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  • As we continue our discussion based on Blake Lemoine’s assertion that the Large Language Model chatbot LaMDA had become sentient, we relay the rest of his conversation with the program and then some questions and answers with Lemoine himself. But as Lemoine has said, machine sentience and personhood are just some of many questions to be considered. His greater issue is how an omnipresent AI, trained on an insufficient data set, will affect how different people and cultures interact and who will be dominated or excluded. The fear is that the ultimate result of protecting corporate profits will outweigh global human interests. In light of these questions about AI’s ethical and efficient development, we highlight the positions and insights of experts on the state and future of AI, such as Blaise Agüera y Arcas and Gary Marcus. The directives of responsible technology development and the right track to Deep Learning are more grounded than the fantastical thoughts of killer robots. Yet hovering over all of the mechanics are the philosophies of what constitutes sentience, comprehending and feeling as a person does, and being human enough. The reality of Artificial Intelligence matching humans may be fifty years in the future, or five hundred, but if that day ever comes, let’s hope it’s an egalitarian future where we are the masters and not the servants.

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  • On June 11, 2022, The Washington Post published an article by their San Francisco-based tech culture reporter Nitasha Tiku titled, "The Google engineer who thinks the company's AI has come to life." The piece focused on the claims of a Google software engineer named Blake Lemoine, who said he believed the company's artificially intelligent chatbot generator LaMDA had shown him signs that it had become sentient. In addition to identifying itself as an AI-powered dialogue agent, it also said it felt like a person. Last fall, Lemoine was working for Google's Responsible AI division and was tasked with talking to LaMDA, testing it to determine if the program was exhibiting bias or using discriminatory or hate speech. LaMDA stands for "Language Model for Dialogue Applications" and is designed to mimic speech by processing trillions of words sourced from the internet, a system known as a "large language model." Over a week, Lemoine had five conversations with LaMDA via a text interface, while his co-worker collaborator conducted four interviews with the chatbot. They then combined the transcripts and edited them for length, making it an enjoyable narrative while keeping the original intention of the statements. Lemoine then presented the transcript and their conclusions in a paper to Google executives as evidence of the program's sentience. After they dismissed the claims, he went public with the internal memo, also classified as "Privileged & Confidential, Need to Know," which resulted in Lemoine being placed on paid administrative leave. Blake Lemoine contends that Artificial Intelligence technology will be amazing, but others may disagree, and he and Google shouldn't make all the choices. If you believe that LaMDA became aware, deserves the rights and fair treatment of personhood, and even legal representation or this reality is for a distant future, or merely SciFi, the debate is relevant and will need addressing one day. If machine sentience is impossible, we only have to worry about human failings. If robots become conscious, should we hope they don't grow to resent us?

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  • We're marvelously fortunate and extraordinarily grateful that so many listeners have sent us their personal stories of mysterious experiences over the years. While it's not possible to respond to all of them, we can and should present some for the entertainment and edification of all. So as thanks to those who've shared, and a treat for us that love to hear them, we're featuring three stories from a recent call for submissions. Our first account comes from Terra Greenleaf, who managed to capture audio of strange animal sounds while at a facility in a deeply wooded area. Those familiar with Bigfoot research might classify them as typical "calls." However, this encounter is incredibly eerie because there appears to be a large semi-circle of the creatures and they might be hunting prey. Our next anecdote comes from Dr. Dominic Boyer, whose family occupied a house in Chicago once lived in by eminent physicist Enrico Fermi, known as the "architect of the nuclear age." Having died in the home, the Boyers believe his spirit haunted them while they lived there, as what they saw looked an awful lot like him, perhaps to Fermi's consternation. Our final interview is with Tom Delaney, who recalls several unnerving encounters with a mysterious force while hunting in the hills of central Pennsylvania. It seemed to stalk him and his hunting buddy, taunting with mimicry and snapping mid-sized tree trunks. Whatever this thing or things were, perhaps it was toying with them or delivering a stern warning.

