Self-proclaimed ghost hunter and 452nd Aerospace Medicine Squadron member, Senior Airman Joe Mora, is no stranger to unusual activities that he and others consider to be paranormal. As a teen, Mora said he began to sense paranormal activity around him. As an adult, he studies it hoping to learn more.
Recently, Mora gathered his ghost hunting equipment, and a few friends who were curious, to investigate some buildings at March Field, many of which are historical and, according to Mora, have a lot of activity in them.
“I’ve heard stories from people who have noticed figures or shadows walking down a hallway or sitting in a chair, heard knocking and whistling noises and doors slamming without probable cause,” Mora said.
Each hunt begins with an approval from the commander and a notification to the law enforcement desk on base. Then Mora and any others meet at the investigation site after dark to begin sweeping the area with various pieces of equipment used during the hunt.
“I start by telling people some of the stories I have heard about the particular location and things that may or may not have happened there,” Mora said. “I point out paranormal events that might affect their own person or body, like dizziness, light-headedness, or even the possibility of being touched or scratched.”
Then the initial sweep is done with the lights on, first to discuss any safety issues and second to see if anything sets off the equipment giving a false reading.
“We discuss objects that could be a tripping hazard as well as first aid,” Mora said. “I point out the emergency exits and always tell everyone to call 911 if there is any emergency.”
Being aware of your surroundings at all times, lights on or off, is a must, Mora added. If they run into paranormal activity he asks everyone to do his or her best to not freak out so they have a better chance to capture what’s going on, with the recorders or cameras, before attempting to leave the area.
“We try to scientifically prove or debunk something before hesitantly reacting to a situation,” Mora said. “That way nobody gets hurt and we can exit the area safely.”
When everyone is satisfied that the environment is safe and the equipment has been tested, the lights are turned off and the actual investigation begins in groups of two or more.
Members of the team or teams move slowly throughout the site listening, recording, taking photos and video to review at the end of the investigation, which can last anywhere from three to six hours depending on activity investigators feel is present or not.
One of those investigators was Phil Navratil, Hap Arnold Club operations assistant. While participating in a recent investigation with Mora, Navratil said his son’s girlfriend (Freda) walked into a room just ahead of him.
“When we entered the room she was white as a ghost and her eyes were as big as saucers,” Navratil said. “We asked her what happened and she said, ‘There was a shadow figure standing right in front of me, blocking my way out.’ You could tell she wasn’t making stuff up. She was scared. She looked scared.”
He also said that during the investigation Freda asked where the light was but thought nothing of it until he heard the audio that had been recorded during that session.
“When she said, ‘where’s the light?’ a voice on the recording said, ‘it’s over here,’” Navratil said. “And that wasn’t us!”
Another thing that really struck him as unusual was when Mora was using a voice box, which is like a transistor radio that continually scans to pick up electronic voice phenomenon or EVPs.
“It was making all these clicking sounds but when Joe asks how many of you are here, you hear on the recording a man say ‘six’ and then a higher voice immediately follows with ‘seven.’ It’s crazy!”
One night, while working by himself, Navratil said he heard footsteps in the hallway. He got up twice to look but said no one was there.
“The second time I said, ‘If there’s somebody here, you tell me right now!’ That’s when the whole building went BOOM!”
So the question remains—is March Field haunted?