Let me introduce myself properly, or improperly, I should say. Having a distaste for small talk and a love for big legends – not to mention a knack for being a beacon for odd events – my column will dive right into the wading waters of the offbeat.

While I do have a grab bag full of unbelievable personal stories which often demand witness reference checks or a whole page of bibliographic peer citations I would love to share (should I mention my childhood sighting of pointy-toed larger-than-a-bear footprints in mud months after the flood of 1990?), this column is not about my story. Rather, it’s about the subculture of the Quad Cities – the underside often overlooked or even unheard of – subjects to tickle your imagination, pick away at your skepticism, or pepper me with emails full of web-lingo acronyms. I will be taking on topics ranging from paranormal encounters to evading Russian rebels.

Of course if you have any stories that beg to be heard, and I’m all ears, please contact me at kiwi78@aol.com.  Otherwise, join me in turning the Quad Cities as you know it on its ear. Starting now . . .

Justin Holstein out on location shooting the “Sir Noface” documentary.

Justin Holstein out on location shooting the “Sir Noface” documentary.

The Tale of Justin Holstein and ‘Sir Noface’
Phantom lights blinking on command and video footage of a fleeting white wisp of a figure is just the tip of the iceberg. If an Australian government contract with a paranormal team to investigate unexplained phenomena doesn’t pique the interest of paranormal enthusiasts and skeptics alike, I don’t know what will.

Debuting this summer with a venue in the Quad-Cities, “Sir Noface” details the events that went down down under. The documentary takes place on Cockatoo Island, Australia, home of a former penal institution, with a history of supernatural encounters. Led by Craig Powell of the West Sydney Paranormal Research group, the investigation to either “debunk” or “authenticate” these claims spanned almost two years.

I chatted with local resident Justin Holstein, a producer and director of photography of the upcoming documentary. Chad Calek, known for his guest appearances on the reality show “Paranormal State,” is the director, and according to Holstein “the brainchild” of the film.
Holstein and Calek first met Craig Powell as a point of contact for a venue while touring Australia. Powell helped with the venues as well as showed his team’s documentation of the paranormal.

“Our jaws just dropped,” Holstein said as Powell “humbly” showed clips of paranormal phenomenon he had captured during investigations. This chance pairing up eventually set the wheels in motion for a documentary.

I asked Holstein if, in his opinion, Aussies are more receptive to the paranormal than America, given the government sanctioned an investigation. He said he didn’t think so. However, he did give some insight into their culture. Evidently a country of manners, Holstein said they address spirits as “sir.”

“Australia is like America in the 1970’s,” Holstein said, when products weren’t so mass produced and “everything just tasted better.”
Of course, I had to ask Holstein his take on the paranormal as we chatted about ghosts and even parallel universes.

“There is definitely something intelligent,” Holstein said. “I’ve seen things you can’t explain, but it could be a lot of different things we just don’t understand yet.”

To watch the “Sir Noface” trailer and to view venue information go to:   http://www.aghtelevision.com/official-news/item/483-noface.

For more tales of the paranormal, strange and interesting, continue to check out this column on the regular. See you again soon . . .

Carrie Chesney is a freelance writer and a long-winded advocate for proper grammar and animal rights.