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Scifi channel's Ghost Hunters

  1. Aug 16, 2011 #1
    Has the show Ghost Hunters ever found anything credible? I can't bring myself to watch for more than a few seconds. Where did they get the idea that this stuff would cause measurable electromagnetic effects, Ghost Busters? Psychic investigators have been trying for at least the last hundred years to find some evidence with very little luck and these guys find something every episode. What a joke.

    Lets have a little class for prospective new Ghost Hunters. Say "Did you hear that?" and "Did you see that?" No, no, more feeling. You girls act more scared.
     
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  3. Aug 16, 2011 #2

    Evo

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    They're a class act compared to that utterly ridiculous Ghost Adventures on the Travel Channel. I think Ghost Hunters has been pushed to be hokier to compete with that trash.
     
  4. Aug 16, 2011 #3
    Out of curiosity, who would we call if we experienced ghost-ish things around the house?
     
  5. Aug 16, 2011 #4

    FlexGunship

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    Psychiatrist?

    Construction contractor?

    HVAC technician?
     
  6. Aug 16, 2011 #5

    Evo

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    rodent exterminator
     
  7. Aug 16, 2011 #6

    FlexGunship

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    Oooh, that's a good one.

    Plumber!
     
  8. Aug 16, 2011 #7

    Dotini

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    Could you be persuaded to describe the sort of things experienced? That may be helpful in advancing towards a meaningful answer in your case.

    Respectfully,
    Steve
     
  9. Aug 16, 2011 #8
    Uh... I was only asking so I would have a note for future reference.

    How about floating raindrops that cross a room horizontally. I saw that on Unsolved Mysteries once. Hey- you wouldn't call out Robert Stack, would you?
     
  10. Aug 16, 2011 #9

    Ivan Seeking

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    How would anyone know? To the best of my recollection, no one here has ever been able identify what would be acceptable evidence for transient and unpredictable events, like ghost claims.

    You can only bring yourself to watch a few seconds of it, but you know how every episode turns out? How exactly do you manage that?

    I tried watching a few seasons and still catch an episode now and then. There have been a few shows where they allegedly captured objects moving by themselves, and seeming apparitions, on video. The trouble is, even if the videos are authentic, there is no way to know that.

    On a personal level, it sure seems like the show is rigged to me. It isn't that they never get anything beyond creaks and howling wind, the problem is that most of what they do capture isn't believable. The only thing that lends a bit of indirect credibility to their findings are the reports that brought them there in the first place. For example, they once investigated a remote lighthouse for the Coast Guard. Were it not for the many claims from people who have worked there, the Ghost Hunters never would have been invited in the first place. And this isn't a place that someone could normally visit, so it's hard to understand why the Guard would conjure something like this as a PR stunt. I believe that was the episode where a chair was seen moving in an allegedly empty room. Trouble is, it still looked to me like someone was pulling on a string - very unimpressive and easy to dismiss as a hoax.

    Do they tamper with their videos or stage events? There were a couple of times that must have been the case; that, or the seem to have caught a ghost on video.
     
    Last edited: Aug 16, 2011
  11. Aug 17, 2011 #10

    Ryan_m_b

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    The thing I hate the most about such programs is how the group espouses statements such as "We come in here as sceptics. All we do is eliminate the impossible and whatever's left has to be the truth". Logic fail.
     
  12. Aug 17, 2011 #11
    I surf a lot during ads so I have caught many of those few second intervals. They all seem to be the same. They always hear something or see something or catch some sort of EM phenomena.

    Another reason I don't watch that so-called sci-fi channel is they seem to have much more advertising than other channels. I also can't stand to have that logo on the screen constantly usually with an ad for a different show. It's amazing how little sci-fi is actually on it, probably why they changed their name. That channel has very few redeeming features. It has infomercials much of the morning. They constantly churn out super lame movies with giant (blank)s. The only thing they did that was any good was the Dune adaptations, Stargate and a couple other things.
     
  13. Aug 18, 2011 #12

    FlexGunship

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    I take issue with that, Ivan.

    We may not know what constitutes acceptable evidence for "ghosts", but we certainly know that their evidence isn't acceptable.
     
  14. Aug 18, 2011 #13

    Ivan Seeking

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    Isn't that what I said?

