Hospitals are great. They also suck. There are priceless moments such as sitting half naked on the edge of the bed in the middle of filling a urinal, when someone toting a broom announces “I’m here to clean the room.“ WTF? And then, oblivious to the severe invasion of my privacy, “put your mask on, sir.” I need both hands here, but okay, give me a second. She didn’t.

And the food! Dear God, is it really food? It couldn’t possibly be food unless they used an Easy Bake Oven; sunlight maybe. I can almost see an 8 year old Sally Ann in charge of an entire array of those little ovens cooking up culinary gobs of bland for one and all. So precious.

But hospitals are not a place to indulge our need for creature comforts. One doesn’t enter anticipating a spa treatment. It’s not a well-deserved week at Sandals. There are no half-dressed super models giving massages. But then, we know that going in. We expect a well oiled machine of humans and apparatus whose only purpose is to fix our respective broken asses.

And if it weren’t for nurses, society would crumble. There’d be piles of rocks and we’d be lying six feet under them. Nurses make doctors look lazy. Okay, I’m exaggerating, but nurses rock and they don’t miss anything. Doesn’t matter if they’re male or female, thin or thick, black or white, somber or funny, nurses are da bomb. Whether they’re changing that wonderful fluid at the end of your pain button, or fixing your twisted socks for you, nurses are angels from heaven and you better be nice or it’s societal execration and detestation for you, buddy.

My nurses had to bath me and I heard not one single snicker at the sight of my embarrassing post-op junk. I mean, maybe afterward in the hall there were rude comments, but I doubt it. Nurses don’t have time for that nonsense. My nurses endured all my twaddle with a smile, changed my sheets with me in the bed (an art form, by the way), got me Coke with extra ice about 50 times, scratched an itch I couldn’t reach, manipulated the blinds to my liking, somehow found a way to be constantly pleasant, and of course, managed to do all the medical stuff as well. And I wasn’t their only patient! Who’d a thunk?

Now, maybe you think I just like nurses. I do, but don’t we all? Really! I mean, show me someone who doesn’t like nurses and I’ll show you a genuine spawn of Hell. Demons don’t like nurses even when they’re sick. Satan despises them, so if you’re actually human and don’t like nurses, we all know with what crowd you’re hanging. I had 14 different nurses, and each and every one of them pure perfection. And while there were no massages by super models, or caviar in the evening, these saints are the reason that hospitals are great.

Once in awhile there’s a bad nurse. Case in point, Becky. Years ago, a very short and barely useful artery closed up, and after an hour, the blood took another route and all was well. Becky, dutifully hooked me up to the EKG stuff, but about midnight, I told her I needed a cigarette. To my astonishment, she disconnected me and told me what door to use to avoid detection. I was thrilled and deeply in love at that moment. Two smokes later, she reconnected me and I went happily to sleep. But there was a “rat” afoot, and I was definitely served the next morning. They also discovered that not a single electrode was in the proper place on my body. Poor Becky – fired on the spot. The head nurse said if she ever saw her again she’d “kill her.” Truth.

And that’s why I love nurses so much. They don’t play. It’s all about me. Us. Miss Becky was the exception that proves the rule. So to all you selfless, blessings from God’s own hand; you glorious treasures we call nurses, thank you a million times over. You deserve the best. Hospitals actually do suck. It’s the nurses that make them great.


I’ve decided that this is not Earth. I know it looks like Earth and we call it Earth; all the textbooks say it’s Earth, and the greatest minds “on Earth” concur, but I don’t believe it. Somehow, and I can’t claim to understand how, we were relocated to a look-alike planet – a very good reproduction. I mean, we’re all here, and everything else that was around before, still is. In fact, I’d defy anyone to point to a single physical difference between Earth as we knew it, and the one we’re living on right now.

Just in case you’re thinking I’ve lost it, this isn’t one of those conspiracy theories or body snatcher scenarios. “But Billy Bob, don’t you see? Everything has been replaced by an exact duplicate. It’s’ space aliens and there’s proof!” Nonsense. Only one thing has been replaced – everything else is just fine. So you see, I’m not crazy. A little neurotic from time to time; slightly obsessive compulsive; way too passive aggressive, and occasionally depressed, but I’m not crazy.

I’m confident I’d know if something wasn’t right, and this place ain’t right. Nobody likes anybody anymore, and that’s not the world I remember. Sure, there have always been small bands of people who didn’t like this bunch or that group; there was always someone beefing with someone else, but not like now. And all our societal woes have become the fault of other nationalities, races, religions, sexual preferences, or political persuasions. Maybe there’s something wrong with the water on this exact duplicate of an Earth. Maybe we’ve been drugged en mass. At this point, anything is possible!

This place is falling apart too, and that hardly seems fair. If you’re going to take us away from home sweet home, the least you could do is fix up the place a little. Global warming? Coronavirus? Rogue countries with nuclear weapons? A return to nationalism? Presidents who tweet? C’mon already! I’m all for some creative thinking once in awhile, but nobody wants all that crap.

For example, whoever made the switch should have gotten rid of racism, not found new ways to express it. And who wants to wake up one morning to a pandemic? It’s a really awesome pandemic, but people don’t like that sort of thing, so why include it? The oceans are rising, the temperature is soaring… Please put that imagination to better use and come up with something people can really appreciate – free bowling, bigger crab cakes, ninja lessons for all. No one wants the climate changing – it’s incredibly inconvenient and it’s messy. Folks don’t like messy.

You see, that’s how I know this isn’t the same Earth. Old Earth was doing pretty well, if you ask me, but New Earth is a serious drag, and on top of everything else that’s wrong here, we have to stay home and social distance. Can’t hug old friends or shake a client’s hand; can’t go to restaurants or catch a ballgame; not supposed to help old ladies cross the street or buy shoes at the mall. We can’t do anything, go anywhere, or see anybody, but we can wash our hands, wear masks over our faces, and stay home. Fun new additions to New Earth.

Thinking about all the problems on Current Earth – from gun control to prison sex, I just don’t understand why our issues have become so confrontational. Back on the old planet, things were always serene – placid and peaceful; war, a thing of the past; no one hated anyone. We loved everyone and got along no matter what our differences. And America truly was the home of liberty and freedom; the shining light on the hill or something.

And then this cruel joke – the switch; this 3-card monte of a New Earth, where nothing works anymore. Oh I actually realize that Old Earth had the same problems, so maybe I am crazy. At the very least, I’m wrong. Maybe I just woke up one morning and discovered my limits. One too many presidential lies to suffer, perhaps. Maybe one too many senseless deaths, or too much disrespectful treatment of others. Perhaps one too many rich guys appropriated a poor man’s last dollar for me to continue tolerating. Maybe I just couldn’t deal with another hateful comment or racist meme. Perhaps I’ve reached the end of my rope with negativity, nasty untruthful rhetoric, and the lack of equality and regard for one another.

