RADIO INTERVIEW — TAPE #648, SIDE #1
Q: Mark Russell Bell
C: Colleen Johnston, co-host of “Night Search” radio show
A: Aage Nost, owner of KRVL
V: unidentified individual heard on preceding KRVL broadcast
J: Janet Russell, co-host of “Night Search” radio show
(X): unattributed sounds
C: Hello. Is Mark in, please?
Q: This is Mark.
C: Mark, this is Colleen Johnston. This is Eddie Middleton’s partner . . . and I was wondering if everything was still on . . .
Q: Oh yeah, everything’s fine. I’m ready. I have my glass of water here.
C: Okay, great. Basically, I wanted to go over — what Eddie’s going to do is Janet Russell is going to join us the first hour because we do a two-person format. Eddie’s had to — he couldn’t get out of teaching his class tonight. He’s going to join us the second hour.
Q: Yeah, that’s what he told me.
C: Okay. I didn’t know if he had talked to you or not so —
Q: Okay. (or “OKAY”)
C: Now what would you like to basically discuss tonight? I know that the book has been out for a while.
Q: Well I think probably the best way to begin — I could describe some of the early paranormal events when I was working at Paramount and then how I went to Oklahoma to begin the interviews.
C: Oh great.
Q: I would like to play some of the tape of my interview in Oklahoma because it does have EVP and it is very obvious.
Q: It’s just like less than a minute long
C: Okay, that’d be fine. (“AND”)
Q: And, you know, I’ll just explain a little bit about that because as you — since you’ve seen the book, you know that EVP is a large part of it where I do try to transcribe the (X) spirit messages.
C: You did a phenomenal — let me tell you — a phenomenal job on your transcription of this whole event. I mean I grew up in a paranormal environment and completely understand what these people went through.
Q: Right. (X)
C: So I mean you just did a tremendous job. (X)
Q: And I’ll explain it because what happened with me is that I had been experiencing similar events?
Q: But I’d always denied them. Like I think most people do.
Q: And then — but after going to Oklahoma and then hearing some of the same things that happened to them —
Q: — and I’d say ‘Well that happened (X) to me too.’ Anyway, just one thing led to (X) another. (“I”) So —
C: Well you did a good job with it.
C: You truly did.
Q: Now how long will the interview last?
C: It’ll last for two hours.
Q: Okay, fine.
C: Okay, we’re going to be on two hours. We’ll go up the — you know, at the top of the hour and then we’ll start taking breaks every thirty minutes. So like at 11:30 we’ll take a first break and then midnight my time we’ll take another break because you — where are you at?
Q: In Los Angeles.
C: Oh yeah. So you’re like still daylight out there. (“RIGHT” “JUST” X) And it’s almost midnight here. Or will be.
Q: Oh my gosh.
C: So I’m over on the East Coast.
C: In, obviously, North Carolina.
Q: Oh that’s interesting — (“BELL”) too that — because he had mentioned to me (X) Burt Brown but I guess instead it’s going to be —
C: Janet Russell.
Q: Janet Russell. (“SHE’S”)
C: She’s our co-host on Wednesday nights.
Q: Okay. (X)
C: She’s an old veteran. She’s had her own TV show and (X “OF”) that kind of stuff for a long time.
Q: Well we’re —
C: And I’m not the veteran here. And —
Q: Is that her real name or her married name?
C: Oh that’s her real name. It’s Janet Russell. (X “SO WW”)
Q: Because I’m — because my (“YEAH MM”) my pseudonym is Bell but my real name is Russell.
C: Well that’s interesting. (“SO WE’RE”)
Q: We’re cousins, of course. (X)
C: You could be.
Q: Yeah. (or “YEAH”)
C: You could be. She lives up in New York.
Q: Well, as you know, in my book too, I do have that House of Russell lineage chart.
C: Yeah, I didn’t get — (“YEAH”)
Q: Yeah, well I’ll talk about that a little bit too. (X) That might be fun. (X)
C: Okay. (“BUT”)
Q: Yeah. No, it’ll be — I have plenty of material to last many, many hours. So, (X) of course, I researched —
C: Well, hopefully, one day we’re going to go up to this big format of, you know, having a, like, four or five hour a night show.
Q: Um-huh. (or “UM-HUH”)
C: And that’s what we’re working (X) on doing.
Q: Because, you know, I had researched talking poltergeists in history. (“UM-HUH”) On one show I’d been on—I think it was in Florida—I actually had talked a little bit about each case and then on another show — it was called “(The) Edge of Reality,” which was like a syndicated show. (“AA”) I talked about my childhood experiences. (X) I don’t know. I just — I haven’t really talked about what happened (“IN”) at Paramount Pictures and I think that’s so interesting because a lot of the films I worked on — they’d have paranormal themes.
C: I wouldn’t doubt it. In that area? (“THERE WAS SOME”)
Q: Because right before my trip there were some really paranormal events happening. (X)
Q: Yeah. (“SO” “THAT’LL BE”) That would be — (“SORT” “N”) you know, in the book, I covered that but it’s just (“LIKE”) bit of an interview here. I mean I don’t really assemble it (“SO IT”) it makes coherent sense. What I could do tonight is just pretty much say some of the basic things that happened. (“AT”)
Q: At one step at a time to let (“PEOPLE”) — sort of like a case study.
