Monday, 18 July 2016

How important is coincidence?

Hooded figureI have been reviewing the anomalous experiences I've had over the years. I'm not sure how many there have been but it is certainly in double figures (not including repeat incidents like the door ghost). Given that most people are lucky to get one or two in their entire lifetime, I feel privileged. Also, I think it gives me a large enough statistical sample to make a few tentative observations.

I think it is a useful sample of experiences because they all shared the same witness - me! This means that the standard of recording is fairly consistent. In addition, as an experienced paranormal researcher I could investigate each experience at the time. Given how quickly conditions at a site and the psychological state of a witness can change, this is extremely useful for drawing accurate conclusions about reported experiences.

I noticed two things straight away. Firstly, I was able to find xenonormal explanations for all the experiences. Secondly, coincidence was a major factor in causing pretty much all of the experiences.

Most reports of anomalous phenomena are not investigated straight away. Indeed, many aren't investigated for days, weeks or even months. The problem with that is that evidence of coincidence as an explantation is highly likely to be lost in that time. Take the case I reported recently of the ghostly hooded figure (pic right and account here). Had I not taken a photo of the hooded figure I would never have noticed the vegetation covering the lower half of the tree stump. This vegetation hid the fact that the shadow actually stretched right down the tree stump. Without this coincidental factor there would never have been a 'hooded figure'. Nor would there have been a 'figure' if the lighting had been brighter - it would then have appeared more obviously like a tree stump. Nor would there have a 'figure' if the stump had been seen from a different angle or distance.

Now suppose I'd reported the hooded figure, never taken a photo, and someone else had investigated the case few weeks later. If the investigator had visited the same spot where I stood, it is highly unlikely they would gave seen a hooded figure. One or more of the contributing factors that gave rise to my sighting would almost certainly have been different, particularly lighting. The same could be said about all of the experiences I've had where coincidence played a big role, which is just about all of them.

No comments:

Post a Comment