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Brian Topp

Two Ghost Hunters Views On the Paranormal

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“I don't believe someone when they say they don't believe in ghosts, I think they're just scared,” ghost hunter Minckee Gerhold told The Local. Gerhold, along with partner Alex Schollain, are the otherworldly experts Berlin calls on when something spooky is afoot.

And they are in high demand having worked on 40 cases in castles, sprawling city apartments, old hospitals as well as farms, since full-time chef Schollain began advertising ghost hunting services.

Read More: http://www.thelocal....1011-52357.html

[Please note, I the OP do not surport this claim in any way, I only bring articles for conversation]

Edited by Saru
Reduced text - please do not copy and paste entire articles
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Well, this guy just made my list of people I want to hit with a pillowcase full of poop

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Well, this guy just made my list of people I want to hit with a pillowcase full of poop

i couldn't find any of his evidence
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It's right next to the hoverboard I build with Nth metal and my original copy of the necronomicon

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Wow, and they even have all of the right tools. They must be pros.

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“I don't believe someone when they say they don't believe in ghosts, I think they're just scared,”

I do not necesserely agree with that, I think some people are more rational and will need further studies and proofs and a consensus among the scientific communauties to accept this phenomenon. It was a bit provocative, unless said in a humoristic way, but it may offend some people.

Anyway, it's just one of a tremendous amount of groups created around the world after 2004 and they seem to establish themselves in Germany. No doubt this article will give them a good publicity.

Berlin is a place full of memories of the past, I would be surpised if there is no paranormal phenomenon going on there.

Edited by sam_comm

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The paranormal likely only exists in our minds. Do I feel the terror of the past as I walk the streets of Berlin? You bet. Is it a real force surrounding me and compelling me to fee that way? No, it is due to my understanding of what happened there since the turn of the last century. All of that history is amplified by still-evident scorching and shrapnel damage on many of the buildings and the vast open areas that were once densely populated. Then there are the reminders of the wall that divided the city and the oppressive ideology that put it there. Being sensible sensitive humans is enough to make us feel the reality of a place. We don't have to give ghosts credit for that.

Edited by sinewave
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@sinawe

The association of various paranormal phenomenon to the ghosts or spirits of dead people is a theory among others. In fact, modern parapsychology is leaning toward these been psychic phenomenon of the human minds. It's very possible. Poltergeist are now generally accepted in this field of research to be psychic phenomenon..

It's possible that what many call residual haunting is in fact an ability or a mechanisim of the the human mind to perceive events of the past.

But I don't think we can rule out the possiblity of intelligent entities or spirit of the dead. We know nothing about the after life and very little of life itself for that matter and therefore how can we draw a conclusion? How do we know it isn't possible that there can't be some sort of coming back? I do not know.

Edited by sam_comm
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wow, you went so far disbelieving you came back around to buying into a paranormal answer.

I don't think I've seen that one before.

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wow, you went so far disbelieving you came back around to buying into a paranormal answer.

I don't think I've seen that one before.

You seem to have misunderstood me, my above post wasn't about disbelieving and buying.

I have very little doubt about the legitimacy of some of these phenomenon. I've never experienced anything myself but have seen various documentations and accounts which lead me to think that some cases are legitimate and not all is frauds and lies.

That said, then there is the interpretations of them. I am not convinced that what we call a haunting is GrandMa coming back and seek attentions. The Human mind is fascinating and the theory that Humans might project their consciousness and create various phenomenon is not without sens, actually it's a very interesting possibility. Other researchers, such as John Keel and Jacques Vallé speak about Ultraterrestrial basically a form of lifes or entites, manifesting themselves in various guises such as Aliens, Ghosts, Werewolves ect. that may account for what people have claimed to see overtime.

I do not fully ''buy'' or ''disbelieve'' any of them.They're avenues that may or may not offer possible explanations of the unkown. At any rate, I cannot say that there is nothing more to it than frauds, lies and mesinterpretations. I am what can be called an ''open minded'' with regard to what we might not have fully discovered/understood yet.

Edited by sam_comm

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Uh huh,

well we seem to have a divergence then, I always look to science, every time, in every situation i've ever come across, science has the answers

I do see the irony in saying that, since I've often stated that anecdotal evidence means nothing.

But, i understand, you're open to different sources that do these things, not believing in the supernatural so much as believing in things that would be defined as paranormal

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@sinawe

The association of various paranormal phenomenon to the ghosts or spirits of dead people is a theory among others. In fact, modern parapsychology is leaning toward these been psychic phenomenon of the human minds. It's very possible. Poltergeist are now generally accepted in this field of research to be psychic phenomenon..

It's possible that what many call residual haunting is in fact an ability or a mechanisim of the the human mind to perceive events of the past.

But I don't think we can rule out the possiblity of intelligent entities or spirit of the dead. We know nothing about the after life and very little of life itself for that matter and therefore how can we draw a conclusion? How do we know it isn't possible that there can't be some sort of coming back? I do not know.

It is important to note that parapsychology has been largely the domain of small, privately funded institutes for the last 30 years for good reason. Despite decades of research done by major universities, no reproducible evidence was ever found to support the existence of para-psychological phenomena in humans. Of course that does not mean it does not exist just that no one has ever successfully demonstrated it does. From a purely scientific point of view the phenomenon has no traction.

Since the disillusionment of government research programs and university parapsychology departments, private institutes have not fared any better.

It is not the role of science to rule out the afterlife but rather the obligation of those who would attempt to employ science to have us accept it to demonstrate it does exist. Leaving out science makes this a matter of faith which I will not debate. :)

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It is important to note that parapsychology has been largely the domain of small, privately funded institutes for the last 30 years for good reason. Despite decades of research done by major universities, no reproducible evidence was ever found to support the existence of para-psychological phenomena in humans. Of course that does not mean it does not exist just that no one has ever successfully demonstrated it does. From a purely scientific point of view the phenomenon has no traction.

Also, I think it has a lot to do with the bad reputation of the paranormal and supernatural among the scientific community. Most of them think that there is nothing more to it than frauds, lies and mesinterpretations of natural and known phenomenon. Parapsychology is ridiculed and considered a ''pseudoscience'' by many skeptical scientists. The lack of reproducable results is an issue and cause of discussions, that's for sure, but there has been interesting results and the researchers have to deal with phenomenon which are in themselves illusive, inconsistant and not necesserely reproducable in a controlled environements. That is where a rift with the traditional science methodology might appear but it is not in my view a valid reason to give it up. But yeah, as of all bodies of studies and researches, they're mostly dependent of public and/or private found. The Rhine Reserach Center for instance is nonetheless still in good shape. For all we know, these Parapsychologists might study a science of tomorrow with the tools and materials of today.

An interesting book I am about to read will treat of this very subject: Parapsychology: The Controversial Science by Dr. Richard Broughton

It is not the role of science to rule out the afterlife but rather the obligation of those who would attempt to employ science to have us accept it to demonstrate it does exist. Leaving out science makes this a matter of faith which I will not debate. :)

I do think that the quest of understanding death and what may possibly come after, if anything, is a legitimate one. For some it's a cause of concerns and endless interrogations, for others it influences how they live. Researches can be done in a scientific way, Mary Roach, a science writter speaks about this very subject in: Spooks: Sciences Tackles The Afterlife. As far as I know, several scientists around the world have tried to find evidences and discover what comes after life.

Edited by sam_comm

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Also, I think it has a lot to do with the bad reputation of the paranormal and supernatural among the scientific community. Most of them think that there is nothing more to it than frauds, lies and mesinterpretations of natural and known phenomenon. Parapsychology is ridiculed and considered a ''pseudoscience'' by many skeptical scientists. The lack of reproducable results is an issue and cause of discussions, that's for sure, but there has been interesting results and the researchers have to deal with phenomenon which are in themselves illusive, inconsistant and not necesserely reproducable in a controlled environements. That is where a rift with the traditional science methodology might appear but it is not in my view a valid reason to give it up. But yeah, as of all bodies of studies and researches, they're mostly dependent of public and/or private found. The Rhine Reserach Center for instance is nonetheless still in good shape. For all we know, these Parapsychologists might study a science of tomorrow with the tools and materials of today.

