Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Putting a Label on the Apocalypse (Part II)

You kinda have to read Part I first, if you haven't already.

Zak Bagans and the boys, ready to beat the SHIT outta Casper.

If you have ever seen ghost hunting shows such as “Ghost Adventures” (or “Ghost Douchebags” as my brother-in-law likes to call it), the chiseled toolbags occasionally capture an EVP (Electronic Voice Phenomenon) in which, seemingly out of nowhere, a choppy mess of static is picked up on a voice recorder.

Being masters of spirit-world linguistics, they then translate the static into very convenient words of ghosts.




*Note: If you are viewing the above video on a mobile device, it might play the entire episode.  It is supposed to start about 3 minutes from the end of the episode.

The EVPs are pretty cool, but are they really the voices of ghosts?

At first, it really does just sound like a jumble of static.

But then the D-bags put some words on the screen.  They play the recording again.  And again.  And again.  With the words in quotations.

After the third or fourth time, it truly does sound like a ghost is saying something intelligent.

And without fail, immediately afterward Zak asks the viewer something like “Is this the voice of a lost spirit searching for her murdered children?”  This question is always posed in a tone that answers the question itself: “Hell yes it is.”

But it really just comes down to them putting a label on it.  Once they say that this unknown spirit is saying “You must die!” or “Shoes for guys!” or “Poo can’t fly!” our brains lock into that and we can’t hear it any other way.

It’s all about connotation.  It all has to do with what we see and what we are presented with when given certain evidence.

Just like jumbled static on a voice recorder can transform into the last will and testament of a ghost, so too can a video of a loud bullhorn transform into documentation of the Earth bemoaning its impending destruction.  So long as the video is aptly titled something like “Groaning Earth Trumpets the Apocalypse” and includes some applicable quotes from Revelation.

*   *   *

The reason I wrote this post was not to debunk the Ghost Adventure’s D-Bags -- that’s too easy.

Nor was it to show that these viral videos were a hoax.

My intention in writing this was to figure out why I had this unexplainable and vaguely morbid affection towards these Groaning Earth videos.

In writing this piece, I went back and watched some of the videos, knowing that they do not, in fact, represent the heralding of the apocalypse.

And I still wanted them to be real.

Yep.  X-Files.  So what?  Sue me.

I realize that I might sound like a lunatic or a deranged freak in saying such things, but the truth is that despite what such a thing might represent, I want it to be real and I can’t figure out why.

I want to know what it is about me that is not only fascinated by the concept of the trumpeting of the end of the world, but is also curiously desirous of its existence.

Don’t get me wrong.  I don’t want the world to end.  Of that I am sure.

But the thought of stepping outside and hearing what is basically an auditory earthquake and knowing that it is essentially representing our two-minute warning?

It’s just… cool.

I don’t know.

Perhaps it is boredom.  Perhaps something else.

Whatever it is, though, it is probably better for my own sanity that I am unable to put a label on it.


-Youngman Brown


I am actually extremely interested in everyone’s thoughts on this topic, so if you have ever wanted to comment, now is the time to do it!  First, what was your honest emotional response to seeing the videos for the first time?  Did you share in any of my thoughts?  And secondly, what do you think of the sounds now?  Hoax?  Some weird scientific phenomenon?  Something else?

Also, apologies for such a gloomy post.  This should help:





27 comments:

  1. Power of suggestion. It's a wonderful thing.

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    1. At least, it's a thing good for ratings.

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    2. Yes, it is a very powerful thing.

      I originally had a link to a video from a National Geographic show called "Brain Games" that talks about this, but YouTube took it down :(

      Delete
  2. I think the resonating sounds across the world are interesting, but I don't buy the 'official' reports that they are magnetic shifts in the Earth. Does it signify some world ending travesty? Who knows, if you don't blog after 21.12.2012 YMB, then I know we're screwed. :)

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    1. Yea who really knows. I wouldn't be surprised if one or two might be real with some weird explanation, then the others are just fake offshoots.

      And yes, the world is screwed when I stop blogging.

