Sunday, January 22, 2012

Carl L. Johnson Interview

Carl L. Johnson
01/10/2012

Carl L. Johnson

Celebrity Demonologist, Paranormal Investigator,
Researcher and Cryptozoologist

Interviewer: Michael O’Brien
Special Contributor: Aanica Guess


As I initially perused the work of Carl L. Johnson I began to observe a man full of life and a man who had embraced every avenue of it with a passion unparalleled. Carl has led a trusted existence and this has obviously opened many doors for this visionary dreamer as he grew into one of the most distinguished Demonologists in the world. Immediately we searched every bit of collective work we could find on Carl and not one detractor or bad entry existed. One must admit, this is a rarity in this contentious field.  

Carl’s work with the original TAPS crew exposed him to some of the greater televised locations of purported haunted sites within the world and yet he continues to be a humble and down to earth man. What’s more, he openly shared many of his experiences with us from his personal and professional life without pause or inhibition. 

The early 70’s, while growing up, Carl attended a lecture featuring the late Ed Warren and his wife Lorraine given at the prestigious Rhode Island College. Subsequently he and his twin brother developed a friendship and vocation that lasted decades.  Carl has since left TAPS where he was a member for eight years and coupled with Dina Palazini at Beyond the Veil Paranormal where he continues to guest lecture and make special appearances on such programs as “Animal Planet series, The Haunted, and The Travel Channel's documentary, and Most Terrifying Places in America. Specializing as a Demonologist, Carl continues to grab headlines by writing and lecturing on related topics with his presentations directed towards analysis of phenomena.

A very special thanks to Carl for taking time to grant us this most delightful and informative interview. It was a pleasure getting to know him, his thoughts and individual experiences


(MO) Where were you born and raised?

(CJ) My birthplace was Providence, Rhode Island: Woman and Infants Hospital where most of us RI natives are hatched. 8 months later when my parent's house was completed, my parents, twin brother Keith and I moved to rural North Scituate, RI where we grew up. I'm still attached to, and miss that country setting. It's more built up now, considerably more populated, naturally.

(MO) What were your interests or obsessions as a child?

(CJ) Another easy question. I enjoyed character acting, playing out scenarios with my brother. At age 4 I had an imaginary friend for about 6 months but it didn't work out because he was too predictable and I won all the arguments. My earliest in-depth reading was the Holy Bible (had help with that) and Famous Monsters of Film Land, magazine published and edited b the late Forest J. Ackerman. When I was 9 years old I read the whole of the novel, "Frankenstein" by Mary Wollstonecraft Shelly (1817) followed later that same year with "Dracula" by Bram Stoker (1897). Webster's Dictionary proved invaluable through those readings. At age 10 I read through "The Phantom of the Opera" (1911) by Gaston Leroux. Age 12 it was Kraft Ebing's text of case studies, "Psychopathia Sexualis" and Hill and Williams "The Supernatural". Also, anything I could find on witchcraft traditions. Age 13, Hill and Williams "The Supernatural". There were of course many books with more standard subjects I read by I've listed some of the highlights that left impressions with me.

(MO) At what age did you realize you had any curiosity regarding the paranormal?

(CJ) Age 14, when I read about the Fox sisters of New York, their experiments with spirit communication through audible rapping’s during the 1840s. Their renown had ushered the age of modern spiritualism.

(MO) Were there any specific catalysts in your younger years that prompted your paranormal curiosities?

(CJ) Using the Ouija Board: William Fuld's Mystifying Oracle then marketed by Parker Bros. My sister Cynthia Ellen Johnson, three years younger than I...still is... would be my partner playing with the Ouija. I was 15 yrs old, she 13. Eventually we got results beyond the planchette gliding over the board's surface under our lightly placed fingertips. There was unexplained thumping on walls in our parent's house, furnishings stored downstairs in the basement found rearranged, and several years later I witnessed an apparition in the form of a woman moving about in the cellar. Even some years earlier, my brother Keith would be kept awake some nights when he heard what he described as children laughing and chattering as they ran around the outside of the house, though they weren't seen. When I was 18 I unintentionally recorded my first example of Electronic Voice Phenomena, a female voice which said: "Carl -- help me – help!”

(MO) Did you and your twin brother Keith ever rationally discuss the possibilities of paranormal prospects with yourselves or your parents?