And I guess I shouldn’t expect you to understand, but honestly, I don’t recognize this place anymore. I wonder. Are we impostors? Have we always been frauds, and have I only now just realized it? I don’t have one single sure fire suggestion on how to fix that, but I don’t see how we could without first determining the answer to my question. Are we impostors? Because if we are, everything is worse than I thought. If we are, I don’t see us accepting it.

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Where There’s Smoke There’s Fire

Where there’s smoke there’s fire,” they say. Whoever they are. I think “they” were really smart folks who figured something out a long time ago – something incredibly wise to help mankind throughout the ages. You know, like a bellwether of some kind; a buoy near the jagged rocks on Lookout Becareful Bay. And for 70 fairly satisfactory years now, I’ve been paying very close attention to all that “smoke” and I think it’s worked to my advantage.

I’m not alone. All sorts of other people are hip – college graduates, suburban white women, people of color, farmers in Iowa, school teachers in Skokie, Presbyterians, savants, people who answer poll questions, and even voters. “Where there’s smoke there’s fire.”

Of course… wait for it… not everyone gets it. Sure, it’s only my opinion, but a great many Republicans do not appear to avail themselves of that wisdom at all. Republicans aren’t stupid. They can handle concepts and be perceptive, so perhaps some rare strain of smoke is simply invisible… to them. Kind of like color blindness – some smoke; not a problem. Other smoke; can’t see it. And I gotta say, I’ve never noticed anyone bring so much smoke with him than our current Republican President.

For instance, disagreement means you hate the president. All the news is fake. Democrats are out to get him because our so-called criminal, traitorous ways are not good for America. But, we actually like immigrants. Even immigrants from Norway are acceptable to us. We don’t soil our armor knowing a Muslim is in the vicinity. We would probably never think of separating families at our border or caging children. That’s not even a good script idea, unless it’s about some other country. And yet, I hear that we do not have America’s best interest at heart.

I mean, we don’t even blame Hillary for everything. Something must be wrong with us. The way it seems to me, basically anything that goes wrong is someone else’s fault. It’s not the current President or his crew. It’s everyone else who is wrong. Proof of scandals are deranged lies; until they’re not, of course. By that time, scandals have been spun into acceptability. Our current President is the best at everything, and whatever he does is the biggest ever. He’s the smartest, most capable, greatest President ever – bar none. Our very own dear leader sent from God. In fact, I hear he feels that he’s done more for Christianity than Jesus. Didn’t he say he was the “chosen one?” Not my words, you know, and incredibly blasphemous.

And of course, I’m only scratching the surface here. Remember the smoke? Fire? POTUS is a smoke machine, baby. It’s only the truth if he says it, even though he provably lies with astounding regularity. Those who think differently are haters or just bad people. Political opponents are scum, criminals, or Satan’s spawn. Our allies are taking advantage of us. Yeah, there’s more smoke around this guy than I personally could have conceived possible. And the whole Putin thing? Who trades Boardwalk and Park Place for Baltic Avenue? Who admits to exchanging “love letters” with Kim Jung Un? Who wants to? He makes fun of literally everyone sooner or later. And the hits keep coming too! Racism, misogyny, xenophobia, homophobia…

That’s a whole lot of smoke guys. What else has he done worth mentioning? I know he’s destroyed quite a few things while supposedly accomplishing so much, but for a real estate mogul, he only shows up for the demolition and he’s not very good on the flip. It truly is easier to destroy than to build, “they” say.. And with all of this horrible, smothering, throat choking smoke, most Republicans just aren’t bothered by any of it. And I don’t understand why, because I think it’s time to get as far from that smoke as possible. A fire is definitely somewhere close by.

“Okay, but where is this fire, old man?” Well, it’s burning right now. All around us – in cities and farms, in the lobbies of small businesses, in the quality of education… It burns a little stronger when clean water regulations are relaxed and the people of Flint still can’t drink the water. It burns a little brighter every time a child is caged. It intensifies with every mass shooting aimed at a school, synagog or Mosque… The fire rages when someone is falsely smeared. Every time innocent people are even harmed by the smoke, the fire spreads closer to home.

Republicans, you’re missing all this smoke; this horrible, divisive, unnecessary smoke. It smells atrocious too, right? You can’t see it, I know – it’s invisible. Can’t smell it either? Wow! I can’t imagine electing you to public office while the country is burning. And you won’t get rid of the arsonist? You know, a lot us are gonna blame you for all of this, and it may not matter much now, but it will. Remember, there’s never a free lunch in America – someone always pays. That’s just capitalism, baby, and you’ll have to help clean up this mess when the pyromaniac is gone.

Death and Butterflies

Nobody wants to grow old, right? That’s probably because we know that death comes on the heels of growing old. It’s the natural progression – get old and die. Of course, lots of young people die as well, because this death thing rarely happens on cue; very few of us are prepared, and so it’s always a shock to someone. Still, old age is a sure bet with even odds all the way – you can always count on the same result. At some point, following the process of growing old, we will surely pass away. Done deal. We expect it.

My mother is less than one month from her 100th birthday. She’s been living with the intimate knowledge that something awful is imminent. She’s felt overdue for about 2 decades; living with the idea that “today could be the day.” And she’s understandably torn. Part of her wants to get on with it. You know, do what’s expected of her; and part of her is hoping she’s the exception. She hates all the trappings that come with her advanced state – bad vision and hearing, aching bones, new and interesting bathroom rituals, dry skin, thinning hair, etc. etc. etc. But she loves being alive too. Unbelievably, there are still episodes of Law and Order she hasn’t seen, racks of new greeting cards to compulsively read, and all kinds of subjects to negatively pontificate about. There are sunsets, and babies to kiss, presents to buy; candy, pretzel rods, and new pastries to sample. Life can be a real drag, but there’s a lot of perks that come with it.

I’m old too. I’ll be 70 on my next birthday, and all I can think of to say about it is “what the hell?! When did that happen?” Why just yesterday I was playing softball, and hiking, and rough-housing with the kids. Geez. My son is in his forties, I can barely walk a quarter mile, and if I tried to throw a softball these days, my arm would go with it. What happened to me – overnight, no less? Good Lord, since I’m old, death is probably lurking in the shadows – the SOB.

But I figure this has been a life long journey – literally. I’ve been working toward this since I was born. That’s an obvious thing to say, but apparently it’s also been an unrecognized goal of mine; of every last one of us actually. And even though we had no idea, we’ve all been dutifully trudging down life’s rotten little crooked path toward the same exact end. This little fact of life should have occurred to us long ago, but it didn’t. Life is a death march! Maybe it would have been better to burn out young rather than to try to protect myself from all of this. That’s certainly one way to go – live life in the fastest lane possible, and pay no attention to the mountain-sized road blocks up ahead.

