Thursday, August 1, 2019

False Positives with External Speakers

By Faye Navarro



            How many times as a Paranormal Investigator do you and /or others use portable speakers for burst sessions on investigations and events?   Over the years I have seen my share of others doing just that. We as investigators have different opinions on equipment, methods, etiquette and so on.  The differences are what makes us as a whole a great mix, as some mixes they work well with each other and others not so much but all in all, it is a learning process.  You take what works for you and discard the rest.
          As for me one of my favorite things are audio, I can spend hours and hours reviewing audio without issues. For others, it seems like a job so of course, they find something else that works best for them. With reviewing audio, we all have different preferences to what audio editing software we like. Again, we all have our favorites and we work well with what we like. Correct?  Plus, audio on cases vary with recorders being use and when to use them. Some use only for burst sessions or EVP sessions, for myself, I record all the time. I know I know some of you may say but it's not always a controlled environment, there is too much noise contamination.  I for some reason can remember what was going on and who was where and if I heard a noise or something from another area.  I will say it again that I love audio review, so hours and multiple recorders don't bother me, so I want to do my best to gather as much evidence as possible.  Through the years I have noticed that spirits tend to speak when they want to not just when we ask questions. They love to put their two cents in on a conversation we may be having at the time. 
       With that being said back to the subject at hand portable speakers. Although it is really cool to do a burst session and listen back to see if you get a response, how often do we get true results? When you go home where you can put on your headphones and have a quiet space to review audio your full focus is on that but then again that is after the investigation or event.  Some people want to get results right away in hopes to further communicate. There is nothing wrong with that at all, isn't it about further communication with spirit.
        My thing is though who thinks about the false positives using this method, does it always work?  Which speaker is the better speaker? Again, it is a preference for the investigator. We all hear at different frequencies, so at times not everyone will hear something or again upon what is being said.  So, which goes to show that at times when using a portable speaker, it can create ambient sound in itself then add additional sounds like people and location sounds. Using this method, it is difficult to say that you can fully give your attention.
       My personal observation and opinion of course, since I do record all the time. I tend to have a recorder on my person which records all the time. Depending on how long I am at the location does depend on how often I stop and start another file but on average I record a file none stop for a couple of hours. At times I have been at locations with others who randomly do burst sessions. So, on my recorder, I will have the record time of them asking questions and all the other things going on then I also will have the playback of that session.  I have noticed and came up with two different thoughts or possibilities.  Example one situation one the original recording during the burst session someone was getting the gear out of a backpack and during the replay that same time frame on the playback it sounded vocal but in actual reality, it was just the sound of the person getting the gear out of the back. So, in that case, my opinion was the ambient sound from the portable speaker caused the sound to sound vocal.  Did it hurt anyone knowing it was one or the other? No not at all but in my opinion, it has and can cause the investigator now to change gears on their questions or investigating process. Still does that hurt? No, not again just to me may delay communicating the way one would without that false positive.   Now another example once again I had gathered myself while investing with others was a different way of looking at things.  A false positive, possibly or spirit responding in delay.  I had my recorder going while someone was doing a burst session got nothing during the questions then on playback, there was a response. Now was it a delay from the spirits which I caught while the person was using the portable speaker or was it again a false positive but during the session whatever sound it could have been faint enough that I may not have taken much notice. Could very well have been, one never really knows.
       I just know that for me I don't do many burst sessions just because I like the way they put their two cents in rather than drill them with rapid questions all night. If I ever do a burst session, I don't use a portable speaker and I usually have earbuds on me which I could use to see if there is something there or just listen to what comes from the speaker of the recorder.  The only time I use a portable speaker is during a reveal at a client’s house if the laptop speakers are not loud enough for others to hear but usually, I have my earphones for the client to listen through. Like I said some use portable speakers some of us don't, I just hope that those who do want to verify a little more to rule out false positives.  This is just my opinion and observation.



Thursday, July 18, 2019

Shadow Travels: A House In Amityville

By JEBradstreet


     I won’t lie; the place used to give me nightmares.
     I watched the original movie portrayal of the Lutz family’s experience here on a dark night in the 1990s, and I was lucky to have my older sisters and a few friends present. Upon further research I often found myself getting unfriendly dread and sensations that I was not alone.
     The idea of being helpless in bed while someone of your immediate loved ones decided to stand over you and end your life was a haunting proposition in its own right. The possibility that otherworldly evils forced you into it added to the freaky factor.
     The Lutz encounters are probably the most debated case of fraud in paranormal history, but that does not change the fact that only one member of the family that dwelled there previously is still alive- and he is serving life in prison for the six members who are not.

