THE UNEXPLAINED: INTRODUCTION TO THE PARANORMAL
Have you ever had the feeling that someone is watching you, and you turn around and no one’s there? Or perhaps you felt a cold spot in a room on a hot summer day, or saw something flying in the sky that you can’t explain? Or maybe you are one of the fortunate ones who came face to face with an animal you can’t explain? Or you may have sensed that something was about to happen, and then it did. Welcome to the world of the paranormal, where everything is not as it seems.
Paranormal is not supernatural; there is a difference. Supernatural involves such things as demons, angels, vampires, werewolves and such. Paranormal is the area of disputed science that tries to explain ghosts and apparitions, UFOS, atmospheric anomalies, vortexes, time warps, past lives, ESP and Cryptids. Each day this week, we will explore each of these areas, and the known evidence about each subject.
I can remember a few of my own personal experiences in some of these areas, although I just can’t explain what happened. Me being a bit of a skeptic, I tend to explain them off, but can I really? Once when I was about nine, I saw some lights at our camp in Canada. Thinking back, they could have been Harriers or Stealth aircraft; I was too far to see, but they moved in such an erratic matter, I didn’t think so, and I still don’t to this day. Were they alien craft? I can’t answer that because I didn’t have a close enough visual to determine what they are. I have also had several encounters of the spiritual kind that I can’t explain as well. One was at work, and I was in a stairway sweeping when I had a strange sensation that I had been there before, during the civil war on a wooden stairway. Was I just getting a subconscious suggestion from something I saw or read, or was there more to it? I don’t know.
Then there was the time I was delivering papers at night to an apartment building that used to be a military academy. The rumor was that a young man, about 18, hung himself in a certain hallway from a chandelier. I was told this story the first night I worked, and the next night, on a hot summer night I went under the said chandelier. Under it, I felt an intense feeling of fear, and the area was extremely cold. Was it the suggestion of a believed spirit that made me feel this way? I really don’t know. But wait, there’s more:
The two houses that I have owned have had rocking chairs. In the first house, it was kept it in the unused bedroom, with the door shut to keep the cats out. I went up one day, opened the door, and found the rocking chair moving on its own. The same thing happened in our new house, and again there were no cats in the room. I suppose a house settling can cause chairs to move, but not to stop the minute you entered the room. Again, this is something I find a loss to explain fully. I don’t personally believe in ghosts, but being a spiritual man, do believe in angels and demons.
What are your personal beliefs in the area of ghosts? We will be investigating the world of spirits and apparitions tomorrow, with mention of some of the most famous and infamous ghost stories you ever heard. Until then, here are today’s links:
WE’RE NOT AFRAID OF NO GHOSTS!
Who could forget that famous line from “The Ghostbusters” theme, as they collected the city’s evil spirits and placed them into a giant box? Ghosts have long been a staple of literary fiction and movies. I grew up watching Scooby Doo on Saturdays, solving ghost mysteries to always prove there was a plausible explanation of their existence. What out allegedly real ghost sightings; are they on the level, or just figments of our imagination?
Some people claim that spirits are really electromagnetic anomalies or perhaps demons and angels, or even people who have passed through some sort of fifth dimension or vortex of time and space. Apparitions are ghosts that actually materialize in a visual form of some kind. In hauntings, the paranormal phenomena occurs as a sort of historical and energetic imprint on a specific place or person. Hauntings and spirits are often associated with: strange sounds, smells, and voices, phantom touchings, cold spots, battery drains in flashlights, problems or interference with electronic equipment, feelings of being watched, odd sensations and sensory changes.
There are some ghost stories that are more famous than others, but some are able to be debunked. The Amityville Horror case, for instance, is a very sensationalized incident that claims to be true. However, investigators found similarities too close to the case that “The Exorcist” is based on, leading them to believe it was concocted after this case became a major movie. But what about the famous ones that can’t be explained, and seem to have some validity?
Ghosts are often associated with tragic occurrences such as murders, suicide, or other deadly catastrophes. The most famous ghosts are surrounded by this; the Kate Morgan story at the famous Hotel Del Coronado, near San Diego, the Stanley Hotel in Colorado, in which Steven King’s “The Shining” is based on. It is said that when the Hotel Ball Room is empty, the sound of a great party can be heard, and on the fourth floor the sound of children can be heard laughing, but there are no children present. Several apparitions have also been seen. Then there is the story of Abraham Lincoln; rumor has it that he foresaw his own death. His ghost has been seen by many visitors and residents of The White House, including Winston Churchill, who was coming out of the bath at the time. He is said to have told Lincoln that he caught him at a disadvantage, in which the spirit smiled at him and disappeared.
