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The paranormal legacy of John Pedder.

The paranormal legacy of John Pedder.MANY WORLD-RENOWNED, purported haunted historical landmarks suffer from urban legends that cloud their true paranormal profiles. It is understandable that the unknowing general public often accepts them as fact.

The Queen Mary historic ship is no exception.

Many of the reported spirits that may exist aboard have no standing in reality with histories that cannot be traced or researched. "Encounters" are passed on by "a friend of a friend of a friend of a friend", or as we have noted over the last 20 or so years, originate from "the paragons of truth", entertainment paranormal-based television shows, and the Internet.

An excellent example is the fabled specter "Lady In White" who has been reported seen dancing in quiet solitude within the former First Class Salon and is spiritually attached to an original performance piano still located aboard. The team has yet to locate a first-hand eye-witness. She appears to be a classic, almost stereotypical ghost character with a story passed on via storytelling for decades.

The ship's most recognized ghost, first-class pool room-centric "Jackie", may break the rule. The young girl spirit energy has no established Queen Mary history while mortal, but is far from a myth. Despite fictional backgrounds either purposely fabricated for entertainment purposes or innocently parroted as truth by guests and ship crew since the 1990s, there is little doubt a little girl paranormal presence (or something that presents itself as such) makes herself/itself known aboard. The team and our investigation tour guests have enjoyed a healthy number of robust personal experiences with many documented, often by multiple attendees at once.

Skipton, England. Photo Angela Richardson.
Skipton, England. Photo courtesy of Angela Richardson.

One well-known Queen Mary spirit personality who absolutely existed in mortal form and has a fully traceable history is that of a young John Pedder.

Originally from rural Skipton, North Yorkshire, England, eighteen-year-old John Pedder was an entry-level boiler room system fireman/cleaner crew member. While on duty, he was transferred from his regular boiler room duties to “shaft alley" in the early morning hours of July 10, 1966. A mechanical marvel, shaft alley is sub-level series of “tunnels" housing long, fast-rotating propeller shafts extending from the after engine room to the ship’s outboard propellers. John was thought to be assigned basic cleaning duties when the ship entered foggy waters during mid-voyage.

As a result of the 1914 Titanic disaster, new maritime laws known as SOLAS were enacted, which dictated mandatory safety measures to be deployed when a ship entered low visibility conditions. The captain called for all lower-level watertight doors to be shut. Closing alarm bells rang out loudly as usual, and all doors engaged except for Door 13. After a control panel alarm alerted wheelhouse staff of what appeared to be a Door 13 malfunction, the engine room crew was called to investigate the cause.

Memorial day flowers left at Door 13.
Door 13 memorial anniversary flowers.

To gut-wrenching horror, the problem was immediately discovered. Still vertically positioned, John Pedder was crushed between the hydraulically enabled door and frame. Reports show he was still alive but unconscious when found. Nurses from the ship hospital administered morphine and transported John above-level for additional care. Sadly, John’s injuries were far too severe to escape death.

Other than an occasional visit from an "oiler" and walk-through inspector, shaft alley was not populated with a working crew. This explains why John was alone at the time of the accident with no witnesses to the incident's “why". We suspect he made a hasty attempt to pass through to join his fellow crew members located far forward in the After Engine Room. John may have misjudged the hefty, vertically rolling door’s closing speed and became entrapped; or when fully closed, mishandled the manual hydraulic opening levers, which resulted in the door quickly retreating to the closed position and pinning him. This is pure speculation, of course. Only John knows absolutely and has kept it as a secret despite our pleading innumerable times for an answer during engine room spirit communication audio recording sessions.

Memorial day flowers left at Door 13.
The location of John Pedder's death.

Due to the mysterious cause surrounding John’s death, speculation defying logic and critical thinking; urban legends; proclamations by supposed psychic mediums; and disrespectful, titillating fiction created for the selling of books, magazine articles, Social Media clicks, and entertainment paranormal-based television shows quickly spread like a truth killing plague since the discovery of his existence after the ship's mooring in Long Beach, California. John playing the juvenile game “Chicken” through the door with fellow crew members, playfully pushed through the door by a crew member to an accidental bad end, and most disgusting of all, being murdered, are disheartening examples. We find these tales disrespectful to his memory and his service to the ship.

Unfortunately, Long Beach tour host crew members have shared some of these fictional tales with guests starting in the 1980s. Queen Mary researcher and author Angela Richardson interviewed a retired boiler room engineer who was aboard the ship at the time of John’s passing. He physically scoffed at claims that John's death was caused by anything more than a pure accident. Engineers responsible for the operation of the ship and lives of her passengers were highly trained and disciplined. Foolish crew recklessness was not an issue reported by officers. With Angela's help, we worked with Queen Mary's Attractions Department management to set the record straight.

In spirit form, John is our favorite personality to interact with. He appears to be a rather happy chap, ready to flirt with female guests by manifesting playful physical pokes and touches, and audibly communicate. Called out to on a daily basis by guests visiting from around the world, John is a “spirit celebrity” of sorts. We feel this recognition might be why he chooses to be a regular presence.

Memorial day flowers left at Door 13.
John Pedder's death notice.

Our investigation tours often encounter and document possible AVP (Audible Voice Phenomenon), also known as Disembodied Vocalizations, heard live and real-time, answering questions of John as we conduct structured spirit communication audio recording sessions. These voices can manifest next to ears, above heads, or many feet away from the group within machinery areas where no living person has access.

Often experienced through pin drop silence during recording sessions by a majority of guests in unison, group experiences are best. Vocal characteristics and origin locations can be discussed, dissected, and investigated by all. They also bring into question life, death, and what might exist in between for many people at once.

ParaXplorer Project salutes our beloved John Pedder for his regular interaction, and possible lessons of spirit plane existence gifted to the team, and guests with the fortune of experiencing his presence.

Available is the team's John Pedder YouTube video playlist featuring a selection of Pedder-centric data-evidence presentations.

:: Select from the John Pedder playlist here.

We invite you to enjoy a featured data-evidence video from the playlist. It chronicles requesting John’s permission to conduct annual July 10th memorials attended by guests and friends during investigation tour spirit communication audio recording sessions. His possible positive responses are audible and documented.

Xspot References

:: Email Todd Bates

:: Listen to Todd Bates

:: Estep's EVP Guidebook

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