The Sofa King podcast is a twice-weekly show dedicated to influential people, popular culture, historical events, true crime and listener suggested topics the hosts find interesting. From conspiracy theories and technology to the mass media and the future, this show explores major issues in way that is simultaneously informative, critical, and humorous. The hosts have big ideas, big opinions, big mouths, and give their take on topics in a way that is both cynical and educational. Adult content, themes, and language.
Episode 520: Barney and Betty Hill: The Epic Alien Abduction
On this episode of The Sofa King Podcast, we put on our tinfoil hats and talk about what might be the most important alien abduction case of all time, the story of Barney and Betty Hill. This story, straight outta 1961, has everything you want in an abduction story. Missing time? Check. Lights in the sky? Check. UFO? Check. Project Bluebook Investigation? Check. Human experimentation? Check. “Gray” aliens? Check. Missing memories and hypnosis? Check. And most importantly, anal probes? You betcha!
So, this story is the tale of Barney and Betty Hill. They were a rare mixed race couple in the early 1960s, and after a year and a half of marriage, they drove to Niagara Falls and Montreal for a late honeymoon. On their way back, their world changed forever. They were racing home to beat a storm coming in, and at one point that night, they stopped for gas and food. While there, they saw lights in the sky. They checked with binoculars and ruled out normal aircraft. They got back on the road, and suddenly, the lights started to follow their car.
What happens then gets pretty crazy. They remember seeing a disk-shaped vehicle filled with people in strange uniforms. Barney grabbed his gun, they both thought they were going to be captured, and they drove as fast as they could. The disk stayed above their car, and suddenly they heard a strange buzzing and zapping sound hit their trunk. They heard it a second time, and realized hours had passed, and they were 35 miles away from where they thought they were. Missing time in full effect.
After they got home, they were having trouble sleeping, were filled with anxiety, and suffered psychological trauma. They finally got help after a psychiatrist suggested they go through hypnosis. Nobody thought they were abducted by aliens, but the experts did think something happened to them that caused them trauma. They met a hypnotist named Simon realized they had very similar memories of the event. They spoke with NICAP (a UFO group), and though they wanted to avoid publicity, a story leaked out of Boston, and they were suddenly famous.
So, what memories were uncovered through hypnosis? What did the Air Force say with their Project Bluebook investigation? What did the aliens look like? What is the Star Map, and why do people think it points to Zeta Reticuli? What physical examinations did Barney and Betty Hill go through and what hurt worse than the anal probe? Listen, laugh, learn.
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Episode 519: Frank Matthews: The Black Caesar
On this episode of the Sofa King Podcast, we look at the life of the African-American drug kingpin Frank Matthews: The Black Caesar. Matthews went from stealing chickens to running a numbers game in the back of his barber shop to being the top non-Mafia drug importer in the nation, in just a couple of years. He organized small drug dealers to take on the Mob; he ran the control of cocaine and heroin to 21 states; he was the first person to tap into the South American drug cartels; he went to war with the Black Mafia. He disappeared at age 29, having already formed a drug empire that bested everyone from Al Capone to Pablo Escobar.
He was born in North Carolina and raised by his aunt when his mother died. When he was only 14, he formed a gang to steal chickens from local farms and sell them locally. A farmer caught them one day, and Matthews beat him. With a brick. A year later, he was out of prison and started running numbers. Eventually, he moved to Philadelphia and then New York and did his numbers racket out of the back of a barber shop. However, this wasn’t enough for the ambitious Frank Matthews. He wanted in on the drug trade.
He tried to get friendly with some of the big Mafia families, but they all declined. So, he forged his own way. He befriended "Spanish Raymond" Márquez, who put him in touch with "El Padrino", Cuban Mafia godfather of New York. This contact allowed him to get the drugs directly from Corsica, the same supplier as the mob used. And Matthews was now an international player.
He started to make so much money he would forget that he gave someone a million dollars, and he ran out of room to store his stacks of cash. He would fly to Vegas to have the casinos launder his money. He saw the potential to really move things, though, and he called a meeting in Atlanta with all big drug dealers cut out by the mob. They created a network, and the drug game changed for America thanks to Matthews.
However, he got sloppy, and eventually there were federal and local warrants for his arrest. He was pinched in Vegas and extradited to New York where he silently slipped away on bail. He was never seen again. So where did Frank Matthews go? Why does one author thing this has to do with the CIA? Why did mob boss Carlo Gambino put a hit on him, and what made him retract it? Who was Major Coxson, and what did he have to do with the Black Mafia? Why was he so much more powerful than Jemeker Thompson, Crack Queen of LA? Listen, laugh, learn.
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Episode 518: The Three Stooges: Moe, Larry, the Cheese!
