New Book De­tails Para­nor­mal Ac­tiv­ity at WDM

Moose Jaw - - Front Page - By Dou­glas Hallman for Moose Jaw Ex­press

Re­cently a new book was launched at the Western De­vel­op­ment Mu­seum in Moose Jaw. A good sized au­di­ence gath­ered in ap­pro­pri­ately som­bre lighting to hear about the con­tents of a work en­ti­tled You Are Not Alone: In­ves­ti­gat­ing Para­nor­mal Ac­tiv­ity at the Western De­vel­op­ment Mu­seum. The text re­views the process and find­ings of 17 in­ves­ti­ga­tions over a three year pe­riod in five lo­ca­tions: WDM in North Bat­tle­ford, Saska­toon, York­ton and Moose Jaw and the Cu­ra­to­rial Cen­tre in Saska­toon -the or­ga­ni­za­tions head of­fice and pri­mary stor­age lo­ca­tion. WDM is the keeper of Saskatchew­an’s col­lec­tive her­itage. As such, it pos­sesses 78 thou­sand ar­ti­facts on dis­play or in stor­age. It has 262, 875 square feet of ex­hibit space for the ben­e­fit of 200,000 vis­i­tors a year. For decades there have been ru­mours of strange happenings in WDM build­ings, in­clud­ing locked doors mys­te­ri­ously open­ing and clos­ing, sounds of men work­ing with no one there, books fly­ing off shelves and float­ing through the air, glimpses of pass­ing per­sons who sud­denly dis­ap­pear and un­made beds in se­cure dis­play ar­eas. Be­cause of these re­ports, ques­tions were asked: “Do spir­its cling to per­sonal pos­ses­sions pre­served in a

mu­seum?” “Is there con­scious­ness af­ter death?” These sto­ries cou­pled with the ap­pear­ance of a web­site list­ing WDM among the top-ten haunted lo­ca­tions in Saskatchew­an pro­vided the en­ergy for an in­ves­ti­ga­tion. There was also stim­u­la­tion in the pop­u­lar­ity of ghost

hunt­ing TV shows. WDM part­nered with the Saskatchew­an Ghost Hunters So­ci­ety Inc. (SGHS), a pro­fes­sional tech-based or­ga­ni­za­tion with the mis­sion “to dis­miss or val­i­date, through in­ves­ti­ga­tion, the pres­ence or ex­is­tence of a haunt­ing spirit.” Kathy Fit­ton, Man­ager of the Moose Jaw WDM, em­ceed the book launch. She said, “It was im­por­tant to part­ner with those who re­spected the man­date of the mu­seum and who brought a sci­en­tific ap­proach to the process.” The SGHS equip­ment in­ven­tory in­cludes au­dio recorders, hand­held video cam­eras and hand­held still cam­eras with night vi­sion add-ons, trap cam­eras with in­frared mo­tion sen­sors, geo­phones and seis­mic sen­sors, elec­tro­mag­netic field de­tec­tors (EMF) which also iso­late elec­tri­cal in­ter­fer­ence in the in­ves­ti­ga­tion, KII me­ters that light up when there is a change in the elec­tro­mag­netic field, dig­i­tal ther­mome­ters to mon­i­tor tem­per­a­ture changes, flir ther­mal imag­ing to de­tect sources of heat in hu­mans and an­i­mals and par­a­bolic mi­cro­phones to fo­cus in­com­plete sound waves. As part of the process, SGHS in­ves­ti­ga­tors ask the spir­its ques­tions, and look for re­sponses on their KII me­ters. An­other WDM part­ner was the Univer­sity of Saskatchew­an’s Me­dia Ac­cess and Pro­duc­tion Group (eMAP) who worked with in­ter­na­tion­ally known psy­chic medium Jodie Rollins to pro­duce a doc­u­men­tary of Speak­ers at the WDM Book Launch (l to r): Josh Hourie - Project As­sis­tant, Janet Olsen - Project Co­or­di­na­tor, Jack Hay - WDM Board Chair, Joan Champ - Ex­ec­u­tive Di­rec­tor WDM, Kathy Fit­ton - Man­ager Moose Jaw WDM WDM sto­ries of para­nor­mal ac­tiv­ity. The film comes out in 2013. Thirdly, there is The Other Side, a TV se­ries who video jour­nals the work of para­nor­mal in­ves­ti­ga­tors. They are pre­par­ing a half-hour pro­gram on the WDM project. The re­sults of the in­ves­ti­ga­tion are telling. SGHS was able to elim­i­nate a num­ber of pre­vi­ously des­ig­nated para­nor­mal sites. They con­cluded that there was no para­nor­mal ac­tiv­ity in York­ton. On the other hand, they af­firmed ac­tiv­ity in other sites and found new ones. They de­ter­mined there was un­ex­plained happenings at WDM lo­ca­tions in Saska­toon, North Bat­tle­ford and the Cu­ra­to­rial Cen­tre, in­clud­ing rock­ing chairs rock­ing, doors open­ing and clos­ing, chill­ing touches on an­kles and shoul­ders, dec­o­ra­tive ar­ti­cles hov­er­ing, voices ut­ter­ing dis­tin­guish­able phrases, cam­era shots of orbs –small cir­cles of light de­not­ing the pres­ence of spir­its, and par­tic­u­lar per­sons pe­ri­od­i­cally ap­pear­ing in spe­cific places - the Lady in the Red Dress at Saska­toon’s 1910 Boom­town. The most telling ex­pe­ri­ence took place in Moose Jaw. One night, a trap cam­era caught the pro­file of a per­son mov­ing across the frame in the Rail­way Gallery. The in­frared mo­tion sen­sor pic­ture was pro­duced by the unat­tended cam­era when the room was par­tially lit and there were peo­ple in the back­ground. At 8:02:05pm the fig­ure was not there, at 8:02:10 it was; by 8:02:15 it had dis­ap­peared. The SGHS as­so­ci­ates were as­ton­ished by what they saw. They im­me­di­ately con­sulted TAPS - the At­lantic Para­nor­mal So­ci­ety, world-renowned for the pre­cise­ness of its sci­en­tific meth­ods. The con­clu­sion: there was no ex­pla­na­tion for what had ap­peared apart from the pres­ence of para­nor­mal ac­tiv­ity. This hu­man fig­ure in pro­file is on the cover of You Are Not Alone. For more de­tail on para­nor­mal ac­tiv­ity at the WDM, read the book. It is avail­able at the Moose Jaw Mu­seum.

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