FW Presents – In Search Of


Rob and fellow podcaster Dan Budnik take a deep dive into the mysterious world of the 1970-1980s documentary series IN SEARCH OF, hosted by Leonard Nimoy!

Subscribe to FW PRESENTS on Apple Podcasts: https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/fw-presents/id1207382042

This podcast is a proud member of the FIRE AND WATER PODCAST NETWORK:

Thanks for listening!

31 responses to “FW Presents – In Search Of

  1. I just wanted to jump on here and say that I really enjoyed this episode. I picked up that DVD set of this show a few years back. It brought back a lot of memories.

  2. So the Bible witch part is Exodus 22:18
    Thou shalt not allow a mekhashefah (witch, sorceress) to live.

    But then again this is near the part that says if a theft breaks into your house at night and you kill him no foul but if it’s during the day dude what you thinking theirs restitution to pay.

    1. Sontaron, I don’t think that’s a fair representation. Exodus 22:18 is even closer to the part that sternly forbids cheating foreigners, orphans, and widows, and it’s pretty close to the parts that protect poor people from exploitation by moneylenders and the justice system.

      And the part you’re talking about is really just placing some limits on violence in protection of property. I think the assumption is that a home owner is in less danger if he surprises a burglar in daylight, and is therefore less justified to kill in self-defense. If he does kill a burglar in daylight, though, it’s treated as manslaughter, not murder.

  3. When I was a kid, there are two “non-fiction” shows that I always had to watch if they were on. One was “In Search Of…” and the other was “Ripley’s Believe it or Not!” I even looked up an episode fairly recently about the treasure on Oak Island, since my wife had a question about it. I don’t know if I was the only on in the house obsessed with “In Search Of…”, but I know that Ripley’s was appointment television for out whole family.

    Believe it. Or not. 😉

  4. Listening now, and loving this! I knew Nimoy from In Search of…before my Dad ever got me to watch Star Trek. My Dad was big on In Search of… and he would watch it on Saturdays or Sundays, and the rest of us would kind of float in and out. Being the wiener I was, I was pretty freaked out by the show, but intrigued too. I remember the Roanoake episode, for instance. The Bigfoot episode legitimately scared the beejeezus out of me. And I seem to recall one about ghosts that talked about Roman soldiers being seen walking through castle walls in England to this day. That stuck out to me too!

    I haven’t really watched the series since the History Channel re-airings…which I didn’t like. I recall A&E or one of those channels had shown the series, intact a few years before. I did rewatch it when I could then.

    Oh, and I think Amityville has been completely debunked. Didn’t the family come forward a few years back and admit it was all made up?

    As for me, I have seen some strange crap in my days. I don’t talk about it much, because I have been scoffed at by folks who I thought would at least give me the benefit of the doubt. I don’t believe in everything In Search Of…presented by any means, but I’m…open minded. Let’s just say that.


  5. I sure watched many “In Search Of” episodes, but I don’t remember much about them! Although, the one on Stonehenge left a lasting impression in my mind.
    Dan was hilarious! His voice and manner remind me of Shelly Berman’s stand-up routines. I appreciate that Rob just wound him up and let him go!
    Leonard Nimoy’s name and presence was what really made this series compelling. Not only was he doing this, and the Star Trek revival, but he also made the re-make of “Invasion of the Body Snatchers” during this time, right?
    I loved Dan’s description and comparison of musical stings! The synthesizer sounds of the mid-seventies was so futuristic and cutting edge. Then came Gary Numan and Flock of Seagulls and the luster quickly faded.
    I was very keen on all that stuff as a teen. But, I quickly learned how to use a B.S. detector. The book “Chariot of the Gods” was hugely influential to shows like this, as well as a mess of comic books I was reading, so I wanted to read it. What a bunch of crap. Were the hypotheses all stated as questions? Could the questions have been set in type by…ALIENS? Perhaps. My wife and I are fans of TV science shows, and occasionally dip into the speculative ones about space travel, but we taught our daughter early on to beware of the waffle words. “Could, perhaps, maybe, if…then” As I say several times a week in my lightning presentations, “Once we complete the experiment, and get a result, then, and only then, do we get a theory. In science, theory comes last. Theory explains facts.”
    Rob asked how does someone become an expert on Anatasia, or Loch Ness, or Bigfoot? One might ask, how does someone become an expert on Aquaman merchandising? Or Treasury comics? Or M*A*S*H? Expertise abound!

  6. Awesome episode full of enjoyment! I was laughing my ass off during the Anastasia discussion.

    I do really recommend Curse of Oak Island…some of the theories they float out there when they talk to local “experts” can sometimes get pretty zany (Zaney Haney!) but still an enjoyable show…and there does seem to be some really fascinating evidence of odd, very old, man made structures deep underground in the island.

