VALLEJO HISTORICAL MARITIME MUSEUM HAUNTING INVESTIGATION REPORT
We were asked by one of our local news papers the Vacaville Reporter if they could do an article on our investigative techniques and equipment utilized in a haunting investigation. It was decided that a feature might best be presented if we were to do an actual investigation with the reporter Kimberly Fu, and photographer, attending. In a search of several possible local hauntings, it was determined that the Vallejo Historical Maritime Museum would best suit the venue.
Kimberly had contacted the curator Jim Kerns in an attempt to ascertain if he might know of any locations within Solano County which were alleged to be haunted. She was shocked when he told that indeed the Museum itself was haunted. He indicated a very open and inquisitive curiosity on the matter, along with an appreciated cooperative willingness, to allow an investigation to be planned and conducted into this. A date was set for the evening of October 12th, in which we would be trusted with the run of the Museum all night long as needed.
My dedicated Executive Assistant Alan Weiblen, myself, Kimberly K. Fu, and one of the Museum's Board members Sharon Sipes would be present for this event. Sharon Sipes was a welcome curious bystander, whom was skeptical in nature and hadn't ever experienced this presence. However her open mind and willingness to explore proved very helpful in many ways as she had knowledge of related the related backgrounds of the Museum.
The article came out in the 'HORIZONS' section on Sunday October 22nd and can be viewed on the Vacaville Reporter's web site at http://www.thereporter.com/Current/Horizons/horiz102200.html
The Vallejo Historical Maritime Museum is an amazing place with some very fascinating exhibits. With a very accommodating staff and 5 galleries in 25,000 sq' I highly suggest a visit sometime to see and learn about some of the very early history of the Vallejo, Solano County area. Location, opening hours, and all pertinent information can be found on their web site.
This building was built back in 1927 and originally served as Vallejo's Old City Hall and Police Station. It was occupied by the Museum's staff in 1978 and opened to the public in 1979. This building is currently on the National Register of Historic Places.
Extensive remodeling and renovation occurred to this building through 1984 and the original outlay of the building changed dramatically to facilitate the new Museum's appearance. Between the 2 floors which are publicly assessable exists a mezzanine area in which they work on many of the new exhibits and models. This is the area where the first Vallejo Police Station processed its prisoners into a small single room jail cell, whereby the original steel jail cell door is still standing and functional. There is also an extensive attic and basement area in this building.
In a cursory interview and instrument surveillance we gathered enough information to determine where the possible 'hot spots' were and most recent incidents occurred at.
During Jim's time as curator he has noted multiple incidents of numerous people, both staff and visitors, along with himself, having experienced a presence in one form or another. These experiences would run the gambit from a subjective feelings, catching a glimpse out of the corner of ones eyes, on down to more definite anomalous auditory incidents - from groanings to a chair moving across the floor.
Incidents of most significant note in my mind, which verified this as a possible haunting, was when a totally unsuspecting Native American visitor made note of being aware of a 'spirit' presence in the building, and having mentioned it to Jim.
There was Jims accounting of having been present in the mezzanine area when he suddenly heard a loud groaning sound. As it sounded like it was present right in the area where he was, he more logically suspected that it came from the roof area outside and he went to investigate. However to his dismay he found nothing at all. Realizing the possible related nature of this distressing sound his hairs were raised and he immediately left.
There was also the most recent accounting of Jim's secretary having heard a chair move across the floor in their adjoined offices on the second floor. Soliciting a response from Jim, thinking he was there, the silence cause her to become alarmed as there was no logical explanation for what she had heard less then 15' away from where she was at.
Considering all the circumstances initially I realized that this was a huge building and we would need to develop a plan which would help us to determine the right areas to concentrate our efforts on. This would require a pre-cursory reading surveillance and interviewing of staff to help us determine this. Once determined then we would develop a plan for the actual investigation evening which would employ our particular protocols in those areas.
