Thursday, October 1, 2009

Ghost Ships

There are two interests that I love- the water and the paranormal, so it's only natural that I would have some interest in stories about ghost ships.
The term ghost ship has two separate meanings. One meaning refers to a ship that is found sailing abandoned with no sign of the crew and things sitting out as though the crew will be back at any moment. A good example of this would be the Mary Celeste.
On December 5, 1872, the ship Dei Gratia came upon the Mary Celeste floundering on the sea. The captain of the Dei Gratia knew Captain Briggs, the captain of the Mary Celeste, and was surprised to see the ship derelict as Briggs had a reputation as an excellent captain. Men from the Dei Gratia boarded the abandoned Mary Celeste to determine what was going on. The ship was found in good seaworthy condition. It appeared as though the crew had left in a great hurry. They discovered that the chronometer and sextant were missing. There was water between the decks and the Galley was in bad shape. The stove was knocked out of place and cooking utensils were strewn about. There were no lifeboats aboard the ship and everything was soaked. A rope was found hanging over the side of the ship trailing in the water. The crew from the Dei Gratia managed to get the Mary Celeste into port. When the cargo was unloaded, they found 9 of the barrels of alcohol empty.
What happened to the crew of the Mary Celeste? Some feel that the cargo became unstable and that the captain decided to trail behind the ship in the lifeboat until such time that it was safe to board. However, for some reason, the ship outdistanced the lifeboat leaving the crew helpless on the sea. Another theory involves foul play. However, no evidence was ever found to prove that. Still other think that the ship was caught in the middle of a seaquake. And still others claim the crew was eaten by sharks during a swim.
Another story takes place February 1948. Distress calls were picked up by numerous ships near Indonesia. The SOS calls came from the Dutch freighter SS Ourang Medan. The signals claimed, "All officers including captain are dead lying in chartroom and bridge. Possibly whole crew dead." This message was followed by indecipherable Morse code then, "I die." Within hours of the first distress signals, the first rescue ship arrived on the scene. Upon arrival, the rescue vessel tried to hail the Ourang Medan but there was no response to their hand and whistle signals. A boarding party was sent to the ship and what they found was astonishing. All the crew and officers of the Ourang Medan were dead, their eyes open, faces looking towards the sun, arms outstretched and a look of terror on their faces. Even the ship's dog was dead, found snarling at some unseen enemy. When nearing the bodies in the boiler room, the rescue crew felt a chill though the temperature was near 110°F.
The decision was made to tow the ship back to port. As the ship was prepared to be towed, smoke began rolling up from the hull. The rescue crew left the ship and barely had time to cut the tow lines before the Ourang Medan exploded and sank.
What happened the the crew of the Ourang Medan? Was it a UFO? Some other paranormal event that scared everyone to death? There is some speculation that the Ourang Medan was carrying illegal chemical weapons (this was post WWII). Could something they were secretly transporting leaked, killing everyone aboard?
The other definition of a ghost ship is of course a ship that has been lost that reappears as a ghost, or a ship that is haunted by ghosts. One example of this would be the notorious Flying Dutchman.
While sailing the ship around the Cape of Good Hope (southern tip of Africa), Captain Van der Decken refused to wait out a storm and instead sailed right into it. It's said the Captain vowed to sail around the Cape even if it took until doomsday. The ship was lost, but is now seen by other vessels. Seeing the spectral Flying Dutchman is considered to be a bad omen.
Another famous ghost ship is The Queen Mary. While The Queen Mary is still very much a solid and real vessel, some of its inhabitants are not. One incident occurred in the area of the boat which housed the swimming pool. No one was allowed in that area of the ship, and the pool was completely drained. However, next to the pool was a woman dressed in a one piece bathing suit that looked to be from the early 1950's. The woman was about ready to dive into the empty pool. The crew member yelled for the woman to stop and she disappeared. Later, while checking the ship's records, the crew member discovered that a woman had drowned in the swimming pool.
Another story comes from watertight door number 13. A guard was patrolling that area with his dog when he heard a noise coming from door number 13. The dog stopped and refused to move any further. They searched the area but found nothing. Archives show that a man by the name of John Pedder was crushed and killed by watertight door number 13. Several years later, a guide felt a presence behind her. She turned and saw a young man standing there behind her. The apparition was there only a few seconds before disappearing. The guide later picked John Pedder's photo out of a line up. She was not aware of the tragic death occurring at door 13.
Another strange story isn't about an abandoned ship, a spectral ship or a ship housing ghosts. It's about the SS Watertown, an oil tanker on it's way from California to New Orleans via the Panama Canal. During the voyage, two of its crew were killed in a freak accident. The pair was given the customary burial at sea. The day after the two crewmen were buried, the rest of the ships crew began seeing the faces of the two men in the waves along side the ship. This happened every day until the ship arrived in New Orleans. The captain mentioned the phenomena to his employers who suggested he take a photograph of it. The captain did this and he captured an eerie photo. The negative was checked for fakery but a detective agency at the time, but no forgery could be found.
There are many mysterious tales of ships and ghosts on the sea. Check out the website for other stories.

