Be rational with confidence

There is much to say about the role of skepticism and rational thinking especially in the realm of the paranormal – much has been said already.  So we won’t discuss that here other than to say if we believe everything we are told and take everything at face value the rabbit hole you would find yourself in would be vast and in-orderable. I do enjoy exploring the rabbit hole, hence the radio show title “Rabbit Hole That Is Reality” making clear explanation of what is verifiable, true and what is speculation and ponderings.

Hayley, not that she knows (until now) gave me food for thought and added confidence. As some of my own journey mirrors what directions she has took. I too once believed in the paranormal, part of an investigation team doing the usual fallacies. Figure in hindsight it was as I hungered for information and assimilated much. I do not “want” to a ghost buster as it were, like Egon or Ray more curiousity, as to alleged experiences others were having. Seeing unexplained reports and cases since quite young, I wanted in. It is when you start to look at why do we do this? What does this actually tell us? and my personal favourite – Why are we sitting around in the dark?

Concerns over inexperienced people taking their “belief” about aspects of the paranormal into other peoples homes. Further raised 10-fold when a member of the “team” I was engaging with in 2007, was in court on charges of hebephilia towards a young teenage boy.

There were so many rich sources of knowledge, alleged gurus providing insight and demonstrating facets to learn. What I learned over time was “the art of the con”.

Finding others who also questioned what others accepted at blind faith, gave me greater confidence to ask further questions. Hayley was one the first I encountered personally who I was able speak to on White Noise Paranormal Radio in 2007-2009 during an interview by Jason Day. Have never looked back, I still have a hands on anthropological sense to approach the paranormal subjects that hold an interest. As like Victorian machines to “see” how they work from the inside out to deeper understand them.

Tuesday evening dashing from a press media review of Tom Midnight Gardenal at the theatre I hightailed across city over to Castle Rock Canalhouse to catch Hayley mid-presentation at the Skeptics in the pub meeting.

During the break, we both ticked off a box off the facebook finally-we-met list.

Please visit Hayleys Stevens blog Hayleyisaghost.co.uk
Hayley I would consider a skeptical activist, campaigning, speaking for and blogging on not just approaches to paranormal investigation. Taking a rational approach to many topics such as holistic medicine, mediumship and indeed monster hunting!

Hayley also co-presents with Michael Marshall the Be Reasonable podcast. Listen also to the “Be Reasonable” podcast on iTunes (and other podcast outlets) produced by Merseyside Skeptics Society.

http://www.merseysideskeptics.org.uk/podcasts

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Voices from beyond the veil. Edison, Raudive, Jürgenson and Spiricom.

voices from beyond

Talking to the dead, voices from beyond the veil. Is it really possible to hear the spoken words of the deceased? We look in brief at Edison, delve into early EVPs, research of Konstantin Raudive, Telephone calls from the dead and the history of Spiricom. In the redeux of Sounds from the veil from Beyond The Line Issue 4.

Looking back through the history books

Edison with his phonograph

Edison with his phonograph


Thomas Edison during his life saw a need for technology to connect to the other side. Spiritualism was growing and then when the science community were also looking with curious eyes – looking to develop a means by which spirits might try to contact us. Depending on who you read and who you talk to, he strove to make contact through some sort of phonograph device in the mid 1890s. Then, in the late 1920s, he tried to make contact with the souls of the departed by means of some sort of special chemical equipment. It is claimed that spirit voices were first captured on phonograph records in the year 1938, which was seven years after he left his mortal coil.

There’s an app for that – iPhone, Android and Ubuntu devices to come with software to talk to the other side! Only £19.99. Speak to your ancestors today!

Whilst not a reality, imagine if that were true? In our early podcasts you can listen to the “Ghost in the machine” audio feature where we report on a first hand account of a mother whose five year old was playing, as children do, when he said “The phone is ringing”, though the mother admitted she couldn’t hear it. She said, playing along “Are you going to answer it then?” Her son went and did so, the lady had headed into the kitchen to check on the dinner and called back to her boy
“So who is on the phone?”.
Her son replied “It’s grandma”
“What does she want?”
“She wants to talk to you, she wants to say goodbye”.
His mother took the phone and anxiously put it to her ear, but she heard nothing. I can only imagine what was going through her mind. She explained that her mother had died five years earlier, whilst she was pregnant. She had never told her son about grandma, as she felt he was too young to understand concepts like death. He had not even mentioned her name until that moment.

