They’re Back – UFO’s in Southern New England

New England isn’t known as a hotbed of UFO activity, but we’ve had our moments. Actually, John Winthrop, governor of Massachusetts Bay Colony reported our country’s first sighting in 1639. And in 1961 America had its first reported abduction case in Exeter, New Hampshire. That’s the famous Betty and Barney Hill encounter. Again, in 1967, Betty Andreasson (now Luca) was abducted from her home in South Ashburnham, MA.

There have been numerous sightings and close encounters throughout MA, CT, and RI just about every year since records started being kept, but over the last few years those events have been on the increase.

According to NUFORC, in the first five months of 2020 MA has reported 29 sightings, CT comes in with 24, and RI has had 9. NUFORC is the National UFO Reporting Center established by Director Peter Davenport in Davenport WA. There’s a wealth of information at his site: nuforc.org There could also be more people who have witnessed strange things in the skies, but never filed a report.

It’s amazing what you can see if you look up occasionally. And, it doesn’t have to be dark to observe anomalies. It’s like ghosts. If a place is haunted – it’s haunted during the daytime, too.

For instance, on 24 May this year I went out back to check on the chickens. It was about 7 p.m. and sunny. I happened to look up over the barn and saw this large-ish bright white thing that looked like it was floating. It was cigar-shaped and had no wings, no tail, no lights, and didn’t make a sound. It was moving from southwest to northeast and it was taking its time going anywhere. A small plane would have moved faster and I would have heard it.

I watched this thing for three or four minutes when it got to a bunch of trees on the mountain and my view was blocked. I waited for it to re-appear further down the skyline, but it didn’t. For me, it was just gone. I have no idea what it was and have never seen anything like it before. It could have a good explanation, but I don’t know what it is.

More and more people are coming forward with information on aerial phenomena they’ve witnessed. You can find a plethora of videos, stories, and other means of what could be evidence on social media, youtube, and other information outlets. In April of this year the Pentagon released videos of UFOs encountered by our military. They’re unknown. Until recently the government has debunked and denied the existence of anything related to UFOs. Why not now? What’s up?

There’s too much mounting information and perhaps evidence being made public to continue denying the existence of something else, or someone else. Some of these things could be ours. Some could be hoaxes, but this is an issue that affects all people everywhere. An explanation needs to be given. If no one has an answer then it’s time we find out just what and/or who it is. If facts stay obscure and truth isn’t exercised in policies regarding UFOs – no one wins.

– ashanta

They’re Back” UFO’s in Southern New England

New England isn’t known as a hotbed of UFO activity, but we’ve had our moments. Actually, John Winthrop, governor of Massachusetts Bay Colony reported our country’s first sighting in 1639. And in 1961 America had its first reported abduction case in Exeter, New Hampshire. That’s the famous Betty and Barney Hill encounter. Again, in 1967, Betty Andreasson (now Luca) was abducted from her home in South Ashburnham, MA.

There have been numerous sightings and close encounters throughout MA, CT, and RI just about every year since records started being kept, but over the last few years those events have been on the increase.

According to NUFORC, in the first five months of 2020 MA has reported 29 sightings, CT comes in with 24, and RI has had 9. NUFORC is the National UFO Reporting Center established by Director Peter Davenport in Davenport WA. There’s a wealth of information at his site: nuforc.org There could also be more people who have witnessed strange things in the skies, but never filed a report.

It’s amazing what you can see if you look up occasionally. And, it doesn’t have to be dark to observe anomalies. It’s like ghosts. If a place is haunted – it’s haunted during the daytime, too.

For instance, on 24 May this year I went out back to check on the chickens. It was about 7 p.m. and sunny. I happened to look up over the barn and saw this large-ish bright white thing that looked like it was floating. It was cigar-shaped and had no wings, no tail, no lights, and didn’t make a sound. It was moving from southwest to northeast and it was taking its time going anywhere. A small plane would have moved faster and I would have heard it.

I watched this thing for three or four minutes when it got to a bunch of trees on the mountain and my view was blocked. I waited for it to re-appear further down the skyline, but it didn’t. For me, it was just gone. I have no idea what it was and have never seen anything like it before. It could have a good explanation, but I don’t know what it is.

More and more people are coming forward with information on aerial phenomena they’ve witnessed. You can find a plethora of videos, stories, and other means of what could be evidence on social media, youtube, and other information outlets. In April of this year the Pentagon released videos of UFOs encountered by our military. They’re unknown. Until recently the government has debunked and denied the existence of anything related to UFOs. Why not now? What’s up?

