FLIR Footage from the Manson Murders Episode is Proven Doctored

This is a basic overview of the FLIR footage from the Manson Murders episode in season 3 of Ghost Hunters.

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1) The FLIR video that reads 66 degrees appears to be unaltered. This is timestamped from 2:43:14 to 2:43:20

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2) The FLIR video that reads 65 degrees appears to be unaltered. This is timestamped from 2:43:43 to 2:43:47

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3) The FLIR video that reads 64-63 degrees appears to be altered insofar as the digit AFTER the decimal and the timestamp has been altered. The timestamp is copied from the first FLIR clip we saw (66 degree clip).  The doctored components are obvious, not just because the timestamp has already been used but also because they jiggle (or fail to) out-of-synch with the unaltered content of the video.

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However, in a still picture it is also possible to detect the fraud (although much more difficult). These two clips are taken a fraction of a second apart, and there is no change in the colors or patterns behind any of the other characters, but when the 4 changes to a 3 the background behind that number immediately changes pattern.  It is difficult to see, but it is telling to an expert.  Mostly it is significant because this trend continues throughout the clip (proving it is not just an artifact in the video) but really, it is academic and an unnecessary extra when it comes to proving this clip has been altered.

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4) The FLIR video that reads 62.4 appears to have the original timestamp but the same sloppy chop-job on the digit after the decimal point, HOWEVER the 2 (in 62) also appears to have been edited in, albeit (slightly) more professionally.  One more obvious sign something isn't quite right is that the decimal point is a bit too close to the edge of the 2.

You can see a telltale rectangle of purple around the 2 which shows that they didn't bother to follow the curves of the 2, but just cut a chunk of the background out with it. Those background colors don't line up with the original background in that section of the video, making it fairly easy to see the edges where it was cut out and pasted in.

The apparently untampered timestamp on this video reads 2:43:38 to 2:43:40, which puts it about 20 seconds after the temperature was 66 degrees and just 3 seconds before the temperature lowered into the 65 degree range (in the untampered videos).

Conclusions: The temperature in that section of the room (the reading is most likely coming from the far wall, due to the nature of the instrument) did appear to drop by about 1 degree within 25 seconds. It then appeared to drop by another 2 degrees, but we cannot tell how long that took because the original timestamp was removed and replaced with a fake. Finally, we have no proof the temperature dropped to 62 degrees because that FLIR footage is totally faked. The footage itself is taken from before the temperature dropped to 65 and the 2 in the temperature is edited in.

Bottom line: Because none of the (altered) footage in question was seen in the hands of TAPS during either the Analysis or the Reveal, the possibility remains that they are innocent of wrongdoing; however, innocent or not, this casts such a dark shadow over their credibility that failure to publicly respond would be tantamount to condoning the doctoring of evidence by the production staff.

To put it another way, even if you completely trust the TAPS guys and think they would never fake anything or try to trick you, if they don't respond to this in a big way that means they aren't going to do anything to stop the production crew from doctoring footage, which means no matter how much you trust them personally, everything you see on the show might be faked.  This is what concerns us and why we, as fans, are hoping for a strong response from TAPS.

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Comments on FLIR Footage from the Manson Murders Episode is Proven Doctored

August 19, 2007

JDM @ 7:43 pm

Excellent commentary- in the end I couldn't have said it better myself- a strong response from TAPS in now necessary to defend their hard-fought credibility.

August 20, 2007

Webbydeb @ 9:43 am

Thanks for the analysis! Keep up the good work…

August 27, 2007

gozer @ 10:21 am

Great work on trying to get the word out. TAPS' continued silence regarding this issue is disturbing.

September 29, 2007

misscatlady @ 6:24 pm

If you all have that much time on your hands to go through every bit of evidence that taps has trying to find where it might have been tampered with Ya'all haven't enough stuff to do. Get a life people.

October 2, 2007

Emmy @ 11:31 am

Dear MissCatLady:

For me, at least, the paranormal IS my life. I've been dedicated to it literally from childhood.
(That, and animal rescue. I've got 11 rescued cats/kittens at the moment, all abandoned an tossed on the street like garbage.
Need another? They're all vetted, neutered, shots & well loved. There are just too many for me to give each the full attention s/he deserves, so can you open your heart up to love one more? Write me. :)

Back to my point:
Only I want REAL evidence — is that truly too much to ask, especially from people who profess their desire for the same thing?
If the SciFi channel wants to make money at this, a weekly show portraying the debunking of most if not all claims of 'I live in a haunted house' should make just as much money; unfortunately.

