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There are a number of people currently living around the world who are experiencing the weirdest, rarest diseases known to man. Some are genetic, some are caused by injury and practically all of them leave the most learned medical professionals scratching their heads in confusion. When the human body works as it should it can be a wonder to behold, but what about when things go wrong? Gustatory auditory synaesthesia, polydactyly, misophonia, fibrodysplasia ossificans progressive, hirsuitism and spontaneous human combustion are just a few of the conditions we'll talk about. What causes these strange ailments? A cruel mishap in the genetic lottery, karma, poverty and malnutrition, a disturbance in the morphic field?

Join us on this episode of the Health and Wellness Show as we discuss these rare diseases.
Stay tuned for Zoya's Pet Health Segment where the topic will be strange animals.

Running Time: 01:25:38

Download: OGG, MP3

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Here's the transcript of the show:

Jonathan: Welcome to the Health and Wellness Show everybody. Today is Friday, October 7. My name is Jonathan. I'll be your host for today and joining me in our virtual studio from all over the planet we have Doug, Erica, Tiffany and Gaby. Hey guys.

All: Hellos.

Jonathan: Elliot is not with us today. We wish him well. He's feeling kind of under the weather so we're hoping that he recovers soon. So today our topic is "When the body says whoah!- rare diseases and strange ailments". So we're going to be talking about some of the more bizarre medical cases from around the planet. Some are genetic, some are caused by injury but all of them leave the most learned medical professionals scratching their heads in confusion. So we want to talk about some of these conditions and some of the ideas around maybe why they might happen. We're going to be doing a lot of speculating today so please bear with us on that. We're not offering proof per se because as we mentioned, even the medical professionals are baffled by this stuff. But it is an interesting area of speculation.

I guess we could just jump right into it. Doug, you had mentioned synesthesia when we were talking before the show. Let's start by talking about that. There is an interesting case, the man who can taste words. "Gordon Brown tastes revolting while Tony Blair tasted like desiccated coconut.

Tiffany: What does Hillary Clinton taste like?

Gaby: We should email him.

Doug: Or give him a list of different names. Synesthesia is a really weird one. It takes on different forms but it's almost a blending of two different senses. So people are able to hear colours, or in this case, the guy is able to taste words. I actually had a roommate once who could feel colours in a weird way. She told me that if there were ever two starkly contrasting colours that were put side-by-side it was very uncomfortable for her. She couldn't actually stand to look at that for too long because she would get a really weird sort of feeling from it whereas with harmonious colours she'd have a much more soothing feeling to it.

So I don't know if it was exactly synesthesia but it sounded kind of similar to it.

Jonathan: It's interesting because there's something to that. Colours have nanometre light frequencies associated with them and those frequencies have harmonics the same way that musical notes do which is why some colours work together and others don't. There's some theory around that as to the visual harmonics of colours, that it actually has a scientific basis in the harmonics of the frequencies of the colours. So I wonder if these people would be more sensitive to that. So it would be like hearing a dissonant note on a piano that's much more dramatic if it actually makes you nauseous.

Tiffany: This woman that you knew Doug, they say that this kind of synesthesia can occur due to drug use or brain damage or sensory deprivation or even hypnosis and that it's more common in artists, poets and writers. Did your friend fit any of that criteria?

Doug: Not the drugs. She wasn't a big partier or anything like that but she was an artist, a very good one actually. She was very talented. I shouldn't say "was". She's still around. She's just no longer my roommate. But she is an incredibly talented artist so when I read that, that it is more common in artists, I thought yeah, that makes total sense. I don't know if that's just because people who have that - I don't know if you want to call it an ability or a dysfunction, or how you'd describe it - but I wonder if that leads to more creativity. People almost have this secondary awareness of colours or sounds or words, so they're able to use that in a more creative way where if it's something completely unrelated and it just happens to correlate more with artists.

Gaby: I wonder if it's people who have the right hemisphere more dominant, if we believe in the left or right dominance in the brain.

Tiffany: Well it says that maybe a way that it could have developed, if it's not genetic, is somehow they connected these things during childhood and that's just how they came to start making those connections and it never left. They said that it's also seen in idiot savants - I hate to use the word idiots. And it also helps with your memory. I guess if you can see sounds or taste colours or words or something, it will help you remember things a lot better than the average person because it has that extra component to it.

Doug: Yeah, they were mentioning one guy - I can't remember who he was - and he was some kind of mathematician who had memorized pi to 2,000 digits and he attributed that to the fact that every number under 10,000 he said had a very distinctive - I can't remember if it was shape or colour - there was something very distinctive about it to him. So he was actually able to memorize pi to 2,000 digits because he had this extrasensory component to it.

Gaby: It's a savant kid. I think they made a documentary about him and he can learn any language in weeks or days and they put him to the test by inviting him to Iceland so he could learn Icelandic.

Tiffany: I think I saw that.

Gaby: Yes it is. It is him.

Tiffany: Yeah, he learned the language in three days or something ridiculous like that.

Doug: Jeez! Wow! Speaking of languages, this guy who can taste words talks about the characteristics of different languages and says that he finds that French has kind of an eggy taste to it. He said that it's like the crispy bits that get burnt on an egg, or overcooked on a egg. That's what French tastes like. Whereas German has the taste of marmalade.

Tiffany: He said the lord's prayer tasted like bacon.

Gaby: That's how he knew he was different. In church the lord's prayer tastes like bacon.

Doug: It tastes like bacon!

Tiffany: Bacon is like manna from heaven.

Doug: Yeah. Holy, holy bacon.

Jonathan: It must be interesting. They speak in this article of him suffering from this condition and it makes me wonder about the nature of suffering. I could see how it would be annoying in certain cases the way he says he doesn't read novels because of the flowery prose because the flavours are overwhelming. The same with tabloid newspapers. So I wonder if there's an actual value assignment to the things that taste bad for him. Is he unwittingly avoiding things that have a negative impact because to him they taste bad or is this a random association in his brain? I guess I'm wonder on a meta-level is he tapped into an extra sense about sort of what is beneficial and what is not.

Tiffany: I was thinking along the same lines, like when he said he can't stand to reading the Sun and the Mirror. Is he picking up on the emotional intent or the attempts at propaganda or something that taste really funky to him?

Doug: One of the things he said is that if he's thinking about going to a party and finds out that somebody is going whose name has that kind of off-sense to him, then he'll actually not go to the party because he doesn't want to be confronted by that terrible taste. But he said that he has made mistakes in the past when dating because he would date women who had very nice names and he would later found out that that didn't really have any objective quality to the actual person, that it was just a name. So it seems like it's more just the actual words themselves and it doesn't really come across something else, but I might be wrong.