Friday, July 31, 2009

Old House Woods

For hundreds of years, a small 50 acre wooded area has claimed to be one of the most haunted areas in Eastern Virginia. Located on the coast of the Chesapeake Bay, Old House Woods has been the setting for many stories about ghost pirates, British Soldiers, pirate ships, wailing women, ghost livestock, ghost lights, and headless ghost dogs. I think there is even mention of a man wearing Spanish armor. Added to that is the fact that several years ago, a VCU student was found murdered within a mile of the woods. No matter how you slice it, the atmosphere in that area is thick with the paranormal (and it ain't just the humidity!).
Our team has conducted several investigations to this area, and it never disappoints. One of our first experiences of the area occurred while visiting the beach. A man appeared seemingly out of nowhere, dressed in a tattered striped shirt and tattered khaki pants. He walked past us, did not acknowledge us sitting there, and continued on before suddenly disappearing from view. There aren't too many places a person can go to hide on the beach. Was this possibly a pirate encounter? Who knows, but it makes a good story.
During our first investigation of the woods, we parked along the road and our group began to get out of the car. As I was about to close the back passenger door, it slammed shut on its own. I made a note to check it out later. There was also a strong sulphur smell in the area. While therw we witnessed the mysterious lantern lights in the woods. The lights appeared slightly lower than waist height- as though it was a lantern-type light being carried by someone. One of our investigators felt very unnerved and ultimately we ended the initial investigation because the investigator felt so overwhelmed we felt we needed to leave. During the review of the evidence we collected, we inspected the car door to see how much pressure was needed to close it. After several attempts, we determined that a large amount of pressure was needed to slam the door completely closed. The door actually would stick, like a safety mechanism, and needed to be forcefully pushed in order to have it close and latch completely. No one was near the door when it was slammed shut during the investigation. Also, at no other time have we smelled the same sulphur scent in that area (and we have been there in different seasons of the year as well). We have also looked for the same lights to rule out possible house lights. The lights have never appeared again in that area, and during the daytime inspection, we were unable to see anything through the thickness of the trees. Looking at aerial photos, there does not appear to be a house located in the general area where the lights were seen.
During another investigation, we were able to set up stationary cameras and take many readings and recordings with out equipment. We obtained one piece of interesting video. This shot is a still frame pulled from that video. By viewing the other video cameras, we determined it was not from any light source that we had as we were operating with lights out during that point in our investigation. We also obtained EVP recordings and EMF readings as well as seeing a partial apparition in a UV light.
On one of our more recent trips to the Woods, we heard a strange metallic clicking noise we had not heard previously. I heard the noise and asked a fellow investigator if they heard anything. Her reply was "You mean that clicking noise? It's getting closer". At the same time someone else saw something moving towards the car. We opted to leave the area more out of fear of the possible living person who might be approaching in a secluded area, not because I was concerned about a ghost. We were later able to recreate the noise by clicking a pair of metal tongs together. The sound was similar to what it would sound like if someone were wearing a metal object that clicked to the rhythm of that person's gait. Upon further research, there was another group who had heard the very same noise during an investigation in the same area of the woods. Several months later, we heard footsteps on the gravel walking up to the vehicle. No one was there, but again, concern over a living person approaching unseen in a very secluded area had us leaving again.
What is lurking in Old House Woods? Does it house the ghosts of pirates or soldiers guarding their gold? Or is the the souls of those who have perished looking for the lost gold?