(CJ) As younger children we would ask about angels, devils, ghosts, aware they might not have the total answers but we'd run those topics by them, figuring the adults would be more savvy and capable of providing a clue here and there. As teens our folks would differ in their discussions with us about otherworldly matters. Dad was more fundamentally religious, a conservative Lutheran and he became a master Mason. He had been instrumental in our religious educations. He could be thoughtful about those things, but with a conviction that spirits, hauntings, were confined to the realm of the unknowable...which is a pretty tough stance to refute, even now. Our mother could offer her own related experiences. I continue to talk about the spirits and our investigations with Mom, more so than Keith. Life-long patterns were established in our formative years. Keith, like our father, is stable and set in his beliefs. I was and I am the experimenter. I don't feel that one approach is necessarily preferable to the other. I sometimes speculate: How would the single personality developed, had the ovum not divided? And if that ovum had not separated completely, would we today be "conjoined paranormal investigators"? Hey, there's a good premise for a series!

(MO) I realize the point is somewhat mute now but did your parents ever anticipate the reality that both of their sons would one day mature and easily be measured as two of the world’s most distinguished Demonologists?

(CJ) Thank you for your compliments. Our parents, they've marveled at it but expected...hoped? This interest in ghosties their boy shared was a phase. My father to whom I could devote a separate interview, passed away on November 2000 so didn't see much of the television expose we've received. Our Mom understands our determination to contribute in significant ways to advancing the fields of paranormal research, helping to legitimize what many regards as a popularized fad. But interest in the paranormal, though the intensity of that interest might be cyclic, is here to stay.

(MO) How well did you and your twin brother Keith get along as children?

(CJ) Keith and I are identical twins. We were Zygotes together. We could exchange internal organ without fear of rejection, even recreationally! He and I share a connection to a degree of having evolved our own mode of conversing which others don't readily comprehend.  We always were and remain the closest of confidants. But you ask, how well did we get along while residing under the same, our parents' roof? There was competition and a lot of fighting with each other while growing up. Probably I should refer you to our beloved mother, Beverly, to expand on this issue!

(MO) In the para-community we tend to hear limitless accounts of twins experiencing a paranormal perspicacity towards one another on much more of a spiritual echelon. Did you or your twin ever experience this phenomenon to any measure as children or young adults? 

(CJ) Yes; the spirits seemed to come to us at the same stage of our childhoods, or our receptivity awakened in unison. By the time Keith was 16 years of age, I believe his faith had crystallized. Naturally I can't answer much more on his behalf, apart from guessing. I went through turns, alterations, delving into ritualistic forms of expression, seeking communication with spirits, learning all I could about the traditions of magic conjuration as was believed in throughout the European Middle Ages and Renaissance. For me, the period from the age of 16 through 28 or 29 was a kaleidoscopic time of spiritual alchemy! My thoughts would be projected from the arid sands of Ancient Egypt to the dryer, turbulent sands of the Martian landscapes. At the close of nights when sleep so frequently had abandoned me, I'd watch Venus fade and call it Lucifer as did the Romans.

(MO) Please make clear to us as to why you and your twin brother suspended your collaborative efforts as Paranormal Investigators and Demonologists?

(CJ) Following our tenure with The Atlantic Paranormal Society, Keith and his wife Sandra created their own team. They had both been core embers of TAPS, Sandra was a case manager among other duties. I soon joined their new group. They were using the title of Christian Association of Research and Education. I think that's what C.A.R.E. stood for. Acronyms are ever popular with paranormal groups! I advised to them that more indicated a Bible study, and suggested New England Anomalies Research, or N.E.A.R. upon which we all agreed. We would investigate and lecture together. Membership increased, was sometimes culled and again grew. I could see we formed a charismatic combination: identical twin paranormal investigators who'd become well known, the married "paranormal" couple, and the unmarried, spritely brother sporting a goatee. Perhaps two years after the formation of N.E.A.R. I could perceive a division arising. Keith and Sandra wanted to be recognized as the Demonologist couple. With my presence, and the flow of posing for pictures and granting autographs, this would need to be a longer time in coming. They lectured without my assistance, made appearances on a television series and documentaries which did not include me. I participated in a series and televised documentaries which did not include them. They have their N.E.A.R. team and coproduce a weekly public access show, Ghosts R NEAR. I am now a founding member of Beyond the Veil Paranormal Research and Big Rhodey Research Project. Keith and I are mutually respectful of each others' endeavors. We continue to direct the Ghost Tours program I created in 2008 for Slater Mill historic (and haunted) site in Pawtucket, RI called Mills and Mysteries: A Ghostly Experience! Everyone who knows or knows of Keith E. Johnson is aware he has a twin brother named Carl, and vice-versa. That won't change. We still are mistaken for each other. It is what it is. It is good.

(MO) You regard yourself a Demonologist. What exactly is your definition of that title?

(CJ) Demonologist is a title which was applied to me and I have accepted since it is descriptive of my avocation. A Demonologist is a person who studies demonic lore and tradition.

(MO) In your professional opinion, what is a Demon?

(CJ) I define a demon, for lack of a more erudite term, as a non-human generated, disembodied, intelligent/responsive entity that evinces behavioral patterns, seems to have an agenda, and in general is hostile, malicious towards living human beings and animals. (If there are non-threatening demons, we probably aren't aware of them or don't know how to recognize those.)

