Tag Archive: health and safety

Jan 26

Delusional Disorder

Lisa Shaner-Hilty

Lisa Shaner-Hilty

I am a supervisor for several programs assisting individuals with intellectual and mental challenges. I have 2 Masters Degrees from Penn State in Communication Disorders and Psychology. My first experiences with the paranormal were around age 5. I’ve been fascinated ever since. I have been an investigator for over 10 years (first 5 years with a team, then leaving to form my own more than 5 years ago, and have taught classes on investigation, evidence analysis (especially EVP) and debunking at local community college. I also have abilities, some of which began at age 5 and others around puberty. Therefore my fields of major interest are investigation and psychic and empath. While I am open to considering all aspect and viewpoints, I am dedicated to seeking natural explanations first before anything is considered evidence.
Lisa Shaner-Hilty

Latest posts by Lisa Shaner-Hilty (see all)

ddisDelusional Disorder is one of the category of psychotic disorders. Not surprisingly, it is marked by the prevalence of delusions. Delusions may be non-bizarre or bizarre. Delusions in general are persistent, unyielding beliefs that are not true. These beliefs must persist for more than a month to be considered delusional, and must not be attributable to another disorder such as Schizophrenia, symptoms of which include delusions. Beliefs must also not be attributable to substance use. Persons with Delusional Disorder may function fairly well in society, hold a job, etc. Treatment includes medication and psychotherapy.

Non-bizarre delusions are false, persisting beliefs that while in some cases may be possible, are not true. A common example would be that their significant other is cheating. While possible, to meet the criteria, the individual would have investigated, and repeatedly rechecked the possibility, found it to be untrue, yet persist in the belief. A belief that he/she has a serious health condition that has been definitively ruled out is another common example.

Bizarre delusions are, again not surprisingly, beyond the realm of possibility in the eyes of the vast majority. One example of a bizarre delusion cited in “Psych Central” is that a stranger has removed all their internal organs, closing the wound without leaving a scar.

Delusions may also be categorized based on the nature of the belief. Likely the more well-known delusions include those of grandeur, in which the person believes themselves to be of grossly inflated power, notoriety, etc. (royalty, for example) as well as those of persecution in which the person believes that someone or some group is plotting against them. Other types include somatic delusions, in which he or she would focus on a health issue as described above. I erotomanic delusions, he/she believes someone of higher social status to be in love with them. The example above regarding the cheating lover is a jealous type of delusion. There are also mixed types (combination of types) and unspecified.

Relevance to National Paranormal Society is transparent. A person who lives with Delusional Disorder truly believes their delusion. If this belief is that they are being persecuted by a spirit for example, which as an investigator I personally have encountered, it is extremely difficult to convince this person, despite a lack of evidence, that this is not happening to them. In the case I encountered, the client continues to request I re-investigate despite having done so numerous times with no findings.

A person may claim that they were abducted by aliens and used for experimentation. To a growing number of people, this is in the realm of possibility. In these cases, it may be necessary to gain as much knowledge of the client as possible before drawing any conclusions.

Jan 26

Hallucinations

Lisa Shaner-Hilty

Lisa Shaner-Hilty

I am a supervisor for several programs assisting individuals with intellectual and mental challenges. I have 2 Masters Degrees from Penn State in Communication Disorders and Psychology. My first experiences with the paranormal were around age 5. I’ve been fascinated ever since. I have been an investigator for over 10 years (first 5 years with a team, then leaving to form my own more than 5 years ago, and have taught classes on investigation, evidence analysis (especially EVP) and debunking at local community college. I also have abilities, some of which began at age 5 and others around puberty. Therefore my fields of major interest are investigation and psychic and empath. While I am open to considering all aspect and viewpoints, I am dedicated to seeking natural explanations first before anything is considered evidence.
Lisa Shaner-Hilty

Latest posts by Lisa Shaner-Hilty (see all)

hallucinatioHallucinations are defined as the perception of something that is not present. Hallucinations are commonly associated with Schizophrenia and other Psychotic Disorders. However, “Healthline” notes that they may be caused by several other factors, including prolonged lack of sleep, brain cancer, high fever, migraines, seizure activity, social isolation, dementia, loss of effective use of one or more of the senses, alcohol withdrawal, very low sodium or glucose levels in the blood, and others.

The general population is familiar with the term hallucination; however, not many are aware that these can be perceived by any of the five senses. The classic example of a hallucination is the man wandering lost in the desert and suddenly sees a lush oasis. He plunges his hands into the crystal clear water, only to find it is just sand. The oasis was not really there. This is a visual hallucination, the type most associate with the term. Visual hallucinations may also include flashes or other forms of light (please note light anomalies may be aura preceding migraines or seizure), or any other form that is seen with the eye.

Hallucinations may be auditory, as in voices which in the case of persons with psychotic disorders may tell them to do things or that someone is plotting against them. Other examples include tapping, footsteps, creaking floor boards.

Tactile hallucinations are the perception that someone or something is touching, pushing, grabbing or holding someone down. These could also manifest as the feeling of bugs or rodents crawling over the skin. Tactile hallucinations can be quite traumatic.

Olfactory hallucinations are odors that no one else smells (it should be noted that this can also be an aura preceding migraines or seizures as well). Hallucinations of taste are self-explanatory, a metallic taste on the tongue, pipe tobacco taste in non-smoker’s mouth for example.

As you looked through the potential causes of hallucinations, you no doubt surmised that some are temporary in nature, as in high fevers, seizures, etc. Others, as in those associated with the psychotic disorders, are chronic (ongoing in nature). These are treated with psychotropic medications and psychotherapy.

Relevance to National Paranormal Society: The very nature of a hallucination makes the relevance quite apparent. It is nearly impossible to give credence to claims made by an individual who exhibits these symptoms. In some cases, as in hypoglycemia (low blood glucose level in the blood; also occurs from time to time in diabetics) this condition can be easily remedied. As an investigator, a team member had a disturbingly odd experience. Knowing the person was diabetic, blood sugar was immediately checked to rule out hypoglycemia while other team members continued to investigate. It is important to watch for these symptoms and to seek the cause in a respectful, gentle manner. Also note that some persons with challenges may also live in active homes!

Jan 23

Psychotic Disorders (Generalized)

Lisa Shaner-Hilty

Lisa Shaner-Hilty

I am a supervisor for several programs assisting individuals with intellectual and mental challenges. I have 2 Masters Degrees from Penn State in Communication Disorders and Psychology. My first experiences with the paranormal were around age 5. I’ve been fascinated ever since. I have been an investigator for over 10 years (first 5 years with a team, then leaving to form my own more than 5 years ago, and have taught classes on investigation, evidence analysis (especially EVP) and debunking at local community college. I also have abilities, some of which began at age 5 and others around puberty. Therefore my fields of major interest are investigation and psychic and empath. While I am open to considering all aspect and viewpoints, I am dedicated to seeking natural explanations first before anything is considered evidence.
Lisa Shaner-Hilty

Latest posts by Lisa Shaner-Hilty (see all)

3322740_f520

The disorders that fall under the umbrella of Psychosis are marked by the individual having a break with reality. He or she will be unsure what is real and what is not. Psychosis effects approximately 1% of the population, and impacts each gender equally. Psychoses may run in families and can be treated using psychotherapy and antipsychotic medications. See article on Schizophrenia for more detail on these medications and their side effects.

In the Schizophrenia article, the symptoms of auditory, visual, olfactory, and tactile hallucinations as well as delusions of grandeur or persecution were detailed. Likewise disorganized and confused speech and behavior were discussed. Schizophrenia is the most common psychotic disorder. Symptoms must present for 6 months or more for an accurate diagnosis.

Other types of psychoses are closely related and include Paraphrenia which is simply Schizophrenia presenting in the elder years. Other individuals experience acute (sudden in onset and lasting generally a month or less) incidence of psychotic behavior known as Brief Psychosis. This is commonly brought on by severe stress. Medical issues such as a brain tumor or other physiological condition may trigger Medically Induced Psychosis. This is self-explanatory, as is Substance-induced Psychosis from use of methamphetamines, alcohol, etc.

Schizoaffective Disorder presents as a combination of Schizophrenia and a mood disorder such as mania, depression, etc. Schizophreniform Disorder is diagnosed when a person exhibits symptoms of Schizophrenia for fewer than 6 months.

Relevance to National Paranormal Society: Given the nature of psychotic symptoms, it is clear that claims of phantom sounds and smells are likely in a person living with a psychotic disorder. Likewise feeling touched, seeing things that are not physically present are also common. Observation of a client requesting an investigation of their home is important; the nature of the claims will likely trigger concern. Is the person confused, feeling persecuted by what they feel is in their home? Are they claiming seeing, hearing, smelling things that do not add up? Since a person living with a psychotic disorder is not sure of what is real and what is not, knowing their status, if possible, is important and must be handled gently. Debunking skills would be in the forefront of an investigator’s tools.

