Tuesday, May 16, 2017

HGB Ep. 201 - Shilo Inn

Moment in Oddity - Gobekli Tepe Pillar Depicts Comet Strike
Suggested by: Bob Sherfield

There are theories that a comet struck the Earth thousands of years ago and this wiped out creatures like the woolly mammoth. Civilizations began to rise after this event. Gobekli Tepe is an ancient archaeological site atop a mountain ridge in Turkey. It is believed that the site is a neolithic sanctuary used for ceremonies. Experts at the University of Edinburgh analyzed mysterious symbols that appeared to be animal carvings on a pillar known as the vulture stone. These engineers realized that the creatures were actually astronomical symbols, which represented constellations and a comet. This comet is thought to be the cataclysmic one that led to an ice age.  Dr Martin Sweatman, of the University of Edinburgh’s School of Engineering, who led the research, said: "I think this research, along with the recent finding of a widespread platinum anomaly across the North American continent virtually seal the case in favor of a Younger Dryas comet impact. Our work serves to reinforce that physical evidence. What is happening here is the process of paradigm change. It appears Göbekli Tepe was, among other things, an observatory for monitoring the night sky. One of its pillars seems to have served as a memorial to this devastating event – probably the worst day in history since the end of the ice age.” The Younger Dryas time period is when agriculture emerged and the first Neolithic civilizations started. The idea that a pillar at Gobekli Tepe records such a monumental event and that it has latest until today, certainly is odd!

This Month in History - Explorer Robert E. Peary is Born

In the month of May, on the 6th, in 1856 Explorer Robert E. Peary was born in Pennsylvania. He led eight Arctic expeditions and claimed to reach the geographic North Pole on April 6, 1909. There is some controversy as to whether he really did reach it, with some claiming he was about 60 miles away. Other accomplishments from his expeditions were that he proved Greenland is an island, the polar ice cap extends beyond 82° north latitude and he discovered the Melville meteorite, which is an island off of Greenland. Another interesting fact about Peary's expeditions is that the man who accompanied him on all of them serving as his assistant and First Man, who was the critical part of the team, was Matthew Henson, a black man. Meaning that everything Preary accomplished in his expeditions, was also accomplished by a black man. Henson was eventually honored by being re-interred at Arlington National Cemetery in 1988.

Shilo Inn of Salt Lake City (Suggested by Kaz Linza)

The Shilo Inn in Salt Lake City has been through a series of name changes. It started as the International Dunes Hotel, then became the Shilo Inn and is today a part of the Holiday Inn Express chain. From the outside, the building appears to be a non-distinct hotel, but it carries the heavy burden of a horrible family tragedy. And that tragedy seems to have led to hauntings. Kaz Linza created the Cemetery Society on Facebook, which is a page dedicated to cemeteries, haunted history, conspiracy theories, serial killers and Halloween. He joins us to share the story behind the hauntings at Shilo Inn and experiences that people claim to have had there.

The International Dunes Hotel was built in the 1970s in Salt Lake City. One of its features was an external glass elevator that carried guests along the twelve floors. This offered great views of downtown Salt Lake City and the Wasatch Mountain Range. The Shilo Inn hotel chain bought the property at some point and that is the name it is mainly known by when talking about hauntings. Neon red lights ran up and down the building during this phase. In 2014, the Burgess Investment Group bought the Shilo Inn and did a complete revamp, dismantling the neon lights and overhauling the 200 guest rooms and lobby. It was reopened as a Holiday Inn Express with what they call the new Formula Blue look.

Charles Bruce Longo was born in Yonkers in 1938 to a wealthy doctor and his wife. He joined the Marine Corps after high school and while he was in the Marines, friends acquainted him with the beliefs of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He decided to convert from Episcopalian to the Mormon faith in 1958 and Longo became an LDS youth leader and assistant Boy Scout leader. In 1960, he accepted a Mormon missionary assignment to Uruguay. He learned Spanish and could quote the Book of Mormon from memory. Things were going really well, until he started hearing voices. He returned to Yonkers and was hospitalized for hepatitis and mental illness. He moved to Utah in 1961 and attended Brigham Young University. He met a Swedish immigrant there named Margit Birgitta Ericsson. They eventually married and had three children before Longo graduated from BYU in 1965. They would eventually have seven children in total. After this, Longo had a vision that he was going to become a powerful leader in the church.

