~The views and opinions expressed here are of the blog author and not necessarily of CCAPSG as a whole~

Sunday, January 31, 2010

The Wall of Fear

Have you ever felt a ‘nameless dread’?

A feeling that you can go ‘this far but no further’ in a room, a building or in the outdoors?

Do certain area’s make you feel anxious and uneasy?

Have you heard of mountain panic, in which people literally feel the need to ‘flee’ when in certain remote regions, to the point where they are overwhelmed with the ‘flight’ response.

Some researchers attribute this to paranormal activity, some to psychology and others to infrasound produced by wind, electrical devices and other means (see web link to research article below).

I have had two experiences with this.

Once I was riding my brothers mini bike when I was 11. It was a Honda Z50-R, a year old and in great condition. I was riding up a hill at Bowen Mt, with the other riders 1km behind me. And as I went up a hill in 3rd gear at ¾ throttle, the bike just cut out. It just died.

I got off the bike, and as I tried to kick start it I was overwhelmed with a sense of fear and of being watched. I started hyperventilating. The bike would not start. There was no reason to be scared – I was only 500m from home and my family was right behind me.

But it was a sense of dread beyond rational understanding.

I sat on the ground crying. When the adults got to me I was a mess and said the bike wouldn’t start. They kicked it over and it started first go. It was a very unnerving experience where both electrical/mechanical failure and a sense of foreboding were absolutely enmeshed. Was it just a coincidence?

The second story comes from a hunting trip at a place called Manildra. We were asked by the local farmer to cull Kangaroo’s that were destroying his crops. It provided us food for the camp as well.

One afternoon, we came through a new section of the property that was unlike anywhere else. It just felt strange. The tree’s were strange, the rocks were out of place and it felt like no-one wanted to be there – that was the vibe for everyone in the car. It bordered right onto the National Park.

That night we ended up spotlighting in that paddock, and it was pretty fruitful.

As my son and I got out of the car to get a carcass we just shot from 50m away we were confronted by three strange things. One, the carcass had completely disappeared. It was in plain site when shot, we followed the lights to the carcass and it wasn’t there and we had seen it drop like a stone. The second thing were a set of eyes reflecting from behind the fence that were coming from the national park, that were low to the ground like a large snake would be, but with no discernable body, were reflecting off the spotlight the whole time we were looking and watching us. The third was, as my son and I walked toward the fence we hit a ‘wall of fear’. We simply could not go any further and it happened simultaneously. Our legs became like lead and we looked at each other as if to say ‘I can’t move forward’. Our driver was a seasoned bushman and he said “Stop being a pack of girls and go get the ‘roo”.

After a minute he jumped out of the SUV, and as he got to us, he too hit the ‘wall’ and stopped exactly where we were. He went forward, and came back rattled. “It doesn’t feel right here at all, let’s get back in the car and keep going” he said. We jumped in and all feeling very uneasy and even nauseous (my son and I) so we drove 150m to the gate and into the next paddock. Not only had the scenery completely changed but the vibe was totally different. So three individuals had the same unnerving experience at the same spot at the same time.

Was it a psychological response from being uneasy there earlier in the day? Or was there more to it?

We immediately named it the ‘Yowie Paddock’ because of the nameless fear some researchers have attributed to the phenomenon that is implied to occur often when a sighting of a report is made, of the symptoms suffered by the interviewee.

Here’s a question that is difficult to answer. How do we discern between what is real, what is implied and the source of the ‘fear’ – is it an internal physiological factor or it is a response to an external source projecting it, mechanical, electrical, naturally occurring, or otherwise?

Check out these links to investigate further and here is a scripture for you in regards to fear and worry from the Gospel of Luke, Chapter 12:

“..Which of you by worrying can add a cubit of height to his stature..” Jesus.

For more information on the fearful symptoms linked to Yowie sightings go to:


Excerpt below: (Interview OF Paul Cropper by AYR )

[AYR} - This is normally a question many Researchers try to avoid, however we have to ask it. There's been so much talk by many Researchers on a World level about the Yowie/Bigfoot having some form of ties in the Paranormal, what's your view?

[Paul} - There are certainly 'psychic' elements to some sightings; strong feelings of terror and panic (the 'nameless dread" as Tony Healy likes to call it), dreams and nightmares before and after sightings. The aboriginals incorporated some paranormal elements into their hairy man stories. I'm an unapologetic fence-sitter on this - I recognise these elements do exist in some reports, but I feel it's a backward step to use one mystery (psychic phenomena) to try and explain another. Lets wait until more information is available.

For more information on mountain panic go to the link below.


For more information on infrasound go to the links below.



Paranormal In The News 01/02/10

MediaBlvd MagazineWhat Scares the Ghost Hunters?

 "Ghost Hunters International recently premiered it’s new season on SyFy with fantastic ratings. Team Members Dustin Pari and Barry Fitzgerald answered questions about the show, and what scares them."

To read the interview click here


Fortean Times Thirsty Phantom

"Rob Spacey sent us this photo of what appears to be a ghostly female lurking in a pub after closing time. Has she crossed over from the other side for a pint, or is she mere camera jiggery-pokery?"
To read the article click here


CBC News UFO sighting puzzles N.L. residents

"Residents in Harbour Mille, a tiny community on Newfoundland's south coast, want to know what they saw in the sky Monday night.

Darlene Stewart said she was outside taking pictures of the sunset when she saw something fly overhead.

She snapped a picture of the object in an attempt to zoom in on it to see what it was.

"Even with the camera, I couldn't make it out until I put it on the computer," she told CBC News. "I knew then it wasn't an airplane. It was something different."

Stewart's picture shows a blurry image of what appears to be some kind of missile-like object emitting either flames or heavy smoke."

Read more here


KSLACaught On Camera: Baby ghost or car seat shadow?

"The photo was taken Sunday (1/31) in Minden, Louisiana. The little baby sitting in the car seat, in the middle of the picture, is 3-week old S'Veah Moore of Minden. Her mother took the photo and sent it to a relative.

S'Veah's mother, Brittney, quickly got a phone call back from that same relative, her cousin. She pointed out what appeared to be a gray image just to the left of the baby."

