“PLANET WEREWOLF” and More Terrifying True Paranormal Stories! #WeirdDarkness
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IN THIS EPISODE: On a barren field in the U.S. state of Georgia, five granite slabs rise in a star pattern. Each of them weighs over 20 tons and on top of them, there is a capstone. Nobody knows who built it or why they were placed there, but one popular opinion that their purpose is to guide humanity after a predicted post-apocalyptic event that will come in the not so distant future. *** When you think “fairies,” what comes to mind? You probably picture an adorable and sparkly creature akin to Disney’s Tinker Bell, a lovely – and above all, friendly – presence. You may even want to make contact with them. Unfortunately, glittering humanoids with butterfly wings are the stuff of children’s books. Retrace faerie folklore, and you’ll discover their secret scary origins. *** In the Summer of 1949, a geologist named Vadim Kolpakov discovered a strange feature on the surface of the earth in the Bodaibo, Irkutsk, region of South-Eastern Siberia. Encircled by a largely treed area, this anomaly is oval with a conical crater that contains a small ball-like mound in its middle. The geologic mystery has baffled scientists who are uncertain of what caused this weird formation. *** Is there any truth behind the enduring legend of the werewolf?
LINKS AND RESOURCES MENTIONED IN THE EPISODE…
Episode containing “The Elves of Iceland”: https://weirddarkness.com/archives/5973
Episode containing “Agenda 21”: https://weirddarkness.com/archives/6061
Episode containing “The Wendigo” by Algernon Blackwood: https://weirddarkness.com/archives/6024
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STORY AND MUSIC CREDITS/SOURCES…
(Note: Over time links can and may become invalid, disappear, or have different content.)
“Planet Werewolf” by Lea Rose Emery for Graveyard Shift: https://tinyurl.com/vcetp96
“The Dark Side of Fairies” by Amber Fua for Ranker: https://tinyurl.com/rbexptk
“The American Stonehenge” by Mihai Andrei for ZME Science: https://tinyurl.com/yaogafuz
“What Caused the Patomskiy Crater?” by Lochlan McClelland for Historic Mysteries: https://tinyurl.com/wu9r5bc
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You might think of werewolf stories as something only told for fun around the campfire, but that hasn’t always been the case. Historically, many slayings, crimes, and generally horrific incidents have been attributed to werewolves. People truly believed in the existence of these creatures. In fact, in the 16th and 17th centuries in Europe, werewolf trials accompanied witch trials – and sometimes they were even one and the same. It’s even more surprising to note the number of people who confessed to being werewolves or lycanthropes. Some were likely tortured into confession, but others believed themselves to be real werewolves. The idea that someone could transform into an animal was a popular one, and people thought they could make a deal with the devil in order to obtain that power. Is there any truth behind the enduring legend of the werewolf? Or were these creatures just convenient scapegoats for mysterious misdeeds? Whatever you think, there’s no denying that these historical encounters with werewolves are fascinating and downright spooky. Keep listening if you dare, but be warned: these real-life werewolf stories might have you worried about the next full moon.
…I’m Darren Marlar and this is Weird Darkness.
Welcome, Weirdos – this is Weird Darkness. Here you’ll find stories of the paranormal, supernatural, legends, lore, crime, conspiracy, mysterious, macabre, unsolved and unexplained.
Coming up in this episode of Weird Darkness…
On a barren field in the U.S. state of Georgia, five granite slabs rise in a star pattern. Each of them weighs over 20 tons and on top of them, there is a capstone. Nobody knows who built it or why they were placed there, but one popular opinion that their purpose is to guide humanity after a predicted post-apocalyptic event that will come in the not so distant future. (The American Stonehenge)
When you think “fairies,” what comes to mind? You probably picture an adorable and sparkly creature akin to Disney’s Tinker Bell, a lovely – and above all, friendly – presence. You may even want to make contact with them. Unfortunately, glittering humanoids with butterfly wings are the stuff of children’s books. Retrace faerie folklore, and you’ll discover their secret scary origins. (The Dark Side of Fairies)
In the Summer of 1949, a geologist named Vadim Kolpakov discovered a strange feature on the surface of the earth in the Bodaibo, Irkutsk, region of South-Eastern Siberia. Encircled by a largely treed area, this anomaly is oval with a conical crater that contains a small ball-like mound in its middle. The geologic mystery has baffled scientists who are uncertain of what caused this weird formation. (What Caused the Patomskiy Crater)
Is there any truth behind the enduring legend of the werewolf? (Planet Werewolf)
Now.. bolt your doors, lock your windows, turn off your lights, and come with me into the Weird Darkness!
