Aurora Movie Poster Phenomenon Pt. 1

25 08 2015

I have put off sharing this story for over three years now, largely because I doubted my abilities to relate it in an objective manner.  I needed time and distance from the incident to shape my perspective.  As well, I was reluctant at that time (and still am, truth be told) to expose myself to the kind of criticism and possible ridicule that these types of stories often generate, primarily that I am attempting to perpetrate some sort of hoax.  Perhaps I seek to draw attention to myself, or to advance an agenda.

Where it concerns the paranormal, or the supernatural, I have no agenda whatsoever.  I admit to a life-long interest in these subjects due to the influence of my mother, and as a science fiction and fantasy writer I am quite naturally drawn toward and open to “what if” scenarios and mysterious things.  That said, I have always considered myself an “open-minded skeptic.”  I have always felt that the majority of things deemed as supernatural or paranormal have perfectly natural and normal explanations.  On occasion things happen that seem to defy explanation, in which case I am very comfortable with the idea that such happenings might be caused by natural forces that we do not yet understand–odd, perhaps, but still well within the realm of normal (if rare) occurrence.  Finally, there are the outright hoaxers, people who purposefully muddy the waters of genuine paranormal research and investigation.  Supernatural hoaxes are an unfortunate phenomenon because the more bizarre, unexplainable, or even well-documented a supernatural incident might be, the more likely it is to be dismissed as a hoax by all skeptics, open-minded or otherwise.

For the record, I do not own a copy of Photoshop, that ubiquitous tool of the hoaxer’s trade.  I do own a copy of Photoshop Elements, which is, I think, a cheaper, watered down version of Photoshop.  However, I have been unable to use Photoshop Elements since the mid to late 2000’s.  The computer that I ran it on died, and when I went to install it again on another computer later I discovered that while I still had the program disk, I had lost or thrown away the plastic case that it came in.  Bad move since the registration code that I need to activate the software was printed on the back of the case.

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The incident that I am about to describe took place on May 6, then again on May 26, 2012.  And I have pictures.

We were living in an apartment in Aurora, Colorado, near Denver, and had been there for about a year.  The neighborhood wasn’t the greatest, but it was a vast improvement over the hell-hole that we–for financial reasons–were forced to live in following our relocation from Oklahoma to Colorado a couple of years earlier.

It was an odd place right from the very beginning.  There was no central management or ownership of the complex.  Instead, all of the various apartment units were owned separately by leasing companies and private individuals.  What was an “apartment complex” to us had once been condominiums (albeit very small ones, in my opinion) and as the aged condo owners passed away or moved into retirement centers the “condos” were being bought up by leasing agents and rented out piecemeal. About one-third of the original condo owners remained, all in one small, very well-kept section of the complex, and around them lower middle-class renters like ourselves did our level best to reduce their property values.

But there were other oddities as well, more specific to the actual apartment unit that we were renting.  My son, then eleven years old, home-schooled, studious, and not one much for flights of fancy, began seeing UFO’s.  I remember the morning that he told me about it, listening in stunned fascination not because of what he claimed to have seen but because he related the incident in such a matter-of-fact way.

He woke up (he said) and felt like he needed to look out of his bedroom window.  When he did he saw an object that at first appeared to him like a “castle,” around two or three feet tall, moving very slowly down the lane between the row of cars parked in front of our building and the building across the lane.  He said that it was about three or four feet off of the ground and moving very slowly, so slow that he could not believe anyone else hadn’t seen it.  While he watched, the object suddenly (and in his words) “went berserk with colors, then turned into a diamond shape,” at which point it flew off over the neighborhood and out of his sight.

I have no idea what he saw, or if he saw anything at all.  It seems most likely that he dreamed the entire incident.  I only mention it because it was one of the odd things that were occurring in this apartment prior to incident that I experienced.  My son had never “seen things” before we moved to that apartment, and he hasn’t “seen” anything since.  Being a normal kid, and given the inordinate amount of attention we paid to him and his story at the time, you might think that he would have had many more such “sightings.”  But while he did stay up late and stare out of his bedroom window for the next week or so, he never reported any other strange encounters.

