I had a “discussion” with a cynic on our facebook page a little while ago where he claimed that EMF meters were junk science it they were not calibrated by a scientific calibration lab.
Here is his question and my answer about this issue.
Q) So clearly no one a, calibrates their device, b, knows how to calibrate or recalibrate and c, uses a calibrated device. You don’t think this is a problem?
A) First I’d like to point your attention to an article (link) below.
Here is a pertinent quote from that article. I will then answer the question you just asked.
“The EMF feature can operate in a standard or “burst” high speed mode, and will measure extreme low frequency (ELF)as low as 30Hz this is 20Hz lower than the KII which measures only as low as 50Hz. 50Hz is not considered to be part of the ELF range. The theory again being that an entity may be present in the ELF range of the EMF spectrum which commonly registers between 2.0 and 7.0 mG in strength. Most teams use EMF meters to debunk claims of activity claiming that long exposure to high EMF can cause paranoia nausea even effect moods but I think its important to know that this may not be the ONLY use EMF meters remember that the field of Paranormal Investigation is fraught with theory after theory and until we can 100% dismiss a theory it remains as much part of the investigation as any other. As long as there is something to the theory I believe we should research and develop tools to test them. Other important observations worth mentioning is that the Mel meter circuit design combined with careful shielding and grounding techniques, is not susceptible to false positives created by Cell phones, Text messages, Walkie Talkies, and other RF transmitting interference devices.”
See: The Mel Meter Review
I know that is not a complete answer, but please read the article.
Now let’s examine your question. Many do not calibrate their devices and I am reasonably certain that none take it to a scientific lab to have it calibrated. I don’t particularly care because it is not the only device we rely upon also, it does not need to be 100% accurate considering how it is used in the field.
Let’s look at an example of why it does not need to be accurate that happened to me outside of the paranormal field.
I just recently moved into a new house where the sprinkler system wasn’t working in one of the zones. I called in a service man from the sprinkler system installer. He was trying to find the electrical junction box for the sprinklers system that was buried in the yard. He said he forgot his meter in the other truck and would have to go get it. I said hang on a minute, and pull out my KII meter from my kit and low and behold I was able to pinpoint the junction box to the exact location. Did he care what the reading was on the KII? Did he care if it had been properly calibrated? Would if have mattered in this example if it was or wasn’t properly calibrated?
The answer to all those questions is NO. It served it’s purpose in pinpointing an electrical fluctuation that could not have logically existed if it were not for the circuit box.
If I had a readout to a scale that was located in another room and someone stepped on the scale and it read 225 lbs. I would not need to know their exact weight, or that the scale was calibrated to zero before we began, to reasonable conclude that someone or something was on the scale that weighed a great deal more than when the scale was empty.
We use these devices in the same way. We are looking for variations from the baseline of the environment, it doesn’t matter if it is accurate, only that there is a large variation.
This helps us to first identify man made variations in the environment so that we can rule out the use of our meters if near these areas or identify what are thought to be “EMF Fear Cages” that could be affecting the occupants. Also, if we are in a location, as I was recently, where there was no power, then a large fluctuation in the EMF field at that location would be unexpected and need to be further explored.
Finally, during an investigation after the baseline readings throughout the house have been detected and verified with more that just one EMF meter. We then will have the Meter on while we use other tools, ie. Digital Recorder, to conduct the investigation.
Now normally, I would for example have two EMF meters that are both ready either the same of very close to the same readings, sitting in the middle of a room for example that I already know the baseline for. If during an EVP session, I see both meters fluctuate, then that is a clue.
It is not a conclusion of paranormal activity but a clue that would cause me to listen back to the digital recorder for the last couple of minutes while the variation was occuring. If I also heard a class “A” EVP at the same time as the EMF meters went off then that is a further clue that something out of the ordinary had occurred. If I then listened to a second recorder in the room and heard the same Class “A” EVP then that I would consider evidence of the paranormal. Not that I could prove it later to anyone that wasn’t in the room, since I could fake the same results. But I’m not here to prove anything to you or the world. I am here to discover things about the unkown for my own curiosity as well as to help find the cause of our clients fears.
There was no further questions from the cynic other than to ask the same question repeatedly and then when I wasn’t going to play his game, he started to insult other team members in my group that weren’t even part of the conversation. He got banned after that.
So I hope you learned two things.
1. About EMF Meters and how they should be used.
2. Don’t try to argue with a Cynic!
Until next time….
Nightside Paranormal Investigations
Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Nightside Paranormal Investigations or it’s members.