Volume 4, Issue 5
Dr. Ciarán O’Keeffe Expanding the Boundaries of Science
A Confederate Ghost in Cedar Grove Cemetery Automatic Writing Diaries The Possessed Pioneer Saloon The House of 100 Spirits Tales From the Haunted Heathman Hotel
• • • •
A Q&A with Stanton Friedman & Kathleen Marden TV & Web Watch: Haunted Discoveries My House — A Personal Experience May 2011 Paranormal Underground 1 Ghost Hunter Comic
My name is Thomas “Mr.T” Perryman I am an Ex-Law Enforcement Oﬃcer and Private Investigator that will now concentrate on my examinations of the Paranormal and Crypto Zoology Mysteries.
Through my vast experience and resources I am performing field investigations on these subjects to provide a diﬀerent approach than others. I have great stories from Past Cases and Current Cases to share. My discussions are Entertaining as well as informative. I have written many Books, appeared in Horror films, and host a Radio Show. I am available for Convention Bookings and Appearances.
If you have any questions please contact me personally. I look forward to your next Event and we are all on the Quest to find the Answers! Paranormal Underground
Phone (407) 416-4807
Inside This Issue
INVESTIGATOR SPOTLIGHT Dr. Ciarán O’Keeffe: Expanding the Boundaries of Science
SPECIAL REPORT The Automatic Writing Diaries
AUTHOR SPOTLIGHT Science Was Wrong 22 Book by Stanton T. Friedman, MSC and Kathleen Marden
CASE FILES OF THE UNKNOWN Haunted Sites The Possessed Pioneer Saloon
Haunted History A Confederate Ghost in Cedar Grove Cemetery
PERSONAL EXPERIENCES Ghost Hunter Case Files: Adventures in Ghost Hunting: The House of 100 Spirits Tales From the Haunted Heathman Hotel My House
42 48 50
DEPARTMENTS Contributors Ghost Hunter Comic Publisher’s Letter Calendar of Events TV & Web Watch
4 5 6 7 8
Contributors W.M. Abel Born and raised in rural Eastern Washington, Bill has been an explorer since toddler years. He is very diverse in interest and nature and always finds a way to shed humor on the darkest of subjects. Bill ponders life peering out from the sage brush.
Heidi Ann Heidi Ann has been a paranormal enthusiast since childhood when she had her own paranormal encounter. Her personal experience led her to question the world around her. Heidi is a mother of three sons, works as a special education paraprofessional in a middle school, and loves watching television shows and reading books on the paranormal.
Robinson Fair Robinson Fair has had a lifelong interest in the paranormal. He lives in Westminster, Maryland, with his girlfriend Emily and two combative kitties. He is 21 years old.
Terri J. Garofalo
Paul has written several e-books about haunted sites, UFO sightings, and cryptid lore. When not writing, Paul travels the countryside in search of UFOs, hotspots of high strangeness, ethereal beasts, and anything remotely paranormal. Paul also designs Web graphics and animations. You can visit his MySpace page at www.myspace. com/zzyzxparanormal.
Terri is a paranormal investigator, as well as the artist and writer behind Entities-R-Us, Ghost Hunter Comic. She’s a freelance artist, illustrator, and designer in Hyde Park, New York. You can find her work on www. entities-r-us.com, or contact Terri at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Rick E. Hale
Robb, a native of Albany, New York, joined the Ghost Hunters International team after three years with Florida Ghost Team, an affiliate of The Atlantic Paranormal Society. Robb’s
responsibilities on the team ranged from research, technology management, and client relations, to his current position as assistant director. The evasive nature of paranormal investigation fueled Robb’s desire to become involved in the field at an early age. He found it fascinating, he says, because it “was like reading a mystery that had the last page cut out.” During his time as the lead investigator of the Ghost Hunters International team, Robb pushed the boundaries of current knowledge in the field and approached paranormal phenomena with open-minded skepticism.
A native of Chicago, Rick investigates with the McHenry County Paranormal Research Group. A paranormal researcher since the age of eight, he is happily married and digs Jazz.
Rick believes in the use of the scientific method in gathering evidence of paranormal claims. The first installment of Rick’s book series, The Geek’s Guide to the Strange and Unusual, will be released soon by Ghost Knight Media.
J.D. Harrison J.D. is Paranormal Underground’s science editor. He is a working archaeologist with a bachelor’s degree in anthropology and archeology and a minor in history. For the past 30 years, he has studied demonology, spirit manifestation, Cabalistic ritualism, and many other aspects of the paranormal. He has focused his studies on topics like Paganism, Wicca, Druidic, and Celtic practices, and other obscure religious ritualistic beliefs and practices. J.D. is neither a skeptic nor a believer in the paranormal, but instead believes that scientific observation is best served from a place of neither skepticism nor belief.
Cheryl Knight Cheryl is editorin-chief of Paranormal Underground magazine, director of Publications & Editing Services for Ghost Knight Media, and producer of Paranormal Underground Radio. She has more than 20 years of experience as a professional writer and editor, and has published hundreds of articles on topics ranging from advanced technology to paranormal investigation. Cheryl’s previous magazine experience includes roles as senior and managing editor for several business publications.
Larry Phelps Larry is starting his ninth year as a ghost tour guide in Gettysburg,
Ghost Hunter Comic
Pennsylvania, and is in his fifth year with Mark Nesbitt’s “Ghosts of Gettysburg.” He has also conducted paranormal investigations for the past 10 years in Pennsylvania, West Virginia, and Maryland with a number of groups, including The Gourmet Ghost Hunters. Larry is originally from Binghamton, New York, but has lived in Chambersburg, Pennsylvania, for more than 22 years.
Michelle M. Pillow Michelle is an award-winning author writing in many romance fiction genres, including futuristic and paranormal. A skeptical believer, she has a fascination with anything
paranormal. She has a photography degree, is currently working toward finishing a degree in history, and is the co-owner of www.TheRavenBooks. com. Readers can contact Michelle through her Website, www.michellepillow.com.
Rob St.Helen Rob has been a paranormal investigator for more than five years. He had his first paranormal experience at the age of 11. Rob is a member of West Coast Ghost Hunters, based out of Portland Oregon, where he was born and raised. He currently works the graveyard shift at The Heathman Hotel. He has come to find that the hotel is haunted.
Chad Wilson A writer of articles and fiction, Chad is the publisher of Paranormal Underground magazine and a partner for Ghost Knight Media. He has parlayed his avid interest in the paranormal into a top-notch publication and Website — www. ParanormalUnderground.net. Chad has investigated with East Tennessee Paranormal Research Society and counts Waverly Hills, the Villisca Axe Murder House, the Queen Anne Hotel, the Queen Mary, and private residences among his investigations.
Are you interested in contributing to Paranormal Underground? E-mail email@example.com.
Publisher’s Letter Paranormal Underground® Volume 4, Issue 5
June 2011 Signals Our Three-Year Anniversary
Publisher Chad Wilson
Editor-in-Chief Cheryl Knight
Science Editor J.D. Harrison
Proofreader Heidi Ann
Contributors W.M. Abel Heidi Ann Paul Bottini Robb Demarest Robinson Fair Terri J. Garofalo Rick E. Hale J.D. Harrison Cheryl Knight Larry Phelps Michelle M. Pillow Rob St.Helen Chad Wilson
Copyright © 2008-2011 — Paranormal Underground® is a registered trademark. All rights reserved. As such, Paranormal Underground and its contents are the property of its owners. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners. This publication and all content within this publication may not be copied, quoted, distributed, modified, or reprinted without the express written consent of Paranormal Underground magazine. Paranormal Underground magazine is a publication of Ghost Knight Media, LLC.
ith the three-year anWith the recent loss of my faniversary of Paranormal ther, I’ve also come to the realization Underground magazine that none of us are perfect. Through this June, I would like to take this his loss I have seen life with a differtime to thank everyone involved in ent perspective: to approach others the magazine’s publication and its through love and not judgment. ongoing success. We When we can see have come a long way ourselves in those around us and realize that we are over the past three years. What started as a hobby all in this life together, has become something then we can move forward beyond judgment, more ... a lot more. As of late, life has envy, and even hate. We can truly aspire to change gotten in the way of our goal to a degree — that the world, one person at goal being to inform, a time. Together, we can Chad Wilson, discuss, and educate our accomplish anything. Publisher readers. But even more I’d like to take this opportunity to thank the important to us here at Paranormal Underground, we want following people for their continued to give those who have experienced help over our first three years of an unexplained experience a vehicle publication: to tell their story and a place to be • Cheryl Knight • Karen Frazier heard. • J.D. Harrison Our hope is that in this way, we can provide opportunities for con• Rick Hale nections to be made between those • Heidi Ann who have had similar experiences. • Teresa West If just one person is helped through • Michelle Pillow • Terri Garofalo what we do on the forum, through the magazine, or via the radio show, • Andrew Selfridge • Ryan Tackitt then it is all worth it. Knowing that we are not alone in our experiences • Dave Galvan I’d also like to give a big thanks to is essential to ongoing discovery. Also, I want to stay true to one all of our writers, readers, and forum of my personal goals as the cofoundmoderators and members. Without you, we could not keep going. er of Paranormal Underground magazine: to give people hope that So, onward toward the future and ongoing discovery. Please join this life is not the end. I believe this in my heart and live every day in us as we Explore the Unexplained at acknowledgement of this belief. www.paranormalunderground.net.
Calendar of Events May 13
Mt. Holly, NJ Ghost Tour and SJGR Presentation Burlington County Prison Museum, Mount Holly, New Jersey http://www.mainstreetmountholly. com/?p=352
Volume 4, Issue 5
ART Art Director
Crypticon Seattle Hilton Seattle Airport & Conference Center, Seattle, WA http://www.crypticonseattle.com/
GhoStock Key West Details Coming Soon http://ghostock.com
Haunted America Midwest Conference Illinois College, Jacksonville, Illinois www.americanspookshows.com/midwest.html
Ghost Hunt at Sloss Furnace with Dustin Pari, Ashley Godwin, and Scott Tepperman of Ghost Hunters International Birmingham, Alabama http://slossfurnace.eventbrite.com
Ghost Camp coming to the Lewis County Historical Museum Ages 8–13/Cost $6 per camper 5–7 p.m. Call 360-748-0831 to register Flashlights will be furnished
2011 MUFON Symposium Hyatt Regency Irvine, California http://2011mufonsymposium.com/
Paranormal League of America: The Conference Beaverton, Oregon www.paranormalleagueofamerica. org/conference.html
September 30–Oct. 2 G.H.O.S.T.S. Paranormal & Wellness Conference & Expo Club Heidelberg St. Catharines, Ontario www.ghostsconference.com
Design and Layout Cheryl Knight Chad Wilson
On the Cover Dr. Ciarán O’Keeffe
Advertising For Ad Rates: Cheryl Knight 1-714-646-4197
Central Texas Paranormal Conference Norris Conference Center Austin, Texas www.ctparacon.com
The Canadian-American Horror Paranormal Conference The Old Sarnia Jail and Gallows Sarnia, Ontario, Canada www.canamparafest.com
Pythagoras Conference 2011 Louisville, Kentucky www.pythagorasconference.com
International UFO Congress Fort McDowell Resort & Casino Fountain Hills, Arizona http://ufocongress.com/ufo-conference/
Advertising Interested in Advertising in Paranormal Underground Magazine, on our Website, or during our Radio Show/Podcast? Call 1-714-646-4197 or e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Send comments and letters to: email@example.com.
TV & Web Watch
Investigates Historical Locations By Cheryl Knight
sually, we would have a review of a current paranormal TV show in this column, but this month we are adding a new twist to TV Watch by adding summaries and reviews of content from the World Wide Web, including the many paranormal Internet TV shows that are aired online. First up is Haunted Discoveries, which follows the investigations of the American Paranormal Research Association (A.P.R.A.) in some of the United States’ most haunted historical locations, including the Silver City Ghost Town, Linda Vista Hospital, Heritage Junction Park, and Meek Estate. Investigators use state-of-the-art equipment during each investigation to help document possible paranormal activity, as well as any change that may occur in and around the structures’ environments. The collected data is later reviewed by a panel of professionals, each specializing in their own technical field. Investigators include A.P.R.A. President/Founder Brandon Alvis; Executive Director of Research and Photography Bridget Odien; Case Manager/Field Investigations Linda Casebolt; and Field Investigations/ Tech Assistant Michael Rudie. It becomes obvious upon first viewing Haunted Discoveries that this show is a labor of love. The
Haunted Discoveries follows the investigations of the American Paranormal Research Association (A.P.R.A.) in some of the United States’ most haunted historical locations. (Photos by Bridget Odien)
researchers show a passion for what they’re doing every step of the way. It is clear that this team will not compromise their ultimate mission of documenting paranormal activity. A.P.R.A. has gotten many things right with their Web program. The slightly unpolished look (and this is not a bad thing to me) gives the show a charm that many shows you’ll find on TV today are lacking. And the collection of EVPs by the team impressed me. Many were well-defined and clearly audible.
The show, produced by Repentant Productions, is entering its second season on the Web. It can be found on Kold Cast TV at www. koldcast.tv/show/haunted-discoveries. To view all Haunted Discoveries episodes, trailers, and Vlogs, click here www.repentantproductions. com/haunted-discoveries.html. The A.P.R.A. team joined Paranormal Underground Radio on June 2, 2011. To listen to the archived show, visit http://paranormalunderground.podbean.com/.
Avalanche of Spirits: “The Ghosts of Wellington.”
Ghost Knight Media • Editing
• Art Design
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Dr. Ciarán O’Keeffe:
Expanding the Boundaries of Science By Robb Demarest
r. Ciarán O’Keeffe’s passion for the supernatural and all things strange and unusual began during his teenage years. He was so fascinated by the paranormal field that he turned his interest into a full-time career as a parapsychologist. Today, after two decades of work, Ciarán continues to explore the unknown and push the boundaries of science. From conducting ongoing paranormal research, to participating in televised investigations, to running The School of Parapsychology, Ciarán operates on science’s fringe. His groundbreaking projects include the physiological effects of infrasound, a ghost investigation of Hampton Court, and an exorcism “training day.” And his best-selling book with Yvette Fielding, Ghost Hunters: A Guide to Investigating the Paranormal, delves into the history of hauntings and the pros and cons of various investigative techniques. Ciarán’s diverse educational background includes earning a liberal arts degree in 1994 at Washington College, majoring in music and psychology. While there, he completed an honors thesis on paranormal experiences in conjunction with a representative from the Institute of Parapsychology (now the Rhine Research Center).
Parapsychologist Dr. Ciarán O’Keeffe has researched the physiological effects of infrasound, participated in a ghost investigation of Hampton Court, and took part in an exorcism “training day.”