On this episode of the world famous Sofa King Podcast, we crack wise about the greatest comedy trio to have ever been put on film—The Three Stooges. Their short films were so popular that they single handedly saved the genre from dying for years and years. They poked fun at Hitler in the 1940s, and were so good at it that they made his personal death list. Though they started as a small vaudeville act in New York, they became the biggest game in comedy for multiple studios and for several decades.
The keystone of the Stooges was one family—the Horowitz brothers. Shemp, Moe, and Jerome (aka Curley) Horowitz were all high school drop outs who had a love of acting and theater and quit school to pursue it. Shemp and Moe did various small roles, worked at the theaters and movie companies, and paid their dues. Curley hung out where they did, learned the business back stage, and did his own thing as well, such as studying dance. Eventually, a childhood friend named Ted Healy created a successful vaudeville show, and he needed stooges.
He would play the straight man and try to sing and talk to the audience, but three bumbling stooges would come out and interrupt him. Though, it was a rotating cast, Shemp and Moe were the best at it. They hired a violin player named Larry Fine, and the rest was history. As they became more and more popular on stage and some small film roles, Shemp quit because he hated Healy. They added Curley to the act, and they blew up.
Their films became so successful, that the movie companies could force theaters to take on B movies and stinkers they made or hold back the latest Three Stooges films. When they were at their peak, however, Curley had a series of health problems and strokes (that some think came from the beatings he took on set). He had to quit, and Shemp came back from a very successful solo act.
It was a wild time in Hollywood. Healey was found dead, likely beaten to death by one of Lucky Luciano’s men. Larry at one point had to get paid more for fear that someone would bomb their stage acts. And their horrible producer screwed them out of millions of dollars by permanently convincing them that their movies weren’t making any money. When Shemp suddenly died of a heart attack, they considered quitting, but their evil producer held them to the final four films they had to make.
So, how did this lead to fake Shemp? What was Joe, and who was Curley Joe, and why weren’t they the same person? Why did Larry live in a hotel until middle age? What were our personal experiences watching them as we grew up? Listen, laugh, and learn.
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Episode 517: Arthur Dozier School: A Curriculum of Murder
On this episode of the Sofa King Podcast, we look into the horrible history of Florida’s school for juveniles called the Arthur Dozier School. It opened in 1900 and ran until 2011. It was the subject of Colson Whitehead’s Pulitzer Prize winning book The Nickel Boys. The Dozier school was (in)famous for housing children who often did nothing worse than smoke a cigarette at school, be truant, or run away from home. But as punishment, they endured life in leg irons, torture, illegal restraints, beatings till they bled, rape, and even murder. Estimates are that there are a total of 98 bodies buried on the site, and one group alleges there is a cover up by the local and Florida investigation teams.
So, based on a law in the late 1800s, this school found funding and opened a couple years later. It was a large 159 acre campus with several buildings. It was segregated, so half the facilities were for black inmates and half for white. It was renamed a few times, and it switched hands as far as what governmental agency ran it. It was built to house 104 boys, aged 13 to 21. But that expanded to as young as 9, and at the height of its population, there were over 500 crammed into this space.
It as a place of tragedy and dark history. A fire killed several boys and staff. Almost a dozen died to the Spanish Flu. And in its first remodel, they built a structure that the boys called the White House. It was where they took you if you were going to be beaten. Or tortured. Or raped. Because apparently in the 1950s and 60s, the people who ran the place were sadistic. Hundreds of boys who call themselves the White House Boys came forward in the 2000s to report their bloody beatings (lashed hundreds of times till their underwear was interwoven in their flesh, and they passed out—at the hands of an ominous one armed man), their rape, and even dead boys they saw from time to time.
The White House Boys tried to get restitution or legal justice, but the statute of limitation had run out on any abuse they suffered, so it was shot down. But there were hundreds of them, so word must have gotten out, right? It did. The Florida Department of Law Enforcement ran an investigation which said they could find no forensic proof of abuse and no witnesses who would talk.
The White House Boys think this might have been a cover up. And an article called “For Their Own Good” that came out of St. Petersburg kept it in the nation’s attention. Eventually, the Department of Justice and the and the University of South Florida each did their own investigations with rather different results. So, how many bodies did they find? What did the surviving boys recall of their tortures here? Why did nobody ever get in legal trouble? What finally got the victims a chance to legally exhume bodies of their relatives? Listen, laugh, learn.
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Episode 516: Roald Dahl: From Ace to Spy to Oompa Loompa
On this episode of the Sofa King Podcast, we take a look at the very interesting life of a man named Roald Dahl. You may think you’ve never heard of him, but we promise that you have. For one, he was a world famous and beloved children’s author. He wrote Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, James and the Giant Peach, Matilda, and many other stories. What you don’t know is that he was an adventure-starved, globetrotting, WWII fighter pilot ace. He survived a crash, shot down enemy aircraft, and was eventually stationed to Washington where he met Ian Fleming and did work for the spy agency MI6.
