[00:00:00] Music: “Oh No, Ross and Carrie! Theme Song” by Brian Keith Dalton. A jaunty, upbeat instrumental.
[00:00:09] Ross Blocher: Hello and welcome to Oh No, Ross and Carrie!, the show where we don’t just report on fringe science, spirituality, claims of the paranormal. No, no, no. We take part ourselves.
[00:00:18] Carrie Poppy: Yep! When they make the claims, we show up, so you don’t have to I’m Ross Blocher.
[00:00:21] Ross Blocher: I was just gonna say who’s “we” that we keep referring to? But you’re not Ross Blocher. I’m Ross Blocher. Who are you?
[00:00:27] Carrie Poppy: Hmm. Hm. I don’t think that’s right. If I said it, it’s true. And I know that because I’m Ross Blocher.
[00:00:32] Ross Blocher: Ross Blocher wouldn’t say that! How dare you.
[00:00:34] Carrie Poppy: (Giggles.) He just did. He just did! Heh, heh, heh.
[00:00:36] Ross Blocher: That’s Carrie Poppy, everyone. It’s Carrie. Nope, he didn’t.
[00:00:40] Carrie Poppy: We’re both in now.
[00:00:41] Ross Blocher: So, (chuckling) I guess, yeah, we introduced the show, right? So, we’re back to talk more about Travis McHenry.
[00:00:48] Carrie Poppy: Yes, who is not Tyler Henry, much as my fingers… want to say that that is him.
[00:00:54] Ross Blocher: Want to type that? (Chuckles.) Tyler Henry being the medium.
[00:00:58] Carrie Poppy: Yes, he’s a young medium who claims that he’s never watched TV, and that’s why he doesn’t know any of the celebrities he’s giving readings to. (Laughs.)
[00:01:09] Ross Blocher: Ridiculous. I wonder what he says when you ask him what his t-shirt size is.
[00:01:14] Carrie Poppy: Oh yeah. ‘Cause he’s a smallish medium?
[00:01:16] Ross Blocher: I would assume he wears a medium.
[00:01:18] Carrie Poppy: You think so?
[00:01:09] Ross Blocher: Yeah. How convenient. He could be like, “I’m a medium!”
[00:01:21] Carrie Poppy: He’s kind of—he’s pretty thin. (Chuckles.) He’s a pretty thin guy. I think he might be a small.
[00:01:25] Ross Blocher: You never know. People really surprise me with their shirt sizes.
[00:01:30] Carrie Poppy: Sure. Yeah. You just never know. You gotta ask!
[00:01:31] Ross Blocher: You gotta ask! Well, this is a good episode.
So, last time we were talking about Travis McHenry, we encountered him at the Conscious Life Expo. We heard him tell us about the occult.
[00:01:43] Carrie Poppy: Information he should not have told us, if he wants to keep it occult.
[00:01:45] Ross Blocher: And I bought his two tarot—or two of his many tarot decks.
[00:01:50] Carrie Poppy: Yeah, how many does he have? Like five or six?
[00:01:52] Ross Blocher: Which I’ve been carting all over the place with me. That’s a good question. At least four, but I’d believe six. There’s a lot of tarot decks, and I happen to be a collector of tarot decks now. Because I have a problem.
[00:02:04] Carrie Poppy: I like a tarot deck, but I think I only have two?
[00:02:07] Ross Blocher: Though as we said, these aren’t true tarot decks except that there is numerically 78 cards, and they say on them the names of the traditional tarot. That’s where it ends. Otherwise, it’s just a collection of 78 cards that are very nifty looking.
[00:02:21] Carrie Poppy: Oracle deck if you’re being charitable.
[00:02:23] Ross Blocher: If even. Well, we also said that we learned more about Travis McHenry, and then we left you with just one piece of information. We thought let’s dive a little further into this new world of Travis McHenry.
[00:02:35] Carrie Poppy: Yes, let’s. So, we mentioned it at the end of the last episode that he is a micro nationalist.
[00:02:43] Ross Blocher: (Chuckles.) A micro nationalist? What size shirt does he wear?
[00:02:47] Carrie Poppy: You know, I don’t know. I do have an avenue now where I could ask him, though. Yes.
[00:02:52] Ross Blocher: Oh, right! Oh, that’ll come up later, yes.
I’m excited about this update. But it’s the nations that are small, not the man. Though he’s probably sitting on the largest micronation as Grand Duke.
[00:03:06] Carrie Poppy: Yeah. Well, I mean, he’s never been there, but yes.
[00:03:08] Ross Blocher: He hasn’t even traveled there?
[00:03:09] Carrie Poppy: I don’t think so.
[00:03:10] Ross Blocher: Yeah. That’s probably not easy. ‘Cause it’s in Antarctica.
[00:03:14] Carrie Poppy: It’s in Antarctica—famously hard for humans to live there.
[00:03:17] Ross Blocher: And hard to get passage to, and even then, just to very select locations.
[00:03:23] Carrie Poppy: Right, because of the Antarctic Treaty, because it’s so cold there and humans aren’t really, quote/unquote, “supposed” to be there. So, you know all the countries were like, “Okay, you do your science here. We’ll do our science here.” And then there’s this one patch that no one quite claimed. And then Travis, while he was in the Navy, noticed this on a map, and he was like, “That’s mine!”
And then the Navy was like, “We don’t like this; this is weird what you’re doing.”
And then he said, “Okay, I want to keep my job at the Navy.” He stays for a bit. He lets some other people take over Westarctica, but when he leaves the Navy, he’s like, “I’m the Grand Duke again.”
[00:04:00] Ross Blocher: That’s already another interesting factoid about Travis McHenry is that he was in the Navy!
(Carrie sings a bar of “In the Navy” by Village People.)
But yeah, as far as I can tell, nobody outside of Travis recognizes his grand dukeness.
[00:04:15] Carrie Poppy: Yeah, so he’s written to a few different nations to be like, “Yo, I’m Westarctica now, what’s up? It’s me.”
[00:04:21] Ross Blocher: Can you please officially recognize me so I can have a letterhead to use as proof?
[00:04:26] Carrie Poppy: Yeah, and they keep being like, “Not really.”
[00:04:27] Ross Blocher: I suppose there are other micro nationalists who recognize his sovereignty.
[00:04:32] Carrie Poppy: There are! Yes, yes. So, there is a Micro Con that is a meeting of micro nationalists—which, again, is people who say they are the leaders of nations they’ve made up.
And Micro Con—
[00:04:45] Ross Blocher: People are amazing.
[00:04:47] Carrie Poppy: Micro Con first met in Anaheim at the library right around the street from Disneyland. And that’s where Travis first got interviewed by someone for the AP, and then that story bounced around quite a bit. ‘Cause AP is also a wire service, right? So, the story bounced around a bunch. He got a bunch of news then, and I think that’s when his interest re-picked up in his little old project, Westarctica.
[00:05:12] Ross Blocher: Okay. Fascinating. And it looks like he’s handed out various titles. It seems like other micro nationalists, like they have this kind of thing they do where they’re like, “Hey! You get to be the baron of micro Sandunia or something.” Yeah.
[00:05:28] Carrie Poppy: Yeah, right. That happens. And then also if you go to Westarctica’s website, they also have what, you know, looks like a board of directors or something. But it’ll be like the female Earl of social media. Yeah, yeah.
[00:05:42] Ross Blocher: Okay. Sure. That’s something to put on your business card. When we were working on our last episode, I messaged Susan Gerbic to ask her about the Wikipedia site. Because it’s interesting. It doesn’t mention his cultism or his other pursuits, but there is a Wikipedia page that’s really focused just on his micro nationalism. And we had noticed like in the edit history that people had contributed and that there was even a little bit of controversy there. Like, this isn’t a real thing, this gap in the Antarctic Treaty that allows someone to claim a large swath for themselves. But sure enough, Susan Gerbic had some additional info.
She wrote that the person who originally wrote the Wikipedia page was someone she recognized as a long-time paid editor. And it’s still a thing but is very frowned upon.
This person was banned from editing Wikipedia in 2017. So, yeah, apparently this was just someone who had come up on her radar before enough that she recognized the name. She also pointed out that there is a discussion of whether it passes notability standards—like whether it should be an article at all or maybe like a sub article of some other article. And she mentioned that the kingdom itself had been a Wikipedia page but was deleted. Probably for that reason.
(Carrie reacts with curiosity.)
So, she didn’t see any signs that Travis himself had edited the page necessarily, but he may have hired someone else to.
[00:07:19] Carrie Poppy: Got it. Okay. Well, so Westarctica is also a nonprofit, and their whole thing is basically environmentalism. So, I looked at their website a bit. It looks like according to their website, Westarctica was registered as a nonprofit in 2014, got their tax-exempt status in 2018. Their main concerns are how the climate is affecting Western Antarctica. They say it’s one of the most fragile ecosystems on the planet. I imagine that’s true.
[00:07:46] Ross Blocher: Good concern. I’d be interested to know if they’re doing anything material.
[00:07:49] Carrie Poppy: They also point out that without them, West Antarctica has literally no defenders, they say.
So, they said, “There is no single organization dedicated to studying and preserving this vast, magnificent, desolate region. It falls under the political dominion of no government; thus, Western Antarctica has no voice in the international community. Westarctica seeks to change that by acting as Western Antarctica’s advocate to the world. In line with our mission, we have established ourselves as an independent nation with self-granted sovereignty, free from the restrictions or obligations imposed by other countries.”
So, their major concerns are climate change, penguin habitats, water security, protecting the blue whale, the emperor penguin, the West Antarctic Ice Sheet, and the Pine Island Glacier and opposing international whaling. And they organize climate marches, and they offer graduate research grants to graduate students studying climate change. Read a nice list of those, their research sounded normal.
Yeah, the scholarship is $500 a year, so we’re not talking big bucks, but they’re doing it. It’s cool. And you can see their campaigns at Westarctica.org. So, that all seems cool and normal to me.
[00:09:01] Ross Blocher: Okay, yeah. It warmed me up to the idea a bit.
[00:09:03] Carrie Poppy: Yeah. However, if you look back at the website from years before, I think Duke Travis was a little more forthcoming with how he was thinking about things. And, um…
[00:09:17] Ross Blocher: That this was, I assume, kind of a lark? Something fun to do. An excuse to wear a blue sash and a gold belt and a bunch of medals?
[00:09:26] Carrie Poppy: Well, yes, I think that’s part of it. I think you’re right that there’s probably some just sort of circle jerk aspects of this, for sure. And there was a photographer who took Travis’s picture years ago. He was doing an art collection about micro nationalists, and he took Travis’s picture. And when that photographer was being interviewed later, he said, “I mean, one thing that runs through all of these guys is irony. They’re all doing this with some level of irony.” So, that was that photographer’s impression.
But I do think he’s an environmentalist. And his website used to say that he wanted to get tourism to Westarctica to like stimulate economy around that area. And I was thinking, “You have not thought this through.”
[00:10:06] Ross Blocher: Well, certainly bringing more people to that area is not going to help it for the aforementioned reasons. And does seem impractical.
[00:10:14] Carrie Poppy: Yeah, so I don’t know. I like a good media gag if that’s all this is, but if he actually wants in there, I don’t know that this is the guy to send in.
[00:10:22] Ross Blocher: Fair. I’m reading some fun little snippets on that Wikipedia page. As you mentioned, the military was not wild about his activities. It says, “In 2006, after learning that McHenry had been communicating with foreign governments asking them to recognize the nation, the Navy required him to abdicate.” (Chuckles.) And apparently, at least as of August 2018, “Westarctica claims a population of 2,356 citizens, none of whom actually live there.”
[00:10:52] Carrie Poppy: Right. Fun, though! Fun thing he’s doing.
[00:10:54] Ross Blocher: Yeah. Interesting. And if he’s given out those scholarships, that’s cool. I’m down for that. Apparently, Westarctica also annexed Calsahara—his other micronation. So, they are now—they are now linked. A little tiny plot of 117 acres, Southeastern San Luis Obispo County, California. Alright.
[00:11:15] Carrie Poppy: Okay. Fun. We should go.
[00:11:17] Ross Blocher: Yeah! Yeah. Maybe we can have a nice stay there at the resort I assume must be there.
“A 2015 profile in Los Angeles Magazine described the project as ‘good natured’.” Alright! Which reminds me, when my wife and I and our friends—Keith and Randy—were in Barbados not too long ago, there was this sign by the beach that pointed to places you’d recognize—Paris, New York, London, other islands in the Caribbean. But then there was one sign that was pointing to Taft, California.
[00:11:51] Carrie Poppy: Oh, and where’s that?