C: Well sure, we can just do it (“YEAH”) however you want to do it. (X)
Q: Okay. There is a lot — (“NOW”)
C: I’m going to go ahead and put you on pause so I can go ahead and call the station.
Q: Very good.
C: Okay? . . . (X)
C: Mark, are you there?
Q: Yes, I’m here.
C: Okay. Hang on. Let’s see if I can get us all together here.
A: How many are you?
C: Oh, okay, there we are. Okay. (laughs) I’m okay, Aage.
A: I thought you were just one.
Q: And I —
C: I have actually tonight — I’m going on. Eddie’s going to come on at midnight. Janet’s going to call in. And Janet and I are going to interview our very interesting guest —
C: — Mark Russell Bell. He wrote the book Testament which is all about a wild, wild — poltergeist activities so —
A: I like wild.
C: Well it’s pretty wild.
Q: It’ll be wild.
?: (small laugh)
A: Yeah, that’s good.
C: But Jan(et) — then Eddie’s going to join us at midnight so —
Q: I know. I asked him. I said, (“L” X) “Can you hear the interview when you’re driving back from your class?” And I don’t know if he can or not. (“BUT”) I hope he can pick it up when he comes in. Anyway.
C: Well — there, I just got off line. I had to get online to get your phone number.
A: Well I just talked to Janet and she’s going to be calling back in about three minutes.
C: Okay. Yeah, no problem.
Q: Is this the producer here? (X)
C: Basically, he’s the owner. He’s the chief cook and bottle washer. Let’s see, what else Aage, do you do?
A: Floor sweeper. I do toilets. (X)
Q: And what’s your last name?
A: Aage. The first name Aage and last name Nost. I was imported, of course, when I came here.
C: (You) could never tell that.
Q: Where are you from originally?
Q: Oh how interesting.
A: Up in the north, you know, where they have nine months of winter and three months of (X) poor sledding. (X)
Q: Oh I — there were some interesting poltergeists back in that part of the world.
A: Oh there are hundreds of stories of the — they call them the little people that live in the hills.
A: And you can — I mean there are stories of people who’ve seen them walk right into the ground and disappear. They call them, you know, the — well, I guess I don’t know if there’s an English (X) translation for it but the little people, I guess. They’re dressed funny. They’re usually very fat and they’re very short. About three foot. (“UM-HUH” X) And they look just like ugly humans. That’s pretty much it — big nose and a large head. And there are hundreds and hundreds of testimonies that people have seen them.
C: That’s interesting.
Q: I think I have a picture of them in my book. That window picture with the little transparent faces?
A: Called little folk.
Q: Did you see that? Like (or “LIKE”) there’s a picture of a window and there are sort of transparent faces in the window?
C: Yeah, I looked at that. I’ve got the book right here in front of me. (“THOSE ARE”)
Q: Those could very well be the same thing, the same —
C: That’d be interesting.
Q: — phenomenon of the wee people.
A: . . . some people — this was taken in Norway somewhere and as some people face sitting on the beach and as — they’re playing ball next to there and right along the beach there’s a little boy running but the boy is only one foot tall. And he looks like just like a regular boy. He’s got clothing and stuff. And this showed up on the picture. (X) When the picture was taken —
A: — everybody can swear there was no boy there.
C: Mm mm mm.
Q: Of course, some people might now jump to the conclusion that they’re aliens because that’s — our culture is so obsessed with aliens.
C: You know, and that’s true, I mean. Gosh, what we perceive as one thing is truly perceived possibly as something else elsewhere. (X)
A: Oh yeah.
C: So it’s pretty fascinating. Well I just got news. There was a 6.9 earthquake in Alaska.
Q: Oh no.
C: In — could not get on to any of the USGS sites to check it.
Q: It must be that San Andreas Fault.
C: We’ve been waiting for that area to go because there has been this anomalous hum, sort of, out of that area (“UM-HUH”) the last few days and it resonates at a particular hertz at like 2.3 hertz. And, sure enough, it blew today — just a little while ago — less than an hour ago, from what I understand.
Q: I think there was a six-point earthquake on Saturday in Alaska. There was a six-point along the San Andreas Fault on Saturday. (“SO”) That was obviously a foreshock.
A: . . . put you on hold.
V: . . . but they haven’t talked about races in Panama. The Chinese are very sophisticated. They work together. When the Soviet Union left, the Chinese moved in. That’s another thing our country has not been telling us. . . .
A: Hello, everybody. I think everybody . . .
C: Hello hello. Janet?
J: Yes, I’m here.
C: I mean this is a wonderful connection, Aage. We do have a good connection. Has everybody — everything been staying on line?
A: Yeah. Well no. We got kicked off here Friday night.
C: On the — at the same time?
A: Yeah. Same time.
C: It’s got to be somebody hacking into the line. (X) It’s got to be.