Following several years of nursing experience, an occasional foray into spontaneous cases, and a brief stint in Spain, Ciarán returned to academia, in 1997, with a master’s of science degree in investigative psychology at Liverpool University. While there, his independent research encompassed the geo-spatial behavior of serial killers; hypnotism and the legal system; mental maps of computer criminals; and various aspects of the psychology of fraud: self-perception and social identity,
risk-taking and decision-making, situational factors, and probability bias. Ciarán’s master’s dissertation examined the utility of psychic detectives and the style of their narratives. In 2005, Ciarán was awarded a doctorate, titled “Assessing the Content of Advice Given by Practitioners Claiming Paranormal Ability” (focusing on psychics and mediums), at the University of Hertfordshire. During his time at the University of Hertfordshire, Ciarán was fortunate enough to be involved in several
Perrott-Warrick Research Unit projects, including “ghost” projects at Hampton Court and Edinburgh Vaults. He also took time off for other spontaneous cases and unusual assignments (including a dream project and exorcism research), and returned to the Rhine Research Center for their Summer Study Program in 2000. From 1999 to 2006, Ciarán was employed as a psychology lecturer at Liverpool Hope University, assisting with both criminal psychology and parapsychology teaching. He currently holds a Research Associate position at Université de Toulouse, is a professional member of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and a full member of the Parapsychological Association and the Society for Psychical Research. Ciarán has participated on TV shows ranging from Most Haunted to Jane Goldman Investigates, where he provides a skeptical voice, and documentaAfter first investigating with the Most Haunted ries such as National Geographic team at the Black Swan Inn, Ciarán was hooked. He soon became a regular member of the show Channel’s Paranormal Science and was known as the “resident skeptic.” and Discovery/BBC’s Supernatural Science. In a recent interview with tiates between communication (i.e., Paranormal Underground, ESP) and influence (PK). Ciarán talked about how his work Parapsychologists frequently led him to investigate with Most use a variety of terms to refer to the Haunted, what it’s like to work as different types of communication a parapsychologist, what happened that occur. Terms like clairvoyance, with psychic medium Derek Acorah, precognition, telepathy, mediumship, and his new parapsychology school. etc. All of these are regarded as examples of psi phenomena (in the past ***** referred to as psychic phenomena). Q: What is involved in parapsychology? Q: You have had quite an acCiarán: Parapsychology can be complished career in academia. defined as “the scientific study of How did your work there bring Extrasensory Perception (ESP) and you to the highly popular Most Psychokinesis (PK),” which differenHaunted?
Ciarán: Thank you very much, first of all, for saying “accomplished.” Very kind. My parapsychology career stretches back over 20 years, and so I’ve always had an interest in haunting experiences and haunting investigations. Via a long convoluted route (through undergraduate and then postgraduate degrees, including doctorate and various research projects), I found myself as part of a parapsychology research group in Liverpool (in addition to doing work on investigative/forensic psychology). Dr. Matthew Smith was also a member of the staff, and I knew Matthew from some psychic criminology work I had done about seven years earlier. Originally, Matthew was approached to do Most Haunted. He initially sat in an edit suite and merely commented on the phenomena captured by the team. Occasionally, he couldn’t commit to some shows, and so I subbed in as it were. Matthew and I frequently passed each other consultancy work since we are similarly qualified, although his specialist area was not in hauntings. Additionally, our offices were in the same building in the same university. Frequently, Karl and Yvette asked Matthew or I to join the team on an investigation. Matthew decided it wasn’t for him after one investigation, but it took months before I finally agreed to do one — the Investigation of the Black Swan Inn, in Devizes, Wiltshire (where Uri Geller was a special guest). After that first one and then a couple abroad, I was hooked. I had access to locations I would never get access to otherwise, I was able to witness first hand people having haunting experiences, speak to eye-
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“There’s a thing in psychology called ‘role-playing’ that has to do with people behaving in a certain way in various contexts because they believe that’s how they should behave (not necessarily acting though).”
witnesses, travel, and also get some of my research across to a wider population … in addition to having an income boost! Q: I can’t imagine it’s easy being the “official skeptic” on a television show that relies on alleged evidence for ratings. Can you walk us through what that was like? Highlights? Any moments when you thought, “What the heck was I thinking?” Ciarán: I always give the example of somebody on the team having a haunting experience (e.g., hairs going up on the back of their neck and slight headache) and then being asked about it. Without editing (preferably on a live show), I could wax lyrical about it possibly being something to do with the environment (e.g., infrasound, EMF, humidity, air pressure, temperature fluctuations, etc.); psychology (e.g., suggestion, belief, group conformity,
hallucination, etc.); other natural explanations (e.g., caffeine, smoking cigarettes, lack of food, migraine, etc.); or the paranormal ones (e.g., spirit, telepathy, PK, etc.). If the medium is then asked, their answer would be, “It’s a spirit.” Who are the viewing audience likely to favor? Often, the skeptical explanation is swept away with the crowd. That’s the toughest side of
“Often, the skeptical explanation is swept away with the crowd.” skepticism — persuading people of other possible explanations when they’re not simple to explain. The other tough aspect of being a skeptic entrenched in a television program showing a team investigating a
haunted location (and this goes for any show), is having to consider even more explanations than the ones I listed above. When the cameras are switched on, there’s an added dimension to people’s experiences to do with performing for the camera. There’s a thing in psychology called “roleplaying” that has to do with people behaving in a certain way in various contexts because they believe that’s how they should behave (not necessarily acting though). I saw many possible examples of this, from the most mundane instances of just being a little scared in a haunted house to passing out. As a member of a TV team, when the camera is pointed at your face and you know there’s potentially millions who will see what happens next, and you are asked how you feel, it takes a very strong character to say “I’m fine.” This is mainly because there’s the thought that the camera may not come back to you again, or because you are genuinely not fine, or because you feel you should say something more dramatic. There’s also the other aspect of any haunting investigation, but especially televised ones, and that’s the issue of fraud. Constantly, in the back of my mind was the worry that some phenomena could’ve been produced with one aim — “that something happens.” Don’t get me started on the knocking/tapping sounds or stone throwing! Arrgggh! Fans always ask me about the Pendle Hill Live show, which was aired Halloween 2004. It is the most popular episode of Most Haunted, and I always look back at it and see it both as a “highlight” and also “What is going on?!” Everyone around me was collapsing, and the séance table was going wild. The episode finished with Yvette, myself, and one other
person still standing. It’s moments like that you begin to question what you’re doing. Q: Ok. I can’t ignore the elephant in the room. Can you explain what happened with Derek Acorah? There was a good chance this would be the end of your televised career. Why did you do it? Regrets? Aftermath? Do you believe Derek has any gift? (I’d like to add that I, personally, think you are “the man” for that move, and I like Derek).
this could be happening. Witnessing Derek being possessed by a fictional character (albeit an anagram of his name) was another highlight of the show. There are few other explanations for what’s going on other than he was willing to accept information from elsewhere. People often argue with me, however, about other instances on the show or times they’ve received accurate messages in a theater from Derek, and I have little to say about those instances. Sure, there can be perfectly natural explanations, which are more likely, but as a true skeptic, I’ve got to hold up hands and admit that we can only provide an answer to those instances where we have evidence contrary to speaking to the dead.
Q: What is the number one mistake that the new generation of ghost hunters is making, and how can they correct it?
Ciarán: In my opinion, it is an overreliance on gadgets. We’re primarily dealing with phenomena that are subjective — people report something happening to one of their senses and so all gadgets can do is either verify a temperature drop, for example, or discount the possibility that the experience occurred because of something environmental rather than paranormal (e.g., it is infrasound rather than a spirit). There is this “science” tag that Ciarán: I stand by what I said in many groups seem to have nowadays, 2005: http://www.mirror.co.uk/ and it’s misleading. celebs/news/2005/10/28/spookyThere’s a word of warning for truth-tv-s-most-haunted-con-exposedthe new generation of ghost tv-115875-16303507/. hunters — be very careful with More details about my how you use the word “science.” reasons can be found publicly on Simply waving an EMF meter my Website: http://theparapsyaround does not make a person chologist.com/media_sec4sub1. a scientist. Conducting EMF php?chronicle_ID=1. surveys of haunted locations, Yes, you are right. There was preferably with a static tri-axial a good chance this would be the EMF meter, and ideally a topend of my television career, but of-the-range magnetometer, and I’m also an academic first and then sharing the data with others, foremost, so didn’t see it as an is a step in the right direction, but end to a career. One of my only it’s still slightly flawed. regrets is not doing it earlier and A genuine contribution to the possibly going with a number of advancement of science in such media outlets rather than just the a domain as “haunting experione. What few people realize ences” can occur, however, by is that I had witnessed Derek’s collecting data. That data can be mediumship in a theater environeyewitness accounts untainted by ment before he even started Most poor interviewing techniques or Haunted and knew of the posthe testing of scientific theories of sible linguistic and psychological hauntings (e.g., EMF, infrasound, explanations for what he did — etc.). If the data is shared, collected e.g., cold reading, Barnum Effect. appropriately, then it may advance Seeing him in a haunted environour understanding of this fascinatment, albeit televised, was seeing ing field. So, in a nutshell, with the a new side to his mediumship, right approach, the “professional which I found fascinating. There were several instances “There’s a word of warning for the new generation amateur” or ghost hunter can make a contribution to science. of ghost hunters — be very careful with how you where he had some glaring eruse the word ‘science.’ Simply waving an EMF meI think we need to be careful rors, but others where he was ter around does not make a person a scientist.” as experienced investigators or spot on, and I was intrigued how
Paranormal Underground 13
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Investigator Spotlight parapsychologists, however, to impose a methodological approach on one another, as every method comes loaded with preconceived ideas, opinions, or beliefs, and who’s to say which one is right? What is needed, though, is a worldwide knowledge and acceptance of ethics. Groups and individuals need to be aware of the short- and long-term influence they have on clients or property owners. Often, groups have unbridled access to private homes, and this opens the flood gates for other ethical issues. This is one of the main gripes I have with the new generation of ghost hunters. I’ve come across so many that say they are ethical, and all they think is that this means being “nice” to the client — no! There’s loads more to it than that. Even entering a private residential home waving an EMF meter around has an ethical impact on the client. The investigation of haunting experiences is an ethical nightmare. It’s also a nightmare not recognized by the majority of investigators. At the time of starting to compile a set of ethical guidelines, Dr. Ian Baker (my coauthor) and I were looking at the behavior of some groups, reports from members of the public, and at some of the headlines, and we were horrified at the ethical explosion that the field was heading for. To counter this end point, there were only two ways to go: (1) to implement some sort of ruling body or organization to which groups could sign up to, thereby expressing their intention to act ethically or (2) to produce a set of ethical guidelines. We saw the first option as being too dictatorial (who are we to impose rules?) and a nightmare to police, so we opted for a set of guidelines that would hopefully get the message across. The feedback thus far has been great. For interested readers, I pub-
“I think the establishment of a more universal network of groups is a good thing. It would reduce the back-biting and trivial politics that seem to have arisen, certainly in the UK. “
lished a set of ethical guidelines in an academic journal — the Journal of the Society for Psychical Research. We intend, in the very near future, to publish a set of guidelines that uses a lot more basic language. I will announce when a more streamlined version of the guidelines will be more widely available. The best way of detailing exactly what’s in the set of guidelines is by reproducing the Abstract (summary), which follows: Due to the number of investigations provided by individuals, groups, and organizations into haunting experiences and the lack of any governing body, there is a need for a set of guidelines to provide investigators and members of the public with an outline for how such investiga-
tions should be conducted ethically. This paper is intended to provide a set of such guidelines. The paper is divided into three sections: (a) general issues — discussing overall issues for investigations, such as informed consent, confidentiality, charging, power, etc; (b) casespecific issues — issues informed by specific methods for investigating cases, such as interviewing, location investigation, and overnight examinations; and, (c) other ethical issues — covering more exceptional issues, such as referral to other parties and the pastoral role of investigators. These guidelines are meant to highlight ethical issues in investigations of this type and are not designed to dictate specific procedural guidelines that different groups might follow. It is hoped that these guidelines demonstrate the difficulties inherent in these investigations and promote a much-needed debate about such issues ... On a related issue, I think the establishment of a more “universal” network of groups is a good thing. It would reduce the back-biting and trivial politics that seem to have arisen, certainly in the UK. In addition, it could possibly prevent “ownership” of allegedly haunted locations by groups interested in exclusivity (and sometimes money-making ventures). Also, it could aid in the sharing of data, advice, and even members. In establishing such a network (TAPS Family is a good example), there needs to be care taken in ensuring that the network label doesn’t become a “badge of quality” unless it is enforced (in much the same way the APA or other scientific organizations operate). Also, there has to be care taken not to enforce a methodology either. There’s a last error that many ghost groups make, and that’s coming armed to the teeth to an investigation when it’s not necessary.
Paranormal Underground 15
Investigator Spotlight A colleague of mine was presented with thousands of digital photos taken from various cameras set up in a haunted corridor overnight. When asked what the phenomenon was that was reported, they replied “sound of footsteps!” No audio recordings had been taken all night! Oh, and one more. Investigating at night — though this is a contentious issue. If somebody repeatedly reports phenomena at 4 p.m. in the afternoon, why investigate at midnight?
To truly be an expert you’ve got to learn, practice, read, and ultimately gain knowledge. Too often groups stumble around in the dark not understanding the settings on their digital camera, laser thermometers, or Dictaphones. This also relates to a point I made earlier — using the right tools for the job. It’s no good using ion counters if an object has moved in a room, or taking photographs when footsteps are heard! I mentioned earlier that there’s an issue with investigating at night. This relates to a possible step toward Q: Is there popular equipment a “scientific” investigation to do out there that you feel is usewith something science calls “cause less? Also, there is a fallacy that and effect.” If there’s a particular many ghost teams promote rephenomena reported at a particugarding being scientific. Could lar time, then being present at the you explain the best way for time may help establish or refute a ghost hunters to start really cause-and-effect link. You are implementing the scientific essentially ready to investigate if it method? happens again. Ciarán: Generally, handheld The other step in the right EMF meters are pretty useless. direction with regards to a scienThere are those groups who use tific method is “sampling.” It’s such devices as “ghost detectors” an error to assume that taking or “ghost communicators” (e.g., baseline readings at one particuK-II). This is wildly misleading lar point in time is a compariand wrong. In my opinion, there son should something happen is NO scientific evidence for such to the readings at a later time. meters operating in such a way. True sampling would establish a They are simply EMF meters, valid set of baseline (or control) nothing else. measurements in looking for In addition, there are those “normal” conditions that could groups who do “sweeps” of areas explain a haunting experience. because of research they’ve read A scientifically valid samabout regarding the influence of pling method would be to visit a EMF on our brains. Again, this is location repeatedly under differmisleading. The original research ent times of the day and under conducted by Persinger was different conditions, recording looking at very different, complex whatever environmental variable EMF and something that cannot they intend to measure during be measured with your standard the actual investigation. Again, handheld EMF meter. What ghost ensure what you are measuring hunters fail to understand is the has a cause-and-effect link to the “A scientifically valid sampling method would be to range of EMF that could be in a visit a location repeatedly under different times of phenomena reported. location, and without the means the day and under different conditions, recording to measure the frequency of such Q: You have started a school whatever environmental variable they intend to EMF readings, you’ve no idea what to further study parapsymeasure during the actual investigation.”
the source is — hence some investigators misinterpreting an EMF spike as the presence of a ghost or even a noncommittal “anomalous” reading, when it could actually be a Wi-Fi signal! To quote a colleague (not a parapsychologist), “The use of such devices rest upon nothing more than assumptions and pure speculation. For any of these pieces of equipment to be useful, there must be some proven connection to ghosts.” Before I get on to scientific method a little more, however, I think one step in the right direction is for investigators to learn about the gadgets they use. Rarely do investigators read through the manual that comes with a gadget (it’s a weakness we all have), or test it in their own home, to become familiar with it.
chology. Could you give us some insight into how this came about, and what your goals are for the school? Ciarán: As a result of having a very public profile as a parapsychologist, I had been contacted for years for recommendations about studying parapsychology online. Aside from Loyd Auerbach’s Parapsychological Studies, any online courses I found were either ones teaching you how to read auras or were courses telling you to read an article and then answer a series of questions (or write an essay) to receive a certificate. I was loathe to recommend anything. Then someone said, “You’re a lecturer at University. Why don’t you do one yourself?” That’s how it started. I wanted to run an online course that had true tutor/student interaction, but also provided students with all the articles and information from parapsychology they would never otherwise see — and also ones that would give students a thorough grounding in parapsychology. There are now over 150 alumni worldwide, many of whom are in regular correspondence with each other since the course began three years ago. Now, due to demand, I run an Intermediate Parapsychology course, which is only possible if you have completed the Foundations course. I also run face-to-face “training” sessions for ghost hunters with a colleague, Steve Parsons from Para. Science. These are not to become “certified” (something I’m vociferously against), but to educate about the history of ghost hunting, techniques (all techniques), interviewing, technical/gadget side, etc. The future for The School of Parapsychology? — an Advanced Parapsychology course and also short courses on EVP, Paranormal
Photography, Spiritualism, etc. I’m also hoping to open a platform for past students to start a course of their own. Q: You shared some interesting thoughts on Most Haunted. Any plans to return to the screen and, if so, what kind of program would you be interested in making?
