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 Paranormal

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Masquerade Dupre Excelsior Mill

Atlanta

For a two-day period from the evening of September 12, 2010, through September 14, 2010, agents of the GASPS conducted a formal investigation of the facilities of the Masquerade for paranormal activity.

Written by Kyle T. Cobb, Jr.

Nos tibi credere.

Haunted Places

Electronic Voice Phenomena (EVP)

During investigations sessions using wide range digital recorders, Agents attempted to obtain recording of a paranormal nature in response to questions. Because the responses are outside the ordinary audio range, Agents are unable to directly here them. The use of high-end electronic recording devices serves as a primary investigation tool and captures the supra-human sound as Electronic Voice Phenomena (EVP).


As part of the investigation, over fifty hours of extended range audio was collected using digital recording devices. Each recording was manually reviewed by Agents for anomalies. All recordings were then also reviewed by the Chief Investigator on the case as a second level of validation. Anomalies identified during either phase were then reviewed and cross-checked against the consolidated evidence log to eliminate alternate causality. Remaining evidence was then presented to all the Agents for additional review and comment.


After a final executive review of the evidence, the remaining items are noted below as potential evidence.


It should also be noted that while the GASPS uses many ultra-high frequency and sophisticated recording and analysis tools, the effectivity of these was greatly reduced by background noises inherent at the facility. Of a particularly troubling nature was the repeated alarm being issued from, presumably, the ice-machine.


Exerting an extremely loud tone and two lower tones at seemingly random intervals, a great deal of potential evidence was simply inadmissible. While GASPS does possess software to filter these sounds out, the high and low nature of these particular sounds would have significantly reduced any fidelity of the audio captured.


Rather than risk altering the audio, a slower manual review process was used using human hearing and a spectrum analyzer.


During our investigation using digital electronic recorders:

Many unexplained significant recorded materials were recovered.



Unexplained Knocking, Cracking and Popping

Throughout the audio records of the investigation, the background audio recorders detected a large number of unexplained knocking, snapping and popping noises. Without doubt, some of these are clearly animal in nature and may be attributed to rodents and insects.



Knocking Responses

In the course of the investigation, it is customary  for Agents to ask potential paranormal entities (if they exist) to confirm their presence in some audible or visual form. Frequently, the agent will ask for a knock” to acknowledge a question. If a response is received, then the Agent will ask that the sound be repeated to confirm the answer. At times, a similar system may also be used for yes or no questions with a single knock as yes” and two knocks as “no. In either example, repeatability is the key to treating this as valid responses.


Given the number of random knocks and bangs experienced throughout the record, it would be expected that some of these would be present at the conclusion of a question.


As mentioned before, replication is the prime essential tool needed to validate these events as concrete data. Unfortunately, the Agent performing the EVPs as well as her  teammates did not hear the responses and therefore, did not seek to verify them. The isolated three responses mentioned above also contained one other unique quality. All three of the responses occurred over a relatively short period of time (around 90- seconds). Audio Track (6) contains the clustered set of three questions. Audio Track (7) is a single response but it has knocks 10-minutes before and after. The Audio Track (8) is isolated but because the knock sound is so weak, its validity is also questionable.


Because they were not replicated, rather that treating these as hard evidence, they remain simply curious anomalies.



Unexplained Audio

Over the course of the evidence review, over 1,500 events were logged. Most events were simply the entry or the exit of Agents in the course of their work. Because of our attention to detail in the review process, well over 100 events warranted further evaluation. These events were cross-checked against the event log and if needed analyzed using the various tools in the GASPS arsenal. At this point, most of the events were dismissed by reasonable explanation.


Audio analysis is particularly challenging because of the nature of sounds to change based on the surfaces encountered, the changes in pressure and the interfering sounds along the way. Listening to audio also presents with it the inherent issue of matrixing. We used the term, matrixing to describe the natural human tendency to automatically translate similar sounds into coherent words.


In addition to matrixing, the shear amount of audio reviewed can also impact the listener. This is particularly true with the human ability to automatically filter out certain audio components. This safety mechanism is designed to allow humans to endure on-going noises that at first may be almost beyond endurance. The issue then becomes on of ignoring actual elements that are components of the base sound or pattern.

Further more, the same filtering process can allow artificial construction of events. After hours of review, even an interrupting sound as the ice-machine  can become almost invisible. Audio Track (9) is the ice-machine sample.38


Despite our best efforts to provide a logical, scientific explanation for the events reported and encountered, at the conclusion of the investigation, there remain several pieces of audio footage which we cannot explain. Every attempt has been made to cross check these and determine the source. Where ever possible parallel recordings were evaluated to decipher unusual elements captured on the recording. It is our hope during the Client Review these additional elements can be identified and removed from the list of unexplained phenomenon.


1. Unaccounted for SHHHHHHH sounds

Several instances during our investigation our Agents will quiet others to hear an anomaly. Provided are two samples represent cases where that appears to be mimicked. In both cases, Agents are in the distance in other rooms and no one is in the room in which the sound originates.   Audio Track (10 and 11).

2. Talked over

Here are two Agents performing EVPs in the first floor Hell area, Room (9). As they are talking an interfering sound talks” over them; however, the Agents do not hear it and do not react. Audio Track (12).

3. Climbing the stairs

Captured  is what appears to be several footsteps climbing the stairs. The problem is no one is in that side of the building and video confirms that no one is there. Bear in mind, however, this recorder is relatively close to the ice-machine and the possibility that the sounds are generated by this source remains valid. After listening to the ice-machine for dozens of hours, we believe the sound properties of this track are inconsistent with the ice-machine but we can not preclude that as a possibility. Track (13).

4. A whisper?

An Agent hears this sound but is unable to locate it. After review, its source is still unknown. While we feel it could be mechanical, this is the only occurrence. Track (14).

5. Completely unknown

The following audio tracks could not be identified. Each one had individual properties which seemed to isolate it compared to the normal audio previously obtained.

a. Track (15)44

Are these words?

b. Track (16)45

From the empty Green Room…T


In spite of best efforts, the amount of unclassified audio is surprising.




Video Monitoring

As part of the investigation, multiple state of the art video cameras were used including 8 Infra-red night vision cameras as well as Zero Lux digital cameras. All of the footage is reviewed for potential evidence. When in doubt, footage is tagged but is then eliminated as potential evidence.


No unexplained significant video events were recovered.




Electro Magnetic Field (EMF)

A current theory in paranormal science is that paranormal phenomena can be detected using an electro- magnetic field detector. According to the theory, apparitions are either energy based or intruding in our space/time. For them to interact with elements in our reality, they must expend energy. Since there is no body present, the energy must be field energy rather than chemical (biological energy). If the energy is field energy, then it should be in the electro-magnetic spectrum and therefore detectable. A simplified version of the electro-magnetic field detector, the K-II was one of several Electro-magnetic detectors used as part of this investigation.   Because this device has some credibility issues, by itself it is not considered a valid evidentiary source. It does however provide supporting evidence to concurring sources.


While Electro Magnetic Field (EMF) hypersensitivity is not a universally accepted medical condition, some medical authorities and popular paranormal culture asserts that there are adverse effects caused by exposure to excessive amounts of EMF. The World Health Organization acknowledges  there is some validity to the condition but asserts that there is a lack of consistency in both symptoms as well as causality.47 Never the less because many of the reported symptoms of EMF hypersensitivity can resemble feelings” related to paranormal phenomena, in the case where a high level of EMF has been detected, diligence requires that it be reported for possible remediation. Symptoms of EMF hypersensitivity can include:


It is not the policy of GASPS to recommend specific remediation for above average levels of EMF levels. Because of alleged hypersensitivity in individuals to EMFs, advanced knowledge of such areas can act to ease exposed parties unwarranted concern.


Prior to GASPS Investigation, Agents conducted a base line evaluation of areas within the building that had above average electromagnetic field. These areas are identified on the following maps:

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Case-Masq 04

Survey shots of the Masquerade in 2010

Survey shots of the Masquerade in 2010

Survey shots of the Masquerade in 2010

Survey shots of the Masquerade in 2010

Survey shots of the Masquerade in 2010

Survey shots of the Masquerade in 2010

Survey shots of the Masquerade in 2010

Survey shots of the Masquerade in 2010

Survey shots of the Masquerade in 2010

On the First floor, high EMF readings centered on:

1. The rear of the stage area

2. Outside the liquor room

3. Near/inside the ladies bathroom


On the Second floor, high EMF readings centered on:

4. The kitchen area

5. The digital display area on the cash registers

6. Sound booth

7. A portion of the stage

8. A locked room near the Green Room area


While administering EVP sessions around the facility, Agents noted minor reactions on the K-II in the South (or back section) of Heaven, the second floor Room (1). Prior to our investigation, GASPS mapped baseline readings entire building and identified areas with strong electro-magnetic emissions. This area, in particular was identified as a high EMF area. It was observed the cash registers and the carbonation machine were radiating more energy than normal background EMF.


Beyond the expected hot area, there were above average readings on several EMF detectors beneath the raised podium. These readings started at about the 1 ft above the floor point and varied to the 6 ft mark. Because Agents could not determine a linear progression from the floor to the platform above, these could not be clearly identified as the source. In congress to this observation, periodically the Red Bull tables positioned just to the Right of the photo below would also contain a high EMF charge.


Because of these factors, it is our opinion that an external EMF wave source must be responsible for the reading and the subsequent charges. Elements such as wireless routers, radio towers and microwave towers can contribute to above average EMF. This would account for the viability detected in this area.



Above average EMF readings were obtained from about 1 foot above the floor to 6 feet high were obtained here.

Red Bull tables periodically would get high EMF

readings.