This article will be taking a look at the paranormal activity linked to the Cowra POW breakout from August the 5th, 1944, when over 1100 Japanese prisoners of war tried their best to break out of a prison camp in New South Wales, Australia…
Cowra prison camp opened it’s doors in June 1941 for it’s first inmates – Italians.
Initially, the site was pretty basic, and the prisoners had to sleep out in tents. Their first ‘hard labor’ job was to construct weatherboard huts that they would later move into in 1942.
The first Japanese prisoner was named Toyoshima Hajime – he was apparently captured by aborigines after he had to make an emergency landing in his damaged warplane.
More Japanese followed and ended up in Compound B…an area that soon got completely overcrowded.
The Italian prisoners seemed to get on well with their captors, but the Japanese POW’s did not. They saw their capture as nothing more than a violation of traditional and ethic codes.
Initially, the security at Cowra was pretty light – mainly made up of disabled veterans and newbie soldiers. This light security continued until news of a Japanese riot in Featherston POW camp in New Zealand, forced the army authorities to up their game.
Vickers and Lewis machine guns were installed all around the Australian prison camp…
The Cowra Prison Breakout
The Cowra guards became aware of the Japanese breakout plan when a Korean prisoner decided to ‘back-stab’ them on the third of June, 1944.
He informed the security authorities that the Japanese POW’s were planning on storming the garrison, taking the weapons and escaping.
The authorities hastily decided to move the younger generation of Japanese soldiers to a new camp, as a way of splitting up the prisoner’s plans. The Japanese were informed of this course of action on the day before it was due to be carried out.
At 1:58 am on the 5th, a bugle was sounded as the Japanese prisoners from compound ‘B’ charged the perimeter armed with improvised weapons. They were also equipped with blankets which they used to get over the sharp steel barbed wire fences.
Only 359 POW’s managed to escape…but they were rounded up and recaptured within ten days of the prison break.
It is reported that 231 Japanese inmates were mowed down by machine gun fire during the escape – the Australian’s lost 4 prison soldiers in total.
These days the Cowra site, along with it’s buildings, is nothing more than a ruin…but it is reported to be one of the most haunted locations in the country.
Over the years there have been numerous reports of Japanese music softly playing on the wind, after nightfall. A large number of visitors to the area have also reported hearing footsteps shadowing them, as they walk through the ruins.
Many psychics have visited the camp, and continually reinforce the belief that it is indeed haunted by the dead Japanese soldiers.
If you have any thoughts or opinions on the Cowra POW breakout, please leave them in the comment section below.
This article will be taking a look at the mysterious Fred Valentich disappearance of 1978 – could it be attributed to a UFO that numerous people reported witnessing that evening?
Let’s take a closer look…
At approximately 7 pm on October the 21st, 1978, a young pilot named Fred Valentich mysteriously disappeared.
Due to his body and aircraft never being found – the young man is presumed dead.
But…many ufologists believe that Valentich did not simply crash and die…but rather he was killed or abducted by a UFO…
Born on the 9th June, 1958, Frederick Valentich live with his family in Melbourne, Australia. He had always had an interest in planes and when he was old enough, he joined up with the youth Air Cadets.
He attempted to get into the Royal Australian Air Force on two separate occasions, but unfortunately he did not hold enough qualifications to pass the entry requirements.
Valentich then decided to aim all his efforts towards becoming a commercial airline pilot. He was issued his student pilot license and then private pilot license in 1977.
Valentich’s family also claimed that their son was a bit of a ufologist, and regularly studied reports of UFO’s he’d picked up from the Air Force.
On the day of his disappearance, Valentich handed in a flight plan that suggested he was heading towards King Island in the south-eastern state of Australia.
This journey would have taken him through an area known as Bass Strait – well known for maritime disappearances and shipwrecks (it was a section of sea between Tasmania and the mainland).
He took off at 6:15 pm and at about 7 pm he radioed in to Melbourne air traffic control asking about any other aircraft in the area – he was told that he was the only flight in that specific area.
He then informed traffic control that he was looking straight at an extremely large aircraft that had four large landing lights. He also noted that this air vessel was traveling at fast speed and had passed about 1,000 feet above him.
Valentich then went on to describe the strange vessel in more detail. He claimed that it seemed metallic and had a strange green light shining out of it…
Then he reported that it had vanished!
Moments later he radioed back in to air control claiming the vessel had reappeared and was hovering right next to him – it was definitely NOT an aircraft.
He then reported that he was experiencing engine problems with his plane…
Air control then heard about 20 seconds of a strange scraping or scratching sound before the communication fell silent.
Valentich’s plane never made it to King Island.
A search was put together that combed the Bass Strait for over a week…but they never managed to recover Valentich or his plane.
The Valentich UFO Link
Twenty minutes before Valentich reported engine trouble, a man near Cape Otway managed to capture an image of a fast moving flying object leaving the water in one of his photographs.
When Valentich’s mysterious disappearance became public knowledge, numerous people came forward claiming that they had seen extremely bright lights in the sky, around about the time the young pilot radioed in to air control.
A handful of witnesses even claimed to have seen Valentich’s plane in a steep dive with a strange bright light following it.
Authorities managed to keep the young pilot’s description of the UFO under tabs until 1982, when it finally became public knowledge. Many UFOlogists believe that this initial secrecy points to an extraterrestrialcover up.
What do you think?
Please leave your thoughts and opinions in the comment section below.
This article will be covering the Westall high school UFO incident in Melbourne, Victoria, in 1966, when more than 200 students witnessed something strange in the skies above them…
The Westall UFO 1966
Mid-morning, on April the 6th, 1966, students of Westall Primary and Westall High School were busy at their work when the silence was broken by some sort of commotion outside the school buildings.
The students that were playing in the schoolyard were all looking up to the skies – tracking the progress of a strange flying object passing over the schools.
The teachers noticed this disturbance, and one by one they joined the students out on the yard. Suddenly, the ‘craft’ descended behind a group of trees and seemed to land in an area known locally as ‘The Grange’.
The flying object was about the same size as a regular family car and it seemed to move silently – there was no sign of any engine noise. It was shaped like a saucer and it had a silver/blue/purple color to it’s body.
A young boy who’s parents owned some land in The Grange, was playing nearby and witnessed the saucer descend and touch down on the ground. He quickly went and got his father to the scene. The father examined the area where his son claimed the craft had landed, and found a circular pattern that had heat-damaged the grass somehow.
Two girls from the nearby high school also managed to witness the saucer landing in The Grange. They apparently got within 6 meters of the strange object before feeling slightly ill. They returned to school and one of them starting vomiting violently – she was taken away by ambulance and was never seen again at the school.
The Westall UFO Incident
Many of the locals managed to witness the UFO taking off again. They claim that 5 military aircraft surrounded the saucer as it glided across the sky, circling it.
After the incident, the local military denied that these planes were present. The pilots never came forward and no official reports were penned by the army.
Within hours, the police and army officials had cordoned off the area in The Grange where the UFO had landed. They quickly got to work on the area and burned away the grass where the saucer had been seen landing.
The two schools were obviously full of students that could not stop talking about the strange incident. The headmistress of the high school was taken aside by ‘men in suits’ and told she was not allowed to talk about what had happened to anybody. She was also told to address the students and make sure they kept their mouths shut!
The media did eventually manage to get hold of the story, and a TV news channel broadcast the story…but the footage has since gone missing. It simply vanished from the TV station’s archives and never returned…
Numerous explanations were put forward by the authorities – but nobody really bought them. First of all it was a weather balloon, then it was nylon target drogue…maybe it was a prototype aeroplane or a local military operation?
I doubt it…
If you have any thoughts or opinions on the Westall high school UFO incident, please leave them in the comment section below.
This article will be taking a closer look at the spirit of Entally House, located in Hapsden, 15 kilometers South West of Launceston, Tasmania. Who is this turbaned male Indian entity that materializes on the staircase, and why is he linked to the property?
The house was built in 1819 by Thomas Haydock Reibey – son of Mary and Thomas Reibey. His mother, Mary, was a bit of a girl really – she was arrested and charged with stealing horses back in 1791, in Lancashire.
This resulted in her being sentenced to seven years transportation, and she arrived in Sydney in October, 1792.
It was here that she met her husband-to-be, Thomas Reibey.
Now, Thomas was a bit of a razor-sharp businessman, and he ended up with several successful companies. When he died in 1811, Mary took over all the businesses and they became even more successful.
She retired extremely wealthy, in 1830.
Mary Reibey died on the 30th of May, 1855 – she outlived five of her seven children. She had been involved in numerous charities supporting local areas – she has even featured on the Australian $20 note since 1994!!!
