Long Beach, CA
In December 2007 Long Island Paranormal Investigators took part in the second TAPS/Darkness Radio retreat and investigation at the Queen Mary in Long Beach, CA. The retreat was in full grandeur as most TAPS/Darkness Radio events are. Several very interesting speakers were on hand to talk about topics of the paranormal. And of course there was the investigation of the historic Queen Mary herself to crown the event.
The Investigation Team
LIPI lead investigators Mike Cardinuto and Rob Levine, investigator Jaiem Fleischmann, and LIPI guest Jean Hennessy attended this event.
Long Island Paranormal Investigators attending the Queen Mary event (left to right):
Michael Cardinuto, Jaiem Fleischmann, Robert Levine, Jean Hennessy.
Cultural History and Paranormal Background
Once the largest ship in the world, the RMS Queen Mary began its life with a commission from the Cunard Steamship Co. It was constructed in Scotland by John Brown & Company Ltd, and first set sail on May 27th, 1936. The ship was large, 1019.5 feet long. The Queen Mary carried a crew of almost 1,200, as well as 2,000 passengers on transatlantic voyages in style. She was a ship of opulence and grandeur.
The Queen Mary’s ships bell.
People could travel in cozy first class suites and cabins, second class, or third class for those who had limited funds. From 1940 until 1946 the ship was painted gray and used as a naval transport for allied troops going overseas to participate in World War II. In June of 1944, “The Grey Ghost” as it was nicknamed transported the American 29th Division on their way to their date with destiny for the D-Day Invasion of Nazi controlled France. Since it was one of the quickest ships of its day, and because of its duty, Adolph Hitler placed a bounty on the Queen Mary and offered the Iron Cross and $250,000 (a heck of a lot of money back then!) to any U-Boat captain who could sink her.
View from the bow of the Queen Mary’s starboard (right) side.
One of the ships WW2 anti-aircraft guns.
World War 2 military transportation notices.
On one run across the Atlantic a tragedy occurred. As the Queen Mary was steaming full speed on its mission, one of its escort ships, a British World War I era light-cruiser named HMS Curacao cut across the bow, was rammed, and cut in two. Around 300 of the Curacao’s crew was killed. The Queen Mary suffered only minor damage and following orders to not stop under any conditions continued on with its mission. Later in the war the Queen Mary would suffer its own casualties while transporting troops around the Pacific Ocean. The ship was designed as an Atlantic Ocean-Liner and the ventilation system was not designed for moving thousands of soldiers through the tropics. As a result, some soldiers perished from heat exhaustion.
Once the war was over the ship was returned to civilian service and once again began its former life. The ship was the pride of Cunard’s line. She carried many more people back and forth across the ocean. However, as time continued on the popularity of ocean-liners began to decrease with the increasing popularity of air travel. In 1967 she took her final voyage and came to her new home in Long Beach, California.
LIPI explores the ship’s wheel house.
LIPI lead investigator Mike Cardinuto photographs the Queen Mary’s rudder controls
and engine telegraphs (engine controls) on the main bridge.
The Queen Mary now resides as a floating hotel and museum in California, a revolving door of curious onlookers. They come, see the ship, enjoy the restaurants and scenery, eventually going back home where they came from. However, many people feel that there something else there. Something that doesn’t seem to have ever left. There are many tales of the paranormal involving the ship. The following is some of the more common stories that have been repeating for around 40 years.
One of the first class state room hallways.
An example of a Kosher menu from the Queen Mary. The ship had a separate Kosher kitchen and dishes.
The Queen Mary had large engines and boilers which required maintenance and repair. Each compartment had watertight doors. The watertight doors were meant to seal in the event of hull damage to prevent the ship compartments from flooding. They were electronically closed from the bridge and could be manually opened and closed as well. July 10th, 1966 started out as just another day for those working aboard the ship. A young man was working near water-tight door #13 when tragedy struck. During a freak accident the man fell as the watertight door was closing and was crushed to death. Numerous witnesses have reported seeing a young man in blue overalls walking around the engine compartments. He is said to often suddenly disappear near door #13.
Water tight door 13 where it is said an apparition of a man appears and disappear.
Many of the first-class staterooms have their own tales. Many guests report that sinks and lights will turn themselves on and off. Some people claim to hear footsteps and heavy breathing near them. Others claim to have felt unseen forces pull bed sheets off them while they laid in bed. Rooms with their own stories include B403, A123, B511, B462, A162, M155, M127, M220, M140, B409, M202, M147, B401, M029, A110, A138, and A135. The first-class pool has its own tales. While no longer in use, paranormal phenomena still occurs. Phantom women in vintage bathing suits still move around the pool decks. Wet foot prints are still seen near the dressing rooms. There are no records of any drownings or deaths in the swimming pool area, but that hasn’t prevented activity from occurring. At least one child is said to haunt this location.
