Case Background, Claims & History
The Yankee Air Museum is full of rich aviation history and located in an area with a strong aviation background. This history dates back to 1941 when Willow Run Airport was built by the Ford Motor Company. The purpose of this airfield was to serve as a location for Ford’s B-24 Bomber Plant. According to www.yankeeairmuseum.org, “this was the first aircraft manufacturing plant to use Ford’s automotive mass production techniques, a leading technological innovation of the time.” From 1942 until the end of WWII, Ford Motor Company built over 8,500 B-24s, and, at one time, the plant “produced one B-24 every 59 minutes.” It also employed over 42,000. After the end of the war, the airport became a “hub for passenger flights and air freight in the Detroit Metropolitan area” (www.yankeeairmuseum.org).
Because of this rich history, in 1981, it propelled a group of people, under the name of Yankee Air Force, to join together in the pursuit of preserving and honoring southeastern Michigan’s aviation history, specifically the forgotten history of the Willow Run Airport. Their first goal was to acquire “one of the original U.S. Army Air Forces hangars and restore it to its original condition,” which, through the help of Wayne County, who owned the airport, this was accomplished and the Yankee Air Museum was created (www.yankeeairmuseum.org).
From that point, the museum started work on acquiring items of aviation historical value. One of the most difficult tasks was that of finding a B-24 that was built at Willow Run. While over 18,000 Liberators were built, only 11 survive today, and of that, only four of them were built locally at Willow Run. Luckily, in “1987, a PB4Y-2 Privateer, the Navy’s single-tailed version of the B-24, was donated to the Museum for static display,” according to www.yankeeairmuseum.org.
Additionally, the museum “has acquired and returned to flying status five World War II aircraft.” The first, acquired in 1981, was a 1945 Douglas C-47 World War II transport. Following that was the “Yankee Doodle Dandy,” which is deemed as “the YAM’s world class award-winning flagship.” 1986 brought a B-17G, “Flying Fortress,” which was actually used in the movie “Tora! Tora! Tora!” Others include: The “Yankee Lady” (restored and returned to flying status in 1995); “Mitchell”, a B-25D medium-duty bomber (acquired in 1987); and the “Yankee Warrior,” which saw combat in World War II and has the distinction of being one of only two B-25Ds still flying today (www.yankeeairmuseum.org).
Tragedy struck on October 9, 2004 when the Yankee Air Museum at Willow Run caught firing, destroying the historic hangar which was home to the museum. “Through the heroic efforts of a few members, the beautifully restored B-17, C-47 and B-25 aircraft were moved out of the building before the fire reached them, thus saving the heart of the collection. In addition, all the historic aircraft on display outside of the main building were untouched by the fire. The museum did, however, lose virtually all of the tooling, equipment and spare parts for all of the aircraft…” (www.yankeeairmuseum.org).
For the next few years, the Yankee Air Museum members, staff and volunteers worked continuously to rebuild what was lost in the fire and continue to original mission of preserving Michigan’s aviation history. Finally, “in 2007, the hard work, dedication, planning and fund raising for the new Yankee Air Museum began to bear fruit.”
According to www.yankeeairmuseum.org, the museum received a donation of a historic schoolhouse, which was built in 1938 by Henry Ford. Also, during WWII, the schoolhouse was used as an officer’s club. Following that, in 2009, the Yankee Air Museum “purchased a building from the Michigan Institute of Aviation and Technology (MIAT),” and in October 2010, the new museum opened to the public in that location, which “houses permanent and rotating aviation and historical displays, restoration projects, a retail store and a movie theatre that is available to the public” in its 47,000 square feet. According towww.yankeeairmuseum.org, the “‘Headquarters’ is also home to Yankee Air Museum staff and volunteers and has meeting rooms and banquet facilities for rent, machine shops and storage space for the Museum collection. An outside area next to the Museum is the new home of the Air Park.”
Today, Yankee Air Museum hosts a variety of educational programs that are available to the public, as well as their “THUNDER OVER MICHIGAN” Air Show, and “continues in its mission of ‘Honoring aviation history and its participants through a living, flying museum’” (www.yankeeairmuseum.org).
Video Evidence Obtained During Investigation
K2 meter hits on very old tunic
K2 meter hits at the school house
Weather: 80 degrees, sunny and clear
The Yankee Air Museum
At 6:20 PM, Tim, Ryan, Kellie, and Scott began their investigation in the museum and did an EVP session near the helicopter. Almost immediately, Ryan spotted a shadow, but the team determined that it was the reflection from the glass in the area. They ended their EVP session at 6:30 PM.
Starting at 6:35 PM, Nan, Katrice, John, John Jr., Joe, Art, Brenda, and Chris began investigating in the museum near the helicopter. An EMF reading registered no EMF. They also used the Ovilus, which said the following words during the session: important, grandfather, specialist, ask, core, fist, less, mission, cross, gather, wisdom, study, astral, it, candy, lock, phantom, Debra, grandfather (for a second time), gave, feed, yellow, happen, sensors, fear, themselves, fatal, boat, embark, etc. They concluded at 7:15 PM.
At 7:20 PM, John, John Jr., Katrice, Brenda, Art and Joe moved their investigation to the textile room. (The textile room is where all the extra uniforms, trunks, and other items are stored when they are not on the display floor.) An EMF reading registered no EMF. The team set up the Ovilus, which said several words such as: western, natural, anger, war, lead, James, notice, question, end, batteries, captain, etc. They concluded at 7:45 PM.
At 8:05 PM, Patti, Nan, James, Kellie, Ryan, Jason, Cathy, Scott, Chris, and Tim began an investigation in the textile room at the museum. While in there, we were receiving frequent K-II hits, especially around one uniform that was hanging. (Following the investigation in that room, we were able to find out from a member of the museum staff that that specific uniform belonged to a First Lt. in World War I that served over in the Europe and was a part of the infantry division). In addition to the K-II hits, we also received some flashlight responses, but they did not seem intelligent. At 8:32 PM, Tim began a Frank’s Box session. James asked for anyone present to do a roll call and “sound off.” Following that, the names Pat, Joe, John, Steven (twice), Scott, Donald, Shane, Tom and Elliot were heard. We concluded the session in the textile room at 8:50 PM.
At 5:30 PM, John, Katrice, John Jr., Chris, Art, Brenda, Joe, Nan, and Tammy (from Yankee Air) began investigating. EMF check showed no levels of EMF. When they walked into the room, the team, using the FLIR Thermal Camera, registered an odd heat source being emitted from the bean bag chair in the center of the room, almost as if someone was sitting there; yet, no one was. They conducted an EVP session and concluded at 6:20 PM.
At 6:42 PM, James, Kellie, Ryan, Tim, Scott, and Tammy (from Yankee Air) began an EVP session in the schoolhouse. They received K-II hits on three different meters, which seemed to indicate (through question and answer) that they were communicating with someone who was sitting near James in the middle of the room. (Interesting note: The bean bag where the previous team had found the unexplained heat source was in the center of the room next to where James was sitting.) At 6:55 PM,some heard some music and the flashlight turned on. Using the flashlight for a question-and-answer session, the team received what seemed like somewhat intelligent communication, which seemed to indicate they were communicating with the spirit of a young boy who had gone to school in the schoolhouse, liked math and got grades in that subject. An unexplained voice was also heard at 7:01 PM. Tim got out his Frank’s Box to do a session, beginning at 7:10 PM. During this time, several people heard the name “Tim” said, but, in this case, it didn’t come from the box. They also received, at 7:22 PM, K-II hits, including two that went all the way to the red light. During the Frank’s Box session, the names Henry, David, Daniel, Steve, Ryan and Tim were heard. The name Daniel was also connected to the word helicopter during the session. They concluded the session at 7:30 PM.
Starting at 8 PM, Art, John, Joe, Brenda, and Tammy (from Yankee Air) began a session in the schoolhouse. During this time, the team had activity with the flashlight and the Tri-Field Meter also went off. The Ovilus was quite active, saying words such as: candy, jacket, warrior, read, wonder, batteries, soccer, seek, James, book, bomb, Chris, party, attitude, captain, horse, porch, George, etc. They concluded at 9:20 PM.
EVP’s Obtained During Investigation of the Airfield
(This EVP is from a different recorder than the one that capturedthe EVP to the left. It starts when Scott has paused talking and then continues talking and records longer than the other EVP.)
This is a CLASS “C” EVP that was recorded at the airfield. The recorder was sitting upon an old munitions box near the entrance of “The Argosy.” It sounds like a male voice saying “Scott, we are here.” This is a direct response as Scott, one of the investigators, was asking if those present could make a sound to verify their presence. This is what followed. Listen at 3.5 seconds.
This is a CLASS “B” EVP that was recorded at the airfield. The recorder was sitting upon an old munitions box near the entrance of “The Argosy.” It sounds like it is a male voice saying “jumping.” Listen at 11 seconds. (Interesting note: Tim and Scott were trying to puzzle out the purpose of this particular aircraft, The Argosy, which was the first of its type ever produced. Tim was thinking that it was for passenger transport but later learned from one of the museum volunteers that is was strictly a cargo plane.)
This is a CLASS “C” EVP that was recorded at the airfield. The recorder was sitting upon an old munitions box near the entrance of “The Argosy.” It sounds like it is a male voice saying “Freight – it’s simple.” Listen at 4 seconds. (Interesting note: Tim had asked if there were any civilians allowed on the plane to start off the EVP session. Prior to this Scott and Tim were discussing what cargo the plane carried.)
Audio Evidence Obtained from the Schoolhouse
This is a CLASS “C” EVP that was recorded in the schoolhouse. The recorder was sitting upon the table Tim was seated at. It sounds like a male voice saying “hello.” Listen at 3 seconds. (Interesting note: Tim was explaining how we cannot see them or hear them and that is why we bring equipment. Tim spoke about the recorders with red lights and then asked for whomever was in the room to speak their name. Scott heard this response as a whistle.)
This is a CLASS “C” AND a CLASS “A” EVP that was recorded in the schoolhouse (ie. it is a two part EVP in different voices with the latter being a Class “A”). The recorder was sitting upon the table Tim was seated at. First EVP sounds like a male voice saying “Trouble He’s Dead.” Listen at 1 second. Second EVP also sounds male, saying “We cook.” Listen at 3 seconds.
Yankee Air is a location full of rich history, and we feel honored to have been able to investigate that history with our methods of investigating. Several investigators had personal experiences throughout the investigation and we seemed to capture some evidence in the forms of EVPs, K-II hits, and flashlight responses that confirm the presence of the paranormal.