Hunting the Lady of the Lake

The supernatural legend of the Lady of the Lake has compelled Long Island locals for over forty years, and a resurgence in the popularity of paranormal phenomena amongst millennials has only increased the amount of discussion surrounding Lake Ronkonkoma.  Let’s rewind for a moment and set the stage.

Lake Ronkonkoma is Long Island’s biggest freshwater body, known for its immense beauty and quiet tranquility. Located just outside of the hustle and bustle of the city, it provides a welcome escape for the creative, the dreamer, and the introvert who finds the concrete jungle overwhelming.

Many New Yorkers appreciate the peaceful atmosphere the lake provides, and it has remained a hidden gem beloved by locals for many decades.

At the turn of the century, a quaint lakeside resort was built, attracting wealthy tourists and catching the attention of William Vanderbilt, who eventually built his own private road leading from the heart of Manhattan right the shores of Ronkonkoma.

Another group of people are fond of the lake, for quite a different reason. In the 1970s, Suffolk County ghost hunters, intrigued by the whisperings of their community about a ghost upon the lake, began pilgrimaging to the shores of Lake Ronkonkoma in the hopes of catching a glimpse of what was said to be a female apparition with siren-like qualities.

There have always been strange rumors circulating about this lake. Though it is fairly normal in appearance, many believe without a shadow of a doubt that there are dangerous whirlpools in its depths. Others are convinced it is attached to a series of labyrinthian underwater tunnels leading to a river in the state of Connecticut.

None of these beliefs have much scientific bearing, as far as we know. They are likely nothing more than local folklore, passed along from parents to their children as warnings to stay away from the murky depths. Nevertheless, they have contributed to a much more terrifying legend that refuses to go away: the Lady of the Lake.

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Searching BAM for the spirit of Marian Anderson

Howard Gilman Opera House in 1978, photo by Dinanda H. Nooney

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Strange Window: The Turn of the Screw at BAM Harvey. Dec 12th – Dec 15th

BKPS met to investigate whether BAM could home the spirit of Marian Anderson.

Marian Anderson Stands In Front the Lincoln Memorial.
Marian Anderson pictured in-front of the Lincoln Memorial.

Born to blue-collar Philadelphians, Marian Anderson expressed talent in singing from a young age.

She began studying music independently in her teens and early twenties, after being turned away from the Philadelphia Music Academy. At the time, the institution upheld a whites-only policy.

Far from being deterred by racial prejudice and economic disadvantage, Marian gained notoriety as an opera singer and went on to tour Europe extensively in the 1920s.

Unlike their American counterparts, European audiences were seemingly more accepting of a black contralto, and Marian was beloved by her fans.

Back on American soil, Marian faced severe opposition from the white elite. She performed at the Brooklyn Academy of Music in 1938, but a year later, the tides turned.

During a historic turning point in the civil rights movement, Anderson was denied the opportunity to perform on Washington, DC’s prestigious Constitution Hall stage. The Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) who owned the hall and oversaw its performances were unwilling to offer non-segregated seating.

First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt, who served on the board, was unnerved by the blatant racism of her fellow Daughters and chose to resign out of respect for Marian. She went a step further and organized a special Easter Sunday performance for Marian at the Lincoln Memorial.

To a crowd of 75,000, Marian, raised a devout Baptist, performed a series of traditional hymns in her operatic style said to be full of “intrinsic beauty.”  Later, she expressed gratitude to her audience, stating, “I am just so overwhelmed today that I cannot express myself properly. You don’t know what you have done for me.”

While stories like Ms. Anderson’s may sound antiquated, “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.”

If perhaps she, like us, was disturbed by the racial divisions in modern-day America, and hoped to offer some positivity to the brokenhearted and the downcast. This was no small feat. I understood the gravity of what I was attempting.

With nothing but respect for the Anderson family, I decided to invite a small group of members to the Brooklyn Academy of Music, where Marian performed over a dozen times in the late 1930s. 

If she was, in fact, still lingering around Brooklyn, this seemed the most likely place to investigate.

Female psychics, and detectives set out to explore BAM for Marian Anderson’s spirit.

It was this knowledge that inspired my latest venture into the paranormal side of Brooklyn. I wondered if perhaps Marian Anderson’s spirit was still within reach.

The coven consisted of psychic-empath Cindy and psychic-medium Elaine, investigator Tina, and student-journalist Comice.

"Microphone" response during paranormal investigation aligns with Comice's desire to be heard.
“Microphone” EVP response to Comice’s presence. (Photo credit: Anthony Long)

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Ghosts, Doubles And Vortices: Revisiting The Stanley Hotel

Driving into the Rocky Mountains, towards the Stanley Hotel, is not unlike experiencing, in real life, the opening sequence to Stanley Kubrick’s masterpiece of horror The Shining. Beautiful and majestic, a sense of dread grows as the road winds further up and away from the familiarity of civilization, towards Estes Park, home of the infamous Stanley Hotel and . . . ghosts?

Not surprisingly, the place is a paranormal hot spot. According to legend, at least, as well as the assessment of hundreds of psychics, who consistently place the Stanley in the top ten most haunted places in America. Surely, hundreds of psychics can’t be wrong. Or can they?
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UFOs Go Mainstream: The Pentagon’s Secret UFO Program Revealed

This week may go down in UFO lore as the week UFOs went mainstream. Kind of like The Year Punk Broke, but with flying saucers instead of flannel and power chords. OK, maybe it isn’t full government disclosure, yet. But it sure makes a good Christmas stocking stuffer for many ufologists who are looking for confirmation, any confirmation, that aliens do in fact exist.
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From British Isles To British Columbia, Orange Orb Sightings Are Up

What’s going on over the skies of Scotland? Are they, by any chance, infested with UFOs? Or perhaps, there is a more mundane explanation, such as a proliferation of drones. Consider the following incidents.

