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Alcatraz Island, July 2014

Tourist:  Vicki with my Family

Weather:  Absolutely delightful!


If you ever find yourself in Northern California you should visit this location. You need to get your tickets about three months in advance, (they have a very helpful website,, and if you can plan that far ahead, it is well worth the effort.

Many people are well versed in the name of Alcatraz as an inescapable federal penitentiary, but the island’s history is far richer.

In 1854, Alcatraz Island became the home to the first lighthouse built on the U.S. West Coastal region.  Because of its strategic location, a fort was completed on the island in 1859.   During the Civil War, Alcatraz was the largest Union fort west of the Mississippi River, housing mainly war prisoners.  The island remained as a prison after the war ended, so in 1907 the U.S. army officially designated Alcatraz as a Military prison.  It was at this time that the prisoners themselves built a majority of the structures on the island.  The island prison was transferred to the civilian Bureau of Prisons in 1934, and converted into a maximum security penitentiary, at which point it hosted its most notorious guests. 

During its stint as a Federal penitentiary, there were 14 separate escape attempts involving a total of 36 prisoners.  Of those attempts, twenty-three men were caught, six were shot and killed, and two drowned.  Although the common consensus is that the remaining missing convicts drown, their remains were never recovered.  While there were no official executions on Alcatraz; there were five suicides and eight murders.  In 1963, Attorney General Robert Kennedy ordered the penitentiary closed and the last of the convicts were said to have left on March 21, 1963, however many believe that the ghosts of the past remain at large.

In November of 1969, members of the Native American Tribe delegations seized the island to bring awareness of their plight.  They initially had hopes of setting up an American Indian Cultural center on the island.  Tragically the step daughter of one of the more inspirational speakers died in a fall on the island early in 1970 and he left shortly thereafter.  In June of 1971 federal marshals came to the island and removed the remaining activists.  To this day, Indians of many tribes make return pilgrimages on Columbus Day and Thanksgiving Day to hold a Sunrise Ceremony for the Native American People in commemoration of their 19 month occupation.

CellD14 RobbersCAPS
00:00 / 00:05

I had an opportunity in Cell block D-14, one of the isolation rooms, to use my recorder during a quiet moment. At the end of this clip, around 4 seconds, a male voice seems to answer my question. I think he says "Robber" or "Roberts".

CellD14 weird recorder noiseCAPS
00:00 / 00:03

Also in Cell block D-14, a strange scraping noise occurred on my recorder.

CellD14 Yeah That's...CAPS
00:00 / 00:02

At the end of my EVP session in the cell block D-14 room, a male whisper is heard saying " Yeah that's...." (Not really sure what the last word is.)

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