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What Was That Like

English, Social, 1 seasons, 174 episodes, 15 hours 56 minutes
About
First-hand true stories - a plane crash, a mass shooting, a bear attack, a train derailing, and more. The guest tells us exactly what happened, and answers the question, What Was That Like?
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167: Chris was not strapped in

You ever watch a video on YouTube, or TikTok, and it shows someone walking right on the edge at the top of a very tall building? Or maybe they’re right at the edge of a cliff with a steep drop off, and they’re doing flips or some stupid thing, just to get views and show how fearless they are. Every time I see one of those, I get this weird feeling in my gut because I think about the risk that they’re taking, and the horrifying outcome if they make just one little mistake. I wasn’t always afraid of heights. As a kid, I was on the roof of our house all the time. But as an adult I fell off a roof, and since then – I avoid high places. That’s why I’ll most likely never go hang gliding. It actually does look like it would be an incredible experience, just flying silently through the air. But my mind would always go back to the thought of what could go wrong, and that kind of destroys the moment. My guest in this episode, Chris, went hang gliding and he found out exactly what could go wrong.
16/02/202458 minutes 7 seconds
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166: Suzanne was stuck on the boat

There are some people whose dream is to live on a boat and just spend their life sailing around the world. In fact, there’s a company called Villa Vie that’s hoping a LOT of people want to do that. They have a cruise ship that holds 924 passengers, and they’re offering a never-ending cruise that goes around the world every 3 ½ years. You can actually buy one of the cabins – starting for as little as $100k. And you own that cabin! Kind of like a floating time share I guess. But you also have monthly maintenance fees – that’s $3500 per month. So far, more than 30 people have put down a deposit to purchase a cabin. I’ve gone on a few cruises, and it can be a great way to vacation. But I don’t think I’d want to spend years living on a cruise ship. Like most things, spending time at sea is wonderful, but in moderation. Today you’ll hear from my guest, Suzanne. When she was just 7 years old, she and her family got on a large sailboat and sailed away from their home in England. What she didn’
09/02/20241 hour 16 minutes 46 seconds
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165: Hali was saved by a friend

James had a childhood that would have indicated future success. He grew up in southern California, and his father is a scientist. His mother is a registered nurse. They lived in an affluent neighborhood in San Diego. But by the time he was in middle school, James began to display some mental health issues. He tried to take his own life at age 11. But he did graduate from high school, and also completed a bachelor’s degree at the University of California Riverside. He then decided to move to Colorado and work toward a graduate degree in neuroscience. By outward appearances, he seemed to be on the right track. But he continued to battle depression, and for several years, he was obsessed with the idea of killing. One day, he acted on that obsession. He walked into a movie theater with multiple guns and started firing into the crowd of people watching a movie. My guest today is Hali. She knows exactly what it’s like to be in that situation, to be the target of an active shooter. On that da
26/01/20241 hour 10 minutes 56 seconds
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164: Luke swallowed cocaine balloons

What would YOU do in this situation? Imagine you just got off an international flight, and you’re in a Subway restaurant, in Ft Lauderdale, Florida. You feel terribly sick. In fact, you have reason to believe that your condition could be fatal if you don’t get medical help quickly. Do you call 911? That’s the situation Luke was in, on a January day back in 2016. But he was hesitant to call for help, because he knew why he was sick. That terrible feeling he had in his stomach was from a little rubber balloon that had unexpectedly broken, and he was feeling the effects of some very high-quality cocaine saturating his internal organs. This is a Flashback episode. The Flashback episodes always come in between the regular new episodes, so we always have a new story every other Friday. Luke originally told this story in 2018 here on the podcast, so after we hear what happened, I have a little update conversation from when I connected with Luke again, just recently. You’ll never guess what he
19/01/20241 hour 28 minutes 42 seconds
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Listen Now: Season 2 of PROOF

The second season of PROOF: Murder at the Warehouse takes Susan Simpson and Jacinda Davis to Manteca, CA where they reinvestigate the murder of 18-year-old Renee Ramos. On June 5, 2000, Ramos’ body was found buried under a pile of debris inside the shell of a new Home Depot building. Despite tips hinting at alternate suspects - tips that were ignored until now - Renee’s boyfriend, 18-year-old skateboarder Jake Silva, and Ty Lopes, the 33-year-old uncle of one of Jake's close friends were arrested for her murder. The questionable testimony of a 14-year-old boy was the key evidence used to convict them both to life in prison. Ty Lopes was killed in prison in 2011. Twenty-three years after Renee Ramos was murdered, Jake Silva remains in prison and maintains he is innocent. In season two of PROOF: Murder at the Warehouse, Susan and Jacinda travel the streets of Manteca, reinvestigating the case against Jake and Ty – and in the process uncover long-overlooked evidence about what really happ
17/01/20246 minutes 35 seconds
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163: Michael was stabbed on a bus

It’s amazing how quickly things can change. Michael lives with his wife, Mu, in New York City. He works for HP, and his job is to visit various locations around the city and do equipment repair. So he often finds himself on public transportation. One afternoon he was on the city bus, headed to his next job. He expected it to be a routine trip. But without any warning, he found himself trying desperately to get away from a man with a knife. And here’s something you need to know as you listen to Michael’s story. This conversation was recorded about 3 years ago. We weren’t able to go live with it until now, because we had to wait until the case had made it’s way through the courts and was resolved. That has now happened, so at the end I’ll give you an update on how it turned out. Full show notes and pictures for this episode are here: https://WhatWasThatLike.com/163 Graphics for this episode by Bob Bretz. Transcription was done by James Lai. Want to discuss this episode and other thing
12/01/202457 minutes 53 seconds
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162: The Listener Stories of 2023

You’re listening to What Was That Like, and this is the last episode for 2023 – which means it’s our year-end Listener Stories episode. For each episode of the show, we have a guest come on and tell their story. It might be someone who survived an alligator attack, or a person who was shot multiple times, or maybe someone who went on The Price is Right and won the showcase – those are just a few examples of the over 160 past episodes. And then, at the very end of each episode, we have a Listener Story. This is a 5-10 minute short story that was sent in by a listener, just like you. It can be something sad, or amazing, or funny – just something that people find interesting. If you have a story like that, I’d love to have you send it in, and you might hear it on a future episode. You can email it to me at [email protected]. And for the final episode of the year, we hear all of those stories played back to back – which is what we’re doing today. And I wanted to mention this - one
29/12/20232 hours 54 minutes 32 seconds
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161: Rosie saw the hit

Very few people have seen someone get hit by a car. There’s a movie from 1998 called Meet Joe Black. Kind of a weird film that combines romance and fantasy. I don’t remember being particularly impressed by the movie itself, but there’s one scene that’s stuck in my head forever. If you’ve seen it, you probably know the scene I’m talking about. Two young people, played by Brad Pitt and Claire Forlani, meet by chance at a coffee shop and there seems to be a rare connection between them. They leave the shop, and have a few awkward words on the sidewalk before they go their separate ways. The scene is quiet, the sound track is calm, and both of them are walking away, even though it’s obvious that they have thoughts and feelings that they want to express. As Brad Pitt stands in the street and watches her disappear around the corner, he wonders about what could have been, and suddenly we hear the blast of a horn, and a car hits him, causing him to fly into the air. Before he hits the ground,
15/12/20231 hour 27 minutes 5 seconds
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160: Sue's parachute failed

On October 24, 2015, Sue was with her daughter Jessica, who was 14 years old at the time, and her friend Elise. Sue and Elise were skydiving buddies, and they were doing what they often did on a beautiful Saturday morning – they were going to go jump out of a plane. Since she was 14, Jessica wasn’t yet old enough to jump – but she just liked being with her mom and hanging out at the drop zone. The weather was beautiful, and everything was going fine, until Sue got to about 5000 feet. She tried to make a quick turn just before landing, and things went terribly wrong. Obviously, Sue made it through that ordeal. But to say she “survived” is a huge understatement. She came back stronger than ever. This is a Flashback episode. Sue originally told her story on the podcast back in 2019. After you hear about her skydiving crash, I’ll play a recent conversation I had with her about what’s going on with her now. Spoiler alert – she’s still doing some amazing things. Full show notes and pictures
08/12/20231 hour 10 minutes 31 seconds
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159: Danna was attacked by yellow jackets

One of the things I really try hard to avoid is any flying, stinging insect. When I was a little kid, we lived in a pretty rural area in central Ohio. We had a big yard so my brothers and I were outside playing all summer. And of course there were bees. I was old enough to know not to mess with them, but my next youngest brother, Steve, hadn’t really learned that yet. So sometimes I would show him that nice little flying thing – a regular honey bee – and encourage him to go and catch it in his bare hands. And he did. The funny thing is, I don’t remember him ever getting stung when he caught them. And whenever I saw something like that flying around, like a wasp or a hornet, I quickly left the area and found someplace else to play. Steve did get stung in a few places once when we were camping though. He happened to step on a bumblebee nest in the ground, and they weren’t too happy about that. He got stung a couple of times on his face so he was swollen up for a few hours. No allergic re
01/12/202356 minutes 48 seconds
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158: Stories from work

I’m Scott, the host of What Was That Like. And this is a bonus episode. Normally, on this podcast you would hear someone talking about the time they witnessed a murder, or when they escaped a cult, or when they were swimming and they lost their leg to a shark attack. Those are all actual past episodes, and there are currently over 150 of them to binge. But we’re doing something a little different in this episode. You’ve heard me talk about the private Facebook group. That’s where we discuss each new episode, as well as past episodes, but we talk about a LOT of other things in there. Every Tuesday I post a new question – something that makes you think. And with almost 6000 people in that group, we get a lot of answers. The discussions we have in there are amazing. You can join for free at WhatWasThatLike.com/facebook. Well, not too long ago, I posted this question: What’s something that happened at work that you’ll never forget? And wow, did the work stories come pouring in. Turns out,
24/11/20231 hour 52 minutes 4 seconds
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157: Stacy gave away her kidney

Anthony is a husband and a father. He lives in Canada. His kidneys were failing, and he was in desperate need of a donor. He was even on the local news with his wife and daughter, hoping to find someone who was a match, and willing to give up a kidney. Almost anyone can donate a kidney, but to donate to a specific recipient, you have to be tested to find out if you’re a match – to see if your kidney is likely to work when it’s in the other person’s body. My guest today is Stacy. She also lives in Canada, and she wanted to give Anthony one of her kidneys. Even though they had never met. Living Kidney Donor Support Group on FB: https://www.facebook.com/groups/2246296390 Kidney Donor Athletes group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/210668570157027 If you’d like to contact Stacy, she is in the FB group – WhatWasThatLike.com/facebook Full show notes and pictures for this episode are here: https://WhatWasThatLike.com/157 Graphics for this episode by Bob Bretz. Transcription was done by J
17/11/20231 hour 52 seconds
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“48 Hours” Presents: My Life of Crime | Twisted Twins: Who Killed Heather DeWild?

“48 Hours” correspondent Erin Moriarty takes you inside true-crime investigations like no one else, in her podcast “My Life of Crime”. In the new season, Erin delves into the labyrinth of crime within families and the secrets that kept them together or tore them apart. Here’s a preview of the “My Life of Crime” season premiere, “Twisted Twins: Who Killed Heather DeWild?” Erin examines the case of 30-year-old Heather DeWild, who vanished after visiting her soon-to-be ex-husband Daniel DeWild's home. Investigators soon focused not only on Daniel, but also his identical twin brother, David. While Daniel was not forthcoming, investigators were convinced David had something to say, but could police break through their tight twin bond? What could cause a person, or persons, to destroy their family? You can hear the rest of the episode on “My Life of Crime”, from CBS News. Listen wherever you get your podcasts. Prime Members, you can listen to “My Life of Crime” exclusively on Amazon Music
13/11/20238 minutes 19 seconds
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156: Jen accidentally caused a death

October 4, 2016. For Jennifer and her husband Chris, and their 4 children, it was just a regular Tuesday. Up until around 8 pm that evening. Jen was driving home and she had their two young daughters in the car. Jen stopped at a stop sign, and then proceeded into the intersection without seeing the motorcycle that was approaching on her left. The motorcycle hit her car, and with that collision, the lives of two families were forever changed. David, the driver of the motorcycle, was taken to the hospital, where he died two days later. With a story like this, there are a lot of different aspects to talk about. The feelings of guilt, her overwhelming sadness, her fear of possible criminal charges, and what happened when she had a chance encounter with one of David’s friends. She also talked about what she’s doing now to help others who have found themselves in similar situations. This is a Flashback episode. Jen came on and told this story over 5 years ago, on the very first episode of th
10/11/20231 hour 51 minutes 4 seconds
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155: Stephanie was date raped

Have you ever heard of Rohypnol? In the US, Rohypnol is classified as a Schedule IV controlled substance. It functions as a depressant to the central nervous system. It’s not manufactured or approved for sale in the US, but it is shipped here from other countries and used illegally. It’s similar to Valium, but ten times more powerful. A common name for it on the street is the “forget-me drug”. A more generic term is “roofie” and it’s often referred to as the “date rape drug”. In many cases, Rohypnol is secretly put into the drink of an unsuspecting victim. The effects, including drowsiness and loss of memory, are felt within 15 to 20 minutes, and may continue for up to 12 hours. When it’s put into a clear drink, it will change the color of the liquid to blue. The color is often masked by serving tropical drinks that are already blue, or by serving the drink in a dark or opaque container. My guest today, Stephanie, was a victim of having her food or a drink spiked with Rohypnol or somet
03/11/20231 hour 19 minutes 1 second
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154: Daughters

This is a special episode. Most of the time here on What Was That Like, I talk to a regular person who has been through some type of extremely unusual situation. If you’ve just discovered this podcast, you can just scroll through the episode titles and see that we’ve heard a lot of REALLY big and unusual stories – and all of them are told first-hand, by the person who went through it. But a lot of times a listener will contact me and say, “Scott – I’ve just binged ALL of your past episodes and I need more! What’s another podcast where I can hear more stories like this?”. And my recommendation is this: The Secret Room. The tag line for The Secret Room is “a podcast about the stories no one ever tells”. If you like really interesting and unusual stories – and I know you do, because you’re listening to this show – you’ll definitely want to check out The Secret Room. The host is my friend Ben, and I think he and I have a lot in common. He has a lot of empathy for his guests, and he has a k
27/10/20231 hour 6 minutes 38 seconds
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Listen Now: New Podcast “Ghost Story”

Tristan Redman is a journalist who doesn’t believe in ghosts. But weird things happened in his teenage bedroom – weirder than normal. When, years later, he discovers subsequent occupants of his family home say they have been visited by the ghost of a faceless woman, he’s curious. It just so happens that the house Tristan grew up in is right next door to the house where his wife’s great grandmother, Naomi Dancy, was murdered – killed by two gunshots to the face. Could there be a connection? Tristan decides to investigate and soon finds himself where no son-in-law should ever be: delving deep into his wife’s family history asking questions no-one wants answered. Wondery and Pineapple Street Studios present Ghost Story — a seven-part podcast series about family secrets, overwhelming coincidence, and the things that come back to haunt us. Follow Ghost Story on the Wondery App or wherever you get your podcasts. You can binge all episodes of Ghost Story ad-free right now by joining Wondery P
23/10/20239 minutes 26 seconds
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153: Karen gave birth in a Subaru

Most of the time, childbirth happens in a hospital. But not always. Consider the pregnant woman in Payson, Utah, who went in to Walmart early on a Sunday morning just to pick up a few things. This was her third pregnancy, so she was familiar with what to expect. But by the time she finished shopping and was at the register, she was on her knees and holding her stomach in serious distress. The baby was not going to wait. The manager and other employees were trying to help her, to get her to a more comfortable place with a little bit of privacy. But they were surprised when the woman insisted on paying for her items first. The manager said, “She paid, and then she had the baby. You can’t make that up.” The employees have since named Register number 11 the “baby register”. Mother and baby were eventually brought to the hospital and were doing fine. But that’s the way it is sometimes with babies – when the time comes, they are going to make their appearance into the world. No matter when o
20/10/20231 hour 4 minutes 39 seconds
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152: Kami ran from a mass shooting

On the night of October 1, 2017, 64 year old Stephen Paddock opened fire from his room on the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay hotel in Las Vegas. He was able to fire over 1100 rounds in just 10 minutes time, from 10:05 pm to 10:15 pm. His target was the crowd of 22,000 people in the open field below his room. These people were attending the final night of the 3-day Route 91 Harvest Music festival. Country singer Jason Aldean was performing when the shooting began. In the end, 851 people were injured, and 58 people died. This incident is the deadliest mass shooting committed by an individual in the history of the country. The shooter also shot and killed himself, so the motive for the killing will probably never be known. But this story isn’t about the cowardly killer. It’s about a young lady named Kami. Kami lives in California, about 4 hours away from Las Vegas, and she was at the Harvest Festival with her parents, and her husband Eli. She was there when the shooting began. She saw the
13/10/20231 hour 7 seconds
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151: Laura's pain became her purpose

If you’re a parent, you know – there is nothing more precious to you than your child. You would do anything for them, to keep them healthy, and happy, and safe. But sometimes, even the best parents with the best of intentions can have a brief lack of focus, and the results can be devastating. The subject we’re talking about today is hot car deaths. Outside of crashes, heatstroke is the leading cause of death in vehicles for children 14 and under. It happened 36 times in 2022, and so far in 2023 the total stands at 26. And that’s just in the US. For more than half of these, the person responsible unknowingly left the child in the vehicle. This is something that happens to loving, caring and protective parents. As you hear Laura talk about what happened, you’ll hear the pain in her voice. It’s a heartache that will never go away. But before this conversation is over, you’ll hear something else: determination. Because Laura is on a mission to make sure that what happened to her doesn’t ha
06/10/20231 hour 22 minutes 31 seconds
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150: Tara's only option was the attic

