Canine Detection Test #6

Date:  June 1, 2013

Location: public cemetery noted for varying degrees of activity

Time:  9:30pm – 10:30pm

Weather:  A few clouds, winds SW 8km/h.

Other Conditions:  Dry ground, a couple of cottontail rabbits on eastern perimeter, air and vehicle traffic, private homes along the east and south perimeters.

Two assistants, Paul Bennet and Karis Waterfield, accompanied me and the dog to our field-testing location.  Paul operated the voice recorder, managed the equipment bags, and took digital still photographs, and Karis videoed the session.  However, due to serious lag and blurring while the video camera was in night-shot mode, none of the video could be salvaged.

The dog was alternately instructed to “search” and to “find the people.”  In previous sessions, she showed an understanding of what she was being asked to do, so it was logical to use those commands again.

Throughout the session, the dog seemed drawn to several headstones.  At each one, she sniffed the ground intently, as if searching for something.  Examination of the ground showed there was no debris that had interested her and therefore, it could only be wondered if she had “found” the people or person and she was trying to indicate that by focusing her attention on a particular spot.

007  The dog was drawn to several areas covering almost the entire section we worked in.  However,  one grave site gave pause for close observation; she pulled hard on the leash to get to it, and then, for more than two minutes, she focused all of her attention on examining it.  It was interesting to note that despite her unusual and intense curiosity, she would not examine the other three sides of it.

During the field test, Glimmer became very intense in her ground sniffing.  We soon discovered that she had caught the scent of small cottontail rabbits, who appeared on the east perimeter of the cemetery.  She did not attempt to chase them, but she was quite focused on them.  She has never seen rabbits before, so it was expected that she would be very curious about them.  Once her curiosity was satisfied, we continued the field testing.

023  Near the end of the field test, a strange light anomaly was captured by Paul with the digital camera.  The anomaly appeared above the ground, in the center of the grassy walk-way between two rows of headstones.  It was questioned that perhaps the flashlight, which Karis was holding, had been caught in the camera’s flash.  This was ruled out almost immediately, however, as the light from the flashlight would have had to be reflected by a headstone, and the anomaly is clearly not a reflection of anything.  Also, the flashlight is small: it only has a 3-4-foot beam range.  Karis was at least 15 feet away from where the anomaly was captured.  It was not visible to any of us at the time.

The shot was taken because I had commented that, from the corner of my eye, I had just seen someone walking from the far left of the shot to the far right.  In response, Paul immediately took the shot.  Whatever is illuminated by the camera’s flash is, at this time, an unknown anomaly.  It has been sent to several photo experts for analysis.  And just to be certain that it wasn’t a reflection, a return visit was conducted the following day for day-time comparison photos.  No reflective surfaces either above the ground or in the ground were found that could have created the anomaly.

Glimmer was much more relaxed and focused during this field test than she has been during previous sessions.  She responded very well to the “search” and “find the people” commands – at one point, actually standing on top of a crypt as if to indicate that she had “found” someone.  During the next field test – which will be conducted at an earlier time to allow for proper video recording –  response conditioning will begin.

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