I decided to label the buildings different areas from A-Z on their layout maps. We then created a chart with various reading recordings such as temperature variations, magnetic variations, ELF readings, motion detector indications, and any strong electrical field detections. Most detecting instruments were mounted on an extendable extension pole so that we could easily take readings at the high ceiling areas, low points, and all other areas with ease, and without having to move to much once stationed within a given area.
Our equipment is a little customized in its own fashion and I refer to this method of measuring utilizing my 'haunting pole'. I surmised over the years that if an aware spirit was truly present then it was much better to be able to stay in one location while being able to extend your measuring/reading equipment over to a given area as much as 15' away. This reduced the variable and or risk of a human presence interaction possibly causing a diminishing or dissipation of the potential anomaly, as has occurred in many occasions in other's investigations. It also creates ease and speed in taking all measurements and readings at the
same time over a large area. We also have a customized version of a portable motion detector, suffice to say that its triggering is 90% conclusive of an anomalous cause.
Interviews with staff and Jim indicated that the hot spots were located on the second floor area by the administration offices and in the hidden mezzanine area between the 1st and 2nd floor. Another spot was located in the proximity of the Saginaw Gallary and extending directly down below it into the Hall of History Gallary.
We ran minimal cursory readings of some of the other non-hot spot areas of the building as a control to take notice of anything which was obviously abnormal from what would be expected. Nothing was noted.
When we ran a more extensive set of readings in the hot spot areas various anomalous readings showed up on the temperature variation and ELF meter. In the administration hall way we found an 8 degree temperature difference higher between the ceiling area of aprox. 10' and 1' above the floor. What made this anomalous was the fact that this temperature difference was higher at the floor level then the ceiling, which is actually opposite to what would be normally expected. It didn't appear that the ventilation system was on, however we considered that former ventilation activity may have been responsible for this. What countered that possibility however was that this difference did not exist in other areas of the building and in fact there was indeed more of a consistency or a minimal temperature difference with the increase toward the ceiling as would be expected. Also was the fact that 8 degrees seemed to be quite a considerable spread over 10'.
The next area which provided more definitive anomalous readings was in the other hot spot of the mezzanine area hall way. This was the area where part of the old Police Station existed, and most likely the processing point for prisoners on their way to the sole jail cell.
What was most interesting about this hall way was there were no ventilation shafts present and the ceiling was touchable at aprox. 7'. Yet in this area also we found a reading difference of even more, at 9 degrees higher at floor level then at the ceiling area. In an area where there was basically trapped air, being above the 1st floor, and really no rational explanation for this regarding some cause above the ceiling into the 2nd floor, we considered this very interesting. This same type of difference was noted in the entire hallway of the mezzanine, and the same but to a lesser extent in the other adjacent areas here.
However when we got to the actual jail cell which was located here we not only got similar temperature reading differences but also had the ELF light meter indicating a light scattered anomalous weak field. There was no rational explanation we could find for this and this reading pattern was just randomly scattered throughout the ceiling area space of 7' - 12' up. The ceiling height was much higher in this area.
For the most part a plan was effected to concentrate monitoring and documenting efforts in the hot spot areas of the building. Our initial plan is listed below which was not followed completely to the tee due necessary networking with our gracious reporter and photographer.
However for the most part we had followed through with audio surveillance monitors, motion detectors, and recorders, being constantly set up in the mezzanine area, the Saginaw area, and in the Hall of History.
This was followed by a constant periodic patrolling of all areas and specifically the hot spots utilizing our monitoring and imaging equipment.
Monitoring equipment consisted of an hand held ELF meter, compass, A.C. Field detector, and the Natural EM Tri-Field Meter.
Imaging equipment utilized consisted of a Sony 8 MM CCD-TR517 Night Vision Infrared Camcorder, a Cannon Power Shot A50 Digital Camera, and a Night Owl Cyclops Compact Monocular NOCC3 Night Vision Scope. We had a coupling for the Cannon Power Shot and the Night Owl which worked out quite nicely and as well enabled real-time viewing of areas in complete darkness with infrared.
