Author Topic: How to Analyze Investigation Evidence  (Read 676 times)

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Offline PPI Karl

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Friday, May 11, 2012, 7:00 PM

Mission Ridge
10250 Caminito Cuervo,
San Diego, CA

Price: $1.00/per person

Members of the Pacific Paranormal Investigations group will be giving us a presentation on how to work with and analyze evidence from a paranormal investigation. They'll help us understand how to determine what is a valid paranormal photograph, video, or EVP, and what is not.

This is a limited seating event --we can only fit just so many into the room. Don't sign up for this event unless you are definitely going to come. Anyone who RSVP's "Yes" but doesn't show up may be banned from all future limited seating events. Also, due to the small amount of seats available, no guests can be signed up for this event (this is a members-only event).

We are meeting in the same condominium club house in Mission Valley where we had our previous Powerpoint presentations. Look for a parking space right after you turn off of Rancho Mission Road, as you go up the hill. Park in any parking space on the hill, or one within the complex that is not covered (no roof over the spot). It may be hard to find spaces for everyone, so you may have to park out on Rancho Mission Road and hike up the hill into the complex. Don't expect to arrive at 7pm and find an easy (open) space - so come 10 minutes early if you can (but no earlier than 6:30pm, please).

At the top of the hill there are a half dozen more parking spots before the road bends to the right. Where the bend is is a set of stairs going up towards the pool area. The club house is on the far side of the fenced in pool area.  If you miss us somehow (or get lost), ask the guard shack for directions to the clubhouse (recreation room).
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Offline PPI Tim

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Thanks Karl, I'm heading out for the meeting at Pioneer Park. It starts at 1:00pm but I've got some errands to run.
Sounds interesting...Go on.

Offline PPI Tracy

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I am soooo jealous.  Knock em dead, kiddos!  8)

Offline PPI Tim

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The meetup was a small group. About ten showed up. They mentioned to the group about our presentation in May. They were asking questions about equipment and I could not get too technical.(That is Brian's Department) I spoke to the group about the importance of doing baselines before you start to investigate and told the group the reasons why not to conduct EVP sessions in your own home by yourself. I would have invited one our group to go with me but I wasn't sure if anyone could go. Let me know if any of you guys want to go to these meetups in the future. 
Sounds interesting...Go on.

Offline PPI Karl

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The meetup was a small group. About ten showed up. They mentioned to the group about our presentation in May. They were asking questions about equipment and I could not get too technical.(That is Brian's Department) I spoke to the group about the importance of doing baselines before you start to investigate and told the group the reasons why not to conduct EVP sessions in your own home by yourself. I would have invited one our group to go with me but I wasn't sure if anyone could go. Let me know if any of you guys want to go to these meetups in the future. 

Hi, Tim:

No worries.  Thank you immensely for taking time out of your Sunday to visit with them and represent us.  Seriously, I don't take it for granted.  When I saw you post that you were going to the Meetup, I did almost invite myself, but it was just as well I didn't go, as it turned out.  I'll be happy to join you next time, though.

So, what were there reasons for not doing EVP work at home?  Is it that bugaboo about discovering ghosts may be watching us shower? :D
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Offline PPI Tracy

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One major reason for not doing EVP work in your own home:  If something turns up on your recorder, unlike a client's home.....you can't leave.   :o

Offline PPI Tim

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Reason why is because it is your home. You suppose to feel safe in your home. You are suppose be able to let your guard down when at home. If you are new to paranormal investigating and are not familar with the use to proper digital recording devices, you could freak yourself out. This is not what you want to do when you are in your own home.


« Last Edit: April 03, 2012, 11:36:19 PM by PPI Jason »
Sounds interesting...Go on.

Offline PPI Tracy

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Reason why is because it is your home. You suppose to feel safe in your home. You are suppose be able to let your guard down when at home. If you are new to paranormal investigating and are not familar with the use to proper digital recording devices, you could freak yourself out. This is not what you want to do when you are in your own home.

