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Ancestry

Past Lives: Opening Your Mind to the Possibility of Multiple Lifetimes

We have found that once you start looking for it, experiences with the paranormal are more common than we could have ever imagined. One phenomenon in particular that I have always found fascinating and falsely believed to be rare is remembering past lives. I always believed in past lives. And I have even had my own memories. But it wasn’t until I started dipping into research that I became aware of just how common it is. Admittedly, it isn’t  the “casual party goer conversation” kind of common but, it does happen more than one might think…especially with children.

The theory is that children have had less time to forget. Granted, not all children remember who they were or how they died, but it seems to be somewhat common to those who suffered a sudden and/or tragic death. Instead of holding on to that lifetime in such a way as to prevent themselves from moving on in the afterlife (ie: the old adage of ghosts having unfinished business) the soul is reincarnated and the memories of that lifetime are carried forward both consciously and, often, subconsciously, in the form of nightmares.

Though past lives have always been a part of many cultures, here in the states, it is only now reaching mainstream consciousness with shows like LMN’s (Lifetime Movie Network) The Ghost Inside My Child. Each episode follows a couple of different stories. Parents are interviewed about the details of the collective struggle over watching their children deal with the often horrific details of the lives they left behind.

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Now, if the thought of gleaning information from a reality television show about a topic over which you might already be wary makes you uncomfortable, rest assured that there are other sources to choose from. The topic of past life memories has been studied for decades and anecdotal evidence was recorded long before that.

One book that blows my mind is Old Souls. Written by journalist,Tom Shroder, Old Souls is an account of his travels with Dr. Ian Stevenson, a physician and psychiatrist who had been braving the dangerous back roads of India and Beirut for over thirty years to bring back reports of children who speak of remembering past lives and provide detailed accounts of who they were before they were born.

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Shroder’s writing is immersive and the subject matter couldn’t be more interesting. He even includes pictures of some of the subjects interviewed in comparison to the people they claimed to be and, the resemblance is often uncanny. This book is an awesome and dependable source for accounts of past life memories which will move even the staunchest skeptics toward opening their minds.

While the topic has now been brought to television and has been written about for decades, it is likely that the first awareness the general public has of this concept is in conjunction with hypnosis. Past life regression is fascinating to some and scary to others. Personally, I’ve always wanted to have it done but I was worried about it being too expensive or worse, that I would pay someone to guide me through one and find out that they really didn’t know what they were doing or turned out to be somehow undeserving of my trust. A certain level of vulnerability is required to sit in a chair or lay on a couch with the hope of uncovering dependable information. and it’s tough to achieve that without an equal level of trust in the person you have guiding you.

Recently, EVP team member, Jamie found a series of videos on Youtube, of all places, by a guy named Michael Sealey. Among them is a session for past life regression. She listened to several of his recordings before attempting the regression. It helped her get used to the sound of his voice and provided practice in giving herself over to it. Not expecting definitive results, she went through the exercise just to see if anything would happen. What she experienced was way beyond her expectations.

While the entire video lasts about one hour, Jamie was only under a short time before she gleaned some important information. As with most of us, Jamie noted that she finds meditation difficult. It’s hard turning off our brains. We are inundated with thoughts: things we need to get done, worries for the next day or week or month, things we forgot to do. All these things keep us busy and it isn’t until we try to turn them off that we realize how they rule our lives. However, in this instance, Jamie found the experience came quite easy. It felt brief and concise, not at all the jumbled mess of images and quick camera edits we see from things like re-creations on tv.

The meditation guided her to a clearing, an open neutral spot. For Jamie, this looked like a large meadow with hills on either side and a grove of trees at her back. Once there, she was told to call forth whoever was going to come forth. Having done this, the rest came to her without thought which seemed unusual given her tendency to over-think.

A name popped into her head and she turned toward the trees. A woman stepped out.  Jamie looked at her and the conversation, telepathic in nature, began. As they interacted, a few more names popped up and they transitioned from the meadow to a large hallway. The floors were wood. The walls were stone and lined with family portraits, all which were familiar to Jamie. This woman was one of many in a line of the same name. And Jamie knew she had been this person more than once. This woman told Jamie that she was the record keeper. And she told Jamie that she was the one to seek if more information was needed.

Though brief, the interaction provided information that Jamie could research online. And it didn’t take long to verify that the person Jamie had spoken with was real and many details of her life were readily available. Though Jamie asked me not to reveal the name of the woman she spoke to, she did give me permission to post their pictures side by side which, for me, takes this story from interesting to amazing.

This is the woman Jamie met during her meditation.