  7. Wonderful episode! I thought Rob might die from laughing.

    I really dug this show as a lad and am glad you guys are podcasting about it. Would love to hear a show dedicated to ISO.

  8. Great show! I have many fond memories of watching “In Search of…” on Saturday afternoons in the late 1970s (and I was also surprised to learn that it lasted until 1982 – I’d lost interest and it fell off of my radar long before that). Anyway, initially, I watched it with my older brother and/or sister, and then later alone.
    Like others here, I really enjoyed the discussion of the Anastasia episode; after all of these years, the only thing I remember about it is the cantankerous, elderly woman claiming to be Anastasia. I got a good laugh over Dan’s observation old Polish women, because it also applies to old Croatian women. (And mentioning Polish women is apt, as the woman in the Anastasia episode was, by all indications, a Polish woman who had been institutionalized several times when she was younger.)
    And yeah, the Bigfoot episode also made a big impression on me. Since I grew up in the Pacific Northwest (Oregon), basically ground zero for the Sasquatch phenomenon, I was already familiar with some of the lore, but that “In Search of…” had me seeing Bigfoot in the forest across the road for the entire week afterward. By the way, since Dan brought it up, yes, folks who live in more rural areas of Oregon, Washington and even northern California often speak with this sort of countrified twang.

  9. It never fails, the eerie 70’s synths used by IN SEARCH OF…. conjure up early autumn afternoons, nothing on TV, turning the TV dial and hearing Leonard Nimoy’s voice, an odd sensation of dread gnawing at me as I sit and watch the episode! OF COURSE i listened to THIS episode as I took a walk on a brisk autumn evening, Halloween decorations staring menacingly at me as darkness fell and shadows lengthened……and me, a 44 year old man, alternately laughing hysterically at you both while looking behind my back as that familiar dread returned, wondering why the houses in my quiet suburban neighborhood suddenly looked so foreboding…could it be that I was thinking about the Amityville Horror!?!?!?!? And OF COURSE, the next day at work, I spent an ungodly amount of time looking up information on the Lutz’s, watching the episode on the Amityville Horror, then watching another documentary,hell, I even watched a 10 minute THAT’S INCREDIBLE segment on the new owners of the Amityville house, then watched the Nostradamus IN SEARCH OF episode…..you two have SUCKED ME IN! That damn RED ROOM!!!!!!!
    Great episode gentleman……insert spooky 70’s synths…..

  10. I have never seen “In Search Of”, but I did watch Nimoy religiously on “Standby…Lights! Camera! Action!”. So I share your love of Nimoy in “true life” shows.

    I just wanted to drop a comment here. I’m only 20 minutes into the show and I’ve been laughing hysterically at Rob and Dan! The Anastasia role-playing is genuinely hilarious!

    Thank you! Can’t wait to finish!

  11. This was great – Dan was absolutely hilarious! If he and Rob did an ‘In Search Of…’ series regularly on the network, I wouldn’t complain!
    As someone who lived in Amityville most of his life, I can assure you no one finds their dream home there – But getting over your head with a mortgage is common.
    When Rob and Dan were joking about the guy being sent the D.B. Cooper on every form of physical media, Rob starts to say the name of the DVD label I work for but immediately corrects himself and says “Vinegar Syndrome.” I felt like I’d almost made it – ALMOST!
    (BTW, we’ll be releasing a set of those 70s Bigfoot movies next week, including ‘Curse of Bigfoot.’)

    1. Thank you, Brian! (And everyone else. I’m so glad you all enjoyed the episode. It was super fun to research and record.)

      Now… a set of 1970s Bigfoot movies, including ‘Curse?’ I’m in! Where might one be able to acquire such a set?

  12. Sorry about the late response. This a laugh riot of an episode, but you two also did a good job describing the show’s informative, yet spooky appeal. I only remember it vaguely, but I remember being excited about it coming on. I know that it was my initial source of knowledge on most of the topics you covered.

    Rob, I was surprised you weren’t familiar with the mystery of the Roanoke colony. Like the Tunguska explosion, cryptids, and even the Trylon and the Perisphere, it’s a frequent story element in comics and other fantastic fiction. I think Spawn and Batman fought the demon responsible for the colony’s disappearance in one of their two bad crossovers.

    FYI, sorcery and witchcraft were mentioned multiple times in both the Old and New Testament, and always as a grave sin. The idea is that seeking spiritual guidance or power from any source other than the one true God is both terribly wrong and terribly dangerous. Regarding paganism, in Leviticus, Deuteronomy, and 1 Corinthians, Moses and Paul refer to pagan idols as demons, not real gods. Also, interestingly, the word for sorcery in the New Testament is pharmakeia, which is associated with magic, drug use, and poisoning — apparently closely related concepts in the Greek language.

