Monday, August 15, 2011

I Miss You

     Up in remote parts of Canada, fur trappers are executing their job duties.  They go head-to-head with unbearable winter conditions to excel in their trade.  This was the life of a certain Joe Labelle in the 1930s. After an excursion into the wilderness, Labelle was looking forward to reaching a town near Lake Anjikuni in northern Canada.  This settlement was a rather large one, with an Eskimo population of one-thousand to two-thousand.  This location was a great place to pass through if you were a fur trapper, and the village usually welcomed such people.  On a November day in 1930, Labelle entered this settlement and found something off about it.  It was eerily quiet as he approached.  This community was big into fishing, yet there was no one out on the water.  As he entered the village, he found it to be seemingly deserted.  Labelle saw smoke coming from one hut, but upon further investigation, he found an empty home with a pot of burned stew.  There was absolutely no one to be found.  Naturally, Labelle totally freaked out and summoned the authorities as quickly as he could.  When the mounted police arrived, they discovered that things were even weirder than anyone initially believed.  There were absolutely no footprints to indicate that the villagers walked out of the town.  Also, when a twelve foot snow drift was searched, there lay all of the settlement’s sled dogs; every one of them died from starvation.  Finally, the strangest part, the ancestral graves of the Eskimos had been dug up, and the bodies were missing.  As sort of an epilogue to the event, there is some talk of the authorities seeing a strange blue light hover, then settle onto the now empty community.
            This has got to be one of the most mysterious incidents in modern history.  Two-thousand people, gone, leaving food and other necessary items behind.  Where did they go?  Why are there no clues to explain this mass exodus?  Is it because this never really happened?  The website of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police certainly denies the incident.  They claim that this whole story was created by an author named Frank Edwards.  He does mention it in his book Stranger Than Science; however, this book is supposed to be a collection of true paranormal events.  While it is true that some authors have probably fabricated information to make their “true” stories more sensational, this story has yet to be seen as completely fictional by the general public.  When the topic of baffling mysteries comes up, in many circles, this incident tops the list.  I don’t think there is a way to authenticate this story one-hundred percent; however, there should be ways to at least show that something strange occurred.  The first step would be actually locating the deserted village; not much of an effort was made, it seems.  The RCMP just claims that the area is too remote for such a large fishing community.  From what I can gather, that seems to be the extent of all investigation.  Surely there would be other ways to verify this story; were there any subsequent interviews of Joe Labelle?  Who were the Mounties who initially investigated the scene, and where did they go when this all became public?  Apparently, there are no records of this event anywhere.  Most people who have studied this incident claim that the whole thing was a hoax.
            This revelation, not surprisingly, makes me very sad.  Of course, two-thousand missing people would be a horrible tragedy, and I really wouldn’t want anything like that to happen to anyone.  I also don’t want the fact that all those dogs died to be true.  I just believe that the world is a magical and mysterious place, and, if this story was even a little bit true, my beliefs would be slightly verified.  How can anything be proven in this case when there is simply no evidence?  Allow me to become a crackpot for a little bit and discuss some far out theories.  Is the Canadian government hiding something?  Do you really think the Canadian government would be capable of anything like that?  I don’t know…maybe.  If a cover up did take place, why?  Why would the public need to be kept from something like this?  My only conclusion would be that aliens were somehow involved.  The village was very remote; a perfect place for a couple thousand people to be abducted without calling too much attention to the situation.  Perhaps the aliens needed a whole bunch of people for something: labor, mates, research.  There could be any reason for these people to be taken.  Why is this a possibility?  Because the RCMP seems to have just brushed the situation off as a silly story.  It may very well be just a silly story.  There is no evidence that anything strange happened.  The witnesses are gone.  There is no real documentation.  It is very likely that a few people disappeared somewhere in the Canadian wilderness.  Somehow, those few missing people became a legion of two-thousand and a legend about a disappearing settlement was born out of exaggeration and a passion for the unknown. 
            The Lake Anjikuni incident isn’t the first story of a population of people simply disappearing.  The Roanoke settlement is a considerably less romantic example of large groups of people going missing.  In 1587, about one hundred and fifteen people were all but forced to create a colony on Roanoke Island.  The colonists were pretty afraid of the surrounding natives, and they persuaded their governor, John White, to return to England and get some help for his people.  England was in a war with Spain and White didn’t return for three years after his departure.  When he finally did get back, everyone appeared to be gone.  There was no sign of a struggle and the buildings looked dismantled, indicating a leisurely departure.  A clue left on a post was the engraved word “Croatoan”.  Before White initially left the colony, he thought ahead enough to instruct his people to carve a cross on a tree if anything bad should happen to them.  White didn’t find a cross anywhere, so he thought they moved to Croatoan Island.  White and the guys with him left before they could research this theory, they departed the next day.  No one really seemed to care that much about these people, because it took twelve years for Sir Walter Raleigh, the true founder of the Colony, to get around to see what happened to the people.  He tried to go look for them, but the weather got bad and they had to return.  Raleigh was later arrested by Kind James I for treason, so he really couldn’t ever find out what happened to the colonists.  What seemed to have happened, is that the colonists simple integrated into a native tribe and spent the rest of their lives in a happy existence.  Though there is no true evidence of this, it probably is what really happened.  Yet, this event is still declared a mystery, the colony dubbed “The Lost Colony”, and people keep trying to make this whole thing more mysterious than it really is.  Though it isn’t fun at all, I guess it technically is unsolved, even though it really is.
            Individual disappearances can get pretty interesting as well.  People go missing all the time for many reasons.  However, some simply vanish in front of witnesses, and all that is left is a mystery.  The problem with these stories is that they all really sound like urban legends.  Take the British diplomat Benjamin Bathurst, for instance.  In 1809 he was hanging out in Germany when he went to dinner with a companion.  After dinner, the pair went to their coach.  Bathurst’s friend looked on as he went to the front of the coach to look at the horses, when he simply disappeared.  He suddenly was nowhere to be found.  Pretty interesting story, but where is the proof?  Is there even a name of Bathurst’s companion somewhere?  What is written on Bathurst’s death certificate?  Does he even have a death certificate?  This is an example of something that is very probably an urban legend.  I suppose I could go to England and search archives to get to the bottom of this, but I neither have the time, nor the resources.  All I have to rely on are the stories on the internet and in books that provide no further evidence that something of this nature occurred.
