Home » Articles » An Open Letter to Nyack Paranormal

A Criticism of Nyack Paranormal’s Article Entitled: “Testing the Validity of the Ghost Box as a Tool for Paranormal Investigation.”

Author’s Note: Normally, I let the few articles attempting to refute ghost box communication slide by without response. Unfortunately, this ‘paper’ was picked up by skeptical news sources that have been linking back to ITC Voices since we publish more articles about ghost boxes than any other site. This “paper” has also been picked up by several pseudo-intellectuals within the paranormal community to bolster their individual standpoints on ghost box communication. Therefor, I feel that a response to NPI’s “paper” must also be on this site to balance the argument. I write this response alone, and I in no way want to reflect upon the ghost box community as a whole nor speak for the ghost box community. These are my assertions and they should be taken as such. – Tim Woolworth

On February 21st, 2015, Nyack Paranormal Investigations (NPI) published a “paper” decrying the use of ghost boxes as a paranormal research tool. This “paper” was entitled Testing the Validity of the Ghost Box as a Tool for Paranormal Investigation.  In short, through a single recording and a survey response, NPI has come to the conclusion that “The results collected in the field should not be put forth as evidence of paranormal activity.”

The “paper” was written by a “paranormal team” that prides itself on:

…(taking) a unique approach based on research and development. We challenge current beliefs, set up experiments to test them, apply critical thinking and review and then draw scientific conclusions from the data collected. We keep open and objective minds throughout the process. We work with other groups and individuals with a like minded approach and seek expertise in varying disciplines to withdraw facts from findings. We also believe in sharing our knowledge, experience and results as a way to advance the community. Our belief: Be Critical. (Source Here)

In following the credo they have laid out for themselves, I too shall be critical of their reported results.

I write this not to be spiteful, but because I soundly believe the methodology and controls used in their paper are flawed. These flaws are presented in a “scientific” fashion to the unsuspecting populace.

I write this because the “paper” has done a great disservice to the field of ghost hunting and has become fodder for skeptical societies to continually refute the ghost box for what it is and what it can accomplish.

I write this because I feel the field has been wronged and to shine a light on the flaws of this “paper” from an experienced ghost boxer and audio engineering standpoint.

This critical response will outline several key points where the flaws of this “paper” are quite evident.

My Qualifications for Criticizing the Claims Made by NPI About Ghost Box Inefficacy

As a former sound engineer, I am qualified to be critical of the sound sample recorded and the recording methodology. I went to the Audio Engineering School at Musician’s Institute in Hollywood, California. I have held jobs at two major recording studios: The Record Plant and the now-defunct Cherokee Recording Studios. I formerly ran a 24 track digital recording studio using a Tascam DA88 and (2) Tascam DA38’s with a partner. I was a for-hire live sound engineer in Hollywood and was the in-house live sound engineer running four different sound systems a night for the massive Hollywood Athletic Club. I also worked in the pro-audio department of the largest music store in the US and was audio department manager at a another – both of which gave me access to, and use of all the audio technology on the market at that time. I have been to several pro-audio equipment manufacturing facilities and have sat down to dinner with some of the most creative minds in the field. I have even been inside an anechoic chamber so I could have a better understanding of reverberation, delay and sound transmission.

I am also a ghost boxer who is more experienced than many in the field. I have been using ghost boxes since 2009 and I have the luxury of owning and using some of the rarest ghost boxes in the world. I have an impeccable reputation in the field that stands for itself. I have documented and formulated more observations on using ghost boxes than anyone currently living. I have been a part of two high-profile paranormal investigation teams and have used ghost boxes for NPR programs, television news segments and even on a television show. I have given over 40 public presentations using a ghost box to large groups of people.

In short, I know audio and ghost boxes quite well and this life knowledge allows me to confidently levy the following criticisms against the NPI “paper.”

Criticism 1: The Choice of Ghost Box

NPI decided to use a Radio Shack RS 12-469 for this particular project. The 469 Shack Hack is one of the very first hacks (first hacked in 2007) that allowed ghost boxes to co-opt a standard off-the-shelf radio in order to make it a device for communication with the Others. That being said, the 469 is a classic ghost box in the sense that it has been a discontinued model for several years now. In fact, they haven’t been available as new radios from Radio Shack since at least 2009 – which is the first year I looked for one to hack only to find it was discontinued.

