Naive?

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.

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Voices From Forever by Randall Keller http://goo.gl/ZBBmj Available on Amazon

There Is No Silence by Randall Keller http://goo.gl/U6KY7 Available on Amazon

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Welcome Home!

I’m certainly not the only person who does any traveling. In fact, we’re relatively pedestrian when it comes to seeing the world. However, our usual trips to the ocean, lake, or local tourist traps have been replaced with more adventurous excursions the past few years, and there are a great many “tips of the trade” I wish I had known from the beginning. For instance, an experienced traveler knows not to pack his phone and camera chargers in a checked bag. This little miscue cost me $90 worth of sundry cables, connectors, and extra batteries. An experienced traveler would also know better than to even attempt recovery from TSA, but I had no idea and wasted hours filling out forms, talking to idiots, arguing with liars, and trying to control my temper.

So, I thought since I haven’t done a top ten list in awhile, this would be the perfect subject to share with the world. I only hope this will reach you before it’s too late, and save you hours of grief and unwanted vacation stress. I call this list “Ten Things You Should Never Do Before, During or After a Vacation.” Keep in mind, the list consists of things that had yet to happen until this year’s trip on a seven day cruise to Bermuda.

1. Don’t let anyone use your car while you’re gone. It’s true that everyone will do their best to take good care of your pride and joy, but you could return to discover it’s been in two accidents. Not one. Two! (I still don’t understand it.)
2. Don’t forget to tell the bank you’re traveling. They’ll shut down your credit cards and you’ll be stuck telling a Cruise Director that you really do have the money. “Clean up on Deck 9.”
3. Don’t leave your things unattended on the beach. Several thousand dollars worth of camera equipment will be fine, but your umbrella will be long gone. Try explaining that to the attendant who has your $20 deposit.
4. Don’t forget to seek clarity when your bus driver says he’ll pick you up at the corner. There are many streets and many corners. Specificity is a must.
5. Don’t pack wet beach towels full of sand. It may deter TSA from doing a proper search, but you might also find them out of the plastic bag you meticulously packed them in. That being the case, everything in the luggage will be damp and smell like dead fish.
6. Don’t pack old underwear. The elastic won’t be sufficient and no matter how many weird gyrations you attempt, they’ll still wind up bunched halfway below your waist. Always pleasant while sitting on the steaming vinyl tour bus seat.
7. Don’t tell people not to call you on vacation. That will just encourage them. There seems to be no shortage of “really good reasons” to call once those roaming charges kick in. This is especially true if you’re overseas.
8. Don’t forget to run the garbage disposal before you leave. Inevitably, those you leave behind will be compelled to buy fruit-fly infested peaches that gleefully take up residence in the drain of your sink.
9. Don’t assume a squirrel won’t die on the porch while you’re gone. Definitely do assume that others will not dispose of the body no matter how decomposed it is. They’ll wait for you to return regardless of how bad it smells. “Welcome home!”
10. Don’t leave the bedroom door open while you’re gone. Your dog will miss you terribly and vomit all over the bedroom carpet. No one will bother to clean that up either.

Now I realize you are probably more experienced than we are, but the odds are that none of these things have happened to you – yet. Trust me – they will eventually rear their ugly heads if you’re not careful and very diligent. And yes, the dead squirrel smell lingers.
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Voices From Forever by Randall Keller http://goo.gl/ZBBmj Available on Amazon
There Is No Silence by Randall Keller http://goo.gl/U6KY7 Available on Amazon.