10/30/09  #544
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This weeks exciting edition brings you such spooky tales as:

- Nuclear Accidents in the US and Russia -
- ‘Impossible’ Device Could Propel Flying Cars, Stealth Missiles -
- Sasquatch Hunters Hope to Find Proof in West Virginia -
-
A Gnome By Any Other Name -
AND: Expert Tips for Ghost Hunting

All these exciting stories and MORE in this week's issue of
CONSPIRACY JOURNAL!

~ And Now, On With The Show! ~


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- TICKLING THE DRAGON DEPARTMENT -

Nuclear Accidents in the US and Russia

They might know the name, but nobody ever says, "I want to be like Louis Slotin when I grow up." And with good reason. Despite being fiercely intelligent, quick thinking and brave, Slotin is famous for something that nobody really wants to be famous for---namely, dying horribly. In May 1946, Slotin, a researcher on the Manhattan Project, became the second person in history to be killed by a criticality accident, the unintentional triggering of a nuclear chain reaction.

Slotin's story made it to Hollywood, fictionalized in the movie "Fat Man and Little Boy". Not everyone got such a public legacy. As the cold war neared an end in the 1980s, scientists in the USSR began to share information with their American counterparts, and, for the first time, we learned about the Soviet Slotins. Now, their legacy will shape the way emergency personnel respond to nuclear accidents and terrorism and, hopefully, make it easier to save lives...

"Criticality accident" is just a fancy way of saying "nuclear reaction happening where and when you don't want it to". It starts with fissile material--atoms whose nuclei have a tendency to split apart. Get these materials in the way of free neutrons and a neutron can enter the nucleus of an atom and rupture it. That fission releases energy, and neutrons, which cause more nuclear fissions in nearby atoms. The chain reaction keeps going and going. It will stop on its own, but only when it's good and ready---which is, to say, when a release of energy forces the fissile material apart (think: explosion), when enough of the material has been used up so that what's left no longer throws off enough neutrons to keep the reaction going, or when heat energy produced by the reaction builds up enough that it makes the atoms--which are most unstable at room temperature--less likely to split.

It's a little scary, but these accidents are extremely rare. The Los Alamos National Laboratory Review of Criticality Accidents lists only 60, worldwide, since we started playing with this stuff in the 1940s. Most didn't kill anyone. And 38 of the 60 can't even be called completely unexpected, as they occurred in research reactors and during experiments where scientists were bringing fissile materials together to gauge the point at which criticality happens.

In fact, that's what Louis Slotin was doing, slowly lowering the top half of a neutron-reflecting shell over a sphere of fissile plutonium. Today, nobody would attempt that experiment except from a safe distance. Slotin, however, was using his bare hands to hold the shell, and had a screwdriver propped in there to keep the two halves from touching. A crowd of seven colleagues was watching him work when the screwdriver slipped out, sealing the shell and launching a reaction. I call Slotin brave and quick-thinking because, instead of freaking and running, he pulled the shell apart, probably saving his coworkers' lives. He, however, died nine days later.

Slotin's story is pretty well-known. But, in Russia, similar accidents were happening that nobody knew about for decades. Like Slotin's, some these stemmed from both unfortunate chance, and decisions by the researchers that, with 20/20 hindsight, look a little silly. Why would depend on a precariously placed screwdriver to save you from certain death? Why would you try to run through a criticality experiment after normal work hours, without key safety measures in place, and with the goal of trying to be done in time to make it to the theater that evening...as two unfortunate Russian scientists did in 1968.

Other Russian accidents, though, had little to do with the people hurt--except in that those people simply didn't have enough training for the jobs they had. In 1953, two workers at Mayak, a factory that processed fissile material for experimental and military use, were exposed to a criticality accident. But neither knew enough about nuclear fission to realize that. They knew something weird had gone down, but didn't think it was a big deal. Instead, they fixed the problem and went back to work. They finished their shift and, because Mayak had no automatic criticality alarms, nobody knew anything had gone wrong at all until two days later when one of the men collapsed at work. He survived, but only after a long illness that involved the amputation of both his legs.

