- Religion and Philosophy
Paranormal Bytes Series: Hoaxes
Casper, The Not So Dangerous Hoax Persona
Unfortunately, hoaxes are a huge problem in the world of paranormal events, sightings, and investigations. For the field called "paranormal," hoaxes undermine the credibility of the entire field of paranormal research - a field desperately trying to gain acceptance and validation via both scientific (doctors, hard sciences) and non-scientific (spiritual advisors, religious experts) authorities.
For individuals, hoaxes can be financially, emotionally, mentally, spiritually, physically, and psychologically damaging and can also damage a person's reputation and credibility in the workplace, in homes, with families, friends and in the community.
From any news or information I've come across regarding the damages that hoaxes can cause, the latter - personal - damages are considered THE WORST negatives which follow the event or situation of a HOAX.
On the flip side, because hoaxes are so universally disliked, hoaxes cause people to generalize an awful lot and to say that anything related with a hoax is inherently wrong, false, untrue, etc. This can lead to problems if a hoax is actually connected to a true historical event or attached to a personality that is NOT fictitious...because people will often generalize a DISBELIEF about everything related to the hoax. In this case, the historical event (which might be a real past event) didn't happen, the person (who may have really lived and breathed in the past) the hoax was about never really lived and is a figment of the "hoaxer's" imagination and construction...
You can see how the damage of a hoax can be very serious and far-reaching, can't you? It can be damaging by figuratively REMOVING whole events and historical people from the world - or it can affect the living in a derogatory, harmful way that is very, very real.
The bottom line is: Most hoaxes are not funny and they undermine serious research into paranormal realms and can definitely harm people.
Investing Finances Into a Hoax
There are some who have made large investments into hoaxes and who have lost a lot of money from believing in the topic of a hoax. This can cause financial RUIN in cases where people invest money into a hoax "project," which turns out to be a scam. Believe it or not, some people have purchased land, cars, other significantly costly items, believing there is a chance to profit from some ghost housed there on the land or - in the case of a vehicle - that a special individual (now a ghost or some such entity) inhabits the vehicle or is forever attached to the item. Luckily, I've never heard of too many super-high price tag purchases of land or significant objects that people have been financially ruined from. Most people, thankfully, wouldn't WANT TO purchase something they believe or are told is inhabited by a ghost, spirit or other entity...well, not a whole house, land or vehicle.
What some people become financially burdened and sometimes RUINED over are a number of smaller purchases initiated by a 'hoax-ster' that the purchaser doesn't know is scamming him/her. Some "psychics" are experienced scam-sters and manage to convince a lot of people that the psychic-hoaxter-generated scam or hoax is real and that a person can pay the "fake-psychic" (always called a 'real medium' a 'true psychic' or by such title, of course) for protection against ghosts, spirits, demons, other entities, hauntings, etc.
Hoaxers Getting Attention
Although a lot of hoaxers who have gotten "caught" have admitted to motivations that include making money from their hoax, there are many hoaxsters who do what they do for attention or just because they want to see if they can create and pull off a hoax, at least for a short period of time. The latter often "come clean" about their tricks shortly after their hoax gains some acceptance as a strange but true event, an unbelievable creature 'caught on film' or another electronic device, etc.
A few hoaxsters have set up elaborate jokes and then, when people 'bought it,' the hoaxster has enjoyed a few moments of fame or attention and then been unsure as to how to break the news to people that an event or paranormal effect was staged.
Almost universally, hoaxsters are viewed as criminals, incessant liars, anything that can be attributed as "bad" character faults...but I believe a great number of hoaxsters - at least many of those who aren't motivated by earning money from a hoax - are highly creative people who sometimes get caught up in their own creative drama.
Books About Hoaxes
A most dangerous thing about hoaxes happens when people invest emotional energy into them and are psychologically affected by believing in things that are hoaxes. Sometimes, actual psychological harm occurs.
