DragonCon 2016

NEW_LOGO_DCsmallHey, all! We are honored, yet again, to be presenting at Atlanta’s very own DragonCon! It’s the 30th anniversary year, and we’re looking forward to hanging out with all our paranormal peeps, seeing the sights, and meeting new friends! (As well as chasing Heather out of Karl Urban’s Walk of Fame booth. She’s probably going to get arrested. We should probably start a GoFundMe for her bail money.)

Anyway! Here’s where we’ll be!

Friday, September 2, 2016, 4PM
Ghost Hunting in Georgia – We’ll present our best audio, photographic, and video evidence that we’ve collected in the last nine years and talk about some of our most interesting cases. Come find us at the Sheraton, Savannah 1-3.

Sunday, September 4, 2016, 4PM
Georgia Paranormal History – We’ll talk about the most interesting historical locations in Georgia and the ghosts and cryptids that hang out there! Come find us at the Sheraton, Savannah 1-3.

Can’t wait to see you! And make sure you download the DragonCon app on your mobile device and friend us! Just look for Clint Brownlee, Jordan Duncan, Shawn Boettner, Stefanie Jones, Christina Kieffer, and Heather Dobson!

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Misconceptions of the Paranormal

Hey, all! Heather here! The following post is from our Charter Investigator and current Assistant Director Jordan. Enjoy!

It should be understood that not everybody has a belief or interest in the paranormal, and that is completely fine. We here at PGI completely understand. However,  it’s usually found that the people who want to criticize paranormal investigations and investigators don’t take the time to research what they are criticizing. Sure people see what’s on TV, but not all paranormal investigators operate the same way.

The word ‘paranormal’  gets tossed around very often these days. Most likely because of the growing popularity of paranormal TV shows and other forms of ‘Para-tainment’. But what is the paranormal? Paranormal refers to anything outside ‘the normal’. Paranormal DOES NOT equal ghosts! Paranormal can refer to anything from the spiritual/supernatural, to the extra terrestrial, to cryptozoological, and so on. Now, we’re not saying there is a ghost of a Sasquatch or a Yeti flying a UFO in your house screaming Get out, but ‘Paranormal’ is a blanket term for all of these and is most identified with ghosts/spirits. Also, on the same note, if a place has paranormal activity it DOES NOT make that place haunted. It just means that there could possibly be activity going on that hasn’t quite been explained as of yet.

Not everybody in the field is a believer, and that is INCREDIBLY important for the future of the paranormal field. There are a healthy amount of skeptics in the field and the field NEEDS that skepticism. It is important for investigators to use that skepticism to find normal reasons that could be misidentified as potential paranormal activity. A skeptic’s primary job is go in and attempt to disprove what is potentially going on. When you can not logically or scientifically explain what is going on, then you have something paranormal (again meaning ‘Outside-of-the-normal’). It should not be assumed that everyone who investigates the paranormal is a believer. That is not the case.

On the flip side of the argument, just because someone might be a believer does not make them wrong. There are a large number of reasons a person could be a believer whether they’ve had some undeniable personal experience or captured a piece of evidence that just cannot be explained to the most logical or scientific sense. If someone does not believe or have interest in the paranormal because they think or feel science or religious beliefs dictate otherwise, that’s fine too. But one shouldn’t sit here and tell all the others who are interested that they’re wrong or imply that they are dumb for having an interest in the paranormal. The people who investigate have obviously have some personal reasons that drew them towards the subject, or some people just have an interest in it and investigate because of said interest. And that is completely OK.

There was an argument stating that paranormal investigators do not help people. We beg to differ. We can’t speak for any other investigators or teams, but there are MANY cases of paranormal investigators giving peace of mind to a client. If a client has something going on that they can not explain and requests the aid of a team to go in to see what they can disprove (or prove) just to give the client a better understanding of what is or isn’t going on, then a client’s needs are met. A large percentage of the time, you can disprove almost every claim. Normally with whatever the outcome of the investigation, this eases whatever the clients thoughts were about the goings-on in their home or business and however the client wants to continue after investigators do or don’t find anything is entirely up to them. Again, sometimes not everything can be explained or maybe the client is looking to go a bit deeper in their search for answers, it is perfectly acceptable to refer a client to other sources, people, and teams in the paranormal community in order for them to get the answers they need.

