(This is the final in a four-part series on things that go bump in the night.)
In an effort to entertain readers, I did some research, interviews and investigations to see what, if any, paranormal information I could find on base for the October issues of the Beacon.
The pre-cursor to the series was a ghostly Candid Comments in the last September issue to get people talking. The journey began in the October 4th issue where I wrote about some of the possibilities of paranormal activities on base and included a photo of what investigators believed to be apparitions.
The next two in the series were feature stories on two Team March Airmen who are also paranormal investigators.
For this final installment, my question to you is, ‘Do you believe in ghosts?’
When the command section was first moved, into the 83-year-old Hap Arnold House, Chief Master Sgt. Erika Kelly, 452nd Air Mobility Wing command chief, said she sometimes heard paper rustling at the desk in the living room on the other side of her office wall, like someone was looking for something.
“I would say, ‘I’m here.’ It would stop and then start again,” Kelly said. “I would get up and go look, but nothing (was there). I would go back to work then hear footsteps in the outer area by the commander’s office, in the hallway. The same thing.”
She said she heard steps quite a bit and one night after hearing them, walked through the whole house.
“The more I walked through the house, the more I got this weird, gut feeling that someone was there and I could not see them,” Kelly said.
Maj. Amber Marcella, 452 AMW executive officer, understands what Kelly feels. She said Kelly’s office “has a vibe of feeling as if you are in the principal’s office.”
Although a paranormal investigation of the house revealed nothing out of the ordinary, the strange occurrences continue. Is General Hap Arnold keeping his eye on his former home? Are ghosts, or imaginations running wild?
Retired California Air National Guardsman, Michael Contreras, believes.
He tells of a time he and his crew came in from the flightline to find his co-worker outside of the building unable to work any longer because the co-worker claimed the ghosts were messing with him.
Contreras said his co-worker was inside, alone on a testing station. The equipment he was working on was adjusted with a screwdriver, but you had to go around to the front of the station to check the adjustments on a scope. The co-worker said he had put the screwdriver down three times, after making adjustments, before walking around the station to check the scope. The first two times he returned to the back of the equipment, his screwdriver had been moved approximately five feet away. The final time, it was stuck into the ceiling.
Since I began research for this series, I have been told stories of loud noises coming from empty areas in buildings. Investigators went to those locations, recorded some of those noises and tried to debunk them. They were unable to recreate them or find out the cause of the noises.
I have heard stories of a man seen by one person in a building, but not by others there at the same time; of a little girl walking through a building; of a man being chased out of a building by ghosts and of a ghost standing outside of a building. One person even claims to have seen three ghosts in a building with one of them walking right through the person who saw them. There are stories of haunted planes as well.
Contreras claims to have heard what is referred to as the ‘Flightline Whistler.’
“You could clearly hear someone whistling and walking around the airplane, where the tankers are parked now, as close as you can get to the Pride Hanger,” he said.
Most recently, SSgt. Cassandra Montgomery, NCOIC, 452 AMW Staff orderly room, reports hearing a series of noises in her room in the morning when it was light outside. She was awake when she heard the noises, but had her eyes closed until she felt a presence near her. She opened her eyes to see what she describes as a “transparent blob” in front of her face and then said it went into her body and she could not move.
“It was compressing my body and trying to put me into a deep, deep sleep. I tried to move my arms and kick my legs. I fought it and finally it was gone,” she said. “It didn’t feel like anything evil, but I know it was trying to take me somewhere. I packed everything and think I may just commute now.”
Montgomery is no stranger to the paranormal. She said she grew up in a haunted house. When she was a teenager, she was watching her cat that was watching something. She looked into her cat’s eyes and saw a man in a blue jumpsuit walking into the kitchen. She turned quickly to look toward the kitchen but nobody was there. When she described the man to her stepmother, she brought the woman to tears.
Montgomery’s description matched that of the woman’s recently passed father.
So I ask one last time. Do you believe in ghosts?
Lt. Col. Richard Givens, 452 AMW chaplain, does. Well at least one, the Holy Ghost.
“One way to find the Holy Spirit is to come to chapel services,” he said.