Hard core scientists and skeptics have came up with several theories for this phenomena, including: electrical stimulation of the brain, the power of suggestion, and infrasound, which are sounds we are unable to hear, which cause objects to vibrate, and are produced by solar and atmospheric storms, winds, wind, and weather patterns. Other explanations include camera light malfunctions and positive and negative atomic particles which affect our brains and moods. Near death out of body experiences have been duplicated in a lab by using electronic stimulation of brain waves.
All of these sound logical on the surface, and may be true. I, myself, like to reserve my opinion until I reach that final threshold; the point where I come face to face with the unknown. Until that day, I am skeptical. Someday if I’m brave enough, I may book a room at Stanley Hotel off season to find out.
Tomorrow we will move into the next area of the paranormal: atmospheric anomalies, vortexes, time warps and past lives. Until then, here are today’s links:
ATMOSPHERIC ANOMALIES, VORTEXES, TIME WARPS & PAST LIVES
When we were kids, we looked up in the sky and sometimes saw clouds that look like animals or objects, and tried to guess what they looked like. It is not unusual for clouds to behave in such a matter, and it is usually an optical illusion on our part. But what about anomalies that occur naturally, such as the Northern lights?
The Aurora Borealis is a natural phenomena that occurs when a solar storm exerts more radiation than usual, and the green glow we see is caused by the magnetic belt of the Earth. There are also solar eclipses which black out the natural sunlight on the Earth, making it appear to be as dark as nighttime, and lunar events such as halos and bows, which occur when precipitation is present, or when the moon is low and full or almost full.
Colored or blood moons are usually because of dust, smoke, or eclipses, and not because of some ancient prophecy. They are actually quite common, and happen every few years. Noctilucent clouds are at high altitudes that occur in the summertime over the Earth’s poles, and cause an errie glow on the night sky. Mammatus clouds are odd, pillow shaped clouds that occur before or after a severe thunderstorm or tornado. Ball lightning and sprites are relatively new areas of phenomena and little is known about them. Sprites were first captured on film from NASA. It was believed that thunderstorms only created lightning below the cloud formation, which is not true at all. Electromagnetism is also present in space, and cause flashes into space at the top of the thunderstorm as well.
Vortexes are swirling, rotating regions of liquid, gas, or plasma, and are caused by atmospheric storms, such as hurricanes, tornadoes, or dust devils; or in water in the form of whirpools. They are sometimes associated with magnetism, other dimensions, and gateways to the spirit world. Stonehedge and The Great Pyramid of Eygpt are said to be two of the most famous vortex centers of cosmic activity.
A time warp is a hypothetical change in space time. These are often associated with UFO abduction cases and encounters and the Bermuda Triangle. Victims of these types of cases, claim to have lost or gained hours, depending on the circumstance. One pilot who flew over the triangle claimed to have traveled hundreds of miles in a matter of minutes.
Past lives are memories of previous lives people have claimed to have lived through the process of reincarnation of the soul. Deja Vu is commonly associated with this belief, as well as dreams, uncontrolled habits, inexplicable pains, and specific passions or interests.
Although atmospheric disturbances and vortexes occur naturally, time warps, as far as we know, do not. There are certain regions that cause electromagnetic anomalies, such as the Bermuda Triangle, that can’t yet be explained why they occur. Tomorrow, we will investigate this region, as well as the phenomena of UFO’s. Until then, here are today’s links:
UNIDENTIFIED FLYING OBJECTS
People have seen unexplained phenomena in the skies long before there were hot air balloons, airplanes, satellites, or rockets. Some of these can be easily explained away by meteorites or comets, or even the planet Venus. There is that very small percentage, however, that could not and still can’t be explained. In 1878, a farmer in Texas reported a large circular object flying over his farm at tremendous speed. The object crashed near the farm, damaging a wind mill in the process, and in 1897, there were several reports of large airships throughout the US.
Modern day reports of UFOs began during WWII, when several pilots near Germany reported seeing large disk shaped and triangular craft. Some of these, including the Flying Wing, turned out to be experimental rocket technology that Germany was working on at the time. Some believe they inherited the technology from extraterrestrial interaction, but this of course, is only speculation. The first American sighting was near Mt. Ranier by Kenneth Arnold in 1947, when he saw several triangular objects, similar to the Flying Wing, and stated that they skipped across the sky like saucers, dubbing the term “Flying Saucer.”
There is some truth in this design, however, as the US military was indeed working on their own version of the Flying wing and other craft, including saucers like the VZ-9 Avocar. It was first tested in 1950, and discontinued in 1962, due to stability problems. UFO’s come in many shapes and sizes, including triangles, circles, cigar-shaped. and even orbs. One of the most recent and famous cases is the large triangular shaped UFO over Pheonix, Arizona, which was seen by thousands of people at different times and places during the evening. It was claimed that flares were responsible for the incident, but witnesses who have seen it dispute this explanation.
