CPRI is currently working to explore the subject of the paranormal - concentrating on ghosts and hauntings phenomena which includes poltergeist phenomena and so called “phone calls from the dead.” CPRI approaches paranormal research from an empirical standpoint whenever possible. We are currently researching a number of theories in regards to the paranormal. Described below are some of the theories we are currently investigating.
Most of the research pages below accept comments from the general public. To read the full details and comments for these research studies, click on the research title.
Perceived Electronic Voice Phenomenon (EVPs) and Environmental Correlation: Statistical Analysis of a Large Longitudinal Data Set
By Jack Trammell, Ph.D.
Using a large combined data set from multiple investigations that includes regularly logged measures of environmental information, and a strict criterion-based definition for perceived EVPs (electronic voice phenomenon), basic statistical analysis was conducted to identify statistically significant correlations. The results indicate that some environmental factors, such as humidity and electromagnetic field fluctuation, appear to be more closely related to perceived EVPs than others. This paper will also include a guided discussion of the criterion-based EVP definition, and the need for more in-depth instrumentation and analysis in future research.
CPRI was allowed to perform research at Bacon's Castle in Surry, VA. This research consisted of collecting data using audio and video recorders as well as environmental data for correlation. This research will be ongoing and progressing through many different experiments. Report files will be added here after each research date.
Here's a link to the location website:
While collecting environmental data surrounding reported investigations, environmental data from Geostationary Operations Environmental Satellites (GOES) was also collected. While analyzing the vast amount of data collected, a trend emerged regarding the timing of most manifestations versus the Hp magnetic field satellite environmental plot. The Hp plot typically fluctuates between a maximum and minimum, similar to a sin wave. Most reported manifestations seemed to occur when the Hp field was dropping from the maximum to the minimum. Further data will be collected to confirm this correlation. An example plot is enclosed.
Update: Paper finally completed and enclosed below. Correlation seems to be evident, though further analysis seems to point towards other correlations as well.
To test this idea, we will construct a device to accurately measure the distance that is bridged to complete the circuit and thus activate the flashlight. It is theorized that if unknown forces are acting on the device the air gap will exceed the normal gap that a fixed power source can bridge.
It has been suggested that low frequency sound waves known as infrasound can create cold chills, a sense of paranoia and distress, and even hallucinatory figures glimpsed in peripheral vision. Infrasound tests conducted by NASA have shown that the human eyeball has a resonant frequency of 18 cycles a second, and will vibrate in sympathy with infrasound waves that have a similar frequency. Under such conditions, a person might experience a “smearing of vision” that could resultin evanescent hallucinations in the periphery of their visual field. This effect is reminiscent of the theories of neurologist Michael Persinger (see more below), who has suggested that electromagnetic waves can interfere with brain activity and lead people to think they see ghosts or aliens.
Putting the theory to the test
The VGHRS Audio/EVP expert Jim Hale has devised an instrument to measure infrasound. The instrument uses a commercial seismograph transducer that converts low frequency vibrations into an electrical signal. This electrical signal is amplified and fed into an oscilloscope which provides a visual display of the waveform thus revealing its frequency and relative amplitude. The VGHRS has used this infrasound instrument in an investigation of the Byrd Theatre in Richmond, VA. During the course of the investigation, Jim Hale experienced several “kicks” to the back of his seat in the theatre when no one was around. Notably, infrasonic waves were registe#730400 on the oscilloscope for each “kick”—perhaps indicating that infrasound may be responsible for more than just hallucinations and “creepy” sensations. The VGHRS will continue to test for infrasound at future investigations as possible to collect more data.
This theory was first introduced by Michael Persinger. He is the Professor of Psychology and head of the Neuroscience Research Group at Laurentian University, Ontario, Canada. His theory is that the sensation commonly described as “having a religious experience/paranormal experience” is merely a side effect of our bicameral brain’s feverish activities. Simplified considerably, the idea goes like so: When the right hemisphere of the brain, the seat of emotion, is stimulated in the cerebral region that is presumed to control notions of self; and then the left hemisphere, the seat of language, is called upon to make sense of this nonexistent entity, the mind generates a “sensed presence.” Dr. Persinger believes such cerebral “fritzing” is responsible for almost anything one might describe as paranormal, incuding aliens, heavenly apparitions, past-life sensations, near-death experiences, awareness of the soul, and so on. Experimental subjects who were exposed to a specific series of pulses from TMS (transcranial magnetic stimulation) described feeling an invisible presence near them or feeling connected to the whole world.
