Cumberland Times-News

Jim Goldsworthy - Anything and Everything

December 1, 2012

It flew over his head and he didn’t see it

If you don’t believe in them, that’s OK. We believe in them ... whatever they are. There may be several explanations for them, including a few natural ones that nobody has thought about.

Some of it may be residual energy. The living human body produces an aura of energy that can be recorded with what’s called Kirlian photography. A photo of your hand, taken with this process, shows that aura. So will that of a freshly-plucked leaf from a tree.

My old friend Frank Calemine’s arm would have showed up on such a photo, and he lost it when he was hit by a train at the age of 10.

He was torn up pretty badly, and the story is that the doctors told his mother he wouldn’t survive the night.

“Sew him up so he’ll look good in his coffin,” she said, and that’s what they did.

Frank woke up the next morning and was hungry. Then, he woke up hungry every morning for the next 80 years. (Now he leaves pennies for me, but that’s a story for another time.)

“The worst thing about this arm,” he told me, “is that when it itches, I can’t scratch it.”

The laws of physics say that energy can neither be created nor destroyed. Where does our energy go when we pass on to the next world? Do we take all of it with us, or do we leave part of it behind?

Considering all the human misery that was experienced at places like Gettysburg, where an estimated 6,200 men were killed and another 33,000 were wounded, it’s understandable that plenty of energy might still be around.

Some of what we encounter may be the spirits of those who died so suddenly that they don’t know they’re dead — or they know they’re dead and are afraid to go on to what awaits them ... or they don’t know how to go on. I suspect some have gone ahead, but return now and then for reasons known only to them.

Or not. All of this is mortal speculation.

Some may be angels. Many faiths believe in the life eternal, and who is to say what form it takes? I don’t know, nor does anyone else. Only the Lord knows, and He’s not saying.

Others may be demons. I believe in them just like I believe in angels and therefore avoid demonic or any place where I think demonic might be. An unmistakable, indescribably uncomfortable feeling tells me to scram.

Some of it shows a sense of purpose ... or harmless mischief.

We sat in our Gettysburg motel suite for an hour or more, watching one variety of these manifestations on a computer monitor.

Our motel suite is haunted. We see them, we hear them talking (they asked Gary to shut the door between the rooms one night, then thanked him after he’d done so), and we smell them brewing coffee. I woke up one morning to find that my bedspread had been turned upside-down while I was asleep.

Our friend Reggie, who has a paranormal research team, set up strategically placed day-and-night vision cameras in both of our rooms and hooked them to a four-screen monitor so we could watch in realtime.

(I wondered how I was going to take a shower and get dressed without winding up on display, then hung my hat over the camera that was aimed into our bathroom.)

We like to watch Ghost Adventures with Zak, Nick, Aaron and Billy the tech guy, and we appreciate the way they go about it.

If something strange happens, they look for a perfectly natural explanation, and frequently they find one.

Some of their footage shows what are believed to be spirit orbs flying around, usually one at a time. Sometimes, there is no explanation. Many times, Zack and company debunk the orb as being dust or an insect.

There must be millions of photos that show what people think are ghost orbs. Most are only a trick played by the camera lens. The rest are some kind of energy. What kind? You tell me.

One giant orb that Gary and Reggie saw on the monitor flew right over my head while I was sitting on my bed, and I missed it.

While Zak and company are lucky to catch one undebunkable orb, we lost track of how many we saw. At times, it almost looked like it was snowing. Reggie said, “This is rare.”

They zoomed around by themselves, or in groups of two, three or even more, dashing and weaving — sometimes in formation — as if in one of those chaotic aerial melees that World War I fighter pilots called a “furball.”

They reminded me of a 101 Dalmations-sized litter of frolicking puppies.

Some were at least as a foot in diameter and went right for what are called “trigger objects” ... bait, if you will. In this case, the trigger objects were a cigar that Gary left on the table and our coffee pot. (Civil War soldiers craved tobacco and coffee.)

We could see none of this with the naked eye.

We’re waiting for a report on what else Reggie found on his digital audio and video recorders. I’m particularly interested to know what caused the flash of light I saw at 3 a.m. in the passageway that separates our rooms.

We also paid a couple of nocturnal visits to cemeteries — with quiet respect and prayers that those who rested there were at peace with the Lord and their loved ones. Unlike Zack and them, we do no taunting.

Harry and Cathy, our friends from Pennsylvania, joined us along with the Buffalo Gals (one of whom described how she once dashed across a field in a Civil War-period gown that had no bloomers of any kind beneath it; her friends call her “Running Bare.”)

