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Standard Operation Procedure?

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#1 brandyrun


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Posted 15 May 2009 - 11:40 PM

I have an idea of how I would like my team to carry out our SOP, however I thought I might see what everyone else does. We do base readings at the beginning of an investigation and so on, but how often do you guys do readings? Do you go every hour or however often or do you wait for an alarm to go off somewhere before you do something? Do you try getting EVPs in every room or just one room? What about video? How does your team operate when it comes to actually obtaining potential evidence? Right now we do routine walkthroughs to see if any cold spots have appeared (like every hour) and anything unusual or of notable change is documented. If an alarm sounds everyone scrambles with equipment to see what kind of readings we can get and EVPs are tried for then as well. Pics and Video are off and on at random. Just curious what others are doing and if there is a standard protocol somewhere that someone could refer me to? TIA!

#2 Joven76


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Posted 16 May 2009 - 06:29 AM

The one thing to remember is we are dealing with the unknown, so there isn't a "standard protocol"... Each team investigates differently which yeilds different results... It really depends on the tools that you use...

Our SOP is somewhat similar to yours, with a few minor differences... We of course take baseline readings before we begin any investigation... This way we can monitor any changes during the investigation... But we are taking readings constantly... Our EMF meters, thermometers, and barometers are running constantly to see if there are any changes... We even have a thermometer and barometer setup that is a data logger, so we don't have to constantly monitor it and can focus our attention to visual and audio readings...

We try to take video constantly... Just because the investigation may be finished in one room does not mean paranormal activity won't happen, so we try to be prepared... We try to cover the entire house with audio too... Just because we're in 1 room, doesn't mean something isn't happening in another room... Also, having multiple recorders set up can help if you catch the location of any audio and perhaps debunk it... For example, if you have a recorder set up in a kitchen and catch some kind of audio, but is very faint, and you have another recorder placed somewhere else that catches the same audio but is louder, you can see where that audio came from... Also, in the same regards, the faint audio could be mistaken as an EVP, but the one that has a louder capture could possibly explain what was heard on the other recorder... My team has caught debunked some audio that way... I'll give you an example.... My team was in a bedroom conducting an EVP session... On a recorder placed in the living room, we heard the word "sometimes", but it was very faint... At the same time on the recorder in the bedroom with us, one of our investigators said the word sometimes... There were also a couple other recorders that caught this at the exact some time... So what was caught in the living room that could have been mistaken as an EVP was in fact us because we were able to hear that on other recorders...

As for alarms, we handle that differently... If we hear something going on in a different room, because there are multiple members of my team, we only send a couple of people to investigate, while the others stay behind... We are of the mind set that what could be happening could be a distraction to get us to leave a certain area and possibly missing other activity...

Also, no one investigates alone... There's safety in numbers...

I can see where routine walkthroughs would be a good idea after you've finished investigating in one room to see if there are any changes, so that's a good idea...

As you can see, we take a more scientific approach to the paranormal where there are some teams that utilize a more spiritual approach using psychics, mediums, and such... Their SOP is similar, but different...

Investigating is a trial and error process... You do what works best for you and your team... But at the same time, you need to make sure you've covered all of your bases too... Make sure you have done your research and have the evidence to back it up... If you believe that you will get results by everyone investigating alarms, then do it... If you want to take audio readings only in the rooms you're investigating at that time, do it... No one team has the best standard of operations, but we all try to conform to a similar one... I believe you're on the right track so keep it up...

Good luck....

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#3 brandyrun


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Posted 16 May 2009 - 02:00 PM

Hi Christopher and thank you so much for your detailed response. I LOVED your blip about the EVP session. I am wanting to set up recorders in several places as well. Team management is new to me so I am always wanting to learn new things to help my team be successful and confident. Thanks again!

#4 CaveRat2


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Posted 18 May 2009 - 09:18 AM

I do a preliminary scan using a dynamic EMF monitor first to isolate any hotspots which should be noted. These might be power lines in walls, etc. By locating these first I know what areas may result in false positives and avoid them.

Next I will position a static EMF monitor about the center of the area to be investigated. This will be nulled out and left on throughout the investigation to detect any changes in the background EM Field levels due to outside influences.

From here on it becomes more specialized. Sometimes I may concentrate more on video, other time EVPs. The exact protocols change depending on the type of study. If EVP related I will place mics or inductive pickups (sometimes both) in the target area. These will be cabled back to the monitoring area to the recorders. Often I will also place a video camera in the target area to watch for any disturbance of the mics or other anomalies. This to is cabled back to the monitor area. No one is in the target area unless a communication effort is made, then that person will enter and be within camera range at all times while the communication effort continues. This assures no hoaxing attempts can be made.

In short I do all monitoring from outside the target area, nop cameras are carried around, and no recorders are moved while an EVP session is underway.

The use of thermometers and environmental monitoring also continues throughout the investigation on an as needed basis. Power consumption is also monitored since all power is provided from a rechargable power module. The status of batteries is monitored constantly from the source, no unexplained power drains can occur since the amp-hour ratings and charge status is monitored and logged at all times.

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