Sunday, August 30, 2015

Can a Private Investigator unlock the mysteries of life after death? ..........The PI Files

As I am reading Answers About The Afterlife.......A Private Investigators 15 year research unlocks the mysteries of life after death written by Bob Olson who is also the host of I am trying to relate to the subject of this book, that there is a life after death, that according to Mr. Olson is "here to deliver the answers that are based on that evidence from a practical investigator's assessment."   The evidence Mr. Olson is referring to are his personal experiences with mediums, psychics and channels during his 15 year investigation.  As a skeptic I am highly curious to know how an investigator who "draws conclusions based on an examination of the evidence using logic, reason and pragmatism" finds the answers to questions like: what happens after we die, how do our loved ones communicate with us after they die, and what it feels like to be a spiritual being and many more. What I seek are the background to the answers for example who were the mediums who helped him reach his conclusions and claims, their backgrounds and reliability, and how he calculates their reliability.

On page 141 of Answers About The Afterlife Mr. Olson talks about how he determines whether a psychic medium is real or fake and states "fake psychic mediums and scam artists ask a lot of leading around for clues so they can improve their guessing ratio....yet not every medium who asks a lot of questions is a fake".  Another red flag for him is "fake psychic mediums and scam artists present vague, general messages, rather than accurate evidence.  For example "spirit communication should always begin with messages that identify the spirit who is communicating with the psychic medium".  So, basically they should give the name or description or a detailed account of their death what Mr. Olson calls identifying evidence.  I believe, based on my research and experience dealing with a very specific personality disorder often found in criminals it is very possible for good con artists to appear genuine and reliable in this case at least they appear this way to clientele but not so much to those that have experience with genuine mediums.  What matters in my humble opinion is the client whom which receives the reading and their level of desire to connect with spirit and naivete.  

I have personally met several people who claim to have the gift of psychic ability.  My most recent reading was with a medium who calls herself Matina.  #Matina started her reading with me over the phone stating their were two males present who 'said' they wanted to communicate with me and my mother.  She offered no description of them, how they died, or who they were to me in my life.  I offered no information and scheduled an appointment for a reading for the very next day.  At the beginning of the reading she compared herself to Theresa Caputo (The Long Island Medium) and said instead of moving her lips when connecting with spirit as Theresa Caputo does she sometimes stands up and sways her body side to side which is what she did the entire reading.  I was waiting for her to talk about the two males she claimed wanted to communicate with us but there was no mention of them, in fact, she did not identify anybody who she claimed was communicating through her.  We told her throughout the reading that we were unable to associate with anything she was telling us and her response was, "you may not remember it now but later it will come to you and you will be shocked that it relates."  This, in my opinion, is a good way to hold the confidence of the client until long after the reading is over.  Yes, it could be that it would later make sense but none of it did at least not for us.  To this day we are still unable to relate to anything she claimed and in fact she in our opinion was either an unseasoned medium, a fake or perhaps gave us a bad reading and no spirit came through for us.  Comparing her to the others', well, there is no comparison.  We will never know how authentic she is unless we conduct an in depth review with her readings with other people.  On her website she will only publish positive feedback but again we do not know the level of desire to connect with spirit or the naivete of the clients nor do we know what kind of negative feedback there might be.  This is why I am reading Bob Olson's book Answers About The Afterlife because he did a 15 year study into the afterlife that includes in depth interviews and readings between mediums and their client.  Here is a link where you can see Matina in action.
Here is a link to buy the book Answers About The Afterlife by Bob Olson.

I witnessed readings with Lisa Williams, voted one of the best mediums in the world according to and Rebecca Rosen named medium to the stars.  Lisa Williams readings were spot on.  She named the spirits coming through and gave detailed information about the events that occurred leading to their deaths.  Rebecca Rosen was not as accurate during the readings I witnessed.  She named people some of which were identified and some not identified.  Once I was read by a channel who when she spoke to me her voice changed from a female to a male and said some thing that later proved to be true.  She told me that the friend I was with that day had a dark secret he was keeping from me and emphasized on it throughout the reading and I later learned it was true when I found out that there was in deed a secret and the secret was pretty dark meaning something was being hidden from me by my friend.  When I found out what the secret was it was devastating to say the least and was life changing for both of us.  It is hard to know what to believe and what not to believe when it comes to something you cannot see or feel and again I think that the reliability of the person making the claim combined with the level of desire to connect with spirit and client naivete are the ultimate factors that determine the most likely truth.  

On page 129 of Answers About The Afterlife Bob Olson talks about loved ones who are deceased communicating with us in our dreams. My experience was at the age of 26.  I was told by a doctor that I must have inherited a smoking gene, because I smoked, as did my grandparents and parents when I was very young.  They all eventually quit and lived healthy lives except my fathers' father who was not so lucky because he was eventually diagnosed with emphysema, a form of COPD, and suffered through the rest of his life with breathing problems.  He died when I was eleven years old.  I miss him dearly and visit his grave a few times a year. (As I write this now according to Bob Olson's claim my grandfather is aware of what I am writing about him as stated on page 123 "our loved ones in spirit always hear us when we talk or pray to them....but our loved ones in spirit are also aware of when we write a letter or email to them, even if we have no place to send it.....when we talk about them" )   I had a dream but not just any dream.   I felt everything that happened in my dream really happened.  According to Bob Olson this event is called a dream visitation.  He states "the dream is extremely vivid and feels like you are really in the presence of your loved one, which, of course, you are."  In my dream I was visited by my grandfather.  I heard his voice and saw him as if I was physically standing in front of him.  I felt his touch as he put his arms around me and I around him.  The best way to describe what it felt like is what some people refer to as an out of body experience. There was no background in this dream.  No wall colors or furniture. It was just the two of us and nothing more.  It was very strange and something I had never experienced before.  I was just at the beginning of my career in the investigation field and had all of the skepticism in the world.  In this dream my grandfather warned me about the dangers of smoking and reminded me of his health problems as a result.  I heard his voice very distinctly and he was not gasping for breath as he did when he was alive and in fact I sensed he was at peace.  He hugged me and said he loved me which I do not recall having ever heard him say to me when he was alive.  I felt love from him as I had never felt before.  Now, I was in no way interested in life after death or the paranormal at this point in my life.  The thought of these things never crossed my mind except in the form of  haunted houses on Halloween and occasionally a local psychic fair for fun. I knew in my gut something out of the ordinary had happened and I felt so happy and loved.  For several days following this dream it was the only thing I could think of because it stood out among the rest.   In other words it was enough to make me question this dream out of the millions I have had over 50 plus years, so far.  I was afraid to tell anybody because I thought they would discount my claim or think I was crazy.  I knew nothing about dream visitations or spirit at the time.  But, I eventually told my father and he listened and offered no negative response and entertained the thought that it was possible.  It is one of those things you cannot forget and is always in the back of my mind and to this day I remember it very clearly as if it happened yesterday.  It has been over 20 years since the dream and I had always hoped it would happen again but I have never had a dream like it since.  Ironically Bob Olson states on page 128 "those who have experienced a dream visitation say that they remember the details of the dream with great clarity many years later.  They often remember the dream as if they had the dream the prior evening, even if the dream visitation was 20 years earlier".  Having had this occur I truly believe what happened was real, therefore I am open to the possibility that there is much much more that humans are unable to comprehend and there is a spirit in all of us that lives on after our bodies die.  It wasn't until I started reading up on life after death, near death experiences, and out of body experiences a few years ago and that my claim of having a visitation with my grandfather was more than likely. 

In conclusion I decided to test a theory that our loved ones have the ability to communicate with us after they die. Mr. Olson claims based on his investigation on page 123 "our loved ones in spirit always hear us when we talk or pray to them"  and page 125 the claim is "you can communicate with your loved ones in spirit at any time".  I made a verbal request to my father who passed away ten year ago how I would like him to give me a sign that he is with me, can hear me, and is at peace.  I was very specific that the sign be obvious enough for me to believe because of my skepticism.  I would have expected to have found a picture of him in a drawer when I opened it or received a phone call from my mother telling me that something odd happened that reminded her of my dad.  What did happen right after my request was this: I was looking for some perfume samples in a drawer because the perfume bottle I used regularly was empty so when I opened the drawer and reached in for a small perfume sample something subconsciously told me to pick the one that was underneath another bottle.  I put some perfume on and then something subconsciously told me to look at the bottle and read the name on the label which is something I would not normally do.  The name on the label read MIRACLE.  Now, I immediately thought this was just a coincidence, but wait, there is no such thing.  Was this a message from my father? I mean, the writing was 'on the wall' or in this case on the small perfume sample.  So, I asked my friend to request the same from her father who died many years ago and who is not yet a believer in the afterlife.  She will let me know when and if she feels she has received a message from her father. 

