Stories and content in Weird Darkness can be disturbing for some listeners and is intended for mature audiences only. Parental discretion is strongly advised. If you’re already a fan of Weird Darkness, please share a link to this episode on your social media, and tell your friends and family about the podcast!
Tired of commercials interrupting your listening experience? For just $5 per month you can listen to all past, present, and future #WeirdDarkness episodes commercial-free – plus BONUS AUDIO and news about the podcast! Learn more at:http://www.WeirdDarkness.com/WEIRDO.
Listen to ““THE WEREWOLF PANIC OF THE 1970’s” and more dark, true stories! #WeirdDarkness” on Spreaker.
IN THIS EPISODE: Werewolves were a very real threat in the minds of those living long long ago – but in Sweden they came back with a vengeance, paralyzing people with fear, attacking townspeople, even killing three children according to reports… and this was less than 50 years ago! (The Werewolf Panic of the 1970s) *** You might remember the film starring Clint Eastwood about the famous 1962 Alcatraz prison escape. Officially the men were declared dead, failing to make it to shore and drowning in the turbulent waters surrounding the prison island. But is the official story the true story, or did they make it across alive after all? (The 1962 Escape From Alcatraz) *** Worldwide reports in recent years have come in about suspicious gas leaks or harmful smells. It happens so often it has even earned a name, “Sick Buildings”. What’s causing the mysterious fumes? Is it just a coincidence? A biological terrorist attack? Or is it something paranormal or even extraterrestrial? (Sick Buildings) *** Weirdo family member Rita Gomez shares her story that begins with, “We Dabbled With an Ouija Board And It Dabbled Back.”
MENTIONED LINKS AND EPISODES FROM THE CHAMBER OF COMMENTS…
“An Email From Lindsay” episode (in the Chamber of Comments): http://weirddarkness.com/archives/4875
STORY AND MUSIC CREDITS/SOURCES…
“Sick Buildings” by Tim R. Swartz for Conspiracy Journal: http://bit.ly/2NJbKqS
“The 1962 Escape From Alcatraz” by Fiona Guy for Crime Traveller: http://bit.ly/32Jy9Zn
“The Werewolf Panic of the 1970s” by Tommy Kuusela, PhD for Folklore Thursday: http://bit.ly/33N9QuK
“We Dabbled With a Ouija Board And It Dabbled Back” by Weirdo Rita Gomez
The intro story “An Aging Werewolf” by Lincoln Michel for Buzzfeed News: http://bit.ly/32JC4p3
Background music provided by EpidemicSound and AudioBlocks with paid license. Music by Shadows Symphony (http://bit.ly/2W6N1xJ) and Midnight Syndicate (http://amzn.to/2BYCoXZ) is also sometimes used with permission.
SUPPORT THE PODCAST…
Become a PATRON (Official Weirdo): http://www.WeirdDarkness.com/WEIRDO
Visit my sponsors: http://www.WeirdDarkness.com/sponsors
MY RECORDING TOOLS…
* MICROPHONE (Neumann TLM103): http://amzn.to/2if01CL
* POP FILTER (AW-BM700): http://amzn.to/2zRIIyK
* XLR CABLE (Mogami Gold Studio): http://amzn.to/2yZXJeD
* MICROPHONE PRE-AMP (Icicle): http://amzn.to/2vLqLzg
* SOFTWARE (Adobe Audition): http://amzn.to/2vLqI6E
* HARDWARE (MacBook Pro): http://amzn.to/2vQzD5g
I always make sure to give authors credit for the material I use. If I somehow overlooked doing that for a story, or if a credit is incorrect, please let me know and I’ll rectify it the show notes as quickly as possible.
***WeirdDarkness™ – is a registered trademark of Marlar House Productions. Copyright © Marlar House Productions, 2019.
“I have come into the world as a light, so that no one who believes in me should stay in darkness.” — John 12:46 *** How to escape eternal darkness: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2IYmodFKDaM
THE WEREWOLF PANIC OF THE 1970S
In the autumn of 1972, numerous Swedish newspapers described how werewolves were causing a panic in a town in southern Sweden. According to the articles, fearsome werewolf attacks caused a “werewolf panic”, children were “paralysed with fear”, and one article even gave the alarming statement: “three school children killed! A teacher attacked and a woman beaten senseless in her cellar” (Kuusela 2016, 94). The happening took place in the otherwise quiet and peaceful town Trelleborg, at the time home to approximately 23,000 people.
