Strange Tales 19: Which Story is False?

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It is game time once again at Paranormal Phenomena with a brand new edition of our Which Story is False game. Tales of the supernatural and unexplained are so fantastic and outside the realm of the everyday that we struggle to accept them. However, on this and the following three pages are astonishing stories of the paranormal. Only three of them are true, having been documented in publications. One of them has been fabricated by me.

It's your job to read all four of the stories and determine which is the one false story. I think you'll have a hard time because each one of them is astonishing. Good luck!

Story #1 - TELEVISED PREMONITION OF SEPTEMBER 11 ATTACK

Virtually everyone of an age to understand will remember where they were on the morning of September 11, 2001, the day of the tragic terrorist attack on the World Trade Center in New York and the Pentagon in Washington, D.C.

Nellie Revell had a recollection of a very different and unexplained nature, however.

On the morning of September 11, Nellie, a 73-year-old retired secretary, was fixing breakfast for herself in her apartment where she lived alone in Greensboro, North Carolina. As was her habit, she had the television on and was riveted by the reports being broadcast of an airliner striking one of the Twin Towers.

At first she thought it was a tragic accident, but when a second plane hit the other skyscraper, she knew it was a deliberate attack, an idea all but confirmed by the newscasts.

When she saw the buildings of the World Trade Center collapse in great clouds of dust, she picked up the telephone.

First she called her daughter, June, in Raleigh because she knew June's nephew worked in lower Manhattan and wanted to be sure he was okay. June did not answer the phone, however, so Nellie left a message.

Next she called her friend Alice, who lived a few blocks away, so they could share their feelings about the unfolding events. Alice was unaware of any such news, however. While still on the phone with Nellie, Alice turned on her television, but said that she could find no such reports on any of the channels, even the news channels.

Nellie was puzzled and returned to her TV, but all she could find was the regular programming. There was nothing about any terrorist attack at all. Then June returned Nellie's call, concerned about the news, but also saying she could find no confirmation of the attack on New York in any of the media. June asked Nellie if it was possible she was watching a retrospective report about the bombing that took place at the World Trade Center in 1993. She thought perhaps Nellie was confused.

Nellie was certain of what she witnessed on the TV, even though she could find no further evidence for it. The date of Nellie's experience was September 11, 2000 -- exactly one year before the actual attack.

Ironically, Nellie Revell died just a few months before that fateful day in 2001, but she might have been the very first witness to it.

Next page: Mysteriously Transported Across the Globe

Story #2 - MYSTERIOUSLY TRANSPORTED ACROSS THE GLOBE

One day in 1953, a man walked into a police station in London, England and told the authorities that he simply wanted to go home. Where was home?, they inquired. Wellington, New Zealand, he told them. At first the police dismissed the demand. Why would it be their problem? Go get an airline ticket or passage aboard a ship and go home.

The man, who identified himself as H.F.

North, said he was a school teacher in Wellington and had absolutely no idea how he found himself on the streets of London. The story he told, as far as he could, was an astonishing puzzle.

North claimed that one morning he left his home in Wellington to walk to the school where he taught, as he had done on countless other occasions. Then suddenly and inexplicably he was walking on a street in the middle of London -- nearly 19,000 miles away!

Mr. North again proclaimed that he had no clue how he got there and was additionally stunned to learn that four days had passed, of which he had no memory.

When investigating North's claims, the police could find no evidence of his movements around London nor any proof of his transportation by air or sea to England. An examining psychiatrist determined that North had suffered some form of amnesia over the four-day period during which he somehow traveled half way around the world.

How did it happen? How did Mr. North vanish from Wellington, New Zealand only to appear four days later in London, England -- with absolutely no trace or memory of how he got there... or why it happened? Was it a case of an interdimensional shift? A glitch in the matrix of time and space?

Next page: Convicted by a Ghost

Story #3 - CONVICTED BY A GHOST

On the night of June 26, 1826, Frederick Fisher disappeared. By all accounts, he was drunk when he stumbled out of a pub in Cambelltown, New South Wales, Australia and was never seen again. Well, almost never.

Fisher had a rather questionable past, having been both a prisoner and a successful farmer. Just a few months prior to his disappearance he had been locked up in jail for bad debts.

This led to the passing of his estate into the hands of a man by the name of George Worrall, who himself was an ex-convict.