            In 1975, Jackson Wright and his wife Martha were driving from New Jersey to New York City.  They went through the Lincoln Tunnel, and in this process, the car’s windows got fogged up.  Martha opted to wipe off the back window of the car, and when Jackson turned to look at her, she was gone.  Of course an investigation was held, but the police could find no evidence that anything illegal took place.  The conclusion was that Martha had just vanished.  I don’t know the intimate details of this case either.  But am I supposed to believe that the police just let Wright go, with no further conclusion than that Martha had just disappeared?  There seem to be a lot of holes in this one too.  Something strange may have happened, but it’s been blown out of proportion and made into an urban legend.
            There are disappearance stories that provide a bit more evidence, though the stories themselves seem totally made up.  David Lang, in full view of his wife, children, and a family friend Judge August Peck, disappeared while walking across his pasture in 1880.  It at first seemed as if Lang fell in a hole or something; however, upon inspection, the witnesses could find nothing of the sort.  This story sounds suspiciously like “The Difficulty of Crossing a Field” by Ambrose Bierce.  The exact same thing happens in the story.  In the supposed true life encounter, on the other hand, Lang’s children noticed that the grass in the area where their father had vanished had died, and that patch of dead grass measured about 15 feet in diameter.  Could any of this possible be true?  Especially since it so closely parallels a fictional account?  When I do my research, I keep seeing it pop up as a prime example of a true and strange disappearance.  Maybe there really is something to it.
            In 1971, Stonehenge was not yet off limits to the public.  This being 1971, a group of hippies decided it would be fun to camp out among the stones and maybe get stoned themselves.  I bet it was a really nice night, full of smoking, singing, and other stereotypical hippie behavior; probably bad dancing or something.  Around 2a.m., the festivities were interrupted by a severe thunderstorm.  Lightning shot from the sky, right into the monument.  There were surprisingly witnesses to this event, a farmer and a police man.  They later recounted that the monument began to glow with a strange and intensely bright blue color.  Naturally, the hippie campers were screaming, and the farmer and the police man rushed to the stones.  They expected to find a bunch of injured or dead hippies, instead, they saw no one.  Only a few remnants of their campsite remained.  This story seems real to me.  I mean, it’s modern enough for the facts not to become too muddled.  There were definitely witnesses to this encounter.  Stonehenge is a beacon for paranormal activity.  It is said to be placed on a very important ley line that somehow connects all of the important ancient monuments in the world.  So, of course, weird things are spotted here.  I think, the most common, but still strange, occurrence has to be the crop circles that appear in the fields near Stonehenge.  Yes, crop circles appear everywhere; but there does seem to be a higher concentration around the stones.  Therefore, I am not entirely surprised that such a strange occurrence would happen there.  So, if this really did happen, what became of the hippies?  I think one explanation would be total vaporization.  Maybe some kind of super lightning burned the bodies beyond recognition.  Not a very good theory, but a theory nonetheless.  I’ve never heard of lightning obliterating a group of people before.  So maybe that didn’t happen.  Unless the lightning wasn’t lightning at all, it could have been manufactured somehow.  The brilliant blue light may be a clue.  Perhaps a passing spaceship sided with most of the world with their dislike of hippies and used a death ray to eradicate them all.  If aliens were involved, it could be a classic abduction case.  Why aliens would want hippies is beyond me.  The thing to pay attention to, I think, is the blue glow that the witnesses saw.  Was this similar to the blue glow seen at Lake Anjikuni?  Sounds like similar circumstances to me.  That blue light has to mean something, right?  I think the beginnings of a pattern have emerged here.  If you see a location, besides a disco or something, and it’s glowing blue, I’d quickly get out of there.
            You’d think that mass disappearances would very rarely occur; and they would only take place in remote locations, as mentioned before.  However, a really unusual group vanishing took place in 1915, during World War I.  Fifty years after the incident, three New Zealand soldiers came forward with a very strange tale.  These three men watched a British regiment march up a hillside located in Sulva Bay, Turkey.  Atop the hill was a cloud, just sitting up there; those brave English soldiers marched right into the cloud without a moment’s hesitation.  The problem is, they never came back out.  The witnesses stated that when the entire battalion had entered the cloud, the cloud rose back into the sky.  Of course an investigation was conducted.  The British government naturally blamed Turkey for the disappearance, and made a demand that the regiment be returned.  The Turks were probably baffled by this accusation; they probably had no idea what the British were talking about.  They claimed that they never even made contact with the Royal Norfolk Regiment, much less captured them.  Could Turkey have been lying?  It doesn’t seem like it; some clues about their capture would have surfaced by now.  The three New Zealand witnesses certainly didn’t think that the Turks had anything to do with this; it all seemed to be the work of that danged cloud.  Now this screams UFO to me.  It has been said that UFOs like to conceal themselves in clouds, probably of their own making.  The UFO and its occupants decided one day that they wanted a whole bunch of soldiers, and that’s what they got.
            As mentioned in a previous post, and it may be my ultimate point here if I’m not careful; some people just disappear, with no evidence or logical reasoning.  Are people travelling to alternate dimensions?  Are they being captured by aliens?  Can anyone think of a place where these people would end up after they go missing?  These questions become ever so apparent in the case of Owen Parfitt.  He had a massive stroke at some point in his life, and he became paralyzed; very paralyzed, he couldn’t really move at all.  He was 60 in 1763; he spent his days in Shepton Mallet, England.  I like the name, Shepton Mallet, it sounds pretty sweet.  Anyway, Parfitt’s favorite hobby was sitting outside his sister’s house, looking over the fields.  That was probably his only hobby, since he couldn’t do much else.  On the night in question, Susannah, Parfitt’s sister, took a neighbor with her to bring him in for the evening.  When they went to find him, he was gone; all that was left was his folded coat, upon which he was sitting.  This story strikes me as quite creepy, as there is no way this man could have run off.  Was he kidnapped?  Seems unlikely, as there was no ransom note or even a body found.  The interesting thing about this case was that it was investigated off and on up to 1933!  That’s 170 years of looking for a solution to this one mystery.  Not a single clue was ever found.