The topic of werewolves was considered interesting for a couple of days, before the journalists pursued other matters. After that, the whole thing faded, and became a distant memory in Trelleborg – just a good story. Nevertheless, a couple of weeks later, newspapers reported a second outburst of werewolf attacks roughly 411 miles north of Trelleborg, in Jakobsberg, a suburb of Stockholm. This time, adults were calling the police claiming that a werewolf was roaming the rooftops at night, smashing windows and biting people to death! Like the first alarm, public interest in the second wave of werewolf attacks was brief and died out after a couple of days. The following year, one of Sweden’s biggest daily newspapers, Aftonbladet, reported that a mummy roamed in Sätra, a suburb of Stockholm. According to the article, the mummy killed cats, panicked horses, and “howled like a werewolf”. So, if werewolves were biting people to death and a mummy was roaming the streets of Stockholm, then this would have been shocking, even global news, and not something that could die out after a couple of days of circulation in local or national newspapers.
The first article on werewolves in Trelleborg had the following caption: “‘Werewolf’ scared children. Police took action at school”. It appeared in a local newspaper, Trelleborgs Allehanda, on 16 November 1972. This encouraged and inspired other journalists, who travelled to Trelleborg in hunt of a scoop. They interviewed children and teachers at the school, and contacted both police officers and locals. Different newspapers tried to come up with the most sensational news. That the journalists considered the werewolf a mere rumour becomes evident from reading the articles, written with a tongue-in-cheek fashion. Frightened schoolchildren said that they had seen a “man with hairy face, large protruding teeth and claws on his fingers”, they told other children who in turn started looking for a werewolf. Rumours started circulating in town and quickly became more and more sensational.
Many children claimed to have seen a werewolf; they said that he had a beard, long hair, and horns on his forehead. Other children showed the reporters werewolf teeth (tree branches), werewolf footprints (prints from horse hooves) or showed markings on walls supposed to be scratches from werewolf claws. Some children did not speak of a werewolf; instead, they claimed that a vampire haunted Trelleborg. One rumour said that two elderly women were just about to leave a laundry room – in Sweden this is usually a separate building or in a cellar, shared by tenants of the same house or a housing cooperative – when a large, unpleasant man appeared in front of them. He attacked them and tried to claw their faces, but one of the women fainted and the man suddenly disappeared. Different articles published in local and national newspapers, based on interviews and rumours, led to more rumours and increasing fear among children and parents. Two days after the first newspaper article, several children were so terrified that they stayed home from school. Both teachers and the school principal repeatedly had to calm the situation. Even the police had to respond to different alarms of alleged werewolf sightings – but never found any reliable physical evidence. Younger schoolchildren were most afraid, while many of the older children thought the situation ridiculous; some even took advantage of the situation to frighten the younger children even more. Many distressed parents thought it might be a crazy person who dressed up as a werewolf. All kinds of rumours circulated. One thing was certain, werewolf or not, the horror that many children, and some of their parents, felt was genuine. It took a couple of days for the whole thing to die out, something that happened naturally when the newspapers stopped writing about the situation.
The second werewolf alarm is comparable to the first. The rumour was at first concentrated in one area and reported in the press by different newspapers, but died out after only a couple of days of circulation. The explanation for the second alarm is probably also due to the horror movies (see below), combined with an event. According to one article, a group of children had met a strange man with long hair and big beard in a big public garage; he shouted at them and the children interpreted this as a roar or a howl. Apparently, this strange encounter in the large, shadowy garage was enough for the children to associate the man with a werewolf. The children’s reaction and response was with upsetting narratives that quickly spread and grew in intensity among parents and other children.
The third case, the mummy alarm, originated when an eleven-year-old boy claimed to have encountered the mummy late one night in March in 1973. He was shaken by what he think he saw, and he quickly told other kids, who told parents, who called the police, which led to reporters writing about it in newspapers. The rumour spread and grew in proportions. Other children organised expeditions were they hunted for the mummy at night and spooked each other. The police was soon hunting the mummy, but never found anything.
