When I was little I loved to draw. I drew all the time. My subject matter centered heavily on the realm of fantasy: Unicorns in lands with green rolling hills with mountaintop castles perched above dramatic waterfalls. But I had a problem drawing the waterfalls. I had a terrific concept of what happened once the water fell. I could draw satisfactory representations of billowing clouds of overspray and the ribbon of water descending the cliff. But when it came to the origin, the place from where the water fell, I had no idea what I was doing. Sure, I knew enough from pictures to know that it kind of just looked like a straight line, a horizon, but…why?
One day, I was watching one of my favorite shows and, in this particular episode it showed a waterfall from two vantage points: from the bottom looking up and from the top looking down. And at that moment, a lightbulb went on and, while it didn’t change much about the way I had been drawing waterfalls, it DID change the way I felt about drawing waterfalls. I was no longer wary when it came time to complete the picture on paper because I had a complete picture in my head.
It’s hard, even for me, to believe that the memory of seeing one scene on television but, more importantly, of having that question answered, would remain so poignant throughout my life, but it embodies a concept I’ve experienced time and again. That moment provided more than just an answer to a question. It shed some light on who I am, on how I am made.
What does any of this have to do with ghosts you ask? Well…nothing and everything. Bear with me and let me explain. I’ve had a number of really great ideas. Not to toot my own horn or anything (toot.) but I have come up with ideas that not only could make money, but DID make money…for someone else. The problem is and has always been that I am endlessly inspired. For years I thought that maybe I was just too lazy to actually accomplish something or that maybe I had some psychological dysfunction that prevented me from following through. I have spent my life steeped in worry and disappointment in myself for never finishing or achieving that one thing that I am passionate about. Of course, my passions have changed over the years. Each one starts with a burst of palpable depth and hunger that ~must~ be fulfilled. And nearly every one has ended in the worst way…petering out to nothing.
Now, to be fair, many of my ideas took me way out of my wheelhouse. One of the things I have noticed about myself (in my kinder moments) is that I like to think big. I’m like Zeigfeld. There are lights. There’s music. Shit glows! But when it comes to breaking it down into steps, I falter. I stumble. I fall. on. my. face.
If you have gotten this far, then you are likely wondering “What is the point to all of this?”
I’ve asked myself this question numerous times. I think that question, no matter how it is applied, is at the crux of everyone’s lives. It’s an answer we all search for in numerous ways regarding numerous things. It’s a large part of why I started “hunting ghosts” in the first place.
The point is that I have had one of these Ziegfeld ideas rattling around in my head for ~years~ now and I have been perpetually stymied, once again, by the question of execution. And today, with this idea, unlike the numerous others I have had, I believe I was afforded the answer; that one elusive piece of the puzzle. And it didn’t come from some lofty pursuit or a long commitment to proper meditation regarding the subject. It came while I was on the elliptical, hating life, at the gym. Ironically, ~many~ answers have come to me while on the elliptical at the gym. Though I DESPISE working out, it is like a meditation of sorts for me. I have begrudgingly accepted this.
SO, having received the link, that one suggestion that will help me deconstruct my grand idea and break it down into something I can manage, I am choosing today to begin. Today I step into the light of accountability. I am making a pledge not only to my Ziegfeld show, but to myself, that I will put my ideas out there, share what I see and how I see it. And I invite you, the reader to take this journey with me.
If I have managed to spark your curiosity even a little, I am sure you are wondering where the journey leads….what show are we putting together, you and I? That, I will not answer. I need you, dear reader. I need you to ponder, to ask questions, to challenge me. I need you to walk with me while we look at ideas, at books, at the authors who wrote them. I need you to take note about how the things we discuss fit into your lives. And I would never dream of sullying the journey by providing an answer which, in reality, will only change as things evolve, rendering that answer erroneous after all.
I promise, for better or for worse, to be one hundred percent myself, to let you see me. The goal, for now, is to use this blog as a forum to discuss all manner of things, to broaden the scope of what “Ghost Hunting” can be, to redefine many of the terms that, as people interested in the “supernatural” or the “paranormal,” are taken for granted, to broaden my horizons, with you.
So PLEASE, read, comment and subscribe. Help me achieve my goal of following through. And help EVP achieve their goal, the specifics of which will unfurl somewhere along the way.
