History, Haunts, and Heart Beats

A new form of entertainment has manifested in Fredericksburg, Texas. It is the Fredericksburg Ghost Tours. This new venue is a walking tour of Fredericksburg starting  and ending at the Nimitz Museum (National Museum of the Pacific War). It is filled with interesting, little known stories and histories of many places along Main Street and it’s  alleyways.

Your host/tour guide is dressed in 1800’s attire as he leads you around town, regaling your with stories, not found in the normal Fredericksburg history books. Each account given is tied to a place along the tour and the residing ghosts of that area.

The tour itself is not scary, but rather entertaining and informational. Though the stories are a historical basis for ghosts, there is much humor in them as well. Derrick  Spence coordinates the guides and tours. He has also done the research and compiled the stories shared on the tour. The guides are cheerful,  and they do their best to see you learn a little and have a good time. Daniel was our guide this particular evening, and he was knowledgeable, entertaining and fun.

Be sure to bring your phones, or other cameras and take pictures. It is highly encouraged and if you find you have visitors in your photos  you can send them in to their website at fbgghosttours@gmail.com and they may feature them on their website.

The stops currently on the tour, are just a handful of the many haunted places in town. Your guide will mention a few not on the tour at this time and encourage you to go investigate them on your own.

Tours run Thursday through Sunday evenings with tours at 8:00, 8:30, or 9:30 p.m. It is encouraged to meet at the Admiral Chester W. Nimitz statue at least 10 minutes before the start of your tour, with your previously purchased ticket in hand.

You may purchase tickets online at https://www.fredericksburgghosts.com/ , or call 830-383-3122 and speak to founder Rick Koch or one of his employees, they will be happy to help you reserve your tickets and then pick them up at the Vintage Vault at 406 West Main Street, next to the Amish Market.

My friends and I embarked on the tour at 8:00 this past Sunday evening, October 7th. We had a wonderful time and are ready to do it again with other friends and family who have not gone yet. We were encouraged to take pictures along the route. During the tour we really didn’t see much more than Fredericksburg sites and allies in the dark, but as the guide explained, what you do not see with your eyes, may be watching you, and may not be camera-shy.

They do encourage you to share photos to their page if you think you have caught a ghostly  image, or just a really interesting photo from the tour. They may feature it on their site. That being said, I will share some here and will probably send them in after this  post.

After reviewing mine the next day, I definitely think I caught some images to share. I hope you can see what I see, but you may have to enlarge the photos, that is how I confirmed my sightings.

My best possible sightings were the ones from the Nimitz, Keidel Hospital, and one of the back alley stops.

Here are a few of mine. In all of them, my friends and I see something. Do you? Share your thoughts in the comments. I would love to hear what you think.

Here is the Nimitz. Pay close attention to the dark window on the middle section, just below the window that is lit up, in the first and third photos.

  

 How about a creepy back alley to look down? Look closely, there is more than meets the eye.

And last, here is the old Keidel Hospital building (home to Der Kuchen Laden and Rathskellar Restaurant).  Pay close attention to the large window at the top, above the door. A ghostly pair looks back at you.  Then look at the window to the left of the large window, in its bottom left pane, and also the column to the right of the door, there are ghosts in all of these. Two frames are provided so that you can compare. Most of the visitors appear in the right frame. Honestly we did not see these things as we looked at the places that evening, but then there they were in the pictures.  That definitely gets you thinking and your heart beating a little faster.

Let me know if you see them.  Maybe this is a coincidence, but also in the Keidel photos, there is a very strange water mark in between the two bottom windows. It is quite a creepy creature looking back from the rocks.

There are many other stops along the tour, I just wanted to give you a glimpse.

I hope  I have peaked your interest and you and your friends will come take the tour. The ghosts are waiting to greet you!

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SystemsGo’s Rockets 2018 Officially Ended Sunday as the Team Traveled Home and Transitioned into 2019 Preps

At 8:00 a.m.  Sunday morning, the SystemsGo team traveled home from White Sands Missile Range, arriving safely in Fredericksburg around 7:00 p.m. The FHS students and teachers followed arriving shortly after.

