This episode is the first in a series highlighting extraordinary people doing extraordinary things in times of crises. This week we travel to Belfast during the Blitz of 1941 and meet Denise Weston Austin. She worked as one of the Belfast Zoo’s first female zookeepers, and the friendship she developed with Sheila, the zoo’s baby elephant, would become an inspirational part of Irish history. For decades, Denise’s identity remained a mystery until an old black and white photo of a woman and a baby elephant in a backyard surfaced from the zoo’s archives. Come hear the story of the woman who risked everything to save a small, plucky elephant, and why Denise has become known around the world as the Elephant Angel. 

This week the unexpected meets the obscure as we uncover several stories of wartime and daredevil history. First, we meet Sergeant Bill, the heroic Canadian goat of WW1 who saved the lives of three soldiers during battle. He suffered from trench foot, shrapnel, shell shock, and was gassed with the allied soldiers fighting at Ypres. He survived four and a half years at war, returning to Canada a hero. Next, we head to Niagara Falls and meet Lagara the cat, the first creature to survive a barrel ride over Horseshoe Falls. Along the way we visit several famous daredevils, including Annie Edson Taylor, the first person over the falls. We meet Charles Blondin the famous French funambulist who braved the high wire over the Niagara River 300 times. We visit Charles Stevens, the demon barber of Bedminster, and Bobby Leech, famous English daredevil whose death was as strange as his life. Come meet some of history’s boldest animals and a group of wonderful weirdos who dared so much that we can’t stop talking about them a century and a half later.  

In 1975 the gales of November billowed out a monster storm over the waters of Lake Superior, and the crew of the Edmund Fitzgerald met it head on. By the time the sky cleared, the crew and their ship had become an inseparable part of the history and lore of the Great Lakes. In this very special episode of the History Cache, we uncover the history behind the shipwreck, try and understand what happened the night it disappeared, and hear some of the haunting audio of the search captured through Coat Guard transmissions on that fateful night. This is the story of the wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald.

The finale is here! In the final episode we explore the final years of Olympias’s epic life. We cover how she cultivated her own power at court, watch her rise to even greater heights after the death of Alexander the Great, see a war waged between two incredible women of the ancient world, and find out just how this mother of an empire met her end.

In Part 2 we continue to uncover the hidden history of Olympias of Epirus. Assassination, murder, and the political intrigue of an ancient royal court all take center stage in this episode. Come discover the next chapters in the life of one of the most vilified women in history as we sift through the propaganda of two millennia to get a glimpse of the incredible life of the most powerful woman in ancient Greece. Find out what she did next, at the budding of one of history’s largest and most fascinating empires, as we see just how far she would go to ensure the success of her dynasty.  

The woman Olympias lived almost 2,400 years ago, around 373 BCE. Her legacy is one of controversy. For over two thousand years she has been represented as the vindictive, blood thirsty mother of Alexander the Great. But who was she really? What is the true story that unfolds when we peel away the layers of two millennia of propaganda? Was the most powerful woman in Greece, who believed she was descended from Achilles, really a monster? Or have we been missing the whole story? Come relive the epic life of Olympias and find out what happens when we breathe life back into the story of a woman that helped create an empire.

Robots have revolutionized our world and are continuing to do so at an exponential rate. But what was the first robot? Who invented it? What will the future of robotics look like? And what happens when robots kill? This episode examines the evolution of robots, the history behind them, our fear of them, and where it all might be headed. 

Why does Fruitcake even exist? Can we blame the ancient Romans? How old is eggnog? What exactly is a Yule Log? Discover the ancient origins of our favorite--and not so favorite--holiday food traditions in this special holiday history byte. I even give you George Washington's actual recipe for eggnog! After that, we'll head to Iceland and meet Gryla the Christmas troll, her menacing Yule cat, and find out why you should thank your grandma for getting you those socks for Christmas. 

The finale is here! Come find out just how one of the most inspiring stories of human endurance ended. We head back to Antarctica and watch the crew of the Imperial Trans-Antarctic Expedition make history as Shackleton attempts one last desperate attempt at a rescue mission. This episode has all the answers you've been waiting for. 