Written By: Heather of East Valley Paranormal
Yesterday, I decided to venture further into the WordPress Blogging Community by seeking out other blogs similar to ours. I gotta say, pick’ns were slim. I searched paranormal, ghosts, and evp’s. Then I wondered if I was doing something wrong. Right before I gave up, I found one pretty cool blog. You can and should check it out here: www.ghostguys.wordpress.com. Granted, it doesn’t seem like it has been updated since 2010 but, if you haven’t seen it, it’s new to you!
While sifting through the categories I came across a post that was right up my alley: “EMF Detection and the Higgs Field.”
Higgs Field? That’s like…physics and shit! Awesome!
The post was brief. It mentioned things like neutralinos and vector bosons which …kind of made me ~grateful~ that it was brief. Now, keep in mind, I’m not stupid, but when you start throwing words like “vector bosons” around, my brain cramps a little, and I find myself reciting calming mantras and visualizing my happy place.
After a few moments of rocking and muttering, I talked myself down from the mental ledge and really put my reading comprehension skills to work. Once I mastered my panic, I found the author’s (Michael Clark’s) theory very interesting. In a nutshell, and hopefully I am getting this right, “Spirits are intelligent collections of electromagnetic energy and massless photons…” When they interact with the Higgs Field ( a field made up of particles that is believed to give all matter its mass), a certain amount of their photons temporarily gain mass which gives them the ability to interact with our physical world ie: move objects or make sounds.
What really resonated with me was how the Higgs Field resembled what is often referred to spiritually as “The Veil” (the term that refers to the barrier or curtain between this world and the afterlife). So, if Mike’s theory has legs, it would make the Higgs Field the place where science and spirit meet.
Obviously, this thought tickled me to no end. Hell, we’ve been using it as our catchy tagline since our team’s inception. Just look at the top of this page! It inspired me to write a new post. But in order to write a proper post, I needed to do my own research into Higgs and bosons and neutralinos. So, to Wikipedia I went. Surely my beloved wiki would have some entries that could explain this vast field of study in a way that this commoner could understand. Surely.
It should be noted that more than one source of mass is known to exist, but in the Standard Model the term “Higgs mechanism” almost always signifies the mechanism responsible for electroweak symmetry breaking… The leading and simplest theory for how this effect takes place in nature is that if a particular kind of “field” (known as the Higgs field) existed, which in contrast to the more familiar gravitational field and electromagnetic field had a constant strength everywhere, then this field would give rise to a Higgs mechanism in nature, and would therefore allow particles interacting with this field to acquire a mass. During the 1960s and 1970s the Standard Model of physics was developed on this basis, and it included a prediction and requirement that for these things to be true, there had to be an undiscovered fundamental particle as the counterpart of this field. This particle would be the Higgs boson.
So there ya go! Electroweak symmetry breaking aside, the explanation of the theory is fairly straightforward and does indeed match what Mr. Clark wrote about in his blog. There are a whole bunch of symmetrical particles floating around out there without mass. Then they collide with the Higgs field and BAM they get all lopsided and suddenly have mass.
I made a scientific model to better demonstrate this complex principle:
Okay…I’ll admit I heard a symphony of crickets in the silent moments after I read that. My brain got stuck on what exactly gives these symmetrical particles mass. It just seems like something is missing. But I allowed myself to temporarily set that little query aside, opting instead to continue my initial quest for a better understanding of the specific terms referenced in the original article.
Once I checked into the Higgs Field, I had to know what a “neutralino” or “neutrino” particle was. Once again, I looked to Wikipedia for a decent explanation in laymen’s terms. This is what I found:
In particle physics, the neutralino is a hypothetical particle predicted by supersymmetry. There are four neutralinos that are fermions and are electrically neutral, the lightest of which is typically stable. They are typically labeled N͂0
1 (the lightest), N͂0
3 and N͂0
4 (the heaviest) although sometimes is also used when is used to refer to charginos. These four states are mixtures of the bino and the neutral wino (which are the neutral electroweak gauginos), and the neutral higgsinos. As the neutralinos are Majorana fermions, each of them is identical with its antiparticle. Because these particles only interact with the weak vector bosons, they are not directly produced at hadron colliders in copious numbers. They primarily appear as particles in cascade decays of heavier particles (decays that happen in multiple steps) usually originating from colored supersymmetric particles such as squarks or gluinos.
