Doug Van Dorn

Peeranormal Podcast

This show is hosted by Dr. Mike Heiser, author of the game-changer in supernatural theology, The Unseen Realm, the "parent" book--if you will--of Doug's The Unseen Realm: Question and Answer Companion, which Dr. Heiser edited.

With the increase in paranormal shows like Ghost Hunters and an explosion of podcasts and books on these topics, the idea of the show was to take pretty much any paranormal topic you can think of and engage with the topic via peer-reviewed literature that we have read ahead of time. 

Sadly, our last taping was in June, 2021. Natalina was soon diagnosed with cancer and went to be with her Lord just a few short weeks later. Mike was also diagnosed with cancer soon after and is presently battling his condition.

The panelists include: 

Yours Truly

Brian Godawa: Hollywood screenwriter and best-selling supernatural biblical Christian author 

Natalina: podcaster, blogger, and all around star of the show

Doug Overmyer: pastor, podcaster, and supernatural enthusiast

The show is produced by Trey Stricklin. 

IMPORTANT NOTE: Each link takes you to the peeranormal page for that podcast and has links to the peer reviewed literature (PDFs) we used in each program.

Episode 1 (Feb 5, 2016) ~ 
Introduction. (I was not on the first two shows). This is the inaugural episode of PEERANORMAL – a podcast that focuses on the paranormal, but with a significant twist. As this first episode explains, PEERANORMAL introduces listeners to peer-reviewed research on all things generally considered paranormal: ghosts, PSI, ESP, NDEs, OBEs, UFOs, Forteana, alien abduction, cryptozoology, etc. Believe it or not, real research in real labs by real scientists and scholars gets published every year on all these topics and more. Other podcasts are only opinion and speculation. PEERANORMAL is where listeners learn what’s real and what isn’t. Listen as we introduce the hosts and the sorts of research and discussion you can expect.

Episode 2 (May 7, 2016) ~ 
Psychic Animals. Pet-owners often observe behavior that makes them wonder if their pet has a psychic connection to them. One example is the perception that a dog or cat “knows” when its owner is on the way home. This episode of Peeranormal discusses some peer-reviewed experiments into “psychic animals” and the ability to know when owners are coming home. Is the explanation Psi/telepathy or something else?

Episode 3 (Aug 13, 2016) 

Electronic Voice Phenomena (EVP). This episode features co-hosts Doug Van Dorn, Brian Godawa (award winning Hollywood screen-writer and author of the best-selling Nephilim Chronicles), Natalina (Beyond Extraordinary podcast), Trey (Naked Bible podcast), and Doug Overseer (Seers See Ministries). This episode deals with the "voices" from the otherworld that ghost hunters claim to record. We deal here with ghosts, demons, prohibitions about contacting the spirit world, and the claims of these EVP noises.

Episode 4 (Sept 24, 2016) 

Crop CirclesCrop circles are well known — patterns that appear in fields of crops when certain areas of the field are compressed. Investigators have long noted how the stalks are bent uniformly, without visible damage. This episode of Peeranormal takes a look at some of the sparse academic peer-reviewed research on crop circles to discuss if they are man-made, created by an unknown natural force, or something paranormal.

Episode 5 (Oct 25, 2016) 

Vampires and Ghosts. Peeranormal’s inaugural Halloween episode focuses on academic research into vampires and ghosts with special guest Dr. Judd Burton from Our hosts take a look at vampirism as centuries-old myth and modern phenomenon. Where did the vampire legend come from? What were the historical circumstances since the late 18thcentury that contributed to belief in the fateful undead, hungry for blood? What about ghosts? Is there any empirical evidence that would suggest people can experience a supernatural presence in places said to be haunted? How would scientists try to make that case? 

Episode 6 (Dec 1, 2016) ~ 

Sleep Paralysis. Sleep paralysis can be defined in several ways. In terms of the experiencer, it can be described as “a visitation by a malevolent creature which attacked its victims as they slept” (Cox). More clinically, sleep paralysis is understood as “a transient,conscious state of involuntary immobility occurring when falling asleep or upon wakening” (Cheyne, 2002). Research into sleep paralysis has produced compelling evidence that the phenomenon can be explained by brain chemistry and physiology in conjunction with REM sleep. But is that all there is to it?

Episode 7 (Feb 4, 2017) ~ 

DMT, Psychedelics, Religious Mysticism, and Paranormal Experiences. This episode focuses on entheogens—psychedelic drugs that are known to cause “mystical states” of consciousness. Our hosts discuss Rick Strassman’s work on DMT, but that is merely a subset of entheogen study. Current research in the fields of brain science, psychology, and religion are struggling to explain how entheogens and the experiences they cause should be understood. The dilemma of consciousness, more popularly known as the mind-body problem, is at the heart of the struggle. Do entheogens simply affect part of the brain and its chemistry triggering new states of consciousness from inside your head? Or do these drugs separate consciousness from the organ of the body we call the brain, verifying that consciousness is distinct from the brain? Are God and other supernal beings experienced by people under the effect of entheogens just a product of the brain, or are they entities to be experienced by unhindered consciousness?

Episode 8 (March 31, 2017) ~ 

Transplanting Personalities? There have been dozens of documented cases where the recipient of a transplant, often involving the heart, apparently take on the personalities of the organ donor. Recipients also report memories of the donor, and memories that belong to the donor, despite never having met the donor. These cases range from very young children to adults. How can memories and behaviors be transmitted from one person to the next when brain and neural tissue is not involved? Does this phenomenon relate to the question of consciousness?

Episode 9 (June 14, 2017) ~ 

Is Rh-Negative Blood Evidence of Alien / Nephilim Hybridization? The idea that people with Rh-Negative blood indicates alien or nephilim ancestry is on the rise in fringe internet communities and websites. In this episode our panel is joined by someone with medical training (MD) who is familiar with blood typing and the genetics behind Rh-negative blood. The episode discusses the nature of Rh-negative blood, its genetic explanation, and speculations about other traits associated with Rh-negative blood.

Episode 11 (Sept 21, 2017) ~ 
Bigfoot DNA. Back in 2012 the world heard that Bigfoot DNA had been isolated and genetically tested under controlled laboratory conditions. Those involved claimed that the testing had proven the existence of Bigfoot (aka, Sasquatch), and that the creature was a hybrid between modern homo sapiens and an unknown primate species.In a short time, the story unraveled and the research was scrutinized by experts revealing a number of flaws. But this was not the only attempt at producing genetic evidence for Bigfoot. There were earlier and subsequent tests. Is there genuine evidence for Bigfoot DNA?

Episode 12 (Oct 25, 2017) ~ 

Zombies. Are zombies real or just something Hollywood is into nowadays? If you’ve ever seen the movie The Serpent and the Rainbow, you know the question is legitimate. That movie was based on a book by Wade Davis, who earned his PhD in part on the basis of his research into “zombification” in Haiti. Davis and others theorize that zombies are real, and that they are the result of specific drugs given to individuals against their will that produce zombie-like states and behavior. The modern drug Flakka is a current, frightening example. Other researchers disagree, noting that zombie lore is very old and encompasses notions that sound a lot like demonization and possession. This episode of PEERANORMAL explores the topic just in time for Halloween.

Episode 13 (Nov 29, 2017) ~ 

Bible Codes. Back in mid-nineties a peer-reviewed article was published that sought to legitimize the idea that the Hebrew text of Genesis encrypted meaningful information about modern persons and events. Their method for detecting the presumed encrypted knowledge was known as equidistant letter sequencing (ELS).This article (Witztum, Rips, and Rosenberg) became a reference point for journalist Michael Drosnin, who wrote the bestselling book, The Bible Code, shortly thereafter. Subsequent to the success of Drosnin’s book, Bible-code research expanded to the full Torah and beyond, to the rest of the Hebrew Bible. In this episode we ask whether there is such a thing as ELS Bible codes. Have other statisticians and biblical scholars agreed with Witztum, Rips, and Rosenberg, or are there serious problems with the method and its assumptions?

Episode 14 (Feb 7, 2018) ~ 

Peri Reis Map (I was not able to make this episode, though I do love this particular topic). Discovered in 1929, the Piri Reis map, dated to 1513, was virtually unknown except by those who may have seen it displayed in its current home, the Topkapi Palace Museum in Instanbul. That all changed when Erich von Däniken made it part of his ancient astronaut theory in the 1960s. Other ancient aliens theorists have followed suit, as well as alternative historians such as Graham Hancock who, following the work of Charles Hapgood (Maps of the Ancient Sea Kings, 1966), theorized the map provided evidence of a long-lost advanced civilization. In this episode of PEERANORMAL our hosts discuss the scholarly study of the Piri Reis map, which is well known to experts in cartography and 16th century seafaring. Is it evidence of lost knowledge from a forgotten civilization? Ancient aliens?

Episode 15 (June 5, 2018) ~ 
Quantum Physics and Metaphysics Part 1. This episode launches a series on quantum mechanics and its presumed relationship to metaphysical ideas, religion, theology, and the paranormal. During the series we’ll be joined by Dr. Rob (“Putty”) Putman, who holds a PhD in theoretical quantum physics, but now pastors a church in Illinois. In this first episode, we survey the history of quantum mechanics and talk about how some of the important ideas are used to make metaphysical statements about all of reality—statements that are inherently theological and religious. Are such statements accurate? What can we really say about the nature of reality and God on the basis of quantum physics?
Episode 16 (July 1, 2018) ~ 
Quantum Physics and Metaphysics Part 2. This episode continues our series on quantum mechanics and its presumed relationship to metaphysical ideas, religion, theology, and the paranormal. As in Part 1, our panel welcomes Dr. Rob (“Putty”) Putman, who holds a PhD in theoretical quantum physics, but who is presently pastoring a church in Illinois. In this second episode, we focus on how (or whether) quantum mechanics relates to the subject of (1) other dimensions; (2) whether one of those other dimensions is the spiritual realm talked about in the Bible and other religious texts, and (3) fears about what’s happening at CERN in regard to puncturing holes into other dimensions releasing demons. Are such ideas coherent? Are they justifiable in light of the science?
Episode 17 (Aug 1, 2018) ~ 
Quantum Physics and Metaphysics Part 3. This episode is the final in our series on quantum mechanics and its presumed relationship to metaphysical ideas, religion, theology, and the paranormal. As in Part 1 and Part 2, our panel welcomes Dr. Rob (“Putty”) Putman, who holds a PhD in theoretical quantum physics, but who is presently pastoring a church in Illinois. In this third and final episode, we focus on the phenomenon of quantum entanglement and ask questions about quantum computing and what metaphysical statements are reasonable to make on the basis of entanglement. Is everything in the universe connected? Is the statement “all is one” scientifically valid?

Episode 18 (Oct 26, 2018) ~
Samhain and Halloween. “Samhain” (pronounced “sow-in,” with the “ow” like in “cow,” or “sow-een,” with “ow” as in “glow”) is an Irish Gaelic term for the time of “summer’s end,” as well as a festival to mark the end of the harvest season and the onset of winter which, in the Gaelic / Celtic calendar, marked the beginning of the year. Because the Celtic day began and ended at sunset, not sunrise, the festival was traditionally celebrated from October 31 to November 1. Sanhaim is the ancient backdrop to Halloween, not only in terms of the calendar, but also in terms of basically all the modern elements of that holiday. This episode investigates the history of Samhain and its curious links to the ancient biblical worldview of demons, giants, and the realm of the dead.

Episode 19 (Feb 6, 2019) ~ Déjà Vu. Many people have experienced déjà vu, the feeling that a situation or event is familiar, though there is no evidence that the situation has been experienced before. Recent studies have shown that roughly two-thirds of people have experienced déjà vu at least once. This episode explores three research articles chronicling the phenomenon and its elements and the range of proposed explanations for it.

Episode 20 (May 9, 2019) ~ Orb Photographs. Photographs of “orbs” – small circular or globular lights – that are invisible to the naked eye at the time of the photography are ubiquitous on the internet. Very little scientific research has been conducted to explain the photographic phenomenon. Most of the discussion online asserts that orbs are spirits or some other energy life form. Is this true or is there a coherent, conventional explanation? In this episode, we survey the available literature and consider examples of orbs in photographs.

Episode 21 (Aug 12, 2019) ~ Live from Branson (Isaac Newton and the Apocalypse). This was our only live panel, where we all met together for the first and only time in person in Branson Missouri, in August of 2019. Our topic was the brilliant yet unorthodox thought of Sir Isaac Newton and the work he did on Revelation and the Apocalypse.

Episode 21 (May 29, 2021) ~ Intercessory Prayer. Sadly, this was the last episode of Peeranormal ... Nearly twenty studies of whether intercessory prayer has a positive (or any) effect on seriously ill patients have been conducted by physicians and other medical researchers since 1965. Results are mixed, ranging from mild positive effects to an increase in adverse effects. The assumptions of the very idea have been challenged—is prayer something that can be scientifically tested? Since it involves the existence of God, whose reality cannot be scientifically tested, does research of this type make any sense? In this episode, the PEERanormal panel discusses six scholarly articles on the subject: four actual studies, and two critiques of the enterprise and its assumptions:

NOTE: Doug did not appear on the first two eposides of Peeranormal or in the 15 episode. The 10th episode is a special interview and I was not on it either. But you can listen to them all here: Peeranormal Homepage