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Thanks You Skeptics


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#1 space ghost

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Posted 04 September 2012 - 06:15 PM

A couple of years ago I joined a local "ghost hunting" crew that had been well established for a considerable amount of time. Having been interested in the field I felt very fortunate to had been given the opportunity. When I had my first meeting with them they handed me a binder with what they told me was their best evidence collected to date and what I found myself thumbing through were the most compelling photographs I had ever seen. These were not just orbs or other "is it or isn't it" anomalies but real proof! Or so I thought...
When the group founder decided to re-release these photos to the public via their website I decided to take things a step further and offer links to these photos on Ghostvillage. I was very interested in what type of reaction would be generated.
The Skeptics were all over it and questioned every detail. I was overwhelmed became defensive and did not know how to properly respond to what I had regarded at the time as negative feedback. I decided to forward all of the correspondence that had taken place to the founder of our group believing that where as she had been doing this for so long she would be well equipped to know how to address the situation. Her reaction was far from what I had expected.
I was told to immediately remove the posts containing any images or links pertaining to the photographs and that I may NOT release information again without the consent of the entire "team". At this point I knew something wasn't right and from then on questioned EVERYTHING. After digging around I discovered an ex-member who left the group weeks prior to my arrival. At first he was reluctant to tell me why exactly it was he left but when I told him I felt as though something smelled like Photoshop he told me the truth. It was all a hoax. He even sent me a program that would help me analyze the photos to see it for myself. Later I would discover fake EVPs and even a member attempting to fake one herself by disguising her voice.
When I quit the team all of the members other then the founder wanted to know why I left. I could not give them the answers they wanted without just coming out with it. They were my friends and had all invested a lot of time and money and although I was threatened to be sued for "defacing" a company name I told them everything. Of course they were in denial but I couldn't blame them. This project had become there life. Not more then a week later the group collapsed after a client took it upon themselves to have photo evidence analyzed. Apparently the image of a well known European painting had been layered onto one of the photographs.
So again thank you Skeptics. You saved me from going down with the ship and I am grateful.

#2 Puti

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Posted 05 September 2012 - 12:50 AM

My Dad had this saying that I got so sick of hearing when I was a kid. Probably didn't understand what he was getting at until it came out of my mouth when I had children of my own.
"Don't believe anything you hear, and half of what you see." As an adult I realized Dad didn't want us to follow after anything without questioning. Question everything! Find your own answers, I'm sure he was trying to get across to us.
"We grow neither better or worse as we get old, but more like ourselves."May L. BeckerCoffee.......the foundation of consciousness

#3 CaveRat2

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Posted 05 September 2012 - 10:41 AM

Too typical of how many groups operate. They claim the evidence as their property (it isn't, it actually belongs to the client unless he signs a waiver giving up his rights). They get possessive of what they do, don't work with others, and think it's all about them and what a good job they are doing. When one encounters a group like that, RUN , as fast as you can in the other direction!.

As a long time investigator I can tell you how a real investigator handles evidence. First off, they tear it apart every way they can. Only what survives their scrutiny is considered evidence worth keeping. But it's not over yet! Now it is released to other investigators actually asking for them to debunk it. That way, if I missed something someone else can show me my error. But it is not just a matter of calling it, they also must explain how they made that determination. In the end, if they can do that, the evidence is debunked but more importantly, I have learned something to be watchful for and that will make me a better investigator in the future.

If no one debunks it I may release it and call it good evidence. But even then it is not done with. Technology advances, and what may have looked good might be questioned even years later. So even good evidence can be refuted provided explanations are provided.

In the end I do not become upset and threaten legal action when questioned. That is just rediculous. It is not about me rather it is about explaining things and finding answers. That is why we investigate, not for notoriety or fame. Groups who take that approach will survive long term. The others will disintegrate in short order and to that I say good riddance..

#4 Cryscat

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Posted 05 September 2012 - 08:12 PM

Puti - I heard the same thing as a kid... Like you, it took getting to adulthood for me to figure out what it meant.

I have a little program that tells me if a photo has been altered. It doesn't tell me how it was altered, just that it was.
Don't take life too seriously, no one ever gets out alive.

#5 Puti

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Posted 05 September 2012 - 11:07 PM

Cryscat, That saying of Dad's that irked me so as a kid must have gotten into me strong enough that it's almost my motto. I've taught it to my children and now my grankids.

Sometimes my responses on the board may sound like I don't think the poster should listen to other's opinions, but that's not it. Listen to it all. Then and only then make up your own mind.
Especially when I say "what do your gut-feelings tell you about that photo" or whatever it is. It's easy to just ask another person to tell you what's going on and settle on their answer. It's harder to really investigate it yourself and rule out all mundane things first before jumping to conclusions.

I'd call CaveRat! :)
"We grow neither better or worse as we get old, but more like ourselves."May L. BeckerCoffee.......the foundation of consciousness

#6 canuck

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Posted 18 September 2012 - 10:54 PM

Too typical of how many groups operate. They claim the evidence as their property (it isn't, it actually belongs to the client unless he signs a waiver giving up his rights). They get possessive of what they do, don't work with others, and think it's all about them and what a good job they are doing. When one encounters a group like that, RUN , as fast as you can in the other direction!.

As a long time investigator I can tell you how a real investigator handles evidence. First off, they tear it apart every way they can. Only what survives their scrutiny is considered evidence worth keeping. But it's not over yet! Now it is released to other investigators actually asking for them to debunk it. That way, if I missed something someone else can show me my error. But it is not just a matter of calling it, they also must explain how they made that determination. In the end, if they can do that, the evidence is debunked but more importantly, I have learned something to be watchful for and that will make me a better investigator in the future.

If no one debunks it I may release it and call it good evidence. But even then it is not done with. Technology advances, and what may have looked good might be questioned even years later. So even good evidence can be refuted provided explanations are provided.

In the end I do not become upset and threaten legal action when questioned. That is just rediculous. It is not about me rather it is about explaining things and finding answers. That is why we investigate, not for notoriety or fame. Groups who take that approach will survive long term. The others will disintegrate in short order and to that I say good riddance..


Seems that you have a solid and acceptable approach to your investigations; however I have a few questions:

1. What do you do with the results of your investigations?
2. Given that you have conducted some investigations, could you post one or two to this site that we may read them?

#7 CaveRat2

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Posted 19 September 2012 - 09:18 AM

1. In the case of private investigations, the results of the investigations are given to the client. They are also retained in my files for later reference and study by myself and other researchers who may request specific data. The sharing of such results are determined by the client who retains ownership of the data. I have 3 levels of confidentiality. The least restrictive allows me to share case histories and most details (except personal or contact info). The most restrictive limits any sharing to genral summaries of the case only no details that could be used to locate or identify the people involved. There is a second level in between which allows for some limited sharing; this is the one most people choose.

2 Regarding the posting of case data our association has a policy that prevents the posting of evidence data on any site where we do not maintain control over the operation, i.e. have admin priviledges. The reason for this is we must retain the ability at any time to add or delete data should conditions warrant. That said however I can and do provide case data from time to time on my own website (within the limitations set by confidentiality as determined by clients) and that information is freely available to anyone who visits. This data is updated regularly if a new investigation is done so it may change at times and sometimes if nothing new is going on there may be none posted. I usually do try to keep it limited to current work being done.. The link is in my sig below., and if something is added I often place a post with a direct link in an appropriate topic in the forums.

I am currently working on a case and will be posting a general summary of events shortly. Actual data is still under the control of the lead investigator of that case and will be made available at his discretion. Analysis is still ongoing. I will be posting my preliminary summary of my part in the investigation here under the "Evidence" topic shortly. I should point out it will cover only the areas I was involved with, not a complete investigation summary.

Edited by CaveRat2, 19 September 2012 - 09:21 AM.





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