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Dennis G Balhaser UFO Researcher, Investigator & Lecturer
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UnderGround, Roswell & Interception Lectures
Article and photos by Frank Joseph http://www.fatemag.com/
Reprinted with permission from FATE by: Andy Honigman ( [email protected] )
In 1993 I went searching for Florida's and perhaps the world's most bizarre place. I had seen the strange complex known as Coral Castle on a television documentary, and my curiosity was aroused. Since I was already in Florida for a book convention, I decided to combine business with investigation.
I drove south on Highway 1 toward Homestead, where Coral Castle is located. The town is better known as the focal point for Hurricane Andrew, the worst tropical storm in U.S. history. Even though this natural catastrophe had occurred a full two years before, dramatic evidence of its impact was still visible from the highway. On the way, through Princeton, Naranja, and Leisure City, there were lingering reminders of the disaster.
The shell of what used to be a bank stood beside a roped-off supermarket, its roof buckling under the impossible burden of an upside-down semi-trailer truck. Block after block, private homes, mostly little brick bungalows, were individually smashed almost beyond recognition, as though by some giant's hammer. No structure stood undamaged. And numerous heaps of unidentifiable rubble shoveled together by relief workers were all that remained of many buildings. Mile after mile, south Florida resembled an atomic bomb testing site.
The devastation increased the closer to Homestead I got. I assumed Coral Castle had been badly damaged by the storm, if not obliterated. Homestead had taken the brunt of Hurricane Andrew's fury. Although violent desolation lay at the castle's very gates, however, the peculiar site stood intact, the only structure untouched by the swirling carnage.
But what is Coral Castle, and how could it have defied a cataclysm that devastated everything around it for thousands of square miles? The fortress-like complex is constructed of massive coral blocks, many of which exceed five tons. These are imaginatively arranged and fit together to form a central courtyard surrounded entirely by dominating walls.
Entrance is made through a gate fashioned from a single coral block weighing nine tons. This miraculous monolith is approximately 80 inches wide, 92 inches tall, and 21 inches thick. It fits within a quarter of an inch of the walls on either side and pivots through an iron rod resting on an automobile gear. The enormous block balances so perfectly on its center of gravity that a visitor can easily push it open with one finger. Modern construction engineers are at a loss to explain how such a ponderous object could have been set with such a high level of precision. Another gate, this one a great triangle, at the opposite wall, weighs three tons.
Inside the courtyard, to the visitor's immediate right, rears a broad, square tower, with a flight of stone steps ascending to a single doorway near the top. They lead to the highest point in the area and a small room. This chamber is occupied only by a leather hammock and a crude wooden table piled with primitive tools -- chains, saws, many kinds of drills, wedges, hammers, chisels and crowbars. Tools also festoon the walls. This imposing tower was raised with approximately 243 tons of coral cut into cyclopean blocks weighing from four to nine tons each. The roof alone comprises 30 one-ton blocks neatly fitted together. Although modern electricity and plumbing are absent, oil lamps and a well of fresh water serve the living quarters -- a sleeping chamber with twin beds, an outdoor cookery, and a bathroom. Usually overlooked by visitors is a low but massive altar comprising two coral blocks set against the south wall. To what god or gods it was dedicated, no one knows.
Through a single window looking out over the courtyard below, the extent of this peculiar place can be perceived in a glance. Among its oddities is a scattering of oversized chairs made of coral, each one weighing a half-ton. Although they look extremely uncomfortable, the chairs are, in fact, exceptionally restful and balanced into perfect rockers. Remarkably, not a single tool mark has been found on any of them. A smaller number of chairs was not made to rock. These resemble contour lounges oriented to the sun after dawn and at noon. But they are not the only Coral Castle features with celestial orientations.
Strolling through the castle, I noticed numerous stone representations of planets, moons, and suns, many -- perhaps all -- of them deliberately aligned with various sky phenomena, as were the 25 huge chairs carefully positioned throughout the precinct. The site appears to be some kind of celestial observatory dating back to a time before the invention of the telescope.
Twenty feet outside the wall stands a lensless, telescopic structure, 25 feet tall and weighing 20 tons. Cross-hairs inside its aperture resemble those in a bombsight, and they are aligned with Polaris, the North Star. Nearby is a massive sundial calibrated to noon of the Winter Solstice, December 21, and the Summer Solstice, June 21. The sundial is adjacent to a fountain adorned with representations of the moon in its first and last quarters and when full. On the north wall are sculpted images of Saturn and Mars. The latter is shown next to a Palmetto plant, signifying the artist's belief that life exists on the Red Planet. Other astronomical depictions and alignments abound throughout Coral Castle.
The Castle's astronomical identity is subtly reinforced throughout the site. For example, a feature referred to by guides as the "bird bath" comprises three concentric circles 124 inches, 62 inches, and 18 inches in diameter, respectively. These measurements represent the solar system. The concentric rings correspond to the three major divisions of planets. The innermost group includes Mercury, Venus, Earth, and Mars. Jupiter, Saturn, and Uranus make up the middle group, and Neptune and Pluto are represented by the outermost circle.
An appreciation of the extraordinary labor that went into building it may be gained by inspecting this same north wall. The center section, surmounted by the representation of a crown, is the site's heaviest single block at 30 tons. Almost as massive is a 40-foot obelisk set in a hole six feet deep. In addition, Coral Castle has a 2.5-ton banquet table surrounded by half-ton rocking chairs. The stone chairs are so perfectly balanced that they continue rocking long after a light touch has set them in motion.