Gaby: I don't know if there's some objectivity about the words and its flavour in his brain, but he's submitting thousands of words to the university, the University College of London and Edinburgh University are making a database. Maybe it will correlate with somebody else who has the same brain condition.

Tiffany: And he said that the taste that he gets from certain words or names stays the same. It doesn't change over his lifetime so they're fixed in his brain.

Doug: There was some speculation by some researchers who said that it has to do with the connections in the brain and that they're not as well formed or distinct I guess as they could be, that maybe there's an overlap there or the neurons aren't - I'm just speculating here - but maybe the myelin sheaths on the neurons aren't as structurally sound so it's like when a neuron fires that's supposed to be for a word, that it actually leaks over into the taste component. I don't know.

Tiffany: They showed that when this guy who can taste words did an MRI, the taste regions of his brain lit up when he was hearing certain words and that usually doesn't happen with normal people. So I like your theory.

Doug: I'll write a paper.

Jonathan: It is pretty fascinating. I guess wiring is an apt metaphor but the brain is so much more complex than just wires, per se. So it must be something to do with the impulses, like you said, crossing regions, getting into different parts. They follow a different path. I don't know.
It's something I would like to experience just to see what it's like.

Doug: Temporarily.

Jonathan: Yeah.

Doug: The taste one seems a little bit more disturbing. You get introduced to somebody and they have a name that tastes like mud.

Erica: So they leave a bad taste in your mouth.

Doug: The one where it's words that correlate with colours or sounds or something like that, sounds like it might actually be kind of cool.

Tiffany: That's like a lot of extraneous input that a lot of regular people don't have. I don't know if I'd be able to deal with that all the time.

Jonathan: It kind of reminds me of some cases of autism where people who are autistic have hypersensitivity to certain input. They can't handle loud noises or they can't handle touch and it's this overwhelming sensation. It's almost like a form of that.

Gaby: It is.

Jonathan: But they are socially functioning.

Gaby: It is described that a lot of the cases of synesthesia is in autistic children.

Tiffany: I think about that disorder called misophonia where people can't stand sounds, like this lady who says she wears ear plugs when she goes to thanksgiving dinner with her parents. These trigger sounds will cause certain people stress, anger or violent rage if they hear people lip smacking or scraping their fork across the plate or tapping and typing.

Gaby: Just to clarify, this is just not a normal reaction. This is a notch beyond that.

Tiffany: These people are really bothered.

Doug: Yeah. They did some objective testing on them and they found that they were actually having full-on stress responses to this stuff so it's not people who are a little hypersensitive to a sound and get annoyed by it. It's people who are actually full-on going into fight or flight mode because somebody's chewing too loudly.

Tiffany: The funny thing about it was that they didn't find their own sounds annoying. Like if they chewed on a crunchy piece of bacon it didn't bother them. A teacher said that her autistic students making noise in class didn't bother them. And it sounds like it's connected to the family dynamic. If you have a lot of anger towards whatever person is making that sound, it can make you go off.

Jonathan: Sure.

Doug: It made me wonder if maybe there is an emotional component to it and it might just be that they're suppressing a stronger emotional thing; they don't want to deal with the actual issue so it ends up coming out in these passive/aggressive ways, like "I can't stand the way that you chew" or "I can't stand that you're clicking a pen right now" or something like that. They maybe just aren't connected enough with their emotions to actually be in touch with what's really bothering them. So all these little passive/aggressive things start coming out because it does say in the article that it's very selective and it seems to happen with only certain people or particularly family.

Gaby: If there would be no emotional connection would it still manifest?

Doug: Yeah.

Tiffany: I'd be interested to know more about that lady's family dynamics because it seems like she hates her parents.

Erica: Yeah.

Doug: Exactly.

Gaby: She was what? Six years old when she was diagnosed?

Doug: Yeah, and she said that at thanksgiving dinner she'll often sit there with the earplugs in and then she can't hear what anybody's saying, so she just eats up and leaves, goes into the other room and waits. Maybe the whole behaviour is just so she can get away.

Gaby: Maybe she shouldn't go to thanksgiving.

Doug: Yeah.

Jonathan: So there's another interesting variant of synesthesia. It's technically not a variant of synesthesia but I think it's in a similar vein - Anton's syndrome, characterized by the denial of blindness. People who by all evidence can't see what's in front of them but they do see things, and not just shapes or colours but in fact an entirely different reality.

Gaby: They make it up, right? It's very rich but it's all fantasy.

Doug: Yeah. "What's in the room with you?" and they just describe some scene that is completely not at all what is there. But they would never actually admit to the fact that they're actually blind.

Tiffany: People don't really find out until they see him falling over things. It says they're confabulating this sighted world, like they have sense enough to not get behind the wheel of a car and start driving.

Doug: Could you imagine?

Tiffany: But I think this guy had had strokes and it affected his visual cortex. Some of these disorders can come as a result of a head injury or something.

Doug: It's interesting that article about Anton's syndrome. It goes into a lot of different types of disorders, all dealing with the visual pathway in some way. So some people might be able to see an object but not be able to describe it to you or tell you what it is and other people are almost the opposite. They can't really see what's in front of them but if you said there's a toy elephant sitting in front of them they could say "What is that" and they would be able to tell you what it is. But then they say "Can you describe an elephant?" and they can describe it fine. But they're staring right at it and can't actually recognize it.

There are other ones where we seem to have a very specific part of the brain that's used for recognizing faces and they did a study at one point where they showed encountering neurons in the brain that exclusively responded to pictures of Jennifer Aniston's face. So that's taking up space in your brain right now. Just so you know. You have a part of your brain that only responds to Jennifer Aniston's face. They were shown other familiar things like animals or other people or landmarks and the brain wouldn't respond, but it does to Jennifer Aniston's face.

Gaby: Oh god that's creepy for some reason.

Jonathan: The face blindness thing is pretty interesting because I have the opposite. I have a really, really hard time remembering people's names and for years have wondered is that my own narcissism because I just don't care what people's names are consciously. But I can remember faces really well but I just have a hard time associating them with names. So I'll see somebody I haven't seen for 15 years and I know I know that person. I've seen them before. So I have the hyper-facial recognition but I have a hard time associating that.

Tiffany: That could be really embarrassing. You try to get them to say their name.

Doug: Exactly. I suffer from the same thing and I think what it usually manifests in me is that when I first meet a person, thirty seconds after they've been introduced to me, their name is just not there. It's not in my brain. And I think it has to do with a certain amount of social anxiety when meeting somebody new or something like that, so I'm preoccupied so the name goes in one ear and out the other. It's "Oh man, they just told me their name and I don't remember it".