That’s not what I did, so here I still am. And while I really don’t have any regrets, the very fact that I’ve fashioned my own unique bucket list at all indicates there were things I realize I should have done. Not dangerous things like playing Russian Roulette, or canyon diving, but cool stuff like visiting England or the Greek Isles; learning to paint, owning an XJ6, becoming an expert in something… There’s so much more, not the least of which is to have acquired enough wisdom to deal with this whole death issue truthfully and realistically.

Being a paranormal investigator has definitely given me some fascinating ways to look at death though. It has sharpened my sense of the possibilities and dulled my fear of this greatest of all unknowns. I’m one of those people who believes in an afterlife, even if I haven’t a clue of what it looks or feels like. I believe it exists as surely as I believe I occupy the here and now; and that the continuance of this existence experience is mysterious in its predictability. Life itself is a constant – there’s always some part of it that carries on regardless of any outside influences; it is victorious always. Life finds a way.

I guess what I’m saying is that growing old really isn’t such an awful thing. It’s not a good subject to focus on, but it’s not so much of an end as it is a beginning. One day, without knowing when, or how, or why, I will start over in some unthinkable way. The cycle of life will prove itself eternal just as surely as death will be unable to mark an end of it. We are like caterpillars who have no idea that one day we will all become butterflies. I don’t know what life is like for a butterfly, but I’d bet it doesn’t make any more sense to him than it does to me. Ah well, c’est la vie.

Paranormal POTUS

The other day I parked myself in front of my favorite cable news channel and witnessed the President (POTUS himself) make four untrue statements in the course of 25 seconds. They were so untrue that I could recognize it even by myself – without help from commentators, pundits, lobbyists, garden gnomes, or anyone else. Outright lies, I suspected, and my suspicions were later backed-up by fact checkers and the keepers of useless statistics and overall truth. Four lies in less than half a minute! It’s really quite remarkable, don’t you think? Astounding, really!

Of course, now that I’ve written this out loud, I expect a barrage of comments about how it all depends on who is actually checking the facts. Well, I don’t really know, but it feels like it should be a couple of those “high-end professionals.” Presidential fact checkers should be serious people – after all, it’s not Gary from down the street who could care less. I mean, it’s not a middle school essay, and the fact checker isn’t Mr. Donovan, who could barely pass English101 at Eastern Stoner College.

It’s like a mathematician. Two and two are four, and outside of some weird quantum physics thing, it always will be. We should be able to count on all fact checkers, regardless of political bias, being able to hold POTUS to the not so subtle art of accuracy. No getting confused there, right? We all agree? Cause if you’re coming down on the side of 2+2=7, that’s not gonna fly.

We make those pesky scientists use stringent methods just so we can catch them if they mess up. We expect all the details to be accurate, and all 12 million ducks to be in a row. And if everything isn’t just right, off with his head, or at the very least, yank his grant out from under his incompetent Keister. “Blasphemer!”

Real estate agents can’t tell you the house is worth $10,000 and then change the price at closing. That’s a lie that will cost them their license in most states – even if it was a typo or if the agent somehow misspoke. Accuracy matters, dad-burn-it, and when you know damn well you’re not being accurate; when it’s on purpose, it’s a lie. If I knew those four statements in 25 seconds were wrong, surely POTUS should have known.

Which brings this a little too close to home, because I am constantly having my potential paranormal evidence scrutinized – fact checked. I’m not supposed to claim something is paranormal unless it truly is paranormal. Go figure! Whatever evidence I provide has to pass someone else’s muster. And when it doesn’t, I can’t just scream “Fake analysis!” and continue trying to pass it off as real. Doesn’t work that way. I wish it did because I know my motivations are pure, as are my heart, mind, and body. Heck, my fact checkers know it too, but they still rule against me quite often. I just have to get it right, that’s all, and so they do me a huge favor. They keep me from making incorrect statements and assumptions in front of the whole world.

Nobody wants to deal with a dishonest paranormal investigator. It’s the kiss of death, no pun intended. You’re an instant outcast. Fake evidence indeed – fake investigator! However, its not as though the whole world is flocking to hear what I have to say, and my naysayers are just dying to catch me in something that’s clearly wrong. Likewise, my “base” doesn’t believe what I say just because I say it. They don’t care who my fact checkers are, but they expect me to have them and use them. They expect me to be honest and the minute I’m not… er… the 25 seconds I’m not, it’s over baby. No excuses, no mitigating circumstances, no margin of error, no nothing – it’s either the truth or it isn’t, or it’s “bye bye” paranormal career.

I don’t mind so much when politicians get things wrong, or choose a favorable poll from which to make claims. I don’t even mind a lie or two – especially concerning their personal lives. No one needs to know that Senator Blitzkrieg enjoys a meal of Alpo once in awhile, or that President Schmock once kissed his cousin Roy on a dare. But would I be wrong if I suggested there’s been an awful lot of prime bullshit hitting fans all across the country? Am I wrong to suggest that four lies in twenty-five seconds is kinda pushing the envelope in a way that renders it totally useless? But, if you think that’s all good; if you’re not worried at all about such things, make sure you pick up my new book entitled ‘My Conversations with All 47 Founding Fathers And Jesus’. On sale now for $10,000 on Amazon. It’s steep, but it’s true. I wouldn’t lie. Trust me!


So here I am back from vacation once again. It was a good time, but given my penchant for complaining, there are things that could have gone better. I had a few issues, but they’re all minor, petty stuff and thankfully I’m smart enough to keep them to myself.

However, I have paranormal evidence to look at. Less than a week before we left for the beach, we had an investigation that required the use of ten cameras, and that means a lot of video to review. And on top of that, I still have evidence to go over from the week before. Naturally, the two weeks prior to vacation were understandably hectic, and would have been trying enough without having footage to watch. Still, I managed to get through six cameras worth of typical paranormal video from the oldest investigation – boring, static, continuous views of the same image, and then it’s on to the next one.

And I’ll get it all done – I always do, but it’s very much like a job, this paranormal stuff; it’s many other things as well, but it truly feels like a profession of sorts. Like a career, it kind of mentally calls to me during vacation, which I suppose is to remind me that all play and no work is a bad thing.

So, I left that wonderful place (handful of complaints in tow) and headed home with a somewhat heavy heart that there would be a ton of things to do just waiting for my appearance in the driveway – beckoning, as if to say, “It’s about time, dude.” Of course, There was an investigation on Sunday, which was 24 hours after we stumbled home – more footage to view and an ever growing backlog.

