Thursday, December 20, 2012

Apocalypse 2012 - Beginning to end.

December 21, 2012. The impending doomsday of the Mayan prophecies is upon us. On the eve of this supposed “end of days”, I felt it appropriate to write on the theories and other worldly aspects of such ideas and concepts revolving around “The End”.

Starting as early as ancient times many cultures have developed or had an idea of an “end of time” scenario. The ancient Greeks believed in a theory known as; Eschatology, which translates to “end time” and is frequently referred to today as a study of time and the ages of man. These theories of life, death, and judgment via Greek Gods where transplanted into the Christian bible and is often used to refer to the “study” of life in general.

Other ancient civilizations like that of Egypt also refer to the end of time in the stories of the gods; Osiris, Isis, and Horus. They struggled to regain a strong hold for man over the destructive god Set. Another is the creation story of Ra, the sun god, who was the entity said to have created a world, inhabitable by men once he destroyed the evils of the universe.
Ancient Sumerians in Babylon (today the Middle East) foretold of the coming of a 12th planet called Nibiru that would collide with the earth causing the destruction of the human race. The planet today is not more than a frequent myth according to NASA but there is a planet that revolves around the sun every 3,600 years that many believe to be the mythical Nibiru planet.

French born chemist; Michael de Nostredame also known as Nostradamus in today’s academic and literary terms, was a well known “prophet” who predicted many world events during his life from the early to mid 1500’s. Contrary to popular belief, he was not ostracized by the church (unlike his astrological counterpart; Galileo) and in fact, worked closely with the bishops in the catholic community in Italy until the later years of his life.

Nostradamus used several unconventional methods that would induce a trance like state in order for him to foretell coming prophecies. Standing erect, against a brass pole, enabled him to produce a bio electric charge to help stimulate his brain into a more focused state. He also used a steaming bowl of water, filled with fragrant oils and herbs which allegedly helped promote the senses to further enhance his physic abilities. Some scholars speculate that Nostradamus may have even used mild hallucinogens, such as Nutmeg, to promote the visions he felt related to futuristic events, some of which where apocalyptic in nature.

Regardless of method or culture, societies have always been obsessed with an end of time event, typically under apocalyptic circumstances. Scientific facts show us the evidence of natural phenomenon such as earth quakes, floods, tsumani and volcanic eruptions that happened in the earliest development of the human societies. This could make some cultures believe heavily in the idea that a natural disaster could consume the entire planet, or even that of the human race.

Historical facts also point to the possibilities of an impending destruction of life as we know it and the human element involved in that idea is possibly the majority of the image portrayal in modern ideas of ancient prophecies. The majority of concepts today are heavily relied upon by Christian and Jewish based religious following from the text of the Hebrew and Christian Bible. Zoroastrianism, in Judaic teachings, refers to the resurrection of the dead during the end of days and a purification of the earth which involves the bringing of newness to our planet and the species that inhabit it. Also, the Christian bible offers its own explanation in the book of Revelations. The end of days, in Revelations, tells of a more apocalyptic scenario regarding the four horseman of the Apocalypse; Pestilence, famine, war and death and are followed by the second coming of Christ.

A modern  interpretation of the four horseman of the Apocalypse, according to the Christian bible. 

Most of what we believe today is fueled by social media and the twisted ideas and portrayals of these once structured understandings. Evolved with human beings, is the concept of whether or not it is reasonable to think that an entire group or civilization could be lost to such an event? And the answer is YES! Civilizations from the beginning of time have been struggling to keep their social and economic structures afloat. Leaving legacies; genetically, socially, and historically has been our way of not repeating events and mistakes that may harm us as a species. Though the brother hood of man seems to contradict that statement, the historical element in humanity has shown us that a broader range of survival has and always will be the ultimate goal in humans.

History repeats itself, or so they say; essentially leading us to know that with the knowledge and education of those before us we are armed, to a degree, against some apocalyptic events that may threaten us. Tomorrow’s “Doom’s Day” is the beginning of a new era. If nothing more than a metaphor for starting over, a new beginning is sometimes better than the insanity of chasing old ideas and understandings that leave us wondering what, where, when, why and how. If we can take anything from the idea that it may be our last day on earth, it would be wise to spend it with the ones you love. But what if you could not predict or foresee an apocalyptic event?

Prophets and psychics will always be an intriguing part of human history. Believers in the bible and Faith’s from all around the world have the universal understanding that something “greater” than human’s is out there. But in the face of an apocalypse would it really matter to the human species, what they believed? The idea that it all must end, no matter what your beliefs, ideas, or imaginations might bring forth, is irrefutable. If it lives, it must, at some point, die. 

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

The History and Horror of Zombies

The History and Horror of Zombies

Since the beginning of time, the human race has had a genuine fear of the dead. The idea of zombies, monsters, ghosts and other idealistic theories stem from our need to carry on some kind of relationship with our beloved deceased. The common idea is the soul is extinguished at death, and a inner life force is wisped away to another dimension. Is the stuff of ghost stories and legends, or is there some other reason why we go through the ritualistic processes of death?

Humans have long understood that death is the eternal rest of the soul and the end of a human being’s natural form of flesh and blood. The idea that the human consciousness can somehow stay attached to its former body may seem vague but not impossible. With that notion, there is a question of some aspect of immortality, whether through the spiritual concept of heaven and hell or, the living consciousness dwelling in another realm. However, there are stories that are littered throughout culture and history that suggest the flesh and blood of a once dead being, can reanimate.  This idea of a living consciousness, clinging to a dead body has long been a part of the emotional turmoil that helps fuel the fear regarding death and the unknown realms of a spiritual body.  

Many cultures, throughout time have rendered numerous tales and documented history of zombie like creatures. To differentiate the stories of evil spirits vs. humanoid-like zombie’s we will address them both here. The examples of evil spirits, and how they seem attached to human bodies can be found in the world’s oldest written manuscripts from ancient Samaria. The Sumerian story, “Epic of Gilgamesh” mentions flesh eating undead as does the ancient Chinese cultures that refer to angry flesh eating spirits that come to life known as the, "Jiang Chi". Similar spiritual possession is also documented in the ancient Greek myths of Cronus, who was the father of Zeus and ate his first five children.

Native American cultures believed that an evil spirit would need to posses a person in order to make them into a zombie. The "Wendigo", is a well known Native American spirit in the Northern United States and Canada. The Wendigo spirit was said to have the ability to posses a person and give them an insatiable hunger for human flesh. A documented case of this form of cannibalism took place in Alberta Canada in 1878 when an Indian Trapper known as “Swift Runner” was executed for butchering his family and eating them, later becoming an official diagnosis for a mental disease known a “Wendigo psychosis”. Another case took place during the days of the American frontier. Eighty Seven people, in what was known as the Donner party, moved from Missouri to California. They where essentially trapped in the bitter winter without resources (much like Swift Runner) and resulted to cannibalism of their dead. 

A depiction of the Wendigo Spirit

A few ancient text of actual humanoid type zombies are well documented in Nordic myths and speak of the furious and unrelenting nature of the Draugr which roughly translates to “after-walker”. The Draugr was said to be the walking corpse of someone who had died. Great warriors and men who held great political attributes in Norse societies gained a potential favor in becoming such monsters do to their responsibilities and obligations. However, the idea of the Draugr was frightful to say the least. A few identifying traits of the Draugr were its undeniable decaying stench, supreme strength and relentless appetite for the flesh of the living. The idea that one had become a Draugr, meant that the monster would need to be coaxed back into a grave or water from which it came. Land and sea Draugr’s where of course characterized by the location in which they where buried or perished.

The word zombie comes from the Haitian language and its literal translation means “animated corpse”. It's believed in VooDoo cultures, that a spell or concoction would give one the ability to control or deliberately consume another human being. West African cultures that practice VooDoo still practice this ancient magic today that is said to create zombies. These are known mostly in America, due to the documentation of slave narratives and the stories told in these African American cultures still alive in many parts of the world. The Voodoo and Haitian stories known today are all derived from the same idea that the dead do and will reanimate.

Whether by choice, charm, or some strange psychosis the idea of humans eating other humans can be a scary and, for lack of a better term, "consuming reality". In the new age of biological warfare and scientific understanding of pathogens, the reality of a biological outbreak regarding a zombie-like virus pandemic is not just a theory, it is already happening. Starting in the middle ages, plagues and outbreaks of illness and disease have long been a staple in human history. Documentations of such outbreaks have been recorded. The Black Plague wiped out more than half of the population of Europe and due to the lack of knowledge and education, most people associated the plague with that of a biblical punishment. In many parts of England, Scotland and Ireland during the middle ages, people buried their dead with stones in their mouths, stakes in their hearts and locked tightly in crypts to ensure that a re-animated corpse did not have a means to escape and reach the living. Many victims of plague and other diseases were in fact, buried alive. Sometimes those unconscious victims would wake in the grave and dig their way out. Exhausted and sick, you could imagine what it was like to have seen the walking corpse of a dead relative. This was so common in the middle ages that a name was given to those zombie-like beings. The “Revenant” was the flesh eating corpse or the spirit of one, that came back from death to torment the living. Though more closely associated with middle age Vampire legends, William of Newburgh documented many cases in the 1190’s in England.

Regarding pandemic, the more recent Spanish Flu or H1N1 strain, SARS, and Bovine Spongiform Encephlopathy (Mad Cow) disease are what we recognize today as global strains of virus and disease that seem to continually come about on the nightly news. These pathogens are a regular threat to human kind and an enemy we have no real way to fight. In the event of a pandemic or global outbreak, with the modernization of technology and study of biological diseases, it’s recognized that with any given number of infectious agents available to infect the human and animal species, the catalyst for such an event is already in favor of an outbreak on an apocalyptic scale. Take for instance the Kuru outbreak in Papua New Guinea in 1950’s. The Fore tribe was a virtually untouched tribe of indigenous people living in the eastern, mountains of Papua New Guinea. They had practiced cannibalism and sorcery for hundreds of years. When Australian administrators where exploring the outlining provinces of Indonesia, they discovered the Fore tribe and they were suffering from minor to extreme cases of  “Kuru” or “Shiver” disease, which was later discovered to be directly linked to cannibalism.

Cannibal tribes in the outer lining regions of Indonesia.
(it's estimated 70 million cannibalistic tribes are undocumented world wide) 

This prion (bacterial) based illness was found to make holes in the spongy material in the brain. Once it reached the brain through the blood stream, the disease causes a number of neurological issues from poor motors skills, jerking, tremors, facial twitches and depression to sudden outburst of laughter which led the Fore tribe to call it “laughing sickness”. Similar prions can be found in pathogens that cause Mad Cow disease, which essentially is the same type of illness, only in animals. Mad Cow disease was discovered in American cattle in 1989, but was proved no risk to humans until 1996 when one hundred and sixty six people died from the illness. The common source in spreading the disease comes from eating infected meats or bi-products used from the meats made from infected brain tissue. This is the same with the Fore tribe since eating the brains of their dead was common for hundreds of years.

With the understanding that our government regulates FDA approved food products, you could only hope that your Sunday roast isn't infected with the pathogen agents that cause such illnesses. However, with the lack of resources in many under developed countries and the lax in official documentation of such disease, even in the most developed countries, an outbreak of a zombie-like virus could be possible and spread rapidly on a global scale resulting in a pandemic. 

Given the nature of the human body, it doesn’t seem logical that a corpse-like zombie would be feasible. Without the proper muscular, skeletal, nervous and circulatory systems to drive it, the human body is not capable of sustaining itself for very long. However, if the body is in working order and the brain, under the right conditions of a virus cause a zombie-like state in a person or even animal, we could be looking at the possibility of some sort of reality to the conspiracy regarding the undead and zombies.

Technology and history has shown us that nothing improvable is compulsory. Still it would be in the best interest of everyone to have a general understanding of epidemics and pandemics and preparedness of a zombie/viral apocalypse. It may be closer than you think……

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Springvilla Specters

Springvilla Specters
Opelika, Alabama

September 22, 2012 was supposed to be a typical camping event put together by the Alabama Paranormal Research Team and Creepy Mountain Research. Team director, Faith Serafin of the Alabama Paranormal Research Team and Creepy Mountain Research, discussed the many unusual aspects and history of a location in Opelika, Alabama called Springvilla. Most of the paranormal research done here by the Alabama Paranormal Research Team has been ghostly in nature. But, recently some unusual sightings and happenings led our team to seek out other paranormal researchers, specializing in crypto-zoology after two separate incidences prompted the ghost hunters to seek out other explanations for the phenomenon. 

The first experience came in the early winter of 2011, when the Alabama Paranormal Research Team was working on a training exercise at the historic plantation. The spirits inside the 18th century mansion where buzzing with activity. K2 meters lit up on high electrical frequencies and the MEL meters picked up endless amounts of energy as we conducted numerous EVP sessions and recordings in real time. We picked up several voices that were responding to our questions. Shadows moved from room to room and the footsteps of an unseen entity traveled up and down the spiral staircase. After several hours of investigating the team stepped outside for some fresh air. We gathered around the front lawn, talking excitedly about the night’s events.

To our backs, the dark and foreboding night cloaked the surrounding forest in pitch blackness and a heavy, lingering fog began to roll in quickly. We watched over our shoulders as a mist appeared and took the shape of an oddly shaped carriage being pulled by ghostly horses. The team watched in amazement as it slowly disappeared into a vaporous cloud. This was a typical paranormal investigation at Springvilla, but, a very untypical event was about to happen that would add to the numerous paranormal experiences we've witnessed here over the years. 

As the night’s conversation progressed on, we must have stood on the lawn for about forty five minutes or so. We were in a deep conversation about the odd mist and the EVP’s inside the house. Suddenly an enormous crash bellowed from inside the forest, just fifty yards behind us. The sound was extremely loud and several thumping sounds occurred simultaneously. It was as if someone had pushed over a massive tree and was then running through the forest. Whatever it was, it was large and solid. All the team members present that night jumped at the sound and a few even ran from it. We all agreed that most likely this was nothing more than a fallen tree and went on with our investigation leaving the location in the early morning hours with no further experiences from the forest.

