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Indrid

Ghost Box

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Not necesserely. An electrician, a plomber, a magician can contribute to this field of research. Even the guy who work at Target can be good for problems solving. This is what we call citizen science.

Formally, citizen science has been defined as "the systematic collection and analysis of data; development of technology; testing of natural phenomena; and the dissemination of these activities by researchers on a primarily avocational basis".Citizen science is sometimes called "public participation in scientific research."

Source: Wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia....Citizen_science)

Just like in amateur astronomy and ufology, these person can contribute among other things by gathering data and building new equiments, that might be useful if ever mainstream scientists need to study this field they will have a database and plenty of materials to look at.

By the way, Paranormal investigations is not done solely on TV and let's bear in mind that these show are for entertainment purpose first and that most of the research in this field is not done in front of TV camera.

Certainly, the uninitiated can contribute. I would not suggest otherwise. The fact is those guys DON'T contribute. They are merely looking to make entertaining TV for as long as the ratings will support them. I get that. Where is the quality work investigators are doing? What kinds of things have hey established? Based on the assuptions they make and the tools they feel are useful I am not convinced they are doing anything constructive. When you get down to it, al they have is belief, perception and misused electronic devices. Why not just use grapefuits and tennis rackets? They are probably every bit as effective as the accepted tools. I really don't understand how learning is going to come from that. There are no controls or established science in the methods.

We do not know for sure if the counsciousness can survive death and if the electromagnetic field is desintergrated shortly after . It would be rash to speak with certainty on this topic as it stands today. There are aspects we do not seem to fully comprehend and needless to say it is such a complex subject.

Some Neuroscientists are less shy to raise the topic. One famous Harvard trained neurosurgeon, Eben Alexander even wrote a best seller book Proof Of Heaven describing his NDE.

Mario Beauregard. Phd of University of Montreal was quoted for his comment on a book concerning research on the afterlife:

“This important book about near-death experiences provides compelling evidence that mind and consciousness cannot be reduced to brain activity.” — Mario Beauregard, Ph.D., Neuroscientist at the University of Montreal and co-author of The Spiritual Brain

This is a good article as well: http://www2.macleans...he-heaven-boom/

You can say maybe this or maybe that but the fact remains the central nervous system is known to be electrochemical in nature. Once the stored up electrolytes are consumed impulses stop. As has been pointed out several times by others, scientists are not always right, even Harvard types can be wrong or misinterpret what they experienced. Hardly proof of anything much less heaven. Proof is not going to come from and NDE.

There can be natural reasons for a fluctuation, I don't disagree. The first step is to rule out any man-made fluctuation or natural causes. Look for lamps, electrical outlets, Wifi routers ect. In all cases, I don't think anyone has ever taken a EMF reading as a definitive proof of ghost, rather a unusual fluctuations following a personal experience can serve to back up this experience as you have a data that can potentially corroborate it.

Have you seen my partial lists of EM sources? You could not possibly rule out enough sources to make your tests valid without a lot of equipment and a solid understanding of physics. They should not claim any EMF measurements to be evidence of anything other than the presence of EM fields. That is all they really know. Do they take the time or have the knowledge to determine the frequency of the field? How about the direction? Is the source alternating or direct current? All three are important details in determining the source. The fact is, this is far more complicated than you know.

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Certainly, the uninitiated can contribute. I would not suggest otherwise. The fact is those guys DON'T contribute. They are merely looking to make entertaining TV for as long as the ratings will support them. I get that. Where is the quality work investigators are doing? What kinds of things have hey established? Based on the assuptions they make and the tools they feel are useful I am not convinced they are doing anything constructive. When you get down to it, al they have is belief, perception and misused electronic devices. Why not just use grapefuits and tennis rackets? They are probably every bit as effective as the accepted tools. I really don't understand how learning is going to come from that. There are no controls or established science in the methods.

You're making an general assessment based on a TV show that you dislike which is unfair. There are investigators doing quality works to understand and document these phenomenon. Have you heard of Wayne Harris Wyrick an astrophysicist director of the Kirkpatrick Planetarium of Science Museum in Oklahoma? He is a member of INsight Paranormal a group investigating according to the scientific methodology.

The thing is, there is no funding whatsoever in the paranormal field of research and no real standard. Everyone can do whatever he likes and think is more efficient and that may look like a real mess. Unfortunately, the negative aspects of the paranormal field overshadow the positive. Some investigators do contribute in an interesting way according the concept of citizen science.

Equipements, especially the EMFs, thermometers and Gerger counters are misused by many groups that is fact. But these equipments, if there are truly of any use in this field, will likely NOT prove the existence of ghosts. DVR systems, handheld camera, thermal camera, audio recorder are the materials that paranormal investigators rely most on. I do think that these cameras and recorders can be used by any capable person with a proper training. The crucial point is in the interpretation of the data and understanding various aspects of the technology.

You can say maybe this or maybe that but the fact remains the central nervous system is known to be electrochemical in nature. Once the stored up electrolytes are consumed impulses stop. As has been pointed out several times by others, scientists are not always right, even Harvard types can be wrong or misinterpret what they experienced. Hardly proof of anything much less heaven. Proof is not going to come from and NDE..