Neil Wald, professor emeritus at the University of Pittsburgh's department of Environmental and Occupational Health, was one of the first Americans to learn about this, and other accidents at Mayak. He studies the impact of radiation on human health and was part of a team that began working with Soviet counterparts in the 1980s to research the accidents and use them to better understand how to help people who've been exposed.

"They actually did quite a good job of keeping the medical records," he told me. "They made the accidents state secrets, so they never threw anything away. Everything we saw, all the documents, were stamped on the back with a great big seal that said, 'State secret.'"

The goal of this collaboration is to develop a way of quickly diagnosing radiation exposure, so that emergency personnel can show up at the scene of an accident and be able to tell who needs the most medical attention the fastest. Dr. Wald says the system could be used both at nuclear facilities, and by regular EMTs responding to situations where a dirty bomb has exploded, or some other intentional nuclear exposure might have happened.

Source: BoingBoing
http://www.boingboing.net/2009/10/28/criticality-accident.html

- NEVER SAY NEVER DEPARTMENT -

‘Impossible’ Device Could Propel Flying Cars, Stealth Missiles

The Emdrive is an electromagnetic drive that would generate thrust from a closed system — “impossible” say some experts.

To critics, it’s flat-out junk science, not even worth thinking about. But its inventor, Roger Shawyer, has doggedly continued his work. As was reported last year, Chinese scientists claimed to validate his math and were building their own version.

Shawyer gave a presentation earlier this week on the Emdrive’s progress at the CEAS 2009 European Air & Space Conference. It answered few questions, but hinted at how the Emdrive might transform spaceflight — and warfare. If the technology works, that is.

The heart of the Emdrive is a resonant, tapered cavity filled with microwaves. According to Shawyer, a relativistic effect generates a net thrust, an effect confirmed by various Emdrives he has built as demonstrations. Critics say that any thrust from the drive must come from another source. Shawyer is adamant that the measured thrust is not caused by other factors.

While the argument over the drive’s impossibility continues, so does the engineering work. The problem is that nobody wants to talk about it. Even Shawyer gives little away.

Last year, professor Yang Juan of the College of Astronautics at Northwestern Polytechnical University (NPU) in Xi’an was happy to confirm that they were building an Emdrive which would be tested by the end of the year. But following the publication of this news in Danger Room, the situation changed. I was informed that the publicity was very unwelcome, especially any suggestion that there might be a military application. (Yang had previous published a study on the use of plasma as a weapon against low-orbiting satellites. [.pdf]) No further information has been forthcoming, and no Chinese papers have been published on the Emdrive, though Yang has recently published work on (unrelated) microwave plasma thrusters (.pdf).

Shawyer asserts that work is also being carried out in France, Russia and in the United States by a major aerospace company. But he cannot provide details beyond vague promises of “significant progress [that] has been made in both theoretical and experimental work, within these groups.” He also asserts that the British National Space Centre is said to be reviewing the Emdrive. Again, no details.

The CEAS 2009 paper outlines recent progress and plans. Previous thrusters generated relatively modest forces; the latest version now being built is based on a cooled superconductor and should generate more than 300 pounds of thrust for a 6-kilowatt input, Shawyer promises. (But does not yet appear to have done so.) The plan is to mount four of these thrusters on an unmanned demonstration vehicle that will weigh about 1,000 pounds. The craft will have no wings: It will be supported by the Emdrives and propelled by jet engines to about 230 knots. It will be capable of vertical takeoff and hovering silently in place. If successful, it will be adapted as a personal transport -– your very own flying car.