In the 1500s, a French tailor was convicted of luring in, torturing, and slaying his victims before cooking and eating them for supper. He was also accused of turning into a werewolf to terrorize the town by night. Although there was no exact victim count, he was believed to have slain dozens. As the story goes, the tailor made no attempt to defend himself – instead, he cursed until his last breath when he was burned at the stake. The court was apparently so shocked by his evil acts that the court documents were burned as well.
Peter Stubbe was one of many self-confessed werewolves. In 1589, he claimed that his wolfskin belt allowed him to transform – and he also said he had slain over a dozen victims. As one story went, the devil “transformed [him] into the likeness of a greedy, devouring wolf, strong and mighty, with eyes great and large, which in the night sparkled like unto brands of fire, a mouth great and wide, with most sharp and cruel teeth, a huge body and mighty paws.” Stubbe’s tale should be taken with a large grain of salt: he confessed after prolonged torture. He was ultimately decapitated on Halloween 1589, and his body was burned at the stake.
In 1685, the people of Ansbach were angry and scared as their livestock was attacked by a wolf – and that was before it started taking lives. The locals were convinced it was their deceased mayor back to torment them by returning in wolf form. The townspeople eventually slew the wolf. They then dressed it as the mayor and put the carcass on display before moving it to a local museum.
Estonia held a number of werewolf trials in the 17th century, including that of Hans the Werewolf. Many accused werewolves claimed to have made a deal with the devil to gain their shapeshifting powers, but 18-year-old Hans said that a man in black had bitten him. He confessed that he had hunted as a werewolf for the past two years. Although Hans didn’t claim to have made an actual pact with the devil, the court still considered him guilty of sorcery and sentenced him to be executed.
The French seemed to be obsessed with werewolves and one of their most famous cases was the Werewolf of Dole. Gilles Garnier was a hermit who lived out on the outskirts of his town with his wife. When children in the town started to go missing and turned up mutilated, the townspeople set off on a wolf hunt. They eventually decided Garnier was to blame. He confessed to being given an ointment by a demon that allowed him to turn into a wolf, and said he had slain – and eaten – at least four children. He was burned at the stake.
A mutilated boy was found in the French woods in 1598, with the unfortunate Jacques Roulet discovered nearby. Roulet, hurt and disrobed, was detained and confessed to the murder of the boy and others before him. Roulet claimed he had an ointment that could transform him into a wolf. Unlike many cases of lycanthropy, he wasn’t executed – on an appeal he was proclaimed insane and put in an asylum.
With a long trail of gore behind them, Pierre Burgot and Michel Verdun confessed to being werewolves in 1521. Their deeds were gruesome; as records indicate, “they killed a woman who was gathering peas… also seized a little girl of four years old and ate the palpitation flesh, all save one arm… other persons were murdered by them in this way, for they loved to lap up the warm flowing blood.”
One chilling American werewolf legend comes from the state of Georgia. As the story goes, the widowed Mildred Burt lived in a rural part of the country in the mid-19th century. One of her daughters, Emily Isabella Burt, had trouble sleeping at night – and she had extra hair and sharp teeth. When a local man, William Gorman, told the Burts that someone had been killing his sheep, Mrs. Burt feared that Emily had something to do with the attacks. When Mrs. Burt went out to investigate one night, an animal lunged at her. Mrs. Burt fired at it, but the animal escaped. The next day, Emily was missing her left hand. She was sent away to Paris to be treated for lycanthropy, and the attacks stopped. She passed in 1911.
Vseslav was the very real ruler of Polotsk in what is now known as Belarus. Known as Vseslav the Sorcerer for his rumored magical prowess, he was also believed to take the form of a wolf. He passed in 1101, but the legend didn’t stop there. In fact, even a 2005 commemorative coin in Belarus showed a wolf behind Vseslav’s portrait.
The tale of the Beast of Gévaudan is one surrounded by mystery and a whole lot of bloodshed. Between 1764 and 1767, the French province of Gévaudan suffered a series of attacks and slayings in which the throats of victims were ripped out. Theories abounded as to who – or what – was responsible, but most believed it to be a giant wolf. Locals fired at the Beast and attempted to poison it, with no noticeable effects. It vanished in 1767 and its fate remains unknown.
Beliefs differ on what exactly turns someone into a werewolf. In ancient Greece, apparently people believed that someone could be transformed by eating the meat of a wolf and a human mixed together. This story is similar to the tale of King Lycaon. He attempted to trick the god Zeus into eating human flesh. Zeus wasn’t pleased and turned Lycaon into a wolf as punishment. His name is likely the root of the word “lycanthropy.”