RS-469 Featured Image

The RS-469 typical set-up. The 469 required an external speaker to use and the speaker output was recorded.

The RS 12-469 was a cheap radio with a price of only $25 when sold as new. Like all cheap electronics, the 469 was made to be replaced after a couple of years. The 469’s are notorious for degraded sound quality over time, dependent upon how much the box is used, to the point of unintelligibility. The 469 also had distinctive chirping and popping sounds when scanning through the frequencies after modification. This gave rise to the terms “R2D2 effect” and “popcorn effect” in shack hack scanning. Subsequent hacks (such as the Sangean models or the RS 20-125) had a much cleaner sweep without all the chirping and popcorn.

While the 469 is a beloved classic, mainly because it brings ghost boxers back to a time where ghost boxing was rarely performed – it was on the fringes of the paranormal and only a select handful of paranormal enthusiasts had embraced ghost box use. Now, there are newer and better sounding models available for hacking. There is a reason why you rarely see 469 sessions these days, the unit is outdated with output jacks that degrade and become noisy over time plus it adds too much inherent noise from the sweep itself.

So, with that in mind, let us look at some examples of 469 audio.

This is the audio that NPI supplied for their sweeping proclamation against ghost box use:

As you can hear, the chirping and popcorn effect are evident in the audio.  You can also hear some exceptional noise.

Mad Anthony Paranormal Society (MAPS) founder Curt Brahm wrote about 469 use back in 2008 and allowed the article to be republished on this site. In this article, he supplied audio from his 469 and here is one recorded sample. You will notice the same amount of noise (plus a meaningful communication at the end of the clip that is self-evident).

Note that both audio clips are distorted and noisy. This was inherent of 469 use.

Here is a video supplied by Andrew Openlander of Chicago Spirit Wave (maker of the Andy’s Boxes). This 10 minutes of audio was recorded via a video camera. Note how much cleaner this sounds as opposed to the sample provided by NPI. If you watch this video at about 4:30, Andrew attempts to figure out where the noise in AM mode comes from and it was a lamp – it was simple RFI electrical coming through the audio. Note how Andrew figured out the source of the interference right away.

In professional audio, this is very common and often results from bad wiring or a RFI (Radio Frequency Interference) coming from a dimmer switch or a lamp. RFI directly interferes with AM radio and stereo sound systems. The wiring that carries electrical signals to a lamp (especially when a dimmer is used) acts as a shortwave antenna pushing RFI into the airwaves and sensitive equipment, such as a radio AM antenna, can pick this interference up and broadcast it.

The clip NPI supplied had the same noise that Andrew experienced using AM with a lamp close by. So why did NPI choose to use AM audio of the 469 as opposed to FM audio when the AM audio was compromised by RFI? Why was the 469, with its chirps and pops, chosen in the first place for this test when it is no longer common to have one of these boxes on hand for ghost box use?

Criticism 2: The Lack of Substantial Testing Criteria

The reader is reminded that NPI “takes a unique approach based on research and development. We challenge current beliefs, set up experiments to test them, apply critical thinking and review and then draw scientific conclusions from the data collected.” (Source Here)

Since the gateway has been opened regarding “scientific” testing and conclusions, let us examine the testing was done for this “paper.”

This experiment hinges upon a single clip of bad AM audio from an antiquated modified radio sent to 98 people on social media who in turn filled out a survey. From this single test, the result that ghost boxes should not be used for paranormal research was reached.

This test simply was not scientific. There is no reliability in this study because it is a single study. Science is built upon reliability – it is the foundation of the scientific method.  For reliability, repeat sample groups will be used several times to ensure consistency. Never in the annals of modern science will a scientific proclamation be considered sound with an N of 1! For those not scientifically literate, an N of 1 is a term that is borrowed from clinical studies that means a single patient can never lead to a positive science because 1) the results can be controlled and hence manipulated by the researcher, and 2) what is true of one set of data might not hold true when compared to other like sets of data.

