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expensive business this ............

Postby brett » 01 Nov 2009, 18:12

you know one of the things that never ceases to amaze me is the propensity for some of these so called groups ,societies and organisations in the ( as we have it today ) "paranormal field " to make or attempt to make money from it , for instance i visited one of the supposedly leading societies in England's site that of the society for physical research and found their "membership fees ( and these are per year mind )

quoted from their site :

Cost of Membership

Donor Associate or Member £80 / $140 / 100 EUR p.a.
Associate or Member: £60 / $110 / 80 EUR p.a.
Joint Subscription (two Members or Associates receiving one set of publications): £70 / $125 / 90 EUR p.a.
Senior Subscription (Member or Associate aged 60 or over) or Unwaged Associate: £40 / $75 / 50 EUR p.a.
Joint Senior Subscription: £50 / $90 / 60 EUR p.a.
Student Associate: £30 / $55 / 40 EUR p.a.
Journal Subscription only: £40 / $75 / 50 EUR p.a.
Paranormal Review Subscription only: £20 / $40 / 25 EUR p.a.

and this is just ONE instance - if they ( the clubs ,groups, societies etc ) don't make direct charge - one is encouraged to "donate " via pay pal or whatever - er what ever happened to doing something for the PURE interest of research ?? ( as i and a few others do )

now i will get pounced on here and told "but things cost money - insurances - equipment etc , well sorry people that's a lame excuse to fund the motives and lifestyle of the originators , does any one who "contributes " to these groups and leaves get a refund for part of their "contribution " or membership fee ?? - yea right probably , which leaves the leader with a nice pile of equipment - paid for by the "members " - all of which is really a free gift to them to do what they like with , i wonder how many have been caught like this when any of the multifarious groups that have come and gone since the present "craze phase " started ??

and these conferences ?? - we don't have em here much , but what are they if not money making events riding on the back ( or the pocket book ) of the faithful - i followed one debate about one in the states that had been cancelled or postponed and a lot of peoples money was shall we just say "transient" at the time - :?

so I suppose if you join any of these groups , you had best be prepared to dig deep , as the MOTIVE behind a lot of them ( imo) is nothing more than making a "nice little earner " take the big "brands " TAPS - MOST HAUNTED- JREF - CSICOP - et al - how much do they rake in from people a year ?? any one know ?? ( or care for that matter ?? )

many will say its no good Brett - you are tilting at windmills here ( again :lol: ) well as someone once said " NO cause is lost - whilst there is even one fool left to fight it "

my point ?? - well this is a call to ALL serious researchers BOTH sceptic and believer to boycott ANY group that charges - only if a few of us take a stand and say enough is enough and drive the MOTIVE merchants out of this interest - will we ever get BACK TO SOME SORT OF REALITY !!

basically if you want to research - then its up to you to fund it - not expect others to pay for your interest

i know I am wasting my time here , but it needs saying ,and again and again , UNTILL some of you start listening and close those wallets - only when the "cash cow " that has become so called "paranormal research " dies through lack of money - will we have ANY chance of finding the truth and REAL evidence for or against

call me a purist if you will :roll:
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Re: expensive business this ............

Postby NinjaPuppy » 01 Nov 2009, 18:53

I'm with you on this Brett. Between the dues, donations, cash outlay for personal equipment, fees, travel expenses, etc. it must get very costly. I paid $150 for a three day conference but that included a dinner ($25 value) :lol: I got 3 days of listening to a dias of 'idiots', a plastic file folder of worthless paperwork and a set of cheap earbuds.

Now granted, it cost the crew who sponsored this event $250/day for the use of the conference room, plus $99/night each for a motel and of course food but you know it was the public non-members who paid these costs for their 'executive' team. Which by the way was two guest speakers (speaking fees included as well) and the original 4 family members who founded this group. The rest of their lackeys had to pay out of their own pockets.

A few weeks later I went to the exact same place and did the exact same thing. I purchased myself a good EMF meter with digital thermometer, two cheap video cameras, a good digital voice recorder, a notebook and a new pen. OK, actually I had the notebook and the pen laying around the house already.... but it didn't cost me an arm and leg in electronics to ghost hunt.

