Skepfeeds-The Best Skeptical blogs of the day

Google maps discovers british ghost!

Posted in Skepdude by Skepdude on March 30, 2009

Or so some think. This is a picture that has been circulating in the British media.

street_view_grab

And of course you’d expect The Telegraph, which does seem to be very friendly to such crappy stories, to come up with as much a sensationalized article as they can, and you’d be right. “Victorian ‘ghost’ picked up by Google Street View” they boast. And wouldn’t you know, they went to an expert on such things, a local medium who happily proclaimed:

Apparitions have often been caught on film but are invisible to the naked eye. “This woman is very smart – but she is dressed in clothes that you just don’t see these days unless it’s in a period drama on TV.

“But what is really strange is that she doesn’t appear as a full figure – you can’t see all of her.”

First and foremost there is a guy IN UNDERWEAR and cowboy hat playing the guitar in Times Square. So why should we be surprised by a lady in a black coat, shirt and hat? But, let’s deconstruct this a little further. First, the medium claims that apparitions have been caught on film but are invisible to the naked eye. Interesting. I’d think they’d still be invisible to our naked eye, even after being filmed, but maybe there is some technicality there that I am not aware off.

Then, the medium says that this ghostly apparition is “very smart”! Very smart, not just ordinary smart, or above average smart, but very smart! Now where is that coming from? How does the medium know the ghost was not a bimbo ghost? What is it about the ghost that makes her very smart? Interesting indeed. And of course, the medium sounds mystified that we can’t see all of her, she does not appear as a full figure. Well besides the fact that there is something obviously wrong with this picture (where her body is “cut off” everything gets blurry, it seems to be magnified in comparison to the rest of the picture, and nothing lines up such as tile lines or shadows which imply that this is clearly an artifact of the picture taking process, or a fake), we also have in our hands another picture available of the same “ghost lady”.

Kudos go out to The Register who didn’t just go for the stupid headline, unlike The Telegraph, and instead did a little more digging and found out the truth, in all its non-glory. Here it goes.

street_view_grab_2

It’s just a lady standing on the sidewalk! That’s it.It is obviously not a ghost, as to my knowledge ghosts don’t seem so material, and they don’t have shadows, lining up perfectly with every other shadow in the picture. And the woman is not wearing anything out of the ordinary, just a long black coat, pink scarf and a hat. What’s so surprising about that? And guess what, I can see all of her, she is completely visible. Oh the true believers will quickly dismiss this, they’ll forget it and latch on to the next bad photo, one which hopefully will not have a sister photo showing that they are quite stupid in their beliefs.

The Stupid….it burns and burns and burns….

the-stupid-it-burns

Tagged with: , , ,

Ghost Repeller Now Available

Posted in JREF, Skepdude by Skepdude on March 19, 2009

While some may be “hunting” ghosts, or merely trying to decide whether they exist or not, one ambitious Thai company, Boondee Laboratories, has created a device that will force them away. They claim it works on devils too.

First, I have to comment on the language on the site. The authors are clearly not native English speakers, and as easy as it would be to poke fun at their phrasing and word choice, I’m going to refrain from doing so for one simple reason: I can’t speak a word of Thai that isn’t on a restaurant menu (I’m a big fan of Tom Kha Gai).

This electronic device sends out a “killer wave” that’s supposed to repel ghosts. From Boondee:

Video capture the invisible picture then convert to radio signal and sent to WAVE KILLER gernerated by complex electronic circuit.

READ THE REST OF THIS STORY AT “RANDI.ORG”

Killer Wave! KILLER WAVE..AAAAHHH! But the real money quote is in the FAQ’s if you ask me. Check this out:

  • What about my house has a good spirit of our ancestor protect my family, would this machine kill their spirit ?
      Ans. The machine can distinguist the phenomenon signal input, good spirit and bad spirit has its characteristic, the device will ignor or skip the good spirit.
  • What happen if we unplug the machine at later time, how can we sure the ghost won’t come back again with more angry ?
    • Ans. The machine is smart than ghost, fear and not return. You did not battle with ghost, the machine fight with ghost for you.

    Ha ha….ha ha  ha ha! I can’t believe they want to sell that cheap looking piece of crap!

    The beast with one back

    Posted in Skepbitch by Skepdude on October 24, 2008

    CLICK HERE TO GO TO THE ORIGINAL ENTRY AT “THE SKEPBITCH”

    Ghosts have needs too…

    Folklorically, a ghost is a manifestation of a deceased person. Ghosts are somehow caught in limbo between the physical world and whatever afterlife in which the believer believes. (Contrast this with a spirit that has achieved the afterlife, but has no physical form.)

