The last of the raw interviews
From the Substack
Today’s raw recordings are the final two for the Behind the Scenes series.
This is a single file containing Denny Unger, admin of one of the Ong’s Hat forums in the late 90s and early 2000s.
Also included is James Curcio.
LINKS TO INDIVIDUAL SERIES EPISODES
Ep. 4 Behind the Scenes of the Incident at Ong’s Hat Episode 4
ZOOM OPTION Holly Elsdon- Portals, Otherworlds, and the Legend of Ong’s Hat
Time & Location
18 Feb, 16:00
Todmorden, Todmorden, UK
About the event
With special guest Joseph Matheny joining us via Zoom from the US! He has also kindly agreed to answer questions during the post-talk discussion.
Drawing parallels from folklore and early accounts of Otherworld experiences, Holly will be expanding on the case of ‘Ong’s Hat’: did a bizarre confluence of esoteric spirituality and cutting-edge quantum science find a portal to another dimension in the New Jersey Pine Barrens? Or was this merely ‘the first internet conspiracy’ and a model for future Alternate Reality Games? How did the story start, and how did the process of trans-media storytelling end up having serious ‘real-world’ repercussions? A must for anyone curious after listening to the recent Radio 4 drama based on this legend!
The Zoom link will be emailed 1 hour prior to the talk.
Unbelievable Things That Happened In New Jersey’s Creepiest Abandoned Town
Read More: The Creepiest Town In New Jersey IS Ongs Hat | https://wobm.com/ixp/392/p/new-jersey-creepiest-abandoned-town/?utm_source=tsmclip&utm_medium=referral
Warning, large download
Here is a 5.5-hour collection of recordings I did in preparation for the BBC podcast series The Incident at Ong’s Hat.
I‘ll let you decide, after listening to it, if the desired outcome was achieved.
I have one more audio dump after this, and then I will be done with this companion podcast. Time to move on to other things.
Ong’s Hat isn’t a place, it’s a world.
Stating what should be obvious:
Ong’s Hat — not the ghost town in New Jersey but the fictional town-story overlaid on it by Joseph Matheny and later collaborators/followers — isn’t a place, though it’s certainly tied to one. Rather, it’s a way of experiencing a place: once again we’re recasting supposed discrete form and substance as modes of relation. Understanding story-system, meaning-system, ideological system, etc. as perceptual filters, you might be better able to imagine how they stack and interact, and how they seem to alter experiences deeply but not so predictably and not at all consistently.
Ong’s Hat doesn’t need to make sense, only to perturb sense — it’s ‘true’ in the way any filtering functioning is ‘true’: it does what it does to how you see. It un-senses you.
Seeing the transmedia project in this way we can avoid the twin traps of (1) reducing it to ‘just’ a game/story and (2) treating it like a set of fact-claims. ‘You determine your own level of involvement.’ As with so many conspiracy theories (not only explicitly, intentionally fictional ones), the fiction offers entry to a feedback loop between new/fictional thought, new/provisional belief, and new/exploratory action. All three arcs of the circle might be termed ‘generative’ — creative. Fiction, provision, exploration.
And of course bullshit.
In the 1980s, a writer and transmedia artist called Joseph Wayne Matheny, who was born on Christmas Eve in the early sixties, wrote The Incunabula Papers, a tale that follows a series of narratives about time travel, and tells the story of a gateway to a parallel dimension at Ong’s Hat. When Matheny stated that the books were mere fiction, many saw these denials as evidence of government intervention and suppression, and they continue to this day to accept the gateway as fact, despite the improbability of a door to another world.
The truth of Ong’s Hat will probably never be known, and its rise and fall – if it ever rose and fell – is lost to the decades that have wiped the town from today’s maps.