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Society & Culture
Science
Natural Sciences

MonsterTalk

Updated 2 days ago

Society & Culture
Science
Natural Sciences
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MonsterTalk: The Science Show About Monsters is a free audio podcast that critically examines the science behind cryptozoological (and legendary) creatures, such as Bigfoot, the Loch Ness Monster, or werewolves.

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MonsterTalk: The Science Show About Monsters is a free audio podcast that critically examines the science behind cryptozoological (and legendary) creatures, such as Bigfoot, the Loch Ness Monster, or werewolves.

iTunes Ratings

879 Ratings
Average Ratings
722
79
26
22
30

Monster Fun

By Mudd-Dragon - Dec 09 2019
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The topics are well-researched by the hosts as well as fun to listen to. I particularly enjoy the obscure anecdotes that can lead one down any number of rabbit holes. This podcast also provides a welcome reprieve from following bleak current events.

Fave

By LongRoadOutOfHell - Sep 27 2019
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This is definitely my favorite podcast. For sure allllllll my people ♥️!

iTunes Ratings

879 Ratings
Average Ratings
722
79
26
22
30

Monster Fun

By Mudd-Dragon - Dec 09 2019
Read more
The topics are well-researched by the hosts as well as fun to listen to. I particularly enjoy the obscure anecdotes that can lead one down any number of rabbit holes. This podcast also provides a welcome reprieve from following bleak current events.

Fave

By LongRoadOutOfHell - Sep 27 2019
Read more
This is definitely my favorite podcast. For sure allllllll my people ♥️!

Listen to:

Cover image of MonsterTalk

MonsterTalk

Updated 2 days ago

Read more

MonsterTalk: The Science Show About Monsters is a free audio podcast that critically examines the science behind cryptozoological (and legendary) creatures, such as Bigfoot, the Loch Ness Monster, or werewolves.

Slenderman and Tulpas

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They say Slenderman was created for a contest on a website. But the thin, faceless character has gone viral appearing in numerous art, stories, videos and even games. Some claim that all that combined focus has turned him real — a process known by ancient Tibetan Buddhists as forming a Tulpa. In this episode of MonsterTalk, Blake Smith interviews professor of religious studies Joe Laycock and doctoral student of Tibetan studies Natalia Mikels to discover the truth about Tulpas.

Since the creation of Slenderman the character has “gone viral” and spun off numerous art and fiction stories. And some fans of the Slenderman believe that he is real — either existing already from time immemorial, or that he exists now, brought to life by the combined belief of millions of humans in the form of a living creature known as a Tulpa.

READ the episode notes

Jul 30 2014

1hr 7mins

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Skinwalker Ranch Dressing

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This is Patreon Bonus content edited slightly for the regular MonsterTalk feed. (Expect more of this content thanks to the generous support of our Patrons.) This episode is a deep dive into the Skinwalker Ranch mystery and a discussion of the new documentary, Hunt for the Skinwalker. Dr. Jeb Card (Spooky Archaeology) joins me for the discussion.

Jan 30 2019

1hr 28mins

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The Mongolian Death Worm

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THE MONGOLIAN DEATH WORM—its name conjures up images of fantastic beasts like the sand worms in Dune or the creatures from the film Tremors, but the actual legends are even stranger. We discuss the legends and facts behind this cryptid with the official zoologist for the Center for Fortean Zoology, Richard Freeman.

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Jun 04 2014

57mins

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The Enfield Poltergeist

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In this episode of MonsterTalk we present an interview with Guy Lyon Playfair, one of the original investigators into perhaps the most famous British poltergeist case in modern times.

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Mar 08 2017

1hr 16mins

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Demons, Ghosts and Gary Indiana

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In this episode of MonsterTalk, Blake and Karen talk about how skeptics evaluate the Gary Indiana Demon case.

READ the episode notes

Feb 26 2014

43mins

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Ancient Alien Astronauts: Interview with Ken Feder

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Did ancient humans gain their technological achievements through the assistance of creatures from other planets? This week on MonsterTalk, Dr. Feder, an archaeology professor who has taught a course on the topic, shares his thoughts. Feder is the author of Frauds, Myths and Mysteries—a book with more good scientific content on the cover than most TV shows have in an entire season.

