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This is a great book for those of us who enjoy those ghost hunting or monster hunting TV shows but get frustrated at the silly ways the hunters approach the mysteries Radford gives a good overview of how to conduct truly scientific investigations of unknown phenomena, with examples of several of his own investigations The book is a quick, entertaining read while still being full of useful information If you get a chance to hear Radford talk, incidentally, definitely do go. Scientific Paranormal Investigation How to Solve Unexplained Mysteries by Benjamin Radford Scientific Paranormal Investigation is indeed a fascinating book about the scientific methods used to investigate mysteries The book also includes real life case studies and how they were solved The book is composed of thirteen chapters and broken out by the following three Parts Part I Science and the Paranormal, Part II Conducting Scientific Paranormal Investigation, and Part III Case Studies in Scientific Paranormal Investigation Positives 1 An excellent, well written book that addresses the paranormal critically 2 Mr Radford takes the right, open minded approach to investigating My job is not to doubt, nor debunk it is to investigate 3 As accessible a book as they come Conversational, even handed approach throughout 4 Fascinating case studies with satisfying outcomes 5 Great quotes and ideas based on common sense Critical thinking for the masses As long as you are willing to accept evidence either way, you are being open minded and a good investigator 6 Excellent format At the end of each chapter the author provides a plethora of references and even a follow up 7 Very good explanations of common human fallacies 8 Psychic detectives debunked, always a positive 9 A treat to read Highly recommended Negatives 1 There is really so little to complain about this book The scientific methodology may be dry to some but it s a necessary and key tool to investigations 2 Having to go through the long list of recommendations to find out what to read next In summary, Scientific Paranormal Investigation , was a joy to read from cover to cover This book is fun, fascinating and educational As an avid reader, I was not only pleasantly surprised at how good this book is but I m also thankful for its wisdom I dare say this book was a spiritual experience indeed Bravo What Is It Like To Travel The World Investigating The Paranormal To Not Just Sit Back And Wonder About The World S Famous Unexplained Mysteries, But Actually Go Out And Solve Them To Investigate Haunted Houses, Searching For Evidence Of Ghosts And Spirits To Search The World S Lakes For Giant, Fearsome Monsters To Investigate And Create The Mysterious Phenomena Of Crop Circles To Talk To People Who Speak To The Dead, Solve Crimes For Police, Or Use ESP Scientific Paranormal Investigation Is The First Book To Give The Public An Inside Look At The Life, Methods, And Work Of A Real Life Scientific Paranormal Investigator Author Benjamin Radford Has Investigated Unexplained Phenomena For Over A Decade, Not Just Read Or Written About Them, But Actually Gone Out To See What S There Unlike Most Other Books And Reality TV Shows On The Supernatural Or Paranormal, Radford Strictly Adheres To Scientific Methods In A Nutshell, Scientific Paranormal Investigation Is The Equivalent Of The X Files Meets CSI Crime Scene Investigations Applying Scientific Methods And Principles To Real Life Mysteries, And Coming Up With Explanations When It Seems None Are Possible Whether The Subject Is A Crime Scene Or A Haunted House, The Questions Are The Same What Did Eyewitnesses See What Does The Evidence Show If The Paranormal Ghosts, Psychics, Or Bigfoot Really Exist, There Should Be Valid Scientific Evidence For Them Scientific Paranormal Investigation Draws From Dozens Of Cases And Mysteries, Explaining Step By Step The Science Based Methods Radford Used To Solve Them While I disagree about some of the things he wrote on, I can certainly see why this was an important book to read as far as paranormal investigation I think he may beof a cynic than a skeptic and in my pseudoscience course we learned the difference I ended up using some of his suggestions on how to improve evidence for ghost hunting for a paper I had to do on the subject. Radford has written a well organized, well referenced how to guide for budding paranormal investigators, and indeed, any critical thinker interested in techniques for researching questionable claims While the specifics of investigative research skills are best dealt with separately, and would take up a complete book of their own, this is a good primer on how to apply good scholarly techniques in a variety of mysteries so as to stand the best chance at solving them As Mr Radford notes, there are those methods that work, yielding information that often answers questions, those used by scientists, detectives, and good investigative journalists, and there are those non scientific, non viable methods thatoften than not leave the questions unanswered, or worse, do not even ask them Not all methods of investigation are equally valid, equally useful, and this book answers the questions why.Even as a non professional, I found his writing style lucid, concise, and easy to follow His bibliography gives a multitude of additional sources, including online URLs, for further reading anddetailed elaboration than would be possible in any single work I recommend this highly for anyone interested in plumbing and laying bare the secrets of any sort of questionable claims, paranormal or mundane. This book is good for those that are into the paranormal, unsure of what to think of the paranormal or generally want to understand the importance of good research regardless of the topic I personally am not moved by paranormal topics as I don t believe in them, but through reading the investigations conducted by the author, it stressed the importance of good research before going for easy answers The method of going about it that way would likely seem counter intuitive to the average person but it is so simple it s amazing that this kind of thinking doesn t comenaturally to us as humans The importance of ruling out alternative explanations is at the heart of this book Going through the investigations seeing how much culture psychology play a huge part in how we fill in the gaps for things we don t understand was very eye opening It s a great book for understanding where how human thinking goes wrong in regard to explaining things that only superficially seem inexplicable Good research takes time, hard work, understanding, empathy critical thinking that seems to be the best approach as opposed to going with easy answers If you re not into the paranormal aren t wowed by oddly the human mind processes the things it experiences, then the book may seem a chore I liked it despite the fact that I have little interest in the paranormal but I am interested in how we make mistakes interpreting our experiences the importance of good research that the author s experiences stressed to the reader Understanding the process used in the various examples is something that can be transferred to to just about any subject one may be unsure of for that, I would highly recommend the book. Radford explains the pitfalls that many paranormal investigators fall for and perpetuate for a variety of reasons He does a thorough job of explaining why these approaches are flawed and add to the shadow of pseudoscience that covers ghost investigation methodologies In his book Radford also takes the reader for a journey into his life as a paid investigator and demonstrates how logic and patience can solve almost every paranormal mystery This is a must read for anyone who wants to investigate anything paranormal or anomalous. The case studies are the highlight of a very good book It is a bit of a slow start as Radford goes into information overload explaining the method and mistakes of researching supernatural events It is all worth it though for the fascinating case studies that cover many different areas of the paranormal and unexplained The highlight for me is learning about all the psychics and Ghost Hunters that had direct contact with a fictional character Nice job Ghost Hunters Way to keep it real fake. A DisappointmentI was hoping that somewhere in this work there would be a direct critique of the modern technological ghost hunting methods Unfortunately the author doesn t seem to feel the need to givethan a superficial these methods don t amount to hard proof I would love to see it addressed somewhere what these various meters are meant to be measuring and why anyone thinks these readings relate to paranormal phenomena This book had no useful information regarding the origins of these beliefs regarding EMF data, nor any solid information as to why these indicators don t constitute useful data It isn t that I think they do or don t, it s that I would like to see somethingthan a shouting match from people who would like to be considered objective and scientific. The paranormal, simply defined, are experiences and happenings that don t seem to have a natural, material world explanation That s the definition I m working with Everything from UFOs to lake monsters to ghosts to psychics to the like fall into this category Benjamin Radford s book, SCIENTIFIC PARANORMAL INVESTIGATION is an excellent starter if you want to go beyond reading the stories from your armchair and get out into the field Or, at least, do the work necessary to solve these things.The point of the book is that using the scientific method along with understanding human psychology are your best tools Also understanding how to do proper research, when something isn t scientific evidence like anecdotal evidence or eye witness testimony , how a camera might be the cause of a photographic mystery, how the human being is easily tricked or mislead, etc Logical fallacies are addressed, what makes up the best investigator s tool kit, and never go into a case assuming you already know the outcome Always, always follow the evidence.Radford rightfully points out paranormal mysteries are just mysteries like any other mysteries He writes, Paranormal subjects are investigated just like any other subject through critical thinking, evidence analysis, logic, and scientific methodologies The book is laced with actual cases that demonstrate the concepts, methods and techniques Other authors investigators contribute throughout Some cases start out on the surface seemingly from outside this world turn out to be rather normal, sometimes dull when just a few pieces of information come to light The point is that unlike pro ghost, pro UFO or pro paranormal books, the cases in here show that when you use the proper methods, you can solve this stuff.You won t be Sherlock Holmes after reading this But it s a good start if you want to start And remember, the best answer if you really don t know something is to say I don t know until you actually do.