A Cigar-Shaped Craft

Stafford  isn’t far from Bradley Field in CT, so air traffic is a fairly frequent occurrence.  But one afternoon in late November 2017, it wasn’t a Boeing or an Airbus that made an appearance.  While sitting in a shopping center parking lot, waiting for her husband, a woman saw a large, cigar-shaped, metallic craft emerge from the Northeast.  There were no apparent wings or tail structure.  The object was drifting rather low above tree level and didn’t make any noise.   She looked around the parking lot to see if anyone else was noticing it, but anyone who was outside seemed focused on their shopping bags, vehicles, and/or cell phones.

She continued to watch the craft’s trajectory toward the Southwest.  It continued on and went behind a stand of tall trees and out of sight.  She kept watching, expecting it to re-emerge from the other side of the copse, but that didn’t happen.  The object never re-appeared.  There was no apparent place it could have landed and there wasn’t any kind of a crash anywhere.  It simply vanished.

I have neither heard nor read about any other account of this sighting.  I did check on Peter Davenport’s National UFO Reporting Center website, (nuforc.org), in the state of Washington and found eight UFO reports for central MA and six UFO reports for northern CT within a week or so of this sighting, but found nothing from the Stafford area.

How many people look up a lot these days to gaze at the stars, watch the clouds, or even take in a beautiful sunset?  Ancient peoples studied the heavens to determine and plan their cycles of life.   In the twenty-first century, people study the horizon of their cell phones, glued to mundane messages that don’t foretell much past the next few coming hours.    We miss so much and don’t seem to care if we are in touch with our greater universal existence or not.

– ashanta

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AI and the Paranormal

Is AI a paranormal subject?  I can’t give a definitive answer to that question, but I do know that it certainly isn’t normal.  If it is paranormal, it is the only paranormal entity that scares me – a real lot.  When the elitists and power-grabbers start infusing machines with the minds of humans, the question of whether ghosts are real or not won’t have to be discussed.  They won’t be.  And – those greedy for power, (under the name of science and technology),  started their subtle quest to conquer humanness into the body of a robotic back in the early 1960’s. After their first attempts to conquer space, NASA figured out that man could not make years-long travels to other destinations in space without changing biological structures as they presently exist.   Even after a few days of weightlessness in space, man starts losing both bone and muscle mass.  It became clear that mechanical intervention has to happen.  But how much is considered necessary?  Now 50-odd years later, the push is on to gain general acceptance for AI and so is the hypnotic rhetoric to the walking sheeple.

Movies like Bionic Man, Wonder Woman,  etc. started making appearances in many flics over the next decades.  This genre has since increased in frequency and great effects like those seen in Arnold Swartznegger movies and others help introduce and romanticize the effects of implanting and sharing human qualities with machines.  This ploy, I think, is meant to lull the masses into acceptance and eagerness to participate in this great new venture.  If Hollywood does it – it has to be good.

The proponents of this technology offer eternal good health, immortality, and the ability to know all you want to know about everything, and do what you want to do forever.  But, will you still want to know? Will you still want to go skiing, biking, to bars, to restaurants, still love your hobbies?  After your mind is sucked into a machine what happens to your enthusiasm for your passion about something or someone?  Does passion still exist?  Passion, dreams, goals to aspire toward, enjoyment, and other emotional drives that make us who we are would no longer be exist within the framework of techno-bionics.   You may be able to live eternally, but who will you be?  Will you be able to recognize yourself?  Will you care?  And, if you do care – what kind of prison have you allowed for yourself to become trapped within?

The fusing of mankind into machines  —  AI  —  Accepted Imprisonment.    It would be nice if this new technology would be used for the betterment of humanity, advancements for the environment,  and general well-being for the concommitance of existence we live within, but who determines and governs what measures of integrity will be accepted and enforced?  Does integrity still exist today?