Jan 22

Pareidolia Art

Shellie Langdeau

Shellie Langdeau

Health & Safety
Department Chair

Hi all! My name is Shellie. I live in Rockville, Rhode Island. Born and raised in “the sticks”, so to speak. I’ve been a social worker for very close to 25 years, working directly with people who suffer from chronic mental illness and substance abuse issues. I didn’t have my first paranormal experience till I was in my early 30’s. Since that time, I’ve been infatuated with the unknown. My mind is driven to want provable facts though. I will search and search to find a logical explanation for everything lol.
Shellie Langdeau

Latest posts by Shellie Langdeau (see all)

Screenshot_2Pareidolia (pronounced pa-ri-DOE-lee-a) is a psychological phenomenon involving a vague and random stimulus (often an image or a sound) being perceived as significant. Common examples including seeing images of animals or faces in clouds, the man in the moon, and hearing hidden messages on records played in reverse.
It is thought that there may be some kind of evolutionary advantage to this malfunctioning of the perceptual
apparatus, particularly with regard to our tendency to see faces in commonplace objects. Carl Sagan hypothesized that as a survival technique, human beings are “hard-wired” from birth to identify the human face. While this allows people to use only minimal details to recognize faces from a distance and in poor
visibility, it also lead them to interpret random images or patterns of light and shade as being faces. The evolutionary advantages of being able to identify friend from foe, with split second accuracy, are numerous; prehistoric (and even modern) men and women who accidentally identify an enemy a a fried could face deadly consequences for their mistake. This is only one among many evolutionary pressures responsible for the development of the modern facial recognition capability of humans.
In 2009, a magnetoencephalography study found that objects incidentally perceived as faces, evoke an early
activation in the ventral fusiform cortex, at a time and location similar to that evoked by faces, whereas other
common objects do not evoke such activation. This activation is similar to a slightly earlier peak seen for
images of real faces. The authors suggest that face perception evoked by face-like objects is a relatively
early process, and not a late cognitive reinterpretation phenomenon.
This study has helped to explain why people identify the “face” features, as in the picture below, so quickly
and without hesitation. Precognitive processes are activated by the “face-like” object, which alert the
observer to the emotional state and identity of the subject….even before the conscious mind begins to process
or even receive the information. The “stick figure face”, despite its simplicity, conveys mood information (in

this case, disappointment or mild unhappiness). It would be just as simple to draw a stick figure face that

would be perceived as hostile and aggressive. This robust and subtle capability is the result of eons of natural
selection favoring people most able to quickly identify the mental state, for example, of threatening people,
thus providing the individual an opportunity to flee and fight another day. In other words, processing this
information subcortically (and, therefore, subconsciously and before it is passed on to the rest of the brain for
detailed processing, accelerates judgment and decision making when alacrity is paramount. This ability,
though highly specializes for the processing and recognition of human emotions, also functions to determine
the demeanor of wildlife.
Screenshot_1

Jan 22

Sleep Paralysis: Is It Paranormal?

Written by APS Founder and Mid-Atlantic Director: Alex Matsuophoto-on-2013-01-19-at-09-17

Probably one of the most popular emails I receive involves the client being awakened for whatever reason, they’re not able to move or speak, they feel a weight on their chest, and they may feel a dark presence in the room. The client may even see things around the room like a ghost, spirit, demon, lights, colors, just to name a few. For anyone, this is a terrifying experience no matter who you are. As someone who dealt with this myself, I know how scary it is when your eyes open and you can’t even move, let alone let out a noise.

It should come as a relief for many that there is actually a logical explanation for this phenomenon. It’s very important to know the difference between sleep paralysis and a paranormal occurrence in this area. Of course, there are always exceptions and variables to this, but generally, this frightening experience can be explained using some logic and science.

tumblr_m7pof6la081qahgwao1_500

When we sleep, our body goes through a series of different stages of sleep that involve REM (rapid eye movement) and Non-rapid eye movement (NREM). Our body cycles in and out of REM and NREM and progress through about four stages of sleep, appropriately called Stage 1-5. Our bodies typically spend the most time in the state of NREM and a shorter time in REM, which is where our dreams occur. Studies have shown that the REM stage starts about 90 minutes into sleep.

Here are the different stages of sleep

  • Stage 1: Starts about 5-10 minutes into sleep, and the eyes are closed. It’s not hard to wake up from this stage, however, you won’t feel like you got any rest. Have you ever had a dream early on in your sleeping time where you trip and fall and your body jolts you awake? That’s called hypnic myoclonia. Also at this stage, the brain begins to produce theta waves, which are slow brain waves.
  • Stage 2: This is a period of light sleep while the muscles relax that help you transition into a deeper sleep. This lasts about 20 minutes.
  • Stage 3: This is officially the stage between light sleep and deep sleep and deeper, slow brain waves occur.
  • Stage 4: This is a deep sleep that lasts about 30 minutes, and also known as delta sleep due to the delta brain waves that are occurring.
  • Stage 5: The body enters into REM sleep and this is where dreaming occurs.

Now, keep in mind that the body cycles through stages of sleep, and sometimes it is out-of-order. This is all fine and dandy, but what does this have to do with sleep paralysis?

Well, when we enter the stage of REM sleep, our brain emit a chemical that paralyzes our body. This is so that we don’t physically act out our dreams. During the REM stage, our minds are very vivid with intense dreams, and it can be dangerous for our bodies to physically act out what’s going on in our minds. This chemical paralyzes everything from legs to arms, to fingers and toes.

When our body is awakened, for whatever reason, sometimes our body is still under this paralyzing chemical. Our eyes are open and we’re awake, but our body is still asleep, which can bring on the effect of feeling like you’re being pinned down. In some cases, our brains are still dreaming, which can cause hallucinations or literally seeing our dreams before our eyes.

Of course, there are always variables and exceptions. But knowing the possible explanations for this scary occurrence is very important before immediately resorting to a paranormal explanation. If you are experiencing sleep paralysis regularly, you may want to see your doctor and look into possible being tested for a sleep disorder. For me personally, I was able to stop my own sleep paralysis incidents by stopping my consumption of caffeine by noon and not watching TV immediately before bed.

But if you’re experiencing the effect of being pinned down, and seeing things before you’re even asleep, then perhaps there’s something more going on, and it would be worth it to contact a local paranormal team to ask some questions. Most importantly, rule out logical explanation before moving on to the next step. Below are some reference links with much more in-depth information, and I encourage you all to read them with a fine-toothed comb and look into more books and websites with information if this interests you.

(You can visit the most impressive blog of Alex Matsuo here: Association of Paranormal Study)

References:

http://www.webmd.com/sleep-disorders/excessive-sleepiness-10/sleep-101

http://www.livescience.com/21653-brain-chemicals-sleep-paralysis.html

http://psychology.about.com/od/statesofconsciousness/a/SleepStages.htm

Jan 22

Dissociative Identity Disorder (Multiple Personality Disorder)

Multiple-personality_inkonpaper_210x297mm

The diagnosis most know as Multiple Personality Disorder was renamed Dissociative Identity Disorder in 1994. This condition is often mistaken for Schizophrenia due to the etymology (or origin) of the word schizophrenia being split brain. These are two distinct disorders (see article on Schizophrenia). While Hollywood portrays Dissociative Identity Disorder, herein referred to as DID, often in movies and television, true DID is quite rare. DID is strongly associated with sexual abuse at a young age. In DID, two or more distinct personalities are present in the same person, each being dominant at varying times. When each alternate personality takes control, the individual experiences long periods of memory loss while “dormant”. Certain personalities may take control based on situations/stressors experienced at the time.

Symptomology: The individual living with DID’s personality is splintered. The individual does not “grow” new identities, as the former diagnosis of MPD would suggest; hence the name change. “DID reflects a failure to integrate various aspects of identity, memory and consciousness in a single multidimensional self. Usually, a primary identity carries the individual’s given name and is passive, dependent, guilty and depressed. When in control, each personality state, or alter, may be experienced as if it has a distinct history, self-image and identity. The alters’ characteristics—including name, reported age and gender, vocabulary, general knowledge, and predominant mood—contrast with those of the primary identity. Certain circumstances or stressors can cause a particular alter to emerge. The various identities may deny knowledge of one another, be critical of one another or appear to be in open conflict.” – “Psychology Today” 11/14

Treatment and Prognosis: There are currently no medications to treat or cure DID, though psychotropic medications are used to assist in coping. Long-term intensive psychotherapy attempt to reassociate the fragments.

