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dreamsinger
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xx Basic investigation Techniques
« Thread started on: Mar 24th, 2006, 8:45pm »

I noticed that nobody had started a thread for basic rules for investigating, so here's what I would do:

Basic Rules of Ghost Hunting

All investigations should be done with the supervision of a Lead Investigator. This should be the only person who knows the history behind the alleged haunting and will be the person who makes the decision as to which equipment is to be used in any particular location.

The lead investigator should not only place equipment at locations that are said to have activity, but should also place some at a location that has no reported activity.

All investigators should be trained in the proper use of whatever equipment is to be used and should also know how to interpret any information provided by the equipment. Investigators should also be trained to objectively observe their environment and note anything they experience such as sound and odors. Feelings such as the hair standing on the back of the neck should be quietly noted and should never be mentioned to other investigators. Whenever investigators discuss “feelings” about a place they immediately contaminate the investigation and all experiences as such must be tossed out.

If the location to be investigated has electrical service, it is best if the main circuit breaker can be thrown. This helps reduce man made influences that could affect any EMF meters that might be used during the investigation. EMF meters should be placed on tripods and not waived around like a flashlight, which can easily create false spikes. Another reason to use stationary meters is to reduce the possibility of a person influencing the meters. A baseline reading should also be taken, both before and after the equipment is placed. This baseline should be done in a grid fashion using a mounted meter that is observed at as great a distance as is practical. Meters should be of the variety that can be monitored from a PC.

When placing cameras there are a few things that should be followed, such as never use a single camera to shoot a point of interest. Always use at least two cameras that are setup in such a way that each is in the others field of vision. And ALWAYS use additional IR illumination. If ghosts can’t see IR light then why not provide enough light to make it easier to see what the camera is watching. If ghosts can see IR light then I think they would appreciate it used to light the area instead of it being pointed at them like a flashlight (I hate it when someone does that to me). Not to mention that I’ve seen numerous videos where something happens just at the edge of the IR illuminator. Exactly where you would do something if you were going to fake it. A single camera with just its illuminator produces nothing more than “smoke and mirrors” evidence.

If at all possible, all pictures and video should be shot in stereo. Stereo gives the benefit of being able to determine the size and location of an object in the picture or video. This increases the credibility of the video since it is harder to alter stereo images than just a standard image.

I would also make sure that all video was time stamped.
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xx Re: Basic investigation Techniques
« Reply #1 on: Mar 26th, 2006, 8:27pm »

Great information. Thanks for sharing.
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xx Re: Basic investigation Techniques
« Reply #2 on: Mar 31st, 2006, 11:54am »

Great topic
Quote:
All investigations should be done with the supervision of a Lead Investigator. This should be the only person who knows the history behind the alleged haunting

I feel this is extremely important, we have a person who doesnt like to go the actual investigation who does the research and later goes over evidence. this person does not reveal anything to the rest of the team just the lead. I feel its important so people dont go in with any preconcieved notions of what to expect ..its also nice that the person reviewing evidence. doesnt know anything about personal experiences of the rest of the team.
We have a meeting afterwards when its all sorted out and collaberate data.

Quote:
Feelings such as the hair standing on the back of the neck should be quietly noted and should never be mentioned to other investigators. Whenever investigators discuss “feelings” about a place they immediately contaminate the investigation and all experiences as such must be tossed out.

Not sure I agree withthis statement.. most personal experiences do not get included as hard evidence anyways. I feel it needs to get mentioned so that the others can help gather hard evidence.. like when you feel a cold spot they can come take temp readng shoot pics of the area around you take emf readings etc etc.


Also I would add that when doing evp work.
tht all noise made by investigators should be noted like coughs, bumping things etc etc.
and no wispering, and ecessive talking.
And when doning a question session using multiple recorders in diferent areas in the room to pinpoint the area the possible evp came from. As well as backing up evp evidence heard on multiple devices.

Another good rule especialy when doing an outdoor investigation is to note all weather conditions and check pollen count. And levae sites in better condition then when you arrive.. fix toppled headstones pick up some trash etc etc.
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dreamsinger
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xx Re: Basic investigation Techniques
« Reply #3 on: Apr 1st, 2006, 4:04pm »

Quote:
I feel this is extremely important, we have a person who doesnt like to go the actual investigation who does the research and later goes over evidence. this person does not reveal anything to the rest of the team just the lead. I feel its important so people dont go in with any preconcieved notions of what to expect ..its also nice that the person reviewing evidence. doesnt know anything about personal experiences of the rest of the team.
We have a meeting afterwards when its all sorted out and collaberate data.

I like the idea of not telling those analysing the data what to expect. Good method.

Quote:
Not sure I agree withthis statement.. most personal experiences do not get included as hard evidence anyways.

I agree that they should not be counted as evidence, but I find it interesting to collect this data. It may help give an insight into human behavior. That's the only reason why I would bother collecting said information and why I would make sure each investigator did not taint the others perceptions.

Quote:
Also I would add that when doing evp work.
tht all noise made by investigators should be noted like coughs, bumping things etc etc.
and no wispering, and ecessive talking.
And when doning a question session using multiple recorders in diferent areas in the room to pinpoint the area the possible evp came from. As well as backing up evp evidence heard on multiple devices.

Good advice. I hate nothing more than when investigators whisper during an investigation and later think that it's an EVP recording. Investigators should speak clearly and in a normal voice.

I also like the multiple recorders. Multiple instruments is always preferable in most cases.

Quote:
Another good rule especialy when doing an outdoor investigation is to note all weather conditions and check pollen count. And levae sites in better condition then when you arrive.. fix toppled headstones pick up some trash etc etc.

Outdoors is always the most complicated. I would add that it's best to observe the weather throughout the day so as to be able to determine if conditions for fog/mist are a factor. I would measure humidity and air temp as well, which could also be employed for an indoor investigation.
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xx Re: Basic investigation Techniques
« Reply #4 on: Jun 6th, 2006, 08:10am »

I think that ambient reference levels shouldn't be monitored for ghosts:

This theory is based on the possibility that spirits or ghosts can only be visually apparent indirectly...reflections, shadows, electronic devices that have been externally influenced by spirits, etc.

Thus, visual images must be formed with materials and energies present in this world. These materials could be uniform clouds of charged particles such as photo copier toner, smoke in draft free enclosures, or uniform energy fields that can be scanned for external influences, and displayed on video screens.

Current spirit images may be weak or distorted because they depend on random ambient materials or energies to become clear to the human eye or ear. Reflected, scattered light doesn't project clear, bright photo images and emi energy fields can add distortion and noise to weak electronic recordings (EVP.)

Energy beacons and cloud chambers could be setup in active locations such as stairways and doorways frequented by spirits for the purpose of capturing clear images by various means.
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xx Re: Basic investigation Techniques
« Reply #5 on: Jul 6th, 2006, 7:56pm »

on Jun 6th, 2006, 08:10am, joecioppi wrote:
I think that ambient reference levels shouldn't be monitored for ghosts:

This theory is based on the possibility that spirits or ghosts can only be visually apparent indirectly...reflections, shadows, electronic devices that have been externally influenced by spirits, etc.

Thus, visual images must be formed with materials and energies present in this world. These materials could be uniform clouds of charged particles such as photo copier toner, smoke in draft free enclosures, or uniform energy fields that can be scanned for external influences, and displayed on video screens.

Current spirit images may be weak or distorted because they depend on random ambient materials or energies to become clear to the human eye or ear. Reflected, scattered light doesn't project clear, bright photo images and emi energy fields can add distortion and noise to weak electronic recordings (EVP.)

Energy beacons and cloud chambers could be setup in active locations such as stairways and doorways frequented by spirits for the purpose of capturing clear images by various means.

I'm not sure I would introduce anything into the environment. How would you know that the interaction of what you have introduced isn't something caused by those very things?
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xx Re: Basic investigation Techniques
« Reply #6 on: Jul 6th, 2006, 9:36pm »

This approach will certainly require experimentation. Discovery of voices or images, that correlate with histories or sightings would help to verify data collected.
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xx Re: Basic investigation Techniques
« Reply #7 on: Jul 8th, 2006, 04:39am »

Just a side note on recording the Temp, humidity and overall weather. The barometric pressure is also important to note. It's not proven, but a theory is there is more paranormal activity during storms and such, due to the drop in the barometric pressure. Could this be something it does to our brainshuh?? As more data is collected, this could show a pattern.
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xx Re: Basic investigation Techniques
« Reply #8 on: Jul 8th, 2006, 07:12am »

D. S.,

It is great to see some scientific direction and common sense when it comes to investigation! Not that you need the kudos but if we are to proceed with investigations, and I think we should, we need to keep in mind that most of the investigation tools and techniques are based on theory and not on scientific fact. I am a proponent of investigating in such a manor as to be able to present what findings we get to the scientific community. Saying you saw a flash of light and felt cold at the same time does not carry much weight. It may just be that you need to get an eye exam and your blood pressure checked, as well as a good caulk job on that drafty window. Your methods for investigation are great because they use the tools we have for now in the best possible way! This leaves less room for false positives.

I am one who has the idea that paranormal research is in its infancy. We are much like those who wanted to travel to the moon in the distant past. There were all types of theories but until technology came along we had no way of discovering the truth. The technology came about through war and competition as well as a boost from a popular president. A few years before all this research there was little serious interest because people thought it was impossible, a waste of time, and no one really wanted their theory to be proven wrong...sound familiar? The point is that when the scientific community comes together things get done (sometimes).

I feel we need to have this connection even though I am not holding my breath. I feel that we could use input from optometrists, physicists, neurologists, electrical engineers, theoretical chemists, psychologists, and more. If we come together as a community then we can begin to put pressure on the scientific community to act.

I also love the quote from the movie Dogma that says we should have ideas not beliefs because ideas are easier to change than beliefs. Until the time comes investigation techniques like yours and educating people who have their heart in the right place but have no idea about proper research techniques, I feel is a step in the right direction. In fact when it comes down to it we all should continue to learn from each other and never should one think they know it all!!!

Most importantly when people suffer in life we have many things we do to help them and many scientific fields dedicated to assisting. Then why when there is even the slightest chance that someone suffers in death do we not utilize the same resources?

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xx Re: Basic investigation Techniques
« Reply #9 on: Jul 20th, 2006, 10:35pm »

on Jul 8th, 2006, 04:39am, GHOSTIE wrote:
Just a side note on recording the Temp, humidity and overall weather. The barometric pressure is also important to note. It's not proven, but a theory is there is more paranormal activity during storms and such, due to the drop in the barometric pressure. Could this be something it does to our brainshuh?? As more data is collected, this could show a pattern.

I agree. In fact I'm going to play around with some pressure sensors to see If I can do just that. Another thing I think I may be able to do is to check for infrasound. If the array of pressure sensors is sensitive enough, it should be possible to detect its presence.
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xx Re: Basic investigation Techniques
« Reply #10 on: Jul 20th, 2006, 11:04pm »

on Jul 8th, 2006, 07:12am, jason wrote:
It is great to see some scientific direction and common sense when it comes to investigation! Not that you need the kudos but if we are to proceed with investigations, and I think we should, we need to keep in mind that most of the investigation tools and techniques are based on theory and not on scientific fact. I am a proponent of investigating in such a manor as to be able to present what findings we get to the scientific community. Saying you saw a flash of light and felt cold at the same time does not carry much weight. It may just be that you need to get an eye exam and your blood pressure checked, as well as a good caulk job on that drafty window. Your methods for investigation are great because they use the tools we have for now in the best possible way! This leaves less room for false positives.

False positives that I keep seeing in many paranormal investigations is driving me nuts. They just create more questions than they answer.

on Jul 8th, 2006, 07:12am, jason wrote:
I am one who has the idea that paranormal research is in its infancy. We are much like those who wanted to travel to the moon in the distant past. There were all types of theories but until technology came along we had no way of discovering the truth. The technology came about through war and competition as well as a boost from a popular president. A few years before all this research there was little serious interest because people thought it was impossible, a waste of time, and no one really wanted their theory to be proven wrong...sound familiar? The point is that when the scientific community comes together things get done (sometimes).

I feel we need to have this connection even though I am not holding my breath. I feel that we could use input from optometrists, physicists, neurologists, electrical engineers, theoretical chemists, psychologists, and more. If we come together as a community then we can begin to put pressure on the scientific community to act.

I whole heartily agree.

on Jul 8th, 2006, 07:12am, jason wrote:
I also love the quote from the movie Dogma that says we should have ideas not beliefs because ideas are easier to change than beliefs. Until the time comes investigation techniques like yours and educating people who have their heart in the right place but have no idea about proper research techniques, I feel is a step in the right direction. In fact when it comes down to it we all should continue to learn from each other and never should one think they know it all!!!

That was my favorite quote from that movie as well. grin
I would love to see people from all over do more sharing of knowledge, research, discussion and work to mprove techniques of gathering data and expand upon the variables gathered at a location. It would be a dream come true for me grin

on Jul 8th, 2006, 07:12am, jason wrote:
Most importantly when people suffer in life we have many things we do to help them and many scientific fields dedicated to assisting. Then why when there is even the slightest chance that someone suffers in death do we not utilize the same resources?

I'd honestly have to say, I knever thought of it in that perspective. I think it goes with the old saying "out of sight, out of mind". If spirits of such a nature were able to make their presence better know and were more of a nuisance, then there would be a lot more resourches dedicated to suppressing or eleminating the 'problem'.
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xx Re: Basic investigation Techniques
« Reply #11 on: Apr 2nd, 2008, 07:44am »

Something else that's really important, specially when reviewing photo evidence, is to make note of the weather prior to investigating such a temp, humidity, barometric pressure & how dusty the place is. These conditions could produce orbs in photos. Orbs are NOT ghosts lol!
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