There’s too much mounting information and perhaps evidence being made public to continue denying the existence of something else, or someone else. Some of these things could be ours. Some could be hoaxes, but this is an issue that affects all people everywhere. An explanation needs to be given. If no one has an answer then it’s time we find out just what and/or who it is. If facts stay obscure and truth isn’t exercised in policies regarding UFOs – no one wins.

     – ashanta

Baphomet

Baphomet is not evil.

Did you ever hear about Baphomet prior to paranormal t.v. shows and Hollywood’s version of horror movies?? My guess is probably not. Oh yes, and let’s not forget all those documentaries on the Knights Templar. Baphomet would still be hiding in relative obscurity if it wasn’t for those templar informationals that accuse templars of kneeling and worshiping this goat-headed demon. What drivel !!

Baphomet is a beautiful symbol that illustrates the natural connection of everything we know in this three-dimensional reality we live within. It connects each thing with one another and in total to the all that is.

Der Daemon Baphomet.PNG (This photographic reproduction is considered to be in the public domain in the United States.)

If we go back to Hebrew writings, the name Baphomet is equated with the name Sophia by use of the Atbash Cipher. This cipher uses a substitution method to hide a message. It’s an easy code – the first letter becomes the last, the second letter becomes the second to last and so on. In the third century B.C. the Hebrew Bible was translated to Greek so Jewish peoples living in Egypt could read their Bible as many of them were no longer familiar with Hebrew.

Sophia, lower case sofia in the Old Testament, refers to wisdom. And the symbolism of the figure of Baphomet explains the archaic wisdom this symbol entails.

Baphomet is a complex esoteric icon that needs to be explained and understood for what it really is. So – let’s have a go at that….

So, to start dissecting the representions of the horned one….

Baphomet is seen sitting with crossed legs. Sitting represents a fixed foundation and legs are crossed illustrating that some things cannot be changed – like truth. Androgyny is shown by the wonderfully full feminine breasts and the tall, erect male member that renders it a non-binary or an encompassing totality of all that exists.

The snakes surrounding the phallus are representative of renewal and transformation of all existence.

The snakes that form in a sort of caduceus speaks of the entirety of all being. All things are a part of each another. All aspects of life are interconnected and don’t exist without one another.

Baphomet’s wings lend to psychic imagination and spiritual growth. His two arms one pointing down that reads “coaglia” meaning to join together. The other arm points up and says “solve” which means to dissolve or separate. Together they represent the completeness of the Emerald Tablet’s message of, “As Above, So Below”.

Baphomet’s horns represent wisdom just as the horns in the painting of Moses by Michelangelo are symbolic of the smarts that Moses possessed.

And finally – the fire. Fire is a sign of illumination. And – illumination, spritual growth, archaic wisdom, and a recipe to understand the meaning of life is what the symbol of the goat-headed being is all about.

Taken together, this symbol of Baphomet is a wonderful ancient representation of mystical wisdom that is still being shared today with those that have the mental and spiritual acuteness to understand its meaning. For others, it will always remain the thing of movies and unfortunately – demonic.

And – for those who don’t know — The Knights Templars who were tortured and burned alive in 1306 were massacred by King Philip IV of France. He managed to get the Pope’s willingness to look the other way, but it didn’t have anything to do with Philip’s allegations of heresy on the part of the Templars.

It seems King Philip IV owed a great sum of money to the Templars and there was no way he could repay them. Philip had frivolously squandered his kingdom’s money. So, rather than be upright and straight forward, Phil decided he could have the Knights annihilated rendering him free from debt.

And – the Pope of Rome at that time – Pope Clement didn’t necessarily agree with Phil’s efforts. Pope Clement also wanted the indigent King to repay him. Over time Philip had borrowed quite a sum from the Roman Catholic Church. The Pope wanted the money he had given Philip repaid with all the appropriate interest payments.

The Knights Templar and Baphomet are free of guilt. But, the king of France and the head of the Holy Catholic Church cannot be exonerated from evil deeds as easily.

– ashanta

Becket Quarry, MA Who’s Still There?

Becket Quarry, formerly Chester-Hudson Quarry, now defunct, is noted for being one of the most intact historic granite quarry sites in Massachusetts and, also for its paranormal activity.  It is an interesting place to visit, as it seems almost frozen in time. There is a feeling that those who once worked there will be returning to finish their shifts at any moment. 

As you get a short distance into the quarry you will see where granite, succumbing to father time, is slowly be eaten away by the elements. Rusted out shells of machinery and rigging give off a feeling as though they are waiting patiently for their operators to continue.

The original quarry filled with water after the business was abandoned and is now a deep pool of calm reflection. Looking across the hillside you can see the granite jutting out from the mountain going far into the distance.  As I understand the stone is of such high quality it had been used to build some structures in our nation’s capital.

I had visited the quarry a few times and had some interesting results while searching for paranormal activity, so decided to return and see what I could find further. When I first entered the quarry I felt the presence of spirits belonging to who I felt were workers from the past. Did they have an attachment to the place where they spent a large portion of their adult life working or are the rumors of men dying during the construction of the quarry true? I plan on investigating any records pertaining to the quarry’s operation that are available in the near future.

I stood there waiting to see what more I could glean from these spirits for several minutes, but sensed nothing else and decided it was time to venture further into the preserve. As I walked up the narrow dirt path passing the rusted remains of an old work truck I started to hear what I believed to be the sound of old cables coming from the excavation area to the top. I hurried to the remains of the old building at the top not far from where the cables start, but the sound had stopped. I had been using a recorder at the time, but it had not recorded anything other than my footsteps. I left it on for the remainder of my visit, but did not find anything unusual in the recording.

I checked out the remains of a building that looked as though it was getting ready to collapse. There was only one room and its sole contents were an old wood stove. I had the feeling of someone who was not very friendly, maybe a bit angry, watching me from afar.

I continued up the path and as I got closer to the excavation site I started getting increasingly uneasy. I could feel the presence of evil, more than one entity too. As strange as it sounds they were very gleeful. It didn’t seem to have anything to do with me, but I felt I couldn’t remain there even for a second longer. I moved quickly down the path until I was far beyond feeling anything of whatever they were.

As a child I had heard adults talking about a story of organized crime using it to dump a body inside a car. Is the old story true?

As soon as I got back to my car, which was a ways down the road, I performed a cleansing on myself. When I got home I did another cleansing on myself, car, and home. This time with everything I needed to do it properly. Even then I couldn’t sleep that night.

Bran

Not Gone and Not Forgotten

We were asked to investigate a house in Eastern Central MA a bit of years ago.  The people had lived there for about five years and had noticed, what could have been, paranormal activity,  but it wasn’t anything bothersome.  All the noise seemed to concentrate on the second floor of the home.  There was nothing aggressive or frightening about it.  It was just something that was always present and persistent.   It wasn’t until they started talking about doing some renovations to the place that concerning things started to really kick into action.

The most perplexing things were loud, pacing footfalls in the upstairs.  The area around the hallway where the staircase went to the second level seemed heavy and that’s where most of the noise came from.  There was also a lot of rapping on the two bedroom walls.  The people occupying both bedrooms thought the raps were on their specific inside walls.  But, if one person in one bedroom tapped on their inside wall the person in the second bedroom, next to it,  didn’t hear it and vice versa.

We decided to try and contact anyone who could be upstairs. We got a response from the energy who identified he was a man, but he wouldn’t give his name.  He did say he wasn’t happy with his situation and he wanted people to know he was there.  He also said he couldn’t seem to find his way out.

With little else to go on, we started examining the house.  There seemed to be an anomaly in the upstairs space.  It didn’t match the downstairs house in the amount of living area being used.  The knocking always sounded like it came from the middle of the house just above the staircase.  After listening, walking around, and measuring, we came to the idea that how the two middle rooms were situated they really didn’t abut one another.  There seemed to be an empty space between the two bedrooms that was unaccounted for.  Since we had no intention of knocking down walls or breaking holes into them, that seemed like all about we could do at that time.

The owners decided to have an engineer and a construction expert come in and evaluate the house’s structure. Both of them concurred that there must be an empty space between the two bedrooms.  The owners wanted answers and the work began.  The outside wall facing the staircase was taken down.  There they found another room between the two rooms being used.  It was another bedroom.

The oddest thing about it was that it was left just the same as if someone might still be using it.  The bed was made, the bureau had personal items on it and the drawers were full.  The closet was ready for the occupant to get up, get dressed, and start his day.

After getting over the shock of that discovery and taking care of the situation, the owners said the house seems happier now.  And so are they!

—  ashanta

A Haunted Historical Site – Keystone Arches

One of the things I love about the area I live in is that there are more than a few haunted locations in the Chester, Middlefield, and Becket areas of MA. One of the places that come to mind most people have probably never heard about – even though it has an important place in American history.

