Sunday, June 29, 2014

Is Evil Real?

I've recently become involved in an online discussion with another paranormal enthusiast regarding the existence of evil and it's ramifications, and the talk has caused me to think (or rethink) much of my ideals regarding genuine evil. I'd developed several thoughts regarding evil when I briefly studied philosophy in college about three or four years back and here are my essential thoughts on the topic. Keep in mind that these are only opinions as I am not a professional psychologist or philosopher.

Premises of Evil

From my observations regarding evil it has a handful of solid characteristics. For the purposes of these points I will use Dennis Rader, commonly known as the BTK (Bind/Torture/Kill) killer as my text-book example of evil.

  1. Evil requires a certain level of awareness, intent, and intelligence, and is not dependent on instinct. For instance, a cheetah who chases down and kills a gazelle is not evil. The animal is doing what millions of years of evolution have trained it to do for the purposes of survival and existence. Rader, however stalked and killed his victims not out of instinct but out of intention and design. He intelligently chose his victims and committed his acts in a fashion as to allude observation or capture.
  2. Evil is driven by self gratification, not by the survival instinct. Rader at no point 'had' to kill his victims, as an act of self defense, for example. His actions were driven by self pleasure, only. This gratification can come in several forms; financial gain (murder of  a spouse for insurance, as an example), sexual pleasure (Rader), psychological reward, and many others.
  3. Evil comes from within, not without. The Devil, Lucifer, Satan, Djinn, evil spirits, evil aliens...all of these are examples of outside forces people use to externalize violent acts of crime they've committed which we would term evil, blaming these entities for somehow forcing or coercing the act by the 'innocent' perpetrator. However, in truth evil stems from within the perpetrator themselves, committed for the sake of their own gratification.
  4. Evil people, or those who have committed an evil act, seek to deny, diffuse, or even refuse, blame.  M. Scott Peck hit the nail on the head when he pointed out that evil "[i]s consistently self-deceiving, with the intent of avoiding guilt and maintaining a self-image of perfection" (taken from the Wikipedia page on Peck). Going along with my point number 3. evil people don't want to see themselves as being evil, and externalize that blame in any way they can to either avoid punishment, continue to perform their evil acts for self gratification, or reconcile any form of guilt or shame they may feel for committing the acts.
  5. Evil typically goes hand-in-hand with psychological disorders. In fact I would say you can't have evil without a psychological disorder, however you can certainly have a psychological disorder without  evil. Antisocial disorder, or any emotional or mental disorder which causes loss of empathy or narcissism (a term avoided by professional psychologists these days), can be the foundation or grounds for people to commit evil acts, and I believe anyone would be hard-pressed to argue someone committing evil without having some sort of disorder. However, I am not pointing that fact out as a way to apologize for, or justify someone committing an act of evil. Those perpetrators are still in the presence of mind during the act to justify punishment.
  6. Evil can be overcome by it's perpetrator. Rader was not forced to commit his acts, and although it can be said he was compelled to do so, ultimately he had the choice not to commit them, However that choice would have required him to admit to his acts and come to terms with his compulsions, not something easily done without professional psychological help.
  7. Evil conceals itself. As evident with points 1. and 4., perpetrators of evil acts hide either their actions or their identities for the purposes of avoiding punishment, staving off guilt, or seeking further opportunities to commit evil acts. Rader lived a rather modest and normal alter-ego life, but it was a life that allowed him to research and discover his next victim of his evil intentions. Yes, often times perpetrators of evil will flaunt their actions to the general public, press, or law enforcement, but especially in those times they take pains to keep their true identities concealed.
  8. Evil is persistent and consistent within the perpetrator, and typically is unrelated to emotional outbursts. Bouts of anger or rage do not constitute acts evil. If a housewife kills her husband after finding him in bed with another woman, this does not constitute an evil act.
With those points in mind I've come to the conclusion that evil is something that is real, but it is 100% founded within intelligent perception. I'm tempted to say "human intelligent perception" here, but for the purposes of the paranormal we have to expand the boundaries of that definition. If paranormal entities, whether they be alien, ultra-universal, or spiritual, are intelligent, they can commit acts of evil. On that point, and emphasizing my belief as stated in point number 3. I don't believe in demonic possession in the least. I could go on further regarding my ideals on why demonic possession is a farce, but I would need another few blog posts, specifically about the cultural perspective of demons and the Devil. I'll save all that for another day. :)



Friday, June 27, 2014

Where Have All the Credible UFO Sightings Gone?