He came to believe that he was a prophet of God. Eventually, he moved into thinking that he himself was god. He began to ramble to other Mormons about impending calamities. The Mormon church finally excommunicated Longo in 1969. He decided to form his own religious group and changed his name to Immanuel David. He called his cult the Family of David and moved them into a commune in Manti, Utah. Immanuel David wrote to the Israeli Knesset in 1973, "I am the Father of Jesus Christ that you slew. I am the only one that can deliver you. Without me you will perish. I am the father of Israel and the blood of Israel runs through my veins." He wrote another letter claiming that he was the new president of the Mormon church and that the current president in 1977, Spencer Kimball, was an "evil shepherd." He told the church, "Your people are perishing in their ignorance and unbelief."

Maybe Immanuel David was a true believer in his godhood, but he definitely was a believer in the power of his influence to get money. He began embezzling funds and obviously he was a fraud. He committed wire fraud and tax evasion as well. The FBI started paying attention.The warped beliefs of the cult included the claim that the Star of David belongs to Immanuel David and not to Jews.They claim white people are the real Israelites and the true children of God. They point to the Lost Books of the Bible as their proof for this. Followers believed they were reincarnated biblical figures like Moses, Abraham, Adam, Eve, and others.   

On August the 3rd in 1978, in the heart of downtown Salt Lake City, on the 11th floor (rooms 1105 and conjoining room 1106) at the International Dunes Hotel, a horrific tragedy would unfold. Rachel David and her seven children had been living at the hotel, on the 11th floor for more than a year. Rachel, who was recently made a widow just three days earlier, was the wife to the late self-proclaimed God and prophet, Immanuel David. Immanuel David had taken his life in his car, three days earlier. The authorities had been closing in on his fraudulent cult activities. His cult was under investigation by the FBI for fraud and embezzlement. It is rumored that the Feds were close to making an arrest before his apparent suicide. He died in his car of carbon monoxide poisoning after running a hose from his tail pipe to his driver’s side window. Immanuel’s passing from this world would seem peaceful compared to the fates of the rest of his doomed family.

On this particular morning, Rachel was busy preparing her children to be with their father once again. One by one, six of the children, and their mother Rachel all fell 11 stories to their grisly death. The oldest of the children survived. She has been bound to a wheelchair and brain damaged since the horrific event occurred. She is still firm in her belief that her father is the almighty God and his resurrection is nye. The details of the event on that fateful morning are not exactly known. Some say that Rachel threw each one of her young children from their 11th story balcony to their deaths, while the lone surviving member of the David family, maintains that the children voluntarily jumped. All that remains to this day are the questions why and supposedly the spirits of the young children!

No longer the International Dunes Hotel, nor the Shilo Inn, it has been renamed and revamped into the Holiday Inn Express. It is still the home to the disembodied children that met their end just outside their hotel home. Guests check into the 11th floor and quickly learn that they are intruding on this ghostly playground. People hear children playing, laughing, running down the halls, and knocking on the unassuming guest’s doors at all hours of the night. When management receives complaints, they are forced to reveal the truth of their residual residents. Now the childish tomfoolery is not limited to the 11th floor. They young ones are quite at home in the hotel swimming pool. Their splashing, laughing, and wet footprints are often present.

This is not where our ghostly tale ends. It is a common knowledge around Salt Lake city that legendary musician Danny Elfman is a frequent visitor of the 11th floor! His love affair with the hotel and it’s occupants started in 1984, when he was with the up and coming band, Oingo Boingo. In fact, his first visit inspired him to compose the 80s classic hit, “Dead Man’s Party”! It is also believed that he was so fond of his young friends, that he came back to stay at the hotel while he composed the music and lyrics for “The Nightmare Before Christmas”.

An article reported in 2008 that the Family of David Cult was re-emerging with sects in Denver and Spokane. There were only a handful of followers and we hope it remains that way as this cult led to this horrible tragedy. Is the Shilo Inn harboring the spirits of the David children? Is the Shilo Inn haunted? That is for you to decide!

Show Notes:
The Cemetery Society on Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/CemeterySociety1/  (Page)

https://www.facebook.com/groups/146660595737733/  (Group)

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