The businesses were then left to her eldest son, Thomas Reibey II, who began building the Entally Estate in 1819…
The Entally Ghost
Entally House was named after a suburb of Kolkata, in India. Thomas decided to honor a merchant who had aided his father in India many years before, by naming the estate, and the house, after the area this man lived – Entally.
The Entally ghost first hit the headlines in 1954 when a Melbourne-based newspaper, The Argus, published a story on it.
The article mentioned a woman who had ran into the ghost in Entally, and had been so traumatized, she ended up being sent on to the New Norfolk Asylum to recover.
Over the years there have been other sightings of this ghost – an apparition that appears as a Turbaned Indian.
Locals believe that he only ever appears to you on the stairs of Entally house…and he can only be seen by women.
These days the staircase is cut off half way – so if you walk up them, you will arrive at a section you will not be able to pass. This is the point where he appears.
Witnesses claim that the air suddenly turns freezing cold on the staircase and the Turbaned Indian suddenly appears for a few seconds, before disappearing again.
Paranormal experts believe that this Indian spirit is somehow linked to Thomas Reibey, and his experiences with the merchant in suburb of Kolkata. Others believe that Reibey brought back a possessed item from India, and his son unwittingly placed it in the house he built.
What do you think?
Please leave your thoughts and opinions in the comment section below.
This article will be taking a look at the haunted Bushranger Hotel in Collector, and the history behind it’s paranormal activity…
The Bushranger Hotel
The Bushranger Hotel was built as part of five original inns that went up in Collector in 1860. It originally bore the title of ‘Kimberley’s Commercial Hotel’.
These inns were constructed with the sole purpose of serving the merchants and workers traveling to and from the Kiandra Goldfields.
On January the 26th, 1865, a gang led by Bushranger Ben Hall arrived on the outskirts of Collector…
The group had been busy holding up travelers on a road south of Goulburn all morning, but the local troopers had caught wind of this and had managed to interrupt their criminal activities.
They pulled up outside Collector and planned their next move…
When they entered the town they immediately rounded up several men and boys as hostages. One of the gang members held the captives on the street whilst the other two entered Kimberley’s Commercial Hotel. Once inside they began to steal firearms and items of clothing.
Judge Meymott had passed the gang when they were still outside the town, and had ordered two of his constables to search the outskirts for them. This meant that there was only one lawman remaining in the town itself – Samuel Nelson.
Constable Nelson was informed of the gang’s activities about the same time they entered the hotel. He was heavily outnumbered by the gang but he knew his duty was to protect the town – he grabbed his weapon and went to face the gang, he was joined by one of his sons.
Constable Nelson was ambushed by gang member John Dunn before he could reach the hotel. He was shot in the stomach then shot in the face, when he lay on the floor – the gang then proceeded to ransack his corpse.
The group of criminals then made their escape from the town.
They were eventually apprehended on boxing day in 1865. They were executed in Darlinghurst Gaol on the 19th of March, 1866.
Many paranormal investigators believe that the Bushranger Hotel is now haunted by a former publican, who has no idea he is dead, and continues his bar work from day to day.
Certain members of staff have reported leaving the bar area, and returning moments later to see a large ‘tower’ of glasses stacked in the center of the room. There have also been reports of glasses shattering on the shelves for no reason,
The body of Constable Samuel Nelson was laid on a couch in the hotel after he was slain in the street – many locals believe that his spirit is behind some of the poltergeist activity…
If you have any thoughts or opinions on the subject we have covered here, please leave them in the comment section below.
This article will be taking a look at the tragic Luna Park ghost train fire from 1979 – is there an occult undertone to this event that managed to trap the spirits within the confines of the popular family location?
Let’s take a closer look…
Opened on October 4th, 1935, Luna Park is considered to be one of the most popular family attractions in Sydney Harbour Foreshore. It was built as a sort of ‘homage’ to the original Luna Park that sits in New York (Coney Island).
It was built on an area of land that used to be a construction headquarters – used for the building of the Sydney Harbour Bridge. Once the bridge was finished, the area became open for bids…and the Luna Park setup won the deal!
The park actually hit on hard times during the 50’s when it’s attendance levels dropped significantly due to the birth of household TV etc. At one point, during the early 70’s, new owners tried to develop it into a multi-story trade center.
