In April, 20 paranormal researchers are planning a trip 960 miles off the coast of New York to the place where the ship sank in 1912 in hopes that they can scare up evidence of electronic voice phenomena, or EVP, proving the people who died left a psychic impression on the place.
The wreck happened nearly 99 years ago, but researcher and self-taught Titanic expert William Brower, who will go on the journey, believes he can find evidence the folks who died are still around in some capacity.
"There is a working theory that areas of extreme trauma can imprint the actions and emotions," said Brower, who has been studying the Titanic ever since he was 5 and saw a movie called "Raise the Titanic."
Matthew "Sandman" Kelley, a retired truck driver who is organizing the trip as part of a group called Society of DEAD (Direct Evidence After Death), says EVP can best be explained as the psychic version of a photographic negative.
Kelley believes the trip represents uncharted waters for the field of paranormal investigation, and, as such, the investigators plan some unorthodox ways of arousing the spirits.
"We will re-create the atmosphere by eating the exact meal that was served the night the ship crashed, and we will play the same music heard that night," he said. "But I want to make one thing clear: I don't believe in any spirits. We are looking for residual impressions."
Each investigator on the expedition has a reason for participating, but none may be more personal than that of a Marine pilot named Angelica Harris.
"Her great uncle died on the Titanic," Brower said. "She plans to do a classroom at sea over the Internet for students who are discovering the Titanic."
However, there is a risk the expedition could run aground before it even sets sail.
"We're trying to raise $83,000 in funding," Kelley admitted, adding that the trip could be postponed until next summer if the money isn't found. "There has been some interest from some of the big networks, but I think they want to see if we can do it ourselves and then they'll pay royalties after the fact."
Terra King, a believer who writes about the paranormal for a website, told Sun-Sentinel.com that seeking EVPs in places such as battlefields or disasters is "disrespectful and unethical."
"Too many groups who are searching for the voices of those who have died are downright ghoulish," King said. "This expedition falls within this category. Trolling the North Atlantic for EVPs is ridiculous."
Kelley begs to differ.
"We're not diving on the spot," he said. "We'll be on the boat. Plus, it's not like we're doing research on ground zero. We've been asked to do that and we refused."
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