Who Ya Gonna Call?

Albert Carranza, Jr. and Vickie Kinner from Harbor Area Paranormal.

“The place that lacks its ghost is a barren place indeed.” – John Hewitt

The Beatles’ “Paul is Dead” was spawned in 1969 and is perhaps one of the most incredulous music industry rumors ever circulated. A buzz that triggered frenzied fans to seclude themselves in darkened, candle-lit rooms, and engage in the meaningful sport of playing 33 1/3 LP records backwards, specifically to “Strawberry Fields Forever,” for the sole objective of hearing the last hushed monotone whispers of “I Buried Paul,” or perhaps to “A Day in the Life,” with ears strained to hear the crackling fire and agonizing screams that offered up “proof” that a car crash claimed the life of, until that moment, as previously perceived by his devotees, the immortal Paul McCartney.

Granted, using the primitive tool of fingers to listen to records backwards hardly compares to the high-tech ghost hunting equipment of today, although the chief objectives remain: to shape something from the invisible, and to make the inaudible, audible.

For the avid paranormal researcher, successfully doing so unearths a virtual mystical toy chest. As evidenced throughout history, folks have delved into unseen dimensions utilizing methods ranging from the solemn ceremonial séance, or teen party game, Ouija Board, to automatic writing, crystal ball or water gazing. In 2002, efforts to communicate with discarnate beings was developed with the “Ghost Box” or “Frank’s Box,” constructed by the electronic voice (EVP) enthusiast, Frank Sumption, for communication with discarnate beings. Although skeptics eagerly insist, and stand ready to prove, that all EVP’s or any “ghost evidence,” is attributed to natural phenomena or obvious hoaxes.

The U.S.S. Enterprise aircraft carrier played pivotal roles beginning with the 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis, to the primary host for air attacks against Al Qaeda training camps and the Taliban military installations in Afghanistan. On a balmy evening in 1998, San Pedran and former Navy Aviation Electrician 2nd Class Vickie Kinner strolled about this historic ship. As she glanced over the ship’s aft section, she heard several distinct painful cries, as if someone was calling out to her. Were these cries from the Enterprises’ massive 1969 fire triggered by an exploding MK-32 Zuni rocket that killed 27 and injured over 300? At that moment, Vickie realized her life’s path: to discover the meaning of unexplained sounds, to investigate the paranormal, to organize her own team and provide positive aid to both those who were unquestionably lost souls, and the people that wanted reach out to them.

In 2007, with that motivation, Harbor Area Paranormal (HAP) evolved. Kinner is adamant that they “do not encourage people to ghost hunt unless they thoroughly study the subject and go with experienced folks. Additionally, we don’t want people to trespass for reasons of possible criminal and spiritual danger.”

Other ghost hunters of the nonprofit, no charge for investigations HAP, include Albert Carranza, Jr. who, along with Kinner, taps into their digital recorders, infrared cameras, electro-magnetic and electronic voice phenomenon field meters, (EMF and EVP) in attempts, to coin a phrase from AT&T’s 1979 slogan, “Reach out and touch someone.” HAP has been privileged to attend some of the explorations on the Ghosthunters and Ghost Adventurers TV series but they keep busy in our Harbor Area with ample ghost hunting explorations.

Kinner is unwavering in her opinion that, “San Pedro is very haunted.” An important objective of HAP, who is also an official member of the Southern California Paranormal Alliance, Inc., is to remain aligned with the scientific community via experimentation to prove or disprove the validity of paranormal claims. In addition to researching claims, HAP actively supports the troops, specifically the Marines as they adopted a unit from Camp Pendleton and provide shoes for the Wounded Warriors in Afghanistan. “We don’t seek out locations, if people need help they can contact us via our website,” said Kinner.

HAP’s website includes the results of several investigations, including the San Pedro Warner Grand Theatre. “The theatre is very active with the paranormal and we captured numerous EVPs and apparitions,” said Kinner. “While backstage and in the dressing rooms, one of our members heard what sounded like someone wearing dress shoes and moving very quickly. In the theatre smoking lounge, which is located downstairs below the popcorn stand, we heard disembodied voices and captured cold spots, and shadows.” Dimitri Nimoy, a former Warner Grand employee, cements these findings with his own. “One night, while working the concession stand, I felt a distinct finger poke on my leg,” he said. “I’ve seen theatre seats move, heard footsteps and mumbling voices. I’d be fixing the popcorn solo, yet I knew I was never alone.”

Anna, a local San Pedran, was a confessed skeptic until she heard the distinct sound of footsteps and saw shadowed images in her 80-year-old home. “After purchasing our home, we were told by a former member of the Cook family who owned Alma Market that she was aware of certain activity in the home,” she said. “I decided to consult with Kinner’s group and tap into their resources. When HAP entered my home they were immediately aware of energy and captured EVPs and an apparition. Their investigation uncovered what we knew was present and following the research I felt a sense of relief, I was no longer frightened and ceased living in a hostile environment.”

For obvious reasons, no hunt is typical, although HAP does adhere to a basic procedure. Most pertinent is the explanation to the client that the team is unable to “clear” a home of paranormal activity, as Kinner clarified: “We investigate and reach viable conclusions, be the end result paranormal or non-paranormal. Family and witness interviews are conducted and we walk through the location, and hear details of the experience. Afterwards, it’s time for the electronic equipment, our cameras, audio recorders and the other devices that we place near where the purported activity has been noted. We take notes on the environment, including baseline temperature room readings and ask the spirits questions to try to get them to manipulate our equipment or items in the room, such as opening doors, moving objects or other things noticed by the family. One of the main things we spend time doing is attempting to find non-paranormal reasons for the activity that has been experienced. Once our investigation is completed, we send an email to the family with a reveal of evidence, either non-paranormal or paranormal, and include suggestions for reducing or dealing with the activity.”

If uninvited guests are knocking at your door, Harbor Area Paranormal’s expertise will help solve the puzzle. Vanished are the days of ruining your record player needles and, as we all know, Sir Paul McCartney is indeed among the land of the living. spt

For more information on Harbor Area Paranormal, visit www.harborareaparanormal.com.