SuperHaunt Bucket List #1: Overshadowed attack. The SECOND disaster at Pearl Harbor, HI

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One of the most remembered attacks in World War II, was our first real home land breach of security.  Up until 9-11, the Pearl Harbor attack of 1941 by the Japanese, on US shores was the most horrifying and surreal occurrences in our US history.  But there was a second attack, at Pearl Harbor, in 1944, with a blackout press order.  It’s death count is not included in the Pearl Harbor death count, and it’s very existence you will not find on the timelines in history books or anywhere, for the events of Pearl Harbor or WWII in general.

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For that reason alone, the events in May of 1944 at West Loch, Hawaii, now known as the West Loch Disaster, are not highly publicized, and therefore relatively untouched for paranormal investigations.  This entire ‘attack’ was simply swept under the carpet until later in 2009 when researchers uncovered information.  2009 and 2012 were the first official memorials of the 163 men that died, and the nearly 400 injured, that were forced to stay quiet, as this entire event was classified Top Secret.  Conveniently in this decade, when all of the witnesses and bystanders are deceased, facts are allowed to surface… right from the ocean floor.

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Everyone is very aware of the surprise attack by the Japanese in Pearl Harbor.  Most memorialized are the aerial attacks on Battleship Row, meant to disable our Naval force.  By the time it was all said and done, more than 2,400 Americans were dead, 21 ships* had either been sunk or damaged, and more than 188 U.S. aircraft destroyed.  But it wasn’t just an aerial attack.  Before the attack, 5 Japanese midget subs, only 2 man crews on each, armed with 80 lb torpedos, had breached Hawaii and were lying in wait.  Here’s the clincher.  Only four were accounted for, after the attack.

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Fast forward to May, 1944… things have calmed down in Hawaii, for sure.  The rest of the world in complete chaos, it was quite a distraction.  But of course, this is a Naval base, and this is wartime.  Officially and publicly, in May of 1941, our Navy was preparing to invade the Marianas.  West Loch was quite congested and “unusually crowded with various vessels as it was being used as a staging area for the upcoming Operation Forager. Twenty-nine Landing Ships, Tank (LSTs) were tied up, beam to beam, at six Tare piers. Many of the LSTs, in addition to carrying their own complement of munitions and fuel, were also fully loaded with the munitions, fuel, vehicles, equipment, and other general stores required by the 2nd and 4th Marine Divisions for the invasion of the Marianas, that was to begin in mid-June. To aid quick deployment once ashore, high-octane gasoline was stored in barrels on deck…Within minutes, 200 men had been blown into the water. Eleven wooden buildings on the shore were destroyed and vehicles blown on their side. In all, 20 buildings were damaged.  (citing Wikipedia, please be aware the Wikipedia does have some discrepancies, but overall, factual).

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After a hasty investigation, it was ruled that an accident occurred while unloading mortar rounds, when a wayward spark from welding, or possibly a cigarette ignited gas fumes, therefore causing the explosion.  The original theory by the military was a possible submarine attack…BUT WAS RULED UNLIKELY BECAUSE OF THE DEPTHS OF WEST LOCH, AND THE ANTI SUBMARINE NETS IN PLACE.  Interesting.

Points of interest:

  • Within 24 hours, a press black out was issued.  No personnel were allowed to even write home about it.  No talking to the press or anyone for that matter.
  • It was immediately classified as Top Secret.
  • They found the 5th midget sub in the wreckage of West Loch, without torpedos.
  • The Japanese midget subs are equipped with submarine net cutters on the bow.
  • Researchers found evidence that one of the ships in West Loch suffered extensive underwater damage.
  • In the confusion, the army personnel on board weren’t even counted in the dead count.
  • Oh yeah, the motive for sweeping it all under the rug?  We didn’t want the Japanese to know……..  but why?  We called it a maritime accident.  We didn’t want the rest of America to know.  But why?  Possible breach of homeland security that would breed panic?  OH WAIT!  It was weeks before an invasion of Manila!  That was Top Secret too, and was something that was argued about for months before by FDR and his cabinet.
  • A large number of the deceased were not recovered, not recorded, buried in “unknown” graves (LATER commemorated as Unknown in memory of West Loch), and died without honor or recognition.

 

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Keep in mind, of course, that these men were not deployed, and many were on shore leave because of extensive exercises leading up to Operation Forager, in the Marianas.  Their lives were cut short drastically and in a very violent and unexpected way.  And the lack of recognition means unfinished business.  From a paranormal standpoint, all of this sets up the perfect storm for paranormal.  From a psychic standpoint, would love to read the situation and see what the location can tell me about what really happened.  From an empathic point of view, we need to find a way to close the book with dignity and honor for deceased and their families.  They deserve to be recognized by the military and recognized in our history books.  Bringing some closure to this will allow many of the spirits that are ‘still on duty, even now’, to move on and cross over.

