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The Mandela Effect In Paranormal Investigations

As I have stated many times before it is imperative to conduct your investigations as scientifically as possible and to put your need for the spooky on the back burner so you can interpret a paranormal case through the glasses of science before turning your head towards the paranormal. I enjoy the spooky just as much as you do, however it is important to give your clients the most accurate information possible and to do so any possible scientific explanation must be exhausted before jumping to a paranormal conclusion. One thing that can severely damage your paranormal investigation case and ultimately your credibility is to jump to a paranormal conclusion when even the most basic scientific principles have been overlooked. I have been able to explain perceived paranormal activity with scientific principles such as infrasound, Schumann Resonances, ionospheric radio wave propagation, depersonalization and derealization, apophenia, availability cascade, Barnum Effect, Baader–Meinhof Phenomenon, and cryptomensia just to name a few of the dozens of possibilities that typically don’t get considered in paranormal investigation cases. I have listed and described many possible science based situations that get misinterpreted as paranormal activity on our website which can be found at www.MWVSpirit.com . It is extremely important to look beyond what you see on television and broaden your knowledge of dozens of scientific principles such as the ones that I have listed on our website to ensure that your case interpretation is accurate and that you don’t tell the client they have paranormal activity when it is truly absent. You want to be able to explain to your clients what exactly is going on and be confident in your findings. You can’t learn these skills by watching paranormal television shows as they focus on what will increase ratings, and the science that the most dedicated paranormal investigators use will never be seen on these television shows. Don’t fret as there are groups out there such as mine that are highly experienced whom you can learn from through their blogs, podcasts, and videos. Today I will discuss something that can have a very strong influence in almost any paranormal investigation case. We will explore The Mandela Effect, focusing on what it is and how best to avoid it so it doesn’t have a detrimental effect on your paranormal investigation.

Most people are familiar with the term “Beam Me Up Scottie” that is associated with Star Trek. You may be interested to learn that those exact words weren’t ever spoken on the original Star Trek series. Many people refer to Daylight Saving Time as “Daylight Savings Time”. Most people incorrectly refer to a single binocular as a “pair of binoculars”. In the paranormal field when someone hears a spirit speaking with their own ears they will state “I hear an EVP”. That statement is incorrect as what you are hearing is a DVP, a Direct Voice Phenomenon. It is only an EVP if it isn’t heard without the aid of an electronic recording device. Also in the paranormal field people will refer to multiple voice recordings as “EVPs”. There is no such word in the English language as phenomenons or phenomenas. Therefore EVP is both singular and plural, so you can hear one EVP or 5 EVP. Do you discuss your case experiences with other investigators before writing and turning in your investigator’s report to the Director after an investigation? Do you believe that a KII (K2) meter, an ovilus, or SLS camera are actually capable of doing what is claimed of them? Everything that I have mentioned here is an example of The Mandela Effect.

So what is The Mandela Effect? The Mandela Effect is a name used to describe a false memory, also referred to as illusory memory; paramnesia; and pseudomemory. The American Psychological Association defines a false memory as “a distorted recollection of an event or, most severely, recollection of an event that never actually happened. False memories are errors of commission, because details, facts, or events come to mind, often vividly, but the remembrances fail to correspond to prior events. Even when people are highly confident that they are remembering “the truth” of the original situation, experimental evidence shows that they can be wrong.” The name Mandela Effect refers to when a false memory is learned and adopted by a group of people. This false memory phenomenon was dubbed The Mandela Effect by paranormal consultant Fiona Broome when she shared in the false information that was generally believed by many people that Nelson Mandela had died in prison in the 1980s when in fact he served his sentence, becoming President of South Africa, and eventually passed away in 2013. False information and memories can spread like wild fire, especially on social media. Such examples would be the incorrect belief that the covid vaccine is dangerous or has tracking devices in it, that there are endless government conspiracies going on, and that Facebook is going to begin charging you a fee or release your information to the world if you don’t copy and paste a paragraph forbidding them to do so. In the paranormal field of study such examples would be the belief that a Ovilus can actually communicate with spirits, an SLS device can sense spirits, ghosts, tulpas, poltergeists, thoughtforms, or any other type of paranormal entity, or that a Frank’s/Ghost Box can help you communicate with spirits are all examples of false memories of the devices actually doing what they are claimed to do through seeing others use it when those users of the devices are experiencing the “Expectancy Effect”, meaning they expect the devices are able to do what they are claimed of them. The Expectancy Effect leads people to believe that the device is working as it is described to do, when it really isn’t. They expect it to do so and therefore interpret any and all results as that being of paranormal origin. The thought that the ovilus, Frank’s/ghost box, and SLS camera can do what they are marketed to do has been adopted by many people, leading to one big example of how The Mandela Effect is present in the paranormal investigation field.

