Wednesday, September 26, 2012

The Hornet, the Ghost, and the Trendspotter

Well, I had an interesting thing happen to me over the weekend. I had an experience with a ghost while aboard the USS Hornet. Believe me, I know what you're thinking! And I wouldn't normally share something like this on my company blog, but my boss loves stories that give her goosebumps and she encouraged me to share it. So here's my story. But first, check out these pictures so you can get a feel for the experience... 

Here's the view of the ship before we boarded. It's really huge. Here's the stats.

 Aboard the ship, waiting to be assigned to our bunks.

The dreaded haunted bunks in our room.

The view of the San Francisco skyline from the fantail of the USS Hornet. Much more beautiful in real life!

 One of the many flight crafts on the ship.

 The space capsules 

The flight deck at dusk.

One of my boys is a Boy Scout so we are always doing some kind of outing with the troop. Last Saturday was our trip to spend the night on the USS Hornet, an aircraft carrier that participated in two of the greatest events of the 20th Century -- World War II and the Apollo 11 manned space mission. The Hornet is moored at Alameda Point on San Francisco Bay. The Hornet is also considered to be haunted, which I really didn't think much about. My husband stayed home so I invited my friend, Jonica to go with me and my sons. We drove to Alameda and boarded the ship to start our adventure around 5pm. We did the usual things; set up our sleeping bags in our bunk-style quarters, toured the ship, wandered the flight deck, checked out the various aircrafts aboard the ship, took in the view of the San Francisco skyline from the fantail of the ship. We eventually ate dinner, and by 10pm it was 'ghost story' time. Of course, I was curious and tagged along to listen. We walked to a room on the ship where all of us sat around on the floor, listening to various ghostly encounters told to us by two of our hosts. All the stories occurred on the Hornet and were reported by guests, workers, and crewmen alike. The lights in the ghost story room were dim red bulbs that only enhanced the creep factor. Honestly, I was so tired I almost fell asleep in the semi-darkness. The guys telling the stories said that the ghosts would do things like whisper things to sleeping overnight guests like 'Get up! You're going to be late' and 'I sleep there'. Apparently, the ghosts of navy men don't like people sleeping in their bunks. Some people reported having a feeling that someone laid down on top of them while they were sleeping, only no one was there. There were also reports of faceless navy men walking the halls, guarding their posts, and watching people. The torpedo room is supposed to be especially paranormally active at night. I was quite happy to know that I was not sleeping anywhere near the torpedo room. Eight of us women from our troop had our own room with about 24 bunks in it. These bunks are stacked in threes, and are quite close together. We all spread out - my friend and I taking the middle bunks near the very end of the room. No one was above us or below us. By 11:30pm it was lights out. I read from my Nook for about an hour because I could not fall asleep. My feet were hurting, as was my back from walking on the steel floors of the ship and from climbing up and down metal stairs to tour the ship. Anyway, I finally put away my Nook around 1am. I listened to the ladies various sleeping noises - heavy breathing, snoring, a toss and a turn...I could not get comfortable enough to fall asleep. After tossing and turning myself, I laid on my back with my hands flat on my stomach. I lay there wishing I were snoring so I could get some sleep, after all, I thought, I have to get up early in the morning and drive home to the central valley - a three hour drive. As I was laying there, thinking all of this, I suddenly felt a presence lay down right on top of me! It was a weightless pressure, not coming from inside me but on top of me. I was so startled that I couldn't breathe, couldn't move, couldn't lift my hands, wouldn't open my eyes to look! No way! I thought, This is exactly like one of those ghost stories I just listened to, only this is real! The only thing I could think to do in the moment was pray. I thought Jesus help me. The pressure stayed. It didn't seem evil or scary, but there was something or someone on me! My next thought was to audibly say the name of Jesus. I said out loud, Jesus! And just like that, that thing was off of me. I waited about 5 seconds and then opened my eyes and looked around. Nothing. I saw Jonica [thank goodness my friend was there with me] in the next bunk moving restlessly. I whispered, Are you awake? She said yeah, she couldn't sleep either. I grabbed my iPhone and checked the time: 2:45am. I told her that something had just happened to me........and I recounted my story. We talked, and ended up laughing about it -- a kind of nervous, hysterical laughter that we couldn't contain. Eventually, we calmed down and listened to the chorus of snoring, oblivious moms all around us. We finally fell asleep and got a grand total of about 2 hours of rest. The next day on the way home, we all talked about my ghostly encounter. It seems surreal to me as I think about it. But it was real.  

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