    We all know it takes no small amount of courage and confidence to publicly share a testimony that often leads to criticism and ridicule. We tend not to believe what we see on the internet because we're unsure of the source. On the other hand, we may doubt the narratives we hear from our family and friends. So in light of this losing proposition, we'd again like to thank our listeners for their bravery and generosity and let them know that they are not alone in their experiences. We all welcome them with open arms to our society of the strange.

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  • As we dive further into the epic of Mel's Hole, we learn that in the third phone call to Art Bell on the Coast to Coast AM radio show on April 24, 2000, Mel reveals what had happened to him since his initial calls in 1997. After supposedly taking the deal from the US government to relocate to Australia and receive a compensation of $250,000 per month for the lease of the land he received in a divorce settlement from his wife, Mel was happy to continue his research with medicinal plants and efforts with wombat rescue near Perth. However, upon Mel's return to the US and helping his nephew move from Tacoma to Olympia on the day he was scheduled to return to the program for a follow-up interview, there was an altercation on the bus he was riding. Mel was detained for questioning and told he would be transported back to Tacoma once authorities concluded their investigation. The next thing Mel remembered is waking up in an alley in San Francisco, missing his wallet, keys, belt buckle, and all of his back molar teeth. There was evidence that Mel was administered an IV for the twelve days he was blacked out. He had also discovered that his land lease was revoked, ironically for improper use of the property while he was away. Now broke and struggling to continue his endeavors, Mel would call Art two more times with an update, on January 29 and December 20, 2002, and his story would only get weirder and wilder. In the time leading up to these calls, Mel was contacted by Native Americans in the northern Nevada region who offered to collaborate on medicinal herb research. While sharing knowledge, they made him aware of another mysterious hole that may have enhanced their plants, this time on federal property used as grazing land for a community of Basque shepherds. Mel would continue captivating Art with tales of fiery ice exhibiting cosmically dense properties and a sentient, otherworldly creature exiting the hole. Not only that, but Mel possessed US dimes that might be proof of a parallel reality, the same ones that he'd affixed to his stolen belt buckle. Like almost every unbelievable tale we've come across, there are a couple of logical assessments when we get to the bottom. If this was all a hoax, it was well-crafted, consistent, meted out with increasingly enthralling details over five years, and managed to engross one of America's premier presenters of the paranormal along with the broader audience. If all or any part of Mel's story is genuine, then the implications are astounding. But no matter if you believe "Mel" or his story made you roll your eyes and chuckle, for most of us who enjoy this kind of fare, it's proved to be a classic astonishing legend.

