Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Prayer Support "Team" Vital for Our S.O.R. Unit

One thing we have never mentioned publicly in this Blog is our S.O.R. Unit and the Prayer Support Team that aids it. It's time to break the silence.

N.A.P.S. conducts very scientific investigations into alleged paranormal cases, and does so (unashamedly) from a neo-apostolic and scriptural Christian perspective.  As such, we have a Spiritual and Occult Research (S.O.R.) Unit made up of a few investigators within N.A.P.S. who feel they have a calling in their life to help people plagued by the demonic.  Plain and simple, it is our Demonology Unit.  We don't talk about it much because it is so misunderstood and even other paranormal investigators sometimes assume that this is what we "see" in every case - which simply is far from the truth. We are just ready when it does happen.  Severe demonization cases are actually rare (at least our case history).  We also are not "charismatic" Christians.  We are sober, rational investigators who are simply deeply spiritual in our Christian beliefs and faith, but are not "religious" in the sense of putting on a front or a masquerade.  We are into substance, not form.  We are neither charis-phobics nor charis-maniacs.  We are balanced.  However, this web-log entry is not about the S.O.R. Unit, it is about the Prayer Support Team that daily lifts us up in prayer, and helps keep us protected.

This fine group of people are dedicated, known prayer warriors who know how to pray and have the gift of intercession.  Most of them are elderly and retired.  They are the true saints of the faith, and possess much wisdom.  They more than accept what we do and fully understand us as helping people.  They have agreed to pray for us, specifically to help the Unit and the Team as a whole be protected as we go to various sites and locations.  They pray for us to be blessed and for the Spirit to work through us to set people free.  They pray that nothing attaches to us and follows us home and endangers us or our loved ones.  They understand and know that we will draw fire and actual curses and hexes from individuals due to the fact of what we do.  These people pray to protect us from those curses and hexes placed upon us, as they can be reversed or rendered harmless.  They are invaluable to our Team and we could not do nor would we attempt to do what we sometimes do if they were not there.

To Our Prayer Support Team:
We thank you from the bottom of our hearts for caring for us in such a special way, and for caring so deeply for souls in turmoil, distress and oppression.  We could not do what we do with the confidence level we do it with if you all were not there for us.  Thank you, and may God bless you; now and always may you stay blameless til He comes.

End Note: Our SOR Unit was called upon and activated just today - as well as our Prayer Support Team.  Sometimes we are called upon as consultants, and to stand by if we are needed.  We are currently in prayer (and some are also fasting) for a special need in our region.  If you feel so led, please pray also.  A family is in deep need.  Our Eternal Father will know of whom you are interceding for.  Thank you.

Never Waste A Trip Past The Myrtles...

Last night, Monday evening, NAPS Co-Founder and Case Manager Kim Frith and I (Mike Chapman) decided to drive down to the Best Buy store in Baton Rouge to purchase a Western-Digital hard-drive for a laptop computer that will give us a third laptop dedicated to NAPS use.  That's part of the curse of living in a small town, having to drive out-of-town to get such "basic" items.  However, it would give us isolated and significant time to discuss aspects of the team that we lead, our goals for 2011, and ways we can improve and grow.  The other bonus was even better...it would take us directly past The Myrtles on US Highway 61 South, in St. Francisville!

We couldn't resist taking advantage of the opportunity.  First, we were hungry, so we "invaded" the restaurant that is just a few feet from the main house itself.  We walked in dressed in blue-jeans around 8:00pm to a virtually empty place, with only one other couple seated in the entire restaurant.  The couple, dressed all proper, eyed us up and down with wrinkled noses as we were seated by Joey, the cook, who was covering as a waiter also, because the rest of the staff had probably been sent home on such a "dead" evening (sorry, couldn't resist).

Soon the other couple departed, which left us alone in the restaurant with Joey.  This allowed us to meet him and speak openly about who we were and what we do (paranormal researchers), whether or not he's had paranormal experiences while working there (of course, he had!), and when the best times are to make reservations to stay at The Myrtles and so forth.  Soon, we also met Beth, the owner of the restaurant.  We had a great time talking about things and feel like we made inside friends and connections with Myrtles staff.  It was a great evening just in that light.  We ate our food, which was absolutely delicious (thanks Joey and Beth!), left our NAPS card, and then we got up and went outside to resume our trip to Baton Rouge.  However, we couldn't resist a quick EVP and photo shoot on the grounds where our Team has gotten many positive EVP before.  That's when it happened...

We walked back to our favorite hot-spot on the grounds of the Myrtles, and Kim was conducting an EVP session using an RT-EVP (by DAS).  While she was doing this I (Mike) was snapping occasional photos.  As I was just watching her, suddenly I saw something move out of the right corner of my right eye.  I knew it was something significant, so I raised the camera and pivoted that direction to snap off a photo.  At exactly that same moment Kim said, "Is that you standing behind me?"  I snapped the photo, and captured the orb you see in the photo.

We know, we know.  You are thinking it's just dust or moisture.  Wrong.  It had been raining earlier, and there was absolutely no dust that could be there.  It was not raining at the time, so there were no droplets coming down.  None.  None of our other photos show any moisture or droplets on the lens (it would have been repeated in other photos).  It also simply appears to look different to us, than dust.  It really does appear to be glowing - or luminescent.

I can honestly tell you that we, as a team, are highly suspicious of orbs as genuine evidence, but we do believe that orbs as energy and/or spirit manifestations are occasionally the real thing.  Due to the context of this occurrence, which cross-references three phenomena occurring at the same time in exactly that area makes this orb, in our opinion, a candidate to be the real thing.  The photo is shown below.  You be the judge!

Oh, and one more thing, we did get four positive EVPs during Kim's 4 minute session, including 1 Class A, 1 Class B and 2 Class Cs (one Class C is in response to her question, "Is that you standing behind me?").  The class A EVP was in response to, "Can you tell me your name?"  The response is a very clear, "Stephen."  The positive EVP session enhances the context for a genuine orb finding, or "call."