But Coral Castle was not built by stone-dragging slaves of an ancient civilization. No less incredible than its own stupendous construction is the fact that the entire complex was built between 1920 and 1940 by and for one man working alone and in secret. His name was Edward Leedskalnin. He was born in 1887 into a farming family at Stramereens Pogosta, a small village near Riga, Latvia, but emigrated to North America before the outbreak of World War I.
While working in a Canadian lumber camp, Leedskalnin contracted tuberculosis and fled to the warmer climate of Florida. With his puny savings, he purchased an acre of land near then-obscure Florida City for $12. Here he began building the first structures of the Castle.
At five feet tall, weighing 100 pounds, and in uncertain health, Leedskalnin would be an unlikely candidate to quarry and move the tons of coral that even a robust man would have found impossible to budge. And his fourth-grade education hardly qualified him as a construction engineer.
His tools were handmade saws, chisels, chains, hoists, and hammers of the most primitive kind, and his only mode of transportation was an ancient, dilapidated bicycle without tires.
Leedskalnin was a fanatic for secrecy and worked only after sundown, when he was certain no one was watching him. If anyone did stop by to inquire how he was getting along, he would immediately stop working and chat pleasantly with visitors until they left, when he would resume construction. When we consider that he cut, moved, and positioned all of the structure's megalithic blocks in the dead of night, the man's achievement assumes a truly incredible scale. Some teenagers spying on him one evening claimed they saw him "float coral blocks through the air like hydrogen balloons," but no one took them seriously. If their testimony can be believed, they were the only witnesses to the construction of Coral Castle.
In 1936, when developers threatened to set up a subdivision near Florida City, Leedskalnin bought ten acres in nearby Homestead with money saved through years of performing odd jobs for neighboring farmers. He dismantled the largely finished Castle and transferred it block by block to the new location. Each piece was placed on a pair of iron girders mounted on a makeshift truck chassis and transported over ten miles to Homestead.
For this major operation, he relied on outside help for the first and last time. He hired a tractor, but insisted that its driver not be present whenever the blocks were placed on his truck. The driver showed up at 9:00 every morning, returning in late afternoon to find the chassis loaded with coral monoliths.
Once, the driver absentmindedly returned after less than half an hour for a lunchpail he had forgotten on the seat of the tractor. He was astounded to see several multi-ton stones already laid neatly on the girders. "It was impossible to have stacked those gigantic blocks in under 30 minutes," he recalled, "even with a steam-powered derrick. And Ed had no equipment, just a simple tackle and chain hoist. Yet, there they were, piled like cord wood." Their mysterious mover was nowhere in sight, and the driver, somewhat apprehensive, left before Leedskalnin returned.
Relocating Coral Castle progressed with an easy haste. Leedskalnin accomplished this amazing engineering feat in less than a month and re-erected his stone complex, working under cover of darkness all through the night until dawn. It took him four years of unrelieved labor, during which time he added walls eight feet high and four feet wide at the base, with an average thickness of three feet. These forbidding ramparts weigh at least 6.5 tons.
After Coral Castle was completed, Leedskalnin opened it to restricted tours, charging 25 cents per visitor, but he preferred to live behind the great walls in seclusion. He never shared the secret of its construction with anyone, saying only that he had rediscovered the laws of weight, measurement, and leverage used by the Ancient Egyptians, and that these lost principles somehow involved the relationship of the Earth to certain positions of the heavenly bodies.
Leedskalnin is quoted as saying, "I have discovered the secrets of the pyramids. I have found out how the Egyptians and the ancient builders in Peru, Yucatan, and Asia, with only primitive tools, raised and set in place blocks of stone weighing many tons." The very stones of Coral Castle support his story -- at an average of six tons, they are twice the weight of the blocks in Egypt's Great Pyramid at Giza.
Carrol A. Lake, a colonel in the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, stated that "Leedskalnin proved for all the world to see today that he knew the construction secrets of the ancients." He was seconded by one of America's leading investigators, Vincent H. Gaddis, who said of the mysterious Latvian immigrant, "There is no doubt that he applied some principle in weight lifting that remains a secret today."
Even the purpose of Coral Castle was deliberately obscured. When asked why he assumed such an enormous undertaking, Leedskalnin smilingly explained that it was built entirely for his "Sweet Sixteen," Agnes Scuffs, a woman he once asked to wed, but who never left Latvia, where she married even before he arrived in Florida. Revealingly, he never contacted Agnes after coming to America. He seems to have used this tale to politely put off unwanted curiosity.
Little is actually known about Leedskalnin, a friendly though private person. His dedicated isolation once got him into trouble, however, when he was beaten by a gang of local yahoos who threatened to kill him if he did not divulge the location of what they believed was a treasure hidden inside Coral Castle. He suffered their savagery and told them nothing. After his death, $3,500 was found in the tower -- his life savings, mostly from land sales -- but that was all.
Leedskalnin's work was his life. Material pleasures meant nothing to him, and he merrily subsisted on a diet of sardines, crackers, eggs, and milk. His meager garden produced green vegetables and some fruits, and he trapped the occasional rabbit. He worked tirelessly from sunset to sunrise and spent much of his day reading from his library about magnetic current and cosmic forces, resting only a few hours in the late afternoon.
Leedskalnin passed away in his sleep in 1953, of malnutrition and kidney failure. His only living relative, Harry, inherited what was then known as "Rock Gate Park." Shortly before he died, Harry sold the property to a Chicago family, who gave it its present name. Thirty years later, Coral Castle was placed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Nearly six decades later, Leedskalnin's marvelous home is still explored each year by thousands of visitors from across the country and around the world.