Vallejo Historical Museum Investigation Protocols & General Itinerary
6:45 P.M. Arrive and coordinate with Jim Kerns. Unload equipment. Set up Staging Area & Operation Base in the main
7:30 P.M. Meet with Kimberly & photographer, get acquainted. Go over protocols and procedures to obtain possible maximum results from investigative work.
7:45 P.M. Conduct group meditation to create cohesion and integration between psychological/spiritual component factors, to create ideal setting for any psi activity to be invited to occur.
8:00 P.M. Familiarize with building layout & do initial measurements & readings of hot spot areas and a cursory survey of all other areas Take 1 Polaroid & digital photo within each hot spot area,
8:45 P.M. Continue to complete setup of equipment as follows:
9:30 P.M. a) Monitor all areas accordingly on an hourly basis, with appropriate responses to any activity to include
12:00 P.M. Continued monitoring and follow through of procedures above up to 2:30 A.M. If no activity initial breakdown & loading of non-monitoring equipment will begin.
3:00 A.M. If no activity then final breakdown and loadup of equipment
For the most part there was not any major substantial activity or indications of presence's picked up by our equipment, at least which was readily noticeable. The battery problem which was indicated in the article was directly related to bad batteries and not an anomaly. Patrolling and monitoring continued throughout the night with one incident or occurrence being observed by Alan, that he followed through with snapping several digital still photos, which later revealed some very interesting results.
The results seemed indicative of a possible anomalous presence at that exact moment which triggered his taking the action he did. And this all occurred in the hall way directly in front of the administration offices on the second floor which was one of the hot spot areas.
After reviewing a series of some 45 thumbnail digital photos I fully expected to find nothing, however in this one image there was definitely a noticeable white mist of some sort which appeared at the ceiling area of the administration office hallway, right next to Jim's office where Alan had taken notice of some sounds, which triggered his taking the photos.
Upon conducting certain photo program enhancement procedures I was amazed to see what became revealed.
I posted the following email to the involved parties expressing my reservations and logic over posting the image enhancements and analysis.
STEVE'S POST REGARDING IMAGE
It is with some reservation I issue the following series of images, however
1) The Director Jim Kerns indicated to us that this was one of the most
2) My Executive Assistant Alan Weiblen shot this photograph while checking
3) No other images, which were taken in adjacent areas at the same time with
4) Alan's 'histogram' analysis, which is a photo pixel analysis
What is observed:
An anomalous luminescent body or face (faces) above the door to the left. We
The following is Alan's report of what he experienced and led him to take these images, along with his analysis of the image.
It was 12:45 am and realizing that a couple of hours still lay ahead before this night was through, coffee was the only thing I could think of as I wandered through one of the long darkened halls of The Vallejo Naval and Historical Museum. I was drawn to the second floor at the office of the museum executive director Jim Kerns, which was situated directly above the jail cell, which was constructed back in 1927. According to reports paranormal activity seemed to originate from this area in particular.
After a brief discussion, we decided to tour the facility one more time with detection equipment running. I had the digital Cannon A50 as I entered into the administration office. I felt drawn to this area almost as if clarivoyantly feeling a possible presence. Suddenly two loud distinctive knocks disrupted the silence from deep inside the office area.
The rest of the group had just begun to come down the hall from the main area leading to the offices. I asked the group to be silent as we all listen intently for 10 to 20 seconds. After hearing nothing else I went back towards Mr. Kerns office, stood there in the darkness listening, and waited for any other signs. Setting up the digital camera for what I believed would be the right exposure, I took several photographs of Mr. Kerns office and the adjacent hallway.
Nothing was noticeable to the naked eye and no more sounds were heard, however a couple of days later when Steve downloaded and processed the images that I took, he called to inform me he may have found something on one of them. Using a photo editing and enhancement program Steve was able to expose this entity, or whatever it may have been.
Not thoroughly convinced at what I was looking at in his enhancement of the image I took I went back to the photo editing program and examined the original image, and his enhancement, utilizing a histogram analysis procedure. This consisted of different variations of color, light intensity, and line definements applied to the image in question.