I do not dispute that the brain is electrochemical. But how does that rule out the possiblity that the electromagnetic field of our conscious mind might not desintergrate shortly after we die? The fact is that there is not much certainty in that regard. Only hypothesises.

I was refering to Dr Eben Alexander and Dr Mario Beauregard to point out that even neuroscientists can have astonishing views on the possiblity of Life avec Death. So there is a mouvement even in the academic level. This is relevant to the concept of Ghost discussed here. Is it really surprising that paranomal investiators are exploring these controversial ideas and apply them to their controversial field? Not at all.

Have you seen my partial lists of EM sources? You could not possibly rule out enough sources to make your tests valid without a lot of equipment and a solid understanding of physics. They should not claim any EMF measurements to be evidence of anything other than the presence of EM fields. That is all they really know. Do they take the time or have the knowledge to determine the frequency of the field? How about the direction? Is the source alternating or direct current? All three are important details in determining the source. The fact is, this is far more complicated than you know.

I just want to clarify, not to be misinterpreted, that unusual EMF spike do not in general indicate the presence of a ghost. Electrical sources are everywhere, that's true. We live in countries where electricity is all around us. Does that rule out the possibility that the effect of a ''ghostly'' presence can be measured in some cases with a EMF meter? I think not but you can't use that as a proof for all to see. I would say though that you loose nothing using a meter not solely in the attempt to measure a ''ghostly'' presence but to detect high EMF fields that can be harmful and create side affects, which can be the cause of alleged ''paranormal'' experiences.

Edited by sam_comm

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You're making an general assessment based on a TV show that you dislike which is unfair. There are investigators doing quality works to understand and document these phenomenon. Have you heard of Wayne Harris Wyrick an astrophysicist director of the Kirkpatrick Planetarium of Science Museum in Oklahoma? He is a member of INsight Paranormal a group investigating according to the scientific methodology.

I asked before. Where is the quality work and what has been determined?

The thing is, there is no funding whatsoever in the paranormal field of research and no real standard. Everyone can do whatever he likes and think is more efficient and that may look like a real mess. Unfortunately, the negative aspects of the paranormal field overshadow the positive. Some investigators do contribute in an interesting way according the concept of citizen science.

Where is this positive work? It is not a matter of funding it is a matter of evidence. Research funding only flows when there is sufficient evidence. Some aspects of paranormal belief were funded and for decades. There were even entire departments setup in major universities to explore the possibilities. They all dried up because not a shred of evidence was ever produced. There is no standard because there is no connection to established science from which to build.

Equipements, especially the EMFs, thermometers and Gerger counters are misused by many groups that is fact. But these equipments, if there are truly of any use in this field, will likely NOT prove the existence of ghosts. DVR systems, handheld camera, thermal camera, audio recorder are the materials that paranormal investigators rely most on. I do think that these cameras and recorders can be used by any capable person with a proper training. The crucial point is in the interpretation of the data and understanding various aspects of the technology.

No amount of training will make up for the limitations of those devices. But first things first! There has to be a reason to use a device in the first place. Without established science and sound logic, the data collected with those devices is meaningless.

I do not dispute that the brain is electrochemical. But how does that rule out the possiblity that the electromagnetic field of our conscious mind might not desintergrate shortly after we die? The fact is that there is not much certainty in that regard. Only hypothesises.

I was refering to Dr Eben Alexander and Dr Mario Beauregard to point out that even neuroscientists can have astonishing views on the possiblity of Life avec Death. So there is a mouvement even in the academic level. This is relevant to the concept of Ghost discussed here. Is it really surprising that paranomal investiators are exploring these controversial ideas and apply them to their controversial field? Not at all.

There have been many such assertions but nothing has ever come of them.

I just want to clarify, not to be misinterpreted, that unusual EMF spike do not in general indicate the presence of a ghost. Electrical sources are everywhere, that's true. We live in countries where electricity is all around us. Does that rule out the possibility that the effect of a ''ghostly'' presence can be measured in some cases with a EMF meter? I think not but you can't use that as a proof for all to see. I would say though that you loose nothing using a meter not solely in the attempt to measure a ''ghostly'' presence but to detect high EMF fields that can be harmful and create side affects, which can be the cause of alleged ''paranormal'' experiences.

It does not rule out the possibility but you still have to do the work to identify the source of the field.

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Most smart phones, like the iPhone contain several sensors. They typically have light detectors for adjusting the screen brightness, a proximity sensor for turning off the display when the phone is close to your face, an accelerometer for detecting movement and orientation, gyroscope for enhanced motion detection, and a magnetometer for compass functions. There are many EMF detector apps that use the magnetometer to sense changes in the ambient magnetic field.

The idea behind EMF detectors the way ghost busters use them is predicated on the assumption that ghosts are electromagnetic in nature. So if ghosts exist and they are in fact electromagnetic that puts them is a very large club with thousands of natural and man made sources of EMF. Here is a partial list of what might also be moving the meter of your EMF detector:

Transformers including CFLs

Live electrical wiring

Radio and TV broadcasts including commercial radio, HAM, CB, police, fire, and military radio bands.