In the longer run, perhaps 10 years, Shawyer envisages a hybrid spaceplane using Emdrive technology — see the photo above of a 2-meter scale model. The idea is a craft capable of making the 10,000-mile run from London to Sydney, Australia in under three hours … or taking a 40-ton payload on the moon in about four days.

Aeronautical engineers have been dreaming of such a craft for decades; none have ever panned out. The theoretical advantage of the Emdrive spaceplane compared to rockets is that it allows a slow ascent with low acceleration rate. There is also no telltale rocket exhaust plume, and this may be the source of some of the interest. At present, the launch of a ballistic missile anywhere on Earth can be immediately spotted from space. An Emdrive-based launch system would be undetectable and could arrive from any direction, leaving the target of an attack no way of knowing who to retaliate against.

This is the kind of factor that might drive governments to put money into Emdrive projects. An investment in contested science is not a  probable winner — but  the payoff could be a big one.

Source: Wired
http://www.wired.com/dangerroom/2009/10/impossible-drive-designers-dream-flying-cars-stealth-missiles

- EVERYONE DISCOVERED AMERICA DEPARTMENT -

Did Chinese Ships Discover America?
 
Researcher whose father found old maps posits 2000 BC voyage to west coast.

History books tell us that the first Chinese settlers to Canada arrived in Victoria about 150 years ago, but a U.S. researcher says she has solid evidence that they came earlier. Some 4,000 years earlier.

That would be 3,500 years before 1492, when European explorer Christopher "Columbus sailed the ocean blue."

Or 10,000 years after nomadic hunters from Eastern Siberia crossed the frozen Bering Strait during the Ice Age, a migration taken by modern scholars to account for North America's native population.

Charlotte Harris Rees, a retired civil servant from Virginia who came to her role as researcher late in life and rather accidentally, says she has proof the Chinese first sailed to the west coast of North and South America, or more specifically, were carried eastward on Pacific currents in 2,000 BC.

That explains, she says, why a number of placenames in the Americas mean something in Chinese, such as Peru, or "white mist," in Chinese, but not in Spanish.

And why certain symbols associated with Indian drawings found in America are nearly identical to Chinese writing; why native American infants share Asian babies' "Mongolian spots," a birthmark near the base of the spine, as well as Asian bloodlines and jawlines; and why ancient villages in China bear a resemblance to native American settlements, right down to the teepees.

Rees is scheduled to talk about her research in her second book on the subject, Secret Maps of the Ancient World, at Simon Fraser University's downtown campus Tuesday evening. Her major research source was her father, Dr. Hendon M. Harris Jr., a third-generation Chinese-born missionary who came across an ancient Chinese map in an antique shop in Korea in 1972. It showed major land masses such as Asia, India, Africa, Australia and Europe and also included North and South America, inscribed with the Chinese words Fu Sang, which the Chinese have long referred to as a mythical land to the east.

Drawing on these seven map books, which he matched to 23 others in collections around the world, he wrote a book called the Asiatic Fathers of America in 1973. It was largely ignored, and Harris died in 1981.

It wasn't until 2003 that Rees read a bestselling book by Gavin Menzies, a retired submarine commander living in London, and her interest was piqued. It claimed Chinese explorers in multi-storeyed and multi-masted ships beat Columbus to the New World by several decades. "After I read Gavin's book, I thought maybe there was something to what my father said," she said Saturday from Oregon, where she spoke to a packed audience at Portland State University.

Scholars have dismissed Menzies' book which, along with a second, similar book, has sold millions of copies.

But Rees endorses Menzies' work and the support is reciprocal. Rees, who hasn't sold many copies of her book or an earlier one that summarized her dad's research, isn't concerned about those who would pillory their work as fiction. "Any time you try to change history, there are going to be people who are going to resist it," she said.

She admitted she isn't an academic but said she draws on a variety of academic studies to prove her theory, a labour of love that consumes every day of what was supposed to be a quiet retirement. And she notes she has the endorsement of Dr. Hwa-Wei Lee, retired chief of the Asian division of the U.S. Library of Congress, who studied her dad's maps.