            Have you heard of Bennington, Vermont?  I know I haven’t; not until I began my research.  It’s true, I may be geographically challenged; I may not have studied cities in far away states enough in school.  Whatever the case may be, a lot of paranormal enthusiasts and researchers are probably very aware of this place; because strange occurrences happened in this place over a period of time, this whole bevy of events was dubbed the Bennington Triangle.  This city and the surrounding area in Vermont, for a period of time, seemed to suck up people, just like the infamous Bermuda Triangle.  Unlike its more famous counterpart, the Bennington disappearances were much more mysterious, as they occurred on dry land in front of witnesses.  On December 1st, 1946, 18 year old Paula Welden took a walk on the Long Trail that lead to Glastonbury Mountain.  She was not alone on the trail; a couple was about 100 yards behind her and had a clear view of Welden until she reached a turn in the trail behind a rocky outcropping.  When the couple took the turn, they should have seen Welden in front of them, but they didn’t.  She could have left the trail, but no one has heard anything from her since that day.  It could be a simple case of abduction, or a complicated case of abduction, no one really knows.
            The weirdest Bennington account, in my opinion, involves James Tetford.  This event also took place on December 1st, but in 1949.  Tetford was an ex-soldier and he lived in a soldier’s home.  He was heading to this home on a bus with 14 other passengers.  When the bus got to its destination, Tetford was missing.  The other passengers claimed they had all seen him sleeping on the bus, but at the end of the journey, he just wasn’t there; though all of his belongings remained, his luggage on the rack and a bus timetable on his seat.  Tetford was gone.  He has not claimed his possessions or even been sighted since that night.  No one saw him actually disappear; but how could he have departed the bus while it was moving and no one saw him get up?
            In October of 1950 an animal caretaker left her son playing near a pigsty while she looked after some other animals.  Just a little bit later, she returned to her son, named Paul Jepson, only to find he was nowhere to be seen.  Of course, huge searched were conducted, but the child was never found.  This kid was eight, probably a rather small chap; maybe this time, the disappearing person actually did fall into a hole.  Yes, it is weird that absolutely nothing was ever found, but maybe the little bugger ran off somewhere.  However, it still seems odd that there was no trace of him.  Is this part of the country really a hotbed of mysterious disappearances?  There’s a local belief that Native Americans thought the Glastonbury area was cursed.  There is no substantial evidence to prove that claim.  There are also tales of hairy, wild men roaming those parts.  What they have to do with people disappearing under strange conditions is beyond me.  These mysterious “triangles” have a way of making a nice place a magnet of paranormal activity.  The Bridgewater Triangle is another example of an area that just happens to have weird things going on in it.  This triangle and others like it will be discussed at length in a future entry.  I will also discuss why every mysterious location is somehow in the shape of a triangle.
            So what should we make of these reports of people who seemingly fall of the face of the earth?  Rips in time and space could be a possibility.  The phenomena could sometimes be erratic; such could be the case in the few sporadic disappearances.  These rips could also follow some sort of pattern, as in the case of the Bennington Triangle.  What causes these rips, if that is in fact the root of these vanishings?  They could be just random environmental and time shifts, caused by some upset in the universal balance of things.  They could purposely be formed by a higher intelligence.  Or that same higher intelligence may have accidentally created these rifts as a result of tampering with the cosmos.  Can humans of the future travel through time?  Does that cause a dimensional shift that somehow sucks up people from their present time and place?  Maybe these people are intentionally being taken.  Perhaps aliens aren’t confined to abducting and returning people while they are sleeping.  Maybe aliens need a few people to keep for a long time for continuous study.  In the stories I have mentioned, it seems that aliens or whatever pilots UFOs are behind the mass disappearances.  The Lake Anjikuni disappearance is a prime example.  If this story is true, I think something UFO related happened there.  There weren’t even footprints to show that the villagers went anywhere.  If it were a simple rift in time and space, wouldn’t all the living things in that area have been taken?  Why were the dogs left behind?  I think the dog issue is going to bug me forever.  The same thing goes for the hippies and the battalion.  It looks like they were literally taken from earth by something up above.
            Whatever is going on, is it still going on today?  Yes, people go missing; but these days it doesn’t seem to happen as mysteriously as before.  I’m sure there are still rips in time and space, I don’t think they would’ve just gone away.  Will these people ever be found?  So much time has passed, it’s hard to tell.  My thoughts remain on Lake Anjikuni and the village that disappeared.  Did it really happen?  If so, where are they now?

Friday, August 5, 2011

Scary Scary Lake

            So I just learned about another lake monster the other day.  This one is very different from other lake monsters that I have written about.  This one is much more sinister, and, believe it or not, much more mysterious than any other lake monster that I’ve heard about.  The lake in question is called Elizabeth Lake.  This lake is located near Palmdale in LA County.  Some say that this is the oldest lake in the state.  I’m not really a person who studies lake history, so I couldn’t tell you for sure.  This lake has been nicknamed Laguna Del Diablo; and if you look at the history of this lake, it’s easy to see why.
            Elizabeth Lake lies on the San Andreas fault line.  From what I’ve heard, fault lines are scary and interesting places.  There’s an unpredictable nature to them, and they can produce all kinds of odd phenomena.  Could this be the reason that something strange is attributed to the lake?  Perhaps.  Read on and maybe we can figure something out.
            This area, in the 1800s, was inhabited by Spanish settlers.  However, weird things happened in the lake way before the Spanish got there.  Native American legends suggest that a dark force created the lake.  To the Spanish, this dark force translated into the Devil.  A few sightings and the influence from Native American stories became the legend; the monster of Elizabeth Lake.  Tradition states that Satan is indeed the one who created this lake to house one of his favorite pets.  It is also said that the bottom of this lake contains a passage to Hell.  So I suppose the lake serves as some sort of backyard, where the Devil’s pet can get out, get some exercise, and wreak some havoc.
            The monster itself sounds absolutely appalling.  It has bat wings, a giraffe neck, a bulldog face, six legs, it’s about fifty feet long, and of course, it stinks to high heaven.  Apparently, this beast was so fowl and its presence was so greatly felt, that ranchers thought they needed to abandon their land just to escape the monster’s clutches.             
            This horrible creature first really made itself known in the 1830s, and tortured a man named Don Pedro Carillo.  This guy had a ranch built very close to the lake.  One night, not one, not two, but all of his ranch building burned down.  Carillo soon left the place, claiming the disaster was the work of the devil.  Was it really the monster that caused this?  No one saw it actually starting the fire that night; however, the lake was starting to get a pretty bad reputation.
            Later on, in the 1850s, some American settlers who moved in near the lake were terrorized by late night visions, disturbing screams, and other unnatural phenomena.  They too fled from the lake.  It seemed, at this point, that the area was uninhabitable. 