This test is an N of 1 (the single audio sample being the 1 here) and the results were strictly supplied, controlled and manipulated by the “researchers” of NPI.

Whenever you have a single sample, the results can be controlled and manipulated by the researcher. Whatever is true for one set of data may not hold true when compared to other like sets of data. In this test, the results were strictly supplied, controlled and manipulated by the “researchers” of NPI.

Scientific research requires that the same results be produced by every researcher who follows the method laid out in a paper. In this case, there are no other researchers. There are no other samples, so how a “scientific conclusion” can be reached off a problematic study of 1 sample is incomprehensible.

Simply put, there is no science here at all so how a “scientific conclusion” can be reached off a problematic N of 1 study is incomprehensible.

That being said, the NPI “paper” presents itself more professionally than most. This is likely an attempt to appear all sciencey for those who do not have a basic grasp of scientific research. Even the skeptics at Doubtful News lauded NPI for their “new report, published online in a journal-like format.”

Presenting something in a loose scientific format does not make it scientific by any means. Sound methodology does.

This is a problem endemic to most of the paranormal, not just NPI. Groups claim to be scientific because they debunk something or have gadgets with flashing lights.  Real science, such as that performed at the Rhine Institute or the Institute of Noetic Sciences, has yet yet to examine ghost boxes scientifically. Until this testing occurs, and mind you there are dozens of hacks and several boutique models available for testing with variable scans and amazing results being produced, there can be no scientific ruling on ghost boxes.

No matter what the results of scientific testing may be – an N of 1 will certainly not produce valid research results.

No matter what the results of scientific testing may be – they will not be considered positive science without several samples and several tests being run.

Criticism 3: Qualifications of Ghost Box Listener Subjects and Ghost Box Sample Proctors

I now must ask questions regarding the qualifications of the listeners and the sample proctors.

I am assuming that with a name like Nyack Paranormal Investigations the authors of this paper are well versed with the general woo woo that surrounds paranormal investigations. Psychics, gadgets and general feelings are apropos for paranormal investigations. We all accept that woo woo is part of what we do.

Looking at the bios of the authors, I see that there is a firm grasp of proper science both in career and education. I applaud this and I applaud the attempt to apply rigor to different aspects of the paranormal.

That being said, there are intangibles that go into ghost box studies that cannot be measured under any laboratory condition currently existing.

Myself, and many of my colleagues have experienced something fascinating when it comes to ghost box use. When you first use a ghost box, you will pick up on almost nothing the first few times you use one.

Woo woo alert!

This is an intangible and cannot be measured. From my personal experience (not scientific in any way – nor is ANY CLAIM on this site to be seen as scientific) and that of others, you have to build a rapport with the other side in order to facilitate communication. It takes time. For me, it was about two weeks after hacking my first ghost box before I started to receive solid communication. There are some who adapt quicker and others who take much longer to get communication.

On the converse side of this observation, the listener also needs to adapt their ears to ghost box audio. Each box sounds differently and even after 6 years of ghost boxing, my ears still need time to get accustomed to a new box or a box I have not used in a long time.

That observation being made, based upon years of experience and taking into consideration the depth of anecdotes from other ghost boxers, one has to look at the listener and sample proctor sections of this “paper.”

The listeners were provided a survey form to fill out with the supplied 469 AM ghost box audio clip.

NPI Ghost Box Survey Form

The first three questions on the survey are exceptionally basic in regards to ghost box communication. The results of these three questions were quite significant to the entirety of the study:

Only one respondent stated the ghost box is considered an effective tool. 36% are undecided as to the effectiveness of the ghost box as a tool and the rest, more than half at 61%, stated it was ineffective. There seems to be little confidence in this sampling that any results of value can be obtained.

From this statistic alone, it is easily recognized that the selection of individuals used for this test have a distinct bias against ghost box and furthermore goes to demonstrate that the research in this “paper” was manipulative. The authors of this “paper” have shown a distinct bias against ghost boxing on their website including a library article with a 404 bad link labeled:

Just a Radio
Delving into some of the reasons why we do not believe the “ghost box” to be evidence of the paranormal.