Some months later, another exercise was being conducted at the location. Again, the house seemed to be turning up great evidence in the form of EVP’s and a few unusual photos. But like before, the activity outside of the mansion would prove, once and for all, that either someone or something was indeed on the property. Team members sat inside the breezeway connecting the two sections of the house, as we watched for nocturnal animals (which are common here) we turned our attention toward the front of the park, where the main entrance is located. As we started toward the front part of the property something, of an enormous size, fell from a large Oak in the front. It sounded like a limb was falling, hitting other limbs on the way down, and shaking the tree entirely. We stood looking at the tree, waiting a few seconds and expecting a limb to come crashing down. But there was nothing there. We could see the tree rattling from something moving in it, and we could hear the enormous sounds of cracking and falling but saw nothing. As we approached the tree there was no indication of a fallen limb - whatsoever. No limbs sizable enough were on the ground that would cause the crashing or shaking. The dirt was scattered beneath the tree as if something had landed on the ground but we could not identify anything that had done so. Either a large and stealthy animal had jumped from the tree and disappeared, or some strange paranormal phenomenon was happening that we were not prepared for.

This final experience prompted the Alabama Paranormal Research Team’s director to contact friends at Creepy Mountain Research. Creepy Mountain Research (CMR) is an organization that studies cryptid phenomenon and sighting. Though no official sightings have ever been recorded in Opelika to our knowledge, we did learn from locals that this type of phenomenon is common in the Springvilla area. Determined to find out what kind of potential paranormal aspects pertained to these events, the Alabama Paranormal Research Team and Creepy Mountain Research set up a camping excursion and teamed up for a night of investigating the area for possible answers.

At 3:30 pm CST, I  met with CMR members and discussed the experiences my team and I had witnessed. We showed them the two locations where they occurred. They discussed the situation regarding the details but both agreed that in no way were we trying to imply or give some suggestion that would portray that a actual Sasquatch was in the area. However, we both had an understanding that the potential for one to be there was high, given the terrain, remoteness, and environmental contributions that could indeed sustain a small family of Sasquatch. We decided to set up camp in a hollow, just on the tree line, where the first experience happened in the winter of 2011. A few team members were apprehensive about staying in the location, but according to our Bigfoot researchers, this was a good place to set up. CMR took several photos inside the forest off a remote trail and found some possible signs that are common among areas inhabited by Sasquatch. Some sapling trees were bent over that allegedly mark boundaries by Sasquatch. Still, this wasn't enough to prove any existence of a cryptid creature in the area.  We settled in around the camp fire and were encouraged by the researchers to carry on with chatting and cooking, since this kind of activity apparently attracts Sasquatch.

As the night grew later we broke up into groups and set for the heavily wooded trails. CMR brought in gear commonly used by Bigfoot hunters such as a parabolic ear and recorder mounted on a tri-pod, a digital camera, headphones for high frequency listening, and a FLIR imaging camera designed to detect hot and cold temperatures. Armed with these devices, the first group traveled deep into the murky wilderness. They stayed gone for nearly an hour and when they returned, they discussed with the others that they had experienced a few very unusual things in the woods.

First they made a few calls to attract any potential Sasquatch in the area and found that something answered them back, still not convinced, they also tried “wood-knocking”, which is a form of communication between the creatures. Several sounds were reported to have been heard but no definitive proof was collaborated by the CMR team. However, an image was captured on the thermal camera that was promising and a sense of higher anticipation that some thing, characteristic of Sasquatch, was in the area, seemed to drive the CMR team to investigate further. An illuminated eye appeared near a tree on the camera. “Eye shine”, in Bigfoot hunting terms, is simply reflection of a creatures eyes that typically appear at night. Mark of Creepy Mountain informed us that these creatures have different colored eyes, much like humans do, and therefore eye shine can come in different colors as well. Green, blue, yellow and red are most common.

We were also informed at this time that the creatures have evolved into different species of Sasquatch. Whether by environment or genetics is only speculation but the common species found in the South and South-East parts of Alabama are known as the “long snout” or “long nosed" Bigfoot. Frequently, reports state that these creatures have “werewolf” like characteristics regarding appearance. I asked if the creatures could possibly be aggressive like the stereotypical werewolf. Mark told me that some species have been reported to be aggressive but they had never encountered any that were.

This lingered with my team and an uneasy feeling seemed to take over the entire camp since recently a story and a personal experiences from Talbotton County, Georgia, just a few hours from Opelika, Alabama, turned up a hundred year old werewolf legend. The team pressed on and set for the neighboring property across the road from the plantation. An open parking lot filled with small pea size gravel gave a good view under the quarter moon and open clear night sky. It was getting late, close to 3 AM, and at this point a few of the team stayed behind at the camp. We walked toward the wood line in the hopes of capturing more thermal evidence with the FLIR. CMR members noted more eye shine on the thermal viewer and made several calls and whistles, hoping to get a response. Only a few audible sounds came back as substantial. We noticed that an open trail was clear enough to walk down and so CMR and three members of the APRT walked down the trail while the rest of us stayed behind and scouted the field in case anything ventured through while they were on the trail.

We could plainly see where they were located on the trail by the flashing of the flashlights, some ninety yards in front of us. The mouth of the trail was open and the street light from the lodge illuminated the outline of the tree line while the denser part indicated the opening to the trail. Feeling confident that no living being could come into the location without us seeing it, we watched as the five of them set out down the dark trail. Several minutes went by and some movement and possible ghostly phenomenon seem to be happening inside the woods closest to those of us still in the open field. We sat quietly and listened and noted we could no longer hear our teammates on the trail. A shadowy figure began walking up the trail back to the opening and we agreed that the figure was most likely one of the team members since he appeared to be wearing the same grey shirt as one of them on the trail.

His behavior was odd in the sense that he walked up the trail and appeared to squat down in a crouched position, then stood back up and walked back down the trail. We could clearly make out his legs against the dark silhouetted opening of the trail and whoever it was didn't seem to mind when we flashed our flashlight on him. Clearly we could see that this was a man of some sort, a human being from what we all could gather.  Everyone in the field agreed that it was a team member. A few more minutes went by and we approached the trail when we saw the flashlights reemerge from the darkness. We met them on the trail and asked who had walked up earlier?

No one answered directly and so I asked them all individually. One by one they all denied being at the opening of the trail. CMR had been the furthest down the road, and APRT members, Tony and Shane were with them, another team member stood the closest to the opening but never came off the road and saw no one pass him either.

Perplexed and shocked we all stood, pondering and questioning the situation, trying to make sense of it all. We also noted at that time the five of them entered the trail, something appeared to be on all fours entering the trail with them but thought it was a large dog of some kind. Since they did not react to the animal we didn't see that any of them were in danger. We also noted there was no sound that we could hear when the four legged creature appeared or when the human figure appeared afterward. The group in the wooded area on the trail also reported seeing several sightings of red glowing eyes and the sound of a little girl talking. Strange indeed since neither of the circumstances seemed to fit a particular criteria and neither the Alabama Paranormal Research Team or Creepy Mountain could determine exactly what was going on.

Later we regrouped at the camp site and discussed the possibilities of the things we had witnessed. Everything from Skin Walkers to Sasquatch and ghostly theories were tossed around between all of us regarding the sighting. The unusual aspects of this experience seem to come with the fact that all of us in the field had seen this “being”. We did note that none of us could see facial features and it did appear to be the same size as the average man. We could not see any hair, suggesting a possible Bigfoot sighting, the figure was grey in color and extremely quiet. If this being was an apparition of some sort, it was truly the most elaborate and solid form of one anyone of us have ever seen. Second to that, with some potential evidence of a possible Sasquatch in the area, we could not rule that out either. The one thing we did agree on was that this being was so real and so obvious, that four of us would not go to sleep in the camp. If “someone” was there and they were stealthy enough to walk past five of our teammates in such close quarters, it might try to sneak up on us while we all slept. So, staying up and watching over the camp became the idol task of Faith Serafin, Robin “Bones” Rodriguez, and the CMR team.