Thursday, July 30, 2009

My son sees dead people... I think

My son Ethan turned 3 in May, and since the age of about 6 months he has shown signs of being able to see and talk to people no one else can see.
At 6 months he began focusing on the rocking chair in his room, laughing and waving at it as though someone was seated there and laughing and waving back. No big deal really, I thought it was cute.
At the age of one, he began babbling to the chair and having 'conversations' with someone there. Again not such a big deal, though it was strange that he actually paused as though listening to someone, laughed and began answering in his baby speak.
At 18 months, things started getting downright weird. He could say Grandma Molyneaux as clear as a bell but couldn't say cat properly.
Around the age of 2 I really got weirded out. I went to get him out of his crib and he pointed to the rocking chair and asked "Who Dat?" I said I didn't know who it was (there was no one there for me to identify). He again asked "Who Dat?" and I said " I don't know, who is it?" His reply- "Da Man" I said, " Oh a man?" Ethan said, "yeah, dat da man" so I proceeded to wave to the man and say hi (whoever he was I wasn't about to be rude). I had chills as this was the first time that Ethan had been able to voice actually seeing someone sitting in the rocker (a quick aside- the rocker is not old, was purchased new by me and is not thought to be in any way connected to the 'haunting'). Skip ahead 2 weeks later, I had finally managed to hang a photo collage that I had in storage. Ethan saw it and wanted to look at the photos. He began pointing to each picture saying who it was- Mommy, Daddy, Didgit (his sister Bridget), Gamma, Poppy... and when he came to a photo of my great-Uncle- a man he's never met nor ever seen before in photos- he got excited and began yelling "Da man da man!" (picture Tattoo from Fantasy Island getting all excited over planes). I felt relieved that this was the mysterious "man" in the room as Pepop as he was called, was someone I was very close to and I welcome his presence.
Around the same time, the family was gathered at my aunt's house (known to be haunted). While seated on my dad's lap in the dining room, Ethan began waving to someone standing in the kitchen and saying bye. My dad asked him who he was waving to, Ethan's response "Da Girl". My aunt asked him where the girl was and Ethan pointed to the door leading down to the basement. My aunt told me her granddaughter has also talked about seeing a girl at her house, and of course, no one likes going down into the basement there.
Ethan also says he sees "Onsters" (monsters). One monster named Chocit Mook (Chololate Milk) lives outside in Ethan's playhouse. Perhaps this is simply a normal imaginary friend. Chocit Mook is apparently brown, doesn't say much, and never comes into the house. Also, he doesn't scare Ethan at all. This is an important observation because Ethan has started to become terrified of his room and the dark.
In broad daylight, the lights must be on in the room Ethan is in- Living Room, Dining Room, Bedrooms... At night, he sleeps with the ceiling light on. Nightlights (he has several) don't work adequately enough for him). He expects someone to sleep in the rocker in his room at night. Sometimes we manage to sneak out saying we have to get a pillow and/or a blanket. This doesn't really work much anymore as he is smart enough to have learned we're lying. When he wakes up (as he nearly always does) he is screaming in terror. It's not a typical 'I want Mommy' type thing, it's full out terror get me outta here now sort of cry/scream.
At my aunt's house again for another gathering, Ethan was concerned about something he saw in the hallway. No one likes the hallway in my aunt's house either. Ethan saw something, and the change in his expression was so telling and graphic it gave me chills. He went from relaxed and happy to sheer terror in an instant and ran into the other room. My cousin and I told my aunt what happened, so we sat in the living room area that looks into the hallway to 'talk'. Ethan came back, began staring at something in the hallway again, was overcome by the same fear and facial expression change but this time he climbed on a chair and turned the hall light on. He then stared into the hallway looking, went back and turned the light off, looked, got scared and turned the light on. Still looking, he again got very frightened, only this time both of my aunt's and cousin saw a shadowy form move from one side of the hall to the other (I of course had my back to the area, but saw Ethan's face and that was enough).
Now Ethan is 3. Ethan had another friend show up, this time, however, Ethan was able to give more information. Seeing him talk animatedly with someone unseen, I asked who he was talking to. He looked at me like I was an idiot and pointed to the air next to him and said "Howard" like duh mom he's right there. I told Howard hello. I began looking into Howards to see if there was one at daycare, or a movie he had seen with someone named Howard, anything to explain his use of the name. Nothing. I was certain we had no Howards in the family, but after day 2 of Howard, I emailed my dad and aunts to see if perhaps I was wrong. My dad responded immediately telling me my Grandmother had a 1st cousin named Howard who had died less than a year ago. FREAKY. Howard hung around for a while, and in that time I got what descriptions I could of Howard. Most of what I got from Ethan matched what was know of my grandmother's cousin. Howard has since left and isn't around anymore so says Ethan.
We've also had unnamed girls at the house, and I believe they are children as they seem to want Ethan's milk. He either offers them his cup to have some or spends time at the dinner table arguing about it being his and snatching the cup away from these unseen people. And again at my aunt's house this summer, Ethan was talking to someone who was sitting under a tree. This one didn't scare him, and according to my aunt, it was Ethan's great-great grandfather who she has seen there occasionally.
Some background info that is pertinent.... My great-great grandmother was a medium. She held "Church Meetings" in her home where she would go into a trance and speak in a voice that was not her own- my grandmother witnessed this personally. My maternal great-aunt who was an Irish immigrant could read tea leaves with such accuracy that her Priest told her she could not do it anymore. And my late mother-in-law was a psychic as well (this would be the Grandma Molyneaux I referenced earlier).
I think it is also important to note that my grandmother is terminally ill. Doctors gave her a year in February of 2008. Some say our departed relatives begin gathering in preparing to help another family member cross. Is this why Ethan saw Howard? and why he saw my grandmother's dad (Ethan's gg grandfather) under the tree?