This application for development was firmly refused, so the park remained open to the public…
Tragedy hit the park’s ghost train on June the 9th, 1979, when a sudden fire broke out at 10:15pm. Unfortunately, the ride itself was full to the brim with passengers.
The fire raged until about half past eleven, that same night, when the fire services finally managed to get a hold of it.
Seven victims were recovered from the ride: John Godson, his two children, Damien (6) and Craig (4), and College students Jonathon Billings, Richard Carroll, Michael Johnson, and Seamus Rahilly.
These bodies were not found inside the train cars – they were scattered all over the inside of the ride. Apparently they had all left the cars in desperation…looking for a way out of the flaming amusement ride.
A Ritual Sacrifice?
It wasn’t long before the conspiracy theorists jumped on the bandwagon, and many different theories about the cause of the fire rose from it’s ashes.
The one theory that stood out, and is still discussed regularly, is the idea that this fire could have been linked to a ritual sacrifice to the ancient Ammonite god Moloch.
This theory came to light when a photograph was released that contained the image of one of the young boys killed in the tragedy. It was taken on the ferry, just before he arrived at the park…and standing in the background is a horned figure that apparently had no links to the park.
On top of this, a witness, Marshall Said (16), claimed that the ride operator was letting cars full of kids into the ride…AFTER the park had been alerted to the fire inside!
The Sydney newspaper, The Sun, picked up on this theory and actually published a front page story on it.
Perched high on a hill overlooking the small town of Junee is the imposing Monte Cristo Homestead. Built in the classic Colonial style of the era, it combines functionality with beauty.
Now over a hundred and thirty years old this historic building is both famous and notorious. Sadly though it is not its architecture which has provoked worldwide interest in the building.
Inhabited by the Monte Cristo Homestead ghosts, it is said to be the most haunted house in Australia.
A Brief History of Monte Cristo
Construction of the Monte Cristo Homestead began in 1884 by Christopher William Crawley. Once a poor farmer, chance, good fortune and business acumen elevated him to great wealth.
In a few short years clever investments meant that he owned a great deal of the growing town of Junee. Before long he was a pillar of the local community and wanted a home to reflect his rise in status.
The beautiful Monte Cristo Homestead must have fulfilled his expectations and more. Renowned for its social gatherings and parties it appeared to be a happy home.
Occupied by the Crawley family until 1948, the property was left empty for the next fifteen years. The contents of the house were sold off and a succession of caretakers failed to care properly for the building.
Eventually, the building was left vandalised and derelict. In 1963 it was bought by Reginald and Olive Ryan. The couple restored the house to its former glory and occupied it as their home before opening their haunted house to the public.
Looks Can be Deceptive
To the outside world, Christopher William Crawley and his wife appeared to be pillars of society. Both were devout Catholics who donated money to the local church and to the community of Junee.
Behind closed doors, there is a suggestion that Crawley and his wife were not the ideal citizens they pretended to be. Mr. Crawley is suspected of impregnating two of his maids, one of whom went on to commit suicide, while the other’s illegitimate child was treated like an animal.
A hundred years later it is difficult to confirm whether or not these rumors are true. Crawley himself died in 1910 leaving his widow behind.
Mrs. Crawley went on to live in the house for another 23 years, rarely leaving her home to venture in to the outside world. Described by some of her staff after her death as harsh and cruel, she is said to have run the household with a rod of iron.
The Ghosts of Monte Cristo
The Monte Cristo Homestead is said to be haunted by up to ten troubled souls and poltergeists. Some remain unidentified but others have a very strong link with the house and can be traced back through its troubled history.
Mrs. Crawley: One of the most powerful presences at Monte Cristo is said to be the ghost of Mrs. Crawley. Virtually a recluse after the death of her husband, she confined herself to the limits of her home.
Despite being a committed Christian and converting a room in her house to a chapel, Mrs. Crawley is rumored to have had a cruel and unkind nature.
Dressed in black and carrying a silver cross her presence is often seen and felt. Upset Mrs. Crawley and you will incur her wrath.
Visitors to the Monte Cristo Homestead have felt themselves pushed unceremoniously out of the rooms which she haunts. Others have heard her unhappy spirit weeping.
Mr. Crawley: The spirit of Mr. Crawley is also felt about the building. Not as powerful a presence as his formidable wife, he has been seen in the room where he died.