An interesting book I am about to read will treat of this very subject: Parapsychology: The Controversial Science by Dr. Richard Broughton

I do think that the quest of understanding death and what may possibly come after, if anything, is a legitimate one. For some it's a cause of concerns and endless interrogations, for others it influences how they live. Researches can be done in a scientific way, Mary Roach, a science writter speaks about this very subject in: Spooks: Sciences Tackles The Afterlife. As far as I know, several scientists around the world have tried to find evidences and discover what comes after life.

Unfortunately, the bad reputation is a function of fervent belief with no science to back it up. Proponents of Psi are much like gamblers living on the thrill of one or two anomalous runs out of hundreds. Any trial that was even slightly above chance was celebrated as a breakthrough only to be statistically annihilated later. Bad science and fraud were very common and I suspect that has not changed much. Fortunately the pursuit is no longer sucking up tax dollars or occupying large amounts of space on college campuses. The big question is, if this ability does exist it would be a highly developed neurological function evolved as part of the survival imperative of the species, why then is it so illusive? The best evidence so far suggests the ability simply does not exist.

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You have a point, the bad reputation may be caused by the lack of science with regard to the paranormal and supernatural. The problem is, a Scientist cannot have an interest in this field of research without loosing his/her credibility and reputation. Therefore few are willing to be alienated by their collegues for speaking outloud their controversial views.

That's why I think this kind of contempt is unhealthy. A science must be objective, neutral with no personal bias if it is to be genuine. Objectivity should not be subject to a scientific consensus.

Have you heard of Dr Brian Josephson, a physicist with a 1973 physic Nobel prize?

Unfortunalety for him, he wasn't invited at the 2010 Foundation Of Physics after he stated that it may be interesting to study the paranormal with Quantum mechanics. A letter adressed to him stated: ''It has come to my attention that one of your principal research interests is the paranormal ... in my view, it would not be appropriate for someone with such research interests to attend a scientific conference."

He also became a target for his view on Parapsychology but anyway I can't agree more with his statement:

"if scientists as a whole denounce an idea, this should not necessarily be taken as proof that the said idea is absurd; rather, one should examine carefully the alleged grounds for such opinions and judge how well these stand up to detailed scrutiny."

As for psychic abilities studied in Parapsychology, my opinion is that the inconsistencies and the elusivity may very well point to the possibility that the subjects have no counscious control over them. An ability that has not been succesfully developped and understood may come and go and manifest itself inconsistently.

Therefore if the subject is in a carefully controlled environment, with a pressure to perform and give concrete results, that will lead in most cases to unsuccessful experiments or interesting anomalies, glimpses of the secrets of the Human mind yet to be unravelled but now unsufficient to provide demonstrable proofs. :)

Edited by sam_comm

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You have a point, the bad reputation may be caused by the lack of science with regard to the paranormal and supernatural. The problem is, a Scientist cannot have an interest in this field of research without loosing his/her credibility and reputation. Therefore few are willing to be alienated by their collegues for speaking outloud their controversial views.

That's why I think this kind of contempt is unhealthy. A science must be objective, neutral with no personal bias if it is to be genuine. Objectivity should not be subject to a scientific consensus.

Have you heard of Dr Brian Josephson, a physicist with a 1973 physic Nobel prize?

Unfortunalety for him, he wasn't invited at the 2010 Foundation Of Physics after he stated that it may be interesting to study the paranormal with Quantum mechanics. A letter adressed to him stated: ''It has come to my attention that one of your principal research interests is the paranormal ... in my view, it would not be appropriate for someone with such research interests to attend a scientific conference."

He also became a target for his view on Parapsychology but anyway I can't agree more with his statement:

"if scientists as a whole denounce an idea, this should not necessarily be taken as proof that the said idea is absurd; rather, one should examine carefully the alleged grounds for such opinions and judge how well these stand up to detailed scrutiny."

As for psychic abilities studied in Parapsychology, my opinion is that the inconsistencies and the elusivity may very well point to the possibility that the subjects have no counscious control over them. An ability that has not been succesfully developped and understood may come and go and manifest itself inconsistently.