A: But Thursday night worked okay.
J: Wednesday night did too.
A: Did it?
J: Yeah. We . . .
C: No, Thursday night we got kicked off with Kathleen Keeting, remember?
J: . . . remember?
A: Oh yeah, okay, then it was opposite then. It was Friday night we were okay.
J: I thought that was a great show we did with . . .
J: Yeah, we’ve had a good week, this week.
Q: So hi, Janet. (X) I’m Mark Russell Bell. I’m a cousin of yours, actually, from Russell. My real name is Mark Russell.
J: My last name’s Russell. (small laugh)
J: But we’re no — we’re no — no, I don’t think we’re any —
C: No kin?
Q: Well in my book — it’s too bad that Janet doesn’t have a copy of it but I do have (“UM”) the title page from this old book (“UN”) that traces the House of Russell back to the original gentleman who started the House of Russell.
J: Really? Can you send me a copy?
Q: Oh definitely.
J: Great. You want my address now . . .
Q: I can — is it on the website?
J: It should be. Yeah.
Q: Yeah, I can get it there.
A: Okay, I just started a commercial . . . we’ll go live.
J: (gives mailing address) (“WE’R[E]”)
C: We’re basically going to let Mark just run with it, Janet.
C: And he’s got a lot to talk about.
J: Great. The best way, you know that I always say, the guest knows more about themselves than we know about him. . . .
C: Exactly. And we’re good about letting you talk too — I hope you like to talk, Mark.
Q: Oh I do. I do.
C: Oh good. (“YEAH”)
A: So your name’s Russell?
Q: I’m going to try to just say the events. Then people can draw their own conclusions.
Q: Um (X) I found that that works pretty well.
J: You want me to open, right Colleen?
J: You want me to open, right?
C: Yeah, go ahead and open. I’ll go ahead and introduce Mark. I’m going to just leave it real short but sweet because he’s got a lot to cover.
A: And we are still — everyone of us is a little bit soft-spoken tonight so I think I can . . . (X)
C: (O)kay. Is that better?
J: How about me? Better?
A: Yeah. That’s fine. Mark?
J: Talk a little — just a little louder, Mark.
C: I’m trying to. My throat’s real scratchy tonight so I’m going to be sucking on water a lot. I’ll go “uh-huh” and let you talk.
C: Lemon water. Good stuff.
J: I just talked to a lady tonight that I did a reading for — she told me her neighbor’s house was haunted.
J: I had to say, “Look, I’ve got to go. I’ve got the radio show. I’ll talk to you again.” (X)
C: I had a real great haunted house and it actually came with a table that apparently one of my ancestors decided to attach to. That was pretty amazing. We had a major haunting. (X)
J: Did it travel with you when you moved?
C: Actually we gave the table back to my aunt. Yeah. We didn’t want it. (X) She wanted it. She didn’t believe it was haunted so.
J: I can’t wait to hear what Mark’s . . .
J: . . . a whole town was involved with this poltergeist? (“NO”)
Q: Well in a way. There was this special that was on TV a couple years back called “Ghosts, Mediums, Psychics: Put To The Test” which featured a half hour of the Mc Wethy family and I think they also aired that in the summer of 1996 on “20/20.” (“SO”) And that actually had very convincing — I should probably mention that just because I’m sure some of the listeners probably did see that.
Q: So I should mention that so they can remember that.
C: Mark, do you have a website?
Q: Yes, uh-huh. It’s —
C: Because what we’ll do is let you announce it.
Q: Yeah. It’s very easy. It’s —
C: And Email, if you want, you know.
Q: — testament.org. Well, yeah, they can click on it there.
C: Okay, great. Good, good. Aage, you with us?
A: Oh I’m with you.
C: Just making sure. It’s so quiet.
A: Another twenty-five seconds . . .
C: But it did happen at the same time, right? Friday night?
A: Yeah, it did.
C: Okay, so we’re going to try to go to break before that happens.
A: It was five minutes late but otherwise yeah.
Q: Did they ever find out what happened? The fire?
C: Yeah, we’re ready. No, they didn’t.
A: Okay, let me bring you up and count you down. Five four three two one.
J: Welcome to “Night Search,” the voice of the paranormal, KRVL Tucson, Arizona. My name is Janet Russell. I’m from New York. I’m co-hosting with a wonderful — another co-host that we have, Colleen Johnston. Colleen’s from the beautiful state of North Carolina and we have a fantastic guest tonight, Mark Russell Bell. Colleen, I’m going to let you take off and introduce Mark because he’s got an interesting story to tell.
C: Alright, Janet. I would like to introduce our guest. His name is Mark Russell Bell and he wrote a wonderful book called the Testament. It deals with a major, major paranormal story which we’re just going to let him talk about all he wants to talk about. But it’s phenomenal. If you get the book, it’s quite hefty and it deals with one family or basically part of a town — journey into the paranormal and poltergeist activity. And without any further ado, I’m going to turn it over to Mark. Welcome, Mark. I’m glad you’re with us tonight.
Q: Hi, Colleen and hi, Janet.
Q: It’s nice to be with you.
