Monday, June 16, 2008

Investigations within a Demon Haunted World Conclusion

A multipart essay on paranormal investigations

Parts 5&6-EVPs and Psychics

When people discover I am a paranormal investigator, one of the first questions they ask me is if I believe in ghosts. Throughout my investigative career I have answered that question within a range of “definitely yes” to “absolutely not.” However, I now have an answer which I believe to be the most truthful, which is, “I don’t know.”

When I drill down to my reasoning behind my investigations, other than to help people, it is to find evidence of life after death. If I can find physical, scientific evidence of a ghost then what I have actually found is proof of life after death. This is the reason I adhere to strict scientific methodologies for my investigations. If life after death can be discovered and the scientific community cannot dispute your findings, then you will actually have unmitigated proof of life after death.

Although I hope proof of life after death is iscovered, it doesn’t matter to me one way or the other. Some investigators have an emotional investment in finding proof of life after death because they either have lost a loved one, or they just need this proof to support their own justifications of life or they just need to know their death is not going to be the end. I really don’t care if life is the end. If it is the end then I get one hell of a long nap, which I could use. So either way I don’t really care.

I started writing this multipart essay NOT to declare my complete skepticism of paranormal events but to declare that many investigators are using bogus reasoning and bogus proof to substantiate evidence of paranormal activity; some knowing and some unknowing. Instead of furthering the ideas of the paranormal and gaining scientific awareness and approval, they are actually hurting the credibility of this relatively new science.

It is paramount that a credible investigator learns scientific methodologies and applies them to their research. It is also important that credible investigators learn the basics of physics, the basic laws of the universe, to distinguish the truth from the fabrication. Keep in mind, during an investigation if what are witnessing is breaking the laws of physics then your senses have deceived you.
Another very important rule which I use is NEVER to accept money from a client. The minute you accept money or some form of payment for your investigations, your perceptions change and you are now in it for profit. Money often influences your opinions and discoveries. I have witnessed this from investigators which parley their knowledge into ghostly tours and they transform from skeptical investigator to hardcore faith-based believers in ghosts because ghosts now pay the bills.

Part 5-EVPs

With that being said lets look at EVPs with using a scientific approach. For those of you who are new to this, EVPs are Electronic Voice Phenomenon; some investigators believe they have recorded the disembodied voices of spirits. These recordings are known as EVPs.

First of all, in order for an EVP to be accepted as a potential disembodied voice, there must be no filters used in the production. If you hear any EVPs which are filtered white noise and then either slowed down or sped up or something else was done to them, know that these are fabricated pieces of crap. These EVPs are produced with the same rationality as finding Jesus Christ in a potato chip. If you take raw sound and continuously manipulate it, eventually you’ll find something recognizable.

So this brings us to the second kind of EVPs, which are the best; when a microphone just captures something unexplainable. I admit when I hear these, they often send chills down my spine. Just because they sound real, doesn’t mean they are real disembodied voices. I always chuckle to myself when somebody hears an EVP and says, “WOW!! It’s Uncle Fred!!!”

Biology proves that what gives a voice its unique fingerprint is our own individual body parts. Specifically the voice box and its relationship to the size of the throat, the nose and the amount of air we push through these parts. When people have surgery due to injury or disease, or these parts get injured, it can often change or destroy their voice. So if it is a disembodied voice, how can it possibly sound like Uncle Fred? Even if his spirit is able to produce sound, it would sound nothing like him because his lungs, his voice box, his throat and his nose are non-existent. This is just basic biology. This same reasoning proves that a spirit cannot talk.

If a spirit does exist and even if it can manifest, it would still be impossible for it to talk. Lacking a voice box, a throat, lungs and a nose, it is physically impossible. It would have to somehow gather enough oxygen and then somehow manipulate it through an artificially created throat. People that are alive but injured cannot even do this without an artificial voice box; and even then they sound like some creepy robot.

I admit, I really like to record with my digital voice recorder but I give very little credibility to the random noises it catches and my brain interprets as voices. EVPs are definitely our senses playing tricks on us. Without the proper biological parts it is impossible to produce a voice, much less a voice sounding like Uncle Fred.

