Date: Friday, October 16, 2020
Locations: Camp Michaux, near Pine Grove Furnace State Park
WereWoofs Investigating Team:
Lead Paranormal Investigator for WereWOOFS Curtis Wimer
The Woofdriver, Bill Helman
Paranormal Investigator ChrisP
Photographer Doug Sanford
Photographer and Videographer Shamal Halmat
WereWoofs Support Team: “Dan the Man” Williams and Scott Gilman
Special guests: Parapsychology Consultant “Para” Anne, of the Coffee with the Dead podcast/YouTube channel
and her husband and Data Wrangler Evan
Blog Author: Keith Engle
Nestled in the foothills north of Gettysburg, PA lies Pine Grove Furnace State Park, which features lakes, hiking, biking, and the Appalachian Trail Museum. Less well known: it also features the ruins of a top-secret POW Interrogation Camp which operated from 1943 to 1945; one of three in the nation. The first prisoners were German, with Japanese prisoners brought there in 1945. By all accounts, prisoners were treated well. They were questioned, and then either sent to one of the 700 POW camps in the country or to Fort Hunt in Virginia for more thorough questioning. But it’s important to bear in mind that history is written by the winners, and that prisoners would have had no idea what lay in store for them. As they were being transported in the dead of night, with no idea where they were going, thousands of miles from home, in buses with blacked out windows, over routes that were ridiculously convoluted in order to give them the impression that they were very far from any sort of civilization, they were almost certainly thinking of how their nations were treating Allied POWs at that time. After all, over three million POWs died in German camps. Japanese abuse of prisoners is one of the abiding horrors of the war; 40% of Americans taken prisoner by the Japanese died in captivity. While nobody is known to have died at Camp Michaux, the fear, anger, and uncertainty may have left psychic impressions that lasted beyond the war, or that drew spirits back after death. The past may still be present.
This was the Werewoofs team’s second visit to this location, a week after a visit where they recorded enough promising results to warrant a further visit. We parked at the former army motor pool lot on a crisp October night, and headed into the woods towards the ruins.
Our first stop was at a memorial stone which honored those who had served as guards at the POW camp. While a relatively recent addition, the stone may have drawn enough attention to serve as a focal point for spiritual energies. But while the Ovilus was talkative, nothing meaningful could be deciphered from it, and we moved on.
Moving on from the memorial, we found a stone decorative fountain from the camp’s previous life as a Civilian Conservation Corps camp. It stood just outside the fence that separated the POW barracks from the outside world, and is another spot that might have drawn emotional energy. The team deployed their instruments and began inviting communication with anything that might wish to do so. For some time it appeared that this location too would be a disappointment; then ChrisP’s Spirit Box became active. The team heard a woman’s voice asking for someone to translate, and voices that sounded distinctly German. One was even heard to say “Sieg heil!” One of the things that US Army interrogators worked to determine was whether an individual was simply a conscript who had no choice about fighting in the war, or a true Nazi. Many POWs were found to be anti-Nazi, but there were unrepentant Fascists among the prisoners, and no doubt more than one “sieg heil”, which means “hail victory”, was shouted at the camp.
Then the team heard a voice say “Nagoya”, a city in Japan. Subsequent research confirms that the POW camp held Japanese prisoners beginning in 1944. One team member spent some time in Japan and still speaks some of the language. Through him, the team asked “can you touch the blue triangle?” In reply we heard “yoshi” (all right). A moment later, the blue triangle on one side of the Flux 2 device changed to green, indicating contact. We asked another question, but the answer was spoken too fast be understood, so the Woofdriver put the Ovilus in its yes/no mode. The following questions were asked in Japanese:
“Do you speak Japanese?”
Immediately the Ovilus showed “Yes.”
“Are you from Nagoya?”
“Are you from Kyoto?”
“Are you from Hokkaido?” (asked as a test to make sure we weren’t simply getting random responses)
“Does ‘Hiroshima’ mean anything to you?”
A pause, then yes, followed by angry speech that was too fast to follow
“Once more please”
The United States killed a quarter of a million civilians when it dropped bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Some hostility when it comes to that topic is understandable, and it’s no surprise that there was no real activity at the fountain site after that.
As the night grew colder, we walked through the woods to our final stop for the evening: the interrogation building itself. The building is gone, but the impression the building left, remains: the foundation. On the team’s previous visit, this site was very active, which prompted the return visit. This included some large tree branches falling in apparent response to the team’s attempts at interaction.
The team set out the Paranormal Music Box, which is as much atmosphere as equipment. A motion detector shaped like a coffin, topped with a music box which plays a creepy tune when the motion detector is triggered. This was placed on an elevated portion of the foundation facing away from any team members. After it was turned on and had calibrated itself, the team began inviting communication. If the activity we found at the POW camp was the result of strong emotions, it would stand to reason that the main contact we had in this building in particular would be with German or Japanese prisoners. Surprisingly, it was not. The EMF reader began to spike, and the music box began to play its tune, so the team began asking questions. At first, there was little response, until we asked “were you a prisoner here” and the Portal replied “No”. Then the Ovilus said “Alice. Alone.” Perhaps a nurse for the camp? The team asked for someone to touch the Flux 2, and it wasn’t long before one of its interaction points lit up green. Some responses from the Portal led the team to suspect that “Alice” wasn’t alone after all.
“What are your names?”
Ike. This one was no surprise to anyone. “Ike” often shows up, having apparently followed a member of the team from Pennhurst Asylum.
Responses from the Portal at this point became jumbled and more difficult to decipher. Neil may have been an officer who later died of cancer. Research after the visit found few specifics about who served at the camp. It was, after all, secret. As a result, it was impossible to determine whether any of the names mentioned corresponded with anyone who actually served at the camp.
“Are you ready for us to leave?”
Given how ominous the large falling branches had been on the previous visit, the team decided to do as asked.