Friday, May 30, 2008

More Paranormal Woo

More Paranormal Woo I've Found:
Does sweeping AM/FM Radio Bands induce ghosts and demons to communicate from beyond. Several people on the web and youtube have claimed to create ghost boxes where they can communicate with the dead. Here's some background information:

** Background **
The argument has been made that Thomas Edison was working on a ghost communication device – a ghost box of sorts, to contact the dead. However, there are many Edison experts that would argue that it was only legend, a myth that is untrue. They will point out that he neither believed in the afterlife, nor did he believe spirits and ghosts could be contacted through an electronic device. Whatever the truth behind Edison, one has to believe it makes a good story and backdrop to the ghost box. Even more intriguing, some today claim they are in contact with Thomas Edison via the ghost box, but many respected researchers of the latest ghost box technology have yet to make contact with the famous, dead inventor.

That brings us to the latest development of the ghost box. EVP or electronic voice phenomena was discovered in the late ‘50s, and has become well known today thanks to numerous TV shows featuring ghost investigators. Many are not aware of the two-way communication devices called ghost boxes. Following on the heels of the Spiricom , a ghost box of sorts that many believe to be the first two-way communication device between the earthly realm and the spiritual realm, Frank’s box truly was the first of its kind. Frank’s Box is a ghost box that produces random voltage to create raw audio from an AM tuner, where it is then amplified and then fed into an echo chamber and recorded. In short, ghost boxes such as Frank’s box create audio bits and white noise that ghosts and/or spirits can then manipulate into forming words – real time two-way communication. Frank Sumption was the original inventor of the ghost box, as he conceived of the idea by experimenting with Stefan Bion’s EVPMaker software to record EVP, and was also inspired by an October 1995 Popular Electronics Magazine article that asked, “Are the dead trying to communicate with us through electronic means? Try these experiments and see for yourself.” Today Frank is experimenting on various improvements to his ghost box design. Most other ghost boxes are not random band sweeping, but linear sweeping of the AM or FM bands. That is not to say other bands, such as shortwave, weather, etc are not being experimented with by Frank and other Instrumental Transcommunication experimenters. Others since have developed their own ghost boxes, such as Paranormal System’s "MiniBox" and Joe Cioppi’s “Joe’s Box.”

Recently, in late 2007 to be exact, another discovery was made by a retired electrical engineer known as Sum Duc. His find has been dubbed the “Radio Shack Hack.” Here is his story:
“I was in Radio Shack looking for parts for a new type of device for ITC I’m currently working on. I saw the AM/FM 12-469 on the shelf and thought, ‘I bet I can make this work.’ I had no idea it would be so simple.”

Since that time, other researchers such as Mike Coletta have figured out how to alter the older version 12-470 AM/FM radio, too. Mike has posted many of his videos on YouTube to help others make their own ghost boxes. What has been great is the fact that so many have made their discoveries and research public, such as Frank Sumption, Joe Cioppi, Bruce Halliday, Steve Hultay, Sum Duc, Mike Coletta, and more. Links to their websites are at the end of this article as a big thank you.

The ghost box can be used for EVP, as it can be recorded, then analyzed for messages from spirits and ghosts. However, what makes the ghost box unique is that it can be heard audibly through either an external speaker or headset, where responses from the other side can be heard and responded to live – not unlike chatting with someone by walkie-talkie. It does require the user to train his or her ear to hear the messages that are brought forth, as the noise and audio bits can at times be somewhat distracting. But if one experiments long enough with a ghost box, it will become apparent that the audio sound bites and white noise will begin to be manipulated to form answers to questions, phrases and more. For this reason alone, we recommend recording all sessions and listening to them later. Upon playback, one might be amazed at what is captured in the audio.

The function of the ghost box and how it works seems to be affected by the strength of radio signals in an area. Poor signal quality reduces the ability for spirits and ghosts to make contact through the device. Perhaps there is not enough audio bits to be manipulated successfully for real-time communication. That would indicate that enhancing the antenna on these devices could improve results by the researcher, according to Bruce Halliday.

The biggest debate over the ghost box might be just who in the heck is coming through these devices? Are they spirits? Ghosts? Demons (the religious ask)? Aliens? Our own projected thoughts? The research continues in this area, but many believe both ghosts, spirits and beings from another realm are making contact through the ghost box. Experimenters have received positive, good messages, as well as negative and cursing messages. This would indicate that perhaps the range of messengers who are able to manipulate this device into audible words is broad. Some believe that there are spirits from the light called “controls” or “operators” who work to establish contact and can bring other spirits and ghosts forward through the ghost box. Some of these same operators have been recorded coming through different ghost boxes by different people in different geographical locations. This would lead one to think that operators are involved from the other side in order to try and organize a grid of control and functionality. Whatever the case may hold to be true, it does appear that one’s connection with the other side seems to influence how good and what type of results will be experienced through the ghost box. It just may be that those who are recording the best results might be psychic in nature, truly connected with the spirit realm prior to the existence of any ghost box.
*** End of background ***

*** Start of my rant ***
I'm not sure where to begin on this. So the box sweeps AM/FM radio signals and what we hear is supposed ghosts, spirits, and demons from beyond the grave. Do the guys who believe this stuff actually think logically and skeptically through what they are doing? Another example of people seeing and hearing objects in random data.

From the website for The Association for the Scientific Study of Anomalous Phenomena (ASSAP):

"Speech is understood by humans, completely unconsciously, using phonemes. People use these basic building blocks to understand speech. We can identify phonemes at a rate 20 per second but can only follow similar non-speech sounds at a rate of around 1 per second. Clearly the phonemes are built into our memory for quick recognition (as are whole words). Interestingly, it is not simply a question of identifying each phoneme and constructing words. Phoneme sounds can be modified by the phoneme before and after them. They are also frequently slurred together. So the system of recognizing speech (which also has to work for different accents) has to be very flexible. The cost of this flexibility is that it sometimes makes errors."

Enough skepticism for one day.

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