Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Was that the past??...a paranormal experience

By Jennifer Furgerson
Photo courtesy from the web page of the USS Hornet museum
A year ago fellow teammate Scott Wolf and I (Jennifer Furgerson) experienced a phenomena neither one of us could fully explain away. Each year our team, or sometimes only a few team mates attend the paranormal conference Grey Ghost in Alameda aboard the USS Hornet aircraft carrier. The conference is your typical meet and greet, along with speakers from TV shows and other paranormal areas and then an investigation later that evening of all areas of the ship. Many have had their share of paranormal experiences ranging from having their hair messed with, being poked, and even seeing full body apparitions. After a long night of roaming the ship, we go to the bunks/cots/bedding we have been assigned to. The area we were in was on the second deck aft(rear) and port(left) side of the ship. Among our area were an array of men and women almost taking up every bed. Some had gone to sleep early (2 am) where others climbed into bed somewhere around 4 am. The lights are turned off and its not very quiet with all the different people snoring, or mumbling in their sleep. After awhile one tend to get used to the ambient sounds and eventually drifts off to sleep. 
This is where our story begins.

Scott's Experience
  "Strange experiences are common when you are a paranormal investigator. Many cases leave you with something that you can't quite explain. Most times you try to think through it logically and move on. Sometimes, like the experience Jennifer and I had aboard the USS Hornet, there is just no logical explanation for what transpired and the experience is one that is etched in your memory forever.

  After a long day of enjoying the conference and a long night of investigating, I decided it was time to head down to my bunk to get some sleep. My team mates were still investigating, but I was exhausted and could barely keep my eyes open.

  I made my way, through the dark, to my bunk. All lights were off and everyone around me was asleep. A few die-hard investigators were still up, but they were in other areas of the ship. Except for the snoring, it was quiet.

  The bunks were three high and there was very little room in-between. For some strange reason I chose to sleep in a middle bunk. Since I am extremely claustrophobic, this was a terrible choice! I figured I was so tired that I would just fall asleep and sleep the few hours I had left before they woke us up to depart the ship. Things didn't quite work out that way.

  I fell asleep and woke up probably about 30 minutes later, in a full panic from the closeness of the bunk above me. I tried the best I could to block it out of my mind and soon fell back asleep. As soon as I would fall asleep I would wake in a panic. It was a cycle that repeated throughout the rest of the night.

  At one point I awoke, but not from the panic I experienced before. I heard a strange commotion happening around me. As I opened my eyes I noticed something strange. The lights, which were off when I went to sleep, were all on. I looked around and there was no one sleeping in the bunks around me. My first thought was that it was morning time, everyone had already left the area, and some how I slept through it. I sat and thought about it and knew there was no way that could happen because the others I was there with would have woke me.

  The commotion grew louder. The sound of heavy footsteps were all around me. As I listened to what sounded like people running in all directions, my first thought was how rude it was for people to be coming back from investigating, turning on all the lights, and running around like a bunch of fools! It made no sense!

  I turned my head to look at the bunks across from me. Since I was in the middle bunk, I could only see what was in-between the top and bottom bunk. I could see what looked like the torsos of dark figures as they ran back and forth in the open walkway. They never shouted or spoke, they just ran frantically. All you could hear were their footsteps.

  As soon as it began, it was over. I looked around and the lights were off. There was no more running. All I could hear was the sounds of the people sleeping around me. I was tired and at the time I just figured it was a bunch of rude people trying to get back to their bunks to go to sleep. I drifted off to sleep unable to fully process what I had just witnessed, but also too tired to care.

  The morning came, the loud speaker blared that it was time to get up, and the lights came on. I gathered my things and made my way up to the hanger deck where everyone would gather for breakfast. I was still dead tired from not sleeping very much. What happened never even crossed my mind. The only thing on my mind was getting on the road so I could get back home and take a nap.

  Jennifer was already on the hanger deck. She was full of energy. She told me about the rest of their time investigating. Then, she told me about this crazy experience she had during the night. I was listening, but what she was saying didn't really kick in. It wasn't until I had exited the ship and started walking to my car that what had happened to me started coming back.

  I thought about it the entire drive home. It consumed me. I wished I would have been able to talk to Jennifer about because it seemed like we experienced the same thing. One person's personal experience ends up being just a great story, if you don't have anything to back it up. Two people experiencing the same thing, is much harder to ignore. Later that night I would send Jennifer a message and we talked about our experiences.