Microwave ovens

Terrestrial telecommunications relays

Satellite relays

Cell towers

RADAR used for weather, navigation, air traffic control

Garage door openers

Electric generators

Automotive ignition systems

Electric motors

Cell phones

Wifi access points

Computers

Wireless devices including toys, cordless phones, baby monitors,and Bluetooth

Digital recording devices

Locomotives

Static electricity on your body/clothing

Your nervous system

Earth's magnetosphere

The piezoelectric effect

Cosmic radiation

Solar flares, sun spots, CMEs

Electrical storms (even ones 100 miles away)

Geologic formations

There are many, many more and you don't even have to be close to some of them to detect their fields. We are bathed in EM fields every minute of every day no matter where we are and the likelihood of you being able to determine the source of a subtle flicker on your EMF meter is ridiculously small. For EMF results to be valid, you would have to control out everything listed above and more.

Ghost boxes are just radio scanners. They scan randomly or sequentially though a given part of the RF spectrum outputting bits of audio along the way. The audio is not voices from the other side but rather small chunks of commercial broadcasts mixed up in a random sequence.

There is no science to ghost hunting despite all of the electronic devices carried by ghost busters.

Edited by Paranormal_Fascination

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So, if its picking up just mixed broadcasts, how can they answer/make sense to the questions being asked during an EVP session?

Edited by Paranormal_Fascination

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So, if its picking up just mixed broadcasts, how can they answer/make sense to the questions being asked during an EVP session?

Pareidolia and unless you made it yourself, you can't leave out the possibility the recording was faked. Researcher bias is a huge factor when perception plays a key role in the interpretation of evidence. It is not just RF ingress with EVPs but CODEC noise. The sampling rate of those little recorders is only fair. The analog to digital conversion introduces lots of low level noise.

Consider also that some people claim to hear this when they play Stairway To Heaven backwards. Go figure.

Oh here's to my sweet Satan.

The one whose little path would make me sad, whose power is Satan.

He'll give those with him 666.

There was a little tool shed where he made us suffer, sad Satan.[

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So, if its picking up just mixed broadcasts, how can they answer/make sense to the questions being asked during an EVP session?

Have you got an example of said amazing Question & Answer question that shows a paranormal investigator asking questions while a Ghostbox is in operation and the resulting answers being recorded etc.?

Please? I'm guessing "no" but I'm willing to be educated on the matter.

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Have you got an example of said amazing Question & Answer question that shows a paranormal investigator asking questions while a Ghostbox is in operation and the resulting answers being recorded etc.?

Please? I'm guessing "no" but I'm willing to be educated on the matter.

I give you an exemple here:

What is your name?

- voice1:Paul!, v2:Mary!, v3:Kevin!

Do you live here?

- voice1:No!, v2:Sometimes!

There are many sounds you cannot hear properly out of a ghost box if not most and when you start processing the words and interpret them, you are experiencing pareidolia. However, there are of strange instances using a ghost box, when it is possible to hear direct answers relevant to a question asked that are audible for all the room. Is it the voices of the dead? I do not know and I am not ready to jump to such a conclusion.

Edited by sam_comm

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I give you an exemple here:

What is your name?

- voice1:Paul!, v2:Mary!, v3:Kevin!

Do you live here?

- voice1:No!, v2:Sometimes!

There are many sounds you cannot hear properly out of a ghost box if not most and when you start processing the words and interpret them, you are experiencing pareidolia. However, there are of strange instances using a ghost box, when it is possible to hear direct answers relevant to a question asked that are audible for all the room. Is it the voices of the dead? I do not know and I am not ready to jump to such a conclusion.

Yes, you are correct in not jumping to that conclusion. Because of the nature of the device, it is virtually guaranteed to produce the sounds of human voices - mostly those of people working in the broadcast industry. Regardless of how well the responses seem to match up with the questions, for the results to be valid, you would have to be able to prove those particular voices were not part of any AM/FM broadcast available in the locale where the recording was made.

Belief is easy. Science is hard.

Edited by sinewave

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Regardless of how well the responses seem to match up with the questions, for the results to be valid, you would have to be able to prove those particular voices were not part of any AM/FM broadcast available in the locale where the recording was made.

Not at all. The main hypothesis concerning the ghost box concept in paranormal circles, including that of Frank Sumption, is that these entities actually direct the sweeping of AM/FM band to use and piece together words and sentences from the broadcast to communicate and relay messages.

Edited by sam_comm

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Not at all. The main hypothesis concerning the ghost box concept in paranormal circles, including that of Frank Sumption, is that these entities actually direct the sweeping of AM/FM band to use and piece together words and sentences from the broadcast to communicate and relay messages.

Pardon me but Hahaha! And he bases that more than slightly wild assumption on what? Making up alternate realities to explain the behavior of a radio scanner is not even close to science.

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And sorry Sam I am not laughing at you, just the absurdity of that idea. From our chats (which I have enjoyed very much) I have come to understand you are a very intelligent person who is looking for answers. I praise you for the effort but I will challenge you to think critically. I am sometimes direct but I never mean any disrespect. You have a good mind and I enjoy sparring with you. :)

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Pareidolia and unless you made it yourself, you can't leave out the possibility the recording was faked. Researcher bias is a huge factor when perception plays a key role in the interpretation of evidence. It is not just RF ingress with EVPs but CODEC noise. The sampling rate of those little recorders is only fair. The analog to digital conversion introduces lots of low level noise.

Consider also that some people claim to hear this when they play Stairway To Heaven backwards. Go figure.

Oh here's to my sweet Satan.