The first class pool where a child is said to haunt.
A photograph of the first class pool when it was in service.
A beautiful woman in white is said to appear in the Queen’s Salon (First Class Lounge). She is said to be dressed in an elegant evening gown. People claim to see her as she dances across the room.
Audio recorders have been left to record at night in the ship. A recorder located in the bow of the ship recorded what appeared to be men screaming, crunching metal, and rushing water. This can be attributed to the collision with the HMS Curacao. The third class children’s playroom has its own supposed resident. The ship’s surgeon tried his hardest, but was unable to save little Leigh Travers Smith. The infant died a few short hours after his birth. Today some people hear his cries coming from the playroom.
This is the very bottom of the bow of the Queen Mary (from the inside).
The beams are the ribs of the ship along the keel.
The original Captain’s quarters.
The Queen Mary’s fire control station.
An active ham radio station now occupies where the ship’s radio room once was located.
Here some facts about the RMS Queen Mary with a comparison to the famous RMS Titanic as borrowed from www.queenmary.com :
Titanic vs. Queen Mary
- Queen Mary: 1,019.5 ft. (310.74 m.)
- Titanic: 882.9
- Queen Mary: 81,237 gross tons
- Titanic: 46,329 gross tons
- Queen Mary: 1,001
- Titanic: 0 – Ship sank on Maiden Voyage
- Queen Mary: John Brown & Co., LTD., Clydebank, Scotland
- Titanic: Harland & Wolff, LTD., Belfast, Ireland
- Queen Mary: Cunard Steamship Co., LTD.
- Titanic: White Star Line
- Queen Mary: December 1, 1930
- Titanic: March 31, 1909
- Queen Mary: September 26, 1934
- Titanic: May 31, 1911
- Queen Mary: May 27, 1936
- Titanic: April 10, 1912
- Queen Mary: Over 2,000
- Titanic: 2,000
- Queen Mary: Over 10 million
- Titanic: 3 million
- Queen Mary: 8 ft. (2.44 m.) to 30 ft. (9.14m.) in length; up to 1.25 in. (3.2 cm.) thick
- Titanic: 1 in. thick
Keel to Smokestack
- Queen Mary: 181 ft. (55.17 m.)
- Titanic: 175 ft.
Number of Decks
- Queen Mary: 12
- Titanic: 8
- Queen Mary: 1,957
- Titanic: 2,440
Officers and Crew
- Queen Mary: 1,174
- Titanic: 860
- Queen Mary: 160,000
- Titanic: 46,000
- Queen Mary: 28.5 knots
- Titanic: 21 knots
- Queen Mary: 140 tons
- Titanic: 101 1/4 tons
- Queen Mary: 3 – Steam type. Two on forward funnel, one on middle funnel. Each over 6 ft,. long, weighing 2,205 LB.
- Titanic: 3 sets consisting of 3 bell domes grouped together with a suitable branch plate. One set was fitted on each of the three foremost funnels and were electrically operated.
- Queen Mary: 145 persons
- Titanic: 60
- Queen Mary: 3 – Elliptical in shape; 36 ft. fore and aft, 23.3 ft. wide
- Titanic: 4 – Three were functional and the fourth was a dummy to create the illusion of a more powerful ship.
- Queen Mary: 27
- Titanic: 29
Day 1 – Arrival
LIPI left from New York’s JFK airport in the middle (as luck would have it) of a snow storm!.
View from our plane at JFK airport in New York during a snow storm.
For safety, all planes had to be de-iced before being allowed to take off so we were delayed nearly 2 hours. But that’s air travel in the winter!
Our plane being de-iced before taking off.
We finally get in the air!
Of course, nature still had some tricks for us. It was announced that due to an extra strong Jet Stream we would need to stop in Las Vegas to refuel. But we finally made it to Long Beach!
LIPI arrives at the Queen Mary.
We finally arrived at the Queen Mary, albeit over 3 hours later than we had planned. Fortunately events officially didn’t get started until the next day.
After checking in to our rooms and picking up our event badges, Long Island Paranormal went into Long Beach for s quick dinner, then back to the ship. We decided to photograph as much of the ship as we could before others crowded the halls.
The original pursers office.
LIPI investigators Rob Levine and Mike Cardinuto on D Deck in the bowels of the ship.
The ships ticket office for travels making connecting voyages and ground transportation.
The Queen Mary’s original electric control panels.
