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Unexplained: Based on the 'world's spookiest podcast'

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Unexplained is a haunting story-based podcast in which host and creator Richard MacLean Smith explores a different unexplained mystery each week - often to terrifying effect. Usually books like this don't really bring much to the table. They go over the same old facts, and the only real difference (and therefore the level of enjoyment) is determined by how much detail there is. Sometimes a book will have come across another source, or a lesser-known story, and the writing will be engaging, and that's good! But it doesn't really bring anything new to the discussion. On the flip side, some books will lean too heavy on pet theories and only look at the evidence from that specific theory, and while sometimes that can be ignored, other times it's a bit much.

I’ve really enjoyed doing the show how I‘ve done it so far, but I feel like it needs to evolve somewhat to keep me and the listeners interested; so, you may see something a bit more ambitious in the next season. I won’t say too much, but the basic premise will be [that] instead of doing tenshort individual stories, I’m going to take one and make that the whole season. I’m not quite sure if it will work, but that’s the plan for now[.] TVOM:It seems like the “unexplained mystery” podcast is becoming incredibly popular these days. Why do you think that’s the case? The best part was the tales. If the author had just went full blown telling the tale like it was true it would have been entertaining. If the author had instead examined each tale by being scientifically critical and giving references in-between that would have been great too. But the whole trying to fit science to explain the tale irked me. Unexplained is a bi-weekly podcast about strange and mysterious real life events that continue to evade explanation. I tried. But verbosity to this extent would never have grabbed me, even if the proofs and voices were better, more authentic. Stringy and roundabout writing, filled with circling redundancies and asides. I have no idea what he means by "uncertain times" either. Regardless, that's a quirky slant to describe these episodes. Nor is it accurate, IMHO.

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To Morn Names: The unidentified man found dead on a beach in Australia. The mystery is well laid-out, and the speculation and narrative done respectfully. This is one of those unsolved mysteries I think about from time to time -- as frustrating as it is to still be without answers, it was nice to see this story included with the same meticulous care as the other accounts. I don’t know why I feel unable to award this more than 3 stars, because essentially it is a very informative and well written book - but I think that’s where the problem lies, it’s a little too well written. Smith:As I mentioned above, I think partly it’s the way I have attempted,[when]possible, to reveal the story of the events as they unfolded in real time, but also that on the one hand I don’t approach the subject with any kind of hysteria, but then on the other I don’t dismiss anything out of hand either – I just tell the story with all the facts that we have to go on.The point being that many, if not all of the people who are featured in the episodes, I think, aren’t trying to mislead anyone; I think they saw what they saw, or heard what they heard, whether there is anything ‘unnatural’ or untoward about what has happened is not for me to decide. I think this tone is important to the show also.

This book has some really good thought provoking information, but sadly quite equally as much boring suppositions. Out of the Trees and on into Dark: The story of the UFO sighting at an RAF base in Suffolk, England. I had some vague knowledge of this, but because UFOs aren't my main thing, I didn't really know that much about it and nor did I think I would be that interested. I was totally wrong. The detail in this account is phenomenal, and the atmosphere is beyond eerie. The fact that there seems to be no rational explanation for the sightings (that lasted several days) and the fact that most of the witnesses were reasonable military men who are unlikely to mistake aircraft for UFOs... it really is a strange case. Each chapter focuses on one tale of the supernatural, a supposedly true tale of the unexplained, i.e ghosts, UFOs, alien visitations, possession etc. Within the chapter the author tells the supposed tale of the incident and gives a brief mention to cases that may be alike. Alongside the tale is a commentary that is sometimes philosophical, and sometimes trying to be scientific. But the weird thing is (yes, weirder than the stories) that the author isn't using science to look sceptically at each tale, but is sometimes trying to justify the tale scientifically. He bring up a lot of different science, and I could understand his connections, but it was just too much of a stretch to even consider what he was saying. I can say that he didn't do too bad explaining some scientific concepts, but I could tell that he was making great leaps and didn't really have a deep understanding.I really should read more ‘local’ books about my area. You often forget what a plethora of history and mythology can exist in an area you live in, and it was truely delightful to read some stories based solely around the region I have lived and grown up in for over 30 years (minus a year I spent living in Manchester). It’s made me fall in love with Teesside all over again.

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