The one whose little path would make me sad, whose power is Satan.

He'll give those with him 666.

There was a little tool shed where he made us suffer, sad Satan.[

I totally agree with you. Guess the only way to truly "know" is to have experimented for yourself. That goes to say with anything really. Hands on learning, best tool there is!

Have you got an example of said amazing Question & Answer question that shows a paranormal investigator asking questions while a Ghostbox is in operation and the resulting answers being recorded etc.?

Please? I'm guessing "no" but I'm willing to be educated on the matter.

But that doesn't answer my question on the assumption that its mixed airwaves.

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I totally agree with you. Guess the only way to truly "know" is to have experimented for yourself. That goes to say with anything really. Hands on learning, best tool there is!

Is it a way to know or merely validate belief? The entire experiment is predicated on the assumption of perfect perception and that is simply not science.

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Pardon me but Hahaha! And he bases that more than slightly wild assumption on what? Making up alternate realities to explain the behavior of a radio scanner is not even close to science.

That depend how you consider it. Many alleged paranormal phenomenon are actually experienced through a medium that can either be an object such as a Ouija board, pendulum ect or by the person itself: dreams, automatic writings, visions ect.

Therefore, if you consider the ghost or spirit hypothesis seriously, it may be that an entity can find a way to communicate, however fragmently and temporarily, through a mean or a medium to relay messages. It could be that the 'ghost box' is another medium that can potentially be put into that category. It is far from been generally accepted though, even in paranormal circles there is some skepticism. It would need more testing and experimentations. I personally consider the device interesting but I'll not jump to a conclusion.

In order to prove that to a skeptical scientific community though, paranormal investigators will have to put in evidence and reach a consensus between themselves that this can indeed be achieved by an entity and that it is not a psychic phenomenon, a projection of the mind that are the root of the phenomenon. That's the current thinking in Parapsychology. But hey, an hypothesis is a potential explanation and though it may be ridicule for you, it can make sens for many others.

Edited by sam_comm

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I have actually ordered a "Ghost box". I cant wait to have a go with it.

I will let you Know if it is any good.

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That depend how you consider it. Many alleged paranormal phenomenon are actually experienced through a medium that can either be an object such as a Ouija board, pendulum ect or by the person itself: dreams, automatic writings, visions ect.

Each of those paranormal instruments serves only to add random noise and biased interpretation to the data.

Therefore, if you consider the ghost or spirit hypothesis seriously, it may be that an entity can find a way to communicate, however fragmently and temporarily, through a mean or a medium to relay messages. It could be that the 'ghost box' is another medium that can potentially be put into that category. It is far from been generally accepted though, even in paranormal circles there is some skepticism. It would need more testing and experimentations. I personally consider the device interesting but I'll not jump to a conclusion.

Ghost busters like to assign meaning to random events and often work backwards to create a paranormal reality in which those events tend to make sense. My guess is someone was using a radio scanner in a random seek mode and felt there was meaning in the clips of sounds and voices heard over the speaker. That person then arbitrarily decided the sounds were not in fact random but the result of the dead trying to communicate with us. A determination made not from facts but perception and belief.

More importantly an industry was born. Lots of money is made selling ordinary or useless devices to believers with the promise they reveal the unseen.

In order to prove that to a skeptical scientific community though, paranormal investigators will have to put in evidence and reach a consensus between themselves that this can indeed be achieved by an entity and that it is not a psychic phenomenon, a projection of the mind that are the root of the phenomenon. That's the current thinking in Parapsychology. But hey, an hypothesis is a potential explanation and though it may be ridicule for you, it can make sens for many others.

What paranormal investigators will have to do is remove interpretation from the evidence entirely. They cannot just say that spirits direct the ghost box, pendulum, planchette, or whatever device, they have to conclusively demonstrate it. Of course serious scrutiny and high resolution data have thus far been the enemies of the paranormal. In their light, the paranormal simply vanishes. Of course there are explanations for that which are little more than baseless assumptions and null hypotheses. Until those hurdles are cleared, the paranormal will remain in the realm of belief.

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Each of those paranormal instruments serves only to add random noise and biased interpretation to the data.

I don't share this categorical point of view. I think there is a real possiblity that these instruments can serve as a mean, as tool to communicate however fragmentatly and inconsistently with entities. I've read and heard of very interesting testimonies of credible witnesses. It is normal for a rational mind to be skeptic of such claims, which may seem extraordinary and out of reality. I cannot blame you.

Ghost busters like to assign meaning to random events and often work backwards to create a paranormal reality in which those events tend to make sense. My guess is someone was using a radio scanner in a random seek mode and felt there was meaning in the clips of sounds and voices heard over the speaker. That person then arbitrarily decided the sounds were not in fact random but the result of the dead trying to communicate with us. A determination made not from facts but perception and belief.

More importantly an industry was born. Lots of money is made selling ordinary or useless devices to believers with the promise they reveal the unseen.

Instead of guessing, you should make some research and read about the history of the ghost box by Frank Sumption. You might not agree but you do not seem to know the background and how it came to be.

http://itcvoices.org...-the-ghost-box/

What paranormal investigators will have to do is remove interpretation from the evidence entirely. They cannot just say that spirits direct the ghost box, pendulum, planchette, or whatever device, they have to conclusively demonstrate it. Of course serious scrutiny and high resolution data have thus far been the enemies of the paranormal. In their light, the paranormal simply vanishes. Of course there are explanations for that which are little more than baseless assumptions and null hypotheses. Until those hurdles are cleared, the paranormal will remain in the realm of belief.

