« Lore

Episode 69: Wide Open


The sky is full of mystery. It’s big, expansive, and—despite a century of powered human flight—outside our realm of control. Which is why, for centuries, humans have expected things to come down from the sky and harm us. It might sound crazy now, but the possibilities are wide open. And that might not be a good thing.

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This is an unofficial transcript meant for reference. Accuracy is not guaranteed.
Do we Juliet it Father Jacques market were most likely the first Europeans to sail down the Mississippi River from the great lakes. It was a mapping expedition. It began in May of sixteen seventy three and by the time they were done, they made their way down to modern Day Arkansas, but it was something they saw earlier at the intersection of the Mississippi and Illinois Rivers that stood out to them. Marquette wrote that they had been navigating some large rocks in the river when they passed a series of tall limestone cliffs when it was safe to glance up, they were surprised by. they saw two enormous paintings covered the surface of the bluff with vivid green and red.
The local native Americans had drawn a pair of enormous otherworldly monstrous creatures in his description. Marquette said that the creatures were sort of a hybrid of a number of other animals, a camera, so to speak, and they were so. detailed and masterfully done that he had a hard time, believing that these savages, as he ignorantly call the indigenous people of the area, could have ever painted them, and yet here they were, it was old. By the time or cat, and Juliet saw it. It had most likely been there for centuries. Having been painted. The native Americans, who lived in the car hokey a settlement to the Immediate EAST, had been there since at least the ninth century. According to archaeologist, it probably been painted as a warning to visitors. Local legend tells us creature was called the pious on a name whose meaning is still up for debate, some believe
It was derived from the word pie Huska, which refers to a race of supernatural dwarf like people, but others hold to a different, more sinister meaning. According to them, pious saw actually means the bird, the devours men, I'm Erin Monkey, and this is lore for as long as there have been humans wandering the earth, the sky above them has been a source of mystery and its understandable
You can control much of what is on the ground around you, but the sky. Well, it's off limits to most of us. It's the realm of the gods, the Heavens, the firmament above US medieval culture, cultures built whole models of thought around this mister trying to contain everything known inside a sphere comprised of layers the higher up the layers with the less and less we knew about them. So it's no surprise that cultures around the world have stories about things that come from the sky. It's the perfect qualifier for marking, something as an outsider or an intruder. Things from the sky are dangerous. They're, unpredictable and uncontrollable. We fear them. One branch of this visitors from the sky genre, folklore essential
around large birds to borrow from the princess brine. These would be birds of unusual size and they pop up in folklore all over the world creatures that are just close enough to normal to be believable yet so extraordinary in their descriptions that they inspire here in wonder in the ancient persian mythology of the Middle EAST, they spoke of the rock and enormous bird of prey similar to the giant eagles of tokens. Middle I culture has the simmered and the Egyptians told stories of the venue inside, Central Africa. There are tales of a flying, reptile known as the Congo, MOTO breaker of boats and, of course, many of the native american tribes of North Amerika told tales of the Thunderbird, but not all of the stories are ancient. Some of the most bizarre and frightening stories come from more modern times.
