in 1970.  Some of the users of the hospital were the mine workers themselves, who suffered from occupational diseases such as tuberculosis and silicosis . The Sanatorium of Monte Alto was inaugurated on 1 November 1958,  being the last one to be opened in Portugal. The inauguration ceremony included a religious service at the Chapel of Nossa Senhora dos Enfermos, the unveiling of a commemorative tombstone, a tribute to the League of Combatants of theFirst World War, and concluded with a port of honor offered by the board of directors. of the sanatorium.  During the ceremony, the admission and accommodation process of the first clients, all veterans of the First World War, was also carried out. Although it was planned for three hundred patients,  its initial capacity was only fifty beds, and during its operation it accommodated 350 people.    In the early 1970s, there began to be greater control over the tuberculosis disease, which began to be fought in a different way, through the outpatient system.  In this way, the sanatoriums ceased to be useful, and were progressively abandoned or underwent a process of readaptation for other purposes.  In the case of the Montalto Sanatorium, the closure process began in 1972,  due to the low number of tuberculosis patients in the Porto District.  At that time, the building already had only a few patients, having been thought of its adaptation as a psychiatric hospital or for the returnees from overseas, which did not advance.  Due to the process of closing the Sanatorium, Casa Nossa Senhora da Conceição ceased to function as a boarding school, starting to support only external students. The building was abandoned after the April 25 Revolution , when the last employee left, although it was only officially closed in 1975.  Following its closure, it was completely looted, being a of the main reasons its connection to the Estado Novo, as it was mostly built and used during that regime.  This connection to the Estado Novo also had a negative impact on the collection of funds, making it impossible to carry out works on the building. It was also used as a training ground by firefighters and civil protection, who performed drills there and destroyed some walls.  Later, the sanatorium was used for paintball games and photo shoots, and various ceremonies related to the supernatural, such as rituals, were also performed there. The building was also hit by several fires, accentuating its degradation. History is awesome and fun and you know we love it but…. The reason we're here is for creepiness! There are stories abound of how haunted this place is. Given the numerous people who died there it makes sense to us! So what kind of stuff are we talking about here ? Well, let's look.    Well paranormal investigators have been spending time here for years, when there's no paintball matches going on, to try and find crazy shit! There have been numerous reports of strange noises and things moving around. There have been entities seen and apparitions spotted. It's hard to find much in English so finding pages from Portuguese websites and trying to find studies was tough but we managed to find one study where a group of friends were exploring the abandoned hospital and had some interesting things happen. They talked about how they started hearing strange noises while they were exploring. The noises seemed to be following them around the building. They talked about how they had a heavy feeling around them as they explored. The sounds seemed to keep getting closer to them. They claim that things started getting knocked over and moved on their own. At one point, one of the group claimed they saw a shadowy figure seemingly watching them. At that point they all decided it was time to go! Sounds like a pretty crazy experience!  True or not? We like to think so!   Can't go and episode without fucking tuberculosis… Teatro Lethes:   The building that today is called Teatro Lethes, began as a Jesuit College – Colégio de Santiago Maior, founded by the then Bishop of the Algarve, D. Fernando Martins Mascarenhas -, whose license was granted to them on 8 February 1599. of learning, above all of a religious nature – the “first university in the Algarve”, as someone has called it. In 1759, the Society of Jesus was banned from the country and its goods were confiscated. The College of Santiago Maior closed its doors. With the occupation of Napoleonic troops commanded by General Junot, the premises of the former College were raided and desecrated in order to enlist the soldiers there. Years later, in 1843, the College was auctioned off by Dr. Lazaro Doglioni, who had publicly expressed his intention to build a theater in Faro similar to S.   The Latin inscription on the facade of the building, monet oblectando , can be translated as “instructing, playing”, thus emphasizing the cultural concerns of the promoter of the construction of this concert hall.   The inauguration of Teatro Lethes took place on 4 April 1845, as part of the celebrations for the birthday of Queen Maria II. Later, in 1860, it was expanded by Dr. Justino Cumano, nephew of Lázaro Doglioni. On September 11, 1898, the so-called animatograph was exhibited for the first time in Faro., installed in the Lethes Theater as it is the largest and most distinguished cultural space in the city. It was restored between 1906 and 1908 to improve acoustics and comfort. The decline of the shows and, consequently, of the hall, begins in 1920, with the Theater closing in 1925, having sold the property to the Portuguese Red Cross, in whose possession it still remains. The Lethes Theater room was later ceded, by protocol, to the Algarve Regional Delegation of the Ministry of Culture. In the North wing, restored and adapted in 1991, the regional services of the Ministry of Culture operated. On October 5, 2012, by protocol between the Municipality of Faro and the Portuguese Red Cross, Teatro Lethes recovered its initial design. The Algarve Theater Company – ACTA was installed as a resident structure. ACTA, in addition to presenting shows of its own creation, also promotes hospitality at the Lethes Theater, and is also responsible for managing the equipment. this history was taken directly from the theatre website!   There are a couple stories about this place that prettier day lead to its hauntings. The first is the story of a ballerina who was in love but was not loved back. She was so distraught that she hung herself in the middle of the stage. Some versions say that she was driven to the brink by the demands of theater life. The second is that of a soldier's body that was found inside one of the walls. There isn't as much info on that story as the ballerina. Staff and visitors claim you can hear the ballerinas footsteps in the theater to this day. There are also reports of a shadowy figure moving about as well. Could this be the ballerina still performing for the people? Or the soldier patrolling the theater? Who knows but it sounds like a cool place to visit!! The Castelinho of Sao Joao, Estoril   The area between Estoril and Cascais, out on Lisbon's Atlantic coast, is rife with buildings of character. Many of them are designed to give the impression of miniature castles, indeed some of them were fortified because they were built during times of instability within the Iberian peninsula.   In the 1980s, a wealthy socialite, José Castelo Branco, was looking for just such a property and found one that seemed ideal in Sao Joao, a district on the edge of Estoril. The day he went to view the property was a beautiful sunny one and so he decided to walk along the cliff path which adjoined the property. As he was walking back to the building, he saw a young girl. She didn't speak, but simply stared at him. In his own account of the events of that day, Mr Castelo Branco said that he felt a compulsion to jump from the edge. This feeling was, he believed, coming from the young girl. He immediately elected to leave the property and ruled out buying it.   On hearing what had happened, someone from the local town hall did some research into the building and discovered that a young blind girl had fallen from the cliffs to her death in the eighteenth century and that several people had reported seeing her at the castelinho since, each claiming that they felt a strong will to jump while she looked at them.   Let's check out a cemetery now…cus those are always fun!    This one is called the cemetery of pleasures. After the city of Lisbon was hit by an outbreak of cholera in 1833, causing thousands of deaths,  it was urgent to create a large cemetery for both rich and poorer victims. It has the weird name of  Cemetery of ‘Pleasures', called after the nearby neighborhood (Prazeres) with the same name. Many of its tombs are big mausoleums, some with the size of small chapels.    Most of the Prazeres mausoleums belong to rich, old or ‘important' families, like  the Palmela family. Many of the mausoleums are richly elaborate, have fine sculptures and decorations. There are also statues of the deceased. It's like a ‘city in a city' for the dead, with well-defined lanes (70! ) and funerary chapels that were built to look like little houses.   The unusual thing about a lot of these graves is that they have little “front doors” with glass windows through which you can see the caskets and remnants of the dead and their visitors. Most of the trees are a species of cypress (Cupressus sempervirens), much used in Portuguese cemeteries.   The cemetery is one of the largest in Lisbon.    The Autopsy Room , which was in the chapel until the Morgues were created in 1899, is one of the curiosities that can be seen, as well as the Sala do Acervo , where some of the oldest funeral records can be consulted. This is another way of helping the visitor to interpret the different ways that human beings have had to culturally, socially and psychologically approach Death, throughout different times.   As with the many famous families and celebrities, another thing that adds to some people thinking there's more going on at this place is the presence of many freemason symbols and you know how that gets people talking!    At any rate, being a cemetery you can imagine the tales of hauntings surrounding this place! Everything from apparitions being seen wandering the grounds, to Disembodied voices. People have seen orbs in person and in pictures. I mean being able to see into these little houses and see the caskets and remains is creepy enough…add haunting to that…and it's definitely a place we want to go!   