[00:11:53] Ross Blocher: I had to look it up. It’s an inland Southern Californian mining town with a very, very tiny population. And I thought, what is going on here? (Chuckles.)
[00:12:04] Carrie Poppy: Was someone from there?
[00:12:05] Ross Blocher: So, at least theories I’ve heard from people—’cause I posted this online saying, “What is going on?” So, the theory I like best is that they somehow like chose each other as like sister cities.
[00:12:17] Carrie Poppy: Aw. That’s a nice thought.
[00:12:19] Ross Blocher: And we point to them for that reason. I guess that often happens with signs. Or as you suggest, maybe whoever was creating that sign decided to throw in a little reference to their hometown rather than like Los Angeles.
[00:12:31] Carrie Poppy: If you did that, call in.
[00:12:32] Ross Blocher: Yeah, we want to know. Okay. What else have you got on Travis McHenry?
[00:12:36] Carrie Poppy: Oh, I also want to say one other thing about micro nationalists. If you look at different micro nationalists on (exasperated and defeated) X, formerly known as Twitter—which was already a stupid word, and now I have to say X. Anyway.
[00:12:51] Ross Blocher: But what do you call their posts?
[00:12:54] Carrie Poppy: (Beat. Resentfully.) Tweets.
[00:12:57] Ross Blocher: (Laughs.) You were saying?
[00:12:59] Carrie Poppy: A lot of them are X-ing about how—or about climate change. So, I wonder if kind of as a group, they’ve sort of thought about it and said, “Well, okay, if the governments won’t act as we wish they would as quickly as they would on climate change, can we just sort of say well, we’re equal takers in this debate. He has a country, I have a country, you got a country. We all got countries, talk to us!” I think that might be the theoretical move.
[00:13:24] Ross Blocher: Okay. Or they’ve worked their way back from a lark to an organizing principle.
Where they can feel like they’re doing something.
[00:13:32] Carrie Poppy: But maybe it’s a good something!
[00:13:34] Ross Blocher: Yeah, maybe it’s the equivalent of building something like the Satanic Temple so you can talk about church/state separation issues. By all means, I’m all for anybody who wants to get in on the game of combating climate change.
[00:13:45] Carrie Poppy: But don’t send this guy down to Westarctica to protect it. I just don’t think he’s the guy. Okay. But he has written a lot of books, plays, and even a movie, Ross.
[00:13:57] Ross Blocher: Yeah, he’s so enterprising!
[00:13:57] Carrie Poppy: Yeah, totally. So, let me quickly tell you about seven books, plays, or movies written by Travis McHenry. Play number one, 2005. Picture it. What were you doing in 2005?
[00:14:10] Ross Blocher: Well, it was one year after I had left the faith.
[00:14:13] Carrie Poppy: Okay, perfect. You go to this play. It’s called The Female of the Species. It’s a three-act satire play for six men and four women. A young couple is—
[00:14:22] Ross Blocher: (Laughs.) I like that it’s The Female of the Species and there’s more men, but okay.
[00:14:27] Carrie Poppy: (Laughs.) “A young couple is finding their way around a small Australian town where the rules of society have completely broken down! And the local population runs amok with comical results! Any fan of film or theatre will love this satire.” Any fan of film or theater!
[00:14:43] Ross Blocher: I like both of those! Wow. Of any type. Hey, I’d see it.
[00:14:50] Carrie Poppy: Sure. Yeah. I mean, I’ll see anything Travis McHenry does, as we will establish.
[00:14:55] Ross Blocher: Oh, you know what? I just remembered I have one more thing to add to your list of books, plays, and film. He also wrote a song or made a song.
[00:15:05] Carrie Poppy: Okay, okay, good. How could he not? He’s so talented. He does so many things.
Do you think he paints? Oh, he draws, right? He draws the cards, right? I assume!
[00:15:16] Ross Blocher: Oh, I don’t think he’s the illustrator, no. But maybe designer or collaborates with a designer. He wrote a song that feels a little Jerry Powell adjacent, called “Go to the Moon”, which is an autotuned techno version of JFK’s speech on going to the moon.
[00:15:37] Music: “Go to the Moon” by Travis McHenry.
… not because they are easy, but because they are hard
(Music continues under the dialogue then fades out.)
[00:15:42] Carrie Poppy: Oh, this is cool!
[00:15:48] Ross Blocher: Yeah, you know what? I listened to it, and I was kind of digging it. So.
[00:15:51] Carrie Poppy: Oh yeah! Oh, I’m sorry it’s over.
[00:15:52] Ross Blocher: Well—
We shouldn’t play the whole thing on the podcast, but we’ll play it for you later.
[00:15:58] Carrie Poppy: Yeah, okay, so I just—how do you find—how’s that get into my life?
[00:16:01] Ross Blocher: “Go to the Moon”, Travis McHenry. I don’t think that’ll steer you wrong.
[00:16:06] Carrie Poppy: Okay. Great. (Laughs.) You’re probably right. I can remember that. Okay. So, next book was 2006. It was called Tales of Terror: 20 Stories of Horror and Suspense. And this one was 20 stories written for all ages. So, I think it was sort of like a Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark kind of thing. All family kind of thing. Nice. Yeah. 2007, he gets into film. He makes the only film I think he’s written, which is called Life on Mars.
[00:16:38] Ross Blocher: Good for this guy. I feel like he just wants to grab the world by the nuts and just do a little bit of everything. He’s got ideas, and he’s going to act on them.
[00:16:46] Carrie Poppy: Yep. You’re right. He does, and he does.
[00:16:49] Ross Blocher: Alright, wait, yeah, what about this film? Did—?
[00:16:51] Carrie Poppy: Okay, he wrote it. It’s by Mick the Red Films. I think that’s probably his own production company. I don’t know what Mick the Red means, but here’s the description of the film. “Sydney Ford has a problem. Two of them, actually. His overbearing wife and his tedious job. Seeking an escape from his perpetually unhappy existence, Sydney pulls his old telescope out of storage and starts spending his nights looking up at the stars, dreaming of strange new worlds. A world away, Tradoc and Kashowa are the last two living beings on the planet Mars. Their food supply is running out, and they are fighting for survival, dimly hoping for help from somewhere else in the universe. After Sydney’s fantasies about life on Mars cause him to be more assertive in his marriage, his humdrum existence is forever changed when the dying Martians make first contact.”
[00:17:47] Ross Blocher: Oh my goodness. Wow, how did that one come about? That’s interesting. I want to see how they shot the Mars scenes.
[00:17:54] Carrie Poppy: Well. So, I’m sending you two things. One is a trailer for the film. And the second is a super cut of about seven minutes of the film, if you want to scrub through. But boy, is the tone of this movie unpredictable. Those two movies going on, the one that’s on Earth and the one that’s on Mars. Wow! Different. So different. They really feel intrusive on each other.
[00:18:19] Ross Blocher: Okay. I’m watching the teaser. Mick the Red. Well, Mick, like McHenry, maybe he had red hair? I don’t know, you’ve seen more—
[00:18:28] Carrie Poppy: That’s a good guess.
[00:18:29] Ross Blocher: You’ve seen more of his body hair than I have. Is he red headed?
[00:18:31] Carrie Poppy: (Laughs.) I’ll check.
[00:18:33] Ross Blocher: Okay, not bad on shooting the Mars scenes. Just went with kind of like a monochromatic rust color. Yep, that works. Staring. (Laughs.) Oh, the film is staring (not “starring”) John—there’s a bunch of names including Travis McHenry, but yeah, they’re all staring in the film. (Chuckles.)
[00:18:50] Carrie Poppy: Oh no! They gotta give them lines!
[00:18:53] Ross Blocher: Alright, well, the teaser definitely was a teaser, but I’m not turned off yet.
[00:18:57] Carrie Poppy: Yep. Wait until you see this other piece of it.
[00:19:03] Ross Blocher: (Beat. Laughs.) Okay, I see what you’re saying. Like, the on-Earth action is all comically acted, frenetic.
[00:19:10] Carrie Poppy: Feels like a Christian movie. It’s got like (hums a plucky tune) under everything.
[00:19:15] Ross Blocher: (Laughs.) Sure. Yeah. Lots of extreme close ups and—yeah, yeah, totally different feel from when it gets all super self-serious on Mars.
[00:19:25] Carrie Poppy: In monochrome. Right? Strange. Yeah, I would love to see that whole thing.
[00:19:26] Ross Blocher: Yeah, okay. I am intrigued. Okay, Life on Mars. Interesting. And he’s also got the “Go to the Moon”, so alright. He’s into astronomy.
[00:19:33] Carrie Poppy: Oh yeah! Okay. Alright, next up was a play in 2010 called Delusions of Grandeur. Let that sink in.
[00:19:43] Ross Blocher: Alright. Could be ironic.
[00:19:45] Carrie Poppy: Now, here is the description. And I want you to keep in mind that this is four years before Westarctica was founded. “Delusions of Grandeur is a two-act comedy for two men and five women. When the Campbell family’s troubles with their neighbors become too much for them to bear, a family friend decides they should secede from the United States and start their own country so long as they agree to make him King. As his delusions of grandeur become more and more out of control, proclaiming himself High Priest and embarking on a campaign of genocide, among other things, the family begins to lose their patience with the new autocrat. The domestic discord is brought to a climax with the sudden arrival of another self-made ruler from afar, who infuses an unexpected bit of sobering reality into the situation.”
[00:20:46] Ross Blocher: Oh my goodness! Yes, that does feel predictive. But he’s like lampooning the thing that he is yet to become—minus the genocide, I presume.
[00:20:56] Carrie Poppy: Hopefullyyy! Well, I ordered the play, so. We’ll have that soon. Then in 2014, he wrote An Occult Guide to the Tarot, and that’s described as a comprehensive guide to the world’s oldest, most popular form of card divination. And I think this is about when he realized, “Oh, I can—I’m gonna—”
[00:21:16] Ross Blocher: Just make tarot decks and…
[00:21:17] Carrie Poppy: Yeah, people love tarot. Then next, 2015, He wrote a novel called The Murder of Michael O. Stogner. That’s “a tale of an eccentric American aristocrat seeking murderous revenge upon a common man who, through a series of unlikely accidents, destroyed his life. His quest is an obsession, causing him to commit many heinous deeds and driving him to the brink of madness.”
[00:21:44] Ross Blocher: I’ve got to say, plot lines are at least grandiose. I’ll give them credit for scale.
[00:21:50] Carrie Poppy: The popular acclaim on the back cover of this one—there’s three quotes. One is, “This novel is a testament of hate. It offends every moral principle I hold dear. Yet I couldn’t put it down. Neil W.”
[00:22:04] Ross Blocher: (Laughs.) Neil, you’re an interesting character, too.
[00:22:06] Carrie Poppy: Next one. “To read this book is to become a disciple of madness. It is not for the faint of heart. Deborah M.” And then the third piece of popular acclaim on the back is, “The author’s hatred for Michael Stogner is so profound you’ll want to murder him too. Daniel M.” (Laughs.)
[00:22:26] Ross Blocher: I think these are pretty good! Alright!
[00:22:28] Carrie Poppy: Okay, and then finally, he writes Into the Abyss in 2016. Now this book has 3.3 stars on Amazon; it has 3 reviews. And may I read you the only 5-star review?
[00:22:43] Ross Blocher: Oh, I need to write another review now. But yes, please.
[00:22:47] Carrie Poppy: Okay, here’s the only 5-star review. “This book is a very entertaining and well written. I’m not saying this just because I’m the author’s—”
[00:22:56] Ross Blocher: Is it mother?
[00:22:57] Carrie Poppy: “—mother.”
[00:22:59] Ross Blocher: Mother! (Laughs triumphantly.) Amazing. Okay. Good job, Mom. That’s your job and you did it.
[00:23:04] Carrie Poppy: Almost did it.
[00:23:05] Ross Blocher: Well—oh, you’re saying maybe she could’ve—
[00:23:07] Carrie Poppy: Don’t identify yourself! (Laughs.) If you’re gonna help in that way, be cool about it!
[00:23:13] Ross Blocher: I thought you were saying maybe there’s more she could’ve done in his childhood to prevent this.
[00:23:17] Carrie Poppy: (Cackles.) No, but it reminds me of when I was a kid—and my dad’s a landscaper—and he would make these beautiful gardens that showcase houses and stuff. And then my mom would mill about and like pretend to just be a fan, but then like there’d be two children standing there. It was like a very obvious setup, but she would be like, “Oh, are you the—did you design this?! Oh my god! It’s so beautiful!” Anyway, that’s what you’re supposed to do.
