Monday, October 18, 2010

When Seeing Isn't Believing...

When most people, especially paranormal investigators, look at hauntings and research, they rely solely on work which validates not only the study of ghosts but parapsychology as well. It can be very one-sided, yet there is a flip side of the coin. To form a truly unbiased opinion, we need to look at what skeptics have to say. Why? Because believing everything just as much of an extreme as believing nothing. If every creak and groan is proof positive of paranormal phenomena there would be no doubt that such things existed. No matter how badly you may want to believe in ghosts, there is no "proof positive" thing which science has said proves something otherworldly is out there.

So what does the other half have to say about psychics, ghosts, etc.? We know a lot of people, including James Randi, staunchly deny anything to be "supernatural" or beyond the known reaches of science. Derren Brown has made a career of showing trickery and psychological influence as a root cause of most phenomena. In his show Derren Brown Investigates he examines various claims of people who possess "paranormal abilities" or have experienced unexplained phenomena in an effort to see what is real and what isn't.

In one episode, he followed the late Lou Gentile (who passed away on June 28, 3009) for a week to see if he could experience something unexplained or something quite explainable. Brown, who came out of the closet publicly in 2007, admittedly was disappointed (even for a skeptic the idea of experiencing something truly freaky and baffling is a bit of a thrilling notion). He watched video of an exorcism, listened to voices of the dead, and even poked around a cemetery in the middle of the night. But everything he experienced had a normal explanation.

The really unfortunate part is that there really wasn't any amazing evidence. No levitating objects or full apparitions. The EVPs were your average garbled sounds, no clear voices. I've seen and heard much better evidence (even recorded better voices myself) so hopefully the subject will be revisited in the future. However, Derren pointed out a lot of things that most people who do investigate claims of the paranormal should take into account. Feel free to watch (and learn) for yourself:

Part 2:

Part 3
Part 4
Part 5
Part 6

1 comment:

Jason Korbus said...

I must watch this special...unfortunately, I also must go to work now! I shall return!