I've to agree at some point, there is various interpretations about what this ghost box can or cannot do. I've even heard of some group who are in the opinions that they can use it to communicate with Aliens in parallele universes. Their theory is 'valid' but the interpretation differ. That is more due to the fact that there is no standard in the paranormal field and that anyone can do whatever he likes and think works best. That doesn't mean there is no legitimate claims and researches.

I've come to think that 'serious scrutiny' and 'high resolution data' are not the ennemies of the paranormal, just not the right filter for it. You cannot reproduce a Ouija session. Once the board is closed you do not know if you will have the same results again. The mainstream scientific community expect quantifiable and reproducable data to validate but that is not how the nature of these phenomenon appear to be. This is not baseless assumptions, rather an objective assessment of the phenomenon experienced and the scientific methodology currently used in the attempt to validate or refute them.

Edited by sam_comm

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I don't share this categorical point of view. I think there is a real possiblity that these instruments can serve as a mean, as tool to communicate however fragmentatly and inconsistently with entities. I've read and heard of very interesting testimonies of credible witnesses. It is normal for a rational mind to be skeptic of such claims, which may seem extraordinary and out of reality. I cannot blame you.

Testimonies are not evidence. They are either the perception of the observer or something made up. There is no doubt some people truly believe but that does not make their observations evidence of something paranormal. Those devices do add noise. Pendulums, for example are subject to several random forces that will affect the way they swing. Then factor in the fact they are typically held in the had of the user and suddenly the ideomotor effect comes into play. At that point you have lots of unaccounted for randomness that can be interpreted any way you like. That brings it right back to perception as evidence. The same with Ouija boards, mediums, automatic writing, etc. All of these things are based on key assumptions that must be accepted for the thing to be valid. We are expected to take on faith that the radio scanner in a spirit box moved by the spirits attempting to communicate with us. A critical thinker demands to know how the fundamental assumption was determined.

Instead of guessing, you should make some research and read about the history of the ghost box by Frank Sumption. You might not agree but you do not seem to know the background and how it came to be.

http://itcvoices.org...-the-ghost-box/

Yes, he claims to have received the design from the spirit world as did the designer of the Spiricom - a similar device. There is nothing magical or mystical about the circuit and it certainly did not come from beyond. If you don't know, a Frank's box operates by allowing random fluctuations in ambient EM fields to change the electrical values in the circuit that controls an AM/FM tuner. It is essentially an EMF meter that instead of moving a dial or changing a ladder readout changes the station on a common radio tuner. That is all it is. As I have pointed out before, there are thousands of reasons for ambient EM spikes and dips that have nothing to do with ghosts so a ghost box is just a random radio tuner.

I've to agree at some point, there is various interpretations about what this ghost box can or cannot do. I've even heard of some group who are in the opinions that they can use it to communicate with Aliens in parallele universes. Their theory is 'valid' but the interpretation differ. That is more due to the fact that there is no standard in the paranormal field and that anyone can do whatever he likes and think works best. That doesn't mean there is no legitimate claims and researches.

I've come to think that 'serious scrutiny' and 'high resolution data' are not the ennemies of the paranormal, just not the right filter for it. You cannot reproduce a Ouija session. Once the board is closed you do not know if you will have the same results again. The mainstream scientific community expect quantifiable and reproducable data to validate but that is not how the nature of these phenomenon appear to be. This is not baseless assumptions, rather an objective assessment of the phenomenon experienced and the scientific methodology currently used in the attempt to validate or refute them.

The bottom line is, if a hypothesis is based on an unverifiable assumption it is not very likely to be true.

There are ways of testing Ouja boards BTW. Look up Penn & Teller Ouija. They did a nice job demonstrating the power of the ideomotor effect.

Yes, our understanding of the Universe is limited, no question. However that does not justify wild assumptions and leaps in logic to force beliefs to fit. The nature of the paranormal is consistent only with the ability of the human mind to create explanations where none exist. These are indeed baseless assumptions. Someone claiming to have received the "design" for a device from the spirit world should have to do more than talk to have the idea be accepted. It is especially true in this case where the alleged design is derived from common devices.

Edited by sinewave
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Testimonies are not evidence. They are either the perception of the observer or something made up. There is no doubt some people truly believe but that does not make their observations evidence of something paranormal. Those devices do add noise. Pendulums, for example are subject to several random forces that will affect the way they swing. Then factor in the fact they are typically held in the had of the user and suddenly the ideomotor effect comes into play. At that point you have lots of unaccounted for randomness that can be interpreted any way you like. That brings it right back to perception as evidence. The same with Ouija boards, mediums, automatic writing, etc. All of these things are based on key assumptions that must be accepted for the thing to be valid. We are expected to take on faith that the radio scanner in a spirit box moved by the spirits attempting to communicate with us. A critical thinker demands to know how the fundamental assumption was determined.