The experience of an "other worldly experience" is well-documented in the neuroscientific literature. It tends to happen to people who are capable of vivid imagery and who are under some sort of stress -- anything from lack of oxygen and food to a recent bereavement. Such experiences are thought to be trigge#730400 somehow in the temporal lobes, those parts of the brain around and above the ears.
Putting the Theory to the Test: M.A.T.I.S.
The VGHRS routinely conducts EM surveys of all of the property/buildings that we investigate, including initial investigations if at all possible. Typically, we ask that the electricity to the building beshut off ann wait 20-30 minutes for any residual energy to settle before the survey is conducted. We then use a Trifield meter to measure EM waves throughout the location. If an EMF spike or unusually high EM activity is recorded, we first look for natural explanations such as nearby power lines. Jim Hale gave birth to M.A.T.I.S - the Magnetic Anomaly Tracking and Identification System (read more about it here) This system presently measures infra#730400 (IR), visible (Vis), and ultraviolet (UV) light; geomagnetic (0-0.5 Hz) static electromagnetic fields; 60 Hz dynamic electromagnetic fields from wiring, vibration, and galvanic skin response of a human subject. If Dr. Persinger’s theory holds true, then one might except to find high levels of EM at a reportedly “haunted” location. The VGHRS is still collecting data to assess this theory.
See our techology page for more info about the Brain Fritzer
During Halloween of 2004 the VGHRS gave a presentation at the Chesterfield Historical Society's Spirit Walk at Magnolia Grange - (you can read about it here) - and had a number of people try out the Brain Fritzer. The results were exactly as we had expected - once we pulsed at least 40 hz through and around their temporal lobes people began to have the same experiences/symptoms they have before/during a paranormal experience. The VGHRS/CPRI hopes to do more research to try to pinpoint exactly how this works. Initial results look very promising.
On a side note: Dr. Persinger theorizes, for example, that just prior to earthquakes there are deformations in the natural EM field caused by the intense pressure change in subsurface tectonic plates. This might explain why some researchers have noted that when local geomagnetics conditions are ACTIVE, people often report increased levels of paranormal activity (hence, the reason for “Ghost Weather”" on our website)
The VGHRS has noticed a trend in the type of people that report paranormal phenomena. We are trying to figure out why some people experience a lot of paranormal phenomena and others experience none.
Putting the Theory to the Test:
Bobbie Atristain is currently conducting both online and telephone surveys to figure out if there is a common thread that all of the "haunted" people have in common. If you would like to read more about this project please click here.
Jim Hale, the Audio/EVP/PCFTD Expert for the VGHRS is conducting a landmark experiment - Project Hawkeye. This project will explore the realm of ultraviolet photography using the Kodak Brownie camera and special film that DOES NOT cut out ultraviolet light. Jim believes that ultraviolet light may be responsible for not only strange images on film but also strange "chirping" sounds in EVP recordings. Jim is working on a website that explains this theory in more detail - it will posted soon.
There has been evidence to suggest that the neurotransmitter Histamine may play a role in people who have a LOT of paranormal experiences. Well known parapsychologist Dr. William Roll has suggested that allergies such as hay fever and sinus problems seem to accompany people who have a lot of "psychic" ability - therefore leading to more paranormal experiences. CPRI Researcher Bobbie Atristain also noted this correlation when conducting surveys for her "haunted people"* research.
Putting the Theory to the Test:
Bobbie Atristain is working on a set of metrics in order to create a survey to be conducted in conjunction with various mental health departments around the state. She is also working on a formal research proposal which will be made public via the website once it is completed.
* Haunted People Research
I've finally concluded my research with Haunted People. For those of you who participated in the survey - thanks. I've finally published my first book that details my research entitled "Haunted People, Haunted Minds". You can check it out on the publisher's website @http://lulu.com/cpri. The reason I consider people to be "haunted" is because in nearly 7 years of research with CPRI I've found that the people that we investigate tend to have a lot of paranormal experiences - and not limited to ghosts and hauntings - UFOs, seeing the Hand of God and Men in Black. I've also ran across people that had healing powers or could predict earthquakes. I've noticed some other trends and I'm trying to figure out what makes these certain people "attract" paranormal activity.
Also you can read research concerned with Seratonin and the Paranormal (click here to read) conducted by Robin Pyatt Bellamy from Para Researchers in Canada.