Tiffany: It helps if you say their name right after they say their name.

Doug: That does help, yeah. If I remember to do that, that does help.

Erica: That happens to me too, especially when you're introducing someone to another person and you don't know their name.

Doug: That's the worst.

Erica: This is Doug. And this is - maybe you just say "what's your name again?"

Gaby: Depending on the day, you just admit it or...

Doug: Yeah. There's another interesting visual associative one that's called oculomotor apraxia. Apparently that is people who have the reduced ability to voluntarily shift their gaze away from wherever they happen to be looking.

Erica: Creepy stare syndrome?

Doug: Creepy stare syndrome, exactly! That would be terrible.

Gaby: Next time if you catch somebody looking at you intently, don't judge.

Doug: Don't judge. "Do you have oculomotor apraxia or are you just creepy?"

Tiffany: That reminds me of that weird, creepy stare that Hillary had when she was giving a speech somewhere, standing on the podium and she was just staring off into the audience and then her handler came by and said "It's okay. It's okay. Keep talking, keep talking." She had that really creepy stare on her face.

Jonathan: I have known a couple of people who don't look at you when they're talking. They look over your shoulder.

Gaby: That's autism.

Doug: Yeah, that's spectrum stuff I think. That's a weird one for sure.

Erica: I notice that happens a lot with children and I think it's almost the time period. I would even take my two fingers and point at their eyes and then point at my eyes, "Here! Right here! Right here!" So it is on the spectrum of autism but I think it's also a shutting down maybe. Maybe for adults it's too much stimulation. You don't want to see.

Tiffany: One of our chatters said it can also be a cultural thing. I know there are certain cultures where it's a sign of disrespect to look somebody in the face when they're talking.

Doug: Apparently there's a difference between men and women too. I think men will look at the person who's speaking to them but look away when they're listening and for women it's the opposite. I might have that backwards but apparently there is a difference there. That might be cultural as well though.

Tiffany: It's kind of hard to tease out what is inborn in somebody and what they learn through their culture.

Erica: I know having grown up in a city it was ingrained at a pretty young age that you don't make eye contact with people when you're walking down the streets. Then when I moved to Hawaii it was very different. Everyone makes eye contact and it's a sign of disrespect, especially of elders, to not look at them in the eye and acknowledge them so they can peer into your soul.

Doug: I think that's a cultural thing to a certain extent and I find that it depends on the size of the city or town that you're in. From my experience, in small towns people tend to be much more open and will say hello to each other when passing whereas in a big city, for practical reasons you can't do that if you're passing 300 people on your way to work. I've noticed that, that in smaller areas it's much more culturally appropriate to say hello.

Gaby: Yeah, in a small town you know everybody so you have to look at people and say hello.

Doug: It's an obligation.

Gaby: Like a big family.

Tiffany: Sometimes in a small town you purposely avoid eye contact because you don't want to be drawn into some five hour discussion.

Jonathan: Speaking of things that we have experienced, when we were talking before the show about exploding head syndrome, I thought that was an interesting one because that's something that I identify with. I never thought of it as a syndrome. But when you're falling asleep or when you're sleeping you get a loud noise in your ears, kind of like an explosion but not really and then I get a flash of light too. It hasn't actually happened to me in almost a couple of years as I was falling asleep.

Gaby: Since you went gluten-free.

Jonathan: Yeah, that may be an association. But I'd be falling asleep and I'd hear an electric shock sound in my ears and see a flash of light. It would be accompanied by a physical jolt as well.

Doug: Were you sleeping near any outlets?

Jonathan: Probably, yeah.

Erica: A system overload Jonathan?

Jonathan: A combination of diet and electromagnetic stimulation of some sort. But it is, it's like getting shocked when you're trying to fall asleep. It's weird.

Tiffany: The name for that one is kind of misleading. Your head doesn't actually explode. It's just an explosion of noise.

Gaby: But it is something very weird. I never heard it before until now so I wonder if it's electromagnetic toxicity and all this stuff is contributing or people having less grounding activities, earthing.

Tiffany: It sounds like it could be on the spectrum of epilepsy in a way.

Jonathan: Sure.

Gaby: Or migraine spectrum as well.

Doug: Oh yeah. It's not uncommon for me to see flashes of light as I'm falling asleep. I'll see as if somebody just turned on the light really quickly in the room. But it happens once in awhile but it doesn't sound as disturbing as exploding head syndrome. It's more like "Oh, there's some flashing lights."

Erica: Maybe it's exploding brain cell syndrome.

Jonathan: Like I said, I've never had pain associated with it which is kind of strange too. I think that it's probably a good hypothesis that it has something to do with electromagnetic pollution and grounding. You're not grounded, you build up a charge and then it just goes off somewhere in your head. I don't know.

Erica: Well I wonder if it's related to the whole idea of tinnitus, the ringing in the ears. I know that could be definitely electromagnetic or electromagnetic syndrome, just being over too much electrostatic in the environment.

Erica: I don't know if you guys have had the experience where you're talking about someone and then the ear rings really loudly and then all of a sudden you run into them or they call. And then you say "Oh your ears must have been burning".

Jonathan: Well, moving on to some of these other things, also we were talking before the show about some of the potential ramifications of these weird conditions. We have a child in India who was born with 34 fingers and toes, another child who was born with a tail, somebody who is born with eight limbs, those kind of things. I'm curious about the implications of those aside from the standard statistical outlier. What I had said as we were talking before the show was how do we present this and I think we don't really have a good way to present this, but the idea that comes to mind is that there's this concept that there was some sort of Edenic state of humanity - whether you're a Christian or not - the idea that there was some sort of pre-modern state of humanity where things were overall better. There was less disease. People were healthier generally. They lived longer, sort of a natural state in the world.

I don't want to get into the religious implications of that. What I'm curious about is the idea of the statistical outliers that we see here, mutations that are born. Could that be traced down directly to genetic abnormalities that come from industrial pollutants, environmental toxins, things like that? Is it cross wires in genetics when the fetus is forming? Could there also be some sort of karmic implication? Perhaps you're brought back with some sort of energetic malady when you reincarnate. I don't know. That's why I'm saying it's not very clear. I have this idea in my head about how to present the concept but I'm not very clear on it,

Tiffany: Well that makes me think of the morphogenetic field. One of our chatters just put that up too. Humans have this energetic field of what their body is supposed to look like and sometimes things can go wrong. Say you're born with a tail or extra digits or something, does your morphogenetic template show those extra digits or a tail or anything? Or is your morphogenetic template still in the shape of a "normal" human body?

Gaby: I was going to speculate if the morphogenetic field in India doesn't resonate to those goddesses because they have some really weird cases.

Erica: Yeah, like the boy that was born with that tail. They believed he was the reincarnated god of Hanuman, the monkey god. So he was worshipped as this amazing thing and he's really proud of his tail and he shows it to people. He lives with his grandfather and his uncles and they said when he spoke for the first time at the age of one he spoke all the names of the different gods and different religions. So if he was born in America it might be very different.

Tiffany: It's so interesting that a lot of these cases took place in India where they have a very strong belief in karma and reincarnation and they have all these multi-limbed gods and things like that. But also with a lot of these cases they live in very, very extreme poverty. I'm wondering if malnutrition or poor sanitation can make epigenetic changes and cause these deformations.

Doug: Could be.

Gaby: Could be but I wonder if it will have the same level of toxicity to say some regions of China. I don't know.

Tiffany: And it might actually be a good thing that these cases take place in India since they have such strong traditions of karma and multi-limbed gods, therefore they would be more accepted. In certain cultures if a child is born deformed they'll just leave it to die. In a lot of other cases if there's some kind of genetic abnormality the mother will miscarry before the baby's even born.

Erica: What's interesting about this boy is that his home was converted into a temple and devotees would come to visit him to receive blessings and to touch his tail. He said even if the doctors removed my tail people will continue to believe in me.

Doug: The kid actually needs to be moved around in a wheelchair. It wasn't totally clear in the article. He either has a related condition or an unrelated condition that makes him kind of sick and he has to move around in a wheelchair or it might actually be that the tail is interfering with his walking.

Gaby: Maybe it's some sort of spina bifida, that his spinal cord is the tail. I'm not familiar with the case, but if he cannot walk with his own legs it's got to be related to the spinal cord.

Tiffany: I don't think they said in the article what the tail actually consisted of. Was it spinal fluid in there or was it bone?

Doug: I don't know. It's interesting too that in some ancient cultures whenever something like this would happen, when a child was born deformed in some way or even an animal was born deformed in some way, they actually considered it a portend. It was a sign. I guess maybe they had some kind of complex system for how to interpret these sorts of signs but I think a lot of times it would be considered a bad sign. You had a goat born with two heads or something like that, it means stuff's really going down.

Tiffany: A bad omen.

Gaby: Because the beast is described throughout the ages and one would think that in the past there was not so much toxicity as we have now in the 21st century.

Jonathan: I was curious about that too because on the face of it I would think "Okay, it's environmental toxins causing different forms of genetic mutation". But like you said, it has happened for many years in a lot of different ways and it happened before there was any industrial pollution, before the industrial era at all. So I think some of the modern cases would probably be a result of that but it's certainly not that simple.

Gaby: And in the past it correlated with earth changes so who knows what the environment is doing to our genes.

Doug: Yeah, exactly.

Tiffany: That makes me think of twins too. In some ancient cultures twins were a bad omen and they would kill the twin maybe. But then you think of conjoined twins. There was a really interesting article on SOTT about these twin girls from British Columbia who were joined at the head. They were toddlers at the time that this article came out and doctors examined them and they had a thalamic bridge. Their thalamus's were connected through some kind of tissue and what one experienced, the other experienced. If one would take a drink the other would taste it.

Doug: Weird.

Gaby: Yes, and there is no point of reference. They really wanted to study these badly but at the end it was "Let's just leave them alone. They're babies."

Tiffany: And if one was looking at something the other one could see what it was. It was really strange.

Erica: The medical term is craniopagus and they say there's one in 2.5 million and only a fraction survive. What was neat about this article was that the parents didn't really make a big deal out of it. They just went through their day-to-day and they did say that each day that they would wake up and find them alive is a good day.

Tiffany: Well what was interesting about that too is that the mother was going through a rough time around the time that the twins were born and she said she always wanted to be different. The whole family dynamic was off a little bit from what I was reading in the article. So I don't know. Could it be that sometimes if deformities occur it can be a reflection of a deformed or skewed environment or something?

Erica: She has five children.

Tiffany: Yeah, in total.

Gaby: She had psychic impressions right? The day before she gave birth she had a dream of the girls crying and she knew that they were going to survive, that they were going to be fine and the next day she gave birth.

Jonathan: It's all pretty fascinating. I guess it's what happens when you consider humanity as this giant regenerating soup of genetic material, that there are going to be cases where things go wrong. But I'm not sure if wrong is the right word. If somebody has 15 fingers as opposed to 10, is that necessarily wrong if it's not causing them to suffer? We just think it's weird because it's not normal. That's where I get locked up with assigning the word abnormality to it. I guess abnormality is more accurate, but saying it's a dysfunction or a disorder of some kind makes me curious. I guess I would consider something a dysfunction if it causes the person suffering in their life, pain or immobility, things like that. But if it's just something that doesn't look normal to us it doesn't track to me as something that's necessarily wrong with them.

Doug: Yeah, a guy with 15 fingers could probably type really fast.

Jonathan: Yeah, sure.

Tiffany: That kind of makes me think when someone is born and their template or soul is put into their body, maybe something a little extra comes along or things that should be there are not there. If you read about alien abductions or things like that where they TDARM somebody, transdimensional remolecularization or something, so they get taken and then they get put back but when they get put back things are kind of out of place.

Gaby: Like a Star Trek movie.

Tiffany: All very strange.

Gaby: We can only speculate.

Tiffany: It's surprising that not just these particular toddlers we're talking about but how surprising it is a lot of other conjoined twins survive as long as they do. I think I read somewhere that the oldest two persons were 50+ years old. But some people who are conjoined just can't take it and eventually they say "We have to do surgery to separate ourselves" and the surgery sometimes goes bad and they end up dying. I'm surprised that they survive so long because sometimes one twin's body parts, like their hearts are doing most of the pumping or their kidney is doing most of the filtering and it can be a real strain on at least one of the twins.

Doug: That's sad.

Jonathan: It is. Also looking at this other case that we had here in our notes, the tree man. Listeners might be familiar with that. It was on the Discovery Channel. I've seen a few articles over the years about this guy; his very weird condition where his skin took on the texture of wood and began to grow structures out of his hands.

Doug: And his feet.

Jonathan: And his feet, yeah.

Doug: It almost looks like tree bark, like roots or something.

Jonathan: It does, yeah. And that's one where they say in the article about him that he was fired from his job, he was deserted by his wife, he lived in poverty, he was forced essentially to get into being part of a freak show in order to make money. That's something I would consider to be causing him suffering in his life, aside from the obvious inability to use his hands in an effective way.