READ full episode notes

Jul 27 2011

1hr 20mins

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Speak of the Devil

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MonsterTalk welcomes back Bible scholar Robert M. Price to discuss the biggest and most well known villain in Western culture: Satan. Who is this character and how has he changed over the history of Judeo/Christian religions? From servant of God to dark villain, we track the evolution of the Devil.

READ the episode notes

Nov 13 2013

1hr 2mins

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The Warren Omission

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Was the story of The Conjuring the true story of how Ed and Lorraine Warren fought demonic forces in Rhode Island? In this special episode of MonsterTalk, we hear a different side to the story of America’s first family of ghost hunting. Features interviews with investigators Joe Nickell and Steven Novella.

READ the episode notes

Oct 16 2013

1hr 18mins

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Cthulhu Rises

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In this special literary edition, MonsterTalk ventures into a dark domain that can be confidently called fiction: the monstrous, genre-defining oeuvre of horror writer Howard Philips Lovecraft. Joined by noted Lovecraft scholar Robert M. Price and biologist PZ Myers, the MonsterTalk hosts discuss Lovecraft’s life and works, and dare to confront his most famous creation: the vast alien monstrosity Cthulhu. Can the hosts gaze into the shrieking outer darkness and return with their sanity intact? Find out on this episode of MonsterTalk!

READ full episode notes

Jun 16 2010

1hr 16mins

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The Shaver Mysteries (Part 1)

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In this episode of MonsterTalk, we get a brief overview of the history of Hollow Earth theories and start our deep dive into the topic of The Shaver Mystery with repeat guests Dr. Jerry Drake and Dr. Jeb Card. Weird-Science, lost civilizations, UFOs, and Nazis — this story has more threads than a fancy bedsheet set!

Read the episode notes

Jun 18 2019

1hr 10mins

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Shame on the Lizard People

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Is the world secretly being controlled by a dark, shadowy cabal? Are many of the world’s leaders actually blood-drinking, child-abusing lizard people? No, they aren’t. But in this episode of MonsterTalk we talk with Jon Ronson about his experiences with conspiracy theorist David Icke.

READ the episode notes

Apr 15 2015

39mins

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Appalachian Monsters

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Asher Elbein and Tiffany Turrill join us to talk about monsters and folklore of Appalachia. Their new project about fictional witch Anna O’Brien draws heavily from authentic folklore of this storied region of the United States.

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Nov 12 2018

1hr 14mins

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Doctor Atlantis

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You’ve heard the legend of Atlantis. But have you ever heard the facts behind the legend? Dr. Kenny Feder returns to talk about the true story of Atlantis and it isn’t what most people think.

LISTEN to this episode

May 20 2015

57mins

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Hitler’s Monsters

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In MonsterTalk episode # 187, we talk about the role of the supernatural and occult in Nazi Germany. Our guest is author Dr. Eric Kurlander, author of the book Hitler’s Monsters, which chronicles the rise of the Nazis and their strange relationship with the occult including fringe theories, Border Science, astrology, homeopathy, and even Nostradamus.

Read the episode notes

Apr 03 2019

1hr 30mins

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El D20ablo — The Satanic Panic & Role-Playing Games

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The late 1970s and 1980s saw the rise of a new kind of game. Dungeons & Dragons and its many competitors captivated many high-school and college students, but many parents and authority figures feared that these new games were a gateway to Satanic ritual and perhaps even murder. Author Joseph Laycock returns to discuss his new book: Dangerous Games.

LISTEN to this episode

Mar 04 2015

1hr 3mins

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The Meg

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Does a giant prehistoric shark lurk deep in the waters of the ocean, surviving against all odds to surprise us by occasionally biting a giant whale in half? No. But these animals did once exist and we don’t need to pretend they’re still alive to be blown away by their stunning biological features. We talk with Dr. Craig McClain about the amazing animal we call Megalodon.

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Jun 27 2018

1hr 5mins

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Here Come The PERSONS In Black

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Karen and Blake discuss the early history of Men in Black lore going back to some primary sources. Stories of mysterious strangers questioning and intimidating (and confounding) UFO investigators have a strange, continuously evolving history.

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Jul 31 2018

59mins

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American Goblins — Part 1

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In August of 1955, a farm family in Kentucky found their home under attack by strange goblin-like monsters. In the years since the attack, the case has retained a perplexing endurance. What happened that night in Kentucky? Were aliens to blame? Underworld monsters? Misidentified natural causes? This is part one of our discussion of what has become known as The Kelly-Hopkinsville Encounter.

