Tuesday, August 31, 2010

SP-6 - Phillips Responds To The Bigfoot Paradox

My oh my - the readers have been having a field day with this topic as have been the writers - bravo folks.

Ok, first Duensing asked for an anagram sentence for the words Bigfoot, Ufo's, Hauntings -- how about - "A Buffoon Ghosting Suit" ------> Could anything be more dead on to our subject matter this week? ------- But, I digress.

Responding in order of posting as briefly as I can on the subject of The Bigfoot Paradox - Seed Post Six.

First, Lon - great re-touching of a great post. Perhaps what I liked most was the `examples of stories' of the DEAD Bigfoot(s) that seem around at some level (I've read on your P&M site about the one killed in the St. Mount Helen's blast) but --- NEVER with the solid proof that one would hope beyond being `stories'. I'm of the kind that I'll need a little bit more. That said, at the end of June at Barf Stew - I explained my view that `even proof' of a Bigfoot - without a body - wouldn't be `enough' - http://barfstew.blogspot.com/2010/06/why-bigfoot-proof-will-not-be-enough.html at least for me.

But, let me assume for a minute that indeed one of these `temporal characters' was shot and killed and `brought back' as a real space with on-going existence. Since, I am of the thought that such a thing would be like bagging a doppelganger - which I view as impossible - would mean that IF it happened - that somewhere, somewhen a `real' bigfoot was `caught' --- it - to me - would give credence to a creature with an on-going population base in some manner.

Lastly, let me say that I'm honored to have a role in your review of this issue in your posting - and to me - the real issue you raise is WHAT IF THE STORIES ARE TRUE? (I'm reminded of the de Loy's Ape picture I saw on one of your sites.)
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Next, Mr. Duensing's observations - ---- beautifully written Bruce - eloquent as always - I guess the main points I'd like to reflect upon in a different manner would be my `hardness' on thinking we are in some big transformation mindwise at this stage of humanity. Perhaps I'm being bullheaded. Ultimately, I feel that `the event spaces' occupied by `the anomalous' has a bit more independence than you normally position in your writings on a given day.
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Eric - you are incredibly concise in your writing and projecting of ideas -- wow - extremely impressive review of the state of the matter (as brought out by Lon and Bruce also). That said, one idea I did want to respond to:
As well, there are Psycho-social hypotheses (PSH), held by debunkers about both UFOs and Bigfoot
This is somewhat what I was trying to articulate above - while the argument is good - it seems to me that it also doesn't fit 100%.
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Regan - what can I say - it's posts like yours - well, everyone's really - that will make The C Influence experiment - real. We all bring similar points of view yet with refreshing differences and emphasis on certain attributes. We at
 TCI are indeed Forteans.

I too followed the last days of The Blogsquatcher and was incredibly impressed with the body of evidence and line of thought the blogger displayed about the UFO/Bigfoot connection. And perhaps I should withhold this judgement - but, to me - Lisa Shiel's concept (as I understand it - that a Bigfoot followed her move to a new location and that she confirms such with the sticks in the woods) I am vastly less impressed with. (Hey I can be a jerk.)

And, what a story about Stan Johnson - especially the bookstore event. Great read of that whole experience - thanks for sharing that with TCI readers. Wonderful again.
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Bruceleeeowe --- thanks indeed for your contribution and viewpoints. I knew that you would bring a viewpoint worth considering. And, I certainly find your taking the `other' (bigfoot is a physical entity) viewpoint and supporting it in a science manner refreshing.

Indeed, what other blog has folks saying the psychological viewpoint on one hand; and, has the young advocate that tells us that theory says it is possible for these `anomalous events'. Including space travel and including isolated real Bigfoots. And, while I might not share some of your viewpoints and wish you could come back in and clean up your script a bit (you know, paragraphs and such, as all submitted material will appear as is) - the balance I sought by having you be a writer on TCI is well shown by your effort.

I'd only caution that at your young age - 19 - that it's quite likely that your beckoning of the anomalous via your blog and here at TCI - may `cause' one of these Fortean events your fellow writers have been experiencing and trying to figure out. I will welcome your interpretation when that occurs.

Excellent.
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Great, in-depth, writing folks -- I'm very impressed. Thanks for your efforts.

TCI-SP5- Responce to Lon's Post by Bruceleeeowe

Recently Mr. Lon has published a very fascinating post about bigfoots. There are various reports of encounter of Bigfoot or so called Sasquatch. Skeptics simply rebut these encounters without going into an extensive research programme. What explanation we can expect from skeptics more likely, is that these are mere 'mass hallucination' which comes from anecdotal stories. Granted, they are correct, what about dinosaurs? Why hasn't then anyone imagined dinosaurs( velociraptor or troodons) ever before eighteenth century? The answer is so simple since they hadn't seen it ever. Perhaps, this is why there are no anecdotal stories about velociraptor attacking on human colonies. My intention is pretty clear here. If something hasn't been seen,then it can't be invented. It is impossible to conjure up something out of thin air if basic elements are missing. Therefore, mythologies, tales etc, which mainstream science today discredit as mere fanta intentions our stone age ancestors' imagination-can't possibly all be unfounded inventions or mere figments of someone's imagination. Quite on contrary! Something had to there in the first place to act as catalyst, the basic elements that sparked the story. Something happened to our stone agers that compelled them to tie it into a legend. The bigfoot encounters are common not only in USA but also in Himalayan peaks. There are various encounters of bigfoot, reported by those who were sent there as a part of Everest expeditions. I'm not going to write their story as Mr. Lon did. In his post Lon says that he refutes the case of bigfoot being something like that of coelacanth, manipulating the explanation to so called interdimensional being. I ask him to answer the question of why. He argued that with current technology we can sweep our eyes to every corner of woods. I'm politely disagree with him on that. In next paragraph he argues that we have FLRI cameras which can detect anything which is warmer than its environment. Agreed, we have such miracles of science. The infrared cameras are simply based on a principle and that is so called Stephen's radiation law. To detect something from infrared cameras there must have been some radiations coming from relatively warmer bodies. What if these are living in some deep naturally formed tunnels or something like underground IGLOU. Probably no radiation will come out of such tunnels and reading from cameras in simple word would be ' nothing detected'. I ask him how many times have we sent our explorers lassed with such detection equipments. Who is here who has collaborated with google to search for Sasquatch? The answer is 'none'. I've much explained the case in my lake monster post, which is still in draft. Granted, they are extraterrestrials explorers. Now big question is that what kind of propulsion methodology are they using? Okay, if they have implemented the technologies about which we talk only in theories like wormholes, casimir effect, black hole propulsion etc, it would simply acquire high energy densities(more than 10^27 joules/m3) which would be easily detectable and leave macroscopic traces which would be easily identifiable. So if they are real extraterrestrials or interdimensional being, where are the traces? That's why I always refute this theory with extreme politeness. There are many reports from everest expeditors which let's know that bigfoot is creature with intelligence slightly higher than chimpanzee. I'll try to make a full post to end of this weekend or so. Thanks.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Regan Responds to Lon’s SP6: The Bigfoot Paradox -- Bigfoot and Fairies

Wow, a fantastic post by Lon. I’ve been fascinated by UFO themed, paranormal or supernatural narratives concerning Bigfoot for years. These tales of high strangeness encounters inspired me a few years ago to start a blog devoted just to this topic [Frame 352: The Stranger Side of Sasquatch.]

Like the Contactee stories of meetings with beings from Venus or Mars, rides aboard spaceships, metaphysical discourse between human and alien, the tales of Bigfoot meetings containing yet further bizarre elements are incredible to believe; certainly if we take them literally. But, these tales do exist, and as Lon and others ask: what about them?

We have to look at these tales, and we have to acknowledge their existence. As Forteans, that’s easy, it’s what we do. Strictly “flesh and blood” Bigfoot researchers often don’t allow themselves that luxury and in fact, (as recent events have proven on a couple of well known Bigfoot message boards) many Bigfoot forums will kick you off if you start up about UFO or inter-dimensional Bigfoot. Some boards and groups have had it in their TOS that they won’t allow such discussions at all. It's an understatement to say that the flesh and blood vs. paranormal Bigfoot discussion is a controversial one.

There was an excellent Bigfoot blog around: The Blogsquatcher. For reasons of his own, the “Blogsquatcher” decided to stop blogging about Bigfoot and his research in the spring of 2010 and the blog is no longer active. But he was one of the few Bigfoot bloggers who gave serious consideration to the paranormal/UFO/anomalous aspects of Sasquatch encounters. Other paranormal Bigfoot blogs include author and researcher Lisa Shiel (Backyard Bigfoot:The True Story of Stick Signs, UFOs and the Sasquatch) who is not only a researcher, but has had her own UFO sightings and high strangeness encounters concerning Bigfoot. Peter Guittilla has been writing about high strangeness Bigfoot for years, and his book Bigfoot Files is a great collection of stories from witnesses about their weird encounters.

Good thoughts posted here on The C-Influence from others on the nature of high strangeness Bigfoot, and I can’t really add anything; it’s already been said, and very well. I will share a bit of my own experience with the “other side” of Bigfoot however.

I remember when I first came across a “weird Bigfoot” story. It was many years ago and for some reason, the article, (I believe written by Jack Lapseritis, who Lon mentions in his post) ticked me off. It made me angry. Now, why is that? That’s an interesting response to something I knew nothing about, isn’t it? I “believed in” Bigfoot; meaning, I accepted that Bigfoot most likely existed. A flesh and blood Bigfoot, and, a “giant ape,” at that. Now of course, I believe no such thing-- oh, I believe Bigfoot exists all right, but Bigfoot is more, far more, than “just a giant ape.”

But, as a Fortean in the making, I couldn’t bring myself to just throw away the article, so I filed it away. Synchronicty came along, and suddenly, I was coming across all kinds of articles about UFOs and Bigfoot, Bigfoot living under ground, dematerializing Bigfoot, etc. I was definitely intrigued. I was hooked, actually, and remain so today.

