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I Am Not Making This Up Podcast

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History that is stranger than fiction. Five minutes long. That's shorter than your high school history class and way more entertaining.

History that is stranger than fiction. Five minutes long. That's shorter than your high school history class and way more entertaining.
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History that is stranger than fiction. Five minutes long. That's shorter than your high school history class and way more entertaining.






I Am Not Making This Up: When One Apex Predator Meets Another

The attacks came in the night. Monsters came into the very tents, undaunted by campfire and torchlight. The monsters dragged fully grown men from their beds, taking them away in the night to satisfy their bloodlust. It sounds like the plot of a horror film, but this really happened. The monsters weren’t eldritch beasts straight […]


I Am Not Making This Up: Ep. 46 Little Jack Horner Sat In His Corner Making a Chickenosarus

After working as a consultant on Jurassic Park, a paleontologist wants to bring back the dinosaurs. Clearly, he didn’t pay enough attention to the movie.


I Am Not Making This Up: Ep. 44 Baseball’s Murky Origins

Inspired by the holiday, and by my Arkansas Razorbacks Baseball Team going to the college world series (where, despite my wishes in the podcast, they did not win) I focused on the history of Baseball for this episode. Or what we think we know. Because once again, while I am not making this up, someone […]


I am Not Making This Up: Ep. 43 Hot Dog, Hot Diggity Dog!

For something that could be considered the poster child for processed food, hot dogs have a very organic origin.


I Am Not Making This Up: Ep. 42 George Washington Loved Ice Cream

There is a story (definitely not true) that Martha Washington invented ice cream. Regardless of the story’s truth or fiction, George Washington loved ice cream. So much that he and Martha served it to guests both at Mt. Vernon, and when they were at the president’s home in New York City. While these days ice […]


I Am Not Making This Up: Ep. 41 Marie Antoinette Was The Ultimate Cosplayer

You would think that Comicon attendees invented cosplay, but Queen Marie Antoinette would tell you au contraire. When she was Queen of France, rocked the milkmaid look while visiting her personal village on the grounds of Versailles.


I Am Not Making This Up: Ep. 40 Like Taking Crown Jewels From A Baby

When something is easy, we say that it’s like taking candy from a baby. Maybe we should say that it’s like stealing the French Crown Jewels. Because stealing the French Crown Jewels was just that easy. Allegedly. I wouldn’t know personally.


I Am Not Making This Up: Ep. 39 Cattle Kate, The Outlaw Who Never Existed

One of the most infamous outlaws of the Old West may not have existed, but may have been invented by real murderers to cover up the lynching of an innocent rancher and her husband. This is the story of who Cattle Kate was, and who she was not.


I Am Not Making This Up: Ep. 38 The Cobra Effect

Ever hear of the cobra effect? Sadly, it’s not an episode of GI Joe. But if you listen to this episode, you’ll know what it is. And knowing is half the battle.


I Am Not Making This Up: Ep. 37 The Greatest Lion Tamer

When you think of a lion tamer, you probably imagine a guy in a safari outfit, pith helmet and wielding a chair and whip. That’s because the most famous lion tamer ever, Clyde Beatty, dressed in safari gear, and wielded a chair. Beatty was so famous that the Ringling Brothers, Barnum and Bailey’s Circus once […]


I Am Not Making This Up: Ep. 36 The Wild Horses of South Carolina

If you visit the Outer Banks of South Carolina, you may see the descendants of some of the first immigrants to our country, still living in the area where their ancestors first settled. These descendants are still living as their ancestors lived hundreds of years ago. But they’re not Amish. They’re not even human. They’re […]


I Am Not Making This Up: Ep. 35 Sarah Winchester, The Crazy Cat Lady of Architecture

We all think we know the story of Sarah Winchester. Folklore states that the heiress of the Winchester fortune was told by a psychic to go west and build a house for the spirits of everyone who had ever been killed by a Winchester rifle. In truth, Sarah probably had something in common with the […]


I Am Not Making This Up: Ep. 34 Vladimir Putin Liked It (So He Allegedly Took A Ring)

If Russian hackers crash this podcast and website, you’ll know that this episode is why. Yesterday, the New England Patriots met the Philadelphia Eagles in the Superbowl for the first time in 13 years. The last time the two met, the Patriots narrowly squeaked out a win for their third consecutive Superbowl victory. Shortly after, […]


I Am Not Making This Up: Ep. 33 That Bunnies Attacked Napoleon

Napoleon is widely regarded as one of the greatest military leaders of all time, Up there with Alexander the Great. But one of his most humiliating defeats actually came from a pack of domesticated rabbits.


I Am Not Making This Up: Ep. 32 One Way To Spend An Afternoon When Visiting The City in 1848

Imagine you’re an American farmer 170 years ago. Depending on where you live, you may go to a big city once a year, when it’s time to sell off your surplus livestock. And, after you’ve done that, you might go have one of those fancy daguerreotype light paintings made. Having a Daguerreotype image made was the 1850’s fad equivalent to taking a selfie at Disneyland while performing in a flash mob in front of Cinderella’s castle. And if you adjust for inflation, the price was about the same.


I Am Not Making This Up: Ep. 31 When Special Snowflake Wasn’t An Insult

You probably already know that no two snowflakes are alike. Every school child knows that. But before 1931, no one knew that. The man who changed our perspective on snowflakes was Wilson “snowflake” Bentley.


I Am Not Making This Up: Ep. 30 Catch Me If You Can, Gingerbread Man

Gingerbread men are practically synonymous with Christmas. But, at the risk of sounding click-bait-y, you won’t believe the surprising origins of this cookie. Spoiler it’s Queen Elizabeth. Maybe.


I Am Not Making This Up: Ep. 29 What Was On The Table That First Thanksgiving?

When we gather around the table this Thanksgiving, we’ll probably have turkey, cranberry sauce, stuffing and mashed potatoes. Turkey is such an iconic part of Thanksgiving that there is even a giant turkey float in the Macy’s Thanksgiving day parade. But the first Thanksgiving may not have even had turkey.


I Am Not Making This Up: Ep. 28 John Smith Is The Wrong John

Long before the founding of the United States, some of the first colonists didn’t have much to be thankful for. Including food. They called that season the starving time.


I Am Not Making This Up: Ep. 27 Dude! Where’s My Poe

Author Edgar Allan Poe is known for some of the best horror fiction around. He's also a bit of a sad sack for whom things never seemed to go right. In the days leading up to his death, he vanished. He was found in clothes that didn't belong to him, unconscious. Though he did wake, no one could make sense of his ravings before he died. Join author Melanie Miller Fletcher and I as we discuss our favorite theories about what might have happened to Poe.