According to police reports from Trelleborg and Jakobsberg, the werewolf in both cases was really the town oddball, who in both cases was a well-known eccentric man with long hair and a big beard (Kuusela 2016, 85). It seems clear that the werewolf (and mummy) alarms were just rumours, encouraged by older schoolchildren who scared younger kids, who in turn worried parents. The police officers seems to have been annoyed at the whole situation, especially the fact that many seemed to take the rumours seriously. One police officer, who worked on this case, said to a reporter, “Nowadays many people look more or less like werewolves, with long hair and beard” (Kuusela 2016: 93). This is clearly his opinion of a new hippie generation with long hair, sideburns and beard.
Is it possible to compare the 1972 Swedish werewolf panic, or rather alarm, to similar cases in other countries? Yes. One similar happening took place in England in the 1950s. In the Gorbals district of Glasgow in 1954, hundreds of children stormed a local cemetery. This was at first reported in the now obsolete Glasgow morning paper, The Bulletin on 24 September 1954. Other papers followed and wrote about the same happening with different angles during the following days. Apparently, the children were looking for something they referred to as a vampire with iron teeth. The press had just reported that this vampire had killed and eaten “two wee boys”. At first, the alarm was thought to be directly linked to horror films shown locally, but was later reinterpreted as being due to horror comics. But, as shown in a study by two folklorists, the monster with iron teeth can also be traced to local legends. Above all to bogeymen and the children’s responses to legends and frightening, particularly about a certain “Jenny wi’ the airn teeth” that was used to frighten children in the area (see Hobbs & Cornwell 1988).
When it comes to the werewolf scares, from the grown-ups perspective, it seems to be a fear that children are in danger or victims of some crazy person. Why werewolves? I will quote my own article, and add that what I say applies to other horrors that circulates and pops up now and again:
“But, notions of the werewolf, both in folklore and popular culture, have one thing in common; it is fear of the unknown and suspicion against strange and unfamiliar people. The savage image of the werewolf, being uncivilized and nocturnal, fits well: it is a way of expressing fears of what is believed to be wrong with society […] werewolves reveal our fear of what lurks inside, the beast hidden in us all that has the potential to change a rational and moral person, leaving only dreaded animal behaviour and appetites of lust, hunger, and rage” (”An American Werewolf in Trelleborg: Representation of the Werewolf in Swedish Folk Belief and Popular Culture”).
“Office Workers Sickened by Mysterious Gas.” “Fumes From Meteorite Crater Have Sickened 600.” “Fumes From Corpse Cause Evacuation.” News reports from all over the world have shown a drastic increase in cases in which people are sickened and harmed by mysterious gases. Many reports have come from seemingly common, normal buildings and schools. Dubbed “sick buildings” by the press, explanations on the causes range from chemicals used during construction, to mass hysteria.
In Japan, recent suicides using household chemicals and terrorist attacks with sarin gas in the subways of Tokyo has focused worldwide attention to the frightening scenario of further poisonous gas attacks on large population centers. However, little attention has been paid to the evidence that mysterious fumes have already been responsible for sickening hundreds, maybe thousands of innocent people. Reports of unexplained gas attacks go back a number of years, some seem to indicate a disturbing connection with the frequency of attacks and an increase of UFO sightings.
One of the more familiar cases of reported gas attacks was the 1944 series of incidents in Mattoon, Illinois. The episode has been completely written off by many as a classic case of mass hysteria. However, there were elements to the case, most notably in the form of physical evidence, that have been repeated constantly in the mysterious fumes reports going on today.
Starting in July 1950, reports of UFOs associated with mysterious fumes began to trickle in. The July 1 edition of The Cincinnati Post ran the front page headline, “Saucers whirl over city.”
“Flying saucers were reported over Cincinnati at widely separated points. At least three reports were received around noon. The first saucer was sighted around 11 a.m. by Mrs. Katherine Willis at 25 Murray Road, St. Bernard, and her daughter, Beverly Ann. A few moments later, Jack Earls of 4713 Paxton Road, reported seeing saucers over Mt. Lookout and Lunken Airport. Control tower operators at the airport said they saw no saucers, and nothing unusual.
“Saucers also were reported at the same time by a Mt. Washington resident. ‘Beverly saw it first and watched it for about two minutes,’ said Mrs. Willis. ‘It was white, way up in the sky, and I could tell that it was spinning,’ said Mrs. Willis. ‘I couldn’t tell how high it was. It looked like it was going as fast or faster than the airplanes.’ In the past two days, flying saucers have been reported by officials in Cairo, Ill., and Louisville, Ky.”
The reports of UFOs coincided with reported low-flying aircraft leaving a noxious exhaust, causing an outbreak of mystery fumes throughout the Cincinnati area. The press at the time, did not make the obvious correlation. The Cincinnati Enquirer reported on July 9th a similar incident in Illinois.
The Cincinnati Enquirer’s headline reflected the Cold War fears that were on the minds of everyone during the decade. “Only a horrible nightmare. Fears of Russian gas bombing arise when foul odor from passing truck spreads through seven towns near Moline, Ill.”
The article goes on to report that a foul smell choked seven towns, sending some residents into hysterics and raising fears of a Russian gas bombing. The noxious odor crept through Moline, East Moline, Silvis and Rock Island, Ill., and then spread across the border into Muscatine, Bettendorf and Davenport, Iowa. No injuries were reported aside from upset stomachs.
Some residents, in hysterics, called police. One man insisted to Silvis police that “the Russians are flying over and gassing us.” The evil-smelling fumes routed citizens from the beds and from taverns, almost forced the closing of two farm machinery factories, jammed police switchboards and kept firemen on a near-emergency basis.
An official of the Iowa-Illinois Gas and Electric Co. said the odor probably resulted from a leak in a tank of Pentalarm being hauled through the area on a truck headed west. He said the truck was seen passing through Moline shortly before midnight. Pentalarm is an odorant used to inject a smell into natural gas, normally odorless, to permit detection of leaks. The official said the odor is not injurious but can cause nausea.
Several taverns in Silvis and East Moline lost their patrons in a hurry when the smell entered their establishments. Some 20 persons jammed the East Moline police station. Police at Muscatine, Iowa, said anxious citizens jammed the switchboard with calls. Some became hysterical and left town.
Others just closed all their doors and windows and tried to go back to sleep.
In Moline, a reporter said, “The police are being run ragged, calls are coming in from all over the town, and the squad cars are going all over the place. People are heading for the high ground away from the river.” The smell was strongest in the lowland areas along the Mississippi.
The utility company, flooded with calls, dispatched more than 30 repairmen to find what was first believed to be a leak in a gas main. The men hunted for three hours but found no leaks. Authorities at the Rock Island arsenal said, “Everything is in order here,” in response to queries on whether the smell might have originated there. The smell lingered in the Illinois area for three hours, then hit the Iowa cities. It disappeared at daylight.
Subsequent attempts to locate the mysterious leaking truck failed. Some residents said the gas was nothing like the smell of Pentalarm. The gas they smelled was incapacitating, and felt like, “the air was being sucked out of the lungs.” On July 7th and 8th, newspaper and police switchboards were flooded with reports of UFOs flying overhead. The Moline/Davenport area also had an unusually high amount of UFO reports during the week of the 8th.
The relatively new phenomenon of “sick buildings” has some people worried that a new, though subtle form of terrorism is taking place. An alarming increase of UFO sightings in the same areas as reported sick buildings has lead some investigators to suggest that there could be a connection. More mundane explanations such as chemicals used during construction, to outgassing from new carpets have taken the brunt of the blame when mysterious fumes are reported. However, air checks usually can find no trace of any potentially hazardous chemical or gas to account for the strange symptoms reported by stricken individuals. Other, less credible attempts at an explanation generally leans towards cases of mass hysteria, or workers suffering from the “blue flu.”
In Margate, Florida on April 7, 1997, a grocery store was forced to close because of a strange gas that made at least 30 ill. Officials say about 100 people were in the store when workers and customers began complaining of sore throats and watery eyes. Hazardous materials investigators say noxious fumes that caused the apparent respiratory problems among store customers had dissipated by they time they arrived, making it difficult to trace their origin.
Of the people who complained about symptoms, 11 were taken to area hospitals, but all were released following treatment for what were described as “minor” problems. Some customers said the fumes smelled like chlorine, while others described them as smelling like pepper.
Tamarac, Fla., Fire & Rescue Battalion Chief Dennis Peloso said the varied descriptions made it difficult to determine the source of the smell. “We’ve checked for chemicals, gas, Freon. We looked at the refrigeration system. Nothing,” said Peloso, who called the negative tests “a little weird.”
Schools also seem to be a favorite target of “sick building syndrome.” On January 14, 2008, St Helens, Oregon High School was evacuated after students and faculty fell ill after noticed a strong odor like “rotten eggs.” Nearby, people at the local Safeway store, and at the bank, also became ill. Several people had to be treated for nausea, dizziness, burning of skin and eyes, and respiratory complaints.
