Open Paranormal Association for Research (update)

It’s been two years since I announced that I’ll be forming an organization dedicated to paranormal research on this blog, but until now it hadn’t had much momentum.

The fault is entirely mine as I’ve been far too occupied with other affairs to give much thought to it beyond the initial idea. Well, a few contacts past week provided me with the opportunity to advance this further. Namely, I’ll have a chance to create an archive system to document any research in order to present them in a meaningful way and, being a programmer, this will be naturally based on a searchable database.

So far, I have started work on a case management system that will store all documents and research information using an EAV paradigm since I have no way of knowing what type of materials I’ll come across, but still implement thorough record-keeping.

And finally, like all aspiring organizations, a logo will be needed. I chose an encircled, 12-petal, chrysanthemum for cultural and historical reasons. 12 Is an important number in several cultures of the Middle East and subsequently, the West through the spread of religion, and the chrysanthemum is a similarly important symbol of the East. Both, I think, represent what I’m trying to achieve with this.

Open Paranormal Association for Research

Following the choice of color, there will be no doom and gloom associated with this and, by extension, the website for the project. I’m not sure why many other paranormal research organizations insist on darkness as a theme, but just because you may conduct your research at night, doesn’t mean it should be a color choice as well. This organization will stand for knowledge and openness, hence lightness not darkness.

There’s no date yet on when I can start on actual research since I first need the infrastructure in place. The last thing I need is disorganization even before any work starts.

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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.

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And so… Onward and upward!