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RopemakersAt the end of May 2004 we were invited to send a team to take part in a unique investigation at Devonport Naval Base, Plymouth. The investigation was organised by Goldy of www.ghostinvestigator and we were invited along because of our reputation for carrying out scientific research methods, which it was apparently hoped would compliment the more “psychically” centred other team. This was an “investigation in a million” for many reasons:

1. The unique opportunity to study parts of a working military base, looking for paranormal activity - this is something that, to our knowledge, had never been done before. We are incredibly grateful to all the Naval personnel involved and offer our sincere thanks for their hospitality and help during the two-night investigation.

2. The incredible worldwide press attention that followed. It was almost overwhelming.

3. The camaraderie and professionalism of our small team. I was swollen with pride at the behaviour of the team and for the reputation that P.R.O. has just given itself. We really have come away with our heads held very high and can be ever so proud of what our organisation has achieved. I happen to know that many other paranormal organisations are extremely jealous of our chance and we are delighted to have taken part and are grateful for the opportunity. A full report will be sent in the first instance to the organiser and then to The Navy at Devonport.
However, below is a summary of the main findings.


The press involvement in the investigation was incredible. It truly did go worldwide. Countries reported the investigation in their news in countries such as: The United Kingdom, Mexico, Iran, Pakistan, Brazil, India, Oman, Romania, Chile, Austria, Germany, Bahrain, USA, Canada, South Africa, Norway, Slovenia, Slovakia, Spain and many more. PRO Devonport Group
A search on the worldwide web came up with an overwhelming amount of coverage and we could hardly believe the media attention. In this country the event was reported in newspapers such as The Times, The Telegraph, The Sun, News of the World, Evening Herald, Sunday Independent, Western Morning News etc.
I did interviews with radio stations such as BBC World Service, Radio Five Live, Radio Four, British Forces Radio, Talksport, The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, Spanish radio, Pirate FM, Radio Devon, Radio Cornwall, etc.
It also received coverage on BBC Breakfast News, Spotlight, Carlton, Sky News, etc. Many were particularly interested in the notorious Hangman's Cell.


The world was a buzz with the investigation at Devonport. Websites all over the world were discussing it. We tried to keep searches regular to keep track of it all but I am sure there are hundreds of sites in countries everywhere, which spoke about it that we were completely unaware of!
Many of them were written in various languages (French, Spanish, Portuguese, German, Norwegian, Slovak, etc) and it made interesting reading. The sites included BBC News, BBC News online, The Press Association, Mexican Hechos TV, A step Beyond, Supernatural World, Ghosts UK,, News 24, Daily Times - Pakistan, Independent - South Africa, The Washington Times, WebIndia, Telegraph, Gulf News - Bahrain, The Sun, Discovery Travel Channel, Times of Oman, Para files, Internationalreporter, Anomalist, Yahoo news, Tiscali news, Google news, Navy news, Daily Times,, Fortean times, timesonline, and so many more.
One thing that did amuse us was when we were informed that the forum of the Most Haunted website was alive with talk about it, with speculation about whether it was the Most Haunted team or who it might be! It was absolutely staggering how so much attention can be given to a small group of ordinary guys, with a bit of knowledge about the paranormal, popping in for a couple of days to visit The Navy!!!


The other team were a group who worked under the name www.ghostinvestigator and under the leadership of "Goldy". They were made up of individuals who all worked under the same viewpoint, based on psychic and medium approaches.
Their team operated from very different perspectives and worked independently to us. The benefits of this were that there would be no cross contamination of evidence between the 2 teams and so comparing findings should make it interesting to see how results compare.


So much happened that it was almost easy to lose site of the real reason why we were there in the first place: To carry out an investigation. We spent 2 full nights at the base and in fairness it was relatively uneventful and evidence is minimal.

