C.A.S.P.E.R Research Center

Report One

Media/Press Announcements

Homan House Preliminary Investigative Report 10-01-05

Introduction
 
 

Based on conversations after Ghost 101 Workshop on 7-16-05 C.A.S.P.E.R was given the opportunity to conduct a paranormal investigation at 341 Baltimore St. In the Gettysburg Metaphysical Center Building. Upon further conversations with Rev. Francine Milano, it was determined that an on-site investigation would be applicable. These preliminary conversations suggested that the 3-point requirements for a field investigations were met. These included:

1) - Historical record of potential for "archival trace elements" (a.t.e) being found at the locations (culturally-stimulated and bounded emotions "caught" in a particular place that can translate into material sensory manifestations). This involved the following possibilities, each of which involve "tracks" of electromagnetic energy:

a) - Historical "mind-print" activities occurring at the site (usually positive and involve a strong emotional appeal or attachment to a place or an intense affection for particular activities performed at the site) of now-deceased persons.

b) - "world-line footprints" occurring at the site (continuous mundane activities occurring at specific spacial locations that are recorded on the environment. They may be highly repetitive behavior of powerful procedural memories) and do not necessarily represent the remains of a "deceased" person.

c) - A "psychological crisis" having occurred at the site involving the "Death event", the dying experience, or a highly stressful activity. This "crisis" would create electromagnetic patterns that mediate motor behaviors reflected into the occurrence of sensory manifestations.

2) - Historical observation or sensation of sensory phenomena occurring at the site that do not appear to be associated with contemporary cultural and/or physically-existing contexts.

3) - Present-day observations and/or "sensations"/"feelings" of "repeat" non-contextual sensory phenomena recurring more than once.

 

 

The basic investigative method used for all C.A.S.P.E.R field investigations consists of three components (subject to modifications dependent upon local situations and re-evaluated on a case to case basis). There are (with associated activities):

1. Descriptive Component

A. Documentation of eyewitness accounts and video-recording of same.

B. "Psychic Sweep" (optional/dependant upon availability)

C. Preliminary "Walk-Thru"

D. B.E.A.R.

E. Mapping the room grids and surrounding area

F. Historical Research

G. Folkloric Research (if applicable)

2. Experimental Component

A. Test the preliminary historical primary message systems interactions through targeted sensory stimulus (t.s.s.)

B. Use of the "participant" mode.

C. Minimal technological applications

D. Modify/Delete/Enhance t.s.s. associated with historical P.M.S. Interaction

3. Detection Component

A. Proceed to cross-validate P.M.S. interaction through technological measurement and recording through the use of enhanced t.s.s.

B. Participant-Observation mode

C. Analysis of data and conclusions

 

 

The house (or whatever structure or physical space involved) is viewed as one large "artifact", with corresponding contextual features (spatial/socio-cultural), with the investigative area defined as an "archaeological sone", in order to scientifically gather and record data at precise spacial intra-site areas. That is why the site was mapped and each room recorded using a grid pattern with associated B.E.A.R. notations. This identifies the contemporary horizontal dimensions of the site. We then identify the stratigraphic levels (vertical dimension) of human activities and occupation defined as H.A.U.N.T. (Historical Activities Underlying Natant Time) phases, identifies through historical research. Within each h.a.u.n.t. phase, we may have various S.I.M.S (Stored Information Memory Space) zones, the precise dimensions of which are identifies through non-contextual sensory phenomena and "feelings" and/or "sensations" of observers and witnesses (and in this case, also the psychic-medium)

The research is based on the use of an anthropological paradigmatic structure. This includes the following concepts:

a. Comparative Method: This is used to identify the primary message systems of the A.T.E. as compared to the contemporary P.M.S. (I.e. the different cultural traditions interacting). It is also used to identify and compare the various H.A.U.N.T. phases occurring at the site.

