Tell us something about your new book, The Incident of the Mysterious Priest & Other Stories for people who are just learning about it?
The Incident of the Mysterious Priest and Other Stories is a collection of paranormal experiences based on various personal and other people’s experiences as well as research.
“During my career as a journalist, writer and paranormal enthusiast and researcher, I have witnessed enough supernatural experiences, some of which were personal whilst others were cases passed onto me by other people, too many cases for me to safely say I could debunk. Because a journalist cannot afford to be gullible and because I was a sceptic myself for many years, I now feel I have seen enough proof and more than the eye can see in the tens of thousands of supernatural experiences by so many people from all walks of life. Indeed, it would be foolish to classify all these as cases of insanity or classify as some form of mental illness. To this effect, many researchers, scientists, parapsychologists, paranormal investigators, and genuine psychics have dedicated many years of study in this field.
But this book also contains stories from my personal memoirs and the memoirs of Malta’s foremost veterinary surgeon, who like myself embarked on his career aged 17 after winning a scholarship that took him to communist Hungary, then still one of the East European countries behind the Iron curtain. I have no idea how he succeeded because on arrival he discovered all lectures and text books for the veterinary course were in Hungarian! I only wrote a few of his stories, some are frighteningly strange, others will make you laugh and others have a touch of the Supernatural. The book also includes some very interesting articles, including one about the first Serial killer, Jack the Ripper, the Great Siege of Malta of 1565 and a group of school children who went missing whilst on a guided tour of the Hypogeum Temples in Malta.
Is there anything you would like people to take away from your book?
I have always been an open minded person and accept and respect the opinions of other people who are non-believers. But just as I respect their opinion, I expect them to respect mine. There are some self-proclaimed scientists who are totally biased against anything to do with the paranormal. To add insult to injury, they have the gall of labelling millions of people who have had personal paranormal experiences as being psychotic, or delusional.
I have read articles written by scientists that are evidently full of bias against everything that is supernatural, including exorcisms. And this is where I thought these sounded phony, almost as if the authors had some kind of grudge or ulterior motive for sounding so angry and determined to debunk things that are beyond human understanding. Their arguments sounded ludicrous especially when I read some of the criticism by some of their own fellow scientists who had no hesitation whatsoever to declare their drivel as totally biased and unfounded.
These people speak about exorcisms but they never followed a real live exorcism rite. Unlike them, I have. They do not even know the protocol before such a rite can actually take place. An exorcism can be performed only after the subject would have gone through extensive and meticulous medical and psychiatric tests undertaken of course by doctors and psychiatrists. These tests take a long time, months, sometimes even years. Only when science fails to find anything wrong with the subject’s physical or mental health, can the exorcism rite take place. Three years ago The European University of Rome organized an exorcism course which was attended by experts from a number of disciplines: among them, psychologists, medical doctors, priests, lawyers, theologians – and practicing exorcists. I strongly believe a real scientist would not allow his own personal ego to inflate to the point he totally forgets the limitations of the human brain, including his own. A scientist who thinks every single unexplained thing can actually be scientifically explained, does not make allowances for what is beyond our understanding. He is a man living in denial with a serious attitude problem even towards other professionals in his own field.
I have read many books written by great scientists on the paranormal, but the most amazing book was Gifts of Unknown Things by Dr. Lyall Watson. Unlike some other scientists, this one actually travelled to many faraway places to make onsite investigation of reported strange phenomena. The editors in the blurb on the book by this renowned scientist, a distinguished biologist and superb nature writer wrote as follows: “The author recounts the story of his voyage to a small volcanic island in Indonesia where life there is a source of wonder and mystery for the inhabitants of Nus Tarian, as they accept as everyday realities phenomena that are terrifying, miraculous and inexplicable to the average westerner. Theirs is a world in which magical feats are regularly experienced as ‘normal’ occurrences and skills; in which extrasensory perception, psychic healing, precognition and even the survival of death are possible.”