Director of R&D:
Robin StreitenbergerLinks Section
|PSI Parnormal Scientific Investigators|
| Who We Are The Paranormal Scientific Investigators (PSI), a nonprofit organization, was founded
on October 15, 2005. We are a group of regular guys and gals with daytime jobs
and share a common interest in the paranormal. When we first began we had only a few scientific instruments. We began by investigating where some of the local
folklore indicated paranormal activity had occurred in the past. As we grew in
members, we also grew in our methodology, as well as in our scientific instrumentation. We learned from our earlier investigations and later redefined what our goals are. Because we are non-profit, we are doing all of this at our own expense and so must coordinate to do this after hours. Unlike
many other groups we will only present factual evidence and under no circumstance
provide false, incomplete, or uncertain evidence. We use the scientific method of
inquiry in our investigations, looking for natural explanations first, and then consider the actual evidence, allowing it to speak for itself. Research and experimentation is
Our group has been to over a dozen private residences more than once, a number of public investigations, including the Ohio State Reformatory in Mansfield, Ohio (twice), The Moundsville Penetentiary in West Virginia, the Trans-Allegheny Lunatic Asylum in West Virginia, the Golden Lamb in Lebanon, Poasttown School in Middletown, Ohio and Prospect Place in Dresden, Ohio (twice). Our investigations have taken us to a number of Ohio counties including Highland, Fayette, Clinton, Ross, Logan, Warren, Crawford, Butler, Richland, Greene, Muskingum, Fairfield, Lucas and Marshall and Lewis Counties in West Virginia. PSI has set up a booth at the Wheels of Progress/Green Country Town festival in Greenfield, Ohio numerous times, given public presentations at colleges and public libraries, was contacted by WCPO-TV Channel 12, from out of Cincinnati, Ohio, interviewed by The Intelligencer & Wheeling News (West Virginia), The Chronicle Cluster, Traveler’s Magazine and contacted about doing a paranormal pilot show, by the producers for a series on television on Animal Spirits, contacted by the authors of Ghosts: Coast to Coast, contacted by Raw Television from the United Kingdom and have been on radio stations in Ohio and Florida. One of our cases has been featured on My Ghost Story (Biography Channel).
|Electromagnetic Fields and Digital Cameras Is there a correlation between high levels of electromagnetic energy and anomalous photos taken with a digital camera? We have collected evidence that would indicate that this is so. Why not definitive, it is somewhat compelling. Back in the fall of 2006 we visited a location where we documented significant photographic anomalies. We later returned to the scene in an attempt to gather additional evidence to support some of those photographs. While we didn’t get the evidence we were seeking, we actually got something completely different.
Upon the preliminary investigation of the house originally, we discovered a very high level electromagnetic field centered on the electrical service box in the basement. Out initial EMF readings of were over 200mG all around the panel.|
As stated, we discounted these photos as an anomaly based on the high EMF and the unnatural appearance of the photo. During the actual investigation, EMF readings peaked above 250mG and the anomalies took on an orb like appearance and turning slightly greenish in hue. In our follow up recently, similar photos were obtained using a different digital camera and different photographer. While the effect was less intense, it appeared non-the-less. A re testing of the EMF revealed the field to be significantly less than the original measurements (around 70mG), but still way above base readings.
This would lead one to the possible conclusion that intense EMF may cause a digital camera to print anomalous imaging due to electromagnetic interference with the video processor. I may also suggest that certain orb-like imagery and ecto imagery may be related to above normal EMF. We will have to repeat this type of test in the field further before issuing any findings, but so far it seems to be compelling. We will keep you posted on further developments. It may be that we encapsulate a camera inside a Faraday Cage to determine the nature of the effect in the future.
* Thermo-meters or Thermal Scanner - Thermo-meters are an instrument that’s very useful. There are two types used regular digital thermo-meters and infrared non-contact thermo-meters. When used on an investigation this will aid as a detection system for spirit presence. Rapid temperature drops of 10 degrees or more could indicate spirit presence. To state it simply, they pick up “cold spots” (unexplained temperature variances) that are believed to signal that a ghost is present. It is thought that a ghost uses the energy in a particular spot to manifest its self and by doing so, creates a cold mass.
