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Ovilus


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#1 Ten301

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Posted 15 July 2009 - 10:08 AM

Let me say that I don't know if the Ovilus works or not (I tend to be very skeptical). However, much has been made of the fact that the manufacturer lists on the site that the device is "for entertainmant purposes only". What everyone has to understand is that, for liability reasons, the manufacturer must state this. If not, he could be held legally liable if someone slightly unstable acted in a negative manner on information obtained from the device. This is a standard legal disclaimer, nothing more, so you have to see beyond what you "think" it means. Many people on this site and others have also stated that the manufacturers of their KII meters, digital cameras, etc. do not say that on their sites about their equipment, therefore, the Ovilus must be bogus. That is absolutely meaningless. It is correct that they don't...because they don't have to. They are not claiming their products communicate with or take photos of the dead, that is just how some consumers choose to use them. The manufacturer of the Ovilus implicity makes that claim, even printing "Handheld Paranormal Device" on the product intself, therefore, the manufacturer must have the legal disclaimer. Whether he thinks the device works or not has no bearing on it. I also want to state that I have no connection to Bill Chappell (the manufacturer of the Ovilus). I just wanted to clear-up some of the legal misinterpretation that is out there.

#2 Joven76

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Posted 15 July 2009 - 10:40 AM

Hello Ten301, and welcome to the forum...

I would agree that much has been made about the legal disclaimer on the Ovilus, however for me personally, I believe that it is a device for entertainment purposes only, not for legitimate paranormal research... Please correct me if I'm mistaken, but from what I understand about the device is that it takes readings of EMF & temperature and give that reading a value which corresponds to a word in the Ovilus' database...

The reason I doubt this device is I have yet to see the science behind the process the manufacturer used to determine a particular reading equals a particular word or phrase... Not to mention it has a very limited vocabulary...

It just seems a little sketchy to me (or bogus as you said), but this is only my 2 cents...

Christopher
PB&J Paranormal proudly supports the St. Baldrick's Foundation for childhood cancer research so that all children diagnosed with cancer will have a better chance for a cure.

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#3 Ten301

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Posted 15 July 2009 - 10:48 AM

Hello Ten301, and welcome to the forum...

I would agree that much has been made about the legal disclaimer on the Ovilus, however for me personally, I believe that it is a device for entertainment purposes only, not for legitimate paranormal research... Please correct me if I'm mistaken, but from what I understand about the device is that it takes readings of EMF & temperature and give that reading a value which corresponds to a word in the Ovilus' database...

The reason I doubt this device is I have yet to see the science behind the process the manufacturer used to determine a particular reading equals a particular word or phrase... Not to mention it has a very limited vocabulary...

It just seems a little sketchy to me (or bogus as you said), but this is only my 2 cents...

Christopher



#4 Ten301

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Posted 15 July 2009 - 12:05 PM

Thanks, Christopher.

Yes, I'm also very skeptical of the Ovilus, however, I've never used one, so I'll keep an open mind. My only beef when doing some research on the web was that I continually came across posts from people making statements such as, "It says for entertainment purposed only, so it's obviously just a toy", etc. I thought that was somewhat unfair, as they obviously didn't understand the legal aspects of why the manufacturer has to state that on his site. I believe Parker Brothers also prints a similar disclaimer somewhere on or in the Ouija board package. Yes, that's a toy, and maybe the Ovilus is as well, but the disclaimer is there for the same reason...legal liability.

#5 CaveRat2

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Posted 15 July 2009 - 04:37 PM

I understand legal liability issues, but my problem with the Ovilus has nothing to do with that. I also understand the method the device uses to "communicate" and that method has an inherent flaw.

Words are created by the strength and type of the EM Field the device encounters. A given field will cause the device to speak a certain word. It is assumed that spirits can manipulate this field to cause words and phrases to be developed. The problem is who taught the spirit the exact strength of field needed to create a specific word? If we assume the spirit to be someone passed, where did they gain the knowledge to know exactly how to generate such a series of fields? One might make an argument for them speaking, most people spke when alive, but how many studied the characteristics of the Ovilus? I daresay maybe one or two, tops. Thus it is illogical to assume any spirit can manipulate such a device in a meaningful way, assuming they can manipulate one at all.

#6 Caniswalensis

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Posted 15 July 2009 - 06:35 PM

I understand legal liability issues, but my problem with the Ovilus has nothing to do with that. I also understand the method the device uses to "communicate" and that method has an inherent flaw.

