Wednesday, September 29, 2010

BREAKING NEWS: Self immolation in Portland

So far as I know, not since 2007's self-immolation in Kittery has someone in the state intentionally set themselves on fire. This time it has taken place in Portland, at Longfellow Square. According to an eyewitness, the man had a miserable look on his face, set down his backpack, and the next thing he knew, the man was a pillar of flame. He ran screaming out into the intersection of State Street and Congress Street and collapsed. Emergency crews rushed to the scene as smoke filled the street -- everything seemed to happen faster than most people could react to what was going on. No word yet on who the unhappy man was.

Emergency vehicles and traffic swarm around the scene just before 12:30pm.

The Press Herald has released more info, though the man's name is still being kept private until family has been contacted. The man was apparently a resident of 675 Congress Street, where he doused himself with gasoline in his apartment before going out to the square and setting himself on fire. He is 24 years old.

More here:

Loren Coleman interviewed some witnesses, and has dug up some odd historical coincidences attached to the date and location at his blog:

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

ZOMBIE KICKBALL: back from the dead!

Zombie Kickball has NOT left the field! The 2010 game will commence on Sunday, October 10, starting at 1:00pm and shambling about until around 5:00pm on Portland's Eastern Promenade. It's their 5th birthday! Hooray!!! Better late than never!

Here's the Facebook event page to RSVP and/or get more info as it becomes available:

Hankering for a flashback? Here are some past years' photos:
ZKIV 2009:
ZKIII 2007:

And on the 5th anniversary, it is only right and proper to revisit the start of it all, the genesis of Zombie Kickball in Portland, via video:

Maine's cloaked crusaders

Back in June, Kathryn Skelton of the Lewiston Sun Journal caught up with two members of the Real Life Superhero Project ( that live and patrol in Lewiston. The full-length interview is extensive and well worth reading, especially in light of the current Guardian Angel recruiting efforts in Portland:
Weird, Wicked Weird: Maine's Real Life Superheroes. Yup, for real.
By Kathryn Skelton, Staff Writer
Published Jun 05, 2010 12:00 am | Last updated Jun 04, 2010 11:10 pm

Her mom thought she was doing drugs, slipping out at night, wandering the streets.

Mom didn’t realize her little girl was actually busy atoning and avenging.

As the self-styled superhero "Dreizehn" (that’s the number 13 in German), she’d slip out and look for trouble, interrupting drug deals and vehicle break-ins. Think “Kick-Ass,” but in real life. Sometimes it worked, sometimes the teenager got beaten up, badly.

Dreizehn moved to Maine from a big city outside New England a few months ago to join her similarly self-styled superhero boyfriend, "Slapjack." Several nights a week they walk Lewiston-Auburn for hours on end as roving Good Samaritans, looking for trouble.

The streets here? Much less mean, in her limited experience.

Most nights their foot patrol means giving bottled water and granola bars to the homeless and maybe yelling at a graffiti artist, all the while costumed and armed with batons, knife-proof protective wear and brass knuckles electrified with Tasers.

Dreizehn and Slapjack are in their 20s. Their parents? They still have no clue.

“You kind of have to be a little unstable to do it,” Dreizehn said. “Going out at 2 a.m. with a mask on and thinking you’re going to save the world, it says a lot about you.”

Read full article with photos here:

Monday, September 27, 2010

EVENT: Gunnar Hansen is Portland-bound

Gunnar Hansen, author, poet, portrayer of Leatherface, and Maine resident, will be in Portland tonight for a special guest appearance at a screening of Texas Chainsaw Massacre!!! Sorry, you must be at least 21 years old to attend.

Available for purchase at the event will be specially designed limited edition silkscreen posters, which you can have Gunnar sign when you meet him!  Hot diggity.