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Finally... an update on the UFO Ranch!

I know I know, it's been a month since the trip out to the ranch and I haven't bothered to post anything. In my defense.... I have to actually work a 40hr per week job to support my paranormal habit, and when you leave work for 4 days to go stay at a UFO Ranch... well things get behind. With that said, here is the gist of the trip....
We arrived Thursday evening after a very long plane ride. All I have to say is that the scenery is absolutely breathtaking. I couldn't stop looking! I definitely want to go back to that part of the country to spend some time sightseeing and hiking the area... Anyway, we pitched the tent so that we had Mt Adams outside our front door and spent the evening staring at the
mountain (we actually spent a lot of our free time staring at the mountain, dozing, and reading on our 'front porch). We managed to help some PRS "fangirls" to set up their tent and eventually we had to hit the hay as the jet lag was finally catching up with us (I think the count at that point was 24hrs we had been awake). We crashed. Sometime around 2:00am I woke up to use the bathroom... it was freezing outside- literally. The walk to the bathhouse was long, dark and cold. As I turned a dark corner I saw the moon above the trees and at the same instant coyotes began howling. I have never been in a place with coyotes so the sounds nearly made it so the walk to the bathroom was unnecessary. On the way back to the tent, I was nearly wide awake as my internal clock thought it was 5am. The coyotes were pretty cool and the stars were amazing. I came upon some people trying to set up a tent, and I ended up putting it up for them in the freezing cold (cause I'm just little miss Danielle Boone- Killed a 'bar' when I was 3). Once back in the tent we heard some people exclaiming but we were too tired and too cold to care (did I mention our wet towels and things were actually frozen???). Of course we discovered in the morning that they had seen some pretty cool things.
Friday brought the PRS crew to the ranch. We had a nice lunch, listened to some lectures and had a campfire chat with Michelle Belanger who is absolutely AWESOME. She is very nice, down to earth and intelligent. She made herself available to as many people as possible and seemed to enjoy the time spent around the fire each night. The event was interesting and we met some great people while we were there. There were several interesting lectures, an advanced screening of the season finale of Paranormal State (AWESOME episode!) and one really great group discussion on the meditation mound that was very intimate that I hope they do more of in the future. Thanks to Ryan Buell who was gracious enough to video tape a personal message to my teenage daughter who was not at the event. I went from being a mean mom for not taking her to the coolest mom in the world.
As for the paranormal- Apparently there were some cool things that were seen on 2 different nights. We slept through them. The first evening we were too jet lagged to move.The second occasion took place about 45 minutes after we retired for the night. I guess we're getting old. What was described to us was a triangular ship (3 lights moving in a triangular formation) that came in low overtop of the field. The other night was a triangular ship that apparently changed into a cylinder shape and changed colors. Kelly commented that a UFO could have landed outside our tent and we wouldn't have noticed... James replied that they've landed before....
In our talks with James we brought up how the wasps that were around seemed to be pretty mellow and how the wasps here on the East Coast would sting first, sting a second time, and a third then mellow out before stinging a 4th time.... James said everything on the ranch was mellow. He said the energy there seemed to have a calming effect on the animals as well as people and that the coyotes never bothered anything when they would venture on the property (James has a huge chicken coop). At first I wasn't so sure about his claim, but then I realized I was more relaxed than on any other trip I had ever gone on. As I mentioned we dozed and read and just sat taking in the view... so perhaps there is something to his calming claims.
As for UFOs- we did see some interesting things. There were points of light that moved in "wobble type patterns" unlike anything I had ever seen before. Some of these lights would grow so dim you couldn't see them anymore only to reappear and get extremely bright (this is referred to as 'powering up'). Others seemed to blink but in so specific pattern, i.e., one blink, then 3 then 2 then maybe 1, etc. I have never seen anything like this is all the times I have spent stargazing, and I have done that numerous times and in areas without much light pollution. I think there is definitely something going on out there at the ranch. I was disappointed that I did not get to see Batsquatch. But there were a lot of people there and many who were there more for the PRS hotties than the paranormal so I am guessing that might have played a part in not seeing as much as we had hoped.
All in all it was a cool experience. We were able to walk the labyrinth there and also had the pleasure of being serenaded by Michelle Belanger as we walked it (Michelle is an awesome singer!) We had some very cool conversations while sitting in the field staring at the sky and learned about some things outside the realm of the paranormal (Like life living in Israel) and had some very deep conversations with strangers (Francine from Banff if you ever read this please get in touch!!!! sorry we missed saying goodbye!) And our one crazy interaction took place after everyone was gone- Santa showed up wearing a UFO shirt, overalls, a flannel shirt over his T Shirt and a straw hat. He had a friend named Thor we thought was a small dog but turned out to be an alien head he kept outside his tent. He even had a blanket bed for Thor and spoke to him constantly. Now you know what Santa is up to in the Summer months. Oh, and his friends showed up in a beat up VW Bus (Holy Stereotype Batman!) (I am NOT making this up- I couldn't make this up... I never pictured Santa as an alien head carrying UFO fanatic)
In conclusion.... I would definitely have to say that if you get a chance go to the UFO Ranch, check it out. James is a gracious host and there is much to see and experience.





