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Founder Of Skeptic’s Society Rattled After Witnessing A Paranormal Event (Michael Shermer)

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Michael Shermer is a well respected man amongst his community. He is the founding Publisher of Skeptic magazine, a monthly columnist for Scientific American, a regular contributor to Time.com, and Presidential Fellow at Chapman University. He is very skeptical and scientific by nature and until now had never had a supernatural or paranormal experience.

“I just witnessed an event so mysterious that it shook my skepticism.” Michael Shermer

A Shift In Perspective

In his 2006 TED talk, we see a very skeptical and almost condescending Shermer. Nonetheless his talk is certainly an interesting one and well worth watching. Although much of the time he pokes fun at “odd” theories, he makes some good points about how we choose to see and hear things and form beliefs as a result.

On an observational level it is still interesting to hear someone, who clearly has a bias towards certain subjects, call out others who have bias’ in an attempt to explain why we believe weird things. For example, he pokes fun at something like UFO’s and aliens stating “it’s very likely they are not real.” He does this in a manner that some skeptics do where they use words to divert from the evidence and call upon the more ridiculous claims in an attempt to debunk the entire phenomenon. Perhaps he hasn’t seen the abundant evidence that exists including declassified government documents on the subject?

Either way the point here is simply that from a standpoint of discovery, sticking true to the scientific method is important in all cases when we’re looking for external validation of an idea. Leaving bias or methodology to prove a point by finding the most obscene examples of a theory out of the equation is the best bet. Being skeptical is OK, but being a skeptic in true form does not mean being closed minded, it simply means being open to questioning and exploring new ideas without simply believing it.

From his talk I can see why so many skeptics are not humble in their beliefs and often feel superior to others who don’t share the same beliefs. It almost seems to be ‘skeptic culture.’ But given his latest experience, perhaps Michael will have an entirely different view towards some of the claims others have made during his career?

His Recent Supernatural Experience

Here’s his story as he wrote in an article entitled Infrequencies. It was also published in Scientific American.

“The event took place on June 25, 2014. On that day I married Jennifer Graf, from Köln, Germany. She had been raised by her mom; her grandfather, Walter, was the closest father figure she had growing up, but he died when she was 16. In shipping her belongings to my home before the wedding, most of the boxes were damaged and several precious heirlooms lost, including her grandfather’s binoculars. His 1978 Philips 070 transistor radio arrived safely, so I set out to bring it back to life after decades of muteness. I put in new batteries and opened it up to see if there were any loose connections to solder. I even tried “percussive maintenance,” said to work on such devices—smacking it sharply against a hard surface. Silence. We gave up and put it at the back of a desk drawer in our bedroom.

Three months later, after affixing the necessary signatures to our marriage license at the Beverly Hills courthouse, we returned home, and in the presence of my family said our vows and exchanged rings. Being 9,000 kilometers from family, friends and home, Jennifer was feeling amiss and lonely. She wished her grandfather were there to give her away. She whispered that she wanted to say something to me alone, so we excused ourselves to the back of the house where we could hear music playing in the bedroom. We don’t have a music system there, so we searched for laptops and iPhones and even opened the back door to check if the neighbors were playing music. We followed the sound to the printer on the desk, wondering—absurdly—if this combined printer/scanner/fax machine also included a radio. Nope.

At that moment Jennifer shot me a look I haven’t seen since the supernatural thriller The Exorcist startled audiences. “That can’t be what I think it is, can it?” she said. She opened the desk drawer and pulled out her grandfather’s transistor radio, out of which a romantic love song wafted. We sat in stunned silence for minutes. “My grandfather is here with us,” Jennifer said, tearfully. “I’m not alone.”

Shortly thereafter we returned to our guests with the radio playing as I recounted the backstory. My daughter, Devin, who came out of her bedroom just before the ceremony began, added, “I heard the music coming from your room just as you were about to start.” The odd thing is that we were there getting ready just minutes before that time, sans music.

Later that night we fell asleep to the sound of classical music emanating from Walter’s radio. Fittingly, it stopped working the next day and has remained silent ever since.”

How We Can Relate To Others

Given Michael can say he now has first hand experience of something supernatural that he cannot explain or simply set aside with some “logical” explanation, it’s quite possible he can now better relate to people who truly deeply and completely believe something unexplainable that they have experienced. Even in his latest 2010 TED talk, Michael still felt that believing in alien abductions was absurd, but what about those who claim to have experienced it? What would they say to that? Is it fair to say all who have claimed it are simply crazy?

