Monday, January 26, 2009

Meet the new Ohio Rep. for Crypto Squad U.S.A.

I am happy to announce that I am the Ohio Representative for Crypto Squad U.S.A. The group is associated with the Centre for Fortean Zoology based in England. This opportunity will provide me with more insight and drive for cryptid research and investigations in my own backyard.

I have many things planned on the cryptid front, mostly investigations I have lined up (especially before spring) and culminating with my appearance at the Ohio Paranormal Conference in Dayton this August.

The ghost business has become difficult with the multitude of groups, though I have now assembled one of the best teams I have ever had so I see myself having a bit more free time and putting the reigns of my group in the hands of others so I can venture in other directions.

I look forward to working with the Crypto Squad U.S.A. and I really look forward to above freezing temperatures!

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Enough with the fake ghost videos already!

It seems to have become a new past time for lonely adolescents. Posting their fake ghost, poltergeist, apparition, etc. video on YouTube or other video hosting sites. While there is nothing wrong with their creativity (some are actually very good videos) it causes a problem when their intent is set to deceive viewers as well as those who investigate the paranormal.

For many of the videos they start out as stating that they are real, while others state that they randomly left their camera running while they went about other things...hmm. Some are disguised as actual ghost investigations whether by a team or just by the homeowner.

The problem for me begins with the deception. Most of these videos are obviously faked, though some are clever, and are solely intended on fooling those watching it to wonder if it is really real. I'm guessing it stems from every one's search for their 15 minutes of fame as we live in the reality show generation and the Internet can make someone famous just as quick (see Montauk Monster, Georgia Rickmatt Bigfoot). Some want to see their view stats blow up, others hope their story makes it to the news for whatever reason.

There are hundreds of amateur paranormal investigators that seek their own personal evidence through "investigating" the homes and businesses of others. They are hungry for proof or evidence and will try anything for anyone to look at them as legitimate or as "the best group around". The problem is that many of these groups post videos of their investigations (do they get permission from the property owners?) displaying their lack of ability to use science properly and eliminate potential false positive images or identify camera effects sufficiently. This is not a use of scientific means as there is no way for anyone to repeat what is being done and it always leaves many more questions than answers.

For many it seems these videos are their source of their own creative outlets. Great, you've learned how to use Photoshop, but why lie about your creation? There are many videos out there that leave me wondering if I have been duped or not, but who really knows since there is already so much deception. I stopped taking photographs as evidence years ago after 35MM died, now I may be forced to take that same step with video since the manipulation factor is so great.

OK, this extreme may not be needed, but what would make a video credible? If the video were to show a reaction to someone involved (not a guy flashing a dog biscuit off camera to have his dogs stare up) while utilizing EMF or other sources of data collection along with the video.

Videos showing a head popping out of a corner which then disappears when the camera person run towards it (when most people would drop the camera and run), doors closing by themselves, flashes of shadows across the screen and vague images of orbs and other lights or supposed apparitions are all fakes whether intentional or not. There are many videos that seem legit by the person, but they are fooled by their own video.

Something else that gets me upset is how gullible people are when it comes to these videos. A local news station had one go around the world last year as a local gas station thought they had a blue ghost running around by its customers. I watched the news channel's report that night and was yelling at the TV half way though the report. The "blue ghost" looked like a bug to me and when the reporter was outside and shown on the purported ghost cam her clothes looked slightly red with a hint of blue. When she came inside the gas station her clothes were bright red. No one noticed this???? There was another one with a supposed haunted gym that had motion sensor cameras that picked up "orbs" which were again, bugs. There are other reasons for misinterpretation, but the list of videos would be a mile long.

The bottom line is that this technology should be bringing us the greatest pool of potential evidence ever, but somebody has long since peed in this pool and has suddenly ruined it for everyone.