The IR thermo-meter is an excellent tool and they are very accurate when used as intended. The devices were designed so that they can measure the surface temperature of an object. The problem comes however, when they are used to try and measure the ambient temperature of a location. Many ghost hunters have been guilty of trying to do this, believing that the devices could sample the air temperature.
The type of temperatures that we are looking for changes in during an investigation is the ambient (surrounding area) temperature of the location and this is one of the most important areas to monitor. Because of this, we may be wasting a lot of our time with unnecessary work caused by the use of IR probes.
For example if you wanted to take your temperature would you set the thermometer on your skin or in your ear? With an IR thermo-meter you measure the skin or surface area, not the inside.
Also remember that if your unit has excessive dust or fingerprints on it this will cause the reading to be inaccurate. I suggest before beginning an investigation to clean all your equipment to help insure a quality hunt. This isn’t the only thing that will affect your readings. Pointing the instrument at a shiny object such as a mirror will cause your thermo-meter to read the unit itself. The infrared light the unit sends out bounces off shiny objects and goes back to the unit where it will take it’s reading. There are special glass coverings to help prevent this but don’t expect to get them on a cheap unit.
Ambient temperature (which cannot be picked up with an IR Thermo-meter) is basically the temperature of the surrounding air. We are aware of this in our daily lives, from the heat or cold outside and even from the weather forecast on the evening news. When a witness or researcher speaks of feeling a “cold spot” in a reportedly haunted place, it is in the ambient temperature of the location. This is where we need to focus our efforts when looking for temperature changes and abnormalities.
The best device to measure rapid changes in the ambient temperature is a thermocouple-based temperature measurement device. These devices are affordable and can be purchased from many electronic supply companies. Most of them have a measuring unit of less than three centimeters, which is capable of measuring the rapid changes to the temperature needed when looking for cold spots. It is also feasible that a moving cold spot could be tracked with such a tool since it can react so quickly.
Another unit that is nice is the thermo-meter/ pyrometer (DTP), which is a thermo-coupler unit that’s like digital units, but are much advanced, accurate and faster. With a pyrometer you’re able to measure the temperature of the air (ambient), surface of an object, or immerse it in liquid, simple change out the coupler and your set. This unit can cost $100 and up depending on where it’s purchased.
Now, should you stop using the IR thermo-meter, No. This instrument is still a key to any investigation, but I would hope that any who considers themselves a serious ghost hunter would want the facts. Spirits have been seen going through walls and other objects and it would come in handy to measure the surface temperature of an object. Many objects are also moved and being able to track the temperature of objects in what is believed to be “hot spots” is crucial to any investigation. In closing I simply suggest expanding your knowledge in your equipment. Knowing exactly what your unit is capable of and what its intended use is.
Let’s talk about this subject called (EM) Electromagnetism. Electromagnetism is a large, encompassing theory, so it’s no wonder that many people do not understand it because we cannot see it, feel it or even taste it. A basic book on it will almost immediately dive into the world of boring mathematics, such as Maxwell’s equations!
Electric and magnetic fields (EMF) are invisible lines of force that surround any electrical device. Power lines, electrical wiring, and electrical equipment all produce EMF. There are many other sources of EMF as well. The focus of this discussion is on the basic understanding of EMF--that is, EMF associated with the generation, transmission, and use of electric power.
Electric fields are produced by voltage and increase in strength as the voltage increases. The electric field strength is measured in units of volts per meter (V/m). Magnetic fields result from the flow of current through wires or electrical devices and increase in strength as the current increases. Magnetic fields are measured in units of gauss (G) or tesla (T).
Most electrical equipment has to be turned on, i.e., current must be flowing, for a magnetic field to be produced. Electric fields are often present even when the equipment is switched off, as long as it remains connected to the source of electric power. Brief bursts of EMF (sometimes called "transients") can also occur when electrical devices are turned on or off.
Electric fields are shielded or weakened by materials that conduct electricity--even materials that conduct poorly, including trees, buildings, and human skin. Magnetic fields, however, pass through most materials and are therefore more difficult to shield. Both electric fields and magnetic fields decrease rapidly as the distance from the source increases.
