Thursday, February 25, 2010

The 2009 Zorgy Awards - Voting Begins

Hi folks. Better late than never with the 2009 Zorgy Awards.

As with the 2008 awards, the nominations have been decided by Zorgy and I, but the choices are all yours.

Voting begins... now!

The polls will close on March 7, 2010, at 10 pm AST.

Top Paranormal Researcher
Nick Redfern
Christopher O'Brien
Robert Hastings
Anthony Bragalia
Mac Tonnies
Peter Robbins
Loren Coleman
Greg Bishop
Nick Pope
Kevin Randle
Free polls from

Top Paranormal Blog
UFO Mystic
Posthuman Blues
The UFO Iconoclasts
A Different Perspective
The Orange Orb
Strange State
De Void
UFO Media Matters
Robert Barrow
Free polls from

Top Paranormal News Service
The Debris Field
The Daily Grail
The Anomalist
UFO Digest
Fortean Times
Book of Thoth
Free polls from

Top Paranormal Podcast
Binnall of America
The Joiner Report
The Paracast
Through the Keyhole
Radio Misterioso
Dark Matters Radio
The Kevin Smith Show
Black Vault Radio
Free polls from

Top Paranormal Television Show
Ghost Hunters
UFO Hunters
Most Haunted
Ghost Hunters International
Rescue Mediums
Ghost Cases
Ghost Lab
The Haunted
The Othersiders
Paranormal State
Free polls from

Top Discussion Forum
Book of Thoth
Above Top Secret
UFO Evolution
The Paracast
Department 47
The Black Vault
SyFy Forums - Ghost Hunters
SyFy Forums - UFO Hunters
The Bigfoot Forums
Free polls from

Good luck to everyone!

Paul Kimball (and Vice Admiral Zorgrot)

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Sadler and Mera - new books!

My friends Dave Sadler and Steve Mera (with the Unknown Phenomena Investigation Association in the United Kingdom) worked with me on four episodes of Ghost Cases last year. They are both top notch paranormal investigators, and they both have new books available.

Steve's is Strange Happenings, and Dave's is Paranormal Reality.

Both are well worth a look.

Paul Kimball

Monday, February 08, 2010

Are Military and Police Witnesses Any More Reliable Than Civilians?

It's an old refrain, often used by UFO researchers when they want to highlight the bona fides of a particular UFO case - military personnel and police officers are "trained personnel" who make for better witnesses, and also of better character, ergo, the UFO case that centers around them is much more difficult to refute.

To which I say (to quote an American general from World War II) - Nuts!

Soldiers are highly trained to do one thing - kill people. They do, of course, have other areas of training as well, but this is their primary function, even in our feel-good age of nation-building and peacekeeping/making.

Police officers are trained to enforce the law, which involves a number of different skill sets, most of them physical, because at their core, the average patrol officer (the vast majority of police officers, and the ones who seem to come into the most frequent contact with UFOs) is in the business of breaking up trouble, or trying to stop it before it starts. They are not investigators.

Most soldiers and police officers are good at what they do. But are they trained any better than Joe or Jane Q. Public when it comes to observing and reporting on events that could be called abnormal / paranormal?

I don't think so, at least not as a general rule. You have to look at the individual soldier, or police officer. For example, there's nothing about the group of soldiers involved in the 1980 Rendlesham case that stands out as being anything extraordinary in terms of their ability to observe events.

Another canard is that military personnel and police officers are somehow immune - or at the very least, less susceptible - to emotions, perhaps even panic, than your average civilian. Again, there is no objective basis for this conclusion. It depends, at the end of the day, on the individual, and the circumstances.

For example, a Green Beret might have nerves of steel, but a cook, or even a military policeman, might be less steadfast. And one suspects that even the best-trained soldier or police officer can overeact, or panic, given the right set of circumstances.

Doubt that? History is replete with examples that drive home my point. One stunning example can be seen in the case of the tasering death of Polish-immigrant Robert Dziekanski by four RCMP officers in 2007. There are many others.

Stan Friedman is often fond of saying that people are good observers, but poor interpreters. I agree with the latter part of the statement, but not the former. Having served with the RCMP myself when I was in law school, I know first hand how tricky observation can be, particularly under duress, and especially when one relies on memory after the event to reconstruct it. This is the biggest flaw in the Roswell accounts, which were given decades later.

The best scenario - although still not perfect - is for a witness to have made notes immediately after an event, as police officers do. Then you can always "refresh your memory" later, as we used to say when being cross-examined on the witness stand.

But no matter what, any single witness is of questionable value. What is needed is some sort of independent corroboration. Obviously, physical evidence would be best (and there is some of debatable worth with Rendlesham), but other witnesses viewing an event, preferably who are unknown to the first witness, and even better if they're looking at it from a different angle, will do as well in terms of making a case worth studying.

Then there's the character question. Often researchers will imply, and sometimes even state outright, that military personnel and police officers are of impeccable character, and would, of course, never lie, or commit any misdeeds.

Again, history says otherwise. A current and noteworthy example can be seen with CAF Colonel Russell Williams, who has just been charged with multiple murders (note: yes, I'm aware he's innocent until proven guilty). Prior to this, if he had been a UFO witness, he would no doubt have been pointed to by researchers as an exemplary man, incapable of any malfeasance. He was, after all, a respected and accomplished senior commander, whose tour of duty included a stint as commanding officer for Camp Mirage, the secretive Canadian Forces forward logistics base that's not officially acknowledged by the government or military, but has been widely reported to be near Dubai.

This is not to dismiss military or police witnesses, of course. Rather, it is to remind people that no UFO case can stand on just eyewitness testimony, and no eyewitness testimony should be allowed a free pass, or the equivalent thereof, based on what amounts to an appeal to authority.

Paul Kimball

Monday, February 01, 2010

The Island of Blood

It's always fun when I have a new film that premieres, and today is no exception. This time it's not on television (although it will probably wind up there in one form or another at some point), or in the theater, or the other usual media - nope, this time it's right here, free of charge, direct to you.

The Island of Blood is a low budget, lo-fi, slightly tongue-in-cheek, mostly serious look at the chupacabra phenomonon in Puerto Rico with my good pal Nick Redfern and Puerto Rican researcher Orlando Pla. It also features interviews with real witnesses, and an official government investigator of the phenomenon.

So, without further ado, here it is.

Kimball, Redfern, Zorgrot and the chupacabra!