On a lighter note, paranormal investigators are not Ghostbusters. With as much as that is a long-loved film (And who doesn’t? It’s a classic! Personally, it’s one of my favorite films. I know I’m not the only one!), that is far from the truth. Paranormal investigators do not drive around in the Ecto-1 or run around with proton packs zapping “class 5 full roaming vapors” (as cool and fun as that may sound). There is little we do in the ‘busting’ area. We investigate. Plain and simple. When a client calls a team in, equipment (video recorders, audio recorders, temperature gauges, and electromagnetic field detectors) is set up and records for however long a team is investigating. What is collected is not evidence, it is data. Once the data is collected it goes through a rigorous review and what is pulled from the data via audio, video, etc is potential evidence of something paranormal. Once all pieces of potential evidence are collected, they are then again re-reviewed to look for any logical or scientific explanations as to why it is not paranormal. If nothing can be explained, then this piece of evidence is given to the client with an explanation as to who found it, where it was found, and what it means to the client. Not every piece of evidence given to a client means it’s officially a ghost/spirit/entity. It just means what was found can’t be explained at the moment, but maybe at a later time it can possibly be explained.

To end, it is extremely important to know that no one person has all the answers about the paranormal and the paranormal field. ‘Paranormal’ refers to ‘the unknown’ for a reason. If someone had all the answers, it would be ‘known’ and terms like paranormal wouldn’t exist.

Disclaimer: This is a public blog/forum. If you comment here, anyone who comes to this site will be able to see your comment. Comments are not deleted unless they are spam/offensive. If you have private information you don’t wish the public to see, do not put it in your comment. Comments on this website are the sole responsibility of their writers and the writer will take full responsibility, liability, and blame from something written in or as a direct result of something written in a comment. The accuracy, completeness, veracity, honesty, exactitude, factuality and politeness of comments are not guaranteed. In other words, don’t comment with your email address, physical address, or phone number. If you do so, we cannot be responsible for any spam/crank calls you may receive. Think before you comment. Please.

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Musings of a Sasquatch Hunter

Hey folks! Heather here! Our resident Bigfoot expert, Shawn, is back! Enjoy his most recent post!

The trouble with the world is that the stupid are cocksure and the intelligent are full of doubt. – Bertrand Russell

Hey there people in internet land! I am back from another exciting (yup, that’s my story) Sasquatch adventure. While I had a rather awesome time in the woods and had some activity and strange and interesting experiences, I cannot introduce you to the big man himself. Yet. I have previously written about the potential of Sasquatch’s existence here on this blog and have pontificated and postulated on some history and scientific data (or lack thereof) to the potential anthropological ancestry. This is all well and good and can be quite thought-provoking, as well. But, let’s face it folks, this is a rather limited topic, regulated to the fringe “pseudoscience” of cryptozoology. There just isn’t that much out there as compared to other, more accepted, mainstream science branches. One has to dig through pages of book lists, reviews, excerpts chosen to entice you to buy a book, self-proclaimed professionals and expert witness testimony, just to find one tidbit of potentially helpful information. And if you find that video on YouTube, recorded by someone at a conference that falls outside of accepted science, the comment section is full of mockery, derision, and name-calling. All because someone has a different interpretation of the “facts.”

