Mind Meld with Astonishing Legends – Paranormal Podcast 728

Apple PodcastsSpotifyiHeartRadioPandoraAmazon MusicYouTube

Scott Philbrook and Forrest Burgess of Astonishing Legends join me for a wide ranging conversation. We talk about Charles Fort, remote viewing, the reality or non reality of Bigfoot, In Search Of, The Night Stalker…and that’s just a sample. Check it out!

-CALM- (The Paranormal Podcast Sponsorship)

We’re so happy to partner with Calm. Calm is the app designed to help you ease stress and get the best sleep of your life.

Calm is offering Paranormal Podcast listeners a special limited time promotion of 40% off a Calm Premium subscription at CALM.COM/jim


ParaBox Monthly is your source for amazing one of a kind paranormal t-shirts that will lead you into an online paranormal mystery. Go to ParaboxMonthly.com/jim to get a 25% discount!


JIM HAROLD: We talk about some astonishing mysteries today. In fact, we’re talking with the two gentlemen from Astonishing Legends next on the Paranormal Podcast.

[intro music]

This is the Paranormal Podcast with Jim Harold.

JIM HAROLD: Jim Harold here. Welcome to the Paranormal Podcast. So glad to be with you once again. If you like what we do, please rate, review, and follow in your favorite app. That means so much.

One thing we love to do on this show and have done since the early days is catch up with other podcasters and talk to them about their thoughts on the supernatural. Two of my favorites are Scott and Forrest from Astonishing Legends, so we’re catching up with those gentlemen today. We actually did a livestream last week with them; we’re going to try to do more of those in the future. I can’t promise when they’re coming out or how often, but we’re going to do more livestreams where we incorporate your questions and so forth. So, with no further ado, you’re really going to enjoy this.

Two fantastic guests who are joining us today. Of course, I’m talking –

SCOTT PHILBROOK: Where? Somebody besides us? [laughs]

JIM HAROLD: [laughs] Oh, too modest, too modest, Scott. We’re talking about Scott “Sallie House” Philbrook, as he says on the screen there, and Forrest Burgess. They of course are the chief cooks and bottlewashers at the great Astonishing Legends, and we’re going to talk all about supernatural podcasting and some of the topics they’ve been covering and just have a general, frankly, bull session about the things we’re interested in these days. Again, one of the top supernatural and paranormal podcasts on the internet. Somebody said “the three best paranormal podcasters together,” and I couldn’t agree more.

FORREST BURGESS: I agree with one-third of that, yes. Jim is the greatest and the most inspiring.

JIM HAROLD: Aww, well that’s very kind of you. You guys are awesome, and you do great work. You know I feel that way, and I know all the people watching today feel the same way as well. Gentlemen, how goes it? What is new in the world of the supernatural in your lives?

SCOTT PHILBROOK: Well, after seven years, we just finished a series on Charles Fort, finally, who I’m sure you’ve probably talked about a billion times with all your shows. But it was fun to really dive into his past. I found myself reinspired by getting to know him and what motivated him and all that stuff. So that was a lot of fun.

JIM HAROLD: Let’s talk about that a little bit. People hear the term “Fortean” and they’re like, where did that come from? And maybe everybody who’s listening doesn’t necessarily know because a lot of people think the supernatural started with the ghost hunting shows in the 2000s, and it goes way back than that. I love the Fortean approach because it’s not just ghosts; it’s weird stuff, which I love. So maybe both of you guys can educate us a little bit about Charles Fort and why he’s so important to what we’re doing right here today.

SCOTT PHILBROOK: It’s interesting. He started out – gosh, a long time ago, at the turn of the century, really, right Forrest? He was a writer, and initially he was just a journalist trying to find his way and find his road as a writer. He got caught up in the literati of the movement and was adjacent to royalty in the New York area, in that scene. He wanted to explore – I’ll try to keep this short because we did hours and hours on him, but he started out trying to explore what kind of writing he wanted to do, and over time and a collection of experiences, he started really casting his gaze upon strange and unusual things.

For folks that don’t know who he is or what “Fortean” means or why Forrest and I call our studio “Blanket Forteana,” it’s all about this guy and him categorizing or classifying this group of stories – which is funny because he would say, verbally and written, that he was against categorizing or classifying things. But that’s what he did, almost obsessively.

When you look at all the folklore, like when you watch Paul Thomas Anderson’s Magnolia and it has all those segments about the frogs falling from the sky, or you think about spontaneous human combustion, he was the first guy to say, “What’s going on over here?” The other thing that he was the first guy to do was to look for really valid sources for that material and not to just discard it. He said it’s important not to just discard this because science can’t figure it out. That’s the part of it that I think really draws us to it, that we love.

FORREST BURGESS: That goes back to us mentioning on the show, it struck a chord with me ever since I first heard it, and this is years ago, when Jim first interviewed Michael Shermer. I use this quote quite a bit because it does tie in with Fort’s philosophy. People think he was anti-science and he hated skeptics. No, he was very skeptical.

The first time I’d ever heard Michael Shermer in an interview – by the way, great guy. I follow his writing and really like his viewpoints – it was something very profound. He said, okay, if we’re going to look at this scientifically, all this weird phenomena, obviously there’s some stuff we’re not going to have answers for. And frankly, that’s Fort’s point, too. There’s no interest from mainstream scientists because possibly you can’t get any answers from it, and also it can’t be proven in a lab. “It’s ridiculous, so let’s forget about it.”

Shermer’s point was we’re going to study this stuff; maybe 10% of it is just unknowable. It’s so weird and wild and you’re not sure about the sources and the people who claim to be eyewitnesses, so let’s take that and put that 10% on a shelf and we set it aside. Now let’s look at the 90% we can actually maybe get some inroad in with scientific study. I think it was your point, and also mine – you said this later in another interview when you were talking about your interview with Michael Shermer: Wait, what about that 10%? Why not look at that?

SCOTT PHILBROOK: Yeah, you can’t just put it on a shelf. We’re not going to look at that.

JIM HAROLD: Yeah, “that stuff doesn’t count.”

FORREST BURGESS: But I get it. I get that point of view that you’re just not going to get any answers, so that’s disinteresting. So when you look at cases like Kelly–Hopkinsville or the one we’re studying now about a monster in the Midwest, “That’s so outrageous, and that can’t possibly exist, so let’s look at how more likely what the person saw was a kangaroo, or let’s look at how more likely what the two families at Kelly–Hopkinsville saw – it’s got to be an owl because it can’t be a goblin, right? Or it can’t be anything we don’t know about. So let’s look at the possible options on the table that are mundane, that we do know about, and how does that fit in?”

What I find to be humorous is that that is that square peg that is trying to fit into that round hole. It’s like, “It doesn’t fit, but we’re going to jam it in there.” When you look at the kids’ playboard with the wood and the colored pegs, you can see it doesn’t exactly fit, but you’ve taken a mallet and you’ve jammed it in there. “Good enough, let’s move on.”

That’s kind of Fort’s thing. As he said, the data will march. He said, “The stuff I’m going to say is outrageous. I think it’s outrageous. It’s damned to be discarded and ignored by science, but the data itself doesn’t go away.” There is still the Kentucky meat shower. Frogs still fall from the sky. And that’s the thing; he points out things that are uncomfortable facts about it. These aren’t tadpoles – he said, okay, maybe a whirlwind swooped them up from some farmer’s pond, they hatched or developed in the air from tadpoles… but they came down as mature frogs.