To read more click here


ABC Big Cat Sightings in The Otways

"Big cat sightings are legendary across Victoria.

People have been reporting panther like creatures here since the 19th century.

There are myriad fuzzy photos, anecdotal reports and animal attacks, but like Bigfoot in the US and the Loch Ness Monster in Scotland there's never been any incontrovertible proof that such an animal exists in the south eastern Australian wilds.

To read more click here



ninemsnX-Shaped Space Object Baffles Astronomers
"An X-shaped object whizzing through space at 17,700km/h is believed to be the debris left behind after two asteroids collided."

To read the article click here


The AustralianNo simple flight of fancy

"IT is now 50 years since a 31-year-old Australian Anglican missionary in Papua New Guinea, William Gill, and 37 parishioners and staff made the best attested and least explained sighting of unidentified flying objects in the long, otherwise kooky history of the genre.

The day before the celebrated encounter of a mystifying kind, Gill had written a letter to David Durie, acting principal of St Aidan's College, which trained teacher-evangelists at Dogura, then the headquarters of the church in PNG."

To read the article click here

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Paranormal In The News This Week 25/01/10

stuff.co.nz UFO Papers to be made public

"Hundreds of pages of secret files on New Zealand UFO sightings will be released by the military this year.

 The files include reports of UFO sightings from 1979 to 1984 and references to the Kaikoura sighting of December 1978."
To read more click here


The sun UFO spotted over Dublin, Ireland

"AMAZING footage of a UFO has been taken in Ireland - as The Sun re-launches the nation's X-Files.

A triangular formation of lights was filmed flying at night at "incredible speed".

Experts reckon the sighting near the River Liffey in Dublin could be a secret aircraft - or spacecraft."

Click here to view the video and images.


Discovery News Aurora Mystery Photo Solved?

"On Jan. 20, 2010, Per-Arne Mikalsen was photographing a vast aurora erupting over the northern Norwegian town of Andenes.
Because solar activity is on the increase, aurora spotters have many opportunities to see the Northern Lights. On this particular night the aurora was intense, stretching toward the southern latitudes of Norway.
In one of the photographs taken by Mikalsen was an "object" that couldn't be identified. Although Mikalsen had taken several images at the same location, just one photo showed a mysterious green parachute-like object hanging with the main aurora. (This time, it appears that the Russian military was not involved in the making of this strange shape in the sky.)
At first it seemed easy to dismiss the object as a lens flare or a spot on the camera lens, but after further study it became clear that the answer wasn't that simple."
To read more click here

Real Life Stories: An Interview With Opus From Ozcrypto...

By Pastor Baz

Hi everyone, we have the priviledge of talking to Opus who is the founder of Ozcrypto, one of the bigger Crypto sites in Australia that is very much scientific and evidence based about how they do business.

Opus, thanks for taking the time to be part of our 'Real Life' stories for 2010.

Firstly, you are the founder of Ozcrypto. Can you give us an overview of what that site deals with, why you started it and what you hope to discover along the way?

G’day PastorBaz. Thanks for the invite. I should correct you though…there are several people who can be considered to be the founders of the idea that is OzCrypto. I’m just the geeky bloke who built the website and forum. With regards to OzCrypto, the site is basically a vehicle to examine cryptozoological beasties (yowies, thylacines and big cats) in, and from, an Australian perspective. There are, of course, other Australian crypto sites however these sites tend to come from the ‘belief in existence’ perspective and do not critically examine (or allow critical examination) of their research and results.

OzCrypto also tries to stay within the boundaries of cryptozoology and not be ‘drawn in’ to the desire to try and mix these phenomena with other strange phenomena such as UFOs, paranormal/supernatural/occult, etc. There is precious little ‘real’ evidence for crypto beasts without trying to link it with other ‘fringe’ areas that also struggle for mainstream credibility.

As far as what I hope to discover is concerned, that’s a tricky question. As a skeptic, all I really want is a definitive answer one way or the other as to whether these beasts exist. Unfortunately the skeptic position, that they don’t exist, cannot be proven. As such the only definitive answer that can be proven is that they do exist. So until then we all exist in an argumentative state where all ‘evidence’ is examined and debated to death. So from my perspective, until proven to exist, it is the debate that is important.

It seems as though Crypto sites can't escape from the eclecticism of trying to be paranormal sites as well (and our page is hands up guilty of that). What made you want to distance yourself from getting caught up in other unexplained phenomenon and deal strictly with Cryptozoology?

That’s easy…My opinion is this. The existence of yowie’s and other crypto beasts (excluding thylacines as we know that they existed) is highly improbable. The existence of ghosts/spirits/paranormal/supernatural beings is also highly improbable. These opinions are based on the ‘fact’ that these topics have been researched for hundreds of years yet no proof of existence has yet been put forward.

In my eyes, the mixing of these two fields of research does not double the improbability, it squares it!

The only reason for ‘mixing’ these disciplines would seem to be that these fields attract the same people, that is, if you’re interested in yowies then you will probably be interested in ghosts or UFOs. That does not mean that you should try and draw evidentiary links between these phenomena as many ‘researchers’ try and do.

Is it too easy to become an armchair expert in these area's now because of the web based information superhighway?

I’m not actually sure what a so-called ‘armchair expert’ is. Personally I think it is far and away too easy to become a ‘Researcher’ of any kind. The complete and utter lack of scientific rigour applied by the current crop of field researchers is appalling. Reports that only include the evidence that supports the case, exclusion of anything that detracts from the case, lack of critical examination or peer review, statements of conjecture and opinion reported as facts and a whole host of other disreputable practices lead me to believe the whole field is driven by ego and personality based motives rather than a desire to increase our limited knowledge of the subject.

As far as armchair researchers are concerned, I think they’re the ones that keep it all real.

Does the internet help?

It both helps and hinders. You won’t find a yowie by looking on the web but you will find people who can assist or support your search.

You responded to my question "Who has had a real life experience they would like to share". Can you share with our readers the experiences that you had and the impact it had on your world view?

