A while back I sort of got sucked into a conversation on Twitter about a piece of evidence in particular, but about skepticism in a broader context.
Let me see if I can set this up without boring you. My friend, Jim Malliard of the Malliard Report was working on a project where he would post “paranormal standards”. Of course the format of Twitter doesn’t leave a lot of room to elaborate on what is the idea and reasoning behind the standard.
One particular post said something to the effect that one still picture isn’t evidence. I took it to mean that because a single picture is a moment in time with no supporting data to reflect the conditions and environment present that it will always going to be an unreliable and easily dismissed data point.
Someone decided to argue the point by posting a picture that they had taken (presumably on a cell phone) that in his or her opinion obviously contained a shadowy demon-looking pig-man thing of some sort.
Pareidolia: Misperception in which vague or random images or sounds are misinterpreted as meaningful patterns.
Early in 2014 on a Friday Night Paranormal I-Con episode, I had a spirited, but civil, discussion about a piece of evidence that a guest had centered a lot of time and analysis around and presented on his web site.
My thesis was NOT that there was nothing to be found in the photograph in question. I even offered that I found one feature of the photograph very interesting and probably would have placed it on my own website for further examination and discussion had it been mine. My point was that if we spend enough time (several days according to the guest) looking a picture, pareidolia (or matrixing if you prefer the pop-culture term) was likely to take over, and our minds are programmed to find any number of patterns that we might interpret as recognizable images that we will then feel obligated to circle in red.
Welcome to Phase II
If you haven’t been here for a while, you were probably expecting to find a (outdated) collection of posts about my radio shows and the occasional opinion piece about the state of paranormal research.
Some of you may have even taken time to review some of the “evidence” I collected over the years. Still others were just checking out my Paranormal Event Calendar.
All of those items will return eventually…well, not the calendar or radio stuff – that’s at my new Paranormal Filler web site.
I decided it was time to change the course of iHuntGhosts.com. I am returning it to its original purpose. It started out as a review and blog site. A place for me to ramble on about my passion for the paranormal field.
Over the years, numerous people have asked me to write: anything…a blog…an article…a book. I love writing but I just could never keep the momentum going. I hope that this site will give me a place to organize my thoughts and put them into words.
Wish me luck.