Coral Castle has attracted the international attention of professional construction engineers, astounded and mystified by the apparently impossible achievement of this diminutive wonder-worker. In the mid-1970s, for example, a large bulldozer was hired to manipulate a coral block equivalent to the Castle's 30-ton monolith; the bulldozer could not even lift it.
Alternative science investigators suggest that Leedskalnin somehow learned the secret of the "world grid," an invisible pattern of energy lines surrounding the Earth which concentrates points of telluric power where they intersect. It was here, at one of these intersections of Earth energy, that he was supposedly able to move his prodigious stone blocks using the unseen power of our planet. In fact, in The Enigma of Coral Castle, Ray Stoner suggests that Leedskalnin moved the Castle not because it was threatened by an encroaching subdivision, but because a surveying error misplaced the site ten miles from an Earth energy vortex or focal point. In order for the structures to maximize this energy, the entire complex needed to be relocated in Homestead, where the telluric forces were focused.
Bruce Cathe, in The Energy Grid, one of the most credible books on the subject, says "the site of Coral Castle is mathematically related to the world energy grid, as are the other remarkable structures which, however, date from ancient times. Ed Leedskalnin had not moved on to the Florida site by chance. This geometric position was extremely close to one that would be ideal for setting up harmonics related to gravity and light harmonics. The fact that [he] had access to secret knowledge is much more evident in the relationship of Coral Castle to the world energy grid system."
Stoner says some fundamental conditions must be met before a structure like Coral Castle can be made to function as intended. It must be exactly situated over an energy vortex, aligned with a celestial event or events sufficiently precise to predict their recurrence, constructed in a specific shape, and built with certain materials. Finally, activities at the site may be successfully undertaken only at the moment the celestial events to which it is oriented take place.
Stoner's prerequisites for particular shapes and building materials are reminiscent of experiments in pyramid power in the mid-1970s, when the precise angles (variants of 15.2 degrees) of the pyramid and its special construction elements (crystalline granite and non-conducting limestone) determined their success. In Using Pyramid Power, James Wyckoff writes,"The ancient Egyptians knew that the shape and angle of pyramids contained a mystical energy force."
Traditions from various parts of the ancient world describe levitation as the construction means used by the unknown builders of miraculous structures. In Britain, Merlin was said to have originally found Stonehenge in Ireland, where, like Ed Leedskalnin, he singlehandedly took apart its massive stones and transported them through the air to England's Salisbury Plain. A world away in distance and time, the South Pacific islanders of Ponape still tell how the 20-ton basalt column of Nan Madol, an enormous megalithic site, were floated across the sky by two Merlin-like magicians. Recalling the teenagers' report of multi-ton blocks floating through the air, it may be easier to believe that Leedskalnin was using Earth energies after all.
Cathe suggests that "at certain positions on the globe there are localities where the forces of gravity can be manipulated by the application of certain geometric harmonies. Where these geometric conditions exist, it is evidently possible for people who have the knowledge to use gravitational forces to construct great buildings of massive material. Stonehenge, the ancient pyramids, the temple at Baalbek, and perhaps the pyramids in Central and South America were the results of a combination of knowledge and gravitational anomalies. Coral Castle, I believe, occupies one of these positions."
But how Leedskalnin built Coral Castle is no more mystifying than why he did it. He had little interest in money, consistently resisting efforts by entrepreneurs to advertise his place and turn it into a tourist attraction. Indeed, outsiders could gain entrance only after pulling on a bell cord, to which he may or may not have been in the mood to respond. He rarely left the site, and what he did behind its sheltering walls no one ever knew.
Like the enigmas of its construction, its real function is unknown. Why did he make so many sculpted references and astronomical orientations to the heavens? For whom were 25 half-ton rocking chairs designed? To what or whom was his barbaric altar dedicated? What need could have demanded so massive a complex as Coral Castle? And why did Edward Leedskalnin devote his whole life to it?
Today, Coral Castle is open to the public as the self-made monument of a reclusive man's mysterious genius.
Frank Joseph is the editor of Sacred Sites: A Guidebook to Sacred Centers and Mysterious Places in the United States and Canada. He lives in Wisconsin. For further information, visit his web site, Ancient American.
© Copyright 1998 Llewellyn Worldwide, Ltd. Reprinted with permission.
FATE Magazine is published monthly by Llewellyn Worldwide, Ltd. Subscriptions are $21.50 per year; call 1-800-728-2730 or write to P.O. Box 1940, 170 Future Way, Marion, OH 43305. You can e-mail FATE at [email protected] , or visit FATE's website at http://www.fatemag.com/.
A Review © 2000 BY: Joan d'Arc [email protected] or [email protected]
Publisher: The Book Tree 800 number (800-700-TREE) web site: www.thebooktree.com Also this book may be order through Amazon.com both in the US & UK
If you haven't already ordered this most fascinating book, I advised you to go out and order it right away.
Space Travelers and the Genesis of the Human Form, covers a very wide range of topics, which author Joan d'Arc backs up with some very credible documents and pictures.
Are we alone in this Universe? Is our own EARTH holding secret to it's own making? What are the different artifacts on the Mars and the moon? Could they tell us of our Past?
This and a host of other topics and questions await you and will come with an answer..
Could it be that this author has found some of the very pointed questions that we all seek? Please check out the book for yourself which was published in February 2000, I personally was impressed in the research that she has done to bringing some of these issue to light.