Interestingly enough, I’ve never had a crypto experience except for a very brief ‘corner of the eye’ sighting that really could have been anything. I have however had a number of ‘strange’ experiences in my life of which the following was the ‘strangest’.

I can’t remember the exact date but it occurred some time in 1994 when my eldest son was one. There was actually two events on this night (unrelated) that combine to make this all the more strange.

My son was a notoriously bad sleeper and we had to move him out of his cot and into a bed (with a pillow barrier to prevent falling) before the age of one. Even with the pillow barrier he would occasionally fall from the bed but this was generally not a drama and he never actually made too much fuss about it. It was generally a light thump followed by a low whine/cry. Remember this for later…

Anyway, this particular night, my wife was catching up on sleep and I was downstairs working on my PC. In my world travels I had picked up a South American bolas in Mexico. A bolas consists of three leather ropes about a metre long with a leather bound weight at each end of a rope. The ropes are joined in the centre to form a three armed implement that is hurled at the legs of animals. The bolas wraps itself around the legs to bring the animal down. My souvenir bolas hung above my PC from a steel I-beam that supported the upstairs floor.

It was getting late and I was thinking about packing up for the night. Just as I was thinking this I glanced at the bolas hanging there and before my eyes it ‘jiggled’. It didn’t swing either before or after; it just jiggled for a split-second and returned to its normal stationary position. It wasn’t my eyes playing tricks and it startled me enough to try and recreate the motion by various means, which I could not without having the bolas keep swinging afterwards. As happens with most ‘strange’ things I eventually decided that something strange had happened that I could not explain and gave it away to go to bed.

Before I went to bed I checked my son as I always did and he was sound asleep behind his pillow barrier. As I went to bed my wife was also sound asleep and it did not take me long to fall into a deep sleep as well (after one last ponder about the jiggling bolas).

Anyone who has had children will know that know matter how deeply asleep you may be you become highly attuned to your childrens ‘night noises’ and this night proved to be a doozy. Both my wife and I came ‘full awake’ from deep sleep within a split-second of hearing a very loud thump from our son’s bedroom. This was not the usual ‘soft thump’ of him falling from bed but a ‘loud thump’, which was immediately followed by loud and strong crying. My wife being quicker to react was out of bed and on her way whilst I was taking stock of what we heard. Upon seeing her disappear out of the room I elected to do what most sleep-deprived parents do and stay in bed unless called for assistance.

I heard my wife reach my son and he immediately began to calm down so I relaxed and let my eyes close again although I never actually went back to sleep at this stage. My wife was gone for between five and ten minutes and I could hear the soft noises that indicated that she had gotten our son back to sleep and tucked in again. I heard her approach our bedroom and as she entered the bedroom she stopped briefly and then asked me “Did you do that?” I replied (opening my eyes for the first time), “Do what?”

She pointed to her bedside table and said, “That!” I rolled over to her side of the bed and peered over the side. The sight that met me sent those most delicious cold shivers down my spine and I still get them when I recall this story.

The bedside table is a solid pine chest with three drawers in it. The bottom draw was completely removed and re-inserted on a forty-five degree angle such that it was hanging askew by one of the back corners. It is not possible (I tried all sorts of tests) for the draw to have been placed this way without it having been removed and re-inserted.

We both looked at each other astonished. We canvassed each other with the usual ‘what could have happened/caused it’ questions and then decided to check the entire house from top to bottom to see if we had an intruder. Of course we found nobody or any sign of anybody.

Now…I don’t remember seeing the drawer like this when I went to bed and my wife did not have time to create such a construction between being woken up and dashing out to our son. It would have been very difficult to configure the drawer like this whilst my wife was with my son and I was half-asleep, half-awake.

Suffice to say, we woke up the next morning as usual, had another brief analysis of what occurred and then both promptly consigned it to the ‘unexplained’ basket. Neither of us has ever forgotten the experience and it’s one of our main-stay stories for dinner parties where the conversation turns toward things mysterious.

As a skeptic, I’m not prepared to try and explain it via supernatural/paranormal phenomena and simply leave it in the ‘unexplained’ category just like my ‘jiggling bolas’ the night before. I saw what I saw but that’s all I can say about it.

It still nags me though…

What does the highly visible, easily accessible world of online Crypto research need to do to be accepted by mainstream science and the population? Or is it the 'fringeness' of it that is it's major drawcard? How would you like to see research conducted in the future?

In my opinion (and I stress ‘my opinion’) the crypto community needs to “get over itself!!” Unfortunately it is being led by ego-driven and publicity seeking wannabe’s that are more focussed on their images and profiles than they are on the topic. There is hardly any collaboration between the major crypto researchers and, with the exception of Rex Gilroy; there is absolutely no peer or public scrutiny of their work. The attitude is basically, ‘believe me or go away’.

The ‘fringeness’ does attract a certain element to the crypto community; however I would suggest that it attracts less ‘fringe-dwellers’ than the study of UFOs or Occult, etc.

Regarding how I would like to see crypto research conducted in the future. Well… first there needs to be a shakeout of the tree. Get rid of the personalities and glory-seekers. Second… get some real collaboration going by creating one central register/database of all sightings, rated according to an agreed ‘scale of evidence’. Third… approach the mainstream academic organisations (and possibly some philanthropic private investigators) to stump up some resources to have a genuine attempt at finding these creatures. Such an endeavour would require a multi-discipline team covering all aspects of belief through agnosticism to skepticism.

If you believe one of the research groups, they seem to stumble across yowies every time they mount an expedition, yet they never seem to go back to same location soon after an ‘encounter’ and only ever uncover anecdotal evidence…plus the ubiquitous plaster cast of a footprint. Same old story time and time again.

To be accepted by mainstream science Crypto research needs to stop behaving badly and start behaving with discipline. That means accurately documenting and reviewing all expeditions (whether evidence is found OR NOT). It means examining all evidence from a ‘null hypothesis’ perspective rather than cherry-picking the bits and pieces that support a crypto explanation. Above all else it needs to ditch the personalities and focus on the crypto beasts. Unfortunately the media latches onto the three major personalities and they become the ‘face’ of crypto research, which I believe it one of the things that seriously holds crypto research back.

