Here Be Monsters Podcast

The Podcast About the Unknown

HBM056: It Works Better in Movies [EXPLICIT]

When Lina Misitzis was a teenager, she told people she was dying.  She wasn't.  But, an entire genre of "dying girl gets the guy" movies taught her that landing a boyfriend required a certain brevity on this planet.  She only lied to men, men she wanted to be with. 

That was more than ten years ago, but the guilt of exploiting imaginary illness for (failed) romantic gain stays with her to the present.  Julia Wallace, her therapist, thinks that Lina can overcome this guilt by re-writing the story of her teenage years, by calling three people she wronged and telling the truth.   So, Lina does.   

Music: The Black Spot ||| Serocell

Lina Misitzis produced this piece.  Jeff Emtman edited it with help from Bethany Denton and Nick White.

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HBM055: Ghost Tape Number Ten

All is fair in love and war... even mind games. The United States military employs psychological warfare in nearly every war it's part of. From creating a "ghost army" of inflatable tank fleets in World War II, to blasting heavy metal music toward enemy territory during the Gulf War, the purpose of these tactics is to decrease morale and inspire enemy combatants to surrender or defect. The US Military calls these tactics "Psychological Operations", or "PSYOP".

The Vietnam War was no different. Threatened by the growing popularity of communism in North Vietnam, the United States joined the conflict in the early 1960's in support of anti-communist South Vietnam. Within a few years, U.S. Army 6th PSYOP Battalion tried a new form of psychological warfare, they called it "Operation Wandering Soul".

 

Operation Wandering Soul was designed to exploit a Vietnamese belief that death far away from home meant becoming a restless spirit, doomed to wander aimlessly for eternity. The PSYOP unit hired South Vietnamese voice actors to play the role of ghost soldiers and their families lamenting in an echo chamber. They played these recordings at full volume from helicopters and airplanes flown over enemy territory in the middle of the night. The hope was that North Vietnamese soldiers, exhausted by combat, would drop their weapons and go home.

In this episode, Sergeant Major Herb Friedman (Retired) explains how Ghost Tape Number Ten was created and its effect (or lack there of) on the course of the Vietnam War.  Friedman did not work in the U.S. Army 6th PSYOP Battalion nor any other psyops unit, but in his civilian life he became an expert U.S. psychological operations. You can read more about him and other psyop tactics at psywarrior.com, including his article about Operation Wandering Soul.

This episode included excerpts from Lynden B. Johnson's 1966 State of the Union address.

Caitlin Pierce produced this episode. Caitlin is an independent producer living in New York, and is the creator of the podcast Borders. This episode was edited by Bethany Denton and Jeff Emtman. Our editor at KCRW is Nick White.

Music:  Phantom Fauna ||| The Black Spot

HBM054: Flaming Sword of Truth

Patti Negri is a witch who lives in a house buried deep in the Hollywood Hills.  Here Be Monsters producer Jeff Emtman and performance artist Lenae Day went to visit her one day in October 2015, audio recorder in-hand, in an attempt to better understand the mechanisms behind her magic. 

One of Patti's tools is astral travel (or astral projection), a form of controlled out of body experience where the travelers eschew their flesh and bone bodies for ones made of souls, or energy, or something else entirely.  In this state, travelers may move freely through time and space, see things previously hidden, visit alternate realities, or revisit past traumas, all while leaving their physical bodies safely at home.  This is sometimes also called "remote viewing".  

Patti Negri appears on Ghostly Lovers, a Travel Channel documentary on spectrophilia.

Patti Negri appears on Mansion Hunters, invoking the spirits present in the Black Dahlia Mansion.  Good stuff starts around 6:00.

From the 1970's through the 1990's, The US military researched remote viewing through Project Stargate, in which they attempted to gather intelligence on the Soviets and others via the employment of skilled remote viewers.  In 1995, the government disbanded Project Stargate for being "too vague and ambiguous, making it difficult, if not impossible, for the technique to yield information of sufficient quality andaccuracy of information for actionable intelligence."   During roughly the same time period, the Soviets also researched the paranormal.

Patti Negri's audition tape for The Amazing Race

In this episode, Patti facilitates an astral projection session that unwittingly brings Lenae to one of her earliest moments of trauma.  And for that reason, listeners should note that this episode contains a brief, albeit vivid, description of violence. 

Patti Negri is a the senior vice president of the American Federation of Certified Psychics and Mediums, the co-host of the Cosmic Truth podcast, an actress, and a regular guest on reality television shows, including Bank of Hollywood, Mansion Hunters, and Ghostly Lovers.

A special thank you to HBM listener Cynthia, for connecting us to Patti.

Lenae Day helped record this episode.  She is a performance artist living in Los Angeles. She's also the co-creator of KLAM Radio, a new podcast in the form of a public radio station broadcasting out of a fictional desert casino town.

Music: The Black Spot ||| Lucky Dragons

HBM053: Eleven Trips to Dreamworld

In 2014, Jeff Emtman mailed tape recorders to people around the world.  He asked them to keep the recorders by their beds and flip them on early in the morning as their dreams were still fresh in their minds.  Once the tape was full, they mailed it back to Jeff.   

Until now, the dreams remained private.  But, on this episode of Here Be Monsters, you'll hear a small collection of the first set of dreams. 

In the coming months, more dreams will be uploaded to the Dream Tapes Project at DreamTapes.org.  The project is currently seeking volunteers to help transcribe and upload hundreds of dreams.  If you want to help out, please get in touch

The Dreamers in this episode are: Anonymous Participant #001, Rebecca Williams, Micah Cruver, Alexandra Doumas, Beyana Magoon, Allison Baxter Lubbs, Lisa Sulenes, Traesti Gudmundson, Grace Woods, Samantha Wohlfeil, and Anonymous Participant #007. 

The dreams in the episode were edited for time.  Unedited dreams will live at the DTP website

Music: Phantom Fauna

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HBM052: Call 601-2-SATAN-2 [EXPLICIT]

Christian prayer hotlines are common in the United States. Less common are prayer hotlines for the other guy.  Since 2012, the Satanic Missionary Society in Olympia, Washington has managed a Satanic prayer line on their blog and receive prayer requests from people all over the country.  They ask for help with things like miscarriage, a romantic affair with a mother-in-law, a successful rap career, and more.

Among those callers is Tyler Higgins, a young man from New England asking for Satanic prayers to get into The American Musical and Dramatic Academy (aka. AMDA), his dream acting school. But Tyler was raised a Seventh Day Adventist.  And his whole life, his pastors and parents told him that all popular actors sold their souls to Satan in exchange for fame and success. With that in mind, Tyler researches Satanism online and found the Satanic Missionary Society and their prayer line. Desperate to follow his dream of acting, Tyler calls and asks for Satan's help to get into AMDA. A few weeks later, his devout Christian parents stumbled upon email exchanges between Tyler and the Satanic mission. They call the pastor over immediately to perform an exorcism.

The Satanic Prayer Hotline was started by a man who calls himself "The Anti-Chris" in Olympia, Washington. It is no longer active, but you can still hear the entire archive of prayer requests. And if you're feeling frisky, you can purchase a one-of-a-kind Faustian Bargain kit, including tools and instructions on how to sell your soul to the Prince of Darkness himself.

Below are varying depictions of hell and Satan.  Click images to enlarge and read about their origins.

Special thanks to The Anti-Chris, Ashlee the Blind Satanist and Lillith Starr for their help on this episode. 

This episode was produced by Bethany Denton with editing help from Jeff Emtman. Our editor at KCRW is Nick White.

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Music by The Black Spot ||| Serocell ||| Swamp Dog