Then I came upon two Oregon (where I live) weird Bigfoot tales. One is the “monster” in Conser Lake outside of Albany, Oregon,  and the other, the experiences of Stan Johnson in Sutherlin, Oregon.  (Both subjects of a project I’ve been working on for awhile now.) I won't go into details about either here, but both share many similarities (even while differing in many respects; for example, appearance.) Both stories include landed UFOs, Bigfoot or “hairy biped” associated with that UFO, the Bigfoot communicating with humans that it came from outer space, telepathic communications between the Bigfoot creature and humans, strange sounds heard in close proximity to humans but no creature seen, and a lot more.

I met Stan Johnson once at a local UFO conference; he was one of the presenters. He was elderly ; I’d say in his seventies, yet he was very charismatic. As I listened to him speak, I found myself disagreeing with his personal perception on things which were framed within a religious context, but his energy was profoundly strong and, when he shook my hand and we spoke for a few minutes, I could feel this energy -- a heat, and an electrical feeling - - emanating from him. And here’s an interesting tangent: I had less trouble believing his stories of his paranormal encounters with Bigfoot -- it really wasn’t such a stretch for me to accept the possibility he had these experiences -- as I did accepting his personal, religious interpretation of those experiences.

One day around that time, I was speaking with the then owner of a local New Age bookstore, Stargate, who had known Stan, the object of our discussion. As we were talking about Stan, I became aware of a bright white cone of light -- like an upside down ice cream cone-- that had come down through the ceiling and settled on us, sort of covering us or enclosing us. I was inwardly freaked out; was I going crazy, having a migraine, what? Sound became muffled, light was weird; I could still hear and see but it was as if I was looking through a glass brick. As soon as had stopped talking about Stan, the cone of light lifted back up into the ceiling and “out.” The owner gave me a funny look; I thought, “She must think I’m nuts, I probably look panic stricken as all hell” but she said, “You saw what too; that always happens when we talk about Stan.”

So there that is.

Back to the religious aspect of some of this: Stan Johnson considered himself a Christian, and didn’t see any conflict with his beliefs and his experiences. Yet an Oregon Bigfoot researcher not long ago rejected my following her blog -- and her, mine -- because, as this person told me, they considered themselves a Christian, and therefore, could not accept any discussion or link to any blogs that had to do with “the paranormal.” In an authentic and genuine attempt to understand, I responded that, if one puts themselves out there as a Bigfoot researcher, yet rejects accounts that conflict with personal values, well, is that research? Of course this isn’t limited to religious views; there are Bigfoot researchers who may or may not consider themselves religious but their rejection of this high strangeness Bigfoot isn’t based on religious convictions necessarily, but simply the old flesh and blood vs. high strangeness. This is another area of discussion I guess but I find it interesting a researcher can be so involved in a marginalized, and trivialized, area, and yet, have their own buffers that keep them from going completely down the rabbit hole.

Bigfoot researcher Autumn Williams (whose recent book, Enoch, while not dealing with high strangeness Bigfoot, has received a lot of criticism -- and praise -- for focusing on both the protection of Bigfoot, as well as the witness, and the dynamics between witness and researcher) has suggested, along with other researchers (like the Blogsquatcher) that Bigfoot is almost eerily sensitive to physical effects of things like cameras and infrared. We can speculate that it’s possible the creature we call Sasquatch, Bigfoot, etc. has highly developed senses to the point of being supernatural. (Speaking of Autumn Williams, her mother, Sali Sheppard-Wolford, has written her own book-- Valley of the Skookum -- about her highly unusual Bigfoot experiences which include MIBS, UFOs, telepathic communications and other high strangeness.) Or, of course, Bigfoot simply is “supernatural.” Some, like Lisa Shiel, and Patrick Harpur in his excellent book Daemonic Reality, suggest Bigfoot is a fairy. Specifically, as Shiel suggests here, a water fairy. Shiel writes that Bigfoot’s affinity for water (something apes do not share, which is more evidence to support Bigfoot as a non-ape creature) parallels Celtic, Algonquian, and other cultural fairy entities. Bigfoot is a remnant of the fairy realm. This idea explains UFOs, alien beings, the dematerializing, feelings of disorientation reported by witnesses ... like Jacque Vallee’s Passport to Magonia, where comparisons between the fairy realm and UFOs are made to support the idea much of what we call UFOs (and aliens) are earth bound entities, not ETs, Bigfoot could also be thought of as a fairy creature.

SP6 – Eric Ouellet adding on Lon Strickler - The Bigfoot Paradox

One of the most fascinating issues about Bigfoot related research is, in my opinion, the striking similarity with ufology. Like in ufology, the Bigfoot story has no physical evidence available to defend the most commonly held hypothesis, what I call the “Flesh and Blood Hypothesis” or FBH. The extra-terrestrial hypothesis in ufology (ETH) and the FBH are mirroring each other. In both cases, there are “stories” of hidden physical evidence, Roswell and the like for UFOs, and the ones described in Lon’s post for Bigfoot. In both cases, there are alternative hypotheses like the Paranormal Hypotheses (PNH) in ufology, where the phenomenon is attributed to non-human entities having the power to be in and out of our material world. As well, there are Psycho-social hypotheses (PSH), held by debunkers about both UFOs and Bigfoot. The supporters of the FBH, the most popular and yet less supported by evidence hypothesis, can be quite dogmatic about their views, very much like many ETH folks.

Like in the case of UFO, Bigfoot sightings have been recorded for a long time and pretty much all over the planet. Yet, the same critique has been laid to both UFO and Bigfoot buffs: if it is so common why don’t we have any physical evidence available to objective and transparent confirmation? Most of the sightings in Bigfoot are actually quite faint observations, often of very short duration, in sub-optimal conditions and quite open to misidentification. This description can be applied to the day disks and night lights of the Hynek UFO typology, the bulk of UFO sightings. The interesting material in both UFO and Bigfoot “stuff” is really in the quality close encounter reports. Although there are a number of reasons to take a parapsychological approach to study both UFOs and Bigfoot, parapsychology ignores both phenomena.

Given all these similarities, both in terms of the structural phenomenology of the empirical evidence and in terms of the social phenomenology of the research endeavour, Bigfoot research might benefit from looking into psi effects and establish a parapsychological hypothesis (PPH). As in the case of the ETH, with decades of failure at hand, maybe it is time to try something different. In this sense, I fully agree with Lon on the need to look more seriously into the thought-form approach to the phenomenon. I would also add that there might be a parasociological component, i.e., social conditions for both having “a loose ape” as a socially-shared interpretative framework and for producing large-scale psi effects, might be important pieces of the puzzle. But I must say that the last time I suggested this to a Bigfoot “expert” I met a lot cognitive dissonance. This may well be a long road, where one needs to avoid “apedom” as one should avoid the saucerdom in ufology.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

TCI - SP6 - Lon Strickler - The Bigfoot Paradox

Reports of a large, hairy hominid have circulated worldwide for centuries. The sightings and lore have become the basis for speculation as to what this creature really is and why there is scant evidence to support it's existence. Since Bigfoot has been part of the human culture for so long, is it possible that a Bigfoot or related hominid was found many years ago and remains hidden away from the public?

Near the end of the overnight appearance of Jeff Meldrum’s and John Bindernagel’s discussion of Bigfoot on Coast to Coast AM with George Noory on September 22, 2006 an American, who claimed to be living in the Ukraine, telephoned into the talk-radio program. The credible-sounding individual had an intriguing account.

Without disclosing his name, the man identified himself as an environmental scientist. He stated that after the fall of the Soviet Union, he was hired to do air quality studies at the museum in the University in Leningrad (later St. Petersburg). While taking air samples in a three-level basement beneath the museum in 1992, he said he made a startling find.

The American scientist stated that he came across an object in a glass case that, according to the label, was an animal that looked like a Bigfoot, taken near a Russian outpost in northern California. The outpost was near Mendocino, and the mounted hominid was collected in the late 1700s, from what he could tell on the museum label. The huge animal had several layers of skin, exhibited a foot 17 inches long, and was a 7' 1" tall, hair-covered upright Bigfoot-like figure.

Could the Bigfoot have been collected by one of the first surveying Russian exploration parties?

Then there is the case of the Minnesota Iceman, a purported man-like creature frozen in a block of ice and displayed at fairs and carnivals in Minnesota and Wisconsin in late 1968. Two trained scientists, Ivan Sanderson (who was also a naturalist) and Bernard Heuvelmans (also a researcher and the founder of cryptozoology), examined the "Iceman" and concluded it was a genuine creature, noting "putrefaction where some of the flesh had been exposed from the melted ice." Heuvelmans wrote a scientific paper about the Iceman and even named it as a new species with neanderthal affinities, Homo pongoides, and theorized it was killed in Vietnam during the war.

When the Smithsonian Institution was reportedly interested in the Iceman, Dr. John Napier was asked to investigate. He suggested the FBI investigate due to reports that the creature had been shot and killed. Shortly thereafter, the Iceman disappeared from public display, withdrawn, Hansen said, by the California-based owner. In a 1995 interview, Hansen reported that "I never did find out" if the Iceman was genuine.

Ivan Sanderson, who had examined the creature, wrote a article in Argosy Magazine describing the hominid. Heuvelmans also contributed to the article.

Over the years, many skeptics (especially creationists) have simply labeled the Minnesota Iceman as a hoax and a product of Hollywood and atheists.

Maybe the Iceman cadaver will turn up one day with enough tissue intact for proper forensic examination though, that seems unlikely. There were reports in 2004 that the Iceman was buried in an undisclosed and unmarked grave in a California forest.

The lack of tangible evidence for this cryptid's existence may also be due to a theory that has been gaining popularity over recent years, namely, that Bigfoot is a non-terrestrial being.

A few months ago, I posted a poll that posed the question ‘What is Bigfoot / Sasquatch?’ To my surprise, 26% of the 574 participants answered they believed this creature was an interdimensional or extraterrestrial being. Are we at a point where people are open minded enough to accept that a hominid species may very well not be of our time or planet?

Cryptozoologist Nick Redfern referenced a woman named Jenny Burrows, who had a remarkable tale about a creature she claimed to have encountered in a particularly dense area of Seattle woodland: nothing less than a fully-grown Saber-Tooth Tiger.

According to Jenny, she had been walking through the woods with her pet Labrador dog, Bobbie, when it suddenly stopped in its tracks, whined loudly, and dropped to the ground, shaking.

Thinking that it had possibly had a seizure, Jenny quickly bent down to comfort her pet, and could then see that the dog was staring intently to its left. Following the gaze of the dog, Jenny was horrified to see moving in the undergrowth what looked like a large cat – “like a mountain lion, but much bigger.”

That the creature was possibly a mountain lion filled Jenny with dread; however, that dread was amplified to stratospheric proportions when its face could clearly be seen; including the two huge teeth that were the absolute hallmark of the Saber-Tooth Tiger.

As Jenny said to me, with much justification: “You don’t have to work in a zoo or a museum to know what a Saber-Tooth Tiger looks like: everyone knows.”

It was then, however, that Jenny’s story became even more bizarre.

As the cat loomed fully into view and out of the confines of the bushes and undergrowth, she could see that its body seemed to be semi-transparent and that, “the bottom of its front paws were missing.”

Jenny concluded, she told me, that what she was seeing was not a still-living Saber-Tooth at all. Rather, she thought, it was “the ghost of a Saber-Tooth” that was haunting its old pathways and hunting grounds – thousands of years after its physical death. http://www.mania.com/lair-beasts-sabertooth-terror_article_110846.html

Could it be true? Are ghostly creatures really roaming our planet? Perhaps the idea is not as far-out as it might seem. Though it is likely that this may have been a residual spirit of a once living creature, it may also be a manifestation of a non-terrestrial or interdimensional being. Our world cultures possess thousands of cryptid and humanoid legends that have been told for hundreds, maybe thousands, of years. Is there a chance that we are chasing real entities that slip in and out of our plane of existence?

I was told of the experiences of a well known veteran Sasquatch investigator in the California Sierra Nevada Mountains who stated that he was watching one of these creatures walk away from him and then suddenly disappear. The terrain did not offer cover or camouflage and there was no direction that the creature could have taken without being seen. There were no caves or holes for the Sasquatch to duck into…it just vanished.

Rick Phillips posted an interesting reference in his blog recently. Jonathan Downes, of the Centre for Fortean Zoology, first coined the term Zooform in 1990 and maintains that many of these phenomena result from complex psychosocial and sociological phenomena, and suggests that to classify all such phenomena as ‘paranormal’ in origin is counterproductive. Thoughtform may be understood as a ‘psychospiritual’ complex of energy or consciousness manifested either consciously or unconsciously, by an individual or a group. Thoughtform are understood differently and take on different forms. Rick makes a reference that anomalies and paranormal entities might fall into the category of Temporary beings. Temporal characters that represent ideas, such as the Bigfoot type entities that were reported on the Skinwalker ranch or, for that matter, any type of Bigfoot, Mothman or Chupacabras. Could these entities be IDEAS? Could they be ideas that transform into temporal characters - like memes? Here’s is a link to the entire post - http://barfstew.blogspot.com/2010/07/my-what-bigfoot-is-theories-in-reply-to.html

S.A. Robinson, a self-described ‘armchair Bigfoot researcher’ states that it’s understandable that a subject as odd as this one, with the supposition that there is an enormous hairy creature that lives in forests around the country without being clearly photographed, videotaped or fully understood, should attract a good deal of divisiveness and even infighting. When proponents of the 'flesh and blood' camp mix with those who favor a 'magical' explanation, it can sour both sides from the real objective, which is to prove conclusively this entity's existence.

The principle of the simplest explanation, usually being the correct one, stands up in terms of building theories, but it should not be used as an arbiter between two opposing theories…and so we are left with the two camps.

He continues to explain that because of the similarities between our current understanding of the UFO phenomenon and that of Sasquatch, the fleeting visual aspect (most reports lasting less than a few seconds) the high strangeness (UFO’s and Bigfoot moving at extreme speed often with disregard to physics) and with lack of much physical evidence (some trace material like radioactive soil or some unusual hair), not to mention the seeming invulnerability of both phenoms to physical attack (no UFOs or BF downed by gunfire) the link between Bigfoot and UFO encounters must fall into a similar category.

Why, in these modern times, with so much technology, do we not have a full accounting of everything in our animal kingdom? Some will cite the case of the Coelacanth fish as evidence of an evolutionary throwback that, due to it’s extreme habitat, was thought to be extinct until it was brought to fresh, modern speculation in a fishing net. To suggest that Bigfoot falls into this same explanation is to say that we have not really looked deeply enough into the woods. I refute this suggestion, as we have the ability to see nearly every square foot of the planet in high detail from space through satellite technology. We have a military/industrial complex that can ferret out any heat-producing organism of human size (or larger) with FLIR equipped cameras, and despite the large tracts of uninhabited land on the North American continent, humans have traipsed on so much of it that over the past fifty to one hundred years we have compiled perhaps several thousand decent eyewitness reports of weird footprints, strange sounds and sightings of the giant hairy extra-human entity.

A reader stated that just because we don't understand how Bigfoot move in and out of another dimension or what their purpose is, doesn't rule out this possibility. He has questioned a variety of people that channel interdimensional beings and every time the answer turns out that Bigfoot are indeed interdimensional beings as well. There are many other beings that can move in and out of another dimension including fairies, gnomes, sprites, and others. Indigenous people worldwide will verify this as they have strived to maintain to keep their connection to earth and the natural beings while the ‘civilized’ world has nearly completely lost touch. Only young children and intuitive adults are able to see/feel these beings as they move in and out of other dimensions. It’s time for us to wake up to this possibility regardless of what conventional wisdom and science has to say about the matter. The evidence is there…time to become open to a broader perspective. Blog writer Sharon Lee (The Bigfoot Field Reporter) posted a reference to 'Mr. Mike' and his possible ability to see beyond the naked eye may be a very good example of this theory - http://bigfootlives.blogspot.com/2010/07/ghost-of-bigfoot-and-mr-mike.html

Well known paranormal investigator Jon-Eric Beckjord’s theories sum up much of the argument. He believed that Bigfoot and similar cryptids may be interdimensional beings that can occasionally take physical form for brief periods of time, but have the ability to ‘fade out’ and pass through ‘wormholes’, possibly to other dimensions or parallel universes. He reported to have had one of the creatures speak to him using telepathy, communicating the words ‘We're here, but we're not real, like what you think is real’. Beckjord claimed that such entities may be able to actually disappear into thin air, or even shapeshift.

Beckjord maintained that the interdimensional hypothesis may possibly, if proven, explain why there are thousands of alleged Bigfoot creature sightings each year, yet no dead zoological physical body is ever found. To evidence these ideas, Beckjord accumulated a large collection of enlarged photographs that he says show, among other things, ‘half-Bigfoots’ and ‘invisible Bigfoots’, or possible aliens. The forms are often found in situations where the camera picked up images not seen by the witnesses, often due to distance. According to Beckjord, the images show primates, carnivores and beings not readily identified within known zoological classifications that resemble descriptions of aliens submitted to investigators. He conducted much field work, such as camping out at ‘window sites’ where, he said, Bigfoot activity is frequently seen. He collected his own photographic evidence of what he believes to be a ‘tribe’ of either Bigfoots or aliens at El Dorado National Forest.

Beckjord's strong beliefs about Bigfoot and similar entities brought him into conflict not only with skeptics, who consider Bigfoot sightings to be a cultural phenomena purely resulting from wishful thinking or hoaxes, but also with those who believe Bigfoot to be an actual physical creature.

Researcher and author Kewaunee Lapseritis maintains that the Bigfoot race was brought to Earth by the ‘Star People’, long before human civilization. His evidence is the creature’s use of telepathic communications, alleged hundreds of joint Bigfoot-UFO sightings going back over a hundred years and theoretical physics. He also stated that conventional Bigfoot investigators have not found the creature because they are limited in their belief that Bigfoot is "simply a relic hominid that never became extinct." "That really may be true," Lapseritis said in an interview. "But in addition to that, (Bigfoot) may literally be, as I've discovered, a paraphysical, interdimensional native people that have told me and other people telepathically that they were brought here millions of years ago by their friends, the ‘Star People.’

I recently received a telephone call from a woman in British Columbia who said she was the daughter of a Kootenai shaman. She stated that most Native tribes seem to believe Sasquatch is a non-physical creature. Some tribal elders mention that they have seen the creature shapeshift into a wolf. She said her father thought that the creatures lived in another dimension from our physical plane, but can come here as it wishes. He also believed that Sasquatch has great psychic abilities and that the creature can be visible to some people, while at the same time remain invisible to others in the same group.

I recall a story that I bookmarked some time ago. I’m not sure who wrote it but I do know that is was told to a alternative author or researcher by one or two of the witnesses and demonstrates several facets pertaining to a paranormal Sasquatch.

On one warm summer’s night, three teenage girls had gone to visit another friend. Her parents were out of town, and so the girls planned to watch TV, play music, and have a fun and enjoyable evening. During the night, their discussion turned to horror-movies and the paranormal so the four girls decided to try out an old Ouija board.

None of them were frightened by the board or the possible implications...in fact, they had no real idea at all how to even use the board, apart from what they had seen on TV or read. However, what initially started out as nothing more than a bit of late-night fun quickly changed into something much darker and much more terrifying.

