Monday, October 28, 2013

Henry Treat Rogers Mansion, Cheesman Park, Denver, Colorado

In Cheesman Park, a park and neighborhood in Denver, Colorado, there once stood an impressive mansion. The Henry Treat Rogers Mansion stood on 13th Street, at the northern edge of the neighborhood.

In 1968, Russell Hunter - who worked as a musical arranger for television, but would go on to be a notable screenwriter and playwright - moved to Denver.  He found the mansion, and was shocked at it's unbelievably low rent ($200 a month!).  So, he quickly moved in, and discovered why the rent was so low.  It seems that the house couldn't keep a tenant.

I must beg the reader's indulgence here.  All of the sources are pretty consistent in how the sequence of events is described, so this is paraphrased and condensed from the Haunted Colorado and the Spooky Mountain News sites.  I recommend checking them out for further details:

Within a couple weeks of moving in, Hunter began to hear banging and crashing from a bedroom fireplace.  The noise stopped when, one morning, Hunter yelled "stop it!" in the direction of the racket.  However, after the noises stopped, they were replaced by even stranger phenomenon.  Doors began opening on their own. The walls began to vibrate, knocking hung objects onto the floor.

As time went on, Hunter met a woman at a bridge game* who told him that she knew there was a poltergeist in the house, and a man at a social gathering (of type left unspecified*) who informed him that there was a hidden third floor that could be accessed through a stairway hidden in one of the house's many closets.

Once he found the staircase (one source states that he had to get help to bash open the back of a closet), Hunter found a hidden bedroom in the attic containing the journal of a nine-year-old boy who was crippled, and whose family had locked him in the attic bedroom to hide him away. The journal stated that the favorite toy of the child was a red rubber ball, which then began appearing around the house.

Hunter called on a well-known medium (whose name is never given in any of the sources that I have seen - readers, if you have found it, please let me know) to come and help him understand what was happening.  The medium held a seance, and during the ritual it came out the the spirit haunting the house was indeed that of the 9-year-old.  He had been placed in the attic, but stood to inherit a fortune from his grandfather.  The child died before receiving it, but was replaced with an adopted orphan who had a similar appearance (though better health). This replacement child grew up to be a successful industrialist, gaining advantages from the money inherited from the dead child's grandfather. Meanwhile, the body of the actual grandson was buried in a secret grave, and a house was later built at this site.  The medium told Hunter that, should he go digging below the bedroom of the house over the grave, he would find a gold medal that would prove that this was the final resting place of the child.  As a final step, the spirit threatened harm on the family living in the house if they did not allow the grave to be exhumed.

Seeking to make his house livable again, Hunter approached the family who lived in the house to see if they would let him dig up the grave.  Although reluctant at first, the family gave permission after a series of incidents that nearly harmed their children.  A gold medal was, indeed, found in the designated location under the house.

Still, this didn't bring hunter peace.  A glass door blew up, injuring Hunter.  Bedroom walls shook.  When the house was later demolished in the 1970s, some of the walls exploded, killing a bulldozer operator.

Hunter moved to another residence, but continued to experience the same sorts of troubles.  Finally, Hunter called in an Episcopalian priest who performed and exorcism.  And it is there that the story seems to end...

...except that people still report strange happenings throughout Cheesman Park, including at the location of the now-demolished house.  It's the usual stuff: orbs in photos, voices, cold spots, feelings of dread, etc. Still, it was probably inevitable for a neighborhood built on what was once a cemetery.

*Seriously, this young show-business guy was spending time at bridge games?  Maybe the sixties weren't as swinging as everyone likes to claim.

*So, as it is never stated what the gathering was, I choose to restore some of this guy's sixties cred and declare with no evidence whatsoever that is was a LSD-infused Beatles listening party/orgy.

Commentary: Russell Hunter wrote what is easily my all-time favorite horror movie: The Changeling. If you have not seen The Changeling (the 1980 horror movie, not the 2008 drama), then you really should. It is a very effective, spooky movie that really earns its scares - there is no gore and little action, this one simply piles on the eeriness and dread until everything seems menacing.  To date, every time that I have shown the movie to people, there is one scene where everyone jumps: two characters walk into a hall and see a particular object - the object doesn't move, doesn't do anything at all...but it isn't supposed to be there, and by this point in the film, THAT is enough to get the audience scared.