Here’s the other thing. If they fell from a great height, none of the frogs were injured. So he said, maybe they didn’t fall from hundreds of feet in the sky, swept up. Maybe some tear happened. His theory is the Great Sargasso Sea or genesisterin, which was a smaller section of a large body in space or time where weird stuff happens, and the genesisterin is where the weird stuff comes down. It’s like maybe the ether is an organism, and when we see blood raining from the sky, this thing’s actually hurt, whatever it is.

So he’s postulating these things, but you have to realize during the course of his writings, he changed his own mind even within the same book. He starts off with postulating a theory early on in Book of the Damned, and then towards the end of it he’s also like, “Maybe that’s wrong. Maybe we look at it this way.”

That’s another thing we like about Fort. He’s very adaptable. He’s willing to say, “I don’t know. I’m just throwing stuff out here. What I do know is that hundreds of people saw this,” and whether it’s weird planetary airships from all over the world or it’s spontaneous human combustion, these things are happening whether you believe them or not.

JIM HAROLD: That’s a question I have. When we think about writings back in the day and newspaper articles and things, a lot of people say, “Ah, that stuff was written for sensationalism. That was to sell newspapers or sell books” or whatever it is. Why do we feel assured that Fort was an honest broker in all of this?

SCOTT PHILBROOK: You want to take that, Forrest? Go ahead.

FORREST BURGESS: I’ll just say simply he didn’t take all of his news from the weekly world news at the time, the tabloids. He looked at scientific journals from around the world. He spent a lot of time – most of his time, probably – in the libraries of London and New York, looking over every possible piece of information. That’s newspaper accounts to eyewitness testimonies, but also a lot of scientific material.

Again, this stuff would be brought up, and it’s like what we find today. You might have a cryptid sighting. What we’re studying now is the flap of 1972 that occurred in southern Illinois with a bunch of people seeing a bunch of different weird cryptids. That’s been studied. However, the scientific angle and wording at the time, from the ’70s, is that it’s a bit of mass hysteria. They’re not saying that people didn’t see weird stuff; they’re counting exactly as they repeated it, but they’re saying it’s from a different cause. “It’s not actually monsters, but maybe people did see a 10-foot-tall, white-haired biped ape-like creature that had pink glowing eyes, but that’s not real. The sightings we believe. Yeah, we believe that people are genuinely recounting these stories. But what’s going on here? Is it more psychological?” Of course, it’s got to be psychological. You can’t have 10-foot-tall white bigfoots running around and it being real.

My point is that those cases are documented, and I think that’s what Fort was studying. People did know stuff was going on. When it’s raining down meat and the whole town knows it, it’s hard to ignore. [laughs] That’s the thing. People want to throw the baby out with the bathwater. It’s like, “Well, what one person said was bologna, so it all must be bologna.” It’s like, well, there’s 50 other people who testified that this happened. Are they all suffering from mass hysteria, or did something weird happen and they’re seeing it with slightly different personal lenses? Then you wonder, at the base of this, you can’t deny that something weird did happen.

SCOTT PHILBROOK: I was going to say one thing. The Shag Harbour incident, which is the UFOs that crashed in the harbor in Nova Scotia, the whole freaking town saw it. The whole town. The police, the mayor, everybody. Such a great story. I want to cover it at some point. Our good friend Jordan Bonaparte, who lives right there, did a series on it. His show is called the Nighttime Podcast.

But that is such a great story. There’s a book called The Shag Harbour Incident, which is a great read. Those are the kinds of stories we love, where all these folks saw it. It doesn’t really matter if science is able to say “that couldn’t have happened,” because now you’re talking about a whole town. What, you’re telling them that they’re all crazy? It doesn’t make sense. The mass hysteria thing, I have a hard time with that in general.

But listen, we can talk about this as long as you want, but before we leave Fort, I have two items for show and tell.

JIM HAROLD: Absolutely. Please.

SCOTT PHILBROOK: For folks that are listening to this on audio later, you won’t be able to see this, but come back to the video that I’m sure Jim will share. I have a first edition of Lo!, which is considered Fort’s most successful book, that I got. It’s funny because our friend Richard Hatem, who’s been on our show several times – he’s the screenwriter that wrote The Mothman Prophecies and other stuff – was after this copy, but he sat too long and I swooped in. He’d been looking at it for like two months and then I bought it. I didn’t know he wanted it. When I sent him pictures, he sent me some angry emojis.

But the illustrations in it are just stunning. I just love this stuff. It’s really cool. But it’s also crumbling. I set it on a table the other day and part of the cover came off. It’s probably in the worst shape of any rare book I’ve bought.

JIM HAROLD: Oh my gosh.

FORREST BURGESS: Get it to a book binder and have them fortify it.

SCOTT PHILBROOK: I know about cars, but not books. Like now you’re not supposed to do anything to the car. You’re supposed to leave the original patina. If you fix this, am I ruining it? I don’t know.

FORREST BURGESS: Here’s my thinking about both rare old cars and rare books, both of which I love. At some point – Scott will know about this. Somebody gets a collector car, they drain the oil, drain the fluids, condition all the rubber and plastic pieces, and then seal it away in some vault. 

JIM HAROLD: Hermetically sealed vault.

FORREST BURGESS: Yes. I’m of the mind, take good care of it, but this stuff is meant to be enjoyed. Drive the car around. That’s why I love Jay Leno taking Stanley Steamer out and driving it around.

SCOTT PHILBROOK: I’ve seen him driving his Stanley Steamer in LA.

FORREST BURGESS: Oh, by the way, quick update, not anything paranormal. On the drive here, I saw a 1:1 perfect replica of the Back to the Future DeLorean. I was right behind it. But here’s the thing: it had all the gear on it.

SCOTT PHILBROOK: There’s a club in LA, and I’ve seen them. At Radford Studios there’s a thing they do every year. It might be Fourth of July they all show up in Knight Rider cars and those. There’s a couple of those DeLoreans, and one is the newer one that has Mr. Fusion and then the other one is older, but they’re both fully decked out. But they’re from different movies.

FORREST BURGESS: Yeah, this was decked out. I think this was the first movie. Doc Brown has got the refrigerators on the back hatchback. So it was fully decked out. But that’s meant to be seen, not just at the Peterson Museum. But my point about the book – yes, get it – the binding’s cracked.

JIM HAROLD: What is the date on that book?

SCOTT PHILBROOK: It’s 18 – let me take a look here.

FORREST BURGESS: To answer your question earlier, Fort was born on August 6th, 1874.

SCOTT PHILBROOK: Yeah, I didn’t want to get the years wrong. Thank you for looking that up. Oh, no, this is copyright 1931. I have a much older book that’s in much better shape, so I don’t know. This one has I think spent some time in the sun.

FORREST BURGESS: I can’t remember when he passed away, but it was around that time. The mid to late ’30s.

SCOTT PHILBROOK: I want to show my other show and tell thing real quick.

JIM HAROLD: Okay, go ahead.