As day broke I sat wondering what the possibilities were regarding what I had seen the night before, it was enough to perk my curiosity and also enough to rattle my fears that something other than spirits inhabit Springvilla. The Native Americans that lived at the location prior to Penn Yonge had a spiritual connection to the land. Its high quartz and limestone content made it a religious gathering spot and they buried their dead just a few hundred yards from where the plantation was built. Sasquatch is a spiritual being in Native American folklore and this lends some credibility to the sighting but it also is far from the typical sighting of Bigfoot. Since nothing like what we experienced has ever been reported in the area, if some cryptid creature does exist on the property, they are indeed masters of camouflage and hiding.

Speculation is the common awkwardness of whom or what this was.The experiences was an emotional one. Neither Creepy Mountain Research nor my team expected to witness what we did that night. We did not capture video or photo evidence of the being that night. Until we asked, we assumed it was a team mate. A lesson learned in these types of circumstances is that you can never rule out anything involving the paranormal; ghosts and spirits, cryptids, UFO’s and alien beings. And never - ever, be without a camera or other device capable of capturing potential evidence. We were not prepared for what we saw that night and, more than likely, we will never witness it again. I feel lucky to have seen it myself and shared it with many of my team mates. I can only share the experience with you through story. I understand the paranormal to a great degree but the experiences we have keep us understanding that we are forever in a learning circle of educating ourselves about what else exist in the world and what we consider to be “our” world as humans. We're supposed to be the supreme beings of the universe, at the top of the food chain, but I’m just not so sure that is the case anymore.  

Friday, June 29, 2012

The Most Reliable Specter

The Most Reliable Specter
A personal thought....

A plain and logical site turns to into a dark and unimaginable fright. You suffer through a temporary blindness that thickens with every brush of your hand. You stand motionless in the hopes that the darkness and gore around you will move on as if you are shielded from it by this thick, dense mist. Your heart pounds and you hold your breathe in every effort to not be seen, heard or felt. Your mind races over reasonable and rational explanations but you are locked away from logic and understanding. You are vulnerable both mentally and physically to beings not of an earthly realm. Fear turns into irrational emotion and you know that “THEY” already understand you are within their grasp.

You ask yourself: is it more important to make sense of this or try to understand that some medical condition is afflicting me? Do you dare tell of the angry, frustrated, and melancholy faces you see? Would you shun those children who are lost and hurt? Overlook the elderly who are still struggling to understand their potential destination? Do I ask if anyone else see’s the family pet who resolved from life ten years ago? What do I say to the man on the battlefield whose clothes are poorly sorted and stained with blood or the wild haired woman who has no understanding that she can not be seen in public in her naked state? Where do they come from? And where do they go?

It’s more than deplorable to know that you can not reach the dead without overcoming and understanding a fear that holds no boundaries and no limits over the living, an eternal struggle that is only bestowed upon a few worthy or unworthy souls. Barriers are lifted in communication with the dead but so must the living consider that they are far from living themselves. A mere shell of human flesh that grows and ages until the soul emerges upon its death. The parasite of life consists of few things to sustain itself but the soul of death lingers without a shred of dignity or moral, with no condition to warrant itself in any code of conduct.

Life creates fundamentalist hosts that carry the seeds of structured learning and understanding based on the human brain and the minds of great thinkers, but death is expelled from the that host and thrust into a world it once knew but is now ignored and eventually forgotten. Is death the extermination of the human soul?  If so, why do the dead linger in such states? Why does the structure of life leave the explanation of the dead so vague and obtuse? Answers and justifications are one in the same and the purpose of communication between the living and the dead is already broken but bridged by those passed on and still mending from beyond the world of the structurally accepted.

Locked away in the darkness and recesses of the mind is the awakening of a being not of flesh and blood but of pure energy. Without the physical, mental and emotional appendages of a human being, souls and spirits of beings who once were; the most reliable specter. 

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Unbreakable Bonds - Ryan's Story

Unbreakable Bonds
Ryan’s Story
Lagrange, Georgia

This story is dedicated to the memory of Thomas Ryan Noles and to his mother Kathy Weathers. Ryan struggled for many years to overcome addiction that would eventually take his life at the young age of twenty eight. His struggles have impacted his family both spiritually and physically and by writing his story, I hope to reach those who are also struggling to overcome addiction and or those trying to understand the paranormal aspect of losing a loved one, in the hopes that by identifying with this family’s loss, you may find some answers.

Ryan Noles was born on February 8, 1983. His mother, Kathy, was over joyed with the arrival of her baby son. As he grew from an infant into a toddler Ryan was always very close to his mom and even after he got older, throughout his middle school and high school years he always had a very special relationship with his mother. Kathy always kept a close eye on Ryan and Ryan was often the Apple of that watchful eye. Ryan was always a bit of a clown and enjoyed making people laugh. His smile was absolutely contagious and as he grew into a young man, Ryan would have many girlfriends and was very much a “ladies man”.

Ryan started using marijuana in his late teenage years, while still in high school. Though he maintained a close relationship with his mother he reassured her constantly he was “Ok”. Kathy and Ryan’s relationship would change dramatically over the next few years and the loyal son she once knew had distanced himself from her. She knew that Ryan was developing a real problem and by the time he was twenty, her worst fears had come to light. Ryan was battling a severe addiction to many drugs and though Kathy was determined to help her son, she could not force her will to help him in his addicted state.

Kathy woke one morning at 3 AM to Ryan screaming. He was begging her not to let him die. He had been vomiting blood profusely after a stomach ulcer ruptured and the bathroom was covered in blood. Kathy was absolutely terrified and had him rushed to a local hospital where he spent two days in an intensive care unit. Ryan had lost a lot of weight and was very ill. His addiction was now taking over every aspect of his life and he knew he needed help but didn’t know who to turn to. Ryan found comfort in his family that had been there for him, even at his worst and his young nephew Hunter brought new meaning to Ryan’s life. Hunter often called Ryan his “BFF” and once Ryan had made advances in getting sober, Hunter was the one constant reminder of how important it was to be a better man.

Ryan was determined to get sober for his sake and the sake of his family. He struggled to get into drug treatment programs due to financial difficulties but Kathy and Ryan both knew without the proper intervention, Ryan might not be able to overcome his drug problem. Later Ryan was able to get some help and, while getting sober was his first priority, Ryan was still battling many demons. Chronic stomach pain from years of abuse had worn his body into a fragile state. Depression was often a side effect of trying to manage the pain and stay sober at the same time. One night Ryan came to Kathy and told her he felt as if he was being spiritually attacked in the home he was living in at the time. Kathy contacted a friend who brought Ryan a crucifix that had been blessed by a preacher in the hopes that it could some how help him fight the demons he felt oppressed him. She hoped that maybe through God, Ryan could find some spiritual strength and Ryan felt very strongly in his heart that he needed to be a better example for his BFF-Hunter and to show his mother he would be ok.

