Everything You Wanted To Know About The Paranormal But Were Afraid To As
Everything You Wanted To Know About The Paranormal But Were Afraid To As
April 16, 2010
by Javier Ortega
The other day I was thinking about the reason why I started writing about the paranormal. What GhostTheory represents and what writing does for me. As a writer, I find myself spending a lot of time contemplating life. I donâ€™t just surround myself with the paranormal. Many of you might be aware that I write about the paranormal as a hobby. Most of my other readings are about social issues and history (both usually focusing on the relation between the U.S. and Mexico). The strangeness and uncertainty of the unexplained has always fascinated me. As far back as I can remember, reading about the Loch Ness Monster, Sasquatch or ghosts, has always been my favorite way to spend an afternoon.
These stories of ghosts, UFOs and cryptids were just scary tales to a child. I truly believed in the existence of these things.
As a man in my early 30s, I find that most of the things that fascinated and scared me as a child seem so far gone. Throughout the years Iâ€™ve learned about the intricate details of each infamous â€œmonster storyâ€. What I hailed as definite proof of a living dinosaur in Loch Ness, turned out to be hoaxed photographs created out of spite. The â€œCottingley Fairiesâ€ was another hoax revealed that chipped away at the concrete foundation of my childhood beliefs, creating loose rubble that slowly turned into a new skeptical conglomerate foundation.
No matter what hoaxes were revealed, the fact of the matter is that I still know that there is something out there that exists, some type of force that is self-aware and influential in our own lives. I know this because Iâ€™ve seen things that I cannot explain. Iâ€™ve seen things, as clear as day (or night), that defy all logical thought. Iâ€™ve seen a Shadow Person. I know deep in my heart that what I saw was not a trick of light or my imagination. Yet those who I share this story with look at me like Iâ€™m crazy.
The reason why I started GhostTheory was to get back to the root of the problem. To prod and question the cases in which a person out there, in any part of the world, comes out and says: â€œI know what I saw!â€œ. Many of the news reports or stories we publish here are mostly hogwash. They either present evidence that is painfully poor in helping with a paranormal claim, evidence that has been hoaxed or simply eyewitness testimonies that have no real tangible value. The majority of them are just over-sensationalized propaganda for monetary gains.
Regardless of what is out there; of what is portrayed in the reality television shows, I strongly believe that there is something out there that is not, and will never be, comprehendible to us humans. At least not in this metaphysical state. I know this because Iâ€™ve seen things.
Science and basic natural forces are seen and experienced by everyone at every second in life. The paranormal can only be seen in two ways. From the point of view of those who experienced it, and those who have not. There are a questions and assumptions that will always remain unanswered and unwarranted in the studies of the paranormal.
So what have I learned from my writings and readings?
Here is (almost) Everything You Wanted To Know About The Paranormal But Were Afraid To Ask:
Is there any piece of evidence, in existence, that constitutes as â€˜proof positiveâ€™ that ghosts exists?
No. Although Iâ€™ve seen plenty of strong evidence in the form of video, photograph, testimony and audio, all this can really prove is that there was something anomalous during the recorded event. Since it is not reproducible, the scientific community will always see it as useless evidence. And rightly so.
One of the strongest videos in my opinion that support claims of paranormal visions is one that was shot by the Underwood family in Gettysburg. Although the video shows strange anomalous lights in the distance, they are clear enough to distinguish human forms. Is this the â€œholy grailâ€ of paranormal videos? No. For the simple reason that all we know is that there are anomalous lights being shown in the fields of Gettysburg.
Why do so many people capture EVPs (Electronic Voice Phenomena) while ghost hunting?
After reviewing a plethora of EVPs throughout the years, one thing is certain: EVPs are mostly the product of pareidolia. There are those EVPs that are unexplainable. That seem to communicate with the listener, either by answering a direct question or making a remark about the immediate environment. These can be explained by possible noise pollution from CB/AM/FM radio waves or capturing the voice of a talkative nearby investigator. Although that is usually not the case. Some EVPs are clear and direct, recorded by an investigator who meticulously filtered out any possible noise pollution. Those remain unexplainable. For the most part, the majority of the EVPs out there are just white noise. A perfect catalyst for untrained ears.
There are so many facts that backup the arguments of the skeptical community. Can they right?
It depends on what they are right about. Many skeptics argue that â€œwoo-woosâ€ are plain ignorant and want to believe in nonsense. They usually bring up their atheist beliefs into an argument and love quoting Carl Sagan, James Randi and Richard Dawkins as well as others. Many of them entertain the notion of the FSM (flying Spaghetti Monster) with the purpose of ridiculing a personâ€™s religious belief. Being self-righteous in this way does not really help their argument. On the contrary, that thinking is is detrimental to science. The same science these pseudo-skeptics swear by.
