“THE BIGFOOT OF HIROSHIMA” and 4 More Strange True Stories! #WeirdDarkness
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IN THIS EPISODE: Learning of other races and cultures has been something man has sought knowledge of ever since they first discovered other races and cultures existed. But that’s the thing – you have to know those races and cultures existed in the first place. And there is one race known as the Oghar that very few know about – and it has been practically wiped from history. (Mystery of the Oghars) *** Lakes are often scenes of brutal crimes and dumping ground for murder victims, but you don’t often hear of the lake itself being the murderer. But one lake killed 1,700 people… in a single night. (The Lake Exploded) *** Imagine moving into a new home only to realize it already has a resident ghost living there – but not only that, but the ghost enjoys having full-blown two-way conversations with you through the walls. (The Beastie In The Walls) *** In 1593, a Spanish soldier named Gil Pérez claimed he traveled over 9,000 miles in just a few seconds. Supposedly he disappeared in Manila and appeared in Mexico. Is there any truth to the story, or evidence to back up his claim? (The Man Who Teleported) *** If you are a fan of the Neverglades Mysteries series that I’ve been releasing once in a while on Creepypasta Thursdays, then you’ll want to listen through the end of the Chamber of Comments because there’s a little piece of news about the Neverglades you might like to hear. *** A strange sighting took place in 1970 in Hiroshima Prefecture – and the way it’s described, it sounds like Japan might have it’s very own Sasquatch! And now, decades later – that beast might save the town it was spotted in. (The Bigfoot of Hiroshima) *** (Originally aired October 09, 2020)
SOURCES AND REFERENCES FROM THE EPISODE…
“The Bigfoot of Hiroshima” by Kohei Higashitani for The Asahi Shimbun: https://tinyurl.com/yxumxbju
“Mystery of the Oghars” by Ellen Lloyd for Ancient Pages: https://tinyurl.com/y54y8pl8
“The Lake Exploded” by Christina Skelton: https://tinyurl.com/y52q8l37
“The Beastie In The Walls” posted at Fortean Ireland: https://tinyurl.com/y5bxyfx8
“The Man Who Teleported” by Paolo Chua for Esquire Magazine: https://tinyurl.com/y3ez3aox
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Paranormality Magazine: https://weirddarkness.tiny.us/paranormalitymag
Micro Terrors: Scary Stories for Kids: https://weirddarkness.tiny.us/microterrors
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Church of the Undead: https://weirddarkness.tiny.us/churchoftheundead
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Welcome, Weirdos – (I’m Darren Marlar and) this is Weird Darkness. Here you’ll find stories of the paranormal, supernatural, legends, lore, the strange and bizarre, crime, conspiracy, mysterious, macabre, unsolved and unexplained.
Coming up in this episode…
Learning of other races and cultures has been something man has sought knowledge of ever since they first discovered other races and cultures existed. But that’s the thing – you have to know those races and cultures existed in the first place. And there is one race known as the Oghar that very few know about – and it has been practically wiped from history. (Mystery of the Oghars)
Lakes are often scenes of brutal crimes and dumping ground for murder victims, but you don’t often hear of the lake itself being the murderer. But one lake killed 1,700 people… in a single night. (The Lake Exploded)
Imagine moving into a new home only to realize it already has a resident ghost living there – but not only that, but the ghost enjoys having full-blown two-way conversations with you through the walls. (The Beastie In The Walls)
In 1593, a Spanish soldier named Gil Pérez claimed he traveled over 9,000 miles in just a few seconds. Supposedly he disappeared in Manila and appeared in Mexico. Is there any truth to the story, or evidence to back up his claim? (The Man Who Teleported)
A strange sighting took place in 1970 in Hiroshima Prefecture – and the way it’s described, it sounds like Japan might have it’s very own Sasquatch! And now, decades later – that beast might save the town it was spotted in. (The Bigfoot of Hiroshima)
If you’re new here, welcome to the show! While you’re listening, be sure to check out WeirdDarkness.com for merchandise, to visit sponsors you hear about during the show, sign up for my newsletter, enter contests, connect with me on social media, plus, you can visit the Hope in the Darkness page if you’re struggling with depression or dark thoughts. You can find all of that and more at WeirdDarkness.com.
