- Reprinted(typed?) by Marc at epsilon from the
- June/July 1986 issue of Bulletin Board Systems Magazine.
Paranet BBS Explores Fringe Sciences
In James J. Speiser's opinion, the exploration of paranormal phenomenon is
beset by two warring camps.
On one side are the believers, who Speiser says have been accused of
careless or even fraudulent research. On the other side are scientists who
close their minds to anything other than mainstream science.
"Unfortunately, for those of us in the middle, caught in a seemingly
endless cycle of ignorance, the questions always get posed in the likes of
The National Enquirer, while the "answers" are published in the Skeptical
Inquirer. What you have are two monologues, where there should be one
To encourage such a dialogue, Speiser started ParaNet/The Other Side,
an Arizona bulletin board dedicated to "filling the information gap between
believers and non-believers in the fringe sciences."
The unusual is the ordinary on Speiser's BBS. It regularly deals with
Unidentified Flying Objects, astral projection, mysterious burning deaths,
extrasensory perception, reincarnation and the possibility of plesiosaurs in
"Man is surrounded by mysteries," said Speiser. "His Fascination with
the unknown is as old as knowledge itself. But untill now, much of our
ignorance of these subjects could be ascribed to lack of suitable mass
communications. Many of the myths surrounding these mysteries were propagated
because there was no way to get the right knowledge to the right people."
The BBS is operated by The National Fringe Sciences Information Service
in Fountain Hills, Arizona. It is the flagship board of the ParaNet System,
which is a planned network of such boards around the country, dedicated to
the enlightenment of individuals seeking the truth about the paranormal.
"I envision ParaNet as a series of bulletin boards around the country,
collecting data in the form of new and significant studies, and disseminating
it to interested individuals, including high school and college students,
housewives, telecommunications magazine editors, and theoretical physicists,"
He said he expects and welcomes challenge and skepticsm and hopes that
not only scientists but also average people will take part in the dialogue.
The BBS includes brief reports of unusual occurrences, such as a
fireball spotted over Vancouver, British Columbia in Febuary and an obituary
for Edgar Cayce biographer Gladys Davis Turner. Other files include an
article on ancient astronauts and several on UFOs.
Speiser's BBS uses the BBS-PC software. It's open twenty-four hours
at 602-837-0062. His voice number is 602-837-9838.
The UFO Information Service in Seattle, Washington, share's Paranet's
interest in UFOs. The board stocks both news articles and research reports
and is used primarily by researchers, doctors, military brass, and other
experts in the field.
The BBS, which requires sysop verification for access, is online at