Who Called for Help Inside Overturned Car in Utah River?

As this story has been making the rounds on social media and in paranormal circles it got me thinking about what really happened here? Were are these rescuers mistaken where the voice was coming from? Could it have been from someone on the river bank, a bystander watching as the rescue happened? I’ve seen angels mentioned in many comments, as well of as course it had to be the deceased mother, etc. We may never know for sure who the voice belonged to whether it was in these men’s heads or actually belonged to someone near by, but we all can be thankful that the little child is alive.  And let’s not forget in all the hoopla this story generated about who said “help me” that a 25 year old mother lost her life in the accident, and a child will grow up with out her mom.  My thoughts about this are not so much about who the voice belonged to, but about the family and and how that little girl survived for 18 hours in the cold. And for that the term miracle does apply…

Tracking Into the Past

PaT1It’s a warm and silent night as you walk along the abandoned railroad tracks that run through your town with your buddies, you’re all laughing and having a good time that stops as one of your friends says pointing “Dude, look.” in front of the group. About ninety to a hundred feet away, you see what stopped your friend, up ahead is a light. It’s not perfectly round like a flash light would be, but more of a flickering almost like a lantern in the wind…there is no wind, not even a breeze. You can’t see the person holding the light, but you know it’s moving closer at a steady, even pace. Swinging gently back and forth doesn’t stop until about fifty feet away from your group, suddenly it speeds up, stops and wavers for a minute then swings wildly into an arch as if thrown into the air and disappears completely maybe less than a full twenty feet from your buddies and you. You all cast a glance at each other, freaked out, you all split as quickly as possible.

You have just witnessed a scene scores of people all over this country and around the world have been apart of since the golden age of railroads. it has a name, but it’s usually a variation on the same theme, phantom lights, ghost light, phantom brakeman, Paudling light etc. The story is usually starts and goes like this, a railway worker (en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brakeman
Wikipedia) is killed in a horrible way somewhere along the rail line while either performing or failing to perform his duties. (https://www.legendsofamerica.com/co-marshallpass.html) Sometimes the victim is not a railroad worker at all but just some hapless guy (these stories are hardly ever centered on females) whose foot is caught, the oncoming train doesn’t see him or can’t stop in time and the results are terrible. There have been reports of people seeing whole “ghost trains” along the sites where major accidents have occurred, they say they can not only see the train but hear the horrific accident and accompanying screams.

These types of stories grew with the railroad system (https://americanfolklore.net/folklore/railroad-folklore/). As the rails began to represent freedom to more and more people legends popped up here and there and what is a good ghost story if not a legend? Many may have started as a cautionary tale in order to try to discourage “train hoppin” as it  became an increasingly prevalent mode of transportation among the dirt poor who traveled the rails in search of work and morphed into stories of the “phantom brakeman.” But why have they endured? Could it be that since many people in this country and century have never actually been on an old fashioned train that the rails (in most towns the rails are long since abandoned and covered in weeds) hold some kind of mystery to the imagination, almost like they first did when they were laid down forging a connection to the past, or that when walking along a dark stretch of any type of road the human brain tricks the eyes and ears?

The “Nags Head” Portrait Mystery

theodosia-burr-portraitFolktales and ghostly legends are as much a part of American culture as the history of the founding of the nation. The thin lines between fact and fiction are easily blurred during the travels from mouth to mouth, and mouth to pen; all in the quest for making the tale even more remarkable than the previous story. In a place where there was a pirate jamborees, a lost colony, and countless shipwrecks, the truth can be much stranger and mysterious than an author’s imagination.

Off the coast of North Carolina, nestled between the Pamlico Sound and the Atlantic Ocean rests a small island chain. The names have changed several times over the years between the native inhabitants and the settlers who came later. Respectively the main islands of note as one moves down the coast are Bodie, Roanoke, Hatteras, and Ocracoke. The area is well-known for the shipwrecks that occurred in there, and is one of the two locations to be aptly nicknamed, “the Graveyard of the Atlantic.” The second graveyard is up north by Sable Island. The southern part of it runs along the entire North Carolina coast from Cape Fear up to Virginia, with the most treacherous part being the Diamond Shoals, an ever-changing series of sandbars off the coast of Hatteras Village on Hatteras Island.

