Category Archives: Podcast

30 – Live from Alton, IL: An Interview with Luke Naliborski of Alton Hauntings

This episode is a See You On The Other Side first… a recording of a live event we did on location in Alton, Illinois, “one of the most haunted small towns in America”!

As an added bonus, it was a special day for us because our band Sunspot released our newest EP, El Chupacabra. The three songs in the EP were all inspired by episodes of “See You On The Other Side” and you can listen to them right here.

Our live event took place at Maeva’s Coffee, a delightful venue with some of the nicest baristas we have ever met (thank you Meredith and Tia!), delicious coffee, a warm atmosphere, and beautiful eclectic decor. If we lived in Alton, Maeva’s would surely be a place we’d hang out at regularly because it just had a good and welcoming vibe. Interestingly, the building in which the coffee shop resides is an old school house that was built in 1904. As such, it has its own folklore and tales of interest, which we discuss with our special guest, Luke Naliborski.

Luke is a tour guide for Alton Hauntings ghost tours and an author. He tells us about how he got into the whole paranormal investigation scene, and shares some fun stories about his encounters with the unknown during his tours and investigations in historically rich Alton:

  • Strange things he saw during his childhood at a neighborhood house
  • An apparition of a woman he and his friends saw at Mausalium Row at Greenwood Cemetery
  • Stories of apparitions seen in a local parking lot in town, located where the courtyard of a confederate prison had been
  • A haunted island in the river where duels were once faught, known as Bloody Island / Sunflower Island / Small Pox Island, and the story of James Shields challenging Abraham Lincoln to a duel there
  • On the same island, a reporter found two skulls and took one home for a souvenir
    Legends of the Milton School House, the very building hosting in which our interview takes place
  • One of Luke’s favorite tour stops, the First Unitarian Church in Alton, where he has seen many curious things
  • How Luke began his career as an author
  • His experience on the television reality show “Mysterious Worlds: America’s Ghost Hunters” and the investigation of a secret passageway and storeroom beneath the First Unitarian Church
  • An experience he had with an apparition at a farmhouse where several deaths were known to have occurred

Mike and Wendy with Luke after the interview

We truly enjoyed meeting and talking with Luke, and hope to return to Alton soon so we can actually take his Alton Hauntings tour!



The live performance we did featured the following Sunspot songs. Here are links to the recordings online for each of the songs:

29 – The Illuminati: An Introduction to The New World Order

For a secret organization hellbent on guiding the future of the human race, The Illuminati doesn’t really do a great job with the whole secret part. Everybody knows about it, but a lot of people don’t realize that it started with an actual secret society in the 18th Century. Mike and Wendy Lynn are here to give you the skinny on the most famous of conspiracy theories.

The conversation starts with the origin of the organization in 18th century Bavaria as a way to lessen the influence of the Catholic Church on German government “Illuminati” was an organization of The Enlightenment, meant to banish fear and superstition (or so they would have us believe!) Either way, the organization was supposedly disbanded only a few years later, but that’s what they want us to think.

The modern conspiracy theory really begins with the most famous of the anti-Communist organizations and the Granddaddy of a good deal of today’s conspiracy lore, the John Birch Society. During the Red Scare of the 1950s who first used the term New World Order (NWO) to talk about an atheistic one-world government that those damn commies dreamed about. Ronald Reagan then gave an unusual speech before the United Nations that basically spoils the ending of Watchmen and George H.W. Bush actually used the term, “New World Order” in a speech in 1990. That settled it, the Illuminati was real. And they’re using our Pop stars to control our minds.

We go over the symbolism in Lady Gaga’s videos and Madonna even titled a song on her latest album, “The IlluminatI” and she mentions how she is “proud to be one of them” (but she might be a little off on her definition of who actually was in the original Illuminati group.)

As all conversations between Mike and Wendy go, the discussion eventually wraps up with Katy Perry, who is bought and sold by the global elite. Don’t believe us? Just check out her video for “Dark Horse”. Her Super Bowl performance was the Illuminati’s biggest coup because it was seen by over a billion people around the world and there are those on the Internet who are happy to analyze it for every little bit of occult imagery. (To be honest, The All-Seeing Eye is a pretty weird thing to have on our money!)