By The Author: Joan d'Arc , March 9, 2000
Can Darwinian evolution prove we are alone in the universe? This book looks at anthropomorphic artifacts on Mars and the Moon which are evidence that we are not alone, even in our own solar system. In addition, Darwinian evolution is shown to be a highly touted philosophy, not an empirical science, of Western materialism, which cannot be used to argue that mankind is alone in the Universe. Humans did not accidently climb out of the pond scum of our local habitat. Indeed Earth may be a controlled DNA repository for the ongoing creation and dissemination of life forms, including the human form. This book looks at ancient myths which describe the human form as common in the universe, rather than being a local, Earth-based, one of a kind anomaly. In essence, Darwianian evolution serves to keep us unaware of our true ancestry from the "sky" rather than from the "water." This book shows the reader how we have been hoodwinked by materialist philosophies, paraded as science, into believing we exist in an isolated consciousness in an isolated oasis, closed off from the larger family of man.
By Skye Turell < [email protected] > http://www.sightings.com/general2/remotec.htm
Five years ago the U.S. government openly acknowledged their involvement in psychic research. Not just research, but the operation of a team of "psychic spies" for nearly 20 years.
Public reaction was mixed. Some were indifferent, citing this as yet another example of blatant monetary mismanagement -- right up there with studying the aerodynamics of Frisbees (Now, I wonder why that would be of interest?) and $600 toilet seats. Others embraced this revelation with open hearts, "Oh, I've been doing remote viewing for 10, 20, 30 years!"
Suddenly everyone was a remote viewer and half of those opened remote viewing training services. Some training packages started at $3500, just for the beginner course. Others sold instructional videotapes for far less, but sold them by the thousands. You too can remote view in only a week! Just draw a little sketch on the back of this matchbook. All this despite the fact that the "real" remote viewers at Ft. Meade had gone through rigorous daily training, often for months, before they were allowed to go near a real operational target. And these viewers had been screened. There was some indication these individuals might make good remote viewers. And even so the Ft. Meade unit wasn't always successful, not all the time.
"Former military remote viewers" were crawling from the woodwork. One of the Ft. Meade viewers was offered cash to verify someone's false claim to a connection with the unit. Meade viewers found their names listed on executive boards of organizations they'd never heard of.
Others claimed to have been part of even more secret military units and insisted we should accept their superior knowledge, despite their refusal to have their credentials vetted in any way, simply because they claimed it. (Even I, a lowly civilian, know how this works. You get someone who knows someone to give a subtle nod, a positive statement about something not overtly related to the matter at hand, which confirms the person's bona fides. Of course you have to indeed know someone to vouch for you in order to have this work.)
The claims about remote viewing made by these trainers started out grandiose, "We guarantee 100% accuracy," and went up the grandiosity scale from there. And their public appearances, books and websites promoted more and more bizarre predictions, virtually none of which have come to pass. (We're still here, right?)
Even former Ft. Meade viewers were not immune from the lure of the dollar and promise of more than 15 minutes of fame. Some of the worst misrepresentations came from a couple of former unit members.
The legitimate Ft. Meade viewers went into overtime, making radio appearances, posting to email groups, and fielding phone calls, attempting to clarify the confusion and warn against those who had no credentials (or who had apparently simply gone insane).
The net effect has been that the world is now very polarized on the subject of remote viewing. You've got your hardcore debunkers (skeptics keep open minds and debunkers don't fall into this category) and you've got your "believers." Most of the RV students appear to be of the later category. It doesn't matter if they've ever had real verifiable feedback on their performance, or if those sessions were conducted under any sort of controls. They know they are right. Ask them how they know? Well, a bunch of other remote viewers got the same thing! (There are reasons this agreement between viewers can happen, correct data being only one of the possibilities.) Or they'll resent you for even asking. Heaven forbid you should question their experience. They saw it! They remote viewed it!
The sad thing is, the scientists at Stanford Research Institute tried to prevent this polarization from the very beginning. If they could muzzle the negativists by conducting extremely clean research, and keep the believers happy because the lab results were good, theoretically that would end the debates. The very term "Remote Viewing" was an attempt to distance the legitimate research they were doing from the loosey-goosey street "psychics." The neutral terminology no doubt helped manage their conservative government contract holders, but more importantly it also communicated that the substance of their experiments was clearly different, scientific.
Their remote viewings were held under strict lab protocols, which had been hammered out, with much bloodshed, over many years. Each "concern" of the debunkers being met with a further tightening of procedures, to a point now, according to a recent study, where psi research operates with something like 10-12 times more "double blindedness" than your average pharmaceutical study. (The statistical evidence for psi is 7 times more robust than for the fact that aspirin prevents heart attacks - something we all assume to be true. We saw it on the news!) When you've got debunkers drooling to cut you down, you want to ge0t it right the first time.
Not surprisingly, having spent thousands of dollars on training, the student generation is very reticent about the scientific side. It would be a rude awakening to find that you aren't as good as you have been told. Indeed most of the students don't appear to know what kind of controls are used in legitimate studies and have never bothered to read up on the subject. And clearly weren't encouraged to by their trainers. This despite the fact that "remote viewing" is a controlled process. That's what makes it remote viewing and not your garden-variety psychic stuff. In fact, the labs have found that talented viewers perform better when they are completely "blind." A little knowledge, after all, is a dangerous thing. But the less-than-talented? Do they perform well under those controls? That might be another story.
