I recall first seeing Joshua as he strolled down to a colleague and I awaiting his arrival in the Pittsburgh airport. I thought to myself, "Who is this suit-wearing, clean-cut weirdo!" It was in the taxi cab ride, one hour to be precise during a monsoon down-pouring of a thunderous rain storm heading to West Virginia, that I understood who he was, as a person. He was nothing short of a perfect gentlemen, well-versed and opinionated in conversation that with a case of wine, and unknown origins of select beers, could talk for weeks and weeks. He was wonderful to meet and made the cab ride pleasant and pass by effortlessly.
Fast forward to who he is professionally as it will amaze you because he is a self-made man who in his whole life worked for himself and continues to do so. Not an easy feat as my late father (Dr. Hans Holzer) was too, that type of man. No office jobs, ties or briefcases. The Supernatural, Science, Literature, Lecturing, Educating and Radio to name just a few, were his office and it seems the same for this young man as well. For me, he is a cross between Kelsey Grammar's 'Fraiser' character mixed with Young Frankenstein.
Joshua P. Warren hails from Asheville, North Carolina. I keep wanting to say 'Nashville' but in any event there it is. He has lived in the Blue Ridge Mountains his entire life, wears a sort of mountainesque-type of hat to show for it and has traveled extensively throughout his career. What makes Joshua so amazing is at the ripe old age of thirteen, he wrote and published his first book, including the regional best-seller, Haunted Asheville, and How to Hunt Ghosts (released by Simon and Schuster), and is the president of his multimedia productions company, Shadowbox Enterprises, LLC. His articles have been published internationally, and has been covered by CNN, Fox News, Southern Living, Delta Sky, FATE, New Woman, The New York Times, FHM and Something About the Author; and made the cover of the science journal, Electric Space Craft. A winner of the University of North Carolina Thomas Wolfe Award for Fiction, he wrote columns for the Asheville Citizen-Times from 1992 to 1995.
Warren has appeared on numerous television networks and radio as a guest and is himself a host, especially Coast to Coast AM with George Noory/Art Bell. Warren worked on many sets, such as Warner Brother's My Fellow Americans, Universal's Patch Adams, Paradise Falls, Inbred Rednecks, Songcatcher, and Sinkhole. Each year, he usually leads a public expedition to amazing paranormal sites around the world. I think it is safe to say Warren is out to conquer the world one expedition at a time, one experiment at a time and certainly with NO time as he is one busy guy!
Alexandra Holzer: How did you get into the Supernatural field on the science end and why?
Joshua P. Warren: Though I've traveled widely, my home has always been Asheville, North Carolina, heart of the oldest mountains in North America. Relatives on my mother's side came to this general area in the late 1600s, and on my father's side, my great grandmother was a full-blooded Cherokee. Those deep roots harbored strange and mysterious tales, pioneer folklore and myths. Storytelling has always been a strong part of my heritage, and sincere ghost stories were common. As a teenager, I wanted to explore how much of these tales were true. At age 14, I had the fortune of meeting a NASA Hall of Fame engineer, named Charles Yost, who would mentor me in scientific lab work for the next 14 years, until his death. My sense of wonder and imagination, tempered by the scientific method, has allowed me to systematically explore the amazing phenomena in the world, and better understand how logical thinking can help us discover the truth in so many magical experiences that have often, sadly, been flippantly dismissed out of hand. Science and spirituality can and should coexist beautifully. A single truth can be attained by various approaches, and I strive for a full, well-rounded perspective.
AH: At age 13, you wrote your first published book. Adding over a dozen more including the regional best-seller, Haunted Asheville, and How to Hunt Ghosts (released by Simon and Schuster). That is quite an accomplishment at such a young age. Have you ever held down an office job or was this the beginning leading you to where you are today?
JW: When I was 16, as my first job, I worked as a bookstore clerk. Ages 17-18, I worked as a video store clerk. Since the age of 18, I have been self-employed doing what I love: exploring the unknown! It has been a wild ride without a day off. But I've been able to take my passion for research and funnel it into sensible business producing books, TV and radio programming, live events, tours, websites, and products. I'm a paranormal entrepreneur, and my success is testament to how much interest and respect exists for those who spend time thoughtfully exploring the unknown. It takes complete devotion, pure intention, and a cheerful, tireless, optimistic work ethic. But it can be done!
AH: You were hired by the famous Grove Park Inn Resort to be the first person to officially investigate the Pink Lady apparition in 1995 which in that the same year you founded L.E.M.U.R. paranormal investigations. Can you tell your fans what this organization is about and your breakthrough with the Brown Mountain Lights?
JW: Exploring mysterious phenomena, in earnest, means you have decided to tackle the most complicated and difficult questions and problems known to humankind--NOT to be taken lightly. To do it professionally (and not for mere entertainment value) requires a vast amount of data, patiently collected and credibly processed. In some cases, there is no way one person can accomplish the task. Therefore, a good team can be invaluable. LEMUR was founded as a forum for dedicated specialists in various fields to divide the challenge of collecting information and contributing to its evaluation. LEMUR stands for the "League of Energy Materialization and Unexplained Phenomena Research." In a nutshell, it's all about discovering the connection between phenomena that is not understood by mainstream researchers and the connection between those phenomena and how energy materializes into something physically-measurable. As your question suggests, perhaps the best example regards the Brown Mountain Lights. Brown Mountain is a long, low-lying ridge in the Pisgah National Forest of Western North Carolina. For at least a century, strange, multi-colored balls of light have appeared on or around the ridge at night, bobbing through the trees. They have been studied extensively, and spawned dozens of theories and possible explanations. Unfortunately, many of the best, most qualified scientists have dismissed them as nothing more than an old ghost story without ever even looking into the site. I, however, kept an open mind.
For 15 years, my team and I observed, and camped at, the rugged, uncomfortable location. We brought a variety of different scientists with us and employed a wide spectrum of tools. Eventually, we were able to reproduce a similar phenomenon on a miniature scale in the laboratory, earning us the cover of the ELECTRIC SPACE CRAFT science journal in 2004. We believe most of the lights are a form of plasma, similar to ball lightning. Learning how it's produced has implications for lethal and non-lethal weaponry, wireless communication, transportation and propulsion. We discovered properties valuable for solid, practical, technological advances because we were not so arrogant as to turn away from stories others considered nonsense. This is the attitude needed to advance scientific development. I receive no taxpayer funds and have no boss. Nor do I bow to any committee. That means I'm in a position to take risks. Unfortunately, that one crucial asset is missing from the lives of most scholars dependent on educational institutions for a salary and peer approval. I designed my life as an independent businessman so I can be honest and creative, taking all those risks on my own.
AH: You're a bit of everything on the media spectrum from television appearances to being sequestered writing articles, novels and lab experiments. What in your life isn't supernatural, if anything at all?
JW: Great question! As a person who studies strange energy, I must first know about energy in general. That led me to create a new household solar generator: The "Sunshine Simple" generator for the home. A couple years ago, blizzards hit my state and I was out of power for 7 days. I was NOT prepared and it SUCKED. Afterward, I bought a gas generator, but the following winter, it would not start in the cold half the time. It was also noisy and smelly. Plus what if I run out of fuel? I decided to buy a solar generator. But after researching all over the net, I was disappointed. The generators cost way too much and didn't produce that much power. So I decided to build one that would fit my needs. The result is the new Sunshine Simple generator. I talked about it on the radio and people started emailing, asking me to make one for them. This quickly turned into a business. I've only been selling them since October of 2011, and they've already sold to every part of the United States, and people love it! I enjoy producing these units that will keep people comfy, safe and independent, working in harmony with mother nature. You can visit http://www.SunshineSimple.com to see a video I shot demonstrating it and why I think it's the best of its kind in the world. This is not paranormal, but a perfect example of how my paranormal work led me on a path to service the general population.
AH: Your radio show for Clear Channel Communications called Speaking of Strange that just became syndicated. That is wonderful news, congratulations. Can you please share with us how long you have had your show and how it got started? Lastly, in closing please tell your fans what your working on today and are there any new projects on the horizon?
JW: I created the SPEAKING OF STRANGE radio show around 8 years ago. It began as a local Clear Channel Show, but is now syndicated to any station, available anywhere in the world. The show is a wild, fun ride, unlike any other radio program being produced. It's not just about the paranormal, but also a humorous, spontaneous conversation about all the crazy news in the world that is usually too edgy, outrageous, controversial and far-out for the mainstream media. We cover the summit of mankind's enlightenment and groundbreaking achievements and the pit of mankind's depravity and dark, twisted behavior. It's hard to describe as anything other than an unpredictable ride. One minute I'm talking to a man who walked on the moon; the next to a porn star. You can listen free online at http://www.SpeakingOfStrange.com and any radio station can carry it for free right now if they contact me through the site.
My museum in Asheville is moving into a historic new building and I'll be traveling to Transylvania in the spring to investigate vampires & werewolves, PLUS I'm working with some big names in the entertainment biz to develop a new TV series. TV is a very unpredictable industry, but if this concept pans out, it'll be a groundbreaking program. I sincerely believe 2012 is going to be a mind-boggling year, as I wrote about in my book, THE SECRET WISDOM OF KUKULKAN. I'm excited to live through this amazing time, and plan to travel to various cities to speak about why it's so important.
For more details on Joshua P. Warren, please visit: http://www.JoshuaPWarren.com