Production Notes

Production Notes

 Location:  USS Battleship North Carolina.  
Event Date: Monday May 6, 2013

I arrived at the location at 6:00 p.m. and was helped on board by night watchman Danny Bradshaw and followed him around the ship as he locked it down and shut off breakers to most of the ship.  He pointed out some locations where he had had some interesting personal experiences and showed me to my staging area and he gave me some last minute advice, he assured me that I was the only other person on the ship, then he retired to his personal quarters.

Sunset would be in about an hour so I had that time to get some exterior shots.  After sunset I headed into the ship where I started breaking down my cases and setting up my two main rigs.  My POV camera has a GoPro rigged for my reaction shots, shotgun mic and a Phantom Lights 50 LED IR light.  This is a bulky set up and it gets heavy fast.  B-roll is a smaller video camera rigged with another 50 LED IR and smaller shotgun.  The process took approximately 1 hour.  

I went down one deck below the main deck at about 8:30 p.m. and made a quick "run through" looking out for open hatches and possible "trip points".  I got a feel for the deck and the darkness and headed back up and shot an unused intro.  Just before 9 pm I started rolling.  The first deck below the main deck was relatively quiet, there were a few knocks, and thuds but nothing significant.  I made my way to sick bay and eventually sat down at one end of the area and started an audio session.  A few minutes into this first session I did begin to notice what appeared to be the sound of someone moving about just outside of sick bay.  I asked for "them" to come over to me.  To my left I heard a significant clicking sound.  The sounds of someone moving about continued and I decided to move to the area I thought the sounds were coming from but the sounds stopped.

Late I made my way down a narrow passage way where I did hear some significant hard knocking sounds.  But for the most part this part of the ship seemed to be pretty quiet. After approximately 90 minutes I came back up to my staging area for a small break.

I returned to the first deck below the main deck and made my way to another area of the ship that appeared to be a workshop.  But again this part of the ship seemed to be rather quiet.  From there I moved into one of many of the sleeping quarters.  Here I was able to record a significant amount of knocking/banging sounds and again heard the sound of someone moving around.  I called them out, but I got no reaction.  I remained in this area for a while, leaving B camera rolling where I thought the movement sounds had come from.  I left the area to see if something might happen. I walked out of the sleeping quarters into a narrow passage way, all my cameras were running alone back in the sleeping quarters.  While I was in this narrow passage way I heard what appeared to be many people talking all at once, it sounded like it was one deck above me.  It only lasted a few seconds then the sounds stopped.
I grabbed my gear and headed towards one of the big gun turrets and shot some video, the lights were on in this part of the ship so I just had a quick walk-through.  Here is where something unusual happened.  To get to the big gun turrets I had to walk through a kinda maze of an area with a lot of lockers and a few more sleeping areas.  There was only one way into this area which was through an open door. When I returned to what I thought was the only way in was a closed door. On this ship if a door was closed it always meant it was off limits and locked.  I assumed I had made a mistake and had to have come in a different way.  So I kept going back and forth, round and round and I could not find my way back out. I did this for approximately 20 minutes and started to feel avery frustrated and a little panicky.  The only option was to open the only door I could have come through.  That door that was fully open when I came into this area was the door that was now mysteriously closed!!  I was so relieved!  I calmed down and realized it was a little past 1:30 am and decided to brake for dinner.

After dinner break I headed back 1 deck below to the kitchen areas and the mess halls.  This is when things picked up a little where I started hearing movement sounds, voices, loud crashing sounds and knocking.  I poked around the kitchens and mess areas and conducted a couple of audio sessions that revealed a good amount of audio anomalies many with whole phrases.   Some even had typical sailor talk type language. Most significant of the voices when I asked for a name and I got a very loud and clearl "Four eyes!", I was wearing glasses at the time.  In one of the mess halls I clearly heard the sound of heavy footsteps that seemed to be coming from the deck above.  After approximately an hour in the galleys and kitchen areas I made my way to the most forward galley area which contained the ship's chapel and small kitchen.  Here again I heard a few knocking sounds and while kneeling next to the "glassed in" chapel (it was off limits to all) I felt the sensation of "someone" blowing on the top of my head.  I checked B camera for power and noticed that the battery was almost completely spent.  I took this opportunity to go back to the staging area on the main deck to get a battery and take a little break.  I left B camera rolling and while I was away it recorded a very loud banging sound.

