Archive for August, 2011

Dr. F. C. S. Schiller on Evidence

Posted in Commentary with tags , , , , , , , , , , on August 26, 2011 by S. P.

Dr. F. C. S. Schiller (Image: Wikimedia Commons)

A mind unwilling to believe, or even undesirous to be instructed, our weightiest evidence must ever fail to impress. It will insist on taking the evidence in bits and rejecting them item by item. The man who announces his intention of waiting until a single absolutely conclusive bit of evidence turns up, is really a man not open to conviction, and if he be a logician he knows it. For modern logic had made it plain that single facts can never be “proved” except by their coherence in a system. But as all the facts come singly anyone who dismisses them one by one is destroying the conditions under which the conviction of new truth could ever arise in the mind.

— Dr. F. C. S. Schiller, “Proceedings of the Society for Psychical Research,” Vol. XVIII, p. 419, Society for Psychical Research, 1904.

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Test of Hypersonic Aircraft Fails over Pacific Ocean

Posted in Military, News, UAP/UFO with tags , , , , , , , , , on August 11, 2011 by S. P.

HTV-2 (Image: Wikimedia Commons)

Apparently the “alien technology transfer” some conspiracy theorists like to talk about isn’t working out so well for us:

http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/technology/2011/08/vandenberg-launch-hypersonic-vehicle-fails.html

A Thursday morning flight test of the Falcon Hypersonic Test Vehicle 2 (HTV-2) didn’t quite go as planned. The craft is designed to reach speeds of Mach 20, meaning twenty times the speed of sound. The flight on Thursday was planned for 30 minutes, but controllers lost telemetry 20 minutes into the flight. Don’t worry: they say it “likely” ditched itself into the Pacific Ocean.

Lizzie Borden Took an Axe…

Posted in History, Locations with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 4, 2011 by S. P.

The Borden House (Image: Wikimedia Commons)

August 4th, 1892, began as a typical day for the Borden household in Fall River, MA. The patriarch, Andrew Borden, departed the home in the morning for his normal routine of checking in at the bank where he was president and stopping by the post office. Meanwhile, his second wife, Abby, and his daughter from his first marriage, Elizabeth, went about the daily chores at home along with the family’s hired maid, 26-year old Bridget Sullivan. Elizabeth’s older sister, Emma, was not at home.

Around 10:45 am, Mr. Borden returned home. Claiming he felt ill, Andrew sat down for a nap on the sofa in the front room. Bridget Sullivan later testified that she was lying down in her third floor room when she heard Elizabeth around 11:00 am frantically calling out to her that someone had killed Elizabeth’s father. Rushing downstairs, Bridget saw Mr. Borden’s body slumped in the sofa as if he’d been sleeping. The left side of his face was a bloody pulp.

The body of Andrew Borden. (Image: Wikimedia Commons)

As neighbors tended to Elizabeth in the kitchen, Bridget made another grisly discovery. She found the body of Abby Borden slumped on the floor of the upstairs guest bedroom, likewise dead from blows to the head.

In the ensuing police investigation, it was discovered both Bordens died from hatchet blows to the head – 18 or 19 in the case of Abby and 11 for Andrew. Despite a heavily contaminated crime scene – it wasn’t secured until hours later – the police discovered a hatchet head broken off from its handle. The police assumed this was the murder weapon. With the crowds tramping through the house in the hours following the murders, most other physical evidence was destroyed.

Elizabeth told several varying and inconsistent stories to investigators regarding unknown mysterious persons. However, in the end, the police believed the circumstantial evidence pointed towards Elizabeth as the murderer. She was arrested on August 11th and tried at court in June 1893. With only weak circumstantial evidence and no witnesses, the jury acquitted Elizabeth on June 20, 1893.

Following the murders and trial, Elizabeth and Emma moved into another house in Falls River. In June 1905, the two had a falling out and Emma moved out. Both sisters died in 1927; Elizabeth on June 1st and Emma on June 10th. Neither ever married.

Rumors have swirled since immediately following the murders. It’s clear that following the death of the sisters’ biological mother, Sarah, in 1863, the Borden household was not a pleasant place for the sisters. Neither particularly liked their stepmother and by all accounts Andrew Borden was not a particularly cheerful fellow. While most believe Elizabeth was involved in the murders, many believe she didn’t act alone. Claims of incest and mentally handicapped illegitimate children still surface. We do know the Borden sisters were very upset with Andrew for giving property to relatives while providing them nothing. However, like so many similar murder cases, it’s likely that we’ll never know the full truth since those who did are now long since dead.

The Borden house currently operates as a museum, and bed and breakfast. Extensive paranormal claims surround the property, including reports of a very mean apparition of Andrew Borden. Are they real or merely products of over-active imaginations?

[© 2011 All rights reserved.  This copyrighted material may not be reposted or reproduced in any form without permission.]

Thanks to the PIA Team

Posted in Commentary, Events with tags , , on August 2, 2011 by S. P.

(graphicshunt.com)

Thanks to Morgan, Red, and John, along with the entire PIA team, for the opportunity to step in as a presenter at this past weekend’s PIA Conference. I greatly appreciate your generosity in allowing me to step up to the plate. You all did a fantastic job of making newcomers like me feel right at home and part of the PIA family. I’m already looking forward to attending next year and hope I’ll have the opportunity to speak at that conference as well.

Thanks also for those of you who attended my presentation, On the Nature of Ghosts. Hopefully I at least provided some “food for thought” on the topic. Special thanks as well to Tim and Trish Yancey from Encounters Live for your feedback on my talk – the fact you thought it was very good means a lot to me.

I hope to see everyone at PIA again next year!

PIA Conference Presentation – On the Nature of Ghosts

Posted in Commentary, Events, History, Investigations, News, Poltergeists, Religion with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 1, 2011 by S. P.

White Noise Paranormal Network

Thanks to White Noise Paranormal Network, you can click on the link below to view my presentation, On the Nature of Ghosts, from the 2011 PIA Conference:

http://justin.tv/whitenoise02/b/291569213

You can also access videos of the other presentations through this link:

http://www.ghostshow.net/pia/

5th Annual PIA Conference a Success

Posted in Events with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 1, 2011 by S. P.

2011 PIA Conference

The fifth annual Paranormal Information Association Conference came to a successful conclusion this past Sunday in Sebring, Florida. The PIA, which began life as the Florida Ghost Gathering, aims to bring together researchers of anomalous phenomena from around the state in order to share ideas, network, and build friendships. Unlike other conferences which largely cater to “fans” of “paranormal” television, the PIA Conference is open only to members of organized research and investigation groups. Another key feature of the PIA Conferences is the fact they are held “at cost” – everyone, including speakers, pays a modest registration fee and no one makes money off the conference. No, you won’t hear the latest “celebrity” speaking about the latest “hit” television show. Instead, you will encounter people with decades of actual field experience in anomalous phenomena research eager to share ideas and information with fellow colleagues. Also, unlike other conferences, the PIA Conference is not limited to merely the discussion of “ghosts,” but includes all areas of anomalous phenomena research including cryptozoology and UFOs/UAPs.

This year’s gathering was held at the historic Kenilworth Lodge in Sebring, Florida. The lodge opened in 1916 and has seen its share of well-known guests, including playing host to a meeting of US governors in 1924. The Kenilworth served as the perfect backdrop for the PIA Conference. The organizers of the PIA Conference hope to establish good relationships with a few historic hotels around the state in order to set-up something of a “rotation” for future PIA gatherings.

The event featured an excellent line-up of speakers on a wide variety of topics. Along with a variety of presentations, another hallmark of PIA Conferences are social activities to encourage networking and the building of relationships and friendships among various teams and investigators. This year’s event delivered in this aspect as well with all of Saturday evening devoted to social activities.

PIA’s organizers understand that the “turf wars” and personality conflicts which seem to dominate the field are not helpful. Their events are dedicated to breaking down those barriers by helping everyone understand we’re all working towards the same goal and we can more easily reach it by working together rather than by working against each other.

If you’ve already attended a PIA Conference, I’m sure you need no further motivation to keep attending. If you haven’t attended, I highly encourage you to do so – I strongly suspect it will only take one time to make you a regular!

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