Using familiar television imagery, they removed a wine-glass from a kitchen-cupboard, placed the index-fingers of their right hands atop it, and were soon working the board. There were questions about boys, when they would marry, and attempts to contact dead relatives followed...all to no avail. However, something decidedly odd did occur: on two occasions, the electricity went off...which scared the living daylights out of the four friends.

One of girls explained later: “When that happened with the electricity, we all kind of looked at each other in a funny way and decided to stop.” It was all too late, the damage was done, and a doorway was unwittingly opened. Nothing further happened that evening.

The host girl, whose name was Laura, can't explained much of what happened as the next day progressed and afternoon became early evening. Once again the electricity failed, around 6.00 p.m., and the dark, foreboding feelings began to take an ever-stronger hold on Laura’s mind. She decided to retire to the comfort and (so she thought, at least) safety of her bedroom.

Later that night, Laura was woken from a deep sleep in the early hours, and heard what sounded very much like a loud, yet disturbing, animal-like “scream” emanating from the vicinity of a small, but densely-packed, area of woodland that was situated at the rear of the family home. Cautiously, but also curiously, Laura got out of bed, went to the window and peered out into the darkness and the shadows. Nothing out of the ordinary could be seen, so she returned to her bed and was soon asleep again...but not for long.

It was approximately 2:00 a.m. when Laura was jolted from her slumber by what she described as “the grossest smelling thing ever: like an old rotting cabbage.” Laura put out her hand to turn on the lamp that sat on a small bedside table, when she was horrified and panic-stricken by the sight of a silhouetted, large, black, hairy figure that was partially eclipsed by the shadows in the darkened room.

Laura said the creature was “hunched over and had huge, long arms and big, white eyes.” She added that at the very moment she tried to scream out loud she experienced a sudden feeling of paralysis: “I was sitting up, but couldn’t speak or move at all,” she stated.

The worse was still to come: the hairy giant slowly moved in Laura’s direction, stooped down over her, and brought its face within eight or nine inches of hers. The creature was, Laura explained, “just like Bigfoot: a big hairy thing that I couldn’t tell if it was a monkey or a hairy man.”

For several moments, the giant beast stared intently and deeply into her eyes, then slowly and carefully backed away, until the point came where its dark mass was almost indistinguishable from the shadows that dominated the room.

The strange form ultimately disappeared, Laura recalled: “like it had been sucked into the shadows.” Notably, Laura added that although the beast had certainly scared her out of her wits, she did not get the feeling that it was in any way directly hostile. Instead, it was her opinion that the creature had appeared to warn her “not to get mixed up with ghosts and Ouija boards again.” Unsurprisingly, since that day Laura has not.

The beast has never returned.

Now, I wonder what a traditional Bigfoot researcher would say about that story?

Maybe we’ll discover beyond a doubt where the truth lies in reference to Sasquatch. We may actually kill several birds with one stone if or when we do find the answers to our questions. There may be a grand connection between all the mysteries in our world...possibly involving other worlds or dimensions as well. Mankind may be the greatest mystery of all and the reason why Sasquatch, extraterrestrials, spirits, etc. seem to be as fascinated with us as we are with them.

“While many cryptozoologists and cryptozoology supporters find such theories ridiculous, and often laugh them off, we would all do well to remember that the so-called "mainstream" of science has much the same reaction when presented with the possibility of Sasquatch existing at all. If we hope for mainstream scientists to keep an open mind, we must lead by example and not waste time and energy, that would be better spent searching for evidence, fighting amongst ourselves.”
– James R. Harnock

Friday, August 27, 2010

SP5 - Phillips Comments to Bruce and Eric

As I said privately this A.M. to both of you via E-mail - TCI is starting to bring something new to the internet - possibly.

And, I'd like to respond to both of your feedbacks and continuations of the `discussion'. Eric first.

Thank you for your respective comments. Research in parapsychology opens many philosophical doors, and it would take quite a while to do a complete tour of them, as C.D. Broad noted many years ago.

Lots to say even with this brief opening snippet - first, indeed, TCI WILL be respectful to each writers points of view and no one ever needs to be defensive as NONE of us have the `answers'. Next, and, that said, I do indeed believe that the research into parapsychology - especially if we consider Radin and Rhine - do give `number proof' beyond any possible refute (other than the Trickster perhaps) to thinking humans. And, because of that - indeed - a whole can of philosophical worms is opened. Worms that can't be put back in and that have no home.

Bruce touched on the question of eternity, a concept that we can described but that we cannot fully comprehend. The potential cyclical, or self-referential, nature of reality is a way for us to make this more comprehensible by removing the linearity of time. Although this is something foreign to our mundane experience, a phenomenon like pre-cognition is also as old as shamanism, the first mystical system on Earth. Mystical experience was and is also part of mundane experience, except for us, children of the Enlightenment

Holy Mackerel - where to begin with my Phenomenology instincts --- Eternity -- to me - as crazy as this may sound - the bigger question - which is only asked indirectly and always about God - is - `How Could Time Have Ever Begun'? --- And, believe it or not, in a similar state to the Phenomenology that came to me in the mid 70's - to me - the answer to the Time question  - CAME to me in an altered state - my answer in the 70's was. `The limitation of Space Gives Time.'

Now this `TLOSGT' answer - may also apply to `eternity' - indeed, it may also just be the `result' of `starting it' to begin with. Meaning, the `time' bulb - never goes out. (as long as matter exists in some positive energy state) - time - to me - is a `quality' of space. (much like color is a quality) (BTW - have either of you ever heard something that I only seem to have heard once or twice before the internet age and haven't found since - that being - was the color BLUE ever mentioned in ancient times - meaning the earliest writings?)

I also enjoyed, what I assume, to be sarcasm talking of us as Children of the Enlightenment - and - not to be `funny' but - I think mankinds consciousness level is virtually unchanged from the Roman Lions eating people days OR - from pre-history of very ancient times. That's just my opinion, of course.

and the Trickster is about the ones related to misbehaviour when we BS ourselves, coming in the form of slip of tongue for instance.
Although the Enlightenment brought many good and useful things, it also pushed away the mystical component of the human experience, and it is in this context that the paranormal plays the role of the Trickster, at the social level. In spite of our best efforts to create a rational world, “annoying” and “surprising” events like pre-cognition keep tricking us and reminding us of the mystical realm that we collectively, but unconsciously, know to be central to the human experience.

To me, I'd have to parcel this and not really agree (or disagree, really) - as to me - the slip of the tongue does not need such a reason - and my personal opinion on human's `lost' mystical element is only partly true - to me. I will admit that it is more likely that the mind of the majority of humans when living day to day was a real issue and it was survival of the fittest - might have had more internal silence while also having flights of fantasy that we can only imagine - and, if that is one definition of Mystical - I can agree. That said, somehow, I doubt they had any great PK powers or frankly even mind reading. I guess it is the skeptic in me. Perhaps it is that I find the descriptions of some drug states to be of comparable modes of understandings.
That said, I can see that we seemingly, as humans, have a built in advantage compared to other creatures to dominate the planet - and perhaps that is a `meaning' we all share in comparison to `the vastness' that we are able to comprehend.

Rick, for his part, opened a number of philosophical doors, from Kant to Husserl to Sartre. They share this notion that reality is what we are making of it, with the means available to us (once again, none of them ever implied that reality is totally plastic, far from it).

Agreed. The `matter', the `space', we `see', is THERE.

The strength of phenomenology, in my opinion, is that it is capable to listen to the Trickster because it accepts that the symbolic meanings we attribute to reality have “a life of their own,” i.e. meanings evolve over time and so our understanding of reality.

Respectfully, I have a different line of thought. To me, phenomenology permits a concrete view of the process of actualization - be it of the reality we see - the reality we remember - or a imagination reality of fantasy on rare occasion. To me, it would/could even fill the void of a meditative state too with structure. (or is that the reality of fantasy). Phenomenology would also apply to the external phenomenology we share with other spaces in our common now of perception. (Perception not limited, agreed, to only our local sensory data.)

Now, interestingly, I AGREE that it is these symbolic meanings (of the very definition of space and time) that have lives of their own - indeed, these `lives' directly relate to the actualization's I mentioned above (at least in my own Phillips Phenomenology - pp). That said, I don't think the core definitions evolve - but - the perceptions of those within the timecone - perhaps.

How we define psi, the central concept of the discipline, will have a direct impact on what we see as psi effects

True IMO - and could account for ranges of perception structures.

The case of the parapsychological neglect of UFOs is one of the most ostentatious illustrations. (I would go as far as saying that the limited progress in 60-plus years of ufology is in great part due to this unwillingness to consider UFOs as psi effects, in spite of the Trickster archetype being identified, indirectly, in the writings of people like Vallée and Keel).

Don't you dare bring up UFO's in this manner - LOL. Remember the worms.

The main difference was that the participants were fully aware that they were the ones producing the effect, not any non-human entity.

Thanks for describing the Philip experiment - I do remember reading about it, probably a few times -- THAT said, I have a different take --- it was the intentionality's of the participants which DID evoke a real non-human `space' to occur. (I'm all about spaces Eric - you will find.)

What they showed is that collective psi is real and empirically demonstrable, and they also showed own a collective unconscious can be created, a necessary component for such psi effects to occur.

Does this mean your opinion would be that the Noosphere `events' are `collective unconscious'?

(Three weeks till the Noosphere is the seed post.)

Eric, thanks for the stimulating thoughts.

========== I'm mentally played, I'll get to Bruce next post ---

Thursday, August 26, 2010

SP5 – Eric responding to Bruce and Rick’s comments

Thank you for your respective comments. Research in parapsychology opens many philosophical doors, and it would take quite a while to do a complete tour of them, as C.D. Broad noted many years ago. Bruce and Rick have pointed to some of the important ones. Bruce touched on the question of eternity, a concept that we can described but that we cannot fully comprehend. The potential cyclical, or self-referential, nature of reality is a way for us to make this more comprehensible by removing the linearity of time. Although this is something foreign to our mundane experience, a phenomenon like pre-cognition is also as old as shamanism, the first mystical system on Earth. Mystical experience was and is also part of mundane experience, except for us, children of the Enlightenment.