  It's now been a year since that experience. I still think about it all the time. Jennifer and I still talk about what happened and try to figure out what the heck we experienced. Our team mate, Faye, was there and she didn't experience it. In fact, she had a recorder running the entire time and didn't capture anything that sounded like what we experienced. The only thing that could be heard was snoring.

  Did we somehow travel back in time? Did only two of us experience a residual haunting?  I guess our experience, much like many things in the paranormal field itself and the strange happenings on-board the USS Hornet, will remain a mystery!"

Jennifer's Experience

  "I honestly thought I had experienced this phenomenon alone... I was out investigating on the second deck of the Hornet when I realized that it would probably be a good idea to get some sleep. It was after 4 am and I decided to head back to the assigned berthing area. Not to long after I closed my eyes and attempted to settle into slumber, the room we were in began to sound of a low murmur of voices and feet walking fast and hard on the metal floor. There was metal clanking, and loud banging. All I could think was "what the hell are the people doing while so many of us are sleeping".  It began to irritate me, I rolled to my left side (since I was against the wall). Upon opening my eyes, I see the lights were on, but instead of the normal brightness of the lights, it was an odd glow of pale yellow.

  I was puzzled about the lights being on and from where I was laying I could see people walking very fast heading from one end of the room to the other. Who ever these people were, they needed to get into the next room quickly then back out again. All I could see from where I was laying were people from the waist down. The row of beds obscured the rest of their bodies. I could see that each person wore dark blue high water pants and dark shoes. In what seemed like a mater of minutes, the lights went out and the people that were running were just gone. They had vanished and the room went dark again. I turned on my back and closed my eyes trying to make sense of what I just saw. Moments later while laying there with eyes closed attempting to relax, I hear foot steps approaching. They stopped right in-front of where I was laying. At this point I just wanted sleep, and I was ready to roll over and tell whom ever it was to please leave me alone. I rolled, opened my eyes to find that it was still dark, andno one was there.

  Come morning, everyone received that lovely wake up call of reveille and then the announcement of sweeping your bunk area. In other words, wake up, clean up your area, pack up your gear because you are all heading to the mess for breakfast.

  My teammates Faye and Scott  joined up with me in the hanger bay and we all started to recant our experiences, our irritations, and especially what I had witnessed. I was very excited about what I saw, and I kept repeating that I know I was not dreaming. Faye was quick to point out that the light switch was right next to where she was sleeping, and was the only one who asked how to turn on an off the lights. We continued on to breakfast with those images still fresh in my mind.

  It was not till later that day, on my way home, that I remembered something crucial to this odd event. I received a message from Scott asking what I remembered, and the realization that we both recalled that everyone who had been sleeping in this berthing area were no longer there to be seen. I do not know why I had not thought about it before. It baffles the mind to think that maybe I was pulled into the past, or perhaps the past was repeating at that moment. Either way it does not explain why we did not see the people who were sleeping in the same area.

  Faye was recording audio that night while the room slept, but told Scott and I that none of the noises we heard or from what we saw ended up on her recorder. Once again Scott and I are baffled. So what really happened to us? We both experienced it at the same time, but did not know it till the next day. We both could describe what the people looked like, yet I saw the bottom half, while he saw the top.

  This has stayed fresh in my mind, as I am sure it has with Scott. We both have talked about it over the year. We have looked at pictures from different time periods to see if we could pin point the time of the past we had seen. I have asked docents and other people who have stayed aboard, if they ever experienced anything like this. So far our phenomenon is currently unique to the ship."

For more information click on the links below...

Monday, June 26, 2017

Give Me A Ring Once You Have Expired....

By JEBradstreet
We have all gotten calls from unfamiliar numbers.  Most of us refuse these intrusions and hope that a voicemail reveals the source.  But since long before the days of caller ID and messaging, there are stories of people who answered rings that changed their lives (and their beliefs) forever.
There have been reports of electronic contact from the dead that range from e-mail to pagers, etc. But personal phone calls seem to be predominant in this communication, as if the primary way of expressing ourselves has always come in the preferred form to get a point across- our voice.

Phone calls from the other side are not an uncommon tale. 
Many of these reports reveal a distant rattle of static on the other end. Other times, music from a different era is played in their ear from a disconnected line- like stories from the Santa Fe Union Station in Galveston, Texas.  Yet, on several occasions voices of loved ones that sound distraught or comforting have had a last message that left the living confused and unaware.
The calls usually come from a relative who had very close relationships with the recipient.  They often have an important message to convey, but other incidences have no message at all. It just seems like another small talk session.
It is not long after the conversation that another phone call is answered– a call from the living to tell them about the death of the very person with whom they just held the conversation.