To their benefit, they did have a franks box and some nice IR lights and cameras but the amatures seemed to get better stuff than they did.

So far what I've seen to be the big problem is that there's no follow up. The groups get into these highly advertised 'haunted places' and mark another notch on their belts to prove their worth on their websites. It's like ghost hunters wars out there. As if doing more places is more important than actually proving or disproving something. There's nothing to prove. It's research for cryin' out loud. You're there to collect data. I hate to tell them but no data is also important data. You're not doing this to make the front page of the 'Times' or push your latest book because you saw a black shadow out of the corner of you eye or picked up an evil EVP of your mates tummy growling at 2am. Or for that fact, push your latest TV show idea to the SyFy channel by sending them demo tapes of these horrid investigations.

Did you happen to catch the Ghost Adventures Live show this past Friday? Some guy came in with this lucite box, straight out of GhostBusters, that is claimed to be able to trap a spirit. It had some kind of static elecrticity flying around in side of it, straight out of 'Young Frankenstein'. Hell, I have as much luck trapping a ghost with some duct tape and a red lollypop.
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Re: expensive business this ............

Postby WhiteTiger » 01 Nov 2009, 20:07

To me the saddest part of "ghost hunting" as it's been developed for media consumption is that it's all a one off enterprise. Go in, wave flashy hardware, record "personal experiences" maybe a couple of EVPs and one questionable video event, then pack up and leave after just a few hours.

For some reason the "researchers" never quite seem able to figure out that the anecdotal material that leads them to visit a location in the first place has almost invariably been accumulated over the course of years, and they think they can pop in for one evening and call it an "investigation"?

It took me all of ten minutes to flow chart a banked array of sensors and recorders that could be built into a tamper proof enclosure and left on site for days, weeks or months. There was a bit more effort and time in the three or four hours spent online tracking down specific off the shelf hardware and software to actually make the things.

Even the one local group I've had contact with is pretty much the same as TAPS el al, minus of course the media attention. The investigation part seems to go missing in favor of playtime for the participants and/or a marketable performance.



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Re: expensive business this ............

Postby NinjaPuppy » 01 Nov 2009, 20:25

I recall a website done by a young man in the UK where he found a flat that was supposedly haunted. The owners gave him permission to set up his camera equipment while the flat was between tennants to see if he could actually catch something. He would go in, turn on the cameras and do a live broadcast via the Internet for anyone who wanted to watch along with him. He would monitor the activity from his flat via his laptop along with any spectators in real time. He would make sure to let the viewers know if/when he was entering the place to adjust lights or cameras so as not to taint any possible findings.

The bulk of the activity (shadows, moving of objects) centered around an old piece of furniture that came with the apartment. It was interesting to watch in real time. I can't find it anymore as he closed down when it was determined that the cause was some sort of antique kneeling bench from a church. Once the piece was removed and put back into a church, the activity stopped.
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Re: expensive business this ............

Postby brett » 01 Nov 2009, 22:36

WhiteTiger wrote:To me the saddest part of "ghost hunting" as it's been developed for media consumption is that it's all a one off enterprise. Go in, wave flashy hardware, record "personal experiences" maybe a couple of EVPs and one questionable video event, then pack up and leave after just a few hours.

For some reason the "researchers" never quite seem able to figure out that the anecdotal material that leads them to visit a location in the first place has almost invariably been accumulated over the course of years, and they think they can pop in for one evening and call it an "investigation"?

It took me all of ten minutes to flow chart a banked array of sensors and recorders that could be built into a tamper proof enclosure and left on site for days, weeks or months. There was a bit more effort and time in the three or four hours spent online tracking down specific off the shelf hardware and software to actually make the things.

Even the one local group I've had contact with is pretty much the same as TAPS el al, minus of course the media attention. The investigation part seems to go missing in favor of playtime for the participants and/or a marketable performance.

would you care to share the details of your device ?? - that sounds most intresting :D


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Re: expensive business this ............

Postby WhiteTiger » 02 Nov 2009, 00:33

It isn't really so much a device as an array of common items. The "basic" version would be a conventional vidcam alongside an emulsion film still camera, both aimed to the same point at 15 ft distance. A sound activated digital or tape recorder using a good external microphone along with a good quality emf meter would be in the enclosure as well.

