Ghosts at the Battlefield?

Author: George Hruby

 

There are certain battlefields across the United States that are believed to be “haunted” by soldiers killed in battle at the site. One of the most famous of these battlefields known is the Gettysburg battlefield in Pennsylvania. During over fifteen years of intensive research of the San Pasqual Battlefield, the SPBSLP has never received one report of any ghost ever seen at this location. The SPBSLP does not either endorse, or deny this particular belief or interest. While remaining both investigative and academic however, it shares all of its findings to the public so they may do as they wish with such findings.

In this light, the SPBSLP will share what it knows of one particular site location on the battlefield that was identified by 3 different psychics who came from 3 different locations in the United States, neither who knew the other or anything at all of the Battle of San Pasqual.

Despite this, all 3 identified the same exact location which had at the time, not been known but to very few outside the SPBSLP.

By the mid-1990’s, the SPBSLP had already spent years of initial research, collecting data on this event and location in every form imaginable. A number of specific sites on the battlefield had begun to emerge based on much historical research as well as reconstruction of the battle on a minute-by-minute basis. However, the battlefield encompasses a nearly two-mile spread (remember – horses were involved here with both sides and groups are ‘moving.’). This was a huge area to investigate for possible artifact debris pertaining to this historical event and the resources of the SPBSLP were very limited at the time.

Once again, I tapped into my military and law enforcement background and decided to try something very different. In certain difficult homicide cases throughout the United States, there have been times where homicide detectives have been open to the services of a “psychic.” This has usually been in cases where there is great difficulty in locating the body of a missing person or of someone who is believed to have been murdered and their remains hidden. Indeed, in such cases, if a “psychic” is able to help locate the body, the detectives (whether they believe in it or not) are not as concerned with how the psychic is able to perform such a feat, they only care about getting a break in the case and locating the body and subsequent crime scene.

 

Jane

 

As for the SPBSLP, I was approached by someone working with me out at the battlefield who suggested that maybe I should try bringing a psychic out to the battlefield and see what happens. Like law enforcement, the SPBSLP did not believe in such things but again, if such a person could give us a lead that would help us narrow our search across a two-mile spread, we were indeed open to same. We didn’t care how it worked; we merely wanted to find the site. This same individual, who like me did not believe in such things, knew a woman whom he had known for a long time and whom he trusted very much. This woman was reported to be a very good psychic in California. She was approached and asked if we could take her to an unknown site, and if she could walk the area and tell us whatever she could?

It was understood that she did not do psychic work at all for an income and she refused to be paid in any way. Her reported abilities were inherited and she only did such things for those close to her when asked. She asked that her name not be mentioned. For this article, we will call her “Jane.” Jane was an older woman, short in stature, medium build, and wore glasses. Upon meeting her, she was very straightforward, polite, and wanted to go right into it. Both my associate and I were extremely skeptical of her and anything that she might share. In an effort to be as objective as possible, she was not told where she was being taken nor of the event that occurred there. She had also requested to be given an item of any sort belonging to any person from whatever the event was that we were taking her to. This request was granted.

Now it should be noted that at this stage of the research, the SPBSLP had already established the exact zones on the battlefield, including sites SLP-TS-5, 6, 7, and 8.

 

 

We parked our vehicle right at the State Park Monument located on Highway-78 across the street from the Santa Ysabel Creek Road. Before my associate or I could say anything, Jane immediately started walking across the street and heading towards the San Dieguito River along Santa Ysabel Creek Road. As my associate and I silently watched and listened, she began breathing heavy, walking faster towards the river, and describing men being chased here. She was describing fear and terror from these men as they fled their pursers. She said there were many trying to chase these certain men. She described horses; she could hear them. She soon became very emotional, to tears and then stopped and refused to walk any further in that direction. She just said that “the sounds,” .. that there are “horrible” things happening over there (she pointed), to these men and that she just could not endure “seeing” or “hearing” this event any further. She had pointed towards the southern boundaries (in both directions) of site SLP- TS-8.

