Episode 22: Swamp Gas and UFOs

This time on Great Lakes Lore, Samantha and Aaron tackle their first modern UFO case. They’ll introduce the broader topic of UFO sightings and the government response to them in the 1950s and 1960s and then dive into looking at the 1966 wave of sightings in southeast Michigan that garnered national attention and led, eventually, to huge changes in how the US military dealt with UFOs.

Read J. Allen Hynek’s final Blue Book Report on the sighting here!

A UFO Primer- 3:45
Sightings and Reporting- 9:51
NICAP and the Robertson Panel- 13:05
Project Blue Book and J. Allen Hynek- 15:22
The Dexter and Hillsdale Sightings- 22:09
Midway Break- 34:38
The Investigation- 39:17
The Findings- 45:26
The Reaction- 49:30
The Consequences- 52:43
Questions and Wrapping Up- 55:57

Episode 18: The Lake Ontario Triangle

Can the shipwrecks that plague to eastern end of Lake Ontario be attributed to normal dangers on a lake of that size, or do they speak to something more mysterious? Samantha tackles the maritime history and Aaron the…stranger explanations in this episode on the Lake Ontario Triangle. You might just find that the answer lies somewhere in the middle. 

Time stamps
Intro- 1:06
The Allure of Maritime Mysteries- 2:07
So Many Triangles- 5:13
The Marysburgh Vortex- 8:29
The Quinlan’s Strange Attractions- 13:33
The Bavaria- 18:21
The Picton- 28:43
Midway Break- 36:46
Vanishing Aircraft are More Boring than Vanishing Ships: 39:32
Everything from Lost Cities to Cattle Mutilations- 43:32
UFOs- 46:42
Sam Encounters Commander X for the First Time- 48:00
Explanations (rational and otherwise)- 52:26
Concluding Questions- 59:56

Episode 12: Mystery Airships

Aaron and Samantha travel back to the nineteenth century to explore the mystery airships that were spotted throughout the country in 1896/97. What started as a trio of lights above Sacramento, California, grew to reported sightings of actual ships that moved from the west coast to the Great Plains and into the Great Lakes States. Samantha and Aaron look at various sightings, possible explanations, and touch on the history of aviation. Fasten your seatbelts, it’s a wild ride.

Time Stamps
The Gilded Age- 1:10
California-8:25
Wisconsin- 12:34
Midway Break- 22:08
Michigan- 29:35
Lanark, Illinois- 39:10
Aurora, Texas- 49:42
The History of Aviation- 53:30
Wrap-Up and Outro- 56:30

Episode 4: The Paranormal Is Personal

In this episode, Samantha and Aaron step back from examining actual pieces of lore in order to share their own personal paranormal experiences. They examine the reasons why eye-witness testimonies of supernatural phenomena need to be handled with care, the ways their own experiences influence the way they interpret those from others, and how their training as historians has prepared them to analyze sources. 

Time Stamps
History of Paranormal Research- 2:20
Analyzing Sources- 13:46
Personal Stories- 15:55
Legend or Lie- 39:47
Interpreting the Paranormal- 44:06
The Desire to Have an Encounter- 54:07

Sources
For this episode we relied on a lot of articles to help us explain some of the thoughts we had about why people believe in the paranormal, what can influence that belief, and the power of biases. In case you’d like to look at these, we’ve divided them into helpful categories.

On the Public Belief in Ghosts
Why do People Believe in Ghosts? (The Atlantic)
The Truth about the Paranormal (BBC)
Why do We Like a Scary Story? (Oxford Open Learning)

On Dark vs. Supernatural Tourism
Dark Tourism, Explained (Washington Post)
Dark Tourism: The Most Haunted Destinations in the World (Culture Trip)

On Why We Like to Feel Scared
Why People will Pay to Feel Scared (The Atlantic)
On Cryptids
So Why do People Believe in Bigfoot Anyway? (California Magazine)
Have Scientists Finally Killed off the Loch Ness Monster? (The Conversation)
Why Won’t Scientific Evidence Change the Minds of Loch Ness Monster True Believers? (The Conversation)

For a complete look at the Fox sisters and some pieces of nineteenth-century spiritualism, this Smithsonian article provides a good overview. Samantha also relied on previous research regarding the idea of a “Good Death” and the Civil War from Drew Gilpin Faust’s This Republic of Suffering: Death and the American Civil War

Aaron and Samantha visited the Michigan Bigfoot Conference in this episode of The Saucer Life

The quotation that begins the second part of the episode is from Aaron’s book The Chaos Conundrum.

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