Yet their contents seem to line up so nicely alongside these ancient legends, and it makes it hard to separate out the fact from fiction and a great Ample of this comes from the american State of Maryland on a cold phoebe worry afternoon in nineteen o nine, a man named Bill Jefferson that walking along a country road pass the farms in homes that made up the outskirts of town One inside one of those homes reported looking out the window to see bill and something else something coming down from the sky. Like a hawk dipping low, to grasp at a field mouse supping, unusually large, swooped out of the Grey Winter sky and caught hold of bill, lifting the man high into the air as it sped away
whoever it was that claim to see the attack also manage to see where the creature took bill. A nearby hill according to their story bill was then its hacked by the creature who appeared to stab its beak into the man's neck. How the witness managed to see all the details is unclear: but according to them, this monstrous bird drained bill of all his blood, tossed him down the hill and then flew off into the night. The creature was sighted again by a local hunter in nearby Hagerstown, the man, George Jacobs, managed to fire a shot at the enormous bird and claims he even hit it, but it simply flew off for a moment. It turns out Jacobs might of made the thing angry, because after a few minutes, it turned around and flew straight back toward him chasing him into a neighbor's barn,
That's when the rumours really begin to spread one West Virginia man claim to have found one of the creatures eggs in his barn. Another man Dan Shore, claimed he pulled into the Emmets Burg Railroad Station to see the giant bird trying to take off with Bill Snyder one of the employees. There shore manage to grabs, nighters foot and pull him free. Then it vanished. Public record, for more than two decades, it wasn't until nineteen thirty two that another pair of locals driving along a road north of middle town, Marilyn sauce, Being enormous in the sky above, their car is quickly Is it, though the creature disappeared. The community gave it a name, though the snowy Gaster, its mangled english version of an old german word, Schnell against, which means quick Spirit. The Pennsylvania Dutch had used the word for
decades to place blame on their missing livestock laming. They had been swept up into the sky by some invisible spirit, but if we believe the final chapter of this now, aghast your story. This thing also had a taste for illegal prohibition. Era: alcohol. You see the local legend claims that creature, headed north again back toward Hagerstown, where spotted a large moonshine distillery, they say that the fumes drifting out from the still were so powerful. The creature passed out, fell right in like the final seen in an action film. This was the exact moment that two federal agents were pulling into the distillery complex, ready to put an end to the illegal opera. in their. Yes, they saw this now he gasped or fall from the sky, and, yes, they were shocked, but they had a job to do so. Only after arresting the criminals they placed dynamite beneath the still and detonated it.
The Stanley Gaster is one of those local legends that seems to have put down shallow roots, despite the local fervour with only a small handful of witnesses and nothing more than a crater. Where the monsters body once rested, it's a story as flighty as its subject. Some tales go deeper, though a great example. Of that, comes to us from a small midwestern town six years before this? Now he gaster something else hunted from the skies. It's a tale with more eyes, more clues and more evidence to consider than most, rather than making the tale less entertaining. All of that death gives us something to truly be afraid of.
It was one of those cool September nights that makes you think of camp fires and dry leaves the man couldn't see. Any of that it was the middle of the night. And he was returning from an out of town business Trip, Ulysses, Griffith's old farm equipment in the surrounding community, and they kept very busy even by one thousand. Nine hundred and three standards, as he was passing through town, exhausted and ready to climb into bed. After such a long day, he studied the small village he called home. I think we ve all done this before. when we are given the chance to see our community through a new lens, while all the hut Oh and bustle is asleep, and the lights of all flickered out Griffith was probably revelling in it That's when he saw something out of the corner of his eye. It was dark out. The moon was only a quarter full after all, but he swore
He saw a shape moving on one of the nearby rooftops. He turned to look expecting it to vanish, but no, there was something out there, climbing from building to building like an animal and animal with a light. At least. That's when he thought, but it was also one a m and he was dead tired. So after chalking it up to exhaustion, Ulysses Griffith continued on his way and went home the following day: Tuesday, the twenty ninth he got up, went to work and during the course of his day he mentioned his experience to a few people, All of them seemed taken aback. Griffith was a well respected member of the community. Then everyone knew nothing. Exciting or unusual ever happened in their sleepy little town, so they dismissed. It went on with their lives, but someone else was about to
have their own encounter later. That evening, only there's would be a lot more difficult to dismiss. Doktor Alcott was the town physician serving a community of roughly four hundred people, which meant he had and very good at sleeping lightly. You never knew when someone might need him and he couldn't even begin count the number of times he'd been pulled from sleep to go stitch up a farmer or set a broken leg, so he wasn't so old when something woke him up late, Tuesday night close to one a m, he wasn't, and concerned about the sounds. He heard. What was weird to him, I think, was the bright light shining into his bedroom window. A window on the second story of his house, so I'll cop grabbed his pistol and carefully crept downstairs to the front door when he opened it, though, in nearly drop the gun, because standing right in front of him right there on his front doorstep, was a huge
in human shape. Alcott described it as almost like an enormous bat, except with human characteristics as well. It stood on two hind legs and large. Dark wings hung at its side a dark, leathery cloak, but its head. Was the most puzzling because it seemed to have a long horn that protruded from its forehead mimicking the shape of its long beak like snow doktor, Alcott lost his cool, he pulled the pistol back up and level did at the thing on its doorstep and then pulled the trigger five times. The gun went off at nearly point blank rage, and yet nothing happened no cries of pain, no blood, no violent reaction or attempts to flee nothing. So Alcott did
any of us would have done in his situation. He stumbled backwards as fast as he could and then slammed the door shut closed in lock the windows and probably turned off the lights and retreated into the cellar Like the townsfolk in M night, Chamberlains Film, the village hiding from those we dont speak of La Griffith, ok told others about his experience the following day and like Griffith, his own. Where he was received with a bit of confusion. The town doktor respected member of the community wasn't supposed to lose his mind like that, but he apparently had because nothing like what he had described could even remotely be possible. there's always spread Dante story always finds a way to go, knocking on doors There is always someone willing to let it in clearance done was one of those people.