    Sure, but there is a bit of a contradiction when one demands evidence but can't say what would suffice, don't you think? The fact is that there is no evidence, short of Casper in a jar, or a cooperative ghost, that would be acceptable to science. In other words, even if there is a genuine phenomena behind some claims, for now it seems to be impossible to demonstrate that sufficiently for the claim to be taken seriously. This is true of many rare and transient phenomena that occur at unpredictable times. In fact, we have no scientific evidence for ball lightning either, but we [the scientific community] accept its existence anyway; I guess because it doesn't come under the heading of extraordinary claims anymore. We can sort of imagine how it might be produced, so we are willing to accept a few stories and photographs as evidence enough.

    My position is that it is fallacious to assume that all "ghost stories" are extraordinary claims. One doesn't have to believe in Casper to accept that there could be some unexplained phenomena left in this world.
     
    Last edited: Aug 19, 2011
  15. Aug 18, 2011 #14

    Dotini

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    I've recently acquired the book, "Ball Lightning and Bead Lightning: Extreme Forms of Atmospheric Electricity", by James Dale Barry, Plenum Press, 1980. I paid $65 used for a hardback from amazon.com

    This book avoids observational narratives and theoretical models, and emphasizes the physical aspects of the phenomena. It covers luminosity, motion, emission characteristics, decay and environmental effects. The deduced properties of mass density, energy density, temperature, and electromagnetic effects are examined at length. Included are detailed descriptions and analysis of numerous experimental attempts to duplicate ball lightning and bead lighting in the laboratory or controlled conditions. Over 50 photos and a bibliography of over 1800 entries.


    Respectfully submitted,
    Steve
     
  16. Aug 19, 2011 #15

    Ivan Seeking

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    That's all find and dandy, but how many ghost stories are there? None of the data you cite is based on scientific evidence. It is based entirely on random observations. We still have no model that successfully predicts its existence, whatever it [BL] is. And no one has produced anything that meets all of the criteria, in the lab - only bits and pieces.

    When we see a photo of a blob of light, how do we know it's ball lighting and not something else? Why is that any more credible than an alleged UFO or ghost photo?

    The answer seems to be in the notion that extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence. We no longer think of ball lightning as being extraordinary like we do ghost and UFO claims.

    Now I'm not saying that anyone should believe in Casper, just that we need not invoke the notion of the supernatural every time we're confronted with a potential mystery.

    BTW, I've read that book. In fact, back in the early 80s, I accidentally stole it from the Cypress public library, in California, and finally returned it years later.
     
    Last edited: Aug 19, 2011
  17. Aug 19, 2011 #16

    Ivan Seeking

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    Another point of clarification. Even if the alleged evidence is not acceptable to science, which I agree that its' not, that doesn't preclude the possibilty that the evidence is credible. "Acceptable" [meeting the standards for scientific rigor] and "credible" [factual, truthful, representitive of the actual events] are two different concepts. We can determine the former according to agreed upon definitions and standards, but not necessarily the latter.

    I thought about you last night when I was channel surfing. As I buzzed by an old Happy Days episode, I noticed that it was the one where James Randi made an appearance, back when he was The Amazing Randi, so I stopped to watch. And get this, the bum had to let the Fonz do his magic trick for him! Geez!!! More like The Amazing Fonzy, I would say. :biggrin:
     
    Last edited: Aug 19, 2011
  18. Aug 20, 2011 #17

    Evo

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    Can I hijack this thread to announce that SYFY's movie MegaShark Vs crocosaurus is on tonight? Now if that isn't a piece of fine original tv making, what is?
     
  19. Aug 20, 2011 #18

    Ivan Seeking

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    Yep, it was somewhere around the time of Atomic Twister, or maybe it was DinoShark, or Sharkagator, Tyrannosaurus eelagator, or whatever, that I quit even looking.

    If I want cheesy Science Fiction, I'll watch the Discovery or History Channels. :biggrin:
     
  20. Aug 20, 2011 #19

    Dotini

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    You guys are wasting your precious educated minds watching trailer trash! If a hundred people gathered outside my house shouting there was a UFO or a ghost on my roof, I, like Flex, would recognize it couldn't be science, and bury my nose all the deeper in a table of logarithms. :wink:
     
  21. Aug 20, 2011 #20

    Ivan Seeking

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    Uh, I think the point was that we don't watch. :uhh:

    Btw, I don't think you're in a position to lecture about what is and isn't science. You just mistakenly referenced a book based on nothing but anecdotal evidence, not realizing it - a book that I read almost thirty years ago.
     
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