Have you ever been in a situation and had the thought, “I actually might die here today”? We recently observed the anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, and I learned about a woman named Linda Gronlund, from New York. She was an attorney, an accomplished sailor and scuba diver, a certified EMT, and she held a brown belt in karate. On September 11, 2001, Linda was on United flight 93. The plane had been hijacked, and the passengers knew that two other planes had already been flown into the twin towers in New York. Before the plane went down, she called her younger sister, Elsa and left a message. Linda acknowledged that she was probably not going to live to see another day, and her primary message was to say “I love you” one last time. Sadly, none of the people on that flight survived when it crashed into a field in Shanksville, Pennsylvania. The average person alive today has probably not been in a situation like that, where death could happen at any moment. But in this episode, y
22/09/20231 hour 26 minutes 7 seconds
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Introducing: Exposed: Cover-Up at Columbia University

Dr. Robert Hadden was a trusted OB-GYN at Columbia University. Friendly, caring, unassuming... and behind the closed door of exam rooms, one of the most prolific sexual predators in New York City. During his 25-year career, he assaulted hundreds, perhaps thousands, of patients, under the guise of medical exams. Those who tried to warn Columbia were ignored or not believed. When it appeared that no one — not Hadden, not Columbia — would be held to account, it was the survivors who undertook a decade-long fight for justice. From Wondery, Exposed: Cover-Up at Columbia University is a story about power: who has it, who loses it, and what it takes to get it back. Follow Exposed on Amazon Music or wherever you get your podcasts. You can listen ad-free by subscribing to Wondery Plus in Apple Podcasts or the Wondery app. Listen to Exposed: Wondery.fm/WWTL_EXPOSED Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
15/09/202311 minutes 36 seconds
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149: Stories from September 11

September 11, 2001 was a tragic day in America. The terrorist attacks caused the deaths of 2,996 people in New York, the Pentagon, and near Shanksville, Pennsylvania. Thousands more were injured. And many people since then have died from illnesses caused by exposure to toxic materials at the World Trade Center crash site. Here on the podcast, each year in September we dedicate an episode to hearing stories from people who were there and witnessed the tragedy. In this episode, you’ll hear from Lori Brody, who worked in the World Trade Center, and from Joe Falco, a New York City firefighter. Their stories were told a few years ago here, and we’re taking this opportunity to make sure their voices are heard again, so that we never forget that day. If you, or someone you know, personally experienced the terrorist attacks at any of the three locations, please contact me through the website at WhatWasThatLike.com. May we never forget. Full show notes and pictures for this episode are here: h
08/09/20231 hour 6 minutes 46 seconds
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148: Kat was given to a cult at 13

I live about 20 minutes from world-famous Clearwater Beach. I do bike around that area sometimes but that’s about the only time I go there, because I’m not much of a beach person. But people come from all over the world to sit in that sand, because that’s one of the things Clearwater is known for. But there’s something else that makes this city famous. Clearwater, Florida is also the worldwide spiritual headquarters of the Church of Scientology. Back in 1975, there was a Scientology-founded group that purchased the huge Ft Harrison Hotel in Clearwater for $2.3 million. On the paperwork, the tenant was listed as “United Churches of Florida”, so the City Council and the citizens of Clearwater didn’t realize that the new owners were actually the Church of Scientology – until after the purchase was finalized. Citizens groups and even the mayor of Clearwater at the time, protested against the church establishing a base there, and they repeatedly referred to the group as a cult. But the grou
25/08/20231 hour 27 minutes 43 seconds
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Introducing LISK: Long Island Serial Killer

This weekend edition of What Was That Like highlights a top true crime podcast called LISK: Long Island Serial Killer. Since 2017, the show has covered a decade-long cold case set in Long Island. The podcast recently went viral after a suspect was arrested in connection to the case. If you enjoyed this episode, listen to LISK: Long Island Serial Killer wherever you listen to podcasts or click here. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
12/08/202355 minutes 4 seconds
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147: Gregg fell into a crevasse

There’s a phrase I find interesting. It’s often used to describe a person who seems to have an unusual power in different ways. The phrase I’m thinking of is “force of nature”. When I hear “that man, or that woman, is a force of nature”, it makes me think of someone who comes in like a whirlwind, with a clear objective, and nothing is going to stand in their way. And that description makes sense, because that’s how nature is sometimes. Here in Florida, we’re about to go into that magical time of year called Hurricane Season. A storm comes up out in the Atlantic, and they often make their way here. And they are literally a force of nature. Thankfully, we usually have lots of warning, so we have time to prepare. But if you’re in the path when a hurricane comes through, it’s loud, and scary, and terrifying. It doesn’t care about you. It’s just doing what nature does. But sometimes nature can be just as scary, and just as deadly, in complete silence. That’s what Gregg found out, when he fo
11/08/202343 minutes 24 seconds
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146: Chris lost his hands in a corn picker

There are a lot of things we have that are amazing, but we take them for granted. Have you ever seen those videos online where the person being recorded is color blind? And their family gets them those specially-made sunglasses that actually allow a person to see colors, even though they have never been able to before. Of course, everyone in the family wants to see their reaction the first time they put on those glasses. So they all go outside, and there are usually some brightly colored balloons nearby, and the birthday person opens up this package to find a pair of sunglasses. Nice, thanks for the sunglasses. And of course everyone encourages them to try them on. And what happens when they put those glasses on, and they are now actually seeing colors instead of everything being black and white or just having shades of difference – their reaction is always amazing. In many cases, they are just so overwhelmed by the colors and overcome by emotion, they start to cry because of what they
28/07/20231 hour 2 minutes 35 seconds
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145: Collier testified against a murderer at age 12

You know when people are asked about what their biggest fear is, a lot of the answers are what you’d expect – fear of heights, fear of spiders, and so forth. Humans are afraid of a lot of things. But when people are asked what their single BIGGEST fear is – the big one that usually comes out as number one is fear of public speaking. For a lot of people it even ranks higher than their fear of death. When Jerry Seinfeld heard about that, he correctly observed that that means if that person is at a funeral, they’d rather be the dead person in the casket than the one giving the eulogy. But there are some situations where we have to speak in public – and one of those is in a courtroom. For me, that would be the worst place to be nervous about speaking. When I’m in an uncomfortable situation, I’ll usually try to use humor to sort of ease the tension. But when you’re on the witness stand answering questions, with a judge and a whole room full of people watching you, that’s not really the time
14/07/20231 hour 33 minutes 19 seconds
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144: Jane was stabbed 27 times

Hey, this is Scott, and you’re listening to What Was That Like. But this is not a regular episode of What Was That Like. I’ve got a really cool BONUS episode for you today. What you’re about to hear is the first episode in a new podcast series called Dark Valley. This series is investigation-oriented, and it’s about as True-Crime as you can get. You’re gonna learn about America’s “unknown serial killer” – or by the name given to him by law enforcement and the media: The Connecticut River Valley Killer. And it’s all laid out from the perspective of that murderer’s only surviving victim, Jane Boroski. Can you imagine being attacked by a serial killer? And this was not a routine attack. Jane was stabbed 27 times by this man, whom she had never met. Oh, and when it happened, Jane was 7 months pregnant. In this first episode of the series, Jane talks about what happened. And I also had a conversation with Jane, and asked her a few questions of my own about this whole experience. You’ll hear
07/07/20231 hour 4 minutes 12 seconds
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143: Samantha got a surprise baby

Do you ever think about the children in your state who are currently in foster care? Here in Florida, there are about 19,000 children living in foster care. That’s a lot of kids. And in that group, there are about 500 children who have no identified families. Can you imagine how scary and lonely that must be, to be a child with no family at all, and only the government to try to take care of you and keep you safe? There are a lot of different situations that can lead to that. But whatever happened, it’s no fault of the child. They didn’t ask to be born into a family of addicts, or criminals, or abusers, or maybe just someone who didn’t want them. They’re already starting off life with a disadvantage. It’s not fair. My guest today, Samantha, learned about the foster care system kind of by surprise. She and her husband, Jeremy, were living their lives and they had three young children of their own which kept them pretty busy. They were a happy family. They didn’t plan to suddenly be deal
30/06/20231 hour 15 minutes 50 seconds
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Announcing - What Was That Like Plus

Hey, this is Scott. This is just a short episode in between the regular episodes – I guess you could call it an In-Between-isode. What I have for you today is an announcement about the podcast, followed by a Listener Story – and the Listener Story is from someone you’ve heard from before. But first, I want to give you an update on a new feature that’s now available in the What Was That Like podcast. This is a new subscription program that allows you to get rid of the ads that get inserted into the podcast. Because who likes ads? Especially in a show like this, where we have guests who are telling really personal stories of something that may have been really traumatic or crazy. I mean, I try to make sure every episode is like that – something really unusual. So if you’re like me, you’re probably not a big fan of having the story interrupted by a few ads. The whole experience is just better without the interruptions. But it’s a catch-22 because the ads are part of what make the podcast
27/06/202315 minutes 10 seconds
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142: Traci's husband was arrested

Here on the podcast, I talk to people who have been through extremely unusual situations. Like witnessing a murder, or being attacked by a monkey, or winning the showcase on The Price Is Right. We get to hear those stories first hand, from the person who experienced it. In this bonus episode, I want to introduce you to another podcast that has a very similar format, which means you’re gonna want to subscribe. This podcast is called The Only One in the Room, and the host is Laura Cathcart Robbins along with her boyfriend Scott Slaughter. I’ve known them for years. Truly wonderful people. So today I’m bringing you an episode of The Only One in the Room, and in the opening Laura will explain where that title came from. In this particular episode, you’ll hear the guest, Traci, talking about her husband, Chris. Chris was arrested for a crime he didn’t commit, and get this – he spent 3 years in jail just awaiting his trial. In the meantime, Traci is on the outside fighting to prove his innoc
23/06/20231 hour 12 minutes 57 seconds
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141: Jennifer fought off a rapist

(Content warning – this episode includes discussion of sex trafficking, and graphic depiction of sexual attack. If you’re in the car with the kids, you might want to save this one for later.) The situation that Jennifer found herself in is one that no one ever expects. She was away from home, and she didn’t really know anyone. On top of that, she was an American in Turkey and she didn’t speak much of the language. And her attacker was strong, and determined. But what came to her during this traumatic experience were things she had heard on a television show. Oprah Winfrey would sometimes have law enforcement specialists and self-defense experts on her show to give advice about what to do in certain situations. They said to always fight back – and NEVER let yourself be taken to a second location. That advice, along with some other tips she remembered, may have helped save Jennifer’s life. Because even though she was able to fight him off, he came back. If you’d like to contact Jennifer
16/06/20231 hour 28 minutes 48 seconds
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140: Flash handled the squatters

There’s a problem that’s becoming a bigger and bigger issue for anyone who owns a home. The problem is squatters. If you’re not familiar with the term, “squatting” is when a person – or even a group of people – figure out that a house is not being occupied. Maybe the owner is trying to sell it, or in some cases, the owner lives there but is just away from home on a vacation. When the squatter determines that no one is home, they just go in – usually by breaking in – and take up residence. They just act like its their house. This is happening all across the country. And the infuriating this is that in most cases, the police can’t just go and remove them. It becomes a civil matter, which means the homeowner has to spend money on lawyers and court filings, as well as paying for some other place to live in the meantime. And all the while, the squatter is living in the home without paying anything. My guest today is Flash. He didn’t expect it, but he was faced with a squatter problem. But h
02/06/20231 hour 6 minutes 21 seconds
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139: Tricia smuggled her dad into Disney World

Every tourist destination wants their guests to have a happy experience, but few places do that as well as Disney World in Orlando, Florida. When Disney World visitors were surveyed, 75% said they were very satisfied with their experience. Did you know, the Magic Kingdom Park at Disney World gets around 21 million visitors every year? And if you combine all of the Disney parks, it’s around 58 million people each year. And people keep coming back. And for anyone with kids, it’s a no-brainer – that’s where the kids want to go. My guest today is Tricia. She and her sister, Heather, and their mom and dad, would make trips to Disney World every year. It was a family tradition that they all looked forward to. They knew the layout of the Magic Kingdom by heart, and it didn’t matter that the rides and the attractions and the fireworks were the same as when they were there the year before. It was their place. But there was one family trip to Disney World that was not like any of the others. Fu
19/05/20231 hour 9 minutes 28 seconds
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138: Raw Audio: three 911 stories

You’re listening to the What Was That Like podcast, but this is not a regular episode. This is a bonus Raw Audio episode. Usually on this show I talk to a regular person who’s been through something really unusual. Like they got attacked by an alligator, or they were buried in an avalanche, or they witnessed a murder. That person comes on the show and tells the story of what happened, first hand. That’s not what we’re doing today. This bonus episode is called Raw Audio. The Raw Audio episodes are 3 real-life stories, and they include the 911 calls that were made when it was happening. You’ll hear that audio, as well as the story of what happened. These episodes are usually only available exclusively to listeners who support the podcast for $5 a month. You can sign up for that at WhatWasThatLike.com/support. When you do that, you also get all the regular What Was That Like episodes without any ads. And you can binge all of the past Raw Audio episodes – right now there are a total of 32
12/05/202342 minutes 15 seconds
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137: Alex secretly climbed the Great Pyramid

The Greek historian Herodotus wrote about seven great architectural structures. That list became known as the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. Of those seven achievements, four were destroyed by earthquake. Two were destroyed by fire. Only one is still standing – the Great Pyramid of Giza, in Egypt. This pyramid today has a height of 450 feet, or 137 meters. It was the tallest structure in the world for over 3800 years. And now, it’s a popular tourist destination. People from all over the world will travel to Cairo, and stand next to this enormous structure, and just wonder about all the manpower and materials and work that went into creating it. And there are others, like today’s guest, Alex, who look at the Great Pyramid and think “I’d like to climb to the top of that pyramid”. And Alex came up with a plan to do just that. What he didn’t plan on was getting caught. If you’d like to contact Alex: Email: [email protected] Twitter: @ABrockstar32 Pyramid map: https://commons.wiki
05/05/20231 hour 10 minutes 42 seconds
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136: Sarah's arrest photo went viral

Content warning – this episode includes discussion of drug use and suicide. For anyone who creates online content, the big goal is to have your content go viral. Whether it’s a Tiktok or YouTube video, an Instagram reel, or a Facebook photo – when something goes viral, the person who posted it is kind of quasi-famous for a few days or a week. This happened to me once, several years ago. I posted a video on Facebook, and it just took off like crazy. It wasn’t even a video that I created personally. But people saw it and shared it, so it was seen by millions of people – right on my Facebook profile page. So I was getting hundreds of friends requests every day from people I didn’t know (and I declined all of them, of course). It was kind of fun, but also a little weird that suddenly my Facebook page was being viewed by so many people, all over the world. But for some people, having their photo go viral is not a good thing. That’s what happened with my guest today, Sarah. She got in troubl
21/04/20231 hour 40 minutes 50 seconds
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135: Bonus - the James Bigby murders

This is Scott, and this podcast is What Was That Like. This is the show where I usually have a guest come on and talk about something they experienced, that was extremely unusual. Like crashing a skydive, or getting shot in a mass shooting, or finding a baby in the New York City subway, or winning a showcase on The Price Is Right. The guest comes on the podcast, and tells the details of what happened, first hand. This episode is different. In this one, I’m going to talk about a man who lived in Texas, whose name was James Bigby. You’ll learn about his horrific crimes, his bizarre behavior in court, and what eventually happened to him. This is not a case that you’ve ever heard about on any other podcast. But after you’ve heard his story, stick around and I’ll tell you exactly why I’m bringing it to you today. Full show notes and pictures for this episode are here: https://WhatWasThatLike.com/135 If you’re looking for a simpler and cost-effective supplement routine, Athletic Greens is
14/04/202341 minutes 46 seconds
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134: Lex couldn't stop bleeding

On a Friday afternoon in 2022, Lex was at home, just doing some routine work on her laptop. It seemed like just a normal day. It did not turn out to be normal. In fact, what happened that day started Lex on a journey she never could have predicted. And by the way – the story you’re about to hear does not include any violence. But there is blood. A lot of blood. This is a short documentary that was made by Luke and Jasper (two of Lex and Meg’s sons) about their family and their pet rabbit, Shirley: https://vimeo.com/642010919 If you’d like to Lex’s blog and the amazing photographs she creates, visit https://LexBeach.com Full show notes and pictures for this episode are here: https://WhatWasThatLike.com/134 Want to discuss this episode and other things with thousands of other WWTL listeners? Join our podcast Facebook group at WhatWasThatLike.com/facebook (many of the podcast guests are there as well) Go to HelloFresh.com/wwtl50 and use code wwtl50 for 50% off, plus your first box shi
07/04/20231 hour 25 minutes 26 seconds
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133: Ashley's daughter fell in the pool

Probably the most difficult thing for a parent to experience is losing a child. It’s often been said that the English language fails us in this area. A woman who loses her spouse is called a widow. If a man is the one who survives his spouse, he’s a widower. A child who has lost their parents is called an orphan. But why isn’t there a word for a parent whose child has died? Well, it turns out there actually is a word for that. “Vilomah” is a Sanskrit word that’s been used in Hindu philosophy for centuries. It’s a compound word made up of two words – “vi” which means “against”, and “loma” which means “hair”. The word “vilomah" is often translated as “against the hair” or “against the grain” or “against the natural order of things”. In recent years, the word “vilomah” has gained popularity outside of Hindu philosophy, and it’s now used to describe a parent who has lost a child. The term “vilomah parent” refers to a parent who has experienced the loss of a child, which is considered to be
24/03/202358 minutes 20 seconds
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132: Bonus - the Listener Stories from 2021

This is a bonus episode of What Was That Like. If you’re new to the show, this is not normally what you’ll hear. What usually happens is I’ll have someone come on the show to tell the story of something that happened to them. Something that was very unusual. At this point we have over 130 episodes, and a huge variety of stories – animal attacks, plane crashes, mass shootings, all kinds of stories. And at the end of each episode, we have a Listener Story. This is a story that is sent in by a listener. It’s not an interview, just the person talking about something interesting that happened to them. I started ending each episode with one of these short stories back in 2021. And just about a month or so ago, I put out a bonus episode with all the Listener Stories from 2022. And I got a lot of positive response to that. So I thought it would be good to get all of the other Listener Stories – the ones from the beginning, in 2021 – and put them out as a bonus episode as well. So that’s wha
17/03/20231 hour 44 minutes 11 seconds
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131: Jacqueline was attacked by dogs

