Strange Arrivals

History #128

Welcome to Strange Arrivals, where host Toby Ball unravels history's most famous cases of extraterrestrial encounters. This season three, we look at UFO researchers who developed theories to explain the phenomenon and the consequences those theories had for people who believed they had experienced the paranormal.

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Recent Reviews
  • comomalolo
    Stuck between 3 and 4 starts
    The podcast is well produced, but the thing about Toby Ball is that you always know what kind of take he will have before he gets to it. He does’t really believe anything, which is fine, but there is no mystery here at all.
  • luthien13
    Enthralling, illuminating, by far the best Grim & Mild production
    A fantastic, richly researched combination of UFO lore, journalism, history, folklore, and psychology. I devoured two seasons in less than a week—and thank goodness season three is ongoing, or I would have gone through withdrawal. I also have to say that, while I’ve enjoyed a fair number of Grim & Mild podcasts over the years, many hosts have a tendency to indulge in some wince-worthy cheesy lines (sometimes to the point of disrespecting human tragedies for a bad pun) and a general tone that wouldn’t be out of place on a History Channel special with a title like “Hitler’s Secret Occult Magicians.” All sensationalist fluff with the facts obscured by hosts’ monologues. This podcast is a breath of fresh air in that the content is thoughtful and narratively engaging, but without getting long-winded and corny.
  • Taos Artist
    Same tired old stories
    Disappointing. Last thing I want to hear is stories I’ve heard a hundred times. I’m a life long experiencer and abductee, not an enviable life in that respect. Always looking for fresh contemporary experiences. Who thought a redo of old stories was a good idea?
  • TangoKiloGolf
    Excellent Production. Superbly Documented.
    You guys did a fantastic job of researching & documenting this complicated story. So many of your contemporaries fail to look at all the data & recorded media. In short, your contemporaries fail. They either make a joke out of what they’ve failed to comprehensively research or they don’t have the brain power or energy to actually put te pieces of the story together. Your team did it all correctly. Bravo Zulu.
  • crandallrf
    Search for Season Three
    I have never listened to a series for a second time until this one.
  • Phantom Gypsy
    Unexpectedly Interested
    I didn’t think I would be interested in listening to a podcast about the extraterrestrial, but I found myself hanging on to every episode. It makes me question everything I knew about ET, not just any government conspiracy, but just my idea of what I think aliens look like and do. Very well done!
  • History Lee
    Can’t get enough!
    This podcast is unreal! Although the topics truly creep me out, I cannot stop listening to it! Can’t wait for the next season!!!
  • mwtyr2654
    Horrendously poor sound quality
    This is interesting listening, but oh my goodness, they couldn't get better quality on their historical interviews? They could've cleaned that up. It's almost as though they made it bad quality on purpose. I've heard some of these recordings, and they should've been able to get much much better quality sound. Most of the recordings you can't understand a word they're saying. Ridiculous.
  • singlebrownguy
    The best
    This is the bed podcast on unexplained phenomena or however you’d like to call it. The production is high quality, the interviews are exhaustive and the research thorough. This the best I’ve heard.
  • bwilliams8888
    Strange Arrivals
    This is an excellent, well-reasoned and professionally presented podcast. I especially appreciate the non-judgmental approach to these controversial topics. The research and interviews are outstanding. Thank you very much to all those who created it.
  • PoetFarmer
    It’s Jupiter
    I love how he dismantles the ridiculous idea of alien abduction and shows how careful reason will explain wild, extraordinary claims.
  • Pops.99
    Slow Drip with Potential
    Great format and subject matter, but as others have stated, stays on the same topic for way too long. There’s so much material in this subject, yet things are drip fed. Lots of potential, so I’ll keep listening (and trying not to skip through some episodes).
  • Corvus Anduril
    Beats a Dead Horse
    This podcast does an awesome job presenting content in an organized and intuitive manner. My only problem with this particular podcast is it stays on the same topic for way too long. It gets to the point where I feel like I want to move on to the next episode without finishing the current episode.
  • blade run
    Really good
    True confirmation that we are not alone and never have been. Thanks for producing
  • Begelll
    I really tried.
