Band of Brothers – The Currahee Military Museum
Who hasn’t heard of Steven Spielberg’s mini series, Band of Brothers, produced by Tom Hanks? This is the story of the original Easy Company, the 506th Regiment of the 101st Airborne Division, U.S. Army, based at Camp Toccoa. Located in northeast GA, the unit trained on the rugged slopes of Currahee Mountain. The Band of Brothers was an elite group of paratroopers who were the first to land for the World War II D-Day invasion. They jumped in the dark and set the stage for the Battle of Normandy. See important information and photographs of the Museum that honors these brave men at www.toccoahistory.com
On Feb. 3, 2007, The Foundation for Paranormal Research had the privilege of conducting a paranormal investigation at the Currahee Military Museum, Toccoa, GA. We wish to thank Dr. Steve Tilley, a volunteer at the museum for allowing us this unique opportunity.
Inside the old Train Depot, the focal point of the museum is a reconstructed stable. It was used to house troops in Aldbourne, England, prior to the 1944 D-Day invasion. As you enter the museum, you first pass through the lobby, then another room that serves as a museum for the Stephens County Historical Society, and finally, the large room that holds the last standing reconstructed stable. The stable has six rooms that are preserved as they looked when the paratroopers lived there. It is primarily in this stable area that volunteers of the museum have had some unusual encounters - such as footsteps when no one was there, and a sudden cold breeze that had no known source. They have also taken pictures that reveal unexplained anomalies.
Investigators present were Vicki Luibrand, Rick Heflin, Ken Sumner, Sandy Isbell, Dennis Chesler and myself. We arrived after dark and were met by the museum volunteer, Dr. Steve Tilley. Within 5 minutes after arriving, Vicki felt tingling in her lips, an indication that there may be spirit energy present.
Ken and Sandy drove separately from the rest of us, and we waited in the lobby until they arrived. In the car while making the drive, Ken had the feeling that there was a name carved in the third room of the stable building. He couldn’t wait to see if he would find one. As soon as they walked in the front door, Ken immediately said “There are three of them right there, and a fourth on the other side of the door.” By “them”, Ken was referring to something only he could see. He was pointing towards the counter; about fifteen feet back from the front door. He began to describe them. They were young men wearing fatigue uniforms, with the ties folded into their shirts. On their heads were either helmets or helmet liners. They were definitely World War II soldiers.
We took pictures, hoping to capture an apparition, but got nothing. I walked over to the spot and held up my hands. I felt a strong tingling in them, a feeling I have experienced many times in haunted locations. Vicki joined me and held up her hands. She also felt the tingling.
Steve began talking about the history of the Band of Brothers, and as I was standing there listening, I felt something tickle the back of my neck and a sharp prick in my left arm, just below my shoulder. Vicki then felt pain in her left arm as well. It was a sharp pain below her left shoulder, followed by numbness in her arm. She felt it twice in a row in the lobby, and again when we entered the museum.
Sandy was also picking up on a presence. Perhaps it was the presence that later tugged on her camera strap. Sandy felt drawn to the area behind the stable, but was not able to capture anything with her camera. A little later, Sandy was intently viewing a uniform that was on exhibit in a glass case. As she was reading about the uniform, she felt a definite tug on the camera strap that was hooked over her left shoulder. I was sitting on a bench behind her and she turned around thinking I did it, but it wasn’t me. Whoever tugged on the strap was not visible.
The following is Ken’s experience in his own words:
“Entering the anteroom, containing furniture and life style examples of the 1940 era (Civilian) I was directed to the area where I surmised might stand the officer or 4th “person” waiting us. It was here that I first noticed my usual cold chill on back of my left side from the shoulder down to the left knee, indicating a person of shorter stature. This “chill” remained with me throughout the tour of the WWII stable.
My “chill” seemed to direct me, until we had reached the 3rd or 4th room of the stable, where I saw a document that contained the unusual last name of one of our members. Although not a unique circumstance, it was nevertheless a bit unnerving. Thus far the museum/stable area was left with only minimal lighting and was quite dark in each room. I was not feeling anything at this time except the constant of the accompanying “chill”, which usually denotes an entity or energy field in very close proximity.
After the initial walk through of each of the stable rooms, Steve turned all the lights on so we could see the magnificent artifacts and exhibits from these American Soldiers during World War II. Again, the feeling of someone or something in close proximity remained with me.
While examining the rooms in the stable, a “presentment” was given me to look for names on the walls of the stable at bunk level. Someone or some “thing” told me that I would find “his” name there. I began searching the walls and told Steve about the message I was given. He told me that only ONE name was known on these walls, and it was within the 3rd room. He then showed us that name, and I thought that might have been the one. But, “something” told me it wasn’t. We continued the tour with Steve showing us various exhibits, telling us some of the history of Easy Company and also some of the peculiar noises and occurrences in the museum.
In all of this, the feeling of this “entity” accompanying me was that the person was not killed in the War, but perhaps injured his left shoulder/arm during a jump. The entity seemed merely to be accompanying me as a guide to a place he had been attached. This attachment was to let us know about this place. He had spent many hours in this stable before the fateful jumps into Europe on D-Day.
Before we completed the tour of the rooms, and just before the lights were turned off, I was “told” that the name seen was not “mine”. I was to go back to the 3rd room. I examined the walls with a flashlight closely placed so as to highlight any faint writing that might exist. It was here that I found at middle bunk level “Davie.” THIS WAS IT! There was no denying that this was the message from my “guide”! At this point he left me and I continued to examine the wall, calling everyone to come see the find. Needless to say, they were astounded! Steve had not known before of these carvings, and there were many of the paratrooper’s names present.
I suspected Davie to be David Morris. He was in Company E, but passed away October 21st 1999. He did not die during the War, which helped confirm the initial feelings I had - that there were several spirits in attendance, wanting to be acknowledged. Again, Davie didn’t stand close from this point onward and left me to my own devices.
We left the museum and went to the lobby for a post investigation meeting. The immense value of the Band of Brothers Museum cannot be overstressed and it is a significant honor to be allowed to present “feelings” and observe phenomena to enhance the exhibits. It is my belief that members of the 501st and 506th remain to act as “Guides” to their past, much as do the volunteers who run the museum, out of concern and remembrance.”
After several hours, we decided to call it a night. We had a most interesting investigation and hope to return in the near future. Usually more questions than answers arise from the places we investigate. This time though, we felt like we were given an answer, an answer to a question we didn’t even know to ask… Is it a coincidence that 4 of us had physical sensations on our left arms or shoulders? Was it Davie letting us know his left arm and shoulder were injured during a jump?
Vicki got some probable EVP’s, (electronic voice phenomena) and striking footage of a moving orb. This is how she describes it, “There were actually two orbs. It was in one of the stables. Ken was in the room looking at the displays by the neighboring wall, not very close to the orbs. One came down from the ceiling, sped up, giving itself a tail, and then slowly danced over a display table. While it was dancing, a second orb flew underneath it, from left to right, level to the display table.”*
We ended our investigation with a sense of reference and awe. We have been on many investigations of Civil War sites, but this was our first experience investigating a place connected to World War II. Though we obtained some physical evidence, these spirits seem to prefer making their presence known in ways that are impossible to document: touches, feelings, and Ken’s ability to see them.
*For an explanation of EVP and orbs, please click on Ghosts.
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