–  ashanta

And – Cryptids in Connecticut

Part 1: The Black Dog of West Peak
Do you believe in harbengers of fortune? The Black Dog of West Peak is believed to be one.
In the area of Meriden, Connecticut there has been tale of of a small black beast believed to forecast man’s future. He silently emerges from the forest with his onyx coat and intensely sad eyes. When you see him he may even wag his tail, but don’t be fooled, he is not to be confused with any ordinary dog. He now holds the key to your fate and no matter how comfortable you become with his company you best hope when you part ways you never see him again.
Tales of this prophetic canine have circulated the Hanging Hills area for as long as the late 1700’s. Residents past told tale of a mysterious Black Dog. He makes no sound, be it bark or stride, leaves no track in dirt or snow, who appears out of nowhere and, if spotted, “…once, it shall be for joy; and if twice, it shall be for sorrow; and the third time he shall die.”
W. H. C. Pynchon was a geologist from New York who set out on a geologic survey to Meriden to study the unique outcroppings of the Hanging Hills which were formed over 200 million years ago by volcanic activity. The area is rugged and rural with an unforgiving terrain of craigs and fishers that can be trecherous even today.
While out collecting samples for study on the West Peak, Pynchon was surprised as he looked up from his work and saw that he had been joined by a medium size black dog. He spoke to the animal and it seemed to acknowledge him, but was just as happy investigating the terrain as Pynchon was.
Throughout the day the dog followed his wagon and stopped with him at each stop to examine the area, just as W. H. C. did. As the night drew in Pynchon, in need of dinner and lodging, began the trek back into town. The dog kept close and even followed ahead for a while, but stopped at the spot Pynchon first saw him and “quietly vanished into the woods.” He had grown quite fond of his new companion’s company and thought warmly of the beautiful day they had shared together.
Some time later Pynchon returned to the Hills to collect more samples and data. Along the way he ran into an old friend and colleague, Herbert Marshall of the United States Geological Survey.
After some catching up the topic of conversation turned to the legend of the Black Dog. Both men had seen him before, but were still not convinced that it was anything more than a quiet, friendly tramp. Pynchon as a man of science dismissed the warnings as pure superstition and folklore. Marshall had seen him 2ice, but was adamant that he did not believe in bad omens and they made plans to set out for West Peak the next day.
It was winter and the ground was covered in a thick layer of snow. The cold was bracing, but the men were entheusiastic and looking forward to reaching the summit of the peak. Despite their good humors the terrain was difficult and the ascent, which was physically exhausting, went at a slow pace.
Nearing the top Pynchon took a rest to catch his breath and steady himself. When he looked up he saw his companion Marshall, who was in lead, stone still, speechlessly pointing toward the top of the cliff. He followed his gaze and to his shock he saw the Dog, Stygian black against the white snow, staring intently down at them. He glanced back at his friend. All color had drained from Herbert’s face and he was now shaking in terror, “I did not believe it before, I believe it now; and it is the third time.”
As Marshall uttered the last sentence the outcrop of stone on which he was standing crumbled beneath him and he fell to his death.
W. H. C. Pynchon’s story ends both in his belief in the legend of the Black Dog and his acceptance that this will also be his fate. His account is followed by an excerpt from the New York Herald detailing his death at the foot of West Peak very near where Marshall’s body had been found.
Even today there are still accounts of people seeing the Black Dog and tempting their fates with the possibility of encountering him too many times.
In 2006 Connecticut Windows On The Natural World published an article on their blog that featured an interview with a man named Michael Anatasio, an ex-marine from Meriden, who claimed to have seen the Black Dog and showed his photo of it.  (Link HERE):
Judging by the comments that followed he was not alone.
Unearthly dogs have been described in many cultures around the world.
In Scotland and the Hebrides there is the Cú-Sith, a mythological hound similar to the famous “Hound of the Baskervilles” from Sherlock Holmes. This giagantic wolflike creature is said to be dark green or white and shaggy. It is a harbinger of death and similar to a Banshee it wails. By it’s third call you will die and it will carry your soul away. Similar Dogs exist in Welsh and Irish folklore.
Does the Black Dog of West Peak really exist? Could he be the American relative of the Cu-Sith who immigrated with America’s first settlers? Are his eyes so mournful because of his burden to warn Man, his best friend, away from his fate?
                      –  Moonchild

An Uncomfortable Story

This is a personal account and one of the first that confirmed for me that all the things I had been experiencing may have actually been real.  I was not yet a teen, my father had died, my mom remarried, and we moved to a different state, (MA), to a new life.  I had a step-sister about 17 years my senior.  She had a fantastic job in the Boston area and lived there alone with her very young daughter.