Devonport Investigation PROJust about every member of the team photographed orbs at some stage or other and there were also some stranger light anomalies picked up as well. These include a "swirling" blue light (that if you zoom in does take the form of a face - though obviously face's are apparent in lots of images, and are not necessarily paranormal in origin!)- See below; and a misty light.
We also have several moving orbs on night shot video camera, especially in the Hangman's Cell. There were too many light anomalies to list; some were standard moving ones, while others flashed brightly.
We also picked up a strange "steam effect" in the Ropemaker's House. As we have always stated: most orbs have logical explanations, which can be linked very quickly in relation to the camera itself. However, it was most interesting to note that a lot of the orbs appeared at prominent moments: For example: during a "sťance" the orbs appeared at times when we hummed the French National Anthem (the spirits there are believed to be those of Napoleonic Prisoner's of War) and during a time when we spoke a little French. While humming the French anthem and talking in French; light anomalies were caught on night vision, two members also heard a strange humming sound which they couldn't place and also a flux on the E.M.F meter was recorded at which point an orb passed the camera!
However, no conclusive evidence was obtained. We also had a very peculiar "wispy" shape that flew past one of the team's arm while he was dowsing. This was the most impressive of the lot.
During a session in the bottom floor of the Hangman's Cell we had camera interference on both the still and moving cameras, including severe battery drainage in a digital-camera.

At one stage we left a locked off night vision camera in an area on the third floor of The Blue 2Ropemaker's House. This was an area where several people had earlier felt disturbed. On return we discovered that the lights had been switched on about half way through the locked off camcorder session. The light switch for the third floor is on the second floor landing, so this was very possibly due to human, rather than paranormal activity. However, Clifford who was leading the group on the second floor insisted that the lights were not touched on their way down, which was confirmed on the tape as he can be heard to open the door and call up to see if anyone was there, sometime after the lights had been turned on. We cannot rule out human interference but it was certainly interesting and the lights had not been turned off by anyone obvious!

In the lower part of the Hangman's Cell base tests were all carried out efficiently and all natural variations were recorded. However, later in the evening an EMF fluctuation occurred 1 metre into the doorway up to 0.5 milligauss. This disappeared very quickly though. Further EMF fluctuations were then obtained on base of a chair stood on top of another. This was first picked up on Will's EMF meter, then to a lesser extent on Ian's as well as Stuarts. The reading went up to 0.3 to 0.4 milligauss, which was still there when the chair was moved. Noting that all three EMF meters are the same make and model, perhaps the small difference in readings indicates that Will's EMF meter is pre calibrated to slightly more sensitive degree.

Tony also picked up a strange orange light anomaly (see below) on his camera in this room at a time when unknown to the rest of the team, Becky experienced a sensation of pressure building up in her head, which then went. Nothing was said to avoid autosuggestion, but immediately afterwards both Ian and Clifford also experienced a headache.

OrangeOne interesting occurrence, which shows how you must always make sure you seek a rational explanation, before jumping to conclusions, occurred on the second night. A Navy officer showed us a photo taken the night before in the Ropery, apparently showing a clear figure. It did appear impressive but we later took a large number of photographs in the (very large) building and eventually managed to recreate is several times. It was nothing more than a pattern on the floor. It is always important to wait for a clear picture before jumping to any supernatural conclusions!

If nothing else the whole investigation was an experience never to be forgotten: to be part of a first of its kind investigation at a working Naval Base. It was a fascinating place and the Navy gave us a very warm welcome and were incredibly hospitable.

We also read in the press that the other team were apparently convinced that the areas were definitely haunted. In many ways I suppose it is to be expected from a team consisting of mediums but personally we found nothing scientific or otherwise to conclusively make such a claim. We thoroughly enjoyed our two nights at the base and we all felt perfectly comfortable, including in the Hangman's Cell, which the other team apparently found extremely "hostile".

In answer to the question: Is the base haunted? Our answer would have to certainly be: "the jury is still out"! P.R.O. would never make a sweeping statement to say "this place is haunted" because any evidence which appears to be paranormal can often prove to have a scientific explanation, either soon afterwards or maybe in the future but in truth we did not find sufficient evidence to support such a definitive claim.

Whether the base is haunted or not; P.R.O. would love to return with a full team and attempt to find out; carrying out further investigations, as always in a controlled and empirical way.

PRO  Devonport Group

The intrepid P.R.O. Team
Will Brunning, Cherie Mitchell, Tony Watson, Ian Addicoat
Clifford Mitchell and Becky & Stuart Andrews

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