All of these thing set aside, the question remains, how many of the listeners actually use, own or have seen a ghost box utilized live is not represented in the “paper.” How a critical piece of the survey can be left out is baffling…

Knowing that it takes time to get acclimated to ghost box audio and we do not know how many of the listeners have even listened to ghost box audio prior to this bad audio example being sent out – anyone with common sense has to wonder about the integrity of the listeners who were sent the sample. If I were sent this sample having never heard ghost box audio recorded properly, I wouldn’t be able to hear anything either!

Bad audio = skewed results!

All that set aside, biology works against people as well in ghost box studies. Physiologically, your hearing decreases with the onset of age. The inventor of the ghost box, Frank Sumption, often remarked how he couldn’t hear very well himself and he may have missed a lot of information as a result. Not to be ageist, but the survey does not take into consideration age and hearing loss.

Also,  how the clip was listened to was not taken into consideration. External speakers? Cell phone? Computer speakers? TV? Video game console? Headphones? Each one of these things is different and they all have different playback qualities as to the frequencies they reproduce. This is not mentioned on the survey.

Nor is the important question of how many times the listener actually listened to the clip. Were sections isolated in software for analysis and replayed? Did the listener try any noise reduction or pitching to make the voices clearer?

We also know that NPI has an innate bias against ghost box use!

Woo woo alert!

Knowing that it takes time to work with facilitators on the other side to build up a rapport, how can we trust the sample proctor and the results received?  If the sample proctor never uses a ghost box, how can we expect the results to be tangible.

If the sample proctor does not believe that a ghost box can provide communication, then why would a communicating entity even bother responding?

Those who use ghost boxes regularly know that not every minute of recording provides tangible results. Sometimes a session will yield nothing. It happens. More often than not, questions are not directly answered either.

Yet, according to the research results, we are to believe NPI when they represent to the world that a single minute response to a question will be the end-all, be-all of ghost box communication.

Finally, the question asked is “What is your occupation.”

A more ludicrous question could not have been asked. I understand that the sample proctor was looking for an answer that could be more than a yes/no response and that is how questions should be asked for it lends itself to meaningful communications.

But, the question itself is irrelevant to the other side. The Others don’t collect paychecks to our understanding. There are no jobs on the other side. This question alone is such a ridiculous thing to ask that it is no wonder that there wasn’t a response.

So why was this question chosen as the single representation for this “paper?” Only the authors can answer that…

Criticism 4: The Recording Method

According to the authors of the “paper,” Nyack Paranormal Investigations used the following set-up:

The recording was made using a “Shack Hack” (Radio Shack Digital AM/FM Pocket Radio Catalog # 12-469: Figure 2) connected to a digital voice recorder (RCA Model VR5320R-A). The audio file was transferred to PC and converted to MP3 to match the original raw file, no manipulation or noise reduction was used. A one minute segment was captured for this experiment.

Let us examine this recording method. It will explain much about the recording quality and show precisely to the extent the reviewed sample was flawed.

As mentioned before, the Radio Shack RS 12-469 does not have an integrated speaker. One must use an external speaker for the audio to be audible to human ears in a room, or headphones may be used for a single listener.

The 469 has a single output at the top of the device that is used for either headphones or an external speaker. This is an amplified output designated to go to a source that has signal resistance (a speaker). When you send out an amplified signal to a mic or line level source, distortion occurs. It is unavoidable.

The recorder being used, an RCA VR532OR-A has one input on the device, it is a mic level input. Some devices allow for a line level input when a jack is plugged into it. I looked into the specs on this particularly antiquated recorder (released 10/01/10) and could not find any reference to a line level input being selectable.

This makes a huge difference in recording directly, if that is in fact what NPI did during this recording (more on that shortly). Signal output strength has to match the signal input capacity of the device it is going to.

The weakest signal integrity is that of a turntable cartridge.

The next weakest output is microphone level. There are active mics and passive mics, but the output of a microphone is still very weak in comparison to line level sources. Recorders, like this RCA VR532OR-A, have a mic level input to match the output level of a standard microphone.