Even though electrical equipment, appliances, and power lines produce both electric and magnetic fields, most recent research has focused on potential health effects of magnetic field exposure. This is because some epidemiological studies have reported an increased cancer risk associated with estimates of magnetic field exposure. No similar associations have been reported for electric fields; many of the studies examining biological effects of electric fields were essentially negative.
The term "EMF" usually refers to electric and magnetic fields at extremely low frequencies such as those associated with the use of electric power. The term EMF can be used in a much broader sense as well, encompassing electromagnetic fields with low or high frequencies. Measuring EMF: Common Terms Electric fields: Electric field strength is measured in volts per meter (V/m) or in kilovolts per meter (kV/m). 1 kV = 1000 V Magnetic fields: Magnetic fields are measured in units of gauss (G) or tesla (T). Gauss is the unit most commonly used in the United States. Tesla is the internationally accepted scientific term. 1 T = 10,000 G Since most environmental EMF exposures involve magnetic fields that are only a fraction of a tesla or a gauss, these are commonly measured in units of microtesla (µT) or milligauss (mG). A milligauss is 1/1,000 of a gauss. A microtesla is 1/1,000,000 of a tesla. 1 G = 1,000 mG; 1 T = 1,000,000 µT To convert a measurement from microtesla (µT) to milligauss (mG), multiply by 10. 1 µT = 10 mG; 0.1 µT = 1 mG
The earth produces EMF, mainly in the form of static fields, similar to the fields generated by DC electricity. Electric fields are produced by air turbulence and other atmospheric activity. The earth's magnetic field of about 500 mG is thought to be produced by electric currents flowing deep within the earth's core. Because these fields are static rather than alternating, they do not induce currents in stationary objects as do fields associated with alternating current. Such static fields can induce currents in moving and rotating objects.
The wavy line at the right illustrates the concept that the higher the frequency, the more rapidly the field varies. The fields do not vary at 0 Hz (direct current) and vary trillions of times per second near the top of the spectrum. Note that 104 means 10 x 10 x 10 x 10 or 10,000 Hz. 1 kilohertz (kHz) = 1,000 Hz. 1 megahertz (MHz) = 1,000,000 Hz.
You cannot see a magnetic field, but this illustration represents how the strength of the magnetic field can diminish just 1-2 feet (30-61 centimeters) from the source. This magnetic field is a 60-Hz power-frequency field.
When it comes to using EMF detectors, may folks have no clue on how to use them properly or the ability to determine man-made sources such as (AC), which is alternating current from natural ones (DC), which is direct current.
The problem is amplified by the fact that most meters are calibrated at 60Hz AC, the same frequency as household wiring and other man-made electrical systems. They were not designed for what we are using them for, such as paranormal research.
Most of us, aka ghost hunters will tell you that ghosts are believed to emit some kind of electromagnetic field, so called EMF. However, when asked why they believe this, many cannot give a good scientific answer because we are still in the beginning stages of this frontier research.
Here is some of our hypothesizes explaining how the EMF detector problem can be solved to some degree in the field of paranormal research. The scientific method is the best way yet discovered for winnowing the truth from lies and delusion. The basic version looks something like this: 1. Observe some aspect of the universe. 2. Invent a theory that is consistent with what you have observed. 3. Use the theory to make predictions. 4. Test those predictions by experiments or further observations. 5. Modify the theory in the light of your results. 6. Go back to step 3 and loop again.
So, what is my theory, the basis for ghostly energetic? There is really only one possibility within known science, so let’s go to the specialists.
To begin our quest, we must first take a look at the ghost in the human machine, the conscious of the mind. Professor McFadden from the School of Biomedical and Life Sciences at the University of Surrey in the UK believes our conscious mind could be an electromagnetic field. His theory may solve many previously intractable problems of consciousness and could have profound implications for our concepts of mind, spirituality and even life and death.
There are wide differences in the concepts of consciousness, which are prevalent among biologists, psychologists, and sociologists. The threefold meaning of consciousness comes from the Latin word 'con-scio': a) to cut, b) to make a distinction, and c) to know.