I will now give you three more examples of how The Mandela Effect can arise during a paranormal investigation.

  1. Joe is the Director of his new paranormal investigation team. Joe has a few years of experience under his belt, but hasn’t broadened his knowledge of scientific principles that are present in the paranormal investigation field. Joe loves the spooky, but not so much the science. Joe’s responsibility is to train his team, however Joe has decided to limit his knowledge to the cool stuff that he sees on paranormal television shows and on YouTube videos. Joe’s team is requested by a client to take on a case of someone seeing shadow figures in their house. Joe runs in there with his voice recorder, an ovilus, and an SLS camera and believes that he is communicating with spirits when he hears voices on the ovilus and witnesses motion by a stick figure on the SLS camera. Being a new team the members look to Joe for knowledge as he has claimed that he is a seasoned paranormal investigator, and the members only have television shows to compare him to. Since they recognize what Joe is doing from what they have seen on the more animated paranormal television shows, the team members believe that Joe knows what he is doing. Joe comes to the conclusion that the place is haunted and thinks that the simple act of burning sage will clear out the house. He does so and claims the house is clear of activity. The next day the client is furious as the activity has continued. Joe has damaged his reputation as a knowledgable investigator, and has damaged the reputation of the paranormal investigation field as a whole. Joe’s team members, due to The Mandela Effect, believe that he knows his stuff and starts sharing their methods with others, further spreading false information. The client calls in a more reputable paranormal investigation team which finds that the client is suffering from the effects of infrasound exposure with spikes in activity when there are Schumann Resonances present. Due to the Earth’s shape having limited dimension there is a resulting action where during electrical storms the Earth-ionospheric waveguide acts as a resonant cavity. A resonant cavity is a location where electromagnetic or mechanical energy oscillates at a higher amplitude than the surrounding area, meaning that electromagnetic radiation flowing through a resonant cavity is stronger for certain frequencies than it is for others. This effect amplifies infrasound which is notorious for causing hallucinations and pareidolia. The more reputable team found that there was a large amount of infrasound emanating from the client’s air conditioning system due to a misaligned fan, and already having long term exposure to infrasound, the client was more strongly effected during meteorological events where the level of infrasound was amplified. After being made aware of the second team’s findings the client had the fan on the air conditioning system fixed and they stopped experiencing the shadow figures soon thereafter. Due to no longer having substantial prolonged exposure to infrasound, the client no longer had increased perceived paranormal experiences when there was a strong storm outside. The client calls back Joe to let him know what the other paranormal investigation team has found and Joe rejects their findings because he doesn’t understand the science as he isn’t interested in the science, and continues to perpetuate The Mandela Effect by continuing in his ways of spreading false information about the the capabilities of certain technology and by rejecting science because it isn’t what he finds entertaining and enjoyable.
  1. Brian is a new investigator on a team and is at his first on site investigation. Brian is eager to learn, but isn’t well educated on the sciences that come into play during paranormal investigations. The Director of the team, John, didn’t communicate well with his team to let them know just how new to the field that Brian was and to ensure that he conducts himself properly during an investigation by following established team procedures. Brian is extremely quick to jump to paranormal conclusions as he isn’t well versed in the science, and mimics what he saw on paranormal television shows as it relates to paranormal investigation standard investigating procedures. Brian is paired up with Tony who has a few years of experience under his belt. Tony doesn’t want to deter Brian from his interest as they could really use another helping hand so he keeps a low profile and lets Brian do his own thing without giving him any feedback. It is standard operating procedure on that team to not discuss what is experienced during the investigation with other team members until after the investigators have all turned in their case experience reports to the Director. Brian believes that he has experienced what is known scientifically as Scopaesthesia which is the feeling of being watched. Brian plants that nugget of information into Tony and others in the group and due to what is known as the Availability Cascade, others begin to believe that they have the feeling of being watched as well. Availability Cascade is a self-reinforcing cycle that explains the development of certain kinds of collective beliefs. A novel idea or insight, usually one that seems to explain a complex process in a simple or straightforward manner, gains rapid currency in the popular discourse by its very simplicity and by its apparent insightfulness. Its rising popularity triggers a chain reaction within the social network: individuals adopt the new insight because other people within the network have adopted it, and on its face it seems plausible. This behavior of Brian influencing the investigation continues throughout the night with various activities and in the end the Director who wasn’t there that night finds that the reports turned in by the investigators have too many similarities and didn’t follow standard investigative procedure due to The Mandela Effect brought on by the Availability Cascade that occurred due to lack of direction of the team that night allowing Brian’s influence to taint the investigation. The Director has to throw out the investigation from that night and conduct another one as he can’t rely on any of the data that was gathered.
  1. Many people believe in the paranormal field that a paranormal investigation and a ghost hunt is the same thing. Many believe that a ghost hunter and paranormal investigator are interchangeable terms. This misinformation has been spread all over the world, especially in the United States, in particular by certain paranormal investigation television shows over the past 15 years. The terms are two completely different scenarios. A ghost hunt is an event that is purely for the enjoyment of attempting to experience paranormal activity. Someone who regularly partakes in that activity is a ghost hunter. A paranormal investigation is a science based thorough investigation where the an in-depth case discovery, research, investigation, evidence review, scientific followup with specialists if pertinent, and results interpretation is conducted. A paranormal investigation can take days, weeks, or even months or years, where a ghost hunt can take minutes or hours. Someone who regularly partakes in a paranormal investigation is a paranormal investigator. Calling a paranormal investigator a ghost hunter is like calling a meteorologist a storm chaser. Calling a paranormal investigation a ghost hunt is like calling police investigation a game of hide and go seek. The point of the terms is to differentiate between a thrill seeker and someone with a much deeper level of dedication and education in the paranormal field. However, due to The Mandela Effect countless people in the field believe that the a paranormal investigator and a ghost hunter are synonymous terms and that a ghost hunt and a paranormal investigation are synonymous terms, when in fact they are not remotely the same thing. Please don’t take this as me knocking ghost hunting or ghost hunters. That is not my intention. I am sure ghost hunting is very enjoyable for many people. Personally I need the deep level of science and investigative methodology and procedure to enjoy the experience. When dealing with clients the investigations should be left to a seasoned paranormal investigation team and not completed by a recreational ghost hunting group that doesn’t possess the level of knowledge and experience required to conduct a thorough science based investigation.

By now you should have a general understanding of The Mandela Effect and false memories. What can you do to prevent this from happening on your team and in your investigations?

  1. Don’t limit your knowledge of paranormal science and investigative procedure to what you see on television and in random YouTube videos. There are plenty of other teams like mine with vast experience and knowledge in the paranormal investigation field. If you are the Director or Lead Investigator of your team you can seek out another team with greater knowledge and experience. Start a dialogue with them and ask if you can take part in an investigation or two to shadow their leader to see how they do things and what science they use. Everyone, regardless of experience, could benefit from having a mentor. Unless you are at the top of your field like an Albert Einstein or a Neil deGrasse Tyson or a Stephen Hawking you could benefit from the knowledge of someone with greater experience than you. It is important to remain humble and seek out a mentor to benefit your career and enjoyment in the paranormal investigation field, the functionality of your team, the integrity of the paranormal field as a whole, and your capability to provide a very thorough science based investigation for your client. If you are not a leader of your team touch base with your Lead Investigator or Director. Most will be open to you gaining experience with another team and to bring that knowledge back to enhance your home team. If the leader isn’t open to such a thing I would suggest finding another team to be a part of. Anyone who isn’t in favor of the team as a whole increasing their knowledge isn’t someone who would be favorable to associate with as it can drastically hinder your personal growth in the field of study. A list of science topics to start with can be found by visiting https://www.mwvspirit.com/blog/2021/10/25/subjects-for-investigators-to-research/ . Don’t assume that everything that you read on random websites or see in videos is true just because it would be cool if it were true. You need to research the source for credibility and experience and knowledge. If an investigator with 20 years of experience but little scientific knowledge swears by a piece of equipment that couldn’t possibly do what is claimed of it and an investigator with 2 years of experience with a highly elevated electronics background states that the equipment isn’t able to do what is claimed of it who do you believe? You could choose to believe the 20 years experienced investigator with limited knowledge because it would be cool if it were true, or you could believe the person with who really knows what they are talking about. You must research your source before you blindly follow what they say. Don’t fall for hype and blindly accept what you see elsewhere.
  1. Learn the science and mechanics behind the latest hyped paranormal investigation equipment, including the devices that you already have and use. It would be beneficial to not just assume that they can do what they are marketed to do and to not further spread misinformation to others though word of mouth, social media, and over exaggerated YouTube videos. If you research the mechanics and science you will find that many of the devices aren’t remotely capable of doing what is claimed of them. Due to the Mandela Effect the misinformation pertaining to some of these devices has spread like wildfire. An example is that a spirit can manipulate an FM radio receiving device (AKA a ghost box) to speak through it. I’ll ask you one question. How upon death does someone immediately gain the knowledge on the inner mechanics of an FM radio receiver, associated FM radio waves, and how to manipulate either one of them? They don’t and they can’t. The Mandela Effect has many people believe this device can actually do what it is marketed to do. It doesn’t and it can’t. Learn about the mechanics and science about the equipment that you use will allow you to better operate such equipment. Learn about the shortcomings of the technology and the typical mechanical and natural anomalies that appear to occur when using the device such as lens flares, audio and visual artifacts, equipment’s ability to receive and cause interference with other equipment, etc.
  1. When conducting an investigation it is pertinent to not share your findings and experiences with other investigators until after your investigation report has been completed and turned in to the Lead Investigator or Director. Tell the investigation leader that you had an experience in a certain location so they can send someone else in to try to collaborate independently, but if the leader is actively investigating then they shouldn’t be made aware of the activity specifically. If they can keep themselves away from that particular situation then they can be informed of the potential scenario, but shouldn’t try to investigate it themselves as they have already been influenced just by being told of the scenario. If you are the Director or investigation leader ensure that this procedure is held to. I have seen so many cases that were tainted by the investigators sharing experiences during the investigation which then causes the Availability Cascade and Observer Expectancy Effect with their colleagues, influencing the investigation, and often having an adverse effect on valid results. If you experience something send someone else in the room, but don’t tell them what you experienced specifically. You may tell them what activity that you were doing such as a DVP / EVP session, or an EMF sweep, or a meteorological scan, etc. Beyond that let them investigate and possibly experience what you witnessed for themselves. If you have multiple investigators that independently experienced something without any type of influence by their colleagues then you have a greatly improved quality of evidence. Sharing specifics in an active onsite investigation can be very problematic. Yes there needs to be general communication and direction, but sharing specifics can throw an investigation off.
  1. During evidence review if you find something note the time, but don’t tell someone else reviewing the evidence what you found. Let them experience it for themselves. If you tell them what you experienced before they review the evidence you have already tainted their judgment as you have already placed a nugget of expectancy in their mind. In evidence presentation to the client don’t tell them what you think they are about to see or hear. Let them experience it as many times as they request to and let them tell you what they believe is being heard or seen so you don’t create an Observer Expectancy Effect and seed them with expectations on what they are about to see or hear. This leads to the Mandela Effect. 