C: So can I, first of all, ask you whatever got you into the research that you did? You want to just start from the beginning?
Q: Well what happened is I did have some unusual events when I was a child. I had once got out the Ouija Board and tried to hold a seance and there was a small hurricane at the time and then I had — (“I”) I had a fainting spell once and my first reaction when I came to was, ‘The aliens have come back.’ And this was before really aliens were very prominent at least in the culture at large. I think I was (“I”) five or six at the time or maybe —
J: What year was that?
Q: I’m not sure. I’d also had one experience — I think it was in the first or second grade. But I had one experience where I’d woken up in my apartment and I’d heard a disembodied voice calling my name. And this — I was five or six years old and my twin brother was still asleep and my mom was still asleep. And I went all through the apartment, trying to figure out which one of my friends was playing this joke on me. And — so that sort of was one of my first experiences that really made me curious about the unexplained. At least, now I’m looking back and I’m trying to think (“WW”) what really me interested in the paranormal. My parents did have a rather bad divorce when I — when my brother and I were young. And, as a result of that, our parents — when my father would visit, he would take us to the movies. Not all of them were really well suitable for children. There were a lot of horror movies. I remember “Haunted Palace” with Vincent Prince and also some good movies. I remember “The Trouble With Angels,” for example, with Hayley Mills and Rosalind Russell. And I don’t know — just thinking about (“SOME”) some of those movies — (“LIKE”) I remember Hayley Mills also had played a twin. And, having been a twin, some of these things, (X) you know, made an impression (X) on me. I remember my mom once took us to see “Marnie” when I was, I guess, in junior high school or high school and that was before I realized I myself had Alfred Hitchcock — I had shared the Hitchcock lineage and —
C: Well that’s interesting.
Q: And, since, you know, I had sort of this panic disorder where when I would see blood or become really upset I would pass out. So when I went to see “Marnie” with the flashes of red and everything, it was — it just really, really affected me. I really felt like there was a connection there. (X)
J: You said you had a lineage of Hitchcock? What was . . .
Q: Well what I did was after experiencing some of these paranormal events I started researching my genealogy because I’d taken on Bell as a pseudonym after a friend of mine who had never had any experience like this basically had channeled a name. She’d heard a disembodied voice say that I should take on the Bell name. And this is after I had interviewed the Mc Wethy family. I had researched the Bell Witch case which was a very prominent (X) poltergeist case from the nineteenth century and then when this other contemporary case happened with the Mc Wethy family — when I called them, I didn’t even know that they themselves had Bell ancestry.
J: Oh my goodness.
Q: So I thought well maybe I’m a Bell too and maybe this is some kind of family curse so I started researching my family tree. And there were some Bels but not — it was the first name Belle, it wasn’t the last name Bell — at least, that I’ve been able to find so far. So, of course, Ken Russell is another interesting Russell. I researched the Russell lineage back to the — basically, I found this book called . . . The First Race of Ancestry, Whence The House Of Russell Had Its Origin. It was by J.H. Wifffen and it was published in London in 1833 and it traces back the Russell lineage to Hugh Bertrand, who was the Lord of Barneville and Le Rozel. And, of course, Le Rozel became Russell. And, basically, there’s a chart from that House which is in my book. It’s called the “Lineage of the First Race” and it traces back the Russell family to Olaf the Sharp-eyed, King of Rerik and there’s entire stories of fire-breathing dragons and —
J: . . .
C: Just amazing.
Q: It’s like a lost piece of history, this book. And, of course — well I don’t know, I might be getting ahead of the story. (X) Because this happened after I had come back from Oklahoma. And what was so interesting was some of the events that happened right before I went to Oklahoma.
C: Right, I’d like to talk about some of those events while you were in California.
Q: Well I had majored in — I had gone to USC cinema school and I had majored in film. So I — and I had started my career as a story analyst and then a talent agent. And (X) finally I had gone to work for Paramount Pictures, famous for that mountain logo, and this was my first real introduction to the corporate world. And I really did see firsthand just how corrupt the moviemaking system is. Having majored in film, you know of course, I was into the auteur theory, Ingmar Bergman, Fellini, Ken Russell for that matter, you know I really liked auteurs.
Q: But then here was this very commercialized business and I really — at the time I didn’t realize how evil it was. (“BUT I”) Remember, for example, working on the film “Permanent Record.” I was assigned to (“YOU KNOW”) do the press kit and they basically had done some research and they had found that no matter how we presented the film from a publicity viewpoint, teenagers with their very impressionable minds would be ending up possibly committing suicide because of the glamorization of suicide in the film. They even tried to make it ‘well maybe it was an accident’ — they didn’t show him jump off the cliff. It always left it to your imagination but it was, obviously enough, a suicide. This was an early Keanu Reeves film. And they’d given me the research. I sort of became the conscience of the department and I was supposed to present this in the press kit in such a way to absolve ourselves (“OF”) not leading impressionable people into suicide. So, of course, I thought then, ‘Oh well, it’s not really — we’re not really doing anything wrong. This is just a business and entertainment. Anyway, now of course I think, (“HOW”) ‘Well how could I have — this is really terrible — what we did. Because the way it was handled even was such that — (“WELL”) you know, it was such that the higher-ups definitely knew that it would not help anyone for this film. I think they even tried to kill the film (“BY”) because the advertising was campaign was very unappetizing.
