Sunday, May 1, 2011

Frank's Ghost Boxes


Do you remember the seances and ectoplasm, Ouija and table tipping of the old spiritualist's movement in terms of talking to the other side?

Guess what? We have a new springing culture of pseudoscience spiritualism within the ghost hunting community still. We see it a lot with people like Ryan Buell who plant magical coins around properties and bring in religious figures to perform exorcisms.

The use of Frank's Ghost Box is just the same as turn-of-the-century spiritualists communications methods without the cheesy ectoplasm extrusion, but with all the bells and whistles of cone and table tipping used as communications with the spirit world.

How does a Frank's Ghost Box work? Well, I think this person best described it on his site:

Frank's spirit receiver starts off with a standard white noise generator which is fed through a random voltage circuit of Frank's own design. The random voltage is linked to an AM radio receiver which reacts to the voltage by tuning to a specific spot on the radio dial. This is known as voltage tuning and is a common function of late 80s and early 90s radio receivers. Though various radio stations are turned in for a split second every so often along with regular static, the devices also allows the spirits to interact with the device and create their own vocals through the receiver and for lack of a better term, talk through the device.

A newer version of the box simply tunes back and fourth through the AM band which Frank is calling the "Sweep" method. At first, he believed that the random voltage design is what allowed it to work but after using the sweep method, he has since changed his mind as it seems to do a better job. Frank has made his plans available on the Internet for anyone who is interested in experimenting with his device. He also makes available his own receiver plans for those who want to take it a step further and create the entire box from start to finish.

Frank has created at least 25 versions of the box to date and handed them to several individuals for ongoing tests. The initial results have been pretty positive and many people have experienced some kind of communication which they would regard as evidence that the box really works. Unfortunately, the difficult part about Frank's design is his using the AM radio band as the medium for receiving the voices. This is one fact that makes it easy for any skeptic to debunk the operation of his device. For starters, the device will receive little snippets from various radio stations as it scans through the AM band. At any given minute the device could spew some various words from passing stations that could be put together as a sentence and claimed to be from a spirit when in fact its just audio matrixing.




I'm not even sure why I cover this ridiculous device. When I had my son's intercom in our home for when he was a baby, I would hear neighbor's conversations, sometimes just a few words, but it would scare the bejesus out of me to hear that in my baby's bedroom. Sometimes, I'd pick up the wireless phone and hear a conversation going on from nearby. Another time, a car with a cell or satellite phone came over my answering machine without the phone ringing, just live speech through the box which was a handy receiver (just like a Frank's Box--a receiver of RF signals).

Any time someone wants to set a TV or a radio for "white noise" between stations to talk to the spirit world, I'm about to go into a conniption seizure. No, this is no more valid than using a psychic's impressions. Let's step away from the spiritualist's movement in regards to paranormal activity and instead concentrate on the point at which this phenomena shows itself in our physical world. No matter what origin it might be launched from, it does not utilize our own RF to communicate nor does it call us on the phone or send us email messages.

The first order of business is to figure out if this even sees or hears us, is sentient and spirit-based, or if it's something altogether different like parallel dimensions, invisible intelligent life form, time glitches, or simply recordings of the past. If we try to use psychics, mediums, Ouija, and radio frequencies, we have just made all that "proof" completely and totally hokum and not admissible.

Step away from the ridiculous Ghost Box and move on, please.

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