Relevance to National Paranormal Society: Since personalities present in an individual living with DID vary as do those among a group of typical persons, it would be likely that claims of activity are parts of the fragmented memories of that particular personality, rather than what was actually occurring in the presenting situation.

 

 

Jan 22

Gaslighting

Lisa Shaner-Hilty

Lisa Shaner-Hilty

I am a supervisor for several programs assisting individuals with intellectual and mental challenges. I have 2 Masters Degrees from Penn State in Communication Disorders and Psychology. My first experiences with the paranormal were around age 5. I’ve been fascinated ever since. I have been an investigator for over 10 years (first 5 years with a team, then leaving to form my own more than 5 years ago, and have taught classes on investigation, evidence analysis (especially EVP) and debunking at local community college. I also have abilities, some of which began at age 5 and others around puberty. Therefore my fields of major interest are investigation and psychic and empath. While I am open to considering all aspect and viewpoints, I am dedicated to seeking natural explanations first before anything is considered evidence.
Lisa Shaner-Hilty

Latest posts by Lisa Shaner-Hilty (see all)

gaslightHave you ever met someone who seemed to always recall events in a completely different manner than how you know they occurred? No matter how sure you are, they glibly dismiss what you say, insisting on an opposite chain of events? Did you find yourself second-guessing your every move, not wanting to make decisions because you knew they would be wrong? Find yourself constantly apologizing? You may have been a victim of gaslighting.

Gaslighting is a behavioral trait of people with Narcissistic Personality Disorder, and is a complicated form of psychological abuse used by these individuals on family, friends, employees, significant others, to gain and maintain control. Gaslighting refers to gradually manipulating or twisting the truth over a period of time in order to cause the partner to doubt what they see, feel, think and know to be true. Victims will at times doubt their sanity. While some in early use of this trait are less skilled and more easily spotted, others have developed significant subtly and finesse over time, and may not be noticed until significant damage has been done. Over time the narcissist has redefined the reality of his/her victim and uses this as a control mechanism. Control may be over not only important aspects of the relationship, but also insignificant aspects: choice of clothes, how tasks are performed, even facial expression.

“Psychology Today” describes stages of gaslighting from the victim’s standpoint. First, the reaction is disbelief. “How could he possibly say that “I” was flirting with a man, when I know for a fact that it was he who was flirting with another woman?” for example. The victim finds the behavior strange, but thinks it is just an off moment, and may even make up excuses for the incident.

The second stage is defensiveness. The victim has realized that something just isn’t right. I KNOW I was not rude to him/her. Why are they insisting I insulted them? The victim questions the manipulations and asserts their knowledge of what they know is true. However, the conversation goes in a continuous loop with the narcissist continuing, with increasing incredulity, to insist that what they are saying is fact. This causes increasing stress and frustration to the victim. No matter what they do, or how hard they try to please this person, they are met with the same “flipping of the script”.

Finally depression sets in as the third stage. The victim gives up and has no faith in their own knowledge, memory, or abilities. The victim is unable to feel joy, and does not recognize him- or herself (again according to “Psychology Today”). They feel as if they cannot do even the most mundane tasks right. The victim blames themselves for not being a good enough wife, boyfriend, employee, friend, parent…

Once the gaslighting is recognized, this cycle of mental abuse can be broken, with time and support to regain the inner strength, and sanity, that were there, but called into doubt.

Relevance to National Paranormal Society: The incidence of psychological and other abuse is staggering. Narcissistic personalities are more common than one would think, and exist in differing degrees. Once a person doubts what they see, hear, feel, they are more likely to buy into the group mentality…”if others believe this, then I will too, since I can’t think for myself”. They may avoid looking for an explanation for activity due to low self-confidence. They may state whatever the gaslighter convinces them that they see/do not see, hear/do not hear. An objective investigator should watch the relationship dynamic. As investigators are not generally trained in this area, they should not attempt to intervene beyond their training, but consider this in their interactions and evidence analysis.

 

 

Jan 22

Schizophrenia

Brain-Inflammation-Linked-To-Schizophrenia-Study Schizophrenia is a frequently misunderstood psychotic disorder; psychotic disorders are distinguished by the individual’s “break” from reality. The term itself comes from the Greek words for ”split mind”. For this reason, schizophrenia is often mistaken for Dissociative Identity Disorder, more commonly known as Multiple Personality Disorder (MPD will be addressed in a separate article). The two diagnoses are by no means interchangeable. Schizophrenia is among the most severe and debilitating forms of psychological disorders, and itself has multiple forms. Until recent years, Schizophrenia was classified in 5 types: Paranoid, Catatonic, Disorganized, Undifferentiated, and Residual. This disorder has now become recognized as a “spectrum” disorder, since the manifestations among patients were prone to change or were not clearly one type versus another, according to the DSM-5 (the predominant diagnostic tool and classification system).

Symptomology: Five key symptoms of Schizophrenia are: delusions, hallucinations, disorganized speech, disorganized or catatonic behavior, and negative symptoms. The number and/or combination of symptoms needed for diagnosis is irrelevant for this writing. Delusions most commonly are thought processes in which the individual believes he or she is either being persecuted, or conversely, that they are of lofty status (delusions of grandeur).
Hallucinations may be of several types. Some persons may hear voices “inside their heads” (auditory hallucinations); these voices may tell them to do things which may pose a risk to themselves or others. In some cases these voices tell the individual that outside forces or persons are plotting against them, trying to harm them or reading their thoughts. Some individuals may see things, people, etc. that are not there or are misperceived (visual hallucinations). These too may pose a threat to the individual; they may believe someone has actually performed a harmful act on them. They may smell odors others do not (olfactory), feel fingers/hands touching them that are not there (tactile). It is important to be aware that to the person living with Schizophrenia, these hallucinations are real. They are unable to distinguish reality from fantasy/hallucinations. Since these individuals are able to express themselves and their emotions fairly effectively, they may seem typical until these dysfunctional thoughts, ideas or hallucinations are expressed aloud or acted upon. These are symptoms commonly associated with the former paranoid type.

Other people living with Schizophrenia may exhibit speech or behavior which makes no sense to the observer. Emotions that are inappropriate to a situation may be expressed, such as laughing aloud when told of a death. These are examples of disorganized speech and disorganized behavior. Others may be motionless for hours or days; this is catatonic behavior. Flat affect, or lack of expressed emotion, is an example of negative symptoms.

Treatment: Schizophrenia may be treated to varying degrees, though not cured, using antipsychotic medications, such as Haldol, Risperdol, Clozaril, to name only a few. Side effects are common but diminish with time, and include sun sensitivity, drowsiness, headache, etc. Long term use may lead to Tardive Dyskinesia, a condition which manifests as uncontrolled muscle movements and tremors. Weight gain and symptoms of Tardive Dyskinesia, some patients may stop taking their medications.

Relevance to National Paranormal Society: As you read the information above, you no doubt noticed some symptoms which could be misinterpreted as paranormal activity. Most notably, auditory hallucinations could be interpreted as sprit voices; visual hallucinations as apparitions. Likewise, phantom odors and feelings of fingers/hands touching a person are common claims of paranormal activity. Unintelligible speech, inappropriate expression of emotion, or disorganized behavior all have potential to be mistaken for demon possession.

Remember that not all persons living with Schizophrenia are easily recognized as such. Due to the stigma associated with mental health disorders, the individual is unlikely to divulge their diagnosis or whether they are on or off their medications. When objectively investigating claims of paranormal activity, it is helpful to keep this information in mind. In some cases it is necessary to gently ask a client about their psychological history, request a client be seen to rule out any psychological influence on his or her perception of activity. Done properly, this can and has been a productive part of objective investigating and debunking.

