IS COVID KILLING THE PARANORMAL?
Mid-March brought an approaching sense of dread. There was disturbing talk about a deadly virus spreading around the world. Fast forward to August, and that sense of dread is now one of mourning for what we have lost. Jobs and money. Family and friends. Are we now losing our interest in the otherworldly because we are so consumed about the demise of this world? If we can't even meet up with those we love, what do we care about meeting up with an alien, a ghost or Bigfoot? What do we care what a spaceman looks like when we can't even tell what a human behind a mask looks like anymore? Officially, nearly 20 million world-wide are infected and nearly one million have passed from COVID, as of this writing. The true numbers are likely staggeringly higher. The threat of harm from the virus is a far greater threat than that from abduction or possession.
PROTECTING THIS WORLD VS. PURSUING THE OTHERWORLDLY
Discussions with several UFO and paranormal researchers and authors seem to affirm a creeping, underlying feeling of "what do these things matter right now?" As a species, when we are dealing with our very survival as everything familiar is dismantled, interest in things that are outside of our realm are of less interest.
We necessarily concentrate on our more immediate, pressing needs: how are we going to restart life and restore what we had? How will we stop the virus, not get the virus, not lose our economy, our health, our lives? When we see families and businesses and livelihoods decimated across our world, it is easy
for interest to wane in things from other worlds. There is an ancient adage that is instructive on this: A student asks, "Master, what is reality?" The Master replies with a hard hand slap to the student's face, admonishing him, "This is reality." The student was taken aback, having expected cosmic insight and pearls of wisdom. Instead, he was answered with a hit to the head. He then understood the lesson - that slap was all that mattered in that moment.
And anxiety, uncertainty and fear do not provide the inspiration and mood to conduct and report research on things that do not immediately affect us. Investigating such things as UFOs seems almost inconsequential and of lesser concern than concern about COVID. Thoughts about life on other planets takes a back seat to returning to some sense of normalcy on this planet. COVID news has taken over everything, including our mind's focus, so how to we focus on flying saucers?
PRACTICAL THINGS THAT THE PANDEMIC HAS DONE TO PARANORMAL STUDY
Besides the blow to our psyche to explore things psychic, COVID has impacted UFO and paranormal research for very practical reasons:
We can't go out to do field UFO or haunted home investigations for instance, because we don't wish to take the risk to travel by air or frequent a restaurant or hotel while away. And many have paused the filming of new paranormal TV seasons and documentaries. This includes an episode that I participated in for a new Travel Channel series back in early March with Ben Hansen (www.benhansen.com). Only four episodes are "in the can", and premiering a series with such little filmed material makes no sense. Other media have taken to rehashing historical cases, using canned clips and studio narration to help "fill in" what will surely be a lost season. It is nearly impossible to effectively conduct and record an unsolved mystery investigation while wearing masks, gloves, and social distancing.
THE PHENOMENA IS STILL HAPPENING – BUT SOMETHING IS MISSING
What is happening to the phenomena itself? Nothing. It is still there. Though we are in quarantine, the phenomena is not. Spirits are still floating, monsters are still lurking, and flying saucers are still flying to be sure. But our attention to such things has been diverted for the time being for many of us. One would think that being "carried away" from the harshness of our world at this moment would lead us to increased interest in pursuit of the unknown. But the energy required to do the research, conduct the investigation, make the calls and write it all down is dissipated by the energy, thought and required action that is given to the disease. And the unknown can be frightening and frustrating - and we do not need any more of that right now. Because for now, Personal Protective Equipment takes precedence over protection from poltergeists.
This is no better demonstrated than when I made a recent investigative call to an older man who was a child of a witness to the Roswell UFO crash, who is now living in coronavirus hotspot Florida. I thought that this would be a perfect time to call – everyone is at home a lot more, they have fewer outside commitments, and would likely be more eager to talk. I was wrong. When reached by phone, the gentleman said to me, "Look, you're worried about something that happened 70 years ago and I'm dealing with a close friend on a ventilator. I'm afraid to go out-of-doors and you want to talk about outer space?" I was understanding of what he was saying.
And although unusual phenomena still occurs, unusual talents seem to have been hindered by the virus, report some who have these gifts. I have discussed with two reputable psychics in my area, what effects, if any, the COVID epidemic has had on their abilities to perform optimally. Although they have tested negative and are virus-free, they both said that the stress resulting from the pandemic's presence often disrupts their psychic talents. Contending with parents in nursing homes and communicable sickness in their neighborhoods is taking a toll on their ability to "tune in." They say that it is more difficult to enter into "sensitive" states and to be receptive to other realms when the one that you are living in is drastically changing in such alarming ways.
IT WILL COME BACK
Despite all of this, I am confident that passionate pursuit of the phenomena is not lost. The need to know the unknown is likely an innate human desire. The quest for truth about things hidden is never-ending. And when these become days of darkness forgotten, we will embark on that quest with renewed vigor.