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News > Haunted Maxwell? Base's spooky reputation debatable
Haunted Maxwell? Base's spooky reputation debatable

Posted 10/29/2010   Updated 10/29/2010 Email story   Print story


by Kimberly L. Wright
Air University Public Affairs

10/29/2010 - MAXWELL AIR FORCE BASE, Ala. -- Do things go bump in the night, or even in the day, at Maxwell Air Force Base? According to some accounts, they do.

Strange occurrences at certain Maxwell sites have been chronicled online. The Ghosts of America website describes the haunting of the Academic Circle: "Some of the sightings have been of actual floating entities while others are auditory in nature. Most notably people have heard gasping sounds along with creaking, and sometimes even a voice that says 'Can you hear me?' Supposedly these are attributed to pilots who had crashed and were fighting to get out of the wreckage, or even fighting for their last breath."

Unsolved Mystery, the Shadowlands and the Indiana Paranormal Society websites claim Building 1433, a dormitory, abounds with paranormal activity.

The accounts stated: "Often young lieutenants will wake up to a bed soaked through with water, see shadows move down the hallway (mostly on the second floor), and also many report having vivid and horrifying nightmares. Some will continue to scream even if prompted to wake up. A burnt electrical smell also pervades the second floor on occasion, as well as haywire electrical appliances. The spirits are attributed to Confederate soldiers who drowned in the Alabama River while trying to cross into the city of Montgomery. The ghosts also show a predilection for students who are from northern or western states (states which are not known for their southern accent)."

In addition, Tom Rucker of civil engineering said he knew someone who lived in base housing near the library years ago who, when taking a photo of his son and daughter in the living room, captured the image a figure behind them. He said the figure did not appear to be a double-exposure but it appeared behind the children "plain as day."

Shawn Sellers of Southern Paranormal Researchers, a group that conducts investigations of sites thought to be paranormal, said he has heard ghost stories about Maxwell. "I have never had a chance to investigate but I have always wanted to," he said.

Some are skeptical of such supernatural stories. Dr. Silvano Wueschner of the Air University History Office doubted that there is any substance to the Academic Circle claims cited by the paranormal websites, as Maxwell has been used more as an education base and not extensively used as a pilot training base.
Mickey Allen, director of civil engineering for the 42nd Air Base Wing, has also heard no claims of unusual activity anywhere.

A visit to the supposedly haunted 1433 dorm found no one willing to verify anything odd happening there.

"I haven't seen anything," said Lawrence Maye, an employee of Air Force Inns, who works at building 1433 every day. Others, who declined to be named, dismissed such tales as "baloney" and "smoke and mirrors."

Other Air Force bases have had unexplained phenomena. In 2008, the Syfy network paranormal investigation show, "Ghost Hunters," featured an investigation at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio, which chronicled odd noises and other occurrences there. An article by Louis A. Arana-Barradas of the Air Force News Service also lists Randolph Air Force Base, Texas, Hickam Air Force Base, Hawaii, the former Kelly Air Force Base, Texas, F.E. Warren Air Force Base, Wyo., Kadena Air Base, Japan and Royal Air Force Mildenhall, England, as possibly haunted bases.

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