            Another brave soul tried to make the land his home, Don Chico Lopez.  He was lured into a sense of security, as nothing at all happened the first few months after moving in.  Eventually, animals started to go missing.  We’re not talking about an occasional dog running off, we’re talking about giant cows just vanishing.  To make things worse, a giant shadow of a winged entity would cast itself over the house each and every night.  This is when the actual sightings began.  Workers were actually seeing this abomination!  A few of the hands actually took a shot at this thing, and the bullets reportedly bounced right off its hide.  If I were there, I’d definitely quit; apparently, many of the ranch hands felt the same way.  Those animals kept disappearing, the terror was evidently mounting, so Lopez had to give up and sell his property.  Again, the land around the lake was abandoned.
            As if everything wasn’t weird enough, things were about to get decidedly stranger when Miguel Leonis stepped up and purchased the land.  This guy was very tough, so when the monster started picking off his animals, Leonis was certainly not going to turn his tail and run.  Instead, one night he hid and waited for the creature to rear its ugly head.  Of course Leonis shot at it, but when he discovered that this had no effect, he did one of the craziest things I can imagine; he ran right up to it and attacked it with the butt of his gun.  He ended up punching it in the eye; quite an amazing maneuver if this thing was really fifty feet across.  This must have really startled the Elizabeth Lake monster, because after that, it retreated back into the lake.  It turns out that the beast had a much more vicious bark than bite, because the next thing everybody knew, the monster took off, toward Arizona.
            It is here where the Elizabeth Lake monster meets up with another western legend to form one very tall and beastly tale.  It looked like the monster actually made it to Arizona, close to Tombstone to be exact.  In 1890, a large, winged creature appeared in the area.  Some cowboys lured it down and somehow killed it.  There even seemed to be a picture to accompany this wild claim.  A picture allegedly appeared in the Tombstone Epitaph in which a bunch of cowboys are posed with what seems to be a dead pterodactyl.  Some have suggested that the Tombstone pterodactyl and the Elizabeth Lake monster are the same thing.  This could be verified, had not the picture and apparently all copies of the newspaper gone missing; leaving nothing but a couple of crazy Wild West legends.
            So now that you know the history of the Elizabeth Lake monster, let’s try to put some pieces together, shall we?
            As with many lake monsters, this one is very old; Native American legend says so.  Something odd has haunted that lake for a long time.  Could it be the work of the fault line?  I’m sure its presence definitely has something to do with it.  Strange lights, feelings and noises could be associated with the lake for as long as anyone can remember, because of that darned fault line.  Skeptics will probably place all the blame on that lake’s location.  But what of the description of the beast?  It is no simple description; it’s immensely complicated.  With other lake monsters, the animal seems to differ from one sighting to the next.  And, perhaps that’s what happened with the Elizabeth Lake monster; maybe each individual sighting added up to make a very jumbled and disturbing creature.  If we do take it to heart that the chimeric appearance of the beast was actually a true description; what could it possibly be?  In a way, it sounds like some kind of saurpod, with the long neck and such.  But saurpods don’t have six legs, from everything that I know.  Could be an evolutionary deal, but I doubt it.  Perhaps the number of legs is the first of many exaggerations and misidentifications.  Something that fits that monster’s description has to be an exaggeration, right?  There is no way this thing could conceivably be real.  Unless it was, in fact, a true demon.  Really?  I’ve heard of demonic possessions and the occasional sighting of a little demon hiding in someone’s room.  I’ve heard of people being terrorized by demons, plagued by demons, and seduced by demons.  I have absolutely never heard of the Devil swinging by and dropping off a horrible demon off in a lake.  I suppose it could be possible.  The sightings stopped in the 1880s, maybe the Devil was bolder and more invested in terrorizing living people than he is now.  I don’t really know.
            Another theory, and I promise I didn’t make this one up, is that the Elizabeth Lake monster was no kind of living being.  Some say it was an alien spaceship.  No one knew what a spaceship was back then, so it might have been given the characteristics of some kind of living organism.  Underwater UFOs, or USOs, as they are now called, are a pretty common phenomenon these days.  There is all sorts of speculation whirling about that aliens, or whatever inhabits these craft, have set up underwater stations, out of reach of the human eye.  We haven’t been down to the deepest depth of the deepest ocean, so it could be possible.  Was Elizabeth Lake a sort of sea port for flying vessels in the Wild West era?  Some characteristics of this so called monster certainly don’t seem organic; such as the ability to thwart bullets.  Maybe it could be some sort of ship.  Yet I still can’t get over how organic this thing seems.  I imagine a horrible face and head sitting atop a slithering, prowling creature; its muscles undulating beneath its leathery skin.
            The most intriguing part of this story, to me, is the fact that the sighting suddenly stopped.  This creature had seemingly been around for hundreds of years, first making its appearance known through native legends.  It faces one attack, and, at least in California, that’s the last anyone sees or hears of it.  Did Miguel Leonis really fight off a beast from hell?  I’m pretty sure there have been no modern sightings; nothing, not even from a lunatic trying to hold on to some bygone legend.  To me it seems that this was a Wild West legend that died when the west got significantly less wild. 
            And what of the Tombstone event?  Was this really the same horrible creature from the lake?  The real question is what happened to that infamous photograph of the downed monster?  Volumes have been written trying to make sense of this, and I just won’t get into that now.
            What a lot of rambling just to tell you about a simple monster.  It’s a really interesting story, with very strange aspects to it.  Whatever it was, I’m pretty sure it’s gone now.  Maybe it died, maybe it went back to the underworld, and maybe, just maybe, it didn’t exist at all.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Beyond the Curtain

            They say that monsters don’t really come from our earth.  They say that some monsters and ghosts come from other dimensions.  They say that even some UFOs are not from outer space at all, but simply from another dimension.  Who are they?  A select few monster, ghost, and UFO hunters and theorists.  It is a theory that seems to tie things up quite tidily.  It makes a good explanation as to why no one can get any concrete evidence; the strange being or whatever simply slipped back into their dimension.  I can certainly see the possibility of parallel realities.  I bet these alternate existences can account for a lot of crazy things that happen out there.  So let’s go over the whys and why nots regarding the possibility of parallel universes and the phenomena connected to them.
