The Value of a “Good Hoax”

Last Updated on June 2, 2020 by

The paranormal community has been overwhelmed by hoaxes since the beginning.  It seems every so often a piece of evidence comes forward that promises to change the world forever, but then when it is thoroughly researched it turns out to be nothing more than a simple fabrication by individuals with a need for attention and an excess of free time.  But are all hoaxes evil?  In reality, the paranormal community might benefit from studying the hoaxes if they wish to learn more about that most important and elusive of strange artifacts – the human mind.

Why would one hoax win the popularity contest over another one?  In studying thousands of videos claiming to be of genuine paranormal phenomena there is a definite trend.  Among serious researchers, videos are often selected for their ability to convey the paranormal in a convincing way that suggests no natural means of explanation.  But in the general public, the most interesting and the most popular hoaxes are the ones that convey a certain feeling or carry with them an important meaning to the average viewer.  It’s interesting that the same week as the now infamous UFO lights over Jerusalem there was another UFO witnessed in Utah by several different witnesses who were interviewed by news media and did not hide behind a veil of anonymity.  They too videotaped a strange triangular craft dropping light over their city.  The circumstances were not necessarily identical, but the Utah sighting received almost no attention outside of the local coverage it received from ABC 4 News   So why would one sighting become internationally famous while the other simply received a passing mention on the nightly news?  It’s an interesting question to ponder.  Is it because the Jerusalem lights were more shocking in the Dome of the Rock video?  Or was it because the Dome of the Rock is such a politically and religiously important spot throughout the world to so many people?

And there are other elements that seem to make hoaxes more or less popular.  When the event seems to suggest a world filled with mystery or outline a narrative that would not be easily believed, it seems to almost become more viral.  A video depicting a ghost very similar to the main antagonist in the film “The Ring” was almost certainly a hoax when it first broke on Youtube in 2008.  Very few who saw it actually thought it was anything more than a fabrication.  And yet it received several thousand views very quickly and remains even today as a heavily referenced and watched piece of “evidence.”  Of course it is also rarely mentioned in conversations with more serious researchers.

So we learn from hoaxes that we are constantly in search of something to challenge the human race on a metaphysical level.  Something that will remind us that although we may have vast cities covering massive swaths of land, we are not the decided and de facto masters of the universe.  Just as humans listened to the howling of wolves as they huddled indoors, we wish for an intelligent danger sometimes that can show us that there are countries yet to be discovered and mysteries yet to be solved.  And when it comes to mysteries of this universe, there is no shortage of new information on the unexplainable.