Testimonies are oral evidences provided by a witness under an oath, describing as accuretly as can possibly be. So, they've a value of their own, especially when you know the witness to be serious and honest. I would rather say perception of the observers for it is not uncommon that a phenomenon is experienced by multiple witnesses. I never mentionned that this was proof or paranomornal activity but the documentation is certainly worth consider.

I've to agree with you though, at least 80% of all claim of paranornal activity can actually be debunked and attributed to a natural or psychological explanation. However, there is a 20% which doesn't appear to fall into this category and in which a rational explanations fails to encompass the phenomenon. It is almost laughable when scientific reductionism is used at large to force a phenomenon into a specific model, even if that doesn't make much sens. Making use of critical thinking allows to consider other explanations, even supernatural one, but not necesserely subscribed to at all cost without more evidences.

We know that the ideomotor effect exist and in my view can account for many Ouija experiences. When a person strain to use it, the cousciousness can very well be what is at play. A good exemple: ''What is your name'': ''FRGHTJHYU''. That seems to me like uncousicious mouvements of the pointer. You can also try for a long period of time and get nothing whatsoever. But with regard to a very exaustive documentation of Ouija experiences, I cannot exclude that there might more than one cause to the phenomenon. For some, the ''game'' even kept going even after it was safely back in the closet.

The bottom line is, if a hypothesis is based on an unverifiable assumption it is not very likely to be true.

Who says that a ''unverifiable assumption'' will never be verifiable? As for the ''ghost'' phenomenon, this not a belief rather a possiblity that has not been convincingly refuted in my opinion.

There are ways of testing Ouja boards BTW. Look up Penn & Teller Ouija. They did a nice job demonstrating the power of the ideomotor effect.

I am aware of their video, they seem to want to prove their points rather than consider every aspect of the Ouija and the documentation objectively. The medical experts will obviously not claim the Ouija board or any other devices to produce paranormal experience in some rare cases, they will find a suitable explanation in their realm of expertise. But one can be skeptical of this and have his own reserve.

Yes, our understanding of the Universe is limited, no question. However that does not justify wild assumptions and leaps in logic to force beliefs to fit. The nature of the paranormal is consistent only with the ability of the human mind to create explanations where none exist. These are indeed baseless assumptions. Someone claiming to have received the "design" for a device from the spirit world should have to do more than talk to have the idea be accepted. It is especially true in this case where the alleged design is derived from common devices.

I do not agree with the interpretation of Frank Sumpton in which he claimed to have received the design spiritually. However, in no way does that mean the device cannot be interesting to consider. He was an Ham radio operator and as a self-taught person he did know quite a bit about radio bands and broadcast. The guy has an interest in radio, EVP and spirit so he tried to develop a device in that regard. I do not dispute that a ghost box has provided no proof of the paranormal. That is pretty clear. it will need more investigations on that front before condamning though. That is my view.

As for wild assumptions and leapt of logics, you know I think as much as a scientific can be skeptical of the ghost phoenomenon and that kind of stuff the other way around can be true as well. Some people are skeptical of the explanations given by science. They look for alternative explanations.

Edited by sam_comm

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Testimonies are oral evidences provided by a witness under an oath, describing as accuretly as can possibly be. So, they've a value of their own, especially when you know the witness to be serious and honest. I would rather say perception of the observers for it is not uncommon that a phenomenon is experienced by multiple witnesses. I never mentionned that this was proof or paranomornal activity but the documentation is certainly worth consider.

Anecdotes, no matter how honest or serious the person, are still lowest form of evidence.

I've to agree with you though, at least 80% of all claim of paranornal activity can actually be debunked and attributed to a natural or psychological explanation. However, there is a 20% which doesn't appear to fall into this category and in which a rational explanations fails to encompass the phenomenon. It is almost laughable when scientific reductionism is used at large to force a phenomenon into a specific model, even if that doesn't make much sens. Making use of critical thinking allows to consider other explanations, even supernatural one, but not necesserely subscribed to at all cost without more evidences.

I dislike the word "debunk" when it comes to analysis. It has cynical rather than skeptical connotations. 20% seems to be rather high for non-rational explanations. What is the source for that number? After all, most if not all paranormal investigators have no clue how their equipment works much less how to determine a margin of error for results. That is not even taking into consideration the tremendous leap of faith necessary to accept the devices give valid results in the first place.

We know that the ideomotor effect exist and in my view can account for many Ouija experiences. When a person strain to use it, the cousciousness can very well be what is at play. A good exemple: ''What is your name'': ''FRGHTJHYU''. That seems to me like uncousicious mouvements of the pointer. You can also try for a long period of time and get nothing whatsoever. But with regard to a very exaustive documentation of Ouija experiences, I cannot exclude that there might more than one cause to the phenomenon. For some, the ''game'' even kept going even after it was safely back in the closet.

There is not evidence the ideomotor effect can be ruled out of any Ouija sessions.

Who says that a ''unverifiable assumption'' will never be verifiable? As for the ''ghost'' phenomenon, this not a belief rather a possiblity that has not been convincingly refuted in my opinion.

Until it is verified it is just people making stuff up and using it as a basis for research. The idea of science it not to refute anything. That is a cynical approach and not practical or even possible in most cases. You cannot really prove a thing does not exist. Science endeavors to determine the likelihood of something being true based on the weight of the evidence.