SCOTT PHILBROOK: This requires some backstory. I got it for like $5 because nobody cared about it. Fort’s grandfather was a grocer in Albany, and he wanted his kids and everyone to go into the business. Fort’s brother, Charles Nelson Fort, did. So there was a grocery business in Albany, and they would relabel canned goods – this was big business back then – and they would put the Fort label on it. So immediately when we started doing the show, I’m on eBay, looking for old P.V. Fort & Son canned goods, and I couldn’t find any.

FORREST BURGESS: When he should be researching, he’s checking lineages.

SCOTT PHILBROOK: I know. I get caught up in these things. But I found this bill of sale from P.V. Fort & Son. It’s selling some groceries to somebody. It’s so cool. It just came today in the mail, so you can see here.


SCOTT PHILBROOK: Isn’t that cool? It says “Bought of P.V. Fort & Son,” and over here it says “P.V. Fort & C.N. Fort,” Charles Nelson Fort. What’s really cool, too, is right here in the middle, it’s signed – I can’t do backwards with my hands; I’m doing it wrong – but it’s signed by P.V. Fort right across the middle, which is cool. So that’s signed by Charles Fort’s grandfather.


SCOTT PHILBROOK: I’m so excited about this. I mean, Fort hasn’t written on it. This is the place he didn’t want to go in to work at. [laughs]

FORREST BURGESS: That was his son.

JIM HAROLD: Raining frogs sound a lot more fun, a lot more exciting.

SCOTT PHILBROOK: Yeah. But the person that had this was selling it for a typical old random grocery receipt.

JIM HAROLD: Yeah, didn’t get the connection.

SCOTT PHILBROOK: Yeah, so I got it for like five bucks, which I was thrilled about.

JIM HAROLD: Didn’t know the value of what they had. We have so much more to cover, but we’ll be back after this very important message.

Trying something new can be intimidating. Meditation may be something you’ve been hearing about but have yet to try for yourself. Calm helps you feel more at ease from the moment you start. Find somewhere that’s comfortable and familiar to you, like your couch or bed, and tune in to Calm. It’s that easy.

And that’s why we’re so glad to continue to partner with Calm, the number one mental wellness app, to give you the tools that improve the way you feel. Reduce stress and anxiety through guided meditations, improve focus with curated music tracks, and rest and recharge with Calm’s imaginative sleep stories for both children and adults. There’s even new daily movement sessions designed to relax your body and uplift your mind.

And if you go to calm.com/jim, you’ll get a special offer of 40% off a Calm premium subscription. New content is added every week. Over 100 million people around the world use Calm to take care of their minds, and I know that we do here in the Harold household. We absolutely love it. It’s just such a nice way to unplug and end your day. I love Calm. We all love Calm here, and Calm is ready to help you stress less, sleep more, and live a happier, healthier life.

For listeners of the Paranormal Podcast, Calm is offering an exclusive offer of 40% off a Calm premium subscription at calm.com/jim. Go to calm.com/jim for 40% off unlimited access to Calm’s entire library. That’s calm.com/jim. And we thank Calm for their support of the Paranormal Podcast.

If you love the Paranormal Podcast, be sure to check out Jim Harold’s Campfire, where ordinary people share their extraordinary stories of ghosts, UFOs, cryptids, and terrifying encounters. Find it for free wherever you listen to this podcast. Tune in to Jim Harold’s Campfire today. Now, we return to the Paranormal Podcast.

JIM HAROLD: For you individually, going back to your earliest fascination with this kind of stuff, where did it start for you respectively? For me, it’s In Search Of… What was it for you guys?

SCOTT PHILBROOK: Well, right here. I’d say you and I are in the same camp.

JIM HAROLD: I’ve got that too. I’ve got it right on my DVD shelf, absolutely.

SCOTT PHILBROOK: Yeah. I loved In Search Of… growing up. That was a big thing for me. I was pretty young when it was on, but man, I was just enthralled with it. My mom and I would watch it. It’s funny; I look back – I bought this set a few years ago whenever it came out, probably same time you got it, and I was watching them. I don’t even have a working DVD player anymore, and then my son was like, “Dad, the Xbox plays DVDs.” I said, “Oh yeah, duh.” So I got it in the Xbox and we’re watching a couple and my wife was like, “I don’t think I can do this. It’s creeping me out.” [laughs]

JIM HAROLD: Yeah. You look back and it wasn’t probably the most expensive filmstock and those kind of things, but that music, and then of course, the masterful narration of Leonard Nimoy. He probably went in and knocked it out in like an hour, but just that mix and that – I can hear the music in the background right now playing in my head. Nobody could do it better.

Interestingly enough – I’m sure you both knew this – originally the host of that show was going to be Rod Serling.

SCOTT PHILBROOK: That’s right, yes. I only learned that a few years ago, though. I might’ve learned it from you. I’ve only known that like two years.

JIM HAROLD: Serling had the bad taste to die on my sixth birthday.

SCOTT PHILBROOK: Oh, wow, right on your birthday.

FORREST BURGESS: Jim, do you remember – the one that creeped me out was – of course, Twilight Zone was on and that was fun. “Back in my day, we didn’t have Leonard Nimoy, we had…”

SCOTT PHILBROOK: Forrest is older. [laughs]

FORREST BURGESS: Yeah, I had Rod Serling. The show that creeped me out, though, had a totally different tone and vibe and it changed with the times – I believe with sociology on it – was Night Gallery. The vibe of that spooked me out as a youngster. I remember having to go to bed – I think my parents did the thing which would probably be frowned on now.

JIM HAROLD: [sings theme]

FORREST BURGESS: Yeah, exactly. They let me watch half of it, and I think that was my bedtime and they’re like, “Okay, now you’ve got to go to bed.” I had half of that creepy story in my head. I remember lying in my bed as a kid, listening to the audio from the TV because the show went on – I think it was probably an hour, or however long it was. But I listened to the other half because I wanted to know the story, but I was also frightened. But I listened for the commercials because that snapped me back to reality. When you hear a commercial for Alpo or Chuck Wagon and the little dog is chasing it into the cabinet, all those things –

JIM HAROLD: We’re showing our age, but I know exactly what you’re talking about.

FORREST BURGESS: Yeah. The point was that made me feel comfortable. That was reality, soap commercials and food commercials and local car dealerships. It brought me back out of that scary world to show you that “No, no, everything’s fine, it’s all a commercial world, you’re safe.” So I looked at those commercials like, “Oh, thank goodness. Madge is doing her Palmolive thing.”

JIM HAROLD: You’re soaking in it. [laughs]

FORREST BURGESS: Yes. The Calgon lady is getting relaxed, and the guy’s taking the stain out of his collar with Wisk.

JIM HAROLD: All the favorites, yes.

FORREST BURGESS: Yeah, those were the commercial things. But from my point – sorry, go ahead.

JIM HAROLD: No, no, go ahead.

FORREST BURGESS: Before those shows, though, for me – because I’m about four years older than Scott – I would sometimes find it in print, but it wasn’t very easy. I remember this, much like – I think it’s Marty. One of the two brothers on the Oak Island show. He first got inspired about it when he was probably – he’s a little older than me, so he understood it more. Maybe he was 11 or 12, seeing that story in Reader’s Digest – and that’s also where I saw it.

SCOTT PHILBROOK: Oh, right. Reader’s Digest.

FORREST BURGESS: Yeah, because my grandparents had it.

