What's changed?

Debi

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YEARS AGO, WHEN I FIRST STARTED STUDYING UFO AND PARANORMAL THINGS, IT WASN'T SOMETHING YOU TALKED EASILY ABOUT TO OTHERS...UNLESS YOU WANTED TO BE KNOWN AS THE TIN FOIL HAT PERSON!

HOW LONG AGO DID YOU BECOME INTERESTED IN THE PARANORMAL AND UFOs?
WITH THE LATEST SOFT DISCLOSURES AND CURRENT INTEREST OF THE GOVERNMENT, DO YOU FEEL MORE COMFORTABLE TALKING ABOUT THE TOPICS WITH OTHERS?
IS IT DIFFERENT BETWEEN TALKING UFOs VERSUS OTHER PARANORMAL TOPICS?

DO YOU STILL FEEL A STIGMA ATTACHED TO BELIEVING?
 

Selectric

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I always read about paranormal stuff since i was a kid. I never felt strange for talking about the subject regardless of what the reaction was to whom i was speaking to. I think people tend to pick up on who is talking nonsense and who actually experienced something legit. I never talked to my parents about such things UNTIL they began having experiences in the blue house. UfO's i talk about but have never seen one (possibly 1 that one unknown). My mother to this day claims she saw one light up the front of our house when we were children. I feel bad as none of us really believed her then :( Now that we older, i do bring it up and her recalling of it has never changed.
 

Paulm

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while not a conversation you normally strike up with a complete stranger, lol, i think most people at one time had someone in their family who had "gifts" or stories, and most people would talk about it to ones they knew, close friends etc... ive actually found that most people would believe in what was once just referred to as "ESP" before they would believe in aliens or UFO's,
with all the reality shows now about ghosts, cryptids, (Bigfoot) and UFO's i think now the stigma is more "oh, youre just a reality show believer"....lol... followed by, " you know thats just fantasy TV and they never find anything, right?" type looks or attitudes. while the media has brought the paranormal more mainstream it has at the same time just made it another form of the horror genre to not be believed but for entertainment only.....so i think its now just another form of a stigma that is attached. or maybe the same but in a way worse.
 

Selectric

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I did a lot of work for a builder. I got to know him a little bit through the years...the usual professional barrier thing. He brought me and my apprentice up to upstate NY to wire a house for him. It was a 4 hour ride at least, so somehow we got into conversation of ghosts lol. He was a member of a Civil War reenactment group that always did scenes at Gettysburg. He also was an extra in a few Civil War movies with one prominent scene he handed a document to an officer. He had an experience in Gettysburg that scared the living hell out him. He would NOT talk about whatsoever.
 

garnetsilver

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I think that talking about the paranormal has gotten more common since Covid. People were experiencing paranormal events during lockdown that they had either ignored or not noticed before then. I still avoid talking about UFOs because I feel uncomfortable, not sure why.
 

crux

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It's a matter of reality. What is real to a person and what is not. Seems like it's not hard to find people who are open to the idea of UFOs, at least in the circles I frequent but then I live in kooky California. It might be different elsewhere. And, of course, at the other end of the spectrum there are other topics that are strictly not-for-discussion with almost anyone if I know what's good for me. :cool:
 

ozentity

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I became interested before I knew what it was. I never mention it unless someone starts first because these things really need to be seen to be believed and I totally understand not believing if you haven't experienced it. Some don't believe it when they have seen it.
 

GoneWestUtah

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I came to embrace the paranormal late in life. I went from hardened skeptic to entrenched believer very quickly, once I started investigating, and meeting people who recognized something in me and helped me develop it. During my life leading up to that, it just wasn't on my radar at all, so no worries about stigma.
Now I am wrapping up my career, and even if I was concerned, it wouldn't matter. No job to negatively affect, very soon.
I am truly free to explore as far as I dare go, with no societal repercussions. From here on out, my health is the only significant factor.
 

Stevedog

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A big change for me is that there's a lot of people taking a much more scientific approach to these phenomena. It's not just some person saying that they "sense a presence" or that they "feel an energy". Investigators are now using various instruments and recording devices, because weird feelings aren't recordable nor quantifiable. The scientific method involves gathering data and measurements, forming a hypothesis, setting up an experiment to test that hypothesis and gathering data measurements to repeat the cycle over and over. This seems to be what a lot of legitimate investigators are doing.

Of course this comes with a whole new set of charlatans and scammers who can fake data with the right technical knowledge. This is especially true with pictures and video clips that can be overlayed with CGI on even a modest computer these days.

For myself, personally, I have become better at analytical discussion and debate from hanging out with and talking to lawyers. A lawyer cannot simply dismiss a piece of evidence or testimony by saying "This can't be true because my client is innocent". This is called arguing from a conclusion rather than arguing towards a conclusion. The lawyer has to address the evidence or testimony head on and show why it doesn't stand on its own first, then argue that it doesn't show guilt second. This is the same way I approach skeptics who dismiss every single but of data as "obviously fake because ghosts/aliens/bigfoot/ect aren't real". They are ignoring the evidence arguing from a conclusion here, like someone covering their ears and saying "lalalala I'm not listening lalalala". So if a piece of evidence is fake, I want to follow the same scientific method in making that determination. First is a detailed explanation of how it was done, then test that theory by examining the video to find clues that these methods could have or were used. For example, I have seen some remarkable videos of cryptid activity, but suspect they are CGI. Taking a closer look reveals things like mismatched frame rates, mismatched lighting sources, mismatched shadows and shading along with all sorts of things that you'd find in a hastily made CGI composite video.
 
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