Initial Investigation at the Governor’s House in Fort Pierce
We would like to thank Curtis Boyd for providing access to The Governor’s House (also known as the McCarty House). He granted us the unrestricted opportunity to investigate and research, which we took advantage of on multiple occasions. Without his support and patience, we would not have been able to conduct such an extensive and complete investigation. Hopefully, the documentation captured there will help to further the field of Paranormal Research.
Below is our final report on our first investigation at the McCarty House .There are a few unique aspects to the location; most importantly, the construction of the building created an unusual acoustic situation. A person could be speaking on the first floor in a normal conversational voice and be clearly heard in the attic-two floors away. Our first concern was contamination, but, as we were to discover later, it allowed us to match every conversation and movement of team members by comparing audio and video from different floors.
Date of Investigation: August 27 and 28, 2010
Team 1: James Dourney, Samantha Dourney
Team 2: Tamara Dourney, Elizabeth Sockol
Start Time: 7:00 p.m.
End Time: 12:00 a.m.
Temperature: 85° F
Relative Humidity: 75%
Wind Speed: East 10mph
Barometric Pressure: Steady
Weather Notes: Partly Cloudy
Lunar Status: Waning Gibbous, 91% Full
Solar X-Rays: Normal
Geomagnetic Field: Unsettled
The group arrived at the location at 6:30. After an initial walk-through with the owner of the building, equipment locations were discussed. Set-up began at exactly 7:00.
Team 1 installed stationary equipment, placing the JVC camcorder on the first floor, the RCA cassette recorder in the attic stairwell and the Flip camcorder in the eastern attic room. Team 1 also placed the motion detector in the western attic room. After Team 1 left the area, the detector began to indicate motion, so they returned. They made several attempts to discover the cause of the alarm, but were unsuccessful. After relocating the device and trying to muffle the natural vibrations of the building, it was determined that the sensor would not be viable for the investigation. It should be noted that, prior to the investigation, all equipment was tested in good, working order- this included the motion detector.
After removing the motion detector, Team 1 returned to the first floor. Taking the Sony Handycam, Team 1 proceeded back up to the attic, then began a walk-through of the upper floors. At approximately 8:20 pm, Team 1 was standing in the central room on the east side of the 2nd floor when they heard what they believed to be the sound of a woman. Unsure of the source, Team 1 contacted Team 2 via the radio and queried them regarding the sounds. When Team 2 reported no sounds, Team 1 proceeded to the first floor in an attempt to locate the source.
After meeting up with Team 2 at the entrance to the building, the teams separated and did a perimeter search. Team 2 proceeded around the building to the west while Team 1 proceeded around the east. Unable to locate any reasonable source for the sound, the Teams returned to the entryway to further discuss the incident. At this time, Team 1 proceeded back to the third floor to change tapes in the RCA cassette recorder, then continued on their walk-through. At 10 p.m. both teams met outside to empty memory cards from the digital devices. After removing the data from the cards, Team 1 remained downstairs in the entry room. After thirty minutes, Team 1 proceeded once again to a walk-through of the building. At approximately 11 p.m., Team 1 moved upstairs to the attic where they once again changed the cassette tape. They also relocated the Flip camcorder so that it covered the attic stairwell. During the final trip through the home, the Sony Handycam began to malfunction. Just before midnight, the team began to break down the equipment.
Team 2 took initial outside temperature readings with the laser temperature gauge. These readings were measured at 7:00, 8:00 and 9:00 and recorded. After the set-up was completed, Team 2 took the Sony Handycam and did a complete walk-through of the building, starting outside at 7:30, then proceeding to the interior. The team arrived on the second floor at 7:40, then moved on to the attic. Pictures were taken during this time using the Fujifilm S3100; after the walk-through was completed, Team 2 stationed themselves in the western porch area with the Olympus digital recorder.
While sitting on the porch, Team 2 took pictures of the area. After taking only 25 photographs, the FujiFilm A210 flashed the low battery light and shut off. The batteries, which were opened and installed just prior to the investigation, were measured at full power once the camera was removed from the building. Team 2 continued taking pictures with the Panisonic Lumix. Less than five minutes
later, the Lumix experienced the same battery drain; it was also fine once removed from the building.
At approximately 8:20, Team 2 was contacted via radio by Team 1, who reported the sound of someone unauthorized possibly outside or entering the building. Team 2, unable to hear the sounds reported by Team 1, nonetheless moved towards the entryway to investigate the sounds. The teams met up at the main door to the building and, having discovered nothing to that point, proceeded to move outside the structure. While Team 1 moved east towards Indian River Drive, Team 2 took a western route towards the back of the building. Unable to locate any person or persons outside the structure, the teams met up at the entry once more.
Before the teams split up again, Team 2 reported hearing an unexplained sound, similar to a sigh. Team 1 did not hear the noise.
Team 2 then proceeded back to the porch, moving from there into the office area. While reading an old newspaper clipping on the shelf, they heard the sound of bottles rolling on the porch. Moving into the front room, they took several pictures of the porch through the doorway, but were unable to locate any bottles in the area. Team 2 then took several pictures in the office; during this time, the camera’s flash refused to fire on two separate images. As the team moved from the office past the JVC video camera,
they heard what appeared to be a male voice speaking from above them. Proceeding up the stairwell, they tried to locate the source. As they reached the rooms on the west side of the second floor, they radioed Team 1 and requested they stop speaking, hoping to isolate the sound, but were unable to locate the source.
