Archive for April, 2015

BooBuddy Ghost Hunting Bear: Your Next Investigator

BooBuddy is not just a talking bear. It is not just EMF bear. BooBuddy is an investigator that becomes part of your team. When the creators discuss BooBuddy they like to say, “It’s not just a toy. It’s an investigator.” They are serious about that and discuss how they back that up.

Shawn Porter, owner of GhostStop says, “We get the opportunity to work with paranormal investigation teams all over the world every day. With that, we get to understand what people regularly use on their investigations, what they like, what they don’t like and, most importantly, what they want in the future.” Though BooBuddy is a new invention, it stems from previous versions of gear created by the team at GhostStop. The previous versions that lead to BooBuddy were simple EMF dolls. Eventually they added the ability of speech which then lead into the current, high-tech edition.

What is BooBuddy?

BooBuddy is an interactive ghost hunting bear. BooBuddy is an investigator. It detects a multitude of environmental changes and responds to those changes with speech. That’s right. BooBuddy talks. While most of the devices used for ghost hunting have pretty lights and an occasional beep, BooBuddy has the ability to speak responses. When it detects a temperature drop it might respond, “Brrr. It’s cold in here.” When there are no changes detected BooBuddy goes to work to attempt communication by asking typical EVP questions in a soothing, child-like voice, “Do you know your A, B, C’s?” It also lights up with energy changes and motion.

The concept revolves around the theory that entities may have the ability to manipulate the environment. Given that, BooBuddy detects those changes and responds. Shawn states, “Our goal is to promote a positive response.” Using a bear is also strategic in that it is non-threatening, loved by children and is recognizable for a long period of time. “A bear is an identifiable figure that dates back centuries,” says Paul and continues, “This is the most significant piece of equipment (even though we don’t like to call BooBuddy a tool) to hit the paranormal field since the Mel Meter.”

How to use BooBuddy

When you place BooBuddy in the room and turn it on the first 30 seconds it conducts baseline readings of the environment. BooBuddy is, essentially, taking the pulse of the room including EMF, temperature and its own orientation (position). Then it will begin the investigation by introducing itself followed by an EVP question. Throughout the entire investigation the bear is checking the environment for changes. If no changes take place the bear with continue to investigate by asking more questions to solicit a response. Should there be a change in the environment BooBuddy will respond to it either by the LEDs in its paws or vocally. For example, if the temperature should raise BooBuddy will say something like “Did you make it warmer in here?” If BooBuddy is moved it will say something like “That tickles” or “I like holding hands with you.” If there is a change in EMF or movement the paws will light up. All the while it’s continually checking the environment for changes.

So, when the creators say it’s more than just a talking bear, it really is. BooBuddy is a rather sophisticated piece of equipment specifically designed for ghost hunting by the guys who have been investigating a long time.

The Birth of BooBuddy

BooBuddy was created in 2014 GhostStop. The creators, Shawn and Paul, envisioned an all-in-one ghost hunting sidekick as a result of their many years of experience investigating the paranormal. If you are interested in the paranormal it is likely you may have seen Shawn on Syfy’s Ghost Hunters as he investigates with the TAPS team and brings in new tech for the investigations. Shawn is also the owner of GhostStop. Paul has also been on the Syfy hit television show, Ghost Hunters International as tech manager. So, as you might imagine, both inventors have been working in the field for many years.

These inventors have a unique opportunity being able to take that learned knowledge of what they and fellow investigators want on an investigation and jump right into creating. BooBuddy was their collective vision as a culmination of the tools they wanted to use on an investigation. Coupling their collective design skills, investigation experience and tech knowledge led to the birth of BooBuddy.

For more information on BooBuddy visit www.BooBuddy.com.

Night Vision vs. Full Spectrum

You may have heard the term ‘full spectrum’ with regard to ghost hunting cameras and video much the last few years. But you’ve had your night vision camera by your side for many years and don’t see a need to switch up. It gets a good picture and that’s all that matters, right. Well, sort of.

What is the difference? Let’s talk about what night vision is…

Night vision, in basic terms, means it sees infrared light (or IR). If you have a camera from years ago with ‘night vision’ or ‘night shot’ it may have a small infrared light on the from of it that allows you to see a few feet in the dark. You may not even see the IR light on the front because it’s invisible to the naked eye. Night vision is cool. It allows you to see in total darkness. But what are you actually seeing? Answer: infrared. That’s it. Only infrared. Most off-the-shelf infrared cams filter out all light so that it can focus on the IR light. So that’s all your getting. It’s akin to putting blinders on a horse. Though it gives you a way to see IR int he dark, it removes the ability to see other light. You do not actually see (most) visible light or ultraviolet. Heck, some night vision cameras even use such a short band of IR that you’re only seeing just a small portion of IR. Yeah, it can get confusing. But, with this, we can suffice to say that IR is very limited in your ability to document light anomalies on an investigation.

Enter: Full Spectrum

Now on to full spectrum. In simple terms, full spectrum refers to the concept of being able to see more than we can see with our naked eye. This means being able to see visible light, infrared and ultraviolet. On one end of the spectrum is Infrared (or IR). On the other side we have Ultraviolet (UV). Cameras can be modified through adjusting or removing filters to see deeper into either end of the spectrum. This conversion, allowing us to see deeper into both IR and UV, is referred to as Full Spectrum.

Camcorder-DXG-FullSpectrum-View4There are different methodologies as to what constitutes good Full Spectrum. In some cases the filter is removed entirely thus allowing all light in. Other methods involve replacing the filter with something that will see IR and UV but filter out visible. I consider the latter (where visible light is blocked) as a multi-spectrum modification, not Full Spectrum. As the term suggests, while you are allowing light outside of visible in, it is not a full spectrum if you’re filling out any potential existing light. It’s like taking off a horse’s blinders so he can see better only to replace them with another pair that blinds differently. Hope that makes sense. I like analogies. While this method may be practical for daylight uses where bright visible light can overpower the IR and UV this is not an issue when conducting low light paranormal investigations in the dark. Since ghost hunting and paranormal investigating is typically done in the dark, you need all the light you can get.

Flexibility of Full Spectrum

Here’s my favorite parts of using a full spectrum camera: you can use any light. Since a night vision camera cuts out anything other than IR the only light source you can use with that type of camera is infrared. That’s it.

With full spectrum, it sees (just about) everything. So, if you want to be covert and use infrared only. Go for it. If you want to use a bright white light. Pop it on. You’ll blind all your fellow investigators and they may unfriend you on Facebook, but it would work. Use an ultraviolet light. It’ll work too. But if you want to take full advantage of a full spectrum cam, use a light that has a full range of infrared, ultraviolet and visible light. One that switches between IR only and full spectrum is perfect so you can use what you need as you need it without swapping out lights.

Sure, there is much more to the science of light and the spectrum in which it resides. But I hope this helps illustrate what the difference is between night vision and full spectrum and how full spectrum is a far better solution for your investigations.

 

– Shawn Porter
More info on Shawn at www.Shawn-Porter.com