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Things that go Beep in the Night


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#1 greg_dragonlvr

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Posted 25 August 2009 - 04:32 PM

Having bumped my way around the paranormal for more than 3 decades, I was witness to many fads and fashions that came and went. Being of the Electrical and Electronics frame of mind, I watched with interest the coming of the electronic age to paranormal investigation.

It started out from its humble beginings earlier with cameras and tape recorders. It then expanded into some honest experimentation with other sorts of metering systems, electrical and magnetic fields, temperature detection, etc...

The tool is supposed to assist the user in accomplishing the task at hand. But what occurred is the tool became the task. The experimentation turned into a headlong rush to find the toy that had more flashing lights, beeps and bells, knobs, switches and dials. The fact that it used batteries or plugged in became its own validation.

Time tested uses of mediumship and clarvoyance became the plague, to be avoided at all cost. That was old school, of witches, shamans and card readers. That sort of thing had to be kept far from the psudo-science of electronic ghost hunting to avoid risking the purity of the scientific method.

With the exception of the ever-present few, who take the time to hone their skill and learn their electronic craft, the field of ghost hunting electronically as gone to pot. It has given any doofus the means of picking up a blinky meter or beeping sensor and call him/her self a ghost hunter. Most of these individuals couldn't tell the difference between a pico-farad and a fence post. But by golly, if the meter beeps or blinks in reaction to a poorly grounded fan switch, they have found Satan Incarnate. It is only the validity of the hardware that keeps them from being tossed out to the sidewalk for the idiots that they are. :P

I hold that the electronic age had the potential if producing the next generation of dowsing (which in my use and experience will out proform any meter out there), and automatic writing. It should have been used in conjunction with and as validation for mediumship and other forms of spiritual detection. And with it, could have produced a valid data base for future theories, not just ones based on ppls 'gut' feelings.

So, unless the knuckle head with the emf meter can pass a basic electronics course, so he/she can tell at least which end of the meter to use, they should all have thier batteries pulled and be sent to their rooms, and leave the real investigations to ppl who know the equipment and the nature of what they are hunting.

Greg

PS I humbly apologize to CaveRat for all the grief all the electronic wannabes have put you and all your fellow wizards thru. :) to all battery operated idiots.

Edited by greg_dragonlvr, 25 August 2009 - 04:33 PM.

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#2 leslie_dragonlvr

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Posted 25 August 2009 - 05:44 PM

Wow, I don't think I could have said it any better!

So many ghost hunters out there and the fact that they insist that they "know" what they are doing with those little blinky lights is beyond me for the most part.
If you don't have the other insights along with it what good is it all really? The blinky lights are not gonna validate who or what if anything is really there. Come on, don't you also want to "know" who is there if anyone? Thats where a medium can reall add to an investigation, if its done right.

Even the PD have come to dealing with mediums to help with missing persons, come on, there has to be something to it all.
Are blinky lights gonna lead you to a dead body? I don't think so. There is an energy out there and it can communicate with us. Using all the tools that we have would be a heck of a lot better don't you think? Not just look at some lights and say "oh we might have something here". There is so much more to all of this.

Those folks who listen to these people and there silly gadgets are just as bad. To put their faith in what is said by them and believe it with out thinking about it, well...shame on you. So many things can creat things in our own minds from fear and the unknown. Not stopping to think first and examine all things is just silly and wasteful. Not to mention those who come out and tell people they have a demon in the basement...OMG come on now! What made them an expert in demons? How would you know if it was by using blinky lights?

Ok off my soap box.
But seriously, we need to come together to do this write by all.

Les
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#3 OMPRDave

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Posted 26 August 2009 - 09:12 PM

I work with a local woman who received a KII from her husband as a birthday gift, and she brought it along on a case I had in Petersham, MA. I didn;t mention things to her, and during a slow walk through of the upstairs bedrooms she stopped us to say her KII was going off on a full spike about every 20 seconds or so wherever she went. She placed it on a hassock in one of the rooms and we watched and timed the flashes...twenty seconds exactly, all lights going. That was when I informed her that the KII can be rather sensitive to RF signals, and she dug in her pockets and found a wireless transmitter for one of her thermometer rigs she hadn't placed yet. Had her take it down the hall, flashing stopped.

A little while later we watched the KII flash again, this time with a lot longer time between flashes but just as strong. This time she produced her cell phone - it was on silent and vibrate and each time ti looked for a signal it set the KII off. Needless to say, I had her convinced that she needed that KII on an investigation about as much a boiled egg.