This leads me to think about mythology, another point touched by Bruce, not so much about the validity of the actual content of those stories, but rather at common structure of thought they carry. The paranormal and psi effects have been associated by some (and especially Carl Jung, and more recently George Hansen) to the archetype of the Trickster. In Jungian psychology, archetypes are thought patterns we all share, and the Trickster is about the ones related to misbehaviour when we BS ourselves, coming in the form of slip of tongue for instance. Although the Enlightenment brought many good and useful things, it also pushed away the mystical component of the human experience, and it is in this context that the paranormal plays the role of the Trickster, at the social level. In spite of our best efforts to create a rational world, “annoying” and “surprising” events like pre-cognition keep tricking us and reminding us of the mystical realm that we collectively, but unconsciously, know to be central to the human experience. Myths, like dreams, carry important messages, but they are requiring a serious dose of interpretation.

Rick, for his part, opened a number of philosophical doors, from Kant to Husserl to Sartre. They share this notion that reality is what we are making of it, with the means available to us (once again, none of them ever implied that reality is totally plastic, far from it). The strength of phenomenology, in my opinion, is that it is capable to listen to the Trickster because it accepts that the symbolic meanings we attribute to reality have “a life of their own,” i.e. meanings evolve over time and so our understanding of reality. The Trickster makes cracks in the routine of meanings and forces us to adapt, if we listen. This is a key issue for parapsychology. How we define psi, the central concept of the discipline, will have a direct impact on what we see as psi effects. The case of the parapsychological neglect of UFOs is one of the most ostentatious illustrations. (I would go as far as saying that the limited progress in 60-plus years of ufology is in great part due to this unwillingness to consider UFOs as psi effects, in spite of the Trickster archetype being identified, indirectly, in the writings of people like Vallée and Keel).

There was also a question about the Philip Experiment. It was a series of small group PK experiment conducted a few amateur parapsychologists in Toronto, Canada, in the early 1970s. Iris Owen and Margaret Sparrow published a book in 1976 entitled “Conjuring Up Philip: An adventure in psychokinesis”, which relates their story of creating a ghost called Philip that would make noise and eventually moving a table in ways similar to the 19th century spiritist séance did. The main difference was that the participants were fully aware that they were the ones producing the effect, not any non-human entity. Their feat was even showed on television and filmed as part of a third party documentary. Owen and Sparrow duplicated in a more ostentatious way similar experiences conducted by Kenneth Batcheldor in the 1950s and 1960s in the UK. What they showed is that collective psi is real and empirically demonstrable, and they also showed own a collective unconscious can be created, a necessary component for such psi effects to occur. Owen and Sparrow’s book is now hard to find, but there are a few available in used bookstores. It is becoming a collector’s item.

TCI - SP5 - Phillips Actualizes Discussion On Parapsychology

First, my thanks to Eric for joining TCI and for taking on the first designated `seed post' - (one of Eric's choices BTW in our writers poll) - excellent job at bringing us all up to speed on this very important terminology and area of the paranormal. And, in this post, I will respond to what struck me about Eric's thoughts on the issue.

Most agree that the founders of modern parapsychology are Joseph Bank Rhine (1895-1980) and his wife Louisa Ella Rhine (1891-1983). Joseph Rhine had a Ph.D. in botany and started to work as a professor at Duke University in 1927.

First, as I said in my post about my influences:
and a telekinesis event (which we beckoned) (again with J.S. Flower) in about 2004 which I’ve described to Sally Rhine of the Rhine Institute.
So, I have talked with Sally (daughter of I assume) and literally get the Rhine Institute Newsletter - indeed, on my Barf Stew blog I had one of my most famous pictures of what happens in some of these group settings.
Indeed, does the above person look like a hoaxer?

So, just based on my own experiences, I can say that extremely weird things can happen based on emotions and intentionality's as I ascribe the event that J.S. and I had occur to be based on those characteristics.
There are some debates in parapsychology as to whether ESP and PK are actually different forms of psi, as affecting matter can also be construed as affecting the information about matter.
I especially like this Eric - as `information' keeps coming out indeed, IMO, as some sort of third leg of Phenomenology.
As Dean Radin have eloquently showed in last decade, the existence of psi is beyond any rational doubt
Agreed - Radin and the Noosphere project at Princeton are beyond a doubt the leading edge of this type of data collection.
The most important question, however, is about the central notion of “psi” used to describe paranormal event. What is “psi”? Some proposed it is some sort of energy, but the empirical proof is lacking to support this view. The implicit consensus seems to edge towards: it is “something” having to do with emotions and intentions. The most interesting proposal is that it is actually information, understood in its broadest meaning (including both the cognitive and the affective components).
I will look forward to your opinions and development of the above as TCI goes onward.
The ramifications of this approach to psi can be staggering. It implies that notions like time and space are plastic, and can be modified at will if we know how to go about. Such enthusiasm, however, should be tempered because it is not the human experience to have reality modified at will. Rupert Sheldrake, in my opinion, provides the answer to this paradox with his notion of morphic field. Once something is put in place and it is use or effected over and over, it becomes very difficult to change it.
The above struck me hard ---- as I am of the thoughts that `objects' -- ie:spaces ---- have EXACTLY that characteristic - and that `it is learned' by the common consensus we call reality.
Collective psi effects have been studied by a few, and they have shown that a small group of people can produce more ostentatious effects, the Philip Experiment being the best known of those studies.
Tell us more of this Philip Experiment please.
Could we, collectively, through our shared unconscious intents make certain social events occur in a certain way rather than another by playing on the margins? An example of what I mean here is the number of male birth higher than the normal statistical probability in France and Germany after WWI. Were the French and German, as politicized nations, unconscious looking for being ready for another fight? They certainly got their second fight.

On this one (above) I liked your question and think it has real merit - however, the `answer' I don't buy.
Are reality and the universe simply a mega-synchronicity born out of someone’s will? Out of this question another one even more mystical in nature can be asked: if time and space are just “ordinary” variables in this vast equation, could it be possible that we, the humans, somewhere in time, are the ones who intended such mega-synchronicity?
To me, the above reminds me of my favorite book - by Edmund Husserl - The Phenomenology of Internal Time-Consciousness - as I - as a Phenomenologist (if such a thing exists) - feel the very `definitions' of time and space - ARE reality.

Great Post Eric - tantalizing bits of esoteric thought with some excellent speculation.
=================================
Then, as you know, Duensing took on the challenge of responding to your seed - and I will briefly respond to that too.
----------------------------------------------------------
One of the motifs that appear in this book is one that Eric is focused upon and one that also in the light of Biocentrism is the potential energy of coherence in the human species entrained to PSI and the nature of quantum physics
As usual Bruce - you target the exact correct `thing'.
an intentional codex that can be read if one has enough reference material at hand to see cross references to the same concept in various mythologies
Like most of us - with enough exposure to esoteric thought - we see the same concepts over and over. That said, I am not a strong believer in Mythologies.
One need only explore the complex atomic theories of the Hindu cosmology as an analog to tie this into Gurdjieff's identification of India and other bases for the reestablishment of civilization after a catastrophism.
I'm intrigued - and not aware of Gurdjieff saying this or the Hindu cosmology tying into atomic theories. More please.
I immediately thought of The Fifty, a number that crops up across the millennial epochs from Gurdjieff to The Search For The Golden Fleece, that fifty individuals could transform reality in the terms and methodologies that Eric postulates.
Interestingly, I thought I had read somewhere the number was 12 - I'd like to know more about this 50.
When Eric wrote: "Rupert Sheldrake, in my opinion, provides the answer to this paradox with his notion of morphic field. Once something is put in place and it is use or effected over and over, it becomes very difficult to change it." Again, it rang a tone in relation to implicate order, and something that I have written about as well which is the entrapment of language as it is applied to experiential sentience
Again, interesting that you and I have focused on these words. Bruce, I don't know how much of Sartre you have read - but - when he gets into `having' and `doing' and that `one makes ones own phenomenology' (such as writing an essay like this) - and that THAT `event' has oneself as the source of `things' - blows me away.
This stance implies that under no circumstances whatsoever can we allow ourselves to give up certain things or change them."
I too believe that `objects' and spaces that we KNOW - thru repetition - are indeed an anchor we cling to.
By the reflected attributes of one to the other, as it were as the universe expands based on the complexities of exchanges that require more timespace as differentiated by parallel processing or parallel worlds where the past now and present are infinitely transforming to perpetuate cross pollination as it were. Neither selfish or selfless, as it relates to the original speculation that began this blog which is the "non existance of now"
Without getting into the whole `Be Here Nowish' of The Heavy Stuff - let me say that I too view it all as an exchange between the `definition' of time and the `definition' of space.
"The new paradigm, or idea that informs our understanding and relationships and attitudes and so on, is of one absolute and all-inclusive reality in which we mankind have a definite and unique role to play, and that this role is to be found in the context of the total. This is service to Life and to Existence, both as the absolute reality and as all the living things that are its relative expression.
Just to go on record - I do NOT believe humans to be the be all end all in any way shape or form. Indeed, in my theories - a rock is almost as `alive' as a human.
But it is here that the idea is faulty, because what is known through the being of the animal is not the same as what the idea understands from it. Even though the animal is a limited form, it knows through its being its connection with the absolute; precisely through its relativity and creaturiality it knows its origin.
One thing that has always interested me is how `animals' (perhaps via DNA?) seem to be BORN with nearly all the information it will need to survive.
I certainly relate to Eric's concise targeting of this nexus as I think the same thing in regard to the material becoming spiritualized while the spiritualized becomes material on Jacob's Ladder.
Heavy Duty stuff Bruce. And, thanks for the seed thoughts - Eric.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

SP4-Writer's Influence- Bruceleeeowe

Hello, nice to see everyone's contribution and it was really interesting to read how respected writers were influenced somehow! BTW, I haven't seen life as much as all of you have already, so I can't say what inspired me to be what I'm. I think physics has been entangled with quantum biological processes during evolution of my organic brain, much programmed to think in a scientific, logistic and pragmatical way. My brain is conscious for last sixteen years and still exploring how universe was originated and is there extraterrestrial life etc? And that's all to say. Thanks.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

TCI - SP4 - Influences - John Carlson

The question of what gave rise to my attraction to the paranormal and esoteric is one I've often pondered through the years. I'm not certain that any one particular experience is at the heart of this lifelong fascination, but I can think of several influences and events that have helped to shape my beliefs and perspective on what we think of as "reality".