I cannot leave you with one story so here is another one that tops the last.  Mr. Olson states on page 127 "there is nothing wrong with asking for assistance from people in spirit, including requesting help to find your lost keys".  And, "you're only going to find your keys if and when you are meant to find them".  A few years ago I was searching for some important papers that I needed for a court hearing the next day and I knew I had them somewhere but couldn't remember where so I searched everywhere in my office and home without success.  I turned to my spirit guides and asked them to please guide me to the file that contained these important papers.  I was desperate.   So, the very moment after I prayed I received a message in my head that told me to go back to a box I had already searched in but to dig deep.  The key words that stuck out to me were 'dig deep'.  I did not hear a voice but a thought that I knew was not coming from myself.  I went back to the box, stuck my hand deep underneath all the crap on the top and pulled out a big brown envelop without really knowing what I was holding onto.  Inside the big brown envelope were the papers that I desperately needed for court the next day.  If that is not prayer being answered I don't know what is.  I had already searched the box and would not have given a second thought to do it again had I not had this bizarre message in my head telling me to go back and 'dig deep'.  

Remember, I am the biggest skeptic I know and am considered very realistic and down to earth.  I mean, you can't make these things up.   For now my eyes, ears and mind remain open for any communication from spirit.

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Sunday, August 23, 2015

Can a Private Investigator unlock the mysteries of life after death?................The PI Files

I left my patient at the assisted living facility with major feelings of unbelievable emotions that made me take one of the biggest deepest breaths and sigh of relief.

I did not realize, until I began reading #Answers Of The Afterlife written by #Bob Olson that he retired from his everyday private investigation job to dedicate his full attention to his book and his investigation looking for evidence or proof that there is an afterlife.  In 1999 his 15 year quest began after the loss of his father whom he was close to from what I gathered.  I can relate to this because it was during the end of my grandmothers' life when I began reading books and searching for answers myself.  I documented my grandmothers' behavior in my Nursing Home Drama blog series a few years ago,  here is the link,  There are many examples of what I believe were deathbed visions that Mr. Olson speaks of in his book on page 7 in Answers About The Afterlife.  I video recorded some of her activities that I suspect could have been death bed visions but in order to know what I am talking about you would have to see the tapes.  I detailed the events in the Nursing Home Drama blog and can be viewed at the link mentioned above.

I want to first remark about something I found interesting on page 2 where he states "I'm an investigator who draws conclusions based on an examination of the evidence using logic, reason, and pragmatism". And then he goes on to say, "I begin my investigation without bias or expectation and draw conclusions only after gathering and examining the available evidence.  In other words, I look at the evidence first and draw my conclusions second."  This is the typical thought process of an investigator including myself.  Reading this made me feel that I was on the same page in thought process that he was when he began his investigation.  I am in that thought process now as I read his book, therefore his investigation is of great interest to me because I feel I could trust his opinion simply based on his mindset going into his investigation and maybe his investigation results could answer my questions and put my mind at ease.  I don't necessarily want to conduct my own in depth investigation but I enjoy reading others' research and appreciate the time and effort it takes to document it for readers such as myself.

On the same page, 2, my concern began with the statement  "this book is not about documenting all the evidence and explaining it; rather, this book is about answering the most common questions people have about the afterlife-based on that evidence" and "since plenty of books already hash over all the evidence from either a scientific or metaphysical standpoint, this book is here to deliver the answers that are based on that evidence from a practical investigator's assessment."  I could understand this if the author knew his audience had read other books about this topic containing scientific or metaphysical research but for someone who is picking up his book before any other to learn about this topic I would imagine they would want to know how he drew to his conclusions and answers because from what I have read so far this is an answer and question book and offers very little evidence, proof, or background to the questions.   It is my assumption that somewhere in the book Mr. Olson talks about the tools he used, how he used them, and give details about the sources from where the information came.  I feel in order to gain the confidence of your readers you must document your evidence to support your claim and explain it especially if you are writing about something so controversial.  BUT I am only at page 100 and not even half way through the book so there is still plenty of time for my curiosity and concern to be satisfied and put to rest AND I intend to read this book twice if not three times in case I missed something the first time.  Needless to say it's general practice for a professional to review and re-review material in order to be well educated about the topic and consistently accurate about their conclusions.  
99% of what I have read in this book so far I have read in other books on the market or have heard on t.v.

