Posted on | November 1, 2007 | 1 Comment
Every year at around this time, The Discovery channel (and others) run all kinds of interesting shows about paranormal researchers. Usually, I like my existing job (getting ghosts out of ‘machines’) just fine. There are very few other vocations that could lure me away from my comfy desk chair and fuzzy slippers, paranormal researching could be one of them.
I don’t know if I’m attracted to the over-all ‘mystique’ surrounding the occupation or the fact that you’re allowed to guess at everything every day and make up new words as you go. Abandoning accountability and reason also seems rather fun. I don’t think that ghost hunters make very much money, but neither do freelance system administrators
Maybe I just like playing with oscilloscopes and the other gadgets that ghost hunters bring when they do their investigations. I’ve been fascinated with the field since I first heard the words “Stay away from the light, Carol Ann!”
I’m a firm believer in (some) of the events that most would consider ‘paranormal’ by nature. ‘Paranormal’ does not infer ghostly visitors in its absolute meaning, it means simply ‘making ready to become normal’, in other words, something not normal that needs explanation prior to being normal. This makes poltergeists (and other paranormal events with clear physical manifestations) very interesting to your average physics geek.
I truly believe that we create poltergeists. I’m just not sure quite how we manage to accomplish this rather interesting feat. I see lots of ‘ghost hunters’ going to residences and measuring how high plates jump, how often doors slam and open themselves, etc, but none teaming up with psychiatrists in an effort to see if someone in the home might have created the problem inadvertently.
Things happen, when they happen is relative to when they are noticed. For instance, someone farts in an elevator (quietly, silent but deadly) while wearing an overcoat. The methane doesn’t escape for a minute or two until the person moves allowing the remainder of the gas to escape from under the coat. Everyone in the elevator would think “yuk, someone just farted”, when in fact the fart occurred a minute in the past.
Those who conduct site investigations when the occasional poltergeist shows up don’t seem to consider the possibility that they’re looking at a sort of crime scene, the evidence being rather animate. The event that is most interesting has already occurred, someone with a specific kind of mind entered a specific emotional state which resulted in their circumstances manifesting physically in a loop that (by nature) never changes. Sure, the activities observed will change, however the nature of those activities seems constant.
The most interesting stuff has already occurred by the time researchers go to investigate, this makes their job (more or less) forensic, not exploratory by nature. From everything that I’ve seen, most researchers look at the physical manifestations as something that is happening, not something that has happened.
As I see particle physics advance (in particular more explanations of the difference in time that a particle should exist vs when its noticed), I always think of poltergeists. I know, I’m weird, its a hard job being weird – someone has to do it!
I’d delight in exploring these sorts of things at length, why do I always find myself attracted to extremely interesting and very low paying things to do?