If the haunted house movies of the 1950s had aged better and were still seen as scary (rather than just cheesy), they might look like the Changeling.

But what of this story?  Well, the story, as told, bears a striking resemblance to the plot of The Changeling, and Hunter claims that the film was based on his experiences in this house in Colorado.  However, the main source for information comes from a 1980 interview...around the same time that the film was released, which makes me think that there is more marketing than menace in the house.  The newspaper reports (linked to via the sources below) also cite a priest who is said to have performed an exorcism as a source, but it is unclear as to whether he was interviewed, or if that was also taken from the 1980 Hunter interview and then simply repackaged in a later newspaper story.  Add to this that the people who Hunter states told him about the hauntings are never clearly identified, and the name of the "famous medium" - the person who would likely be the easiest to identify and ask about the story - is never given...and we find ourselves with a story that is impossible to check out...almost as if someone intended to create a story that couldn't be falsified in order to publicize a movie...hmmmm....

More recently, bodies were found during infrastructure work at Cheesman Park - not too terribly shocking as the park was the Mt. Prospect Cemetery from the mid-19th century until ca. 1893, and the bodies were removed when it was converted into a park and residential area.  My own experience of 19th century cemeteries is that there are often bodies that are easy to miss if you don't know where to look...and reports from the time indicate that the workers weren't showing much respect to the remains. Although some have tried to claim that these bodies are the source of the hauntings, I have been unable to confirm that the bodies were even found near the house, plus this veers into "built on an Indian Burial Ground" territory.  So, yeah, I'm not feeling so compelled by this line of argument.

Still, it's a great old haunted house story, and it is tied to one of my favorite while I may not buy it, I do like the story and I do intend to tell it as often as I can.

Bonus Video: And here is the trailer to The Changeling.

Sources:  Wikipedia, Haunted Colorado, Spooky Mountain News, The Illustrious Internet, TV News, The History of Cheesman Park

Tags: Colorado, Haunted House, Poltergeist, Landmark, movies/film, Denver County

Thursday, October 24, 2013


In Cornwall, Connecticut, there is a location within the ominously-named Dark Entry Forest that is said to be among the most haunted locations in the Americas. The location is the ruins of Dudleytown, a once-prosperous town that was founded by a cursed family, and which was doomed as a result.  All that remains now are the cellar pits and odd bits of rock wall where once there were buildings and fences.  And there are those that say that spirits or demons also remain.

Legend holds that Dudleytown is the earthly receptical of a curse that began in 1510, when Edmund Dudley was beheaded after he was revealed to be conspiring to overthrow the King of England.  His son, John Dudley, tried to marry his son to Lady Jane Grey, thus entering the royal family...and all three were executed. Shortly afterwards, John Dudley's other son returned from France, bringing the plague with him and unleashing an outbreak that killed thousands of people.  John Dudley's third son decided to get out while the gettin' was good and left for the Americas in 1630.  Once there, he had sons, who would later settle in Connecticut...

Or, an alternate version is that Governor Thomas Dudley of the Massachusetts Bay Company was related to Edmund Dudley, and was the uncle of four Dudley Brothers who settled in Connecticut. In this version of the story, Thomas Dudley is a horrible tyrant who executes those who are not Puritans...

But regardless of the exact version, four brothers, Abijah, Barzillai, and Abiel, founded Dudleytown in the late 17th or early 18th century. Depending on which version of the story you are going with, these four brothers carried a curse with them, or one of Thomas Dudley's victims cursed him and all who dwellt near him (including his nephews), damning the land on which he lived, which would become Dudleytown. In the Governor Dudley version of the story, he is murdered - hacked to death and his body left on his land - and the murderer is never found.

The three Dudley borthers lived the rest of their lives in Dudleytown, Abijah and Barzillai dying of natural causes, apparently.  But Abiel...oh, Abiel went insane!  He lost his mind, and shorlty afterwards lost his fortune and even his home, dying a pauper

While Abiel was still alive, Nathaniel Carter bought Abiel's house (the unfortunate fellow could no longer afford it) in 1759, thus activating the curse*.  After displacing poor, mad Abiel, the Carter family moved out of Dudleytown in 1763 and went to reside in Bimghamton, New York...but somehow left their 13 year old son behind.  The result, rather unexpectedly, was that the son survived the rest of the family when a Native American raiding party attacked the Carter's New York homestead in 1764, gruesomely killing and scalping Nathaniel Carter, his wife, and even their infant child. In 1774, Nathaniel's borther, Adoniram, and his entire family died of cholera, thus adding more lives to the Dudleytown curse.