Monday, May 11, 2009

The Final Countdown

There are only 2 more days until the big UFO Ranch trip in Trout Lake, WA.

Though I am traveling across the country to stay at a UFO hot spot, I am not a UFO nut. I don't go looking for them and I don't know much beyond the basic information about them. However, that doesn't mean that I don't believe that extraterrestrial life exists. In fact, I feel it's highly arrogant to presume that humans are the only intelligent life out there. And constantly searching for a planet that can sustain life as we know it here on earth is a little ridiculous- why does all life have to be just like us? Couldn't another type of life form be developed and learn to adapt to other conditions? Couldn't there be something out there that breathes Nitrogen?

Back to the point, while I am a paranormal investigator, my expertise lies in ghosts and hauntings with a little cryptozoology thrown in. I was clueless on the UFO front. So, as any good investigator would, I began investigating.

UFO's have been in the news quite a bit lately. As I mentioned in an earlier post, the Vatican came out officially to state that it is OK to believe in ET's and UFOs. At the same time, governments around the world have started releasing their UFO files. A former American astronaut claimed to have seen UFOs while in space and urged the US to release its UFO files before other countries beat it to the punch. There have also been more UFO sightings reported. Just this morning I read an article about several people witnessing a jelly fish like UFO in England, and last week I saw a video of a UFO in Moscow. I've viewed video of a press conference where high ranking officials have stated they are willing to testify under oath to the things they have witnessed. Some had proof such as radar scans and dialogue transcripts.

I also began looking into information about 12/21/2012- the purported end of the world based on the Mayan calendar. What is interesting about this (and I am going to briefly paraphrase) is that it was not just the Mayans who prophesied this time but also the Incas and the Hopi Indians.

So what's going to happen in 2012? Some think the end of the world will happen yet others feel it marks a dramatic change for earth, both physically and spiritually for those on earth. Scientists have indicated a couple of things that could be happening. First is an increase in solar activity. Every 11 years, the Sun moves through a period of fewer, smaller sunspots, prominences, and flares called a solar minimum and a period of more, larger sunspots, prominences and flares called a solar maximum. The last solar maximum occurred in 2001 which means (for those not quick on the math uptake) the next maximum occurs in 2012. So what does this mean? It means that as we near the solar maximum, Coronal Mass Ejections (CME's- explosions in the sun's corona that spew out solar particles) become more and more frequent. CME's can cause problems with radio transmission, orbiting satellites and power grids. Some scientists believe that because the current solar minimum has been so quiet that we're in for a very bad maximum- one that could destroy satellites and cause widespread blackouts.