            I’m going to start out with regular people.  I understand that people have been proven to exist and there is evidence of said existence everywhere.  So I guess you can’t really call people paranormal phenomena.  However, stuff that happens to people can get kind of weird.  Have you ever had a day where everything seems slightly off to you?  It could be a personal problem, I mean, we aren’t always at the top of our game.  But sometimes, maybe it isn’t us.  Maybe something weird is really going on.  We very well could have slipped into a parallel, albeit similar, universe.  This is highly unlikely, since the illogical implications of this would be astoundingly numerous.  For instance, how do we move from one universe to another?  Does it happen while we are asleep?  How do we get back to our own universe after slipping into another?  Are parallel universes really that similar that we can hardly tell the difference?  Though it is very unlikely that we jump around from universe to universe on a regular basis; perhaps the theory of being sucked into a parallel dimension isn’t that far out.  People disappear sometimes.  I’m not talking about those cases where there is a tiny bit of evidence that suggests that the person was killed, kidnapped, or vanished on their own accord; I’m talking about a person that straight up vanishes.  They have perfectly normal lives, no true enemies, and close bonds to other people.  Then one day, they are gone.  I’m not making this up.  I watch a lot of true mystery shows and I read about this stuff as well.  There have been people who have to reason to run away, but they vanish, with no clues as to their whereabouts.  Could it be that these people have disappeared into another dimension?  Where else could they have gone?  Of course, there are many logical explanations; but maybe, just maybe, this is the solution to some of those missing person cases.  The police can’t put “skipped dimensions” on a report, though I’m sure that some of them want to.  My question is do any of these people ever come back?  The answer looks grim.  Unless they somehow manage to come back to their correct universe hundreds of years from where they initially left.  If that were the case, wouldn’t we be finding missing people from bygone eras?  I haven’t heard of a medieval knight showing up in the modern streets of London.  If a person popped up that was obviously from the past, I think we would have heard about it.  Maybe these missing people from our time and from older times will never come back; or they just haven’t come back yet.
            Then there is the missing time phenomenon.  People sometimes discover that they have missed a few hours, such as a road trip taking a much shorter time than expected; or the very opposite, a road trip taking much longer than expected.  Missing time is usually attributed to aliens.  Could it also be a journey through a parallel dimension?  They could have passed through some sort of wormhole that stretches or shrinks time.  Maybe it’s some weird space physics thing that I don’t understand and really shouldn’t be talking about. 
            I think that some people, while not actually stepping into one, have glimpsed parallel universes.  Yes, people have wandered into scenes from the past; there are famous accounts of such incidences.  However, there are stories of people seeing houses that tend to disappear.  There are also stories of entire towns showing up that shouldn’t be there, and vanishing just as quickly.  Are all of these instances shadows from the past?  Why couldn’t they be inter-dimensional houses and towns?  Maybe some houses in a parallel universe are built on some sort of dimensional rift.  The same thing could happen in our universe, but have you ever heard of a person going home and their house just wasn’t there?  There seems to be a lot of evidence that allows for other realities to seep into our own, but very few occasions in which our universe releases anything that belongs to it into other dimensions.  Perhaps we are the less evolved reality, we have yet to discover how to enter a parallel universe.  That’s why they are always coming to us. 
            Then are monsters multidimensional beings?  Are they the ones who possess the power to enter into our reality?  I’ve heard the theory many times, that monsters are not really of this plane of existence.  If that’s the case, the veils between realities are oddly specific.  If Bigfoot is from a parallel universe, why then is he only seen in the woods and other hard to reach places?  Why is the Loch Ness Monster only seen in that lake?  Could it be that Bigfoot prefers our forests to the ones in his dimension?  Maybe our wilderness is a vacation destination for an entire population of alternate reality Bigfoots.  Does Bigfoot—who by all accounts seems to be smarter than an ape, but not quite as smart as a human—possess the ability to travel to different universes?  If it is an accidental shift, why doesn’t Bigfoot show up on the streets of a busy city?  Would these inter-dimensional portals really be that specific to the creatures that pass through it?  I think our world is mysterious enough, I think our monsters are from Earth.  Tears in our reality just don’t fit the monster agenda.  It doesn’t make a whole lot of sense.
            You could say that ghosts are the best example of travelling between alternate realities.  Brief flashes of out of place people certainly seems to be evidence of universe overlap.  I understand that certain locations may contain a vortex, or doorway to another world.  If you have a vortex in your house, weird things are bound to happen.  But if you have one side of a vortex on your end, where is the other end?  Some vortices lead to the other side, and by other side, I mean afterlife; you know, where dead people hang out.  Now this particular other side could also be categorized as some sort of parallel universe; it’s where people travel to when they pass on.  I don’t really want to go into that, so I won’t.  I want to talk about alternate realities that contain living beings.  So yes, it’s pretty obvious that some ghosts are spirits of the dead; since these particular ghosts can be recognized and historically backed up.  What about one time ghost sightings?  Or sightings of a ghost that really has no business being in that location?  People sometimes get a glimpse of a person that seems to be out of place and these people tend to disappear with no logical explanation.  Are these the sightings of actual ghosts?  Or, maybe these are sightings of a person who slipped into our dimension.  Maybe the people who come from other realities don’t necessarily realize what has happened to them.  Perhaps people from our universe slip into others as well.  If a certain location contains the right kind of vortex, people could be popping in and out of realities and hardly realize it.  The journey may last a split second.  In essence, we could be each other’s ghosts.  This may be a good explanation for a one-time ghost sighting.  If you catch a glimpse of some strange man in your hallway, but you only see him once, does that mean you have a certified haunted house?   Probably not.  It could be a spirit passing through; but it also could be a little slip up in the order of the universe.  People in this world have claimed to see visions of scenes that should not be there; a look into the past, or what seems to be the future.  Could this be evidence that people from our time and place can slip through a rip in reality and see a different world?  Inter-dimensional traveling may account for at least a few ghost sightings.  And I’m only talking about the really weird ones, the ones that don’t make historical or familiar sense.  It could just be an overlay of a different dimension.
            If you’re going to try and travel through parallel universes at will, you probably need some kind of technology to do it.  Perhaps some sort of advanced flying machine?  Are UFOs multidimensional travelers?  Do they come from another universe and not from outer space?  You’d think that a trip into another dimension could be accomplished on the ground, but maybe not.  Perhaps the upper atmosphere is the optimal place to try and cross into another reality.  Yes, aliens could be alternate earthlings.  Not all of them, mind you; the ones that take soil samples and mutilate cattle probably aren’t from a neighboring universe.  Those ones probably come from the far reaches of the galaxy.  As far as abductions go, parallel universe travelers could still want to do tests on us.  Maybe they are looking for something, something that would help their dimension prosper.  Maybe a cure for a disease?  A way to repopulate a dying planet?  I apologize for being too speculative, but you kind of have to in my field.