And the horror kept on coming.  In 1792, Gershon Hollister is said to have been murdered at the home of William Tanner.  Afterwards, Tanner reported seeing strange animals in the forest as well as demons, and this eventually drove him insane. In 1804, a General by the name of Swift was at home with his wife, when she walked out to the front porch and was killed after being struck by a bolt of lightning.  Mary Cheney was born in Dudleytown in 1811...and the curse followed her after she left, leading to disaster in her hsuband's career and sickness on her part, and she finally committed suicide in the 1830s. An unspecified plague hit the town in 1813, killing all of one family (the Jones family) and killing off many others.

As the 19th century wore on, crops failed, farm animals routinely vanished without explanation, and unexplained deaths continued. Come the end of the 19th century, only the Brophy family (transplants from elsewhere who arrived in 1892) remained.  First the Brophy sheep began vanishing, then his sons vanished (though it is worth noting that they were wanted by local law, "on the lam" might be a better description than "vanished").  After a few years, Mrs. Brophy died of unknown causes.  He was sometimes seen around Cornwall, muttering about "demons"...and then his house burned to the ground and he vanished, as well.

Dudleytown remained abandoned to whatever demons Mr. Brophy had encountered until 1930, when Dr. William Clark, a pathologist from New York, decided to build a summer home at that location.  Things were quiet until 1937, when Dr. Clark left on a business trip, leaving his wife behind. When he returned home, he found her in an upstairs room, cackling to herself, having gone quite mad.  She never recovered, eventually dying in an asylum.

Dr. Clark was the last resident, but the Clarks weren't the last people to encounter evil at Dudleytown.  Local folklore tells of a satanic biker gang that enters the Dudleytown area to hold rituals.  People report being attacked by demonic creatures with cloven hoofs and strange green eyes.  People report seeing shadow people, floating balls of light, dark human forms rising out of the cellar pits, having weird images show up on film (or in digital pictures), and that animals seem to be strangely absent from the area.  And, as is so often the case, stories persist that a TV news crew arrived to film a story around Halloween, only to have their equipment fail while they were present.

*For the life of me, I can not figure out why the curse is said to begin with one of the Dudley ancestors...when A) they weren't actually related, and B) the alleged displacement of an unfortunate madman seems to be reason enough to cause the curse without the convoluted stuff from the previous centuries.

Commentary:  As ghost stories go, this is one of the greats.  Dudleytown is creepy, famous, and a real place...all of which make for a good story.  The story of the curse, the demonic creatures having been sighted by residents, and the fact that the ruins are still there (though entry is prohibited by the current landowners, and people do get arrested for trespassing, so, really, stay out), it all makes this particular tale all the more delicious as ghost stories go.

Unfortunately, for all of the giddy creepy thrill that the story supplies, it really doesn't stand up to any sort of scrutiny.  As at least one source has pointed out, the story of the curse and the early deaths/madness actually doesn't hold up very well, even using just the information provided in the common versions of the story itself - pretty much everyone who is said to have died or been driven insane by the curse was quite elderly at the time...and, well, therefore would be expected to be experiencing dementia or death (for example, Abiel was 90, and the symptoms of his madness are pretty consistent with dementia).  Moreover, the number of people who are said to have died in various versions of the stories are, actually, well short of what you would expect for a rural 18th/19th century community, indicating that being in Dudleytown might actually have been good for your health. So, ya'know, not so scary, that.

A short but accurate and useful write-up of Dudleytown's history if provided on it's Wikipedia entry (accessed October 23, 2013):

Dudleytown was never an actual town. The name was given at an unknown date to a portion of Cornwall that included several members of the Dudley family. The area that became known as Dudleytown was settled in the early 1740s by Thomas Griffis, followed by Gideon Dudley and, by 1753, Barzillai Dudley and Abiel Dudley; Martin Dudley joined them a few years later. Other families also settled there.
As with every other part of Cornwall, Dudleytown was converted from forest to farm land. Families tilled the land for generations. Located on top of a high hill, Dudleytown was not ideally suited for farming. When more fertile and spacious land opened up in the mid-West in the late 19th century, and as the local iron industry wound down, Cornwall's population declined.
During the early 20th century, old farms in Cornwall were sold to New Yorkers seeking a better life in the countryside. Much of the Dudleytown area land was acquired by the Dark Entry Forest Association, which planted thousands of trees. During the 1930s, New York's Skidreiverein Club spent their winter weekends skiing on trails they built in Dudleytown; in the summers, they canoed down the Housatonic River.