SCOTT PHILBROOK: Yes, my great-grandmother had it. We would read it, my great-grandmother and I. And she, by the way, would make me practice ESP. She had the cards from Kreskin’s and we would practice, and then we would practice with regular cards.

Also, she would read the spooky stories to me from her Reader’s Digest stuff, which is where I heard the original “There’s Room for One More” elevator story about the woman staying in the country and the carriage comes around in the middle of the night, and “There’s room for one more” and she keeps seeing this in the middle of the night, and then the next day she goes shopping – we told this on the show at some point. She’s supposed to get on an elevator and they say, “There’s room for one more,” and then she doesn’t get on it and the elevator cable snaps and everybody dies. We looked that up; it turned out to be apocryphal or something. But it was still such a great story.

JIM HAROLD: I was just going to say, there was another show that actually predated The Twilight Zone by a year that supposedly was based on real stories. 

SCOTT PHILBROOK: Oh really? What was it called?

JIM HAROLD: It was called One Step Beyond.


FORREST BURGESS: Oh yeah, I’m vaguely familiar with that.

SCOTT PHILBROOK: I don’t think I’ve heard of that.

JIM HAROLD: I have to say this – I know my lips are out of sync, but Forrest has this thing where his head is coming in and out, so it has an ethereal –

FORREST BURGESS: Oh, it’s the key.

JIM HAROLD: Yeah, I know, but it has this ethereal quality that really makes this extra spooky. [laughs]

SCOTT PHILBROOK: He gets lost in his library.

FORREST BURGESS: It’s unintentionally spooky. I’m actually at a WeWork.

JIM HAROLD: Hey, I love it.

FORREST BURGESS: The appropriate correlation here would be what takes us out of our spooky conversation is people walking by. I’m in a glass booth.

SCOTT PHILBROOK: Zoom has made bad keys okay, so it’s all right.

FORREST BURGESS: I’m basically in a phone booth, so I was going to put up the green screen which I have, but it’s huge. I’d have to cover the whole thing, so if I do, then basically I’ve got it right against my back.

SCOTT PHILBROOK: Yeah, we’re going to remedy all this soon.

FORREST BURGESS: We have the dirty mat, as Scott calls it.

SCOTT PHILBROOK: A garbage mat. I also have to mention Unsolved Mysteries, of course, which I was obsessed with. And I’m still watching them. Later on, but even when they came out the first time with Robert Stack, I was watching every single episode. I would skip through or take a break during Lost Loves, as Forrest knows, but then all the other segments.

JIM HAROLD: [laughs] And so many of those – think about that. The internet has changed the world so much that some of those wouldn’t even be – you’d be like, “Why don’t you just google it?” The world has changed so much through the internet. We’re similar age, and it’s kind of a weird age to be because we’ve seen it fully both ways, the way it used to be and the way it is now, and we’re all very techie and stuff. Probably more so than really most of our peer group, I would say. I always joke I’m 50 in age and I’m like 29 in tech. [laughs] I like to think that, at least.

FORREST BURGESS: It’s good to keep up with it.

JIM HAROLD: Except I’m not on TikTok. That’s a bridge too far, for me at least. Nobody wants to see me dancing, believe me. That would be scary.

But yeah, I loved Unsolved Mysteries. They’ve done a nice job on the new one with Netflix, but it’s not the same.

SCOTT PHILBROOK: It’s not the same. It doesn’t have the same vibe.

JIM HAROLD: First of all, Robert Stack was the man. And apparently some of the producers didn’t like the paranormal stories, but the problem was when they put the paranormal stories in, those were the ones that got the best ratings. I think Stack may have been a little ambivalent about the supernatural aspect, but that’s what people remember.

And then you also get into the true crime piece, which is my feeling – and I’ve done 192 episodes of a true crime show, which I may bring back at some point – but I think true crime and the paranormal are like a Venn diagram in that there is crossover. There is some crossover in terms of people’s interest in those kinds of things.

But what a fantastic show. For me, first was In Search Of…, and then I discovered The Twilight Zone when I was 12 or 13. I was like six when In Search Of… was on. And then Unsolved Mysteries more like my teenage years. But the interesting thing, Forrest, you were talking about Twilight Zone and Night Gallery – fantastic, love them so much – but the difficult between that and an Unsolved Mysteries or In Search Of… that opened my mind to the paranormal and the supernatural was the fact that you knew those were fiction, right? But with In Search Of… and Unsolved Mysteries, this stuff can be real.

FORREST BURGESS: Yeah. And you can find it in books. As we were talking about at the top of the show, Jim, people think this stuff originates – and naturally so; I get it. A lot of these stories are like, “That’s a Creepypasta story that came up in the ’80s.” If you actually did some digging, you would find that no, there are threads of this stuff that of course happened much before this. Everybody thinks they invented everything that happened in their era. But my point is that that’s how Fort did it. He went to libraries. It takes a lot of effort. He spent years doing this. But you can find it if you’re diligent. He didn’t find this stuff on Creepypasta, trust me.

SCOTT PHILBROOK: Yeah, he does the stuff that it’s easy for us to try to emulate him now.

FORREST BURGESS: It’s easier, yeah.

SCOTT PHILBROOK: He was really doing the work and traveling and all of that kind of stuff. Hats off to him.

FORREST BURGESS: Where it was easier – I was going to say another influence for me was the set of Time-Life Books that we all looked at.

JIM HAROLD: Oh yes, and the commercial with the fortune teller.

FORREST BURGESS: Yeah, that was awesome.

SCOTT PHILBROOK: That’s how you found out about the Old West stories, and they had one on ghosts. And they still had creepy stuff.

FORREST BURGESS: “John Wesley Hardin once shot a man just for snoring.”

SCOTT PHILBROOK: You find out about these stories –

FORREST BURGESS: He really did, by the way. I looked that up once.

SCOTT PHILBROOK: My favorite Old West story – I actually want to cover this – it’s not talked about much, but it’s in those books. Like I said, if you dig you can find interesting things that even aren’t much on the internet nowadays. It’s of a sheriff in town. The town was overrun by desperados, and he’s one man against eight, so he’s going to get gunned down.



FORREST BURGESS: I’m making a joke. [laughs]

SCOTT PHILBROOK: They all went to the same saloon every day, they all hung out there, drank all day, whooped it up at night. So what he did was he would go in there and observe. He wouldn’t bother them, so they really wouldn’t bother him as long as they could do their crimes. But what he did one day is went out to the back of the saloon and calculated where everyone was sitting, and from the outside he shot everybody, hitting them all in one shot. Got them all in one swoop.

FORREST BURGESS: Those are stories like that. But also, what creeped me out – when I was a kid, this gave me nightmares – was the moving coffins of Barbados. We did a little short brief talk for Halloween with Jerry and Tracy over at Hillbilly Horror Stories because they wanted a quick thing. That story stuck with me. It creeped me out as a kid. It’s like, wait a minute, they can move on their own? This thing was sealed, and you go in there and some of the bodies are out of the coffins. It’s a short blip. It’s nightmare fuel. And then when you’re older and you can research this stuff on the internet, you realize, okay, some of that is unknown. Some of it is folklore. But Jim, as you know, there’s always a kernel, usually, of something weird that actually really happened.

JIM HAROLD: Absolutely. No question about it. I’m going to ask you this, and then I have another thing, and then we still want to get some questions here. We’ve only got till the top of the hour. These gentlemen are super busy. I want to get them on their way to new vistas. Don’t want to take too much of their time. So if you have a question, put a “Q” – this is for our listeners and viewers – put a “Q” in the chat box and put your question. That way I can easily find them and elevate them when we get to the Q&A section.

But I guess I’ll ask you, and I think, Scott, I know the answer for you – thus your name –

SCOTT PHILBROOK: Yeah. [laughs]

JIM HAROLD: What is your favorite thing or freakiest thing that you’ve covered on the podcast now over – what has it been, seven or eight years? Or am I underestimating?

SCOTT PHILBROOK: Yeah, we’re just over seven. Actually, for me, I always make a joke about the Sallie House because apparently with our listeners there’s a drinking game associated with it, as Trish referenced in the comments here. And yes, Trish, I watched That’s Incredible!. That was a great show.


SCOTT PHILBROOK: Yeah. But I was going to say, for me, one of my favorite things we covered was the Betz Sphere, which is just this silver ball that drove around by itself. On the surface, the elevator pitch for it is horrible. Nobody would ever make it into anything. But the story itself and the way it unfolded and us getting in touch with an eyewitness from the family and getting x-rays that nobody had seen and all that stuff, that was a real thrill for me. There was a scoop and it was really fascinating and the details all held up for me. I still have a lot of questions about what that whole thing was. That one really stands out to me.

The Sallie House, obviously – that shifted my whole paradigm, but it’s so far behind us now and other things have come along. As I said in the Sallie House series, the person that went into that house did not come out of that house, and that person’s long gone. But as a result –

FORREST BURGESS: Ooh, that’s spooky.

SCOTT PHILBROOK: Yeah. But as a result, the things that we’ve covered since then – the Betz Sphere, that’s one of my favorite series that we’ve done. So that’s for me.

FORREST BURGESS: For me, I love that one because it’s one of the most – of course, you probably get this all the time, too, Jim – Scott and I can do it for each other, but when a listener says, “You know what? I thought that was going to be the dumbest thing ever. It was a big steely, who cares?” And then he said, “I didn’t know any of the stuff you talked about. This is fascinating.” It was in the papers at the time. It was talked about. It was a national – actually a global thing, because if you believe the family, strange Eastern European officials showed up at their house wanting to buy steel ball for undisclosed stuff. That was a big deal at the time, but people said, “I thought that was going to be really stupid and I ended up loving it.” That’s what we love.

But before I forget, obviously, duh, on my part, one of the shows that also influenced me the most and inspired me to wear this t-shirt today was this. Do you remember this gentleman?

SCOTT PHILBROOK: Oh yes. I’m not going to say.

JIM HAROLD: Oh yes, [00:35:33] guy. Yes, of course. The great [00:35:36].

FORREST BURGESS: Yep, and that was another show when I was a kid – these were fictional but also based on real things. Again, I went back – it’s not recently, where you would look at some of these things and there’s a kernel of truth, of real folklore.

JIM HAROLD: It’s kind of like The X-Files before The X-Files.

FORREST BURGESS: Exactly. You had a character here who was really inspiring because he didn’t have all the answers but he was brave enough to ignore the work he was supposed to be doing for the independent news service and chase down these monster stories, or it was a story of a zombie or a haunting or a Sumerian demon coming back to life. He was armed with curiosity, but also, pre-internet. He was looking at old books. You’ve always got to get out the stack of books in the TV show and start pilling through stuff. It’s all there. But anyway, that was another inspiring show for me.

JIM HAROLD: Such a great show. I have that on DVD too. I do have a DVD player because I’m old school. [laughter]

SCOTT PHILBROOK: I still had it. It just wasn’t hooked up. And then my son was like, “Duh, Dad, the Xbox.” It’s like, “Oh yeah, it’ll do that.”

JIM HAROLD: One thing I wanted to ask you about in our limited time was something you worked on this year: remote viewing. I did an interview years ago with Lyn Buchanan, who had worked on the government program. There’s a tendency to make a joke out of The Men Who Stare at Goats, and “Ha ha, isn’t that funny” – but this is real stuff. What are your thoughts on the idea that I could sit here, and if I have the skill and the talent and the ability, I can tap into something and I could remote view Scott in the Carolinas? Or whatever it might be.

SCOTT PHILBROOK: It’s absolutely uncanny. My personal jury was out on it, even though we’re friends with one of the instructors whose mentor is Lyn. We actually regularly attend seminars that she and Lyn do together. We just went to one a few days ago. He’s a legend, obviously. Part of Project Stargate and all of that stuff. And he’s still teaching it, which is great.

I’ll just quickly come back and then let Forrest go, but for me, my jury was out on it until we took the first class we took. We’ve taken a few since then – not a ton, because we’re busy doing the show, but we’ve taken a few. When I took that first class and what happened and the things I was able to ascertain with the test target that we had – which I can’t talk about because it’s part of a permanent free class that Lori has on our website, so you don’t want to give away the target.

But the experience that I had identifying a lot of things about that target threw me for a loop, and I came away from it going, this is real, and if I can do it, truly anybody can do it. The weirdest thing about it, though, is even the best instructors don’t really know how it works. You just have to get past that. You don’t worry about how it works; you just apply the methodology and you get better and better at it until hopefully your accuracy improves.

FORREST BURGESS: I will say first of all, a little preamble here, I’ve learned more about human nature and human behavior than I have about the paranormal. I’ve learned a lot about the paranormal and how it works, but I’ve learned more about how people react to it. And weirdly, unexpectedly – but maybe not – remote viewing is one of our most controversial shows. It’s the strangest thing. [laughs] As you’ll know, some topics really get people stirred up, riled up in a fluster there. Anything having to do with psy, telepathic powers, psychics, that seems to really boil people’s blood.

Weirdly, with this, like I said, when I first heard about it, probably way back when it was first being discussed – of course, I would pay attention to these kind of things, so probably the early ’90s is when I first started hearing about remote viewing. My thought was, well, if it’s being studied at the Stanford Research Institute by physicists who are now more interested in consciousness studies and psy and mental powers, and it was sanctioned by the CIA for 20 years, along with the military, and they were still doing it, that to me has some basis for this stuff sounds like it works, like it’s real. They weren’t just being fooled for 20 years.

But what you find is that you can bring out all of that – there’s some declassified CIA reports on remote viewing sessions. All of that’s been made public and declassified now. Doesn’t matter. People will still say “This is bologna.”

SCOTT PHILBROOK: I was reading one yesterday.

FORREST BURGESS: “This is total garbage.” And here’s the weird thing. It did get a little personal for us because here’s the thing. We have a Facebook group and we have a lot of lovely people in there. And I get people getting riled up, but basically it turned into an ad hominem attack on our good friend Lori, who we’ve known for many years now, talked with a bunch. People were basically accusing her of being a charlatan, that this was all just a show to plug books and this is all a scam and she’s running a scam, and by association, we must be criminals too because we’re endorsing this scam.

You can say whatever you want about us, but she’s a friend of ours. Imagine somebody saying that about a good friend of yours. “They’re a shyster.” It’s like, wait a second. I might be okay with that or would understand that more if you took the class and you said, “I took the free class. This is bologna. None of this worked. I don’t get it. This is all a sham. These people put one over on the CIA and the Pentagon for 20 years because they’re idiots, and they gave them $11 million or $20 million spent over that amount of time, and they’re just dumb because this is all bologna.” I might understand that if you had some experience with that. But it wasn’t that. It was “I just don’t think this works. Mental powers are bologna. This woman’s essentially a crook.”

It’s like, is that based on any personal experience? Did you do any reading about remote viewing and you decided then that none of this makes sense? No. It turned personal. And again, the human nature part of that is that when you don’t understand it and it blows your mind, you don’t look to the phenomenon; you look to bring down the person. That’s who’s opposing us.

JIM HAROLD: Again, I hate these ad hominem attacks where you’re just saying, “You’re a bad person!” or “You’re a crook!” or whatever, rather than – we see it all the time with UFO cases. Or when you read a case and then the traditional media tries to give balance, and then they’ll have Ben Radford or somebody like that – I’ve actually had Ben on the show. I’ve had skeptics on the show. I have no problem having skeptics on the show.

But a lot of times it’ll just be not commenting on the specific case. Just general. “So-and-so says that many times when there’s a UFO case, the person is mistaking this for that” or whatever, just these general blanket statements that are not at all related to that specific case. In fact, when the reporter reaches out to the person, I highly doubt they give them any specifics about the case.

I don’t know why my phone is dinging. I hate when that happens. But it is happening, so we’ll stop that now.

But the point being, I hate these ad hominem attacks where you’re attacking the person or you’re talking about the phenomenon, whatever it is, in general terms, not that specific case. It’s maddening, and in many ways it seems to me to be intellectual dishonesty.

FORREST BURGESS: I agree. Couldn’t agree more.

SCOTT PHILBROOK: It’s the easier option. Like I said, you don’t know how it works and it doesn’t matter – we thought, here you go, how many bits of phenomena that you come across actually were studied by physicists and psychologists and the government and our intelligence agencies, the DIA, the CIA? And they seem to think it was okay. But somehow you know better and that it is bologna.

So we thought that bolsters our claim. No, it doesn’t matter. None of that matters. Your very best friend in the world, your parent that you love may tell you something happened and it’s like, “I think you saw a kangaroo.” It doesn’t mater. You’re still going to have your doubts. It’s very personal, and I get that, but yeah, it’s what people do. It is maddening, but like I said, the phenomenon does not care if you believe in it or not. It just continues to exist.

JIM HAROLD: One thing that I’ve found – and then we’re going to get to some Q&A from the audience; this time has flown by – we were talking before about what we’re going to talk about and I said, “Not to worry. This time is going to fly. It’s no problem.” Just stream of consciousness. I think it’s a lot of fun to get your perspective.

But people say, “What do you think about after 17 years of doing these shows? What conclusions have you come to?” I’ve come to two conclusions. Not each and every story, but the phenomena are real. Things happen. Does that mean that every phenomenon that has been described over the litany of the shows that I’ve done is real? I don’t know about that. But a lot of it does exist. I firmly believe it exists.

The second thing would be that I believe that the nature of reality itself is far more complex than we can grasp. It’s just way beyond our ability. And when we see these phenomena, that in many ways I think is a reflection of us getting a slight glimpse into that alternate reality. What do you guys think?

SCOTT PHILBROOK: It’s funny; I’ve had to do a lot of driving this past week or two because my mom is downsizing from a house to an apartment, but the apartment is hundreds of miles away, down at the beach. So I’m driving, a lot of time in my car, and I have a tendency to speed sometimes, so I have a radar detector. I had the radar detector on the windshield, and it senses everything, and it would go off for lasers sometimes. I’m like, I know the police in my state don’t have laser detectors. Almost none of them do. Why does this keep going off?

And then eventually, I realized my iPhone is one of the newer ones that has LIDAR. What would happen is the phone would be up on the other side of the windshield and it would open up, and I’d be driving – because I had a mount. I don’t do the holding the phone and driving thing. I’m very much against that. So it’s on a thing, and I would look over at it and when it would try to unlock, the LIDAR would shoot out laser beams, I guess. Then the radar detector would go off. So finally I figured this out. There’s a setting in there where I can turn off its sensitivity to laser. That’s over my head. I need to figure that out too.

But what I was thinking is, there’s laser beams shooting all over the cabin of my car right now. I can’t see them at all. That’s just one thing. I happen to have a sensor, I have a thing that’s shooting them out, and I have a thing that tells me when they’re shooting out, but I can’t see them. And that’s just one thing. That’s one part of reality that I’m not sensing. So when you think about the full spectrum of light, the full spectrum of radio waves, all the things that we can’t see that are around us all the time – when I’m driving along, it’s a beautiful sunny day, I wouldn’t even know that stuff was there.

So when I think about the reality, beyond the ethereal idea of multiple planes of existence and different dimensions and all that, even in the basic scientific one, there’s all kinds of stuff we’re not seeing and aren’t aware of. I think that does permeate beyond the really mundane spectrums of light to much deeper things. It was a weird thing for me to think about. I’m like, oh yeah, what other sensors could I drive around with where I could tell that frogs were about to fall from the sky or whatever?

JIM HAROLD: Forrest?

FORREST BURGESS: What was the question? [laughter]

JIM HAROLD: The nature of reality being way weirder than we think.

FORREST BURGESS: Yeah, I think that’s obvious. I’ll put it this way: it’s obvious to everyone who’s experienced it. I feel genuinely bad for the people that have experienced a lot of weird stuff and very much struggle to accept it. Not what it was, because we may never find that out, but that it happened at all, or they think that they’re going crazy, or they think that other people are going to think they’ve gone crazy. That’s one of the biggest deals.

When we get an email, it’s like, “I just wanted to share this story. I don’t know if I’m nuts, and I didn’t want to be judged.” You’re going to send your story to us and we’re not going to judge you because I believe that these things do happen that are totally not explainable, but they do seem to happen. On the other hand, I also feel bad for the people that are very much in denial of everything, like, “Nope, we understand everything. Everything’s explainable by science. Nothing strange happens.” Not that I feel bad about their state of mind; only that that world seems kind of boring to me. [laughs] “There’s nothing weird that happens, it’s all bologna, everyone’s crazy.  It’s just everything that we can experience. That’s it. Yes, science doesn’t know everything, of course, and there’s some phenomena we may find out about, but none of it’s extraordinary.”

It’s like, all right, that’s fine. That’s not the world I choose to live in. I choose to consider everything. I don’t believe everything that people tell us, believe it or not, but also, I have a larger table to put stuff on when I consider everything. I believe my world is much more expanded and a lot more fun. At least to me.

And like I said, you’re one step away from being a believer in something. You’re one experience away. When it happens, you’re like, “Okay, I can’t deny that happened. Now what?” Going to have to change your thinking. And that’s very scary to a lot of people.

JIM HAROLD: Indeed. We have questions. I want to get some of these in from our great viewers, our spooktators. “Loved AL’s ‘The Vertical Plane’ episodes. Is there any chance of an interview with the author, Ken Webster? Just finished the book but I’d like to know more.” Uncanny Lassie asks this.