Illuminati Links

Is Lady Gaga a Satanist Illuminati Slave?: Pop-music’s strangest conspiracy theories, Slate Magazine

33 Signs That The Illuminati Is Real, Buzzfeed

‘Rebel Heart’: Madonna Reveals the Story Behind Six Surprise Songs

Decoding Illuminati Symbolism: The All Seeing Eye and 666 Hand Gesture

Song: Byzantium by Sunspot

We’ll never know
just what they know
We’ll never find,
just what they’ve done,
looks like you can do whatever you want,
as long as you’ve got the gun.

In Byzantium.
In Byzantium.

Some are happy
just to follow,
some just want to
pull our strings.
Some are sheep,
some are shepherds,
some people think
they know everything.

In Byzantium,
In Byzantium.

Would it be so bad
worse than what we have
Would it be so bad
worse than what we have

28 – Peace and Long Life: A Tribute to Leonard Nimoy


  • Our band Sunspot will release a brand new EP on 3/17/2015, featuring three of the songs we wrote just for this podcast. We’re in the studio now working on it and pretty excited to finish up and get the final versions out for you to hear!
  • On our way to the South by Southwest (SXSW) music festiveal, we’ll be making two stops for the first ever SEE YOU ON THE OTHER SIDE live broadcasts! We’ll be interviewing fascinating people and then playing a live set of acoustic songs for everyone.
  • Podcast reviews- WE MET OUR FEBRUARY GOAL! Thanks to everyone who went into iTunes, clicked the 5 stars, and made nice comments for us. In a future episode, your reviews will be, as Mike says, “autotuned” into a special song just for you.
  • Welcome to the new listeners!
  • Since we’re heading to Texas in a couple of weeks, Mike and Wendy take a quick detour from announcements to recall the time Sunspot visited the famous haunted tracks there.

The world lost a great man, and one of our personal heroes, when Leonard Nimoy passed away on Friday, February 27, 2015.  With such an incredibly legacy and prolific career, Mike and Wendy had quite a bit to talk about as they reflect on the “Mr. Spock” and his legacy:

  • His shared identity with Mr. Spock, as he talked about in his two autobiographies, I Am Not Spock (1975) and I Am Spock (1995).
  • The Vulcan salute was Nimoy’s idea, based on the hand formation Jewish priests use while performing blessings.
  • Many characters from Star Trek, such as William Shatner , continued to use their characters in ridiculous ways following the series, but Leonard Nimoy had a presence that was less joke-like and more serious.  He embraced the character of Spock and brought it into his other projects.
  • Nimoy continued on  as Spock in the Star Trek animated series, and then in six of the movies
  • Of particular interest and inspiration to us, he hosted the show In Search Of, a pioneering program about the paranormal featuring tales of ghosts, ancient aliens, etc. In the show, Nimoy questioned the “unexplained phenomena” of the unknown, which at the time was very unique and uncommon programming for television.
  • The Vulcan nerve pinch was an idea provided by Nimoy
  • The Episode Mirror Mirror featured an evil version of Mr. Spock, who was Nimoy but with a goatee. The practice of using the same actor, but with a goatee, to represent an “evil twin” has become popular in many other shows and movies since then.
  • Many people provided special tributes to Nimoy when the news broke of his passing.
  • Nimoy directed the movie Three Men and a Baby, which also has a legendary ghostly figure in one of the scenes that caused quite a stir when the movie came out on video. However, it was later found that the “ghostly child” was a cardboard cutout of Ted Danson (cue the sad trombone).
  • So many of the people we know were affected by Nimoy/Spock and his multitude of creative projects, and it was clear on the day of his passing through all of the social media comments everywhere.  This was the perfect example of the power that a really good artist can have on the world and human experience.

Let us know if you have any special memories or tributes for Leonard Nimoy!

Featured Song: Sha Ka Ree

Being young ain’t always fun,
and growing up ain’t easy,
when you’re just a little different,
and your best friend is your TV.
You might never be a hero,
or get along with your peers,
but you could learn to be a human from,
a dude with pointy ears, well.

