Over the years I’ve heard the term ‘evidence’ thrown around in relation to the paranormal on many occasions, I’ve even used it a few times myself in the past. Although these days I’m more inclined to believe that perhaps ‘evidence’ might be a little bit of a step too far and equally could be the reason said suggested ‘evidence’ receives such backlash on social media.
You see the term evidence in simple form means; the available body of facts or information indicating whether a belief or proposition is true or valid. That’s true or valid, which is important. In my opinion this very concept suggests that evidence is absolute as true has no grey area.
If we had found evidence of the paranormal then we would have proof that was undeniable.
Now a few reading this may indeed argue that we in the paranormal may not have concrete proof of the paranormal, but we do collect various facts, information, etc which should be considered evidence in that they are each pieces of the greater puzzle.
So, I’m not going to say we should stop using the term because it’s all a bit wrong, but perhaps we could start working better to understand those smaller pieces of evidence to ensure they are taking us in the right direction.
Peer Review Perhaps
With all this in mind I have decided to add to the Metetherial Project a section for peer review of probable paranormal evidence. However this will be based on cooperation of the individual who has originally submitted the piece of evidence to the public domain in the first place. Basically, I’m not about to go hunting the internet for pictures, video and audio then writing posts on them stating how I think their fake! After all I think social media has this pretty well covered.
If I stumble on something that is within the public domain though I may politely ask its originator if they would like to submit it for peer review by me and whom ever else I can rope into the review. That way we can objectively look at the ‘evidence’ and hopefully generate a report on it, which could be posted on my website.
My First Evidence Review
With all this in mind I actually did stumble on such a piece of evidence that made its way from social media to the newspapers. This was a photograph captured by Claire Cowell at 30 East Drive of the Black Monk of Pontefract. Straight away such a claim based on only a photo would no doubt generate mixed feelings of its contents. So, here is the photo..
Once I located Claire I asked her if she would be willing to submit her photo for review by myself and a few others. Of course with many in the paranormal, Claire was more than happy for me to look into the photo and open to probable explanations.
I continued to chat with Claire in order to gather some additional information around this photo and the circumstance it was taken in. I also advised Claire of my intention and approach for the review, which would be to analyse the photo and also seek the opinion of a few others in the field.
First Impressions of the Photo
Of course like anyone looking at a photo like this we establish our first impressions quite early on and often they can be influenced by a great number of things too. It’s important to see the review through and cover off as much as possible, especially when you’re dealing with a field where there are many possibilities out there.
My own first impression was that a member of the team had moved from the living room and gone upstairs, Claire’s photo had caught this without realising it. Then perhaps seen it later not realising what had occurred at the time it was taken.
This is a common mistake and to be honest one I have made at one point, where the lack of a consistent timeline means that in review we can often mistake normal things for something paranormal. However in this photo’s case Claire is sure that she reviewed the picture directly after it was taken and is very certain that it wasn’t one of the team. In fact there was a sequence of events that lead to her taking the picture which included hearing something being thrown. There’s obviously much more to this story, which I will include in the evidence review, so keep an eye out for it right here.
This Is Where You Come In
If you’ve got a piece of ‘evidence’ that you would like me to review with the help of various members of the field, please don’t hesitate to contact me using firstname.lastname@example.org
Also, if you would like to get involved and help add to reviews, please contact me with your details.
At the end of the day moving the field forward is all about cooperation in a respectful manner to others. Hopefully this will be a little step in the right direction.
Thank you to Claire Cowell for allowing me use your photo as the first piece of evidence to be reviewed.
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