Now.. bolt your doors, lock your windows, turn off your lights, and come with me into the Weird Darkness!
STORY: THE BIGFOOT OF HIROSHIMA=====
A nighttime drive on a mountain path half a century ago led to a legend that forever changed this community and could now be instrumental in its survival.
On the evening of July 20, 1970, a man in a pickup truck in Saijo, a northern town of Hiroshima Prefecture, came across a rather unsettling sight: an ape-like creature walking on a mountainside. After word spread about the encounter, other locals came forward with their own reports of an animal walking upright. Their descriptions were similar. The beast was around 1.6 meters tall, with a gorilla-like body and a face shaped like an inverted triangle.
The locals started calling the creature “Hibagon,” a reference to Hiba mountain in the town. Did Japan have its own Bigfoot or Sasquatch? News and entertainment media began flooding the small town surrounded by mountains to find out. The locals’ lives were turned upside-down by the sudden attention. But that was only the beginning of “Hibagon fever.”
Saijo town, today’s Saijocho district in the city of Shobara in Hiroshima Prefecture, became inseparable from the creature. Residents today still talk about the legend of Hibagon.
Seiko Fujikawa, 56, was a first-year elementary pupil when Hibagon fever took the town by storm.
Fujikawa recalls that when he and his fellow students walked home from school in a group, they often found themselves pestered by questions from adults. “Have you seen any holes around here?” the grown-ups asked the children in hopes of finding a trace of Hibagon or its den. Fujikawa said those days were surreal.
Some residents believed that Hibagon represented a symbol of disapproval for the huge recreational facilities under construction in the area, including camping grounds. “The god of Hiba mountain sent Hibagon to haunt us,” one theory went.
But Fujikawa mentioned another less-spiritual school of thought. According to a rumor, a gorilla had escaped from Asa Zoo in the city of Hiroshima, which is 90 km from Saijo. “And I heard that’s Hibagon’s true identity,” Fujikawa said. “We were scared of Hibagon, but it was all in good fun. It’s a sweet memory, indeed.”
Katsuyuki Egi, 76, was a young employee at the Saijo town government office when he was called to the mayor’s office in August 1970.
It was right after a local newspaper, The Chugoku Shimbun, ran a story about a Hibagon sighting in the town. “It’s good that (Hibagon) is making it to the newspapers but …,” the bewildered mayor said.
Hibagon fever was rising, and day and night, reporters hounded residents who said they had witnessed the beast. Some reporters even knocked on doors at night or trespassed on fields, interfering with farm work. The townsfolk began grumbling about the intense and constant national attention on Saijo. The Saijo government decided to create a post to handle the “issue of anthropoid apes.”
Egi was appointed to the position. His work included interviewing people who reported seeing Hibagon and handling inquiries and requests from visiting media and student members of a university “exploring club.” Egi was previously in charge of tax services, so the topic of “anthropoid apes” was completely out of his domain.
“But it was fun,” he said. “My job was kind of like a jack of all trades. Looking back, I’d say it was a once-in-a-lifetime experience.”
Back then, residents in some parts of the mountain town did not have access to television. Egi himself never watched TV until he graduated from high school. His first job at the town government office, in fact, was to install TV antennas in the mountains. Hibagon fever, which coincided with the high-growth period of the postwar Japanese economy, spread the use of televisions in Saijo. Residents became glued to the tube, and started enjoying the fame again, exclaiming, for example, “My neighbor was on TV!”
The town government in the meantime came up with a unique policy to pay 5,000 yen ($48) for each resident who spotted the creature. The money was to “make up for inconvenience” caused by a Hibagon sighting. It was an exceptional offer considering the starting monthly salary for a town government employee back then was 14,900 yen, Egi said. Although the payments raised suspicions of bogus sightings, Egi personally knew some of the witnesses very well. “They were above lying, I can tell you that,” he said.
By October 1974, the town office had received 29 reports about Hibagon appearing in the wild. But then, the sightings completely stopped. “Hibagon fever is over,” the town officially declared in June 1975, five years after the first sighting.
Hibagon was never caught, even on film. The creature’s true identity has remained wrapped in mystery. “Hibagon is a symbol of our town,” said Egi, who still lives in the area. “I’m blessed with six grandchildren. I believe Hibagon, too, is living peacefully somewhere deep in the mountains, surrounded by grandchildren,” he said. Egi’s sentiment is reflected all around the Saijocho district.
