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Ouija, a scientific investigation.

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posted on Nov, 20 2006 @ 07:03 PM
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Ouija, a scientific investigation.

Preamble :

During any discourse into the veracity of Ouija messages, the inevitable charge from skeptics is that conscious or unconscious activity by the participants is directing the pointer to deliver the message they want to see , want to hear or want to frighten spectators with.

Thus the obvious scientific response is to ask :

“ will the Ouija generate coherent messages when all the participants are blindfolded, or otherwise unable to accurately direct the pointer ? “

On the evening of Sunday the 18th November 2006 , I got my chance to test this theory.

With three victims……….err willing test subjects , who were all willing to submit to experimentation , and crucially all previously professed faith in the validity of Ouija communication. I prepared 2 experiments .

Methodology :

First “ blind Ouija “ : a “Ouija template “ was prepared and printed with the characters in a random order , the template was secured flat on a table beneath a sheet of transparent Perspex . the three volunteers sat around the table , blindfolded with scarves and were directed to place one finger on the pointing device [ a scratched photographic filter with a paint dot applied to it ] .

Recording the results was done my myself and an Ouija believer – transcribing what we saw in notebooks which were compared later

Second “ cyber Ouija “

To allow the volunteers greater freedom to “see “ what was happening , I devised “ cyber Ouija “ , using a laptop and wireless graphics tablet.

The laptop screen displayed the plain text display , optimized for full screen viewing , And was tot viewable by the volunteers , who could set the “ dingbats “ version taped to the graphics tablet sat on the table before them .

The volunteers held onto the pen , and generated “ messages “ by tapping the tablet on the “ dingbats “ characters . when each letter was struck – the cursor flashed over the letter on the screen .

It was not perfect , but we got results .

Use of a PDA or tough sensitive tablet screen would have been preferred , as it would have allowed direct recording of “ key strokes “ into a text file .

Results :

No coherent message of any sort was received . Over 20 minutes of testing failed to generate a single valid word in English .

There was no significant difference between the two experiments , although predictably “ cyber Ouija “ delivered more “hits “ on characters , as during “ blind Ouija “ the pointer often missed the letters entirely , drifting almost aimlessly .

Conclusions :

Both experiments confirmed my preconceptions, namely that operator input was a key influence on results.

Having said that , it was only one experiment , and I may have been in a position to exert undue negative influence . this claim was actually made a the table , to paraphrase “ it is you … you are full of negativity and scorn ….. the spirits will not dance for you … all you want to do is mock “ ,

So in the interest of scientific rigour , I throw out the challenge to ATS.com , recreate my experiments – and either validate or falsify my conclusions .

For your assistance , the appendix contains JPEG files of the templates it used .

The “cyber Ouija “ templates require some resizing to fit screen size and graphics tablet size – calibrating the pen took a while . But it was not an impossible task .

The biggest impediment was a tendency to drag the stylus so that it tore the paper – in hindsight I should have used inkjet transparency film , but as none was available – we had to make do

Good luck , and have fun.

Appendix one :


Ouija small printed A4

cyber ouija _tablet overlay

Cyber Ouija screen view

< END >




posted on Jun, 2 2007 @ 06:07 PM
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----------------------------------------- *bump* ------------------------------------------

I know how this is a pretty old thread and all. But I think it deserved a little *bump* to increase awareness about the fraud of Ouija boards. They're not evil, they're not spiritual, they're not magical, they are plastic boards with letters on them. That's it.

Kudos to Ignorant_Ape for coming up with a creative test that actually tests the validity of one of the many "mystical objects" claimed in this forum. Spread the word, ATS minions! Spread the word!



posted on Jun, 2 2007 @ 06:19 PM
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Originally posted by ignorant_ape



“ it is you … you are full of negativity and scorn ….. the spirits will not dance for you … all you want to do is mock “


My God, the person that said that is spot on !!!


Seriously though.

I've heard of the Ouija, even dabbled with it. Never saw results.

And, I would like to see experiments conducted, ala the I.A. way.

Will be interesting.

TheB1ueSoldier,
Thanks for bringing this back up.

Regards,
Lex



posted on Jul, 2 2008 @ 03:22 AM
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reply to post by ignorant_ape
 


Its very interesting to see all the pro-Ouija enthusiasts coming out to promote the crazy experiences that users have had from a Ouija board but not one of them has posted or taken your challenge. Very good experiment.

There may be unexplained energies in this world but they are not communicated via cardboard and plastic toy. No magic to the Ouija, just creative individuals who like to try to freak others out.