b. Holistic Approach: Is used to identify the site’s stratigraphic cycle (the locations historical record) of occupation and paranormal activity.

c. Systematic Analysis: This is used to identify the H.A.U.N.T. phases, S.I.M.S locations, and the relationship to the P.M.S. involved in each phase at each identified spatial location.

d. Participant-Observation: This technique is used to "recreate" the primary message systems (participant) and to cross-triangulate the response to specific t.s.s. through technological measurements and readings (observations). It is a subjective as well as an objective approach.

e. Observational Cultural Relativity used to relate specific P.M.S. to their corresponding H.A.U.N.T. phase at particular S.I.M.S zones during specific t.s.s. activities. Each phase would involve different interactional activities through specific t.s.s. and would depend on the P.M.S. encountered (through observed, "sensed", or recorded sensory manifestations) during that phase.

We are suggested that at supposedly "haunted" locations what is "experienced" or "sensed"/"felt" is not "paranormal": it involved the use of primary message systems as defined by Edward T. Hall being transmitted/communicated through known sensory phenomenon by the "agent" ("ghost"). It is being received "out of context" (either culturally, spatially historically, or functionally) and hence the percipient (witness/observed) senses this as "strange" or "unusual" and labels it "paranormal".

The goal of all research and field investigations of C.A.S.P.E.R is to identify and characterize a S.P.I.R.I.T. (Sensory Phenomena Involving Residuals of Individuals in Transition) Culture.

 

 

Preliminary Date

Component One

We are conducting "naturalistic" (actual field settings) investigations based on qualitative research involving culturally-contexted social processes with observations of sensory phenomena the primary research strategy for Component One. A daylight "walk-thru" was conducted on 8-27-05. The specific activities involved were outlined above. Based on the limited (number) of eyewitness interviews, the "psychic sweep" the "walk-thru" and subsequent historical research, it was conjectured that the archival trace elements (a.t.e) at the house principally related to the "psychological crisis" that occurred In and around the site. These include the military engagements during July1-4, 1863 and the associated trauma; the civilian experiences of this encounter during the battle and its aftermath (field hospital?); and the possible aftermath of a deadly accident (H.A.U.N.T. phase unknown; possibly part of local folklore or urban legend phenomena) that killed "Jeremy". These A.T.E. events suggest that any associated sensory manifestations are "place-oriented", as opposed to "person-oriented", i.e. they do not appear to occur due to the presence of a particular individual at the location. All of the sensory phenomenon thus far recorded (and presently known) appear not to have been actual residents of the house (confederate soldiers, "female caretaker", "Jeremy", "basement hidden people"). These "out of context A.T.E.’s may have been "imprinted" on the building as EMF due to the unique geological formations that surround the town and the battlefield. There are also folkloric traditions of "paranormal" activity in the area prior to the Civil War period, particularly in the area around the round tops. This might also support the idea of a "place -oriented" haunting.

The initial research also suggests, however, that the presence of individuals of a particular cultural tradition (German) may act as a "trigger effect" that may initiate some form of sensory experience. That data for this "German connection" are: two pervious owners of German descent (John Homan/Barry Snieder (who is associated with "The Jeremy sensory manifestation"); the military personnel associated with the residence during the battle (9th LA. "Tigers", a number of which were German descent), Tim Heckman, one of the investigators, of German descent, who had a "sensory experience" in the basement at the time of the initial "walk-thru". Based on the recorded interview, the two "psychic sweeps", and historical research, one H.A.U.N.T. phase was clearly identified. This was the events occurring during July-1-4 1863 and the immediate aftermath. Two other H.A.U.N.T. phases may exist. These include the, yet undetermined period of "Jeremy’s accident/death", and the "caretaker female", sensed by Francine in the back on the first flood, during the initial "psychic sweep". S.I.M.S zones were detected based on Francine’s interview, the "psychic sweeps", and the initial and subsequent "walk-thru’s", and compared to the initial B.E.A.R. notations. Potential anomalies of "out of context" sensory manifestations were identified through B.E.A.R. that appear to not, at least initially, have an obvious "natural source", i.e do not have a basis in contemporary cultural-physico-spatial parameters. These include the following:

1. Rear Room- 1st Floor

a) - A "spike" in EMF reading occurred in the w-sw wall area near the desk during the initial follow-up "walk-thru". There was an associated temperature fluctuation of +10 (initial B.E.A.R. was 80) This reading was isolated in space. There was no other associated phenomena.

b) - There was also an "unknown orb-like" form on the center west wall, which may be associated with a "faded" section of this wall. (Photo was taken during the initial "walk-thru") In this area, a "noise of unknown origin" occurred twice during the interview on 8-27-05 and recorded on video-tape (when a question was asked about EVP dates/when a question was asked about structural modifications). In this same area, this investigator "sensed" something during the Ghost 101 Workshop.

c) - Some "peripheral movements" of unknown character were also observed by Francine in this section of the house (3/05). No other associated phenomenon was noted. (Interview notes)

d) - An EVP "sweep" of this room produced no results. This was done after the initial "psychic sweep".

e) - In this room, near the desk, Francine noted during the "psychic sweep" the presence of a "wounded soldier", a "drunken soldier" and a female presence. A provocation dialogue was done to "induce" a response". No EVP’s were recorded.

2) - Doorway - Between Rooms - 1st Floor

a) - An "orb" was photographed where Francine had indicated that "Jeremy" was sitting (initial psychic sweep - 8-27-05)

b) - An "orb" was also "seen with the naked eye" by Francine (8/05) on the wall to the right of the doorway. No other associated sensory phenomena was noted.

c) - Two digital recorders "simultaneously" stopped and restarted 22 different times while questions were being posed to "Jeremy". The phenomenon is recorded on the digital recorders. The "orb" photo was taken before this happened.

d) - In this area there were no fluctuations in EMF or temperature readings during the initial "walk-thru" or during the above occurrences. No EVP recording was heard.

 

3) Front Room - 1st Floor

a) - An EVP was recorded here (6/05). No details are known (interview notes)

b) - Some movement of objects occurred in this room (sign falling from window/door opening) which appear to have a "naturalistic" explanation. (3/05) (interview notes)

c) - During the "psychic sweep", Francine noted some "impressions" about "soldiers"

d) - During this investigators visit with daughter on 8-24-05 here, a number of photos with "orbs" were taken. This occurred while investigator was alone in the room while daughter was having a "reading" with Dana in the back room. On one photograph, two "orbs"were recorded, one directly to the right of the thermostat control on the wall to the right of the curtained entry. A small one was noted a little above the larger one. Another "orb" was noted to be a small "torso-like imagine without legs, with a head, and two warms extended lying on the floor" view through the curtained entryway from the backroom into the front room. There is another photo of "two streaks of light that appear like comet tails" located directly above Dana’s head as she is sitting in the sw corner in the front room.

e) - No other sensory phenomena was noted during the initial and subsequent "walk-thru".

 

 

4) Basement - Backroom

a) - An anomaly was found on the west wall near the electrical panels. There appears to be a "face" on the wall where Francine is pointing indicating soldiers are lying there. This was during the initial "psychic sweep". EMF’s spiked here, but this was probably due to the electrical interference.

 

5) - Basement - Front Room

a) - At the southeastern section of the wall, during the initial "walk-thru", one of the investigators, Tim HEckman, had an impression of people "covered-up" or "hiding". This would correlate with the historical record of the residents who hid in their basements during the battle. A similar "impression" was sensed by Francine during the initial "psychic sweep". These may be two different sets of people (soldiers vs. civilians). Her impression was of soldiers "rummaging through trunks", a behavioral pattern recorded by other resident observers during the battle on Baltimore St.