What is needed is somebody with some credibility to take the lead, for example, Les Hiddens (Bush Tucker Man), Sir David Attenborough or somebody who is known for their commitment to the biological sciences that doesn’t come with a personal agenda. Somebody who is not afraid to ‘not find’ a yowie once in a while.

Thanks Opus and all the best in the future to the Ozcrypto team.

How I Became Interested In The Paranormal Part 2 - by John Craton

I think what may have softened my total rejection of the paranormal was, ironically, The Skeptical Inquirer. I subscribed to that periodical initially because it does present evidences to debunk fraudulent claims of the paranormal. But it goes well beyond that. One of its chief contributors when I subscribed was the renowned skeptic James Randi. Randi has done remarkable work demonstrating a number of psychic hoaxes throughout his career, but Randi also is a confirmed atheist who believes in a closed universe. His belief system does not even allow for the possibility of anything outside of the physical universe. As I am a Christian, and also a scientist, I see that construct as both anti-religion and anti-science. For science to be genuine it must operate on the assumption that anything is possible. If we begin by stating the paranormal cannot happen, then we are not being fully objective. (It is no more scientific to rule out a paranormal explanation of an event than it is to assign the term “paranormal” to an event without first investigating normal alternatives. Neither is being open-minded because each has closed itself to a possible interpretation of events.)

So reading Randi and other confirmed atheists in the SI had the opposite effect on me than was intended by their writings – I felt that if they couldn't even admit the possibility of a supernatural being (God) which I could, then perhaps I should allow the possibility for the paranormal to explain some things that even yet I still don't fully understand.

With everything balancing out, I came to realize that indeed most of what I'd earlier considered paranormal either did have normal explanations or were thoroughly and intentionally bogus; but there were nonetheless some things that could not yet be explained away by either of these criteria. While not admitting that there are paranormal events occurring round us, I cannot say beyond a reasonable doubt that they do not occur. Some things so far simply defy any reasonable explanation, and these are the things that still intrigue me.

For some time I have wanted to form a team of objective investigators to do the type of field study we often read about and which has now become a popular television event. But to date I've not done this for a number of reasons. First and perhaps most critically, I simply never have had the time. Now that my children are grown, perhaps I'll eventually have some time to devote to this pursuit, but so far it simply hasn't happened. Second, I would want the group to investigate in a scientific and objective manner and I have not yet found a group of similarly minded and/or trained individuals in my area to work with. And third, I would want the group to work within a Christian framework. And therein lies a major rub since many Christians reject all such investigations, feeling they are somehow occultic in nature and therefore prohibited activity. One must have a careful balance between that point of view and the point of view that accepts the use of occult practices in one's investigation. Perhaps I'm setting my standards too high, but these are some of the criteria I have set.

And although this paper is specifically about how I became interested in the paranormal, I will mention briefly a passing interest in cryptozoology as well. While the two are often considered together, they are not at all in the same category as cryptozoology is the study of physical, material species that simply have not yet been cataloged and categorized. The two studies are alike only in the sense that they both involve things that have not yet been fully explained. If, for instance, someone someday captures, studies, and catalogs an actual chupacabra, there would be nothing supernatural or paranormal about that … it would mean only that we would have discovered and confirmed a new species of animal.

I have had only one experience with something that might fit into a cryptozoological framework, and it is rather tenuous. Nevertheless, since it was a somewhat frightening experience and quite memorable, I will recount it here:

One summer while I was in undergrad, I spent a few days with some cousins who were in Alabama visiting their grandparents who lived on a farm just outside of Weedowee. One evening after supper my two cousins and I decided to go for a walk along a dirt road that led into the forest. We walked perhaps a mile to a point where we were surrounded on both sides by thick trees. At that point the sun had just begun to set, so we decided it was time to turn round and head back home. While we were stopped briefly, we heard a strange cry from deep in the woods on one side. It was a sound unlike any that any of us had ever heard before, but we thought it probably was an owl or other similar bird. It sounded as though it came from about 100 yards or so from the road. One of my cousins, when he heard the shrill cry, whistled back to it in a similar fashion, more I think just to imitate the sound than anything. But the creature – whatever it was – replied! My cousin whistled again a few times, and each time the cry would come back from the trees, only gradually growing closer. By this time we were already walking back the way we'd come, and the creature was coming towards the road at an angle where we would intersect paths before very long. Since none of us were sure what kind of creature we were dealing with (as it got closer we could hear fundamental frequencies that indicated that this might be something large, especially as the sound seemed to be coming from about 8-10 feet off the ground), my cousin stopped whistling to it. It continued to cry out, however, and we could tell from the sound that it was getting closer and closer. We began to grow rather concerned as we had nothing with us to protect ourselves if this thing turned out to be a wildcat or something worse. When it sounded as though the creature was about 20-30 yards from the road (we still had seen nothing, only heard the cry – and it was growing much darker now that the sun had set) we came to the woods' end where the road then ran next to a field. We heard the creature come to the very edge of the wood – it would not come out into the field – where it cried after us for some time in a very plaintive voice, as though it wanted us to come back. We were all quite glad to get back to the house where we could ask the grandmother what the creature was. None of us had ever heard a sound like it, but since she had lived in the area for nearly 80 years we were sure she would solve the mystery for us and let us know what we'd been trying to avoid encountering. But when we asked he if she'd heard the noise (she had) and what it was, she replied that she thought it was us making a strange noise in the wood as she had never heard a sound like it before in her life!

I still have no idea what we heard that night, whether owl, hawk, cat, or some unknown species. But whatever it was, the cry is still quite audible in my brain but one I have never heard the likes of before or since. Nor have I ever heard an animal that seemed to express the kind of lugubrious emotion we heard as it came to the edge of the wood, knowing that we were not stopping. It would be nice to know what we encountered that night, but I doubt we ever shall.

Besides these two instances described in this little treatise (the falling stones and the strange animal cry), I cannot say I have had any other paranormal experiences in my life. I know that a lot of people become interested in paranormal investigations because they have a number of unusual events happen to them which they would like explained. But besides these two, I have had only one other instance of something happening that one might call paranormal or supernatural, and that was a religious event that my priest suggested I not tell anyone about.