This is Jamie as pictured on the EVP Website

When I was little the thought of past lives mystified me even though it felt “correct.” I was content to believe in them on a basis of faith never dreaming that I would come close to obtaining actual proof that they were real. But as I’ve grown and remained open to new sources of information, I’ve come to realize that many of the things we consider to be unusual, out of the ordinary or “paranormal” are actually anything but. I’ve heard many convincing stories throughout the years that support those things widely considered to be “phenomena.” And though I am continuously fascinated by every piece of evidence, anecdotal or otherwise, I never expect to find it right beneath my nose. Maybe Dorothy Gale was right when she said, “…if I ever go looking for my heart’s desire again, I won’t look any further than my own back yard. Because if it isn’t there, I never really lost it to begin with!”


Respecting History?

It was recently brought to my attention that a historical location that is very near and dear to our organization is once again being mishandled by its management group.

The Queen Mary which is docked in Long Beach as a “floating” hotel/ museum and is registered as both a historical site and a historical hotel:

National Historical Registry

RMS QUEEN MARY *** (added 1993 – – #92001714)

Also known as HMT QUEEN MARY

Pier J, 1126 Queensway Hwy. , Long Beach

Historic Significance: Event

Area of Significance: Military, Entertainment/Recreation, Social History

Period of Significance: 1925-1949

Owner: Local

Historic Function: Defense, Transportation

Historic Sub-function: Naval Facility, Water-Related

Current Function: Domestic, Recreation And Culture

Current Sub-function: Hotel, Museum

Here is the purpose of the National Historical Registry noted from their website:

The National Register of Historic Places is the Nation’s official list of cultural resources worthy of preservation. Authorized under the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966, the National Register is part of a national program to coordinate and support public and private efforts to identify, evaluate, and protect our historic and archeological resources. Properties listed in the Register include districts, sites, buildings, structures, and objects that are significant in American history, architecture, archeology, engineering, and culture. The National Register is administered by the National Park Service, which is part of the U.S. Department of the Interior.

The Queen Mary is also listed on the website of  Historic Hotels of America. This is what they have to say about the Queen Mary:

The Queen Mary

Los Angeles, California

Rich in history, The Queen Mary® is renowned as the grandest ocean liner ever built since her maiden voyage in 1936. These early years distinguished the majestic steamship as the only civilized way to travel for high society’s elite, and instantly drew the attention of celebrities like Fred Astaire, political figures like Winston Churchill and Ronald Reagan, and dignitaries such as the Duke and Duchess of Windsor.

It is quite clear that our country on a whole recognizes the historical importance and significance of this grand ship.

So why is it so difficult for the ship’s current management to get with the program?

Time after time we’ve heard complaints that there is no money to restore her to her former glory. We’ve been told that making changes like including iPod docks in all of the staterooms is a valid way to stimulate the ship’s revenue. Some improvements have been made in the last fifteen years. A huge section of promenade decking was re-finished and replaced a few years ago by a former management company.

This ship is a virtual roller coaster of  management companies. Each one swears that it’s bigger, better, and more knowledgeable than it’s predecessor.

It’s ultimately assumed that everything the previous company did is wrong and that the new team must start over from scratch. The management companies they hire are only experienced in managing a hotel. The Queen Mary is much more than a hotel. It’s an experience. And the experience that the customer is getting leaves much to be desired.

If you come to the Queen Mary for the first time today, you will be disappointed. If you are planning to stay in a stateroom reminiscent of the opulent 30’s & 40’s you can lay that dream to rest. What you will find is  late 80’s decor covering up what’s left of the 1930’s interior: cheap carpet, ugly bedspreads, chintzy window treatments, along-side beautiful 1930’s fans that no longer work.

English: Cabin on the RMS Queen Mary.

English: Cabin on the RMS Queen Mary. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

As you roam the decks you’ll find sad displays haphazardly assembled with no regards for the integrity of the historical documents and artifacts inside. They are dusty, and often littered with rat fecal matter.

You will also find poor patch jobs in the ceiling where water damage occurs. The beautiful wood paneling which Winston Churchill himself told the soldiers during WWII mustn’t be touched is now showing the wear of its 76+ years at sea, and still awaiting restoration.

The Spa which inhabits some of the ship’s former suites has a decrepit & lackluster sign pointing the way to your “luxury” services.

If you overlook the staterooms and hallways and look instead towards the ship’s restaurants, I have some good news and some bad news. Sir Winston’s is the premiere restaurant on the ship…and for good reason. The restaurant manager J.B. is amazing. He’s been with the ship for over 10 years and truly understands how to accommodate his guests, giving them the grand reception that they would expect from a luxury liner. You will however, pay well for this privilege.

