Sunday, April 29, 2012

App Atrocities

It's a lovely day today, but I'm in a foul mood.  Why?  Because instead of frolicking in the sunshine among the birds and butterflies, I'm inside at my computer, compelled to address some blatant fraud.

A few people who I respect in the field have been attacked for calling out a supposed ghost photo.   The "paranormal investigator" who presented it as real evidence hosts a radio show and even charges for classes in ghost hunting "certification".  (Toilet paper has the same validity as these certificates.)   When some detected the b.s., they did some research (you know, like REAL paranormal investigators are supposed to do!) and found that the ghostly WWII soldier in the picture is an authentic phone app.   So instead of showing an ounce of remorse or regret, the guy who presented it is instead attacking the credibility of those who called him out.

My paranormal friends list is much shorter today because it included some who supported this person either by liking the fraudulent picture or supporting his radio show.  It's one thing when people cling to orb photos out of ignorance or inexperience, but ghost apps are deliberate fraud.  They are created with the intent to fool others.  To be fair, it's not the ghost apps themselves that are the problem.  I can see how fun it can be to create such pictures for entertainment.  But when so-called "investigators" use them to intentionally deceive others (including clients) into thinking they caught something truly paranormal, that is overt, malicious fraud.  As I've said before, I don't have any respect for those who present, excuse, or "authenticate" such "evidence".

If you claim to be a paranormal investigator, please do some actual investigating before declaring ghost pictures as paranormal.  Be aware that there are a lot of these apps out there and they are constantly being updated to include new "ghosts".   Also be aware that sometimes honest clients have been fooled by friends or family using these apps in pranks.  It's up to us, as investigators, to check the validity of such (actually, ANY) pictures when they are presented to us.

Does the ghost in the photo below look familiar?   If so, it's not because he is haunting several locations from his life, it's because he's a phone app.  So if you see a picture with this "ghost" in it, you know it's a fake and any the team or investigator who posts it a "evidence"is not reliable.

Thank you to Debunk Paranormal for sharing this picture with me.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Hard Evidence

The Easter Bunny exists. I have hard evidence. I saw him in my neighbor's yard and I took this picture. That's right, this picture is proof the Easter Bunny exists. You're welcome.

You might be thinking, "But wait, Carolyn. That looks like a regular white rabbit". Well, I am here to tell you I saw him materialize out of thin air before my eyes, and he actually said, "Happy Easter" in a squeaky little voice before he left a beautifully dyed Easter Egg for me and vanished.

You're convinced now, right? Of course not. When claiming "evidence", one picture does NOT tell the whole story. That is why it is so important to take good control shots of the entire area, as well as comparison shots: taking a series of consecutive shots from the same angle and position. Video is extremely helpful to rule out other causes of an anomalous picture (as well as audio).

If you present a picture that looks like exactly like thousands of other dust orbs, or thousand of other breath mists, or thousands of lens flares, you don't have anything to convince me you caught anything paranormal. A single picture of a mysterious mist or eerie light doesn't tell me it that materialized right before your eyes. It doesn't tell me a phantom voice accompanied it. It doesn't tell me your teammates saw it too. (Even if these things did occur, there are many natural explanations to consider anyway, but that's another topic).

The burden is on us, as paranormal investigators, to present extraordinary evidence. It requires more effort and patience. You may indeed catch something paranormal in a single picture. But without any other objective data to back it up for others to analyze, it cannot be considered hard evidence.

I have to go now - the Easter Bunny is chewing up one of my rhododendrons.