Jan 22

Lead Poisoning

Shellie Langdeau

Shellie Langdeau

Health & Safety
Department Chair

Hi all! My name is Shellie. I live in Rockville, Rhode Island. Born and raised in “the sticks”, so to speak. I’ve been a social worker for very close to 25 years, working directly with people who suffer from chronic mental illness and substance abuse issues. I didn’t have my first paranormal experience till I was in my early 30’s. Since that time, I’ve been infatuated with the unknown. My mind is driven to want provable facts though. I will search and search to find a logical explanation for everything lol.
Shellie Langdeau

Latest posts by Shellie Langdeau (see all)

Screenshot_6Another environmental factor and danger to think about before investigating a site, is lead. Lead
poisoning is a serious and sometimes fatal condition. Lead is a highly toxic metal and is a very strong
poison. It can be found in lead-based paints, including paint of the walls of old houses and buildings
and on toys. It can also be found in contaminated dust and art supplies.
Lead poisoning usually occurs over a period of months or years and can cause severe physical and
mental impairment. Young children are most vulnerable to lead poisoning due to their behavior of
putting things into their mouth.
Lead poisoning occurs when lead is ingested. It can also be caused by breathing in dust that contains
lead. You cannot smell or taste lead and it is not visible to the naked eye.
Lead use to be common in household paint and gasoline in the United States. Although these products
are no longer produced with lead, lead is still present everywhere, especially in older homes and
buildings.
A few common sources of lead include:
House paint from before 1978
Toys made and painted outside the US
Toys and household items painted before 1978
Bullets, curtain weights, and fishing sinkers made of lead
Pipes and sink faucets, which can contaminate water
Chipping house paint and soil polluted by car exhaust
Jewelry, pottery and lead figures
Storage batteries
The symptoms of lead poisoning are varied and the may affect many parts of the body. Most of the
time, lead poisoning builds up slowly. It follows repeated exposures to small quantities of lead. Lead
toxicity is rare after a single exposure.
Signs of repeated exposure include:
Abdominal pain
Abdominal cramps
Aggressive behavior
Sleep problems
Constipation
Irritability
Headaches
Loss of appetite
Fatigue
High blood pressure
Memory Loss
Numbness or tingling in extremities
Kidney dysfunction
Anemia

 

Loss of development skills in children
Since a child’s brain is still developing, lead can lead to mental impairment. Signs of this can include:
Behavior problems
Poor grades
Low IQ
Problems with hearing
Growth delays
Learning difficulties (short and long term)
A high, toxic dose may lead to more emergency symptoms such as:
Severe abdominal pain and cramping
Muscle weakness
Stumbling when walking
Vomiting
Seizures
Coma
Encephalopathy, which manifests as confusion, coma and seizures
Lead poisoning is diagnosed through a blood lead test. This test is performed on a standard blood
sample.
Low levels in adults is common. However, low levels in children are a cause for concern. Normal lead
levels vary by age group. The amount of lead in the blood is measured in micrograms per deciliter
(mcg/dL).
For adults, the normal the normal result is less than 20 mcg/dL. Slightly higher levels may not be
serious. Treatment is recommended if the adult is experiencing symptoms. It is also recommended for
a blood lead level greater than 60 mcg/dL.
For children, a normal result is less than 10 mcg/dL. Any higher level than normal should be
monitored closely and the source of the lead should be removed immediately. A level greater than 45
mcg/dL should always be treated. Levels of 10-25 mcg/dL have been associated with impaired
neurobehavioral development in children. Levels of 25-50 mcg/dL may be associated with headache,
irritability, and early nerve problems. Levels of 50-70 are associated with moderate toxicity, and levels
greater than 70-100 mcg/dL are associated with severe poisoning.
Additional tests may include blood tests to look at the amount of iron storing cells in the blood, x-rays,
and possibly a bone marrow biopsy.
The first step of treatment is to locate and remove the lead source. If it cannot be removed then it
should be sealed. Call your local health department for information on how to remove lead. They can
also help you reduce the likelihood of lead exposure.
Simple steps can help you avoid lead poisoning. Some steps include:
Avoid areas where lead-based paint may have been used
Keep your home free of dust

Test your water for lead. If lead levels are high, consider using a filtering device.
Teach your children to wash their hands after playing.
Clean faucets and aerators regularly.
Make sure any contractor doing work in your house is certified in lead control.
Screen young children for blood lead levels.
Use cold water to prepare any foods or drinks
In researching lead poisoning for this article I discovered a plethora of information out there regarding

this topic. As always, stay safe out there!
Information gathered from www.healthline.com

Jan 15

What is histoplasmosis?

Shellie Langdeau

Shellie Langdeau

Health & Safety
Department Chair

Hi all! My name is Shellie. I live in Rockville, Rhode Island. Born and raised in “the sticks”, so to speak. I’ve been a social worker for very close to 25 years, working directly with people who suffer from chronic mental illness and substance abuse issues. I didn’t have my first paranormal experience till I was in my early 30’s. Since that time, I’ve been infatuated with the unknown. My mind is driven to want provable facts though. I will search and search to find a logical explanation for everything lol.
Shellie Langdeau

Latest posts by Shellie Langdeau (see all)

histoI can just imagine the excitement and adrenaline rush of going on a investigation in an old, dilapidated, abandoned building! But beware! Histoplasmosis may be the only thing you “catch”……

Wait…what?? What is histoplasmosis??? Why do I need to know this, you ask??

Histoplasmosis is an infection caused by breathing in spores of a fungus often found in bird and bat droppings. It is most commonly transmitted when these spores become airborne. Most people who develop histoplasmosis never develop symptoms and are not aware they are infected. For people with already compromised immune systems, histoplasmosis can be serious.

Several types of histoplasmosis exist, from the mildest form producing no symptoms, to the most severe infections which can be life-threatening. Signs and symptoms will usually occur 3-17 days after exposure and may include the following:
– fever
– chills
– headache
– muscle spasms
– dry cough
– chest discomfort

“Chronic” histoplasmosis may include weight loss and a cough that may produce blood and can mimic the symptoms of tuberculosis. The most severe cases of histoplasmosis occur in people with compromised immune systems, as mentioned above, and can effect nearly any part of your body, including your mouth, liver, central nervous system, skin and adrenal glands. If untreated, this variety is usually fatal.

In closing, as investigators, please do your due diligence in always being aware of your surroundings and the physical dangers of the area you are investigating. Contact your doctor if you develop flu-like symptoms after being exposed to bird or bat droppings. And, as always, stay safe out there!

http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/histoplasmosis/basics/symptoms/con-20026585

Jan 15

CPR and AED

Ted Milam

Ted Milam

Ted grew up in Maryland and spent his early years near Antietam Battlefield, where he witnessed a few unexplained things as a young kid. When Ted graduated high school, he joined the United States Marine Corps, and spent 10 years on active duty traveling the United States and quite a few Countries along the way. After a paranormal experience while serving in Japan, Ted knew he had to find out some answers. After leaving the Marines in 2002, Ted was hired as a Firefighter in the San Diego area, where he spent the next 6 years. In 2008, he went to Iraq as a contractor for a year, then in 2009, moved to Georgia where he works today as a Firefighter in the Savannah area. Ted founded Ghost Watchers Paranormal Investigations – Savannah, in 2010. Ted’s goal is to find some common answers in the paranormal field.
Ted Milam

Latest posts by Ted Milam (see all)

NPSGraphic

I think by now most of us have heard of CPR and AED. What is it?  “CPR” is Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation and “AED” is Automated External Defibrillator.

Why is it important? Sudden cardiac arrest can happen suddenly for many reasons. It is important to know what to do when it happens. A good tool is called the “Chain of survival”

1. Early access

Call 911 Immediately…the sooner Advanced care arrives the chance are better for survival. This should be done within seconds.

2. Early CPR

Chest compressions and rescue breathing at a rate of 30:2…refer to the American Heart Association guidelines

3. Early defibrillation

Automated External Defibrillator is a small machine normally located in public places such as airport terminals and malls. It is a self functioning system that will prompt the user what to do.

Refer to the American Heart Association guidelines

4. Early advanced care

The Golden Hour. It is important to have the person be seen by advanced care as soon as possible for the best recovery chances.

Source:  http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/

Jan 03

What is Radon?

Deb Daniel Jansons

Deb Daniel Jansons

Assistant Director / Haunted Locations at National Paranormal Society
I am Deb Daniel Jansons. I was born and raised in the Huntsville, Al area, but lived in Ontario, Canada for 12 years, before coming back home to be with my grandson. I have had an interest in the paranormal since I was a small child and had my first experience. I love going out to places that are known to have strange things happen, but I always look for an explanation of anything that might happen when I am there and take nothing at face value. I also love to read anything that I can get my hands on concerning the paranormal and other people’s experiences. One of my hopes is that the day will come, during my lifetime that we will have absolute proof that there are spirits, aliens, etc out there. Until then, all we can do is investigate and hope.
Deb Daniel Jansons

Latest posts by Deb Daniel Jansons (see all)

radon

In the past couple of months we have discussed environmental hazards paranormal investigators should be aware of such as black mold and allergens. Today, I’d like to touch upon Radon.

What Is Radon?
Radon is a colorless, odorless, radioactive gas. It forms naturally from the decay of radioactive elements, such as uranium, which are found at different levels in soil and rock throughout the world. Radon gas in the soil and rock can move into the air and into ground water and surface water. It is present outdoors, as well as indoors. It is normally found at very low levels in outdoor air and in drinking water from river and lakes. It can be found at higher levels in the air in houses and other buildings, as well as in water from underground sources, such as well water.