     Mass murder of bizarre circumstances took place in the walls of the beautiful Dutch colonial by the river, and that itself can create a storm of energy that is unable to rest in death.
     Layers of fascination built over the years as I discovered the famous “ghost boy photo” that was captured during an investigation that followed the Lutz family’s hasty abandonment of the house. This was done by the Channel 5 news crew with Ed and Lorraine Warren in attendance. It is possibly the only source of credible evidence that supernatural things dwelled in the house. Others claim that the photo has been debunked.
     This does not erase the fact that George and Kathy both passed lie detector tests, and they went to their graves saying that the accounts were true. Their sons have come forth corroborating the stories.
But no reports of further paranormal occurrences plague proceeding residents. And why would they want to stir the fire since the town seems disturbed by an overwhelming amount of visitors and gawking tourists like myself? These are people with much less respect- people who have taken pieces of the house, the grass, the personal space of private owners. Some have even been known to ring the doorbell. Can’t say I wasn’t tempted.
     The quiet town does not associate itself with the terrible things that happened on Ocean Avenue. You will find no stores with ghostly memorabilia, but you will find a fence around the horror house yard and plenty of ‘No Trespassing’ signs to keep you going on your way.
     I was drawn there after years of reoccurring dreams that saw me going up the stairs and into a different room each time. The rooms were always dark as I was pulled into the blackest section where something awaited me. Growing older, the dreams changed. I was no longer pulled or forced into these places, rather I would charge forward on my own accord to face off with whatever hostile beings dwelled in the black corners.
     I suppose being an adult has its advantages sometimes.
     On that note, I made it a point to not have to dream anymore. It was the day after Halloween, and I was determined to make it a reality.
     After heathens of New York traffic, I cruised into Long Island late in the day. Charming signs welcomed me into Amityville, and I was relieved to have a while to breathe on less busy roads. The buildings and houses gave the homey feeling of a quiet area. It was not long before I took a right turn onto Ocean Avenue. One STOP sign later, I beheld the place that consumed my mind for so long.

     Formerly addressed as number 112, it is in an upscale neighborhood with people going for walks and groups of kids riding bikes. ... Little bastards who would not take my picture in front of the house.
     The home looks unique from all the others and is by no means isolated. The black-cloak decoration of a witch stretched across the house face under famous windows that have been remodeled from when they looked like the eyes. I found it ironic that Ronald DeFeo Jr. claimed a black-hooded figure handed him the gun that he used to slaughter his family.
     The sign that used to be in front of the house is long gone from the place, much like the idea that the sign used to convey when it read High Hopes.
     I turned around, parked my rental in the business center on the corner, ordered a pizza, and went for my walk. Leaves of all colors made rattles on the street.
     My heart pumped as loudly in my chest as the leaves that made scraping noises along the street. It was not long until I stood before it, smelled the New England air, and hoped to get no hassle from neighbors. I took a long stare at the place and wondered, like most people do, why each member of the DeFeo family was found face-down in bed, why none of them were awakened by the sounds of gun blasts, and why zero neighbors heard anything out of the ordinary aside from the dog barking.
     I internally criticized how it would not be a surprise for neighbors to notice me and cause trouble, even though they were unable to notice more than five rounds of high powered rifle blasts in the middle of the night. But then I fell back into wonder at other claims about the house.
     George Lutz claimed that the night he and his family fled, it sounded like a storm inside the house. And I believe it was Hans Holtzer who mentioned that some entities are able to encapsulate sound like a force field trying to keep secrets.
     I certainly know of hauntings where noises of chaos, destruction, and broken dishware turn up no mess at all. It is a phenomenon all its own, and I always wonder what type of entities are able to manipulate sound so intensely. How is it possible to convince our ears that we hear something? It must be equally possible to convince unwanted ears that they hear nothing.
     To top off the strangeness, Lutz often said he was drawn to the fireplace repeatedly at the infamous 3AM hour- the same hour said to be when the DeFeo family were executed.
     From the other side of the river, I took a picture of the house with a red sunset in the background. Another surreal moment of accomplishment. ... And, yes, it was fantastic pizza.
     The house on Ocean Avenue in Amityville, Long Island is on the market as of the moment this is written. If you happen to score the purchase, please let me in for a sleepover. I assure you a night of utmost respect and quietness. Nothing paranormal happens there anymore, anyway.





For more Shadow Travels like this one, follow me on Facebook, Instagram, and Youtube
And don't be afraid to check out some works of paranormal fiction on my website and my Amazon Author Page....