After some initial speculation that it was a natural gas leak, it was finally determined that it was, instead, a mystery. There was no leak anywhere on the school grounds, and chemical sniffers detected no natural gas. Local officials promised to look into the matter, but no investigation was ever conducted.
Mysterious fumes circulating through a classroom in Jamaica triggered a school evacuation and sent five children to the hospital gasping for breath, on January 25, 1997. Traces of the fumes were detected inside Room 315 of PS 37. Children were complaining of headaches, chest pains, watery eyes and breathing difficulties, Fire Department spokesman Luis Basso said.
Taking emergency precautions, the Fire Department evacuated the building immediately. Basso said 25 people from Room 315 – 23 children and two adults were treated at the scene for inhaling the mysterious fumes. Five of those were taken to a nearby hospital for further treatment.
Superintendent Celestine Miller of Community School District 29 said she did not know the exact source of the children’s discomfort. However, the investigation by environmental authorities and the city Health Department was unable to trace any hazardous materials released into the school environment.
So far no explanation has satisfactorily answered the questions concerning the causes of “sick building syndrome.” If the culprit is a mélange of “common” chemicals, then air tests should have found the suspected contaminants. The same goes for deliberate gas attacks. Air tests should be able to determine what the fumes are. There is also no good reason for the fumes to suddenly appear, then disappear just as quickly. Chemicals in the carpet, or in the structure of the building would leak slowly and evenly into the atmosphere. Making it easy for modern air check systems to find and fix the cause of the problem. Easy answers however, are not forthcoming.
THE 1962 ESCAPE FROM ALCATRAZ
The so-called inescapable prison of Alcatraz was crumbling and in 1962 three inmates made use of the deteriorating buildings to carry out a daring escape, fleeing from Alcatraz Island and into the waters of San Francisco Bay. The dramatic escape was dramatized in the now classic 1969 film “Escape From Alcatraz” starring Clint Eastwood in the leading role of Frank Morris. Never seen or heard of again, many believe they died in those waters desperately trying to make to the mainland. All three have officially been declared dead by drowning, but rumors are they did make it and they escaped into the crowds of the city, created new identities and lived their lives as free men.
Today, scientists have used computer technology to simulate the exact tides and conditions of that night and have concluded that if they left at the right time, they may have made it alive.
On 11 June 1962 three prisoners, Frank Morris and brothers, John and Clarence Anglin achieved the impossible; they successfully broke out of Alcatraz Federal Penitentiary in what is now known as the most famous Alcatraz escape in history.
These were three intelligent men, lifelong criminals with dozens of escape attempts between them across other prisons. It was not a surprise they would attempt an Alcatraz escape. Realizing the prison was old and the walls were beginning to rot, they decided they were going to tunnel their way out.
They discovered the ventilation shaft above B block hadn’t been sealed and blocked off with concrete like all the others. If they could get into it, they knew they could get to the roof. To get there, however, they had to get out of their cells.
Alcatraz Penitentiary sits on Alcatraz Island just off the coast of San Francisco. Originally the location for a military fort and later a military prison, the island is surrounded by deep rough waters only accessible by boat.
Taken on by the Federal Bureau of Prisons in 1933, Alcatraz was developed to manage the ongoing crime problems of the 1930’s with gangs taking over the cities. More security, new guard towers and solid fencing were installed to become one of the toughest prisons in American history.
No one wanted to be sent to Alcatraz, it had a feared reputation and the conditions were brutal. Trying to escape was futile. If you managed to get past the prison walls you were met with water and lots of it. There was nowhere to go and nowhere to run. Furthermore, one guard for every three prisoners and a 200-meter perimeter fence around the prison walls made any attempts at escape almost impossible.
A number of escape attempts however were made, with most being killed in the process. The 1946 Battle of Alcatraz made history with rioting for two days from prisoners who had taken over the prison, killing officers and other inmates. For ten years no other prisoners attempted to escape from Alcatraz with the memory and impact of those two days running deep.
Each cell had a simple metal grate for ventilation. Behind the grate was a narrow corridor that went directly to an open duct to the roof. Frank Morris and the Anglin brothers set about planning how they could tunnel through behind the grate. Other inmates gave them utensils from the kitchen and workshops which they used to craft the tools they needed to dig.