Photo of Orb:  Pictures taken just before this one and just after show no such orb.  We do not think it was light refraction or reflection, moisture or dust.  Kim is just out of view to the left with her back to this phenomenon, and had just said, "Is that you standing behind me?"  I had just seen something move out of the corner of my eye and had swung the camera over to this position (in front of the stump) to take the shot, due to what I had seen move out of the corner of my eye.  All of this happened within a second or two. 

Monday, November 29, 2010

Mike & N.A.P.S.: Area Reps for American Ghost Society

We recieved an email from Troy Taylor today informing Mike that he and N.A.P.S. has been added to the official Area Representatives Roster on the American Ghost Society's website.  We use Troy's Guidebook, which is excellent, as one of our main training manuals.  This is an honor for us, and is one of the goals we wanted to accomplish this year because it represents a high level of professionalism and national recognition that our NAPS Team has achieved.  It means that we are achieving results as we work hard to accomplish our goal of being able to help people, both clients and assisting other teams.   

The American Ghost Society on what an Area Representative is/does:
The Area Representatives for the American Ghost Society are members who have been chosen to serve as contact people in their area for the general public and other ghost hunters; investigators and contact members for other AGS members in their region; and to report on anomalous events and hauntings in their state or region.

They serve as regional representatives for the AGS and are happy to answer questions and comments about their area from interested parties and other ghost hunters. They are also available to conduct investigations under the auspices of the AGS (or their local society) should someone know of a haunting in the region. They also serve as leaders to any other AGS members in their area who would like to participate in mini-meetings or field investigations.

Email from Troy Taylor:

Thanks for the message and sorry to be so slow in getting back to you, we were away for the holiday. Yes, I also remember us discussing this via email and I’m happy to have you on board. I added your information to the area reps roster this morning.
Best wishes,

Troy Taylor

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Kings Tavern Investigation Concludes Just After 3:00AM

Our field investigation of Kings Tavern last night was accomplished and evidence obtained.  The investigation began after set-up was complete, around 11:00pm and ended just after 3:00am.

Photo at Left:  A strange mist in upper right hand corner of photo while Team Leader Mike Chapman conducts an RT-EVP session on the back porch.  The MEL meter spiked to 5.3 (from 1.7) & was not being moved. It was laying on the deck of the porch.

Photo on Left:  This photo was taken immediately prior to the photo above.  Photos after do not show anything like this either.  "Cold air breath" or smoke was NOT the cause of this mist (none of our photos show any breath coming from any of us outside).  We also have a series of photos where we tried to recreate the scenario to try to get the same affect, but we couldn't.  Photos taken by investigator Benjie Sanders with a Vivitar camera.  The flash was on.

A MEL Meter is just below camera view, and Mike is pointing his flashlight at it, reading it as he pauses between questions.  It was pointed away from the interior of the structure toward the back yard.  This particular EVP session was targeted toward the Indian spirit that has been seen at King's Tavern, as well as Wiley "Little" Harpe, who research indicated was very likely to have been in King's Tavern often, unlike his cousin or brother (history is not clear) Macajah "Big" Harpe.  We think Big Harpe never stepped foot in Mississippi.  Arrowheads, pottery and artifacts discovered in the Natchez Area were laid out on the porch deck as well. 

This photo shows why it is so important to take wide angle shots while photographing on paranormal investigations so that if phenomena occurs around a Team Member, it can be seen on camera.  All of our investigators are trained and reminded to do this.  Mike and Benjie had the outside sub-team location on this, the first "ghost hunting" rotation.  While they were outside on the porches and grounds, two other "sub-teams" were both upstairs on the third floor and downstairs on the main floor.  A fourth sub-team of three people were also at Base, logging and watching the two four-way split screen cam monitors as well as the motion sensor cams.  We maintained coordination and extensive logging over professional level Kenwood two-way radios, which each sub-team has (as per law enforcement, we call our radios "zebras").  EVP sessions were called in by zebra and all teams stopped moving and remained quiet until each EVP session was over, then the "clear" signal was radioed in and teams could begin moving again.  We had three active rotations, which we call "ghost hunting."  Each sub-team did at least two EVP sessions per rotation.  These rotations lasted from 45 minutes to an hour each. 

In between the active "ghost hunting" periods, we have passive "ghost watching" time of around twenty to thirty minutes, in which we all gather back at the base and watch the DVR cameras and prep for our next active rotation, change batteries, gather appropriate trigger objects and talk to our next rotation partner about what we want to focus on next.  We also discuss with one another what our assignments for that rotation are, and the equipment we need to get those things done for this rotation and in our assigned location.  (We also have an ice chest with water and soft drinks as well as a bin of snacks at the Base - we know how to enjoy ourselves and we have a GREAT experience on field investigations!)  We leave room to discuss spur of the moment creative ideas and flexibility if things change and other investigative ideas need to happen.  We stress EMF, EVP and photography/videography by each sub team on each rotation.  While one partner does an EVP session, the other is filming or photographing.  Then they continue to move, watching the EMF readings.  If anyone experiences phenomena - a touch, a sensation, a smell, etc. - then it is called in on the radio and the base logs it as to time, who, location, and phenomena. 

Our base operates best when three people are on it, with one person controlling and aiding the sub-teams by radio and recording their call-ins, and two others are watching a monitor each, logging where teams go and things they see around them on camera.  It is an extensive log but is very detailed and helps out a lot with evidence review.  This gives us our two "areas" of phenomena and evidence: technical and non-technical.  Our technical data comes from audio recorders, cameras and meters; while our non-technical comes directly off of the log, as to smells, sensations, touches, and so forth.  We tell our investigators to radio in and log every real phenomena they perceive and experience.  As in Law Enforcement, if it wasn't written down, it didn't happen. Later, if we're trying to recall something that happened, all we have to do is go look at the log entry and what was written down and recorded at the time.

Our alternating periods of hunting and watching helps keep investigators focused and interested.  We also rotate the locations that teams go to, to keep their interest, motivation and focus on a higher level.  It's much more interesting to know you're going to get to investigate the entire site, than to repeatedly go back to the same area.  It's also good as a Team to be organized so that investigators are not just wandering around going wherever willy-nilly, and some important things don't get covered.  We find this field methodology to be a great balance so that people stay interested and enjoy their work but also the investigative goals are accomplished.