Saturday, July 13, 2019

Something About A Cemetery....

By JEBradstreet



     They dot the landscapes in a variety of displays. Some colorful, many elaborate, often hidden in unexpected places like tree-covered hillsides or forgotten plots in the desert.


     Death is big business because it seems to be one of a few things that have been prominent throughout history. With so many people here and gone, a variety of afterlife displays have come about. But one special version of this ritual comes in the form of a good old cemetery.



You may come across a wild character from history, such as the outlaw poet called Black Bart in Marysville.







Or the worn epitaph on the headstone of strange fiction writer H.P. Lovecraft in Swan Point.







     The feeling of walking into- or stumbling upon- these places usually has a different feel to it, depending on the atmosphere. One may feel a sense of peace in the presence of simple stones, the scent of cut grass, and bright flowers fluttering in the breeze. That feeling might be opposite when surrounded by broken memorials on weeded hillsides and looming tree branches that have not seen a caretaker in years.
     I have seen many varieties of these memorial grounds.

   




Every monument in the Père Lachaise Cemetery has its own uniqueness that seems to be built by an artistic sculptor.









The creeping moss and brooding tombs in Highgate Cemetery breed good reason for the rumors of a vampire lurking around.










Union Cemetery, made famous by the Warrens claiming it to be one of the most haunted in the USA, has tilting stones and dates from centuries ago.







In New Haven, Connecticut there is a cemetery known as the Crypt On the Green. It resides in the basement under a beautiful church.











And the simple headstones from the Winter Quarters coalmine disaster rest on the hill overlooking Scofield, Utah.












Honorable mention goes to the Montmartre Cemetery, much of which resides under a bridge busy with foot and auto traffic. It is full of wild, wandering cats who move about the crypts.

   



     Many of these places seem quiet enough to meditate, but we often hear about the restless side of these places. Virginia City, Nevada has tales of glowing light with no natural source. Boothill Cemetery bares ghostly tales of those who did not survive Tombstone, Arizona. And Bodie, California is known for its deadly curse on anyone who takes even the smallest item from the area. Let us not forget the photos captured of strange figures in Bachelor's Grove, said to be a dumping ground for the mob.
   
     It always baffles me when people would find enjoyment vandalizing these places. How bored can people be? It is one thing to sneak into a moonlit burial ground for the thrill of makeout sessions and fast romps among the tombstones, but it is entirely another demon when monuments that cost lots of money from families who wanted to memorialize loved ones have been toppled over or sprayed with paint for a night of “fun”.

     These people lack any ambition or creative powers to occupy their time creating something, so they occupy their time in sabotage and destruction.

     In other ways, the dead have been disrespected by ghouls and seekers of easy money- like macabre entrepreneurs who sold bodies to medical schools. This practice may have actually lead to more knowledge of the human body that we have today. Double-edge sword indeed.

Then there are those who have dug into crypts for fortune. As was the case with the body of President Abraham Lincoln when his corpse was stolen for ransom. A more depraved reality comes from those who put their muscles to work and dig through the six feet of dirt to do mind-blowing deeds, example being that of one lonely farm owner out of Plainfield, Wisconsin. Another example being the unidentified Ghoul of Whitmire Cemetery.

     It is not uncommon when Mother Nature herself takes entitlement to vandalizing, such as the heavy downpours of rain that have uncovered some burial grounds and the floating coffins of Hurricane Katrina. A more supernatural event of unexplained destruction comes from Barbados, where the Chase Family vault has become a legend for the repeated ransacking of caskets by an unseen force.

     But it is not uncommon for more selfish reasons of defacing these monuments to the dead. People who simply want memorabilia have ruined it for the rest of us. Hence why there is no longer a statue the likeness of the Lizard King on Jim Morrison's grave in Paris, France and why the headstone of Billy the Kid has been caged in Fort Sumner, New Mexico.


 
















     For those of us who have learned to respect the memory of those who have passed on, sometimes centuries before our first breath, these grounds are important places. It is no wonder why the Native Americans guarded their own places of tribute to fallen relatives as the influx of people who marked the graves with stone monuments and crosses may have intruded on their original cemeteries.
It is important to remember to give the utmost respect in these grounds. They are dedicated to the lives of many people who still have stories to tell.

     These are stories from different generations across the spectrum of time. Lives of tragic repeats and unsung heroes who heavily believed in the generations of people to be born long after their final breath.

     And, whether you believe it or not, your lack of appreciation for their final resting place could very well lead to them following you home.


