A gathering of anomalous science researchers is planned for 2013 in Edinburgh
Sharon K. Grossman, Haunted Places Examiner
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Plans are in high gear for the Spirits, Shadows, and Secrets Symposium to be held in Edinburgh, Scotland, August 21-25, 2013. The symposium will be a part of the annual Festival Fringe celebration held city-wide in August each year.
According to the Edinburgh Festival Fringe website, this annual event is the largest arts festival in the world and takes place every August for three weeks in this beautiful capital city. Thousands of well-known and unknown performers seeking to further their careers present shows all over Edinburgh. Entertainment choices include theater, comedy, dance, musicals, operas, music, exhibitions, and events. The Spirits, Shadows and Secrets Symposium will be one of those events. . The Festival Fringe’s development started in 1947 when eight theater groups came uninvited to perform at the Edinburgh International Festival that was created to enrich European cultural life after WWII. The uninvited performers staged their shows and year after year, more performers came without invitation. In 1959, the Festival Fringe Society was created due to the success of this break with tradition.
Mikkola, the editor of the Journal of Anomalous Sciences and founder of World Nexus Publications tentatively approached the Chamber of Commerce to learn of venues for such a symposium, and they referred him to Festival Fringe as being the perfect place and time of the year to hold this gathering. The Fringe welcomed the symposium as it is completely in keeping with their charter and character of their festivities. They had never had anything like the symposium included with Festival Fringe before but warned, however, to get started early as this is a huge event and venues and accommodations fill up fast.The seed of the idea for the Spirits, Shadows and Secrets Symposium was planted during a recent trip in June, 2012, to notoriously haunted Edinburgh by the originator of the symposium, Jari Mikkola, who dreamed one night while there that he was in the middle of a convention in the city.
Mikkola then chatted with people at Mary Kings Cross who conduct tours of the underground and other paranormal locations, including Greyfriar’s Kirk Cemetery. Soon, a different symposium than what he originally thought began to take shape when he decided to include all ten anomalous sciences covered in the World Nexus publications. The dream turned out to be prophetic when the symposium began to spring up almost with a mind of its own in a new way of bringing the fragmented sections of anomalous research under one roof.
“The symposium is not simply another paranormal convention,” Mikkola said. “The objective is to bring together speakers for all areas of anomalous topics which will help shift us into a unified consciousness. It will primarily be a gathering of minds effectively sharing each person’s puzzle pieces and putting them together to form the whole. We are bringing brilliant experts together from all over the world from ten category topics for the first time ever.”
Mikkola’s visionary foresight had earlier encouraged him to produce three unique websites called the Dimension Zone, DZ Nucleus, and Occam’s Enigma as well as to publish “The Journal of Anomalous Sciences,” which are all dedicated to bringing articles and information about this exciting field of study. The sites’ mission statement declares that “we hope to provide our readers with thought-provoking, ground-breaking articles filled with information about amazing discoveries that will someday influence how we view the ‘unexplained’ through mainstream science.”
The ten category topics from these websites which spawned the Spirits, Shadows and Secrets Symposium will all be represented by researchers who are coming up with new and innovative ideas. The categories are:
The symposium will also include overnight paranormal investigations of famously haunted places around Edinburgh, as well as evening music concerts, an abductee art extravaganza, and a UFO watch.
Speakers for the presentations and workshops are rapidly coming on board. More staff will be added, and volunteers in the UK are being sought. The massive effort of marketing and promotion, lining up vendors, and finding advertisers and sponsors is in full swing.
The Spirits, Shadows and Secrets Symposium's website which is under construction will be a hub of activity over the next year where tickets can be purchased and information on the speakers and schedules will be found. An impressive agenda is already shaping up and may even extend the symposium longer than the four days already planned to get everything included. The symposium is also on Facebook and Twitter.