It is likely that most reports can be attributed to misinterpretation of the object, military secret projects, satellites, or atmospheric or cosmic phenomena. However, there is a small number of cases that cannot be explained, and are truly bizarre cases. Reports of extraterrestrial beings are common with these cases, and abduction even sometimes occurs. I do believe there is some credence to these reports, and something is going on that we as humans will never understand, unless we’ve experienced it.
THE BERMUDA TRIANGLE
It’s an area of ocean where many ships and planes have simply vanished, and strange occurrences have plagued sailors for centuries. There are several theories, including: UFO’s, dimensional vortexes, black holes, Atlantis, rogue waves, storms, human error, the Gulf’s stream current, and even supernatural phenomena and thus the name “The Devil’s Triangle.” It all started with Christopher Columbus, in 1492, who claimed to look down at his compass and noticed weird readings, and reported seeing lights in the sky three days later. When the fleet stalled in the Sargasso Sea, he blamed it on demons, who were punishing them for their indiscretions during their voyages.
One of more recent cases include the USS Cyclops, which went missing with 308 passengers on March 4, 1918, after leaving Barbados. It is unclear what its fate was, but most skeptics believe it was likely human error, enemy attack, or storms that led to its demise. In another case, Flight 19, squadron of TBM Avenger Torpedoes disappeared on Dec. 5, 1945 over the Atlantic. The most common explanation was that of navigational error by the pilots.
Rob MacGreggor and Bruce Germon reported an electronic fog while flying through the region on Dec. 4, 1970. The cloud formed a tunnel, which they had to pass through. the navigational instruments went haywire, and the compass spun counterclockwise. They claim that the trip from Bimini to Miami usually took 75 minutes, and this time it only took 47 minutes. They believed they had somehow passed through a time warp of some kind. A Swedish scientist has found that magnetism in the area is weaker than anywhere else on Earth.
Whether or not there is a strange phenomena occurring in the area is still open for speculation. The sea is a tricky thing, as we have seen with the very real phenomena such as waterspouts, rogue waves, and tsunamis. Tomorrow, we end the series by investigating one of the more bizarre areas of the paranormal; the research of cryptoid creatures that exist naturally and by biological experiments. Until then, here are today’s links:
ARE THESE GUYS FOR REAL?
One of my favorite shows was the X-Files. Every week, Scully and Mulder would dwell into the world of the Paranormal; taking on cases that involved aliens, evil spirits, and Cryptids. Cryptids are hidden animals or those whose existence has not been proven yet, due to lack of evidence. In Greek mythology, this was a common theme, animal-human hybrids created by the gods. Cyrptids are not new; sailors believed in great sea monsters and mermaids, among other things, and Chinese folklore speak of dragons and chimeras.
Some past cryptids later proved to be real animals. For years people had heard mythical stories about a giant ape in Africa, until in the late 18th century, when the mountain gorilla was discovered by the Western world. The Giant Squid was once believed to be an old sea faring myth, until Japanese oceanographers captured a sixty five feet long specimen on film. Other animals that were later identified as real animals were the Komodo Dragon, the okapi, the platypus, and the believed long extinct ceolacanth.
One of the most well known cryptids are Bigfoot, the Yeti, and the Loch Ness Monster. Bigfoot is rumored to dwell most abundantly in the Pacific Northwest; but other similar sightings have occurred in other parts of the U.S. In 2003, the discovery of fossil remains of Homo Floresiensis implied that creatures such as the Orange Pendek,the skunk ape and the Yeti were founded on grains of truth. However, there hasn’t been any physical evidence to prove their existence.
There is some credibility to the belief that some cryptids could be long extinct animals. Nessie is believed to be a Pleiosaur; the Hayenback wolf once existed but was hunted out of existence,and the Appalachian black panther was once believed to live in greater numbers. The Moa, similar to a large ostrich, and Megalon, a large shark are still reported, even though there has been no definite conformation.
Then there are the strange, bizarre stories of human-animal hybrids such as; the Wisconsin Beast of Bray Road, a half man half wolf creature, the Pope Lick Monster in Kentucky, which is half man half goat, and the lizard man, a 7 foot biped reptilian with an aggressive behavior in South Carolina. There are also stories around the world of four feet spiders in Africa, giant bats in South America, the Jersey Devil, the Mothman, and of course, the Chupacabra in Mexico.
I do believe some of these beasts could actually exist. It’s a big world, and we know little about it, even with all of our sophisticated technology. One time, when our world was much younger, beasts existed that would make our current animals look tame in comparison.
That wraps up my paranormal series, and our trip into the world of the unexplained. I would have added ESP, but I have already covered that area in another previous series. I will return Monday for a new series. Have a great weekend, and be sure to stay out of any vortexes, time warps, or cryptic animals! Until then, here are today’s links: