Happy Birthday Paranormal Field!

I just wanted to take the time to say happy birthday to the paranormal community.  The modern spiritualist movement was founded 163 years ago on March 31st 1848.  It was this day, the Fox sisters claimed to have made contact to an entity the dubbed Mr. Splitfoot but later claimed it was the ghost of a murdered peddler named Charles Rosma. 

Though it doesn’t sound like much, Margaret, Kate, and Leah Fox are largely responsible for the birth of modern day paranormal investigation.

The best part of this whole thing is that Margaret Fox admitted the sisters had hoaxed the whole thing.  In 1888 published in the New York World a confession was given by Margaret.

“When we went to bed at night we used to tie an apple to a string and move the string up and down, causing the apple to bump on the floor, or we would drop the apple on the floor, making a strange noise every time it would rebound. Mother listened to this for a time. She would not understand it and did not suspect us as being capable of a trick because we were so young.”

“Mrs. Underhill, my eldest sister, took Katie and me to Rochester. There it was that we discovered a new way to make the raps. My sister Katie was the first to observe that by swishing her fingers she could produce certain noises with her knuckles and joints, and that the same effect could be made with the toes. Finding that we could make raps with our feet – first with one foot and then with both – we practiced until we could do this easily when the room was dark. Like most perplexing things when made clear, it is astonishing how easily it is done. The rapping are simply the result of a perfect control of the muscles of the leg below the knee, which govern the tendons of the foot and allow action of the toe and ankle bones that is not commonly known. Such perfect control is only possible when the child is taken at an early age and carefully and continually taught to practice the muscles, which grow stiffer in later years. … This, then, is the simple explanation of the whole method of the knocks and raps.”

Margaret also talks a little bit about the psychology of the people whom they duped.

“A great many people when they hear the rapping imagine at once that the spirits are touching them. It is a very common delusion. Some very wealthy people came to see me some years ago when I lived in Forty-second Street and I did some rappings for them. I made the spirit rap on the chair and one of the ladies cried out: “I feel the spirit tapping me on the shoulder.” Of course that was pure imagination.”

I have always loved this story and it is nice to see 163 year later, people are still perusing something that was admittedly based on a lie.  Happy Birthday Paranormal Field!!!!

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“Anatomy of a Bigfoot Hoax” DVD Review

Shortly after conducting the interview with Tom Biscardi I received an email from one of Tom’s “people” offering to send me a review copy of the “Anatomy of a Bigfoot Hoax” DVD.  The interview can be heard by going to https://porkrhine.wordpress.com/2011/03/15/interview-with-bigfoot-hunter-tom-biscardi/

Let me just start off by saying Tom Biscardi is very full of himself and this DVD shows this.  For the first 15 minutes all we see is Tom blabbing about irrelevant nonsense which will quickly lose the attention of anyone watching, I literally had to force myself to pay attention.  Finally after a multitude of terrible transitions we see Tom Biscardi and/or JavaBob sitting in front of a black backdrop telling the same story, almost word for word, that Tom shared on Strange Frequencies. 

Now in the interview I conducted with Tom, I was told that everything he was saying was videotaped and was in the DVD.  I must say that this is an absolute lie, there is about a total of 10 minutes of actual footage and none of it was part of this grand story Tom told on SFR.  No shots of him being blind folded, no shots of this “scary” car ride, no shots of the men with Uzi’s, no shots of the private helicopter, no shots of any of the scientists or people who tested the material that labeled it half man half primate, basically everything that Tom said was “all in the movie” wasn’t in the movie.

We do however see a phone call that was supposed to have been videotaped in 2008.   This is video of JavaBob breaking the news to Tom that the Bigfoot was just a costume.  Though I can’t be 100% sure, I believe that this was faked for the film.  I say this because JavaBob looks exactly the same as he does during the interview portions which were shot in present time.  It was easy to compare, being that there was footage of JavaBob from 2008 and they simply do not match side by side.  Also the footage from this “phone call in 08” was shot with the same camera the documentary was shot with and not the camera that the footage from 2008 was shot with.  It literally looks like JavaBob changed his shirt and staged the phone call.  But the one thing that hung out in my mind was after the phone call was over JavaBob looks at the camera and says “We didn’t hoax anything.”