So…the neutralinos are Majorana fermions. I suspected as much. And they like…fall off of the larger squarks and gluinos as they decay. Sure. That makes sense. Clearly, ghosts are not made of such things! To assume they are would be like assuming they are made up of snips, snails, and puppy dog tails. And that’s just silly!
So much for layman’s terms. Again, I heard crickets..many many crickets… they were laughing at me…chirpy mocking laughter. And I heard one say, “You asked!” Wikipedia managed an explanation so complex, that when I copied and pasted it, WordPress didn’t know exactly how to type it.
I’ll admit that at this point, I was willing to give up and let Mr. Michael “Smarty-pants” Clark be the brainiest ghost hunter on the block. But I had one more query. Has the science of physics made mention of anything having to do with ghosts? Ever? Though I knew the chances were slim, I returned to Wikipedia (for consistency’s sake) and ran a search for “ghost physics.” Several things came up, none of which had anything to do with the kind of ghosts I was talking about. Still, I clicked on a link that looked interesting. This is what awaited me:
In theoretical physics, BRST quantization (where the BRST refers to Becchi, Rouet, Stora and Tyutin) is a relatively rigorous mathematical approach to quantizing a field theory with a gauge symmetry. Quantization rules in earlier QFT frameworks resembled “prescriptions” or “heuristics” more than proofs, especially in non-abelian QFT, where the use of “ghost fields” with superficially bizarre properties is almost unavoidable for technical reasons related to renormalization and anomaly cancellation. The BRST supersymmetry was introduced in the mid-1970s and was quickly understood to justify the introduction of these Faddeev–Popov ghosts and their exclusion from “physical” asymptotic states when performing QFT calculations. Work by other authors a few years later related the BRST operator to the existence of a rigorous alternative to path integrals when quantizing a gauge theory.
It’s a “relatively rigorous” approach. This silenced even the crickets. It was like I landed in the middle of an episode of “The Big Bang Theory.” It’s Halloween and Penny wants Sheldon to prove that ghosts exist. Is this what the writers do when they give them all that brainy stuff to say? The explanation was so theoretical, that if you spoke it out-loud half of the terms would be in air quotes! Physics makes me cry.
My quest for a better understanding of the article which seemed so innocent in the beginning led me through a maze of terms and names and air quotes. Though it offered little ground towards a better understanding of where spirit meets science, it did make me thankful for the inspiration I drew from the original post. And it made me that much more thankful that Michael Clark’s original post… was brief.
“Queen Mary staff working with City officials worked on the CMP (Conservation Management Plan) and the Long Beach Cultural Heritage Commission approved the CMP in April 2011. Since the adoption, Queen Mary staff has been working to implement various base programming elements. The Preservation Management Team has been assembled and currently evaluating [a] multi-year restoration, reconstruction, and preservation program.”
~From the official Queen Mary Website~
I don’t think this was part of the city approved plan.
Several days ago, a video appeared on YouTube promoting an upcoming event to be held at The Queen Mary in Long Beach, Ca. It was a professional shoot. Cameras followed riders as they drove their bikes through the historical areas of the ship. If you read our previous post, you are already familiar with the details. If you haven’t, let me briefly catch you up.
The video was only up for a short period of time before it was made private by XDL, the organization who shot it. It was privatized due to a very rapid, very public backlash against the current management group (Evolution Management) who, according to one of the riders from the video, “worked long and hard” with their stunt group to “preserve the integrity of the ship.”
On July 24, just a day after the promotional video blew up in management’s face, a statement of apology was released on Facebook (buried in comment threads) in response to the outrage over the ship’s involvement:
The Queen Mary maintains strict filming and third-party promotional guidelines. Conduct that presents a risk to the ship, its property or reputation as a cherished Long Beach asset and global maritime icon will not be tolerated.
The recent breach of pre-approved filming protocols by videographers contracted by the XDL Championship Series has resulted in an apology to the City of Long Beach and to the Queen Mary.
“XDL selected the Queen Mary for its event because of her iconic status. We have no interest in damaging or disrespecting the ship or her history in any way. XDL is in agreement with those who have complained about this unfortunate incident. Like them, we believe the Queen Mary is a treasure that should be protected. XDL offers its sincere apology to the City of Long Beach and the Queen Mary’s family of fans.” Randy Grube, Founder, XDL.
The XDL Motorcycle Madness event, [dates omitted], will use parking lot and adjacent land areas for all activities.