A character resembling Hibagon is ubiquitous in such places as gas stations, bus stops and souvenir shops. “The young generation may not be familiar with Hibagon at all, but Saijo is the town of Hibagon,” said Kazuo Yamaguchi, 49, who heads the nonprofit organization Saijo Sightseeing Association.
Yamaguchi was born and raised in Saijo. But he spent his high school and college days in Hiroshima city. He was only an infant when Hibagon fever reached its peak, but he said he feels so proud of having Hibagon in his hometown. In 2005, Saijo merged with other municipalities and became part of the city of Shobara.
At the end of June, 3,262 people lived in the Saijocho district, a 35 percent decrease from the population 20 years ago. As part of revitalization efforts in 2020, Yamaguchi’s organization and the city government hosted many events to mark the 50th anniversary of the first Hibagon sighting. Tours to places where Hibagon was seen were on the agenda, but they sadly canceled because of the coronavirus pandemic. Instead, Yamaguchi hosted an online tour to Hibagon-related locations and sightseeing spots with Egi serving as a tour guide.
When Weird Darkness returns… we’ll learn about the Oghar a long-lost race that has been practically wiped from history.
Over seventeen-hundred people were murdered in a single night… not by a man or a beast, but by a body of water that exploded.
And a couple move into a home only to find a presence living in the walls – and wanting to communicate with them not just through noises and talking, but even through singing. These stories and more, coming up.
STORY: MYSTERY OF THE OGHARS=====
The Oghars were a little known race that has been virtually unheard of. As you are about to find out though, the Oghars were unique in a number of ways, despite being almost obliterated from history.
There was a reason why people shouldn’t learn about their existence, but there are those who have kept the memory of the Oghars alive. They have passed on their stories to future generations hoping the truth about the Oghars will survive.
There was once physical evidence that confirmed the existence of the Oghars, but their burials were deliberately destroyed. It’s a remarkable ancient story that gives us much to ponder.
During excavations in a small village in Romania, peasants found dozens of giant skeletons and prehistoric solar calendars created by an unknown race.
What happened to these giant bones? One man who participated in the digs, revealed a massive cover-up.
Giants were by no means only mythological beings. Even in more modern times there is evidence people of incredible stature can exist. According to our knowledge, Robert Pershing Wadlow, also known as the Giant of Illinois was the tallest man who ever lived. When Robert died in 1940, he was entombed in a coffin 10 feet long and weighing 1,000 pounds, requiring a dozen pallbearers and eight other assistants.
Another interesting giant who we know with certainty did exist was Chang Woo Gow, also known by his stage name Chang. The Chinese Giant was born in China in the 1840s and was roughly 8 foot in height. He first began showing himself in London around 1865.
There are many other examples of more modern giants who walked the Earth not so long ago. So, if they can be found in modern times why shouldn’t they have been part of Earth’s ancient history?
It is no secret that remains of giants have been discovered world-wide.
It is also an unfortunate fact that there has been a massive cover-up to deny the world any knowledge of these immense skeletons. Ever since the first giant bones were unearthed, scientists, historians and archaeologists have all been involved in debunking the existence of this powerful ancient race that once almost ruled the world.
Bones of giants have been deliberately destroyed, hidden in secret vaults, or simply labelled as remains of long extinct animals, like for example dinosaurs.
Our search for traces of giants takes us this time to Romania in Eastern Europe. We learn from Romanian mythology that Earth was inhabited by different humanoid races in the past.
At the beginning, the Oghars walked the Earth. However, they resembled deformed humans and they disappeared eventually.
In numerous sacred ancient texts, myths, and legends relate how the gods attempted on several occasions to create intelligent beings. Were the Oghars perhaps an early, failed genetic experiment conducted by ancient gods or did they suffer from a genetic disorder inherited at birth?
Ancient Romanian stories tell that after the Oghars vanished, giants suddenly appeared. They rebelled against God and were sentenced to die during the Flood.
After the giants, humans started ruling the planet. However, humans will eventually be replaced with blajinii, a race of small stature beings who have a good soul and are pleasing to the gods. Although many graves of giants have been discovered across the world, it is not often we encounter people who have participated in the excavations and can tell the public about what they saw with their own eyes.
Ionita Florea, who is today an old man, has been involved in several archaeological excavations in Argedava, Giurgu county, Romania.
Romania has a long tradition of giants. For some reason, no-one knows why, giants were nicknamed Jews.
One possible explanation could be that people called them “Jews”, is because these beings came from Israel. Did the mysterious pre-Adamic Didanum race that originated from Israel visit Romania? The Didanum people were ancestors of the Nephilim and Rephaim who were giants.
The country’s most famous giant was called Novac. He fought several battles against a dragon that tried to harm people. Novac finally defeated the dragon that fled and left a trail on Earth. Ionita Florea tells of an old place called Nucetul. It is a town in Bihor county, western Transylvania, Romania. Its name means “Walnut Trees”.
From his parents, Ionita Florea learned that this place was once inhabited by huge giants. For a long time, Ionita Florea did not believe all those stories about giants, but everything changed when he unearthed very large bones himself…
In 1926, a Dacian fortress, that was very unusual in size and much larger than excepted was discovered in Argedava. Vasile Parvan, the archaeologist in charge of the excavation was convinced that he had found the first capital of Burebista. Excavations were carried out several times until 2000. Later, it turned out that the fortress was in fact the first citadel of Burebista, the king who united all the Dacian tribes and ruled half of Europe between 82 B.C. – 44 B.C.
Between 1946 and 1956, archaeologists and peasants who helped with the dig, discovered 80 skeletons of giants. The remains were of humanoids who had had been between 4 to 7 feet tall. Ionita Florea who participated in the excavations for three years, tells his story of what really happened at Argedava.
“I began to dig here in 1947 with a team of archaeologists. They employed about 30 people in the village. I was the youngest of all, being only 18 years.
They paid us 400,000 lei, ($9-$12US) per day. I was poor at the time and I needed work. I could buy almost one kilogram of corn for the money.
Once, after I dug to a depth of four feet, I unearthed a giant skull. It was two or three times the size of an ordinary human. I went and told Dinu V. Rosetti, one of the archaeologists about my discovery. As soon as I showed him the skull, all villagers were immediately sent home, and the archaeologists continued to dig on their own.
I saw how they put the bones of the giants on a truck and drove away. I did not know where they took the skeletons or what happened to them.”
What Ionita Florea relates is just one many dreadful cover-ups undertaken by so-called men of science who are determined to deny generation after generation the right to learn the true history of our planet. Voltaire (1694-1778) was certainly correct when he declared that “History is the lie commonly agreed upon”!
STORY: THE LAKE EXPLODED=====
In Africa , the people of Cameroon, especially those who live along the shores of Lake Nyos know very well the story of an evil spirit which emerged from the lake killing all those who lived near it.
While this was a legend shared and passed across from one generation to another, the truth of the matter was, “the Bad Lake” was in actual fact a killer lake that at one point in its wake, killed more than 1,700 people and over 3,000 animals around the lake in just one night.
On August 21, 1986, Lake Nyos experienced one of the strangest natural disasters in history, from which over 1,746 people suffocated in one night.
How did this happen?
Scientific reports connote that Lake Nyos was formed in a volcanic crater created about 400 years ago. Crater lakes normally contain high levels of carbon dioxide (CO2) formed by the volcanic activity happening miles beneath them. Under normal circumstances, this gas is released over time as the lake turns over.
That is not how Lake Nyos worked, however: instead of releasing the gas, the lake was storing it, dissolving the CO2 in the calm waters. Pressurized to the physical limit, Lake Nyos was a ticking time bomb in waiting.
On a fateful night, something triggered a commotion in the lake. It is not known what the prompt was- landslide, small volcanic eruption, or small cold rain falling on an edge of the lake. Whatever the cause, the effect was catastrophic.
The lake exploded like the bomb it was, sending a fountain of water over 300 feet into the air creating a mini-tsunami. Although the water was lethal, more fatal was the gas that masked the countryside. This kind of explosion is known as a Limnic Eruption.
In about 20 seconds, some 1.2 cubic kilometers of carbon dioxide was released into the atmosphere. The result was instant death as oxygen was squeezed out of the affected areas. The wave of the poisonous gas spread in the villages around the lake. All fire and flames were immediately extinguished spelling doom in the area.