Doug: He apparently got ridiculed quite badly too. People would bully him and stuff like that. So it's a pretty tragic case. Apparently there was a doctor of some sort from the west who actually was investigating his case and found that the growths were actually warts so they were warts that had gone crazy because his immune system was so deficient that he wasn't actually able to fight it off. So most people I guess who get warts, the body contains it to a certain degree, is able to section it off and keep it isolated to this one place whereas this guy was completely unable to do that. The doctor said when he first looked at his blood test he thought he might have AIDS because he was so immune deficient, but he didn't [have AIDS]. Or was it HPV?

Erica: Yes, it was HPV.

Gaby: HPV. But I found that so curious because there are so many people with immune deficiencies, genetic or acquired. They don't get this!

Doug: Yeah.

Gaby: At least to the extent he did.

Doug: Yeah, it's very strange. And it's also a pretty tragic case. I was looking because the article that we looked up was talking about how they might be close to a cure for it by giving him a synthetic vitamin A of some sort. So I wondered if there were any after pictures, if that actually worked out to be a good cure or something, and it turns out he actually died a couple of years ago of liver complications I think. So whether that was from the condition or the cure, who knows?

Jonathan: Along the lines of the stoneman, there's another person, a 17-year-old girl who has "stoneman syndrome" but there's a weird aspect to this case where apparently she is growing a second skeleton. That one is pretty bizarre. It looks like another case of cell division gone wild, along the lines of cancer but it's not cancer. It's something entirely different.

Tiffany: It's called Fibrodysplasia ossificans progressiva (FOP) and it turns your muscles, tendons and ligaments into bones. They say it starts in the neck and in the shoulders and then it spreads throughout the whole body. Like the 17-year-old girl in the article, she said she couldn't even lift her hands above her waist. Every time she falls down or bumps herself it starts this growth in bone and if you try surgery it doesn't help because it just makes the bone grow faster.

Doug: It's almost like the body's repair mechanism is off in some way. When your body's trying to repair muscle tissue or skin or a tendon or something like that, instead of repairing it with the cells that it's supposed to, it repairs it with bone cell. So anytime there's any kind of injury then they start growing bone in that place instead of the regular cells. It's really tragic.

Tiffany: One of our chatters asked if it could be a stem cell malfunction. You know how stem cells differentiate and one become a heart cell, one becomes a kidney cell or something, maybe too many of their stem cells are programmed to become bone and it just grows out of control.

Gaby: Somebody was suggesting some treatment. They were studying the mechanism of disease and they were suggesting some treatment even though there are so few people in the world with this. Yes, I think it's a good investment.

Tiffany: But it's hard to come up with a treatment if you don't really know what it is you're dealing with. How can you treat something when you don't know what it is?

Doug: Well the treatment was along the lines of genetic testing. Apparently there's some kind of malfunction with something called the ACVR1 gene. It's only theorized right now but the idea is that they can do something to turn off that gene or block it in some way or something to try and deal with it.

Tiffany: Yeah, but a lot of times one gene doesn't just affect one function. So it would be interesting to see what would happen if they actually did that and what else it would affect in their bodies.

Gaby: That's true. There is a very simplistic understanding of how we make scar tissue and how this works.

Doug: That's true.

Jonathan: There's an interesting comment on that article on SOTT. One of the commenters says that the interesting part of the article is when they describe her getting steroid treatments for a neck issue and she was diagnosed with FOP after the steroid treatments. I would be curious well, as this commenter said, if that had anything to do with it. Perhaps it was latent and the steroids kicked off a process that just needed that to get going.

Gaby: Or maybe she was having issues and then she got the steroids as a treatment for pain. That could be it too. This is very frequent.

Jonathan: But then the steroids are generally used as anti-inflammatories right, and inflammation is the body's natural response to injury or insult so perhaps in this specific case if the inflammatory response was turned off then it switched it and that's where the cross-wires so-to-speak took up the regrowing of the bone instead of the normal inflammatory response.

Gaby: Maybe. One trigger. It's so weird. We can only speculate but yes, it is unbelievable...

Jonathan: Totally.

Gaby: ...that something like this would exist.

Tiffany: And it's actually not very surprising that there's really no effective treatments or cures for this. There's not a lot of effective treatments or cures for typical ailments that people have, let alone these ones that are really out of the bounds of what you would even think of imagining.

Doug: Yeah, that's true. I was going to bring up maybe a little bit lighter - well maybe not for people who are actually suffering from it - but we were reading one about something referred to as Truman's syndrome. It was considered a modern mental ailment I guess. It's actually named after the movie The Truman Show from 1998 where they built an entire town and put a person in there who wasn't aware that they weren't actually in the outside world and kept cameras on them in secret 24/7 and it was a show called The Truman Show. This disorder is that people feel that. They feel as if they are the centre of some sort of show that everybody is in on and everybody they're speaking to is an actor. They even said that one guy actually showed up at a government building of some kind and said that he wanted out of his show, he didn't want to be on it anymore.

They described a couple of related things too. Apparently there was one in Austria who believed that she had become a walking webcam so that everything that she was looking at and doing was being recorded and broadcast on the internet.

Gaby: Are these people crazy or are they recovering their sanity?

Tiffany: Yeah, I was wondering that too. I would be interested to know more about their psychological background. Are they suffering from some diagnosed mental disorder because delusions of persecution or broadcasting...

Erica: Or paranoia.

Tiffany: ...yeah, that can be a sign of schizophrenia. I was wondering how these people function in their day-to-day lives. Are they able to get along or what's going on there?

Doug: It must be extreme paranoia.

Jonathan: I was wondering the same thing. It sounds like paranoid schizophrenia but in this article specifically, they don't mention the other symptoms. Are these people having hallucinations? Are they plagued by this to the point where they absolutely can't function? Or is this just an idea that they have? In that case could it be low level paranoia that is fuelled and guided by the state of the world and the amount of media and surveillance that we have?

Doug: They speculated on that in the article actually. Some people were saying it's just some kind of reality TV type society that we live in right now where we've got YouTube and Facebook and people are constantly exposed, like a pathological extension of that. It's like people's fantasies become reality so that they are at the absolute centre of this universe. But they talk about some people who have actually committed suicide because they can't deal with this.

So you could look at it as just extreme narcissism on one hand - "I'm the centre of the universe and everybody's watching a TV show about me". But then if you've got people who are put over the edge so much by it that they're committing suicide, obviously that's something different going on there.

Gaby: Or a combination of the two, like some sort of psychotic breakdown mixed with narcissism, triggered by the social media.

Doug: Well it kind of made me think a little bit about the whole "flat earther" thing too. These flat earthers basically think that the world is entirely constructed, that everything is false, that our planet is not round, the sun does not circulate around it, that it's all a lie perpetrated by whoever, the powers that be and we live in this closed environment that is not a spherical planet, reality is entirely constructed. It seems like it's not a huge step away from that to think that "everybody I encounter is an actor", "everything is all constructed specifically for me". It just kind of reminded me of that.