How-D paranormal peeps! It's been ages since I've been able to visit my paranormal blog and a brief reprise from work has allowed me to bounce out here and look to catch up a little bit. While catching up on some of the other paranormal forums I typically cruise I came across the discussion as to why we're not seeing as many solid, credible UFO cases and sightings, these days. I thought I'd chime in with a few observations on the matter.

Since the late 1940's, into the 1950's and 1960's, reports of UFO's were fast and furious. Thousands of reports were made every week or month from all across the country.  Skeptics and debunkers state that America was in a state of "flying saucer hysteria", and that everybody wanted to see a UFO. As a result the predisposition of witnesses to see flying saucers and aliens from outer space allowed them to see just that while staring up at the skies, mistaking conventional aircraft or common atmospheric phenomenon for alien space craft. Now that could be true, but I'll avoid the discussion of cause and effect for now (Did people see more UFOs because there were more UFOs, or did the UFOs make more appearances back then because there were more people giving attention to them?), and let's focus on the cultural shift  between that time frame and today's age.

The Atomic Age - Fighting the Red Invasion!

Watching the Skies

In the 40's and throughout the 50's and 60's America was in a state of paranoia and war-alert, driven by the arms race with the Soviet Union and inspired by the events of the Korean War, later the Vietnam War. Although confidence and patriotism towards the U.S. government was at an all-time high, there was an underlying current of fear from invasion by Communist forces back in that day. Top that off with the fact that radar technology was in it's infant stages and there was no such thing as satellite observation of our skies and what you have is a condition were manual observation of America's atmospheric territory had to be conducted. Specifically you had trained volunteers sky watching for suspicious activity by potential Soviet planes. Often times members of the general public would watch the skies for any sign of the Red Invasion, and if anything out of the ordinary was seen it was there duty as American citizens to report it.

Just the Facts, Ma'am

And where would they report such sightings? The knee-jerk reaction to report something suspicious back then boiled down to one of three general institutions; law enforcement, military, or the press. Very often UFO reports streamed into the local sheriff or news paper office, but if there was a military office nearby they may get the occasional, panicked phone call as well.

Can You Tell Me What You Saw?

UFO investigators through out the 50's and 60's operated entirely differently, too. They scoured the newspapers, listened for word-of-mouth stories, or even monitored their local law enforcement reports for UFO sightings. Then, those investigators would do something completely unheard of today; they would travel to the witnesses home or business, knock on the door, and actually talk to the witness face-to-face about the sighting. Now as unheard of as that is today, that was the best way (and still is) of getting a clear perspective on not only what the witness experienced, but the witnesses reaction and credibility to the event. Often times the investigator would ask the witness to revisit the scene of the event and explain what was experienced. Then said-investigator would interview law enforcement, military officials...anybody else who could shed some light on what the witness observed, and when the UFO investigator had enough material and sightings, typically they would sell the story to a paranormal magazine or write a book.

The Modern Era

Fast forward to today; first, very few members of the general public are observing our skies. Technology has taken over the invasion-resistant sky watcher, and people are far too distracted by their smartphones and tablets to look upward.  Even when people do experience something unusual in our skies they're very resistant and reluctant to report it to any official institution for fear of ridicule or from the (well founded) belief that 'nothing will come of it anyway.' In general the public no longer cares what's in our skies. Law enforcement might make a report, the press may publish something in a swarmy, sarcastic fashion, and the military will flat-out ignore the more common UFO sightings reported to them while writing off the witness as a nut job. In short, even if someone has a compelling sighting, no one from an official standpoint will care, and worse, the witness risks ridicule and mockery. It's because of those potential ramifications that even the most solid UFO encounters, these days, are not reported through official channels and are, typically, just told to family or close friends of the witness, instead.