SCOTT PHILBROOK: Yes, we would love to have Ken on. He reached out to us after we finished the series, and it’s funny; we must have finished it just as he was going to press with a new edition of his book, a second edition. He emailed us and said, “Hey, I’m about to print this. I hope it’s okay if I mentioned you guys.” I was like, “Wait a minute, you’re alive? You’re real? Yeah, of course you can mention us.” [laughs]

So he put a link to the series in the book, and then it went to press and that’s out there now on Amazon. Anybody can get it. He specifically said in his emails that he did it because he was mad about all the people speculating on the first edition, which is very, very expensive. Of course, the very next thing I did, Uncanny Lassie, was email him and say, “You want to come on the show? Because we would love to talk to you.” He was reluctant to do that. He did say we could submit questions to him via email, which I haven’t done yet, and he would respond to those.

He’s very, very nice. Very kind. Really forthright person. It had to do mostly with his current professional career and not wanting to necessarily get connected with whatever his day job is at this point. I’m not convinced that we won’t be able to talk him into it in the future; he seems to like us and trust us. But he’s just not ready to appear on a mic yet, as far as I know. Of course, cut to him being on the BBC tomorrow or something.

Also, Uncanny Lassie, I saw your other question about Scotland. We do want to travel. We’d love to travel now that COVID is winding down. We’re trying to get those kinds of things figured out in the next few years. I would love to come to Scotland because all my ancestors came down through there. So we’ll see about that.

JIM HAROLD: We’ll be back with Scott and Forrest right after this.

The Paranormal Podcast is brought to you by ParaBox. ParaBox is your source for amazing, one-of-a-kind paranormal t-shirts that are not only great t-shirts, but they’ll actually lead you into online mysteries. We’re joined today by the mastermind and the founder of ParaBox, Jim Hamilton. Jim, tell us a little bit about ParaBox.

JIM HAMILTON: ParaBox is a monthly t-shirt subscription box with our shirts being themed around paranormal topics, like ghosts and haunted locations, UFOs and aliens, cryptids, urban legends, and other mysterious topics like that. But what makes our shirts a truly unique experience is that every shirt has a built-in puzzle. The artwork on each shirt design contains a hidden password, and that password can be used on a specific URL on our website that will unlock a monthly challenge.

JIM HAROLD: I want to mention you’re a graphic designer, and a great one. You do a lot of work for me, and I appreciate it, and you do a great job. We’ve worked together for years. But the thing I want to say is that this is such a great idea – ParaBox, that is. I’ve got to believe you’ve had a great response from your members.

JIM HAMILTON: We’ve been at this since 2017 and have had great reviews thus far. Our product is designed to have some user interaction and to get your brain gears moving. Whether you’re trying to solve it individually or as a family or even a group of friends that are competing against each other to see who can solve the challenge the fastest, it’s more than a cool t-shirt. Which, by the way, expect to be asked about it while you’re wearing one because I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been asked about one of my ParaBox shirts when I’m out and about.

JIM HAROLD: And those designs are really something, I’ve got to say. My daughters absolutely love them and they wear the shirts all the time. They kind of fight over them. [laughs] It’s kind of funny here in the Harold household. So where do you get the ideas for these designs?

JIM HAMILTON: Ever since I was a kid, digging through the paranormal books at the local library, I can always remember having a curious mind. Even today, I love to find a topic that I can explore deeper and take down the rabbit hole. What we wanted to do was give our subscribers that same experience and explore new paranormal stories, and old paranormal stories that they haven’t heard in a while or that they want to explore deeper and learn more about.

JIM HAROLD: You’ve gone the extra mile and set up a special URL, a special webpage for our listeners where they can get a great deal, right?

JIM HAMILTON: Jim, if your listeners want to jump on over to www.paraboxmonthly.com/jim, there they can read some of our reviews and they can also get a promo code for 25% off all subscription plans.

JIM HAROLD: That’s so cool, Jim. Thank you so much for doing that. I appreciate it, and I know our listeners out there appreciate it, too. You heard the man; go to paraboxmonthly.com/jim. That’s paraboxmonthly.com/jim, and get that deal, 25% off a ParaBox monthly subscription. I highly recommend it. Thanks, ParaBox.

You’re listening to the Paranormal Podcast with Jim Harold.

JIM HAROLD: Android Purity, who I know is a big fan of the livestream – so we’re back with them, AP, so thank you – “What is one interview or show that was mind-blowing that you find yourselves frequently thinking about in your daily life?”

SCOTT PHILBROOK: What do you think, Forrest? You take that one.

FORREST BURGESS: Hmm, one interview that we’ve done with somebody? Probably more recently would be Terry Lovelace. 

SCOTT PHILBROOK: Yeah, I would agree with that. [laughs]

FORREST BURGESS: Again, that was also surprising. I have to say, Scott was a little bit reluctant, and rightfully so, when I first mentioned it because I’d heard excerpts from an interview with him on Coast to Coast, and the story was so outrageous. The biggest hook was, wait a second, he claims that he saw military personnel – humans – onboard the spaceship that had abducted him and his friend. It’s like, okay, that’s an interesting angle in that he remembered a lot of his experience.

Again, you can do UFO stories – and that’s another interesting human aspect. People will allow you to talk about UFOs or little beings coming out, waving, doing funny things, giving you space pancakes. That’s one thing. It’s another thing to have on an experiencer, an abductee, to talk about their stories. That’s like, “No, that’s all crazy. That didn’t happen. I believe there’s things flying around; I just don’t believe they’re landing and picking people up.” That’s another scary thing for people to have to consider.

So we were a little cautious about that. I said, “Okay, let’s read the book. Let’s reach out to him. We’ll do an interview and see how he comes across.” And he couldn’t be more trustworthy, down to earth, friendly, welcoming, accepting, and credible. He was a former – it doesn’t matter really what job he had, but the guy was a former assistant prosecutor for American Samoa for a number of years. He’s used to interviewing people, used to getting crazy stories, and then he has this story of his own.

I won’t say if everything he said is true. I believe that he believes it’s true. If everything that he says is accurate, that’s the one that’s pretty mind-bending, in that this stuff is going on and now you’re getting little hints that there is something going on, at least with the government.

SCOTT PHILBROOK: Another thing I will say quickly, and it’s not one particular interview, is when these common threads turn up in lots of different stories of people who have doubtfully exposed each other to the stories. You’re so much more prolific than us, Jim, so I’m sure you’ve seen this. Terry talks about a praying mantis thing on the ship he was on, and then you read this other story and a guy was fishing and saw a praying mantis on the other side of the river, he looked at it and it looked at him, and it was like, “You can see me?” It’s like, wait, why is everyone seeing giant praying mantises?

Then when you start seeing all of these things and there’s these cross-threads and everything, and then you get to a place like Skinwalker Ranch, which was another series that definitely made an impact on us, where it’s all happening in one place and all of these things are bleeding over – that affects me as well. I do think about that kind of stuff at night.

JIM HAROLD: Easy question. Debala Demala asks, “Is Bigfoot real? Please be honest.”

SCOTT PHILBROOK: Well, first of all –

FORREST BURGESS: Yes. [laughs]

SCOTT PHILBROOK: We’re not in charge. Is Bigfoot real? I don’t know at large – I’ve heard and seen a lot of evidence that would suggest that something is out there. I don’t know exactly what it is, but it would suggest that something’s out there. I also believe very much Bob Gimlin’s story about what happened, and we did a huge series on the Patterson–Gimlin film a while back. Having met him and talked to him and looked at that story, I believe that he at least thought he saw something very real. And the story, the more you look into it, seems real.