Tiffany: So they're basically saying no one else exists but them.

Jonathan: It is interesting. There are variations in that world. There are some people who think that it's just an interesting idea all the way to people who are completely and utterly convinced that that is reality and cannot be argued with. So I think there are scales of involvement there but it's an interesting idea to consider that it might be like you said and like they speculate in the article, it could be an out-flowing result of our saturation with these concepts in media.

I'm not subscribing to the flat earth theory. What I'm saying is the world is a really weird place. There was a comedian who said this once and it resonated with me. "I could wake up in a psych ward somewhere and this whole thing is fake". I think that that's an interesting concept, however to take it a step further and let that run and control your entire life to the point where you can't function socially, it becomes a problem. So there's a difference between thinking that it's an interesting concept, and allowing it to become a problem in your life.

Doug: Should we be worried about you Jonathan?

Jonathan: Not until I wake up in a psych ward.

Erica: And they name a syndrome after you.

Tiffany: Well there's another weird one called Cotard's delusion where people believe that they're missing body parts like their brains or that they're actually dead. Sometimes it's called walking zombie syndrome. People like to spend a lot of time in cemeteries because they want to be among their own kind. They tend not to eat or to bathe.

Gaby: That sounds very morbid.

Tiffany: Yeah. It sounds like a very extreme, extreme example of being detached from your own body.

Doug: That's really weird. Couldn't they just do a couple of tests to see if they're dead?

Erica: Like their pulse?

Doug: Take their pulse? See if you're breathing. Put a mirror under your nose.

Jonathan: I wonder if that's some sort of a psychiatric delusion, to put it simply. I almost wonder if showing them the results of a test to say "Here, this proves that you're alive" would cause a psychotic break of some kind.

Tiffany: Or maybe just putting them in front of a mirror and telling them to move their arms.

Doug: Well isn't the fact that you're actually interacting with them kind of a hint? I don't know.

Jonathan: The psychiatric realm of conditions and maladies is a whole other ball of wax. It's fascinating and completely plastic. There are probably tens of thousands or more variations of psychiatric deviations from what we consider the norm. I think some pretty weird things so I could probably be diagnosed with five different maladies right now.

Doug: You're just begging for the men in white coats to come for you Jonathan.

Jonathan: I know. I'm able to function though so that's how I tell myself I'm okay.

Gaby: From all of the weird diseases what you haven't had is spontaneous combustion.

Erica: Yet.

Jonathan: It's never happened.

Tiffany: Do we want to play that clip?

Doug: Yeah.

Jonathan: Sure.

Gaby: It's a couple of minutes.

Erica: Okay.
Narrator: Frank Baker is a decorated Vietnam war veteran. He has two purple hearts and a gallantry medal but his closest brush with death was not on any battlefield. He was right here in Vermont. This is the first time he's spoken about the horrific events of June 1995.

Frank: We were getting ready for fishing. We were sitting on the couch the day before the derby. Everything was great. Pete was sitting next to me. We were having one hell of a time and all of a sudden (sound of flames).

Pete: It was the damndest thing I've ever seen. Frank was freaking out and making me freak out.

Frank: I was in sheer panic. All I could do was try to fight it. I was petrified. I had no idea what was taking place with my body.

Narrator: Eventually Pete and Frank managed to extinguish the flames and get Frank to a doctor. For Frank this was only the beginning and the medical profession were no help.

Frank: The doctor was completely baffled and he said looking at it Frank, this burned from the inside out and he said 'I've never ever seen anything like this.'

Narrator: Yet Frank was nowhere near any source of heat or flame.

Frank: I wasn't smoking. There were no flames around. There was no lights on, no microwaves. All that was coming in was the sun from the far end of the house when this happened.

Larry Arnold: Frank Baker appears to fit all the criteria for survival of partial spontaneous human combustion and he's had to deal with it. He's had to come to terms with something that was said to be impossible, something that could not happen.
Tiffany: Well that was weird.

Doug: Weird!

Gaby: It was not only spontaneous human combustion but he was also a survivor.

Tiffany: Yeah, most of them don't survive. They burn up.

Doug: It's a really weird phenomenon. It's the fact that people seem to be burning from the inside out and most often it seems that the entire body gets consumed by flames, just becomes ash except for the legs. For some reason the legs seem to survive and there's rarely any damage to anything outside of the body, even somebody who was sitting next to a newspaper or something like that, it doesn't catch fire either. It's pretty crazy.

Erica: Do they have burns as a result?

Tiffany: Well the ones who survive!

Gaby: It's like the whole body disappears and you need fire of over 1000°C in order to burn bones to cinders. It's weird.

Doug: Yeah. I remember reading one case where they came across a guy who had died but I guess they caught it before it consumed his entire body and they could see there was a hole in his abdomen where there was this fire going and his clothes were very minimally burned. And they had a lot of trouble putting it out with fire extinguishers. They had to try for a long time to get it to go out. It's just so bizarre!

Erica: One thing about that case that makes me wonder - and I'm totally speculating here - is that he was in Vietnam. Maybe he was exposed to some sort of weird biological weapon? Who knows?

Tiffany: But this has been noted for a long time. In the 1400s I think there was the case of this Spanish doctor who talked about some guy who lived in Milan who spontaneously combusted after wine drinking. In a lot of different cases that I've read people will have consumed alcohol. There was this guy who tried to set rats on fire - get rats drunk and set them on fire - and it wouldn't work.

Gaby: Poor things!

Tiffany: But then he tried using acetone and that worked and the funny mention was that they mentioned being in a state of ketosis produces acetone. So if you're in ketosis you might have a higher chance of spontaneously combusting.

Gaby: I think that is just wild speculation! They want to know badly why it happens and I think yes, we can come up with a lot of biochemical reasons but we're still missing the ignition point. It shouldn't happen. I saw a documentary on the Discovery Channel and they were speculating that it was an excess of phosphorus. It was a derivative of phosphorus, phosphine which is highly flammable, if it's diphosphine. They were speculating that maybe a bacteria or a microbe can create the diphosphine in your body fast enough in order to start the ignition in your stomach. So I don't know.

Doug: I haven't heard of a lot of people in ketosis spontaneously combusting although it would kind of bring new meaning to the word burning ketones. Or fat burner.

Tiffany: You do wonder what it is that sets it off, some kind of electrical phenomenon? But you look at people who have been struck by lightning and they don't burn through all their tissues.

Gaby: And it's lightning! It doesn't do that.

