Author Marie D. Jones and paranormal investigator Larry Flaxman have teamed up to found a new organization – ParaExplorers – that focuses a scientific lens on various aspects of the paranormal and the unexplained. In this interview, they explain the concept and goals of ParaExplorers.
Q: There definitely is a growing public interest in paranormal investigation in the media – several popular TV shows and many websites. What's different about the ParaExplorers concept?
Marie: Our concept is markedly different than mainstream paranormal investigation by two key tenets. First, our charter is to explore a variety of phenomenological subject matter; we are not strictly limited to traditional topics like "ghost hunting" or "UFO chasing". We intend to explore all manner of unexplained mysteries, from the ancient to the modern, which covers a very broad range of potential topics. Too many groups focus on just one “niche,” such as ghosts, cryptids, or figuring out who built the pyramids. We want to examine all these things, and so much more, including some very intriguing fringe subject matter, as well as topics most people don’t normally associate with the paranormal.
Some of this exploration will find its way into book format, and we are already signed by New Page Books for two books for 2009: 11:11- The Time Prompt Phenomena: The Meaning Behind Mysterious Signs, Sequences and Synchronicities and The Resonance Key: Exploring the Links Between Vibration, Consciousness and the Zero Point Grid. As you can see, Larry and I refuse to be put into a box! As authors, we also get to theorize about what we are researching, and talk to others in related fields about their research. This is one of the things that most excites us.
Second, with our close association with the Arkansas Paranormal and Anomalous Studies Team (ARPAST), of which Larry is Founder and President, we will mirror their 100 percent scientific approach, utilizing and following strict scientific methodology. We have at our disposal the incredible resources of ARPAST, which is the best of the best, and plan to utilize it to further our understanding of what makes these anomalies tick. So, not only do we have the cerebral element of theorizing and writing and researching, we have the hands-on element of scientific-based field investigation via ARPAST. Also, Larry and I do plan to get out there as a team to look at these mysteries close up and get our hands dirty, so to speak, digging for clues.
Q: What else can you tell us about the kinds of mysteries or phenomena ParaExplorers will investigate?
Marie: Anything unexplained! From the mysteries of the Egyptian pyramids, out of place objects, mystery numbers and sequences, scientific anomalies and quantum enigmas, to myths and legends, conspiracies and cover-ups, esoterica and occult studies and everything in between.
There are the “standards” to be sure: ghosts, UFOs, cryptids… but we want to take a broader look at the unknown, including how science itself is merging with the paranormal, what ancient civilizations knew about the structure of reality, and even get into the most cutting-edge brain and consciousness research in an attempt to pinpoint the mechanisms behind paranormal experiences.
We also plan to look into the psychology of the paranormal, including how myth, folklore and religion influence what we believe, and how perception and the role of the observer influence reality. There are no limits to what we can explore, and that is the beauty of not being restricted to one niche of the paranormal.
Q: What do you hope to accomplish ultimately?
Marie: Primarily, we want to provide public awareness and education, while researching and hopefully answering the mysteries of our world. Or at least a few of them! This is really about knowledge, and if we can add to the body of knowledge, while also inspiring and educating a new “breed” of explorers, then we will have met the intentions of our charter. Larry and I also hope to reach age groups that have an incredible amount of energy and ideas to offer, including young people. We want to solve the unsolvable (or at least get pretty darned close), and encourage others to continue the quest as well.
Next page: Using science to investigate the paranormal