Team 2 continued to walk through the house, using the Olympus digital recorder while they explored the upper areas of the home, until midnight, when they began to break down the equipment.
Motion Detector – Tested and working prior to investigation. Once installed in the attic, it began to continuously fire. After several attempts to remedy the problem, Team 1 removed it from the building. At this point, they covered the motion sensor with tape, blocking it completely. It continued to register motion and was determined to be broken. Removed from the remainder of the investigation.
Cameras – Two separate cameras experienced battery drain (one after 8 images, one after 15) within five minutes of each other. Both cameras worked fine (with full battery) once removed from the house. One incident of the flash not firing. At the end of the investigation, the Sony Handycam stopped working, yet continued to record at odd intervals for several minutes.
Though the EMF reader was used throughout the night, it never registered any fluctuations. All readings for electromagnetic fields turned up zero. While this is encouraging for the investigation (since strong fluctuations can interfere with other equipment) it is somewhat unusual, given the proximity of power lines and other large electronic equipment to the building.
Flip Video Camera
The Flip video did not record any visual anomalies. However, the entire video is rife with audio anomalies; there are 18 separate instances of banging, bumping or knocking within a 35 minute time frame. Here are a few of the more remarkable instances:
The first remarkable sounds appear at this point. A double knocking sound is made by a car moving over a nearby manhole; this is followed by what sounds like the noise made by walking and shuffling feet.
The very odd noises that are recorded here go far beyond the more simplistic sounds in the other locations. The sounds are so loud they are heard by the group, which is confirmed by Team 2 downstairs.
Additional banging, bumping and or knocking can be found at the following timestamps:
22:06, 25:11, 29:40, 31:55, 32:09, 33:31, 39:02, 47:45, 1:27:50, 1:27:58, 1:41:10
The Sony Handycam provided several interesting anomalies, most of which documented on other investigative equipment. The two most impressive instances are described below.
The Handycam picks up what appears to be the sound of a woman crying. This is the sound reported by Team 1 which spawned the sweep of the property as the group searched for any unauthorized persons.
The entire group is gathered downstairs near the entry way. As they discuss the next steps they will take, Elizabeth sighs. The sigh is caught clearly on video, but is followed immediately by a second sound, which is reminiscent of either a sigh or of someone blowing onto a microphone. Tamara responds to the sound, searching for the source, but there is no obvious explination.
Additional anomalies can be found at:
27:57, 35:48, 40:55, 45:22
Digital Voice Recorder
There are several unexplained incidents captured on the Olympus digital voice recorder. Because this device was recording nearly without stop throughout the entire investigation, we have broken the sound files down into more manageable sections. Both these shorter clips and the full, original audio files are included on the data disk.
This section of the audio recording provides a secondary transcript of the incident with the possible intruder. As Team 1 contacts Team 2 via radio to determine if both teams are hearing the same noises, Team 2 is clearly unable to hear the sound. When the audio was loaded into Audacity (the audio software used to enhance the files) it became apparent that there is an additional sound on the
recording, one heard by neither team, which sounds distinctly like a voice.
As Team 2 investigates the second floor, they pause in the room that occupies the northeast corner of the structure. Tamara, standing in the doorway to the raised bathroom, asks Elizabeth to pause so that the height difference between the bathroom and the main room can be documented. At this point in the audio recording, a very loud knocking sound is evident. The team, unable to hear the sound, continues with their investigation, moving out into the hallway.
In an attempt to replicate the noise, the team recorded the sound of someone tapping/banging the digital recorder. The resulting sound file did not match the audio recording.
There are multiple unexplained bumps and knocks; however, due to the odd acoustics, the group was unable to determine their sources or rule out the teams as the cause of the sounds. At the end of tape one, side A, there is an unexplained sound which builds and has no obvious source.
JVC Video Camera
Even with the addition of a light in the room, the area the JVC camera was placed in proved too dark to allow the camera to focus. However, using the audio to place the team (since it can be matched to the video from the Sony Handycam), an anomaly occurs at time stamp 14:20, roughly 8:20 pm. This incident is approximately two minutes after the group has left the house to sweep the outside in response to odd sounds heard upstairs by Team 1. While the JVC’s audio recording clearly shows the team is still outside of the building, near the entryway on Boston Avenue, a strange light appears on the camera.
This light has the appearance of a flashlight, yet comes from the southwestern corner of the house. After returning to the house during the daylight hours, we discovered that, in order for the light to appear in the location it does on the video, it would have to have come from inside the concrete block addition at the southwestern corner of the structure. An individual shining the light would have to point the flashlight through the door of this concrete block room into the back porch area of the house. However, the outside door to that room is screwed shut; additionally, the door between the two rooms, which is a solid door, is and was closed. Anyone opening the door would have caused a noise easily discernible on the audio from the JVC.
After reviewing the data collected during the investigation, the team attempted to locate a reasonable source for all unusual sounds. Explanations were located for two of these sounds; the double thump heard across all the audio equipment was determined to be the sound of cars as they drove over a manhole located just down the southbound lane of Indian River Drive, while a noise that resembled the sound of a horse was determined to be caused by cars moving over both decorative brickwork on 2nd street and the Citrus Overpass.
Despite these successful efforts, there are many instances where no plausible source can be determined.
This is the video we provided to the home owner after our first investigation:
We initially assumed that the flash of light you see in the video is from a team member’s flashlight, but once we reviewed the video and audio, we determined that all teams were on the outside on the northeast side of the building while the camera was inside on the southwest corner. We tried on multiple occasions to recreate the light but were unsuccessful.