Goshen News, Goshen, IN

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March 14, 2013

Michiana Ghost Trackers invites new recruits to join up

WAKARUSA — At some point in time, surely everyone has experienced a moment when a brief rush of wind seems like a gently whispered breath, when the sensation of being touched by something mysterious can feel like a tentative brush of fingertips.

There is an organization that shares the belief that there can be more than one answer, more than one possibility, for that which sometimes defies the human realm of explanation. And for those who would like to explore the possibility that occurrences can occasionally be fueled by a little less imagination and far more intuition, then the Michiana chapter of Indiana Ghost Trackers is certainly worth a visit.

The adventurous group is hoping to recruit new membership this spring by inviting people to attend their upcoming meeting, slated for Saturday, March 16 at Perkins Restaurant in the North Pointe Plaza in Elkhart. The gathering will begin at 5 p.m., with a guest speaker scheduled to make an appearance. There is no charge to take part in the meeting, and everyone is welcome.

According to Michiana IGT public relations officer Tosha Walters, this local auxiliary is one of 13 similarly affiliated groups that are situated throughout the state. Indiana Ghost Trackers was founded in 2000 by Mike McDowell and the local circuit currently boasts a membership of nearly 20, although the club’s count once had as many as 52.

“We investigate paranormal activities using photography, voice recordings (EVP), video and other technology that aids in the detection of unexplained phenomena,” Walters said. “Michiana IGT takes part in more activities than just hunts and investigations. We also provide services, including cemetery restoration, guest speakers, public seminars and workshops.”

“Our mission is to provide an open forum for those seeking information regarding paranormal activities,” Walters further explained. “IGT’s goal is to unite the paranormal investigation community and advance public awareness.”

The membership would like to encourage visitors by noting there is no cost involved with group participation for the first hunt and attendance for the meetings, other than arriving with a flashlight. Once you sign up to become an active member, Walters said, each subsequent hunt is $5.

“We have all your basic equipment for the group to share,” Walters said. “We also provide free training and offer free private investigations with trained investigators that are kept entirely confidential.”

Michiana IGT is committed to maintaining the privacy of everyone involved, and as such, abides by a strict code of secrecy when traveling on their expeditions. Walters does divulge a few intriguing details about a recent journey to Michigan, though.

“We visited a cemetery, where we alerted the local officials of our presence and we caught what appears to be a person kneeling or praying at a grave stone,” he said. “We accounted for all of our members and tried to debunk what we captured on a thermal imaging camera by ruling out a number of things, but we were unable to find a justifiable explanation.”

The local chapter of Michiana IGT meets every third Saturday of the month through November, with meetings taking place from 5 to 7 p.m., followed by a regionally based hunting session.

For those who would like to participate, but are unable to attend the March meeting, more information can be found at the group’s website, http://www.igtmichiana.org/. Those who want to hunt can register by clicking on “memberships.” People can also head to Facebook and “like” the Michana IGT page. Questions and messages will be answered in a timely manner.

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Three Goshen elementary schools — Chandler, Chamberlain and West Goshen — are providing free meals to all students during the school year as part of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Community Eligibility Provision of the Healthy Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010. Nearly 80 percent of students at Chandler, 89 percent of students at Chamberlain and 78 percent of students at West Goshen already qualify for free or reduced-price lunches based on their family income. How do you feel about the new lunch program?

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