Then, even the mysterious or horrifying deaths turn out to be more mundane than legend would hold.  Records show that Gershon Hollister was not, in fact, murdered, but instead died due to an accident during a barn raising.  Mary Cheney did not kill herself, but died of a lung disease, likely tuberculosis, and she had never been to Dudleytown - her death is especially easy to trace, as she married Horace Greeley.  Harriet Clarke did commit suicide, but in New York, not Dudleytown. General Swift lived in another location near, but outside of, Dudleytown (also, Swift was, like Abiel, quite elderly when he "went mad" so it was probably just dementia again).  Mrs. Clark was not driven insane, and in fact continued to live in the area after her husband's death in 1943.  And so on and so forth...

What's more, the verifiable history of Dudleytown is rather different than the legend holds.  There's no known relation between the Dudleys of Connecticut and Edmund Dudley.  Similarly, if you match up the time the periods during which the Dudleys of Dudleytown lived (the mid-to-late 18th century) with the life of Thomas Dudley...that he was their uncle seems remarkably unlikely...and they didn't settle in the area until after others already had, so their uncle would not have lived there, and in fact he died of natural causes at his home in Roxbury in 1653. Also, the Dudley brothers were actually Gideon, Barzillai, and Abiel, there wasn't an Abijah.

What's more, there is plenty of evidence that the town was deserted not because of weird supernatural goings-on, but because of the difficulty in obtaining freshwater, poor conditions for agriculture (rocky ground and a placement that resulted in shade from the hills and trees pretty much all the damned time), and variations in the local iron industry all provided potential causes for abandonment.  Add to this that Dudleytown was never really a town (stories of it having been a more substantial settlement are false), but rather part of Cornwall, and, well, many residents probably just moved to other parts of the town or county when land became available.

One Reverend Dudley, the author of the Legend of Dudleytown page linked to below, traces the origin of the ghost stories to the 1938 publication of the book They Found a Way, though it is conceivable that elements of the story already existed in local folklore, but even that isn't too terribly odd a thought.  After all, frequently shadowy location with an abandoned town?  If you don't make up a ghost story for that, then you are just being a lazy sod.

Still, even knowing all of this, I still love this story.  It still creeps me out, and if I ever find out that I will be visiting Connecticut, I will try to get permission to visit this site.

Sources: Wikipedia, The Legend of Dudleytown, Cornwall Historic Society, Prairie GhostsGhostvillage, Damned (wildly inaccurate information, but a fun read), The Illustrious Internet!, The Ghosts Of Ohio (because, of course, a website about Ohio will cover Connecticut), Exciting Earth, paranoid ramblings from the Illustrious Internet

Hauntings at Fresno State

Fresno State, located near the center of California in the large agricultural area known as the San Joaquin Valley, is, of course, said to be haunted.

Let's start with the music building....

Music students report hearing strange, unexplained noises at night in the music building's practice rooms. Some reports are more specific and describe voices and whistling when the building is empty save for the person hearing the noises.

A plaque dedicated to the memory of journalism professor Roger Tatarian sits right outside of McKee Fisk Hall.  At least one person reports that automated doors to the building opening and closing when he greeted the plaque by saying "hello Roger."

Anatomy classes held in McLane Hall involve cadavers*.  Although no ghost stories are associated with the room in which they are kept, the cold, morgue-like feeling is commented on in the stories that I found.

Commentary:  As I have noted on other entries, the folks from Hometown Tales used to like to point out that every college is said to be haunted, because it's a way for the boys and the girls to interact.  California State University Fresno (AKA Fresno State) is no different.

I am just disappointed that the ghost stories at Fresno State are so lame.

A few thoughts:

An ex-girlfriend of mine was a student at Oberlin College's conservatory of music, and she told me that stories much like the music building stories at Fresno State were also common at Oberlin.  Similarly, when I was a graduate student at UC Santa Barbara, I heard a few of the undergrad music majors telling similar stories there.  I wonder if, rather like theaters, music practice rooms have a reputation for hauntings, or if it is just that people are isolated in these rooms listening intently and hearing normal sounds that they wouldn't normally notice.

