|Posted: 06/September/2006 at 10:01pm | IP Logged
So you just bought a new IR thermometer and you open the package before you even make it back to your car to drive home. You quickly slap some batteries into the new piece of ghost hunting equipment, almost forgetting to even pay attention to the polarity and you begin to take temperature readings. Your excitement grows as you "scan" the area. BUT do you know what you are reading?
Your excitement grows as you've come to the realization that you now have a piece of equipment that others in the ghost hunting realm have praised as the key item for finding ghosts.
You somehow manage to open your car door, all the while taking measurements of everything around you. You think to yourself, "NOW I can pinpoint where the voices, energy, strange occurrences are coming from... This will allow me to identify and find ghosts!" I your car you sweep the IR thermometer around... The temp reading is 74 degrees F as you aim it towards the back seat. As you sweep the thermometer towards the front and in the general direction of the black dashboard it reads 83 degrees F.
You pull the trigger on the thermometer and the cool looking laser dot is projected onto the dashboard. You can't wait to get home and test it out in your own house. You quickly start your car and place the thermometer in your lap as you back out of the parking lot stall. Who knows, you just might need to take a temp reading while you are driving.
You make your way through the parking lot and yeah, you almost side swiped the old lady pushing the shopping cart BUT you don't let that break your concentration... The places to test out your new key ghost hunting device pop into your head so fast you have a hard time catagorizing them and placing them in order of priority.
You have made it onto the main road and evidently you cut off a few cars because you hear horns blowing and notice the guy that has sped up next to you is showing you how straight he can hold up one finger, but your focus cannot be changed by anything or anyone. You are on a mission and NOTHING is going to stand in your way.
You make it home and for the life of you, you can't remember even leaving the store where you bought your new Holy Grail finding thermometer. You can barely get the keys out of the ignition as you grab the thermometer and try to step out of the car... Something is holding you back from leaving the vehicle. Is it a ghost? Did the IR thermometer somehow open up a doorway that allowed a ghost to bum a ride to your house? AND does that mean the ghost is here to stay??? No, in your excitement, you forgot to unbuckle your seat belt.
With your new freedom from the tight gripping chains of the seatbelt, you move about your fron yard taking measurements of the air around you. You feel a certain burst of power and control of all things around you as you slowly squeeze the trigger. You think to yourself that this must be what gun owners feel when they squeeze off a few rounds into a paper target. Your aim places the laser dot on your front door, the tree in the front yard, your neighbors basketball hoop... You are in control of the environment. You know what is going on around you as your new IR thermometer constantly gives different temp readings with each new aiming position.
You make your way into your house, all the while never taking your eyes off of the temperature display on the back of the IR thermometer. You somehow manage to get the keys out of the front door and close it without missing a micro-second of time on the display.
You point your new thermometer towards the painting of your great great gandfathers military portrait and notice the temp dropped 8 degrees from when you were pointing it at the kitchen. Is the Captain trying to show that he is there, with you, staying with his portrait?
You move about your house, slowly and methodically. You take on a cat-like prowl almost as if you are a Navy Seal Team member. Nothing is going to be able to sneak up on your or sneak away without you measuring it first.
Within hours you have completely swept through your house several times. You started writing the different temperatures down in your notepad and you notice that certain areas have considerably lower readings. Time goes by and you don't even notice that it's after 3pm.
You continue your unscheduled investigation of your own house. slowly turning corners, pulling the trigger, keeping an unfocused eye on the laser dot on the walls but never missing a tenth of a degree change on the display.
You turn to walk down your hall and slowly step not making a sound. You have long since removed your shoes as you didn't want to disturb to environment with your footsteps... "Who knows, the sound of footsteps might shoo the ghosts away", you think to yourself.
You get to almost the end of the hall and your heart jumps to your throat. The temp reading jumps from 71 degrees F to 94 degrees F in a fraction of a second! Furthermore, you catch a glimpse of a dark figure that appears to be roughly four feet high. You almost scream as this is your first experience with a full apparition... Your heart is pounding so hard that you shirt is actually bouncing. You look up to focus on the apparition and you hear, "What are you doing?"