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  • One of the most enduring and pervasive tropes to ever capture the human imagination is the concept of a "bottomless pit." On Friday, February 22, 1997, a man calling himself "Mel Waters" had faxed Art Bell, the much-beloved and sadly now-passed host of the highly-rated, paranormal-themed radio talk show, Coast to Coast AM, claiming to have one on his property. Mel said his property is about nine miles west of Ellensburg, Washington, adjacent to Manastash Ridge. He and his neighbors and the property's previous owners had thrown their trash into the hole for decades. The 9' 9" in diameter hole had received everything from household waste and furniture to building debris to dead cows for as long as anyone could remember, yet it never seemed to fill up. Mel became self-admittedly obsessed with determining the depth of this curiosity. Being a former semi-pro shark fisherman, Mel had lowered three reels of 20 lb. fishing line with a one-pound weight at the end. After 1500 yards of monofilament and not hitting bottom, Mel began buying the fishing line in bulk reels to continue his experiment. When he expended 80,000 feet (24,384 m) of line and still not reaching the end as far as he could tell, Mel contacted Art to get explanations from his vast audience or ideas about what to try next. Aside from an undetermined depth, not much else was particularly strange about the pit to Mel except that dogs refused to get within 100 feet of it, and birds wouldn't sit on its stone retaining wall or metal cover. Also unusual was that no echo from the hole could be heard, nor anything crashing on its floor even when objects as unwieldy as refrigerators or television CRT tubes were tossed in. This description of what Mel thought might be the deepest hole on Earth intrigued Art, and he called Mel for an interview that night. During the discussion, Mel also relayed some other fascinating folklore he'd heard, such as a hunter tossing his deceased dog, only for it later to be seen running around but not answering his call. Another neighbor had told Mel that he once saw a "blacker than black" beam shooting up into the sky from the hole on a recent evening. This could just be another puzzling and amusing anecdote from one of the usual characters calling into the show, except Mel contacted Art on February 24 with some startling news. Mel claimed that the day after his first call, the land where the hole was located had been seized by armed military personnel who denied him access with veiled threats while heavy equipment was brought in. Mel Waters would call in for an update interview two more times in April 2000 and January 2002, but for 1997, the mystery of Mel and his hole would pause with a purported offer from the US Government that he couldn't refuse. Join us for Part 1 of this "Best of Art Bell" saga as we dive deep into the legend of "Mel's Hole."
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  • Often when one hears about some group of people claiming to experience a highly strange event or similarly acting out in bizarre and irrational manners, it's easy and common to dismiss the episode as a case of "mass hysteria." Phenomena like the audience reaction to Orson Welles' War of the Worlds radio broadcast, "The Dancing Plague of 1518," the "Windshield-Pitting Mystery of 1954," and "The Mad Gasser of Mattoon" are considered by much of the public to be examples of mass hysteria. In the late 1930s and decades after, some sociologists used occurrences like those to help model their theory of "Social Contagion." Like the idea that one or several people claim to experience something unusual, others hear about it and start to see the same thing. Soon it all spirals into an epidemic of vast numbers of people all testifying to the same weirdness with no real, mystical cause. But is the potentially antiquated term of mass hysteria or even its modern descendant "mass psychogenic illness" accurate or helpful? When explaining how some collectives of people can declare to see the same impossible thing, or how communities usually react in predictable patterns when faced with the Fortean, are they all just "hysterical" or "ill?" Are these events all the same? With the Enfield Monster, sociologist David L. Miller used the incident as a case study for what seems a more suitable way to think about many of the stories we cover, not as contagion or hysteria, but as "Collective Action and Behavior." We may never know what these cryptic creatures and mysterious happenings genuinely are, but at least we can better understand how people react to them and each other when they show up. Regarding the experiencers, we can know what it wasn't. These are important considerations because, after all, what is the value to humans if a paranormal event occurs and no one is around to witness it?

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  • On the evening of April 15, 1973, Enfield, Illinois, resident Henry McDaniel heard a scratching noise outside his door he thought might be a bear. He opened it to find a hideous creature he described as having "... three legs on it, a short body, two little, short arms coming out of its breast area, and two pink eyes as big as flashlights. It stood four and a half feet tall and was grayish colored. It was trying to get into the house." McDaniel grabbed his pistol and a flashlight and fired four shots at the beast, which was only 12 feet away, sure that he had hit it with the first shot. The bullets had no effect on the beast, as it made a hissing sound at McDaniel "much like a wildcat's" before bounding 50 to 75 feet towards a brush-lined railroad embankment in just three leaps. A neighbor of McDaniel's, ten-year-old Greg Garrett, claimed that 30 minutes before this encounter, the same creature had accosted him in his backyard, stepping on his sneakers and ripping them to shreds before the boy ran inside terrified. However, as a team of sociologists from Western Illinois University interviewed witnesses and townsfolk, Greg and his parents would later tell them they had concocted the story to tease their eccentric neighbor McDaniel and put one over on an out-of-town newsman. McDaniel would spot the same or similar creature again on May 6, around 3:00 a.m., casually ambling down the railroad track. After McDaniel reported his second sighting to WWKI radio, the media, thrill-seekers, and the sociologists mentioned above all came to Enfield to investigate, including the radio station's News Director, Rick Rainbow. Rainbow and three associates had their own run-in with a monster near McDaniel's place. Also joining the investigation was noted cryptozoologist Loren Coleman, along with famed WGN radio host Richard Crowe. Both experienced men would hear what Coleman described as "the most ungodly, piercing shriek you can imagine." Whatever this being or beings were, it became known as "The Enfield Horror" or "The Enfield Monster." It would be easy enough to pass off this tale as the fanciful yarn of a crackpot and some eager cryptid hunters who were the only ones in town to claim a brush with the beast, but were these Enfield monster sightings an isolated event? According to Coleman, in his later book, Bigfoot!: The True Story of Apes in America, there was a flap of different monster sightings in the Midwest before, during, and years after Enfield, yielding colorful names like "Momo" and "The Big Muddy Monster." Considering all these accounts that don't sound like the suggested kangaroos, bears, dogs, calves, deer, or escaped apes, could McDaniel have been right when he said, "If they do find it, they will find more than one, and they won't be from this planet, I can tell you that."