What I found was a significant difference in all of the test fields. Digitally the color spectrum shouldn't have changed much, and it didn't from wall to wall, door to door, and carpet to ceiling. However at that point where this alleged apparition appears the changes are dramatic, especially in the “white” or light field and the blue field, which I cannot explain. Further a line definement application seems to show substance to this appearance as it becomes almost identified as an object in the image.
In my opinion this would all seem to indicate something definitely exists anonomously within the space this image is taken of. With further analysis, and possible monitoring of this area, some of this might become clearer as to “what” may have truly been imaged. I find it interesting that this is the only anomalous image which occurred after my feeling this area out and hearing the knocking noises.
The following 3 photos were taken inside the administration offices and on the other side of the wall in the adjacent hallway. They are shown first in their original downloaded format and have the camera settings and time listed beside.
This is the photo I immediately noticed something in the upper center/right area above the door. Easily noticed even in the thumbnail view I proceeded with enhancements to reveal what clearly seems to appear as a face peering back. Time of this shot is 1:24:16 A.M. on 10/13. Camera settings are as follows: Aperture Value - f/2.6, Shutter Speed - .7sec, Exposure Compensation - +1 step, Flash- on, Macro-off, White Balance - auto
2. This photo is taken of the center administration office area with Alan simply making a turn to the right from his location in phot o 1. Time of this shot is 1:24:40 A.M. on 10/13. Camera settings are as follows: Aperture Value - f/2.6, Shutter Speed - 1sec, Exposure Compensation - +1 step, Flash-on, Macro-off, White Balance-auto3.
3. This photo is taken in Jim Kerns office where Alan heard the 2 knocks from. This is equivalent to being just a little down from the area of anomalous photo #1 in the adjacent hallway. There are potentially anomalous observations here such as the possible orb type sphere in the upper right hand corner. Time of this shot is 1:25:56 A.M. on 10/13. Camera settings are as follows: Aperture Value - f/2.6, Shutter Speed - .5 sec, Exposure Compensation - (- 2/3 step), Flash-on, Macro-off, White Balance-auto
4. This photo is taken right outside Jim Kerns office, and directly on the other side of the wall, adjacent to the area of anomalous photo #1in the adjacent hallway. The door you see on the left is the door observed on the right in the hallway in photo #1. Check out the white transparent midst to the left of the jamb of Jim Kern's doorway. Though it is highly suspicious, until further analysis is done, we are marking it off to a reflection for now.
5. Photo #1 enhancements show what appears as the image of a face, suspended in the space, seemingly peering down at the photographer Alan!
In the investigation of this evening indeed there appeared to be anomalous activity, or a possible presence, around the Administration Office area. While the digital images alone are not conclusive, they showed what appeared as faces, embedded within the airspace, toward the ceiling area of the adjacent hallway. Histogram analysis procedures indicates these images truly existed and were not a reflection or glitch in the imaging process.
Alan's feelings in this area, combined with the knocking noises he heard, lead him to image this entire area, based on these factors alone. The MCE of this all occurring out of coincidence and being due to natural explanations would be very low. Especially given also that anonomlous images were revealed at the same time.
Further testing and monitoring should be done in this area. This should include the Sony Night Cam and 30 MM film photography, along with digital imaging. Additionally other monitoring should occur with the ELF meter and the Tri-Field meter. The goal here would be to acquire backup photo documentation for dual imaging of the same factor, along with other associated field readings. Also a goal would be to ascertain any behavior or movement patterns within the anomaly and to also attempt possible communication with it to ascertain its possible existence as an independent aware entity.
The following photo and link are two spirit photos of other cases, which are very predominate in their appearance. This is to give the novice some idea as to how spirit may appear within an image. Most times the eye of a human will not see what the camera will. The reason we speculate has to do with the psychology factor. The lens of a camera has no psychology which is behind its functioning, for it will simply image whatever may be truly present, based upon the setting, lens, film speed, etc...
In some cases certain people whom are gifted, or clairvoyant, will see these anomalies. Other times multiple witnesses may see the same thing due to certain environmental conditions being just right, that are favorable and conducive to it's manifestation.
The following images are quite astounding and have an fascinating story which goes with them.