April 23, 2006

Ghost In the Marine

Hatched by Dafydd

I can't believe I'm actually writing this. But then, I can't believe I actually read it... in Associated Press, no less -- the news service known far and wide for hard-headed, no-nonsense, unbiased, justhefaxmaam journalism.

Oh well, from one kind of spook to the other....

Some nutburgers in a club called the Rhode Island Paranormal Research Group (RIP-RaG?) have begun haunting the aptly named Mystic Seaport Maritime Museum, in (oddly enough) Mystic, CT, in search of -- ahem -- a ghost. There, I said it. I'm not proud, but there it is.

A five-member team from the Rhode Island Paranormal Research group visited Mystic Seaport on Friday night to spend time on the Charles W. Morgan, a wooden whaling ship where several visitors have reported seeing the apparition....

The Rhode Island Paranormal Research Group became interested in the Morgan after receiving reports from three different groups of people about the apparition.

The visitors said that while touring the ship last summer, they saw a man in what appeared to be 19th-century clothing working below deck. They said the man, who had a pipe in his mouth, nodded at them but did not speak.

When they went returned [nice editing, AP] to the main deck and asked a museum interpreter what the man was doing, they were told that no one was down below and that no one was assigned to be on the boat that day. [oooOOOOoooh]

Ah, but lest you think RIP-RaG is just chasing after phantoms, this is a serious investigation. Yes-siree. It's not like they went haring after the ectoplasmic alien just on the basis of a single tale of a mystery man... heck no; they had three separate reports of the same inexplicable, impossible, unfathomable, creepy occurrance: a guy in an old-fashioned peacoat:

"I automatically questioned it [you skeptic, you!], but they insisted they saw something down there," Andrew Laird, founder of the paranormal research group, told The Day of New London.

He said that when he asked the three groups for more details, they responded with the same accounts. The three groups were from Massachusetts, Arizona and New York and did not know each other....

"The fact that we had three reports that were the same made everyone's eyebrows go up," Laird said.

That eyebrow thing would have been pretty funny; wish I had a video.

Tell you what: let's put on our thinking caps and see if we can't crack this mystery. We have:

  1. A maritime museum that wants more visitors;
  2. In a town called "Mystic;"
  3. Offering a tour of an old whaling ship;
  4. With a deep, dark, spooky hold;
  5. Where three different groups of people saw the same old gaffer in a peacoat;
  6. Who didn't say anything to them, only nodding sadly;
  7. But the museum official insists -- there was no one down there. [Cue the theremin]

All I can say is -- at least the "ghost" actor in the engine room of the Queen Mary, on the tour in Long Beach, got to say a few miserable lines. I guess Mystic, CT doesn't have a big enough budget to afford a speaking role.

(Irrelevant side point: you haven't lived until you've gone on the Queen Mary "ghost tour" with a girlfriend who believes absolutely 100% in ghosts and is terrified by them. And who is 5'11" and has a very strong grip. And is none too particular about what body part she's got hold of at the time.

(I never before realized that the Vulcan death grip actually worked.)

Laird said that 90 percent of the time, his group finds a natural explanation for what people are experiencing, whether it's an animal making noise, something structural in the house or a hoax.

I wonder how often they actually conclude some paranormal event is a "hoax?"

RIP-RaG, save your money. Just find the nearest carny and ask them what a "shill" is.

Yeesh. Thanks, AP; now if only you would take the same serious investigative reporting that you brought to bear on this story -- and apply it to figuring out who leaked word of the NSA al-Qaeda intercept... then maybe we could make the country a little safer.

Hatched by Dafydd on this day, April 23, 2006, at the time of 5:37 AM

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The following hissed in response by: altrisk

Just a quick correction: it's CT not CN.

The above hissed in response by: altrisk [TypeKey Profile Page] at April 23, 2006 7:33 AM

The following hissed in response by: Val

I grew up in Mystic, CT (or CONN). Mystic is a very old town, dating back to the 1600's, and was the last working whaling port in the US. The Charles W. Morgan is a very well preserved example of the ships used in this enterprise before the advent of steam, and is very much like what Ahab sailed upon. It has been a good 25 years since I have visted there, though prior to that I had visited many times, and I have memories of it being a well run historical sight dedicated to preserving examples of how life was lived in a seaport in the 1800's and further back.

I think it more likely that the entire ghost episode is a fabrication entirely on the side of the paranormal group, though I can't discount
marketing efforts on the part of a management that is surely far different from the time that I visited.

And lastly, the paper is the The New London Day. As liberal a rag as I have ever read.

The above hissed in response by: Val [TypeKey Profile Page] at April 23, 2006 8:32 AM

The following hissed in response by: mbnyan

Eerie incidents spook soldiers in Afghanistan

Guardsmen Sense Ghostly Presence In New Orleans


...As the voice went on I realized that the style of Chinese used was identical with that of the Chinese Classics, edited by Confucius two thousand five hundred years ago. Only among the scholars of Archaic Chinese could one now hear that accent and style, and then only when they intoned some passage from the ancient books. In other words, the Chinese to which we were now listening was as dead colloquially as Sanskrit or Latin, and had been so for even a greater length of time. If this was a hoax, it was a particularly clever one, far beyond the scope of any of the sinologues now living. I was determined to test the matter to the full limit permitted, and so my next remark took the form of a question intended to prove the identity of the communicator....

A Lawyer Presents the Case for the Afterlife

The above hissed in response by: mbnyan [TypeKey Profile Page] at April 23, 2006 9:47 AM

The following hissed in response by: richard mcenroe

Oh, come on... an historical seaport, carefully restored, and you don't think a tacturn man in a peacoat working with ropes is suspicious? What sensible, rational explanation for that could there possibly be?

By the way, serious plug, it's a great place to visit if you're touristing in the East.

The above hissed in response by: richard mcenroe [TypeKey Profile Page] at April 23, 2006 9:50 AM

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