Historical Blindness

The Historical Blindness podcast is a discussion of interesting and largely forgotten stories from our past, with a specific focus on demonstrating the inscrutability, the ineffability, and the unknowability of the past. By examining cases of outrageous hoaxes, mass delusion, baffling mysteries and unreliable historiography, we raise the question, “Can we trust history as we have received it?”

Society & Culture
The mystery of the Dark Day of New England, a day with no light, when darkness fell over New England and many feared that God's judgment was at hand.
12 min
The Illuminati Illuminated, Part One: The Order...
A look at the birth of modern conspiracy theory in the Enlightenment, with idea that the Illuminati fomented the French Revolution.
37 min
The Murder of Lord Darnley, Part Two: The Caske...
Various suspects in the murder of Lord Darnley vie for control of Scotland.
39 min
The Murder of Lord Darnley, Part One: The Viper...
The life and reign of Mary, Queen of Scots, from birth to her consort's demise.
44 min
The Jansenist Miracles of Enlightenment France,...
The conclusion to a series about an age of miracles in the midst of the Enlightenment, in which we look at the strange development of convulsionism among the adherents of François de Pâris.
35 min
The Jansenist Miracles of Enlightenment France,...
A series of miracles during the High Enlightenment deepens a religious schism
33 min
Jubal Early's Lost Cause (rerelease) #BlackLive...
An especially relevant episode from 2017
24 min
The Killing of Dr. King (supercut rerelease) #B...
The Killing of Dr. King (supercut rerelease) #BlackLivesMatter
190 min
The Feat of the Flying Friar: St. Joseph of Cup...
The supposed miracles of an Italian monk said to have the superhuman ability of unencumbered flight.
37 min
In the Footsteps of the Wandering Jew: Anti-Sem...
Connecting the legend of the Wandering Jew with the long history of using Jews as scapegoats for calamities of all kinds.
40 min
Cocoliztli: The Mystery Pestilence
A devastating and mysterious plague in 16th century Mexico offers some historical perspective on our current global health crisis
35 min
Blind Spot: Drake's Plate, a Brazen Plot
The story of a legendary artifact and the drama surrounding its purported discovery in the 1930s
26 min
The Unbelievable History of the Ancient and Hon...
The long and storied history of a California Gold Rush era secret society.
28 min
Gnostic Genesis (An Apocryphal Catechism)
A look at Gnosticism, a school of thought within early Christianity that inverted Judeo-Christian norms with its creation mythology.
32 min
Zoroaster, the First Magus (An Encyclopedia Gri...
I look at the figure of Zoroaster, or Zarathustra, as the supposed originator of all things magical.
34 min
The End of Edward II, Part Two: The Hermit King...
In the conclusion of the season premiere, all is not what it seemed with the death of King Edward II.
41 min
The End of Edward II, Part One: The Iron Virago...
The historical mystery of Edward II's demise
37 min
A Very Historically Blind Christmas II: Father ...
I look at various personifications of the Christmas holiday, from the mock kings of antiquity to the very complicated evolution of the holiday's modern poster boy, Santa Claus.
34 min
PATREON MINISODE: Alfred Russel Wallace; Man of...
A re-release of a patron exclusive mini-episode
16 min
Shadow of the Werewolf, Part Two: The Salve and...
The conclusion of my Halloween series on werewolves and the 2019 pre-hiatus finale.
43 min
Shadow of the Werewolf, Part One: Killer on the...
A hunt for the true nature of the werewolf, looking at its roots in antiquity and mythology and the evolution of the notion through folklore and etymology
35 min
The Chronological Revision Chronicles, Part Thr...
I look at some classical revisionists who were otherwise highly respected as scholars but whose revised timelines and claims of vast conspiracy reflect poorly on their legacies.
40 min
The Chronological Revision Chronicles, Part Two...
I discuss Immanuel Velikovsky, who challenged not only historical chronology but establishment astronomy and physics as well with his claims of ancient interplanetary collision.
48 min
The Chronological Revision Chronicles, Part One...
A look at the theories of a man who would rewrite all of history using science.
38 min
The Wrong Side of History: Holocaust Denial and...
I address the modern myth that the Holocaust didn't happen or was exaggerated.
30 min
Nazi Occultism, Part Three: The Hunt for a Hype...
In the final installment of my series on Nazi Occultism, I finally get to the weird Nazi obsessions with lost civilizations and mythical artifacts.