I feel certain that my family background and religious upbringing has had much to do with my interest in the mysteries of life. I'm a second-generation American, with all four of my grandparents having immigrated from Europe in the early part of the 20th Century and settling in Brooklyn, New York, where my parents were born and raised.

My mother was raised in a large, devoutly Catholic, Sicilian family, while my father's parents were Swedish Lutherans. My paternal grandmother often told me of the "tomtegubben" or little people, the gnome-ish figures of Scandinavian folklore. I remember being enthralled by these stories and I became fascinated by the idea that non-human entities such as gnomes and elves could actually exist.

My brother and sister and I were brought up in the strict Catholic faith of my mother's family, and the concepts of the afterlife and the imperishable soul were ingrained into my psyche since childhood. My mother was also a very psychically intuitive person, and her experiences gave to me a firsthand testament to the fact that the universe is a much stranger place than we know or can even imagine. She often had uncannily accurate precognitive dreams, some of which I've recounted in my article My Mom, The Witch on my blog The Paranomalist. I've also inherited this sensitivity, although to a lesser degree than my mother.

A series of strange childhood events also, I'm convinced, has had a strong influence on my interest in the paranormal. Specifically, an ongoing series of powerfully vivid..."dreams" or encounters involving small, dark beings have left me with an obsession with UFOs and the idea of alternate realities. I recount these nighttime visitations in detail on my blog post, Aliens, Gnomes, Boogeymen, Night Terrors?, but in summary, these experiences -- whether they were simply nightmares or genuine visitations -- have stayed with me throughout my life.

My nighttime visitations lasted from ages four to nine and were followed by several uneventful years (at least from a "paranormal" perspective) until another bizarre event happened to me in 1978, at the age of thirteen. During a walk home from school, I experienced an odd feeling of disorientation and then a complete memory loss. When I regained my senses, I found myself in another part of town. I was still walking in the same direction (north to south) but I was a good ways north of where I'd started. Interestingly, within a minute or two of "coming to", my mother pulled up in her car in front of me and swinging open the door, anxiously said "are you alright?" Somehow, she knew exactly where to find me. I asked her why she was looking for me and how she knew to find me at this location, and she replied "a voice in my head told me to get John, he needs you." I've always felt that something significant happened to me during this period of missing time, but as of yet I cannot recall what it was. Once again, I've gone into this on my blog at www.theparanomalist.com under the article title Missing Time?

There have been numerous other incidents of high strangeness in my life, but these aforementioned episodes -- the strange "dreams" and the missing time experience -- have been the most dramatic and have had the most lasting effect on me.

Whatever other strange experiences I've had or will have in the future, I've come to believe firmly that it is a narrow-minded and arrogant point of view to believe that the world around us holds nothing more than what we can understand through our five senses. And while I'm open-minded to the stranger possibilities that the universe holds, I believe I balance this attitude with a healthy amount of skepticism as well.

It is only with an open-minded attitude, tempered with a healthy amount of skepticism that I feel will move mankind forward in gaining a true understanding of the world around him.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

TCI – SP5 – Eric Ouellet – Actualizing Parapsychology

Before actualizing parapsychology, I would like first to ensure that it is done from a common understanding for all our readers. There are a lot of misunderstandings about what is parapsychology. If you are well aware of what parapsychology is all about, then please jump directly to the section Actualizing parapsychology.

What is parapsychology?

Parapsychology is a scientific sub-discipline of psychology. Although many people think of the characters in the movie Ghostbusters to identify what is parapsychology, or alternately associate it with New Age books on the shelf "Parapsychology" of a bookstore, it has little resemblance to both of these perspectives.

Most agree that the founders of modern parapsychology are Joseph Bank Rhine (1895-1980) and his wife Louisa Ella Rhine (1891-1983). Joseph Rhine had a Ph.D. in botany and started to work as a professor at Duke University in 1927. He quickly developed an interest in abnormal psychology. This interest eventually led him to develop the basis of parapsychology in the 1930s. Louisa had also a Ph.D. in biology and conducted her own research in parapsychology, as well as in conjunction with her husband. They created what will be known as the Rhine Research Center, based in Duke University, the peer-reviewed scholarly journal The Journal of Parapsychology, and the scientific society the Parapsychological Association.

The Rhine wanted to study the paranormal in a scientific way, and within the institutional realm of scientific research. This constituted a major breakaway from the previous type of research, often referred to as “psychical research.” For the Rhine, if the paranormal can be studied seriously by the scientific establishment, it had to remove itself from the legacy of psychical research which was perceived as amateurish; many psychical researchers had no substantial scientific training, the experimental conditions were rarely rigorous (to avoid fraud), data were gathered in an anecdotal way and without common referents.

However, the most important distinction between parapsychology and psychical research was that the former rejected the notion that non-human entities (ghosts, spirits, etc.) were involved in paranormal phenomena. Parapsychology developed the concept of “psi” to describe paranormal phenomena, and assumes that any human being has some sort of psi ability. This last assumption led the discipline to emphasize larger studies involving many subjects under strict control conditions in laboratory, and the results being submitted to statistical analysis in order to prove the existence of psi as an unexplainable deviation from chance.

Parapsychology tends to divide psi into two types of effects. The first is known as Extra Sensory Perceptions (ESP), where there is communication of information without known physical means (such as telepathy, clairvoyance, premonition, etc). The second is known as Psychokinesis (PK), where mental intentions affect matter without known physical means (such as affecting dice rolls, bending objects, levitation, etc.). There are some debates in parapsychology as to whether ESP and PK are actually different forms of psi, as affecting matter can also be construed as affecting the information about matter.

The hard and painstaking work of the Rhine, and many others who followed them, eventually paid off when parapsychology was formally accepted as a scientific discipline by the American Association for the Advancement of Science in 1969 (a necessary requirement to receive research grants). As Dean Radin have eloquently showed in last decade, the existence of psi is beyond any rational doubt, and it is time to study how it works. Among the present-day pressures on the discipline to move beyond from its original goal is the need to connect better with the wider public. Paranormal experiences are first and foremost exceptional and spontaneous events, not obscure deviations from chance only visible through detailed statistical analysis. Many are asking and some are even venturing outside the laboratory to study macro-level spontaneous psi effects like ghosts and haunting. But this will be a long road. The Parapsychological Association still states that it is not studying UFOs, for instance.

Actualizing parapsychology

The most important question, however, is about the central notion of “psi” used to describe paranormal event. What is “psi”? Some proposed it is some sort of energy, but the empirical proof is lacking to support this view. The implicit consensus seems to edge towards: it is “something” having to do with emotions and intentions. The most interesting proposal is that it is actually information, understood in its broadest meaning (including both the cognitive and the affective components). The German Walter von Lucadou, based on his extensive research on poltergeist phenomena, is proposing that psi in itself is nothing, but it is rather the outcome of non-local correlations of information. This notion is borrowed from quantum physics where information about the spin of two particles going through a splitter is correlated without any direct observable mean. In the case of ESP, there is non-local correlation of information between people, and this may occur between people living in different time frame (time is just one coordinate with the other spatial ones, and thus providing a quite different perspective about so-call reminiscence of past lives). For PK, the information is correlated non-locally between an individual and material objects. Notions like the Jungian synchronicity would become a wider array of information correlated non-locally among people and material objects, at different points in time and space, all guided by unconscious intents. Although much more research is needed to confirm all this, under such a light the notion of “psi” becomes much more meaningful.

The ramifications of this approach to psi can be staggering. It implies that notions like time and space are plastic, and can be modified at will if we know how to go about. Such enthusiasm, however, should be tempered because it is not the human experience to have reality modified at will. Rupert Sheldrake, in my opinion, provides the answer to this paradox with his notion of morphic field. Once something is put in place and it is use or effected over and over, it becomes very difficult to change it. Like a tenacious fold on a shirt (especially cotton golf shirts), it is extremely hard to get rid of it. In these conditions, psi effects can only occur in the margins of what already exists or in the early days of something new or innovative. Experience shows that psi effects, indeed, occur essentially in the margins of consciousness, perception, or social settings.

It is in this context that I see a need for actualizing parapsychology beyond individual psi events. Collective psi effects have been studied by a few, and they have shown that a small group of people can produce more ostentatious effects, the Philip Experiment being the best known of those studies. Then, what about a social group of thousands or millions of people? This is where parasociology can push parapsychology further. In the margins of social consciousness, perceptions, and dynamics could there be non-local correlations between many people and something else? The UFO phenomenon, for many reasons that I already explained on blog, start to make sense when understood under this light. It is also possible to push further when thinking about social synchronicity. Could we, collectively, through our shared unconscious intents make certain social events occur in a certain way rather than another by playing on the margins? An example of what I mean here is the number of male birth higher than the normal statistical probability in France and Germany after WWI. Were the French and German, as politicized nations, unconscious looking for being ready for another fight? They certainly got their second fight.