This photograph reveals great work by Benjie, who is a NAPS Investigator in training.  He is a Deputy Sheriff in the Criminal Patrol Division with the Adams County Sheriff's Department (and works on the same shift as Mike) as well as a Combat Engineer in the U.S. Army Reserve.  Benjie also collects Indian artifacts through area searches and provided many of the Indian "trigger objects" we used. 

Photo at Left:
A close-up, cropped area of the mist.  Some of our investigators say they clearly see a face, but we are aware of matrixing, and "seeing faces in clouds."  What do you see?

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Nine NAPS Investigators at King's Tavern Tonight!

Photo at Left: Five NAPS Investigators recently at Benbrook House Private Home on Pearl Street in Natchez. Front row, from left to right: Kimberly DeLorenze, Client Laura Newkirk, and Chris Jackson. Back row, from left to right: Michael DeLorenze, Mike Chapman, and Kim Frith. The team had several things happen and recorded evidence phenomena during the investigation.

The King's Tavern investigation is a major investigation for us, and nine investigators will be taking part.

King's Tavern Equipment to be used will include 8 high resolution infrared cameras; 2 four channel DVRs; 2 laptop computers; 2 motion sensor video cameras; 2 motion sensors; a Deep Infrared photo cam; a Full spectrum photo cam; 7 EMF meters; a Sony camcorder; several digital cameras; Canon 35mm camera...‎a FLIR i7 thermal camera; about a dozen audio recorders including Panasonic DR60, Zoom H2 and RT-EVP, Trifield and Trifield Natural meters, various atmospheric meters and equipment, static e-pod detectors and 4 Kenwood UHF Pro two way radios. We will conduct at least 18-20 EVP sessions.

We will use trigger objects in various targeted EVP sessions. Our investigation should conclude around 3am Sunday morning.  Investigators taking part: Mike, Kim, Chris, Kimberly, Michael, Summer, Cheryl, Benjie and Lisa.

[This Blog Site acts as an information flow to interested outsiders and Team Members, but also functions as an effective N.A.P.S. Team Journal, to keep a record of ongoing Team activities and news.]

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Mead Villa a Hot Location of Paranormal Activity

Photo at Left:  Investigator-In-Training Denise Frye uses a MEL EMF meter while checking the front parlour of Mead Villa on Wednesday night.  Photo taken with a FLIRi7 camera.

N.A.P.S. Investigators returned to Mead Villa again on Wednesday night, and it is proving to be an excellent training site for our new investigators-in-training.  We have not failed to get positive EVP each time we have done an investigative outing there. 

Seven investigators were out on this night, including Kim Frith, Mike Chapman, Chris Jackson, and Summer Stone; as well as Investigators-In-Training Denise Frye, Benjie Sanders and Lisa Hollingsworth.  They are quick studies and are already contributing to the Team in significant ways.  Benjie and Lisa will be involved in Saturday's investigation at King's Tavern, and Denise will join us for the Franklin County Private Home investigation on Friday, December 3.

Photo Above: N.A.P.S. Investigator and Lead Historical Researcher Summer Stone places trigger objects on the floor of the second story landing prior to a targeted EVP session.  She placed a Trifield EMF meter beside them as well.  Several of our EVP sessions have been positive for evidence while at Mead Villa.


Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving from N.A.P.S. to you!

This is the time of year when we pause to give special nation-wide thanks to God for all the things He has blessed us with. This is the first year for N.A.P.S. to be in existence for the Thanksgiving holiday, and it has been an amazing time. I personally am thankful to each and every one of our Team members, investigators and consultants. Your hard work, passion, enthusiasm and dedication is an inspiration. You have built an awesome research group.  I can't wait to see what we can grow into and how many people we can help.  Imagine - we're just starting!

Special thanks to our team members as well as paranormal investigators: Kim Frith, Michael & Kim DeLorenze, Summer Stone, Cheryl & Randy Freeman, Chris Jackson, Benjie Sanders, Lisa Hollingsworth, Denise Frye, and Fred Chapman; as well as consultants Don Estes, Mimi Miller, Jim Barnett and TG McCary.

Special thanks also to our clients as well (especially Laura Newkirk and Thom Drinkwater) and those of you who wish to remain anonymous but have been very much a part of our year. God bless all of you richly!

Finally, the Natchez Area Paranormal Society wishes all of our friends, paranormal colleagues, and visitors to our site to have a special and blessed Holiday season.  Happy Thanksgiving!

Investigative Outings to Elizabeth Academy & Mead Villa

Photo at Left:  Ghostly image is of five N.A.P.S. Investigators surrounding Elizabeth Female Academy on Monday night.  If you look closely, just above and to the left of the couple, you will see the outline of the remaining high wall that is all that is left of the Academy.  Photo taken of the Team by Mike Chapman using a FLIRi7 thermal imaging camera.  What we look for using the FLIR is extremely cold spots.  At left, the camera is set to read the temperature of whatever the center "reticle" is pointed at - which in this case is the back center of Investigator Benjie Sanders' shirt - reading 84.7 degrees.

Monday, November 22 from 10:00pm until midnight, six of us went out to both Elizabeth Female Academy and Mead Villa.  Five of six of us were physically touched or had something thrown at them at Elizabeth Female Academy, while positive EVPs were recorded at Mead Villa. One Investigator was conducting an EVP session with a DAS RT-EVP when she was grabbed on the hand.  One was touched on the right ear, and another felt her chest being pressed in upon.  All this occurred in one particular area.

At Mead Villa, Benjie Sanders had been there earlier in the day and felt a very strong sensation for about 30 seconds that he was being watched by something.  One such EVP was after "Were you watching Benjie when he was here earlier today?"  A response whispers, "Yes."

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

King's Tavern Investigation Set for Saturday Night

N.A.P.S. is set for our field investigation into King's Tavern this coming Saturday night at 10:30pm.  There will be around ten of us investigating the site, including consultant Don Estes.  The following photos were taken this past Saturday during our baseline readings/site review and in-depth interview with owner Thom Drinkwater.

Photo at Left: Portrait of a woman purchased by former owner Yvonne Scott in the rear of an Antique Store on Franklin Street in Natchez.  She purchased it due to the fact it matched her idea of what Madeline looked like.  Now, "Madeline" hangs over the fireplace mantel in the main dining area.  This is the fireplace where the alleged bodies were found "in the 1930's."  Extensive research has yet to uncover any historical proof of remains being found, including searching old newspaper archives and Natchez City Cemetery records. 