There are also a few sketchy portions of the film where other phone calls were made, supposedly to Matt Whitton and Rick Dyer, none of which can be confirmed that either was on the phone at that time.  Again this footage was shot with the same quality of film that this documentary was shot with and not the camera all the other 2008 footage was shot with. 

In all I thought this was a lame attempt at Tom Biscardi to try and reconcile his credibility as a Bigfoot hunter.  This video is nothing what Tom makes it out to be, it is just his words, his story and from what I can gather it is not truthful at all.  It looks rehearsed and some footage looks staged, typical Tom Biscardi, I wouldn’t expect anything more.

Behind the Paranormal: From Believer to Skeptic

On Sunday 2/27/11 I was a guest on a radio talk show called Behind the Paranormal.  I actually would have to say that this was one of the best programs I have ever been on.  We talked about philosophy, epistemology, western science, paranormal methodology and of course ghost hunting.  Hosts Paul and Ben Eno asked thought provoking and sometimes very tough philosophical questions.  Thought we may disagree on some topics, it’s obvious they are not regurgitating the same old recycled new age paranormal bullshit.  The father and son duo are very smart and well spoken, needless to say I had a blast.

Direct download (right click and save target as): www.para-help.com/sfrbobby/btp.mp3

This Sunday (2/27/11) busy busy busy

For anyone interested, I will be incredibly busy this Sunday; however I invite anyone reading to join me.  Starting from 3-6pm EST at www.strangefrequenciesradio.net you can catch Jason Korbus, Robyn McKinney and myself doing our weekly show.

The show kicks off with our free talk segment. This is where we gab about the latest weird and bizarre news pulled from headlines around the world, get into a discussion about some topic, paranormal or otherwise, and maybe even open the phone lines to get your opinions on the issues of the day.

At 4pm Eastern we’ll talk to Tom Biscardi. In August of 2008, two law enforcement officers from Georgia claimed to be in possession of a Bigfoot body they found while hunting in the woods. They released a series of videos on Youtube which went viral, and even had a live press conference on CNN. It was all a hoax. There was no Bigfoot body. One of the people at the center of the fallout was a Bigfoot researcher named Tom Biscardi, who claims he was not only duped, but that his group, Searching For Bigfoot, was swindled out of $50,000. Mr. Biscardi, a Bigfoot hunter with over 35 years of experience, joins us today to bring to light what he calls the true, never before told story of the events behind the event known as “Bigfoot Black Friday” as chronicled in the newly released film “Anatomy of a Bigfoot Hoax.” To find out more information, visit: WWW.SEARCHINGFORBIGFOOT.COM

It should seriously be a good time; you don’t want to miss it. 

From 7-8pm EST I will be a guest on Behind the Paranormal with Paul and Ben Eno and you can check them out at www.behindtheparanormal.com.   We will be discussing how I went from true believer to skeptic, the “theories” and methodology of ghost hunters and criticisms of western science and epistemology. 

From 8-9pm EST I will be returning to L.E.P. Radio over at http://www.blogtalkradio.com/lepradio to talk about healthy skepticism, the history of paranormal investigation and its reliability. 

Hopefully you all join me, if you are unable I will post direct download links when they become available.

The Great Paranormal Debate

Last night I was a guest on PSI-FI Talk Radio.  The name of the show was titled “The Great Paranormal Debate” with me taking the side of the skeptic.  I was up against clairsentient KD Foreman of California Paranormal Private Investigations (CPPI) and we went through a load of topics all paranormal related.  If anyone is interested in listening you will find the download below.

Direct Download Link (Right Click and Save Target As): http://www.blogtalkradio.com/psi-fi-para-radio/2011/02/17/the-great-paranormal-debate-with-bobby-nelson-and-kd-foreman.mp3?localembed=download

Shadow People

Sometime in the 90’s a new phenomena started to occur in the world of the paranormal.  A figure often seen dashing out of the corner of your eye or you see this figure in your peripheral vision, when you turn to look at it, it is already gone.  This phenomenon has been dubbed floaters by optometrist Shadow People.

So what are the characteristics of this “other worldly being”?  According to Paranormal Researcher, Rosemary Ellen Guiley:

There are different types of Shadow People.  The core, dominant experience is the nighttime bedroom visitor: a tall silhouette of a man, often dressed in a coat or cape, and a brimmed hat.  The figure is blacker than black and 3-D, obstructing light and blocking the view of objects.  There are no facial features or eyes (sometimes red eyes are reported), but the experiencer knows he is being observed with great intensity.  The figures do not communicate, but often radiate a malevolent, trickster, or evil intent

In the typical experience, a person wakes up from sleep and sees a Shadow Person in the bedroom.  It stands right at the bedside, in a corner or in the doorway.  It may emerge from a closet or slide out from under the bed.  Some of them come through the walls.
The experiencer is usually terrified and screams.  A reaction often makes the Shadow Person disappear, either by vanishing into thin air, zipping down a hallway, or melting through a wall or ceiling (or back under the bed!).  People may feel paralyzed to do anything but shut their eyes, hoping that the figure will be gone when they open them.  Sometimes it is – and sometimes it isn’t.

Some people feel threatened by the Shadow Person.  It sits on the bed, or presses on them, making them feel as though they will suffocate or choke.  The experience ends before actual physical harm occurs, however. – www.Visionaryliving.com

First I want to mention, Rosemary just described a condition called sleep paralysis.  I mean she explained it 100%.  I myself suffer from sleep paralysis quite frequently and I understand how vivid and scary they can be.

Sleep paralysis is a feeling of being awake but unable to move. It occurs when a person passes between stages of wakefulness and sleep. During these transitions, you may be unable to move or speak for a few seconds up to a few minutes.  People having an episode of sleep paralysis may feel pressure or a sense of choking.  These episodes are not pleasant; people who suffer from sleep paralysis say they can feel an evil presence, often related to demons or shadow figures.  Bright lights and little people crowded around one’s bed is also trait of sleep paralysis, which can also explain alien abductions. 

These experiences can be so vivid; the person will actually feel like they are awake when in fact they are not.  It can be intensely scary and it often leads people to search for answers, leading them into the supernatural.  But as we can see, these experiences can be explained rationally.

But there is something else I wanted to talk about when dealing with these shadow people.  Another person by the name of Heidi Hollis claims to have coined the name Hatman, to describe a different “breed” of shadow people.  The description of Hatman is pretty much identical to shadow people, only a few differences:

The Hat Man’s gear consists of what can be described as him wearing a long-black trench coat, three-piece suit, white collared shirt, and a flat rimmed gaucho hat.  Some have even reported seeing a gold watch hanging on his side on a chain.  Some people describe seeing red eyes, others see solid black eyes if they see any eyes at all under the shadow of his hat. 

 He’s described as being pale, tall, thin and may or may not have a noticeable goatee and thin moustache.  He may grin, tip his hat, or stare undeniably at a person at length or briefly. 

 He appears in most any location, but most commonly is reported in people’s bedrooms as they sleep at night.  A feeling comes over the person where they wake up to find him watching them nearby.  – http://www.jesusisnojoke.com/theshadowpeople/id19.html

 After a quick search on google images I was able to find drawings of what people claim Hatman look like.

I found something very odd though.  There is a children’s network called Boomerang that plays reruns of old cartoons from the 70’s.  I caught an episode of Dynomutt, an old childhood favorite of mine.  It was released in 1977 and the episode was titled Shadowman.  I had to take a picture of the villain, re read the description while looking at the picture, he fits them perfectly and his name is even shadownman.

 

Now I can’t sit here and say that this thing people are calling shadow people are the result of a cartoon, but perhaps some may be, I don’t know, I just thought it was cool. 

However there are people who will ask “what about the shadow person I saw while I was awake?” 

Well usually the people I talk to, they don’t want a logical answer they usually want a supernatural explanation.  However what I think shadow people are is simply one’s brain making a pattern out of the low image quality of peripheral vision.  Another possible explanation could be floaters in the eye.  Or the one I think may be the most common is simply misidentification, seeing a shadow cast from an object and labeling it paranormal.  We have to understand, the human brain can be easily fooled.

When Good Games Go Bad

One of the most controversial tools ever used in spirit communication, a tool that is still used today, is a simple wooden board. It comes in many different sizes, with a variety of beautifully painted scenes and symbols. Yet they all share certain characteristics: located somewhere on the surface of these boards are the words “Yes”, “No” and “Goodbye“, the letters A through Z and the numbers 0 through 9. With this board comes a pointer called a planchette. The planchette is a triangular or heart-shaped device that will point to the letters, numbers or words, spelling out phrases, names and dates. The planchette actually predates these boards. Planchettes were originally used with a pencil attached for automatic writing (a method used a lot during the spiritualist movement). But now the planchette and this board go hand in hand. This board goes by many names such as a talking board, a witch board, or a spirit board. But most of us know it as the Ouija board.

The Ouija board is quite possibly the most infamous tool used in paranormal research. I would venture to bet that most people reading this have heard a terrifying story that has either happened to a friend or a friend of a friend that involves the Ouija board. But when was the Ouija board created? What’s the history of this fascinating tool of devilish mischief? Was it constructed under candlelight in a dark dungeon sometime in the Dark Ages? Or maybe it was created by a witch who practiced black magic and satanic rituals. Many will be surprised to learn that the Ouija board is fairly young and it was made as a novelty item.

On May 28th 1890, a patent was filed by three individuals: Elijah Bond, Charles W. Kennard and William H. A. Maupin. The patent was for a novelty item developed by The Kennard Novelty Company, and the first boards were stamped February 10, 1891. Kennard was the one who named the board Ouija. People say the name Ouija means yes-yes because oui is French for yes and ja is German for yes, but Kennard claims to have named Ouija after an Egyptian word for good luck. In all actuality the word scarab means good luck in Egyptian (or Arabic) and not the word Ouija. The story goes the board itself repeatedly told Kennard that Ouija meant good luck in Egyptian and the name just stuck. The company only produced the Ouija board for fourteen months but kept corporate control until 1898.

In 1898 the Ouija board was appointed to a man that would revolutionize the board’s history, William Fuld. It was this man who said that he invented the board and that the name meant yes-yes. In 1919 Fuld bought the remaining rights and sold millions of these boards along with other toys. Sadly Fuld would die from a horrible accident falling from his company rooftop while supervising a flag pole replacement. This didn’t stop Fuld’s children from taking over the business or the production of Ouija boards. In 1966 the business was sold to Parker Brothers who still own the rights today.

So what happened? When did the Ouija Board get associated with evil? The history seems harmless, so why is it so closely related to Satan and demons? Although I cannot be 100% sure, while researching the subject I found that almost all negative reports relating to the board came about in the 70’s, after a novel was published and then turned into a movie two years later. The movie is a classic horror story about a teenage girl who tells her mother she has been talking to a person named Captain Howdy through the Ouija Board. Later this girl becomes possessed by the devil, which causes her body to contort, she spits up the classic green pea vomit and her head spins 360 degrees. Yes, you guessed it, I’m talking about “The Exorcist.” Now The Exorcist is “based” on a true story of a 14-year-old boy who was possessed and actually required three separate Rites of Exorcism from three different Christian denominations: Episcopalian, Lutheran, and Roman Catholic. The case happened in 1949 and the boy did admit to playing with a Ouija board. One thing to remember here is that religious groups had already become involved when this claim came out, so the Church automatically would assume this was the reason behind the possession. Just because the Church assumes this doesn’t make it fact. After 1973 (the year The Exorcist came out) there was a skyrocket of claims dealing with Ouija boards and demons; that’s the fact but the movie isn’t all at fault. After this another group that heavily promoted the Ouija Board as the work of the devil would be Christians.

I personally have received many claims from people telling me their stories, and as I suspected most are second- or third-hand. One thing people kept assuring me was that evil has been associated with this board since at least the 50′s, possibly earlier. There are two things I noticed in these stories, though: A. Hardly any of them had demons or possession associated with them. B. All were told that the board was evil by clergy or family members with strong religious views. This still holds me to my theory that the Church has a large role in why this toy is evil. From experience growing up in Christian house hold, I know the Church views any type of spirit communication as a product of the devil. The church has two views on where a spirit goes when it departs from the body, ones that go to Heaven and ones that go to Hell. I have even been taught that ghosts are actually demons portraying loved ones to win over trust so we will “let them in.” With that being said, the very fact that the Ouija board claims to be able to contact spirits would automatically be looked down on by the church, whether it be a toy or not. But still I will say I believe the reason why people have associated this board game with the devil is largely due to the movie The Exorcist.

So one has to wonder whether the Ouija board really is a tool that contacts demons or even Satan himself? Maybe it isn’t demons but entities that exist on a lower plane. Maybe it isn’t anything except one’s imagination. When dealing with controversial subjects, I feel it is important that we have to look at both sides: the side of belief and the side of doubt. With that being said, let’s look at something called the Ideomotor effect, a term that was coined by William B. Carpenter in 1852. With the power of suggestion or expectation and the subtle unconscious movements made by the hand, one may trick oneself into thinking that something supernatural is occurring. William also states that the muscle movements can be made by the brain independently of emotions. This simply means we do not know we are the ones influencing the planchette to move. This same effect also could explain pendulums and dowsing rods (actually that’s why this explanation was created).

Another common factor in the Ouija stories I received (and have heard in the past) is most of them end with someone burning the board to get rid of the evil, but to their surprise it isn’t affected by the flames. I have heard many other stories that consist of the smell of flesh when the board is thrown in the fire pit, even a board screaming in the flames. But the biggest commonality is that the fire has no effect on the board. Could this stem from the belief that the Ouija board is closely connected with demons and the Devil, and the belief that fire is associated with Hell? It is difficult for me to believe something made out of wood could survive the fireplace.

Still this common factor is interesting, so I contacted a man by the name of James “The Amazing” Randi, to talk about this. For those who don’t know who James Randi is, he is an investigator of paranormal claims. His foundation “The James Randi Educational Foundation” currently offers a $1,000,000 check to anyone who can prove paranormal abilities and/or claims. You may have even heard of this as the “Million Dollar Challenge”. This challenge has been going on since the 70′s and has never been won. So Mr. Randi told me to present everyone here with an experiment, in his words: “Have everyone go out and buy a Ouija board and set it on fire. If it doesn’t burn, they’ll win a million dollars.”

  

Burning the Ouija Board

Burning the Ouija Board

James Randi has also done tests on the Ouija board. To prove it is nothing more than the ideomotor effect, he blindfolded the operators, and the results produced were nothing but nonsense. No words, names, or phrases, no yes, no or dates–it was only gibberish. Surely demons or evil spirits would be able to spell the same whether the operator is blindfolded or not, so what happened? The logical explanation according to Randi is that it’s all done subconsciously by the operator. When the operator can’t see the board, the operator can’t produce positive results. It is also important to note that in controlled tests, the board has never produced any information that isn’t already known to the operators.

One major problem with the modern day paranormal investigator is lack of common sense.  People jump to conclusions way to quickly and let myths become fact.  Based on all the information I gathered while studying the Ouija board, I have to conclude the following.  The Ouija board is and has always been a board game, a children’s toy.  It has never been and is not a portal to hell, it does not let entities of any sort in through some invisible doorway, it does not conjure demons or Satan himself.  It matters not of your intent or belief, it is a piece of wood or cardboard with fancy paintings and designs, nothing more.  I have personally tested the burning of the Ouija board and it may surprise most readers, but it does in fact burn.  I heard no screaming, I smelled no burning flesh, it wasn’t waiting for me on the mantle magically rejuvenated, however it was a waste of 15 dollars.

PARANORMAL STATE IS OVER!!!!

So my best friend over at Fortean Squirrel and co-host on Strange Frequencies Radio, Jason Korbus, told me some exciting news this morning.  “Paranormal State”, a television show that airs on A&E, will not be coming back for another season.  That’s right folks; “Paranormal State” is finally over.  I know I can’t speak for everyone, but hopefully many will join me in saying good riddance, arividerchi, adios, au revoir , sayonara, GOODBYE.

Ryan Buell announced this nugget of joy on his personal blog which can be read here http://www.ryanbuell.net/blog/2011/1/6/time-to-say-goodbye.html.  The best line in this blog reads “And yes, my ‘final director’s log’ will truly, indeed be, my final director’s log.” 

Hopefully this year we will also see the end of Ghost Hunters or possibly Ghost Hunters International, but I won’t hold my breath.

Chupacabraccoon

About two weeks ago there was hairless creature found in Frankfort, Kentucky.  The mysterious creature which was found by Mark Cothern was quickly dubbed the ever elusive Chupacabra.

The Chupacabra is said to inhabit Mexico, parts of The United States and Puerto Rico (where it originated).  The name means “sucker of goats” and it is a product of legend and folklore.  It is said that this creature is responsible for draining livestock of blood. 

But cryptozoologists and paranormal enthusiasts don’t get excited yet; its origin is not supernatural, at least not in the case of the Kentucky “chupacabra”.  Thanks to the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife, biologist Steve Dobey says, “The anatomical features of it, the skeletal features, the general appearances, particularly in this instance the paws, it gives it away. That it is in fact a raccoon.”

What is even more interesting is this isn’t the first time biologists have seen this hairless raccoon.  In 2007 the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife actually caged a live specimen.  However biologists are still interested in studying this dead animal.  Dobey says, “Not to determine the species. We know it’s a raccoon, but to determine what the cause of this is. It’s likely some form of obvious hair loss.”  

Biologists say it is not mange, which has been the case out west with the sudden outbreak of “chupacabra” sightings, most of them turning out to be coyotes with mange. 

In the case of the raccoons this disorder seems to be something similar to alopecia in humans.  Biologists say there are many reasons why a raccoon may lose its hair, for instance it could born without it, it could be some sort of disease, shock or a genetic disorder.

Whichever way you want to look at why this raccoon lost its hair, it is still a raccoon.  So I would like to extend a sorry to the cryptozoologists and myth mongers out there, sorry guys, maybe next time.

A Dead Ringer

One of my favorite things to do when bringing in the new year is watch the Twilight Zone marathon that plays on SyFy every year.  This year two episodes caught my attention more than the others.  The first one which aired in 1961 was titled “Long Distance Call” and the second one was called “Night Call” and it aired in 1964. 

Long Distance Call synopsis

In this episode we see a 5 year old child named Billy Bayles who is having a very nice birthday party with his parents and grandmother.  When Billy opens his presents he receives a toy telephone from his grandmother.  The grandmother explains to Billy that she doesn’t have much time left and when she is gone all Billy has to do is pick up the phone and they will be able to talk anytime he wants.  Well just as grandma predicts, she passes away soon after Billy’s birthday bash.  A few weeks have passed and Billy’s mother overhears Billy having an interesting conversation on his “toy” telephone.  When Billy is asked who he is talking to, he simply replies “grandma”.  Well come to find out, somehow grandma has been contacting Billy through this “toy” telephone and she is trying to convince her beloved grandson to commit suicide so he may join her in the afterlife.  Billy almost successful in one of his attempts is quickly resuscitated after a heartfelt plea given by the boy’s father to his deceased mother, Billy’s grandmother.    

Night Call synopsis

An old woman by the name of Elva Keene starts receiving anonymous phone calls in the middle of the night.  Freaked out by this she has the operator trace the phone calls.  Again she receives an anonymous phone call and Elva demands the person to speak in which a creepy male voice is heard saying “Hello? Where are you? I want to talk to you.”  Terrified Elva screams at the person to leave her along and hangs up the phone.   Again Elva contacts the operator who says that cause of the mysterious phone calls is from a fallen power line in the cemetery.  Elva has her housekeeper take her to visit the cemetery only to find that the fallen power line is lying over the grave of her dead fiancé.  Elva explains to her housekeeper that when she was younger she was very adamant in getting what she wanted; her fiancé Brian Douglas always did what she wanted.  A short time before they were to be married Elva wanted to drive somewhere when she lost control of the car, resulting in Brian’s death and Elva being crippled.  Once Elva realized that it was her lost love Brian contacting her, this gave her peace and Elva is excited because she no longer has to be lonely.  When Elva returns home she picks up the phone and explains to Brian what happened and begs for him to talk.  After a few moments Brian finally answers telling Elva that she told him to leave her alone and he always does what she says.  Elva begs for Brian to come back but the line goes dead.

So what these two episodes have in common are these phantom phone calls from beyond the grave.  Lately I have been seeing more of these stories surface in the paranormal community.  My question is where did these stories originate?  It is obvious the story has been around since the early 60’s being that the Twilight Zone has made wonderful works of fiction out of them.

 I know that there is an urban legend that is very similar to these stories in which a woman is found dead with a frightened look on her face and in her hand she is holding her telephone.  When the family goes to entomb her body with her husband they find the phone in the crypt off the hook.     

According to snopes (urban legend website) this tale originates from the fear of being buried alive.  In the 18th and 19th century a bunch of different devices would be placed on the gravesite such as bells, buzzers and flags.  They would be used to get the attention of people in case the one in the grave should happen to wake up. 

Again the story above is just an urban legend but like all great urban legends it is very fascinating to watch the tale grow over time.   The story starts off with the dead sending messages using the telephone.  Then there were stories of the dead leaving messages on answering machines.  Now the dead send messages with cell phones, text messages, instant messages and email.  As communication technology grows, so does the story.

I would like to mention that I have read the story of Charles Peck and I don’t find it the least bit convincing that the dead make phone calls to the living.  In fact I would like to state I haven’t found any evidence that the dead can make contact with the living at all, nor that anything exists after death. 

But anyway the story goes like this: On September 12th 2008 at approximately 4:22 P.M. a train carrying 225 passengers crashed at a collective speed of 83 mph with a freight train.  This happened in San Fernado Valley in California and has been dubbed the Chatsworth crash.  135 people were injured, 85 were hospitalized and 25 died. 

One of the men who had died in the crash was a man named Charles Peck.  Now this is where I start getting mixed information, one story says Peck was on his way to meet his fiancé, others say he was going to a job interview, others say his fiancé was picking him up from the train station along with his family and siblings.

Peck was found 12 hours after the crash and coroners said he died on impact; however in other stories I have read, they also said his age was 58 which they later corrected to 49.  So if this is true perhaps it’s possible he didn’t die on impact, I don’t know I am not in a position to make that call.  Anyway for the first 11 hours Charles Peck made some phone calls to his loved ones which included his son, his fiancé, his step mother and his sister.  Yet every time they answered the phone all the heard was static, when they called him back it went right to voicemail. 

Supposedly the way Police found his body was by tracing his cell phone signal, but to make the story more eerie; Peck’s cell phone was never found.    

So in the case of Charles Peck, I have no real evidence that the story is true (the cell phone part at least), I don’t even have a creditable story to go off of, but just going on what I have read, the phone calls his loved ones received never reported talking from Charles, just static.  To me this says Charles wasn’t calling and that there was something wrong with the cell phone.  I know if anyone of my friends or family members call me and there is static, I am not going to assume that there is ghostly interference; I am going to assume that there phone is messed up.   Also when Mr. Peck’s family members called back the phone went straight to voicemail…Ok, I failed to see how this means paranormal, but apparently it is important info to this story. 

However before someone says “well explain how his cell phone made phone calls after he was dead?”  Well could you please explain to me how a dead person makes phone calls?  Or how his spirit or ghost knew how to use the phone but didn’t know how to speak on the other end?  Please refrain from using the argument from ignorance, which would be something like “well since you can’t explain how his cell phone made those phone calls after he was dead, it must have been his ghost.”   Thanks for reading.