After my blog post yesterday about how some ghost hunters were behaving irrationally over the recent discovery of a buried cottage at Pendle Hill I thought it only right to let those I mentioned by name know I had done so. I think it’s good blogging etiquette to do so.
In response, Don Philip has posted on his Facebook wall that I am
“A young lady trying to make a name for herself”
I would like to point out that if there is anything I have made a name for myself through, it is being open minded in my approach to paranormal research. I am willing to point out when I am wrong, and I learn new things all the time and change my beliefs and opinions as new facts become available. My main aim with my paranormal research is, and always has been, to learn more about the reality behind these experiences. This is something I have continued to achieve year after year. I have just enrolled on two courses with the Open University, with whom I am working towards a BSc Psychology degree in the hope that I can learn even more about the way in which people think, believe and perceive.
I am simply curious, and this curiosity has led me to experience the strange world of paranormal research through the eyes of a naïve believer who grew and evolved into a fact seeking, lesson learning skeptical researcher. That’s why I am invited to speak at events all over the place. That could seem like an appeal to authority but it isn’t. Me speaking at events isn’t what makes me a good researcher – my constant research, fact checking and self questioning is what makes me a good researcher.
It’s also why I’m asked to contribute to research by others.
For example, I was once asked by Professor Chris French to review some footage that he’d been asked onto a UK television show to give a skeptical opinion on. He asked for my opinion because he isn’t a field based ex-ghost hunter. The footage was from an investigation conducted by a paranormal team called G.S.I – their founder, Don Philip.
The footage in question, as shown below, shows Don taking temperature readings in a room and asking a ghost to make the reading change. Over time it does. This is attributed to a spirit/ghost.
Watch from the 3 minute mark.
I was able to explain to Chris that the reason the temperature was changing is not because a ghost is present, but because Don was using the equipment incorrectly, or without knowing what the readings the thermometer takes mean. The model he uses is a laser thermometer that measures surface temperature. Don is waving it all around the room meaning that the device cannot measure on specific point as it is designed to do so.
I am able to offer such advice and spot such mistakes because I am open minded and I have learnt – and continue to learn, from those around me who conduct rational research into paranormal phenomena. It’s easy and lazy to apply a paranormal cause to something that looks a bit odd, especially when it only looks a bit odd because you simply haven’t bothered to work out how to use the device in question.
Dons accusation that I am trying to make a name by criticising him is wrong, it smacks of a diversion tactic because he doesn’t have an answer regarding the things I spoke of in the original blog post about illogical ghost chasing based on nothing but folklore stories. Prove me wrong though, Don. Defend your decisions and your methods… if you can.