Ghost Mine – S01E06 – Gold Fever – The Finale

So here we are at the final episode of Ghost Mine and it’s been quite an interesting adventure. The team has experienced Tommyknockers, shadow figures, power drains, phantom winds, mysterious “explosions” and what could very well be a secret entrance to a tunnel ripe with gold. They’ve seen wild EMF spikes and have done investigations in multiple locations. But at the end of the day the miners are still going for gold and are determine to see what’s at the end of that new mine shaft.

As Stan, Eddie, Patrick and Kristen check out the new shaft, the EMF meter spikes on a repeated basis. Eddie and Stan hear all sorts of noises including what sounds like a growl. Patrick and Kristen both see a figure moving in the darkness and Patrick actually walks away with what looks like a man standing at the very end of the mine shaft.

The shaft is wickedly unsafe, but as a group they decide to “rehab” it, fix the support beams so they can do a quick in and out to get as much gold as possible. Although hesitant they’re all in agreement, especially Bucket who’s bravado is more than likely going to get him killed.

They show the new tunnel to Larry who is all for extracting as much as possible. And with that they head in to shore things up. Along the way they find plenty of old tools, dynamite boxes and even an old bottle perhaps filled with moonshine. They say the previous miners gave a hasty retreat.

Everyone is now saying they feel odd or strange in this new tunnel with Patrick going so far as to say it feels “wrong”. Even the wives are scared for the lives of their husbands as they begin work on this new mine.

Besides the odd picture of the figure wandering around, after they blast the rock away, Dingus disappears into the mine saying he saw a figure and chased it. He is all manner of delirious. Why the devil would he chase someone into the mine, especially without asking for help?

Undeterred by all these events they press on and get ready to work the new mine. But it’s simply not meant to be as the entrance to the mine has caved in sealing the shaft once again. All the wood surrounding the opening has buckled and splintered. Clearly, they won’t be getting any gold out of this one. Eddie even goes so far as to say the mine owner Larry caused the cave in so he can come back later and cut them out of the deal.

It wasn’t a total loss though. In the end each man walks away with $80k for their efforts. It could have been a lot more had that other shaft not collapsed, but it’s far better than a handful of nothing. Will they come back next year and finish the job? Will Larry bring back this same crew or as Eddie put it, will he handle it himself and cut them out of a massive payday?

Overall this was an interesting series since it was an investigation that stayed in the same place over time. However, I can’t really agree with their assessment of dark energy and all this gloom they place on the mine.

First of all, no one has been hurt, touched, scratched, or abused in any way. If there is an energy there it certainly didn’t cause any harm. If anything it may have been warning them of the dangers.

Simply because a place is owned by the Masons doesn’t make it sinister and evil. That is such a cop out these days. The Masons are not Satanists or cultists or practitioners of witchcraft. That’s basically the same as saying that since something was owned by the government it holds alien technology.

You also have to wonder about this mysterious “Jay” who told Kristen and Patrick about the additional mineshaft. If he knew so damn much, why not bring it up to Larry himself? And just who is he anyway? Just some concerned citizen passing by who just happens to know there is a secret mine tunnel? This whole clandestine meeting seems a little suspect to me. How come he didn’t buy the mine and reap the benefits of the gold? Or is that perhaps his plan?

The use of the word “portal” was over used and overly dramatic. It’s simply a barrier across a tunnel. Everyone is jumping to sinister conclusions about why it’s there. Oh my goodness, it has to be holding dark energy in the tunnel. It’s a gateway to keeping evil from reaching the surface. Really? Evil can’t pass through wood? Maybe the original miners considered it to be too dangerous to work with at the time and blocked it off until they could come back to it. Perhaps they ran out of time and winter came early. That would cause them to make a hasty retreat otherwise they would be trapped on the mountain. Considering the time period, they may not have had enough food and supplies to last a winter up there. It’s not like they could just jump in a car and zip down the hill in 40 minutes like they do now. It would have been a major undertaking. There is nothing to suggest they were in danger and had to flee.

Despite the first episode where they found bones, and since it was never brought up again we can assume they were “lunch”, they never found remains, graves, clothes or anything else that says a huge number of men died up there. With that kind of work it’s certainly likely deaths occurred, but the all important evidence doesn’t support atrocities up there.

In all the evidence there are really only two things I find noteworthy. First is the massive “explosion” that happens while they were playing cards. There was no explanation for that. Was that rocks coming down?

Second, the figure in the picture Patrick took. It does indeed look like a figure. And? It’s not like it attacked them or anyone else for that matter. Nothing bad happened. If that was indeed an entity saying he’s dangerous is ridiculous.

