Going esoteric on Paranormal Day

Ever felt the hair at the back of your neck stand on end for no reason? Ever visited a location for the first time and getting a distinct feeling that you’d been there before?

Well, it’s the 3rd of May, and today we celebrate Paranormal Day, the day dedicated to all things lying ‘beyond the range of normal experience or scientific explanation’, to quote the Free Online Dictionary. This is the day for all fans of the paranormal to get together to share their stories and experiences.

Ghosts, one of many paranormal phenomena that have fascinated humankind for centuries. (© All Rights Reserved)
Ghosts, one of many paranormal phenomena that have fascinated humankind for centuries.
(© All Rights Reserved)

Paranormal phenomena include human ‘abilities’ such as telepathy, clairvoyance, and extrasensory perception, as well as subjects like ghosts, extraterrestrial life and UFOs. These are all subjects that have, through the ages, divided opinions, causing rather heated disagreements and debates among the believers and the sceptics. So, irrespective of which camp you belong to, Paranormal Day is sure to be a day of exciting and heated debate.

If you don’t feel like swopping paranormal stories, or getting involved in the arguments around the subject, you can always celebrate the day by popping a huge bowl of popcorn and enjoying your favourite paranormal movie. The paranormal has long been a Hollywood favourite, so whether you prefer a heartwarming romantic comedy, edge-of-your-seat action, chilling suspense or blood-curdling horror, you are sure to find something to suit your taste. If you prefer a more factual take on the subject, perhaps try a good documentary on the paranormal, such as the National Geographic’s ‘Is it Real?’ series. On the other hand, if you’re keen on some real out there stuff, there’s always the Internet…

Enjoy Paranormal Day, and remember – all may not be as it seems…

Look up – it’s World UFO Day!

World UFO Day is celebrated on 2 June each year, with this year being the 11th celebration of the event. World UFO Day aims to unite all UFO believers, and to highlight what many believe to be a continued conspiracy by governments over the world to hide proof of the existence of UFO’s, aliens and extraterrestrial activity.

Close encounters of the fake kind…
(© All Rights Reserved)

While a Google search for UFO’s and extraterrestrial activity can result in much weirdness and amusement, there is no denying the continued, widespread interest in the subject. And alongside the many dubious alien-chasers out there, there are numerous more scientifically sound activities like the SETI (Search for Extra Terrestrial Intelligence) initiatives at Harvard University, the University of California, Berkeley and the SETI Institute. These form part of a well coordinated global initiative with millions of contributors and supporters. SETI@Home, hosted at Berkeley, is a scientific experiment that uses Internet-connected computers in a quest to detect intelligent life outside Earth. Members of the public can participate by running a free program that downloads and analyzes radio telescope data. SETI@Home, originally launched in May 1999, is currently the largest international distributed computing effort with over 3 million concurrent users.

In reaction to some SETI activities, renowned physicist Stephen Hawking has expressed the opinion that humanity’s efforts to radio communicate with extraterrestrials could in fact be endangering us. If aliens detecting our signals could travel to earth, which would prove their vast technological superiority, Hawking is reported to have said “I think the outcome would be much as when Christopher Columbus first landed in America, which didn’t turn out very well for the Native Americans”.

The National Geographic Channel recently polled American citizens on various topics related to the extraterrestrial. No less than 36% of those polled believe that UFO’s exist, with the majority of these being sure that government officials are hiding paranormal activities from the public. More surprisingly, 11% (about one in ten) believe they’ve personally seen a UFO. Furthermore, if the US was faced with an alien takeover, 65% Americans feel President Barrack Obama would be better suited to handle the situation than presidential candidate Mitt Romney.

It’s not only the Americans who are regularly seeing unidentified objects in the skies. UFO interest groups are a global phenomenon, and down here in New Zealand, an organisation called the UFocus NZ Research Network maintains a hub of information on New Zealand UFO sightings and contact experiences.

In 2012 alone, the UFocus NZ website lists no less than 43 sightings for the first half of the year – quite incredible, considering the size of the country.

And here I was thinking we were safely off the beaten track down under!