The other night I interviewed paranormal researcher Mark Nesbitt on my internet radio show, and I was struck by the number of times Mark described phenomena that occur in haunted areas around Gettysburg, PA (his area of expertise), that sounded familiar to me because I had heard of something similar in UFO cases.
His account of an area on the Gettysburg battlefield, known as the Triangular Field, was the most striking to me. He told me that cameras don't work while in that field. They work fine before entering the field, and after leaving it, but not while they're there. This applies to tourists' hand-held digital cameras, to older 35 mm still cameras, and even to TV and movie cameras that have been brought in for interviews.
If you've read many accounts of UFO encounters, you've probably come across mention of a car that suddenly went dead -- not just stalled, but lost all power completely -- while a UFO was in close proximity, only to come to life again after the object moves away. I don't know what causes it, and I'm sure there are many people reading this now who have a good idea of how the electromagnetic fields could be affecting the cars; but it makes me wonder if something similar is going on in these haunting cases.
There's a lot of buzz around right now about the question -- just what are UFOs? What exactly are the beings who are controlling these craft that are flying around, landing, and interacting with people? Jacques Vallee postulated years ago that they are not extraterrestrial, but are actually the same beings that humans in ages past, referred to as demons, angels or fairies.
Humans who interacted with fairies often reported missing time. This is where the famous Rip Van Winkle story came from. Humans who interact with UFOs and their occupants also frequently report missing time, though usually in terms of hours rather than days or even years. (Have the other beings refined their ability to return humans more closely to the time they came from?)
Fairies were said to leave circular marks on the ground, said to be either the physical trace of their dwelling or the marks of their dancing in circles. Later, more scientifically-minded people suggested that the circular marks in the grass were actually physical signs of an infestation of a particular fungus. (Readers of Graham Hancock's work on shamanism and the use of various mushrooms and other plants to achieve contact with the spirit world will prick up their ears at this as well.) UFOs have been known to leave circular physical traces on the ground; sometimes nothing will grow on that spot again. Look into Ted Phillips' research on the Delphos case for more details on this.
Interestingly, the idea of a plot of land where "nothing ever grew again" was often linked with witches. Either the site where a witch died or where she was buried was said to become barren. Anthropologist Margaret Murray linked European witchcraft with the fairy legends in her book, "The God of the Witches." She postulated that witches were humans who interacted with fairies and learned from them, celebrated with them, and formed a living bridge between humans and fairies -- just like the shamans described in Graham Hancock's latest book, Supernatural. Many modern pagans also study and use shamanistic techniques to contact the spirit world and receive divine guidance.
The interesting thing to me is that many people won't make this connection, because a lot of UFO researchers won't look at paranormal phenomena, and vice versa. This is very unfortunate, because it seems to me that some valuable information is being ignored, and that it will only delay our understanding these phenomena.
I used to work in a cancer treatment center, where a lot of experimental trials were being conducted. I saw some of the paperwork that had to be completed -- complete patient histories, and I mean COMPLETE. Nothing could be left out, no matter how small a detail, because we just didn't know what would have an effect on the patient's condition or on their treatment. Every available detail of their daily life had to be captured and recorded, so that later, other people could go over all the reports and look for patterns. This is how we should be conducting UFO and paranormal research.
At this stage, we can't afford to be excluding anything. It all has to be collected and recorded by the field investigators, and then others need to look over all of the reports and watch for anything that crops up repeatedly. Fortunately, there are several people doing just this kind of work these days, but there are still many who refuse to accept the validity of more than a very narrow line of research. This, to my mind, is like researching the causes of cancer by looking only at what a patient eats, and excluding questions about leisure activities (such as smoking) or work conditions (such as exposure to asbestos.) Sure, you'll come up with a few answers, but you'll miss so many more.
Of course, it has to be repeated that we can't accept everything we hear as truth without checking into it. What I'm saying is that we need to be willing to look at more of the information that's being reported, to investigate it as we would any other piece of evidence, and to prove or disprove it rather than just dismissing it because it sounds too unbelieveable. Let's face it, folks, everything in this field sounds unbelievable at first. One's ability to consider and examine the facts is a reflection of one's own level of awareness of the depth of mysteries in this world. The more outrageous things you see existing in the world, the more you realize the unbelievable could just be true. And you realize just how little we humans really know about the world around us.
And that's where the fun is. That's when you see the world as a fascinating, mystical, incredible place and you marvel at being a part of it. You want to understand your place in it, and to start meeting the other denizens of this universe, this dimension, and others. I saw a comment on another blog that put it incredibly well -- "...open-minded questioning is about imagination and possibility...the UFO is an invitation to expand our consciousness." I would add that psychic and paranormal phenomena also offer us such invitations.