Open Paranormal Association for Research (OPAR)

I’m officially announcing the start of a new paranormal research organization… Yes, I’m totally serious.

The Open Paranormal Association for Research or OPAR.
I had another name in mind:
Open Paranormal Research Association for Hunters or OPRAH, but that may cause some issues…

So why this one when there are already countless other paranormal this and that organizations out there?
I don’t believe in ghosts or the supernatural. I’ve lived, literally, next door to a cemetery for many years and never once encountered anything paranormal. So I want to approach this from a perspective of someone who’s never experienced any of this. Perhaps that would give me some perspective on what’s really going on.

Are these things real or just figments of a collective imagination? Can so many people be hallucinating or making up stories or are there actual phenomenon that could be construed as paranormal?

I want to see what all the hubbub is about.

And what’s with the name?

Open

All research and investigations conducted within the organization will be available for public review. This includes logs, video and audio (when available) and other records collected during the course of the affair. Furthermore, every effort will be made to ensure the majority, if not all, the content of the research will be available outright in the public domain or at least free (under “fair use” in copyright law if external material is involved) whenever possible.

Paranormal

Or as the good folks at TAPS would elaborate “above-normal”. Floating balls of dust, your strap or finger caught on camera, and fog, do not constitute a “paranormal” event. Neither do “feelings of discomfort or paranoia” which could easily be caused by food poisoning or inhaling chemicals or dust from a particular structure, as much a ghost.

Association

So this won’t be a party of one, obviously. I’ll need some volunteers at some point. Also it’s good to have more than one perspective on anything as you’re likely to observe the non-existent or miss the existent if you only have one set of eyes and ears. And good ideas are always more likely to come by in groups.

Research

We’re actually going to be finding stuff and documenting everything. Even if we find nothing, documentation will still exist. More importantly, if what’s found is nothing, what’s shown will be nothing along with the data showing nothing. Everything will fall within objective and unbiased scrutiny.

The subjects of research will be ghosts, mainly, and hauntings as well as poltergeist activity. No UFOs, extraterrestrials kryptids or other such things. I want to stick to things that are actually feasible for testing purposes. Challenging the government to declassify documents and going into the woods looking for Bigfoot is a no-go.

——–

And so… Onward and upward!

33 thoughts on “Open Paranormal Association for Research (OPAR)

  1. It’s an intriguing idea. I think most groups that research the paranormal already believe whatever it is thy’re researching. They never seem to question if what they came to see actually exists in the first place.

    But just because you lived next to a cemetary for a while and didn’t witness anything out of the ordinary doesn’t mean that sort of thing doesn’t happen.

    One of the laws of enregy is that it can neither be created out of nothing or destroyed.

    I’m not physicist or mathmetician (obviously) but what happens to life force (energy) when people die? Does it go to “Heaven”? Does it hang out here for a while? Or does something different happen altogether?

    It’s an interesting thought and perhaps your group could shed some light on it one day.

    I

  2. “One of the laws of energy is that it can neither be created out of nothing or destroyed.”

    The laws were man made and are therefore more than likely wrong.
    Scientific Law is the new religion corrupting the world.
    Question everything, I say.

    I’ve mentioned this before on theSpoof, but I once witnessed a glove run across the floor and ‘hide’ behind a chair.
    When I went to investigate the glove was indeed there. What the hell was a glove doing in that room, let alone running about on it’s own?
    (I don’t believe in ghosts by the way).

    It seems people won’t believe strange things unless a large amount of ‘authorized credible’ people have witnessed it.
    It’s the “tree falling in a forest when theres no one around to see it” scenario.

    Who decides who is a ‘credible’ witness?

    Anyone want a cup of tea? I’m making one soon. Just thought I’d ask while I’m here. Be polite, and all that.

    • The laws were man made and are therefore more than likely wrong. Scientific Law is the new religion corrupting the world. Question everything, I say.

      Well, technically speaking, that is exactly the approach scientific inquiry takes. It’d be a misnomer to call the discoveries science makes “laws”, but they are rigorously inferred from factual and empirically verifiable foundations.

      “Question everything” is absolutely right, but you also have to strike a compromise somewhere. If we simply questioned everything, we’d never be able to lay groundwork for more intriguing and advanced discoveries. Everything science has come up with in the last century has built upon what was discovered the previous century. And so on, and so forth.

      As for the “tree falling in a forest”, that’s an important facet of quantum theory.