One day, not too long after our move, we got a call that Barb, (not her real name), had been found dead after a presumable jump from her 10th, (or so), floor apartment.  This didn’t seem right.  She loved her daughter and had plans for their future together.  Her job was secure and she was successful.  Suicide just didn’t fit the picture, but I guess it often doesn’t make itself apparent.   But, there was this mystery man in her life that no-one in the family had met or knew.  No one knew who her daughter’s father was, either. According to neighbors of hers, this man visited her place often.  But who was he?  Did she really jump?  Why would she have done something like that with such a bright future and a kid she loved so very much?

Since I was considered, by my stepfather, too young to go to the funeral, I stayed home.  There were subsequent investigations by police into her case.  There were things that just didn’t seem plausible or to fit into the scenario.  There were some clues that could have suggested foul play.  There were questions that no one found answers to, but nothing ever came to fruition that I know about.  If this situation may have been a homicide it certainly has remained a cold case.

As I got older I decided I’d like to visit her grave.  I knew she was buried in Spring Grove Cemetery in Florence, MA – a suburb of Northampton, but had no clue about where.  I parked the car and got out, walked around for a bit, and then just stopped and looked.  Suddenly, I saw this woman with short brown hair and a blue dress wave to me.  She motioned with her hand to follow her.  I did.  She took me right to the site I was looking for. I had found my step-sister and she helped me do it.

Later that day, after arriving back home, I related the story to the family.  They looked either shocked or surprised….  It seems Barb had been buried in a blue dress.  I couldn’t have known that – I never saw her in that attire.  Her hair was short and brown.  And the area of the cemetery was correct.  Her name was on the stone at my feet.

Either there were no more investigations by the police or the case just turned cold and stayed that way.  I don’t know, but nobody was ever accused of pushing her over her balcony even though suspicions loomed.  Yet, every year on the anniversary of her death there were red roses placed on her grave by someone no one could identify.

-ashanta

A Mountain Adventure

One of the popular attractions in the Connecticut River Valley in MA includes Mt Holyoke with its many hiking trails and programs offered at the Summit House that sits atop the mount.

Early in the 1800’s a guest house was built on Mt. Holyoke by a local organization, but in the 1850’s the place was purchased by  John & Fanny French.  The Frenches added-on to it and increased the space to provide a number of guest rooms and a dining facility.  The new resort was then called the Prospect House.  John French also built a tramway to get supplies in and make transportation easier for his guests.

By the 1860’s the Frenches sold the place to John Dwight, but maintained management of the tourist spot.  After both the Frenches and John Dwight died the hotel found itself in the hands of Joseph Allen Skinner, son of silk magnate William Skinner of Holyoke MA.   Joseph Skinner was a prosperous businessman and his interest in the mountain was environmental rather than financial.  He was concerned that the fast growth in the valley would destroy the natural beauty and importance of nature and wildlife.  In 1940 Joseph donated about 375 acres to the State of MA to be preserved as a state park.  The only stipulation was that it bear his name.

Many people frequent Skinner State Park and extensive renovations have recently been completed.  But, there is a feeling on this mountain, in this place, that you are never alone.   Flashes of a white streak through trees can be seen.  Orbs of bright light suddenly appear.  Footfalls can be heard on the porch.  And occasionally, there is a soft murmur of what could be voices – or is it a gentle wind blowing from the woods?

