03/18/14

A Tall Case Of Fraud

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On July 24th 2010 we conducted a joint investigation of the Freetown State Forest in Massachusetts.  Our team was invited to attend per the courtesy of PRI-ME. Maine (A scientific research group from the Portland area).  They had purchased an “investigative” tour of the forest which had been the subject of many paranormal claims throughout the years. The tour was to be conducted by man named John (last name omitted intentionally) a very tall heavy set man who happens to be the founder of a New England paranormal research group located on the Massachusetts south shore.  The charge for this tour was $300 which included two guided SUV rentals and unlimited access into some of the more restricted areas of the forest.   You see John had access to these areas because of a family lumber business that happened to have associated interest in the area.

During the course that night’s investigation,  KII Meter activity was rampant and at several points these moments of activity were audibly and visually recorded.  Just what any good team might do right?

It should be noted that later on in the evening (near the end of the night) the KII meter was placed into a Faraday Cage and subsequently all of the KII activity had ceased. We were suspicious of radio interference and one particular curiosity stood out. In-spite of our splitting into several varied groups throughout the night all of the activity seemed to occur in the presence of only one person…John.

Video containing cell phone pulses:


Upon reviewing the recorded evidence, members of PRI-ME noticed a peculiar pulsing which occurred during and preceding each KII event. These files were sent to us for analysis and using spectrum analysis software we were able to determine the frequency of the pulses as 22Hz. On further investigation it was found that the iDEN cell phone network, (Nextel/Sprint) which is known for its audio electronics interference in hearing devices, just happens to produce a leader signal of 22 pulses per second (i.e. 22Hz). The only individual in attendance that night with an active Nextel Sprint phone was (you guessed it) John.

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A frequency is determined by calculating the number of occurrences within a one second period. One wave or pulse in one second = 1hz. Within the Freetown sample files we see pulses like the ones shown here occurring during each of the KII hits. To determine the frequency of these pulses, I have measured the time elapsed for each group of pulses.

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The sample I used above contains 9 pulses which have an approximate total duration of .4 seconds (that’s just over one third of a second.) If we take 1 second and divide it by .4 we get 2.5 which means that this set of 9 pulses can occur 2.5 times per second. If we then multiply that by 9 (the number of pulses) we will see that within a one second period this pulse occurs 22 times making the frequency of the pulse approximately 22hz.

The pulsing signal certainly raised serious questions about the authenticity of the KII hits, and many agreed that it did sound like cell phone interference. However, this discovery was noted and put aside and a second investigation was conducted on July 30th.

For this investigation I decided to test the hypothesis that radio frequencies indeed caused the excessive KII activity. To achieve this I built a KII meter directly into a Faraday Cage and utilized a Radio Frequency Meter along with a standard KII meter. If this activity was caused by a radio frequency, it would be detected on the RF meter and would not affect the KII inside the Faraday Cage.

For the majority of the night on July 30th activity was scarce. We found out that John had purchased a new phone prior to this investigation and we were wondering if the possible charade of foolishness was over. Later on in the night however, KII Activity started once again. As suspected the RF meter peaked with every KII hit and the meter inside the cage wasn’t activated at all showing that radio frequencies were in fact causing the KII spikes. Like before, all of the activity occurred within the presence of John.

When the night ended, one of the leaders of PRI-ME was given the old Blackberry phone (previously owned by John) as a gift. He said he had no further use for it and she took it home in the hopes of using it herself.

Evidence for the investigation on the 30th came up clear of any unusual sound anomalies (i.e. pulsing) but what did pose a question were the records contained in the Blackberry phone.

When the PRI-ME member reviewed the call records in the phone for July 24th she found seven calls to a number labeled “Ghost Phone”. It was later determined that the times of these calls coincided with the KII hits from the July 24th investigation. The number called was 207-618-1454.

When the team called this number it was answered by an automated service which expressed the importance of your call and abruptly put you on hold for a one minute period until it eventually hung up on you. It was also discovered that this number belonged to a land line phone in Portland Maine. The call times were very short (2 minutes and under) and the shortest was only 13 seconds in duration. It should be noted that no one on either investigation ever saw John speaking on his phone (which was in his pants pocket), and the Bluetooth earpiece he always wears was placed in his shirt pocket.

These discrepancies (pulsing and phone records) were brought up to John during a group phone conversation. He had no real explanation for the pulses that were found surrounding the KII activity, but conceded that they could have been caused by radio waves. When asked to explain the seven calls to the mysterious “Ghost Phone” his reply was that his phone is voice activated and he must have said the word “ghost” at some point during the night and the phone auto dialed from his pocket.

This statement came across as false since the Blackberry model phone used at the time requires that you push a button on the phone to voice dial and there are audible cues to this feature (which no one heard). Also the calls were in such staggered lengths that it was clear he was aware they were being made and stopped them at various times. Yet as it was mentioned before, no one saw him with a phone that night so it is assumed he triggered the calls using his Bluetooth earpiece. Everyone on the team agreed that any honest investigator who was aware of their phone dialing accidentally during activity spikes would mention something to their team. Yet John never mentioned a word about it.

John then claimed the phone number was part of an application which could be used through Skype and worked in a similar way to the Ovilus (paranormal divining equipment). He also claimed that his group partner had the same application on his phone and assumed everyone knew about it. Of course we asked and his partner knew nothing of this application. Also upon inspection of John’s phone there weren’t any applications installed. The “Ghost Phone” was simply a phone contact entry.

I personally tried to replicate the voice dial feature and even when pushing the correct buttons, the phone did not dial the “Ghost Phone” simply by saying “Ghost”.  It was painfully clear that John was lying.

The specific details of exactly how John committed this heinous fraud is something we will never truly know, but it is our suspicion that since John kept his Bluetooth earpiece in his shirt pocket and often crossed his arms, it would have been easy for him to redial the last number called and hang up when needed simply by pushing the Bluetooth button through his shirt pocket.

Again we will never truly know.  Sadly John is still in the public eye, volleying for his 15 minutes of fame wherever he can get it. If you ever decide to take a tour of the Hockomock Swamp, the Freetown State Forest, or anywhere in the Bridgewater Triangle – do yourself a favor and steer clear of one of scariest and most infuriating elements you may have yet to encounter – a lying giant named John.