Singular Cerebrations: Has the Internet Ruined Paranormal Proof?

A man named Richard Christianson posted a picture to Facebook recently with the caption “What the hell do you see in this picture for reals ??? Anybody”.  Speculation of the source of the image ranges from the supernatural to a soggy palm tree, but that's not really what I'm here to talk about today.  You see, to me, this is indicative of a larger issue.  We're inundated constantly with supposedly paranormal photographs and videos, and they're weighing us down.  They've weighed us down so much that we've almost stopped progressing entirely.

When I was a kid I used to check out books on the paranormal from my local library.  They'd have famous ghost photos like the Brown Lady of Raynham Hall, and I'd pore over the images and stories contained therein.  There was a real sense of mystery and astonishment for me in those books, and I feel like that's something I've lost of late.  These pictures are thrown at us by the dozens every day by people who are all-but-anonymous, often with no story at all, or if we're lucky a poorly written caption that detracts more from the story than it adds.  

Now that's what I call a ghost photo!

Now that's what I call a ghost photo!

I think we've lost something here.  I think we've lost the real, human element that is the most important part of paranormal research.  It's not enough to circulate some vaguely demonic silhouette on the internet.  We need to hear their story--all of it--so we can begin to understand their experience.  You can speculate on what's going on in this picture, or the hundreds (if not thousands) of images of Bigfoot, UFOs, and ghosts just like it floating around in the electric ether, but it does us no good.  At best it's a distraction, and at worst it's an active hindrance to understanding one of the greatest mysteries of human experience.

So I hope you'll join me in demanding more.  The next time this happens, and some dubious, purportedly paranormal picture goes viral, let's just all remember to ask the important questions--and if there's no story to go along with it, then can we all just stop being distracted and move on?

Yours in Impossibility,


Tobias Wayland