Monday, June 12, 2017

The inconclusive follow-up investigation. . .

So, figuring sooner was better as far as trying to recreate the image if it was an illusion I headed back out to the Vernonia Memorial Cemetery. That way the grass should not have grown too much. Unfortunately, it was apparently due to be mowed, so by the time I got up there, the portion with the downed tree branch had been cleaned-up and mowed.

(It's not exactly the same angle, but it's clear the grass looks very different mowed anyways.)

This also made it a little harder to identify the exact grave, and get an estimate of the size of the pot nearest the figure, obviously. (But if we assume it's 1 ft, that means the figure is only 2.5 to 3 ft tall.)
 
None of the graves in that immediate area appeared to be children, but given a full list of graves is available online, and we can see that it includes all ages. Children among them include; Scotty (4), Evelyn (10), Terresa (4), Amy (11), and Frederick (7). You can check the full list yourself on Find A Grave (if you're into that kind of thing):
https://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gsr&GScid=39525
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Saturday, June 10, 2017

I'm not saying I took a picture of a ghost. . .

. . .but I think this image is worth examining.

Being in Vernonia, Oregon, I decided to walk up to the Vernonia Memorial Cemetery (basically you walk uphill on Bridge Street until you feel like you can't possibly be on the right road and keep going) and try one of those techniques you don't hear a lot about on all those ghost hunting shows, take daytime pictures of a place with no reported hauntings, but connection to spirituality and/or death. Or simply take pictures because you have a odd feeling, like perhaps you're not alone?

Well, none of those pictures, for some of which I even invited anything present to show itself, captured anything. However, because of recent wind, there were several potted flowers that had tipped over (I righted a few of these, if it makes you feel better about the fact that I might be disturbing the dead), and a large tree branch that had come down across a couple of graves. So I took a picture of that because it was interesting:

(The only thing I've done to this image is re-sized it, since it's somewhat large.)

It too looked perfectly normal, until I expanded it too full size. That's when I saw this:

(This time, all I've done here is cropped the image to fit.)

And incase it you're not quite seeing it, this appears to be the apparition of a child in a hat:
 
(Clearly I've edited this one. If you'll notice the flowers in front of it as well, it's clearly too small to be an adult.)

But is it an apparition? Well, I can't say. It could just as easily be an illusion. No point in getting too excited or bummed about that. I can see two reasonable future courses of action here; identifying the occupants of the nearby graves to find their age, and seeing if I can recreate the image to prove it's only an illusion.
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Friday, April 14, 2017

Mythology of the Titanic

April 15 marks the 105th anniversary of the sinking of the Titanic. For many people this tragic event is very simply explained by inferior steel/iron, lack of lifeboats (which were also not properly filled), and unheeded ice warnings (or a rouge iceberg). There are alternate explanations for the sinking, including a few that state the titanic was switched with another ship for insurance reasons. But there have long been even more bizarre legends and myths around the famous wreck.

* Rapping Below Deck *
One of the oldest stories involves a rapping or hammering sound. Rumors of workmen trapped in the hull apparently circulated around the ship, but later explanations would of course include the warping of the inferior steel/iron.

* The Mummy's Curse *
Some claim that among the more valuable items in the cargo hold, was the cursed mummy or sarcophagus (sometimes identified as Princess of Amen-Ra, or artifact no. 22542), who having caused the deaths of many involved with her, took the ship to the depths. Truth is artifact no. 22542 is actually the coffin lid of a Priestess of Amun, which William Stead and Douglas Murray wrote a ghost story about, before Stead went down with the Titanic. His mummy ghost stories then became entangled with survivors' other stories. The lid itself is still sitting in the British Museum. Amen-Ra, by the way, is just another variant name of Ra/Amun-Ra, the ancient Eygptian sun god (there's a link to the wikipedia page for him in the resources list below, encase you're curious).

* Other Ghosts *
Several ghost stories surround the artifacts recovered from the titanic. Apparitions and paranormal activity are supposed to plague museums that host them. Temperature drops, moving portraits, EVPS, ghostly touches, and shadow figures, have all been reported.

At least one person claims to have interacted with the ghost of Captain Edward John Smith, the captain of the Titanic, giving him a tour of his ship. However, he is also said to haunt his former home.

Ghost orbs have also been reported over the Titanic's resting place. Submarines in the location have reported communication errors, and even phantom SOS calls.