A line level signal can be balanced or unbalanced, with the difference between the two being about 6 decibels of volume. Most consumer audio line level is unbalanced, especially in mono configurable recorders like the RCA VR532OR-A.

An amplified signal is the hottest signal because it comes from an amplified line level source. The signal exits an amplifier and is meant to be fed directly into a speaker (this can include the speakers inside of headphones as well) which has impedance set up (measured in Ohms) to temper the audio and prevent distortion.

The only output of the 469 is amplified and the only input of the RCA VR532OR-A is mic (possibly line – unknown as I do not have one). Therefore distortion is guaranteed. Listen to the NPI clip again, do you hear any distortion?

Remember once again, the words directly from the “paper” that NPI published:

The recording was made using a “Shack Hack” (Radio Shack Digital AM/FM Pocket Radio Catalog # 12-469: Figure 2) connected to a digital voice recorder (RCA Model VR5320R-A). The audio file was transferred to PC and converted to MP3 to match the original raw file, no manipulation or noise reduction was used. A one minute segment was captured for this experiment.

There is a severe problem with this method that may just be a misstatement by the author, but even if it is a mistake, it is very illuminating when it comes to the recording itself.

As laid out in the prior paragraphs, there is a singular input for a mic on the RCA VR532OR-A. The statement from the “paper” says that the 469 was connected to the recorder.

Herein lies the problem – you cannot use an external mic when you have a sound source plugged in. That means that the regular microphone in the RCA VR532OR-A that is used for dictation is simply not accessible when an external source is plugged in. The internal microphone is bypassed and there is no way around this. So, when we hear the question being asked in the beginning and the 469 at the same time – there is no way this is physically possible by means of connecting a 469 directly to the recorder. The question would not have been recorded under any normal circumstance as the internal mic cannot be utilized!

The only way to record the question over a 469 is to 1) either record the audio from the 469 as it comes through a speaker and speak over the audio, or 2) utilize an external audio mixer that combines the 469 output and an external microphone running into the mic in of the recorder.

This simple analysis of the recording chain based upon the information provided tells a lot about the nature of this test. If the audio hookup mechanism is misrepresented in the “paper,” what else is suspect?

Let’s examine the recorder itself.

The RCA VR532OR-A, to put it simply, is a bottom of the barrel recorder. This is something that is not usable for EVP, let alone ghost box recording. New, the device was $25. You quite figuratively cannot buy a handheld recorder for much cheaper. It is garbage, five-year old garbage at that.

I know this is a damning conviction against the device, but there is sound reasoning behind it.

The device was designed to record dictation first and foremost. Because it is a dictation device, the sound quality it records is not up to par with anything professional.

The “paper” stated that “The audio file was transferred to PC and converted to MP3 to match the original raw file.” There is a problem with this.

The RCA VR532OR-A, as a dictation device, has 1gb of internal memory with three recording methods: Long Play (up to 400hrs), SP (Up to 70hrs), High Quality (up to 34hrs). The LP and SP methods use a proprietary compressed audio format endemic to RCA called .VOC files. The .VOC files are exceptionally compressed audio that records at 8 kHz with a bit depth of 8 or less. I know this is technical, but I have a complete explanation of audio integrity and what all these numbers mean in this article here. If you don’t want to take the time to read it, let me surmise to say that the recorder is is bad, real bad even for amateur recording and in no way represents professional audio recording in any way, let alone for scientific study.

We know that the original recording was done in .VOC format because the author mentioned that the file had to be converted to .MP3 via a computer. This is done by using the proprietary software that comes with these cheap audio recorders.

