From Me, to You Archive

March 2008: Waynesboro Paranormal Research Group

In this month's edition of FM2U, I'd like to make a real departure from show-biz and discuss a group whose meetings I have been attending since 2007. The Waynesboro Paranormal Research Group. I believe that everyone's life is touched, at some time or another, by the unknown. The "paranormal". Sometimes it may mean seeing something unusual on land, sea, or sky, experiencing an "apparition" or ghost, feeling a premonition, or dreaming, of an event that hasn't yet occurred, or the opposite, feeling that you've been somewhere or done something "before". Sometimes it can be as simple as merely having an "intuition" about something. For instance, how often will the phone ring just as you were thinking about the caller?... No matter how significant or insignificant, there are "psychic" principles at work around us all the time. Whether we want to admit it or not, these things do happen. They've been around since the beginning of history and, regardless of our belief structure, they're here to stay. An experience of this nature can be so baffling, unsettling, or disorienting that often, people are very reluctant to discuss them even with those to whom they are very close. Personally, I have had two such experiences in my life (although I suspect that there have been more of which I am not completely aware). In the early 70's, I saw, quite clearly, what could be described as a UFO. I've never seen anything like it before or since. In the 90's, I HEARD, but did not see, what I believe to have been a ghost. In my own mind, I have absolutely no doubt concerning these experiences. There could have been no mistake about either (and it is incredibly easy to misidentify and misinterpret "normal" events in this manner). After a discussion of all this one evening after a show, I was invited by a friend in the audience, Paul Gayda, to attend a meeting of the WPRG (in which he was already a member). The WRPG was founded in August of 2005 by the late Wayne Harrup, whose wife Janie is still a very active member. What I found was this: an incredibly friendly group of folks with one important common interest, the quest for knowledge and understanding of the mystery of our existence. Also a broad cross-section of ages and cultural-social backgrounds. Within the group there are skeptics and believers, but real open-mindedness. It was absolutely wonderful and I found myself eagerly awaiting the next opportunity to get together with everyone. The group meets on the final Monday of each month, from 7-9 p.m., in the downstairs conference room at the Waynesboro Public Library and is informally chaired by Mark Shinn and Brenda Gordon, both long-time members. There are no dues or fees and the meeting is open to everyone. Often there is a featured speaker in the second hour (I've even been allowed to speak to the group twice!) after an opening hour of announcements and discussion. If you're interested in joining in a field investigation, there is a very basic training session in the use of certain scientific equipment required. As I was told, you'll never hear anyone say "you're not gonna believe this but...", so please come and share your story... Although primarily established as "ghost hunters" the group has often included many other subjects that could be considered "paranormal". All ideas and opinions are welcome. In other words extremely refreshing and intellectually stimulating. A LOT of fun! The WPRG web-site is: www.waynesboroghosts.com. Please check it out. So if you have a healthy curiosity that there may be "more to life than we sometimes think" don't be shy, come on out and pay the group a visit. You'll be very glad that you did!
see you there,
Jimmy