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BoA:Audio returns to the land Down Under as we welcome author Tony Healy for a discussion on his new book, co-authored with Paul Cropper, Australian Poltergeist. Over the course of this extensive conversation, we delve in the nature of poltergeists, what makes them unique amongst the pantheon of supernatural entities, and the various strange things that are often attributed to these 'noisy ghosts.'
We also go in-depth on a famous Australian poltergeist case, which took place in a town called Humpty Doo, that was personally investigated by Tony and his co-author Paul, and featured a myriad of strange events both seemingly supernatural as well as maddeningly human. Beyond that, we learn about a pair of scientific experiments which seem to shed light on poltergeists, additional cases featuring 'spook lights,' a haunted milking machine, and inexplicable fires which seemed to be started by troublesome poltergeists. And, of course, tons and tons more.
Altogether it's another international edition of BoA:Audio as we pursue the poltergeist phenomenon all the way to the land Down Under with Tony Healy, co-author of Australian Poltergeist.
Recap: We kick things off by refreshing BoA listeners on Tony Healy's bio/background and finding out how he got interested in the paranormal, particularly both Yowie and poltergeists. Filling in the remaining background, we have Tony give us a thumbnail definition of what constitutes a poltergeists and what the polt research community knows about the phenomenon. We also reflect on the distinct nature of the poltergeist within the pantheon of ghosts. Staying within the generalities of poltergeists, Tony details the long held understanding that the phenomenon seems to connect to adolescent children, specifically girls.
We also marvel at how elaborate many poltergeist cases are and how the sheer logistics of some of the phenomenon's 'antics' make it seem nearly impossible that they are the work of a prankster. We also muse about how the victims of poltergeists in the cases detailed in the book simply do not have the time or inclination to fake a poltergeist.
Looking at specific cases, we focus on the bizarre tale of a poltergeist infesting a home in Humpty Doo, which was a story and home that was personally investigated by Tony and his co-author Paul. Tony begins the discussion by first providing some background details on the case, how it all unfolded, and what the residents reported experiencing. Since Tony personally visited the house and even spent the night there once, we get his perspective on what it feels like inside of a poltergeist-infested home as weird activity is taking place.
Staying on the Humpty Doo case, Tony discusses how the ghostly activity was first attributed to one of the residents' friends passed away in a tragic accident and, subsequently, weird graffiti appeared on the walls of the house. Tony also talks about a strange episode where, uninvited by the residents, a pair of Aboriginal men performed some kind of surreptitious ritual in the yard of the house. Tony also talks about other strange events which may have contributed to the oddities reported in Humpty Doo.
Tony then talks about the horrible experience the residents of the house had with the national television program Today, Tonight, which spent a week at their house, became convinced of the phenomenon, but then produced a piece which discredited the witnesses using some particularly suspicious footage. This segues into some talk about the remarkable work that was done using thermal-imaging photography which captured some intriguing results when pictures were taken of objects allegedly thrown by the poltergeist.
Next we have Tony explain the star ranking system that is used in the book and what sort of evidence is considered when assigning a star ranking to cases. We then learn about the 'Min Min lights' which were reported during a different poltergeist case in Australia. Next we discuss a strange case where a farmer's milking machine seemed to be possessed by some kind of poltergeist force. Additionally, we learn about how some poltergeist cases feature instances of seemingly instantaneous fires starting.
Based on Tony's research, we find out how long a typical poltergeist infestation seems to last for victims of the phenomenon. This segues into us talking about the possibility that poltergeists may be drawn to young adults who display psychic abilities rather than being conjured by these abilities. Following that, we discuss another famous Australian ghost case which is known as the Guyra Ghost and revisit a detail from the book where a film was made during the infestation, but that film has since gone missing.
Following that, we discuss one recurring aspect of poltergeist hauntings which is that objects thrown into walls by the ghost seem to make a far louder noise than it should normally make or large objects make a smaller noise. We also learn about acoustic analysis which has been done on recordings of poltergeist knocks and Tony reveals the remarkable findings of this research. In light of Tony's personal investigation of the Humpty Doo case, we speculate on whether or not he "brought something back" with him from the house.
Nearing the end of our conversation, we discuss the strangest case in the book: the Coalbaggy Bogey, which featured a poltergeist which allegedly spoke to its victims and appeared as a strange creature similar to the German supernatural entity known as the Kobold. Closing out the poltergeist discussion, we find out what's next for Tony, including an upcoming expedition in search of information on the Tasmanian Tiger as well as an update on his Yowie research, including a potential new book on the Australian Bigfoot.
Canberra-based Tony Healy became involved in yowie research in the mid-1970s. Since 1981, he and "Yowie" co-author Paul Cropper have collaborated on many projects, notably in co-authoring Out of the Shadows: Mystery Animals of Australia, which contained a lengthy chapter about the elusive yowie. Over the past 30 years they have searched for lake monsters, hairy giants, out-of-place big cats and other semi-legendary animals in Fiji, North America, the Bahamas, Iceland, Ireland, Great Britain, Nepal, Malaysia and in every state and territory of Australia.
His website is poltergeistfiles.com