Throughout Ryan’s recovery phase, Kathy noted several unnatural things happening in her home and around her. Kathy was not a skeptical person when it came to believing in supernatural forces but she wasn’t hard-pressed to believe any old ghost story either. But things were changing around her and Ryan and she felt that Ryan may have been dealing with a negative supernatural influence. This was clear to her when shortly after, she and Ryan had met with the friend, who gave Ryan the blessed crucifix. Kathy was sitting at her desk in her home when suddenly without warning, everything on her desk was knocked over, as if someone had taken their hand and pushed everything off her desk. It happened with such force it scared Kathy to a degree that she hadn’t experienced before.

While under treatment Ryan was prescribed several different drugs to help him with depression and pain. However this would prove to be a volatile mixture and on June 9, 2011, Ryan passed away due to complications from his addiction and a combination of drugs prescribed to him to help him recover. Ryan’s body had lost the fight to survive and no one suffered as much as his mother, Kathy. Kathy silently knew that Ryan would not overcome his war with addiction but she would never reveal that to him, in an effort to keep him focused on healing. Her grandson Hunter was also devastated at the loss of his BFF and for many months the family suffered tremendously to grasp the loss of Ryan.

Not long after Ryan’s death, more strange and unusual things started to happen in Kathy’s house. Frequently she would notice things out of order and often she would hear and see things in her home that she hadn’t experienced before. Items like cigarette lighters would go missing from a certain location and then reappear in the same location later on. Kathy and visiting friends would often hear conversations in the house when no one was home but them. Glowing balls of lights would manifest over her head board at night and haunting sounds of her son’s ringtone came over the television one night while watching with her grandson, Hunter.

All these circumstances lead Kathy to believe that her deceased son was trying to make contact with her in any way possible. Kathy was still struggling to come to grips with Ryan’s death and so was the entire family, but she could no longer ignore the obvious occurrences that were happening around her. Kathy looked into many paranormal investigative teams and remembered that she had contacted a group some years before while researching ghost hunters in the area. Kathy contacted the Alabama Paranormal Research Team in an effort to find some answers regarding her situation.

In January of 2012 the team investigated Kathy’s home after an extensive interview regarding her case. All information regarding the events in the case was kept confidential between Faith Serafin, the director of Alabama Paranormal Research Team and Kathy until the completion of the investigation. This helps avoid any power of suggestion that may occur and allows team members to function without seeking out any one particular phenomenon based on reports. Almost immediately audio recorders were picking up voices not heard with the naked ear but with specialized, enhanced, audio equipment. The audio specialist from the team was hearing human voices answering the team’s questions throughout the investigation. 

Other audible voices came over the recorders which distinctly say “Ryan” and another that said “tell them”. Audio recordings of this nature are classified by paranormal investigators as EVP or Electronic Voice Phenomenon, which in theory works by allowing a low frequency sound to be picked up by an audio recorder or device. The idea is that not all sounds can be heard or determined through casually listening and by using the technique of recording sounds in an environment and playing it back, gives one the ability to manipulate the recorded sound in an environment to better determine if any sound or voice was there, that wasn’t heard audibly at the time.

These recordings and a few full spectrum photo’s of a shadow figure captured in Ryan’s bedroom were all collected as evidence in Kathy’s case and while the Alabama Paranormal Research Team has concluded that her home has some paranormal activity, the team can only speculate as to who or what is actually causing the phenomenon. However working with Kathy and keeping an open line of communication with established clients is critical in the field of paranormal investigations as it pertains to ghost hunting. The activity is still very much a part of Kathy’s life now and has continued since her initial reports of activity.

It’s possible Ryan is responsible for the activity since his name was heard over the audio recorders collected by the team and Kathy still struggles to let go of her emotions involved with the loss of Ryan but a gentle understanding between a mother and the spirit of a child has shed some light on the subject to a great degree. Kathy made great sacrifices as a mother to be there for her children and Ryan knew that. She fought, cried, hurt and suffered all the years Ryan struggled to overcome his addiction. She stood by him as any mother would and made it her personal battle, though it was not her burden to bear. She laid out her heart in a selfless act to defend her son against an enemy neither she, nor her son could see. Ryan and Kathy both knew the overwhelming obstacles they would face and both stood fast, together with the odds stacked against them. But they had something that most people in that situation don’t have. They had love and they had each other and an unbreakable bond between mother and child that no words can describe.

The love endured worlds over by people who believe they have the power to stand together, against the worst evils in the world. This is still true for Kathy and Ryan. Ryan is no longer of this plane and exists in spirit alongside so many others in a realm, not unknown, but is only reachable through death or other interdenominational connection only known to a select few. This door way is not as far away as one might think. Mothers connect to their children on a level that is not understood by science or faith. It simply exists and is there. This is why Ryan is still with Kathy today. His spirit resides alongside his mother in an effort to do all the things for her that she did for him, once again reminding her that she will forever and always be the “rock” he will reside on. Keeping her close to him so that she can know she will never truly be without him and keeping a watchful eye on her with the promise that he was not able to fulfill in this life. He no longer suffers from the demons that plagued him through drugs and addiction. He is no longer burdened by the everyday battles he faced in overcoming and can rest easy knowing now that there is no obstacle he can’t overcome. Along with Kathy they understand that one day they will see each other again and until that time comes she and Ryan are Ok and can still find peace in knowing that the spirit world really isn’t that far and that the love they have for each other is unbreakable, unbreachable, and undeniably profound. 

Kathy Weathers and her son, Ryan Noles

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Murder in a Mill Village

Murder in a Mill Village
Haunted Manchester, Georgia

Manchester, Georgia is a quite and small southern town much like any other. Established in 1909, in the Appalachian foothills, it was initially a railroad town but grew into a busy mill community. Today, the majority of this small town remains in much the same state it did in its infancy. The bustling Mill Village that once employed hundreds of workers is now silent but the occasional train still makes its way through Manchester. Residents in the old mill village are quiet folks and enjoy the solitude and unevolved nature of the location, but even in solitude, lurks dark and malevolent forces.

While most of this quiet community comes and goes without cause for concern, most are unaware of a brutal and hostile crime that took place here in 1977. The body of Francis Coe was discovered in her Manchester home on January 31 of that year. She had been a victim of a brutal rape and murder. According to documentation, her body was found in a nearly dismembered state. Crime scene reports state that inside the home, blood was literally dripping from every room, so much in fact that the area in the home, where Francis’s body was found, had been soaked right down to the foundation of the house.  This was by far, the worst crime scene Meriwether Sheriff’s deputies had ever encountered.

An arrest was made some time after the murder and Eddie Spraggins was indicted and sent to trial. Although he pled insanity, he was found guilty and sentenced to life in prison. For many years after the murder, the house where Francis Coe lived was for sale or rent. Many people lived in the home but none stayed for more than a year. Families came and went and the For Sale sign resided longer than the actual tenants. People didn’t talk much about the murder itself, given the graphic nature, but the paranormal activity in the home was nothing short of a horror movie script.

About a year after the murder, the house was rented and the gentleman living there with his wife and young son started hearing strange noises almost immediately after moving in. The sounds of dragging footsteps and banging and knocking sounds could be heard day and night. The family was familiar with the murder but not superstitious enough to be bothered by any suggestion of paranormal activity that might be associated with the home, or its history. After about six months of living there the family moved abruptly. According to neighbors, they basically packed up and left overnight.

