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2009 Episodes

December 23rd: I’m Gonna Get You, Goat Sucker!

The most famous of the Latin American cryptids is El Chupacabra, the goat sucker. This episode of MonsterTalk examines the lore behind this slinking, sinister, blood-sucking creature. Is it a real animal? A creation of secret scientific experiments? An alien’s pet accidentally released on Earth?

Co-host Benjamin Radford takes the guest spot this week as we discuss the research behind his upcoming book (tentatively titled) Tracking the Vampire: Chupacabras in Fact, Fiction and Folklore.

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December 9th: They Came From Outer Space!

Are creatures from other planets visiting the earth, trampling our crops to create cryptic messages, violating people in their sleep, and doing terrible things to our livestock? How plausible is it that we are being visited by intelligent beings from beyond Earth, or that we’ve been visited in the distant past?

This week on MonsterTalk, astronomer Dr. Phil Plait, author of Death from the Skies! joins us to talk about monsters — from outer space!

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November 18th: Horrifying Hybrids

In this episode, MonsterTalk examines monsters that genetically blend humans with the other. Hosts Blake Smith, Ben Radford, and Dr. Karen Stollznow explore the plausibility of alien-human hybridizations, dig into the real science of genetics — and consider the ethical questions involved.

Weighing in on these issues is Dr. Steven Jones — noted geneticist, teacher, and television presenter. (He is also the author of many books including Darwin’s Ghost, Introducing Genetics, Coral: A Pessimist in Paradise.)

Did Stalin really want to build an army of gorilla-human hybrids? Is the upright-walking chimp called Oliver really some kind of chimpanzee-human mix? The plausibility of such creatures may surprise you…

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October 28th: Darwin vs. the Wolfman

In this week’s Halloween episode, MonsterTalk ventures into the realm of the werewolves — and asks what Charles Darwin’s Origin of Species implies for this fearsome monster’s plausibility. Guest Dr. Brian Regal (Assistant Professor for the History of Science at Kean University) discusses his lecture about whether Darwin slew the last of the werewolves.

Professor Regal also explores the relationship between creationists and cryptozoology, and introduces his new book, Pseudoscience: A Critical Encyclopedia.

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October 12th: Pterosaurs

Paleontologist Dr. David Martill joins us to talk about prehistoric flying reptiles and his visit to Papua New Guinea with the TV show MonsterQuest to search for the legendary Ropen, an animal which some say is a modern day surviving Pterosaur. Dr. Martill is a reader in Paleobiology with the University of Portsmouth and he joins us to talk about the current state of Pterosaur science and to discuss the plausibility of surviving populations of these fascinating creatures.

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MonsterNEWS: Wake the Muck Up

The recent sighting of waves in the Lake Worth Lagoon, near West Palm Beach Florida, caused a brief monster stir.

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MonsterNEWS: Sloth in the Media

Well, the “Montauk Madness” has returned but this time from Panama (Central American, not Florida).

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MonsterNEWS: Thunderbirds & Winged Bigfoot

We cover three recent stories with wings: the Parking Lot Thunderbird, the Argentine Windshield Pterosaur, and a winged Bigfoot photo that turns out to be a bird.

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August 31st: The Plesiosaur Hypothesis

Is there a mysterious prehistoric “living fossil” lurking beneath the waters of Loch Ness? The idea that a colony of Plesiosaurs might have survived into modern times in the deep dark waters of Loch Ness has long captured the imagination of cryptozoology fans. But what do we know about these mesozoic marine animals whose fossils disappear from the record at the same time as the dinosaurs? MonsterTalk found an expert to answer some of our questions about what science can tell us of these magnificent beasts.

Dr. Adam Stuart Smith is a specialist in aquatic prehistoric reptiles. He runs the website www.plesiosauria.com and works for the National Museum of Ireland where he is part of a team dedicated to documenting and databasing the Natural History collections.

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August 16th: Fins & Fossil Footprints

Did a Japanese fishing vessel catch the body of a prehistoric aquatic dinosaur? In this week’s MonsterTalk, we interview Glen Kuban to discuss the 1977 case of the Zuiyo-Maru, dinosaurs, paleontology, cryptozoology and why so many creationists want to find living dinosaurs. Kuban has done extensive research on two cases important to monster enthusiasts. His article explaining the true nature of the “mysterious” carcass netted by the Japanese fishing vessel Zuiyo-maru and his decades long investigation into the alleged “giant humanoid tracks” in the Paluxy fossil bed in Texas both highlight the importance of a thorough investigation before assuming the remarkable is true.

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INTERVIEW: Animals in the Okanagan

Blake Smith is interviewed on AM770 (CHQR) about Canadian Lake Monsters and a recent animal sighting in Lake Okanagan.

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July 27th: Anatomy of a Beast

In this week’s MonsterTalk, we interview Michael McLeod, a writer, producer, and director who has created documentaries for PBS, the PBS series Frontline, the Discovery Channel, and other national venues.

His book Anatomy of a Beast is an in-depth look at the origins of the Bigfoot mythology that culminated in the Patterson-Gimlin film. He examines the lives and beliefs of the men (for it was mostly men) whose writing, research, hoaxes, stories and films brought us the Bigfoot we know today in popular culture. The book gives a very humanizing look at people whose efforts range from the silly to the desperate.

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July 2nd: Bigfoot DNA

Our panel (Ben Radford, Dr. Karen Stollznow and Blake Smith) interview Professor Todd Disotell, PhD. Todd has been a guest on multiple television shows to examine potential Bigfoot and Yeti DNA. We ask him about the science of DNA analysis, his thoughts on cryptid-TV, and what he’s found in his studies.

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