Tag Archives: seth breedlove

252 – Terror In The Skies: Hunting Thunderbirds & Truth With Seth Breedlove

My skeptical take on the Chicagoland Mothman flap has confounded some, but thankfully Seth Breedlove from Small Town Monsters decided to include an interview with me in his new film anyway. Entitled Terror in the Skies, the documentary explores historic and contemporary reports of winged weirdies over Illinois. At the time of this writing, Terror in the Skies has recently become the # 1 documentary film new release on Amazon Prime.

So why did Seth include me in his newest movie? I definitely should have asked him that question! We’ll maybe because he understands that I’m not actually a noisy negativist, as we joke about in this interview. Maybe he understands that I really care about the advancement of the paranormal field and that’s why my expectations are high.

I do expect investigators to check witness statements against basic facts. Far from excluding the incredible, vetting witness reserves an important a place for the truth, above and beyond the everyday muck. If every claim is treated the same and given the same importance, you’ve uncovered nothing but mud. It becomes nearly impossible to tell what is real and what is a hoax.

If something truly incredible has occurred, you better believe those who protect the status quo will try to hide it in plain sight. Just how do they do that? Disinformation.

Authentic phenomena may have occurred during this Chicagoland Mothman flap, but how will we ever know? How will we ever find the proverbial needle in the haystack, if the haystack itself is entirely constructed of momentarily convincing replicas, but ultimately fake needles?

Seeking an authentic needle in a haystack of convincing look-alikes? Good luck! It’s a mess!

That’s how disinformation works. It’s simple. It’s easy. It’s cheap. It’s effective. And it may be what has occurred here.

Perhaps most telling is that not one supposed witness to the Chicagoland Mothman came forward to be interviewed for Terror in the Skies. Elsewhere in the film witnesses share testimony about Thunderbird sightings. Even so many years later, several witnesses still participated in Small Town Monsters’ Mothman of Point Pleasant, appearing on-camera to contributing their eye-witnesses statements. It bears remembering that over 100 witnesses bravely attested publicly to their encounters during the original 1966-67 flap.

So what could that one true anomaly in this mess of the Lake Michigan Mothman saga have been? What might at least one of the reported witnesses actually have seen?

Nearly 20 years ago I interviewed Wisconsin witnesses reporting encounters with strange creatures with impossibly large wingspans. Is history repeating itself? Might these manifestations follow a cyclical pattern? Is there a migratory route that spans Illinois, Wisconsin, and other states.

This certainly comes up in our conversation with Seth in several instances. For example, we discuss the 1977 Marlon Lowe Lawndale, IL case as well as a very similar newspaper report from 1909 in St. Charles, IL. In both cases, birds of unusual size attempt to carry away unsuspecting children playing just outside their homes.

The Post-Crescent (Appleton, Wisconsin), May 3, 1909

Another example hits even closer to home. Kevin Walkowski, my very own cousin and Mike’s godfather had his own sighting in 1988. I interviewed him and contributed his story to several books including Weird Wisconsin. Kevin’s description which compared the wingspan of this massive bird to a Piper Cub plane still resonates in my memory and was echoed in a witness statement from the Illinois Big Bird flap of 1948 featured in Terror in the Skies.

Belvidere Daily Republican, April 26, 1948
Kevin Walkowski describes the size of a possible Thunderbird he spotted in the skies over Brookfield, WI in 1988. We recorded his recollections on video in 2015. I plan to make the full video available on at http://www.youtube.com/mothman. Subscribe to get a notification.

In fact, tales of such anomalies extend into the prehistory of the Midwest and can still be seen in petroglyphs and vibrant tribal traditions. Something strange flies in Midwestern skies. Keep your eyes on the skies and those patterns that repeat throughout history and we may just uncover something authentic yet extraordinary.

Watch me and Troy Taylor in Terror in the Skies. Listen to this episode. Then visit me, Mike, and Wendy Lynn at Troy Taylor’s Haunted America Conference this weekend. As usual, Mike and Wendy will be bringing the paranormal rock, and this year I’ll be speaking about Midwestern cases of poltergeists and demonic possession.

The song this week is inspired by Seth’s movie and the fantastic legends of the “Thunderbird”!

From the four winds
I’m flying
in your visions
i’m fighting
From the mountain you’ll hear my voice in the storm
voice of the storm

The battle’s harbinger
The spirit’s messenger
The cloudburst in my eye
To Honor the fallen and punish evil men
I am here to break the sky’

You can crush my bones
and you can pound my head
take me so far from home
and just leave me for dead
But when I spread my wings
with the lightning burn
I am the flood and fire
The Thunderbird

The serpent rises
I’ll attack
Terror in the skies
I’ll be back
On the horizon you might see my wings in the storm
wings of the storm

The battle’s harbinger
The spirit’s messenger
The cloudburst in my eye
To Honor the fallen and punish evil men
I am here to break the sky’

You can crush my bones
and you can pound my head
take me so far from home
and just leave me for dead
But when I spread my wings
with the lightning burn
I am the flood and fire
The Thunderbird

229 – Ringing Out The Old: Favorite Paranormal Stories of 2018

Our New Year’s Resolution for 2018 was to hold ourselves to a higher standard of paranormal investigation. Did we do so? Well, we hope so! We hope we gave you guys a lot to think about these past 52 episodes and hopefully stretched your mind but not your credulity.

