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EMF Detectors Useless or Not


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#1 Brandon

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Posted 10 November 2003 - 09:20 AM

      Well i have been using a EMF Detector in all of my investigations since i started investigating.  I have found out that most of the time i do get some sort of reading i am able to explain it i mean there are always underground power lines, Above ground Power lines, Transformers, and even a flash on a camera and a camcorder can set an emf detector off, now it just seems to me that emf detectors are not very useful to an investigation and not as accurate as they are made out to be.

#2 NocturnalCantaloupe

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Posted 10 November 2003 - 09:30 AM

I agree, as do many that I converse with on the subject.
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#3 Bangin

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Posted 10 November 2003 - 09:42 AM

I was in a cemetery one night when my EMF meter began acting very strange.  I believe I said, "this thing isn't working right".  Oddly enough, after reviewing the tape recorder, a child's giggle is heard just before I made the above comment.  

I don't use an EMF meter much, so I am not as experienced with the device as others may be.  My EMF meter is probably of poor quality, but I'm sure there are better designed EMF meters available for the ghost hunter.  I choose to fill my hands with other equipment.   ;)
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#4 flyingorb

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Posted 11 November 2003 - 06:14 AM

I do not use an EMF detector, but our group sometimes does.  Problem is as you have already observed, that there are many mundane sources that will trigger the detector.  Perhaps the best use would be to leave the detector in one place so that any moving EM source will trigger it.  Realise though that if the sensitivity is set too high it will trigger even if a person enters the monitored area.  It is also capable of triggering if a person is in the next room, even through a wall!  Possible false positives (and trying to tinker with something that sensitive in the dark) are the reason I won't carry one.
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#5 krcguns

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Posted 11 November 2003 - 06:48 AM

I used to use mine more often than I do now.  I kind of have my own emf meter in my back.  I get a chill that will run right down my spine when a spirit is near.  So far it has been way more accuarate and it is impossible to get a false positive.  I don't think I would throw it out though since they do serve a purpose but the are fairly difficult to use thus making them less practical. ;D
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#6 Rockhauler2k1

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Posted 11 November 2003 - 12:41 PM

A compass makes for a great EMF detector but has most of  the same falibilities as an EMF device.

Used properly , they are a great tool but the problem is that most folks dont pay enough attention to outside sources while using them.


Just my take ,

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#7 Brandon

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Posted 11 November 2003 - 01:38 PM

   Yeah I once got overly excited because my emf detector was getting high readings but later found out it was just an underground power line.

#8 MorgueChild

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Posted 11 November 2003 - 07:08 PM

I agree with Brandon on EMF detectors. But I think they are useful in cemeteries (at least most of them) since they don't have anything to trigger the electricity like powerlines etc. But I once got exicited too when my EMF went crazy and found out it was an underground powerline! We followed it about 50 yards with the same readings all the way down the ditch that supposedly was haunted! Talk about dissapointment!  :-/

#9 Brandon

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Posted 11 November 2003 - 07:28 PM

 yes morguechild its very dissapointing to find out an underground power line is your source of false readings.

#10 Selemat

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Posted 23 November 2003 - 07:33 PM

I would never consider conducting an investigation without my EMF detector.  The trick to using an EMF detector is to remember that you are not looking for the highest consistent reading.  That would indicate something like a fuse box.  You are looking for an unexpected blip, a sudden burst of energy detectable only in one confined space.  If you move the detector two feet in any direction, the energy reading drops dramatically.  Probably 95% of the time when the detector picks up energy, I can trace the energy back to the source, such as wiring in the wall or a fuse box.  When one of the other investigators in the group takes a picture because my EMF detector identifies a sudden unexplained burst of energy, we get a cool picture, usually orbs, about half the time.  The only tool I have used which is a more reliable orb/mist spotter is my dog.  Whenever he stares blankly into space, I always get a good photo.

Bangin alluded to the other reason I like using an EMF detector.  Many people tend to dismiss EVPs as background noise or radio interference and orbs as merely dust.  I would think that having multiple indicators--an abnormal EMF reading, a photograph, an EVP, or even a spine-tingling feeling--would serve to enhance the credibility of the evidence gathered.

#11 NocturnalCantaloupe

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Posted 24 November 2003 - 06:27 AM

Good info and points Selemat. I am trying to put together a set of experiments that entail using EVP with EMF readers.
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Posted 24 November 2003 - 07:00 AM

I was trying to stay out of this but...

