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Lets Debunk All Paranormal Investigating Myths!

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posted on Sep, 17 2010 @ 09:06 AM
Lets debunk all myths about paranormal investigations in an effort to come to much more clear and concise conclusions. Firstly, lets figure how certain explanations of how paranormal activity manifests is recognised and how these theories came about.

EMF/K2; How did the theory come about that these instruments recognise manifestations of paranormal activity? How did the idea that an entity would give off higher EMF come about? Is this fact proven some how or myth?

FLIR: How do we know a entity would give off a heat/cool signal? Again where did this originate from?

EVP: The sounds we hear can be real and some are obvious (though ive never heard of one). Isnt there a mental pattern we follow where we can associate certain sounds and images to actual words/pictures?

Im not here to bash any investigators just trying to clear up why certain things are the way they are and what evidence/proof is there they actual work.

posted on Sep, 17 2010 @ 10:36 AM
I cannot debunk, even without the said instrument, I still cannot debunk it. They exist and I dont need science instrument to believe it. So...sorry, cant join your brigade.

posted on Sep, 17 2010 @ 10:42 AM
Good questions!
And of course, they should lead to more questions.
I think those came about in an effort to be "scientific", without really using any science.
They are a product of the 40's and 50's conjecture.
Like ALL paranormal subjects it's been incorporated into the lore ( dogma).
It's a veneer to make pseudoscience appear "scientific".

posted on Sep, 17 2010 @ 01:41 PM
Just like many medical tests, they (by themselves) cannot be used to make a cut and dry diagnosis, they simply provide more data to help determine what's going on.

Any investigator trying to use such results to make a definite conclusion, would be like a doctor telling you that you had only a day to live based on a single blood test.

There are many other possible variables, and you can never really have too much data.

That said though, we're talking about phenomena that may be beyond our 5 senses, and beyond the types of waves we know of, for measuring, the docs, all one can do is make the best prognosis based on the available data.

posted on Sep, 17 2010 @ 03:42 PM
As an audio engineer with over 20yrs experience, despite my belief in many paranormal phenomena, I'm very sceptical about the methodology used by many investigators who use sound equipment. As far as I'm aware, the best quality cable (StarQuad balanced), with an optimum studio set up, can deliver a signal from mic to pre-amp with a noise floor of -115dB. Even top studios consider -90dB to be an excellent clean channel (& remember thats per channel, so even just stereo doubles the noise floor). Then you've got to consider the rest of the recording chain, so if you end up with -60dB/ch, you're doing fine. In a studio, over time, the in-house engineer will locate & ameliorate the effects of extraneous radio signals & physical noise, to provide the best environment.
Now, in a live set up, things are different. There are many things that have to be compromised with or are beyond your control: lights (Bastards!), fans, generators, mobile phones, security radios & OB unit transmissions, moody earth connections, nearby power lines or transmitters & a plethora of physical noise sources, including the crew, but some of which can be so low freq. that you cant hear them, even tho they affect the equipment anyway. As an engineer, you just have to do your best by optimising the gain structure & impedances from stage to PA & where necessary, notching the EQ.
However, when people are hunting for evp, they are doing the exact opposite: ie boosting the gain as far as it will go to try to hear the very faintest of signals. When you consider that, if you did the same with the best pro gear in an optimum set up, you'd expect to find some extraneous signal that has a perfectly mundane explanation, its no surprise that consumer (or even just decent pro) gear, would pick up all kinds of signals in any old random environment.
Something else to consider is that radio propagation isn't as simple as:
Transmitter A has
Output X
Therefore @ distance Y
Location B will recieve
Signal strength Z
(Cont. Below)