We speak lightly here where families shed a tear.
Our naked eye unknowing that souls are near.

It's easy to find fate and future if you search hard.
It's easiest if you walk down to the churchyard.

- JEB

Saturday, June 15, 2019

Evidence: The Key to a Paranormal Investigation

By Scott Wolf
                                                               Photo by John Schnobrich on Unsplash

When I first became interested in the Paranormal I read every book and website I could find on the topic. Even though I am not big on reading, I could finish an entire book in two days. I just couldn’t get enough information to quench my desire for knowledge on the subject.
During a visit to my local library I came across a book that I thought was about ghosts and the paranormal. The title was very deceiving. I took it home anyways not really knowing what it was about.

As I read through the book I began to realize that the intent of the author was to discredit the paranormal. He wasn’t interested in entertaining the idea that it was possible that ghosts actually existed. He also wasn’t interested in attempting to capture any evidence to establish any kind of claim or attempt to use that evidence to debunk it. He would simply visit a location that was reported to be haunted, walk around for a couple of hours, and if a ghost didn’t jump out at him and say, “Boo!,” that location wasn’t haunted. By the end of the book, the author came to the conclusion that there were no haunted locations, just “haunted” people. In other words, those that believe are making it up. I will never get the two days back that I spent reading that book!

Today, there are tons of paranormal shows on TV and the internet. A majority of the shows collect evidence during their investigation, but some don’t. Some are based solely on one persons "special abilities" to detect if a location is haunted or not. Not one bit of evidence is collected to support their claims.

One such show, which I will refrain from mentioning the name, involves an individual going to different locations and telling the owner what they sense. It’s usually a demonic entity, which drives me nuts! I will save my disdain for those that believe demonic entities are hiding around every corner for another blog.

I have watched this show several times. If I don’t know someone or if I can’t point to any evidence that can back their claims, I am a little skeptical of their “abilities.” A famous politician once said, “trust, but verify.” I always refer back to that statement in cases where I find myself a little skeptical.

So, several of the episodes involved locations I have never been. Since I have never been there and I don’t know the history of the location, I remained skeptical, but had nothing to go off of. One episode involved a location that I knew very well! They went to the Amargosa Hotel and Opera House in Death Valley Junction, California. I had investigated and researched the heck out of that location.

After spending some time walking around, the star of the show sat down  with the caretakers of the hotel and explained what they felt was happening at the hotel. Everything they talked about was the same information that was common knowledge and you could find on every website about the history of the hotel or legends that had been passed around throughout the years. Some kind of evidence would have been nice to back up their claims. Without evidence, they were simply repeating the stories they have heard and these stories were not based off of any kind of physical proof.
Our team basis our investigations off of physical evidence, pictures/video/audio. We need something physical to present to the client so that they can see or hear for themselves that there is possibly something there. Without that physical evidence, we just have personal experiences that can’t be backed up.

I am sure many would say to themselves, yes, but evidence can be faked so what does it really matter? That is true and all you have to do is look at social media and you can find many instances where people put out fake videos, pictures, or audio in order to go “viral” and gain interest. Apps have also been created where you can insert a picture of a “ghost” into any picture to try and fool people to think that a picture of something paranormal was captured.
For those of us investigators who have reviewed 100s of hours of video and audio and 100s of pictures taken during an investigation, spotting a fake is rather easy. We take spotting fakes seriously. Every fake that comes out damages any credibility real investigators have and makes a mockery of the work that we do.

There is no way that we, as investigators, can prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that our evidence is paranormal. There is no method to prove it. Most of what we go off of is based on theories by those that came before us. It would be wonderful if we had scientific proof that our evidence was paranormal. That is why we try to caveat our evidence as "possible" or "probable" when we refer to it. If all other reasonable explanations for what that evidence can be is debunked, then there is a good case to be made that it is probable that we have captured paranormal evidence. How else can one explain capturing a voice on audio that doesn’t match anyone that was present in an area or capturing a voice in an area where no one else was present?

Even though we can’t prove the evidence is 100% paranormal there are ways that we can verify the integrity of our video, photographic, and audio evidence. There are specialists in these fields that can review the evidence and certify that the evidence hasn’t been altered in any way. While this is a good method, it’s not always practical to send out every bit of evidence for every investigation to be verified.

Video, Audio, and photographic evidence is the key to a paranormal investigation. While personal experiences like seeing or having a direct encounter, sensing the presence of something paranormal, and the ability to communicate with ghosts is great, it doesn’t provide a client with the possible proof they are seeking unless something they can hear or see can be presented with the personal experience.

