Cobb Estate, May 2011
The Cobb Estate in Altadena, CA is now a free botanical garden and wildlife sanctuary as part of Angeles National Forest. It falls under the jurisdiction of the U.S. Forest Service. Since it is a free national park and open to the public 24/7, we chose it as the location for our first investigation and to shoot our first epsiode. The location seemed intriguing to us after researching some of the history and claims of the paranormal. Our investigation consisted of several weeks of research via newspaper archives, internet search engines, rumors, urban legends and the Altadena Historical Society, as well as 3 separate visits to the property. The 1st visit was on a warm and sunny afternoon in March, 2011. This initial visit was done as a "recon" of the property so we wouldn't waste a lot of time looking for specific areas during the investigation/shoot later on. We took many photos during our 1st trip, some of which can be seen here. By the time we were able to get Joey, Stacy and my schedule to coincide, it was April 27th, 2011. The location was easy enough to find; all the way up Lake Ave. until it ends at Loma Alta Dr. We got there about an hour and a half before dark. We were able to show Joey (he hadn't been able to attend our recon a couple of weeks earlier) the steps to the estate as well as the foundation and location of what was the actual house, about a hundred meters behind the steps and across a small road that was probably a driveway/carport. We focused our investigation here at the ruins and later on that night we finished up at the steps.
The first experience we encountered on the night of the 27th was that after only 40 minutes of filming, Stacy informed Joey and I that the battery level on the camcorder suddenly had only a few minutes left. This was a 90 minute battery that was fully charged. (We have since purchased a backup battery that has 4 hrs., as well as a 2nd camcorder with its' own backup battery). I didn't know what to make of this at the time, even though I had heard the theories regarding spirits drawing energy from electronic equipment, batteries and even people in order to attempt manifestation. I had attempted to shrug it off as a result of cold weather (it was particularly chilly in the forest that night), until just when Stacy thought the camera was about to shut down as a result of the power drainage, she informed us suddenly that 5 minutes had inexplicably been added to the camera's battery power. This is another phenomena that has been reported occasionally by paranormal researchers, ie; energy being given back or suddenly returning.
The other pieces of evidence shown in our episode 1 were not discovered until we reviewed our video footage and audio recorders. The mist seen while I review the "disembodied breath" audio captured by Joey is interesting in that it is the only time such a mist shows up on camera that night. And while it was as I mentioned a particularly cold night, there was absolutely no wind.
We didn't get back up to the estate for 2 weeks due to scheduling. We returned on 5/14/11, a much warmer night, hence the lack of heavy coats in the 2nd part of the episode. We ventured further up the hill this time to the location of an old 200,000 gallon water reservoir on the property. This was the water reservoir used by Mr. Cobb to fight the La Vina fire in 1935 that threatened to burn his house to the ground. Mr. Cobb handled a water hose bearing 100 lbs. of pressure in order to battle the blaze. He was 83 years old at the time. This water reservoir was also the location where unidentified human remains were found by hikers less than 6 months prior to our visit. We experienced strange noises emitting from or near the water tank, cold spots (again, no wind), eerie feelings of being watched, as well as high e.m.f. (electro-magnetic field) spikes. Later on that night as we once again returned to the fabled Cobb Estate steps, we recieved a "2 bits" response to my "shave and a haircut" hand-slapping on the steps. This is shown near the end of episode 1 but doesn't quite do the audio justice; while you might think this could have been a hiker in the area or teenagers getting high and responding by slapping a tree for kicks, the sound when listened to on the digital voice recorder sounds very faint and as if from very, very far away, as if through a tunnel and with sort of a metallic edge to it. We had to enhance the audio volume quite a bit in order for it to be heard for the episode. If I were to imagine what a response from another dimension or alternate plane of existence might sound like, it would sound like this " 2 bits" response. Could it have been just that, a response from beyond the veil of the living? I honestly cannot answer that question for sure one way or another. And herein lies the mystery...
Los Angeles Paranormal Investigative Network (L.A.P.I.N.)
Suicide Bridge, July 2011
We conducted our 2nd investigation and shot our 2nd episode of our web series at the Colorado Street Bride (aka "Suicide Bridge") in Pasadena, CA. on July 27th, 2011. This is another location that is open to the public with hiking trails and relatively easy access. We had to park at The Aquatic Center parking lot and walk the short distance to the bridge. Prior to the investigation, much of our research was done via internet search engines, so we had to take each story with a grain of salt. The history of the bridge is that it was built in 1913 by the J.A. L. Waddell construction firm out of Kansas City, MO. and named for Colorado Street, now Colorado Boulevard. It's a beautiful structure that spans 1,467 feet acroos the Arroyo Seco, a deeply cut canyon that links the San Gabriel Mountains to the Los Angeles River. The drop is about 150 feet at it's highest point. We decided on this location after learning of various reports including; over 100 suicides from the span since it's construction, tales of spirits wandering the bridge as well as the arroyo below, unexplained cries coming from the canyon, a spectral man often seen wandering the bridge who wears wire rimmed glasses, a woman in a long flowing robe who stands atop one of the parapets before throwing herself off, descriptions of the atmosphere as being "thick", unexplained sounds and phantom forms walking the river bed. We brought along with us a guest on this episode, fellow paranormal researcher and co-host of The Paranormal View web radio show on www.Para-X.com , Geoffrey Gould. Our first experience occured almost immediately at the start of our investigation. We were shooting an introduction of Geoffrey and welcoming him to the show when we once again experienced technical difficulties with the video camera. This time it was not the battery being drained but rather the mysterious loss of several minutes of footage. Stacy noticed the footage was lost as she was reviewing some shots. We had recorded the intro of the location and of Geoffrey and he had spoken for several minutes, telling us about his experiences, the radio show and the like when Stacy realized all the footage had somehow vanished. We also noted at this time that the red recording indicator light on the front of the camera was intermittenly flashing on and off. This incident is documented on episode 2 of our web series, L.A. Paranormal.
The only substantial piece of recorded evidence we captured that night was a very strange, yet extremely clear e.v.p. or electronic voice phenomena. We were exploring the river bed and arroyo beneath the bridge and had just crossed the Arroyo Seco via a small pedestrian causeway. Joey had just finished mentioning on camera that he was experiencing an uneasy feeling and chills ever since crossing to that side of the bridge and that he had turned on the digital voice recorder to see if he could back up his feeling by capturing anything. And sure enough, only moments later he captured on the recorder what sounded like the voice of a child making a shooting sound, like a machine gun, as if playing guns. We all very surprised by this, as it was not at all what we expected to find. Geoffrey said it was the "weirdest e.v.p. I've ever heard" and offers a plausible explanation to the sound on the episode. Was this definitive proof of contact with the beyond? Was this the voice of a child that had fallen beneath the bridge and been killed that was now trying to play with us? Once again, I simply do not know. It was strange, yes, but it's still not enough for me. I want to believe. I really do. And so, I keep searching...
The Zalud House, October 2011