Ancient Egypt. Galileo. Vikings. Prehistoric America. Now, what the hell do they have to do with Sasquatch? Everything and nothing. Now that you are quite possibly confused more than ever, let me explain. Ancient Egypt is the first civilization (4,500 years ago) to have built monuments. Nope. Not quite. Geologists show pictures of rock structures from the Giza Plateau (unbeknownst to them) are asked to ballpark date them based on visible weathering marks. They all date them to well into the 10,000 to 15,000 age bracket. Right up until they are shown that what they were dating was the Sphinx. All of a sudden, they are no longer experts, not sure of the number they just threw out or they get angry and throw a temper tantrum. Last time Egypt was a fertile water-soaked environment was well over 15,000 years ago. Allegedly. So that would mean the Sphinx is a tad bit older than that to account for all the wind/water erosion seen on it, right? Galileo was ostracized and spent a majority of his adult life under house arrest by the Spanish Inquisition for heresy to the church for his scientific observations and theories, all of which have been proven true and correct. That could be why they named four of Jupiter’s moons after him. As well they should since he discovered them! Not to mention he championed the heliocentric solar system theory. Now, he is considered the father of science. Christopher Columbus sailed the ocean blue in 1492. And discovered America first, right? Wrong. Actually, Native Americans of the Pre-Columbian era of Folsom and Clovis people discovered it 12,000 years ago, but that is an insignificant little fact. Especially when you consider all the archaeological evidence to the contrary. Like Viking artifacts, money and graves that put them here almost 1,000 years before Columbus. More and more Viking artifacts are being found to contradict Columbus’s claim to the New World, but yet it is all labeled as fake or reproduction and even strange but inconclusive (look up “out-of-place and time” artifacts). And now pre-history! Almost all your higher institutions of learning are just that. Institutions. Where they instruct you what their version of the truth is and nothing else is possible. They will scoff and sneer at one who thinks outside “the textbook of truth because we say it is.” Oops. My bad. I don’t believe you because you say so. How many times have we been “institutionalized,” I mean “taught,” something just to have it updated and revised? There is a reason for the saying History is written by the conquerors. We are taught that Clovis man cam here across a land bridge 12,000 years ago. If that is so, why is there a plethora of “forbidden archaeology” links, stories, reports, etc., that keep coming up with Homo Sapien Sapiens (modern man – that’s us) evidence of our existence throughout the geological record of up to 250 millions years ago? Look it up. It’s there.

Whew! That was a lot of typing and varied topics to get to this. Why is the existence of Sasquatch so belittled? Why is it so improbably that it could actually be real that modern science excludes any serious interest in the subject. Modern science has been proven incorrect so many times, yet still we cling to their institutionalized, regimented rote memorization of the “facts.” I go way into the woods. WAY into the woods. Far from other people (I hope) and at night I act like a completely deranged weirdo. No, seriously, I do. And I have friends with me doing the same. All in the hopes of the possibility of what could be out there. Other than bears, wolves, coyotes, and mountain lions (a.k.a. The Scary Stuff). Why do I do it? Well, for one, it’s fun. And two, because some really strange things have happened. Responses to my activity that can only be duplicated by a bipedal, opposable thumb-having, upright-walking… something. Whether that is some other completely deranged weirdo hoping that my actions are a squatch responding to him, OR it is Sasquatch himself (or herself – whatever) is why I do it. That, and the satisfaction in the deepest fiber of my being that I was right, that they do exist, and if that is true, what else are “they” lying to us about? On to the Fibonacci Spiral. Oh, and being able to tell all the pompous, ignorant people (I personally know some) who think they are so much smarter than people like me by their sarcasm and condescension without any personal knowledge (just the institutions’ force-fed knowledge), “Neener neener neener! You’re a…”

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Ghost in the Podcast, Episode 6, Merry Christmas!

ITunesPGIPodcast“There’ll be scary ghost stories, and tales of the glories of the Christmases long, long ago!” – Andy Williams, It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year

We here at PGI love any opportunity to tell ghost stories and we’ve decided to revive the Victorian tradition of telling ghost stories on Christmas Eve. So, light the fire, turn on the Christmas lights, pour yourself some eggnog, and get cozy under your favorite blanket because we have a few spooky tales to share with you! Enjoy!

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Ghost in the Podcast, Episode 5

ITunesPGIPodcastSince our November podcast didn’t go as planned, we decided to give you all an extra-special holiday treat with TWO (yes, two!) podcasts for December! For the first one, our Communications Director Heather and our Tech Manager Jeremy discuss locations where amateur paranormal investigators can visit and, well, investigate! We hope you enjoy and make sure to subscribe to and rate our podcast on iTunes if you haven’t done so already. Enjoy!

