Filling in for George, John B. Wells welcomed network engineer by day, paranormal investigator by night, Dave Howard, for a discussion on some of the unique ways his team investigates claims of supernatural activity. A self-described skeptic, Howard said his interest in the paranormal was piqued at age thirteen, when he saw a mysterious figure walk through his house and exit through a solid wall. A co-worker later introduced him to the field of paranormal investigations. His group's approach is not to debunk or to prove but to experience the claim and perhaps uncover a reason for it, Howard explained. He shared an interesting case of a family whose members had suddenly become unnerved after buying a piano from an estate auction. There was no activity in their house except for where the piano was located, so the piano was the catalyst for the activity. Howard reported.
In addition to standard equipment used by many paranormal operations, such as night vision/thermal cameras, temperature gauges, and EMF meters, Howard noted that his team also employs devices to measure atmospheric pressure, wind speed, sound decibels, and radiation levels. Perhaps the most unique piece of equipment in his paranormal investigator's toolbox is his dog, Sophie. According to Howard, watching Sophie for unusual body language cues is one of the best ways to determine whether there is any substance to a supernatural claim. In addition, Sophie's biometric readings are monitored via specially designed equipment, he said. Strange occurrences are typically experienced by the group when Sophie is agitated, Howard revealed, noting a case when his team watched as a thermal hand print inexplicably appeared on Sophie's fur.
During Open Lines, Carl in Troy, Michigan, recalled a strange experience that began occurring shortly after a long-time friend passed away. According to Carl, the television in the bathroom, which could only be controlled by a remote kept in a bedroom vanity, would mysteriously turn on whenever he entered. He credited his deceased friend with the curious prank. On one occasion, Carl crossed the threshold, the television clicked on, and his Miniature Pinscher began barking aggressively from outside the bathroom. Carl said he called out to his ghostly comrade to let him know that he was agitating his dog and since then has never been bothered again. Stan from Tacoma, Washington, shared a story about a silver necklace he purchased for his beloved cross pendant. Stan said the pendant never stayed in place on the chain, often moving to the back of his neck, until the day it fell off. Upon examination, he discovered that the necklace was still clasped and the loop on the cross unbroken. Stan believes either the cross pendant or the chain may have haunted.
Physicists are one step closer to making sci-fi technology a reality by inventing a working tractor beam. New York University physicists David B. Ruffner and David G. Grier have successfully demonstrated a way to harness Bessel beams to trap and move particles. It's a long way off from grabbing star ships in space, but someday soon there may be scientific and military applications for this technique. More at Business Insider.
Bumper music from Friday October 26, 2012