What is the materialist's explanation for Poltergeists?

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posted on Aug, 12 2013 @ 11:21 AM
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I am curious to hear from materialists on the phenomenon of poltergeists. For the purposes of this thread, we will define materialism as follows:

materialism:

1. Philosophy. The theory that physical matter is the only reality and that everything, including thought, feeling, mind, and will, can be explained in terms of matter and physical phenomena.

Poltergeist activity as most of you know, can mostly be defined thusly:

Poltergeist:

1. A ghost that manifests itself by noises, rappings, and the creation of disorder.

Further to that definition, one of the hallmarks of poltergeist activity is the manifestation of physical phenomenon. Objects moving, substances materializing out of nowhere, objects levitating or disappearing and reappearing, etc.

One famous case (which had over 30 witnesses) that I am sure most of ATS is familiar with is the Enfield poltergeist, which you can read about briefly here . The Enfield poltergeist is probably one of the best documented cases of poltergeist activity, and while the linked article is a good overview of what happened, there is much more material regarding the case on the internet, including recordings. Now the obvious conclusion a materialist would come to is that the whole thing was hoaxed. But what if it wasn't? There are accounts and evidences all over the world for poltergeist activity,surely every case can't be a hoax?

Usually when a phenomenon is observable and there is evidence for it, it is the duty of scientists to investigate it. Outside a fringe group of paranormal researches, mainstream scientists generally regard the subject with derision, and often claim there is no evidence for it (when there is actually a wealth of evidence for it). Hypothetically speaking, if poltergeist activity does occur, what is the materialists explanation for such phenomenon?

In closing I will leave you with a personal experience I had while living in a house that I considered to be haunted. Aside from other events which led me to that conclusion (some of which were witnessed by multiple people), there is one event that occurred in that house that defies any attempts at rationalisation. The event occurred as follows:

It was a sunny summer morning, and I was about to leave the house to head downtown. I had just had a cup of coffee and was alert, sober, and in good spirits. Before leaving the house, I went back into the living room to make sure I'd turned off the stereo. Verifying that I had indeed turned it off, I turned to exit the living room when an ashtray (sort of a tin cup that we used as an ashtray anyways) which was sitting on top of the speaker to my left, flew off the speaker and across the living room in a straight line, striking the wall opposite the stereo (about 18 feet away). The ashtray did not fall, it did not get knocked off the stereo by a breeze, and I did not touch it. It flew (seemingly of it's own power) in a straight line with no arc at high speed and impacted the opposite wall with force.

I remember thinking that I must be hallucinating or something, so I left the ashtray where it was (butts on the floor and all) and exited the house in a hurry, being somewhat spooked. I figured if I returned and everything was where I had left it, then it would serve as a confirmation that I had indeed just witnessed something very unusual. When I returned, the ashtray (and cigarette butts) were exactly where they had been left after impacting the wall.

My experience is 100% true and I have nothing to gain by fabricating such a story. So my question to the materialists is this: What did I witness? What is your explanation not only for my experience, but for the 1000's of other accounts of poltergeist activity (some of which are extremely well documented)? Are we all liars?
edit on 12-8-2013 by DeadSeraph because: (no reason given)




posted on Aug, 12 2013 @ 11:40 AM
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Mass hysteria.

Really you can't prove something to some people unless they see, feel, and exp it themselves.



posted on Aug, 12 2013 @ 11:46 AM
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The most logical conclusion I have come to in regards to paranormal events such as poltergeists is plainly, temporal overlap.


These actions and events are just the result of a spacetime fold or overlap resulting in two or more opposing forces battling out for their "now" supremacy.


Time is only an illusion, the past, present and future exist simultaneously.



posted on Aug, 12 2013 @ 12:01 PM
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I don't think "what is the materialist's explanation for poltergeists" is a proper question to ask.

A "poltergeist" is a combined explanation of people's incapability of understanding what caused the [claimed] event that was perceived. So, the only way to "answer" the question is to say that:

1. A natural force that went undetected
2. Misinterpretation of what had been seen
3. Hallucination
4. A lie.

When it comes to the example in this thread, it's sad that one of the most "well documented" stories includes a main character who admits of faking things. This is a very poor start. But in the end it doesn't matter. Even the most honest person's story would obviously fall under the points 1-3.



edit on 12-8-2013 by Nevertheless because: (no reason given)
edit on 12-8-2013 by Nevertheless because: (no reason given)



posted on Aug, 12 2013 @ 12:57 PM
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reply to post by Knives4eyes
 

Did the temporal overlap overlap the fold where the OP threw the ashtray against the wall?



posted on Aug, 12 2013 @ 01:13 PM
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Originally posted by Nevertheless
I don't think "what is the materialist's explanation for poltergeists" is a proper question to ask.

A "poltergeist" is a combined explanation of people's incapability of understanding what caused the [claimed] event that was perceived. So, the only way to "answer" the question is to say that:

1. A natural force that went undetected
2. Misinterpretation of what had been seen
3. Hallucination
4. A lie.

When it comes to the example in this thread, it's sad that one of the most "well documented" stories includes a main character who admits of faking things. This is a very poor start. But in the end it doesn't matter. Even the most honest person's story would obviously fall under the points 1-3.



edit on 12-8-2013 by Nevertheless because: (no reason given)
edit on 12-8-2013 by Nevertheless because: (no reason given)


Alright lets go with your explanations and use my personal account.