Source: The Province
http://www.theprovince.com/Chinese+ships+discover+America/2116787/story.html

- SEARCH FOR THE NORTH AMERICAN PRIMATE DEPARTMENT -

Sasquatch Hunters Hope to Find Proof in West Virginia

Have you ever been in the woods and wondered what could be there, lurking behind the trees? One group thinks they know. On a cool but sunny October day, Dolly Sods Wilderness, located in the Monongahela National Forest in West Virginia, is beautiful. The sun shines through the trees and off the endless boulder fields.

But in its endless wilderness, Dolly Sods is a little bit spooky, too. It’s a still, quiet place. And according to Billy Willard, it’s a great place to search for Sasquatch.

“Typically we go out and visit sites where there’s been previous sighting reports,” Willard said. “We do get encounters called in to a hotline that we have, and we go out and we’ll research those areas looking for evidence such as footprints, strange stick tree structures and that kind of thing.”

Willard is the founder of Sasquatch Watch of Virginia, a group made up of Bigfoot enthusiasts who collect information about the legendary being in their spare time.

They’re camping out in Dolly Sods, traipsing around in the wilderness area’s forests and bogs looking for signs of Sasquatch.

“As large as they claim this creature is, it’s got to have some weight to it. And if it’s walking around out here, it’s going to leave a footprint,” Willard says. 

He finds something he thinks resembles a Sasquatch print in the bog, deep in the mud.

“It could be a small track right there,” he said. “We’ve got a track right here, not as big as the other one we saw over there. And again, it’s old, you can tell it’s been here since the rain. But that might actually be cast-able. There might be some toe impressions in there.”

He pulls out some plaster of Paris and makes a cast.

Some of the members of Sasquatch Watch of Virginia have actually had a sighting—where they’ve come face-to-face with a creature they believe is a Bigfoot. But even those who haven’t believe the creature exists.

Bruce Harrington is the self-described skeptic of the group.

“I think one of the biggest arguments that people have against the existence of Bigfoot is there hasn’t been any proof,” Harrington said. “From a logical standpoint, absence of proof is not proof of absence. So just because we don’t have the proof that these creatures exist doesn’t mean they don’t exist.”

The men—and the group is made up solely of men—have an impressive amount of gear with them. They pull out GPS navigators, trail cameras, regular cameras, voice recorders and evidence bags. The latter is used when a team member finds suspicious droppings. Into the bag it goes, to be sent off to a lab for testing.

Everybody has their own theories about what kind of creature Sasquatch is. Though he’s been hunting for years, Willard has never had a sighting.

“I could accept that this thing is human, whether it’s an undiscovered Native American tribe of people, I could accept that this is some kind of North American ape that just simple hasn’t been documented yet,” he said. “Those are the two main theories.

“Now you have some more out there theories, like these things are aliens and came off a UFO. That they go through dimensions and can walk through different portals. I think this thing’s flesh and blood, whether it’s human or more ape.”

Though their weekend in Dolly Sods didn’t lead to any sightings, Sasquatch Watch of Virginia is still looking for proof. They say it’s out there.

Source: West Virginia Public Broadcasting
http://www.wvpubcast.org/newsarticle.aspx?id=11803

- HISTORIES MYSTERIES DEPARTMENT -

Mystery Stone Found Near Church Linked to Knights Templar

A mysterious carved stone has been uncovered alongside a 12th-century church associated with the Knights Templar. The stone has been dated to the 12th century.

What appears to be the carved top of a sarcophagus was unearthed when builders were excavating and reinforcing a wall alongside the old ruined church in Temple, Midlothian.

But the inscriptions, which include symbols similar to those found in Viking monuments, in medieval graves and in West Highland Celtic carvings, have baffled archaeologists.