Nearly a hundred of the vessels can be attributed to wars, most of that number came during the World War II. One of the more famous wrecks was that of the Monitor during the Civil War. Finally, there is the wreck that this article is about, the wreck and disappearance of the Patriot. Undoubtedly, there are many shipwrecks throughout the world that simply sunk, never to be seen again, and little thought has been given to them. After all, being a sailor was and still is a dangerous enterprise, and it is expected that sooner or later, there are people who went out on to the high seas never to return. For the Patriot, it is not so simple. There Wis a reasonable answer as to why the ship never arrived in port but that does not cover all the questions that have been raised over the years. Nor does it answer the fate of her ill-fated, respectable passenger Theodosia Burr Alston, daughter of one of America’s most controversial figures.

Theodosia Burr was the only child of Aaron Burr, who is remembered by history as the man who killed Alexander Hamilton in a duel. This has led some to theorize and believe that Hamilton laid a curse against the voyage. It is true that there is a certain amount of irony that accompanies the tale. As a young man, Hamilton was on board a ship that nearly sunk on the Diamond Shoals in 1773. From his own experience, and the horrific tales he heard from the coastal region, Hamilton urged Congress to build a lighthouse on the island to warn ships that they were approaching certain destruction. Authorization for the lighthouse did not come until 1794, with it being constructed in 1802, two years before Hamilton’s death. Where Hamilton almost lost his life, it is believed that near this area is where Burr’s daughter did lose hers.

Burr’s ship set sail from Georgetown, South Carolina on December 30, 1812. She was in failing health, partly due to the loss of her ten-year-old son to malaria and also because she had been suffering from ill health ever since the child was born. As a gift to cheer her spirits, her husband, South Carolina Governor Joseph Alston, booked her a voyage up the coast to visit her father in New York. Alston arranged for her to have passage on one of the reputed fastest ships available at the time; a retired privateer from the War of 1812, her guns had been dismantled and placed below deck and her name was painted over. The voyage, in total, should have lasted only five or six days, but weeks drove on and the ship never arrived in port. On the voyage north, a gale had set in off of Cape Hatteras; leading both her husband and father to believe that the ship was lost in the storm.

Reportedly, a British warship had stopped the schooner briefly to see the crew’s paperwork giving them the right to safe passage and nothing that the wife of the governor of South Carolina was on board. Though there has been no further evidence to show that the warships stationed off of the coast had stopped any vessels. The associate director of the Waccamaw Center for Historical and Cultural Studies at Coastal Carolina University, Jim Michie, had followed the tale of Theodosia Burr’s final days intently, and he theorizes that the ship sank between 6 p.m. on Saturday and 8 a.m. on Sunday. The dates being January 2nd and 3rd, 1813, during the gale. He recorded that considering the design of the ship, she would have been sailing close to the shoreline and would have been just north of Cape Hatteras when the storm struck. The town of Rodanthe is on the northern most part of Hatteras Island, beyond that is Nags Head, Kill Devil Hills, Kitty Hawk, Duck, and Currituck. There was a shipwreck that was discovered on the shores of Nags Head in January of 1813 that was assumed to be the ship in question, but there was no evidence to prove this point.

Other rumors have persisted over the years, telling of a fate worse than the forces of Mother Nature. Of the alternative ideas for the Patriot that have been discussed, one states that the ship was set upon by local shore pirates who made a habit of plundering ships and murdering their passengers and crew. This practice is how it is said that the town of Nag’s Head gained it’s name. Local coastal dwellers would tie a lantern around a “nag’s” or horse’s neck and walk it up and down the beach on foggy nights. Sailors who were unlucky enough to mistake the light as another ship would sail headlong into the bank. Then the “bankers” as these plundering land pirates were called, would rob the ships and kill the passengers. Such tales have been named as the cause for other disappearances up and down the coast.

Other stories say that ship had been captured by seafaring pirates, with Theodosia being linked with the names of several pirate captains, specifically John Howard Payne and Dominique You. Tales of piracy were not officially noted as a cause for the disappearance of Theodosia Burr Alston and the Patriot until the 1830s. At this point in a time, a dying pirate in Mobile, Alabama made a confession that was recounted by one of the city’s merchants to the newspaper. Per the account, the pirates had overtaken the ship and had murdered everyone save for Theodosia. After drawing lots to decide who should be the one to kill her, since there was a great reluctance to do away with the gentle passenger, she was finally made to walk the plank. Other less popular confessions were also made in the years following the disappearances. The tales of pirates is supposedly backed by the possession of a painting believed to have been Theodosia. It is speculation as to whether or not the woman in the painting is the lost and only daughter of Aaron Burr. The painting hangs in the Lewis Walpole Library in Fairfield, Connecticut and is called the “Nag’s Head” portrait and is the main source of speculation against the theory of the ship sinking during a storm.

