Scientific Paranormal Investigation
By Benjamin Radford. Rhombus Publishing Company: 2010, 300 pages. Paperback, 80 photos and illustrations, index, $15.25. ISBN: 978-0-936455-11-2
What is it like to travel the world investigating the paranormal? To not just sit back and wonder about the world’s famous unexplained mysteries, but actually go out and solve them? To investigate haunted houses, searching for evidence of ghosts and spirits? To search the world’s lakes for giant, fearsome monsters? To investigate – and create – the mysterious phenomena of crop circles? To talk to people who speak to the dead, solve crimes for police, or use ESP?
(Download Ben Radford’s “Top Five Ghost Hunting Mistakes: Science and Pseudoscience in Ghost Hunting” [pdf])
Scientific Paranormal Investigation is the first book to give the public an inside look at the life, methods, and work of a real-life scientific paranormal investigator. I have pursued “unexplained” phenomena for over twelve years – not just read or written about them, but actually gone out to see what’s there. In a nutshell, Scientific Paranormal Investigation is the literary equivalent of The X-Files meets CSI: Crime Scene Investigations: applying scientific methods and principles to real-life mysteries, and coming up with explanations when it seems none are possible. Whether the subject is a crime scene or a haunted house, the questions are the same:
What did eyewitnesses see?
What does the evidence show?
For the millions who have an interest in the paranormal but who are not necessarily familiar with what skeptics are or what they do, this book provides an understanding of skepticism and how science can be applied to modern mysteries and the paranormal.
With contributions by James Randi, Joe Nickell, Martin Gardner, Susan Blackmore, Ray Hyman, David Clarke, David E. Thomas, Richard Wiseman, Karen Stollznow, James Underdown, Daniel Loxton, Gary P. Posner, Massimo Polidoro and Blake Smith.
- Part I: Skepticism and the Paranormal
Chapter 1: Understanding the Paranormal and Skepticism
Why Scientific Investigation?
Unexplained Vs. Unexplainable
The Importance of Scholarship
Chapter 2: The Psychology of the Paranormal
The Psychology of Experience
Eyewitnesses and Personal Experience
Case Studies in the Psychology of the Paranormal
- Part II: Conducting Scientific Paranormal Investigation
Chapter 3: Investigation Principles and Guidelines
Mystery as Missing Context
Types of Mysteries and Investigations
Researching the Mystery
Applying Scientific Methods to Paranormal Investigation
Analyzing Claim Clusters
Guidelines for Scientific Paranormal Investigation
Nuts and Bolts of Investigation
Investigating Photographic and Video Evidence
Other Perspectives onScientific Paranormal Investigation
Chapter 4: How Not to Investigate the Paranormal:
Science and Pseudoscience in Ghost Investigations
- Part III: Case Studies in Scientific Paranormal Investigation
Chapter 5: The Demonic Ghost House of Buffalo
Chapter 6: The Psychic and the Serial Killer: The “Best Case” for Psychics
Chapter 7: Riddle of the Crop Circles
Chapter 8: Ogopogo, the Bloodthirsty Lake Monster
Chapter 9: The Mysterious Santa Fe Courthouse Ghost
Chapter 10: The Amazing Lee B., Remote Viewer
Chapter 11: The Mysterious Pokémon Panic
Chapter 12: The White Witch of Rose Hall
Chapter 13: Slaying the Vampire: Solving the Chupacabra Mystery