Just in time for Halloween I came across a news article straight out of the Associated Press, Oct. 26, 2006, by Seth Borenstein. It's titled, "Science bites myth of vampires, ghosts." Apparently, physicist Costas Efthimiou has found it compulsory to warn the public that ghosts, zombies and vampires are not real by publishing a research paper. He has used "math and science" in order to debunk their existence. Here is his reasoning.
His argument against zombies is exactly what I've written about in The Astral World's article on Zombies
. It's the same argument with a different case in question. This deals with a relatively notorious case of a 17-year-old Haitian boy who was declared dead in 1989 and rose from the casket a day after his funeral. While many believe him to be a zombie, he was in fact poisoned by a relative of the Japanese pufferfish. The deadly poison causes the victim to remain paralyzed while in an uncommunicable state. When the poison wears off the presumably dead person will "awaken from the dead." This is the same technique voodoo doctors use to gain control of people and turn them into docile slaves.
I completely agree with Efthimiou on this part so let's move on.
Vampires are another topic I have written about, although, the article mainly dealt with Psychic Vampires
with a slight reference to my thoughts on fictionalized vampires. I do not believe in vampires as they were nothing more than a scare tactic to drive people into church for "safety". In modern times they have become so fictionalized that I don't know how anyone can truly believe in them in the mythical sense - yet some do. There are also those who take part in the vampire community but I see this more as an offshoot of the Goth lifestyle. They choose
to think they're vampires and you hear about the occasional person becoming sick or dying after drinking another person's blood.
Efthimiou's reason for the non-existance of vampires is thanks to his trusty calculator. He has worked out that if the population of the world was 537 million on Jan. 1, 1600, and only 1 blood-thirsty vampire converting humans into more of the same at 1 victim a month, the entire population of the world would have become the undead by July, 1602. Ok, it makes him sound really smart, but grab a calculator on your own and multiply 1 x 2 and then keep multiplying it by 2 until you've reached 30 months. You'll get just under 537 million. You see, this wasn't some brilliant formula dreamed up by a genius but the simple grade school work with basic 1/2, 1/4, 1/8, 1/16, etc. fractions. Once they pin the scientific name of "physicist" on the guy it sounds like something to be taken as authorative. It's another argument to add to the pile but there are much better arguments that could be made against vampires if he really wanted to prove a point.
Here's where the "ingenious theory" behind his ghost debunkal comes into play. According to Newton's law of action and reaction, ghosts should not be able to walk on a solid floor but pass through walls. Yes, I agree that makes sense but there is a lot more to it than that. You wouldn't ask a paranormal researcher like myself to explain the laws of physics just like you don't ask a physicist to explain the laws of The Astral World. Although, I am mathematically inclined, I have never taken physics so I don't understand the concepts. Efthimiou, on the other hand, has apparently never seen a ghost and has never knowingly had an astral projection. The laws in the ghostly plane are different than the laws of the physical plane and unless you know how they work (or at least what happens) then you cannot explain them away so easily in scientific terms.
The appearance ghosts take is the same appearance they once held in their physical life. I can explain this better with my astral projection experiences and if you're able to project you should try this sometime if you've never noticed. When I was first starting my projections I would just lay there and look at my "astral hands". I would study the way they looked and then let my eyes drift to the wall beyond to look around. As soon as my focus was no longer picturing my hands I would notice them start to fade away. I would actually see the fingers getting shorter until I set my focus on them again. They would then grow back into the shape my mind expects them to be in. This is the same effect as when ghosts are seen as "orbs". I have noticed this feeling on many occasions and once I realize I'm in a ball shape, my entire body appears where I expect it to be.
Now when you are walking, you expect the floor to be there. In the physical world you also expect walls to be there. For spirits - and astral projectors - the floor is right where it's supposed to be but it doesn't mean the spirit can fly through the floors. The mind wouldn't be able to comprehend walking on a spot a foot below the floor so the ghost will "walk" where it's supposed to walk. The spirit is just as likely to glide across the ground rather than walk. Even in my astral projections I have done both - sometimes I'm walking, other times I'm floating only a couple inches above the ground. I've flown up through the ceiling just to walk around on the floor above me. Other times I have achieved my out-of-body state while lying on the couch using the "rolling" method while going straight through the back of the couch and landing on the floor behind. I was lying on the couch just like I should have been yet was able to go through a physically solid couch. Walls are exactly the same thing - ghosts can go through the walls because they are not a physical boundary in their plane. This is all mind over matter because I still have occasions where I "bounce" off the walls because my physical body is so accustomed to having them around. I have to remember which plane I'm in before I can finally pass through.