[00:23:42] Ross Blocher: Aw, that’s cute. And also, a little disturbing. Yes. Well, you know, I’m all for her being honest with that. That’s funny. So, that happens to be the book that I read. Because Into the Abyss, the subtitle is The Memoirs of a Paranormal Adventurer. And I thought—
[00:24:01] Carrie Poppy: Totally up our alley. Thank you.
[00:24:02] Ross Blocher: Okay, so Travis McHenry, atheist and cultist and priest of Anubis, and songwriter and playwriter and author and micro nationalist! Why am I burying the biggest parcel of land? He has thoughts on paranormal investigations.
[00:24:22] Carrie Poppy: So! Do! We!
[00:24:22] Ross Blocher: (Laughs.) I’ve got to hear this! So, I bought the book on Kindle. Here’s the cover; I’m showing Carrie. This looks very—I think even you will recognize the series.
[00:24:32] Carrie Poppy: Indiana Jones?
Yes! I like Indiana Jones! Yeah, yeah. I like it. C+.
[00:24:38] Ross Blocher: (Chuckling.) He’s using The Kingdom of the Crystal Skulls. Is that what you’re giving a C+?
[00:24:43] Carrie Poppy: No, Indiana Jones in general. That’s good though! C is average. It’s above average.
[00:24:49] Ross Blocher: Sure. So, yeah, he’s using the font there, and he’s wearing the, you know, fedora and jacket. I don’t know. It’s been run through—oh shit, I can’t even remember what the name of that Photoshop filter is, but it’s a picture of him wearing the hat, trying to be Indiana Jones like. And I later learned—
[00:25:03] Carrie Poppy: And most of the details are gone. It’s like washed out.
[00:25:06] Ross Blocher: Yeah, yeah. It’s one of those like artistic filters, like we’re going to make it look like it was done with charcoal or Conté crayon or something like that.
[00:25:12] Carrie Poppy: Yeah, on papyrus, maybe.
[00:25:14] Ross Blocher: Sure. Yeah. Fine. Yeah. Some paper with texture. And he’s holding up what I later learn is the fragment of a Gigantopithecus jaw. Okay, so—
[00:25:26] Carrie Poppy: Oh, okay. The dimensions look wrong on that, but I bet we can’t enjoy this book with that level of specificity, so let’s move on.
[00:25:32] Ross Blocher: Yeah, I’ll buy it. Okay, so he’s been busy all along here, but I feel like there is a timeline to Travis McHenry that is interesting. And this book was originally published in 2006. I get the sense that he’s about our age. My age, I should say. And so, I’m just going to assume like his point in life at 2006 is roughly equivalent to mine. So, I don’t know. That’s what my brain’s doing as I’m looking at all this, but I also noticed that the edition I was reading was a third edition, published in 2016.
So, did he go into it and make updates? Or was it just like put it on a new platform? I don’t know. Part of me, of course, is curious. Like, oh, what’s different between the 2006 one and the 2016 one?
(Carrie agrees emphatically.)
But I feel like if I was going back in my 2016 and revisiting a book I’d written like that in 2006, I’d be making major changes.
And he did not. Or at least this is the version that escaped to 2016. Okay, well this might be a little bit of a giveaway. In his acknowledgements list at the beginning, one familiar name popped out: Stanton Friedman, who we briefly met at the Ozark Mountain UFO Conference.
[00:26:44] Carrie Poppy: Yeah, or the bad restaurant attached to it.
[00:26:47] Ross Blocher: Right, though we heard him lecture at least at the conference. A very pivotal figure in the ufology community who is no longer with us. And yet, he’s still answering everything I say in the same way.
(Carrie yesses with a Stanton Friedman inflection.)
Okay, so in Travis’s introduction he said, “There should be some literature available for the seasoned investigator to further their understanding of paranormal theories. Too many authors and publishers are focused on pleasing the public and are unconcerned with advancing the scientific method.”
[00:27:17] Carrie Poppy: Okay! I’m with you! Closing the book.
[00:27:20] Ross Blocher: (Laughs.) And they’re just like simply recording data. So, his book aims to do just that.
[00:27:25] Carrie Poppy: Okay, to go further.
[00:27:27] Ross Blocher: Yeah, to promote theories. And he says, “I strongly encourage the reader to tear apart the theories discussed here, and then put them back together to see if they truly hold any water.” So, let’s do that. And—I like this little note as well. “If I were a conventional scientist, each of the following chapters could be released one at a time in a peer reviewed journal. Unfortunately, there is no truly respected medium for paranormal investigators for this purpose.” So, as you start to hear his theories, just picture how well they might do in a journal.
Alright. So, he’s got multiple chapters focused on different topics. So, Bigfoot is the first one he tackles.
[00:28:08] Carrie Poppy: Heard of him.
[00:28:09] Ross Blocher: What would you guess? Would you guess Travis believes Bigfoot is real or not so much?
[00:28:13] Carrie Poppy: Real.
[00:28:14] Ross Blocher: Okay. That is correct.
He says, “My personal estimate is that there are somewhere around 2,000 Bigfoot creatures living throughout the continental US and Canada. Not to mention—”
[00:28:25] Carrie Poppy: Not Mexico?
[00:28:27] Ross Blocher: “—Westarctica or other regions of the world.”
[00:28:30] Carrie Poppy: Okay. Oh, maybe they want a cold climate.
[00:28:32] Ross Blocher: Yeah, I think that’s part of it. Because he does talk about them being in the Himalayas as well—the Yeti and the Yeren. I hadn’t actually heard that phrase before, but yeah, he’ll have some more thoughts on that. So, one of his theories had to do with how Bigfoot eats. And he said, “Well, maybe it just eats like the same diet that a bear would. That would make sense. But if Bigfoot is equipped with a hindgut fermenter, as it probably is!”
[00:28:58] Carrie Poppy: (Flatly.) Obviously, yeah.
[00:28:59] Ross Blocher: “Then it would be able to effectively digest vegetation and gained increased energy proportional to its digesting/fermenting time.” So, I looked this up, and the animals that have a hindgut fermenter—which just means they can process cellulose with some onboard bacteria—that is found in horses, rhinos, rodents, rabbits, and koalas. So, it’d be very strange for a member of the ape family to suddenly develop a hindgut.
[00:29:30] Carrie Poppy: So, I know that rabbits are coprophagous. Is this part of it? He’s talking about them eating their own poop?
[00:29:34] Ross Blocher: No, just the ability to eat plant matter and get—use that as a—
[00:29:39] Carrie Poppy: Like use it more efficiently.
[00:29:41] Ross Blocher: Yeah, use that as a primary energy source. To be fair, there are is foregut fermentation in sloths and some monkeys. So, maybe a little more plausible, but already to me, it just sounded like “I spotted a feature in the animal kingdom, and you can just kind of mix and match and apply those however you want.” Just seemed like a little unaware of how evolution works. Like, well, you’d have to like independently re-evolve that if it’s something roughly in the hominid ancestry. This was, I thought, a telling quote. He said, “Sure, these reports may seem very unlikely, but when the people reporting them are sane and rational individuals, then we must take their sightings at face value.” And I thought, eeeh, not face value. Sure, take them seriously, think about them, but face value seems a step too far.
[00:30:27] Carrie Poppy: Oh my god, yeah, eyewitness reports of ordinary things are unreliable. Now we’re talking about Bigfoot?!
[00:30:32] Ross Blocher: Yeah, extraordinary things! He talks about a theory that may be the reason a lot of people see these Bigfoot but not clearly is they might be ghosts, that you might just be seeing the ghost of a Bigfoot. Why not? They can have ghosts too. And he’s not trying to suggest that all Bigfoot are ghosts, “but a select few of the Bigfoot that have died may be ghostly beings and may still be living on either as intelligent or non-intelligent entities”. Great theory! Let’s publish that in a journal!
[00:31:05] Carrie Poppy: (Laughs.) My lord, and it’s jumping to such a bigger claim to explain a smaller one.
[00:31:10] Ross Blocher: Yeah, I think this is the moment at which I had kind of held him in my mind at this point is like, okay, he seemed like a fairly sober explainer of the occult at our talk, but all of a sudden I realized like, oookay, something else is going on.
[00:31:24] Carrie Poppy: Yeah, I mean, personally, I’m skeptical of Bigfoot. I’ll admit it. But at least Bigfoot is supposed to be an animal. He looks sort of like other animals I know. He’s living. He is carbon based. A GHOST?! Like that’s even—what’s one step further? You’re explaining with a ghost?! That’s even harder to explain! Bodies survive death now?! That doesn’t help me understand! Now you’re further away!
[00:31:52] Ross Blocher: Alright. Well, don’t get too comfy in that location, because Travis also suspects that he’s heard there’s a number of instances in which a Bigfoot is spotted near or around the same time as a UFO. So, he says, “Well, maybe the inhabitants of the UFOs are just interested in Bigfoot like we are. And like they’re interested in us.”
[00:32:17] Carrie Poppy: (Laughs.) Why is Aunt Gail always the one who sees Bigfoot and UFOs and ghosts? Oh, I guess they all like Aunt Gail! No! Talk to Aunt Gail, see what she’s been eating lately, make sure she’s getting her vitamin B.
[00:32:31] Ross Blocher: Though of course, he allows that there’s another possibility that some alien species just happen to resemble Bigfoot-like creatures. Do you ever think about that, Carrie?
[00:32:42] Carrie Poppy: Sure. (Laughs.) Yeah, there’s that possibility, isn’t it?
[00:32:44] Ross Blocher: There’s all this face value accepting of stories that really just allows him to kind of do all the mental backflips to be like, “Well, it could be this!”
[00:32:52] Carrie Poppy: If we’re talking about aliens dressing up as Bigfoot, how about people?! How about people dressed up as Bigfoot?!
[00:32:58] Ross Blocher: (Laughs.) Funny that you should mention men in suits. He also says, “The Patterson film”—referring to the Patterson-Gimlin film, the famous one you all think of when you think of Bigfoot—“is by far the most conclusive photographic proof of the creature, and there is no shortage of skeptics who simply refuse to believe that the creature in the film is real.”
[00:33:19] Carrie Poppy: Oh, that’s perfect. If he admits that that’s the best evidence, then I don’t need to think about this more. So, perfect. Perfect.
[00:33:26] Ross Blocher: (Laughs.) Yeah, yeah, it’s pretty well established as a hoax.
[00:33:32] Carrie Poppy: Yeah, he’s not even picking up on something more impressive than that. So, that’s bad footage.
[00:33:37] Ross Blocher: Mm-hm! It is. Now, again, I keep thinking, okay, well, you wrote this 17 years ago. Maybe you’ve evolved over time. I know I had lots of little pet theories. We’ll get to aliens here, but I remember being—maybe not convinced, but I had this like working theory I was really proud of that aliens are demons in disguise, and they’re just trying to sort of distract us from spiritual matters. And—
[00:34:00] Carrie Poppy: Oh yes. Oh, there’s a Christiano Brothers movie like this.
[00:34:03] Ross Blocher: That explains why you often smell sulfur in their presence. You know, I thought I had it. I thought I had it all worked out. So, I kind of get this mental frame of mind. I remember another one was that I was really proud of myself for having thought like, okay, well, people have a hard time with God having created the world and created time. He exists on a higher dimension! So, he’s like a fifth dimensional being. So, he—
[00:34:25] Carrie Poppy: 5D! You’re the inventor of 5D!
[00:34:27] Ross Blocher: You know what? I didn’t realize, but I guess I did come up with it.
So, you know, when he created the world, he created time. And I was so proud of that. I thought I really cracked the code here. So, I get this kind of problem solving. But hopefully, eventually over time, you start to learn a little more and realize, oh, okay, wait. We need to constrain this thinking a little bit and realize we’re just playing with words and not actually solving anything.
[00:34:49] Carrie Poppy: Right, right. I just satisfied my cognitive dissonance for a few minutes and fled into the real world again.
[00:34:54] Ross Blocher: Referring to Bigfoot potentially being aliens, just that look like Bigfoot, he says, “I’m not saying all of these types of aliens exist, but that these bizarre sightings require an explanation, and I think this is the best, most reasonable one.” They’re just one of many alien species. This is an interesting quote. He was talking about whether Bigfoot were just another humanoid that kind of existed to the present. He said, “Well, it would be a treat for evolutionists to prove Darwin’s theory correct. I do not think proto-human is the proper classification for Bigfoot.”
[00:35:32] Carrie Poppy: Do you think he doesn’t believe in evolution?
I see. Again, I don’t know if this is the guy to send to the place that’s mostly allowed scientists in.
[00:35:41] Ross Blocher: You’ll hear there’s a few digs at science and scientists in this book that I have saved here.