I have actually gone back to compasses, and usually only use any AC field meter to determine if the client has an alarm clock or anything else to close to their head while sleeping (and even that is not determined to be a health hazard, but it's worth noting if any experiences while in bed disappear after the violating appliance is removed). I've been surrounded by others waving cheap to mildly expensive meters on investigations and admit that, yes, it bothers me, but just like dowsing rods or anything else (even my compasses) everybody is going to have their own way of doing things, be it right or wrong. I agree that folks should learn about the equipment and what it does before they start using it document something that even now is a complete mystery.
"There is a principle which is a bar against all information, which is proof against all arguments and which cannot fail to keep a man in everlasting ignorance - that principle is contempt prior to investigation." Herbert Spencer

#4 leslie_dragonlvr

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Posted 27 August 2009 - 02:27 PM

Exactly Dave. Too many wanna be ghost hunters get all "gung ho" and go running off and do an investigation for someone who hasn't a clue either. Then end up giving the wrong info and wrong impression of what is really possibly going on in there home. Too quick to say its a "ghost" cuz the meter went off.

I totally agree with you.
Les
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#5 CaveRat2

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Posted 27 August 2009 - 06:30 PM

I can certainly agree about misuse of equipment, I've seen my share of it, starting with a lot of the popular TV shows! Serious study has seemed to go out the window, and for my part I have pretty much just washed my hands of it, you can try to educate the masses but all you get for your trouble is a headache!

But the medium side also has its share of problems as well. My biggest gripe with them is the attitude, "I know what i know, I don't have to prove anything to anyone". However if the two sides are ever going to get together they will need to prove themselves. consider, if a medium and scientific researcher ever could get together and do a serious study of the medium. The medium is too worried the scientist is trying to just prove them wrong, and the scientist is always asking questions, never taking anything on faith.

Both are right, but from that could come answers. for example suppose the medium could put aside their fears and simply get their impressions while under scientific scrutiny. Of course there will be hits and misses. But the misses don't prove the medium a fake. rather they can, if properly analyzed be used to detect trends. Likewise the hits can genertae patterns. And using scientific study these trends may uncover a pattern which could go on to determine a scientific explanation for how a medium does his thing.

If such a scenario were to come to pass the divide between science and mediums could rapidly be narrowed and the entire field could benefit. All it takes is a little understanding on both sides of the issue.

#6 greg_dragonlvr

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Posted 29 August 2009 - 03:25 PM

Agree about there being misuse and abuse and just plane stoopidity on both sides of the fence.

The first thing is to agree that we are all on the same side. Those in it to exploit a situation are a lost cause for this pupose. A common cause does not mean universal agreement on every issue. We can all have our opinions but the establishment of a goal should not interfere with anyones beliefs.

To go with our strengths should be obvious and to ignore skill or talent does not do anyone any good.

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#7 Axman

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Posted 29 August 2009 - 09:42 PM

I have used many different electronic devices in the 27 years I have been in the field. That said, I can agree that many people don't know the nature of the device. I don't get many chances to investigate as I haven't had the time in about 2 or 3 years but I have some simple rules when I get a group together. If possible, kill the main power at the breaker so as not to interfere with any equipment. No electronic devices other than the equipment needed for investigating (i.e. cell phones, MP3 players, etc). Each person only gets one device. There are occasions that I have had one device interfering with another but it is usually the first thing we check anyway. So I do allow a pair of investigators to take two separate devices. The best thing to do is familiarize each person on the team with all equipment and what to look for when operating them.
Ah. Well... I attended Juilliard... I'm a graduate of the Harvard business school. I travel quite extensively. I lived through the Black Plague and had a pretty good time during that. I've seen the EXORCIST ABOUT A HUNDRED AND SIXTY-SEVEN TIMES, AND IT KEEPS GETTING FUNNIER EVERY SINGLE TIME I SEE IT... NOT TO MENTION THE FACT THAT YOU'RE TALKING TO A DEAD GUY... NOW WHAT DO YOU THINK? You think I'm qualified? --BeetlejuiceI'm the ghost with the most, babe.--BeetlejuiceWe've come for your daughter Chuck--Beetlejuice

#8 greg_dragonlvr

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Posted 29 August 2009 - 10:31 PM

As I've said, there are the faithful few who spend the time and learn their craft, take care of the evidence and all in all, conduct an investigation that would stand up in any lab.

I think though, on the whole, the easy access to all this paraphanalia has done more harm than good. There is a polarization in the paranormal community, old school vs. new school, vast differences in opinions about any of the results gained by the equipment, more psudo theories about the paranormal than ever and no end in sight.

Last century, we had the fruitcakes coming out of the woodwork channeling who knows who, dial up psychics on pay to listen telesites and the infamous bendy spoons.

Now we have idiots with hand held widgets scaring the hell out of ppl, finding elvis under every microwave oven and just proving to the general public that most ghost hunters should be back in kindergarden.

