February 12, 2009

GHI: Diplomat Hotel

The Diplomat Hotel sits on a hill overlooking Baguio City in the Philippines, and if GHI's (very credible) tour guide is to be believed, many of the townsfolk below fear it and believe the place to be haunted. Originally a monestary, the clergy there were executed by the Japanese during WWII and the building was used as a Sanatorium. After the war it was converted to a hotel, which was so popular that it now sits in a ruined state of disrepair, seeming to wait for the jungle to reach up and crumble it back down to dust.

I kid, but the place is quite overgrown and apparently not in current use by anyone, which is a shame for such a grand building.

The reports of activity include "black figures" and a "white lady" — and by "white" I don't think they meant "caucasian", although I suppose that's possible. After the reports of a "white figure" at Clark Hospital (the investigation which aired immediately prior to this in the same episode), other similar reports scattered through TAPS' history and of course the similarity between the description of "black figures" and the ubiquitous "shadow men" which are commonly reported at "haunted" locations I am curious about the consistency. It almost seems childish in its simplicity, and maybe it's really just some sort of trick-of-the-mind making people see these figures either clothed-in or comprised entirely of white or black, but one thing seems certain: these reports form a common link between entirely disparate reports of haunting. This would seem to minimize the possibility of "misidentification" and lend more credence to the idea that these people really are all seeing the same thing. That of course doesn't tell us whether the things they're seeing exist externally in front of them or if they're somehow hallicinations generated by the human mind, but either way I find it fairly fascinating.

Again, Robb is playing with his new headphones, which "normalize" the sounds and reduce high-volume noises while boosting low ones. At one point early in the night he believes he hears a man's voice, but no one else hears it and no source presents itself. Barry noted that there were some very tall cellphone (or possibly radio?) towers nearby that loomed over the property and he hypothesized that the EM fields generated by those towers might cause people on the grounds to experience hallucinations, generating the sightings.

Brandy & Angela had heard about an underground tunnel system and they believed they found an entrance but it just seemed to be some sort of standalone concrete room beneath the ground — perhaps a small bunker of some kind. They went down, but were quickly frightened away by spiders; I'll forgive the girls of GHI this one time because they still acted more professionally around a spider than Steve Gonsalves has in the past and less skittish than just about every female investigator we've ever seen put on a TAPS investigation.

Barry & Dustin rigged a camera onto a pole and lower it down into another such underground room, but weren't able to see much. Barry thought he heard a voice though; and this time he was right. Robb & Dustin climbed down into the chamber and were looking around when Robb found the source of the man's voice: a man. Apparently someone had taken up residence in the underground room; and so it was that the Ghost of the Diplomat Hotel turned out to be a homeless dude.

Now, obviously a homeless guy isn't responsible for figures in white (or probably the dark figures either) but his presence there was enough to make GHI stop looking for ghosts and declare the place "not haunted". Overall I'd say it was the correct reaction, but I do wish they'd spent more time exploring these reports of white and shadowy figures. On the bright side, I'm sure we'll see many more such reports in upcoming investigations and hopefully we'll get a bit closer to understanding what people are seeing the next time.

Filed under Ghost Hunters International, Posts by Logisti

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Comments on GHI: Diplomat Hotel »

February 13, 2009

anonymous @ 4:34 am

The part when Robb realized there was a homeless man living down in the underground room cracked me up. :D I did feel sad for the guy though.

Learjet @ 12:42 pm

Here we go, Barry finds "high" EMF readings of six, six what he didn't say, could be six camels for all we know and off the scale DC readings coming from the cell towers and therefore declares that the alter sightings are hallucinations from high pulse magnetic fields.

Oh the precision and scientific skill coming from these guys is truly amazing. Remember to wear your tin foil hat driving past cell phone towers! You may see ghosts!

Why do I watch this show again?

StanTheMan @ 2:54 pm

Learjet
You watch for the same resons many of here do: the comic factor and to see how far these people can go and still keep a straight face.

Wes @ 3:56 pm

A question for those who know more about this than I: could an EMF meter even register the radio frequency waves coming from a cell phone tower? – Not that I don't trust Mr. Science, aka Barry.

D @ 8:24 pm

Yes, they put out a ridiculously high amount of EMF, but the research is still out as to exactly how dangerously. Check out the following link.

http://www.emf-health.com/articles-celltower.htm

But how close was the hotel to the towers? It would seem to me that if the Hotel was close to the towers, the reading should be higher. Frankly if was farther away, and it was still picking up readings, that would contaminate any EMF readings in urban areas, since wireless signals emit low level EMF.

Learjet @ 8:30 pm

I just went for a drive past a nearby phone tower with 3 EMF meters to find out. Either it was offline or it doesn't radiate much in the way of low frequencies. That stuff is usually in the 900 meg range, although it wouldn't surprise me if there was some stray VLF as well. Oh I didn't see any ghosts on the way. ;-)

It also depends where Barry had the meter set to. The Trifield Natural has a radio/microwave setting.

Also took another look at the GHI vid. The array Barry is near doesn't even look like a cell tower. The configuration looks more like that of an AM radio station.

February 15, 2009

CrowTRobot @ 9:49 am

OK. This is how much attention I pay to the second "20 minute filler" episodes:

anonymous said: "The part when Robb realized there was a homeless man living down in the underground room cracked me up."

I had no idea that's what he found. Apparently, I just watched up to the point when he said he had discovered what it was (I didn't even know what IT was they were looking for) and they needed to leave. I had assumed he had found some animal, possibly a mother with….whatever its babies would be called, and needed to get out before she got upset….

…some homeless guy….