The portrait entered into the hands of Dr. William G. Pool from Elizabeth City, North Carolina in 1869. The doctor was on vacation in Nag’s Head when he was called to the bedside of Mrs. Mann. Inside her small, ragged cottage, he saw the portrait of a young woman in her mid-to-late twenties. She wore a white dress in the early 1800s style, her dark hair and eyes contrasting her fair, pale skin. So taken was the doctor by this painting that he questioned Mrs. Mann about it, though she was reluctant to speak on it at first, as the doctor continued to visit her and treat her illness, she came to trust him enough to tell the portrait’s story as far as he knew it.

According to Mrs. Mann, she was gifted the portrait by her first husband, Joseph Tillet, a local man who’s family’s descendants still call the island home. The portrait was on board one of the fated ships ransacked by the local “banker” pirates. Quite surprisingly in this case, when the ship with the portrait was boarded, the bankers found it deserted. There was also nothing on the ship to give any information about the ship, where she was headed, or who had been on board. All that Mrs. Mann could remember about the wreck was that it was found during a winter that the country was at war. Doctor Pool determined that this had to have been during the War of 1812.

Unfortunately for the doctor, there was no substantial way to confirm his speculations about the painting since all those who would have known Theodosia had passed away years ago. Even if the lovely young woman in the portrait is not Theodosia Burr Alston, then other questions are raised: who is the woman, why was her painting on board the ship, and why had that ship been deserted?

 

References:

Stick, David. Graveyard of the Atlantic: Shipwrecks of the North Carolina Coast. Chapel Hill: U of North Carolina, 1952.
244, 255-257. Print.

Swenson, Charles. “History: Disappearance of Theodosia Burr a source of speculation for 200 years.” Coastal Observer. 2013.
22 Feb. 2015. https://www.coastalobserver.com/articles/2013/010313/4.html

Tharp, Mel. “Portrait of Nag’s Head.” Antique Trader. 24 Sept. 2008. Web. 22 Feb. 2015.
https://www.antiquetrader.com/articles/feature-stories/portrait_of_nags_head.

Warnes, Kathy. “The Lady and the Patriot – The Fateful Voyage of Theodosia Burr Alston.” History Because Its Here. 22 Feb.
2015. https://historybecauseitshere.weebly.com/the-lady-and-the-patriot–the-fateful-voyage-of-theodosia-burr-alston.html

Image:

“Theodosia Burr.” Wikipedia. 22 Feb. 2015 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Theodosia_Burr_Alston#mediaviewer/File:Theodosia_Burr_Alston_by_John_Vanderlyn,_1802.jpg

200-Year-Old Monk Still Alive?

monkStories flooded the internet earlier this week claiming a mummified monk, thought to be around 200 years old, was still alive. Sources say the monk was found sometime in January, preserved in animal skin and sitting in the lotus position in a home in Mongolia. Although a forensic examination is underway, one expert insisted the monk was in a very rare and special meditative and spiritual state called “tukdam”. The expert also went on to state the monk was not only alive, but in fact one step away from becoming a real-life Buddha. Researchers who have conducted a visual examination have interestingly remarked on how little the monk’s body had decayed.

Over the last 50 years there are said to have been 40 such cases in India involving meditating Tibetan monks. Buddhist monk and a physician to the Dalai Lama, Dr Barry Kerzin, said: ‘I had the privilege to take care of some meditators who were in a tukdam state.

“If the person is able to remain in this state for more than three weeks – which rarely happens – his body gradually shrinks, and in the end all that remains from the person is his hair, nails, and clothes. Usually in this case, people who live next to the monk see a rainbow that glows in the sky for several days. This means that he has found a ‘rainbow body’. This is the highest state close to the state of Buddha”.

He also added: “If the mediator can continue to stay in this meditative state, he can become a Buddha. Reaching such a high spiritual level the mediator will also help others, and all the people around will feel a deep sense of joy”.