Run your video, audio and emf trigger signals to a cheap laptop with a good sized hard drive, and use software that triggers recording to HD when any of your instrument feeds register an event that differs from just idle state. There are both freeware software and commercial stuff that will "watch" the video from the vidcam and trigger recording when a frame transmits that differs from the normal "nothing happening" image. The same software normally has inputs for other trigger signals as well, which allows you to use the audio and emf to start recording of all channels, and to activate an interval timed shutter on your film camera as well.

Upshot is that if any one item of your hardware registers a change event, you start recording ALL data channels, and have several sorts of data for each event, allowing cross checking to either eliminate spurious events or record more than one sort of data for what may be legitimately paranormal.

Power the whole thing independently with long life high capacity SLA batteries of the sort used for electric bicycles, and you have several days at least of untended monitoring. To forestall fraud and tampering, set up a small convex mirror across the room from your instrument package and facing it, and you will record anyone attempting to mess with your equipment.

Of course, with good commercial change recognition software you can record as high as ten data feeds and use that many assorted trigger signals as well, so you have lots of room to add more items later, such as IR and thermal imaging cameras, "ghost box" (if so inclined), etc.

The "basic" unit could be put together for around the cost of a single FLIR camera, and imo at least, be much more useful. The actual assembly details are going to change according to the specific sensor hardware items, but any good DIYer should be able to assemble one without too much sweat.



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Re: expensive business this ............

Postby NinjaPuppy » 02 Nov 2009, 01:01

WhiteTiger wrote:To forestall fraud and tampering, set up a small convex mirror across the room from your instrument package and facing it, and you will record anyone attempting to mess with your equipment.

BRILLIANT! To think, something as simple as a mirror to see what may be the cause of possible activity. Whodathunk? Well, obviously you.... but it never even entered my mind.
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Re: expensive business this ............

Postby brett » 02 Nov 2009, 03:29

NinjaPuppy wrote:
WhiteTiger wrote:To forestall fraud and tampering, set up a small convex mirror across the room from your instrument package and facing it, and you will record anyone attempting to mess with your equipment.

BRILLIANT! To think, something as simple as a mirror to see what may be the cause of possible activity. Whodathunk? Well, obviously you.... but it never even entered my mind.


cool idea WT and worth some thought - auto ghost hunting - i like it :D

NP yea the simplest ideas are some times the best - i call em "old school "

want to see if a door has swung open ?? tape a pencil/pen to the bottom front edge edge and put a large sheet of card ( white ) under the door - if it moves the pen will leave a trace

want to see if any one has been trough a door ? - the old hair and two bits of clear tape will tell the tale

want to see if someone some thing has been along a passage ?? - talcum powder is good but messy - a roll of tin foil will show any prints even of a cat - AND makes a satisfying crunching noise

filming along a passage and want to debunk the "all orbs are dust near the lens " - put some white sticks ( say 18 inches high ) every meter or so - these can be thin dowel with a blob of plastercine ( play dough ) to hold them upright - instant frame of reference for distance

got a draft causing a cold spot ?? a joss stick , or if you don't want to stink up the place some of those smoke matches will tell the tale - but i tend to use cans of stage smoke - it wont set off any fire alarms - and will last many invests or the old stand by of wetting the back of your hand will work too

need a source of massive infra red illumination ?? - forget expensive camera add ons - get one of these "halogen " fires - will light a scene up like daylight when using night shot

another "person " trap thin fishing cord secured by sticky tape stretched across a passage way at waste height - don't tie it or some one could get hurt - but probably wont notice if they walk into it ripping the tape securing the ends off - use the lightest line you can find or cotton ( black for preference )

want to know if some one is moving around ?? put a dogs bowl of water on the floor and watch for ripples - good if you are the ONLY one there ;)

the mirror trick is a good idea - and can also be used if you are in a place and want to watch say 2 passages at once - those mirror tiles propped against the skirting will give you a view down the passages

there's loads of ways of doing the job without needing to take an array of gear with you - OK most will say to gather evidence - but even though a remote system could be useful in SOME circumstances, nothing beats the good old MK1 eyes ears and nose - lets be fair even if you have all the kit in the world - the skeptics will say its faked :lol: - and again for ALL the array of kit some track round with them - what have they found , that is any better than "anecdotal " evidence ??

personally when i do an invest - i like to travel light - one bag - and a little ingenuity :D
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Re: expensive business this ............

