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Spooky Feelings/ Paranormal Believers

Date Saturday - March 25, 2017
Host Dave Schrader
Guests Carrie PoppyPaul Kingsbury

What's haunting investigative journalist Carrie Poppy? In the first half of the program, she joined Dave Schrader (email) to discuss her recent TED Talk where she described her encounter with a spooky feeling she could not shake after visiting a New Age bookstore. Poppy provided a brief background on her Christian upbringing, as well as her investigations of paranormal claims. She has researched fringe religious sects and even taken classes to develop paranormal abilities as part of her work, and said she can spend as much as two years working on a story. Poppy explained how bringing a scientific approach to her own "paranormal" experience helped her find the explanation, and literally saved her life.

"I got this kind of... creepy feeling when I went in [the bookstore]," she recalled, noting how the feeling had followed her back to her rental home. As the days progressed, Poppy said the feeling got much worse and she began manifesting strange physical sensations, including pressure on her upper chest and a whooshing sound like wind in her ear. Poppy admitted she saged her house and sought the aid of a psychiatrist, but was ultimately helped by discovering her symptoms (unexplained sense of foreboding, chest pressure, and auditory hallucinations) could be caused by carbon monoxide poisoning. The gas company was called, detected carbon monoxide bleeding into the house, and said in a couple of weeks it would have been fatal, Poppy revealed.

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Followed by Dr. Paul Kingsbury, a Canadian professor who has spent years studying those who've hunted or say they've encountered ghosts, UFOs and Sasquatch. He shared his findings of paranormal believers, and what drives them to search for the unknown, while researching their methods of tracking paranormal beings (related article). Kingsbury confessed to never personally experiencing anything he considers paranormal. He outlined the start of his research which began by attending a one-day field training boot camp at the 2015 MUFON Symposium and later the International UFO Congress. According to Kingsbury, his study of the paranormal is a collaborative project with the investigators.

"They were very intrigued that an academic was studying them, attending the conferences, also with the ghost investigators," he said. Kingsbury conceded he was impressed with the diversity of research among the various groups, and found striking similarities in form and structure between paranormal and academic conferences. Whether it involves something ghostly in nature, cryptids, or UFOs, these groups are united by profound experiences and wish to explore them with like-minded people, Kingsbury explained. "They are utterly convinced something happened to them and they want to get to the bottom of it," he added.

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