This week’s edition of Eye on the Paranormal opens with a new feature called ASK PRS? Each week we will post questions that we would love PRS (Paranormal Research Society) to answer. But we know they never will.
You, my reading audience, are invited to send in questions and we will gladly post them in the following week’s issue. Please send them to my MySpace page email, using ASK PRS in the subject heading. And please don’t hold your breath waiting for an answer.
Secondly, as we move through both seasons of “Paranormal State,” we will be adding additional names of so-called para-celebrities who have made an appearance on either season of the show, to our “Paranormal Moment of Truth Challenge.”
So here are the questions for this week.
1. As a team, how many cases did PRS investigate off-campus prior to the start of the series?
2. How many cases does PRS investigate on a yearly basis, not including those for the TV series?
3. If you do investigate without the cameras rolling, how often do you invite para-celebrities to take part in such investigations? Or are they only there to make an appearance on the show?
4. What kind of training did Ryan Buell receive in demonology, and how was it that he became active with the local archdiocese?
Editorial Comment: Is Reality TV Ever Real?
The answer is no, it’s not. Just as in psychological research, while performing naturalistic observation, the mere presence of the observer alters the normal behavioral patterns of a subject, if that subject is aware enough to be self-conscious of being observed by others.
The same is true in the case of reality TV. The presence of a group of people in and around the home alters the natural flow of things. People say things for the camera’s sake; the producers seek to put on an exciting 22 minutes to keep the ratings high and the audience interested. And, to create an effective story arc there must be a planned set order of shots.
Thus, you can’t have a reality show that is real. It requires a script, not the kind of script where every single word is written down, but an understanding by the production team and the investigating team that they have to have certain shots. There must be a certain level of excitement, which is the type of production that “Paranormal State” engages in, so in effect, we don’t get a reality show, we simply get a 22 minute “unscripted” drama.
Article: “A Brief Look at a Few Entertainment Shows & Cultural Trends That Laid the Foundation for ‘Paranormal State’”
We love to talk about ghosts, ghouls, vampires, UFOs, etc. It adds some needed excitement to make people’s lives seem a little less bleak and break the patterns of boredom and routine that many must endure.
As long as there have been cameras rolling, actors speaking, and people watching, the paranormal has been a big drawing card. One of the earliest pieces of film considered a classic was “A Trip to the Moon.” And how many of you have heard about Orson Welles radio broadcast of “War of the Worlds” and how many genuinely believed there was an actual Martian invasion. This was followed by traditional horror monster and flying saucer movies of the 1940s, 50s and 60s. With the advent of TV you had Rod Serling’s “The Twilight Zone” that kept audiences glued to their set and at the same time harking from the 1947 Roswell Incident to the Blue Book of the 50s and 60s. It was also the era of political assassinations that had a few sinister conspiracies tied to them. The 1970s you had the debacle of Vietnam, Watergate, and the CIA revelations.
Into this mix there was a short-lived TV series watched by a small but loyal audience and later took on cult status. “Kolchak: The Night Stalker” [1974-1975] aired for 20 episodes on ABC. Darren McGavin who played the lead, Carl Kolchak, as a down-on-his-luck beat newspaper reporter who speaks into a tape recorder to provide a voiceover for the episode. Each week’s episode dealt with some kind of supernatural event such as monsters, vampires, werewolves, etc. gathering evidence as he went, but by the end the powers that be would always kill the story and disappear with his proof.
During the 1980s a sense of suspicion swept across the nation. Black helicopters, secret societies, men in black, and UFOs. Many felt that the government had sold us down the river.
The Internet gave people a new avenue for information gathering and sharing. The paranormal field, as well as the supernatural had a new tool to express itself with. In the 90s two programs laid the greatest amount of foundation for “Paranormal State.” Art Bell’s “Coast to Coast” gave an outlet for not only the casual listener but created a platform for para-celebrity status, authors, government whistle blowers and even the average Joe, if they couldn’t get the mainstream media interested. In addition, “The X Files,” [1993-2002] featured a young, handsome FBI agent, Fox Mulder, who ran the X Files Division, a unit within the Bureau that handled cases that involved paranormal and supernatural activities. Mulder was driven to find a truth every week the credits ended with the slogan, “the truth is out there.” And just like with Ryan Buell, Fox Mulder’s character was driven on his quest by events that happened to him during his childhood.
In the new millennium we had shows like “A Haunting” which reenacted actual paranormal events, and “Ghost Hunters,” which featured a pair of middle-aged plumbers and their team searching for ghosts in various locations throughout New England.
Which, if you take a close look at “Paranormal State,” you see the folks at A&E, and Ryan himself, have taken bits and pieces of the above, mixed it together. They’ve tossed in an MTV spin to it with quick cuts, eerie music, a letterbox style of presentation, and tricky lighting to give us “Paranormal State.”
So come back next week where we will begin the analysis of every single episode of “Paranormal State” in chronological order. So on September 27, 2008 we will analyze “The Sixth Sense,” “The Name,” and “The Devil in Syracuse.” I’ve already analyzed the latter, but in the light of new evidence, I’ve changed some of my opinions.
THE PARANORMAL MOMENT OF TRUTH CHALLENGE
Dear Ryan Buell and Chip Coffey:
I have expressed concerns about how you conduct your investigations and the validity of those investigations, where anyone with a clear and discerning eye can see that they are not authentic. I have also witnessed heavy-handed tactics being used against people who question your alleged authority within the paranormal community and dared to raise questions concerning the validity of your A&E shows, Paranormal State, and Psychic Kids: Children of the Paranormal. I can no longer sit by in silence. That is why I came up with The Paranormal Moment of Truth Challenge, which will benefit you, your organization, the paranormal field, and a charity that would be assisted from the donation of the prize money.
1 ~ It would silence your critics if you are determined to be telling the truth about all your claims and how they are presented. There can be no one left to challenge your honesty and integrity.
2 ~ It would not only benefit your organization, but it would also help the entire paranormal field. Because if such evidence is true, it will be brought to a much wider audience, which hopefully would fuel additional legitimate investigations. So it’s a win-win situation for everyone.
3 ~ The charity of your choice would have the prize money donated to them. If the truth is being told, that prize money could reach $500,000.
So, what is The Paranormal Moment of Truth Challenge? I am sure you’ve heard of the Fox Network program entitled The Moment of Truth. This is where a contestant is hooked up to a lie detector test and asked 50 questions, of which 21 of them are used on the actual show. As long as you tell the truth, you keep on winning money -- up to $500,000. The production company, Lighthearted Entertainment Inc., would jump at an opportunity of doing a show with the two of you. And I will put my personal credibility on the line and appear, as well. For if you visit my Free All Spirits page (www.myspace.com/freeallspirits), you’ll notice that I personally make what some would call outlandish claims concerning my work as a Demonologist/Exorcist/Paranormal Investigator/Caring Spiritual Adviser.If you would like to be "one step closer to the truth" then this is a way to achieve your goal.
If interested, please contact me at this email address and I will get the ball rolling as soon as possible.
Your friend in spirit,
To date, this is the response that I’ve received from them.
To date, this is the response that I’ve received from them.
Why not do the show? Only you, the paranormal field, and a charity of your choice would benefit.
INFORMATION REQUEST: If anyone wants to share any information with their experiences involving the PRS, Ryan Buell, Chip Coffey, and any other para-celebrity that has made an appearance on Paranormal State, whether it is good or bad, I would like to read it. Your confidentiality is 100% guaranteed.
NOTE: Please feel free to copy and paste this and place it all over the web. And, unlike any of my other blogs, you can even repost this under your own name!