Air Date: August 17, 2005
A routine training exercise at President Andrew Johnson’s family home in North Carolina turns into something more when the TAPS team gets a chance to investigate a retired battleship.
First things first: I have no idea why they didn’t just skip past the Mordecai House (17th president Andrew Johnson‘s home and birthplace) and go straight to the battleship segment. It was supposed to be a training exercise, until things went horribly wrong. If this were a film, that’s what the ominous voice-over would tell us but, in reality, the only thing that went awry was the health of the TAPS gang (fortified by members of a sister group, Hauted North Carolina). With members dropping like flies to food poisoning or some other illness, they cut the investigation almost before it’s begun. If any good footage or audio was captured during this sequence, they chose not to show it. Not a good beginning.
Fortunately for everyone involved, the opportunity to investigate the battleship USS N. Carolina arises. This is where things get good. After hearing tales from the caretaker about spirits with flaming white hair, the gang spends the next two nights in the bowels of the old boat.
Day one is slow. They set up their command center in the old mess hall and try to cover a section of the ship. Apart from some electro-magnetic anomalies and one of the exterior cameras bobbing up and down, the first night is as quiet as the grave.
On the second night, while we don’t get much evidence, we get some great television. Jason and Grant decide to investigate a section of the ship that has lain basically undisturbed since the ’50s. As they’re walking around, objects begin clattering around them. They think someone is pranking them and, increasingly frustrated, question the camera guy. He says he wasn’t doing it. A door slams shut behind them. They think they hear voices. They see a shadow and give chase. It goes into a room – no other exits – they follow and find nothing. Spooky.
This week, on Hornois Watch, Brian was completely persona non-grata. Apparently, for whatever reason, he did not make the trip down to the Carolinas. However, as if to make up for his absence this week, the saga made the preview for next week’s episode: Brian, under fire, decides to take some time away from TAPS. We’ll have to wait and see what happens. It can’t be worst than a segment about TAPS members getting sick at Andrew Johnson’s house.