There are three different ways to know the difference -- 'con-scientia': 1) Through genetic bio-reactive knowledge, 2) Through personal self-reflexive knowledge, and, 3) Through social, consensually validated knowledge.
Most people consider "mind" to be all the conscious things that we are aware of. However this is not quite accurate. The majority of mental activity occurs without awareness. Actions such as peddling a bicycle or walking can become as automatic as breathing. The biggest puzzle in neuroscience is how the brain activity that we're aware of (consciousness) differs from the brain activity of all of those unconscious actions.
The human brain is a symphony of electromagnetic signals, but science has had trouble finding the conductor of the symphony. One of the problems that neurologists have with consciousness is called the binding problem. The best way to explain the binding problem is to use the analogy of a tree. A tree seems to contain thousands of leaves, all of which are contained on several branches. Neurobiology tells us that the information contained in the mind (all the leaves) is dissected and scattered among millions of widely separated neurons. The binding problem is encountered when science tries to explain where in the brain all those leaves are stuck together to form the conscious impression of a whole tree.
How does our brain bind information to generate consciousness? The data does not seem to add up and our symphony conductor is once again missing.
Through his research, Professor McFadden realized that every time a nerve fires, the electrical activity sends a signal to the brain's electromagnetic field. However, unlike solitary nerve signals, information that reaches the brain's electromagnetic field is automatically bound together with all the other signals in the brain.
The brain's electromagnetic field does the binding that is characteristic of consciousness. Conscious information processing is associated with the EM component of ultra low frequency (ULF) brainwaves in either:
a) Dialectically "denser" parts of the brain in the normal awake state of consciousness; or b) a gaseous ionic structure in the vicinity of the mind.
This is why we aka ghost hunters look at EM fields. It is the basis of life itself (a great book on the subject that I'd recommend for ghost hunters is " The electromagnetic origins of life" by Dr. Becker). The brain's EM field is the only possible thing that could survive bodily death.
EEG and the brain's state EEG (Electroencephalography) technology is used to measure brain's electrical vibrations from the surface of the scalp. The resulting EEG pattern will contain frequency elements mainly below 30Hz. The frequencies are categorized into four states as follows:
State Frequency Range Amplitude State of Mind Delta 0.5Hz - 4Hz high (up to 200uV) Deep sleep Theta 4Hz - 8Hz low (5uV - 20uV) Drowsiness (also first stage of sleep) Alpha 8Hz - 14Hz high (up to 200uV) Relaxed but alert Beta 14Hz - 30Hz low (less than 10uV) Highly alert and focused
The dominant frequency in the EEG pattern determines what is called the current state of the brain. If the amplitude of the alpha range frequencies is highest, the brain is said to be in the alpha stage. Note that other frequencies still occur; it is not meaningful to give any exact frequency your brain is "operating on."
So what happens at death? Using the first law of thermodynamics there are several possibilities. First, all that energy could transform intoheat and bleed out of the skull. That would also mean no afterlife, much less any possibility for ghosts. Fortunately, there are other possibilities. The EM field could also change frequency or polarity. Interestingly enough there is some data out there that suggests that the mind goes into theta waves just before death, which gives us a possibility of ghosts.
Using what data we have from neurology, we can assume that the frequency change could not exceed much more than 40Hz or so. The bottom line is that we are looking for low frequency DC EM fields. These types of fields are what we need to take a serious look at. The biggest problem with EMF detectors is that they are not giving you the most vital piece of information of the EM field, its FREQUENCY!
They can only give you the power associated with a field. There is an instrument that can give you both power levels and frequency. It's a laptop computer. We have a program that transforms your laptop into a spectrum analyzer. Using the proper coil or antenna, so can quickly tell if a field is manmade or not and record the data from the field onto the hard drive of the laptop.