C: They have a lot of power.
Q: Yeah. (or “YEAH”)
C: L.A. That way.
Q: And, of course, what does this suggest recently about that news about the networks being given (X) financial incentives to produce drug-themed shows from the government? So, anyway, at the time I — there was one — I was working on “Clueless” — the movie “Clueless” — the press kit. And it was a Scott Rudin film and, first of all, that’s always difficult because he likes to do his own press kits. I’d worked on “The Addams Family” and I remember he wanted to (“HA[VE]”) have, like, the first paragraph tie-on with the early New Yorker cartoons to avoid a lawsuit with people who thought that maybe the film was ripping off the old TV series. (“SO”) I took it with a grain of salt, knowing that, ‘Well my quotes might be used but it probably will be rewritten.’ So, anyway, but when I went to turn it in, I put it on a disk and I was going to put it into the computer at Paramount in the publicity department. And, for some reason, I could not change — it would accept the file.
C: Regardless of what you did?
Q: Regardless of what I — I even went to Kinko’s and I retyped it and tried to get a different disk, thinking that it was a corrupt disk. And, finally, I went into the department and I retyped it into their computer. And I still could not transfer the file.
C: Now that’s weird. (“YEAH”)
Q: Yeah, that was really — because you hear about — well, also for example, I’d gone to lunch with my friend Michelle who was the director of publicity’s secretary. And I was talking about the Bell Witch and there was a big power failure just at that moment.
C: I hate to laugh but that’s how things go in the field.
Q: And, you know, I was sort of oblivious. I mean I really thought this all — when I — (“HA[D]”) I’d finished this book about talking poltergeists throughout history (“SO”) when I’d heard about a contemporary family, (X) I thought, ‘Well this is my chance to really — this would be a good movie or a good book. Or, at least, I could add this chapter to my history book. I had researched such cases as the Mary Jobson case, which was an 1841 case in which the Spirit called themselves — there were many religious overtones like “Alpha and Omega; the beginning and the end(ing),” “The Lord Thy God” and “The Son of God.” This was by W. Reid Clanny, a doctor — a medical doctor and I was able to obtain the manuscript by going to the National Union Catalog and finding (“UM”) a college where I could get it. And, in fact, there was even — there was one part of this where it sort of said but ‘Mark’ — it was sort of set apart — the name Mark. And I always felt like well this was (“TH”) what I thought then was a poltergeist talking to me specifically. So — and then, of course, Madame Blavatsky had had those mysterious Mahatmas.
Q: And then Edgar Cayce had channeled these various spirits that called themselves “We” and I realized that all these (X) cases — of course, this is after my Oklahoma experience — were all tied together. They were all describing the same — this basic same Mighael Force as in, like, the Messages From Michael books and what-have-you. I also found a book called The Haunting of Cashen’s Gap which was written in 1936 by Harry Price and R. S. Lambert and that was about a so-called talking mongoose. And, of course, He made sort of cryptic references to religion. For example, at one time Mrs. Irving was quoted as saying, “You know, Gef, you are no animal!” To which the ‘mongoose’ replied, “Of course I am not. I am the Holy Ghost.” (“SO’) After researching all these talking—not just poltergeist cases but talking poltergeist cases (X)—I began finding some strange parallels that really made me (X) think, “Well just what is going on here?”
J: Yeah. (X)
Q: For example — (X) for example, I have like a copy of the old An Authenticated History Of The Famous Bell Witch, which was written in 1894 by M. V. Ingram. And, just to give you an idea of that, I’ll read you a little bit of it.
Q: This was written by — let’s see, I think this was — okay, well John Johnson’s daughter, Nancy Ayers, was remembering (X) some of the stories from her father and at one point, her father had said, “Tell me where you live, and who and what you are, anyhow?” I’m quoting from page 281. And the Spirit responded, “I LIVE IN THE WOODS, IN THE AIR, IN THE WATER, IN HOUSES WITH PEOPLE; I LIVE IN HEAVEN AND IN HELL; I AM ALL THINGS AND ANYTHING I WANT TO BE; NOW DON’T YOU KNOW WHAT I AM?” And, of course, the answer was “No, I don’t . . . ” And there was one of the Bell family who was Jessie’s wife and her name was Martha Bell and the Witch — they called it the Bell Witch because of the superstition of the time. There’d been all those events (“IN THE”) on the East Coast. So the nickname (“TH”) the poltergeist or Spirit called (X) her was Pots: P — O — T — S. So, then, when I was reading in this other book about the famous Gef talking mongoose case, I came across on page 29 (X) “The mongoose usually called Mr. Irving ‘Jim’ or ‘Pots’ . . .”
Q: So I thought, ‘Well this is strange.’