My point exactly.  You can really freak yourself out.  I felt really uneasy after I heard the evp's that were captured in my house. (Tay's bedroom and the hallway upstairs). Okay...more than uneasy.  Ater you hear them, it's not like you an un-hear it.  So, I guess I know what it is like to be on both sides of the paranormal fence.  It is one thing to think you have something going on but to actually get confirmation is something different.  If you do evp work on your own in your home, and you are not experienced, you don't have the tools or knowledge to deal with what you may find.  You may also matrix the sounds into something that it isn't.   All investigators themselves are guilty of making this mistake but to have a team that reviews the evidence is what really helps in determining if it is indeed an evp or some other mundane sound.  To have a team of investigators there to help is key.  Yeah, doing evp work in your home is never a good idea.  Ever.
« Last Edit: April 03, 2012, 05:53:44 PM by PPI Tracy »

Offline PPI Tim

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I had some strange looks at the meetup on Sunday when advised people not to conduct EVP sessions in thier own houses. After I told them why, I think some of what I said made sense.
I look forward to our presentation for this group. Education about Paranormal Investigating is right in our group's wheelhouse.  ;D
Sounds interesting...Go on.

Offline PPI Jason

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Yeah I completely disagree.

I conduct investigations in my own home. I see nothing wrong with this (at least for me). I think it's a very personal decision, however. For someone who is inexperienced or who is prone to over-reacting and who reads too much into their evidence, then I agree that investigating your own home is a bad idea. But it's not the act of investigating their home that's the reason why this is bad. It's bad because it causes them to feel scared. Life is short. It's too short to spend it doing things that make you scared and unhappy. But if investigating your home doesn't bother you, then have at it.

For me, it just simply doesn't bother me. If there is something here, and it wants to be threatening, then it better be ready to get a burning twig of sage shoved up its arse.

My motivation for investigating my own home is the same motivation that drives me to investigate the homes of others: extreme curiousity coupled with a complete lack of fear. Of course that lack of fear isn't due to courage but rather the fact that I've never come across a paranormal experience that was threatening in nature. I'm not brave, I just haven't had an experience that has ever made me afraid. That and the fact that after years of investigation I haven't had a single strong experience that leads me to believe there are ghosts. I'm not saying there aren't. I'm just saying I haven't seen it.

You might think that if I come across a threatening paranormal experience that I will change my tune. Possibly. But my belief is that ignorance isn't bliss. I've always had an intense desire to know. If there is something in my house, I want to know. If I find it, well, then I'll deal with it. Every experience I've had at home, so far, has had a reasonable explanation. But if there is something paranormal in my home, I'm gonna find it.
« Last Edit: April 03, 2012, 11:29:58 PM by PPI Jason »
Probably the earliest flyswatters were nothing more than some sort of striking surface attached to the end of a long stick.
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Offline PPI Jason

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Reason why is because it is your home. You suppose to feel safe in your home. You are suppose be able to let your guard down when at home. If you are new to paranormal investigating and are not familar with the use to proper digital recording devices, you could freak yourself out. This is not what you want to do when you are in your own home.




If you follow this logic through, then you are saying we shouldn't investigate the homes of other people either. What you are saying is that by discovering paranormal experiences in our home, we cause ourselves to feel unsafe. Yet we regularly offer to go to people's homes to try to find ghosts. Then we regularly offer to play videos and audio clips that provide evidence of paranormal activity. Then we tell them, "Don't worry, it's not threatening." If finding a paranormal experience in our own home causes us to feel unsafe, why on earth would we want to do this to others?

I understand that you are referring to people that are new to paranormal investigation. But if that is the case, then what you are really saying is that people should wait until they know what they are doing before they investigate their own home (which I can agree with). I just don't feel that you can tell everyone that they should never ever investigate their own home. If you say that, then PPI needs to find a new gig (or at least change its motto and get rid of the light bulb icon) because doing this effectively sends the message, "It's simply better not to know."
« Last Edit: April 03, 2012, 11:46:51 PM by PPI Jason »
Probably the earliest flyswatters were nothing more than some sort of striking surface attached to the end of a long stick.
-Jack Handey

Offline PPI Tim

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Jason, you are experienced both as a law officer and a paranormal investigator. You background makes you different then the people I was speaking too.
I'm talking about the people at the meetup who I don't any idea what thier qualifications are or mental state of mind. If you don't what you are doing and are attempting to hold a EVP session in your house with cheap equipment it could lead you to a false conclusion about your home.
The last thing I want is for people to scare the hell out themselves in thier own home when what they think they might have caught is actually nothing.
It all comes down to personal choice though. I can't make people not hold EVP sessions in thier own homes if they want too.
Personally, I have no reason to hold a EVP session in my home and I'm not going too.
I feel pretty good about my house.
Why try to taint a good vibe?
Sounds interesting...Go on.

