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Posts Tagged ‘paranormal’

The Tools of a Ghost Hunter

Thursday, October 30th, 2014

The Tools of a Ghost Hunter

Throughout history, there have been tales and evidence of paranormal phenomena, but there was not always a way to provide real proof for an explanation. To investigate these incidences, today’s hunters (also called investigators) rely on science to determine the possible presence of entities. There are different tools used to investigate and provide a possible explanation.

Electromagnetic Field Detectors
Phenomena are known to cause disturbances in the electromagnetic spectrum, allowing entities to cause fluctuations in the energy around us. EMF detectors monitor magnetic, radio, and electric fields for fluctuations. Testameters measure electric and magnetic fields. RF meters are used to measure radio frequencies.Listening Devices
Any type of recording device has the ability to pick up electronic voice phenomena that may be emitted through EMF energy. A digital recorder with computer uplinking capabilities is often chosen for a hunt. Although each case is different, a listening device can often pick up the communication of any entities presently trying to interact.

Digital and Video Cameras
History is riddled with documented photographic proof of paranormal entities. These days the same evidence is used in almost every hunt or investigation. Today, however, the equipment used is more advanced and includes digital high speed cameras that can take hundreds of photos per minute and video cameras to film the whole event or to use as a means of catching video evidence of occurrences.

Temperature Sensors
Entities have also been known to produce cold and hot spots or even make an entire room cold or hot as they deplete energy during their manifestations. Infrared thermometers are used to read temperatures and thermal detectors can be used to detect hot spots. An infrared thermometer is often combined with a laser point for accuracy. Thermal detectors are usually paired with video cameras, or part of a multi-purpose device.

Ion Counters
It is not uncommon for entities to cause the air to ionize. When the air produces static electricity or becomes ionized, light emits as the source field discharges. This can be the source of unexplained balls or spots of light appearing without a known cause.

Radiation Detectors
Some occurrences can have evidence of radioactivity. Although objects can be radioactive, the odds of a high enough level to emit a green or white light are small. Radiation monitors, however, are still used to help determine if there is a fluctuation in background radiation. If background radiation levels fluctuate, it can show evidence of a paranormal occurrence.

Infrared Motion Detectors
These highly sensitive motion detectors are typically connected to camcorders and other recording devices. They are scattered around and rely on the infrared sensors. Changes in a room trigger the detectors, which in turn causes any connected equipment to begin recording. In investigations, this is a handy way to monitor multiple rooms without the need for a large amount of people.

Walkie Talkies
Communication between team members is important when you are split off into groups. You need to be able to relay experiences to one another in real time. Walkie talkies are used to ensure that each member can be reached at all times.

GPS Devices
A GPS device can be a beneficial tool on a hunt, particularly if it occurs outside. It can help you mark and keep track of specific locations where events occur. Many of these devices also allow time stamping.

Flashlights Galore
One of the most common tools to have in your arsenal is a large supply of flashlights – and tons of batteries. Flashlights come in handy when you are investigating dark places or if the electricity happens to go out. Be aware, however, that it is widely believed that the presence of entities drains batteries or causes interference with flashlights operating correctly. Always have night vision and candles as backups.

Miscellaneous Tools
In addition to the main tools, there is a substantial amount of extra things to include. Extra monitors are often used for multiple cameras. You will need a laptop to sync all the equipment. For cameras and camcorders, make sure you have plenty of memory cards. Also, it is likely that you will need surge protector power strips, extension cords, and extra batteries for everything. It may also be a good idea to have a small portable generator for the equipment that does not use batteries, in case a power outage occurs.

If you suspect that your house is haunted, or you think you are haunted, contacting a hunting organization or individual is your first step. Through the equipment used, you can obtain photos, video, and other proof that stems from science. Be aware that every case is unique. It may not be possible to obtain the kind of proof you seek. It is also important to note that not all tools are used in every single investigation. Hunters tend to use equipment that is most likely to provide proof of the presence of an entity.

Q: Is there a difference between ghosts and spirits?
A: Yes. A ghost and spirit are two similar but different types of entities. Both entities have died. Ghosts are usually not aware that they have died; they have not crossed over and are attached to specific places from their life, such as a house. Spirits, on the other hand, are entities that know they have passed, reside in another realm, and only visit occasionally – often during times of heightened emotion or distress.

Q: Can an investigation be done at any time of the day or is it only at night like they are on TV?
A: Paranormal investigation shows on TV have led many people to believe quite a few misconceptions about investigations. Entities and activity can be detected at any time, day or night. The TV shows portray hunts taking place at night to provide a dramatic effect.

Q: Are there different types of hauntings?
A: Yes. There are three basic categories used to describe hauntings. A residual haunting occurs when ghosts are trying to recreate or re-live an event they experienced in life, such as the events that caused their death. It acts like a loop, continuing over and over, and the ghosts do not acknowledge you are there nor can you interact with them. An intelligent haunting occurs when the entities can, and do, communicate and interact. The third category is a poltergeist haunting. This type is believed to actually be a manifestation caused by a living person. The belief is that this person is going through heavy emotional turmoil that creates a large amount of energy, leading to events caused by psychokinesis – moving objects with the mind.

