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#1 Retro

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Posted 14 January 2009 - 09:06 AM

I am much of a skeptic myself, really. I have experienced what I am personally certain were paranormal experiences in that I have no explanation for how they were possible, but I also have no proof.

So, that brings us to the challenge. I constantly see skeptics claiming that they would be believers if they were shown proof of the paranormal. My question is, what would you consider proof? Many skeptics simply choose to discount paranormal evidence because they can recreate the effect.

Let's say someone has captured video of an apparition, and a skeptic comes along and can exactly duplicate that scene using special effects. Does that really prove the original was fake? I mean we can destroy the entire city of New York in the movies and make it look very convincing. Yet the city of NY still stands. My point is that this type of 'proof' that the evidence is fake is no more compelling than the 'proof' that the evidence is real. Skeptics consider themselves scientists, so they subscribe to the scientific method. How can this be applied to paranormal research convincingly?

So, that's my challenge. What would constitute 'proof?'

#2 Oniix

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Posted 14 January 2009 - 11:08 AM

Proof? Something repeatable, in a lab, that can be measured, electrified, homoginized... ok maybe not the last two.

Have a haunted house? Build a lab around it and be able to measure and regulate everything, and get repeatable results.

Then, use every test conceivable to reproduce the effect. If you can't well then write up a paper on the subject. If this can be reproduced by other scientists either within that lab or other haunted house "labs", then perhaps that may be enough proof.

Keep in mind, they already have theories on specific types of "symptoms" of ghostly activity, ranging from extremely low frequencies, to various psychological problems.

So in "theory", they already have much of it explained away. Therefore the group of skeptics whom you are addressing, don't need to look any further.

Edited by Oniix, 14 January 2009 - 11:12 AM.


#3 Oniix

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Posted 14 January 2009 - 11:43 AM

Nothing the paranormal community will suffice. Only data and a nod yes or no will have weight. It's that simple of a discussion.

#4 CaveRat2

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Posted 14 January 2009 - 03:39 PM

The method must be put to the test, not just the results.

As you said, New York has been destroyed, as have many cities, in the movies. But in each of those cases the manner of their destruction is identifiable. It might be animation, miniatures, CGI, or several various techniques used by the special effects people. In each case though, a scientific method can be demonstrated as to how this "destruction" was simulated. Likelwise Hiroshima and Nagasaki WERE actually destroyed. Again a mthod can be shown as to how this was accomplished.

The point is in every case science can explain what happened, whether a simulation or the real thing. In the case of the paranormal science again must be brought in to provide proof. First science can determine whether it is the real thing or just something that gives the appearance of the paranormal. Is it a real haunting or just an overactive imagination?

The proof will come when we reach a point that we can identify the method responsible for the event and explain how it happened. It is like EVP research. Some are content answering the question, "What does it say?". Others are more concerned with the methods at work which created the EVP. The proof will likely come from the latter researchers.
The same applies to photgraphy. We can get all the mists and strange effects in pictures, but proof will come when these are satisfactorily explained as to exactly what the camera saw and why.

#5 Puti

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Posted 14 January 2009 - 10:48 PM

I know the feeling Retro!
"We grow neither better or worse as we get old, but more like ourselves."May L. BeckerCoffee.......the foundation of consciousness

#6 Moregan

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Posted 15 January 2009 - 06:08 AM

Others are more concerned with the methods at work which created the EVP.


That's what interests me most. Do you have any theories to explain EVPs?
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#7 CaveRat2

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Posted 15 January 2009 - 05:16 PM

Others are more concerned with the methods at work which created the EVP.


That's what interests me most. Do you have any theories to explain EVPs?


I personally believe EVP is sort of a catch all term for what may in fact be several different types of phenomena. I have captured EVP using both acoustic and electronic sensors. Inductive and capacitive. The inductive methods have also included filtering for RF and common mode rejection, so the likelyhood of stray RF is greatly diminished. Same goes with the acoustic recording methods. Great care has been given to prevent contamination of the recording by anyone present. Yet the EVPs once in a while turn up.

Probably the most convincing EVP I have captured involved what may have been a demonic entity. It occurred in conjunction with an ongoing investigation which definitely had evil overtones, if not downright demonic. The EVP was picked up audibilly, at the same time a lamp was thrown against a wall. It was recorded using stereo cassette equipment and high end mics and mixer. So based on that, one possibility for some (not all) EVPs may be demonic. Of course this is just one instance, I am NOT saying all EVPs are demonic. But in this case this one may have been.

I am continuing my research in an attempt to determine if there are any characteristics unique to all EVPs. Maybe a hidden frequency, a carrier, or something else. Right now it's just conjecture. Maybe some day such a key may be found.