He was a teller at the local bank in while he didn't believe the fantastical elements of the story did think something sinister was going on. Specifically, he believed the town was being targeted by a burglar concern that the bank he worked at was possibly next on the burglars list. But he returned to work that Wednesday night locked himself inside. He sat in the dark with a shotgun across his lap and waited hours went by and then just after the church Bell struck one a bright light flashed through the bank window done didn't mess around. He grabbed his gun and fired right at the light from inside the bank and in doing so shot out one of the Windows glass rein to the floor, and then the light went out now done that he was confident in his aim and assumed that he'd struck his target. So he exited the bank to take a look around. There is nothing there
standing right outside the shattered window. He could see where the burglar should have been, but there was nothing there. No body, no discarded flashlight, not even blood the dirt was just empty, except that wasn't true by the light of his own flashlight done, could see something the dirt there an impression of some kind, so he returned in the morning with plaster it made a cast in hopes of getting a better look at the criminals blueprint when it dried and he pulled it off, though it wasn't what he D spected. It was an enormous animal track, comprised three long toes like a bird
Done wasn't the only citizen of the town to have an encounter that night sometime after he fire the gun and shattered the window of his own bank and other residents. Waking up in his own place of business. oh gee white, was yet one more person concerned about the sightings in town and like many others, he assumed there was a logical explanation for it. So he camped out that night to guard his general store a front window of his upstairs apartment made for the perfect view of the street outside. so he sat down in a chair to wait it out. The trouble was white fell asleep, it's not easy to stay. Awake through the night, if it's not something you do all the time. So let's cut him some slack that's where he was late Wednesday night dozing in a chair beside a window in a dark room, then something woke him.
There was a noise coming from the street outside rather than in this, or below, as he would have expected. White stood up and peered out the window, his gun ready, and then he saw it. There was a utility Paul across the street standing in the darkness like a narrow wooden cross, but white noticed something odd about its silhouette. There was a shape perched on top of it. Now warranty in the burglar to get away white carefully slit his window open, is fired at the shape rather than tumble to the ground, as he expected it to the dark figure stayed on the pole, a heartbeat later, a bright light flooded his window nearly blinding him At the same time, he began to notice a smell. It was nauseating and overwhelming, and after a few shaky moments, white passed out toppling backwards into his room, but the story doesn't end there,
You see the gunshot woke another near by shopkeeper Mr Gregg, who actually came outside to see what was going on ass. He it is his shop is. I was immediately drawn to the same dark shape because the it was I mean down the pole toward him. This of course, gave Mister Gregg a much better look at the odd figure. According to him, it animal like- and it was crawling down the pole, like a bat headfirst when it reached the pavement. The thing stood up and looked down at him, Greg said that it was at least eight feet tall. enormous leathery wings and stood on powerful back legs. I can only imagine what Gregg was going through at that moment face to face with a monster in the middle of the night, with no one around to help. Then, like a ray of light breaking
through the clouds, the daily mail truck pulled onto the street, cutting the darkness with its headlights, frightened the beast scrambled off on all four legs before leaping into the air and flying away to Mr Gregg. It flew in the direction of the towns, old coal mining complex, so naturally, When the rumours began to spread the following morning, they were laser focused, a giant bird creature had gone into hiding in one of the abandoned mine, shafts outside of town. the mind had actually closed years before, but the land had been purchased by a title and brick manufacturer who built their facility right there beside the old mine shafts, which were still I opened it with some of the workers their who began to notice sounds they claim. Something was inside. The old mine in the Vinoy It sounded as if, and I quote, Satan and a regiment of imps we're coming forth for battle.