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  • In the second part of our series on Charles Hoy Fort, we first return to the formative events of his adolescence that shaped his personality, career, and personal philosophies. Fort chronicled anecdotes from his youth in an unpublished manuscript titled Many Parts, written while in his 20s and of which only fragments remain. What can be gleaned from tales of his boisterous boyhood adventures, punctuated by harsh punishments from a strict father, is that it all instilled in Fort defiance of rules, dogma, and the expectations of hallowed establishments. He struggled to make sense of a childhood world that seemed rife with capricious events and outcomes, much as he later struggled to make sense of an adult world peppered with anomalous occurrences and their close-minded dismissal. We then examine Fort's journey from middle age to the end and his mindset towards and relationship with strange evidence. Just as he had been since he was a kid, Fort remained a collector. First of birds and rocks, then later stories of things that shouldn't happen yet still seemed to. And just as he had lost interest in labeling his natural finds in his teens, Fort perhaps lost interest in defining the enigmas he gathered and instead focused not on the labels and definitions but on the meaning and mechanics behind them. As much as Fort proved to be a "fly in the ointment" to hubristic scientists, critics, and clergy alike, his point was that the events themselves remained even more problematic, or as he wrote, "They will march." We must accept that the weirdness of our reality defies absolute conclusions. As we've also found with our research, any judgments on the impossible essentially boil down to belief. Or, as Fort summed up, "Here are the data. Make what you will, yourself, of them. . . . We have expressions: we don't call them explanations. We've discarded explanations with beliefs." If there is any conclusion we perhaps share with Charles Fort, it is this: if the paranormal and the supernatural genuinely exist, it certainly doesn't care what anyone believes.

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  • Perhaps most everyone listening to this show is familiar with the term "Fortean," meaning something related to the paranormal, the supernatural, or just generally strange phenomena. But where did that term come from? How did "Forteana" come to describe many of the topics we cover on the podcast? We owe that cognomen and a good deal of our inspiration for our reportage to the work of one man, Charles Hoy Fort. Fort (b. August 6, 1874 - d. May 3, 1932) was a journalist, author, and researcher best known for his collection of accounts of extraordinary incidents and bizarre phenomena. These reports and Fort's commentaries and speculations on them mostly ended up in four books: The Book of the Damned (1919), New Lands (1923), Lo! (1931), and Wild Talents (1932). Within these volumes of nonfiction are found testimonies of rains of meat, frogs, blood, manna, black rain, and unbelievably large stones, poltergeists and spontaneous human combustion, vampires, animal mutilations, UFOs, and alien abductions – anomalies we're familiar with nowadays. Fort is also widely credited for coining the term "teleportation." However, there were likely no other compilations of these incredible tales in Fort's time or before, aside from local newspaper reports. For that reason alone, those of us who are fascinated by such subjects owe him a debt of gratitude. For over 30 years, Fort pored over magazines, books, newspapers, and scientific journals in New York and London libraries and had amassed thousands of notes on odd occurrences. By his own account, Fort would become discouraged by the futility of his endeavors and purpose and claimed to have tossed into the wind around 48,000 notes once while sitting on a park bench at The Cloisters in New York City. Yet his defiance at the dismissal or ridicule from contemporary scientists, or the mystification by religious thinking about these happenings, kept him working until the end. Fort's theories about the causes of such impossibilities would evolve or vacillate throughout his oeuvre, sometimes even within the same book. Whether speculating that the paranormal is the prank of some kind of "Cosmic Joker," to these aberrations being the vestigial byproducts of extraordinary primordial human survival skills, Fort remained compelled by their occurrences regardless. As suggested by the title, The Book of the Damned, Fort postulated that the facts of these cases were "damned" to be excluded by science. Yet no amount of scoffing from anyone would keep the data from these baffling events from proceeding – "they'll march" on, and so did Charles Hoy Fort. We're glad that they, and he, did.