He had been wandering around Pennsylvania in the snow. A lot of these stories are Pennsylvania based, East Coast based. That was just his hunting ground, literally and figuratively. But he had found a three-toed track in the snow. And apparently he’d been following the track for a while, and none of it felt quite complete or formed. But then he finally found one like, oh, this is a little bigger than my large 11 and a half size shoe that he was wearing. I found this big print, and sure enough, it looks like something like a human foot but with three toes.
And again, you have to say, okay, well, when did that evolve? Why do we have a three-toed Bigfoot? And he was pointing to other molds that have been found and even admitted that one might be faked. He’d heard something suggesting that.
[00:36:36] Carrie Poppy: He found this footprint himself though?
[00:36:38] Ross Blocher: Yeah. In the snow, and he took a photo of it. But it also reminded—
[00:36:39] Carrie Poppy: That’s cool. Yeah, that’s cool. But yeah, could be a weird shoe.
[00:36:44] Ross Blocher: Right. Or this reminded me of reading Abominable Science, because they were talking about how one of the most famous Yeti prints was a case of that, where you had a bunch of tracks in the snow. Sure enough, something had been making impressions. But the one photo that was taken just happened to be where two prints were laid on top of each other and kind of compounded to create a new and interesting shape. I suspect maybe something like that.
Especially if he’s looking at all these other ones going like, “Eh, that’s not interesting.”
[00:37:11] Carrie Poppy: “Not quite, not quite, not quite.”
[00:37:13] Ross Blocher: “Ooh, ooh, ooh! I’m going to take a photo of this one!” When answering the question of why we don’t find remains of Bigfoot anywhere, he said, “My conclusion is that Bigfoot is a modern day, flesh and blood Gigantopithecus.” Those went extinct 350,000 years ago as far as we know. “—that has no paranormal abilities and no direct relationship to UFOs or aliens.”
(Carrie asks “why?”.)
Well, you’re just putting it all out there then. Yeah, and why do you think that?
[00:37:40] Carrie Poppy: Yeah, he’s not arguing for any of these points of view? He’s just stating them?
[00:37:44] Ross Blocher: I mean, he’s just setting up enough thought process and data that he’s gotten, and this data could just be in the form of people’s stories or something he found in the woods that made him think, “Oh, well, look! They’re territorial, because I found this tree bark up on this tree where I wouldn’t expect it to just fall. So, that’s probably a Bigfoot marking its territory.” It just feels like he’s so ready to jump into a theory.
[00:38:09] Carrie Poppy: Yeah. Yeah. It sounds like motivated reasoning.
[00:38:12] Ross Blocher: But he’ll also make these kind of definitive statements like about his conclusion. And a Gigantopithecus is a hominid, and it’s extinct. So, it’s kind of like a Nessie like claim, though it hasn’t been extinct quite that long as like a plesiosaur. Anyways. Yeah. It’s just—it feels contradictory and unsupported. This was a great quote. He submitted a photo of the three-toed track to the producers of Coast to Coast.
[00:38:38] Carrie Poppy: Oh, Art Bell!
[00:38:39] Ross Blocher: Yeah, I assume he was still host at the time. And he said—and this is weird, because in the book he’s talking about it being like, “Oh, I found a three-toed Bigfoot!” (Chuckles.) No, he’s saying, “I gave it to them with the suggestion that it might belong to a Thunderbird.” Because he’s thinking about how birds have three toes pointing one direction and one pointing a different direction. “This idea was met with considerable hostility after it was posted to the show’s website. Everyone was sure it belonged to a Bigfoot and refused to entertain any other possibility. What wonderful mainstream scientists they’ll make someday.”
[00:39:14] Carrie Poppy: Oh, wow. Okay. So, he thinks it’s a Bigfoot or he doesn’t?
[00:39:19] Ross Blocher: Now he does. I guess they talked him into it. I don’t know. Or it could be—I feel like, uh, in his mind, all of this is just this soup where the possibilities are brimming and exciting. But it doesn’t—
[00:39:30] Carrie Poppy: Yeah. It’s like Linda Moulton Howe that way.
[00:39:31] Ross Blocher: The wave function never needs to collapse into solid reality.
[00:39:37] Carrie Poppy: Yeah, isn’t this all interesting?
[00:39:39] Ross Blocher: Yeah! (Chuckles.) Which is really hard for me to…
[00:39:43] Carrie Poppy: Respond to? Uh-huh.
[00:39:44] Ross Blocher: Yeah. Yeah. Or model in my own head. ‘Cause, well, didn’t you read what you just wrote on the last page? There was a fun little note about how trail cameras probably don’t capture these Bigfoots—Bigfeet, however you want to pluralize it—because “I have a friend who realized that they emit these ultrasonic frequencies that Bigfoot can hear and other animals can hear, and it turns them away. They know to avoid it.”
First of all, okay, why don’t other animals get turned away from these trail cameras? And they show up all the time. But he said, “I’m not going to get into the technical side of it, because my friend is thinking of creating a gotcha cam that won’t emit that frequency.” And you know, maybe it’ll capture a Bigfoot. As far as I know, that hasn’t happened. But then he follows up and says, “So, that friend admitted that in all of his years of using this equipment, he only had one blurry, inconclusive photo to show for it. He is now abandoning the techno search and moving towards a shamanistic approach that includes such alternative sciences as remote viewing.” Good luck.
[00:40:47] Carrie Poppy: Oh, sure, yeah. Yep, when your technology gets too good, and you have to abandon the technology that would have gotten you a Bigfoot, why not look for Spirit Bigfoot instead?
[00:40:58] Ross Blocher: Remember when I showed you that really bad drawing of the alien that Linda Moulton Howe was presenting?
[00:41:04] Carrie Poppy: YES! That was a child’s? Yeah.
[00:41:04] Ross Blocher: (Laughs.) Yeah, I didn’t notice until later that it said in the caption, “This was drawn by a remote viewer.”
[00:41:12] Carrie Poppy: Ah! I wonder if that was an adult remote viewer or a child.
[00:41:14] Ross Blocher: Maybe they had their eyes closed.
[00:41:17] Carrie Poppy: Or yeah. Yeah, yeah, oh! Like, maybe they had a blindfold on.
[00:41:20] Ross Blocher: It named him, and I’m pretty sure it was an adult. And one other story he told in that chapter was about a professor. He went to this college where he double majored—
[00:41:31] Carrie Poppy: (Interrupts, giggling.) Sorry! Sorry, I started thinking about telling someone like, “This art is good if your eyes are closed.”
Okay, sorry. Okay, back to—okay, Travis went to college?
[00:41:43] Ross Blocher: Yeah, he had a dual major in acting or theatre, I think, and anthropology.
[00:41:48] Carrie Poppy: Cool! Yeah. Fun stuff.
[00:41:49] Ross Blocher: Sure, yeah. And so, there was this professor who taught a pseudoscience course there.
(Carrie reacts with interest.)
And when he told her that he believes in Bigfoot—
[00:41:58] Carrie Poppy: Yeah, that went great.
[00:42:00] Ross Blocher: Here’s his quote. He said, “Her response bordered on hysteria. She began ranting and raving, telling me that Bigfoot is just a myth. I then calmly explained to her that I was going to find Bigfoot someday and prove that it existed and that I would be on the cover of National Geographic.”
[00:42:17] Carrie Poppy: Oh, okay. This would be more impactful if under that there was the cover of National Geographic, and he was on it.
[00:42:23] Ross Blocher: Yeah, that would be very impressive.
[00:42:24] Carrie Poppy: Yeah. Then I’d be like, “Woah, good point.”
[00:42:25] Ross Blocher: But the promise still lingers. Maybe he’ll—
[00:42:27] Carrie Poppy: Yeah, let’s try to get him on there.
[00:42:29] Ross Blocher: Maybe he’ll find it in Westarctica.
But he says, “Somehow she was successful in preventing me from ever taking her pseudoscience class.” What?! I feel like there’s more to the story and the exchange between him and this professor.
[00:42:42] Carrie Poppy: I mean, Ross, there is a non-zero chance that that professor listens to this show. We have a better chance than most.
[00:42:50] Ross Blocher: Good point. I looked for her last name, Dr. Wymer, W-Y-M-E-R, and National Geographic. Because the way he wrote one of her responses kind of made it sound like she had already been on the cover of National Geographic, but it wasn’t definitive.
Let’s dive into UFOs and aliens. Let’s hear some of his theories there.
[00:43:11] Carrie Poppy: Okay, it’s Deanne Wymer of Bloomsburg University. If you’re out there, Deanne, we want to talk to you.
[00:43:16] Ross Blocher: She’s still there?
[00:43:17] Carrie Poppy: Yeeeeah, I don’t know. She’s showing up on Academia.edu.
[00:43:21] Ross Blocher: Okay! So, to his credit, he started his musings on UFOs and aliens by mentioning that he and his friends had once spotted an object in the sky, and they were all excited. They started chasing it in their car, and finally they just pulled off onto a hill. And they’re like, “Okay, we’re going to stop and figure this out.”
So, they get out, and “after roughly 20 minutes of careful observation, we determined that the UFO was nothing more than the planet Venus.” But I’m proud of them!
Yeah, they figured it out. Yeah, well done. He mentioned a couple popular sightings cases, the Pine Bush phenomena in New York, and also the 1965 Kecksburg UFO crash in Pennsylvania. And both of those Brian Dunning had done Skeptoid episodes on. So, I was able to kind of like read Travis’s account and then read sort of like the actual contextual history and police reports. And both of those were figured out. Pine Bush phenomena were planes flying in formation, and they tracked down exactly which flights it was. The dates matched up. There was a nearby base.
[00:44:22] Carrie Poppy: Okay, ladies. Now let’s get in formation. Beyonce.
[00:44:25] Ross Blocher: Okay. (Chuckles.) No, very good. Very good. And then the Kecksburg UFO crash, there were a bunch of stories that evolved and changed over time. And even Travis seems to acknowledge this. Like, yeah, this feels a little like it’s not all adding up, but he felt there was something still there. But it turns out that there was truly a hypersonic bolide that streaked through the sky on that particular night. Yes, people did see something in the sky.
[00:44:49] Carrie Poppy: What’s a bolide?
[00:44:50] Ross Blocher: A meteor. And yes, there were a few officials that were sent out to look to see if it might’ve been a crashed Russian probe that they thought was out in the sky, but that thing happened to land somewhere completely different. So, it wasn’t that. Anyway, so that one was also solved. But you wouldn’t know it from reading Travis’s book.
He did at one point mention him being 16 when he got a book of this report on a UFO. So, his interest goes back at least to the age of 17. Oh, this was fun. So, he talks about reading a popular science article that fueled one of his other big theories about aliens. It was talking about how humans will look in 100,000 years. I haven’t seen this popular science article, but this is how he described it. He said that humans would get thinner and smaller to accommodate the pressure of increased population. And because they’ve been using automation to do all of the like heavy lifting work, they’re going to lose all their muscle mass. And they’re going to have even larger brains and larger eyes. And why would they need like hair or nails or lips or external ears? Like all of these little extra vestigial pieces will slowly disappear.
[00:45:59] Carrie Poppy: Oh, he’s really ahead of the game by being bald, then.
[00:46:00] Ross Blocher: (Chuckles.) And skin color will no longer be a discriminating factor, because you’ll have centuries of interracial breeding “that will leave the entire species with a pasty gray skin tone”. I’m thinking, how is that—?
[00:46:12] Carrie Poppy: Oh, wow! I don’t think that would even out! (Laughs.)
[00:46:15] Ross Blocher: How is that the average of our current skin tones? But he said years later, then he thought about this and realized, “Wait a second! They’re just describing gray aliens! (Gasps.) It’s us from the future!”
[00:46:31] Carrie Poppy: Oh, oooh. It’s like Bill and Ted coming back to talk to Bill and Ted.
[00:46:33] Ross Blocher: Yeah. But less tubular? Is that a word they use?
So, he really runs with this idea. And he says, “You know, I do believe that there’s life on other planets, but hear me out. How weird is it that”—and this is actually a good point—“How strange is it that some alien would have our same body structure?”
Good point. So, he’s saying, “Okay, they could just be future, emaciated versions of us.” And the way he feels this all works out is that they have gotten to this point in the future where they’ve lost the ability to reproduce. You know, and you see them without any genitalia.
[00:47:07] Carrie Poppy: Boy, is this bleak!
[00:47:09] Ross Blocher: So now they’re going back in time to—
[00:47:13] Carrie Poppy: Tell us to save the planet!
[00:47:15] Ross Blocher: No, to abduct us and get our DNA. Find a solution.
(Carrie laughs with surprise.)
I bet he’d run with that one too, because why not?
