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Created: May 20, 2009
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bridging science
and parascience

Calling these "Advanced" tools is a misnomer, but we don't know what else to call them. They dip into theory. They are used to test new ideas, require new (outside materialist physics) paradigms be accepted before having value as a tool, or are new uses for standard tools. For example, a simple audio recorder is a basic tool because it records combinations of atmospheric compressions and decompressions (sound), a phenomenon thoroughly understood by physics. It also may work as an Intermediate tool if it records sound frequencies which are outside the range of normal human hearing (extends that range). The same recorder, however, can work as an Advanced tool by using it to record EVP (Electronic Voice Phenomena - recording voices which were not heard in situ when they should have been), because modern physics has no satisfactory explanation for how the voices could appear on the recorder without being audible to those present at the recording session. Further, the audio recorder can actually be considered a communication device, but if and only if we accept the paradigm in which there exist entities who can and do sometimes imprint their voices on recordings directly without affecting the environment in which these recordings are made.

Oiuja at Central Wave

Tools are listed in loose groups in the text section because their value is entirely subjective - depending on the belief and weighting system of the investigator. The Contents links to the left list tools alphabetically by section.

The tools listed here are of primary benefit to "ghost-hunting," with any tools useful for investigating other paranormal phenomena listed solely by accident or cross-use. This is not a deliberate sleight; we merely recognize that for the time being the KRI is largely focused on the very narrow range of investigating hauntings, and we haven't had sufficient opportunity to address advanced aspects of other phenomena.

An Investigator / Researcher must maintain an open mind and objective stand when using any of these tools and techniques, as the results obtained from their use are highly uncertain and conjecturable (until alternate paradigms can be supported), moreso if the investigator has failed to ensure outside influences have been adequately compensated for (or ruled out entirely). You need to be very cautious with regard to any positive conclusions you assert relative to the use any of these tools.



Energy Assessment Tools

A basic assertion of the spiritualist paradigm is that spirits can and do sometimes affect our physical environment without having physical existences themselves. Obviously, there is no room in modern physics for such a notion; either there is something there in our physical reality, or it isn't. If it's there, we should be able to detect it. If it isn't there, then it shouldn't be able to influence our reality. So, one of the most exciting goals of research into this paranormal field is to gain objective evidence that our reality is being affected while demonstrating there is nothing physically present to make the observed (and recorded) effects possible. However, please note that these tools, even when "properly used," do not in any way substantiate any kind of spiritual existence, but only that there is some thing or some force present which defies explanation through modern science.

Cup at Three Chimneys

Props

The most simple way to assert the physical environment has changed without apparent cause is to set it up so it can be easily changed, and recording that (should it change) there are no outside factors influencing it. Small objects of sufficient mass so as to not be easily disturbed by air movement or vibration are good candidates. The accompanying photo is a fair example: a metal cup (on a metal table, so presumably outside of magnetic influence) is deliberately left open-side-down (demonstrably empty) near the edge of a table. It should be fairly easy for a small amount of energy to move the cup, but not so easy for known environmental factors to do the same. This experiment was very impromptu, however, and if it obtained positive results would have been handily disputed. To make the same experiment more supportable, the recording equipment should have been further away (so it could view the entire table), the cup should have been of a material not easily influenced by discrete forces (such as magnetic fields), and some makeshift "vibration and air current sensor" (some carefully balanced light object) could have been placed alongside to demonstrate the cup wasn't moving via floor vibrations or air movement.

Dowsing Rods

Dowsing Rods

Dowsing has been around for a very long time, most notably in connection with finding underground water sources. However, many groups and individuals maintain that it is possible to identify and isolate spiritual energy through dowsing rods, and experimentation by our own group has been unable to refute this claim. That isn't to say they work, but that there is good reason to continue the experimentation. The bottom line is that no one knows how or why they work, but they appear to work nonetheless. We do not consider anything observed or implied by dowsing to be evidenciary, but do include the outcomes of their use as a possible correlation or coincident effect.

Energy Enhancing Crystals

Crystals

The use of crystals to enhance or focus energies is extremely debatable, but also completely harmless. If you believe they work, they work - even if only on the level of a "placebo effect." If you don't believe they do anything, there is no negative effect - so no harm done. Further, crystals can be worn or carried in one's pocket very discretely, so using or carrying one will have no negative impact on either the preconceived notions of a site's proprietor or those of your co-investigators. We see no downside here.

Crystals are believed to have specific functions, dependent on the type of crystal worn or carried - from general sensitivity enhancement to increasing "focus" to opening up specific chakras (energy centers) of the user. Again, we can conceive of no negative impact in their use, so if you believe they work use it for its benefit, and if you don't believe they work you can just call it stylish jewelry.




