hout a doubt, the Maritime Ghost Conference—sponsored by the popular San Diego Ghost and Paranormal Meetup Group (SDGAP)—was a tremendous success. As a fundraiser, all proceeds went directly to the San Diego Maritime Museum.  I have to truly commend my friends, Dave Hanson and Cheryl Bailey,–leaders of the SDGAP group—for their streamlining effort and dedication to this one-of-a-kind conference.  Lets just keep our fingers crossed that our good friends are in full swing to bud MGC2 for next year!!  Hint, hint!

I am also truly humbled to have been selected as a speaker for this conference.  Since this event was located on a known haunted ferry boat, it was apropos for me to speak about none other than the legendary RMS Queen Mary, one of the most historical vessels of all time, and currently moored in Long Beach, California.  Since there was a consistent nautical theme running throughout MGC, many of the other great presentations focused on other famed haunted ships, including the USS Hornet and Star of India, which is, by the way, a close physical neighbor to the Berkeley.

Nicole Strickland—Presenting on the ghosts of the RMS Queen Mary

Throughout the entire day of this beloved conference, I felt my soul rejuvenating every minute.  Why, you ask?  Well, to be quite honest, I am not positive on the exact reasons why; but, I can tell you that it may be one of those things that is meant to remain mystical.  It was fantastic to mingle with familiar faces and meet some new ones.

Delia Rugamas—private residence case manager for the San Diego Paranormal Research Society—also attended the conference and it was great to see her there!  Delia has twelve plus years under her belt as a paranormal researcher and is a specialist when it comes to private residence cases.

It was also great to see good friend David Berck—host of Paradigm Shift Radio. I must say that I have been a guest on David’s radio show, as well as co-hosted with him a few times.  Surely, one of my favorite paranormal-talk internet radio shows!

It was an early Halloween treat for me to acquire the opportunity to investigate the Berkeley on both Friday and Saturday night.  Friday night’s investigation was nothing less than surprising and interesting.  It was also a great opportunity for many conference participants and speakers to conduct a collaborative para investigation.

Jerry Reynolds—independent investigator—and I conducted some research down in the Gallery and heard some anomalous voices with our naked ear.  Interestingly, I was touched on my lower back with what seemed like a gentle hand.  Upon review of my audio, an EVP of a child was captured seconds after I said, “Oh, something just touched me.  Can you tell me your name?”  The angelic voice of a child can be heard saying, “Hi.”  Later, Matt Schulz, Sharon Gaudette and Jodi (Matt’s sister)—all members of the ParaXplorer Project—reconvened in the Gallery to do some work, which proved to be insightful and exciting at the same time.  Since Friday night was my premiere night on the ferry boat conducting research, I will honestly say that the Berkeley is now added to my repetoire of para research project locations.

The next day, I was talking with Matt Schulz, founder of ParaXplorer Project, about our previous night’s excursion on the ferry boat and I said, “I really enjoyed the Berkeley, I put it right up there with the Star of India.”

I was honored to meet Pacific Paranormal Investigations, another professional and well-liked paranormal research team in the San Diego area.  PPI was gracious enough to allow me to attend Saturday night’s investigation on the Berkeley, and I joined other true researchers, including OC Soul Searchers, another valuable team from Orange County and fellow members of the San Diego Ghost and Paranormal Meetup Group.

One of the most exciting events occurred in the Boiler Room.  We all collectively gathered inside this once boiling hot area and conducted an EVP session.  About 20 minutes into the session, all of us audibly heard a young female child call out “Mommy.”  Needless to say, this emotional EVP was also captured on all of our recording devices and video cameras.  To hear the EVP, please visit my PODBEAN page and click on the category “Maritime Ghost Conference.”  OC Soul Searchers also made a video showcasing this same audio capture and you can view it directly on the team’s website.  In my honest opinion, this Class A EVP is one of the  most clear and decipherable audio pieces I have captured to date.

Nicole Strickland-in the Boiler Room of the Berkeley

This experience left me with these pervading questions: “Who is this child?  Is she looking for her “mommy?”  “Is she earth-bound or spirit?” “Does she need help?”  I am starting to do my own research into the vessel’s history to possibly find out who this child may be.  It always tugs on your heart strings to get anomalous voices of children and all I want for them is to find peace and comfort.

Okay, back to why I feel the MGC was a success.  First of all, a good chunk of proceeds went straight to the maritime museum.  Furthermore, attendees had the opportunity to hear about ghostly stories and high strangeness on a variety of well-known ships.  Additionally, and maybe most important, this conference allowed like-minded individuals to further ignite existing friendships and to make new ones along the way.  It was a chance for us all to talk about our experiences, insights, thoughts and ideas, an open discussion, if you will, into the vast mystical realm that we call “paranormal.”

Until next time!

Nicole Strickland

Founder/Director of the San Diego Paranormal Research Society

Southern California Area Research Director of the Ghost Research Society
 


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