Friday, April 24, 2015

UFO Sighting

From the Magical Mysteries Collection, published in the Daily Journal and later published on Yahoo Contributor Network, August 11, 2008. Then republished on and removed from Persona Paper. FBI link updated at end.

In the early 1970's I stood on a balcony with several residents of the apartment complex where I lived, all of us transfixed because of what we were witnessing in the sky. We couldn't determine the exact location of the disks that lit the sky, but a few years later, when I met a woman who would become one of my dearest and best friends, I discovered that the disks were hovering above River Oaks Mall in Calumet City, Illinois. She had seen them, too. According to my friend, people actually stepped out of their vehicles to look at them. The local newspaper, she said, wrote about the sighting.

Years later, when I decided to research the event, I contacted the local library, police stations, and newspapers. Nobody found any mention of UFOs anywhere. Had it not been for my friend, I might have thought I had imagined the whole scenario.

Across the globe, police departments receive calls reporting mysterious unexplained lights in the sky. Famous sightings, such as those at Roswell, New Mexico (Area 51), have received a lot of attention over the years, especially due to the coverage television programs give them, including the old popular TV Series, The X-Files. Government denial appears to play a huge role in UFO activities. Plug the words, "UFO" or "unidentified flying object" into the FBI's website and you will net one link, a link to nowhere, or perhaps it is a picture of a black hole. (*See below for update.)

For years, the public has wondered if the government has been covering up UFO-related information. But how valid is that reasoning? If numerous people have seen UFOs and the government denies their existence, one of four things may be happening: Those of us who have seen UFOs are crazy, UFOs don't exist and the public is hallucinating, the government knows what they are - IDENTIFIED flying objects, or the government doesn't know what they are and doesn't want to admit their ignorance to the general public.

From the cover of the book, "Communion."
When I saw this depiction, I stopped dead in my tracks.
It looked eerily familiar.
 If you read any of the two links I posted below,
you'll understand why.

But if the government does know about them, maybe it has a good reason for not divulging information to us about UFO activity. Take the information we received one year about an asteroid hitting the earth sometime between 2014 and 2088. What if we were told it was positively going to obliterate us next month? If the asteroid hit an area the width of the entire United States, would we all make a mass exodus to the other side of the planet? And what if the scientists were off by several hours? Sorry, folks, we were eight hours off - go back.

In comparison to the rest of the infinite Universe, Earth is infinitesimally small. The likelihood that life exists elsewhere is possible. The "beings" are probably not human-like, but they may be technologically more advanced than we are. People report alien abductions, but can prove nothing. Aliens will always be credited with mass extinction and cannibalism. I prefer to believe they are like the good guys depicted in the old movie, "The Day the Earth Stood Still."

*UPDATE: Visit this FBI link – all kinds of UFO-related material now appears on the FBI site, though much of it is blocked out. 

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Thursday, April 23, 2015

Ghost Hunters – Have You Seen the Spirit of Resurrection Mary, the Phantom Hitchhiker?

(from the Magical Mysteries Collection – also previously published on Yahoo! Contributor Network, July 29, 2008, then posted on and removed from Persona Paper)

If you ever lived on or near the southwest side of Chicago, you probably heard about the phantom hitchhiker known as Resurrection Mary. The legendary blonde woman wears a long flowing white gown and walks the road near Resurrection Cemetery. Various websites list different addresses for the cemetery, but (as of July, 2008,) lists the location at 7200 Archer Rd. in Justice, Illinois.

Although numerous stories relate encounters with the woman, one story appears more often than others. Mary was supposedly born in the 1920s and loved to dance at the O'Henry Ballroom, later known as the Willowbrook. When she was in her teens, she left the ballroom after arguing with her boyfriend and walked home on a cold winter night. A driver passing her lost control of his or her vehicle, killed her, and left the scene of the accident.

Several years later, a man by the name of Jerry Palus, who frequented the ballroom, danced with a woman wearing a long flowing white gown. She barely spoke to him, but he offered to drive her home. After telling him her address, she entered his car and again became silent. On their way to her home, as they came upon Resurrection Cemetery, Mary asked to be let out. Before she waked away, she asked him not to follow her. As she approached the gates of the cemetery, Mary disappeared.

Other people, mostly men, have reported picking up a girl matching her description. Although she appears to be real, she is cold to the touch. One wonders how anyone, let alone hundreds of men, would want to dance with a living corpse. Does her beauty cause these dancing men an inability to tell the difference between a live woman and a dead one?