We continue to stand by our ongoing commitment to the preservation and enhancement of the Queen Mary’s historical and physical assets.
Now, at first glance, this may seem like a small victory. Representatives for the ship have assured us that the event will take place in the adjacent parking lot area (where stunt motorcycles should be). However, the apology actually highlights a bigger issue.
From the beginning of Evolution Management’s reign over the ship, they have shown two tendencies. First, they are great at saying all of the right things, but then they fail to back up their words with actions.
“We recognize how truly iconic the Queen Mary is – there’s simply nothing else like it – and we’re excited to be a part of the team that supports the ship…We plan to build upon all that has been achieved previously at the Queen Mary and are ready to apply our management expertise, tools and technology, and servant leadership philosophy to the ship, its guests and associates, and the Long Beach community at large.”
Servant leadership philosophy, indeed. Their first noteworthy act as the ship’s new management was to raise parking and ticket prices without warning, and with no added value for the customer. Who’s serving who?
Second: They are prone to ducking responsibility for their missteps:
“The recent breach of pre-approved filming protocols by videographers contracted by the XDL Championship Series…”
When we do our after-hours investigations of the ship, we are required to sign a contract which states the areas of the ship we will be investigating. We are assigned a security guard who stays with our team throughout the night. He is charged with the responsibility of protecting both the ship and us. We carry audio recorders and EMF detectors. Our biggest pieces of equipment fit inside backpacks. Now, management wants us to believe that a motorcycle stunt group SNUCK on board and RODE THEIR BIKES around the ship with a full crew ~unnoticed~?
Did the riders and camera crew hide their equipment under their shirts? Perhaps someone pointed in the direction opposite the entrance and yelled “LOOK!” while cast and crew quietly rolled bikes and carried cameras and equipment aboard. In one, fell, swoop they threw both the motorcycle stunt group as well as their own security team under the bus…or ship…as the case may be. Classy.
One thing we have learned in our years of investigating the Queen Mary is that security is not stupid, and they are not lazy. They are constantly on the move, patrolling off-limit areas and handling situations. I am sure that if someone was doing donuts unauthorized on the Sun Deck of the ship amidst camera operators and production assistants, Queen Mary security would shut it down. And if the stunt group “breached filming protocols” as the statement claims, why would they still be allowed to have their event on Queen Mary property?
Nick Lind, one of the bike riders in association with the promotional video made this comment on a Facebook thread:
“…For all of you that claim you know this ship so well, you should know that it would have been impossible to make this video without the consent of the ships staff… For you to belive that there was no consent and that the whole crew slipped past security and filmed this is absurd!! This was a promo clip for a motorcycle event not a James Bond film!!”
He’s absolutely right. This has nothing to do with XDL, who, by the way, has held this event on Queen Mary property for several years in a row. It is not up to them to decide what will damage the ship’s integrity. That task belongs to her management team. It is THEIR job to filter out the bad ideas. The truth is, they failed here. And, instead of taking responsibility for their mistake, they lied about it, and sought out scapegoats.
There is one word that describes these actions: SHADY.
They have failed their business partners, they have failed their employees, they have failed the public and, worst of all, they have failed the ship, all of whom, they supposedly “serve.”
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
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.
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”.
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.
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 email@example.com, 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, firstname.lastname@example.org, 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.
Recently, the team did a local investigation in Pasadena, California. Beneath the historical National Bank building which dates back to the 1800’s, is an annual commercial haunted house (www.oldtownhaunt.com). Built within the original catacombs where the bank placed their vaults, this is one Halloween attraction that is truly haunted. Our chaperone, Gary, was a great guy; enthusiastic about the night’s activities, ready to listen and learn, he proved an awesome guide and ensured our time beneath the city was problem-free.
After a quick tour, the investigation began, and activity started right away. We started in the old vault where we experienced cold spots, captured EVPs, and felt the tickle of spider webs (though there was nothing tangible to create the tickle). But after about an hour and a half, things got really interesting.
We moved from the vault to the southwest corner of the maze which was not ideal. From the top-notch horn player farting out tunes on the sidewalk above to the traffic, proximity to the busy street outside threatened to provide some serious audio contamination. Regardless, we settled there, noting the noise and marking our audio well, especially for any conversations that drifted in.
Little did we know, audio phenomena would not be our best shot at compelling evidence. We were in our new spot about ten minutes before something hard hit the concrete floor nearby.