I am aware of their video, they seem to want to prove their points rather than consider every aspect of the Ouija and the documentation objectively. The medical experts will obviously not claim the Ouija board or any other devices to produce paranormal experience in some rare cases, they will find a suitable explanation in their realm of expertise. But one can be skeptical of this and have his own reserve.

How do you explain what happened when the participants were blindfolded? The board seemed to work perfectly until they could not see it.

I do not agree with the interpretation of Frank Sumpton in which he claimed to have received the design spiritually. However, in no way does that mean the device cannot be interesting to consider. He was an Ham radio operator and as a self-taught person he did know quite a bit about radio bands and broadcast. The guy has an interest in radio, EVP and spirit so he tried to develop a device in that regard. I do not dispute that a ghost box has provided no proof of the paranormal. That is pretty clear. it will need more investigations on that front before condamning though. That is my view.

As for wild assumptions and leapt of logics, you know I think as much as a scientific can be skeptical of the ghost phoenomenon and that kind of stuff the other way around can be true as well. Some people are skeptical of the explanations given by science. They look for alternative explanations.

Science is fueled by skepticism. All scientific hypotheses are peer reviewed in an effort to break them. E=MC2 was not accepted as a theory the day the paper was published. It took more than a decade of debates and analysis before it gained any acceptance. If a thing cannot stand even the slightest skeptical analysis, it is probably not worthy of consideration.

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Sam-comm, from reading your responses you seem at least prepared to think this all through.

So, tell me, how would you apply what we sciency types call 'controls' to your use of this 'box'? If you are not sure what I mean, just say so and I'll explain, and even give some examples of how you should ensure that your tests of the device and any subsequent claims are entirely fair and unbiased.

Because clearly, anyone with even a tiny bias towards believing in this device will simply cherry pick whatever they hear and work out ways it could apply to their desired outcome.

The controls I refer to would be methods to ensure that such cherry-picking is not portrayed as 'evidence'.

I'll be interested to hear what you have done in this regard, or plan to do.

Edited by ChrLzs
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I dislike the word "debunk" when it comes to analysis. It has cynical rather than skeptical connotations. 20% seems to be rather high for non-rational explanations. What is the source for that number? After all, most if not all paranormal investigators have no clue how their equipment works much less how to determine a margin of error for results. That is not even taking into consideration the tremendous leap of faith necessary to accept the devices give valid results in the first place.

The term ''debunk'' is used to expose the falseness of an idea. I do not think it is cynical. Paranormal investigations have to test the validity of a claim, if it can be done and find a rational explanation to it. Most claim of parananormal activity do find a rational explanation: wind gusting, racoons in the attic, pipe creaking ect.

As far as I know, many investigators know how to set up a DVR system, use a thermal, handheld and audio recorders. These are the tools an investigator rely most on to gather evidences and we all know that these devices works an there is no need of faith to use them. If something show up, it will record and film.

As to the numbers, it is an estimation, according to paranormal investigators who are in this field for a long time, such as TAPS, PRA and BHP. It was to put in evidence that a strong majority of paranormal claims can be 'debunked'.

Until it is verified it is just people making stuff up and using it as a basis for research. The idea of science it not to refute anything. That is a cynical approach and not practical or even possible in most cases. You cannot really prove a thing does not exist. Science endeavors to determine the likelihood of something being true based on the weight of the evidence.

Scientists propose hypothesises to explain phenomenon and then try to verify or refute them. Are they making ''stuff up''? I do not think so. Their works is based on hard and objective researches but it doesn't mean their hypothesises are accurate.

That is what some paranormal researchers are doing in a similar way. They propose hypothesises, based on historical research, investigations, testimonies and evidences.

In science, as far as I know, refuting an hypothesis is as important as to validate one.

How do you explain what happened when the participants were blindfolded? The board seemed to work perfectly until they could not see it.

You can usually know when someone is moving intentionally the pointer, it comes in subtle jerks instead of smooth and uncontrolled movements. Is it what happened there? Maybe. At any rate the ''study'' wasn't very thorought.

It could be that the participant are the eyes of these hypothetical entities. They might need to be aware of what is going on themselves in order to communicate. That is a possiblity that have not really been considered seriously by the Ouija critics. The issue is that it is not ''verifiable'' but yet consistent with a documentation not only of Ouija experiences but with other spheres of the 'ghost' phenomenon. Therefore, to me this possiblity falls into a state of temporarily acceptance. I am personnaly not really satisfyed by the ideor effect to encompass all the experiences of the Ouija phenomenon. I am what be called skeptical on the matter. Nonetheless, if paranormal experiences there really is which is neither a certainty, doubtless it is of rare occurance. Let's not forget that Ouija itself is nothing else than a wooden board.

@ChrLz

Well first off, I am not a paranormal investigator nor am I a scientist, only a commentator. In my view, an exhaustive documentation of ghost box experimentation should be gathered. The device has been created in 2007 no very long ago. Of course, as we know it is very difficult to prove a paranormal experience with the actual standard. Some will argue that it simply do not exist but that is not my opinion. It should be experimented in a alleged 'haunted' locations and in benign ones and compare the results.

There is all kind of experiments you can do, like gathering a dozen persons around it and give them a pencil and sheet of paper to mark the responses they heard. In the end of the sessions (you will need the repeat the experiments many times and with different people) you can compare what match among the participants and what doesn't.