Read the episide notes

Oct 04 2017

28mins

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Werewolves and Change

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When did full moons become required in werewolf lore? Could the beast of Gevaudan have been a Hyena? Why does silver have such power in folklore? Can silver coins preserve milk? In episode 167 of MonsterTalk, Karen and Blake discuss further discoveries about werewolf lore.

Read the episode notes

Sep 04 2018

1hr 4mins

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Bitchin' 'bout Sitchin

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Ancient Aliens theorists seem to love the work of Zecharia Sitchin (The 12th Planet). Sitchin proposed that mysterious space beings called Anunnaki visited earth to steal our gold, and passed on their wisdom to the ancient people of Sumer. In this first of a 2-part look at Sitchin’s impact on Ancient Astronaut lore, we talk with Dr. Michael Heiser about the plausibility of Sitchin’s views from an evaluation of the ancient texts Sitchin purports to have used for his source material.

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Dec 21 2016

1hr 12mins

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MonsterTalk finally has a shop!

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Snag some merchandise based on our new artwork at http://bit.ly/shopmonstertalk - 30% off sale going on right now.

Dec 12 2019

1min

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#203 - Will O' The Wisp

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[Correction inserted Nov 15, 9:30 AM regarding the gas in the Cameroon lake incident being CO2, not Methane.]

This episode we look at Will O' The Wisp, Ghost Lights, Ball Lightning and all manner of glowing monstrous and bizarre lucent phenomena.  Joining us for the discussion is researcher, Jerry Drake.  We discuss some quite peculiar case details and Jerry has sent me some photos that I've attached here in the show notes. Let us know what you think over at the MonsterTalk Facebook Group.

Nov 15 2019

1hr 36mins

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202 - Monstrous with Carlyn Beccia

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Carlyn Beccia has written a new book for kids that combines Monsters and Science!  Monstrous: The Lore, Gore and Science Behind Your Favorite Monsters is an ooey-gooey romp through the world of monsters and the many fascinating things you can learn when you apply science to their premises. 

But don't think it's just for kids. This book has lots of cool, disgusting, crunchy science morsels in it plus gorgeous art that make it a perfect Coffee Table book for macabre decor. 

Here are some sample shots from the book, and there's more like this from cover-to-cover - and this isn't Carlyn's only book.  She's got more.

Oct 29 2019

1hr 4mins

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#201 - Serial Killers

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We're joined by Stacy Sharp, friend of the show and former USN law enforcement with Blake back in his Navy days in Bahrain. Stacy has spent much of his post-Navy career working in law enforcement, victims rights and the judicial system. 

Discussion is on serial killers, their motivations, their methodologies and how to balance fascination with the macabre with keeping the victims rather than the killers foremost in mind.  The crimes discussed in this episode are graphic, disturbing and will not be suitable for all audience members.  Listener discretion advised.

Patreon Bonus segment: Discussion of Balmain Bug - an edible crustacean of Australia.  It looks like an unarmed lobster.  

Serial Killers:

Oct 23 2019

1hr 51mins

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Introducing "IN RESEARCH OF"

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This is a sample episode of our new show In reSearch Of, which I'm co-hosting with Jeb Card.  I hope you'll consider subscribing.  I'm planning to keep the regular IRO episodes free, but offer bonus content for Patreon supporters.

This is the pilot episode of In reSearch Of, the show where we watch the original TV show IN SEARCH OF… and consider some of the explanations that the producers chose not to present.

In our inaugural episode, we watch the TV Special In Search of Ancient Astronauts, a repackaged cut of a German documentary about Eric Von Daniken's book Chariots of the Gods

We want to thank Rachel and Chris Lackey for the theme music (And Greig Johnson!). They host the excellent show Rachel Watches Star Trek

Also, we want to credit Jason Colavito for his excellent research into this and many adjacent topics around the Ancient Astronauts and Ancient Aliens tropes of the past fifty years, including his book:  The Cult of Alien Gods: H. P. Lovecraft and Extraterrestrial Pop Culture

(Seriously - check out this link to Jason's article. He gives some great contemporary detail on the impact of this TV special such as "... within 48 hours of the program’s broadcast, Bantam Books had sold 250,000 new copies of Chariots of the Gods."  Amazing.)