For me, the feeling of unseen presences is the most consistent. It isn’t scary, it’s just there.  Maybe it’s one of the Frenches or Mr. Dwight wanting the welcome another guest.  Fanny was known for her graciousness and both men enjoyed their visitors and offering great hospitality.  Maybe they decided not to leave the place they loved best.

-ashanta

A Mystic Experience in CT

Mystic, CT draws hundreds of tourists each year to experience its many attractions.  The town is rich in history.  It’s home to Mystic Seaport, one of the best maritime museums in the country,  Mystic Aquarium, and numerous marinas and restaurants.  As in most early settlement locations, Mystic has its share of old cemeteries.  Two of them are quite interesting each in its own way.

Elm Grove on Greenmanville Avenue, (Rt. 27), was established in the mid-1800s by a board of leading families from the area. Their Victorian influence created a resting place that looks like a park bordering the Mystic River.  Streets were laid, plots were planned out, trees and flowers were planted, and benches dotted the area for people to relax during their walks around the grounds – a common weekend activity.

One of the last times we were there, we were on the west side of the cemetery.  The land slopes down to the water and you can look out and get a picturesque view of the Seaport Museum.  There are many boats traveling up and down the river, too.  As I was turning around I saw a woman dressed in a flowing white dress.  She seemed to come from somewhere near the middle of the area.  She floated to a spot on the shore and just stared out to the sea as if waiting for someone.  She remained visible for two or three minutes before fading away.

The woman looked to be in her mid-thirties.  She had long dark brown hair. She looked like a living person and if she hadn’t floated I probably wouldn’t have watched her.  I tried talking to her, but her gaze stayed riveted on what she was looking for.  She could have been residual energy, or just very focused on perhaps finding what she had lost.

Whitehall Burying Ground on Whitehall Avenue, close to the Whitehall Mansion Inn, is quite  stark in comparison to the gracious Elm Grove environment with its artistic monuments.  It dates back to the 1600s.  The stone markers are mostly rectangular and domed and seem to be made of sandstone, limestone, and/or slate.  Decorations run from willows, angels of death, scrollwork, skulls, and other earlier types of art generally reflecting the solemnity of death.

Whitehall seems to host early settlers, sea captains, veterans of wars gone by including the Revolutionary and I think, Civil Wars.  It’s a rather small spot, but larger than the older, widely used family burial plot usually established on the person’s property who once lived there.

You don’t seem to ever feel like you’re alone when walking around Whitehall.  Shadows can even be seen in broad daylight.  Shadows are apparent at night, too, as well as orbs.  Orbs are commonly thought to be circles of energy visible to the naked eye.  Some skeptics call them ‘dust’ or ‘bugs’ and this could be true in some instances, but I find it difficult to believe that in a place as dark as Whitehall is at night, you’ll be watching illuminated, dancing dust particles.  And if you happen to visit in the autumn when dried leaves have fallen, sometimes you can hear what sounds like footfalls crunching them behind you as you walk through that spot of eternal rest  —  or unrest as the case may be.

So maybe next time you’re in Mystic you can add a couple of more places to your ‘have to see’ list.  And if you’re lucky, maybe you’ll get to experience even more.

ashanta

A UFO??

A few nights ago, after quite a hot day, we went outside to sit under the stars and enjoy the coolness of the evening.  We live in Stafford Springs, CT and there isn’t a lot of light pollution here to obscure the night sky’s vista.  There were a few planes going over here and there and a lot of lightening bugs signaling in hopes of finding a mate.

Suddenly my son-in-law said, “What is that – right up there?”  pointing to the South-Southeast.  There was a bright circular light about the size of a large star traveling in a straight line toward the North-Northwest.  It didn’t twinkle as a star does and it didn’t have any blinking lights that would indicate it was some sort of airplane.  We wondered if it could be some kind of satellite.