Scientific Explanations For Ghost Sightings

Thursday, October 30th, 2014

Scientific Explanations For Ghost Sightings

Do you believe in ghosts? If you answered yes, you’re not alone. Almost half of all Americans believe, according to recent CBS News poll. This conviction is an old one, found throughout history in ancient Greek culture, cave paintings in Utah from 7000 BC, and even in the Bible itself. Science is still skeptical, but the absence of proof is not necessarily proof of absence. Scientists have yet to prove the existence of black holes under laboratory conditions, but we’re pretty sure they exist in the universe. Couldn’t the same be true for ghosts? Although researchers have yet to reach a solid explanation, here are a few of the most supported theories regarding whether or not paranormal beings exist, and what they actually are.

1. Spirits of the Deceased
Common culture dictates that apparitions are human spirits separated from their bodies by death. Surprisingly, it seems Einstein considered this a true possibility: “If energy cannot be created or destroyed but only change form, what happens to our body’s energy when we die? Could that somehow be manifested as a ghost?” In 1907, Dr. Duncan McDougall attempted to prove that at the moment of death, the soul leaves the human body and the body thus weighs less – 21 grams to be exact. His work was later discredited, but has since inspired other researchers to determine the soul’s weight and all resulted in some measurable weight loss after death, although results varied greatly. However, this does seem to imply that something that leaves the body following death – could this be the human soul, that for unknown reasons, lingers here on Earth?
2. Neutrinos
Neutrinos are weak, electrically neutral particles with the ability to pass through any form of matter. They are created by radioactive decay. If paranormal beings were made up of neutrinos, this would explain their ability to pass through objects. However, if this were true they would be silent and invisible to the naked eye. It’s possible that ghosts are made of neutrinos, but under the right conditions these neutrinos are charged and thus become audible and visible. This could explain why supernatural activity is more likely during solar storms and during heightened geomagnetic activity.
3. Infrasound Resonation
Some sounds emitted occur at too low a frequency for the human ear to fully process. These infrasound waves occur anywhere between one to twenty Hertz. They are so quiet that you don’t actually hear them, but your ears can still sense them. Your brain can’t zero in on the source so your mind becomes confused, causing fear, dread, panic, nausea, anxiety, and chills. At 18.9 Hz, the human eyeball will actually vibrate just enough to create optical illusions. This accounts for at least some reported sightings. In 1998 at Coventry University, Vic Tandy discovered infrasound resonation to be the source of ghostly apparitions and feelings of fear. A fan emitting a low frequency sound wave of 18.9 HZ was the culprit, and Tandy published his findings in the Journal of the Society for Physical Research.
4. Geomagnetic Waves
Robert Schoch, a professor at Boston University, is currently researching the relationship between brain waves and geomagnetic waves. His theory is that the mind’s emotional states can travel along the low frequency wavelengths found naturally in Earth’s geomagnetic field. In this way, they can be transferred between people and result in apparitions. Although this explanation may seem far-fetched, his laboratory has compiled evidence that a positive correlation exists between apparition sightings and geomagnetic flux patterns.
5. Electrical Stimulation of the Mind
Recently, researchers in Switzerland published a paper in the journal Nature. These doctors electrically stimulated the left temporoparietal junction of the patient’s brain to treat epilepsy. This is the area of the brain responsible for recognition of consciousness – it allows us to differentiate between ourselves and other people. The result was that the patient described a ‘shadow person,’ closely following her every move. Her mind was unable to detect the break in her consciousness, and instead sensed a strange presence.Summary
Although we currently have no concrete answers as to what exactly ghosts are, or if they even exist, the possibility still remains. There is much in the universe that we still don’t know. Every scientific fact we now know to be true was just an unproven theory faced with skeptical opponents. Throughout history we have consistently developed new technology and improved our scientific methods of detection. There is no telling what we might find in the years to come.

Q: Is this a real science?
A: Yes, it is. 
There are several scientific organizations and laboratories around the world investigating this phenomenon. Several are affiliated with or run by respectable universities and conduct experiments using the scientific method and advanced technology like Geiger counters, infrared cameras, ion detectors, digital video/ audio recorders, and Electromagnetic Field (EMF) to detect evidence of any abnormal presence. 

Q: Where can I find out more?
A: The American Paranormal Research Association (http://apraparanormal.com/), the Paranormal Research Organization (http://www.paranormal-research.org/), and the International Paranormal Reporting Group (http://www.iprgc.com/) are great places to start. 

Q: What universities have supported experiments and research in this field?
A: Stanford University (1970s-1980s), Duke University (1930s-1960s), Princeton University (1970s-2000s), Harvard University (1990s-2000s), University of Virginia (1960s-present), University of Arizona (2000s-present), University of California (1960s-1970s), and Cornell University (2000s), as well as several others worldwide.