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Griffith Observatory re-opens

The Griffith Observatory in Los Angeles re-opened Nov. 3 after getting a five-year, $93 million facelift. The walls no longer have cracked paint and rust. An underground level has been added, doubling the amount of exhibit space.

Griffith Observatory, 2800 E. Observatory Road, Los Angeles. 213-473-0800

Skate into the holidays

We may live in sunny SoCal, but we can still enjoy classic winter pastimes, like ice skating outdoors at the Holiday On Ice rink at the Irvine Spectrum.

Hours: 11 a.m.-8:45 p.m. daily through Feb. 19. Extended sessions from 9 p.m.-12:30 a.m. Fridays and Saturdays.
 
Cost: $12 adults, $10 children (one hour of skating), $4 skate rentals; $199 for a season pass.

Info: 949-748-8476 or
skatespectrum.com.
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We ain't 'fraid of no ghosts

Three SqueezeOC staffers hunt for ghosts on the Queen Mary.

By JESSICA PERALTA and BRIAN QUINES
SqueezeOC.com

Ready for the hunt.
PHOTO BY JESSICA PERALTA
RELATED
 

A mysterious woman in a white dress gazes over the Long Beach port.

Two women lounge in a pool area that hasn't been used in several decades.

Sailors scream and pound on the ship's walls.

These are some of the tales you hear when you visit the Queen Mary.

Three SqueezeOC staffers, accompanied by a paranormal investigative team, spent a night on the ship to uncover the truth behind the stories.

Patrick Wheelock and friends formed Beyond Investigation in 2002 as a hobby and business. They've since been hired for 30 investigations by individuals, companies, restaurants and the Queen Mary.

The team doesn't claim to purge locations of ghosts. Members are there to objectively document and analyze data collected through computer, audio, video and other high-tech gadgetry.

"If there wasn't something going on, we wouldn't have so many reports of things," said team founder Patrick Wheelock.

On a previous Queen Mary investigation in the First Class Pool area, the team recorded the sound of a young girl giggling and video of a ghostly apparition.

Two psychics who lead paranormal tours on the Queen Mary also accompanied us during our visit to the pool area in September.

Here's what happened:

11 p.m. ANGRY PRESENCE IN THE CHANGING ROOM

After two hours of setting up cameras, computers and audio equipment, the first small group left the command post for "sweeps" in a changing room area near the pool.

Psychics sensed an angry male presence with crossed arms and an English accent. Wheelock challenged the entity to reveal itself by manipulating the electronic equipment. The psychics said the challenge agitated the ghost, who allegedly remarked, "Bring it on, mate!"

The psychics sensed a second presence and Wheelock's thermometer shut off.

SqueezeOC videographer Devin Schoeffler didn't hear or see any of this, and captured nothing unusual in his video.

Midnight. JESSICA IN THE CHANGING ROOM

Our lighting equipment went off for about three of the most terrifying minutes of Jessica's life. It got better when the stick came back on, but there were shadows everywhere.

Team member Joe Williams began asking rather unsettling questions like: "Did you die here?"

He asked any ghost to make something move, affect the equipment or touch someone to make its presence known. Jessica prayed not to be touched.

There were no major anomalies in the electronic equipment.

2 a.m. BRIAN AND JESSICA IN THE POOL

We walked inside the pool, which is drained.

The instruments gave strange readings on one side of the pool. Investigators noted alarming spikes in a static-electricity meter and irregular readings in the electromagnetic field sensor (EMF). Plus, two compasses gave different readings for "north."

One of the psychics called out to a little girl believed to be the source of the recorded giggling:

"Jackie? Do you wanna play peek-a-boo?"

"Can you giggle for us?"

"Do you not like the man in the changing room?"

The EMF and static readings increased. This could be the evidence Beyond Investigation was looking for.

The team members scratched their heads at the anomalies. Wheelock stood in a corner of the pool talking to himself – crunching numbers and speculating on possible explanations: "Vents!"

Soon he was climbing over the pool balcony, inspecting the ventilation system. Cool air coming down from the vents was the likely explanation for the disruption.

3:30 a.m. ARE WE STILL ON THE SHIP?

A little disappointed over the lack of ghosts, but too tired to care, we left the Queen Mary. We pondered the team's motivations to embark on these repeated long, sleepless, often boring investigations. We came aboard looking for answers and left with the same questions.

When we checked back with Wheelock later that week, he said the microphones recorded voices and mysterious sounds. The team is analyzing the recordings to determine the sound's source.

VIDEO
Behind the scene of the Queen Mary ghost hunt.

QUEEN MARY STORIES AND GHOST TOURS

HUNTING PARTY
Meet three members of Beyond Investigation.


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Contact / Feedback: jperalta@squeezeoc.com, bquines@squeezeoc.com


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