They created a drill from spare parts; they sharpened spoons to chip away at the concrete walls. Day after day, month after month when the lights went out in Block B, they quietly carried on digging through the night. It took them nine months to complete their tunnels, each leading from their cells through the ventilation shaft and out onto the roof of the prison.
They made replicas of steel grates from cardboard and tobacco boxes, knowing they needed to keep their cells looking as normal as possible. During the day they planned the next stage of their escape; how to get off Alcatraz Island.
They knew the waters were their biggest barrier and they knew this was what had foiled many escape attempts in the past. Again using supplies from the kitchen, laundry and workshops and aided by fellow prisoners, they created a raft and life jackets from raincoats.
Over 50 raincoats were used and they had a squeeze box to inflate the raft. There was no way to test it so they just had trust it was going to be good enough to get them across the Bay. They built paddles for moving through the water from tools they managed to get hold of. This was a well-planned and carefully crafted escape plan and these were men determined to make it out alive.
Using wire frames, plaster, soap and real hair, they made fake heads from paper mache. One of Anglin brothers worked in the barbers so the hair was easily available to them. Their idea was to put the heads in their beds to make sure guards doing head counts would not realize they were missing. This would give them the time they needed to get down to the water’s edge, inflate the raft and start rowing across the water and to freedom.
On the night of 11 June 1962, they put their plan into action. It was a normal day in Alcatraz prison; the guards did their rounds, checking the cells and doing their head-count. They had no idea of the events that were due to unfold that evening.
After lights out, Frank Morris, Clarence and John Anglin put their fake heads on their pillows, drew the duvets up and created a body shape. Satisfied it looked realistic; at 9pm they escaped through their tunnels.
Other prisoners could hear them crawling behind the walls. The guards saw nothing amiss and carried on past the three men’s cells oblivious. The men made it to the roof causing swarms of seagulls to squawk at their unexpected presence but drew no reaction from the prison guards. They made it down onto the rocks below.
On the morning of June 1962, three men didn’t come out of their cells. Upon head-count men normally are up and at the doors. Alarms were sounded and the hunt began. Word began to get out of this ingenious escape from the inescapable prison that was Alcatraz.
The FBI, police, and army all hunted the coastline and the waters knowing this was their only route out but no trace of them were found. Their cells showed how they had escaped to the horror of the guards and those in charge. When questioned, other inmates began to give some information on this daring escape, the planning and how they had done it.
Originally there as another inmate, Alan West, who was supposed to go with them. He knew about the plan but he couldn’t break through his cell in time to join the other three. He told the FBI what the plan was; that they had planned to go to Angel Island first and then onto the mainland to steal a car.
The FBI swarmed Angel Island and found only a paddle, two lifejackets and a small rubber packet containing photographs and notes. Reports at the time said the makeshift raft was never found and there were no reports of cars stolen in the area.
On 17 July 1962, the crew of a Norwegian cargo ship leaving San Francisco Bay spotted a body with clothing matching the uniform worn by Alcatraz prisoners. Although the body was never retrieved, many felt this proved the three men had failed and drowned in the water.
The Alcatraz escape was an embarrassment to the prison authorities. This was Alcatraz Penitentiary, the most secure prison available and it had lost three of its prisoners.
The use of the crumbling walls highlighted the deterioration of the prison buildings and the costs involved in maintaining its operation. One year after the escape in 1963, Alcatraz Penitentiary was closed and all prisoners were transferred to other prisons.
This is a story which had intrigued many over the years. No trace of Frank Morris, John Anglin and Clarence Anglin had ever been found, leading some to believe they were still alive. In 1979 the FBI passed the case to US Marshalls. Known for hunting down escaped prisoners, the chance that the three men were still alive and living free somewhere was a chance they could not take.
At that time all reports and documentation relating to the escape were still on paper and the US Marshalls digitized them over two years of gathering all the files together. Digitalized age progression photos were made to give an indication of what the men would look like today. The original criminal records showed Frank Morris was an orphan with a childhood spent in foster homes and reform school. He was 14 years old when first arrested and a long criminal record followed. He was involved in armed robbery and bank robberies and had many periods in prison.
Numerous escape attempts earned him the reputation of a good escape artist. The Anglin brothers also had long criminal records, stealing cars and money, breaking into homes and businesses, but little violence in their history.
