So apparently, I've neglected blogging on this particular blog for quite some time. Blogger let me know it's been more than 24 months (because they're shutting it down if I don't do something). So I was torn. Do I want to continue to blog about the paranormal? Or do I want to just walk away?
Long ago when I started on my paranormal journey, not many people were involved or interested in the topic. Now entire cable channels are being over run with paranormal shows. The History Channel has more shows about UFO's, Skinwalkers, lost treasure and aliens than it does about actual history. The Travel Channel seems to only want to promote those areas that are haunted. You walk into any historical town and there are ghost tours on every street corner. Heck, sometimes there are 2-3 in the same block! While many might be thrilled with how mainstream the paranormal has become, I am not.
I began my research into the paranormal because I wanted to learn if ghosts, aliens and cryptids were real. I spent time researching paranormal investigators and techniques. I learned about developing technology. I educated myself about film cameras and then digital cameras and how different conditions could produce different results. I attended paranormal conventions, met with other serious paranormal investigators and shared theories and ideas. I was gung-ho. I was having the time of my life.
Unfortunately over the years, life started getting in the way of investigating. Trips to the battlefield became few and far between. Plans to attend the annual Mothman Festival never quite came to fruition. Bigfoot was in no danger of having me spot him out in the woods. I rarely find the time to look up to catch a glimpse of the night sky oddities.
But a busy life and an increase in the commercialism weren't the only things that kept me away from investigations. I have a group on social media (really the catch words here are social media which more often than not ends up being the devil). In the beginning, the group was small and pleasant with a lot of benign discussion. Unfortunately, as many have probably witnessed in many groups, the larger it grew, the more more problems it started having. I began spending quite a bit of time needing to police adults. I made a list of rules. They were ignored. So then I changed settings so that I have to approve posts prior to them being posted, and still, people ignore the set rules. Recently, I had to post again about adults behaving like, well, adults. That is to say, being respectful and polite. I shouldn't have to parent grown ups. Quite honestly, I'm on the verge of deleting the entire group.
And it isn't just the rude and disrespectful people driving me over the edge (though certainly that's enough to do it). In today's world of the paranormal, TV programs and tour groups have led people to believe that every odd thing that shows up in a photograph must be paranormal. This reminds me of a scene in The X-Files season 10 episode 1 where someone tells Fox Mulder that like him he is a true believer and Mulder says, "I only want to believe. Actual proof has been strangely hard to come by."
True evidence of the paranormal is few and far between. Orbs are no longer considered good evidence by serious paranormal researchers. I've said it many times- you can only prove something in this field by first disproving every logical explanation (and even then it really isn't "proof"). Everything shows up like an orb in a photo: rain, snow, high humidity moisture droplets, bugs, dust, pollen, reflections, lens flare and pixels in a digital image not filling in. Your breath in cool outdoor temperatures photographs just like ectoplasmic vapor. Hair strands and camera straps become vortexes. Photos taken in low light situations with swirling lights are considered paranormal, though with a little education one learns that streaking and swirling lights are the effect of a slowed shutter speed due to low light. I could go on, but you get my drift.
The problem here is that people don't want you to explain that their photo isn't paranormal. What they really want is for you to lie to them. They don't want to think that the photo they just took that shows nothing more than a sun dog couldn't possibly be a ghost. I just want to ask, if ghosts are so prevalent that there are all these thousands of positive paranormal photos, why haven't we proven their existence? Lying to people and coddling them so they don't have their paranormal hopes squashed isn't a good researching practice. If people want to be taken seriously and want their "evidence" taken seriously, then they need to accept that true evidence is hard to come by.
So here I am, facing a mid life question about something that has been a life long passion. And to bring up another X-Files season 10 Mulder quote, "I'm thinking maybe it's time to put away childish things- the sasquatches, the mothmen and jackalopes." So what do I do?
After some serious thinking, I have decided to continue on with paranormal research. A large part of that decision stems from my 6 year old grandson who has taken a serious interest in the paranormal (he actually watched a Ghost Hunters marathon to learn how to use equipment before we went on the Battlefield for a quick hunt). He reminded me about one of the big reasons I became involved and started all the websites, blogs and Facebook groups- I want to help those interested in the topic of the paranormal learn and find quality information. So I'm going to continue doing things my way, and there will be some changes in order to get stuff back to where I want it to be.
After all, The Truth is Out There.
(The X-Files quote 1 from Season 10 Episode 1: My Struggle, The X-Files quote 2 from Season 10 Episode 3: Scully and Mulder Meet the Were-Monster.... no I'm not that big of an X-Files nerd, I just wanted to make sure I gave proper credit- though I knew the quotes so...)