The story linked to in the Sources section has a sentence which paraphrases as "some of the rooms have tools not normal for an educational facility: cadavers!" which, really, leads me wonder whether this person has ever considered how anatomy is taught.  Cadavers are fairly common on university campuses.  Also, are people genuinely surprised to discover that a room that houses cadavers would have a "cold, morgue-like" feeling?  What else would it be like?

The sources to which I link bring up the murder of Tracy Leroy Nute by former professor Maz Bernard Franc...even though the murder happened off-campus and no ghost stories are associated with it. I don't get why the murder is brought up.  I mean, it was a disturbing, grisly event that occurred and which had a loose connection to the campus...but there is nothing allegedly supernatural about it, it's just disturbing.  And given that the victim's family still lives in the area, it seems callous to use it for cheap Halloween thrills in the student newspaper when it's not even really connected to the alleged point of the article.

Sources:  College NewspaperWeird Fresno (mostly a re-print of the newspaper article)Los Angeles Times

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

The Haunting of Harvey House, Barstow, California

In the town of Barstow, California, there is a delightful example of early 20th century architecture: The Harvey House/Casa de Desierto.

The Casa de Desierto (Desert House), one of the Harvey House chain of hotels and restaurants that once were common along the railroads, was built in 1911, to replace an earlier structure that had been destroyed in a fire. It is a rather beautiful building, standing next to the railroad tracks, and conspicuous, as the rest of Barstow's architecture, while quite pleasant and often gorgeous in its own right, tends to be more utilitarian than this former hotel.

Naturally, it is said to be haunted.

The most common experiences reported are, as is so often the case, vague feelings of uneasiness, "being watched," and the ubiquitous "cold spots."  More interesting are the apparitions that people report seeing, including Harvey Girls (travelling waitresses who worked for the Harvey company) who are seen walking the halls of the building (including one who appears to simply walk the same route from the kitchen to the dining room, with something in her hand, repeating the walk again and again), and a woman named Rachel who is seen on the balcony, depending on the telling, is either a Harvey Girl or a young woman waiting for her fiance or husband to return from the war (I assume WWI).  In the latter tellings, Rachel is said to have committed suicide - a common ghost story motif.

In addition to the apparitions, there are smells and sounds.  The smell of tobacco smoke is said to signify the presence of Buchanan, a man who was crushed between two rail cars and whose dying wishes were to see his family and to have a cigarette.  A little girl names Emily is said to occasionally laugh as people walk by, and her apparition plays "peek-a-boo" as people walk up the lobby stairs.

Commentary:  The Harvey Houses were an interesting institution - a chain of hotels linked by the railroads, known for their quality and comfort when these were rare during travel through the western United States.  People often claimed (no doubt with encouragement from the Harvey Company's marketing office) that the Harvey Houses "tamed the wild west."  This is, of course, not true.  However, they did provide amenities that might otherwise be scarce in the Great Basin and desert Southern California.

That this one has had ghost stories attached to it is unsurprising.  As noted above, the building really does stand out.  Barstow is located on Route 66, and has it's fair share of historic and unique buildings and rather friendly people - for all of it's sometimes bad reputation as a destination, I have always found Barstow to be a pleasant place when I have traveled there for work - but the Casa de Desierto stands apart from the rest.  It's a mix of east-coast brick, neo-classical, and Moorish designs that looks...well, the best word that I can think of is "classy."  It's a very nice building that looks very out of place next to the railroad tracks and a dry riverbed.

Given that it is both a conspicuous structure and that it has long been a landmark for those riding the trains as well as those living in Barstow, it is unsurprising that it has gathered ghost stories.  I must admit that I am a bit disappointed that the stories are so pedestrian.  The sightings of Emily are reminiscent of the sightings of another ghostly child at the Brookdale Lodge, but the stranger and more menacing apparitions at the Santa Cruz County hotel are missing in Barstow.

Still, what the stories at Casa de Desierto lack in originality, they make up for in colorfulness.  The smoke that calls to mind Buchanan's demise, the details regarding where Rachel will be standing (and the alternating versions of her reason for being there), and the fact that the stories are folded within the manufactured mythology of the Harvey Company make for an enjoyable set of tales.