Fisher's neighbors and the authorities began to suspect that he was the victim of foul play, most likely at the hand of George Worrall. Shortly after Fisher disappeared, Worrall was seen wearing pants that were known to belong to Fisher.

When questioned by police, Worrall claimed that Fisher had left the country, sailing for England aboard the Lady Vincent, a claim that could not be verified. The police offered a $100 reward for information leading to the discovery of Fisher's body, putting further pressure in Worrall. And when he was questioned again by police he fabricated another story: that four of Fisher's friends had killed him.

Unconvinced, the police arrested Worrall on suspicion of murder, but without Fisher's body it was quite unlikely they would be able to convict him.

Some months later, James Farley, a neighbor of Fisher's and well-respected in the community, happened to be walking by Fisher's house. He was startled by an eerie but familiar-looking figure sitting on the fence railing in front of the property. The spectre was silent and pointing to a particular spot inside the fenced-in area.

Certain he had seen a ghost, Farley ran away.

But Farley told the police. Constable Newland, accompanied by an aborigine tracker, went to Fisher's property. They found traces of blood on the fence railing, where Farley said he had seen the ghost. And buried beneath the spot pointed to by the apparition they found the remains of Frederick Fisher.

George Worrall was hanged for the murder... sent to the gallows by the ghost of his victim.

Next page: Out-of-Body Night Visitor

Story #4 - OUT-OF-BODY NIGHT VISITOR

Many people claim to have out-of-body experiences, either as they sleep or in some altered state of consciousness, such as deep meditation. They believe that their spirit or consciousness literally can travel to other places, even great distances before returning to their body.

Skeptics want proof, of course. For example, can the person making such a claim confirm something they have seen in that distant place, otherwise unknown to them, while astral traveling?

Being able to do so would provide great evidence for the phenomenon.

Such evidence might have been documented in 1976 by Dr. Michael Grosso, who was teaching a course in parapsychology at Jersey City State College. One student who came to his attention was Elizabeth Sebben, an anthropology major, who told Dr. Grosso that she had experienced many instances of psychic phenomena, including vivid out-of-body experiences.

Intrigued, Dr. Grosso challenged Elizabeth to visit him some night during one of her astral excursions so that they might be able to prove that they were real and not just dreams or flights of fancy.

Dr. Grosso lived alone in a large apartment and often spent his free time practicing his flute. He had sheet music on a music stand, which he always placed near a specific bookcase. One autumn morning he awoke to find the music stand in the middle of the room. He knew for certain he had not placed it there.

Later that day, Dr. Grosso received a call from Elizabeth, who was eager to tell him of an out-of-body experience she had the previous night. While studying, she began to have the distinct feeling of leaving her body. Recalling the teacher's challenge, she concentrated on him and soon found her astral body in his kitchen, a place she had never been before.

She was even able to see Dr. Grosso at the kitchen table, looking over some papers as he drank his tea. She tried to get his attention, she said, but could not. Elizabeth then looked for some way that she could prove she was actually there. Moving around the apartment, she noticed the music stand and found that through sheer intention of will she was able to move it to the middle of the room.

A few moments later, she was back in her body.

Dr. Grosso was convinced of the phenomenon since he had told no one of how he awoke to find the music stand so conspicuously out of place. "When a lady visits a man at night, especially under such curious circumstances," he said, "it would be the height of unchivalry to dismiss her as an insignificant illusion."

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Okay, those are the four stories. Which one do you think is the false story?

  • Story #1 - Televised Premonition of September 11 Attack
  • Story #2 - Mysteriously Transported Across the Globe
  • Story #3 - Convicted by a Ghost
  • Story #4 - Out-of-Body Night Visitor

Make your decision... then find out which is the false story on the next page.

THE REVEAL

The false story is Story #1 - "Televised Premonition of September 11 Attack".

Story #2 - "Mysteriously Transported Across the Globe" was found in Real Visitors, Voices from Beyond and Parallel Dimensions by Brad Steiger and Sherry Hansen Steiger (Visible Ink Press, 2016).

Story #3 - "Convicted by a Ghost" was found in Charles Berlitz's World of Strange Phenomena (Fawcett Crest, 1988).

Story #4 - "Out-of-Body Night Visitor" was found in Charles Berlitz's World of Strange Phenomena (Fawcett Crest, 1988).