THE AMERICAN STONEHENGE
On a barren field in Georgia, US, five granite slabs rise in a star pattern. Each of them weighs over 20 tons and on top of them, there is a capstone. Nobody knows who built it or why they were placed there, but one popular opinion that their purpose is to guide humanity after a predicted post-apocalyptic event that will come in the not so distant future. The huge blocks send a message out to the world in eight different current languages, as well as four extinct ones (ancient Greek and Egyptian hieroglyphs for example). The set of ten guidelines has baffled people around the world, with descriptions ranging from perfect and utopian to satanic or quirky. But no matter what the case, these ten commandments should definitely get you thinking:
01) Maintain humanity under 500,000,000 in perpetual balance with nature.
02) Guide reproduction wisely – improving fitness and diversity.
03) Unite humanity with a living new language.
04) Rule passion – faith – tradition – and all things with tempered reason.
05) Protect people and nations with fair laws and just courts.
06) Let all nations rule internally resolving external disputes in a world court.
07) Avoid petty laws and useless officials.
08) Balance personal rights with social duties.
09) Prize truth – beauty – love – seeking harmony with the infinite.
10) Be not a cancer on the earth – Leave room for nature – Leave room for nature
While some of them are clearly noble and laudable (like having fair laws and avoiding petty ones), some of them have stirred controversy — especially “Maintain humanity under 500,000,000 in perpetual balance with nature”, and “Guide reproduction wisely – improving fitness and diversity”. If we were to apply these now, we’d have to kill over 90% of the planet.
However, this is a perfect example of a misinterpretation, because it has to be kept in mind that these “commandments” have to be applied after the alleged apocalyptic event. It’s not clear why “they” settled on 500 million, but the bottom line is that many believe the world to be overpopulated right now. We are indeed finding better and better ways to manage our resources and use sustainable or renewable forces, but in just the last 50 years, the population of the Earth has more than doubled, and if we keep this up, the prognosis could be dire indeed. But back to our Georgia Stones.
Whoever built them definitely knew what they were doing: the slabs stand proud and sturdy and will endure through the centuries with minimal damage. They also have a remarkable set of other features. For example, they feature a built-in channel that indicates the celestial pole, a horizontal slot that shows the annual travel of the sun as well as a system that marks noontime throughout the year. But why they have these features and lack others that would apparently be more useful for dazed survivors is still a mystery.
It all started on a Friday in June 1979. An elegantly dressed gray-haired man showed up in Elbert County and introduced himself as R. C. Christian — a reference to Christian Rosenkreuz — or Christian Rose Cross in English, and said he represents a small group of loyal Americans. Rosenkreuz is a legendary character that founded the Order of the Rose Cross. He quickly became one of the most important and mysterious figures of the time, by blending Christianity with some teachings of Arab and Persian sages. R. C. Christian admitted this is not his real name, but refused to reveal anything about his identity. Joe Fendley, president of the company that specializes in granite construction, didn’t care too much about this — that is, until he found out what monument R. C. Christian had in mind.
He explained that it would be a compass, calendar, and clock and also be engraved with a set of “guides” written in 8 of the world’s languages. Fendley believed he was dealing with a crazy man and wanted to get rid of him, so he explained that a large number of tools and machines would be required, but Christian just nodded. He then quoted a price several times greater than the real one, but again, Christian seemed indifferent, so Fendley sent him to Wyatt Martin, president of the Granite City Bank. Martin is probably one of the people who have seen and spoken to the mystery man the most.
The astrological specifications were incredibly complex, so the construction company had to employ the help of an astronomer from the University of Georgia. The complex indicates the day of the year, equinoxes, and solstices among others. But the main feature is the 10 guides engraved in the several languages.
The mission statement raises the first few questions marks: let these be Guidestones to an age of reason. But controversy started even before the monument was finished — many claiming it to be the devil’s work. By 1980, when they started building the monument, Martin remembers that people started telling him to stop and accused him of being part of an occult movement.
The main problem is that the commandments engraved on the stones are quite eccentric, to say the least. It didn’t take a lot to compare the first two commandments to the practices of Nazis, among others, but again, this doesn’t mean that a large part of mankind has to disappear – the guides apply in a post-apocalyptic event, where the population is undoubtedly very small; this can be very hard to digest, but seeing things from their point of view is quite interesting, and any comparison with the Nazis or far right ideology is unreasonable. I mean, if a horrendous tragedy happens, and somehow the world population is reduced to just a few hundred million then yes, it would be a good idea to have some care regarding the number of humans.