Turin (N. Italy) with Most Haunted, sharing drinks with exorcists on an exorcism “training” day, etc. Really that’s only the tip of the iceberg. So much has happened the past 20 years that I do toy with the idea of writing an autobiography. I could call it Views From The Other Side, Did You Hear That?, or some other title that really only the publisher would like! ;-)
“I’m developing live symposiums ... as a way of bringing together ghost hunting groups.” Ciarán: My main focus now is writing and researching (within parapsychology and investigative psychology) and working within UK academia, so media has taken a back seat for the moment. I’m still interested in being part of “Paranormal Programming,” but the show would have to provide viewers with more information about the science side of things and also break the stigma and misperception of the term “skeptic.” Ideally, it would have a comprehensive Internet/social media support, which would give viewers the arena to find out more about aspects presented, discussed, or investigated on the show itself. Q: You have certainly had an amazing ride thus far! What’s next for you? Ciarán: I have had an amazing ride, and every now and again I have to pinch myself and remember everything that has happened so far — studying at Rhine’s original Institute of Parapsychology, living at Hampton Court Palace for two weeks as part of a university investigative team, going underground in haunted
Beyond that I’m working on a number of projects within applied psychology — one dealing with sports and another looking at politics and “battles” generally. I am also developing live symposiums with Steve Parsons for friendly sharing and discussion of evidence as a way of bringing together ghost hunting groups. In addition, I’m continuing my usual ventures (ghost hunting, education, writing, lecturing, movie consultancy, translation work, and book collecting/dealing). Q: For people who want to keep up with the further adventures of Dr. Ciarán O’Keeffe, what is the best way for readers to stay up to date? Ciarán: There are a number of different ways: My Web page is www. theparapsychologist.com, and generally this is a place where people can find out about my research, publications, etc. I have a number of different social media accounts. The best ones to keep track of my research are via the Facebook account, “Dr. Ciarán O’Keeffe,” and the Twitter account, @ciaranokeeffe.
Paranormal Underground 17
The Automatic Writing Diaries By Robinson Fair
utomatic writing refers to a technique of spirit communication or channeling, where the prospective “channel” sits with pen and paper and allows an outside intelligence to write through their hand. Every source I’ve read on the topic agrees that it is something that anyone can do. The accessibility of the technique is what led me to try it for myself. Here is my diary of those attempts.
and never stopping my hand. Minutes go by. I look down. The page is filled. I open my eyes and begin scanning line after line of the wavy, zigging, and zagging pen-marks I have just produced. They remind me of a read-out from a seismograph or EKG machine. No otherworldly communications are apparent. I flip the page and decide to give it another try. My hand fills the page again, and I look over the results.
Spring 2010 I have been reading a lot of material that was allegedly channeled through the author, like the Edgar Cayce readings and the Law of One material. I’ve also discovered the art of Grant Wallace. Wallace produced hundreds of charts and extraterrestrial portraits he received telepathically. I resolved to make an attempt at automatic writing to see for myself if there was anything to it. First Attempt I sit outdoors and try clear my mind, an old sketchbook open in front of me. Eyes closed, I begin to move my hand, filling the page with scribbles, trying not to think about the way my hand is moving. I go on and on, never looking at the paper
Grant Wallace circa 1915
Again, nothing. What I have read on automatic writing assures me that it just takes practice. I try a third time. More of the same: What I’ve produced is still void of intelligence. I’m still not discouraged and resolve to give it a fourth and final try before the sun goes down. I know all I need is practice. This time, rather than disappointment, the ballpoint waveforms filling my sketchbook bring to my mind the unfertilized ovum, filled with limitless potential for intelligence to manifest itself. I start yet again, and fill another page. I check my results, not getting my hopes up. Right there, very conspicuously in the middle of the page, the zigs and zags of my hand’s movements have come together to form the word “SPIRIT.” November 30th Despite some encouraging results, I haven’t kept up with my automatic writing practice on a regular basis. Right now it’s late, and I can’t sleep. After lying in bed for a good while trying to nod off, I decide I might as well get up and have another go at automatic writing. I do little in the way of preparation and do not perform what later becomes my usual ritual for entering a trance. I just get myself generally relaxed, light a candle, turn off the
lights, and try not to think about anything. After many minutes of pen movement, I decide to check my results. Among my squiggles are a few fully formed letters! A “Z,” “A,” and “Y” all back to back particularly stand out.
enon; that is, the disjointed words and phrases that enter your mind without any conscious effort as you are falling asleep. Without breaking trance, I make a quick note in my journal of the more clear phrases I heard:
“Words straight from the void.” “ZAY?” Nothing really intelligible came of this session, but I’ve read that’s how it goes sometimes. Practice makes perfect. December 3rd I’ve done some reading since the last session. This time I am planning on going into a light trance (something I have practiced off and on for the last year) to see if the results will be any better. I found a technique online that another automatic writer is said to have used to enter a state of receptivity. It involves giving yourself the suggestion: “I’m going to take 10 deep breaths, and then I’m going to touch my forehead with my index and middle finger and enter into my receptive state.” My understanding of how these things work is that you really could use anything: “I’m going to take 20 deep breaths and then light a candle,” “I’m going to recite a certain prayer,” etc. The suggestion is really what’s key. I decide to use the 10-breath ritual rather than make up one of my own, and afterward I continue with the normal routine of suggestion and visualization I have come to use when doing trance work. This automatic writing session doesn’t produce anything noteworthy, but in trance, I notice something new. It was similar to what I’ve heard called the “Dream Voice” phenom-
“... Should be making the ...” “He’s in his mind all the time.” “... Job to do.” “Way down there ...” “Happy birthday.” “... Comes in there.” Very strange stuff. I have no idea where these words come from. Are they communications from spirits? Extraterrestrials? Beings in other dimensions? My subconscious? Those are some of the theories out there. I don’t know where the words came from, but what I do know is that they definitely were not anything I consciously expected or desired to hear. They were totally unexpected chunks of information, seemingly from nowhere. Words straight from the void.
“My desk ... lost.” “Marble sandblaster.” “... Tell right away.” “Do I smell like Daniel?” “Genius.” “She’s not here right now.” “Fountainhead story in Italy.” “Hey!” “Rob.” “You have something right here.” December 6th I get a few more vague letter-like shapes in my automatic writing, but nothing noteworthy. I begin mentally prompting questions to the Trance Voice, such as “Who am I speaking with?” “Does anyone have any messages for me?” “Can you give me your name?” Contrary to the recommendations of most automatic writers and channelers that I’ve read, I do not record my questions, mostly because I find it too hard to stay in trance while focusing so much on my own thoughts. At any rate, the Voice proceeded to carry on its usual onesided, nonsensical conversation:
December 4th I continue with the same techniques, but automatic writing is forgone completely in favor of trying to pick up more of the strange phrases I was able to perceive in my “mind’s ear” the night before. I begin calling these “Trance Voice Messages.” While in trance I only record one: “James finds out.” December 5th I make a long attempt at automatic writing, but nothing comes through. I get a bunch of “Trance Voice” messages though: “Hey, Rob. Are you asleep?” “I thought I heard ...”
Paranormal Underground 19
Special Report “Speaking voice.” “... Lost a lotta weight.” “So much fun.” “... Swear to God.” “... Not to say anything.” “They’re horrible.” “Believe in me.” “Harley Davidson” “This movie sucks.” “It’s a pathway to Heaven.” “Lower your voice down.” “Hamilton.” “Any time this happens, let your instincts ...” December 10th More automatic writing. I get what looks like “Shock Hairs MD,” along with lots of undecipherable jumbles. Trance Voice yields the following: “... Love with him.” “Japanese.” “Trying everything.” “Paper ... Recognize ...” “There’s not!” “Only me.” At the end of this session, I pose the question: “Is there anything else you can tell me tonight?” Immediately after asking, the phrase, “There is not” comes into my mind very clearly. This marks the first clear response I have gotten from the source of the communications. Exactly who or what that source is, I still don’t know. December 18th My automatic writing comes out tiny. Nothing legible. Another set of cryptic one-liners from Trance Voice: “So many.” “Insomnia.” “Please don’t do that.” “I just want to say I’m so sorry.” “Best friends with ...” “... Superheroes” “I wish I could help.” “Disease control.”
“... Needs to be very careful.” “In five minutes.” “Are you a bicycle?” “What bicycles are you making?” “Over here.” “Hello.” “Dusty as Hell.” “... Out from under the table.” “People are so busy.” “... Not living here anymore ...” “... Living with him ...” “All you need is the bedding.” Early 2011 It’s been a while since I’ve done a session, owing to the holidays. When I finally get around to my automatic writing exercises, I find it hard to focus and enter trance. I assume this block is due to the season — that is, residual stress of finding suitable gifts
for friends and family, the massive increase in my sugar intake, what have you. At any rate, I get no results whatsoever three nights in a row. I receive several Trance Voice hits, but they seem “empty” — I am able to perceive the mental sensation I usually associate with Trance Voice, but there are no actual words. I’ve learned that automatic writing and trance-work are the type of things you really have to be in the right mood for. If you’ve got anything weighing on your mind, your results probably aren’t going to be great. Eventually things pick back
up again. I am able to produce the word “Acaram,” which I Google and discover is a Sanskrit (I have no conscious knowledge of Sanskrit) word, meaning “non-moving living entities,” usually used as the latter half of the phrase “Cara-Acaram,” which refers to all living beings. Conclusion; Late-Winter 2011 Over the past year, I’ve learned a lot, but I’m left with more questions than answers. I still don’t know with whom or what I am communicating. I don’t know why they transmit the messages they do, and I don’t know why they insist on so consistently not making sense. It might just be a matter of keeping up with regular practice until I can achieve the correct “tuning” to receive more complete and coherent messages. I have no explanation as to the origin of what I’ve received, the meaning behind most of it, or the universal mechanics by which I was able to receive it. If there is any value to what I’ve produced here, it is as a testament to what can be accomplished in the metaphysical disciplines just through patience, practice, and following your intuition. The research I did was hardly extensive: I’ve never had any training in trance technique or extra-sensory perception, and I would not consider myself any more psychic than the average person. I believe that anyone can do what I’ve done here. No training is necessary. The realms of psychic expression are the birthright of all conscious human beings. And with a little persistence, they are accessible to anyone who seeks them.
Robinson Fair has had a lifelong interest in the paranormal. He lives in Westminster, Maryland, with his girlfriend Emily and two combative kitties. He is 21 years old.
Paranormal Underground 21
Science Was Wrong
Book by Stanton T. Friedman, MSC and Kathleen Marden By Michelle Pillow, www.michellepillow.com
have often noticed that there seems to be, at least in recent years, a real focus on approaching paranormal subjects with a scientific mind. The word “science” and “scientific evidence” gets thrown around a lot, as if calling it such will suddenly add validity to what is being said. However, I have to wonder exactly what is going on in the scientific community as far as the paranormal is concerned. Since I’m hardly a scientist, I figured it would be best to seek out some experts on the subject and probe their brains. The most logical place to start was with the authors of Science Was Wrong: Startling Truths About Cures, Theories, and Inventions “They” Declared Impossible and try to understand their views on how, historically speaking, science has led us astray in the paranormal field. Social scientist and educator Kathleen Marden has served as the Mutual UFO Network’s (MUFON) international director of Field Investigator Training for 10 years. She’s lectured extensively on the subjects of UFO abduction investigation and research. Twenty years ago, she quit her job to became a full-time ufologist and writer. Kathleen has written several magazine articles and is the coauthor (along with Stanton Friedman) of the books Science Was Wrong and
las, and TRW, where the objectives were fission and fusion rockets, nuclear airplanes, and nuclear power plants for space and terrestrial applications. Stanton is also a columnist for the MUFON Journal and for UFO Magazine. Kathleen’s and Stanton’s coauthored book, Science Was Wrong, released in June 2010 and can be purchased at Amazon.com, as well as other major bookstores. I would like to thank them for taking the time out of their busy schedules to talk about their latest work. *****
Science Was Wrong is a fascinating collection of stories about the pioneers who created or thought up the “impossible” cures, theories, and inventions “they” said couldn’t work.
Captured! The Betty and Barney Hill UFO Experience, the latter of which tells the story of her aunt and uncle. Nuclear physicist Stanton T. Friedman, MSC, has lectured at more than 600 colleges in the United States and other countries. He has worked at classified R and D programs for such companies as GE, GM, Westinghouse, Aerojet General Nucleonics, McDonnell Doug-
Q: In your book, Science Was Wrong, you examine scientific history. What inspired you to write about this? Kathleen: Stan presented his fabulous idea to me, and I, being naturally curious, was intrigued about researching a variety of topics. It would be a great learning experience. I suggested a section called the “Frontiers of Science” in order to demonstrate that, despite the evidence, psi phenomena and UFOs have not gained mainstream scientific acceptance like so many other discoveries in the past. And just as has occurred in the past, both topics are misrepresented on a regular basis by a small group of vocal debunkers.
Stanton: I had already found many false claims by credentialed scientists about UFOs, flight in the atmosphere, space flight, and supposed absence of evidence regarding UFOs. It seemed clear that such claims were very common and, upon
have an uncanny ability to detect physiological problems inside the human body. Stanton likes Travis Walton’s Fire in the Sky, Dr. Bruce Maccabee’s UFO books, and Jerry Clark’s encyclopedia.
“Many know somebody who has had what might be described as a paranormal experience ...” examination, had serious consequences with regard to people’s health and technological progress. Q: Why do you think readers, and society in general, are fascinated by the paranormal? Kathleen: These are areas of study that science has not yet officially accepted as being real, although most people think they are. I think that the challenge of investigating the evidence is tantalizing. Stanton: Many know somebody who has had what might be described as a paranormal experience, but rarely are taken seriously. Nowhere to turn, but to books, movies, etc., since professional scientists usually just brush the topics off. They want rational answers.
Q: Do you believe in the supernatural? Or are you a skeptic? Kathleen: I am a rational skeptic who believes that some UFOs and UFO abductions are real. Stanton is skeptical about many things, but refuses to come to a conclusion until having studied relevant data. He maintains a large “Gray basket” for topics about which there is too little solid data to reach a rational conclusion. He believes that Chocolate tastes better than vanilla and that classical music sounds better than rock.
Q: Have you ever had a paranormal experience? Kathleen: If you categorize a close encounter with a UFO as paranormal, then yes I have. The multiple witness sightings occurred on February 22, 1966, when I was 17. My aunt, Betty Hill, my mother, grandmother, brother, and a family friend had a close encounter with a disk-shaped unconventional craft for at least 60 minutes over Country Pond in Newton, New Hampshire. It traveled in stair-step and falling leaf patterns, swayed back and forth in a pendulum motion, and wobbled before it went down and appeared to land. It then projected a telescoping funnel-like spotlight upon my mother. That was just before we hightailed it home. You can read the full account in Captured! Chapter 19. Stanton has not had any paranormal experiences so far as he can recall.
Q: What are your favorite paranormal shows, movies and books? Kathleen: UFO Hunters, The Conscious Universe by Dean Radin, Ph.D., Firestorm by Ann Druffel, Messages by Stan Romanek, UFOs and Abductions edited by David Jacobs, Ph.D., Encounter at Bluff Ledge by Walter Webb, Intruders by Budd Hopkins, and the peer reviewed journals that publish abduction research information. I also think that telepathy is real and that some medical intuitives
Pictured above: UFO abductees Betty and Barney Hill. Kathleen witnessed a UFO in 1966, along with her aunt, Betty Hill, mother, grandmother, brother, and a family friend.
Paranormal Underground 23
Author Spotlight Q: What kind of paranormal creatures do you wish you could meet? Kathleen: I’d like to meet a cooperative team of alien scientists (on my own terms) who can explain to me where their home base is; why they are coming to Earth; why they are abducting humans; what they know about Earth’s history; how their religion (if they have one) differs from ours; what their planet’s environment is like; what their cultural, moral, and ethical values are; and whatever I can comprehend about their technology; etc. A very tall order! Stanton would like to attend those meetings and also find out about such things as memory suppression; passage through “solid walls”; and how they have learned to live at peace with their neighbors. If they haven’t, they would have been destroyed already.
alien abductions. Also, Stan and I have been talking about collaborating on another book when time permits. Stan and I have also optioned the rights to our book, Captured! The Betty and Barney Hill UFO Experience. We are hoping that it will be made into a motion picture. Stanton: Rights to my life story and to my book TOP SECRET/MAJIC have been optioned by Stellar Productions for a movie “Majic Men.” I would like to do a book with Kathleen and also a biography about Dr. Donald Menzel, an astronomer who
Q: If given the chance, would you leave Earth with an alien spaceship? Kathleen: Only if it were for a short excursion around the Earth and perhaps to Mars. Of course, I would insist upon retaining full conscious recollection of the event. I have close ties with friends and family here on Earth, along with seven precious grandchildren. I’d never willingly leave for good, because I love my life on Earth. Stanton: Yes, if I could be sure of returning with memory intact and new knowledge about intelligent beings in the local neighborhood. Q: What does the future hold for your work? Kathleen: I’m considering the idea of writing either a fiction or nonfiction book on what I know about
Author and UFO Researcher Kathleen Marden
led a double life debunking UFOs and being part of a secret group, “Operation Majestic 12,” which knew a great deal about their reality. Q: Have you ever been abducted by aliens? Kathleen: If I have, they wiped out my memory. (grin). Stanton: Not as far as I know. *****
In-depth With Kathleen Marden Q: Your book is titled Science Was Wrong. Yet it is obvious that you hold the scientific community in very high esteem. Was science wrong, or was it related more to personal bias on the part of some scientists? Kathleen: Science Was Wrong informs readers that throughout history, it has been difficult, if not impossible, to promote the acceptance of new discoveries. Today it is apparent that similar forces are engaging in ad hominem attacks against some leading-edge scientists, disseminating fabrications and misrepresenting factual information. Each chapter in our book explores the causative factors behind the scientific bias and tunnel vision that have impeded scientific progress. We present example after example of the failure of science to make progress, not because the science was flawed, but as a result of human bias. Q: Why do you think it is so difficult to advance new sound scientific ideas and discoveries? Kathleen: I think that there are several reasons. First, scientific methodology is naturally conservative, and in a sense this is good. But it is extremely difficult for scientists to admit that their life’s work was wrong. Imagine that you are an academic scientist who has spent your entire career as the proponent of a particular theory, only to have a young upstart come along with conclusive evidence that effectively refuted and therefore nullified everything you had accomplished. Second, we should consider Occam’s Razor, the theoretical construct
that demands that scientists accept the simplest possible theoretical explanation for existing data. According to Popper, we prefer simpler theories to more complex ones “because their empirical content is greater; and because they are better testable.” Science tends to prefer the simplest explanation that is consistent with the data available at a given time, but history shows that these simplest explanations often give way to more complex explanations as new data become available. Most of the time, Occam’s razor is a conservative tool that assures hypotheses are grounded in the science of the day. However, it has not been useful to science in its failure to accept some scientific evidence such as meteorites, continental drift, and the idea that genetic information is carried in DNA, not proteins. This also applies to telepathy and UFOs. Next, I want to mention the difficulty scientists experience in having their sound scientific ideas and discoveries published in prestigious peer-reviewed journals. The scientists who control the flow of information usually adhere to existing theories and reject new ideas. For example, R. Leo Sprinkle, Ph.D., formerly a psychologist at the University of Wyoming, spent much of his career researching UFO abductions. He met the university’s publishing requirement but couldn’t advance in his career because the most prestigious peer-reviewed journals wouldn’t publish his work. As noted in Science Was Wrong, Luc Montagnier, a researcher from the Louis Pasteur Institute, had already submitted a professional research article about his work on the HIV virus to Nature, but he was not successful in getting it published. These findings were only published after Robert Gallo from the National Cancer Institute agreed to submit the
Pictured above is the sepsis bacteria. As seen in the case of Ignaz Philipp Semmelweis, science isn’t always accepting of new discoveries.
Pasteur team’s research findings to Science magazine, along with his own. Finally, human motivations such as big egos, greed, power grabbing, politics, religious beliefs, and the denial that it was possible, get in the way of good science. Q: Your book has a chapter titled “Politics, Personalities, and Childbed fever.” Tell us a little bit about childbed fever and why you wrote about it. Kathleen: Ignaz Philipp Semmelweis (1818-1865) grew up in Pest in Hungary and graduated from medical school in Vienna. After graduating, he found a position teaching medical students at the Vienna General Hospital. The birthing ward at Vienna General Hospital was the largest in Europe when it was divided into two units: one for teaching medical students and the other for midwives. Although the midwifery unit averaged a 2% mortality rate from childbed fever, the obstetrical unit
that taught from cadavers instead of wooden models averaged 20%, and ran even higher during epidemic periods. Sometimes entire rows of women and infants died. Childbed fever is caused by sepsis, but during Semmelweis’ time bacteria hadn’t been discovered. It occurred up to two weeks after childbirth, typically in the uterus or genital tract, and became a systemic infection within hours. I know that it sounds gruesome, but Semmelweis instructed his students in the morning in the autopsy room where they dissected the bodies of the women and infants who had succumbed to childbed fever the previous day. As ridiculous as it seems in modern times, sanitation was limited to wiping one’s bloody hands on a filthy apron before proceeding to the obstetrical unit in the afternoon. Laboring and postpartum women were subjected to several intrusive exams by several medical students who were often inexperienced and tore their delicate tissues. You can
Paranormal Underground 25
Author Spotlight understand how easily the contaminated matter could be transferred from the medical students’ hands to the laboring women. Quite by accident, one of Semmelweis’scolleagues had pricked his finger on an infected scalpel during an autopsy. He subsequently developed the symptoms of childbed fever and died. Semmelweis realized that contaminants carried on the hands of his students that were intended to heal these women were actually killing them. In May 1847, he introduced handwashing into the obstetrical unit using a chlorinated lime solution and a nail brush prior to each student’s entry into Division I. Over time, he carefully recorded scientific data that clearly demonstrated a reduction in the mortality rate in the obstetrical unit. He even conducted laboratory experiments on rabbits that clearly supported his hypothesis. However, his actions were interpreted as insubordination by his supervisor who was grounded in the zeitgeist of the old guard. Instead of being rewarded for his significant discovery, he was relieved of his duties. The tragedy is that although
caused the holocaust among hemophiliacs? Kathleen: First, let me say that hemophilia is a genetic disorder in which blood fails to clot normally due to a deficiency in clotting Factor VIII. Drug companies developed sophisticated chemical processing techniques to extract the Factor VIII from blood and to process it in large batches — up to 20,000 units of blood produced a powder that had a high concentration of Factor VIII. The problem occurred when the blood supply became contaminated with HIV and the pharmaceutical companies and blood banks reassured users that the chance of contracting the virus was only one in a million. The tragedy is that another drug had been developed, and heattreating showed promise, but they were both rejected by the pharmaceutical companies. In the end, 90% of Factor VIII concentrate users became HIV positive. Various factors were responsible for spreading the disease to the hemophilia community, including political correctness, denial and disbelief, incorrect assumptions by
“There is reason to believe that psychic phenomena are real. ”
Semmelweis was right, his ideas were generally scoffed at during his entire lifetime. He endured personal attacks by his adversaries throughout Europe who flat out lied about his theory and findings, because they were personally invested in promoting their own miasma, milk metastasis, and emotional distress theories.
the medical establishment, political posturing, and greed.
Q: “The Hemophilia Holocaust” sounds ominous. What
Kathleen: Forced sterilization of the developmentally disabled and con-
Q: You seem particularly passionate in your chapter titled “The Eugenics Movement in America.” When did you first learn about this movement, and do you have a personal story to tell about it?
victed criminals was still being debated in sociology and genetics classes when I was a college student in the mid- to late-1960s. Had the Eugenics Movement succeeded, I might have been sterilized because one of my cousin’s is deaf. Also, my brilliant Jewish coauthor would probably have been exterminated. Q: You touched briefly upon the story of Carrie Buck, describing her as a victim of the Eugenics Movement. Who is Carrie Buck, and what is her story? Kathleen: Harry Laughlin, one of the leading figures in the Eugenics Movement, wrote the “Model Sterilization Act,” which served as a mock-up for Virginia’s 1924 “Eugenical Sterilization Act” to legalize compulsory sterilizations of “defective persons.” Later that year, the statute went before the court in the famous test case Buck versus Bell, and finally on to the U.S. Supreme Court, which passed it. Carrie Buck was the daughter of a woman whose husband had died and who attempted to support her family through prostitution. Carrie was placed in foster care, and her mother was institutionalized at the Virginia State Colony for Epileptics and Feeble Minded in Lynchburg, Virginia. Carrie had been raped by her foster parents’ nephew and gave birth to an illegitimate child. For this she was declared feebleminded and the potential parent of socially inadequate offspring in what can only be described as a sham trial. Her fate was sealed on May 2, 1927, when U.S. Supreme Court Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes delivered the Supreme Court’s decision: “It is better for all the world, if instead of waiting to execute degenerate offspring for
crime, or to let them starve for their imbecility, society can prevent those who are manifestly unfit from continuing their kind. The principle that sustains compulsory vaccination is broad enough to cover cutting the Fallopian tubes. Three generations of imbeciles are enough.” Later, evidence confirmed that Carrie and her daughter were of normal intelligence. Q: You devote a chapter to Methylmercury in the Food Chain. What is methylmercury and how does it differ from mercury? What causes methylmercury contamination and why is it dangerous? Kathleen: Methylmercury is an organic form of mercury that arises when inorganic mercury is absorbed by small plants and animals in lakes and streams. At each step up the food chain, it accumulates in greater concentrations, so that predatory fish at the top of the food chain can have dangerously high levels of the neurotoxin, 10,000 to 100,000 times greater than the water. Virtually every state in the United States is at risk for methylmercury toxicity. Chronic mercury exposure can have a serious impact upon
fertility and the outcome of pregnancy. It interferes with the part of the brain that controls reproduction and results in menstrual cycle disorders. In men, organic mercury can cause low sperm count, minor genetic damage, a reduction in libido and impotence. It has also been linked to an increased level of cardiac arrhythmia and heart disease, autoimmune disorders, kidney disease, and liver disease in both men and women. In children, it has been linked to neurological disorders, such as learning disabilities, and at worst, symptoms similar to Cerebral Palsy. Q: You wrote a powerful account of the devastating effect of methylmercury contamination in Minamata, Japan. What went wrong, and what was the impact? Kathleen: Minamata disease was the natural consequence of the Chisso Corporation’s policy of dumping mercury into Japan’s Minamata Bay and its tributaries from the 1930s to the 1960s. The company denied and covered up its role in causing the disease. To make matters worse, local politicians were in bed with the Chisso Corporation and refused to hold Chisso accountable. First it killed the
fish, birds, and cats that ate it. Then it started killing young children or terribly maiming them. The neurotoxin caused mental retardation and physical spasticity in children and also affected adults. The official denial went on until 1968 — four months after the Chisso Corporation stopped using mercury in its manufacturing process. Q: Section 5 of your book has three chapters under the heading “Frontiers of Science.” What are the exciting new sciences? Kathleen: Psi: There is reason to believe that psychic phenomena are real. Independent replication of controlled experiments performed thousands of times by researchers around the world has demonstrated statistical evidence in support of psi phenomena. Although the hit rate in experiments averages only 32%, among telepathic people such as psychics, it is 65% — pretty amazing despite the strong social prohibition against it by western science. A 1985 metaanalysis of 2,549 ganzfeld telepathy experiments by researchers around the world clearly showed that psi effects do occur in the ganzfeld. UFOs and UFO abductions: There is substantial support for the idea that members of the scientific community are refusing to examine UFO evidence for reasons that sometime have to do with the fear
Pictured above are Zenar cards sometimes used in psychic testing. Above at center is a 3D model of methylmercury.