Some diseases originally thought at one time to be demon possessed: 1. Psychotic illness 2. Psychosomatic illness 3. Tourette's Syndrome 4. Schizophrenia 5. Multiple personality disorder 6. Parkinson's Disease 7. Psoriasis 8. Herpes type I 9. Paranoia 10. Huntington's Disease 11. Dyslexia 12. Disseminated sclerosis
Six Stages of an exorcism: 1. Presence 2. Pretense 3. Breakpoint 4. Voice 5. Clash 6. Expulsion
Paranormal phenomena that may be experienced on an investigation:
1. Abnormal smell 2. Being touched 3. Movement of objects 4. Sound of footsteps, raps, or knocks; also voices 5. Lights going off and on 6. Apports (objects brought into or precipitated onto house 7. Objects dissappearing 8. Thermal and EMF variations
Types of Apparitions (called Ghosts when they are seen repeatedly over a period of time):
1. Veridical apparitions = experiences that can be corroborated by circumstances and fact.
2. Crisis apparition = appear during extreme crisis, especially near death (appear in 'waking visions' and dreams).
3. Apparitions of the dead = may appear years later to loved ones in times of crisis.
4. Collective apparitions = seen by more than one person usually in crisis; Animals react to it.
5. Reciprocal apparitions = of the living in which both agent and percipient experience seeing each other. The 'percipient' is the person who sees the apparition.
6. Deathbed apparition = appearance reported by those in attendance.
Interpretation of the Facts of Science
By Mark Stewart
A number of things stem from the definition of a theory given in my previous article (that is currently on the front page of our website) that I would like to bring out here. The first is that a theory is always to be differentiated from the facts of observation. If a theory is that which coordinates or imposes unity upon the facts, the theory must be something other than the facts. Here are the facts of observation. They are brought together and we introduce a theory, a mental concept that helps us to relate and correlate the facts as we see them. A theory is thus concerned with the interpretation of facts, and is not to be equated with the facts themselves.
It isn’t uncommon in science for the same set of facts to be interpretable by a number of rival theories. The facts are not different; they are not usually disputed. But how are we to interpret them? You may have scientist “A” who comes along and says, “Well, this is my theory – this is my manner of interpreting the facts” – and then scientist “B” says, “No, I don’t see it quite that way, I think, on the contrary, that it is this way and that way”; and so you have competing theories based upon exactly the same facts.
The correlation or relationship between cigarette smoking and lung cancer is a good illustration that is of current interest. Now, what are the facts? Well, the facts are that people, who smoke heavily, especially if they have a long history of heavy smoking, have a much higher chance of contracting lung cancer. This is the fact, and nobody disputes it. But what about the interpretation? The accepted interpretation is that cigarette smoking causes lung cancer. Now let me be quite clear that this is not the fact. The fact of observation is that people who smoke heavily are much more likely to get lung cancer than those who do not. We take a theoretical step when we say, “Cigarette smoking causes lung cancer”. There is a rival theory, very strongly supported by cigarette manufacturers naturally enough, which says, “Oh no! We accept the facts, but you have got your theory wrong. The correct theory or interpretation is that those people who smoke heavily do so because of some physiological or psychological need which also makes them prone to lung cancer. There is no causal connection between the smoking and the cancer. There is some other factor factor ‘X’, that causes a man both to smoke heavily and to be prone to lung cancer.” We may smile, and reject that idea as most medical authorities do, but there are some very intelligent people who subscribe to it, and no careful scientist will rule it out of court. You see there are two quite different theories based upon the same facts and both purport to explain the facts.
Theory, then, must be differentiated from the facts of observation. The facts can stay the same for centuries on end. They may be added to, new information may come along, but (providing they were carefully observed in the first instance) they are not going to change; but the interpretations of the facts, as the history of science testifies, change rather frequently!
More will be said on the other two factors in upcoming articles. Again, this will all be tied into ghost theory once we set the appropriate background and foundation.
|Frequently Asked Questions|
1. Why do you do this? Our teams of investigators each have their own individual reasons. These reasons can be found on Meet our Members page.
2. Have you ever seen a ghost? Our definition of a ghost is an apparition of a dead person that is believed to appear to the living; some paranormal aspect of the physical form and/or mental presence that appears to exist apart from the original physical form. Again each member has their own views on whether or not they have seen a ghost. As a team, we present the evidence and let you decide for yourself.
3. Can I go with you on your next hunt? Our policy is that we do allow observers as long as they complete the observer application form one week prior to the investigation and the founding members approve it. They must also abide by our PSI rules & regulations. Another factor to be considered as well is the size of investigation site. Some investigations may require only four members. This also has to be ok with the client.
4. What kind of equipment do you use? The equipment we use can be found on the equipment tab page on this website.
5. What does the acronym "P.S.I." stand for? Paranormal Scientific Investigators
6. I don't live in Ohio. Can I still join the group? Sure. We would like for out of state people to join and start other branches of our organization in their community. Just contact and of the founding members & they can get you started on your own-chartered branch of PSI.
7. I have a ghost. Can you drive it away? A ghost is an explanation for most places that are believed to be haunted. While our purpose is to investigate and research paranormal phenomena, there are a few things we could attempt to do to help our clients.
8. I have a demon. Can you drive it away? No. An evil spirit is much too powerful and dangerous and the repercussions of interacting with such a creature are often disastrous. We will investigate in the safest possible way, but we will not attempt to contact it or interfere with it. We recommend consulting with demonologists or your church for help.
9. Do you only investigate local places? Our group extends our investigations from our local area to other states within a reasonable distance.
10. What is a ghost? A ghost is the term used to refer to an apparition of a dead person that is believed to appear to the living; some paranormal aspect of the physical form and/or mental presence that appears to exist apart from the original physical form.
11. What is a spirit? A spirit is the essence of the departed soul. According to Ghost theory it may be able to manifest itself as and orb, ectoplasm, vortex, or an apparition. Also it is believed that they can be present but undetectable.
12. What is an orb? Orbs are mostly round, transparent lights usually not visible with the unaided eye associated with spirits of the dead. Night-vision scopes, 35mm cameras, digital cameras, and infrared cameras can see these lights. This is believed to be the most common manifestation of a spirit.
13. What is a vortex? A vortex is the manifestation of a spirit that appears as a swirling column of light. These are often seen in photographs when they are invisible to the naked eye. We define a vortex as a swirl of souls together like a gateway to the spirit realm.
14. What is ectoplasm? Ectoplasm is believed to be a manifestation of a spirit that appears as a haze or mist sometimes having human-like characteristics.
15. What is an apparition? An apparition is a manifestation of a spirit usually having discernable human features. It can be full-body, partial-body, transparent/translucent, or solid. Sometimes only the shape is of a human form, and the individual features such as those of the face are hazy. We define an apparition as the visible form of a ghost.
16. What is an EVP? EVP is short for Electronic Voice Phenomenon. This is what paranormal investigators believe to be a voice of a spirit. This voice or sound is not generally heard at the time of recording. It has been imprinted directly onto the recording medium. The PSI team may have recorded one or more EVPs during your investigation. The recordings are evaluated using computer software. A human voice is not capable of making a sound that is below 300 Hz. If a recording of someone speaking is obtained during an investigation and it is found to be below 300 Hz you can be sure that a human did not make it. This evidence would be included your report either on videotape or a CD. Types of EVPs: Class A - Loud & clear - interpreted the same by all listeners. Class B - Reasonably clear - interpreted differently by some listeners. Class C - Requiring headphones to distinguish the voices and open to individual interpretation. More information about EVPs can be found at the American Association of Electronic Voice Phenomena website at http://aaevp.com/. Examples of our recordings can be heard on our website. Click on the EVP page.
17. How much do your services cost? We are a non-profit organization. We have never charged for our services and perform them for the good of science and humanity. All we ask is that you refer our services to other individuals who might be in need of some help.
18. Where is your group based? Our group members preside in Highland, Clinton & Ross Counties, but have worked on cases in counties that are several hours away in distance.
19. Can I request an investigation from your group? Certainly. Please fill out an investigation request form (link on the left hand side of your page), and we will respond to your request ASAP.
20. How long do I have to wait for an investigation? We work as best as we can to meet with you as soon as possible. Once your investigation request is received, we will schedule a phone/email interview in order to schedule a possible future investigation.
21. I had or am currently experiencing a personal experience involving a haunting or some other form of paranormal activity. Can I ask the group about it? Of course! That's what we're here for. Feel free to direct your personal experiences or questions to us at email@example.com, we encourage you to share any experiences with us (including photos, stories, EVPS, articles, etc., and email them as well!
