When this correspondent was invited to witness Southwest
Washington Paranormal Research (SWPR) in action, there was no
holding her back. She immediately made
arrangements to attend not one, but three SWPR
investigations. The sites were the Klondike Restaurant
and Hotel in St. Helens, Oregon, Rutherglen Mansion in
Longview, Washington, and a location in Kelso, Washington
which the owners asked us not to
Knowing that our readers demand the highest level of
scientific proof, SandBagger Mag-e-zine, dispatched
its top reporter together with three members of the
SandBagger Institute for Advanced Human Research and Bowling
Team; Roland Richards, Doug York, and Gregg
Campbell. "They also wanted Ken Plampin, but
we couldn't wake him up," said Institute spokesperson Gregg
the shank of the evening
well behind us, our small entourage arrived at Longview's
beautiful Rutherglen Mansion. Occasional flashes of
light inside the otherwise darkened Mansion let us know ghost
hunters were hard at work.
who arrived first, reported that the best point of entry
would be through the Mansion's South doors, where SWPR researchers
already busy, using very sophisticated equipment
including laser thermometers, EVP (Electronic Voice Phenomena)
readers, and a radio wave emission scanner. They were
taking photos of everything.
Roland Richards quickly noticed, that a majority of the
researchers were attractive young women.
"Paranormal research is a lot better than saving whales,"
Richards added. "You get to hang around with pretty
girls, but there's not all that messy seaweed
to deal with."
Meanwhile, Greg Campbell, Doug York, and yours truly were
interviewing members of SWPR. The
interviews revealed that these men and women were very
serious about their quest. Most have professional
backgrounds. One is an admitting nurse at a major
hospital, another is a veterinary technician, a third is a
trained paralegal. All work in technical fields where
accuracy and attention to detail the rule the
Richards remained in a downstairs rooms, known as the
fireplace room, where he attempted to lure the female
researchers onto his lap to tell ghost
stories. But the researchers were looking for subjects who were a bit
less lively than Richards.
my luck," Richards said. "At my age most women don't
find me lively
researchers all share a keen interest in the
paranormal. But each was led to their current avocation
by a different path. For one it was a visit to
a site called the "Rainbow House," in Montana, an area of
intense spiritual activity. Another explained that
incidents following her brother and sister in-law's
deaths opened her mind to the possibility of
contact. For another the doorway was opened by her first
brush with channeling.
did you get into
didn't," she said. "It got into
does not seem to be a weird, loony, or
anti-social organization. Its members are very serious
young ladies and gentlemen. They are curious
seekers of an alternate truth. Their search takes
them into a world that many mainstream scientists, even those
who claim to have an open mind, do not take seriously.
keeps them going? What have they found? Has SWPR
found any credible evidence of specters, spooks, or psychic
[For the complete story, check out the
Columbia River Reader next
by Lana Long -- SandBagger
[After our recent
national elections, many readers are asking, "What is the
Electoral College?" We wanted to know too, so we sent
ace investigative reporter Lana Long under-cover, to enroll
as a student in hopes of finding some
What exactly is the
Electoral College? Where is it located? Will their
football team make it to a major bowl game?
These are just three of the
many (perhaps four) questions this journalist had, as she prepared
for the most unusual assignment of her career (unless you
want to count that time my editor invited me to a "seminar" in
Your reporter began by trying to
find an address for the Electoral college. Having
no luck, she checked the internet for an alumnae association,
or a listing of famous graduates, but found none.
Growing bored with this research,
she spent a few minutes trying to think
of a less obvious way to refer to herself in the third
person. Failing that, she went back on line.
The internet is full of sites
arguing that the Electoral College should be
abolished. But these sites make no effort to
explain what would become of the students, and alumnae, if
their college were abolished. How would they attend home
coming games? Who would telephone them at
dinner time pretending to be updating college records, but
really just trying to get them to make
donations? Those abolitionist sites
also fail to address less radical
alternatives, such as suspending the Electoral College's
football team from its conference for a year or two.
At this point,
the research was going nowhere. Then a telephone call
came. Someone identifying himself as "Deep Throat"
called the news room, asking for this
He said he
wanted to provide "deep background" regarding the
Normally we do
that with face to face meetings in an ominously foreboding,
and back-lit parking garage. But Deep Throat nixed that
idea. He was afraid of what the
Electoral College might do to its enemies. He was also
worried that if this story was made into a movie, the parking
garage scene might lead to Hal Holbrook to playing Deep
Throat again. This time around he wanted to be
played by John Forsythe, who did such a great job as a
faceless voice in Charlie's Angles.
Throat also insisted he would only answer yes or no questions,
and if he gets three right, he wanted a bonus round with
exciting prizes to be announced by Don Pardo.
"It's a union
thing," Deep Throat said. "Besides, this is all
very dramatic, and it will make the story longer, both of
which are things the Pulitzer Prize committee looks
Long: Where is the Electoral College
Deep: There is no actual campus . . .
no actual college.
Long: What about
Deep: It's just called a
"college." There are no scholarships, no students, no
campus. It's just a bunch of people who elect the
Long: But what if a kid is a really great
football player, he'd get a scholarships then, wouldn't
Deep: There is no football team.
Long: There's just an empty stadium?
What do the Cheer Leaders do? . . Study?
this point the phone went
dead. Readers may imagine that the shadowy figure
of Deep Throat noticed something in the back of the poorly lit
garage, glanced furtively over his shoulder, and then, wanting
to protect this reporter and her story, slammed down the
receiver. But I like to think he just forgot to pay his
phone bill. I mean, this guy is a dweeb. "No
football team. No cheerleaders." What kind of a
college is that?
[Editor's note: SandBagger-Mag-e-zine was unable
to locate a single graduate of the Electoral
College. It turns out that nobody does graduate.
Our sources tell us there are no classes, no teachers, no
books, no tests, not even a graduation ceremony.
Apparently everybody just flunks
out. Not only is there no football team, but they don't
even have a golf team. These are
certainly not the kind of people we want electing our next