People don’t always understand what the big deal would be to just let it go for a day or two. I must obviously be completely obsessed, or at the very least, in need of a priorities check. Certainly I must have the time to do what others need me to do “now.” (They come at me simultaneously – I know it’s some kind of conspiracy.) Certainly I could miss a day of “that evidence stuff.” But a day turns into two, and pretty soon it’s doctor appointments for my mother, and watching a grandchild, and one has to clean the house and cook the roast beast. You know the drill.

Likewise, it probably seems like an hour of video ought to take no more than an hour to watch. And it’s unfortunate, but on average it take two to three times longer because every suspicious change in the video boredom requires inspection to determine whether it actually is a paranormal event. Fortunately, once in a blue moon it is. Since the cameras also record sound, the same rigor is required for audio possibilities. EVP are frequently found on video camera footage. So, a lot of the time, paranormal analysis just doesn’t get the respect it deserves. Like we’re only supposed to be looking for full-bodied apparitions and not wasting time pouring over every frame for other less sexy things.

But let’s return to the subject of vacations. I brought a lot of that footage with me on vacation along with the good intentions of quietly relaxing and viewing as large a chunk as possible. Imagine sitting on the veranda in the evening – a nice ocean breeze quietly cooling the heat of the day, and I, feet propped up and drink by my side, am watching for unexplained activity on a small glowing screen. Or, alone at the end of the day as the family sleeps; under a wide umbrella with the ocean by my side; another drink close by… Sometimes, fantasies really should come true, but alas, I’ve had nary a glimpse at that footage.

Well, there wasn’t any time! These people I live with wouldn’t leave me alone. They were always telling me to get ready for something, or “let’s do this now,” or deciding on restaurants… It’s such an insane thing to actually attempt having fun and being active on vacation, and yet, I surprisingly recommend it strongly – for all investigators. Leave that paranormal albatross at home while participating in the vacation rituals – it just makes sense, and you won’t regret it. It’s good for the soul, you know – your soul. Don’t worry about anyone else’s until you’re home. And have a happy summer, dammit – what’s left of it.

360 Degrees

Ever find yourself viewing investigation footage and wondering just what the heck was going on behind the camera? I have, and once in awhile it drives me bananas. Even though my lens might pick up a 180 degree field of view, in many cases that’s only part of the space.

One such investigation included a fascinating purple and black mist which only appeared on video. It moved around the room, reacted to still camera flashes, changed color, varied in size, and then disappeared somewhere behind the camera. I thought I was doing the right thing by placing my device about a foot in front of the door and adjacent closet. So where did the mist go? Could it have disappeared into the closet or out the door? Your guess is as good as mine. It might have formed into a red-eyed devil, standing out of camera range giving us all a bunch of invisible demonic obscene gestures. Well, probably not, but if it did, I missed it.

I want to see everything in the room – all four corners, the floor, the ceiling… I want to see it all, dammit! But I can’t afford enough cameras to double up in every room or active area. It’s just not fair, is it? (Slight pause for righteous indignation.) But there is a solution. A 360 degree camera sees everything. You can put that bad boy in the middle of the room and nothing escapes it. If it was gonna show up on video; if it wanted to be seen, a 360 will happily oblige.

We’ve all seen the results of a 360. They’re used for virtual reality films. On computer or tablet, you can place your cursor in the middle of the screen and move throughout the frame taking in all areas and angles. When viewing 360 results in editing software, you find a panoramic-shaped video that reveals every last inch of the area in question. You don’t need a VR headset or cursor – it’s all right there in front of you. If Mr. Mist wants to run into the closet, you’ve got him. If he flies through the kitchen wall into the bedroom, you might also capture him from the bedroom cam, but either way, you’ve got the shot. That’s pretty cool beans, if you ask me.

Unfortunately, extremely high quality full spectrum 360 cams are fairly expensive, and you still have the problem of providing an infrared or full spectrum light source – possibly more than one depending on the size of the room. We’re paranormal investigators, not hedge fund managers, so investing in extremely expensive 360’s might deplete little Bobbie’s college fund. But there’s a solution to this as well. Turn on some light! By now you should know investigating does not require complete darkness. Lots of paranormal shenanigans occur in broad daylight, and a low light level has never stopped a spirit from talking or appearing.

There are several brands of 360 cameras available for $150 or less. Now, you gotta be careful because we’re not talking about baby cams or the dashboard variety – we’re talking about good quality cameras with a high enough resolution to do the job properly. I can’t resist offering a couple of names – fly360 and Samsung each have a small variety of models that record excellent video in low light. There are others. A little experimenting with light placement might be in order, but even so, the right video editing software will allow you to further lighten the room after the fact. You should be viewing your evidence with “real” software anyway, and the costs are not great for an adequate product. After all, you’re not making the great American film, you’re reviewing evidence.

“So great! How much stuff have you captured so far?” Well… Good paranormal video evidence is not an every day occurrence, but I’ve had surprising results on every camera I’ve ever used and in all kinds of lighting situations. My confidence level is high. So high, I’ve invested in three 360 cameras, just in case there’s a situation where visible light is in order. Until now, I’ve only actually used two at the same time during an investigation, but keep in mind, any deployment of a 360 cam will not remove the need for other methods. I still use an array of wide angle full spectrum cams, as well as trail cameras, thermal attachments, still cameras, and monoculars that record. But adding 360 degree capability to the arsenal of any investigation seems like a no-brainer to me. Plus, it improves your opportunity to be creative and thorough. I recommend it.


“There Is No Silence” by Randall Keller. On Amazon.

Is Bigger Better?

During one of those three story investigations, I discovered myself huffing and puffing, grabbing my chest, blowing my nose, and desperately searching for a place to collapse and locate my little bottle of nitro. I was running the cables from home base to many positioned IR cameras – up and down three flights no less than 22 times (you may remember, I’m a counter), and I still had to check the DVR to set the camera angles. After a few moments of rest, I returned to normal, but lamenting the prospect of repeating the process when the investigation was finished. Ugh. There had to be a better way.

My DVR had been acting bananas for a couple of months; I owned a mile of cable; unpacking the car at 3:00 am took til 4:00 am… never let it be said I am not dedicated. And I knew all of it might actually, literally kill me. Seriously! That’s how bad it was; that’s how bad I felt.

But finally, after that three story job I mentioned, late the following morning, I noticed my GoPro’s come hither look from the side pocket of one of those equipment bags. A cartoon light bulb turned on over my head. If I could replace all my cameras with GoPro-style equipment, I was certain that every uncomfortable, unhealthy moment could be avoided. Plus, the results would logically improve through clearer footage, and cleaner processes. Even my stressed-out heart gave a sigh of relief at the possibilities. There would be problems, of course – extended battery life, portable lighting for full spectrum cameras, tiny tripods; a whole slew of minor stuff. I knew that if this grand experiment was going to work, all of these hurdles had to be cleanly jumped.