Jerry was apparently baffled by the experience, so he went to the address the next day only to discover that the girl he presumably picked up had died five years earlier.

Beyond the obvious ghostly inquiries, questions arise, not only because nobody has been able to ascertain exactly who the real Mary was, but why so many people claim to have seen her.

Over the years, other stories have been attributed to the apparition. In the 1970s area police received yet another call about a woman wearing a white dress who was locked inside the gates of the cemetery. Exploring the cemetery produced no woman, but evidence of something unusual appeared at the gate itself. Two of the bronze bars seemed to have been pried apart, and impressions of what looked like finger and palm prints appeared on the bars.

Whether or not she existed, nobody knows, but the mystery of Resurrection Mary prompts people to continue to search for her. She is one of Chicago's most famous ghosts. Devotees of the phantom lady wait in the early morning hours on days when the night's full moon lights the sky – awaiting the chance to give a ride to the lovely blonde lady wearing a long flowing gown.

Monday, April 20, 2015

The Ghost of Ted Bundy Still Haunts Me

Before I reveal the Ted Bundy article you are about to read, I'd like to take a moment to focus on one moment in time – the memory that prompted the article in the first place.

During the Ted Bundy fiasco, newspapers ran photos of Bundy's victims. They all looked eerily similar to each other with their long dark hair parted down the middle. 

The moment I saw the layout of those photos, I suddenly – with profound impact – remembered in vivid detail meeting a man in the parking lot where I worked when I was only 17 years old who just might have been – Ted Bundy. The photo you see was taken of me at about the same time as the incident revealed below. Photos of Bundy’s victims can be found on Murderpedia.

Here then is the original article, Ted Bundy and Me, in its entirety:

Serial killers both fascinate and repulse us – Jeffrey Dahmer, John Wayne Gacy, Gary Ridgway, and Ted Bundy conjure horrific images of innocent lives destroyed. How did these gruesome characters become so adept at committing crimes so macabre? Imagine how creative these murderers must be to devise methods of deception so devious even the brilliant minds of their victims become impervious to self-preservation. 

Civilized humans with a conscience wonder how murderers justify behavior we deem not just abnormal but an abomination. And we wonder at what point it becomes part of their internal makeup. What steps do serial killers take to successfully refine their systems to such a degree that excitement builds and impulse replaces common sense? What compels them to repeat their atrocities again and again?

As their levels of depravity sink beneath a surface we can't even imagine, as each victim succumbs to their charms, these manipulators of their own consciences improve their methods, tweaking and adjusting them until they discover what works. It is the point before that realization hits them that arouses my curiosity. I want to know what didn't work.

I was 17 the summer and fall of 1968 just after Ted Bundy's girlfriend broke off their relationship. According to many sources, he traveled during that time, from the west coast to the east coast and to Florida.

I-80, 294, and I-90/94 take you east, west, and south, not far from the River Oaks mall in Calumet City, Illinois (one of Chicago's south suburbs), where I worked for three months that year.

Like many young women, I wore my dark hair long and straight with a part down the middle.

On my way to work as I exited my father's car in the Sears parking lot one evening, a tall thin man approached me. As if out of nowhere, he appeared before me, the sun stretching across the western sky, casting its light behind him.

"Your car is leaking," he said as he pointed under my car.

I leaned over and saw many leaks under the car. "That's OK. I'll have my dad look at it," I told him as I slung my purse over my shoulder.

"It will only take a minute."

"No, really," I said, "it's OK. I have to get to work." I started to walk away, but he kept talking. I forced a smile. I was trying to be polite.

He was insistent. He bent over to look under the car. "I can't really tell which leak is coming from your car, because there are so many, but if you drive it over there," he said, pointing across the parking lot, "I can take a better look. Nobody is parked over there. Less stains on the ground."

I hesitated, but "over there" was next to a thick grove of trees. I declined again, repeating that my father would take a look at it. He insisted again that it would take only a minute. I told him I really had to get to work, at which time we both walked away.

When he turned to walk, however, instead of walking into the store, as I would have expected, he returned to the parking lot, something I found strange even then.

