Saturday, January 16, 2010


It's easy to see the trees. We are surrounded by them. Sometimes they block our path, sometimes they shelter our heads, sometimes they give us a home, and other times they try and fall on us. It is easy to see the trees. They are all around.

Recently the trees in my life have been extremely bipolar. Manic. Emotionally unstable.

Our daughter is going in for back surgery March 1st. This tree makes me nervous. I'm not nervous because she isn't strong enough to handle it, or nervous because I don't think she will recover. It makes me nervous in the sense that I don't want her to go through any pain. I would much rather take the pain for her. If that was an option, I would. Hands down. I would take this from her. It's going to be a long and painful procedure. Again, I know she will do fine. I just wish I could take this from her.

My best friend and brother (and I don't know if I can say anymore without confusing people of my sexuality), Denver Robbins, has hired me to help him with a project that he has put together. This tree is glass and covered with droplets of silver mercury. This tree allows my heart to breathe. I am grateful for not just this gig, but grateful for his support. Denver, as you all may know is the voice of 'Tech Corner' on our show, as well as the host of 'The Otherside' with his wonderful wife, Lauren T. Hart. Denver also, has been there for me emotionally for years. The good and the bad. The tree that represents Denver is one of peace and brotherly love. I like this tree. It is one of comfort.

Anna Marie and I were pregnant a few weeks back. I am using the past tense. This tree is dark red and makes my heart hurt and the nerves in my fingers numb. Its not so much that we miscarried. For me, its not even the planning, or the disappointment in the addition to our family. You see, I am a very happy man. I have a wonderful family full of the one thing the government cannot take from me. Love. No, this tree hurts because I was allowed to see the ultrasound. I saw our baby, even if at 8 weeks, still our little one. No heart beat. I hurt for our baby. I know she will be back. I am confident. My mom taught me this one. My mother miscarried 3 times before I was born. Yes, she will be back. But for those 8 weeks I wonder how long she was alive. I wonder if her spirit wondered. It is a painful tree.

We have 5 children. Four are teenagers and they corner me when they come in from school. They ask me about 'when do people know they are in love' and 'do people come back home for Christmas once they are in college?' and 'is it weird that I want this surgery now and that I don't want to have to wait?' and 'can you read my script?' Yes, this tree is painted like a tie-dye shirt. It is beautiful! Colorful. Ever changing, pulsating with glowing life. At the top of this tree is a giant crystal pine-cone flashing like a star on a Christmas tree. This is Ash. He is a year and a half old, maybe a little more if you get technical. He is the heart of this tree. A source of inspiration, wonderment, and happiness! I love him. This tree is priceless. Carl Sagan would have to spend an eternity adding up how extensive the love is in this tree and it would still make our universe appear insignificant and small.

The trees around me at this moment are full of promise, full of fear, full of excitement, and full of the unknown. The one thing I can say about the trees that surround me are that they are full of my family and friends. This forest goes on for miles and miles and it makes me smile just knowing how many people we actually have in our life that care about us. That selflessly give their time and efforts praying for us and offering us messages of their sincerity and their love. Call this 'love and light' call this 'ching a lingy'... call this what you want. To me, it is what I would consider unconditional love, and that works fine for me.

All of us are surrounded by trees. At different times in our life. The trees that surround us are dark and ominous and block our path. Like the trees that surround the lives of the people in Haiti today. At other times, the trees that surround us are light and full of life and help guide us down the path we are on with their love. But most of the time. The trees that surround us are bipolar and manic and confuse us. Most of the time, we cannot focus. Most of the time we spin in circles and feel lost and alone.

We all need to learn to stand still for a moment or two, step back from ourselves, step back from our lives, and look around. See the bigger picture. Learn that we are not alone. Learn that good and bad are always happening simultaneously. Learn that if we pause, and look through the branches... that eventually... we will be able to see past the trees.

We will be able to see the forest.


Wednesday, January 13, 2010

The Paranormal Bar

I have truly had it with the finger pointing in the paranormal community. What is wrong with you? Yeah, you know who I'm talking about. If you can't figure it out, then you are in the clear, but if you are squirming in your seat or slowly sinking under the table right now, then yeah, 'what is wrong with you?'