posted on Sep, 17 2010 @ 04:52 PM
(Cont. From Above)
There are all kinds of atmospheric conditions & physical structures which affect how far a given radio signal will extend & the quality it will arrive. Some of these phenomena can be transitory & can extend the range considerably, momentarily. Also, most recording gear has what is known as a "gate", which is a circuit that excludes signals below a certain amplitude from the pre-amp stage. However, its completely possible for several transitory extraneous signals to be induced into the equipment (where the various connectors & components act like an aerial) adding up to an amplitude between them which the gate will then open for, just as if it was a legitimate input. The thing to bear in mind here is that such an event is likely to contain a variety of harmonics, since it is triggered by multiple, probably distorted, sources.
On to psycho-acoustics then (the subject of my Master's).
Human perception of sound is not like a recording device at all. There is upto 14ms delay between the vibration of the eardrum & conscious perception, whilst the 'lizard brain' receives the info much faster, thus we can 'instinctively' react to something before we think. In that short time difference, our brains process the info & much of it is ignored. It depends on environment, emotional state, concentration, etc. However, as a 'default setting', we are all 'tuned' to listen out for human voices & analyse anything that sounds like such in much more minute detail than other sounds (thus we can pick out our own screaming kid from a gaggle of 'em, or momentarily think cats mating is a crying child).
The thing about the human voice is that it is made up of many harmonics. Even the 'purest' note you may have heard from a professional singer is not a sine wave (ie pure tone) & most voices contain many dissonant harmonics as well as the intended tone of the speaker. Thus, if we consider the likely content of deliberate radio transmissions (voice or music [itself tuned to that same freq. band that grabs us])

posted on Sep, 17 2010 @ 06:15 PM
(Cont From Above)
Then imagine such signals randomly chopped up & distorted, its easy to see how they could add up to a sound which we then interpret as deliberate speech (it may even contain elements of speech). It gets more complex tho, because there are all kinds of hums & periodic crackles or hisses produced by electrical equipment which, when added to a tiny radio signal will produce a highly distorted version of that signal, momentarily, or between them, may just sound like a voice.
Then you've got these people who slow down or speed up their recordings, or reverse them etc. I swear, I could go record traffic & with enough patience, I could manipulate it to sound like a conversation!
Now I'm not saying that evp is bunk. I dont know. What I do know is that, for a scientist to take it seriously, the issues I've raised here would have to be addressed & the problems eliminated from any experiments.
1 last point: sound activated recorders. Just because you cant hear a sound, or nothing appears to have been recorded thereafter, does not mean that there wasn't an ordinary mundane low freq. sound which triggered your device, but that your device or playback isn't capable of reproducing the signal.
PS I realise that I'm not good at explaining this stuff to people without a background in sound. If you want any clarification, just ask & I'll do my best.

posted on Sep, 17 2010 @ 06:26 PM
reply to post by Bunken Drum

Thank you for that bit on sound equipment. I for one am a believer in the paranormal, but I am skeptical of evp's. I always wondered what could be picked up on the recorders. I understood enough to realize that some noise is what I thought it might be. I remember as a kid that the first cordless phones sometimes needed to have dampeners placed on the line due to interference. If you used one without it you would get line cross overs. It makes me wonder how many evp's are actually errant signals from a radio or tv.

posted on Sep, 17 2010 @ 07:38 PM
Good work with that section on sound, however at this stage we are still sitting at merely ineundo/personal experiences about ghost hunting/paranormal investigations. Lets work out how these myths came to fruition.

So lets clarify:

Who came up with the theory of EMF sighting paranormal manifestations?

Who came up with the theory that an entity would give off a heat signature (and produce cold spots)?

Who came up with the theory that spirits may communicate on a different frequency? (As mentioned above digital voice recorders can often pick up other frequencies ie telephones etc)

We need a scientific approach if not a logical approach that goes beyong ''a personal experience''. I am not denying any one's experiences however, if any one else came forward on ATS with out evidence about any thing else we are so quick to dismiss and debunk, lets do the same here in the process we may discover things that can either be:

A) New ideas
B) Explained or
C) Debunked.

posted on Sep, 17 2010 @ 07:53 PM
all i could say that ghost, spirit, soul wherever you want to call it they are REAL. i don't need to proof anyone anything and i was one of those nonbeliever until it happened to me. i have never smoke anything in my life just in case
. i could tell you that they love, they hate, they forget things, and remember things just like humans without any physical body. Probably those shows like ghost hunter trying to show proof, the spirit are actually laughing on how stupid we look looking for them.

just a little story on how some of them are. The soul i speak to (yess speak just like any human to human converstion and for hours) told me this. My uncle used to live with us in the living room but he was always complaining on weird noises, touches, tv turning on and off, books falling down taples (your regular ghost activity). My uncle has always worked in the spanish govement and is a well educated man who likes to read all the time and right novels (that's his hobby). When i ask the soul who is doing that to him, this was heard reply
"when you are sleeping i have nothing else to do, i go over the leaving room and sit with him. i see him reading and writing all the time that it gets me frustrated and to distract him i have to switch channels or knock some books of the table"

take my story just like any other story you want to debunk or wherever is call but i'm here writing the honest true about my experience. Is up to you if you want to believe it and i really don't care cause i do have to believe it since is happening to me.

