Archives for: August 2006, 06

08/06/06

Permalink 11:17:12 am, by Email , 1916 words   English (CA)
Categories: Paranormal Stuff

Off Topic Rant... - Resources? Who needs 'em! We're #1

Okay, okay... I know, this blog is about a bus and our dream... but please let me stray a little as per usual...

Back up, 'cuz this is a rant... you may even want to pass by it...

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I have been a paranormal investigator/researcher for a long time... but not since birth. Since 1996/1997 until now, I've had a website looking into ghosts as a true sceptic.

Okay, before going further... brief notes...

A true sceptic doubts but does not deny. To be "sceptical" does not mean disbelief, it means the want of better data to make an informed decision on one's belief. Some have usurped the words "sceptic" and "scepticism" to their own advantage as they are "non-believers" and "deniers"... Autodebunkers and Remotedebunkers as David Gower and Eric McMillan of Skeptics(sic) Canada calls these folks. I always doubt... always seek better information... but don't deny things. I believe events that are considered "paranormal" happen... but before I dive to a particular hypothesis as "fact", I'm doing my homework.

Why I say "Not Since Birth" is because many investigators and groups put up false dates as to when they got started. One group I saw said that their group and website started in 1985... an impressive feat considering the World Wide Web wasn't really around until 1994/1995... Sure, I started reading books and even doing quasi investigations in the 1980's, but I didn't hit MY stride until the late 1990's... so I don't lie to people and suggest that, since I read my first "ghost book" (probably) in the late 1970's, I've been a "ghost person" for thirty-years. Nope... I've been legit since (at the earliest) 1996.

- - Anyway - -

Believe it or not, I've had a lot of "firsts"... with my group's help (and a lot of Sue's...) our site, our group, and yes, even myself can say, without trepidation that...

#1: We were the first ghost group to question ghost orb photos, vortex photos, and mist photos and try to explain their causation... and coming out very publicly with an article online about airborne particles caught near the lens and flash.

Sounds lofty, doesn't it?

Well, believe it or not, we think it's true.

In 1999, I wrote my first "orb rant" (ghost orbs) which was a caveat against these photos being presented as "paranormal evidence". The article was based on me seeing too many of the photos that were not presented as "paranormal"... either ghosts were everywhere, or there was a natural (rather than supernatural) answer.

By February 2003, I had my answer... and presented it... and it was picked up by several "paranormal news-feed" sites and made the rounds. To see this, click here.

Man, I got hate mail... lots of it... and some of it was vicious... and some of it was (physically) threatening.

What's funny is that now, SOME of those that hated this... have now adopted it.

Of course, neither Torontoghosts nor myself had anything whatsoever to do with their "discovery"... no... they found it out all by their little lonesomes! Aren't they great!

What's funnier is, although I admit to having an epiphany to this answer, with a little study, I found that Dr. Bruce Maccabee beat me to it... the only thing is, Maccabee is a Ufologist and wasn't well read in the "ghost world"... and was looking into photographed orbs in terms of Ufology... but still, he had done the work and multiple experiments and came to the same conclusion. (I found this out before writing my article.)

Guess what I did? Yup, I ignored him! I said, "Oh no! If I give him credit, I'll look stupid and give him too much fame!"

Okay, that's a joke... Of course I credited him... and linked to his work.

...but just after finding Dr. Maccabee's work and before penning my article, I found that Fuji Camera's ALSO had a page about orbs... explaining where they came from to answer complaints from people who thought that the "specs" and "round things" on their pictures was a malfunctioning camera...

Well, that wouldn't do! I can't let people know that Fuji was so far ahead of me! I buried them! They didn't exist for me!!!

Okay, another lie... I incorporated it as well into my article with credit and links.

Now, here's the rub... That article has been reproduced and re-phrased a whackload of times... and it's pretty obvious that they used our work as a resources (often using exact elements of it)... and what do these groups do? Do they credit us? Do their egos allow for the idea that possibly, just maybe there's other people doing the work ahead of them?

Almost never... in fact, I think I've read three (out of hundreds) that bothered to mention us in any fashion.

S'okay though... Dr. Maccabee is almost completely off the radar with these folks too.

Need a real giggle, about a year after my article was released on Jeff Rense's website, one Canadian "ghost hunter" was presented with the arguments on his message board as to orb photos on his site... his answer was to post a one-paragraph response that summed up my article... he "dated" it three months before I wrote my stuff... but forgot his "post" would be dated too... thus kinda proving he was about as original as a Xerox machine... a slow one at that.

#2: We were the first public group to truly question the validity of using an EMF meter as a "paranormal investigative tool" in terms of looking for ghosts.

This one seems to be true to. In fact, we are the only group trying to trace the origins of WHY anyone is using these... and we think we've found an answer... and it's pretty much where we suspected it was.