Offline PPI Tracy

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I do think your perspective is different if you have had paranormal experiences vs not.  It changes how you view things.  I like my home to be calm.  I remember what it was like when we were in the throws of it, right before I contacted PPI.  My daughter was frightened and freaked out most of the time and as a parent, that is very unsettling.  Your job as a parent, first and foremost, is to protect your child(ren).  You cannot protect them from what you cannot see, and that makes you feel helpless.  Sage isn't the end all be all and it doesn't get rid of everything.  Truth be told, you don't have any idea what you are messing with.  You might think you can burn some sage and walk out like a boss but in all actuality, you just don't know if it will work.  To me, I don't want to dredge anything up.....especially with a child in the house. 

If that means that we shouldn't investigate the homes of the people who contact us then, well, I guess I quit. All I know is that I don't want to invite trouble in my own home.  Why do I think it is trouble?  Because I've been there and it taint purdy.

Offline PPI Karl

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I think if I've learned anything since I started doing this, it's that either spirits are ubiquitous, or the phenomenon that we are mistaking for spirit communication in EVPs is ubiquitous.  Either way, whatever's registering as putative voices on our recording devices seems as common as air--although in some places the phenomenon seems to happen more, and with greater intention.  If there is a world of spirits occupying a dimension an almost infinitessimally small distance away from us, it won't matter where I put down my audio recorder:  it will pick up voices eventually, whether in my home or in someone else's home.  It only becomes important when those voices are trying to communicate with us, or with each other about us.  When the spirits become aware of us, that's when thing's become interesting.  Otherwise, we're like the TV in the hospital E.R. waiting room you can't turn off, airing continuous QVC noise.  However, it would also behoove any investigator to think about whether they're recording the ubiquitous spiritual background noise or if they're actually recording intentional communication.

I do think it comes down to the level of investigative experience and the philosophy one has about paranormal activity.  If you're experienced, you should probably expect to find EVPs in your own home, but finding them shouldn't be cause to freak out.  If you're a newbie, it wouldn't hurt to investigate your own home with other investigators present, so that you have another perspective about a phenomenon in a place so personal and psychologically familiar to you as your own home.

I have actually done EVP work in my home on Georgia Street.  When I first started with PPI, I was curious about EVP recording techniques, so I took a lot of baselines and tried different locations and methods for listening to EVPs.  I may have captured voices, but it never really bothered me so much as it fascinated me.  But that's me.  Other people starting out as investigators might be more uncomfortable with the idea of sharing this plane of existence with the dead, at all times.  However, I do think, the longer you do it, the more likely it is that you develop a sensible attitude about it.
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Offline PPI Brian

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I agree with all the points you guys brought up. I've been investigating paranormal claims for over 32 years, and I haven't run into anything I can truly describe as "threatening". That doesn't mean I don't think this type of haunting is possible, but I've never experienced it myself. I've had many experiences over the years, some of which I shared with you, that leads me to believe paranormal activity is a natural phenomena associated with specific environmental conditions.

I also agree with the points Karl raised about disembodied voices forming a kind of "background noise". They seem to surround us constantly. Sara Estep was one of the first to propose doing EVP work in non-haunted locations, and to her credit it seems to work. But I would caution inexperienced people from doing EVP work in their home unless they're prepared to invest some money in decent equipment and spend the time necessary to develop their critical listening skills. A few basic instructions should be sufficient for the average enthusiast, but they should be cautioned to disregard any monosyllabic responses they might pick up, and not take the "tone" of the paranormal voices too seriously.
« Last Edit: April 05, 2012, 06:25:14 PM by PPI Brian »
"Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence."--Carl Sagan

Offline PPI Tim

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Like I said,"If you don't what you are doing and are attempting to hold a EVP session in your house with cheap equipment it could lead you to a false conclusion about your home."
« Last Edit: April 05, 2012, 03:19:51 PM by PPI Tim »
Sounds interesting...Go on.

Offline PPI Brian

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Like I said,"If you don't what you are doing and are attempting to hold a EVP session in your house with cheap equipment it could lead you to a false conclusion about your home."


Yepper.  :)
"Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence."--Carl Sagan

Offline PPI Karl

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A'ight!  Word. 8)
(Me so street.  :D)
If you want to end your misery, start enjoying it, because there's nothing the universe begrudges more than our enjoyment.