            So do I think parallel universes exist?  I’m on the fence about that.  Mainly because the mathematics and physics of the concept would blow up my brain if anyone tried to explain it to me.  From a strictly paranormal point of view, it’s all possible.  If I have an open mind about one thing, I should open my mind up to everything.  Just tell me next time you pop into another dimension, tell me what it’s like.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Crazy vs. Scary

I’ll be the first to admit that I am a crazy woman.  It’s been a tough journey, but I think I’ve finally reached an acceptable stance on life.  I’ve risen above the dark depression that was my life and I am now functioning quite ably.  However, I’m not here today to talk about my life.   I want to write about mental illness and the paranormal.  I know a few people who have suffered from bipolar disorder, suffered way more than I have.  I have never reached the point of hallucination, but I am well aware of others who have gone down that path.  When one is hallucinating, things definitely seem a lot more paranormal than when one is not hallucinating.  Yes, that was an odd and obvious statement, but I think it is crucial to my point.  How many people who regularly experience the paranormal have something wrong with their brain?  I bet a lot of ghost problems could be cleared up with simple medications.
Of course I’m not saying that every paranormal experience is the result of a tortured mind.  I wouldn’t have this blog if that were the case.  A ghost here, a monster there; these sightings are bound to occur.  They occur because there is very likely something strange going on; something on the fringe of human understanding.  The people I will generally be talking about from now on are those who see the paranormal everywhere, yet cannot find a way to gather proof.  If you bring me a picture that just remotely looks like it has something strange in it, I probably won’t discount your sanity.  I mean, in this case, it at least looks like you’re making an effort to document what you saw.  Evidence is a good thing to have when you want people to believe you, including yourself.  If you don’t happen to have a camera or any kind of recording device on hand when a sighting occurs, it’s good to have some friends with you; a group sighting is a sure way to confirm a paranormal experience.  So yes, there are many instances when a sighting is not a mere figment of the imagination; and it can happen at any time, alone, in a group, asleep, awake, in Pittsburg.  You never know when a sighting is going to creep up on you.  Now that we have discussed the lighter side of ghosts and other freaky encounters, let’s dig a little deeper, deeper into the human mind.
Even when a person has type two bipolar disorder, strange things happen to the mind.  When I was at my lowest point, I would think that a demon was trying to possess me, or some witch doctor had put a curse on me.  Now that I am out of that depressing haze, I can see now that my paranoia was completely unfounded.  Sure, there were some scary and dark times, but everything was occurring in my head; I know for a fact that no external forces were at work.  How do I know this?  Because once I was on the right doses of the right medications, I got better.  I’ve never heard of a demon being scared off by medication.  Those with type one bipolar disorder are much worse off than me.  They see things, hear things, and believe things that simple aren’t there and aren’t true.  As in my case, I’ve seen medication stop all of these bipolar symptoms as well.  This leads me to believe, and I think I have a good reason to believe, that sometimes the paranormal is contained inside of one’s own head. 
The people who come to mind as I write this are those who can see something strange while at the same time and the same place, others see nothing.  I will admit that some people are more sensitive than others; and apparently, ghosts have the ability to show themselves to certain people.  Yet if you hang around a person and they see spirits everywhere they go, aren’t you going to question their sanity?  I would.  It sounds like paranoia and delusions to me; and for some people, it doesn’t take alcohol or illegal substances to get there.
Mental instability is a very serious thing.  Undiagnosed and untreated, it can lead to extremely severe consequences down the road.  I don’t understand why so many people are opposed to medication.  I’ve seen it work for people time and time again.  Sure, excess use is bad for a person, but that is a no-brainer.  People are worried about long term damage to their bodies; yes, this is a possibility, but regular blood tests and visits to the doctor with monitor and probably eliminate any problems.  Why are people so scared of medication?  If they try it, and the bad things go away, wouldn’t it be a relief that it was all in their head and the condition is manageable?
What really concerns me are the parents of children who see spirits.  I’m totally on board with the idea that children can be very sensitive to ghosts and emotions.  It is here that I believe each child need to be looked at on a case by case basis.  We’ve come very far in our ability to diagnose and treat mental illness.  For some of these kids, their parents refuse to even try medication.  Instead, they encourage their kids to see more and more ghosts and scary things that probably aren’t even there.  This leads to a depressed and withdrawn child; a child who has their life pretty much ruined because their parents can’t even take the time to get them to the doctor.  Think about how much grief and hurt this child could avoid if the parent allowed their kid to at least try medication.  Sure, it won’t work all the time, because some kids are actually sensitive.  But for those who have a legitimate mental illness, a few little pills could probably make the scary things go away.
So when you read a supposedly true ghost story, or talk to a paranormal witness, it’s not a good idea to take things at face value, or even as an outright lie.  If these stories about ghosts or other scary night dwellers seem to be full of holes, disjointed, or just plain unbelievable; this person might be sick.  Mental illness is not as uncommon as one would hope.  I just think a little doctor and medication intervention could ease at least some of the terror that occurs when the lights go off.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Circular Logic

 I’ve never really found crop circles to be that interesting.  Of course, I’ve never been near or in one, so I don’t know what I’m missing, I guess.  Some people are nuts about them.  They can’t get enough of those mysterious circles.  They are very interesting to look at, I will admit that.  The geometry and almost perfect execution of a pattern is quite fascinating.  They get more complex as time goes by, so, that’s pretty sweet.  I just didn’t get caught up in the crop circle fever because, for the most part, I think they’re human created.  Though, if that is the case, it’s still pretty impressive.  This would be art; very complicated, ingenious, illegal art.  A human doing this in the middle of the night with simple tools is proof of human creativity at its best.  Doug and Dave, the most infamous crop circle creators, sure took credit for all the crop circles made during a certain span of time.  How could they do all of them?  They were based in the U.K., but other countries and continents were afflicted with crop circles during that same time.  Doug and Dave couldn’t possibly have created every crop circle from 1978 to like, 1991.  I’m sure there were tons of copycat artists, so that explains a few more crop circles.  Still, after all the debunking that crop circles have gone through, some people still find them to be mysterious and magical.  Why is this?
