|Posted: 15/January/2010 at 5:34pm | IP Logged
“Ghost Hunters” aka TAPS, the Queen Mary and Erika Frost
It has been almost 5 years since Sy-Fy (Sci-Fi) Channel’s airing of “Ghost Hunter’s” episode 11 (season 2) aboard the RMS Queen Mary in Long Beach, California and that whole debacle that took place during their “investigation”, and yet the BIM Team is still receiving questions about that episode.
So, once and for all, here is what we determined happened during that episode.
The episode originally aired on 10/05/2005 and has since had a few changes made to it when rebroadcast after that date. I will get into that later.
Originally, when the BIM Team heard the rumor about a paranormal TV show that would depict a group of scientifically minded investigators conducting serious paranormal investigations, we were excited about the prospect. Finally, someone was going to take the time to show the world what real PI’s (Paranormal Investigators) do. So we all watched and quickly were disappointed after the first episode. As a matter of fact we were contacted by the property owner in the first episode and were informed of how bad the TAPS group was and how they faked what we all watched in that episode. As each episode aired the BIM Team got into the habit of playing a little game we called “Find the Fakery.” It made the show more entertaining for us but the over all implications of what was happening as a result of “Ghost Hunters” had a very negative affect on legitimate paranormal investigators as a whole.
We continued watching and laughing as we played along and reported the fakery on the radio show each week. It wasn’t long after we began reporting such fakery on the radio show that listeners were emailing and calling us about what they were picking out as fake on the “Ghost Hunters.”
By the time the second season came around, the show was pretty much a joke from start to finish to the BIM Team. Oh we watched and honed our investigative skills at picking out fraud, but laughed our way through each “investigation” they aired.
On the evening of October 5th, 2005, the “Ghost Hunter’s” decided to come out to California and investigate the Winchester Mystery House and the RMS Queen Mary. The Winchester House “investigation” was more of a private tour with almost no equipment, but our TV hero’s determined the house wasn’t haunted, just a creepy place to visit. Amazing, with a couple of hand held recorders, an IR thermometer and a video camera in the span of a few hours, they determined that the place isn’t haunted. Well, chalk one up for TAPS; if they say it isn’t haunted after a few hours, it must not be haunted, right? Strange thing though, they never researched the house before heading out, but who needs to do that when you have a couple of voice recorders and “the holy grail of ghost hunting” as one of them put it (IR thermometer, which to this day they refuse to use correctly)?
They then drove down to the RMS Queen Mary. Once again, they printed up no historical data about the ship to research what so ever, they just drove to the ship as if no background is needed in any way, shape or form.
Once aboard the ship they were met by Erika Frost, a contract tour guide that claims to have some psychic ability and a ship employee. There was a brief introduction and the TAPS group was given a relatively short tour of the ship by Erika Frost.
Now, Erika had only been on the ship a few weeks prior to the TAPS arrival and was still learning the history and workings of the ship when TAPS came aboard. During the short tour Erika did her best at trying to answer their questions but was limited to what she had been told of the place including the working water heater in Shaft Alley of the ship. The two plumbers of TAPS pointed out that the water heater is running after Erika informed them that she was told it wasn’t working. So our heroes proved Erika to be ill-informed about a water heater, hurray for them.
After the tour, Erika bid them a good night and left the ship to return the next morning for their “review.” This is important as the security video tapes show Erika left the ship just after leaving the TAPS group and did not return to the ship until the next day for the review. Being “investigators”, wouldn’t the TAPS group have asked to see the tapes before implicating Erika as the person that perpetuated the fraud?
With Erika off the ship, the TAPS group places a single camera in cabin B-340 to “capture what happens there.”
A little on B-340 for those that would like to know about this particular room. The legend of B-340 is that during the time the ship was still in service, a man’s murdered body was found in that room in bed. Now, other stories include that is was a woman’s body found and yet others have expanded on the story to include poisoning, throats cuts, shot to death, suicide, etc… Supposedly, since the ship came to port for the last time in 1967, the hotel guests that have rented that room have left in the middle of the night complaining of the bed covers being pulled off of them while they sleep, hangers in the closet rattle, the toilet flushes by itself, etc… So, according to legend, the ships hotel decided to remove B-340 from the hotel list and no longer rents it out, but the daily cleaning crew still has to make up a messy bed every morning, even today.
