We often receive comments from our viewers. Most of it comes as praise and we are very grateful for it. But sometimes it's criticism, some of which is well deserved.
Recently, however, one of our critics sent a follow-up that left us stunned. Here it is in its entirety:
"A couple of months ago you graciously responded to rather virulent complaint I made regarding one of the very few articles you publish with which I had strong disagreement. We ended the exchange on good terms.
"Today I write to remind you how impressed I am with the overall quality of your work. The articles for today are a good example of why no day passes without my out checking your site. Your editing is far above the norm, especially for the field of topics you cover. I can easily become a mine field, as you so well know.
"I just forwarded the site to a select number of my professional friends who are showing increased awareness of and interest in these subjects. The circle is widening. Change is coming.
"Keep up the good work. Your site is far above the competition, and provides a very needed voice of sanity regarding subjects that cling to the edge of reason, and therefore are on the leading edge of discovery."
It's emails like this that keep us going.
The Anomalist is a journal and website that explores the mysteries of science, nature, and history. Although The Anomalist has changed since our first print edition appeared in June of 1994, and our website went up in November of 1995, our basic philosophy, expressed in the following editorial from The Anomalist:1, remains the same.
But while the mass media and the scholarly press cover "knowledge" adequately, "mystery" is by and large ignored. There is not only an avoidance of things we do not know, but those who profess an interest in the unknown are often the subject of ridicule. Somehow that attitude seems very wrong to us; it is, in fact, just the opposite of what we feel the quest for knowledge really is. Mystery is our prime subject and those who are brave enough to tackle it we regard as the true pioneers.
By mystery, of course, we mean the anomalous. And by the anomalous we mean simply that which "departs from the common; not conforming to what is usual; irregular." This definition of the anomalous is intended to be as broad as possible by design. The definition is certainly not meant to be limited to "popular" anomalies such as UFOs, the Loch Ness monster, ESP, or Bigfoot, though it is hardly meant to eliminate them from consideration either. We will be dealing with a whole host of astronomical, biolgical, geological, psychological, physical, geophysical, linguistic, religious, and archeological phenomena.
No one really knows where one mystery ends and another begins, where one boundary or category begins, ends, or merges with another. Or for that matter, whether the whole notion of boundaries is applicable at all to the issue at hand. One measures a circle, after all, beginning anywhere. That is why we are not The Ufologist, or The Parapsychologist, or The Cryptozoologist, or some other Mystery-ologist. That is why we are The Anomalist. What we are trying to do is explore and, perhaps, solve for several unknowns at once.
That, in essence, is the reason for The Anomalist. It is, to be quite honest, a product borne of frustration. We are tired of the lack of courage, the lack of wonder, and the lack of curiousity that often passes for scholarship. We intend to make this publication a serious yet entertaining showcase for presentations of enigmatic data and radical ideas of all kinds.
But be forewarned. Though we hope to serve as a voice for anomalies, we will not shield any subject from justified criticism. We are not believers. We are not skeptics. We are writers, investigators, and scientists looking for the truth--whatever that may be. And though we are not without preconceptions, we will try to be upfront about them.
We are interested in investigating all layers of reality with a particular fondness for those subjects lying on the shadowy margins of the scientific world (by mcsweeney at testsforge). At times we may even be critical of science, for its ostrich-like stance in the presence of the mountain of anomalies it tends to disregard, but we are by no means anti-science. On the contrary, we would argue that no subject should be beyond the realm of science.
We wish to open the doors and place a crowbar across the transom. And through these doors will come a parade of the neglected, the unexplained, the unexpected, the extraordinary, and, of course, the damned.
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