Last night, at a dinner organised by a paranormal interest group, I met an extraordinary man - Kapiti Coast resident Desmond Long. Now in his 70s, Des is an intelligent, articulate widower with an extraordinary story to tell. He kindly gave me a copy of his latest book, 'Beyond', which I intend to write a full review of, once I've read it.
Yeah, I know what you're thinking; he's a skeptic, he'll rip it to shreds. Well, maybe. Or maybe not. Actually, I'm just curious.
This morning I read the preface and first chapter. The frankness of '1. Goodbye Val', in which the author tells of his relationship with his wife, and her death, is disarming. I thought I'd just sit down and read a large portion of the book, but the first chapter was so intense I now need a break. You'll have to wait for the full review, sorry, but it seems a good idea to post this initial impression now.
During the discussion, Des said (I paraphrase), "I'm not interested in money, I just want to get this information out there and change people's thinking."
Here is the website for 'Beyond'
You can purchase your own copy.
Go on - do it!
I tried this text on the front page of the site but have moved it back here to the blog, as it's more representative of my personal position and does not fairly represent the NZSOS team overall.
We seem to have acquired a reputation for being skeptics of the paranormal. If that means we thoughtfully challenge extraordinary claims, weigh up the evidence carefully, favour the simpler, natural explanation over the inevitably more complex paranormal one, and avoid making claims that can't be strongly supported, well then, we are skeptics. But we have also individually experienced our own share of events that resist natural explanations. That's what keeps us interested and helps us understand what people who approach us for help may be going through. We're all still searching for answers.
We don't claim to be doing scientific research, at least in the sense of employing true Scientific Method to the study of paranormal phenomena. We've tried to, but it's more problematic than it sounds, maybe next to impossible; it comes out as being pseudoscience, or even looking 'scientifical'. We're just doing the best we can with the time and resources available to us.
More on pseudoscience.
Yes, we have all the standard instruments and do-hickeys that they use on TV; EMF meters, FLIR cameras, etc, but we don't think that any of the gear we use can actually detect ghosts. We use this stuff to understand the environment we're investigating, as it picks up stuff better than our human senses, as well as stuff we can't sense at all, and it records more accurately and objectively than memory. It's more useful for eliminating paranormal-based hypotheses than proving them to be true. More on investigation equipment.
We have never actually found a ghost! That is; we've never made a claim that anything we have experienced and/or recorded is actually paranormal. The farthest we've gone is, 'This thing happened and we haven't yet been able to find a natural explanation for it.' More
And we don't hold a set of beliefs that we're determined to prove is the truth.
If all that doesn't put you off, please feel free to contact us about your paranormal experience. We may actually be able to help!
James Gilberd, 6th January 2017.
is a blog by James Gilberd - leader and co-founder of Strange Occurrences. Views expressed here do not necessarily represent those of the Strange Occurrences team.
James Gilberd is an amateur paranormalist, writer and musician, and a professional photographer, living in Wellington, New Zealand.