That's not it. I'm actually going to go for it. This is going to be a re-cap of my personal opinion on the paranormal community, and again, since this is my opinion I can say it as proudly as I say 'Pepsi is better than Coke', 'Burger King is better than McDonalds' and 'Internet Radio is better than Terrestrial Radio.'

First, let me introduce myself. My name is Brian D. Byers. I have a BFA in Illustration (double major with Art History) from the Savannah College of Art and Design, and if Animation was offered at the time, would have graduated a triple major in Animation as well. I was a professor of Multimedia Animation at the Savannah College of Art and Design as well as a professor of Post Production Video and Internet Design.

I have been in over 20 bands from the Nazi Chewbaccas (an anti-skin-head band) to Craig's Wife (an indy electronic folk group). I have worked in the entertainment field for over 13 years and have animated, edited, produced, directed and designed products such a Barbie, Curious George, Aeon Flux, Spongebob Squarepants, Angela Anaconda, Rescue Heroes, Fisher Price Little People, Zork and have worked for companies such as Disney, Hasbro, Mattel, Nickelodeon, MTV, ESPN, Food Network, NBC, CBS, and HBO.

Why do I introduce myself here? Am I trying to boast or brag? Not at all. Currently I am working odd jobs to pay for whatever part of the bills I can just to keep my families head above water while my incredible wife, Anna Marie, works a part-time job at our local grocery store. And, no, this isn't an entry on how bad our economy is.

I tell you these things because I think it is important to recognize one fact about me.

I like to entertain.

Yeah, I'm one of those people that NEED to be the center of attention. I can't help it. I've accepted it and so has my amazing wife Anna Marie. Heck, shes a lot like me. She has been in many productions, has danced, sang, and performed for as many years as I have. We are both entertainers.

I know it sounds like I'm building a case, but what I'm really wanting to do is enlighten a lot of you that think you have it all figured out. That you know everyone because you hear their shows or watch them on TV or on the internet, or because you have read all of their books, or fertilize their crops on Farmville. The purpose of this entry is to let you know that you don't know everything about anybody. Some of us don't even know our own spose or even our own selves until we are in a position of decision making.

So, while Im typing this next paragraph name off, in your head, the top 20 paranormal researchers in the field. This will help us understand who has raised the bar so high that nobody is worthy of any work that they do. I only mention that because this is what is wrong with our community. It's really becoming a true phenomenon of its own. I have decided to illustrate my point by making a list of what has become common place, and again, I'm not saying that this is right or wrong, simply my opinion, and I want you to hang with me for a moment while I do this.

What do Paranormal Investigators do? (ghost hunting investigators)
  1. Hear a story about activity in a designated area.
  2. Get at least one other person to find interest in this place.
  3. IF more than one person is interested, start or form a group or team with a cool name.
  4. Interview the owner of the property and practically beg to have a chance to investigate the property or area with the activity.
  5. Walk around in the dark from midnight to 4 or 5 am with with flashlights, emf detectors, video cameras and audio recorders.
  6. Go home and sleep. Then later review your data hoping and looking for anything out of the ordinary.
  7. Post data, purchase shirts with your logo and get an online radio program.
  8. Get a Myspace, Facebook, Twitter, and MySpaceTwitBook account so you can tell everybody how wrong they are and how right you are.
Don't tell me that this isn't your basic regime. If you do anything that is different, more unique or even more thought out then I'd like to know what it is and when your book is coming out, because we would love to book you on our show, 'Ghostology with Brian & Anna Marie.' How do you like that? A shameless plug right in the middle of my blog! I'm good!

That actually isn't why I'm writing this entry today, though I could stop there I guess. But, no, there is more and I intend to talk about it. I also am not going to name any names, because you already know who I'm talking about, and if you don't then you must live very far away. (tell the tin-man I left my jacket and will be back to pick it up soon.)