Paranormal Underground 27
Pictured above: The Phoenix Lights incident has had the UFO and scientific communities at odds for more than 14 years.
of not advancing in one’s career. I think that the scientific establishment is clinging to the zeitgeist of the old guard in order to perpetuate the scientific tenets for which they have been handsomely rewarded. This is blatantly obvious in the infamous Trick Memo written by Robert Low, the assistant dean of graduate studies at the University of Colorado and project coordinator for the Condon study of UFOs. He wrote, “In order to undertake such a project, one would have to approach it objectively. That is, one has to admit the possibility that such things as UFOs exist. It is not respectable to give serious consideration to such a possibility … The very act of admitting these possibilities just as possibilities puts us beyond the pale.” Edward Condon, the study’s chairman made the negative pronouncement that “Nothing has come from the study of UFOs in the past 21 years that has added to scientific knowledge ... we consider it safe to assume that no ILE (intelligent life elsewhere) outside of our solar
system has any possibility of visiting Earth in the next 10,000 years.” Subsequently, the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) issued the statement that “The least likely explanation for UFOs is the hypothesis of extraterrestrial visitations by intelligent beings.” However, the special UFO subcommittee of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) found that 30% of the 117 cases studied in detail could not be identified. The AIAA finding clearly demonstrated Condon and the NAS, of which Condon was a member, were biased in their assessment of the evidence. There is substantial evidence that UFOs are real, and I think it deserves the attention of an unbiased scientific community. Q: In “Extraordinary Visual Feats: Psi Phenomena,” you wrote about the plight of Natasha Demkina. Who is she, and what brought her to your attention?
Kathleen: Natasha Demkina is a young Russia medical intuitive who claimed she could “see” the full structure of the human body, including how internal organs are positioned and how they function — almost as if she had x-ray eyes. The Discovery Channel produced a television program in 2004 allegedly designed to test Natasha’s paranormal ability in an objective and unbiased manner. They said she would be tested by top scientists, but they were actually three members of the skeptic’s society, CSICOP, now CSI. By all appearances the experiment was designed to increase Natasha’s chances of failure. She complained that she had been forced to perform under conditions that are known to reduce psychic ability. These included stress, fatigue due to jet lag, hostility from the scientific team, not being able to follow her usual protocols, not being able to use her own interpreter, and having the bar for a passing grade raised above that which is normally accepted by international statistical standards. If the bar had not been raised, she would have passed the test. In the end, several highly respected international scientists and a lawyer defended Natasha’s position. Nobel Prize winning physicist and director of the University of Cambridge’s Mind Matter Unification Project, Brian Josephson, Ph.D., criticized the experimental team’s methodology and questioned its motives. Q: Is there reason to believe that some psychic phenomena are real? Kathleen: Yes, as I stated above, there is significant scientific evidence that telepathy is real. Q: Tell me about UFOs and little green men.
Kathleen: I thought they were gray. (grin) Although the “impossibilists” promote the idea that all UFO abductions are attributable to sleep disorders and delusional thinking, there is scientific evidence that some abductions are real. Psychological studies of suspected abductees have demonstrated that those who meet the criteria for having a real abduction are no more fantasy prone than the general population. They also score normal on psychological testing. Studies that limit their participants to self-identified abductees that lack supporting evidence for alien abduction tend to produce results indicating that they score higher than the norm on a variety of personality scales that measure fantasy proneness, dissociation, schizotypy, etc. Many do have sleep anomalies and personality disorders. However, they are in an entirely separate category than those who meet the criteria for alien abduction. In addition to the unbiased psychological study findings, the well-investigated accounts of alien abduction provide evidence that some abduction claims have a foundation in reality. Despite the many psychological explanations, some abductions cannot be explained as personality aberrations, psychological abnormalities, hoaxes, sleep anomalies, hypnotic confabulation, or misinterpretations. One needs only to read the peer-reviewed journal articles. I have written an overview of their findings in Chapter 14 of Science Was Wrong. Q: Are we being visited by aliens? Kathleen: One needs only to examine the evidence to be convinced that we are being visited by non-human entities. The greatest challenge for someone who is not a
UFO abduction researcher/investigator is in determining what evidence is credible and where to look for it. Unfortunately, the UFO field has been riddled with hoaxes and false claims that tend to confuse. For example, the Betty and Barney Hill UFO abduction case has been terribly misrepresented. An Internet search will produce a plethora of false accounts and outright lies about their experience. They were my aunt and uncle. I have all of their files and evidence and researched/ investigated their experience for 15 years prior to writing Captured! I have separated fact from fiction, and it is all in Captured! Q: Why is this book is important, and how you are taking it to the world? Kathleen: Science Was Wrong is important because it informs readers that throughout history it has been difficult, if not impossible, to promote the acceptance of new discoveries. It also gives “paranormal category” readers hope that mainstream science will one day accept the evidence that psi phenomena and UFOs are real. I only hope that the average reader will come away with an altered and enlightened perception of
In-depth With Stanton T. Friedman, MSC Q: How is Science Was Wrong about UFOs? Stanton: I wrote a Chapter dealing with the positive evidence almost always neglected by the debunkers and refuting their false arguments. Kathleen wrote an excellent chapter on the Conundrum of Alien Abduction. Q: What do you think about global warming and cold fusion? Stanton: I have reviewed a great deal of the literature and find enormous bias and selective choice of data on the part of those who claim that “man” is responsible for global warming because of his production of “evil” CO2, and who neglect such important factors as the fact that the most abundant greenhouse gas is water vapor, NOT CO2, and that the sun varies considerably in its emission of magnetic fields, particulate radiation, plasmas, all which have a substantial effect on climate. I have also found that there has been an active effort on the part of
“... There is scientific evidence that some abductions are real.” how mainstream science works and learn about the scientific evidence that says psi phenomena and UFOs are real. I am carrying my message to the public through radio and television programs and speaking engagements. You can find my upcoming appearances on my Website at www.kathleen-marden.com. *****
the IPCC to suppress opposing viewpoints and data, hardly a scientific process. Variation of weather and climate is much more complex than they have presented. Cold fusion has been viciously attacked, often by people who haven’t studied the many experiments that reproduce the findings of Drs. Pons and Fleishmann. The
Paranormal Underground 29
Author Spotlight evidence is very convincing that some new and exciting processes are occurring. Q: Several of the chapters deal with medical issues, such as the Hemophilia Holocaust. Why are they important? Stanton: When false claims are put forth by smart, prominent people, they can easily have fatal consequences for the people involved. Ten thousand American hemophiliacs became HIV positive, and some of them spread the disease unknowingly to others. Many needless and preventable deaths resulted. Many women and their offspring died needlessly from childbed fever as Semmelweis’ work was ignored. Many people died from smallpox because of resistance to vaccination.
from the wrong claims made by scientists? Stanton: The development of entire industries, such as aviation and space travel, were delayed because of foolish resistance. The U.S. lost enormous prestige when the Russians launched the first satellite. Britain paid a high price during the Battle of Britain because they didn’t develop jet engines prior to the Germans, even though an English patent for one had been granted six years earlier than the German one. Big battleships were sunk at
Q: Why is it that so many smart people made what turns out to have been such stupid statements? Stanton: There is often arrogance that goes with high status and a belief that, if the claim being put forth (alien visitation, government cover-ups, the ability to fly in vehicles in the air or in space, new treatment for a disease, etc.) were true, that the smart person who believes he or she keeps up with what is important, would have known about it. Therefore, since he doesn’t, it couldn’t be true. The smart person seems to believe he is all-knowing and must use his status to prevent thinking people from accepting “impossible” notions. There can’t possibly be evidence to support the “crazy” ideas. If they were true, he would have to admit to having been wrong. Q: Have there really been serious consequences resulting
Physicist, Lecturer, and UFO Researcher Stanton Friedman
Pearl Harbor because the experts knew bombs dropped from an airplane could not sink a ship. Some have wanted to heavily subsidize at public expense so-called renewable energy schemes to avoid so-called global warming. As noted above, there were many needless deaths and serious illnesses because of resistance to new treatments. Q: Have you personally encountered many closed minds in the academic world?
Stanton: I certainly have from professors who couldn’t believe there was evidence for alien visitations, alien abductions, or government cover-ups. I checked many audiences and found that almost none had read any of the largescale, scientific UFO studies or knew anything about how much acceleration people can withstand or that mother nature can provide much of the energy needed (cosmic freeloading) for space travel. Many seemed incredibly ignorant about the enormous amount of important research and development work that goes on outside academia. They think all research is published in the open scientific literature, which is absurd, and have no idea of the huge amounts of money spent in non-academic facilities. Lockheed spent $10 billion in secret to develop the stealth fighter. I have found that almost all know next to nothing about the development of nuclear systems for the propulsion of submarines, for aircraft carriers that can operate for 18 years without refueling, fission rockets that produce much more velocity for a rocket than can chemical rockets, and that nuclear fusion has been harnessed and could eject particles out the back end of a rocket and have 10 million times as much energy per particle as in a chemical rocket. They seem to be stuck at the level of the Pony Express for the transfer of information rather than at the level of the Internet. Nuclear rockets have been tested. One Los Alamos system developed 4400 megawatts, twice the power of Grand Coullee Dam, though only 7’ in diameter. They seem oblivious to the fact that one H bomb can release as much energy as exploding 10 million tons of TNT.
Q: You spent 14 years working in industry, but have lectured at over 600 colleges and universities. Did you find industry different from academia? Stanton: Yes, I certainly did. People in industry and the national labs are motivated to make systems meeting a particular objective. They know that technological progress comes from doing things differently in an unpredictable way rather than by extrapolating from the old techniques. The academics are afraid that espousing new ideas might interfere with getting tenure and might lead to ridicule. They want to publish or perish. The industrials see goal achievement as more important and recognize that secrecy may indeed be necessary. Q: Astronomers seem to be a favorite target in Science Was Wrong. Can you give some examples of their being wrong? Stanton: Dr. Simon Newcombe, the top U.S. astronomer in the 19th Century said man would never fly in a machine two months before the Wright Brothers’ first flight. Two British Royal astronomers indicated that space travel was impossible a year before the first satellite was launched. Others said the initial launch weight of a rocket able to get a man to the moon and back would have to have been a million-million tons. This computation was too high by a factor of 300 million. Another proved it would be impossible to put anything into orbit. Not enough energy available. Others claimed Mars had always been dry, that Venus was just a tropical paradise, that the moon never had any water, and that electromagnetic effects were of no significance in the solar system. They were wrong.
Q: Stephen Hawking is one of the best-known scientists on the planet. Were his comments in April about aliens another example of astronomers being wrong? Stanton: Very definitely. In the first place, he knew nothing about alien visitations, behavior, or technology, despite the data that is available. Secondly, he drew an analogy between
Q: Why are you better equipped to deal with topics such as space travel than the professors who claim there is nothing to UFOs or to star travel? Stanton: I have studied the relevant evidence about both topics. I also worked on many classified projects, so I know about security. I have visited 20 archives. I worked on fission and fusion rockets, nuclear
“The academics are afraid that espousing new ideas might interfere with getting tenure and might lead to ridicule.” Columbus’ impact on the natives and aliens’ impact on us. Bad analogy. Columbus didn’t have much more technology than the natives. We on the other hand have weapons of mass destruction, techniques for delivering them, and many methods for reconnaissance to detect invaders. We have knowledge of nuclear fusion, which is how the stars all produce their energy. He also claimed that if anybody came here they would have sent a message first. That is ridiculous. Columbus didn’t send a smoke signal. Our radio technology is less than 150 years old. Anybody coming here is much more advanced than we are and would have developed new techniques totally incompatible with our primitive receiving equipment. Why in the world would aliens send a message using old techniques? I don’t use a slide rule anymore. It is much more likely they are here to make sure we don’t go out there. We are a primitive society whose major activity is tribal warfare. We killed 50 million of our own in WWII alone.
airplanes, and nuclear power plants for space. The professors haven’t studied the relevant data about any of these. I regularly read journals covering these matters. They don’t. Q: Tell us about space travel and other topics you discuss in Science Was Wrong. Stanton: I tell the fascinating story of the development of aviation and space travel despite the claims of the “noisy negativists” that they were both impossible. Supposedly, one could not fly faster than the speed of sound; there was no way to provide the energy needed or to withstand high acceleration. The data indicate otherwise. Q: You and the late Carl Sagan were classmates in the physics department at the University of Chicago for three years. But you have noted in Science Was Wrong and elsewhere that he was wrong about UFOs, abductions, and government cover ups. Why do you suppose that was? Stanton: He was unwilling to
Paranormal Underground 31
Author Spotlight Q: Can you tell us the general rules as you see them for the methods of approach of scientists who try to debunk such topics as UFOs, cold fusion, and star travel?
waste his time checking the data; he was unwilling to risk ridicule from academia; he wanted to push SETI rather than evidence for visitations. If aliens are visiting, then listening for radio signals is silly. Maybe one should learn sign language. Of course, since he definitely had a security clearance, he may have been following orders to tamp down interest for national security reasons. Perhaps he replaced Donald Menzel as the chief debunker. Q: You seem to be an admirer of the late Dr. Immanuel Velikovsky, and yet many scientists have heaped ridicule on him. Stanton: True, Harvard astronomers attacked his books without even reading them. Hardly scientific. Q: Why do you support many of his views? Stanton: Because he was far more often correct than wrong. He correctly predicted the surface of Venus would be very hot. He correctly predicted that radiation would be coming from Jupiter and that electromagnetic effects would be important in the solar system. He also had a medical degree that didn’t cut much weight with astronomers, and he did find fascinating information in old stories from ancient civilizations. He was a thinker rather than a debunker. Q: Do you believe that the changes in the energy output of the sun are the real cause of climate change as opposed to the production of evil CO2? Stanton: Yes, I do. The changes are influenced by the positions of the planets, and the sun influences the atmosphere as well. Solar storms and sun spots turn out to be important.
Stanton: There are four basic rules for the nasty, noisy negativists, as I call the irrational debunkers: 1. Don’t bother me with the facts, my mind is made up. 2. What the public doesn’t know, I am not going to tell them. 3. If one can’t attack the data, attack the people. It is much easier. Pictured above is a 1967 Soviet Union 16 kopeks postage stamp, depicting a satellite from an imagined extraterrestrial civilization.
Q: Dr. Robert O. Becker is somebody you obviously admire and consider to have been a pioneer in relating the effects of magnetic fields on people, including not only treating certain medical conditions, but influencing people’s behavior. Can you give some examples of his work? Stanton: He was able to demonstrate, after working on limb regeneration in salamanders, that appropriate magnetic fields could enhance healing in human fractures. He collected data showing that changes in the earth’s electric and magnetic field environment influenced behavior of veterans being admitted to veterans’ mental hospitals and also influenced behavior in mental wards as observed by neutral nurses. The brain is, after all, a sophisticated electrical system. He investigated, recorded, and evaluated rather than scoffing. He was a real pioneer.
4. Do one’s research by proclamation. Investigation is too much trouble and nobody will know the difference. *****
If you would like to read more about Stanton T. Friedman, MSC and Kathleen Marden, or any of their mentioned titles, please visit them on the Web at: www.stantonfriedman.com and www.kathleen-marden.com. Science Was Wrong description: Throughout history, it has been difficult, even impossible, to promote the acceptance of new discoveries. Yet during the last two centuries, there has been a veritable explosion of new cures, theories, techniques, and inventions that have revolutionized aviation, space travel, communications, medicine, and warfare. Most of them, of course, were deemed “impossible.” Science Was Wrong is a fascinating collection of stories about the pioneers who created or thought up the “impossible” cures, theories, and inventions “they” said couldn’t work. You will end up shaking your head in disbelief and even disgust as you learn the answers.