Communications Tools

Almost anything can be used as a communication tool - ask a presumed presence to move or affect an object to demonstrate its existence. You may even receive simple yes / no answers to questions by asking for the effect once for "yes" and twice for "no." However, the very attempt of communicating with a spirit assumes any number of non-physicist theorums, including:

  •   There exist non-physical intelligent beings.
  •   There are energies and forces which can induce movement or change that physics has not yet been able to describe.
  •   These beings have access to and are able to manipulate these energies / forces.

An Investigator needs to understand this regarding communication: for you to assert communication, you are also asserting there is something present to communicate with, and no outside or unconsidered factor present which could reasonably duplicate the perceived communication.


Props

As with Energy Assessment, anything handy in the environment can easily be transormed into props to be used for communication. It's using them specifically to attempt communication that makes them tools. Even the K-2 meters used by TAPS in their "Ghost Hunters" show were nothing more than a convenient substitute - the K-2 meter was designed to be a Gauss Meter, but its easy-to-see display made it function better for them as a communication device. For an example and more information, see the Sound Recorder item below in this section.

"Shack hack"

Frank's Box

Frank Sumption's "Ghost Box" refers to any of a variety of software and hardware versions of random noise or phrase generators. These boxes don't just emit white noise, but truly random series of words - the most common form being a device which sweeps radio frequencies very quickly allowing a tuner to receive brief snippets from a wide range of radio signals. The theory is that a spirit may be able to control exactly which snippets are picked up and arrange them in some kind of logical order, and thus converse with an investigator. Frank made only a small number of units, but has made the plans for his equipment available online. Further, there are a few portable Radio Shack radio receivers which can perform nearly as well with only a slight modification (instructions are also available online - search: shack hack).

Another variant - which was the inspiration for Sumption's work - are computer programs which vary from providing syllables to complete words in a randomly accessed database from which the same theory suggests a spirit may assemble complete phrases. These programs were sometimes referred to as "Paranormal Pucks," but that term is also used to describe small instrument packs which relay changes in certain environmental readings to a computer database on an ongoing basis. The Puck with the dictionary would qualify as an advanced tool, while the instrument pack would qualify as an intermediate or basic tool dependent on which readings it recorded.


Sound Recorders

Audio recorders lend themselves handily to two very different forms of communication: immediate yes / no responses, and delayed full responses.

"Red Light, Green Light"
  •   For yes / no type responses, it is possible to request that the recorder's indicator LED by pulsed "off" once for yes or twice for no. Further, we have participated in an investigation in which a presence believed to be that of a child was enticed to play a form of the game "Red Light, Green Light" using the LED (causing the LED to pulse during the "green light" phase and remain solid during the red light phase).
  •   For full responses, the investigator may either ask questions (with the understanding that a recorder left on won't show audible results until later review of the recording), or he / she needs a second recorder which can be rewound and replayed in situ. In the "Ghost Hunters" television show, this is frequently referred to as an "EVP session," but the phenomenon is also known to be lab testable - as per experiments by Johannsen and Raudive.

Scrying Tools

The term "scrying" carries many pagan, magickal, and witch-like connotations. Simply put, scrying is the act of "seeing the unseen." Like crystals, usefullness and function varies widely according to the belief structure of the user. Unlike crystals, however, very few scrying instruments can be used discretely. Further, the connotations of many of the tools will negatively impact your group's public image if used openly. Common scrying instruments include pendulums, mirrors, and bowls of water, among any number of other items. They can be as complex and intricate or as simple as the user desires, but tend to be part of formalized belief systems and religious practices. Essentially, scrying is a tool-centered method of achieving a form of mediumship or psychic insight.

Ouija

Ouija

The use of a Ouija board is almost universally declaimed. Believers in its functionality claim it "opens doors" better left closed while nay-sayers feel its use is controlled or (at the very least) severely tainted by the users' subconciouses. The strongest negative we've heard thus far is that use of the Ouija is an invitation to an unknown being to take partial or full control of the users' bodies - and that unknown being is only required to relinquish control at its own discretion. The author (Kitt), however, disagrees. Both the board's instructions and practical testing suggest that any "invited presence" only controls the planchette (the heart-shaped indicator) and at most can only make use of the users' energies (accessable through the fingertips). If the planchette is being deliberately manipulated by the users' fingertips (whether through a "spirit" or through subconcious movements) then validation of the source of the board's information is impossible. In practical testing, however, the planchette guides the users' fingers, not vice versa. Still, the safety, reputation, and functionality of the board are so hotly contested, experimentation with it should be left to small groups who feel comfortable with its use, and should only be brought into any investigation discretely.

An additional note: our own testing suggests that use of the board receives better and more frequent responses when used off-site! We find this more than a little ironic, and it suggests the ability to manipulate the board (if the source of that manipulation is in fact spiritual) is uncommon, or at least not preferred, among presences.