Saturday, December 03, 2011

Fact or Faked: Paranormal Files - A Third Time

I know that I have been quite critical of Fact or Faked: Paranormal Files in the last few weeks. I said then, and I will repeat now, that I enjoy the show. In the last couple of episodes, I have found nothing about which to complain.

Let me explain.

In a recent episode,, they were going to investigate a picture of a ghost taken at the Birdcage in Tombstone, Arizona. This was a gambling hall and house of prostitution back in the days of Wyatt Earp. A couple of dozen people were killed there and there have been reports of all sorts of ghostly occurrences inside, including an interesting picture of what looked like a man in a coffin.

They interviewed the photographer who said that he had tried to explain the picture but could not. They studied the photo and tried a number of different ways to duplicate with props on the table and a moving flashlight, but could not. Then one of the team noticed an old-fashioned coffee grinder sitting on the table and wondered if a light passing behind it would create the effect seen on the video. When they flashed a light through it, the shadows on the wall matched, perfectly, the ghost picture. They had found the solution.

In another investigation of a formation of UFOs taken in Mexico, they attempted to duplicate the taped image. They ran a couple of experiments, but nothing looked like the video they had. Finally the tried launching white, helium-filled balloons as is often done during weddings in that region. Their formation of balloons matched the motion, speed, and the grouping of the objects on the tape. They had found the solution.

Finally, they had a tape of a UFO seen above the Griffin Park Observatory taken by a motorist one night as he traveled down an LA freeway. They couldn’t run their experiments on the freeway for obvious reasons. Instead, they recreated the section of the freeway down to the lights and freeway signs to an amazing degree of accuracy. Again they ran their experiments but couldn’t quite duplicate the video.

What they eventually did, was use a helicopter, apparently with either the landing lights or a searchlight on, which overwhelmed the navigation lights and the anti-collision beacon. The bright object looked just like that on the video, as the helicopter hovered. They then had it accelerate and it looked like the object that had been filmed except that there wasn’t a sudden, rapid acceleration at the end of the video, as the object disappeared.

However, with a little digital editing, something that nearly everyone can do in today’s environment, they were able to duplicate the original video. They then used a voice stress type analysis of the witness. While I’m not a big fan of these sorts of things, and I think the jury is still out on the validity of such tests, they determined that the man who took the video was not being completely candid. Given all that, I believe they had found the solution.

They have done some other very good work in the last few weeks. They found what produced a ghostly image in a Nevada grave yard. It was the same solution that I found while investigating the Joplin, Missouri Spooklight a long time ago.

Once again, I believe that we all should watch Fact or Faked: Paranormal Files because they do put the claims of paranormal activity to the test. They do find the solutions for many of the stories, legends, claims and videos they examine. Anyone who does this kind of work, without becoming just debunkers searching for any solution, deserves our support.

4 comments:

Autumnforest said...

I really loved the concept and was a huge fan, but I really wanted to see the show incorporate real experts and more mature people instead of a bunch of personality-less adolescents. I can't really take it seriously and I also don't find it entertaining enough to laugh, so I had to turn it off. How many times can they use a blow-up UFO for the UFO cases they keep taking on? If they revamped it, I'd be back.

Department 47 said...

Actually, I think the young people do a good job and, frankly, I'm tired of all the UFO shows that trot out the same tired "experts" every time.

KRandle said...

Department 47 -

I am not tired.

Unknown said...

Actually, I think the young people do a good job and, frankly, I'm tired of all the UFO shows that trot out the same tired "experts" every time.