Other reported calls from the dead come on the date of a birthday, holiday, or anniversary. Sometimes it is a lengthily time after the person has passed away.
Imagine those which were never reported.  The otherworldly exchanges that took place on mobile devices, rotary dials, and probably as far back as the crank phone. One incident was even reported to come from a toy phone, long before an episode titled “Long Distance Call” aired on ‘The Twilight Zone’ television series.
Even author Dean Koontz said that he received a jingle on his unlisted number. The voice sounded like his deceased mother warning him to be careful.  Not long after, an altercation with his deranged father and police nearly costed him his life.
A more recent and strange event is the case of Charles Peck who managed to make 35 calls to several loved ones, even though he had died on impact in a Metrolink train crash, and his phone was not found anywhere near his body.
Actor Johnny Depp recalled a voicemail that was left by the creator of Gonzo Journalism, Hunter S. Thompson. In a hurry to meet his hectic schedule, Depp deleted the message only to find out that Thompson would soon commit suicide. He said that he will always regret not giving it a listen.

There is a message of our own to gain from this for those of us who are still among the living. That being, we should try our best to never avoid a call, to never take a voicemail for granted, and to make as much time as we can to hear the voices of people we care for, no matter how inconvenient it may seem at the time. You never know when it will be the last talk.
More importantly, if there is a call of your own you want to make- to a person you have been out of touch with, to anyone whose memory has been aching you to make contact, or just to someone you want to remind that you love them... now is the time to make that call.

If you have ever been the recipient of a phone call or messages from the afterlife, please fill us in. Your story may be relatable to someone who is suffering the result of this strange happening, and it just may touch the heart of someone who needs it....

Thursday, June 22, 2017

The Queen Is Elegant

By JEBradstreet

When you are an enthusiast for paranormal places and happen to be visiting Southern California, pretty much the main hotspot you will find in any online search is the Queen Mary- a luxury ship that has been docked in Long Beach for decades. Now a hotel and museum with classy rooms, timeless hallways, and so many exhibits to see, there is plenty of room to get lost and find yourself... or something else.
Music from an older era plays in the lobbies, helping to lend an antique feel to the environment. Stairways and corridors go on for hours, and one can easily find themselves in places they did not expect.

Some of us leave with fantastic experiences to store in the memory banks. Others leave in the middle of the night.

The lights of Long Beach are incredible from the bow. There is plenty on the surface to discover.  Preserved quarters of the captain and his mates, along with old communication rooms can be found in random places along the deck. There are perfect locations to watch sunset, smell a cool ocean breeze, and see where past ceremonies have occurred- such as this pavilion near the rear of the ship.

But upon further searching, I found that the room in which I had the least interest became the spot where I felt the most overwhelming energy.
A sense of fear pervaded my mind and body the moment I stepped into that darkness. A dim, greenish light shined in water down below where you could see the large propeller at rest. Around it were coins and floating dollar bills, as if people considered the room to be a wishing well. Perhaps it was my phobia of enclosed areas filled with water, or perhaps the stories of men who died in the propeller's grinding twist are not legends after all.
The moment I went around to the next entryway and exited back into the museum, I felt immediate relief.
Although the entire ship is said to be haunted in one way or another, the area where most evidence has been recorded would be the first class pool- said by some to be a gateway for entities. Now off limits for safety reasons, it was saddening to not be granted access and witness this area in all its eerie glory. The pool is currently under renovations to be returned to its original state and may open some time in the next year. Fingers crossed.
In the meantime, all we have to indulge our fascination is the locked doors leading inside.

I explored all night and could not decide if I should be happy or worried that people seemed to disappear after 1AM. When I finally did retire to the room I woke up hours later in one of the most chilling cold spells I have ever suffered. My travel companion had to wrap around me to stop the shivering, and even she became frozen trying to warm me.
What an amazing feeling when it subsided.

The next day we were allowed access to the infamous B340- a room surrounded by rumors and no shortage of paranormal tales involving death, poltergeist tampering, and activity so prominent that guests are no longer privileged to stay. We found a gutted, empty room. And we were not allowed to hang around long.
The paranormal tour was intriguing. It included the tale of a security guard who still works his shift there, even after a small child held up its arms then walked right through him.  The tour guide also mentioned ghosts in a front lobby area, the aforementioned propeller room, and the spirit of a man who was crushed in the engine room #13 door.

