A little bit about me and this website…
Who is The Paranormalist?
Who am I? A good question, and difficult to answer. I am uncomfortable talking about myself, particularly with respect to the subject matter discussed on this site. These experiences I have endured are difficult for me. Most of them are weird in the extreme, and some of them have been quite traumatic. There is also the embarrassment factor. It is not easy to share something so personal and so very strange with the general public.
Attempting to explain my experiences and my thoughts about them to people who I know is much more difficult than speaking with strangers about it, which is one of the reasons that I intentionally do not promote this website on my personal social media accounts. I realize that my family, friends, business associates, and customers (and prospective ones) might read this blog and conclude that I am mentally unstable.
I believe that there is a very real possibility that I might lose friends and business because of this website, although I hope that I will not. If I do, so be it. I feel compelled by a power far greater than myself to write about these subjects and to share my experiences, regardless of the personal cost.
After my last “paranormal” experience in June of 2014, I have grappled with an odd, persistent feeling that I can only describe as a kind of awakening. I don’t think that event happened to me randomly, and I am unable to ignore the feeling that I am supposed to do something with it and not keep it to myself. I have to share these insistent thoughts I have had since those two nights in June 2014, and that is my reason for putting this information out there for public consumption. So here it is…
I’m John Carlson, an average, regular-kind-of-guy from New Jersey, USA. I’m a family man, married since age thirty to my beautiful and wonderful wife Debbie. We have two sons, now both in their twenties, of whom we are very proud. They have become fine young men, doing well in life and in their careers, and we couldn’t be more grateful. We live in a modest home in northeastern NJ, not far outside of New York City. Rounding out our family is our dog Bella, a 70-lb coonhound and shepherd mix who keeps me company while I work when she is not following my wife around adoringly.
I am a self-employed website developer and online marketing specialist, working with small business and mid-sized companies to help them get the most from their Web presence. My family and I are also churchgoing, practicing Roman Catholic Christians. Our values are very traditional and conservative, and I really am not “into the paranormal.” In fact, I think it is potentially quite dangerous and a bad idea to directly investigate the subject. I do not encourage “ghost hunting,” paranormal investigations, seances or spiritual mediumship, and other such practices. Warning people against participating in these activities is, in fact, one of the primary reasons that I have created this blog site about the paranormal.
Seek and you will find: a warning to the curious
That last statement statement might be a surprise to some, considering that the subject is of this blog site is paranormal phenomena. However, in my journey to understand these strange events I have come to believe that engaging in occult practices or attempting to communicate with or investigate the unknown often has dire consequences and should be avoided — why I stick with blogging and don’t actively seek to interact with the paranormal. It has a tendency to find me anyway, without me looking for it.
My aim is not to glamorize the paranormal or promote it, but rather to warn of its potential dangers. I will discuss this topic at length in future posts.
In my ongoing attempt to understand some of the strange events that have visited me periodically throughout my life, I have come to think of my experiences as being rooted in the spiritual. This is a point of view that, during the many years that I was estranged from God and my church, I found quite objectionable. Any suggestion that unexplained phenomena has any association with God and Satan, angels and demons, Heaven and Hell, would upset me to no end. My opinion on this has changed after my most recent and (by far) most disturbing experience.
This is not to say that I believe that the origin of every instance of unexplained phenomena is the spiritual. Nor do I fully discount that idea, either. I am simply trying to understand how these ideas fit together. I have found a strong correlation between what gets broadly placed beneath the umbrella of the paranormal and the teachings of the Catholic Church on demonology, exorcism, and spiritual warfare. I also have some direct experiences that have led me to consider the spiritual side of the paranormal.
I’ll explore all these ideas further in future articles on this website, but to make a very long story short, a few years ago I had an encounter with some sort of non-human entities which emerged from a kind of portal or gateway that appeared in a remote forested area in Oregon. This happened in June of 2014 and I experienced this event over two consecutive nights from 2:30 AM until dawn with my good friend and renowned explorer Adam Davies. I have written extensively about what has come to be referred to as The Bigfoot Portal Incident, here on this blog.
To sum up, the creatures that emerged from that portal were the same creatures that I repeatedly encountered as a child, which I had written about several years before the June 2014 incident in Oregon. As much as would prefer not to believe that these beings were demonic, it is the only plausible answer that I have found. Trust me, it is not a comforting thought to believe that they are in some way attached to me. Anyway, read the articles that I wrote on the subject if you are interested in learning more.
I don’t pretend to have any definitive answers
I have a problem with “experts” who proselytize their ideas on esoteric subjects, insisting that they fully understand the truth. The plain fact is, it is doubtful that anyone understands to a certainty the nature of these occurrences of High Strangeness, a term coined by the late astronomer and UFO researcher Dr. J. Allen Hynek. These events are usually elusive and often have a slippery, trickster-like element to them. My inclination is to be wary of people who call themselves experts, and I am skeptical of those who claim that they know the truth.
I don’t care for dogmatic thinking in general. It is prideful and shows a lack of the virtue of humility to be so rooted in your beliefs as to become angry and offended at any idea that might contradict them. I know too many people like this, and I avoid them. Therefore, I will promise the readers of The Paranormalist that I will not position myself as an expert on any of the subjects that I cover (I am not, and there aren’t any) or insist that my beliefs are the unassailable truth.
This blog is meant to be an open exchange of ideas, and such rigid thinking has no place here. That does not mean that I will agree or pretend to agree with everyone with whom I interact, but if I disagree then I will do so respectfully. I hope that favor will be returned. I’m only trying to do my best to understand a set of very murky topics and then share with my readers whatever insights that I might glean, so please try not to take offense at my views if they differ from yours. I think we have quite enough of that sort of thing these days.
Lest I be called a hypocrite, I will add that I am much more rigid and dogmatic in my thinking with regard to issues of truth and morality. As I mentioned I am a practicing Roman Catholic Christian, raised in traditional Judeo-Christian ethics and morals. As such, I view the world through that perspective.
I believe in sin and the consequences of sin, and I detest the moral relativism that our society now embraces. This relativism is nothing more than self-worship, de-facto Satanism, and it is evidenced by the popularity of such concepts and phrases as “YOLO” (You Only Live Once — so you may as well pursue every thrill and hedonistic desire that you wish), “it’s my truth” (no, there is only the truth); “do whatever makes you happy” (even if it is objectively wrong and sinful); and “it’s all good” (it isn’t all good, and often “it” is bad).
It might seem silly and trivial to mention these trite phrases, but language is important and reflects the prevailing attitudes of our time. There are many more explicit examples of this paganist nonsense in our society that I won’t go into here. Moral truth is not subjective to the individual and their emotions, and the hedonistic pursuit of one’s whims and desires leads only to emotional turmoil, misery, and ultimately, for the unrepentant, damnation.
Nor do I believe it is an act of love to encourage a person in their self-destructive ideations and conduct. In my opinion, this enabling behavior has far more to do with the desire of the enabler to appear virtuous and morally superior than it does with a sincere interest in the welfare of the individual engaging in these negative practices. Such placating behavior is rarely borne out of a sincere desire to help these lost people.
Perhaps this is why I cringe when I hear people refer to themselves as an “ally.” It is not charitable or kind to tell people whatever they want to hear because it makes you feel that you have the moral high ground and signals your virtue. It is prideful and cruel. Pandering and appeasement are not acts of kindness.
I feel strongly that the myriad societal ills we are currently experiencing are rooted in this prideful vanity, lack of humility, and self-indulgence. As we become more self-centered, we turn away from God and turn inward to ourselves. The individual is deified, and God is left behind. We become our own god and the sole arbiter of right and wrong, ruled by our passions.
Without God, objective truth and morality cease to exist, and society becomes a free-for-all, untethered from the shared moral framework on which our civilization once stood. Individuals steeped in sin gradually become spiritually ill, sick of soul, and subject to diabolic influence. This spiritual corruption manifests itself in mental illness, depression, dysphoria, suicides, antisocial behavior, crime, and horrific acts of violence such as mass murders and shootings.
We are not designed to be separated from our Creator, and the result of turning away from Him is the collective madness we are now experiencing in the United States and around the world.
These are some of those persistent thoughts that I have had since my experience with those strange entities in the forest.