Crispin Phillips, who is renovating a house alongside The Old Parish Church, said: "I was on a mission to repair the wall – which was falling into the graveyard. We got near the bottom of the foundations and found something buried there.

"We found one stone carved with a cross and then another with these carvings on it."

He added: "We spent about half an hour in philosophical discussions about what we should do about it. I felt we should do something, rather than just bury it again."

Mr Phillips contacted Historic Scotland and East Lothian Council, whose archaeologists cover Midlothian.

He said the stone had been photographed and recorded but he was still unclear whether further investigations would be carried out. "One of the archaeologists who came out told us it was probably from the early 12th century," he added. "But really I'm still in limbo about what to do about it."

Historian and author John Ritchie said the stone raised many questions. "It is a crude carving, quite primitive, but I have never seen anything like it in my life," he said. "It has a whole series of symbols on it and the symbols are very interesting.

"The symbols at the bottom look like Viking sun compasses, while the dials at the top look a little bit like a Celtic cross but with notches carved on them."

Expert David Connolly, of Connolly Heritage Consultancy, said he believed the stone was from the 13th or 14th century.

"It is a significant site because it was the Templar Preceptory for Scotland," he said. "I think from the condition, it may once have been set inside the church – which was once much bigger," he added.

"He could be a Templar, he could be a Hospitaller, he could just be a knight who wanted to be buried there – but the heraldry is like nothing anyone has seen before."

He added that he hoped further study of the stone was possible in the future.

Mr Phillips said he planned to complete the rebuilding of the 17th-century graveyard wall and would build an arch into it so the half-buried carvings could still be seen by interested scholars.

However historian and author Michael Turnbull said he doubted the find was significant: "There were certainly Templars there but this might be a fake."

The village of Temple in Midlothian takes its name from the Knights Templar, who once had their Scottish Preceptory – their headquarters – there.

The ruined chapel, which nestles in the valley at the foot of the village, is all that remains of what was once an abbey founded by the Templars on lands gifted by David I of Scotland in 1127.

Founded during the Crusades, the Templars was a religious order of knights whose mission was to protect Christians in the Holy Land.

Some say they invented international banking, with a system of credit letters used to pass funds to people fighting in the Crusades. The Templars certainly grew rich and powerful. According to some accounts they were the holders of treasures from Jerusalem.

But the organisation came under suspicion from the royalty of Europe and the Catholic Church. Templars were hunted down and burned at the stake.

Legend has it some of those fleeing persecution hid in this Midlothian village – bringing their treasure with them.

According to local legend some of this treasure still lies buried in Temple: "Twixt the oak and the elm tree/You will find buried the millions free."

Source: The Scotsman
http://news.scotsman.com/scotland/Mystery-stone-found-near-church.5767821.jp
- LITTLE PEOPLE IN THE GRASS, ALAS DEPARTMENT -

A Gnome By Any Other Name

My paternal grandmother was born in a rural area of Sweden in 1891, and when I was a boy she told me stories of the Tomte (as I understand it, Tomte is plural and the singular is Tomten), small beings that took the appearance of old, bearded men. The Tomte were no more than 3 feet tall and wore pointed hats, which we’ve of course come to associate with gnomes and similar creatures. Legend tells that the Tomte were capable of invisibility and could shapeshift, sometimes taking the appearance of a large, grown man.

Also, according to legend — and Grandma Alice’s stories — Tomte would usually be found on a farm and would carry out chores at night and help care for the farmer’s animals. It was thought to be bad luck to see a Tomten, but my grandmother claimed that she would often find his small footprints in the snow or mud around her home.

Although basically a benevolent spirit, the Tomten was easily offended and could be vindictive. If, for example, the Tomten felt that the farmer was mistreating his livestock, heard swearing in the barn, or neglecting to clean up a mess, the Tomten would become incensed and cause mischief. Items around the house were found broken, the milk curdled, even the cows’ tails tied together. Tomte would also become angered and would seek revenge if they were sighted or if the farmer and his family failed to leave a bowl of porridge and butter out for him on Christmas Eve. My grandmother and her family used to follow this tradition, leaving out porridge with butter for the Tomten each Christmas Eve.

My grandmother was quite insistent that the Tomte were not merely the stuff of fairytale and legend, but real beings that occupied the farms and rural landscapes of Sweden. It was these stories that contributed to my lifelong fascination with tales of diminutive humanoids. Originally coming out of the pagan traditions regarding “earth spirits” and the worship of the natural world, the Tomte later became associated with ungodly or heathen beliefs after the Christianization of Scandinavia. However, despite the sometimes negative association, the Tomten has remained a popular figure in Swedish folklore.

Obviously, the more familiar correlative is the Gnome, of which their are purportedly a great many variations and go by many names, including Erdmanleins (Germany), Nains (Britain), Nisse or Nissen (Norway and also Sweden), Tontti (Finland), Dudje (Bulgaria and Albania), and others. Not surprisingly, legends of little people are found not only in Europe, but throughout the world.

In North America the Native American people speak of “little feet” or “baby feet” that often inhabit mountainous regions or dwell underground. These beings are also said to have various magical and psychic powers, including the power of invisibility and to mentally confuse any human foolish enough to pursue them. Encounters with these entities are also associated with memory loss and periods of missing time, much akin to the reports that we hear in relation to the UFO/alien abduction phenomena (a subject that I’ll save for another post). An excellent article on Native American lore concerning little people or babyfeet in North America can be found on Dr. Karl Shuker’s blog.

In 1932, gold prospectors Cecil Main and Frank Carr, blasting open the walls of a gulch in the Pedro Mountains of Wyoming, discovered a cavern that had been sealed behind a wall of rock. Within the cavern sat, cross-legged, a small, wizened figure no more than 14? high. The tiny manneken was naturally preserved and mummified, having been spared from the elements because of that fact that it was sealed within the cave. The creature was removed from the cavern and later examined and underwent an x-ray analysis by Dr. Henry Shapiro of the American Museum of Natural History. The fact that the little man sported a full set of teeth and a fully-fused skull dispelled any possibility of the small humanoid being an infant. Interestingly, the Shoshone people told of the Nimerigar, a small, aggressive people who occupied that region of Wyoming. The Nimerigar were supposed to have hunted with bows and poison arrows and lived in the Wind River and Pedro Mountains.

Personally, the question that I most frequently ponder is “are accounts of these creatures merely folklore, or are they based in truth?” I imagine that posing this question would be much more quickly dismissed prior to 2004’s discovery of Homo floresiensis on the Indonesian island of Flores. These diminutive humanoids, which have become known as “hobbits”, appears to be a separate species of human that only grew about a meter tall. The bones found are believed to be as young as 13,000 years old, demonstrating that this tiny human lived at the same time as modern Homo sapiens. If a distinctly different version of humanoid existed alongside modern humans, I believe that we must entertain the idea that other such diminutive humanoids may have lived elsewhere throughout the world.

In South America many of the native people speak of the Duende, a race of small goblin- or gnome-like creatures that make their home in the surrounding forests and mountains. Recently, a video of a small, pointy-hatted being in Argentina surfaced on the Internet. The creature, if it is a fake, is a convincing one. It shuffles out of some high grass with a strange sideways gait, into a road as a group of teenagers returning from a fishing trip lounge nearby. The boys seem genuinely startled, judging from the scream that escapes one of them as the being appears.

The video, of course, is so outlandish that it has been dismissed by most who have seen it, but coming from a graphics background I’m of the opinion that this creature is not a CGI creation, and it certainly seems to be quite diminutive — of proportions that you might only see from a person who suffers from primordial dwarfism, an exceedingly rare condition. His hat barely clears the high grass out of which it shuffles.