Other rumors started to emerge over the years about the unusual activity of the home, that included the ghost of a walking corpse, so hideous and grotesque that the few that actually reported seeing the apparition became physically ill. One woman living in the home in 1982 was rushed to the hospital due to a heart attack after seeing the terrible manifestation. She made plans to move from the home while she was still being treated in the hospital. Upon her release she rented an apartment in a nearby town and refused to go back to the home, even to gather the remainder of her belongings.

Later, attempts were made to update and renovate the home with the hopes that a new image would persuade would-be tenants to take advantage of cheap rent without concern of the rumored haunting. However, a contractor, who was helping appraise the home, said he had an experience that he would never forget. While under the crawl space of the house, looking over the stability of the foundation, he came upon the spot in the floor where Francis Coe’s body had been lying. That spot was still stained with blood and in the outline of a human figure. He was familiar with the murder and was a little disturbed at the bloody image he was looking at. He lay on his back on the ground and flashed his light up to get a better look. As he lay on the cold ground, under the house glaring at the blood stained floor boards, he started to feel as if he wasn’t alone. He quickly rolled over onto his belly and flashed his light around, calling out to see if anyone else was there but to his surprise, no one answered. He turned over again in the tiny crawl space and looked at the bloody imprint once more and to his amazement the stain began to move. A dark mass formed inside the stain and morphed into the face of a woman. He was so horrified that he scrambled out from underneath the house and left without even telling the appraiser what he had seen.

For many years after, the home sat empty and eventually even neighboring homes would be abandoned due to the rumors and fear of supernatural activity. The home is still standing, but just barely, only a few blocks from the old mill. It’s not been lived in for many years and has all but disappeared under heavy vines of Kudzu and rapidly growing Mimosa trees. Nature seems to be slowly devouring the house like a snake digesting its prey. It sits, slowly decaying back into the earth that helped bring about its foundations built by the Mill corporations so long ago. It’s speculation whether or not the old murder house has some how imprinted itself into the ground, much like the blood stained floorboards of the home, but those who believe know that the house is best left alone. Left to be forgotten and left to be forsaken, and left to the angry decaying spirits that resides in it. 

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Close Encounters -A UFO sighting at Fort Benning Georgia 1977-

Close Encounters
A UFO sighting at Fort Benning Georgia 1977

Fort Benning has been a military training facility since before the Civil War. Over the years this Army base has developed a variety of military complexes that include basic training areas, a mechanized unit at Kelly Hill, and several ranges used for weapons training. All soldiers must be educated in the art of combat. So regular training exercises on the ranges from rifle and small arms training to short and long range weapons testing is a normal part of everyday training at Fort Benning. 

In 1977 a controversial and unusual event took place on at the facility. During a routine weapons exercise known as JAWS (Joint Attack Weapons System) about thirteen hundred troops would witness an unusual string of events that would stay with them for the rest of their lives. On an early September morning at 5:30 AM the Sergeant in charge of First battalion, First infantry called a formation for new arrivals to inform them of what to expect as part of their Advance Infantry Training or AIT. During this time Alpha, Bravo, Charlie, and Delta companies of the First battalion, First infantry unit were informed to ascertain their linens, toiletries, other essentials and detail the barracks. They were also informed to clean their weapons and report back for another formation at 7:30 PM that evening.

The soldiers gathered in a field adjacent to their assigned barracks awaiting orders by their commanding officer. As they stood in parade formation, a strange movement in the sky began to distract some of the men’s attention. One soldier named John Vasquez looked up at a cluster of stars as his fellow soldier pointed them out. The stars seemed stationary at first but suddenly began to make odd formations. According to Vasquez, one star moved from the cluster in a fluid like motion, and flowed seamlessly along the sky. It moved across the sky, stopped, and repeated this odd behavior for several minutes.

The unusual events gained the attention of other men in formation. The Captain in charge took the podium and began to speak as if he had not seen the floating “stars” in the night sky. While the Captain spoke about how long training would take, and to what degree of training the men could expect, all eyes turned to the sky. Suddenly a strange rumbling sound began to come from the surrounding area. The sound seemed to swish back and forth and within a few seconds the men of Charlie Company began to break formation and run. As the men disbursed, an exceedingly bright, white and blue light went speeding down the dirt road adjacent to the formation.

In the seconds of panic, Vasquez motioned to the man in front of him and before he could ask him what they were looking at, he realized that the man was in a catatonic state. He was immobile and lifeless, almost as if he was asleep while standing upright. As Vasquez regained his composure he realized he was also immobile. All the men in the formation were running, screaming, or frozen by the strange and vivid light approaching them. Some of the men ran to the barracks and hid in the crawl space beneath the structure. Others, including the Captain at the podium, where standing still, frozen with strange and terrified expressions on their faces.

Suddenly one of the men running for the barracks realized Vasquez was not catatonic, but couldn’t move. The man stopped and helped Vasquez make his way to the barracks. Inside the crawl space the men panicked and could not understand what was happening. Outside they could hear men screaming out awful, painful wails. They dared not venture out without understanding what was happening. These were men of combat and war; they were expected to react in the face of battle. Many men believed that this was an invasion of the Russians. After all, it was 1977 and they had been warned of a possible attack on the United States.

As Vasquez and his fellow soldiers sat under the barracks, they could hear the rumbling sound again and see the blinding light that seemed to flow into the crawl space. As they looked out, they could see an extremely large mass silhouetted against the night sky. It was visible only because the blinding lights emanated from underneath the mass. The group made their way into the center of the building but the light from outside was so bright that Vasquez could not see his hands in front of him on the ground. They sat in panic for a few seconds, arguing over the best action to take. One soldier said that they should run to the other barracks and that there was no hope for their fellow soldiers, they were already dead.

Vasquez could not accept this explanation and gathered a few of his friends and made his way out from under the crawl space. During this time he reported to have heard a strange robotic, female voice speak. It said; “It’s ok, don’t be afraid” As Vasquez asked the other men if they too had heard the voice, they began to look curiously and they feared something was wrong with him. Vasquez crawled out of the crawl space and looked up at the vibrant light above him. He lifted his hand above his brow to shield the light from his eyes and noticed to his left a small, dark figure. It quickly scurried back into the light and suddenly he heard a popping sound. He heard the sound a second time and felt a sensation as if he had been shot, and he then blacked out.

What felt like only moments, Vasquez came to, but kept his eyes closed. He felt the presence of two figures beside him. He could hear male voices telling him to “keep your eyes closed” and a weightless sensation came over him. He then began to feel as if he was being lifted upward. Vasquez was scared but did as the voices instructed. He had no concept of reality at this point and no understanding of what was taking place, or what had happened to his fellow soldiers.

Off and on, for what felt like several minutes to many hours, Vasquez would wake and black out again. After he felt he was lifted away from the area of the barracks, Vasquez awoke just slightly to the strange robotic, female voice again, It asked “How do you feel?” he could not reply verbally but mentally was insulted by the question. As he lay in the unknown location, he felt as if he was surrounded by other beings or possibly people. He opened his eyes just enough to see that there were rows and rows of floating, metallic slabs. As he came into a slightly more conscious state he saw that on those slabs were men from his unit and others that had been in the formation. Just as he felt he was going to gain a better state of consciousness, the female voice again spoke and said “go to sleep”; again Vasquez blacked out.

