Who Am I?
I'm Derek Barnes, your friendly host and resident raving loon. I started this website because I have always been interested in the paranormal, weird and totally wacky stories that arise from time to time. My twin brother was actually the first one to start a web page, Occultresearch.com, but his was a lot more scientific in nature. I've just sorta taken his idea and added a disco ball, rhinestones and a lot more attitude. But don't get me wrong, I'm not some raging paranoid geek with a website (at least that's what I keep telling myself) I'm just your average 20 something living in the early part of the 21st century with too much time on my hands and too much technology in front of me. The only thing I've ever lacked is a will to make it in the real world in a normal way. Since the nine to five didn't hold my attention I've made my investigations into the freaky my full time job. (And aren't you luckier because of it?)
My friend and quasi employee Lan is the webmistress and the real technical genius behind the site. She's the one responsible for all the bells and whistles you see hither and yon. If something breaks feel free to blame her. She also wrote that rocking score you hear at the site entrance. Oh yeah, she's the Sammy Hagar of HTML.
Jason is another name you might hear mentioned on assorted articles (usually it's the ones where something went horribly wrong) He's a good friend and actually does come in handy when I need another pair of hands. (Or a really weird point of view) He also has the ability to clean out your fridge in about 10 seconds flat so I don't recommend inviting him over for dinner.
. . .oh and I have a robotic dog named Sherlock Bones. I use to have a real dog but since I'm usually never home he's currently hanging out at my Mom's and ignores me when I come over to use the laundry.
What Is This Website All About?
Good question, I'll get back to you . . No, really it's about all the strange things you hear about but somehow fail to make the local nightly news. The web site is concerned with but not limited to; monsters, freaks, ghosts, demons, psychic powers, anti-gravity, teleportation, unknown animals, things from space, unexplained natural phenomenon, and if you can boil gasoline.
I try and bring an objective sense to the events I cover and give sources on where I get the information. (Although this warranty is null and void if you encounter an amateur hour article) I also try and stay the passive observer and let the viewer decide if a story or idea is based in reality or a big pile of crap. Hey, you make up your own mind; I'm just the guy slaving away over a hot keyboard.
When Did You Start?
Freakylinks.com was launched in September of 1998 and has been growing like a radiation exposed kudzu vine ever since. Before that I had a website called MonsterFreaks that was just a little space on the GeoCities Web. It was launched with much ado on January of 1998 and was an instant source of eyestrain-induced headaches. Luckily Lan came on board when we changed over to Freakylinks to help make this place actually readable.
Where Are You At?
I'm in the lovely town of Orlando, Florida, home of theme parks, sun burnt tourists, and the occasional maniac with a gun. Contrary to popular belief there's actually more to Orlando than roller coasters and fake castles. Real people live here who go through their entire lives without wearing any sort of costume that transforms them into a smiling rodent. I live a simple but ludicrous life of ease and comfort in my small underground bunker somewhere in the suburbs.
Why Is This Website So Popular?
Because I'm just so gosh, darn, swell! Also because I stumbled upon a picture that just might be the long lost holy relic of cryptozoology. I also go at this full time so I can bring a lot more attention to subjects that arise. Plus I like doing stupid things (where else you gonna see a webcam trying to catch a photo of the chupacabra?) I think most people are interested in things they can't explain and I just go one step further and obsess about it. People tend to appreciate that. Or they just like to watch one guy waste his life away trying to find out exactly what is under the bed when you turn out the lights.
What Did You Do Before You Sponged A Living From The Gullible Public With This Over Hyped, Under Informative Website?
Hey what kind of an attitude is that? I've been the proud holder of numerous McJobs including 24 hour copy center technician, bartender, hotel front desk clerk, and for a short time I worked at a go kart track. For several years I harbored the dream of being a professional skateboarder. That dream finally met up with harsh reality who promptly grabbed it by the shirt and kicked it down a flight of stairs. The dream is currently recovering at an undisclosed halfway house.
Do You Believe In The Stuff You Post?
Well sure I do. Well, OK I don't. Maybe, . . sometimes, when the sun hits it just right. Next question.
Does It Bother You When People Write You That The Stuff On Your Website Is A Load Of Garbage And You're Just In It To Make A Fast Buck?
Yes it does. I've labored long and hard to make this website the best that it can be. I spend countless hours checking the smallest detail to make sure that I have left no stone unturned in my quest to bring the viewing public the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth. Now leave me alone and go buy a T-shirt.
Who Do You Admire / Who Are Your Peers?
Good question, you get extra points for steering the conversation back to me and why I'm so cool. I admire Gerald Ford, Charles Fort, Chang (but I hate Eng), and of course, P.T. Barnum. My turnoffs include people who are mean to animals, geometry and the letter q. I'm a Capricorn with a bad moon rising.
What Do You Think Of Paranormal Skeptics?
I'm very skeptical of them.
Are You Always Like This?
Yea, pretty much, except sometimes I'm sarcastic.
Can You Boil Gasoline?
I'm not sure, nor am I willing at this point to conduct experiments. You probably shouldn't either, or at least first ask your Mom for permission.