Bigger is not always better, and I made it a personal quest to prove just that. So what happened? Not only did my pre-investigation setup become easier, I could bring everything in and out of the location with one simple trip. Gone were the days of potential heart attacks and collapsed lungs; of several metal suitcases; of heavy stuff that required other heavy stuff to function. My knees were actually praising God out loud. The throbbing in my temples had disappeared, and there was more time available for actual investigating. Sounds like a win/win, right?

Of course, different ideas are always a work in progress, but the end results have been noticeable. Video quality is better, the lenses are wide angle and therefore more area is included in the shots. Analysis can be done on an iPad whenever I want; wherever I am. Almost every aspect of my participation in the investigation has drastically improved. I’m already spoiled because I am taking so much of it for granted. I might even go so far as to suggest that smaller is better.

I’ve since incorporated a second GoPro, 3 good quality full spectrum GoPro knockoffs, a 360fly cam, 2 Samsung 360 cams (or 180), a Trail Cam, a Seek thermal attachment, a FLIR attachment, a Bushnell night vision monocular that records, and a ridiculous amount of support stuff including portable IR lighting and various ways of mounting the small cameras practically anywhere. Is bigger better? I think not.

I’ve got a lot of micro SDs to keep track of, but I can literally walk out the door with all my evidence in my front left pocket. Please keep in mind that none of this is a criticism of the old ways. Those ways have just stopped working for me personally. So for me, bigger is definitely not better. But what’s the point in telling you all of this? Beside the notion that I’m entitled to my opinion, it occurs to me our field is actually going in this direction anyway. The kind of equipment we use in this field is getting better and better, as well as smaller and smaller. Good quality equipment is actually getting more affordable, and new capabilities are becoming more easily available. But then, to be honest, it’s unfair and wrong to suggest that this is the only way to go. However, for those of you who are beginning to feel that infernal full-body burn during and after every investigation, I think it’s worth consideration.

[Over the next few months, from time to time, I’ll focus in on a specific area of this “small” experiment.]


“There Is No Silence” by Randall Keller. On Amazon.


This will not be a rant against Trump, although I am no supporter. I do hope he succeeds in helping the country, but I see no evidence of that. Besides, others are more eloquent than I on such matters. Likewise, I won’t bash Congressional Republicans or party leaders, or conservatives, or alt-righters, or conspiracy theorists, or fascists, Nazis, NRA supporters, or racists, male supremacists, homophobes, xenophobes, or any other “phobes.” To my friends who will vehemently disagree with me, try to understand that I can no more quiet my thoughts than you can your own. And what I say is no less valid. In this country, that’s the way it is.

But clearly, something is bothering me. This is a paranormal blog for the most part, and I’ve been inactive for some months. What could possibly have awakened me enough to comment? Well, I am restarting the blog. It never went away, you know, it just got ridiculously boring what with the lack of new entries and such. But it’s back, baby. And it will remain a paranormal blog for the most part, but man does not live by ectoplasm alone, so I’m mixing in some personal thoughts along the way. This entry is one of those.

“Okay, dude, but you’re all over the place here. What has you stoked enough to get back to poetic waxing… or whatever?” Glad you asked – man’s inhumanity to man, of course. ”Oh. That again.” I know, it’s a hackneyed subject; been done before, ad nausea; nothing to see here folks, move along. But in the last couple of years, those trampling all over their fellow human’s lives have obviously received Ph.D.’s in the subject – doctors of nastiness; experts in unholiness; assholiness, if you will. Lately, Americans have taken their mental defectiveness to levels heretofore unimaginable in a civilized society. As John Lennon once said – “One thing you can’t hide, is when you’re crippled inside.” I think the secret is out.

“Okay, but what is specifically chapping your thighs? Get on with it!” It started when this government, we the people, this proud nation began separating children from parents at the southern border. People fell prey to an American juggernaut and found themselves in cages waiting to be deported while their children were being placed in foster homes or worse – no doubt one day to face their own deportation. And this is what is bothering me. Not big enough of a deal for you? Got kids?

I don’t really care whether they are unqualified to receive asylum. Fine, say no and send them packing. I don’t care if they’re brown people and you don’t like brown people, you can’t steal their children. Those days are long gone, Massah. In fact, there are very few situations that allows anyone that right. Besides, they’re not US citizens – you can’t do that to “others” just because you want to. Or, maybe you can.

Aren’t you ashamed of yourselves? I am. Aren’t you amazed at how morally bankrupt you have proven us all to truly be? Doesn’t it occur to you that there will be history books which will devote entire chapters to this in very unflattering terms? Is this what Jesus would do? Or any god anywhere? And please don’t suggest you have to be strong with “these people,” because these actions are indicative of an immense weakness of character – not strength. And please don’t tell me you’re protecting the rule of law, because we all know how you really feel about that. In fact, don’t say a word. Nothing you could say will ever serve to justify this abhorrent behavior, and somewhere, way deep inside of your cold heart, you know it. What’s next, by the way? Death? Gas chambers? Can an immoral action lay claim to a moral end? I’d love to hear of a single example. Or maybe our definitions of morality are vastly different.

Let’s face it, folks. We’re not the people we thought we were. We’re certainly not who we say we are or claim to be. This is who we have become. This is who we are now. This is a choice.

To paraphrase, Jesus said, “how you treat the least of these is how you treat me.” I won’t explain that. If you don’t get it, then the shoe fits and ya gotta wear it. But it actually doesn’t matter because if our country exercises such brutal injustice, so do all of its citizenry. We stand together and we fall together. We are all, therefore, “good Germans.” We are responsible. Say that out loud until it sinks in. We are all party and complicit in this grotesque display of inhuman behavior. We are responsible for removing innocent children from innocent families to… what? Make a point? That kind of makes us monsters and we seem to be okay with it.

And some of you will strongly disagree and show just how deeply in denial you have fallen. And others will cry and moan and wring your hands. “What are we to do?” Sniff sniff. And still others will refuse to accept their personal culpability, but in a democracy, that’s how it goes. Shouldn’t we try at least to do something about this? Shouldn’t we do something? “What you do to the least of these you do to me.” Shouldn’t we ask for forgiveness at least – shouldn’t we just stop this? Like NOW? Stop obfuscating, stop lying, stop concealing – stop doing this. The damage already done to America will echo back at us over and over for decades, and we’ll figure out how to deal with it. But how do we deal with the damage caused to one innocent child? Damage directly caused by us. How many damaged children will it take before we all agree? Because that day will come. We won’t just agree, we’ll know.