22. What does it mean when the team finds positive EMF readings? The team may have recorded anomalous fluctuations in the electromagnetic field, which may indicate a spirit presence. It is scientifically impossible for low level and moving electromagnetic fields to occur naturally, yet we find these fields in areas where there is spirit activity reported. An EMF meter is an instrument that reads the fluctuation in electromagnetic fields. When PSI members first arrive, preliminary EMF readings are taken and recorded at various places throughout the site. The locations of power lines, appliances and other sources of electromagnetic fields are also noted. Most normal readings are in the range of 9.0 - 30.0 on the EMF meter. These are typical EMF readings in a home. Anything that registers in the 2.0 to the 9.0 ranges and cannot be traced to a source is attributed to spirit activity. An example of a source would be an electrical outlet in a wall. It is commonly accepted that spirits are a form of energy and that EMF meters detect that low level of energy accurately. Radios set on the lowest AM frequency as well as dowsing rods work on the same principle.
23. What does it mean when the team finds temperature fluctuations? Thermometers are an instrument that’s very useful. There are two types used regular digital thermo-meters and infrared non-contact thermo-meters. When used on an investigation this will aid as a detection system for spirit presence. Rapid temperature drops of 10 degrees or more could indicate spirit presence. Spirits have been seen going through walls and other objects and it would come in handy to measure the surface temperature of an object. Many objects are also moved and being able to track the temperature of objects in what is believed to be “hot spots” is crucial to any investigation.
Contributions to the paranormal field through scholarly research techniques and technical innovation
The hallmark of a good paranormal investigation group lies in the research plan that they have in place. What sets a good paranormal investigation group from the rest is what happens to the evidence that is collected. This includes the identification of what happens to the individuals that are impacted by the investigation. This means following up with past clients and assessing their situation at a later date.
Standardized Research Protocol
Research Plan = Helps to normalize for all groups their investigation procedures.
1. The Evidence = What happens to the evidence that is collected.
2. Identification = Identification of what happens to the individuals that are impacted by the investigation/s.
3. Set Process = A set process for conducting investigations.
4. Benchmarking Results = Compile evidence and benchmarking the results of the investigation/s.
5. Creation of Case Study = Create a case study with clear, consistent and measurable variables.
6. Contribution = Contribute to the existing body of knowledge.
7. Compilation = All evidence, including interviews, evaluation questionnaires to be compiled in a consistent manner and allows for easy and accurate storage, dissemination and recall.
8. Emerging Patterns = Cross-reference cases to see if any patterns that might emerge.
9. Common Variables = Analyze across the scope of investigations that may share common variables.
10. Documentation and Analysis = Individual experiences and knowledge of group members can be documented and stored for later analysis (This provides valuable training and aid to members) as well as possible interaction with the paranormal and perhaps certain members of the group and/or clients.
11. Specificity = Work in very specific environments, with very specific variables.
12. Accrued Knowledge = May be a substantial factor for the paranormal community working with individual (a) cultures (b) religions (c) environments (d) demographics.
13. Publication = Take the time to assess what it is that you know, what it is that you do, and what contributions we can make to the field.
Focus on common long-term and short-term goals and consistent procedures.
Some possible ideas: 1. Develop specific audio sensors to aid in EVP detection. 2. Develop meters, again to aid in possible EVP detection. 3. Develop static detection devices and field detective devices that operate at specific segments of the larger static and electromagnetic spectrum. 4. Develop microprocessor controlled imaging devices. And 5. Develop 4-20mA data logger sensors specific to the typical range of paranormal activity: (a) temperature (b) pressure (c) electromagnetic field (d) audio (e) light.
What is a cold spot?
By Mark Stewart
Cold spots have often been reported in locations thought to be haunted. Cold spots are small areas (usually a lot smaller than a room) that feel significantly colder than the surrounding area. They are considered by some to be a sign of a ghost in the area. Some cold spots are always felt in the same place while others seem to appear and disappear at different locations.