Vasquez woke again in what he felt was a separate location from his previous awakening and this time a very unusual creature was visible to him. He described the creature with a large, lumpy head. It had no ears, a small mouth and nose and extremely large, dark eyes. The being did not move its mouth but Vasquez was able to hear it telepathically. The being demanded he look into its eyes. At first, Vasquez was hesitant from fear but looked into the creatures eyes anyway. He saw strange visions of oceans and himself surrounded by water with no land in-sight. He then saw a planet destroyed in a violent, fiery explosion and lastly, another being came into his mind. He saw a humanoid being with pale, white skin with a similar narrow nose and mouth. It had no hair and its eyes resembled a liquid material. It was wearing a white uniform and appeared to be almost human.

Vasquez again blacked out and moments later awoke. He was standing in formation just as he had been ordered to do by his Captain before the lights appeared. However he was not in his original location. Before the lights appeared he had been standing in the front of the formation and was now in the back. As he tried to comprehend what had happened he heard his Sergeant yell “everyone back to the barracks, NOW!” As the men started for the barracks many of them fell over and stumbled to the ground. Some were sick and disoriented. As a few of them checked their watches they noticed the times were all different. Vasquez’s watch was set at 7:30pm and another man’s at 3:00am, and another was at 4:45am.

The men gathered in the barracks and began to change clothes. Vasquez noticed his uniform was in a distressed state. His shirt and pants where buttoned unevenly and covered in an unusual, viscous material. His boots had strange knots mangled in quite a mess, and a weird, smoky smell permeated from the barracks. Throughout the evening, many of the soldiers started displaying very bizarre behavior. Some slept with their sheets pulled over their heads like terrified children. Others did the same, but with their flashlights on. A few saw strange hallucinations of faces on the walls. It seemed no one slept, but no one talked about what had happened either.

The next morning all the soldiers gathered for breakfast in the mess hall. Vasquez overslept, but quickly assembled his uniform and went to breakfast. He passed three men sitting at a picnic table outside. They didn’t speak but sat in a dazed and almost zombie-like state. Vasquez sat with a fellow soldier and discussed what they could remember from the night before. At this point, Vasquez was not able to remember much and neither could his colleagues.

The commanding officers organized an eight mile march and during this time Vasquez developed severe muscle spasms in his legs. This was partially due to a previous injury he had acquired when he first arrived to Fort Benning. Vasquez was initially assigned to Echo Company, Fourth Battalion, First Infantry but developed a case of Achilles Tendinitis in his ankle because his boots where too big. He was later assigned to Delta Company, First battalion, First infantry.

Vasquez and his fellow soldiers marched to the temporary encampment and a complaint came down to the Company Commander about the abusive behavior of a Sergeant who had kicked out campfires around the camp and cursed the soldiers who had built them. During this time the First Sergeant and Company Commander called on numerous witnesses including Vasquez. After brief questioning, the two men simply handed the camp over to Vasquez and left, which is very unorthodox behavior for military officials and the men in the camp where frankly dumbfounded by the manner of their leaving so abruptly.

Most of the men in the camp assumed that it was simply part of their training and, though unsupervised, they carried on their daily routines without cause. Soon it became obvious to the men that something wasn’t right about their commanding officers not returning to camp and assuming the absence of their commanding officers meant they where involved in some sort of “war games”, the men were basically functioning under the assumption that they where being evaluated by their superiors on how well they could function without authority and if they could maintain order in a military fashion. So the men of Delta Company set up an operation to intercept live ammunition from a neighboring camp. All along, in the back of their minds they feared, somehow, they would be charged with mutiny based on the unusual events that led up to this point. Who would believe what they had witnessed just days before while in formation?

As the men organized their plan to take over the ammo site, they geared up and set out for the destination located just down the hill from them. Delta Company took the camp without resistance and secured the live ammo. In the following days the men discussed again how to conduct themselves and what to expect in the form of retaliation. They had set up trip wires all over their camp, and on Wednesday morning the Green Berets set them off. The Green Berets were a highly formidable opponent for a group of half trained AIT soldiers, but after their initial contact failed to come to an agreement to give back the live ammunition in exchange for safe passage, several skirmishes broke out and several men were injured.

Delta Company made a rash decision to move the camp to a location near a hill and set out for the location with their ammunition. As they left their camp the Green Beret’s were hot on their trail and determined to get back the stolen ammo. Delta Company fired a flare into the night’s sky to enable them to perhaps see the location of their enemy. Suddenly many of the men began to feel a strange sensation of paranoia. Vasquez looked up at the sky and saw that the entire sky was turning around them, much like a gyroscope he felt as if they were stationary but the sky turned all around them.

The men where all horrified at the thought of another UFO event but when they attempted to leave the area, an invisible force hindered there escape. Dumbfounded again at an event they could not explain, the men of Delta Company organized themselves together and discovered that if they worked as a unit and pushed into the invisible field they could move it. Another soldier fired a flare which helped them advance even further. Some two hundred and fifty men were on this mission and many of them started to yell out that there were shadows just beyond the range of the light from the flare and everyone started to see them move around them. Two of the men ran down the hill to investigate the shadows. Vasquez ordered them back and when they returned in a frightened state they informed him that they had seen an entire unit of men, identical to themselves, standing in a circle at the bottom of the hill. It took Vasquez and his colleagues a few minutes to understand the report since it was very strange. Again the soldiers insisted a clone unit of their own was at the bottom of the hill.

The men continued on trying to maintain composure and reach their destination. Finally, as if a light switched had been flipped, the invisible field lifted and the sky returned to normal. With no explanation for the event a few of the men returned to the location of the “force field” and found nothing. They could not recreate the previous events. The men set up a camp and a few minutes later the Captain of the Green Berets came marching up the road. He looked pale and upset, he stated that he had seen the men on the road all three hundred of them and in a second they had all vanished.

The following morning Delta Company decided to advance further on their march. They didn’t talk about what had happened the night before but it was on everyone’s mind. Some of the men where starting to second guess their sanity and others were taken over by the sheer disbelief of what they had witnessed. That night they crossed a section of the Chattahoochee River to get to main post; they were in desperate need of supplies. While they crossed the shallow river something seemed to follow them in the river. It was large and responded to sounds. The men that did see it said it looked like a giant eel of some sort. It never attacked the men but legends of the Tie Snake have been a staple in Georgia’s folklore for centuries.

As if the Delta company events had not been harsh enough, one of the men was snake bit crossing the river and once they delivered him to the emergency room on main post they had to highjack a couple of Military Police vehicles to get back to the bivouac. As they traveled in the stolen jeeps they listened to the radio and discovered several bulletins both military and civilian, were alerting that a renegade group of trainees were armed and dangerous. The men couldn’t wrap their minds around what was happening. Was this truly a military scenario set up to be as realistic as possible or here they all experiencing something genuinely paranormal. Either way it didn’t matter to them. Survival was all that mattered at this point.

Several more outbreaks of fighting erupted when Delta Company returned to the camp. They hadn’t been back long when the camp was approached by heavy armored tanks and a General and his aid. The General met with Vasquez and some of the other men and ordered them to return the ammunition. Vasquez spoke up on behalf of the men and asked that they all be given transportation back to post, meals, showers, and that no one be reprimanded on the events that had taken place. The General agreed but the men of Delta Company were not so sure of his guarantee.