A complete breakdown of the .VOC file format can be viewed on Sourceforge. Here are the particulars if you are interested:

Sample Rate       -- SR byte = 256-(1000000/sample_rate)
  Length of silence -- in units of sampling cycle
  Compression Type  -- of voice data
                         8-bits    = 0
                         4-bits    = 1
                         2.6-bits  = 2
                         2-bits    = 3
                         Multi DAC = 3+(# of channels) [interesting--
                                       this isn't in the developer's manual]

Detailed description of new data blocks (VOC files version 1.20 and above):

        (Source is fax from Barry Boone at Creative Labs, 405/742-6622)

BLOCK 8 - digitized sound attribute extension, must preceed block 1.
          Used to define stereo, 8 bit audio
        BYTE bBlockID;       // = 8
        BYTE nBlockLen[3];   // 3 byte length
        WORD wTimeConstant;  // time constant = same as block 1
        BYTE bPackMethod;    // same as in block 1
        BYTE bVoiceMode;     // 0-mono, 1-stereo

        Data is stored left, right

BLOCK 9 - data block that supersedes blocks 1 and 8.  
          Used for stereo, 16 bit.

        BYTE bBlockID;          // = 9
        BYTE nBlockLen[3];      // length 12 plus length of sound
        DWORD dwSamplesPerSec;  // samples per second, not time const.
        BYTE bBitsPerSample;    // e.g., 8 or 16
        BYTE bChannels;         // 1 for mono, 2 for stereo
        WORD wFormat;           // see below
        BYTE reserved[4];       // pad to make block w/o data 
                                // have a size of 16 bytes

        Valid values of wFormat are:

                0x0000  8-bit unsigned PCM
                0x0001  Creative 8-bit to 4-bit ADPCM
                0x0002  Creative 8-bit to 3-bit ADPCM
                0x0003  Creative 8-bit to 2-bit ADPCM
                0x0004  16-bit signed PCM
                0x0006  CCITT a-Law
                0x0007  CCITT u-Law
                0x02000 Creative 16-bit to 4-bit ADPCM

Sad to say, but had the authors done their homework a little, they could have used a higher quality recording method and recorded a compressed .WAV file directly (under the auspices of the .PCM file format) using the same recorder. The .PCM file type is far from ideal, because it is compressed, but it is much better than .MP3 or .VOC.

A standard .WAV file is an uncompressed audio file that allows for about 10 megabytes of recording per minute in stereo at red book compliance audio, AKA CD Quality, of 16 bit audio with a 44.1 kHz sampling rate. So a standard CD holds 700mb of data and about 80 minutes of audio.

The highest quality setting on the RCA VR532OR-A allows for .PCM recordings totaling up to 34 hours. This should throw up red flags everywhere. If CD quality audio can only give you about 100 minutes of recording per gigabyte, and the recorder used for this experiment allows for 34 hours of recording on the highest quality setting using the same measure of one gigabyte – that should tell you all you need to know about the audio quality of the recorder being used for the audio sample!

Not only that, but the experimenter apparently used the .VOC recording method because it had to be converted and the recorders ability to record audio in the .VOC format is exponentially worse.

No paranormal investigator who knows anything about audio would ever use a recorder with a .VOC format, especially when .WAV quality recorders are available these days for less than $100. An in no way should such a poor recorder be used to record a sample for “scientific” analysis.

In Conclusion

As a quick review, the paper entitled Testing the Validity of the Ghost Box as a Tool for Paranormal Investigation Nyack Paranormal Investigations (NPI) was flawed for the following reasons:

  1. Outdated and noisy ghost box used
  2. Possible Radio Frequency Interference on AM band
  3. Listener and sample proctor qualifications unknown
  4. Confirmed bias against ghost boxes predating the test by both listeners and author
  5. Bad recording quality
  6. Terrible recorder to use
  7. N of 1

There is no scientific rigor put forth in this experiment yet the authors of the “paper” present it as such.

I do applaud the effort to codify what is being received through ghost boxes during a session. There will be subjectivity to any audio, just as you or I may mishear a song lyric. Have you ever misheard what someone has said to you?

We all have.

Now imagine if that person’s words were recorded the worst possible way imaginable and sent to 98 different people, most of whom don’t like that person, to figure out what was said.

That is a rough equivalent of what has transpired in this “paper.”

I call upon the authors to redo this test, again and again and again in order to start to build a true database that is not an N of 1.

Use a good ghost box through good speakers. Use a CD quality recorder. Send the audio to qualified listeners (ghost boxers), paranormal enthusiasts, and people not affiliated with paranormal research in any way as a control. Make sure that the number of times the audio is played is logged and how it was monitored.