Next up, Quinta Das Conchas   The Quinta das Conchas (or the garden of shells) in Lisbon is best known for its expansive parkland, just to the north of the city centre. Families can be found playing here during the warmer months and countless dog walkers can be seen at any time of the year. The house at the heart of the estate though has a darker past which is lesser known. In the early part of the twentieth century, when Portugal was still a colonial power, the owner of the estate was a wealthy man called Francisco Mantero Belard. Like many of his countrymen, he was accustomed to having servants who took care of the running of his home. So, when he moved into the quinta, he acquired the services of a slave from Sao Tomé and Principe. There was nothing unusual about this at the time, other than that he elected to keep this slave woman in a small cage. She was made to live like an animal and, according to local myth, subjected to a variety of cruel treatment for several years. People working in the manor house in modern times have reported hearing wailing coming from empty rooms, as well as dramatic changes in temperature.   Let's switch it up and talk a little about Portuguese folklore! We're gonna talk about the coco or coca. There are also many other names for this guy or gal including Cucuy, Cuco, Cuca, Cucu or Cucuí. It is a mythical ghost-monster, equivalent to the bogeyman, found in many Hispanophone and Lusophone countries. It can also be considered an Iberian version of a bugbear as it is a commonly used figure of speech representing an irrational or exaggerated fear. A bugbear is described as  a legendary creature or type of hobgoblin comparable to the boogeyman and other creatures of folklore, all of which were historically used in some cultures to frighten disobedient children. The Cucuy is a male being while Cuca is a female version of the mythical monster. In Spain, Portugal, and Latin America, parents sometimes invoke the Coco or Cuca as a way of discouraging their children from misbehaving; they sing lullabies or tell rhymes warning their children that if they don't obey their parents, el Coco will come and get them and then eat them.    Continuing with the mystery surrounding this child scarer, the Coco also does not take on a specific physical form. For the Portuguese it is a dragon that is represented every year in the celebration of Corpus Christi…at least that is what I've source says.. another says: "In Portuguese côco, refers to a ghost with a pumpkin head. The male form is known as Coco, and the female form as Coca. It is said it's hard to tell the difference between the two. It seems that parents are to blame for the invocation of the Coco as a way of punishment for their wayward children. They would sing rhymes warning their children if they did not obey their parents the Coco would come and eat them.".... So a pumpkin headed goblin… Although the Coco was ghostly monster like in appearance, that wasn't the most frightening thing about them. Children would be scared out of their wits at the idea of a monster that could eat them and not leave a trace. So imagine being a child forced to sleep with a lullaby of a monster that was coming to devour them.    Duermete niño, duermete ya…que viene el cuco y te comerá (sleep child, sleep now…or else comes the coco to eat you).   Creepy, so this folk tale seems to have many different versions depending on where you look. We think that due to the fact that many Latin American countries also use this in folklore as well as there being a certain in Brazil, it's hard to actually put the facts together. Every place we looked about this tale had a little bit of a different take, hopefully we got it close as we mean no disrespect to the tales!   You know what else Portugal has…aliens, at least a few. He's a couple stories!    On September 4, 1957, four Portugal Air Force pilots claimed to have seen and chased some UFOs. They took off with their bomber aircraft from the Ota Air Base in Portugal under Captain José Lemos Ferreira leadership (the others pilots were sergeants Alberto Gomes Covas, Salvador Alberto Oliveira e Manuel Neves Marcelino). When they were heading towards the city of Portalegre, Captain Ferreira noticed a light above the horizon and warned the others. The light changed its own sizes a couple of times, first increasing, then shrinking. After several minutes the pilots noticed a small yellow circle getting out of the craft, and 3 more circles appeared later. When the UFOs were near Coruche, the bigger aircraft climbed out of the Earth as the smaller ones disappeared. The bombers landed without any problems and Captain Ferreira declared: "after this, do not come to us with that Venus, weather balloons, aircraft and similar stuff which have been being used as general explanations for almost every case of UFOs".   On September 10, 1990, around 9:30AM and for about 50 minutes, a small "balloon" was seen hovering towards a small football field, on a small village called Alfena in the outskirts of Porto. The object was described as "a small turtle with long legs" with a metallic shine. The people present got scared and a group of construction workers started throwing stones at it, and the object hovered backed away, leaving the site. An amateur photographer took several pictures of the shapeshifting object; the pictures were considered by several experts as real and the witness accounts by the simple folks were not considered hoax.    We also found this first hand account.. "My name is Cristina Marto de Pimental. I am a reporter. On New Year's Eve, December 31, 1997, my husband and I were at a seaside party in Funchal, which is on the South shore of Madeira Island, in the Atlantic Ocean, 912 kilometres East of Morocco. We were watching the New Year's festivities, all the fireworks in the sky. Then several people at the party called my attention to a red and motionless light above Funchal. The OVNI suddenly made a very tight circle, returned to its initial position, and, a few seconds later, it accelerated at great speed in a vertical direction. We were all quite amazed at the sight. A British couple at the festival videotaped the UFO as it hovered. The next day I telephoned the Fuerzas Aereas Portugeses (FAP) headquarters in Lisboa. The Portuguese air force told me that they'd had no flights, neither planes nor helicopters, and no satellites were over Madeira at that time."   Whoooooo aliens!!!   Time for some quick hitters, you beautiful bastards!   Quinta da Paulicea, Agueda:   Not far from the city center of Águeda, Quinta da Paulicea sits in the middle of large unkept plot of land surrounded by a wrought iron fence. It is the classic image of what a Hollywood haunted house should look like. It was inhabited by an Águedense family, who had moved to Brazil in the late 1800s, but returned in the early 1900s, naming the home after the city of São Paulo. Much of the family succumbed to the influenza pandemic in 1918, with the exception of Neca Carneiro. He was a patron of the community's sports and cultural programs but died childless at the young age of 37. The home has sat vacant ever since, due to legal constraints with the family back in Brazil. Although not certified as haunted, there are many reports of supernatural encounters at Quinta da Paulicea. Some have heard the neighing of horses where the stables once stood. Others have been frightened by the sound of a shotgun blast or a gentle pulling on hair. A worker in the garden suddenly experienced such an intense headache that he fled and never returned. Whether haunted or not, this beautiful home has many stories to tell.   Mines of São Pedro de Cova – Gondomar:   The village of São Pedro da Cova was largely an agricultural community until the discovery of coal in the 1802. The exhausting and dangerous industry of mining soon took over. Several generations of miners worked here until low oil prices forced the mines to shut down in the 1970's. All that's left of the mines are these ruins. Neighbors say spirits of the miners protect the ruins and the mine shafts. Others claim to hear screaming from the deep holes.   Termas de Água Radium, Sortelha:    Legend has it that this beautiful structure, in the Guarda District, was built by Spanish Count Don Rodrigo after learning that the natural “healing waters” might cure his daughter's skin disease. News of the waters quickly spread. In the 1920s, the site became a restorative spa known as the Hotel Serra da Pena. In actuality, the waters were radioactive, seeping from a uranium mine not far away. Radioactivity was all the rage in the 20's and 30's, so the site bottled the spring water and sold it under the name “Radium Water.” Of course, after radioactivity was studied further in the 40's, it became apparent that the healing qualities of radium water actually carried the opposite effect. The hotel went out of business in the 50's and has been abandoned ever since. It is said the site is haunted by the many people who drank from the contaminated spring.   Sanatório da Serra da Estrela – near Covilhã:   This massive structure was built in 1936 by Portugal's railway department as a treatment facility for its employees suffering from Tuberculosis. The building was later leased to the Portuguese Society of Sanatoriums on condition of receiving all patients needing treatment.  However it was closed in the 1980's and left to deteriorate for decades to come.  Rumors circulate that it is haunted by its many former patients.  The Sanatório has now been refurbished and transformed into the luxurious new Pousada Serra da Estrella.   Quinta da Juncosa – Penafiel, Rios de Monihos:    This old farmhouse was home to the Baron of Lages and his family.  The Baron was very jealous, and suspected his wife of infidelities.  Legends have it, the Baron tied his wife to a horse and dragged her around the farm until she died.  After discovering his wife was innocent, the Baron killed his children and committed suicide.  They say the Baron's guilt keeps him from resting in peace.  Ghosts of the Baron and his wife are said to be seen around the property.   So we did this episode in honor of our Portuguese listeners who have keep us in the top 10 in Portugal for quite some time. We thank you guys so much for that. But we have one request for you…in every creepy episodes so far until this one…we've found a haunted bridge, Texas had like 50. In all of my searching the recesses of the Internet, I could not find a single reference to a haunted bridge in Portugal, we need our Portuguese listeners to hit us up and let us know any stories about haunted bridges. It was tough to find a ton of information on a lot of these places so hopefully we did them right! If we made any mistakes or got anything wrong, you know what we say…blame the Internet!! Movie list   https://www.indiewire.com/gallery/best-body-horror-movies/

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    Unexplained Mass Disappearances. Where'd They Go?