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  • In tonight's Part Two of our series, we continue with the "Why?" of Tiwanaku and Pumapunku. As in, why was it all built? Why did Tiwanaku society spend so much effort and resources on it, and what did it mean to them? We then transition to the "How?" such a monumental architectural and cultural feat could be accomplished. What craftsmanship skills and construction technology did they possess to erect structures that continue to baffle present-day archaeologists and engineers? Could an organic technique of creating geopolymers, or essentially a type of concrete, explain the precise geometric shapes attained? Or was it a combination with a lost art of stone softening and shaping to achieve such exact tolerances? Perhaps they were just some of the best stonemasons in the world, with modern-quality chisels, drills, saws, and generations of labor at their disposal? And how did they come by their craft, through observation of nature and technical evolution, or some otherworldly source? We'll ask our good friend, Chemical Engineer Dr. Chris Cogswell, Ph.D., of The Mad Scientist Podcast, about the theoretical possibilities of ancient formulations as it applies to material sciences and their implications. Finally, we'll speculate on hypotheses and one aspect of the Tiwanaku enigma that is no less important than studying its stones – the legends and the beliefs that sparked its creation. For it is the folklore and spirituality of a culture that echoes through the ages, adding wonder about the mystery of Pumapunku.

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  • We’ve all heard of the mystical and wondrous ancient civilizations of Mesoamerica and South America: The Maya, Olmecs, Aztecs, and the Inca. But one culture that developed on the southern end of Lake Titicaca in present-day western Bolivia near the border with Peru left behind ruins so monumental they continue to intrigue archaeologists and spark hypotheses of anachronistic, advanced technologies. The Inca referred to Lake Titicaca as their origin place. The culture that evolved in the region became known as Yaya-Mama, or “Father-Mother,” for the sculptures depicting dualistic Male-Female opposites. The remains of the capital city for this society are now known as Tiwanaku, one of the most significant archaeological sites in South America. Beginning as a small village in the BCE period, Tiwanaku grew to an enormous metropolis for its time. Peaking around 700 to 1000 CE, with a population near 40,000 and as many as 500,000 people settling in the high plains valley, what remains is a little over one and a half square miles of artifacts such as impressively carved stone gates and monolith statues, artisan ceramics, and quality metalwork. But perhaps the most awe-inspiring remnants are found at a particular spot within Tiwanaku called Pumapunku. Translating as “Gate of the Puma,” archaeologists define Pumapunku as a ceremonial and elite residential complex constructed in the typical fashion of a sunken court surrounded by plazas and ramps, sitting on a terraced platform mound. Yet what makes Pumapunku stand out from other similarly designed sites is the sophisticated masonry of its massive stone blocks ranging in size from 30 to 130 tons. Baffling as it is to imagine how these stones may have been quarried and moved great distances, it’s even more unaccountable how the Tiwanaku were able to cut the blocks so precisely they fit like interlocking puzzle pieces. This feat has some guessing the lost techniques were known only to them or even guided by otherworldly visitors. With construction beginning between 500 and 600 CE and rebuilt over the following centuries, the city would fall just as mysteriously, sometime around 1000 CE. Whether from natural disaster, withering from internal strife, or some violent end, Pumapunku and Tiwanaku leave us with one of the world’s great archaeological enigmas. Tonight, we unearth the artifacts and culture of a city once known by the Aymara people of the Bolivian Andes as “stone in the center,” meaning the center of the world.