While no one is sure who the monk could be but many have speculated it could have been a Buryat Buddhist Lama of the Tibetan Buddhist tradition, Dashi-Dorzho Itigilov, who was born in 1852.

Sadly this “sleeping monk” hasn’t been able to find much peace lately. Police revealed that the monk was stolen from its location and was planning on being sold on the black market. When police learned about the plan to steal the monk and take him over the border to be sold, they quickly captured the criminal. However tragic, thankfully today, the monk is being guarded at the National Centre of Forensic Expertise at Ulaanbaatar where officials state he plans to stay safely guarded, for a long time.

The Legend of the Wailing Girl

Provincetown Massachusetts, located at the very tip of Cape Cod in Barnstable County is one of the Cape’s most visited destinations. Provincetown is well known for its tourist industry, picturesque beaches, and eccentric art culture and is also a popular vacation destination for the lesbian and gay community. P-town, as it is so admirably called, is a place unlike any other. Many locals and tourists claim to have had mysterious encounters from the other side leaving them looking for answers. This old whaling village; with its fun nightlife and intriguing history, has many tales to tell to those who will listen.

Throughout the generations, Provincetown has changed dramatically. The area’s economy has risen and fallen several times over the years and has seen its fair share of war. The area was rugged. The living was tough and storms are strong making it a treacherous place to live. Today, after proving its strength, Provincetown is going stronger than ever. Beneath Provincetown’s beauty, pulchritudinous beaches, salty air and serene landscape, something is awry. Here, the locals claim the veil between our world and the next intertwine.

The following isn’t the usual story about spirits, UFO’s, or local myth; this is about the legend of a little girl names Ruth. The story below is a true story, documented in the book “Legends of the sea by Edward Rowe Snow”.

The Myth of the Wailing Girl

One day in 1803, the crew of the 80 ton schooner, Polly, prepared to sail out of Provincetown Harbor for a routine fishing trip to Chaleur Bay, between Québec and New Brunswick, Canada. The crew consisted of ten members including Provincetown local, Captain Peter Rider, and his ten year old nephew, Ned Rider.  One day, as Ned was doing his routine chores, he heard crying off in the distant. He ignored it and kept on working. A little while later, Ned heard it again, only this time, louder. Ned brought it to the crew’s attention but they convinced him it was just the seagulls. The crying continued and got louder and louder and even the crew couldn’t mistake the noise. The men jumped into action, looking for the cause of the crying. As they neared St. Paul’s Island, on a large rock just offshore, they spotted a terrified three year old girl clinging on for dear life. The men sprang into action to get the toddler onboard. As it was reported in the captain’s log, the tide was coming in and she would have been swept out to sea in a matter of hours had she not been rescued. The crew quickly surveyed the area for inhabitants of the island or of a shipwreck but came up empty handed.

The crew brought the child to Provincetown, where she was named “Ruth”. She resided with Captain Rider and Ned at Ned’s grandmothers. Upon asking Ruth where she came from and how she got there, her mystery only deepened. She had no recollection of how she got there or where her family was. Ned later returned to the area where they found Ruth and discovered no one populated the island and that were no signs of shipwrecks, old or new. Eventually Ruth and Ned fell in love and married. Captain Rider built the two a home in Provincetown where they raised their family. Several generations of Ruth and Ned’s descendants are said to still inhabit Provincetown and the entire cape to this day. Several years later, a lighthouse was erected off the shore of St. Paul’s island due to the traitorous seas and sharp rocks in the area.

St. Paul Island was nicknamed the “Graveyard of the Gulf” due to the significant hazard it posed during the age of sail. The island is made up of granite and is known for its rugged shoreline, dense fog, and narrow channel. The island is uninhabited by mammals but is visited by a large population of seabirds. A lighthouse was first erected in 1839 on the island. St. Paul Island currently boasts two lighthouses and two buildings; Northeast St. Paul Lighthouse and Southwest St. Paul Light Beacon. The island once had several buildings but the coast guard burnt them down. Today, the lighthouses are maintained by the Canadian Coast Guard facility in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia and were replaced by solar-powered beacons.

There are still so many unanswered questions as to how she got there, where her family is and who they were, her name, and why she was left on a single rock in the middle of the ocean and during my research, I wasn’t able to find any back story on Ruth or answer any of the questions which is exactly why this is one of the Cape’s most intriguing legends.