Parawatch Intro Thread
rating: +46+x

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rating: +46+x

CONTENT WARNING

This thread contains mentions of the following:
- suicide

Please continue at your own risk.

Rook ♖ #00000001


This thread is mandatory reading to all new members. Please read it in its entirety, as we will not tolerate ignorance as an excuse. Plus the Site Passcode is in there somewhere, so make sure you pay attention.

i: Preamble

Let's address the elephant in the room.

"Where's the wiki?"

To make a long story short: Our previous server provider severed ties with us because they ran out of money, and I was just barely able to make an offline backup of all the data before they cut the power. I don't want us to have to rely on either MediaWiki or-god forbid-Fandom as a new home. So, as of writing, we're currently migrating all our pages over to our new website. Until this mess is settled, all of our articles can be accessed via a read-only archive here.

ii: Introduction

Welcome to the Parawatch Wiki!

All works posted on this wiki, unless otherwise stated, are real events that one or more of us have experienced or believe in. This is not a roleplay site. This is not a creepypasta site.

Now, let’s start from the beginning.

iii: What Is Parawatch?

Parawatch is a collaborative research/writing project aiming to document our experiences with the paranormal. This includes cryptid sightings, unusual events, conspiracy theories, and any circumstance that you can't explain using modern science. In short, we watch for the paranormal, hence the name 'Parawatch'.

Keep in mind that even though we are a writing site, we are not a creepypasta site. Please refrain from sharing creepypastas here, no matter the level of quality. This site is for real experiences and conspiracies only. In addition, please do not come in spouting ridiculous conspiracy theories such as saying that 9/11 was an inside job or that your antisemitic interpretation of Jews run the world. You will be laughed at and promptly banned.

iv: A History

Parawatch's beginnings and the story of my father are intertwined.

His job required a lot of travel. I don't know exactly what he sold, but I know he was some sort of salesman, and he would spend long periods of time on the road. During pit stops in local diners and gas stations, he would listen in on the local's conversations and whispers. All of the gossip, rumors, and folklore that he picked up, he'd write down in a journal he always kept tucked in his breast pocket.

In life, my dad was very dedicated to finding the truth; whatever that meant to him. He was a member of MUFON (much to my mother's chagrin) and always attended their big yearly conventions. During our camping trips out in the Oregonian wilderness, he would teach me how to track bigfoot and scavenge supplies in case of a societal collapse. Some might call this child abuse, but I wouldn't think so. Those memories are as dear to me as the site itself, which all began because of my father's journal.

I wouldn't find out about this journal until his passing in mid-2007. After he died, my mom and I were going through his old stuff to decide what to keep and what to throw out. It was then that I grabbed his coat and felt a little weight on it. My mother insisted I throw out the journal, but I was fascinated by the anecdotes within. Three-hundred pages of handwritten notes on small-town folklore, cryptid sightings, and conspiracies.

journal.jpg

A page of my father's Journal.

I spent weeks poring over the journal and its contents. Though he was a salesman, my father was one hell of an author too. He effortlessly balanced what he heard and spun a narrative from it as well. I was sitting on a goldmine of creepy stories and close encounters with the paranormal. It was then that I decided to share my father's stories with the internet. I did the only thing I could think of, and went on /x/, a board I frequented in my earlier days, and typed up one of my father's stories.

The response to the story was explosive. Requests for more (Or 'moar' as they would say in those days.) spammed the replies on the thread. Other threads with a similar style as my own started popping up all over the board. It seemed as if everyone wanted to share their experiences with the paranormal. Some memorable threads include Abwesenheit and Tower-B. Those were classics.

In January 2008, someone had the bright idea of creating a wiki to catalog all these stories, and they started one up on the wiki farm 'EditThis'. Things were messy there; anyone could join up and upload their experience with the paranormal, meaning that there was suddenly a bunch of low-quality entries on the 'official' site for Parawatch. To make matters worse, EditThis was floundering financially, meaning storage on the site was low and the site runners demanded more money for hosting, which we couldn't do. Most of us were just broke college students, after all. It was then that I stumbled upon Wikidot.