Now I would like to focus on page 94 and the word COINCIDENCE.  Here is where I will talk about what happened with my patient that is directly related to this word in more than one way.  I was at the gym doing my daily workout routine first on the treadmill and then on the Crossramp where I sweat it out.  I have to admit that this book is very well written and hard to put down so I decided to walk and not run on the treadmill in order to continue reading at least for the next half hour.  One of the last pages I read was 94 where Mr. Olson talks about ways a spirit guide communicates with us.  A spirit guide as Mr. Olson puts it (on page 89) "is a spirit (on the spiritual plane) who guides a spirit having a human experience (on the physical plane).  In simpler words, a spirit guide is a spiritual being who is guiding a human being."  If this is not simple enough I will simplify it even more.  Have you ever heard of the term guardian angel?  Although a guardian angel realistically, to some at least, might be more or less than a spirit guide, but I think can be better understood because more people are probably familiar with this term. So, in terms of understanding the point I am making spirit guide=guardian angel.  Let's move on.  

#COINCIDENCE according to Mr. Olson in Answers About The Afterlife on page 94 is a way our spirit guides communicate to us and guide us.  He says "some call this divine coincidence or synchronicity.  Unfortunately, many people erroneously use the word 'coincidence' to mean luck, fluke, or chance, which is kind of shortsightedness that will lead one to overlook valuable guidance from their spirit guides."  Have you ever heard anybody say they do not believe in coincidences?  I say it all the time because in my opinion luck, a fluke or chance only happens when you win the lottery.  I am in agreement with Mr. Olson and have what I think is a perfect example of his definition of coincidence that happened on Friday, twice!  The first coincidence happened when I read about this while at the gym.  Let me explain.  I am reading this book to learn in my own search for answers about the afterlife.  Because of the shared skepticism and thought process that Mr. Olson and I share I take great interest in his investigation and information he offers.  I feel the first coincidence or meant to be moment was for me to have read page 94 Friday morning because of what happened next.

I am a PI by day and in my spare time I visit hospice patients to give comfort in the last days of their lives.  I gained a lot of experience when my grandmother was in the nursing home, my father who passed away ten years ago from pancreatic cancer, and my father n law who only recently passed away.  My schedule is normally very full on a daily basis between work, the kids, and life but I found some time today, later than normal, to visit my elderly patient who lives in an assisted living community.  Normally when I visit her the apartment door is wide open and she sits in her wheelchair or recliner in her living room.  But, when I walked in to her apartment I heard her crying out for help and when I followed her voice into her bedroom I found her lying on the floor next to her bed with her head between the bed and her nightstand with her shoes having broken the fall from her head hitting the hard floor.  I immediately pulled the emergency cord and assured her someone would be there to help her get up as I am not allowed to assist in walking, adjusting, or anything of that nature as a hospice volunteer.  But, when nobody came I ran down the hallway to flag someone down and happened to run into the nurses aid room as a man walked out and in fact we were in the elevator at the same time when we arrived.  This man heard me mention the room number I needed help in and it turned out he was the Chaplain for the hospice organization I volunteer for.  Now, you have to know that this was the Chaplains first visit to this patient because of the directives from the family and was a 'meant to be moment' for him to have visited this patient on this day and at the hour he did.  Together we gave our patient compassion and spiritual comfort until the aids came to help get her off of the floor.  As she was being lifted off the floor to her bed we noticed a big gash on her forehead where she had hit her head most likely on the nightstand.  Nobody knows how long she had been lying there calling for help and how much longer she would have been lying there if we had not shown up.  This is what I think Mr. Olson was talking about in this section of the book on COINCIDENCE.  I call it "meant to be".  In this case coincidence=meant to be and happened for a reason.  

The first coincidence or meant to be moment was my reading about this topic while at the gym that morning and the second was an actual event that took place showing me an example of what I read by visiting my patient at the moment I did along with the Chaplain.  There were things I was able to offer our patient that the Chaplain wasn't and vice versa for example our patient knew me from having visited her many times before as well as my familiarity with her likes and dislikes whereas the Chaplain was able to offer spiritual guidance for both of us as well as a helping hand to get the ball rolling with our hospice team and get our patient the help she needed and more.   I believe we were meant to be there at the same time.  It was a bonus because during our two hour wait for the rest of the hospice team to arrive I had a very rewarding conversation with the Chaplin about religion, faith, and spirituality among just getting to know each other as two professionals who work for the same team.  Thank goodness my patient was doing well when I left.  I will follow up with her next week.