Now, the BIM Team did a little research on B-340 and the results are a far cry from the legend… Something the TAPS “investigators” should have researched as well long before buying into the legend, but then we wouldn’t have the spooky stories and their declaration of fraud as they claimed perpetuated by Erika and the ships crew now would we? According to the ships records AND Cunard Lines, there is absolutely no record what-so-ever of ANY person (male, female, adult or child) ever being found dead in cabin B-340 while she was still sailing. So we know that part of the story to be false. Furthermore, according to the ships records AND the City of Long Beach (the owner of the ship), the last time cabin B-340 was used by a guest was on her last cruise in 1967. Meaning, that room has not had a hotel guest sleep in that room since her last trip in 1967. According to the City of Long Beach, the hotel portion of the ship wasn’t opened until late 1972 and that did not include “B” deck. According to the City of Long Beach, the “B” deck rooms weren’t open until the late 1980’s and even then, B-340 was never brought back to working hotel condition. According to the ships Engineer, the plumbing in B-340 has never been converted to work after coming to dock in 1967.
So far, we know that no one was found dead in that room, ever... and the last time a guest slept in that room was 1967, some 42 years ago. Being that the room has not had a hotel guest in 42 years, why would the ship assign it a daily cleaning crew? The answer is, they haven’t. There has never been a hotel cleaning crew assigned cabin B-340 since 1967. So we know the legend(s) surrounding B-340 are all false, something TAPS should have found long before “investigating” the ship. One last tidbit on cabin B-340, it appears that the legend started back in the late 80’s or early 90’s when Disney owned the lease of the ship. It seems a few Disney cast members wanted to scare others and made the stories up. We were unable to find any reference to any fragment of the legends prior to that time period.
So our TV hero’s decided to place a video camera in B-340, that was not wired back to any surveillance base (they claimed they couldn’t monitor that camera live because it was in a far away location, yet the BIM Team has setup wired cameras on numerous occasions in that cabin) but figured they would change out that camera’s tape when the estimated tape length was at the end. Meanwhile, the TAPS crew walked around the ship for a little while in more of a sight seeing fashion than any type of real investigation.
When the estimated time to change the one and only stationary camera tape came due, the TAPS crew entered B-340 and low and behold the bed covers had been messed up after the TAPS crew had documented themselves making the bed before leaving the cabin.
So they replayed the video camera footage and found the frames that showed the covers being pulled down and they cheered and commented how they had captured “real” activity. After a short bit of replay, one of the TAPS crew notices the odd change in the moving of the bed covers. Clearly the tape had been stopped to allow someone to sneak in, mess up the bed and leave without being caught.
At that point, the two leaders of TAPS remark about the room having 3 doors and how they were unaware of the third door prior to finding the bed messed up. Our hero “investigators” were there to investigate a room and didn’t take the 30 seconds to look around and learn the layout of that room?
It was at that point the two TAPS leaders declared Erika Frost the one that committed the fraud and at that point they declared they were too disgusted with the event to continue their “investigation” and called it off.
After this aired, and we screamed shenanigans at the TV, we were contacted by the ship to find out what really happened that night. As it turned out, the ship and especially Erika Frost were receiving calls, emails and letters of anger towards them for what they did to the TAPS camera. Some of the emails were even death threats at Erika Frost.
So the BIM Team researched the room as I listed in the first part of this story. The BIM Team also researched the room’s layout. In 30 seconds, we had the room mapped and tested to determine if the water was truly off, if it had power, how many doors, etc… 30 seconds, and we had the room clearly mapped out. Why was the TAPS crew incapable of the very same thing?
We took the TAPS stationary camera footage and positioned a camera in the same spot and determined the camera covered less than 20% of that room leaving almost the entire 80% behind the camera. We tested the theory made by the bald TAPS leader that whoever it was that committed the fraud couldn’t have come in from the two known doors as they would cause the light to change in the room and the camera would have picked that up. So we tested that theory, yep, actually tested it and our tests prove that theory to be completely false. They too could have taken the 3 seconds to test it and come to the same conclusion we did, but they chose not to.