Q: There’s no way these two cases could’ve known about one another. I mean one’s on the Isle of Man (X) and (“YOU KNOW”) so many years separated them. So I was — that’s why in my first interview in the book, I’m asking, “Well has the poltergeist ever called anyone Pots or any nicknames?” So —
J: Do you think — why do you think that name is so prevalent?
Q: Well I think it (“WELL”) basically — (“IT” “I MEAN”) my — one of my major beliefs after doing all this research is that if you look at the famous cases — for example, Nostradamus. He’d written in a letter to his son way back in 1555 that “The prophets, by means only of the immortal God and good angels, (X) have received the spirit of vaticination, by which they foresee things and foretell future events.” (“SO”) You always have — (“UM” “SOME”) like, for example, most people don’t think of Nostradamus in terms of being an Angelic channel (“IN”) of some kind but if you really look at his — what he wrote, you do see that there.
Q: And so with the Bell Witch case where the Bell Witch was known for doing many such things — (“OF”) recreating people’s voices. There was an English visitor and these books are available — you can find them in used bookstores. One of them is called A Mysterious Spirit, The Bell Witch of Tennessee and (X) —
C: We have, matter of fact, we have a short recap of it on the “Night Search” website.
Q: Oh, okay. And — but the best source is An Authenticated History Of The Famous Bell Witch. I got a copy, I believe, at the New York Library and — because a lot of it was changed over the years. (“I ME” “WIT” or “WHIT”) I mean they would (X) edit out some of the references to alcoholism and there was some unfortunate prejudice of the time with the slaves of the family and — (“SO” “BUT”) but going to that original source, you really do find a lot of interesting things. And then there are some of various quite interesting things in the follow-up books as well. But, for example, at one point the Bell Witch was famous for repeating sermons of two different preachers who both were giving their sermon at the same time. So, basically, the family in Oklahoma, when I interviewed them, had the same phenomena going on. So, just by experiencing, you could see how a lot of what was in the original Bell Witch case was really interpreted in superstitious ways.
C: Without jumping the gun here, can you let us know what first caught your attention about the case in Oklahoma?
Q: Well, I had read — right after finishing my history book of talking poltergeists, I had seen this Fortean Times magazine and I did include that in the book — that very article. It said “America’s Talking Poltergeist.” And when I read that, it did incorporate alien — the alien theme, which none of the earlier cases had done because that really wasn’t very prominent back in the culture. But when you look at this, it really is like mankind’s shared Subconscious coming into play in one very small geographical area. And that happened in the Bell Witch case and that also happened in the Mc Wethy family — well I should say Bell/Mc Wethy family case (X) that’s ongoing. Basically, hundreds (“AND”) if not thousands of people did witness the phenomena and, actually, the Angel — (“CAUSE IT”) apparently is an Angel named Mighael who was like the Channel of the various spirits and aliens that were presenting themselves. So —
C: So when you first noticed this family, what surrounded —
Q: Well I called them and I — you know, in my first call, which I have in the book, basically that’s when she told me (“THAT”) that their name was Bell too. Of course, she had been divorced from Mr. Bell and was currently living with Mr. McWethy but (“THE”) some of the daughters were still named Bell and their children were named Bell so it definitely was — and they had — (“THEY”) they knew about that prediction of another Bell family. (“I”) Now I also had found out about other ‘bel’s like there was Alice Belle Kirby way back in Newsweek November 28, 1938. And, apparently, she had had lots of table knockings and she was able — sort of like another — you know, like Sai Baba I guess is very well-known throughout the world for these kinds of poltergeist phenomena.
Q: But when someone — like when these events happen to someone like to me or Alice Belle Kirby — in her case, when she went to New York to demonstrate these — what was happening, it didn’t (“HA[P]”) — it didn’t take place for a change. So and you always have this. I mean in each poltergeist case —
C: And it tends to be — run in families. (“I MEAN”) It really does. (“YEAH”)
Q: What it seems to be saying is that these (“UM” “TH”) — the phenomena chooses when it wants to show itself and not when it’s told.
J: That’s because it wants to be . . . control.
J: . . . to say and that’s when you actually see them is when they’re ready to show you.
Q: So when people say, “Well Sai Baba can do this with the power of his mind” — of course, since I have all these (“LIKE”) pennies materializing around me and what-have-you, I know, (“WELL”) you know, that isn’t the case. It’s this Force that’s basically calling the shots, so to speak.
Q: And — unless somebody can explain how they’re doing it with their mind, they aren’t doing it. I mean I would never take credit for any (“SOME”) of the materializations that have happened to me.
J: Well what actually has happened?
Q: Um (“WELL”) well, you know what, first I think what I’ll do if we have enough time is I’ll play like a minute’s worth of tape from my interview session in Oklahoma. You can actually hear some spirit messages. If you listen closely, you can hear “SOUNDS GOOD.” There’s a “YOU KNOW.” And there’s a “NICE.” And these are all voices that we did not hear at the time. There’s also a very prominent spirit moaning. And — so I’ll play it once just to see if you can hear this and then —
C: Okay. That’d be great.