When thermometers are placed in rooms where cold spots are reported they generally fail to register any drop in temperature. What is more, only certain people seem to feel these cold spots. Others can stand in the same place and feel nothing. Some people see this as a sign of a paranormal origin with some people more 'sensitive' than others. Others see it as a sign that cold spots are purely subjective. However, there is another possibility! There are natural phenomena that have a real physiological effect on someone without a change in the air temperature. Draughts are the obvious example but there are others.
Draughts and convection.
Air is almost always on the move in a room, even with the door and windows closed. This is because the surfaces of some objects are at different temperatures to others. Heat will be exchanged between the objects in an attempt to equalize the temperature. This is done mainly through convection. This is an airflow whereby warm air (which is less dense) rises towards the ceiling; cools and drops back towards the floor.
There is obviously even more scope for draughts where the room connects to other areas as for example through an open door, window, hatch, fireplace or gaps in draught-proofing.
When moving air is in contact with human skin it will generally feel cool (windchill). This is because the moving air removes heat from the skin. It also cools by causing evaporation from the skin. This cooling will NOT show up as a temperature drop with a conventional thermometer.
Suggestion: Never underestimate the power of suggestion. Tell someone that they are standing in the 'cold spot' and they may start feeling it! It is best not to tell anyone where the cold spots are supposed to be and then see if anyone reports one.
Some people suggest that the coldness of a cold spot indicates that heat has been abstracted for some paranormal process. If so, it is curious because heat is about the worst source of energy you could choose.
Radiative heat loss
Though it is less obvious than convection, cold spots can also be created by radiative heat loss. When you stand directly in front of an electric fire or radiator, you will feel heat. Less well known is that people can LOSE heat in the same manner. If you stand directly in front of a cold object, such as an un-curtained window on a cold night, you will feel colder. Your body is radiating heat in all directions. However, it will radiate more, to maintain its temperature, in the direction of cold objects. This additional loss of heat will be felt as cooling. Generally, you need to be quite close to a cool object to get the radiative loss. Like a heater, if there is anything between you and cool object, you may not feel the effect. Like convection, a conventional thermometer will not register this apparent temperature drop.
Measuring a cold spot
The most obvious cause of a cold spot is a drop in air temperature. So the first thing you need on a vigil is a thermometer. The ideal set up would be an array of small thermal sensors placed in a grid to precisely locate any cold spot. To spot convection you'll need an anemometer to measure wind speed. Some instruments can measure wind-chill directly.
To measure the temperature of cold surfaces you can use a 'point and shoot' infrared thermometer. However, be aware that there are various issues with these instruments that can cause inaccurate readings. For instance, different surfaces can appear to have different temperatures purely due to the color they are painted. This is called emissivity. Also, most IR thermometers indicate the surface they are measuring with a laser dot. However, the area measured is wider than this and varies according to the distance of the surface.
One of the most popular instruments used on ghost hunts is the thermometer. This is probably because it is easy to obtain and cheap. Also, haunted places often produce thermal anomalies such as cold spots.
As with so many other technological developments, electronic versions have, to a large extent, replaced the traditional mercury thermometer. One particularly popular variation is the laser (or infrared) thermometer. This unique instrument measures temperatures remotely, which means that you just point it at an object and it indicates its surface temperature.
By first appearance the infrared thermometer is a convenient device for vigils, particularly to get into areas that cannot be directly reached. However, as with all instruments, you need to understand how it works to avoid possible pitfalls.
The infrared thermometer, like all the devices used on vigils, was not designed for ghost hunting! It is primarily an industrial tool. It works by measuring the black body radiation emitted by a remote object. Black body radiation is radiation with the same energy density in each wavelength range as the radiation emitted from a totally absorbing heated body. This wavelength of this radiation is related to the temperature of the object. It does not pick up the temperature of the air between the object and thermometer.
The IR (infrared) thermometer views an area proportional to the distance from the thermometer. So, it can be difficult for operators to know how much surface is actually covered when temperatures are sampled.
Another problem is that surfaces can produce different readings according to its emissivity (how shiny they are). Portable IR thermometers are only accurate to within a degree or two in any case. They CAN be useful but consider their problems and don't overestimate their accuracy.
This Website is dedicated to the memory of Jan DeBold who helped us to get started and to Kendra Frank, a former member who passed away in a car accident.
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