#8 canuck

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Posted 16 January 2009 - 08:09 PM

Others are more concerned with the methods at work which created the EVP.


That's what interests me most. Do you have any theories to explain EVPs?


I personally believe EVP is sort of a catch all term for what may in fact be several different types of phenomena. I have captured EVP using both acoustic and electronic sensors. Inductive and capacitive. The inductive methods have also included filtering for RF and common mode rejection, so the likelyhood of stray RF is greatly diminished. Same goes with the acoustic recording methods. Great care has been given to prevent contamination of the recording by anyone present. Yet the EVPs once in a while turn up.

Probably the most convincing EVP I have captured involved what may have been a demonic entity. It occurred in conjunction with an ongoing investigation which definitely had evil overtones, if not downright demonic. The EVP was picked up audibilly, at the same time a lamp was thrown against a wall. It was recorded using stereo cassette equipment and high end mics and mixer. So based on that, one possibility for some (not all) EVPs may be demonic. Of course this is just one instance, I am NOT saying all EVPs are demonic. But in this case this one may have been.

I am continuing my research in an attempt to determine if there are any characteristics unique to all EVPs. Maybe a hidden frequency, a carrier, or something else. Right now it's just conjecture. Maybe some day such a key may be found.


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

Interesting story.

Care to provide some more detail?

#9 cotton08

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Posted 16 January 2009 - 09:09 PM

I believe that paranormal research would go much further, much faster if some in the paranormal community would just STOP this business of, "mine are real, yours are trash".

when I first became interested in EVP research, I reached out to the paranormal community on the internet and in my own town. I wanted so badly to learn, become informed, figure things out, I even joined a research group. 99 percent of the time when I had a capture either on film or on an EVP, I was told "you've captured nothing" then it was like, "but we've captured Class A EVPs 100 percent of the time". I had so many questions, went to EVP "classes", paid people money to help train/teach me......this did not teach me anything, in fact it was a hinderance.

Like, Caverat, the way he replied to my EVP question. That's someone who is sincerely INTERESTED IN RESEARCH.

When paranormal researchers become just that - researchers - and decide to be in it for that purpose, not for the purpose of glorifying their own captures or claiming to be "the best" or the most intelligent, then we can all make progress. Until the paranormal community actually becomes a community, nothing much will go forward.

But that's just my opinion.

( and I am NOT referring to this board AT ALL! :( )

#10 Retro

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Posted 17 January 2009 - 06:41 AM

I believe that paranormal research would go much further, much faster if some in the paranormal community would just STOP this business of, "mine are real, yours are trash".

when I first became interested in EVP research, I reached out to the paranormal community on the internet and in my own town. I wanted so badly to learn, become informed, figure things out, I even joined a research group. 99 percent of the time when I had a capture either on film or on an EVP, I was told "you've captured nothing" then it was like, "but we've captured Class A EVPs 100 percent of the time". I had so many questions, went to EVP "classes", paid people money to help train/teach me......this did not teach me anything, in fact it was a hinderance.

Like, Caverat, the way he replied to my EVP question. That's someone who is sincerely INTERESTED IN RESEARCH.

When paranormal researchers become just that - researchers - and decide to be in it for that purpose, not for the purpose of glorifying their own captures or claiming to be "the best" or the most intelligent, then we can all make progress. Until the paranormal community actually becomes a community, nothing much will go forward.

But that's just my opinion.

( and I am NOT referring to this board AT ALL! :( )



Agreed. But I wouldn't expect this to ever change. Any time you get involved in 'community' you are going to meet a very wide range of characters and drama will ensue. The thing about paranormal research is that anyone can do it, and because of the popularity of TV shows, anyone IS doing it.

And like any community, there will be jealousy, greed, egos, and even bullies.

You know this even happens in the academic scientific circles. Especially nowadays, even science is rarely scientific anymore. Read just about any scientific paper nowadays and the scientists clearly set out to prove something they were already predispositioned to believe. And therefore, their experiments are far from objective. And the answer to this is to have it peer reviewed. If it is favorably reviewed then it is accepted as fact. But, the variable here is motive. Take global warming as one very terrible example of this.

Do notice that nearly all major discoveries in history were made by lone people, that just 'did it' and didn't ask for permission or verification.

I'll come out and say it: "99.9% of science is a con game." Groups learned long ago the power of 'experts' on shaping public opinion. And now, you have vegetable farmer groups hiring research to prove meat is bad for you, and meat farmers hiring researchers to prove vegetables are bad for you. And they know that putting that shoddy research out there will get media attention and serve its purpose, even though it won't hold water in the long run. Doesn't matter. You still influenced several layman people one way or another, who will hold that belief no matter what. And that's the game.

"MySpace" paranormal investigators are here to stay, as long as the fad remains popular in media. I mean, you have some that look at your orbs and tell you they are definitely ghosts, too. In my opinion, those people are no more helpful than those that tell you everything you catch is worthless. All I can say is not to put so much weight in what other people think, because more often than not you are dealing with a bunch of amatures that don't know any more than you do.

A true researcher will accept the fact that we have not proven anything about ghosts. A false researcher is someone that will tell you matter-of-fact that ghosts cause things to get cold. How would they know, since we haven't even proven that ghosts exist to make something cold in the first place?

Honestly, I don't think you can be 'trained' to be a paranormal researcher. Right now, all we have are a bunch of theories, myths, and legends passed down by generations of people that believed they witnessed it. Of course, there are people that definitely believe they have experienced it, so I believe the phenomenon does really exist. The goal is to prove it.

Edited by Retro, 17 January 2009 - 06:46 AM.


#11 Retro

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Posted 17 January 2009 - 07:07 AM

I will give "smoking causes cancer" as an example. We all believe this is absolutely true. So much so, that States have won millions and millions of dollars in lawsuits against tobbacco companies. Smoking causes cancer, an established fact, right?

Wrong. If you go back and look at the 'studies' (ie. not real scientific experiments) that established this 'fact' you will find that what they found was that a high number of people dying of this new medical discovery, cancer, were smokers. The problem is that in the 1970's the number of people that smoked was just HUGE! And even 'cancer' was barely understood.

So the link to establish this fact was simply that lots of people with cancer, smoked. Up until a few years ago, noone had actually discovered the mechanism or chemical to actually link smoking to cancer. And the chemical they found is an additive to make cigarettes burn slower. A chemical that not all manufacturers even add to their cigarettes. And even with this 'possible link' it is still only a 'possible link' as the mechanism has still not been discovered.

There are even people, like me, that believe that cancer is a naturally occurring cut-off switch in the genes. That everyone has it in their genes, but most people die from other causes before the switch goes off. That theory is no less valid than any of the other theories around cancer or even the 'treatments' of cancer (that have actually proven nothing beyond circumstantial evidence.) Yet, millions of industries are making trillions of dollars of the accepted theory.

Now, I am not arguing that smoking isn't bad for you. There are some effects that are clear as day, such as tar coating the lungs and preventing people from being able to breath.

And don't get me started on supposed 'mental disorders.' Apparently manic depression is caused by a "chemical imbalance' yet nobody can directly tell you what chemical is deficient or even describe the actual mechanism that causes it. Yet, they have hundreds of drugs that supposedly help in the 'treatment' of this disorder.

My point? Science is often just as mythological as the paranormal. Remember, in the 1800s people believed the moon was made out of cheese and the moon people looked like sea monkeys and fornicated several times a day. This all came from 'experts' and scientists that truly accepted one man's supposed observations in papers at the time.

#12 CaveRat2

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Posted 17 January 2009 - 08:53 AM

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.

#13 CaveRat2

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Posted 17 January 2009 - 09:39 AM

I am one of those sometimes accused of having the "My EVPs are the only good ones". That is because i reject many EVPs made on inferior equipment which can create false positives. But it has nothing to do with who records it. Any electronics person who understands the theory behind digital recording systems also understands the effects that low sample rates and limited bit resolution can cause. Digital voice recorders are the worst offenders; these devices are intended to record low quality voice, and have extended time capabilities which compromise their ability to do high quality work They are not reliable scientific instruments to obtain data for research. So when I critisize an EVP it's not the person who got it, rather the equipment used. So the obvious fix is to upgrade the recorder to improve the reliability of what you get. If we ever expect to get anywhere with our research we must improve our methods and our equipment to eliminate the known defects . The old addage holds true in paranormal research as well, Garbage in Garbage out.

#14 cotton08

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Posted 17 January 2009 - 03:11 PM

I am one of those sometimes accused of having the "My EVPs are the only good ones".


That may be true, but you don't just discard the person, the facts behind the capture or the capture itself. You delve deeper than that.

#15 CaveRat2

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Posted 17 January 2009 - 04:39 PM

[That may be true, but you don't just discard the person, the facts behind the capture or the capture itself. You delve deeper than that.


Abslutely right. That is what the rest of the post addressed. When poor quality equipment is used, how can the person gain credibility? The facts are important, that's why when I see a recording made on a digital voice recorder the facts tend to discount it. Because some of the facts behind the capture have to include the fallibilities of the equipment. When these facts leave open the possbility f false data then unfortunately that detracts from the case itself. Even when other good evidence is present the use of substandard methods tends to lower its overall credibility,




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