1) What natural force in your estimation was unperceived that could fling an inanimate object across the room in a straight line, slamming it into the wall on the opposite side of the room with force?

2) There is no way I could have misinterpreted what I witnessed. It happened in broad daylight, I was completely alert, sober, and witnessed the whole thing play out as I have detailed above, right in front of me.

3) There was physical evidence (that I had to clean up myself) that indicated it was not a hallucination. I have no history of mental illness and I am of sound mind and body.

4) I am not lying (but there is no way to verify that over the internet, so this could of course be an explanation, although it is not a very good one).

I am more interested in your ideas for the first item on your list of possible explanations. The other 3 seem weak in light of the evidence. I think the idea that a person must be lying, hallucinating, or misinterpreting what they witnessed simply because the phenomenon they report doesn't line up with our current understanding of reality is almost akin to the scientific "experts" throughout the ages who have scoffed at such ridiculous ideas as the earth revolving around the sun, micro organisms, flight, and gravity (and that is just a small list of available examples).

Certainly claims of paranormal activity should be met with scrutiny and skepticism, as there are known charlatans out there who use such ideas to turn a buck. But there are unexplained cases documented, and normal every day people who have no way to profit by telling their stories. I'm not entirely sure the best cases of poltergeist activity can simply be explained away by any of your 4 explanations, but I would like to hear more about your 1st explanation, specifically as it applies to my own experience. What natural phenomenon would you suggest occurred?



posted on Aug, 12 2013 @ 01:33 PM
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reply to post by kkrattiger
 


The more time is concentrated in an area the more likely there will be temporal overlapping issues. Just my opinion but the location the OP is in has a lot of history it is very likely that the position the ashtray was in allowed it to be interacted with in another time period.

Simply put, some bloke from 1700 AD saw the (possibly smoldering) ashtray and threw it to see if it was a danger.

Perhaps there was a married couple that resided in that very same location, the man or woman enters the room to witness a very out of place ashtray. This results in the hurled ashtray due to a couples quarrel from an item that overlapped time. This couple couldn't see the OP and the OP couldn't see them but somehow they could manipulate the ashtray, this is an example of a weak fold in time versus full viewing and interaction with each observer.

Only a portion of what we consider senses can interact with an object in a strong temporal field, the stronger the field the more your senses can be applied. In one case I was informed that the "apparition" cooked for the youngest member of this particular family but they could not speak, the apparition could also play their piano.

The possibilities are endless, the probability of spectral spirits haunting this realm are zilch and nada.



posted on Aug, 12 2013 @ 01:41 PM
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reply to post by DeadSeraph
 
According to my Unified Weirdness Theory, the short answer lies in quantum physics.



posted on Aug, 12 2013 @ 01:50 PM
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I used to live in a high rise flat and one night I was having a blazing row with an ex g/f in the bedroom. I was stood in the doorway with my back to the hall, with my ex shouting something or other, when I saw a change of expression in my ex's face a fraction of a second before I heard a noise in the hall. When I looked behind me, I saw that an empty 2 litre plastic cider bottle that had previously been on the window ledge in the kitchen 20 ft away, was now lying on the floor. My ex claimed she had seen it fly past behind my head and that's why she had paused mid-rant, and I have no reason to doubt her. There'd never been any weirdness previously and there was none afterwards, and I've just put it down as one of life's wtf moments.
edit on 12-8-2013 by IvanAstikov because: (no reason given)



posted on Aug, 12 2013 @ 05:43 PM
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reply to post by Knives4eyes
 


So your theory is a scenario kind of like "The Others" only instead of dead people, we are talking different people (who are alive) in different times? That's a really neat theory and is the sort of thing I was looking to hear from people by making the thread. Thanks for your contribution



posted on Aug, 12 2013 @ 06:00 PM
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Originally posted by Knives4eyes
The most logical conclusion I have come to in regards to paranormal events such as poltergeists is plainly, temporal overlap.


These actions and events are just the result of a spacetime fold or overlap resulting in two or more opposing forces battling out for their "now" supremacy.


Time is only an illusion, the past, present and future exist simultaneously.





You have an interesting theory. Of course, none of us can say if it's right... but I'd say it's somewhat plausible.


I'll put forth another one, albeit a more vague one: The human body runs on electricity. "Brainwaves" are electromagnetic. Thoughts and emotions, therefore, are combinations of electromagnetic patterns and chemical reactions. Perhaps there is some as yet poorly understood mechanism by which a location can absorb an "imprint" of the thoughts of its inhabitants, in certain circumstances.

Then later perhaps other organisms in the area using electromagnetism in their thought patterns can pick up on these "imprints." Perhaps like reading a record, or a DVD.



Along similar lines but more specific (this one not my "original" theory): some have speculated that anomalous electromagnetic activity in an area, itself, might be able to account for "hauntings." The right part of the brain hit with the right pattern / frequency can somewhat reliably induce a particular type of experience, across various subjects. So say you have a house that has some poorly insulated wires, giving off electromagnetic radiation. Or power lines, or some faulty appliance, or some anomaly within the earth itself....



posted on Aug, 12 2013 @ 06:59 PM
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reply to post by iwilliam
 


I do like your theory and have read up a little on implanting false memories into mice, so the idea is very intriguing to me.





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