Very typical response from the users in your experiment that your negative energy is the reason it didnt work.

Another test you can do if your using a Ouija with a group. As the plastic indicator is moving across the board, quickly press down very hard and watch whose finger slides off or across the indicator. They are usually the person directing its motion.

I have used it a couple times with friends, one person in the group was very admit that it was a spirit that was answering the very specific questions, strangely enough all of the questions that were answered were privy to the person promoting it. When we asked personal question, to which only I or another person knew the answer, the great Ouija was unable to provide a correct response. I also used the pressing very hard method when the indicator was moving away from me and sure enough the promoters finger slipped off onto the board.
These boards are designed with a glossy coating and the indicator has pieces of felt on the bottom so that it moves very easily. This is so that one person or a collective group can move it easily with a fair amount of weight resistance. You actually have to press quite hard to stop someone from moving it but i assure you if you do that you will see someones finger slide off or move in the direction the indicator was moving or you will see the trying to press and pull harder to fight the resistance that you are applying.

Its a game meant to entertain. Anyone who thinks otherwise should attempt the blind Ouija test provided...sans the negative energy of course


Forgot to add, it seems as if someone in the group is always the expert and making excuses, when the answers provided are not accurate; ie, Ouija spirits lie a lot, sometimes they dont spell very well, they are from a lower asteral plane, it must be your negative energy, its because you dont believe, etc...

[edit on 2-7-2008 by iamcamouflage]



posted on Jul, 2 2008 @ 07:06 AM
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I am curious as to whether you had used a ouija successfully before doing the blind test.

In my experience.. here is what happened..

first.. the spirit we contacted gave a name and not a name that is known or common... second when discussing using a ouija with another friend who had recently used one with a different group of people.. this person being someone that did not know any of the other people I had been with when using the Ouija.. the spirit they conacted had the SAME NAME as the one we contacted..
When I told them that was the same name as the spirit I had contacted with my friends we both freaked out just a bit.


Finally.. on the last occasion of using a board.. we made one from scratch.
Piece of paper and a tiny clear heart shaped glass trinket holder for a planchette. Over the course of that night we were told we had contacted 2 spirits which proceeded to get into a dispute over who had the right to be in contact with us.. after a long wait while the planchette did figure 8's one returned and it was not the positive one.. it threatened one of my friends and the planchette started to move toward her across the floor off the paper and out of everyones fingertips. It was moving of its own accord! within seconds one of my other friends grabbed it up and threw it out the window while the rest of us stared in fear and disbelief. We all made a vow that night to never use a Ouija again.



posted on Jul, 2 2008 @ 07:17 AM
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If there really is an afterlife, I'll bet the best way to contact it is through a plastic, mass-produced board game from Milton Bradley...



posted on Jul, 2 2008 @ 06:18 PM
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Originally posted by Mad_Hatter
If there really is an afterlife, I'll bet the best way to contact it is through a plastic, mass-produced board game from Milton Bradley...


Yeah, I think you're right it would be the best method. I actually think that the spirits have a contract with MB and they get royalties for every board purchased and in return the spirits must communicate with the living using ONLY the MB Ouija Board. Except no substitute, with a name like Ouija, it has to be good.



posted on Jul, 2 2008 @ 06:48 PM
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Thats great guys. very humorous but the fact remains it really doesn't matter if it is a "ouija" or not.. Spirits can be contacted and what needs to be determined is whether or not it is safe or if they can be trusted.

I think I proved with the piece of paper and glass heart that you dont need a ouija board to make the connection.

The point is.. its a dangerous game no matter how you attempt it.



posted on Jul, 2 2008 @ 06:58 PM
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Hmmmmm. Perhaps they are just plastic and cardboard, but where's the harm in warning people? Even if it's only an outside chance that there's some danger, say one in a million, where's the harm in advising caution?


There may be unexplained energies in this world but they are not communicated via cardboard and plastic toy.


Absolutely, but they may be communicated via the unexplained energies surrounding each individual human being. In this case, it is not impossible to conceive that an otherwise meaningless world item could be used as a way of channelling or directing this energy.

I don't believe for a second that there is any kind of power held within a ouija board. I do however believe that there is an enormous amount of power held within each human being, and this power is right beneath the surface and it requires very little (even as little as some cardboard and plastic) to bring it to the surface.