It’s hard for me to imagine not loving dogs. But that’s the way some people are, and it’s usually pretty easy to spot someone like that. I remember one time we were visiting my parents and of course we brought our two little Yorkies with us because they like to go everywhere we go. They are Lilly and Fenway. And Fenway is a little guy, only about 7 pounds, and he is the social one. He just loves to meet new people, and of course he just charms everyone with his cute little face. Well, not everyone. This time we were at my parents’ house, and they had some friends of theirs over at the same time. The man was sitting on the couch, you know, everyone was just chatting. And Fenway just goes over and jumps up on the man’s lap, like he does with everyone. Now, if that happened to me, I’d love it, because “oh cool, this dog likes me!”. But this man didn’t have that reaction. He kind of froze, he pulled his hands back, and the expression on his face was “um, okay, what do I do now?”. I just
10/03/20231 hour 10 seconds
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130: Anika's apartment was destroyed

You know, there’s just something about Friday night. For a lot of people, it’s the end of the work week, and you can just sort of chill out. You don’t have to worry about getting a good night of sleep, because you don’t have any particular reason to get up early on Saturday. So Friday night is often when many people just kind of exhale, maybe order some food to be delivered, see what’s on Netflix or Hulu, and just kind of zone out. Maybe even fall asleep on the couch – because who cares, you can sleep in tomorrow. That was the plan that Anika had on a Friday night. Have some dinner and put her daughters to bed, and then her best friend was coming over for a glass or two of wine, and they would just unwind. It was going to be a nice, quiet evening to end the week. That’s not what happened. Full show notes for this episode are here: https://WhatWasThatLike.com/130 This episode is sponsored by Better Help online therapy – get 10% off your first month at BetterHelp.com/WHATWAS T
24/02/20231 hour 8 minutes 22 seconds
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129: Sally watched her house burning

Content warning: this episode includes discussion of suicide. I had a scary experience with fire when I was a kid. I grew up in Ohio, in a little town called Westerville. At the time I was probably around 12 or 13. This was on a Saturday, and I was hanging out with some of my friends from around the neighborhood. We were just doing stuff that kids do, mostly setting up ramps and jumping our bikes over them. At some point we were walking around, in kind of a wooded area. Not the deep forest, but we were kind of off by ourselves, out of the sight of any adults. One of the guys had brought a lighter, and he was just flicking it, finding little sticks to light on fire. I guess as a pre-teen boy this is pretty fascinating. And it also had that little element of excitement, because we all knew this was something we really weren’t supposed to be doing. Eventually he had a few sticks on fire, which he was holding, and when the flames got big he kind of panicked and dropped them. Of cou
10/02/20231 hour 12 minutes 13 seconds
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128: Jayna's hotel was a crime scene

Jayna was excited – she was about to get married. She works in the wedding industry, so she knows how to handle every detail. She also hired a wedding planner. Shayna knows from experience that on the day of the wedding, there are lots of different things happening, and you have to anticipate problems and avoid surprises. She never could have predicted that the events of that day would include a fire alarm, a gunman, and having her wedding story featured on the national news. If you’d like to contact Jayna, all of her social media, podcast info, and other contact information is on her website at https://www.hellojayna.com. This episode is sponsored by BetterHelp – professional online therapy. Get 10% off your first month by visiting BetterHelp.com/WHATWAS. This episode is also sponsored by the I Need Blue podcast – a place for trauma survivors to tell their story. Find it on any podcast app, or at https://ineedblue.net/ Want to discuss this episode and other things with thousands of ot
27/01/20231 hour 11 minutes 15 seconds
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127: Bonus - the Listener Stories from 2022

This is not a regular new episode Friday. And that’s because this is not a regular new episode. This is a BONUS episode. If you’re a regular listener to the show, you probably know that we end every episode with a Listener Story. I started doing this about a year and half, maybe two years ago, and it’s become a really popular segment. The Listener Stories are just short stories, like 3-5 minutes or maybe a little longer, that have been sent in by a listener. Everyone has a story they could send in, and that includes you – yeah, I’m talking to you right now. You have a story that would qualify as a Listener Story. Because the Listener Stories aren’t the big crazy ones that we do a whole episode about, like getting attacked by a monkey or winning prizes on Wheel of Fortune.  No, the Listener Stories are more like a little interesting slice of life. It could be really happy, or really sad, or really funny. Just something interesting that you can record on your phone, and just email it to
20/01/20232 hours 12 minutes 9 seconds
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126: Hayley witnessed two murders

The concept of guilt is an interesting thing to ponder. Sometimes it’s justified and rational to feel guilty. If a young child breaks a rule but doesn’t want to admit it and get in trouble, the look of guilt might be all over their face and easy for a parent to read. They did something wrong, and they know it. Adults are often the same way. If you do something to offend someone, or you knowingly break the law, you feel guilty. Because you are guilty. But sometimes we feel that way, even if we HAVEN’T done anything wrong. This is often the case with veterans who have been in war. They’re fighting shoulder to shoulder, on the front lines, and one day their buddy right next to them gets shot. One person dies, and the one who gets to go home feels intense guilt about that. Or it might be a case where a person is drowning, and a stranger jumps in the water and saves their life, but the stranger ends up drowning. The person who was saved is left to wonder how to deal with the fact that they’
13/01/20231 hour 5 minutes 2 seconds
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125: Kylie heard a gunshot

This episode comes with a content warning. The story includes discussion of sexual assault, addiction, and suicide.  Stephen Covey is a popular author, and he wrote the best-selling book titled The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. Great book, highly recommended.  In that book, Covey tells a personal story that has come back to my mind many times in the years since I first read that book. This is what he wrote: “I remember a mini-paradigm shift I experienced one Sunday morning on a subway in New York. People were sitting quietly – some reading newspapers, some lost in thought, some resting with their eyes closed. It was a calm, peaceful scene. Then suddenly, a man and his children entered the subway car. The children were so loud and rambunctious that instantly the whole climate changed. The man sat down next to me and closed his eyes, apparently oblivious to the situation. The children were yelling back and forth, throwing things, even grabbing people’s papers. It was very disturbi
30/12/20221 hour 27 minutes 28 seconds
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124: Josh was struck by lightning

Almost since the day I had the idea to start this podcast, I’ve wanted to talk to someone who has been struck by lightning. I mean, the thought that you could just be going about your day, maybe walking through a parking lot to go get some groceries, or even at home, maybe in your kitchen – and suddenly you could be hit by 300 million volts. And you never saw it coming. You might wake up a few minutes later – or maybe several hours later – and still not know what exactly happened, until someone tells you. But the reality is, a human being getting struck by lightning overall is pretty rare. I live in Florida, which is considered the lightning capital of the country. We average around 40 lightning injuries each year, which is still not many. And then there’s the fact that some lightning strike victims don’t survive, so they aren’t around to tell that story. So I’ve been looking around for a while, for someone with this experience to come on the podcast.  And then, I connected with Josh.
16/12/20221 hour 20 minutes 26 seconds
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123: Alice's brother went missing

Content warning – this episode includes discussion of self-harm, addiction, and suicide. Have you ever had to deal with the problem of someone you know, like a family member or a friend, who’s gone missing? There’s this weird mixture of emotions, like frustration, because you just don’t know where this person is. And it’s also scary, because you don’t know what happened. My mom got a little taste of what that’s like years ago. And the person that was missing was me. I was 5 years old, and it was my very first day of school. You can hear my mom talking about what happened, in the opening moments of this episode. But not all missing person stories are resolved quickly or easily. The story you’re about to hear is from Alice, and it’s about the time when her brother, Jake, disappeared. Their whole family was worried, and they reported Jake to the police as a missing person.  But eventually even the police gave up looking for Jake, and Alice knew it was up to her and the rest of the family
02/12/20221 hour 32 minutes 25 seconds
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122: Ella was trampled by an elephant

I love all animals, but one of my favorites is the elephant. Couple of things you might not know about elephants: When you see a herd of elephants, the leader of that family group is one of the females. When a male elephant is born, he sticks around with the family until he’s around 12 years old, then he heads off on his own. The female elephants will usually stay with the family herd their whole lives. And even though elephants are the largest land mammal, they’re actually pretty fast – they can run up to 25 miles per hour (or about 40 kilometers per hour). And they’re incredibly intelligent (maybe that’s why they put the females in charge!). Elephants are one of the few species to recognize themselves in a mirror. And they have really complex emotions and compassion. They mourn the death of their loved ones, much like we do as humans. Today we’re going to hear from Ella, about the time she had an encounter with an elephant. For a while it was great – she felt like she was really conn
18/11/20221 hour 8 minutes 4 seconds
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121: Bonus episode - Raw Audio WWTL 121

It’s time for a bonus episode! You’ve heard me talking about the Raw Audio episodes, and today you’ll hear a full, extra Raw Audio episode for yourself. Here’s the deal. If you like the What Was That Like podcast, you’re welcome to support the show, and like a lot of podcasters, that’s done through Patreon. All the details are at WhatWasThatLike.com/support. There are different levels of support, so you can do whatever you’re comfortable with. But if you sign up for $5 a month, you get access to all of the Raw Audio episodes. At the moment there are 27 of those, and Raw Audio 28 will be released later this month. What you’ll hear in these episodes are actual 911 calls. There are no scripts, there are no actors or re-enactments. This is real life - the actual phone calls made right then when the emergency was happening. And I’ll also tell you the story that goes with it – who was involved, what happened, and how it turned out. Most Raw Audio episodes cover 3 different stories. So today,
11/11/202237 minutes 6 seconds
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120: Todd was stranded in a snowstorm

No matter where you live, there’s the possibility of experiencing some kind of bad weather. We lived in Maine for about 13 years. And since I was self employed and could pretty much dictate my own schedule, I decided to work part-time for my town’s EMS service. So I got trained in emergency response, and was often called out when someone called 911 with a medical emergency or an injury. And usually I was working with a paramedic, who was pretty much in charge of the situation because they were more experienced. I would do whatever was needed to assist them and the patient, and a lot of times that meant I was driving the ambulance to the hospital while they took care of the patient in the back. There’s one call I remember pretty clearly. This was in the winter, at night, and we had just had a big snowstorm so the driving conditions were pretty bad. We got a call about a car accident. This was just a single vehicle crash – the person had lost control and run into a tree. We got there and
04/11/20221 hour 3 minutes 22 seconds
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119: Ashley's baby couldn't breathe

I want you to take a moment, and think about the concept of trust. Often, trust is based on experience. When you go to a restaurant you really like, and you order your favorite dish, you trust that the ingredients they use aren’t outdated and spoiled. This is an easy thing, because you’ve done it hundreds of times before, at lots of different restaurants. When I need to have some work done on my car, I’m fortunate to have a mechanic who I can trust. I need to know that not only the repair was done properly, but that the car is also safe to drive when I get it back. And one of the places where we all have to place our trust is in our healthcare professionals. Whether you’re at your doctor for an annual checkup, or in the Emergency Room for something more serious, you have to trust that the doctors, and nurses, and the other medical people know what they’re doing. My guest today is Ashley. She went to the hospital one day, because she was about to give birth to her first child. She and h
21/10/20221 hour 14 minutes 44 seconds
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118: Fabiana won The Price Is Right showcase

When it comes to television game shows, there are just a few that have been around for a very long time. A couple of those are Wheel of Fortune, and Jeopardy!. These shows have really become a part of American culture. But there’s another one that’s been on the air even longer than those two, because it’s currently the longest running game show in American TV history. That show is The Price Is Right. Chances are, you’ve probably watched it at some point. Just about everyone has. But there are a few things you may not know about this show. The Price Is Right has been seen on all three major networks – NBC, ABC and CBS. Yeah, that’s a bit of trivia from back when there were pretty much 3 channels on television to choose from. One of the hosts for many years was Bob Barker. And for a long time, his hair was dyed black. But he didn’t like the way it looked. At one point, when he was on vacation, he stopped dying his hair and let it go full gray. The producers of the show were worried about
07/10/20221 hour 7 minutes 31 seconds
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117: Summer was stuck in Peru

For a lot of Americans, the idea of traveling – being away from home – is just a routine part of life. Whether it’s a business trip or a vacation, getting on an airplane to go somewhere is pretty common. Most of us don’t think twice about it. But that’s not everyone. A recent survey of 2000 Americans revealed some interesting numbers. 13% have never flown in an airplane. 40% of those questioned said they have never left the country. And 11% of these people said they have never even been outside of the state where they were born. Those are some surprising statistics, but the fact remains that a lot of people here in the US still love to travel. And my guest today, Summer, was one of those people. She’s traveled all over the country, as well as internationally. And most of the time, it all went fine. What was scary was the time she left the United States, and couldn’t come back. Looking for a podcast that’s a lot like What Was That Like? Check out This is Actually Happening: https://won
23/09/20221 hour 1 minute 14 seconds
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116: Two New York City 9/11 stories

This weekend will mark the 21st anniversary of the terrorist attacks that happened on September 11, 2001. We all remember where we were when we first started to hear what was happening. It was such a big and horrible thing, the memory sticks with us. That might be why it seems like it wasn’t really that long ago.  But think about it like this. A new baby that was born that year, is now a senior in college. There’s a whole generation who didn’t experience 9/11 in real time. They only know what they see on old news reports, or online articles, or documentaries.  A big way we keep that memory alive is by hearing from people who were there – in New York City, or at the Pentagon, or in Shanksville, Pennsylvania. So, for the past few years on this podcast, around September 11, we’ve set aside a special episode to hear those stories. That’s what we’re doing today.  You’re about to hear two ladies talk about what they experienced, and how they dealt with it. First is Siobhan. She was just 18 y
09/09/20221 hour 5 minutes 47 seconds
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115: ShaNae handled a 911 call

Most people don’t go to work each day with the concern of going through something that traumatizes them. If your job is in the medical field, such as in a hospital, you might be saddened when a patient you’ve been working with ends up dying. Or if you work in retail, you know there’s going to be the occasional angry or irrational customer who really gets your blood pressure up. Here in America, we have the unique problem of school teachers being traumatized because of the very real threat of someone taking a gun and shooting them and their students. We think we’re so smart, yet we’re the only country in the world who hasn’t put an end to that horrifying problem. But for the most part, people go to work, and they come home, and they don’t suffer mentally from what happened that day. The big exception to this are the people who work in emergency situations. Firefighters, police officers, EMS - these people are subjected to traumatic situations as a normal part of their job. And included
26/08/20221 hour 8 minutes 53 seconds
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114: Martine witnessed horror at 16

Do you remember the stress of being a teenager? As an adult, you might look back on that time in your life with fondness. You had no bills to pay, and no worries about where to live, because you were still at home with your parents. You didn’t have to buy groceries – the food was just there. You could get a job if you wanted some extra spending money, but you didn’t really HAVE to work. Why didn’t we appreciate that time more? But in reality, teenagers DO worry about things. They worry about grades, and whether they’ll be able to get into a good college. And if they do get in, if they can afford it without racking up a ton of school loans. They stress about body image, and about fitting in with their group of friends, and sometimes there’s some family conflicts that can be part of the stress. Then there’s dating and relationships, and that’s a whole subject in itself. And on top of all that, they have the pressure of having to decide what they want to do with their life.  So in spite o
12/08/20221 hour 1 minute 45 seconds
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113: Bonus episode - They Knew

I know, you might be surprised to see What Was That Like show up in your podcast feed today. New podcast episodes come out on Fridays every two weeks, and today is not one of those “new episode” Fridays.  What I have for you today is a bonus episode, because I want to introduce you to another podcast that I think you’ll love, because I know how much you enjoy hearing people tell their very personal stories. I love those stories myself, which is why I’m subscribed to this show. The podcast is called The Secret Room, and it features anonymous guests revealing true stories – stories they’ve never told before. Sometimes it can be a tragic one, like witnessing the murder of someone you know. Or it might be about having a secret love affair with someone on death row. The variety of stories and topics are endless, because everyone has a secret. The host of the show is my friend Ben, and I think he and I are similar in a lot of ways. He’s very empathetic as the guests come on the show and talk
05/08/20221 hour 20 minutes 41 seconds
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112: Courtney's mom chose when to die

One of the most difficult things we go through in life is when a close friend or a family member dies. We all know it’s gonna happen to a lot of the people we know and love, but it’s still unpleasant, and uncomfortable, and sad. We even try to avoid using the word “die” – somehow it doesn’t sound quite so bad if we instead say, “they passed away”. But as awful as death can be, there are times when it’s actually a relief. What if your loved one has a terminal disease, and they’re just in pain all the time, and they know that their body is not going to heal? The idea of death, and the peaceful rest that it brings, can then be something that’s very appealing.  We’re talking today about medical assistance in dying. It’s also called assisted suicide. It’s something that brings welcome relief to people who are suffering. You’re about to hear my guest, Courtney, talk about her own experience with this matter. It wasn’t that long ago that she wasn’t really even familiar with this idea, or that
29/07/20221 hour 28 minutes 16 seconds
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111: Margy's dad was a hoarder

I’m really happy to bring you this episode today, but it comes with a content warning, because it includes discussion of suicide. For a long time, I’ve wanted to have a story about hoarding. This is something I personally find really interesting. We’ve all seen pictures or videos of the inside of the home of someone who’s a hoarder. And of course, the reality TV show, Hoarders, puts it right out there. And everyone sees that and wonders, how does someone allow their environment to get to that point? And then I discovered Margy. She works in the podcast industry. I guess you could say I knew “of” her, and then later we became more connected because she’s a listener of this podcast, and I’ve watched what she’s been doing to achieve some amazing business success. When I found out that she had dealt with hoarding first hand, I knew I wanted to have her on the show. But what I love about this story is that it’s not just about the shocking reality of dealing with the hoarding issue. Some of
15/07/20221 hour 26 minutes 46 seconds
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110: Jen is a professional bridesmaid

