Why is America so captivated by the creepy and unexplained? Paranormal investigator and researcher Deonna Kelli Sayed joined Ian Punnett to talk about our fascination with spirits, ghosts, poltergeists, and haunted houses. Sayed spoke about harmful entities known as the jinn, the difference between how Islamic and Judeo-Christian cultures perceive the paranormal, and how her Muslim background has informed her worldview. She proposed that paranormal reality TV shows are popular because they allow viewers to be arm chair participants in an important dialogue about human identity, faith and science, and phenomenological experiences.
She shared details from her investigation of the USS North Carolina, a battleship that many believe to be haunted. When the investigative team asked everyone to turn off their electronic devices we immediately started to hear things walking around in the room next to us, Sayed said. She reported on some EVP recordings taken aboard the ship, and a 'thick' and 'viscous' cold spot she encountered that caused a sensitive to get nauseous. The experience proved to her that something intelligent was there. Sayed suggested that our own consciousness plays a role not only in communicating with unseen beings, but may also have a part in creating paranormal activity. She believes quantum physics may one day help prove the existence of ghosts.
First hour guest, investigative reporter Ellen E. Schultz (book link) spoke about the retirement crisis in the US. According to Schultz, as recently as 12 years ago there was $250 billion of surplus assets in the pension plans of American workers. "There was enough money in there to pay all the benefits owed even if people lived to be 103," she said. Today, many pension plans are about 20% underfunded, she added. Schultz blamed companies for siphoning money out of their pension funds to pay for restructuring, executive retirement plans, and merger/acquisition deals. Some companies have deliberately deceived their employees by secretly cutting the benefits of older long-term employees by as much as 50%, she explained. Schultz said she has also obtained transcripts and memos which detail how executives toiled over how to get out of their paying pensions plan.