Ethel Crawley: Ethel Crawley died in 1917. Literally a babe in arms, she died when her nursemaid dropped her on the stairs. Whether it was an accident or intentional we will never know.
At the time the nursemaid swore that there was a supernatural involvement, claiming that she had felt a shove to her back from an invisible force.
To this day visitors to the house feel a strange atmosphere around the stairs. Some feel an invisible force restraining or pushing them, young children become agitated and upset, while others feel the tiny icy hand of a child slip silently into theirs.
Morris, The Stable Boy: Morris was a young stable boy who worked for the Crawley family. One day he is said to have taken to his bed, feeling ill and unable to get up. There are two different versions of what happened next.
The first version describes poor Morris trapped in his bed unable to move when a fire broke out in the stable. In the second more sinister version of the story, Morris’s boss set fire to the straw mattress on which the poor boy was sleeping.
Presumably he was calling the boys bluff and expected him to leap from the burning bed. Sadly, the stable lad died. His screams are said to resonate around the stables.
Harold Steel: Harold Steel was the son of one of the maids in the Crawley household. He was also rumored to be the illegitimate child of Christopher Crawley.
As a youngster Harold was involved in a carriage accident and sustained serious head injuries. After his accident he developed an aggressive and violent personality.
In order to control him, his mother chained him up in the dairy behind the main house. Harold is said to have spent up to thirty years in this state. During this time he would howl and scream, becoming the object of children’s curiosity and cruel taunts.
When his mother died, life became worse for the unfortunate Harold. Eventually, local people intervened and he was confined to a mental institution where he died soon after. Harold’s howls and screams can still be heard in the dairy.
The Pregnant Maid: Another sad soul that haunts the Monte Cristo Homestead is the ghost of the pregnant maid. Whether she was pregnant by Christopher Crawley or not, we can only speculate.
What is known is that she committed suicide by throwing herself from the top veranda of the building. Her blood still stains the steps that lead up to the house and her ghostly image is said to hover around the exterior of the building.
Jack Simpson: Few who see the beautifully restored Monte Cristo Homestead today could imagine the decay it fell into during the last century. Crumbling and derelict it became the classic haunted house on the hill.
Despite this, the murder of Jack Simpson in 1961 must have shaken the small local community to the core. Jack Simpson was one of the many caretakers who occupied the property after the last of the family vacated the Monte Cristo in 1948.
One evening in 1961 he opened the door to an unexpected and lethal visitor. Shot at point blank range, Jack died immediately.
His murderer was a crazed local youth who had watched Psycho three times before carrying out the killing. Before fleeing the scene the young man wrote ‘Die Jack – ha ha’ on a shed door. The words can clearly be read today and the spirit of poor Jack is said to linger in the area.
Strange Lights and Animal Mutilation
Since its purchase and subsequent restoration in 1963, the Monte Cristo Homestead has become a family home, museum and ghostly tourist attraction. Thousands visit each year and there are hundreds of paranormal incidents recorded.
One of the strangest incidents experienced by the family who occupy the property involves strange lights. At least twice they have left their home in darkness to go out for the evening.
As they have approached the empty house on their return, they have witnessed it completely lit up. By the time they have reached their destination, the house is in darkness again.
More disturbing is the reaction and fate of some animals on the property. When the Ryan family moved into the property in 1963, they claim their cat and dog would not enter the building but ran away.
Subsequently, they went on to discover their chickens strangled in their secured pens, a parrot choked to death in its locked cage and kittens found dead and mutilated in the breakfast room.
Other phenomena recorded by those who visit the home include; nausea, fainting, overwhelming sadness, icy touches, whispered messages, unexplained mists and full body apparitions.
The Monte Cristo Homestead is open to the public and for those who are interested in the paranormal it must surely be on the list of must see places. Claiming to be Australia’s most haunted house it is certainly rich in unexplained phenomena.
Lovingly restored to its former Victorian glory by its current owners, it offers Ghost Tours for the curious. Overnight stays in haunted rooms are available for those who are really keen to catch a glimpse of the Monte Cristo Homestead ghosts.
A word of warning though, Mrs. Crawley is very particular about who enters her home and is often said to take an instant dislike to those who show her or her home disrespect.
If you don’t want to feel her icy glare, a whispered threat or a short sharp shove in your back, be sure to mind your manners and be on your very, very best behavior.