Recently, I have joined forces with the team over at the 6 Degrees of John Keel podcast, who are working on creating an astounding tool for data analysis. The group is called the Humanoid Experience Research and Analysis project, or HERA for short.
The first part of this title, Humanoid, refers to the incredibly dense and informative database of Humanoid and UFO encounters very generously provided by Albert Rosales. His work has spanned several decades, and the data he has gathered spans centuries, dating back over 400 years.
My role on this team is to help devise and implement a Web interface, so people can interact with this data in useful ways. Think of it like a search engine, but for Humanoid and UFO experiences. In the future, we plan to expand the scope of the project to cover the gamut of paranormal-related experiences and encounters.
One of the main goals of the project is to be able to analyze all of this data using machine learning (artificial intelligence / neural networks) to get a better idea of the more granular connections between different phenomena. We will be able to do things like plot locations on a map over a period of time. This may allow us to find patterns in these experiences, and it will certainly open the gates for different ways to think about these phenomena, and what exactly is happening, or why.
I think it's important to note that whatever is going on in this world of paranormal / Fortean strangeness, it may very well be beyond our grasp to really know fully. That's okay. What I find appealing about this stuff, and the reason I spend so much of my free time immersed in this stuff, is its ability to change the way I think about life - my own life, but also life in general. Asking questions I had never dreamed of asking before I knew anything about UFOs or Fae, or Bigfoot, or whatever.
Like many of you, I have no clue what this stuff is. I suspect it's not what it seems to be - or at least not that simple. But I really don't have any answers, and I probably never will. That doesn't discourage me from searching though, because each time I learn something new or gain a bigger piece of the puzzle, it does two things: 1. It helps me appreciate just how much larger the puzzle really is, and 2. It causes me to consider a great many things about my own experiences here in this world. It gets me thinking about mortality, life after death, or how strange it is to be anything at all.
So here's to a hopeful future, and a successful project. A huge thank you to the rest of the HERA Team for inviting me on board.
Thank you Barbara, Kendra, Morganna, and Chris!
You can find their podcast at: https://6degreesofjohnkeel.com/