Again, both my associate and I remained quiet and continued to follow her. On her own, she had now trekked back across SLP-TS-7 until she found herself standing alone in the open field identified as SLP-TS-6. There, she suddenly stopped and looked up and stared towards site

SLP-TS-5 which lied on the other side of Highway-78, and adjacent the State Park Monument. Raising her hand and pointing towards where some elm trees (and a telephone pole) could be seen, she said this location was where she felt the strongest impressions. She used words like “fear,” “terror,” “great depression and sadness,” at this location on the side of this hill. She said that this area is where we want to look.

We thanked her and ended the day.

Afterwards, her descriptions were found interesting because few historians or academics of the battlefield knew of these specific sites in relation to the battle. The SPBSLP had identified site SLP-TS-6 as where Captain Moore had been killed, where his brother-in-law had been gravely wounded, and where General Kearney and his small group had rounded the point at and rode into before being overwhelmed and retreating back towards the southern boundary of SLP-TS-8.

Overwhelmed, some of the soldiers had indeed broken off and literally were fleeing for their lives in any direction, trying to get away from the overwhelming numbers of Mexicans in pursuit. It was in this that many of the dragoons were butchered alive across sites 7 and 8. No one knew the specifics of this yet as it had not been released by the SPBSLP.

Further, the final site Jane identified (SLP-TS-5) was where the SPBSLP had originally thought the U.S. Army encampment was the night after the battle. The SPBSLP now knows this encampment was in fact not at site 5 but is believed to have existed just west of it, on the other side of the fence, on property belonging to the Wild Animal Park. This suspicion comes from knowing there is absolutely no ‘encampment’ artifact debris at all at site SLP-TS-5. In addition, further study of Lt. Emory’s sketch done on the day of the battle tends to show that it may be on this side of the large enclave formed at this site.

However, the SPBSLP strongly believes SLP-TS-5 is the site of the temporary field hospital manned by Dr. Griffin right after the battle and where several may have died at from their wounds. We know that at the battle of San Pasqual, official records show that 19 American soldiers were killed this day on the battlefield and another 17 that were gravely wounded. There is an account of at least one soldier (Lt. T. Hammond) whom we know died at this temporary field hospital. We suspect there may have been a few others due to the nature of the injuries sustained due to stabbing. In addition, the dead were brought here and laid out in a line next to the wounded.

 

There is much cactus at this bend and a high elder bush still indicates the site of the temporary hospital.

Philip Crosthwaite

 

Another reason site SLP-TS-5 is supported as the location of this temporary field hospital, is that sometime in the 1960’s, a newspaper reported at least two individuals digging near some elm trees on this site, found what were later identified as standard medicine vials, circa early 1800’s. The elm trees were important also because descriptions given at the time of where the temporary field hospital was located, was stated as near the “point,” on the side of a hill near an elm tree that was known to still be there in the 1890’s. The elm trees there today show significant age with their trunk and root systems and may very well be from the original trees that were there from the battle.

 

Nancy Meyer-Czetli

 

By mid-1990’s, an unusual experiment was conducted by the SPBSLP. It was named the “Pennsylvania Experiment.” Thirteen artifacts that were recovered from the San Pasqual Battlefield, the Snook Adobe Site, and Mule Hill, and were confirmed as coming from General Kearney’s military group, were selected to be taken to Pennsylvania and assessed by nationally known psychic, Nancy Meyer-Czetli.

Nancy had assisted numerous law enforcement agencies all across the United States in attempting to located bodies of deceased victims in unsolved homicide cases. The police would give her a personal item of the deceased, she would hold it, and from that action, she would report seeing and feeling things from the person whose item it was. Then often afterwards, the police would give her a map and she would take her finger and move it around the map until it would stop at one location. That location would be where she would tell the police to look.

Due to the credibility given to her by various law enforcement agencies as well as national publicity in the media and on TV shows, the SPBSLP thought it would be interesting to see what this remarkable woman would say to holding items from this event. Another question was then, if she also ran her finger across a map of the battlefield, … where would it stop at?

