Monday, July 25, 2011

Snap snap, grin grin, wink wink, disappear quick...

Ghosts! They always appear when you don't expect them and when they do you never have a camera.

Only sometimes, you do!

The biggest advantage of digital photography is that you can get brilliant pictures with very little effort and from cameras small enough to tuck in your pocket or purse. And you can see them when you take them! No more waiting for processing at the local chemist.

Because of their affordability, simplicity and size, people are going everywhere with their cameras. Try buying a mobile phone without one!

Not surprisingly then, images begin to appear which challenge the things we think about our everyday world. Faces manifest on images that definitely weren't there when we took the pictures; ghostly fogs hang hauntingly in the background; mysterious orbs float visibly, tantalizingly.

It's no wonder the paranormal is experiencing something of a revival. Modern cameras are opening up the magic of life - and we like it.

But not all of those pictures are really paranormal. In fact, almost all are not.

But is yours?

Videoscape Productions are pleased to offer a very specialized analysis of your image with a detailed report of their findings. If there's an explanation for the weird manifestation on your picture, they'll tell you. And if there isn't - well, you might just have caught a real ghost.

And they won't think you're a fruit-cake either. They have enough experience to know that there are things out there which defy simple explanation - but enough practical knowledge to identify most mysterious (but explanable) phenomenon.

Next time you snap a ghost - put it to the test!

Saturday, February 12, 2011

The Tail of the Headless Monk

Plenty will have seen the newspaper reports of Headless Monk forces Ride to be Moved.

So is this finally proof of the afterlife?

Does this finally mean we can all rest knowing that there is some sort of existence after death - albeit minus your head?

According to the article which has played in many newspapers,

Paranormal expert Jim Arnold, who carried out tests at the site, said that "results were picked up immediately, with orbs, ghostly images in photography and Ouija reaction results being strongest around the site where they were proposing to build Storm Surge".

Immediately I begin to doubt - not that there might be some paranormal activity there but rather that the investigating team would be better off enjoying the ride.

Firstly, orbs are in almost every case easily discountable in terms of paranormal evidence. Most experienced investigators will be able to explain them away as dust or moisture particles, insects, reflected light and so on. In my experience of paranormal manifestations I have never seen an orb that I cannot explain. Orbs are natural phenomenon - and not para-normal phenomenon. Read more...

Then, they choose to utilize 'Ouija' in their testing. You can read more about Ouija boards but essentially they are at best an open invitation to the subconscious to let loose on all your secret and dark thoughts and emotions and at worst they are an uncontrolled door to entities whose motives and origins you could not possibly imagine.

So on the basis of this 'investigation' the only thing I can conclude is that the investigating group were no more than a bunch of amateurs who couldn't prove that Sid James was British. (He was born in South Africa actually...)

So the Tail (Tale) of the Headless Monk is really just a big publicity stunt; there MAY be a 'real' headless monk - they may be 'real' paranormal activity there - we'll probably never really know. Because unless (suspected) activity is investigated properly, you only get the old adage ...... Garbage In, Garbage Out.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Monsters Amongst Us

Well, not necessarily amongst us...

Many continents have stories about great hairy ape-men - everyone's heard of the Yeti, Big-Foot, the Yowie etc. Some Australian indigenous stories tell of the 'Yahoo' - which were allegedly big, hairy man-creatures. While Jonathon Swift was writing Gulliver's Travels, by co-incidence, or perhaps something else, we had exactly such creatures with the same name in Australia. At least, according to indigenous legend.

When many different cultures and countries seem to share legends, it is very tempting to believe that there must be some originating truth in them. Cross pollination of legends is not unheard of, of course, but when cultures are essentially isolated - as is the case in Australia - it may be well not to be too dismissive.

Yowies - or whatever name you choose to call them - may have existed in Australia and of course elsewhere. Yes, it is possible. Over the last ten years, 1200 new species have been discovered in the Amazon alone.