Ask any professional parapsychologist such as Lloyd Auerbach or Susan Blackmore (the former writes very entertainingly, the latter is encyclopedic in her reasoning and knowledge –and vice versa. Both are degreed in that field; they are dedicated and legitimate and well worth the reads). They'll tell you the search for Psi is long and frustrating with very little success in capturing evidence; mainly because anomalies simply cannot be called up to order in one or a limited number specifically watched place, K2's and dead celebrity chasing notwithstanding. Multiple captures of 'irrefutable evidence' per episode are, to put it mildly, highly suspect. The quantity of TAPS 'evidence' alone is leads one to skepticism, but this quantity is perhaps not so remarkable when cable channels, producers, and even investigators want to make a profit or at least desire to get picked up for another season. Witness the mess of Most Haunted — and where (and in what state of legitimacy) it ended up.

This field of study has suffered through too much hoaxing and too many fraudulent con men all throughout its history. It's way past time to get dead serious ('scuse the pun) and take only the undoctored evidence exactly where it leads — even if it leads exactly nowhere.

In the meanwhile; kindly don't deign to dictate what you think my life should or shouldn't be dedicated to (after all, I already have a sister who fills that job description very nicely :^) and I won't dare declare to you how you should live yours.

Deal?

Kevin @ 2:49 pm

Ok first of all, how do you just demand that TAPS respond to some random comment on some random board? Has it been brought to their attention in any other way than you posting it here on your own little corner of the internet?

Secondly, what credentials give you the overall authority to tell us how the footage is faked? Are you a professional? Do you have an education in the knowledge you say is so damning? If it's your word vs. theirs then why should we believe you? Because you have some fancy screen shots of some of the sci-fi episode? You are NOT examining the true film, just the edited version aired by sci-fi. Heck, what's keeping us from thinking YOU altered the screen shots to try and cast doubt on the TAPS team?

Logisti @ 4:12 pm

If you would kindly head over to here:

forums.scifi.com/index.php?showforum=70

You would see this fakery is not only well documented, proven and almost universally agreed-upon, but also that Jason & Grant have been duly informed of it through this site, that message board and their own home-front, the TAPS message board.

In fact BOTH of them at separate times have examined the evidence of this fakery put-forth by their fans, both of them on separate occasions said they had no explanation for the discrepencies in the footage and that they would have to talk to some people and get back to us, and both of them have (as of 10/2/2007) never gotten back to us.

BUT, this episode was just re-run recently and the offending footage was not in the re-run. They cut it out. To be perfectly clear on this: Jason and Grant BOTH agreed there was a problem with the footage which they had no explanation for, promised to address it, never mentioned it again and the episode in question had the offending footage removed from reruns.

Does that answer your question?

October 18, 2007

michael kane @ 8:42 am

hi i want to know why when u asked the questions to so called ghost and the light on the hand held thing was going one for yes twice for no te questions u asked it were so stupid [ are u mad u are dead ]what kind of question is that
u should ask it [ who killed u ] and why do u need help crossin over simple yes or no questions you ask it to move the tempature just great u guys would make bad cops. that perso with u who asked the question has his own show [dead famous ]should no better to ask questions that have substance good luck
mike kane

October 22, 2007

Boo @ 9:32 pm

Just a couple of comments:

In their radio show, I believe they claimed that ONLY the digital thermometer that was being held by one of the TAPS team members registered the temperature change. Yet they showed footage of the FLIR cameras reading the temperature change?!?

Thinking as a TV producer might… Those digital thermometers don't show up on camera well, but the FLIR camera does. Having evidence of people sitting around saying "Hey look, the temperature is dropping" but not showing it, might not be convincing, so the team responsible for editting may feel they needed something to 'show', so they created the FLIR footage for illustration. As someone pointed out above, it was not used among the evidence.

There are frequently other bits of evidence that don't get shown to the homeowner/business owner. Perhaps that is a clue about those bits of evidence?

From a TV production POV, when a show becomes popular, there is tremendous pressure to keep the ratings up, after all that's how all the people connected with the show are getting paid, and if ratings drop, leading to cancellation, then they are out of work. That plus time constraints, plus the need to be entertaining leads to the need for the sort of creative editing that everybody hates. However, without that editting, the sound effects, the dramas, the staged dialog, the 'what's that' moments that turn out to be a bug or something, the show would be like the live halloween special– very boring to watch. People might tune into the Halloween specials b/c they're GH, but if the show had been like that from the beginning, how popular would it have become?

As to why Jason and Grant are silent, well who knows what is in the contracts they signed? Coming out and saying that the production company is faking evidence, may seem like the right thing to do, but might it harm ratings and open themselves up to lawsuits? Very probably. It's great to take a stand and everything, but you also have a family to provide for, and would rather not have the pants sued off you. Listening to their radio show, they dance around production issues like this, legal liability is the most likely reason.