Words are created by the strength and type of the EM Field the device encounters. A given field will cause the device to speak a certain word. It is assumed that spirits can manipulate this field to cause words and phrases to be developed. The problem is who taught the spirit the exact strength of field needed to create a specific word? If we assume the spirit to be someone passed, where did they gain the knowledge to know exactly how to generate such a series of fields? One might make an argument for them speaking, most people spke when alive, but how many studied the characteristics of the Ovilus? I daresay maybe one or two, tops. Thus it is illogical to assume any spirit can manipulate such a device in a meaningful way, assuming they can manipulate one at all.


I agree with you on this, Caverat.

It would be equally as valid to take a magic 8 ball toy and say that the spirits could manipulate the float inside to give the message they wish to. There is no objective data behind it, just assumption.

Canis

"It is proper for you to doubt ... do not go upon report ... do not go upon tradition ... do not go upon hear-say." ~ Buddha


#7 Joven76

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Posted 16 July 2009 - 08:36 AM

Hmmm... A magic 8 ball... Now why didn't I think of that... I'm going to go buy a dozen of those and start using those during my investigations... Heck, I'll market them as the latest paranormal communication device... But I'll make sure to make the legal disclaimer that it's for entertainment purposes only... :)
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#8 boatlesspirate

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Posted 16 July 2009 - 10:24 AM

I personally own an Ovilus FX (Bill only made 20-it has a 1200 word vocabulary and can record/dump the words said to PC). I have had a lot of “interesting coincidences” with this device-names said of people in the room, exact correct numbers given to questions, facts not shared to the group but stated with the device. This wasn’t matrixing as the words were dumped to PC and validated.

Two weeks ago, after an investigation, I went down to my PC in the basement to dump the words from the night before. I turned the Ovilus on and the first word it said was BASEMENT. Mind you, this was a 1 in 1200 chance of saying something in context. Also bare in mind that “something” has to trigger the Ovilus to speak. I have watched it sit perfectly quiet, and then begin to chat away non-stop, with no evident change in the environment. Sometimes it begins to speak with corresponding changes in EMF that we record at the same time with a tri-field; sometimes it doesn’t.

How does this work? I have no idea. Listening to interviews with Bill Chappell, he makes no claims either. Do the spirits manipulate it? Or do we through some kind of Psi? Or is it just a lot of “interesting coincidence?”

Although I respect everyone’s opinion on this board, I have to disagree with the claims that a spirit would need to know the mechanics of the device, and then know the science behind manipulating it. That would be the same as a saying a spirit would need to know quantum physics of gravity and know how to suspend those rules in order to make an item move (a door close, a lamp fall, etc.). What about a spirit knowing how to manipulate the binary code of a digital recorder or camera, when neither the sound was audible, nor the image visible to the naked eye? Yet, we get a class A EVP or phantom image. Again, I have no idea why this works. But I applaud those that keep an open mind hoping to develop these ideas and devices to communicate and/or prove the existence of an afterlife. And FYI, Bill did share that the “entertainment” statement was done for legal reasons.

I’ll leave you with one last recent example. This weekend we did a day investigation at a reputed haunted cemetery. Part of the group was about to leave to look for the trail leading to a farm house foundation, somewhere in a clearing in the woods. That house is claimed to appear and disappear, and even move it’s location. Here are the words, in order, that the Ovilus said. These were recorded on audio, and validated when dumped to PC .

farm
move
field
trail
6

And yes, there were 6 people about to leave.
"How often have I said to you that when you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth?" Sherlock Holmes-Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

#9 kawika

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Posted 16 July 2009 - 01:54 PM

I was just at an event where Bill Chappell spoke and he did say that the disclaimer was done for legal purposes. Of course, standing in front of a bunch of paranormal enthusiasts, he's going to say this, so take it for what you will. He's actually going to stop making the Ovilus shortly and go back to designing some new gadgets that will operate in conjunction with the iPhone and Android. It's an interesting concept that does raise some questions about whather or not he can compensate for cell signals (is he going to recommend the cell phone be turned off at that point?) as well as a couple of other things.

But regarding the Ovilus, itself, my personal slant has always leaned toward the question of how does a spirit, if that is indeed what is coming through, know what they're saying through the Ovilus? How do we know if what comes out of the Ovilus is that which is intended? Yes, the spirit, theoretically, can alter EMF, localized temperature and/or barometric pressure, etc. But is it skillful in doing so? Just like each of us having our own strengths, wouldn't they have skills, talents, or knowledge that make them more proficient in one aspect of possible communication over another? We certainly shouldn't assume they are masters of every environmental variable. So, I've come to think tht the Ovilus can produce some interesting coincidences. When I was on the USS Hornet (where I saw Mr. Chappell speak), when the unit hit my hand, it immediately said, "Hi", "Name", something I don't remember, something I couldn't make out, "Military", and "Upstairs". Incidentally, this was shortly after a docent told me I wanted to ask if we could go to the CIC, upstairs, later that evening. Certainly interesting, but also certainly not proof.

In any case, I believe the Ovilus would be best served by two things: One is repeated use in the same environment. I think there can definitely be a learning curve involved for a spirit. After all, how long did it take us to master speaking and writing? The second is verification via a second instrument. Let's have the spirit, confirm that what the Ovilus is saying is what they intend to say via EMF meter, K2, tug of the shirt sleeve, or whatever else works for them and us as a clear signal.

Of course, the trick is, for some of us, finding a reliably active place that will allow repeated access for this sort of thing.

Edited by kawika, 16 July 2009 - 01:55 PM.


#10 CaveRat2

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Posted 17 July 2009 - 04:23 PM

To make the claim that a spirit would need to understand gravity is quite different than the scenario of a spirit manipulating an Ovilus. Consider the door you mentioned. For a spirit to close the door all that would be needed would be to apply a force to it. That could be any of several theoretical possibilities, wind, pressure, electrical charge, whatever. There is a physical surface, the door, for the spirit to act on.

But the Ovilus is quite different. Simply putting physical force to the sensor is not going to make it react. It requires an EM field to create a voltage proportional to the strength of the field. The strength is divided into different levels, each assigned to a particular word in the device's vocabulary. Now if the Ovilus used a keyboard of some type one might make the qrgument that the spirit activated certain keys or switches to create phrases. This would be a learnable skill, just as we learn to select the appropriate key on the keyboard to create words.

But even if we assume the spirit affects EM Fields, consider, how does it know what level creates the desired word. An analogy might put this in perspective:

Suppose you had a push button in front of you. Depending on how hard you force the button down the device it is attached to will speak 200 words. Now suppose its range of operation went from 1 ounce of pressure to about 12 pounds. Each ounce you change the pressure will result in a different word being spoken. Your task will be to create meaningful phrases by varying the presure on the button. That's 200 possible words in the vocabulary. I'll even make it easy for you, give you something the spirit doesn't have, I'll give you a list of how much pressure is needed to create each word.

Now all you have to do is first press the button with just the precise amount of force for the desired word, the pressure must be accurate to within the 1 ounce window for that word (otherwise you'll get the wrong word!) And you must do this seemlessly enough so words can be joined to form phrases or sentences.

You can test whether you can learn this skill yourself using a simple scale. Here are 5 weights that you must press the scale to. You must immediately go to the stated weight without error and hold it for 1 second, then go to the next one in the same manner The 5 weights would represent 5 word phrase. Ready? You have 5 seconds to get your scale to display these 5 weights within one ounce.

1 lb 17 oz
2lbs 3 oz.
4 lbs 10 oz.
1 lb 5 oz.
and to finish, 6 lbs 12 oz.

Now remember if you failed to hit the exact weight within 1 second, you word would be incorrect. Now imagine a spirit manipulating an EM Field at this degree of proficiency, and WITHOUT the benefit of a list of words.

Quite a daunting task I must say, almost unbelievable, especially when all the spirit might otherwise need to do is create an EVP! And if we accept the as yet unproven theory that spirits create or manipulate EM Fields, the EVP certainly would not rquire the precision that creating a digital signal would.

And finally, if someone is wondering about how such a field is manipulated to record on a digital recorder, one needs to keep in mind the input stages of a digital recorder are analog. It is not neccessary for digital manipulation to take place. Analog manipulation would be converted to digital by the recorder's A to D converter, even though it was not heard at the time it was recorded.

