Interviews > By P.F.I.
INTERVIEW WITH MURRAY BYFIELD
From Unexplained Australia
By Alison Oborn
When P.F.I. first branched out into Myspace, we found a whole new world of networking quickly opened up to us. We found we not only began to meet great groups and researchers worldwide, but we also began to form ties and friendships with researchers within Australia itself, some of whom we may never have met had we not put up the page.
One of those researchers here in Australia that I soon came to respect fully and, I must add, am now proud to call my friend, is Murray Byfield who runs Unexplained Australia up in the Newcastle/Hunter Valley region of NSW. He first contacted me to see if I would be interested in helping him with his thoughts of putting together a database of all investigation groups here in Australia with the hope of uniting us. Since then he has also given his time and patience to helping me understand and build this website (not an easy taskÖ trust me!!! lol) to which P.F.I. are eternally grateful.
Like many that are drawn to the paranormal field, Murray is one of those creative people, specialising in music. He plays in a cover band, as well as writing his own music and is lucky enough to have his own music studio.
So hopefully by now you are wanting to know a little more about Murray and his group Unexplained Australia. I know after all this time, I still had questions myself, so I decided maybe it was time to get to know him a little better too. Here are his answers to some questions that I posed to him.
Q. Hello Murray and thank you for offering to answer a few questions for us.
A. Not a problem.
Q. So I guess the obvious question that everybody always wants to knowÖ. What was it that caused you to get interested in the field of paranormal research?
A. I couldnít really put it down to one particular event. I suppose Iíve always had an interest in the unexplained from an early age. I read of lot of books and Ghosts and the Unexplained when I was a child. I think that coupled with a very personal paranormal experience pushed me further in this direction.
Q. Looking at your website I see that like PFI, you are not a public group. Can you tell us a little about your team? I believe it was co-founded by your lovely wife Michelle?
A. Michelle and I founded PSPI which stands for (Port Stephens Paranormal Investigations) back in about 2000. We felt that this name didnít have a broad enough appeal. Hence the Unexplained Australia team and website was born. We had conducted amateur investigations before this when we were much less experienced.
We have just recruited two new members so in all we have five team members. I really donít want too many more, as too many can impede investigations.
Q. I notice, like PFI, you donít use clairvoyants in your team. Is there any particular reason for this?
A. I read on a website recently that employing psychics on your investigations is using an unknown science to study an unknown phenomenon. And Iíd have to agree with that. I like to present tangible evidence not hearsay. However, after having said that I have never used a psychic on an investigation, I may do one day to see if the results differ.
Q. You seem very diverse in what you investigate, e.g.. The hieroglyphs, yowie, ghosts etc but what would be your main interest in the investigation field, as I think we all have our favourite subject.
A. Ghosts and Hauntings would have to be my favourite subject followed very closely by Cryptozoology. Yowies in particular though I canít sit here and tell you they exist cause Iíve never seen one. Also Anomalous Archaeology is a subject that fascinates me.
Q. On the subject of paranormal hauntings, what areas and places do you investigate?
A. We investigate where we can! Therefore we have visited lots of cemeteries, not that I think they are the best place to investigate just that they are the most accessible.
We have also investigated Church yards, Private Residences, Historic locations, Ruins, and the famous Maitland Gaol. We are really keen to get into more buildings and homes as I believe thatís where hauntings mainly occur.
Q. What would be your most interesting experience whilst out on investigations?
A. As you know, Investigations can be tedious and frustrating at times. The best stuff seems to be finding something when reviewing your data. Although I have been physically touched, witnessed battery drains, and have seen a Shadow Person at Maitland Gaol.
The most profound experiences have happened to me personally when I wasnít on an investigation at all. Which makes the things witnessed on Investigations seem insignificant.
Q. I know like myself, you have said in the past that EVPs are your favourite type of evidence. You have a background in music and have your own studio there so are probably well acquainted with how sound works. What are your thoughts on EVPs and do you have any theories on why we would be able to capture these on tape?
A. Like so much in this field it is all theories. Maybe entities or ghosts are somehow able to manipulate the electromagnetic energy created by the audio recorders microphone and imprint on the tape or the digital storage hardware?
With EVPs as far as I am concerned if the voice or sound can be ruled out as not being a real voice or a real sound, and if by using a couple of techniques and common sense, it falls within the frequency spectrum that humans can hear, then it is something?
Unfortunately then it is left up to personal interpretation if it is Paranormal or not, because the reality is it is just a sound recorded on a device. So far I have not found a particular spectrum that EVPs are recorded in. For me unless it not something fairly impressive I wouldnít even consider presenting it at evidence anyway.
I think the biggest problem with EVP recording at the moment is the quality of audio recorders and their microphone frequency response that researchers are using. The wider the frequency response and higher bit rate the better!
Q. After all these years in the field, do you have any opinions or theories of what this phenomena could be as a whole?
A. The fact that you get answers to specific questions (sometimes) leads me to believe that there is some kind of intelligence behind this. Are they spirits of the dead? Maybe. So much more research has to be done. What it is we donít really know. But I will not agree that EVPs are stray radio signals.
Q. One of your articles that really got my attention was your handling of the Gosford Hieroglyphs. Would you like to explain to those that have never heard of them just what these are?
A. The Gosford Hieroglyphs are a series of Egyptian looking Hieroglyphics carved into both sides of a rock cleft in the Brisbane Water National park at Kariong NSW (near Gosford) Many people claim they were carved by shipwrecked Ancient Egyptian Sailors. In my opinion nothing could be further from the truth!
Gosford Hieroglyphs courtesy of Murray Byfield, Unexplained Australia
Q. I believe instead of sitting back and accepting them for what they were claimed to be, they encouraged you to learn and study this subject more thoroughly.
A. I have always loved Ancient Egypt and the prospect of the ancients possibly visiting this country fascinated me. I set out to learn exactly what they said. After learning simply the basics of Ancient Egyptian Hieroglyphs you realise quickly that the Gosford Glyphs are a jumbled mess. And no such detailed a story could be read from the site. However the Cartouches that appear do make sense. Those of Khufu and Sneferu though I donít believe that this authenticates the glyphs at all.
Q. A lot of people have jumped to the belief that these are real and prove that Egyptians were on our shores long before Europeans discovered Australia and it would be easy to do so. But what were your personal conclusions upon studying these more thoroughly.
A. I think the ancients definitely had the ability to reach Australia and maybe they did? Many interesting artifacts have been recovered in QLD around the Gympie area. But this does not prove that the Gosford Glyphs are genuine. I am more inclined to believe though that the Spanish and or Portuguese discovered the Eastern Side of Australia hundreds of years before Captain Cook did.
As for the Gosford Glyphs the characters are poorly drawn, messy, jumbled and donít make complete words. Let alone make complete sentences.
Q. I would like to thank you for answering these few questions for us. I guess if anybody want to know more they can contact you or you have a forum they can jump into?
A. Yes go to our website at: www.unexplainedaustralia.com and click on Forums in the main menu.
I would like to thank Murray for giving us his time to answer a few of these questions. If anybody has anything further to ask or would like to get in touch with Murray to discuss the paranormal, then please feel free to use his links above. The full article he wrote on the Glyphs can also be found on his website.