[ Next entry will focus on the paranormal. ]

Ever Since…

Ever since my stroke (yes, it was a real, bonafide stroke), I’ve developed a slight, but highly annoying inability to write. The resulting brain damage occurred exclusively in the speech area of the brain, so finding the right word is sometimes a challenge, but I cover it well, and no one notices. Still, putting pen on paper (even metaphorically) is also a problem, and this has only served to lengthen my streak of zero current blog entries. Likewise, too much confusion around me seems to create a sensory overload of some kind and usually results in a quick exit from the building.

Ever since my mother broke her hip, I’ve been visiting her in the rehab facility every day. Watching so many elderly people struggle to regain control of their own bodies has given me a strong and renewed respect for the “state of age.” For the most part, these folks are doggedly steady in their pursuit of returning to normalcy, and even though I’m not chronologically too far away from them, I know I would have given up long before the Wednesday cold lunch with pickled beets ever arrived on the tray. Old people rock, and if you don’t know that yet, get ready to be impressed.

Ever since my daughter’s softball coach started to mess with her swing, she’s become a very average hitter. Until recently, that is. I always told her not pay any attention to him; do what she’s always done, and continue tearing up opposing pitchers. “If I don’t do what he wants, dad, he’ll bench me. I want to play.” Okay, I understand. However, it’s her senior year, and she’s finally decided to return to the days of yore and ignore his unsuccessful tinkering. After all, what could he do now? She has once again been tearing up opposing pitchers and receiving high praise for it. Praise such as “you’ve finally decided to listen to me” and “that’s what I’ve been telling you all along!” It’s nonsense, of course, but who cares – we know the truth. Go Wolverines!

Ever since I decided to go out of my way to be polite to everyone, I’ve been happier. Not much else to say about that, and sometimes I still revert to my old rude self, but I truly feel better about everything. It has given purpose to all sorts of mundane daily events, and makes me a better driver as well. There’s a very long list of noticeable improvements. I do sometimes miss the act of practicing unsolicited nastiness, and the occasional personal insult can be invigorating and provide it’s own rewards, but for the most part, the dark force doesn’t linger very long and leaves a bad aftertaste. Being polite tends to last longer and sometimes changes my entire day for the better. The force is strong with this one. “Thank you,” he politely answers… with a winsome smile.

Ever since I started eavesdropping to help occupy my time in doctor’s offices, waiting rooms, parking lots, cafeteria lines, elevator queues, and other such venues tailor made for violating personal space, I’ve decided that human beings are stupid. Not all of us, of course – you and I are just fine, but “they” are certifiable idiots. I never used to eavesdrop – I was always able to drown them out with my own thoughts. But I guess I ran out of those and now eavesdropping is my sport of preference. Lately, I’ve heard all about how Irving was caught with the neighbor lady in his car, how Jennifer’s mother claims that watering her plants with urine makes them grow better, that Marge believes her “pastor over some scientist any day,” and that someone down in room 218 of the nursing home has bedded three different widows this month alone. 

And that’s just the tip of the iceberg! Digital cameras have ruined the art of photography; the Japanese have an army of Samurai and ninjas; nylon comes from llama fur (I swear), and finally, that “the human body wasn’t made to be seen naked.” You see? People are stupid. And it seems to take a lifetime to rise above it, or so one can hope. But eventually we all get there, I think, and ever since I arrived at that opinion I find it a little easier to forgive. Myself, of course. The rest of the world is still unworthy, and besides – a whole army of Samurai and ninjas sounds pretty cool.

Voices From Forever by Randall Keller Available on Amazon

There Is No Silence by Randall Keller Available on Amazon.  

So… Hush!

I haven’t written in this space for quite some time, but it wasn’t for lack of anything to say – I always have something to say. There just wasn’t any time. And you know that happens – one’s time often fills up quickly with important life issues, and before you know it, there’s none left. However, and I shudder to say it, maybe this has been a good thing.

I remember the mother of a childhood friend once saying, “no one cares what you think, Keller.” I was immediately slandered – who wouldn’t be, right? But it remained with me even to this day, and she actually wasn’t wrong. Who cares what I think about Donald Trump, for example? If you’re a supporter, contentious thoughts from me won’t convince you otherwise – more than likely, you’ll become even more entrenched. If I tell you about my belief in God, I’m sure your atheism will continue to flourish just the same. Do we really think our mediocre, everyday banter contains the stuff of greatness; with enough wisdom to move the masses? How many Delhi Llamas can there be, for God’s sake? 

It’s difficult to suggest that there’s a lesson to learn from this, but maybe we need to just keep our mouths shut more often. We seem almost consumed with the notion that there should be more and more people to agree with us – a constantly increasing, all-encompassing inter-galactic consensus. It’s become some kind of an imperative! As though the world itself will cease to exist if “the others” get their hands on it, and possibly that will one day be the case, but history is full of good and bad alike while “the others” were in charge, and we’re still here. There are some life issues that transcend simple opinion, of course – we need to take better care of the planet, one shouldn’t be cruel to animals, murder is bad… Hard to disagree with those, and we can all think of items to add to the list, but these never seem to be the burning passions of the day.

We follow all kinds of temporary mantras instead. Who gets a tax break, should we spend more money to feed the poor, bikinis are sinful, etc. etc. etc. And I’m willing to confess, I want everyone to get a tax break, most of my friends are poor, and bikinis are a clear public service. More and more, I’m leaving these kinds of issues alone. Maybe it’s old age, or a rapid and unexpected loss of electricity in my brain’s microtubules, but I like to think it has something to do with my friend’s mother – “no one cares what you think, Keller.”

I mean, do you? Do you really give a rat’s appendix what I pontificate about? Is your life so wanting that you hang on my every word? I’d be shocked if you did. Will your opinion be changing should I suddenly suggest that cannibalism is an accepted dietary alternative, or if I campaign on the virtues of war with Canada? I think not. You’re so much more intelligent than that! Perhaps you’ll listen with interest if I wax poetic about a subject in which I am proficient – EVP, for instance, but if you’re really smart, even then you’ll listen objectively and with a very large grain of salt.

So what am I saying, then? That we should all walk through life close-mouthed with nothing to say for ourselves, the state of the world, or the human condition? Of course not. I guess what I’m saying is when we do open those gaping caverns of verbal ambiguity, we might want to know going in that what we have to say isn’t so damn important. The compulsion to communicate our thoughts seems to have a greater potential for doing harm than anything else, and unless we relish embracing the dark side of The Force, we should be careful. If we don’t have something good to say, then… Oh geez – you know the rest of that sentence. Do I have to say it – it’s such an overused cliche! But isn’t it also quite true? So… Hush!