    Play Episode Listen Later May 4, 2022 105:45

    Ep. 154 Unexplained Mass Disappearances   Today we're talking about unsolved stuff…but in a different way. We're talking about unexplained mass disappearances. How can large numbers of people just disappear without a trace? Where'd they go? Why'd they go? Did somebody make them leave? Bigfoot again? Aliens? Supernatural? Chainsaw? We may never know….but that won't stop us from discussing, speculating, and inevitably making really bad jokes on today's episode. So all aboard bitches let's roll!   Let us begin back…back…waaaaay back in 1918. We're talking about the USS Cyclops. Aside from having a great name, it fits the bill on mass disappearances. USS Cyclops (AC-4) was the second of four Proteus-class colliers built for the United States Navy several years before World War I. A collier is a fancy name for a big ass coal cargo ship. The USS Langley, the first aircraft carrier in the US Navy, was a converted collier. This was actually the second ship to bear the name Cyclops. She had been swimming around hauling coal and helping refugees between the Baltic sea, the Bahamas, and Mexico since 1910. In 1917 she was covered to help haul troops and coal all over the world during WW1.  In March 1918, the ship was given a new cargo: tons and tons of dense manganese ore, used in steelmaking. She left Brazil loaded up with the brittle metal, then voyaged to Barbados to resupply for the long journey home to Baltimore. That's where things get interesting. On the journey home something went wrong and the ship was never heard from again. Not even an sos. The last known transmission from the Cyclops was "weather fair, all well" at the beginning of the trip home. When the ship did not reach Baltimore a massive search was undertaken. Every naval ship from Cuba to Puerto Rico was sent out to search for debris. At the time, given it was during the war, the general consensus was that she was sunk by the Germans. But during the search, ships could not find any debris field that would be evident if it was torpedoed. In fact no one found anything…anything at all. It seemed the ship just disappeared. 306 people were just… gone. It remains to this day, the single largest loss of life in the history of the United States Navy that did not directly involve combat! Wow that's pretty crazy. So what exactly happened? Well there are theories abound my friends!    First there is a mini conspiracy theory that the captain sabotaged the ship or even took it all the way to Germany! Why, you ask? Well let us tell you. It is said that the crew was unhappy with the captain. You see, Captain Worley was hated by his staff and officers and was accused of being pro German. It was discovered later that Worley was actually German born and had changed his name at some point. It's not known why he changed his name. On top of that, the US Consulate General of Rio, named Gottschalk, boarded the ship with 73 other local sailors. Gottschalk was very popular with the German community in Brazil. Couple this with the fact that upon leaving Brazil, the ship was said to have been overloaded and people began to speculate. They say that Worley and Gottschalk purposely sabotaged the ship in some way to favor the Germans back home. Either that or the thought is that they essentially stole the crew and cargo and headed back to Germany. Seems plausible, until you try and figure how a few men could have forced 300 men to go back to Germany.  There are several theories of the ship being struck by a rogue wave or breaking up at sea. One sailor reported when they reached Rio, that on the way, the deck of the ship would sway when the ship was struck with large waves. He says the ship was showing signs of structural failure. Could that have been the issue? If so…where was the debris? Another theory was that the ship was overloaded and ran into a storm in which the unstable ship overturned and sank to the bottom of the ocean. Again…why no debris though?   For a BBC Radio 4 documentary, Tom Mangold had an expert from Lloyds investigate the loss of the Cyclops. The expert noted that manganese ore, being much denser than coal, had room to move within the holds even when fully laden, the hatch covers were canvas, and that when wet, the ore can become a slurry. As such, the load could shift and cause the ship to list. Listing is caused by the off-centerline distribution of weight aboard due to uneven loading or to flooding. By contrast, roll is the dynamic movement from side to side caused by waves. If a listing ship goes beyond the point where a righting moment will keep it afloat, it will capsize and potentially sink. Combined with a possible loss of power from its one engine, it could fill with water and go down in bad weather.   Then there's our personal favorite…the Bermuda triangle just straight fucked it up and aliens took it. That's right passengers…this happened in the infamous Bermuda triangle!!! So of course there are numerous theories involving the Bermuda triangle and supernatural goings on.  Most of these Bermuda triangle theories involve either aliens coming down and abducting the ship and crew, or aliens under the ocean coming up and claiming the ship for themselves. We here at the train, well at least Moody, think that this is the most plausible explanation of course.    So what do you guys think? Aliens?.... Yea it was aliens…   Ok so up next we're heading up to the great white north. For those of you who don't know…that's Canada.. You know America's hat. Anyway.. we're looking at the lake Anjikuni incident. The telling of this mystery was taken from mysterioustrip.com.  Anjikuni Lake is located deep in the Kivallig area of rural Nunavut in Canada. Placed near the Kazan River, the lake is perfect for fishing and trout. Anjikuni fastly became a home for the Inuit tribe; it developed soon into a colony and became popular almost instantly on a cold November day in 1930. Joe Labelle, a Canadian fur trapper, was more than an efficient individual who spent a lot of time doing outdoor activities. He was very familiar with the area; he knew that the people established a community. Joe was acquainted with the Inuit stories of wood ghosts that were reportedly harmful, and this remote part was soaked in the tales of the Wendigo. Labelle generally didn't have any fear or anxiety; however, this specific night at the lake became different. The full moon was casting a spooky luminosity all over the village, and no one was moving. The Huskies that were usually loud with the influx of travelers were quiet as well. The only sound he could hear was of his own steps made on the snow and the concave reverb of his greeting. He quickly understood something was not normal, and he started investigating as soon as he entered the village. The village was in complete silence, and he could see no one. No noise of conversation or laughter was detected. What's worse was the complete lack of smoke originating from chimneys that denoted the presence of living beings.   Joe noticed a fire at a distance and went towards it to inspect; the fire seemed to be burning for a significant amount of time. Upon further investigation, he found that someone started their supper preparations; however, they didn't finish making it. LaBelle continued towards the village, ready to bump into someone who could tell her what was really happening here. Joe, stepping out of his uncontrollable feelings, began an investigation into the Inuit's homes to search for any clues related to the silence and made a sudden and quick decision to leave the village.   He found that several homes were well-stocked with food and weapons; he further found a burnt meal in another house. In one spot, he found a repair of a junior sealskin that was yet to be finished. Sadly, he couldn't conclude anything.   As there wasn't any conclusive answer concerning what took place, it must certainly have been an unexpected event that spread widely and involved all 30 men, women & children in the village. Food, clothing, and weapons were left behind. But Why? There was no answer   More investigation directed him to a pair of findings that was enough to give him goosebumps. To the extent that he was able to tell, whatever happened, had happened recently.   He examined the entire village and found no new traces in the snow apart from his own. The most ghastly discovery he made was of the dogs. Seven of them had starved to death. This evidence was enough to persuade him to head to the nearest telegraph office located farther away. That would mean that Joe had to overlook basic requirements such as shelter and food; however, he was in a hurry to leave the place and seek assistance. As beaten and frostbitten as Labelle was, he finally stumbled into the telegraph office. In a few minutes, he sent an emergency message to the nearest RCMP (Royal Canadian Mounted Police) camp. By the time the Mounties reached, many hours later, Labelle had calmed himself enough to talk about his distressing stories.   According to 1984's article – The world's most significant UFO mysteries, written by Roger Boar and Nigel Blundell– the Mounties, when on their way to the Angikuni Lake mystery, took a bit of time to rest at a shack alongside a trapper and his two sons. They explained to the trapper and his sons that they are heading towards Anjikuni Lake to solve a ‘problem.' The Mounties asked the trapper if he had seen anything strange these past few days. Upon asking this question, the trapper was compelled to admit that he and his two sons had noticed an eerie luminous object flying all over the sky a few days ago. He further stated that he had seen giant, gleaming ‘flying objects' changing shape right before their eyes. And this object was flying towards the village at Anjikuni lake.   So did this event even happen? Or was LaBelle making it up. According to skeptoid.com( see we look at both sides equally) here are a number of things about the Joe Labelle story that raise red flags. For one thing, it happened in November, when average temperatures are 13°C degrees below freezing. Angikuni Lake is a sheet of ice; kayaks pulled up on the beach would not be "battered by wave action". The very presence of kayaks so far inland is suspect, though not impossible. Migratory Inuit would often park their kayaks to hunt caribou. These eastern Iglulik kayaks were made of sealskin stretched over willow branches. But the small Angikuni Lake is landlocked so far inland on the Barrens that neither willow nor sealskin were available, and this would be, by far, the farthest inland that the historical use of Iglulik kayaks would have ever been documented. Not impossible, but highly suspect.   Labelle described a permanent settlement, a "friendly little Eskimo village" of "about thirty inhabitants" that he'd known "for many years". A statement from the Mounted Police says "A village with such a large population would not have existed in such a remote area of the Northwest Territories." They had left sealskin garments behind, in a region where there was caribou hide rather than sealskin; and as a trapper Labelle should have been able to identify it properly. So there was either a series of quite improbable circumstances, or Labelle was wrong.    Today, no physical evidence exists of a village at Angikuni Lake, and nobody has ever published an account of going up there and clearing away any remnants. So we have to rely on documentary evidence to find the true history of the vanishing village.   So with all the contradictory evidence what is real and what isn't. Was there a group of Inuits that completely disappeared or was it a tall tale? Could it be a combination of both and the truth is somewhere in the middle? Who knows…either way…crazy story! Next up we head to Brazil and the village of Hoer Verde! We got the following info mostly from coolinterestingstuff.com. The Mysterious legend of Hoer Verde, the town with 600 inhabitants that vanished, is certainly confusing and troubling.   The case will cause you to ask questions, questions like “how can anything like that ever happen with absolutely no evidence to suggest anything unusual had happened?”   Like so many legends from the area, information on Hoer Verde is difficult to track down. But what information is accessible is not only disturbing, but incredibly perplexing.   As visitors to the village entered the small town they were immediately struck by how dead everything was. Unlike other villages of six hundred no one was walking through the streets.   Hanging signs waved in the gentle wind creaking noisily juxtaposed with the uneasy footsteps and subdued whispers of those passing through. As they passed by local houses and looked in the windows it was evident immediately that something wasn't right. No one was anywhere to be seen.   The police were called, and investigators descended on the town to look through the village. As they came to the town's school they found a gun, which they took to be forensically examined. And then the investigators looked to the blackboard on which the words, “There is no salvation” were written. After a cursory examination, they realized that it had been fired the day before, but by whom they were unsure.   A manhunt ensued for the 600 villagers in the small town. Despite this, no trace of any of the locals was ever unearthed.   As newspaper reports of the town's disappearance reached the west it was considered a curiosity, but with the shifting political climate of Brazil in 1923 it was considered possible that the town had evacuated to avoid conflict with guerrillas.   Another mysterious element is the original language of the phrase “There is no salvation.” Though the phrase has been largely translated into English, the phrase holds little significance in English or Portuguese. However, if the words had been “Illic est haud salus.” in Latin or some variation of it, this could have been related to the phrase “Extra Ecclesiam nulla salus” which is a Catholic phrase meaning “Outside the Church there is no salvation.” If this was the case in a largely Catholic area, the lesson could have been a religious lesson which was interrupted by some unknown force, but with no specific significance itself.    So what happened…we don't know…but you know there are some crazy theories!!   Let's start with the most bizarre theory that is floating around. This theory states the 600 residents of Hoer Verde were swallowed by a black hole taking them all to a fourth dimension. yes…that's a theory. Along those lines there's the inevitable alien abduction talk. Could aliens have really come down and abducted 600 people? We like to think so but who knows.    The next  theory people point to is the political landscape in Brazil leading to soldiers or revolutionaries forcing all the villagers to evacuate. The only thing is the villagers disappeared in 1923. There was no civil war going on at the time, as is sometimes referred to with the legend. Also the revolution didn't occur until 1930 and another occurred in 1932. In neither case was a village of 600 reported to be wiped out or relocated.    And then there's the issues of the names of the towns, one town is completely nameless in the legend while Hoer Verde is a rather strange name for a village or town in Brazil, for one Verde translates to green from Portuguese to English but Hoer is not a word in Portuguese. It seems to be a Dutch word that is a derogatory word for sex workers.   Second, the legend states the town has been forgotten to time but one source we found says they were able to find multiple lists of towns and villages dating back to the 16th century for Brazil. No name comes close to Hoer Verde except for Ouro Preto, which translates to black gold and the history for it goes back to 1698.   So this story is pretty crazy huh. Well turns out it may also be completely made up. There's been a research dive that traces the origins of this story to a fairly recent article in a sketchy Russian newspaper written by a man named Mikhaylov Andrei. To put this guy into perspective, in the same article he blames the disappearance at the colony of Roanoke on protoplasm coming from the ocean and devouring the people off the colony…yea…he claims it happens every few millennia. So while the myth of Hoer Verde lives on…it may just be that…a myth!   Next up we are gonna look at the Moche civilization. Information for this tale we got from an article on Fodors.com. The Moche culture remains one of the most mysterious unknowns of Peruvian history, and with the more prominent Incas filling up most of the pages in the history books, the Moches do not receive as much attention. The Moche believed in gory human sacrifice and produced famously beautiful pottery, built huge, bizarre brick pyramids and had a complex and efficient irrigation system. Some of the aqueducts are still in use today.   All researchers can glean from the Moche civilization is through a collection of artistic masterpieces from archaeological digs, writings from Spanish invaders (the Moche did not use a predominant written language), and other fragments left behind in Peru's northern coastal regions. The Moche civilization lived and flourished along the northern coast of Peru from the 1st to the 8th century A.D., with their highest concentration of residents in the popular Trujillo region and Chicama valley. Due to the riches of this land, which included access to sturdy clay and precious metals, the Moche civilization accumulated significant wealth and power during this pre-Incan period. At the foot of the Cerra Blanca Mountain, Moche's capital city covered 300 hectares, or 3 million square meters of an opulent environment that offered residents a tight community of people, storehouses, open plazas, and ramps for easy entry to multiple-level structures. The upper elite also planned fields surrounding the city (indicating a class-based society). Building this capital took the Moches 600 years to complete and involved no fewer than six construction phases.          In addition, the capital included two now-famous pyramids often open to tourists today: the Huaca Del Sol (Temple of the Sun), a structure standing more than 50 meters in height and encompassing an area of 340 by 160 meters, and the Huaca De La Luna (Temple of the Moon), built using millions of adobe bricks. Which, if you know anything about photoshop, is quite a feat. Researchers believed both were used as prodigious religious tombs.     Although monuments and temples remain for archeologists to research today, most of the tangible objects left behind by the Moches were artistic, creative artifacts full of intricate designs and pops of bold colors. Considered skillful metalworkers and adept potters, the Moches produced sophisticated headdresses made of real gold for their goddesses, jewelry of valuable metals, chest plates to show prestige, textiles for ornamentation and wardrobe, utensils for eating, and tools for working in the fields.           In 700 A.D., the Moches moved their capital city to Pampa Grande in the Lambayeque Valley, approximately 40 miles from the Pacific Ocean. They constructed this city to include large pyramids and temples made of dirt using a method called chamber and fill, which allowed loose dirt to clump into cribbed walls. No one knows exactly why the Moche civilization eventually disappeared. Many researchers believe El Niňo caused substantial damage to the fields and irrigation systems, as they found confirmation of flooding at every single ceremonial site. (The chamber and fill approach appeared to hurt them significantly.) Archeologists also think the Moches abandoned Pampa Grande quickly and as they left, set their city on fire—but why?   The El Nino mentioned above is a prevailing theory. It is said that it was…wait for it… A SUPER EL NINO!!!!! So basically the easiest way to describe it is that the Moche faced 30 years of flood condition weather and rain followed by 30 years of drought conditions. Harsh. Some say this led to an issue with fertile soil so the citizens couldn't really dig, plant and grow crops. Also, because of the El nino theory, Dramatic changes in the ocean's environment could also be one of the reasons why the Moche, an early pre-Columbian civilization in Peru, fell apart over 1000 years ago.    No one is 100 percent sure what happened to the Moche. The Moche are not the only civilization to have disappeared without a discernible reason. They are scattered throughout history and the world from the Aztalan civilization in the American West to the inhabitants of great Zimbabwe. The disappearances of civilizations is definitely an interesting topic overall.   Changing the tone a bit, we're next going to look at an airliner that disappeared with 95 military personnel on board. Flying Tiger Line Flight 739, a Lockheed Super Constellation airliner, was scheduled to transport 96 military personnel from the US to Vietnam and disappeared on March 16, 1962.    