Category Archives: Incident at Ong’s

Behind the Scenes of the Incident at Ong’s Hat Episode 4

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.



Ep. 1 Announcing the Incident at Ong’s Hat

Ep. 2 Launch Day For “The Incident at Ongs Hat” and Episode Two of “Behind the Scenes”

Ep. 3 The Incident at Ong’s Hat: Behind the Scenes- Episode 3

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.




The Incident at Ong’s Hat: Behind the Scenes- Episode 3

Warning, large download

From the Substack

Here is a 5.5-hour collection of recordings I did in preparation for the BBC podcast series The Incident at Ong’s Hat.

After listening to it, I‘ll let you decide if the desired outcome was achieved.

After this, I have one more audio dump, and then I will be done with this companion podcast—it’s time to move on to other things.


Launch Day For “The Incident at Ongs Hat” and Episode Two of “Behind the Scenes”

Is BTS an ARG? (and other not so pressing questions)

Today is the day that the series, The Incident at Ong’s Hat, was broadcast on BBC 4 and BBC Sounds podcast.

Episode 2 of Behind the Scenes, P. Emerson Williams.

P. Emerson Williams is a multi-media artist who has a hard time separating music, art, writing, and video. More people listen to the sounds of P. Emerson Williams every day than realize it, for much of it is embedded in extensive associated and pseudonymous projects past, present, and ongoing. P. Emerson Williams is an artist and illustrator whose work takes shape in physical and digital media, and his passion is for embodying mythic, melding visual and sonic art with narrative form. His singular touch takes projects spanning physical and digital media, genres, and modes of performance into strange realms.

You may also recognize Peter’s name from past projects with me, such as The Incunabula Papers- Platinum 20th Anniversary Audio Book Edition, editing and playing a role as Milfred Connely, shortwave conspiracy researcher extraordinaire. And who can forget Peter’s role as Ralph in Xen: The Zen of the Other audio-drama, as well as his production contributions to these projects and contributions to some of my past projects like Greylodge.


There is some speculation if BTS is some adjacent lead-in for an ARG or a treasure hunt for, say, The Liminal Trilogy. What would be the purpose of that? This and one more non-fiction series coming out later this year is my farewell to the OH subject. Besides, if I was going to do an ARG, I’d probably make it far too large and complicated with a very real payoff. Who has the time and attention span for that?

“Ong’s Hat Survivors Interview” courtesy of Joseph Matheny

Announcing the Incident at Ong’s Hat

Behind the Scenes Episode 1– David Metcalfe

From the Substack

A new series will premier on BBC 4 Radio Limelight on air and then as a podcast after every Friday broadcast for the next five weeks. The series starts on Fri, 27 Jan 2023. It is a five-part series titled The Incident at Ong’s Hat.


The series is inspired by Ong’s Hat: The Beginning along with elements from my personal life.

A new episode will premier every Friday. (Episode list can be found here.)

The credit list can also be accessed by clicking “show more” below the description. I make an appearance playing “myself,” or at least a fictionalized version of myself, as it were.

In anticipation of the premier, I am sharing some raw audio interviews conducted as background material by the producers. I will run one behind-the-scenes piece every Friday before the broadcast and podcast release of each episode. I am calling this series Behind the Scenes.

Here is an RSS feed for your convenience, or you may wait for this Substack to remind you each Friday for the duration of the series.

Linked above is the first interview with my friend David Metcalfe. It is raw and unedited.

If you don’t know about David, you should. I consider him one of the preeminent researchers into the nuanced world of liminal places and states.

From his vision document: David Metcalfe is currently a Scholar in Virtual Residence with the Windbridge Institute and the Editor-in-Chief for the Windbridge Research Center’s Threshold: Journal of Interdisciplinary Consciousness studies – a researcher, writer, and multimedia specialist focusing on the interrelationship of art, culture, and consciousness, in 2011 he established the Liminal Analytics: Applied Research Collaborative to focus on testing and deploying a unique combination of applied scholarship, market intelligence, digital media, and social network development in order to build strategic, multidisciplinary lines of communication.


Disclaimer: The Incident at Ong’s Hat was not written by me. It is a true crime podcast story using elements of the Ong’s Hat narrative, along with elements taken from my personal life, with my permission and participation. This is part of the reason I am sharing the interviews behind this story. I think seeing both sides, the facts and the fiction, will shine a light on the process.

1. The Incunabula Papers

LimelightThe Incident at Ong’s Hat

Episode 1 of 5


Sarah Larsen, a yoga instructor, and her friend Charlie Brill went in search of Ong’s Hat, a fabled gateway to another dimension. Now Sarah is missing, and maybe this urban legend isn’t a legend at all…

Cast: Charlie – Corey Brill Sarah – Avital Ash Rodney Ascher – Himself Det. Stecco – James Bacon Casey – Hayley Taylor Ringo – Benjamin Williams Kit – Randall Keller Denny Unger – Himself Joseph Matheny – Himself Newscasters: Elizabeth Saydah, Dean Wendt

Created and Produced by Jon Frechette and Todd Luoto Inspired by Ong’s Hat: The Beginning by Joseph Matheny Music by Blue Dot Sessions, Jon Frechette, Chris Zabriskie, Anthéne, Macrogramma (under Creative Commons) Editing and Sound Design – Jon Frechette Additional Editing – Brandon Kotfila and Greg Myers Special Thanks – Ben Fineman

Written and Directed by Jon Frechette Executive Producer – John Scott Dryden

“Ong’s Hat Survivors Interview” courtesy of Joseph Matheny Visit and

A Goldhawk production for Radio 4 and BBC Sounds