A&E FLIR The Life and Times of Tech in the Paranormal

The Life and Times of Tech in the Paranormal


Article by: Josh light

One aspect of paranormal tech that usually gets forgotten is its history and how it came to be used within the paranormal community in the first place.  There are a number of items that just make sense to have, such as a flashlight, pen and paper, and timepiece.  But the EMF meter?  Nightvision cameras?  Ovilus and Frank’s box?  Thermal cameras?  How did these come to be a mainstay in the tech arsenal?

FLIR Camera

The use of the EMF meter (now a fairly ubiquitous investigation tool) has its roots in findings by Dr Micheal Persinger.  He determined that there was a correlation between EMF and UFO sightings.  However, even a seasoned investigator more likely learned about the use of such a device through watching “Ghost Hunters.”  From the earliest programs, there was a suggestion that EMF indicated paranormal phenomena.  Shortly thereafter, TAPS showed a form of spirit communication using EMF meters as the means in which an entity could respond.  This has become quite popular among certain investigative teams.

Thermal cameras were another contribution to the field that TAPS made public.  While they may not have been the first to use heat based investigation, they certainly showed it off in style.  Once the ghost hunting community got a taste of thermal imaging, it was like blood in the water.  While these are still quite expensive, there are a growing number of groups that have purchased or rented these in an attempt to capture evidence.

The use of nightvision had to wait until the technology was available for mass market.  While there were some early adopters of the technology (including the Rhine Institute), most investigators were exposed to the technology as a result of a show on MTV entitled “FEAR”.  This show subjected the contestants to a number of frightening scenarios, frequently involving the dark.  While the scenarios may have been questionably related to the paranormal, the show introduced a contingent of ghost hunters to the possibilities of using nightvision cameras to capture the things that go bump in the dark.

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The Ovilus

There have been attempts to communicate with the dead through electronic means since the days of Edison.  The movie Poltergeist spawned an interest in communicating through the looping of video white noise.  However, in more recent years there has been a return to communication through audio means.  Paranormal State brought a controversial device called ‘Frank’s Box’ to the attention of paranormal enthusiasts world wide on one episode and another gadget called the Ovilus on another.  Though there was no definitive proof that either device functioned as a spirit communication device, this led to them being explored by a large percentage of the paranormal community.

It’s fairly clear that television has become the quickest way to make a tech device trendy.  However, the old adage remains true: don’t believe everything you see.  Once you see something of interest, look at both the science behind the device and the claims that come along with it.  Only then can you sort out what’s hype and what’s real.


About the Author:

Josh Light is an Investigator and electrical engineer with the Paranormal Research Society. He lives in State College, PA where he works alongside with the other members of PRS at their headquarters.


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