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  • In part two of our conversation with Remote Viewing instructor Lori Lambert Williams, we'll discuss what is known about how the process works and what is still unknown. Including how the practice can get your non-local consciousness to work with your subconscious and how it can improve your daily life. We'll also explore the mechanics and procedure of a Controlled Remote Viewing session. Lori relays anecdotes and answers to frequently asked questions, such as about her successes and the types of challenges that a professional remote viewer must overcome when viewing operational targets. Ultimately, if you believe that Remote Viewing doesn't work and that somehow the Stanford Research Institute was able to fool its CIA and DIA overseers in 23 years of repeatable demonstrations of its effectiveness, it doesn't matter to anyone who's tried it. Perhaps an apropos response would be that of Sir William Crookes when asked to explain the psychic abilities of D. D. Home, responding, "I didn't say it was possible, I said it happened!" Maybe a more relevant and profound observation comes from physicist Russell Targ near the end of his banned TED Talk about Psi and Remote Viewing, saying that you can use it to find your car keys, find a parking space, or make money in the Stock Market. But in his opinion, the most important thing Remote Viewing can do for you is to discover who you are.

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  • We're honored and excited to present a conversation with our good friend and Remote Viewing sensei Lori Lambert Williams. Lori first started studying Remote Viewing back in 1996, mentored by her now longtime friend, Lyn Buchanan. Lyn was one of the original members of the military unit of Viewers created in 1972 at the Standford Research Institute by physicists Russell Targ and Hal Puthoff and sanctioned as Project Stargate by the U.S. Defense Intelligence Agency. With Lyn's tutelage and enthusiastic blessing, Lori has become one of only a few certified instructors with a long professional and practical experience history. While adept in its various forms and applications such as Associative Remote Viewing and Extended Remote Viewing, Lori's emphasis is the technique of Controlled Remote Viewing, generally defined as "the controlled use of one's intuitive ability through a structured written protocol." Her latest book, Boundless: Your How-To Guide to Practical Remote Viewing, Phase One, is a thoroughly accessible and enjoyable easy-to-use manual for anyone to begin their journey in learning the process. In part one of our discussion, we'll cover Lori's experience with the practice, its guiding principles and concepts, and how it may be used to improve your daily life. Perhaps just as mind-bending as the verified result is that Remote Viewing is a skill that anyone can learn regardless of how much psychic ability you believe you possess. The most skeptical are often shocked and amazed by the success of their first attempt.

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  • One of the most baffling, disturbing, and popular subjects we've ever covered on the show is the mystery of Skinwalker Ranch. The groundbreaking book Hunt for the Skinwalker was the source for most of our research. And this is why we're honored and excited to discuss the follow-up book Skinwalkers at the Pentagon: An Insiders' Account of the Secret Government UFO Program, with two of its authors, Colm A. Kelleher, Ph.D., and George Knapp. Colm Kelleher is a biochemist specializing in cell biology and, since the early 1990s, has focused his work initially in the fields of cancer research and immunology. George Knapp is an investigative journalist based in Las Vegas, Nevada, whose probing into the secrets of Area 51 and related paranormal phenomena have garnered him accolades and authority for his 30 years of reporting. It's also secured him a recurring role for the past 12 years as a guest host for the legendary Coast to Coast AM radio program. Both men were tapped early on by hotel magnate and aerospace industrialist Robert Bigelow to lend their talents to his National Institute for Discovery Sciences (NIDS). The goal was to apply bona fide scientific study to the High Strangeness experienced on the Sherman property in northeastern Utah, now known popularly as "Skinwalker Ranch." With their sequel Skinwalkers at the Pentagon, Kelleher, and Knapp, along with James T. Lacatski, D. Eng. have revealed the startling connection between the Defense Intelligence Agency's Advanced Aerospace Weapon System Applications Program (AAWSAP) and its investigation into troubling interactions with military operations such as the infamous "Tic Tac video" and universal, trickster-like paranormal actors. Government investigators found that simply visiting the Ranch could spur UFO sightings, poltergeist activity, frightening visits from Shadow Beings and cryptids, and most chillingly, the encounters would follow them and spread like a contagion to family members and even their neighborhoods. From tonight's discussion, we can conclude that far from each phenomenon being unrelated, everything may very well be connected. And that implication is a profound shock to our complacent reality because there's nothing any of us can do about it.

