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At long last, BoA:Audio journeys to Japan as we welcome writer and researcher Brent Swancer for a nearly three hour conversation about Japanese legends, cryptids and anomalous places as well as some of the other strange and unusual tales he has investigated over the years.
Over the course of this marathon session, we learn about a plethora of Japanese cryptids, including the human-faced dog known as the jinmenken, Japan's version of the Bigfoot called the Hibagon, a bizarre octopus-like creature known as the Akkorokamui, and a race of small humanoids from the distant past that were dubbed the Koropokkuru. We also discuss unsettling and bizarre places like Japan's suicide forest and the 'ghost island' of Hashima as well as other topics Brent's researched like carnivorous cryptid plants, the Codex Gigas, the strange island of Mauritius, and the infamous "Lost City of Z."
An epic, touchstone edition of the program which finally plants the BoA:Audio flag in the Land of the Rising Sun as Brent Swancer joins us for his first-ever interview to discuss the monsters and mysteries of Japan as well as other oddities from around the world.
Recap: We kick things off with the standard bio/background on Brent Swancer and find out how he ended up living in Japan as well as what inspired him to research and write about the paranormal stories from there. We then begin looking at some of the articles written by Brent over the years, beginning with Cursed Paradise of Palmyra Atoll, which looks at a small chain of uninhabited islands in the North Pacific which boast a long history of strange happenings. He details how the atoll developed a reputation from sailors as a place to avoid, reports of odd activity on the island, a sense of terror which the islands seemed to invoke, WWII mishaps which happened when the US staged bases there, and an unsolved murder which took place at Palmyra Atoll in modern times.
Next we dive into some of the pieces Brent has written about Japanese cryptids, starting with a strange human-faced dog called the jinmenken which has long been reported in Japanese folklore and, allegedly, were occasionally captured and put on display in traveling sideshows a few hundred years ago. Brent also tells us about modern sightings of the jinmenken. Following that, we learn about an unsettling location known as Aokigahara which has 'earned' the unofficial moniker of Japan's Suicide Forest due to the inordinate amount of people who venture into the woods to end their lives.
Looking at another strange location in Japan, we talk about the breathtaking tiny island of Hashima which was once a bustling coal mining island but has been rendered a veritable ghost island in modern times. Returning to the crypto realm, Brent then discusses the Japanese version of Bigfoot known as the Hibagon, which burst onto the proverbial scene in the 1970's for a brief time and seemingly vanished. Additionally, Brent tells us about the Akkorokamui, which was a sea creature said to lurk in the ocean off the coast of northern Japan, as well as the Koropokkuru, which were said to be a race of little people who interacted with Japan's indigenous Anui people. More on these cryptids here.
Before we leave behind our discussion of Japanese myths, legends, and paranormalia, we get Brent's take on UFO interest and research in Japan, which leads to some talk about how the Japanese culture looks at paranormal mysteries in general. We also break the fourth wall and find out how Brent discovers these stories of Japanese myths, legends, and cryptids as well as the process of researching these topics as an American living in Japan. And, closing out this portion of Japanese discussion, we briefly talk about Okunoshima and Aoshima, islands of Japan that are overrun with rabbits and cats. Plus we also talk about Gangura girls.
In the final third of the conversation, we cover some of the articles Brent has written about other mysteries around the world, starting with tales of carnivorous cryptid plants, including the man-eating tree of Madagascar, the Nicaraguan vampire vine, and other bizarre, seemingly bloodthirsty plants. Following that, we discuss the Codex Gigas, a mysterious 13th century book known as "The Devil's Bible." Following that, we talk about the strange island of Mauritius which once boasted a wide array of unique birds and other creatures. And, wrapping up our cherry picked list of Brent's articles, we find out about the lost expedition in search of the City of Z.
Wrapping up the program, we find out if Brent has ever considered compiling his work into a book, specifically one devoted to his coverage of Japanese myths, legends, and cryptids.
Carl Joseph DeMarco
Ghost Stories, Yeren Tales,
and other Curiosities from China
Carl Joseph DeMarco
Ghost Stories, Yeren Tales,