For we are not contending against flesh and blood, but against the principalities, against the powers, against the world rulers of this present darkness, against the spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.Ephesians 6:12
The main purpose of this blog
The primary reason that I have created this blog site is to help those people who, like myself, have suffered as a result of having an encounter with the unknown. Based on the many emails that I have received, conversations that I have had, and interactions with people through this website, I am quite certain that there are many more experiencers of the paranormal than most of us would guess. Often, these people suffer silently in the wake of these incidents.
I have been told numerous times by enthusiasts of the paranormal that I am lucky to have had such experiences. Little do they understand the negative effects that are frequently felt afterward. What happens when a sane, rational person sees or encounters something that should not be? We are told that there are no such things as monsters, that the universe is material, quantifiable, and well-catalogued. It is deeply troubling to discover that your entire belief system and worldview is incorrect.
Even for those of us who are open-minded about the possibility that other parallel realities and unknown entities exist, it is something else entirely to be face-to-face with that which is beyond one’s knowledge or reason. Believing in the supernatural in the abstract is quite different than having a direct experience with it.
There are long-term effects to experiencing the paranormal or preternatural as well. My wife can attest to the fact that I have had frequent, terrifying nightmares for many years. They began long before I slept each night in the same bed as her, and I am certain that these nightmares are strongly related to my childhood confrontations with those strange humanoid entities that, decades later, accosted Adam and me in that forest in Oregon.
These paranormal incidents are especially traumatizing because they are so very difficult to openly discuss. People who have had these experiences rarely talk about them because they feel no one will believe them. Or worse, that they will be ridiculed. My friend Adam and I have undoubtedly both suffered from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder after those two terrible nights. We were very fortunate that we had each other to lean on in the months after it happened. Many people have no support system at all. So, at the very least, I hope people who visit this website can take some comfort in knowing that they are not the only ones to have had a close encounter with unknown phenomena.
All that is seen and unseen
I firmly believe in the reality that there are things that lie outside our perception. Occasionally, we receive a glimpse of these phantoms, or perhaps even encounter them directly. They come in many forms and these experiences are widely varied, but they do happen. Of course, some of these odd experiences have mundane explanations, and some percentage of them are hoaxes. But, as a sane and rational human being who has had some very strange encounters and experiences, I know for a fact that they are not all easily explained away as lies, products of overactive imaginations, or mental illness.
Each weekend when I attend the Catholic high mass, we recite the Profession of Faith, which begins, “I believe in one God, the Father Almighty, maker of Heaven and Earth and all that is visible and invisible.” Formerly, we recited this as “all that is seen and unseen.” All religious faiths presuppose the belief that there is an invisible realm, that which we cannot normally perceive with our five senses.
We believe in God, although we do not see Him. We believe in an afterlife where we will hopefully one day join our loved ones and live in the sight of Him. Yet, we do not know this to be true. It is an act of faith that we believe, as I do with all my heart.
The existence of “the paranormal,” for me, points only to the presence of a greater, more complex, and beautiful reality that lies beyond our mortal senses. I see it as evidence of God’s glory — even that which is frightening and disconcerting. This is what I have come to believe on my road to understanding myself and the nature of this shared reality which envelopes us all. All that is visible and invisible.
Welcome friends. Join me on my journey, if you will.
A couple of video interviews
I’ve done a few interviews on podcasts and YouTube channels, so I thought I’d include a couple of them here. The following is a two-part interview on Vic Cundiff’s popular channel, “My Paranormal Experience.”
In the first video, my segment begins at the 10-minute mark (the first part is pretty cool, though. Worth a listen). Part two is all me, and covers the Oregon portal experience.
My Paranormal Experience – Part 1
My Paranormal Experience – Part 2
Note: I just noticed that, for some reason, the most dramatic part of the experience was edited out of the second video. On the first night, after I (stupidly) challenged the beasts, they charged Adam and me. I’m not sure why that was omitted from my account of the incident, but you can read all the details in my six-part series on the ‘Bigfoot portal event’ here on the Paranormalist.
Adam and I were also interviewed together on Tim Binnall’s podcast, Binnall of America. It’s a long interview, but worth listening to if this story interests you.