Based on a number of reports of ghostly apparitions in and around the La Casa Drive area of Shingle Springs, we began doing night drops of data recorders to see if we could get any potential sounds of music or paranormal activity to register on our digital recorder.
Update: First clips of the drop recorder are now online - More coming as our analysis concludes and then we'll issue report number one for the first drop experiment. Drop 2 will be in early/mid November.
The so-called haunt reads as follows:
Shingle Springs - La Casa Dr. - There is a strange mist that hovers at times, no matter the climate (no hot-springs present). Sounds of Native American drumming can be heard late at night or early in the morning (there are grinding stones in the area). My neighbor personally saw what looked like a ghostly form of a mountain lion enter the mist, and what looked to be the ghostly form of a Native American Warrior exit on the opposite side of the mist.
http://www.strangeusa.com/ViewLocation.aspx?locationid=1064 seems to be the origin of the report, which was then picked up and transmitted to many other sites. No matter the origin, they all are repeating one another. I've seen no evidence that anyone has even tried to check it out for serious.
This investigation is being run because, frankly, no one seems to have paid attention to it. Our evidence will either confirm or deny the reports and we'll be frank with our analysis and conclusion.
The reason for selecting a drop like this is because we didn't want to put a full team into an investigation of a place we had not at least done pre-investigation work on and the best way to proceed was with an expendable data recorder to see what we might get. The disadvantage of such an act is that we have a lot of evidence to listen to for each time we do this. We might also lose the recorder if found or it could be damaged. The advantages are that we can do a long-time investigation and let the equipment roll on a site that isn't known with relative ease and at low risk.
Lessons learned on the first drop were that we need to provide some sort of insulation for the recorder to preserve battery life. Meaning that we embed the recorder in a leather or styro-foam enclosure that will insulate the recorder from the cold. And we may want to provide external D-size battery power for the recorder to provide additional power. We'll take this in steps, using the insulation method first and if that doesn't do, then we'll go with a battery pack to augment the internal power supply.
Our first drop occurred on Oct 11'th and we managed to get a 5 hour and 2 minute data set. We left the recorder out at about 9:00 at night. We noted that the recorder was getting lots of road noise and in that sense, we were not concerned, since it was very evident what was road noise and what was not.
At just shy of 18 minutes into the recording, footsteps were recorded with the distinct click of something sounding like metal or similar. These were in close proximity to the data recorder. These we distinct and sounded exactly like human footsteps. It may have been an animal, but if so, it must have been big. It may even have been human, but how could the steps just appear then vanish so quickly without trailing off in the distance? I'll be re-reviewing the sequence before and after this event to see if we can find this to rule this as a mere human investigating why we did the drop.
A number of distinct clicks occurred during this first hour of recording. We'll be re-reviewing these to see if they can be identified.
At 25 minutes, 36 seconds, a very low growl is heard very close to the recorder. Frankly, it raised the hair on my neck when it first registered during analysis. It was unlike any animal I'm familiar with. I'm going to clip these and listen carefully to them after washing the data through my audio software. We'll keep updating as we continue our evidence review over the next few days as this first field recorder drop is analyzed and to see if we caught something. If we do think the evidence warrants, we'll go ahead and post clips.
Our plan is for two more drops in two other quadrants that look likely for this haunt and to see if we pick up anything. If we do get convincing evidence, we'll plan a more aggressive investigation with investigators in the field (and with permission of the homeowners).