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  1. #1
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    Jan 2004
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    Sleuth finds the truth in ghost stories

    http://cosmiclog.nbcnews.com/_news/2...t-stories?lite

    Paranormal investigator Joe Nickell has busted a lot of ghostly myths over the past 40 years — but the spookiest part of his job comes when he actually catches a ghost red-handed.

    No, we're not talking about spirits of the dead: These "ghosts" are hotel clerks who flick the lights to keep the guests talking about the place's ghost story, or a mischievous child who plays tricks on his parents. Or maybe a camera crew catching weird-looking "orbs" floating through the frame — orbs they didn't notice until they looked at the pictures later.

    "Much of what so-called ghost hunters are detecting is themselves," Nickell, the author of "The Science of Ghosts," told me this week. "If they go through a haunted house and stir up a lot of dust, they shouldn't be surprised if they get a lot of orbs in their photographs.".............more at link.....


    "The further we (as the human race) grow away from the natural world, the quieter the natural world becomes and the more pathological we become as a culture."........Bernie Krause

    The citizens of the United States of America have a right to applaud themselves for having given to mankind examples of an enlarged and liberal policy—a policy worthy of imitation......which gives to bigotry no sanction, to persecution no assistance.......George Washington

  2. #2
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    Mar 2009
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    People like Nickell and his ilk strike me as such joyless bastards. Don't misunderstand - I'm a skeptic, too, but why one would enjoy making a point of setting all the records straight....I just don't see it. People need to believe.

    It's like Keats's lines in his poem 'Lamia' (and by "philosophy" here, he means science):
    Do not all charms fly

    At the mere touch of cold philosophy?
    There was an awful rainbow once in heaven:
    We know her woof, her texture; she is given
    In the dull catalogue of common things.
    Philosophy will clip an Angel's wings,
    Conquer all mysteries by rule and line,
    Empty the haunted air, and gnomed mine
    Unweave a rainbow, as it erewhile made

    The tender-person'd Lamia melt into a shade.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
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    30,906
    Quote Originally Posted by wfgodot View Post
    People like Nickell and his ilk strike me as such joyless bastards. Don't misunderstand - I'm a skeptic, too, but why one would enjoy making a point of setting all the records straight....I just don't see it. People need to believe.

    It's like Keats's lines in his poem 'Lamia' (and by "philosophy" here, he means science):
    People need to know the truth. How can we ever evolve as a species when ....still...to this day...so many still believe In fairy tales?


    Nosy by Nature and a Websleuther by choice

  4. #4
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    Mar 2009
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    Quote Originally Posted by Linda7NJ View Post
    People need to know the truth. How can we ever evolve as a species when ....still...to this day...so many still believe In fairy tales?
    I don't disagree.

    Places which seek to make commerce out of resident "ghosts," if dishonest, have the exposure coming, as do those who think dust particles are "orbs" when photographed, and boggle the mind with further extrapolations.

    But I think there is a third way incorporating honestly observed anomalous phenomena, and science.

    Don't know what that way is yet, but someday we might.

  5. #5
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    Nov 2008
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    Quote Originally Posted by wfgodot View Post
    People like Nickell and his ilk strike me as such joyless bastards. Don't misunderstand - I'm a skeptic, too, but why one would enjoy making a point of setting all the records straight....I just don't see it. People need to believe.

    It's like Keats's lines in his poem 'Lamia' (and by "philosophy" here, he means science):
    Excellent work to choose on All Hallows Eve!

    Didn't know Keats was aware of the Hindu idea that one day science and religion shall meet. All will be clear as all is one.

    I do agree, dust is not ghosts nor flickered lights. Shallow are those that play with the fragile.

    Unless I have included a link, it is my opinion and only my opinion that I am expressing.

  6. #6
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    Mar 2009
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    Quote Originally Posted by 21merc7 View Post
    Shallow are those that play with the fragile.
    I'm stealing this sentence immediately and adding it to my repertoire, it's so well-said.

    Joe Nickell and James (The Amazing) Randi are skeptics whose work I find amazingly shallow - as if disproving something causes it not to exist. However, the work of the late polymath Martin Gardner is another matter. Yes, he was a skeptic, but his well-rounded interests in other things - the works of G.K. Chesterton; Frank Baum's 'Oz' books; stage magic; philosophy; religion; game theory; mathematics - makes his debunking of various "psychic" manifestations worthwhile by providing them an at times equally mysterious context.