Photo at Left: King's Tavern Owner Thom Drinkwater discusses the Tavern's architecture, history and phenomena with N.A.P.S. Investigators. 

Photo at Left:  N.A.P.S. Investigator and Lead Historical Researcher Chris Jackson observing the famous "Madeline" portrait.  The left side of the fireplace is the supposed area where the three bodies were found.  Again, there is no historical record of any such thing ever happening.  That doesn't mean it did not happen, it just means that the story is just that - a story.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Busy Two Days for N.A.P.S.

Last night (Friday Nov. 19), N.A.P.S. held a Team meeting, which started at 7:30pm and ended around 9:45pm.  We were able to get a lot of things accomplished. 

Mike conducted training for about an hour on material and spiritual world overlap, and basic ghost-spirit entity theory.  He contrasted the Western world-view (split-world) with the Eastern more integrated worldview. 

Next we covered such topics as demonology (specifically: demonic "blow-back"), as we have had some demonic encounters recently and we wanted to discuss all of that and answer questions.  Mike went over the Law of Attraction and the Law of Permission, and also discussed a sub-law to the Law of Attraction that he has coined, called the "Law of Too-Much-Attention" which is a form of unwitting attraction in which a naive person can gain the attention and interest of demoniacal entities by being a bit too "open and eager."

Then, we covered more mundane (but totally necessary) topics such as naming, storing and uploading files to our Web-based storage site (SugarSync); and we discussed evidence review.  Sugarsync is an awesome tool we utilize so that everyone on our team can review any of our photo, video, audio, Microsoft Word, or evidence files on any case at any time, from a WiFi connected computer, or even their cell phone if it is online connectible.  We have "folders" in this data "storehouse" that also contain such items as all of our Forms and Documents (example: Declaration of Truth Form), as well as Interview Questionaire Forms, Log Forms, and File Naming Protocols. You name it...it's on SugarSync or headed there. 

As for our data from investigations, we all upload our files (again - whether it be audio, video, photo or Word document), and name them according to a team format for naming files.  Even our SmartDraw floor plans, phenomena charts, equipment layout plans, and all other SmartDraw video processes are on SugarSync.  (One awesome feature of SmartDraw is a one-click feature that will turn a full blown floor plan into a single sheet Word document or even a PDF file - amazing!)  All of our computers are "synced" as far as what we upload, so if one document is changed or added, it automatically is updated or added to all the others.  It doesn't allow access to one another's computers, just syncs what is uploaded.  It's great.  An example: I came home from King's Tavern this afternoon (discussed below) and uploaded the FLIRi7 baseline photos.  Now, anyone on the Team can check them out by going online - just that quick.  No more flash drives or burning CDs - except for evidence - but we have an entire section of SugarSync that just has the "pure" evidence (actual phenomena) clipped and stored neatly away under each case file.  The other parts contain the raw (original and entire) files.   

We covered the current cases and our schedule, and discussed as a team various aspects of the cases we are working on now, as well as recent cases we just came off of.  We also had a lot of fun discussing possible sites we want to explore next year, and brainstorming about things we want to do, which includes some overnight trips, new equipment, and fun sites.  Team members present were Cheryl Freeman, her husband Randy, Michael and Kim DeLorenze, Chris Jackson, Kim Frith, Benjie Sanders, and Mike Chapman.  We finished up the evening by laying out all of our Christian amulets, necklaces, crosses and crucifixes and having a blessing ceremony.  The evening was a lot of fun and we were able to get a lot done.

This afternoon (Saturday, Nov. 20), six of us went to King's Tavern and met with owner Thom Drinkwater (formerly Thom Miller) and conducted some of our pre-field investigative methodology.  The six were Mike C, Mike D, Kim D, Kim F, Benjie S and Chris J.  Thom gave us all a tour of the entire place, discussed much of the history and particulars, and gave us important little-known facts.  Then, as Benjie, Mike D and Chris took baseline EMF, Temp readings and took room-by-room photos, Kim D drew the floor plan and layout.  Meanwhile, Kim F and I interviewed Thom.  We worked through our normal set of 45 in-depth questions, but also had many more that we had formulated just for King's Tavern and were specific to this site.  It was an amazing afternoon, and while we can't reveal just yet what we uncovered, we did already make one amazing major investigative discovery related to one of the photographs that Thom has.  We do have the normal documents signed - a Declaration of Truth; a Permission to Investigate/Liability Waiver; and a Release of Information document. The release of information is subject to Thom's review after the reveal, which is why I'm not going to reveal our major discovery today until later.  It's rather stunning if I say so myself.  Sorry, wish I could say more.

N.A.P.S. investigates King's Tavern next Saturday night, beginning at 10:30pm.  Outside consultant Don Estes will be joining us and doing more dowsing work both inside and on the grounds.

[This Blog Site acts as an information flow to interested outsiders and Team Members, but also functions as an effective N.A.P.S. Team Journal, to keep a record of ongoing Team activities and news.]

Friday, November 19, 2010

Yes, We "Do" Science

Lest we be thought not to really conduct scientific investigations because we are too "religious," I have included a link to our entire equipment inventory (it's only 4 typewritten pages long!).  Actually it doesn't even include a listing of the dozen or more personal recorders and cameras we each have.  There are other teams who have more equipment, and of course it's not a contest, but I list the equipment just to show to our critics that we conduct hard-core scientific investigations - just from a Christian perspective.  We are a new group, formed just this late summer.  The "organization" itself is new, some of us have been researching the paranormal for decades.  We also have plans to add to our scientific tools significantly in 2011, along with another 4 to 6 investigators to help run it all (so that we can do multiple investigations simultaneously).  The question I would ask is, Why would we own all of these technical do-dads if we didn't use them?  Obviously, they have a purpose!  N.A.P.S. strives hard to strike a balance between science and belief, which we do NOT think are necessarily contradictions.

Our equipment inventory - click here.