The story begins in the mid-19th century. Boston could no longer compete with New York in the transportation industry because of the Erie Canal, which had opened in 1825. New York offered traders and manufacturers access to the expanding Western frontier by way of the Great Lakes. To remain relevant, Boston had to overcome the main obstacle between itself and the young nation’s interior, the Berkshires. The mountains blocked any reasonable chance for a rival canal.

Railroad technology was still young, but the promise was evident. So for dreamers, planners, and engineers, the challenge boiled down to one question: through the mountains or over them?  Investors conceived another route that would utilize the natural gorge cut by the Westfield River on the eastern slope of the Berkshires and the path of the Housatonic River on the west. Investors decided to go over them and build a railroad access.  A series of 10 bridges had to be erected in the rough terrain to create a suitably straight route along the Westfield River. The project was agreed on and started in 1839. It was completed in 1841.

What happens next is what, I believe, leads to the activity some people experience now if they visit the Arches. To accomplish this massive project, the railroad had to employ large numbers, (up to 3000), of laborers.  These men were mostly Irish immigrants who were sought as they were very poor and willing to do the hardest, most dangerous labor, for very little pay. Research tells me those brave men were paid approximately $10 to $15 a month for work no one else wanted or dared do.

Living conditions for these workers were bad as they lived in quickly erected shanty towns also known as squatter areas. Their shelters were constructed of any scrap materials they could gather. Often times during construction workers died either accidentally or due to illness. These deaths were never reported.

Many times while hiking to view these lost stone arches, I have personally experienced what sounded like hammering, and shoveling, and I’ve heard voices mumbling.  Could these men still be working and living in those terrible conditions hoping to leave soon?

–  Bran.

 

A Haunting or A Lingering Energy?

We’re still fairly new to the Quiet Corner of Connecticut.  This area got its nickname because this is a fairly rural area.  It’s a very rural area if you’re used to suburban living with everything you need just down the street from where you live.  Around here, groceries can be half an hour away.  We’ve found, also, that some of the ‘quiet’ comes from the fact that unless you’re born around these parts, you’re always an outsider.  Conversations are kept polite and stories about ‘happenings’ only come from other transplants that still haven’t been completely taken into the fold.

We bought this place out of necessity.  Our other house sold quickly, we had to move out even faster, and there wasn’t a lot of inventory on the market at the time.  The first time we saw it in person is when we moved in  —  Unless you find an exceptional real estate agent,  not motivated only by the vision of commissions dancing in their head,  this method is not recommended.

The surroundings here are quaint and quite pretty.   Wildlife, and I mean the forest kind, is abundant.  And crime is low on the scale – which is a nice thing.  The energy here, though, is odd.  It doesn’t have a good flow and it’s not an even flow…there’s a strangeness about it.  It’s something that was difficult to put your finger on until a couple of months ago when something may have become plausible.

Someone from another town told us of an accident that happened many years ago somewhere in the vicinity of this house.  If it wasn’t our house, there are only three others it could have been.  We’re all lined up on the same side of the street.

A child was on her bike and started heading down the driveway.  These houses sit on the side of a mountain and as such, the driveways are a nasty pitch upward from the street out front to the rear of the houses.  The road out front is the only major route connecting area towns to major highways.  The child could not stop at the bottom of the driveway and careened out into traffic.  Traffic couldn’t stop in time.

In the short time we’ve been here there have been three or four major crashes right around the front of these houses.  Two have hit our retaining wall that abuts the sidewalk.  The last one split the utility pole next to our driveway into two pieces.  A truck flipped over on its side in front of the next house down from here.   Our neighbor right next door, who we partially share a driveway with told us that a couple of years ago a car took out three utility poles right in front of both our houses….

I can’t help but wonder if the tragic event that took that little girl’s life so many years ago didn’t create an area of negative energy that precipitates other accidents.  Negative energy could certainly be created by such an horrific situation that affected so many lives.  The child may not know how to leave the area or find her way to a different plane.  When she feels she is able to pull someone to her that may be able to help, another accident happens.

I also wonder if this negative pocket of energy hasn’t existed in this particular part of town for a very long time causing many accidents over decades that go unremembered or recorded.  This thing almost feels as though it waits and claims what it wants when its energy starts getting low.

I’m not sure if the little girl can be helped or if any of this energy can be mitigated, but have decided to try and reach out to both and see where it goes from there.  It’s a start.

–  ashanta

 

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