In advance, no disrespect intended to those fans of the EMF detector, but here's a thought...

Who said (originally) ghosts create, manipulate, or change ambient electro-magentic fields? What studies (third part/repeatable) have shown a correlation between EMF and paranormal phenomena?

Actually, let me address that last item...

Dr. Michael Persinger did do a set of repeatable experiments where he bombarded subjects with elevated electro-magnetic energy and did, indeed, prove beyond a shadow of a doubt, that increased EMF (even in bursts) do cause frontal-lobe hallucinations. I used to really argue these findings (even though the experiments were extremely well doumented) until Project Hessdalen (Erland Strands work within Østfold University College in Norway), a more "paranormal friendly" (at least, open minded science-friendly) group also produced the same results with the same parameters.

Ergo: The only solid proof using repeated and documented evidence about high EMF and "the paranormal" is that there is a correlation between high and spiking electro-magnetic fields and hallucinations.

Last time I was at a sceptics meeting (although I am not an "official" sceptic and if the moniker "sceptic" must be applied to me, I'm a believer in ghostly phenomena who reserves judgement in causation... I doubt, I don't deny...) I mentioned this to one of the heads of the organization...

Said to him was...

"It strikes me that all the ghost-hunters and investigators running about finding high EM fields at haunted locations are simply justifying Dr. Persinger's work and therefore, proving the possibility that people on the site who experience a ghost are hallucinating."

The fellow, far from discussing or arguing gave us a big smile and then walked away...  Message?

Next thing is that there seems to be VERY limited information/data collection to show any firm correlation between high/spiked EMF and ghosts when "paranormal phenomena" seems to occur.

In fact, Patrick Huygh and Hillary Evans in several cases in their books have said they have seen/been in the area when poltergiest activity has been "happening" while taking a mean EMF reading and got zip. The GHRS has also found the same to be true with one case of phenomena "seen" by multiple witnesses while an EMF meter showed an increase in the ambient reading while the phenomena happened vs. over sixty-seven situations where the phenomena was reported by mulitple persons with no correlating EMF jump of any level.

Also, to say that EVP or Orb photography is more prevelant during an electro-magnetic "jump" is a bit self defeating. Since cassette tapes (video and audio) work via magnetic writing and reading, if any noises (unless a very clear voice and with a good amount of witnesses available and preferably videotaped as well as audiotaped) are collected, they would be frought with issues... You would need a fully shielded tape unit (the whole instrument would need to be RF and EM shielded from mechanism to mic) to get a viable sample... of course, if it's just for your own edification as opposed to displaying the findings as "proof", it's cool to do what you'd like.
As for orb photos, since there is a plethora of data to show that orb photos can/might/are (depending on your views) dust and airborne particles, showing a high ambient electro-magenetic field in the area of this would only bolster the concept of airborne, suspended particles. Again, if the photos are for yourself only, no worries... if being presented as "proof"...

Effectively, in my opinion, with little evidence (other than provided above) "we" ghost investigators and researchers have leaped on the EMF bandwagon without any clear-cut evidence that this is a proper course of action. Worse yet, the "evidence" collected by too many people in the field is bolstering the hypothesis that it's truly all in our heads.

See http://www.torontogh...org/emfmyth.htm for details...

Like I said, I'm just playing devil's advocate and no disrespect intended.

#13 NocturnalCantaloupe

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Posted 24 November 2003 - 07:32 AM

No disrespect at all, Some great points for sure! In fact, smoe points everyone so really look at deeply.

I just watched a show last night, explaining how Earthquakes are accompanied by large electromagnitic activity.  This in turn can create what is called ball lightning.  The science part of the show was trying to explain how Paul (Saul) "saw" God while on the road, therefore changing his tune about Christianity.  

One of their tests involved placing a "EMF" helmet (can recreate the effects of heavy EMF activity like an earthquake).  80% of the teset subjects noted that they strongly felt a presence in the room with them.

I can easily see why you mention the fact that the evidence being presented is fueling the Skeptics.  Afterall, if it's proven that heavy Electromagnetic activity can indeed be proven to cuase hallucinations and feelings of "presence", then the EMF spikes and data collected at sites considered haunted would indeed hint to that haunted sites are nothing more than EMF "hotspots" thereby creating hallucinations and strange sensations.


Here's a question or two.

