15 results for what is a full spectrum camera

What is a Full Spectrum Camera?

What is a Full Spectrum Camera?

By: Sara Fawley

I have heard the term Full Spectrum Camera used many times as I am sure most of us have. I have some vague idea that it somehow captures from a light spectrum not visible to the human eye but that is as far as my limited knowledge goes. Due to this I thought I would do a little digging and see if I could explain it a little further for myself and anyone else who might be curious.

What I have found is this. A camera has a CCD sensor which in essence is it’s “eye”. This sensor controls how your camera “sees” the world around it. The sensor can only “see the visible light spectrum. Now there are other spectrums out there, the near infrared (IR) range and the UltraViolet (UV) range, that the human eye cannot see and that is also blocked out on your camera by an internal IR-cut filter in the camera’s lens. To make a camera “Full Spectrum” this filter is removed. Now the camera can not only “see” what the human eye sees but also the ranges beyond that. The theory is that these “invisible” ranges may be where spirits are “visible”.

What are the advantages to using a Full Spectrum Camera in the course of investigating?

The first advantage would seem to be that you do not need to use a flash in dark areas. While IR is invisible to the human eye it is very bright to the full spectrum camera.

The obvious advantage to no flash is that investigators are not constantly being blinded by the bright flash going off which can cut down on the tricks your eyes play on you in a changing light environment.

Another advantage is that environmental contamination “orbs” such as dust, lint, pollen and moisture are not going to be such an issue. These “orbs” are cause by the particulate being caught in the flash close to the lens. The only way this can happen with a Full Spectrum Camera is if the IR light source is to close to the lens. Keep the light source away from the lens…. problem solved.

Are there any disadvantages to a Full Spectrum Camera?

The major disadvantages that I found were that you cannot use them in the daytime or natural light because they cast a pink glow over the picture. The other thing I found is that you must have an IR light source and this can be a little costly.

So do Full Spectrum Cameras capture images of spirits?

We all know there is no conclusive proof of spirits or ghosts or anything else paranormal for that matter. To my knowledge to date there are no 100% proven photographs of spirits, full spectrum or otherwise but we keep pushing forward and trying to get that Holy Grail. If using everything technology has to offer us can get us there I say why not try.




Full Spectrum Photography

Camera-FSCAM-Slvr-FullSpectrum-5The current craze in paranormal photography and video is Full Spectrum. But, what exactly is it, and why is the theory that it will work in the field to capture spirits in action.

What is Full Spectrum? It is basically the ability to capture visible and near infrared light, commonly referred to as the VNIR. Modified digital cameras can detect some UV, all of the visible and much of the near infrared spectrum, as most digital imaging sensors are sensitive from about 350 nm to 1000 nm. An off-the-shelf digital camera contains an infrared hot mirror filter that blocks most of the infrared and a bit of the ultraviolet that would otherwise be detected by the sensor, narrowing the accepted range from about 400 nm to 700 nm. Replacing a hot mirror or infrared blocking filter with an infrared pass or a wide spectrally transmitting filter allows the camera to detect the wider spectrum light at greater sensitivity. Without the hot-mirror, the red, green and blue (or cyan, yellow and magenta) elements of the color filter array placed over the sensor elements pass varying amounts of ultraviolet and infrared which may be recorded in any of the red, green or blue channels depending on the particular sensor in use and on the dyes used in the Bayer filter. A converted full-spectrum camera can be used for UV or IR with the appropriate filters.

Use within the paranormal world usually means converting a digital camera to Full Spectrum, A converted digital camera usually requires that the infrared hot mirror be removed and replaced by a wideband, spectrally flat glass of the same optical path length. Typical glass types used include Schott WG-280 and BK-7, which transmit as much as 90% from around 300 nm to past 1000 nm. Removing the hot mirror is tedious and may require special tools and clean rooms.

There are issues with this type of photography, one being with Full-spectrum photography in either film or digital photography is the chromatic aberration, produced by the wideband information. That is, different spectra, including the ultraviolet and infrared, will focus at different focal points, yielding blurry images and color edge effects, depending on the focal length used. There are specialized lenses such as the Nikon 105mm f4.5 UV-Nikkor which are designed to eliminate this chromatic aberration.

Although Full Spectrum Photography has been around since the 50’s for geological and Military functions, it hos only recently been used for “Ghost Hunting”. The theory is that perhaps spirits can be detected in this light spectrum, and therefore photographed. Until now, there has not been scientific proof that this is the case, and with as many Full Spectrum Cameras, both still and video now being used, one would think that if this technology worked in the field, we would have a plethora of evidence to back the theory up.

Perhaps there still is a wavelength that spirits can be detected in that we simply have as yet been unable to determine, so we must keep trying different techniques and theories to try and find that holy grail.


[ tek-nol’-o-je ]
  1. The application of science, especially to industrial or commercial objectives.
  2. The scientific method and material used to achieve a commercial or industrial objective.
  3. Electronic or digital products and systems considered as a group:a store specializing in office technology.











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Coming soon


NPS-Department Chair



Hi, I’m Allan (Al) Schmidt. I’m 52 living in Colorado. I’ve been married for 27 years. I Retired form the Air Force in 2001 and have been working for the Government in Boulder ever since. I have many hobbies, mostly outdoor, hiking, camping hunting, fishing etc. The main thing that ties them all together is Photography. I’ve been into the paranormal basically all my life, as my late father was into basically everything paranormal, although he didn’t really refer to it as paranormal. Bigfoot, Nessi, UFO’s, Little People. He had books on all subjects which I read with a passion. I have been investigating for over 10 years now regularly, and have been all over the country doing so. Locally, have investigated many locations, both with others teams and as I like to do most of the time, by myself or with my wife. I’m very logical in my undertakings, and very skeptical by nature. If I have exhausted all resources and ideas as to how to debunk something, only then will I call it interesting and possibly paranormal. I have not really had any wow moments to speak of, but have had some interesting things happen, enough so to make me more curious.

Paranormal Research Investigative Society of Miami (PRISM)

 NPS-Default Contact Name  Lauren Korngold
Location Miami, FL
Miami, North Miami, Miami Beach, Hollywood, Ft. Lauderdale
Phone  305-935-0698
Email email
Website  prismlight.com
Follow Us  facebook
We investigate all paranormal activity. We use digital and full-spectrum cameras, EVP analysis. EMF phenomen , audio recordings and our own double-glass visual recordings

Top 5 Ghost Hunting Mistakes Science and Pseudoscience in Ghost Hunting

Top 5 Ghost Hunting Mistakes Science and Pseudoscience in Ghost Hunting by Benjamin Radford adapted from SCIENTIFIC PARANORMAL INVESTIGATION

How to Solve Unexplained Mysteries BENJAMIN RADFORD

Scientific Paranormal Investigation_Benjamin RadfordYou’re interested in ghosts. Or maybe you investigate ghosts, and your group claims to be scientific; join the club. Just about every ghost hunting group calls themselves skeptical or scientific. A lot of ghost hunters think they are being scientific if they use EMF detectors and FLIR cameras. Others think they are being scientific if they don’t use psychics, or if they conduct tests or experiments. If you want to know whether an investigator or group is scientific or not, examine their methods and results. Do they use the pseudoscientific methods described here? What is their track record of solved cases? Do their investigations end up with inconclusive and ambiguous results, or solved mysteries? I’ve been a science-based paranormal investigator for over a decade. My investigations have been featured on CNN, in national magazines, and on a half-dozen cable TV shows. I give lectures on science literacy and critical thinking across the country. I edit a national science magazine and write columns for LiveScience.com and blogs for Discovery News. I’ve written four books from mainstream publishers (not self-published) and I have two more books coming out this year. I point this out not to brag but to establish my credibility. Every Joe Shmoe who owns the first four seasons of Ghost Hunters on DVD and has an EMF detector from Radio Shack thinks he’s a ghost hunter and knows how to investigate ghosts. I know both science and investigation, and 99% of what passes for “science” and “investigation” among ghost hunters and paranormal investigators is neither. This document explains why.

If you want to learn about the real science, the real deal, here it is. This article is adapted from Chapter 4 in my book Scientific Paranormal Investigation: How to Solve Unexplained Mysteries. I am making this material available for free to anyone who wants it, and it may be re-distributed in any form as long as proper credit is given. Do I hope you’ll buy, or at least check out, my book? Sure I do. I spent years researching and writing it, and it’s a damn good book with great reviews. But even if you don’t, I want to help educate the ghost investigation community about what real science is, and how to do good research.


Ghost investigations can be tricky. Very ordinary events can be—and have been—mistaken for extraordinary ones, and the main challenge for any ghost investigator is separating out the facts from the jumble of myths, mistakes, and misunderstandings. Often it is very easy to accidentally create or misinterpret evidence: Is that flash of a light on a wall from flashlight reflection—or a ghost? Are the faint sounds recorded in an empty house spirit voices—or a neighbor’s radio? It’s not always clear, and investigators must be careful to weed out the red herrings and focus on the real information.

The most famous ghost hunters in the world, Jason Hawes and Grant Wilson (co-founders of the Atlantic Paranormal Society—T.A.P.S.—and stars of the TV show Ghost Hunters), agree with me that science is the best way to approach investigations. They have always claimed to use good scientific methods and investigative procedures, for example writing in their 2007 book Ghost Hunting, “T.A.P.S. uses scientific methods to determine whether or not someone’s home might be haunted,” and “We approach ghost hunting from a scientific point of view.”

Yet Jason Hawes spends a grand total of four paragraphs (out of 273 pages) to a chapter titled “The Scientific Approach.” Hawes doesn’t say much about science or the scientific methods, and in fact it’s the shortest chapter in the book. Hawes writes that “Scientific knowledge comes from systemic and objective observations, which help us make deductions we can trust. It also means we have to test those deductions through controlled experiments that can be repeated by others under those same conditions…. We’re determined to come as close to scientific accuracy as we possibly can. That’s the only way we’re going to produce reliable evidence and advance the study of the paranormal.”

Jason Hawes is correct, as far as he goes. He is right that only scientific investigation will shed light on ghostly phenomenon. But he is wrong in his belief that he and his T.A.P.S. crew are doing good scientific investigation. After watching episodes of Ghost Hunters and other similar programs it quickly becomes clear to anyone with a background in science that the methods used are both illogical and unscientific.

Ghost Hunting

Most ghost investigations follow a similar pattern. First, the group hears about the claim, and goes to the location to interview one or more people who reported some unusual event. Next, armed with reports and speculation about what might be going on, the team spends hours bringing out and setting up high-tech gear (cameras, audio recorders, EMF detectors, infrared cameras, etc.) around the reputedly haunted location. Then the group does a stakeout that lasts anywhere from a few hours to overnight. During this time they walk around taking photos, temperature readings, recording audio and video footage, and so on. The lights are turned off, and sometimes psychic mediums, dowsing rods, pendulums, and the like are used to try and communicate with a spirit. Other times a test (or “control”) object (such as a teddy bear, ball bearings, a toy, a candle, etc.) will be placed in a conspicuous place, and the ghost asked to affect or move the object. Usually as the investigators, either individually or as a team, walk around the darkened place they may hear noises or bump into things. Often any “strange” sounds or smells or lights or other experiences will be considered potential ghost activity. Sometimes the ghost hunters will find an explanation for this (and the original claimed) phenomenon, other times they won’t. Nothing terribly dramatic will happen, and at the end of the specific time, the investigators have some phenomenon (recorded sounds, video, etc.) to be analyzed at a later time; the stakeout ends and everyone gets some sleep.

Later the investigators go over every bit of audio and video they recorded, combing through for anything that anyone thinks might be strange or unusual. Depending on how much recording they did, they may have dozens or hundreds of hours, and usually they are able to find a few faint “unexplained” noises (that might be EVPs, or ghost voices) or lights or odd electromagnetic field readings. If the team uses psychics, they will give their impressions. Usually at this point the team has found at least a few pieces of evidence that they can associate with a human presence. For example, a psychic may say she sensed an older male presence in one room or area; or a faint sound recorded at some location might be thought to resemble a child’s voice; or one of the investigators might suggest that a shadow on a wall looks like a tall, thin woman.

Often the investigators research (or further research) the history of the house, poring over early records and newspaper archives, perhaps interviewing previous owners, looking for anything having to do with the house, its previous occupants, or even the nearby land and houses. Once they have a rough history of the place, they will look for matches: Is there anything in the location’s history that can support or confirm the “evidence” they gathered during their investigation?

Often the answer is yes: If it turns out that an elderly woman lived in the house at any point since it was built (and especially if she died there—or even might have died there), that “confirms” the psychic’s impressions. If a young girl lived there at some point (especially many years ago, and therefore might have since died), then the sound that could be a girl’s voice is probably her. And so on. In this way, the investigators believe they are being successful when they find a correlation. They congratulate themselves on a good ghost investigation, explain their findings to the location’s owner, and then either call the local news media or write up a report for their Web site listing the phenomena they couldn’t explain.

While this is standard operating procedure for many ghost hunting groups and paranormal investigators, there are many errors, logical fallacies, and investigation mistakes in this scenario. Most of these mistakes fall into two categories: They either create false evidence (red herrings, or what in science are known as false-positives, or Type II errors); or the practice is illogical and violates basic scientific methods.

Studies have repeatedly found that the general public has a very poor understanding of science. Most ghost investigators are intelligent, sincere people who have simply never been exposed to the real scientific side of ghost hunting, and instead take their cues and methods from “experts” and what they see on TV shows.

Here are the top five ghost hunting mistakes.

1. Assuming that no specialized knowledge or expertise is needed to effectively investigate ghosts.

One of the most common assumptions among ghost investigators is that in the paranormal field “there are no experts.” If there are no experts, then of course anyone can effectively investigate ghosts. Almost all ghost hunters are amateur, part-time hobbyists from all walks of life, and thousands of them investigate ghosts (apparently with some success). On the hit show Ghost Hunters, two ordinary guys who work as plumbers during the daytime are touted as experts on ghost investigations, though none of the team has any background or training in science, investigation, forensics, or any other 3 field that might help solve mysteries.

Why it’s a mistake: Paranormal investigation requires no certificate; anyone can do it with no training, knowledge, or expertise whatsoever (though of course there are people who will try to sell you a “ghost hunter” certification). Whether they are effective or not—actually solve any mysteries— is another matter entirely. Despite their name, ghost investigators do not investigate ghosts; rather, they investigate various phenomena that might (or might not) be related to a ghost. Effectively investigating claims and solving mysteries, on the other hand, does require some experience and expertise—specifically in logic, critical thinking, psychology, science, forensics, and other areas. And there certainly are experts on that subject, people who have researched and investigated phenomena claimed to be evidence for ghosts. I’m one of them, and I can name a handful of others.

This shouldn’t surprise anyone. Ordinary people hire specialists all the time to explain or handle things that seem too arcane or mysterious for us layfolk. People don’t assume that a person without training can be a good mechanic, doctor, or athlete, yet when it comes to the supposedly “unexplained” mysteries—ghosts, crop circles, psychic powers, and so on—people often assume that no expertise or specialized knowledge is needed to successfully investigate the phenomenon. One thing that distinguishes an expert from an amateur is that experts get better. They improve their tools and refine their techniques as they gain knowledge and apply their experience to future investigations. Many ghost hunters, on the other hand, repeat the same mistakes over and over, investigation after investigation, year after year.

2. Considering subjective feelings and emotions as evidence of ghostly encounters.

Members of ghost hunting groups (and TV shows such as Ghost Hunters) often report descriptions of personal feelings and experiences like, “I felt a heavy, sad presence and wanted to cry,” or “I felt like something didn’t want me there,” and so on. They also describe in detail how, for example, they had goose bumps upon entering a room, or grew panicked at some unseen presence, assuming they were reacting to a hidden ghost.

Why it’s a mistake: Subjective experiences are essentially stories and anecdotes. There’s nothing wrong with personal experiences, but by themselves they are not proof or evidence of anything. Most people who report such experiences are sincere in their belief that a ghost caused their panic, but that belief does not necessarily make it true.

The problem, of course, is that there is not necessarily any connection between any real danger or a ghostly presence and how a person feels. Many people suffer from irrational phobias and panic attacks, terrified of any number of things such as insects, airplane travel, and crossing bridges. Their fears and panic are very real—they truly are sweating and terrified. But it’s all psychological; it has nothing to do with the outside world. In the same way, the power of suggestion can be very strong, and a suggestible ghost hunter can easily convince herself—and others—that something weird is going on. There is of course no objective, scientific way to test these sorts of claims, no test for fear, uneasiness, panic, a sense of dread, a “spooky” feeling, or other subjective sensations. Even if a person is sweating, or his skin feels clammy, there could be any number of things that caused it. Most ghost hunters recognize that their personal feelings can’t be considered good evidence, yet they often report these experiences along with the rest of their evidence. Investigators should make an effort to learn about psychology (especially perceptual processes) and human behavior so that their investigations aren’t sidetracked by these distractions.

3. Using unproven tools and equipment.

There are two basic types of equipment and tools that ghost hunters use: metaphysical ones (psychics, dowsing rods, pendulums, séances, etc.) and scientific ones (electromagnetic field detectors, thermometers, FLIR cameras, etc).

Why it’s a mistake: In their work, real scientists and investigators only use equipment that has been proven to work and is designed for the purpose for which it is used. Police detectives don’t use dowsing rods to identify suspects, and doctors don’t use EMF detectors to test for genetic diseases. It’s not that EMF detectors aren’t useful—they very much are, in certain fields—but they have nothing to do with what the doctor is investigating. The same holds true for these unproven tools.

Some investigators claim that they don’t use the equipment to detect ghosts; instead they use it to rule out natural explanations for a ghostly phenomenon. The problem is that the naturalistic “explanations” they claim to be ruling out often have nothing to do with the original ghost claims. For example, let’s say that a person believes his house is haunted because he hears faint voices at night, an odd glowing form appeared in a photograph of the house, and small items have inexplicably fallen off a kitchen shelf. Ion counters, FLIR cameras, and EMF detectors are of no benefit in addressing these claims. They cannot reveal the true identity of a glow in a photograph, nor will they explain the origin of the voice-like sounds, nor what caused an item to mysteriously fall off a shelf. The ghost investigators are not “ruling out” any natural explanations with this equipment, because the gear has nothing to do with the claims. Establishing the location of an electromagnetic field is of no value; it doesn’t “explain” anything.

Metaphysical Tools

Psychic abilities have never been proven to exist. Some people—especially those who claim to be psychic or “intuitive” —may disagree, but the fact remains that such powers have never been scientifically validated. This is not the place for a lengthy discussion on the reality of psychic powers; the scientific evidence can be found elsewhere. But, for the sake of argument, let us suppose that psychic power exists, and that some psychics have some unknown, unprovable ability to provide unique in- 5 formation about a haunted location or spirit. This would still be of little or no value to a scientific paranormal investigator. To see why, let’s examine some claims. In the book The Other Side: A Teen’s Guide to Ghost Hunting and the Paranormal, authors Marley Gibson, Patrick Burns, and Dave Schrader write, “Certain studies suggest that even the best psychics are accurate only 30 percent of the time… Remember again that a lot of psychics will be wrong more often than they are exact” (p. 49, 51). I don’t know where the authors—who, by the way, all believe in psychic ability—got the 30% figure (instead of random chance), but let’s assume they are correct. If the accuracy rate of psychic power is 30%, this is a horrible success rate!

No scientific test is accurate 100% of the time, but any investigative tool or technique that was wrong 70% of the time would never be used by a responsible scientist or investigator. Can you image going to a doctor for a cancer screening and being given a test that was wrong almost three-quarters of the time? Any result from the test would be worthless; you’d have to take the same test many times to overcome such a low accuracy rate. If you were smart, you’d use a tool that had been proven to be valid and reliable most of the time. And remember: that rate is for the best psychics. If the ghost-hunting psychic isn’t one of the best, the accuracy rate would presumably be lower—twenty percent? Ten percent? Zero percent? Who knows?

Imagine if, during the course of an investigation, a ghost hunter used a psychic who gave 30 different pieces of information about the haunting or spirit. Assuming your psychic is one of the best, she will be wrong about 21 pieces of information, and correct about 9 of them. Making matters worse, there’s no way to know which 9 clues she is correct about. To find out, each piece of information would have to be investigated, and three out of four will be wrong. It’s an incredible waste of time and resources—and that’s assuming psychic powers exist! No scientific investigator in his right mind would use a psychic.

Steve Gonsalves, of the Ghost Hunters TV show, wrote in the February 2007 issue of the TAPS Paramagazine that “the legitimacy and findings of remote viewing [psychics] are obviously questionable, but… if you believe in mind power and ESP, then I say, ‘Why not?’ It certainly won’t hurt…” Gonsalves’s answer reveals a very shaky grasp of both science and investigation. Real investigation requires knowing that the tools and methods you use to gather information are valid, and that the information from those sources is accurate and useful. To an investigator who wastes hours trying to verify wild leads provided by psychics who can’t validate their powers scientifically, it certainly can hurt!

The exact same problem occurs with the use of dowsing rods, pendulums, Ouija boards, and other metaphysical and New Age items: they may be fun to play with, but they have never been scientifically proven to work. There’s no evidence that dowsing rods can detect water, much less ghosts. Any readings that these devices provide are far more likely to be red herrings than valid evidence.

Scientific Tools

Many ghost hunters consider themselves scientific if they use high-tech scientific equipment such as Geiger counters, Electromagnetic Field (EMF) detectors, ion detectors, infrared cameras, sensitive microphones, and so on. Yet the equipment is only as scientific as the person using it; you may own the world’s most sophisticated thermometer, but if you are using it as a barometer, your measurements are worthless. Using a calculator doesn’t make you a mathematician, and using a scientific instrument doesn’t make you a scientist.

The use of these devices rest upon nothing more than assumptions and pure speculation. For any of these pieces of equipment to be useful there must be some proven connection to ghosts. For example, if ghosts were known to emit electromagnetic fields, then a device that measures such fields would be useful. If ghosts were known to cause temperature drops, then a sensitive thermometer would be useful. If ghosts were known to emit ions, then a device that measures such ions would be useful. And so on.

The problem is that there is no body of research that shows that any of the things these devices are measuring have anything to do with ghosts. Many things are known to emit electromagnetic fields and cause temperature drops; ghosts are not among them. There has not been a single study that shows that these things can detect a ghostly presence. Until someone can reliably demonstrate that ghosts have certain measurable characteristics, devices that measure those characteristics are irrelevant.

Every single reading, whether a fluctuation in a field or a drop in temperature or anything else, can always be attributed to something other than a ghost: even if an investigator gets an “anomalous” reading, there’s simply no way to prove it was caused by a ghost. The evidence gathered by these devices will be inconclusive at best—and always has been.

There is no reason for any scientific investigator to possess or use these devices, since there is no evidence that they detect ghosts. Using a tool or device without being certain it works to find what you’re searching for is illogical and unscientific. What’s the point in using a tool that—even if it works as you think it does—can’t prove anything one way or the other?

Many ghost hunters, including the T.A.P.S. team, use EMF detectors to search for electromagnetic fields because they believe that intense magnetic fields can create hallucinations, which in turn might create the illusion of ghosts. The basis for this theory comes primarily from research done by a Canadian cognitive neuroscientist, Michael Persinger. He found that hallucinations (such as outof-body experiences) could be triggered by stimulating specific areas of the brain with fixed wavelength patterns of high-level electromagnetic fields. He suggested that EMFs might therefore be responsible for everything from UFO sightings to religious apparitions to ghosts. It’s an interesting idea. Unfortunately for the ghost hunters, it’s just a theory—not a proven effect. There’s little or no evidence to support the idea that EMFs create ghosts. Ghosts are not being seen in Persinger’s experimental laboratory in Ontario; they are being seen in abandoned hospitals and suburban basements. There is simply no evidence that electromagnetic fields generated by common household appliances can generate EMFs of the frequency and power that induce hallucinations in a clinical setting.

Indeed, Yale neuroscientist Steven Novella says that the theory of EMFs as an origin for ghosts is “speculative at this point.” The electromagnetic stimulation used by Persinger “has to be focused, and at a certain frequency in order to have this effect. It seems unlikely that environmental electromagnetic fields would be fine-tuned just enough to cause this effect… It’s an interesting idea, I just don’t think it’s terribly plausible. At present, while we can certainly duplicate it in a lab, I’m not aware of any evidence to suggest it actually happens out there in the world” (Novella, Steven. 2010. Getting into the Spirit of Things. MonsterTalk podcast, March 2).

In their rush to accept this “scientific” explanation for ghost sightings, investigators extrapolated far beyond the evidence. Until it can be demonstrated that generalized, non-clinical EMFs can create the psychological perception of ghostly phenomena, there is no investigative value in detecting such fields.

Is it theoretically possible that, if ghosts exist, EMF detectors might find a sign of them? Of course it is; anything is possible, but there’s no evidence for that. There are hundreds or thousands of other devices or tools that could possibly do the same thing. Without knowing what specific characteristics define a ghost experience, it’s based on nothing more than guesses. There’s no logical reason to think that an EMF detector would be any more useful in detecting ghosts than a snow globe, a broken inkjet printer, or a fuel gauge from a 1983 Buick. I’ve been investigating ghosts for over a decade now, and I don’t use EMF detectors to find ghosts for the same reason I don’t use a toaster to clean my laundry.

This is not to say that cameras and other recording gear cannot be useful in an investigation. They can, but it all depends on the purpose, on what the investigator is using it for. A camera set to record the entrance to a door might be very useful in making sure that no one enters unnoticed to pull a hoax or prank. If there is a specific claimed phenomenon that is said to occur, the camera may be a useful tool to record the event if it happens. But simply setting a camera up to record for hours on end with no particular purpose is an easy way to collect bogus evidence.

Why do so many ghost hunters use these high-tech devices, even though there’s no evidence they detect ghosts? Part of it is because that’s what they see on TV, so they assume that must be the “scientific” way to look for ghosts. And partly it’s because there are dozens of “ghost equipment” outfitters who make a lot of money selling this gear to amateur ghost hunters. They can make hundreds or thousands of dollars by selling this equipment to people who don’t know any better.

4. Using improper and unscientific investigation methods.

In addition to misusing scientific equipment, ghost hunters often misuse (or ignore) good sci- 8 entific research methods.

Why it’s a mistake: Examining all the errors in ghost investigations would take an entire book; instead I will highlight the three most common mistakes I have encountered, drawing from personal experience and TV shows like Ghost Hunters.

Investigating with the lights off

Nearly every ghost-themed TV show has several scenes in which the investigators walk around a darkened place, usually at night, looking for ghosts. Purposely conducting an investigation in the dark is the equivalent of tying an anvil to a marathon runner’s foot. It intentionally hobbles the investigation and is completely counter-productive. It also violates common sense and logic; think about it for a second: if you are trying to identify an unknown object, is it better to look for it under bright lights, or in a darkened room? There are no other objects or entities in the world that anyone would think are better observed in darkness instead of light; why would ghosts be any different? Humans are visual creatures, and our eyes need light to see—the more light the better. Darkness, by definition, severely limits the amount of information available. Searching at night in the dark puts investigators at an immediate and obvious disadvantage in trying to identify and understand what’s going on around them. If limiting the investigator’s ability to detect things around them helps find ghosts, why not take it a step further and use blindfolds and earplugs on the ghost hunters?

Furthermore, this strategy fails on its own terms. While some report seeing ghosts as glowing figures, many people report them as shadows or dark entities. Searching a dark room for a shadowy figure is an exercise in futility. If it was an established fact that ghosts emit light, there would be some logic to looking for them in a dark room. Unless a ghost or entity has been specifically and repeatedly reported or photographed emitting light, there’s no valid, logical reason that ghost investigators would work figuratively (and literally) in the dark. Some ghost hunters believe that darkness helps to draw out ghostly entities. Yet even a casual review of ghost reports shows that this is not true: most sightings do not occur in darkness. People have reported seeing ghosts in broad daylight, in the morning, and at all times of the day. It is true that people are more likely to report seeing a ghost in the evening, but it does not logically follow that ghosts must be more active after sunset.

There are several non-supernatural reasons why ghost reports would occur more often at night, especially in homes. For one thing, there’s a sampling bias: most people are not at home during the daytime, and most of their waking hours while at home occur in the evening. Obviously, people are more likely to report potential ghostly activity at night in their homes instead of during the day at an office job or assembly plant. Furthermore, people are more likely to be in psychological states that can induce misperceptions (and even mild hallucinations) in the evening. The evening hours—which of course coincide with the darkness hours—are when people get off work to relax; sometimes they drink alcohol or use recreational drugs. Even those who don’t succumb to another mental state that has been clinically proven to greatly increase misperceptions and hallucinations: ordinary fatigue.

This of course does not mean that everyone who is tired after a long day will necessarily see or hear things that aren’t there, but fatigue is a real and significant factor that cannot be dismissed. Ghost hunters who are quick to attribute hallucinations to EMF fields often overlook fatigue as far more obvious (and proven) cause. Ironically, ghosts are almost never reported under the conditions that most ghost hunters search for them: late at night, in near-total darkness with flashlights and EMF detectors. The reason it’s often done for television shows is obvious: it makes more dramatic footage. It’s spookier and more visually interesting to film the ghost investigators with night-vision or infrared cameras.

Sampling errors

Elsewhere I explain why a ghost stakeout or overnight investigation is a bad idea, but there’s another, less obvious basic scientific mistake. Usually ghost hunters will begin their stakeout by taking readings from their high-tech equipment. While a thorough investigation into specific claims or phenomena (such as why a door opens on its own, or the source of a strange noise) can be conducted in a matter of hours, a complete investigation into a haunted location can’t be done in a few hours, or even during an overnight stay. The reason is very simple: a few hours or overnight is not enough time to gather enough information to establish a valid set of baseline (or control) measurements for what “normal” (i.e. presumably ghost-free) conditions are at the location.

To know what is extraordinary for the area, an investigator must first determine what is ordinary. Many ghost hunters understand this general principle, but greatly underestimate the importance of valid sampling. In environmental science, measurement sampling, for example checking for water or air contaminants, is a very complex process: choosing how to sample, where to sample, what to sample, how often, with what tools, etc. is critical to getting useful measurements. This is why for valid experiments, scientists must take dozens—sometimes hundreds—of independent measurements, and analyze the results to derive a statistical average (along with a range of normal variation),which can be used as a basis for research. The timeframes and number of samples that ghost hunters use are far too short to yield any scientifically meaningful baseline numbers.

There’s also the logical problem of comparing readings (EMFs, temperatures, etc.) taken at different times. As any scientist or statistician can tell you, two data points are meaningless. All you can tell from two sets of readings is that either the number has changed or it hasn’t. How can the investigator know that the baseline readings they got “before” the investigation started were not detecting ghosts? Think of it this way: Just because Measurement A was taken a few hours before Measurement B does not mean that Measurement A is the “normal” one (the control) and Measurement B represents an anomaly. Maybe Measurement A was the anomaly; or maybe Measurement B was the anomaly; or maybe both Measurements A and B were within the ordinary range of variation and if the investigators took Measurement C they would find that to be the anomaly. There’s no way to tell which of these interpretations is correct without many more samples (data points).

It gives you no information about which number (or set of numbers), is the “normal” condition and which is the “anomalous” one. It gives no information on correlation or causation (such as noting that a higher temperature reading was taken in a room that had just been occupied by a dozen warm- 10 bodied investigators). It gives no information about anything, yet it is a standard procedure among many ghost hunter groups, who have convinced themselves and others they are doing good science.

A scientific ghost investigator would have to make at least a dozen separate visits to the location (at different times of the day and under different conditions) to carefully measure and record whatever variables (temperature, humidity, light, vibrations, sounds, electromagnetic fields, etc.) they will be measuring during their stakeout. The more times an investigator samples the location, the more complete and more accurate the information will be.

It’s easy to understand why ghost hunters don’t follow scientifically valid sampling methods. First, it requires learning about basic scientific and sampling methodologies. This doesn’t require a college education; there are plenty of books that can help investigators learn about this. But ghost hunters need to “know what it is they don’t know” and be willing to study and use correct procedures.

Second, there is the time commitment and “fun factor.” From my experience, most ghost hunters aren’t really interested in the science; they want the fun. Taking measurements and creating a data set in preparation for an investigation is neither interesting nor spooky; it is boring, tedious, mathematical drudgery. Why bother spending weeks with equipment and silly old numbers and textbooks when you can be walking around an abandoned hospital with flashlights, spooking your friends and jumping at shadows?

Ineffectively using recording devices

As we have seen, devices such as EMF detectors and ion counters have no use in ghost investigations. Ordinary cameras and audio recorders, however, can be helpful if used correctly. Unfortunately, many ghost hunters (including the Ghost Hunters) don’t know how to use the equipment effectively. For example, in Episode 401 (airdate March 5, 2008), the TAPS crew investigated Philadelphia’s Fort Mifflin. While there, lead investigator Grant Wilson acted startled on camera while looking through a crawlspace (in near-darkness, of course). He claimed he saw a human face staring back at him only a few feet away, but predictably the television crew trailing him didn’t capture it on video. This type of incident has happened dozens of times over the six seasons of the Ghost Hunters television show: One or another ghost hunter claims to have seen or heard something just off-camera, and therefore without any proof. Was it real, a hoax, an illusion, or hallucination? Without some recorded evidence, it’s just another personal story. The solution is obvious: head-mounted wireless digital cameras. They were finally used occasionally in a few recent episodes (though not consistently by all the crew), and it’s odd that it took five years for the high-tech TAPS crew to realize they were a good idea.

Another example is the use of voice recorders. Most ghost hunters, including the TAPS team, use handheld voice recorders in an attempt to capture a ghost voice or EVP. Often the ghost hunter holds it while standing in the middle of a room while addressing the supposed spirit, or while walking around. Sometimes a voice-like sound or noise will be heard at the time; if so, the ghost hunter(s) will ask more questions, and if not the sound or EVP will be saved for later analysis.

Unfortunately, this is not an effective protocol. To identify the nature of the sound (human, ghost, cat, furnace, etc.), an investigator must first determine its source, and that in turn involves locating the sound’s origin. This can be very difficult for a ghost hunter to do, especially in a darkened room. If the sound came from an open window, that would suggest one explanation, while if the sound’s origin could be located to the middle of an empty room, that might be more mysterious. Locating the source of a sound is nearly impossible using only one recording device.

The way to scientifically determine the source location of a sound is with more than one microphone—at least three, and the more the better. By placing sensitive microphones throughout the location (and certainly in the four corners of a room and outside), the signal strength of the sound can be measured at each microphone. Sound is created by longitudinal compression waves in the air, moving away from the source of the sound. Furthermore, soundwaves have several measurable characteristics, including frequency, amplitude, speed, and wavelength. Along with a basic knowledge of acoustics and math, these characteristics allow the investigator to triangulate within a few feet where the sound came from. Ideally this should be done in real time so that the ghost hunters can immediately investigate. Methods of triangulation have been used by engineers and sailors for hundreds of years– and are widely used in GPS equipment—but for some reason are not used by the T.A.P.S. crew.

5. Doing a stakeout or “lockdown.”

This is typically an overnight “investigation” into a haunted location, usually with a half dozen or more people wandering around the location, setting up cameras and other gear, etc. This is one of the most common and basic mistakes made by amateur ghost investigators. Nearly every ghostthemed “reality” television show features this, and it’s a staple of most ghost-hunting groups, and a particular favorite of the cast of Ghost Adventures TV show. It’s also a huge red flag, warning of bad science and amateur investigation.

Why it’s a mistake: As an investigative procedure in ghost hunting, the stakeout (or “lockdown,” as it’s sometimes melodramatically called) has a 100% track record of failure; out of the hundreds of stakeouts conducted by ghost hunters, not a single one has yielded any significant proof of ghosts. (As I noted, they might have better success if they left the lights on.) Every stakeout gets more or less the same results: a few ambiguous—yet supposedly mysterious— noises or lights or shadows, but never anything scientifically useful or definitive. Scientists and investigators abandon tools and techniques that don’t work, help solve mysteries or explain phenomenon. Instead of recognizing that their evidence never gets any better using this technique, amateur ghost hunters keep doing it. There’s a certain entertainment value in walking around a supposedly haunted location and scaring each other silly.

A stakeout is essentially a scientific experiment without the science. Scientific experiments are carefully controlled by the investigator or experimenter: he or she controls some variables or conditions, and measures the variation. To use a basic example, if a scientist wants to see if one potting soil helps plants grow better than another potting soil, she can set up a simple experiment to test this. But she would need to establish careful controls over the experiment to make sure that the results she gets are valid. She would take two identical plants (ideally cuttings from the same parent plant to control for genetics) and expose them to identical sunlight, water, temperature, and so on— essentially controlling a dozen or more variables, so that she can be sure that any difference in growth between the two plants is a result of the dependent variable, the different potting soil. This careful control of the environments is absolutely critical to conducting a valid experiment. If one of the plants was given more sunlight or more water, then that could be the reason it grew better, regardless of which soil it was planted in. Without careful control over the variables and conditions, the experiment is invalid and any results from that experiment are worthless.

Some ghost hunters and paranormal investigators believe they are using good science and controls when they conduct tests, for example setting out “trigger” or “control” objects (teddy bears, balls set on tables or chairs, and so on) that ghosts are invited to move to demonstrate their presence. The problem is that there is no scientific control group to compare any result to. For example, let’s say that a child’s ball is placed in the center of a table in a reputedly haunted room and recorded on camera overnight. Even if the ball begins to move or roll for some reason, it is not a valid experiment. The investigator would need to have a control condition—one or more identical balls set up in comparable conditions and locations that are supposedly not haunted. It might be, for example, that slight vibrations from a passing train a few blocks away would be enough to move the ball, and that any ball placed on any comparable table anywhere in the neighborhood would act the same way. If the investigator only tests that one ball on that one specific table in the suspected haunted location, it’s impossible to know if any movement was caused by a circumstance unique to that place. Without a control group, there is nothing to compare any result to. It is classic pseudoscience. This is directly relevant to ghost investigations, because in a stakeout the experimenter by definition cannot control all, or even the most, of the variables and conditions in the experiment he’s conducting.

In a recent issue of Haunted Times magazine, ghost experts Christopher Mancuso and Brian J. Cano suggest searching for ghosts in urban areas such as abandoned hospitals, institutions, and factories. This, of course, is a textbook example of a completely uncontrolled location with an untenable signal-tonoise ratio. It’s difficult to understand why Mancuso and Cano would think that their “urban exploration” would be a productive setting for an investigation. A serious investigator wants fewer variables and distractions, not more. You might as well try to record EVPs during a rock concert. How, exactly, is an investigator  supposed to tell the typically subtle signs of a ghost in a place that is not only decaying (and likely infested with rodents, insects and other animals), but also surrounded by the typical lights, smells, and noises of an urban area? There are likely to be ordinary sounds and drafts all over the place that would duplicate or mask any supposed ghostly phenomena. (Not to mention the potential problems of running into vagrants, drug users, and police enforcing trespassing laws.) It’s hard to think of a worse place for ghost investigation—or one that would be more likely to create false-positive evidence. An investigator’s inability to reliably distinguish between ordinary and extraordinary phenomena renders these “investigations” a joke.

Making the problem worse, ghost hunters often have little or no training in proper investigation procedures and usually create as much “evidence” as they uncover. I have witnessed many cases where ghost hunting groups waste time investigating “evidence” that they themselves created because of sloppy technique and carelessness. It’s very much like a dog chasing its own tail, and it would be funny if it wasn’t such a serious problem. It’s important to remember that nearly anything anyone thinks is odd for any reason can be offered as evidence of a ghost. There is an impossibly broad spectrum of phenomena that have been claimed as signs of ghosts, including lights, shadows, noises, silence, heat, cold, moving objects, smells, uneasiness, and so on. If the presence of a ghost could be narrowed down to a specific phenomenon—for example, if everyone agreed (or it had been proven) that ghosts give off red light, or a certain high-pitched sound—then the problem of not having a controlled location would be greatly reduced. An investigator wouldn’t need to rule out every possible source of sound, smell, light, etc. but instead rule out merely any sources of red light or a high-pitched sound. But because just about any phenomenon can be attributed to ghosts, there is no way to rule out or control for the conditions. A ghost stakeout or lockdown is completely unscientific, and a waste of time.

There is one limited exception when a stakeout is warranted: if there is some claim or specific reason to believe that the ghostly phenomena will appear at a certain time, or under certain conditions. This can help establish or refute a cause-and-effect link. For example, if a mysterious sound or light is claimed to happen at a specific time (say, around midnight), or under certain conditions (such as a full moon or the anniversary of a death), then it is reasonable to be present and ready to investigate should the phenomenon present itself. However, simply sitting around waiting for some unspecified event to happen is non-scientific and almost guaranteed to create false positive evidence.

To be fair, some of these techniques may be useful in doing demonstrations for the public as to how not to scientifically investigate ghosts (for example using EMF detectors to explain to the public why they can cause false readings). Similarly, if ghost investigators are not claiming to be doing good science or real investigation but merely having spooky fun, there’s no harm in these techniques. These are mistakes only if the goal is to understand the phenomena using science and logic.

There are many more common ghost hunting mistakes; I list another half-dozen in Chapter 4 of Scientific Paranormal Investigation. Ultimately, of course, whether ghost hunters and paranormal investigators choose to use the scientific methods and strategies I describe is up to them. I personally don’t care either way; it’s not my time, effort, and money that’s being wasted. I get results and solve cases using these techniques. If ghost hunters don’t care about doing scientifically valid investigations and are happy with the quality of evidence they are getting, they are welcome to ignore this information. But they can’t complain that no one has offered a science-based paradigm for investigation. I believe that if ghosts exist, they are important and deserve to be taken seriously. If investigation is to be done, it should be done right: with science. Healthy peer review is an important part of good science. To that end, I invite informed, constructive criticism of the material presented here. If ghost hunters who use these techniques can explain the valid science behind their methods, I will be happy to address those comments and revise this material. I can be contacted via my Web site www.ScientificParanormalInvestigation.net.

About the author

Benjamin Radford has been a science-based paranormal investigator for the non-profit educational organization The Center for Inquiry since 1997. He is author of five books and hundreds of articles on critical thinking, popular science, and paranormal investigation. He is also a columnist for LiveScience.com, Discovery News.com, and has been seen on CNN, CBC, ABC News, The History Channel, The Discovery Channel, National Geographic Television, MTV, and The New York Times, among others. He has investigated and solved dozens of ghost cases, including New Mexico’s Haunted KiMo Theater, the Santa Fe Courthouse Ghost, Jamaica’s White Witch of Rose Hall, the Kansas City Gym Ghost, California’s Wolfe Manor, and many others.

This material is copyright 2010 by Benjamin Radford, adapted from Chapter 4 of his book Scientific Paranormal Investigation. It may be redistributed free of charge for non-commercial purposes under a Creative Commons License as long as proper authorship attribution is given. The author thanks Reed Esau, Tonya Keyser, Matthew Baxter, Blake Smith, and others for their input and suggestions. www.Scientific Paranormal Investigation.net 15 Scientific Paranormal Investigation is available at bookstores everywhere, online at www.RadfordBooks.com, or direct from the publisher at www.RhombusBooks.com. At RadfordBooks.com and Rhombusbooks.com, signed copies are available at a discount; enter coupon code SPI10 to receive 20% off your online order. Or you may return this coupon with payment of $16.50 per book (includes shipping, cont. U.S. only) to: Rhombus Publishing Company P.O. Box 806, Corrales NM 87048 Also by the author Tracking the Vampire: Chupacabra in Fact, Fiction, and Folklore 2011 (in press) Science Under Siege: Defending Science, Exposing Pseudoscience 2009 (contributor, ed. Ken Frazier) Paranormal Claims: A Critical Analysis 2007 (contributor, ed. Bryan Farha) Lake Monster Mysteries: Investigating the World’s Most Elusive Creatures 2006 (with Joe Nickell) Media Mythmakers: How Journalists, Activists, and Advertisers Mislead Us 2003 Hoaxes, Myths, and Manias: Why We Need Critical Thinking 2003 (with Robert Bartholomew) 16


There have been many recent topics regarding what constitutes beneficial evidence in support of paranormal events. With scientific method in mind, I would like to start this discussion around three terms; cause & effect, correlation, and conjecture. I will provide examples of each and hopefully generate interest in how this applies to paranormal investigation.


Cause & Effect – a direct and verifiable relationship between two things; one causes the other.

Correlation – an apparent relationship between two things; one appears to cause the other.

Conjecture – a guess, most likely biased by culture and personal experience.

This is where science gives us answer. Maybe not the only answers but, answers the paranormal community needs to acknowledge to be taken seriously. Cause & Effect is where meaningful conclusions come from verifiable data. These conclusions are proven through repeated experimentation within a given situation and present us with likely cause whenever we experience the same effect/result. However, we need to remain aware that these conclusions may not apply to all situations.

1. Specific particles, lighting, and camera position can result in “orbs”.

2. The omnipresence of radio frequencies can result in EVP.

3. Hair, straps, clothing, or moving particles can result in streaks in photos.

4. The omnipresence of EM Spectrum signals can cause unexpected EMF readings.


This is where some science starts. Correlation may point our research in a good direction but, it can be too broad and completely misleading. Correlation should not be used to support a conclusion. Be aware of people who have carefully chosen specific correlations to support a deceptive agenda. There may be extensive verifiable data in support of each aspect of a correlation but, there may not be a verifiable Cause & Effect between the two. If the scope of the correlation is narrow enough we may be able to take the leap to Cause & Effect.

1. I took a picture at a haunted location; there are “orbs” in the picture.

2. Some EVP seem like direct answers to specific questions.

3. The area history suggests satanic cult activity; I took this picture with the streak in it.

4. I noticed this EMF reading when I heard the noise.

There is no verifiable data here. Some science concepts may start here but, without verifiable data, there is no progress to mature the concept into something more. This is often where bias, driven by culture and personal experience, keeps our emotions tied to ideas we cannot otherwise support. From here we may be able to make the leap to Correlation but, we cannot find Cause & Effect.

1. “Orbs” are disembodied spirits.

2. EVP are the voices of the dead.

3. The bright streak in this photo is a demonic portal.

4. This EMF reading indicates spirit activity.

Electronic Voice Phenomena

Screenshot_11Today on tech we will be going over EVPs now manly techniques and the history of it
Within ghost hunting and parapsychology, Electronic Voice Phenomena (EVP) are sounds found on electronic recordings that are interpreted as spirit voices that have been either unintentionally recorded or intentionally requested and recorded. Parapsychologist Konstantīns Raudive, who popularized the idea in the 1970s, described EVP as typically brief, usually the length of a word or short phrase.

Enthusiasts consider EVP to be a form of paranormal phenomena often found in recordings with static or other background noise, however, psychologists regard EVP as a form of auditory pareidolia (interpreting random sounds as voices in one’s own language) and a pseudoscience promulgated by popular culture. Prosaic explanations for EVP include apophenia (perceiving patterns in random information), equipment artifacts, and hoaxes.

As the Spiritualist religious movement became prominent in the 1840s–1920s with a distinguishing belief that the spirits of the dead can be contacted by mediums, new technologies of the era including photography were employed by spiritualists in an effort to demonstrate contact with a spirit world. So popular were such ideas that Thomas Edison was asked in an interview with Scientific American to comment on the possibility of using his inventions to communicate with spirits. He replied that if the spirits were only capable of subtle influences, a sensitive recording device would provide a better chance of spirit communication than the table tipping and ouija boards mediums employed at the time. However, there is no indication that Edison ever designed or constructed a device for such a purpose. As sound recording became widespread, mediums explored using this technology to demonstrate communication with the dead as well. Spiritualism declined in the latter part of the 20th century, but attempts to use portable recording devices and modern digital technologies to communicate with spirits continued.

Early interest
American photographer Attila von Szalay was among the first to try recording what he believed to be voices of the dead as a way to augment his investigations in photographing ghosts. He began his attempts in 1941 using a 78 rpm record, but it wasn’t until 1956, after switching to a reel-to-reel tape recorder, that he believed he was successful. Working with Raymond Bayless, von Szalay conducted a number of recording sessions with a custom-made apparatus, consisting of a microphone in an insulated cabinet connected to an external recording device and speaker. Szalay reported finding many sounds on the tape that could not be heard on the speaker at the time of recording, some of which were recorded when there was no one in the cabinet. He believed these sounds to be the voices of discarnate spirits. Among the first recordings believed to be spirit voices were such messages as “This is G!”, “Hot dog, Art!”, and “Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you all”. Von Szalay and Raymond Bayless’ work was published by the Journal of the American Society for Psychical Research in 1959.[7] Bayless later went on to co-author the 1979 book, Phone Calls From the Dead.
In 1959, Swedish painter and film producer Friedrich Jürgenson was recording bird songs. Upon playing the tape later, he heard what he interpreted to be his dead father’s voice and then the spirit of his deceased wife calling his name.[6] He went on to make several more recordings, including one that he said contained a message from his late mother.[8]

Raudive voices
Konstantin Raudive, a Latvian psychologist who had taught at the University of Uppsala, Sweden and who had worked in conjunction with Jürgenson, made over 100,000 recordings which he described as being communications with discarnate people. Some of these recordings were conducted in an RF-screened laboratory and contained words Raudive said were identifiable.[1][5] In an attempt to confirm the content of his collection of recordings, Raudive invited listeners to hear and interpret them.[5][6][7][8][9] He believed that the clarity of the voices heard in his recordings implied that they could not be readily explained by normal means.[5] Raudive published his first book, Breakthrough: An Amazing Experiment in Electronic Communication with the Dead in 1968 and it was translated into English in 1971.[10]

Spiricom & Frank’s Box
In 1980, William O’Neil constructed an electronic audio device called “The Spiricom.” O’Neil claimed the device was built to specifications which he received psychically from George Mueller, a scientist who had died six years previously. At a Washington, DC press conference on April 6, 1982, O’Neil stated that he was able to hold two-way conversations with spirits through the Spiricom device, and provided the design specifications to researchers for free. However, nobody is known to have replicated the results O’Neil claimed using their own Spiricom devices. O’Neil’s partner, retired industrialist George Meek, attributed O’Neil’s success, and the inability of others to replicate it, to O’Neil’s mediumistic abilities forming part of the loop that made the system work.
Another electronic device specifically constructed in an attempt to capture EVP is “Frank’s Box” or the “Ghost Box,” created in 2002 by EVP enthusiast Frank Sumption for supposed real-time communication with the dead. Sumption claims he received his design instructions from the spirit world. The device is described as a combination white noise generator and AM radio receiver modified to sweep back and forth through the AM band selecting split-second snippets of sound. Critics of the device say its effect is subjective and incapable of being replicated, and since it relies on radio noise, any meaningful response a user gets is purely coincidental, or simply the result of pareidolia.

Modern interest
In 1982, Sarah Estep founded the American Association of Electronic Voice Phenomena (AA-EVP) in Severna Park, Maryland, a nonprofit organization with the purpose of increasing awareness of EVP, and of teaching standardized methods for capturing it. Estep began her exploration of EVP in 1976, and says she has made hundreds of recordings of messages from deceased friends, relatives, and extraterrestrials whom she speculated originated from other planets or dimensions.

The term Instrumental Trans-Communication (ITC) was coined by Ernst Senkowski in the 1970s to refer more generally to communication through any sort of electronic device such as tape recorders, fax machines, television sets or computers between spirits or other discarnate entities and the living. One particularly famous claimed incidence of ITC occurred when the image of EVP enthusiast Friedrich Jürgenson (whose funeral was held that day) was said to have appeared on a television in the home of a colleague, which had been purposefully tuned to a vacant channel.[11] ITC enthusiasts also look at the TV and video camera feedback loop of the Droste effect.
In 1979, parapsychologist D. Scott Rogo described an alleged paranormal phenomenon in which people report that they receive simple, brief, and usually single-occurrence telephone calls from spirits of deceased relatives, friends, or strangers.[21] Rosemary Guiley has written “within the parapsychology establishment, Rogo was often faulted for poor scholarship, which, critics said, led to erroneous conclusions.”

In 1997, Imants Barušs, of the Department of Psychology at the University of Western Ontario, conducted a series of experiments using the methods of EVP investigator Konstantin Raudive, and the work of “instrumental transcommunication researcher” Mark Macy, as a guide. A radio was tuned to an empty frequency, and over 81 sessions a total of 60 hours and 11 minutes of recordings were collected. During recordings, a person either sat in silence or attempted to make verbal contact with potential sources of EVP. Barušs stated that he did record several events that sounded like voices, but they were too few and too random to represent viable data and too open to interpretation to be described definitively as EVP. He concluded: “While we did replicate EVP in the weak sense of finding voices on audio tapes, none of the phenomena found in our study was clearly anomalous, let alone attributable to discarnate beings. Hence we have failed to replicate EVP in the strong sense.” The findings were published in the Journal of Scientific Exploration in 2001, and include a literature review.

In 2005, the Journal of the Society for Psychical Research published a report by paranormal investigator Alexander MacRae. MacRae conducted recording sessions using a device of his own design that generated EVP. In an attempt to demonstrate that different individuals would interpret EVP in the recordings the same way, MacRae asked seven people to compare some selections to a list of five phrases he provided, and to choose the best match. MacRae said the results of the listening panels indicated that the selections were of paranormal origin.
Portable digital voice recorders are currently the technology of choice for some EVP investigators. Since some of these devices are very susceptible to Radio Frequency (RF) contamination, EVP enthusiasts sometimes try to record EVP in RF- and sound-screened rooms.

Some EVP enthusiasts describe hearing the words in EVP as an ability, much like learning a new language.[27] Skeptics suggest that the claimed instances may be misinterpretations of natural phenomena, inadvertent influence of the electronic equipment by researchers, or deliberate influencing of the researchers and the equipment by third parties. EVP and ITC are seldom researched within the scientific community, so most research in the field is carried out by amateur researchers who lack training and resources to conduct scientific research, and who are motivated by subjective notions.

Explanations and origins
Paranormal claims for the origin of EVP include living humans imprinting thoughts directly on an electronic medium through psychokinesis and communication by discarnate entities such as spirits, nature energies, beings from other dimensions, or extraterrestrials. Paranormal explanations for EVP generally assume production of EVP by a communicating intelligence through means other than the typical functioning of communication technologies. Natural explanations for reported instances of EVP tend to dispute this assumption explicitly and provide explanations which do not require novel mechanisms that are not based on recognized scientific phenomena.

One study, by psychologist Imants Barušs, was unable to replicate suggested paranormal origins for EVP recorded under controlled conditions.Brian Regal in Pseudoscience: A Critical Encyclopedia (2009) has written “A case can be made for the idea that many EVPs are artifacts of the recording process itself with which the operators are unfamiliar. The majority of EVPS have alternative, nonspiritual sources; anomalous ones have no clear proof they are of spiritual origin.”

Natural explanations
There are a number of simple scientific explanations that can account for why some listeners to the static on audio devices may believe they hear voices, including radio interference and the tendency of the human brain to recognize patterns in random stimuli. Some recordings may be hoaxes created by frauds or pranksters.
Psychology and perception

Auditory pareidolia is a situation created when the brain incorrectly interprets random patterns as being familiar patterns. In the case of EVP it could result in an observer interpreting random noise on an audio recording as being the familiar sound of a human voice. The propensity for an apparent voice heard in white noise recordings to be in a language understood well by those researching it, rather than in an unfamiliar language, has been cited as evidence of this, and a broad class of phenomena referred to by author Joe Banks as Rorschach Audio has been described as a global explanation for all manifestations of EVP.

Skeptics such as David Federlein, Chris French, Terence Hines and Michael Shermer say that EVP are usually recorded by raising the “noise floor” – the electrical noise created by all electrical devices – in order to create white noise. When this noise is filtered, it can be made to produce noises which sound like speech. Federlein says that this is no different from using a wah pedal on a guitar, which is a focused sweep filter which moves around the spectrum and creates open vowel sounds. This, according to Federlein, sounds exactly like some EVP. This, in combination with such things as cross modulation of radio stations or faulty ground loops can cause the impression of paranormal voices. The human brain evolved to recognize patterns, and if a person listens to enough noise the brain will detect words, even when there is no intelligent source for them. Expectation also plays an important part in making people believe they are hearing voices in random noise.

Apophenia is related to, but distinct from pareidolia. Apophenia is defined as “the spontaneous finding of connections or meaning in things which are random, unconnected or meaningless”, and has been put forward as a possible explanation.[46] According to the psychologist James Alcock what people hear in EVP recordings can best be explained by apophenia, cross-modulation or expectation and wishful thinking. Alcock concluded “Electronic Voice Phenomena are the products of hope and expectation; the claims wither away under the light of scientific scrutiny.”

Interference, for example, is seen in certain EVP recordings, especially those recorded on devices which contain RLC circuitry. These cases represent radio signals of voices or other sounds from broadcast sources.[48] Interference from CB Radio transmissions and wireless baby monitors, or anomalies generated through cross modulation from other electronic devices, are all documented phenomena. It is even possible for circuits to resonate without any internal power source by means of radio reception.

Capture errors are anomalies created by the method used to capture audio signals, such as noise generated through the over-amplification of a signal at the point of recording.

Artifacts created during attempts to boost the clarity of an existing recording might explain some EVP. Methods include re-sampling, frequency isolation, and noise reduction or enhancement, which can cause recordings to take on qualities significantly different from those that were present in the original recording.

The very first EVP recordings may have originated from the use of tape recording equipment with poorly aligned erasure and recording heads, resulting in the incomplete erasure of previous audio recordings on the tape. This could allow a small percentage of previous content to be superimposed or mixed into a new ‘silent’ recording.
Sporadic meteors and meteor showers

For all radio transmissions above 30 MHz (which are not reflected by the ionosphere) there is a possibility of meteor reflection of the radio signal. Meteors leave a trail of ionised particles and electrons as they pass through the upper atmosphere (a process called ablation) which reflect transmission radio waves which would usually flow into space. These reflected waves are from transmitters which are below the horizon of the received meteor reflection. In Europe this means the brief scattered wave may carry a foreign voice which can interfere with radio receivers. Meteor reflected radio waves last between 0.05 seconds and 1 second, depending on the size of the meteor.

Organizations that show interest in EVP
There are a number of organizations dedicated to studying EVP and instrumental transcommunication, or which otherwise express interest in the subject. Individuals within these organizations may participate in investigations, author books or journal articles, deliver presentations, and hold conferences where they share experiences. In addition organizations exist which dispute the validity of the phenomena on scientific grounds.

The Association TransCommunication (ATransC), formerly the American Association of Electronic Voice Phenomena (AA-EVP), and the International Ghost Hunters Society conduct ongoing investigations of EVP and ITC including collecting examples of purported EVP available over the internet. The Rorschach Audio Project, initiated by sound artist Joe Banks, which presents EVP as a product of radio interference combined with auditory pareidolia and the Interdisciplinary Laboratory for Biopsychocybernetics Research, a non-profit organization dedicated to studying anomalous phenomena related to neurophysiological conditions. According to the AA-EVP it is “the only organized group of researchers we know of specializing in the study of ITC.”

Parapsychologists and Spiritualists have an ongoing interest in EVP. Many Spiritualists experiment with a variety of techniques for spirit communication which they believe provide evidence of the continuation of life. According to the National Spiritualist Association of Churches, “An important modern day development in mediumship is spirit communications via an electronic device. This is most commonly known as Electronic Voice Phenomena (EVP)”. An informal survey by the organization’s Department Of Phenomenal Evidence cites that 1/3 of churches conduct sessions in which participants seek to communicate with spirit entities using EVP.
The James Randi Educational Foundation offers a million dollars for proof that any phenomena, including EVP,are caused paranormally.

Cultural impact
The concept of EVP has had an impact on popular culture. It is popular as an entertaining pursuit, as in ghost hunting, and as a means of dealing with grief. It has influenced literature, radio, film, television, and music.
Investigation of EVP is the subject of hundreds of regional and national groups and Internet message boards.[67][68] Paranormal investigator John Zaffis claims, “There’s been a boom in ghost hunting ever since the Internet took off.” Investigators, equipped with electronic gear—like EMF meters, video cameras, and audio recorders—scour reportedly haunted venues, trying to uncover visual and audio evidence of ghosts. Many use portable recording devices in an attempt to capture EVP.

1983 novel by William Peter Blatty, contains a subplot where Dr. Vincent Amfortas, a terminally ill neurologist, leaves a “to-be-opened-upon-my-death” letter for Lt. Kinderman detailing his accounts of contact with the dead, including the doctor’s recently deceased wife, Ann, through EVP recordings. Amfortas’ character and the EVP subplot do not appear in the film version of the novel, The Exorcist III. In Nyctivoe a 2001 vampire-inspired play by Dimitris Lyacos the male character as well as his deceased companion are speaking from a recording device amidst a static/white noise background. In Pattern Recognition, a 2003 novel by William Gibson, the main character’s mother tries to convince her that her father is communicating with her from recordings after his death/disappearance in the September 11, 2001 attacks.

EVP is the subject of Vyktoria Pratt Keating’s song “Disembodied Voices on Tape” from her 2003 album Things that Fall from the Sky, produced by Andrew Giddings of Jethro Tull.

Laurie Anderson’s “Example #22,” from her 1981 album Big Science, interposes spoken sentences and phrases in German with sung passages in English representing EVP.

November 27th, 2009 – Category: Ghost Hunting Tips
Electronic Voice Phenomena or as most have come to recognize from many television programs, EVP is when you get a voice on some sort of recording media that doesn’t have a physical explanation attached to it as to why it is there.

There are three commonly accepted classes of voices that can be attributed to an EVP and here is a very general explanation of what they are:

Class A – A voice or sound that can be heard and understood when played back over a speaker
Class B – A voice or sound not clearly heard over a speaker and could be debated as to what it says
Class C – A voice or sound only heard through headphones and even then maybe difficult to understand
The question we get all the time is how do you get EVP’s? We thought we would share the technique’s we use as well as the equipment we use during an EVP session. Hopefully something here will help you during your own sessions. Our technique is pretty simple but it has worked well for us so far and we hope it will also work well for you.

Recorder – We have used an analog recorder and our personal preference was to dismiss them all together. We now use inexpensive digital recorders (all in the $35-$40 range) and up till now have not used any sort of external microphone. We have had great success using these and believe it is all you need to get started.
You – Here is where we think a lot of people mess up. You can have a room wired for sound to hear ants crawling on the floor but will do you no good if you are not in sync with your location and with whom you are trying to communicate as much as possible. Go into an EVP session with a plan and a clear head.

First off some common things we think every good EVP should have. Before beginning say your name and everyone with you, location, time and weather condition. Start and end your EVP session with 10 or 15 seconds of silence and make a note of any audible sounds while recording. For example note a cough, walking, car going by outside window or anything to help tag the audio with an explanation of what someone listening later might deem unusual. Try not to whisper during a session as well, if you are going to talk, say it out loud so there is no confusion later as to where the voice came from.

The underlying theme to our EVP sessions is respect. You have no idea (unless the answer is audible as you conduct the session) whether you are getting answers to your questions or not, so we think showing respect is the utmost importance. You would not walk into a room of strangers and yell “What is your name”? We start every session with introducing ourselves before we ask any questions. You can have one person do it or have however many people are with you take turns introducing themselves. We also explain the equipment we have with us and how it works before starting into the questions. The red light is the recorder, what the KII meter will do if they get close, explain that you may not be able to here there answers till later and to speak as loudly and clearly as they can, etc.

We try to keep our questions simple so to keep the answers down to one or two words as well as trying to keep the session conversational. For example answers that would include yes, no, what state are you from, what years is it, etc? We believe it takes a lot of energy for a ghost to answer so we want to keep it as simple as possible and in that same vein, we allow for 30 seconds or so in between questions to give a spirit time to gather energy to answer.

Read more: http://www.ghosteyes.com/evp-session#ixzz3LoEOVTGv
Now posting you EVP the way you have seen everyone do is the wrong way. Now don’t get upset the one we unfortunately learned from where on TV. Putting text with it is a no go you are matrixing you listener so when they read the text there mind automatically goes to what they read not what they here which make you piece then unsupported so let it stand on its own. Start a septet link and discuss it there not on the up load so no one is matrixes by it and it stands on its own.

Essential Technology for Ghost Hunting 101

ghost-hunting-equipmentby Virginia Carraway Stark

Getting into ghost hunting can seem daunting. Everyone who is a ghost hunter already seems to know all about it and they throw around words like ‘trifield meter’ or ‘EVP’ or ‘full-spectrum camera’ that can be a little bit overwhelming. I decided to find out what a basic ghost hunter would put into a kit, what those things are and tell you about it. I then went a little deeper and found out about some of the really good stuff that the experienced paranormal investigators use. Please do bear in mind that different people will have different opinions about what is and isn’t necessary to bring. This is a compilation of opinions that I’ve found seem to be fairly consistent. Here is what I discovered might be considered a ‘basic’ ghost hunting kit.

First and foremost is a digital voice recorder. This is good because you can record you and your teams observations without stopping to look down at a piece of paper or a laptop all the time. That is only a bonus reason to have a voice recorder with you, the most important reason is for the chance of capturing and an ‘electronic voice phenomena’ or EVP. That’s when the tape is played back and a voice or sounds are apparent on the tape that aren’t there when you listen to them with your physical ear.

A Thermometer. It’s a basic enough item to have in your tool kit and even a cheap one will show you if the room really is getting colder or if you’ve just psyched yourself out. With a thermometer you can document how warm the room was and then how cold it is when you think you feel a cold spot. For best results don’t rely on a thermometer from the dollar store. Infrared probe thermometers aren’t very expensive but they can pinpoint where a cold spot in, how cold it is and how big even when you are on the far side of the room. You can use it to ‘sweep’ the room and get accurate results to find out what is going on temperature-wise without even standing up.

A pencil, eraser and a pad of paper. You have your digital voice recorder but sometimes it’s a good idea to draw a diagram. That way you can draw where the cold spots and other phenomena may be located and give a better source for documentation. It is also good for quick little notes and anything else that you might think of that you don’t want to go through and listen to the tape again for in order to find. It’s a very cheap and handy addition to your kit.

Finally we start to get into the fun and more professional sorts of toys that sound swish and are also extremely useful for documentation as well as discovery in an investigation.

Thermal camera is a useful item for ghost hunting. It is used to show representations of cold and hot spots. It has been said to be able to record actual ‘people shaped’ cold or hot spots where there isn’t physically a soul to be seen. Less expensive ones can be purchased for a couple hundred of dollars but the more pricey ones can go into the thousands.

Electronic Frequency Meters or ‘EMF’ meters are used to safely monitor electromagnetic frequencies in many fields. They are a cheap and important tool for ghost hunting. The cheaper ones can be as little as $25.00 and they even have an app for your smart phone that you can download (although I wouldn’t count on the app being as accurate as a physical EMF meter.

Ghost hunters use them to detect frequencies of spirits believing that spirits give out and EMF different from the living. EMF meters can be a little overwhelming to someone looking at one for the first time. The different settings are just to scan through different types frequencies and make sure nothing is missed. It’s also called a trifield meter because it measures three different fields.

Usually the first setting is just to make sure that the batteries are working and the needle will surge and then fall which means that it’s ready to go. If the needle doesn’t surge all the way and then fall it would be a good idea to check the batteries (you made sure to bring spare batteries…right?). Once you’ve seen that your batter are good you can set it to one of the settings and count on it to function according to specs.
The first setting is usually magnetic. Sometimes there are two different magnetic settings to pick up coarse and fine magnetic emissions. It also can be set to measure electrical frequencies and
radio or microwave frequencies.
To become better versed in what these frequencies signify ask an experienced ghost hunter or stay tuned for more information here at the National Paranormal Society.

Here we get to Laser Grid Scopes. Laser grid scopes are very cool. They project a laser grid pattern of green dots across a room. An Investigator can also place one in front of a camera, this give intrepid hunters the ability to see if even a slight shape is interrupting the pattern and perhaps
give them a chance to know that they aren’t alone.

A full spectrum camera is ideal as well. They can detect visible, near-infrared and near-ultraviolet light
so there is a much better chance of snapping an apparition.

Other considerations for the you to thing about before your first investigation are important as well.
It is essential that you are prepared when you go ghost hunting or searching for anything else paranormal that you follow the boyscout creed and always: Be Prepared.

Are you prepared to spend the entire night in a haunted location? Have you dressed appropriately for the weather? Are you prepared for a sudden change in the weather? Wear comfortable clothing and footwear that will ensure that your feet our protected from debris and nails. Consider obtaining a two way radio so that if cellphones cease to function (a common complaint of ghost hunters) you have a backup plan to communicate.

Be sure to stick to the basics of any hunting, camping or other exploration: make sure someone knows where you are going and when you plan to be back. Have an emergency plan for a meeting place in case someone gets lost. Most importantly, have fun!

Midwest Paranormal Phantom Seekers

NPS-Default Contact Name Annette Kelley
Location Wichita,Kansas
Phone (620) 968-7029
Email email
Website www.midwestparanormalphantomseekers.com
Follow Us
With over 50 yrs of combined experience, MPPS will take all means necessare to seek out, find and document any and all possible paranormal activity.  MPPS is dedicated in assisting residents and small businesses in and around Kansas and the Midwest area with any and all possible paranormal problems and questions.We use a scientific approach such as Digital Audio Recorders, Digital Cameras , EMF Meters , EVP Recorders & Ghost Boxes, Camcorders / Video Cameras , Full Spectrum Camcorders and Cameras, Laser Grid , Motion Detectors & Geiger Counters , Thermometers , Infrared / Non-Contact Thermometers ,and other methods to support possible evidence.We do have a couple Sensitives on the team that are highly intune to know rather or not a spirit is near.  With all investigations we will not make claims of hauntings or non-hauntings until all evidence is collected and analyzed.

We carefully consider all evidence from a skeptic’s point of view to help ensure the authenticity of all such evidence and rule out any possible false findings.

An Introduction to Frequency


Most investigative effort in the paranormal field is focused on frequency. Whether via “full spectrum” photography, the latest EMF gadget, audio recorders, or DIY sensors and transmitters, the omnipresent trend is to find some paranormal signature within the electromagnetic spectrum. There seems to be, unfortunately, a general misunderstanding of what is being “sensed” with our equipment. As usual, I am not claiming to have to have the one and only correct perspective on this subject. Nor do I intend to provide complete answers and information. I am asking the reader to evaluate any information they are given by taking on a little research of their own.

Whether we see it, hear it, or even feel it, energy as we perceive it, is part of the same spectrum; from static fields to slow (long wave length) approaching zero cycles per second and up to what we can assume is an infinitely fast (short wave length). “Bandwidth” is a range of frequencies within this spectrum associated with a specific topic. We are most familiar with bandwidths such as visual, audio, radio, infrared, ultraviolet, etc.

Electromagnetic Spectrum as we understand it:

Frequency – Cycles per second / hertz (Hz)

Cycles per Second 10 ^ X Nomenclature example
0 to 999 10^0 Hz (hertz) Ultrasound, Audio, Brainwaves, household power
1,000 to 999,999 1*10^3 to 999.999*10^3 kHz (kilohertz) Audio, AM Radio
1,000,000 to 999,999,999 1*10^6 to 999.999…*10^6 MHz (megahertz) Shortwave Radio, Television, FM Radio
1,000,000,000 to 999,999,999,999 1*10^9 to 999.999…*10^9 GHz (gigahertz) Microwaves, Radar, Radio Telemetry
1,000,000,000,000 to 999,999,999,999,999 1*10^12 to 999.999…*10^12 THz (terahertz) Infrasound, Infrared, visible light
1,000,000,000,000,000 to 999,999,999,999,999,999 1*10^15 to 999.999…*10^15 PHz (petahertz) Ultraviolet, X-Ray
1,000,000,000,000,000,000 to 999,999,999,999,999,999,999 1*10^18 to 999.999…*10^18 EHz (exahertz) Gamma rays

graphic from: http://hyperphysics.phy-astr.gsu.edu/hbase/hframe.html

Static fields (those with essentially no measurable frequency) include; magnetics, batteries, and the potential charge that zaps our fingers when we reach for a door handle. An intriguing, yet seldom discussed, aspect of the EM Spectrum is brain waves; near 0 Hz up to about 60 Hz. Within this frequency range, we also find information covering the Schumann Resonance (frequencies associated with Earth’s magnetic field). I will not go into this sort of detail here but, I recommend anyone intrigued by paranormal events also look into frequencies of the brain and the Schumann Resonance. There are many different definitions but an introduction is shown below.

Brain Frequencies and Schumann Resonance Peaks

Frequency Bandwidth Brainwave Name Associated with: Schumman Peaks
>35 Hz Gamma Panic, Fear, Loss of Reasoning 39 Hz
24-35 Hz Beta 3 High Alert Activity, Flight or Fight 26 Hz & 33 Hz
15-24 Hz Beta 2 Active Consciousness, Sleeplessness 21 Hz
12-15 Hz Beta 1 Conscious but Relaxed Attention 14 Hz
7-12 Hz Alpha Relaxed, Eyes Closed, Pre & Post Sleep 7.8 Hz
4-7 Hz Theta Dreams, Deep Meditation, Hypnogogic, REM Sleep, and certain creative states
<4 Hz Delta Deep Sleep

At 50 and 60Hz we find the most common frequency for household power. 20 Hz up to 20,000 Hz (20 kHz) is the nominal frequency range for human hearing. Above 20 kHz we find defined bandwidths like radio, microwave, infrared, visual, ultraviolet, x-ray, gamma, etc…

The “man-made frequency” misnomer:

Nature vibrates, typically with a sinusoidal wave shape. The EM spectrum is not man-made, it is entirely comprised of natural frequencies. Man has found ways to utilize and manipulate certain frequencies into signals to enable technology. Our technology generally creates signal shapes other than sinusoidal and signal patterns intended to transfer information. There are no uniquely man-made frequencies, though signal patterns are often man-made. While determining the frequency of an EMF “spike” may ultimately be valuable in attempting to determine its origin, the frequency alone does not indicate a man-made origin.

Limitations of technology:

Perhaps one of the most important points here is to understand the capabilities of the technology used for paranormal investigation. Read and research the specifications of a particular piece of technology.

EMF meters detect/measure a very narrow range of frequencies. Most are designed to determine if consumer electronics and household wiring are emitting excessive fields that may disrupt the function of other devices or effect people physiologically. None are, nor can they be, designed to detect paranormal energy. Even custom DIY projects are limited to a narrow bandwidth. Lower frequencies require larger sensors; the simplest of which may be comprised of several miles of wire. Search “antenna theory” for more information.

A “full spectrum” camera is not capturing a full spectrum image and the associated LED illuminators often utilized are further limiting what the camera might potentially capture. With respect to the visual bandwidth, standard cameras are already “full spectrum”. The specifications of the sensor in the camera will indicate sensitivity to frequencies beyond that of human vision. Filters are added to the light path in the camera to block infrared and ultraviolet along with software interpretation of the data from the sensor to result in an image our eyes and brains recognize. What is marketed as “full spectrum” simply has the IR and UV filters removed. This allows a wider bandwidth of frequencies to reach the camera sensor. The software interpreting the data is not adapted to the IR and UV data so the resulting image is already subject to produce a false interpretation. Increasing the discrepancy, we tend to use LED illuminators. LEDs emit a very specific frequency. If whatever we are trying to enhance is at a different frequency, the LED illuminator may be washing out the image preventing capture of the desired image. Also, without understanding the specifications of the camera sensor, the illuminator we choose may not emit a frequency the camera can sense properly regardless of the intensity of the LEDs. Be sure to understand the light wavelength/frequency the given camera and illuminator are designed for. There are alternate non-LED illuminators but these come with heat/fire risks from IR lamps and potential eye and skin damage from UV lamps. True IR and UV image systems are also available but come at significant cost.

Audio recorders tend to come in two varieties; one for simple voice dictation and the other for music. The audio bandwidth they will record can be significantly different. Those designed for the human voice may have a narrow bandwidth as part of the effort to eliminate “noise” from the recording. Even the headphones and speakers used to review audio will change what may be overlooked. Be sure to understand the audio bandwidth a given set of headphones or speakers can reproduce accurately. If the bandwidth is unknown or narrower than 20 Hz to 20 kHz, valuable “audio” information may be lost.


A few typical specifications; research your equipment to understand its limitations.

Typical unfiltered camera sensor sensitivity: 303 THz to 999 THz

Typical Infrared LED emission: 316 THz to 353 THz

Typical Ultraviolet LED emission: 749 THz to 821 THz

Typical low cost microphone dynamic range: 60 Hz to 12 kHz

Typical low cost headphone dynamic range: 60 Hz to 16 kHz

Typical low cost voice recorder: 100 Hz to 10 kHz (usually dependent on optional settings)


Additional info, Aspects of physiology:

human – vision: 400 to 790 THz, hearing: 20 Hz to 20 kHz

canine – vision: 484 to 697 THz, hearing: 60 Hz to 45 kHz

feline – vision: 500 to 700 THz, hearing: 20 Hz to 64 kHz

This does not mean humans and their common pets see colors in the same manner.   Studies suggest what humans see as red, orange, and yellow may be more blue or gray to many animals. Additionally, many animals have an extra structure in their eyes allowing them a level of “night vision”.

An important aspect, not to be detailed here, is temporal resolution. Temporal resolution is a measurement of at what rate a series of images appears to be continuous motion. Television images flicker at about 60Hz allowing us to perceive the sequence of images as continuous motion. Dogs and cats have higher temporal resolution, meaning they do not see continuous motion on the television screen but can see a series of images.

As far as hearing goes, dogs hear higher frequencies than human and cats can hear even higher frequencies. There are many aspects of perceptual differences between species. Since this is beyond the intent of this discussion, I suggest the reader research these details further. When your cat or dog stares off into a direction where there is nothing to see, it is likely they are listening to a frequency we cannot hear rather than actually looking at something.

With all species, there is a tendency for our visual and audio senses to weaken with age or other damage. Many frequencies can damage the structures of our body as well cause significant changes in how our brain functions.

Search the internet for additional images showing the electromagnetic spectrum. Such as: http://hyperphysics.phy-astr.gsu.edu/hbase/ems1.html

Much of the information will be formatted as wavelength and/or energy. This link is for a conversion calculator for wavelength/frequency/energy: http://www.cactus2000.de/uk/unit/masswav.shtml

NPS Ghost Hunting 101 Week

 By: Ted Milam

Day 1: Organizing a Paranormal Investigation Team

This week we are going to discuss the basics of organizing a paranormal investigation team. The info will be just the basics and some pointers that will help your team organize and make a successful Paranormal Organization. A lot of this info has been gathered through trial and error from quite a few teams.

Ok, so you want to organize your own Paranormal Investigation Team. Now what? You might even have a few people that are interested in joining you on this adventure. First, you must realize that organizing a Paranormal Team is a HUGE undertaking. There is a lot more to Paranormal Investigating than walking through a dark old building with a bunch of cameras and fancy equipment…this is only one small step in being a successful Paranormal Investigation team.

The very first thing that is highly recommended for you to do (after you understand the responsibility and huge undertaking this will be) is your team must have 1. A Mission Statement 2. Goals and Objectives. These are extremely important as to not misrepresent your team to the client and public and also stay true to your goals. Remember, in this field, the eyes of the public are not only on you and your team…but you represent the Paranormal Community in whole.

1. Mission Statement

An effective mission statement must be a clear, concise declaration about your team’s strategy. Don’t underestimate the importance of a mission statement. If you don’t have one, you need to write one using these four essential questions:

* What do we do?

* How do we do it?

* Whom do we do it for?

* What value are we bringing?

2. Goals and Objectives

Make sure you write a goal that is SMART.

Specific: Goals should be simplistically written and clearly define what you are going to do. What will the goal accomplish? How and why will it be accomplished?

Measurable: Goals should be measurable so that you have tangible evidence that you have accomplished the goal. Usually the entire goal statement is a measure for the project, but there are

usually several short-team or smaller measurements built into the goal. How will you measure whether or not the goal has been reached? (List at least two indicators.)

Achievable: Goals should be achievable; they should stretch you slight so that you feel challenged but well enough defined so that you can achieve them. You must possess the appropriate knowledge, skills and abilities needed to achieve the goal. Make sure you establish a reasonable timeframe for achieving your goal. Is it possible? Have others done it successfully? Do you have the necessary knowledge, skills, abilities, and resources to accomplish the goal? Will meeting the goal challenge you without defeating you?

Results-focused: Goals should measure outcomes, not activities. What is the reason, purpose, or benefit of accomplishing the goal? What is the result (not activities leading up to the result) of the goal?

Time-bound: Goals should be linked to a timeframe that creates a practical sense of urgency, or results in tension between the current reality and the vision of the goal. Without such tension, the goal is unlikely to produce a relevant outcome. What is the established completion date and does that completion date create a special sense of urgency?

Both Mission Statement and Goals and Objectives should be included in a Team Member Packet that is handed out to team members to agree upon and reference.

We will cover the next step in Organizing a Paranormal Investigation Team tomorrow, day 2…Rules and Regulations for your team.


Day 2: Rules and Regulations for Your Team and Do’s and Don’ts

Rules and Regulations for your team and Do’s and Don’ts

On day one we discussed how important it is to have a Mission Statement and Goals and Objectives. Another critical part of organizing a Paranormal Investigation team is you must have Rules and Regulations and common sense Do’s and Don’ts. Your Rules and Regulations need to reflect how the conduct of your team is and conduct in front of the public and clients. Here are a few to think about:

1. Never trespass on private property. We only investigate when we have proper permission.

2. No drugs or alcohol will be consumed before or during an investigation.

3. Always investigate in teams of two, never alone. *situation dictates, Lead Investigator’s decision.

4. Respect the place we are investigating, we are their guests.

5. If startled or threatened, calmly walk out to safety. Let others know.

6. Safety is priority. If you find an unsafe area, let everyone know.

7. We will not litter, vandalize, willfully damage, unlawfully take or disrespect other’s property.

8. Tobacco products will only be used in designated areas.

9. Always carry a valid driver’s license or military I.D.

10. Make no assumptions or opinions to the clients until all evidence is reviewed.

11. We will leave the place investigated as we found it (all trash will be picked up).

12. Guest Investigators (or other team’s investigators), friends and family are welcome, but will not be allowed to an investigation without approval.

13. Team members can step down whenever they want without adverse action.

14. _ _PI team members will not use social media outlets to talk negative about other paranormal groups or investigators.

15. _ _PI team members will follow the Paranormal Investigators Confidentiality Agreement and will not release any information without approval from the _ _PI team.

16. Safety is priority at _ _PI. _ _PI and its founders assumes no liability if an injury occurs during an investigation.

17. All evidence will be reviewed in a timely manner. Remember, our clients are trusting us.

18. Clients names, addresses, personal information and evidence gathered during an investigation will only be released with the approval of _ _PI. Pictures and videos can be posted with client’s approval AS LONG AS no information about names and locations are included in them.

19. _ _PI will not use religion or the occult on investigations. We will use a scientific approach and will be unbiased towards any religion or beliefs. If a client requests religion or the occult be used, GWPI will look at this approach on a case by case basis.


Do’s and Don’ts


* Keep an open mind

* Respect the property and client

* Present the paranormal field in a positive way

Remember, the public is watching you.



* “dating” or “mutual contact” between team members during an investigation

Look at it like this, if you go to a Doctor’s office and the Doctor is making out with the nurse as you walk in…how does that look?

* Damaging client’s property

* “Befriending” client before or during investigation

There should not be any “smoking and joking” with the client before or during an investigation. Keep a professional and courteous demeanor.

* Trespass or enter a client’s property without verbal and written authorization

* Litter

Most of the Rules and Regulations and Do’s and Don’ts might seem obvious, but remember this is how your team needs to conduct themselves. The Rules and Regulations and Do’s and Don’ts need to reflect the type of Paranormal Investigation team you are covered in your Mission Statement and Goals and Objectives.

On Day 3 we will discuss the next step…Team Member duties and responsibilities.


Day 3, Team Member Duties

In the first two days of this week’s topic, we discussed the importance of a Mission Statement, Goals and objectives and Rules, Regulations. The next step is to organize Team Member duties and fill these spots with team members best suited. This gives everyone on the team a job and also is a great way of learning the different and very important aspects of running a successful organization.


Lead Investigator:

• Responsible for all aspects of the teams functions

• Makes all final decisions – tech issues, case manager and research questions

• Reporting to the Lead Investigator are the Case Manager, Equipment Tech Manager, Research Specialist and Investigators


Case Manager:

• Research of locations known to have paranormal activity

• Obtaining contact information for said locations

• Contacting locations and person of interest to obtain more detailed information

• Written documentation of information

Basically, Case Manager will be the front person in obtaining investigations. They look for sites to investigate, make contact via email or mail and follow up for interview, if possible. If interview or acceptance to investigate is obtained, they will bring information to the Founders and a decision will be made as to whether an investigation will happen and when.


Equipment Tech Manager:

• Ensures that the equipment used in any investigation is up to par in what the equipment is used for.

• Continuously looks for ways in which paranormal activity can scientifically be recorded or proven by experimenting with new or classic equipment either in its normal use or in a more creative way.

• Responsible for equipment set up and making sure that the equipment is being used properly by other members which will require training if necessary.


Research Specialist:

• Responsible for following up on leads given by any given member, specifically the Case Managers.

• Needs to have a good sense of Web surfing and Library Usage if necessary.

• Information researched will need to be as detailed as possible and notation should be taken of all information obtained.

• Information found will be passed on to the Case Managers and Founders only until a decision is made to investigate or not. If an investigation is to be performed, the details will be given to all members.



• Trained in all aspects of an investigation as needed.

• Trained in equipment usage, notation, the paranormal in theory, and investigating procedures.

• Will help the Case Manager, Tech Manager and Researcher when necessary.


It is important to have the team member fully understand their position on the team as to avoid confusion. Also, these positions are only for reference, you can fit, mold and name each position as you see fit.


Day 4, The Investigation Process

The first three days we discussed organizing your team, now is onto the Investigation process and we will discuss a few important things to consider.

Finding locations to investigate. This can be a bit difficult but you must be willing to get out and research what is considered “haunted” in your area. Your best bet is by word of mouth. By now your friends, family and even co-workers may know that you are a part of a paranormal team and usually this can spark interest. They might give you some leads on a friend’s house or business that is “haunted” or their own property. Another good thing to do, and this has to do with knowing your equipment…practice the investigation process at your own team member’s houses. I would advise to practice investigating at these places first before we go into the next step. You do not want to look like you don’t know what you are doing in public.

If you wish to do a Paranormal Investigation at a business, historical location or a private family home (that you do not know)…use free advertisement such as craigslist and the National Paranormal Society’s team locator. Another thing you can do is perform an internet search at websites such as shadowlands.net. Once you find an address, email address or phone number of the business or historical location, you can do all three things to gain interest from the client…send a letter, email, make a phone call or stop by in person. You must state clearly your intentions in all these avenues and be professional and courteous. You represent the Paranormal Community at this point. Look professional and be professional at all times! For example, wear a collared shirt and nice pants and look “neat”. I also highly suggest writing a “Proposal to Perform a Paranormal Investigation” letter to take with you.

Many times, you might not get an answer back or a flat out “No”. Be courteous and thank them for their time and move on. DO NOT continue to ask them about performing an investigation…and once again, trespassing will get you in trouble.

If you get a “Yes”, make sure the person has the authority to grant you permission on the property…It has to be a Manager, Property Manager, Caretaker, Owner…etc.

After you get the “Yes” The next part is the actual investigation, and needs to be explained fully to them. This is what several teams use:


Initial Contact

The client contacts the team via email. The client should leave a statement of what the paranormal experiences are, and a contact number where they can be reached.

A member from the team will contact the client, usually within 24hrs. At this time, an initial phone interview will be conducted. The interview is approximately 34 questions. Not all questions need to be answered and are kept confidential. If an investigation is requested at this time, a date could be set for an investigation, upon availability of the clients and investigators.

Research and Historical Research

The team will ask for the client’s permission to conduct research and historical research on questions gathered and any history of the area and/or buildings associated with the investigation. This is up to the client to approve or request. All information gathered will be covered under the Confidentiality Agreement.

Day of the Investigation

The lead investigators will meet with the clients at the place to be investigated.

Permission to conduct a Paranormal Investigation and Confidentiality Agreement

Two forms will need to be signed before the team will conduct an investigation. Paranormal Investigators Investigation and Confidentiality Agreement form gives the team approval to be on the client’s property for a certain length of time to conduct a paranormal investigation. It also protects the client from any liability in the event of an injury to a team member or a piece of the team’s equipment is damaged. Paranormal Investigators Confidentiality Agreement is a form that gives privacy to the client. The privacy of the client is most important. This form will state the level of information that can be released (if any), by the team, about the client and their case. This is solely the decision of the client and in no way will the team try to persuade the client’s decision.

Once those two forms are signed, an initial walkthrough will be conducted. During the walkthrough, the client can explain what and where the paranormal experiences have occurred. The lead investigators will then take environmental readings, note any safety concerns, and discuss with the client the best areas to place the team’s equipment.


This takes from 4 to 6 hours, or however long the client requests. After the investigation is finished, the team will collect their equipment and secure the area if the client is not present. The area will be left in the same condition it was in before the team arrived.

Collection of evidence and review

PI team reviews all potential evidence.

Evidence presentation and recommendations

PI will present the client with any potential evidence. A written report will be included, either printed or in a word document file. Video and audio evidence will be in a media file – DVDrom, MP3, MPG4, AVI etc. We will also include any recommendations, or environmental and safety concerns.


One more thing to consider, more often than not, the client will be present with you during an investigation. Professional conduct must be continued during the investigation.

On Day 5, we will discuss probably the most asked about part….equipment.

Investigation process

*client contact/Interaction/finding locations

*Investigation procedure



Day 5, Equipment

As you notice, not until day 5 is there any mention of equipment to help you investigate. Is equipment important? Yes it is, but the Organization of your Paranormal Investigation Team and client contact and interaction is much more important than any piece of equipment you bring to an investigation. There are a lot of questions about equipment, but I will go over some things to consider before buying and possibly giving some ideas that will save you a lot of money.

First, the fringe equipment. Ghost Boxes, Oviluses, Echvoxes, kinects, EM pumps, EMF meters and other fringe type of devices…don’t worry about those until you have the basics.

What you should consider bringing:

1. A notepad and pen. It is extremely important to take notes…everything from your interview with the client, research notes, area layout and anything out of the ordinary you might notice before or during your investigation (investigation log).

2. Video camera. Documentation by video is very important. Visual aide will help with pear review and compliments your written documentation. A tip – Camcorders can be found at Pawn

Shops relatively inexpensive…the Pawn Shops are almost giving them away. A good choice is finding a camcorder that is Infrared capable (for all lighting conditions). I will go over my Philosophy about using Infrared and Full Spectrum camcorders on day 7.

3. Audio recorders. Audio recorders are also very important. It will help you keep track of notes when interviewing a client and helps with documentation. Can it catch an EVP? Possible, but I will go over that in my Philosophy on day 7. A good rule is to buy one that has a usb port.

4. Still Picture Camera. Take several pictures throughout your investigation, from initial setup, to environmental readings and continue throughout. It documents what you are doing.

5. Flashlight. Keep a good flashlight with you. You don’t want to be stuck in an unknown “haunted” building without light. It is a must for safety. Small LED flashlights work very well.

6. First Aid Kit. Keep a well-stocked small First Aid Kit within reach. It is best to have it when needed than need it and not have it. Along with a First Aid Kit, please keep a list of emergency numbers with you…and know how to contact Fire/Police/EMS.

A tip – along with Pawn Shops, Large Box Stores such as Wal Mart has almost all of these necessary pieces of equipment.

Now that you have the basics in your equipment kit…on day 6 we will go over some necessary video and audio software that you can use.


*what to bring

*budget ideas


Day 6, Tech and Free / Inexpensive Software

So you have some audio files that need to download off your audio equipment. Before you download the whole file…listen to the file on the audio device and find the time you want to save. It will save a lot of computer space. Once you have listened and found the times, for example, you want to save a file between 9:30 and 10:30(one minute)…most audio device act just like a mass storage device and is just drag and drop. Now what?

A popular audio editing software is call Audacity. It is free, just search for it on Cnet. Simply import and open your file…select 9:30 to 10:30, select export, open new file and paste the file. Simple.

Now, there are tools in Audacity that can enhance the file in several ways…in my opinion, leave the file original. But that is up to you.

Another popular audio choice is called Wavepad by NHC software. It is also free.

Video editing is a little different, depending what type of video camera you are using. We will talk about mini DV and HDD(hard disk drive) camcorders.

Mini DV is a digital tape similar to a cassette tape but it is digital. It is used frequently by news, tv shows and movies. To get your file off a mini DV camera you will need a capture device such as Dazzle.

HDD cameras act just like mass storage devices and is just a drag and drop. An easy video editing tool is Wavepad video editor by NHC software. It has a free 14 day trial and you will have to register/buy the product after the 14 days, however it is inexpensive. Much like the audio file, just select what you want to save, copy and paste into a new file.

If you have a DVR system, follow your DVR instructions. But generally, they record in what is called H.264. Once you extract the files you want off your DVR (usually this is called backup)…you will need to run the files through a program that converts them from H.264 to Avi. After you have converted the file to Avi, simply run them through Wavepad or whatever video editor you are using.

Please reply with whatever software you are using and any tips and tricks. Once again, I will suggest to keep the files you’re a editing original.

Tomorrow we are going to wrap it all up.




Day 7, Wrapping It All Up

This week we discussed Organizing a Paranormal Investigation team. A few things to remember is to make your Mission Statement as clear and concise as possible. For example, if you are a scientific research based team, religious/occult based, or just trying to prove or disprove a haunting…you need to state so. Please do not mislead your clients and the public about your intentions.

Equipment use. It is a very good idea to know how to use your equipment. Many times false positives will show up and you will be able to better understand them if you know your equipment.

Team participation. Give your team members periodic assignments. One good thing is to have periodic team meetings to discuss current events, future events and to learn. A good way of learning is to have the team research certain paranormal topics, or give them a paranormal quiz.

Client interaction. Professional conduct must be conducted when interacting with clients and out in the public at all times. The public, in general, does not distinguish one team from another…other than we are all “Ghost Hunters” or “Ghost Busters” etc. It is very disappointing to know there are teams that have gotten to “investigate” and have stolen, vandalized or damaged the clients property. Please respect the client and their property. We are their guests.

One final thing, the National Paranormal Society is here to help, please check out our website. There are endless amounts of resources here for you to use…happy hunting everyone.

Phoenix Lights – 1997

Courtesy of:  http://www.mufon.com/









The Phoenix Lights (sometimes called the “Lights over Phoenix”) were a series of widely sighted unidentified flying objects observed in the skies over Arizona, Nevada in the United States, and Sonora, Mexico on Thursday, March 13, 1997. Lights of varying descriptions were seen by thousands of people between 19:30 and 22:30 MST, in a space of about 300 miles (480 km), from the Nevada line, through Phoenix, to the edge of Tucson.

There were allegedly two distinct events involved in the incident: a triangular formation of lights seen to pass over the state, and a series of stationary lights seen in the Phoenix area. The United States Air Force identified the second group of lights as flares dropped by A-10 Warthog aircraft that were on training exercises at the Barry Goldwater Range in southwest Arizona. Witnesses claim to have observed a huge carpenter’s square-shaped UFO, containing five spherical lights or possibly light-emitting engines. Fife Symington, the governor at the time, was one witness to this incident; he later called the object “otherworldly.” The lights were reported to have reappeared in 2007 and 2008, but these events were quickly attributed to (respectively) military flares dropped by fighter aircraft at Luke Air Force Base and flares attached to helium balloons released by a civilian.

Initial reports

At about 18:55 PST (19:55 MST), a man reported seeing a V-shaped object above Henderson, Nevada. He said it was about the “size of a (Boeing) 747”, sounded like “rushing wind”, and had six lights on its leading edge. The lights reportedly traversed northwest to the southeast. An unidentified former police officer from Paulden, Arizona is claimed to have been the next person to report a sighting after leaving his house at about 20:15 MST. As he was driving north, he allegedly saw a cluster of reddish or orange lights in the sky, comprising four lights together and a fifth light trailing them. Each of the individual lights in the formation appeared to the witness to consist of two separate point sources of orange light. He returned home and through binoculars watched the lights until they disappeared south over the horizon.

Prescott and Prescott Valley

Lights were also reportedly seen in the areas of Prescott and Prescott Valley. At approximately 20:17 MST, callers began reporting the object was definitely solid, because it blocked out much of the starry sky as it passed over.

John Kaiser was standing outside with his wife and sons in Prescott Valley when they noticed a cluster of lights to the west-northwest of their position. The lights formed a triangular pattern, but all of them appeared to be red, except the light at the nose of the object, which was distinctly white. The object, or objects, which had been observed for approximately 2 to 3 minutes with binoculars, then passed directly overhead the observers, they were seen to “Bank to the right”, and they then disappeared in the night sky to the southeast of Prescott Valley. The altitude could not be determined, however it was fairly low and made no sound whatsoever. The National UFO Reporting Center received the following report from the Prescott area: While doing astrophotography I observed five yellow-white lights in a “V” formation moving slowly from the northwest, across the sky to the northeast, then turn almost due south and continue until out of sight. The point of the “V” was in the direction of movement. The first three lights were in a fairly tight “V” while two of the lights were further back along the lines of the “V”‘s legs. During the NW-NE transit one of the trailing lights moved up and joined the three and then dropped back to the trailing position. I estimated the three light “V” to cover about 0.5 degrees of sky and the whole group of five lights to cover about 1 degree of sky.


At the town of Dewey, 10 miles (16 km) east of Prescott, Arizona, six people saw a large cluster of lights while driving northbound on Highway 69.

First sighting from Phoenix

Tim Ley and his wife Bobbi, his son Hal and his grandson Damien Turnidge first saw the lights when they were above Prescott Valley about 65 miles (100 km) away from them. At first they appeared to them as five separate and distinct lights in an arc-shape like they were on top of a balloon, but they soon realized the lights appeared to be moving towards them. Over the next ten or so minutes they appeared to be coming closer and the distance between the lights increased and they took on the shape of an upside down V. Eventually when the lights appeared to be a couple of miles away the witnesses could make out a shape that looked like a 60-degree carpenter’s square with the five lights set into it, with one at the front and two on each side. Soon the object with the embedded lights appeared to be coming right down the street where they lived about 100 to 150 feet (30 to 45 meters) above them, traveling so slowly it appeared to hover and was silent. The object then seemed to pass over their heads and went through a V opening in the peaks of the mountain range towards Squaw Peak Mountain and toward the direction of Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport. Witnesses in Glendale, a suburb northwest of Phoenix, saw the object pass overhead at an altitude high enough to become obscured by the thin clouds; this was at approximately between 20:30 and 20:45 MST.

Arriving in Phoenix

When the triangular formation entered the Phoenix area, Bill Greiner, a cement driver hauling a load down a mountain north of Phoenix, described the second group of lights: “I’ll never be the same. Before this, if anybody had told me they saw a UFO, I would’ve said, ‘Yeah and I believe in the Tooth Fairy.’ Now I’ve got a whole new view and I may be just a dumb truck driver, but I’ve seen something that don’t belong here.” Greiner stated that the lights hovered over the area for more than two hours.

After Phoenix

A report came from a young man in the Kingman area who stopped his car at a public phone to report the incident. “[The] young man, en route to Los Angeles, called from a phone booth to report having seen a large and bizarre cluster of stars moving slowly in the northern sky”.

Reappearance in 2007

A repeat of the lights occurred February 6, 2007, and was recorded by the local Fox News television station. According to military officials and the Federal Aviation Administration, these were flares dropped by F-16 aircraft training at Luke Air Force Base.

Reappearance in 2008

On April 21, 2008, lights were again reported over North Phoenix by local residents. According to witnesses, the lights formed a vertical line, then spread apart and made a diamond shape. The lights also formed a U-shape at one time. Tony Toporek video taped the lights. He was talking to neighbors at 8 p.m. when the lights appeared. He went and grabbed his camera to get the lights on video. A valley resident reported that shortly after the lights appeared, three jets were seen heading west in the direction of the lights. An official from Luke Air Force Base denied any United States Air Force activity in the area. On April 22, 2008, a resident of Phoenix told a newspaper that the lights were nothing more than his neighbor releasing helium balloons with flares attached. The following day a Phoenix resident who declined to be identified in news reports stated he had attached flares to helium balloons and released them from his back yard. However, no name or pictures of the reported hoaxter were ever released, nor was anyone cited, ticketed or charged from the supposed releasing of flares over a residential area that at the time was enduring a record drought.

Photographic documentation

Imagery of the Phoenix Lights falls into two categories: images of the triangular formation seen prior to 22:00 MST in Prescott and Dewey, and images of the 22:00 MST Phoenix event. Almost all known images are of the second event. All known images were produced using a variety of commercially available camcorders and cameras.

First event

There are few known images of the Prescott/Dewey lights. Television station KSAZ reported that an individual named Richard Curtis recorded a detailed video that purportedly showed the outline of a spacecraft, but that the video had been lost. The only other known video is of poor quality and shows a group of lights with no craft visible.

Second event

During the Phoenix event, numerous still photographs and videotapes were made, distinctly showing a series of lights appearing at a regular interval, remaining illuminated for several moments and then going out. These images have been repeatedly aired by documentary television channels such as the Discovery Channel and the History Channel as part of their UFO documentary programming. The most frequently seen sequence shows what appears to be an arc of lights appearing one by one, then going out one by one. UFO advocates claim that these images show that the lights were some form of “running light” or other aircraft illumination along the leading edge of a large craft — estimated to be as large as a mile (1.6 km) in diameter — hovering over the city of Phoenix. Other similar sequences reportedly taken over a half hour period show differing numbers of lights in a V or arrowhead array. Thousands of witnesses throughout Arizona also reported a silent, mile wide V or boomerang shaped craft with varying numbers of huge orbs. A significant number of witnesses reported that the craft was silently gliding directly overhead at low altitude. The first-hand witnesses consistently reported that the lights appeared as “canisters of swimming light”, while the underbelly of the craft was undulating “like looking through water”. However, skeptics claim that the video is evidence that mountains not visible at night partially obstructed views from certain angles, thereby bolstering the claim that the lights were more distant than UFO advocates claim. UFO advocate Jim Dilettoso claimed to have performed “spectral analysis” of photographs and video imagery that proved the lights could not have been produced by a man-made source. Dilettoso claimed to have used software called “Image Pro Plus” (exact version unknown) to determine the amount of red, green and blue in the various photographic and video images and construct histograms of the data, which were then compared to several photographs known to be of flares. Several sources have pointed out, however, that it is impossible to determine the spectral signature of a light source based solely on photographic or video imagery, as film and electronics inherently alter the spectral signature of a light source by shifting hue in the visible spectrum, and experts in spectroscopy have dismissed his claims as being scientifically invalid. Normal photographic equipment also eliminates light outside the visible spectrum — e.g., infrared and ultraviolet — that would be necessary for a complete spectral analysis. The maker of “Image Pro Plus”, Media Cybernetic, has stated that its software is incapable of performing spectroscopic analysis. Cognitech, an independent video laboratory, superimposed video imagery taken of the Phoenix Lights onto video imagery it shot during daytime from the same location. In the composite image, the lights are seen to extinguish at the moment they reach the Estrella mountain range, which is visible in the daytime, but invisible in the footage shot at night. A broadcast by local Fox Broadcasting Company affiliate KSAZ-TV claimed to have performed a similar test that showed the lights were in front of the mountain range and suggested that the Cognitech data might have been altered. Dr. Paul Scowen, visiting professor of Astronomy at Arizona State University, performed a third analysis using daytime imagery overlaid with video shot of the lights and his findings were consistent with Cognitech. The Phoenix New Times subsequently reported the television station had simply overlaid two video tracks on a video editing machine without using a computer to match the zoom and scale of the two images.

Wind direction data

Wind direction measured independently by several weather stations in the Phoenix area and archived by the National Climate Data Center is consistent with reports about the movement of the lights. During the events, wind direction (origin) was changing from roughly west (i.e. blowing towards the east) to north (i.e. blowing towards the south). This supports the hypothesis that the flying objects were wind driven and could simply have been balloons or flares.


There is some controversy as to how best to classify the reports on the night in question. Some are of the opinion that the differing nature of the eyewitness reports indicates that several unidentified objects were in the area, each of which was its own separate “event”. This is largely dismissed by skeptics as an over-extrapolation from the kind of deviation common in necessarily subjective eyewitness accounts. The media and most skeptical investigators have largely preferred to split the sightings into two distinct classes, a first and second event, for which two separate explanations are offered:

First event

The first event — the “V”, which appeared over northern Arizona and gradually traveled south over nearly the entire length of the state, eventually passing south of Tucson — was the apparently “wedge-shaped” object reported by then-Governor Symington and many others. This event started at about 20:15 MST over the Prescott area, and was seen south of Tucson by about 20:45 MST. Proponents of two separate events propose that the first event still has no provable explanation, but that some evidence exists that the lights were in fact airplanes. According to an article by reporter Janet Gonzales that appeared in the Phoenix New Times, videotape of the v shape shows the lights moving as separate entities, not as a single object; a phenomenon known as illusory contours can cause the human eye to see unconnected lines or dots as forming a single shape.

Mitch Stanley, an amateur astronomer, observed high altitude lights flying in formation using a Dobsonian telescope giving 43× magnification. After observing the lights, he told his mother, who was present at the time, that the lights were aircraft. According to Stanley, the lights were quite clearly individual airplanes; a companion who was with him recalled asking Stanley at the time what the lights were, and he said, “Planes”. When Stanley first gave an account of his observation at the Discovery Channel Town Hall Meeting with all the witnesses there he was shouted down in his assertion that what he saw was what other witnesses saw. Some have claimed that Stanley was seeing the Maryland National Guard jets flying in formation during a routine training mission at the Barry M. Goldwater bombing range south of Phoenix. It is possible that the Phoenix Lights Vee is actually a group of planes based on the explanation of a similar sighting in South California.

Second event

The second event was the set of nine lights appearing to “hover” over the city of Phoenix at around 10 pm. The second event has been more thoroughly covered by the media, due in part to the numerous video images taken of the lights. This was also observed by numerous people who may have thought they were seeing the same lights as those reported earlier. The U.S. Air Force explained the second event as slow-falling, long-burning LUU-2B/B illumination flares dropped by a flight of four A-10 Warthog aircraft on a training exercise at the Barry Goldwater Range at Luke Air Force Base. According to this explanation, the flares would have been visible in Phoenix and appeared to hover due to rising heat from the burning flares creating a “balloon” effect on their parachutes, which slowed the descent. The lights then appeared to wink out as they fell behind the Sierra Estrella, a mountain range to the southwest of Phoenix. A Maryland Air National Guard pilot, Lt. Col. Ed Jones, responding to a March 2007 media query, confirmed that he had flown one of the aircraft in the formation that dropped flares on the night in question. The squadron to which he belonged was in fact at Davis-Monthan AFB, Arizona on a training exercise at the time and flew training sorties to the Barry Goldwater Range on the night in question, according to the Maryland Air National Guard. A history of the Maryland Air National Guard published in 2000 asserted that the squadron, the 104th Fighter Squadron, was responsible for the incident. The first reports that members of the Maryland Air National Guard were responsible for the incident were published in The Arizona Republic newspaper in July 1997. Military flares such as these can be seen from hundreds of miles given ideal environmental conditions. Later comparisons with known military flare drops were reported on local television stations, showing similarities between the known military flare drops and the Phoenix Lights. An analysis of the luminosity of LUU-2B/B illumination flares, the type which would have been in use by A-10 aircraft at the time, determined that the luminosity of such flares at a range of approximately 50–70 miles would fall well within the range of the lights viewed from Phoenix.

Dr. Bruce Maccabee did an extensive triangulation of the four videotapes, determining that the objects were near or over the Goldwater Proving Grounds. Page 5 of Dr. Maccabee’s analysis refers to Bill Hamilton and Tom King’s sighting position at Steve Blonder’s home. Blonder has worked with Dr. Maccabee to fully include his sighting position in the triangulation report. Maccabee has also refined three other sighting positions and lines of sight in 2012.

News media response

There was minimal news coverage at the time of the incident. In Phoenix, a small number of local news outlets noted the event, but it received little attention beyond that. But on June 18, 1997, USA Today ran a front-page story that brought national attention to the case. This was followed by news coverage on the ABC and NBC television networks. The case quickly caught the popular imagination and has since become a staple of UFO-related documentary television, including specials produced by the History Channel and the Discovery Channel.

Governor’s response

Shortly after the lights, Arizona Governor Fife Symington III held a press conference, stating that “they found who was responsible”. He proceeded to make light of the situation by bringing his aide on stage dressed in an alien costume. (Dateline, NBC). But in March 2007, Symington said that he had witnessed one of the “crafts of unknown origin” during the 1997 event, although he did not go public with the information. In an interview with The Daily Courier in Prescott, Arizona, Symington said, “I’m a pilot and I know just about every machine that flies. It was bigger than anything that I’ve ever seen. It remains a great mystery. Other people saw it, responsible people. I don’t know why people would ridicule it”. Symington had earlier said, “It was enormous and inexplicable. Who knows where it came from? A lot of people saw it, and I saw it too. It was dramatic. And it couldn’t have been flares because it was too symmetrical. It had a geometric outline, a constant shape.” Symington also noted that he requested information from the commander of Luke Air Force Base, the general of the National Guard, and the head of the Arizona Department of Public Safety. But none of the officials he contacted had an answer for what had happened, and were also perplexed. Later, he responded to an Air Force explanation that the lights were flares: “As a pilot and a former Air Force Officer, I can definitively say that this craft did not resemble any man made object I’d ever seen. And it was certainly not high-altitude flares because flares don’t fly in formation”. In an episode of the television show UFO Hunters called “The Arizona Lights”, Symington said that he contacted the military asking what the lights were. The response was “no comment”. He pointed out that he was the governor of Arizona at the time, not just some ordinary civilian. Frances Barwood, the 1997 Phoenix city councilwoman who launched an investigation into the event, said that of the over 700 witnesses she interviewed, “The government never interviewed even one”.

Source:  http://www.mufon.com/phoenix-lights—1997.html.

Why IR or UV?


Why are we interested IR and UV? Perhaps it is just a slightly-away from normal means to monitor our surroundings. Perhaps it is simply a matter of easy access to the technology. Again, there is no scientific basis behind IR and UV having any relationship to the unusual events we seek to explain. Thermal imaging is within the realm of IR but will not be discussed here. The primary intent of this discussion is to illustrate the limitations of the technology we use. Research your equipment to understand exactly what it is and isn’t providing for you.

A “full spectrum” camera is not capturing a full spectrum image. With respect to the visual bandwidth, standard cameras are already “full spectrum”. The specifications of the sensor in the camera will indicate sensitivity to frequencies beyond that of human vision. Filters are added to the light path in the camera to block infrared and ultraviolet along with software interpretation of the data from the sensor to result in an image our eyes and brains recognize. What is marketed as “full spectrum” simply has the IR and UV filters removed. This allows a wider bandwidth of frequencies to reach the camera sensor. All we are actually achieving with a “full spectrum” camera is a level of enhancement to the tiny portions of the IR and UV bandwidths our eyes already perceive.

Potentially increasing the discrepancy, we tend to use LED illuminators. LEDs emit a very specific frequency. If whatever we are trying to enhance is at a different frequency, the LED illuminator may be washing out the image preventing capture of the desired image. Also, without understanding the specifications of the camera sensor, the illuminator we choose may not emit a frequency the camera can sense properly regardless of the intensity of the LEDs. Be sure to understand the light wavelength/frequency the given camera and illuminator are designed for. There are alternate non-LED illuminators but these come with heat/fire risks from IR lamps and potential eye and skin damage from UV lamps.

More effective IR and UV image systems are available but may come at significant cost. We see IR imaging every day associated with “FLIR night vision” systems and satellite/telescope imagery. UV imaging is not as prevalent in the media but we may hear mention of it related to forensics and utility troubleshooting as well as satellite /telescope imagery.

A few typical sensitivities/specifications to consider:

For perspective; 1 Hz is once per second, 1 THz is 1,000,000,000,000 times per second

Infrared bandwidth: 300 GHz to 430 THz

Ultraviolet bandwidth: 790 THz to 30,000 THz

Typical human vision sensitivity: 400 THz (red) to 790 THz (violet)

Typical unfiltered camera sensor sensitivity: 303 THz to 999 THz

-covers about 29.56% of the IR bandwidth

-covers about 0.5% of the UV bandwidth

Typical Infrared LED emission range: 316 THz to 353 THz

-about 8.6% of the IR bandwidth (best case using a wide variety of IR LEDs)

-a typical LED illuminator operates with numerous LEDs of a single type. Since each LED type emits a specific frequency, a typical IR illuminator is providing illumination equivalent to 0.0002% of the IR bandwidth or about 2% of the effective IR range of an unfiltered camera. These number are even less effective for the UV bandwidth.

Typical Ultraviolet LED emission range: 749 THz to 821 THz

-about 0.2% of the UV bandwidth (best case using a wide variety of UV LEDs)

Again, an excellent graphic showing the EM Spectrum (thanks to Sparc Para Analytics):


Professional camera conversion:


Day 5, Equipment


As you notice, not until day 5 is there any mention of equipment to help you investigate. Is equipment important? Yes it is, but the Organization of your Paranormal Investigation Team and client contact and interaction is much more important than any piece of equipment you bring to an investigation. There are a lot of questions about equipment, but I will go over some things to consider before buying and possibly giving some ideas that will save you a lot of money.

First, the fringe equipment. Ghost Boxes, Oviluses, Echvoxes, kinects, EM pumps, EMF meters and other fringe type of devices…don’t worry about those until you have the basics.

What you should consider bringing:

  • A notepad and pen. It is extremely important to take notes…everything from your interview with the client, research notes, area layout and anything out of the ordinary you might notice before or during your investigation (investigation log).
  • Video camera. Documentation by video is very important. Visual aide will help with pear review and compliments your written documentation. A tip – Camcorders can be found at Pawn Shops relatively inexpensive…the Pawn Shops are almost giving them away. A good choice is finding a camcorder that is Infrared capable (for all lighting conditions). I will go over my Philosophy about using Infrared and Full Spectrum camcorders on day 7.
  • Audio recorders. Audio recorders are also very important. It will help you keep track of notes when interviewing a client and helps with documentation. Can it catch an EVP? Possible, but I will go over that in my Philosophy on day 7. A good rule is to buy one that has a USB port.
  • Still Picture Camera. Take several pictures throughout your investigation, from initial setup, to environmental readings and continue throughout. It documents what you are doing.
  • Flashlight. Keep a good flashlight with you. You don’t want to be stuck in an unknown “haunted” building without light. It is a must for safety. Small LED flashlights work very well.
  • First Aid Kit. Keep a well-stocked small First Aid Kit within reach. It is best to have it when needed than need it and not have it. Along with a First Aid Kit, please keep a list of emergency numbers with you…and know how to contact Fire/Police/EMS.

A tip – along with Pawn Shops, Large Box Stores such as Wal Mart has almost all of these necessary pieces of equipment.

Now that you have the basics in your equipment kit…on day 6 we will go over some necessary video and audio software that you can use.


  • what to bring
  • budget ideas


Photography 1

[ fə tóggrəfee ]

  1. producing pictures with camera: the art, hobby, or profession of taking photographs, and developing and printing the film or processing the digitized array image
  2. using light to make pictures: the process of recording images by exposing light-sensitive film or array to light or other forms of radiation











Photography Discussion Week 1

Photography Discussion Week 2

Photography Basics

Understanding Photography Terms
Learning Photography Concepts (Cambridge in color)
Basic Photography Articles for Beginners
How to use your camera in cold weather
Paranormal photos and analyzing them (ASSAP link)
Introduction to Basic Camera Terms and Functions
Photography tips for taking snaps of the Paranormal
How to hold a camera and other tips for taking accurate pictures of the paranormal
Control photo
Full spectrum Photography
Dirty Camera
Photography and Human Vision: not the most perfect combination

About Your Camera

Digital Camera File Formats
Digital Photos and Zooming In


Shadow Manipulation


Camera Lens Reflection
Flash Reflection and Effects
Photography and Reflective Surfaces
Photo Reflections and Lens Flare


Exposure Basics: Correctly Expose your Photographs
Light Painting – The Art of Long Exposure

Shutter Speed

Shutter Speed and Aperture
Ghostly Photos or Simple Camera Tricks?
Orbs, Shutter Speed & Dust
The Illusion of Motion – Dust and Bugs
Discussion of columns of light

Lens Flare

Understanding Lens Flare (Cambridge in color)
How to eliminate Lens Flare (Digital Photography School)
How to prevent Lens Flare (Digital Photography School)
Quick tip: How to easily avoid Lens Flare
Want Better Photos or Video? Avoid Lens Flare
Lens Flare need not scare!


ISO settings in digital photography
ISO and what does it mean for cameras?


What is aperture in photography?
What is an aperture setting and what does it do?

Depth of Field

Understanding depth of field (Cambridge in Color)

Blurry Pictures

Digital Unsampling and Interpolation
Motion Blur
Motion Blur versus The Holy Grail

Camera Condensation

Cameras, Humidity and Condensation (The Digital Picture)
Fighting condensation with Reasonable Measures (Martin Bailey Photography)

Lens Fungus

Lens Fungus Cleaning
What is Lens Fungus? Can it really affect my camera gear?

Cell Phones

Cell phone cameras and photography
iPhone 5 Purple Haze and Lens Flare Issue
Backlit Cell Photos & Shadow Figures
How “Image aliasing” Allows iPhone Cameras to Photograph Spectres
Cell Phone Pictures – Paranormal Pariahs


Simulacra, Pareidolia and Apophenia
Pareidolia and Photos – Am I seeing things?


“Demonic Orbs” and Other Fallacies and Facts
All about Orbs

Articles of Interest

1850s to 1950s “Photoshop” before Photoshop
A Brief History of Paranormal Photography

Photography Resources

Cambridge In Colour



Top 20 Cameras
Beseler Topcon Super D
Blair Tourograph
Box Tengor
Camera Obscura
Canon A-1
Contax N Digital
Exakta A
Folding Pocket Kodak
Fuji MX-2700
Fuji Quicksnap
Graflex “Pre-Anniversary” Speed Graphic
Hasselblad 1600F
Kodak 110 Instamatic
Kodak Advantix 2000 Auto
Kodak DCS 420
Kodak Retina (Type 117)
Leica II
Minolta 7000
Minolta Disc-7
Nikon L135AF
Nippon Kogaku Nikon F
Polaroid Land 95
Sharp J-SH04 Mobile Phone
Stereo Weno
The Sliding Box Camera
Voigtländer – The Daguerreotype-Apparat Camera and Petzval Lens


NPS - Books






Pro Secrets to Dramatic Digital Photos

Fundamentals of Photo Composition

Digital Photographer’s Complete Guide to HD Video

Chasing the Light: Improving Your Photography with Available Light

Understanding Exposure, 3rd Edition: How to Shoot Great Photographs with Any Camera

The Digital Photography Book

The Photographer’s Eye: Composition and Design for Better Digital Photos

Focus: Found Faces: Your World, Your Images

VisionMongers: Making a Life and a Living in Photography

Digital Masters: Nature Photography: Documenting the Wild World

BetterPhoto Basics: The Absolute Beginner’s Guide to Taking Photos Like a Pro by Jim Miotke

The Digital Photography Book, volumes 1, 2 and 3 by Scott Kelby

Understanding Exposure, 3rd Edition: How to Shoot Great Photographs with Any Camera by Bryan Peterson

The Photographer’s Eye: Composition and Design for Better Digital Photos by Michael Freeman

The Art of Photography: An Approach to Personal Expression by Bruce Barnbaum

Basic 35mm Photo Guide for Beginning Photographers by Craig Alesse