WHAT: Texas Chainsaw Massacre movie screening with special guest Gunnar Hansen
WHEN: TONIGHT! Monday, September 27th, 2010, doors @ 8:00, movie plays @ 9:00
WHERE: Geno's, 625 Congress Street Portland, ME 04101
COST: $20 per ticket (only 100 available), can be purchased in advance at the Fun Box Monster Emporium, 656B Congress Street
FMI: call 329-5385

The Fun Box sez: We will be presenting the original Texas Chainsaw Massacre, uncut, with an introduction and q&a with Leatherface himself, Gunnar Hansen, followed by a signing. Tickets will be on sale at The Fun Box Monster Emporium. There are only 100 tickets available and no more! 20$ per ticket, 21+.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Mowing 'em down in Winterport

Well, Maine has all sorts of innovative(?) racing sports to pick from. Now you can add lawnmowers to the list (if you haven't already). The Winterport Dragway lets riders rip loose on a regular basis. Next race? That would be Saturday, October 2nd, 2010, when they host the 9th Annual Fall Car Show, Drag Race, Gassah Guys (Flag Start), Hot Rod Lawn Mower Shoot Out, ATV/Quad Challenge, Swap Meet, Camp Out Weekend, AND MORE!!

As usual, the Bangor Daily News was fast on the draw back in June, and covered the story:
'It's fun': Hot rod lawn mowers compete at Winterport Dragway
6/12/10 05:57 pm Updated: 6/14/10 12:22 pm
By Heather Steeves, BDN Staff

WINTERPORT, Maine— While hundreds of people were at the Winterport Dragway on Saturday to see fancy car after fancy car, for five drag-racing friends, it was all about lawn mowers.

During a car show Saturday, five souped-up lawn mowers competed in the Hot Rod Lawnmower Shootout.

Peter Gould of Corinna may be the one to blame for all this. He built three of the racing mowers, including a purple one for his daughter.

“We built it just to race it,” Gould said of his orange Case tractor.

To build it, Gould bought a generator so he could rip out the engine and install it in his racer.

“The kids started doing it and, of course, the adults got into it, too,” he said Saturday as he sat waiting for his race.

So maybe Gage Reynolds, 17, of Bangor is really the one to blame.

“We used to pick on him. Now he is kicking our butts,” said fellow racer Lenny “The Viper” Voisine of Waldoboro.

Voisine said they’re a competitive bunch. He has a red Craftsman stick-shift lawn mower he calls “Bad Attitude.” The five of them all race for points. At the end of the season in October, a Hot Rod Lawnmower Shootout champion will be named. For now, they race for points to earn that title.

“It’s just a bunch of guys acting crazy,” he said at the dragway.

A bunch of guys and a 12-year-old girl, that is.

Kassey Gould, 12, of Dexter drives the small purple tractor she helped her dad build from scraps.
“[At school] they think I’m weird because I’m the only girl who drag races. No boys at school do. It’s fun,” she said.
For $12, anyone with a riding lawn mower can cruise down the runway for trophy prizes. The sport has evolved in its time at the Winterport Dragway.

“We started this six years ago for the kids to ride real lawn mowers,” said track president Bob Reynolds, stressing the word “real.” “Look at what it has become.”

Bob Reynolds, who is Gage’s grandfather, said that when the lawn mower races started, they ran them only halfway down the dragway.

“When we started this they were so slow that it reset the timing system before they reached the finish line. They dialed in minutes — not seconds,” Bob Reynolds said.

Bob Reynolds said his grandson’s lawn tractor now can go as fast as his Chevy pickup — but it might not be as reliable.

“A lot of them break. They have a tremendous amount of mechanical errors,” he said.
For information, call the dragway at 223-3998.

Full article here:
Here is one of many Winterport mower races posted on YouTube:

Friday, September 24, 2010

Next time, DON'T call a cab.