It's A Shame We Have To Fight Christians In Order To Help People

You do what?!?
We conduct paranormal investigations at sites where there is reported odd or unusual activity that people can't explain.
Oh, you're one of them ghost busters!
Well, ahem, we don't really like to be called that cause... 
HEY! Where's your plasma-blaster ekto thingy? hahahahaha

And so the conversation usually goes.  I'm sure all of us who are members of a paranormal investigation team has had more than a few of these.  And so, we mutter our thanks to Bill Murray and Dan Aykroyd once again under our breath (thanks Ghost Busters!) and slink away, the ringing of laughter still in our ears.  Actually, these conversations don't really hurt.  They are simply the uninformed utterances of the ignorant, who a few hundred years ago couldn't grasp that the earth was not flat.  Actually, more often than not, don't you find yourself laughing along with these folks?  Because it is funny - the "insaneness" of it all.  Brevity and not taking yourself too seriously are important traits in this line of work.  And so, we laugh with them and go on our merry way.

Not so with another group of folks.  The more stinging conversations come from fellow "Christians" who stand mouth agape that we would do such a thing and wring their hands with a concerned look that communicates that we've sold our souls to Satan.  There was a time in my life when such antics and behavior would stir me to indignation and a passionate response.  No longer.  I've fought the battle against fundamentalists and their closed-mindedness for so long now, that my reaction is more akin to a sigh and a relunctance that I even have to drag up the energy to once again expose their condescension. With these folks there isn't a conversation to be had, as there's not much conversing that goes on.  It's usually just a one-way diatribe in which we are non-participants standing there listening to their lecture about how we are not conforming to the scriptures and that God forbids such things.  Worse yet, they claim that there are no such things as ghosts (disincarnate human spirits), that they are all just demons in disguise and they are fooling us.  They never once stop to consider that we do concern ourselves with "testing the spirits" (1 John 4:6) and that we have ways to go about what we do that can effectively do exactly that.  That's the rub, they assume a priori we are lost and gone astray, without ever once asking us to tell them what we are doing.  Right back to the lack of conversation issue.  That's their whole thing anyway: they aren't interested in conversation, what they want is condemnation.

Fortunately, these type of encounters are actually rare (in my own experience) and come from fundamentalists who are guilty of eisegesis rather than exegesis when it comes to drawing meaning and truth from scripture.  They are reading into the verse or verses what they want it to say, rather than drawing out from it what it is actually saying.  They claim to have such a "high" view of scripture, and yet they don't know how to properly process it.  In reality, what they have such a high view of is not the scriptures, but their own opinions.  I say the encounters are rare because they won't face you very often, what you get from them is a lot of talking behind your back, and so you get their "attack" from a third party.  Ah, fundamentalist guerrillas - you gotta love 'em.

The truth of the matter is, we are Christians who believe in a spiritual world in addition to the material-physical world.  When it comes down to explaining phenomena that is occurring which our scientific instruments (which are considerable) and our five natural senses can't explain - then we have the understanding and confidence to do so.  At N.A.P.S., while we conduct many public investigations into "known" haunted sites - such as recent ones at The Myrtles and King's Tavern - our heart is to do the private home investigations where people are upset, concerned and want to know what is happening to them.  These are the investigations that we (and I do think I speak for the Team) justify all the time, effort, and money spent.  Why?  Because we are helping people.  That's the bottom line.  So, it's a shame, as co-founder Kim Frith recently said, that, "We have to fight Christians in order to help people."  I thank God that such fundamentalist thinking isn't encountered extremely often (but it is out there lurking).  So, we can ignore them as being what they are - irrelevant to the real conversation - and relegated to a side "freak" show.  At the same time I also thank God we live in 2010 and not 1692, because thanks to that mode of thinking, we might be swinging from the end of a rope.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Team Schedule: Heads Up! - Brand New Dates

Kim & I have been busy, and tonight we were able to speak with a couple of site owners and schedule investigation dates.  Here's our schedule:

Team Meeting:  Friday, November 19 at 7:30pm
Team Meeting at Civil Defense Headquarters
For: Members (Applicants and Guests are welcome)
Topics: Upcoming Investigations; Goals for next year; Demonology; Evidence Review; Reporting & File Naming Protocol; SugarSync Data Storage Site; and What we learned from Benbrook House.  Last but not least - simply have fun!
Bring: Your Christian amulets, necklaces or whatever you use to the meeting for a Team Blessing ceremony

King's Tavern:  Saturday, November 20 at 2:00pm
In-Depth Interview with Owner of King's Tavern (Mike, Kim, Summer)
Baseline EMF (Volunteers)
Baseline Photo and Video (Volunteers)
Floor Plan Sketch & Measurement (Volunteers)

King's Tavern:  Saturday, November 27 from 10:30pm - 3:00am
Field Investigation at King's Tavern (Team - Entire)

Private Home:  Friday, December 3, 8:00pm - 1:00am 
Field Investigation at Franklin County Private Home (Team - Entire)

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Photos From Last Monday Night

More photos from Monday night's outing, where N.A.P.S. consultant Don Estes, using dowsing rods, located the remains of a female, 5' 7" in length:

Photo at Left:  Natchez Historian and Dowser Don Estes, a N.A.P.S. consultant, points out information about the grave he has just located, and tells us how his dowsing system works.  Don is the retired Director of the Natchez City Cemetery, where he used this technique with great effectiveness for many years.

Photo at Left:  Flag Markers locating each end of the grave.  No, those are NOT orbs - they are droplets of water as it was raining a very light mist.

Photo at Left:
Measuring tape signifying the exact length of the grave at 5' 7-1/4".

All photos taken by N.A.P.S. Investigator Benjie Sanders.

State of Mississippi Protection of Native American Sites

Today I spoke with consultant Jim Barnett on the grounds of The Grand Village of the Natchez Indians, and advised him of locating a likely burial site in Franklin County.  Jim advised me of just what I suspected, that Mississippi is only one of a hand-full of States that strictly prohibit the digging up of any Native American site, burial site or otherwise, without a permit from the Mississippi Department of Archives and History.  For a review of Mississippi law regarding Indian Sites, click on the link below.

