About Us | Bookmark Us     

Pokaini - There's something out there

Last month Jevgeny Sidorov, a physicist and paranormal investigator, shared some extraordinary stories and photos with me (see November issue of City Paper). Sidorov has had numerous documented paranormal encounters that most would consider bizarre. Initially Sidorov insisted he didn't believe that any one place was more or less apt to attract such activities; saying that he believed the paranormal is created by the mind. This includes events that are captured in photographs.

In short: Sidorov believes, in accordance with Quantum Physics, that human thought creates absolutely everything including the paranormal.

When further questioned, however, Sidorov admitted, somewhat reluctantly, that Pokaini, a dense forest in the Zemgale region of Latvia, did appear to attract more than its fair share of paranormal activity. Did the fact that one place attracts more paranormal activity than another disprove Sidorov's theory?

Clearly another trip to Pokaini was essential in my quest to understand the mystical, magical Baltic reality. But on this trip I arranged to meet with Anita Biseniece, a former teacher and author turned Pokaini tour guide.

It's a beautiful snowy Sunday when I drive to Pokaini and meet with Ms. Biseniece.

After our initial introductions Biseniece shares some facts about herself. "I've lived right next to this forest for nine years," she begins. "I was a geography teacher and writer, but after having a son with Down's syndrome, we decided to move to the countryside and spend more quality time with him. We found a country house that happened to be 35 meters from Pokaini forest," she smiles, ironically. "It wasn't planned. But of course there are no accidents; everything in life is for a reason. Even you being here today…

"At first I thought there was nothing strange here," she continues, "I believed what I observed - I was practical, sensible. I like to speak only of personal observations; not stories that I can't personally attest to. But I can tell you this: There is absolutely something here!"

Biseniece now shares some facts about Pokaini: "Artifacts, dating back to 500 AD, show that a vast civilization of up to 200,000 inhabitants once occupied this region. It is believed that Pokaini may have been the spiritual center for this society. We brought old women in to tell us their impressions… old women with special powers…" she says, looking at me for a sign that I understand.

I'm familiar with the practice of using clairvoyants or seers to attain information that isn't otherwise available—either in the future or past. I am, however, surprised that a woman who's just presented herself as a pragmatist would consider relying on such information; until she continues…

"Old women were brought in from all over Latvia; having no knowledge of each other or what we were doing here. And repeatedly, different women walked to the same spots and gave us the same information. It was difficult to deny that something mystical existed here when absolute strangers had the same experience of seeing it. I became a believer!"

I'm impressed!

Suddenly my digital recorder, with batteries purchased this morning, goes completely dead. I fumble with it, turn it off and on…

"Oh it's okay; it's just Pokaini," Biseniece says sympathetically, as I slap and shake my recorder. "These things happen all the time with electronics." Waving her hand dismissively, she chuckles.

We drive deep into the forest and park, before embarking on footpaths. Biseniece points off the path to an area named ''U-shaped Letter.'' "I once took a first grade class on an excursion in this area, when suddenly a little boy said: 'This is the wrong name! This place is called God's Ear.' He pointed there [to a tree-stump] and said, 'If you sit there and ask God a question you'll hear the answer.' The child surprised me," she said. "But soon I forgot about it.

"Then one morning, walking here and feeling horribly low, I said to myself: 'What am I doing here? I'm reciting other people's stories and experiences…' Suddenly I heard a male voice say, very distinctly: 'Anita, calm yourself, you are doing exactly the right thing.' Now I call this place God's Ear!"

Further on we see a large rock bearing the plaque: Teva Akmens (Fathers' Rock). We were told by several seers that after a war was lost, the victors came and claimed the defenseless women and children. There are many stories, in many cultures, of High Priests performing rituals that made women and children invisible, to avoid such a fate. This was perhaps such a site," Biseniece says.

We travel from site to site: Bride's Rock, Healing Rock and many more.

Just before leaving Pokaini, I sit in my car, absolutely alone and close my eyes as I prepare for the long drive back to Riga. A lovely chant drifts throughout my car and I think: Wow, what a great radio station, as I lean forward to turn the volume up. It is then that I realize: My radio isn't on!

The admission of Sidorov's, that some places attract more paranormal activity than others, may not preclude his previous assertion that thought creates. In theory it may even help prove it. If people gather in the same place, for centuries, to perform rituals and practice their spirituality, who's to say that the collective thoughts, of these people don't create a magical, mystical (dare I say musical) place?

Story and Photos by Holly Morisson