Part of the Queen Mary’s engine room.
One of the Queen Mary’s enormous props (propellers) – still in the water attached to the drive shaft!
View of the Green Room steam pipes from a cat walk above.
After a long night of exploring, we got some sleep to prepare for the next day’s events.
Day 2 – Presentations and Dinner
Long Island Paranormal Investigators first attended a presentation by Dave Schrader of Darkness Radio. Dave spoke on the subject of a common sense approach to conduction paranormal investigations and reviewing possible evidence.
Dave Schrader’s presentation on the common sense of paranormal investigation.
According to Dave, a recent Gallop poll shows 32% of Americans believe in ghosts and only 7% didn’t believe in the paranormal. Dave defined a skeptic as someone who questions the authenticity or validity or evidence, and maintains an open mind but a doubting attitude. This is important to be able to sift through all the possible false information and evidence that can be presented as fact. In this approach, Long Island Paranormal Investigators agrees.
Dave said to rely first and foremost on the “basic equipment” of your own eyes, ears and even nose! Dave also reiterated the warnings of many investigators (including LIPI) not to use Ouija Boards.
Before starting an investigation Dave recommends the following:
- Get permission to enter wherever you plan to go.
- Know the surroundings you will be go. Visit it during the day time to see what you’ll be dealing with in the dark.
- Wear proper and comfortable clothing.
- Be well rested; eat and drink properly (no alcohol or drugs!)
- Never investigate alone!
- If you or someone panics on an investigation calmly escort them out of the area and remain with them until they are calmer.
- Bring extra batteries!
Dave recommends not to do the following:
- Do not wear reflective clothing, gloves or flashy jewelry that can create false flashes.
- Wear soft shoes that won’t “tap” as you walk (no hard soles).
- No smoking or perfume that could be mistaken for paranormal smell.
- Turn off cell phones as they can cause false EMF readings.
- Don’t rely on sensitive/ mediums, tools of divination (e.g. dowsing rods), or equipment only; Use a total approach.
When performing EVPs:
- No whispering – if someone has to speak be open and clear.
- State the name of the people around you so later voices might be easier to identify.
- Note/identify any ambient noise you hear.
- Know the history of the location and don’t taunt the ghost!
- Speak clearly.
When taking photographs:
- With a digital camera understand all the camera settings.
- Remove strips and lens caps that can get in the way.
- No smoking.
- Take multiple pictures in the same direction if possible.
- Ask permission of the ghosts to take their picture.
When filming video:
- If possible set a pair of cameras to view the opposite directions (view each other) so you can see what is around/behind the other camera.
- As with a digital camera, understand all the settings.
- With a camcorder that records audio too use a speaking clock to announce the time during the recording.
After the investigation:
- Evidence should be reviewed by all team members so nothing is missed.
- Don’t share thoughts on EVPs or photos until all have given their opinion.
- Get an outside/3rd party opinion if possible.
- Plan a follow up investigation to go back to the locations that seemed more active.
Next, Long Island Paranormal Investigators attended a presentation by Marie D. Jones, author of the book “PSIence”. Marie spoke of the science behind the paranormal. According to Marie, many noted theoretical and quantum physicists are on the verge of several new discoveries that will (among other things) shed a whole new light on the world of the paranormal.
Marie D. Jones speaks about physics break throughs that will change our ideas of the paranormal.
Marie spoke of Isaac Newton’s law on the conservation of energy (that energy can not be destroyed, only changed) as where does our body’s own natural energy go when we die. She also spoke of “wave particle duality” that nothing is really solid until we observe it, otherwise it exists as a wave or particles. This could have an impact on the paranormal as something may not really be there until we are there to see it. This is related to the Copenhagen Interpretation (first put form by physicists in 1927) that merely observing a phenomena can affect the objective result. This supports the philosophic idea that when people want to see a ghost they really do because their own observations make it happen.
Bells Theorem of Non-Locality (“Entanglement”) states that when 2 particles come on contact they effect each other in unpredictable ways. Therefore, when we encounter something paranormal our presence can affect what it does. In fact, the mere presence of something paranormal in our world can be affecting it.
She also spoke of the Hinesburg Uncertainty Principle, that a particles’ position and state of being can never be 100% certain. So when we think we see an apparition physics says we can’t be absolutely sure what we see is really where we think we see it.
A very interesting topic Marie brought up as of the Zero Point Field (what she said some physicists unofficially call the “God source”, the Bible calls the “Book of Life”). It is a source of self-renewing energy that vibrates at absolute zero degrees Kelvin. It is everywhere and in everything. At this point she said sciences has only been able to extract a small amount of Zero Point energy from the field, but hopefully more in the near future.