Guide number 3 instructed people to use a common language — which would, of course, greatly reduce numerous difficulties throughout today’s world; achieving such a task is, however, impossible at the moment due to evident practical reasons. This is the part that bothered annoyed the Christians, who quoted the bible saying that a common tongue is the mark of the Antichrist — yeah, makes a lot of sense for me, too. Same thing with RULE PASSION—FAITH—TRADITION—AND ALL THINGS WITH TEMPERED REASON — for some, faith has to be the alpha and omega with nothing else in between. For others, yours truly included, finding a sustainable balance is a much nobler goal.
The structure, sometimes referred to as an “American Stonehenge”, sure stirred a lot of controversies, but it got us thinking — which means that at least a part of its objective was achieved. Even ignoring the more controversial commandments, the final 6 should definitely be worth achieving. After all, what’s wrong with avoiding unnecessary officials and prizing truth?
Prize truth – beauty – love – seeking harmony with the infinite and Be not a cancer on the earth – Leave room for nature – Leave room for nature. There’s a really powerful vibe in here.
When Weird Darkness returns…
We’ll look at the dark side of faeries. Tinkerbell is far from a true representation!
Plus, what caused the Patomskiy Crater in Siberia? Scientists don’t know.
I talk quite a bit about depression here in Weird Darkness, and there’s a resource that I have actually tried myself and use right now. It’s BetterHelp, and I’m so happy they decided to sponsor this episode, because it gives me an opportunity to give kudos to my Better Help counselor, Wayne. Over the past year we’ve had numerous conversations – and not just about depression – but about mental health in general, making and keeping goals, and he often just checks in to see how I’m doing without my even asking. In fact, it’s thanks to Wayne at BetterHelp that I was able to talk to my doctor about the meds I am now on for my migraines, as he helped me think through the process of what I was experiencing so I could ask my doctor the right questions. What I love most about BetterHelp is that I don’t have to make an appointment to leave the house and head to someone’s office for counseling – I talk with Wayne via online chat. But that’s my choice. If you would rather talk to a counselor over the phone, via text, or even in a secure video session, you have the option. Whatever works best for you is what they do. And while depression is something that I personally struggle with and talk to my BetterHelp counselor about, it’s not the only thing. We’ve talked about stress, keeping my marriage strong, sleeping issues, even self-esteem when I was feeling a bit blah. Your BetterHelp counselor can also help if you struggle with anxiety, trauma, anger, family conflicts, LGBTQ matters, grief, and more. Every few weeks they also ask me to rate my counselor to make sure I’m getting what I need. So far, Wayne has gotten stellar reviews from me – but if for some reason I wanted to use a different counselor, BetterHelp makes that option available at no extra charge. Everything you share with your BetterHelp counselor is confidential, they have over 7,000 counselors available all over the world too – which is a great thing because when I talk about how the local weather is affecting my depression, Wayne also lives in the midwest and knows exactly what I’m talking about! He even deals with some of the same issues that I do – so he truly understands where I’m coming from! It’s secure, professional, and also convenient, because I can talk to my counselor via desktop, mobile web, or even through the BetterHelp app (I use the Android version but it’s available for iOS users as well). Most of all, and this is the best part… it’s affordable. Not only is it a fraction of the cost of physically going to a counselor’s office, but there is financial aid available for those who qualify. The important thing is that you get the help you need. And right now, you can also get 10% off your first month if you’re a Weird Darkness Weirdo! Just visit BetterHelp.com/WD. I highly recommend you check out what they offer today – it might be exactly what you or someone you know and love is desperately in need of. Go to BetterHelp.com/WD. That’s BetterHelp.com/WD. Fill out the questionnaire to help assess your needs and get matched with a counselor in under 24-hours. Again, that’s BetterHelp.com/WD!
THE DARK SIDE OF FAERIES
When you think “fairies,” what comes to mind? You probably picture an adorable and sparkly creature akin to Disney’s Tinker Bell, a lovely – and above all, friendly – presence. You may even want to make contact with them. Unfortunately, glittering humanoids with butterfly wings are the stuff of children’s stories. Retrace faerie folklore, and you’ll discover their secret scary origins.
Cultures all over the world put their own disturbing spin on the fairy folk. In Wales, faerie folk take away babies and leave their own twisted offspring in their place. Scottish Kelpies, meanwhile, are known for their taste for human flesh. As for Icelandic Huldufolk and Filipino Berberoka, you’ll have to keep listening to discover just what makes them so chilling.
Just because they’re mythological doesn’t mean that faeries are any less frightening. Here are a few of their darkest attributes – just remember to shut your windows tight before going to sleep tonight.