    I really wanted to like this podcast. I couldn’t get into it really for season one. I knew the Hill story, I think I listened to a couple episodes…. but couldn’t really get into it, I can’t even say why. The production values good, the narrator was fine. I guess it just couldn’t keep my interest. Then season two came around and I saw it was on the rendlesham(spelling?!?) Forest incident. Same thing, tried it and couldn’t dive into it, don’t now why. Side note: I actually didn’t know it was taking a skeptical approach till kind of skimming through sone of the reviews, which honestly made me want to listen to it more so I really tried. But like At sone point, maybe episode 5-6( out of like a dozen I think), I think it veers off course. We get on Roswell which was kind of annoying,I really didn’t remember there being any conclusion to the rendelshem forest theme, and if there was. Then that should be It? so why are we jumping away from it? Then Richard Doty for two episodes( which i didn’t finish. I cannot take anything with that guy seriously, which actually Multiple times during the episodes Toby even says. So like, why are we hearing from a guy who literally can’t be trusted with anything. The production rocks, sound, music, It’s good. Just like, stay on topic, if you’re gonna jump and talk about other things, then maybe just do a new season? Or don’t name the season rendelshem forest then stop talking about it half way through. Anyway, hears to season three 🍻
  • Nate from tha States
    Smart UFO show zealots beware
    The best UFO show so far. Facts and critical thinking are actually upheld not confirmation bias and true believer woo woo fanaticism.
    Something in the sky
    I want to start saying that I really enjoy your show and haven’t missed one episode, I am not a ufo fanatic, I do have an open mind, I know this isn’t the question hot line but honestly I didn’t know who or where to ask. I have footage of something very strange and definitely unidentifiable to me,I’m needing to know where or who to send it to???Thanks
  • Reicher Recording
    Interesting but disingenuous
    A well thought out and interesting take on the subject matter, but quite disingenuous in terms of including the actual facts available.
  • mox.fulder
    Here from the STDWYTK Interview with Toby Ball
    I usually don’t like when guests come on the podcast to promote things. Often times it seems they are only interested in promoting what they’re working on and don’t really mesh well with Matt, Noel, and Ben. However, the interview with Toby Ball was quite different. It’s clear he was interested and cared about the topic and was well spoken. I loved the mention of the film Miragemen. I thought that documentary was endlessly fascinating and this series felt like a continuation of that. I was also reminded of Annie Jacobsens book on Area 51. The Monster: Zodiac series, which Matt also helped produce was excellent. And this feels the same. Also Missing in Alaska. They are informative and investigative but, not sensational. Season 2 has been excellent. I will have to go back and listen to season 1. Also shoutout to the appearance by the iHeartMedia complaint department J. Strick.
  • Dr R2T
    No ads
    I appreciate the lack of ads that would hurt the flow of this story. What can I do to support you since there are no ads
  • DarnTheTorpedos
    Beautiful Storytelling, Great Production, Thoughtful Research
    Strange Arrivals perfectly exhibits the type of artful storytelling that we’ve all come to love from the folks at Grim & Mild. The host beautifully illustrates intriguing events, along with a cast of talented actors and learned expert guests. Episode by episode, we are painted a picture of the odd, the improbable, and the unexplainable. Throughout the series we learn a lot about UFOs, aliens, and abductions - but perhaps even more about ourselves and the people that come into contact with these phenomena. If you love other Grim & Mild productions, you will love Strange Arrivals. This show raises the bar, and outlines exactly how these intriguing stories should be retold and explored.
  • Not26Anymore
    Season 2 is disjointed narratively
    After season 1, which was easily a 5 star podcast IMO, I was very excited to listen to season 2. I truly believed in season 1 that it was an investigation by people without an agenda to prove or disprove. Season 2 is quite obviously by writers that do not believe in alien visitors to Earth. Unfortunately it also really spins out of control narratively after the first few episodes. I was excited to learn more about the “Roswell of England” which I had never heard of before. By episode “Mylar Batman” we have disproven some of people’s favorite mythological creatures, talked far more about Roswell USA than the “Roswell of England” and they are exploring UFOs as folklore. I see what they’re trying to do here. In the spirit of American Hysteria they’re attempting to show how UFO narratives have changed as we have changed as a society. I think I’d they’d had a better idea of the story they are trying to tell I’d be more likely to finish season 2. As it is, I feel like it’s 3 different podcast ideas smashed into 1 and it doesn’t do any of them justice. It’s almost like it was written as they recorded and they had no outline of what story they were trying to tell.
  • TrishyxLou
    Really fun!
    They always have interesting stories!!
  • Kevin the Sem
    Well reasoned and well balanced
    Toby may be a skeptic, but he is always sympathetic to the subject of his podcast as human beings who have had an unexplainable and often difficult experience. He never plays their stories for laughs. And the research and interviews are really helpful in understanding different approaches to the known narrative.
  • Ocho Blinko
    The best podcast on this subject
    I’m a skeptic but I’ve always loved the stories. This is well balanced and wonderfully put together. I hope there are many more seasons.
  • earthlingdave
    Entertaining enough but a bit silly
    Waaaaay too many episodes for the amount of content. The show can be entertaining but, as others have said, easily debunked.