WSMR concludes another successful year of launches that begain with Jal, NM, Houston, and Willow City. The group helped test 140 Tchaikovsky and Oberth rockets and 6 Goddard level rockets for the Rockets 2018 season.

Now the volunteer staff returns to their daily lives and the SystemsGo team transitions into a season of program updates before new training begins with more schools, teachers, students and rockets. It won’t be long and the “launch season” will be back again with Rockets 2019. Next year’s season will begin again in the spring with launches in Jal, New Mexico, Houston (Anahua), Fredericksburg, and White Sands Missile Range. It should prove to be another exciting year.

There will be some changes next year as they are looking at relocating their Fredericksburg Rocket launches to a new location in Gillespie county, which will be announced at a later date.

That concludes the 2018 WSMR Rocket updates.

www.systemsgo.org as always is the place for more information on this program. Take the time to get your school involved, the future of your students will be greatly benefited.

Saturday,Rockets 2018-Final Day at WSMR

SystemsGo scheduled three tests today at White Sands Missile Range, Booker T. Washington, Alamo Heights, and Anahuac. After these three launches, Union Grove would have the opportunity to have a second attempt at launch after fixing the malfunction from Friday’s launch.

Booker T. Washington’s rocket was the first test. Students had loaded the rocket onto the rail before leaving West Center 50 Range at mission completion last evening. The schedule had the school’s T time set for 8:00 a.m. It’s actual T time ended up being at 9:12 after two holds caused by issues with wiring on the rocket which caused the vehicle to have to be vented,  brought down, fixed and reloaded. Unfortunately, the rocket never left the rail. At ignition, the rocket only smoked,  ending in a misfire. Due to the misfire, a 30 minute wait time had to be observed for safety until it could be removed. Following the 30 minute wait, the vehicle was the vented and removed from the rail. It is believed that the injection system did not open.

Alamo Heights  was next on the rail. The schedule was now two hours behind. They loaded without incident and observed a T time of 11:57. It achieved ignition and lifted off the rail. It was a great launch, but turned on its side, continuing on up with an angle headed down range. The rocket reached a peak altitude of 23,083 feet, but due to the launch rail being at a MSL (mean sea level) of 4,521 feet, the final height reached was 18,562 feet. This number is calculated by subtracting the MSL from the peak altitude.

Vehicle velocity was 1503 feet per second. It traveled 26326.323 feet down range which equals 4.986 miles. WSMR reported that the chute did deploy before landing. Alamo Heights’ rocket had the second highest altitude, and also achieved the greatest distance traveled traveled for the weekend. After WSMR recovered the rocket it was determined that only the Drogue chute opened and then melted as the vehicle was still burning. Because of this the rocket had a ballistic re-entry, burying itself in the range. Only the engine casing with fins intact was returned to the team as seen in the picture above. In the picture below, the team is shown with the rocket before launch.

FD40E23B-2318-4A1E-87E2-7A43651DDEDF

Anahuac was next on the rail at 2:09 p.m. They had no lift at ignition, only a partial burn. It also vented the Nitrous through a hole in the injector bay. According to analysis from Anahuac, a hose between the injector and diffuser plate blew a fitting where it attached to the diffuser plate. They are not sure what caused this at this time, but they were able to confirm that the tank and injector were intact. The partial burn created another hang/misfire situation creating another safety delay of 30 minutes before the vehicle could be off loaded from the rail.

By the time this delay was up it was 2:45 and range end time for air space was 3:30. This effectively ended our mission time on the range, called officially by WSMR officials. Due to this, Union Grove was unable to go for a second attempt.

The mission was then called complete. Cleaning and packing up of WC50 began,  as this was the official last day of testing for SystemsGo, students, and WSMR personnel.