All the noise from the mine, the growls, groans and phantom winds could just as easily be the rotting wood, the water dripping, beams creaking and considering there is a hell of a lot more to this tunnel system than they know about who knows where the air is coming from. Who knows what gases are down there. Don’t forget, miners used to take canaries down there because the air seemed fine, but it wasn’t.

This was a fun series and I would really love to see how this all plays out. But, I feel there was a lot of “made for TV drama” that just doesn’t have a basis in reality. I think far too many of the events would be par for the course within an old mine. The Earth is a strange mistress. There is a lot of stuff under the surface and so much of it seems foreign, but is perfectly normal. And there were far too many suspect characters on the periphery that could have had their own agenda and could have been out for their own gain.

As I said before, so many of these guys give off a “Scooby-Doo” vibe. There were plenty of Miner 49ers that turned out to be nothing more than a greedy land owner trying to get his hands on some gold.

So what do you think? Haunted mine? Crafty mine owner? Dark spirit? Cursed city? Masonic influence? Cover up?

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Ghost Mine – Secret Passage – S01E05

It’s been two months since work began at the mine and so far the miners have faced plenty of equipment failures as well as disappointment with plenty of rock, but no gold ore. But things have turned around and now fortune seems to be on their side. They’ve dug deep enough into the mine to find the veins they’re looking. It may not be huge nuggets like we see in the old gold rush movies, but gold is coming out. And along with the gold there has been a lot of unexplained bangs, shadows, EMF spikes and all those equipment failures. Kristen has discovered legends about a curse on the entire town and Patrick has found plenty of evidence of a mysterious figure named “Joe”. The team has even discovered another mine shaft that appears to have been sealed off. Is this where the good stuff is or is it where they buried something they didn’t want others to find?

For this episode, Larry the mine owner throws a barbecue and declares that they’ve broken even and that all the gold they discover from now on is profit for them all. It looks like the miners will be able to fill their pockets with a little more than hopes and dreams. But things go a little sideways are Marissa, the 9 year old daughter of Dingus has wandered away from the group. Everyone springs into action to find her. As Jamal searches down the road he hears lots of banging and creaking in the woods. After a short while Greybeard finds Marissa hiding in some sort of concrete structure. She’s hiding from some sort of shadow figure. Jamal later reveals he saw a dark shadow out there as well.

Kristen and Patrick do an investigation where they find some odd cloud on the thermal imager moving very close to the ground. They also find a figure hiding behind a tree. They don’t find any physical evidence, so was there indeed a shadow figure lurking around or did some stranger make his way to the party?

Things get even stranger as Patrick gets a call from Jay who wants to tell them a little more about the mine. It used to be owned by the Mason’s and both of his son’s worked in the mine before Larry took over. The men claim they saw shadows and heard voices. Both men said there is something odd living up there. Jay doesn’t feel the mine is safe and talks about some granite boulders. The boulders have Masonic symbols on them. and he thinks they mark the entrance to another tunnel. It might also be some sort of warning and a tunnel not to open.

Stan comes across Patrick digging around and is intrigued by the story of the boulders. He points them out almost immediately and the scavenger hunt is on. They find all three rocks and then what appears to be an opening to another shaft. It takes almost no time to uncover it and in goes RIPA to check it out. What they discover is a completely new tunnel that’s rich in gold. Stan and Eddie confirm the ore quality is very high and could be worth several millions dollars.

RIPA once again goes dead while in the tunnel, while Patrick registers large EMF spikes. Were they meant to discover this shaft? Is someone trying to push them away from the claim? The wooden support beams look to be in pretty bad shape and the barricade to the entrance took a lot of effort to smash through. Is this tunnel safe?

Eddie and Stan are extremely excited about their discovery while Patrick and Kristen have a lot of hesitation about what lies ahead. They had plenty of shadow figures, unexplained explosions, plenty of legends about the mine being haunted not to mention the last crew bailing out, dozens of equipment failures including a brand new one as they try to haul out as much gold as possible and now there is a mysterious new tunnel that’s been covered over, possibly by the Mason’s.

Was the intent to come back to this mine and reap the gold or is there something else going on? As Patrick and Kristen say, they’ve been all over the town investigating odd claims. It’s hard to tell what’s real and what’s the stuff of legend. But at this point, the gold is real, the work is real, and come hell or high water, those miners are going to go into the second tunnel and do their damndest to get some gold.

All in all it’s hard to say what’s going on. There is clearly gold in them there hills, so is this more along the lines of a Scooby-Doo plot where someone is dressing up and trying to scare the miners off so they can have the gold for themselves or are there really bad forces working against the miners? You have to ask, what sort of entity could actually be trapped within the depths of an old gold mine?

