From Unclogging Toilets to Hunting Ghosts   Leave a comment


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I try to watch Ghost Hunters from time to time. I’m an open-minded person who doesn’t readily dismiss anything.  But nothing ever happens on this show. The hunters claim they hear and see things, but nothing is ever captured on audio or video. Just wishful thinking.

Ghosts may exist, although I contend it is highly unlikely, and if they do, lets get some hardcore empirical evidence. Bring in Kreskin, whatever it takes.

Ghost Hunters is an American paranormal reality television series that premiered on October 6, 2004, on Syfy (previously the Sci Fi Channel). The program features paranormal investigators Jason Hawes and Grant Wilson, who investigate places that are reported to be haunted. The two originally worked as plumbers for Roto-Rooter as a day job while investigating locations at night. Since the show’s success, the series now takes precedence in their lives, but they are still honorary employees with the company and continue to do jobs for them if time permits.

In a much maligned photo taken near Roswell, New Mexico, the Boys claim they experienced the presence of an Alien Ghost in Jim Brazil’s house.

 

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The whole connection between ghosts and Roto-Rooter started when one of their co-workers sucked up a malevolent spectre from a sewer a few years ago.

 

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Criticism

Ghost Hunters has attracted various critics and skeptics, such as Joe Nickell of the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry, Skeptical Inquirer author Lynne Kelly, James Randi, and Benjamin Radford. The Skeptical Analysis of the Paranormal Society (SAPS) was founded with the intent to recreate and debunk segments of the show.

In June 2008, Ghost Hunters was awarded The Truly Terrible Television (TTTV) Award by Independent Investigations Group for peddling pseudoscience and superstition to its audience.

Methodology

According to investigator Benjamin Radford, most ghost hunting groups including TAPS make many methodological mistakes. “After watching episodes of Ghost Hunters and other similar programs, it quickly becomes clear to anyone with a background in science that the methods used are both illogical and unscientific”. Anyone can be a ghost investigator, “failing to consider alternative explanations for anomalous … phenomena”, considering emotions and feelings as “evidence of ghostly encounters.” “Improper and unscientific investigation methods”, for example, “using unproven tools and equipment”, “sampling errors”, “ineffectively using recording devices” and “focusing on the history of the location…and not the phenomena.” In an article for Skeptical Inquirer, Radford concludes that ghost hunters should care about doing a truly scientific investigation: “I believe that if ghosts exist, they are important and deserve to be taken seriously. Most of the efforts to investigate ghosts so far have been badly flawed and unscientific — and not surprisingly, fruitless.” In a New York Times article about Ghost Hunters and TAPS, Radford contended that “the group and others like it lack scientific rigor and mislead people into thinking that their homes are haunted.”

The show’s editing has been questioned, such as activity that is not captured on tape and findings that are unsupported by evidence in the show specifically. Tools are used in ways that are not proven effective, or in ways in which they have been proven ineffective, such as infrared thermometers that are claimed to detect cold spots in the middle of rooms when such tools are able only to measure the surface temperature of objects unless equipped with a probe accessory. However, the show has been seen using a probe attached to the infrared thermometer that would then give the temperature of both the surface it is pointed at and the area around the probe.

Techniques with thermal imaging cameras, Geiger counters, electronic voice phenomenon, and EMF detectors are used with little or no explanation as to how the techniques have proven to provide evidence of ghosts or other entities. There are concerns that the devices are misused, such as the noting of Benjamin Radford’s article for Skeptical Inquirer: “you may own the world’s most sophisticated thermometer, but if you are using it as a barometer, your measurements are worthless. Just as using a calculator doesn’t make you a mathematician, using a scientific instrument doesn’t make you a scientist.”

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Why can’t these plumbers/ghost hunters get something like this on camera?

 

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Posted April 20, 2016 by markosun in Uncategorized

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