I'm far from convinced that ouija boards are real or deliver any kind of results. But I certainly believe that there are other energies in our universe. Just as I am certain some are positive, I am certain some are negative. If there is even the slightest chance of these energies being channelled through someone (as is the case with a ouija board) then I think it's best to play it safe. I don't think there's any danger in communicating with other energies, but I do think there is a danger in allowing them to communicate through you, which is essentially what ouija is.

It might not be real, it might be complete BS, but as long as there is the slightest possibility that there is some truth to it, and as long as there is the slightest possibility of harm (and not just physical, emotional or psychological harm, but true spiritual harm) then I think it's best to warn. I don't think that dismissing as trifle serves any good.



posted on Jul, 2 2008 @ 07:09 PM
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reply to post by NephraTari
 


Proved? No. You told a story. A story with no evidence. If true, then yes it would be "proof". But we have no way of knowing if what you say is the truth. I can say I used a board and it floated through the air and flew at someone breaking the glass in a picture frame behind the person.

If true amazing...yet I have no proof. Did it happen? Its just another story...and nothing more.

That being said...personally I cannot say if the Ouija board works or not, never tried. You have your experience but no proof.

[edit on 2-7-2008 by uninspired]



posted on Jul, 2 2008 @ 07:11 PM
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If I may play devil's advocate (no pun intended), perhaps the spirits somehow *need* the eyes of the participants.



posted on Jul, 2 2008 @ 07:14 PM
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reply to post by tjack
 


Well crap I guess my Braille Ouija board won't work then


Back to the drawing board for me.

Actually that would be a good way to test. Have blind people use a Ouija board see if it spits out jibberish or not.

[edit on 2-7-2008 by uninspired]



posted on Jul, 2 2008 @ 07:42 PM
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reply to post by TheStev
 


Again I can agree that there may be energies in the universe that we do not understand but, for me personally, I need proof via the scientific method. I cannot accept testimonials and stories as proof. Maybe science doesn't yet have measuring devices that can detect these energies and that is not reason to say that it is impossible for such energies to exist but until we can measure and quantify the results via a control and an experimental group, we cant rely on eye witness accounts as the end all for spirits and the functionality of the Ouija.

It just bothers me when people claim that Ouijas categorically work when the only proof is a cryptic story from someone or the friend of a friend who was haunted by a demon after using one(oddly enough the main side effect of being haunted by a demon, is thinking that you are being haunted by a demon). Where is the video footage of all these strange Ouija encounters? Wait let me guess, spirits are camera shy, they don't want to be video taped and therefor nothing strange will ever happen in the presence of a camera. It just seems the believers of Ouija always have a convenient excuse as to why it wont work in the presence of a scientific experiment, thus negating any attempts to prove or disprove the Ouijas effectiveness.


[edit on 2-7-2008 by iamcamouflage]



posted on Jul, 2 2008 @ 07:42 PM
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Hats off to the researcher. This backs up what I have observed. Here's how I tested it:

I asked a question that I only I knew the answer to when my finger was not on the glass. The answer given was incorrect.

Then, I asked a question that I only I knew the answer to, but this time with my finger on the glass. The answer given was correct.

I was not deliberately pushing the glass. My finger was lightly touching the glass without pressure. So how was the right answer spelled out? Hallucination? Self-hypnosis?



posted on Jul, 2 2008 @ 08:50 PM
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I actually see some valid comparisons to the LHC conCERNs (geddit?
).

Anyhoo, my comparison is that with the LHC, there may be immense dangers involved with this action, but we don't understand the science behind it, so we don't completely understand the dangers.

Also with ouija, there may be immense dangers, but we don't understand the science enough to understand the dangers.

But just because we don't understand a danger, doesn't mean it's not there.

I do completely agree though that anyone who claims that ouija works categorically is doing more harm than good. I also agree that there is not nearly enough proof to state such a thing. Unfortunately, our ability to observe things and determine proof scientifically is limited by our scientific knowledge. I know it's a cop out, but it seems that much paranormal phenomena is 'immune' to scientific observation. Personally, I think it's related to the quantum phenomena where the observer by way of observing affects the outcome of an experiment.

