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Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this page are strictly those of the page author. The contents of this page have been reviewed or approved by the Southwest Ghost Hunter's Association. All effort has been taken to maintain correct information at the time it was written. Some material may be dated and is archived within this section of our website. This article is copyright, 2004, by Cody Polston and SGHA. All rights reserved.

 Articles ~ Science and hypotheses ~ EMF Detectors flaws, usage and a theory ~ By Cody Polston

Electromagnetism is a large, encompassing theory, so its no wonder that many people do not understand it. A basic book on it will almost immediately dive into calculus. When it comes to using EMF detectors, may folks have no clue on how to use them properly or the ability to determine man-made sources (AC)
from natural ones (DC).

The problem is amplified by the fact that most meters are calibrated at 60HZ AC, the same frequency as household wiring and other man-made electrical systems. They are not designed for what we are using them for.Most ghost hunters will tell you that ghosts are believed to emit some kind of EMF. However, when asked why they believe this, many cannot give a good scientific answer.Here is one of our hypothsises explaining how the EMF detector problem can be solved to some degree.

The scientific method is the best way yet discovered for winnowing the truth from lies and delusion. The simple version looks something like this:

1. Observe some aspect of the universe.
2. Invent a theory that is consistent with what you have observed.
3. Use the theory to make predictions.
4. Test those predictions by experiments or further observations.
5. Modify the theory in the light of your results.
6. Go to step 3.

You can think of facts and theories (not just scientific ones, but ordinary everyday ones) as being on a scale of certainty. Up at the top end we have facts like "things fall down". Down at the bottom we have "the Earth is flat". In the middle we have "I will die of heart disease". Some scientific theories are nearer the top than others, but none of them ever actually reach it. Skepticism is usually directed at claims that contradict facts and theories that are very near the top of the scale. If you want to discuss ideas nearer the middle of the scale (that is, things about which there is real debate in the scientific community) then you would be better off asking on the appropriate specialist groupSo, what is my theory, the basis for ghostly energetics? There is really only one possibility within known science, so lets go to the
specialists.To begin our quest, we must first take a look at the ghost in the human machine, the conscious of the mind. Professor McFadden from the School of Biomedical and Life Sciences at the University of Surrey in the UK believes our conscious mind could be an electromagnetic field.
His theory may solve many previously intractable problems of consciousness and could have profound implications for our concepts of mind, spirituality and even life and death.

There are wide differences in the concepts of consciousness, which are prevalent among biologists, psychologists, and sociologists. The threefold meaning of consciousness comes from the Latin word 'con-scio': a) to cut, b) to make a distinction, and c) to know.There are three different ways to know the difference -- 'con-scientia':

1) Through genetic bio-reactive knowledge,
2) Through personal self-reflexive knowledge, and,
3) Through social, consensually validated knowledge.

Most people consider "mind" to be all the conscious things that we are aware of. However this is not quite accurate. The majority of mental activity occurs without awareness. Actions such as peddling a bicycle or walking can become as automatic as breathing. The biggest puzzle in neuroscience is how the brain activity that we're aware of (consciousness) differs from the brain activity of all of those unconscious actions.The human brain is a symphony of electromagnetic signals, but science has had trouble finding the conductor of the symphony.

One of the problems that neurologists have with consciousness is called the binding problem. The best way to explain the binding problem is to use the analogy of a tree. A tree seems to contain thousands of leaves, all of which are contained on several branches. Neurobiology tells us that the information contained in the mind (all the leaves) is dissected and scattered among millions of widely separated neurones. The binding problem is encountered when science tries to explain where in the brain all those leaves are stuck together to form the conscious impression of a whole tree. How does our brain bind information to generate consciousness? The data does not seem to add up and our symphony conductor is once again missing.

Through his research, Professor McFadden realized that every time a nerve fires, the electrical activity sends a signal to the brain's electromagnetic field. However, unlike solitary nerve signals, information that reaches the brain's electromagnetic field is automatically bound together with all the other signals in the brain.The brain's electromagnetic field does the binding that is characteristic of consciousness. Conscious information processing is associated with the EM component of ultra low frequency (ULF) brainwaves in either:

a) dialectically "denser" parts of the brain in the normal awake state
of consciousness; or
b) a gaseous ionic structure in the vicinity of the mind.

This is why ghost hunters look at EM fields. It is the basis of life itself (a great book on the subject that I'd recommend for ghost hunters is " The electromagnetic origins of life" by Dr. Becker). The brain's EM field is the only possible thing that could survive bodily death.So what happens at death?

Using the first law of thermodynamics there are several possibilities. First, all that energy could transform into heat and bleed out of the skull. That would also mean no afterlife, much less any possibility for ghosts. Fortunately, there are other possibilities. The EM field could also change frequency or polarity. Interestingly enough there is some data out there that suggests that the mind goes into theta waves just before death, which gives us a possibility of ghosts.Using what data we have from neurology, we can assume that the frequency change could not exceed much more than 40HZ or so.

The bottom line is that we are looking for low frequency DC EM fields. These types of fields are what we need to take a serious look at.The biggest problem with EMF detectors is that they are not giving you the most vital piece of information of the EM field, its FREQUENCY!

They can only give you the power associated with a field.There is an instrument that can give you both power levels and frequency. It's a laptop computer. Pico Technology has a program that you can purchase that transforms your laptop into a spectrum analyzer. Using the proper coil or antenna, so can quickly tell if a field is manmade or not and record the data from the field onto the harddrive of the laptop.Here is a link to a news piece we did awhile back. Towards the end of it you can see Bob using the laptop for this purpose.

Now don't get me wrong, EMF detectors are good tools if you know how to use them properly, but they are not going to provide you with the data necessary to prove a theory.


Cody Polston is the Founder and President of the Southwest Ghost Hunter's Association. Formerly an Explosive Ordnance Disposal technician, he has a varied scientific background related to that particular field. With over twenty years of ghost research, he initially started out as a skeptic before forming SGHA.


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