The Right Explanation


When I was a young man, someone used a cliché that stuck with me. “I may be paranoid, but that doesn’t mean they’re not out to get me.” Admittedly, it has limited application to real life unless you actually are paranoid, but let’s read between the lines. How about, “Just because there’s an explanation, doesn’t mean it’s correct.” Doesn’t have the same philosophical resonance, does it? But if you’re interested in the paranormal, you should be able to see the correlation here. Sometimes, logical explanations are illogically wrong.

Recently, I’ve heard several people offer perfectly legitimate alternatives for what I think could be paranormal. These aren’t your usual “never-say-yes” skeptics; not typical buzz-kill types. All three of them are intelligent, thoughtful people, each with a genuine degree of interest in the paranormal. I respect them, and their attempt to find reasonable answers to unreasonable occurrences. It’s true skepticism at its best, so well done!

The bedroom window was open just slightly, and a breeze obviously caused the curtain to flow. Even though only the curtain’s middle section moved? Well – one can never really predict what a breeze will do, and there was probably someone inside looking out the window.

Likewise, the golf ball-sized green glowing orb is probably some kind of electro-magnetic anomaly similar to swamp gas, or the lights often seen over gravesites – the result of decomposition. I agree, assuming decomposition can penetrate the several layers of concrete and metal surrounding the decaying body. Any of these are possibilities, I suppose, and my debunking friend was anything but obnoxious about it. Like most of us, he doesn’t want to go off half-crazed at every unusual incident, and much to my chagrin, he is right. It’s irresponsible to affix an automatic paranormal label to anything.

Likewise, a very good friend suggested that I was not touched four times while in the abandoned building in the dark. Bugs are certainly an unseen force in the darkness, and if not a bug, something could have fallen from the ceiling. It could have been the strap from my camera. Or my imagination. But I know when I’m being touched, and two of the four times immediately followed my request to do it again.

I think people too quickly assume that paranormal investigators react without giving proper consideration to the full set of possibilities. The orb moved with purpose, and it exhibited a reaction to me. I don’t believe in orbs and I am not suddenly convinced of anything, but I know what I saw. And I know for a fact that there was no breeze and no one in the house, and yet the curtain moved in exactly the right way. And…

It doesn’t matter. It really doesn’t, so I’m ready and completely willing to accept non-paranormal explanations. I have no need to insist these events are evidence or proof of anything, even though my own experience tells me otherwise. Something about each of these occurrences defies the sanitizing versions that come so easily to those who weren’t there. I don’t know what caused them to happen, but then that’s the point, isn’t it? Each of these happened while investigating situations or places that were offering other paranormal symptoms first.

Sometimes we look too hard to offer alternate truths to the uncertain and unsettling events that surround a paranormal situation. It becomes a merit badge of some kind to disavow our observations with disinfected and diluted justifications. Small children rationalize that which terrorizes them by repeating the mantra that “there’s no such thing as monsters” even when thoroughly convinced one lives under the bed.

We forget that one of those plausible explanations is a paranormal one. We bully the paranormal possibility with every fiber of our being, and usually we end up with something uncontroversial, something we feel comfortable with, or something to end the search rather than expand it. A creaking door that opens its latch; footsteps in the attic; a black mist that obliterates the light… Just because there are alternatives to be had, doesn’t mean they’re the right ones. Sometimes, you just know they’re wrong.

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2 responses to “The Right Explanation

  1. I have come to the point that I won’t argue about what I know to be a paranormal event that has occured in my life. They were not there to experience it so where is their right to give you a half a dozen b.s. explanations and insist you must be wrong about what happened? I don’t care to be made out as a dummy when I know damn well what I experienced. Excellent post once again, Randy! By the way, I know there are real orbs, I have seen a couple. I also know they are extremely rare and hardly ever show up in photos unlike dust, bugs, and moisture that so many insist are paranormal.

  2. Yes. There are enough people who have seen orbs, but they ARE extremely rare and completely different from this garbage so many are trying to pass off. I’m glad you understand my point here. In this field, it’s hard to tell what kind of reaction one will get. Of course, I say what I want anyway, but sometimes I’m amazed how quickly I upset some people. It gets old real fast when a non-experiences insists on being right about my experience. I like appropriate skepticism, but not the kind that becomes a solution in itself.

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