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#16 OMPRDave

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Posted 17 January 2009 - 04:42 PM

HE delves deeper and he's absolutely right...one of the problems facing paranormal research is the complete ignorance of the equipment being used, and how the limitations of the devices can predetermine the outcome. These outcomes, many times amazing, just can't be accepted as quality evidence to support or prove there is paranormal activity taking place where it was recorded.

And this goes for video recording, photography, audio recording, even emf and elf meters. Go to one of these functions where there are fifty to a hundred people running around with Cell-Sensors that they bought from the promoter and ask them what frequency the spirit is being detected on...heck, ask them how the thing works. I'll bet dollars to donuts that the most frequent answer you'll get is "it picks up magnetic fields that prove there is a spirit in the vicinity". It's because the majority of people who get into paranormal research do so after watching a few episodes of Ghost Hunters or one of the other shows and basically imitate what they see. They don't know how the stuff works, but it's doing just what it did on television. Hey, when I first began I fell into the same trap (thank God I didn't waste tons of money on useless stuff like I've seen many other teams do).

To really simplify things, here are two ideas that I think would gather better results all around:

1.) Focus more on the physical reaction that a supposed entity will present in it's environment by using equipment properly - meaning in a manner that it was intended to be used. Keep notes, more notes, and when you think you have enough, take even more notes. Find correlations in the data you recorded before jumping onto somebody else's hypothetical band wagon.

2.) TAKE MORE NOTES! Be so anal about recording every little aspect of a paranormal occurrence that it becomes impossible to contradict the findings later on. Oh, make sure to know how the equipment works again, it's limitations, and discard anything that was recorded in a manner that goes against that. Limit the introduction of bad data, and the what is left will hopefully point in new directions into figuring out what is going on, and advancing the study productively.

If you think about it, the field is really just running in circles. The only real significant advancements I've seen come FROM the scientific community in their attempts to reproduce the experiences of a haunting (Dr. Michael Persinger and his studies of the affects of EM radiation on the brain, for example). Oh, I'm sure many will stomp their feet and bring up those silly ghost boxes and K-II meters and the AMAZING results they've brought us. They'll overrun us with photographs loaded with orbs and mists and EVPS that sound like the original Cylons from Battlestar Galactica. They'll keep talking to their K-IIs and go home happy that they were able to speak with the dead.

So I say delve deep, and if it hurts somebody's feelings, oh well. Imagine how people felt when word came back that Columbus hadn't sailed off the face of the face of the Earth? Must have been alot of people who really felt slighted at first who suddenly had to admit that their way wasn't right and that they didn't know everything.

Let's say that you've been doing your own tune-ups on your car. You think it's running great, but one day the head gasket lets go and you find yourself getting towed to the garage. The mechanic tells you that you've been using the wrong type of oil and it broke down the seals in your engine. Would you feel like he was talking down to you and telling you that what you've been doing isn't right just to slight the job you've been doing to keep your car running? Probably not - you'd be thankful he pointed out the mistake so you won't make it again in the future. What Caverat (Jim) does is point out a professional opinion based on his experience with the equipment and technique for capturing EVPS correctly. I don't think he goes overboard in his opinions of other's submissions at all. On the contrary; I think it's the responses he gets for his educated opinions that are often way too defensive. Whether it's feeling like his opinion threatens their beliefs or not being willing to admit that they don't know what they don't know about the equipment, it happens time and time again?

Not knowing everything is the first step to escaping the trap of ignorance. being able to listen to those that know and learning from them is how anybody can improve themselves, no matter what the endeavor they pursue. I would hope that many that feel like their beliefs are being attacked or who can't admit that the results they are getting are just not up to snuff take a step back and start listening to others who do know a little about how equipment works and what type of results can be gathered with them.
"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

#17 CaveRat2

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Posted 18 January 2009 - 09:53 AM

Dave, all I can do is echo what you say here. The sooner we can get investigators to move on and get serious about their methods and research the better the field will advance. And if it leaves the "Ghostbusters" behind, then so be it.

#18 Oniix

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Posted 19 January 2009 - 09:35 AM

Spectacular post Dave, here here!

