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2016 Episodes

December 30th: Christmas Special # 4: The Thing in the Cellar

Blake Smith reads a story titled The Thing in the Cellar as 2016’s annual Christmas special. MonsterTalk will return to normal science and skepticism episodes in 2017. This story was first published in Weird Tales magazine issue #360 and is read by the author.

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December 21st: Bitchin’ ‘bout Sitchin (episode 120)

Ancient Aliens theorists seem to love the work of Zecharia Sitchin (The 12th Planet). Sitchin proposed that mysterious space beings called Anunnaki visited earth to steal our gold, and passed on their wisdom to the ancient people of Sumer. In this first of a 2-part look at Sitchin’s impact on Ancient Astronaut lore, we talk with Dr. Michael Heiser about the plausibility of Sitchin’s views from an evaluation of the ancient texts Sitchin purports to have used for his source material.

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December 14th: Achievement Unloched — Morar Ness (episode 119)

Writer and researcher Mike Dash (Spring Heeled Jack) returns to talk about the less famous Scottish lake monster alleged to live in Loch Morar. While not as widely known as Nessie, Morag (as she is known) has her own fascinating history.

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November 30th: Science & Sea Monsters (episode 118)

What do you get when you combine a love for statistics, a love for biological maritime mysteries and a relentless curiosity? Dr. Charles Paxton has applied biology and math work to produce several papers on the mysterious creatures called “sea monsters.” In this episode of MonsterTalk, we discuss sea monsters, math and naughty ostriches.

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October 31st: Fairies! An ArchyFantasies Crossover (episode 117)

The cast of archaeologists from the Archaeological Fantasies podcast join Blake and Karen to talk about fairies, how they’ve evolved culturally, and the ways that archaeology, folklore and the fair folk overlap.

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October 26th: Yetipalooza (episode 116)

In this week’s episode of MonsterTalk, Eugenie Scott, Brian Regal, and Daniel Loxton join Karen Stollznow and Blake Smith to discuss The Yeti. This episode was our first-ever dedicated Yeti talk, as well as our first-ever live streamed show, which aired on YouTube on Sunday, October 23, 2016 at 8 pm EST.

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October 19th: MonsterTalk Meets The Lovecraft Geek (episode 115)

A special for the Halloween Season, Robert Price returns to MonsterTalk to give us a raw dripping sample of his podcast The Lovecraft Geek, a kind of secular version of his popular The Bible Geek podcast. Questions from listeners are tossed down into the well of Price’s vast knowledge to see what answers echo back up to drive us mad. Check out our episode notes for lots of links to Lovecraft-inspired books and movies.

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October 12th: Demon Dolls (episode 114)

In this week’s episode of MonsterTalk, we talk about demonic or evil dolls, and look into the history of one of America’s most famous creepy playthings: Robert the Doll. Our interview is with Dr. Cori Convertito, Curator of the Key West Art and Historical Society, which oversees the Fort East Martello Museum, home of Robert the Doll.

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September 28th: Frauds, Hoaxes and Splendor in the Past (episode 113)

Ken Feder returns to talk about his new book Ancient America: Fifty Archaeological Sites to See for Yourself, which is available for pre-order now on Amazon. Discussion in this episode centers around the failings of science coverage in the media, the latest on the famous Piltdown Man hoax, and why everyone needs to visit historical archaeological sites when they can.

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September 14th: Folklore and Urban Legends (episode 112)

We are joined by Heather Joseph-Witham, Associate Professor in the Liberal Arts and Sciences Department at Otis College of Art and Design in Los Angeles. She has a PhD in Folklore and Mythology from UCLA. In this episode, we talk about folklore as an academic field, urban legends, the nature of culture and story, and much more…

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August 31st: The Best Laid Plans (episode 111)

In this episode of MonsterTalk, Karen and Blake thank listeners for their amazing support, and discuss upcoming episodes in the works.

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August 17th: Tell Me Strange Things (episode 110)

This episode of MonsterTalk explores the life of author and research Montague Summers, a researcher of dogged determination whose own life is shrouded in mystery and occluded by the theatrical. Brian Regal discusses his research into this fascinating and controversial figure of occult studies.

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August 3rd: Broadcasting for a Spell (episode 109)

James “The Amazing” Randi joins us to discuss his work on the Long John Nebel “Party Line,” a late-night AM radio show from New York’s WOR that defined the paranormal-themed chat show and was a precursor to shows like those of Art Bell, George Noory and Dave Schrader. This episode features clips from the Long John Nebel show and from Randi’s tenure after he took over Nebel’s slot.

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July 20th: Skeptics Talking About Monsters (episode 108)

In this episode of MonsterTalk, we talk with Deborah Hyde, editor of the British magazine The Skeptic. Deborah is deeply interested in folklore, anthropology, monsters and skepticism. Our conversation covers a variety of topics including vampires, werewolves, ghosts and movies. Follow Deborah on Twitter @jourdemayne.

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July 6th: The Episode They Don’t Want You To Know About (episode 107)

Rob Brotherton is the author of Suspicious Minds: Why We Believe Conspiracy Theories. Rob has a doctorate in the psychology of conspiracy theories, and taught classes at the Anomalistic Psychology Research Unit at Goldsmiths. He joins us in this episode to discuss the psychology of conspiracies.

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June 8th: What the Fouke? The Beast of Boggy Creek (episode 106)

Lyle Blackburn is a musician, actor, and cryptid researcher who explores the US in search of creatures in swamplands and backwoods. He is the author of The Beast of Boggy Creek: The True Story of the Fouke Monster and Lizard Man: The True Story of the Bishopville Monster. Lyle is a staff writer for the horror magazine Rue Morgue, he has been featured on Coast to Coast AM, and on numerous TV shows on Discovery, Animal Planet and more. Lyle joins us to discuss the history and impact of “the Boggy Creek Monster” on the small town of Fouke, Arkansas.

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May 25th: Bigfoot Skepticism (episode 105)

Dr. Eugenie Scott is an anthropologist but is probably most well known for her work fighting against Creationism in the American public education system as director of the National Center for Science Education (NCSE). Perhaps less well-known is the fact that she’s long been interested in Bigfoot. In this episode of MonsterTalk we discuss Bigfoot, science promotion, and the usefulness of thinking about monsters in honing critical thinking skills.

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May 4th: Bad UFOs (episode 104)

Have you learned most of your UFO stories from The History Channel and motion pictures? Chances are these glossy presentations of aliens and mysterious craft have hidden from you some of the shocking and silly history of this fascinating field. Join us as we interview UFO researcher Robert Sheaffer about Bad UFOs.

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April 20th: A Serpent’s Tale (episode 103)

Tales of enormous snakes have been a part of folklore for thousands of years. From myths to legends, to eyewitness testimony and photographs, these stories slither through our culture and seem inescapable. Prepare to recoil in horror as we talk about giant snakes with John C. Murphy, co-author of the fascinating book Tales of Giant Snakes. Do giant man-eating snakes lurk out there waiting to swallow the unwary? The answer is more complicated than you might suspect.

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April 13th: Skepticism 101 (episode 102)

What is a Skeptic anyway? Are they just naysayers? Are they cynics? Do they just automatically say “that’s not real” to anything exciting and mysterious? Find out the true meaning of Skepticism in this MonsterTalk special episode — Skepticism 101, featuring Dr. Steven Novella.

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March 9th: Hunting Monsters (episode 101)

In this episode of MonsterTalk, paleontologist Dr. Darren Naish (@TetZoo) returns to discuss his newest book, an overview of the field of cryptozoology, titled Hunting Monsters: Cryptozoology and the Reality Behind the Myths.

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