Tiffany: Well so many of these disorders, nobody knows what's going on with them. Nobody has a treatment. Nobody has a cure. They're just weird phenomenon.

Doug: Like the werewolf disorder?

Tiffany: Yeah.

Doug: Certain people seem to, since they were born, start growing hair all over themselves. There's actually a group of sisters called the Sangli sisters, again in India. I think there are six children in the family and only three of them have the condition but they just grow hair all over their face, all over their body, like werewolves essentially. It's not super uncommon either. I don't remember exactly how prevalent it is in the population but it's not entirely unheard of.

Tiffany: Those sisters that you were talking about, their father had the same disorder so they inherited it from him. And sadly enough, their mother was forced to marry this guy.

Gaby: And after the first child they had the next one and the next one.

Doug: I was saying to Gaby before the show, looking at this disorder and some of the other ones which obviously have some sort of genetic component, I think that I would probably stop having children. Maybe if I had one child who had this rare kind of condition and then had another I'd be like "You know what? Maybe it's time to put the brakes on". There's another one too where there's a 13-year-old girl who looks like she's 50. She has some kind of disorder where the fats...

Tiffany: Progeria.

Gaby: There's no fat in the face.

Doug: Yeah. It all goes away so you have this sagging skin and it makes you look like you're much more aged than you actually are. The mother has it and she had two kids before this particular kid who both had it as well, although to a much less degree. I'm just thinking, if I had one kid and they had this condition, I think I'd be like "no more kids. I don't want to put them through this kind of suffering." Maybe that's just me.

Tiffany: Well she had it herself. She should know what she suffered with. Why would she have children in the first place?

Doug: I agree. There's a certain level of practicality there, like "Maybe I'm going to take this particular one out of the gene pool."

Tiffany: But again, this is another family that was living in poverty, like the people in India and like the conjoined twins that were from British Columbia. They were all living in poverty too. You don't hear of any rich people suffering from these ailments or maybe they just keep it a secret.
But elephantiasis is certainly strange and disfiguring but it does have at least a medical basis where their lymphatic system does not work as it should and they get all this build up of fluid and they have these gigantically huge limbs or testicles.

Doug: They've tracked that down to a parasite haven't they?

Gaby: In Africa.

Doug: Yeah, I think I've seen...

Tiffany: Mosquito...

Doug: ...mosquito-borne one, yeah.

Tiffany: There's a lot of people who suffer from that one, over 40 million people, so it's not incredibly rare but it certainly would suck to have it.

Doug: Yeah. There is one guy in China - I don't know if it was actually elephantiasis or not but he has a 15 kilo tumour on his face. This article was from back in 2007 so I don't know exactly what happened to him but they were planning on surgically removing it. But the guy's face is so disfigured at this point I can't imagine what he would have looked like after having it removed. I don't know if there would be any face left.

Tiffany: Yeah, it's terrible.

Gaby: It was something genetic, like he was born with that and it just got worse with time.

Doug: And again, he's poor, didn't have money for any kind of medicinal treatment or anything like that so it just kept on getting bigger and bigger and bigger.

Gaby: It's the healthcare system. That's how it works there. That's how these things get out of control because if somebody doesn't have money to pay for a doctor's visit or have this removed in time, yes, it will just grow out of proportion. It is really pretty bad. 15 kilos in the face?

Doug: Yeah, that's insane.

Tiffany: I was nodding my head while you were talking but we do have an article where they talked about nodding disease and it was striking children in Sudan, Uganda and Tanzania. Again, very poor populations. It usually affects kids below 15 and when they see food they just start nodding and having seizure-like behaviour. Or if they get cold it happens too. Another strange thing about it is sometimes the kids will go off and start running around on a rampage and after that they'll fall asleep and they'll wake up and they can't remember what happened. But the kids also look very, very young for their age and they have slowed mental development and they often die from malnourishment or infections. That's another strange one but it sounds like a disease of very, very severe poverty.

Gaby: It's still strange that it will manifest in Africa, Sudan right?

Tiffany: Yeah.

Gaby: Where there is hunger generally. And it does sound like a type of epilepsy because they cannot remember anything afterwards. But it's so specific - associated with food. So odd.

Doug: But apparently if they're not familiar with the food, if it's an unfamiliar food, it won't happen. Very strange. They say it's triggered by food and low temperature so I wonder if it's a certain level of discomfort or something like that? Some kind of impulse that's there that there's a cross-wire and it kind of makes them react in a very strange way.

Tiffany: Like they're just so food insecure it affects them on an emotional and physical level and being presented with it just - I don't know - short-circuits something maybe? With a lot of these, all you can do is just say "Hmm. That's so strange. Whoah!"

Doug: Yeah, and there's not a lot you can really say about it. Switch to a keto diet? I don't know if that's really going to cut it.

Tiffany: No. Meditate? Will that help?

Doug: I don't know.

Tiffany: When the body says whoah! So should we go to Zoya's pet health segment? She has something to say about strange pets.

Gaby: Sounds interesting.

Zoya: Hello and welcome to the pet health segment of the Health and Wellness Show. My name is Zoya and today I'm going to share with you a fascinating interview with one of my most favourite researchers of the unknown, John Keel.

Those of you who still don't know, John Keel was an American journalist and brilliant Fortean and UFOlogist who is also the author of the Mothman Prophecies. Besides exploring the hyperdimensional nature of the UFO phenomenon and its connection to paranormal, Keel also extensively explored the topic of mysterious and strange animals and creatures that appeared from time to time in all the unusual places. So this particular interview with John Keel was conducted on the 28th of July 1980 by David Letterman where they talked a bit about such cases. Enjoy.
DL: Our next guest is a Fortean and we'll find out exactly what that is from him. He is also the editor in chief of Pursuit Magazine. Welcome please John Keel. John how are you? So you're a Fortean, eh?

JK: Well I've been trying to outgrow it. Actually...

DL: What is a Fortean, spelled F-O-R-T-E-A-N? What is that?

JK: Back in the early part of this century there was a man named Charles Fort who spent his entire life in the New York public library going through the old scientific journals and old newspapers and he published a series of books about strange that turned up in these old journals, like when it would rain frogs in France or red snow in Switzerland. He kept track of all these things, did a series of books. And we just started calling these events Fortean events.

DL: I see.

JK: And today we still keep track of them.

DL: Now the two examples you've cited there, I have heard of raining the frogs and it's always a matter of either 1) an old wives' tale "remember the time it rained wives' tales - whooh!" or it's disputed in some - they can just say "Well there were frogs in the trees when it rained. They jumped out."

JK: Well we have compiled a list of several thousand mysterious things that have fallen from the sky, documented things. They include things like stone pillars, cannonballs, all kinds of strange things. In China it once rained raw meat.