At the same time, there are those who believe that Planet X (the tenth planet in our solar system of which little is known) will be coming close to earth again- in 2012. It's thought that the close proximity to this planet is what will cause earth's magnetic poles to shift. Many believe the environmental changes occurring now (melting ice caps, increased severe weather) are a result of the shifting magnetic poles and NOT global warming. Needless to say, 2012 could be a very interesting year.

So basically, my point is this- could this heightened UFO activity be part of the greater picture? Are we experiencing the beginnings of the big 12/21/2012 mystery?

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Ghost, Demon or Guardian Angel?

I recently came upon an article about something called the "Hat Man". This was not something I had ever read about before and became interested. Upon reading the article further, I became somewhat fearful.... before I go into detail, let me share my own personal story.

This took place roughly 10 years ago at my parents' house. My fiancee' at the time was out of town and my daughter and I had planned on spending the night with my parents. It was a Saturday, and being a typical Saturday for us it included dinner and a night of paranormal investigation on the Gettysburg Battlefield. I remember that we were in the area of the Peace Light Memorial located on the 1st day's Battle are of the park.

Here I need to add a little background information to explain some of my thoughts later on. During the time frame, my group was having regular communication with a spirit we dubbed "Ed". He showed up each week like clockwork and "talked" to us through EVP. He followed me home on at least one occasion where I was also able to record EVP. Around the same time I had an experience with a mirror in my room- I had seen a face (not my own) in the mirror and it terrified me to the point where I removed it from the wall. To this day I still refuse to look into the mirror directly. Back to the story...

So, after a night of investigation, I headed back to the house to hit the hay. Sometime during the middle of the night, I woke up to see a shadowy figure at the foot of my bed. There were no facial features visible at all, just the black silhouette. It was a male figure, roughly 6ft tall and wearing a wide brimmed hat. I had the impression he was wearing some type of jacket or coat as I was able to discern cuffs of some sort and a collar. He had his left arm hanging by his side and the right was holding onto the post of the 4-poster bed. I distinctly remember seeing his fingers curled around the post. The post was white so there was a lot of contrast. He terrified me. I can not explain where the sudden fear came from. Afterall, I go searching for ghosts and while they make me edgey and slightly spooked, I have never had a feeling of total terror before. I was so terrified that I immediately closed my eyes tight, held onto my celtic cross necklace and said the Lord's Prayer over and over again. At some point I fell asleep, but it wasn't for at least 2 hours and when I woke up I was still holding the cross in my fist.

The next morning there was no sign that anything had happened except that my glasses were nowhere to be found. I place them in the same spot each night as I have my own personal (nearly OCD) bedtime rituals. They weren't there. My mother and I tore the house apart but found nothing. I need my glasses to see- I wear them all day until bedtime. So I went off to work (15 minutes late) without my glasses. At the time, my manager was also a paranormal enthusiast and often accompanied me on investigations. I told her what had happened the night before and how I lost my glasses. She looked down at my bag of clothes and sitting on top neatly folded were the glasses in question. I personally checked that bag- dumping everything out and going through all the pockets and repacked the bag myself too. There were no glasses.

Around the same time frame I was also seeing a "shadow boy" of sorts peeking at me from around corners in my parents' house. One day I saw movement out of the corner of my eye and I ignored it for a minute and then suddenly turned my head to see what was there. I was able to distinguish head and shoulders of someone small/short pull back around the corner. Thinking it was my brother playing tricks, I searched the house- I was alone.