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Do You Have What It Takes To Be A Paranormal Investigator?

GoofyPGIHeather

Intrepid paranormal investigator Heather Dobson. Wearing eye makeup for a DragonCon panel. Yep, you read that right. Eye makeup. Sometimes we DO go out in the daytime. Photo credit: Grant Miller

CALLING ALL PARANORMAL ENTHUSIASTS!

DO YOU THINK YOU HAVE WHAT IT TAKES TO BE A PARANORMAL INVESTIGATOR? THEN YOU’RE IN LUCK! BECAUSE WE’RE RECRUITING!

But wait. Before you start jumping up and down and squeeeee-ing with excitement, let’s back up a moment and really talk about this.

I know that if you’re reading this, you probably avidly watch Ghost Hunters, Ghost Adventures, Ghost Asylum, Ghost Insert-Word-Here-That-Is-Scary-And-Attention-Grabbing, and any other paranormal-themed show you can get your grubby DVR on. (I know, because even though I investigate the paranormal in my spare time, I also still watch all the paranormal things!) But, guess what? Actually investigating the paranormal is NOTHING like what you see on TV.

Here are some bullet points that pretty much sum up what it’s really like to do what we do:

  • Many times, the client who contacts us is more scary than the paranormal something that may or may not be in their home. No lie. Our Case Manager is a saint.
  • We don’t get paid to do this. In fact, we have to pay to do this. Yep, we buy all the equipment, we pay for the gas to get to and from our investigations, and we buy our own dinners on investigation nights. And the coffee. LOTS of coffee. Hoo, boy, there’s not enough coffee. Save your coffee pennies because you’re going to need them!
  • After actually getting an investigation scheduled, then we have to actually do the investigation. Like, set up equipment, and sit in a dark house for hours when, really, let’s be honest, we just want to be curled up in bed asleep.
  • And why would we rather be asleep instead of investigating? Because after doing this for eight years, I can honestly tell you that most investigations are boring. Like, all those ghost shows take place over several days, in well-known haunted places, with evidence that may or may not be planted for entertainment purposes. But in real life? We can’t make ghosts appear on cue. We have to wait around in the dark. A lot.
  • And after you’ve just spend all those hours in someone’s home, you now have to go home and watch those hours of video camera footage times 4 (because there were four cameras set up). And then? You have all those hours of audio to listen to. And in between all that, you have a family to take care of, and a job to go to, and a social life, and… yeah. That’s a lot to do.
  • Maybe, after all that investigating and all that analyzing, you were assigned to write the final report. WHAT?!? Yeah. So, get on that. Because the client is SCREAMING for results.
  • Now? That you’ve sent in that all-important final report? We need you to collect the raw data from this investigation and add it to our database/spreadsheet. Because we’re also scientists and this is part of our responsibilities.
  • Good job! The final report is in! Data is collected! Guess what? You’ve got to pack up all your equipment and do it again because we have ANOTHER investigation this weekend! Social life? WHAT SOCIAL LIFE?!?!?!
  • Finally, after all that is done, you’ve got ten monthly meetings to attend, library talks and DragonCon panels to help put together, and blog posts to write for this here web site. (I can’t do it all by myself, yo!)
  • And how do you think we get our name out there for all of those clients to notice us and call us? Well, it’s called social media. Are you prepared to help out with that, as well? Because we certainly don’t have an advertising budget (heck, we barely have an equipment budget), we need all the help we can get!

Finally, when you look at how many paranormal shows there are out there and then look at the actual number of paranormal groups that exist (hundreds, dude, HUNDREDS), your chance of EVER getting on a TV show are slim. I think we all have a better chance of getting hit by lightning, while winning the lottery, during a shark attack than getting on a paranormal TV show. You can’t be in this for the fame. You HAVE to want to do this to help people. Because that is what investigating the paranormal is all about. It’s about helping the living to understand the dead. And in the end, you have a new set of friends who are more like family who will investigate with you and trust you with their lives.

And that’s what we do.