Yes, there are those people who do not put forth any intelligent thought into the paranormal. These are the types that religiously follow and believe paranormal reality television. For the sake of an intelligent argument, let us exclude them.
Being a true skeptic should mean that when someone asks them about the paranormal, their response should be: â€œWell I doubt it existsâ€¦butâ€¦â€.
Being a skeptic means that you are open to investigate the possibility of new realms of science. Maybe not investigate but definitely be open to learn. If you are a skeptic, then one of the tools in your argument will be to use â€œOccamâ€™s Razorâ€. Which in part states: â€œWhen there are two competing explanations for an event, the simpler one is more likelyâ€œ.
This statement has been used over and over again to invalidate paranormal claims. Read the article found in DebunkingSkeptics.com for a more clear understanding of â€œOccamâ€™s Razorâ€ to quote the article:
â€œUFO debunkers do not understand Occamâ€™s Razor, and they abuse it regularly. They think they understand it, but they donâ€™t.
What it means is that when several hypotheses of varying complexity can explain a set of observations with equal ability, the first one to be tested should be the one that invokes the fewest number of uncorroborated assumptions. If this simplest hypothesis is proven incorrect, the next simplest is chosen, and so forth.
But the skeptics forget two parts: the part regarding the test of the simpler hypotheses, and the part regarding explaining all of the observations.What a debunker will do is mutilate and butcher the observations until it can be â€œexplainedâ€ by one of the simpler hypotheses, which is the inverse of the proper approachâ€
So, is the skeptical community right about paranormal claims? In part, yes. The problem is that they approach all claims of the paranormal in the same manner; with a closed mind. With that said, there are thousands of things in this world of ours that remain unexplained. Letâ€™s start working in understanding them.
With so many paranormal groups out there, why are we still in the dark when it comes to the paranormal?
For the simple reason that most of these groups all focus on investigating paranormal claims in the same manner. Most of the groups that we see out there have been created in the image of what television shows to be â€œreal ghost huntingâ€. Ever since the paranormal stepped into the reality television spectrum, more and more paranormal groups are springing up around the world. Not that there is anything wrong with this, but most of them all follow the same steps.
Show up at a residence or building and setup cameras and audio recorders
walk around at night with handheld cameras asking the â€œghostsâ€ to communicate.
Do this for 1-2 nights and then review the video and audio they captured.
The video/audio evidence does not show anything, but a few anomalous things (dust, light or common â€œhouse noisesâ€) and then make a hypothesis based on that.
Iâ€™ve seen this be done over and over again. Blind leading the blind.
Paranormal investigation should be taken seriously. Led by scientific guidelines and analysis. There was a point in time when scientists were called to investigate paranormal claims. They setup strict and controlled environments to help capture any unnatural phenomena. The process would take weeks, even years at times. A lot of psychoanalytical work was also done with the parties involved. In the end, some of the lucky scientist did observe and cataloged unexplained events; most of them just walked away with an extensive detailed analysis of credulous eyewitness accounts.
I strongly believe that incorporating what we know about modern science, we can definitely come a step closer to the truth. Are we meant to ever know what really exists out there? Maybe not, but it is human nature to be curious.
Is it foolish to believe that the apparition that I saw was a ghost?
If your only conclusion is that it was a ghost/angel/spirit/demon, then YES, it is foolish.
Like pseudo-skeptics or paranormal zealots, you cannot train your mind to believe in one certain way. Yes that image that you saw did look like a archetypal image of a ghost. Now, how sure are you that it was not a figment of your imagination? Were you under high levels of stress when you saw it? Was it during a time when you were falling asleep? (Hypnagogic) Or maybe you did see something after all.
The point is to remain open about the possible interpretations. If you really saw something weird when you knew you were fully awake and alert, then maybe it might be worth you thinking about supernatural explanations.
Then what, if any, will be the next big solved mystery in your opinion?
Itâ€™s really difficult to say, but I would think that it would be something outside of the ghost realm. Something in the Cryptozoology realm.
To be more precise, I think the next big find could be that of the elusive Orang pendek. Here is why:
For centuries, there have been tales passed down by folklore in and around the mountainous regions in the island of Sumatra. These tales talk about the Orang Pendek (short person) of the forests. Said to still exist in modern times, these creatures have been reported in recent times by the locals. Scoffed by some scientists and skeptics, it wasnâ€™t until 2003 that we had discovered a new species of humans that once lived in the Flores island of Indonesia. The new discovery of these ancient humans brought into question what it is that the people from Sumatra are reporting.
Homo floresiensis shocked the entire scientific community. Not only did we just discover a new ancient human species that was extremely small compared to todayâ€™s humans, but this could corroborate the recent sightings of the Orang Pendek that the locals of Sumatra have been seeing all this time.
So here we have an example of what many considered incredulous folklore being partly vindicated by the scientific community. What does this say about the ancient folklore of Bigfoot/Sasquatch/Yeti ?