If you’ve listened to this podcast for a while, you know we’ve covered a lot of pretty horrifying stories. Mass shootings, animal attacks, plane crashes – we’ve heard the first-hand stories of the people who have actually experienced those things.  And when we talk about those stories, we do talk about the tragedy of what happened, but I also like to include the positive side – how the guest recovered from it, what they learned, how they’re helping others who might have gone through a similar situation. No matter how bad something was, there’s almost always a positive aspect in the story, and I try to make sure we find that. Well, today’s episode is different. No one dies, no one has a limb torn off, nothing like that. Every so often I like to have a guest on who has a really unusual occupation. You probably remember when I talked to Spence about his job as a modern day lighthouse keeper. I also talked to Dan, who consults with white collar criminals and prepares them as they’re about
01/07/202255 minutes 43 seconds
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109: Evan was buried in an avalanche

These days, snowboarding is really popular in the colder climates, and of course everyone knows what it is. But it’s actually a relatively new sport, especially when compared to traditional snow skiing. The very first snow skis are dated all the way back to around 8000 BCE, and were found in northern China. They were basically long pieces of wood, like 6 feet, which is about 2 meters, and were covered with horsehair. Snowboards, on the other hand, have come about much more recently. Jake Burton is known as the “father of snowboarding”, and he recalled back when he discovered there was this new, unconventional way to move on snow. Those first primitive things were called “snurfers”. The first ski resort to even allow snowboarders to share the mountain with skiers was in Vermont, and that was just in 1983. Snowboarding has continued to grow in popularity, and it just became an Olympic sport in 1998. My guest today is Evan, and he loves to snowboard. He and his wife Kahlynn lived in north
17/06/20221 hour 4 minutes 42 seconds
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108: Kennedy hung from a power line

EMTs and other first responders see a lot of things. Sometimes, they arrive on scene and find a situation that they never expected to see. In Port Orange, Florida, paramedics were called to the scene of a car accident on Interstate 95. Only one car was involved. When they arrived, they discovered that something had crashed through the windshield of the car and hit the driver in the head. That “something” was still inside the car. It was a large turtle. The driver of the car survived, and surprisingly, so did the turtle. And then there are a lot of situations where first responders show up, and there’s nothing they can do. Accidents happen, and people die in a large variety of ways. Chrissy is a Paramedic, and she has a video where she talks about the variety of calls she has been on. Some of the things she’s seen are pretty traumatizing. You can see her full video here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-2svI1Ofr9A So paramedics are pretty much trained to expect the unexpected. But still
03/06/20221 hour 8 minutes 51 seconds
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107: Jill was kept in a basement

Content warning - this episode includes descriptions of sexual violence and domestic abuse. Listener discretion is advised. Here in the United States, slavery is illegal. The 13th Amendment to the US Constitution was passed by Congress on January 31, 1865 and it was ratified later that same year. That amendment reads in part “Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States.” But the fact that it’s illegal doesn’t mean it’s non-existent. The more common modern-day term for it is human trafficking. The numbers for this are staggering. Hundreds of thousands of people are forced into sexual exploitation just here in the US. And many of them are children. Ashton Kutcher is an actor, and he’s a father. He’s also become a major activist in the fight against human trafficking, through his foundation and the software that his team has created.  There’s another person who’s also very
20/05/20221 hour 21 minutes 30 seconds
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106: Tessi heard a tree fall

I live in a wonderful little town in Florida, called Safety Harbor. It’s in the Tampa Bay area. And one of the things that people love about this place is that there are lots of big, shady trees. There’s one particular tree that everyone knows about. It’s a huge oak tree, called the Baranoff Oak, and it’s named after one of the early property owners here. This tree is estimated to be over 300 years old, and it’s huge – the diameter of the trunk is around 20 feet, which is almost 7 meters. And experts have estimated that it weighs around 800 tons. If you do a Google search for Baranoff Oak, you can see pictures of it and you’ll see why it’s so special. You can also read about how, a few years back, the city took action to try to protect it, and in doing so, they almost killed it. It’s still there though, and I get to see it almost every morning. My guest today is Tessi. When she was younger, she had a job working outdoors. And by outdoors, I mean in the deep forest. So she and her co-wo
06/05/20221 hour 3 minutes 49 seconds
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105: Jessica's kidnappers demanded $45 million

I find it so interesting that sometimes we can take what seems to be a really small action, but it ends up being something really big. Back in 1998, I was living in Maine with my wife and our two young kids. I was working at a regular office job. Then one day, I needed to have some printing done. This was before the days of the high-quality inkjet printers, so it was common to go to a local print shop and get whatever you needed to have printed. While I was paying for my stuff, I noticed a small piece of paper on the counter. Someone had left a little note that said “I need tutoring in Microsoft Word. If you can help, call this number.” And I thought, yeah I know Word, maybe I can help. So I took the note and called her later. I ended up going over there and we spent a couple of hours going through the various functions of Word, and how to do things. And she paid me. So I thought, maybe this is a sort of side hustle that I could do in my spare time to make a little extra money. That’s
22/04/20221 hour 16 minutes 44 seconds
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104: Jami was a juror in a murder trial

Like a lot of people these days, I work from home. And I really enjoy that. But many years ago, I had a more traditional job where I worked in an office building with other people. And there was a thing I liked to do that some of my co-workers thought was a bit odd. We got an hour off for lunch each day. And sometimes I’d go to the breakroom and eat, or maybe a few of us would get together and go have lunch at a local restaurant. Pretty common stuff.  But what I did some days is get in my car, maybe eat a sandwich while I’m driving, and go to the Sixth Judicial Court building. In this building are generally two types of people. There are those who are there voluntarily, because they work there. And the others are there, not because they want to be, but because they have to appear in court before a judge.  These proceedings are pretty much open to the public. It’s just not something that a lot of people think about doing, unless you’re an oddball like me. I’d get there and quietly slip
08/04/20221 hour 35 minutes 46 seconds
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103: Adam saw no way out

Do you remember the movie called The Fugitive? It came out in 1993, and it starred Harrison Ford as Dr. Richard Kimble, who was unjustly accused of murdering his wife. Throughout the movie, he’s working to find the REAL killer. But at the same time, he’s the target of a nationwide manhunt, led by a seasoned US Marshal – played by Tommy Lee Jones. It’s a really good one. In a scene from that movie, probably the most famous scene, Dr. Kimble is being chased through a tunnel in a dam and gets to the end, and stops – because it opens to a drop off of hundreds of feet down, into a huge amount of rushing water. The US Marshal catches up to him, and the chase is over for Dr Kimble, because there seems to be no way of escape. He has no way out. But then, he does the unthinkable – he jumps. The story you’re about to hear kind of made me think of that kind of scenario. My guest is Adam, and he was out on a mountain hike, enjoying the scenery and having fun. But suddenly, in a split second, he
25/03/20221 hour 11 minutes 34 seconds
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102: Dee's father crawled toward him

Right now, I’d like you to take a minute, and imagine this scenario. I live in Florida, in the southeast area of the United States. I like it here. We have good weather most of the time, which means I can get out and bike almost every morning year round. My area is highly populated, so anything I need is readily available – grocery stores always stocked with food, lots of doctors and hospitals for medical care, and paved roads so I can drive my car anywhere I want. And if I need to go any distance, I have a major international airport about 20 minutes from my house. And like most Americans, I tend to take all these things for granted. Then one night, a large group of rebel fighters, heavily armed, lands on Clearwater Beach. They start going through the residential neighborhoods, throwing rocks through windows and setting houses on fire. People wake up in confusion, not understanding why they are hearing explosions and gunfire. Parents grab their children and run outside to escape their
11/03/20221 hour 16 minutes 33 seconds
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101: Garrett was held hostage at knifepoint

Deral Dean Ritter. Probably not a name you’ve heard before. In 1986, Ritter was 34 years old, and he was living in Waurika, Oklahoma. In fact, he was living in the Jefferson County jail. He was serving a 7-month sentence. The crime that landed him there sounds kind of silly, by today’s standards. He was convicted of possession of marijuana. Medical cannabis is now legal in Oklahoma, and there’s currently a strong push for the legalization of recreational marijuana as well, so that’s probably going to happen at some point. But back in 1986, getting caught with a baggie of weed in your pocket meant you were going to spend some time in jail. Well, Deral Dean Ritter was not happy about that, and he decided he was not going to stay. So he came up with an escape plan.  At the Jefferson County jail, the cell doors were electronic. At night, a guard could flip one centrally-located switch, and all the doors would lock automatically. Well, one night, before the cell doors were all locked for th
25/02/20221 hour 2 minutes 11 seconds
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100: Jeff's arm was torn off

Remember back in the day, when everyone got up on Monday morning, and went to work? I’ve worked from home for a long time, but I do remember having jobs with that kind of routine. Wake up, take a shower, have some coffee and breakfast, drive to work, and come back home at the end of the day. Next morning, you do the same thing. In the past couple of years, because of the pandemic, a lot more people are working from home instead of going into an office. But still, even if you don’t leave your house, your work process means that there are things you do each day, day after day. To some extent that can get kind of boring. But in some ways, there’s a certain comfort in the routine, because you know exactly what to expect. When you go to work, you know – for the most part – what’s going to happen. My conversation today is with Jeff. He had a job that pretty routine. It was manual labor, not very enjoyable, but he knew what to expect. He knew each day what was going to happen when he got to w
11/02/20221 hour 41 minutes 1 second
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99: Bill got a dreaded phone call

Sometimes, you see a phone call coming in and you just know that something bad has happened. I remember back several years ago, when my dad was still alive. He was in pretty poor health. He could still walk around, sort of, but it was with a walker, and it was very slowly. I’m the oldest of three sons, and of the three, I live the closest. It’s only about a 5 or 6 minute drive for me to get to my parents’ place, so if something happened, I’d be the one to get that call. Lots of times my phone would ring, and it would be my mom calling, quite upset and worried, because my dad had fallen and she couldn’t get him up.  And you know, when a call comes in the middle of the night, it’s almost never going to be good news. We’ve had a few of those as well. For my guest today, Bill, life was good. He and his wife had two children – David, in high school, and Kristin, who had just graduated from college and was about to start a career.  But then, Bill got a phone call. It was from a woman who ide
28/01/20221 hour 19 minutes
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98: CQ was shot in an ambush

I believe that people, for the most part, are good. When a tragedy happens, we want to help. That’s really the whole basis for the GoFundMe website. You can read about someone who’s in some kind of desperate situation, whether it’s from an accident, or a critical illness, or something else – and you can literally help them. And when something really devastating happens, and it affects a whole city, we see an immediate result – the psychology of community.  This is what happened in New York City right after 9/11. On any other day, people are out and doing what they need to do, going from one place to another, mostly preoccupied with what they have to do that day.  But in the aftermath of the 9/11 terrorist attack, that completely changed. Suddenly, New York City wasn’t millions of individuals. It was a group; a community. Everyone’s to-do list went out the window, and the immediate priority was to help those who needed it. And it wasn’t just the people in that city – all around the coun
14/01/20221 hour 19 minutes 57 seconds
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97: Karen was attacked while hiking

As human beings, one of the things we crave is community. We need social interaction, and we want to feel like we belong in a group. Whether it’s family, or co-workers, or a church, or a local club – it seems like we need to be with other people. But for some people, there are times when we like being alone. I ride my bike every morning, and it’s something I really look forward to – just being out there for an hour, just me and my own thoughts. And maybe a podcast or two of course. For some reason, in our modern society, there’s sometimes kind of a stigma with doing things by yourself. I know some people who would feel a bit awkward going to see a movie alone. That doesn’t bother me at all though. If there’s a movie that comes out that looks really good to me, it might be something that my wife wouldn’t want to see – so I don’t mind just going to see it by myself. My guest today, Karen, lives in South Africa, and she’s the same way. She always kind of liked being by herself, especially
31/12/20211 hour 36 minutes 18 seconds
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96: Danny found a baby in the subway

The subway system in New York City is pretty impressive. It opened in 1904 so it’s one of the oldest subway systems in the world. And it is definitely the largest, with 472 stations. And throughout its history, the subway has offered service 24 hours a day, 7 days a week almost continuously. The exceptions are usually emergencies and disasters, such as 9/11. You want to take a guess as to how many people ride the subway, on an average weekday? Go ahead, think of a number. Okay, it’s 5.6 million people. Per day! The subway system can be a little scary sometimes, but most of the time it’s safe. It’s just a large crowd of individual people, each one needing to get from one location to another location. Many of them will have ear buds in, or be engrossed in a book or newspaper, mostly unaware of what’s going on around them. What you’ll hear today is my conversation with Danny. Back when this happened, he lived in New York City with his partner, Pete. In fact, they still live there.  Danny
17/12/20211 hour 11 minutes 13 seconds
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95: Amy's office was bombed

On the morning of April 19, 1995, a former US Army soldier parked a rented Ryder truck in front of the Alfred P Murrah Federal Building, located in downtown Oklahoma City. Inside the truck was everything he needed to carry out his plan of terrorism and mass murder. He had a large bomb, which he created using agricultural fertilizer and some chemicals, including diesel fuel. After parking the car, he got out and walked toward his getaway car, a yellow Mercury Marquis. He ignited a timed fuse, and a second fuse as backup. Inside the building, in one of the office conference rooms, the Oklahoma Water Resources Board had just begun a 9 am meeting when the bomb exploded. The blast effect was equivalent to over 5000 pounds of TNT, and could be heard and felt 55 miles away. The blast either destroyed or damaged 324 buildings within a 4-block radius. 86 cars were either burned or destroyed, and a large section of the Federal building had been reduced to rubble. News crews were shocked when the
03/12/20211 hour 20 minutes 45 seconds
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94: Barbie's dog was stolen

As I walk or bike through my neighborhood, one of the saddest things I often see is a flyer stuck to a telephone pole or electric pole, telling about a lost dog. We have a couple of little dogs, Lilly and Fenway. They’re both Yorkies. And believe me, they are family. I can’t imagine the stress and anxiety and sadness if we suddenly discovered one of them were missing. So that’s what I think about when I see one of those flyers. Some family, in a neighborhood near to where I live, is living with the fact that they don’t know where their dog is. Or where their cat is. And they don’t know if their family pet will ever come home again. So I think we can all agree, losing a dog is traumatic.  But what if your dog didn’t just escape and get lost…  What if your dog was actually stolen?  That’s what Barbie suspected when her dog, Scooby, went missing. If your dog gets away: ·     Drive slowly around the neighborhood. Your dog might hear and recognize the sound of your car or your voice, and mi
19/11/202153 minutes 6 seconds
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93: Brook lost a leg to a shark

Few things are scarier than being attacked by a shark. Australian Mick Fanning was in a professional surfing competition, which was being broadcast live around the world. Viewers watched as a shark approached him and he was quickly rescued by nearby safety crews – the only damage was the leash that connected him to his surfboard had been chewed through. In 1963, Rodney Fox was competing in a spearfishing tournament. A great white shark attacked and bit him around his midsection, puncturing his diaphragm, crushing his rib cage, and leaving many of his organs exposed. He survived with surgery and around 400 stitches. One summer on the Jersey Shore, five shark attacks happened in 10 days, resulting in four deaths. That period is often thought to be the inspiration for the classic movie, Jaws. As scary as it sounds, the reality is that shark attacks are quite rare. In fact, your odds of being attacked by a shark are around 1 in 11 million. Of course, that’s not much comfort if you’re one o
05/11/20211 hour 12 minutes 14 seconds
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92: Andrew head-on crashed his snowmobile

I’ve lived in places where the winter is really cold. Personally, I can say I prefer to live here in Florida, where it’s usually relatively warm.  I don’t miss shoveling snow, or driving on roads that are icy, and it’s been a long time since my fingers and toes felt numb from the cold temperatures. I know some people prefer a colder climate, and I’m fine with that. The world is more interesting because we are all different. But when you live in an area where there’s cold weather and lots of snow, one of the things that makes it more bearable, and even fun, is to ride on a snowmobile. These things are a blast. For an avid snowmobiler, there is nothing better than a sunny day and a wide open field of fresh snow. And my guest today, Andrew, definitely falls into that category – he is a huge fan of snowmobiles. He goes out riding every time he gets a chance. And he’s one of those guys that sees a hill, and he knows that with enough speed, he can get his machine to go airborne. That’s his t
22/10/20211 hour 2 minutes 49 seconds
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91: Bonus episode - Childbirth Stories

This is a bonus episode of What Was That Like. If this were a regular episode, you’d be hearing someone telling a story of how they survived a mass shooting, or when they got attacked by a grizzly bear, or that time they won $100,000 on Wheel of Fortune. We have guests on with all kinds of crazy stories, and they tell exactly what happened, first hand. But this episode is different. A while back, I asked my listeners to send in their stories about a specific topic: childbirth. What happened, what went right, and in some cases, what went wrong. This is real life, and not every story has a happy ending. I really enjoyed hearing these stories, and to those who sent one in, thank you.  And if you have a story about something unusual that’s happened to you, not necessarily related to childbirth, but anything unusual or interesting, hang around and at the end I’ll tell you how we might be able to use that here on the podcast in a future episode. Here is Sylvia’s story about her experience w
15/10/20211 hour 17 minutes 14 seconds
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90: Emily was a surrogate

We live in a pretty amazing time. Private citizens are going to outer space, cars are able to drive themselves to places without a human, all kinds of crazy things that our grandparents would never have imagined. I love hearing about the advances in science and technology. And what we’re talking about today might seem like it’s always been around, but it’s actually fairly new. We’re talking about the idea of surrogacy. Being a surrogate mother means you carry someone else’s baby for them. And the first surrogate pregnancy just happened in 1985. Scientists and doctors just figured this out recently, during my lifetime! We’re talking today with Emily. She lives in Canada, and she was a surrogate. I could tell when we first spoke that she was kind of an upbeat, positive person. I wanted to know how surrogacy works, why she wanted to do it, if she got paid for it, all those things. She answered my initial questions, then we got into her story. So today, we’re going to chat with Emily as sh
08/10/20211 hour 12 minutes 52 seconds
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89: Alex was trapped under an ATV