This unique meeting took place in Pennsylvania. Nancy was never told where the artifacts came from nor of any association whatsoever in any way to anything at all. Nothing was told to her about San Diego County or of San Pasqual. Nothing at all. She held all of the artifacts and her assessments were recorded and later transcribed, and studied. Some of the responses were remarkable and later followed up at the Fort Leavenworth Military Museum in Kansas for verification. Upon the meeting’s completion, an extremely large topographical map was spread out across a large dining room table. It was so large that it draped over the sides of the table. It showed the entire San Pasqual Valley region from Ramona to Interstate Highway 15.

I then watched her as she took one finger and began to slowly run it all over this large map. Knowing that many detectives had watched Nancy perform this same process with a map, I was truly wondering where this woman’s finger would stop? Time seemed to stop as her finger kept moving across the map. I wondered if she might yet be another fake “psychic” and that her finger would indeed stop somewhere that I knew did not pertain to these soldiers or the battle at all? Finally, her finger stopped.

I was absolutely amazed. Just like Jane, Nancy’s finger came to stop exactly at site SLP-TS-5. Given this woman’s complete lack of knowledge of this event, much less the specifics of the topography of the San Pasqual Valley in San Diego, California, and even the large immensity of this map that lay before her, the fact that she could identify the same exact tiny piece of land now identified by the SPBSLP as SLP-TS-5, … and the same exact plot identified by the previous psychic, Jane; it was either a huge coincidence or was an extremely remarkable event.

 

John

 

One day in the mid 1990’s, I received a phone call from a San Pasqual Battlefield State Park Ranger in-charge. Like many other State Park personnel at the San Pasqual Battlefield, she called to report an important or unusual piece of information to the SPBSLP in hopes that it might help in its efforts to identify sites and locations relevant to this battle. The SPBSLP would then take these pieces of information and investigate their validity.

This particular phone call involved a very interesting story. The park ranger was not really sure whether or not to report this to the SPBSLP. However, she finally decided to anyway due to its unusual nature.

The Park Ranger reported that one day while working at the counter inside the San Pasqual Battlefield State Park Interpretive Center, a man in his late 20’s approached her counter. He told her he had just come from a hiking trail located at the State Park Monument on Highway-78 at Santa Ysabel Creek Road. The monument park is often empty of people as it was this particular afternoon. The man, whom we will identify as “John,” had taken a hiking trail up to the top of the hill that rises above the small park. The park and hiking trail is littered with cactus, sage, brush, rocks, and rattlesnakes.

Once John had hiked to the top, he began his decent downward along the trail. Halfway down this trail, there was a rest bench at which he stopped. The rest bench was located behind some boulders over which afforded a scenic view of the entire bottom of the hill as well as the river valley below including the monument park and Highway-78. He had sat down to rest, as it was hot. He had been all alone on the trail and was taking in the silence. While drinking some water, he suddenly heard some men in the distance. At first, he ignored them but as seconds turned into minutes, these men not only kept talking with each other, but one of them in particular was got louder and louder. This one man seemed very emotional or passionate as he conversed with the others. John estimated there were about four men involved in this conversation. After these men continued talking loud enough for some time, John finally got up and decided to see where they were. He climbed up on the boulders next to him and looked down where he had been listening to these men for some time. The voices had stopped and with a clear view all the way down the hill to the highway, John was shocked to find no one was there at all. A bit shaken up over the incident, he went to the Battlefield State Park Interpretive Center and reported the incident to the ranger.

Out of sheer curiosity, the SPBSLP followed up on this report and interviewed the man (he had left his name and contact information with the ranger) who was from Los Angeles.  He was asked to pinpoint the exact location where he heard these men talking. The location was near a lone telephone pole, near the same old elm trees located towards the eastern side of site SLP-TS- 5.

Site SLP-TS-05

In just a few short years, this one site was specifically identified in the three separate sets of circumstances as outlined above. While the SPBSLP has no official response to these incidents, it does acknowledge that the site warrants further archaeological investigation.

The SPBSLP was never able to locate the individuals from the 1960’s newspaper article who were reported to have found old medicine vials near an elm tree at this location. Being unable to interview them nor examine and validate the glass vials found as coming from these soldiers, we can neither confirm nor deny this location. For more specifics on this location, you are encouraged to click on Site SLP-TS-05

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