    1. “Regarding paganism, in Leviticus, Deuteronomy, and 1 Corinthians, Moses and Paul refer to pagan idols as demons, not real gods.”

      I think that you’re forgetting one important passage, that of Exodus 20:3, which is one of the 10 Commandments and is usually translated as:

      “You shall have no other gods before Me.” (King James version)

      So not only is Jehovah, and not a mortal, stating that other gods exist, but it’s alright to worship them as long as He gets the 1 spot. Now there are other translations that change “before” to “except” or “besides”, but all of the versions have Jehovah stating, categorically, that other gods do exist.

      Full disclosure, for those that don’t know me, I am a worshiper of the Norse Gods. (For more on how I came to that decision, just read this: http://holdyourhammerhigh.blogspot.com/2012/02/why-im-heathen.html :) )

      1. Gene, I accidentally made my response a separate thread below, when I should have replied directly to you. Also, you’ll see one part where I say “Gods” and obviously meant “gods.”

        Whew! Glad I got all that off my chest. Confession really is good for the soul!

  13. Thanks for responding to me, Gene. When I comment late, everyone else has generally moved on, and I usually never know if anyone’s even seen it.

    This will be longer than a Diabolu Frank comment. I apologize. Clarification points up front:
    1) I will use the word “Yahweh” for the God of the Bible. It’s actually the same word as Jehovah. Ancient Hebrew didn’t write down all the vowels, so the difference is really which vowels you insert. Someone, somewhere decided that Yahweh is closer to what was actually said, and it’s now in more common usage.
    2) I’m using the English Standard Version of the Bible, a close to word-for-word translation using mostly modern English. There are many other good translations. I’ve done a little secular language work, so if anyone wants to have a longer conversation, I will happily nerd out on this.
    3) Like many other translations, the ESV follows the Hebrew tradition of putting the word “LORD” in place of Yahweh to avoid blasphemy, but it indicates Yahweh through the use of all capital letters.

    Now, on to content:
    I’ll address the smaller point first: Yep, prepositions are tricky, and the preposition that the King James version translates “before” can also be translated “above,” “beside,” “against,” etc. However, “scripture is the best interpreter of scripture” (which is another way of saying we can learn a lot from context). It’s clear throughout the rest of the Old and New Testament – and even that same chapter of Exodus, down in verse 23 – that the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, did not tolerate worship of any other gods by His people.

    “Pay attention to all that I have said to you, and make no mention of the names of other gods, nor let it be heard on your lips. – Exodus 23:13

    And if you forget the LORD your God and go after other gods and serve them and worship them, I solemnly warn you today that you shall surely perish. – Deuteronomy 8:19

    But the prophet who presumes to speak a word in my name that I have not commanded him to speak, or who speaks in the name of other gods, that same prophet shall die.’ – Deuteronomy 18:2

    Many, many other passages show how serious Yahweh was on this point. He treated the worship of other gods the way oncologists treat an aggressive cancer.

    Of course, this all reinforces your larger point that the Bible and specifically Yahweh speak of other gods. In fact, the search tool on BibleGateway.com revealed that there are 223 uses of the word “gods” in the Bible. I didn’t click through all the pages, but the first several were mostly forbidding worship of other gods or describing the punishment of those who performed or advocated such worship.

    The evidence for your point is so strong that some scholars have considered ancient Judaism monolatrist, not monotheist, meaning that it acknowledged the existence of other Gods, but only described one as worthy of worship. I wasn’t trying to contradict your point in my comment above. To restate, I understand the Bible to say (repeatedly) that there are other spiritual beings that people worship as gods aside from Yahweh.

    “For I will pass through the land of Egypt that night, and I will strike all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, both man and beast; and on all the gods of Egypt I will execute judgments: I am the LORD.” – Exodus 12:12

    “Rejoice with him, O heavens; bow down to him, all gods, for he avenges the blood of his children and takes vengeance on his adversaries. He repays those who hate him and cleanses his people’s land.” – Deuteronomy 32:43 (This is a song of praise by Moses.)

