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Location: Hamilton Square, New Jersey, United States

Tax guy, host & producer of the Consumerism Commentary Podcast, former co-host of the Wall Street Journal E-Report

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Ghosts & UFOs

Ghosts & UFOs. Never having experienced either, I’ve always casual opinions on the subjects.

Sure there are a lot of nut jobs and/or intoxicated people whose claims have been sketchy, but they can’t ALL be dismissed, can they? Besides, I’ve always chosen to believe in them simply for the “that’s cooool” factor.

I never really fell too deep in thought about before, although once I started watching Ghost Hunters, it all changed. For those who have never seen it, it’s a team of people led by two people who work as plumbers by day and use high tech equipment to hunt paranormal activity at night. Their goal is to try to prove or disprove supposed hauntings with a slew of surveillance cameras, tape recorders, thermometers and EMF scanners. Unlike other groups that are out there, they are more inclined to disprove hauntings (so they say) than they are to support them…basically taking an “it-ain’t-haunted-until-we-have-proof” stance. The show is very entertaining with some episodes coming up empty and others hitting a jackpot (although THOSE episodes are usually saved for the season finale). Naturally, you have to take these kinds of shows with a bit of suspicion as you don’t know if you’re being taken in the end by a bunch of actors or if it’s all legit. Plus, you know the network is probably putting pressure on them to put out a good show, so you know entertainment might possibly win out over reality in the end. Either way, it’s still cooooooool.

The oddest things that are regularly picked up are the EVPs (electronic voice phenomena). Basically, it’s asking questions to an empty room and then hearing unexplained sounds or voices when the tape is played back. One episode featured a guy living in his grandparents’ house and then having his grandfather’s voice played back to him on tape when they did their investigation.

All these things have made me further question the existence of ghosts and, most importantly, why and how? I’m a pretty grounded guy, I need some sort of feasible explanation. Since I have no expertise on this subject, I can only postulate with a “what if”. Here goes.

What if ghosts exist, but our brain does not have the capacity to fully comprehend them? Think of our brains as a radio that’s tuned in to the world around us. Anything existing on another frequency, we can’t see or hear. Dog’s can hear thing that humans can’t, so why can’t there be “frequencies” that we’re not aware of. We don’t know what we don’t know. Periodically, someone sees a ghost, but it’s often late at night or early morning when the mind is tired. Elderly people claim to see and hear loved ones while on their deathbeds. In each case, the brain is drifting and unfocused. Much like a radio, these would be times that a stray frequency might be heard.

Besides, it’s well known that we only have a slight grasp of what they human brain is capable of…maybe this is something we just haven’t developed yet. Maybe as babies we can see this other frequency but the world we’ve come to know had the stronger signal and we learned to tune into this one at a certain stage of development.

As for the EVPs, why would unheard voices suddenly appear on tape? I’m no audiophile like some guys, but what if tape recordings compress these unknown frequencies into one channel…much how like stereo becomes mono on basic equipment?

And this also applies to UFOs. I’m convinced there’s other life out there simply because I can’t believe with a universe this big that we’re the only ones. I’m sure any intelligent life out there has figured out that we have a blind spot in our minds and use that to their advantage to “cloak” themselves. Again, UFO sightings frequently occur at times when the mind is prone to resting.

I’m sure I’m not the only one who’s had this opinion, so if anyone’s familiar with this standpoint and can point me to any similar writings, let me know.

Also, any cool ghost or UFO stories are also welcome. :)


Blogger Darren said...

While I'm not necessarily a disbeliever in ghosts and paranormal phenomenon and whatnot, I do think that whole EVP thing is just a load of crap. Unless ghosts have magnetic hands or something, they're not really altering tape. Tape, by itself, is a pretty noisy medium, so it's pretty easy, when you're already expecting to hear something, to "hear" something in a blank tape recording that's not actually there.

12/20/2005 7:35 PM  
Anonymous me said...

My mom freaked out and got our house blessed when I was a kid. After the freaking UPS man came to my house to deliver something and ended up praying over my brother (i dont know) and my mom assuming that hes clearly the work of the devil, not to mention the fact that a jar of pickles and her wedding veil dissapeared... she figured better safe than sorry. Shrug.

12/22/2005 7:06 AM  
Blogger Doobie said...

I don't even know where to start with that one, aside from asking what happened since then. Did your brother turn out okay? He doesn't have an affininty towards pickles or wedding veils, does he?

12/22/2005 7:39 AM  
Blogger Doobie said...

Darren, to jump back to your initial comment...I don't believe in "altering" tape. My thought is that recording equipment might be unknowingly picking up channels, frequencies, etc. that are normally inaudible to the human ear, then compressing them into one single channel which, for some reason or another, regurgitates it so that it's audible to humans.

Also, keep in mind, these people aren't using your typical 80's-era cassette recorders...they're using digital equipment.

I can see someone tampering with a tape to put in fake demon sounds, or whatever, but to put someone's dead grandfather's voice on there is quite a feat...unless, of course, the whole act was a sham to begin with.

12/22/2005 5:12 PM  
Anonymous me said...

uhh well my brother is a complete terror... but yeah. dunno. wedding memoriablia and pickles not found.

12/22/2005 10:47 PM  
Blogger lcduplatt said...

Nice site. I enjoyed your writings...just surfed in. Here is a link to my ghost through (I have a ton!) and you will find some very good through my site and you will find ghost stories, as well...enjoy! - LC

Ghost Pictures

12/26/2005 11:38 PM  
Blogger Tree said...

You know what I think...

12/27/2006 8:06 PM  

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