N.A.P.S. has advised the site owners accordingly.  More than likely they stated that they will be simply placing more soil on the grave, as it is a low spot now, and honoring it by planting flowers.  I also advised them of the possibility of contacting Tribal Elders that they already have contact with, and talk to them about coming out and honoring the site in their own customary way.

Jim Barnett is Director, Division of Historic Properties, Grand Village of the Natchez Indians, Mississippi Department of Archives and History.  Jim has written extensively on the Natchez Tribe.  The photo at the left is the front cover of one of his books.  For an article about the Natchez Indians that Jim wrote, click here.

I was also able to get some insight as to Native American related information regarding King's Tavern, as we have reported phenomena that includes an apparition of an Indian that is often said to be seen there. 

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

N.A.P.S. Future Plans - Including Multiple "Sub" Web-Sites

As N.A.P.S. moves closer to closing out it's first calendar year of existence, we are "vision-questing" our future and enjoying brainstorming and making goals for what we want to accomplish in 2011.  One thing that excites me the most about our team is how professional and goal oriented our team is.  Everyone is constantly thinking how to improve themselves in their own skills and also about how to improve as a team.  It's a wonderful and awesome atmosphere to be a part of, and I thank each one of you for contributing to it.

Web-Site Build Out:
In keeping with our purpose statement, NAPS is continuing its build-out plans for the Team by discussing and planning our information gathering and sharing strategy.  We are extremely dedicated to our goal of education when it comes to paranormal research.  We feel strongly that there are many errors and misconceptions "floating around" about the field and the phenomena of hauntings, ghosts, and spirit activity.  We realize, of course, that there are many views and explanations as to these experiences and activities, and that no one is an expert.  Having said that however, we believe that some are more informed and closer to the truth than others.  As such, we wish to share our views and have them "put it in the mix" to be considered.  With that in mind, we are planning a muliple website strategy, with many "sub-sites" revolving around the "central hub" of our main website.  Each of these sub-websites would have its own specific and unique goal or purpose.

The Main Site:
Our main site is used as our mast-head and central "marketing" focal point to get everyone to.  It's purpose is to do three main things: 1) tells the who, what, why, where, when and how we do things;  also 2) is written for and to potential private clients who are having difficulty with paranormal activity and who want and need help- and shows them how to get in contact with us and what to expect with all of that; 3) is a hub that one can connect to, that links to other sub-sites for all kinds of information and education.  The other sites are stand-alone sites, but are really designed to supplement the main site.  By the way, "marketing" as a word does NOT mean "showing something in order to sell something" - that's called advertising.  Marketing actually means how you present yourself and involves your identity, character, and self-image - even if you are a business, or in our case, an organization.  It means how you choose to portray yourself.  Again, this is true for businesses and organizations as well as individuals.  Our website(s), the layout, the content, the colors, the photos, the words - all "market" us or "present" us to those who come to the site, and we need a site that presents us accurately - as serious professionals who know what we are doing.  We still have some work to do on the main site, including finishing up some pages and continuing to build and add other pages.  That will continue into 2011.

Blog Site:
The purpose of the Blog site (currently up) is to share information about the Team, what we are doing, and how we are doing it. One of the things we want to do in the future is share information about individual team members.  We are a team made up of really interesting, dedicated and talented people, and we want to share that with those of you who are interested in getting to know us better.

Case Files:
Instead of merely being a page on the main site, we want to expand this into a full blown site of it's own, with publishable cases that will help people better understand paranormal phenomena.  This will be a data-based type site, and Lead Tech Specialist Michael DeLorenze is the visionary and action man behind this concept - hopefully this will become a reality in 2011!

Historical Research Room:
Borrowing the concept from our friends at MSSPI who have an amazing research sub-Website, we too would like to post our historical research onto an organized and dedicated site.  We are very serious about our historical research, and dedicating a site to that would benefit our clients and others interested in the rich history of Natchez and Adams County.

Theology & Philosophy Site:
This site would be dedicated to defending and asserting our point of view of why we as Christians think that ghost hunting and research is not merely acceptable and okay, but should be seen as a valid mission of Christians living in a world where needs must be met with the answers that only Christ and His church can provide.  This page will be dedicated to how we balance science with belief, and defend our view to both secular purist science which scoffs at belief in God in general; and then too, against fundamentalists who think ghost hunting is dabbling in the occult and is not supported by scripture.  We will present our view that both are based in ignorance and wrong thinking.  As one of our Team members recently said, "It's a shame to have to fight Christians in order to help people."  This page will be a cogent theological and philosophical response in defense of Christians conducting paranormal research. 

This would be a site dedicated to education on paranormal research, parapsychology and ghost hunting - from vocabulary and terminology; main categories such as EVP and EMF; photography; methodology; equipment and how to use it properly; and all the seemingly endless things to talk about when it comes to ghost hunting!

Other Goals:
We have dreams of new equipment acquisitions for 2011 - including an Ion detector, a state-of-the art radiation detector, a carbon monoxide detector/meter, and other such items.  We are also envisioning a corporate sponsor that could provide us a permanent office and meeting space to call our own, and also a trailer for equipment.  We would love to add three or four more individuals with unique qualifications in areas such as psychology, research, and technical specialists.  While we're dreaming - a top-notch photographer/photography expert would be nice too!  One thing we don't have to dream about - cases!  We seem to never be short of both private and public cases to investigate, which is helping our experience and skill level to be polished and our methodology refined.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Franklin County Private Home Investigation - Dowsing Successful in Locating Remains

Photo at Left:  Outside Consultant Don Estes dowses for remains and locates the body of a female, 5' 7" tall.  Don is second from the left.  The woman who saw the apparition of the Indian is on the far left.  N.A.P.S. Investigators Michael DeLorenze and Chris Jackson are on the right.  Photo taken by Mike Chapman using a FLIR i7 camera.  We used a portable GPS to log the spot, did a sketch of the layout, used a compass to orient the grave, and used a tape measure to measure the exact length. 

Tonight we traveled to the Franklin County Private Home investigation site and took baseline EMF readings, took baseline photos of all the rooms, did our floor plan measurements, did final interview questions and follow-ups from our in-depth interview on November 11, and also located the exact area of all phenomena witnessed in the house (which has grown to 23 different occasions of activity varying from apports to apparitions).  N.A.P.S. Investigators present were Michael and Kim DeLorenze, Mike Chapman, Kim Frith, Chris Jackson and Benjie Sanders.

