Tuesday, February 24, 2009
Right now subjects of the paranormal, aliens and cryptids are pretty mainstream on TV. With the popularity of Ghost Hunters and UFO week on The History Channel, more and more of these types of shows pop up all the time. Even Animal Planet has gotten into the act with their highly dramatized show, The Lost Tapes.
I can't help myself I have to watch many of these shows. I watch them all with the rapt fascination and skepticism of them being studies in sociology with a need for ratings. Why do people believe in monsters? Do any of them really exist? They say that in every legend is a kernel of truth. But what is the truth? What part of our psyche makes us fearful of the unknown?
I have always had a healthy terror of any body of water larger than a swimming pool. It's not the water that terrifies me, but what might be in the water. That might seem odd because I live on a mountain, 1350 miles from the nearest beach. The thought of a great white shark makes my blood run cold. I know they are largely misunderstood animals, and I feel compassion for them in a way. That compassion still doesn't make me want to encounter one. It makes me want to encounter some unknown sea monster even less. But yet there is a part of my little Scottish soul that wants there to be sea monsters. I blame it on Nessie.
Nessie has been reputed for years to be a plesiosaur. I wish more than anything it was a plesiosaur, but in truth it's probably just a type of eel or a sturgeon if it's anything at all. The odds that it would be a plesiosaur are remote considering they breathed air and had to surface. I suppose it's possible that it could have adapted over the centuries but aquatic dwelling creatures don't have to evolve very fast. Their environment doesn't change nearly as rapidly as land does. In my humble opinion sea monsters have the best shot at being real since so much of the ocean is unexplored.
So what about aliens? We have all heard of alien abductions and UFO sightings. I had an astronomy teacher who said something once that I found really to be really sound reasoning. He said that if something from another solar system had the technology to travel this far they would either make their presence known from the get go, or we would never have any idea they were here. I can't say they haven't ever visited, but it does seem rather unlikely to me.
Just an amusing side note...someone I knew for a while a long time ago who had always seemed rational sat me down one day and said they knew I was an alien. They knew what part of the universe I had come from and how I had arrived. The scary part is they were quite serious!!! I had absolutely no idea how to respond to that. What could you possibly say! I don't know why they thought that. I really never spoke to them again after that either. I will admit to being slightly eccentric, but I am pretty sure I originated on this planet! *grins*
Then of course that leaves us with the last myth in our triple crown of weirdness...ghosts. I think people want to believe in ghosts because they need affirmation there is an afterlife. I don't need that affirmation, I already believe there is an afterlife. I believe it because of theology and science both.
I would explain, but that would make this post too long to read, so you will just have to take my word for it.
But what happens when you come face to face with something you don't really believe in? I think that if you live long enough you are going to eventually encounter something that defies explanation. Besides, there are so many reported sightings of all those things mentioned above, that not everyone can be wrong now can they?
I had such an experience nine years ago. If I heard this story from someone else I would probably be skeptical or think they misinterpreted what they saw. I don't expect you to believe it, I can only swear to you that it is true. What you do with it beyond that is up to you.
We had lived in our perfectly normal middle class home that was built in 1986 for less than a year. At that time we had an Akita. She had a routine where she liked to stay up with me for about an hour after R had gone to bed, then she wanted to go into the bedroom and sleep with him next to the bed. It was a night like any other, and I went up to let her in the bedroom. When I opened the door something immediately rushed out at my face, causing me to jerk backward because it startled me. The best way I can describe it was just a puff of smoke or a small cloud. It reached a little higher than my head and I turned to watch it travel across the living room and vanish on the opposite wall. It wasn't wafting along like smoke, it was really moving fast. Sheba saw it too, because she chased it all the way across the room jumping up trying to get it.
Was it a ghost? I don't know...I am not willing to say it was because I don't really believe in ghosts. At least not in the conventionally accepted sense. But I do know it was something. I know I saw it. I spent the rest of the next day trying to figure out what possibly could have caused it. I have never found a single thing to explain it. If anyone has any possible explanations I would love to hear them because it has bugged me ever since. I am not fond of things in my house that don't have an explanation. I have never seen it again either.
Since then I have had a couple other minor incidents that don't carry much weight. I was in the bedroom one day when I heard a distinct male voice say R's name right next to me. I was home alone. Then one afternoon I was sitting down in the family room and a penny fell on my head. There was no shelf or anything above me where I could figure out it could have come from. Maybe it was just a penny from Heaven? *grins again*
The world is a fascinating place filled with mysterious things that we have yet to discover or find an explanation for. I don't believe in 99% of monster sightings, but it's still fun to think about. Besides who am I to judge...I wasn't there for most of them!
(The above pic was taken about 6 years ago, and I can't believe how much shorter my hair was! But I thought it was appropriate for this post since someone thought I was an alien!)