At Mysterious Universe, Nick Redfern alleges that writing about the supernatural induces supernatural experiences in both author and reader. “We’re talking about occult backlash, synchronicities of the jaw-dropping kind, weird phone-calls, and ominous runs of bizarre bad luck that appear to have been orchestrated by things that are foul and malignant.” He also said he had bad dreams. This isn’t really much by way of supernatural power. It sounds more like scaring yourself silly and then interpreting your everyday experiences through a paranormal lens. He cites, however, the case of Buffy Clary, who was twice by lightning just for reading about the Djinn. Imagine if she had watched the Netflix series. Of course, there is no evidence given to support the claim, nor any connection to the Djinn. “Yes, some books really can be dangerous,” Redfern writes. Well, I’ve read, written about, and even translated some of the most “dangerous” books, including those that explicitly have curses written in them for anyone who dares read or share them. I even translated the real-life inspiration for the forbidden Necronomicon, the Akhbar al-zaman, which is also a book about Djinn, Nephilim, giants, etc. So far, the paranormal entities haven’t much cared.
Speaking of paranormal attacks, there is a new interview with an employee of the Skinwalker Ranch during the time when Robert Bigelow owned the place and used it for supernatural investigation. His testimony is… underwhelming.
Keith Basterfield summarizes the radio interview with former security guard Christopher Bartel from a few weeks ago. In it, Bartel describes … nothing much. He was asked, for example, what equipment the billionaire Bigelow gave him to use. “Bartel replied that it was night vision equipment; thermal imaging gear; EMF detectors, and cameras. However, that the cameras were in such poor condition, especially dusty, that when photographs were taken with a flash, dust particles would show up in the pictures, as ‘orbs.’” Bigelow’s company is still promoting dust and bug pictures as supernatural orbs, as their recent tweet of a blurry bug confirms.
He describes seeing evidence of a wolf on the ranch, which led to nothing. He says he heard some weird sounds, which could be anything. And one time at home he thought he saw a ghost, but he admitted that he was on the couch after a tiring day of work, dozing with his sleeping son, so it was most likely just a waking dream. He conceded that a neighboring property owner admitted that the so-called cattle mutilations said to have occurred at or near the ranch were done by local people for food. Somewhat hilariously, he offered the typical New Age claim that “arrogant” people who visit the ranch are punished in some undefined way by the spirits, while the open-minded, who lack ego, remain unmolested. Who knew that space demons are such fine judges of human character?
This comes a few days after another Skinwalker employee, Chris J. Marx, gave a similar interview in which he detailed “supernatural” events that were about on par with your average cable TV ghost-hunting show. He claimed to see strange lights and to have photos of splotches and globs that he believed couldn’t be explained by dust—though he didn’t think about bugs, which would account for the “human-like” shape of some blotches. The funniest of his observations involves Dr. Eric Davis entering Marx’s bedroom, complaining of strange smell, and then the men agreeing to blame the odor on a paranormal entity. You mean there wasn’t a dog around to blame it on?
All told, the accounts paint a portrait, as I have noted in the past, of a group of paranormal believers who managed to scare themselves silly telling each other ghost stories and therefore interpreted any random event, accident, or natural phenomenon in light of the supernatural.
I am an author and researcher focusing on pop culture, science, and history. Bylines: New Republic, Slate, etc. There's more about me in the About Jason tab.
Enter your email below to subscribe to my newsletter, The Skeptical Xenoarchaeologist, for updates on my latest projects, blog posts, and activities, and subscribe to Culture & Curiosities, my Substack newsletter.
Terms & Conditions
Please read all applicable terms and conditions before posting a comment on this blog. Posting a comment constitutes your agreement to abide by the terms and conditions linked herein.