Friday, March 26, 2010

VC Para Con 2010 - Friday, March 19th

This past weekend I attended the Virginia City Paranormal Conference hosted by Janice Oberding. First let me say, I had a great time. Janice did a fantastic job.

The conference was held at the Silverland Hotel. The Silverland is built over the lower end of the old Redlight District and the upper end of Chinatown. It is reportedly haunted, and we were going to be given the opportunity to investigate the basement areas.

I arrived at around 5 pm on Friday evening. As soon as I got out of my car, I ran into Jill Smith, from R.E.A.L., another local investigation group. I met Tiger, er...I mean Jill, last fall during the TMCC paranormal series. I remembered her as a sweet, quiet person (as opposed to our very loud, boisterous group). She introduced me to Bert from Full Moon Paranormal. I knew that if there were going to be other groups at this conference, it was going to be good, because I am a net worker by nature. (a nice way of saying I am nosy, and want to know everybody's business). After I checked into my room, I headed downstairs, picked up my name badge from the registration table, and ran into Mona, another member of our group, W.I.G.S. Mona was busy making herself useful, setting out snacks and such. I picked us out a table, then headed back out into the basement lobby to check out the contents of my goody bag.
Upon opening my bag, I gasped in horror, but settled down when I realized it was only a picture of Barry Manilow looking out from the cover of a Nevada tourism magazine. The goody bag contained flyers of museum and underground mine tours, visitor information on Virgina City and such. There was a cute little VC ParaCon magnet  that now resides on my refridgerator, and a little felt spook made by Virginia Ridgeway, the grand dame of Goldfield. I also received a 11x7" piece of black plastic which I have yet to figure out a use for. A protective ghost deflector to wear underneath my shirt to prevent rogue spirits in search of human hosts from entering my body through my bellybutton?  A barrier to hold out in front of me to drive back demon spawn? Hmm...
Anyway, while I was mulling these sorts of thoughts, I ran into Scott Mannahan from R.E.AL. Scott has been very helpful to me in the past when I first began investigating. Scott very patiently answered my many questions, however seemingly idiotic. Back then, he was Scott Truelove from Ghost Posse. I had lost touch when he switched groups, and now that I know his "true" name and where he can be found; the man will know no rest.

The paranormal community is a small one, so there were a lot of familiar faces. During the meet and greet, I got to reconnect with people I knew, and make new acquaintences. Quite a few people had come in from California, Las Vegas and as far away as Texas.

The conference opened with an introduction by Janice Oberding. She gave a quick synopsis of the upcoming weekend, then passed the mic around and gave everyone a chance to introduce themselves, where they were from, what group(s) they belonged to, etc. We are an eclectic group with one common thread, an interest in the paranormal. 
 
Next up was Rev. Wayne S. Pierce from Western Nevada Paranormal. Rev. Wayne did a group reading for those in attendance. Now...anyone who reads my blog on a regular basis, knows the reservations I have about those mediums. I am skeptical, I admit. After a few minutes of listening to him channel someone's poor departed sister and a dead dog, I decided I needed to go grab my gear and do a walk through of the investigation area beforehand. Apparently, the other members of my group had the same idea because one by one, without any discussion, we snuck out of Rev. Wayne's demonstration. Sorry Reverend Wayne, waaay too depressing for me.
 
The seance, led by Virginia Ridgeway, was held out in the downstairs lobby area. We all sat around in a gigantic circle and visualized white light. The time of day was wrong, the area was too lit up, or the spirits were simply not coming through. After 10 minutes or so, we gave up. Virginia announced that we should take a break and regroup later on. With that, people split off into their individual groups, headed out to dinner, started investigating the basement areas, or sat around chatting. W.I.G.S. decided to start investigating.
 
Next: The Silverland Investigation

Thursday, March 11, 2010

What Not To Wear

Yesterday Paula, my friend and fellow paranormal investigator, and I had a conversation that went something like this...

Paula: Did you catch____the other night, they did a live feed on an investigation.
Me: No. Was it any good?
Paula: It was hilarious. There was this female investigator wearing a red dress, and with the IR cameras, it looked like she was walking around in her underwear.
Me: No!
Paula: Yeah!
Me: No!
Paula: I swear!
Me: How did that happen?
Paula: She was wearing red.
Me: So?
Paula: Well, with the IR, red is a neutral color, it disappears on film.
Me: That doesn't sound right.
Paula: Yep, red clothes vanish. It was like watching an xray.
Me: You sure it wasn't the material of the cloth?
Paula: Nope. It's the color red.
Me: I don't believe that.
Paula: Trust me, the woman looked like she was parading around in nothing more than her bra and panties....That and her high heels.
Me: She was wearing high heels?
Paula: Yep.
Me: In the dark?
Paula: Yeah.
Me: Bulls**t.
Paula: I'm telling you it's true.

Okay. So this went on from some time; and if you are thinking to yourselves, "Is she serious?" Yes, I am. Paula and I can entertain ourselves with mindless, meaningless topics for hours on end, one of the many reasons why we are such good friends.

The conversation ended with me declaring that I was going to put the "Invisible Red" theory to the test. Using myself as a guinea pig, I took IR pictures of myself wearing red. Since it was my contention that the material is what would cause the transparency, I tried different types of fabrics. The results? The color red did not disappear, it simply showed up neutral. Looked like I was wearing white. No transparency with cotton or rayon.
However, the picture I took of myself wearing a guazy 100% polyester top, showed up very sheer (incidently, this is not a red blouse. It's gray with black print). I could definitely see my undergarment as you can see in the photo. (No snickering! This is serious scientific work here, damn it!)

So, word of caution, ladies: before dressing to go out on that important investigation, take a moment and consider what you are wearing; stick to solid cotton tees unless you want to show off your underclothes. And for goodness sake, don't wear high heels to an investigation, I don't care if it is a live feed and you want to look purdy. Safety, people!