Roald Dahl was born in Wales in 1916 to Norwegian parents who were wealthy. His father died when he was young, but his mother opted to stay in the UK because that’s where the best schools were. So, he attended school there, getting kicked out of one or two and being beaten by a headmaster here and there. He was also behind the Great Mouse Plot of 1924 which involved a dead rodent and a jar of gobstoppers. He eventually got through school, and when his mom said she’d pay for him to attend Oxford and be anything he wanted, he declined. He’d rather see the world. And see the world he did. He hiked around for a while and then got a job for an oil company in the Middle east.
While there, he was drafted by England to help round Germans up in the city of Dar-es-Salaam where he was stationed. After that, he joined the Royal Air Force, and soon, his country was at war. After extensive training, he was given a really bad and outdated aircraft. Once, while piloting on his own, he was given the wrong directions and crashed in the middle of the desert. He sustained major injuries and was temporarily blind, but the kept on.
Eventually, he fought in several dog fights, including the Battle of Athens, but he had to quit flying because of the injuries from the crash. He was such as smooth talker, however, that he was sent to Washington DC to be a diplomat and try to get the US into the war. While there, he doubled as a spy, meeting people like Ian Fleming and doing tasks directly for MI6.
During the war, his friends got him to start writing, and people loved his work. He began with short stories and a tale about his own air crash, but he soon drifted to the fantastical children’s stories he is so beloved for now. He wrote James and the Giant Peach first, and the rest was history. His books were hits. He wrote 19 in all, saw several get adapted to film, and he even wrote the scripts for Chitty Chitty Bang Bang and You Only Live Twice.
There isn’t much bad to say about this man. He was a war hero. A national patriot. He is beloved by children all over the world. Even Queen Elizabeth considered him one of the most influential people in British culture. Oh, but he was an anti-Semite, so there is that. Listen, laugh, learn.
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Episode 515: Uruguayan Flight 571: Tragedy, Cannibalism, and Survival
On this episode of the Sofa King Podcast, we take a look at an infamous case of Cannibalism, the crash of Uruguayan Flight 751. In October of 1972, a plane crashed carrying 40 passengers and 5 crew. As the plane bounced off the side of the mountain, it lost its wing, then it’s tail, then it’s other wing. All the while, people fill out and littered the snowy mountain side. Much like the Donner Party, after several weeks, they were out of food and lost on a glacier. Over two horrible months, they resorted to cannibalism and had no hope of rescue.
The scene: October 13th, 1972. An amateur rugby club from Uruguay headed to Santiago, Chile to play a match. They rented an air force plane to take them there, and they had extra seats, so friends and family could come along. The co-pilot was put in charge of the flight, and he got lost in the fog and reported the wrong position. He crashed. While he was trying to pull up and avoid the mountain that suddenly emerged from the fog, it was too late. Uruguayan Flight 751 tore itself apart as it struck the summit of the mountain, until finally the fuselage slid down the mountain for over 2000 feet.
They stacked the dead outside of the fuselage, and they sorted out the food. There was hardly any because it wasn’t a typical passenger plane, and the galley had broken off when the tail fell away. On day eleven, the search was called off. It was just them on a mountain with no vegetation or animal life. They were all starving, and people were dying every few days. There was a blizzard. An avalanche killed more of them. They finally made the horrible decision to eat human flesh even though most thought it was a sin.
Eventually, Roberto Canessa and Antonio Vizintin decided to make the trek across the deadly mountain. They were hit by another blizzard and thought they weren’t going to make it. Eventually, after days of climbing and hiking with no snow gear or food, they found civilization. How many survived? How many refused to eat flesh and died of starvation? What is a muleskinner, and how did it help them get rescued? How long can one chocolate covered peanut last a man? Why didn’t they just radio for help? What did they discover the best way was to eat human flesh? Listen, laugh, learn.
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Customer ReviewsSee All
I was reading some of the other comments on here. Wow some people don’t like y’all which is absolutely ridiculous!! You guys are the best! You get some entertainment and some knowledge at the same time. One day.. when I’m not in grad school, I will send in the $$$... 💪
You were my real dads
Dave is trying to save the ship
I loved this podcast but over the last year it’s been so hard to listen to. The 10 minute intro has turned to 15, 20 now I skip the first 25 minutes. Then when Dave gets to the meat he is constantly being interrupted, especially by Brent for some bad joke. Dave seems to always give great info while the other two throw commonly known facts at the wall to see what sticks. Really miss the quality from before. Have you heard of a animated tv show called South Park?! Did you know the show is controversial, wait no way!