How Paranormal Researchers Are Utilizing 3D Laser Scanning Technology

LiDAR scanning technology has long been used by construction companies, engineers and land surveyors to measure precise distances and create 3D point clouds. However, if you’ve found yourself watching shows on television networks like the Discovery Channel, you may have noticed that LiDAR technology is becoming equally useful in a variety of ways that are a bit off the beaten path.

While you may have seen archaeologists and researchers employ LiDAR laser technology in documentaries like Drain the Titanic and to discover lost Mayan cities, nowhere does laser scanning pop up more than in paranormal research programming. From TV series like Ghost Hunters to Ghost Brothers and Haunted Towns, LiDAR technology and laser scanning are frequently used to detect entities invisible to the naked eye. Learn more about the phenomenon of using LiDAR laser technology for paranormal research in this blog.

Paranormal Research Using LiDAR Scanning Technology

When it comes to detecting unseen phenomena, LiDAR scanning and 3D laser scanning technology have a valuable role to play in the world of paranormal investigation. Take, for example, the case of Philadelphia's Eastern State Penitentiary, known as one of the most haunted prisons in the United States. For such a large building, paranormal investigators used 3D scanning technology to triangulate where mysterious sounds were emanating from. 

Combined with typical paranormal research techniques such as EVP recordings, the researchers used LiDAR technology to better understand former unexplained phenomena taking place in the prison. While many of the findings in this National Geographic Channel special were ultimately inconclusive, it’s worth recognizing that for many viewers, paranormal and adventure TV shows are often their first introduction to 3D laser scanning technology. Want your own chance to check this tech out in action on TV? Watch a few episodes of Ghost Brothers, Ghost Hunters, Ghost Hunters: International, Ghost Adventures, Haunted Towns, or Kindred Spirits on the Discovery and Travel Channels. You may be surprised at just how often 3D laser scanning technology appears during paranormal research.

Preserving Ghost Towns With LiDAR

While not exactly the same as paranormal research, Leica LiDAR scanning technology has also been used in helping preserve ghost towns so that they can continue to be studied by future generations. In some situations—such as a case in Safe Harbor—a once-destroyed town was “brought back to life” thanks to aerial LiDAR scanning. 

The abandoned company town, destroyed by an ice jam in 1904, is covered in dense vegetation and overgrown. Using a LiDAR rig attached to a drone, the team was able to capture man-made objects like walls, abandoned garden plots and streets and render the objects on a three dimensional map. Nearly all of the details captured by the LiDAR scanner were invisible from the ground. Much like in the discovery of the ancient Mayan city, LiDAR scanning is able to combine the powers of GPS and 3D imaging to help scientists and archaeologists recreate the remains of once-forgotten cities. 

As LiDAR scanning solutions evolve and the use cases become more evident, they will continue to play a major role in detecting things once thought invisible. Of course, if you’re an armchair adventurer or paranormal hobbyist, you may not be interested in paying for your own Leica LiDAR scanning equipment just to see what it picks up. On the other hand, if you’re interested in following in the footsteps of paranormal investigators like Ghost Hunters’ TAPS, then you may be happy to hear that companies like Datum Tech Solutions offer rentals of top LiDAR scanners such as the Leica BLK360 LiDAR scanner.

In addition to offering rentals on top LiDAR and 3D laser scanning equipment, Datum Tech also has built a strong reputation for offering in-depth training on a wide range of scanners. This means that whether you’re upgrading your laser scanning equipment or just want to learn more about how the technology works, you can sign up for a training session with Datum Tech Solutions to learn the ins and outs of this incredible technology. 

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