Tuesday, June 12, 2007

TAPS Sucks

Yesterday it was Oprah, today it's time to nail The Atlantic Paranormal Society, aka TAPS, aka a bunch of dumbasses who can't seem to figure out how to use an infrared thermometer.

Now I admit, I own season one, and I find it hysterical to watch grown men jump when houses settle or a cat purrs. But seriously, they really believe in ghosts? I do believe in spooks! I do believe!

Well, let's hit the list of TAPS bullshit.

1. Infrared thermometers. TAPS apparently neglected a wonderful high school education on this one. According to TAPS, cold spots can indicate the presence of a ghost; well, so can a hot spot, it all depends upon what they find. I mean, no cold spots would be bad for ratings, so they just use the hot spot as well, mean, why not? The problem is that IR thermometers don't measure the air temperature; they measure surface temperature, well the temperature of the air right above the surface of something. So those cold spots and hot spots being found are actually a representation of garbage data from improper use of a device. Huh, and I thought they were experts, esp. since Brian explained so eloquently how to use a Geiger counter. Oh, this applies to the EMF detectors as well.

2. Wireless audio. Uhm, seriously, has anyone ever used a cordless phone and heard noise? Wireless audio stupid; you are just asking for interference. Even with wires we must worry about shielding them; and in some cases, such as with data cable, we CAN'T shield them or we get distorted/lost signals. That's one reason fiber optic is so great; it's not faster, it's just better quality and not subject to distortion.

3. Thermal cameras. Apparently these fellows only conditionally accept thermal reflections. The guy in the locker room door on thermal? Uh, that was you Grant, which is why the figure is LOOKING DOWN AT HIS CAMERA TOO! Just because your feeble attempts at repetition of the affect failed does not mean that it was a ghost, it means you can't figure out how to reproduce it. Besides, you're not even qualified to use a thermal camera.

4. Race rock was faked, pure and simple, and Grant, I'm looking at you partner. There are a couple of items I'd like to point out. First, TAPS has refused to provide unedited copies of this film for independent analysis. Hmm, so, they want to take a scientific approach, yet seem to not want to actually follow scientific procedures. Now, why would they do that? Anyway, the second item up is that the chair moves TWICE; there is a slight, minor movement and then the whole shebang. Third, there is an unidentified light source which flickers EXACTLY when the chair moves, BOTH TIMES! There is clearly something moving in front of the light source. My guess is that would be Grant pulling the string from the room above. And of course lastly, since when does a fold out chair make so much freakin' noise? Editing, or is Grant in the room below? If so, he could be pulling the thread and perhaps adding some additional weight to give the chair a bit more noise than usual, although this would likely not be planned.

5. Eastern State Penitentiary was clearly an individual moving to the camera, spinning, then running away; you can see the guys' shoes and pants. Also, the film speed has been altered. If the video is edited, it is now tainted and is no longer valid evidence. Oh, and they won't turn over the unedited originals for independent analysis either, go figure.

6. TAPS regularly employs Wiccans, demonologists, dowsers, and other such pseudoscientific nonsense. Sorry folks, but you can't sense energy fields, you can't dowse for anything, and there is not a single reason to have these self deluded people around. Oh, but if you can prove any of that, I know of a way you can win an easy million bucks.

All in all? TAPS represents themselves as a scientific group, yet they employ no scientific principle whatsoever. They are unable to use the equipment they have, they have very questionable "evidence", they work with people who claim some sort of supernatural power yet offer no scientific proof thereof, among other things. So while my analysis was in no way scientific and was strictly op ed, I invite any member of TAPS to discuss their methodologies and findings. Until then, I'll just consider them to be a more tame version of Most Haunted.

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