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Rev Blair

looking for an Explanation

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I was watching (well, half-watching) some ghost-hunting plumbers on Space last night and there was segment where they had a heat-imaging camera on a psychic doing a reading. They got some results that they allegedly couldn't explain...of course they didn't go to any experts in the technology looking for answers, just said they couldn't explain it.

 

Now normally I have no trouble debunking the various photographic effects that allegedly prove the existence of ghosts, goblins, and aliens because I spent several years in the photographic industry and am pretty well-versed in what happens with cheap optics, airborne dust, and people too dim to understand basic lighting techniques.

 

I'm not familiar with the heat-imaging technology though, so I'm a little intrigued. Not intrigued enough to do actual research, mind you, but enough to hope somebody has an easy to understand explanation.

 

The situation is this:

 

They were in an old house, so it would have been drafty etc. A mixture of colours seemed to flow from the person having the reading done to the "medium". The medium raised and lowered his hand and the colours subsided.

 

The colours were a mix of reds and yellows, with a large green patch above. The reds seemed to emanate from the face and neck of the person being read (his uncovered skin) and the yellows from his body region (covered by clothing). The greens seemed to be from above.

 

My personal guess:

 

I'm guessing that green represents a cooler temperature than yellow or red. That leads me to believe that there was a draft that took body heat from the person being read towards the medium. When the medium raised and lowered his arm, he disrupted the air-flow, causing the warm and cold air to mix and the colours to subside.

 

My questions:

 

Is heat-imaging technology sensitive enough to detect something like that?

 

Does the human body give off enough heat to affect that kind of technology over three to five feet (the distance between the medium and his subject)?

 

Why do ghost-hunting plumbers have a show on Space? Wouldn't it be better to just show yet another Star Trek re-run?

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Having played with an infrared camera, my question would be "they make infrared cameras that can pick up heat in air currents?" The one I used certainly didn't.

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Well, that's something I was wondering Cap'n. I have no experience with this kind of technology. I do know a fair bit about building technology and air flows and a lot about photography. I've even picked up a little about why "voices" show up in the white noise on tapes. I know virtually nothing about heat-imaging though.

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Having played with an infrared camera, my question would be "they make infrared cameras that can pick up heat in air currents?" The one I used certainly didn't.

 

I think how the cameras/goggles work is that they use an IR lamp, sort of light the flash in a regular camera. It gets reflected off the objects and it picked up by the cameras. The wavelength is then shifted into the visible spectrum (arbitrarily green) for viewing.

 

Perhaps they can filter out atmospheric heat by using a specific wavelength in the lamp?

 

Perhaps the ghost hunters were just using a lower quality imaging technology.

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Even if the technology they were using was cheap, there was a kind of consistency to the effect though, ecoli. That leads me to believe that it was external to the technology, like bad lighting and dust in conventional photography.

 

I've seen a lot of images of ghosts and UFOs on similar shows that were obviously an internal reflection in the lens, usually of the aperture, and this didn't seem like that.

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Even if the technology they were using was cheap, there was a kind of consistency to the effect though, ecoli. That leads me to believe that it was external to the technology, like bad lighting and dust in conventional photography.

 

I've seen a lot of images of ghosts and UFOs on similar shows that were obviously an internal reflection in the lens, usually of the aperture, and this didn't seem like that.

 

If you put your hand on a wall even briefly and then pull it away you can see the heat still for a bit. So for as far as it goes there is a million "tricks" someone could pull to have something weird occur. I mean you are viewing a visual representation of thermal energy somewhat, so any variance in the environment in regards to such will register, someone could have put a little rod in the wall and then heated it up, or basically they could sit below the floor and let a hot gas such as a fart drift up.

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foodchain, you are assuming the presenters both frauds and liars. On what basis do you do this?

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I've seen a lot of images of ghosts and UFOs on similar shows that were obviously an internal reflection in the lens, usually of the aperture, and this didn't seem like that.

 

That's the problem... The film makers know how to make it seem real. They are just getting better with their trickery.