The bad guys were always wrong,
and the good guys always won and,
we learned how to play the game.
But now my favorite shows,
are full of anti-heroes and,
reruns just ain’t the same.

In a world a little sick,
we could use some more logic.

Who taught you,
the needs of the many,
are greater than the needs of the one?
And who taught you,
that just wearing a goatee,
Makes you an evil son of a gun?

The only one who tried to talk,
to the Devil in the Dark.
Cuz you were bred from different stock,
like those of us who missed the mark,
See you in Sha Ka Ree, my Mister.

Mr. Spock stopped the jocks,
taking over in Space Seed,
and he always kept his cool,
when Bones would call him a halfbreed.
And we all tried the nerve pinch,
on other kids on the playground,
Till fourteen at least I still believed,
that move could knock you out, damn.

In Search Of was the show,
that made it cool for UFOs,
it weirded out my little mind.
Embarrassing as it could get,
you sang a song about the Hobbit,
somebody must have been high,

Those of us that can’t quite fit,
could use some more of your logic.

Who taught you,
the needs of the many,
are greater then the needs of the one?
Who taught you,
that just wearing a goatee,
makes you an evil son of a gun?

From Captain Kirk’s superego,
into the dark mind of Van Gogh,
so much of what I know,
came from your heart.
We’ll see you in Sha Ka Ree, my Mister.

27 – Parapsychology Fact Vs. Fiction: An Interview with Loyd Auerbach

Looks like Mike survived his half-marathon that we were talking about last week in the below-zero temperatures on Sunday, but just barely!

and here’s Mike and Wendy recording the intro to the interview in the Sunspot rehearsal space.

Today’s interview is with parapsychology mainstay, Loyd Auerbach. He really has been keeping the fires burning for the scientific study of the unexplained for four decades and his book ESP, Hauntings, and Poltergeists: A Parapsychologist’s Handbook was extremely influential on a young Mike (which is one of the reasons that he’s so excited about the interview.) Not only has Loyd been highly involved in keeping parapsychology in academia, he has been on thousands of paranormal investigations, and consulted for television (especially on a forgotten classic from the 80s, Shadow Chasers.)

The conversation begins with how Loyd got into the paranormal, his study at Northwestern University under the great UFO researcher, J. Allen Hynek, and then his job at the American Society for Psychical Research. It’s basically a lesson in how to get your dream job so that’s worth listening to the podcast for that information alone.

Loyd moves out to the West Coast to continue his studies at JFK University who was the only place in the United States a post-graduate degree in parapsychology at the time. It was a different time, and he discusses the difference between scientific attitudes towards the unexplained was more welcoming in the days before today’s science vs. faith culture wars.

Loyd talks about some of his Hollywood script consultation and also how he’s not that interested in appearing on paranormal television shows anymore because they don’t portray parapsychology and paranormal investigations in a realistic light. He goes into the difference between reality and what they show you on TV and the movies.

Mike and Loyd then delve into not only tips for novices interested in going on paranormal investigations, but also tips for people who are interested in letting a paranormal group investigate their house. It’s a must-listen for anyone who’s interested in finding a paranormal group to investigate their home because it’ll help you weed out the inexperienced groups from parapsychologists who might actually be able to help.

The conversation also goes into Loyd’s latest endeavors to help educate newbies to parapsychology and his latest online courses, which are all about learning to investigate paranormal phenomena like hauntings or ESP in a scientific way so that your investigations can help further the field of parapsychological research.

Loyd Auerbach Parapsychology Links:

Loyd Auerbach’s website

ESP, Hauntings, and Poltergeists: A Parapsychologist’s Handbook

Follow Loyd Auerbach on Twitter

Take one of Loyd’s paranormal classes online at the Rhine Education Center

Featured Song: Pascal’s Wager

We are but tiny,
inside a world of infinity,
all we have is our reason,
to make us better than the beast.

Pascal was a gambler,
who wanted to believe.
Pascal made a wager,
for the souls of you and me.

