First hour guest, Richard Freeman of The Centre for Fortean Zoology discussed Japanese monsters, called yokai, and other strange creatures. Yokai is quite a broad term... it could be anything from a 1000-ft long dragon to a dog with shape-shifting testicles, a cat that animates dead bodies, a ghost, every kind of bizarre entity you can think of," Freeman explained. Some yokai are based on real animals, such as Japan's raccoon dog, which is said to possess mythological powers. Others appear as deformed humans, like the Rokurokubi—a woman whose neck grows extremely long and serpentine, he added.
Freeman touched on dragons and their association with water and rainfall in Asia. He said sightings of dragon-like creatures in that part of the world continue to this day and suggested they may be based on a large, elongated marine reptile that is unknown to science. Freeman talked about an elephant-like creature that sucks up nightmares with its trunk, a giant upright-walking rabbit that eats corpses, and a whale-sized flesh-eating sea cucumber that grows out of the discarded knickers of a girl. He also recounted his various expeditions to find unknown animals, including his hunt for the mysterious ape-like Orang Pendek of Sumatra.
Numerology and Spring-heeled Jack
In the second hour, author and Anglican priest Lionel Fanthorpe shared some of his favorite stories and talked about numerology. Fanthorpe and his wife, Patricia, are currently writing a book on numerology due out in 2012—a year of "5" that Hopi tradition says will signify a time of change, he revealed. Fanthorpe commented on the forthcoming 11/11/11 date, associating it with "8" and noting it would auspicious, like Armistice Day (which occurred on the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month in 1918). He spoke about the Ancient Egyptian idea of numbers having gender and being animated with power and force.
Fanthorpe recounted the tale of Spring-heeled Jack, a startling 'jumping man' who terrorized Victorian Britain and could supposedly leap as high as 20 feet over walls and houses. The first alleged sighting of this strange leaping figure occurred in London in 1837. Another report from the same decade recorded the attack of a young girl named Polly Adams, who described her assailant's hands as iron claws, he noted. Other victims depicted Jack as a tall, lightly-built man with abnormal strength, pointed ears, and the ability to spit flames from his mouth, Fanthorpe added. He suggested Jack may have been an extraterrestrial humanoid from a high gravity planet. Fanthorpe also touched on some theories surrounding Jack the Ripper.
The remainder of the show featured Open Lines.