posted on Sep, 17 2010 @ 08:10 PM
The "cold spots" associated with ghosts is a very traditional belief, although I can't tell you where it first appered it has been used for hundreds of years

Heres an except from "A haunted Island" written by Algernon Blackwood in 1899

Even moments drawn out into hours must come to an end some time, and almost before I knew it the figures had passed me and had their feet upon the lower step of the stairs leading to the upper bedrooms. There could not have been six inches between us, and yet I was conscious only of a current of cold air that followed them. They had not touched me, and I was convinced that they had not seen me. Even the trailing thing on the floor behind them had not touched my feet, as I had dreaded it would, and on such an occasion as this I was grateful even for the smallest mercies.

full text

posted on Sep, 17 2010 @ 08:24 PM
reply to post by davespanners

a person can " feel " hot or cold - without any actuall temperature difference in thier surroundings

posted on Sep, 18 2010 @ 01:33 AM
So it can be attributed to personal feelings rather then actual temp drops? eg your excited you warm up or scared you and you get goosebumps and you get cold etc

posted on Sep, 18 2010 @ 02:10 AM
post removed for serious violation of ATS Terms & Conditions

posted on Sep, 18 2010 @ 12:30 PM
reply to post by hangedman13

It makes me wonder how many evp's are actually errant signals from a radio or tv.
Exactly! To illustrate:
I worked with a band more for love than money. They started to get a rep. We got a decent sized gig, but their manager didn't listen to me about the PA. We didn't have enough = 3 choices: 1) go for sound quality & leave those @the back thinking "Isn't metal supposed to be loud?" 2) go balls out & hope the band could carry it off 3) dip my own wallet [yeah right: there's love & then there's business, eh?]. Their manager wanted 3 (quelle suprise!) or 1. The lads wanted 2. I decided we'd start with 1 & kick up to 2 if the crowd responded well (you've gotta try to please everyone if you want another job!), but this needed a comprehensive sound check.
During that, the bassist unplugged his vox mic (dunno why) & we had a massive bang on the system. We all froze thinking the top end must be blown, then a voice that sounded like chinese came over the PA before it rocked off into feedback. Wierd & spooky!
With hindsight, I'm sure it was a long wave radio broadcast, possibly from China, that just happened to be the exact freq. that the crappiest cable was the right length to act as an antenna for, combined with the system's capacitors having been momentarily over-charged, so as the charge dissipated, any tiny signal would be amplified.
Thankfully it didn't happen again, because there's really not much an engineer can do about random events like that, other than turn the gain down.

posted on Sep, 18 2010 @ 12:55 PM
reply to post by q_ball
Mate, I have no idea where the idea of evp originated. I'm just adding what I do know, for definite facts, to the discussion. It seems likely to me that, @some point during the development of sound recording, some nerd with an interest in the paranormal (like myself
) must have heard something on playback that they hadn't heard during recording & wondered, "Hmmm, that sounds a bit spooky, perhaps it is!"
I'm gonna flag this thread in the hope that someone with a better historical knowledge base will come along & enlighten us.

posted on Sep, 18 2010 @ 10:34 PM
reply to post by q_ball

Lets be frank here first. Most reported claims of paranormal activity can and will be natural occuring events that can be explained or mentally related. Not every bump in the night is a ghost. However saying that as an investigator we are limited with tools to properly document with any type of measurement to validify any potential activity. This is why we use the following equipment that can be measured and documented. It is the best example of doing what we can with what we have. Here is some reasoning and explanations to why these peices of equipment are used and why.

The EMF detector has come about to be used to measure fluctuations in the natural magnetic field during an investigation. You can compare results with NOAA spaceweather to access any fluctuations in the natural magnetic field. Why is this important? It is believed that spirits need energy to communicate, manifest themselves partially or into a full bodied aparition. A spike in the emf field could posibly be used to help add evidence to the validity of claims when it coincides with activity. A theory that the spirits use the natural emf field from Earth as well as man made fields. All we can do as investigators is measure the natural environment the best as possible to see what changes are involved that could provide evidence as a stepping stone to eventually prove or disprove ghosts or find out what else it could be. The variation to the emf field could create flux in the environment that could create cold/hot spots which leads to the FLIR camera.