* Premonitions & Recognitions *
This entry of course would not be complete without mention of the various precognition claims related to the Titanic. Most notable is Morgan Robertson's “Futility” about the unsinkable SS Titan which bore many similarities to Titanic, including hitting an iceberg on her maiden voyage while carrying too few lifeboats, despite being published in 1898 (14 years earlier). While the book is real, whether or not it is purely coincidence is up for debate.

William Stead is also known to have penned a tale about a White Star Line ship that rescued survivors of another ship after it hit an iceberg. This and his tale about a sunken mail ship have cause many to believe he knew he was to die on the Titanic.

Another claim comes from the helm of Titanian, when in 1939 the helmsman supposedly stopped at the position of the Titanic's wreck on a premonition, at which point a iceberg appeared and struck the hull, causing slight leakage.

Legend also has it that dying young woman interrupted a violinist (Wally) to tell him of her premonition of the massive ship sinking. That night, another violinist (Wallace) went down with the ship.

* Bonus: Interesting Facts *
- Titanic's RMS designation stands for Royal Mail Ship. In addition to passengers, there was a great assortment of cargo being brought across the Atlantic.
- The Titanic was originally designed with enough lifeboats, rumors say the head of White Star did not like the way it looked and ordered the number to be reduced.
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Resources & Further Reading/Viewing:

12 Spine-Tingling Ghost Stories About The Titanic” Ranker
(Last modified prior to 2017-03-03)
http://www.ranker.com/list/titanic-ghost-stories

Amun” Wikipedia
(Last modified 2017-02-17)
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Amun

Bob Rickard & John Michell. The Rough Guide to Unexplained Phenomena. 2nd Edition. London: Rough Guides Ltd, 2007.

Cursed Mummy on the Titanic; Did a mummy's curse send the Titanic to the bottom of the ocean?” Snopes
(Last modified 2012-04-12)
http://www.snopes.com/history/titanic/mummy.asp

Legends and myths regarding RMS Titanic” Wikipedia
(Last modified 2017-01-22)
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Legends_and_myths_regarding_RMS_Titanic

RMS Titanic alternative theories” Wikipedia
(Last modified 2017-02-08)
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/RMS_Titanic_alternative_theories

RMS Titanic” Wikipedia
(Last modified 2017-02-19)
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/RMS_Titanic

The Myth of the Titanic Mummy” Unmuseum
( Last modified between 2000 and 2017-02-19)
http://www.unmuseum.org/mummyth.htm

Titanian - Echo of Titanic” Encyclopedia Titanica
(Last modified prior to 2017-02-19)
https://www.encyclopedia-titanica.org/titanian-echo-titanic.html

“Titanic Mystery” Mysteries at the Museum (series, 2016)
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Thursday, March 30, 2017

Bible Journaling: Editing the Bible?


Here's another tough question for religious folks.

In The Exorcist (the TV series) we find Father Marcus has edited/journaled his bible, in a scene that is clearly meant to be shocking and disturbing to the religious audience members, as Father Tomas yells at him for it. But this may have been a hit or miss move on the production team's part.

Browsing online recently for stamp making supplies, I noticed Micheal’s has a Bible Journaling section. Now, where I come from a Bible Journal is a journal you write in while reading the Bible, but if you look into the trend, people are painting the extra wide margins of their Journal Bibles, and even right over the text itself. This begs the question, is Bible Journaling (which can potentially be done with any sacred book) a good way to get deeper into God's word, or a fun way to deface the word of God?

I've mentioned previously that I write notes in book margins, correct typos/facts, highlight in books, and on the rare occasion, deface the margins of books that no monetary or intellectual value, but there's just some lines you don't cross, yes? More then one book of the Bible states not to add or subtract from it's content (Deuteronomy and Revelation if I'm not mistaken). Noting what a word means or what it says in a different translation of your sacred book is one thing, but adding upbeat phrases and using markers to make it unreadable (which is subtracting from the content) seems to be quite another.

However, some people practically swear by it:
http://homegrownhospitality.typepad.com/homegrown_hospitality/2014/08/bible-journaling.html

While others have some more critical thoughts:
https://suessimplesnippets.wordpress.com/2016/02/19/is-bible-journaling-defacing-the-word-of-god/

And some use rules to take a middle ground:
http://jannstory.blogspot.com/2014/11/what-you-are-drawing-and-painting-in.html
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