In 2001, I wrote this article (click here). I knew I'd hit a nerve when a well known "ghost hunter's store" offered me about $500 in "free stuff" to remove the article.

It does seem that the first relation to "ghosts" and "electro-magnetic fields" was from the 1973 movie, "The Legend of Hell House" with Roddy McDowall.

Where did this movie get the idea from?

Well, it was written by science fiction writer, Richard Matheson... he also wrote a lot for "The Twilight Zone" including the Bill Shatner opus where he sees the "monster" on the wing of the airplane.

Matheson kept up on the "early" years of Ufology and was a demi-student of what Ufologist Jacques Vallee who surmised that UFOs used electro-magnetism not only as a propulsion system, but also to mess with people on the planet in producing "things" and also scrambling their thought process. (Perhaps Dr. Michael Persinger of Laurentian University also ran with this with his work?)

Either way, combine the two and voila! One ghost book written by a sci-fi writer and combine the elements of Ufology and ghosts... and here we are!

Our complaint/argument/thoughts on this have also made the rounds... with no mention of us... or the movie... or Matheson...

I guess doing so would mean they'd have to admit *gasp* that they use references!

I guess what's irking me is that I am NO WHERE NEAR an original... sure, I put some stuff together... sure, I try to figure things out... but I always credit... I always list resources.

Why can't others?

In the oft aforementioned Ufology, it happens a lot... tonnes... Ufologists, who see themselves for the most part as legitimate scientists, will always reference those who came before them... they will always reference those who did work that spurred them on...

Ghost people? Nah... the egos don't allow it.

How many "so called scientific ghost groups" who claim to be "sceptical" know who Marcello Truzzi is?

How many ghost hunters/investigators/researchers acknowledge the Society for Psychical Research or The Ghost Club?

How many people who look into ghosts bother to point out that Harry Price really documented many of the methods of their work first?

Almost none.

The "egos" and "I MUST BE FIRST AND GREATEST" attitude within ghosts is horrendous... I wrote a boffo article giving cemetery stompers a "fair shake" (which I still really have issues with) about premature burial... a few months later, a "well known" American ghost author and investigator had HIS article on his website... dated years before mine... except it cited similar sources and even used the same image on the page... The only "flaw" in his cunning plan was that one can find the "date" of an uploaded page pretty easily... and myself (and a few others) pointed out that his page was a few weeks old... making it obvious it was a "dupe". Instead of credit, or listing me as a resource... he ripped the page down.

Heck, I could go into how a well known group (who were "orbists" and used fake doctorates fought with us tooth and nail... they called us names, sent nasty e-mails, and said we (effectively) sucked...) now, they use most of our own methods and whatnot... and dropped their phony accreditation... and have used the arguments we had against joining THEIR super group against others.

Have they ONCE given us a nod? Have they ONCE said, "Oh, this is thanks to work done by..." ANYONE other than themselves? Nope.

You see, THEY are wonderful. THEY are original. THEY are smart.

...they don't list resources or credits.

PEOPLE, WHAT'S THE HARM!?!

Real science always uses credits and resources... Hell, a grade four essay needs to list 'em.

Does saying that you READ and ABSORB really remove that much credit from yourself?

Do you really think people will STOP LIKING YOU (or whatever) because you admit that someone had an idea before you did?

...did you ever stop to think that, perhaps, you might seem smarter and more worldly if you said that you got a seed for an idea from one source and tried to make it better?

I admit... this seems like a "ME! ME! ME! ME!" thing... I'm honestly not looking for a Sue Darroch and Matthew Didier Memorial Ghost Group... it's an "US! US! US! US!" thing.

If paranormal investigators want to be taken seriously, we need to learn from science and educators... and learn that there's not only no flaw in citing resources, it's actually a good thing.

YOU! GHOST HUNTERS AND GROUPS! LISTEN CAREFULLY!

You've drunk a lot of our kool-aid... now drink this please...

If you want to be taken seriously, GIVE CREDIT. I don't care if it's to us, Harry Price, Dr. Maccabee, The SPR... whomever... just LIST YOUR RESOURCES.

C'mon... use your heads... this will give you another benefit... When you can't answer a question, you can say, "Well, I'm not sure, but I think that's been covered in the article by (blank)."

You won't seem stupid... you won't lose respect... you won't lose your "fan base"... you won't even lose your TV show...

...and you might show that WE can be a serious and cohesive study and a legitimate area worthy of exploration...

...and not a bunch of whining egos.

RANT OFF.

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We (my wife, stepdaughter, and I,) used to "amuse" ourselves (read: Take our minds off our troubles) by more-or-less fantasizing as a family about what we'd do when things "turned around". Along this route, we discussed going to England on a vacation... and in that, alighted on "double-decker buses".

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