Part 6-Psychics

Psychics are the most difficult for me to write about. I admit in my past I have had visions and smelled things and felt emotions which I thought were from a spirit but I cannot use those as evidence of a haunting. Personal experiences, while they are awesome, should never be used as evidence. When investigators are walking around in the dark trying to find spirits both malevolent and benign, it is plausible to get creeped out sometimes; so personal experiences can be nothing more than a hypersensitive investigator who got the creeps.

I have friends who are psychic and, although I resist and hate being read, when they have read me they were incredibly accurate with their findings. A mother of one of my best friends used to be so good at predictions, she scared everybody around her. My friend, who is a total skeptic and believes in nothing he cannot touch, see or feel, tells me stories about her which will make a great book one day.
I think some people are just very good at seeing other people and reading them. There is nothing supernatural about it, they can just look at a person and tell you many things about them based on their clothes, their jewelry (or lack of) and the way they walk and talk. Even the best psychics are probably accurate only some of the time.

I listen to Howard Stern who had a notable psychic on his show and had one of his interns pretend to be somebody he was not. This totally fooled the psychic and she gave a false reading based upon this fictional character. This proved to me that most psychics use the answers to their probing questions as the basis for their “psychic” ability. I do not believe there is a spirit in the universe who speaks to people because I have no evidence of its existence.

I read James Randi who debunked Uri Geller, one of the most notable psychics in history. The book he wrote is powerful evidence of how psychics fool people. Psychics also have a financial investment in their abilities because many of them charge money for their services. This financial gain is often predatory in nature and leads to many innocent people being taken advantage of by certain charlatans posing as psychics. I don’t know if psychic abilities are real or fabricated but until I find some respectable evidence I have to assume this is another example of wishful thinking or our senses playing tricks on us.

Conclusion

I hope everybody gained something from this essay. In the future I plan to add more to this essay and possible release it in some professional publication. Again, my goal was not to hurt anybody’s feeling but to get to the truth in this industry amid the mountain of bullshit. I believe the more popular this topic becomes and the more mainstream paranormal investigating becomes, the more bullshit will be added to the pile.

5 comments:

Judy AKA "Spookannie" said...

I found your essays very interesting, and entertaining! I'm glad that you are taking such a skeptical approach. It is just so easy to be fooled and pulled this way or that by the emotional factors - the spookiness - of the process, and people jump to all kinds of unwarranted conclusions based on how they feel about things. I admire anyone who doesn't accept assumptions at face value, but asks the hard questions. Good for you. So, I guess that makes you a Cool Head Luke (not that your name is Luke - a play on Cool Hand Luke) for keeping a cool head during investigations.

Haunted Missouri said...

Spookanne,

The "Cool Head Luke" is a nice compliment because I do try to be very skeptical and scientific with my approach.

Thanks for your comment.

Jeff

smc_442 said...

EVP'S ELECTROMAGNETICALLY BASED?
I've enjoyed this entire essay. You say an EVP could never be made due to lack of required biology.

If a ghost is electromagnetic, there's no reason it couldn't directly generate currents in the mic pickup coil. The spook properly modulates it and a voice will be picked up.

Last of all, there was a psychic researcher who constructed a soundproofed faraday cage box. The faraday cage keeps out any EM signals. He put a tape recorder inside and sealed it up. Guess what? He STILL got EVPs. How clearly? Dunno. Read about it in "Everything Ghost Hunting" book.

smc_442 said...

http://www.nademonicparanormal.com/equipment.html

This demonic investigation group is better than I thought. Read through that page... They check for "ghostly phenomena" caused by EMFs and even C02 gas.

Anonymous said...

I have read your essay and found it all very interesting, it is relieving to find a logical approach to investigating ghosts/spirits.

Although I agree with what you have said there are (mainly) 2 things that I would really like to hear your opinion on. Do you have a facebook/my space page where I can send you a message? You may of guessed that they relate to personal experiences of mine, I would hope that you have some interest in them as well though.