The other restaurants on the ship are poorly managed with mediocre food at best. Imagine a Denny’s ….in Compton…at midnight and you’ll begin to get a grasp for what they offer: over priced, over cooked, under whelming food. The service is slow and surly. The prices average  $15 per plate.  Oh, and by the way, if you thought you could just sit by the window while you sip your morning English Tea and pretend you’re in South Hampton, think again. The only tea you’ll find on this English ship is Lipton’s. The Duchess of Windsor is turning in her grave at this very moment.

The Queen Mary is also touted as a museum. It’s true. There are scattered exhibits (which are poorly maintained). But the guides really understand her history, architecture and art. They keep her spirit alive and are some of the nicest people I’ve met aboard the ship. They stay, not because of the great pay, nor do they stay to support her ever-changing management. They stay out of loyalty and love for this Grand Lady.

Now, so far this might just sound like another bitter yelp review(of which there are plenty). But, it was a recent find from a fellow investigator  that prompted this blog post.

In an attempt to draw in a bigger, more diverse audience and make some cold,hard cash the management has decided to let a team of motocross performers loose on the ship.

Yes , you heard me, ON THE SHIP.

This is wear I had posted a link to the YouTube video. It has since been made private.

This video demonstrates just how much these management companies understand about the property they are running.

After the video started receiving some unfavorable press there was a comment posted by one of the riders:

“All this was taken into consideration prior to filming. We worked long and hard with the Queen Mary to preserve the integrity of the ship. The locations that were used were places that had already been remodeled or altered. No historic or original locations were used. The idea was to make something cool to bring attention to such an awesome ship. There was no more harm than the average foot traffic from tourists”.

This is a still from the promo video showing the rider on the staircase of the first-class pool which is historical, original and is in serious need of repair.

If you know the ship at all, you understand that areas like the First Class Pool, the engine room, and boiler rooms are indeed original and historical areas. While they weren’t doing burn-outs on board, the weight and pressure of the bike is damaging and disrespectful. This isn’t the type of attention or the type of event that the ship needs . I don’t blame the riders. I blame the management for, once again, sending the wrong message to the public.

They need to restore the ship and teach the public how to appreciate her rich history. Instead, they throw money away on poorly thought out, poorly planned events which further her destruction. We should treat her as we would the White House, not treat her like a convention center filled with carnival acts. We should continue to view her as she was intended. She might not sail any longer but she could still offer people the experience of a lifetime.

It’s time for the company who manages her to show that they understand the difference between RENOVATION and RESTORATION.  She is an important part of history and instead of updating her, she needs to be brought back to life.

A friend recently posted this information for those of us who like to become more active in helping The Queen Mary:

If you want to voice your concerns and speak out about the horrible mistreatment of the Queen Mary, send an email or call the following:

Long Beach’s Vice Mayor Suja Lowenthal – The Queen Mary is in her district (she is also counsel person for district 2), so she should be watching out for the damage being done to historic landmarks on 2 levels. She can be reached at district2@longbeach.gov,   Suja.Lowenthal@longbeach.gov,   ph:562-570-6684.

Mr. Milford Wayne Donaldson – Head of the State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO).  They can take a more active role in trying to stop the management where we can’t. You can read more about the SHPO and get further contact information here:http://ohp.parks.ca.gov/?page_id=21755,  mwdonaldson@parks.ca.gov,   ph: 916-445-7050.

If enough of us speak out and demand they do something, there is a good chance they will. Please spread this information to as many people you know and get them to write or call in too.


A Few Days With Friends

Super special night-time investigations are not the only times evidence of our friends aboard the Queen Mary can be captured. Some of our most recent visits occurred during the day and early evening. There have been many times when we have gone to the ship just to hang out. Generally, we settle in the lobby just outside the First Class Pool. The Pool is the heart of the ship. Traffic, both living and dead, converges there. We have heard the girls playing behind closed doors, and we have met other paranormal investigators who have gotten lost while looking for different areas. Recent renovations have caused us to change our usual routine. This has afforded us some very valuable information: our ghostly friends will follow us wherever we go.

The following clips are EVPs we picked up on our casual trips to the ship.

September 19, 2011 was the first time we ventured into the lobby of the First Class Pool only to find an event taking place in the ballroom, and the bathrooms around the corner under renovation. (That renovation has since been completed and they did a beautiful job by the way.) Given all of the noise and living energy, we decided it was useless to try to record even casual conversation. So we decided to head to the area just outside the Third Class Playroom. We hung out there for about twenty minutes before activity started. During our stay (about two and a half hours) we saw unexplainable shadows and reflections, heard knocking from inside an elevator shaft that has long been closed, and we captured EVP’s and disembodied voices on our audio recorders. The activity was especially high that evening. But, as always, those we could feel but could not see just wanted to chat and find out how we were.