Cathy has heard about our ghost adventures and wanted desperately to have one of her own. She got her wish in an old churchyard.

“I saw it! I saw it!” she called out in a voice that was (you should pardon the expression) loud enough to wake the dead.

“There was a shadow behind that headstone,” she said, “and it kept moving around and peeking out at me, over top of it and then from one side or the other like it was playing hide-and-seek!”

Ya know, it could be that they’re as curious about us as we are about them. We go ghost-hunting; maybe they go mortal-hunting.

Whoever they are.

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Jim Goldsworthy - Anything and Everything
  • He means well, and this time they spared his life

    Our pal Phil is the only re-enactor certified in writing by both the Lee and Custis families to portray Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee (whose wife was Mary Anna Custis Lee). When he’s in uniform, he generally stops at the bottom of the path that leads to the summit of Little Round Top, salutes Capt. Gary and First Sgt. Goldy and asks permission to join us. (Get it? Generally ... General Lee?) We always return his salute and grant him permission, in part because he’s our friend and also because the real Lee never got to see what it really looks like from up there. (Get it? Grant ... Grant? U.S. Grant? Real Lee ... really? OK. I hear you. That’s enough. Seriouslee.) Phil gets a kick out of being able to sneak up on us while we’re distracted by tourists.

    July 20, 2014

  • They’d have fallen like Autumn leaves

    So there we were, minding our own business (at least momentarily), leaning against the cannon at Little Round Top.

    July 13, 2014

  • Better read that french fry before you eat it

    People give me otherwise-insignificant items they hope will amuse or inspire me. I appreciate this. I’m always glad for free entertainment, which as Goldy’s Rule 33 says is everywhere. All you have to do is wait and it will come to you. Also, I have been writing columns for 37 years and embrace inspiration anywhere I can find it.

    July 6, 2014

  • The moose is loose, and it’s coming for you

    So how would you like to look out your kitchen door window onto your porch and see a moose looking back at you from close range?

    June 28, 2014

  • There are some debts you can never repay

    Today’s column will be relatively short, as my columns go, for reasons that should become apparent, and I thought long and hard before writing it.

    June 21, 2014

  • It could have saved the county a lot of money

    Random thoughts sometimes occur to me when I least expect it, usually when my brain has become tired.
    When I voice these thoughts at work or in other places, people may tell me, “Goldy? It’s time for you to go home.” Yes, ma’am.
    Here are two random thoughts of recent vintage:
    • If Bugs Bunny were an Emergency Medical Technician, would that make him a MedicHare?
    • If Daisy Duck got a job driving for United Parcel Service, would she be an UPS-a-Daisy?
    I wouldn’t blame you if you think that sounds Goofy — or Daffy.

    June 15, 2014

  • These two were part of the Not Top Ten

    Occasionally, at this time of year, I see reference to a “class orator” or a “class speaker.”

    Nothing wrong with that — people can call such things whatever they want, as far as I’m concerned — but it makes me wonder. Have “valedictorian” and “salutatorian” become politically incorrect, and I didn’t notice? It may come as a surprise to you, but I really have not kept up with what is politically correct or incorrect. That’s what people tell me, anyway. With some of them, it actually seems to be a compliment.

    June 8, 2014

  • Coming soon to a highway near you?

    People say to me, “Goldy? Can I ask you a stupid question?”

    In theory — and theory only — the correct response is: “The only stupid question is the one you don’t ask.” Not so much. There ARE stupid questions, some of them so stupid that to call them stupid is to damn them with faint praise. Other questions are — on the face of it — legitimate questions, but shouldn’t be treated as such ... not if you subscribe to the same philosophy that I do: Free entertainment is everywhere; all you have to do is wait, and it will come to you.

    June 1, 2014

  • This was a skill that proved very useful

    The Belmont Park stewards have decided to let California Chrome wear his nasal strip during the Run for the Carnations. Nasal strips usually are worn by people who snore and may have saved numerous marriages. It helps the Triple Crown hopeful to breathe, and some twolegged athletes wear nasal strips for the same reason. In this case, Chrome’s nasal strip may keep him from (wait for it) ... losing by a nose.

    May 25, 2014

  • He made a big splash by asking this question

    “I don’t know who you were talking to last night,” said Capt. Gary, “but you were talking and moaning in your sleep. Never heard you do that before.” Neither has anyone else, I said. Besides, I had told him not to be surprised if we had visitors. I wasn’t at the top of my game for a couple of days, and he said some of our friends asked him if I was all right. It’s not the first time for this, so now I’ll know to watch out for it. It can affect you and is not something to play around with — as our friend Cathy found out.

    May 18, 2014

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