"Musings of an 'Open-Minded Skeptic"
by: Cris August (Executive Director/Lead Investigator of OC Ghosts and Legends) – May 2016
I am as much of an advocate about being skeptical as the next and believe in the power of logic. I as much as anyone else want to believe something is paranormal, but let’s face it- most of the time it’s not.
It’s healthy to be skeptical. You should be.
Once in a while I find myself poking around online and viewing various YouTube videos of people trying their hand at ‘ghost hunting.’ For the record, I’m not particularly a fan of the terminology ‘ghost hunting’ as i don’t like to describe what we do as ‘hunting.’ However, for the sake of this blog entry and because that’s a whole other discussion, I will go ahead and use it.
I came across a video of some guys who took a hike into Black Star Canyon. They were equipped with a simple camera, snacks and enough skepticism to go around. Okay- that’s fine. They ended up hiking to the historic indian village miles into the canyon with intent to scope out the site at the midnight hour (I guess ghosts come out at midnight?). After filming some rocks and plants for a bit in the dark, they concluded (‘exactly what they expected- direct quote), that any reported paranormal activity in the canyon is FALSE.
So, my first question to these gentleman would be “based upon….what?”
As an anomalous researcher (a.k.a paranormal investigator), the moment one may have an opinion that something is potentially paranormal in nature, you would be summoned to provide proof of this conclusion, right? Or at the very least, some form of data to back this up.
What I would want to know from these guys who set out into the canyon to disprove paranormal claims- what data do YOU have to draw this conclusion? I gather they may have been dissapointed that they did not see an apparition before them to provide them validation to any ghostly claims. You and me both, guys!
Believe me, when you’re taking a group of hopefuls out for a ghost walk you want nothing more than for the canyon to turn itself ‘on’ and to give them an experience they will never forget. Unfortunately, it’s not that simple.
Look- if you’re expecting me to impress you with evidence of paranormal activity, I’m expecting you to impress me with a reason there isn’t.
Just because you don’t get instant gratification of a spirit interaction, does not mean it does not exist. I strongly feel the same about Science and the lack of acknowledgement about anything supernatural. Science is a neverending quest to making new discoveries and there is SO MUCH we do not know yet.
I am not sure we will ever have the answers about the afterlife- at least not in my lifetime. But while I am skeptical of events that seem unexplained, I still keep an open mind and sometimes there just isn’t a logical explanation. The mere topic of the paranormal is so complex and we can’t even begin to comprehend all that it entails.
I may just be particularly sensitive to these rash conclusions considering all the time my team and I spend collecting information and attempting to understand the supernatural world. Your 4 hours hiking into the canyon with your pals hardly makes you an ‘expert’ any more than you think I know what the hell I’m talking about (and I actually invest time and resources into the study).
My point is this: A popular opinion or skeptical opinion doesn’t necessarily make you right. And if that’s what you believe to be true, then I’d like to see some data to back that up too, bucko! Just as you’d expect me to dish out my ‘proof.’
it’s easy to point the finger at anyone who says they believe in ghosts or the afterlife, it’s acceptable to just think they’re crazy. Heck, I sometimes question the thing’s I’ve seen as me just being delusional. Maybe I was? Although, I’d like to think I know better. I will probably never know the answer to some of the experiences I’ve had.
Bottom line- We take pride in trying to develop educated opinions about our finding’s and I expect the same from differing opinions.
No matter what side of the fence i stand on that day 🙂