And the UFO researcher? Well UFO 'research' has now been confined to the Internet. Full-out investigations are conducted via YouTube videos, interviews granted via email, and conclusions are drawn based on electronic review and World Wide Web perceptions. I read a book just the other day regarding a haunted road here within the United States and listened to an interview with the author on a popular paranormal podcast during which the author freely admitted that he had not actually visited 90% of the locations he wrote about. He had done nearly all of his research for the book online. 

Why? Well it's cheap and easy. How expensive is gas these days? A plane ticket? Why get up and walk out your front door to actually ask someone about a paranormal story or experience when you can email them from your computer, iPhone, or tablet? It's so much easier that way and you avoid the hundreds of dollars spent in travel.  But I think anybody can see what's lost; the personal experience. The face-to-face contact with the witness, seeing the actual location where something truly astounding may have occurred, and being able to measure and gauge the witness to see if they're telling the truth, embellishing, or even making it all up.

Witness faith and confidence in law enforcement, the military, and the local press is gone, scattered to the wind by ridicule and disbelief on the part of those organizations. The art of the interview, observation, and experience, even if it's second-hand, by the paranormal researcher is lost. In short, it may not be that people aren't seeing as many UFOs, these days, it may just be that when they do the tell no one. Couple that with the fact that so-called 'investigators' of these phenomenon do little more than fire off a few email messages to witnesses and you have a serious degradation of investigation and reporting being performed. The next Roswell, the next O'Hare , the next Bentwaters could occur and it's a sad fact that no one may genuinely care in this day and age.

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Regulation in the Field of the Paranormal - Why It Will Never Happen.

There's been a lot of discussion in another paranormal forum I engage in about regulation within the field of UFO research. A lot of so-called UFOlogists flounder around the field of UFO research, stating un-substantiated claims, selling books, promoting expensive videos, and essentially saying anything they want without fear of retribution. This is done because the field itself is only self-regulated, which really doesn't mean much at all. As a result you get people like Phil Imbrogno who falsified his educational and military credentials and background for credibility, and no one caught him for 30 years because there is no form of regulation or vetting within the field of UFO's.

Standardization - What is "Paranormal"
So, why aren't investigators and organizations who research paranormal phenomena regulated? Why isn't there a watchdog group out there holding people accountable for such research? Well the first problem is that any field within the realm of the "paranormal" is not standardized. There are no scientific laws and aren't even any true theories within any branch or discipline of paranormal study. All we have are a multitude of hypotheses that people cannot demonstrate much less validate through any scientific measure. Here's an example... what's a ghost? What is an alien? What are UFO's? Everybody reading this blog post will have a different answer, and not a single person can prove their answer, regardless. And even if someone had a semblance of evidence to support their answer, they wouldn't be able to replicate that evidence under identical circumstances, an edict of the scientific method and the only way to graduate a hypothesis to a theory...and after much more experimentation, theory to law. No one has successfully done this within paranormal research to the point that it holds up to scientific that someone from within the field of paranormal research can duplicate the results. Here's an example -  I may know nothing about chemistry but I can read a book and learn to build a volcano with common house-hold contents. Ta-da! Chemistry. 

But that doesn't exist in the realm of paranormal research. Not everyone can go see a UFO, or get abducted by an alien, or even see a least not on command. Believe me, I've tried. There is no step-by-step formula, or experimental process, to do these things, and so there can be no standardization.

Get Out of My Sandbox!

Without standardization there is no community direction. Without community direction there is no community cohesion. Without cohesion, anybody can say or do anything they wish within these fields of paranormal study. Take the dispute over orbs, for instance, within the Ghost and Hauntings paranormal discipline. There are those people out there who literally believe every orb caught on camera, film or digital, is paranormal in nature. I, myself, believe that 99.9% of all orbs are dust, moisture, or insects, and, as anybody in this field of research knows, this argument has created quite a fracture amongst it's members. Similarly, when myself and a few friends did not like the direction our ghost hunting group was taking we did what countless other ghost hunters did....we split off and formed our own "more serious" group. 

The message her is; don't like the 'flavor of the month' your paranormal group is selling? Break away and join another UFO/Ghost Hunting/Psychic group, or better yet, start your own.

Respect My Authority! Or not.