Yet another one for the books -- Bangor Daily News reported on a July bank robbery during which a woman had a cab driver unknowingly ferry her getaway car -- until he caught on and tipped the police to her location!
Driver 'furious' about use of taxi by alleged bank robber
By Nok-Noi Ricker, BDN Staff

BANGOR, Maine - There was nothing unusual about the three women Ace Taxi owner-operator Yehoshua "Josh" Mizrachi picked up Tuesday morning for a ride to a downtown bank. In fact, the cab driver said the trio were regular customers, and he already had transported them once that morning.

Mizrachi wasn’t even concerned when one of the women, later identified as Matisha Pitts, 25, of Bangor, asked him to park in front of Bangor Savings Bank on State Street while she ran inside at around 9:30 a.m.

"That's not unusual," he said Wednesday morning at a local coffee shop.
Mizrachi then took the trio of women to Market Street, where he said Hall [Ariel Hall, 19, of Bangor] went inside an apartment for a minute or two and then returned to the cab.

After leaving Market Street, the cab was taking the women to Kenduskeag Avenue when a Bangor police officer called him.

"He wanted to know if I picked up anybody on State Street," the driver said. "All of a sudden, it gelled in my mind about what was going on."
"The minute I realized what was going on, I was furious," Mizrachi said. "I was furious at [Pitts'] audacity to use my cab."

read full article here:

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Mystery midcoast meat men?

How I missed this story when it broke back in late June, I'll never know. And who knew this was enough of a problem to prompt a tri-state law enforcement coordination effort? By the way, great headline, Bangor Daily News!  I figured it deserved a custom illustration, do enjoy.
Police say be wary of rogue meat sellers
Unscrupulous peddlers turn up during summer

6/30/10 08:27 pm Updated: 7/1/10 09:26 am
By Heather Steeves, BDN Staff

ROCKLAND, Maine — The Police Department is warning midcoast residents to turn away unauthorized door-to-door meat salespeople this summer.

“Every year we get complaints of people selling meat out of the backs of their trucks,” said Rockland Deputy Chief Wally Tower. There have been no specific complaints yet this year, but Tower emphasized that “a lot of these people are convicted felons.”

In an effort to get a handle on the scope of the problem, police agencies across Maine, New Hampshire and Massachusetts have been sharing information on the issue, Tower said. In Massachusetts, there have been cases in which the meat sellers stole purses from houses, he said.

“That seems to be a common [mode of operation]. Once they are in the house, they steal,” he said, citing law enforcement information bulletins. Tower did not cite any recent theft cases in Maine related to meat sellers.

Regardless of that, Rockland police advise people to shut their doors to the salespeople and call police immediately.

“The trucks are marked,” Tower said. “The ones in Rockland are beat-up pickup trucks with placards on the side.” He said the trucks typically have freezers in the back.

The Better Business Bureau also advised against purchasing from unlicensed salesmen. According to the bureau, door-to-door meat salesmen tend to start making their rounds in the summer.

The bureau receives complaints against these sorts of companies — some in Maine — including health concerns about the meat.
Maine’s Department of Agriculture licenses some vendors to sell meats out of their trucks. The Department of Agriculture’s Dr. Henrietta Beaufait advised anyone purchasing meat from a door-to-door salesperson to ask to see the vendor’s license and then make sure it is current and the license plate number on the license matches the vendor’s car.

She said customers also should check the boxes of meat, which should be cold. Every box should be labeled with safe handling instructions, a net weight, the company name that cut the meat, and a USDA certification sticker with a number inside it.
She said problems can arise when unlicensed people start selling meat.
Rockland resident Andrew Williams said a meat salesman approached him about six months ago. The salesman got out of his white pickup truck, which had a freezer in the back, and offered him a box of T-bone steaks and Angus beef burgers for about $56.

“It was the best meat I’ve had in a long time. It was weird, it was better meat than I get at any grocery store,” Williams said in a phone interview Wednesday. “I don’t know where the meat came from, but I didn’t get sick after eating it.”

Williams described the salesperson as a “shifty guy” who didn’t offer his name, nor did he give Williams a receipt. Nonetheless, he bought the meat, which he said was a good deal.