And if you win, you win, you win it all.
And If you lose, you lose,
and it don’t matter anyway,
And there’s so many things I’ll never know,
But even the brightest stars,
must lay down their cards,
when the ferryman calls.

I was born a cynic,
but I’m willing to take my chance,
that the universe is big enough,
to be more than coincidence.

We’re playing a game,
that we don’t want to admit,
All the things we feel,
that you just can’t dismiss.

So if you win, you win, you win it all.
And If you lose, you lose,
and it don’t matter anyway,
And there’s so many things I’ll never know,
But even the brightest stars,
must lay down their cards,
and figure out just who they are,
when the ferryman calls.

You’re not a fool to believe.
You’re not a fool to believe.

26 – How The Occult Saved Rock & Roll: An Interview with Peter Bebergal

Today we interview Peter Bebergal, author of the book. Season of the Witch: How The Occult Saved Rock n’ Rollwhich is a fascinating look into how the occult slipped into the mainstream through the music of the Baby Boom generation. Rock n’ roll created the perfect storm of the Beatniks interest in Eastern mysticism, the Animism roots of slave spirituals and Gospel music, and the Hippie embrace of the Age of Aquarius.

Mike and Peter first discuss their mutual love of Dungeons & Dragons and then move on to an interview that Wendy describes as “like a vortex of weird geeky intelligence”. They get into how Robert Johnson actually was not the blues artist who had sold his soul to the Devil and how mystical and magic themes spread through the music of the 60s’ counterculture. Then The Great Beast Aleister Crowley rears his ugly head, David Bowie’s cocaine-fueled fascination the weird enters the conversation, they discuss Peter’s favorite modern acts that use occult symbolism (it’s not just Mötley Crüe anymore!), and a whole lot more as they get into the nuts and bolts (or should we say, eyes of newts and toes of frogs instead!) of Peter Bebergal’s incredibly well-researched and thought-provoking book.

Season of the Witch Links:

Peter Bebergal on Twitter

Season of the Witch: How The Occult Saved Rock n’ Roll on Amazon

Season of the Witch excerpt, Huffington Post

Featured Song: Devil  Music

I’ve got a taste for the dirty,
I’ve got a taste for the weird,
And I’m looking for something I can’t find around here.
And all these little church mice,
they just bore me, just bore me.
I play my records backwards,
My crosses upside down,
I’ll read the Tarot for any girl in town,
and anything that I catch has gotta floor me, dance for me.

Guys like me,
Want Devil Music,
From underneath,
We love Devil Music.
Heaven don’t want me in their state of grace,
and Hell’s afraid I’d take over the place,
so let’s raise up the horns to Devil Music!

I dream of thousands just like you,
Turning their backs on you know who,
and living life for today,
instead of waiting to die, just waiting to die.
Cuz paradise is a place we can find right here,
with electric guitars, condoms, drugs, and beer,
Existing in the now,
instead of watching life go by, life go by.

Guys like me,
Want Devil Music,
From underneath,
We love Devil Music.
Heaven don’t want me in their state of grace,
and Hell’s afraid I’d take over the place,
so let’s raise up the horns to Devil Music!

25 – Real Life Superheroes: An Interview with Author Tea Krulos

From Bruce Willis in Unbreakable to John Ritter in Hero at Large to everyone’s favorite madman Nicolas Cage in Kick-Ass, we’ve been watching regular everyday human beings assuming the mantle of comic book superhero personas for a long time. But for some people, even those fictions aren’t enough. There’s a group of people who are living the dream of real life superheroes in our world and they’re part of what has been dubbed the Real Life Superhero Movement. Milwaukee author, Tea Krulos, spent years with these heroes and wrote a book called Heroes In The Night: Inside The Real Life Superhero Movement. 

Tea was in Madison, Wisconsin over the weekend at the Wizard World Wisconsin Comic Con to lead a panel discussion on the Real Life Superhero Movement and we caught up with the author right before he went to the big convention.

real life superheroes
The Watchman – Milwaukee’s Real Life Superhero


Tea’s first meeting with a real life superhero was with the defender of Milwaukee, Wisconsin’s Riverwest neighborhood, The Watchman.  From there, a Milwaukee team started to develop called The Challengers, which would serve as a neighborhood watch, help with the homeless, and go to charity events.

