Next Round of Five

It's been quite an exciting time. We have made it through the first ten episodes. That is a great accomplishment for any podcast, but I think it is a particularly great accomplishment for a podcast that requires as much research per episode as this type of podcast does.

In the last five episodes we examined, The Great London Smog that killed thousands of people in 1952, the macabre story of Lady Bathory-the 16th century countess who murdered hundreds of peasants, the Chinese Cultural Revolution which affected that country for decades by postponing the economic boom, the Eruption of Mt. Pelee in Martinque that killed tens of thousands of people and built up slowly over months and the Gas Leak at Bhopal, a completely preventable disaster that brought wide scale suffering to this central Indian city.

Just released is the British Retreat from Kabul. It is a thrilling story about the British foray into Afghanistan in the 19th century that turned into a debilitating route. The next four episodes are already scheduled and posted on the Welcome Page. In the works is a short video.

Also, I am happy to announce that a recent project I was working on as part of the History Podcasters has now been released. The subject is Terrible Leaders, a perfect subject for this podcast. You can hear all of the wonderful segments, including mine on King Leopold of Belgium at

Radians and Inches: In Search of the Zodiac

I am happy to endorse the Radians and Inches journal, a publication devoted to examining the Zodiac killer. In the 1960's a serial killer who went by the name, Zodiac terrorized Northern Californians. For years, he eluded the police and taunted their investigators. The Zodiac even created his own cipher codes. Mark Hewitt examines the Zodiac and other serial killers. You can find his website at:

There you can read the journal he edits and submit articles on this fascinating subject. Please let him know that The Podcast of Doom sent you.

The Tragedy Continues

Episodes 4 and 5 have been uploaded.

Episode 4 covered the Sinking of the USS Indianapolis towards the end of World War II. The Indy was of the Cruiser class. In July 1945 she was sent on a top secret mission across the Pacific, traveling at full speed from San Francisco to the island of Tinian near Japan. What none of the crew knew was that they were carrying the active components for the atomic bomb that would be dropped on Hiroshima. On their return trip, they were torpedoed by a Japanese submarine. The ship sank in less than 12 minutes dumping the surviving sailors into the Pacific Ocean with no water, no shelter and very little food. The crew clung to rafts, life vests and any debris that would float. Trying to survive in the hot climate of the equatorial Pacific was one thing, fighting off swarms of sharks was quite another.

In Episode 5 we examined the horrific plane crash that took place in the Canary Islands at the airport at Tenerife. When a group of terrorists explode a bomb at the Las Palmas airport, it triggers a chain of events, that see large commercial jetliners rerouted to the small airport of Los Rodeos in Tenerife. The overcrowded airport becomes a parking lot and the skeleton air traffic control team must bring order out of chaos. Down to only one runway, they instruct a packed KLM 747 jetliner to proceed to the end of the runway and turn around. At the same time, they instruct an even larger Pan Am 747 to get on the same runway and turn at an unspecified exit. When a heavy fog socks in the whole air field the KLM pilot decides to take matters into his own hands.

The Story So Far...

I hope you have had the chance to listen to one, several or all of the Podcast of Doom podcasts, because I think we have had an excellent start. Our first episode was the Great Peshtigo Fire. In 1871, a forest fire hit the small lumber and wood factory town of Peshtigo, Wisconsin. It happened following a summer of extreme drought and it was caused by a change in weather as well as numerous people setting fires that they presumed would burn out on their own. They were wrong and when winds of over 100 mph struck the town, the fire turned into a conflagration. More than 1,500 people were consumed by flames or died from asphyxiation or by getting trampled by panicked people and animals. The lucky and the unlucky all congregated at the Peshtigo River where many drowned, many were crushed and many were burned alive. Somehow a fortunate few did manage to survive.

Our second episode explored the Genocide in Rwanda that occurred in 1994. This was a tragic tale that revealed some of the unintended consequences of transitioning into a post-colonial society. Rwanda, a small but densely populated country in sub-Saharan Africa was populated for millennia. The two main ethnic groups, the Hutu and the Tutsis, had more or less lived peacefully side by side and amongst each other for hundreds of years. When the Belgians took control of the country they instituted a number of laws and practices that resulted in the divisions of the two groups and the deliberate advancement of one group over the other. Thirty years after the revolution that put the subordinate group in charge, civil war broke out and an atmosphere of death and genocide took place. As upwards of 800,000 people were brutally murdered the governments of the world stood by on the sidelines and watched it happen.

In our last episode, we looked at the remarkable story of the Man-Eating Tigress of Champawat, and the hunter who eventually brought her killing to an end, Jim Corbett. Corbett knew why tigers developed a taste for human flesh. The tiger he was charged with hunting had killed 200 people in Nepal before being chased into India. There the tiger would consume another 236 people. Villagers in the area were absolutely terrified by the tiger. In one village, the residents locked themselves inside their homes for five straight days without access to food or water. If Corbett had not intervened, all would have perished. Corbett relates how he tracked the tiger based on information he received from eyewitnesses. He was able to locate the tiger’s trail by examining physical evidence and assemble a hunting party that nearly ruined the entire expedition. Eventually, he corners the tiger in a steep gorge. When Corbett runs out of ammunition he must use all of his cunning and resources to stay one step ahead of the tiger.

In our next two episodes we will look at the sinking of the USS Indianapolis during World War II and the worst aviation disaster of all time, the air crash at Tenerife. 

Greetings Kittens!

Thank you for following the Podcast of Doom. Episode 1 will be uploaded and available through Itunes the week of Oct. 31. The first episode topic will be the The Great Peshtigo Fire of 1872. This monsterous fire killed 1,500 people, and generated its own climate, including a tornado of fire. Find out how the fire got started, what the citizens of Peshtigo did when they witnesed the fire heading their way and how people responded when they were completely surrounded by walls of flame. 

And if you are feeling really curious, hit the donate button. 

Thank you, 


Updates and Feedback

I will be keeping up regular journal entries to let you know about planned future podcasts, email correspondence, follow-up on past podcasts and events. Your participaton and feedback is welcomed. If I was erroneous in any of my podcast information or entirely missed a major point, please let me know. Also, feel free to compliment. I love compliments. I think you will find the Podcast of Doom to be very exciting. It is very much about history, but it is also about human behavior. Not just about how humans behave in the middle of a crisis, but how we behave in the moments leading up to a crisis, and the moments immediately after. This is not just the telling of information available to anyone, this is the analysis of tragic events, and the actions that could have been taken to limit the scale of the disaster. Your input will make the analysis that much more useful and revelant. Thank you for listening. - Dave