35 min
Nazi Occultism, Part Two: The Death's Head Cult
I look at the SS and Heinrich Himmler as the neo-pagan and mystical influence at the heart of Nazism.
38 min
Nazi Occultism, Part One: The Myth of the Aryans
I explore the dark roots of Nazism, from neo-paganism to contemporary myths and pseudo-science.
32 min
The Monster of Loch Ness: Delusion or Denizen o...
I examine another supposed aquatic monster, for a study of whether dinosaurs survived in the deep waters of the earth wouldn't be complete without an examination of the Loch Ness Monster legend.
31 min
Leviathan, the Great Sea Serpent, Part 2: Into ...
Part two of my series on sea serpents, in which we see science struggling against the notion of sea serpents in the 19th century.
35 min
Leviathan, the Great Sea Serpent, Part One: Her...
The first installment in a series on the myths and mysterious sightings of sea serpents.
35 min
Blind Spot: The Great Dying and the Chicxulub C...
I examine another massive extraterrestrial impact, this one prehistoric and blamed for ending most life on earth
22 min
Terror over Tunguska: The Siberian Blast of 1908
The cosmic horror story of the Tunguska Event, an explosion in a remote wilderness, and the mystery that surrounds it.
32 min
Amazing Races (Switcheroo)
An anthology of stories about strange marathons and derbies.
28 min
Blind Spot: A Tale of Two Babylons
I look at another influential but dubious anti-Catholic book, The Two Babylons, byAlexander Hislop.
24 min
Maria Monk and Her Awful Disclosures
As a response to the growing nativism in our our own time, I look at early 19th century anti-Catholic narratives.
36 min
Patron Exclusive Blindside Episode: Murder in t...
A rerelease of my first Patreon bonus episode for all my listeners to check out.
10 min
Blind Spot: The Jowers Affair
A coda to my series on the Killing of Dr. King.
27 min
The Killing of Dr. King, Part Three: Ray's Reasons
James Earl Ray's views on race and indications that he not only was planning King's assassination for some time, but also that he may have had accomplices.
57 min
The Killing of Dr. King, Part Two: The Legend o...
Continuing my series on the MLK assassination, I examine his convicted assassin's claims of being a patsy.
49 min
The Killing of Dr. King, Part One: A Dream Defied
The premiere installment of a series on the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
47 min
A Very Historically Blind Christmas
A Christmas special that examines the origin of Christmas traditions, featuring Brian Earl of the Christmas Past podcast.
32 min
A Conversation with Mike Dash
Mike Dash is a great historian who does fascinating work that I have drawn from in a few episodes.
57 min
In Defense of the Dubious (live Sound Edu talk ...
A live talk about encouraging critical thought by examining suspect ideas
36 min
Blind Spot: Tracking the Devil in Devon
I follow the trail of the Great Devon Mystery, looking to uncover the truth behind the so-called Devil's Footprints.
25 min
The Diabolical Features of Spring-Heeled Jack
An investigation into the Leaping Terror of Victorian London
34 min
The Myth and Mystery of Christopher Columbus
Exploring the ambiguities and misrepresentations in the legend that has evolved around the so-called Great Discoverer.
42 min
Blind Spot: Charles Dellschau and His Extraordi...
A look at the work of an outsider artist that some say proves the existence of a secret society of airship builders.
21 min
The Phantom Airships of 1890s America
I return to our survey of historical UFO sightings to examine the flap of airship sightings in 1896-7.
44 min
The Memorable Arrest of Martin Guerre
The tale of the most famous case of imposture in history
36 min
The Campden Wonder; or, The Supposed Murder of ...
An astounding story of true crime from the Restoration period of English history.
36 min
Blind Spot: Little Dauphin Lost
A look at the mystery surrounding the fate of Louis XVII
22 min
The Bastard Princes in the Bloody Tower; Part T...
The conclusion of our look at the mystery of the Princes in the Tower
37 min
The Bastard Princes in the Bloody Tower; Part O...
Part one of a 2-part series looking into the famous historical mystery of the Princes in the Tower.
38 min
Blind Spot: Babes in the Wailing Wood
An investigation into a nursery rhyme and whether it was inspired by a true crime or a folk legend.
22 min
The Lost Youth of St. Martin's Land, or Woolpit...
A study of a folktale, its transmission and the possibility of its veracity.
39 min
Blind Spot: The Beloved Disciple and the Author...
A brief look at a New Testament mystery.
22 min
Eustache Dauger, the Secret Prisoner in the Vel...