"Know your gear!" I've not only said it myself to those interested in galloping around in the middle of the night, but have also been a violator of this "Golden Rule". It really is a pillar for research- one cannot conduct proper research without knowing their gear and there is no point to purchasing said gear unless you know how to use it.

EMF/ELF devices have to be my main concern in regards to this, but even something as simple as a 35mm camera can be mishandled (of which I am guilty of).

I've made some serious mistakes in general in the past on investigations and have come to terms with those mistakes. We all should be able to identify problem areas, mistakes, and learn from those.

#19 OMPRDave

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Posted 19 January 2009 - 12:20 PM

Thanks...and I don't think adhering to rules regarding knowing the equipment and following guidelines means we're non-believers at all. I've had my own personal experiences and I admit I don't know what they were. For me it's building a personal understanding through research that will help me to formulate my opinions on why paranormal experiences happen. And I feel if more people took the time to try to go into an investigation with this frame of mind there would be alot less incredible "evidence" and alot more data to further the field along.
"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

#20 aya&aki

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Posted 19 January 2009 - 08:10 PM

for people seeking proof..i could only suggest John Godfrey Saxe's "The Blind Men and the Elephant"..i find this applies not only in theology but in everything else...for those who know of this they can understand what i mean..for those who don't the moral so carefully put by johnny himself is:

So oft, in theologic wars
The disputants, i ween,
Rail on in utter ignorance
Of what each other mean
And prate about an Elephant
Not one of them has seen


im not saying there can be no proof..im just implying that no matter what, our knowledge is but a fraction of the big thing..
"The Open-mindness of a person can be measured by his/her ability to accept that everything is right and everything is wrong. There are no such things as contradictions, just two sides of the same coin." -Samantha Williams

#21 MoonChild

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Posted 19 January 2009 - 08:35 PM

im not saying there can be no proof..im just implying that no matter what, our knowledge is but a fraction of the big thing..

:clap: :clap: :clap:
And to add.... we find proof of what we are seeking. Whether one approves or disproves, the proof manifests.
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#22 Retro

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Posted 19 January 2009 - 09:03 PM

This train of posts leads one to wonder:

Are those that have had "real" paranormal experiences the ones more adamant about proper research? It would seem to me that maybe others are running to just about anything because they want to have an experience, but haven't yet?

Of course there are those that have had an experience, but are only just poking their heads into the realm of investigating and really need some help.

#23 Oniix

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Posted 19 January 2009 - 09:14 PM

I've had a very, VERY vivid experience. One that I cannot just explain away with being asleep, imagining things, etc. At the same time I understand that many instances of "ghostly" activity can be explained rather easily. I'm also adamant those doing the research get it right. Yup! I'd agree with your initial feeling on this.

#24 canuck

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Posted 19 January 2009 - 10:34 PM

Hmmmmm.........................

Interesting story.

Care to provide some more detail?


If you are refering to my claim of a demonic origin to that EVP, the case is rather long for a post. (It spans a two year period.) I have the case outlined on my website under the Paranormal Topic, Ghosts and Hauntings. Click the tab for "Case Files" to read it and also hear the EVP. Background data is also provided.

Viisit Jim's DESTINATIONS website

If you mean the concept of possible hidden frequencies, etc. in an EVP, that is a theory at this point I am working. To date I have not arrived at any conclusions, research is still ongoing.


Thanks for the link to your site; I have read your case file notes and found them very interesting.

In my opinion, the reason Spookology keeps going around in circles is that most of the work being done is aimed at “collecting evidence”; this seems to be the end point of most investigations.

In my opinion, collecting the evidence is just the beginning of an investigation, as opposed to the end.

The important part is what follows after the collection of field data: the understanding of what the evidence is telling us; and the formulation of explanations of the recorded data.

In my opinion the content of a data file, while interesting, is less important than the circumstances and method under which it was collected. This can lead to an explanation; and this is why the earlier discussion on standard methods and the quality of equipment is so important and relevant.

To illustrate my point: with reference to your case study.

You have investigated a phenomenon, and using relatively sophisticated methods and equipment, recorded some observations and collected some data.

It seems to me that you have a goldmine of information; and this information can point the way to further investigations.