Do you have a best friend? I have a best friend. His name is Tim. He and I grew up together in Ohio. We went to the same school, same church, we would sleep over at each other’s house all the time. And we each have younger brothers, and they were also good friends, and our parents were really close as well.  Of course I’m in Florida now, and Tim still lives up in Ohio. We haven’t seen each other in years, but we still communicate by phone and on Facebook pretty regularly. Tim’s the kind of guy that if I told him I had some kind of emergency and needed him here, he’d be on the next plane. And I’d do the same for him. That’s just what best friends are supposed to do. My guest on the podcast today is Alex, and his story kind of illustrates that. He was out working one day with a group of guys. This was in the summer, and they were working on a mountain that in the winter functioned as a ski slope. They were using chainsaws and getting the long mountain slope cleared of trees and other deb
24/09/20211 hour 4 minutes 21 seconds
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88: Tim lost friends on September 11

Most adults remember where they were on the morning of Tuesday, September 11, 2001. In New York City, there were some thunderstorms the night before, but that day, 9/11, had started out beautiful and sunny, with clear skies.  Then people started noticing that some large passenger planes were flying too low. When the first building was hit, there was confusion. Even the office workers who were in the building didn’t know exactly what had happened, just that there was an explosion and lots of smoke. The New York metropolitan area is home to the busiest airport system in the United States, with 3 major airports: JFK, Newark, and LaGuardia. On that morning, the air traffic controllers were also communicating about what they were seeing, and trying to figure out what was happening. On the ground, there were many 911 calls coming in. Firefighters were deployed from stations all over the city, as well as police officers from the NYPD and the Port Authority. One of the people involved on that
10/09/20211 hour 15 minutes 20 seconds
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87: Victoria's neighbors brought horrible news

I was watching a video online recently. I don’t remember where it was, probably in a subreddit. It was recorded on a security camera in some business. There’s no sound, but you can pretty much tell what’s going on. These two men are standing there, and they are obviously in some kind of argument. You know how, even when you can’t hear what someone is saying, it’s easy to see that they’re upset just because of their body language? That’s what this was. I don’t know if they were two customers, or a manager and a customer, doesn’t really matter. But they were angry. And they were getting up in each other’s face, but neither of them had touched the other one yet. It looked like it might evolve into a fist fight, but for now it was just a verbal confrontation. Then, seemingly out of nowhere, a third person enters the view of the camera. He comes up behind one of the guys, and, from behind, hauls off and closed-fist punches him right in the head. And he’s out cold. Of course, he never had a
27/08/202159 minutes 58 seconds
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86: Jen was robbed at gunpoint

There’s something I find really fascinating, and that’s learning about the wildly different ways people react in a sudden emergency situation. Imagine you’re in a restaurant and the main dining room is full of people. Everyone’s talking, servers are buzzing around to their various tables, people are enjoying their food. Then suddenly at the table next to you, a middle-aged man clutches his chest, yells out in pain, and falls from his chair. It’s pretty clear he’s having a heart attack. He’s still conscious and breathing, but he is clearly in distress. And what does everyone do? No doubt, there will be a person who will yell out for someone to call 911. There will be people who see what’s happening, and their first reaction is to quickly look around the room, like they’re looking for help. There might be someone who goes to the man and tries to do CPR. Incidentally, if someone is still awake and breathing, you don’t need to do CPR. I can guarantee that many of the people at the nearby t
13/08/20211 hour 6 minutes 59 seconds
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85: Bonus episode: Jessica's story

This is a bonus episode on an off-week Friday. Today you'll hear Jessica's story of what happened to her fiancé Mike. Jessica and Mike have been together for seven years, and have five children. After a short family vacation, Mike got sick and was unexpectedly diagnosed with Covid. He was unvaccinated. If you would like to help, a GoFundMe account has been set up. Music credit: Almost in F by Kevin MacLeod Link: https://incompetech.filmmusic.io/song/3354-almost-in-f License: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/
06/08/202116 minutes 3 seconds
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84: Robert was in a gunfight with pirates

Today’s story takes place off the coast of Somalia, a country in Africa. If you look at Africa on a map, you’ll see Somalia on the east coast, right on the water of the Indian Ocean. In fact, of all the countries in Africa, Somalia is the one with the longest coastline. And for the Americans listening, to give you an idea of how big it is, Somalia is almost the same size as the US state of Texas. But here’s the thing about Somalia. It’s considered to be one of the poorest countries in the world. I mean, here in Florida, we have homeless people. Some of you know, I work with a group here to help the homeless population get the things they need. But in Somalia, literally half of the people in that country don’t have a home or any kind of permanent residence. This means there are millions of people who are desperate, and hungry, and they’re vulnerable to abuse. And just on the north side of Somalia is the Gulf of Aden. This is a very popular water route for large ships carrying lots of ca
30/07/20211 hour 3 minutes 46 seconds
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83: Shareen was rammed with her own car

I remember the first time I was ever exposed to domestic violence. My home life growing up was very much non-violent. I was the oldest of 3 boys, and of course we fought sometimes just like all brothers do. But really it was more arguing than fighting. We never got violent with each other. And my parents? I could never imagine either of them even thinking about hitting the other. It’s just not something that would ever be considered. They had been married for 56 years when my dad passed away in 2016. So I guess you could say I grew up pretty sheltered from that kind of thing. I just never saw it. But there was a time when I had a regular job, working in an office with probably 30 or 40 other people. This was quite a few years ago, and it was here in Florida, in downtown Tampa. I went in to work one day, and that morning I was surprised to see one of my co-workers, a young lady probably around 25 or so, had come to work with a bad black eye. Actually it was more than her eye – much of o
16/07/202148 minutes 47 seconds
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82: Michael was abused with a sewing machine

In a perfect world, a child should be able to trust an adult. Children are dependent on adults for healthy food, medical attention, an education, and a safe environment. Children should be able to expect their parents to love them and protect them from any harm. But we don’t live in a perfect world. For my guest today, Michael, he and his siblings lived in a small home in Tampa, Florida. They desperately needed protection from harm.  But the harm was coming from their parents.  It was mostly his mother, Jamie Hicks. And because they were all home schooled, the abuse went undetected.  In our conversation, Michael described some of the things he and the other children experienced from their abusive mother. And their father who did almost nothing to stop it from happening. There was a time when Child Protective Services was called out and investigated the family, but they weren’t able to put the pieces together enough to figure out what was going on in that house. So Michael and the other
02/07/20211 hour 20 minutes 22 seconds
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81: Monica discovered the family secret

DNA technology is pretty amazing, and it’s gone mainstream. I recently submitted a DNA kit with one of the companies called 23andme. I got the results back, and they gave me a list of 1500 people who were all “somewhere” in my family tree. And I’ve even gotten in touch with some of them.  Here’s an example. When I was a kid, we lived in Ohio but we had a lot of family in Virginia because that’s where my dad was from. I had a great uncle who lived in Virginia, and he was in the market for a dog. Well, it turns out our dog had just had a litter of puppies and we had a dog available. This puppy was a mixed breed but probably mostly black lab, and he was all black except for a little bit of white right on the tip of his tail. So we named him Tippy. I’m a real animal lover and I loved Tippy. This was when I was probably about 9 or 10 years old. We drove to Virginia and brought him with us, because he was of course going to live with my uncle. I remember the day we were leaving, and the last
18/06/20211 hour 32 minutes 8 seconds
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80: Ricky doesn't buy groceries

Remember that Seinfeld episode where George is at his girlfriend’s mother’s house, and he sees a partially eaten éclair in the kitchen trash can, and he picks it up and takes a bite? Of course, someone sees him do it, and he tries to explain, and all sorts of hijinks ensue because that’s the world of TV sitcoms. My guest on today’s episode, in a way, plays that role in real life. He’s well-educated, fully employed, married, and is certainly able to afford buying groceries. But he doesn’t spend any money on food, since he’s able to get his food for free. And his freezers and pantry are full.  Ricky’s food doesn’t come from inside the grocery story, but rather from the large bin behind the store. Want to learn more about the unusual subculture and community of dumpster divers, and see what kinds of things they find each day? Check out their subreddit: https://www.reddit.com/r/DumpsterDiving/
04/06/20211 hour 6 minutes 49 seconds
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79: Emily was caught as a drug mule

When you travel internationally, do you ever get nervous when you come back to your own country and have to go through all the questions about where you’ve been, your reason for travel, and what you’re bringing back into the country? This is stressful for a lot of people, even those who have not done anything wrong. My guest in this episode is Emily. She lives in Toronto, and a few years ago she spent some time in the Caribbean. She flew back into her home airport, and had to go through that process of being asked all the questions. Like a lot of people, this really stressed her out.  But in Emily’s case, she had good reason to be nervous. Under her dress was roughly $150,000 in cocaine. That was a bad day for Emily. She told me the whole story, including how that experience led her to what she’s doing today. Follow Emily, and try some of her amazing popcorn: website: comebacksnacks.com Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/comebacksnacks/ Facebook: http://facebook.com/comebacksnacks Yo
21/05/20211 hour 10 minutes 58 seconds
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78: Jeff was convicted of murder

Peekskill, New York. Angela Correa was 15 years old. She was a student at Peekskill High School, with an interest in photography as a hobby and perhaps eventually a career. On November 15, 1989, she went missing, and an area-wide search was conducted. Two days later, Angela’s body was found. She had been beaten, raped, and strangled to death. Police began an investigation, and questioned some of the other students at Angela’s school. Based on some tips, they began to question one of her fellow students, 16 year old Jeff Deskovic. After a long session with a polygraph examiner, Deskovic confessed to the murder. He was charged and convicted, and sentenced. He was in prison for 16 years. Just one problem with this story: he didn’t do it. Jeff Deskovic is my guest on the show today, and we talked about a lot of things, including why he would confess to a murder that he didn’t commit, and what it was like to be a sensitive, 17 year old boy living in prison next to violent criminals. And bes
07/05/202151 minutes 57 seconds
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77: Monica lost her boyfriend

Monica was divorced, and now a single mom with two little kids. She wasn’t looking for a relationship. Kevin was a nice guy, and he’d never been married. When they first met, there was a chemistry between them, but Monica was reluctant. Fortunately, Kevin was persistent. This is their story, and it’s a good reminder for all of us – when you have someone you love, be sure to appreciate the time you have with them now. Because sometimes the unexpected can change everything.
23/04/202158 minutes 53 seconds
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76: Gil fell off a cliff

When I was a kid and even as a young adult, I had no fear of heights. I was always climbing trees, climbing all over the roof of our house, never had a second thought or any fear about it. Then, when I was 30, something happened that changed that. I fell off a ladder. You can get the full story by listening to the podcast. The thing is, what happened to me wasn’t even that bad. But imagine you’re walking along a trail, and there’s no guardrail next to it, and the other side of that trail is a 100 foot drop, which is about 30 meters, and the bottom of that is rocks. And suddenly you get too close to the edge, and you start to lose your footing. That’s what happened to Gil. This episode is sponsored in part by BetterHELP – professional counseling done online. As a What Was That Like listener, you can visit https://betterhelp.com/whatwas for 10% off your first month.  Music for this episode: We Always Thought the Future Would Be Kind of Fun by Chris Zabriskie is licensed under a Creative
09/04/202152 minutes 2 seconds
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75: Woniya was alone in the Arctic

Today we’re talking about the concept of being alone. Many people all around the world have been recently exposed to some form of loneliness or isolation because of the worldwide Coronavirus pandemic. This problem started a little over a year ago, but for a lot of people it seems like it’s been longer than that, because they’ve had to stay at home in order to avoid getting infected.  Prime Minister Boris Johnson issued the announcement to residents of the UK, back in March of 2020, that the primary key to mitigating the spread of the virus, and eventually defeating it, was to stay home. These were the most stringent restrictions in Britain since World War 2. Very few people thought we would still be dealing with this a year later.  Being isolated at home, either by yourself or perhaps with some family members, can lead to some mental health issues. And that includes the possibility of depression. At least we have some ways to connect, using Zoom, Facetime, or some other audio/video com
26/03/20211 hour 3 minutes 39 seconds
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74: Daril was shot as a rookie policeman

When you’re a police officer, one of the things you learn as part of your training is that there’s no such thing as a routine encounter, or a “regular” traffic stop. In most cases, you don’t know the person you’re about to interact with, or if they have a criminal history, or how desperate they might be. My guest today, Daril, found that out the hard way. He was a rookie officer, working the morning shift on a weekend, and he wasn’t necessarily expecting anything exciting to happen. But then he unknowingly crossed paths with a career criminal who had recently escaped from prison, and that man was determined to do anything to avoid being captured. Daril's book about his police career: https://www.amazon.com/Blue-Chameleon-Life-Story-Supercop/dp/1646063252/ref=tmm_hrd_swatch_0 Daril's website: https://www.thebluechameleon.net/
12/03/202144 minutes 30 seconds
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73: Matt crashed his plane in the wilderness

Personally, I’ve never had a fear of flying. In fact, I really like it. I’m not sure if it’s the flying itself, or maybe it’s the fact that the flying just means I’m probably going somewhere to see people or have fun. But I’ve never had that feeling like “Oh…what if the plane just falls from the sky and we all die.” I don’t think I’ve ever worried about that. Which might be kind of odd, since I do have a fear of heights, but that only started after I fell off a roof. But that’s another story. And if you’re on a flight and you’re sitting next to someone who is just terrified, it doesn’t really matter if you tell them how safe it is to fly in an airplane. I mean, there are around 100,000 flights that happen every single day all around the world. There’s really nothing to be afraid of. But what if you’re on a flight…and there is actually cause for concern? Like, the pilot sees a thunderstorm ahead that you’ll be flying through, or maybe something is not working right on the plane, and he
26/02/202159 minutes 59 seconds
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72: Bonus episode - Q&A

If this is your first time discovering the What Was That Like podcast, you need to know that this is NOT a normal episode. On this show, each episode is usually a conversation with a regular person who has been through some type of extremely unusual situation (such as a plane crash or a mass shooting). The guest comes on the show and tells the story of what happened, first hand. Check out some of the past episodes – I think you’ll like it. But this is a bonus episode, and it’s different. A bunch of listeners called in their questions for me, and I answered them. A couple of things that came up, in case you’re interested: Photo album of homeless people getting bikes Dave Jackson’s podcast episode about his dog, Dudley Big thanks to all those who sent in their questions! We’ll do this again sometime.
19/02/202152 minutes 27 seconds
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71: Deneen dodged a derailing train

Trains are a big part of American culture, because they are really fascinating in so many ways. If you stand next to one, you realize – they are just so BIG. And they have so much power, to be able to pull all that weight. And wow, are they LOUD. Not just the sound of the engine, and the steel wheels on the track, but that horn – you can hear it even if you’re nowhere near the railroad tracks. Kids and adults of all ages are fascinated by trains. And they are fun to watch, as they rumble by. Maybe you get a wave from the engineer. It’s great entertainment, as long as everything works like it’s supposed to work. Deneen was with her two little girls one day, at a railroad crossing, watching the train go by just a few feet from the front of their car. Then she realized that something was very wrong, and that train was about to crash.
12/02/202136 minutes 34 seconds
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70: Aaron survived a tsunami

December 26, 2004. That was the day a huge earthquake happened. In fact, it’s the third-largest earthquake ever recorded, and it had the longest duration of faulting that has ever been observed – between eight and ten minutes. But there was something different about this earthquake. It happened underwater. It took place in the Indian Ocean. The epicenter was off the west coast of northern Sumatra, Indonesia. The result of this enormous earthquake happening under the ocean was that it created massive waves of water, up to 100 feet, or about 30 meters, high. These waves arrived without warning. More than 227,000 people woke up that morning and went through their normal routine, not realizing it was their last day to be alive. I remember when it happened. It was a Sunday, the day after Christmas. Of course it was the leading news story all over the world. I heard how the story unfolded, how the underwater earthquake happened, and the unbelievable numbers as the death toll kept rising. It
29/01/20211 hour 10 minutes 10 seconds
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69: Kira was attacked by a serial rapist

What’s the most scared you have ever been? I’m not talking about being on a crazy roller coaster ride, or watching a scary movie. What we’re talking about on this episode is the kind of fear that just grips you, and controls you, and won’t let you think about anything else. I asked some of the listeners of this podcast that very question recently, in our private Facebook group. And at the end of this episode, you’ll be able to hear some of their answers – and there’s quite a variety. Turns out being scared can show up in our lives in a lot of different ways. And our guest today, Kira, has experienced that kind of gut-wrenching fear. She was on a downtown street, alone. It was dark, because it was 3:30 am. She was walking to work, and thought everything was okay. But she suddenly realized, she was not alone. Mentioned in this episode: the Noonlight app. It’s free for both iOS and Android, at Noonlight.com (there are paid versions with additional features). You can contact Kira at violen
15/01/20211 hour 35 minutes 21 seconds
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68: Dan was mauled by a grizzly bear

Alaska is home to a lot of wildlife, including bears. Dan loves the outdoors. You name just about any outdoor activity, and he has done it. Hiking, camping, boating, climbing, and his main obsession – fishing. In his time outdoors, Dan has had more than one encounter with a bear. Typically, they just run off when they see a human. But there was one day when Dan unexpectedly crossed paths with an angry grizzly bear. It was a day he’ll never forget. Music at the end of this episode is part of the song Comatose Rider, written and performed by Dan Bigley. Let’s take a walk, by the river sideFish in the basket, red dog by my sideFeels like so long ago, I was 25 years old I cannot see, through the visions in my headFeels like I’ve been for so long in my bedSeems like the more I learn, the more my life seems newAnd you’re coming into view ChorusI don’t know how I got to the top of the mountainI don’t know, but I believe that its trueI don’t know how I got to the top of the mountainBut its got
01/01/20211 hour 21 minutes 17 seconds
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67: Steven was hit by a truck

It was an early morning in Indiana. Steven, 18 years old, was on his way home from an overnight shift at work. Around 6:30 am, he got into the first car accident of his life – a minor fender bender – and was exchanging information with the other driver. He had no idea that his second crash, a much bigger one, was about to happen. Music credit: Industrial Cinematic by Kevin MacLeod Link: https://incompetech.filmmusic.io/song/3909-industrial-cinematic License: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/
18/12/202047 minutes 46 seconds
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66: Mariah lost her brother