The Banshee , also known as “woman faery,” originated in Ireland and is said to be most active at night before a passing. In some folklore, she even comes to the door of those who are expected to pass. She looks like a full-sized human female, and though her appearance varies by region, her hair is always stringy and she always wears a white gown or shroud. She frequently appears covered in moss as well.
The Banshee is recognized by her loud, mourning wails, which are said to be a harbinger of someone’s demise.
Bean-Fionn faeries are also known as “drowning faeries.” They’re said to pull children to their underwater doom. If you’re searching for a Bean-Fionn fairy, you’re advised to look around dark waters where drownings have occurred.
These creatures were likely devised by parents looking to keep their kids from playing in the water, but that doesn’t make them any less creepy.
Utburds are faeries that are believed to be the revived spirits of babies who passed during harsh winters. They tend to haunt anyone who hangs around the sites of their demise – misery is their mission.
Utburds are even known to transform into large and terrifying owls that prey on night travelers.
Virikas gather outside the homes of dying people while happily chattering to each other. These 18-inch-tall harbingers of doom are instantly recognizable, thanks to their vivid red color and bloodstained teeth.
According to folklore, they can be appeased – but it isn’t easy. Virikas require a shrine filled with daily burned offerings of flowers and spices to leave you alone.
Faeries aren’t just menaces to humans – they can be a threat to their own kind, too. Consider Kelpies, a kind of human-eating fay. Small, ugly, and bulbous, Kelpies are known for their foul-tempers. They were once said to crop up everywhere in Scottish lochs and the North Sea, but fell into decline thanks to their appetite for other faeries.
But Kelpies don’t discriminate when it comes to slaying. They love to eat deer that wander too near to the lochs, and they are able to shapeshift to lure in human prey. There are even folktales about Kelpies who take the appearance of seahorses, luring young maidens who they then submerge and devour.
According to Irish folklore, the Sluagh are faeries thought to be the souls of evil people. These faeries travel in a swarm at night, often appearing like black birds. Their preferred prey are dying people who have yet to be given their last rites. Some stories, however, say that you can call them by feeling deep sadness – or simply by saying their name.
Once the Sluagh have you in their sights, the only way to be rid of them is to offer another person in your place. But they’re easy to spot – in their humanoid form, the Sluagh look like malnourished people with leathery wings.
According to Filipino folklore, Berberoka are highly dangerous faeries that inhabit rivers and swamps. They are said to prey upon fishermen by ingesting large volumes of water, thereby bringing up fish. Once the fishers make their way to that specific spot, the Berberoka regurgitates the water to capsize their boats.
Ultimately, the helpless fishers are dragged underwater and eaten.
Bendith, a clan of Welsh faeries, are notorious baby-nappers. They nab human babies and replace them with their own deformed offspring, known as “crimbils.” Sometimes, the Bendith will return the baby after teaching it about music, but more often than not, parents require the assistance of a witch to get their child back.
When they aren’t taking children, the Bendith get their kicks riding horses and tangling up their manes.
Mischievous Will-o’-the-Wisps haunt marshy ground and love playing practical jokes. However, their jokes consist of leading travelers astray with their flickering lights, sometimes leading people straight to their doom in the bogs.
It is believed that steering clear of Will-o’-the-Wisp footpaths is the best way to avoid them, although they are known to sometimes help people who are kind to them and offer them money.
A threatening but solitary creature, the Fachan faery lives in the Highland mountains. The Fachan’s brooding nature is due to its appearance, as it has only one of everything: one ear, one arm, one leg, one toe, and one eye. All of these features are centered directly down the middle of its body, which is both hairy and feathery. These creatures are said to be so hideous that the mere sight of them can stop a person’s heart.
The Fachan is sensitive about not having wings or the gift of flight, so it waves a spiked club at all living things that cross its path.
The Blue Men of the Minch, or “Sea Kelpies,” prey on sailors. They sport green beards and hair and are pretty buff. Some say that these creatures live in caves underwater and that they can control the weather and the seas.
If you ever plan on sailing the high seas, make sure you have what it takes to defeat the Sea Kelpies. According to folklore, captains have escaped disaster on the water simply with their sharp tongues, however, the Blue Men of the Minch can only be beaten in rhyming duels.
Huldufólk are Icelandic faeries that are somewhat neutral. Some people believe them to be beneficial, and they build tiny wooden homes for the faeries to live in.
Huldufólk aren’t typically malicious, but they do have a strict moral code. These human-like creatures are known to attempt to seduce people. Those who resist are rewarded, while anyone who surrenders is punished. I actually went more in depth regarding the Huldufolk, or Iceland Elves, in a previous episode. I’ll place a link to it in the show notes.