      Just because science hasn’t proved the existence of the supernatural neither proves nor disproves its existence. It also doesn’t reflect at all on the scientific process or the credibility of its discoveries.

      • Also, it’s not possible to prove a negative.

        So you can’t say something “doesn’t exist”. Only that “it exists” if you find evidence for it. Everything else without evidence is just speculation.

        As you point out, knowledge builds on top of knowledge.
        And knowledge comes from obervation.

  3. I’ve only been on theSpoof for a few months, so that’s probably why I never heard about your glove story.

    I gotta ask: Were you high at the time this occured? I know I’ve seen some wierd shit when I’ve done some pharmesutical experimentation in the past.

    Or maybe there was a small animal/rodent in the glove that moved it?

    No tea for me, thanks. I just had some coffee.

  4. Did everyone get there tea?
    Good.

    Now to the discussion:

    -Eksith and Magsol, fair points.
    Knowledge is about developing on the ideas of others over time and moving forward.

    “Knowledge comes from observation”?
    Awareness comes from observation.
    Out of that awareness we can speculate on what we have witnessed but we can’t truly have knowledge of it.
    You see someone die, you are aware that they will decay and that their ‘presence’ will no longer be around as it once was.
    But you have no knowledge of death – only the process of dying.
    So how can you understand life if you cannot understand death?

    And to make matters more complicated, we are also constrained in our understanding of events (paranormal or not) by our communication.
    We are limited by our words and speech.
    Even if someone truly understood everything, they are pretty useless unless they can get across the idea to others to spread the word.

    Plus understanding something is limited by it’s usefulness.
    What difference would it make to knowing the meaning of everything?

    Who decided that there is a meaning to anything in the first place?

    Where did I leave my socks?

    -Madame Bitters, there was no mouse. I considered that idea at the time but the glove didn’t just slide across the floor as if it was dragged along by a mouse.
    Imagine it more like the hand thing in the Addams Family. I am being 100% serious.
    I wasn’t scared. I was young.

    • Mmm… Very well put! You are, indeed, a very charismatic cult leader ;)

      “Out of that awareness we can speculate on what we have witnessed but we can’t truly have knowledge of it”

      In the same vein as “Cogito ergo sum” (I think, therefore I am) awareness is both the subject and a by-product of observation. By the mere fact of observing that we “think”, we can conclude we are aware and that we indeed exist. In this case, knowlege is gained of our existence and awareness. Knowledge that, as a side effect, brings us into awareness.

      Now what is the form, or “plane” of our existence or its nature, is still up to speculation. If we “exist” only physically, then there is no afterlife and perhaps there are no ghosts. But if we exist as both a product of our observation (cogito ergo sum) and physically as a collection of chemicals and raw materials (separate, but connected). Then, perhaps, there is some form of existence past physical death.

      Something, I hope, the research will clear up.

      Yes indeedy! We are very limited by our own communication. And, as you say, if it’s understood to a greater detail, it will be more useful.

      Hopefully we can offset that by collecting data, though I imagine it’s not a lot of fun staring at charts and graphs. Speech, obviously, won’t cut it alone. We need some raw data (math and numbers) to go along with this. After all, we’ve been able to describe the universe in infinitely greater detail with math than with words.

      “What difference would it make to knowing the meaning of everything?”
      Aha! I know the answer to this!! :D
      A farmer with knowledge of soil and weather will be better at the job than a farmer without. We don’t have to change who we are (unless there is some advantage to that), we’ll be better informed and better capable of what we’re doing and be able to do more of what we “want” to do.

      “Who decided that there is a meaning to anything in the first place?”
      Humans are a weird bunch of critters.
      If there’s no meaning, we’ll create ’em and worship the meaning. We’re very strange like that. So we’ll need that shoe temple pretty soon!

      “Where did I leave my socks?”
      Chest of drawers. Top right shelf next to the bloomers.

  5. The whole concept of religion is weird to me.

    Like e said, we feel we must assign some reason to events we can’t understand. This is exactly what religion is.

    We’ve been doing it since humans have been able to form cozigent thoughts. From the many gods of Sumeria and ancient Egypt to the more “modern” Jesus and Muhammed, they all serve esentially the same purpose: to reassure mankind there is a reason things happen. Even if we don’t understand it at the time, some higher form of intelligence knows and “it” has a master plan.

    Religion is the ultimate rationalization; a soothing balm for those pesky unknowable questions.

    It’s too frightening to think otherwise; that events occur because they just… do. We make our own destinies.

  6. Magsol:

    Were you addressing me, eksith or jesusbudda?

