The Tale of Leaded Gasoline

Back in the early days of gasoline-powered automobiles, engine had a problem with knocking. The answer, the oil companies thought, was to mix highly toxic lead into the gas. This poison came out in the exhaust and into the air, the air that kids breath.

Lead is a highly poisonous substance. According to the Mayo Clinic, in adults, is can cause things like high blood pressure, Joint and muscle pain, difficulties with memory or concentration, headache, Abdominal pain, mood disorders, reduced sperm count and abnormal sperm, miscarriage, stillbirth or premature birth in pregnant women and, of course, death. For children, is can cause things like, developmental delay, Learning difficulties, Irritability, Loss of appetite, Weight loss, Sluggishness and fatigue, Abdominal pain, Vomiting, Constipation, Hearing loss and Seizures. And for 60 years is was added to automotive fuel

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The Flannan Isles Lighthouse Mystery

The Flannan Isles

On the 20th of December 1900, the lighthouse tender Hesperus approached the Flannan Isles with supplies for the lighthouse. When they approached, they new something was wrong. There were no signs of the three-man crew. The island was search. The men were gone and they were never seen again. This is the story of the Flannan Isles Lighthouse mystery.

Missing were 43-year-old James Ducat, a married man with four children, and who had been on Eilean Mor as the lighthouse was constructed. He would be the Principal keeper. The second assistant was the married 28-year-old Thomas Marshall and the third man was an occasional Keeper, 40-year-old Donald McArthur. McArthur was an old soldier who was filling in for the first assistant keeper William Ross who was on sick leave.

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The Tale of Soapy Smith

Soapy Smith

His name was Jefferson Randolph Smith II. He was born in Newnan, Georgia on November 2, 1860 and he would be known as Soapy, one of the most notorious con men in the old west. From the Shell Game and Three-card Monte to a fake telegraph and investments, if there was a way to take advantage of people, Soapy was involved. Today I tell his story!

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A Double Feature

A Coffee with Jeff Double Feature

Yes, two stories this week. First, the story of Bridget Driscoll, a 44 year old mother who was run over by a car that was going a little over walking speed. She was the first pedestrian killed by a automobile, and second, the story of one of the worse animated films ever made, the 2012 film Foodfight!

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The Flatwoods Monster

Flatwoods Monster

On September 12, 1952 in the little village of Flatwoods, West Virginia, a group of seven, two adults and five children, investigated something that had crash or landed on a hill. In the darkness, with only a flashlight that came across something scared them and they never forgot. What was it? Today I tell the tale of the Flatwoods Monster!

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Gerald Bull & the Supergun

Gerald Bull

Canadian Dr. Gerald Bull had a lifelong dream to build a Super Gun, one that could shoot scientific instrument into outer space. It began in 1961, and for almost 30 years he tried to make his dream come true. In 1990, it looked as if he might actually build it but it was for the wrong people.

Canadian Dr. Gerald Bull had a lifelong dream to build a Super Gun, one that could shoot scientific instrument into outer space. It began in 1961, and for almost 30 years he tried to make his dream come true. In 1990, it looked as if he might actually build it but it was for the wrong people.

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Acoustic Kitty, Smokey Bear & Boaty McBoatface

Boaty McBoatface!

In a thrilling podcast, I present three tales of suspense! First, a C.I.A. program to turn house cats in to Russian spies! The second story is the origins of the fire preventing hero, Smokey Bear, and the, why isn’t the new ship named Boaty McBoatface!

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The Samuel Brannan Story

Samuel Brannan

In 1848, a worker of John Sutter found gold in California. Sutter had reason for wanting to keep the find quiet, but he didn’t count on Samuel Brannan, who was soon running down the street yelling “Gold! Gold on the American River!”

Brannan, a former Mormon, businessman and journalist, wasn’t crazy – and had no desire to look for the valuable mineral – but he knew that a mad rush of fortune hunters was his key to fame and fortune. He would become California’s first millionaire, only to die poor and in relative obscurity.

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The Ghost Blimp of 1942

The Ghost Blimp of 1942

On the 127th episode of Coffee With Jeff, I tell the amazing mystery of the crew of the L-8 Blimp.

On August 16, 1942, a blimp carrying two men left the coast of San Francisco to look for, and possibly destroy, enemy submarines. Five hours later, the airship was found, crashed in the middle of a suburban street. The two navy men were gone.

To this day, no one knows what became of the two men, leading some to call the mysterious airship… The Ghost Blimp.

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The Jersey Devil

The Jersey Devil

On the 126th episode of Coffee With Jeff, I have the story ofThe Jersey Devil.

The Jersey Devil was a local legend in the Pine Barrens area of New Jersey for over 250 years but during a week in January of 1909 dozens, some say 100s, of sightings cause it to be a national sensation. They say it is a kangaroo-like creature with the head of a goat, leathery bat-like wings, horns, small arms with clawed hands, cloven hooves and a forked tail. And it makes a “blood-curdling scream”. Was it Mother Leeds’s thirteenth child and what did Benjamin Franklin have to do with it?

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