Science likes to talk about independent, double-blind and that sort of thing, but as long as there is a human element to any experiment (and there always will be as long as a human is running the experiment). At least that's what I believe. I'm not the kind to translate beliefs into fact, so I could be wrong



posted on Jul, 2 2008 @ 11:36 PM
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reply to post by TheStev
 


I can agree that it is best to proceed with caution when experimenting with things that are unknown. But your comparison fails with respect to CERN because there is actually some scientific concerns regarding this type of physics being experimented with, similarly with the concerns regarding GMO crops, or global climate change. While the Ouija board has no science to back it up, only stories told by people who clearly WANT to believe that something real is happening.
I mean should we take the same precautions when playing monopoly? Should I warn people about the dangers of reading books? Its just very bothersome that people give stern warnings about the dangers of Ouija when there is not one shred of evidence to show that there are any dangers of a Ouija board. Not to mention, even the people who supposedly have had "horrible" experiences with a Ouija board, seem to be doing ok. OMG, the game piece moved by itself and now i can no longer function in life, or they got really scared because they thought they were talking to a spirit. These people with bad experiences still dont show any evidence of serious mental or physical damage done to themselves or others as the result of using a Ouija board. Only that they were freaked out or in the extreme cases, they were haunted by a demon, but again the only real side effect reported from being haunted by a demon, is the belief that they are being haunted by a demon. Its only self fulfilling paranoia.

It just seems like some kind of ego trip to warn people about using something that they themselves have used and claim that bad things will happen and imply that the person in question cant handle the results.



posted on Jul, 3 2008 @ 04:54 AM
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Fair enough. I respect your view, and the way in which you present it. Personally, I don't hold science in the same esteem that you do. While I do take into consideration the warnings offered by science, I don't dismiss other warnings just because they have not been verified by science.

For me, all paranorma phenomena fall into the category of 'not verified by science'. But that doesn't mean they don't exist, and it doesn't mean they can't be dangerous. If science doesn't even allow for the existence of these things, then I won't trust science to advise me whether or not they are safe. After all, science doesn't say they're safe. It doesn't say they're not safe either. It just says 'they're not.' And I believe they are. If you know what I mean.

I just have a real problem with the with the religion of science. I don't mean to accuse you, but many people seem to have an almost blind faith in science, and the knowledge it preaches. Sure, double-blind, repeatable, peer-reviewed experiments can't be wrong, but the conclusions drawn from them can be. I respect the many intelligent minds working in the field of science, but they can and have been wrong before.

I also just had somewhat of a revelation. Double-blind and all of that jazz works fine with the natural world, where things are completely predictable. But if you take into consideration, for just one moment, the idea that other intelligences, unknown and/or unseen, are interacting with us and our world, then the idea of a repeatable experiment is folly. Imagine running a scientific experiment where an invisible prankster changed around all of your beakers and test-tubes. You could never trust your results in such a situation.

Is it that impossible that our world is like this? Could this be why everything paranormal consistently fails to be verified by science?

[edit on 3-7-2008 by TheStev]



posted on Jul, 4 2008 @ 07:04 AM
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Originally posted by TheStev
Fair enough. I respect your view, and the way in which you present it. Personally, I don't hold science in the same esteem that you do. While I do take into consideration the warnings offered by science, I don't dismiss other warnings just because they have not been verified by science.

For me, all paranorma phenomena fall into the category of 'not verified by science'. But that doesn't mean they don't exist, and it doesn't mean they can't be dangerous. If science doesn't even allow for the existence of these things, then I won't trust science to advise me whether or not they are safe. After all, science doesn't say they're safe. It doesn't say they're not safe either. It just says 'they're not.' And I believe they are. If you know what I mean.

I just have a real problem with the with the religion of science. I don't mean to accuse you, but many people seem to have an almost blind faith in science, and the knowledge it preaches. Sure, double-blind, repeatable, peer-reviewed experiments can't be wrong, but the conclusions drawn from them can be. I respect the many intelligent minds working in the field of science, but they can and have been wrong before.

I also just had somewhat of a revelation. Double-blind and all of that jazz works fine with the natural world, where things are completely predictable. But if you take into consideration, for just one moment, the idea that other intelligences, unknown and/or unseen, are interacting with us and our world, then the idea of a repeatable experiment is folly. Imagine running a scientific experiment where an invisible prankster changed around all of your beakers and test-tubes. You could never trust your results in such a situation.

Is it that impossible that our world is like this? Could this be why everything paranormal consistently fails to be verified by science?

[edit on 3-7-2008 by TheStev]



I agree that there is much we do not understand and the religion of science can be blinding to things that do not show direct evidence.
And you are very correct that paranormal phenomenon is not verifiable because if it was it would get classified as legit science. But with respect to the subject of the Ouija, my concern is that even through personal observation and first hand experience, the people who claim to have had a bad experience, seem to be ok. They may have been freaked out or haunted by a demon, but was there really any harm done in the long run? I mean i can say that i had a bad experience at the DMV but that doesn't mean that no one else should subject themselves to such horrors. Scary movies can have an effect on people and i can say i watched Dude Where's My Car and it was the scariest thing that has ever happened to me and that i was haunted by the demon Kutcher for two years but that doesn't mean that no one else should watch the movie. There is no science to back violent video games or movies being a cause for violent behavior in society but that doesn't stop people from claiming that they are harmful and discouraging other from viewing or exposing themselves to them.

I just find it troubling to discourage others from an experience, because some think that it can be harmful when in fact there is nothing to show that it is. Science is far from perfect but currently it is the best form of evaluation that we have, granted you have to be open to new and strange event and phenomenon in order to apply it correctly. But the beauty of science is that unlike a religion it is mailable, things can change. As new technologies are developed, it may give insight into new forms of energy or phenomenon and this will lead to testing of such theories and the paranormal will become accepted. And vice versus the accepted can become paranormal.

On a separate note i like your idea of an invisible prankster, I have taken a few physics and philosophy classes and many of these questions can come up in both fields.

[ediso

[edit on 4-7-2008 by iamcamouflage]



posted on Jul, 4 2008 @ 07:23 AM
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reply to post by iamcamouflage
 


Continued: In philosophy there are many who question the accuracy of our perceived existence(I only know one thing and that is that i exist(I think therefore, I am)) and there is some science to invalidate everything we deem to be true. Instead of an invisible prankster let us consider quantum particles. Currently we cannot measure or provide quality science or experimentation on these particles because they change when they are observed. This concept is beyond any macro ideas of science. And if the smallest particles we can observe change upon being observed, then who is to say that this does not continue into the larger particles and continue all the way into the observable spectrum of our ideas of light, gravity, magnetism. Ie.. when we zoom in really close(quantum particles) we observe that these particles change upon our observing them but as we zoom out, the change caused by our observance becomes less obvious, so much so that even with scientific testing we come to conclusions based on our recorded data from afar.
With almost every scientific experiment, you are bound to get outliers that dont match the data that appears to follow the pattern of testing, but usually this data is thrown out and not included or considered in the final conclusion.

We give percentages of accuracy and take comfort in the higher the percentage result, disregarding the small side of the percentage.
It is reasonable to believe that if experiments were carried out for longer periods of time that we would start to see more variation. Flipping a coin 100 times should yield a close to 50/50 result but that doesnt mean that you couldnt flip heads 10-15 times in a row. What if our experiences fall into that 10-15 flips, from that view we could say that a coin always lands on heads but if we carried it our further we may see the more accurate results.

We conclude results based upon our time frames and determinations of what a reasonable amount of experiments are. But what if the universe works on a different time scale and when we conclude something to be true based upon 10,000,000 repetitions of the experiment, we are not considering that maybe that 10,000,000 is the 10-15 head flips in a row and if we carried it out to 10,000,000,000,000 trials we may see different results.

Anyway i'm way off topic, you make very valid points and i respect your opinion. Its nice to have a civilized discussion, while having different points of view.

Regards

[edit on 4-7-2008 by iamcamouflage]

[edit on 4-7-2008 by iamcamouflage]



posted on Jul, 4 2008 @ 08:58 AM
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I've only done some reading online about quantum particles, but I do find it fascinating, and I must admit that quantum particles did come to mind when I wrote about the invisible prankster.

But I do actually believe that there are other invisible pranksters, sentient ones. Maybe they're demons, maybe they're something else, but I personally believe there's something sentient out there that we can't necessarily see. I think if such sentient things did exist, and their intentions were malevolent, then they would want to conceal their existence. That was more where I was going with the invisible prankster.

But I guess it comes down to whether or not you believe in demons, and more importantly demonic possession and I do. As I say though, I only use 'demon' as a label and tie no religious, spiritual or metaphysical connotations to the term.

If you believe that a demon can latch itself onto a person, then I think anything which uses a person as a conduit for communication with other beings would definitely open that person up to such a thing. Mediums, I would think, would be open to the same dangers, although they at least have practice. Most ouija is done by young, curious people.

In terms of what damage is done, it's so hard to say because nothing is verifiable. I would personally think that the big cases of possession that you read about are the extreme cases. I think there are other, more subtle cases that could lead to severe mental illness and even suicide. But again, there's no way to verify, so we'll never know.

But it's all really conjecture, I believe things like that are possible, enough so to have nothing to do with ouija myself. I believe it enough to recommend the same to others, but it's certainly not a crusade I'm on.

It has most definitely been interesting chatting with you though.

[edit on 4-7-2008 by TheStev]



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