I had a rather circuitous email conversation with one such student who had been claiming that his remote viewing scores were higher than the best lab-performer. The student was making rather pointed statements that perhaps the lab viewers (and the Meade viewers, too) apparently didn't know all that much on the subject. This from a graduate of an organization that is known for doing UFO targets and grading the sessions according to whether their data matches that of the instructor!
I patiently explained how the scoring of sessions is done in the lab - a very rigorous and difficult procedure that, in effect, deducts points for less than stellar performance, but offers no "extra points" for sessions that are blueprint picture perfect, which the world class remote viewers sometimes provide. I typed several pages of explanation. How did he respond? Don't bother me with the facts; this is all too complex. Gawd! You want me to do some MATH? I just want to declare that my remote viewing school is better than those old guys. Don't hassle me with details!
This is just one example and there are many variations on this theme. We don't need to pay any attention to what was learned over the previous 20 years. We like the data we get. We have a new way of doing remote viewing that is easier and the results are better, never mind that we've never done a real remote viewing session in our lives, and would be hard-pressed to even define what remote viewing is. We are more evolved than those other people. That's our story, and we're sticking to it.
This is where the field of remote viewing stands today. Are we confused yet? You bet we are!
In the midst of all of this madness stands Joe McMoneagle, who is probably the best remote viewer in the U.S. Certainly he is the best-documented remote viewer in the U.S., if not in the entire world. He has spent over 20 years both on the research and the applications side of the field. While many like to play the two sides off against each other, Joe is able to integrate and clarify the experience of both.
Joe's new book, "Remote Viewing Secrets: A Handbook" is the most comprehensive book ever written on the how-to of remote viewing. Not just how to do a practice session, but how to use it for real world applications. Not just what makes it work, but what makes it not work. Despite what many have been taught, much was learned over the past 20 years. While Joe is the first to admit that he doesn't know everything about remote viewing - no one does - he does have a wealth of knowledge. If you were to listen to one voice in this chaotic field, you would do well to listen to him.
He'll even answer you the question: If all these remote viewing schools are so evolved and do better work than anyone else, how come Joe receives so many calls from discouraged graduates of these schools, wondering where they went wrong and how come their sessions aren't as good as Joe's are?
Remote viewing is suffering terminal oversell. The real efficacy of this skill is being lost in the shuffle. Joe McMoneagle can tell you exactly what to realistically expect. Sounds like a good starting place to me. _____
Remote Viewing Secrets: A Handbook is available from http://www.amazon.com/ Joe McMoneagle's website is http://www.mceagle.com/ Skye Turell < [email protected]
By Sarah E. Richards Of The Associated Press Forwarded by: [email protected]
COPIED FROM: The St. Louis Post-Dispatch ARCHIVES Originally published on Sunday, October 19, 1997.
DONNA Robinson couldn't ask for a better business arrangement. She looks after the Woodnutt Country Inn during the day, and Sarah the ghost takes over at night.
Sarah doesn't mind the hours, and she has a knack for attracting guests to Salem's historic district.
Sarah is a spinster lace maker who died in 1889 at age 33 and, Donna Robinson believes, never moved out. Sarah is harmless and seeks only men who are about her age, Robinson assures her visitors.
Otherwise, travelers can relax in the guest suite in the restored Colonial home and enjoy breakfast of homemade peach and pear crepes with hot caramel sauce. It's $65 a night, apparition or no.
The 1995 edition of "Haunted Hotels: A Guide to American and Canadian Inns and Their Ghosts," by Robin Mead, lists more than 100 historic hotels, motels and inns that claim at least one non-paying guest.
Hauntings and hospitality may not seem an obvious mix, but some innkeepers find profit in marketing the mysterious.
Ed Okonowicz, a storyteller and ghost chaser from Elkton, Md., is author of the "Spirits of the Bay" books, a series documenting nearly every shadow and shudder on the Delmarva peninsula. The Woodnutt Country Inn was mentioned in his "Presence in the Parlor."
"Certain innkeepers don't want to talk about it," Okonowicz says. "Others call me and ask if they can be included because it's good for tourism."
In the month after publication, Robinson received 20 calls from readers. She decided to make Sarah a partner and now mentions her in the house brochure.
In a living room redolent of vanilla candles, Robinson recounted how she learned of Sarah. In 1992, she said, a 29-year-old male guest told her he was lying in bed and saw the shadow of a woman. Others related similar stories of a figure in a long white gown. Then Sarah visited Robinson's son.
"I thought with each episode, this is getting too bizarre," she said.
Across the Delaware River in New Castle, Del., Elaine Class plans seances and poetry readings at the Fox Lodge at Lesley Manor. When she and her husband bought the Gothic revival mansion in 1994, she thought such ethereal entertainment would complement its looming tower and cusped arches.
But the ghosts, she says, are real. A 19th-century couple, Dr. and Mrs. Allen Vorhees Lesley, made their presence known during renovations. Class says she often sees Jane Lesley's swirling skirt in the parlor and once felt the doctor's hand on her shoulder in what had been his examining room.
Chris Woodyard, of Beavercreek, Ohio, writes the "Haunted Ohio" book series. "Owners are seeing the marketing value of it - the P.R. a ghost can provide," she says.
The Buxton Inn, a former stagecoach stop in Granville, Ohio, was mentioned in Woodyard's fourth volume. Owner Audrey Orr says guests who have read it want to stay in Room 9 - the favorite haunt of a former proprietress in a blue dress and gardenia perfume.
No matter how popular the ghosts, innkeepers rarely bank on them totally. Sarah Sonke, president of the American Bed & Breakfast Association in Richmond, Va., says most balance them with other promotions.