            Even the most die-hard crop circle enthusiast knows that most crop circles are hoaxes.  Not all of them though; according to these people, true crop circles are not made by mortal men.  Instead, they provide a long list of alternate explanations; aliens, inter-dimensional contact, messages from the Earth itself, among many others.  How do you tell the difference between a hoax and the real deal?  Some say the really fancy ones are human made, while the simple, circular indentation on a field is a true crop circle.  It’s a sign of a landing spacecraft; they don’t bother with the fancy shapes.  Others can just “feel” when a crop circle is genuine.  There have been many reports of strange goings on inside these circles, from electrical equipment malfunctions, to people feeling sick or even energized.  What really separates the real from the fake, supposedly, is how the wheat, or whatever kind of crop, is individually affected.  In what is considered to be true crop circles, the plants themselves seem gently bent and interwoven.  Upon closer inspection, it looks like the plants were exposed to a very brief flash of intense heat, from the inside.  Also, the plants remain alive and able to grow.  Some say this would not be the case if a human simple trampled on the plants.
            If extraterrestrials are doing this, the question is, why?  If they are so advanced that they can fly around, undetected, at night with lasers or something to make these intricate designs, why are they using this medium to express themselves?  I know aliens are very secretive, but this is almost silly.  It makes no logical sense to me, but then again, I’m not an alien.  Maybe making circles and patterns is just the way they communicate.  If that is the case, are the messages really intended for us?  I know that they are created on the Earth on human property; but maybe we aren’t the intended recipient.  The circles are viewed best from the air; you’d have to be in a plane, helicopter, or a spaceship to fully appreciate the crop circle pattern.  So maybe these crop circles serve as a marker to other aliens.  If an alien in a spaceship was communicating with its fellow race or allies, I bet the signs serve as a marker.  “We’ve already explored this area and mutilated enough cattle, we can move on to other areas.”  The intricacy of the crop circle design may tell the alien’s friends what kind of work was done and where they are going next.  Why they don’t just call each other, I don’t know.  Well, they probably do, but just like landscapers, construction workers, and electricians on Earth, they rely on certain markings to tell each other where they’ve been and where they are going to go next.  If you want to take a different approach, maybe crop circles are graffiti of some sort.  Opposing aliens telling each other that they have staked their claim on earth turf and rival aliens need to go somewhere else to do their alien things.  Humans mark their territory in many ways; be it fences, walls, deeds to property, or good old fashioned gang graffiti.  We have ways of telling each other “this is my space, get away”.  There have been many little fights and sometimes outright wars over certain property and whom it may or may not belong to.  Would aliens be the same way?  They must be getting along alright, because we generally don’t see spaceships battling it out in our skies.  Maybe the aliens are nice enough to have their turf wars out of sight of humanity.
            Most croppies (crop circle lovers call themselves that, right?), however, believe crop circles are intended for humans.  Crop circles have accumulated quite a following over the years.  Some seek spiritual enlightenment within the circles.  Something about the magnetic fields they find, I’m sure.  People bring in psychics, dowsing rods, and EMF detectors; they find all sorts of crazy things.  As mentioned before, cameras and other electrical equipment tend to act bizarrely in a crop circle.  If humans created all the crop circles; are they creating these magnetic fields as well?  I highly doubt it, unless some sort of mass hysteria is involved, but let’s not go down that path.  Some people believe that crop circles are messages from the Earth itself.  Ancient energy, trapped in the ley lines of Earth is manifesting itself as intricate designs in crops all over the world.  It’s a very strange explanation, but I rather like it.  The thought that the place on which we dwell is trying to contact us through mysterious means is quite intriguing.  What is mother earth trying to tell us?  Probably stop polluting or fighting or something obvious like that.  That’s what I would say if I were the Earth.  But I doubt I would try to get my message out there in the form of crop circles.  No one seems to be getting the messages of these circles very clearly.  The paranormal community loves to talk about them, but how can we make any progress in getting to the bottom of this when no one has seen a genuine crop circle being created?  It’s like they come out of nowhere and are made in a very short amount of time.  I guess these things remain on people’s minds because they aren’t going away, they keep appearing all over the world.  Fake or real, they’re very interesting to look at.  Though they aren’t very high on my paranormal interest list, I must keep them in my mind, for some of them truly are a mystery.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Old School Ghosts

            Has anyone ever seen a ghost of a caveman?  I think I read a fictional, Victorian ghost story about a caveman ghost, but I’ve never heard any reports of such ghosts that claimed to be true.  This brings up a major question that occasionally swirls around the paranormal community.  Do ghosts have a life span?  Would you call it a life span?  Wouldn’t it be some sort of death span?  Well, whatever.  I can see that ghosts could stop wandering this earthly plane when they finish up their business and go into the light, or whatever.  Are there instances when their energy simply runs out?  One of the big theories about ghosts is that they are a form of trapped energy.  Some people believe that energy from a human doesn’t simply cease to exist, rather, it can become stuck on earth.  A violent, unexpected death is one way a person’s energy might hang around.  The person may be so surprised by their death, they probably aren’t even aware that it happened.  A lot of people say that some spirits cannot rest in peace until their business on earth is taken care of; that’s why they stick around, trying to get someone to see them and help them out.  Other ghostly manifestations include an imprint of energy on the environment.  These ghosts can’t interact with the living, it’s simply a replay of events.  Anything can trigger a residual haunting; the weather or a change of any kind to the environment.  I bet a residual haunting’s energy disperses quicker than a trapped soul.  I’ve never been a ghost, though, so I’m not really sure. 
            So what is the life span of a ghost?  Some say it can be as long as 500 years.  That seems reasonable.  I don’t hear much about ancient Egyptian ghosts; though that would be awesome!  We also don’t see any ancient Greek or Roman ghosts.  Not to my knowledge anyway.  If you have a story about a ghost from an ancient civilization, please let me know.  I guess ghosts just can’t hold it together anymore after 500 years.  If they have unfinished business, perhaps they realize that if they can’t get it taken care of in half a century, it’s never going to get done, and maybe they finally move on.  Why 500 years?  Your guess is as good as mine.  Maybe it has something to do with earth cycles, whatever those may be.  Maybe it has to do with some sort of energy decay.  A half life or something?  Almost everything eventually decays, the matter just falls apart after a certain period of time.  I guess ghosts just reach their energy limit at 500 years.