Wikidot seemed like the answer to all of our problems. It allowed for much more storage space, and it was cheaper to upgrade if we felt the need to as well. The ads also weren't too invasive, so that was definitely an upgrade over EditThis too. It seemed like a no-brainer to move over to Wikidot. So we did. I gathered together some of the most well-known users on EditThis and started the migration process.

It was slow-going at first, as we brought over the classics that everyone knew and set up some staff pages for the new site. We hit snags a few times, however. There was a very popular article about how Al Gore was an alien puppet and how the 2000 election results in Florida had been rigged by a mysterious third party in Florida. It was highly controversial because it seemed like an obvious trolling attempt, but it cannot be understated how popular it was. We eventually made the decision to not bring that article over, and many folks were mad at us for it for a long time. In our leave, we also left behind a few 'joke' entries about pop-culture simply because they didn't fit the site's serious nature.

Our first few years on Wikidot were good. We grew exponentially as a site, and the new forums were a boon to our communications. Site navigation was improved by users such as 🗿 pandapandapanda and two-egg, and 🗿 bones set up the original IRC room, #parawatch. Our community was growing and improving, but with all the good came some bad.

The internet is home to various numbers of trolls, but some have become infamous in our community. The most active trolls at the time were the 'michael the kiler' troll who signed up with multiple accounts and spam-posted low-quality creepypasta, the 'Al Gore is an alien puppet' troll who demanded justice for the forgotten Al Gore Parawatch article, and consuelo who infamously spammed IRC with his own name.

mrbeeks.jpg

MrBeeks' obituary photo.

At some point in 2010, a TVTropes page was made for Parawatch, which attracted many new members, many of which were unfortunately under the impression we were a site for creepypasta. This resulted in the creation of multiple low-quality articles, which became more and more annoying for staff to deal with as they were reposted with fervor by unknowing newbies. This eventually lead to the need for a bigger staff, and thus the admin and moderation team grew from 4 people to 7.

Years passed without much incident, until 2013, when a major contributor by the name of MrBeeks appeared on local television as a witness to a paranormal event. Needless to say, he was very excited and shared the youtube clip of himself on the forums. This was met with a mild reception, but a group of trolls decided to troll MrBeeks for his overeager behavior in the video and his unusual appearance. Various troll accounts popped up to comment on the video in the forums, and reports were made that some of them were even calling his home phone and school. MrBeeks deleted his account within a week of posting the video, and all of the troll accounts were banned.

This next sentence is The Pаaassssccoodde, to join the site: type in the following phrase in your app on the Join Page. I will treat Parawatch community members with respect, and follow the site/forum rules and required reading.

Weeks passed and everything seemed okay, sans the departure of MrBeeks. About a month after he deleted his account, another Parawatch member discovered a newspaper obituary for someone matching MrBeek's description who also attended the same university. This marked the first time one of our members was unfortunately taken from us early. Unfortunately, it wouldn't be the last.

The cracks finally started to show on Wikidot in mid-2015 when a Parawatch report about a cryptid in Canada by MercierMan was randomly deleted by the company for no reason. No matter how hard we pressed, we didn't get a reason for this. No matter how hard we tried, it would always be erased after the fact. As you could probably tell, this infuriated members of the community and staff alike, and finally ignited our desire to get off of the platform as a whole. This was the beginning of Project Parawatch.

Building a new wiki-style website was not easy, especially when we wanted to make sure not to replicate the many bugs and issues Wikidot has. We were fortunate to get new staff members like 🗿mallardduck and 🗿stormbreath who were technical wizards and very useful to the future of Project Parawatch, but was still a few years off.

wikidoterror.png

Screenshot of a typical Wikidot error.

Wikidot continued to falter as time went on, with more and more errors appearing every day. A couple of pages disappeared here and there, and they wouldn't be allowed to be reposted, for example, a very popular one about Tom Hanks and Forrest Gump. Neither of our tech gurus could figure out what was wrong with the erased pages. They weren't breaking the Wikidot TOS nor were they technically broken, so we just collectively shrugged and blamed the crumbling infrastructure on the site we were hosted on. A popular recurring meme at the time was 'Fuck Frąckowiak', the CEO of Wikidot.