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Paranormal Underground 33
Case Files of the Unknown: Haunted Sites
The Possessed Pioneer Saloon By Paul Bottini
raveling north to Las Vegas, Nevada, along I-15, one rockets past a turn-off for the burg of Jean/Goodsprings. Most folks are driving at triple-digit speeds through this stretch in order to get drunk as Hell at the Flamingo (the brainchild of murdered mob boss Ben “Bugsy” Siegel), or hook up with some outcall “pros” at any of the gambling meccas along the Strip. At one time, Jean did sport a couple casino/hotels, itself, but not much else. In fact, this vanishing hamlet is now home to only one gambling establishment, since the Nevada “Crash” Landing closed in April 2007. Should you take the exit for Jean/ Goodsprings, you’ll continue west down a road few traverse. This is the two-lane highway 99% of Southern California motorists pass, while pondering, “I wonder where the Hell that shitty-lookin’ road leads to.” Said “Intrepid Interstaters” need question no more. Seven miles down State Route 161, you’ll run smack dab into the town of Goodsprings; pretty much a 24-hour bar known as the Pioneer Saloon. The place is packed! Bikers, “bluehairs,” businessmen, drunks, limo drivers, tourists, and “working girls” party their asses off at all hours of the day or night. Allegedly, less visible, ethereal
guests frequent the Pioneer, as well. This is the tavern in which Hollywood icon Clark Gable drank himself blind. Gable’s wife, Carole Lombard, had recently gone missing after her plane crashed at nearby Mount Potosi. Search crews were unable to reach the actress’ downed aircraft for days. As he awaited the outcome of his wife’s disappearance, Gable abused his liver, inadvertently burning holes in the bar top with cigarettes that would slip from his
fingers as he periodically passed out. Claims of Carole Lombard’s spirit wandering the premises in order to console her distraught husband linger to this day. Indentations left by Gable’s mishandled Marlboros along the cherry wood bar are still visible. But, Carole Lombard’s entity isn’t the only ghost said to haunt the Pioneer Saloon. The full-body apparition of an aged prospector allegedly sits at the brass rail during the wee hours of
The full-body apparition of an aged prospector allegedly sits at the brass rail inside the Pioneer Saloon during the wee hours of the night.
Don’t be surprised if a movie crew, paranormal investigator, or famous spirit pulls up a barstool beside you at the infamous Pioneer Saloon.
Claims of Carole Lombard’s spirit wandering the Pioneer Saloon in order to console her distraught husband, Clark Gable, linger to this day.
the night, simply surveying its surroundings. One spirit at the Pioneer who doesn’t have the best of intentions is that of Paul Coski, a massive individual who loved booze more than
life itself, and boasted the menacing reputation of being able to beat up any two other men, simultaneously. Supposedly, Coski was sent “six feet under” by a pair of bullets to his side when he was caught cheating
at cards. The bar brawler’s coroner report still hangs on a wall of the establishment, providing a piece of history, whilst simultaneously covering up the twin bullet holes created during the felling of the ornery man. According to tale, Coski’s spirit is seen from time to time in the darker regions of the saloon, bleeding from its side, and glaring down at unsuspecting clientele. Just as quickly as this imposing apparition is spotted, though, Mr. Coski’s ethereal presence apparently vanishes before it can do any real harm. A back room of the Pioneer Saloon houses a memorial to Clark Gable and Carole Lombard, as well as a showcase for the numerous Hollywood blockbusters filmed in this little slice of nowhere. Pics of Cheech ‘n Chong poundin’ beers at the bar and publicity shots of Sandra Bullock in Miss Congeniality II line the walls. The Pioneer Saloon is located in Clark County, Nevada, within the city limits of Goodsprings (population somewhere around 200). From Interstate 15, take exit 12 and head west approximately seven miles until you reach the rustic building on the right known as the Pioneer Saloon. You may feel as though you’re in the middle of nowhere, but don’t be surprised if a movie crew, paranormal investigator, or famous spirit pulls up a barstool beside you and shares a beverage ... or 12. Wanna know more about the Pioneer Saloon, also coined “Nevada’s oldest working tavern?” Visit their official Website at www.pioneersaloon.info and become a part of the incredible history. Pioneer Saloon 310 West Spring Street Goodsprings, Nevada 89019 702-874-9362
Paranormal Underground 35
Case Files of the Unknown: Haunted History
A CONFEDERATE GHOST IN CEDAR GROVE CEMETERY By Larry Phelps
omedian Rodney Dangerfield used to joke, “I get no respect!” If you happen to be a paranormal investigator or a ghost tour guide in a history-rich town like Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, it’s no joke. Routinely vilified and scorned by a multitude of the historical elite, the “ghosties” are held in esteem somewhere between a telemarketer and an obscene phone caller, usually closer to the latter. The National Park Service forbids any mention of ghosts by the Park Rangers or licensed Battlefield guides, unless to loudly proclaim, “THERE ARE NO GHOSTS AT GETTYSBURG!” So it was with great satisfaction to me, and fellow ghost hunters, to have played a major part in a ghost sighting investigation that led to a significant historical finding. It All Started One Night ... It all started one night when my friend Dave walked into my apartment, his face ashen and fearful looking. “You look like you just saw a ghost!” I said, kidding. “I did,” Dave said. Coming from Dave, I figured he was pulling my leg. Dave was a skeptic, not just your run-of-the-mill doubter. He was a full-blown, sneering, scoffing skeptic. But the disturbed look on his
Gettysburg ghost hunter and tour guide Larry Phelps gives a speech after helping to discover the unknown burial site of Lieutenant Colonel Benjamin F. Carter, the Regimental Commander of the 4th Texas Infantry at Gettysburg.
face got my attention. “What happened?” I asked. Dave then told me his story. (Dave passed away three years ago, but what follows is his written statement.) “I was walking down Hood Street, passing by the Cedar Grove Cemetery, when I noted an area that had a good 20-degree temperature drop. I looked into the cemetery and saw a man dressed in what appeared to be a
Southern, gray Civil War uniform. “This figure was horizontal, his hands folded across his chest as if positioned by a mortician. The man had a beard and long, dark hair that nearly reached his shoulders. There seemed to be a fog or mist around the man, but it was a clear evening. The man was very visible, but I could see the grave markers behind him as if he was opaque.
At left: The gravesite of Lieutenant Colonel Benjamin F. Carter, a highly regarded, aristocrat who served in the Texas State Legislature. He was also the mayor of Austin, Texas, in 1858 and 1859. Above: This is the flag that flew over the Texas House of Representatives on Texas Independence Day.
“At first I was frozen, not sure of what to do. I finally could speak and asked, ‘Hey, Fella, what are you trying to tell me?’ “After asking this question the man’s hands reached to his throat, and the figure slowly sank into the ground. After the figure sank into the ground, I was shaken and unsure of why I had been chosen to see it.” Being a ghost hunter, I was eager to return to the cemetery, hoping for an encore. But Dave, an Army Veteran who didn’t scare easily, wouldn’t hear of it. “I’ll go back in the daytime,” he said, “but I’m never going near that
A Collaboration Begins About this time, an article appeared in the Chambersburg newspaper, featuring Amy Cox, a local historian who was looking for ghost stories in the Chambersburg area. Upon relating Dave’s experience to Amy, she told me that she had heard a similar story of a Confederate ghost sighting in Cedar Grove Cemetery. We joined efforts to dig up (pun intended) information on this restless spirit. Our first step was to check the cemetery records. Cedar Grove Cemetery had been established in 1855 before the outbreak of the
“This figure was horizontal, his hands folded across his chest as if positioned by a mortician.” cemetery at night again!” Little did Dave know at that time, but he had just set in motion a 10-year investigation and had lit the fuse of a bombshell discovery that would rattle the halls of the State Capitol in Texas.
Civil War. Unfortunately, the cemetery had no record of a Confederate soldier buried there. Not to be discouraged, we kept digging. We knew that large numbers of Confederate soldiers had moved in and around Chambers-
burg during the War. Chambersburg also had the distinction of being the only Northern town burned to the ground by Confederate soldiers in 1864. Many historical records had been lost in the burning. The cemetery records could be incomplete. Our next stop was Chambersburg’s Historical Society, better known as The Kittochtinny Historical Society. There, we were fortunate to come under the guidance of historian Larry Calimer. Larry led us to Colonel Alexander K. McClure’s Recollections of Half a Century and Jacob Hoke’s Reminiscences of the War. From these primary source books, as well as from Masonic Records provided by the Historical Society, we discovered that three known Confederate soldiers had been buried in the Chambersburg area. Two had been mortally wounded at Gettysburg and left just outside of Chambersburg at the Jeremiah W. George Farm on the retreat from Gettysburg. The third had been killed by irate citizens after the burning of Chambersburg in 1864. Two of the three had their remains retrieved by relatives: Major
Paranormal Underground 37
Case Files of the Unknown: Haunted History
Lieutenant Colonel Carter was mortally wounded in a charge up Little Round Top on July 2, 1863.
McDine of South Carolina, and A.C. Bailey of the 8th Virginia Cavalry. Major McDine had been wounded at Gettysburg and had died on the George Farm where he had been buried. In 1866, the Major’s brother-in-law and a friend of the deceased accompanied by another man showed up at the George Farm. The other man had been the Major’s servant and had been with him when he died. He had guided the group to the gravesite. McDine’s remains were then returned to South Carolina. A.C. Bailey had picked a rather unfortunate time to get drunk. After oversleeping, he awoke with not only a hangover but also a waking nightmare, separated from his troops who had just burned Chambersburg to the ground. Faced by a mob of en-
raged citizens, Bailey tried to escape, but was chased and gunned down in the street. He was buried in the Old Methodist Cemetery in Chambersburg in1864. With help from the Masons, he had been disinterred by family members in 1867 and his remains returned to West Virginia. That left only one Confederate soldier whose remains had never been returned: Lieutenant Colonel Benjamin F. Carter of Texas. Lt. Col. Carter was a Regimental Commander of the 4th Texas Infantry at Gettysburg. Carter was a highly regarded, articulate aristocrat, having served in the Texas State Legislature and having been the mayor of Austin, Texas, in 1858 and 1859. Carter was mortally wounded in a charge up Little Round Top on July 2, 1863. He was one of thousands
of wounded Confederate soldiers loaded into wagons during Lee’s retreat back to Virginia. With every bump in the rutted road shooting a jolt of agony through severely wounded or dying men, many of the suffering men died or begged to be left behind on that awful march. Many who appeared to be beyond recovery were left behind to the mercies of the locals or to die in peace. Col. Carter was left at the Jeremiah George Farm along with Major McDine. Unlike McDine, Col. Carter survived long enough to be moved to the Academy Hospital in Chambersburg and placed under the care of Dr. Abraham Senseny. As Carter’s condition deteriorated, he pleaded with Dr. Senseny to give him the “assurance” of a Christian burial. Dr. Senseny knew that this was a tall order for the time. The Civil War was still raging and animosities ran deep. The doctor appealed to the one local citizen who might be able to pull it off: Colonel Alexander K. McClure. Col. A.K. McClure was a prominent businessman in Chambersburg, a friend of Abraham Lincoln, and a solid Republican. No one in town could accuse him of being a Rebel sympathizer. When Dr. Senseny called on A.K. McClure to render a service to a dying man, McClure answered that call. In Recollections of Half a Century, McClure writes: Lt. Col. Carter “reached out his trembling hand to me, and in a feeble and tremulous voice said, ‘I am very glad you have come; I want your assurance that I shall have a Christian burial when I die.’ I answered that I would accept it as my duty to fulfill his request, and the expression of gratitude on that dying face will never be effaced from my memory.” Lt. Col. Carter died the next day, on July, 21, 1863.
Attempting to Fulfill a Dying Colonel’s Wish True to his word, A.K. McClure immediately applied to the authorities of every religious congregation in town for permission to bury Carter in one of their church cemeteries. He was refused every time. Such were the passions of the day. An angry, frustrated McClure then threatened to bury Carter on his own farm and deed the land in trust as the resting place of the dead Confederate soldier. As McClure began to execute the deed, he later writes: “The matter was very generally discussed, and with much warmth within the community.” In modern day parlance, the s**t hit the fan. The Elders of the Methodist Church in town relented and agreed to bury him. Lt. Col. Benjamin Carter was laid to rest in the Methodist Church Cemetery on Second St. His obituary appears in the July 29, 1863, issue of The Franklin Repository. McClure had lived up to his word. So what does that have to do with a Confederate ghost at Cedar Grove Cemetery? Cedar Grove Cemetery is a mile from the Old Methodist Cemetery on Second St., and Lt. Col. Carter wasn’t buried at Cedar Grove Cemetery. No, not at first anyway. Very simply, his remains were moved there. In 1896, the Old Methodist Church was sold to The First United Brethren Church. The new owners wanted a larger church, and the only way to do that was to expand into the cemetery space. In 1896, 49 bodies were moved to Cedar Grove Cemetery to make room for the larger church. This is when Lt. Col. Carter’s final resting place disappears from history. His gravesite vanished from the Old Methodist Church Cemetery and was never recorded after being moved to Cedar Grove Cemetery. So where were his remains?
Identifying the Location of Lt. Col. Carter There are two vital clues that unlock this mystery. We again have Larry Calimer of the Kittochtinny Historical Society to thank for uncovering these clues. The first is a paragraph from the June 29, 1896, Franklin Repository. It states: “The work of removing the dead from the old Methodist graveyard on South Second Street is done. The bones were placed in boxes and taken to the cemetery for re-interment. Among the bones are those of a New Orleans Confederate Officer who died here in a hospital during the war. There were 49 bodies removed.” Except for the “New Orleans” part (an easy mistake to make after 33 years), this describes Col. Carter perfectly. He was an officer and died in a hospital. The only other Confederate soldier who had been buried in the Old Methodist Cemetery had been A.C. Bailey. Bailey was not an officer, had died in the street, and his remains had been removed 29 years before. So why wasn’t there a record of Lt. Col. Carter at Cedar Grove Cemetery? That leads us to the second vital clue. The job of re-interment was
not done well. From First United Brethren Church Cemetery Records we read, “Due to the enlargement of the church building, a great portion of the cemetery was destroyed. Some of the headstones were incorporated in the foundation of the, then, newer part of the church building. The cement was actually poured around the headstones, which happened to be in the way.” In Cedar Grove Cemetery, there is a section where the 49 bodies were moved to. There is a large gravestone listing 47 known names of those that were moved there. Also etched onto the stone are the words, “Unknown Remains” of two bodies from the Old Methodist Church graveyard on Second Street. Carter either never had a headstone or it got lost in the shuffle. One of these two “Unknowns” had to be Col. Benjamin Carter! So now what? How did we get the word out? Enter Patty Wilson! It was about this time I was fortunate to meet author Patty Wilson and her partner Scott Crownover. Patty had written numerous wellreceived books about ghosts, and she and Scott headed the Ghost Re-
Lt. Col. Benjamin Carter was originally laid to rest in the Methodist church cemetery on Second St. His remains were later moved to Cedar Grove Cemetery, where his ghost reportedly reached out to passersby.
Paranormal Underground 39
Personal Experiences: Haunted History search Foundation out of Bedford, Pennsylvania. After attending one of their lectures, I introduced myself and shared the story of Lt. Col. Carter with them. They had also heard of a Confederate ghost sighting at Cedar Grove Cemetery and were looking into it. The Detective Work Begins to Identify a Ghost We decided to team up. Patty and Scott began to investigate Carter’s past, searching the records for any family history or living descendants she could find. Patty and Scott discovered that Lt. Col. Carter’s name was on the Texas monuments at Gettysburg and Antietam. Patty also procured a picture of Benjamin Carter from a small, private museum in Austin, Texas. But the most important thing Patty did was begin to write. Patty had the literary skills and contacts to get the story out. We knew that if we could get this story down to Texas, it would be huge. One of Patty’s contacts was Ray Beck, a historian out of North Carolina. Ray was intrigued by the story
and contacted the editor of Confederate Veteran magazine, who asked if Patty would write an article for the magazine. Patty wrote, “A Pledge Between Gentlemen,” about A.K. McClure’s promise to provide Lt. Col. Carter with a Christian burial. The article was published in the November/December 2007 issue of Confederate Veteran. The story was finally out; things began to happen. Patty was contacted by members of The Sons of Confederate Veterans, Pennsylvania. Patty, Scott, and I sat down with Ben Lewis and Jim Palmisano, Pa. Division commander of The Sons of Confederate Veterans (S.C.V.), and provided them with our evidence. They, in turn, took the evidence to the Veterans Administration for an official investigation. Three years went by. Patty and I were beginning to get discouraged. Patty had hoped for a formal ceremony to officially mark the gravesite. I thought that was a long shot, but I didn’t share my doubts with her. Finally, the decision came back — it was official. Lt. Col. Carter had officially been found and would get his ceremony.
At an April 10, 2010, ceremony held by the Sons of Confederate Veterans, Lt. Col. Carter was honored. Some wonder if this acknowledgement would finally put Carter’s soul at peace.
When Patty told me that on April 10, 2010, the Sons of Confederate Veterans were going to hold a ceremony honoring Lt. Col. Carter, I was thrilled. Having no experience with this kind of thing, I figured that Patty and I would say a few words and maybe a dozen people would be there to put something on his grave. I didn’t realize at the time that the word had reached Texas, and the buzz was on. A Ceremony Is Held for Lt. Col. Carter It was fortunate for me that I was used to giving ghost tours and speaking in front of large groups. When I arrived at the cemetery, there were well over a hundred people there, many in Confederate uniforms with flags flying everywhere. Many had come from far away. Mrs. Lana Henley of Chapter 105, the Albert Sidney Johnston Chapter of the United Daughters of the Confederacy, had flown in from Austin, Texas along with her husband, Gary. They brought with them her Chapter’s Flag, as well as the flag of District VI, Texas Division. A new gravestone had been placed where Col. Carter was buried. Draped over the gravestone was the Lone Star Flag of Texas that had flown over the Texas House of Representatives on March 2 of that year, Texas Independence Day. Patty and I went to our assigned seats behind the speaker’s podium. We were no sooner seated when I heard the sound of bagpipes and drums. A large contingent of color guards from Pennsylvania and Maryland paraded into view, all carrying flags of every color. They marched until they almost surrounded the speakers’ stand and filled in behind Col. Carter’s gravestone. I looked at Patty and said, “Looks like you got your ceremony.” After the Pledge of Allegiance and the playing of “Taps,” James
Palmisano gave the keynote speech. He told the history of Lt. Col. Carter and the important parts he played in other battles in the Civil War. “Dixie” was played following a rifle salute, and Benediction was given. Patty and I each gave a talk about how we had worked hard for and dreamed of this day, and we thanked others for their contributions. Lana Henley gave the most moving speech of the day. First she read a proclamation from Texas Governor Rick Perry honoring Lt. Col. Benjamin Carter. Then she told the tragic story of Benjamin Carter’s family. Carter’s wife and two of his children had died during the War. She talked about the heartache he must have felt so far from home and so helpless. A Touching Ceremony Closes a Long-Awaited Event His last and oldest child, Ella, had died in childbirth in 1886. The baby died shortly after. Lana then walked to the base of Lt. Col. Carter’s headstone, where two packets of dirt had been prepared. One packet contained dirt from the graves of Carter’s wife, children, and grandchild procured from Oakwood Cemetery in Austin. That packet was also laced with bluebonnet seeds, the state flower of Texas. The other packet contained dirt from Col. Carter’s grave. Rev. Fr. Alister C. Anderson of Frederick, Maryland, placed hands on both packets and blessed them. Lana spread the dirt from Carter’s family graves onto his grave. She then announced that the dirt from Carter’s grave would be spread on his family’s graves in another ceremony in Oakwood Cemetery in Austin. I don’t think there was a dry eye in the cemetery. “Amazing Grace” was then played, followed by the presentation of the headstone engraved with Lt. Col. Carter’s name and a grave
A large contingent of color guards from Pennsylvania and Maryland joined in on the ceremony for Lt. Col. Carter.
marker in the shape of an iron cross. The headstone had been applied for by Com. Palmisano, paid for by the U.S. Veterans Affairs, and set in place by the Pvt. John Wesley Culp Memorial Camp; S.V.C. from Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. Lana had personally ordered the Confederate Cross and sent it to Com. Palmisano. The Dixie Chapter #35 of the U.D.C. — Sherman, Texas, had donated $50 toward the cross. The Lone Star flag that had been draped over the headstone was then presented to Com. Palmisano. Lana’s husband, Gary Henley, then sang “The Yellow Rose of Texas” as a long line of people filed past the headstone placing yellow roses on Col. Carter’s grave. That was a touching moment for me. “The Yellow Rose of Texas” was my favorite song as a young boy. A Final Message From Lt. Col. Carter After the ceremony, people began to leave the cemetery, and small groups would gather to talk about the moving tribute. Lana happened to speak with a woman named Barbara. Upon learning that Barbara was a psychic, Lana expressed a wish that there was some way to know if Lt. Col. Carter was aware of what was done to honor him that day. Lana was concerned that since his ghost had been
seen on the cemetery grounds that he was not yet at peace. Barbara very quietly said, “Let’s ask him to give you a sign that he was present today and was honored and is now at peace.” Barbara then asked Lt. Col. Carter to send Lana a white feather as a sign that he was at peace. Barbara told Lana that she would see the white feather when she least expected it. On Sunday, April 18, 2010, surrounded by about 20 of Lt. Col. Carter’s distant relatives, Lana spread the dirt from Carter’s grave onto his family’s graves in a ceremony held in Oakwood cemetery in Austin. The circle was now complete. A few weeks later, while walking up a sidewalk leading to a restaurant in Austin, Lana saw a “solid white” peacock in full strut. Lana writes, “His white feathers were spread at least five feet across.” Lana had never seen a pure white peacock; never even knew that they existed. The peacock was not there when she left the restaurant. Lana wondered if Lt. Col. Carter wanted to make sure she got the message, so he sent the whole bird! Lana called Barbara to get her opinion. Barbara confirmed that the peacock was indeed sent by Lt. Col. Carter, who was “very, very happy with everything done for him and his family, and was finally at peace.”
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Personal Experiences: Ghost Hunter Case Files
Adventures in Ghost Hunting: The House of 100 Spirits By Rick E. Hale, McHenry County Paranormal Research Group These are the true case files of the McHenry County Paranormal Research Group. Due to confidentiality agreements, names of clients have been changed and cases will only be specified by the counties they occurred in.
theory that has been steadily gaining acceptance in paranormal research and investigation is the idea that there are places or regions in our world where the veil between our world and the spirit world is so thin that supernatural entities are able to come and go at will. The “portals,” as they are called, can be naturally occurring; some believe in spots that have some kind of spiritual significance — Sedona, Arizona, being one such place. The second kind of portal, it is believed, can be opened by mere mortal dabbling with forces and powers that they have no control over. Usually with this kind, a person dabbling in the occult or black magic opens a portal for the purpose of contacting ancient, primal forces that are by no means friendly to mankind. Either by mistake or design, this portal is left open and gives free range to any and all manner of nega-
Some believe that portals exist, connecting our world to the spirit world.
tive entities that can and will make a person’s life miserable. The following is a true account of the McHenry County Paranormal Research Group’s (MCPRG) encounter with a home and a terrified family who was forced to endure a portal haunting. In December 2009, our
founder and lead investigator, Tony Olszewski, received a telephone call from a bewildered man in a large, northern Lake County town. The prospective client, named George, stated that his home, a two-story coachhome, seemed to be infested with a number of supernatural entities that seemed to focus their unwanted attention on his elderly 87-year-old mother. George also believed that one of these entities that called his house home was the spirit of his deceased father, who was causing a great deal of heartache for his mother. After listening intently to the claims of activity in the home, Tony had to ask George if his mother suffered from any form of dementia that oftentimes affects folks of such an advanced age. George assured our founder that his mother was as sharp as the proverbial tack and had never showed any signs of illness. With the seeming credibility of the client and the multiple claims of activity that left the family feeling oppressed, Tony suspected that the home might be the site of a portal haunting. Tony, being ever compassionate as he is, assured the man that MCPRG would respond and do their best to help the man and his frightened family.
A House in Terror Paranormal investigation is by no means what you see on television. We don’t have a big production crew that runs the family out of their afflicted home just because they may get in the way. Oftentimes, a family who contacts MCPRG are very much involved with the investigation due to the fact it is their home, and they have been invaded enough by an unseen presence. Also, in some cases the haunting may be personcentered rather than place-centered. Personally, I like having the family present, as it shows the human side of the haunting; however, it does have its drawbacks and can be, well, a major pain in the ass ... as did happen in this investigation as the night progressed. When we entered into George’s home and met the family, I was struck at the sheer terror that showed on the faces and in the eyes of those who were present. You could tell that they had witnessed something, and it scared them. After unloading our gear into the basement, we went immediately to work. This investigation would prove to be my favorite, and I oftentimes think about it because I personally witnessed many of the entities that had set up camp in the home. That night I was paired up with Diana, a seasoned investigator and one of the original members of the group. Our first post would be one of the bedrooms on the second floor, the bedroom inhabited by the matriarch of the family, who witnessed most of the activity in the home. As we walked into the room, we could tell that we were not alone; something was with us, and later upon review of the evidence, our suspicions were more than correct. “Is there anyone in this room who would like to speak us?” Diana
asked as she set the K-II Meter and the digital voice recorder on the bed. I then employed an old method of communicating with spirits. After introducing ourselves, I said, “If you can understand what I am saying, I would like to play a little game. I’m going to knock on the wall, and if you understand this, please give me one knock for yes.” I
it was lighting it up like a Christmas tree on Christmas morning. “Do you like living in this home? Please light up the meter for yes and leave it off for no.” After Diana’s question, the entity lit it up. “Did you come to this home through a doorway?” I asked. At first there was no response, but then the K-II lit up again. Obviously, this
“As we walked into the room, we could tell that we were not alone.” gave one wrap on the wall. “And two for no.” I knocked twice. Almost immediately one soft knock sounded on the wall. “Good, now we can have a conversation,” Diana blurted out, a large, toothy grin spreading from ear to ear on her face. I couldn’t help but share her joy. “Are you a man?” I asked and waited for a reply. One knock. “Did you once live in this home?” Diana asked. Two knocks. That was strange, I thought. Why would a spirit who had not inhabited this home be hanging out here? “Were you invited here by a member of the family?” I asked. Two knocks. “Did you somehow find your way here?” Diana asked. One knock. This was too weird. And then we both looked down at the bed, and the lights on the K-II Meter were going crazy. Playing Grab-Ass in the Basement This was the first time I had ever used a K-II Meter, and it was quickly becoming my favorite tool in MCPRG’s arsenal. Whoever this spirit was in the client’s bedroom seemed to enjoy it as well, because
spirit did not belong to this home but rather came through a portal from the other side. Before I could ask my next question, Tony’s voice sounded over the radio. “Rick, Diana.” “Yeah Tony,” Diana answered, keying up the radio. “We need you two in the basement.” Tony paused. “I have a special assignment for the two of you.” We both looked at each other wondering what a special assignment entailed. When we got to the basement, two other investigators were just leaving. Victoria, one of our mediums who enjoys the tech side of spirit investigation, stopped us and said with an evil grin, “You two are going to really like this. Especially Diana.” Oh great, the two of us were thinking, as we looked at each other. “Guys, in here,” we heard Tony’s voice say from one of the larger rooms in the basement. When we came around the corner, we found our fearless leader standing by an open door that led into a small dark room. “You’ll like this. When Victoria and Jessica were in this room, Victoria felt a strong male presence in this room, and it grabbed her ass,”
Paranormal Underground 43
Personal Experiences: Ghost Hunter Case Files Tony laughed. “I need the two of you in here with the K-II to do an EVP session.” We both nodded and closed the door behind us. “So, I hear you like grabbing the behinds of women, eh buddy.” At my question, the K-II Meter lit up and stayed that way for awhile. “Are you some kind of pervert?” Diana asked. Obviously, she shared the joy of provoking just as much as I did. “Well, I’m waiting.” Whoever this spirit was, he didn’t go for my partner’s rear end, but went after me instead. As we stood there, I felt a rough hand brush across my head, and my head began to pound with a horrible headache. “Damn!” I blurted out as I massaged my temples. “Was that you who just caused that? Not funny dude.” As we stood in the closed, dark room, the only light we could see was the little lights flashing wildly on the K-II, almost as if the entity was laughing over the pain that he had just caused. God, was my head pounding bad; this was quite possibly the worst headache I had ever experienced in my life. However, when the spirit touched me, it had imparted some information that could possibly explain why this entity was haunting this home. It was time for a smoke break and to ask George, the client, a few questions. Revelations As I said before, being sensitive is not something I’m comfortable with. It took me a long time to “come out of the closet” with it. However, although I love all the gadgets with their pretty little lights, beeps, and whistles, being sensitive does has it perks. It does give me somewhat of edge, and this edge was about to come in handy. As I stepped out the back door
and lit my cigarette, I could see a group of people standing near the garage under a single, dim light. As I approached, my pounding headache was going away; perhaps the spirit in the basement was not really trying to hurt me, but rather trying to tell me its story, and the headache was an unfortunate side effect of the contact. When I walked up to the group, I discovered several of our investigators standing around the client, George, making small talk. (Something I can’t help but do, and I’m sure it’s probably rude, but if I have a question, I’m going to launch straight into it — social conventions be damned.) “So George,” I asked, “the spirit in the basement who likes playing grab ass, he’s related to you somehow, right?” Just then, Tony walked up. George was stunned by my question, which was evident by the look on his face. George dropped his cigarette in the can sitting by the door and said
with a breathy sigh, “He’s my dad.” I could tell that George was feeling some pain concerning the memory of his father, and you didn’t need to be some kind of psychic to see it. George continued, “He passed away in the basement a few years ago near that room; and yes he likes grabbing the behinds of women who venture down there.” My next question would be the roughest one, but in order to get to the bottom of what was going on in George’s house, and what was plaguing his 87-year-old mother, the tough questions would have to be asked. “George, I’m really sorry for asking this, but I need to know about the abuse.” At this question, I could see that George was beginning to cry. I liked George, he was a reporter for a local newspaper and a real professional writer, not a tourist like me. The group that was assembled around George became silent as the crying man began to tell his tale. George told us that as a child, he remembered watching his father slap his mom around whenever his dad became angry. A few times when George tried to save his mother, his father would turn his rage upon his son, and brutally beat him until, once or twice, he fell unconscious. I hate doing this, but I couldn’t help but feel his pain, so I told him that I too grew up in an abusive house as well; but unlike George, my abuse was at the hands of my mother. George was touched that I would share that with him, and I explained to him that he and I were a true example of the old cliche, “What doesn’t kill you, only makes you stronger.” As I stood there finishing off my smoke, George lit up another one and asked how I knew about all this. He hadn’t told Tony about it. I simply looked at him and replied, “Your dad told me, and he’s sorry.”