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SuperHaunt Bucket List #2: Countdown to Death: The Isolation of Lovokomeio

Long known to be one of the most ancient diseases, and one of the most horrific ways to die, Leprosy was considered to be a punishment from God himself.  A quick death, this was not.  But rather, long enough for you to make amends with whatever demons haunted you from your life.

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Found to be caused by a bacteria, Leprosy is now curable, with the proper medication, and of course much better results if you catch it early on.  For centuries, patients were not allowed to even visit with their own families, and left in exile.  Leprosy, or rather Hansen’s Disease, left an incredible imprint on any location that was meant to house and isolate this disease.  Your prognosis included years of living alone with your own thoughts, no communication with the outside world, and “rotting away”, from the secondary infections and diseases that would attack a patient.  Skin lesions would leave a patient disfigured and in advanced stages, unrecognizable.  Although the disease would destroy or damage nerves, the surrounding living tissue around the effected area would still endure the pain.

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Kindness and mercy were shown to these colonies usually by priests, that would then succumb to the disease themselves.  This was a truly divine labor of love.

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Lovokomeio is Greece’s first leprosy colony, meant to house these poor citizens from others, in an attempt to limit the spread. Opening it’s doors in 1378, it is unknown the exact numbers of patients that died there.  Records are scarce.  This facility was meant to only house dozens at a time.  Once a patient was sent to the colony, death came fairly quickly on average. It is not highly contagious, but I’m sure there was constant turnover in the facility.  Since it’s beginning, that part of the country has seen Greek War of Independence in the 19th century when Ottoman soldiers massacred or exiled most of the island’s inhabitants, as well as devastating earthquakes.  In ruins, it finally closed it’s doors 1957.  

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From a paranormal standpoint, it is likely that caretakers are still there, as that was their life love.  I’m sure many others that have passed on are there as well.  Residual evidence is high in locations like this with such a high impact of emotional distress and physical agony.  From a psychic standpoint, I am eager to read what is there, and maybe follow a story or two.  A tourist attraction it is.  And a haunting one at that.

SuperHaunt Bucket List #3: A Killer’s Playground, Dunblane Primary School, Scotland

It shouldn’t take the slaughter of 16 first graders to change the gun laws of a country, but this time it did.  In this odd twist, the previous attempts to protect children from what turned out to be a cold blooded killer failed them, by triggering a massacre of historical proportions.  The shots will always be heard at Dunblane Primary School, Dublane, central Scotland.  This sleepy town will never be the same.

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The Background:

On March 13, 1996 an extremely pissed off and calculating pedophile, Mr. Thomas Hamilton, entered Dunblane Primary School, an elementary school with 700 children attending.  Armed with 2 9mm Browning HP pistols, 2 Smith and Wesson m19 .357 mag revolvers and 743 rounds of ammo,and a pair of pliers or wire cutters that he used to cut the phone lines to the school,  he pushed through 2 staff members and found Mrs. Gwen Major’s first grade class in progress.  He preceded to fire off 109 rounds, alternating hollow points and full metal jackets, killing Mrs. Majors as she attempted to shield her students, and 15 kids, all between the ages of 5 and 6 years old.  He then turned one of his guns on himself.

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The entire attack lasted about 3 minutes.  School had just started, with the first call for help coming in to emergency personnel at 9:30am, and the first responders arriving at 9:45am.   The coroner found that most of the dead suffered at least 5 gunshots, some up to 7.  Twelve more kids and two more teachers were also injured, 3 of them on the critical list days after the attack.  All his guns were legally owned.

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Thomas Hamilton had become obsessed with two things in his 43 years of life.  Boys, and guns.  Early on when he was 20, he became a scout leader but was later blacklisted from the organization for inappropriate behavior with the kids, involving possible sexual abuse, physical abuse, and neglect.  He possessed pictures of semi nude boys and kept them throughout his home, because he was “proud”.  Although there were many attempts by him to re-enter the organization, he was never allowed back in.

Instead he ran NUMEROUS boys clubs targeting kids 7-12, from 1975 thru early 90’s, boot camp style, all unsupervised.  One of his clubs even met in the very gymnasium where he ended so many young lives.  Not long before the attack, he had been turned down when applying to volunteer at that very same school.