It’s sometimes very easy for us to discredit, set aside or be skeptical of experiences we didn’t have yet others had. It’s almost become “cool” and “intelligent” to simply come up with a logical explanation even when it doesn’t truly explain what happened. Nonetheless, it’s OK to be skeptical, we simply need to keep our ego in check at the same time and keep an open mind to the fact that putting a logical explanation on something doesn’t prove it false or incorrect. When we do this we simply close off a lot of possibility vs truly exploring it.

I think it’s powerful that Michael has had this experience and I also feel it’s a timely one. I believe we are in the midst of something huge here on earth. I feel we are experiencing a shift in global consciousness that will transform the way we view many facets of our lives. Although this view has been somewhat perverted and misunderstood by belief systems and mismanaged movements (new-age), I feel it has a lot of validity and this can be seen both scientifically and through direct experience. I talk about this in my TEDx talk.

Interestingly, Shermer ended his piece off with something very important.

“The emotional interpretations of such anomalous events grant them significance regardless of their causal account. And if we are to take seriously the scientific credo to keep an open mind and remain agnostic when the evidence is indecisive or the riddle unsolved, we should not shut the doors of perception when they may be opened to us to marvel in the mysterious.”

Although it didn’t come with some backlash already form a commenter

“Michael,

I was embarrassed to read your concluding paragraph. What are we to keep an open mind about? That Jennifer’s dead grandfather maybe fixed the radio? Did he even know how to fix radios? Wouldn’t there be an easier way for the dead to communicate with the living? It would be mildly interesting to have an electronics expert determine exactly what is wrong with the radio.

Regards,

–Mark”

Embarrassed? Because suddenly one of the biggest skeptics in the world is open to the possibility that there is more to life than just what we can measure?

Sources:

http://www.michaelshermer.com/about-michael/

http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/anomalous-events-that-can-shake-one-s-skepticism-to-the-core/

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Paranormal

Camera recorded an extraneous movement in Massachusetts. And this sight is not for the faint-hearted

A Redditt user with the nickname grandslammer0891 from Mansfield, Massachusetts, posted a video from security cameras at a friend’s house, which scared him and left users in disbelief.

The author of the video explained that his friend left home by the end of August, leaving four huskies in the care of a friend. He usually visited them during the daytime.

One day the owner of the apartment received a notification in the middle of the night that the camera recorded some kind of extraneous movement. At that time there were only dogs in the house.

The video captured the kitchen and part of the living room. A dog is lying on the sofa in the right corner, and you can trace the turns of the head by its ears. When her ears turn to the left, then in the dark you can see the transparent figure of a moving person.

The video puzzled users and caused a mixed reaction from them. Some could not find an explanation for what they saw and panicked slightly. The dog’s head turns towards the ghost, which suggests that it also noticed the apparition.

“What is it, I saw it … with my own eyes. Does anyone else see this? Because it seems to me that I definitely saw something wrong. No no”.

Others decided that a man had walked past the window on the right, and his shadow flashed on the left in the headlights. Some users even believe that a live person got into the frame.

“I hope your buddy has a gun. There was a real intruder. “

Some readers agreed that the ghost video is quite plausible, since Massachusetts is full of ghosts.

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Paranormal

Paranormal researcher warns that Ouija boards can summon dangerous demons

Paranormal researcher Paul Marsters criticized British retailer Poundland for selling Ouija boards as part of Halloween decor. He warned that only professional mediums should use the boards, and ordinary people can summon deadly demons. 

Paul, who is a member of True Paranormal Events UK, was stunned when he saw a £ 1 ($ 1.29) Ouija board in a local budget store.

 “Ouija boards are definitely not toys and should not be available to children to buy in stores on Halloween, let alone adults who are not trained in how to use them. It doesn’t matter if they are plastic or wooden ”, – quotes the words of the ghost hunter Hull Live. 

Paul Marsters explained that people can accidentally summon dangerous spirits that will torment their victim in the future and may even lead to suicide. 

“On Halloween night, the veil on the spirit world is very thin, and people only buy these boards for Ouija sessions on Halloween, so I’m afraid to imagine what will happen when these boards are in the wrong hands,” the expert said. 