An internal board would be nice, equipped with tazers and baseball bats, who would vet any would be hunter before he was released into the unsuspecting public.


Greg

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#9 leslie_dragonlvr

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Posted 29 August 2009 - 11:33 PM

Well if it sells it sells, but heaven for bid we teach them to use it!

Its something that has bothered me for a long time too. I never ewven watchded Ghost Hunters till this past year. But man, now I really know how it effected so many. Then to have a website that sells and others take off with it too...its just rampede out there.

I went to the Ghost World Conference in Gettysburg 2 summers ago. OMG! The people out there in droves with there recorders and cameras. How are you supposed to have a good investigation with so many people running amuck???


Les
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#10 OMPRDave

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Posted 30 August 2009 - 12:22 AM

Why I stay far away from those things ;) ONce at teh Houghton Mansion I found myself surrounded by about a dozen folks in a room that was only about 100 square feet, all with KIIs and Cell Sensors bleeping and chirping and flashing away...was the last pay per hunt I will ever do.
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#11 leslie_dragonlvr

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Posted 30 August 2009 - 10:23 AM

Exactly. Been to a few things, but I find myself walking off from everyone and finding my own space.
While everyone was on the hunt on the Queen Mary, I went to my cabin, only to find a "Captain" sitting in the chair in front of my bed. Being tired and having my hand in a cast, I tried to ignore him and get some sleep. Ended up having to deal with him there most of the night. By this time it wasn't gonna be worth it to get up and try and take any kind of pics. It was more personel by then.

Les
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#12 CaveRat2

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Posted 31 August 2009 - 04:53 PM

I hear you about the pay to hunt places. I avoid those unless it is a private hunt where everyone there is associated with a single group of investigators working as a team, coodnated with each other. In the past I have done mostly private clients, but am redirecting my efforts away from this type of investigation altogether. I am going more into the research end of things, investigating and analyzing new techniques and equipment. I have decided it is pointless to even try to demonstarte proper techniques to those who are content to run around with beeping EMF meters, cheap digital voice recorders, and capturing orbs. Let them have their fun, as long as we have Ghost Chasers on TV, things will never change.....

#13 Redhead

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Posted 04 September 2009 - 11:05 AM

But the medium side also has its share of problems as well. My biggest gripe with them is the attitude, "I know what i know, I don't have to prove anything to anyone". However if the two sides are ever going to get together they will need to prove themselves. consider, if a medium and scientific researcher ever could get together and do a serious study of the medium. The medium is too worried the scientist is trying to just prove them wrong, and the scientist is always asking questions, never taking anything on faith.

Both are right, but from that could come answers. for example suppose the medium could put aside their fears and simply get their impressions while under scientific scrutiny. Of course there will be hits and misses. But the misses don't prove the medium a fake. rather they can, if properly analyzed be used to detect trends. Likewise the hits can genertae patterns. And using scientific study these trends may uncover a pattern which could go on to determine a scientific explanation for how a medium does his thing.

If such a scenario were to come to pass the divide between science and mediums could rapidly be narrowed and the entire field could benefit. All it takes is a little understanding on both sides of the issue.


This has been done, CaveRat. I can't find my book offhand, must have loaned it out, so I can't remember the author's name. I think it's called The True Story of Medium or Medium, the True Story, something like that anyway. The University of Arizona professor who wrote the book conducted several experiments in extremely controlled conditions. One of his test subjects was Alison DuBois and he was quickly amazed at her abilities. These tests were conducted over some time and involved blind testing as well - readings over the phone with Mrs. DuBois not given any information beyond when the conference call was to happen. It would be a three-way conversation, each person in a different location and the person to receive the reading from Mrs. DuBois was not allowed to speak or make a sound. This was to eliminate the possiblility of the psychic from picking up on emotion to deduce if they were on the right track or not. It's interesting reading and I'll try to find the author's name, Schwartz or something, and the right title.


Dave, I know I was glad to have gotten your opinion about kII meters before I headed out to OSR. It saved me some money, that is for sure. I don't know if anything like that would have been of any use in a place like that anyway. CaveRat, we paid what I thought was a lot to go on the investigation there, but I didn't mind when I found out that the proceeds all go to the restoration of this historic site.
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#14 Redhead

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Posted 04 September 2009 - 11:13 AM

Here's the info on the book I was talking about:
http://search.barnes...o...tm=3&usri=1
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#15 Caniswalensis

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Posted 06 September 2009 - 07:58 PM

That is an interesting read, Redhead, and I enjoyed it.

However, no one should take it at face value.

Gary Schwartz did seem to be trying to properly control for things like cold reading, but the design of his experiments did not control for subjective validation at all. Therefore they are worthless as evidence.

Allison DuBois may indeed have psychic powers, but those experiments do not prove that she does.

Regards, Canis

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