People with questions about purchasing meat can call the USDA’s Meat and Poultry Hotline at 888-674-6854. Rockland police ask anyone who encounters one of these salespeople to call the department immediately at 594-0316.

[Full article here:]
I think we can safely file this under the "Things That Make You Go Hmmmm" category.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Wiscasset's hidden marvels

Down East Magazine's Virginia Wright has posted a wonderfully intriguing article about Wiscasset, the self-titled "prettiest village in Maine."

Or how about the fanged bloodworm capital of the world? Not to mention all the ghosts.

Read the article here, and find out more about what makes Maine's typical beauty spots so atypical!

Pictured below is Wiscasset as seen across Sheepscot Harbor during a 2008 sunset (photo (c)2008 by Michelle Souliere).

Saturday, September 18, 2010

MONDAY: New Hampshire vampire movie!

WHAT: Fun Box at the Movies presents: God of Vampires
WHEN: Monday, September 20, 8:00pm - 11:00pm (Doors open @ 8pm, film starts @ 9pm)
WHERE: Geno's, 625 Congress Street, Portland, ME
COST: Suggested Donation of $5 to support the film maker, Rob Fitz
FMI: Call the Fun Box Monster Emporium at (207)329-5385
God of the Vampires website:

This flick looks awesome, especially if you've been a fan of the old school Hopping Chinese Vampire movies in the past -- this is the new breed!  Come support independent New England horror cinema!   If you'd like to read more about it (warning, there may be spoilers), there's a great write-up over at Dread Central:

Synopsis: Professional Killer, Frank Ng, has been contracted to murder a Chinese crime lord. The routine hit goes awry when Frank discovers his mark is actually a vampire.

Suddenly, the tables have turned. The professional killer – the hunter – has become the hunted. This is no ordinary vampire of myths and legends, however. Frank has come face to face with the vengeful Kiang-Shi (Chinese vampire), and it vows to inflict upon Frank such unbearable pain that death will be his only sanctuary.

Cursed, Frank is condemned to helplessly witness the horrific and merciless deaths of those he loves, everyone he knows, and anyone he merely brushes by. His anguish intensifies when he dooms his younger brother to this terrible fate.Enlisting the help of a Chinese herbalist, knowledgeable in the ways of ancient lore, and an unlikely team of vampire hunters, Frank strikes out in a final battle against the Kiang-Shi and his minions of the dark.

Tonight, Frank Ng will discover that to destroy the monster, one must become the monster!

View the Trailer at

Facebook event page

Friday, September 17, 2010

SAT: Fort Knox looking for spooky help!

The Friends of Fort Knox are once again looking for volunteers to assist with their annual Fright at the Fort haunt attraction.

Volunteers are being recruited to help haunt the fort or lead guests through the twists and turns of the Fright course. Groups of volunteers are encouraged as the haunt is arranged area by area throughout the fort, making it easy to assign volunteer groups to each area. An orientation session for all Fright volunteers will be held at 10 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 16, at the Fort Knox Visitor and Education Center in Bucksport.

Interested volunteers may contact Leon Seymour, executive director of the Friends of Fort Knox, at 469-6553 or e-mail him at

See below for directions.

One of Maine's largest Halloween events, Fright at the Fort will creeeep from the grave to scare all you happy campers on four nights in late October:
5:30-9:00 p.m. Friday, Oct. 22, Saturday, Oct. 23, Friday, Oct. 29 and Saturday, Oct. 30
FMI: has more info, including the volunteer application form

Readers will remember how the Fort impressed me in broad daylight. Imagine the same setting at night! Guests are guided through the shadowed passages of the early Victorian-era granite fortification, where imaginatively terrifying scenes and spirited spooks await them.

