A man once went his entire life without sleeping. A strange airship flew with neither wings nor lifting gas. A doctor wrote a book with ideas so controversial, the government burned the entire print run. A lab built self-driving cars… in the 1960s. These are just some of the extraordinary incidents that have happened right here in Mercer County and the immediate area, but which you’ve never read about in our community newspapers.

Over our years of reporting, we’ve come across numerous stories about our area’s past that were fascinating, intriguing, or just plain weird. But those stories didn’t have a place in the papers simply because, well, they weren’t news: they happened decades or centuries ago.

Our new podcast, Forgotten History, is a place to tell these stories. In each episode, we will discuss an obscure or unusual story from history or interview a local author, historian, or researcher who is working to shed light on the past.

Host Diccon Hyatt is business editor of U.S. 1, a Community News publication, and has been writing and editing for Community News for more than 10 years in various roles.

In the first episode, Diccon Hyatt and CNS managing editor Joe Emanski discuss the strange case of Dr. Henry Cotton, the Trenton State Hospital psychiatrist who thought that insanity could be cured by pulling teeth and surgically removing organs from patients. We delve into the reasons Cotton decided this treatment was a good idea, and why he was allowed to continue his operations for more than 30 years.

You can listen to Forgotten History by visiting soundcloud.com/forgottenhistory or by subscribing on iTunes, Stitcher, or wherever you listen to podcasts. You can also follow our Facebook page, ForgottenHistoryNJ, for updates.