In closing I will say that it can be difficult for some people to control the desire to share their experiences during a paranormal investigation with their colleagues just after the experience happened and to not jump on the new hyped equipment bandwagon. Once you dedicate yourself to following standard procedures for your team, such as those that I outlined above, you may find that your amount of scenarios that ultimately be found to be paranormal will decrease, but you will be much more confident in yourself and the results of your investigation as you will be more comfortable that you completed the most scientific investigation possible and won’t have much if any room for doubt in your findings. It is easy to ignore the vast science that is relevant to a paranormal investigation and to just assume almost everything is paranormal like you see on most of the paranormal television shows. For some people it may be more fun at the time to do so, but our goal is to become as well versed in science as we can and to conduct our investigations with the utmost scientific procedure that we can feasibly use so we can provide ourself, our colleagues, and the client the most accurate information and not falsely interpret something as paranormal when it isn’t. Something can only be considered paranormal if all of the science has been considered and proven to not be involved. If you find the science isn’t for you perhaps becoming a ghost hunter would be better suited for your tastes where you can experience paranormal or perceived paranormal to your hearts content, without influencing a science based paranormal investigation. However my experience has taught me that everyone I have worked with over the years found that increasing their science based knowledge of possible scenarios that they may come across during a science based paranormal investigation and following said scientific procedures increased their enjoyment of conducting paranormal investigations. Our goal is to find the truth and not to influence an investigation or its results to be as spooky as possible so you can perceivable enjoy the experience more. I know of a few “paranormal investigation teams”, and I used those three words in quotes because they are recreational ghost hunters who liken themselves to be serious paranormal investigators. They come out of every case interpreting almost everything as paranormal, typically using very questionable equipment or procedures. When using their questionable devices that I wouldn’t every consider using such as an ovilus every noise is an entity, and every stick figure on their SLS is an entity, and every noise on the ghost box is an entity.  When it comes to actual useful equipment that I own myself, they think every EMF reading is typically an entity or every temperature change is an entity. They want everything to be paranormal so they perceive everything to be paranormal. Please don’t be that person. You aren’t doing yourself or the paranormal investigation field any favors. I have been doing this a very long time and in most cases what I find isn’t paranormal. I have seen my fair share of paranormal, but I consider it being paranormal as a last resort after I have exhausted the science. You won’t find any Mandela Effect being experienced on my team or causing it to grow elsewhere. It would be beneficial if you did the same. Follow the science, and not the spooky. The science may lead you to the spooky, but don’t ignore the science to convince yourself that something is paranormal when it really isn’t. Follow the science.

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