Though the man was obviously trying to be kind, I felt oddly frightened. My body was trembling. I couldn't have articulated at the time why my heart was pounding so wildly in my chest – something in his demeanor, maybe – an underlying intensity along with his polite insistence. Still shaking, I called my father from a pay phone. I was afraid to return to the parking lot after work and I was afraid the car wouldn't run. My father assured me that nothing was leaking from the car and that the man wouldn't be there when I left.

I didn't think about the event again until years later when I saw photos of Ted Bundy's victims, all with long hair parted down the middle.

From 1969-1972, after he discovered that the woman he thought was his sister was actually his mother, Bundy delved into the academic and political arena. A political career in the late 60's and early 70's, before the world learned about corruption in high places, may have been what Bundy thought was a highly respectable career choice. He may have been able to hide his evil side. He may also have spent time thinking about how to perfect his strategy.

Bundy's first known victim, Joni Lenz, was brutally attacked in January 1974. Did Bundy suddenly become the psychopath the media exposed him to be, or did he progress, allowing his brain to assimilate psychotic impulses he would learn to justify (it's OK for me to kill her because my pleasure is more important than her pain). In all likelihood, he probably blamed his victims for his behavior (they asked for it).

Refining techniques takes thought and time. Failed attempts require creative solutions to insure success. Serial killers follow their impulses and force a transformation of their fantasies into their version of reality. Was the ruse Ted Bundy once used one of offering help to unsuspecting victims? And is it possible that after one or more failed attempts, he altered his technique and started asking unsuspecting victims to help him (as he did with his last known victims)? Did he confine his killing sprees to those areas that most assured him of success, perhaps leaving Illinois alone?

So many questions remain unanswered. What if I had agreed to drive my car to the grove of trees at the end of the parking lot? What if I hadn't trusted my instincts?

Bundy chose to use his intellect and creative abilities to destroy his victims and their loved ones. Creative destruction – destructive creativity – two opposing words that worked together in Ted Bundy's mind – until he got caught. He was electrocuted fifteen years after the murder of Joni Lenz in January 1989. He was 42 years old.

I will never know if Ted Bundy was the man who approached me forty-five years ago in the summer or fall of 1968, but I will always wonder.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Do You Sometimes Feel that You’ve Been Cursed?

  • (originally from the Magical Mysteries Collection, later republished August 5, 2008, on the ~now defunct~ Yahoo! Contributor Network, then published on and removed from Persona Paper with the title You’ve Been Cursed! How Do You Remove That Curse?, I finally decided to place this in my own blog)
  • Nothing is more powerful than belief – YOUR belief. What you believe lays the groundwork not only for how you live your life but also for how you respond to anything that happens to you. If you feel that you have been cursed, for instance, and you walk into a darkly lit room to find a soothsayer who promises to relieve you of your curse, one thing and one thing only will unburden you from that curse – your belief that she knows how to remove your curse. But can you trust her?
  •  Read this story:
He approaches the house with trepidation, looking over his shoulder as he enters the eerie abode. He has spent the last several weeks living in fear. He feels he has been cursed. After all, he is a descendant of King Tut, his last name is Kennedy, and he is a devoted Cubs fan.

He wasn't too concerned when his engine blew, but when his transmission exploded, and his house burned down, he couldn't help but wonder if he was the target of doom. And when he lost his job, he knew he had to take action. Today he visits a curse remover.

Let's listen in. The curse remover, after listening to his litany of complaints, gathers her materials, little statues she made herself, and magic wands she purchased from the local metaphysical shop. Repeat after me, she says. "Voodoo hoodoo boodoo – voodoo hoodoo boodoo." He repeats the mantra. "Again, " she demands. Again he obliges.

"Wait," she interrupts. "Where's the money?"

"Oh, yes, I have it here," he says as he hands her $3,000 in traveler's checks.

"Voodoo hoodoo boodoo."

"Done," she tells him as she escorts him to the door.

"That's it?" he asks.

"Yes, that's it. Well, almost," she whispers. "The curse removal will last only a month. You must pay me another $3,000 every month to keep the curse from killing you. And you mustn't tell a soul or the curse will strike you with a vengeance a hundredfold what it was before. Death will be quick and torturous otherwise."

And so it goes. People who feel cursed receive more than their fair share of calamity, generally on a regular basis and generally completely disproportionate to what they perceive the rest of the world receives. They are even willing to pay people to get rid of the curse.

But curses seem to belong only to people who believe in them. Curses become entombed within self-fulfilling prophecies that energize like little batteries that keep going and going. The continuation of bad luck confirms to the believers that they have been cursed.