Poundland noted that Ouija boards can only be purchased by persons over 18 years of age. This item sold out quickly before Halloween due to its popularity.

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Paranormal

Paranormal activity at the Pit Pretoria mine

In the 80 years since the biggest disaster in the UK mines, no one has thought of erecting a normal monument to the dead miners. And the ghosts didn’t like it very much.

One of the most impressive types of ghosts, these are the ones that cannot rest until there is justice for the circumstances of their death. For example, murder victims may visit places where they were killed or buried in the hope of bringing the perpetrator to justice.

These ghosts in the West are called “ghosts with a purpose” and the incident in the English city of Bolton is one of the clearest examples of this manifestation. Bolton is a working-class town in the north of England. It began to develop actively in the Victorian era, when there was an industrial rise in Great Britain and coal mining became its main industry.

There were so many coal mines here that Bolton was one of the centers of coal mining in Britain during that era. However, by the early twentieth century, Bolton’s coal mines were suddenly depleted as rich surface seams ran out. In search of coal, miners now had to “bite” into the ground deeper and deeper.

The Pretoria Pit mine quickly became one of the deepest and most dangerous miners to work with. Moreover, many of these miners were children or adolescents, because in those years only the poor went to such harmful work, among whom it was considered normal to earn their living from the age of 7-8. They simply could not quit, because they simply would not find another job in a mining town and would face the risk of poverty and starvation. Therefore, they humbly continued every day to descend underground, praying that they would return in the evening.

Even the strange supernatural omens, though frightening them, did not become a reason for not going to work. These omens included the corpses of black crows that somehow ended up in even the deepest levels of the mine, as well as an incomprehensible noise that greatly frightened the horses driving the minecarts. And in 1910, a disaster struck at the Pit Pretoria mine. There are several theories about it, but the main one is considered to be a small deep collapse, which released natural gas into the lower mines and exploded.

The explosion killed almost all the miners who went underground on that ill-fated day – 344 people. Only three were able to reach the surface, of which two soon died of their wounds. It was the worst industrial disaster in the UK and left a deep psychological scar on the locals. Eighty years later, in the early 1990s, memories of the catastrophe faded away, even the children of the miners who died were no longer alive. Bolton no longer held an annual memorial service for the dead miners, and many locals heard of the Pretoria Pit explosion only briefly in class.

However, the spirits of the dead were not ready to sink into oblivion. And suddenly, a series of intense paranormal activity erupted in Bolton County, witnessed by hundreds of people. It began in 1993, when local resident Brian Lowe was driving along Platt Lane, an old dirt road that ran very close to the place where the heaped Pit Pretoria mine was. And suddenly Lowe saw dozens and dozens of brilliant human eyes that looked at him from the darkness of an abandoned mining warehouse, which was on the side of the road.

Frightened, Lowe added speed to get past this place, but then he heard a strange pop. It was loud enough and Lowe thought that his tire had burst, but the car continued to drive smoothly. However, when Lowe reached the city, there he was met by a frightened friend who said that there had recently been an explosion near Platt Lane, which was seen by many local residents. In the darkness of the night, a large flash of light was very noticeable.

The police were called to the old warehouse, the road was blocked, but nothing unusual was found. No traces of the explosion and the destruction it created. But then, over the course of 17 years, many of those who approached the Pretoria Pit saw unusual things – the bodies of many dead people lying by the road, limping and waddling figures that walked somewhere through the bushes and the darkness of the night. AND SMELL. The smell of burnt meat.

Many also reported hearing the sounds of an explosion, but again they found no evidence that something exploded there. As well as signs that some pranksters are working here who wander near the mine at night and scare passers-by and drivers. No sign of any people at all near the Pretoria Pit. This is understandable, the locals usually avoided this place as best they could. One day a policeman arrived at another call about an explosion or about observing corpses near the road and saw with his own eyes a severed human hand hanging from a tree branch. And right before his eyes, this hand disappeared, disappeared into thin air.

After that, a whole group of local residents gathered, who finally realized that this was not a joke or a practical joke. They decided that the ghosts of the dead miners wanted something and that it should be done to calm them down. It was decided to erect a monument to them, which for some reason none of the local authorities did for 80 years. When the memorial was built and the names of all the dead miners were indicated on it, a special memorial service was held and the priest consecrated the memorial. Since that day, there have been NO other reports of paranormal activity near the Pretoria Pit.

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