Now that we know what the basic regime is that 'everyone' follows. Let us focus on what types of people are making waves out there. What types of people are setting the paranormal bar so high that it's hard to pull a stool up and order a drink. Yes. Who are they? and What are their careers? What do they do for a living? How many of them actually have working grants from the government or any other institution banking on the fact that their group, team, or even individual person will discover or uncover something that will change the paranormal world. I can't name any that are being funded by a government grant. Lets see, what about a personal grant? Nope. I can't think of anyone doing that either. I do know a few groups that do however have funding from another company, probably more of a sponsorship, but I don't think the purpose is about new discoveries. I could be wrong and if I am, you can correct me here in my blog. I don't mind being wrong. Heck, sometimes it's nice to see that I am wrong.

Do you see where I'm going with this? The people that we are modeling our groups and teams after are just like you. That's not a bad thing either. They are book store owners, web designers, health care workers and plumbers. It actually makes this field seem a lot easier to get into and a lot easier to compare notes on. It is an easy and accessible field or hobby to get into. If you have a flashlight and recorder, you are in business. Go find a place, investigate it (thanks to Buffy), and then post your data. You don't get paid for it, still working your part-time job at Subway or your full time gig as an RN, it doesn't matter.

Why doesn't it matter? I'm so glad you let me ask that question. I'm even more glad to remind you.

It's simple. We have no proof of the paranormal. What's that? Oh, I'm sorry, I'll speak a bit louder for those of you in the back row that came in late.

We have NO proof!

So, now... my point.

Why do some of you feel the right and the need and the drive to attack other people doing exactly what you do? Where do you get off condemning, belittling, slandering and intentionaly trying to hurt and defame someone's reputation that is doing exactly what you are doing?

Are you better than a Plumber? Are you better than a Librarian? Are you better than a Tattoo Artist? Are you better than a History Teacher? Then shut your pie-hole and go back to the list I posted above.

Part two of this entry is about me and will hopefully explain why I posted the intro I did.

For some reason, a lot of people who follow the basic regime that I posted above think that it's wrong, wrong, wrong to make money in this hobby or field. They also think that if you are in it for attention or to entertain, then you are destroying all of the blood, sweat, and tears that people have put into the foundation of the paranormal research field. They firmly believe that if you have an online radio program, a book, or speak at events that you are contaminating the solid structure that has been established over the years making the paranormal research field a joke.

This bothers me. I watch copycats that rhyme with A.P.S. in their rock and roll style t-shirts, run around in the dark, doing nothing different than the rest of the community. They get online or are guests on online programing or write blogs and condemn their very own reflections. I think what most of these people don't realize is that they are their own cancer. They condemn. They finger point. They abuse others. And what have they done for the community themselves?

What have they done to help strengthen the foundation of the community that they thrive within?

They claim that they expose the fruads and the orb chasers. They claim that they are 'right' and everyone else is 'wrong.' They claim a lot of negativity. But how have they helped raise the bar? Who do they look at and say, 'that person is worthy of setting the bar.' I would like to know who they look up to. Why they look up to them. And why they believe that person is better than anyone else in a field with no proof.

Back to me. Yeah, it's my blog. What I am about to say may shock you.

When I say that I am an entertainer. When I say that I love being the center of attention. When I say that I love being one of the hosts of Ghostology Radio. When I say that I would love to be on a television show. When I say that I would love to be part of a feature film that deals with ghosts, hauntings, and paranormal activity. When I say these things. Does this discredit me as a paranormal researcher anymore than the person who is a cashier at Wal-Mart? Bus driver? Librarian? Para Legal? Steel Mill Foreman?

If this, for some reason is a bad thing. If this, for some reason is why paranormal research is not taken seriously. If this, for some reason is the cause of all of the problems that exist within the paranormal research community, then tell me, who, what, and where is the bar and who has raised it so high that people like me aren't allowed to do what we do for a living while researching the paranormal at the same time as others.

Who and what has raised the bar so high that we cannot enjoy the hobby that we participate in without being attacked and without being called liars, assholes, frauds, and sell-outs.

Last question, and this is to be answered quietly in your own head.

Do you even know why you are holding an EMF detector during your investigations? Do you 'really' know why?