As it got right overhead from where we were sitting, or more accurately now standing, it stopped.  It stayed stationary.  The object didn’t move for maybe four or five minutes.  It then got darker and almost disappeared.  Just as quickly, it got very bright.  It moved forward again, maybe another degree, and stopped once more.  The darkening and re-brightening process repeated.  The object stayed still for another few minutes before continuing on its path until it just vanished.

We haven’t seen it again since, but will keep looking to see if anything else happens.  I wonder if anyone else noticed anything unusual?

ashanta

A Reservoir that Has Created More than Drinking Water

Quabbin Reservoir in western Massachusetts is a beautiful place, but many things haunt it, and their presence is palpable.  Construction on Quabbin began in the 1930’s as it was created to supply water for Boston.  The project was completed in 1946.  During those years pain, sadness, upheaval and relocating bodies – maybe,   left their mark.

The western MA towns of Dana, Enfield, Prescott, and Greenwich were decimated to quench the craving of eastern MA for more and more water to support its burgeoning population.  The satisfaction of some came as a severe sacrifice to others.  Politics, it seems, never changes.  Lives of those who were displaced, those many years ago, were never the same and the emotional scars never went away.  This agony alone can cause disrupting energy that can still be felt today.

In all, approximately 2500 people were forced to leave the only home they had ever known.  Whatever they could move was saved, what couldn’t be moved or carried was gone forever.  Houses were razed, homesteads were destroyed, and what remained was bulldozed and then set on fire.  Even the six to seven thousand dead were said to have been moved.  But, were they?

According to the documentary Under Quabbin:  The Search for the Lost Towns  …[i]

there were many stacks and broken shards of grave stones lying next to old cemeteries. These markers were not taken away when the supposed exhumation of the long dead happened in the lost towns of the Swift River Valley.  Bodies were allegedly taken and reinterred at Quabbin Park Cemetery in Ware – dedicated as the new home of the dead from the drowning villages.  But, with so many memorial stones left behind, can anyone be sure no bodies remained with them?

No mention has ever been made about the sacred grounds of the Nipmuck Indians who lived in this central Massachusetts area for hundreds of years.  They had settlements around the Swift River Valley and surely had dedicated burial grounds for their people.  These dead were not moved by any account I can find, so it’s possible that some of the deceased still remain under the waters.  [ii]

If you ever go to visit Quabbin, the beauty of the spot is wonderful.  But, as you  walk around, view the water, and listen to the wind in the trees, you start to feel something.  The energy isn’t as comforting or easy as such a scenic place might inspire.  There’s a restlessness, a sense, that something isn’t quite right.  And you feel like you aren’t alone.  It feels like those who were forced to leave have come home.  They have reclaimed what was always theirs.

http://www.foquabbin.org/valley.html

[i]

Author:

            Ed Klekowski; Libby Klekowski; Jonathan Williams; Michael Volmar; University of Massachusetts (Amherst campus); All authors

Publisher:

Springfield, Mass. : WGBY, a division of the WGBH Educational Foundation, 2003.[ii]

                “The only graveyrads left untouched were those known to be old Native American burial grounds. For some reason, the decision makers chose not to disturb the dead from such consecrated locations.” -referencing the relocation of the deceased to Quabbin Park Cemetery.

Haunted Massachusetts:  Ghosts and Strange Phenomena of the Bay State, by Cheri Revai, Stackpole Books, 2005.

–  ashanta

ashantaofthelema@gmail.com

 

October Mountain Mystery

This is an experience I had years ago while living in a different town.

About 5 miles from where I was living, in Western Massachusetts, there is a state forest that covers roughly 16,500 acres[1]. I had been told by numerous people it was a bizarre place, so a friend and I decided to go for a hike around an old Boy Scout camp that used to be there[2] next to Felton Lake. Being curious we hiked around for a while and found it. The camp no longer existed because someone had burned it down at one time or another. We had decided to hang out by the lake and look around for a while. When it became late afternoon we realized it was time to leave if we were to get out of the woods before dark.

After a while, as we were hiking back, we started hearing these grunting sounds. They seemed to be coming from quite a ways away from us. The first thing we thought was that it was a bear and so we picked up our pace. The noise seemed to pick up pace with us,although it still sounded to be a distance away.