So, as we ring out the old of 2018, we wanted to talk about some of our favorite paranormal things of 2018. What exactly did we think was the most interesting. Allison Jornlin from Milwaukee Ghosts and Scott Markus from WhatsYourGhostStory.com join Wendy and I for a discussion of our favorite paranormal stuff from the year.

Wendy particularly enjoyed Josh Gates’ 4-part series, Expedition Unknown: Search for the Afterlife. In fact, here’s a particular scene with psychic Chip Coffey at the Hollywood Forever Cemetery that she really enjoyed.

Scott was excited about the idea of “timebleeds” that we might actually be haunting ourselves, that we’re seeing glimpses and hearing sounds not of dead people, but of people living in another time and somehow it’s bleeding through into our present. It’s a theory that he heard from Grant Wilson from SyFy’s Ghost Hunters talk about earlier this year as well as a remarkable story from Michigan supernatural shamus John Tenney and it captured his imagination.

It’s something that we discussed in our episode on precognition. According to the Block Universe Theory of Spacetime, the past, present, and future have already happened. Everything is actually happening at once, we are just experiencing it in a linear manner. When we see a ghost, we might be seeing someone who occupies that same space, but is living in a different time.

Allison’s favorite story of the year is the strange space object Oumumua, what astronomers originally thought was a comet about the size of the Empire State Building ended up having several unusual characteristics, but it didn’t have the regular comet tail of debris and it exhibited acceleration when it shouldn’t have. When a Harvard professor released a paper saying we should consider the proposition that it’s not just a space rock, but that it might be a craft of alien origin, the world sat up and listened.

Of course, Allison wanted to talk about it because she just visited the observatory in Hawaii that discovered it (hence the name Oumumua which means “messenger from the past”) but the reason she was most excited about it is because it helped bring respectability to the idea of talking about aliens. Usually as soon as you bring up UFOs you’re going to turn scientists off, but here’s the rub from the researcher that wrote the paper:

“The point of doing science is not to have a prejudice,” he says. “A prejudice is based on the experience of the past, but if you want to allow yourself to make discoveries, then the future will not be the same as the past.”

Theoretical physicist Avi Loeb 

And to that we say, BOOM GOES THE DYNAMITE.

Allison’s pic from the observatory
Wendy went there too, you’re so high up, you’re above the clouds, damn!

Okay, what was my favorite of the year? In 2018, tulpas blew my mind. The whole idea that our beliefs could affect reality so much, we could actually be creating the things that we see. Sure, I had heard of the concept before, and Alexandra David Neel’s famous story of seeing one in action in the mountains of Tibet, but I didn’t really buy it.

Then we did a whole podcast on Santa Claus sightings and we talked to Nick Redfern about how people are seeing the Slenderman in real life (and how the tragic stabbings that occurred in Waukesha, Wisconsin were the day AFTER they talked about it on Coast To Coast AM!) C’mon guys, this is exactly the plot of Wes Craven’s New Nightmare.

I never really entertained the possibility of it, but then Seth Breedlove’s The Bray Road Beast movie also discusses the idea that the beast wasn’t a cryptid, but something called forth through satanic rituals in the area. I witnessed the scene of at least two of those Satanic rituals not that far away from Bray Road and I just thought it was silly. Really, just stupid kids who listened to the wrong heavy metal records. But after talking to Dean Radin about his book, Real Magic, things started clicking.

Maybe there is something to these paranormal sightings and we’re creating them ourselves through the power of belief. That was something I hadn’t considered before (I’ve been a fairly hardcore materialist for most of my life) and it’s a road that I want to explore much more in 2019.

2018 was the Year Of The Dog in the Chinese Zodiac and for a lot of people it was foretold to be an unlucky one. This week’s song is all about the emotions of going through a rough patch in your life or relationship and coming out the other side. Some years are awesome, some are learning experiences, and sometimes you’re just glad they’re over. Here is Sunspot with “Year Of The Dog”.

When the screaming is over and the crying is done,
and we’ve forgotten every promise that we broke.
When there was nothing left to get mad at, the past was always there.
To get pissed at the punchlines of all our inside jokes.

And when the whiskey turned us sour,
yeah we could always blame each other
And when the anger turned to sadness,
hating you was easier than hating myself,
yeah hating you was easier than hating myself.

Welcome to the worst year of your life,
I almost can’t believe we made it out,
Screaming and crying, drinking and fighting,
This past life is one I can live without,

The year our conversation almost turned to monologue
good riddance to the Year of the Dog
good riddance to the Year of the Dog.

I might come back as a bug,
for the stupid things I’ve done,
Or maybe I might not come back at all.
But I’m trying to learn the lessons of all my failed attempts,
I want you to know I’m an older soul,
and we’ll never do that again

And when the whiskey turned us sour,
we could always blame each other, yeah.
And when the anger turned to sadness,
hating you was easier than hating myself,
hating you was easier than hating myself.

Welcome to the worst year of your life,
I almost can’t believe we made it out,
Screaming and crying, drinking and fighting,
This past life is one I can live without,

When our story almost turned from romance to epilogue
good riddance to the Year of the Dog
good riddance to the Year of the Dog.