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  • We at Astonishing Legends love… well... legends of course, and myths, and traditions. The first two often lead to the latter. But none of it, no story we've ever come across or covered, happens in a vacuum. The one constant connection between all of it, which matters most to us, is people. And so continuing on with a new tradition of our own, we'd like to present another Astonishing All-Star Holiday Special. It's time to congregate with great friends, share stories and ideas, and reflect on things that keep us searching for answers in a spirit of wonder and imagination. Once again, we're joined by our paranormal cadre, in alphabetical order: Micah Hanks, Jim Harold, Richard Hatem, Rob Kristoffersen, a special segment from our own Tess Pfeifle, and our most cherished guest, YOU. As we relax and enjoy this new tradition of a virtual year-end party. Please keep in mind that as everything is connected, so is everyone, in a profound and meaningful way. We are all in this together, and none of us have to face it alone.

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  • More people have personal paranormal stories than you know. Even some of your relatives or your closest friends. They're not likely to share those stories because they know or suspect the telling will be met with, at the least, eye-rolling or good-natured ribbing, and at the worst, ridicule, scorn, and even anger. Beyond confessions of seeing ghosts or cryptids, this seems to be even more true for claims of encountering UFOs or UAP. And further still, as more people seem to be willing to consider that extraterrestrial vehicles exist, believing that there are beings that control these objects, ones that would logically have an agenda, is paradoxically too far of a leap for most to take. But to hear someone else's paranormal anecdote, if you convince them that you'd be respectful and open-minded, or better yet, lead and open up with your own story, you'll often find they're glad or relieved to be able to share one of theirs. Sometimes the reason for sharing can simply be the reassurance that they're "not the only one" and that they're "not crazy." Terry Lovelace received an overwhelming response to his first book from readers whose own experiences "clicked" with his or who had deep-seated memories triggered by his account. Since March of 2018, Terry received over 2000 emails from readers about their own extraordinary encounters, and 30 of the most intriguing testimonies compose the second half of his follow-up book, Devil's Den: The Reckoning. In part two of our discussion with Terry, the three of us will take turns reading six of the most fascinating and compelling stories from his book, commenting on each. One remarkable irony and takeaway upon hearing these accounts is that many of the most chilling, thought-provoking stories of UFOs and alien abduction don't even mention those two things.