Therefore if the subject is in a carefully controlled environment, with a pressure to perform and give concrete results, that will lead in most cases to unsuccessful experiments or interesting anomalies, glimpses of the secrets of the Human mind yet to be unravelled but now unsufficient to provide demonstrable proofs. :)

The bad science did not just apply to supernatural pursuits. Psychic research was plagued with flawed studies, fraud, and zero results.

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Simply not true. Parapsychology through Psychic researches was rigourous, neutral and objective. These researches were perfectly aware that their field of research was controversial and despised by skeptical academics in Universities. Therefore the experiences and testing were done properly and rigourously to make sure that the results would be legitimate and scientific. Despite the lack of reproducable evidence, these researches are now carried on in private Research Insitute and continue to document, study and research the hidden abilities of the Human mind.

You forget to mention that many of the self-proclaimed Psychic/Mediums were revealed to be fraud through various experiments. Charles Richet in the early 1900s' became an expert to dectect those frauds. Researchers looks for every possible way that this can be achieved and continue to experiment in a tighthly controlled environment.

Parapsychology always had it's critics and it's unfortunate that many criticismes are made in the base of ideology rather than factual.

Edited by sam_comm

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Simply not true. Parapsychology through Psychic researches was rigourous, neutral and objective. These researches were perfectly aware that their field of research was controversial and despised by Academics in Universities. Therefore the experiences and testing were done properly and rigourously to make sure that the results would be legitimate and scientific. Despite the lack of reproducable evidence, these researches are now carried on in private Research Insitute and continue to document, study and research the hidden abilities of the Human mind.

You forget to mention that many of the self-proclaimed Psychic/Mediums were revealed to be fraud through various experiments. Charles Richet in the early 1900s' became an expert to dectect those frauds. Researchers looks for every possible way that this can be achieved and continue to experiment in a tighthly controlled environment.

Parapsychology always had it's critics and it's unfortunate that many criticismes are made in the base of ideology rather than factual.

Where are the results?

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You might want to read The Journal Of Parapsychology for that: http://www.parapsych...psychology.aspx

The thing is, Parapsychologist are playing by the scinetific standard but their results are being ignored and dismissed nonetheless. Why should they have higher standard then other fields of scientific research? That's a good question.

Here's a good article about it: http://lesswrong.com/lw/1ib/

Edited by sam_comm

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You might want to read The Journal Of Parapsychology for that: http://www.parapsych...psychology.aspx

The thing is, Parapsychologist are playing by the scinetific standard but their results are being ignored and dismissed nonetheless. Why should they have higher standard then other fields of scientific research? That's a good question.

Here's a good article about it: http://lesswrong.com/lw/1ib/

That is hardly an objective source. That website is operated by people who arguably have a vested interest in seeing the ideas accepted by the mainstream. The founder of that institute is known to have omitted data that did not confirm his beliefs. I don't know the integrity of his successors but the same lack of results remains.

If it is true that significant results were produced, it would be a really big deal. This kind of thing would have made world news. Where is the peer review that shows consistent reproducibility? In which medical journals was it published? These are reasonable expectations of anyone who would make such extraordinary claims.

If there are statistically significant results they should be able to stand on their own. Claiming they are being ignored is a null hypothesis.

Edited by sinewave

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That is hardly an objective source. That website is operated by people who arguably have a vested interest in seeing the ideas accepted by the mainstream. The founder of that institute is known to have omitted data that did not confirm his beliefs. I don't know the integrity of his successors but the same lack of results remain

You won't find the topic of Parapschology is mainstream scientific journal. It is clear that Parapsychologist want their field of researches to be recognized and accepted by the mainstream, who wouldn't?. I do not know of any scientists doing researches and studies for nothing in the hope that it remains in the dark forever... But it seems to me that some scientists have a vested interest to descredit and dismiss anything out the ordinary, out of their models. Even if results clear as day were succesfully reproduced in laboratories, the battle for recognition would go on, because the repercussion of such findings would force physics and other field of research to be altogether reevaluated. That would certainly not please everyone, espcially those who have spit on parapsychology or anything paranormal/supernatural all their career. But thankfully for them, Parapsychology is not there yet but the relevance of the field continue to be and despite been an excluded in the marge of science, an uneasy nightmare some do not want to recall or hear of, it may well in decades to come be back in Universities, a new and optimized science.