Around 2017, something changed with the way Wikidot handled ads. They became a little more intrusive and a lot less subtle. They also started advertising a place called 'Spicy Crust Pizzeria' that none of us had ever heard of. Members of the site assumed it must be a Polish thing, as Wikidot is hosted in Poland. Memes about the overabounding presence of Spicy Crust Pizzeria abounded for a while, as did the frequency of Wikidot errors.

This brings us to today, 2018! As you read upthread, this was the year where Wikidot finally went under and we had barely 24 hours notice to scrape all the content on the site before being forced out. Don't trust corporations, especially ones that seem to sit on their laurels and do squat for years. What a wild and crazy ride it's been, but we're finally in a comfortable spot. We finally have our website with Project Parawatch bearing fruit.

vi: Expected Code of Conduct
The single most important rule to follow on the Parawatch wiki is as follows:

Don't be a dick.

It's really that simple. We do, of course, have other rules, which largely stem from this one golden rule. They are as follows:

  1. You may dispute the actions and opinions of anyone, including staff, as long as you do it in a calm, mature, and civil way.
  2. You can comment anywhere on the site, as long as you are respectful to other users. All comments must follow the Criticism Policy. Do not troll or make personal attacks.
  3. Don't make contentless or excessively short posts (spam), don't bump threads for attention, and don't post on threads more than a few months old if you're not contributing substantially to the conversation. Avoid double posting. Edit your previous posts using the "edit" function under the "options" tab to the lower right of every comment. Every image posted to forum or discussion threads must be collapsed.
  4. Do not post a large number of low-quality articles. When staff tell you to slow down or stop posting, listen.
  • A NOTE ON PLAGIARISM- You may not copy any portion of someone else's writing to use as your own work without proper attribution. You are allowed to cite sources such as MUFON, The Weekly Exposé, or bigfootforums.com, but do not outright copy whole articles from them.
  • A NOTE ON SOURCES- As previously mentioned, you're welcome to use appropriate sources for your Parawatch entries, but the moment you start using places like Infowars or Breitbart to support an already shaky theory you will be laughed at and your post will be removed.

vii: Meet the Staff

Administrators
Rook ♖: # The main force behind Parawatch since its inception in 2007. Likes conspiracy theories, the occult, and everything in between. An avid listener of The Last Podcast on the Left and a connoisseur of craft beers.

VolticNatalieW ♖ : ALL GODS BLEED. Experimental artist & trash siphonophore She/xer/its/mx. Writes Lucky Star fanfiction in xer spare time.

imbroglio ♖: A regular person who totally does not live in an abandoned factory complex. Horror aficionado. Likes to write.

Moderators

🗿 bones: (As 🗿 bones refused to comment, this section was written by VolticNatalieW ♖) Ever-present chat admin and forum moderator. Seriously, day or night, it is there. It's uncanny, it's almost like a machine. Why so serious?

🗿mallardduck: Tech Co-Captain, investigative journalist, programmer, and Project Parawatch dev. Ask me about Wikidot errors.

🗿 mr_sen: Local hentai addict and bigfoot stan. Sweats caffeine. No, seriously. Patrols the forums like he patrols the fridge for snacks.

🗿 pandapandapanda: Hi! You can call me panda3 or just panda. :3 I like cute things and historical conspiracies. Curates the JFK conspiracy megathread. My favorite theory is the multiple assassins theory.

🗿stormbreath: spends way too much time on this site. expert on heaven's gate lore, has written the most articles about marshall applewhite (a whopping one). css hack. lover of greek mythology. also is tech co-captain, but who cares about that?

🗿theonewhoknocks: Handles site disciplinary matters and offers feedback to improve your write-ups. Always cite your sources!

🗿tom_steiner: Social media wiz and cryptid photographer extraordinaire. Runs the site's social media accounts. Also a photographer for The Weekly Exposé.

viii : You're all set!

After reading all of the above, you should be all set and ready to go on with your Parawatch membership. Make sure to introduce yourself in the intro thread and good luck out there, Watchmen.

Yours,

Rook

tallyhallybananymanny #00000002


If you can't find the passcode it's hidden between the paragraphs about the guy's suicide and wikidot shit. you're welcome

Also who the fuck puts content warnings on a MANDATORY THREAD lmao

[USER WAS BANNED FOR THIS POST]




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