We're super busy with historical research into King's Tavern and doing interviews with many who claim to have had experiences there. We have a very strong element within the team that is proving to be extremely adept at true historical research and data collection (which proves that a good Team is made up of individuals performing the area of expertise they enjoy best). As for the historical findings – we are discovering a LOT of folktale stuff that has little to do with factual history, but the history is interesting enough to be sure! For example, some of the brochures put out over the years and the historical marker itself, are simply incorrect. We are fast becoming true historians I think, but we're uncovering lots of factual info that's even gotten the attention of our local historical society - which is fairly substantial here in Natchez. I'm really proud of our work into KT and what we are uncovering that has been buried for so long (no bones or dagger yet though!). Keep in mind this is only the beginning, and as this case file grows over the coming months and years, our KT historic research sub-file, I predict, will be the source of many inquires by historians and historical societies who want to have a factual history (and other paranormal teams who want to come in with eyes wide open). We have leads yet to run down for this fall 2010 KT investigation, but the team has started to shift into our interview phase (to see our methodological process, click here). This shift is occurring naturally, because many people who, as we've been researching the history, have popped up from everywhere wanting to tell us their story about what happened to them when they worked there, etc. So, it's been an easy transition into the interview phase.
We are looking to the data from the historical research phase and interview phase to “feed” and inform our field research phase. We are already uncovering and identifying, from interviews and research, what we call “patterns of phenomena” to give us identification and characteristics of hot spots (the specific locations of repeat anomalies). Also, the historic research and interviews give us “angles” or approaches to work during the EVP sessions as to who or what we may be dealing with, instead of being totally blind (which can be a very valid and effective approach that we sometimes use, due to advantages that this “blind” method can provide). For this investigation however, we will use this pre-field collected data in order to target our cameras and instruments in an efficient, more effective way that gives us maximum potential for capturing or recording phenomena when we “go hot” mid to late November. This will be the first of what we hope will be many field investigations done by the N.A.P.S. Team into KT.
As a result of the data so far (it could change), we're postulating three EVP “angles”: an Indian angle; a Postlethwaite angle (we’re beginning to strongly hypothesize that the "Madeline" is not a servant girl of Richard King's at all, but a Postlethwaite), and finally the traditional angle of the servant girl of Ricardo King. So, with regards to that we are preparing and tweaking our trigger objects and era cues along all three axis of EVP targets.
Just a bit of a summary of our field methodology for KT (details would take pages):
We will have a base team of 2 or 3 individuals on the DVRs and their respective eight high resolution infrared cameras, as well as monitoring atmospheric data at the base. This base team will also log specific items called in by two-way radio from either of the two or three cells (sub-teams) that will be assigned to a certain sector of the Tavern. In addition to the base, we will probably use three roving sub-teams, with one exterior (including upstairs porch); one upstairs (including attic); and one downstairs. The base team will not rotate. The others will rotate locations during the overall session (3 - 4 hours) to take advantage of strengths and differences in personality, style and approach to paranormal investigation. This keeps the teams fresh and focused, as they move on to a new area of the site. Of course, this plan could be altered at any given moment, especially if one makes significant sustained contact. We will also use both hunting and watching approaches during the field session, with times of settling in and simply waiting quietly for phenomena (watching) and other times of movement and activity (hunting). We will have all four sub-teams or cells (including the base) conduct 2 EVP sessions each, for a total of eight. Each EVP session will be around 5 to 8 minutes in length unless again, they get responses, then they will be cleared to continue longer. While each does their EVP session, the other sub-teams will pause and be silent. So, the EVP sessions overall will be nicely timed and spaced throughout the location. Everyone will tag (identify) any noises they make during that time. This emphasizes the importance of communication and coordination with our two-way radios.
Another interesting thing we will be doing that night, is to dowse for both water and for bodies. A quick word on dowsing: our team philosophy is that dowsing is not necessarily divination. We think that there are forms of dowsing that are scientific in approach – it isn’t known exactly how this works, although there are many theories. It is this later approach that both of these dowsers use, not a mediumistic, divination approach. We have an in-team dowser who can locate water by this method. We have heard stories and rumors of an underground spring on the site. So, we want to see if this is true (we are aware of the theory of ley lines being associated with underground springs as well. Hey, it’s all interesting, right?). The other dowser is an outside consultant/specialist that we want to bring in to dowse for any bodies buried under the floor, and in the yard (the grounds). He has very successfully done this in the past. As a paranormal research team, we are open-minded into many theories, but we do have our limits. For example, we do not use séances or Ouija boards. The methods described above might not be for every team, but falls within acceptable methodology for N.A.P.S.
The utilization and placement of all the other (seemingly tons) of equipment, such as the FLIR i7, the Deep Infrared and Full Spectrum, the Vibe meters and E-pods, Panasonic RR DR60 and myriads of other styles, types, and brands of cameras, audio recorders and equipment…is too detailed to go into here. I will say that we will be placing a Zoom H2 on a boom mic stand in the central hub of the Tavern to record from start to finish. There will be a multitude of camcorders and EMF, RF and ELF meters and radiation detectors, etc. focused in on KT that night, including in the attic where the baby crying is said to occur. Suffice it to say the entire tavern will be under an electronic and digital umbrella. With this full-blown investigation, using all of our people (including an outside consultant), and all of our available equipment, this will make Evidence Review & Analysis a very time consuming process to say the least! But, the way I look at it as Team Leader, this is excellent training for our people who have never done this level of investigation before. Since N.A.P.S. as an organization is new, it’s good to start with such a difficult and time consuming investigation – although we are, in the midst of all of this, doing many other mini-IVs (investigations) too. Why? Because we can’t help ourselves – we have to be in the field with a camera and a meter pointing at something! It’s our passion!!! We hope it is yours also, and that you’ve learned something by reading this. If you have a question, comment, or observation that you think we should try, make a comment below or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Thanks, and happy hunting! - Mike Chapman, N.A.P.S. Team Leader