Indigenous Values / Paranormal Stories

Hosted byRich Berra

Indigenous Values / Paranormal Stories

About the show

Senior lecturer Taylor Keen joins guest host Rich Berra (email) to discuss the inspiration and process behind writing his book, "Rediscovering Turtle Island", which focuses on the author's exploration of Native American identity and heritage. Growing up in the Omaha and Cherokee tribes, Keen revealed he was driven to understand the origins and stories of his ancestors, particularly in response to questions from younger tribe members. He outlined how he applied a multidisciplinary approach to his research, incorporating history, anthropology, and mythology. This led Keen to the concept of "Cosmo Genesis," an exploration of the cosmic origins of indigenous peoples and their connection to the Pleiades constellation.

The book delves into the Earth Diver myth, a creation story shared by many North American tribes, including the Omaha. This myth describes how the souls of Indigenous people originated from the Pleiades and traveled through the Milky Way to Earth, which was initially covered in water, Keen explained. The narrative includes animals, notably the turtle, which plays a central role in the formation of land, hence the phrase "Turtle Island." The story has variations across different tribes, he reported, noting the importance of storytelling in preserving and understanding these cultural myths.

Keen explored the broader implications of these stories by connecting them to wider historical and archaeological findings. For instance, the similarities between the Earth Diver myth and other global creation stories, such as those from Siberia, suggest a deep, ancient connection among human cultures. He also commented on the devastating impact of European diseases like smallpox, the ongoing discovery of ancient sites that challenge the understanding of early American history, and the significance of the recent birth of rare white buffalo.

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Writer and humorist Paul Seaburn discussed the paranormal world and the role of humor in entertainingly presenting paranormal topics. Seaburn recalled his journey into the paranormal world began in childhood, sparked by his fascination with tabloids in grocery stores. Unlike other kids interested in candy, he was captivated by stories of UFOs and strange occurrences depicted in publications like the Weekly World News and National Enquirer. Despite attending a Catholic school where such interests were frowned upon, Seaburn continued to nurture his curiosity about the paranormal, eventually pursuing a career in computers and math, fields that allowed him to maintain his geeky persona while engaging in humorous storytelling.

When the company he worked for started downsizing, Seaburn decided to pursue comedy full-time with his wife's support. Over the years, he wrote for notable entertainment figures like Joan Rivers and Jay Leno. His involvement with mysterious and paranormal themes continued to flourish when he was approached by Mysterious Universe to write humorous yet informative pieces on strange and unexplained phenomena. This opportunity allowed him to blend his comedic talents with his lifelong fascination with the paranormal, which culminated in the creation of his book, "What Would You Say to a Naked Space Alien?".

In his book, Seaburn explores the intersection of humor and the paranormal and presents bizarre stories in a way that entertains while respecting the belief in such phenomena. He recounted stories from the book, including one about a farmer who claimed to have fathered 50 alien-hybrid children with a beautiful alien, and another about the pogo stick aliens from Poland. By placing himself in hypothetical scenarios, he invites readers to consider how they might react to similar encounters. Seaburn described his work as not only to entertain but also to challenge the audience to think about the possibility of friendly or humorous alien interactions and to make the mysterious accessible and engaging through humor.

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