Watching a clients face during a review of evidence says it all. We can talk for hours about our personal experiences and you can tell that a client just isn’t as impressed. When we play a class A EVP for a client, the excitement that they have been validated is obvious. We have even had clients invite their neighbors over to listen to our evidence because they are so excited. It’s this reaction that proves that this form of evidence is the key to a paranormal investigation.


Sunday, April 28, 2019

Meet Michelle Gondor

By Jennifer Furgerson
Meet Investigator Michelle Gondor



How long have you been interested in the Paranormal?

I have been interested in the paranormal for as long as I can remember. I cannot honestly tell you when it began. My experiences started as a very young child.




Have you had personal experiences? How many? Which is the most memorable? Why?


When I was very young, I assumed everyone had the sorts of experiences I did. As I got older, it became more and more clear that not everyone had the same types of experiences, but I am so amazed how many people have had paranormal experiences.

I have had more personal experiences than I have ever communicated to anyone or can begin to count. My experiences are typically more visual than auditory. I see more than I hear. That being said, I've had repeated experiences where I have seen, heard, felt and smelled the paranormal both residually or intelligently.

Perhaps I'm a 'sensitive,' or a bit 'psychic'. I believe we all have some capacity for such things inherently, but some express these traits more than others for reasons I'm always learning more about.

The most memorable experience I have had was when someone close to me who passed came and told me, "death is not the end." The smile I saw I will never forget.



What made you seek out a Paranormal Investigation team?

I want to share my passion and help others.

Ultimately, my why in life is people like you. I genuinely care and I want to help - both the living and what remains of those who have passed on – as much as I can. I will do everything I can to show people they aren't alone, because they aren't.

I feel that when things feel the darkest and we are afraid is when empathy, compassion and understanding can change everything.

I cannot tell you how many times I've been told, 

"You can't care about everyone, Michelle." 

Says who?

"You can't help everyone."

Maybe, but I'll give it my very best.


How long have you been with ALPS?

I have been with ALPS since the winter of 2018. 



How do you think an investigator should behave, and work? 

An investigator should behave respectfully, empathetically, compassionately, intelligently, inquisitively, analytically, truthfully, with integrity, passionately, objectively, rationally etc. We must give our very best every 

When not investigating, what do you do in the off time? Work? Other hobbies?

I currently work as a Business Analyst in the healthcare industry. I am also a fine artist. I have been creating and selling art professionally since about 2003. I also write – philosophy, poetry, and novels primarily – and read every day. I read a wide variety of books, my favorites being philosophy, theoretical physics, spiritual, personal development, and fiction. I’m a big fan of dystopian everything.



If you could investigate anywhere in the world where would go?


The first place I would love to go is Dracula's Castle in Transylvania. A big part of my ethnicity is Transylvanian. Growing up my parents would tell me stories of going there, even as children. I also speak Romanian fluently. Going to that area would feel like being home.



I would also love to go to Poveglia Island of of Italy,



the Pyramids of Giza and
the Valley of the Kings in Egypt,


and the Black Monk of Pontefract House in West Yorkshire.


In the United States, there are many I would love to investigate. The Trans-Allegheny Lunatic Asylum in Weston, West Virginia is the first which comes to mind.

.



Of all the places you have investigated (historically) which one would you like to return and investigate further?

I would love to return to the Shanghai Tunnels in Portland, Oregon



When on a case, do your spiritual beliefs come into play? If so, does this effect how you handle the investigation?

My spiritual beliefs do not effect how I handle an investigation beyond being ethical, compassionate, and doing my best. However, my beliefs may impact my interpretation of some events. For example, I do believe that people are inherently good and do not jump to bad intentions as the reason for anything. I'm looking to serve, not scare, but always be honest.




What is the hardest thing you have found being a paranormal investigator?

I am working to obtain more scientific equipment and to travel more. I dream to someday have a significant amount of equipment I can take with me all over.





What are your long term goals being part of the ALPS team? Short term?

Being a member of a wonderful team and helping as many people as I can. Outside of helping others, I hope that together we may gather more information to further human understanding of the paranormal.


What is it that you do for the team?
I am an investigator on the team. I look forward to bringing more and more value to the team.






Is there anything more you can think of that might sound or be interesting to our followers and fans?

I love anything and anything to do with skulls and astronomy. 

I avidly study many subjects which play into the ultimate questions of life: Why are we here? What does it mean to be alive? What is consciousness? Who are we, really? I absolutely love thinking about and discussing everything towards a theory of everything.
(all art work and personal self photos are by Michelle)