…or How I Spent My Saturday Night.
After a long, hard week Jim and I hit the road north. Our destination was Plattsburgh, NY. We were heading north for our first paranormal investigation, thanks to the invite we received from our friend Merrill, President of the Northern New York Paranormal Research Society. That evening we would all be checking out the Plattsburgh Air Force Base gymnasium…but first, Ponderosa and some planning.
There were nine of us going on the investigation. All of them were NNYPRS team members except for Jim and me. As usual with the NNYPRS, we first had to eat, drink (non alcoholic beverages), and be merry, before we could settle in for some shoptalk.
Merrill gave us the haunting low down on the gym we were heading to after dinner. Primarily people reported hearing noises while alone in the building. Some reported voices, some heard knocking or banging, and others whistling. A source confided to Merrill that while lifting weights, with his back to the door and facing the mirror, he saw a man walk by the door in each direction. Both times the source went out to find the man, but could not locate him. In addition, there was a brief bit found on line about a man seeing a soldier on the basketball court. While eating dessert, we discussed all the basic, non-paranormal things that could cause many of these things, including old heating systems, water pipes, etc.
When we arrived at the Air Force Base gymnasium, we got to meet Erin Connors of WPTZ Channel 5 News and her cameraman. Yes, we had a television crew there with us. Of course we had known about this before hand, what Jim and I had not realized was that they were there for everything. Jim and I assumed they would talk to Merrill and Dave, the President and Vice President of NNYPRS respectively and not particularly care about the rest of us. Um, we were wrong. And if you catch the segment, there is a good chance you’ll get to see me, in sweat pants and a sweatshirt with my crappy who cares ponytail. Lovely.
Now to work. First, we got a tour of the facility. This place was a maze of rooms! Right away we all noticed lots of old pipes, etc. that could easily cause knocking sounds. Also, we all seemed certain this place was designed to echo and carry sound, another possibility for hearing voices. While in the weight room, a cluster of us took some time to study the weight bench that had the door behind it. This would be where the person who saw the man walk by would have been. Thanks to ample mirrors (which for the record, make you look fat!) and some windows, we could imagine picking up something from outside to perhaps explain the man. Some of the NNYPRS went about setting up home base, which involved putting up some stationary cameras that fed into a recorder that also allowed us to view the four camera views at the same time. While that was being done, two groups of three people each went around to get base readings of all the rooms we would be going in. I got to be EMF girl, with my very own electromagnetic field reader. I was with Jim, who got to be room temperature guy, and Dave, the Vice President, also known as EMF guy and guy who makes sure Jim and I do what we’re supposed to guy. None of us noted anything unusual about the rooms we examined. Temperatures were constant, EMF readings were consistent, and my readings matched Dave’s.
After all of the set up work was done and we completed our initial readings and notes on the location, two groups of three went off in search of the paranormal. Jim and I got the best job, along with NNYPRS team member Sarah, the three of us got to watch the monitor at home base. After all the hiking around of the tour and taking base readings, sitting around and watching others work seemed like the best plan. None of us noted anything unusual and when the teams reported in, they had not found anything either.
However, we all noticed that sounds and voices carried a long distance in the building. Voices could be heard through walls, down hallways, and on different floors of the building. Later, three of us went outside the building and walked all the way around talking, whistling, and making assorted sounds. Everyone inside could hear us, often times clearly. In addition, people threw balls in the racket ball and handball courts, and opened and closed lockers. All of those noises could be heard throughout the building quite clearly. At this point, we decided mundane things could easily explain any report of noise.
We did not see or hear anything that appeared to be paranormal. One NNYPRS team member thought he had heard some voices coming from behind a closed door to an empty room, but although he couldn’t explain for certain where the sounds came from, he didn’t feel they were necessarily paranormal in origin. The only thing we could not explain was the soldier sighting, but since the rumor was light on details, I for one, am not overly concerned about a haunted gymnasium.
Around 11p.m. Jim and I hopped in the car and started our two and a half hour drive home. At 1:30, I collapsed into bed and essentially slept my Sunday away.
My work was done, but for the NNYPRS, there are still hours of video and audio tape to review, along with dozens of photos to be examined before they can call it case closed. For me, not burdened by having to review notes, etc. I feel I can quote my boys at Mythbusters when I say, Plattsburgh Air Force Base Gymnasium haunting? Busted.