      Delete
  3. The first one, I was intrigued as to why they weren't asking "what the hell was that?" Either the sound was put in later, and they were accidentally recording with their phone, o they knew what it was. Maybe an avalanche or something. By the third video I was thinking, "That sound like when I'm camping by my father-in-laws and a train goes by 10 or more miles away and reverberates off the mountains and such. However, I did notice that the dog in the second video was stone still, and the birds in the first were going a little nuts. Recently, at our house, it sounds like a bird sanctuary. Thousands of birds making noise all at the same time all day long. Really odd for the middle of the city, when every three days or so it's close to freezing. I'm convinced the birds mean something, some sort of natural disaster, but there haven't been any earthquakes or anything yet so who knows. Maybe they are just hungry.

    Sorry for rambling.

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    1. Yea it definitely is weird that they don't say anything in the videos.

      I have also seen a lot of birds in the news. Very weird.

      Thanks for your comment!

      Delete
  4. Hmmm, those "strange sounds" videos sounded to me like airplane noises, if anything, but I'm guessing they're hoaxes. The second video looks like the audio was added ex post facto.

    That being said, the GAC farting videos made me laugh both times :) I love that show, even though I do call them the "Douche Crew."

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    1. Even though the farting is extremely loud, they make me laugh every time as well.

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  5. I love watching those Ghost Guys shows, because, like Fox Mulder, I WANT TO BELIEVE.

    But I'm not sure how I feel about the earth moaning, because I'm left with this: WHERE AM I SUPPOSED TO GO? When that moaning sound surrounds me, I'm stuck, waiting for the horror.

    Which is its own kind of fun.

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  6. PS How are we not playing WWF? TheSuniverse!

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    1. The "nowhere to run" feeling is quite morbid, I agree.

      And I can't find you on WWF!

      Delete
  7. I think people want to believe because people want something cool and amazing to happen. It's like how there is always one kook in every generation who SWEARS the rapture is going to happen when they're alive. The world is going to end while they're alive.

    It's part ego, but part of a need to be amazed.

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  8. I believe all this stuff...it's great

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    1. I want to believe all of it.

      Except for the Ghost Adventure guys. I don't want to believe in them.

      Delete
  9. First of all, I have to say congrats to you! I just read Crack You Whip's post about her bestowing the title of greatness upon you. :)

    As for this... I'm definitely with you on thinking the Ghost Adventure guys are douche bags. I've tried watching their show, but my attention gets pulled away from the actual ghost hunting stuff and turns to the bigger question of "Why the hell doesn't anyone tell the main 'host' guy that his hair is stupid???"

    But, alas, I am one of those weirdos who do believe in ghosts/the supernatural. But, I can't bring myself to believe the groaning Earth videos. Sigh. Also, I don't want the world to end either. I sorta like my crazy life.

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    1. Thanks! It was quite the honor, especially coming from her.

      Delete
  10. I really hope that none of this stuff is true. As gullible as I am, I still want to believe that everything is just as it seems. Sigh...

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    1. Fear not, I do believe that we are safe.

      From this, at least.

      Delete
  11. I believe it is a hoax or at the very most just some sound that they can't figure out.

    I totally understand wanting it to be true. I am a bit of a conspiracy nut and buy into crazy things and really want them to be true. It just seems so shady and exciting.

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  12. I hate to be a Debbie Downer, and maybe I'm completely wrong on this, but aren't all three videos shot near air bases? Maybe it has something to do with that. Conklin is about 60 miles or so as the crow flies from Cold Lake, AB. I believe that there is an air base at Cold Lake. On an unrelated note, when I used to live and work in the oilfield in Northern BC, there were strange lights in the night sky that have yet to be explained. It was kind of a phosphorescent glow, unlike anything I have ever seen. It made the news all across Canada, but no one knows what it was. Might have something to do with the groaning.

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    1. You're right, it could very well be something from an air base or a perfectly logical explanation. It is just how it was presented to the viewers that makes us think.

      Delete
  13. I spent most of my childhood with a crippling fear of alien abduction. Even as an adult, I can't make it past season 2 of the X-Files...at least not if I'm alone in the house.

    This is an interesting series (can a 2-part blog post be called a series?). I would definitely call myself apocalypse-obsessed. I read about it. I write about it. I stock food in the basement. (No, I actually do. And yes, I am a bit embarrassed of that fact.) Do I WANT it to happen? Well, no. Obviously not. But there is almost this sense that there is a lack of adventure in the world. Our world is so perfectly - if often unfairly - ordered. I think that's part of the reason why apocalyptic fiction will always be popular - because it flips the whole world order onto its back.

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    1. Looks like you and I see eye to eye.

      Even though yours might be a clay eye.

      Delete

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