We also took outside consultant Don Estes with us, who besides being a historian, also has the ability and skill to dowse for remains.  The husband and wife walked us back to a remote area of the property and she took us to the spot were she had seen the apparition of an Indian who had told, "My mother is buried here."  Don located the remains of a female body within three minutes of beginning to dowse.  The body, according to Don, is of a female.  He placed markers at each end of the body, and we measured the distance at 5' 7". 

Don walked in concentric circles (a law enforcement search technique) in a wide area and did not locate any more remains.  He came back to the area several times and we watched closely as he got the exact same response each time.  This technique is not a gimmick nor a joke.  It is for real.  Keep in mind that as Director of the Natchez City Cemetery, Don has done this for many years locating remains that had to be disinterred and relocated, and has decades of experience that is tried and tested.  Don will also be accompanying us when we go to King's Tavern later this month and will be dowsing both in the back and side yards for bodies, as well as inside the tavern itself (he says it will work through the floor).  Don's dowsing is based on the polarity of the remains working in conjunction with the polarity of the dowser.  If you have seen it in action as we have, you would be amazed. 

Don, who originally was highly skeptical of dowsing, became a believer in the technique when he witnessed it and then began trying it himself at the Cemetery, and it worked each and every time he has done it.  We feel extremely privileged to be able to work with outside consultants such as Don.  He is a valuable asset to N.A.P.S.  We now will be consulting with an expert Indian historian who has written several books (and who is a friend of ours) about how to proceed with possible archaeological excavation of the remains, help us consult with Indian chiefs and authorities (Mike has Choctaw Law Enforcement buddies in Philadelphia, MS) and whether that is feasible or culturally acceptable.  Rest assured that N.A.P.S. will always respect that a human being's burial spot is sacred, and did advise the owners of the site of such sensitivities. N.A.P.S. is, of course, comfortable with the idea of leaving the remains and the site alone.  That decision rests with the owners of the land.  Our job is to help the owners receive solid information upon which they can make an informed, wise and morally responsible decision. 

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Bulletin To Team: Heads Up, Much Going On!


Monday Morning 11/15 at 8:00am

Historical Research Sub-Team is meeting at Mike's House (Mike C; Kim F; Chris J; and Summer S). We are going to go over King's Tavern History and continue to organize it. We will be developing a KT timeline on SmartDraw; an Line of Ownership Chart; Cite Sources Listing; and dole out report writing tasks and other duties. From this we should be able to soon (next month or so) launch our Historical Research WebSite.

Monday Evening 11/15 at 6:15pm

A group of us (Mike C; Kim F; Mike D; Kimberly D; Benjie S; and an outside consultant) are going to the Franklin County Private Home site to do the following: 1) Floor Plan sketch and house layout; 2) Record EMF baseline readings; 3) Take Photos of House and site; 4) Chart exact location of every single phenomena witnessed by family. Mike C has already typed the list up from the two-hour in-depth interview we had with the family on November 11. The list has 21 separate phenomena listed. We want to mark on the floor plan exactly where each one happened. This will be drawn up on SmartDraw as a transparency overlay on top of our floor plan, and will locate areas of highest phenomena.  From all of this information we will do our equipment location and layout plan, which will also be as a transparency overlay;  5) Record any other phenomena or information the family has thought of since we met; and, 6) Don Estes, one of our outside consultants (see main website under Consultants) will be dowsing for a body in the area where the adult female saw the apparition of an Indian and he told her, "My mother is buried here." Our field investigation into this site will be soon, probably soon after the KT field investigation. Meet up at B-KWIK on Hwy 61 North at 6:15pm.

Friday Evening Team Meeting at Civil Defense - 7:30pm

We need to meet this Friday in order to get ready for the massive investigation at King's Tavern. There are several things we need to go over in order to have the deck cleared for that. I'd like to have all our cases up to date and all reports, evidence review, and findings done and cleared out of the way for the KT field investigation - and I need to communicate a lot to ya'll with regards to that as well as get you up to date on some interesting cases. We also need to look at calendar stuff and see what everyone's schedules are.

Benbrook House DVR Data Uploaded to SugarSync

Michael DeLorenze has uploaded all of the DVR camera video from the field investigation at Benbrook House onto the Data Storage Site (SugarSync) for us to start reviewing those for evidence. Each camera has seven segments (files) on each camera - so there's plenty of evidence for everyone to sign online and start reviewing (hint, hint!!!). Get with Mike C or Mike D for details. Remember to mark the current "unk" (unknown - not reviewed) to either "pos" (positive for evidence) or "neg" (negative for evidence) once you've reviewed the entire file. Remember if you do spot evidence to mark the time begin and end for that clip to be "snipped out" for the reveal CD for the client (and for our files). I've already spotted evidence on Camera 1's third segment from 44:01 to 44:15. (Just now all of ya'll are scrambling to get online and look at it!!! LOL)

Late Breaking News
Just this evening since I got off of work at 6pm I've been notified of TWO possible emergency cases: a young woman having "a lot" going on and "needs N.A.P.S.' help"; also was asked to pray for an older lady who may have demonic influences going on in her home - EVPs from a trusted source indicate possible demonic activity.

On the Horizon: Mead Villa

Photo at Left: Mead Villa, Washington, Mississippi.  The site is near Jefferson Military College and Elizabeth Female Academy.

We are looking into the possibility of investigating a site in Washington, Mississippi that practically backs up to Elizabeth Female Academy.  The site is called Mead Villa, and supposedly functioned as a hospital in the distant past.  According to the current owners, many patients died there, and the place is supposed to be "very haunted."  Investigator-In-Training Benjie Sanders is interviewing the owners and doing some research into the site.  It is one of many sites we are currently looking into, as we plan our investigations into next year.

Friday, November 12, 2010

N.A.P.S. Uses A Visual Processor

Photo at Left:  Pictured are N.A.P.S. Investigators Michael Delorenze and Chris Jackson.  Michael is on the left in the dark jacket and Chris is on the right.  This is a recent photo taken while they were investigating the Elizabeth Female Academy located just off the Natchez Trace.  Michael is our Lead Technical Specialist and Chris our Lead Historical Researcher.  (Photo by Kim DeLorenze)

SmartDraw Software
N.A.P.S. uses a Visual Processor software called SmartDraw that helps us do a wide variety of things.  We use it to create our floor plans of a Case Site, and from those floor plans we are able to do field investigation plan layouts (also done on SmartDraw), using different colored symbols to represent various cameras and their angles of view, as well as symbols that are color-coded to represent various meters and other equipment.  All of our equipment and the base station is located on the Site Plan using these symbols and each piece of equipment's "aim-angles" are indicated.  We copy off a Plan copy for each Team Investigator going on location, so everyone knows exactly where each piece of equipment goes.  It makes set-up very efficient and quick.  We can also use the floor plan left "blank" and simply write down baseline EMF readings and temps right on the plan where each measurement is taken, put the date and time on it, and simply stick the plan in the case file. No more having to write down a bunch of entries on a log and write down exactly where you are.  Those are just a couple of examples of how we use the Floor Plan made with SmartDraw (there are many more). 

We also use SmartDraw to make visually powerful charts such as our Field Investigation Process Flow Chart.  We give a copy to our clients and it helps them understand more clearly what we will be doing.  They usually are very impressed when we hand them a Floor Plan of their site, along with our equipment location plan, and then hand them our Process Flow Chart.  It instantly shows them we are professional and very well organized.  The use of this software is almost endless, and it creates presentation quality visuals that are amazing.  We also use it to make visually impressive time lines, organizational charts and literally dozens of other visuals that are useful for our historical research, team files, and many other applications.  As they say, just as a Word Processor is necessary, now the Visual Processor is becoming a must have.  We've found it really useful and recommend it highly.  N.A.P.S. is constantly searching for creative tools to use to apply to our creative, professional approach to paranormal investigation.

We suggest you check out SmartDraw by going to their website (click here) and watching the Guided Video Tour.  Enjoy!

Team Busy with Evidence Review

Photo at Left:  N.A.P.S. Team Leader Mike Chapman at The Myrtles Plantation recently while investigating the grounds. The "wide shot" is on purpose.  Our investigators are trained to take wide shots to include "space" for entities or phenomena that might show up. You never know! Photo by Mike DeLorenze.

Currently we are busy with evidence review from last Wednesday night's private home investigation, as well as interviews, site reviews and transferring the floor plan of a residence onto our SmartDraw software program for a new private home investigation case.  Our current public cases are advancing as well, especially as we draw nearer to our field investigation at King's Tavern on what will probably be November 27.  Evidence review is a long and tedious process, and simply takes time and patience.  In every case we investigate, we list the things we learned and how we can improve our investigation methodology, technique, and execution.  We are also processing applications for new investigators - so we are very busy (and yes, we all have full time jobs!)

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Benbrook House, Natchez, Mississippi

Photo at Right: N.A.P.S. Investigators Kimberly and Michael DeLorenze on an investigation at The Myrtles Plantation recently. Kim and Mike participated in Wednesday night's investigation at Benbrook House in Natchez, Mississippi.

Benbrook House: 
Last night, Wednesday, November 10, five members of N.A.P.S. conducted a very thorough field investigation into Benbrook House, a private residence located on Pearl Street in Natchez, from about 9:00pm until around 2:45am. Now that a release of information form has been signed, we can tell you a bit more about this private investigation case. The home was built in 1883, and has been in the same family since that time. N.A.P.S. used extensive equipment and several different EVP approaches. Preliminary indications are fairly strong for significant paranormal activity. We experienced odors (the same smells that have been reported by witnesses); team sensitives feeling strong presence of entities; tapping noises; motion detectors going off all throughout the night; temperature drops; and other phenomena, including some video evidence we will examine really closely. Evidence review is now underway, and we should be posting our finding hopefully in about a week. Thanks to Laura (and Kathy) for being really gracious and hospitable hosts!

New Investigation Opened in Nearby County:

Tonight, Kim F and I (Mike C) are traveling to a nearby county for an in-depth interview and site review with a couple having what they claim to be significant paranormal activity in their home, and are disturbed by it. They claim this activity has been going on for approximately five and a half years now.  They have two children in the home. They feel strongly that if they turn to their pastor and their church they will be seen in a light they do not wish to be seen in, and when they turned to a paranormal team from another location, they were "turned off" by the Team's being far too "gung-ho" and seemed a bit too eager, immature and unprofessional.  The couple also stated that this team said they would come in and "do a seance and bring a Ouija board."  They were adamantly opposed to this and rejected the team accordingly.  They were about to give up when they found us.  This helps us know that our approach to paranormal investigation (both solidly scientific AND Christian) is one in which many people value and want when they invite a strange group of people into their homes and into their situation. It's just nice to know that our "niche" is valid and needed.

FLIR i7 is in:
Today the FLIR i7 arrived.  I've charged it up and have been using it around the house and outside learning some of its capabilities.  I'm also studying the manual to learn what all it will do.  It should prove to be a very useful piece of equipment on investigations, when used properly.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

At The Myrtles Plantation in St. Francisville

Mike using a DAS RT-EVP while preparing to conduct an EVP Session in the Ruffin-Stirling Room upstairs at the Myrtles Plantation in St. Francisville.  N.A.P.S. has been recently going there regularly to investigate.

Note the TriField EMF meter on the bed that he is keeping an eye on, as well as the two-way radio (a "zebra") clipped to his vest.  The cap light is a red LED tiltable light that can be quickly switched to white LED light if needed for safety.

Photo by Michael DeLorenze using an SVP full-spectrum camera in photo mode.
Sunday night, November 7, 2010.

"I know I have a honey-bun in here somewhere!!!"

The photo at left is of Michael DeLorenze in the General Bradford Suite bathroom, digging in his gearbag for some piece of technical thing-a-ma-jig.  You can tell he's our Lead Technical Specialist by all the "gear-debris" around him: 2 two-way radios (not just one), a UV flashlight, a K2 meter (with the LED flashlight turned on), a Panasonic RR DR60 and his N.A.P.S. cap! 

Photo by Mike Chapman using a SVP full-spectrum camera.  Same date as above