We were not expecting things to start flying through the air. This particular piece of brick landed behind us. It came from the empty and unwatched end of the corridor in which we were standing. We walked toward the sound immediately, trying to figure out if there was anything in the area that could have made the sound we heard.
There were three “rocks” on the floor where the noise had come from. As you can hear, all three were examined. The first piece of debris turned out to be foam. Though it is only open for part of the year, the haunt remains in tact year round, so we were literally wandering through a maze full of hanging corpses and false walls, many of which were made of foam. We were not sure where the other pieces of stone came from because there were no real exposed walls in the area. Perhaps it fell from the ceiling? Or, perhaps Chaperone Gary was having some fun with us? Because the location is set up for maximum scare potential, it wouldn’t be too far-fetched to think that Gary, a guy who works the haunt every year, would have some tricks we might not know about.
Our question would be answered during evidence review. If you listen closely to the end of the first clip, you will hear the voice of a little girl we call Sarah. (Not to be confused with the Sarah we regularly talk to aboard the Queen Mary) I isolated the EVP out of the longer clip so it would be easier to hear.
Having trouble hearing it? Here’s some advice: Make sure you have ear buds or headphones on and, instead of turning the sound up, try turning it down. I know it sounds counter-intuitive, but it really works!
Though faint, the answer is there. “It was me.” She was trying to get our attention, and it worked.
Sarah wasn’t the only one speaking to us. Apparently we had an audience while trying to figure out what had occurred. At the end of the clip where we are examining the pieces of stone on the floor, we captured this faint EVP.
Though it is quick, there is a whisper there that says “we know” and it seems to be in response to us figuring out which piece of brick was the one that actually made the sound we heard.
It’s funny. When you start getting crazy activity, the skeptic in you wants to dismiss it. There is a part of you that would prefer the culprit was living, because it would be easier for your brain to make sense out of it. But, as important as it was for us to dismiss that first noise, or, at the very least, set it aside for later analysis, it was just as important for Sarah to make herself known. Just five minutes later, it happened again. And, this time, it was louder.
That piece of debris was actually hurled parallel to the floor along the corridor adjoining ours. As you can probably tell, it hit a wood wall at the end and then skidded along the floor. Again, we did not actually see the rock fly through the air. And we did not have eyes on the end of the darkened corridor from which it came. But, as you can hear on the audio, the rock was thrown with a great deal of force. And our tosser wasn’t finished.
Less than five minutes later, it happened again. And this time, we knew it had to be paranormal. Once again, we missed the throw. But while there wasn’t enough light in the tunnels to catch the piece of brick in mid-air, there was certainly enough light by which to see a human figure. However, there were no human figures to see.
As you can hear on the audio, it hit a foam hook that was hanging in front of a metal gate. Like most ghost hunters, I had that annoying habit of pointing the camera in the wrong direction every time another piece of brick took flight. I know. I know. It’s annoying as hell. But while I didn’t catch the brick in flight, I did manage to capture the swinging hook and the piece of brick that caused it to swing. You can check out the video on our YouTube channel.
Now, so far, I have to say, this is a pretty epic display. I mean, it’s up there with what we call our “Party In The Mirror” picture. It took us months of theorizing and debunking before we finally gave in to the fact that there is no natural explanation for the image. But the activity wasn’t finished. Another piece of brick was tossed about fifteen minutes later. This fourth and final piece was the largest piece thrown.
As you can probably tell, that one freaked me out. It was a big piece of brick! And it hit really close to where I was. (And I STILL didn’t capture it on video.) We immediately started looking for a place where the brick could have come from, and it seemed like the most likely point of origin was an exposed brick wall about five or six feet away. This particular wall was originally an entrance to more tunnels that had been blocked off years before.
While we were trying to figure out the point of origin of the latest piece of brick, we captured an EVP. I’m not sure if it should be classified as an EVP or a disembodied voice because, as you can hear in this next clip, I heard “someone” at the time. I know that what I heard made me uncomfortable even though I couldn’t tell what had been said. It felt like whoever spoke was right by me, in my personal space. CREEPER.
Did you catch that? Just after I say “It has to be ~covered~” there is an EVP of someone saying my name…which was in my ear…and all up in my business. Here it is isolated.
So not right. I theorize that the ghosts know me by name because I have a big mouth and never shut up. That’s just how I roll.