While the church in which I grew up was rather down on anyone messing around with the supernatural or paranormal, and while it denied that such things as miracles or other supernatural events occur today, I now belong to a much older faith tradition (Eastern Orthodoxy) that neither denies the presence of the supernatural nor criticizes those who investigate the paranormal (so long as one doesn't deviate into actual occultism in the process). Even so, there are not many Christians who like to entertain serious studies in these areas, so it is nice to find a group who does, even though it is on the other side of the planet. I don't know that I can make any significant contributions to the group's efforts, but I welcome the opportunity to share ideas and experiences with those who also approach the subject within a Christian framework.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Analysis of Ghost Photo at Picton

  The News Story (taken from the dailytelegraph)
DOES this photo show the figures of two children, born more than half a century apart, walking in their paranormal playground?

The family who took this picture while on a Picton ghost tour swear there were no children inside the St Mark's Cemetery.

Which begs the question: Who, or what, is out there?

Local legend has it that the two children are David Shaw and Blanche Moon, who died 60 years apart.

Blanche was crushed to death in 1886 when a pile of sleepers that she and a number of children were playing on slipped.

David was the son of a minister who died in 1946 from polio.

Renee English, the woman behind the lens of this mysterious photo, said she was "a sceptic" before undertaking the ghost tour on January 9.

"When we were standing at the bank looking into the cemetery I was just snapping away and making jokes about the whole thing," the Port Macquarie resident said.

"I know that when I took that photo there was no one else in the cemetery.

"The only people we saw were a family of four about 10 minutes later but those kids were clinging to their parents the whole time.

"When we uploaded our photos and saw the children all the hairs on my arm stood up and I just went cold all over. That night I couldn't sleep at all and I'm never watching a scary movie again.

"I wasn't a believer in ghosts but now I'm intrigued."

Local historian Liz Vincent conducted ghost tours in Picton, claimed to be Australia's most haunted town, until her death last year. Since then her husband John and daughter Jenny Davies have taken up the mantle.

"Picton's just so haunted," Ms Davies said.

"We find people always love to see their photos afterwards because most of these things aren't visible to the naked eye."

One of the tour's most popular figures is Emily, a lady who was hit and killed by a train in 1916 while taking a shortcut through the Redbank Range Tunnel, also known as the Mushroom Tunnel, to visit her brother.

Emily Bollard resided near the railway line and was a single woman aged in her 50s. Before taking her shortcut, she didn't check the timetable and was hit in the tunnel by a train coming from Thirlmere. She died instantly.

"She likes to move among the participants and loves to touch their hair and body, particularly their arms and legs," Ms Davies said.

"Those on the tour often say that they've also felt a cold wind blowing through the tunnel."

Points to consider when looking at this photograph:

  • Are the children wearing clothes that would be according to the time period that the "ghosts" are claimed to belong to?
  • The time stamp on the photo says 7.15pm 09/01/2010. The official tour doesn't start until 8.00pm according to the website http://www.lizvincenttours.com.au/ghosttours.php.
  • Could the time/date on the camera be inaccurate?
  • Could these be the children that were seen "clinging" to their Mother and Father earlier and therefore not be ghosts?
  • There is one claim that these are kids cutting through the grave yard on the way home from School and those clothes are their school uniforms.  However, if the date on the photo is correct then there would be no school on that date as its the summer holidays in Australia.
  • Could they have been photoshopped in? Or a simple cut and paste job?
  • Could the photographer be mistaken and there were other people in the cemetery at the time?
From the photo and the information provided there is no way to tell if this photo is paranormal or not. It'd be good to have the EXIF data to see if the image has been altered at all. It would be useful for anyone in the area at the time to come forward to say if it was them or not.  Even if the image hadn't been tampered with there is no way to prove that there were no children in the cemetery that night.

So, the question is, is there any way to conclusively know whether these are ghosts or not? Simple answer is: No.
Will we ever know? Probably not.

Sunday, January 17, 2010


By Pastor Baz

As an Australian Pastor I really enjoy talking to people who are Indigenous Australians and those who work with them.

They have a great passion and understanding of a wider family and their many totems (family groups), their connection with the land and the supernatural realm. They understand these things in a way that westerners never can because we are raised in such a different culture.

One of my favourite people is Pastor Ossie Cruse, who is of Aboriginal and Native American descent. He works hard to see good things done for his people, not just in the town of Eden where he is from, but via his program at the Jigamy Camp, where he brings Aboriginal and Native American youth together every couple of years.

And he has some great stories about the paranormal and cryptids (see his Yowie stories on the wall of the CCAPSG Face Book Page).

I have also heard about of the darker side of Aborginal artifacts - the tale of the Churinga stone that afflicted my own family-in-law, plus next weeks story of another artifact that was innocently placed on a premises of some friends, only to see a torrent of unexplainable events occur simulataneously - and just as quickly stop when it was removed.

A young lady from our Church, who I'll refer to simply as 'M' is held in high esteem by everyone who knows and works with her.

She isn't given to fables and myths and is a hardworking teacher who wasn't going to let fairy tales prevent her assisting a Western Australian Community.

But after I had a few of her friends tell me of the strange experiences she had in 2007, I interviewed 'M' at Church in 2008, regarding her experiences which occurred at an Aboriginal mission/school in the Pilbara region in WA. It was good to get her full permission to report the events in this forum and to relay it first hand.

The story goes like this:

When 'M' arrived at the mission/school as a teacher, she began to hear stories about 'little people' who other cultures would describe as similar to 'elves or sprites' who came into the buildings that they lived in via the air conditioning ducts. That struck me as interesting, because if these things were spiritual why did they have to use a physical method to enter and exit the building. Was there a more practical explanation?

And 'M' had the same thoughts. At first she was highly sceptical. But when she heard the girls she was schooling and boarding with constantly talking about their experiences with the 'little people' she slowly started to believe this was a real phenomenon. But what was behind it and how did it manfest?

It wouldn't take long to find out.

