...and a special 'Thank You' to...

"He looks at things from the sceptical point of view."
- Comment overheard about Matthew Didier spoken by a fellow ghost researcher

I do! Guilty as charged!

Next question should be...
"Do you believe in the paranormal Matthew?"
Answer: YES!!!!
"BUT, how can you be a sceptic AND believe!"

Answer: I said I'm a SCEPTIC. I'm NOT an auto-debunker nor am I a non-believer. A sceptic is someone who needs to see to believe. Someone who wants proof... a better explanation. Someone not terribly willing to take an all out leap of faith.

Now, an auto or remote debunker (or non-believer) is someone who automatically says "It ain't true, it doesn't happen and it never did." without any acceptance of proof or experimentation above the most minimal type. Groups like CSICOP fall into this category. They tend to the auto-debunker more than the sceptic.

"Nickell wouldn't believe in UFOs if he was abducted by aliens and given an anal probe."
- UFO Watchdog about CSICOP's Joe Nickel

I have had very heated debates because I refer to myself as staying on the more sceptical side of things... but I think it's very important because sceptics (NOT REMOTE DEBUNKERS) keep us honest and make us work! If we simply accepted everything as "the mysterious", we would be in trouble. I have no problem with belief in things I haven't seen or experienced BUT the TRUE sceptics of this world do keep folks like the "Psychic Surgeons" at bay.

In my opinion, the universe is TRULY mysterious but it's meant for us to question and learn from to understand it, not to give over to blind faith... but a little mystery and the ability to say "I don't have a good scientific answer for that." does make life a little more worth living and honestly, there really will never be perfect scientific models or answers for everything.

"I shall not commit the fashionable stupidity of regarding everything I cannot explain as a fraud."

- C.G.Jung in a lecture given to the Society for Psychical Research in 1919

Terms like scepticism, critical thinking and common sense have gotten a TERRIBLE black eye from so-called sceptics, critical thinkers and those who purport to have common sense. Debunking, in my opinion, without THOROUGH examination is as idiotic and incompetent as simply caving into absolute faith in the supernatural simply because a logical explanation is not at hand (or the person is not willing to look for one.)

So, now when I tell people "I'm an open minded sceptic", they take out the large paintbrush they used to paint the CSICOPs of the world and smear me without realizing that I actually do believe in unexplained phenomena and I do believe that I have experienced ghostly phenomena myself. I say I'm sceptical because I'm still looking for answers and probably always will be.

See our glossary... Sceptdebunkers.

Editor's Change: Paranormal research " beset by True Believers ('They must be, therefore they are!') and True Unbelievers ('They can't be, therefore they aren't!') Rare are those who pursue evidence wherever it may lead, no matter how the results may square with their cherished hopes and dreams. Ironically, both the TBists and the TUists see themselves as champions of objective analysis and critical thinking, when in fact they are defenders of their respective faiths and, not incidentally, their egos."

Karl Pflock in Saucer Smear

Recently (June 2002) The Amazing Kreskin, a mentalist and media personality, made the following prediction... (The following was from his website on June 6th, 2002)

The Original Mastermind Backs His Claim With $50,000

NEW YORK, NY - In one of his boldest predictions ever, world-renowned mentalist The Amazing Kreskin is forecasting the largest UFO sighting in recorded history to take place in Nevada during the months of May or June. So sure of this occurrence, Kreskin is backing his prediction with $50,000 of his own money that will be donated to a not yet named charity should he be wrong.

"I am absolutely convinced that in May or June of this year the largest sighting to date will take place in the Nevada desert, probably the largest sighting in the past century, " said Kreskin. "I am so convinced of the accuracy of my prediction that I am putting up $50,000 to back my claim."

Kreskin went further and actually specified that on the evening of June 6th between 9pm and midnight in Nevada, the sighting would take place.

About 500 people went to watch this historic occurrence... at $25 per head.

For the initial "show", Kreskin did some "mentalist" tricks and after a time, weeded out about 200 people who "weren't right". In other words, he sent them packing and told them to bugger off.

He continued his show until about a dozen people saw four blue lights. Exclamations went up but the lights were no different then an aircraft from most reports. Kreskin proclaimed success and packed himself off for home.

Right away, people of the above "so called" sceptical groups were jumping all over the whole sad affair as a "See! I told you!" thing when it comes to psychical evidence using this sorry state of affairs as an excuse to say that since most believe that Kreskin was a humbug then ALL people who claim gifts must be. Kind of a reverse from the above, eh?

So called sceptics are holding the entire Kreskin affair in Nevada as a yardstick to poop all over EVERY psychic or sensitive leaving the defenders of psychical stuff saying "But Kreskin is a mentalist! Not a psychic!" which kinda re-enforces my whole point... When the "masses" see ONE bad thing, they lump all those that they see as the same together and all the labels (mentalist vs. psychic or seer) in the world can't change the view that some folks will now have.

"If you were to attend the annual Parapsychological Association Convention, or sit in on a discussion of experiments with parapsychologists, you would learn (quickly) that parapsychologists are their own best (or worst, depending on how you look at it) critics and watchdogs."

Loyd Auerbach

From his book

ESP, Hauntings & Poltergeists: The Parapsychologist's Handbook

It's very much like the way most psychics (who I've worked with that USED to use the term to describe themselves) now refer to themselves solely as sensitives because the term psychic has a bad rap thanks to the Ms. Cleos of the world.

Despite his efforts to now say that he was TRYING to hoax people into the idea that they saw a UFO to show how an "enemy" of the US could dupe the public into this sort of hoax, his charging of money and his "bet" to pay the children's charities only cheapen and make the whole affair that much sadder.

As I stated on our message board, the damage is done and let's hope that the so-called sceptics have short memories (don't count on it) and that the realm of paranormal and psychical research can pick itself up and get on with the job at hand.

Thanks, Mr. Kreskin... Your efforts, regardless of intent, hurt us all.

I now can lump Kreskin's intentional non-event into how I feel about CSICOP and they're fine work in ensuring that those of us who are sceptics will never be given a fair shake by the "true believers" in this world.

I tell ya, you just can't win sometimes.

Matthew James Didier

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