2003 CALIFORNIA GHOST HUNTERS CONFERENCE
Even before the wine was chilled, the tables were set or the reception doors were opened, there was quite an air of excitement in the lobby of the Queen Anne Hotel. As I came down the staircase, I took a moment and noticed the anticipation, chatter and the smiles coming from all who were relaxing there. I then announced that it was time to go into the reception area and the smiles grew bigger, the buzz from the talking louder and the waiting was over. The conference had officially begun.
Never in my wildest dreams would I have expected such a large, wonderful crowd. Everyone ate, drank and carried on very interesting conversations with each other. Everyone seemed to be on the same level, all had stories of their trip down or of investigations they had been on or anything else that happened to be on their mind. They were there to relax, to enjoy and to meet new people...all with the same interest. It was a wonderful meeting of the minds with everyone enjoying the refreshments and conversations.
Friday evening presented few problems. Everyone was gracious to each other and although rain had drenched the majority of the day, the heavens broke apart long enough to allow the group to enjoy Jim Fassbinder's "San Francisco Ghost Hunt Tour". It was a warm evening with the clouds giving way to black sky and a few stars glowing in between. Save for the last 10 minutes when the clouds decided that they had held off long enough, the rain began another steady pour while the group was heading back in after their long walk. The group came in tired and most headed up to their rooms to get some sleep for the long day ahead in the morning. Most were smiling and talking quietly about what they learned about San Francisco's history while taking the tour and what they had seen.
Saturday started with some complications because of audio visual equipment, however, the guest speakers were as gracious and exceptional as I had anticipated they would be and were more than willing to change the line-up because of these problems which allowed the rest of the day to flow smoothly. Following a nice breakfast, the conference goers were treated to some great speakers with very interesting ideas and techniques.
Lisa and Tom Butler were the first presenters of the morning. They are the Directors of the American Association of Electronic Voice Phenomenon. They displayed different techniques for EVP and ITC. They gave a great slide show on what they had discovered during some of their investigations and the outcomes. Everyone was amazed at the results that were obtained. People regularly asked questions of these two experts and with good reason, never will you find anyone more informed about EVP and ITC. They have been on the cutting edge of much of this unusual phenomenon.
Janice Oberding was our next guest speaker. She is a wonderfully knowledgeable woman who brought along slides for us to see while she let us in places that only a few have been able to go. She told of how important getting history of any building or area was in paranormal research and how that adds dimension to the places being investigated. She has a great deal of experience and was able to throw her own personal stories into the information she was giving. Everyone seemed very impressed with all this information.
When we decided to put together a conference for ghost hunters or paranormal investigators alike, we decided that the venue had to be some place that was "haunted".
I had had the rare good fortune to have done a formal investigation of the Queen Anne Hotel earlier in 2002. Although our group was unable to produce any documented evidence, we did interview the clerk, the concierge, some of the maids and some guests regarding their experiences at the hotel.
We began putting together a picture of ghostly happenings that have taken place at the Queen Anne for many, many years and was not limited to just employees but also guests. What this investigation did allow us to have was a baseline of pictures with which to compare to the amazing pictures below.
Viewing these pictures you will see the first one which shows the possibility of something forming at the bottom of the stairs. As Ms. Oberding was taking these pictures, she was taking them in succession with a group of others behind her and we were able to view the disposition at the time. The second picture shows that same something with even more of a form. The third picture shows that it is gone.
A Note from Jim Carter, our Resident Forensic Photographer: The multitude of "orbs" in these pictures are definitely from the lights in the area, the large f/stop of the camera, and exposure length. However, the "object" on the staircase that seems to form on the stairs is unexplained at this time. Note how it seems to have a physical 3D substance to it in the first picture, then appears to disburse in the next picture, and is gone in the 3rd. I had the opportunity to see these pictures prior to their download while they were still in the digital camera. I will be returning to the Queen Anne this weekend (6/14/03) with these photos, and will take my own control photos to see if I can reproduce the effect. If I can't, then combined with the known conditions at the time, the known chain of possession of the picture data, and the analysis of the picture data, the indications are that this photographic anomaly is paranormal in nature.
David Bender and Heather English were our next speakers. He and Heather were speaking on the use of rituals and cleansing when ghost hunting. I have never come across someone who was so pleasant with such a quick wit and easy smile who didn't want something from me. David was such an easygoing personality and Heather was a wonderful compliment that it made everyone sit up and take notice when he began to remove things from his special pouches. He talked quietly and easily about the things he knew and how to do them. We especially took note when we started to light things on fire. Although he took great care to not light anything or anyone on fire, we all knew what he was doing was of an ancient magic that only a few people were privy to and therefore, listened intently with a greater respect.
He began his talk with a few puns and jokes but as he progressed he began to "treat" those of us that wished with a short cleansing. I decided I would step up. How better to know how I felt than myself. As the course of the day wore on, I was weary and fretful that something may go wrong. After having my cleansing with David, I felt as though a huge burden had been lifted off my shoulders. I felt comfortable. I felt as though I had had a full eight hours of sleep.
Though others were receiving a cleansing and he continued to do it even though we had run out of time due to the approaching lunch time, he was gracious and "serviced" everyone who wanted to be cleansed. Thank you David. I still feel better.
Laurie Jacobson is a name that has drifted over many Hollywood circles for years. Please...do not take my introduction as meaning that she is old. To the contrary, she is a gorgeous redhead with a vibrant personality. She is funny, talkative and can carry on a conversation that can include the whole room if she wanted.
Laurie has been included in many documentaries for the Discovery Channel, Travel Channel, etc. She has been involved in the making of quite a few television specials and other productions and has now turned to writing and teaching. Her book, "Hollywood Haunted" has taken Hollywood by storm. People from across the country have told me by email just how wonderful her book is and that they highly recommend it. They have also told me that if we have her as a speaker that she will captivate the audience. Well...captivate she did. She was a wonderful speaker with many, many tidbits of information not only about Hollywood personalities but Hollywood locations and many Hollywood sorts that she has known personally.
Laurie tells of so many wonderful people not only in her book but also when you merely have a seat next to her and listen. She fits into any scenario with ease and can help to strike up conversations with that same ease. She was such a wonderful, knowledgeable woman that made listening to her speak not only easy but informative. We were very pleased to have her as part of our conference and do hope she consents to working with us again in the future. Thank you Laurie!!
Alcatraz Island...rich with history and a sordid past of mystery and excitement that draws you to the island and doesn't let go. Once all conference-goers had boarded the ferry trip over to the island the excitement began. The ferry takes you toward the island and then deposits you on the opposite side, giving you spectacular views of the island and of the San Francisco skyline. You immediately learn of some of the island's history upon the approach by looking at the various buildings and signs that were put up by previous "patrons" at the island.
The views of some of the surrounding land and the buildings were spectacular. Many of the buildings were undergoing renovation at the time of the tour but they were beautiful to look at just the same.
The surrounding architecture showed evidence of the island's rich history and the sweeping views were outstanding. The desire to stay on the island for many of us was overwhelming. It was beautiful in those parts that were nearest the San Francisco Bay. Views so close to the island were difficult to come by on our late night tour but when you were able to see them and be near them, they were gorgeous and offered insight into what the inmates may have seen when they were staying there.
Many areas were opened and deemed safe by the park staff and the public was allowed in these areas. Thanks to Mark Guilford of Sacramento Paranormal Investigators, we were allowed a private tour of the hospital ward by Park Rangers Curtis, Mandi and Joy. This offered our conference-goers the possibility of a genuine investigation albeit short, of Alcatraz that the general public is never able to see. Many of our conference-goers were able to feel the pain that many of the inmates must have felt when they were in the hospital. The feelings that emanated from the walls of this normally closed area was overwhelming to some.
We were very fortunate to capture what we feel are possibly orbs on "Broadway" which is the main walkway in the actual jailhouse. These orbs are near "Suite" 133 which housed Al Capone. The one on the right is round, beautifully white and dense. No possibility of reflection or other camera or manmade artifact exists. There is also an "orb" on the left at approximately the third "room" door.
For More Pictures of Alcatraz, Click Here
|All in all, Fearless Leader thinks it was a GREAT day!!|
Interesting in what may be "conjured up" for 2004? Click Here For Information On The Next Conference Coming May 14th and 15th, 2004
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