According to the military, the men were under orders to relieve soldiers in Saigon tasked with training Vietnamese troops to fight the Viet Cong guerillas. As such, the flight was operated by the Military Air Transport Service (MATS). A few stopovers were made along the route—one in Honolulu, one in Wake Island, and a final one in Guam. With nine and half hours of fuel remaining, their final stretch was estimated to take around six hours. Sadly, however, they were never seen again.   Guam Centre grew concerned when the flight failed to make its scheduled position report at 15:30. They attempted to contact the aircraft without luck. When the flight also failed to make its destination, a distress status was initiated, and one of the largest search and rescue operations to date commenced. The search was conducted by the U.S. Navy, Air Force, Coast Guard and Marines and covered more than 200,000 square miles. It came up empty, and nearly 60 years later, not a trace of the flight has been found.    Strangely, another MATS-operated Super Connie in the Flying Tiger Line, this one carrying secret military cargo, also met with tragedy that day. Departing from the same airport at roughly the same time as Flight 739, Flight 7816 (N6911C) crashed during an attempted instrument approach to Adak Island, Alaska. Of the seven people on board, six crew members suffered minor injuries, and one died after becoming trapped in the fire. The timing of the incident with Flight 739's disappearance raised many red flags.   The only potential clue to Flight 739's fate came from onboard a Liberian tanker, the SS T L Linzen, where witnesses noticed vapor trails moving west and disappearing into a layer of cumulus clouds. A few seconds later, they observed a large, two-pulse explosion, followed by two fireballs falling from the sky at different speeds. The ship's radar flagged a target approximately 17 miles from its current position, or roughly 500 miles off the coast of Guam. The location fell in line with the approximate flight path of 739, so search and rescue operations gave focus to the area. It is in the remote Pacific Ocean, so it's a wonder that anyone witnessed the event at all.    The idea of a Super Connie exploding mid-flight was too improbable for aircraft experts to believe, leading many to the conclusion of sabotage. For one, L-1049Hs were not known to have any fuel problems or electrical issues near fuel tanks. Additionally, nothing on board would have been powerful enough to blow apart. So, if the plane did explode, the theory goes, it would likely have been caused by impact with an external force, such as a meteor or, more sinisterly, a missile. With the United States in the throes of the Vietnam and Cold Wars, proponents of the shoot-down theory have pointed toward the Soviet Union as a possible villain in this scenario.    Assuming the explosion was unrelated, another possibility is that the flight was hijacked and those onboard taken hostage. However, the kidnappers would have likely made demands for the men's release at some point, and such demands never came—or were at least not made public knowledge. Kidnapping theories are common with disappearances of aircraft, including Malaysia Flight 370.    For surviving families, the most popular theory has always been that the men were part of a secret military operation gone awry. This is supported by claims that they left behind important items, such as their IDs and wedding bands, and gave long, drawn-out goodbyes—as if they knew they were never coming back. Still desperate for answers, some family members recently attempted to submit their DNA to the military database used to identify bodies found abroad. The government denied those requests, citing legal reasons. It has also denied decades of pleading to have the servicemen's names added to the Vietnam Veterans Memorial wall, remaining adamant that they were never part of any war mission.   Maintenance problems had already been addressed while the plane was in Guam, but it's rare for a mechanical issue to cause an explosion, though it can't be completely ruled out—likewise with sabotage. While neither option can be dismissed entirely, there's no evidence that they happened.    The missile theory is also speculative. If an enemy had chosen to shoot down this flight, who would that have been? The Soviet Union, which was a Cold War adversary, was the only other nation capable of downing a high-flying plane mid-ocean. But why would the Soviets have done it? And why in such a remote expanse of the Pacific? There's no clear motive and no evidence to support such a claim. A more likely explanation is the explosion of ordinance, accidentally or as an act of sabotage by some unknown actor, aboard the secret military flight.    In late 2020, surviving family members constructed a monument in South Portland, Maine, honoring the servicemen of Flight 739. We got most of this indoor from a cool article on planeandpilotmag.com   How about some of your favorite quick hitters!   SS WARATAH   In July 1909, the SS Waratah was heading for Cape Town, South Africa, on its way back from Melbourne, Australia, making a scheduled stop in Durban on the way. It was carrying over 200 people, both passengers and crew, but as it left port to complete its journey, one passenger elected to remain behind.    Engineer Claude Sawyer had made many journeys by sea, and he was so concerned by the behavior of this brand new ship that he disembarked in Durban and sent a message to his wife describing the ship as "top heavy." The Waratah left port at 8 a.m. on July 26, and headed into rough seas for its journey to Cape Town. At 6 a.m. the following day it overtook another ship, the Clan McIntyre, and exchanged signals, before the Waratah disappeared into the distance, never to be seen or heard from again.    According to the Master of a vessel called the Clan McIntyre, when the Waratah passed him, his ship was sailing into nine meter waves and a violent storm. Two ships later claimed to have seen bodies and debris in the water, however nothing was ever actually recovered.    An expedition sponsored by author Clive Cussler claimed to have found the ship in the 1980s. However, when the searchers eventually reached the wreck, they actually discovered a World War II transport vessel instead. The mystery of the SS Waratah's fate remains.   AZTALAN INDIANS   Just outside the small town of Lake Mills in south central Wisconsin, on the banks of the Crawfish River, lie the remains of a Native American city called Aztalan. The Wisconsin settlers who discovered it in 1836 named it "Aztalan" due to a misplaced assumption that the Native Americans who lived there had a connection to the Aztecs.   The ancient city contained stepped pyramids, conical mounds, evidence of housing, fishing, and farming, and even a substantial defensive stockade wall containing up to 30 watchtowers. And according to local legend, they even built large stone pyramids in the bottom of what's now called Rock Lake in Lake Mills. But the valley was later flooded, meaning that evidence to prove this legend true is hard to come by.    At its peak, Aztalan would been occupied by around 500 people between 700 to a thousand years ago. But at some point after 1300 AD, the site was mysteriously abandoned, and no one really knows why.    According to an article published by Wisconsin Natural Resources Magazine, evidence points to a few different theories about their fate: a lack of resources, drought, and violence from other nearby Native American settlements.    Despite a very obvious intention of these early Wisconsinites to remain — nothing says "I'm staying!" like a large defensive wall — they're now nothing more than local history and legend.   ROMAN 9TH LEGION   The Ninth Legion was a Roman military formation of around 5,000 soldiers stationed in York in Northern England during Rome's occupation of Britain. This unit maintained control of the wild inhabitants of what would later become northern England and Scotland. In 108 AD, an inscription in the City of York places the legion in the city. However, 50 years later, when a new record of the legions was completed, no mention of the ninth appeared   What could've happened to erase the existence of 5,000 soldiers? No one really knows.   According to a Roman writer, many Roman soldiers were killed in Britain at the beginning of the second century, necessitating several reinforcements. This included the arrival of a new Legion, the Sixth, in 122 AD, which took up residence in the now presumably empty York.    No records describe the Ninth Legion's fate. Some theories suggest the Legion was simply sent elsewhere, though there's little evidence to support this. Meanwhile, Emperor Hadrian visited the British Isles at the beginning of the second century. To take control of the Briton-on-Roman violence, he ordered the construction of a 73 mile long, 15 foot high, fortified wall across the island to keep the invaders out of Roman territory. And you don't go doing that unless you've got a good reason — like say losing an entire legion.    Hadrian's wall still stands today. However, there's still no sign of the ultimate fate of the Ninth legion — and there probably never will be.   SS POET   The SS Poet was a former World War II troop transport that was mothballed for 20 years after the war, before being bought and converted to carry cargo. Considered "old but sturdy" in October 1980, the ship had an experienced crew of 34 men — including the captain who'd been at sea for 41 years — when it mysteriously disappeared.   On the morning of October 24, 1980, the SS Poet sailed from Philadelphia with a load of corn bound for Egypt, where it was due to arrive on November 9. As it passed Cape Henlopen later the same morning, the Poet sent its last message before heading out into the Atlantic, and into history.   The following day a storm blew up in the North Atlantic with 30 foot waves and 60 mph winds. But for a ship like the Poet that shouldn't have mattered. When the storm finally passed it left behind no trace of the Poet, no debris, and no distress signal was ever heard.   A popular explanation for the loss proposes an undiscovered hull leak that would have caused the ship to become unstable and founder in the bad weather. However with no evidence to back that up, fingers were soon pointed at the owner who had failed to report the ship missing for several days after losing contact, and at the coast guard who didn't begin a search for another four days after that. Well-built ships with experienced crews don't just vanish without cause, but that doesn't mean we'll ever know what it was.   we got these quick hitters from an article on grunge.com.

