I belong to a number of Paranormal groups on Facebook, most of the time I casually glance at the posts on my feed, on the odd occasion one will take my fancy, and I'll have a closer look. I saw one recently, the usual fare of a photograph, with "something Paranormal" in it, I see them all the time, 99% of them are perfectly explainable, and this one fell right into that category. So why did it inspire me to write this? Well it was the ensuing Argumentum ad Ignoratum, that followed the posting of the pic. One brave soul decided to say what he thought, pointing out the fact that it was difficult to see the "faces" mentioned, and it could be a perfectly simple case of Pareidolia/Matrixing. The argument that followed was impressive to say the least, I missed the chance for a nice cut and paste session, as the poster took the whole thing down, but some of the stuff posted was laughable, and really quite insulting too, pity I know, but it got me thinking, and that, as you know, could be a good thing, or a very dangerous thing!! OK, the scene has been set, so I shall take this a step forwards. Now the photo was taken at Gettysburg, for those of you who do not have an anal fascination with history, its a battlefield site from the American Civil War, a three day bloodbath that left 66,000 men dead and wounded. Now do a google search for Gettysburg Ghosts, and you are treated to a plethora of interesting imagery from the site.
The lady posting the photo claimed that her mother had taken a photo, at the very same location, as the original person posting the comment, and had got the same image, and she also had a period picture of a Confederate soldier whose face was the exact double of the one purported to be in these ghost photos. None of these were provided as evidence, for interested parties to study!
Now, that would have been my first line of defence, you have supporting evidence, you show it. Gettysburg, a massive battle, an incredibly well documented battle, you were walking on the site, you should have a damn good idea of where on the battlefield you picture comes from, and you have evidence in the form of a picture from the period (1860s).
So you get researching, you can locate the area on the battlefield, and reading through the documents, you should be able to pinpoint what action took place there, and what Confederate Regiments fought in that part of the battle. You may be able to find out which regiment your Confederate soldier fought in, and match that with a regiment from the battle.
What if by some lucky coincidence, you can match the soldier in your period photo, with a regiment that fought on that part of the battlefield, what if you find his name, and he is on the casualty returns, having fought, and sadly died, right there, on the spot where you took your photo!!!
All of a sudden, your "possibly pareidolia" photo takes on a whole new dimension. But sadly this does not happen with a surprising number of Paranormal groups, post a photo, make some outlandish claims, get upset when they are questioned, insult people making comments, then take the whole post down.
Now here's a radical idea, try something new, Take It A Step Further, and do some research, because if you want to get taken seriously, then you need to put forwards a convincing argument, a factual, well based argument supported by well researched background material, and any other evidence you can find. It's really not that difficult to do either, with the advent of the internet, and search engines, you can find out all sorts of interesting information. There is however, a surprising number of paranormal groups, that either, do no research at all, and just expect you to believe the "evidence" they present, or choose not to share their research with their prospective audience!!! Why do this? I cannot for the life of me, understand why you don't research, or why there has to be this element of secrecy involved . Investigations should be evidence based, with excellent research material to back up any claims, recording data should be par for the course, lots of groups are waving around various bits of electronic kit, so make a note of your findings, and please please please, share what you have found out, and match it to your research. Its the way to try and move investigating a little further forwards, and to make us look just a little bit more credible, rather than a bunch of lunatics that run around in the dark!!!
Any mug can stick up a photo, its easy, whats not so easy, is to take the time to research further, I just wish more people would take the time to do it...............I always do, but then again, thats what I enjoy., and Out There Paranormal, as a team, will always share our evidence, and research with other groups, and with the general public......we are after all, trying to answer the same questions