My daughter was not immune to the paranormal at my parents' house either. In fact, she told one person who stayed in her room that if they felt like someone was leaning over them staring at them it was just her guardian angel and if they heard tapping it was just Ed and tell him to stop. She never spoke of seeing shadow figures.
I always chalked the experience up to something following me home from an investigation. Ed often came home with us (this sounds absolutely crazy I know- but he seemed to have attached himself to me)

So today I read something about this "Hat Man". I can honestly say that I have never heard of him before at all and never assumed that my experience had anything to do with something other than the typical ghost haunting. However, here is some info on Hat Man:

*He is a shadow person who wears a trenchcoat and a large hat. One person described
the hat as being like a witch's hat with the pointy part cut off. (same as mine)

*He is accompanied by dread or overwhelming fear. (check- had that)

*While there is rarely any discernable facial features, eyes, when seen, are described as
red and glowing. (No eyes on mine- Thank goodness)

*Shadow people are also seen in reflections, i.e., mirrors and TV screens. (had that- I still don't
look in that mirror)

*With the exception of the Hat Man, most shadow figures are seen only out of the corner
of the eye before quickly disappearing. (Had that happen too)

I would have to say that I definitely had an encounter with the infamous Hat Man and his band of merry shadow people. But what is most disturbing to me is the speculation over what or who the Hat Man is. Some say that it's possible that the Hat Man and these shadow people are merely guardian angle type creatures, something along the lines of Mothman- in a loose way. While that is a nice thought, and my daughter certainly described something that watches her as her guardian angel, that opinion is shared by the least amount of people. Others claim that the Hat Man is somehow related to aliens- especially those with darker or more sinister intent- specifically lizard men and greys. I don't hold much stock in lizard men (who supposedly live in the earth's core and come out and feed on humans- which explains all the missing people in the world) and while I won't say aliens don't exist (I think it's arrogant to assume humans are the superior race and the only one) I don't necessarily think the Hat Man is an alien. The 3rd and most common explanation is that this Hat Man has some relation to the devil or a demon. Do you know how terrifying it is to know you might have been watched by a demon?? And while I am not Saying that I was visited by a demon, I’m not even sure that I believe wholeheartedly in them (in all my years of paranormal investigation I have yet to come across something like that) I am also not saying that they don’t exist either. Demons are just one of those things that are tangled up in religion and personal beliefs- which in itself is a touchy subject. What I know is that I have never know such instant fear- to the point of reciting the first prayer I could think of over and over until exhaustion hit. I also know that if I were to share this story with my very devout Catholic aunt, I would receive another coffee can of Holy Water (I am not joking- had one can in the fridge so long it rusted).

So, anyway, just wanted to put this story out there. I welcome questions or comments or even a story you might have about the Hat Man

Monday, April 20, 2009

The Countdown Continues

25 days left to go until the trip to Washington State and the UFO Ranch.....

I realized while perusing my blog that I have not yet touched upon the main phenomena taking place at James Gilliland's Ranch: UFO sightings. And we aren't talking about a handful of sightings, we're talking about 3,000 sightings.

I'm sure everyone pictures the stereotypical UFO witness- some trailer park house wife in worn slippers and a flowered house coat sporting pink plastic curlers in her hair and a lit Marlboro dangling from her lips with her husband (who is also a cousin and uncle) next to her with a tobacco juice stained wife beater, cut off shorts and a belly that makes him look like the next octomom. This isn't the case at the UFO Ranch.

Mr. Gilliland has welcomed NASA scientists, military personnel, physicists, members of the CIA, Special Forces Operatives, Boeing engineers.... the list goes on and on but my point is that the people witnessing this phenomena are those with the knowledge to know that what they're seeing aren't ours.

What are they seeing? Some see lights at night moving in the sky. Most would attribute the lights to meteors or satellites passing by. But do meteors or satellites suddenly get brighter (powering up as James calls it) or suddenly change direction and speed? The answer is- no they don't. So what could it be? And why is the ranch often visited by military helicopters when the nearest military base is 3 1/2 hours away? Do they know something we don't?

I am anxious to check it all out for myself. While I have witnessed what can only be called UFO's (as they were certainly unidentified) I was young and who knows what might have been behind my brief sighting. The experiences at the UFO Ranch have been described as spiritual and enlightening. I am looking forward to having such contact with the paranormal world.

Check out James Gilliland's website: ECETI

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Batsquatch....

First let me say that in 30 days, I will be on a plane to Washington State to look for UFO's. Awesome!

In preparing for the big trip, I decided to see if there was anything to be found on the creature known as Batsquatch since it is supposed to live nearby and I am hoping to catch a glimpse of it. I wasn't expecting to find much of anything as I had not heard about this creature before... and believe me when I say I've heard about some crazy creatures! But there are tons of sites dedicated to Batsquatch information.