That night the men waited patiently for the terms and conditions of the agreement to be met; instead they were met with opposition. This time the odds where stacked against them. Helicopters flew over the camp, tanks hummed in the surrounding wooded areas of the camp and gun fights broke out inside the tent areas. There was no other option but to run. The men of First Battalion, First Infantry were outmanned and out-numbered; during this time many of the men where captured and many where too tired to carry on. When Vasquez and his colleagues were running they were met by a heavily armed helicopter on the road.  To Vasquez this meant the game was over. They were trapped, unarmed, and outmaneuvered. But this wasn’t the final battle.

To indicate a capture in a war games scenario a salvo or simultaneous gun fire or ignitions of bombs are administered to signal the operation is over. However once the salvo was ignited the same blinding light that was seen previously in the horrific UFO encounters emerged from behind the helicopter. Again panic struck them men and the light grew closer by the second. As it approached some of the men felt as if they should go into the light to protect themselves others were reluctant, but within seconds of moving into the vivid light, the men were situated in another location, roughly six hundred yards from their previous location in front of the helicopter just seconds before. They could even see the helicopter scanning its search light on the road for the men.

The men had no explanation for what had happened in those few seconds and stayed on their course to main post where they broke into a supply location and confiscated provisions and a few military trucks. As Vasquez made his way to a jeep he became sick and visibly ill. Once they returned to the bivouac they found their camp was infiltrated by the General’s men. Only one hundred and forty men out of three hundred where left and the General again approached Vasquez about the ammunition. Vasquez agreed to deliver the ammo to the General at Six AM the following morning, after a brief confrontation, and the arresting of officials accused of military misconduct and AWOL personnel. Vasquez delivered the ammo just as he had promised and assuming the entire state of events were part of his training he was happy to be able to move on to a normal schedule of training.

The following day the men were instructed on the day’s events and routinely delegated their day without any unusual circumstances. At around 10:30 PM the lights in the barracks began to flicker off and on. Though reassured the UFO scenario was part of AIT and JAWS the men, were all emotionally unstable at the sight of the lights flickering. They sent out a man to find the drill sergeants and he found that they were abandoned once again. Without a hitch, the men assembled and prepared for another possible encounter. They made their way from the barracks, toward the road, when they saw headlights from a vehicle approach. It was the General and this time he had a gunner.

The men told the General about the lights flickering and he informed them they were like that all over post but that it was most likely a wide-spread electrical issue. Still he ordered the men down the road. When they reached their destination, the heavy odor of gas was prevalent, and since there were no gas masks, the men began to run in circles. Just then a search light scanned the formation and the men ran down the road to a separate location. Again the men were not sure if perhaps this was a drill or if they where about to experience another terrifying abduction, or perhaps another unusual time warp. As they gathered at the crossroads they meet the General talking frantically on his two way radio. He was calling in reserves and just then a glowing object emerged from the sky.

The object moved slowly but did not glow with the same vivid light that had accompanied all the previous encounters. The General radioed for air assistance and a helicopter emerged at the sight and dropped many flares to illuminate the area. Once the pilot could see the object, he wasted no time firing on it. The missile was consumed by a massive ray of light that was projected from the object, but it never exploded. At that point the missile fell from the sky and hit the ground. The General then ordered the tanks to pursue the object as it slowly moved across the sky toward the barracks. All companies where ordered to situate within the tree line to draw fire on the object. As they fired on the unknown object small balls of light were returned back at them.

A helicopter in the assault was also hit with the balls of light, at which point the helicopter seemed to lose all mechanical function and crashed to the ground. The pilot and crew were rescued. Then the men ran down into a gully and saw several of their own men lying on the ground; they appeared to be dead, but had no visual injuries. When Vasquez and his colleagues encountered the fighting they repeatedly suppressed heavy fire into the tree line. Their bullets were hitting something because they could see the spark from the bullet at the impact. They too were met with return fire by the small balls of light. Vasquez was able to avoid several hits but finally was hit in the leg. The impact of the hit caused a terrible sting and the red whelps that accompanied the burn were extremely painful.

The UFO encounter lasted for several hours and more reserves were being called in by the minute. Vasquez and his fellow soldiers were now aware that they were in a real combat situation, but their training had not prepared them for a potentially unearthly opponent. They made their way back to the barracks and again crawled into the crawl space under the barracks for refuge. As they made their way under the crawl space, someone lit a flare to light the way when one of the men announced that someone else was inside the crawl space with them. The men began to exit the crawl space when Vasquez felt someone grab his arm. He was the last man out and thought he was helping a fellow soldier out from under the crawl space. He looked down and suddenly realized the thing that grabbed his arm definitely was not human and it appeared to be bleeding. Vasquez was shocked and unable to verbally describe the being he saw.

Later Vasquez regrouped with the General and came to the understanding that whatever was out there was trying to communicate with them. The men set up a perimeter for protection and Vasquez and the General waited. After awhile a strange sensation of some invisible presence took over Vasquez and he immediately felt as if something was trying to separate his mind from his body. As the progression of the event went on, Vasquez reported that he had no knowledge of the conversation that took place between the General and the unseen forces that took over his body. All he was aware of is that his mind had been separated from the conversation as to possibly not allow him to acknowledge the circumstances. However he was aware of the physical sensation. Within a few minutes Vasquez was reunited with his self and reported to feel ok but not “centered”.

The battle did not continue but the men camped and were later ordered back to the barracks. Once again the events concerning the UFO encounter were amazing and uncertain all at the same time. As with many combat situations, the men of First Battalion, First Infantry were bewildered and didn’t understand if what they had witnessed was real or perhaps an elaborate training exercise conducted by the Army. It wasn’t long until some evidence of the event would come to light. Just after the strange battle with the UFO, a female Lieutenant was assigned to the location. Most of the men thought this was highly unusual since Fort Benning was a predominantly “male” training facility. It was later discovered that she was a Psychiatrist.

She was also reported to have participated in some unusual operations involving memory replacement or erasing a memory which is a highly controversial subject but there is some proof that exists that suggests that the military has been experimenting with these techniques since World War One. John Vasquez’s detailed reports of this event have been documented for many years and have been the subject of many UFO interviews and investigations. John started hypnosis therapy after April 1989, when he began to remember the events in dreams. John Vasquez has made some impressive headway in uncovering declassified documents that the military used to try to cover up the events at Fort Benning.

Today few documents show that John was assigned to Delta Company, First Battalion, First Infantry. Official military documents from the entire unit are now non-existent in an effort to suggest that no such unit ever existed, but John has his medical records from his injuries to prove that it did. John also uncovered information released to the public in September 1977 that suggested a Rubella outbreak was responsible for the rashes found on the soldiers. Even though German measles were already being vaccinated against at this time, there was never any documented notification to the Center for Disease Control, only some local information released to the public through local papers.

Also the entire AIT operation known as JAWS (Joint Attack Weapons System) has been denied by the military according to official records however the Columbus Ledger Enquirer printed an article in 1993 that refers to JAWS and its existence and use by the Army and Air Force. There is a eight hundred page archive of official and non official military documents owned by John Vasquez that suggest this event indeed took place on Fort Benning in September of 1977. Could it be that the military has covered up an alien encounter right in our own back yards? Watch the skies closely on those late fall evenings, and should you find the stars start to cluster and move across the Georgia sky, stop and ask yourself; is this really happening?