From a very young age, Tony Merkel was fascinated by all things strange and mysterious. Growing up in rural Pennsylvania afforded him a childhood spent playing in the woods, where mysteries only tend to deepen. From Bigfoot to extraterrestrials to the Loch Ness monster, Tony always wondered at the unexplained.
As an adult with the Internet at his fingertips, Tony was able to further explore his lifelong fascination with the unexplained. With an initial focus on Bigfoot, he sought out the Bigfoot community with podcasts like the Sasquatch Chronicles and local Facebook groups to learn more about the elusive creature. Throughout his search for truths, one thing became certain— he was not alone in his pursuit.
Interest piqued and knowledge gained, Tony started his own Facebook group to connect with Sasquatch researchers in his home state of Pennsylvania. Hoping to initially attract at least 50 members for good conversation, his group— Pennsylvania Sasquatch Research (PSR)— quickly grew to almost 1,000 members. The group continues to grow its follower base, and maintains a peaceful environment that allows all members to share ideas and experiences.
In 2016, Tony originally created The Confessionals on YouTube as a video platform where people could give voice to the strange, extraordinary things they experienced. His YouTube channel attracted worldwide attention, which was followed by a phone call from a leading member of the cryptid community. They saw value in Tony’s endeavors, and encouraged him to take his work to the next level. After revamping his creation with eyewitness accounts, narrated stories, and expert guests, The Confessionals was officially reborn as a podcast.
Together with his wife Lindsay— who also grew up playing in the woods and reading books about strange anomalies like Bigfoot and the Bermuda Triangle— Tony produces The Confessionals in his own studio. The Confessionals is now a podcast that is streamed on iTunes, Stitcher, Google Play, BlogTalk Radio and TuneIn. The very first episode of the podcast reached over 3,000 listens in its first week and is now getting 100,000+ downloads a week!