The Earth-44 Timeline, Appendix Fifteen: A Brief History of the Ghostbusters

The original Ghost Busters were a team of paranormal detectives, which operated for a few years beginning in 1975.  The agency was comprised of Jacob "Jake" Kong Sr, Edward "Eddie" Spencer Sr., and a sentient gorilla who went by the name "Tracy".  

Little is known about the origins of the three team members.  Tracy is widely believed to have been a citizen of Gorilla City, living in the US under an alias. Tracy's real identity remains unknown, as is how he came to live there or how he came to be associated with Spencer and Kong.

Little more is known about Spencer or Kong.  There is some evidence that they may have been descended Sergeant Morgan O' Rourke and Corporal Randolph Agarn, American soldiers of the post-Civil War period who would be little remembered today had their stories not been told in the popular documentary series F-Troop (Jacobs/James/Barnett, 1965-67).   It has also been speculated that Jake Kong may have been related to USAF Major T.J. "King" Kong, who was in some way involved in the 1964 incidents which resulted in the sudden closure of Burpelson AFB and the involuntary retirement of General John T. "Jack" Ripper.  However, the absence of reliable documentation regarding both men makes the link uncertain.

In 1984, parapsychologists Peter Venkman, Raymond Stantz and Egon Spengler, joined by their employee Winston Zeddemore, formed a new team called the "Ghostbusters" in response to an upsurge of paranormal activity in New York City. They rose to fame by defeating an attempt by the extradimensional being Gozer to enter our reality.  The team immediately ran into financial difficulties, but were at least temporarily rescued by a grant from the Stark Foundation.

Meanwhile, in 1986, Edward "Eddie" Spencer Jr., Jacob "Jake" Kong Jr. and Tracy the gorilla, in response to the popularity of Venkman et al., revived the original Ghost Busters. Eventually, there was legal action regarding the use of the name.  In time, this resulted in an agreement wherein Venkman and his colleagues made a payment to Kong and company, for the use of the name, and the Kong/Specncer/Tracy team disbanded.

Venkman and company's financial problems continued, and despite a resurgence in popularity in 1989 when they defeated Vigo the Carpathian, the team went bankrupt in 1991.  Venkman, Stantz and Zeddemore went on to other pursuits, and Spengler alone continued his research into ghost activity.

In 1997, Spengler attempted to revive the Ghostbuter team, recruiting college students Eduardo Rivera, Kylie Griffin, Roland Jackson and Garrett Miller. These so-called "Extreme Ghostbusters" only operated for a brief time.

Finally, in 2016, Abigail "Abby" Yates (a former student of Spengler's), Erin Gilbert, Jillian "Holtz" Holtzmann and Patricia "Patty" Tolan formed a new team of Ghostbusters to battle the plans of Rowan North.

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