The Video Data Review Process
Here we come to one of the most important factors of paranormal investigation that there is, the visual aspect. I will take you through most of the different types of video equipment as well as the still photography equipment that CPS uses on many of its investigations and research.
We use a multitude of video equipment to record and capture visual evidence. We start with the 4 Channel and 9 channel DVR systems. These system allow us to run multiple hard line cameras into each room and lets us survey different locations in the home on two 20 inch VGA Monitors. These units are available with multiple camera hook ups that allow us to have 13 cameras running at one time. It then takes this information, separates and stores each camera recorded onto a self contained hard drive, which in turn lets us playback and view the evidence recorded at the time of the analysis review or immediately if need be, without interruption of the data being recorded.
The DVR system is capable of handling several cameras all hooked up together. We use infrared technology cams such as the Sony super hats, Sony B/W infrared, and the Sony wireless High Resolution. Most of these cams come in a variety of Multiple LED's reaching anywhere from 104 LED to 9 LED cams for smaller rooms.
CPS also uses 12 DVD recorders which allows us to use an additional 12 IR cameras along with the 13 DVR IR cameras, 3 Spectercam Full spectrum cameras and 2 UV cameras at our disposal. We use 4 video switch boxes to view the cameras through two 32 inch VGA Monitors and two 20 inch LCD Monitors
The second type of equipment that we use is camcorders. We use multiple Sony Hi8s as well as Sony Mini DV Handycams, not only for recording in low light/Close-up situations but in those areas where we want to do walk-throughs and document the investigation.
The third piece of equipment that you will see us using are still photography cameras, such as our Cannon SLR and Cannon Super Shot 35mm cameras. These cameras produce hard to disprove still photos and are generally backed up by negatives. Even though we also use multiple Kodak Sure Shot digital cameras, we integrate any and every piece of equipment into an investigation.
Finally we've built a shoulder mounted IR camera which allows us to broadcast our investigation live via the internet while simultaniusly being recorded onto DVD.
Once we have recorded approximately a basic 12 hours of evidence during an investigation, and the break down of the equipment is carefully accomplished, at a later time we then set up the DVR and monitor at headquarters. The DVR system lets us review each and every camera individually or simultaneously. It allows us to timestamp and data log each and every event that we deem as possibly paranormal. When and if we see something out of the norm, we then time stamp it and record it onto a CD/RW; this way the information is on a disk for the client's records.
Using the DVD recorders, our footage is already on DVD at the end of the night of the investigation so when it comes time to review the footage we can just insert the pre recorded DVD into our computer and start looking for anomilous footage
Afterwards, we then review and go over every second of the camcorder video captured on the Hi8's as well as the Mini DV cassettes. This is a laborious task but it must be done with care and concentration.
Again, if anomalies are found on the Hi8's or Mini DV tapes we then transfer the clip of video and transfer it onto a computer's hard drive. It is then stored until an analyst can retrieve it and restructure it onto a file using software such as Pinnacle 9 (video/photo editing) program.
One of the most tedious tasks that falls upon an evidence analyst is still photos; these must be handled with care as well, due to their delicate nature. The stills are examined one by one and surveyed trying to retract any possible anomalous phenomenon in the film itself. Even the most mundane photo must be scrutinized and examined to the point of exhaustion. Digital photos are a bit simpler to deal with since they get transferred directly from the camera to the PC.
But wait, theres more visual evidence from our Night Vision Monocular connected to video and still cameras, Full Spectrum and Infrared Photography and Thermal Imaging has to be reviewed.
Upon careful review and collaboration of each piece of video/photo evidence, only the findings are presented to the client, due to the factors that just as much time goes into the video review as well as the audio.Hopefully you have enjoyed a brief but concise description of the Equipment and how we apply it to this field in the technical sense.