Doug and Lily Vieyra, owners of An Elegant Victorian Mansion in Eureka, Calif., speak cautiously of Elizabeth Alice, a twentysomething spirit who, unlike the amorous Sarah, prefers the friendship of women.
They chose to advertise their 1890s inn as a "spiritually endowed" living history museum so as not to scare off clientele who prefer their vacations soundly in this realm.
But the ghost is mentioned in some guide books, and if the owners sense that a guest is looking for a "complete Victorian experience" they enclose a pamphlet about Elizabeth with the registration packet.
Woodyard calls the fascination with the supernatural a "safe scare," an adrenaline rush like riding a roller coaster. "We need that scare to make us feel alive," she said.
By Damian Whitworth- In Washington Forwarded by: [email protected]
Source: The London Times Date: June 5 1999 Subject: Uncle Sam's Witches Welcome To Do A Spell In The Ranks
The US Army, bristling with high-tech wizardry, has discovered that soldiers are coming under the spell of more ancient practices. It turns out that there are rather a lot of witches in the ranks.
Broomsticks will not be replacing troop carriers as the preferred means of transport just yet. But the Pentagon has given its blessing to those who wish to practise witchcraft. It has come as a surprise quite how many do. Among the 42,000 soldiers stationed at the army's biggest base - Fort Hood in Texas - at least 300 admit to being members of the Wiccans' Open Circle.
At a recent celebration of the Rite of Spring, 40 witches, male and female, held hands round a fire chanting "Great Freya be you adored," as a robed high priestess blessed water, bread and salt at an altar. The Pentagon respects the religious beliefs of all its servicemen without passing judgment and so the neo-paganists who worship Wicca are allowed to go about their business in the same way as Christians, Muslims or Jews.
It is believed that a number of the 28 per cent of the Armed Forces who say they do not have a preferred religion are Wiccans. The popularity of Wicca at Fort Hood is so great that some new recruits are even asking to be posted there to join the Open Circle. Congregations are being formed at other bases across the United States and in Germany and Guam. A Wicca information pack is dispatched from the chaplain's office at Fort Hood to interested parties in the forces.
There are some who question how the ethics of witchcraft can sit comfortably with the basic tenets of warfare. The Wiccan Rede, or Golden Rule, states "and it harm none, do what you will," a maxim that does not easily lend itself to firing in anger. Officers are reluctant to talk about the witches in their midst. "It's such a volatile subject. It just sparks a fury," said one colonel. And some of the witches themselves remain shy about their beliefs and are careful not to advertise them. But the presence of Wiccans, who worship the Mother Earth and Father Sky, has unquestionably angered Christian groups around Fort Hood.
"I have no tolerance for evil or people who do evil," said the Rev Jack Harvey of the Tabernacle Baptist Church. "We don't think anybody in the army or otherwise should be in favour of witchcraft. The Bible states explicitly, 'Thou shalt not suffer a witch to live'."
By Bill Reiter Of The Post-Dispatch
Investigators Film Throughout Mansion For Potential TV Pilot!
COPIED FROM: The St. Louis Post-Dispatch ARCHIVES Originally published on Thursday, July 8, 1999.
Filmmaker James Gregson is always looking for new talent. But his search for a star took an eerie turn last month.
The Alton producer recruited a trio of ghost investigators to help film his newest cast - the fabled spirits haunting McPike Mansion.
It's a marked change from other Gregson Independent Productions projects, such as "Cooking for Singles," "Sockville," and "Jake Steele: Future Spy."
Nonetheless, the idea of a series on local haunts had executives excited in January at a television programming convention in New Orleans.
"We were just going to do investigative re-enactments of local haunted houses," Gregson said. "(Ghost investigator) Mike Lynch came down and said he had footage. I looked at it and said, 'Whoa, whoa, whoa - this is weird.' "
The pieces came together, and the project materialized.
So as darkness settled on a recent Thursday night in Alton, technicians began to set up video equipment and the Para-Vision ghost investigators from St. Louis armed themselves for the hunt.
The paranormal specialists wore black pants and T-shirts. They unpacked a video camera set to a specific light frequency, two "helmet cams" - infrared video cameras rigged to hard hats - and a remote-controlled truck complete with an infrared camera and infrared lights.
Other cameras were set up throughout the mansion.
The goal was simple: record specters invisible to the eye with equipment capable of seeing them and use the footage for a pilot on local haunts.
With motion detectors on each floor of the mansion ready to beep at any ghost floating by, investigator Michael Lynch crept slowly to the front of the darkened home.
The production team watched from the front lawn and monitored the video screens. Lynch pressed a video camera to his eye and marched through the front door.
"I've got a couple," he said, turning his camera on an otherwise invisible specter. "They're small ones."
The other investigators moved cautiously through the house, trying not to disturb the spirits.
Lynch examined the three floors for another 40 minutes without spotting much. He then went into a small, concrete cove in the basement.
The air was foggy. The cold room smelled of brick and decaying wood. In one corner, a video camera with infrared lights stood at the ready to record passing ghosts.
"You see that fog?" Lynch asked. "It's not fog. It's an energy. It's always been there, and it attracts the entities."
Lynch has investigated ghosts and tried to scientifically prove their existence since 1992. He said his experience has taught him how to track spirits.
His conclusions include:
* An entity is a human consciousness without a human form.
* They vary in power, and only the strongest can be seen by the eye.