Proceeds help the Friends of Fort Knox with ongoing restoration efforts. The organization's mission is to preserve Fort Knox and enhance its educational, cultural and economic value for the people of Maine. Fort Knox is a Maine State Historic site managed by the Maine Department of Conservation's Bureau of Parks and Lands on behalf of the people of Maine.

From Belfast: Proceed north on US Rte 1, through Searsport and Stockton Springs, immediately before crossing the Penobscot Narrows Bridge, take a left onto Rte. 174. Fort Knox will be approximately 1/4 mile up on your right.

From Bar Harbor: Follow US Rte. 1 south across the Penobscot Narrows bridge, immediately adjacent to the town of Bucksport. Once over the bridge take a right onto Rte. 174. Fort Knox will be approximately 1/4 mile up on your right.

From Bangor:
On Rte. 1A South....follow Rte 1A South through the towns of Hampden, Winterport, Frankfort and Prospect. In Prospect Center, take a left onto Rte. 174. Follow Rte 174 approximately 4 miles. Fort Knox will be on your left. On Rte 15 South....follow Rte 15 South through the city of Brewer and the towns of Orrington and Bucksport. In Bucksport, take a right onto US Rte.1 South and proceed over the Penobscot Narrows bridge. Immediately upon exiting the bridge take a right onto Rte. 174. Fort Knox will be approximately 1/4 mile up on your right

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Monsters in our midst

There's a great post about Maine's own International Cryptozoology Museum over at OTIS (Odd Things I've Seen), which is a tasty teaser for J. W. Ocker's newly published book, The New England Grimpendium:

Tons of cool photos, some fun descriptions of some of the museum's featured items, and a great jumping off point for Ocker's blog, which covers enough intriguing New England things to make you want to jump in your car and go see them yourself!

Monday, September 13, 2010

Vegetable boat report

When I first saw the article title "The Vegetable Boat," the first thing I thought of was the Maine tradition of using giant pumpkins as boats. Well, the story is actually much more normal than that, but still interesting!

Mainers are aces at finding footholds for non-traditional markets to sell their wares. From coolers left deep in the woods to sell trekkers ice cold sodas, to unexpected caches of unique handmade items tucked into the shelves of local convenience stores, to global marketing of innovative inventions, we've done it all.

The Vegetable Boat is reported on by the folks over at the Spoonandshutter blog, who sampled its wares at Pratt's Island dock this summer.

See their full post, with tons of great photos, here:

Sunday, September 12, 2010

BREAKING NEWS: Congress St 7-11 truck crash

A truck from DS Foundations Incorporated carrying metal racks full of heavy plywood foundation wall forms crashed into a parked car and the corner of the brick building at 696 Congress Street just before 9:00am on Sunday, September 12, 2010. Previously the truck had lost a portion of its load at the end of Valley Street, near the Veterans Bridge between Portland and South Portland, which as late as 11:40am was being supervised by a Portland Police vehicle after it was abandoned at the side of the road.

People at the scene stated that witnesses of the crash apprehended someone exiting the truck when he attempted to flee the scene.

At the scene, fire officers and police officers had strung caution tape around the 7-11 convenience store, and were supervising the removal of the truck and the bulk of its load of plywood foundation forms, which had toppled off the truck bed along its path to destruction.
Above, fire and police personnel consult near the scene of the accident. Concern was expressed over the worrying possibility that the structural integrity of the Congress Street apartment building had been compromised by the impact.

More photos from the scene are available for viewing here on my Flicker site:
Above, the DS Foundations truck is towed away. A number of heavy duty trucks from Stewart's Towing were on the scene, as well as a smattering of trucks from other towing companies, as the wrecked truck's cargo had to be parceled out due to its heavy weight. You can clearly see where the truck impacted the building and crushed its fender at the center. The windshield is also cracked.

WCSH-6 was on the scene, and reports that Arthur Lariviere of Portland was put into custody at the Cumberland County Jail after stealing the truck from a construction site on Danforth Street. "Lariviere crashed into a car in the parking lot of the 7/11 on Congress Street in Portland around 8:45 AM Sunday. The truck pushed the car forward, then veered off and slammed into another car. The second car was crushed - pinned between the truck and the building at 696 Congress street."