It is also possible to push this perspective on psi towards more mystical reflections on whether the entire universe might not be the outcome of a particular will. Even physicists are now aware that for our universe to exist, we cannot play too much with the basic variables like the four forces of physics. Are reality and the universe simply a mega-synchronicity born out of someone’s will? Out of this question another one even more mystical in nature can be asked: if time and space are just “ordinary” variables in this vast equation, could it be possible that we, the humans, somewhere in time, are the ones who intended such mega-synchronicity? These questions are obviously without answer, but it illustrates that parapsychology might have put its fingers on something “big”, but it will have to be a bit more audacious if it wants to find out.


Monday, August 16, 2010

TCI - SP- 4 - Influences - Rick Phillips

Already, three of The C Influence writers have provided their essay about influences - please make sure to read each of the essays this week. Some of the best, most personal paranormal writing on the internet this week for sure. That said, I will be providing a slightly different approach to this weeks `seed idea’.



Two weeks and one day after my first `remembered thought/experience’ which happened on my third birthday - Albert Einstein died - and I remember my mother crying and saying he was the smartest man in the world. Somehow to me, it was a worrisome event.


In 1958, I remember going to the movies to see The Blob which instilled an interest in `alien life’ and that mankind might be threatened by such creatures. That said, I loved it - didn’t have nightmares or anything of that nature and saw all the great B film classics of that era as a kid. And, by the age of about 12 I was avidly awaiting my mothers subscription to Fantasy and Science Fiction (magazine soft cover) and also to it’s monthly column by Isaac Asimov. And, during those same years I remember my grandmother often saying whenever they mentioned UFO’s on TV or in the newspaper `oh I wish they would take me with them’.


Indeed, while growing up (before age 12 even) I remember the `ghost’ stories our family would sometimes tell around the kitchen table at a Christmas dinner or such - and the one I remember was about an old coal miner walking along the road up ahead of one of my relatives who was walking alone going home from the coal mines of PA. And, as my relative called out to the man walking ahead and as the relative ran up - the `miner’ vanished. And, it wasn’t long until our family got to experience the same.


Shortly after turning 12 my grandfather died - and at the time my mother and I lived with my grandparents (divorce). Not long after that my mother married her boyfriend and my grandmother got her own place. And, not a month or two later - in the empty attic room (fully finished) that they slept in - `backward footsteps’ started to pace the floor - multiple times a week. Heard by the three of us repeatedly (often when my stepfather went up they stopped before he even reached the top - and they never continued with anyone in the room). We moved not long after.


Now, since I was the proverbial `pre-teen-teen’ and that is what is often associated with Poltergeist Phenomena who is to say what was going on - I always felt he was looking for my grandmother. That said, I knew inherently that it was NOT me but knew of those stories - even then at the time the idea that teens were always involved in the PP was pretty commonplace.


This was (the ghost steps in the attic) pretty much the only paranormal events I was a participant in until my early 20’s. Indeed, my interest in `esoteric’ ideas didn’t blossom until 1973 when I discovered a book by Joseph Chilton Pearce called `The Crack In The Cosmic Egg’ - and for me - it literally was a crack that opened and has yet to fully close. (Eventually, I attended a lecture with another writer of TCI - J.S. Flower - in 1976 or so to see Pearce - and I asked him a question that I can still paraphrase till this very day - `How would you compare the controlled Lucid Dream states of CC with the mutual hypnosis states induced by Dr. Charles Tart?‘)


Indeed, because of that book - I couldn’t get my hands on or read fast enough any number of books (including Alan Watts, Tibetan Book of the Dead, etc) - but, most especially Carlos Castaneda. Especially the first book and especially the back of the book called The Structural Analysis - which laid out a Phenomenology for a Special Consensus reality which included what most folks would say paranormal events.


While the group into CC that year was significant (and we were reading more than the first book) - one close buddy of mine and I were VERY into The Structural Analysis. And, one time, just he and I went into a place well into the woods around Athens Ohio that the group of us had called the Power Spot. It was the ONLY time my buddy went and the only time I ever went with just one person as we normally went in groups. And, during that event, in which I had taken my `Heavy’ writings notebook with us, (that is how geeky I guess I was) - and my buddy started to almost DO a beckoning in a sense. He was almost in a trancelike state and was focusing on sounds only he could hear (saying out loud - do you hear that?) and when I answered and he opened his eyes - my notebook moved about 2-4 feet on its own accord. Something we both witnessed.


But, it was between 1973-1977 that I was discovered Ouspensky and then Gurdijeff (have read much Ouspensky) and


`The work’. However, concurrent to that - somehow, somewhere, words and concepts started to come to me - Phenomenology words and concepts - that I wrote down as they came to me (almost always in a stoned state). An entire Phenomenology - without ever encountering it until late 1975 after reading Kant, others and then eventually discovering Husserl and Sartre. Indeed, my Phenomenology (which I call the Phillips Phenomenology - it is Google able) is a near dead ringer for the basic ideas of Sartre. And, when I discovered Sartre - I realized I had been writing Phenomenology. And, like Duensing - I have never let my Husserl Book leave my side of my bed and I take it usually when traveling. I cannot suggest more highly `The Phenomenology of Internal Time-Consciousness’ by Husserl. (The book Man And Time - by J.B. Priestly was also influential to me.)


Then, `C’ Influence type of stuff - lost a bit of importance in early adulthood and all of those gigs. (A funny side story is also how J.S. Flower and I went to some `Work’ groups in 1976-77 or so - practicing the ideas for an hour or two - with a strange group of folks.) That said, I was still reading CC but now didn’t really believe his full tale - having read the DeMille books. However, one thing I knew to be TRUE - and that was CC’s Controlled Lucid Dreaming - of which I had about 10 or so experiences between 75-80. I could readily see that CLD was some new form of reality.


I’ve also had more paranormal experiences:


In 86 - again with J.S. Flower (and another person) we/I had a `missing time experience’ of the first degree - which I will describe when TCI focuses on that phenomena. Followed by my one and only UFO sighting in 1991 (close up) - and a telekinesis event (which we beckoned) (again with J.S. Flower) in about 2004 which I’ve described to Sally Rhine of the Rhine Institute. (I also had one possible Doppelganger event, like Duensing, but my doppelganger - if it was one - was only a minute or so `ahead’ of me - and went into the same retail location. I’ve described that in my blog The Heavy Stuff too.


These events, and specifically my UFO experience - once again got me to reading all I could find about UFO’s and other strange phenomena. But, in the 2000’s - only three books break thru above the rest for me - Julian Barbour’s - `The End of Time’ -- Lujan Matus’s book `The Art of Stalking Parallel Perception‘- and `Quantum Evolution’ by JohnJoe McFadden. (That said, I loved the 90’s book by Alan Guth `The Inflationary Universe’ - and Hunt For the Skinwalker).


Finally, all the above influences moved me to start my Phenomenology blog in 2006, my Squidoo presence as The AnomalyMan, and to start The Heavy Stuff blog too. In 2007, I started UDCC - Ufo Disclosure Countdown Clock and in late 2009 Barf Stew - and on all of these sites I provide occasional raw and new material.


Lastly, it was during a post on THS - not long ago - that J.S. Flower and Duensing and I had a very cool commenting session after my last post - that literally inspired The C Influence Blog to be set-up. And, hopefully, in some manner - TCI hopes to bring `ideas’ to the world to be discussed - BIG IDEAS - and we are all glad to have you along for the ride too.

TCI – SP4 –Influences – Eric Ouellet

My interest for the paranormal comes from both having a number of paranormal experiences myself (particularly precognition and telepathy) and having seen people around me, while growing up, losing their critical mind when dealing with the paranormal. Out of those two particular influences, I came to the conclusion that there are elements of what we call the paranormal that are actually real, but many other elements are illusions, make-beliefs, and dysfunctional psychological crutches. The authors that had the greatest influence on my thinking all share this attitude: rigorously separating the golden nuggets from the fluff.

I zeroed-in lately on the ufological phenomenon. There are several reasons for this choice. One is that I find it interesting in itself with its mixture of physical, psychological and social realities. As well, of all the paranormal phenomena it is probably the most ostentatious one, making it a true sociological object. Yet, I never saw a UFO myself, although I saw a number of objects in the sky that could be mistaken for a UFO if one does not remain a critical observer. Once again, my attitude is that there are golden nuggets in the UFO world, but also a whole lot of fluff.

In the UFO literature, Jacques Vallée had certainly an important impact on my thinking. Not so much because of his control system and mythical intelligence theses, with which I strongly disagree, but more because of the attitude he brought in researching the phenomenon. Vallée went beyond the phenomenon itself to look into the lives of the people who had such experience, and he looked into several other possible dimensions to the phenomenon (parapsychology, folklore and narrative analysis, social impacts, etc.). For me, this is the real scientific attitude: looking for patterns and underlying dynamics in what we call reality, in spite of all its complexities. In the same vein, John Keel’s attitude of looking at all the paranormal phenomenon described in the Mothman Prophecy and seeing them as part of a holistic event rather than artificially compartmentalizing them into discreet category is also representative of a true scientific mind. Although, I also disagree with Keel’s thesis about the implication of non-human entities in paranormal events, his attitude is what counts for me.