One night, at approximately 2am, she awoke, startled. She observed 2 of the 'little people', completely black, with no discernible features, come in through the upper window in her room. She was frozen in terror, because the figures 'hovered' toward her (as opposed to walking) and stopped at the end of her bed, watching her. That was enough for her to take action and she yelled at them "In the name of Jesus, get out". They quickly moved back to the upper window and out of the building. Terrified, she continued to pray and in the end had a restful nights sleep until daylight.

Still stunned that she now experienced the phenomenon herself, the next day she shared her experiences with the other teacher. Her reaction was just as startling.

The other teacher revealed that for the past twelve months she had been tormented by these little black beings, and that they kept coming into her room, choking her, sitting on her while she was in bed and generally bringing anxiety and fear. Had they been trying to drive her off the mission?

'The following night 'M' could not sleep, and although she remained watchful it was uneventful. She did a basic exorcism of the area and anointed the area with oil, once again in the name of Jesus Christ. She was prayed for by the Pastor of the mission and during the prayer she began to shake violently as though being attacked by something. After that session of deliverance ministry the manifestations stopped in her room, although there were many more occurrences between the young Aboriginal girls and the 'little people of the Pilbara'.

The question is: What are these little folk that have attributes of flesh and blood yet behave like spirits that are seen and interacted with around the world.

Paranormal In the News 18/01/10

Cop Intuition lends promising premise to "paranormal cops"

"The A & E cable network will soon debut a brand new paranormal reality series. Truth be told, despite my affinity for the paranormal, the majority of these types of shows don’t interest me and I don’t watch most of them. Yet, the television in my home will be tuned in to the A & E cable network to watch Paranormal Cops on Tuesday night.
I’ll tell you why."
To read more click here


thesop.orgGian Temperilli Captures a Ghost`s Photo on Queen Mary

Photo from SOP.org

"Paranormal enthusiast Gian Temperilli, co-author of Heaven Can You Hear Me?, captured a shot showing a ghost aboard Queen Mary, the famous haunted ship where renowned paranormal investigator/psychic Peter James used to correspond with ghosts."

To read more click here.


Phantoms and Monsters Humanoid/Cryptid Encounter Reports 4

Click here to read humanoid / cryptid encounter reports received by various agencies worldwide from the Phantoms and Monsters blog.


Ipswich in Queensland offers ghost hunts

"OFFERING a walk on the paranormal side, notoriously haunted Ipswich sites are set to form part of a series of upcoming ‘ghost hunts’.

A partnership between Brisbane-based Ghost Tours and Queensland Paranormal Investigators (QPI), the hunts aim to give people a hands-on opportunity to experience a paranormal investigation."

To read more click here Source: Queensland Times


ninemsn.com.au 'Hottest ghost ever' reveals media hoax

"A photo that achieved international media attention showing a "ghost" in a barn in Victoria is a hoax, according to a young woman who told ninemsn she is the figure in the image.

The digital photo, which was allegedly taken during a ghost tour in Winchelsea, appeared on current affairs show Today Tonight earlier this month. "

To read more click here

To read what Australian Ghost Adventures (Who do the tour at Barwon Mansion) say click here


dailytelegraph.com.au "DOES this photo show the figures of two children, born more than half a century apart, walking in their paranormal playground?"

This pic was taken on a ghost tour in Picton, NSW. To read more about it click here


Possible Ghost Photo Caught in Guernsey Underground Hospital

ALAN CHEALE from Brighton sent the photo below to the Guernsey Press. To read more click the links above.

The Barwon Ghost story gets more messy

news.ninemsn.com.au "A Victorian tour company knew a "sexy ghost" photo that generated publicity around the globe actually showed a young Geelong woman, according to the man who took the photo.

Adam Harris, 21, told the Seven Network's Today Tonight program earlier this month that the "mysterious photo" was taken at a barn during a ghost tour at Barwon Park mansion, in Winchelsea.

A representative from Australian Ghost Adventures said that to his knowledge the woman in the photograph, who was pictured in a low-cut top looking at the camera, was not on the tour that night in August last year."

To read more click here


Miracle 'weeping house' dad George Tannous on fraud charge

Source:dailytelegraph.com.au "A MAN who claims his house started weeping oil and ash following the death of his teenage son has been charged with credit card fraud. "

To read more click here


dailytelegraph.com.au "The haunting of Picton - terrifying truth or ghost busted?"
"NSW is split into two groups - those who believe in the seemingly paranormal activity seen in a photograph of a pair of ghostly children wandering in a cemetery south of Sydney and those who think it's all bunk.

The Daily Telegraph's website was flooded with hundreds of comments yesterday as Renee English, who took the photo on January 9 while on a ghost tour for her teenage brother's birthday, stood by her claim no one was in the cemetery at the time."
To read the article click here


Believers continue to flock to "miracle" house

dailytelegraph.com.au "BELIEVERS continued to flock to the weeping walls yesterday, despite the man who turned his Sydney home into a shrine being charged with credit-card fraud.

The allegations against George Tannous, 57, appeared to have done little yesterday to dent some people's belief his dead son Mike is a messenger from God who caused an oily liquid, with healing powers, to flow down the walls of his old bedroom."
To read the rest of the article click here


John Craton is an American classical composer, he is best known for his operas and works for classical mandolin.  John has many different interests including a keen interest in the paranormal. He has written a book entitled "The Christian and the Paranormal" which you can read here http://www.craton.net/writings/paranormal.htm

Defining exactly when and why I became interested in the study of the paranormal is difficult to say because I have maintained an interest in these phenomena almost since I can first remember. I can recall as early as age 10 or so being caught up in the study of extra-sensory perception, which was all the rage at the time, and I suppose that was but one step that led to a further interest in all things unexplained. And, of course, as a youngster I was like most children in being fascinated by any kind of ghost story, whether allegedly true or not.

I cannot lay claim, as many people do, to having had a large number of unusual experiences in childhood that led to a full-blown interest in paranormal activity. There was one seemingly small incident, however, that may have acted as a catalyst for further study on my part, and I will describe it below. At the time it happened I didn't consider it really all that life-changing, but looking back I suppose it did spark enough curiosity that I later looked into strange phenomena with a great deal more interest.

