Introduction

The truth is out there-Maybe.

I first got the idea for a podcast about the paranormal as a knock on from an irreverent show i was doing with some radio school friends.

Shoot the shit was a Seinfeld-esque  quintessential show about nothing. We got to 25 episodes (surprisingly) talking about topics from marine mating habits to which cheeses give you the most tripped out dreams.

Having a fascination with things that go bump in the night, mythical cryptids, and unsolved mysteries i put two and two together and started Occam’s Razor to determine fact from fiction, and have a laugh along the way.

For those unaware of the concept, William of Ockham a franciscan monk resided in Ockham. Law of parsimony, basically  when faced with competing hypothesis’s, the simplest one is usually correct.

The theory can be applied to most things etc blah

Jim Birchall

November 2019

Chapter one

Ghosts of New Zealand

The newspaper (where i worked up until early 2021), and the radio station I broadcast the Occam’s Razor radio show are both located in a small town named Howick. Howick used to have geographic isolation from Auckland, New Zealand’s biggest city, by over the years was gobbled up by an expanding metropolis.

Back in the mid 1800’s Howick was an outpost, and was populated by ex serviceman from the UK and Ireland, who lived alongside local indigenous people the Maori.

Known as The Fencibles, their promise from the government was 5 shillings a week for life

Many set up huts called Raupo.

In his excellent book, local historian Alan La Roche

Undercurrent of spirituality, Howick, all saints church

Ley lines?

Old world charm or the epicentre of

HHV set up- Puhinui House

Haunted Auckland investigation, Mark Wallbank a respected ghost researcher

Tell’s it like it is

Shamrock cottage

Captain’s house (photo)

McNicol homestead- talking tree

Hunua Falls- JB ghost photo

West Auckland

Karekare

Piha

Cave with dancefloor

Orpheus left Sydney, Australia, on 31 January 1863. Her approach to Manukau Harbour on 7 February ran near Whatipu beach, through a series of dangerous sand bars.

 

Chapter 2

NZ Cryptids

Moehau man

Taniwha-stopped a motorway

Rangiriri Pa

Big cats

Moose

Moa

Haast eagle

Lake Pupuke eels

Chapter 3

NZ UFO encounters

Local Auckland

Amongst a late summer splurge of sightings, star link, Elon Musk etc

Kaikoura lights

Kaipara Harbour- USO base

Kawhia video

Maori guy alien encounter

Chapter 4

Ghosts of Melbourne

Hosier Lane, Melbourne Australia.

Supposedly haunted by Jack The Ripper suspect Fredrick Deeming. I’m not entirely sure why this alleyway (which is a major tourist attraction due to its street art), is said to be haunted by this thoroughly unpleasant character who was hung in Melbourne Gaol in 1892.

However local paranormal investigator’s have claimed to have seen his apparition and made relevant EVP recordings. I did make some crude iPhone voice-recorder requests for Fred to show himself or at least threaten me with a “GET OUT” vocalisation, but alas I left my phone in a taxi, and never recovered it. Perhaps Freddy had the last laugh.

Hotel Windsor

This hotel is considered spook central for veteran ghost hunters. I ‘spirited’ my way in past the concierge and soaked up the regal lobby of the grand old lady, originally named (fittingly) as ‘The Grand’.

Old world charm and black and white photos aside, Australian opera legend Dame Nellie Melba is said to be heard belting out operetta to this day amongst the Victorian-era hallways.

Actress Nellie Stewart, who was synonymous for appearances in Gilbert and Sullivan opera’s, is also said to have left her imprint on the building.

The Princess Theatre 

 

Opened in 1854, the Princess Theatre neighbours Hotel Windsor. Resident ghost, actor Frederick Federici suffered at cardiac address during a production of Faust in 1888. His ghost is so famous, it even has it’s own bistro, and the theatre applies significant artistic licence to the legend.I was hoping to take a tour, and snap a manifestation of dapper Freddy, unfortunately the sneering visual arts graduate manning the box office was less than accommodating, and suggested I buy a ticket to Harry Potter, the current show on the bill.

Freddy is undoubtedly good for business, but after doing some research, evidence for his presence is sketchy at best.

Not that I’m bitter of course.

 

Chapter

In the timeless tracks of Moberley & Jourdain 

An overcast, cool late spring day in May 2019 met my partner and I, on our day trip from Paris to Versailles.

Although i had been to Paris before, i had never made it out the grand palace and gardens of Versailles.

The place is on everyone’s’must-see list’, when they come to France, but the place had always been at the back of my mind since i read about the purported time slip incident many years ago. I had acquired one of that ‘ encyclopedia of the unexplained’, Arthur C. Clarke-type books probably via a Christmas present from someone who knew me well.

I read a story that documented the alleged paranormal phenomena experienced by two well-to-do ladies named Charlotte Moberly and Eleanor Jourdain. According to the ladies (in a 1911 book they authored under pseudonyms) they had experienced a ‘time slip’, essentially a rip in the fabric of time that ‘transported them back to the time of the court of Louis XV and Marie Antoinette.

Inexplicably they claimed to come face to face with characters from the past, dressed in 1770s garb, within an off-limits area known as Petit Trianon, a (small château) in the grounds.

Coincidently the area was again not open to the public when we visited. The debate over the incident’s authenticity had been debated by egg heads and skeptics alike. The ladies were painted as having overactive imaginations in an era where the word diversity hadn’t entered the common vernacular.

The mechanics of time slips and/or interdimensional hopping is better left for someone far more learned than me, and on this day, the only time-slips experienced was being stuck behind thousands of Chinese tourists on a guided tour of the apartments and Hall of Mirrors.

I did, however, snap the image above in Louis XV’s abode, which depending on how you view things, could be a ghost manifesting or a pretty obvious light flare.

In conclusion,i think Timeslips, concurrent universe’s or dimensions may be connected, and those ladies may have experienced real paranormal phenomena. In a place smothered in history as Versailles is, coupled with the theory its gardens are the epicenter of a collection of ley lines, gives it some plausibility.