Last year during an evening investigation, I asked Jackie if she could tell me what her favorite color was. And though I did receive a response to my question, it was Sarah that answered. I’ve tried several times to double-check the answer we got, but had been unable to do so until this night.

As I mentioned before, we were hearing knocking coming from inside the elevator shaft. Jamie and I were sitting on either side of it, and the knocking sounded as if it were on the other side of the door. Of course, that’s impossible…or…is it?

Sarah is no longer shy around us. In fact, she answers many of our questions. If you listen closely, you can hear her response. “Me pounding?” (One of the ways we can always tell Sarah’s voice is that she tends to make statements into questions.)  In this next clip, Jamie asks “Who’s knocking?” And Sarah responds.

If you had a hard time hearing it, you might want to try lowering the volume a bit. I often find that listening to the clips at a softer volume helps my ears pick up changes in tone which, in turn, helps me focus on the EVP.

Our next visit to the ship was on September 30,2011. We were there to introduce our new friend Brittany to the ship before she joined us for a night investigation. We began our tour in the lobby of the First Class Swimming Pool. Sarah and Stark picked us up right away. After a short EVP session in the newly finished bathroom, we took a moment to discuss what parts of the ship we should show Brittany.  While we were talking, Jamie mentioned feeling as if someone had grabbed hold of her heart and squeezed. She likened the feeling to one she had experienced when we investigated Linda Vista Hospital in Boyle Heights. She equated it to something she would feel from a heart-attack patient. I told her it was Sarah. But Jamie couldn’t reconcile herself to that explanation because Sarah was too young to have died of a heart-attack. Having felt that before, I knew it was Sarah saying “Hi.” About thirty seconds later we captured this EVP.

Sarah’s voice came in beneath us talking. I mentioned wanting to give Brittany a sweeping overview of the ship. Then Jamie said she wanted to turn off her recorder because the battery was low. In fact, the battery on her recorder was low from the moment she turned it on. While we didn’t equate it to anything paranormal at the time, listening to the audio later revealed a burst of EMF interference the moment she turned it on.  It sounded like Morse Code. I now suspect the battery in Jamie’s recorder was drained. This seems to happen mostly when Sarah is around. You could hear a small amount of that same interference as Sarah said “That was me?”

Our tour that day took us to the upper decks towards the bow of the ship where we spent some time studying the exhibits. We looked at the uniforms that William Stark would have worn, mock-ups of officers quarters, and spent some time hanging out in the bridge. It seemed that our friends were taking a tour with us. In this next clip, Sarah and Stark both chime in while Jamie tries to read an old and sun-bleached document in one of the displays.

As Jamie says “I can’t see the date on it,” two voices overlap each other in agreement. Sarah says “uh-huh,” and Stark sort of growls out a “Yeah.” Then I chime in with “I know, right?” It feels as if they were looking over our shoulders while we studied the display. We were the only ones there at the time.

Now, fast forward past our night-time investigation, to our final visit. On October 22, 2011, we went to hang out for the last time before Halloween. Though we had been there three times in a month, we couldn’t resist going back again to see if we could experience more heightened activity. Unfortunately, the energy had changed. Our friends seemed distant and the energy on the ship was chaotic. This was no surprise as it was time for the Dark Harbor haunted maze event. Most of the EVPs we captured were soft and very difficult to hear. One answer to a direct question kind of summed up the trip:

Jamie asks if Stark is around and we get a very soft, very low, “No?”

Distant or not, the carnival of gratuitous fake ghosts didn’t keep one phenomena from occurring.

You can hear Brittany say “I’m feelin’ a little somethin’,” And Jamie agreeing. But towards the end of the clip, there is a “who.” This one is tough to hear, but the smooth, low, tone is definitely there.

This next one is a bit easier to hear. Though soft, the tone is higher, and it is the only thing in the clip.

So our little game of “Who” continues!  That is the fourth visit in a row where we came up with those kinds of EVPs.

Recently, I went over recordings from a few investigations we did on the ship at the end of last year and, while there were no “who’s” in them, there were a lot of other interesting EVP’s. Keep checking back at our website! http://www.EastValleyParanormal.com  I just posted some interesting photographic evidence, and EVP updates are coming! In the meantime, feel free to direct comments or questions to us here or on Facebook, and we’ll see you on the other side!