Video and photos available on the WCSH website as linked above!

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Third time's a... chum?

Okay, the first time a bait truck dumps its load in your front yard, it stinks. The second time it happens, it stinks again. The third time, it stinks even more, and you start to wonder...
a) Do the bait truck drivers have it in for you?, or
b) Has the local cat population developed a cunning plan that the rest of us don't know about?

The Bangor Daily News reports:
Truck overturns in Whiting, spills load of herring
7/31/10 04:02 pm Updated: 8/2/10 09:03 pm
By Sharon Kiley Mack, BDN Staff

WHITING, Maine — A truck carrying herring overturned on a sharp curve near the intersection of Routes 189 and 1 in Whiting early Saturday, spilling its cargo and injuring the driver.

According to Maine State Police Trooper Andrew Foss, the driver of the truck blew a tire as he drove through the curve, causing the truck to flip onto its side.

About 22,000 pounds of lobster-bait herring tumbled out alongside the road, and the truck owned by D.C. Airfreight of Winter Harbor had $25,000 in damage.
This is the third time a fish truck has dumped its load in Esther MacLaughlin’s front yard, her daughter Robin McPhail said Saturday.

Read full article & see photos at BDN site:,150197

Thursday, September 09, 2010

Homeless park or ...?

Recent events in Skowhegan after a local man was denied the ability to build on his property have the town in a tizzy. The full Morning Sentinel article with photos is available online:
Homeless park draws concern: Land owner Bruce Obert rejects claim he's allowing it out of spite
By Doug Harlow, Staff Writer
August 24, 2010

SKOWHEGAN -- There are a picnic table, a portable toilet and blankets on the ground in woods at the edge of Coburn Avenue, near downtown.
There also is a banner stretched across the trees saying: "Nature Park, Nature Trails for the Homeless People of Somerset County."

On Friday, the site got its first visitor since landowner Bruce Obert, a developer from Norridgewock, laid it out earlier this summer. Obert said he was just trying to give underprivileged people a place to go and in no way was trying to spite the town or the Coburn Avenue neighbors.

Eighty-four-year-old Rod Rodriquez and his Rottweiler have set up camp on the property -- and the neighbors on the otherwise quiet, residential street are unhappy.

No laws have been broken, town officials said Monday. Police Chief Michael Emmons said he takes full responsibility for moving Rodriquez to the site, as he and town officials look for a place for the man to stay.
[Neighbor Pam] Nixon and others said they remember reading about Rodriquez a few years ago when he set up a blanket camp behind Empire Grill, off Water Street in Skowhegan. Rodriquez in September 2006 had a Great Dane with him. Before Skowhegan, he had been in Farmington, Waterville and Madison. Residents complained about his sudden outbursts, and said he often appeared verbally confrontational, according to published reports at the time.
An attempt to interview Rodriquez on Monday while he was having lunch behind the police station was not successful because of the presence of the dog.
Contacted by phone Monday afternoon, Obert said he is not trying to spite the residents of Coburn Avenue or the town.

He said homeless people, such as Rodriquez, can visit the site any time they want, but cannot live there.

"It's a useless piece of land to me," Obert said. "The town told me that I can't build on it because of the set-back rules on a little stream, which doesn't have a name and is dried up at this point now. So I thought I'd make it into a little park and let the unprivileged people get a chance to have a place to sit and use the picnic table and enjoy the fresh outdoors. He should be able to come and go as he pleases."

