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Crackpot (jackpot?) With a Crackberry

YUP, yesterday it was Friday the 13th. Every month that we have one I declare it as my favorite day... not sure why, perhaps I'm a non-conformist... or more likely, I am superstitious to the point that I feel I need to try personal reverse psychology.

Again, it's been a few days but not necessarily a boring few days. Research continues. D.A.R.T. has asked me of my knowledge about a few more places in CT., hopefully be able to plan a haunted weekend in Connecticut. Not originally being from this state, I hadn't heard of any, although I have now !!!

So, I am studying up on and am going to try contact the curators of the New London Ledge Lighthouse, Penfield Reef Lighthouse and the Huntington Homestead. I will do a post later as to what I've found so far but don't have a lot of time right now.

Camp CT continues to "reside" in Colchester. I took a ride by the camp during the day to try to debunk the white "vision" I saw when I visited. I needed to see during the daylight exactly how far down the dirt road the main sign is from the point at which I first noticed it.

It was a clear day and many leaves have fallen so the sign is PLAINLY visible from the gate... and MUCH closer to the gate that I had originally thought - I could easily see a deer standing near the the sign, looking at me, without the use of binoculars !!!

So, I roughly guesstimated the sign to be 300 or 400 feet from the gate. I could be way off but it's at least half the distance than I thought it was, showing me that my friend and I were much closer to the sign that I thought... probably halfway to it.

NOW, this realization proved to me that it was NOT the sign that I saw that night - what I saw was much further into the camp. TRUE, that doesn't make what I saw a spirit, but it does make what I saw NOT that sign....

A lot of my research lately has involved some of the equipment and how it is used by professional ghost hunters. This stems from the fact that I have a date with a ghost... My personal hunt with TheCrimeBrat has been scheduled for next Saturday, the 21st. Obviously, we will be discussing the details before hand so I will post a "Preview to the Poltergeist" (or something like that) closer to Saturday.

We don't have a lot of the "fancy" gadgets normally used so that prompted me to do some testing in order to decide if we may have more than we think.

Along with researching Digital Voice (EVP) Recorders), I tested my Blackberry as a one... placing it on my kitchen table and going about my business. I was more than pleasantly surprised by it's sensitivity and ability to pick up distant sounds... I feigned a "cough" from around the corner and down the hall which was loud and clearly audible.

Playback through the external speaker was quite unprofessional but the fact that it picked up my cough clearly from down the hall as I was walking in the opposite direction, prompted me to try to figure out how I listen to this more clearly.

So, I listened to the recording through the ear-bud headphones that came with the phone - I've always liked how much better music sounds through them. Using the headphones made the playback much easier to hear... a lot less "hum", so I was able to hear more than just my cough... NO, I didn't here voices. Actually, I'm still testing that !!!!

While researching actually recorders and from seeing Paranormal Activity TWICE, it's apparent that professionals upload their recordings to a computer and analyze them with some sort of software. SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO....

I uploaded my recording to my computer and tried to listen to it that way. That's when I realized drawback #1.... Cell phones are obviously not made for EVP recording as they use a compression format known as AMR - Adaptive Multi-Rate - and save files as ".amr" files instead of a standard format like ".wav", ".wma" or an mp3. So, It wasn't recognized by Windows Media Player or any of the regular media players I have...

Although I was able to determine that .arm files can be played by Quick Time Player and I did download the .amr player from above, the quality wasn't much better than listening to it directly from the Blackberry... and neither of these players offer much in the way of analyzing and editing recording - they are merely players...

SOOOOOOOOO... I downloaded several different sound analyzing/editing programs to see, if any, what options they offer to be able to decipher otherwise inaudible sounds. Here's where I ran into more drawbacks... none of the software I found was able to readily play an .amr file, although some support them enough to be able to convert them to a more universal format. So I did that, but with the thought of possibly losing some of the integrity of the data recorded (drawback)...

