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Unsolved Mistries



By Betty L. Smith

Feature Editor

            Newport will be featured in an upcoming segment of the Unsolved Mysteries television show. 

            The Sam Greenwood home and the “gray house” both built by the Greene family, will be shown in dream sequences of the program, said Kathy Cumbo, associate producer of the Los Angeles based television program. 

            Legend has it that Mary Frances Wood, who lived in Pleasants County on the acreage now owned by B. F. Abicht, married Christopher Greene and lived in the “gray house.”  Their daughter Carrie married Junius Greenwood and moved from the gray house to the Greenwood estate, which was built in 1808.  Just exactly how the Greene family fits into the sequence was not explained, other than there is some connection with the gray house.  A bedroom and the exterior of the Greenwood home are being filmed for the show. 

            These historic homes have been selected as examples of the period when Georgia Rudolph, the subject of this “Unsolved Mysteries” segment, dreams of living in the Marietta-Newport area as “Sandra” a century ago.

            Mrs. Rudolph, a middle-aged lady from Atlanta, Georgia, had been experiencing these recurring dreams over several years, finally seeking the help of a hypno-therapist.  Under hypnosis, she was transported back in time to a former life.  Through this experience, she has come to believe that she is the reincarnated “Sandra.”

            Mrs. Rudolph had not been in Marietta until about five years ago, although she lived for a short time in Columbus, said Miss Cumbo.  Arriving in the Ohio city which was the first to be built in the Northwest Territory, she saw houses and churches which were familiar to her, having seen identical structures in her drams.  She had also visualized the sternwheeler, common to Ohio River travelers of a century ago.

            Mrs. Rudolph was also able to relate several facts about the city that she could not have known without extensive research, Miss Cumbo said.  She is able to clearly recall a number of things, even describing clothing worn during the time.

            “We are a reality based program,” the associate producer noted, “and we are not taking a stand on reincarnation.  We are presenting the segment as unexplained, and the viewer may choose to believe it or not, but Mrs. Rudolph is convinced of reincarnation.”

            Annie Azzariti is the producer of the “Unsolved Mysteries” segment.  A crew of seven are [sic] here from Los Angeles.  The producer was in New York the first of the week conducting interviews with doctors and other professional people for the program.

            Scenes which will be filmed in Newport, in addition to the Greenwood home and the “gray house” include views of the Newport Cemetery.

            The script includes a drowning episode which was supposed to occur during Mrs. Rudolph’s past lives.  She has relived the traumatic suicide several times.

            Sites in the Marietta area which have been chosen are the Ohio River Levee, the Claire E. sternwheeler, the Crown of Life Lutheran and Unitarian churches, and Paul and Robin Broughton’s residence at 826 Second St.

            Several local people have been chosen to fill the cast.  Miss Cumbo said there are five principal actors and five extras, but none of the cast will have speaking parts.  An other-worldly atmosphere will pervade the show, drifting back into the mists of the past as the woman’s dreams are recreated.

            Film star Robert Stack, host of “Unsolved Mysteries” which is broadcast at 8 p.m. on Wednesday evenings on NBC, will narrate the film.  There will also be narration by Mrs. Rudolph, about whom the film is being made.

            Interviews by doctors and professionals will provide input into the subject of reincarnation, not a widely accepted theory.

            Two graduate students from Ohio University at Athens have been hired as costumer and production assistant, said Miss Cumbo, while the direct crew of cameramen, technicians and producers are from L.A.

            While the show is scheduled to air in February, this could change.  Miss Cumbo said an announcement will be mailed to area media of the exact schedule, which can then be shared with the public.

            Filming is planned for Friday through Monday, weather permitting.

            If it snows, perhaps the order of 200 pounds of fake snow for the scene at the Lutheran Church can be cancelled. - Extracted from "Footprints"