Another point I'd like to make is something you hear often in the cases of residual hauntings. There are reports of houses being built on old battlefields where from time to time spirits from the battle can be seen as they were at the time of battle. Quite often these spirits will appear to come out of the floor from the waist up. They don't know the house has been built on top of the land - they're walking on the ground beneath because this is where their minds expect the ground to be!
But what about doors slamming and knocking on walls in haunted houses? This can happen when the spirit's mind has focused enough energy to produce a physical effect. The first time I realized my dad's old house was haunted we were both standing downstairs in the kitchen listening to somebody walking around above us. Over the years I heard voices yelling, objects flying, knocking on floors and walls and even guests sometimes had their hair pulled or legs grabbed. These are all physical occurences created by the spirit either knowingly or unknowingly focusing their energy. In the case of the original footsteps my dad and I heard, our live-in spirit, later to call herself Diane, could either have been purposely focusing her energy in an effort to scare us or she could have been doing nothing more than walking from one end of the room to the other while her feet stepped where her previously physical body would have expected to step, creating noise she hadn't intended to create.
A second argument he makes in his paper that isn't included in the news articles is the common reports of "cold-spots". I have never experienced any noticeably strong drops in temperature besides slight chills attributed to psychic senses and what can be attributed to drafts in the room, however, it is a very common phenomenon recorded by many paranormal researchers. Efthimiou argues about heat warming the cold spots and cold cooling the heat spots - 2 pages worth of boring physics crap. I cannot refute this argument and since I have never experienced it I cannot personally tell you that it's real, but I believe it would have something to do with energy. The non-physical planes are created entirely of energy. Heat is a form of energy in the physical plane. If a spirit's presence is based entirely off of energy and the spirit is in close proximity to the physical plane, there is no reason why the spirit wouldn't be using heat energy in its make-up. I won't elaborate more on this but I think if I were a physicist I could somehow calculate the probability of my theory.
Efthimiou also makes the point that the paranormal community will change its views each time something has been "debunked". Just because this nerd came up with a couple of arguments and wrote them down in scientific terminology doesn't mean anything has been debunked. My views haven't changed thanks to him except for pondering the question of cold-spots which I had never really thought of before.
Leave it to the scientists...
So once again we have a so-called expert getting into the paper. This is either Efthimiou trying to get his 15 minutes of fame or the paper trying to fill in some empty Halloween stories - probably both. Efthimiou's arguments that I've written here are all that's included in the article. Not much of a researcher if you ask me! He felt compelled to get this wonderful information out to the public because "more than 1 in 3 Americans believe houses can be haunted.... More than 20 percent of Americans believe in witches and that people can communicate with the dead." It's also thanks to TV shows like Medium and Ghost Whisperer. He doesn't even make a point why witches aren't real and it doesn't say whether that 20% believe in mythical witches or if it's just an acceptance of the Wiccan religion. This professor at the University of Central Florida also points out the average public's "gullibility for the supernatural". Yep, just another scientific expert looking down on us little people.
As an added bonus, the article throws in a quote by University of Maryland physics professor, Bob Park, author of the book Voodoo Science. He says, "there are things that we need to point out that are crap."
I may sound a little bitter but it's little articles like this making it into the media that creates the common frown upon the paranormal. You can't take a simple little argument for each of the 3 "mythical entities" Efthimiou is against and publish an article to finish the job. He may be right on the non-existance of zombies and vampires but he provides little justification in the theories. As for spirits, he sounds like the usual scientific know-it-all who needs to get the text-book pulled out of his butt. Stick to your physics and leave the supernatural to the paranormal community.
If you feel like boring yourself for 10 minutes you can read the full report by Costas Efthemiou here... Nevermind, it appears to have been taken down.
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