Do you think there is then indeed some solid evidence that then would support that some hauntings are indeed only high EMF active sites, thereby creating hallucinations and "artificial" sensations?

Do you think there may be some sort of connection between Electromagnatism and the human spirit?
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#14

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Posted 24 November 2003 - 08:05 AM

Do you think there is then indeed some solid evidence that then would support that some hauntings are indeed only high EMF active sites, thereby creating hallucinations and "artificial" sensations?

I would say that there's a lot of evidence to suggest this can be the case in some situations... but I also pointed out that not only myself but other researchers have noted that there has been the opposite... phenomena happening with no real change in ambient EM readings.

One has to look at all reports on a "case-by-case" and base decisions on that. Are *ALL* cases high EMF Hallucinations? Not a chance. Should that possibility then be ignored? No.

My point - We, as investigators and researchers, accept a little too much on "faith" and because "vox populi" says it's so without looking hard into the causation and original hypothesis. I hope no one would argue with me on this.

Since I have admitted that I have experienced what I consider to be "ghostly phenomena" first hand on several occasions, I won't say that each time was some sort of hallucination... but I won't discount that concept either.

Latching on to the "EMF Changes = Ghosts/Ghostly Phenomena" bandwagon so hard is reminscent of the Society for Psychical Research latching on, as it did, to the RSPK theory... No guarantees either are perfect.

What about ELF? Infrasound/Standing Sound Waves?

There's a ton of "natural" explanations that are "possible" as well as "supernatural" reasons for causation. Long and the short of it is, we honestly do not know... none of us. It's all hypothesis, theorem, conjecture, and faith. So far, no solid evidence... except... we do have solid evidence in the form of repeatable experimentation that EMF (and ELF, Infrasound, Standing Sound Waves) does have a direct correlation to hallucinations...

In my eyes, this means when "accepting" this sort of evidence, we must be wary of what conclussions the investigator/researcher is trying to draw. Have they done proper controlled "mean" readings? Is there correlation? Does correlation equal causation?? (The last one, unless good evidence is provided to "prove" it is, should always be answered "No.")

Do you think there may be some sort of connection between Electromagnatism and the human spirit?


Are we 100% sure that all ghosts are human (or other living organisms) spirits? EM and living entities are definitely related as we all have an ambient EM field, but is that what ends up constituting a "ghost"?

My point again, is this fact or hypothesis? If it's hypothesis, what evidence and experiments are being presented and why?

I often say that I believe in ghostly phenomena but as to causation, my juries out so therefore, I cannot say if I personally believe that there is "sort of connection between Electromagnatism and the human spirit" as, to date, there have been no real efforts made to do controlled, repeatable experiments to see if a correlation exists...

The only evidence I've seen that was repeated and controled showed that there is a correlation between electromagnetism and any organism as far as a biochemical and biological point...

Do I personally believe that there is a correlation between EM and ghosts, the research SEEMS to point that there may very well *not* be... except using the data from Project Hessdalen and Dr. Persinger which can't make a believer (of which I am) very happy if their pet theory is ghosts exist outside of our own mind...

(In point: I'm not unhappy... I just say "Well, EMF is only one thing out of how many different concepts?" and move on.)

I can't and won't argue what is the "final causation" of what is a "ghost" (a term I believe we're far to happy to load too many different bits of phenomena into as a "lump" when not everything fits) as, like I said, my jury's out.

I just think that before we all get swept up in taking EMF readings and getting excited at "jumps" and "spikes" equalling ghosts, we may want to step back and say "Why is that?"

Again, I'm not trying to be a horses patoot, I'm just stating my opinion... No disrespect intended.

#15 MoonChild

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Posted 24 November 2003 - 08:57 AM

Again, I'm not trying to be a horses patoot, I'm just stating my opinion... No disrespect intended.

You are welcome buddy.

One has to look at all reports on a "case-by-case" and base decisions on that. Are *ALL* cases high EMF Hallucinations? Not a chance. Should that possibility then be ignored? No.


This is something everyone should keep in mind. the possibility Just because once something is proved that may not be the case always, and vice versa. And this is exactly why it is called PARA NORMAL. If it could be easily manipulated as saying (a+B)2, things would have been easy. But here, the activity really does depends on various factors that cannot just be put as constant.

Since I have admitted that I have experienced what I consider to be "ghostly phenomena" first hand on several occasions, I won't say that each time was some sort of hallucination... but I won't discount that concept either.


I go with you on that.
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