Oh - so as Jeb mentions, EVD is directly mentioned in the brainstorming session with Lucas, Spielberg, and Kasdan! You can check that out here.

Walter Conkrite's  UFO's Friend, Foe or Fantasy  UFO documentary

Show Notes:

Theme music (updated!) is by Rachel Lackey & Greig Johnson.

Oct 05 2019

1hr 55mins

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200 - In Search Of...

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A look back at the highly influential television show In Search Of... which was hosted by Leonard Nimoy.  Features remembrances from Steven Novella, Lyle Blackburn, Matthew Baxter, and Brian Dunning.

Along with archaeologist Jeb Card, I'm launching a new show called In Research Of... which will revisit this original series and add some explanations the producers chose not to include. (Link to show on iTunes.)

In Search Of... had 6 seasons in its original run and you can currently (as of this posting) view them all on YouTube.  

Thanks to everyone for supporting us to reach 200 episodes! Karen and I are excited about producing many more. 

Oct 05 2019

1hr 17mins

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#199 - We Never Play Ouija Bored

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Is the Ouija Board a tool for talking to the dead? Or is it just a game from Hasbro? We dig into the history of Talking Boards with Robert Murch!   LINKS: The Talking Board Historical Society (Est. 2013) Helen Peter Nosworthy Michael Faraday & Spiritualism

Sep 04 2019

1hr 16mins

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#198 - The Grotesque 10

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In a follow-up to our episode on Gargoyles, photographer and author Mathew M. Duman has produced a new book visiting ten American campuses with gothic architectural and artistic features to document them for your edification and delight. Check out his book, The Grotesque 10 at his website.

During our interview, we talked about the term for the sculptures on a church bench. Some of these are called Bench Ends, and others are called Poppy Heads. I thought I should include that detail here.

You can check out my new show, The Horror Podcast by subscribing via the links on this page.

Sep 01 2019

52mins

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The Frighteners

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Check out our Audible deal, where you can select Peter Law's book The Frighteners or any of the amazing titles from the Audible collection.

What is it like to be an ordained minister who loves the macabre? And is there a value to the morbid, horrific and dark milieu beyond the financial? What if it turned out that horror can even be therapy? We talk with author Peter Laws about these questions and more.

The Frighteners: A Journey Through our Cultural Fascination with the Macabre

Peter's author page

Peter on Twitter

Peter's website

Want to support MonsterTalk's website re-design?  Help us out here:  http://bit.ly/gofundmonstertalk

Aug 11 2019

1hr 12mins

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What Makes US Tick

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There are a lot of weird Tick stories in the news lately.  From stories of exsanguinated cows in North Carolina, to books about government conspiracy and bioweapons testing of ticks as delivery vehicles for disease, it seems everybody's trying to latch onto tick and tick-borne disease stories. 

Acarologist Dr. Danielle Tufts, visits with us to help debunk some of the outright myths about ticks, to tell us more about how these diseases are transferred, and to get a better grip on how frightened we should be, and what we can do to protect ourselves from the millions of tiny vampires waiting out there.

Photos of tick lifecycle and academic articles on relevant tick species are attached to the show notes.

Some terms from the show you might not be familiar with:

Serology - the scientific study or diagnostic examination of blood serum, especially with regard to the response of the immune system to pathogens or introduced substances.

We discuss three types of chromosomal polyploidy:

Diploid - containing two complete sets of chromosomes

Triploid - containing three complete sets of chromosomes

Aneuploid - contains an abnormal number of chromosomes

Aug 09 2019

1hr 1min

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Thomas Jefferson: Monster Hunter

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If you thought Abraham Lincoln, Vampire Hunter was fun - wait till you hear the shocking true story of Thomas Jefferson, Monster Hunter!  We're joined by Justin Mullis who presented his paper on Jefferson's work in Cryptozoology at the Of Gods and Monsters conference at Texas State in San Marcos, in April 2019.

Links of interest:

Martin Rudwick - The Meaning of Fossils

Glossopetrae - an outdated theory about fossilized shark teeth

 Lee Alan Dugatkin's Mr. Jefferson and the Giant Moose

Georges-Louis Leclerc, Comte de Buffon - "the father of all thought in natural history in the second half of the 18th century "

The full poem about Lewis & Clark's pursuit of Mammoth is on Page 11 of this digitized document.

Some additional reading suggested by listeners:

Big Bone Lick: The Cradle of American Paleontology

American Monster: How the Nation's First Prehistoric Creature Became a Symbol of National Identity

Jul 29 2019

1hr 16mins

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The Mapinguari Is Not The Territory

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We've officially hit a decade of MonsterTalk. In this episode we get "old school" and talk about the legendary Mapinguari, and how cryptozoologists have tried to explain the folklore of this massive South American animal by claiming it to be a kind of Bigfoot creature, or even a Giant Ground Sloth. We take a deep dive into what Paleontology can tell us about the real historical records of Giant Ground Sloths (Megatherium) and see how well these creatures line up with the legend of the Mapinguari.Our guest is Uruguayan paleontologist Dr. Richard A. Fariña.   Links Dr. Fariña's Giant Sloth website (English / Spanish) Paper describing the site of the Arroyo del Vizcaíno site near Sauce, Uruguay The Shasta Giant Sloth site David C. Oren's theory of Sloths as possible explanation of Mapinguari has been covered in The New York Times and Discovery Magazine. Apparently, Behemoth from Godzilla: King of the Monsters 2019 is a Mapinguari! Who knew? We also discussed a few megafauna in this episode. Here's our Who's Who for those names: Gomphothere - similar to an elephant or mammoth Glyptodon - similar to an enormous armadillo Megatherium - a gigantic ground sloth that is the main paleontological subject of the episode   And don't forget the question of Sloths and Avocados! The paper for that research is here.

Jul 15 2019

1hr 7mins

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The Shaver Mysteries (Part 2)

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In part two of our Shaver Mystery coverage, we look at the influence of Ray Palmer and Richard Shaver on Science Fiction, UFOlogy, and the cultural fringe. (Part two of our Shaver Mystery coverage featuring Drs. Jerry Drake and Jeb Card).

Read the episode notes

Jun 28 2019

1hr 43mins

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The Shaver Mysteries (Part 1)

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In this episode of MonsterTalk, we get a brief overview of the history of Hollow Earth theories and start our deep dive into the topic of The Shaver Mystery with repeat guests Dr. Jerry Drake and Dr. Jeb Card. Weird-Science, lost civilizations, UFOs, and Nazis — this story has more threads than a fancy bedsheet set!

Read the episode notes

Jun 18 2019

1hr 10mins

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The Zana Problem

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MonsterTalk revisits the story of Zana, the alleged Almasti wild woman of Abkhazia who was the subject of Bryan Sykes DNA research in his book The Nature of the Beast. A legendary forest spirit of the Balkans may have some relevance to the story of Zana and her descendants.

Read the epsiode notes

May 28 2019

30mins

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Dragons

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Where do Dragons come from — and why do so many cultures have them? Learn about the origins of Dragon legends with Eric Mortensen of Guilford College. Our conversation also touches on Fairies and Yeti — and we will doubtless be revisiting both Eric and the topic of Dragons in future episodes.

Read the episode notes

May 27 2019

1hr 13mins

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Ghosts of the White House

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An interview with White House historian Lindsay Chervinsky (of the White House Historical Association) about the ghostly legends of the White House.

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May 16 2019

52mins

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Larry Blamire

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Larry Blamire, the talented writer, artist and director of the indy homage to 50’s cinema, The Lost Skeleton of Cadavra joins us to talk monsters.

Hurry up and support Larry’s Kickstarter for the 10-year anniversary BluRay of The Lost Skeleton Returns Again.

Read the episode notes

May 02 2019

47mins

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Monsters of the Mythos

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H.P. Lovecraft Literary Crossover! I’m joined by Chris Lackey and Chad Fifer of the incredible H.P. Lovecraft Literary Podcast to talk monsters of the mythos. It’s a wide-ranging wild and wacky ride. Hang on to your earbuds!

If you’re not already a subscriber to their fine product, I urge you to waste no time in fixing that!

Warning: Listener discretion is advised.

May 02 2019

1hr 10mins

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Disputin’ Rasputin

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An illuminating discussion about the Russian Monk, Rasputin, by author Douglas Smith. We’ll be discussing the myths and facts about Rasputin as described in Smith’s book, Rasputin: Faith, Power and the Twilight of the Romanovs.

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Apr 15 2019

1hr 9mins

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