He opened a DYI wood crafting shop in 1972 that eventually went under.  He blamed the rumors that were spread about him for the decline in business, and began to write letters to Scotland’s scout association, headquarters, parents of kids, authorities, and even petitioned the Queen herself, complaining of HIS mistreatment and victimization.  He believed there was a conspiracy to destroy him.

There is evidence he planned this attack 2 years in advance.  There was also a large gun and ammo purchase 6 months in advance, with an increase in practice sessions at gun clubs.

700,000 citizens signed a petition to outlaw private ownership of handguns, completely outright, as a result of this.  The outcry led to Firearms (amendment) Act 1997, and firearms (amendment #2) Act 1997, making all private ownership of handguns illegal in the UK.  This was the deadliest attack on children in all the history of the UK.

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Paranormal standpoint?  SO MUCH residual in the school, it is I’m sure amazing.  I wouldn’t doubt that there would be more than just residual there.  Psychic Standpoint?  I would love the opportunity to read Mr. Hamilton and retrace his footsteps to possibly see where that switch was thrown, and how this could be prevented in other cases.  Is this something that could be predicted?  I believe so.

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There are many questions still unanswered about this case, as the ‘higher ups’ decided for the 100 year ban before allowing evidence to be public, even though they hid behind the excuse of keeping children’s identities private…many parents of the victims were the first calling for evidence to be revealed.  Hamilton had Freemason ties, friends in the police force, took too long to get to the school (15 minute trip took 45 minutes), an off duty cop just happened to be at the school but was not questioned or used as a witness.  All of these should be answered, even this long after.

 

 

SuperHaunt Bucket List Location #5, Island of the Dolls, Mexico

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South of Mexico City, in the ancient Xochimilco district, deep in the old network of canals, is a chinampa, or floating garden… basically a small island.  An extremely disturbing island.  And when I say disturbing, I mean just a visit to this island will mess with you psychologically and emotionally.  La Isla De La Munecas, or the Island of the Dolls, tops the creep factor scale, and will haunt a visitor’s nightmares for years to come.

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On this island,  thousands of dolls in various states of decomposition and mutilation hanging from trees, structures, fences, bushes, clothes lines.  Dolls rejected by previous owners for different reasons, decapitated, disfigured, mangled.  Not just that.  This island also has a shed, housing very SPECIAL dolls, complete with an alter set up for the ghost of a little girl found floating in the canals, 50 years ago.  (As if the dolls themselves weren’t creepy enough, right?)

One man’s labor of love and FEAR:

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Don Julian Santana was the only inhabitant of this island.  Said to be a loner and described as a hermit, he rarely made visits into the city.  It is said that  years ago, Don Julian found a girl drowning in the nearby canal… some say he tried to save her but could not, and others say that she had already drowned.  This death haunted him and began to change him through time.

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Days after the occurrence he found a doll in the canal near where she was found.  He assumed it was hers, fished it out, took care of it, and hung it to dry, hoping this would please her spirit, and as a tribute to her.  Soon other dolls were found in the water, he would fish them out and save them for her too, hanging them to dry.  However, soon it became an obsession.

Her death still haunted him.  He became obsessed.

He started to rummage through trash piles and dumps, looking for dolls and doll parts, so he could try to please her.  When that wasn’t enough, he started to trade his belongings for dolls to please her.

Some say she haunted him and as she became more active, more dolls were collected in an effort to silence her.  Others say he went mad and thought that the dolls were live children, forgotten and left behind, pulling them from the canal and trying to revive them.

In 2001, Don Julian himself drowned in the same canal he found her in so many years ago.

The locals believe that the dolls came alive and conspired to kill him.  Others believe the dolls took over his role and became the caretaker of the island.  I ask you this, maybe he joined her so he could take care of this little girl, maybe he found it was the only way?

Other questions I have… Was he insane BEFORE he began living on the island, and did he have something to do with her death, with this display he created a conscious display of guilt? Was his fear heightened by guilt OTHER than not being able to save her… why the fear that she would come back and kill him?  There is no information about the little girl that can be found… I’m sure this is to protect the identity and privacy of her family.

From a paranormal investigative standpoint, the residual energy there must be amazing.  The attachments that many of these dolls have has got to be incredible.  The fear and awe that visitors have each day feeds the energy that is already there.  It’s said that the dolls whisper, and that you can hear the girl laugh or cry at night.  Don’s insanity and obsession surely has left an tangible imprint.

From the psychic side of things… wow, what to read, what to read.  Items?  Alter?  What happened to Don?  What happened to the little girl REALLY, and what put her there in the first place?  So MUCH information and so many situations to read there!

I. Can’t. Wait.