Now that you’ve read all of that, are you still ready to jump in with both feet and spend six months with us, training to become a full-fledged paranormal investigator with Paranormal Georgia Investigations? Then email us at PGIBoard@gmail.com and let us know you’re interested! We’ll email you an application and let you know, after the first of the year, when we would like to get together and meet with you.

Good luck!

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Happy Halloween, Everyone! It’s Video Evidence For You!

I don’t know about all of you, but I just love Halloween! Even before I became a paranormal investigator, I just enjoyed this holiday. The crisp, cool fall air, the orange pumpkins, the free candy, and all the spooky fun you can handle!

As a paranormal investigator, Halloween is really special. This is the time of year when requests for investigations pick up and when we get to show all of you what it is we do. As a reward for reading our blog and following us, I give you our annual Halloween gift of evidence!

This video was captured 11 months ago in northeast Atlanta in a private home. (I KNOW! We’ve been sitting on this for 11 months! The suspense has been killing us, but we wanted to save this for our annual Halloween present!)

The clients in this case had quite a bit of activity going on in their home and they wanted answers. Now, I’ll be honest, we’ve only been lucky enough in our seven-year history to capture two instances of paranormal activity on video, so whenever we watch our video footage, we do it with a bit of cynicism because we just know that we probably won’t find anything. Well, this time? We found something! Woo hoo! Video number three!

We had just started the investigation. Our cameras were set up and recording. All four investigators were in the garage with the two clients. All the dogs were in the backyard. This particular camera was in the living room, pointing toward the closed master bedroom door. There were no windows behind the camera and only one to the left (the backyard where there were no streetlights or traffic). The shades were drawn.

At the six-second mark, you see a short shadow figure go from the right side of the screen to the left (very quickly), and then it seems to crawl back in the opposite direction (a bit more slowly). Pay close attention because it’s not a dark figure, but rather see-through and vague. What makes this bit of evidence so special is that it validates our clients’ experiences and claims. When you do see it, I hope it blows your mind like it did ours!

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Ghost in the Podcast, Episode 4

ITunesPGIPodcastWe’re finally back with a new episode of our Ghost in the Podcast! This month, our Assistant Director Jordan and our Tech Manager Jeremy talk about all things Halloween! We hope you enjoy and make sure to subscribe to and rate our podcast on iTunes if you haven’t done so already. Enjoy!

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Noisy Ghosts

Image credit: Ganando Enemigos

Image credit: Ganando Enemigos

For my generation (that would be those of us described by the letter X), our introduction to the word “poltergeist” came from that famous 1982 movie of the same name by Steven Spielberg. Objects moved of their own accord, chairs stacked themselves, and a little girl famously told her family, “They’re here!”

And don’t even get me started on that clown. *Shiver*

But I’m not here to talk about Hollywood poltergeists, angered by housing construction on Indian burial grounds. I’m here to talk about actual poltergeists and the dearth of shows (read: two) coming out this month profiling two famous poltergeist cases.

The word “poltergeist” is German for “noisy ghost” and it is this entity that is most often blamed for activity that can include object movement and levitation, tappings and knockings on walls, disembodied voices, and pinching, biting, hitting, and tripping people. But wait, you cry, all of that sounds bad and… demonic!

Well, there’s a big difference. Think of the poltergeist as your annoying little brother and think of the demon as a serial killer and you get the idea of the gulf between the two.

There are many theories out there as to what poltergeists could be. Many skeptics point to the fact that well-known poltergeist activity tends to focus on one or two people at a time, only occurs for a handful of years, and can be easily faked. In addition, many of these cases occur around children going through adolescence (a time in our lives when we crave attention). Some scientists theorize that poltergeist activity could be caused by seismic activity or underground water flows. And a third group, paranormal researchers, feel that poltergeists could be due to psychokinesis.

Yep, those are some across-the-board ideas.

Let’s go the skeptic route first. When we hear of a client who possibly has poltergeist activity, the first question we ask is, “Do you have any adolescent children/teenagers in the house?” Typically, these types of cases occur around children entering their teenage years. The second question we ask is, “Has there been any familial strife in the house, such as a death or divorce or family quarrels?” Because we all know that if you have teenagers in the house who have just gone through, or are currently going through, a family crisis/upheaval, then it’s fertile ground for a child who is seeking attention because they feel they aren’t getting it by any other means. It’s pretty easy to fake poltergeist activity if one is so inclined. But, faking poltergeist activity does take quite a bit of effort and time and can involve hurting oneself, on purpose, in the process. To fake this type of activity takes patience, wherewithal, and nerve. LOTS of nerve.

