Fact or Faked: Paranormal Files 1.3: "Off the Deep End/Houseguest"

After a ridiculously poor investigation in the previous episode, the team seems to have regained some measure of sanity this time around. Of course, I'm still convinced that there is a production-driven desire to make things look more unexplained and mysterious than common sense would suggest.

Take, for instance, the supposed creature reported in Raystown, PA. I thought that the team did a fairly good job of demonstrating that the "evidence" could be replicated in short order with a little bit of time and effort. In fact, similar to the situation involving the "night crawlers" in the previous episode, this was one where it was clear how someone could have easily rigged up something to match local legend or gain a little fame.

But even when they agreed that they had a very good match, they stepped back from the obvious conclusion. The most likely answer is that someone with a lot more time and a motive (say, increasing tourism and profiting from it) could have figured out an even better way to accomplish the task. Instead, the team used an imperfect match as justification to keep the case open. (Never mind that they took the witness testimony at face value, despite the fact that it was nearly identical to every other report of similar creatures around the world.)

I'm not saying that it was definitely a hoax, and I'm sure they don't want to court legal action by claiming such themselves. But if there is a reasonable chance that something has been fabricated, why not say so? Especially when they openly ripped into one of the videos at the top of the episode, saying that it was faked. (Maybe they just don't want it to seem like they wasted their time?)

The "ghost writing" was a lot more interesting. The team pretty much did everything I could think of off-hand to debunk the evidence and reports, and a cursory search on the interwebs failed to produce a definitive explanation. (If anyone else is aware of such, I'd be interested in reading about it.) This is the kind of thing that leaves me a bit puzzled, but the nature of the phenomenon does not quite ring true. But I'm glad that it was featured, because otherwise, I wouldn't have heard about it.


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Aug 20, 2010 8:05PM EDT

Much of what is on Destination Truth is conjecture, assumption, and the power of suggestion. Doesn't make it less of an entertaining show...it's just not always what it pretends to be.

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