Another important source of influence is the parapsychological literature. But let’s be clear here, I mean the scientific parapsychological literature, not the fluff that is labelled parapsychology by most bookstores. The scientific parapsychological literature, however, is not itself exempt of problems. The founders of the discipline, the Rhine, had to thread on a very narrow path to establish the credibility of their discipline and to do so had a very narrow focus on quantifiable, experimental and repeatable aspects of the paranormal so they can prove its existence. Anyone of had any paranormal experience knows that there is much more to it. The discipline, although still a marginal one, had been able to acquire a fair bit of credibility, but the attitude leading to a narrow focus remains. Only a few dared to venture outside such narrow focus, although there are now some signs of change in the discipline. It is those few who had some serious influence on my thinking. First, there is Scott Rogo who did not hesitate to tackle the so-called macro and spontaneous psi effects. By mixing a sound attitude to research with a true trans-disciplinary mindset, he produced very convincing research on UFOs, poltergeists and hauntings. To understand these phenomena, one needs to be an historian, a psychologist, a parapsychologist, a sociologist, and a folklorist. This is difficult to do, but it is also the attitude that brought us the Renaissance Men (and women) and that really put us on the path of many discoveries later on. In the same vein, I admire Dean Radin’s efforts to push the parapsychological community to move on: the existence of psi effect has been proven beyond any reasonable doubt and it is now time to focus on how it works.

Lastly, I think I also need to describe the philosophical influence on my thinking. I am clearly part of the phenomenological school of thought. The philosophers Immanuel Kant, Wilhelm Dilthey and Edmund Husserl, the social scientists inspired by phenomenology like Max Weber, Alfred Schutz and the inventors of the concept of social construction of reality Peter Burger & Thomas Luckmann left me with a clear understanding that what call reality is pretty much what we are willing to make of it. This is not to say that reality is totally plastic and at our disposal to be modified at will. Instead, a same reality can be construed in many different ways. But, the fact that one particular way of construing reality is popular does not make it truer. The clearest example is the extra-terrestrial hypothesis in ufology. It is the most popular way to look at the phenomenon, yet it has no evidence to support itself. It is all based, in my opinion, on an intellectually lazy attitude: “but what else could it be?” Other approaches, although much less popular, much more complicated to understand and much less romantic, have better evidence at hand. Indeed, what is deemed to be real is a matter of social construction.

From ufology to parapsychology, and from philosophy to social sciences, these are the authors who helped me the most in my quest to separate the golden nuggets from the fluff.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Seed Post 4 - Influences - Regan Lee

I’ll start off with a general comment about my overall perspective on approaches to studying paranormal and UFO events. All my life, I’ve had paranormal and UFO experiences, and I continue to experience these things. My activism, I guess you could call it, -- encouraging others to tell their stories, sharing my own -- came about roughly fifteen years ago, when I returned to college.

I studied folklore, and focused on paranormal and UFO narratives. Folklore was one of the few area where I could get away with indulging my fascination with these topics. As soon as it became known I was interested in hearing from to others with supernatural, Fortean and especially UFO experiences, I had all kinds of people contacting me, eager to share their stories. Many of them told me they hadn’t shared their stories, or only with a few others. Often they hadn’t even told their spouses or significant others, or children -- they kept these experiences to themselves. Knowing they had someone who would listen to them without judgment, keep their confidence if they requested that, and had my own strange experiences gave these witnesses the space to share.

I loved the academic realm of folklore as a discipline, but, had a few major problems with it at the same time. I am not an academic, and , when in college, decided to not follow that path. I’m simply not wired that way; can’t deal with authorities, politics, 9 to 5 job milieu. . . but that aside, I found a huge problem in folklore studies -- as an academic pursuit - that seemed ironically contradictory. On the one hand, collecting stories while remaining nonjudgmental was encouraged. At the same time, it seemed to me folklore couldn’t decide what it wanted to be. Professors wanted conclusions, they wanted a psychological analysis. Well, I’d say, I’m not a psychologist, I’m not a psychology student, I’m not even taking any psychology classes. While I could give a sort of every-woman’s, educated take on, say, UFO narratives using psychology (Jung, etc.) it wouldn’t really be worth much. If not psychology, sociology, if not that, science, they wanted something. Pointing out that folklore, while utilizing those areas in some ways, is not those things, -- well, we just went around.

At the same time, self-reflexivity was encouraged, depending on the professor. I liked that; we are not objective beings. In dealing with stories of UFOs, abductions, aliens encounters, hauntings, high strangeness, Bigfoot sightings and all manner of Fortean, supernatural events, the standard, neat little explanations of psychology science etc. do not apply. Especially if the interviewer/researcher herself has had her own experiences.

Because of my own experiences, which caused me to research, which gave me information that I could share with witnesses (or “informants” as we called them which always struck me as an odd term) I asked myself: what am I? Researcher? Experiencer? Witness? Where do I come in, when do I step out?

It’s a dance, a partnership, a journey: “researcher” and witness. Bigfoot researcher Autumn Williams has brought this issue forward with her recent book Enoch. A great book in my opinion; what Williams has to say about Bigfoot research can be applied to all anomalous research. Respect for the witness, certainly. Listening to the witness. Just . . . listening. Respect for the witness, allowing the witness to determine time lines and how things will go, or at least, recognize the researcher/witness relationship is an equal endeavor, not a power one of Researcher vs. witness. Her book has caused quite a controversy within Bigfoot research, but, maybe that’s a good thing. It’s shaken things up, that’s for sure. Maybe her words will cause researchers to take a look at their expectations of what they want from research, from “finding Bigfoot,” to what they expect and want from witnesses.

(Speaking of the roles of witnesses and researchers, I remember a folklore conference I attended years ago. Big time folklorists were present, revered academics, published authors; it was great. And a fist fight almost broke out! There was one well known folklorist, who insisted the wishes of the indigenous culture he had been researching for years be respected -- their stories not told out of season, for example -- while another equally well known folklorist insisted no such consideration should be held; the stories were too important, the research too important, to withhold the stories from the rest of us. I personally found the disregard and lack of respect for the culture being discussed shocking, and amazed that this academic authority could get away with such behavior. I know;I was naive!)

UFO research, for example, sees this; researchers arguing about who controls data and information, release of findings vs. witness confidentiality, etc.

I had many professors tell me that just compiling stories wasn't enough; what about them? I agree with that to a point, after all, anyone can collect a bunch of stories, however, that "so what" is very valuable; that bunch of stories is data. Aside from the usual folklore stuff: tracing cultural origins, comparisons and contrasts with other groups, group dynamics, etc. well, what about them indeed? They’re there; and with, say, UFO stories, I don’t know the answers any more than anyone else does.

My frustration reached its peak when I was working on my final project (akin to a thesis) in folklore. My paper was on UFO narratives that included animals. From the behavior of the family pet in the face of a UFO landing, to animals and creatures appearing as guides to liminal experiences, I had a nifty collection, naturally organized into categories, of animal tales in a UFO context. But what was my analysis? What was my take on all this? What angle was I operating from? A Jungian one? Freudian? etc.

The following is from an article I wrote for the UFO Folklore site a good ten years ago. It was written when I was just beginning to get involved in this field on-line. The article is titled Defining Folklore; I wrote:
There is a common misconception among many people that the term "folklore" implies "something that is not true." Nothing can be further from the truth. Folklore means the "lore" (stories) of the "folk," whatever that lore might be, true or not.
... For some, the fact that a comparison can be made is "proof" that the current UFO stories are "lies." A folklorist merely points out the interesting pattern, but acknowledges it is not "proof" of anything. .. Conspiracy theories, animal behavior and imagery, abduction tales, the role of popular culture, telepathic communications, and more, are all part of the lore that is examined by folklorists. It may be true, it may not be true. It is not the role or objective of a folklorist to make an absolute statement one way or the other.

For myself, I am concerned with the process of UFO stories. How do they change, how are they the same? What are the "extensions" of UFO tales? (conspiracy tales, ancient astronaut theories, etc.) What can we learn about each other, ourselves, and the world -both seen, and unseen?

In exploring the UFO stories in all the complex and varied lore that exists, much can be learned, on several levels, about the human psyche. That's only part of the exploration. We can also come closer to the "truth," whatever that might be.

The folklore of the people is where we will find it.
The main point of all this: as interesting as all these stories, narratives, cross-cultural expressions and so on were, the assumption was that it wasn’t real. Some other explanation is needed: psychological, religious, social, scientific, cultural. Anything but the idea that witnesses were describing exactly what they saw, what they experienced, and anything but exploring those events for what they were, rather than ignoring the elephant in the room; the elephant being the alien, UFO, ghost, etc. reported by the witness.

Influences
I still love folklore, and please don't misunderstand, I have respect for the field and many folklorists. I retain what I see as a core element of a folkloric approach. Which is: listening. Observing. Finding themes, comparisons, contrasts, connections but. . . listening. And allowing myself to be a part of the journey, as opposed to setting myself apart.

A recent Coast to Coast episode had author Jeff Belanger on as a guest, who discussed legend tripping and paranormal, Fortean stories from a folklore perspective. Belanger doesn’t consider himself a folklorist, not in an academic sense, but he really had a grasp of what folklore lore is, and how it operates within paranormal events:
"A legend is a living entity," he declared, noting that such stories are born, grow, 'marry' or merge with other tales, clone themselves, travel, and even die if the story ceases to be told. To that end, he described 'legend tripping' as "getting out there and putting yourself into the story," thus experiencing, first-hand, the locations where sightings of anomalies like Bigfoot, ghosts, and UFOs have occurred.

And our responses to those sites, our own experiences, if we’re lucky to have them, are a part of that research.
Influences
Jacque Vallee, while not a folklorist, used folklore brilliantly in his book Passport to Magonia, a book that remains a huge influence, as does George P. Hansen's The Trickster and the Paranormal, and Patrick Harpur’s Damonic Reality. Thomas Bullard's work, who is a folklorist, was very influential, was just about the only folklorist at the time who openly delved into UFO narratives as a serious area of study.

All this isn’t to suggest there aren’t academic folklorists out there who are so stodgy. And I’ve been away from the academic world for a very long time. As I said, I am not a folklorist or an academic.

I’ll end with this YouTube clip of researcher David Hufford, another influence and author of The Terror That Comes in the Night: An Experience-Centered Study of Supernatural Assault Traditions, speaking about academia’s perspectives on, and responses to anomalous experiences:

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