#11 boatlesspirate

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Posted 18 July 2009 - 02:06 PM

Great analogy CaveRat! Now imagine that you took your hypothetical push button device to-

The Coronado Theater where one of the on-site deaths was due to a light exploding and you asked the spirit what it did in the theater and the reply came back "Lights"

The grave site of deceased parents and the very first word said was "Parent"

The Lincoln Theater where a hotel burned to the ground in 1915 on the same site, killing two people. And right after discussing the fire the device says "Ashes-Heat-Run"

A seance before 500 people and while the medium stands before a person named Nancy, whose late Father's name was George, who had 10 dogs in his lifetime, the device says "Nancy, George, Dogs, Us, 10"

That would be unbelievable and defy explanation. I agree. But I, along with many people witnessed the Ovilus do just that. And those are just examples from the last 6 months. Remember, the odds of saying something in context is 1 in 512 with the Ovilus I and 1 in 1200 with the Ovilus FX. And to say several words, in order, in context . . . well the odds must be pretty high. On the contrary, I have used the Ovilus many times where it said absolutely nothing in context, or even sat silent the entire time. More often than not it does nothing. The somethings it does though, are pretty darn unbelievable.

I don't claim to know how it works. And I do agree that expecting a spirit to manipulate the Ovilus is pretty unbelievable. Maybe someday, we'll all have the answer.

Great discussion. Take care!!
"How often have I said to you that when you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth?" Sherlock Holmes-Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

#12 kawika

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Posted 18 July 2009 - 02:54 PM

boatless,

You've got me thinking a bit now...and that's never a good thing. Well, at least, that's what my friends tell me.

Anyhoo, what I'm thinking is about the law of averages and random chance. I have heard the Ovilus spout out nonsense and then something that seemingly applies to a specific situation. So maybe what needs to be done is to record everything the Ovilus puts out, put it through a statistical analysis, and see if responses that are related to something you are discussing, the place you're in, or a person in the group rise above statistical randomness.

Of course, the challenge, as with any medium, is to determine what is specific enough to count as a hit and what is just generalized babble that hits by accidents. Of course, if the hits come frequently enough, your statistics will rise above the threshold of random hits, as well. For the regular Ovilus, there is a 1 in 512 chance for a random hit. But if you can record that your hits would stand up to even greater odds than that, then you might have something there.

Of course, then the question could become is it a spirit communicating through the Ovilus or is someone affecting the device through the use of psi?

Round and round she goes!

#13 CaveRat2

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Posted 20 July 2009 - 03:49 PM

You also need to consider where in the Ovilus's vocabulary the address value for certain words resides. Suppose for example, (only speculating here because I don't have the code set for the device.) that the words, ashes, fire, run reside somewhat near each other. Thus if any of these were activated the chances are very good a slight shift in field intensity would catch the others too. Thus the odds are not 1 in 512, rather since three addresses are considered they become 3 in 512. And since they reside near each other the odds are rather good that activation of one of these words would also trigger the others near it, which just happen to carry a similar theme.

One must consider the number of misses as well, along with the similarity factor mentioned above, if you want to even start working with probability. There is a level where random chance will give you an answer that may fit, but you also have to consider if any other answer maight have been equally suitable. Even a broken clock is right twice a day, (well maybe not the digital ones!)

#14 Purple_Sky

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Posted 01 December 2009 - 12:12 AM

My experience with the Ovilus so far has been pretty amazing. I actually am pretty surprised.

When we first turned it on, it seemed to just spew a bunch of random words. It then got quiet for a few seconds and then started in with some crazy stuff. It said, "house, divided, unit". Our house is an old mansion that was divided in two two units. It said "Captain, before peace." The man who built the house was a Captain in the Civil War. It then said, "Port, Engines, War" and then said, "Mob, race, mob, here, race, no choice, married." We weren't sure what this was about.

I learned after this that the Captain who lived here and built this house sold the house to another man. He was a Colonel and was involved with the Battle of Fort Fischer, the last southern port of the civil war to fall. Unfortunately in 1898 the Colonel was attached by a mob (along with 5 other men) that tried to kill them for their support of African American politics (they were white and originally Yankees). A mob came to this very home late one night to force the Colonel to walk away from his stand to protect black voters.

Coincidental? Maybe. Seemed pretty specific to me

It is worth mentioning that we have a number of other things happening here that are unexplained. Steps up and down the hall every morning, my back and head touched, cold spots, emf off the charts.

#15 dvd

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Posted 01 December 2009 - 10:50 PM

does it have an audio out?

i'd love to amp it and use a ghost as like backup vocals at our next show...

if it's too shy to perform, i'm sure it could help with rad lyrics or something...




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