Specifically:

With regard to the sounds you noted:
a. You have noted that a young girl sees and hears something which her adult parent sitting beside her does not see or hear.
b. When not in the close proximity, or visual contact with the child, the parent has heard a voice of a third party conversing with the young girl; but on investigation has not seen anybody.
c. A sound file has been recorded, in conjunction with a physical manifestation; ie: a flying lamp.

Some questions arise from this:

1. What physical process can lead to one person to see and hear a phenomenon, but other persons not do so? Is the seeing and hearing of these phenomena a direct imprint process, as opposed to a physical one? Do we know of any process that leads to similar results?

2. What is the relevance of the child being able to see and hear the third party, but not the adult? Is the child psychotic? Is the parent? If another child were brought into the situation, would that child also see or hear the manifestation? What about another adult?

3. In that under different circumstances the adult heard the voice of a third party, is this manifestation and entirely different phenomenon to the first? Ie: why did the parent hear the voice one time, but not the other?

4. How could a non corporeal manifestation physically move a lamp, and make a recordable sound? What physical processes could account for this?

5. In that the voice was recordable under one set of circumstances, but was not audible to the adult in another, does this mean that there are numerous different phenomena involved? What physical processes could account for the observations?

#25 Retro

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Posted 20 January 2009 - 07:12 AM

Canuck,

I fear the correct reply to your questions: That the living person is a vessel for these activities. Some people are sensitive and some are not (or have not developed the ability.) Somehow, it is likely the ability to manifest (through audio, visual, poltergeist activity, etc..) may be linked to the persons psychic ability. If that truly is the case, scientists need to start looking at psychics as part of their experiments and find ways to still control the experiment.

I don't know, or fully subscribe to this theory, but if IT is accurate, we are in for a tough time trying to get proof because now we have to prove psychic phenomena are real as well. Then we have to determine the mechanism by which this works, then we need to figure out if it can be sythesized and reproduced at will for experimentation.

That is why I fear the answer.

#26 Retro

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Posted 20 January 2009 - 07:41 AM

If one were to develop some special helmet that allowed the wearer to see 'ghosts' and talk to them, would this be allowed as proof? I guess only if several people wore them at the same time and saw the same thing?

The reason that I say that is because with CES, one can cause hallucinations. So, the claim that whatever device was put on the wearer's head simply caused them to hallucinate.

Add that to the fact that we have never proven hallucinations are a real phenomenon, either. :clap:

See, although I am analytical, this is why I don't fully care for "proper" science. Too much of it is actually built entirely on theory and assumptions. It doesn't matter that we haven't proven "that", but if we assume it, then here's the proof of "this."

Is light a particle or a wave, again? :clap: And how exactly do we know the speed of it, again?

http://math.ucr.edu/...d_of_light.html

Speaking of which, how do we know an atomic clock is accurate? How could it be calibrated? Does 1 second actually really mean anything at all? How about 1 meter? It's repeatable, sure, but the whole concept of measurement is human defined and subject to present technologies. My point is that "science" is proven wrong all the time. And this is only possible because more often than not, it is based on observations which are limited by the technologies at the time, and assumptions. And "science" has mostly stalled because there are just too many assumptions underneath it. So much so that modern trained scientists are taught them as if they are absolute facts and it is completely dismissed that many of these assumptions haven't really been proven at all. So, in a situation like this, can we really say that "science" is accurate?

Don't mean to incite a riot here, but it is a pet peeve of mine when brainiacs attempt to impose limits on discovery by claiming modern 'science' is the definitive truth. It simply isn't. We could be filtering out paranormal activity all the time when we create instruments to perform a particular function. Since we know what we WANT the device to do, we have an assumption of what the results should be. Therefore, any anomalies that interfere with what we assume it should do, we adjust things to filter it out. So, if these anomalies are paranormal, we just rejected them because of our assumptions.

Why couldn't a spirit manipulate a baised small-signal diode to produce audio? Who are we to assume they cannot? Who are we to determine we must filter out the odd randomness created by the knee of that diode? Sure, we can say AM radio signals can interfere with this, but when we determine a method for filtering those out, are assuming an outcome? No audio, at all, for example? If that is our goal, then we will filter and filter until it is silent. Then what? There must be a better way.

(not directing this at anyone here, just providing some food for thought.)

#27 Retro

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Posted 20 January 2009 - 07:52 AM

You guys are gonna slaughter me! :clap:

Since we don't know what a ghost looks like, how do we know when we are successful at capturing them on film? What if they really do just look like orbs?