The Callicantzaroi faeries are always without clothes. While that might make you uncomfortable, the creep factor comes in with their feet: they’re usually shaped like those of different animals.
Callicantzaroi fairies tend to ride around on chickens and are blind, so they’re typically found in groups. Sometimes, they even recruit outcast faeries to be their guides.
Brownies are typically guardian faeries who do chores and help around the house. While that may sound sweet and endearing, folklore says that they are hideous to look at.
In some regions of Scotland, they have no separated toes or fingers; in other areas, they have a hole in their face where the nose should be.
WHAT CAUSED THE PATOMSKIY CRATER?
In the Summer of 1949, a geologist named Vadim Kolpakov discovered a strange feature on the surface of the earth in the Bodaibo, Irkutsk, region of South-Eastern Siberia. Encircled by a largely treed area, this anomaly is oval with a conical crater that contains a small ball-like mound in its middle. The entire structure consists of broken grey limestone. Its width is between 130-160 meters, while the cone is up to 80 meters high. Oddly, few trees grow on the formation, however, the surrounding conifers have experienced rapid growth. Named the Patomskiy Crater, the Kolpakov Cone, and the Fire Eagle Nest, the geologic mystery has baffled scientists who are uncertain of what caused this weird formation.
Named for the river that runs near the anomaly, the Patomskiy crater has spawned many interesting theories. Wild ideas speculated that it was a secret Stalin-era uranium mine that used Gulag labor forces. Ancient astronaut theorists chimed that it was the landing site of an alien UFO. Other popular theories include: an underground uranium or natural-gas explosion, a dust-sized meteorite that burrowed through the planet and left the crater as an exit wound, a cylindrical metallic object of unknown origin, and the Tunguska Event.
The uranium theory may sound unlikely. However, this area is known to be rich in naturally occurring radioactive elements. A precise series of events would need to take place in order to create the circumstances for an explosion, but it lies within the realm of possibility. However, the trees do not indicate large explosions from uranium or the Tunguska event which would have leveled the conifers.
By far, the theory most out of this world involves some kind of external or alien body that long ago embedded itself in the Patomskiy crater causing the unique shape. The unremarkable radiation levels seem to contradict this though, as an object from space would leave far higher radioactive levels than the typical levels on earth. Of course one could counter this by saying that the spacecraft landed so long ago that, by now, high levels have returned to nominal. This is supported by the increased size of the vegetation surrounding the site.
The two most reasonable theories that initially arose stated that the origin is volcanic or meteoric. The problem is that scientists have not found any evidence of either scenario on the slopes of the Siberian crater yet. There is no volcanic rock, nor meteor debris anywhere. Nonetheless, the site reminded scientists of the meteor impact marks on the moon and believed that evidence lay deeper in the earth where the meteor would have exploded. By now, the majority of the evidence has ruled out a meteor, and most scientists have abandoned this theory.
Although remote, the Irkutsk region has an indigenous population called the Yakut. These people consider the crater a bad place, and they insist that large animals do not go into the area. One theory about this superstition suggests that perhaps their ancestors were present at a time when the area had a far higher radiation level. These ancestors may have become ill and died from this radiation. Over time, the legend was synthesized into oral tribal stories that became a part of the Yakut culture. In fact, the Yakut gave the crater the name, Fire Eagle’s Nest because of its shape.
Although discovered in 1949, the first scientific expedition committed to properly investigating the Patomskiy crater wasn’t launched until 2005. There were a number of reasons for this delay, whereas, in many other countries an anomaly of this magnitude would have been a scientific focus. Until the Soviet Union fell, expenditure on scientific activity focused on military development. Consequently, the study of the crater was postponed.
The initial expedition in 2005 met with a major set-back when not long after embarking for their target, the lead researcher Evgeny Vorobyov died on the trail. When officials recovered his body, an autopsy showed a massive heart attack (Zubacheva 2013). Nonetheless, a bad omen or not, the group pressed on. Although scientists studied the area thoroughly, it only provided more possibilities. At that time, they were unable to make a conclusive determination about its cause. Interestingly, though, a number of anomalies were discovered in the surrounding area.
Because it was around the beginning of the Cold War, the Russian government was originally concerned this could be the site of a nuclear test by another nation. After all, the Americans had only made their nuclear debut over Japan three years prior, and it was an open secret that the Russians were attempting to create the same technology.
Subsequently, one of the first things officials searched for at the site was increased levels of radiation. However, the results were unremarkable. Although fractionally above nominal, the amount in no way indicated a nuclear blast.