My wife swore that there was someone…or something…else in the apartment.  This was a lot easier to dismiss because my wife has a superstitious streak about a mile wide, and she has made similar claims in just about every place we have ever lived.  She hated Denver from the moment that we arrived there and went out of her way to accentuate the negative in any place or situation that we found ourselves in while we were there.  I remember being quite angry at her for it.  I had busted my ass to get us out of the crappy apartment complex we had been living in into a better, safer place.  But instead of getting better, things seemed to be getting worse.  There was this aura of negativity and anger that seemed to permeate the whole apartment, but there didn’t seem to be any reason for it.  By any measure or definition you wanted to choose, things were getting better for us.  But my wife and I were arguing and fighting more than at any other time in our marriage.  I began to drown myself in video games and alcohol, nearly abandoning the fiction and poetry writing that I had so thoroughly enjoyed before.

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From age 18, when I moved out of my mother’s house, one room of whatever house or apartment that I have ever lived in has been reserved for my “office.”  Up to now the only really useful thing that I have ever accomplished in my “office” is to conduct my son’s home schooling there.  Now-a-days you would call it a “man cave.”  When I am not teaching I piddle around there on a few writing projects, drink beer and play video games.  The following pictures give you a good idea of the office setup that I had in our apartment in Aurora.

Picture 082 Here is the basic setup.  Table, netbook with wifi Internet access, printer.  There is a small desk in the corner behind us and to the right where all the video game stuff is, and a window on the wall to our immediate right.

Picture 090 This is where the light is coming from in all of these pictures.  They are all taken with natural lighting and without using any flash or fill lighting.  A few pictures, you will notice, have a curious “orangey” tint.  I believe that this caused by the fact that I was trying to take close-up and macro photos while leaving the camera setting on “natural.”

Finally, a few “overview” type pictures focusing primarily on an old movie poster above my “desk” that became the focal point for the odd manifestation that I have decided to share.  The lamp in the foreground was only used at night, while I worked on my writing projects.  It was never turned on during the day and was not on in any of the pictures that follow.  The only reason that it is there at all is because, at least in my experience, apartments in the Denver/Aurora area do not have overhead ceiling lamps…you know, the kind that come on when you flip the switch by the door.  Not supernatural but just as weird, if you ask me.

Picture 081

Picture 083
Picture 084

You will notice by the dates and times that these pictures were taken at the end of the incident that I am about to describe.  The reason is that it did not occur to me until after the second incident,” on 5-26-12, that something truly remarkable had occurred, and that I had (accidentally, almost) managed to capture it on my digital camera.  A day later the latent freelance writer in me realized that I was probably going to write a story about what had happened, and I would probably need some “establishing” shots of the room and poster in question.

next, Pt. 2 … Strange images appear





Scary Dolls

30 09 2007

My wife collects dolls of all types, and for whatever reason they absolutely terrify my seven-year-old son. I mean to the extent that he will not use the bathroom just off the master bedroom if the main bathroom is occupied because he would have to walk past one of the scarier ones. Of course, to me they are just dolls, but I well remember the fears and terrors of childhood, and I well remember my own parents “pooh poohing” such supposed silliness on my part.

So, with this in mind, I set out this morning at the dark hour of 4:00 a.m. to try and capture these dolls’ faces the way that I imagine my son sees them, rather than in the bright light of day and filtered through the mind of a “rational” adult.

I wound up scaring the snot out of myself…

This is the doll that is perched high up on a shelf in the master bedroom. It belonged to my wife when she was a little girl, and it is definitely showing it’s years. The thing looks positively demonic…

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Another shot of the same doll…we’ve gone from demonic to insane…

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I actually got a little creeped out, standing there in the darkness with nothing between me and that freak-show but a flashlight and a digital camera. This “I Love Lucy” doll is actually wearing a festive little Mrs. Claus outfit. What could be less threatening than Lucille Ball and Christmas? But viewed from the right angle, and in the right light, the image takes on a rather sinister overtone…

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The expression on this little laughing boy’s face turns from merriment to madness, when viewed from a slightly different perspective…

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And this gypsy lady with the mask over her eyes seems about to come alive and turn toward the camera…

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Finally, even the angel in my office comes off as somewhat less than “angelic” when the lights go down…

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I’m glad I tried this little experiment in changing perspectives. I’m far less likely to dismiss my son’s fears as irrational if I first try to see things as he is seeing them, rather than judging from my own point of view. Gosh, I wonder what else that might work with…