According to an article in Business Insider magazine, one of the most stressful jobs in the US is being a 911 dispatcher. Out of 600 listed occupations, a 911 emergency operator’s job ranked at #13 for stress levels. They’re trained to remain calm on every call, regardless of how panicked the caller might be, or what’s happening on the other end of that phone line. But what about when a call comes in, and the caller is someone you know? My conversation today is with Mariah. One day, she received a text message in which her brother, Nate, was threatening suicide. Mariah and her boyfriend immediately started driving to where Nate said he was, at the back of a local forestry. On the way, Mariah called 911 to get help – and the voice that answered “911, what is your emergency?” was a voice that she knew very well. If you are having suicidal thoughts, please call this number: 800-273-8255 anytime night or day to talk with someone. Your life is worth living.
04/12/202050 minutes 32 seconds
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65: Brandon was dragged by a horse

Brandon spent 17 years working as an equestrian stuntman. But he didn’t grow up on a farm, and he didn’t spend his youth around horses. Back then, he was more interested in playing hockey. But he and his family did enjoy visiting Renaissance Fairs, and he met the right person at the right time. He got the opportunity to start learning how to be a stuntman – first working on the ground as a “squire”, then later helping to train the horses, and eventually to work as a stunt rider. But his very first “stunt riding” experience was not what he expected. Do you have questions for Brandon? He’s in the What Was That Like private Facebook group – join us over there at WhatWasThatLike.com/facebook. You can also follow Brandon on Instagram (stickfigurehero) and Twitter (stickfigurehero).
20/11/20201 hour 6 minutes 54 seconds
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64: Monika's life was destroyed by a stranger

Do you worry about your privacy on the internet? Do you ever think about how much someone could find out about you, if they wanted to? Have you wondered if your life could be destroyed, over the internet, by a stranger? Maybe you should. Monika was happy. She was a successful real estate agent. She used social media to connect with friends, and family, and clients. Just like everyone else does. But one day, without realizing it, she made a mistake. And she had no idea what was about to happen.   Photo courtesy of Margo Gray, WAFF 48 in Huntsville, Alabama Mechanolith by Kevin MacLeod Link: https://incompetech.filmmusic.io/song/4031-mechanolith License: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/
06/11/20201 hour 22 minutes 13 seconds
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63: Liz discovered a suicide

Very few things in life could be more traumatic or horrifying than discovering a suicide. Remember how shocked we all were back in August of 2014, when police announced that legendary actor and comedian Robin Williams was found by his personal assistant, having committed suicide. There are so many factors to consider in that case, but I remember that when this happened, I kept thinking about how that person, his assistant, felt as she entered that room and discovered him on that Monday morning. She had worked with him for over 20 years, and it was more than just an employer – employee relationship. They were also close personal friends. It’s hard to imagine going through something like that. Our guest today is Liz. She has experienced this as well. But the suicide she discovered was not her boss, or just a close friend. It was her husband. Going through that would be bad enough. But for this podcast episode, Liz has even another story that is almost completely unrelated to her husband’
23/10/20201 hour 4 minutes 2 seconds
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62: Terri witnessed a murder

Do you remember when you were young, and going through your teenage years? Didn’t time seem to go by a lot more slowly back then? All those years, waiting, and looking forward to that one big day when you’re finally out on your own. Now that was something to be excited about, right? You’d have your own car, your own place, you could come and go whenever, you could stay up as late as want, it would be like heaven on earth! Of course, now that we’re past that stage in life, we know that being out on your own and responsible for yourself is not always the paradise and freedom that we might have anticipated. My guest today, Terri, was right at that breakthrough stage. Leaving home for the first time, being on her own, even moving hundreds of miles away – it was all very exciting. But then as soon as she moved in to her new place – the very first day she was there, actually – she found out that the real world can bring with it some unexpected and horrific things. It was a day she’ll never f
09/10/202052 minutes 5 seconds
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61: Robin drove the Wienermobile

Today, we have a really fun episode that is going to make you smile. My guest today is Robin, and Robin likes to have fun. She’s different. And she’s on today’s show to tell us about an experience she had – she was hired by the Oscar Mayer hot dog company to drive the Wienermobile. And I realize some people might not be familiar with the Wienermobile, especially those outside the US. What we’re talking about here is a large vehicle that is designed to look like a giant hot dog. Yes, this is an actual street-legal vehicle, 27 feet long (about 9 meters). If you’re in the US, you might be surprised some day and see one traveling on a street, right there in your city. And while this kind of vehicle seems like it would be unique, there are actually SIX of them traveling the country at any given time. They show up at grocery store grand openings, theme parks, pickle festivals, all kinds of events. And the drivers give out merch such as Wienie Beanies, Wienermobile Hot Wheels cars, and the ev
25/09/20201 hour 11 minutes 36 seconds
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60: Two first-hand stories from 9/11

Today is September 11. Today is the day we remember and honor those who lost their lives here in America on September 11, 2001. 246 innocent people aboard the four planes that were hijacked. 2,606 people in the World Trade Center and the surrounding area. 343 of these were firefighters, and 71 were law enforcement officers. 125 people in the Pentagon. In today’s episode, we’re going to hear from two people who were there. Lori Brody and her brother, Scott, both worked at the World Trade Center. She survived; he did not. Lori will tell us what happened to her that day, and in the years since. Joe Falco was a New York City firefighter. He was working to save lives at the World Trade Center, and was injured when the buildings collapsed. May we never forget those who were lost on September 11, 2001.
11/09/202057 minutes 51 seconds
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59: Eric saved a crashed skydiver

Every sporting activity involves some degree of risk. Risk of injury or even risk of death. I bike about 10 miles each morning and I’m pretty careful. And I record video with a GoPro mounted on my helmet for every ride, which was inspired by my interview with William, episode 20 of this podcast if you want to check that out. But I know that no matter how careful I am, there is still the small possibility that something could happen. Same with almost anything else – running, playing tennis, swimming, you name it. But for most people, when you think of the question, “What is the most dangerous sport?”, the answer that comes to mind is skydiving. It just seems like common sense that jumping out of a plane is really dangerous, right? But in reality, just driving a car is a LOT more dangerous. In fact, statistics show that if you decide to go and do a skydive, you’re 24 times more likely to die in a car accident on the way to the drop zone than you are to die while you’re skydiving. But, th
28/08/202045 minutes 14 seconds
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58: James was crushed by a tree

Today you are going to hear from James. He’s a young man who lives in England, and he has quite a scary story about something that happened to him one day at work, in 2019. He and his partner were cutting down a huge tree, and things did not go as planned. I’ll let James fill in the details. And at the end of today’s episode: A new podcast for you to check out – Minds of Madness You can sign up for my email newsletter Raw Audio episode 4 is live
14/08/202041 minutes 5 seconds
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57: Gael crashed into a river

It gets pretty cold in Mason City, Iowa in the winter. Just ask Gael - he lives there. Gael is 18 years old. One day last December, on a particularly freezing day, he was on his way to a class. Just a routine day, driving along, and he’s approaching a bridge that goes over a big river. Except he doesn’t make it to the bridge. Instead, he finds himself in the middle of the river, and the water is rising in the car. And somehow, during the crash, his phone got lost. But a young lady named Siri was still listening. This episode includes the 911 call that Gael made, while trapped in his car in the river. A warning about this episode, if you use an iPhone – during the story, Gael will use that lady’s name. You know, the lady in the iPhone whose name starts with “S” and he tells her to call the police. So be aware of this, so that YOUR phone doesn’t hear that instruction and make a phone call to your local police department. And after today’s story, we’ll get a sneak preview of Raw Audio 3,
31/07/202034 minutes 18 seconds
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56: Lesli's house exploded

There’s something that you and I do every day, all day. We make decisions. That’s something that we literally do all day. In fact, some sources say the average person makes 35,000 decisions every day. I don’t know how accurate that number is, but I’m sure it’s a lot. Most of them we don’t really even think about consciously. Which shoe to put on first, how much toothpaste to put on the toothbrush, which checkout line at the grocery store – those are all kind of subconscious. The bigger decisions we do think about – what to have for lunch, what kind of car do I buy, those are more deliberate. You even make a choice about what podcast you want to listen to – and I’m happy to tell you right now, when you choose this podcast, you have made the right choice! But what if you were suddenly in an emergency situation, and you didn’t know if you were going to make it out alive, and you were faced with making the decision of how you prefer to die? That’s the spot Lesli found herself in one day. S
17/07/202055 minutes 36 seconds
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55: Michael survived an avalanche

Katmandu, the capital city of Nepal. April 25, 2015. A magnitude 7.8 earthquake struck without warning. In the end, nearly 9,000 people lost their lives, and close to 22,000 were injured. Entire villages were destroyed, leaving hundreds of thousands homeless. And not far from the epicenter was Mt Everest. There were a lot of people on the mountain that day, and 19 climbers were killed. Michael Churton is an adventure filmmaker based out of New York City. He’s done work for National Geographic, NBC, ABC, Discovery, and the Science Channel. He’s been doing this for more than 20 years. Michael was at Mt Everest Base Camp when the earthquake happened. And he was right in the path of the deadly avalanche that was triggered immediately after. And even though he survived, not all of his teammates came back. Michael was on the mountain to document an adventure. But what happened that morning has turned that project into a documentary that he’s currently working on, to tell what happened on Mt
03/07/20201 hour 10 minutes 29 seconds
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54: Bonus episode - Raw Audio

This is an off week for the What Was That Like podcast, but I’m here to introduce you to something new for the show that I’m pretty excited about. Today you’re going to hear a bonus episode to kick off a new, ongoing series. These episodes are called Raw Audio. One of the most popular features in some of the episodes for this podcast have been the 911 calls. When you hear the voice of a person calling the 911 emergency number and describing what’s going on, it can feel like you’re right there with them. These are not actors reading lines on a script, and they’re not re-enactments for a TV show. These are real-life moments, recorded as it happens. I’ve wanted to incorporate more of those 911 calls into the show, but it’s just not always practical for each episode. So I decided I would create some new episodes, and the actual FOCUS would be on that emergency call. You’ll hear the backstory on what was happening, and you’ll hear the 911 emergency calls that took place, and you’ll hear wha
26/06/202022 minutes 22 seconds
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53: Dave won $113k on a game show

Our guest for this episode is Dave, and Dave recently found himself $113,000 richer, and he attributes that to some practice, some luck, and a pretty good talent for solving word puzzles. He won that money by being a contestant on Wheel of Fortune. We discussed: How he prepared for the game How he actually got on the show as a contestant The special instructions he was given What Pat Sajak and Vanna White are REALLY like How he’s handling taxes on his winnings And there’s a bonus story toward the end of our conversation about how Dave actually saved someone’s life (unrelated to his game show appearance). Here’s Dave winning cash, a trip to Barbados, and a new BMW: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pf80KRDaKaQ And if you’d like to join the other listeners who support this podcast, you can do that at WhatWasThatLike.com/support. Music credit: Scheming Weasel (faster version) Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com) Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 License http://creativecom
19/06/202050 minutes 14 seconds
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52: These 3 people died

If this is your first time listening to this podcast, you need to know this is not a typical episode. Usually, each episode is a conversation with someone who has been through some type of extremely unusual situation, and that person comes on the show and tells what happened, first hand. Not this week. This week our country is in turmoil because a black man in Minneapolis died at the hands of the police. The video of that happening in broad daylight has – again – shown that racism in America is alive and well. So I have to do something different here on this podcast, for this episode. Some people run for office to get elected and try to bring change from the inside. Some people hold signs. Some people go through police academy and become skilled police officers. I know that, because they are my close family members. Some people riot in the streets. I’m not here to comment on any of those things. For me, what I have is this podcast. It reaches a lot of people. So this is how I’m using i
05/06/202022 minutes 14 seconds
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51: Dan preps people for prison

What’s your biggest fear? As humans, we have found that there are a lot of things we’re afraid of. Spiders, needles, flying in an airplane, thunderstorms, public speaking. Or death, that’s a big one. For some people, one of their biggest fears is having to go to prison. Of course, no one wants to go to prison. And most people don’t expect that they would ever have to spend time there. But consider this scenario. You’re a model citizen. You’ve never been arrested. Your worst run-in with the law is a speeding ticket. You’ve never used drugs. But then, you find out that your business partner has been doing some double billing for insurance payments, and as one of the owners of the company, you’re responsible. Insurance fraud. Or one day you’re driving home from work, and you have just a brief moment of inattention, and you clip someone riding a bicycle, and they die. Vehicular manslaughter. Your lawyer tells you your best option is to take a plea deal. And that means you’re going to spend
22/05/20201 hour 28 minutes 41 seconds
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50: Deb suddenly stopped skiing

Have you ever found yourself in some kind of weird situation or predicament, and you actually have no idea how you got there? And you’re asking yourself, “What just happened?” This is something I find really fascinating – when our brain is trying to figure out the reality of what is going on, but it just doesn’t have enough information to make sense of it. So the end result is usually confusion. But in some cases, it can be terrifying. Our guest today is Deb, and that’s what happened to her one day while she was downhill skiing with her friend Gary. It was a beautiful day, she’s in fresh snow, and she’s having a great time just flying down the mountain. But suddenly and without any warning, she just stopped. She’s on her back and unable to move. Then she finds that breathing is getting more and more difficult. There’s no one else around. And she has no idea what just happened. She figured out what happened eventually, of course. And get this – Ski Patrol took longer than they should ha
08/05/202041 minutes 59 seconds
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49: Struck by lightning

Today’s bonus podcast episode is being released in an “off week”, outside of the regular every-other-Friday schedule. This is being done to introduce you to the podcast called This Is Actually Happening. The host of This Is Actually Happening is Whit Missildine. He and I recently connected after realizing that our two podcasts are very similar – people telling their stories of unusual experiences, first hand. This week, we are trading episodes. He recently published my episode “Tyson was Abducted” for his show, and today I’m broadcasting his episode, which deals with a person who was struck by lightning. This is how Whit describes This is Actually Happening: “What is the most extraordinary event in your life that changed everything?” Over the last 6 years, no single question has fascinated me more. We live our everyday lives with a sense that we know who we are, what we want and what will happen. But at some point in our lives, many of us will experience something unthinkable – a massi
01/05/202051 minutes 20 seconds
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48: Kimberly got the Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Today’s guest is Kimberly. Recently, Kimberly tested positive for the COVID-19 virus, also known as Coronavirus. She is a doctor. Note: No information on this website or this podcast should be construed as medical advice. The host is not a doctor. The guest for this episode is in fact a doctor, but she is in no way offering any medical advice here. If you have any questions concerning your health, you should consult your own physician. Kimberly was aware early on of how the COVID-19 virus was spreading, and she took extraordinary measures to avoid getting infected. She was concerned for herself, her husband and their 3 year old daughter. But even more so, she worried about the possibility of her parents contracting the virus; in particular, her father, who already has health issues that would make COVID-19 especially dangerous for him. But in spite of her efforts, she tested positive. And her case has been a rather severe and drawn-out one. She described her symptoms each day as she fo
24/04/20201 hour 27 minutes 5 seconds
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47: William Hung was on American Idol

We’ve all experienced embarrassment at some point. It’s not something anyone enjoys or wants to go through. But there’s another level of embarrassment: humiliation. I think it’s safe to say to say that very few people have experienced the level of embarrassment or humiliation that William has. Imagine being on the most popular talent show in the country – American Idol – and failing badly. The judges laugh at you and send you home. One of them even calls your singing “grotesque”. Then the video of that terrible audition gets broadcast on television, and ends up going viral worldwide. So your huge failure is seen by millions of people everywhere, and your name becomes synonymous with that bad performance. That’s what happened to William. What I just described is what most people know about William Hung. But there’s a lot more to his story, which you’re about to find out. If you’d like to join the other listeners who support this podcast, you can do that at WhatWasThatLike.com/support, a
10/04/202041 minutes 3 seconds
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46: James spent 35 years in prison

David Tyler lives here in the Tampa Bay area of Florida. David is the person who introduced me to James Bain. James was arrested at age 19 as a suspect in a horrible crime, which you’ll learn about in a few minutes. He was convicted for that crime, and sentenced to prison. He spent 35 years in prison as part of his punishment for that crime. James was released from prison on December 17, 2009. David figured out how to get in touch with him, and invited him to a Tampa Bay Buccaneers football game. They've been close friends ever since. What’s interesting about this is the story behind WHY James was released. It’s not because he finished his prison sentence, or because he convinced the parole board that he was ready to enter society again. James was released because after he had spent 35 years in prison, DNA evidence cleared him of being connected with the crime. He was innocent. It’s kind of hard for me to even wrap my mind around being out of normal society for 35 years. I mean, that w
27/03/202057 minutes 2 seconds
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45: Eric killed an intruder

What would you do if you were asleep with your spouse, and it was the middle of the night, and suddenly you heard loud noises like someone banging on your door? What about when you got up and before turning on any lights, you could see the figure of a man standing there on the other side of your sliding glass doors? And when you turn on the lights, and you see him, and he sees you, and he explodes with anger and starts trying to break through the door? What would you do? None of wants to be put in a situation like that. But that’s what happened to Eric one night. He was trying to figure out what to do, his wife Jennifer was on the phone trying to get the police there as quickly as possible, and this man was using all his strength to get into the house. And then things took a big turn for the worse. Did you know you can support this show for just a dollar or two per month? You can do that at WhatWasThatLike.com/support.
13/03/202057 minutes 59 seconds
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44: Lynsey's mom stole her identity

In 2018, the Federal Trade Commission processed 1.4 million reports of fraud. The total losses for all those fraud reports came to almost a billion and a half dollars. And that’s for a single 12-month period. The FTC publishes statistics, and they have said that the most common types of fraud complaints were fake debt collections, imposter scams, and the traditional identity theft. And in the category of identity theft, the most common one was credit card fraud – someone opening a new credit card account, using the identity of a different person. One of the groups most at risk for identity theft are children. This is because if a scammer can find out a child’s Social Security number, he knows it will be easy to establish a clean slate account, since the child has no credit history at all. That’s why experts recommend that parents monitor the credit reports of their children just as closely as they monitor their own, to prevent a scammer from stealing that child’s identity and clean cre
28/02/202040 minutes 50 seconds
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43: Matt proposed with a movie trailer