What is perplexing, though, is that the surrounding vegetation experienced a sharp increase in size for over a century before its discovery. Whilst sounding benign, this anomaly is common in instances of nuclear contact. The mutagenic properties of radiation affect the size of flora, often dramatically increasing it over time. This was also the case in the vegetation around Chernobyl. Magnetic anomalies are also present on and in the surrounding vicinity of the odd Patomskiy crater. However, of course, there are other causes of tree growth spurts.
Modern geomorphologists believe the Fire Eagle’s Nest may be a very rare gas volcano, acting as a vent for vast stores of underground gasses. The odd rock formations may also be indicative of chemical reactions between elements on the surface and those leaking through from deep in the earth.
Dmitry Demezhko, Institute of Geophysics, Yekaterinburg, proposes that the crater formed in two phases. First, the tectonic actions in the area created a type of channel similar to mud volcanism. Then, over time, repeated freezing and thawing caused the rock to break up.
One of the most recent studies published in 2015 in a paper by V.S. Antipin, B.G. Pokrovsky, and A.M. Fedorov concludes that the formation occurred from one or more explosions of steam as magma moved up through water and rock or when fissures released pressurized water trapped in the rock.
Little by little, experts are getting closer to conclusively solving this puzzling mystery once and for all, if they haven’t already. Something all scientists appear to agree on is that there is nothing like the Patomskiy crater anywhere else on the planet.
Up next, we’ll step into the Chamber of Comments!
ANNOUNCING THE WEIRD DARKNESS STORE’S “PLAGUE OF 2020 SALE”! I’ve added some crazy and cool designs to the Weird Darkness store with themes like social distancing, quarantine birthdays, healthcare workers, 2020 graduates, and a lot more, all of them are fun! Unlike Walmart, grocery stores, etc., the Weird Darkness store shelves never go empty! The sale has been moved though; instead of April 15th, it begins April 22nd – the week after. So… The sale takes place Wednesday, April 22nd thru Friday, April 24th… AND Wednesday, April 29th through Friday, May 1st! T-shirts starting at $13, and everything in the store up to 35% off! You can see everything that’s available by visiting the STORE page at WeirdDarkness.com, and get ready to do some quarantine-discount shopping starting April 22nd!
CHAMBER OF COMMENTS==========
We’ll step inside the Chamber of Comments in just a moment. But if you made it this far, welcome to the Weirdo Family. If you like the podcast, please tell your friends/family about it however you can and get them to become Weirdos too! And I’d greatly appreciate you giving me a five-star review in the podcast app you listen from, that helps the podcast get noticed! If you’d like a transcript of this episode, you can find it in this episode’s blog post at WeirdDarkness.com; just scroll down that page. Now… let’s step into the chamber….
Here in the Chamber of Comments I answer your emails, comments, podcast reviews, tweets, letters I get in the mail, and more. You can find all of my contact information, postal address, and social media links on the CONTACT page at WeirdDarkness.com. While you’re there, join the Facebook Group, “Weird Darkness Weirdos” and hang out with me and the rest of our Weirdo family! Or drop me an email anytime at email@example.com.
(Email from Bob regarding the episode about Agenda 21): Darren, Avid listener, this episode was disgusting. The fact you would use a racist organization such as SPLC for any factual information is sad. I cannot believe this, very disappointing. –Bob
REPLY: I replied to Bob and told him that the story was actually more anti-SPLC than anything else, but I had never really heard about the SPLC in my sheltered life of working in Christian radio for the past thirty years. So I looked them up. I did a search for “is the Southern Poverty Law Center racist?” and… yikes! If even half of what I read is true, I would probably have used the story anyway, but I also would’ve made sure to point out how disgusting they are at the same time. Thanks for letting me know, Bob. And to anyone else who might’ve been confused or even concerned about my using them in a story. Well now you know… I screw up sometimes, and my ignorance on a subject sometimes seeps through.