[00:47:24] Carrie Poppy: Yeah, it seems in the MO of Westarctica for our future selves to come back and be like, “Don’t do iiit.”
[00:47:29] Ross Blocher: Yeah. Yeah. But he’s also really intrigued with this grandfather paradox, the idea where like you can’t see your own grandfather. You can’t interfere with the things that are going to create you. So, they’re very vigilant about trying like not to let people know about this whole plan and to like even seed the doubt by saying that it’s some other planet inhabitant who’s come here rather than ourselves coming back to—
[00:47:57] Carrie Poppy: This is… pretty far out.
I like this theory more than most of the alien theories. It’s more interesting.
[00:48:04] Ross Blocher: Yeah, he was also saying that when, let’s say, the government has discovered aliens or crashed crafts, the aliens talk to the security guys and say, “Hey, you know, this needs to remain secret, because this is who we are.”
And then the government says, “Oh shoot. Yeah. Okay. Well, this is important. You convinced us.”
[00:48:22] Carrie Poppy: “We agree, Mr. Alien.” Okay. I’m sure that’s how that goes down. That’s how international relations always goes down. One person’s like, “Can we just like be cool?”
And the other person’s like, “A hundo.”
[00:48:31] Ross Blocher: “Yeah, man, we cool.”
[00:48:32] Carrie Poppy: “Absolutely. I’m so glad you mentioned it. I wasn’t going to be cool to you, but now that you’ve said it, we’re absolutely cool.”
[00:48:37] Ross Blocher: “Yeah, gray dude. We cool.”
He keeps running with this like, “Oh, but they have to take precautions, because they have all these futuristic diseases that would be transmitted to us. So, they’re probably like—they’re abducting people multiple times. And the first time they immunize them. And then the next time—”
[00:48:54] Carrie Poppy: (Laughing.) Okay! How thoughtful!
[00:48:56] Ross Blocher: Wow. Okay. Yeah. Keep working this out.
[00:49:01] Carrie Poppy: (Laughs.) At least Travis is busy.
[00:49:04] Ross Blocher: (Giggles.) He’s a busy man.
[00:49:05] Carrie Poppy: He’s busy. He’s got a lot to do. He’s got a lot of ideas. He’s got a lot of stuff going.
[00:49:11] Ross Blocher: He said—this felt very Linda Moulton Howe to me—”I did try twice to release this theory to the public. It seemed to go nowhere. In 1998, I mailed an unsolicited, handwritten note containing the basics of my theory to eight prominent UFO researchers. None acted on or repeated the information, so I presume they simply found it preposterous.” Or maybe they just never got around to reading your thing.
[00:49:35] Carrie Poppy: Yeah, did you ask for a reply?
[00:49:36] Ross Blocher: I think that also was a little insight into his mindset. He just kind of assumed the worst of their mindset.
But just in case this does happen to be true, he’s already christened these aliens as Homo Futuris. Great clever. Future human. Okay.
[00:49:51] Carrie Poppy: You know what I think Travis McHenry is not? (Beat.) Take your time.
[00:50:00] Ross Blocher: Currently a deacon of a church. A Baptist church.
(Carrie prompts for another guess.)
He is not a Formula One race car driver.
(Carrie prompts again.)
(Sighs.) A projectionist at a local theater.
[00:50:17] Carrie Poppy: Oh, well, that’s true. But I was thinking he’s not a square.
[00:50:20] Ross Blocher: No! No, that—I would never call them a square.
[00:50:23] Carrie Poppy: Absolutely not. No one could accuse him of that. And least of all, Squarespace.
[00:50:29] Ross Blocher: They would never say such a thing.
(Carrie agrees emphatically.)
Because they tend to tell the truth!
[00:50:34] Carrie Poppy: It’s reputable. It’s an all-in-one platform for building your brand and growing your business online.
[00:50:41] Ross Blocher: Let’s say you’re enterprising like Travis. Maybe you want to publish something. Maybe you’ve got a project to share. You’re starting a new account on a site that you want to advertise. You need a website for you, and how do you do that?
[00:50:54] Carrie Poppy: Well, you will stand out with a beautiful website and engage your audience and sell anything you want if you use Squarespace.
[00:51:03] Ross Blocher: And every Squarespace website comes with an online store, a suite of integrated features, useful guides, search engine optimization, all of that. It’s right in the box!
[00:51:14] Carrie Poppy: And with Squarespace extensions, you can connect your store to vetted third party tools to extend the functionality of your site.
[00:51:21] Ross Blocher: They’ve also got Fluid Engine. That’s the next generation website design system from Squarespace, which is all baked into a browser. You don’t have to download any special software or anything like that. Whatever device you’re on, you just go to the website. You go into the admin portal, and you start working on your website on the website! It’s amazing!
[00:51:40] Carrie Poppy: I love that. I really do. I really prefer the websites. Just like let me use your freaking website! Make it usable.
Don’t make me get your dang app.
[00:51:48] Ross Blocher: I’ve spent lots of time in various web editors from various companies. And yeah, I like this. It’s nice. It’s all just built in right into the browser.
[00:51:57] Carrie Poppy: It makes it also usable for a Ross and usable for a Carrie!
[00:52:02] Ross Blocher: Let’s say I need to jump in and do something. I just log in, and it doesn’t matter which computer I’m on. I’m in; I’m editing.
[00:52:09] Carrie Poppy: Mm-hm. And like, no matter what your skill level is, it’s going to be usable for you at this higher level or basic level.
[00:52:15] Ross Blocher: Yeah. Yeah. All the WYSIWYG tools. “What you see is what you get.” But also, if you know how to get in there and mess with the markup, you can do it!
[00:52:23] Carrie Poppy: You got the code? You got the code; they’ll let you do the code. You bring that code in; they’ll do the code! Okay?
[00:52:27] Ross Blocher: Yeah, fancy person.
[00:52:28] Carrie Poppy: Yeah. So, head to Squarespace.com/ohno for a free trial. And then when you’re ready to launch, use the offer code “ohno” to save 10% off your first purchase of a website or domain.
[00:52:39] Ross Blocher: Squarespace. The website of champions.
[00:52:43] Carrie Poppy: While I got you here. Okay. I also wanted to talk to you about our good friend, Jodi Sams Whiteshine.
[00:52:52] Ross Blocher: Oh yeah, how’s Jodi doing?
[00:52:54] Carrie Poppy: She’s so good.
[00:52:55] Ross Blocher: Anything going on in her life?
[00:52:56] Carrie Poppy: Well, her oldest son is just the best, you know? He’s always sending her sweet messages, like this one here in my pocket!
[00:53:03] Ross Blocher: Oh yeah, the one that says, “Happy birthday, Mom! I’m so thankful for your eagerness to show me and all your other kids this big, strange world we’re a part of.”
[00:53:11] Carrie Poppy: “Keep looking for the weird stuff, and we just might find it. Fingers crossed it’s some flavor of Bigfoot.” (Chuckles.)
[00:53:17] Ross Blocher: Yes! I love that this fell on an episode where we talked about Bigfoot.
[00:53:22] Carrie Poppy: Oh, yes! Nice. Congratulations, Jody Sam Whiteshine. Happy birthday!
[00:53:27] Ross Blocher: Happy birthday. And hey, while you’re here, listen to this Maximum Fun show.
Music: Plucky orchestral music.
Mark Gagliardi: What is up people of the world? Do you have an argument that you keep having with your friends and you just can’t seem to settle it, and you’re sitting there arguing about whether it’s Star Trek or Star Wars? Or you can’t decide what is the best nut! Or can’t agree on what is the best cheese.
Hal Lublin: Stop doing that. Listen to We Got This with Mark and Hal, only on MaxFun.
Mark: Your topics asked and answered objectively, definitively, for all time.
Hal: So don’t worry, everybody!
Mark & Hal: (In unison.) We got this.
Music: We got this!
[00:54:04] Ross Blocher: Okay. So, he also writes a lot about things that go bump in the night and how you detect them. So, he had his own EMF meter, his gauss meter, multiple things to detect electromagnetic fields. And he said, “Therefore these are quite useful in detecting the presence of a ghost.” I’m like why? Wh-what is it about—?
[00:54:23] Carrie Poppy: Yeah. That doesn’t—that’s what they’ve always said. Why though?
[00:54:26] Ross Blocher: What is it about a ghost? Yeah, he definitely didn’t solve that one. No fresh theory there.
[00:54:30] Carrie Poppy: If anybody hasn’t heard of this, it’s those ghost meters that go beep-beep-beep on ghost hunting shows, but they just measure electromagnetic shit around you. So, like bring it next to this computer in front of me, and it’ll also go beep-beep-beep.
[00:54:42] Ross Blocher: So, he has this photo that shows all of his tools of the trade, his infrared temperature gun, his EMF listener, his stud finder, his gauss meter, his electronic compass, and his night vision scope. Oh, this is interesting. He does not like mediums. He says, “I totally discount the abilities of mediums, who I distinguish from psychics. Mediums claim the ability to communicate with the dead and fall into two categories: either blatant frauds or legitimate psychics who are being tricked by demonic forces acting as though they are the deceased.”
Interesting. Doesn’t seem consistent with some of his other theories about dead people. But he has—
[00:55:24] Carrie Poppy: Yeah! Okay, so you cannot talk to the dead directly for Travis, but you can talk to angels and demons.
[00:55:31] Ross Blocher: Yeah, his conception of ghosts seems to be kind of like the just energetic remains of people.
[00:55:39] Carrie Poppy: Oh, the holothocene of a person.
[00:55:41] Ross Blocher: I couldn’t have put it better myself.
[00:55:44] Carrie Poppy: (Chuckles.) That’s a callback to something you—don’t worry about it. (Murmuring.) The National Academy of Consciousness.
[00:55:49] Ross Blocher: (Laughs.) Yeah, good callback to the—yeah, morphoholothocenes. Yeah, good times. So, he notices, in all his observational wit, that the most haunted places in America are often located near or on top of…
[00:56:05] Carrie Poppy: Burial grounds?
[00:56:07] Ross Blocher: A major water source. Like Gettysburg and the Alcatraz prison.
[00:56:13] Carrie Poppy: (Chuckling.) Okay, yes, it’s on an island, yes.
[00:56:16] Ross Blocher: So, the theory is that human energy is being trapped in these water supplies like a battery holds power.
(Carrie “oh no”s with a laugh.)
“Even the Bible states that water is the home of ghosts. Job 26:5 reads, ‘The departed spirits tremble under the waters.’”
Oh, wow. Ooh, Travis! Okay, he has another theory.
[00:56:38] Carrie Poppy: So, then like every time you’re on a ship, shouldn’t you like see a bunch of ghosts? I’m going on a ship soon. Am I going to be haunted the whole time? How does this work?
[00:56:47] Ross Blocher: It could be. Well, if there were other humans whose energies were trapped in that water. So, maybe out in the middle of the ocean, not as much of that action.
[00:56:53] Carrie Poppy: Or maybe more. Maybe more!
[00:56:54] Ross Blocher: See, look, I’m working with your theories, Travis. I’m working with your energies.
[00:56:57] Carrie Poppy: Maybe more, though.
[00:56:58] Ross Blocher: Water has a memory. (Gasps.) Ooh, I don’t think he tied that one in. But he says another causal factor could be the presence of high energy wires. “In at least two cases I am aware of,”—which is all it takes for him to create a theory apparently—”homes that were the site of hauntings were located directly under high voltage wires. Maybe they capture or contain energy in the same manner as water does. And maybe we can use electricity as a means to free the trapped energy.” Which just sounds like Ghostbusters, but okay.
[00:57:31] Carrie Poppy: And he’s heard of two instances where they were under—? High voltage wires. Two.
[00:57:36] Ross Blocher: High voltage wires. So, there you go, that’s what we need. Sure. Yeah. (Laughs.) You’re as impressed as I was. He believes in EVP. He says,
I’ve had personal experiences.”
[00:57:44] Carrie Poppy: That’s an electronic voice phenomenon.
[00:57:46] Ross Blocher: Mm-hm. “And I’m convinced that it is a very real and interesting phenomenon.” So, he had various stories recording EVPs in locations, and it’s exactly what you would expect. You know, like, “Oh, I asked this question, and then later on I played it back, and I could hear there was a male voice. And it said this, or I couldn’t tell what she was saying.”
[00:58:08] Carrie Poppy: So, hunters do this. They run a tape recorder next to them, and then they go, (wistfully) “Are you here, Grandma?” And then they just wait a little while.
And then later they listen back. And sometimes just the way things get recorded, you’ll hear a sound you didn’t recognize in the room at the time. And now on relistening, it sounds like a voice or a knock or some kind of response.