Today is February 14 and in most places around the world that means a special holiday – Valentine’s Day. If you didn’t realize that’s what today is, you might be in a bit of trouble with your special someone by the end of the day. And since I knew I would have a new episode coming out on Valentine’s Day, I wanted to find a story that is related to love and romance, but would still be unusual and interesting enough to be an episode here on What Was That Like. Then I came across Matt’s story of how he proposed to Ginny, and I knew I had to put this one on the show. You know how when you go to the movies in the theater, and before the actual movie comes on, you see the trailers to preview other movies? Well, Matt created his own custom movie trailer. And he got the movie theater to show it, right there in the theater. And Ginny, his girlfriend, was in that theater. And she had no idea what was about to happen. Matt’s video is right here - watch this first! The video not only shows the mov
14/02/20201 hour 6 minutes 28 seconds
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42: Jami found a stranger in her bedroom

Today we’re going to hear from Jami. Jami had something happen to her when she was a teenager, and it clearly had a huge effect because she still thinks about it to this day. One night she came back home from a trip to the grocery store. She parked her car, and before she got out she saw a strange man standing on the sidewalk, right in front of her car. He stood there looking at her, through the windshield. Less than 10 minutes later, that man was in her bedroom. Yeah, this is a creepy one. And if you like the way Jami tells this story, hang around til the end because we’ll talk about the true-crime podcast she hosts. And as always, I invite you to join the other listeners who support this show – you can do that at WhatWasThatLike.com/support. Murderish Podcast
31/01/202053 minutes 56 seconds
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41: Lauren was attacked by a monkey

Today’s conversation is with Lauren. A few years ago, Lauren worked at a private zoo here in the United States. And one of her jobs was to take care of the monkeys. But these weren’t just any monkeys – these were howler monkeys. You want to guess how howler monkeys earned that name? You got it, because they howl. But it’s probably not the kind of sound you expect to hear when you think of howling. You know, you kind of think of a dog with that kind of high-pitched noise, that’s kind of charming because it seems like they’re trying to sing. Nope, this is something very different. It sounds more like something from The Exorcist. But that’s just what they do. Part of Lauren’s job was giving the howler monkeys their food and water. But there was one howler in particular that didn’t like Lauren. And one day, he had a brief opportunity to act on it, and he took it. This experience led Lauren to actually leave her career with animals. She went to graduate school and his now a high school scie
17/01/202045 minutes 58 seconds
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40: Spence is a lighthouse keeper

Can you imagine having a job that required you to live on an island, and your primary purpose there was to make sure ships avoid running into the land? It’s definitely not a job for everyone, but for some people it’s perfect. Spence is one of those people. He’s a modern day lighthouse keeper. This is a bit of a different type of episode for this podcast. Sometimes when I come across opportunities like this, I think, okay, I would find this really interesting, but would other people find it interesting? So when I saw I might have the chance to do this one, I posted it as a poll in the Facebook group. And the vote was unanimous – everyone wanted to hear what it was like to be a lighthouse keeper. So here we are. And yes, it was really interesting! Spence told me all about the different aspects of the job, and what he has to do each day. And the fact that he works 7 days a week, but it’s okay because he loves his work. So, I hope you enjoy this episode, and if you’d like to support the po
03/01/20201 hour 4 seconds
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39: Steve's wife lost all her memory

If you’re a parent, you know that the birth of your first child is an incredible experience. For Steve and Camre, it didn’t happen at all the way they expected it to. Steve got the call at work that Camre was at the hospital and had already delivered the baby. He dropped everything and drove there frantically, and he was confused because the baby wasn’t due for another 7 weeks. He ran into the hospital, and the first thing he saw was his newborn son, Gavin. He quickly scrubbed up and held him for the first time. There was an immediate bond between them. What Steve didn’t know was that, at that moment, Camre was being put into a medically induced coma in order to save her life. He also didn’t know that when she would come out of that coma, she would have no memory of anything. She would not recognize Steve, and she wouldn’t even know she had just had their baby. That was the beginning of a long journey for this family, and Steve wrote a book about it. It’s called But I Know I Love You,
20/12/201956 minutes 16 seconds
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38: Henry was attacked by an alligator

Henry is an educator in the field of marine science. And as you’ll hear when we’re talking, it’s not just his job. It’s his life work. It’s as much a passion for him as it is a career. When he goes diving in a river and kind of rummaging around the bottom, he never really knows what he’ll find. What he expects to find mostly are rocks and sand. What he HOPES to find are ancient shark teeth, or even the skeletal remains of prehistoric creatures. What he did NOT expect to find was a live alligator. But one day he did, and he was lucky enough to live through it and be able to tell us the story today. And I want to say a big thank you to the patrons of this show. If you’d like to join them and support the show, you can do that at WhatWasThatLike.com/support. And if you hang around after today’s episode, I’ll tell you about the podcast that I support through Patreon. You can follow Henry on Instagram: @thinkseek
06/12/201955 minutes 27 seconds
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37: Ray went from 500 pounds to ultrarunner

My conversation today is with Ray, who lives in St Augustine, Florida. Just a couple of years ago, Ray was on a downward spiral in terms of his health. Like a lot of people, his weight had gotten out of control. He didn’t realize how far off track he was until he visited a doctor one day. That doctor visit was his wake-up call. And he definitely woke up. I think you’re going to love this story. I also wanted to mention something right up front. Part of Ray’s amazing turnaround is the fact that he underwent gastric bypass surgery. And I want to be clear, and Ray will tell you this as well, this is not for everyone, and it’s not an easy quick fix. If you’re considering it, or really if you’re thinking about ANY change in your diet or exercise regimen, you should consult your doctor for advice. In this case, this surgery was just a tool that was available to Ray, and he used it to his advantage. And his transformation has been amazing. Calling this a “weight loss success story” is a huge
22/11/201953 minutes 33 seconds
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36: Acaimie rescued her husband

Acaimie and her husband, Clay, have been through a pretty bizarre experience. When I heard this story, I knew I needed to talk to this young lady. She and Clay were doing a volcano hike. That in itself might seem story-worthy. But this was not actually an “active” volcano so it wasn’t spewing lava. They hiked the 2 ½ miles up to the rim, hung out for a while, took some pictures. Then Clay decided he wanted to climb down into the crater. Acaimie didn’t feel safe because of the steep incline, so Clay ventured down on his own. Things didn’t go as planned. This happened on an island, and they were all alone, and Acaimie had no phone signal to call for help. And, they were on their honeymoon – they had only been married a few days. Acaimie and Clay are back home in Indiana now. What you’re about to hear is an experience they would not have chosen to go through, but they do have quite a story to tell their grandchildren some day. And did you know we have a private Facebook group for listener
08/11/201947 minutes 54 seconds
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35: Ross was blinded by his father

In an ideal world, children should be able to trust their parents. After all, it’s the grown-ups in the family who are responsible for the kids. No child should ever have to worry about safety when mom and dad are around for protection, in an ideal world. That’s the world Ross thought he was living in when he was 8 years old, with his older brother Ryan, who was 10. They were happy kids with no reason to be afraid. Until one night at their home in Charlotte, North Carolina, when his mother told his father she wanted a divorce. That’s when something snapped in Ross’s dad’s mind, and he got a gun, and forever changed the history of their family. Ross is 21 now, and he’s permanently blind. And he’s amazing. He’s currently at the Colorado Springs Olympic and Paralympic Training Center, where he’s training to swim in the Summer 2020 Paralympics in Tokyo. We talked about a lot of things – what happened that night, how he and his mother have adapted, how difficult it was to learn Braille, get
25/10/20191 hour 18 minutes 49 seconds
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34: Diana survived a plane crash

Lexington, Kentucky. 1 pm on a Friday, Labor Day weekend. Diana, a medical flight nurse, was sitting in a Lear jet. The pilot was unconscious. The co-pilot could not move because he had a broken back. Diana’s patient had died on impact. The plane was sitting on Versailles Rd in Lexington, after it had just slid across the road on it’s belly. The landing gear was gone. The right wing had been ripped off the plane. And now that it had come to a stop, Diana knew she had to get the door open and get people out, because she could hear the crackling of fire, and the cabin was filling with smoke. Except she couldn’t stand up, because she had a broken back and two broken legs. I think you’ll hear from our conversation that Diana is pretty incredible. She’s the type of person who arrives and takes charge. She’s a natural-born leader who was born to help people who are in a bad situation. But for this story, that was turned around – she was the one in desperate need of help. I want to thank our
11/10/20191 hour 16 minutes 9 seconds
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33: Karen was shot on Interstate 95

One summer day in Jacksonville, Florida, Karen got the surprise of her life. She was with her friend Sheryl. They were pulled over on the interstate, I-95, and Karen was holding a blanket to her face. She was bleeding, and she didn’t even know what had happened. In short time, she learned from a police officer that she had been shot. And she wasn’t the only one. Nine cars that afternoon, on that section of I-95, had been hit by bullets from an unknown source. Six people were injured. And the manhunt was on for the shooter, a 16 year old boy, who was eventually caught and arrested. Karen and I talked about what happened that day, what it feels like to be shot in the face, and the lucky break she caught when she was taken to the ER. And at the end of our conversation, Karen gives the scoop on her area of expertise, angel investing and the Compassionate Capitalist Movement. Links: Original news story Compassionate Capitalist website Karen’s book The Compassionate Capitalist Podcast And
27/09/201947 minutes 16 seconds
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32: Chloe accidentally started a business

Today’s episode is a little different. I’d like to know what you think about it. My guest today is Chloe. Chloe is a university student in New York, and in the last couple of months, she has gone through a pretty radical change. Two months ago, Chloe was in a desperate state. She was unemployed, having lost her job with no notice. After losing her job, she had gone through her savings. She was 48 hours away from having her electricity disconnected. She was a week away from losing her apartment. And she had 33 cents in her bank account. She was in a panic. Fast forward 30 days. Her rent is now paid up. Her electric bill is current. And she is working, from home, 70 hours a week. And here’s the funny part – she didn’t find a job. She created one. How she did that is what we’re gonna talk about today. You can check out her website at advicebychloe.com. From my point of view, I’m an entrepreneur myself, and I’ve been running my computer business for over 20 years. If you’re not aware of it
13/09/201947 minutes 27 seconds
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31: Kevin saved a life while golfing

If you were out in public somewhere, just going about your day, and you saw someone collapse – someone you don’t know – what would you do? Most people don’t really know what they would do, until they’re actually put in that situation. There are stories of people who witness something like this, and they just freeze. Or, if it’s a busy place like a public sidewalk and someone is on the ground, a lot of times everyone will just walk by. It’s an unfortunate psychology thing with humans called diffusion of responsibility – everyone thinks that someone else will help. And as a result, no one helps. Thankfully, not everyone is like that. There are some people who see a situation, maybe a person in distress, and their first thought is “What can I do to help this person?”. One of those people is Kevin Purcell, who you’ll meet in today’s episode. Kevin is the Executive Director of the New Jersey State Golf Association. One day about a year ago, Kevin was finishing up a round of golf, and he saw
30/08/201933 minutes 1 second
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30: Travis lost his son

My guest today is Travis. He lives near Bismarck, North Dakota. Travis is a man in pain. You’ll hear it in his voice. He just lost his 16 year old son, Brandon. Brandon had asthma. That in itself is not really anything unusual. The CDC says that 1 in 13 people have asthma. Here in the US, that means more than 25 million Americans have it. And it’s actually been increasing for the past 40 years. Brandon had had asthma for almost his whole life. He knew what it was like and how to deal with it. He always had his inhaler handy for when his breathing felt restricted. On some occasions when it was bad, Travis would take Brandon to the ER for some special treatment. It was just a way of life, something they were all used to. But one evening it was different. Brandon was at home, and the only other person at home with him was his younger brother, Aaron. Aaron is 14. That night, Brandon’s asthma flared up worse than it ever had before. His inhaler didn’t help, and he ended up unconscious while
16/08/20191 hour 24 minutes 33 seconds
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29: Westin survived a boat propeller

If you’re a parent, you can probably identify a little bit with this story. Especially if you have teenagers. My kids are grown now, but I remember back when they were teenagers. And my kids were really good! They never got in trouble or anything like that. But even with responsible, mature teenagers, you just dread that some day you might get a phone call. It’s that phone call from one of your kids that starts out, “Now Dad, I don’t want you to freak out or anything, but something’s happened…” Westin was 18 years old when he had to make that phone call to his parents one summer day. He and a couple of his friends, they were all teammates on the high school football team, were out on a boat all day. Just before it started to get dark, Westin was standing out on the bow, and he fell forward off the boat into the water. The boat, and the spinning propeller under the water’s surface, continued forward directly to where Westin was treading water. He couldn’t move out of the way quickly eno
02/08/20191 hour 4 minutes 42 seconds
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28: Shiny ate his own foot

Today’s conversation is one I’ve been looking forward to, ever since I first came across the story. As you might know, I’ve said in the past that one of my goals for this show is to never be boring. And today’s topic fits in perfectly with that goal. My guest’s name is Shiny. Not his real name of course. Shiny was presented with a rare situation. Some might even call it an opportunity. How would you respond, if you were given the opportunity to actually eat meat that came from a human being? For most people, the reaction would be “Absolutely not! That’s disgusting.” But what if it could be done in a way that was legal and ethical? And in addition, what if it were done in a way that was healthy, so you wouldn’t have any worries about disease, or infection, or any of that? Well, honestly, for most people, I think the reaction would STILL be “No way!” But Shiny is not like most people. He and a bunch of his friends are pretty open-minded, and they seem to be willing to try just about anyt
19/07/201948 minutes 33 seconds
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27: Luke survived a fatal crash

Probably most people have been in some type of car accident at some point in their life. I've been in more than one myself. None of them were serious, or even involved injuries. These things are common - human drivers make mistakes, and cars just run into each other sometimes. But the crash we're talking about today wasn't a simple fender bender.  Luke and five of his friends were just having a fun, 4th of July vacation. In fact, this episode is being released on July 5, 2019 - the 5-year anniversary of the day of the accident. Everyone in the car that day was seriously injured. Two of them did not survive. My hope with this episode is that as you hear Luke tell the story of what happened that day, it will serve as a reminder to drive safely and use good judgment. Your passengers are depending on you to do that. What happened to these six young men could easily happen to any of us - all it takes is a brief lapse in judgment or focus. As a note, going forward I’m probably not going to d
05/07/20191 hour 7 minutes 1 second
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26: John was lost for 4 days

When you hear the word “lost”, what comes to your mind? Honestly, it seems like these days I don’t really worry too much about getting lost. Most of that is because of the amazing technology called GPS. I mean, I’m here in my office in Safety Harbor Florida, in the Tampa Bay area. I could get in my car, look at my phone, and enter some random house address in Los Angeles, California, 2500 miles away, and within seconds Google will be ready to direct me turn by turn to get to that address. Even though it will take me 37 hours to make that drive. But that’s only because I have a phone that can stay fully charged for the whole trip. And I have a car to keep the air a cool temperature, and I’ll have places to stop and get food along the way, not to mention snacks while I’m driving. And I’ll have my bottle of water right there in the console for whenever I get thirsty. And when I get tired of driving all day, I’ll have a hotel to spend the night and get the sleep I’ll need to keep going the
21/06/20191 hour 1 minute 15 seconds
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25: Kasey married a wrong number

Today we’ve got a really fun conversation. Still a weird story with an extra unusual twist thrown in partway through, but it’s a fun one and I think you’re gonna like it. And if you didn’t already know, you now have the opportunity and ability to support this podcast through my Patreon at whatwasthatlike.com/support. So if you like this show and want it to keep going, that’s how you do it! I’m still working on how it will work for different levels, so that’s coming up in the near future. But in the meantime, if you like the show, check out whatwasthatlike.com/support. And I thank you! Today we’re talking with Kasey. She lives in St Louis. And one day she sent a text message to her friends, because she was looking to hang out with someone. But she sent that text to the wrong number. Happens to everyone, right? Well, what DOESN’T happen to everyone is this – fast forward a few years, and Kasey and Henry – the guy she accidentally texted – are now married. If there was ever a case of soul
07/06/201952 minutes 9 seconds
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24: Marina was stalked

What if you kind of knew someone in high school, then you became friends with that person when you both ended up at the same college? What if you started hanging out with that person, and talking with him most days before or after classes? What if you confided in this person, and came to really appreciate the friendship that was growing? Then, what if you started to realize that this person was not at all the person you thought they were? That’s what happened to Marina, and it was a pretty scary time – not just for her, but for her unborn baby. She’s just now starting to be able to tell this whole story out loud. As you listen to Marina, ask yourself a question – is this podcast worth supporting? If you get any value from this episode, or any of the other incredible stories that my guests tell on this show, I would really appreciate it if you’d consider supporting the show through my Patreon. You can do that at WhatWasThatLike.com/support.
24/05/201945 minutes 27 seconds
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23: Whitney was shot 12 times

Sometimes great ideas show up in your brain at the most surprising times. One morning last September, Whitney Austin suddenly had the idea that she was going to do something. She was going to take action and do everything in her power to reduce gun violence. And let me tell you, Whitney is a very determined person. When she decides to do something, it’s gonna happen. Since that day, she has started a non-profit organization, along with several of her colleagues, with the purpose of reducing ALL gun violence in a way that everyone can accept. And what prompted her to have that great idea? Well, when she first thought of it, she was at the Fifth Third Bank building in Cincinnati, Ohio, where she worked. She remembers this very specifically, because she was inside the revolving door, the main entrance to the building. She was slumped on the floor, inside that revolving door. And she was bleeding, because she had just been shot 12 times. That morning, as she entered the building, she had
10/05/20191 hour 5 minutes 12 seconds
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22: Tyson was abducted

The tag line for this podcast is “real people in unreal situations”, and today’s story is about as unreal as it gets. Imagine you’re leaving work one night. It’s dark. You’re walking through the parking lot, and suddenly an SUV with two men inside pulls up beside you, one of them jumps out and grabs you, throws you in the car, and they quickly drive away. And there was no one around to see this happen. They drive for a while but you can’t see where they’re taking you. You end up at a house. You don’t know where you are, but you know it’s very quiet. There are no sounds of traffic. No other human activity nearby. Then they start beating you. This might sound like a bad dream, or the opening scene to a horror movie. But for Tyson, it was real life. When he first told me what happened, it sounded just a little too bizarre. On this podcast I don’t cover situations that are fictional – only true stories. So I did the research, obtained police reports, verified addresses, all that, to make s
26/04/20191 hour 19 minutes 32 seconds
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21: Ramon's wife hired a hit man to kill him

