Ann Arbor Area Ghosts

by Mimi Uptergrove

Schiffer Publishing Ltd. • 4880 Lower Valley Road • Arglen, PA 19310 USA

2008, 157 pages, $14.95 • ISBN: 978-0-7643-2850-3

Reviewed by W. Ritchie Benedict

Every region has its share of ghosts, often some that are quite unknown to the rest of the country, or to specialists in the paranormal. I know that where I live, there were some surprises that did not emerge until I started poking around in old newspapers on microfilm. Michigan is a state that you do not normally associate with ghosts, although I suppose you should, as it is directly next door to Wisconsin which has a lot of activity and to the east is the Niagara Peninsula of Canada, which is a hot spot for not only ghosts, but also UFOs (at least as far back as 1915).

The author, Mimi Uptergrove, saw her first ghost at the age of 9 and joined a paranormal investigative group in 2002. Her unusual last name, when translated into English from its Belgian origin, means “of the cemetery.” So if names are destiny, she comes by her interest honestly. That famous figure of the 18th Century, Dr. Johnson is reputed to have said: “Sir, let us define our terms” and Ms. Uptergrove does just that in the first chapter, when she asks: “What are ghosts?” She says she believes ghosts and spirits are fundamentally different, although both words are used interchangeably by the public and the press. A ghost is more of an automaton than anything else, endlessly repeating certain actions and occasionally summoning enough energy to move objects, whereas a spirit is endowed with consciousness and makes an attempt to communicate with the living. They may be ultimately the same, but one comes from a higher level of energy. Ghosts appear to be tied to the locale for various reasons of their own, while spirits are free to come and go.

The kind of entity that gives a ghost a bad name is that of the hostile malevolent spook out to inflict fear in anyone who crosses its path. Basically, the person no one would cross the street to be near when they were alive is now much worse after the person is dead. Ironically, that type is most apt to cling to their former abode and refuse to be dislodged short of an exorcism. A number of people consider these ghosts to be “demonic”, and are afraid to stand up for their rights, and in effect say: “Scram, get lost, you bother me!” The author once got ticked off at a ghost she named “Sir” who had a talent for hiding small objects. She reprimanded him severely in a loud tone that the neighbors could likely hear, and hasn’t had any problems since then.

A haunted general store in a town near Ann Arbor was once the target of John Dillinger. Pencils hovered in mid-air and objects were thrown across the room. Appropriately, for an investigation of a haunting, it was a dark and rainy night when the investigators arrived. Ms. Uptergrove and a colleague were immediately hit on the head when they entered a closet. It certainly got their attention. If you put yourself in the place of the ghost, one of the first things you would want is to let everyone know that you are here and do exist. For reasons that are still not clear, this may be more difficult for some ghosts to achieve than others. Other ghosts are simply confused and may not realize they are no longer alive. Electrical activity in the form of mechanical toys moving, a TV that goes off and on, etc. may be a sure tip-off, as with a house in Milan, Michigan. A strange mist would hover in front of the shower, when there was no apparent cause. A 14 year old girl has seen two female apparitions, and she often hears low-volume conversations when no one is there. Once an eye (nothing else, just an eye) and a ball of light appeared that were not visible to anyone except for the camera. The author watched a cassette tape jump out of a recorder and turn into a mangled mass.

In the paranormal world, Ann Arbor is most famous for a 1966 UFO flap that made national headlines. A man named Jeff Westover had both a ghost and a UFO sighting. A phantom policeman dressed in an old-fashioned uniform may have actually saved his life. Once he was aroused by an “electronic” voice, only to find his bed engulfed in flames. Whether this was a protective ghost or a UFO entity is undetermined. It illustrates how difficult it can be to draw a dividing line in such instances. Westover also had a more conventional UFO sighting, if UFO sightings can be considered conventional.

A Native American ghost decided to investigate the 21st Century in Gregory, Michigan. Unusual smells such as porridge cooking have come out of nowhere. A black man named Mojo, who died of a drug overdose chose a night in 1972 to manifest his energies to a young girl named Sonya. In another case, a young Japanese girl named Keiko had the image of a young woman with long hair and pale skin appear on her bedroom wall. This goes to show that cross-cultural barriers are no obstacle to ghosts.

Many of the cases cited, such as a ghost that correctly attaches price tags to jars of jam in Dixboro, are of very recent vintage, which adds to their fascination. 2007 is just yesterday. Where possible, photographs of the locales are included. This author has a personal approach in having directly interviewed many of the participants that serves her well in convincing us of the truth of these fantastic events. Although she directly addresses a teen audience, the book appeals to a wider range of age groups as well. She cautions teenagers not to “go it alone,” due to the nature of the phenomena. It is also wise to take precautions to protect yourself before launching into an investigation of a haunted place, as there are dark forces that would be quick to take advantage. This is a well-informed guide to the ghosts of Ann Arbor, and the supernatural in general.