            However, I’m still stuck on the caveman ghosts.  Let’s imagine that we live in prehistoric times, when the first homo-sapiens popped up.  If you were one of the first of what we now call a modern human, what kind of spirits would you be haunted by?  If any at all?  Do you think that the spirits of Neanderthals or Cro-Magnons would be flitting about?  I think this brings up many questions that could be included in the great debate of creationism versus evolution.  Now I believe in both, but some things just don’t make any sense to me.  I think, if you become a ghost, you need some sort of soul, a spark of life, a knowledge of your own self and how you interact with other people.  So, at what point in human evolution did we acquire a soul?  Was it when we first walked upright?  When we used the first tools or made the first fire?  When we first developed verbal communication?  When we first knew and understood what death was?  Were we ever too primitive to have a soul?  Religious scholars tell us that only humans can have a soul.  Yet there are hundreds of stories of pets returning and interacting with their owners; it’s beyond a mere residual haunting.  If these stories are to be believed, how are these pets coming back if they don’t have souls?  Maybe a soul is really a being’s energy, the energy of life itself.  Maybe to be alive means you have some sort of soul, every living creature has that living spark.  I don’t think that plants have souls, though, they really aren’t that sentient.  I absolutely have never heard of a ghost bush or tree.  Sorry tree huggers, I just don’t think it’s a possibility.
            So if living energy constitutes some kind of soul, there had to have been Neanderthal ghosts, right?  The Neanderthals, by all accounts, knew what death was, and, just like people today, they could die very unexpectedly; probably even more so.   A Neanderthal would be walking to his cave, minding his own business, when a saber-toothed tiger jumps out of the brush and snaps his neck.  I think that would be pretty unexpected, and it might create a ghost.  However, unlike today, where most people are aware of at least the possibility of ghosts, Neanderthals probably freaked out when Oog started appearing to his family again.  To the primitive mind, death is the very end.  It’s when you know that they won’t get up again, and their body is just taking up cave space.  They get rid of the body somehow, and that’s it.  So if Neanderthals could become ghosts, I think that may throw things into chaos.  How is Oog standing right there when everyone knows he was devoured by a saber-toothed tiger?  This makes me wonder who the first ghost was, and how they became a ghost in the first place.  I’ll have to dwell on that for a while.  Now, these thoughts lead me to other ideas.  It is a stated fact that humans and dinosaurs never lived at the same time.  However, strange drawings and other bits of prehistoric information sometimes trickles in and confuses us.  Why are there cave paintings that seem to depict a giant reptile of some kind?  What if dinosaurs’ energy still swirled around humans’ very early ancestors?  Of course, this contradicts the theory that ghosts only last for 500 years.  The great thing about paranormal theories, though, is that you can be as far out as you want to be, because, as of right now, there’s no definite way to be proved wrong.  Though I do think I kind of went off the deep end here.  It’s just that cavemen have always fascinated me.  They existed before that enigmatic explosion of civilization, and no one knows what started it.  Let’s save all of that for another time.
            In ancient Egypt, where it was really in style to be dead; ghosts were welcomed as proof of life beyond this mortal coil.  The soul was called ba and the spirit called ka.  The ba was a person’s traits and personality, while the ka was a person’s life essence.  When a person died, it was believed that the ba and ka united and created the akh.  It is the akh that could be interpreted by westerners as a ghost.  Indeed, the akh has very similar traits to what is thought to be a ghost today.  They could be good or bad, they tended to appear when their mortal resting place was disturbed or out of order, and they could certainly haunt people by causing them nightmares and such.  Though I can’t help but wonder if ancient Egypt even had that many ghosts.  They seemed to spend a lot of time preparing for death.  There were books that described what to do in the afterlife once you died.  Though ancient Egypt was very advanced, primal human nature still crept throughout this civilization.  Jealousy and a thirst for power probably plagued the ruling class.  Tons of pharaohs died before their time.  Just like today, you can be ready for death as much as you can, but if it’s suddenly taken from you, it all could get a little confusing, I’m sure.  I bet pharaoh ghosts appeared when their tombs were ransacked, that’s a definite possibility.  But who did they appear to?  I’m sure ghosts were well received by the general public, since the akh was considered to be something very real.  I bet most of the ghosts in ancient Egypt were the lower class or servants.  They probably died at their prime all the time; crushed by a huge pyramid stone, or during any number of hazardous building tasks that servants, slaves, and the Egyptian working class were made to do.  Did anyone care about low class ghosts?  Probably not.  
            The origins of how we imagine or perceive ghosts today, I believe, began in Classical Greece.  There seems to have always been ghosts in Greece, but they evolved as time went on.  At first, ghosts were actually kind of pitied, they were never feared, and they were kind of pathetic.  They wandered the earth and whined about it, I guess because Hades didn’t want them or something.  Later on, around the 5th century BC, ghosts got scary.  The dead had to be mourned in public, sacrificed to, sang to, and appeased in every way possible so the dead person’s spirit didn’t get angry and haunt his or her family.  Unlike today, cemeteries were thought to contain the spirits of the dead, as it was believed that a ghost hovered near its mortal body.  Today, most people who research ghosts think that the spirit takes up residence in a place where it feels comfortable or where they were killed.  They rarely hang out in cemeteries.  Back in ancient Greece, the living generally avoided cemeteries for the same reason that one avoids a haunted house.  The Greeks had a festival where they honored the dead and actually invited ghosts to come and hang out for a while.  After the party, however, the ghosts had to leave, no exceptions.  I’m talking a lot about traditions here, so did ancient Greeks actually see ghosts?  Very likely; it’s probably why a lot of rituals were put in place to appease them.  I will be researching actual ancient ghost stories eventually, so, you know, look out for that. 
            When we get to the Roman Empire, ghosts really branched out and became kind of fun.  Here, we start running in to haunted houses.  Some would be so haunted, they couldn’t be lived in.  The Romans figured out that a haunting could usually be stopped when a murdered person’s body was properly buried.  I think there was a lot of murder in Rome, just as in all the other ancient empires.  Murder seems to produce ghosts, so there you are.
            I would love to see the ghost of a caveman, or an ancient Egyptian, Greek, or Roman.  I just don’t think it’s very possible these days.  They seem to have all dispersed.  I don’t know how anyone came up with the 500 year timetable, but to me it seems fairly accurate.  Those caveman ghosts will always keep me wondering, and amused; seeing those cavemen running around in complete terror and confusion after seeing a ghost.  Is that cruel?  Have I rambled on enough?  Probably.