    New Testament, too:
    “4 Therefore, as to the eating of food offered to idols, we know that “an idol has no real existence,” and that “there is no God but one.” 5 For although there may be so-called gods in heaven or on earth—as indeed there are many “gods” and many “lords”— 6 yet for us there is one God, the Father, from whom are all things and for whom we exist, and one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom are all things and through whom we exist.” 1 Corinthians 8:4-8

    Paul’s writing there gives away the next point: The Bible describes Yahweh as an entirely unique kind of God – the Living God, the one true God, the king of kings and lord of lords, etc. The God of the Bible (and I think the Quran, for that matter) is the unchanging, pre-existent First Cause who created time and space from nothing by speaking it into reality. He therefore exists outside of time and space, yet suffuses our created reality. Even the name “Yahweh” means “I AM” in a distinctively Hebrew grammar form that is simultaneously past, present, and future tense. (Genesis 1:1; Exodus 3 and 6:3; Deuteronomy 6:4 and 32:39; Isaiah 41:4, 44:6-8, 48:12-13, and 57:15; Psalm 90, 93:2,and 139; James 1:17; Revelation 1:8, and one of my favorites, 1 Timothy 1:17: “To the King of the ages, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honor and glory forever and ever. Amen.”)

    By nature, He is the archetype of righteousness, love, justice, power, knowledge, wisdom, mercy, etc. In fact, orthodox (little “o”) Christian theologians tell us that when we describe something as “good,” “wise,” or “strong,” we are actually describing (whether we intend to or not) the manner and the degree to which it resembles God.

    These ideas about the God of Abrahamic faiths were already pretty fully formed 4,000 years ago. (They may also be true of Ahura in Zoroastrianism and the “One God” behind the many others in Hinduism; I don’t know those faiths well enough to say.) The fact that they’re so different from any of the pagan religions around it (and even more modern paganism) supports the claim that God revealed these truths to the people of Israel.

    The relationship the Abrahamic God has with His people is consequently much more absolute and less transactional than in pagan religions. Christianity makes it familial and even says that God enters into us, and we live in Him. The New Testament calls Christians both “bondservants” (because Christ paid our debt) and adopted children. We can’t transact with God because there is nothing He needs. We give and serve as a form of the worship which is due Him.

    So the Bible doesn’t really say that pagan gods don’t exist; it says that they are not gods in the same way Yahweh is, and it says that they are more sinister than their worshippers believe them to be (Deuteronomy 32:17, Psalm 106:37, 1 Corinthians 10:20-21, Revelation 9:20).

    Gene, if I have mischaracterized paganism, please correct me. I say all this to explain, not offend, and I hope I’m not offending. If different faiths didn’t have conflicting perspectives on what’s real and true, they wouldn’t be different faiths. I can still love and respect people with whom I disagree; in fact, I am commanded to. You and I disagree on matters of faith, but we often agree on matters of pop culture, and I enjoy your comments. I also enjoyed reading your conversion story on your blog, and I plan to respond to it soon. I’m sorry that your initial experience with Christianity was a negative one. I have many friends who disagree with me on spiritual matters, and I hope that we can be friends, too.

    1. To your last point first, of course we can be friends! I love having people around that can politely and knowledgeably disagree with me, whether that’s on pop culture, politics, or religion. We’re good. :)

      Here are a couple of things that I believe, based on my research into Heathenry* over the years:

      1. The creation story of whatever religion you hold to is not literal. The story told is a way for ancient peoples without modern scientific knowledge to figure how to explain how things came about.

      2. There are other religions in the world and they all have their set of beliefs, which means that they each have their own set of deities. That is completely fine and dandy, and in fact makes the world a much more interesting place to live. As long as we can all acknowledge that, and where the bleed over has happened (Hel and Hell, the soul being separate from the body, etc), then we’re better off than being dogmatic about it.

      3. Not all gods are pillars of morality. Odin is a right bastard, for example, but he’s more of an “ends justify the means” kind of deity. Even Yahweh, to us your spelling, has had bouts of “let’s destroy that family/city/nation/world and start over”. Sometimes it’s more about what not to do.

      I’m happy that we could completely turn this thread on it’s head. :) If you want more on my thoughts on religion and how they relate to a specific piece of pop culture, then please take a look at this link: http://www.thehammerstrikes.com/search/label/Comic%20Retrospectives

      * I’m using the term Heathen for myself and my religion as it was a description that the Roman historian Tacitus used to describe those of the Germanic tribes, while he used Pagan to describe the Celts of the British Isles. Some use the terms interchangeably, and that’s fine, this is just my preferred usage.

  14. I found my copy of the In Search Of Soundtrack and it is, in fact, a fully-fledged disco album. The average track is around 5 minutes long and it’s just jamming and jamming. The Theme Tune track is so intent upon funking your pants off that the actual synth theme barely registers. It seems very inappropriate for the show but it’s not a bad album, if Eerie Disco Music is your cup of tea.

    And, on lead electric guitar is… Adam Strange! I grabbed my copy of WHO’S WHO #1 and it doesn’t mention him playing guitar. But, when you’re sitting around waiting on the next Zeta-Beam, it does pass the time to find a hobby.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *