MESA: Multifrequency Energy Sensor Array
By Timothy M. Harte, MA, LCPC
Electromagnetic and static fields continue to be linked to a higher probability of some types of cancer (Doube, 2002; Fisher, 2002; Thomas, Stolley, Stemhage, et.al, 1987; Jobst, 2002). These fields, as well as other types of radiation, need to be measured not only for their environmental levels, for their interactions among the different spectra (Savitz, 1993), but also to study the psychological and physiological effects on humans (Konig, Fraser & Powell, 1981). Electromagnetic fields are being studied for their effects on humans in diseases such as neuroblastoma (Jones, Shih, Thurston, Ware & Cole, 1993), breast cancer (Gammon, Schonberg, Britton, Kelsey, Stanford, Malone, et.al. 1998); prostate cancer (Goldberg, 1998), and leukemia (Goldberg, 1998). They also continue to be studied for their possible beneficial resources to human health (browner, Jupiter, Levine $ Trafton, 1998) including facial nerve regeneration (Byers, et. al., 1998) arthritis, (www.ama-assn.org/med-sci/csa), multiple sclerosis (www.intergate.bc.ca/enermed) and migraine headaches (Lappin, 1998).
Geomagnetic field activity has also been blamed for hallucinatory episodes during REM sleep (Gearhart & Persinger, 1986; Persinger, 1988, 1993; Persinger & Cameron, 1986; Randall & Randall, 1991; space weather, 1998). Other researchers think the sleep states themselves may be the cause of hallucinatory experiences (Persinger 1993; Blackmore, 1997; Moody, 1992; Nickell, 1997). The reported phenomena includes visual, auditory, olfactory phenomena, tactile sensations, sensed presences, erratic functioning of electrical or mechanical equipment, object movement, and strong emotional episodes of fear, rage, or depression (Roll, Persinger, …). If the effects of electromagnetic and static fields on humans are this powerful, then the reports of the phenomena should be more prevalent within the population. Housing, offices, and human activity near large transformer stations, power lines, and fault lines may play a key role in these studies (Sisir & Millis, 1986).
Computers are being used to investigate phenomena in the field (Braithwaite, Braithwaite & Townsend, Harte, Black & Hollinshead, 1999). MESA (Multifrequency Energy Sensor Array) is a portable laptop computer system designed to measure energies associated with haunt and poltergeist phenomena. The primary components are an eight channel analog-to-digital converter (A/D box) connected to different sensors with BNC cables. The computer presently runs a variety of the Linux operating system known as Kubuntu, and can sample from 1 to 1440 times a second across eight analog channels. It presently measures infrared, visible and ultraviolet light; vibration, 60 Hz electromagnetic fields, gamma ray background radiation, and geomagnetic fields, three-dimensionally. It has also been fitted for other sensors, such as galvanic skin response, heart rate, respiration, temperature, humidity, barometric pressure, and radio/microwaves. MESA is complemented with an infrared video camera connected to a VHS video recorder, 2 pressure zone microphones (PZM, Crown, Inc) connected to a mixer (Behringer) for research purposes of this study. The sites were chosen for their reported haunt phenomena. Most of the sites were measured for one hour, at a sampling rate of 40 times per second, and some sites had multiple haunt and control measurements for baseline data comparison.
Each site is briefly outlined, with reports of phenomena, experiences, and subjective experiences by the researchers, and objective data collected with the MESA system. These first 49 experiments were conducted, but some of the MESA data was lost when trying to upload it to another, larger computer.
Lincoln Theater, Decatur, IL, June 6, 1995. The Lincoln Theater has a long history of apparitions, sensed presences, strange sounds, encounters with sounds or voices, shadows or dark forms. It was built in 1916 and is still used for showing films, for the public to enjoy, as well as an annual ghost conference (www.prairie ghosts.com). It is located at 145 N Main Street, in Decatur, IL. It is also known as the “Lincoln Square Theater because it is on the old square. The great magician Harry Houdini performed, as well as other great vaudeville entertainers. Houdini allegedly convinced the theater manager to install a trap door to perform his illusions, and this trap door can still be seen today. A preliminary psychological investigation by Lange and Houran (1997) had two groups of participants experience the environment in the theater and rate the degree to which it caused them to experience certain cognitive, physiological, emotional, psychic, and spiritual phenomena. The experimenters suggested to half the participants that the the cinema had been the site of reports of paranormal activity. The other half were told it was under renovation and the research concerned peoples’ reaction to that environment. Overall, the participants in the “paranormal” group reported significantly more physical, emotional, psychic, and mystical experiences than those in the renovation group (Wiseman, 2002). An investigation with MESA simultaneously revealed anomalous infrared, visible, and 60 Hz electromagnetic fields (on both the x and y axes). Vibration was also noted to be strange, as the floor was concrete and should have shown less movement, but produced more movement than a hardwood floor!
Testing sensors, June 5, 1995. A test of the MESA sensors and system revealed that each one was sensitive and responsive to its certain characteristic spectra. This included infrared, visible light, two Tri-Field meters from AlphaLab, Inc., (one on x, one on y axis), and vibration were checked. This test was performed at the University of Illinois at Springfield, Psychology Lab, G Building.
Van Test, Chicago, IL, June 23, 1995. The MESA system was tested in a van on the way to Bachelor’s Grove Cemetery, in Midlothian, IL. The sensors were not connected, but the computer sampled and shows midline readings throughout.
Bachelor’s Grove Cemetery, June 23, 1995. This cemetery represents itself within the literature as one of the most recorded haunt sites in the world. It is located across from the Rubio Woods Forest Preserve entrance, west of Midlothian, IL. Over 200 experiences have been recorded here by amateur and semi-professional researchers. It is world renown for its phenomena, and people continue to go there and experience things. These events have included apparitions, strange balls of light (orbs), strange sounds and sights, mists, reportedly apparitions of headless farmers, women with babies, hooded figures, even ghost cars and a house. Strange lights of many types have been recorded on 35mm and digital still cameras, and motion video cameras. It began as a place of burial in 1844 and the last known burial was in 1989. It gets its name from a group of unwed farmers and laborers that worked on the Illinois-Michigan Canal. It became a place for vandals, and teenage drinking parties, and rumors of satanic cults performing rituals there. The MESA investigations have not revealed any strange light, magnetic energy, or vibration, but the researchers have had many strange experiences while in, walking to, or walking away from the cemetery. These experiences include unexplained balls of light, cold spots, strange mists, sensed presences, and apparitions. Some of these have been captured on 35mm and digital still photography. A controlled study using several different cameras and media revealed no unusual phenomena (Houran & Lange, 1997).
Robinson Woods, Midlothian, IL, June 30, 1995. Robinson Woods is in the Rubio Woods Forest Preserve, near Midlothian IL at East River Road and Lawrence Avenue. The site features a large stone with a story about Andrew Robinson and his family at this site, which is also a Native American Indian Burial Ground. The Robinson family also had a home near the site, and it burned to the ground in 1955. In October of 1955, three bodies were discovered in a ditch at the edge of the woods. The case was not solved for almost 40 years. Strange encounters include apparitions of Native American Indiana, odd lights, the sounds of drums and disembodied voices. There have also been the reports of the scent of flowers in the air, even in the winter, when no plants or trees can bloom in the Chicago area. A dozen paranormal experiments in 1974-75 recorded strange sounds that sounded like Indian tribal drums; the source of these sounds remains unexplained, but could be from cars and large semi-trucks driving over seams in the road close to the woods. MESA researchers experienced sensed presences in the woods, the sounds of drums beating, the flower scent, and possible object movement of a water bottle. It was unexplained how this could have occurred. The object movement was also toward the edge of the site, where experiences had not been recorded. Seven haunt sites were measured, and revealed anomalous infrared, visible light, and in one of the sites, vibration was strange.
Psychology Department Lab, Sangamon State University, Springfield, IL, September 2, 1995. This site was used as a control site, to test the sensors and for baseline data. 10 sites were sampled for 1 hour each and none showed the anomalous signatures the researchers were looking for.
Oak Ridge Cemetery, Springfield, IL, September 17, 1995. This site is the burial place for the 16th President of the United States, Abraham Lincoln. There have been many reported sightings of apparitions, balls of light, sensed presences, electronic voice phenomena (EVP), and object movement. MESA and the Ghost hunter’s society (GHS, www.ghost-hunters-society.com) researchers recorded several balls of light on ASA 35mm film, one so large it took up the entire frame of the picture. Two control sites revealed strange vibration. Seven haunt sites measured recorded anomalous infrared and visible light and strange vibration as well. 8mm video cameras revealed shadows at times during the sampling of the haunt sites. Several instances of high electromagnetic fields, sensed presences, and cold spots were also recorded.
1422 West Edwards, Springfield, IL, November 27, 1995. The house was built in 1910. It was split into two apartments in 1934. Michael T. Hollinshead, one of the researchers with MESA, lived in the house and reported unusual experiences on the second floor. It was decided to investigate by the team. The experiences occurred while he was usually asleep, had nightmares, but had also seen apparitions while awake, sensed presences, erratic functioning of equipment, and balls of light. MESA recorded unusual 60 Hz electromagnetic fields, and unusual vibration in the front bedroom. This is also where the 110 AC power comes into the house from the utility pole. The team thought Hollinshead’s unusual experiences could be caused by electromagnetic fields from old, unshielded wiring. The head of his bed was less than a foot from the entry point of the power. Upon moving his bed, no more nightmares occurred, but some of the strange phenomena continued. A control site was also sampled, and did not record any unusual events.
Elgin 1, Elgin, IL November 27, 1995. The location of this house remains anonymous upon the owner’s request. It features Victorian architecture. It was owned by an eccentric female, and she said it was difficult to get renters to stay in the home. When a couple would rent the main floor, there were continuous domestic disturbance problems, causing many police calls, and it continued to be a problem. Police reports showed over 42 calls to the residence during the year of 1994, other renters caused disturbances in 1995, with 17 calls to the residence. The tam investigated the previous owners and builders of the home. It was built by two German immigrant brothers, and one went off to war in World War I, and died in battle. The surviving brother was reported to never be the same after the death of the brother. Reputedly, the spirits of both brothers still haunt the house. The house was once allegedly owned by the legendary gangster, Al Capone, and he ran it as a house of ill repute. A larger Victorian mansion across the street was where Capone stayed, and said there was once a secret tunnel from the smaller house to the larger mansion. The mansion burned to the ground in 1979. The foundation of the mansion can still be seen. A small graveyard is located directly behind the grounds of the large mansion. Many stories were relayed to the researchers by the present owner. One of the stories was that one of the prostitutes got pregnant, and then the illegitimate infant later died in the house. Reports by renters said they could hear the baby, or a woman crying. Another story told of a tall, think man that ran the house, and he can be seen walking on the first floor as an apparition. The MESA investigation recorded unusual visible light and vibration in two of the haunt areas. Unbeknownst to the investigators, many people showed up during the investigation and told their unusual stories and experiences while living in the house. Some of these people proclaimed to be “psychic” or gifted subjects, and relayed information. The surrounding context, folklore, and beliefs of the people must be taken into account upon the investigation of a house (Lange, Houran, Harte, & Havens, 1996; Harte, 2000). The most interesting result was an EVP recorded in the front upstairs bedroom, which was on a micro cassette recorder. It was placed in a partially open drawer of the bedroom and recorded and eerie, very loud female voice. The researchers were amazed at how loud the voice was on the tape. It was attempted to try and replicate the voice on the tape by using female subjects to scream as loud as possible in the room, but the result was nowhere near the loudness of the EVP.
Elgin 2, Elgin, IL January 6-7, 1996. The EVP and results from the first investigation were compelling enough that a second investigation was warranted. Again, anomalous data was recorded on visible light, Tri-Field Meters 60 Hz electromagnetic fields, and vibration. The room from where the EVP voice emanated was focused on, and the data had larger fluctuations than the first study.
Edwards Place Mansion, Springfield, IL, February 10, 1996. Located at 700 North 4th Street, Springfield, IL. It is known as the residence of Benjamin Edwards, a friend of Abraham Lincoln, and was built in 1833. Lincoln was married in the home, and it was also the site of a political rally for Stephen A. Douglas. It was deeded to the Springfield Art Association in 1913, and now provides historical tours and exhibits of contemporary art. A resident curator first contacted the MESA team, and told us of anomalous experiences such as object movement, cigarette smoke, footsteps, and sensed presences. MESA recorded anomalous infrared light, 60 Hz electromagnetic fields, and vibration. 4 haunt sites were measured, and all 4 showed strange infrared light activity. This could not be explained, as there were no infrared or heat sources near the sensor at the time of the measurements.
Kwit Dental Office, Decatur, IL March 15, 1996. The office is located close to the campus of Millikin University, a private college. The office was built in the mid 1970’s, and is part of the strip of businesses located in a low, tan brick building. One of the researchers was contacted and the staff reported sensed presences, apparitions, object movement, strange lights and sounds. Anomalous infrared, visible, and ultraviolet light were measured. (This was the first site MESA utilized the UV sensor). There were also anomalous 60 Hz electromagnetic fields at two of the sites, and strange vibration at one of them. The researchers experienced sensed presences, and object movement of a single file that had been pulled out ¾ of the way from the other files, and it wasn‘t noticed until coming upon the files.
Springfield Theater Center, Springfield, IL, May 13, 1996. The building is located at 101 West Lawrence Avenue. It is usually not open to the public except at show times. Actors, musicians, and staff at the center have reported sensed presences, props and costumes disappear and reappear (apports), a strange smell of Noxzema face cream, cold spots, erratic functioning of equipment, doors lock and unlock of their own accord, and apparitions. Five haunt areas were measured, beginning with the infamous basement furnace room. 60 Hz electromagnetic fields from the wiring create huge radiation in and around this room. This caused one pianist to run in flight to the upstairs. At some areas in the basement, the electromagnetic fields are over 100 mG. Anomalous infrared, visible, and ultraviolet light was recorded in the building. Very strange Tri-Field 60 Hz data was recorded in many places in the building. It was learned that the entire electrical system of the building is connected to the pipes and plumbing. This may have been done to ground the system. Standing out in front of the building on the sidewalk had a 7 mG reading. The site is ripe for anomalous events to occur. Vibration of the concrete floors was also strange. The researchers heard people talking in the basement, but there are dehumidifiers and an ice maker that may have caused some of these sounds. More research is needed.
Bell Jewelry Store, Decatur, IL, March 9, 1997. The store is located on the square, in Decatur, IL. There is a long history of haunt phenomena, which includes sensed presences, footsteps, the sound of heavy objects falling from upper floors, jewelry cases unlocked and opened after being locked the night before, and apparitions. The top floor was once used as a speakeasy and brothel during the Prohibition. It was here that MESA focused its investigation. Strange fluctuations in visible light, and 60 Hz electromagnetic fields were recorded at one haunt location. Another location recorded anomalous infrared and visible light. A control site revealed no anomalies. An audio track from VHS recorded footsteps, and noises like wood cracking.
UIS Psychology Office, Springfield, IL March 10, 1997. This site was used as a test control site, as no anomalous phenomena have been experienced there. The office is located within the Psychology Laboratory, in Building G, on the campus of the University of Illinois at Springfield (formerly Sangamon State University). A 12-hour continuous run in the office revealed no unusual results. This study is featured in the 44th Annual Convention proceedings of the Parapsychological Association, August 2-4, 2001 (Harte, Black, Hollinshead & Mitchell, 2001). This site was compared to a haunt site, Anderson Cemetery Number 20 (see below).
Static 01 -- Calibration, April 21, 1997. This site was a calibration session for new sensors, which measure the Earth’s magnetic field in a three-dimensional, orthogonal manner. The calibration was performed at the University of Illinois at Springfield Psychology Laboratory, G Building. The sensors are manufactured by Speake & Company, in England. They are distributed by a company located in Murrieta, California. These sensors are very sensitive to any kind of physical movement, especially by people, and metal objects. Great care must be taken to isolate them from any activity in a haunt site. The sensors are aligned in a WEST, UP, and NORTH fashion. They record the most significant DC fields at haunt sites. The sensors measure a + 12 to - 12 mG change at a location. Researchers have established a 7 mG change as criteria for an anomalous result (Nichols, 1994 others?).
Brinkerhoff Mansion, Springfield, IL, November 7, 1997. This beautiful mansion is located at 1500 North 5th Street, on the campus of Springfield College in Illinois. It was built in 1869 and is on the National Register of Historic Sites. It is well-maintained and features art, college campus activities, and weddings are also a popular booking for the site. Apparitions, footsteps and sensed presences have been reported here. Anomalous infrared, visible, and 60 Hz fields were recorded here. The 12 V battery that powers the MESA system went completely down, and it was fully charged. This may also be a sign of haunt activity, as brand new or fully charged batteries mysteriously lose power and are drained in a few minutes, or instantaneously. A control site revealed nothing unusual.
1422 West Edwards (2), Springfield, IL, December 28, 1997. See number 6 for more details about the site. The haunt site featured anomalous activity on 60 Hz electromagnetic fields, vibration, and all three static magnetic sensors. “Unusual,” or “anomalous” findings are 7 mG changes in these fields. The researchers also experienced some sensed presences, and fear during this investigation. The control site did not reveal any unusual results.
Cook House, Hannibal, MO, February 9, 1997. The site was a wonderful, old Georgian mansion near the banks of the Mississippi River. It was built in 1828, according to the deed of the present owner. It was being renovated, and the workers began noticing object movement, footsteps, sensed presences, balls of light, especially around a second floor bathroom. Upon investigation, it was noticed that the floor in the hallway was very uneven. This could have caused some unusual experiences, such as dizziness, or vestibular alterations. Three sites were measured for 1 hour each. The first haunt site revealed strange visible light, vibration, and two of the static sensors showed a negative spike from 0 to 12 mG and then back to 0 at 0.5 hours (30 minutes into the sampling period). The vibration sensor also showed a large fluctuation just before this event. The second haunt site revealed revealed unusual vibration, and the static fields changed from - 1 mG to 8 mG. These kinds of changes may have caused some of the haunt phenomena in the building. A control site revealed no unusual readings.
TV Show, CAVC, Springfield, IL, April 6, 1997. This site was a television show studio located at the Capital Area Vocational Center, 2201 Toronto Road, in Springfield. The MESA system was featured in a student-produced television show about investigations of haunt activity. The sampling periods were completed for the purpose of showing viewers that the MESA system had been calibrated correctly and also to show graphs for the television show. There were no unusual results in the data.
Bell Witch Cave, Adams, TN, June 20, 1997. The cave has been recognized as “one of the most famous haunted spots in American History“ (Taylor, 2001). It involved apparitions, disembodied voices, poltergeist activity, and may have even caused the death of John Bell. The Bell Witch first made her presence known to the Bell family in 1817, and is one of the best recorded poltergeist cases in the world. It began as knocking, rapping, and scratching sounds. Later it developed a voice, which some thought was the voice of Kate Batts, a neighbor of the Bell family. John Bell had some negative business dealings with the purchase of slaves. Eventually the ghost began to appear daily, and even General Andrew Jackson decided to investigate the ghost for himself. Allegedly, his carriage wheels would not turn until the ghost decided to let them go. John Bell fell ill, and a strange bottle of liquid was found near his bed, and when fed to a cat, it dropped dead. Soon John Bell also died. It is one of the only cases known where the ghost may have caused the death of a person. The witch supposedly screamed, laughed, cursed, and even sang at the funeral. Some researchers, and both the present and previous owners of the land, believe the there is still strange phenomena on the land. Upon researching the site, it was discovered that there are North American Indian burial grounds both above, and in the cave itself. These findings may also have colored or given rise to the experiences there. Apparitions, knocking sounds, and other unexplained auditory phenomena come from the cave or in a house on the property. The MESA investigation revealed strange vibration, anomalous static magnetic fields, and several instances of subjective feelings by the researchers of sensed presences, and unexplained images caught on night vision film (Scott, 1998).
Anderson Cemetery, Palmer, IL, June 21, 1997. This cemetery was originally started in 1867, when a small child died during a wagon train trip, and was buried here. There have been dozens of anomalous photographs, cold spots, unexplained noises, lights, voices, and verified by a number of witnesses. This investigation is also featured in the 2001 Proceedings of the Parapsychological Association Convention (Harte, Black, Hollinshead & Mitchell, 2001). Anomalous data was recorded in visible and ultraviolet light, vibration, and two of the static magnetic field sensors. Anomalous temperature changes were recorded throughout the evening, and some very unusual 35mm and Polaroid film pictures were taken. There were a few instances of unexplained visual phenomena on night vision camera, and erratic functioning of electric locks on one of the researcher’s automobiles.
Bertoni House, Riverton, IL, February 13, 1998. This is a trailer located at 51 Lucky Horse Shoe Drive, in Riverton, IL. It was the private residence of a gifted subject (a 24 year old female) and the family had reported balls of light, sensed presences, apparitions of shadows, toilet flushing on its own, the feeling of something getting into bed with them, of a weight on the head or chest (like “Old Hag attacks”) and the gifted subjects husband had seen the apparition of a girl in a white nightgown. Other investigators had captured a white ball or “orb” on video. The gifted subject had felt tugs on her sleeves, sensed presences that grew stronger, apparitions of dark or gray forms, and even the apparition of a baby in the bed. Later the woman reported visible balls of light throughout the home, bedspreads thrown off the bed, sleep disturbances with her, the husband, and a 2 year old child. The MESA investigation revealed anomalous activity on infrared and visible light, and on two of the static magnetic field sensors. Two of the researchers also saw a ball of light, and it then disappeared into a wall. There were also several visual anomalies of white or bright flashes of light experienced by the researchers and several people.
Bachelor’s Grove Cemetery, Midlothian, IL, October 18, 1998. See 2a for some background on this site. The MESA team was invited to do an investigation with members of the Ghost Hunter’s Society, and a student group of film students from Purdue University-Hammond was also on hand. Usually, these investigations are hampered by all numbers of people trekking through the site, and it is very difficult to control the investigations. The MESA results revealed anomalous ultraviolet light, and one static magnetic sensor showed some fluctuations. Once again, the researchers had some very strange experiences of cold spots, sensed presences, and a large, gray, moving mist on the road to the cemetery.
Willard Library 1, Evansville, IN, June 26, 1999. This investigation was conducted as part of a documentary on the Discovery Channel, known as “Real Ghosthunters.” The MESA team was invited to participate in an investigation that would be filmed by Michael Hoff Productions, to shoot, document, and record haunt activity. The Willard Library is one of the most haunted libraries in the United States, if not in the entire world. It features beautiful, Gothic architecture and the finest wood craftsmanship for the time it was built on the interior. It was built in 1885 by Willard Carpenter, a famous philanthropist and businessman from Evansville. It is Indiana’s oldest public library, and was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1972. It was first rumored to be haunted in 1937, when a custodian encountered a gray lady apparition in the basement. Since that time, staff and patrons have reported apparitions, sensed presences, odd perfume smells, object movement, and cold spots. The MESA investigation captured strange visible light changes, all three static magnetic field sensor fluctuations, and drained, brand new AA batteries. Some researchers reported sensed presences, and strange light fluctuations also occurred while setting up the MESA system on the top research floor of the library.
Wabash site, Mt. Carmel, IL, September 3, 1999. This is a public site in Wabash County, IL, and used as a set of offices at the present time. The building was built in the mid-1800’s and then burned to the ground. A few of the rooms remained intact, and were moved to the present location. An entire building was built around the intact rooms. Workers have reported sensed presences, footsteps, papers shuffling or being thrown around, loud unexplained booming noises, and sometimes lights going on and off. The MESA team measured two haunt and two control sites within the building. The first haunt site revealed strange infrared light, and no heat or light source could be found. The second haunt site revealed anomalous infrared, visible light and static magnetic fields. The two control sites did not show any unusual activity.
Marchand House, Boonville, IN, September 27, 1999. The house is located at 332 South Second Street, in Boonville, IN. It was built in 1902. The previous owners noticed a lavender smell or perfume, apparitions, the sound of pennies or coins rolling down the walls, sensed presences, especially in the basement area, object movement of doors in the basement, and erratic functioning of television and VCR equipment. Several other types of strange experiences were reported, one in which all the members in the household began to hyperventilate inexplicably, and they all experienced great anxiety at the time. Other visitors have also reported sensed presences, vestibular alterations or dizziness, and dark apparitions or forms. The MESA investigation sampled two haunts and one control site. The first haunt site recorded anomalous vibration. The second site recorded nothing anomalous. The control site, where nothing unusual had been experienced, revealed strange infrared light and vibration. The researchers also recorded some strange voices or EVP in the basement on cassette tape.
Anonymous site, Mt. Carmel, IL, July 15, 2000. This was a large structure located in Mt. Carmel, IL. It will remain anonymous at the owner’s request. There is a long history to the site, since the late 1860’s, but no unusual events. The MESA investigation revealed sensed presences, anomalous static magnetic field changes on one sensor, and a video camera malfunction that could not be explained.
Perseid Meteor Shower, Evansville, IN, August 12, 2000. The MESA team decided to record a sampling period inside a garage during the Perseid meteor shower and see if there were unusual results. No unusual experiences had been recorded here. The garage was built in 1977. The system recorded some unusual results on infrared light, vibration, and two static magnetic field sensors. The geomagnetic field changes were very unusual.
Deanna’s House, Evansville, IN, August 19, 2000. This is a private residence in Evansville, Indiana, and the owners want it to remain confidential at this time. The house was built in the early 1940’s. The owners experienced sensed presences, unusual lighting effects, erratic functioning of equipment such as the television and electrical appliances. There has been a long history of unusual and coincidental experiences. The MESA system recorded anomalous infrared, visible light, 60 Hz electromagnetic fields, vibration, and geomagnetic field fluctuations from 2 to 12 mG.
Willard Library 2, Evansville, IN, September 9, 2000. The Willard Library has been investigated by psychics, ghost hunting clubs, and even police officers on occasion. This report can also be found at http://members.tripod.com/GhostHuntersSociety/willard.htm Several of the librarians reported books being moved from shelves, or partially out of the shelves by an unknown force. The MESA team was asked by the local newspaper, the Evansville Courier and Press, to investigate the phenomena. The newspaper has a web site and wanted to include scientific evidence of the haunt phenomena. MESA was joined by members of the Ghost Hunters Society from Schaumburg, IL. The investigation will also be featured in a documentary about ghost hunting produced by WNIN PBS Channel 9. A gifted subject (or psychic) was used in this investigation, Lou Wright. She was featured in a book (Cooper, 1996), and the MESA team chose to have her identify sites and objects that might help the team document haunt phenomena. Experimenters were split into three teams. The first was responsible for the MESA data, which consisted of placing the sensors and running the samples. These sites were also documented with 8mm video, and VHS infrared video and audio. The second team measured baseline 60 Hz electromagnetic fields and photographed the sites with three factors in mind: 1) take a picture every 15 minutes, 2) random pictures and 3) when the photographer sensed a cold spot or presence. A third team installed a low-light closed circuit television system. Four sites were investigated, and at all four sites, there were unusual magnetic fields. There was some erratic functioning of the video camera while the psychic was interviewed. One researcher thought she could smell perfume, which is commonly reported. Erratic functioning of equipment occurred in two different areas, of a camera that would not take a picture. The same thing had occurred on a previous investigation (6-26-99).
S2 Geomagnetic Solar Storm, Evansville IN, September 13-14, 2000. This was a sampling period to see if a solar storm would affect the geomagnetic (static magnetic sensors) on MESA. The system was deployed in the garage of this author. The sample period was 24 hours, 8:53 PM to 9:34 PM and the computer was programmed to sample at 4 times a second for memory conservation purposes. The data showed anomalous activity on infrared light, vibration, and all three of the geomagnetic sensors. A category S2 proton storm was underway following an M-class solar flare that erupted at 7:13 AM on September 12. It was reported to produce “major” geomagnetic activity, including displays of aurora at middle latitudes (www.space weather.com). The static magnetic sensors recorded - 5 mG and way beyond the highest level of the senors at + 12 mG.
Willard Library 3, Evansville, IN October 24, 2000. The Paravision group (www.paranormal world.com) was asked to do an investigation with the MESA team. The Paravision group recorded many orbs of light, which remain controversial as far as evidence of anomalous activity, and as many as nine entities were identified by them. MESA recorded unusual infrared and visible light, Tri-Field 60 Hz electromagnetic fields, and anomalous geomagnetic fields throughout the sampling period.
Old Courthouse, Evansville, IN, October 31st, 2000. The Old Vanderburgh County Courthouse has a history of haunt activity. A murder occurred near there in 1973. The structure was built in 1890. It was remodeled in 1930. It is located at Third and Vine Streets, in downtown Evansville. It is a mammoth structure, with huge columns and 14 statues carved from Indiana limestone. It now houses 12 public and private organizations, and hosts an anuual craft show and Halloween activities. A local Evansville radio show asked MESA to investigate the site. Two sites where people had strange experiences were chosen. Anomalous infrared light and geomagnetic fields were recorded.
Willard Library 4, “Fox Kids Show,” Evansville, IN, December 18, 2000. The MESA team was asked by the popular television “Fox Kids Show” to conduct an investigation while two teenagers spent the night in the library. The author was also interviewed for the show. MESA was placed in a popular spot where activity had been recorded before, on the second floor “research room“ area. After it was set up, the author had to leave for the entire evening. Upon analysis, it was found that the system did not record any data. It is still undetermined how this occurred. It has now been categorized as erratic functioning of equipment. The female of the two teenagers reported strange sounds, such as a rocking chair moving, and the video crew also heard the sounds. This was in the basement “children’s area” where the sounds emanated from, but they could not locate a cause for them.
Helana’s hose, Princeton, IN, January 2, 2001. This house is located at 427 South Hall Street, in Princeton, IN. It was built in the mid 1800’s. The ceilings are 18 to 20 feet high. Reported phenomena includes the gamut of haunt activity: Visual, auditory, olfactory, sensed presences, sudden unexplainable mood changes in experients, object movement, and erratic functioning of equipment. The present occupants have lived here for over two years. The MESA system recorded unusual infrared light, fluctuations on 60 Hz electromagnetic fields, and geomagnetic fields. This was the first foray in utilizing an inexpensive infrared video camera, (www.clover electronics.com) which also recorded strange orb and shadow activities. These could not be seen at the time they were recorded by the researchers.
Wabash Office, Mt. Carmel, IL, February 6th, 2001. The owrkers and location of this office will remain confidential. The building was built in 1977. The workers reported footsteps, sensed presences, erratic functioning of equipment and doors that were locked became unlocked. The MESA system recorded anomalous Tri-Field 60 Hz EMF fluctuations, vibration, and geomagnetic fields.
Milmine, IL, April 2, 2001. The site will remain confidential. It is an old residence, with documents indicating 1966. Pets were first reported to act strangely, and then visual phenomena began. It was a person in a grey trench coat with a top hat, first seen by the owner. Lights began turning on and off by themselves, doors opened and closed, erratic functioning of televisions, sensed presences, and finally, something slapped the wife on her legs, but was invisible. Other researchers had recorded anomalous images on 35mm film, both inside and outside the residence. MESA recorded strange vibration, and geomagnetic fields. Several localized and moving cold spots were detected. An exterior light that had not worked in a year started to work after the MESA investigation.
Bachelor’s Grove Cemetery, Midlothian, IL, September 8, 2001. The MESA system was not utilized at this investigation, as miscommunication with team members led to the equipment not being in the cemetery at the time it was needed for a video documentary with Unknown Magazine. The MESA team was joined by another group, the Ghost Hunter Official Surveillance Team (GHOST, www.ghostresearcher.com) from Ann Arbor, MI. Several digital still cameras revealed unusual activity, sometimes sensed or seen by researchers, and then at other times not. Cold spots and sensed presences were experienced.
Zoenthoefer House, St. Phillip, IN, July 20, 2001. The house was built in the early 1850’s. It has been in the family for many generations. The first phenomena appeared to the two young boys, and then later the husband and wife saw apparitions, as the great grandfather and grandfather that also had lived there. Faces would appear loud crashing sounds, doors opened, a rocking chair would rock, object movement, and orbs of light were seen. The MESA investigation revealed anomalous infrared light, and geomagnetic fields. The researchers also experienced several orbs of light throughout the investigation, either bright white or blue in color.
Willard Carpenter Mansion, Evansville, IN, September 2001. This restored Georgian mansion is located at 405 Carpenter Street, Evansville, IN. It was built in 1857 by Willard Carpenter, a businessman and philanthropist that also built the Willard Library. The mansion now houses the local PBS WNIN television and radio stations. This investigation involved human subjects to see if they could identify which room has haunt activity. A control room was also utilized. Two questionnaires were used, the Anomalous Experiences Inventory (Kumar, Pekala & Gallagher, 1994) and the Mental Experience Inventory (Kumar & Pekala, 1994). No significant differences were found. The Haunt Assessment Score Sheet (Harte, unpublished manuscript) did identify the haunt room and some experients reported phenomena, but more research is needed to evaluate validity. The haunt site showed unusual activity with MESA with infrared light and geomagnetic fields. The control site did not.
Wabash Office A, Mt. Carmel, IL, December 28, 2001. The site and workers will remain confidential. They reported the sounds of people talking, blue apparitions, phones ringing, sensed presences, coughing, sneezing, females humming, radios playing, object movement, and erratic functioning of equipment. All of this was kept in a journal over a 2-year period. The MESA system recorded anomalous infrared light, and geomagnetic fields. The MESA team has been invited to continue to study this office.
Private residence, Evansville, IN, February 16th, 2002. The site remains confidential per the owner. The house was built in 1935. The owners first noticed the dog becoming terrified, and would not go into a certain part of the house. Sometimes it would not go to the second floor. The father-in-law, a gifted subject, and also North American Indian, reported several unusual experiences in the home. His wife, the mother of the client, had felt a sensed presence. Cold spots, tingling of the arms, hands and feet, and apparitions were reported. The MESA investigation revealed anomalous infrared light, Tri-Field 60 Hz electromagnetic fields, vibration, and geomagnetic fields.
Senalik House, Pleasant Plains, IL., March 23, 2002. The house was built 11 years ago by the present owners. The family contacted Troy Taylor (www.prairieghosts.com) and the Springfield (IL) Ghost Society to conduct investigations. Haunt activity included doors slamming, orbs of light, sensed presences, erratic functioning of equipment, (usually computers or cameras), cold and hot spots, sudden intense mood alterations, vestibular alterations, footsteps, sounds of children crying, talking and laughing, sounds of objects being moved around in the kitchen, and the continuous beating of a drum. Animals also had unusual behavior in the home. The one particular area of the house, known as the “west wing,” where the bedrooms are located, seems to be a center of the haunt phenomena. The MESA investigation revealed unusual infrared light, and geomagnetic fields. The house will continue to be studied by members of the Springfield Ghost Society.
Willard Library 5, August 24, 2002. This was an impromptu investigation by a local radio station and MESA. Two sites were measured, and revealed anomalous geomagnetic activity on all three sensors.
Willard Library 6, October 27, 2002. The MESA team was invited to do an investigation of the Willard Library with the Northwest Indiana and Evansville Ghost Trackers, a ghost club formed by Mike McDowell (www.indianaghosts.org). Three other ghost hunting groups also participated in the investigation: The Willard Library Ghost Chatters, and Internet group interested in the library and its haunt phenomena, the Gibson County (Indiana) High School Journalism Club, and the Springfield (IL) Ghost Society. Teams were split into two groups, one with MESA equipment, and the other was responsible for recording any anomalous audio, video, or digital still pictures. Two sites were measured, the Bayard Room, on the second floor, and a table on the first floor as a control. Anomalous data was recorded at both areas, including visible light, and geomagnetic fields.
Willard Carpenter Mansion 2, Evansville, IN, November 2002. This investigation was a trial run with several different audio, video, and thermal sensors and equipment. The MESA system was not used. All four floors of the mansion were studied. The investigation revealed some unusual infrared video.
Willard Carpenter Mansion 3, Evansville, IN November 14, 2002. The MESA team was invited to conduct an investigation with the Evansville Ghost Trackers (www.evansvilleghosts.org). The data reveal unusual geomagnetic fields, infrared video, and some digital still photos.
800 SE 6th Street, Evansville, IN January 25th,
February 8th, and
February 25th, 2003. This house was built in the mid 1800’s. It features 20 foot ceilings on the first floor, and 19 foot windows. It has been split into four apartments. The tenants reported the sounds of doors slamming, footsteps, a chain gate moving, thermostats turned all the way up, radios changing stations, and doors being locked and unlocked. One first floor apartment seems to be the site of some very localized haunt and poltergeist activity. No renter would stay in the apartment for more than 5 months. Three people that live in the upper apartments have noticed haunt phenomena. One tenant, a 29-year old man, has been shoved, choked, pushed, and tripped. They began to notice apparitions, orbs, doors slamming, pipes banging, and the sound of a power sander, shuffling feet, moving furniture, and cold spots. When the MESA team did an investigation, the phenomena seemed to change. Soon there were light bulbs disappearing, pets reacting strangely, whispering, the sound of children playing, or someone in the kitchen cooking, cabinets opening and closing, and footsteps. All three MESA investigations revealed anomalous infrared and visible light, vibration, and geomagnetic fields. Other strange occurrences included objects being pulled or pushed out of researchers’ hands, doors that were locked were found unlocked, and sensed presences. Infrared video and audio revealed orbs, mists, fog-like anomalies, voices, footsteps, shuffling feet, and the sounds of moving furniture.
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