By Michelle Reese
Do ghosts, aliens and psychic phenomena all share a common source? Bucks County resident and author Justin Bamforth explores this question in his recently published book The Spectrum: Glimpses of the Paranormal and Encounters with the Strange. Doppelgangers, Men in Black, UFOs, spirits … Justin covers these topics and more through exclusive interviews, case studies and key testimony.
Unlike some books dealing with the paranormal, The Spectrum manages to engage readers' curiosity without being TOO out there and hard to follow. It's written with a conversational tone, so you feel as if you're sitting with Justin himself. Yet, it has enough research behind it that you understand how Justin's years of studying these topics have helped him develop this book – and how it has affected his life!
With Halloween just around the corner, it seemed like an appropriate time to talk to Justin about the book and these spooky topics.
BH: When did you become interested in the supernatural? Has it been since a young age, or is this a more recent passion?
JB: Oh, I’ve certainly had my fair share of strange events, but it wasn’t until the last several years when other people began to share their experiences with me. A lot of the accounts I was receiving weren't your typical ghost stories or lights in the sky events either. They were truly odd encounters that aren’t as easily categorized under general umbrellas like hauntings or UFOs. These kinds of experiences seem to pull various different phenomena into it. Things like projected manifestations, collective consciousness, doppelgängers, time slips, or run-ins with seemingly non-human entities—like the Men in Black, for example. Those types of things I’ve become more interested in hearing about.
BH: For those of us who might not be up on our terms, what's the difference between paranormal and supernatural?
JB: For the most part, these terms are interchangeable and essentially imply the same thing. However, I've noticed that more spiritually-minded individuals like to use the term “supernatural” as opposed to “paranormal.” My guess is that the latter could be seen as having more of a negative association with the occult rather than the miraculously divine. So maybe the better term for it is just simply “unexplained phenomena” or “high strangeness.”
BH: What inspired you to write The Spectrum?
JB: After talking with numerous people over the years who have experienced strange phenomena, as well as researching and investigating them, I began to see patterns emerge in the phenomena, which might reveal clues in how it operates. A lot of this strangeness—whether we choose to call it paranormal, supernatural, ghosts, aliens, or something else—seems to be emanating from a single source, which may tie it all together in some way. When we trace related events through human history, we find that the phenomena has always existed, yet we just call it one thing or another depending on our societal views at the time. But what IT is, well, that’s truly the mystery. My goal with “The Spectrum” was not so much to present answers, but to challenge people to ask more questions and approach the phenomena from a different angle altogether.
BH: You run the website and Facebook page Normal Paranormal. Through the discussions on these pages, what would you say is the “strange thing” people are most likely to believe? Ghosts, aliens, etc… what gets talked about the most?
JB: Usually ghost-related stories seem to attract the most attention, especially during this time of year. Plus, the subject of ghosts in general are more embraced in comparison to the UFO phenomenon—even though both have a lot more in common than most people even realize. With the popularity in paranormal entertainment over the last decade, it has made talking about ghosts a lot more “normal” as opposed to encounters with otherworldly beings. But we must be careful not to approach it with the mindset that it has to fall under just one category either. What we’re dealing with overall is a very complex and multifaceted phenomenon that takes on different forms, yet all connects together.
BH: You've done quite a bit of traveling investigating the paranormal. But what's an event close to home that had the biggest impact on you?
JB: In 2008, Bucks County had a large cluster of UFO sightings, which lasted for several months. Then the sightings drastically declined by the following year. What was in our skies at that time? There appear to be particular geographical locations which experience intense waves of anomalous activity for a brief period of time, then suddenly it’s gone. These types of events fascinate me the most because we still don’t know what exactly prompts them to occur.
BH: Will there be a sequel to The Spectrum?
JB: Oh, I'm always working on something. Stay tuned…
BH: Just for fun with Halloween being next week… What's your favorite spooky movie? Are you dressing up for Halloween?
JB: There are so many spooky movies out there; it’s hard to narrow it down to just one. You surely can’t go wrong with the classic films. But probably my favorites are those based on real events. Recently, I watched a spooky documentary called “Hunt for the Skinwalker,” which also relates to what we’re talking about at the moment. As for Halloween plans, I think I’ll dress up as a normal human being—the strangest entity of all!
Interested in finding out more? You can reach Justin Bamforth at www.normalparanormal.org. And you can purchase The Spectrum (available in paperback and Kindle) directly through Amazon here.
About the Author
Raised in Montgomery County, Justin currently resides in Bristol Borough, Bucks County. While he has spent close to two decades an an active investigator and researcher into the paranormal, he spends most of his 9 to 5 life in advertising and marketing. He is the creator of NormalParanormal.org and is also a member of MUFON (Mutual UFO Network) and lectures on the subject regularly.