DL: Nooo! No.

JK: There's no explanation.

DL: When in China did it rain raw meat?

JK: Quite a while ago. It was in the 19th century.

DL: How is it that all the unexplained things took place in the 19th century...

JK: Oh they're still taking place.

DL: Give me a recent unexplained thing, other than amazing Al.

JK: Every January and February here in the northeast we have what we call skyquakes. They get into the papers sometimes. Now recently they've been blaming the concord for this but this has been going on - we've been keeping track of this since about 1840.

DL: What is a skyquake?

JK: It's an explosion in the sky. We have no explanation for it. We've got a lot of pseudo explanations.

DL: Well how do we know when we hear one or see one?

JK: Because it's like when a jet plane passes over at Mach 2. It's like breaking the sound barrier. It's an explosion that sometimes shatters windows and so on. This has been going on. In Connecticut for example, the Indians have legends about this going way back. So this has been going on for a very long time but every time it happens the scientists come up with a new farfetched explanation for it.

DL: What is the most common or daily unexplained occurrence, I mean something that we would all say "Yeah, it's that thing. We can't explain it."?

JK: Well we don't necessarily have daily occurrences but in recent years, the UFO phenomenon has been very common around the world. Right now it's going on in Argentina and while a lot of people think they have an explanation for it, actually we're just beginning to find out what's really going on with the UFO phenomenon.

DL: UFOs are pretty much - I would guess if we asked the audience - we'd probably find over half of them said yeah, they have reason to believe there's something going on out there I think?

JK: At least 10% of them have probably seen one themselves.

DL: Has anyone here ever seen one of these things? Please applaud if you've seen one? {applause} And how many of you think there might be something visiting us? {louder applause} What other things fall under the category of unexplained phenomenon?

JK: Well we have mysterious animals that turn up all over the world.

DL: Like what?

JK: Here in the United States every year or two we have kangaroos jumping around Illinois, Connecticut, various parts of the United States. We know there are no kangaroos here. The police go out and chase them, shoot at them. They disappear.

DL: So what is your theory? Where do you think they're coming from?

JK: The same place as the dinosaurs are coming from because we have dinosaurs turning up every couple of years. About 10 years ago in Italy the Italian army turned out to chase a dinosaur in the mountains of northern Italy and they leave dinosaur footprints and that's the end of them. They can't find where they've been, where they've gone. We've got better monsters than that. We've got our sea serpents. We have several lakes in the United States that have sea serpents, not just Loch Ness.

DL: Where is a serpent in this country?

JK: Lake Champlain in New York State.

DL: Really?

JK: Henry Hudson, who was the first to go up there, reported seeing - Henry Hudson and his crew saw a sea serpent in Lake Champlain and every year somebody sees it up there and nobody has yet organized an expedition to go up there and really look into it.

DL: Let's you and me drive up there.

JK: Alright. We'll go up there next weekend.

DL: We'll take the Italian army with us. We'll get those boys. Okay, have we ever photographed the sea serpent?

JK: Well the one in Loch Ness has been photographed any number of times and movies have been made of it. And the movies have been examined by the RAF and other specialists and they're obviously some kind of large animal that's living in Loch Ness.

DL: Now this - what do we have here?

JK: This is a plaster cast of a Bigfoot print. Now you've all heard of the Abominable Snowman in the Himalayas. We have in the United States a creature that's variously called Sasquatch or Bigfoot and he's found not just in Washington and Oregon but he's found all over the United States, especially in the Mississippi valley and even in New Jersey. We have quite a lot of reports out of New Jersey and that's where this footprint comes from.

DL: This is to you from Uncle Lou and Bob. That's what it says here.

JK: They're two Forteans in New Jersey. This is an authentic footprint.

DL: Did you make the cast?

JK: No, they did. They're well-known Forteans. Bob is an airlines pilot and Uncle Lou is a dental surgeon in New Jersey and they're very active.

DL: I don't know why that's funny. It just sounds funny.

JK: Well dental surgeons make good casts.

DL: How big would this guy be based on this foot?

JK: He would be about 800 pounds, probably 8 or 9 feet tall. And that's what the witnesses are always describing, incredible as it is, and of course in the Himalayas, the Abominable Snowman...

DL: That we believe in, or at least I do. To me it seems like sure, it's possible that something left over that survived the ice age or didn't survive the ice age or something - that there may be a missing link and so on and so forth - some of this other stuff like the red snow, what was the red snow?

JK: Well the usual scientific explanation for that is that the sands of the Sahara have somehow drawn into clouds and dropped in Switzerland.

DL: Now I can believe that.

JK: Except there are no red sands in the Sahara desert and I've spent part of my life in the Sahara.

DL: What if the sand went up and was somehow oxidized and turned red? Isn't that a possibility?

JK: Well they've made various chemical analyses of this kind of snow. We've had black snow too.

DL: There's yellow snow. I'm familiar with that. We were all waiting for that one, weren't we?

JK: Yes. We just don't know what really causes this phenomenon. The sand explanation doesn't work.

DL: Is there one in particular that keeps you awake at night, that just gnaws at you?

JK: Well there's some frightening things going on, yeah.

DL: Like what? What are we scared of?

JK: The animal mutilations that have been going on around the country, especially out west in recent years, but they're also going on in Brazil and France and Australia and Switzerland, Sweden.

DL: And these are not pranks or sick jokes?

JK: No. Thousands of animals have been slaughtered now by some mysterious group. They drain all the blood from the animals. And they also perform expert operations on the animals, removing certain organs and veterinarians who examine these animals say they can't duplicate the operations.

DL: That's amazing! I would also like to know why cab drivers in the city don't speak English but we'll never figure that one out.
We have to pause. Mr. John Keel of Fortean ladies and gentlemen.
Tiffany: Well that was interesting, not especially something you expect to hear on David Letterman.

Doug: Not at all. I didn't know that existed. That was great.

Gaby: I didn't know there were kangaroos in the US and that people shot them and they disappeared!

Doug: Yeah, that's bizarre.

Tiffany: Kangaroo window fallers. Speaking of window fallers, maybe some of these really strange ailments are womb fallers, fall into someone's womb and they're born. I don't know, just a thought. Well, any other strange ailments anyone wants to bring up before we call it a day?

Doug: I think we covered a good bunch there.

Tiffany: Yeah. There's always more. Okay, well that is our show for today folks. We'll be back next week with another show and be sure to tune into Behind the Headlines/The Truth Perspective on Sunday at 12:00 noon eastern standard time and it'll show up on the SOTT Radio Network page with your local time zone. So that's it guys. We'll see you all next week.

All: Good-byes.