From what I've read, Batsquatch is reported to have purple colored skin, glowing red eyes, wings like a pterodactyl and a head similar to a primate and/or bat. Though its name is based on Sasquatch, there is no real link between the two creatures. Some believe that it could be a yet unknown type of North American Fruit Bat.... only problem is that Batsquatch seems to like small animals (dogs, goats, hogs...) and last I checked fruit bats ate, well, fruit. Others think that it is another branch of the evolutionary tree and is some type of winged primate. That's right, Ladies and Gentlemen, a Flying Monkey! I will be sure to bring my bicycle and broom.

Seriously though, I am a believer in the existence of cryptids, or creatures that have yet to be officially discovered. We are finding new species all the time and have rediscovered species that were long thought to be extinct though sightings were still reported (the Okapi is one example of that). And I want to bring up another thought- Mothman. I have no doubt that Mothman was real and was sighted by people in Point Pleasant, WV. What I am unsure about is what Mothman actually was.... during his brief life in Point Pleasant, there were increased UFO sightings and sightings of MIB (Men in Black) and if memory serves me, there were also livestock mutilations going on at the same time.

Both Batsquatch and Mothman have glowing red eyes and wings. Both have been sighted in areas of increased UFO activity. I will also go so far as to say both are seen in areas where tragedies occured (mothman- Silver Bridge Collapse, Batsquatch- Mt St Helens eruption). Are these cryptids unknown species? or are they something more? Something that fortells traumatic or historic events? Is there something big coming? Isn't it interesting that the Pope and the Vatican recently announced that it's OK to believe in aliens and UFOs?

"I scream from the top of my lungs What's going On?" - 4 Non Blondes "What's Goin On"

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Trip to the UFO Ranch

Those of you who follow the A&E show Paranormal State are familiar with James Gilliland's "UFO Ranch" in Trout Lake, WA. The Paranormal State episode entitle First Contact was filmed at the ranch and was full of UFO footage. Between the beauty of the area and the paranormal goings-on, this episode became one of my favorites (First Contact) and I hoped I would one day be able to visit Mr. Gilliland's ranch. As luck (or fate) would have it, Kelly and I came upon the opportunity to go- and we're heading out May 14th.

PRS is hosting a 'field trip' at the ranch for 3 days of paranormal activities. We will be camping. Do you have any idea the amount of creativeness it takes to pack camping gear for a flight across the country? And of course there is the paranormal equipment which must be taken on as carry-on. What do we take??! While we have searched for spirits and the occasional cryptid, I've never been on a UFO expedition (side note- there is a mysterious creature in the woods that we will also be looking for called Batsquatch- I know- love the name). At the moment I believe we have decided on the following: cameras (obviously), recorders, video equipment, tripods, flashlights and the stealth game camera (to catch pics of the Batsquatch).

For those wondering, Batsquatch (sounds like something I wouldn't want to step in) is a large bipedal creature with wings. I assume, based on the name, that it must be similar to Satsquatch with large wings. While this may sound slightly silly, please remember Mothman. For those of you familiar with Mothman, you'll remember that this creature was seen in Point Pleasant, WV during a time of heightened UFO sightings. Coincidence? Maybe. Psychedelic drugs? Can't rule them out, but the whole thing is intriguing.

So... as we countdown the days until our departure (36), let's hope that this trip goes off without a hitch. By that I only mean that Kelly and I always seem to have strange adventures... camping in Gettysburg one year we woke up to it raining inside the tent (3 people in a one man A frame + cold outside temps= rain), traveling to Point Pleasant, WV we drove through 4 tornadoes, torrential rain, extreme fog, detoured by flooded rivers, missed a flash flood by mere minutes, got lost in the hills oh and got shot at, and the last camping trip to Gettysburg involved an odd campground full of what looked like carnies.... and that's all I've got to say about that trip.

Stay tuned....

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Dipping my toe in the water....

I have finally stepped into the world of blogging- and it's about time. I guess I struggled with what to blog about, who wants to read my crazy ramblings, right? Then I realized that sharing my various adventures in ghost hunting might provide some with quality entertainment. After all, the trips tend to be full of supernatural terror, not to mention biblical floods, gun shots and peed pants. So sit back and get ready for the first story I end up telling- not sure what it will be- perhaps the upcoming trip to the UFO Ranch in Washington State, or the trip to the haunted Old House Woods or perhaps the trip to the Mothman Festival.... stay tuned!