My take is that TAPS likely has/had intentions of keeping things honest, but the pressures of the TV biz often force you to 'sell your soul' so to speak. TAPS might not be directly responsible for tampered evidence, it could be the production crew trying to pull one past them, maybe a bed that unmakes itself on the Queen Mary (which TAPS caught, but SOMEBODY had to stage it), or a cloaked figure at Eastern State that approaches a camera that might be played by somebody that the crew snuck in while everyone else is at dinner.

November 1, 2007

bill kelly @ 3:41 pm

the camera stuff goes way above my head, but as far as TAPS faking evidence i ask this.

when they investigated the Queen Mary, it looked as though the bed unmade itself. that was til Tango explained how he could see the tape stopping. now, did they show this because any film editor could catch this? or because they are trying to be real as possible?

i'm still skeptical as far as tv shows, but know my true-life experiences were real. i believe TAPS does try hard to be real and their wish to debunk more than they find makes them more trustworthy than others.

November 2, 2007

OverMachoGrande @ 12:57 am

Great evidence! I posted my evidence on debunking the "ghost soldier" episode of TAPS in the "show evidence" section on the Taps Main Board, under my same name (OverMachoGrande). It's completely obvious once you read what I posted, and that they HAVE to throw out their re-creation attempts, but wow… I got pretty ripped to shreds over it. It seems like you are getting a lot further than me, so congrats!

I personally think it's a great show, and I don't think that Grant and Jason had anything to do with manipulating the evidence you provided or were trying to pull a fast one with the debunking I did, but if something is WRONG… we should be able to point it out!

-O.M.G.

November 8, 2007

C.L. @ 12:27 am

In response to Bill Kelly concerning the Queen Mary…my opinion on that is that they had no choice but to say it was faked. Had they claimed it as 'real' proof, the person who was responsible for the staging could come out of the woodwork and 'prove' the show was bunk. That is assuming someone outside of the crew staged the scene (which I believe they did). It was an obvious job of it, so had TAPS ignored it, someone could say they didn't know their stuff (or look closely enough at their 'evidence') to see that it was fake.

in other words…faking your own stuff, and doing it well is a much better option than claiming someone else's cruddy try at it. It also lends credibility and realism to their 'debunking' claim.

Tinkertoy05 @ 3:15 am

Howdy All,

I just want to say that after all of the time that Ive logged into watching Ghosthunters, it has become totaly apparent to me that they are sorely lacking for material. People watch Ghosthunters to see/learn "ghost stuff". Not to watch commercials (every 5 mins w/5 min commercials), not to observe the dynamics of the TAPS employees' relationships/HR problems, nor do I watch it to be lead on a nailbiting goose chase (Grant & Hawes chasing "shadow" down the hall in Waverly) that ends up not showing anything and comes to an abrupt halt. If the camera guys can focus on Grant and Hawes that well, they sure as heck can shift the camera slightly enough so that the audience can see what TAPs sees. I'm so fed up with this carrot being dangled in front of my face ("Look over here, isn't that weird"=Grant talking into camera which NEVER shows us what Grant saw.) that I'm ready to call it quits. The conversations between the workers are so staged. So little evidence and such lack of concern pertaining to authenticity makes me want to cry after watching it this long. It started out good and went downhill. It actually was the best when the "Englishmen" were at the helm. (if my memory serves me correctly). Anyone else out there that is as frustrated as I am?

Salem @ 10:58 am

I wish they would wear helmet cams. Then we could see what they are seeing. I too keep hoping to see whatever Jay and grant are chasing. A helmet cam would be the way to go.

Logisti @ 10:59 am

Tinkertoy05 – That would be the reason this site exists :)

November 10, 2007

sneaker98 @ 1:34 am

"Multiple captures of 'irrefutable evidence' per episode are, to put it mildly, highly suspect."

This bugs me, because you have absolutely no idea how many investigations TAPS actually does. Do all their investigations make it to the show? You don't know the answer to that.

Which is the problem I have with a lot of these debunkings: assumptions. Essentially, for every event that you have no reasonable explanation for, you assume foul play. Which means, in essense, you can debunk *everything*!

For instance, your particularly harsh tarring-and-feathering of Grant based on completely circumstancial evidence. That bothers me.

What it boils down to is: why should I trust you over TAPS? You seem no more professional than they, and less qualified as well. I couldn't help but notice you ignored that question from Kevin, Logisti.

I'm actually looking for a reason here. My statement here may be pretty bold, but I'm not trying to hurt any feelings. What are your credentials? Why should we believe you over TAPS? You can't just make some intelligent and logical arguments, tote them as fact, and expect to be taken as gospel truth, my friend.

