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When those interested in the paranormal see my name, they usually associate it with the investigation of UFOs. This is most likely because my investigations into the UFO experience have gained considerable attention (in not only the United States but also in a number of other countries) and my book, Night Siege: The Hudson Valley UFO Sightings, was coauthored by the Dean of UFOlogy, the late Dr. J. Allen Hynek, and the late Bob Pratt, a veteran UFO researcher. However, over my thirty plus years of investigating the unknown I have accumulated a great number of cases concerning the paranormal that were never published or discussed with the media. Also, I have witnessed UFOs and other types of paranormal events firsthand on more than one occasion, making the paranormal a reality to me.
I am a scientist by trade; I have degrees from the University of Texas and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. I have been a science educator for the past twenty-nine years, and try to use my background in science to investigate and document the paranormal. During my almost three decades of being one of the only people with scientific credentials investigating the so called "borderline sciences," I have been criticized by my peers as being involved with something that is "not really scientific." I disagree—science is the attempt to understand the unknown and look for answers, so by investigating the paranormal I am trying to document and shed light on phenomena that has perplexed human beings for countless centuries. My research so far has shown that although some paranormal events are clouded with fantasy and pseudo-religious interpretations, most of the reports are very real.
If you ask most scientists if they believe in the existence of UFOs, poltergeists, hauntings, and a great variety of other paranormal events, the answer is a quick, flat "No." If you then ask these scientists if they have ever investigated or researched the phenomenon in question that they claim can't possibly exist, the answer once again will be "No." To me, this is unscientific. How can you say that something does not exist if you haven't examined the evidence to determine whether or not it is real?
On the other hand, I have been asked many times over the years, by other scientists and non-scientists alike, "Do you really believe in the paranormal?" My answer is, "Yes, most of it." During my research I have experienced, documented, and seen unknown phenomena, from UFOs to poltergeists, that convince me the reports are real and not the product of an overactive imagination of a bored society trying to use a fantasy to escape the reality of a troubled world.
The experiences published in my book, Files From The Edge: A Paranormal Investigator's Exploration of High Strangeness, present irrefutable evidence that credible people are having incredible experiences. Those experiences that border outside our normal reality include strange creatures, phantom beings, contact with dimensional entities, and UFO-like phenomena. Where is all of this phenomena coming from? Well, there is no quick, easy explanation to answer that question, but the solution may truly be dimensional in nature. Taking into account new ideas in theoretical physics, the idea of a multidimensional universe could explain why we see creatures and strange lights that seem to appear out of nowhere, and then disappear into thin air.
According to my research, it seems that there are many places throughout the world in which various types of paranormal phenomena are sighted more. These areas could be portals that open from time to time, allowing this other reality to merge with ours. At the beginning of Files From The Edge, String Theory and the concept of the multiverse is presented in a clear and direct way that people from all walks of life can understand. Once we understand the concept of a multidimensional universe, that which we call paranormal phenomenon seems to make more sense. For example, over the past two hundred years, there have been reports of a sea serpent off the coast of New England and in Long Island Sound. The creature was reported to be serpentine in nature and as large as a ship. If the creature is part of our reality, how could it stay hidden in such crowded waterways? However, if the creature (or creatures) merge into our dimension from time to time and then disappear, it could explain their phantasm-like ability. The sightings came from credible people who reported an animal that they considered "physical." These reports were covered in many of the papers, including The New York Times. On more than one occasion, government investigators and divers were sent to investigate but found nothing.
For many years the appearance of unusual animals has fascinated me, especially the sightings of Big Foot-like creatures. There have been sightings of large, hairy humanoids in almost every section of the United States and in most countries of the world. It seems to me that if the creatures do in fact exist, are physical, and are part of our universe, someone would have killed or captured one. If the creatures are from a parallel reality and not physical (as we know it), then this would explain their ability to be seen in populated areas and then disappear as if they never existed. My investigations concerning the sightings of Big Foot and its relatives are presented in Files From The Edge; I take the reader from my research in the United States to my explorations in Nepal and Thailand and then back to North America, where I investigate the bizarre frightening case of the Sasquatch cattle rustler that terrorized a number of small towns near Bandera, Texas.
Investigating claims of the paranormal is no easy task. It takes long hours in the field, and although on-site explorations can be exciting and dramatic, most of the work is done spending long hours in libraries, historical societies, and the record archives in local towns where the event that you are researching took place. For example, in Brewster, New York, there are a number of underground mining tunnels that stretch for miles. These tunnels have been the location of a great deal of paranormal phenomena. To understand what is taking place in the present we must explore the past. During my research I learned that sightings of apparitions and strange globes of light have been reported off and on for the past 120 years. Before 1960 they were called ghosts. After the 1970s people began to believe that they were UFOs and that the phantom-like creatures seen were extraterrestrial or interdimensional aliens.
The area around the old mines is very strange indeed, with reports of UFOs and claims of alien abductions, ghostly apparitions, and strange creatures, but the greatest mystery was yet to come. During my final days of research at the Putnam County Records building I found a number of old newspaper clippings so yellowed it made them very difficult to read. The news stories covered a mining disaster at the Tilly Foster mine in 1895. According to local folklore, the ghosts of the men who were killed in a mine cave-in still haunt the area and are often seen from Brewster to all the way to southeast New York. This intrigued me, since I had over ten reports so far in my file of a mysterious ball of light that had been observed in the backcountry of Brewster near the mine entrances. This ball of light was photographed and observed by a number of people over the past hundred years.
The older, local residents of Brewster say the mysterious lights are the ghosts of the miners killed in the accident, while others say they belong to a UFO. To me, the reports seemed more like a phenomenon known in the paranormal world as "spook light." Spook light is an unexplained light source that, for the most part, appears in the distance at a particular location with a regularity that seldom disappoints those who come to view it. Glowing in the night with an eerie, soft color, the light sometimes will pulse, change color, and dance about, near the ground or at tree top level. When the curious try to approach the light, it will vanish, as if purposely keeping their true nature a secret. Spook light is sometimes known as ghost light, and the phenomenon has baffled the human race for centuries. Many theories have been offered to explain their presence, including hallucinations, UFOs, automobile headlights, ball lightning, electrical discharges caused by tectonic forces, and even, as the name implies, ghosts. They are seen in every country on Earth, but for some reason North America has the most well-documented reports. In Files From The Edge, I examine the spook light phenomenon in greater depth and travel to different parts of the United States where the lights have also been seen.
Reports of the paranormal are not restricted to any specific country. People from every culture across the globe experience things that are not a part of our reality. According to both my research and the work of many others, encounters with the unknown seem to be increasing in frequency. The reports come from people of all walks of life. No matter your social standing, educational level, or spirituality, no one seems immune.
In my book, many cases of encounters with the paranormal, plus some of my own experiences, are published for the first time. I hope to publish the remaining encounters from my files in the near future since they present a complete view of my work in this area. Files From The Edge includes a select number of cases that I thought were interesting enough to be published. However, one must remember that they only represent a fraction of the cases in my files.
The world of the paranormal seems strange to people who are locked into believing that reality is the world they have created for themselves. To me (and many others in this field), the paranormal is not at all strange. Most researchers, myself included, have frequently experienced paranormal events; to those of us who investigate and have experienced such phenomena, these events are a very real part of the multidimensional universe.
Philip Imbrogno (Connecticut) is a recognized authority in the field of UFO research. He has been interviewed by The New York Times and Coast to Coast AM, has appeared on NBC's The Today Show and The Oprah Winfrey Show, and ...