Ghost Hunters

Season 4 Episode 22

U.S.S. Hornet

Aired Wednesday 10:00 PM Oct 29, 2008 on Syfy

Episode Fan Reviews (1)

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  • Better guest stars are better entertainment

    Much like the railway station in Buffalo not so long ago, this is one of those locations that seems overwhelming just on the screen. I recall being concerned about the personnel control issues when they investigated other naval vessels, and I think some of the same issues could have been in play in this situation. It's difficult to separate out the normal and the unusual in a location that has such unique properties. Even with a slightly bigger group of investigators, I can't imagine they even hit a fraction of the entire site.

    This is the lead-in to the massive "Ghost Hunters Live" event on Halloween night, and I suppose that the inclusion of Colin Ferguson was another example of Sci-Fi Channel cross-promotion. Now that "Ghost Hunters" is the top-rated franchise on the network, this is going to happen more and more often. The live event is practically bloated with guest stars (including, yes, ECW wrestlers).

    Ferguson, however, is a genuinely nice guy (we have mutual acquaintances, and they speak well of him). I think he brought a sincere interest to the investigation. Perhaps not a studied or scientific interest, but a sincere one, nonetheless. It might have been a better programming choice to air this investigation when "Eureka" was also running, but I suppose that would have made too much sense. (ECW, unfortunately, is running all the time.) Still, Ferguson had a much better showing than, say, Chris Fleming.

    In terms of the "evidence", I wasn't particularly impressed by most of it. I didn't think the "EVP" heard by Steve and the others sounded like a voice; it sounded like a random noise. The overlapping voices in the other apparent EVP were more interesting, but the translation didn't quite make sense and certainly didn't sound like something someone would actually say.

    The light on the leg of the chair was hard to characterize, because it did look just like a reflection from the flashlight. With so many reflective surfaces in the room, how could they be sure it wasn't the flashlights, even if they weren't pointed at the chair at the time? It's not a definitive answer, but it's a viable explanation. (That may be why Jason and Grant didn't mention it in the reveal.)

    There was a return for the K-II Meter, and at this point, I have nothing more to say on the subject. Grant published a blog entry defending its use, and it is what it is. A reality television show is probably not the best place to evaluate such a device (or any device, for that matter). There was also the odd magnetic field around the chain, but since I don't recall them checking the entire length of the chain to see if the effect was localized, it's hard to draw conclusions.

    The big-ticket "evidence" was the thermal hit, and it was well-presented. Everyone knows my position on the thermal footage. FLIR systems record surface temperatures. Human-looking figures with heat emissions that appear identical to human beings are, logically speaking, rather likely to be human beings. Yet it's unlikely that Jason and Grant would miss someone standing a few meters away in a cramped metal compartment!

    Skeptics will claim that this is proof positive that TAPS is faking "evidence" by claiming that a real live person was an apparition for the sake of ratings. (They just love to point out that the ongoing ratings climb has coincided with the documented increase in "evidence" per episode.) So it comes down to taking them at their word (again).

    Just for the sake of speculation, what would be true if an apparition were to manifest enough to create a boundary layer capable of registering on a FLIR system at a temperature close to human-normal? I'm not sure that something like that wouldn't be visible, but even if it was completely invisible, wouldn't there be other evidence of it? For example, if it manifested, and then dissipated shortly thereafter, how would the accumulated thermal energy (necessary for the emissivity caught by the FLIR system) dissipate so quickly as to not be felt? After all, if they can feel "cold spots", why not "hot spots"?

    Whatever the case, the footage will no doubt delight some and frustrate others. I can only point to what the FLIR system can and cannot detect and leave it to others to draw what conclusions they will. One thing I can say: I would love the chance to investigate the Hornet with just as much latitude!