National Paranormal Society NPS FOCUS June 2016 - Page 70

sounds recorded at the assassination of President John F. Kennedy to see how sound can be used to investigate a crime. In fact, recordings of voices or sounds have brought down presidents, solved crimes and created conspiracy theories. The power of “what you heard,” is something investigators explore. Many people have experienced the game of “telephone” where your brain can actually affect what you hear and if you hear it correctly. There are software applications and files to enhance and “clean up” a recording. External sources like the cord and plug for a recording device can cause interference. Just listening to voices and ambient noise changes in the room can offer clues. It is always best to have several recordings at various points to offer an idea of what has occurred and where, but that is always not possible. While it is always best to use tapes, hard drives or SD cards that have not been recorded on before to avoid archetypes, with security systems sometimes this is not possible. Two techniques used in audio analysis are: frequency equalization and compression.

During frequency equalization, a frequency is decreased or increased. This is helpful in isolating speech. Compression makes faint sounds more pronounced by reducing dynamic range.

even toes. The actual print itself is composed of swear and can be detected using dyes, chemicals, or more recently, lasers. Fingerprints are used today instead of passwords, passkeys, computers and mobile devices.

While the paranormal investigator may not have highly technological devices or labs at their disposal, he or she may still use a forensic-based approach to a case, whether they are the first on a site, or there to replicate or compare their evidence to those who have investigated before.

Like the criminal forensic specialist, the paranormal investigator should have a protocol to guard against contamination and control the chain of evidence". As with the criminal forensic specialist who is preparing his evidence to prove his theory to a jury beyond a shadow of a doubt, the paranormal investigator is preparing his evidence to prove his theory beyond a shadow of a doubt to the scientific community. From the early years of the paranormal field, investigators (then called psychical researchers or ghost hunters) searched for fingerprints. Harry Price (Price, 1940) was one of the pioneers of this field who began using these methods. Coincidentally, one of his detractors was Sir Arthur Conan Doyle himself! .

One of the most concerning issues in a cold case is the perception of the juries. When juries come in and hear about DNA evidence they may be prejudiced in favor of the scientific evidence and not weigh the circumstantial evidence, including witness testimony, as heavily. Of course, the reverse can be true, and a person on a jury may immediately discount DNA evidence and base their beliefs on just witness testimony.

Fingerprint analysis is a widely used forensic tool, in fact it is the most common technique used today. The nineteenth century anthropologist, Sir Francis Galton, said that two fingerprints being Identical is 1 in 64 billion. Since the beginning of the comparison of fingerprints, over a century ago, no two identical fingerprints have been found on two different people. In the 1960s the FBI created the Automated Fingerprint Identification System (AFIS). This program scans and encodes full, single or partial prints into the system. At the moment, it can scan 500,00 prints a second. There are significant facts that have been found by researchers in this field. All fingerprints (including those on the same hand) are different. Identical twins, with the same DNA, will still have distinctively different fingerprints. Prints can be taken or made by palms, fingers, feet and even