Strange and Unusual: Non-Fiction and the Paranormal

“I, myself, am strange and unusual.” ~ Winona Ryder in Beetlejuice

I Want to BelieveThe great thing about writing fiction is that everything you believe can be true.

I’m not much for writing non-fiction. I don’t like referencing sources. I hate bibliographies. I’m constantly afraid of misquoting someone or failing to attribute a fact. But if I were to devote myself to writing non-fiction, I could see myself delving back into my research from my early Internet days.

In the early ’90s, I was really into researching UFOs. So much so, that I considered myself an amateur ufologist. Yeah, I know what you’re thinking. Too many episodes of The X-Files and way too much time on my hands.

But you need to understand how interesting the Internet was in those days. It was a wild frontier of information and it was all there for the taking. The key was in separating the wheat from the chaff — knowing what information was good and what had to be taken with a grain of salt.

Let me be clear, I didn’t get my information solely from bulletin boards and sketchy file-sharing sites. I had stacks of books, magazines, and newspaper articles. But getting online allowed me to take it all to the next level. Though stuck in the middle of the country, I was connected to a network of like-minded investigators.

My idea of paranormal research is to be open to all possibilities, but to be methodical and precise in all research. Nothing bugs me more than seeing skeptics “prove” something is not paranormal because the effect can be reproduced by normal means. That’s absurd. To use a poor analogy, it’s like proving gravity doesn’t exist because I can push two objects together by hand. Likewise, I don’t like “believers” who ignore the simplest and most obvious explanations.

These days, I still keep my eyes and ears open for the strange and unexplained. But I don’t limit myself to the study of UFOs. There’s a whole world of weird and paranormal stuff out there just waiting to be discovered.

I am fascinated with cryptozoology, the study of hidden creatures — from supposedly extinct animals (think, Nessie, the Loch Ness monster) to creatures whose existence have not yet been proven (like the chupacabra or Sasquatch). I truly believe that ape-men, possibly some distant cousin of man, live in the forests of the Pacific Northwest. (And other places, where they are called Yeti, Almas, Yeren, Hibagon or Yowie.) I also believe these creatures should be left alone, not hunted by rednecks for a reality television series.

I believe in the psychic world.  I’m talking about the wider field of psychic research that covers everything from extra-sensory perception (ESP) to out-of-body experiences. I believe some people, like Chip Coffey and Sylvia Brown, have paranormal abilities. And though I do believe in spirits — whether souls of the dead or angelic beings — I don’t believe in ghost hunting (again, I’m thinking of so-called “reality” television).

And on the really fringe end of the spectrum, I like to read about ancient mysteries like Stonehenge, the Egyptian pyramids, Easter Island, the Nazca lines in Peru, and ley lines. I’m also interested in new mythologies, like time travel, quantum teleportation, crop circles, cattle mutilations, Area 51, Dulce Base, the Philadelphia Experiment, the Montauk Project, HAARP, and any number of conspiracies.

By now it should be clear that my preferred topic for non-fiction is what most people would probably consider fiction. I live in a world where everything that isn’t impossible — no matter how improbable — must still be a possibility. And these ideas fuel my imagination.

Kevin Wohler is a copywriter and novelist living in Lawrence, Kansas. During the day, he works at a digital marketing agency in the Kansas City area. When time remains, he likes to tell stories of the weird and bizarre. And sometimes, he writes them down for others to read.


  • Larry Jenkins says:

    This post just underscores that we did not hang out enough when I lived in Lawrence. So many overlapping interests. For the record, I think you’d be good at writing about these topics. Your enthusiasm would come through and it would make for a fun read. I know I’d buy your book.

    (Just sayin’. One guaranteed sale. That’s totally enough to go on, right?)

    • Kevin Wohler says:

      Yeah, I could write a non-fiction book. But it would just be going over familiar ground. I don’t have anything interesting to add. I guess that’s why I prefer fiction. I can go past the facts into wild speculation!

  • Mike Ogden says:

    The best fiction has a dose of non-fiction, right? Plot, story, whatever. Keep pounding away at the keyword. Good things will happen.

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