  • Elzie D
    Well done. Informative.
    Not sensationalized. Just ordered Sarah Scoles book after listening to her interview.
  • Bobsacamano1738
    Desperate to debunk
    Can’t believe they dragged bud Hopkins, he was very careful to not influence people’s memories. This podcast seems to have been written by someone who definitely got fingered by aliens, with how desperate they are to discredit anyone who studies the phenomena. Also the host is incredibly monotone and it was hard to listen to.
  • cat kid38528
    Young and new
    After following these topics for dozens of years, I very much appreciate the fresh approach to these stories. I really enjoyed the inclusion of historical context and multiple sources within one story. In the episode “eyes f your eyes” a point was made that the question of why the “code within a code” was given rather than a blatantly obvious explanation of info. I intuitively heard this from my mother/teacher’s ears and heard myself in the rationale. If one gives the info simply in an fully translated form then you can not be sure that the information will be perceived through the lense it needs to be viewed through for full (Er) comprehension. If the person given the info can then extrapolate the next steps then it shows a deeper understanding and readiness to move on to the next steps. This may be why the binary code was given as it was... Give this team time and they will be on the cutting edge of discussing the genre and these topics for the next generation as well as giving the old views a fresh vantage point. Keep up the great work. I’ll keep recommending.
  • spoonergirl
    Interesting, but host seems bored
    I find the story(stories) interesting, but the halting and bored speech pattern of the host takes me out of the story. It’s distracting and annoying.
  • Dalek J
    A debunker’s dream
    Starts out promising as an in-depth look at this incident, but sadly goes down the debunker path by trotting out some of the tired “skeptics” and their worn out theories. The producers also seem to be surprised that the government would lie to us. Good luck with that .
  • livingfree603
    Great show!
    Definitely worth the listen. The only change I would make would be to drop all the episodes at once. This show definitely lends itself to that delivery method.
  • Bob-saget-face
    Hard pass.
  • Hawaiianlion22
    I found this podcast through recommendation of Aaron Menke (his podcasts are great!). I was interested in an alien-focused podcast similarly produced as Lore. Alas, this podcast is difficult to like. First off, the music only serves to create an illegitimate feel, as if we were stepping into a cheesy carnival exhibit. The story was interesting enough, but didn’t need to be stretched out over an entire season—my opinion. Kinda dry. And Toby Ball, you’re adorable, but the narration gives off the feel and tone of utter and complete boredom. The inflection of his voice is difficult to take as it has a slight upswing at the end of each sentence, which tricks your mind into thinking there is more to say on the subject, but then it dies out and you’re left feeling frustrated. It drove me absolutely insane. So insane that I’m here...writing a review. I made it through three episodes. There’s potential, but it seems some serious production/audience engagement work.
  • Donotbuythisproduct
    Background music is very off-putting.
    I’ve only heard one and a half episodes so far. I doubt I’ll keep going. The problem so far is the background music. It makes you think that the subject is a joke. One of the other reviewers said they didn’t hear any sound effects. Really? This was from Season 1. Maybe it gets better. Also you can hear the sarcasm in his voice, especially when describing some historic facts. I would say you should try it, maybe you won’t mind the music like I did.
  • Danny L Mullin
    Does the misogyny and supposition outweigh the quality?
    Here we are in 2020-2021 and still telling the narrative of “it’s the woman’s fault who couldn’t possibly understand what she was seeing and controlled the man so the woman is at fault for all of it.” While I’m inclined to agree with the ultimate “outcome” there is no sense of non biased reporting. The full story of “what really happened” is based on one supposition after another.
  • Ky414
    Only complaint is that we have to wait a week for next episode. This is made to binge.
  • barnstrmr
    A balanced bias..
    I enjoyed the podcast. Overall a bit biased in the later episodes on how it can be a fallacy. The “It’s swamp gas” or “Venus” doesn’t explain the entirety of the sighting. Motion parallax doesn’t explain a saucer hovering above the car and then arcing across the road to a field to the left. Consciously remembered. It’s like when your uncle comes over and you tell him about the strange light you saw.. “it’s probably just the moon or that beacon on top of the mountain”. No, I know what the moon looks like and what a flashing marker beacon at night looks like. I know the difference between that and a 70 foot disc flying over me! When skeptics try that hard to debunk the event, in asserting absurd stupidity on the part of the witness.. it diminishes the quality of the analysis or “debunking”. It tries just a bit too hard to discredit the witness. Like a parent of a Sandusky kid.. “you’re imaging this kid”. Besides this nicely done.
