As you can probably tell, I'm a skeptic. But as all good investigators should be, I am open to the possibility of things that cannot be easily explained (even if I have not witnessed one to date).
My wife loves to watch all those "Ghost hunting" programs on cable, which makes me a somewhat captive audience. The one thing that really sticks in my craw is watching them fumble around with their "professional" equipment, mis-calibrate it, then misuse it and claim they have "proof" of something paranormal. Geez, guys, I've used much of the same equipment in real experiments and there is a procedure for setting it up to get correct results; anything else is complete garbage. This is an abuse of science at its worst.
The latest crop of garbage science I witnessed:
- Orbs in videos and photos - Dear God, can't anyone take a simple course in how to take a picture. Out of focus = orb. Nothing supernatural here.
- Heat sensors - I have yet to see anyone calibrate a heat sensing camera right on one of these programs. These blasted things are touchy to begin with, and any mishandling can throw them out of calibration. These fools whip the camera around like they were trying to catch the jump shot at a basketball game, and shine IR lights right up the lens. That CCD has to be kept at a specific temperature to get anything useful. Any variation as little as 0.2 degrees and you have to recalibrate.
- White noise generators and EVP - Remember that old adage about a thousand chimpanzee's typing eventually producing Shakespeare's Hamlet? Same holds true here. Worst yet, the "white noise generators" some of these clowns use aren't even producing white noise. I observed one person using what amounted to a straw on a motor banging around in a cup! That is NOT white noise! If you really have a voice in the room, you don't need outside noise.
- "3-D" cameras and software - I recently watched some fool stating they "proved" there was a ghost with a camera that was meant to track motion for creating avatars in games, not really 3-D, but that's what they billed it as. This had to be one of the stupidest things I've ever witnessed. The fool running it had no comprehension what-so-ever in how it worked. The software is designed to be used with actors wearing suits with reflective balls or dots so the computer can generate a wire frame model of the motion. Without this, the software will attempt to find whatever contrasting spots it can and connect them with lines. The setup involved getting in a fairly dimly lit room, then cranking up the contrast until the software tried of find dots of contrasting light and dark and connect them (such that the software was having a difficult time connecting the dots with the lines already randomly jumping from point to point). The primary light source was located behind the observer, who with a wave of his hand made the shadows in the room and lo and behold the lines between the dots moved, proving they had captured a ghost.