Postby NinjaPuppy » 02 Nov 2009, 03:47

For carrying gear, the best advice I got was...... <drumroll please>....... cargo pants. Plenty of pockets for those little items and it keeps them from bumping around in a larger case. Also, a dumb fanny pack. I hate those things but they sure do come in handy to free up your hands quickly when you want to check something.
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Re: expensive business this ............

Postby accidentsinspace » 02 Nov 2009, 04:43

Hahaha, I love how you guys point fingers towards people making a living (they have to eat like you) etc. What is the problem here? What business is it of yours? Are they taking your money? No.
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Re: expensive business this ............

Postby NinjaPuppy » 02 Nov 2009, 04:48

accidentsinspace wrote:Hahaha, I love how you guys point fingers towards people making a living (they have to eat like you) etc. What is the problem here? What business is it of yours? Are they taking your money? No.

To quote Brett....
Brett wrote:and this is just ONE instance - if they ( the clubs ,groups, societies etc ) don't make direct charge - one is encouraged to "donate " via pay pal or whatever - er what ever happened to doing something for the PURE interest of research ?? ( as i and a few others do )

now i will get pounced on here and told "but things cost money - insurances - equipment etc , well sorry people that's a lame excuse to fund the motives and lifestyle of the originators , does any one who "contributes " to these groups and leaves get a refund for part of their "contribution " or membership fee ?? - yea right probably , which leaves the leader with a nice pile of equipment - paid for by the "members " - all of which is really a free gift to them to do what they like with , i wonder how many have been caught like this when any of the multifarious groups that have come and gone since the present "craze phase " started ??
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Re: expensive business this ............

Postby accidentsinspace » 02 Nov 2009, 05:03

Oh boo. Shall we look at the real enemy? The gangsters that TAX you to the hilt, the ones that create wars and eternal suffering, who poison your water supply, your food, who inject your children with poisons on their day of birth, who commit regular genocide ALL WITH YOUR HARD EARNED MONEY.

But hey forget them, let's squabble with each other about money other people earn. Let's do that because that is what they want us to do. It' called 'divide and conquer'. :lol:
Last edited by accidentsinspace on 02 Nov 2009, 05:11, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: expensive business this ............

Postby NinjaPuppy » 02 Nov 2009, 05:07

Charity begins at home baby! We all have to start somewhere. Yanno?
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Re: expensive business this ............

Postby brett » 02 Nov 2009, 13:25

accidentsinspace wrote:Hahaha, I love how you guys point fingers towards people making a living (they have to eat like you) etc. What is the problem here? What business is it of yours? Are they taking your money? No.


its called morals and standards lad - you may have heard of the concept = or in language you will more likely understand "not ripping people off " that's the problem

what business is it of mine ?? - simple any one exploiting the paranormal for financial gain is a" wrong un " in my book and if the decent ,and honest investigators and researchers don't take a stand against them - then the whole will descend in to a BIGGER mess than it is now - its nothing to do with making a living - there are very FEW who make a living from the paranormal field ( supposed psychics and the like ) no i am on about the exploiters

and are they taking my money - not any more they ain't ,I have wised up to all the cons going on - but you have to gain practical experience and GET conned to be able to see the exploitation going on ;)

but obviously you are too young to have become cynical yet - give it time :lol: :lol: :lol:
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Re: expensive business this ............

Postby accidentsinspace » 02 Nov 2009, 16:08

I'm not too young at all. Anyway, what has age to do with it? I know teens who understand that he US Government were comlicit in the 9/11 attacks and retired folk who believe the official line. I know about morals, which is why I fight and am active in the Truth Movement.
Also. if you allowed people to rip you off ove a long period of time then you must be easy to manipulate. I myself have had differing experiences when I have had my cards read.
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