Recently, an Airbus A320 passenger jet had a close encounter with a UFO while landing at Glasgow Airport. The near-miss occurred on May 26 and reported to the UK Airprox Board, which tracks potentially dangerous flying incidences.

According to the Glasgow-based Evening Times, the plane passed within 200 feet of what the pilots described as an “orange light” above the plane while they were coming in for a landing. The crew considered the possibility that the object may have been a drone, but was officially classed as an “unknown object” because no determination could be made.

The UK Airprox Board states: “The A320 pilot reports that he was approx three nautical miles finals for Runway 23 when the crew spotted an orange light ahead and slightly above, which appeared to be traveling in the opposite direction.”

“The light passed about 100–200ft above their aircraft . . . The unknown object was seen in the vicinity of an airfield approach path. The board could not determine the identity or proximity of the object.”

There have been a spate of UFO sightings in the region in recent years. On December 2, 2013, another A320 flew within 300 ft of a UFO while making a final approach to Glasgow Airport. The object was described by the pilot as blue and yellow, and that it “got quite close” and the risk of collision was “high.”

Orange arrow shaped UFO over Glasgow (Photo by Stuart Noble)

On August 14, 2015, The Scotsman published a photograph by Stuart Noble showing an unusual orange object in the skies above Glasgow. Noble was preparing to shoot a meteor shower when this arrow-shaped UFO showed up.

“I was shooting the Perseid shower and just setting my cameras exposure when I caught this,” said Noble, “It shows a strange orange object in the sky.”

And there is still yet one more mystery caught on video over Scotland, this time over the hills across from Gourock. An eyewitness filmed a bizarre set of mysterious lights as he stood on Trumpethill looking towards Kilcreggan.

The unnamed witness told the Greenock Telegraph “I’ve never seen anything like that before. The lights caught my eye as I looked out from St. Andrews Drive.”

Strange lights over Gourack (Photo via Evening Times)

“You can see from the video that there are several flashing lights, then more appear. It’s very strange,” the photographer commented, adding, “I hope someone can help solve this mystery — maybe we can call in Mulder and Scully from the X-Files!”

Might we offer that Scully would determine said lights over Gourack were of a terrestrial origin. Mulder, hence, would evince “the truth is out there.” And so it is.

Again, nobody knows for certain what the hell that was. Surely, some weird things are going on in the skies above Britain. And not all, nor any, can be explained away with mundane explanations, such as “drones.” For now, however, we will just have to classify them as “unknown flying objects.”

You would think that, with today’s proliferation of smart phones and high res cameras, we would have more good quality film and video evidence of atmospheric anomalies like glowing orbs. Turns out we do. Earlier this year, on July 22, a documentary film crew caught some remarkably impressive footage of a glowing orb flying over British Columbia.

“At 10:59 p.m., this huge yellowish white ball of light,” described Rob Freeman in the video’s description, “appeared out of nowhere and then proceeded to go into the woods.”

Rob Freeman and Marcus McNabb had their cameras trained on the Stawamus Chief, a 2,297 ft granite monolith located in Squamish, B.C., when the orb appeared.

“At first we thought it was an airplane,” Freeman told the Squamish Chief. “There was absolutely no sound . . . then we absolutely knew it was no airplane.”

Freeman, a senior field researcher for the Center for the Scientific Study of Atmospheric Anomalies in London, Ontario, acknowledged that this was the best footage he’s captured yet.

“The Chief is a sacred mountain,” Freeman said. “Lights are found in ancient spots like Peru or Norway. Whatever it is, in every single country on every single expedition, we’ve got something.”

According to the Squamish Chief, Freeman and McNabb were directed to the area by ufologist Charles Lamoureux, who informed them of the area’s proclivity for UFO sightings.

The crew entered the forest at night fall, and soon after witnessed the glowing sphere descend from the sky into the woods. “The trees behind the orb were all lit up,” Freeman explained, “that means it was in front of the trees.”

Skywatcher’s Mobile Unit, aka “weapon of mass detection.” (Image from Youtube)

Freeman uses a formidable array of video capturing devices, lashed together in one formidable piece of hardware he calls the Skywatcher’s Mobile Unit, aka the “weapon of mass detection.”

After examining the footage, Lamoureux confirmed the object was not a plane from Vancouver International Airport (YVR), a drone, meteor, nor satellite. The evidence is now being investigated by the Mutual UFO Network Canada as MUFON Case #85446.

As impressive as the footage appears, there are many questions as to what the true nature of the object is. Can we definitively rule out an aircraft of terrestrial origin? If not from YVR, then perhaps traveling to and fro from another airport?

There are other possibilities to consider. One Redditor on r/UFOs commented, “I’m from Squamish. That is most likely a nighttime paraglider going off the Chief. We got nutso adrenaline junkies running rampant in this town!”

Another claims the image is that of the International Space Station passing overhead. This debate, as with all UFO sightings, will rage on for some time yet. We will just have to wait and see what evidence comes next.

Freeman and McNabb are currently traveling the world, producing the documentary film Making Contact: Be Inspired, which endeavors to “take viewers around the world, exploring the mysteries of the universe … and their connections to the human mind.”

What began as a documentary, according to McNabb, has now turned into a movement. “This is such a fascinating path that we are on,” Freeman said. “Most people have no idea what’s happening in the world.”

Here, we are reminded of Shakespeare who, perhaps anticipating the modern UFO wave (he was, after all, a genius) penned the famous lines:

There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio,
Than are dreamt of in your philosophy.
– Hamlet (1.5.167-8)

Story by Andrew Arnett