Safe travels to all schools heading home, tomorrow. It is back to Texas for the SystemsGo team tomorrow as well. Tonight, the team enjoyed dinner, drinks, conversation and an early bed time.

www.systemsgo.org as always is the place for more information on this program. You may also email them at info@systemsgo.org .Take the time to get your school involved, the future of your students will be greatly benefited. minute

Friday, Rockets 2018-WSMR Launch Day 1 Report and New Saturday Schedules

Today was an extremely early morning for the SystemsGo team and program participants, Fredericksburg High School, Brazoswood High School, Booker T. Washington, and Anahuac High School. They were all headed  out to the WC50 range, at 5:00 a.m. to test. They had success and were able to left off the rail.

Fredericksburg High School was first to test, leaving the rail at 9:24 a.m. after some minor delays. The vehicle blew the injection port door and a hose blew out of the open hole, but in spite of this, it still achieved a beautiful lift off.  Unfortunately though it acquired height, it was not in the air long enough for either radar or EOD to get a definitive lock on it. They estimated it at somewhere between 2000 and 10000 feet, but were unable to calculate a Real time stat on it. The vehicle suffered an explosion upon return to the range and landed in pieces 200 yards down range to the right of the pad. It was recovered shortly after launch. Congratulations, Fredericksburg on a very nice flight.

Fredericksburg’s rocket team.

 

SystemsGo was able to have Brazoswood loaded on the rail, set for a 12:15 T time. The rocket commenced fill developed a small leak. While the students and teams were evaluating this development, WSMR experienced an emergency down range that affected the airspace SystemsGo uses for launch. The launch was set to hold leaving the filled rocket on the rail to wait. The launch was called to surrender the airspace and launch.  Luckily changes were made to the airspace and the student team decided they were able to fly with the leak. The delay had caused to vehicle to leak out Nitrous bringing it’s fuel level down to less than 50%. The decision was made to test as it was. Their rocket had a unique injection system involving a multiple hose configuration which worked well.

The vehicle achieved lift off at 12:18 in spite of all the delays. The rocket left the rail trailing a large classic flame and literally zoomed into the sky. The flight only had 46 seconds of air time, but it achieved a max altitude of  28,572 with a starting of 4521 feet above sea level, calculating out to an altitude of 24,051 feet at a velocity of 2508 feet per second. It traveled 5562.167 feet equaling 1.053 miles down range. They were able to recover the vehicle, but the narrow section at the top was broken about 6 inches above the tank. At this time they are unable to confirm whether or not any chutes were deployed.

An accompanying Brazoswood parent, Lisa Baker, stated that the “Nose cone went to a location that only God is allowed to go!”

This was their first year to bring a rocket to WSMR, and they achieved quite a launch. I can only imagine what they would have done with a full tank and no leak. They are currently the weekend leaders. Congratulations Brazoswood!

Brazoswood at the T-1 Briefing.

Union Grove was loaded onto the rail next, but unfortunately it suffered a slight malfunction in the injection system that caused the Nitrous to blow out the bottom of the rocket. Fill was stopped and the vehicle was removed for repairs. They will attempt to launch again tomorrow afternoon.

Mission was called complete for the day by WSMR at 2:30 p.m.

Booker T. Washington’s rocket was loaded onto the rail in preparation of the first launch tomorrow.

Tomorrow’s schedule is also an early one as it mirror’s today’s starting schedule.  They are all going out to the range at 5:00 a.m. to prepare for a beginning T of 8:00 a.m. If the schedule holds, and all for tests lift off with out delays, they should be packing up the range by 3:00 p.m. If not a decision will be made at that time as whether the contingency slots on Monday will be used, or the group will call the mission and head home.

The following is the schedule at this time:

Saturday launch order:

8:00 a.m. Booker T. Washington High School
10:00 a.m. Alamo Heights High School
12:00 p.m. Anahuac High School
14:00 p.m. Union Grove High School

Event details will continue to be available here. Information  will be available late tomorrow evening after all tests are complete and the range has been packed up. Pictures are not allowed on the range, but some pictures of teams getting ready to leave for the range with their vehicles might be available. If anything is available I will post it for your viewing pleasure.

www.systemsgo.org as always is the place for more information on this program. You may also email them at info@systemsgo.org .Take the time to get your school involved, the future of your students will be greatly benefited.

Thursday, Welcome to White Sands Missile Range-T-1 Briefing and WC-50 Set up Day and Friday Schedules

Today was a productive first day at White Sands Missile Range (WSMR) for the SystemsGo and the participating schools.

This year the group was invited to begin their engagement at WSMR with the viewing of a live Missile Test. The group watched the test which consisted of three missiles from the Missile Park on White Sands Missile Range at 8:00 a.m.

This viewing meant an early morning for the group rising at 4:00 a.m. in order to have the convoy at the Las Cruces Gate by 6:45 a.m. so that all vehicles could be checked through the gate in time to watch the test. Early mornings are a pretty normal occurance for the time here at WSMR.   Tomorrow will be no exception.

After the Missile Test viewing, the group was lead to the Post Theater. They were officially welcomed to WSMR and participated in the T-1 Briefing, Safety and Security procedures briefing, Public Affairs briefing, as well as other important informational briefings. During this time each school also gave their Student Rocket Presentations encompassing the details about and expectations of their vehicles.It was an educational and informative session.

WSMR personnel made introductions so all involved would know who they are and who to contact for help from the base. Scott Netherland introduced the SystemsGo team and specified their roles with the organization. We finished around 10:30 and headed out to West Center 50 launch site(WC50).

After arrival at WC-50 at around 11:30 a.m., the group worked hard to complete full project equipment set up, after which, they performed a communications check,  field readiness and systems checks, all rockets went through final pressure checks, and simulated launch countdown was enacted.

Fredericksburg’s Rocket was loaded onto the rail and left for first launch tomorrow morning.

The group left the range for the day at 7:00 p.m.

Tomorrow will be another  early morning for all of us. Teams launching and SystemsGo personnel will be headed out to WC50 at 5:00 a.m. to meet WSMR personnel at the Tula gate by 6:00 a.m.

Those going to watch the launches from Mission Control will be heading out at 6:00 a.m. to meet our rep in the gravel lot outside the main gate near Las Cruces, by 7:00 a.m.

Tomorrow’s launch schedule is as follows:

8:00 a.m. Fredericksburg High School
10:00 a.m. Brazoswood High School
12:00 a.m. Booker T. Washington High School                                                                    14:00 a.m. Anahuac High School

If it is a perfect day and all goes well with no exceptions with each launch, then the tests should be complete by 15:00 p.m.

Realistically, this is a very tight launch sequence with little to no room for errors. If we do not get all four launches tomorrow, then they will carry over into Saturday time slots creating up to four  launches on Saturday. Last year SystemsGo was able to hold this schedule. Hopefully tomorrow will go as well.

Sunday is a contingency day if needed in which four more vehicles could launch, otherwise we will travel home that day.

Best of luck to all schools so that they may have a successful launch tomorrow and that all schedules hold true.

Here is the current preview of the launches scheduled for Saturday. Tomorrow’s blog will have a final schedule for the day based on Friday’s test success.

Saturday’s launch order: Union Grove, Alamo Heights, any retests.

Event details will continue to be available here. I will provide more information each morning as to how the schedule and other event details will progress for that day and how launches went for the schools testing that day. Pictures are not allowed on the range, but some pictures of teams getting ready to leave for the range with their vehicles might be available. If anything is available I will post it for your viewing pleasure.

www.systemsgo.org as always is the place for more information on this program. You may also email them at info@systemsgo.org. Take the time to get your school involved, the future of your students will be greatly benefited.

Wednesday Rockets Headed to White Sands-Day 1-Report and Tuesday Early Information

The SystemsGo team left Fredericksburg at 10:43 a.m. this morning headed to White Sands Missile Range (WSMR) in New Mexico. They traveled with the Fredericksburg High School rocket group. After supper in El Paso, they arrived in Alamogordo, NM, for lodging at 7:33 p.m. this evening. All participating schools also arrived safely.

Tomorrow is an informational and set up day. SystemsGo personnel and all students, teachers, and parents from the schools will have an early morning. We will be leaving the hotel at 5:45 a.m. to meet up at the gravel lot out side the Main Gate (Las Cruces) at 6:45 a.m.

The convoy will be led to Missile Park to view a live Missile Test at 8:00 a.m. Next, they will proceed to the Post Theater for the T-1 briefing and a short presentation by each school on their vehicle and it’s expectations. Afterwards SystemsGo, students and necessary personnel go to West Center 50 launch site to set up and prep vehicles.

Parents will be dismissed at that time to find their own entertainment for the day. Only SystemsGo personnel, teachers, student teams and essential personnel will go to WC50.

Friday is the first launch day and at this point, it is slated to be an early morning. Fredericksburg High School is first up to launch for the day and the current schedule has them testing at 8:00 a.m. The hope is to test 4 vehicles by 2:00 p.m, including Brazoswood, Booker T. Washington, and Anahuac.

Event details will continue to be available here. I will provide more information each day as to how the schedule and other event details will progress for that day and how launches went for the schools testing the previous day. Pictures are not allowed on the range, but some pictures of teams getting ready to leave for the range with their vehicles might be available. If anything is available, I will post it for your viewing pleasure.

www.systemsgo.org as always is the place for more information on this program. You may also email them at info@systemsgo.org . Take the time to get your school involved. The future of your students will be greatly benefited.

 

June 18-2 More Days Until Goddard Level Rocket Launches- Here’s What’s Happening for WSMR

The SystemsGo team leaves in shifts starting today for New Mexico to launch rockets at White Sands Missile Range (WSMR). Rebekah Hyatt and Scott Netherland head out this morning. They have some business meetings in New Mexico ahead of the launch days. Then the rest of the team and schools leave on Wednesday, June 20. That is two days from today. The list and schedules have been finalized and packing is underway.

The schedule will proceed as follows:

Wednesday will be a travel day to Alamogordo, NM to the hotel.
Thursday morning will be T-1 briefing preceded by a live viewing of a missile test at the range.
Thursday afternoon they will travel to West Center 50 Range and do site set up and rocket prep-Fredericksburg rocket will be left on the launch rail ready for first launch on Friday morning.
Friday launch order: Fredericksburg, Brazoswood, Booker T., and Anahuac
Saturday launch order: Union Grove, Alamo Heights
Sunday launch order: Contingency day with four available launch times if needed, or travel home if all vehicles have tested.
Monday will be travel back home day for the group if they are unable to leave on Sunday.

The final list of schools participating in this year’s WSMR tests is:

  • Alamo Heights High School
  • Anahuac High School
  • Brazoswood High School
  • Booker T. Washington High School
  • Fredericksburg High School
  • Union Grove High School

Parents and students already on the approved list with SystemsGo, and attending, be sure you have your proper identification with you. State driver’s license, federal pass port, or state id card are required for access to the base. Also be sure they have medical insurance information with them in case of an emergency.

Please be advised that WSMR is an Army base and does not allow spectators in to view these launches. Only the students, personnel, and parents who have been previously approved through SystemsGo and added to the list may enter the base with the group. Please do not drive to White Sands and attempt to enter on your own, or expect to do so with the group, because you will be turned away.

Event details will continue to be available here. I will provide information as made available to me from team members on site as to how launches have gone for those schools testing on that particular day. Pictures are not allowed on the range, but some pictures of teams getting ready to leave for the range with their vehicles might be available. If anything is available and passed on, I will post it for your viewing pleasure.

www.systemsgo.org as always is the place for more information on this program. You may also email them at info@systemsgo.org .Take the time to get your school involved, the future of your students will be greatly benefited.