* Most dance across rooms like an intense, baseball-shaped strobe light and must be viewed in a particular light frequency
"You can feel the energy," investigator Jeremy Johnson said. "You can feel the electricity. You can feel the cold spots. You'll walk there, and it'll be a 15-degree drop."
After investigating the yard and house for more than two hours, the ghost hunters and Gregson's technicians retraced their steps to see if any entities were recorded.
But there were no overwhelming sightings. The colony of ghosts Lynch said he saw at the mansion earlier this year did not appear.
Even so, he called the trip a success. He said the crews did record some spirits of the dead.
Flashes of light - what Lynch said were ghosts - were filmed whipping past the camera about nine times, zipping up a stairwell, across the yard or against a wall.
"That could be a flashlight," complained music composer Jim Callahan, as he watched a ball of light jet across the television monitors.
But some images flashing across the footage were strange.
"Wow," Callahan said a few moments later, watching a light dash from the back of the yard and over Lynch's shoulder. "That's weird."
Sitting in front of another television screen watching the footage, Lynch rewound the tape again and again to watch the light flutter across the yard.
"We know that's it," he said, as light moved across the screen for a few seconds. "Nothing else in the world creates that."
And what about the possibility that the lights are from flashlights, passing cars or other places?
"You have to look for the source of it," he said. "Going frame by frame of the video, you can take away the possibility of what it could be. When we run it through a software package, it shows beyond a doubt this is not a light source of any sort. That light is unique and in a unique spectrum.
"I don't doctor my evidence," he said. "I do this to prove the evidence."
The night did not produce the blockbuster recording session necessary for a television pilot. But Gregson isn't giving up. He'll return in the coming weeks for other sessions.
"I've seen enough to know there's some serious evidence," he said. "This is an excitement. There's an energy here."
EDITOR'S NOTE: Please go to the web-site above to view the beauty of this crystal!
BBC News Online: Sci/Tech Monday, 12 June, 2000, 13:25 GMT 14:25 UK
So clear, you can read text through the crystals
A gigantic cave of crystals has been discovered in an old silver mine in Spain.
The geode, which is eight metres (26ft) long and crammed full of gypsum prisms, has been put under police guard to prevent souvenir hunters from raiding the extraordinary natural phenomenon.
The next possibility is to drill a hole to fix a window in the geode to show the tourists
The geologist who announced the find, Javier Garcia-Guinea, wants to turn the site into a tourist attraction.
He told BBC News Online that up to 10 people could sit inside the geode - an object normally small enough to hold in your hands.
"Bending your body between the huge crystals is an incredible sensation," he said. "When I was young I dreamt of flying, but never to go into a geode internally covered with transparent crystals."
Rumours of the existence of a giant gypsum geode had been circulating among mineral collectors since December.
But it was only on 28 May that Javier Garcia-Guinea, from the Spanish Council for Scientific Research (CSIC) in Madrid, finally managed to track down the cave.
"The crystals are absolutely transparent and perfect," he said. The geologist has searched the international literature and can find no other object to compare in size.
The geode - essentially a rock cavity which has become lined with crystalline deposits - is eight meters in length, 1.8 metres wide and 1.7 metres high (26 feet by six by six).
The crystals of gypsum - hydrous calcium sulphate - are about half a metre in length.
Javier Garcia-Guinea is concerned about theft
The giant geode may have formed at the same time as a geological event called the Messinian salinity crisis.
At this time, about six million years ago, the Mediterranean Ocean evaporated, depositing thick layers of salts. The same, salt-saturated fluids could have filled up the Spanish geode, which lies near the coast.
The drying out of the Mediterranean was probably caused by a restriction in the straits of Gibraltar, the sea's only connection with rest of the Earth's oceans.
Javier Garcia-Guinea has blocked the entrance to the geode with five tonnes of rock and called in the police to guard the location. After a period of scientific study, he hopes the cave can be turned into a major local tourist attraction.
"The next possibility is to drill a hole to fix a window in the geode to show the tourists. Almeria is little town with nice beaches just four kilometres from the mine and is well known to English holidaymakers."
The crystal are made from hydrous calcium sulphate.
By: Dennis Balthaser [email protected] http://www.geocities.com/Pentagon/Base/2997/editorial05012000.htm
In previous editorials and usually at my lectures, I have referred to the anticipation, satisfaction and sometimes frustration, involved in the research of ufology. Because of the time frame already involved with the alleged Roswell Incident of 1947, (53 years), it is extremely difficult to obtain factual information about that incident. If in fact there is a cover up, and many of us still believe there was and still is, due to the fact that it has not been satisfactorily explained in 4 attempts by the United States Air Force. One has no choice but to utilize the Freedom of Information Act law, in order to attempt to obtain information. Many witnesses have been interviewed, some of whom I consider very reliable and believable, and others that may be spreading disinformation, or have no knowledge of the incident, or worse, use the incident for their own benefit. Most of those individuals know who they are, as those of us serious about this research and investigations also do. I therefore decided to question the very organization, (United States Air Force), that has provided the excuses for what took place at Roswell in 1947, and to quote from their own report, published by the United States government in 1995.
The Freedom of Information Act law, enacted in 1966, was authored by California politician John Moss, took 13 years to get it through Congress, and is without a doubt one of the best tools available to obtain information. Over the years, many documents previously kept from the public have been disclosed through FOIA requests. Most researchers that I've talked to however, share my experience in that many times the information takes months or years to obtain, if in fact obtainable. Many times it is still cataloged as secret or not available due to National Security concerns, and some information is still "blacked out", or delay tactics are used in their responses. In the requests I've made in reference to the Roswell Incident, I have experienced all of those. Perseverance is the key. I have a lot of respect for researchers such as Stanton Friedman, Wendy Connors, John Greenewald Jr., and others that keep "digging" and eventually are able to obtain heretofore, unavailable documents.