In a matter of minutes, people and animals perished. The villages of Nyos, Kam, Cha and Subum were wiped out. In a nearby village, out of 800 people only six survived, and according to a report, those who did survive, escaped to higher ground on motorcycles.
Many people died in their sleep without ever knowing what hit them. Others met their death at their doorsteps, on their way out to find out the cause of the loud sound they had earlier heard.
In that period, the normally calm and clear blue waters turned into a deep red as if symbolizing the number of people and animals it had swallowed in the violence. Science, however, explains that the deep red color was a result of iron stirred up from the bottom.
In a bid to avert future explosions, the lake needed to be degassed especially because deeper studies of the lake revealed that there was more CO2 forming at the depth in the lake that could react again.
In 2001, an electronic pump that would simulate an eruption was sunk in an effort to degas the lake. A pipe has been installed in Lake Nyos that runs vertically between the lake bottom and the surface. The pipe allows the gas to escape at a regular rate.
Due to the pressurized nature of the gas, the water comes out of the vent in a rather lovely CO2- powered jet of water.
While this has been working over the years, there is a need to do more because according to reports, the CO2 saturation in the lake has gone high again. If it exploded, it would cause a double disaster of both flooding and gassing simultaneously.
Lake Kivu in Rwanda, which also happens to be created through volcanic explosions just like Lake Monoun (Cameroon) has been shown to have a historical record of causing creatures in the lake to go extinct approximately every a thousand years. According to scientists, a volcanic disturbance on the lake could cause much more harm and destruction than witnessed in Nyos.
But the Rwandan government with support from foreign organizations are exploiting the lake’s underneath resources such as methane to produce electricity. By so doing, Rwanda is reducing the pressure from below the lake with an aim of reducing the risk of a catastrophic event. If an explosion ever happened at Lake Kivu, more than 2 million that live along the shores would succumb to the deadly gasses.
For now, the three lakes are still and nobody knows when the disaster will strike again. Governments and foreign organizations are however employing every effort necessary to avert the calamities that could be brought about by explosions in the volcanic lakes.
STORY: THE BEASTIE IN THE WALLS=====
It was March 1934, and Mr & Mrs Wilkie, a couple in their 80s, along with their nine-year-old granddaughter, Bunty Ross were living in Tarves, a small village in Aberdeenshire, in north east Scotland, and had been living there for the past four months.
Shortly after moving into Gateside Croft, the Wilkies began to hear a voice coming from the walls. At first, they were alarmed, but soon they were on conversational terms with their unexpected lodger.
The following exchange between Mr Wilkie and the “beastie” – as it became known – was reported in Dundee’s The Courier Advertiser newspaper:
Mr Wilkie asked: “What are you? Have you four legs?”
Mr Wilkie: “Have you a tail?”
Voice: “No, but I have a beak.”
In addition to answering the Wilkies’ questions, the “beastie,” which spoke in a “broad Buchan dialect,” could repeat the alphabet, count to 90, say the Lord’s Prayer, and would sing “A Bicycle Made for Two” and the hymn “Jesus Loves Me.”
When news of the Wilkies’ strange and talented ghost – for that’s how it was being reported – reached the village and beyond, it brought a steady stream of visitors to their home.
The “beastie” wasn’t shy, and it seems no one left the croft without having heard it speak. It could be quite direct and would often call out anyone it felt was asking “too much about its identity.”
For the most part, though, the “beastie” had a wicked sense of humour, as illustrated by this exchange with a local curiosity seeker:
Woman: “I’ll need to be going down the road now.”
Voice: “And I’ll come hame wi’ ye.”
Woman: “Deed, ye will no’ do that.”
At that, she grabbed her hat and coat and ran out of the house.
While the newspapers t were reporting this as a haunting, and it seems that the Wilkies believed that something supernatural was going on, according to The Courier and Advertiser, “the general opinion is that a trick is being played on the old folks.”
But who would play such a mean – but convincing and entertaining – trick on an elderly couple?
Within a few days of the “beastie” making the news it suddenly stopped talking. The Evening Telegraph of 26 March reported: “The voice died on Tuesday night, and the family here are at a loss to explain the reason.” It would be another two days before it was revealed that the voice had stopped because the mystery had been solved. The “voice” belonged to Bunty, the Wilkies’ granddaughter.