As the sun went down and it got closer to dark the grunts seemed to get closer to us and started to come from different spots. It was as if something was communicating, as strange as that sounds.

When we got out of the forest and back onto the road I looked back and saw these eyes looking out at us. I swear they seemed to be 6 or 7 feet off the ground!

We were freaked out to say the least and got the hell away from there as fast as we possibly could. I haven’t been back there since for obvious reasons. Now, many years later I want to go back with our paranormal group and maybe get some answers to what I saw, as well as the things that have been reported by other people. Over the years spirits have been reported near a long abandoned cemetery and along the path that leads to it. UFOs have also been seen in the area.

Felton Lake is in October Mountain State Forest. It consists of several parcels of land located in Becket, Lee, Washington, and Lenox, MA. It is the largest State Forest in Massachusetts. (www.mass.gov)

Reported sightings include anthropoid creatures, like Bigfoot, mysterious lights, and a ghost girl in the abandoned 1800’s cemetery.

[1]    October Mountain State Forest

[2]    Camp Eagle

–  Bran

A Beautiful and Haunted Museum

A beautiful and haunted museum sits next to the Connecticut River in rural Hadley, MA.  Situated on acres, amongst farmland, this c. 1752 Colonial-style house has been home to many of the same-family members over the course of a couple hundred years.  In 1949, Dr. James Huntington opened the home to the public and the Porter, Phelps, Huntington House Museum was born.

After such a long history, it isn’t too surprising that the house seems to be home to more than one family member who just didn’t want to leave.  Phenomena associated with the house are doors that open and shut on their own, footfalls walking the halls and rooms,  disembodied voices, and encounters with someone that quickly moves past visitors.  It seems that most of the activity is from a woman or two, and possibly a child who seems to like the staircases best.

Moses Porter constructed the house outside the Hadley village stockade on about 600 acres of fertile land and created a home for his wife Elizabeth and their young daughter Betty.  Things went well until the French and Indian War broke out and Moses was called to duty.  He was deployed to the Lake George area in 1755.  Capt. Porter was killed in battle and buried in New York.  One night, one of the Porter’s servants handed Elizabeth her husband’s sword from battle.  She knew then, he’d never be home again.  Elizabeth never got over the death of her husband.  The house experienced a long period of sadness and emotional distress that continued in a downward spin.

Eventually, the house was passed along to Elizabeth Porter’s daughter Elizabeth. Betty lived in the mansion with her husband Charles Phelps, Jr. and their several children.  After Charles died, Elizabeth hoped her son, Charles, would bring his family and come to the house to live with her.  He never did.  After Betty’s death, the house went to her daughter, Elizabeth Whiting Phelps,  who had married Dan Huntington, the parents of Dr. James Huntington.  The House is now managed by the Porter Phelps Huntington Foundation.

It has been purported that an impression in the bed can be seen in the front bedroom that belonged to Elizabeth and Moses….the place where Mrs. Porter got the devastating news her husband was dead.   We’ve toured the property on several occasions and on one of them a definite shape could be seen in the bed.  We’ve heard knockings, and there are definite shadows that can been seen out of the corner of one’s eyes.   I understand that the family themselves, and only among themselves, knew some of their relatives never left the property.

Who is the woman there?  It’s up for grabs.  It could be either Elizabeth Porter or Elizabeth Phelps.  They both seemed to have reason enough to stay on.  Maybe if you go and visit you can determine the source of activity…..and experience it for yourself.  There’s a prominent feeling of being both watched and followed.   I don’t think you could ever feel like you were alone in the place.  And the child?  Maybe one of the children who never reached adulthood and left this world at a very young age.

It’s worth a visit to this museum for it’s historical, architectural, and aesthetic value alone.  But, if you’re fortunate enough to have a family member visit you while you’re there – it’s an extra treat.

–  ashanta

ashantaofthelema@gmail.com