Secondly the FLIR. Almost every ghost story that has ever been told since recorded history has told of huge temperature drops during direct paranormal activity. The Flir is able to detect heat and cold so it is used to help validate any related temperature fluctuations that coincide with activity. It is one of the best tools to have simply because you can debunk cold spots visually with related areas such as drafty windows in which you cant feel any drafts but can verify around windows doors basements vents etc that could be explanatory reasons for the temperature fluctuations.

As a paranormal Investigator you have to be skeptical of everything especially involving EVP's. As an investigator you should use a simple inexpensive tool such as an RF (Radio Frequency)detector. This detector picks up signals of broadband internet, cell phone signals,radio transmissions. This tool can help debunk said evps captured if it registers a signal being detected. Thorough investigators would log the time and cross reference it with potential evp's. Our team eliminates them as a possibility with any correlation due to the potential interference. No interference then we coul dhave potential evidence. What also makes that difficult is correlating the possibility of it being a direct response to your question. If you ask for example how many of us are here and it answers correctly. What are the odds of a stray radio frequency answering your question directly, and correctly. The world of ITC recieved a huge boost since the advancement of digital tv and the analog signals becoming free from visual communications etc, but thats a whole different can of worms

This is the level we are at with equipment and documentation of events. Unfortunatly as paranormal investigators we are all underfunded and under-equipped. We need much more advanced equipment and who knows if the scientific community would look at this phenomenon with more revelance they may understand quantum physics more or find answers in other aspects such as time travel or interdimensional travel. What if paranormal activity is a temporary rift between multiple dimensions allowing bleeding through which gives us the possibility of ghosts and spirits. I am a believer and I have experienced alot of things that I have yet to debunk and I believe this is a field that science should be experimenting more and more and looking for answers. Their problem is if they cant replicate it in a sterile environment multiple times, they discredit it and move on past it.

Just my two cents as a seasoned paranormal investigator.
Paranormal Nights Invstigation Team based in Cincinnati Ohio

edit on 18-9-2010 by Paranormal Nights because: spelling

posted on Sep, 20 2010 @ 12:38 AM
I've been interested in ghosts and hauntings since I was a kid in the 1960s. I've done much research, and I can tell you that the EVP phenomenon goes way back to the 1940s or earlier. Thomas Edison even had an interest in communicating with the dead. 78 RPM recordings of early EVPs supposedly exist.
A parapsychologist in the 60s, Konstantin Raudive, took it to the next level by using a high-end (for that era) reel-to-reel tape recorder to capture some pretty freaky EVPs. He said that ghosts or spirits would usually utter a single cryptic word. In very rare cases, it may be a short 3-4 word phrase. In other words, they won't sit and converse with you.
(I always thought the idea of a single-word EVP was scary! I remember one where a supposed ghost whispered "leave!". That gave me goosebumps.)

As Bunken Drum stated, the fact that these ghost hunter types crank the gain up means that all kinds of random transmissions can be snagged, which really diminishes the credibility of EVPs in general.

posted on Sep, 20 2010 @ 12:45 AM
Just to make it clear I was posting the info about cold spots because the OP wanted to know the origin of such beliefs, I wasn't saying that I think it is a valid belief.

As for belief in EVP this can be pretty easily traced as audio recording tech is fairly new.
apparently Thomas Edison made this statement in a magazine interview in the 1920's

it is possible to construct an apparatus which will be so delicate that if there are personalities in another existence or sphere who wish to get in touch with us in this existence or sphere, this apparatus will at least give them a better opportunity to express themselves than the tilting tables and raps and ouija boards and mediums and the other crude methods now purported to be the only means of communication.

So I am guessing that belief in EVP first came from there

posted on Sep, 20 2010 @ 09:49 PM
I remember reading somewhere that actual scientists who were investigating paranormal claims used EMF meters in the 1980s and 1990s to determine if the environment where a person was having 'paranormal' experiences had high EMF. EMF can affect the brain in many ways, and high EMF could produce hallucinations that seem very real. Scientists were looking for this field to explain why a person may be having strange experiences. Somehow over the years this method became twisted, stating that ghosts give off an EMF field...not the other way around.

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