It TALKED to you!!! It actually asked you a question! Holy cow, you've hit the jackpot! Your new Holy Grail finding IR thermometer has found exactly that!
But as you focus in on the apparition you notice it looks a little familiar. It begins to take shape and the apparition looks even more familiar. The apparition is....... your eight year old daughter who just got home from school... Crap!
It doesn't matter, you don't let that get you down. You have some very good written data that is evidence that your house has at least one ghost in it.
You explain to your daughter what you are doing and what the thermometer is. as you show her the display on the back and the cool laser, she asks, "Does the dot of the wall mean that is what you are taking the temperature of?" Pppfffftttt! kids... So you explain to her that it is simply to show where you are pointing the thermometer she quickly replies, "So why do you need that if you are measuring the air in front of you if the dot goes on the wall?" You look at your daughter for a long second and start to question yourself. "Hmmm, she has a point. Why do they put a laser that can project a dot hundreds of feet when I'm measuring what just a few feet in front of me?"
You know that there is some technical explanation to your daughters question and you want to show her you're not an idiot so you begin hunting down the manual. You search high and low throughout your house. Nothing, not even the packaging, wait.... The CAR!!! You race to the car and find the packaging and manual sitting tossed on the floor on the passenger side. You quickly open the manual and begin to read. In bold print of the first line of the first paragraph it says the following: "This device is used to measure surface temperatures without direct contact. It cannot measure ambient air."
How could this be??? You saw the people on the paranormal shows that you watch religiously use them EACH WEEK that exact same way you did in your house! You even bought the exact same model that they use on your favorite paranormal program and they call out different temps and say they have a ghost! How can this be?
You read the manual again... Maybe you just misread the statement the first time. You read it several times through and the words haven't changed a bit! How could they have mislead me? I trusted them each week as they told ME that they were following a ghost with thier IR thermometer. How could they lie to me???
Unfortunately, you have just read what some people are actually finding out. An IR thermometer CANNOT test the ambient air. It is a surface temp measuring device and nothing more. Where ever that little red dot is, is where you are measuring AND the further away you are from that dot, the less accurate the surface temp measurement is.
So what have we learned here, other than I can babble on to almost no end? First, always, always, ALWAYS read the instructions before using any device. Even better, look up the manual for the device on the web and read it through carefully. Had this person done that, they would not have spent the $100 for the IR thermometer in the first place. Second, just because a TV show of a group that investigates the paranormal uses a particualr piece of equipment DOESN"T mean they are trained to use it, or are using it properly. In some cases, those on the TV shows are knowingly using the devices improperly just to add drama to the show.
Do your research BEFORE you get suckered into buying equipment that may or may not help you in your quest for answers of the afterlife.
Now, that being said.... For all of you that have already sheelled out your hard earned cash for these now seemingly useless thermometers, there is a way to make them usable in your investigations.
The IR thermometer IS a surface temp measuring device, right? So give it a surface to measure. Take a simple wire (use the thicker coat hanger wire... You know, the type of hanger Joan Crawford liked to use) hanger and at one end bend a square (approx 4 inches square) and bend the remainder of the hanger straight. Now, take a sheet of aluminum foil and cut it to fit the 4 inch square. You can use some masking tape on the back side (the opposite side of the IR thermometer) of the square to hold the foil in place. Spray paint a thin coat of flat black paint onto the front side of the foil square and let that dry. Use some electrical tape the secure the straight end of the hanger to the TOP of your IR thermometer (make sure the square is about 10 inches from the IR thermometer) and cut off any excess hanger that sticks out the back side of your IR thermometer. Test the aim of the IR thermometer using the laser. You want the dot to be in the center of the black square. Now as you take temp measurements you know that the area you are measuring is the thin aluminum with has an extremely fast heat transfer rate.
Hopefully some of you will learn from this lesson to research first then make your descisions, and just because you saw it on TV doesn't mean it's correct or truthful.
Taking a scientific approach to investigate the paranormal.