Picture of Grant Wilson, Co-founder of The Atl...

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While it is true I can be rather sceptical of recorded paranormal events, I am willing to give some the chance. I sometimes like to schmooze on YouTube for paranormal amateur videos, mainly because they entertain me. I have no skill whatsoever in computer special effects, and have a very limited understanding of how they work. So sometimes it gets on my nerves when I read the comments and people outright dismiss it as fake, and then claimt hey can replicate it with special effects graphics on their computer. All right, then. So show me. Instead of being a snarky, wiseacre and shouting out the ending of a movie just as everyone sits down, why don’t you technological geniuses demonstrate in detail HOW you’d recreate a ‘paranormal’ event without having it look clearly fake. I posed that to several of these party-poopers on the comment boards and they wouldn’t respond, though I earned the appreciation of the video’s owner. I like evidence as much as the next person, but I don’t like it when someone gets shot down right away before even having a chance to defend themselves.

There was one video that has fascinated me for a while I saw on YouTube, and I always meant to take a look at it again. I recall the title was ‘Dead Alien Walking’, as far as I can remember. I was stumped by it. It was recorded by closed circuit TV, from a man’s home security system. It was the weirdest damn thing I’ve seen in some time. The downsides I found with the clip was that it had no sound, and it was not close up. I can see the stinkers already lining up their attacks on me, so let me cut them off beforehand. Yes, the sound could’ve been edited out. The video could’ve been entirely faked, but why not try to prove its authenticity?

If they were to prove it fake, or to create their own, what particular computer programs would be ideal for creating such effects? How would the fake images be inserted into the video feed without looking clearly fake? Or if they decided to take a more three-dimensional angle, how would they create their ‘alien’ and make it seem to walk unaided? The critters I saw in that footage moved very naturally. They did not seem to be pulled along by any unseen wires, or move in a jerky fashion. If faking it, to what lengths would they go to create a realistic looking alien?

The same applies to people doing paranormal investigations. What steps do they take to eliminate all external disruptions? Aside from shutting off the power in the house, is there any way that the house’s wiring could interfere with the electronic equipment used by the investigators? If taking photos of the site, how would pictures of phenomena be faked? Again, we’re talking about image manipulation to a degree that doesn’t look fake.

As for me, I fall into that elusive middle realm. To quote Fox Mulder, ‘I want to believe’, but at the same time, I know there is so much technology available and talented techies clever enough to fool lots of people. I have had personal experiences that only I can attest to, which could be as easily dismissed by others as delusion. I have tried to come up with every possible explanation that would cause the phenomena I saw, but they just don’t seem to add up for me. You fall into that slippery area of taking those experiences on faith, and not everyone wants to admit to believing in the unseen, lest they be accused of being mentally unstable.

Considering this is the month of October, I thought it rather appropriate, considering what happens at the end of the month. My favorite holiday, Halloween. So let me offer a challenge to all those folks who like to rain on everyone else’s parade because they enjoy wrecking people’s dreams of the unknown. If you think all of this is fake, why don’t you try coming up with better technology to weed out the false results? Use the Sherlock Holmes philosophy. If you’ve exhausted every logical and scientific explanation, then perhaps considering what remains contains the answer. Use every means of debunking at your disposal, try every bit of computer graphics to replicate phenomena, or replicate it in lab settings. If you cannot come up with a precise, verifiable result, don’t throw it out the window. I don’t think the paranormal is the provenance of lunatics and madmen. I see no shame in admitting there are things in this world we just can’t define yet; it gives us the impetus to keep investigating.