    The Nantiinaq; Portlock, Alaska and Other Ghost Towns

    Play Episode Listen Later Apr 27, 2022 110:53

    Portlock Alaska & Other haunted ghost towns   Today we're talking about a ghost town in Alaska that is rumored to have been abandoned because of…. Wait for it….a killer bigfoot!! dun dun duuuuuuuuuuun!!! We're going to look at Portlock Alaska and after that maybe take a look at other haunted and creepy ghost towns!    History of Portlock: As per wikipedia   Portlock is a ghost town in the U.S. state of Alaska, located on the southern edge of the Kenai Peninsula, around 16 miles south of Seldovia. It is located in Port Chatham bay, after which an adjacent community takes its namesake. Named after Nathaniel Portlock, Portlock was established in the Kenai Peninsula in the early-twentieth century as a cannery, particularly for salmon. It is thought to have been named after Captain Nathaniel Portlock, a British ship captain who sailed there in 1786. In 1921, a United States Post Office opened in the town.  The population largely consisted of Russian-Aleuts, indigenous people of the Aleutian Islands. Both the Aleut people and the islands are divided between the US state of Alaska and the Russian administrative division of Kamchatka Krai.   In the early 1900s there were a series of deaths and disappearances in the town. Many people started to blame this on a killer cryptid! It is said that this big bad beast is the reason behind the town being abandoned and left to become a legend.   Nantiinaq:   First off let's talk about the cryptid that is believed to be the cause of all of this mess.   Nantinaq is a large Bigfoot-like creature that is believed to be a key factor in the abandonment of the Alaskan fishing village Portlock. Elders from the nearby town of Nanwalek have kept oral traditions of the creature alive since Portlock's abandonment in 1950. Stories differentiate Nantinaq from the North American Sasquatch or Bigfoot through its abilities, which many believe to be supernatural and evil in nature.   The earliest descriptions and accounts of Nantinaq can be traced back to European expedition logs in the 1700's. When Native Alaskans began inhabiting the Portlock area stories and encounters with a mysterious creature began occurring with increasing regularity.   In the early 20th century, as Portlock's population grew, local and national sources began to record unexplained occurrences in the area. An abnormally high number of disappearances, catastrophes, and deaths eventually lead to village elders to move the population to nearby Nanwalek.    The physical characteristics of Nantinaq are typically described to be similar to the North American Sasquatch. Eye witnesses and historians describe the creature as being upwards of 8 feet tall and being covered in dark fur. Sharp claws capable of ripping mammals with ease have also been identified.   Despite the creatures imposing physical characteristics, many locals identify Nantinaq more through its invisible traits. Strange illnesses, smells and noises have all been recorded in the Portlock area with no known explanation. This has led many locals and elders to believe Nantinaq is spiritual in nature.   The craziness: Even before Portlock had even existed there had long been sinister stories told by the Natives of the area. They had long told of a creature stalking the wildernesses of the region, which they referred to as a Nantiinaq, roughly translating to “half man- half beast.” The Natives were apparently terrified of these creatures, and would avoid any area in which they were known to lurk. At first Portlock seemed safe, but whether the Nantiinaq had anything to do with it or not, strange things began happening in and around the area, not long after its settlement. In 1900, a group of hair-covered creatures ran at a prospector who had climbed a tree in an attempt to get his bearings near Thomas Bay. The prospector said they were, “the most hideous creatures. I couldn't call them anything but devils…” The prospector, upon seeing the creatures advancing on him, was able to drop down out of the tree, get to his canoe and make his escape in the nick of time. He had no doubt in his mind that, had he not seen the creatures when he did, they would have made short work of him. Another bizarre incident allegedly happened in as early as 1905, just a few years after the cannery had opened. At this time, many of the workers at the cannery suddenly stopped coming to work and refused to come back, but this wasn't due to poor pay or working conditions, but rather because the men were deeply spooked. They claimed that there was “something in the woods,” commonly reported by the men as being large dark shapes that would stare at them from the tree line at the shore and sometimes display menacing behavior. The workers were eventually convinced to come back the following season, but this was not the end of the town's problems.   In the 1920s and 30s there were several mysterious deaths in the area that seemed to have been caused by something very large and powerful. The first was a local hunter by the name of Albert Petka, who was out hunting with his dogs in the 1920s when he came across a massive hairy creature that materialized from the trees to strike him in the chest, sending him flying. Petka's dogs allegedly managed to chase the beast off, and when rescuers arrived he explained what had happened, before dying from his wounds later. Natives at the time saw this as a bad sign, believing it to be evidence that a Nantiinaq had come to haunt the area. Rumors like this persisted for years, only further perpetuated by stories of miners, loggers, hunters, or cannery workers finding huge tracks in the woods, or of seeing fleeting large dark shapes and sometimes hearing eerie howls at night. Making it even more ominous is that there were some reports from frightened Natives that there was a ghostly entity in the area as well, which took the form of a woman wearing a long black dress and who would appear at the top of the cliffs near town to scream and moan before vanishing.   Brian Weed is the co-founder of a group called Juneau's Hidden History that primarily keeps track of things through their Facebook page. He has traveled all over Juneau and many other Alaskan towns in search of natural history and stories. His group plans frequent hikes in the area to places that have some sort of story to tell or just to see the natural beauty of the state. He related another story of a mysterious death.                       "A logger was out working and something or someone hit him over the head with a huge piece of logging equipment, something that one man couldn't have lifted. When they found his body, there was blood on the equipment and there was no way that one person could have done it. He was a good ten feet from the logging equipment, so it's not like he slipped, fell, and hit his head. It looked more like someone picked it up and bonked him over the head."           In 1940 it was reported that a search party had been sent out to look for one such missing hunter, which would claim that they had come across his body in a creek, mutilated and torn apart in a way not consistent with a bear attack. Other bodies would reportedly be found as well, apparently washed down from the mountains into a nearby lagoon, with others still discovered washed up on the shores of Port Chatham, all of them ripped apart and maimed as if by some immensely powerful animal. At the time there were so many people turning up in that lagoon dead that it began to truly freak out the locals, to the point that they spent much time cowering indoors away from those creepy ass woods.   By the 1950s, locals were sick and tired of living in fear so they completely fled the town and left it abandoned. Years later when hunters returned, it is said that they reported seeing 18-inch long human-like footprints with patterns similar to a deer or wolf.   Former Portlock resident Malania Helen Kehl was interviewed by Naomi Klouda of the Homer Tribune back in October of 2009 and said things in Portlock started out well enough but degenerated to such a point that the family left their home and fled to Nanwalek.The family had endured the murder of Malania's godfather, Andrew Kamluck in 1931. Kamluck was the logger who was killed when someone, or something, hit him over the head.           "We left our houses and the school and started all new here (Nanwalek),” said Kehl.   Port Graham elder, Simeon Kvasnikoff told of the unexplained disappearance of a gold miner near the village during this time.   “He went up there one time and never came back,” said Kvasnikoff. “No one found any sign of him.”   Another interesting aspect of the Portlock story was relayed to Klouda by an Anchorage paramedic who preferred to remain anonymous.   “In 1990, while I was working as a paramedic in Anchorage, we got called out on an alarm for a man having a heart attack at the state jail in Eagle River. He was a Native man in his 70s, and after I got him stabilized with IVs, O2 and cardiac drugs, my partner and I began to transport him to the Native Hospital in Anchorage.” En route to the hospital, the paramedic and the Native man, an “Aleut'' from Port Graham, talked about hunting. The paramedic had been to DogFish Bay and was once stuck there due to bad weather.   “This old man sat up on the gurney and grabbed me by the front of my shirt. He got right up to my face and said, ‘Did it bother you?' Well, with that question, the hair just stood up on the back of my head. I said, ‘Yes.' “Did you see it?” was his next question. I said, “No, did you see it?” He said “No, but my brother seen it. It chased him.”   Ok so that's pretty jacked up….a killer bigfoot! That's one hell of a story. The town had been abandoned ever since and sightings continue to this day. In fact there is a TV series about this place called Alaskan Killer Bigfoot! The series followed a 40 day expedition to the area to try and see if they can get to the bottom of all the mystery! Moody hasn't watched it yet but I'm sure he'll get high and binge it soon.    So on the side of fairness we do have to disclose an interview we found. The interview was with a woman named Sally Ash. Sally is Sugpiaq of Russian-Aleut descent. She has lived in Nanwalek for most of her life and continues to speak her native language Sugt'stun. Her mother was born in Dogfish Bay, near Port Chatham.            “Our people were nomadic, went by the seasons, whatever was in season they would move from one place to another. They went through Port Chatham, Dogfish Bay, Seldovia, Homer, even to Kodiak.”               "Portlock was kind of a creepy place,” she admitted.  “They'd tell us don't go out on a foggy day.  That's when he's walking around. You could run into him and you never know what he might do.”   The ‘he' that she is talking about is their local form of Sasquatch, known as Nantiinaq.  Nantiinaq pronounced ‘non-tee-nuck,' is not your typical, everyday Sasquatch brute. Nantiinaq is more of a supernatural being.      “I think he is part-human,” Sally describes. “He lived with people and then didn't want to be around them anymore so he moved to the forest; away from everybody. He started growing hair and he looked like a bigfoot — scary… My uncles, my grandfathers, they all talked about him. They'd tell us they live far away from people. They don't mix with people.”   “My brother went up to the lake. He was tying off his skiff. He started smelling something really bad in the bushes, so he opened it, moving the branches. Something's going on here.  Then he looked in there and there was a man with his hands — in the back way (turned around). It looked like a man, but he was all hairy and he looked really scary. So he and our cousin took off running and didn't want to be up there.  He wasn't sure if it was a bigfoot, but there was a horrible smell,” she said.   “I think it's a he; he has been living for a long time,” Sally says. “He's old, he's tall, he's strong, he's hairy.  It lives in the woods and you can tell when he's getting near. You can smell him.  My mom used to talk about it a lot.  She'd tell stories of the bigfoot, like in Dogfish area, her and her brother would talk about how bigfoot was around. They were getting too close to him and they would be nice to him. Respect him. Keep distance. They live with him but not so close. He moved around — he was quick.”   Sally served as translator for her cousin, Malania Kehl during her historic interview for the Homer Tribune in 2009, that has since taken the bigfoot-believing world by storm. Malania told the reporter that the entire town evacuated Port Chatham in 1949 due to this murderous Nantiinaq. Her story has been perceived as being factual by authors, documentarians, and bigfoot buffs.   Buuuuuuuuttttttt…..   “My cousin Malania was being interviewed and we were sitting with her,” Sally recalls. “Malania kind of made up a story, because she was getting tired of people asking if this (story) is true. She made up this story about how Bigfoot was killing people. It wasn't true.  Everybody knows that, but it was not our place to say nothing. We all knew but we couldn't just stop her. We were brought up in a way where we can't tell our elders they are wrong.”   "And that was her story,” Sally giggles…  “we knew it. There was me and my sisters and my cousins and we all just sat there. We couldn't tell her, ‘Don't say that Malania,'  because she might get mad at us. We were younger than her and we were not allowed in front of her to say anything like that… Malania knew that we knew about her story that she made up and we all had a laugh about it with her.”   Sally said the reason for the exodus from Port Chatham was more practical in nature.   “People would see Nantiinaq, but that wasn't the reason why people moved this way to Seldovia and Nanwalek. They moved because of the economy, schools and the church.  There really was no killing of people.”     Well…that's disappointing…but we here at The train are gonna stick to the fact that there's a killer bigfoot to blame!   Wow so that's fun! But you know what…it's not enough. We strive to bring you the best in podcast entertainment here so we're going to do some of our patented quick hitters and throw in some more crazy ghost towns for ya!  Let's roll!   First up we're off to Italy. The ghost town of Craco to be more specific.    Craco is a ghost town and comune in the province of Matera, in the southern Italian region of Basilicata.    Haunted, surreal and moving, it's not surprising that the Craco ghost town and the beautiful surrounding landscape was chosen as the setting for several movies such as Mel Gibson's The Passion of the Christ and 007 Quantum of Solace.   The first written evidence of the town's existence shows that it was under the possession of a bishop named Arnaldo in 1060 A.D. The town's oldest building, the tall Torre Normanna, predates the bishop's documented ownership by 20 years.   From 1154 to 1168, after the archbishop, the nobleman Eberto controlled the town, establishing Feudalistic rule, and then ownership passed onto Roberto di Pietrapertos in 1179.   A university was established in the 13th century and the population kept growing, reaching 2,590 in the year 1561. By this time, the construction of four large plazas was completed. Craco had its first substantial landslide in 1600, but life went on, and the monastery of St. Peter went up in 1630.   Then, another tragedy hit. In 1656, the Black Death began to spread. Hundreds died and the population dipped.   But Craco wasn't down for the count quite yet. In 1799, the town successfully overthrew the feudal system — only to then fall to Napoleonic occupation. In 1815, a still-growing Craco was divided into two separate districts.   After Italy's unification in the mid-19th century, the controversial gangster and folk hero Carmine Crocco briefly conquered the village.   Mother Nature had more in store for Craco. Poor agricultural conditions caused a severe famine in the late 19th century. This spawned a mass migration of the population — about 1,300 people — to North America.   Then came more landslides. Craco had a series of them — plus a flood in 1972 and an earthquake in 1980. Luckily, in 1963, the remaining 1,800 inhabitants were transferred down the mountain to a valley called Craco Peschiera.   Not everyone was willing to move, however. One man native to the tiny town resisted the relocation, choosing to live the rest of his more than 100 years in his native land.   Some houses still hold traces of the life that once was: old appliances, abandoned tools, a lonely chair in the middle of a room where no one will ever sit anymore. A few facades still bear the signs of their past beauty in what has remained of their decorations.   And of course there are the tales of hauntings that come with most ghost towns. While there isn't a whole lot on a cursory search, if you dig a little you can find some stories of late night expeditions finding some interesting things. There are stories of groups seeing shadow people and apparitions. People hearing strange sounds. Pictures containing orbs and other anomalies. It's a great looking place, definitely check it out.   Next up is Rhyolite Nevada.   The ghost town of Rhyolite and its remnants are definitely a popular destination among those who like seeking out Nevada's abandoned places. Home to many of the town's original and now crumbling buildings, it's a fascinating place to see and think about Nevada's past.    According to the national parks service This ghost town's origins were brought about by Shorty Harris and E. L. Cross, who were prospecting in the area in 1904. They found quartz all over a hill, and as Shorty describes it “... the quartz was just full of free gold... it was the original bullfrog rock... this banner is a crackerjack”! He declared, “The district is going to be the banner camp of Nevada. I say so once and I'll say it again.” At that time there was only one other person in the whole area: Old Man Beatty who lived in a ranch with his family five miles away. Soon the rush was on and several camps were set up including Bullfrog, the Amargosa and a settlement between them called Jumpertown. A townsite was laid out nearby and given the name Rhyolite from the silica-rich volcanic rock in the area.   There were over 2000 claims covering everything in a 30 mile area from the Bullfrog district. The most promising was the Montgomery Shoshone mine, which prompted everyone to move to the Rhyolite townsite. The town immediately boomed with buildings springing up everywhere. One building was 3 stories tall and cost $90,000 to build. A stock exchange and Board of Trade were formed. The red light district drew women from as far away as San Francisco. There were hotels, stores, a school for 250 children, an ice plant, two electric plants, foundries and machine shops and even a miner's union hospital.   The town citizens had an active social life including baseball games, dances, basket socials, whist parties, tennis, a symphony, Sunday school picnics, basketball games, Saturday night variety shows at the opera house, and pool tournaments. In 1906 Countess Morajeski opened the Alaska Glacier Ice Cream Parlor to the delight of the local citizenry. That same year an enterprising miner, Tom T. Kelly, built a Bottle House out of 50,000 beer and liquor bottles.   In April 1907 electricity came to Rhyolite, and by August of that year a mill had been constructed to handle 300 tons of ore a day at the Montgomery Shoshone mine. It consisted of a crusher, 3 giant rollers, over a dozen cyanide tanks and a reduction furnace. The Montgomery Shoshone mine had become nationally known because Bob Montgomery once boasted he could take $10,000 a day in ore from the mine. It was later owned by Charles Schwab, who purchased it in 1906 for a reported 2 to 6 million dollars.   The financial panic of 1907 took its toll on Rhyolite and was seen as the beginning of the end for the town. In the next few years mines started closing and banks failed. Newspapers went out of business, and by 1910 the production at the mill had slowed to $246,661 and there were only 611 residents in the town. On March 14, 1911 the directors voted to close down the Montgomery Shoshone mine and mill. In 1916 the light and power were finally turned off in the town.   Today you can find several remnants of Rhyolite's glory days. Some of the walls of the 3 story bank building are still standing, as is part of the old jail. The train depot (privately owned) is one of the few complete buildings left in the town, as is the Bottle House. The Bottle House was restored by Paramount pictures in Jan, 1925.   And according to only on your state, It also happens to be home to one of Nevada's spookiest cemeteries. After all, nothing says "creepy" like a ghost town graveyard! Known as the Bullfrog-Rhyolite Cemetery, it definitely looks the part of a haunted destination you probably shouldn't visit at night.   The Bullfrog-Rhyolite Cemetery was actually shared between two towns. Home to just a handful of rugged graves, including some that look like nothing more than a human-shaped mound of rocks, it definitely has a serene type of beauty to it...during daylight, that is.   There's no telling what kind of creepy experiences you could have in Rhyolite once the sun sets. In fact, paranormal enthusiasts make trips out here to challenge just that! Disembodied voices and orbs are often reported in this area. And while most of the action seems to be centered on this area there are also reports of the same strange goings on in the town itself. Strange sounds and voices and orbs, as well as strange shadows and apparitions. Sounds awesome to us!   Next up we head to Calico California.   Calico is a ghost town and former mining town in San Bernardino County, California, United States. Located in the Calico Mountains of the Mojave Desert region of Southern California, it was founded in 1881 as a silver mining town, and was later converted into a county park named Calico Ghost Town. Located off Interstate 15, it lies 3 miles (4.8 km) from Barstow and 3 miles from Yermo. Giant letters spelling CALICO are visible, from the highway, on the Calico Peaks behind it. Walter Knott purchased Calico in the 1950s, and architecturally restored all but the five remaining original buildings to look as they did in the 1880s. Calico received California Historical Landmark #782, and in 2005 was proclaimed by then-Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger to be California's Silver Rush Ghost Town.   In 1881 four prospectors were leaving Grapevine Station (present day Barstow, California) for a mountain peak to the northeast. After they described the peak as "calico-colored", the peak, the mountain range to which it belonged, and the town that followed were all called Calico. The four prospectors discovered silver in the mountain and opened the Silver King Mine, which was California's largest silver producer in the mid-1880s. John C. King, who had grubstaked the prospectors who discovered the silver vein (the Silver King Mine was thus named after him), was the uncle of Walter Knott founder of Knott's Berry Farm. King was sheriff of San Bernardino County from 1879 to 1882. A post office at Calico was established in early 1882, and the Calico Print, a weekly newspaper, started publishing. The town soon supported three hotels, five general stores, a meat market, bars, brothels, and three restaurants and boarding houses. The county established a school district and a voting precinct. The town also had a deputy sheriff and two constables, two lawyers and a justice of the peace, five commissioners, and two doctors. There was also a Wells Fargo office and a telephone and telegraph service. At its height of silver production during 1883 and 1885, Calico had over 500 mines and a population of 1,200 people. Local badmen were buried in the Boot Hill cemetery   An attempt to revive the town was made in about 1915, when a cyanide plant was built to recover silver from the unprocessed Silver King Mine's deposits. Walter Knott and his wife Cordelia, founders of Knott's Berry Farm, were homesteaded at Newberry Springs around this time, and Knott helped build the redwood cyanide tanks for the plant.   The last owner of Calico as a mine was Zenda Mining Company. After building Ghost Town at Knott's Berry Farm in the 1940s, Walter Knott, his son, Russell, and Paul von Klieben, who was Knott's art director, made a road trip to Calico. The three of them came back filled with enthusiasm. If they could build an imaginary ghost town at Knott's Berry Farm, would it not be possible to restore a real ghost town? In 1951, Walter Knott purchased the town of Calico from the Zenda Mining Company and put Paul von Klieben in charge of restoring it to its original condition, referencing old photographs.   Using the old photos, and Walter's memory and that of some old-timers who still lived in the area, von Klieben was able to not only restore existing structures, but also design and replace missing buildings. Knott spent $700,000 restoring Calico. Knott installed a longtime employee named Freddy "Calico Fred" Noller as resident caretaker and official greeter. In 1966 Walter Knott decided to donate the town to San Bernardino County, and Calico became a County Regional Park.   The site is now a thriving tourist attraction, and is quite interesting to visit despite being neither original nor very atmospheric, as only about four of the buildings are largely unchanged from the mining era, and the whole place is rather commercialized. Some of the replica houses have only a frontage, as if part of a movie set.    The best part?…yup…its friggin haunted. You can take ghost tours through the town to find out for yourself!    According to Haunted Rooms. Com, Amid the claims of paranormal activity, there are 3 main entities who have been identified as residing in Calico Ghost Town and these are the ones that visitors should be on the lookout for.   One of the most commonly spotted entities haunting Calico Ghost Town is said to be a woman by the name of Lucy Lane. History suggests that Lucy ran Calico's General Store alongside her husband John Robert Lane. Just like so many of the residents, the Lanes moved away from Calico when the town began rapidly depopulating. However, they ended up returning in 1916 after the town was abandoned and live the rest of their days in the town. Lucy was well into her 90s when she finally passed.   It seems only natural then that she would want to stick around in the town where she lived and died. Visitors to Calico Ghost Town have frequently reported seeing Lucy walking between what was once her home and the General Store. She is easily recognizable by her attire – the beautiful black lace dress in which she was buried. Although most of the reports describe seeing Lucy Lane walking from her home to the General Store, there have also been sightings of her inside both buildings as well. Her former home is now a museum dedicated to Lucy and John Robert Lane and she is sometimes seen sitting in a rocking chair slowly rocking back and forth. Some visitors also claim to have seen Lucy behind the counter in the General Store.   Another of the paranormal hotspots in the Calico Ghost Town is definitely the schoolhouse! The names of the teachers have long since been lost, but it is said to be their spirits who are responsible for the plethora of paranormal activity happening in the old schoolhouse. There are frequent reports that the teachers like to stand in the windows of the schoolhouse peering out at those passing by on the outside! There are also reports of a red ball of light moving around inside the schoolhouse. This phenomenon has been witnessed by many visitors to Calico Ghost Town.   The former teachers are certainly not the only ones who are up to mischief! There have also been reports of various ghostly students in the schoolhouse as well. These children's spirits can be seen flitting around inside the building. They do seem to keep themselves to themselves most of the time, but there is one girl aged around 11 or 12 who is far more outgoing. However, she is most likely to appear to children and teens who will often comment on seeing her only for their parents to turn around and