Logisti @ 11:37 am

lol Crow, he *did* mention this to their host during the reveal. I know a good scientist thinks about turning the show off after the evidence review — but you've got to know they always hold a little something back for the reveal :)

February 16, 2009

Raphael @ 2:11 am

Barry was reporting tha EMFs from the towers were causing hallucinations but in the area he was testing the only reported incident was a couple of people who saw a woman and child in a photograph that werent there when they sanpped the shot. Did the camera or film hallucinate?

Nosfer @ 1:15 pm

The most likely explanation is that Barry, himself, was under the influence of the EMF and was hallucinating during this phase of the investigation :)

February 18, 2009

Lar @ 4:02 pm

Since the place is in the jungles I thought I head a baboon, but it was just Robb!

The show's only saving grace are the cool locales. Nearly each location makes you want to travel there. The "evidence," regularly gathered only gets worse with each episode. Not that I find GH truthful, but GHI is just insulting viewers intelligence.

Video or photo evidence has been reduced to foggy, blurry mists. Audio distortion's an EVP. It's obvious they're going to such wild locales because it is the only reason to watch.

Oubliette @ 8:20 pm

Maybe the homeless guy had a shotgun, hence the quick exit.

Yeah, it's a nice travelogue, but early on I should have realized that foreign ghosts are not likely to respond to people asking questions in English, unless they are in the UK, of course.

February 19, 2009

Nosfer @ 5:48 pm

And given my experiences in the UK, probably only half the time would responses be understood…and that number goes way down as we get into middle and old english :)

Oubliette @ 11:36 pm

LOL, Nosfer you are so right.

When I went to visit my friend in Coventry, I often had to ask her to keep repeating herself as it was hard to understand her heavy accent. The farther one goes from London, the thicker the accents become. The British we hear on TV are taught something called "Standardized English", which is sort of an official accent. BTW, it's done here and called "Standardized American"; you'll notice that most newscasters, wherever they are from, usually sound the same.

Now try going into Scotland and points North ;)

It's a good point though, when considering the time period when it is believed activity has taken place. As far as Olde English is concerned, a German would understand it better then we would today.

So ghost investigation overseas can become very tricky when it comes to trying to get EVPs and such. Which brings me back as to why GHI hardly bothers to ask questions in what would be the native tongue, new or old.

February 20, 2009

alicat @ 10:50 am

Engaged to a Brit here in the US, we have a lot of UK friends with a wide assortment of English regional accents, Irish brogues and Scottish burrs. In the beginning it was hard to sit at a party and understand let alone participate in the conversation. It takes a great deal of concentration and deciphering.

My problem with GHI is the same as everyone else it seems. Other than seeing places most of us would never be able to travel to let alone have unfettered access, the fact that they are speaking American English and slang, along with Barry's Irish brogue and occasional sentence in what we believe is the native language (or not), their use of verbal "communication" in these foreign locations is just rubbish. Having travelled through England and Scotland quite a bit since the 80's, I have been told many times by locals that even they have trouble understanding the regional accents in their own country.

You just have to look at English writing of olde to see the differences in English then and now. So, I totally agree with Nosfer and Oubliette. In the UK, one has to also realize the range of the language including the fact that Southern English accents are so different than the thicker Northern accents and that the English have a very difficult time understanding the Scots and Irish. This also holds true for languages in other countries.

So, why does GHI really think they will get verbal replies during these foreign investigations? They clearly do not, it just makes good television. If they did, their techniques would not be so flawed and they would use the local language or, at the very least, have a local accompany and interpret for them while they are investigating. To be fair, however, no one knows how old of a language to use but at least be somewhere in the same ballpark. Have you ever tried going into a foreign country where no one spoke any English? You need an interpreter or, at the very least, a good inexpensive phrase book but even that's no guarantee. Pronunciation of a language is almost as important as the word being verbalized as it can be on target or very insulting. Perhaps they are saving up for that camera headgear and maybe they will use the change to purchase a phrase book they can share or at least jot down a phrase or two before each investigation. Who knows?

Learjet @ 11:14 am

Crickey, lucky there's a keyboard between us otherwise my Australian English may be as unintelligible as a wombat's snoring!

alicat @ 11:46 am

Very funny. Glad I can understand Australian English via keyboard. My parents can't understand my future English in-laws at all. Maybe they need a keyboard or maybe I should just let it go. Nah!…think Ill let it go – that may be a good thing! BTW, I do enjoy your posts.

April 28, 2009

Jaeh @ 3:42 am

Just a comment on "white lady" or white ladies – in the Philippines, "white lady" usually refers to white apparitions.

June 15, 2009

Dion Fernandez @ 4:01 am

Hi, I'm a native of Baguio City. I'm a local paranormal investigator, and I frequent the Diplomat Hotel grounds.

Baguio's really not much "jungle" but more of "urban pine garden." The Diplomat Hotel as shown in the show was actually cleaned up; if GHI visited the place like maybe 4 or 5 years ago then the entire place would have been literally overgrown with plants.

With regards to the towers near the Diplomat Hotel, those structures are actually cellular phone towers, around 50 meters away from the main building itself. There also is an FM radio broadcast tower nearby. My own personal research shows that various sounds could be attributed to the stray signals from the towers themselves.

Oubliette @ 7:46 am

Thank you so much for posting this very valuable information.

So many of us here feel that a lot of the evidence collected by the equipment of many groups is due to interference that they are not aware of. In this case, cellular phone towers as well as a radio tower nearby can affect some equipment, which is then misinterpreted by the investigators.

As an investigator, do you have any interesting experiences you might like to share? I always love to hear from people in other countries that have an interest in the paranormal.




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