Lastly, with no standardization and no community cohesion within any discipline of paranormal research, you cannot have an authoritative body, either. In every other field of scientific research, chemistry, physics, matter what it is, there are typically many bodies of authority that govern and maintain standards and protocols within those fields. Members of those organizations agree to recognize the authority of these organizations and, in turn, tend to reap a pile of rewards for such. For example a well-founded and respected chemistry organization can convey respect and admiration upon it's members. Those members may be offered higher-paying jobs within chemistry, or pristine opportunities in research, government grants, or industry funding. Additionally, if members of said-organization act out of line, morally, ethically, or otherwise violate the 'code' and behaviors of the organization, they can be kicked out, disciplined, fined, or, at times, even criminally charged. What these organizations offer is a series of rewards and punishments, and such organizations range the gamut of origin, from private, industry, or even government led originations. Government regulation of the pharmaceutical industry is a prime example. If I become a pharmaceutical technician and violate government laws, say I disagree with a drug dosage and change it on my own for a patient, the government will come down on me...either fining me or sending me to jail. I can't just start practicing medicine within my own framework of belief or ideal concept.

And yet anyone can become a ghost hunter, or a UFO hunter, or proclaim to have psychic ability. There are no organizations or governing bodies enforcing educational standards, vetting wanna-be researchers, setting standards of experimentation, or rewarding exemplary researchers for their work. Anytime an organization comes up and tries to do such things they fail because there are no standards, no community agreement and, thus, no community cohesion to stand behind nor respect any such organization. Example - if I join MUFON and do something to somehow 'violate' their code, they kick me out. Who cares? What does that mean to me and the rest of the UFO research field? Typically very little, in fact there are some UFO researchers who would applaud me for getting kicked out of MUFON. It would really not harm my 'career' as a UFO researcher at all if MUFON disavowed me. I could just join another one without fear of financial or even reputational refute...or I could even start my own UFO organization with my own standards and direction.

Final Thoughts.

So there you have it. Without standardization or community cohesion, and no respected authoritative, governing body, the disciplines of paranormal research are left to their own devices and, in my opinion, always will be. No standards and no sense of accountability lead to a pelithera of problems when looking into claims of ghosts, UFOs, and all other manner of high strangeness, but the bottom line is, despite the grumblings, nothing can be effectively done about it. As researchers into such things we're just going to have to strive to be as professional as possible and lead by example. No one is going to MAKE us do otherwise.


Sunday, March 24, 2013


I'm a simple man from the midwest with a fantastic family and a variety of interests. Until recently I had a website, first at, then, however due to financial concerns of keeping a website (not to mention the time involved), I've decided to find a cheaper way to vet my need to express myself online. Hence, this blog...a free blog from Google. I've used Blogger before and already have one blog on the site which details my 2012 UFO trip to the American Southwest.

I have a variety of interest as listed below, and will be rambling about them as I post away. Feel free to hunt-and-peck among them and follow the Labels to whatever you find of most helpful or interesting.

I enjoy....

  • The paranormal, including ghosts and hauntings, UFO's, and High Strangeness.
  • Prepping and survivalism. I'm not big on the paranoid, over-the-top, or doomsday prepping stuff. I'm more into prepping for more realistic disasters like, tornadoes, blizzards, heat waves...etc. I also enjoy looking into prepping and survivalism from a camping and outdoorsman perspective.
  • "Vintage" science fiction and pop culture - 1940's & 1950's. Lately I've been very interested in the 1950's for a variety of reasons including the fact that it was a time of discovery regarding atomic development and UFO'logy.
  • Computers and electronics.
  • Disc Golf.
  • Astronomy.
  • Hiking.
All the posts on this blog will reflect my interest in all things paranormal and unexplained, though there may be some of a more personal nature. On that note this blog is rated R for adult language and perspectives. I fully intend to curse throughout my posts, especially to emphasize a point or rant about some bullshit that has my boxers in a bunch. I tend not to curse too much but it happens. 

On that note critical feed back and helpful input are welcome as long as those comments and feed back stay civil. I'm not opposed to criticisms as long as they're on the lines of adult intelligence. Personal attacks, against myself or fellow commenters, will be deleted. Let's be grown-ups, please.

Welcome, and enjoy!