I spent literally hours playing the recording testing different programs to drop out the "hum" - which I later considered could be caused by the fact that cell phones emit a radio signal... DUH !!!! I should have disconnected it from the wireless network... or it could be the energy emitted from the battery itself... or maybe the refrigerator even...

I also realized by using these programs that obviously cell phones record in "mono" (drawback?) instead of" stereo", and thought it may be better to be able to analyze the separate left and right channels in order to truly realize what has been recorded.

In any event, along with the fun I had with these programs, I was able to clarify the recording to the point where I could ascertain the sounds of cars passing by (most likely).... with the house closed up tight and the phone being probably 75-100 feet from the street... hmmmm. I was also able to ascertain that I need to learn more about analyzing recordings for EVP - be looking for THAT post....

With only a week to go until the hunt, I decided that although perhaps an option, using my Blackberry to try to capture EVP's just may may not be a GOOD option... too many variables involved... not mention that site explained that .amr may be good for simple voice recording, but not much else... another drawback.

So, the search was on for a Digital Voice Recorder. I won't go into the details involved in that search as you know that I am very thorough... and frankly it would make a boring post...

BUT... I did purchase what seemed like a much better (and cheap) alternative on eBay.. the Olympus WS-400S ... It certainly isn't the top of the line but it records in stereo, has an XHQ (EXTRA high quality) recording mode, has 1 Gb of memory (up to 272 hours of recording time), can connect directly to my computer (no USB cable needed) and saves files in the .wma format... so, no conversion needed... it was LOCAL... and the price was right... SLAM DUNK....

I need to wrap this post up as I'm going to pick up my new toy today. I will testing this new recorder to help me understand better how to use it.. I will ALSO be performing extensive testing on software and how professionals use it to decipher EVP's.

But, before I go, I WILL share my latest experience with MY ghost. Perhaps because it was Friday the 13th... perhaps not....

I was in my room last night laying down with Snoopy watching X-Men on my Blackberry... no one else was home.... SUDDENLY.... {knock, know, knock knock}... I heard 4 very distinct... VERY close knocks... ummmm, actually they were on my bedroom door which was ajar at the time.. I know it was my door because I have hollow-core doors and they make a very distinctive sound...

Needless to say, I was a bit freaked as it was late and the house was dark, including my room... except for my Blackberry screen...

I called out "Who's there?", hoping it was a child of mine.. no answer... I stopped the movie and focused the light from my Blackberry toward the door... nothing... I snapped a quick picture.... nothing.... I turned on the light and investigated.. nothing and no one... hmmmm.

So, I don't know what it was, but I DO know that SOMEONE(THING) knocked 4 times on my door last night........................ gotta run !!!

HAPPY H(A)UNTING !!!!!

2 screams:

bob said...

Great Blog. I've add a link here on my site main page at ctghostseekers.com
I'll be watching to see what you find at camp Ct.
Also in your area is Gay City. Lots of ghostly stories from there. I hope to be doing a investigation with a team there in the near future. Let you know how it turns out.

Chris said...

Hey John! It's been a while. I was wondering if you had considered any haunted places in nearby Rhode Island? Growing up, I lived in front of some woods with a long, winding dirt trail that led up into them. The wooded area was called Hanton City. It was said to be haunted and had onced been a settlement. Actually, a couple of settlements. First, it had been settled by loyalists of King James in colonial times, and then later by a community of granite miners and farmers, since the area was rich in granite and known to have good soil. The second settlement mysteriously vanished. Some say by Indians, others speculate by plague. It's not known as there were no history logs recovered. I can tell you that as a boy, I encountered some spooky stuff out there, including dug out graves.

You may also look into Fort Wetherill in Jamestown, RI. It was an old Civil war outpost and later a coast defense during WWII. They engaged several Nazi subs. Many Federal soldiers must have died there, although there were no combat related deaths recorded during WWII. Just wanted to give you a heads up. Take it easy.