Only then can you start to get results.

Try asking a ghost boxer to record audio for you since they have a connection built up with the other side from continual use.

But, do not take a bad audio N of 1 sent to biased listeners and proclaim the “The results collected in the field should not be put forth as evidence of paranormal activity.”

That is simply biased and really bad experimentation.

In publishing this paper, you, as the authors, have given skeptical societies and paranormal pseudo-intellectuals fodder for their own personal agendas against ghost box communication. You have done not only the field of ghost boxing a serious disservice, you have helped to discredit all paranormal studies as a whole.

, , , ,
SHARE WITH FRIENDS:  
        
          

commentscomments

  1. Well said! The funniest bit about the study was the link to Wikipedia’s article on Confirmation Bias in their footnotes as I believe their study was full of enough holes to confirm for them that ghost boxes are bad.

    A better, more comprehensive, study should’ve at least:
    * Utilized an equal number of believers, fence-sitters, and naysayers.
    * Used quality audio samples played back from quality equipment
    * Used bad quality audio samples from not-so-great equipment
    * Tested the same respondents using live equipment in a monitored and controlled environment.
    * Utilized a set of control questions for the respondents to ask during live and pre-recorded sessions.
    * Recorded all the respondents’ sessions for further analysis and peer review.

    If they wanted bonus points, the researchers could’ve also:
    * Tested the respondents in known haunted and not haunted locations.
    * Had the respondents analyze their recorded sessions apart from the researchers analysis.
    * Asked whether or not the study changed their opinion on the matter.

  2. Seeker says:

    Thank you for defending and protecting this field so eloquently yet again. The dabbler, the skeptics, the religious extremists, the couldnt care less, all of you…. this cannot be stressed enough… the ghost box is something you must experience in person. Yes, a thousand times yes, this is real. Those of us who put forth the time, money and cognitive resources to truly investigate this field for ourselves…. we all know this is not a hoax nor a figment of our imagination. It simply works and we dont know why it works, just simply in the same way science still cannot explain a lot of other things, like how to create biological life from scratch… Why should another ordinary miracle be so unbelievable?

  3. Bruce Grainger says:

    Just a small Observation. It seems to me that anybody making statements about methods would have to have conclusive proof that they have a way that works that can be used as a metric. My biggest problem is we are like gold fish in a bowl tying to prove that nothing else exists. Once we can prove in a way that would take into account all possibilities that a spirit state does not exist then you can talk . Until then it is all a guessing game.

    • Tim says:

      I’ve read their report and yours, and I find the information very interesting. I do applaud their efforts in approaching the subject with an experimental frame work, design and a method that leaves the door open for others to attempt replication. It’s what is sorely lacking in this field of opinions.
      What I would ask of you, if you would entertain me, is for any links to scientific studies, experiments, supporting the claim ITC is actually speaking to an ‘unknown’, being a ghost, demon, spirit and/or alien. It’s a big claim, it looks like there will be some valid, scientific supporting evidence supporting such a claim?

      I hope you, and your readers, do not see this as an attack or agenda on my part. This is an interesting subject, and seems like one that should be discussed and tested in the parameters of science and never in opinion. I would like to gain as much info as is out there.

      Also, if you would be so kind as to leave out any ‘anecdotal’ evidence in your links to me, that would be great. I would really would like to keep the (if any) supporting evidence of ITC being valid to a high bar standard. So, anything published in scientific journals, anything done within a scientific method in place, something that can be peer reviewed, would be perfect. Thanks. You can post the links here, or email them to me.

      Again, I give Kudos to the ones who put out a test, did the work to look for validity, then put their finding up for all to view, publicly to receive peer review. I applaud you for taking the time to peer review this, as it’s exactly what needs to continue to happen. I think, the only thing lacking is a scientific shot, published publicly for peer review, stating the validity of ITC. If we are going to move forward on what, if anything, is valid in the paranormal, then we must keep it within the science boundaries.

      Thank you,
      Tim

      • ITC Voices says:

        My my my – looking for the golden goose now, aren’t we?