It should be noted that there were no observed sensory manifestations associated with the stairs leading to the 2nd floor. This is noteworthy for two reasons:

a) - The staircase is usually the most "active" physical space in a house and is associated with the mundane habitual activities which would fit the A.T.E. factor. This might lend support to the idea that the sensory manifestations already observed were not from the actual residents who themselves would be performing these mundane habitual activities.

b) - Confederate sharpshooters would occupy positions on the 2nd floor of the house, whose window would face down Baltimore St. To the Union positions. This would give them a strategic advantage. Since there were no associated sensory phenomena observed here, it may mean that no A.T.E. occurred here.

 

 

Based on the available info, it was decided to concentrate on the Civil War Period H.A.U.N.T. phase. The 1st floor back room S.I.M.S zone was chosen fore historical records that were available on the battle and of the activities reordered by civilian observers on Baltimore St. The zone was chosen due to the concentration of observed, "sensed", and recorded sensory phenomenon associated with this zone. The "psychic sweep" also indicated a civil war era H.A.U.N.T. phase located there ( a wounded soldier, a "drunken solider"). Through historical research, some of the military combatants associated with the Baltimore St. Location were identified. These individuals were members of the 9th LA "Tigers" who came from parishes North and West of New Orleans. Those specifically identified were MIA/WIA/KIA during the military engagements on July 1-2, 1863. The precise locations at these casualties occurred is not known at this time. A number of primary message systems associated with this H.A.U.N.T. phase were tentatively identified. We researched the original (Civil War era) P.M.S. environment in order to identify t.s.s. to recreate a stated authentic atmosphere to test any interactional response from these soldiers if they still were occupying the zone’s spatial parameters. We were not ready to being Component Two. Experimental.

 

2) Experimental Component (9-10-05)

This component involved particular participant involvement (in this case, the principal investigator as a "trigger" to test the impact (if any) of the targeted sensory stimuli. The resting procedure was based on "grounded theory" i.e, no specific model was used for the rest. This allowed for any variable or factor reactions to the t.s.s. was fluctuations in em fields in the S.I.M.S zone. This was used for the following reasons:

a) - Preliminary B.E.A.R. findings indicated "elevated" EMF readings in the S.I.M.S zone that was targeted.

b) - EM fields usually increase to high levels under stressful conditions which was identified in the "psychic sweep" and later researched, as involving such factors as the military engagements themselves, the anticipation of battle, the undying experience and possible death process, the confusion of military involvement and orders before and during engagements and skirmishes, and the emotion and pain associated with being wounded (the psychological crisis).

c) - The initial readings during the "night sweep" were "normal" in this zone, with sources of "natural" EMF previously identified (during B.E.A.R.).

d) - EMF readings could be indicative of both residual recordings and interactional apparitional encounters.

e) - A.T.E manifestations all involve EMF and these EMF may have been recorded based on geological formations in this area.

The t.s.s. involving the P.M.S. were organized along the lines of situational frames and dialects (which includes linguistic, kinetic, proxemic, posture, personality, intonation, gestures, grammar, vocabulary, etc. Factors in "recreating" the atmosphere of the period. Not all of these were utilized at this time and involved in a sequence of action chains progression from the general (Civil War Era) to specific stimuli (9th LA "Tigers"/specific soldiers who were MIA/WIA/KIA during the engagements on July 1-4 1863). These included:

 

Targeted Sensory Stimuli System

Primary Message System (Characteristic)

1) - "Atmospherics"/Civil War Era melody

"Ask for permission"

Interaction: Call to respond (whoever is there)

2) - "Only a Private" poem read by Francine

Bi-sexuality: male role (Civil War)

Association: Military Personnel rank-private (majority of soldiers)

3) - "Sullivan Ballou letter home to wife"

Association: death and dying experience during Civil War Period/ Combined with the original melody of "Call to Respond".

4) - "Going Home" song

Territoriality: Remembering homeland/Fighting far from home; letting go. Defending homeland/Values.

