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Forrest Burgess

Host of Astonishing Legends podcast


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Recent episodes featuring Forrest Burgess
James Willis and the Ghosts of Ohio
Astonishing Legends
The ideal qualities of a paranormal investigator should include objectivity, a grasp of the relevant history and science, and a skeptical and inquisitive nature that’s balanced with a fair and open mind. Tonight’s guest has all of those traits and more. Author and paranormal researcher James A. Willis originally hails from the Hudson Highlands of upstate New York, the stomping grounds of the Headless Horseman of Sleepy Hollow. After spending 15 of his formative years being intrigued by macabre media and all things ghostly, strange and spooky, Willis moved to Ohio to found the nationally recognized research organization, The Ghosts of Ohio. He has since grown the organization to over 35 members, representing the regions anchored by the cities of Columbus, Cleveland, and Cincinnati. In 2004, the founders of the popular line of Weird US books invited Willis to contribute and he has since collaborated on 6 volumes in the series. In 2012, Willis struck out on his own with the publication of Haunted Indiana. For 2013’s The Big Book Of Ohio Ghost Stories, Willis crisscrossed Ohio to bring readers over 75 of the Buckeye state’s most famous (and infamous) ghosts. In 2015, Willis released Ohio’s Historic Haunts: Investigating the Paranormal in the Buckeye State. Willis’ latest project, 2017’s Central Ohio Legends & Lore, had him chasing down some of the Buckeye State’s most legendary characters, including Johnny Appleseed, Annie Oakley, and Chief Leatherlips. Along the way, Willis took the time to explore some of central Ohio’s stranger legends, such as the Ohio Grassman and even UFOs. A sought-after public speaker, Willis has given presentations throughout the United States, during which he has educated and entertained tens of thousands of people of all ages in crowd sizes ranging from 10 to well over 600. He has also been featured in more than 75 media sources, including CNN, USA Today, Columbus Business First, Midwest Living, The Canadian Press, and even the Kuwait Times. Please join us as we hear about James’ approach to paranormal research and delve into some of his most weird and eerie cases.Visit our website for a lot more information on this episode:
Voynich Manuscript Giveaway Announcement
Astonishing Legends
Special Announcement - Win a free copy of the Yale University Press's Voynich Manuscript facismile.
The Voynich Manuscript Part 2
Astonishing Legends
Since its modern discovery, no other medieval manuscript has seen as much media attention or scholarly scrutiny as the Voynich Manuscript.  No doubt this is due to the fantastical strangeness of its mystery, which is also the same reason it continually captures the imagination of the public.  Because it would seem, the bigger the mystery, the bigger the reward for its solving.  Like with any enduring enigma, the manuscript has attracted its share of sleuths who have claimed they've been the ones to at least gain an insight into a solution.  Their confidence may be due to another mystical property of the manuscript.  If one looks hard enough for evidence to make their preconceived hypothesis work, they will find some within its pages.  However, why such interest and debate over this old book?  Other than as a specimen of 600-year-old "folk art," what is the worth of a book no one can read?  Because the Voynich Manuscript still holds the promise of revealing secret knowledge that could help humanity, and it has always been extremely satisfying to discover that which has been lost.Visit our website for a lot more information on this episode:
The Voynich Manuscript Part 1
Astonishing Legends
At the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library at Yale University, there is a book with the catalog call number, MS 408. It is one of the most examined and researched manuscripts to date because it is one of the most enigmatic documents ever discovered. It was purchased in 1912 at Villa Mondragone in Italy by an antiquities dealer named Wilfrid Voynich, and since there is no discernible title for the book, it is more commonly known as the Voynich Manuscript. The text is written on around 240 pages of vellum and is comprised of over 170,000 characters in the form of a code that no cryptographer has yet been able to decipher from a known language. Equally puzzling are the illustrations which accompany the writing. Most seem to be botanical in content but mostly show no identifiable plants. Along with the drawings of strange flora are diagrams of astrological charts and primitive caricatures of nude women in ceremonial displays. However, is the purpose of this manual merely medicinal or could its secrets be of a more magical instruction? And who could be the author of such a baffling work, one who thought its knowledge was so precious or dangerous enough that it needed to remain secret to all but the truly enlightened, or only to themselves? Until a solution to the Voynich Manuscript is found, it contends for the title of the most mysterious book in the world.Visit our website for a lot more information on this episode:
Jim Perry of the Euphomet Podcast
Astonishing Legends
Podcasters share a special bond, and this is especially true of those engaged with the pursuit of covering stories about the paranormal and unimaginable events.  It is perhaps because we know our pursuit of the truth behind these ineffable events will take us beyond the fringes of belief and acceptance.  It leaves us and our subjects vulnerable.  But those that manage to tell these stories well have also managed to capture and relay the vulnerability and humanity and behind them.  Because without it, there is little context to our own lives and therefore little empathy or meaning, and they may well remain as nothing but improbable tales.  One such storyteller is tonight’s guest, Jim Perry.  Jim and his critically acclaimed audio documentary podcast Euphomet, have explored the strange and our relationship to it.  The result is an intimate and fascinating look at how these encounters affect us on a personal level.  Tonight we talk with Jim about the stories and his own experiences that have shaped his perspective and his show.Visit our website for a lot more information on this episode:
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Los Angeles, CA, USA
Episode Count
Podcast Count
Total Airtime
1 week, 5 days