Then, the next day when I went to services at the House of God my religious leader spoke about.......drum role please.........COINCIDENCE and how it does not exist and that things happen for a reason.  Wow!!!!  What a week!  I was surrounded by goodness and love.  I felt this lesson was very well taught.

Until next safe.

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Saturday, August 15, 2015

Can A Private Investigator Prove Life After Death?

As a skeptic by nature I believe what I see and question what I can't and this is why, along with my problem solving skills, my calling in life, at least the first half of my life, was to be an investigator.  I have to believe it because that is where I ended up.  With 30 years behind me I have accomplished more than most in my field.  I am proud of the success I have had in my career and is the reason I write this blog.  First and foremost my primary goal as an advocate and experienced adventurer is to write about experiences that will help another person.  With that said someone who knows me well  brought a book to my attention and thought that I would be interested in reading it.  It's called Answers About The Afterlife written by Bob Olson who is the host of and a Private Investigator who for 15 years investigated the possibility of there being a life after death.  My eyebrows raised and curiosity got the best of me.

Now, as a spiritual person who has wind chimes hanging off of the patio roof and a library full of read books about life after death and near death experiences including Life Before Life by Jim B. Tucker, Return To Life  also written by Jim B. Tucker, Proof Of Heaven written by a neurosurgeon Dr. Eben Alexander M.D. who wrote about his near death experience, To Heaven And Back written by Dr. Mary C. Neal, MD who wrote about her near death experience,  Journey Of Souls by Dr. Michael Newton, PhD, and Destiny Of Souls also by Dr, Michael Newton, PhD who is a regression therapist and documented hundreds of his patient sessions and compiled common experiences into these books.  I was fascinated with all of these books and those I did not mention.  I read books written by medical doctors because like an Investigator they require their diagnosis to be seen under a microscope and not merely by suggestion or instinct.  I would have a better understanding by our common skepticism by not believing something without some type of proof. Speaking of proof I am also a huge fan of the mini series Proof that can be seen on TNT about a medical doctor who had a near death experience and has been hired by a man with a terminal disease to find proof of life after death.  I have also seen all of the episodes of The Ghost Within My Child that tells the true stories of families who have experienced their very young children claiming to have lived before providing detailed information including names, addresses, and dates from their previous lives.  Dr. Jim B. Tucker along with Dr. Ian Stevenson would take similar stories and conduct very in depth investigations in order to rule the claim of the child to be true or false.  This also includes the story and movie seen in theaters Heaven Is For Real about a four year old boy from a small town in Nebraska who allegedly died momentarily while suffering from a ruptured appendix.  The movie was  based on the book written by his Pastor father Todd Burpo with Lynn Vincent.  I have also watched Theresa Caputo of the Long Island Medium and Rosie Cepero from Angels Among Us both shows on television that demonstrate their claimed abilities to connect with loved ones who have crossed over.  I have been to mediums, psychics, and a channeler who have all claimed to be the real deal.  Some were clearly not and some were convincing enough to be considered the real deal.  It is not my job to decide who is real and who is not nor do I care to spend the time to do so.  I do enjoy sitting back and letting everyone else do the hard work while I can simply pick up a book of a person whom I consider realistic with skepticism and learn from them.

Needless to say I am extremely curious about life after death and have been exploring this possibility for a long time but certainly not as in depth as Mr. Olson.  As a seasoned investigator I know the tools and resources that are available to our profession and I know how the mind of an investigator works.  Without going into great detail about my experience I invite you to read this blog that contains cases I have worked on that will clue you in to my experience including criminal, missing children, and skip tracing cases, that is if you care to see my background.  When I read on the back of Bob Olson's book that he is a former skeptic and PI like myself I wondered what skills and resources he was able to use to investigate the afterlife to become convincing enough to write a book that I have seen many compliment.  I am not judging nor challenging this book whatsoever.  I say it's about time one of our own can use their skills to show people that there is enough evidence to consider that life after death can exist.

I am excited about this book and look forward to getting started and will blog about my thoughts as I do what investigators do best, analyze.  And, here we VII Dedication...........

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