  It wasn't just the comfy accommodations and their cool portholes that allowed me to leave smiling the next day. It was not the surreal experience of a place that has long been on my bucket list. It was the thought and further realization of this strange world that, many times, the most elegant and gorgeous places also have plenty of ghosts to hide.

Have you visited the Queen Mary? We'd love to hear your experience.  Comment below to tell us all about it....

Saturday, February 27, 2016

Symbols: behind their meanings

By Jennifer Furgerson
In the paranormal world we deal with symbols painted on buildings, tattooed on people, and just showing up where we least expect them. How do we decide their meaning, or even what they are? We research. A lot of people who see pentagrams, or upside down crosses tend to immediately think that these symbols are evil. No second thought of why they are there, no second thought of other possible meanings. Lets see if I can shed some light on three misunderstood symbols.

The Pentacle

 Lets start with the Pentacle. Most commonly known as a star placed in an upright or inverted position. Some people see it as just a star and nothing  more. Others see it as a very positive symbol, yet even a larger majority see it as one hundred percent evil. Where did this negativity come from? Lets start with the history or the closest time in history of when the Pentacle was first used.

Its first known use as an English word was in 1561. Over time it was used as a talisman, representative of the five elements, goddess worship, and devil worship. How did a simple five pointed star go from being just a star to have multiple meanings? The answer is simple. The people and/or religious leaders dictate what is good and what is bad.  In the pagan belief system the Pentacle represents the five elements (Earth, Air, Fire, Water and Spirit). Right side up meaning the goddess and inverted meaning the male god. Over time when Christianity began to grow and spread, the symbol began to take on new meaning to represent the sign of the devil. The Pentacle in this manner is represented by the inverted star.

Some have come to believe that it is supposed to represent the goat head of the devil. Today the Pentacle still has both positive and negative feeling surrounding it. Where some still use it in their pagan practices, others just wear it as nothing more than a fashion statement. The symbol its self is neither good or bad. 

When seen in an abandoned building or a place that is said to be haunted, it is unfortunate that most  people will place it as an evil symbol and give no second thought to why the Pentacle was placed there. Most will jump to the conclusion it was placed there to call the devil or other evil spirits. Its just as likely it could have be placed there as a symbol of protection against the evil that may lurk within. 

Alchemy Symbols

What happens when its more than one symbol used like in Alchemy? These symbols are seen alone or with others. Alchemy symbols were first used before the 17th century. These symbols were used to denote the elements, planets, compounds, etc. During the 16th century superstition ruled many people's minds. It was thought that these symbols had some sort of a connection to magic.

With that kind of knowledge the people of the 16th century thought that these symbols could do many things from protection, causing harm, calling up angles or devils, to possibly bring someone back from the world of the dead. Sometimes the symbols would be used in conjunction with the Pentacle. The symbols would be placed either around the star in a circle or placed at the star's points. This would be drawn on the walls, floors, or ceilings of peoples homes, businesses, and places of worship.

Over time these symbols were thought to be in decline and no longer used. Today Alchemy symbols are seen graffiti-ed in cemeteries, old abandoned churches, and sometimes abandoned asylums. It does not matter if  those symbols where placed there to call forth the devil, or bring forth protection, unfortunately it gives most people the sense that evil was conjured there.

The Cross

Now the cross in today's world is seen by many as a very good symbol to have around, but what if I told you that was not always the case. One of the earliest known uses of  the cross was in Egyptian hieroglyphs over a thousand years ago. When placed on the walls of their temples and tombs its meaning was 'to protect, guard and/or avenge'. Later they would use a similar symbol that meant 'beauty and perfect'. The symbol of the Cross was seen in many cultures, yet in the early infancy of Christianity the Cross was depicted as a gruesome way to  publicly execute of people. The Christian were very reluctant to use it as a holy symbol of their faith. It is in debate with scholars of when the Cross started to have a positive light to be used in  a positive manner.

Now the Cross seen in an upright position is normally seen as a symbol of faith of God in the Christian world. The upside-down Cross however has received an evil connotation over the last  few hundred years. Not many people realize that the the upside-down Cross
originated during the times of the ongoing crucifixions by the Romans  In fact it comes from the Catholic tradition of the crucifixion of Peter. It was written some time after 200 A.D., that Peter requested to be crucified upside-down as he felt he was unworthy to die in the same manner as Jesus had. In later years some Christians came to know this Cross as a symbol of humility. Even the Catholics Pope's symbol has an upside-down Cross with keys crossing over it. Unfortunately in today's society there are people that choose to use the upside-down cross as a satanic icon.