Now of course, Australia isn't the Amazon. It is far more populated and forests, though at times large, are hardly unexplored. Could a large, hairy man-creature really still be living in Australia undiscovered?

Firstly, if such a creature does exist then it is hardly undiscovered. While there may be no conclusive proof, there are many, many reports about such creatures.

Secondly, while it is tempting to argue that we should have found bones by now, it is important to remember that bones of any animal are rarely found in the wild. There are plenty of creatures whose very life depends on the consumption of hair, skin and bones. When did you last see a koala skeleton?

One day, sadly, such a creature will be killed and DNA testing performed. Once we have located and killed the last of its kind we will be able to classify the 'Yowie' into a convenient species box.

Originally, scientists refused to admit the existence of the platypus. Now they know better.

Friday, October 8, 2010

The Truth is Out There. And so are the Lies.

The world seems divided into those who desperately have to believe in aliens and those who desperately have to disbelieve in them.

Consider, for example, the case of the doctored Saturn moon picture

Clearly the image has been tampered with. On the one side, it is claimed that this occurred due to enhancement related to the merging of three images. On the other hand, it is used as 'proof' that something was removed which we are not meant to see.

While secretive tampering goes on, there will be fuel for the fire that makes the smoke. Such actions breed conspiracy theories. Which explanation is the true one, I don't know. But I do know that this sort of behaviour on the part of organisations such as NASA only serve to undermine their credibility.

Then, there was the case of the Air Force vs the Flying Saucers story that came out recently. A collection of high ranking officials with plenty to lose openly admitted that there had been cover-ups. They did not report encounters with bug-eyed monsters or dribbling jaw crunching aliens - just that they had been ordered to keep quiet about a set of circumstances which, at the least, strongly suggests extra-terrestrial involvement. It would have been better if they had admitted initially that unexplained lights appear to have influenced their equipment. IF there was an earthly explanation, then it might have subsequently emerged. The way it is, however, one can only wonder.

Personally, I don't doubt the existence of alien life. Whether or not it has visited, I don't know. But you only have to do the sums to realize that there are an awful lot of planets out there and the odds are than some of them are inhabited.

The biggest question, for me, is whether or not they have been here. The constant collaborative efforts of governments to ridicule the idea suggests that they have. And of course, if you look back at some of the 'photographs' of the past - i.e. paintings - then these are rather suggestive .....

The above all make those cave drawings (that 'could' be alien spacemen) look rather unconvincing even though in themselves, such ancient drawings do exhibit similarities to modern space travelers from Earth.....

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Attacked by a Ghost?

According to the report NT woman attacked by 'horny ghost' a woman claims she was pulled out of bed by a ghost. She also claims that she has experienced poltergeist activity.

Yet she has no plans to 'get rid of it'.

Clearly, if we take her at her word, there is some presence in her home that is capable of physical manifestations. It has the ability to interact with the physical world and even act with some violence. Yet she is happy to keep it around.

There are two important points with this case if, as I say, we choose to believe her story.

Firstly, she is choosing to remain in a situation of potential danger. Why?

Secondly, we seem to have the residual component of someone who really should have moved on. But she doesn't want to help it.

With respect to the first point, it must be understood that in many such cases, the 'spirit' or 'ghost' can actually give something to the person they are 'haunting'. In this case, it would seem to me that they are providing 'uniqueness' or more simply put, a boost to her ego. She feels important because there is a 'ghost' around her. Often, when people are influenced by such things, the line between host and parasite can be blurred because the parasite can prolong the relationship by creating a need or dependency. In my opinion, this seems likely to be the case here.

In terms of the second point, there are many things that might appear to be a ghost but which are not. But assuming for one moment that this is actually a ghost by the popular definition, i.e. the spirit remaining after the death of the body, then the case is clear. Spirits (as opposed to guides and any number of other 'things') are earthbound because they erroneously do not move on. Into, as they say, the light. To allow one to stay is a little like allowing a prisoner to remain indefinitely inside a jail purely because he hasn't realized that his time has been served yet. It is immoral.