[00:58:26] Ross Blocher: Yeah. And a lot of examples of this same kind of anomaly hunting. Like, one time he went to a site to investigate it and the camera refused to take any more pictures after a certain point.
(Carrie reacts with playful indignation.)
And again, just jumping to assumptions, he knew that this was the site messing with him.
[00:58:44] Carrie Poppy: Oh, it’s gotta be. It would be great if you find out that that’s like a disposable roll, and it was at its end. Just refuses!
[00:58:50] Ross Blocher: (Chuckles.) Yeah, maybe. He also had various blobs and orbs and, you know, all of these just little things that just kind of added up for him to pretty impressive sightings. (Chuckles.) There was a really weird one where there was a story of a girl falling off her bunk at a sorority and getting a bruise. And he wrote, “This event is a clear-cut poltergeist attack against the girl, but we were unable to determine why the attack occurred, when it did, and why Jodi was the victim.”
But from reading it, it felt indistinguishable to me from someone falling out of their bed. (Laughs.)
[00:59:26] Carrie Poppy: Which sometimes happens!
It sometimes happens without ghosts! Can you believe this?!
[00:59:31] Ross Blocher: Uh-huh! Again, just like I think there’s a little bit of a paranoid mindset here where he just kind of assumes others are out to get him or mess with him when there are multiple possible explanations.
For example, in some of these investigations of like a graveyard that he thought had been maybe the site of witch hangings, there was a white car that showed up, and then later on he—
[00:59:53] Carrie Poppy: (Laughing.) The most common car color.
[00:59:54] Ross Blocher: talks about being chased by the white car. It’s like the people stopped and maybe it looked at him, wondered what he was doing, but it wasn’t like following him or anything like that. It’s just—
[01:00:04] Carrie Poppy: My someone is like this. Yeah. A parent is like this, thinks that people follow them and like, “Why is that guy in this movie theater? Why is this guy behind me?” It’s like, well, because human population density. Sometimes people are behind us. I don’t know what to tell you.
[01:00:24] Ross Blocher: Yeah. I’ve driven with one of my friend’s dads, and just the whole drive he kept saying, “That guy’s riding behind me just to get on my nerves! And oh, sure. Get into that lane, why don’t you?! Oh, I see what you’re trying to do. You’re trying to—” And everything was about like how people were purposefully trying to irritate him. Yeah. Yeah.
[01:00:42] Carrie Poppy: Oh man. The theory of mind is so bad, even the people that you know the best, your theory of mind is supposed to be correct around 1/3rd of the time. The people you know the best.
(Ross reacts with curiosity and surprise.)
Uh-huh. I’ve just given up on it. I’ve just, whenever I think I know what’s in someone’s head, I’m like you don’t know. You think you know, but you don’t know.
[01:01:01] Ross Blocher: That’s, I think, a healthy exercise—also, just as an effort to give people the benefit of the doubt. My sister, I think, is like naturally very good at this. She’ll kind of bend over backwards to ascribe a positive reason to someone’s actions rather than taking offense, and I think I’ve learned a lot from that. Like, oh yeah, let’s make the effort.
[01:01:22] Carrie Poppy: Let’s try that on at least.
[01:01:23] Ross Blocher: Yeah, and be like, “Okay, maybe they just found out that their mother’s in the hospital, and that’s why they’re driving like that.” You know.
[01:01:30] Carrie Poppy: Uh-huh. Or I—yeah, I totally misunderstood something or whatever.
[01:01:32] Ross Blocher: This was just a fun little aside. In 2002, a local journalist explained to Travis that actually there weren’t any hangings of witches here, so that’s probably not the cause of these hauntings. But then, apparently the same journalist said—according to Travis—that if there are any spirits appearing in the cemetery, they are the result of the local Indian burial grounds. So, you started so well, local journalist.
And then finally, the other case that he cracked was the Mad Gasser of…?
[01:02:07] Carrie Poppy: Oh, it must be wherever Drew’s from! So, Fort Worth, Texas?
[01:02:10] Ross Blocher: (Scoffs.) Oh, I see what happened here.
[01:02:14] Carrie Poppy: Okay. What’s a mad gasser? Is that someone who like gasses people?
[01:02:18] Ross Blocher: Uh-huh. So, I was going to say most of our listeners or many of our listeners might recognize this phrase “mad gasser” and think of the Mad Gasser of Mattoon. This was a case from 1944 in Illinois, where this stranger—sort of a Jack the Ripper type figure; we have no details about him, just he would show up in the middle of the night. And he would—I always have a hard time remembering the name of this. He would spray with a little flit can. You see it in old cartoons where—
Yeah, yeah, it’s got like a little cylinder attached to it, and then you kind of pump action this thing, psh-psh-psh-psh, and it shoots out a little spray of gas. So, there had been this account of him coming by and like trying to anesthetize or do something insidious to people by spraying into their houses, and then they would like feel partial paralysis. And this caught on, and so you had like for two weeks, this town was kind of terrorized, everyone reporting to the police, “Oh, the Mad Gasser’s come by my place!”
And just to give the quick resolution of this, it was shown to be just kind of a panic. Like everybody’s sort of freaking out, and once they had this in their mind, any odd thing they heard or experienced, “(Gasps.) That’s the Mad Gasser!” So, I had been familiar with that one, but he was investigating this earlier, 1933 Mad Gasser in Botetourt County, Virginia. And it was really hard for me to understand kind of like where he’d gotten these original accounts, because he said, “Most people never talk about it when they’re talking about the Mad Gasser of Mattoon.” But he was, again, taking these on face value and saying, “Okay, well, here’s what we know. A Chevy was spotted. You know, there was a partial footprint here.”
Now, I got to say in all of these gassing situations, nobody was killed. You know, nobody was permanently injured. That’s never even been part of the claim. But also, there’s just been endless rampant speculation on what type of gas could have done the things that were described, like allowing people to be just paralyzed in the legs and then later on, you know, just spring back into normal activity. But most of the ones you might think of seem to be just ruled out by the stories themselves, but all signs seem to point to it having been mass hysteria. Apparently he—near the very end of the book, he says, “Oh, and I just recently learned that there was an even earlier case!” Like in the ’20s. So, okay.
[01:04:45] Carrie Poppy: “Far be it from me to let that inform my theory.”
[01:04:47] Ross Blocher: Yeah, but okay. So, he did talk about how, “Okay, maybe there was a person who lived in Virginia, and then traveled later to Mattoon, and maybe if I dig up the census records, I can figure out who was in both places.” Sure, fine. But far be it from Travis just to rest on one theory. He says, “It could also—”
[01:05:07] Carrie Poppy: Of course not. Trav? No.
[01:05:10] Ross Blocher: “It could also be that a visitor from an alien race might want to colonize planet Earth and then alter the chemical composition of the atmosphere. So, what would you do in that situation? Well, you might like do a test run to see can the humans withstand these chemicals?” (Laughs.) And yeah, you see where this is going.
[01:05:28] Carrie Poppy: Why?! You don’t need to invent all this.
[01:05:30] Ross Blocher: So, then he thought, “Okay, but maybe the reason like they had to do it multiple times is maybe the first gas they tried failed, but they tried maybe a subsequent different test of a new gas to see if they could reformat our atmosphere.”
[01:05:45] Carrie Poppy: Buddy.
It’s like this is so interesting, because his whole thing is wanting outsider knowledge. Yeah. He’s not satisfied with just knowledge. It has to be knowledge other people don’t have, right? That’s his definition of a cult. So, now he’s investigating an area where actually knowledge is robust, and we know what’s going on, and we’re clear. And so, it makes his territory of unclaimed land, unclaimed information, shrinkingly smaller and smaller until he’s saying the craziest bullshit possible. This is where you find yourself if you will not collaborate with other people. You will NOT take information from them! You MUST do this on your own!
[01:06:28] Ross Blocher: Nice. I like the through line you found here.
[01:06:31] Carrie Poppy: Thank you. (Building to a crescendo.) I will take no other theories, no competing information!
[01:06:35] Ross Blocher: I was going to say, this is already a better theory than I have espoused throughout this whole recording.
Yeah, so and he had even more variations on that, but I’m thinking, well, what about you saying that the aliens are future versions of us? ‘Cause now you’re talking about—
[01:06:47] Carrie Poppy: Oh, yeah, yeah! Are they all gassy?! They can’t all be Drew.
[01:06:50] Ross Blocher: (Chuckles.) You’re talking about them trying to genetically manipulate us to create a hybrid that will live in the atmosphere that they can live in. What?
And he says, “The theory that the Mad Gasser was an alien is a long shot, I know! And highly unlikely. But it does fall in the realm of extreme possibility.”
[01:07:09] Carrie Poppy: Sure, what doesn’t?
[01:07:10] Ross Blocher: Sure. So, there was another chapter in which he talked about this witch doctor of Wapwallopen. I could be saying that completely wrong, but it was a Dr. Santee, Frederick Santee. He was like a child genius, graduated from Harvard at 17, and was drawn to languages but then later—I think finding himself like in a Midwest town or something where he couldn’t use his intellect to his greatest capability—he became very drawn to the occult. Originally, Travis went into this thinking like, “Oh, I’m going to expose all the horrible deeds of this Satanist group or this occultic group.” So, it sounded like he had kind of biased thoughts on the occult. But—
[01:07:50] Carrie Poppy: Oh, okay. It’s like his “I joined the OTO”.
[01:07:51] Ross Blocher: Yeah. Yeah. Like, he described it on first blush as, “An evil coven that practiced several kinds of black magic.”
[01:07:58] Carrie Poppy: Okay. And he was Christian at some point, though we don’t know when. Okay.
[01:08:02] Ross Blocher: This is a great quote. So, he finds the surviving widow of Dr. Santee. He said, “Having the opportunity to speak with the head witch of Santee’s coven meant that all my questions would be answered, and I could be sure of hearing the truth.” And I’m thinking, well… okay. You’re talking to—you’re going to get a firsthand account. That’s great. But it doesn’t mean necessarily you’re going to get the truth.
[01:08:26] Carrie Poppy: Oh right. Yeah, yeah, yeah. Again, eyewitnesses, bad.
[01:08:27] Ross Blocher: But very long story short, he ended up becoming their chronicler and writing kind of a history, which he sort of included in this book. And I think this was probably his entry point into the occult himself.
Oh, okay. Just a few other fun notes from the epilogue that I thought, again, were very telling. He said, “In early September 2006”—so, I guess not in time for publication—”my team actually had two encounters with what we believe was a Bigfoot. I came closer than ever to seeing one of the magnificent creatures, although it was obscured by heavy forest cover. I can now say from personal experience that they do smell quite horrible.”
And another little final dig, he writes, “In closing, it should be noted that the pursuit of the paranormal can be an obsessive, frustrating, and even dangerous endeavor. The weakened spirit will not last long when confronted by forces they cannot hope to understand and quickly give up, while the noble minded will try to persevere against conventional science, and shrug off derision from their family, friends, and colleagues,” and podcasters.
[01:09:37] Carrie Poppy: (Laughs.) You must be the outsider, or it is not knowledge!
[01:09:40] Ross Blocher: Yeah. I think you’re onto something. And you often hear that when, like thinking about the appeal of conspiracy theory, a lot of it seems to rest on secret knowledge and being like the one person who has that alternate story that everyone else is missing out on.
[01:09:56] Carrie Poppy: And I think having a little bit of that suspicious personality. Yeah.
[01:10:00] Ross Blocher: Yeah. Yeah, yeah. Well, there you go. That was my book report for Travis McHenry’s Into the Abyss.
[01:10:06] Carrie Poppy: Boy, there’s so much stuff of his I want to read now. Or watch, imbibe.
[01:10:10] Ross Blocher: Yeah! I was trying to find that Life on Mars film, the half hour one from 2007. Turns out, A) there’s a lot of things called that, with that title.
[01:10:20] Carrie Poppy: Oh, sure. That makes sense. Oh, yeah. Drew, when I said Life on Mars, he was like, “The TV show?”
[01:10:26] Ross Blocher: Yeah, there was a TV show and apparently a forthcoming movie from John Krasinski. Uh, yeah, I tried looking this up and not streaming anywhere, that’s for sure. And I couldn’t find a download. I couldn’t find like a website that was active that said like, “Hey, we’re the production company, and here’s how you get it.” Amazon had an option like if you order the DVD, we’ll print it for you and send it to you, and said, “This is no longer available.”
(Carrie “oh no”s.)
So, yeah, I think that one’s been buried pretty deep.
[01:10:56] Carrie Poppy: Okay, gotcha. Well, Trav, if you hear this and if you still have a copy, I would love to see Life on Mars.
