Astonishing Legends

Hosted ByScott Philbrook & Forrest Burgess

The world is more mysterious than most people are comfortable imagining. We cross paths with the mystical from time to time and may not even notice it. If we do, we quickly return to our usually mundane daily existence. But what if we not only acknowledged the unknown, we investigated it and spoke with those in the know? That’s what co-hosts Scott & Forrest, and their producer Tess Pfeifle do at Astonishing Legends. Over 85 million downloads and hundreds of thousands of listeners have shown that exploring and embracing the wonders of our world can be not only enlightening but exciting. Welcome to Astonishing Legends!

The Kera Object Part 1

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Some of the most extraordinary and interactive encounters with UFOs or anomalous objects are surprisingly the least well-known.  And yet elements of the tale once heard could seem to be quite familiar. Tonight’s subject appears to be just one of those cases.  Although there are variations in the details of the incident, the general narrative goes as follows.  In the afternoon or early evening of August 25, 1972, 13-year-old student Michio Seo was passing by a rice paddy in his neighborhood of Kera near Kochi City on Shikoku Island in southern Japan when something caught his eye.  A small, strange hat-shaped device was flying erratically several feet above the field.  With a dull silver metallic finish, and a wide brim sloping upward to a bell-shaped flat top, Michio would describe its flight pattern as like a bat zig-zagging to catch insects.  Mustering his courage, Michio cautiously approached the tiny UFO until it seemed to sense his proximity and shot a bright beam of light in his direction, chasing him away.  Michio Seo then did what any adventurous teenager would do, he rounded up his four best friends and returned to the scene, hoping to prove his wondrous discovery.  To their surprise, the craft eventually returned, this time pulsating with multicolored light as evening fell.  As one of the boys got closer, the gadget once again sensed the approach and sounded a loud pop and shone a blue glow, sending them all running.  Over the next several weeks, the boys would play a cat-and-mouse game with the incredible gizmo, photographing it, even capturing and experimenting with it, only to have it mysteriously escape each time.  While this account may sound like the inspiration for a Hollywood movie, there is shockingly little information about the incident outside of Japan.  To add to the uniqueness of this encounter, not only is the contact unusually spirited, it’s characterized by elements of Pop Culture, Urban Legend, and Japanese folklore.  However, with the tremendous research help of writers and podcasters Micah Hanks and Rob Morphy, we aim to get to the bottom of an amazing story about what’s become known as “The Kera Object.”

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