J. @ 2:31 am

sneakers98: Is it also folly to assume that all the evidence TAPS captures is unquestionable? Would that mean that, essentially, you would believe *everything* they try to foist as "irrefutable", or even "good evidence" for that matter?

I don't think anyone is saying to believe anyone over another, merely that we should be skeptical of claims and evidence by TAPS, read the alternate/skeptical views put forth here, and make up our own minds… instead of just blindly accepting things as they are presented to us by TAPS.

TAPS, nor their most ardent fans, also can't assume to tell us that the evidence is irrefutable as if it were fact, and expect us to take it as gospel.

sneaker98 @ 6:33 am

J: Have I said anything along the lines of "TAPS is irrefutable"? Certainly not. There are a couple instances which I believe to be not paranormal, and a few members of TAPS that I firmly believe to have overactive imaginations.

However, I've implied that TAPS seems like a group of honest folks. I'm also fairly certain that, if there were foul-play going on, it would have been leaked. There's always a loudmouthed camera guy, or an audioman who has his price. There's a good amount of fame and fortune in spilling the beans, and I figure it would have been done by now.

This is irrelevant to my point, but I thought I'd state that anyways.

There are several bits of evidence that, assuming TAPS is not doctoring their stuff, are at least in some shape or another evidence of the paranormal. This is the middle group I'm talking about. This is where it's either TAPS, or the Skeptics.

And that's why I'm asking. Why should I be taking his/her word above theirs? Is it really fair to accuse TAPS of misuse of equipment for unintended purposes when there's really *no* equipment with the label "ACME Ghostbusting" on the side? Is it really fair to accuse TAPS of being nothing more than amateurs, when the skeptics I've read are amateurs themselves?

Double standards are dangerous things.

In "recreations" I've seen, such as SAPS and the Penitentiary video (where a ghost appears, and scoots away from the camera), it's basically like skeptics feel they can get away with a "eh… that's close enough" attitude. Yet TAPS has to provide perfection. Frankly, their recreation reeked of amateurism, and very silly mock-ups – they didn't have the right equipment, nor anything remotely resembling the locale. And still, we were expected to believe SAPS over TAPS because they could make a figure covered in a blanket walk away from the camera.

These are the kinds of things I'm talking about. Skeptics expect the benefit of the doubt, but refuse TAPS the same luxury.

J. @ 7:11 am

Thankfully no, you haven't said that. And which instances or evidence are the ones you do not believe out of curiosity?

Yes, Jason and Grant and the others do seem like honest people, but even honest people make mistakes and there have been instances which raise suspicion and doubt. Like: Was Grant pulling the cord or not? How can they present evidence to people that looks like a person in a cloak running to and fro and expect them and us to believe it is an apparition when our minds and eyes tell us otherwise? Why do they seemingly only do half-way attempts at debunking?

Yes, someone could spill the beans, and they still might. But considering being that audio-man and camera guy is keeping them employed right now, they just might not.. at least not until the end of the show.

Which pieces of evidence do you think it's either TAPS or the skeptics?

As I said before, make up your own mind. Read both sides, and then come to a conclusion.

And there can't be experts in a field where so little is known. There are no ghost or paranormal experts. So it would seem both sides are comprised of amateurs.

The burden of proof is on the person making the claim, in this case, TAPS. They are the ones that must prove what they say is the truth. The skeptics don't have to prove or disprove anything.

TAPS doesn't have to provide perfection, just the truth and enough good evidence to convince those skeptical viewers watching that it isn't a hoax and isn't something natural mistaken for something paranormal.

Skeptics expect proof, not the benefit of the doubt. If they are going to believe in something, they don't want it to be based on flimsy and weak evidence.

Logisti @ 10:09 am

sneaker98, Kevin: My apologies for not taking the question about my "credentials" to heart — I assumed it was merely rhetorical and designed to highlight the fact that I don't spend nights regularly in darkened buildings with high-tech recording devices. Unfortunately, I'm going to have to answer that question in a way you're bound not to like: I am not going to give you any reason to believe me over TAPS.

Really, it comes down to this: I try to make things as cut-and-dry as possible using logic and footage you can rewatch for yourself. My background is irrelevant, you can think for yourself and review the video for yourself. If you disagree with my assessment that is fine by me.

You seem to misunderstand the entire purpose of this site. I am not asking people to believe me. I'm not asking for people to disbelieve TAPS. I'm only asking people to think for themselves. Don't just find an "authority" and believe what they tell you. Weigh what they say for yourself and reach your own conclusions. If your conclusions don't agree with mine, at least you reached them on your own.

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