So, I also went and looked back through every time Travis had been mentioned in newspapers. And it gave me a nice, big picture of his life that I just wanted to pull back for a second and tell you about. So, he was born in June 1980.
[01:11:16] Ross Blocher: Okay! That’s good to have an exact date. So, alright. About my age, a little older.
[01:11:22] Carrie Poppy: Yeah. Not sure when in June, but yeah. Mm-hm. Grew up in Pennsylvania. Somewhere around 2001, he founds Achaea? I’m not sure how to say this. A-C-H-A-E-A. Uh-chay-uh?
[01:11:32] Ross Blocher: Seems like a good—yeah, that sounds about right. Uh-key-uh, maybe?
[01:11:36] Carrie Poppy: So, I’m not sure—Ikea. He probably founded Ikea.
(Ross emphasizes uh-key-uh.)
Oh, uh-key-uh. (Chuckles.) Oh yeah, that’s probably right. Achaea. Okay. And I’m not sure what that founding consisted of, possibly an earlier website. But I’m pretty sure that Achaea is Westarctica, that he just later rebranded it as Westarctica, which is a better name.
[01:11:56] Ross Blocher: Ooh. Interesting, okay. But quite enterprising, already at 21, founding a micronation? Okay. I still haven’t gotten around to founding a nation of any sort.
[01:12:07] Carrie Poppy: (Laughs.) He is consistent about saying 2001, and he was saying that early on, but I could only actually track it back to 2004. So, at least 2004. He says 2001. So, in 2004, Achaea becomes Westarctica, and that’s just in time for Travis to write to the government of Sudan and tell them to stop the Darfur genocide, because now he’s the leader of a nation! So, he’s—
[01:12:29] Ross Blocher: Oh, wow! Okay! I kind of like that! I like that.
[01:12:32] Carrie Poppy: Yep! You see what he’s doing! You see what he’s doing.
[01:12:35] Ross Blocher: Yeah. I’m going to sue, Dan (Sudan) if you don’t—I’m going to sue Sudan.
[01:12:41] Carrie Poppy: Yeah, that’s probably the level of his analysis. Yeah.
[01:12:45] Ross Blocher: Hey, but I’m all for an independent voice calling for a stop to hostility.
[01:12:50] Carrie Poppy: Absolutely. Yeah, I think—exactly. I think that’s what he’s doing. He’s working the media machine. He’s being clever about it. No complaints. And happens to agree with my point of view, so no complaints.
Okay. So, he begins picking up local press in 2005. With the Detroit Free Press, with the article, “Dreamers Lay Claim to their Own Nations”. And by this time, he’s serving in the Navy when this gets printed.
[01:13:17] Ross Blocher: Okay, his eight-year intelligence stint.
[01:13:21] Carrie Poppy: Oh, it was in intelligence?
Did you tell me that? I forgot.
[01:13:23] Ross Blocher: Well, that’s what he’s told us, but yeah. Like, when he mentions it, he says he worked in intelligence.
[01:13:29] Carrie Poppy: Oh, interesting. That went right by me. Hmm. Okay.
[01:13:31] Ross Blocher: An intelligence specialist with a focus on anti-terrorism.
[01:13:36] Carrie Poppy: Oh! Interesting. Man, there’s just so much going on with this guy.
I would love to hear that verified. It seems very possible that it’s true, but it also seems like it could be the truth plus 30%.
[01:13:50] Ross Blocher: Right. Not saying this necessarily about Travis, but I think we’ve seen so many other people, like L. Ron Hubbard, who have taken a little tour of duty in the military, and then really expanded and kind of told it in a way that makes it sound like more than it is.
[01:14:04] Carrie Poppy: Yes. Russ McKamey comes to mind. So, in 2006, he goes by Baron of Dunlace in a friend’s wedding announcement in the local paper. In the same year, he’s accused of writing bad checks and fleeing the cops with expired plates. He’s charged a $500 fine.
[01:14:22] Ross Blocher: Oh! Only one question. What is Dunlace?
[01:14:25] Carrie Poppy: I mean, I assume it’s something he made up.
[01:14:26] Ross Blocher: D-U-N-L-A-C-E?
Or somebody else’s micronation that he’s been—
[01:14:31] Carrie Poppy: Oh! that would be interesting!
[01:14:32] Ross Blocher: You know, ’cause he’s a Grand Duke of Westarctica. So, maybe—
[01:14:37] Carrie Poppy: Yeah. Wait, okay, there’s a Dunlace castle in Ireland. I wonder if he’s one of these people—I was almost one of these people (laughs)—who like you’re in second/third grade, and your parents are like, “You know, you’re royalty in such-and-such a place.” And then you find out this really means like, oh, some family can sort of trace back our connection to something that’s—and we would have lived in a castle in this theoretical other universe where anyone cared about this. My parents told me stuff like this. I wonder if it’s something like that.
[01:15:08] Ross Blocher: Who knows. Okay, but got in some trouble with the law.
[01:15:11] Carrie Poppy: Yeah. Yeah. Minor trouble but made the papes, made the local papes. In 2007, his first child is born, a son, and that’s the year he releases Life on Mars. 2008, he picks up local press again. This time it’s for his foray into acting. He has gotten a small role in Body of Lies with Russell Crowe. Yeah. I think he’s uncredited in it. But you know.
[01:15:35] Ross Blocher: We’ll give him that credit.
[01:15:36] Carrie Poppy: Yeah, you know, he was pulled forth from the crowd of extras to have this like interaction. And so, that makes it in the local paper, and he mentions that he’s probably going to move to LA and start his acting career.
[01:15:48] Ross Blocher: He made good on that one.
[01:15:50] Carrie Poppy: Yeah, I think maybe he was bicoastal, bistate-al, for a little bit because he’s still showing up in the Pennsylvania papers quite a bit.
[01:15:57] Ross Blocher: But he moved to LA at some point.
Okay, but no cover of National Geographic for having discovered Bigfoot yet. There’s time.
[01:16:05] Carrie Poppy: Right. Not that I saw, not that I saw. This is all Newspapers.com research, which is—most of the major papers are on there, but I’m asking myself, have I ever seen National Geographic on there? I’m not sure. Okay, second kid is born in either late 2008 or early 2009. Life seems stable for a while. Then in 2014 he gets married. He’s in a dispute with his landlord over unpaid rent that makes the paper.
[01:16:32] Ross Blocher: Now, we’ve seen him mention that he was married once to a man and married once to a woman. So, I’m guessing maybe the first marriage was the source of his kids, and then the second marriage is to a man?
[01:16:43] Carrie Poppy: Oh, good question. I’m not sure. I guess I didn’t really track the names.
[01:16:46] Ross Blocher: Okay. But that struck me as interesting, because I know friends who have been in a relationship and then kind of realized, “You know, this isn’t for me,” and then married, you know, someone of a different gender or the same gender. But at least the way he very briefly introduced it sounded like, oh, that’s kind of cool. Like, he was attracted to a woman, was married to a woman. He was attracted to a man, married to a man.
[01:17:08] Carrie Poppy: Yeah, yeah, yeah. So, in 2014, he gets married. He’s in a dispute with his landlord over unpaid rent, and then he’s in a domestic dispute with his wife, and they’re both fined by police for the disturbance. So, you know, some—a little bit of personal chaos here. But then, that same year, the UK outlet The Independent reported on micronations, and that seems to be the first place that it’s mentioned that he’s not in the Navy anymore and that they didn’t want him doing this weird micronations thing.
[01:17:37] Ross Blocher: Okay, and who can blame them?
[01:17:38] Carrie Poppy: (Chuckles.) So, then in 2015, he starts saying on his website that he exploited this loophole in the Antarctic Treaty, and that’s how he pulled this off. And that’s when he begins calling himself the Grand Duke. And that’s also when he attends Micro Con in Anaheim, which we talked about earlier, down the street from Disneyland. And the Associated Press wires that story out, including this large, handsome photo of him, and that goes bonkers, because AP stories go bonkers.
So, then he kind of disappears for a little bit, as far as newspaper reporting. And then of course, 2023, he’s at Conscious Life Expo. September 2023, Westarctica is mentioned in the Boston Globe. So that just happened. We’ll see how that affects his audience size. And then in October 2023, he takes on a new venture. He opens an OnlyFans.
[01:18:34] Ross Blocher: Yes! Okay! So, we saw this, that he had an OnlyFans account. And I said, “Carrie, would you be willing to sign up for his OnlyFans account?”
[01:18:44] Carrie Poppy: (Laughs.) And I said, “I sure would!”
[01:18:45] Ross Blocher: Okay! So, you’ve seen him naked a lot more than I have.
[01:18:49] Carrie Poppy: Have you seen him naked at all?
[01:18:49] Ross Blocher: No.
[01:18:50] Carrie Poppy: Then yes!
Yeah, I’ve seen him naked. I’ve seen him jerk off. Yeah. It’s a lot of jerking off. Well, listen. Yes, I am indeed one of his only fans, because I think there are only like around a dozen of us. Because it’s brand new.
[01:19:04] Ross Blocher: Sure, oh yeah. We may bring a lot more into the fold.
[01:19:07] Carrie Poppy: Yeah! Yeah, sure. So, if you’ve never heard of OnlyFans it is a modeling site of various types. There are people who simply model in the straightforward way you think of that word. And then there’s the more pornographic modeling, people showing you them jerking off or having sex or whatever.
[01:19:23] Ross Blocher: To me—tell me if this is wrong—it seems kind of like a Patreon but one that allows for pornographic content.
[01:19:30] Carrie Poppy: Yeah, and then you can like form a back-and-forth chat relationship with a particular model that you’re really into and be like, “Hey, I’d really like to see someone come on your tits,” or whatever. And then they say yes or no, you pay for it. And they send you that specific thing you wanted. Yeah.
[01:19:44] Ross Blocher: Alright! Transactional. Everybody’s in on the agreement.
Cool by me.
[01:19:50] Carrie Poppy: So, I went and paid $9.99 a month. to sign up. And yeah, I would say that his OnlyFans is kind of what you expect. It’s—you know, it’s a shirtless, handsome guy showing you his dick. So, yeah, let’s see. Some of the stuff you can get, he’ll rate your dick pic for five bucks. He’ll insult and degrade your dick pic for 15 bucks.
[01:20:14] Ross Blocher: Ooh! Interesting. So, that’ll cost you more.
[01:20:17] Carrie Poppy: Three times as much.
[01:20:18] Ross Blocher: But some people really like to be ashamed by somebody else. Okay.
[01:20:23] Carrie Poppy: Right, exactly. Rate your hole pic.
[01:20:25] Ross Blocher: Oh, your hole—? Okay.
[01:20:26] Carrie Poppy: (Laughs.) Ross just really had to think about which hole he meant.
[01:20:28] Ross Blocher: I had to drop the W off the whole, and then it made sense.
But yeah, not everybody has a dick, and some people have a dick and a hole.
[01:20:37] Carrie Poppy: Oh, true! I assumed—yeah, yeah. When I hear hole pic, I assumed butthole. But you know, you’re right to wonder which hole, it turns out!
[01:20:42] Ross Blocher: I’m sure whichever hole you send him, he’ll probably rate it for you.
[01:20:47] Carrie Poppy: Yeah, yeah, that’s probably true. It would be very funny if you sent him like your inner ear cavity and he’s like, “Absolutely not!”
[01:20:53] Ross Blocher: Now it’s a little tempting to ask like which demon is this dick associated with? Maybe he can do that kind of service.
[01:20:59] Carrie Poppy: Oh, yeah! Okay, yeah. Yeah, try it out. Try it out, people. “Tribute vid of me cumming on your picture, 100 bucks.”
Yep. You see, he has to go print it.
[01:21:11] Ross Blocher: Supply and demand.
[01:21:12] Carrie Poppy: Yeah, that’s a lot more work.
[01:21:12] Ross Blocher: Yeah, if it’s glossy, that’ll cost you.
[01:21:16] Carrie Poppy: Yeah. Then special requests, “Ask for something special, and I’ll let you know how much.” And then there are the posts. And I don’t know, he has a sort of sweet presentation. Like, I think he’s very new to this, and he’s kind of nervous, and so his videos are sort of like half confident, half sort of shrinking violet kind of vibe. So, there’s sort of like a charming, sweet like—
[01:21:40] Ross Blocher: Understandable.
[01:21:41] Carrie Poppy: Yeah, like you feel very let in on a personal moment.
[01:21:45] Ross Blocher: Yeah, on the vulnerability that you’re sharing.
[01:21:47] Carrie Poppy: And I guess maybe because of that, and because I was aware that I’d be talking about it to other people, I didn’t watch a lot of the videos. I just sort of scanned through and saw like what’s happening.
