Each week in this space I explore the world of the paranormal. Ghosts, UFOs, Bigfoot and Shadow People; these topics are all mysterious, frightening and usually dismissed by science.
Since these topics are unproven, I recently I asked this question on my blog (from-the-shadows.blogspot.com), “Which aspect of the paranormal is the most unbelievable?” My loyal readers answered the question, and here’s what they said:
The most unbelievable: Nineteen percent; faked Moon landing. There are people, and I know a few, who believe the Apollo missions never went to the Moon – the landings, they say, were faked by the United States government. Regardless of the fact that the U.S. government can’t hide its incompetence on a daily basis, the evidence purported by hoax theorists (humans can’t survive the Van Allen Radiation Belt, the American flag flapping in the breeze, stars missing from photographs, etc.) has all been dismissed by scientists.
However, researcher Keith Mayes, who addresses “theories with problems” on his Web site www.thekeyboard.org.uk, doesn’t think people who believe the hoax will ever be convinced.
“The thing is, (the moon landing) wasn’t a hoax, it actually happened,” Mayes said. “Those that think it was a hoax will continue to ignore all the evidence no matter what is put before them, which makes it all a bit of a waste of time.”
Ten percent; Werewolves. Traditional Hollywood werewolves … unbelievable. An undiscovered canine … eh, maybe.
Eight percent; Time travel. Ignoring the fact that physicists – including Albert Einstein – have said time travel, in some respect, is theoretically possible, readers ranked it as the third most unbelievable paranormal topic.
Seven percent; Vampires and Bigfoot. Although the evidence for vampires is limited to first-person accounts, the amount of evidence for an unidentified ape tramping through the forests of North America (hair samples, eyewitness testimony, footprints and, in one case, a butt print) is enough for a conviction in a court of law.
Six percent; Ghosts. Although every culture on the planet has ghosts as part of its belief system, these spectral visitors ranked fifth on the most unbelievable list.
Four percent; UFOs, Alien abduction, Artifacts on Mars. Sure, the evidence is sketchy. First-person accounts – some acquired through hypnosis – photographs, strange marks in a wheat field. But, much like the evidence for Bigfoot, people have gone to prison for less.
Three percent; Shadow people (two-dimensional human-shaped, blacker-than-night entities that wander your house at night), Chupacabra (the three-feet-tall, red-eyed creature from Puerto Rico that sucks the blood from livestock), Demonology (the study of demons). All these rank as more believable than ghosts, UFOs, Bigfoot and, most probably, unbiased news reporting.
Two percent; Remote viewing, Lake monsters, Psychics, the conspiracy of the Knights Templar, Near death experiences.
One percent; Lost civilizations, Astral projection.
Of course, 10 percent of readers agreed, “it’s all crap.” Do you have an opinion about these paranormal topics? I’d love to hear it.
Copyright 2008 by Jason Offutt
Got a scary story? Ever played with a Ouija board, heard voices, seen a ghost, UFO or a creature you couldn’t identify? Let Jason know about it: Jason Offutt c/o The Examiner, 410 S. Liberty, Independence, Mo. 64050, or firstname.lastname@example.org. Your story might make an upcoming installment of “From the Shadows.”
Jason’s book of ghost stories, “Haunted Missouri: A Ghostly Guide to Missouri’s Most Spirited Spots,” is here. Order online at: tsup.truman.edu, www.amazon.com, or visit Jason’s Web site at www.jasonoffutt.com.