Finally, a facility manager named J L, Platt decided that enough is enough and he grabbed a lantern and headed into the mine he stepped inside, began to carefully exe, or an old mine isn't a safe place to be other worldly creature or not so he made his way methodically, but before he gone too far, another light appeared from deeper in two lights. Actually, a moment later, both the lights seemed to float toward him. Until. Finally, he could hear the beating of wings Platt ducked as to large shapes, flew out of the mine and into the night air and according to him all of this took place and one a m. The townsfolk did in wait for another citing word spread, and they flock to the mind, with loaded guns, camping out in front of the old entrance, to wait for the creatures to return
It rained that night soaking them all ass. They sat there hour after hour and then, just as the glow of the sun was beginning to bleed up over the eastern HORIZON, two dark shapes appeared in the sky as they approach the mine. Every single person with a firearm pulled the trigger bullets tore through the air like angry bees, one witness said the reception received would have sunk, the spanish fleet, and yet nothing happened. The shapes kept coming as the two enormous creatures slipped
Over the heads of the angry townsfolk back into the mind, the plan quickly changed working fast everyone. There began moving piles of debris in rubble into the mouth of the mine. It took them hours and men stood guard with rifles in hand ready for the creatures to return. In the end, though, they succeeded, the sun was up. The rain was gone, the hole in the ground that served as a nest to their darkest nightmare and finally been closed for good. For what it's worth, no one ever saw the creatures again
The skies above us contain a lot of mystery. Whether or not that means it's full of literal monsters is open to debate, but at the very least, some of our deepest nightmares seem to drift down upon us from above possibilities. It seems, are wide open from angels to aliens and everything in between the skies hold power danger in just about every other emotion. We can experience. We ve spent over a century conquering it with our technology. In yet it's
L a place that seems to sit on the edge of the unknown, which is why we have stories like the pious alleging that gigantic flying bird man, creature painted on those Mississippi River cliff walls. Although centuries ago, although that's where things get tricky. see the earliest known instance of the name. Pious saw in print actually comes from a map published in seventeen. Seventy eight a century after markets account and account by the way that makes no mention of wings that detail along with a rich back story, full of battles between the monster and
local native Americans is a complete work of fiction written by a man named John Russell in eighteen, thirty, six as it stands, the best way to see the true creature whenever it might have been, is to take a stroll along the banks of the river there. In Elton Illinois, that's where you can see those ancient paintings in full color once more, their modern recreations, of course, but their based on markets original sketches, and they certainly do a good job of bringing something so unknown and mysterious to lie Those those people in nineteen o three in Van meet her Iowa, unknown and mysterious, came down to dwell among them in later years. The creature, whenever it surely was became known as the Van meet her visitor whether or not it was a hoax, is still a hotly debated topic. Griffith done, white and Gregg, apart from sounding like aloft
we're all well respected members of their community and they all clearly saw something, as did the men who participated in the final ambush in the early hours of October. Third, as far as I can tell, though no one has ever tried to reopen those mines and look inside for the creatures, perhaps they're scared they'll find nothing but an empty cave or maybe they're afraid of letting something out. Of course, there have been attempts to bring answers to the conversation. Some people think the creature was a tear, a jackal, a large flying reptile from Mesozoic era, which ended roughly sixty six million years ago. Others believe it was a territory and enormous vulture like bird of prey that went extinct just ten thousand years ago. That sounds like a crazy thing until you remember that the once extinct, fish known as the coelacanth was rediscovered in nineteen thirty, eight
I've in swimming in the waters off the coast of South Africa. Its given some people hope that the Van meter creature is yet one more relic from the past, perhaps just hanging on by a thread, but its local folklore seems to hold them. Compelling notion of them all. The native american tribes of the Van meter area are said to have their own version of the legend of the Thunderbird in their tails. Offender. Thunderbird is part bird part man. It makes its nest among the stones and it does one other thing that sounds eerily familiar. It shoots lightning from its forehead.
this episode, a whore was written and produced by me. Aaron monkey with research help from our SAT Crockett law, is much more than upon guess. There's a book series in bookstores the country and online and the second. In the Amazon Prime Television show was recently released, check them both out. If you want more lore in your life, also make two other upon guests, airy, monkeys, cabinet of curiosities and unobserved, and I think you'd enjoy both each Monica floors other areas of our dark history, ranging from bite sized episodes to season long dives into a single topic. You can learn about of those shows in everything What's going on all over in one central place, Thou Wert of law, dot com, slash now and you can also follow the show on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, just search for lore podcast.
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Transcript generated on 2022-03-12.