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666 Park Avenue

Even though it hasn’t been renewed for second season, 666 Park Avenue is going to play out the rest of the episodes they have. And it’s a real shame this show isn’t coming back because it’s really starting to hit a stride. It’s been a slow build, but things are starting to come together. Gavin’s powers are being revealed and the interconnectedness of lives of the residents of the Drake are coming to the surface.

It’s odd since so much of the writing and presentation reminds me of the first season of Lost. We have all these characters and all these stories that seem a jumbled mess, but as we move forward we see how  they’ve all had an influence on each other. 666 Park Avenue comes across the same way to me. We have Gavin who clearly has mystical powers, but it takes quite awhile to see what they are and what he does with them. With these last two episodes we see that Alexis and Louise have crossed paths before and for reasons unknown Gavin has plans for them. Sasha, the long lost daughter of the Drake’s, believed to have died in a car accident, is quite alive and well working as a political advisor for Henry Martin, the very man Gavin is working his magic for to get him into office. The past doesn’t stay dead for long and one of the original members of the Order of the Dragon has been able to cheat death and is back in the Drake.

There is a lot going on, but it’s all beginning to gel. The pieces are falling into place and what I think would be a great lead in to a second season just won’t be happening. I’d be happy to see 666 Park Avenue get picked up by one of the cable channels where they can find more of an audience. American Horror Story was an unusual and confusing story at first, but once the characters were introduced and put into play it became a very compelling series. It had twists, turns and unexpected results. I see 666 Park Avenue as the same thing. They just got the characters set and got everyone into position. Now the real story is about to begin.

Well, I’ll still be tuning in for the last couple of episodes to see where this goes. I like these kinds of dramas where it takes time to build things up. Single story episodes are fine, but like phone book sized Stephen King novels or the intricate plots of Dan Brown, it takes time to draw you in, but once you’re there, you’re happy to get pulled along for more.

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Ghost Mine – Phantom Wind – S01E04

In the previous episode the miners lost power, got stuck in the dark tunnels and Kristen heard the Native American stories about the Dredge and how it may have brought a curse to the entire town. The Native Americans think there is a source of danger that is associated with the mining and that it won’t go away until they stop. But the gold is starting to reveal itself and the miners are digging in deeper in the hopes of some real profits.

It may not have been a curse, but it’s certainly back luck that Sumpter burnt to the ground in August of 1917. A fire broke out and in three hours the entire city and all it’s records were gone. This area isn’t new to tragedy and Patrick heads out the cemetery to see if he can find groupings of headstones that might reveal other disasters that took place in Sumpter. As he looks around he finds Joseph Young, a mason and one of the original Founding Fathers of Sumpter. Is this the Joe they’re communicating with?

Back at the mining camp the guys are sitting around playing cards when there is a massive bang or explosion right outside. It almost sounds like someone lit off some dynamite in the mine. They rush outside to investigate but see nothing. Kristen calls for help, but after checking around her cabin they don’t see anything. Even the thermal imager shows all is quiet. As Kristen does an EVP session asking questions if someone is trying to warn them, there is another loud and distinct bang.

It’s pretty clear these have nothing to do with wood creaking and settling or mistaking a small animal wandering around. It would seem logical that rocks smashed into the cabin, but there are no signs of damage or of loose rocks. Two massive bangs in a row? That’s a new one.

While the miners aren’t going to stop digging for gold they do feel like someone is watching them from time to time. Are they now giving in to the idea of the paranormal or is something actually out there? They’re superstitious to begin with so let’s hope they aren’t letting their imaginations get the better of them.

After the raucous night, Dick and Jamal head back into the tunnel, but make a hasty retreat when they feel cold blasts of air. They’re in a closed tunnel so there shouldn’t be any air flow. Patrick and Kristen discover air blowing in from another tunnel, one that appears to have been sealed off. Are they right next to another mine shaft? It certainly sounds hollow and the air is coming in through small vent holes. You have to wonder, why was it sealed up?

Patrick asks that same question during an EVP session and gets an answer of "Danger". Is this the voice of a miner giving them a warning? Are they simply hearing something in the very faint static of the recording? Either way the miners are actually excited to break that wall down and see what’s on the other side. Stan, the foreman, has to keep them focused on the job at hand of digging for gold.

So there were two massive, unexplained bangs and now a tunnel that looks like it might have been closed off for reasons unknown. The plot is certainly getting thicker isn’t it? Are they on the trail of some deeper mystery or does the potentially sealed off tunnel have a simple explanation? Now that they’re raking in gold and perhaps a profit is something out to spoil their plans? As they remove tons and tons of earth and cast it aside like the previous miners, is the curse being stirred and they’ll be stopped?

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