Tackling the Portal For the past couple of years, the 87-year-old matriarch of the family has claimed to watch as spectral entities made their way into our world, and subsequently into her home via a very specific place — the front room window. Could this be the portal that we at MCPRG believed was somehow opened in the home? If what the matriarch told us was true, then yes it was, and it was time for Diana and me to investigate the family room. As we made our way into the front room, we passed a couple of our fellow investigators. Victoria, one of our mediums, commented as we passed them. “You guys will love this. That window is definitely the doorway into this home.” As soon as we walked into the room, the lights on our K-II and EMF detectors began to flash wildly. There was absolutely no reason for this, unless either the television or the lights were giving off major EMFs or there was some kind spirit energy in the room with us. We quickly checked the appliances and got no response from them. Since we ruled out environmental conditions, I wondered if our equipment was picking up spirit activity. As we panned around the room with our equipment, Diana let out a small gasp and whispered, “The rocking chair just moved.” Damn, was all I could think. Why didn’t I see that? It’s not that I didn’t believe her, it’s just that for me, I need to see it. So this spot seemed like as good a place as any to set up the K-II Meter and a digital recorder and begin our EVP session. As Diana asked questions of the possible entity that might be sitting in the chair, I panned around the room with an EMF detector to see if anything else was present. As I approached a corner of the
room and stood there my nifty little gizmos, lights began flashing and I watched as it spiked all the way up to 7.0. Something was standing in the corner, and for whatever reason it felt trapped. It’s believed that spirits can move as fast as the speed of thought, so it mystified me why this entity allowed me to back it up into a corner. It could easily and without effort blast right past me. “Hi.” I really didn’t know what else to say. It’s rare to have an event like this happen. “Let’s play a game,” I said, hoping that whatever was in the corner understood. “I’m going to ask some questions, and if you understand, can you make the light on the thing in my hand flash?” I stood and waited, and the light began to flash wildly. I smiled and continued. “Were you a former resident of this house?” The light on the EMF went dark. Great, maybe this thing did blast past me after all. But, no, I
could still feel it there. “Did you come into the house through the window?” This time the light lit up, and the needle pegged and let out a soft squeal. “Are there others here with you?” The light flashed again. “How many?” Diana inquired. “Can you light up the light for how many are here or can come here.” The light began to flash, and we counted as many times as it flashed. Almost 100. This room was definitely the portal. Who the Hell Was That? During the incredible K-II and EVP session in the front room, Diana and I were able to make contact with two spirits who both claimed to have come in through the window that acted as a portal between our two worlds. One entity claimed to be a man who lived during the time of the Great Depression and lost it all when the market crashed. The other entity claimed to be a woman who lived during the time of Lincoln’s presidency. If you’re anything like me, and I know many of you are, you may be reading this with some skepticism, and that is okay. If I wasn’t there, I would think I was completely nuts too. As we were walking back toward the kitchen, Diana and I joined up with the some other investigators who were talking to the client’s elderly mother. She seemed to really appreciate the fact that we were there and doing everything we could to help her and her family out with the rather strange problem that presented itself in her home. As we were talking, my attention was drawn toward the bedroom that was halfway between the kitchen and the living room. I watched as a tall, blonde-haired woman wearing a white shirt walked into the bedroom.
Paranormal Underground 45
Personal Experiences: Ghost Hunter Case Files When she looked at me, I knew immediately that this was not a member of the crew. “Who the Hell was that?” I blurted out and quickly walked toward the bedroom. One of the spirits in the home had decided to show itself. When I walked into the room with Victoria, one of our mediums and one of the greatest investiga-
I walked into the dining room and attempted to investigate the shadow person I had just seen. We didn’t find anything. Contacting the Dead Our general investigation was over, and Tony felt that it was time to attempt contact with the dead. It was time for Victoria’s sitting. Victoria felt that the basement
“I’ll do whatever I want. You can’t make me leave.” tors it has ever been my pleasure to work with, we noticed right away that the only two people in the tiny room was one of the teenage daughters and her friend. “Did you see anyone come into this room?” Victoria asked. “No, nobody,” the client’s daughter blurted out. “There is someone in this room,” Victoria said as the lights on the K-II Meter in my hand began to light up. “Can you tell us your name?” I asked as I placed the K-II on the bed alongside my digital voice recorder. The K-II was still going crazy. “She’s afraid and doesn’t understand who were are and what we want,” Victoria added. It’s kind of sad when you think about it. When an investigator aggressively investigates a haunting, we can inadvertently frighten an entity that may be present. Believe it or not, the old saying is true: Sometimes the things that scare us oftentimes are more afraid of us than we are of them. Before I could get my next question out, I watched as a shadow the size of a large man zipped through the dining room opposite the room we were in. Victoria and
would be the best location for the trance-channeling session. She felt that the main spirit, whoever he may be, wanted to make contact with the family. A lawn chair was set up, and Victoria started by closing her eyes. The team, as well as the family, gathered around Victoria as her head began to swoon. The basement became noticeably cooler, and Victoria, or the spirit speaking through her, demanded, “Who are you people?” Tony, who usually leads the session asked, “Who are you, and why do you bother this family?” After Tony asked his question, a cocky grin came across Victoria’s face, and the spirit answered through her, “I don’t have to tell you who I am.” “Well the family wants to know, and they have a right to know. What are your intentions?” “I don’t have to tell you anything,” the entity spat out. “I’m here, and I’ll do whatever I want.” “It doesn’t work that way,” Tony replied, as the tension in the air began to thicken. “What keeps you in the house?” asked Tony. The entity, speaking through Victoria, remained silent. Everyone thought that maybe the entity had
departed Victoria. But then, the entity spoke again. “I was a bad boy,” he answered. “Why were you a bad boy? What did you do that was so bad?” “I was just bad. I’ll do whatever I want. You can’t make me leave.” This exchange between Tony and the entity amazed me. I have never sat in on something like this before, and I was skeptical, and understandably so. We watched as Victoria came out of her trance and began looking around like nothing ever happened. Several members asked her if she was okay. Victoria answered yes, but that she was feeling a little light headed. Tony stepped over to her and asked, “Is he going to leave?” “No,” Victoria answered, with a weird sleepy look in her eye. “He feels that this is his home, and he will do whatever he wants.” “Well,” Tony said, putting his DVR camera away and pulling a bundle of something from his bag. “I guess we’ll just have to sage the house if he won’t go.” Then something strange happened. Victoria looked at me and said, “Yeah, whatever.” She still wasn’t herself. “Vic, are you okay?” I asked. Victoria shook her head yes and the saging began. This investigation would prove to be my favorite so far. We were able to help a family who was in need. A family terrified by a force they could neither control nor understand. Secondly, we got a lot of really great, hardcore evidence from this case. I wish I could share it with you, but due to confidentiality agreements, that is not possible. Also, that night I became a believer in a person’s ability to speak with the dead or have the dead speak through them.
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Paranormal Underground 47
Tales From the Haunted Heathman Hotel By Rob St.Helen, West Coast Ghost Hunters
ello once again from the Haunted Heathman. I hope you find yourself in good spirits! As I have mentioned in past columns, there isn’t a place in this hotel that doesn’t have some kind of activity. Some areas are very active, while others are, well, active, but not as much. One of those spots would be the front lobby area of our restaurant, McCormick & Schmick’s. In the past few weeks, several people have told me about shadows seen within the lobby area. One night, one of my coworkers was sitting at a table facing the restaurant (see picture), and when he looked up, he saw a black shadow walking right to left, as if he, or she, was heading into the bar area. He texted me to tell me what he saw. It was about 3 a.m. in the morning when there were only two people on duty. The other coworker was sitting at the table next to him. The next night, a different coworker was telling me that he saw almost the same thing walking the opposite direction, left to right, but instead of walking past the desk, he said, it looked as if it went down the stairs and outside. During a couple of mornings, the morning breakfast cook and I have stood at the end of this walk way, by the brown door (see picture). The lights at the time are always
Pictured at left: A glimpse into the restaurant with the doors open. Unknown shadows are commonly seen crossing back and forth at this location.
The picture at left provides a look down the “line” of the kitchen, just on the other side of the lobby doors.
turned off, but as we stood there, the lights came on. (The control panel for all the lights are in the closet room just past the small desk on the right hand side of the picture.) We would have seen anyone that could have walked in at anytime, but no one did. In both instances, we looked at each other and laughed. The second
time this happened, we were chatting for a few minutes and again the lights came on. After a few seconds, I asked for the lights to be turned off, telling the spirits that it was too early for them to be on. A few seconds passed, and the lights went out, again, with just the two of us standing there. I will see you again next month. Until then, happy haunting!
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My House By W.M. Abel
first became aware that our house was not like everyone else’s at a young age; or I assumed it wasn’t like their houses. I was afraid to ask, and nobody said anything otherwise. The house that became “Our House” was built in 1917. At that time, the town was a flourishing, small town toward the end of the freight line that was surrounded by a litany of small farms growing wheat and other seed and grain crops. It was a tiny town that at least one president, if not two, passed through, and in one case may have stayed the night. During the prohibition days, they sold many a gallon of hooch, had a gal of ill repute or three, and generally was a normal, growing town of the times. During my early childhood, I watched my town die. Business after business folded, and the buildings went away. The drug store, the old Almira Herald building, the Thompson building, and a few other major structures disappeared in my time. The hotel went from a banging prospect to hardly a trickle fairly quickly. When the Grand Coulee Dam project slowed up, and its headquarters moved down near the dam site, the town slowed even further. We moved into the house, located on South 5th street. I was a little kid of four and a half, and it was fall 1970. When the folks were looking at the house, us kids ran here and there, hollering and then marveling
Various guests have reported seeing things in our house — mostly a woman in a late1800’s to early 1900’s nightgown, wandering the upper floor. One of my friends saw the lady one night, but later said it was probably just the curtains flapping in the breeze.
at the echo. We found the heat vent from the kitchen to the upstairs and labeled it the “Over and Out Hole” immediately, and spent many an hour screeching back and forth at one another through it, dropping marbles on people, and generally being kids. An Uneasy Feeling in My Room Initially, my bedroom was in the upstairs part of the house. I never liked it. My room was TINY, a double bed all but filling the room, with a small dresser completing the room. Besides that, I never slept well. I tossed and turned, woke up in weird positions in bed. There was something about the upstairs of the house that never really settled with me. When my second oldest brother
graduated in 1975, I was allowed to “come on down” to the basement to live. At first, the creaks and groans of the house bothered me, but I found I slept better. Both of my sisters slept like champions upstairs. My oldest sister could have been a marathon sleep champion, if they had such a thing. My other sister never had much issue upstairs either, other than her dolls moving occasionally. She never saw them, but they were in different places at times. Neither was bothered in their sleep. Not long after I moved to the basement, winter fell on us. It was bitterly cold outside, and I was now deemed old enough to stoke the fire in the basement wood stove and keep the extra heat going. It became a habit
to go out in the middle of the night, sit by the fire, and add another log or three to the fire after the smoke had cleared and the heat was pulling the smoke out. An Unseen Friend? It was during these early days that I noticed something. I always felt like something joined me watching over the fire. Nothing ever moved, nobody ever talked to me, or nudged me, but something joined me. It was a silent sort of comfort, a kinship or something, but it was almost nightly when I refilled the stove late at night and sat there waiting for the fire to catch and burn again. I took notice, but said nothing. I was accused of all sorts of atrocities with my sister’s dolls, moving tools from place I didn’t know existed, and various other things. No matter what, the standard of the house was “That damn Bill did it.” This carried on long after I’d moved out. It was easier than saying to people, “The ghost moved it” or “I have no idea how it appeared after three months missing.” I got used to the “feel” (how can you explain the feeling of a life force passing you to another?) of the entity’s comings and goings. I never spoke about it, always secretly wondering if I was going nuts, and just kept on with life. I still slept better down stairs. My father is a long-time naysayer. He doubted anything that could not run up, punch him in the nose, and call him a name. If he could not fight it, he did not believe in it. He could not fight ghosts. Even after other family members mentioned odd things happening in the house, Dad would scoff. Until one day, he and Mom were sitting in the living room alone. The TV was off, they were both reading books, the only cat they had was outside, and suddenly there was a BANG! in the living room with them. Neither could fully describe the
sound, but the closest approximation Dad could find after three hours of experimenting was dropping the candy dish from about six inches above the coffee table in the living room, and then there was a sound he said he could not figure out that went with it. But he was convinced that candy dish had dropped from no less than six inches back onto the table. He was not sure what to think. A year or three later, my niece
gown, wandering the upper floor. The most recent was during fall 2009. A Recent Ghost Citing Friends who have hunted with us for well over 30 years were sleeping upstairs. The wife was heading back up the stairs from a middle-of-thenight piddle run, when she looked up the stairs and saw a lady standing there. She looked away, blinked, and rubbed her eyes. When she looked again,
“It’s just another house with personality.” came along. She was just getting along in life, learning to talk well, not needing a diaper, and a “big girl.” She had been left with my mother, “Granny.” The rest of the family was out in the field trying to off Bambi’s relatives with firearms. Mom sent my niece upstairs to change clothes. Jessica came downstairs and was very put off, Granny again told her to change clothes. “I can’t!” she declared. “That lady up there keeps walking back and forth going “oooooo!” and I can’t get to my clothes.” Mom, knowing nobody else was supposed to be in the house, took things in hand. She grabbed her favorite butcher knife, furled her brow, and was ready to remove an intruder from the house. She tiptoed her way through the upper part of the house, but found nobody. It’s lucky a cat didn’t get knifed by accident. Mom didn’t say much about it until later that evening. We all sort of took it in stride, like none of us were surprised. Over the years, things have disappeared and then reappeared much, much later. Things have just plain gone missing. Various guests have reported seeing things. Mostly, a woman in a late-1800’s to early 1900’s night-
the lady was gone. She convinced herself she’d just seen the curtains of the room to the west flapping in the breeze on her way up the stairs. In the morning, she told her husband about the incident. She declared that the curtains in the west room had been flapping and made her think she saw a woman in an old nightgown. Her husband pointed out at least one flaw in her theory. There was a table in front of the closed door of the west room — no curtains, light, or anything could be seen from the stairs. There was only about four feet of space between the stairs and the door, which was closed, and as stated, blocked by a table with knick knacks on it. We’ve never had a “major” encounter here. We’ve never had a confirmed sighting. The only issue, the sightings are all along the same line, same places, and same conditions in the house. Nobody has been choked, assaulted, or anally probed by beings not of this world. It’s just another house with personality, in another town that used to be something. Sometimes maybe there are echoes of the past lingering over the place, such heady times that they outweigh our own in the cosmos and beckon the mind.
Paranormal Underground 51