Returning to Sensibility

Sometimes, there can be a real problem separating actual life from one’s paranormal activities. When every day centers around pouring over evidence, before you know it the floors are filthy, and the bathroom has become a giant science experiment. Instead of taking care of business, huge chunks of precious time revolve around this cat and mouse game we have with the afterlife, and reality gets lost. It really has to stop.

Returning to sensibility isn’t always as easy as we might hope. It’s really boring staring at the infrared video of a chair for 8 hours, but it does beat the heck out of grocery shopping or paying the bills. Who cares if the dog hasn’t been out in a week, he’s smart – he’ll figure something out. Besides, there’s several hours of thermal footage to go over! One has to keep his priorities in order, right?

But at the end of the day, what do you really know about the afterlife anyway? I’ve always tried to learn something new each day, but if your entire consciousness is tied up in the evidence analysis of some tedious old house by the river outside of town, there’s a good chance the only thing you’ll learn is how quickly you can become sick and tired. I’ve tried to remedy that in any way possible, and even if the extent of my learning consists of nothing more than useless, non-paranormal facts, at least that’s something. For instance, did you know that Americans spend an average of two weeks a year on the toilet? Or that King Farouk of Egypt was a kleptomaniac who once stole Winston Churchill’s watch. I didn’t, but I do now, and I’m sure it’s useful information, no?

Human nature fascinates me more than most subjects, so I couldn’t resist a quick break from the monitor to watch a Science Channel special on the topic. Good thing too, because I didn’t learn a thing from my research, but I did learn that unbroken eye contact is not a sign of honesty, but a good clue that someone is lying instead. That’s kinda useful info, but how many of you knew that? Plus, people are more likely to lie when they’re in a hurry. Fascinating! Believe it or not, eight percent of Americans even lie on their resumes. You know who you are, but “holy honesty, Batman.” I thought more people were trustworthy than that.

Speaking of lying, it turns out that Olympic medalist Stella Walsh was considered one of the fastest female athletes of her time, until upon her death, she was discovered to have a penis. A penis! Not too much stock in Apple, or an infatuation with other people’s toes… She had (dare I say it again) a penis. And speaking of “those,” it seems that the CIA trades Viagra to aging Afghan warlords in exchange for information. I thought gentlemen weren’t supposed to tell.

See! It’s an interesting world, so I guess I shouldn’t be too surprised at the amount of functional insanity that’s loose within it. Maybe that’s what drove me to paranormal studies in the first place – a little peace and quiet from all this exciting normalcy, though admittedly, I’d like to be able to say that all the hours spent scrutinizing paranormal evidence has taught me something more significant than mindless trivia. But alas, the living are every bit as intriguing as the dead. In 2013, a woman from Jonesboro, Arkansas, suspected of DUI, was arrested when she tried to flee police on a battery-powered toy truck after crashing her car. I challenge you to top that one with something paranormal. Ghosts are entertaining, but they can’t hold a candle to that poor soul.

Well, intriguing as mankind is, the one thing we don’t know anything about when it comes to the human experience is the afterlife. We guess and theorize, and we use our imaginations at every stop along the way but it’s been a very long journey, and we don’t actually know for sure where we’re going, much less which path to take. South Carolina police were once able to track a convenience store burglar right to his house by following a trail of Doritos. Too bad spirits don’t eat Doritos – we could sure use a break like that. Ah well, back to the video.


Voices From Forever by Randall Keller Available on Amazon

There Is No Silence by Randall Keller Available on Amazon


I’ve done my share of paranormal investigating, but I consider myself a simple EVP guy. Arguably, Electronic Voice Phenomena represent the best paranormal evidence we have so far – certainly the most prolific, and I don’t know an investigator who hasn’t captured at least one. This means I’ve got some company – there are more than a few EVP guys out there, and a lot of them are really good.

If there is competition among us, I’m not aware of it. Of course there are always those on the fringe who spend more time criticizing than they do gathering evidence, but serious EVP researchers would rather learn from one another. It’s generally understood that there are pioneers in the field who will always be set apart and held in high esteem – Sarah Estep and Constantine Raudive just to name two. Latter day masters such as Mark and Debbie Constantino deserve special recognition as well. There are others, but to a man (or woman), they would find competition among us to be a distasteful waste of effort and resources.

Debbie Constantino and I once spent ten minutes discussing the possibility of alien communication through EVP. She wasn’t entirely certain whether some of her results were from across the veil or across the galaxy. A controversial concept to be sure, but we were colleagues (of sorts), so the sharing of ideas was beneficial and desired. It was fun too! Debbie is no longer with us, sadly, but I cherished the few moments we shared. She and Mark are EVP heroes of mine, and I was blessed to have met them, but even more significantly, they treated me as an equal. I wasn’t, but they were encouraging and accepting just the same.

This is how it oughta be, right? After all, aren’t we all brothers and sisters-in-arms, sharing the same impossible quest? I was taught from the beginning that the most important thing about any investigation was to take care of my teammates. That was the prime directive, and there were occasions I needed to absolutely know I wasn’t alone. Evidence was a team matter as well. There was no place for individual accomplishments; never time for posturing; no expert opinions or unarguable ideas – the team spoke with one voice. It didn’t matter who captured the best EVP, or whose photo was the more convincing – it was a group thing and we were each “all in.”

Some of what I do now is outside the structure of that comforting team environment, but I often seek the input, opinions, and advice of those I trust. They are my safety net, and without them I think most of the joy in what I do would be gone. I need their candor and generosity, and I need to access the wealth of their knowledge and understanding. From time to time, they require the same of me.

Everything I have ever done in this field was inspired by others in some way. Not to recognize the value of keeping many counsels would be arrogant and foolish, but for some, these are utopian ideas. Naive. Instead, they withhold their most dynamic investigation evidence for their own edification; never share ideas or new methodologies. Being part of a team isn’t enough, and all too often, their rising stature in the field and aspirations of fame are far more important. There’s no room in the field for this, nor is the field so shallow as to allow self-aggrandizing and narrow-minded people to prosper for very long.

I mentioned some pretty lofty names a few paragraphs ago – folks who are held in the highest regard when it comes to EVP. People who kept no secrets; who shared every detail of their life’s work with anyone who wanted to know. People who understood the greatest value of paranormal research could be found in the hopeful benefit to all of mankind. They were inspirational, and their work powerfully broadened our ideas about the human condition; work for which they deserve great recognition and respect. Instead of basking in the glory, they persevered and they made us all feel that we too could contribute. And then they actually showed us how. Naive? I don’t think so.


