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Original Date: Sun, 3 Mar 2002 16:13:35 +0100
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�� FarShores ParaNews
Posted Mar 03.02
Mystery Orbs Appear In Couple's Battlefield Photo's
[Original headline: Mysterious images show up on film]
Jennifer and Patrick Scott donned Civil War-era attire she in an
elegant ball gown, he in a Confederate soldier's uniform and traveled
to the Olustee battlefield for a night of dancing at the annual
Olustee Festival ball on Feb. 16.
Frank Decher, a re-enactor and friend of the Scotts, took photographs
of the couple swaying to the music with a simple disposable camera
purchased at a discount store.
The following Monday, Patrick Scott, a Columbia County resident, had
the film developed, but when he looked at the photographs at home, he
was amazed at what he saw. On three of the photographs taken inside
the dance tent, translucent orbs of light can be seen among the
Could the orbs be a few of the souls who perished in the Civil War
battle fought 138 years ago, Scott wondered?
He was inclined to believe. "I'm a skeptical person," he said.
"Open-minded, but skeptical."
The annual Olustee Battle Festival includes a Saturday night dance
under a canvas tent on the site where some of the fiercest parts of
the Feb. 20, 1864, battle took place. More than 10,000 soldiers in
Union blue and Confederate gray fought with swords, rifles, cannons
and bare hands on foot and on horseback in what would become Florida's
largest Civil War skirmish that left more than 2,000 soldiers dead.
For the last quarter century, history buffs have re-enacted the
skirmish at the Olustee Battle State Historic Site in Baker County.
Although other Civil War battlefields are known for their ghostly
apparitions and other paranormal experiences, as far as anyone knows,
this is the first time mysterious images from the battlefield have
been captured on film.
"There are people who have looked for things and saw things," said
Martha Nelson, information specialist at the Stephen Foster Folk
Culture Center State Park in White Springs, which manages the Olustee
"There have been reports of people hearing things or seeing things,
but we're off the beaten track of the major Civil War battles," she
Nelson suggested the orbs might have resulted from an irregularity
with the film or reflections from the lights that were hung from the
top of the tent.
"I'm real pragmatic," she said.
Ghostly sightings at Civil War battlefields have been featured on
television shows and in books about mysterious apparitions.
At some battle sites such as the Farnsworth House in Gettysburg, Pa.
the paranormal is just part of the tourist attraction.
"Some people feel things, see things," said Alison Strahler, a
waitress at the restaurant and lodge that rests in the middle of the
Gettysburg battlefield. "We've actually had some people leave in the
middle of the night."
The house which was built in the early 1800s and sheltered dying
soldiers during the July 1863 Gettysburg battle sports a recent
photograph taken of the Sara Black Room. In the center of the room is
a strange, translucent orb.
"It's a funny blurb that looks like a light," Strahler said.
As for Decher, who lives in Polk County and re-enacts with the 6th
Kentucky Infantry, he is open-minded about the possibility of
capturing ghostly apparitions at the Olustee battlefield.
Decher has been a re-enactor at the annual Olustee event for the past
eight or nine years.
"I'm not what you call a real skeptic. I believe in things that can't
be explained," he said.
Scott, who also is a member of the 6th Kentucky Infantry, said he
plans to someday visit the Gettysburg battlefield, and he always gets
chills while visiting any historic site. But this was his first brush
with the paranormal.
"I never thought something like this would happen to me, no way," he
Story originally published by:
Lake City Reporter / FL | Mary Savage - Mar 02.02
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