(Email from someone who prefer to go by the name Skybreaker96): Greetings Darren, from the Great White North! I happened to be searching Apple podcasts, for a new horror related podcast, and saw yours in the search list. Once I clicked after 1 episode, I was hooked! A variety of mysteries, supernatural, and macabre? Love it! Creepy pastas and listener submitted stories of their creepy experiences? Love it!! Atmospheric background music? Love it!!! Love it so much, I just had to give it a 5 star review, in the Apple podcast app! You bring a cornucopia of quality produced dark entertainment every episode. It’s awesome also to find a fellow Christian, who shares an interest in this subject matter, as I also do. We are in a rare club you and I. I know we are living in uncertain times right now, and since I’m writing you on Easter Sunday, I thought I’d just remind your listeners of something. Our streets might be empty, however so is Christ’s Tomb, and Jesus isn’t only our redeemer… He is also a master healer. He will set our nations straight, all in due time. Keep up the good work brother. God bless you for the hope you bring to those struggling with depression. A fan for life! –Skybreaker96
REPLY: Hey, Skybreaker! It’s great to hear from a fellow Weirdo in Christ! Happy to have you as a new family member here! And I appreciate that 5-star review in Apple podcasts – that means a lot, thank you! And I love the message you decided to share about who we are placing our faith in right now. What a great visual – the streets might be empty, but so is Christ’s tomb. Awesome! Thanks, Skybreaker!
(Email from Chris): Hello Darren just a note to let you know how much i enjoyed you reading of the Wendigo. I have listened to many other readings of this classic Algernon Blackwood tale and yours was without exception the best of them all. I hope you can do a few others from the A.B. cannon in the future; some suggestions would be Skeleton Lake, the haunted island, camp of the dog and of course the Willows. I love the weird darkness and haven’t missed an episode since discovering it last summer. Please keep up the great work and be safe and well during this crazy time .Jesus has our backs and we will all get thru this! Cheers and have a blessed Easter! –Chris
REPLY: Obviously I’m replying after Easter, but I did have a blessed one Chris, so thank you for that! I’d never narrated anything from Algernon Blackwood before so I wasn’t sure what kind of response I’d get with The Wendigo – but so far it has been pretty much positive from everyone who has messaged me about it. Really glad about that too – I was stepping into unfamiliar territory! I’ll have to look for those others Algernon stories and see if maybe they’ll fit into a future episode. I appreciate the recommendations! God bless you my Weirdo brother! For those who have not yet heard that Algernon Blackwood story, “The Wendigo”, I have a link to it in the show notes.
(YouTube message from Tree Hugger): I thanked the guy working the door at Walmart the other day. He was shocked. He said that I was the only one that had said thank you. He had been there 6 hours. Ugh.
REPLY: That is truly said, T.H. That person has been putting himself in front of every single person that walks in and out of that store – and I’m betting not everyone was staying 6-feet away from him. These people should not be ignored or taken for granted. C’mon, Earthlings – every single person you see out and about town working, wherever that is, during the pandemic is a hero. They might sack groceries for a living – but they are doing so in shark-infested waters just so you can have your precious Twinkies while watching Netflix. That Walmart greeter could be the only smile some people see for weeks – why not smile back and thank them for what they are doing for you and your community? It’s not just the doctors, nurses, and medical staffs that are looking out for us. It’s also the teenaged girl working the Wendy’s drive-thru, the guys driving trucks from town to town so we can keep our refrigerators and pantries stocked during the quarantine. They are the Amazon, UPS, and USPS drivers assuring we receive much needed supplies so we don’t have to leave the house as often. Heck, we should be thanking the folks at our internet service providers. Can you imagine what kind of torture this would be if we didn’t have online access? Do yourself and the world a favor – the next time you see anyone – I mean ANYONE who is working outside of your house during this pandemic – stay six feet away, smile big, and say “thank you for making my life easier during this trying time”… and add a “God bless you” while you’re at it.
I’ll answer more of your emails, comments, and more next time! Again, you can find all of my social media and contact information on the CONTACT page at WeirdDarkness.com.
Do you have a dark tale to tell of your own? Click on “Tell Your Story” at WeirdDarkness.com and I might use it in a future episode. Also on the website you can find paranormal and horror audiobooks I’ve narrated, the Weird Darkness store, plus you can visit the “Hope In The Darkness” page if you are struggling with depression, anxiety, or thoughts of suicide.
All stories in this episode are purported to be true and you can find source links or links to the authors in the show notes:
“Planet Werewolf” by Lea Rose Emery for Graveyard Shift:
“The Dark Side of Fairies” by Amber Fua for Ranker:
“The American Stonehenge” by Mihai Andrei for ZME Science:
“What Caused the Patomskiy Crater?” by Lochlan McClelland for Historic Mysteries:
Weird Darkness theme by Alibi Music.
WeirdDarkness™ – is a registered trademark. Copyright ©Weird Darkness 2020.
Now that we are coming out of the dark, I’ll leave you with a little light…
1 Thessalonians 4:14 = We believe that Jesus died and rose again and so we believe that God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in him.
AND A FINAL THOUGHT: Sometimes we pray for God to change a situation when God wants the situation to change us.
I’m Darren Marlar. Thanks for joining me in the Weird Darkness.