Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Ghost-Hunting Mistakes

Millions of people are interested in ghosts.  A 2005 poll found that 37% of Americans believe in haunted house, and even more believe in ghosts.  These ghosts investigators think they are being scientific if they use the Electromagnetic field detectors or infrared cameras.  The main challenge for any ghost investigator is separating the facts from myths, and misunderstandings.  On the show Ghost Hunters, the successful show on the Syfy channel displays noises in which the “expert” ghost hunters hear, and run towards.  These noises may just be a creek in the old wooden house, yet they may think the noise is a ghost who is trying to talk to them. 

Throughout an article written by Ben Radford on the website called “The Committee for Skeptical Inquiry” he has some very good points, that a person who is interested in making valid “ghost” hunting claims must take into consideration.  These ghost hunters must use science for their claims to even be considered real.  With the use of new technology professionals using editing software can manipulate photos, this is another big question when looking into ghost pictures. 

·      Assuming that no specialized knowledge or expertise is needed to effectively investigate ghosts.
·      Failing to consider alternative 
explanations for anomalous or 
“unexplained” phenomena.
·      Considering subjective feelings 
and emotions as evidence of 
ghostly encounters.
·      Using improper and unscientific investigation methods.
·      Focusing on the history of a haunted location instead of the specific phenomena reported at it.

Monday, April 21, 2014

Paranormal Investigators and Pseudoscience

Paranormal ghost hunting can be done by any enthusiast that has an interest and does not need any scientific tools.  Ghost hunters always investigate with the lights off, as if the ghosts only appear when it is harder to see.  This is a planned trick into making a good television show and making the scene appear scary.  A ghost show would not be as thrilling if the lights were on.  Most ghosts are reported as being shadows or dark figures, which makes ghost hunting in the dark seem irrelevant.  A lot of the ghost hunters perform overnight stakeouts on places to try and catch paranormal activity
occurring.  A door that closes or opens on its own could be because of the wind and environment, and normal activity for that place.  A sound heard that may appear to be a voice, could be a nearby radio of a neighbor or ordinary sounds for that place.  Ghost hunters only spend a night at a particular place and do not study or understand the normal acting or sounding activity for that location.

Many tools that are used on ghost hunting shows such as EMF detectors or infrared cameras might pick up electromagnetic fields or images on the thermal.  Nobody has proven whether changes in electromagnetic fields mean that their is a ghost, or a mass of heat must be a ghost.  Paranormal researchers assume everything these tools measure or pick up on are ghosts and really could be something else.  Using recording devices allows for mistakes because the location of the sound cannot be traced.  By standing in the middle of the room with only one recording device, it would be impossible to locate a sound that came from across the
room and which direction it came from.  Multiple microphones would need to be used in order to accurately find the origin of the sound and not just assume it is a ghost trying to communicate.  This relates back to not knowing the environment and its regular and natural noises.

Investigators of paranormal activity jump to quick conclusions and do not allow for others to form their own opinion of what the activity may be.  On the television shows, the investigator may say he heard a voice of a little girl, although it may be a noise of a man or another source, but jumps to a quick conclusion because little girls seem to sound scarier.  A lot of what ghost hunters base their research off of is the unproven history of other investigators assuming that electromagnetic field changes means a ghost, or that certain strange activities like a door opening or closing means a ghost is present.  Past investigators have
performed investigations in the dark, which has seemed to become the norm for all investigators although being in the dark makes no sense at all.  No real science is used in these investigations, and television shows use unproven facts and myths that they present as real science.

Opening and Closing Door - Must Be A Ghost

George Adamski and Alien Abductions

     Alien Abductions result from a variety of of issues from the perspective of the person being abducted, but always seem to report similar abduction experiences and symptoms surrounding the cause for the experience.  Our society has shaped
the alien and how an alien acts and looks.  Although aliens abduction stories appear very real and truthful in the eyes of the experiencer, many of the abduction experiences are generated by the experiencer with no evidence to support the claims.  Each experience is initiated from a stressful part of society and is related to very common issues.  Aliens occur because of the mass attention from the media and society.  All the alien abduction experiences will be shown to happen near or during sleep with detailed stories produced by the experiencer only after hypnosis or memory recall.  Abduction stories can easily be explained by simple issues within a person and aliens never making contact with our world.  