We looked at the third door and immediately determined the claim by the two TAPS leaders that no one of regular size could fit in there was an absolute lie. I stand two inches shy of six feet and weigh over 230lbs and I had no trouble getting through the pipe array in that space.
So we decided to take their stationary camera footage and layer frame by frame over itself throughout the duration of the footage and determined the camera was not moved even in the slightest. I made a trip to Samys camera and rented the same model camera that was used. When I attempted to turn on/off/pause/unpause the camera, even being extremely careful, the camera moved. Furthermore, when you amplify the camera footage audio, you can hear a beep. When I tested the rented camera with the remote that came with it, the camera would beep to report receiving the remote command. That’s when it was determined the camera was paused using the remote and not by touching the buttons on the camera itself.
BUT, our TV hero’s claim they knew it had to be Erika Frost or someone else on the ship. In the original airing, the two TAPS leaders commented that they thought it was Erika as they walk down the hall of “B” deck away from cabin B-340. This part of the episode has been removed due to the fact that their libelous implications could come back to haunt them in court.
So to summarize what TAPS would have you believe is as follows: Erika Frost shows the TAPS crew around the ship and leaves them, but not the ship that night. She waits until they have setup their one and only camera in B-340 and when they leave that cabin, she sneaks through the third passage entry to that cabin. She determines the make and model of that camera and leaves the cabin and the ship. She races over to the local Ritz Camera and buys, rents, borrows or steals the remote for that camera. She then heads back to the ship, sneaks back into that room (without any security cameras filming her, mind you), pauses the camera, hides on the opposite side of the bed, unpauses the camera, pulls the covers down and mistakenly pauses the camera halfway through it, unpauses it again to finish the movement, repauses the camera to make her get away and unpauses it one last time as she ducks into the third entry passage. She then makes her way off the ship, again without the ships security cameras spotting her.
THAT is the most ridiculous theory I have EVER heard. The BIM Team determined the ONLY logical conclusion to this load of ridiculous crap is that the TAPS crew set the ship up from the start and that Erika Frost was simply any easy face to place the blame. The only one that messed with the TAPS camera was the camera owner. The one that had the remote that came with the camera when they bought it and NO ONE ELSE.
A couple of years after airing, many had found a lot of the same issues the BIM Team found and called the TAPS leaders on the fraud. It is reported on some of the Sy Fy forums that while at a convention in the south the two TAPS leaders admitted the fraud was perpetuated by one of the TAPS members and that member had been fired for doing so. At that time, none of the TAPS members were missing, so it appears that was simply a way of covering their own hind ends.
We have since spoken to some of the contract production crew members, including one that was on duty on the QM episode and it was understood to keep quiet about Grant doing it as they were all bound by contracts. That particular production crew member stated that Grant was brushing off the dust and spider webs from his clothes and the dust footprints leading from that third entry door matched Grants shoes.
After we released our findings, we were contacted by more contract production crew members that have spilled the beans (off the record, out of fear of being black-listed) about other acts of fraud by the TAPS crew in other episodes.
During one broadcast of K-BIM Paranormal Talk Radio; “The Pat and Brian Show”, we were interviewing Dr. Barry Taff and he brought up the subject of “Ghost Hunters.” According to Taff, he and Dr Andrew Nichols, Barry Conrad and others were contacted by “Ghost Hunters” Executive Producer, Mark Phillips a year or so before the show first aired. According to Taff, Phillips asked him and the others to be a part of the development of the show. When Taff and the others asked how Phillips planned to keep the viewers interested since 99.9% of the time nothing happens, Phillips responded that the Ghost Hunters and the camera crew would make things happen and then it would be up to the viewers to determine if it was fake or not. According to Taff, all of those contacted refused to be involved in any fraud and wanted no part of the show.
In conclusion, the evidence (and not just in this case) appears overwhelming against the TAPS crew and indicates that nothing on the “Ghost Hunters” show is about real investigation of the paranormal what-so-ever. So, pop some popcorn, crack open a beer and watch and laugh with the rest of us.