He describes how most of the  real life superheroes are content to let the police know when they see crime going on, but some like Seattle’s Phoenix Jones, like to mix it up.  Tea also accompanied Minneapolis superhero Razorhawk who organized a group into a Twin Cities search for a missing college kid who might have been a victim of the Smiley Face Murder Club.

Krulos got to travel all over the country meeting up with superheroes and one of his favorites is Vancouver street legend Thanatos, who pounds the pavement helping out the city’s homeless population, using his own money to get them tarps, blankets, and water. Krulos describes him as a “friendly, yet spooky-looking figure.”

All in all, Tea believes that these real life superheroes want to make the world a better place and want to make themselves better people, “they’re tired of being apathetic and they want to have a hobby that helps people out.”

After discussing his fantasy celebrity casting of a real life superhero movie, Krulos gives a quick summary of his monster hunters book, as well as giving a preview of the Milwaukee Paranormal Conference taking place this June.

Real Life Superheroes Links

Featured Song: Real Life Superheroes


Why does it take a tragedy
to summon the valiant?

Untold are tales of bravery
among the common man

The world doesn’t have to end.

We have the heroes
(local vigilante)
Real life superheroes
(just might save the day)

We have the heroes
(doing what is right)
Real life superheroes
(heroes of the night)

We have the heroes
(local vigilante)
Real life superheroes
(just might save the day)

We have the heroes
(doing what is right)
Real life superheroes
(heroes of the night)

Could it be a force at hand
secret from society?

Good intentions, valor grand
watching for the the libertine

A victor living right next door

We have the heroes
(local vigilante)
Real life superheroes
(just might save the day)

We have the heroes
(doing what is right)
Real life superheroes
(heroes of the night)

24 – El Chupacabra: From “Species” to Johnny Depp

Last week’s Johnny Depp Chupacabra attack as an excuse for being tardy to a press conference was the inspiration for this discussion about a fascinating, elusive, goatsucking creature!

This week we have a quick request: Since February is a month for LOVE, and we’d LOVE it if some more people would join our listener community, we’ve set a goal of getting 4 new reviews this month.  So…  If you enjoy the show, would you please leave a review for us on iTunes?  If you follow this link and click “view in iTunes”, then click on the Ratings and Reviews tab. There you’ll find the “Write a Review” button- easy as pie!

This week is one of our first ventures into the world of Cryptozoology. Creatures like the Loch Ness monster and Bigfoot exist in folklore, but have no solid scientific proof they are real.  Chupacabra is an interesting example of how a single person’s story of an encounter with such a creature can grow and spread into mass hysteria; fear of a threatening beast of unknown origin. The Johnny Depp Chupacabra Incident was just the start of what we hope to be a continuing tradition of exploring the world of cryptids and undiscovered beasts!


Featured Song: El Chupacabra

A stalker in the night,
Compact and mean,
A creature plucked right from,
an animal’s worst dream.

He’ll bleed you slow,
his eyes glow red,
It’s the little monsters,
that will get us in the end.

Run for your lives,
a terror is unleashed
A real life X-File is coming
for your beasts.

Might be a coyote,
he’ll bite your throat,
and suck your goat,
He’s the Bigfoot of Mexico,
El Chupacabra.

A chameleon and a killer,
an experiment gone awry,
Leaving a trail of victims,
all bled dry.

Disappearing like a shadow,
You’ll never apprehend,
The little monsters,
that’ll get us in the end.

Run for your lives,
a terror is unleashed
A real life X-File is coming
for your beasts.

Might be a coyote,
he’ll bite your throat,
and suck your goat,
He’s the Bigfoot of Mexico,
El Chupacabra.
El Chupacabra.
El Chupacabra.

23 – Life of a UFO Investigator: Interview with Mark O’Connell – Part 2

Here’s the second part of our interview with screenwriter and UFO investigator, Mark O’Connell. He and Mike talk about how Mark got into checking out reports of UFOs as an official MUFON (Mutual UFO Network) Field Investigator. He talks about the process of becoming a UFO Investigator as well as the cases that he’s investigated that struck him personally as the most unexplainable.