Even though there are many symbols in the world that have multiple meanings, most are greeted with ill will and thought only as being evil and never having the chance to be anything else. These symbols have been seen in countless graveyards, old churches, and other places that have been abandoned. Most people will not take  the time to know learn the back history of a symbol, but would rather let their imaginations run wild. Perhaps the next time you are lurking about in a place that may seem or look sinister, keep in mind that what you see may have more than one meaning. In some cases we may never know the actual intent of why the symbols were drawn in these places.

For more information on the symbols and their meanings please check out these websites.

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Odd Noise

By JEBradstreet
        So, the USS Hornet, huh?

A place of afterlife legends atop the water, where certain sections are still closed for asbestos removal.  Many areas are flat-out off limits, and there are plenty of living bodies around to tell you where not to go.  Of course those sectors always make me most curious. :)
It was early August, 2015.  The ALPS team took me to the ship.  It started on a top level, the museum full of aircrafts and other era artillery.  A fantastic place to see familiar faces that all seemed to start with the Spirits of the Old West event at the Washoe Club back in 2012.
The ship was packed with different exhibits that appeared around winding corners and in unexpected rooms.

Many people coming and going, much merchandise on display from vendors and our current paranormal generation of grinders.
Early on, a tour guide briefly led the team down to an engine room where unexplained things were heard by naked ears and also recorded on audio.  Off to a good start.
My next question... where will I crash?
At first I was worried to have to rest my head surrounded by many people on the top level.  Couples, strangers, snorers!  But then we were shown down to the bunks that were yet another level below the busy and packed area of the others.  A less-occupied level that Faye had mentioned earlier.
Indeed, it was dark.  So I paid attention to the guide when he flipped switches for lighting.  When I saw Faye ask him the procedure a moment later, I knew there was backup as usual.
In the evening they served us dinner.  A filling meal that made me just right for a smoke.  I stepped back above, where the dark museum opened up to the rear of the ship– and this sight hit me.

The sunset was far beyond the bridges, the ships, and the water, far beyond the buildings of San Francisco.  It made plenty of colors as we socialized, smoked, discussed, then prepared for when the sun went down behind the city.
Many people were assigned in different groups that explored separate areas.  We passed by each other and BSed.
Sommer took us up to the control room, a fantastic display of blue radars and yellow charts.  How many emotions and energies from important decisions had made their way through that place over the years?
We explored lonely rooms that branched off shadowed hallways.  Supernatural experiments with different strangers. The hallways were ominous at all times.  Several people later found EVP’s in their archives.  One from Scott seemed to mention me by name, and it touched on a major past nerve. 
And who knows what else was found by the many investigators who were there?  Do share your evidence if your eyes reach this post.
We were guided to some of the most notorious spots, and it was easy to feel uneasy in most of them.  Being surrounded by so many people made the areas easy to face.

But the night got quiet, and other groups seemed to fade off like souls in time.  The USS Hornet is not a place you want to be stranded in the dark.  Odd noises from all directions is enough to make the mind wonder– but the things that are really there?

Four of us were on the grind latest into twilight hours. Myself, Faye, Scott Litaea, and some guy who followed us, said nothing, and crunched on vending machine snacks that made me envious.  Everything seemed quiet, except for the hum of the ship.  Time came to call it quits around five in the morning.
I was tired enough that the bunk felt like a bed.
The alarm in the morning, a surprising siren that blasted like the good old military days.  It was a sound meant to rise you from that bunk and be ready for plans in store for you.  I can’t say, after maybe an hour of deep sleep, that I was entirely annoyed when I reached a lower deck.  The kitchen area!  It was an awesome breakfast.
The experience felt like a camping trip aboard a haunted and historic American vessel.  It was a mixture of so many different people with goals that revolve around a similar subject.  What can ever go wrong there?

How amazing it was to see so many familiar faces who are currently working hard on the grind for their passions and for the future.  Here’s links to some of their Facebook accounts where you can find further links to their projects:

Josh Heard:    https://www.facebook.com/josh.heard.9 
Conner Hopkins:     https://www.facebook.com/connor.hopkins.9
Scott Litaea:     https://www.facebook.com/scottdlitaea
Sommer Jonez:     https://www.facebook.com/sommer.jonez
Jessie Garcia:     https://www.facebook.com/JessiePGarcia

.... and so many more.