    There seem to be two main kinds of ghosts, those that follow a routine or pattern conducted during their lifetime, such as repeating a traumatic event. The other kind of ghost has limited interactive abilities, they can materialize if they require the intercession of the living to right a wrong, or lay their bones to rest so they too can access the afterlife.

    Or maybe they just appear with their hollow eyes and transparent glow to scare your tits off.

    Some of you might recall fictional ghosts that endeavor to interact with the living via a medium, like Patrick Swayze’s insipid character in Ghost. Others ghosts can interact directly with people, such as the sailor in The Ghost and Mrs Muir. Since I’m lately on a roll of unrequited (and unrequitable) love, this movie and tv series focused on the barely restrained sexual tension between a sexy widow and a ghostly, rugged, salty seaman.

    But can ghosts do things that the living can do? Do ghosts, like poltergeists, have tactile abilties? Can they touch us, harm us, and even engage in intercourse with us?

    My mate Mark Dallas of Toronto sent me a link to an article about actress Jessica Alba who was once reputedly “attacked by a ghost”. Mark further says, “I mention it because I was watching that highly informative and intellectual program Entertainment Weekly, which mentioned another actress (whose name escapes me) who has recently (allegedly) been scratched all over by the ghost of the son of a brothel-keeper.”

    Mark’s quote reminds me of a Wuthering Heights quote: “He’s exactly like the son of the fortune-teller that stole my tame pheasant.”

    Right…moving on…

    According to the article, Alba claims vaguely that on a single occasion she felt “something”, a “presence”, take the covers from her bed before she then felt a “pressure” placed on her body. The crappy tabloid translates this to the explicit: ”Jessica Alba has claimed that she was attacked in bed by a ghost when she was a teenager.” Whatever the cause, the event scared the shit out of her, she ran to the safety of her parent’s room, and implied that she soon left the house, while her parents tried to treat the perceived problem really rationally, “They got it blessed and they burned sage and stuff since then.”

    These are non-specific symptoms of a haunting, but what could have caused this incident, and these sensations?

    Clearly, this event occurred at least a decade ago, and even the experiencer can’t be a reliable informant for such a dated incident. Especially given the variables of the incident…it was presumably night time, presumably dark, she was presumably nearing sleep, or actually asleep at the time. We are relying on anecdotal evidence, which is kind of like joining a line without knowing what it’s for.

    Without being there at the time, or being able to replicate that exact occurrence, we should first consider natural explanations.

    A few plausible explanations include parasomnia (nightmare, sleep paralysis or night terror) or even sleep apnea. This is very real stuff.

    All of these conditions could engender feelings of pressure, immobility, suffocation, and panic.

    Recently, one Doctor Atlantis told me that as a lad he was once awoken similarly by a “pressure” on his bed. His parents answered his screams and the culprit turned out to be a dodgy light fitting that fell from the ceiling, nearly sliced him up a treat. (Until he has children we can’t be sure that he escaped unscathed).

    I once watched a particularly disturbing episode of the Montel Williams Show, disturbing not only because Sylvia Browne was a guest, but also because the moll claimed that a teenage boy in the audience was ‘being visited by the ghosts of victims of the American Civil War’. These ghostly soldiers supposedly attacked him as they recreated their battles. What was the evidence for this claim? The kid was covered in tiny cuts. Could he have been into self-mutilation? For some kids, a cockandbull story about ghosts would be less embarrassing than the truth. (

    It’s also a possibility that some similar cases of ‘abusive ghosts’ mask abuse by people.

    This reminds me of a claim by Anna Nicole Smith (god rest her soul) that she often enjoyed sex with a well-equipped and lusty ghost.

    However, now Smith has crossed over, there are claims that she is now a ghost. Perhaps you’ll get lucky guys (and girls, from what I’ve heard…)

    (Also, see Sex with a ghost can be quite spirited for a cute overview of this topic, including some patently ridiculous nonsense from paranormal researcher Joshua Warren.)

    Then there are the slutty demonic, gobliny and ghostly incubi and succubi, and satan with his ‘ice cold member’.

    What do we believe?

    The principle of Occam’s Razor teaches us that the more simple explanation is often the correct explanation. The natural, mundane, common answer is the more likely explanation for violent ghosts and ghostly lovers.

    Were you attacked by a ghost, or simply having a fucking awful nightmare? Did you have sex with a ghost, or simply have sex with your partner? (…or was it a bloody wet dream you pervert?).

    At any rate, I think these raunchy ghosts warrant a deeper investigation…so, to all you ghosts out there reading this…I’m, err… headed off to bed right now if you, um… want to, well, join me…for science…

    CLICK HERE TO GO TO THE ORIGINAL ENTRY AT “THE SKEPBITCH”