How Are People Exposed To Radon?
For both adults and children, most exposure comes from being indoors in homes, commercial buildings, schools and other places. The levels of radon in homes and other buildings depend on the characteristics of the rock and soil in the area. As a result, radon levels vary greatly in different parts of the United States, even within neighborhoods. Elevated radon levels have been found in every state.

Radon gas, given off by rock or soil, can enter buildings through cracks in floors or walls; construction joints; or gaps in foundations around pipes, wires or pumps. Levels are usually highest in the basement or crawl space due to these areas being closest to the soil or the rock that is the source of the radon. Therefore, people who spend much of their time in basement rooms have a greater risk for being exposed. Small amounts of radon can also be released from the water supply into the air, especially if the water source is underground. As the radon moves from the water to the air, it can be inhaled. Water that comes from deep, underground wells in rock may have higher levels, whereas, surface water (drawn from rivers or lakes) usually has very low levels of radon. For the most part, water does not contribute much to the overall exposure. Exposure can also occur from building materials if they are made from radon-containing substances. Almost any building material made from natural substances, including concrete and wallboard, may give off some level of radon. In most cases, these level are very low, but in a few instances these materials may contribute significantly to radon exposure.

Some granite countertops may expose people to different levels of radon. Most health and radiation experts agree that while a small portion of granite countertops may give off increased level of radon, most countertops give off extremely low levels.

Symptoms Of Radon Poisoning
You cannot see or smell radon gas, making it very difficult for people to even know they’ve been exposed. This radioactive gas causes damage to our cells deep within the lungs. Radon gas exposure has no early discernible symptoms. Long-term exposure can lead to chronic bronchitis, emphysema, and lung cancer, especially in smokers.

How To Avoid Radon Exposure
Radon is in the air we breath, both indoors and out, so it is not possible to avoid it completely. But there may be things you can do to lower your exposure.

For most people, the largest potential source of radon is in the home. You can check radon levels in your home to determine if steps are needed to lower them. Do-it-yourself radon kits can be ordered through the mail or bought in hardware or home supply stores. The kits are placed in the home for a period of time then mailed to a lab for analysis. The EPA recommends testing all homes below the 3rd floor, even new homes that were built “radon-resistant”. Another way is to hire a professional. Qualified contractors can be found on the EPA website.

It is very important for paranormal investigators to be aware of all environmental hazards when investigating. Happy, safe investigating!

http://www.cancer.org/…/ca…/othercarcinogens/pollution/radon

Nov 25

Training & Equipment

Allen Marston

Allen Marston

Director / Chair Health & Safety at Apocalyptic Paranormal Investigation & Research
Allen grew up in a small town in Southern Virginia. His interest in the paranormal began as a young child after his parents told him of some experiences that they had over the years involving UFO’s and Ghosts. He began reading every thing about the paranormal he could get his hands on, thanks to his mother. As the years went by he had many experiences and feelings that he could not explain. One day he found out about a group in his area that was actually conducting paranormal investigations in his area and attended a public investigation with this group. He was totally hooked and began doing investigations with this group. After some time he and another member decided to leave the group to gear towards conducting more scientific investigations. Allen is co-founder of Apocalyptic Paranormal Investigation & Research where he specializes in audio and EVP. His team is the first to ever investigate the buildings of the Appomattox Court House Historic Park, where the surrender of Civil War occured. He has a passion for the paranormal and strives to bring all teams together to hopefully find concrete proof of the fringe sciences. When Allen is not working as a professional firefighter, you can find him spending time with his wonderful family, working other jobs to make money, creating artwork or finding more places to investigate.
Allen Marston

Latest posts by Allen Marston (see all)

10262131_10152702684934471_9033575469495657319_n

I figured I would post some links where you can find training and equipment that can help keep you safe on paranormal investigations. This is just a short list and definitely not the only places to find these products and training. Feel free to post more below, especially if you have interacted and had good experiences with them.

 CPR & FIRST AID:

http://www.redcross.org/take-a-class

http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/CPRAndECC/CommunityCPRandFirstAid/Community-CPR-First-Aid_UCM_001123_SubHomePage.jsp

 

WILDERNESS TRAINING:

http://www.nols.edu/wmi/courses/wfr.shtml

http://www.wildmed.com/wilderness-medical-courses/

 

SUPPLIES:

http://www.firstaidsuppliesonline.com

https://www.e-firstaidsupplies.com

http://www.bettymills.com

http://www.gemplers.com/tech/sresp.htm

http://www.grainger.com

http://www.enviroequipment.com

 

RESEARCH:

http://www.gemplers.com/tech/sresp.htm

http://www.cdc.gov

http://www.epa.gov/mold/

http://www2.epa.gov/asbestos

Sep 08

Dangers Unseen

Allen Marston

Allen Marston

Director / Chair Health & Safety at Apocalyptic Paranormal Investigation & Research
Allen grew up in a small town in Southern Virginia. His interest in the paranormal began as a young child after his parents told him of some experiences that they had over the years involving UFO’s and Ghosts. He began reading every thing about the paranormal he could get his hands on, thanks to his mother. As the years went by he had many experiences and feelings that he could not explain. One day he found out about a group in his area that was actually conducting paranormal investigations in his area and attended a public investigation with this group. He was totally hooked and began doing investigations with this group. After some time he and another member decided to leave the group to gear towards conducting more scientific investigations. Allen is co-founder of Apocalyptic Paranormal Investigation & Research where he specializes in audio and EVP. His team is the first to ever investigate the buildings of the Appomattox Court House Historic Park, where the surrender of Civil War occured. He has a passion for the paranormal and strives to bring all teams together to hopefully find concrete proof of the fringe sciences. When Allen is not working as a professional firefighter, you can find him spending time with his wonderful family, working other jobs to make money, creating artwork or finding more places to investigate.
Allen Marston

Latest posts by Allen Marston (see all)

dangerclosegames_logoOver the next few months we will be taking a look at the dangers that you may face while conducting paranormal investigations. For the first few topics we will be focusing on the dangers that you may not see, and effects that may not show themselves until later down the road. I am going to be straight and to the point with these. I will list the danger, where it can be found, and the symptoms that one will face if effected,etc. In this article we will look at two dangers, the next article a few more and so on. I hope these will give you the knowledge to keep you and your team safe and healthy.

 

ASBESTOS

What is it?

Any of several fibrous mineral forms of magnesium silicate. Asbestos is resistant to heat, flames, and chemical action. Some forms have been shown to cause lung diseases.

Where can it be found?

  • Attic and wall insulation produced containing vermiculite
  • Vinyl floor tiles and the backing on vinyl sheet flooring and adhesives
  • Roofing and siding shingles
  • Textured paint and patching compounds used on wall and ceilings
  • Walls and floors around wood-burning stoves protected with asbestos paper, millboard, or cement sheets
  • Hot water and steam pipes coated with asbestos material or covered with an asbestos blanket or tape
  • Oil and coal furnaces and door gaskets with asbestos insulation
  • Heat-resistant fabrics
  • Automobile clutches and brakes
  • In soil and rocks

How can you be exposed?

In general, exposure may occur only when the asbestos-containing material is disturbed or damaged in some way to release particles and fibers into the air. The greater the exposure to asbestos, the greater the chance of developing harmful health effects.

Sign and Symptoms

Sign and symptoms can include but are not limited to:

  • Shortness of breath, wheezing, or hoarseness.
  • A persistent cough that gets worse over time.
  • Blood in sputum
  • Pain or tightening in the chest.
  • Difficulty swallowing.
  • Swelling of the neck or face.
  • Loss of appetite.
  • Weight loss.
  • Fatigue or Anemia

Effects from exposure

Asbestos-related conditions can be difficult to identify. Healthcare providers usually identify the possibility of asbestos exposure and related health conditions like lung disease by taking a thorough medical history. This includes looking at the person’s medical, work, cultural and environmental history. After a doctor suspects an asbestos-related health condition, he or she can use a number of tools to help make the actual diagnosis. Some of these tools are physical examination, chest x-ray and pulmonary function tests. Your doctor may also refer you to a specialist who treats diseases caused by asbestos.

The possible diseases are:

  • Lung Cancer
  • Mesothelioma- a rare form of cancer that is found in the thin lining of the lung, chest and the abdomen and heart
  • asbestosis- a serious progressive, long-term, non-cancer disease of the lungs

How to protect against it:

National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH)-approved respirators that fit properly should be worn by investigators when asbestos disturbance could have occurred or may occur.

MOLD

What is it?

  •  Molds are fungi that grow both indoors and outdoors.

Where can it be found?

  • Indoors: anywhere there are high humidity levels
  • Outdoors: damp and shady areas where there is decomposition taking place

How can you be exposed?

Most if not all exposures come from touching or inhaling the mold or it’s spores.

Signs and Symptoms

  • Sneezing
  • Nasal and sinus congestion
  • Cough
  • Runny nose
  • Itchy, red, watery eyes
  • Wheezing
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Throat irritation
  • Chest tightness

Effects from Mold Exposure

(taken form American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine)
Molds and other fungi may adversely affect human health through three processes: 1) allergy; 2) infection; or 3) toxicity. It is estimated that about 10% of the population has allergic antibodies to fungal antigens. Only half of these, or 5%, would be expected to show clinical illness. Furthermore, outdoor molds are generally more abundant and important in airway allergic disease than indoor molds — leaving the latter with an important, but minor overall role in allergic airway disease. Allergic responses are most commonly experienced as allergic asthma or allergic rhinitis (“hay fever”. A rare, but much more serious immune-related condition, hypersensitivity pneumonitis (HP), may follow exposure (usually occupational) to very high concentrations of fungal (and other microbial) proteins. Most fungi generally are not pathogenic to healthy humans. A number of fungi commonly cause superficial infections involving the feet (tinea pedis), groin (tinea cruris), dry body skin (tinea corporis), or nails (tinea onychomycosis). A very limited number of pathogenic fungi — such as Blastomyces, Coccidioides, Cryptococcus, and Histoplasma — infect non-immunocompromised individuals. In contrast, persons with severely impaired immune function, e.g., cancer patients receiving chemotherapy, organ transplant patients receiving immunosuppressive drugs, AIDS patients, and patients with uncontrolled diabetes, are at significant risk for more severe opportunistic fungal infection.

See more at: http://www.acoem.org/AdverseHumanHealthEffects_Molds.aspx#sthash.ie827nu6.dpuf (Not accessible without membership.)

Jan 05

Exposure to electromagnetic fields – what happens

Todd Wayne Knipple

Todd Wayne Knipple

I was awakened to the reality of the paranormal at the age of 12 while at a friend’s home. What happened that one night back in 1983 kept me awake for three days. After that incident I was left with many questions. My determination to find answers to what had happened that night became an obsession that would lead me down a path into investigating the paranormal. I found myself consumed by these strange anomalies that were captured on video, audio and photographs, and the strange feelings and sensations I would have from walking into old buildings or a person’s home.
For nearly 30 years, I have dedicated myself to finding these answers by using a scientific approach to fully understand and bring explanations to those who seek help and who are experiencing themselves the same things I experienced some 30 years ago. I can say that out of all of the cases I have investigated over the years as a paranormal investigator, 99% can be explained as a product of environment. There is, however, that 1% that can only be considered Beyond The Grave.
Todd Wayne Knipple

Latest posts by Todd Wayne Knipple (see all)

NPSGraphic
What happens when you are exposed to electromagnetic fields?

Exposure to electromagnetic fields is not a new phenomenon. However, during the 20th century, environmental exposure to man-made electromagnetic fields has been steadily increasing as growing electricity demand, ever-advancing technologies and changes in social behaviour have created more and more artificial sources. Everyone is exposed to a complex mix of weak electric and magnetic fields, both at home and at work, from the generation and transmission of electricity, domestic appliances and industrial equipment, to telecommunications and broadcasting.

Tiny electrical currents exist in the human body due to the chemical reactions that occur as part of the normal bodily functions, even in the absence of external electric fields. For example, nerves relay signals by transmitting electric impulses. Most biochemical reactions from digestion to brain activities go along with the rearrangement of charged particles. Even the heart is electrically active – an activity that your doctor can trace with the help of an electrocardiogram.

Low-frequency electric fields influence the human body just as they influence any other material made up of charged particles. When electric fields act on conductive materials, they influence the distribution of electric charges at their surface. They cause current to flow through the body to the ground.

Low-frequency magnetic fields induce circulating currents within the human body. The strength of these currents depends on the intensity of the outside magnetic field. If sufficiently large, these currents could cause stimulation of nerves and muscles or affect other biological processes.

Both electric and magnetic fields induce voltages and currents in the body but even directly beneath a high voltage transmission line, the induced currents are very small compared to thresholds for producing shock and other electrical effects.

Heating is the main biological effect of the electromagnetic fields of radiofrequency fields. In microwave ovens this fact is employed to warm up food. The levels of radiofrequency fields to which people are normally exposed are very much lower than those needed to produce significant heating. The heating effect of radiowaves forms the underlying basis for current guidelines. Scientists are also investigating the possibility that effects below the threshold level for body heating occur as a result of long-term exposure. To date, no adverse health effects from low level, long-term exposure to radiofrequency or power frequency fields have been confirmed, but scientists are actively continuing to research this area.

Biological effects or health effects? What is a health hazard?

Biological effects are measurable responses to a stimulus or to a change in the environment. These changes are not necessarily harmful to your health. For example, listening to music, reading a book, eating an apple or playing tennis will produce a range of biological effects. Nevertheless, none of these activities is expected to cause health effects. The body has sophisticated mechanisms to adjust to the many and varied influences we encounter in our environment. Ongoing change forms a normal part of our lives. But, of course, the body does not possess adequate compensation mechanisms for all biological effects. Changes that are irreversible and stress the system for long periods of time may constitute a health hazard.

An adverse health effect causes detectable impairment of the health of the exposed individual or of his or her offspring; a biological effect, on the other hand, may or may not result in an adverse health effect.

It is not disputed that electromagnetic fields above certain levels can trigger biological effects. Experiments with healthy volunteers indicate that short-term exposure at the levels present in the environment or in the home do not cause any apparent detrimental effects. Exposures to higher levels that might be harmful are restricted by national and international guidelines. The current debate is centred on whether long-term low level exposure can evoke biological responses and influence people’s well being.

Widespread concerns for health

A look at the news headlines of recent years allows some insight into the various areas of public concern. Over the course of the past decade, numerous electromagnetic field sources have become the focus of health concerns, including power lines, microwave ovens, computer and TV screens, security devices, radars and most recently mobile phones and their base stations.

The International EMF Project

In response to growing public health concerns over possible health effects from exposure to an ever increasing number and diversity of electromagnetic field sources, in 1996 the World Health Organization (WHO) launched a large, multidisciplinary research effort. The International EMF Project brings together current knowledge and available resources of key international and national agencies and scientific institutions.

Conclusions from scientific research In the area of biological effects and medical applications of non-ionizing radiation approximately 25,000 articles have been published over the past 30 years. Despite the feeling of some people that more research needs to be done, scientific knowledge in this area is now more extensive than for most chemicals. Based on a recent in-depth review of the scientific literature, the WHO concluded that current evidence does not confirm the existence of any health consequences from exposure to low level electromagnetic fields. However, some gaps in knowledge about biological effects exist and need further research.

Effects on general health Some members of the public have attributed a diffuse collection of symptoms to low levels of exposure to electromagnetic fields at home. Reported symptoms include headaches, anxiety, suicide and depression, nausea, fatigue and loss of libido. To date, scientific evidence does not support a link between these symptoms and exposure to electromagnetic fields. At least some of these health problems may be caused by noise or other factors in the environment, or by anxiety related to the presence of new technologies.

Effects on pregnancy outcome Many different sources and exposures to electromagnetic fields in the living and working environment, including computer screens, water beds and electric blankets, radiofrequency welding machines, diathermy equipment and radar, have been evaluated by the WHO and other organizations. The overall weight of evidence shows that exposure to fields at typical environmental levels does not increase the risk of any adverse outcome such as spontaneous abortions, malformations, low birth weight, and congenital diseases. There have been occasional reports of associations between health problems and presumed exposure to electromagnetic fields, such as reports of prematurity and low birth weight in children of workers in the electronics industry, but these have not been regarded by the scientific community as being necessarily caused by the field exposures (as opposed to factors such as exposure to solvents).

Cataracts General eye irritation and cataracts have sometimes been reported in workers exposed to high levels of radiofrequency and microwave radiation, but animal studies do not support the idea that such forms of eye damage can be produced at levels that are not thermally hazardous. There is no evidence that these effects occur at levels experienced by the general public.

Electromagnetic fields and cancer Despite many studies, the evidence for any effect remains highly controversial. However, it is clear that if electromagnetic fields do have an effect on cancer, then any increase in risk will be extremely small. The results to date contain many inconsistencies, but no large increases in risk have been found for any cancer in children or adults.

A number of epidemiological studies suggest small increases in risk of childhood leukemia with exposure to low frequency magnetic fields in the home. However, scientists have not generally concluded that these results indicate a cause-effect relation between exposure to the fields and disease (as opposed to artifacts in the study or effects unrelated to field exposure). In part, this conclusion has been reached because animal and laboratory studies fail to demonstrate any reproducible effects that are consistent with the hypothesis that fields cause or promote cancer. Large-scale studies are currently underway in several countries and may help resolve these issues.

Electromagnetic hypersensitivity and depression Some individuals report “hypersensitivity” to electric or magnetic fields. They ask whether aches and pains, headaches, depression, lethargy, sleeping disorders, and even convulsions and epileptic seizures could be associated with electromagnetic field exposure.

There is little scientific evidence to support the idea of electromagnetic hypersensitivity. Recent Scandinavian studies found that individuals do not show consistent reactions under properly

controlled conditions of electromagnetic field exposure. Nor is there any accepted biological mechanism to explain hypersensitivity. Research on this subject is difficult because many other subjective responses may be involved, apart from direct effects of fields themselves. More studies are continuing on the subject.

The focus of current and future research Much effort is currently being directed towards the study of electromagnetic fields in relation to cancer. Studies in search for possible carcinogenic (cancer-producing) effects of power frequency fields is continuing, although at a reduced level compared to that of the late 1990’s.

The long-term health effects of mobile telephone use is another topic of much current research. No obvious adverse effect of exposure to low level radiofrequency fields has been discovered. However, given public concerns regarding the safety of cellular telephones, further research aims to determine whether any less obvious effects might occur at very low exposure levels.

Key points

* A wide range of environmental influences causes biological effects. ‘Biological effect’ does not equal ‘health hazard’. Special research is needed to identify and measure health hazards.

* At low frequencies, external electric and magnetic fields induce small circulating currents within the body. In virtually all ordinary environments, the levels of induced currents inside the body are too small to produce obvious effects.

* The main effect of radiofrequency electromagnetic fields is heating of body tissues. * There is no doubt that short-term exposure to very high levels of electromagnetic fields can be harmful to health. Current public concern focuses on possible long-term health effects caused by exposure to electromagnetic fields at levels below those required to trigger acute biological responses.

* WHO’s International EMF Project was launched to provide scientifically sound and objective answers to public concerns about possible hazards of low level electromagnetic fields.

* Despite extensive research, to date there is no evidence to conclude that exposure to low level electromagnetic fields is harmful to human health.

* The focus of international research is the investigation of possible links between cancer and electromagnetic fields, at power line and radiofrequencies.

Source: http://www.who.int/peh-emf/about/WhatisEMF/en/

Nov 25

First-Aid Kit

Allen Marston

Allen Marston

Director / Chair Health & Safety at Apocalyptic Paranormal Investigation & Research
Allen grew up in a small town in Southern Virginia. His interest in the paranormal began as a young child after his parents told him of some experiences that they had over the years involving UFO’s and Ghosts. He began reading every thing about the paranormal he could get his hands on, thanks to his mother. As the years went by he had many experiences and feelings that he could not explain. One day he found out about a group in his area that was actually conducting paranormal investigations in his area and attended a public investigation with this group. He was totally hooked and began doing investigations with this group. After some time he and another member decided to leave the group to gear towards conducting more scientific investigations. Allen is co-founder of Apocalyptic Paranormal Investigation & Research where he specializes in audio and EVP. His team is the first to ever investigate the buildings of the Appomattox Court House Historic Park, where the surrender of Civil War occured. He has a passion for the paranormal and strives to bring all teams together to hopefully find concrete proof of the fringe sciences. When Allen is not working as a professional firefighter, you can find him spending time with his wonderful family, working other jobs to make money, creating artwork or finding more places to investigate.
Allen Marston

Latest posts by Allen Marston (see all)

10262131_10152702684934471_9033575469495657319_n

Here is a checklist that you can use to build your own first-aid kit if you decide to not buy one of the pre-made kits.
Not only can it be cheaper, but it can be customized to meet your needs better. What I have put together is a basic kit, so feel free to add anything else that you see fit. I have deliberately not added a quantity so that you can build your kit to fit your teams needs.

 

____ Watertight container able to hold all the contents

____ First-Aid Manual

____ Non-Latex Gloves

____ CPR mask with one-way valve

____ A few disposable N95 masks

____ Multiple sizes of Adhesive Bandages (Band-Aids)

____ Gauze Bandages of various sizes (sterile and non-sterile)

____ Adhesive bandage tape of various sizes

____ Roller Gauze

____ Triangular Bandages (Used to make a sling and swathe)

____ Antibiotic Ointment

____ Antiseptic (can be wipes or sprays)

____ Hydrocortisone (ointment or spray)

____ Sterile water (for irrigation of wound)

____ Hemostatic agent (used to help clot bigger wounds)

____ Alcohol (liquid or wipes.If liquid add cotton balls)

____ Any medication your team takes for emergencies

____ Diphenhydramine (Benadryl)

____ 81 mg aspirin

____ Pain relievers of your choice

____ Instant cold packs

____ Instant heat packs

____ Space blanket

____ Tweezers

____ Sewing Needle or Kit

____ Safety Pin

____ Small Sharp scissors or Trauma sheers

____ Thermometer

____ Hand Sanitizer

 

Optional:

____ Bug Spray

____ Sunscreen

____ Blister protection (Mole Skin, Liquid bandage etc.)

____ Tincture of Benzoin ( Used to apply tape etc. to moist skin. Can also be used for blisters!)

Nov 25

Health and Safety as a whole

Allen Marston

Allen Marston

Director / Chair Health & Safety at Apocalyptic Paranormal Investigation & Research
Allen grew up in a small town in Southern Virginia. His interest in the paranormal began as a young child after his parents told him of some experiences that they had over the years involving UFO’s and Ghosts. He began reading every thing about the paranormal he could get his hands on, thanks to his mother. As the years went by he had many experiences and feelings that he could not explain. One day he found out about a group in his area that was actually conducting paranormal investigations in his area and attended a public investigation with this group. He was totally hooked and began doing investigations with this group. After some time he and another member decided to leave the group to gear towards conducting more scientific investigations. Allen is co-founder of Apocalyptic Paranormal Investigation & Research where he specializes in audio and EVP. His team is the first to ever investigate the buildings of the Appomattox Court House Historic Park, where the surrender of Civil War occured. He has a passion for the paranormal and strives to bring all teams together to hopefully find concrete proof of the fringe sciences. When Allen is not working as a professional firefighter, you can find him spending time with his wonderful family, working other jobs to make money, creating artwork or finding more places to investigate.
Allen Marston

Latest posts by Allen Marston (see all)

10262131_10152702684934471_9033575469495657319_n

Today’s post is going to be thinking a little outside of the box. We have discussed our physical and spiritual health
and safety a well as the safety of our clients. Today we will discuss the health of the field as a whole. In the last decade or so there has been a huge “paranormal boom” if you will. Things that were taboo to discus in every
day life have become more acceptable. With the acceptability rising so have the number of teams out there. Many people have seen the rise of teams as a negative for many reasons, but this in fact is an AWESOME thing. Not only are we more able to blanket the planet with investigators, it gives a chance to discuss and test out more theories than ever before. However, for the health of the field there should be some guidelines that we all need to adhere to.

Before I get a little more in depth with I would like to make this one statement: I am not an expert, nor will I profess
to be. Hmm, I guess this would be a great place to start this off. When talking to other teams or posting in forums or FB pages you will ALWAYS see a few people that seem to be or claim to be experts in the paranormal field. To be completely honest, there are no EXPERTS in this field nor will there ever be until this is a proven science.Yes there are people that are knowledgeable in certain areas and do know what they are talking about. However, in my opinion the most credible people in the field tend to be the ones that keep an open mind and actually discuss each others theories and stay pigeon holed to one way of thought. Always keep the mentality that you are a student of the field (a friend of mine expressed it this way and it has stuck with me since) always learning and never an expert. But no matter what STAY PROFESSIONAL in every thing you do related to the field.

This leads us into evidence. This one aspect is probably where the field loses a lot of it’s credibility. Every teams
wants to be the one that discovers the one piece of evidence that proves it all. How many times have seen or heard evidence that you know can be discounted very easily? I know that all of you who have been on the page for a while have seen this. You have probably seen many people asking questions that could seem that they don’t believe what is shown. Most of time it’s just someone who is passionate about the field and want to see the field progress. Don’t see the questions as a negative, use it as a positive to help you decipher what could be seen as a credible piece of evidence before you post or release it. WHEN IN DOUBT THROW IT OUT. With that being said the one thing that really brings the field down is faking evidence. NEVER, NEVER, and I say it again NEVER falsify evidence! By doing that you are doing nothing to help advance the field, you’re only bringing it down.

There are more things that need to be discussed but this is getting pretty lengthy so I will sum it up like this. 1.)
Always be professional 2.) Always be a student of the field 3. )DO NOT FAKE EVIDENCE 4.) When in doubt throw it out 5.) Take criticism and learn from it 6.) Always be courteous to others theories and thoughts.

This by no means are the only ways to keep the field healthy. I would LOVE to hear from all of you your views on the things that are keeping the field healthy and what is making it sick. What are your thoughts?

Nov 25

Client Safety

Allen Marston

Allen Marston

Director / Chair Health & Safety at Apocalyptic Paranormal Investigation & Research
Allen grew up in a small town in Southern Virginia. His interest in the paranormal began as a young child after his parents told him of some experiences that they had over the years involving UFO’s and Ghosts. He began reading every thing about the paranormal he could get his hands on, thanks to his mother. As the years went by he had many experiences and feelings that he could not explain. One day he found out about a group in his area that was actually conducting paranormal investigations in his area and attended a public investigation with this group. He was totally hooked and began doing investigations with this group. After some time he and another member decided to leave the group to gear towards conducting more scientific investigations. Allen is co-founder of Apocalyptic Paranormal Investigation & Research where he specializes in audio and EVP. His team is the first to ever investigate the buildings of the Appomattox Court House Historic Park, where the surrender of Civil War occured. He has a passion for the paranormal and strives to bring all teams together to hopefully find concrete proof of the fringe sciences. When Allen is not working as a professional firefighter, you can find him spending time with his wonderful family, working other jobs to make money, creating artwork or finding more places to investigate.
Allen Marston

Latest posts by Allen Marston (see all)

10262131_10152702684934471_9033575469495657319_n

We have been discussing how to keep ourselves physically and spiritually safe from harm during paranormal investigations over the last few days.  We all try to do what we can to keep ourself and our team safe, but how many of us actually think about the client? There have been accounts of teams, new and well established, that have gone into a residential investigation with the wrong frame of mind or investigative tactics  and actually made the home worse for their owners I live in. A good friend of mine explained something to me a good while ago that has stuck with me and fits really well when going into investigations. He stated, “When going into a new place to investigate, look at it the same as you would going into a persons house you have just met. You’re not going to just walk in and start shouting and demanding things, your more than likely going to be very respectful. Talk to them as you would a new friend and you’ll be doing two things at once. One, you’ll be opening a healthy line of communication and two, you won’t be stirring up things and making the atmosphere worse for your client.” The things we say and do can and will have an impact on the location after you leave.

I know some would like to believe that have to provoke an entity to get results, but what are they really doing? Whether it is true or not, I like to believe you get what you give. If you give out negative vibes etc., that’s what you’re
going to get. With that being said, what are some do’s and don’ts that you recommend for teams doing home investigations to help keep their client safe? It doesn’t matter if you are a new team or an established team we ALL have something to contribute.

Nov 25

Spiritual Safety

Allen Marston

Allen Marston

Director / Chair Health & Safety at Apocalyptic Paranormal Investigation & Research
Allen grew up in a small town in Southern Virginia. His interest in the paranormal began as a young child after his parents told him of some experiences that they had over the years involving UFO’s and Ghosts. He began reading every thing about the paranormal he could get his hands on, thanks to his mother. As the years went by he had many experiences and feelings that he could not explain. One day he found out about a group in his area that was actually conducting paranormal investigations in his area and attended a public investigation with this group. He was totally hooked and began doing investigations with this group. After some time he and another member decided to leave the group to gear towards conducting more scientific investigations. Allen is co-founder of Apocalyptic Paranormal Investigation & Research where he specializes in audio and EVP. His team is the first to ever investigate the buildings of the Appomattox Court House Historic Park, where the surrender of Civil War occured. He has a passion for the paranormal and strives to bring all teams together to hopefully find concrete proof of the fringe sciences. When Allen is not working as a professional firefighter, you can find him spending time with his wonderful family, working other jobs to make money, creating artwork or finding more places to investigate.
Allen Marston

Latest posts by Allen Marston (see all)

10262131_10152702684934471_9033575469495657319_n

Over the last few few days I have been posting about the physical health and safety considerations while conducting paranormal investigations. Now that we have taken a look at the physical side of it, it’s time to look at the spiritual side of it. We are all aware that there are spiritual hazards out there that can harm or do other things to us. What are some steps that you take to protect yourself or your team? ALL opinions are welcome!!

Nov 25

What are you breathing?

Allen Marston

Allen Marston

Director / Chair Health & Safety at Apocalyptic Paranormal Investigation & Research
Allen grew up in a small town in Southern Virginia. His interest in the paranormal began as a young child after his parents told him of some experiences that they had over the years involving UFO’s and Ghosts. He began reading every thing about the paranormal he could get his hands on, thanks to his mother. As the years went by he had many experiences and feelings that he could not explain. One day he found out about a group in his area that was actually conducting paranormal investigations in his area and attended a public investigation with this group. He was totally hooked and began doing investigations with this group. After some time he and another member decided to leave the group to gear towards conducting more scientific investigations. Allen is co-founder of Apocalyptic Paranormal Investigation & Research where he specializes in audio and EVP. His team is the first to ever investigate the buildings of the Appomattox Court House Historic Park, where the surrender of Civil War occured. He has a passion for the paranormal and strives to bring all teams together to hopefully find concrete proof of the fringe sciences. When Allen is not working as a professional firefighter, you can find him spending time with his wonderful family, working other jobs to make money, creating artwork or finding more places to investigate.
Allen Marston

Latest posts by Allen Marston (see all)

10262131_10152702684934471_9033575469495657319_n

I want to take a look today at respiratory considerations while conducting paranormal investigations. We all know there are many contaminates that we encounter every day that can cause us harm, and most of them we can’t do anything about. What about the ones that we put our own selves in jeopardy of when we go on investigations?   A little bit of research before you go can save you from a lifetime of problems.

The first one I would like to take a look at is asbestos. It was used in many applications such as insulation, floor
tiles, roof tiles, joint compound and many other products. Many homes and buildings built before 1977 will contain some sort of asbestos. It has been said that it is harmless unless it has been broken in any way to where it has made dust fibers. Who know the ORB you have seen may indeed be asbestos! N95 masks will provide a little bit of protection but aren’t really advised for a prolonged exposure. A respirator with a HEPA filter is advised as is a mask by 3M with the classification 8511 Dust Mask. Unfortunately the hazards of being exposed do not show up immediately.

The second thing I would like to address is mold. We all know what mold is or where it’s found so lets just look at what you can do to protect yourself from it.  For the most part an N95 mask can provide a good amount of protection from it. Exposure can range from just an allergic reaction to more long term consequences.

A few that I would also like to mention without going into detail are: particulates from animal fecal matter and urine, radon- from decaying rock etc., dust itself, as well as many other allergens. All of these can be protected against by wearing a particulate filter.

Thank you for taking the time to read this. I hope it can help you stay safe on your investigations. Please feel free to
add anything you want as I am no expert and would love to get y’alls view on the subject.

Nov 25

What’s in your kit?

Allen Marston

Allen Marston

Director / Chair Health & Safety at Apocalyptic Paranormal Investigation & Research
Allen grew up in a small town in Southern Virginia. His interest in the paranormal began as a young child after his parents told him of some experiences that they had over the years involving UFO’s and Ghosts. He began reading every thing about the paranormal he could get his hands on, thanks to his mother. As the years went by he had many experiences and feelings that he could not explain. One day he found out about a group in his area that was actually conducting paranormal investigations in his area and attended a public investigation with this group. He was totally hooked and began doing investigations with this group. After some time he and another member decided to leave the group to gear towards conducting more scientific investigations. Allen is co-founder of Apocalyptic Paranormal Investigation & Research where he specializes in audio and EVP. His team is the first to ever investigate the buildings of the Appomattox Court House Historic Park, where the surrender of Civil War occured. He has a passion for the paranormal and strives to bring all teams together to hopefully find concrete proof of the fringe sciences. When Allen is not working as a professional firefighter, you can find him spending time with his wonderful family, working other jobs to make money, creating artwork or finding more places to investigate.
Allen Marston

Latest posts by Allen Marston (see all)

10262131_10152702684934471_9033575469495657319_n

When we go out on investigations we try to prepare for anything that may occur paranormal wise. We’ve always got our recorders, EMF detectors, cameras, video cameras, etc. packed away in our kits for every investigation that we go on. How many of us are actually prepared for real world occurrences such as broken bones, twisted ankles, allergic reactions and the such? One thing that EVERY team should have with them on EVERY investigation is an emergency medical kit.

You can go out and buy one of those expensive pre-made kits if you want, but why waste your hard earned money when you can build your own for a fraction of the cost and use the savings for more equipment. Instead of me going in to detail about what you should be including in your kit, I would like to know what you or your team includes in theirs or if you even carry a kit at all. This information can be valuable to other teams to help them understand what is needed and what is not when building their own kits.

.