5) - "Roll Call" poem

Interaction: Call to respond.

Association: 9th LA "Tigers"

 

6) - Civil War Era slang

Interaction: Targeted to Civil War Soldier from Louisiana. Character of LA soldier Civil War recruits, especially the 9th LA.

 

7) - German Phrases

Interaction/Association: Ethnicity of some of the 9th LA "Tigers"

 

8) - "Captain’s Orders/Call to Action"

Interaction: Call to respond 9th LA "Tigers" WIA during July 1-2 1863

Defense: Preparation for battle/engagement on Culp’s Hill the evening of July 2, 1863.

 

The events were observed by Francine, three participants in the earlier Ghost 101 Workshop, and Jerry Kufrovich, one of the field investigators. In general, there was EMF activity during the t.s.s. action chain sequence. Specifically, EMF "spikes" were recorded during the "Going Home" song. Could this be related to the fact that some of the soldiers from the 9th LA "Tigers" were of Scotch-Irish descent and ths song has a "Folk Irish feel to it"? Some type of sensory manifestation also occurred during the "roll call" poem. EVP recordings done by Francine, were "inconclusive". EMF readings remained "elevated" in the S.I.M.S zone around the principal investigator for a short time period (duration indeterminate) after the t.s.s. concluded. Afterwards, the EMF readings in the zone returned to "normal". A subsequent test was conducted in the basement area in the 2nd room. "Elevated" EMF readings were recorded during the playing of the "Going Home" song. These readings remained "localized" there and subsequently returned to previous levels soon after the song ended. This is the same S.I.M.S zone where Francine indicated that soldiers were laying and is near the south wall where a possible figure of a "face" was photographed. Other t.s.s. activities in this area produced no other sensory manifestations. There were no changes in temperature with the thermal scan.

Based on these preliminary observations, it appears that the t.s.s. "induced" some form of sensory response. The t.s.s. will continued to be used in Component Three, with some modifications and additions. These changes are:

Activities 1, 3, and 4 will have additional t.s.s.

Activities 6, 7, will be eliminated

Activities 9, 10 will be added.

These include more specific references to individuals of the 9th LA "Tigers", and a "thank you " speech to those "unseen presences" for their cooperation.

Finally, there will be "relevant" sound effects to be added throughout the action chain sequence.

 

Component Three (Date to be Determined: Depending on Availability of Center/Observer-Investigators)

This would involve repeating the t.s.s. using the above-mentioned modifications and additions. We will also document technologically the response (if any) in the S.I.M.S zone by cross-triangulating the measurement and recording for each step/activity of the action chain sequence. Two video cameras will record the zone. One will be situations facing the zone, the other will be recording the documentation of measurements/recordings/photographing facing the zone. There will be one observer for each instrument. A "data recorder" individual will "float" behind the observers taking field notes and recording his/her’s "sensations" and "impressions". He/she will also have an audio recorder/player for playing "background noises" (atmosphere) to "induce" and add to the "atmospherics"). The rolls to be utilized include: EMF meter (to record levels/changes in EMF activity), thermal scanner (to pinpoint temperature fluctuations in the S.I.M.S zone/compare it to readings outside the zone), digital thermometer/hydrometer (to record ambient temperature around the zone/and the degree of humidity in the area (for the orb phenomenon), 35MM/digital cameras (to photograph the zone twice for each t.s.s. activity in sequence to detect and visuals/movement of same), digital recorder (record any verbal response to t.s.s.), and audio range meter (to detect changes in audio output in the zone). The data received from this component will determine the future (if any) direction of the on-site investigation. At this stage, it would be important to determine the architectural and occupational history of the house, specifically the original building materials for the foundation, the site’s function prior to the house construction, the site’s relation to the series of underground tunnels located under the town, local folklore traditions, and the investigation of the site’s other H.A.U.N.T. phases and S.I.M.S zones.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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