You know the bias can be on either sides. Some have already condemned the device (or anything paranormal related for that matter) without even given it a try and are therefore as much biased than those who believe they're chosen ones. We need a middle ground here or the results will always be disputed and controversial either way.

Edited by sam_comm

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Well first off, I am not a paranormal investigator nor am I a scientist, only a commentator.

In which case you need to be aware that you do have a bias.

It should be experimented in a alleged 'haunted' locations and in benign ones and compare the results.

I could flippantly say that there is a perfect example of that bias - a scientist would say that all the controls need to be tested first, and that would be the 'benign' stuff. You certainly would not do testing in 'alleged 'haunted' locations' first as that would enhance your confirmation bias.

There is all kind of experiments you can do

NO, there aren't all kinds of experiments you can do, and taking that approach will lead to complete failure (or rather complete 'success' in the minds of the promoters - verified!!!!), Ask any scientists who does this sort of testing, and they will go through all the detail you MUST consider in ANY test that would be worthwhile.

like gathering a dozen persons around it and give them a pencil and sheet of paper to mark the responses they heard.

Seriously? You don't see the problem with that 'test'? I give up. Please, look up concepts like FALSIFIABILITY, VERIFIABILITY and the NULL HYPOTHESIS.

You know the bias can be on either sides

Really, in this case? Removal of any bias is why those concepts above exist. Given that I see absolutely nothing being considered here that would be a reasonable test, I think the bias is mostly one way..

Some have already condemned the device (or anything paranormal related for that matter) without even given it a try and are therefore as much biased

No, actually that 'condemnation' you claim is simply the perfectly appropriate rejection of a completely untested device that is being claimed to have extraordinary powers.

We need a middle ground here or the results will always be disputed and controversial either way.

There is no middle ground. It is untested. There is no controversy. If those promoting it were serious about anything but confirming their beliefs and making money, they would take the time (and it would only take a few hours) to first research what would be needed (a keen uni graduate could help out) and develop some tests, and then maybe a few days of rigorous work to collect some genuine data. I'm guessing you haven't seen what genuine data of this kind might look like, but I've looked for anything that might qualify on this topic, and there is absolutely nothing - not even a half-decent attempt.

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The term ''debunk'' is used to expose the falseness of an idea. I do not think it is cynical. Paranormal investigations have to test the validity of a claim, if it can be done and find a rational explanation to it. Most claim of parananormal activity do find a rational explanation: wind gusting, racoons in the attic, pipe creaking ect.

As far as I know, many investigators know how to set up a DVR system, use a thermal, handheld and audio recorders. These are the tools an investigator rely most on to gather evidences and we all know that these devices works an there is no need of faith to use them. If something show up, it will record and film.

As to the numbers, it is an estimation, according to paranormal investigators who are in this field for a long time, such as TAPS, PRA and BHP. It was to put in evidence that a strong majority of paranormal claims can be 'debunked'.

I don't use the word. Feel free. Just know that you are not debunking your are investigating. There is a difference.

The average ghost buster can push a power button but how about understanding exactly what that device does and how it does it? That is more than a little important if you are going to use the device to collect evidence. You would not use a contaminated petri dish to setup an important culture so why would you use a device that will absolutely contaminate your data without knowing how to control it out?

Scientists propose hypothesises to explain phenomenon and then try to verify or refute them. Are they making ''stuff up''? I do not think so. Their works is based on hard and objective researches but it doesn't mean their hypothesises are accurate.

That is what some paranormal researchers are doing in a similar way. They propose hypothesises, based on historical research, investigations, testimonies and evidences.

In science, as far as I know, refuting an hypothesis is as important as to validate one.

Refuting is not the nature of science though that is sometimes how it works out. The idea is to establish likelihood. That is why scientists have to take so many math classes. Data is only part of the process. You then have to analyze it and determine the margin of error for all steps of the process. Good science cannot be done without this diligence.

Stating that the design of device came psychically from the spirit world is making stuff up or at the very least, delusional. Stating that ghosts are electromagnetic or they draw energy from their surroundings without any empirical evidence is also problematic. There are many more such assumptions that serve as the starting point for paranormal research.

You can usually know when someone is moving intentionally the pointer, it comes in subtle jerks instead of smooth and uncontrolled movements. Is it what happened there? Maybe. At any rate the ''study'' wasn't very thorought.

The board worked perfectly until they could not see it. Then the planchette started going to where they THOUGHT the letters were.

It could be that the participant are the eyes of these hypothetical entities. They might need to be aware of what is going on themselves in order to communicate. That is a possiblity that have not really been considered seriously by the Ouija critics. The issue is that it is not ''verifiable'' but yet consistent with a documentation not only of Ouija experiences but with other spheres of the 'ghost' phenomenon. Therefore, to me this possiblity falls into a state of temporarily acceptance. I am personnaly not really satisfyed by the ideor effect to encompass all the experiences of the Ouija phenomenon. I am what be called skeptical on the matter. Nonetheless, if paranormal experiences there really is which is neither a certainty, doubtless it is of rare occurance. Let's not forget that Ouija itself is nothing else than a wooden board.

That is why Ouija evidence is a hard sell. It does not work without people touching the planchette and people, whether they realize it or not will move the planchette. Ghosts are said to be able to move objects, why not the planchette without people touching it?

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