An investigation into the legend of the Man in the Iron Mask.
35 min
Blind Spot: The Secret of Rennes-le-Château and...
A closer look at the mystery of Abbé Saunière’s wealth and the legends of treasure at Rennes-le-Château.
19 min
The Priory of Sion and the Quest for the Holy G...
A look at a historical mystery that spiderwebs into hoax and pseudo-history.
36 min
The Marian Apparition of Guadalupe and Her Fant...
A study of the image of Our Lady of Guadalupe
28 min
The Turin Shroud: Divine Likeness or Bogus Relic?
A look at the most studied artifact in history.
31 min
Blind Spot: The Great Los Angeles Air Raid and ...
An examination of the so-called Battle of Los Angeles and the conspiracy theory that would paint it as an alien encounter.
17 min
A Brief History of Unidentified Aerial Phenomena
We take a look at UAP from Ancient Egypt through to the age of ballooning.
46 min
Blind Spot: Three Men Gone from Eilean Mor, the...
An examination of the Great Lighthouse Mystery
21 min
The Carroll A. Deering, Ghost Ship of Cape Hatt...
A tale of a ghost ship, mutineers and pirates in the modern era.
28 min
Blind Spot: The Terrible within the Small; or, ...
In this companion piece to my last episode on the blood libel, I expose the 19th and 20th centuries' conspiracy theories attributing plots of global domination to the Jews.
21 min
Bloody Libel; or, the Slaughter and Sacralizati...
An exploration of one of the darkest and most destructive myths in history, the blood libel.
36 min
The Specter of Devil Worship, Part Two
In part two of a Halloween special, Mike Brown and I continue to scrutinize claims of devil worship throughout history.
33 min
The Specter of Devil Worship, Part One
An exploration of the Satanic Panic and accusations of devil worship throughout history, with guest Mike Brown of Pleasing Terrors.
26 min
Jubal Early's Lost Cause
In This Episode, we explore the Myth of the Lost Cause and its relevance to the current debate over Confederate monuments.
26 min
Blind Spot: The Loss of Theodosia Burr Alston
A companion piece to Episode 11, detailing the later misfortunes of Aaron Burr and a further mystery.
15 min
The Trial of Levi Weeks for the Murder of Elma ...
An account of America's first "Trial of the Century"
35 min
Blind Spot: Swift's Lost Silver Mine and Dorr's...
A look at some lost treasures that may have been tall tales.
17 min
Joseph Mulhatton: The Liar Laureate of the World
A look at the fake news of the late 19th century, focusing on the life and work of one of the greatest hoaxers who ever lived.
34 min
Blind Spot: Tutelary Spirits
An exploration of guardian spirits and ominous entities.
15 min
The White Ladies of German Lore
An exploration of the wide-spread German legend of the White Lady ghost.
30 min
Blind Spot: The Lady of the Haystack
In 1776, a mysterious woman appeared in England, living as a transient among haystacks. Is it possible she was the daughter of an emperor, as a pamphlet suggests, or perhaps just an impostor?
21 min
Kaspar Hauser, Part Two: Princeling
Part two of our exploration of the mysterious foundling of Bavaria, Kaspar Hauser.
42 min
Blind Spot: Princess Caraboo of Javasu
A look at the singular story of an island princess washed ashore in England who wasn't what she appeared to be.
21 min
Kaspar Hauser, Part One: Foundling
Part One of our exploration of the mysterious Wild Boy of Bavaria
32 min
Blind Spot: The Oberfohren Memorandum and the E...
A companion piece to Episode 6, covering some further conspiracy theories and supposed evidence about the Reichstag Fire.
15 min
Firebrand in the Reichstag!
The Reichstag Fire, a pivotal leading to the Third Reich and the beginning of one of the most influential conspiracy theories in history.
40 min
Blind Spot: The Codex of Rohonc
A mini-episode about another mysterious manuscript: the Rohonc Codex.
11 min
The Found Manuscript of Wilfrid Voynich
A look at the most mysterious book in the world
28 min
The Dancing Plague
An exploration of the dancing sickness in medieval and early modern Europe.
32 min
The Lost Colony and the Dare Stones, Part Two
Part Two explores the story of the Dare Stones affair.
40 min
The Lost Colony and the Dare Stones, Part One
Being the first part of an exploration into America's most famous historical mystery...
26 min
Demagoguery and Know-Nothing Native Americanism
A look at a demagogue who stirred up the populace against immigrants.
27 min