Joined: Sat May 29, 2004 11:46 pm
|I LOVE a good Ghost Story, even if FAUX News is involved. We know how much they lie, so how could it possibly be true?
Paranormal investigation conducted on the Morgan
By TIM WEISBERG, Standard-Times correspondent
The Rhode Island Paranormal Research Group, which has been using a scientific approach to investigate claims of the paranormal for more than two decades, has received numerous reports about spirit activity on the Morgan through the years.
MYSTIC, Conn. — For more than 60 years, people in New Bedford have pleaded for the return of the Charles W. Morgan, which began its life in the Whaling City back in the mid-19th century.
Now, the spirit of the world's most famous whaling ship might also long for a return home.
The Morgan, one of Connecticut's top tourist attractions at Mystic Seaport, appears to be inhabited by the spirit of "Gerald," a 19th-century seaman who still works on the ship as he did more than 100 years ago.
The Rhode Island Paranormal Research Group, which has been using a scientific approach to investigate claims of the paranormal for more than two decades, has received numerous reports about spirit activity on the Morgan through the years. When the group received three similar reports from three different groups that described an encounter with a spirit aboard the ship, it decided to investigate.
When the research group checked out the claims, investigators had a haunting feeling that they weren't alone on the great vessel.
Director Andrew Laird had an encounter with a spirit during the group's investigation, although he didn't know it at the time.
"We had security guards that were helping us out, and Dr. Laird approached someone who he thought was a security guard, near the midmast," group member Maggie Florio said. "The guard didn't respond to him; he just walked toward the midmast but never appeared around the other side."
She added that in more than 20 years of investigating the paranormal, this is only the second time Dr. Laird has seen an apparition.
A fellow "sensitive" with the group, Renee Blais, is the one who felt the presence of Gerald.
A search of the Morgan crew lists on the Mystic Web site did not turn up anyone with the first or last name of Gerald, although the site indicates that there are crew lists from six voyages that have yet to be discovered
Ms. Florio, a "sensitive" who can connect with the energy of a location when others might not, was part of the five-person team that investigated the ship. As part of their preliminary investigation, the group took digital still photographs and also brought digital voice recorders in hopes of catching EVPs. EVP, or electronic voice phenomena, is the idea that spirits that cannot be otherwise heard can imprint their voices on audio devices that are discovered upon review, but not heard when they occur.
In addition, Dr. Laird examined the ship using a Natural Tri-Field EMF Detector, which according to Ms. Florio, will detect disturbances in the electromagnetic field of an area. Unlike other EMF detectors, it ignores the signals given off from explainable electronic devices, such as wiring or cell towers.
The theory is that for a spirit to manifest, it needs to draw on energy; therefore, a spike in EMF ratings could indicate the presence of a spirit summoning up power.
"Near the midmast of the ship, he started getting some very high readings," she said. "It was what we call 'pegging' the meter. It was pretty amazing. We don't usually get readings that high."
On a return trip with FOX News, another EMF detector indicated an EMF disturbance with regularity, something Ms. Florio dubbed "a signature." The signature followed the crew around as they visited various parts of the ship, as though the spirit wanted to see what they were up to.
"It's very strange, but also very exciting," she said.
Mystic spokesman Michael O'Farrell said this is the first time that Mystic Seaport has ever allowed a paranormal research organization to investigate one of its ships.
Although Mr. O'Farrell said he was originally skeptical about the existence of the spirit, he was present for the initial investigation and said he saw some things that piqued his curiousity. He is awaiting the group's complete report before approving a more thorough investigation.
So why is Gerald making himself known to visitors of the ship now?
In fall 2007, the Morgan will come out of the water to undergo a three-year, $3.5 million restoration of the main hull. The final 30 percent of original timber still on the ship, which falls below the water line, will be replaced by new live oak, including some 200 trees donated from along the Mississippi coast that were uprooted in Hurricane Katrina.
Could this affect the spirit of one of the more than 1,000 seamen who served on the Morgan during its years as a whaler? Is there one particular former sea hand who doesn't want to see the old girl change?
Local paranormal researcher and investigator Derek Bartlett of the Cape and Islands Paranormal Research Society agrees that the work on the ship could play into the possibility for paranormal happenings.
"In our investigations, about 40 percent started occurring due to renovations," Mr. Bartlett said. "Renovations can serve almost as 'stirring up the beehive' when it comes to paranormal activity."
According to Mr. Bartlett, the spirit seen can be either an "intelligent haunting," in which the spirit interacts with people and is aware of its situation, or a "residual haunting," in which the spirit is actually like a videotaped event that keeps playing over and over.
The fact that the ship is floating in water, an excellent conductor of the energy needed for paranormal activity to occur, could be what he called "the batteries to keep recharging the haunting."
Tim Weisberg hosts "Spooky Southcoast," a talk show about the paranormal, from 10 p.m. to midnight Saturdays on WBSM, 1420 AM.
E-mail him at email@example.com
Link: http://www.southcoasttoday.com/daily/07 ... region.htm
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