I have always been analytical and have survived on logic since I was a child. To many this may sound like a strength, but I was the quiet kid who sat alone and watched how others interacted. I have relied more on analysis and experience to guide me through life rather than using my gut or taking a leap of faith. I have always searched for an outlet for my analytical and logical ways other than devouring any book I could get my hands on. I never had much in the way of belief for the anomalous fields, since I had learned Parapsychology, UFOlogy, and Cryptozoology were based on guess work and random spontaneous experiences and were nothing short of junk science (with the word science used loosely).
Then, in 1996, I got my first taste of anomalous research. It was born out of a debate I had with a coworker who believed a local urban legend without question and wanted to go experience it for himself. Seriously? You believe that stuff? I was suddenly bent on proving his claims false, but for anyone else I asked they had heard similar stories and most people seemed to believe in them. This was my driving force to prove them all wrong. I went to this location to gather information, I went to the local library and literally camped out for an entire day digging for answers. While I was triumphant in finding enough clues to sway the possibility to explainable, it did not convince those who believed in the story and while I felt this story was not real I had stumbled upon the work of Parapsychology and suddenly felt the tug to dig deeper. Months later I became the leader of a paranormal investigation group (by default) and after many years of trial and error, successes and failures, I still lead this group and am still in search for the multitude of answers that escape us all.
"Back off man, I'm a scientist!"
As the newly appointed Director of Research for ParaNexus I took a little time to ponder what that role really meant. Not so much as what it is to do research or to provide an avenue for others to follow, but what that means to what I do, what I bring to the members of ParaNexus, and what it needs to bring the paranormal field. So often you will hear people complain about the paranormal field, or anomalous fields, because of politics, direction, or how the field is presented on television or books. I was one of those complainers until a colleague told me that I would get nowhere by complaining and the only way to change the things I disliked was to get involved and change it myself while rallying others to do the same. No small task and putting my name out there has never been a goal of mine. I have always been content with helping others with knowledge and direction and have seen plenty of people become successful in many areas of life due in part to my guidance.
When Doug and I discussed me becoming the Director of Research, he left the door open for me to define that role and create it in my own mold. According to my dictionary here, research is defined as an “organized study: methodical investigation into a subject in order to discover facts, to establish or revise a theory, or to develop a plan of action based on the facts discovered “ Encarta ® World English Dictionary © & (P) 1998-2005 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved.
While my focus will be on designing experiments, studies, surveys, questionnaires, and other scientific information gathering methods to help establish or revise theories in our field, the role means much more than that to me. Doing science right has always been important in my personal work. Not only do I plan on helping to design these experiments, I look to keep the membership involved in them as well as informed of new technology, approaches, ideas, findings and methods used in the big three anomalous fields. My focus is to help continue to separate ParaNexus from other organizations that have similar interests, but have cloudier goals. I want to help further define the role and objective of anomalous investigators through the work of our membership. In turn, I hope to help bring a broad scientific view from the public and amateur organizations and maintain the path to demonstrate that ParaNexus is a leader and is innovative in searching for answers and defining the work that we do in the field of anomalous science. These are things that I feel that I want to help accomplish and these feelings were etched in the minds of those who created ParaNexus:
"As for the future, one thing is certain: In a divided field that is rampant with individuals "hunting" ghosts, chasing lights in the sky, and embroiled in petty disputes, ParaNexus will continue to shine as a beacon of light, seeking to guide, educate, and unify an anomalous research field in desperate need of breakthroughs while maintaining a grounded, stable, and rational approach. ParaNexus is working hard to bring together like-minded professionals in an association based on high ethical standards.” -Taken from “About ParaNexus"
Creating these experiments and other scientific and data collection methods will not be an easy task. The goal is to form these methods with as many controls as possible, strictly defining what is being searched for, determining the statistics to define the findings without bias, while keeping them within a setting that the majority will be able to utilize them with. I am confident that with the membership of ParaNexus these tasks will roll forward. Let the science define us.