Finally, she spoke of Resonance Theory, that everything vibrates at a set frequency. The paranormal might be when something in another universe or dimension briefly vibrate at the same frequency as our world they come into our world for a short time.
After a brief lunch, LIPI attended a presentation by Patrick Burns of Haunted Evidence.
Patrick Burns speaks of his further investigations and equipment developments.
Patrick describes himself as a skeptic, not a cynic. He recommends remaining open minded to all possibilities even if it isn’t what you want to believe. As yet, research has not show evidence of the proof of the paranormal.
As in previous presentations from Patrick (read about our investigation at the Stanley Hotel, Patrick discussed the use of data logging sensors and software for evidence collection. He also recommended the Nikon D70S or D40 digital camera.
After Patrick’s presentation, Mark & Debby Constantino presented on the subject of EVPs.
Mark and Debby Constantino present on the subject of EVPs.
Mark and Debby spoke of their experiences documenting EVPs and their techniques. In particular, they recommend the “10 second rule”: When you turn on your recorder you wait 10 seconds before saying anything (questions or pre-wrap information). They say many times entities will (somehow) know that you have turned on a recording device and will begin speaking even before you do.
Mark and Debby described several categories of EVPs:
- Growl voice
- Fast Talker
- Mimic (see echolaia)
- Multiple spirits
- Underwater sounding
The theorize that EVPs can come from imprinting, background noise or psychokenises.
That evening LIPI join the rest of the group in the dinner aboard the Queen Mary. A charity fund raiser auction to benefit the Shriners Children’s Hospital was held. Several items of both science fiction and TAPS/Ghost Hunters related was auctioned off for the benefit of the hospital. A good meal was enjoyed during the often comical auction.
Special guests also in attendance at the dinner, besides TAPS and the presenters were actress Erin Gray (who played Col. Wilma Deering on the TV show “Buck Rogers in the 25th Century” and actress Kelli Moroney who was in the film “Night of the Comet”.
Actress Erin Gray.
Actress Kelli Maroney.
After dinner, the attendees were divided into two groups. The first group would investigate various areas of the ship. The other group would enjoy an evening of comedy from Dean Haglund (who played Richard Langley, one of the “Lone Gunmen” group, on the show X-Files).
Before the show, Long Island Paranormal Investigators enjoyed a bottle of Queen Mary Champaign and some chocolate dipped strawberries (you only live once!)
Quern Mary Champaign.
Dean gave his “X-Files” improv show that was a comedy parody of the X-Files. With lots of audience participation he pieced together a funny and original episode.
Dean Haglung’s X-Files improv show.
A screening of “Night of the Comet” was held after Dean’s show.
Day 3 – Presentations and Investigation
LIPI arose early on the thrid day and had breakfast on the ship.
The first presenter of the day as Rosemary Ellen Guiley. She gave her presentation on the subject of Shadows. LIPI had previously heard her speak on this subject at the Stanley Hotel.
Rosemary Ellen Guiley on the subject of shadows and shadow beings.
Rosemary presented some new theories that her research has compiled as well as some new places she has been to review shadow cases. Of particular interest to LIPI was her case of “Big Black” at the Waverly Hills location. Her description was very similar to the one told to us by Brian Harnois at the Paranormal-X gathering in Warwick, RI this past fall.
After Rosemary’s presentation we decided to skip the presentations of Barry Conrad on California’s Most Haunted mysteries, Dr. Barry Taff on breakthroughs in the paranormal, and Chris Flemming’s presentation on conversations with the dead. Instead we took a break and enjoy the sun shine of the day to explorer the outer areas of the the Queen Mary and get a bight of lunch.
LIPI exploring the upper decks of the Queen Mary.
This chart shows the Queen Mary’s maiden voyage across the Atlantic in 1936.
The ghosts of the Queen Mary!
In the afternoon, Long Island Paranormal Investigators returned to hear a presentation by John Zaffis.
Demonologist John Zaffis.
John is probably the most recognized figure in the lead of demonology in America. John related several cases he has investigated over the years and re-iterated his warning not to go looking for demons (LIPI completely agrees!).
After John’s presentation, LIPI took a break for dinner at a local Bubba Gump’s restaurant in Long Beach.
The LIPI team having dinner at Bubba Gumps.
After dinner we returned to the Queen Mary for the crowning presentation of the trip: Jason Hawes and Grant Wilson of TAPS.
Jason Hawes (right) and Grant Wilson of TAPS.
They gave their usually good (and funny) presentation about basic concepts of paranormal investigation, some investigations TAPS has been on, and showed some videos of paranormal activity they have collected.
When the TAPS presentation ended we returned to our rooms, collected our investigation equipment, and went back to the presentation room for the event’s investigation. Our half of the participants who attended Dean’s comedy show the night before would be investigating tonight. Those who investigated last night would see Dean’s show and the movie instead.
These kinds of investigations are difficult due to the number of people involved and the limited time in the reportedly active locations. We were glad to have explored on our own the day we arrived.
In the presentation room Dave Schrader was organizing the group into smaller teams. LIPI joined up with members of ARG Paranormal and some other group investigators to form a team. ARG Paranormal member Virginia Strawser and her husband had a FLIR thermal imagine camera with them – a nice but expensive tool! They gladly showed the members of Long Island Paranormal Investigators how the camera and recorder worked, the settings, constraints, and discussed their experiences using it. FLIR is a little out of our budget for now but we can hope!
ARG Paranormal’s FLIR thermal camera and digital video recorder.
A close-up of the video recorder’s display connected to the FLIR thermal camera.
Our first stop was in the first class pool area with John Zaffis. While some members of LIPI stayed with the group in the main room, others went to the dressing room in the back where it is reported a vortex sometimes appears. Photographs and EVP recordings were taken at both locations.
John Zaffis (left) in the first class pool room.
Dressing room area in the first class pool room.
The middle of this walkway is said to have a vortex.
LIPI investigators the first class pool room.
After about an hour the group was taken to the old boiler room. Jason Hawes and Grant Wilson from TAPS were escorting groups through that area. The boilers have long since been removed, leaving a cavernous section of the ship! Many of the old pipes still remain and much of the new heat and water systems have been attached to the old plumbing. The back of the boiler room is known as “The Green Room” (unclear why).
LIPI investigators the boiler room.
This is the area one of the boilers used to occupy.
Walking a long narrows catwalks and through tight hatches to get there is an experience by itself! It was reported shadows are seen in the Green Room.
Walkways the boiler room.
The narrow passages the boiler room.
Steam pipes in the Green Room.
We tried EVPs in there but the noise level was very high from the sound of the equipment so audio was heavily contaminated.
Next stop was the massive Queen Mary engine room. Although much of the equipment had been removed it was still tightly packed with pumps, motors, values etc. – an impressive sight! Chris Flemming was in charge of groups investigating that area. First we investigated near water tight door 13. The paranormal history of this location states that a man fell and was crushed by door 13 during a drill. The image of a man walking near door 13 is often seen. Then we went up to the middle platform overlooking the engine room.
Door 13 in the engine room with Chris Flemming (center in gray shirt).
Note ARG Paranormal investigator (bottom right) using FLIR camera.
Several EVP sessions were conducted. At one point Chris said he had seen a shadow figure move up through the upper platform floor. But no one was able to capture it on photograph or video. Someone had an experiment PC-based data logger that was designed to detect very low EMF readings. Several attempts at using it in conjunction with EVP sessions were tried but no EMF readings were detected.
One of the Queen Mary’s massive turbine engines in the engine room.
Some of the huge gears and teeth that controlled the Queen Mary.
This is the hot water circulator shown on the episode of Ghost Hunters
when TAPS first investigated the Queen Mary.
Chris Flemming trying to channel anything in the area.
Final stop was the forward cargo hold. This room is in the very bottom of the ship, just one deck above the keel and ribbing.
One of the many levels of gang ways leading down deep into the bottom of the ship.
Note the orbs are just dust.
The corridor leading to the bow of the ship in the bottom of the forward cargo hold.
The outer hull of the ship is on the right.
In this area German prisoners of war were held for transport during WW2. There are no port holes and only one ladder in/out. It’s a very close and creepy place! Patrick Burns was on hand to guide the investigation. Several more EVP sessions were conducted.
LIPI investigators in the cargo hold area.
LIPI investigators going back up the gang ways out of the cargo hold.
An empty WW2 ammunition box still on the Queen Mary near the forward cargo hold.
By this time it was nearly 2am and we were exhausted so LIPI called it a night.
Day 4 – Heading Home
The last morning on the Queen Mary. We were exhausted from all our investigations and meetings. But we had a good time.
Most of our investigators caught a mid-morning flight out of Long Beach back to JFK. A few stayed in California for a couple more days.
Overall we had a great time with TAPS and everyone else on the Queen Mary!
Based on this investigation at this time Long Island Paranormal investigators is unable to confirm or debunk paranormal activity aboard the Queen Mary. We hope to have another trip to the Queen Mary in the future and conduct additional investigations.