Exactly how this was discovered is not clear. There are at least three accounts. And while each account credits one of Bunty’s teachers with solving the mystery, they vary in how the teacher made the discovery.
According to The Evening Telegraph, the teacher became suspicious during a reading lesson after Bunty “lapsed unconsciously” into the “voice.”
“The teacher noticed something unusual about her voice and became convinced that the little girl was a ventriloquist,” explained the Telegraph. “When questioned, Bunty, a bright youngster, admitted that she was the voice.”
Another newspaper (for which I failed to note any details), claimed that the “voice” had “followed” Bunty to school. And while the class was being entertained by the “beastie” – one of the teachers was closely watching Bunty.
The account that appeared in the Aberdeen Press and Journal on 29 March seemed to suggest that something more troubling than a practical joke was going on: a child in genuine distress, perhaps?
“When she first attended Barthel-Chapel School some months ago she was a fluent speaker and reader. Last week, however, she developed a serious stammer, some of her words being entirely incoherent. In consequence of inquiries then made, it was found that she possessed a ventriloquial voice.”
Following Bunty’s confession, other details began to emerge that appeared to confirm her “guilt.”
The Aberdeen Press and Journal reported on a separate incident that happened one day when Bunty and a classmate were walking home from school. Seemingly, a voice began to talk to them from the ditch at the side of the road. When the classmate became frightened, Bunty told her “it was just a trick.”
And it seems that the locals – well, most of them, were now claiming that they’d never been fooled by Bunty’s antics.
Two of those locals were Mrs Bonnar and Mrs Sinclair, both of whom had made multiple visits to the croft to hear the “voice.” According to Bonnar and Sinclair, the “beastie” never spoke until Bunty was in bed. And when it spoke, Bunty always had her face covered – with a book, a newspaper or a knitting pattern. And her head could be seen to move as the “beastie” spoke.
“Anybody wis have kent it wis her,” said Mrs Sinclair.
So, was Bunty responsible for the “voice”? If so, why did she do it? How did she do it?
Unfortunately, Bunty’s willingness to talk about the “voice” ended with her confession. She never spoke of it again. On trying to get her to talk about it, a reporter from the Aberdeen Press and Journal wrote: “She simply smiled, but would not speak a word. She would not even reveal how she came to use her unnatural voice, but it is almost certain that she never saw a professional ventriloquist on the stage.”
Eleanor Castel, also of the Aberdeen Press and Journal, got the same response from Bunty. And though the girl was happy to spend time with the journalist, she would not talk about the “voice.”
However, spending time with Bunty did give Castel some valuable insight into the girl’s incredibly lonely life. “She told me she had a cat, a black one, and its name was Topsy, but this was her only playmate. There was no schoolfellow who came to share her romps. She spent all her spare time with the old couple.”
Despite having made a full confession to “responsible persons,” there were some – including her grandparents – who refused to believe that Bunty had been behind the “voice.”
“Bunty hid naething tae dee wi’t,” Mr Wilkie told Castel. “I tell ye it wis a beastie thit wis ahin the wa’.”
Lizzie Stott, who worked on a neighbouring farm, also firmly believed that Bunty was innocent. In fact, Castel noted that “nothing would shake her [Stott] from her conviction that a supernatural agency had been at work.”
So, why were the Wilkies and Miss Stott so confident that Bunty was innocent?
It seems that they all had encounters with the “beastie” at the croft while Bunty was away at school.
And that, to the best of my knowledge, was the end of the Tarves “beastie” story.
Coming up… if you are a fan of the Neverglades Mysteries series that I’ve been releasing once in a while on Creepypasta Thursdays, then you’ll want to listen through to the end of the Chamber of Comments because there’s a little piece of news about the Neverglades you might want to hear.
But first, in 1593, a Spanish soldier named Gil Pérez claimed he traveled over 9,000 miles in just a few seconds. Supposedly he disappeared in Manila and appeared in Mexico. Is there any truth to the story, or evidence to back up his claim? That story is up next when Weird Darkness returns.
