Sometimes I don’t know what to make of this field. Honestly, we can’t make this crap up! It really makes me shake my head sometimes, because in the UFO/Paranormal/Cryptid world there are some brilliant people who continuously have to suffer through the shenanigans and bullshit others create, in order to enhance their own positions in the field. This week we saw a pair of damning accusations. One in the ghost field. The other in the UFO world. And if either of these are one hundred percent true, it’s more egg on the faces of everyone who takes these subjects seriously. I for one, find it disingenuous these types of reports are coming out. Not to try and sound all mighty or holier than thou, but we should be extremely concerned that a pair of accusations may have some serious truth to them. Besides this field being filled with hoaxers, fake journalists, researchers convincing people that opinion is indeed scientific research, we now could possibly add plagiarism and theft to the list of black marks on our community.
The week started off with a gentleman named Van Peters, who runs a YouTube channel called Lions Ground. For a while now he and Tyler Glockner from the ever popular SecureTeam10 have been in an online battle royale regarding UFOs. Glockner owns the largest UFO channel on YouTube with over 2.1-million subscribers. Over the last couple of months, it’s come out that Glockner has been acting strange. Getting in trouble with the law, accused of both drunk driving and domestic violence in December. If that isn’t bad enough, this past week, Peters from Lions Ground was able to uncover some other potentially litigious issues with Glockner. SecureTeam10’s long time logo is copyright and tradmarked by Dell and Alienware. Artist JJ Ying told Peters on Twitter that he never gave Glockner permission to use the logo he created for Dell and Alienware a dozen years ago. Yet Tyler has been using this logo for ST-10, including selling merchandise with the Alienware logo on it as well. He’s been profiting on someone else’s work, which really could turn into a legal battle. So much so, Patreon, after learning of the reports, has suspended Glockner’s crowdfunding account after learning about this news from Lions Ground.
The other potentially HUGE piece of news came out that the biggest name in paranormal television is being accused of plagiarism. Zak Bagans recently wrote a book called Ghost-Hunting For Dummies. On the Google bio for this book, which is published by John Wiley & Sons, it reads:
Dive into the ghostly world of the supernatural with America’s leading paranormal investigator
Inside, paranormal investigator, star, and executive producer of The Travel Channel’s hit series, Ghost Adventures and founder of the award-winning Haunted Museum (Las Vegas’ most popular attraction), Zak Bagans takes readers on an exciting journey into the supernatural world. With insider information on the history of ghost-hunting to learning about ghosts with all kinds of temperaments, Ghost-Hunting For Dummies is peppered with true accounts and stories from Bagans’ famous cases and investigations.
Featuring expert advice on picking a haunted location, setting up cameras, and dealing with unwieldy ghosts, this book shows how today’s investigators use the tools of modern science to study a wide range of paranormal activity.
Take an exciting adventure into the supernatural world
Explore haunted sites
Get messages from beyond the grave
Read true accounts from famous cases and investigations
If you’re one of the countless fans of Ghost Adventures itching to get off the couch and track some spirits on your own, this book provides everything you need to know to conduct a successful paranormal investigation.
(For the record, copying is not plagiarism if you’re accrediting the words to the source, like we did above)
However, Kenneth Biddle, a blogger and writer for Skeptical Inquirer, has accused Bagans of plagiarism in his 448-page book. Biddle accused Bagans of stealing others’ work and claiming it as his own for his book after writing a review of it back on January 29th. In the first blog, which you can read here, ( https://skepticalinquirer.org/exclusive/ghost-hunting-for-dummies-by-zak-bagans-and-many-others/ ), Biddle writes, “As I read Chapter Seven, under the section explaining what Traditional Hauntings were supposed to be, I got the feeling I’d read it before (Bagans 2020, 139). I typed a few lines into Google, and the first result was a webpage called What Is a Haunting? by a ghost hunting group called R.E.A.P. Investigations (Reap 2015).” Plagiarism is an illegal activity copying someone else’s work and claiming that work as your own. Without wanting to make further accusations without proof, Biddle states he kept reading and continued to find more examples of stolen work. Now at the beginning of this article, Biddle does say that he noticed right off the bat there were a real lack of references, citations or bibliography at the end, which tell the reader where Bagans came up with his information. Sourcing is imperative in a book like this.
Accusing someone of plagiarism is not an easy task, nor is it something we want to accept. I want to personally thank Kenneth Biddle for digging into this and bringing it to the public. I don’t think this is a shot at Bagans the person. I believe this is about accountability and when you’re at the top of the paranormal food chain, you need to make sure that you are doing things right. With all of the accounts Biddle was able to uncover, there’s serious concern here. Biddle followed up the report with another article for Skeptical Inquirer” ( https://skepticalinquirer.org/exclusive/the-ghost-writer-mystery-new-developments-in-the-zak-bagans-scandal/?fbclid=IwAR3mr5AhZcDNS5NSZqOeuLsyzsgavhGiGDVdXqHbt7SZpRoLIvYN-_64Y84 ), which is well worth the read as well. With using information and online private conversation from 30-year paranormal writer, researcher and author, Troy Taylor, Biddle brings out that it looks like Bagans is trying to cover up his plagiarizing tracks. Still not healthy. Read for yourself.
With people like Glockner and Bagans taking advantage not only of their communities, but their followers and fans to make a dollar off of someone else’s work, it desecrates the work of so many who are honest and factual about their research and writing. It doesn’t do anyone in this field any good. In fact, it’s disastrous. However, the likelihood of the paranormal population understanding the true effects of this will be abysmal. They either won’t care or will more typically just shrug their shoulders and say, ‘It is what it is’, and let it drop as fast as it was put in front of their faces. People won’t think that it’s information provided by Lions Ground and Kenneth Biddle that helps in cleaning up this continued mess we see daily in this field. These two give a care. They want respect, accountability, honesty and integrity for the paranormal/supernatural world. Something both Glockner and Bagans may not have in their respected fields. Do Bagans and Glockner care? Who knows? Their alleged actions obviously show they think everyone else is beneath the empires they’ve built.
The supporters of Bagans and Glockner will call this a witch hunt, leaning on the old adage that someone with less followers or popularity is trying to knock these two off their high pedestals for popularity, click bait, and to add to their own social media followers. I personally don’t see this at all. I see these situations as people doing due diligence in their research showing how the public is being ripped off by fakery, as well as alleged theft and alleged plagiarism. People, we can’t have it both ways. We can’t want to have this field cleaned up, then bitch out those who are trying to open the eyes to the chicanery that’s happening right in front of them. That’s not how this works.
If these allegations prove to be true, these both Bagans and Glockner deserve to be held accountable in one way or another. That also includes you, the listener, viewer, reader and follower holding them to accountability. Stop following the charlatans and focus your attention and energy to those who are bringing substance, detail and respect to the field. You want the truth. You deserve the truth. But can you handle the truth? So far, the many of the followers of each of these characters aren’t responding the way they should. Serious accusations deserve serious repercussions. Which for most of us, our actions should be to hit that unsubscribe and unfollow buttons. That’s our only payback.