(MO) I understand your points but in your estimation, could a human spirit become demonic, or somehow be assimilated by demonic entities? Or are they always of non-human origin?

(CJ) I believe I'm supposed to reply that demons are always of non-human origins: fallen angels, because that is the classic definition. However, I wonder if some remnant of the human psyche could survive bodily death and exist as a "displacement", degenerating as it bonds with other, low-level (close to our sphere of existence) spirits and clinging to baser human emotions such as regret and resentment and outright hatred of the living, especially those persons who are largely innocent yet vulnerable to psychic attack. In fact, I'm rather surprised you've asked this since I'd presumed I am one of the very few categorized as a Demonologist who speculates about the assimilation of human spirits by demonics!

(MO) In your career, what was the most impressive piece of empirical data presented to you?

(CJ) It's collective, actually. But as for one piece of empirical, objective data, I would have to say it is E.V.P. I know the ones I've recorded are genuine, as are innumerable in others captured in the course of paranormal investigations. I'm still awed by that first, clear example which included my name!

(MO) It is somewhat difficult to imagine an EVP being considered the most impressive piece of data acquired by an experienced Demonologist. While I fully understand, “You never forget your first,” philosophy, what other substantial phenomena have you witnessed or experienced as a Demonologist?

(CJ) That first example of EVP impressed me because it was the initial piece of evidence I could replay and analyze. It seemed to be a spoken plea for help, addressing me by name. Only something disembodied, a spiritual entity, could have imprinted that message on the cassette tape. Some paranormalists would interpret this as how it sounds: a distress call from the other side. Others of more fundamental leanings might say it's a demonic voice, deceiving me for whatever purpose. I've never know what to make of it, though I plan to attempt a spirit rescue incorporating that recording.

I've witnessed much more "dramatic" examples of unexplained phenomena.

I was investigating a restored farmhouse back in 1973, and while upstairs in a 2nd floor hallway where the children’s' bedrooms were located a black mist issued out from an open doorway and rolled along the hall towards me, though there was no scent of smoke. I held up my right hand and the dark, opaque mass it dissipated as it reached me.

In my presence a 14 year old boy thought to be undergoing episodes of demonic possession was flung off his bed by something unseen, nearly hitting the bedroom window before falling to the floor.


Spring, 2003 I was called in as case manager for a TAPS investigation of a brownstone house in Brooklyn, NY,  owned by a divorced lady in her early 30s. Her 11 year old daughter said she was seeing "...a scary woman without any eyes." This apparition seemed associated with other phenomena in the house which had a strange and sometimes tragic history. During one of our overnight stays, the girl wandered out of her bedroom. She had been subject to sleepwalking so her mother went over to help the girl back to her bedroom. I heard a gasp come from the mother. The child was traveling down the hall, back to us, but we observed her feet were several inches off the carpeted hallway floor.

Another case I was assigned to manage in November, 2007, a home in Coventry, RI, as I standing in the master bedroom which was where the most pronounced activity was observed, discussing the situation when a kitchen knife not recognized by the homeowners shot through the air from the living room, and struck the remote thermal gauge I held in my right hand. A little later that night, in the same large bedroom, three other investigators plus the lady of the house witnessed a plate appear and hover over my head for a moment before it crashed in on the floor in front of me. I don't flinch because I realize the importance of maintaining the client's confidence in me, so I calmly bent to pick up the ceramic shards and realized they were damp and warm. The lady whose bedroom this was became more alarmed as she realized this was a plate from her dishwasher, the kitchen being separated from the bedroom by a hallway, stair landing and living room. For that case, I recommended that a formal blessing of the house and property be performed by clergy. My colleague in Demonology and good friend, Father Bob Bailey, conducted the procedure. This was beneficial and served to quelled the disturbance, for a time. His blessing wasn't ineffective, but the advise we offered wasn't consistently adhered to.

Seven investigations in which I've participated entailed persons afflicted with mysterious welts and lacerations. I saw this happen. Maybe it results from psychological disorders; it might be caused by demonic assault. Whichever, or both, it is real!

AVP stands for Audible Voice Phenomena and is a term coined by Dina Palazini, the afore-mentioned founder of Beyond The Veil Paranormal Research. A close friend of hers'; we'll call him Billy (because that was his name!) resided in the apartment below her. He tended to watch out for Dina, "D" he would say, like a big brother making sure she was alright. While apparently in great physical shape, especially for a man of 53, Billy had a congenital heart defect, diagnosed only a short time before it struck. Sadly, in April 2009 he died suddenly, while Dina was home. A month to the day later, a Tuesday evening, I was there visiting Dina and while seated in her parlor we both distinctly heard a male voice say, "D, are you there?" We looked to each other and in unison asked, "Did you hear that?" It seemed to have been spoken within the room, but by someone else we couldn't see! I opened the door and looked down a stairwell, but no one was there and certainly we would've heard anyone descending those stairs. Dina experienced that voice and message once again, in May that year, on Mother's Day. I've also heard AVPs inside the old buildings at Slater Mill historic site, as have tourists and paranormal investigators. When multiple persons perceive a "floating voice", it can't be relegated to auditory hallucination. In some instances the voice is also recorded, so you'll have what I suppose could be termed A&EVP.

(MO) You’ve investigated countless locations, which location in your opinion was the most spiritually active?

(CJ) This has to be two, both located in Rhode Island. (Again, in my own experiences.) There is a restored 18th century farmhouse in Harrisville, Rhode Island previously owned by the Perron family, very actively haunted during most of the 1970s. That setting was the first, full-blown demonic case my brother Keith and I investigated as members of Parapsychology Investigating and Research Organization: a group based at Rhode Island College. Keith contacted noted ghost hunting couple (as they were then billed) Ed and Lorraine Warren to consult and assist with the Perrons' situation. (The Warrens' involvement soon pushed away our team and took over; but that is another story!) Then in November 2007 I was called in my capacity as a Demonologist to the investigation of the Marin residence, Coventry. That infestation, if you will, had symptoms of all four basic types of haunting: demonic, intelligent, residual and poltergeist. I beheld a solid-seeming apparition in that house The investigation presented rare instances of objects (plates, crockery, kitchen utensils) propelled at startling velocities by an unseen force. A truly unsettling photograph of a spirit face was produced, and the family members were several times driven out of their home, although last I knew of they have not didn't abandon the address. Another interesting, perhaps incongruent factor is that the house was built fairly recently, 1982. The Marins are the 2nd owners of that house.

(MO) Have you ever encountered a paranormal situation where you have felt certain that you may be physically or spiritually wounded? If so, how did you shield yourself?

(CJ) Mildly, although it was quite unnerving at the time. During a spiritual expulsion akin to exorcism, I felt a tangible, tingling sensation at the base and back of my head just above where the skull joins the neck vertebrae, that sensation accompanied by a strong onrush of frenzied emotion not originating within my own thoughts. I fought the attack, willed away those invasive feelings by concentrating on my own sense-of-self; then just as suddenly they left me, and seemed to assail a young woman in the conjoining room. The brief struggle left me shaken and with perspiration (and a few minutes later, holy water) dripping from my face!

(MO) May I inquire as to your personal theological beliefs?

(CJ) My religion could be symbolized by a big, wooden question mark. (In point of fact I've considered wearing one suspended by a lanyard, but that might raise too many questions!) I do pray to that which we call God, or the Source. I am a Christian whose faith is inhibited by logical doubt. Most folks prefer to hear about definites, as in, "Are you a man of God or aren't you?" because it makes the world we perceive and interpret largely through other people easier to comprehend, less befuddling. The philosophical and values system I have embraced is self-titled Carcosan, which blends the normally exclusive doctrines, or dichotomies of mysticism and rationality since both have intrinsic value. You see, mythologies and theologies are divided only by one's degree of acceptance, and the former has always sprung from the latter. "Carcosa" is a fabled, nebulous, lost city that first appeared in the writing of Ambrose G. Bierce {"An Inhabitant of Carcosa"} and later incorporated by authors Robert W. Chambers {"The King In Yellow" - "Casilda's Song"} and H.P. Lovecraft {various entries in what has been called his C'thulu mythos}. I am not the only follower of the path of Carcosa. More about that later, if I may further elucidate.

(MO) Do you believe these spiritual principals you hold to be imperative in your pursuit of understanding the paranormal world and protecting yourself from it?

(CJ) It might sound contradictory, but my answer to this is no. My exploration of paranormal manifestations is approached objectively, which might be an unorthodox but I think essential method of exploring what is basically the unknown!

(MO) How do you discern the difference between someone who claims demonic possession as opposed to someone who is mentally unwell? What criteria must be met in your assessment prior to your intervention?

(CJ) Often there will emerge that grey, transitional stage when both the psychological and spiritual aspects come into process. However, if there is spiritual oppression, the person observing and attempting to intervene on behalf of a human subject will notice associated, psycho-kinetic phenomena, such as books being pulled off shelves, small, sometimes specifically religious objects tossed about, possibly the floor boards inexplicably shaking. Eerily coincidental occurrences will start to manifest, even when the intervener is not in the presence of the subject. If ghostly figures are witnessed by those close to the subject, those will resemble living persons but be incomplete: missing some body parts; mostly the eyes openings are blank. Acrid, foul odors from unknown origin in the vicinity of the subject may accompany his or her episodes, coming on suddenly then quickly receding. Although there is potential for more, at least two of these manifestations as I have described them would have to be present before I'd strongly suspect diabolic influence is at work.

(MO) In your opinion, how can working in Demonology adversely affect ones mental or spiritual health?

(CJ) When one is sympathetic, usually they are in turn empathic: receptive to the emotional states of others. A Demonologist will desire to help others; it can’t be a wholly detached study. Becoming too involved in someone's spiritual crises, especially for extended periods, could cause such a level of apprehension for a Demonologist that he or she will begin to question his/her own resistance to the hurtful influence. Safeguards must be established, such as a predetermination not to become overly engrossed in someone else's spiritual battle. Also of prime importance is, never go it alone!

(MO) For eight years you were considered a constant on SyFy’s Ghost Hunters as a Demonologist and Investigator. Why did you leave GH? Was it your motion? If not, whose was it and why?

(CJ) It's not a single sentence answer. I had a long, mostly happy association with my friends and colleagues in The Atlantic Paranormal Society, some of whom were there for me in both good and tough times, as I like to think I was for them. Yes, I departed TAPS of my own volition, on what I presume were favorable terms. The television show "Ghost Hunters" overwhelmed TAPS, to a degree overshadowing our original mission. While certainly I had opportunities to travel, met many fine people, and participated in fascinating investigations, this was also in ways limiting for me, since as the series' acclaim increased I was all the more expected to operate exclusively through TAPS. Some of my original contributions to the group, and the television show, were later overlooked or misappropriated. This included dialogue, and I knew I wasn't being credited as a script writer. I never made money from my involvement with G.H.; others became millionaires. (For me, residual haunts never led to residual checks!) Eventually it became time for me to move on. Yet naturally I have spells of missing my old friends in TAPS, the three guys seen every Wednesday night on SyFy Channel. We did have some great times together, as we shared investigations, and hotel rooms, and misplaced embroidered "TAPS" caps, and hours monitoring the DVR system, and laughs, and tears, and triumphs. By the second season of filming those TAPS triumphs began to elude me. I don't much see the guys and gals these days. We'll encounter one another now and then at paranormal conventions and those make for delightful if brief reunions.

(MO)
* “I wasn't being credited as a script writer”.
* “Restricted and expected to operate exclusively through TAPS.”
* “Some of my original contributions to the group were later misappropriated”.
* “"Ghost Hunters" overwhelmed TAPS, to a degree overshadowing our original mission”.
* “I never made money from my involvement with G.H. .; others became millionaires”.
* “By the second season of filming those TAPS triumphs began to elude me.”
Based upon these comments alone, I wouldn’t say your time spent with TAPS was a, “long, mostly happy association with my friends and colleagues in The Atlantic Paranormal Society.” In fact, it would sound more to those who read your remarks your life with TAPS was a bit more one sided and rather unrewarding. Could there be any truth to this hypothesis?

(CJ) I tried to represent both sides, if briefly. Taken altogether, I'd say it was a happy association. In the course of 8 years there had to be some see-sawing concerning relationships with fellow TAPS members. It was inevitable that the advent of the television series would change things. Posting those more maybe critical observations in roster might suggest that I was thoroughly disillusioned. No, I don't at all mean to say that. This is something I said with a cameraman filming during a TAPS investigation which was conducted in 2004, West Grafton, MA: "We hope to see a full-bodied apparition, That's rare. A full-bodied apparition is the Holy Grail of paranormal investigation." That phrasing caught on and was often repeated, not just through the ranks of TAPS but on similar television programs. I could in turn devote paragraphs to the good times, the camaraderie, the increased recognition factor, and the regimentation of our investigation procedures benefiting my skills. Whatever one's level of experience, anyone working in close association with Jason, Grant, Steve,...and Keith...would learn learning much about how to conduct an effective paranormal investigation, approaching challenging situations as scientifically as possible.

(MO) How difficult was it on you psychologically being away from home for so long on your investigations?

(CJ) It could become rather oppressive, especially when it came time for packing up the equipment. Quite often that time goes from post 4 a.m.  till 6 or 7 a.m. followed by an hour or longer drive back to the hotels. I did my share of both set-up and packing, but not many turns at driving. All in all those aspects weren't too bad. As Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers so aptly put it: "The waiting is the hardest part!"

(MO) Overall, how compatible was your working relationship with other GH investigators?

(CJ) Overall, not in particulars? Splendid at times, as team members would confide in me, share grievances and aspirations or simply wanted to hang out. Early on an insular and clandestine communication developed, which I perceived was increasingly to my exclusion. Formerly tight friendships devolved into business associations. As we know, the television series set off an explosion of interest in paranormal investigation and inspire a succession of other similarly formatted shows. But I can't help missing the formative, first few years of TAPS. Analogy: The solar systems are drifting further apart. It's all that invisible "dark matter" filling space!

(MO) You stated, “Early on an insular and clandestine communication developed, which I perceived was increasingly to my exclusion. Formerly tight friendships devolved into business associations,” with regard to your team members. This isn’t the first time I’ve heard this from former members but I’m curious as to what you believe precipitated this behavior.

(CJ) During pre-production I was included in all meetings, those creative think-tank sessions. Later, I wasn't. I have ideas as to why but prefer to avoid getting into a long explanation about it. When I would be carrying equipment and walked by some personnel during conversations, voices would drop to whispering then stop altogether, only to resume when I was (presumably) out of earshot. I'm not into eavesdropping, which is probably a neglected talent because with above-average hearing sensitivity and usually wearing soft rubber soled black sneakers, I think I'd excel at it. (Then again, I've walked into a few walls while monitoring a hand-held EMF meter or temperature gauge!)

(MO) How do you feel about the success of para television shows on the air today and what affects, negative or positive, do you feel they have on the emblematic viewer?

(CJ) I love your phrasing! It's a huge phenomenon, though as such is temporal, fragile in the long run. If and when viewing audiences decide that the media zeitgeist known as reality television isn't all real, that's bound to damage the serious study of spirit existence. As it's offered up on television, paranormal exploration has become a pseudo religion. We don't so much have to rely on faith, and Bible stories, when we're given proof through a plasma screen several times each week! Listen, I'm not altogether decrying paranormal investigations filmed for television shows. I'd only advised viewers to be objective, somewhat clinical, and skeptical and say to you: What if it's not all factual? Remain mindful that everything we are watching was selected for us to see, captured through the narrow scope of a cameraperson's lens then put together in an editing room. These shows are more dependent on ratings than specters being caught on camera. Much of what's presented for our entertainment must be authentic, right? And maybe, just maybe some of it isn't.

(MO) There have been other Demonology shows to hit the air over the years. If you are aware of these, in your opinion how accurate of a depiction to the actual field of Demonology do they illustrate?

(CJ) "Paranormal State" on A&E Network attempted this, I believe, as the episodes progressed over a four years period. Or was that five years? Some intense scenes were exhibited. However, it became in respects formulaic. The investigators all seemed to be soft spoken, even those times when they obviously tried not to be. (The "Ghost Hunters" team never had that problem!) Its' audience was led to speculate: Is that demon whose name is forbidden pursuing the directing investigator from case to case? Is their directing investigator a priest? What don't we know about him, that he won't say? Understand this is my opinion, and they did have what can be considered a successful run. But the cast didn't achieve the status of becoming household names, and wouldn't draw a crowd today solely on merit of their accomplishment with that series. It was a potential Demonologist series, and maybe that D word will serve as a forthcoming title. Don't count them out; word's out a comeback is in preproduction! "The Haunted Collector" -- another SyFy Channel venture -- starred a recognized Demonologist and his family. It certainly had an angle, but as with the previously mentioned series it didn't reveal that much of what Demonology involves. Colleague Dwayne Claud did a pilot for a show dealing more specifically with this discipline. I don't know what happened with that. Possibly because he didn't work with a team, it was too much of a departure and the paranormal television audience couldn't relate. I'll add that for some reason not explained, Demonologists don't often collaborate with other such specialists. Maybe it's our awareness that methods differ.

(MO) In addition to all of your years researching the spirit realm you have been equally preoccupied in locating the illusive Big Foot have you not? Where are you exactly with regards to discovering this Sasquatch-type cryptoid and what evidence have you and your team obtained as of yet?

(CJ) I pursue exploration of the Rhode Island Sasquatch with a team called Big Rhodey Research Project, founded by Dina m. Palazini (who also is Founder of Beyond The Veil Paranormal Research) in 2009. Big Rhodey is the term I coined, being a play on Rhode Island's popular nickname: Little Rhody. Yes, I added that "e" to keep the term unique and reflect the state's name. I've come up with the classification, Hominid Hylocomiem Tenebrosis basically meaning manlike, dark forest-dweller. This sounds a tad more erudite. The research was inspired by a close encounter -- of the hairy, smelly kind -- Dina and three companions had with this creature some 26 years ago. She describes seeing a hulking, manlike bipedal, obviously male figure at a distance of approximately 7 feet at the mouth of a hilly trail, along a back road in Cumberland, RI. This town is in the northern sector of the state nearing the border of Massachusetts. It was dusk, still some sunlight diffused through the trees. The four were seated in a parked, open convertible auto, and had been there only a minute or so when this being, notably more human than simian in appearance emerged from the path though they didn't observe it in motion. All four teenage friends, guys included, screamed and sped away. They even flagged down a Cumberland Police cruiser. In July 2009 Dina showed me the site of her experience, something she had seldom spoken of since the traumatic eye-witnessing. At my request, using a stick she indicated on a tree the height of that specimen, since it had been standing next to the same tree, and it must have stood about 7 1/2 feet! Propelled by mild curiosity, we ventured up the path to a watershed area, and Dina then I observed anomalous but well-defined tracks resembling oversized, wedge-shaped human footprints indenting the hard, stone and acorn-strewn soil. In further, organized expeditions with serious-minded persons, most chosen from other paranormal research teams, more evidence was discovered in the forms of tracks, strangely broken and twisted slender trees in measured succession, strands of unfamiliar, coarse fur or hair brownish in color caught on branches, one night reverberating sounds on the watershed trail in Cumberland, both heard coming from up that trail and felt in our shin bones, I can liken to an elephant walking on its' hind legs if you've ever heard that in a circus or at a faire, perhaps in response to our experiment with tree knocking, and a caves system which Dina had anticipated due to our voices echoing as we approached the trail's apex. Also noted was the cessation of animal sounds produced by squirrels, birds and even the insects as we neared those caves. June, 2011, Dina and team member Kris Stepney driving we shooting what Dina terms "B Roll" of the woods behind a another narrow road, this one not paved, in Exeter, RI. When the ladies later reviewed the film, they and I were startled to detect a brownish figure striding upright, apparently moving out of concealment from being a tree as Kris's vehicle passed by that spot. This film posted on our B.R.R.P. web site and our continuing research eventually drew the attention of the Bigfoot Field Research Organization who are featured in the Animal Planet series, "Finding Bigfoot". The team and production company came to Rhode Island in September, 2011 to film an episode titled Big Rhodey in which Dina, Kris and I participated. Having read hundreds of detailed accounts and being contacted by witnesses in this little state, in addition to our own findings, convince me this cryptoid exists. I believe the Sasquatch enigma is based on a type of feral human, with tool-making skills pretty much on par with bonbons and chimpanzees but splendidly adapted to its' wilderness environments through a principle known as atavism: reversion to an earlier type or devolution. Will it's reality be proven irrefutably? I think probably, eventually, yes. The Quest goes on!

(MO) Realizing this field of study seems heaped with controversy, may I inquire if you’ve experienced any attacks on your character or attempts to discredit your reputation? If so, what stands out and how did you handle those instances?

(CJ) In fact, one fairly recent example comes to mind wherein an overt attempt to malign my reputation came to light, and was perpetrated for acclaim and financial gain. In May 2011, a member of the family -- who here will go unnamed -- that purchased a farmhouse in RI, the setting for my first investigation of a private residence, was in the state to promote her recently published book, recounting her experiences in the farmhouse. I learned of this lady's visit to RI from a notice on a web site's calendar of events. I decided to send an email, telling her I was sorry I'd missed her while she was here, and should she come back to RI I'll certainly like to become reacquainted. Her reply captured my undivided attention. She informed me that she, her sister and father were deeply hurt and outraged after learning that 38 years before, I had stolen onto their property to kill and eviscerate two pet rabbits kept outside. My reason? To drive the family from their haunted house and practice black magic there! This revelation proceeded from a movie producer, who was seeking a contract to secure rights for the production of a movie supposedly based a renowned pair of paranormal investigators' intercession. It seems he'd informed the woman that Carl Johnson (then age 17) had done the shameful deed, and later was moved to confess his crime to Lorraine Warren. After consulting my brother who retains a journal of our involvements with that haunting, I wrote to her again citing certain facts. We had gone to their home at the parents' request, to conduct a paranormal investigation, along with research on the house. During that portion of 1973 I did not own a vehicle. I still couldn't navigate my way to that house, unless directed by a GPS. The killing of those unfortunate animals occurred at least half a year before our team had even heard about those persons. A similar incident involving the death of a pet cat, had befallen them a year earlier when they'd resided in another town, and motivated them to relocate. (So it does seem the family was being pursued and harassed.) Also, there had been a rival paranormal group consisting of two college students, fellows who were making considerable efforts to discredit us. In addition to all this, I explained that anyone who knew me during that time was aware of my kindness to animals. I'd often rescued stray and injured animals. She did write back to say she wasn't as sure of my guilt. I'd assumed the facts I presented would suffice. How said producer would have learned of my brief association with that family nearly four decades earlier; from Mrs. Warren? I have difficulty believing that. It certainly doesn't sound like the grand and compassionate Lady who for many years has been an inspiration to me. In March 2010 I consulted her about a demonic case eventually documented for "The Haunted" series. So it remains puzzling. This stands apart as an issue which at least was brought to my attention, and I was able to present my defense. Last year I drafted and mailed a cease-and-desist order to the appropriate party, which is just print on paper and in itself has little import. In the exceedingly unlikely event that a couple of years hence I find myself misrepresented by name or inference in a motion picture titled, "The Conjuring", well, there's an old axiom about being tried in the court of public opinion. 

(MO) Are you content with what you’ve learned after your extensive journey exploring the arcane or are you still searching for answers?

(CJ) Apparently it's not in my psychological make-up to be content. I realize the answers in my field of exploration are inherently elusive. Nearly always I've felt that I'm approaching a major break-through. I can become utterly discouraged, or seem to, but then something changes and I'll rally. I believe I'm grasping a deeper understanding of the collective human condition, how extensively evolution, modification of genomes (natural selection...combined with some extra/ultra-terrestrial engineering?) and adaptation to environmental conditions, all combine to create what we are, and that which is our  species' destiny. What a marvelous time it is for the seekers of the unknown and formerly forbidden! Truly, I need another 100 years of life to begin making sense of all this.

(MO) Carl, what do you consider is your greatest gain in your paranormal pursuits? Conversely, what is your most significant loss?

(CJ) While for every question that has been answered, albeit in part, each mystery we think we've solved or made some progress towards understanding, at least three more quandaries arise! But I've gained a wondrous sense of discovery, knowing I've looked at ghosts’ spirits, and twice these specters of past human realities looked back at me with, ”an awareness.” It's a thrill, along with a chill, to actually hear a disembodied voice; sometimes as Audible Voice Phenomena, term coined by Dina Palazini, or recorded as Electronic Voice Phenomena. I've experienced that indescribable feeling when twice beholding fireballs streaming through the evening skies, spewing orange flames, leaving tick, smoky tails, waiting a few breathless seconds for the explosive impact which might've but didn't follow!

 The greatest loss connected to my pursuits of the uncanny and transcendental, the para-normal, was Laura Ann Casey, my lecturing and research partner, friend, fiancĂ©, 16 years younger than I, who when I was at the pinnacle of achieving something I foresaw as great, died from an overdose of mixed pain medications sometime in the night of October 6, 2008. After she departed there were many signs from her, that first week after she's left us. I heard her voice in a recording. I listened to it twice, and it very much sounds like her. I use to look for her in other persons. I survived and incorporated losing her. It's part of who I am. I've had other losses, in family, and each is a limb cut away or an organ removed. We take in deep breaths, take more steps forward, and find we still can walk. Sometimes we even run without those precious ones that help to make up ourselves.

(MO) On a personal note, you’re an immense lover of poetry aren’t you Carl? What poet has influenced you the most and why?

(CJ) Percy Bysse Shelley, George Gordon Lord Byron,  Edgar Allan Poe, Christina Rosetti, Rene Karl Wilhelm Johann Josef Maria Rike, and Gabrielle D'Annunzio. Romantic poets who evinced an appreciation of the dark side of (human) nature, and of love.

Oh wait, you inquired about poet, singular, did you not? Well, I won't delete the others, but my favorite, most influential has to be Poe, especially his signature poem, The Raven.

I feel I know exactly what he was expressing in that piece.

11 comments:

Murial R. said...

Really beautiful interview, Michael. Informative and well done.

Murial R. said...

Really beautiful interview, Michael. Informative and well done.

Murial R. said...

Really beautiful interview, Michael. Informative and well done.

Michael O'Brien said...

Thank you Murial R... Thank ... Thank you...
(get it? your comment posted x3) ;°)

Michael O'Brien said...

Hey Kirby, your site is acting up again big guy.

Skipper said...

Finally a real interview, nice job Michael!
Carl is interesting and very eloquent.

(sorry can't write anymore then this, my eyes are bothering me).

To bad the rest of this site isn't like this.

-Skip

Donald Ressler said...

Carl, I heard that you are going to start filming a television pilot with the infamous Ronald R. Dressler, II. Is that true?

Tammy said...

I am asking Kirby to let me reply to this comment by "Donald Ressler" this is an obvious troll who has a vendetta of burning jealousy for Pastor Frisbee and Reverend Ronald Dressler

You are not very bright are you? a simpleton of sorts.

You switched the letters of Ronald Dressler's name and that is your idea of funny? its my idea of how lame you are. Girl get a life and get over Reverend Ronald, he and Amy are soul mates he loves her NOT YOU!

Anonymous said...

Sorry Donald but your the infamous one with faked names and false profiles and trying to pretend to be me against Pastor Frisbee since June. We are all unto you and I am sure I know who you are which soon you will find out what its like to be attacked but by the Law instead of by stupidity.

Unknown said...

Stay tuned for my exclusive interview with distinguished celebrity Demonologist, Keith Johnson, twin brother to fellow Demonologist, Carl Johnson. These two are just as captivating as they are diverse!

Anonymous said...

Where did this guy go to college? Where are his credentials?

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