Voices From Forever by Randall Keller Available on Amazon

There Is No Silence by Randall Keller Available on Amazon

Paranormal Blasphemy

A spirit is supposed to be a soul that has moved along – gone toward the light, just like in the movies. Of course, that’s an over-simplification, but it’s close enough for horseshoes. This means that a ghost has decided, or has been forced, to stick around; has not been enticed by that pesky light – possibly the result of some unfinished business, confusion, or fear. There are a bunch more reasons that traditionally account for the presence of a ghost (more expedient simplifications), but the bottom line is that nobody can prove what happens when we die.

That said, it seems logical to me that most of us will also enter the next stage of our own existence considerably full of unfinished business, incredibly confused, and absolutely fearful. Being a somewhat religious person, I expect God to have that all taken care of, frankly. I can’t think of a single reason why He would allow us to wander aimlessly, lost and bewildered, without some kind of contingency plan. I mean, how would we even have a clue what to do – this whole death thing isn’t our idea, and instructions don’t come in “the box.” Logically, there must be some kind of orientation program already in place, right? A room with tables and pamphlets; some kind of tour, perhaps; a nice dinner with a dais of distinguished speakers – something. You don’t just throw the baby into the lake and hope he learns to swim before it’s too late.

I guess it’s possible that some of us are just too heinous and contrary to follow directions, but I honestly expect the creator of everything to have a plan for that too – one look at the universe convinces me He’s not sloppy about His business. Saying “no way, Lord” might fly here on earth, but that’s a far cry from acceptable when the disposition of eternal souls is at stake. So, maybe it’s some kind of punishment for the really nasty ones – a taste of Hell, possibly – let’s call it pre-damnation. 

But what about all those poor souls who are reluctantly lingering behind, yet do not seem deserving of eternal suffering? Held back by their despicable tormentors and forced to endure never-ending misery, are they then simply to be abandoned? Does God forsake them, adding to the despair and injustice they endured in life? Are they just stuck in-between – right next to those who cursed them in life? I’m not buying it. Life’s tough enough in the big city, and I’m counting on there being some relief in the hereafter. That’s not too much to ask or expect. If some miscreant is going to violate me, murder me, chop me up into little pieces, and feed what’s left of me to sea lions, I gotta think there’s some peace a comin’ when it’s finally over.

Even if you don’t believe in God, you have to admit there’s enough consistency and balance in the universe to call into question this notion of misguided souls wandering around haphazardly with no aim or end in sight. It seems like a flaw of monumental proportions – a flaw unbefitting a spectacle as grand and as finely tuned as our cosmos. Where’s the order and symmetry we take for granted? Where’s the universal justice – so perfect and complete that it allows for every probability and each eventuality? Except for this one? Nah.

“But you’re a paranormal investigator! This is paranormal blasphemy, son.” Nonsense. Paranormal researchers know better than anyone that there aren’t yet any answers. Our souls could become cream cheese or sand mites – we don’t know. Sure, we hear and see unexplainable things and we have tons of theories, not to mention the plethora of stories and tall tales we’ve contributed to the culture. There’s still more than enough to keep us interested. But this spiritual mayhem is beneath even us, so good luck if you think either your deity or nature itself is unable to come up with anything better than this kind of clumsy chaos. The reality may be a very hard truth to grasp, but whatever it is, there’s probably beauty and dignity involved – not this random desolation we champion so easily. We probably need to rethink some of this.


Voices From Forever by Randall Keller Available on Amazon

There Is No Silence by Randall Keller Available on Amazon

When it Happens…

So, seen any ghosts lately? Do apparitions seek you out like a Jehovah’s Witness on a road trip? Or are you honestly more like the rest of us, because the dead do not usually line up single file waiting to make an appearance. In fact, I don’t need a hand on which to count the number of verifiable full-bodied apparitions I’ve seen, because I’ve never seen one.

I can’t even guess how many bonafide paranormal investigations I’ve participated in – there have been more than enough opportunities, and fortunately, I’ve witnessed all kinds of crazy stuff. There have been a bunch of black shadows, and even a couple of free-floating, light emitting orbs. I don’t usually even believe in orbs, but there they were. I’ve seen rods, light anomalies, mists, and God knows what else, but never anything that even resembled a human form. Well, We recorded something on video once, but that’s just not the same as an honest to goodness face-to-face, right? It’s great evidence, but it really doesn’t count if you’re not in the same room sharing some eye contact.

Don’t get me wrong. I totally believe those of you who lay claim to such “full-bodied” encounters. If you’re one of those (and I will know if you’re lying), you have my undivided attention – you’ve witnessed the paranormal holy grail. And I recognize that these things happen often enough to warrant investigation, which is why I happily hook up so many cameras, meters, and other recording devices in people’s houses and businesses. Infrared, full-spectrum, thermal – I’ll look with my eyes closed if it will work. I’ll do hand stands if that’s what it takes. I’ll shiver alone in cold, total darkness and talk out loud like an idiot to who or whatever will listen. I’ll beg to be touched; I’ll ask the absolute dumbest questions; I’ll suggest they roll a ball, spin a pinwheel, or suck the energy out of every battery I have. Once, I even promised to do a tap dance routine if someone would appear before me. It’s probably best for all concerned that they didn’t.

I’ve done all of this and more, and yet, no other-worldly specter has ever assembled into human form before me. It’s a very rare event, you know. It’s so rare, that barely a hand-full of such encounters can actually be verified. When you consider the number of people who are out there looking, it’s pretty amazing we haven’t seen more of them. I mean, we can hear them fairly easily; record them in a variety of shapes and dispositions; interact with them in a dozen different ways, but to actually see a for real ghost is spectacularly and extraordinarily uncommon. It is therefore, highly unlikely.

Spirits just don’t parade through thin air. I’m sure they have other, more important stuff to do. What makes us think grandma is going to get all gussied up and make an appearance at the family Christmas party? Why should the burn victim appear at the site of the accident? Do we really think good King Whatshisname is still rumbling through the castle moaning over the loss of his beautiful wife Gwendolyn? Aren’t they reunited by now?

And yet… When it happens, there’s no mistaking it, is there? Because sometimes it does happen, and then everything changes. Suddenly, there’s a new outlook on life and death; questions are answered with heavy authority; doubts are erased, and common sense goes out the window. When it happens, there is nothing more important for awhile, and your priorities change a bit – maybe a lot. When it happens, your soul is touched, your psyche is forever altered, and you know without a doubt it was real – regardless of anything anyone else will say. You feel privy to a kind of eternal understanding that few humans ever experience. When it happens, it feels like divine information; like a peek through the most exclusive keyhole ever.

Pretty heady stuff, eh? But if you don’t feel any part of the above, then I should probably ask you again – seen any ghosts lately? Don’t worry, you’ll know.


Voices From Forever by Randall Keller Available on Amazon

There Is No Silence by Randall Keller Available on Amazon