Sources:  Newspaper, Internet, Internet,, Wikipedia, and, again, Wikipedia

Monday, October 7, 2013

Launch Pad 34, Kennedy Space Center

On January 27, 1967, module CM-012  was on Launch Pad 34 at the Kennedy Space Center.  The module was being tested, not even being launched, something (the cause is still unknown) sparked a fire.  Astronaut Grissom shouted "Fire!" followed by Astronaut White saying "We've got a fire in the cockpit!".  The fire burned hot and fast in the oxygen-rich environment, and 30 seconds later, it was all over, the three astronauts had died.  These were the first deaths of the U.S. Space Program.

The complex still stands, though it has not been used in a very long time.  NASA used to allow visitors, but is said to have stopped doing so due to "strange occurrences*" (though you can take a bus tour of the area...rather indicating that this is nonsense).  

Naturally, the place is now the subject of ghost stories.  Visitors and security patrols report eerie feeling in the vicinity of the pad, and many have reported hearing agonized screams.  There are references to "floating apparitions" - I assume of the astronauts, though I can't find any specific descriptions - and at least one visitor (who, it should be said, went looking for ghosts) claims that a patch that he had left behind mysteriously moved 30 feet after he dropped it and went back to find it (for the record, as someone who routinely puts things down in the field and has to go back to find them, 30 feet is not much of a distance to mis-remember when you go to pick something back color me unimpressed by this claim).

Regardless, this is the second ghost story associated with space travel that I have found, and it is a noteworthy part of the folklore.

*I have my doubts about this being the reason that visitors were no longer allowed there.  When a ghost story is attached to a place, it is almost inevitable that people will claim that mundane things occurred for "strange" reasons...when they occurred for mundane reasons.

Commentary: Shades of SLC-6, another space launch complex said to be haunted. This story, however, is not dripping in the racism inherent in the SLC-6 "cursed by an Indian Shaman!" story. Rather, it is based on a real life tragedy that befell several astronauts.

The deaths were preventable, though, like the later Challenger and later Columbia disasters, the decisions that led to the deaths were not readily acknowledged until it was too late.  NASA disagreed with many of North America Aviation's initial design decisions, requesting changes that, arguably, made the spacecraft more dangerous.  As summarized by Wired:

Even before tragedy struck, the command module was criticized for a number of potentially hazardous design flaws, including the use of a more combustible, 100 percent oxygen atmosphere in the cockpit, an escape hatch that opened inward instead of outward, faulty wiring and plumbing, and the presence of flammable material.
Regarding the cabin atmosphere and hatch configuration, it was a case of NASA overruling the recommendations of the North American designers. North American proposed using a 60-40 oxygen/nitrogen mixture but because of fears over decompression sickness, and because pure oxygen had been used successfully in earlier space programs, NASA insisted on it being used again. NASA also dinged the suggestion that the hatch open outward and carry explosive bolts in case of an emergency mainly because a hatch failure in the Mercury program's Friendship 7 capsule had nearly killed Gus Grissom in 1961.
So CM-012 was completed as ordered and delivered to Cape Canaveral.
The three astronauts knew they were looking at a potential death trap. Not long before he died, Grissom plucked a lemon from a tree at his house and told his wife, "I'm going to hang it on that spacecraft."
Growing up, my father would often tell me about the failed launch, and the horror that he and his friends felt when they heard the news. After a decade of the on-going triumphant conquest of space, the dangers inherent in the enterprise became frighteningly obvious.  This realization shook the public, but it should not have surprised them.  Many of the people who witnessed the tragedy were old enough to remember when airplanes were the horribly dangerous province of dare devils and not the routine transportation that they had become by the late 20th century.  And, in the scheme of things, it wasn't that far back in our history when the ocean wasn't a route for pleasure cruises but rather "the great grey widow-maker."
Humans have always been drawn to explore.  It is, perhaps, one of the better qualities of our species. However, just as we have had stories of ghost ships for centuries, it shouldn't surprise us that we now have stories of ghost space ships.  And, should we continue our off-planet exploration, as I hope we do, it's likely only a matter of time before a space-age equivalent of the Flying Dutchman enters our folklore.

Sources: Roadtripper (a Gawker Media site), Published Book, The rather mis-named TruTVWired