Q: Okay. What’s happening — I should set this up a little bit. This is from Tape #3, Side #1. Oh I guess I should mention that in addition to the book, I do have this at my website. (X)
C: Why don’t you go ahead and give out your website while you’re winding the tape and getting it set up.
Q: Yeah, well it is — I did have it set up but it’s just testament.org — you don’t need WWW. (“AND”) I didn’t want — when I published my book, it was very important not to make it spirituality for sale. I mean I did want to make it available for everyone so I did put a free Internet version available online so people wouldn’t have to pay. (“THEY COULD”) They could just read it at the website. So I published that on the Internet along with follow-up interviews. And this is from Tape #3, Side #1. It’s basically Twyla and her mother Maxine are talking about some of the events that Michael — that’s their nickname for the many spirits and aliens that were manifesting — was doing and it begins with her saying, “Did you tell him about letting the air out of Frieda’s tire out here?” And then she says, “Mom, I’ve had so much” — meaning phenomena. (“AND THEN”) Soon after that, you hear the first spirit message which is “SOUNDS GOOD.” I don’t know how it will sound but let me go ahead and play it.
(TRANSCRIBER’S NOTE: I PLAY THE TAPE.)
Q: Well that’ll give you an idea — I don’t know how clear some of the —
C: It was a little weak but I could hear the moaning.
J: I could hear the moaning also. Yeah. (X)
Q: Right. Well what I could do is I can rewind it and then I’ll play it again and I’ll rewind it a little bit for each one of the spirit messages so you can hear them.
C: That’d be great. Maybe get it up as loud as you can.
Q: Well it is as loud as I can, unfortunately. I just have my Dictaphone Voice Processor.
Q: So — but I’ll — what I’ll do is I’ll just try to rerun it each time I head the spirit messages.
Q: Okay. One moment please.
C: That’d be great.
(TRANSCRIBER’S NOTE: I PLAY THE PORTION OF TAPE AGAIN, CAREFUL TO HOLD THE TAPE RECORDER AS CLOSE TO THE TELEPHONE AS POSSIBLE AND THE SOUND QUALITY WAS IMPROVED. I BRIEFLY REPLAYED EACH SPIRIT MESSAGE SEVERAL TIMES. THE “SOUNDS GOOD” SEEMS EASY TO HEAR; “YOU KNOW” WHILE A GARBLED SPIRIT MESSAGE ALSO SEEMS AUDIBLE; YET THE “NICE” IS MORE ABRUPT AND THUS HARDER TO REPLAY SUCCESSIVELY SO THAT MESSAGE ISN’T AS CLEAR AS THE OTHER MESSAGES OR THE FEMALE SPIRIT MOANING.)(“SO”)
Q: Listening to that now, of course, I think that some people like who would be listening to this could think, “Well that sounds awfully hokey — that moaning.” (“AND” “THE”) You know, and if you really look at the phenomena throughout the various cases, there can be this hokey side. I mean I’m sort of reminded of some of the crummy Hollywood movies like “The Ghost and Mrs. (I meant Mr.) Chicken” and what-have-you.
J: You can hear this moaning, though . . .
C: But —
C: — being the people, you know, that you have in the book?
C: They are normal, regular, down-home country people.
C: They do not have the — not that they’re not intelligent people at all, but they just don’t have the finesse to be able to perpetuate some type of hoax (“OH AND I”) like that.
Q: Oh and I witnessed the phenomena when I was there.
Q: I mean I was seeing the objects materializing around me When I got home that first night I (X) called my twin brother to check in with him in Los Angeles and he was half-asleep when I called him and he all of a sudden said, “My bed is shaking.” (“AND”) And so I — the next day was when I went to them and I said, “That isn’t possible, is it?” I mean, you know, it’s like — (“N I”) it just surpassed all my expectations. The next night, when I had (“YOU KNOW”) — well, plus, I also had checked (“MY”) my tapes because they said that Mighael would destroy people’s cassettes and tapes (“OF”) that they had recorded of Him. And I was surprised because He hadn’t destroyed my tapes. (“SO”)
J: You know, what’s neat about it in the book, you have where the spirits do speak, you know, in with the tapes and when you were not aware of, you know, them (“WELL”) speaking.
Q: You know, having — after this experience — because I had transcribed interviews when I was working at Paramount (“WHEN”) — you know, when I interviewed actors and directors and producers and special effects people and costume designers and all those people. So I did have a lot of transcribing experience. (“BU[T]”) After this experience, you know, I went through the book — the tapes — several times, depending on the circumstances, and I became much more familiar. Once I realized that there were spirit messages. (“AND”) These are, of course, a lot like the reverse speech that you hear about but going forward. I mean some of them are very short and when I was using my Dictaphone, by slowing it up I could sometimes hear it more clearly.
Q: And but I always wondered — but some of them were hard to hear so I just did the best I could in terms of transcribing the messages. And I knew that this could affect the commerciality of the project because people would never believe it. But I just — I had no choice. I just was going to present the question and answer transcripts the way the material was because I felt this was the only way to do justice with these, you know, events. So — and then, of course, when I came back. (“AND I”) Sort of I was used to the experience, I went to my old tapes and I was surprised to also find spirit messages on my Paramount Pictures interviews. So I included one interview inside the book and that was an interview with Neil Jordan from the movie “We’re No Angels.” And (X) (there) was some EVP there so I transcribed that (X) as well. So when I was there too — a table moved too when I was there. And I —
J: Mark, how long were you with the people in . . . you wrote about.