Now, you would think that our playful ghostly friend would be worn out by now. That’s four pieces of brick she just sent flying through the air in less than an hour. About twenty minutes passed, and we were fairly sure the ghost who, at the time, I nicknamed “Gus,” was exhausted. Out of boredom, I began to playfully taunt the spirit just to see if we could squeeze some more activity out of it. And it worked. A little more than twenty minutes later, we heard this:
Our recorder, which had been sitting safely on a ledge, suddenly fell to the floor and started playback. Brian had just walked away from the device before it fell. Immediately, we put it back where it was and started jumping around the base of the set-piece on which it was resting, wondering if the vibration from traffic outside could have made it suddenly jump to its doom. Nothing happened. We then shook the pillar trying to get it to fall. It didn’t budge.
Later, while going through evidence, I discovered something that boggled my mind. The previous audio clip was captured on the recorder I was holding. The following clip is what it sounded like from the perspective of the recorder that was knocked down.
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!
gōst/Noun: An apparition of a dead person that is believed to appear or become manifest to the living, typically as a nebulous image.
ghost (g st) n. 1. The spirit of a dead person, especially one believed to appear in bodily likeness to living persons or to haunt former habitats. 2. The center of spiritual life; the soul. 3. A demon or spirit. 4. A returning or haunting memory or image.
Main Entry: 1 ghost Pronunciation: \ˈ gōst\Function: noun Etymology: Middle English gost, gast, from Old English gāst; akin to Old High German geist spirit, Sanskrit heḍa anger Date: before 12th century 1 : the seat of life or intelligence : SOUL 2 : a disembodied soul; especially : the soul of a dead person believed to be an inhabitant of the unseen world or to appear to the living in bodily likeness
These are some of the definitions given from the world’s most upstanding dictionaries, yet I think all of them are missing the mark.
What is a ghost? Is it just a faint semblance of one who is no longer living? Is it just an imprint in time? Or is it more than that?
In my eyes, the term “ghost” is forever changing. The more I research and investigate, the more the definition changes. I am constantly amazed at what we get in return for our sincere efforts.
My interests in the Paranormal started in childhood. They were born of experiences that were both scary and intriguing. They kept me up at night, made me sleep with a night-light, and made me extremely shy around anyone that I didn’t know.
Are you real? Are you a Spirit? Will I see you in my dreams tonight? These were questions I would ask. As I grew older, the curiosity grew stronger along with the need to understand and communicate. Questions began to formulate and at some point I even questioned my own sanity.
What was it about the departed that kept me up at night? Was it fear of dying or curiosity of the possibilities of existing in another realm?
For me it transcended what I knew about living, about dying, about religion….about everything. It made me more interested in the past and more concerned for the future.
Paranormal investigating started with researching haunted locations on the internet or in books. From there, it turned into day trips full of exploration in an effort to satisfy growing curiosity. But each piece of the puzzle, every new clue, did more to spur curiosity than to satiate it. Slowly, I began to accrue equipment in an effort to answer the question: What is a ghost?
Part of learning how to investigate came from following examples. I watched television shows and talked to other investigators. I compared notes and judged my success by the success of others. As I continued, I found that no matter what evidence I captured, I had more questions than answers. I began to try new things and I questioned previous beliefs. I open myself to new ideas and possibilities and developed new connections that I didn’t know were possible.
In an effort to validate the field, investigators try desperately to adhere to a scientific method. I agree that evidence should be looked at through the filters of scrutiny and skepticism. However, I feel that this is often done at the expense of other natural abilities. Some call it instinct. Some call it extra sensory perception. Whatever the term, the human mind is blessed with a range of abilities, many of which are just as worthy of garnering results as the K2 meter or the audio recorder. While depending on instinct alone to successfully collect evidence in an investigation would do nothing to advance the rest of the community’s understanding of what we are experiencing, denying the use of the abilities we already possess would be like throwing out a hammer because you bought a drill. They are all tools, and they can be used in conjunction with one another in order to further the research process.
As of now I am no closer to a text-book definition than I was when I started. But I will say that I am closer to understanding why they are here. What people call “ghost” is still someone who walked the Earth as we do, and now experiences a new type of life. The fact that we can communicate with them is a gift. They can teach us about the past, make us appreciate the present, and change our minds about the future.
So if you ask me what I believe a ”ghost” is, for now I will just say they are teachers, and the lesson isn’t over yet.