Mark also bursts the bubble on the recent hype surrounding the “declassification” of 100,000 Project: Blue Book (the Air Force’s investigation into UFOs through the 1950s to the 1970s) documents that were published on the Internet in the past two weeks as part of a massive amateur journalism project by John Greenewald and heralded all over mainstream news sources like the BBC and CNN. He says that while it’s great that it’s being covered in the news, there’s nothing new in the files that hasn’t already been analyzed and seen already.

Mike and Mark then talk more about Project: Blue Book and its director, J. Allen Hynek. Mark is currently working on a biography of the astronomer who was the face of official UFO investigation the Twentieth Century. Hyena developed the Encounters scale used by Steven Spielberg in Close Encounters of the Third Kind and served as a consultant on the film. They talk about the famous Michigan “swamp gas” case that helped discredit Hynek in the eyes of UFO enthusiasts as well as getting the attention of Michigan congressman and future President of the United States, Gerald Ford. Mark goes into why Hynek’s critics are wrong and clears up some myths surrounding the event.

Overall, this episode is for anyone who’s interested in how serious investigation into unexplained events is done and for people who are fascinated with how UFO phenomena became an American pastime. Mark is a wonderful storyteller and a fount of knowledge, and we can’t wait to have him back on the show!

UFO Investigation Links:

Become a MUFON UFO Field Investigator

The Black Vault Project: Blue Book Collection

High Strangeness UFO – Mark’s blog

Wikipedia article on Dr. J. Allen Hynek

Huffington Post, UFOs Over Michigan Baffle Multiple Eyewitnesses: Could It Be Swamp Gas?

Song: Reverse Engineering by Sunspot

For every little sorrow,
and every little sigh,
every time I scream,
every time you cry.
For all the moments wasted,
on some tiny crime.

We’ll never be new again,
we’ll never be new again.

When you crashed into my desert,
I was wasted and afraid,
and everything you did was my favorite,
every moment a holiday,
When my jokes were still hilarious,
Your mood was still gregarious,

We’ll never be new again,
we’ll never be new again.

It’s  not rocket science reverse engineering love,
It’s  not rocket science reverse engineering love.

Take the moments you remember,
and the places that you treasure,
and cross the rivers under all the bridges that we burned.
There’s no drug to recreate,
things past their expiration date.
And I hope there’s more to live than just waiting for our turn.

It’s not rocket science reverse engineering love,
It’s not rocket science reverse engineering love.

Just like the German scientists after the war,
rebuilt all the spaceships that came crashing through our door,
These chemical machines and their adolescent dreams,
are much more than slaves to their biologic needs.

It’s not rocket science reverse engineering love,
It’s not rocket science reverse engineering love.

And all the singers that will say,
that love just fades away,
They don’t have to live inside,
our lives every day.

We’ll never be new again,
we’ll never be new again.
But that’s no way to quit,
and no reason it should end.

We’ll never be new again,
we’ll never be new again.
But that’s no way to quit,
and no reason it should end.

It’s not rocket science reverse engineering love,
It’s not rocket science reverse engineering love.

22 – Writing for Star Trek: Interview with Mark O’Connell – Part 1

This episode features an interview with screenwriter for Star Trek: The Next Generation and Deep Space Nine, Mark O’Connell. In the interview they cover growing up in the same small town, and how Mark developed his interest in science fiction, how Ray Bradbury gave him his first writing encouragement, and how he broke into writing for Star Trek. We go into the process and a little behind the scenes on one of the greatest science fiction franchises in history. Mark is also a UFO investigator and we cover that in the second part of the interview, forthcoming.


Mark Gehred-O’Connell’s Entry at Memory Alpha Star Trek wiki

YouTube trailer for “Second Sight” episode of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine

High Strangeness UFO – Mark’s blog

Playboy’s Article Ranking Every Episode of Star Trek ever (mentioned in the podcast)

Featured Song – Final Frontier by Sunspot

It’s 7 and it’s time to check in,
but now it’s 8 and now it’s 10.
It’s time for Tang and vitamins,
let’s conduct experiments.

