Friday, January 23, 2009

Ghosts and Time Travel

Assume for the moment that ghosts are real, in the sense that they represent an anomalous, paranormal phenomenon (or at least some of them do). As with UFOs, that begs the question: what are they?

Again, as with UFOs, there may well be myriad answers. The one that most people latch onto right off the bat is that ghosts are the spirits of deceased people who remain in touch, somehow, with our plane of existence. The other popular answer that I hear most often is that what we think of as ghosts are, in at least some cases, demons of some sort.

Perhaps. But what if ghosts are something else? Could it be possible that what we see or experience as a ghost represents a break in the continuum of time? In other words, if we view time as not a linear construct, but rather a wave, or even a loop, could we be looking backwards (or perhaps even forwards) in time when we observe a ghost, or similar phenomena? The person we see or experience, assuming that they are from the past, is in all likelihood dead (although if it's the recent past they may well still be alive, in our time), but as we observe them it is as if through a portal, fleeting though it may be, to the past - in short, they are still alive when we are looking at them, at least in their time.

This strikes me as just as plausible an answer for ghosts than the "spirits of the dead" idea (although the two are not necessarily mutually exclusive). Religious scholars have always spoken about some manifestation of an "eternal now" (Henry Alline, who I studied in college, was one; Paul Tillich was another - see here). Scientists now openly speculate that human-initiated time travel in some form or another might be possible. But what if the "time travel" is occurring naturally, as opposed to the human-created forms we usually dream about?

Maybe, just maybe, when we see a manifestation of someone dressed as if they were in the 1890s, they really are still in the 1890s... even as they are, for a moment in time, also in 2009.

Paul Kimball

Monday, January 05, 2009

The 2008 Zorgy Awards

The polls are now closed, and the results are in - here are your winners, and everyone else:

Top Podcast (378 total votes)
2008 Zorgy Award winner
Binnall of America - 196 votes (52%)
The Paracast - 114 votes (30%)
Strange Days Indeed - 42 votes (11%)
Radio Misterioso - 20 votes (5%)
Culture of Contact - 6 votes (2%)
Paul Kimball's pick
Strange Days Indeed

Top Troublemaker (179 total votes)
2008 Zorgy Award Winner
David Biedny - 88 votes (49%)
James W. Moseley - 37 votes (21%)
Alfred Lehmberg - 20 votes (11%)
Jeremy Vaeni - 18 votes (10%)
Rich Reynolds - 16 votes (9%)
Paul Kimball's pick
James W. Moseley

Top Publication (285 total votes)
2008 Zorgy Award Winner
Fortean Times - 133 votes (47%)
UFO Magazine - 65 votes (23%)
Fate - 44 votes (15%)
Alien Worlds - 26 votes (9%)
Saucer Smear - 17 votes (6%)
Paul Kimball's pick
Alien Worlds

Top Paranormal Researcher (557 total votes)
2008 Zorgy Award Winner
Loren Coleman - 275 votes (49%)
Stanton T. Friedman - 95 votes (17%)
Nick Redfern - 82 votes (15%)
Jeff Belanger - 70 votes (13%)
Nick Pope - 35 votes (6%)
Paul Kimball's pick
Nick Redfern

Top Messageboard (613 total votes)
2008 Zorgy Award Winner
Above Top Secret - 448 votes (73%)
The Paracast - 65 (11%)
Binnall of America's USofE - 49 votes (8%)
Book of Thoth - 43 votes (7%)
Department 47 - 8 votes (1%)
Paul Kimball's pick
Department 47

Top Blog (205 total votes)
2008 Zorgy Award Winner
UFO Mystic - 107 votes (52%)
Posthuman Blues - 49 votes (24%)
Entangled Minds - 25 votes (12%)
A Different Perspective - 14 votes (7%)
aboutSeti - 10 votes (5%)
Paul Kimball's pick
Posthuman Blues

Top Paranormal News Service (420 total votes)
2008 Zorgy Award Winner
The Daily Grail - 301 votes (72%)
The Anomalist - 75 votes (18%)
The Debris Field - 25 votes (6%)
Alien Worlds - 14 votes (3%)
The Keyhoe Report - 5 votes (1%)
Paul Kimball's pick
The Daily Grail

And so it goes. Winners are entitled to proudly display the 2008 Zorgy Award Winner seal, which is forthcoming this week. Thanks to everyone who popped by to vote - see you again next year!

Paul Kimball