The Cereal Bowl Incident at

Fort Mifflin

January 20, 2006


6:50 p.m.          Even though this was my Second visit to Fort Mifflin, my evening started off with difficulty as I tried to locate the place.  After entering the gates with the ‘Do Not Enter’ sign on it, I finally found the fort, or rather the fort found me.  Heed my advice—call for directions and take a map with you.....especially if you’re arriving after dark.

After meeting up with everyone in the group, Hillary requested that John and I form one of the teams to go off and investigate certain areas that have had known paranormal activity.  John agreed to go with me to Powder Magazine.  The time was 8:11 p.m.  During my first overnight investigation of the Fort back in 2001, I personally witnessed Lew Gerew of the Philadelphia Ghost hunters Alliance get a strange sounding EVP on his digital recorder.  I also viewed a moving oval shaped disk of light through my night vision scope.  Both of these encounters happened in the Powder Magazine.  I know from experience that this area can be a hot spot for strange occurrences.  This night, however, the Powder Magazine proved to be quiet and uneventful, so after about thirty minutes, John and I had enough and decided to change our location.


8:40 p.m.         The next place we chose was the second floor of the officer’s quarters, which is known for its plethora of strange phenomenon.  It was also a little warmer in this area, 62 degrees, which is a real plus on a chilly night of ghost hunting.  I sat down in the corner of the front room, and started my digital recorder.  I could still see John, who was in the back room getting his recorder set up.  I have a tendency to be a little chatty on investigations, talking often and cracking jokes to pass the time.  I always try to keep it fun and upbeat.  Now I don’t mean to offend anyone, but I personally find that most of the time, ghost hunting can be, dare I say, boring and lackluster.  I’ve been on hunts that I thought were a complete waste of time.  Then, after the hunt, there’s the sifting through hours of video tape and digital recordings, discovering nothing. This certainly does “build ghost hunting character”, as Hillary puts it, but every once in a while, something extraordinary happens that keeps me coming back for more.


8:42 p.m.             My wisecracks quieted down long enough for me to notice a loud ringing sound, which I thought was an alarm or doorbell of some sort, coming from the room John was in.  I asked John if he heard the ringing, and he said “no” much to my surprise because the sound was so loud and noticeable to me.  John was talking around the time I heard the ringing, so I guess he wasn’t focused on audible sounds at the time.  I decided to stop my digital recorder to see if it captured the sound.  Sure enough, during playback, there was a distinct ringing sound (check the EVP section) captured on my recorder (John had later told me he also recorded the ringing sound on his digital recorder).  After careful inspection of the area I was in, John discovered a cereal bowl (to be known as bowl #1) on a table in the middle of the front room.  The bowl had been used as an ashtray, but there were no cigarette butts inside it, only ash residue.  John got the brilliant idea to tap on bowl #1 to see if it rang out.  The sound was similar to what I heard, but I thought the pitch was a little lower, plus it seemed too muffled because of the ash residue.  We went into the back room that John was in initially, and much to our amazement, there was a second cereal bowl (to be known as bowl #2) in the middle of a low shelf in a closet that had no door.  I tapped on the rim of it and was instantly convinced that this second bowl was the source of the ringing that I had heard.  In order for me to emulate the ringing sound that bowl #2 made, I literally had to pick up the bowl about a half an inch high and drop it straight down on the shelf.  Wow!  What moved bowl #2?  Your guess is as good as mine.  Other than poltergeist activity, the only other explanation I can think of is a mouse ran into it, however, there were no mouse droppings discovered.  There was also no food or crumbs of any sort.  To top it all off, John was in the small back room for at least a minute at the time I heard the sound, and I think a mouse would have skedaddled long before that.  Especially as loud as we both were being.  We decided to keep investigation with digital camera and a gauss meter.  John starting getting extremely high gauss meter levels near bowl #1.  I snapped a digital picture as he held the meter close to bowl #1 which was on the table, and to my surprise, I saw a ‘moving’ orb on the little screen on the back of my camera!  Now, I am always skeptical of orb phenomenon being paranormal in nature, but because of the unusually high electromagnetic field levels John was getting, and the rarity of orbs my digital camera captures, I have to conclude that this is a legitimate orb (see photo).  At first, upon inspecting the digital picture, I thought the orb was a reflection of the flash off of the bowl.  But when I snapped a second picture ten seconds after the first shot, there was no reflection visible.  The craziest thing that happened was the lack of high gauss meter levels a couple minutes later when held near bowl #1.  They were almost totally negligible.  This proved, to me, that the levels were not due to electrical wiring in the floor, ceiling, or walls.  The electromagnetic field levels literally died down!  Why an orb would want to hand around a bowl with ashes in it is beyond me.  Maybe it was trying to muster the energy to move bowl #1.  Interesting thought to ponder, huh?

            John and I stayed in the officer’s quarters for about fifteen more uneventful minutes when we decided to meet up with the rest of the group  and do some bragging about our unbelievable ghost hunting skills (a load of crap really, but it’s still fun to rabble rouse the other members of the group).

Submitted by Randy Givler