As for the intergrity of Jospeh Banks Rhine and his wife Dr. Louisa Rhine, do you have anything to support your claim? As far as I know,they were well educated people dedicated to their work of researches. Their greatly impoved the testing techniques over the years. Their are pioneers of what is known as Parapsychology.

The criticismes of skeptical commentator Martin Gardner seems to me allegations rather than fact. He ''claimed'' and ''suggested''. I cannot find this to be credible and of major importance.

Of course their have been incidents. For instance Rhine's caught eight out of twleves subject cheating and his own assitant Walter Levy was caught cheating as well. He was immediately fired. But Rhine waited to disclose two of these names for his own reasons. That doesn't discredit his work at all...

Rhine's impressive pioneering results, often regarded by parapsychologists as the foundation of parapsychology, have been criticized by skeptics. In the March 1974 issue of the Journal of Parapsychology, Rhine revealed that he had found twelve cases of "experimenter unreliability" in his laboratory. Eight of the twelve were detected before publication, and Rhine suggested ways of guarding against future fraud.

Not more than three months later, though, Rhine discovered that his own assistant, Walter Levy, was caught manipulating an experiment, and was immediately fired by Rhine.[8] In all but two cases, including that of Levy, Rhine did not disclose the names of those involved with fraud

Source: http://www.newworlde...try/J._B._Rhine

Edited by sam_comm

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Hey look, it would be really cool if this were true. As a kid I was fascinated by the possibilities and wanted very much for such things to be real. As I became trained in scientific method I sought research only to find it inclusive at best and horribly flawed at worst.

What you are saying is the evidence is there but is being ignored / suppressed. Not to put you down or anything but that is exactly what ET visitation and Big Foot believers say when pressed for evidence. I don't think that is what you mean to do but it is the pattern to pitch a null hypothesis instead of significant evidence. I believe you have read up on this and are trying to look at it objectively. I don't feel you are tying to deceive anyone or be dishonest. Pick the best evidence you can and present it here with data. Describe the test and how it was performed. How many trials were completed and what were the statistical results of each trial and why the results are significant.

Edited by sinewave

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Hey look, it would be really cool if this were true. As a kid I was fascinated by the possibilities and wanted very much for such things to be real. As I became trained in scientific method I sought research only to find it inclusive at best and horribly flawed at worst.

But that's your opinion and other trained scientifc, however in minority, might disagree. You critisize Paraspychology as a bad science, flawed and question the founder of The Rhine Research Center's integrity but you do not put anything forward that support your claims. Should we just assume that it is so? Many seems to do that.

What you are saying is the evidence is there but is being ignored / suppressed. Not to put you down or anything but that is exactly what ET visitation and Big Foot believers say when pressed for evidence. I don't think that is what you mean to do but it is the pattern to pitch a null hypothesis instead of significant evidence. I believe you have read up on this and are trying to look at it objectively. I don't feel you are tying to deceive anyone or be dishonest. Pick the best evidence you can and present it here with data. Describe the test and how it was performed. How many trials were completed and what were the statistical results of each trial and why the results are significant.

You misunderstood me, I do not think that any evidence is being 'supressed' or 'hidden'. I am not a conspiracy theorist nor do I try to make my point based on that. What I said is that some scientists, whose opinions now prevail in the mainstream, have spat on Parapsychology all their career, they despise everything paranormal/supernatural. They do not think it's worth studying it. They look at it with contempt. It will take something huge to make them swallow back. They can't conceive that a phenomenon can be elusive that it can manifest one day and avoid close scrutiny the other. The documentation is there for all to see, very interesting stuffs if one dain carefully look at it, but if I don't want it to be real, to be part of my conception of the world as I was trained to know, I will let it rot.

Fortunately, not everyone see it that way, and some push hard to put this subject back on the forefront of discussion, even if that cost their reputations.

Edited by sam_comm

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