Close to Home - The Chopper Crash
By Scott Davis
Debra Martin was confused. "There's another man standing here," she said. She'd been speaking with the Wilson family about a recently deceased aunt. In fact my photographer James Apalategui and I were doing an interview with them about the possibility that the aunt was murdered.
"He didn't belong there," she tells me today about the new man she saw, "and it threw me because I couldn't figure out why he just suddenly approached". The rest of us didn't see him approach. The rest of us didn't see him at all. And now I know why.
It was July 27th at 12:47pm. I know the exact time because James's cell phone began to ring. He silenced it.
Debra continued to talk about the strange man who just showed up. See, she's a medium. She says she speaks to the dead. Marita Wilson, her son Dennis and her mother were there hoping to connect with the aunt's spirit. They believe associates took her life intending to swindle money and property from the family.
If you believe in what mediums do, then you will have no trouble believing that Marita's aunt did indeed speak from the Other Side. Debra gave very specific information about the family. A new haircut with bangs, the color purple, a necklace with a cross on it and the appearance of dragonflies. Marita and her son agreed all of these symbols held significance for the family.
Marita asked if the family should pursue justice in her aunt's death and push for arrests and trial. Debra says that's when the new spirit appeared in the room. With no other explanation at hand, Debra made the assumption that the stranger was there to symbolize new associates at the trial. She suggested that Marita and her son pray for guidance and help if the case goes that far. "I was fumbling for an answer," Debra says now. "I didn't know what to say. I could tell it was a man, and I could tell it was not related to them."
James' phone rang again. He silenced it. It rang again. He left his camera recording and took the phone outside. Then my phone rang. It was the station calling. I left my camera rolling and also went outside. As I hit the door, James burst back in. "We're done," he said. "We've gotta go. Bruce- no, Scott Bowerbank and Jim Cox just crashed."
There were gasps all around and Debra turned on the television. Patti was anchoring through her tears as information was still coming in. She wasn't giving names but we knew. We knew.
James and I packed up the lights, cameras and tapes and said hasty good-byes with a promise to follow up in the coming days. Debra walked us to the door and told me she was sure the unexplained man who appeared during the reading was there for us. "He's here with us. I'm afraid he's passed." She struggled for words. "And the person keeps saying, 'Shit', over and over... like... just 'shit.'"
We left Debra's house and headed straight for the crash scene in Central Phoenix. I considered her words the entire way. I considered what happened. I considered possible answers. And I made up my mind. I needed to call Debra for more. But that would have to wait another day. James and I stayed at the crash site the rest of the day, and like everyone else- we worked through our tears. We had a job to do. A job to bring viewers information; a job to honor our fallen friends: Jim Cox, Scott Bowerbank, Rick Krolak and Craig Smith. I think they were watching us. And I think they still are.
Close to Home - After the Chopper Crash Part II
By Scott Davis
It's been a truly awful few days. Tears continue to well up and flow over. Memories continue to surface. But questions also mount. Why did this happen? Was someone at fault? Did those four dear people know what was happening? What were their thoughts as the candles of their lives were extinguished? Some would call these morbid reflections. But they are real questions I have heard again and again, from loved ones, friends and strangers alike.
In my last blog entry, I wrote about hearing the tragic news of the helicopter collision. I touched on the possibility that within seconds of losing his precious life in that crash, one of those men showed up in spirit form from the Other Side.
I called upon Debra Martin for more answers.
My photographer James Apalategui and I were with Debra when it happened. I have to say she is one of the most gifted psychic mediums I have ever met. I know a great many of you will turn up your noses and say it isn't so. But you haven't done the kind of work I have done. You haven't met Debra, Mary Ann, Rosemary, Steve or any of the other mediums in my life.
In a session with a medium, the subject or client is usually referred to as a "sitter". That's the person who's come to connect with their deceased loved one. This time the sitter's name was Marita. We'd been successfully communicating with Marita's aunt Alicia. Then the man showed up (previous blog).
A day later I pushed Debra by phone. Can they really show up right away? What do they look like? What did our guy look like? What did he say? Who was it? Where is he now?
I wanted to know what it looked like as the spirit appeared. Debra said she first sensed a presence. Then she could tell it was male. Then she could tell he was Caucasian. Then she heard him curse.
In her book "Believe Beyond Seeing", Debra describes the passing of a dear friend and his instant transition to spirit form which she alone could see. "They show up immediately," she told me. "Sometimes when it happens suddenly they're a little pissed off at first." She tells me this spirit kept repeating the word shit. "As in, 'Shit, this is so stupid- the way this is happening'.. just, 'shit' over and over again."
I will say right here that Debra never told me the ethereal stranger was in fact one of the four from the crash. And truly, it may not have been one of them. However, the timing, the feeling and the wording lead me to believe it may have been Scott Bowerbank. I have known Jim Cox since the day he began working at our station, and I don't believe his last word would have been, "Shit". It would have begun with an F. And I love him for that.
I asked Debra what more she could tell me about the encounter. "I looked in your eyes and I was so cold," she said. "I felt so- your feelings, their feelings- I felt like a mess. I was overwhelmed." The spirit didn't stay very long with her. It had probably left her home before we did, and we packed up our gear and hit the road in record time.
I reviewed our videotapes to check on the timing and chronology of the day's events. The instant Debra began to tell Marita about the new person standing nearby, I can see the camera gave a little shake. That was James scooting past to take his phone call outside. I can hear his footsteps running to the front door. "It's a male figure," says Debra on tape. "I just see another figure that's standing here." 29 seconds later James is heard coming back inside with the news.
I contemplated not writing any of this. I feared it may be too soon. I feared negative reaction from readers. But as I've learned, fear is a horrible thing that prevents us from reaching our goals. Jim and Scott, Rick and Craig were not afraid. Had they been afraid of flying, they would not be soaring today.
I think when a death occurs, you begin to think about love. About how much you love those you have in your life. Of course we love our families and our friends, but we can also love co-workers and even strangers.
Tears continue to fall. Memories continue to build. Our friends continue to fly.
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