STORY: THE MAN WHO TELEPORTED=====
In fiction, ESP, time travel, and teleportation are common story arcs. (Just try counting how many books, movies, or television shows were released this year that feature time-defying tropes.) And why not? It’s a fascinating concept especially since physicists say it’s completely possible. Most times, however, the truth is stranger than fiction.
Take for example the Moberly-Jourdain incident, in which two women, Charlotte Anne Moberly and Eleanor Jourdain, claimed to have time traveled while visiting the Palace of Versailles in 1901. The story goes that, after they got lost while walking through the gardens to the Petit Trianon, the two noticed that everything looked out of the ordinary, as if they were in a living picture. They even claimed to have come across Marie Antoinette, insinuating they had experienced a haunting or they had time-traveled to the 18th century. Though the incident has been repeatedly debunked and labeled a hoax, it’s still something to think about.
While the Moberly-Jourdain incident remains to be one of the most well-known supernatural urban legends, years before, there was the mysterious case of Spanish soldier Gil Pérez who allegedly teleported from Manila to Mexico in the 16th century.
Gil Pérez was a Spanish soldier during the early years of Spain’s rule in the Philippines. As a member of the Guardia Civil, he worked for the Gobernador-General as a palace guard. One day, however, in October 1593, the seventh Gobernador-General Gómez Pérez Dasmariñas was assassinated by Chinese pirates during an expedition in the Moluccas. Dasmariñas’ death made for quite a hectic time considering he hadn’t decided on a successor, with several prominent Spaniards vying for the spot.
With such tense conditions, Pérez was guarding the palace when he reportedly began to feel dizzy and exhausted. He then leaned against the wall and dozed off for a few seconds, but when he opened his eyes he was surprised to see that he was in a completely different place. When he asked a bystander where he was, he was told that he was in Plaza Mayor (now known as Zocalo) in Mexico City. Soon, guards in New Spain got wind of Pérez thanks to his claims and his strange Manila uniform. He was brought to the authorities, including the Viceroy of New Spain, Luis de Velasco, whose palace was where he was transported to.
Though understandably shocked, Pérez managed to answer all of their queries in great detail, including the assassination of Dasmariñas, which, since it had only happened the night before, would not be proven until months later. While the Viceroy was pleased with Pérez’s explanations, it was only time until religious officials got involved. He was turned over to the Holy Office of the Inquisition, commonly known as the Spanish Inquisition, for further questioning. From Mexico, he was taken to Santo Domingo in the Caribbean where he was placed in jail for desertion and being a “servant of the devil.”
As a loyal and decorated soldier, Pérez took everything in stride and cooperated with the authorities. It was even said that he preferred being jailed over fighting the jungle men of the Philippines. Eventually, he was found to be a devout Christian and, coupled with his good conduct, he wasn’t charged with any crime. But still, the authorities didn’t know what to do with the unique situation and kept him imprisoned until they came to a solid decision.
One day, a Spanish galleon arrived in Acapulco to reveal all of Pérez’s claims about the Gobernador-General were true. He was recalled to Mexico where some of the passengers even recognized him as a palace guard. With this, he was freed and sent back on the next ship to Manila.
Pérez’s story has since become legend. It’s been recounted in books and stories by several authors including American folklorist Thomas Allibone Janvier, Washington Irving, Luis González Obregón, Gaspar de San Agustín, Antonio de Morga, and even José Rizal.
The tale may seem farfetched but, centuries later, people are still trying to explain it. Maybe a visit to the Palacio del Gobernador, the site of the former residence of the Gobernador-General during the Spanish colonial era, in Intramuros will do for now.
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All stories on Weird Darkness are purported to be true unless stated otherwise, and you can find links to the stories or the authors in the show notes.
“The Bigfoot of Hiroshima” by Kohei Higashitani
“Mystery of the Oghars” by Ellen Lloyd
“The Lake Exploded” by Christina Skelton
“The Beastie In The Walls” from Fortean Ireland
“The Man Who Teleported” by Paolo Chua
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Now that we’re coming out of the dark, I’ll leave you with a little light… “To the roots of the mountains I sank down; the earth beneath barred me in forever. But you, LORD my God, brought my life up from the pit.” – Jonah 2:6
And a final thought… “No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.” – Eleanor Roosevelt
I’m Darren Marlar. Thanks for joining me in the Weird Darkness.