We’ve been out here since I don’t when,
We’re up in space just like John Glenn,
Say hi on earth to all our friends,
Sure would like to see some aliens.

Don’t beam me down,
or splashdown,
You know I like it above the atmosphere,
Sea of Tranquility,
low gravity,
I’m gonna grab a star as a souvenir.
on the Final Frontier.

The view is positively heavenly,
we’re studying cosmology,
Just like the pioneering chimpanzees,
My bones just lost some density.

Don’t beam me down,
or splashdown,
You know I like it above the atmosphere,
Sea of Tranquility,
low gravity,
My God, it’s full of stars.
Don’t beam me down,
or splashdown,
You know I like it above the atmosphere,
Sea of Tranquility,
low gravity,
I’m gonna grab a star as a souvenir.
on the Final Frontier.

21 – Stonehenge: From Prehistory to Modern Mystery

Stonehenge. In reality, it’s a bunch of really big rocks arranged over the Salisbury plain in England. While the lintels (the huge stones laid horizontally across the tops of the upright ones) make it unlike any other manmade stone formation, Stonehenge is still like the constellations, all its meaning has to come from your own mind. And no other neolithic arrangement of boulders has fired more imaginations and conjecture than this one. It’s druids and ancient rituals and it represents a life and a culture that we can scarcely imagine from the 21st Century.

The Stonehenge mystery permeates English culture, a symbol of a heritage that goes back much further than William the Conqueror, much further than the Roman Conquest. Recent research suggests that the site was occupied as far back as 7000 B.C. Those humans might have been similar to us physically (except for size, we’re a way taller species than we used to be), but their lives would have been completely unrecognizable to us, as well as to what significance they would have given their mysterious sacred sites. Stonehenge has been linked to everything from Arthurian legends to Thomas Hardy’s Tess of the d’Ubervilles to Doctor Who.

And it’s not just the English. Americans have appropriated it for themselves in movies like This Is Spinal Tap and National Lampoon’s European Vacation and Kurt Vonnegut’s book about ancient astronauts, The Sirens of Titan.

Stonehenge has been portrayed over the centuries as an altar for human sacrifice, an astronomical computer, and even a massive musical instrument. Over eight hundred thousand people visit the site each year. So why do we care so much about a bunch of rocks assembled by a group of prehistoric savages? What’s it about Stonehenge that fascinates people all over the world?

In This Episode..

The great Stonehenge Mystery Who made it, why, and what does it mean?

Wendy shares a bit of her experience visiting the monument as a child. Mike’s grand tour of the UK included almost everything BUT Stonehenge, so he has at least one very good reason to return.

From the Neolithic (~10,000 B.C. to ~5-2,000 B.C.) or “New Stone” Age, Stonehenge was created before modern tools (forged from metal) existed.  This contributes to the mystique, begging the question, how on earth was it built?

The pillars of this megalithic structure originated from the Wales region. So how did they end up in Southern England, over a hundred miles away?

And why was this curious place built? A recent theory, by archaeologist Mike Parker Pearson, suggests that it began as a burial ground for important families around 3,000 B.C.  Many cremated human remains as well as relics of a concentric wooden megalith were found within Stonehenge as it currently stands, suggesting a graveyard existed at the location before the stones were erected. Perhaps the stones were added at a later time in order to create a permanent memorial for the dead?

Pearson also proposes that the monument may have been a building project symbolizing union of the people from eastern and western Britain following years of war between them. As isolated tribes from around the country began to intermingle, the project would have been a central meeting ground to celebrate the new found peace and unity of Britain.

One of the first known Stonehenge researchers, John Aubrey, believed it had an astronomical/calendrical role. This theory was based on his careful measurements and surveying of the landmark.

The location may also have been used to celebrate the solstices…  Alignment of some of the pathways with the rising and setting sun during the summer and winter solstices suggest this possibility. Many others believe it served as a sacred religious meeting place for the Druids.

Literature featuring Stonehenge:

  • The Arthurian legend incorporates it frequently, such as in the Marion Zimmer Bradley novel The Mists of Avalon.
  • In some versions of the folk tale, the wizard Merlin creates Stonehenge with the help of a giant or giants who carry the large stones from Ireland.
  • Thomas Hardy uses Stonehenge as a setting in Tess of the D’Ubervilles, portraying the monument as a giant instrument or “temple of the winds”.
  • Author Patrick Rothfuss incorporates Stonehenge imagery in The Name of the Wind, wherein monuments referred to as waystones play key roles in the stories.

Films featuring Stonehenge:

  • A movie adaptation of Tess of the D’Ubervilles from the 1970s included a full scale replica of the megalith as its set.
  • One of our favorites, This is Spinal Tap, includes a Stonehenge storyline inspired by Black Sabbath.   The stage at real life venue Shank Hall in Milwaukee has a miniature Stonehenge backdrop as an homage to this part of the movie. Here is a video of our band Sunspot performing at Shank Hall over a decade ago. Notice the wee rock formation behind us on the backdrop?

  • King Lear – Lawrence Olivier version – set has replica of Stonehenge
  • Shanghai Nights
  • National Lampoon’s European Vacation
  • Night of the Demon (1957) – A sacrifice at Stonehenge is prevented
  • Stonehenge Apocolypse

Television featuring Stonehenge:

  • Dr. Who – An episode called “The Stones of Blood” includes some rocks of Stonehenge coming to life and killing people. Another episode, “The Pandorica Opens” included a prison located beneath Stonehenge.

Like the pyramids, some people believe aliens built Stonehenge. They think it is an astronomical observatory through which the ancient Britains could keep track of the extraterrestrials who had visited and created Stonehenge for them.

Conspiracy theorists believe the Anunnaki (check out Episode 3 for more about them!) built Stonehenge as a gathering place for the Illuminati.

Do you have any of your own theories about Stonehenge? Have you visited it in person?  Know of a book, film, or television show featuring this wondrous landmark that we didn’t cover?  Please let us know!

Links on the Stonehenge Mystery

Voices from the Dawn article on Stonehenge – An excellent summation of the folklore and myths surrounding the landmark. It goes from quoting Geoffrey of Monmouth on the Arthurian aspect to Erich von Däniken from  Chariots of the Gods. If you only read one article on it, make this one it.

Clonehenge – A list of Stonehenge replicas around the world. You might not be able to get up close and personal to the real thing but you can probably climb a replica. It’s also a great source for finding movies and books about the megalithic circle.

Stonehenge scene from Roman Polanski’s Tess – This is where they built the life-size model in France for shooting up close. See how real you think it looks!

The Stonehenge scene from This Is Spinal Tap – This is the reason most people associate rock music with Stonehenge, and it’s just as funny as it was in 1984.

Stonehenge Conspiracy Theory – It’s just about as crazy as you think it’s going to be. A highly entertaining read!

Doctor Who Speech at Stonehenge from “The Pandorica Opens” – This is one of the greatest scenes of all time from the series as the Doctor climbs one of the megaliths to deliver one of his most rousing and speeches to an amassed force of his nastiest enemies.

Watch out for the Killer Rocks! – Another Doctor Who scene, this one from 1978’s “The Stones of Blood” where you can see one of the stones attacking the Doctor.

Featured Song: Mother of Time

Sacrifice yourself upon the stone,
Something so old you know it in your bones.
But you’ll never find the way alone.

And the mother of time,
is calling us home,
Leave our lives behind,
and come to the stones.
Part of the land,
and part of the sky,
We are alive.

It’s a neolithic rave,
humans fresh out the cave.
And we sacrifice ourselves upon the stone.
A genetic memory of,
something so old, know it in our bones.
Back to the source, back t the source.

And the mother of time,
is calling us home,
Leave our lives behind,
and come to the stones.
Part of the land,
and part of the sky,
We are alive.

I know there’s a way back,
somewhere on Salisbury plain,
It’s just a kind of magic,
And we’ll get there some day.