[01:21:57] Ross Blocher: But it sounds like there’s a fair amount of content already.
[01:21:58] Carrie Poppy: Totally. Yeah, yeah. So, like in November he posted about his first night in his Las Vegas townhouse. It was a really sketchy part of town, he says.
[01:22:10] Ross Blocher: Has he moved to Las Vegas? Or maybe he’s bicoastal and intracoastal?
[01:22:12] Carrie Poppy: Maybe? Yeah, maybe he has moved to Vegas, because he said he eventually put up a screen over the fence. So, I wouldn’t do that at my Airbnb. But it does sound like it’s probably good that he put the screen up over the fence, because after that, he tugged his dick until he came. So, yeah, it seems like, yeah, go ahead and put up the screen.
October 30th, Man Crush Monday, there’s pics of him in his hotel bathroom in Chicago earlier this year. And you know, he’s kind of flexing for the camera, looking cute.
[01:22:43] Ross Blocher: Carrie’s turning around the laptop. Okay. Yeah, just seeing him like, mid torso up, and he’s wearing glasses. He’s got his arm lifted up so you can see his underarm hair. Yeah. And then one of him looking muscly in a black shirt. Okay. Alright.
[01:22:56] Carrie Poppy: Yeah. I think I screenshotted that one (chuckles) such that you don’t see his dick, and I just realized I did that a lot. Oh, okay. Here we go. Here’s his dick. See? Above the urinal?
[01:23:07] Ross Blocher: Oh! I see. Okay. I was looking at the photo above that, which is kind of cropped right where the penis is.
(Carrie says “whoops” with a laugh.)
And I wasn’t sure what—okay, but there we go. There’s his penis, but okay. Looks like a—looks like a penis!
[01:23:22] Carrie Poppy: (Titters.) Yep! So, you’ll see that a lot.
[01:23:24] Ross Blocher: Perfectly nice penis.
[01:23:25] Carrie Poppy: Yeah. Perfectly lovely peepee. (Laughs.) Yeah. He just like—he’ll go to the woods, take a hike, and then take off all his clothes and jerk off for ya. Yeah. So, it’s mostly that. Sometimes videos, sometimes pics, pictures of him looking cute in his underwear. One time just taking a full shower, one time fucking a fleshlight.
[01:23:47] Ross Blocher: Interesting. He’s—I mean, he’s a fit, good-looking dude.
[01:23:51] Carrie Poppy: One old shower pic from 2007 that he had kept. He was like, “I’m 27 here,” and I was like, wow! You kept this. I mean, good for you, but man, I—I don’t know where those are!
[01:24:05] Ross Blocher: Where your old nudes are. They could be anywhere.
[01:24:06] Carrie Poppy: Yeah, where are all my old nudes!? Here’s a really handsome photo of him looking in a mirror. So, let’s see. I’m gonna pick a random post and read you the caption. So, let’s see. October 22nd. “Solo Sunday. Every Sunday, you get to see me tugging my dick. Consider the huge load of cum a reward for each week you spend as a subscriber here. Also, yeah, I have a perpetually large amount of cum in my balls at all times. Ellipsis.”
[01:24:36] Ross Blocher: Thought of various comments about that, but I got nothing. But okay!
[01:24:40] Carrie Poppy: Yeah, that’s what you can subscribe to if you like.
[01:24:41] Ross Blocher: I was gonna say, then you have to kind of be mindful of, “Well, I better hold it ‘til later so I have enough for the OnlyFans.”
But maybe it’s just not a problem for him.
[01:24:51] Carrie Poppy: Yeah, I mean, I think location, location, location. Where are you when that happens?
(Ross agrees and chuckles.)
You know, if you are home by yourself, perfect. You have a camera right there.
[01:25:00] Ross Blocher: Or out in the woods. A-okay.
[01:25:01] Carrie Poppy: Right. But if you’re at Ikea…
[01:25:05] Ross Blocher: (Chuckles.) Well, thank you for signing up for this OnlyFans account.
[01:25:07] Carrie Poppy: You’re welcome. Yeah, no.
[01:25:08] Ross Blocher: I appreciate you doing it, so I didn’t have to create a login.
[01:25:13] Carrie Poppy: (Laughs.) Oh, sure, Ross. (Playfully suspicious.) Create a login. Okay. Sure, sure, sure, sure, sure, sure, sure.
[01:25:16] Ross Blocher: I’m not trying to claim I’m pure on the internet. I’m just saying.
[01:25:21] Carrie Poppy: “That particular website, I do not have!”
[01:25:22] Ross Blocher: Yeah, that particular website I can claim complete ignorance of.
[01:25:28] Carrie Poppy: Yeah. I kept feeling as I was looking at it—it was almost like a sisterly feeling, like an “I wanted to protect him” feeling. Well, I don’t know where exactly that was coming from. Yeah. Maybe I—
[01:25:39] Ross Blocher: That makes sense. It was coming from the woods. It was coming from the back porch.
[01:25:45] Carrie Poppy: He has, you know, a dozen people following him, and many more people will listen to this. And so, I don’t know, I was just cognizant of like, oh, you’re doing something that’s absolutely fine, and some people are going to mock you for it. So, I want to be clear about—
[01:25:58] Ross Blocher: Let’s not do that, anybody.
[01:26:00] Carrie Poppy: That this is absolutely fine that he’s doing this. So—or great! Or great. Yeah, so, this part? Great.
[01:26:05] Ross Blocher: Yeah, we might increase his subscribership.
[01:26:09] Carrie Poppy: (Laughs.) Yeah, go—(ratcheting into a shout) what I’m saying is go and buy the pornography of Travis McHenry! (Dropping to a murmur.) If you want to.
[01:26:14] Ross Blocher: The only relevance here is that he’s just such an enterprising fellow!
[01:26:19] Carrie Poppy: My god, he does everything!
[01:26:21] Ross Blocher: He’s got so many fingers in so many things. He just wants to seize life and try this and try that.
[01:26:28] Carrie Poppy: Yes! Do you want to make a movie with him? Sure. You want to make a play? Okay! You want to form a nation? He’ll do that! You want him to rate your hole?! He doesn’t care which one! He doesn’t even specify! What a friendly man. Just takes life by the whatever. (Giggles.) Whatever you offer.
[01:26:44] Ross Blocher: The only way we would have found him is by going to the Conscious Life Expo, attending his lecture on the occult—which he is a widely renowned expert on, even though we’ve only heard that from him, after six years of study. And yeah, I just—I feel like that takes a certain personality to be able to say like, “You know what? I’m going to start publishing books, and I feel eminently qualified to talk about this.”
[01:27:06] Carrie Poppy: Yes! (Laughing.) And I think I have a hint of that. You’ve got to have a hint of that too. We started this ding dang podcast from my floor in 2011.
[01:27:10] Ross Blocher: We make a podcast. Yeah, were we stumbled through all these topics together.
[01:27:15] Carrie Poppy: I really think the difference is this one thing—this like cutting yourself off from the knowledge of others or not. And he kind of prides himself on like, “No, I find the knowledge that everyone else disagrees with, and I use that!” And I think that’s where he got screwed over.
[01:27:31] Ross Blocher: And the desire to express and be out there and interact with people in this way as a creator. And now I have OnlyFans, of course, disproportionately represented in my mind, because we just talked about that. But you know, with his books, his plays, his movie. Well, movies! He’s been an actor and a writer on that one. And the song he wrote. (Chuckles.)
[01:27:53] Carrie Poppy: Oh, yes! I gotta go download that song.
[01:27:55] Ross Blocher: Yeah, I have it saved on my phone now, so I can listen to it whenever I need to.
[01:27:59] Carrie Poppy: Yeah, I think we’re accidental fans of this guy.
[01:28:02] Ross Blocher: And we’re not the only fans.
[01:28:04] Carrie Poppy: We’re not the only fans! There are a good 10 of us.
[01:28:07] Ross Blocher: So, there you go. Well, that was an interesting dive into the occult and then a dive into Travis McHenry.
[01:28:13] Carrie Poppy: Yes. Which you can get for $9.99.
[01:28:16] Ross Blocher: Well, I guess that’s it for this show.
[01:28:17] Carrie Poppy: Our music is by Brian Keith Dalton.
[01:28:19] Ross Blocher: Our administrative manager is Ian Kremer. And this episode was edited by Victor Figueroa.
[01:28:23] Carrie Poppy: can support this and all our investigations by going to MaximumFun.org/join.
[01:28:28] Ross Blocher: Yes, please. And tell a friend, leave us a positive review. All those things that you do to let a podcast know that you like them.
[01:28:36] Carrie Poppy: Yeah, you know what those things are.
[01:28:38] Ross Blocher: So other people can find the podcast.
[01:28:42] Carrie Poppy: Write to your congressman and ask them to make national Oh No, Ross and Carrie! Day.
[01:28:46] Ross Blocher: Especially if your congressman is Mike…
[01:28:50] Carrie Poppy: Johnson?
[01:28:51] Ross Blocher: Johnson. (Laughs.) My brain blanked out, it’s such a generic name.
[01:28:54] Carrie Poppy: I don’t think he’s the person to target. I don’t think he’ll do it.
[01:28:58] Ross Blocher: He could stand to listen to a little more Oh No, Ross and Carrie!.
[01:29:01] Carrie Poppy: Oh, sure, sure. Oh, I also wanted to say, I have a podcast rec.
[01:29:06] Ross Blocher: Ooh! Okay. What is it?
[01:29:07] Carrie Poppy: I don’t usually do this, but The Memory Hole, a podcast by Jenna Martin. She’s a novelist who was writing a novel about repressed memory and false memory. And in the context of researching that book, she got really interested in the nonfiction side of the memory wars of the ’80s and ’90s in particular, and their echoes today. And I’m in her last episode, which is episode six, but I recommend the whole thing. It’s definitely a somber listen, but she has a very informed and interesting take. And I really liked it.
[01:29:44] Ross Blocher: Very cool! And while we’re shouting out podcasts, I’ll mention our good friend, Richard Saunders, the first person to interview us.
(Carrie confirms warmly.)
At The Skeptic Zone, same place—Las Vegas at the Flamingo. We were there together at PsyCon this year, and I was briefly interviewed for his show. So, if you want to get a few updates and a little behind the scenes, you can find it in the latest episode. He may have published a new one by now, knowing him.
[01:30:07] Carrie Poppy: And what’s his show called?
[01:30:09] Ross Blocher: The Skeptic Zone. And remember.
[01:30:12] Travis McHenry: Hey, thank you so much for subscribing to my OnlyFans. I’m really excited you’re here. I have a lot of great content. I try to post brand-new stuff every single week, according to the schedule you can see on the menu. And I know you’re probably really here to see dick pics and maybe videos of me fucking people, so you’re gonna see plenty of that. And just to say thank you, here’s a little something-something with the all-famous Pikachu. No, Nintendo is not one of my official sponsors. Hope you enjoy my content.
[01:30:44] Music: “Oh No, Ross and Carrie! Theme Song” by Brian Keith Dalton. A jaunty, upbeat instrumental.
Music: “Medicines” from the album Exhilarating News by The Taxpayers.
Justin McElroy: Hey, Sydnee. You’re a physician and the co-host of Sawbones: A Marital Tour of Misguided Medicine, right?
Sydnee McElroy: That’s true, Justin.
Justin: Is it true that our medical history podcast is just as good as a visit to your primary care physician?
Sydnee: No, Justin. That is absolutely not true. Uh, however, our podcast is funny and interesting and a great way to learn about the medical misdeeds of the past, as well as some current, not-so-legit healthcare fads.
Justin: So, you’re saying that by listening to our podcast, people will feel better?
Justin: And isn’t that the same reason that you go to the doctor?
Sydnee: Well, uh, you could say that, but—
Justin: And our podcast is free?
Sydnee: Yes, it is free.
Justin: You heard it here first, folks. Sawbones: A Marital Tour of Misguided Medicine, right here on Maximum Fun: just as good as going to the doctor.
Sydnee: No, no, no. Still not just as good as going to the doctor, but pretty good.
Justin: (Softly.) It’s up there.
[01:31:42] Sound Effect: Cheerful ukulele chord.
[01:31:43] Speaker 1: Maximum Fun.
[01:31:45] Speaker 2: A worker-owned network.
[01:31:46] Speaker 3: Of artist owned shows.
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About the show
Welcome to Oh No, Ross and Carrie!, the show where we don’t just report on fringe science, spirituality, and claims of the paranormal, but take part ourselves. Follow us as we join religions, undergo alternative treatments, seek out the paranormal, and always find the humor in life’s biggest mysteries. We show up – so you don’t have to. Every week we share a new investigation, interview, or update.
How to listen
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