Although I cannot now recall the names of many books, I do recall reading several works on various paranormal phenomena while a youngster, and these included books about things as diverse as ESP, ghosts, werewolves, and vampires. One of the authors I remember specifically was Hans Holzer, and I recall reading quite a few of his books about ghost-hunting. Holzer was quite an entertaining writer, but in retrospect I believe what interested me most about his books was the history he provided for each setting.

Indeed, it likely was my interest in history itself that dovetailed with and encouraged my study of the paranormal, especially of ghosts and apparitions. When I was young, my grandmother lived with us. She grew up before there were telephones, electricity, and automobiles, and I always loved hearing her tell stories of her youth, especially when she recalled events told to her by even earlier relatives who remembered the War Between the States. It probably was listening to her recount events from that earlier time that developed my keen interest in history, and I was fascinated by what life was like for people back then. Ever since my youth I have wondered what it would be like to have lived in earlier times, and as Holzer (among others) would go into infinite detail describing the lifetime of some of the spirits he allegedly communicated with, he held my attention quite solidly.

Needless to say, as a youngster I was a rather firm believer in almost everything I read. But to put the skeptical reader's mind at ease, allow me to say that I did eventually grow up. Much of what I read back then I know now was total bunkum – entertaining bunkum, but bunkum nonetheless – and while I cannot say I am a total unbeliever in the paranormal, I do now maintain a healthy skepticism while still keeping an open mind.

That open mind probably stems from another author I got into a few years later, Charles Fort. I well remember reading his Book of the Damned and being utterly captivated by it. (I still subscribe to The Fortean Times to this day.) What I most admired about Fort was not only his cataloging of innumerable unexplained events, but also his balance of skepticism and open-mindedness regarding them. This tradition is maintained in the FT today. While presenting scores of obscure, bizarre, and unexplained events, it doesn't simply accept their legitimacy on face value but merely catalogs them. Further investigation will shed more light on whether or not they bear any credibility.

But returning to my youth, I must admit that things such as ESP and other paranormal phenomena were a bit more in the popular psyche back then as serious research in these areas was being done essentially for the first time utilizing scientific method. Nearly everyone my age had at least a passing interest in these things, possibly because it is something that fascinated young people anyway, but also probably because these things were in the news. But while most of my colleagues lost interest over the years, and while my interest certainly has waned a bit, there was one incident that may have kept the spark alive for me.

When I was eleven years old, I recall one afternoon when a group of us boys were playing in a vacant field across the street from my school. This was an area where we did not usually play, and I do not remember why we were there on this occasion, but that was where we'd ended up. While we were playing in the field we began hearing large rocks landing on the ground around us. At first we thought probably other neighborhood kids were throwing rocks at us, but looking around we could see no one else, child or adult. Besides, from the sound these stones made as they landed, we could tell they were far too heavy for anyone (much less a child) to throw. I do not remember exactly how many we heard fall, but there were several. And to this day I still can hear the sound they made: a split second before they thudded into the earth we could hear them crash into the tops of the waist-high dry weeds in the vacant lot. Oddly, we never saw any of these rocks, either falling or on the ground, but only could hear them as they landed. And none of us was struck by any of these projectiles. Nevertheless, after hearing several of them fall and seeing no one who may have been catapulting them towards us, we decided to leave. We talked about going back in a day or two to see if we could find any of the rocks and to see if we could tell where they had come from (from the way they hit, it sounded as though they were falling straight down), but we never did. I don't recall that we ever went back to that lot, though it is still there, and still vacant, to this very day. I suppose we eventually dismissed the event to overactive imaginations, but if so it would have been an example of some form of mass hallucination as all of us heard the sounds of rocks falling that day.

I do not recall that the event made that much of an impression on me at the time, but I suppose somewhere in my subconscious I always wanted to try and find out what on earth happened that day. Perhaps that is one reason I continued to read and investigate unexplained phenomena. It is just something that fascinates me, and has all my life. I've always felt there are many things in this world that have not yet been explained, either by science or by any other satisfactory means, and rather than dismissing them out of hand (“damning” them, as Charles Fort would say), I feel it important to try to ascertain just what these things are all about.

As said above, as a youngster (and quite gullible at that age), I tended to accept many of the things I read at face value, and that came to include not only the idea of ghosts, poltergeists (which was my only explanation for the falling-stone episode), and ESP, but also occultic magic, UFOs and extraterrestrial beings. I later came to see most of these things as claptrap when they could not stand against solid scientific inquiry, but I will allow that there still are more things in this world than are dreamt of in our philosophy, to paraphrase Shakespeare.

In high school I remember continuing to read a great deal on these subjects and even writing several reports as school assignments on unexplained phenomena. Naturally, as a heady teen, I thought I had good explanations for all these things (seeing as I believed in them wholeheartedly), but it was likely during that time that I began to develop a more scientific mind. I also began to weigh a lot of what I read about against my Christian belief system. I was brought up in a rather fundamentalist Christian church that taught against the idea of ghosts still hanging about the planet and that miracles – that is, paranormal events – ended in the first century. While my church looked askance at the stuff I enjoyed reading and talking about (though I do not remember anyone ever actually condemning me for studying it) I continued delving deeper and deeper into a lot of these things, even to the point of dabbling somewhat in the occult (Francis Barrett's white magic, to be specific). But it didn't take long for me to give that up because (1) I could find no way to harmonize indulging any form of occultism with Scripture and (2) I started finally becoming objective enough to see that not everything I was reading was factually correct.

My interest was strong enough, however, that at one point in my high school career I thought I'd like to become a professional parapsychologist and actually tried looking into universities that offered such degrees. While I was slowly becoming more skeptical, I still wanted to study these weird phenomena from an objective, scientific viewpoint and perhaps be on the cutting edge of explaining a lot of the heretofore unexplained to the world. Perhaps it was when I found out that most “universities” that offered degrees in this discipline were unaccredited that I started having very serious doubts about all these things.

And, since I am writing specifically about my longstanding interest in the paranormal, it may sound as though this subject consumed my life as a teen. That is far from reality. Although I maintained a deep interest in the subject, I was more interested in music, religion, and girls (I was a semi-normal teenage boy, after all) and kept paranormal studies more as a hobby than anything. Plus the fact that girls did like talking about it, after all!

I remember continuing my interest, though to a lesser degree, in undergrad. Though I did not do much leisure reading in college, I did manage to work through at least a couple books on the unexplained (one I recall buying at the airport while waiting for a colleague to arrive – an excellent book that I'd love to read again, but one I since have lost and cannot remember either title or author). Over the ensuing years life consumed far too much of my time to do more than read the occasional book (or Fortean Times magazine), and by becoming far more scientifically minded (although I am a composer by profession, I became a clinical audiologist by training) my skepticism of many paranormal claims became much more acute. At one point in my early adulthood I became a total skeptic and eschewed all notions of the paranormal altogether, so while now I remain very cautious about accepting something as paranormal before all normal avenues of explanation are first ruled out, I do endeavor to remain open-minded enough to admit to other possibilities.

To be continued...

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Urban Myths and Paranormal spin

By Pastor Baz

Do you ever check the pages of the Crypto or Paranormal blogs to be confronted with information that is so incredible you don't know how to process it?

Welcome to the World Wide Weird web where you can say anything without having to prove it.

When I first became a Christian someone sent me an email about Siberian Miners drilling into Hell and recording voices screaming in there.
The problem was this - as I asked questions (to other Christians of course), people seemed to find a lot of reasons to keep implying it was true.

There were/are articles, websites, sound clips - you name it - to support this story.
I remember in my 'evangelical fervour' printing copies of the story and giving it to work colleagues because the story supported an agenda I had - to see them come to know Jesus Christ. Why not just scare them into that relationship :)

But it was debunked years ago, and one web search of Snopes.com would have showed me that it was an urban myth http://www.snopes.com/religion/wellhell.asp

But that didn't happen. In fact I'd never heard of Snopes. And so the myth was perpetuated. By me!!!

There are blogs I love going to. Every month I can't wait to see the latest stories. But the reason we only post 'real life stories' on our page that we have done the interviewing for is because.....well.........we don't want to sell you some sort of paranormal spin. There are so many tales out there that are mind blowing, but there isn't one shred of evidence that it happened.

The truth could be said about any stories including my own - at times I was the only witness or interviewer.

I can't tell you how many times since I have become a Pastor that I've redirected an email for a missing child, for the banning of the Bible and the instituting of the Q'ran in schools - or some other mass email with a multitude of signatures back to the person (usually an intelligent, compassionate person as well) gently asking them to check a link debunking it,

It's hard to let go sometimes. I mean, as an example you see the Dogman footage and part of you wants to go 'wow, could it be true' even though it reeks of Blair Witch Project set up. Or you read about the Beast of Bray Road or the Skin Walker Ranch in Utah http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Skinwalker_Ranch or the possibility or living Dinosaurs, strange creatures and time slips, ghosts and shadowy beings so often reported in the True Tales section of one of the largest Para sites (with a disclaimer of course).. You see it and everything in you is going 'this can't be real' so why does part of us want it to be?

But for those people experiencing the phenomenon being written about who are not hoaxing, they are on the other side going 'why can't someone just believe me'.

It's a tough thing learning discernment in an intangible realm. You understand why skeptics read the squabbles on blogs and go 'these guys are disagreeing on the details of something no-one else even believes in or has even been proven to exist".

So my New Years resolution is to grow and be more mature with due diligence, to look at things more objectively and to first try to debunk via references where possible before jumping on the bandwagon. To try and filter things in a broader way. To work hard at ensuring that we maintain integrity on this page and not be influenced by page load numbers in terms of how effective we are. That can, and has, been the undoing of a number of researchers as they 'cook' a story to make it hotter and more appealing to the audience.

For them, the fallout has been enormous and the cost personally and to the 'industry' is summed up in one word 'credibility'.

So truth matters and the way we do reports and analyse the facts is incredibly important.

So what are your New Years resolutions and what are your thoughts on hoaxes, urban myths, investigation methodologies, the web or if you are on the other side - how does it feel when no-one believes your story?

We'd love to hear from you in this blog.

Paranormal In the news 11/1/10

Australian Ghost Adventures claim that during a Public Ghost Tour of Victorias, Barwon Park Mansion Winchelsea (near Geelong) a Possible photo of a ghost was revealed.

To read their story click here.

To read an article about it from Today Tonight click here 


New book reveals the ghostly secrets of Shirley pub

Croydon Today New book called Paranormal Surrey reveals ghostly secrets of  various places in Surrey  including at The Sandrock pub in Shirley, Surrey where a phantom preacher has been seen. Click here to read more.


Mythic Creatures: Dragons, Unicorns and Mermaids

Picture from anmm.gov.au

According to Flashnews Tim The Yowie Man will be talking at the Australian National Maritime Museum at their Mythic Creatures exhibition.

For more information about the exhibition which will have various examples of mythical and cryptozoological creatures click on this link: timeoutsydney or anmm.gov.au


On the tail of a tiger in Tasmania

independent.co.uk "On a bright summer morning in the back end of Tasmania's north-west, I wandered into an office of Forestry Tasmania for advice about a forest dirt road. The sketch map the official offered was expected; not so his story. On that same track a decade or so ago, he had seen a creature that was not supposed to exist. "
To read more click here.

Jesus spotted on naan bread

 telegraph.co.uk"David Howlett, 34, was about to tuck into a rogan josh at India Dining, in Esher, Surrey, when he saw Christ's facial features - complete with beard and flowing hair - in the blackened patches. "

To read more click here (Jesus must have good taste to pick a naan bread to show his face in ;-) Try not to get hungry reading this).


www.nj.com "Ghost Chicks" TV Show Pilot

"There are a lot of ghost shows on television, but John Orrichio thinks there’s room for one more. He’s now editing the pilot episode of “The Ghost Chicks,” which would be based at the Red Mill in Clinton."

To read more click here or on their official website http://www.ghostchicks.com/