So, is it possible that little people once existed, or do currently exist? If so, are they flesh-and-blood beings such as ourselves, simply an undiscovered race of creatures that has cleverly hidden themselves from us? Or, are they something more than that? Are they of an interdimensional or paranormal nature? Folklore has consistently described them as having magical gifts and properties, but is that nothing more than myth and fairytale?

As the newer developments in quantum physics point us to a different view of the nature of reality, that we exist not in a Universe, but a Multiverse, is it possible that there might be beings that can traverse these different planes of existence, moving between our reality and others? What connection, if any, have reports of these creatures in a paranormal context have to do with the modern reports of alien abductions and missing time experiences?

Source: The Paranomalist
http://www.theparanomalist.com/the-latest/gnome-sightings/

- BE VERY QUIET, WE'RE HUNTING SPOOKS DEPARTMENT -

Expert Tips for Ghost Hunting

How to keep your sixth sense in tune, where to meet the undead, and more.

Hunt on the ghost's time:
"Nighttime is good for ghost-hunting because the absence of noise, people and other distractions of the day helps your sixth sense stay in tune with your environment. That said, any time can be good, depending on who's doing the haunting. The elderly lady who haunts my home, for example, knocks on the walls throughout the day, but stays quiet at night, unless we've done something to upset her, such as running the vacuum too late. In that case, she knocks loudly and often, as if to keep us awake as payback." —Garret Moffett, who leads Springfield Walks' ghost tours and wrote "Lincoln's Ghost: Legends & Lore"

Bring a trigger object:
"Know your history of the place and of the haunting, then bring something the spirit can relate to. If it's a kid, for example, bring a toy, or if you're at a bank where there was a big heist, bring money from the era of the heist. Talk about it. Ask questions. You may even get enough spirit energy to move it." — Aaron Goodwin, a member of the paranormal investigation crew for the Travel Channel's Ghost Adventures series

Be childlike:
"Adults walk around with blinders on. We've got so much on our minds. Children are open to everything. Wide open. They see things before we do. When I go into a historic (and therefore possibly haunted) spot, I'm fascinated and ready for anything. I believe the ghosts sense that you're sincere; that you want to see them." — Robert Edgerly, a haunted-tour guide in Savannah (one of America's most haunted cities) who literally wrote the book on Savannah Hauntings

Document evidence:
"Digital recorders are a really good, basic tool. Cheaper ones are great because they generate white noise, which spirits speak within. EVPs [Electronic Voice Phenomena] can be Class A, Class B, or Class C. Class A is so unbelievably clear you can easily make out the words. At our last location, we were asking questions and then playing back some EVPs, and the spirits said our full names, in clear voices, actually responding to our questions. Really bizarre." — Nick Groff, a member of the paranormal investigation crew for the Travel Channel's Ghost Adventures series

Engage all senses:
"You feel a presence, your hair stands on end, you hear sounds or feel a touch, then turn around and nobody's there. Then there are smells — earth, old perfume, roses, body odor. In Savannah, if it's built in the 1840s or 1850s, it's built by slaves. Imagine the anguish, the longing. That stays. So you're standing there by yourself in one of these buildings, and all of a sudden there's a strong smell of body odor and it ain't coming' from you, that's an apparition." — Edgerly

Paranormal perspective:
"I find that spirits hanging around have usually suffered a sudden, tragic death and are just trying to get their story told straight. It's rather like the movie "Ghost".

Understand the risks:
"You're not hunting rocks. You're not hunting seashells. Provocation is very serious. Things can follow you home. I've had to have my house blessed twice. In this season's premiere episode, I was overtaken by a dark entity. I suddenly wanted to attack Aaron and I started breaking our equipment. I don't remember it, and watching the video was very disturbing. I don't mess around with this stuff." — Zak Bagans, a member of the paranormal investigation crew for the Travel Channel's Ghost Adventures series

Source: MSNBC
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/33400849/ns/travel-seasonal/

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