Second is the scientific route. Some geologists theorize that movement of ground water under a house, or seismic activity (due to earthquakes or traffic) could cause the house to pop and crack and objects to move. The main problem with this idea is that you would have to have pretty significant and frequent earthquakes to make objects move and said earthquakes would be noticeable. Also, this doesn’t explain object levitation, disembodied voices, or physical harm to the people in the house. Even though this idea is faulty, it has merit, which is why we ask for dates and times when the activity occurred and match that to local seismic history, as well as geological information of the property.

Lastly is the idea that poltergeist activity isn’t spirit activity at all, that it’s actually caused by psychokinesis. This is another reason why we ask the ages of the people in the house and if anyone has gone through any recent health traumas (major illness). It has been theorized that children going through puberty or women and men experiencing a mid-life hormonal shift can psychokinetically cause poltergeist activity without meaning to do so, that the poltergeist activity is an external manifestation of inner mental and physical turmoil. The same can be true of someone who has just dealt with a major illness or medical procedure. Many of our questions to our clients can seem invasive, but it’s a way for us to understand the undercurrents in a paranormal case. And if the possibility of a hoax and geologic activity have been ruled-out, then this last explanation may be the only viable one.

Of course, Hollywood likes to over-dramatize poltergeist cases and this month’s offerings are no exception. This Friday, at 10PM EDT, on A&E, is The Enfield Haunting. This dramatized show presents the story of the 1977 to 1979 case of two teen girls, in Brimsdown, Enfield, England, who claimed to be the focus of poltergeist activity. The Enfield case was the subject of many books, documentaries, and reports and, during the activity, received considerable media coverage in the British press. Psychologists claim the girls faked the evidence for attention due to their parents’ recent divorce while paranormal researchers swear the case is real.

And finally, on Monday, October 26, A&E will premier the first episode of Cursed: The Bell Witch a reality-documentary series which follows a man who claims to be a direct descendant of the Bell family and who wants to end the Bell Witch curse before his son comes of adult age. The Bell Witch was the name given to a poltergeist that is said to have terrorized the John Bell, Sr., family, of Adams, Tennessee, in 1817. Historians claim it’s an exaggeration of local folk lore while residents and descendants still claim that the Bell family property is haunted and that the poltergeist is still active.

So, I leave it to all of you, dear readers, to decide what poltergeist activity is and whether it’s fake, natural, or real. Make sure you set your DVRs to record and have a spooky October!

TV Show Recommendation Disclaimer: I am writing this review of my own free will. Neither A&E Network nor the The Walt Disney Company, nor anyone associated with the above shows, paid me with money or promises of future poltergeist adventures. I just felt like bringing spooky October programming to everyone’s attention all while educating people about poltergeists. No FTC disclosures needed.

Disclaimer: This is a public blog/forum. If you comment here, anyone who comes to this site will be able to see your comment. Comments are not deleted unless they are spam/offensive. If you have private information you don’t wish the public to see, do not put it in your comment. Comments on this website are the sole responsibility of their writers and the writer will take full responsibility, liability, and blame from something written in or as a direct result of something written in a comment. The accuracy, completeness, veracity, honesty, exactitude, factuality and politeness of comments are not guaranteed. In other words, don’t comment with your email address, physical address, or phone number. If you do so, we cannot be responsible for any spam/crank calls you may receive. Think before you comment. Please.

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Ghost in the Podcast, Episode 3

ITunesPGIPodcastHey everyone! This month, we step away from ghosts and poltergeists and everything that goes bump in the night and instead talk about PGI investigator Heather’s favorite topic… MOTHMAN! Hope you enjoy and make sure to subscribe to our PGI Ghost in the Podcast on iTunes and leave us feedback and rate our show. Enjoy!

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