Read full article with photos here:
In addition, WABI-5 TV has a videoclip up on their site with further coverage:

Tuesday, September 07, 2010

Eliot farmhouse ghost generates book

The Canton (MA) Citizen just featured an article about Maine resident Helen Goransson. Goransson has written a book that emerged from research she did into her old farmhouse's history when it became apparent it was haunted. (Be sure to click on the link to the Canton Citizen below to read the full article, which contains an excellent interview.)
Canton native Helen Goransson exorcises ghost with her recent book
By Jeffrey Pickette, Citizen Staff
September 2, 2010

She heard stomping footsteps when there was no one upstairs; she heard music playing and other “funny sounds” when it should have otherwise been silent; she would turn on a light, only to find it mysteriously turned off a short time later; she would find doors that should be locked suddenly swung wide open.

These were just some of the odd occurrences that took place from time to time at Helen (Gerzon) Goransson’s farmhouse in Eliot, Maine. The Canton native bought the house with her husband Paul, also a Canton native, 25 years ago.

“We always thought the place was a little bit creepy,” Goransson said. “And then we had some strange things happen that were sort of inexplicable, so we said it must be ghosts, half jokingly; we’re too smart to believe in ghosts. And over the years it just became more and more insistent that these are not all coincidences if you have hundreds of them.”

If you suspected that there was a ghost haunting your house, maybe you would consider hiring an exorcist or may even consider moving. Instead, Goransson got to know her ghost and wrote a book about him, Views from Rosemary Hill, published this August.

After moving into the house, Goransson found an old plaque that belonged to Sylvester Bartlett. She went to the local library to research this man and found out he used to own her farmhouse. However, over time she determined that her ghost was not that of Sylvester’s, but rather that of his son, Ralph Bartlett (1868-1960), a successful 20th century lawyer and socialite.
Goransson describes the book as a “history, mystery, ghost story, and love story.” It’s autobiographical in a sense as well, since she and her husband are the young couple that buy the farm in the book (just like they actually did in 1985), but she changes their names, like she did with many of the modern day characters in the book. However, she did not alter any of the historical character’s names, and the events drawn out in the book are true, based on years of primary source research.
She has been married to Paul since 1975, and since then the two have lived everywhere from Northern Africa to South America to Mexico, before settling in Maine. Together they have two children, ages 27 and 25.
For those interested in purchasing the book, contact Helen Goransson at or visit Part of the proceeds will go to the Eliot, ME Historical Society (

Read full article here:
Readers may also recognize the Goransson name in connection with husband Paul's exposure during his climb of Vinson Massiff, a peak in Antarctica, back in 2005 in the company of his son. Article here:

Sunday, September 05, 2010

Wood Island lighthouse ghost tour!

This photo is the earliest known photo of Wood Island (c. 1858).
Join author and paranormal investigator Ron Kolek and members of the New England Ghost Project for an overnight investigation of Wood Island Lighthouse, Biddeford, on Saturday, Sept. 11th, 2010.

Ghost Hunt at Wood Island Lighthouse with the New England Ghost Project
September 11th-12th

Have you ever wanted to go on a ghost hunt? Now is your chance! On the night of September 11th and the morning or the 12th, join author, radio personality and paranormal investigator Ron Kolek and members of the New England Ghost Project for an overnight investigation of Wood Island Lighthouse. This lighthouse was featured in their book Ghost Chronicles and has a history of unusual occurrences.

Former keepers, Coast Guard personnel and others have witnessed strange events associated with the island and lighthouse. In 1896, a tragic murder-suicide took place on the island. Do their spirits still inhabit the island? Or is it that of a former lighthouse keeper? Or is it something more sinister?

Join Ron and the rest of the NEGP crew for an unbelievable night as they attempt to unravel the mystery of Wood Island. The price of this overnight investigation is only $100. The Friends of Wood Island Lighthouse will be providing free transportation to the island. (All funds will be donated to the Friends of Wood Island Lighthouse for preservation of the facility).

Do you have what it takes to become a ghost hunter?
Sign up and find out! CALL 207-468-8057

In addition, the New England Ghost Project will be offering two tours of the lighthouse on Saturday, September 11th, at 12:00 PM and 2:00 PM. The cost will be $20/person. FOWIL will be providing free transportation. Reservations are required. Call our reservation line 207-286-3229

Readers may also be interested in "Maine Open Lighthouse Day," September 18th, 2010, when FOWIL will once again be participating in the 2nd annual Maine Open Lighthouse Day. Weather permitting, FOWIL will host tours of Wood Island Lighthouse. This event is sponsored by the State of Maine, the U.S. Coast Guard, and the American Lighthouse Foundation. Reservations are required and may be made after October 1st by calling the reservation line at 207-286-3229.

For information about the other Maine lighthouses participating in this event, go to

The New England Ghost Project ( is based out of Dracut, Massachusetts. This paranormal investigation group is led by Ron Kolek, their Executive Director/Lead Investigator. According to their website:
Ron Kolek is the founder and lead investigator of The New England Ghost Project. With a degree in Environmental Science, he was the ultimate skeptic. However, a near death experience changed all that. No longer blinded by his skepticism, he now uses scientific background to seek the truth about the paranormal. In addition to hosting Ghost Chronicles on Ghostvillage Radio and ITunes, he hosts a weekly internet radio show on, and writes monthly paranormal newspaper columns in The Stateline Review and Food and Spirits.

The group also releases two regular podcast series: Ghost Chronicles and Ghost Chronicles International.

Saturday, September 04, 2010

Rob all night? Time to pay

The Portland Daily Sun ( ran a story by Matt Dodge a week ago that had the entire early morning coffee gaggle agog. The funny part? The story starts out normally enough, detailing the multiple charges of robbery, etc., levied against Paul Schlosser, 25, of Standish. It's not until you read the last line on page 1 that you have a clue there might be more interesting details on page 3... "'He's well known to Portland police,' said Portland Police Chief James Craig, who also said that Schlosser's crime spree was likely fueled by drug use, based on behavior witnessed by the arresting officers." What behavior, pray tell?

Schlosser started out by robbing the Cumberland Farms store on Pine Street. Officers were able to identify him from the surveillance camera tapes from the store. Then over the next couple of hours, there was a bunch of muddling around involving previously stolen cars and attempts to steal other cars, possibly an ambulance, etc, at Maine Medical Center.

By 3:00am, Schlosser had found his way to the Circle K on Commercial Street, where he committed another robbery at knifepoint. A few hours later, at 6:00am, the McDonald's on St John Street put the police back on Schlosser's trail after he robbed them as well. This is where it gets interesting.
Police learned that the suspect, again identified as Schlosser, entered the restaurant with a knife and demanded money from the register. The employee refused, and Schlosser came behind the counter to pry open the drawer.

Police say that as Schlosser tried to force open the register, a McDonald's employee threw hot coffee on the suspect.

Craig said that while he commends the McDonald's employee for their part in deterring the suspect, “I don’t recommend anyone attack an armed suspect.”

Schlosser reportedly recovered from the hot coffee, and left the restaurant with the cash register. As Schlosser attempted to extract cash from the register, officers say, police saw him fleeing the location.

Schlosser then attempted to enter the passenger side of a stopped, occupied vehicle and was taken into custody by Portland police.

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I can only imagine what a news crew on the scene would have made of the last moments of the chase (oh, if only we had news crews that actually investigated real news!). Here's this guy who's been up all night, covered in hot coffee and hauling a heavy cash register, running down the street and then trying to get into someone's car as the police are closing in on him.

Again, here's to Portland's not-so-bright criminal population. Thank heavens you make it so easy to thwart you!

Another interesting tidbit from the article is mention of how Portland deals with crack cocaine: "I recently learned that possession of [personal amounts of] crack is a misdemeanor," Police Chief Craig is quoted as saying. "That is not acceptable. That’s a felony anywhere else in the country."

Another local news website,, reported Craig as mentioning that Schlosser had been arrested 30 times over the past five years for an assortment of crimes.