Digging through the records, documents were found in the archives that had previously been kept secret. They revealed that a raft was actually found on Angel Island on the day after the escape with clear footprints leading off the Island.
In the largest development in the case, nine months after the report from the trawler of a body in the water, skeleton remains were found. Could this be one of the three men? As part of their investigation, the US Marshalls tracked down the skeletal remains and sent them for DNA testing. A coroner’s report stated the bones belonged to an adult male at a height which matched the details of Frank Morris. Many questions circulated speculating on the identity of the bones.
If they did belong to Frank Morris, were where the Anglin brothers? Some reports have suggested that Frank Morris was not liked very much by the brothers, indicating they may have pushed him off the raft to drown while they continued on to Angel Island. Most reports of sightings have focused on the two brothers rather than Frank Morris, again indicating they may have survived while he did not.
After tracking down a relative of Frank Morris to obtain DNA material for comparison with the skeletal remains found, no DNA match was obtained confirming the bones did not belong to Frank Morris.
Scientists at Delft University in the Netherlands have created a computer model simulating the movement of water around Alcatraz Island and San Francisco Bay. For the first time, they have used this to calculate whether or not the three escapes could have made it across the waters and through the tides in their makeshift raft. They attempted to recreate the exact conditions of that evening in 1962 making use of historical tidal data:
*****We didn’t know exactly when the inmates launched their boats, or their precise starting point, and so we decided to release 50 [virtual] boats every 30 minutes between 2000 and 0400, from a range of possible escape spots at Alcatraz to see where they would end up. We added a paddling effect to the boats, as we assumed the prisoners would paddle as they got closer to land.”*****
They discovered that if the men had left before midnight or after 1 am, the tides would have been against them, taking them off on a different course which they would not have been able to fight.
*****“In both cases they would have spent so much time in the water, they probably would have died of hypothermia, or they would have been picked up by the police because sunrise was at 0600.”*****
However, they did find that if the escapees left at midnight the tides would have come to their aid taking them directly towards the Golden Gate Bridge, and according to the scientists, they could have made it alive.
What is curious about this data is we know from the fourth prisoner who was due to escape with them that the plan was to head for Angel Island. Furthermore, if the newly unearthed documents stating the remains of a raft were found on Angel Island the day after the escape, this suggests they achieved their aim, despite the strong tides. With no bodies and no bones for Frank Morris or John and Clarence Anglin, there is every possibility these three men escaped from Alcatraz prison in 1962 and made it into San Francisco alive, whether via Angel Island or the Golden Gate Bridge. Intelligent men, creating new identities and staying under the radar away from authorities would not be beyond them.
Many believe their long criminal histories are an indication that they would not have been able to stay out of trouble. If they were alive would have most likely been caught. Others claim once they had achieved freedom they would have maintained low profiles to ensure they did not return to imprisonment.
Now 53 years on, we may never know exactly what happened that night in June 1962, but their escape from the most secure prison in America will never be forgotten.
WE DABBLED WITH AN OUIJA BOARD AND IT DABBLED BACK
So we dabbled with an Ouija board and it dabbled back. This day my husband and I were in our bedroom and our son was in his. My son was about 10 or 11 years old and was in his room on his bed. My son came running to our door and began banging on the door saying something was in his bedroom. I opened the door and he was hysterical, crying, scared and said something jumped on his chest and was keeping him from breathing. My son said he couldn’t move for a while but then broke free and ran.
The same house months later. I and my daughter went out of town and left my husband, toddler son, and 11 year old behind. The first night I was away my husband and toddler were in our bedroom alone. My husband said that in the middle of the night he woke and there were snakes all around on the floor. Then he saw this old hag with white scraggly hair with a dagger in her hand and she tried to attack my husband. My husband said he had to protect our son and began praying until the snakes and the old hag disappeared.
Same house different day. My husband and I were in bed. My husband was already asleep. I was lying there next to him and when I looked around the room I saw the digital clock said, 666 and the cross over the door was inverted. I the see an orb the size of a basket ball. The orb is floating at the foot of the bed. The inside of the orb is swirling with gray smoke. The orb slowly moves around the bed to my side of the bed. I covered my face with the cover and try to call to my husband who was lying next to me but I can’t speak. I peek to see where the orb is and now the orb is right in front of me. I try to pray but I can’t. The orb attaches to my left rib area and I feel some vibration sensation but I can’t do anything. When it stops it floats into the closest. Really crazy and weird!