The Cosmic War: Interplanetary Warfare, Modern Physics and Ancient Texts

by Joseph P. Farrell

Adventures Unlimited Press • P.O. Box 74 • Kempton, IL 60946-0074 USA

2007, 425 pages, $18.95 • ISBN: 978-1-931882-75-0

Reviewed by W. Ritchie Benedict

Once upon a time, long, long ago, in a solar system familiar to us all, there was one heck of a planet destroying war. As to being a familiar solar system, perhaps it would not have been so recognizable back then, as the very structure of the planets was altered by this War of the Titans. At least that is the scenario carefully laid out by author Joseph P. Farrell. What kind of weapons would be so powerful that they could utterly destroy a planet larger than the earth, and leave scorch marks on the surface of Mars? Actually, there are several possibilities, some of which we are on the verge of rediscovering. These range from a large scalar (electromagnetic) weapon to a fusion device known as the plasma focus. Tapping the potential of so-called free energy may also play a part.

The very audacity of these ideas brings up a host of questions, such as: who was fighting whom? And why? Were the beings involved advanced humans or alien intelligences, or perhaps both? Most important of all: Is there any tangible physical evidence left after such an immense span of time, estimated to be some 3,200,000 years ago. The exploded planet motif still echoes in the hidden and unexplored recesses of our subconscious minds. Remember Krypton, the highly advanced birthplace of Superman in the comic strips? Remember Princess Leia in the first Star Wars movie, reacting in horror as Darth Vader blows up her home world? Or in a lighter (?) vein the aliens in the satirical “Hitchiker’s Guide to the Galaxy” demolishing earth to make room for an intergalactic freeway? It would be folly to dismiss the basic underlying notion behind imaginative popular entertainment. It gives pause to think that if there is an asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter, then just maybe that belt is the remains of a sizable planet. Too far away from the sun to support life, you say? Well, who is to dispute the possibility that the sun may have been much hotter three million plus years ago?

“There were giants in the earth in those days,” according to the Bible. The tallest man who ever lived was Robert Wadlow, back in the 1930’s who reached an incredible height of just over nine feet tall. He died in his early 20’s beset by a host of medical difficulties. In the historical record there are many instances of skeletons that have been found that would make Robert Wadlow look like a midget in comparison. I have found a number of these accounts myself in old newspapers stored on microfilm. The question is posed: suppose some of these giants came to earth from that destroyed planet, whereupon after a few generations they degenerated into savagery. It would help to explain how some of the titanic structures in South America and elsewhere that were erected.

Farrell suggests this ancient war was fought, in part, to recover stolen technology, the same technology that was utilized as a weapon in the war. Some archaic texts claim that mankind, as we presently know ourselves, was the creation of these beings, in order to produce a race of slaves. Quite a major blow to our image of ourselves, if true. A rift apparently developed between the ruling classes, with some advocating a more humane treatment of the hybrids, while others leaned toward genocide. We may eventually echo this conflict with the possibility of human clones and genetic mutations.

I have even heard speculation from other sources that all the diseases and ills afflicting humanity might have been the result of some form of germ warfare in the distant past. In this book, the author says that some unusual principles of physics are likely couched in religious terms in archaic texts. Various references to “stones” could very easily be interpreted to mean some form of crystal used to store information or supply power to scalar weapons. Such “stones” presumably might be used to create force fields around people or objects or for telepathic communication. You cannot help but wonder if the famous “crystal skull” found in 1927 dates to an early high tech civilization, as there is no truly accurate method of determining its age.

The mention of certain “Tablets of Destinies” seems to be a sort of catalogue of holographic information (target coordinates?). In his other books, Ferrell outlines a convincing case for the Great Pyramid as a focus for scalar energy, and thinks the Nazis were trying to create such a device. If one considers the Nazi emphasis on “racial purity,” there is a peculiar resonance with the attitudes of the ancient ruling classes. The Nazis may have been direct beneficiaries of fragmentary knowledge of this dictatorial attitude that created the cosmic war millennia ago.

The most dramatic portion of the book is saved until last, that being the actual physical evidence of a once super science. The author cites a number of strange cases of shoe prints, fragments of technology found at the bottom of the ocean, in coal mines and inside rocks. There are many unexplained anomalies on the surface of both the moon and Mars, one of the most recent being an apparent doorway in the base of a cliff on Mars. It is not just the so-called “Face on Mars” but a lot more. The evidence for artificial construction, enough to make one gasp, comes in the form of the Saturn moon Iapetus. It has to be the weirdest object in the solar system. For one thing, it has hexagonal craters and an equatorial wall or ridge that runs in a straight line, while being approximately six miles high. A photo of the “Death Star” from the first Star Wars movie is placed side by side with a photo of Iapetus. The similarities are mind-boggling with both presenting a huge upper circular “port.” If Iapetus is a dead, silent spaceship, so too may be the moon, and some transcripts from the early Apollo flights appear to have the U.S. astronauts discussing artifacts that just do not belong on an airless moon.

Some evidence of a super technology may lie beneath the sands of Iraq, hence the interest of the Nazis, the British and finally the U.S. in this besieged country. We may never know for sure if all this is true, but Farrell presents a highly erudite and fascinating case for this hypothesis. It is well that at some points he gives a summary of his findings so we may understand the intricate details of the science and the archaeology. Indiana Jones may have been on to something after all, and Farrell is the modern equivalent. This book is very well done and highly startling.