You know, this isn’t really a true crime podcast, but today’s episode sure puts it in that category. Ramon and Lulu got married, and for the first few years it was great. They had a business that was doing very well, they built a new house, they had cars and nice clothes. Life was good. Of course, every marriage has its ups and downs. If you’re married, you know what I mean. But in most cases, a marriage that goes bad just ends in a divorce, and eventually everyone gets on with their lives. That’s not what happened with Ramon and Lulu. Ramon was okay with getting a divorce, and he wanted them to split everything 50/50. Lulu didn’t want that. She wanted everything. And if she couldn’t have everything, she wanted Ramon dead. So she paid someone to kill him. I had a great conversation with Ramon, so obviously he is not dead. But he has been through quite a horrific ordeal, including lying in his own grave while being photographed as if he had been shot in the head. Like I said, not your
12/04/20191 hour 1 minute 29 seconds
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20: William was hit while biking

Today’s story happened last summer – July of 2018. William was out riding his bike. He came up to an intersection where he had a stop sign, and had to turn either left or right. While he was stopped at that intersection, a car approached from his right, and turned left – coming straight at him. What makes this story interesting is that the driver of that car didn’t see William sitting on his bike at that intersection, because the driver was looking down at his phone. He didn’t look up in time, and he drove right into William and his bike. William was knocked to the ground, and his bike was destroyed. Oh, and there’s another part of this story that makes it even more interesting. The driver of that car was a police officer, and he was on duty driving his police cruiser. Like a lot of cyclists, William has an action cam mounted on his helmet. So when this crash happened, the camera was rolling so the whole thing is on video. This video has been viewed over 11 million times: https://youtu
29/03/201945 minutes 16 seconds
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19: Dan biked to the South Pole

I’ve lived in areas where it gets really cold, and I’ve lived where it’s warm most of the time. I’ve lived up north in Ohio and in Maine, and now I’m in sunny Florida. I definitely prefer the warmer climate. But today’s story is about being cold. Really, really cold. Dan Burton brought his fat tire bike to the coast of Antarctica, and he biked from there to the South Pole. That’s 750 miles, and it’s uphill, and it’s against the wind, and it’s in temperatures that are colder than just about anyone would be comfortable with. But he did it – and in fact, he was the first one to do it. And actually, it happened 5 years ago, and no one has done it again since then – at least not at the time we recorded this conversation, which is early 2019. And I learned something really interesting. The elevation at the South Pole is 9300 feet. But only 300 feet of that is actual land. The 9000 feet of elevation on top of that land is solid ice. So at the South Pole Dan was standing on ice that was almos
15/03/20191 hour 20 minutes 49 seconds
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18: Max got a deal on Shark Tank

This episode is a fun one for me. I’m an entrepreneur, so I love watching Shark Tank. If you’re not familiar with the show, it’s where some regular person who has the beginnings of a business comes on and pitches the idea to 5 investors, called Sharks. The investors ask questions and decide if they want to become partners with that person and invest in the business. Some of the people who have gone on there have gotten deals and gone on to great success. Others have gotten no deal, but perhaps some constructive criticism and encouragement. And then there are others that have just gotten criticism. And of course that’s part of what makes it entertaining. Here’s some interesting facts about Shark Tank: Each season, they film batches of episodes together. All of the sharks come out to California for 2 weeks in June and they see as many as ten product pitches in each 10-hour day of filming. Then they come out again for 2 weeks in September and do the same thing. Out of all that, they get
01/03/201940 minutes 25 seconds
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17: Sue crashed a skydive

I’ve been friends with Sue for several years, so I know what she’s like. And after you hear the conversation I had with Sue recently, you’ll have a pretty good idea too. I hope you’re ready. October 24, 2015 – Sue was with her daughter Jessica, who was 14 years old at the time, and her friend Elise. Sue and Elise were skydiving buddies, and they were doing what they often did on a beautiful Saturday morning – they were going to go jump out of a plane. Since she was 14, Jessica wasn’t yet old enough to jump – but she just liked being with her mom and hanging out at the drop zone. The weather was beautiful, and everything was going fine, until Sue got to about 5000 feet. She tried to make a quick turn just before landing, and things went terribly wrong. The thing about Sue is, she has a heart full of compassion and love like few people I know. And even though she was on the ground, unable to move, with broken bones and in just excruciating pain, her primary concern was for her daughter –
15/02/201957 minutes 11 seconds
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16: Alyssa's abuser set himself on fire

In the United States, 1 out of 3 women have experienced some form of physical violence by an intimate partner. Alyssa Moore WAS that one out of three. Alyssa lives in Tennessee, and she’s a musician, a songwriter, and an audio engineer. She was also a victim of physical and emotional abuse from her boyfriend, Jared McLemore. One day, at her request, police put out a warrant for his arrest. That night, while she was at work setting up audio at a bar called Murphy’s (in midtown Memphis), Alyssa got a notification on her phone that Jared was doing a Facebook Live video. What she didn’t realize is that Jared was doing this just outside the bar where she was working. Within a few minutes, Jared had covered himself in gasoline, and set himself on fire. Hundreds of people saw it live on Facebook. Alyssa saw it live in person. Jared died shortly after that from his injuries. Alyssa told me about Jared, what drew her to him, about their relationship, and how she handled his death. And how she i
01/02/201947 minutes 22 seconds
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15: Zane was trapped on the hood of a car

On November 29, 2018, 50 year old Andrew Bush of College Station, Texas was driving his white Dodge Charger. Up ahead was a red light. Cars were stopped, waiting for the light to change, and one of those vehicles was a Ford pickup truck in the left turn lane. Witnesses say Bush didn’t even brake before slamming into the back of that truck. The driver of the pickup truck was 20 year old Zane Wallace, a Texas A&M college student, who was with his girlfriend Mackenzie. They were shaken up but not seriously injured. Zane got out of the truck to check on the driver of the car that just hit them. And that’s where our story today really begins. Zane had a day he’ll never forget. As you listen to my conversation with Zane, I think you’ll get the same impression I did when we were talking. He’s a good kid, very polite and respectful. And throughout this whole ordeal, his concern was not for himself, even though it was his life that was in danger that day. Instead, he was concerned for the safet
18/01/201941 minutes 2 seconds
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14: Chris hung from a hang glider

Every year, thousands of people all over the world go hang gliding. Some people are experienced and pretty serious about the sport, and they own their own gliders and other equipment. And there are others who are just kind of curious about what it feels like to soar through the air silently, with the only sound being the wind in your face. Chris was in that second category. He and his wife Gail live here in Florida, and they were vacationing in Switzerland recently, and they booked a hang gliding adventure. And since neither of them had ever done any hang gliding, they would each have their own pilot who would be handling the glider. So two hang gliders – Gail and her pilot in one, and Chris with his pilot in the other one. They climb to the top of a big hill, and Christ gets his harness on just as instructed. When the wind is just right, he and his pilot go running down the hill and within seconds they are airborne and gaining altitude quickly. Only one problem – Chris was not attache
04/01/201945 minutes 36 seconds
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13: Jannike lay down on the railroad tracks

Four years ago, Jannike felt like a failure in every area of her life. She could not envision her circumstances getting any better, so she made the decision to end her life. She wrote good-bye letters to her siblings and her four children, then she went out after dark one night, found a railroad track to lie down on, and waited for the next train. Today, she’s a much happier person and loves her life. In our conversation, Jannike told me about that night on the train track, why her life did not end then, and what she did to overcome her problem and become someone who enjoys each day. You can see pictures of her, as well as lots of other thought-provoking content, on my Instagram, which is @whatwasthatlike.
21/12/201839 minutes 30 seconds
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12: Matt fell through the ice

Our story today takes place on the west coast of Finland. January 5, 2017 was a sunny winter day. And it was also very cold: -4 degrees Fahrenheit, which is -20 degrees Celsius. That day, there was a woman who was at home, but outside. She was looking west, out over the Gulf of Bothnia – the body of water that separates Finland’s west coast from Sweden’s east coast. It’s about 60-70 miles across, and the surface is frozen in the winter. As she is looking out over that ice-covered body of water, she sees a person skiing across the ice – about 500 yards away from land. And during that brief time that she’s looking that direction, she sees that person drop right through the ice into the water. The person she saw go through the ice was an 18-year-old man named Matt. That was a pretty scary day for Matt. He could have died that day, but he didn’t. Thankfully he survived, and he told me exactly what happened that day. I hope you enjoy it.
07/12/201832 minutes 42 seconds
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11: Jeremy was bitten by a rattlesnake

Jeremy lives near Corpus Christi, Texas with his wife Jennifer. In May of 2018, just a few months ago, they experienced a day that neither of them will ever forget. This was on a Sunday, about 10:30 in the morning, and they were getting ready for a family barbecue that was going to happen at their house that afternoon. Jennifer was working in their rock garden, and came across an aggressive snake. But it wasn’t just any snake – this was a Western Diamondback rattlesnake. She called out for Jeremy, and he quickly got a shovel and swung down on the snake, and chopped off its head. And of course, if that were the end of the story, it wouldn’t really be much of a story, right? A few minutes later, Jennifer is about to let the dogs out in the yard, so Jeremy knows he needs to dispose of the dead snake. As he reaches for a nearby stick, the severed head of that rattlesnake jumps toward him and bites down on his right hand. Jeremy immediately yelled for Jennifer that he’s been bit, and he str
23/11/201842 minutes 47 seconds
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10: Joey prevented a kidnapping

What you’re about to read is based on a criminal complaint and investigation. All suspects are presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law. This happened in Waldo, Wisconsin. Thursday, September 27, 2018. Just after lunchtime, around 1 pm. Dean Hoffman entered the home of his former girlfriend, whose name I’m not going to mention. He was not invited in; he came in without permission. She told him to leave, and she started to call the police. He stopped her from calling, grabbed her by the waist, and pushed her backwards into the stairs that led to the second floor. He pulled her hair, ripped her shirt, and dragged her up the stairs. He punched her, causing a bloody nose and a black eye. He locked them both in the bathroom for about a half hour while she tended to her bloody nose. Then he tied her up, and kept her from leaving her own house for the next several hours. He even used HER phone to text her children, who lived nearby, telling them that she was sick and not to vis
09/11/201819 minutes 53 seconds
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9: Brett proposed in court

The story you’re about to hear, I love it and I think you will too. It’s about two people. One of them is Tiffany, who is a probation officer. That means she sometimes works in a courtroom. The other person is Brett. Brett and Tiffany started dating a couple of years ago and ended up falling in love with each other. So recently, it came time for Brett to pop that all-important question. And even though they had talked about marriage, so it was already on both of their minds, Brett wanted to propose in such a way that it would take Tiffany completely by surprise. I think it’s safe to say he succeeded. Brett conspired with some of Tiffany’s co-workers from the courthouse, including the judge, and came up with a plan. He would be dressed in a prisoner jumpsuit, handcuffed, and brought in to the courtroom by deputies to appear before the judge. And Tiffany would have a front-row seat to see it all happen. And the nice thing is, the whole thing was recorded so YOU can see how it happened to
26/10/201848 minutes 28 seconds
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8: Kami survived a mass shooting

On the night of October 1, 2017, 64 year old Stephen Paddock opened fire from his room on the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay hotel in Las Vegas. He was able to fire over 1100 rounds in just 10 minutes time, from 10:05 pm to 10:15 pm. His target was the crowd of 22,000 people in the open field below his room. These people were attending the final night of the 3-day Route 91 Harvest Music festival. Country singer Jason Aldean was performing when the shooting began. The end result was that 851 people were injured, and 58 people died. This incident is the deadliest mass shooting committed by an individual in the history of the country. The shooter also shot and killed himself, so the motive for the killing will probably never be known. But this story isn’t about the cowardly killer. It’s about a young lady named Kami. Kami lives in California, about 4 hours away from Las Vegas, and she was at the Harvest Festival with her parents, and her husband Eli. She was there when the shooting began.
12/10/201852 minutes 31 seconds
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7: Vincent witnessed a teen die by gunshot

Vincent lives and works in Chicago as a photojournalist. He takes a lot of pictures, and a lot of those pictures include crime scenes. In his line of work, he’s used to getting the call, and going to where the news is happening. But there was one night when he didn’t have to go anywhere. The crime scene was just outside his front door. That was the night 17 year old Michael Patton was gunned down during a thunderstorm. Vincent heard the shots, and ran outside while his wife called 911. The teenager had been shot in the chest and in the head, and he died while Vincent held his hand. We talked about Vincent’s perspective on this experience, both as a photographer and journalist, and as a father. An experience like this is certainly something that none of us wants to go through. If you’d like to contact Vincent, or see some of his photography, you can do so by checking out a project he’s currently working on, called Lost Americana. You can see that at lostamericana.com. Vincent also wrote
28/09/201844 minutes 43 seconds
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6: Josh had his leg amputated

Have you ever thought about what it would be like to lose one of your legs? I think just about everyone just takes their legs for granted. We’ve always had them, they get us where we need to go, they just do their job. Until they don’t. My guest on the show today is Josh. He was in the Army and stationed in Iraq, and he worked as a gunner inside an Abrams tank. One day his tank parked over a roadside bomb, and there was an explosion that destroyed the tank, along with Josh’s left foot. Josh told me the whole story, from the moment it happened, to somehow exiting the tank and getting to safety, his multiple surgeries, and his decision to finally just amputate and be done with it. He talked about prosthetics and what it was like to put that on for the first time, and what he is able to do. And Josh also has some advice for other vets and amputees about how he has dealt with this situation. He’s come a long way. Some of the things we discussed: The M1 Abrams tank: https://en.wikipedia.org
14/09/20181 hour 14 minutes 49 seconds
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5: Mark gave his kidney to a stranger

What kind of person gives one of his own kidneys to a total stranger? Well, you’re about to find out. Mark works as an attorney here in the Tampa Bay area so he’s actually not too far from where I live, but that’s actually just a coincidence. I heard about his story and contacted him because I knew it would be interesting, and I had lots of questions for him. I wanted to know how he found out about this person who needed a kidney, if they actually met in person, and what lead him to make the decision to actually do something like this for someone he didn’t even know. I also wanted to ask him about his own risk assessment – since he only has one kidney himself now, what if that one fails? What if HE needs a kidney later on. We also talked about the actual process – the testing, the surgery, the recovery, all the details. So if you’ve ever thought about donating a kidney to someone, this will give you the kind of overall information about what you might expect. If you want to contact Mar
31/08/20181 hour 3 minutes 29 seconds
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4: Justin met his birth mother

Have you ever had one of those moments in your life where your life just changed dramatically? Like, your life is suddenly divided into two chapters – before that moment, and after that moment. Well, that’s the kind of moment Justin had recently. Justin was adopted the day after he was born. So he never knew his birth mother. He was adopted immediately into a loving family who gave him a wonderful childhood and a great start in life. And now he’s 26 years old and making a life of his own, but he always wondered about his birth mother, and he searched and searched for her. And at the same time, she was wondering about him, and hoping they would eventually connect again. Then, just a couple of months ago, they finally found each other. This is the story of how that happened. I’m not really gonna tell you a lot here ahead of time, because Justin tells the story himself so wonderfully. But I do want to let you know a couple of things. Just to keep the names straight, Justin’s birth mother’
17/08/201852 minutes 26 seconds
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3: Samantha only sleeps every 8 days

In this episode, we’re talking with Samantha. And that’s not her real name, by the way. She has an interesting story, and it has to do with a medical condition that she’s had since childhood. Samantha has hyper insomnia. I’m sure you already know about insomnia. Maybe you actually experience it from time to time. But what Samantha has is HYPER insomnia. That’s more than just trouble sleeping sometimes. For her, it means that she typically goes about 8 days at a time without having any sleep. Can you imagine going more than a week with no sleep? In this conversation, we talked about the medical aspect of it and what’s actually going on. She also has some other medical issues that kind of complicate things. I also asked her the question she probably gets asked more than any other – what do you do with all that extra awake time? We talked about the advantages, and the disadvantages, of this particular condition. And I also asked her, “If there were a cure for this, would you accept it?” T
08/08/201830 minutes 32 seconds
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2: Luke got caught smuggling cocaine

Luke remembers that day in January of 2016 pretty vividly. He was 23 years old, recently graduated from college with a degree in engineering, had his whole life ahead of him. On that particular day, he was in Ft Lauderdale, Florida and he went into a Subway fast food restaurant and bought a couple of bottles of water. He was feeling very sick, and he knew exactly why he was sick, and it wasn’t food poisoning. He knew that the awful feeling in his gut was because a little rubber packet had burst inside his stomach, and some very high quality cocaine was now flooding into his insides. Shortly after this happened, he would be in a coma, and he was in that comatose state for 10 days. As you might imagine, Luke has a pretty interesting story to tell. And we talked about every detail. He told me about why he made the decision to travel to Panama in order to smuggle cocaine into the US. How he researched it and planned the whole process, even though he had never done anything like this before
25/07/20181 hour 14 minutes 48 seconds
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1: Jennifer caused a fatal accident

October 4, 2016 - For Jennifer and her husband Chris, and their 4 children, it was just a regular Tuesday. Up until around 8 pm that evening. Jen was driving home and she had their two daughters in the car, ages 12 and 4. Jen stopped at a stop sign, and then proceeded into the intersection without seeing the motorcycle that was approaching on her left. The motorcycle hit her car, and with that collision, the lives of two families were forever changed. David, the driver of the motorcycle, was taken to the hospital, where he died two days later. In my conversation with Jen, we talk about a lot of different aspects of what happened. She told me a little of what life was like before the accident, and she described what happened from the moment of impact and the hours and days that followed. We discussed her feelings of guilt at being responsible for the death of a person, her overwhelming sadness that it happened, her fear of what was going to happen to her from a legal or criminal standpo
10/07/20181 hour 27 minutes 14 seconds
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Introduction to What Was That Like

This is a summary of what to expect for the What Was That Like podcast.
04/07/20186 minutes 30 seconds