At this point I was at my staging area, which is a large room towards the bow of the ship, on the main deck.  This is an area where guests might want to sit, take a break, or have a snack.  There are a lot of pictures of the ship and it's many crews, glass cases with artifacts from the ship, soda and snack machines and it is one of the only areas of the ship that I believe has air conditioning.  It was here while I was kneeling down getting a battery out of my camera case that out of the corner of my eye I noticed some movement coming form the entry doors, right next to the soda machines, I assumed it was Danny maybe coming to check up on me, so I turned expecting to see him but instead saw the bottom half of two legs take two steps then just fade away.  The pants were beige colored, pressed with very distinct crease lines, and very polished black shoes.  This was the only distinct, unmistakable visual I had on the battleship.

I returned with a new battery and continued on to the stern of the ship where the aft engine room was located.  I had to make my way down two additional levels to get to the actual engine room which was pitch black.  I set up one audio recorder and unbeknownst to me would end up recording a total of 14 audio anomalies in this location alone.  A few moments later I perceived what appeared to be a very light touch on my back.  I asked to be touched again but nothing happened.  After approximately 40 minutes in the engine room I stopped all camera filming and started to take stills.   As I made my way deeper into the engine room I experienced an extreme and very sudden and unexpected mood shift.  I remember suddenly feeling very resentful, disrespected, and as if I wasn't wanted or did not belong.  I was overcome by a feeling of rage.  This was slightly disorienting and I do not have a full memory of exactly what I was doing at the time. These feelings subsided a little and I decided to leave the area. I had a very instinctual feeling that I did not belong and was not wanted in the engine room so I packed up my gear and headed back out up to the galley near the chapel.  By then I was still a little disoriented but was feeling more like myself again.  I took a break and decided to leave the area entirely and headed to the bow of the ship.
The bow area of the ship was limited in access and very tight and very quiet.  There was also a lit area that had limited access.  But I had a feeling that the activity had come to an end, by this time it was nearly 6:00 a.m.  Knowing I had to be off the ship by 7:00 a.m., I decided to call it a night and headed back to my staging area to break down my rigs, pack everything up.  Sadly my time on this amazing battleship had come to an end.  I made my way out to long ramp down to the main entrance office and ticket area where I saw Danny getting ready to start a new day, he asked if I had had an eventful evening and we briefly talked about my night and the few things that happened, we said our goodbyes and he continued on with his opening duties.  I packed up my rental with all my gear, took one last look at this magnificent battleship and headed back to my hotel.  I had breakfast then crashed for about 6 hours.

Location:            Fort Mifflin - Philadelphia, PA..

Event Date:   May 9, 2013 5:00 p.m. - 7:00 a.m. 

I arrived at Philadelphia International at approximately 8:00 p.m. and got a shuttle to the airport Hilton which is approximately 1/2 mile from Fort Mifflin.  I was scheduled to have the fort the following day from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 a.m. I checked in for the night, had dinner, and just relaxed after an all day affair of layovers in Atlanta and Raleigh/Durham.  The following day was spent as usual; gearing up for the night's exploration which included cleaning all cameras, lenses, charging all batteries, changing/loading media cards, gear checks, flashlight checks, some research into the fort and finally much later in the day packing all cases and gear for travel to the fort.  

  I arrived at the location just a little past 5 p.m. paid my balance and was escorted into the fort and was shown to my staging area which was a room in the officer's quarters building. I was able to talk with Lorraine Irby briefly about the "hauntings" at the fort, she also showed me a photograph that was taken at the fort by a young man. It appeared to be authentic and showed something truly amazing and unbelievable; possibly one of the best quality photographs of a "ghost" I have ever seen.  She even had that ex-FBI fellow who was in "Fact Or Faked" verify it's authenticity.  She wished me luck and cautioned me a safe visit as I was there alone.
I had a couple of hours to set up and take stills which I did from around 5:30 to 6:30 after, that I started assembling my rigs - both A & B cams.  At about 8:00 p.m. I had dinner 1. By approximately 8:45 I was ready to start my exploration of the fort.  My first location was the Powder Magazine (see pic >
As I had set up B cam first I placed B cam in the Powder Magazine way ahead of my entering with A cam, so there was a considerable amount of B  footage of the Magazine without me there, unfortunately I found no anomalies of any kind on B roll. Indeed, I found the Powder Magazine uneventful and very quiet with virtually no activity.  I was informed earlier that the structure had been "cleaned" of all "negative entities", evidently it worked.  I was at this structure for about 40 minutes then I moved on.  This footage did not make it to the final cut.

My next location was the east Sally Port of the fort which is just around and behind the Powder Magazine. (See pic right >>. This is a very small room that had a fireplace and wooden bunk beds.  I walked in set up B cam and closed the door and spent about 30 minutes again in a relatively quiet state where I didn't get a sense that anything was going to happen, and while I did record two or three audio anomalies, I did not use this footage in the video.  

I returned to my staging area for a break at about 10:30 where I realized I had to make a few adjustments to my A cam and GoPro rig, I was having a minor issue with my GoPro mount that took a little while to adjust.  By about 11:00  I decided to explore the building I was in.  I went upstairs and set up B cam in the first small room and let it roll as I went back downstairs to get my A cam.  While I was in my room I heard what appeared to be footsteps in the next room downstairs so I decided to explore a little downstairs in that room.  During the time I was there I distinctly heard someone talking, it was very, very faint.  I stayed for about 20 minutes and during that time I kept hearing almost imperceptible sounds of someone moving around.  The footage revealed one voice and the sounds I described, but alas, the night was just getting started and I had far more interesting footage to use so this got cut from the video as well.

I went upstairs where B cam had been rolling the whole time I was downstairs, during that time a few apparent voices were recorded and even though the quality was not good I kept them in the final cut.  It seemed the activity was starting to pick up.  Oh yeah, rookie mistake, in the video you see me walking around with my A cam which I had running downstairs and I don't remember hitting the roll button, either way I was not rolling A cam.  I remember hearing what sounded like footsteps in the next room so I walked in.  I walked around the room a bit then heard  more footsteps in the previous room when I turned to face the door I had just walked through I saw a very translucent shadow appear then disappear extremely fast.  You can hear me address that little happening in the video.  I went back to the previous room with my B cam and knelt down and asked Elizabeth "Is your little girl here?"  And I heard a "no" response through my headphones.  There were continued sounds of apparent footsteps and knocking sounds so I stayed in that room an additional 40 minutes.  As with all activity, it seemed to come and go, I felt that the room had gone cold so I went back downstairs for quick break before hitting my next location.  Several very unusual audio anomalies were recorded here that are included in the video.

My next location was the Torpedo Magazine. (Picture >> Here a few odd things happened that I did not get on video even thought at one point I was pointing my A Cam right where I saw the anomaly.  The Torpedo Magazine is fairly small about 10 feet by 12 feet.  It was pitch black in there as it was in most of the structures.  There was an odd bumping type sound that appeared to happen as I was going around with my A cam. And I remember when I was kneeling down in the right hand corner of the room I heard a sound behind and above me, then I had the sensation that something very low to the ground ran right by me, in the video you can see me reaching out in front of me on the floor.  In retrospect that was probably not a good idea because I was in pitch black and there is a nature area very near the fort.  For all I knew it could have been a skunk or a raccoon!  It was while I was in this corner that I heard a sound just right at the entrance and when I looked in that direction a very faint purple light flashed in the doorway.  I have no idea what could have done that or why.  But I can't rule out a naturally occurring phenomenon.   Again there was one or two more odd, hard to pin down sounds like knocking or creaking but whatever activity there was seemed to dissipate and I felt it was time to move on.

Sometimes I like to shoot a "walking" intro into the next location and sometimes it doesn't go as planned.  It's late, very late in some cases, you're not used to being up at this time, your brain is used to resting, sleeping.  So I flubbed my intro into the Arsenal Building and had to re-shoot it.  So I walked back a little towards the Torpedo Magazine and started my intro again and something astonishing happened.  I was not looking at my camera's monitor I was looking ahead towards the entrance of the Arsenal Building when I saw a short black shadow dart really, really fast out of and around the building. It was about 3.5 feet tall.  I turned the camera towards the corner of the building but that little shadow was gone in a flash!  I doubted that I had got it on video and try as I might I just don't see it in the video.  You can hear my commentary about the incident but unfortunately there is nothing to see.  I kept going and went inside and stayed for about 40 minutes.

 In those 40 minutes a few interesting things happened.  I got a response to a question I asked and I heard this one, very faintly through my headphones.  At one point I was sitting on a bench near the entrance of building when I felt it move as if someone had sat next to me.  It was just a little bump but I remember that's what it felt like.  I asked if someone was sitting next to me but I got no response.  When I asked for a name I got a response in Spanish.  I stayed a bit longer but I knew B cam was running low on battery power, and I was getting very hungry and tired and needed my dinner break, so I did.  Wayne Irby was very accommodating as he provided an ice chest full of bottled water, a variety of sodas, and a nice spread of snacks.  I brought a sandwich from room service which I ate in the presence of my companion for the evening, see pic >.  As I had dinner I was really looking forward to my next locations as they are places I had remembered seeing many years ago in a ghost hunting show.  Places then I couldn't imagine exploring alone.  After a quick battery and media check I geared up and headed to the next structure.

The Commandant's quarters sit's about in the middle of the fort grounds.  It is approximately 30 feet by 50 feet, with all the windows boarded or shuttered.  The interior is just one big room.  Everything that was originally constructed of wood burned down in an accidental fire started by a visiting boy scout troop in the late 1970's.  I set up B cam on a makeshift platform built for visitors to stand on because the original floor was gone.  I let B cam run for a bit while I shot an intro outside.  I hadn't been in the building more than a few minutes when I heard the first very faint "crashing" like sound.  To me it sounded like something being dropped on a wood floor.  As I walked slowly around the dirt floor I kept hearing occasional sounds that sounded like someone talking.  I feel I should point out that by this point of the evening the arriving flights had decreased dramatically and I only filmed through around 3 landings.  As I made my way all the way from one end of the building to the other I heard more distinct knocking sounds. Then the most surprising thing happened.  I heard the sounds of someone walking on a wooden floor.  I turned to my left which is where I entered (which was the only way in or out) a few seconds passed when I saw a dark shadow move very quickly around the big fireplace on the left.  I called out to it but I got no response.  I continued back around to the left side of the room and felt that the room had quieted down.  I got back on the platform and started my exit process where I thank anyone who may have "spoken" with me or let me know in some way that they were there.

Analyzing these video and audio files was both fascinating and frustrating.  I found on my video and some on my audio files what sounds like someone dropping maybe a canvas bag full of heavy items on a wooden floor.  This sound happens about 13 times throughout the time I was in the Commandant's quarters.  Then there was a portion of the video where I am a little off center to the right of Camera B's frame and walk a little to the left where it sounds like I am walking on a wooden floor, while I was, in fact, walking on dirt ground.  It wasn't until much later that I read that one of the common "paranormal" 
occurrences in this building is hearing the sound of a door slamming. Is this what I recorded 13 times.  What about my footsteps that briefly sounded like I was walking on a wood floor?  In my wildest musings I imagine this place having significant reality shifts where I was hearing a door slamming. And for a brief reality shift I was walking on the original wooden floor.  Ultimately I had to declare the sounds to be inconclusive. As I was leaving, I was reaching for my B cam tripod and practically ducked when a significant black shadow dove over me then vanished into the darkness.  I remember jokingly saying "Oh sure now that I'm leaving you get active again!" But it was well past 3 a.m. and I had several casemates to go.

I went back to my staging area to refresh batteries and media cards and headed out to casemates 1 -5.  I shot a quick intro walking into the casemates.  Of all the structures I had been in so far this one made me feel very unsettled.  I did have the feeling that I was being watched or that someone was following me around.  However I attribute these "feelings" to the fact that the casemates did have a cave like construction, low ceilings, narrow long passageways, and it was pitch black. I think anyone would feel a little paranoid in there.  I set up two audio recorders and my B Cam and I went inside the first casemate. (See pictures>.)

The first casemate was the largest one and the first one down the passageway.  It had a row of wooden beds on each side.  I walked all the way to the back and started an audio session.  Here again I actually heard a voice on my headphones but I could not make out what it said.  Even after analysis and audio scrubbing I could not make out the words.  It did seem to sound as if it were just conversation though.  I heard a few knocking sounds and after about 20 minutes I moved on to casemate 2.  Here something odd did happen.  I walked into what appeared to be a mist or fog that quickly dissipated after I walked in.  This was one of the smaller casemates with little to no activity.  The 3rd casemate again produced a mist or fog that disappeared after I walked in.  I'm at a lost as to what that was or if it was just a naturally occurring phenomenon.  The 4th casemate did not produce this fog like condition, however it is the site of a highly unusual occurrence.   

I was about to start a photo session and was kneeling down as I was going through the menus in my still camera.  I was having difficulty getting the right settings and was getting a little frustrated.   My A camera  was rolling and I was "live" with my lavaliere microphone that I have taped underneath my t-shirt.  In the video you hear me sigh and then you hear what appears to be a voice that sounds like me say "na, na, nando." And the thing is, I didn't say that!  There was absolutely no reason for me to have said that.  "Nando" is a nickname for someone named Fernando.  But I know no one of that name nor have I ever had even an acquaintance with someone named Fernando.  It's a very clean, strong recording.  If it was me, then my only explanation, and I really don't believe this, is that I was briefly possessed by someone and I uttered this nonsensical word with absolutely no awareness whatsoever.  

