Ep 134: Gremlins

Above original artwork by David Spencer. Follow him on Twitter @mischieffactory and check out his illustrations and designs for hire on his website: mischief-factory.com and also at: https://www.foliojr.com/david-spencer/


“I was a 22-year-old B-17 pilot and flight commander. I’m very aware of my surroundings, and as I go higher, I notice an unusual sound coming from the engine. The instruments went nuts. I look at my right and I see an entity staring at me. Then I look at the aircraft’s nose, and there’s another one, hanging in there. Dancing lizards.”

– Paraphrased account from WWII USAAF pilot known as “L.W.” From Cryptozoology News



Royal Air Force base Benson, one of three RAF aerodromes during WWII along with RAF Wick and RAF St. Eval, where the high-altitude Photographic Reconnaissance Units were stationed. The PRUs were among the first to popularize the Gremlins story amongst the British military.



Our legends and folklore must begin somewhere, and if not from the creative imagination of a single individual then perhaps they are born from the collective experiences of a particular group. While it is difficult to trace the exact nascency of certain legends, we may be able to get a clearer idea of where a specific mystical being came to be known, the gremlin. The British pilots and aircrew of the Royal Air Force during the WWI and WWII eras began to experience baffling and inexplicable problems with their aircraft and missions. Wires that appeared to have been chewed through, sand particles found in machinery where none should be, punctures and damage that was incomprehensible were just some of the numerous mysterious problems they encountered. But with no known cause, blame fell to the gremlin a mischievous goblin-like entity said to inhabit the skies and aerodromes of the RAF and who delighted in causing trouble for airmen. Although rationality would suggest the gremlin was an invention of highly-stressed personnel looking for a comical and morale-boosting scapegoat for their problems, there are reports from veterans who claim to have seen these destructive imps in action. If true, then we must wonder if the creature creates the legend or if the legend creates the creature. Join us as we examine the discovery of a 20th-century folktale which just may be related to the ancient Wee Folk of nature.


Related Books:

The Gremlins
By Roald Dahl
The Spirit of St. Louis
By Charles A. Lindbergh
Good Faeries/Bad Faeries
By Brian Froud
Gremlin Trouble Volume 1
By E. T. Bryan, Elizabeth Bryan
Starring Zach Galligan, Phoebe Cates, Hoyt Axton, Polly Holliday, Frances Lee McCain

Special Offers from our Special Sponsors:


  • quip – Chances are, you're probably not brushing your teeth the way your dentist would like you to, but now there's an effective, affordable and cool way to get the job done right and without having to spend a lot of money on one of those expensive electric toothbrushes you've seen in stores that clutter up your counter.  quip is a slim and elegant electric toothbrush that delivers oral care the way dentists would prefer, with gentle sonic vibrations and pulses to guide you through the recommended two minutes of cleaning.  quip comes with a suction mount that adheres right to your mirror so it's out of the way and unsticks to use as a hygienic cover that's perfect for travel.  quip starts at just $25 and their optional subscription plan for new brush heads isn't just convenient, it's dentist-recommended for maximum oral health, with replacements arriving every 3 months for just $5 and free worldwide shipping is included!  Go to getquip.com/LEGENDS right now and you'll get your first refill pack FREE with a quip electric toothbrush!

  • SimpliSafe – SimpliSafe is the modern home security system that’s ready for anything that gets thrown at it. Your power goes out? SimpliSafe is still at the ready. If an intruder cuts your phone line, smashes your keypad or destroys the siren, SimpliSafe will still get you the help you need fast. Easy to install and easy to use, SimpliSafe provides you with professional security monitoring 24/7 to make sure the police are on the way when you need them. The security sensors are tiny, blending in with your home so you won’t notice them, blanketing your whole home with protection. There are no contracts and no hidden fees. The Verge calls SimpliSafe “the best home security” and it’s a Wirecutter top pick. Go to SimpliSafe.com/AL today and get FREE SHIPPING on any system order. Give your home and family the protection and peace of mind they deserve.

  • HARRY’SHARRY’S delivers a close, comfortable shave at a reasonable price, with German engineered blades for as low as $2 each and a 4.5 out of 5-Star rating on Trustpilot, it’s a razor that comes with a 100% Quality Guarantee – if you or the person you’re getting if for doesn’t love it, returns are quick and hassle-free. You can also make it special with a personal engraving option and in your or their favorite colors. Still not convinced? Find out for yourself how smooth and inexpensive shaving SHOULD be, by going to Harrys.com/LEGENDS to get a HARRY’S Trial Shaving Set – a $13 Value! Each Trial Set comes with a weighted, ergonomic handle; German Engineered 5-blade cartridges, rich lathering shave gel; and a travel cover to protect your blades. Go to Harrys.com/LEGENDS and enter Promo Code LEGENDS at checkout to get your Trial Set and support the show today!

  • Mack Weldon is back with an even greater selection of the most comfortable and well-made underwear, socks, shirts, undershirts, hoodies, sweatpants and more that you will ever wear! And they keep designing new items all the time, like with their new Ace Sweatpant and their Radius and Sunday Lounge pants.  Stylish design and precision construction combined with cutting-edge fabrics like those with anti-microbial silver particles ensure you get a cool, cozy fit and long-lasting durability.  Also, their website couldn't be easier to shop and find exactly what you're looking for, so go on over to MackWeldon.com and use our Promo Code "LEGENDS" at check-out to get 20% OFF your first order!


The Dark Myths Collective  




Episode 134 Gremlins.  Produced by Scott Philbrook & Forrest Burgess; Audio Editing by Sarah Vorhees Wendel; Sound Design by Ryan McCullough; Tess Pfeifle, Producer and Lead Researcher; Research Support from the astonishing League of Astonishing Researchers, a.k.a. The Astonishing Research Corps, or "A.R.C." for short. Copyright 2019 Astonishing Legends Productions, LLC. All Rights Reserved.