Whenever anything bad happens to a member of the Kennedy family, the media jump in with PROOF that the Kennedy curse exists, despite the fact that other people have the same and sometimes more misfortunes than the Kennedy family. The only difference is that the Kennedy family lives in the public eye.

Does anybody remember the hoopla surrounding the notorious serial killer, or should I say series killer, the Cubs Curse ball? On February 26, 2004, at 7:31 pm, the Cubs hoped to put an end to the curse by destroying the ball that they believed cost them the World Series in 2003. Armed guards protected the death row murderer until its destruction that supposedly served as a symbol to signify the end of the curse.

So now the Cubs will win every World Series, right? I hope so – for the sake of the guy who just spent another $3,000 in Traveler's Checks. (By the way, an enlightened honest person will not ask you to pay them exorbitant amounts of money to help you spiritually.)

Photo Credit: Morguefile.

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Dead Man Talking

(from the Magical Mysteries Collection – also previously published on Yahoo! Contributor Network August 1, 2008 – later published on and then deleted from Persona Paper)
Late at night, hours after having been put to bed, a little girl walks into the living room. She wipes her eyes and yawns to her mother, "There's a man in my closet." Gripped with fear, knowing she must rescue her baby who sleeps in that same room, the mother grabs a knife and heads to the bedroom, heart pounding in her chest.
But her search is in vain. No man.
Or is there? Is it an apparition, a dream, or a figment of the child's imagination?
The fourth possibility, of course, is that it's real.
Not since Rod Serling's Twilight Zone episodes in the 1950s and 1960s has the world been so intrigued with subjects rife with superstition, curiosity, and fear.
Metaphysical subjects are not a new phenomenon. Since the beginning of time, people referred to as "sensitives" (individuals who rely on more than just their five senses to validate the world for them), feel or "sense" things. They are more naturally tuned into what is referred to as a sixth sense than those who don't experience those same sensations. For the sensitive person, awareness of things unseen is commonplace. Belief in things unproven is also common.
One hundred years before Rod Serling mesmerized us with intriguing perceptions of reality, Mary Todd Lincoln, President Abraham Lincoln's wife, organized séances at the White House to channel the spirit of her son, Willie, after having lost him in 1862. Her husband and other prominent members of society attended those séances.
Thirty years after Twilight Zone, when Whoopi Goldberg's character, Oda Mae Brown, in the 1990 movie, Ghost, pretended to communicate with dead people, the voice of an actual deceased person drew out her natural talent, that of a medium.
Nine years later, Cole Sear (Haley Joel Osment) was haunted by visions of departed entities in the 1999 I-see-dead-people movie, The Sixth Sense.
More recently, through the medium of television, soul communicators, such as John Edward and James Van Praagh invite audiences to participate in connecting with the other side.
Medium is the singular form of the word media. Media - newspapers, television, radio, and the Internet - work as channels of information, forms of communication. In the occult sense, a medium is a person who channels information from the dead.
In the television show, Medium, psychic crime investigator, Allison DuBois, tapped into the afterlife for solutions. Patricia Arquette played the role of the real-life psychic investigator.
According to a recent Gallup poll, one third of Americans believe in ghosts. On what do they base their beliefs? And does believing in ghosts mean believing in communicating with them?
How is it even possible to communicate with somebody who has no mouth to speak and no hands to gesture? But do we not gesture in our sleep while our hands lie firmly by our sides? And do we not see rainbows with eyes closed and listen to music that has never been recorded?
Our physical forms die, but our spirits live on. As disembodied spirits we no longer concern ourselves with clothing, housing, medical expenses, stealing, coveting, lying, or cheating. If our spirits live on, awareness of being, of existing in a different form might be somewhat frightening for some of us. If we died, and were aware of our death, we might try to communicate with loved ones. But our form of communication would have to change.
While many police departments shun the use of mediums because of the controversy they invite, many use them anyway. The case of Christopher Meyer, the 10-year old boy abducted from the Kankakee, Illinois, area in August, 1995, is a good example. Psychic investigators zero in on thoughts and images that may not be accessible through ordinary routes.

A former program, Psychic Kids: Children of the Paranormal - (2008-2010) – hosted by Chip Coffey, Psychic/Medium, and Lisa Miller, Ph.D., cast a new light on the previously frequently heard comment, "Children should be seen and not heard." When dead men talk, those children listened. And now we're listening to them.