      In 1957 the first modern story of alien abductions was reported by a Brazilian farmer who was taken aboard an egg-shaped vehicle by three unidentified creatures.  His alien abduction story matched the current theme at the time of similar alien descriptions from what was being reported at the time, as he was stripped naked and taken by a female alien for reproduction purposes.  Many events starting in 1947 began the rise in alien awareness and the formation of the “contactees.”  In 1947 a sighting of nine objects above Mount Rainer occurred and the Roswell incident took place days 
later.  Three movies, The Day the Earth Stood Still, The Thing, and The Invasion of Washington, were all released in 1951 and 1952 along with the scare from the cold  war.  These events started a scare in people in addition to the Cold War that aliens could exist.  Space Brothers was the term  for the aliens during this time where people escaped the fear of nuclear war and sought safety in alien spaceships with aliens representing peace and love, first introduced by George Adamski who made contact in 1952.  The beginning of the 1950s seem to be a critical point in explaining alien abduction with mass fear of nuclear war and alien contact.

     Alien abductions are an end result of hypnogogic and hypnopompic experiences which include sleep paralysis that are further supported because of fantasy prone individuals who seek an explanation from others who share their beliefs.  Alien abductions started in the 1950s and are currently ongoing into the present.  Many of these abduction experiences happened prior to the 1950s but seem to have evolved with the media and current times.  Hypnosis does not bring out the truth of alien abduction, but is a strong case in disproving alien abduction as research shows that most alien abduction reports are depicted through hypnosis, and that hypnosis is proved to produce false memories.  Alien abductions contain lack of third party witnesses and usually happens around sleep or long, desolate, and tiresome drives.  Alien abductions are a special group of individuals who seek explanation to a terrifying experience that changes across cultures and over time.  

The Maritime mystery of the Mary Celeste has been and continues to baffle many people.  The Mary Celeste is a 282 ton Brigantine Merchant ship that set sail from New York to Genoa Italy.  The ship left port on November 7, 1872 with 7 crew members, Captain Benjamin Spooner Briggs, his wife Sarah and their 2 year old daughter Sophia.  The ship was found drifting 400 Hundred miles East of Azores Islands of the Santa Maria.  When the ship was boarded the people found not a soul, living or dead on board.  What they found was 6 months’ worth of supplies, all of the crew’s belongings, 1701 barrels of alcohol and no life boats. Another noteworthy find was that the skip’s pumps had been taken apart.   During the investigations the captain’s logs showed that the crew had dealt with “heavy weather” for about 2 weeks.  The last entry for the captain’s log were made on November 25 at 5:05 A.M.   Another fact that was uncovered about the ship’s history is that the ship had just carried coal, and gone through construction.  This fact about the last cargo and the construction could account for the pumps being taken apart.     Some speculated that the crew evacuated the ship because of Alcohol Vapors; and with the bad weather the life boats got away from the ship.   And others say that a sea monsters came up from the deep and took them.  So much has been written about the disappearance of the people from the Mary Celeste but, they may never know what really happened?


Ouija Board

            The original people who tried to use the board got Ouija as their first word and that is what the board said it meant. So the term “Ouija” comes from the term “Good Luck”, because the board is often known to be a tool of the devil. The board was first sold in the early 1890’s for about $1.50. It was originally sold in a Pittsburg toy store and was advertised as a magical device that can answer questions about the past, present and future. It quickly spread as a worldwide phenomenon. The board has a specific layout. It has the words “yes” and “no”, the numbers 1 through 9, all 26 letters in the alphabet and the word “goodbye” in a lower corner. The tool that moves around the board is called a “planchette”, which is a tear shaped device with a small window in it to maneuver around the board.
            It emerged at the peak of spiritualism. Man people claimed to talk to the dead but many sources were unreliable. People believed that wit “opened the gates to hell” because it was seen as unwise to communicate with the dead. Though, the original creators at the Kennard Novelty Company were mainly focused on the profit it would create. Many people found it boring in the beginning because many of the messages took long to come out.
            Many people have written about the mystical powers throughout the past 120 years. It has become more popular in recent years because of movies about the paranormal and other forms of media. Though many people believed it was false and that other people were moving the piece instead of the spirits. There are different elements of thoughts within this belief. There are assumptions and concepts and maybe even some implications. Though, all types of thinkers have believed that his board may hold mystical powers. However the idea of ethical obligations is a little fuzzy in this sense because many of the results are based on belief.