Weird History

Episode 1: The Disappearing Prime Minister

In December 1967, Prime Minister Harold Holt jumped into the surf off the coast of Victoria, Australia, and disappeared without a trace. But was his disappearance a simple matter of drowning or was it something more sinister?


Episode 4: The Somerton Man

On December 1, 1948, a man’s body was found lying in a natural position on Somerton Beach, Adelaide, SA. For more than 70 years, the man has remained formally unidentified, buried under a headstone marked with the name we know him by: The Somerton Man. Was he a Russian spy? Does someone out there know him? And why was there a piece of paper with the Persian phrase “Tamam Shud” (“I finish”/”I close”) found in his pocket?


Episode 15: Azaria Chamberlain

In 1980, a small family was enjoying a night out camping near Uluru (then known as Ayers Rock) when the unthinkable happened: baby Azaria cried out, and was gone. For 35 years, the Chamberlains fought the public, the media and the law to have the events of that night officially recognised: that “a dingo ate my baby”.


Episode 34: Australia’s El Dorado

On July 21, 1930, an expedition set out from Alice Springs, NT, equipped with jeeps, camels and aircraft (a new invention at the time), in search of a gold haul long enough to set up the team and their patrons for the rest of their lives. The man leading the expedition claimed to have found the gold years prior, and remembered the way.

A few months later, however, the expedition returned without the guide, cranky and annoyed. Where was the gold they set out to find? And where was their guide, Mr. Harold Lasseter?


Episode 43: The Tromp Family Road Trip

You’ve heard of the Race that Stops the Nation.

This was the Case that Stopped the Nation.

In August 2016, the Tromps gathered their children into the car and headed out on an 800km, interstate road trip that would draw the attention of millions of people around the world within a couple of days.

Join Holly and Matthew as they follow the Tromp Road Trip from Melbourne, VIC, to Bathurst, NSW, and back, with a little… sightseeing along the way.


Episode 49: The Luna Park Ghost Train Fire

In 1979, on an early June evening, a family and a group of school children attended Sydney’s Luna Park, seeking to enjoy the fun atmosphere of a Saturday night after exploring the city.

From that night grew a legend of demons, child sacrifice and a haunted theme park. Join Holly and Matthew as they examine the history and legends surrounding the Luna Park Ghost Train Fire.


Episode 68: Attack of the Midget Subs

In 1941, Australia came as close to being invaded as we ever gave with a trio of mini-submarines entering Sydney Harbour and keeping the ships there occupied for almost 5 hours before the assorted navies gave up and fled.

Join Holly and Matthew as they look into the only time Sydney was ever bombed, and how it could have been Auckland instead…


Episode 70: The Beaumont Children Part 1

Episode 71: The Beaumont Children Part 2

Australia in the 1960s was a safe, wholesome place to grow up. Ask any Boomer or Gen Xer what their childhood was like, they’ll be happy to tell you how great it was, going down to the beach with your siblings, spending time in the sand, surf and sun.

In reality, the world was just as dangerous as it is today, we were just less aware of it. Join Holly and Matthew as they examine the case that changed Australia, and the dark world that opened up to the public because of it…


Episode 92: The Satanic Panic

As the 1980s ramped up, the search for the Satanic and the future of the world’s children was brought to the foreground. While technological innovations like the Walkman and other personal technologies allowed children and teens to like things their parents weren’t into – sometimes just BECAUSE their parents weren’t into them – parents, church leaders and concerned citizens turned to the most rational explanation of this behaviour: The Devil.

While Australia does not have the same puritanical past as the US, Satanic Panic hit here too, just as the 80s were evolving into the 90s. Join Holly and Matthew as they examine the cases that made Australian’s panic, and why we were so easily led.


Episode 93: Eureka! Part 1: The Death of James Scobie

Episode 94: Eureka! Part 2: The Burning of the Eureka Hotel

Episode 95: Eureka! Part 3: The Battle of the Eureka Stockade

Episode 96: Eureka! Part 4: The Aftermath

In the 1850s, gold was struck to the west of Port Phillip, VIC, near a town called Ballarat. Before long, the goldfields were full of immigrants and Australians alike, each seeking their fortune.

However, where there is gold, there is government. The Victorian government, on behalf of the British, was quick to impose a license and fee on the diggers, seeking to make as much money as they could from the fields.

But, over time, the government got greedy. The price went from half a pound per month to three pounds a month – almost $500 today. For families seeking their fortune and finding nothing but rock, this was becoming a bad joke. As in other gold fields, the diggers got talking, and their woes were shared and spread…

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