  • ARVegan
    Nice work, Toby
    As a fan of Crime Writers On, which Toby Ball is a regular on, I was interested in checking out his solo project. Hearing Toby's well-researched take on the experiences of Betty and Barney Hill, and on ufology in general, I was impressed by how even-handed and non-condescending he was, even as an avowed skeptic. This is a bare-bones podcast, without a lot of sound effects or production flourishes, which might put off some listeners, but I'd recommend it to anyone interested in the topic, whether they're skeptics, true believers, or something in between.
  • Shleepy374
    Biased and poorly investigated
    How, as the presenter asks, do you explain Betty and Barney sharing similar stories under hypnosis? Um, really, you can’t think of anything? Like maybe it was an invention of their minds? There is no reliable evidence presented by this ‘skeptic’. This is based entirely on two uncorroborated accounts but because it’s well made, I fear listeners will mistake it’s quality production for credibility. Consider too the era-specific memories like the levers being used to control the craft and a book which the presenter likened to a tablet used today, despite Betty describing plastics-like pages. There was opportunity here to do a podcast on an interesting piece of history ie these two people who said they were abducted. Instead, we have another example of persuasive content that is NOT evidence-based or impartial.
  • BenjaminMeyers
    I want to hear about the subject: not be subjected to an episode of the, “hot new thing.”
  • doverchick71
    My favorite podcast
    Something that is missing from a lot of ET and paranormal documentaries is healthy skeptism. I may think it’s a lot more fun to believe in these things, but I certainly appreciate the measured and factual presentation of this show. Solid work.
  • Wrenandox
    Pretty biased
    It’s okay. Interesting to hear the story but this guy is so biased to his “skeptical” view point he doesn’t realize how unbalanced and condescending he comes across. It’s pretty much the same thing you get from most of these kind of shows.
  • buckeyebabe
    Thorough and Well-Balanced
    This is an excellent podcast that presents and even-handed, research based examination of extraterrestrials. The people who remark on these reviews that the host is overtly biased are laughably wrong and, honestly, must be trolls from a rival podcast. He remains remarkably UNBIASED especially considering the topic is literally “alien abductions”. He provides original source material,original interviews, contemporary/current experts and military personnel. Not sure how much more unbiased he could be. Fun, entertaining & exceptionally well-produced podcast.
  • hon08
    I like this podcast
  • rmtavora
    Somewhat interesting
    I learned about the Hill abduction story through an original painting art that my partner bought from a young artist. I agree with other negative reviews that Toby Ball comes across as condescending and indifferent to the story. Perhaps it is just a mistaken impression due to his manner of speaking. I also agree that, even though the debunking experts had valid and interesting points, there were no alternate views to balance the podcast. But what really turned me off was the interview with Sarah Scoles. She audibly smirked and scoffed throughout the interview. I think even Toby tried to be more moderate in response to her mocking tone. I love Aaron Mahnke’s other podcasts, and also like Noble Blood. This one was just barely OK.
  • whiplash-girlchild
    An objective look at an infamous case in UFO lore.
    I’ve heard the Barney and Betty Hill Case retold dozens of times in podcast form alone. This by far is the most objective, skeptical, but open-minded look into the case thus far. Enlightening and engaging. A rare treat! It is hard to find information that isn’t wildly skewed to one side or the other. This podcast presents the mystery as something the experiencer perceives as true but how can it be real? Listen to find out.
  • gilesbrett
    Starts Out Great, Skeptical Voices Take Over
    I really enjoyed this podcast for the first couple of episodes. It took a really interesting story, including a short narrative from the hosts own life, and tells what the Hills and others really experienced. I wondered why they were taking things like hypnotic regression SO seriously but that became clear in later episodes. Seems like they were laying out their “tricks” right there on the table so they could debunk them one by one over the rest of the season. I have no issue with skeptical takes on UFOs, I think we need to think through ALL possibilities, but by the end of this series the host comes off as dismissive and almost hostile to the UFO community, just throwing out a couple small “unsolved” points in this case as proof that he’s not just shutting down the whole story as hysteria and nonsense when that is in reality what he did. It’s a good podcast if you want to get some examples of how UFOs are typically debunked but if you are looking for balanced perspectives weighing skeptical and believer voices evenly to think through all possibilities in a meaningful way, look elsewhere, or or maybe, hopefully wait for season 2.
  • Exorr SNARL
    Fun Podcast
    I went in hoping to get evidence of abductions, but really enjoyed what was discussed and all the background on abductions. Highly recommend.
  • Lizfiz50
    Biased, only presents one side
    This podcast talks about UFOs, so based on the subject matter and that it has SOME entertainment to it, I give this 2 stars. The hyponasal presenter only presents info to debunk and doesn’t bother to look at the aspects that give this phenomena merit. Chaz Finster, I mean, Toby Ball totally missed the Mark here.
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