I have recently asked my web master to post some of the FOIA requests I've done on my web site, in order that visitors to my site can be kept updated on the progress, (or lack of progress), on requests I'm working on. I have others that are not posted due to still being in process and not enough information obtained to share with the public yet, but they will be posted when appropriate.
One of those FOIA requests, and all correspondence thus far, is listed on my web site, involves the General Ramey photos taken in Fort Worth, Texas, by James Bond Johnson in July 1947. The United States Air Force, in their 1995 voluminous report entitled, "The Roswell Report: Fact vs. Fiction in the New Mexico Desert", actually has a 31 page Executive Summary section written by Col. Richard L. Weaver in the front part of that report. In that article, on pages 29, 30 and 31, Col. Weaver states that the United States Air Force requested and obtained copies of the photographs taken of General Ramey, Col. DuBose and RAAF Intelligence officer Maj. Marcel in Ramey's office, from the University of Texas at Arlington collection. The University has the copyright on those photographs. Additionally Col. Weaver states that the photographs were submitted to a "national-level organization" for digitizing and subsequent photo interpretation and analysis. On July 20, 1994, the Air Force was notified by that national-level organization that the photographs were of insufficient quality to visualize either of the details sought for analysis, primarily the flowered tape and/or hieroglyphics originally reported by certain witnesses at the debris field.
Several individuals and organizations have recently been analyzing copies of those same photographs and most are now of the opinion that certain words can in fact be read on the Teletype General Ramey is holding in one of the photographs.
Since these photographs and the information contained on them could well be the "smoking gun" connected with the Roswell Incident, I decided to request information from the United States Air Force through the Freedom of Information Act. If in fact, they had requested the photographs from the University of Texas at Arlington, and had in fact, had those photographs analyzed by a national-level organization, with a report back to the Air Force as stated by Col. Weaver, I assumed there would be some record of those events to support the statements made by Col. Weaver. The Air Force report is available through the U.S. Government Printing Office, for $57.00. This is an official government publication, authorized by the United States Air Force and has a 31-page summary, written by a Colonel, whom I assume, had credentials and documentation to support the statements he made.
My first request for information was mailed to the Secretary of the Air Force at the Pentagon, July 27, 1999, with a copy of that request furnished to the Secretary of Defense also. I specifically requested information pertaining to the photograph of General Ramey holding the Teletype, and made reference to the 1995 Air Force report, including furnishing them a copy of the photograph in question.
Their first response informed me that I had a misunderstanding of the operation of the FOIA and that FOIA does not require any agency to analyze, interpret or create records by combining or compiling information contained in existing records. They also informed me that their office is not a repository for UFO information, but information about Project Sign, Project Grudge and Project Blue Book were retired to the National Archives and available on 94 rolls of 35MM film in archived microfilm publication T1206.
My next response was more specific, referring to Col. Weaver's statements on pages 29, 30 and 31 of the 1995 Air Force report, to address the request made by then, New Mexico Congressman, Steven Shiff about the Roswell Incident. In my request I included pages 29, 30 and 31 and even hi-lighted the particular sections I was questioning. I asked for copies or documentation on the following four specific items:
* The initial request to obtain copies of the photos from the University of Texas at Arlington, archives. * The initial request to have the photographs analyzed by a national-level organization, and any subsequent or additional documents related to that request. * The report returned to the researchers requesting the analysis, from the national-level organization, with any corresponding reports or documents, pertaining to the results of the analysis. * The correspondence furnished to the Air Force for inclusion in "The Roswell Report", issued in 1995.
After more correspondence with the Air Force headquarters in Washington, DC, I was informed in November, 1999, that records regarding this subject were returned to the Air Force Historical Research Agency at Maxwell Air Force Base in Alabama. May I assume then that the Air Force is a repository for UFO information and it's located at Maxwell AFB?
Maxwell AFB informed me they have no such documents in their archives and gave me the opportunity to appeal their "no records" response, to the Secretary of the Air Force through Maxwell AFB, rather than the Pentagon, where the Secretary has his office.
I prepared my appeal and submitted it as instructed by the Air Force. On January 7, 2000 I received a response indicating the Air Force Historical Research Agency at Maxwell had made another "extensive review" and once again determined they have no records pertaining to the 4 specific items I was questioning. The Air Force did however furnish me with some 80 pages of titles of microfilm available for sale at about $30.00 each. This will give me information about the Supply and Food Service, Motor Vehicles, Air Refueling, Flying Training, when certain type aircraft were assigned to the base, and very little about 1947 or the specific information I requested.
In my latest response, I have asked the Air Force if they did an "extensive review" as I was told, did they ever contact Col. Weaver to determine where he obtained the information stated in his summary in the 1995 Air Force report? If the report is accurate, where is the documentation to support the statements made in that report? Since I'm referring to an official document authorized by the United States Air Force and printed by the United States government, it is my contention that the method of obtaining that information and reporting it is a valid FOIA request, which I will continue to pursue. I will not pursue it any longer under the Freedom of Information Act however, but will select alternative options such as a congressional investigation or legal representation.
So there you have just one of the FOIA requests I'm working on, which gives you an idea of the frustration one can have while attempting to obtain information. It's their publication---I simply want to know where they obtained the information in the report.