It was so foreign to me that even when I was reviewing this footage for the first time, I didn't even mark it.  (During the editing process I have the ability to mark specific spots in video where something interesting has happened that needs further analysis.)   I have to emphasize how taken aback I was with this footage.  It was so unexpected and unbelievable that it didn't even register with me just how bizarre and unusual it was.  When I discovered it upon my second viewing I found it extremely unsettling.   I could not reconcile how this voice was there and who's it was and why it says what it says.  And there was no B camera on me.  At the time my A camera was on the ground next to me.  B cam was rolling alone in the previous casemate.  Again I emphasize that while I do speak Spanish (and Spanglish) I have never spoken in Spanish at any location. There simply isn't any reason to.  I am still at a loss as to how this happened and I'm still disturbed when I hear that particular piece of audio.  I have no explanation on how this happened.

As I was getting ready to leave this casemate I heard a sound behind me in the passage way but I couldn't make out what it was exactly as I walked out into the passage way another odd thing happened.  I got the distinct feeling of a blowing sensation on my ankle.  I grabbed my flashlight and shined it on my ankle expecting to see an insect (hopefully not that nasty looking spider I had seen in the previous casemate) but I found nothing.  I continued on to the last casemate and spent most of the time in complete pitch black.  Again I heard the distinct sound of a male voice saying something but I did not understand.  Towards the end of my time there I had the same kinda sensation on my ankle.  I looked again to find nothing there.  Was there someone in there with a thing for ankles?  It was getting late and I needed to move on to my last location, so I "packed up" and headed out.  There were a considerable amount of audio anomalies that were recorded here including a lot of apparent voices, some very clear and clean, some not so much.  Great location for audio anomalies.

I took one last quick break then stripped down to only my A camera and one audio recorder for the last location of the night.  By now it was just past 5:00 in the morning, birds were chirping and sunrise was just about an hour away.  I was running on fumes, I was hungry, tired, my back hurt, my camera hand was extremely sore, but casemate 11 had me a little excited.  There was a rather famous ghost hunting show that came to this casemate when it was first discovered and according to this episode, one of the investigators had a close encounter with what can only be described as a ghost.  So in I went.

Casemate 11 is definitely not the place you want to be if you are claustrophobic.  It has low ceilings, very small rooms, and a very narrow 4 foot tall long crawl space.  Casemate 11 is where really bad prisoners were kept.  This was the fort's "hole", a well known Civil War prisoner was housed here for a while.  His name was William Howe.  I narrate his story at the beginning of this video.   My first place of interest was the very narrow crawl space that runs the length of this casemate (which is almost completely underground).  (See pic >)  It runs about 18 feet then you pop out at the end into a space about 3 feet by 4 feet tall enough to stand in but  with no where else to go except a small window that looks into the cell where prisoners were kept.  I set up an audio recorder and spent a little time in this space.  In the video you see me turn of my infra-red light so you can see what I see, which is just pitch black, unless I turn on my flashlight.  A little after this demonstration is when I felt a very deliberate but gentle tap on the top back of my head!  That got my attention and I asked if someone had touched the top of my head.  On the audio recorder on the window ledge was a recorded audio anomaly that appears to say "friend".  

I decided to go back out the crawl space and into the cells next door.   I spent some time just imagining what it must have been like to be holed up here for days on end.  Towards the end of my stay I was recording the last few minutes I had on my media card when you can distinctly hear the sound of hard soled shoes/boots walking on the concrete right behind me! Earlier when I was in the crawl space I had also recorded what sounded like footsteps.  It was nearing 6:00 a.m. when I decided to call it.  I walked out to a gray but brightening sky. This exploration was over.  Casemate 11 yielded some really interesting audio anomalies some voices are very easy to understand and two instances of footsteps, and my physical contact.  When I relayed this tapping of my head to Wayne, he just nodded knowingly and said "Yeah that's Bill."  No big deal.

I packed up and still had a little time left to take a few more pics.  Then got a ride back to the hotel with Wayne,  I thanked him and said goodbye.  Back in my room I ordered and ate breakfast, took a shower, then collapsed in bed for about 5 hours of desperately needed sleep!