Of course, this might all be little more than imagination or publicity stunt. It's difficult to tell from the little real information provided.

But if there is an ounce of truth to what has been told, then trivializing the situation and letting 'kevin' stay is most definitely the wrong decision.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Ever had that feeling that you are being watched?

Most people have had the feeling at some point - that feeling of being watched. Mostly it comes about when there really seems to be nobody about. We write it off as paranoia or imagination.

But is it?

Is it possible that we are being watched - by someone?

Consider the case of 'shadow people'. This is an experience where strange shadow-like people are often observed, usually in the peripheral vision. There is no-one there - at least no one physical - and we often pass it off as ..... imagination.

But is it?

Could these two phenomenon actually be just the two sides of the same coin?

There is a theory (and only that) which is sometimes used to support the multi-verse theory in quantum physics. It is the interference effect.

I wont bore you with the details but the canned version is that under a certain set of conditions, light should pass through a slit and produce a uniform illumination but in reality produces bars - lines if you like - of shadow and light. One theory says that light from a different universe interferes with the light from ours and causes this.

Perhaps all those shadow people are actually IN some other quantum universe.

Perhaps when we get that feeling of being watched, we are actually subconsciously picking up photons of light from a different universe and realizing that they are seeing us - their own 'shadow people'.

Or perhaps it is just paranoia. Or imaginations.


You decide.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Comment on RACV article - The True non-believer

A recent article in the Australian RACV magazine presents a kind of interview with 'Victoria's head skeptic' Terry Kelly.

In defense of those with either an open mind or the power of deeper thought, I thought that I might make some interesting observations on the article and, more specifically, on 'skeptics'.

Firstly, there is the obvious problem relating to the classification of a paranormal event as 'bunkum'. This I call the 'one road theory'. It goes like this:

If I can get to Melbourne via the Geelong Freeway then the ONLY way to Melbourne is via the Geelong Freeway.

The 'theory' is based on the premise that all paranormal experiences are imaginary or faked because the same results can be obtained through non-paranormal means. A classic example is the spoon-bender. Nobody can bend spoons through the power of their minds because a magician can bend one through trickery.

This should give us plenty to think about and a good opportunity to revise testing and so forth in terms of measuring, detecting and classifying paranormal activity because it allows the creation of tests and tools to detect fakery. But it does not prove that all spoon-bending is a trick. That is not a logical assumption.

There are, in fact, many roads to Melbourne.

A look at real scientists will show, in fact, that there are many phenomenon which cannot be proved or whose criteria for occurrence cannot be identified. But scientists - real scientists that is - do not discount them as fakery. Quantum physics is a good example of this. But probably Mr Terry Kelly thinks Quantum physics is just 'bunkum' too I expect.

The second and much more important thing that comes to mind is that while skeptics deride those that they (correctly) term 'true believers', they are actually no different themselves.

True-believers believe without evidence.

Skeptics dis-believe without evidence.

Proving the non-existence of many or most paranormal phenomenon is impossible. We measure and value phenomenon using physical tools. By its nature, the paranormal must be non-physical - at least in part. So it cannot be measured. At best if can be implied or heuristically 'proven'.

You cannot, for example, prove the existence of a God who by definition must exist beyond our current limited physical definition of the universe. You might say that this God did not create the 'big bang' (Hawking) but you cannot disprove God's existence. You are free, at least in this country, to make up your own mind though.

But skeptics, such as Terry Kelly, decide that things don't exist - they believe that they don't exist - yet have no evidence to support their beliefs. Just like the true believer, they hold a view as truth without any evidence at all.

That is the biggest problem I have with skeptics. They are simply true believers who choose to believe something different.

They are not 'more logical' or 'more intelligent'.
They are not 'informed' or 'rational'.

They are religious zealots whose religion is denial.

In fact, they are the True Believers.