So perhaps there is a way for spirits to use the phone?

Telephone calls from the dead. 41bh4LAORRL

“Telephone calls from the dead” by Cal Cooper is worthy modern reading. The question of does this really happen was looked at in detail in 1979, in a book entitled Phone Calls from the Dead, written by D. Scott Rogo and Raymond Bayless. Thirty years on, Cal Cooper takes up the mantle of research into the subject of anomalous telephone communication. New reports, experiences and accounts have been researched, new history has been considered, new findings are presented and alternative theories for how such events take place are discussed.

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Telephone-Calls-Dead-Callum-Cooper/dp/0957107412

Keeping with the theme of the passed over speaking to us directly, without the middle person of a medium.
Let’s imagine for a moment that you are the dead person, that your body has died, but your conscious mind is aware and lives on. You are as they say an “energy field” you will want to tell people, especially the friends and family you have and prove to them you still exist! What would you do?

Firstly you wouldn’t have a voice box therefore you cannot speak. You have no limbs nor any means of moving things. Perhaps you could you reach the people you love and want to nudge by interference with devices that rely upon other energy fields, a light, a radio or tape recorder as good examples.

Personally would like to see the getting rid of the yes and no, one rap two raps in favour of Morse code!

What if you were able to generate some kind of sound on a tape recorder, would anyone even detect it, or pay attention if they did? Bringing us nicely to electromagnetic voice phenomena or EVP.

It was with Friedrich Jürgenson who lived from 1903 to 1987 that the studying of EVP began, Jürgenson was a man of many interests an archaeologist, a philosopher, a linguist, a painter, a singer and recording artist, and a film maker. Jürgenson’s interest in Electronic Voice Phenomena apparently began quite by accident when recording bird songs with a tape recorder for film sound effects, when he played his recording he could hear human voices on the tapes, even though there had been no one in the vicinity of when he did the recordings. This as you might guess naturally piqued his interest, and he turned his attention to making more recordings, recordings specifically made with no one around. Yet he continued to detect voices on these tapes, and his studies led to the 1964 publication of his book Rosterna fran Rymden in Europe, “Voices from Space”. It is said he began to recognize some of the voices that his tapes had picked up, he was knocked for six when his mother, deceased for a number of years, called him in her voice and began using her pet nickname for him!
It seemed natural to him to assume that she was communicating from beyond the grave. Thus, he came to the conclusion that all the voices that he had recorded were voices of the dead, In 1967, he published a new book: “Radio-link with the Dead”, a title I found under the original name “Sprechfunk mit Verstorbenen” available for around seven euros.

Dr Konstantin Raudive (1906-1974), a student of Carl Jung, a psychologist who taught at the University of Uppsala in Sweden, read Jürgenson’s book, “Voices from space”, and was so impressed by it that he arranged to meet Jürgenson. He then worked with Jürgenson to make some EVP recordings in controlled environments, but their first efforts bore very little although they believed that they could hear very weak voices. Raudive in later experiments was impressed by a personal message which he goes into great detail in his book “Breakthough” that encouraged him to spend the rest of his years researching and working with EVP.

EVP has moved forward, mainly with its accessibility to make recordings, thanks to developments in technology and electrical device manufacturing. Reel to reel to cassette to digital storage media, digital and tape based dictaphones are tools of the trade in the modern day ghost researchers tool kit. The general consensus to using them on an investigation is either leaving them recording in a room known to have activity, or by a conducted session where questions would be asked with around twenty seconds time given to receive an answer before the next question.

Spiricom
Bill oneill mark4 spiricom
A somewhat forgotten chapter in EVP is the Spiricom device which had five incarnations, Mk 1 – Mk 5 respectively each a major improvement over the other previous design. developed during the 60s ’til officially ending in 82.
Research for Spiricom came from the “Metascience Foundation”, formerly based in Franklin, North Carolina, on the development of a system of communication with the dead. Two inventors, George W. Meek and William J. O’Neil, supposedly developed a machine containing sophisticated audio electronics that allowed actual two-way conversation with the afterlife. They called it Spiricom. Unlike EVP, where an investigator has to wait and playback a recording to hear disembodied voices, the Spiricom device allowed real-time two-way communication (or “Direct Voice”) from beyond the grave. The project was officially defined as “An electromagnetic-etheric systems approach to communications with other levels of human consciousness”. The theory was, if a ghost could record itself to magnetic media such as video cassette or audio tape via manipulating electromagnetic frequencies, the entity could manipulate the electromagnetic fields produced by the Spiricom machine and create a synthetic voice over a speaker through the oscillator of the noise generator.Which in theory makes a sort of sense, but yielded varying results, though nothing conclusive, It is said proponents insist that the best reported contact was on April 16, 1980. Meeks and O’Neil claimed they were able to talk to a very clear voice of a deceased physicist, Dr. George Jeffries Mueller, who died on May 31, 1967 from a heart condition. Mueller claimed he was once an associate professor of engineering and mathematics at Orange Coast College, in Costa Mesa, California, and had also worked for a time with NASA. Mueller had existed and worked exactly where he claimed, which they went and found out afterwards. Mueller’s voice sounded like a robot, buzzing through hissing background noise. Over time, his appearances/voice became sporadic and eventually ceased thus research in Spiricom ended. It must be said that amateur investigators on the wiki site of the Spiricom device claim to have had success using the design.

There are dialogues and sound clips of conversations of the spiricom http://www.worlditc.org/k_06_spiricom.htm

So what are your thoughts on Electromagnetic Voice Phenomena?

Mystery of Utsurabunae

The mystery of Utsurabunae (or Hollow craft)

UTSURA3Utsurabunae translates as “Hollow ship” and this most fascinating legend dates back to 1803, tracing its origins to the northern beaches of what is now modern day Tokyo. A large disc shaped vessel washed up upon the shore. When the local people investigated, they found inside a young, beautiful woman. She didn’t speak in a language that the Japanese people could identify, there were written inscriptions inside the craft that they couldn’t understand (possibly the same language) and large inscriptions on the outside of the vessel, and she was clutching a golden box that she wouldn’t let anyone else touch.

UTSURA2


In Japan there is a practise, where widowed lovers kept the head of their partner in a box, that they took everywhere. However, the box this woman clutched was a little bit different from the ones traditionally used for that. The legend of the ‘Utsurabunae’ or ‘Hollow Ship’, This legend has puzzled historians for a century or so since it occurred, Indeed there is a possibility that it came from the area of the submerged Yoneguni monument nearby? Five different pictures of this craft have survived in different areas of Japan, and they all depict the hollow, disc shaped craft and the story associated with it.UTSURA1






This is a recreation of Beyond The Line issue 4 article “Legend of Utsurabunae” which can be viewed free online http://www.issuu.com/kristianlander

Kristian.

What is the "mess" other investigators leave behind?

WHATDOESTHEATMEAN

Mess, left by other people

Maybe its just us, but one of the most common lines we’ve come from across with people involved in the paranormal. Which you may well have heard yourself Is the line “We have to go in to clear up the mess left by other people”.

Been trying to fathom what this infers exactly? Speaking with, an alleged medium who explained that other mediums with not much experience or those inspired by television shows and films. Stir up the energies in houses making the phenomena being encountered much worse and she takes up the task of performing “spirit clearing” to resolve the matters.

Another perspective experienced, is where groups who’ve gone in to a residential home and scared the people who live there. With talk of demons, entities and extreme events. Subjects in which they claim to be experts (or exterminators in) in order to conduct a nighttime vigil there. When the answer could be down to simply pressure in the radiator pipes, making them click when the heating is turned on, light reflections off the metallic surfaces in the kitchen at an angle when a car goes by in the evening to high electromagnetic fields and radiation from energy saving bulbs having an effect on them.

Trying to clean up mess left others? Breaking it down to the core elements. It is one group/person saying that a prior group(s)/person who have been involved with said case file. Gave information that has caused confusion, unhelpful information, which did not resolve issues or gave no real answers. This can lead to further problematic layers, where another person/group adds their interpretation, views and adds upon this confusion. Not to mention it is one persons opinion and belief that the something like a “cold vibe” in a place, is that of a spirit, as to another could be a demon, to another still it is a hex.  whilst seemingly not many would say “Hey, everyone be cool, you be cool! Lets take out all this dogma that is clogging up the answers and lets look at this properly with a clear mind as it is likely the draft from the window over here that doesn’t shut properly.“

Everyones knowledge on such subjects is extremely varied, people who have anxieties and are under stress looking for answers will be up for anything and will follow the course of suggestions laid in front of them by the investigators’ bias on what “they” believe – not what could be in fact occurring.

Investigators in our opinion should be observers, recorders of information and perhaps a provider of a solution – by way of playing detective.  Endeavouring to find answers not necessarily of a paranormal root, but the mundane.

Stone Tape Theory. Might it be more to do with light, magnetic fields and the mind?

Stone Tape Theory… might it be more to do with light, magnetic fields and the mind?

What is Stone Tape Theory?

Many paranormal investigators talk about the phenomena that is best described as a playback of events gone past. Somehow recorded in the very fabric of the environment and is played back much like a video. This type of haunting occurrence has been dubbed the Stone Tape Theory.

To illustrate this, a prime example would be the Roman legion who allegedly who emerged through a wall. Seen by apprentice plumber Harry Martindale, in the city of York in 1953 whilst installing a heating system in the Treasurers’ house. Stunned at the sight of a horse with a mounted soldier, followed by more soldiers carrying swords, shields and spears. Harry was always keen to say they appeared in his account to be walking on their knees. Not to his knowledge of the time, turned out about 15 inches/38 centimetres below the floor of the cellar was in fact a Roman road used for and leading to the Minster.  The ghosts walking on the familiar road and level of their knowledge unaware of the present change.

Recording ghosts can be associated with anniversary hauntings. phantom hitchhikers and phantom battle scenes in their nature. Where at a particular location allegedly on the same day every year or maybe another pattern occurrence such as a phase of the moon or stood in “x” place. Witnesses claim the experience repeats. Investigators perhaps should be staking these places out either to rule out the myth or to gain proof of its occurrence.

Sir William Barrett one of the initial founders of the Society Of Psychical Research spoke of recording ghosts. 

“In certain cases of hauntings and apparitions, some kind of local imprint, on material structures or places, has been left by some past events occurring to certain persons, who when on Earth, lived or were closely connected with that particular locality; an echo or phantom of these events becoming perceptible to those now living.”

How does the recording occur?

Looking at a number of the hauntings that are alleged to have occurred. Many ghosts appear to be going about their business as if still alive or at the moment of death. Monks walking the abbey halls, soldiers marching for war to the replaying of their deaths.
How would the information be encoded into the environment to last centuries? As in the tragic case of Braemar Castle in Aberdeenshire. Where the newly wed wife of the Earl, after consummating the marriage awoke in the morning to find her husband gone, fearing she had been rejected. The young wife threw herself from the tower. This is said to play out as a recording if a newly wed couple stay at the castle. The Worlds End, Ecton, A phantom nun is also said to appear every Halloween at midnight on the road outside near where the village gallows used to stand and she stops anyone attempting to pass. With reports going back to the 1700s.

Speculation at the round tables, is that perhaps peak experience emotion could play a part in causing the residual echo that is replayed. An incredible emotional level, the intenseness of ones whole life passing before their eyes. Utter concentration on staying alive, on reaching out to loved ones… Those who claim near death experience often speak of the clarity of a moment, a sensation of zen. A oneness with all. Whilst it is very likely this being part of the minds self defense mechanism for keeping the brain safe. Could this mind state be the catalyst for a “wave” that expels out? With reports which on the surface appear to be genuine experiences and of which there is something of a theory that seems to fit. The evidence of how it is being done is speculation at best.

Do certain situations or mind states have to be the same for the recording to play out?

Drivers on the same stretch of road, being a newly wedded couple at the aforementioned castle to standing in the exact spot as a witness to a killing If this were to be the trigger. There are very little to no studies into the field to give a definite answer to this. If there were, we would have a repeatable exercise in which to observe and the case for the existence of ghosts and echoes of the past would already be solved as a certainty.

One of the aspects I’ve spoke about at the presentations and live talks we have done, looks at the technological applications this would indeed unlock should we discover the medium.
Consider this… the Stone Tape Theory phenomena when experienced is actually that of a 3 dimensional figure of mass in an environmental space. Frequent conversations with those who claim to have been witness to these occurrences. “They were as clear and as solid as you are.”. These ghosts are indistinguishable from a real person. We could be talking the ultimate hologram here! Especially where interaction is found, as is highlighted by phantom hitchhiker reports. Where the person/ghost is alleged to actually click open the car door, has mass when they sit down, sometimes even speaks. Only to disappear a short way on.
Unfortunately there’s no answer on how we press record or let alone even hit play… however there’s some really interesting leads to what may be going on.

The Water memory theory holds some footing in some science circles, lending potential to the water tape theory as discussed by Para Science. Where it has been observed and recorded that water has the ability to hold information though this is disputed. A number of notable scientists and theorists have concluded separately in their respective fields of expertise. Where water can be used as a medium for information storage and an interactive element of mental influence.

Light…
Light makes for a terrific carrier of information, witness the prevalence of fiber optics in telecommunications. Photons are hyperactive, zipping around at light speed.
In his book Robot, Hans Moravac discusses how low energy photons store information theorized to be one megabyte in a single hydrogen atom and indeed ten billion megabytes in the small structure the size of a virus. Our visual receptors, our eyes, take in light from everything we look at. Which is taken in and processed by our mind to give us the vivid images of the environment we see.
In the past decade, it has been discovered the human eye also emits photons and our bodies emit biophotons. There is a two way process occurring of light being received and emitted. Packages of information scattered and directed out into the surrounding environment.

Is it therefore possible, just to throw it out there when an individual has the experience of observing or hearing an apparent ghost, might they may be taking in a photon(s) emitted by someone else, with the information being carried by the photon? Which may account for sightings, where only one person sees the ghost despite numerous people being present. The jury is out on whether or not photons degrade. As it is travelling at the speed of light, we presently can’t keep up with it to observe this. So photons containing the information could speculatively last forever.

…and Magnetic fields.
Magnetic fields surround us throughout our daily lives. We also generate our own resonance, which is measurable. Consciousness is a measurable frequency. The acknowledged speed that the EM field of the brain traverses the caudal–rostral plane of the cerebrum in the brain every ~20 ms. Travelling at 4.5 metres per second divided by a typical human skull circumference of 6 × 10-1 m (60 cm) gives the value 7.5 Hz. Our brain has a magnetic resonance around 7hz. Which is a curious frequency, as it mirrors the resonance frequency of the Earths own ionosphere.

Neuroscientist and professor at Princeton University Michael Persinger.  His lecture entitled “No more secrets” discussing scientific observations and data in the field of communication between individuals at a distance and also demonstrating how the EM fields of the individuals brain show interesting parallels of symmetry – brain wave activity and patterns, which begin to mirror one another. It is at this time somehow an information transfer occurs, access to the others memories. This happens at the 7hz range in the hippocampus, “the gateway to memory”. How this is theorized to occur, is entanglement. With the information conducted into the magnetic field, could it be that person A standing in and about in the same area. Perhaps the trigger being a the similar mind state, perhaps at the exact frequency as the time of the original event. The field gives person A not the outside apparition but the the projection into the mind.

To elaborate; the apparition however it is sensed… if it is real? I draw upon a quote from the film The Matrix spoken by Morpheus to Neo 

“What is real?  How do you define real?  If you’re talking about your senses, what you feel, taste, smell, or see, then all you’re talking about are electrical signals interpreted by your brain.”

Our senses are the input to which our mind interprets the experiences we are having.

However they it is well known animals notably birds use the magnetic fields for navigation and orientation. In the studies to understand this process looking for a magnetic receptors, gene expression markers have identified several brain regions activated by magnetic stimulation, neuronal responses to  field direction, intensity, and polarity; With findings demonstrating a neural magnetic sense. Comparing these notes to the human neurological studies, as humans we have similar sense to electro and magnetic input. We are highly susceptible to the em fields.

If we are exposed at the same frequency, or have the same present em field frequency occur in the mind and we exist in the same space. Could there could be an exchange of information?

The difficulty in understanding this is people and creatures have walked the Earth for thousands of years and we now occupy more of it than ever before. So this experience should be occurring far more often. People should be witness to this very frequently. But do we have the same mind set often enough as people from the past to enable the view to occur?

Could this be the mechanism behind the “Stone Tape Theory”?  A field with information stored could be putting the impression into the mind of the beholder.

Truth is we simply presently do not know, we have to keep looking.

Kristian Lander.

http://www.timetravel-britain.com/articles/history/ghosts.shtml – The Ghosts of York.
http://www.parascience.org.uk/articles/musings.htm – Stone Tape Theory – what about Water Tape Theory?

http://pages.gseis.ucla.edu/faculty/bates/substrate.html THE INVISIBLE SUBSTRATE OF INFORMATION SCIENCE Journal of the American Society for Information Science 50, #12 (1999) 1043-1050.

http://www.greenmedinfo.com/keyword/biophotons

Multi-site recording and spectral analysis of spontaneous photon emission from human body. Click here to see the entire article

Pubmed Data : Forsch Komplementarmed Klass Naturheilkd. 2005 Apr;12(2):96-106. PMID:15947468
Article Published Date : Apr 01, 2005
Study Type : Human Study

Living systems give off measurable intensities of light, i.e. photons in the visible part of the electromagnetic spectrum.

Click here to see the entire article

Pubmed Data : Forsch Komplementarmed Klass Naturheilkd. 2005 Apr;12(2):84-9. PMID:15947466
Article Published Date : Apr 01, 2005
Study Type : Commentary

Imaging of ultraweak spontaneous photon emission from human body

Click here to see the entire article

Pubmed Data : PLoS One. 2009;4(7):e6256. Epub 2009 Jul 16. PMID: 19606225
Article Published Date : Jan 01, 2009
Study Type : Human Study

Michael Persinger
http://persingerpublications.com/

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9l6VPpDublg No More Secrets Lecture.

https://neurocogconsultants.box.com/s/l9f7tld3yjny4b00eqbq

Robot, Hans Moravac.
http://www.mysteriousbritain.co.uk/england/northamptonshire/hauntings/the-worlds-end-ecton.html

Neural Correlates of a Magnetic Sense

  1. Le-Qing Wu,
  2. J. David Dickman*

+Author Affiliations

Department of Neuroscience, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, TX 77024, USA.

Published Online April 26 2012
Science 25 May 2012:
Vol. 336 no. 6084 pp. 1054-1057
DOI: 10.1126/science.1216567

http://www.sciencemag.org/content/336/6084/1054.short – Full report
http://wakeup-world.com/2012/01/24/confirmed-the-eye-emits-actual-light-biophotons/

 

Being called stupid during an night of “ghost hunting”.

Tatton Old hall in Cheshire, just outside Manchester. What followed was fascinating, yet frustrating night. Of which I shall summarize. Following a conversation with Nisi (Denise Mott) of Compass Paranormal Events, was invited as a guest to attend one of their events.

Hosting the event at Tatton Hall, were 4 hosts Karen, the witty and straight forward Barrie John and 2 in-house paranormal tech guys Ross and Lewis. Having shared the journey to the banter of Barrie John and Karen, atmosphere was good. People and the punters pardon the pun were in good spirits anticipating an night full of adventure and mystery. barriejohn

The introduction saw something wholly unexpected almost three quarters of 46 attending held their hands up to having never been on a paranormal event/ghost hunt at all. This was to be their first experience.  Over half held their hand up to the reason they have come is they are expecting a message from the other side, perhaps a loved one. Which Barrie John to his good credit, said if they come through with something personal, which they may. That is not the purpose of the evening, so if there is a message it shall only be brief and nothing more.

What struck me about the place was its archaeological and historic significance, which may well have been all but lost to demolition. The Tatton Hall gift shop effectively became the hubroom. Armour, swords, displays, fabric adorned the room. Details of the areas part in stone age, anglo-saxon, norman, viking and tudor.  The main houses history the part it played during the training of paratroopers and early commandos during the second world war as well as family and ownership heritage information. Mike the steward of the hall, was a insightful guide. Whom I spoke with frequently throughout the night.

The core locations besides the hubroom were a large barn, the great hall and the main old hall house. teamTaking the guests for a tour with Mike and Barrie John. Then later into 3 groups to explore each area, and in turn rotate round.

When groups split down, it was easier to get into conversation with people. I wanted to get a feel of what was expected from the fact that 3/4 hadn’t ever been on a ghost hunt before. Many said they follow Compass events, some said they frequented their events for their professionalism. A couple said they wanted to try the competition. A few groups said they do ghost hunts annually. The majority commented that they are spiritually open-minded. General expectation was open to whatever happens.

I caught an video interview with Ross and Lewis. Who made mention that this was a favourite location for them, due to the amount of experiences they have had here. Of which they enthusiastically gave some examples. DSC00357

Each group was allowed to take a selection of “ghost-hunting” equipment, Some usual suspects of k2 meters (7 of them were available) Night vision googles, sound amplifiers, temperature gauges…whilst dowsing crystals, Ouija boards, glass divination were demonstrated and touted as effective methods of communication with the “other side” Confused smile

and last but not least a broken radio, franks box. Worrying I quote… “We get out best results from this”.

Of the evening 3 moments stood out 

The bat splat – Whilst doing glass divination in the great hall, to no response at all. A bat in the ceiling could not have aimed himself a better bullseye by letting one go and landing centre of the top of the glass. Sure to be well remembered.

Being called stupidWhilst in the kitchen / dining room of the main hall, I walked into a broken radio franks box session being conducted. A table surrounded by guests and Ross, asking random questions. “Are you there?”, "Are you really there?”, “Do you want us to go?” “Are you William who doesn’t like women”, “Why does James I keep coming to mind"?”. The radio panning back and forth across the bands. Everyone was plucking out answers as the radio picked up words being spoken by stations it passed. There was awkward pauses as everyone was trying to work out, what answer fitted what answer and no one could really decide.

At which point, without wanting to be rude I sat down at the table. As the radio tatton_old_hallpanned over the station, there was a distinct operatic singer. Counted how many stations there were until it came back round, and listened a few more times through to make sure. 19. The crowd were getting silly, do you know you are dead. What year did you die.

“O.K.” I spoke up “Let me get this right, are we under the belief that a person is giving us actual answers, when we keep asking questions over one another?, I mean for this to even exist, the ghost if he exists at all. Would have to be a time traveller”. Which everyone went quiet. “The opera singer, there is 19 stations between it coming back round. So the ghost is listening to each of your questions, going over to the radio station somewhere hundreds of miles away. Then because songs are part way through, have the insight to foretell your questions, go back in time influence the DJ to play a song with the relevant answer or say a word with the answer at that time you ask. Or how about when its half a word on one station, then the second part i.e. on another station. Let alone do this for the dozens of questions we are all asking. What this is a form of audio apophenia, seeing answers and patterns in randomness”. At which point, someone one of the guests speaks over me and says “Stupid. You’re stupid”. Apparently that’s what she heard on the broken radio, then other seem to join in. “That message was meant for you”. Facepalm…

The third was the close of the evening in the barn everyone in a circle bare in mind there is 46 guests, this circle is very wide. Barrie John conducted a human pendulum experiment. One of the guests, who was in a suggestive state of consciousness following some relaxation techniques. I don’t tend to give to K2 meters being used in investigation exercise other than their actual purpose of detecting where electrical cables are. But… we are in a barn, in the middle of nowhere. None of the buildings have any electricity. We are at least 2 miles from any road. Everyone’s mobile phones are off, or least should be… These k2s which are on the floor within the circle light up like its Christmas. And I don’t mean all at same time. One at a time. However no one is moving, we are all in a circle, all are linking hands. There is illumination from the bright moon to see everyone and the barn interior.

After the pendulum experiment where apparently a female, teacher to the children who lived there, in 1537 came through. Barrie John makes mention of an angry gentleman who is present too. The guest returns to the circle. The 220px-Cruck_barn,_Tatton_Old_Halltemperature seems to drop. The k2 at close to her feet, doesn’t stop fluctuating. As people start asking questions out, the k2 at her feet appears to be responding in a yes/no fashion. Karen speaks forward “Are you the man, the terrible man who was here before?”. All of the k2 meters light up to full simultaneously. “Are you looking for Denise, the lady who called you out before?” The k2s on the opposite side of the circle to myself illuminated up to full, repeatedly fluxing. The 3 on my side (if there is such as a thing as a side within a circle) nothing. “She is not here tonight?”. They all flash up to full, then all stops. Barrie John says “He has gone”. Karen speaks up to say, the last time they were here, Denise got quite annoyed with him, and told him to do something, choke one of them to which Karen felt hands around her neck and she couldn’t breathe.

The paranormal state of the web

The internet, a place full of information, misinformation, opinions and copied quotes. Its also a valuable resource and vital way to communicate in todays age.
A place where the unexplained has quite a curiously shaped foothold. Firm holding of different views and approaches. With plenty of pages, sharing thoughts and theories.

Paranormal state of the web

On appearance alone, a large percentage of paranormal related websites are usually focused around the theme of fears, lots of black, over use of gothic fonts, pictures of graveyards, churches etc. Is the unexplained really about Halloween?

There is a number of “hub-sites” full of reposts from news and stories across the general media, with little or no original content. These hub-sites are quite popular with posts, comments and discussion. Across forums and newsgroups there are some discussion oriented sites with paranormal related content. The flucuating active membership of such sites has waned in recent years as discussion has moved into the social networking sphere.

It is impossible mentioning the internet without talking about social networks. Social networking platforms and indeed blogging really have connected a vast number of people. Sharing stories, images and video quicker between one another faster than ever! Whilst this has done wonders for interconnectivity and discussion, the effect on the quality of information is noticeable.
Drawing attention to a recent online video seminar with professor of evolutionary biology Mark Pagel, titled ‘Infinite Stupidity’. the idea that social networks are ultimately devaluing knowledge and that the internet used in this way has signaled a ‘cut and paste’ culture with innovative and original material being overlooked. Where pictures and data are flicked through, quickly forgotten about just to get to the next thing. With so much information out there, it is likely we may be missing a vast amount of quality as we are being bombarded in waves of drivel and why it is that the same topics are recycled over and over. The ability of how a single message or image reaching an audience of not just tens or hundreds, but thousands potentially even millions in an easy effortless way is undeniable.

Video blogging and production is relatively easy to produce. Even TV style quality is not so hard to achieve. Dedicated groups have taken it upon themselves to develop paranormal programming. Setting up cameras in homes and reputed locations to be viewed online is simple. People recording strange phenomena to show the world. Not to mention the flip side creating “false” or set up events to trick and to entertain. The internet has become a broadcasting medium like no other.

Having an online presence where people can contact you and/or your organization is brilliant. Having a website that panders to the stereotype perpetuates the impression that it is no more serious than Scooby Doo. “Jinkies”! Despite the contrast that there is indeed academic interest, journal papers and brilliant research that are being published, which have supporting evidence to the claims of what is presently considered to be in the realm of the unexplained. Many which are warranting of further study. We just aren’t helping ourselves by maintaining this halloween illusion.

What must not be forgotten here is that there are different aims and focuses for individuals, groups, organizations and events companies. Some are preferring the methodological, ethical and sensible approach to the paranormal, others are simply events companies, so the icons of animated ghosts, witches and spooky sounds sells the stereotype to the thrill seeking audience. That is not to say, some of the people behind the events companies do not conduct research or do not inspire people on events to take a more grounded approach.

One aspect that is apparent sitting back in the mind of a Joe Bloggs-layperson reporting a strange event or experience it is not readily clear where and who you inform. Similarly if you do will you be taken at your word, criticized or have you treated like a loon.

There has been a push for more resource oriented sites and structured databases. For information can be readily accessed by anyone. Great examples would Mysterious Britain and Ireland, ASSAP, Society of Psychical Research and the Barnum Project. Which produce material as well connect and link to wide variety on published material, ongoing projects and quality research.
A must for all levels of interest in the paranormal.

There are locations on the web that are beacons of sense, advocating education and good practice.

Kristian