In 1914 the 28 member crew of the Endurance left to trek across the continent of Antarctica on foot. It is now the beginning of 1916. Their ship has been crushed, they've been stranded on the ice with no way out, and they've taken to the boats in a last ditch effort to escape the ice melting beneath them. In Part 4 we hear what happens next as they head for the yet unexplored Elephant Island, and Shackleton with a sets out on an 820 mile open boat journey on the roughest sea passage in the world to either find rescue, or doom them all to an icy grave. 

In Part 3 of Shackleton's Lost Voyage, we join the stranded crew of the Imperial Trans-Antarctic Expedition of 1914, who have been stranded on the ice now for well over a year. Their ship has been crushed, starvation and madness have begun to set in, and they've been trapped by the ice and sea with no way out. In this episode, we watch as they make a desperate escape attempt while the ice splits beneath them, before heading out towards the unknown on the open sea. 

Join me on a tour of Père Lachaise Cemetery and explore the tombs of some of histories most incredible icons including Jim Morrison, Oscar Wilde, Isadora Duncan, Abelard and Heloise, and Chopin. We examine the cemetery's history, make a side tour to the catacombs beneath Paris, and explore the dark moments in history that have occurred in Père Lachaise since its establishment by Napoleon. Let's go to Paris! 

In this two story episode we travel to Guanajuato, Mexico, and discover a cache of mummies that were literally evicted from their graves. Then we head to Beni Hassan, Egypt, where a farmer digging a well in 1888 accidentally stumbled upon one of the largest hoards of cat mummies ever found, and, possibly, an ancient, illegal crime ring of cat killers (seriously). We also meet Bastet, the ancient Egyptian goddess that started it all. 

In this episode we explore history's first monsters. From the prehistoric beasts that stalked our ancestors to the first mythological oral traditions, then to the first ancient written accounts through the modern day; this is the history of what scares us. What were the first monsters, why do we fear them, and why do we need them? Let's find out and examine the first things that appeared from the darkness. 

In Part 2 of Shackleton's Lost Voyage, the crew of the Endurance find themselves frozen fast in the Antarctic pack ice in 1915. In this episode, we examine the psychology behind what happens to the human mind during the long Polar Night as we join the crew on the next leg of their journey. Disaster, heartbreak, and uncanny resilience unfold in this second chapter before the finale of Part 3. 

Poet, adventurer, bard of the Yukon, and British cowboy (that's a thing) Robert W. Service (1874-1958) is showcased in this week's history byte, followed by a retelling of his spookiest of poems, The Cremation of Sam McGee

This is the first of THREE EXTRA episodes premiering this month just for your Halloween season enjoyment, so pumpkin up that coffee, put in those ear buds, dust off that Necronomicon, and go nuts. 

In 1914 the crew of the Endurance left to trek across the continent of Antarctica on foot. Led by Sir Ernest Shackleton, they believed their journey would bring them adventure, scientific discovery, and fame. What actually unfolded would become one of the greatest stories of human endurance the world has ever seen. Crushed by ice, lost, and wandering at the bottom of the world, they would harrow the most severe environment on Earth as they gave everything to make it home again. Come hear the story of the Trans Antarctic Expedition and the polar explorers that colored in the last pieces of the world's map. 

Come and meet Ham the astronaut chimp and discover how the animal astronauts of history just may have saved us all. Also featuring Space Dogs and one phenomenal Astro Cat for an episode that's literally out of this world. 

Come and meet Poll, a presidential parrot so extra that his epic level of snark still lives on today. 

Join us for Part 2 where we finish our exploration of the fierce, mysterious, and fascinating Shuar. This unconquerable tribe resisted conquest from both the Incan and Spanish empires, and was the only tribe in history to successfully revolt against the Spanish empire--and win. Find out who they were, who they are now, and buckle up for some truly epic Amazonian history. 

Hidden in the deepest interior of the Amazon lived the fierce, mysterious, and fascinating Shuar. This unconquerable tribe resisted conquest from both the Incan and Spanish empires, and was the only tribe in history to successfully revolt against the Spanish empire--and win. Come meet them in Part 1; hear their story and find out just what made them so epically unstoppable. 

And so it begins.