    I can’t speak for E or JB but I’m not familliar with Nietzsche or his philosophy.

    I’m not usually so philosophical :)

    • Haha, sorry about that. Yes I was responding to you, missfierce :)

      An important aspect of Nietzsche’s philosophy was the belief that, beneath the layers of logic and religion we lay upon our understanding of the world we inhabit, is a reality that is inherently chaotic and unable to be understood. So we create a pseudo-reality on top of that to make ourselves feel better. He is the quintessential nihilist.

      It’s ok; I don’t think this post on a whole was meant to instigate such philosophical discussion. :)

  7. One sock was under Madame Bitters bed and the other was were you said it would be, Eksith.

    Now my feet will be warm.

    This conversation got very deep, didn’t it?
    I blame Magsol for this!

    I suppose ghosts will have that affect on people.

    Don’t mock religion, Madame (aka,Miss Fierce)
    Well ‘organized religion’ that is. I like dis-organized religions best!
    Random thoughts, beliefs and open to anything and everything.
    Wouldn’t really suit most people – as they like consistency and defined patterns.

    But still, the central ideas of religions are profound and, well, kinda cool.
    It’s when the business structures take over that religions lose focus!
    Rules, rules, rules!
    Religion fills in the gaps in awareness that we can’t comprehend – like death.

    Humans think they are special (curse you, puny earth creatures!) but we are really just a host for a collection of tiny organisms which live upon/in us. And they are broken down into atoms and whatever which have their own way of ‘doing things’.
    Everything we think/feel/do is controlled by the limits of our existence.
    How much control do we really have?
    Do we have any control at all? Are we on a predefined path to serve a greater purpose? Or no purpose at all apart from simply ‘being’.

    Where did the idea of ghosts come from?
    Who was the genius who came up with that first of all?
    If somebody hadn’t suggested it we wouldn’t be talking about it now.

    Oh crap, now I can’t find my boxer shorts!

  8. Boxers, huh?

    I found a pair of tighty whiteys under some couch cushions.

    I thought they may have been yours. Guess not, though.

    Ask E. He seems to know where you keep your undergarmets.

  9. It’s Ok.
    I just saw them run across the floor and hide behind a chair.

    Madame, please don’t insinuate that Eksith is some sort of weirdo underpants-collecting freak.
    He is not a freak.

    And you can keep the pair you found. Remember me by them on cold winter nights.

  10. I’m still trying to figure out how this turned out into a discussion of undergarments.

    …And I second Jesus Budda’s sentiment. I’m, indeed, not a freak.
    Unless you count in my infatuation with Ghosts and such.
    Not on a romantic level, of course. That would be too freaky.

    • “Ghost” sounds guttural as in “Guh” or “Gah”… Which, I imagine, would be the exact same sounds uttered by someone who has just seen one. Along with “AAAAAAAAAH!”

      So I suppose the name is fitting.

    • Dwell, Dwarf and Dwindle (last one took some noodle scratching).
      What did I win? :D

      “Spelt” is more common in British English.
      “Spelled” is more American, though some old texts still use “spelt”.

      You’ll find both varieties here as I have a bad habit of switching back and forth. Also expect to find both “Color” and “Colour” here and there :P

  11. Why do people think ghosts look like a blanket?
    Ever wonder about that?
    It doesn’t make sense.
    Why the hell a blanket? With two holes cut in it to see out of.

    Why would a ghost need to dress up like taht anyways?
    It’s stupid.

    • Hey now!
      Poor folks need to have a good time on Halloween too.

      But I’ve always thought of ghosts and ghost costumes as being too cliché. So I dressed up like a box.

      Even cheaper than being a ghost.

  12. Pingback: What religion are you? « This page intentionally left ugly

  13. Pingback: Gadgets for Detecting Ghosts « The Universe Exists for My Amusement

  14. Pingback: What kept me? « This page intentionally left ugly

  15. No truth based paranormal research is useless, and a mysterious phenomena can’t be proved repeatedly is hard to be studied. This is why JREF and their million-dollar prize exists. Just because paranormal phenomena is very rare, but it not means it dosen’t occur.
    Mysterious signal broad my thoughts and my activitise information automatically, it could be proved repeatdly, require paranormal investigator or paranormal reseacher investigate me.
    Feel free to visit my blog: radwind.wordpress.com , there is introduction to the phenomena, and my contact information.

  16. Pingback: Open Paranormal Association for Research (update) « This page intentionally left ugly

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