For instance, a person believing in film footage that looks like 'proof' of a ghosts existence may incorporate a belief about ghosts and any attributes of ghosts they are told - into their core belief system. A person who does this generally lives their life with this belief system, believing in a particular ghostly appearance or event and this may hold a great deal of significance in their life, for any of a number of reasons. The reasons don't matter so much because each person can have vastly different reasons for believing in certain things...what is important and is REAL here - is that the person's experience of life as a whole - includes this ghost belief and experience...a person acts out a life with this "known reality" of ghosts in the world and it's part of the person's experiences in the world anytime something happens that is related to ghosts, certain topics that involve ghosts...and also - ghosts are connected to death, afterlife, etc. Ghosts and the theories surrounding ghosts are no trivial things whatsoever - although a HOAX is something staged to look like it is real or true.
When the hoax is exposed, the emotional and psychological investment in the ghost deflates and can actually alter the person's identity and belief system. It's not as if the 'ghost belief' can just be removed without any effect, in most cases. A person's whole 'world view' might change and this can be harmful - because a hoax that is shown outwardly to be a hoax - can happen in a matter of minutes. It may take only minutes or seconds to expose and deflate a hoax...the mind and worldview, based on a person's experience, takes a different route of change.
Sightings and Experiences
Have you ever seen a strange creature you thought should go in the "Monster" category?
Wexford County on Google Maps
The Legend - legend of the Dogman Song
The Michigan Dogman - early sighting in 1887
The first report of a dogman sighting goes way back to 1887. I have scoured the net and run into copy and paste repeats of the information Wikipedia has online for this alleged 1887 sighting by two lumberjacks. I dug a bit deeper and followed the source Wikipedia used and was glad to find a few more details about this sighting from a Book (you can find this with a Google Book search) called, Traveling Michigan's Sunset Coast by Julie Albrecht Royce. (The copy I found for sale at Amazon is a whopping $503.88 - used, wow). You can find the information from this first Dogman sighting on page 419.
** Note - this account is included in the song that radio DJ, Steve Cook, created about The Dogman, called, "The Legend." (see/listen to video at right).
In 1887, two lumberjacks encountered this creature. The Wikipedia information says only that the men thought it looked something like a man with a dog's head but Royce gives different information in her book. I'll go with Royce's version as it explains more and seems to be better researched and more detailed than the Wikipedia information.
From Royce's version: The men saw what looked to be a large dog. They gave chase and the animal ran into a hollow log. One of the men started poking into the log with a stick and this caused the creature to let out an "unearthly scream." Following this, it crawled out of the log and stood face to face with the lumberjacks. The man claim that when this thing stood upright, it had the body of a man and the head of a dog. The lumberjacks cleared out and never returned to the area again.
With This in Mind...
I wanted to put forth the Royce information as well as The Legend of The Dogman song because there really have been a lot of Dogman sightings and many are considered legitimate but unexplained events and accounts. The research Cook did for the making of the song is pretty substantial
In 2007 a new Dogman sighting film except was released on the internet to various video sites where the general public can put up home videos.
For a little over two years, this video coverage was considered one of the most riveting and proof-positive pieces of evidence thus far concerning the existence of a Dogman in the Michigan region of the U.S.A.
Go ahead and watch the video below. **NOTE: This video was aired on various "unexplained phenomenon" television shows, including Leigh Hart's show, Mysterious Planet.
The Dogman on Mysterious Planet (aired in May 2009) with attention to the Gable Film (from 2007) at the end
In Circulation For a Few Years - Puzzling The Experts
The video above puzzled experts for a few years. Many people looked at this video very closely and remarked that the way the creature moves in the video can't be faked or made by a man.
The problem here is:
It was faked - and the "creature" is a man.
When the film was examined by some experts involved with the Monster Quest television show, they found what they believed to be irregularities in the film. The person who made and submitted the film confessed, in 2010, that it was all fabrication.
For many, before the film maker admitted the film was a hoax, they believed that the video had "captured on film" something that was real. This is actually a problem in the field of paranormal and unexplained studies because films and photographs can be grossly altered while many unsuspecting people believe that film "captures the reality of what is there."
Film and photos can do both...
I always try to keep this in mind.