I can’t say for sure whether it’s real or not, but I believe that there is an unidentified thing that folks are interacting with regularly. That’s my assessment there.

FORREST BURGESS: But once again, it’s another interesting human behavior aspect. I always point to John E.L. Tenney, the paranormal researcher and occultist, giving a lot of talks and a lot of live lectures. I would love to attend one, one day. He did a poll – he usually does this at his talks and he has people just raise their hand. It’s like, “Out of the three major paranormal topics, UFOs, how many people believe in those?” A bunch of hands go up, certainly. “How many people here believe in ghosts?” Probably more raise their hand because that’s a lot more accessible. A lot of people have seen ghosts, people that I trust, my own mom included. Then he says, “How many people believe in Bigfoot?” and like four hands go up.

JIM HAROLD: There’s a continuum, yeah. 

FORREST BURGESS: Yeah. To me, and to him apparently, that’s the easiest thing to believe in. That there’s some kind of ape, like a coelacanth or a thylacine. Something is out there that we just haven’t discovered yet or continues to exist, and it’s very elusive. And no, you haven’t seen any scat or any of its dead. Maybe it buries its dead. Maybe it buries its scat. There’s all these different things. That’s the easiest thing, is that it’s just a big old ape running around in the woods. But people are like, “Nope, no way. That is ridiculous.”

But what I’ll also say – and we’re going to cover it in this weekend’s show – it’s not just one type of Bigfoot. There seem to be, if you believe a lot of these stories, all different kinds of large bipedal, hairy, weird things running around. But yeah, to me there’s been plenty of stories, and I know family friends of friends who’ve come across their own encounters and have heard things. Just screams in the woods and all that. There’s got to be something to it. Something is running around, and when people say, “What do they look like?”, I think if you look at the PGF, that’s at least what one of them looks like.

JIM HAROLD: Interesting. One last question. Sherlet wants to know, “What is the most profound belief-changing thing you’ve come to believe via paranormal?” I don’t – belief-changing thing you’ve come to believe, okay. I got it.

SCOTT PHILBROOK: I get this question. For me, I would say when we started the show I was agnostic from a religious standpoint. I did believe in Higher Power, but it was very nonspecific. Everything was kind of vague. And then, after we went to… the Sallie House, which people were waiting for me to say, I decided that evil was real. Intangible, non-terrestrial evil was real, and that if it was real, then the balance, the good, non-terrestrial good must also be real. I came out of a dark experience with a much more positive view of what light is.

JIM HAROLD: Forrest?

FORREST BURGESS: I didn’t have anything that I staunchly didn’t believe in. There are certain people that have come up in the paranormal that I don’t really believe their stories much. Or it could be an event that I think is misinterpreted. But I would say overall, as Scott said, my needle has not moved that much. There wasn’t anything that I thought “it’s impossible.” I think as I got to this spot – if you’d asked me when I was younger, it’s like, “Oh yeah, of course there’s things that are impossible. They certainly can’t happen. You can’t jump into hot lava and live. That’s impossible.”

Now, though, it’s a big outlet. The things that seem impossible yet still seem to pop up – what’s going on here? My thinking about it has changed in that if everything exists as frequency, as matter exists as frequency, it’s like doing that long road trip and going through the hills and suddenly your jazz station fades out and now the Spanish religion channel comes on for just a moment. And then you get out of the hills and then it comes back to your station. It’s like, did that just happen? Yes, it happened. You heard it. How is that possible? Well, it’s frequency and vibration. It’s radio waves going through the air. There’s an explanation to it, but you play that for somebody in the 1700s and that’s magic. “Voices coming out of a magic box!”

Like Ken Webster’s book, the magic light box that had the words on it is now just called a computer or word processor. Back then, one of our protagonists, Thomas, from the 16th century, didn’t know how this was happening, but it’s a magic light box. But he knows it works because he can talk to people. He just doesn’t know what’s going on.

So my thing is that, okay, maybe it has more now to do with interdimensionality – which, again, we get fought on. It’s like, hey look, there’s Michio Kaku and some very smart people, smarter than you, I, or the people responding all put together. These gentlemen are theoretical physicists and they are close to working on an 11-dimension mathematical model. And again, it doesn’t prove it; what it does is prove it’s possible. That’s my whole thing.

Again, one of my favorite new quotes in studying the psychic D.D. Home is – jeez, I’m blanking on his name – oh, Wilkes. I’m sorry, not the thermometer – anyway. I know this guy’s name pretty well, but his quote was “I didn’t say it was possible. I said it happened.” Which is a great quote. It’s like, I’m not telling you how it works or that this is even something –

SCOTT PHILBROOK: William Crookes.

FORREST BURGESS: That’s right, William Crookes.

SCOTT PHILBROOK: Sorry, I had to look it up for you.

FORREST BURGESS: Yes. Brilliant guy. Invented a lot of stuff. But it’s a great statement that sums up my point of view. I’m just telling you I saw this thing. It happened. I’m not going to tell you that you need to change your belief so that fits and it’s possible for you. So there you go. Anyway, that’s my thing. If it’s something that’s interdimensional, that maybe solves a lot of problems for people.

JIM HAROLD: I think that’s a great way to sum it up. We don’t know what’s behind the mystery, but the mystery is real. Scott and Forrest, there may be some small chance that there’s one person listening to this or viewing the livestream or the archive – there might be one person who has not heard Astonishing Legends. First of all, that’s a big mistake. And secondly, then I would ask you, where can you find everything you guys do?

SCOTT PHILBROOK: Well folks, first of all, we wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for Jim Harold, who is, God’s honest truth, the reason that we got inspired to start. So hats off to you, Jim.

JIM HAROLD: Thank you.

SCOTT PHILBROOK: Thank you so much for blazing the path. You can find Astonishing Legends, as they say, anywhere you get your podcasts. We’re on Spotify, we’re on iTunes or now Apple Podcasts, Spreaker, Stitchr, all of those formats. Or you can ask your smart speaker to play the latest episode of Astonishing Legends and that should work. We also now have a Discord server.

FORREST BURGESS: And we are getting on TikTok. We’ll do dancing lip syncs.

SCOTT PHILBROOK: Yeah, but there’s only one video. [laughs] But yeah, we’re pretty much everywhere. Also astonishinglegends.com. You can just old-fashioned hear our show there. And we have a YouTube channel with all our old shows and some video content like this.

JIM HAROLD: Excellent. Gentlemen, thank you for joining us today. After we end the broadcast, we’ll do a little quick postmortem. Thank you both again.

SCOTT PHILBROOK: Thanks for having us, Jim.


SCOTT PHILBROOK: We’ll come on any time. We love talking to you.

JIM HAROLD: Thank you for joining us today, and we thank Scott and Forrest. They are tremendous. Always enjoy speaking with them and catching up with everything that they’re doing. Please do check them out as well.

If you like what we do here at the Paranormal Podcast, please rate, review, and follow. Very important that you follow us in the podcast app of your choice. That helps us and it helps you, so you never miss an interview with great people like we had today. We’ll talk to you next time. Thank you for tuning in, and have a great week, everybody. Bye bye.

[outro music]