Thursday, December 10, 2009

Unexplained . . . .

Over at Shakesville ( ) the Question of the Day is whether you have had any personal experience of "the unexplained": ghosts, UFOs, telepathy, &c.

It reminded me of when my brothers and I were little, and we would make up our own radio shows, complete with commercials and theme songs. One of our favorites was introduced with a thin, spooky voice singing: "Unexplained . . . unexplained . . . Unexplained Phenomena!" [THUMP THUMP!]

Here is my answer, inspired by a couple of dozen earlier ones:

I have always described myself as suffering from tinnitus (in the form of prolonged high-pitched whines akin to the behavior of malfunctioning electronics), but after reading a comment at Shakesville, I'm thinking of starting to call it "exploding head syndrome":

In response to someone who has been troubled by undulating walls, I observe that I can deliberately make a wall or ceiling begin to seemingly undulate, if I stare at it long enough. It's just an artifact of the way the nervous system is put together, not a physical phenomenon. You don't need to be scared of it. In fact, it can help to pass a boring interval.

In response to several references to sleep paralysis, I told the story of how I once came into my little son's bedroom and saw him staring wide-eyed at the ceiling. He seemed so strange, for a moment I thought he must be dead, but when I spoke to him, he blinked and then closed his eyes and relaxed into normal sleep. I woke him to sleep. Wow.

In response to someone whose "UFO" turned out to be a blimp, I said that I once saw a blimp passing overhead, and for a moment of terror and elation was convinced that I had slipped into some alternate world.

Regarding ghosts, I don't believe in them, but if I ever see any evidence of their presence, I won't go out of my way to ignore it, either.

But my one genuine unexplained experience is having read a summary of a comic book story (Superboy & the Legion of Super-Heroes #195, 1973: before it was ever published, and possibly before it was written. Pretty minor, right? But I have no rational explanation for how I could have the vivid memory of reading a text page in a comic book which described the debut and apparent death of ERG-1 before he was published. Spooky....

No comments: