Originally posted December 2, 2013
Strange Frequencies Radio in the latest episode celebrate their 5 year anniversary by making fun of themselves. Yes, Bobby and Jason did a retrospective episode that was fascinating. B & J were not always the Buckeye skeptical duo that i have grown to enjoy over the last few months. In the beginning they were a bright eyed pair of ghost investigators in the T.A.P.S. manner rather than the Ben Radford manner, and in the early days their radio program reflected this view. (Unfortunately, these early shows are not available online.)
As always the episode began with Bobby and Jason discussing news topics including the death of Sylvia Browne and Kevin Trudeau's legal problems. However, the heart of the episode centered around their past as ghost hunters, and how they met each other. Turns out both had their own teams, and decided to merge them and then the rest is history. Luckily, it is an interesting history.
As a skeptic who was never a firm believer in the existence in the paranormal, and at best was on the fence in that regard, learning how two guys went from doing pseudo scientific investigations employing the services of psychics and all sorts of electronic gizmos was truly interesting to me. They shared some of their writings of the period including a hilarious piece authored by Bobby that combined homeopathy and ghosts. It is a chestnut of an article, and an excellent example of a smart guy just making stuff up to explain woo. Also included were readings from their ghost hunting handbook as well as stories of investigation errors they made at the time. They do a nice job critiquing what they were doing wrong and what their thought process was at the time.
While they do discuss what caused them to slowly move from woo to more rational based world view, I do wish that they have discussed this a bit more. i would have like to know their thoughts processes as they moved to the 'opposing team.' While I tend to think the skeptics' audience is not the skeptical choir or the cultural competition but those on the fence about woo topics, Bobby and Jason are example of cultural competition being won over. Their story might have interesting tidbits for others engaged in outreach. Although it does appear that Bobby and Jason in their research ran across skeptical information that planted seeds of doubt in their world view that grew over time.
The episode is two hours long, but given the interesting topic of current skeptics looking back at their past it is very well worth the time commitment. It is a wonderful look over the other side of hill.