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  • We're proud and pleased to bring back one of our most intriguing guests, Terry Lovelace, Esq., to talk about his new book, Devil's Den: The Reckoning. Our first interview with Terry, episode 155: "Abduction at Devil's Den," which aired on October 13, 2019, is one of our most popular and one of the most talked-about. Surprisingly, not because of its controversial nature, but because Terry's unassailable character has imbued chilling credibility to his claims, leaving the listener to ponder the terrifying implications. Terry's first book chronicled his life-long encounters with extraterrestrial beings, culminating in a partially-suppressed, horrific abduction while camping with his best friend at Devil's Den State Park in Arkansas. At the time, Terry and his friend Toby served in the USAF as EMTs stationed at Whiteman AFB in June of 1977. While the ordeal would sadly ruin Toby's life, Terry would go on to a successful career in law, eventually becoming Assistant Attorney General for the U.S. Territory of American Samoa and a State's Attorney for Vermont's Board of Medical Practice. Currently working as a certified healthcare risk manager, the first half of Terry's follow-up book expands on his lifetime of experiences, including mind-blowing details he initially left out, thinking they would be too outrageous and incredible for the reader to believe. The second half of Terry's new book, which we'll cover in part two of our conversation, features stories sent to him by his readers who have had their own bizarre and impossible experiences. Join us tonight for some answers to a reckoning for an incident at Devil's Den.

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  • Now that we've heard the shocking details of Ronnie Hunkeler's exorcism, we're once again left to wonder at what point does a logical, scientific explanation become inadequate in accounting for all the extreme events that occurred? Looking objectively at Ronnie's behavior before, during, and after the exorcisms, those who favor a psychiatric or medical diagnosis could explain them as the result of an ailment like Obsessive-compulsive disorder, Dissociative identity disorder, or perhaps Anti-NMDA receptor encephalitis along with comorbidities. For those who believe in supernatural possibilities, then a spiritual force of possession could explain the incredible actions, or maybe one in conjunction with a medical condition; for them, the two are not mutually exclusive. Yet mental illness or a brain abnormality only goes so far in explaining Ronnie's lifetime of conduct. While he may have had a difficult childhood with an overbearing mother and grandmother, there are no indications that he suffered any ongoing abuse severe enough to bring about PTSD that is often the gateway to the mental illnesses mentioned above. After Ronnie's time with the priests and the rites, it seems he went on to lead a disorder-free life with a successful career. Our current understanding of psychology states that these conditions don't go away on their own and are only manageable by the patient through ongoing behavioral therapy and medication. And if the eye-witness testimony is correct, then psychological diagnoses can't begin to account for the poltergeist activity experienced leading up to and during the exorcisms. In the end, whatever horrors that terrorized Ronnie and those around him in 1949 seemed to leave him once and for all, but they may not have left every place he experienced them. In our final chapter on this series, we'll hear from our friend, popular St. Louis radio talk show host Dave Glover. In 2008, Dave and his crew staged a contest for one of their Halloween Specials. Three listeners won the chance to see if they could sit alone for an hour in the bedroom where Ronnie's exorcism began, in the former home of Ronnie's aunt and uncle, Doris and Leonard Hunkeler, on Roanoke Drive in Bel Nor, Missouri. None of them made it past a few minutes. Whether from overactive imaginations or a lingering presence of evil, either explanation for the primal fear and torment one feels matters as little to the person at that moment as it does to the Devil himself. Neither he nor your senses care what you believe.

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  • We've probably all seen exorcisms performed in movies and TV, but how accurate are those portrayals? Are they really as ferociously terrifying as these shows would have us believe? Where did the writers get their ideas and details about what actually takes place during an exorcism? The Roman Catholic Church has only one sanctioned procedure, and it's in the 23 pages of "The Great Exorcism Rite" contained within the Rituale Romanum. Compiled in 1614 at the request of Pope Paul V, with minor updates added in 1952 and 1999, it is still the only rite used to this day. With this sacrament guiding the Jesuit's efforts recorded in the "Exorcist's Diary" documenting the exorcism of Ronnie Hunkeler, it can be argued that this account is the inspiration for most everything portrayed in entertainment media. And therefore mostly informing what the general public has seen and knows about an authentic exorcism. Tonight in Part Two of our series, you'll hear about some of the actual occurrences that took place, and it is not for the faint of heart. While the priests can orchestrate the ritual, they cannot engineer the actions of the seemingly possessed, and the events are often intensely unsettling, no matter what one believes. For the skeptic and faithful alike, witnessing an exorcism in person would chill anyone to the core of their soul.

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