Since we don't know what a ghost should sound like, how do we know when we have captured one on audio? What if they do sound like random static that forms words?

Since we don't know if a ghost generates heat, or absorbs it, how do we know that it gets 'cold' or 'hot' around them?

What we do have, of course, is others (and our own) observations of paranormal activity. But what if there was some strange medical reason for this. Maybe burritos produce EVP. When your stomach is 'talking' maybe it is a spirit.

Are we corrupting the research right from the start based on assumptions? That is all. Flame away. :clap:

#28 OMPRDave

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Posted 20 January 2009 - 03:14 PM

Assumptions, no, but definitely through superstition and religious dogmas. The rest of the questions you pose are the very things those who seriously want to become researchers should stand back and pay attention to. If a person wants to go in to case to try and see if they can ID a ghost, then there is already a bias that a ghost is indeed the remnants of a dead person and has a personality. If a person goes in to just record the environment and possible effects that any unknown activity presents they are focusing on the phenomena itself. That alone would do more to help further the field than anything else.
"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

#29 CaveRat2

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Posted 20 January 2009 - 08:39 PM

Canuck, in response to your questions, rest assured that many of these have been considered. the summary report on the website represents only the basic facts of the case. The data is still here, and to the extent possible various ideas such as suggested here are applied and the results evaluated. It is an ongoing process, as science is. New ideas are put forward and tested. Most are failures, but every once in a while something actually works out and progress is made. You are right, collecting data is only part of the project; what we do with that data is just as important.


Retro, your thoughts also have merit, we don't know with all certainty exactly how a spirit might manifest itself though a device. What we do know though is how the mundane will react. And as such we take steps to filter out those causes. Might that also remove the paranormal? Possibly. That is why we continue to try different approaches.

For instance placing a capacitor across an input will reduce the RF signal level while not affecting some lower frequencies. But there are other ways of filtering the RF, some which cam leave evidence of the frequencies being removed. (Active or parametric filters with known passbands for example.) These may reveal something about the nature of the signal. So we need to use the scientific principles and apply them to hypothetical conditions. From the outcome we may yet find something tangible. Or not, but we do have to keep trying.

#30 Retro

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Posted 20 January 2009 - 09:30 PM

Canuck, in response to your questions, rest assured that many of these have been considered. the summary report on the website represents only the basic facts of the case. The data is still here, and to the extent possible various ideas such as suggested here are applied and the results evaluated. It is an ongoing process, as science is. New ideas are put forward and tested. Most are failures, but every once in a while something actually works out and progress is made. You are right, collecting data is only part of the project; what we do with that data is just as important.


Retro, your thoughts also have merit, we don't know with all certainty exactly how a spirit might manifest itself though a device. What we do know though is how the mundane will react. And as such we take steps to filter out those causes. Might that also remove the paranormal? Possibly. That is why we continue to try different approaches.

For instance placing a capacitor across an input will reduce the RF signal level while not affecting some lower frequencies. But there are other ways of filtering the RF, some which cam leave evidence of the frequencies being removed. (Active or parametric filters with known passbands for example.) These may reveal something about the nature of the signal. So we need to use the scientific principles and apply them to hypothetical conditions. From the outcome we may yet find something tangible. Or not, but we do have to keep trying.


Understood and agree. I suggest that as we are experimenting, that we record our observations, even during the prototyping of an idea. We need to identify the source of the interference before we make the decision to filter it out. By making notes of anomalies we observe, even during testing, we may find some that we just cannot explain. Those should be submitted and others might be able to suggest ways of identifying it. If it simply cannot, then we should explore that anomaly until we have an answer.

If the goal is to create something that can communicate with spirits 100% of the time, we have to assume that we would get hits even during the testing phase. If we are testing our circuits and assume that since we are "just testing" and not actually "in practice" we will just discount some possibly important observations. Due to the unknown nature of paranormal activity, we cannot imagine what a "clean room" would need to consist of.

Good points all around, Caverat and Dave. You guys might find this silly, but have you ever looked into the spiricom device? I am curious what you have come up with if you have. The only information that I have found obviously supports it 100% and have not seen any serious debunking of it yet.




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