        You are looking for peer reviewed studies sans anecdotal evidence. That would be a wonderful thing if it existed!

        Simply put, there are no peer reviewed studies of ITC. If you understand the world of science in the slightest, you would understand that journal articles that go up for peer review need to come from an accredited lab (private or public) with real scientists doing the work.

        First off, labs run off of funding. That funding comes from private sources or government funding. Funding goes towards an end result that can be of profitability to either a private interest or to all humanity (basic difference between private and public funding).

        Who would fund this stuff? Nobody. Why? Because it would take decades with the possibility of no clear answers. Labs work on several projects at once – everyone of which is used to secure more funding for future research. There are no labs out there that have the space, or time, or funds, to take on ITC – even though it would benefit all of humanity.

        That being said, EVP has been studied by organizations such as ATransc (Association Transcommunication), the Society for Psychical Research (SPR), the Rhine Institute and a handful of others. EVP is a form of ITC. These were private studies with limited resources and biased results due to the nature of the organizations conducting those studies.

        There are several books on ITC of several forms, starting with Jurgenson up until books being published today, but they are not studies. They are anecdotal in nature with some studies built in. I would look towards books by Senkowski, Cardoso and MacRae for the closest thing to studies being done.

        Ghost Box use is relatively new to the field and there are only a couple of published resources addressing the issue, all of which are exceptionally biased with no real study.

        All of this being set aside – to prove ITC works – you have to prove that there is first a conscious intent you are communicating with! How in the hell can you do that when science today has no grasp of the soul whatsoever. Science is concerned with the brain, not the mind. The brain is quantifiable, the mind is not. Until science looms towards consciousness studies within the context of soul, there is nothing that can be accomplished to prove ITC communicates with conscious intent.

        I wish I had a better answer for you – but it will not be in our lifetimes that you see an article on ITC in “Science,” Nature,” “PLOS one,” or the “New England Journal of Medicine.”

        • Tim says:

          Thank you for your response.

          Yes, the “Golden Goose” as it were. I appreciate your candor in discussing that there is [are] no scientific publication(s), tests or peer reviewed experiments that support the claim of ITC.

          It is a question that sticks in my mind about EVP and/or ITC: “Where is the supporting evidence?” Post anecdotal evidence/reports there is a void.

          Maybe, maybe someday in a Lab at a University or a Lab in a garage, a step will be made that can be published,replicated, peer reviewed and tested.

          Thank you for your time.
          Tim

          • ITC Voices says:

            Thank you for visiting the site. There are numerous forums for ghost box users out there in addition to this site for more resources.

            As users, the anecdotes we have about ghost box ITC comes in the form of audio or video evidence of communication. As astounding as some of these communications are, there will always be detractors. There will always be someone who says that we cannot be certain because not every frequency was being mapped as the clip was being recorded.

            But the voices remain. When I get my name said clearly, a last name, the voice of a loved one, a voice repeating what I say, voices answering questions directly, family nicknames….the list goes on. It all points to the logical conclusion that we are dealing with conscious intent of some form.

            And consciousness is not quantifiable.

            I sincerely hope to be able to partake in a study one day in a controlled environment with qualified proctors to further this field from an analytic standpoint. Raudive did his sessions with scientists from the world over – in a controlled recording studio environment – but it still was not enough to change any minds or open up laboratory pursuits, so I am not holding my breath with the hope that this will be accomplished with ghost box ITC either.

  4. Keng Murray says:

    They attempted research, but concluded with conjecture. I believe the vast number of evidence backs up the validity of ghost boxing. Ultimately with CORRECT testing and time a sceptic can only prove to oneself, not others!

  5. Tom F says:

    Very well put Tim. As I said previously their “study” mimics an elementary science class experiment. How anyone can classify this as Scientific obviously isn’t familiar with science. Thank you for stepping up and defending the rest of us who couldn’t put an explanation quite so eloquently.

    • Mary Bethune says:

      Excellent reply! Well written, spot on, done with proper review of the “study ” and coming from an excellent knowledge base! Way to go Tim, thank you for standing up for us all!!!
      Mary b

Have Your Voice Heard! Leave a Reply.