Q: I just went there for a long weekend. I arrived — I think it was late — I think it was on Friday and I got lost on the way over so I didn’t really end up going over there until Saturday. I spent all day Saturday and Sunday and Monday. And I just had the tape recorder the full time. But, of course, I — when I — I was shocked later on when I was transcribing because I realized, you know, having done a lot of interviews, there was just too much material here, considering how much time I was there. And once I was asking the family — I said, “Have you had any missing time episodes?” And the spirit message says, “YOU ARE RIGHT NOW” or something like that. (“AND”) And I believe it too because I had, like, hundreds and hundreds of pages of interviews and it was all very meaningful. So — anyway, I — there’d been — (“WHEN”) the second night when I came home to my motel, there was this knocking against the door. And, of course, (X) in the famous poltergeist cases, there’d always been unexplained knocking and rapping, of course. All through spiritualism of the ’30s and what-have-you. So I looked out the window and there was this big beetle flying against the door. And I was thinking, “This is so — (“THIS IS” “YOU KNOW” X) is this the way insects behave in Oklahoma? I mean what is going on?”
C: Well that would be normal for Oklahoma. I used to live in Arkansas so. (“WELL”)
Q: But then again, later on — it looked just like a scarab — you know, one of those Egyptian scarab beetles.
Q: And that would take on meaning later on. I mean actually that Fortean Times magazine that I have in the book about this talking poltergeist, on the cover it did have Egypt — an Egyptian cover.
Q: And —
C: I’ll tell you what, Mark —
C: We’re coming up to our break right now. (X) And what we’ll do is we’ll pick it up from the break.
C: As soon as we come back. You are listening to “Night Search” on KRVL 103.1 FM in Tucson. We’ll be right back.
A: And you’re down.
Q: How long is the break now?
C: It’s five minutes.
Q: Oh good. Okay. (“HOW”)
C: Yeah. This (is) a fascinating case.
Q: Yeah. Well, see, now I have, like, 550 tapes. I mean I have — because I kept on doing interviews when I came back. (“SO”)
C: Uh-huh. It’s funny. When we had that table I was telling you about. We were doing some taping too.
J: Were you?
C: And you could pick up — you could absolutely pick up spirit voices. The table — the history behind it — my — she’s like my fifth generation great grandmother. Her name was Heth — Hesmeck (or “HESMECK”) Henderson. Okay? And she was basically a witch they thought.
C: Right. It was her table but what she was, was an herbalist.
C: And she worked with taking care of animals. And she talked to her animals and stuff. And they naturally seemed those were ‘familiars.’ So, you know, that’s where the table came from. And she was literally put to death.
J: Oh no.
C: She was drowned. Winston Salem, Mass.
C: Um-huh. Either Winston — we tried to find all the family records around her there and we couldn’t find any so I’m going to check Winston Salem, North Carolina.
J: Yeah, there’s a . . .
C: Well because of Henderson County.
J: Right. Right. Yeah.
C: And the family literally — some of the family members changed their names to Henesley.
Q: I read that book Narratives of the Witchcraft Cases (1848-1706) many years ago and I think anyone who reads that would have to come away with the feeling that this was not just hysterical teenagers.
J: I just found out the other day that not too far from — well, actually, not too far from where my sister lives, in a town called Bohemia out there in New York—Long Island—that they would — they used to burn the witches at the stake. And I was shocked. In fact, I was telling Eddie about it and —
J: I want to go down there one day and take a picture of the actual — you know, I guess, the . . .
C: Aage, are you on with us? Aage?
J: He’ll be back in a minute.
C: Okay. Because I was just checking the time. I’ve got a lot of missing time going on here. I’ve got every watch — watch, clock in here’s not the same time.
Q: Is it usually?
J: I have to get down there and get a picture because he wants to put it on the web page. But it actually tells about this witch that was actually burned at the stake.
J: And he said it’s like the biggest mausoleum there or whatever. I had — and I know there — not too far from there, there is a hotel that is haunted. Not too — you know, I’ve never been in it but I mean I know there have been shows on TV . . . and I have a friend of mine that lives in a haunted house.
C: There’s a place in Arkan(sas) —
(TRANSCRIBER’S NOTE: I WAS GOING TO TURN OVER THE TAPE AT THIS POINT BUT THEN I CHANGED MY MIND AND DECIDED TO WAIT A FEW MOMENTS MORE.)
C: — and there’s a hotel there called The Crescent Hotel. Haunted haunted haunted. Just horribly. So people have — it — they bill it as the most haunted hotel —
A: Ready to go back on?
C: Uh-huh. Aage, what time have you got?
A: I have six minutes after eight-thirty.
A: And we’re ready to go on right now.
C: Okay. That’s —