Wednesday, October 14, 2009

GHOST LAB: Tombstone

Discovery Channel - Original Air Date: 10/13/09

The Ghost Lab team brings their bag of tricks to the Old West town of Tombstone to look for ghosts.  They poke around the town, checking out Theater/Saloons, mines, ang even the cemetery at Boot Hill.  They talk to locals and get the usual witness stories.  Then they deploy their "scientific" equipment, which includes the usual EMF meters, recorders, etc. The equipment this time also includes a small "lightning generator," some kind of static producing gizmo, with which they hope to supercharge the air to bring out supernatural phenomena.  (That's science!  Or not.)

Having watched two episodes of this show now, I gotta say, it's hard to take these guys seriously.  As regular readers know, I enjoy colorful characters (like those on Destination Truth), but the brothers here just push it too far.  They're noisy, obnoxious, and have a weirdo theory for pretty much everything.  And all that makes it more obvious just how absurd -- and scientifically unsupportable -- much of this "investigation" is.  Where it jumped the shark for me was when they were yelling at a room that appeared to be haunted by ... feedback.  "I am the ghost of Peter Frampton!" I joked to my wife.

None of this stuff has any real scientific value (so far as I see) save for video tapes (uncontaminated by lighting problems -- of which there is little) or audio (and not "unheard voices" a.k.a EVP) which backs up what team members experience with their 5 rational senses (and not vague "feelings").  I'm tired of "We didn't notice anything at the time, but..." discoveries.  Science depends on rigor, observation, and repeatability.

All of which is to say, the more I watch these shows, the more I believe in TV producer greed, and the less I believe in ghosts.  And let's not even talk about "shadow people."  (This one appears to be to be the shadow of the tree in the center of the picture.)  And will someone _please_ teach someone on these shows how to properly operate a camera (digital or film) and analyze photos!

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