 

It's pure entertainment and the Film Makers know realism is what will engage the audience into thier show...

 

Not too many people would watch a Ghost hunter show if they could see the person underneath the bed sheet... know what I mean...

 

If they had to use Magnetic capture devices to "capture" a ghost they would. But for the effect they turn off all the lights and use infra-red... it sets the mood.

 

IN reality... If I were hunting ghosts... I would have every type of detection device known to man on set and I would relay the results to the TV viewers. Like a science show.

 

Imagine a Ghost Hunter show which provided real tangible results in a scientific manner which produced results? The audience would go crazy... but they can't do it... People just wouldn't stand for it... much in the way the audience criticizes the mythbusters for not being more accurate or thorough and the way they heave insults at the reality show Man vs Wild with Bear Grylls for lying about the real conditions he faces.

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These plumber guys seem to be on the level...I don't think they are purposely defrauding anybody. I've been watching them for most of the summer, since there's nothing else on in that time slot and the show doesn't usually distract me much, and they seem to debunk hauntings about as much as they confirm them.

 

They also try to be scientific.

 

The thing is that they are true believers and, since nobody knows what a ghost is or how to detect it, they are using technology designed for other purposes and interpreting the results according to pseudo-science established only in the popular imagination, not reality.

 

They can't go to experts in the technology because the experts tend not to be true believers and will shatter the plumbers' illusions.

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They also try to be scientific.

 

I will admit... I haven;t seen the show... So I can;t call judge jury and executioner on it... I am just making comments based on other shows I have seen. So your right... it could be legitimate...

 

I will have to watch it... but for the most part... be careful... when money is to be made... and Ghosts and UFO's are on the line... People will do just about anything to entertain and make money... Actors grow up with moral beliefs that lying is actually acting...

 

Anyways... I know how you feel... I am borderline in belief with some of the Neuro Linguistic Programming entertainers which are out there right now... It's hard to believe they aren't really using mind control on people... but... it's also exponentially harder to believe that they really are...

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Hold on a second there, Bubalooee...I hope there's somebody else here old enough to remember that cartoon.

 

I don't mean to imply for a second that the show is legitimate or that ghosts exist, just that the people in it aren't committing purposeful fraud.

 

I've known quite a few true believers over the years, and I'd rather deal with purposeful frauds because you can expose a fraud. You can't expose a true believer though...they want to believe and can rationalize anything. Their rationalizations even make sense on the surface.

 

I don't think the guys on the plumber/ghost show are trying to fool anybody, I just think they are fooling themselves.

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Of course you can "expose" a true believer, you just do it nicer than you would a purpose'ful fraud.

 

Usually, the "Ghost hunters" use equipment that has absolutely nothing to do with any of the phenomena they're talking about, and whatever it does "detect" they are misreading it. Whether they are doing it on purpose or not, when they try to convince others that they should behave in the same manner of unquestioning ignorance, they should be exposed.

 

We shouldn't bash them to death over it, and we would pobably do better to be nice about it, but that doesn't mean we can't - or shouldn't - "expose" them.

 

Even for the sake of the intellect of the people who watch these shows and think them real. You know what? I'd rather people believe in ghosts but know what an RF detector does (and *DOESN'T* do) than people blindly saying "Woooow!" when something beeps and bleeps in the hands of those ghost hunters.

 

At least in my opinion, scientific ignorance should be at least ATTEMPTED to be dealt with, so that's my personal issue with all those ghost-hunters (specifically the well know and well-watched shows) and their similars, whether they are professional fraudsters or "innocently" ignorant.

 

We can consider this "analogy" to politics: If a person argues for (or against) the Iraq war because he's ignorant of what goes on there or what the motives are (pro or con, whichever), it doesn't mean we shouldn't point out the facts to him, regardless of a final decision (which he can make on his own, hopefully).

 

~moo

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There was a program in the UK that published a completely fabricated history of a building online, and then invited ghost hunters to come around the building... their reactions when it was told it was all a fake were interesting,,, including one who claimed that the person who wrote the fake history got it all right and must be intouch with the spirit world....

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