New Mexico Supercomputing Challenge


Team #:  065

Shiprock High School

Team Members:
1. Winoka Begay
2. Krystle Christian
3. Vada Smart

Sponsoring Teachers:
1. Mrs. Noble
2. Mrs. Hines
3. Mrs. Johnson

1. Dr. Sue Shmedinghoff

       Our key purpose for this project is to determine whether paranormal phenomena exist. In simple words this would also mean ghosts. To see if such things are true, we have gathered together various amounts of data, such as surveys showing the date, time, weather, if it was dependent upon day or night, age, location, city, state, mood, and whether or not the witness was male or female. We have also included a description of what the participants had witnessed, but we did not add that into our data.

         We used all this data from our participants and made three types of graphs: a line graph, a two bar graph, and a pie graph. Each graph had its own subject as its basis. For instance the pie graph was based on how many of the witnesses were male and how many were female. We have concluded that a large percentage of them were female and only a small percentage of them were male. According to the research we had done it shows that females as well as small children witness a paranormal experience more that males. The reason behind this is females and children are more easily influenced by things than males are. The line graph indicates the times of the appearance of the apparitions occurred on the days the participants had indicated. According to the graph the phenomena occurred more frequently in the late afternoon and early mornings.

         We used all this information and included it into our code, JAVA. By using the Java code we are just developing a systematic way to organize our data. Kind of like a file system that one would use in any computer such as a file folder. For example:
(“What is the time of occurrences on September 2002?”);
system.out.println (September 2002 2:30 a.m.)
(“What is the total number of occurrences in 1999, 2001, and 2002?”)
System.out.println (one in 1999, three in 2001, and three in 2002)

         So what we are trying to do is basically ask questions and then in return the Java program answers back with the answer we programmed into the computer.

         Our objective for this project is whether or not paranormal phenomena exist. Before ever answering that question, there are a few key points you need to know about them and how they came to be known as ghosts.

         The modern belief in ghosts came about in March of 1848 in Hydesville, New York, where the occupants of the house were John and Margaret Fox and their two daughters, Margaret and Kate. The family had been living in the house, which already had a reputation for being haunted, for several months. They were usually awakened by unknown noises that had no explainable source. John Fox, who searched the house every evening held a séance to communicate with the spirits. His daughter, Kate spoke up addressing the unseen presence by the nickname that she and her little sister had given it. Through this the father finally knew where the haunting presence was held.

         This type of Haunting is usually what one would call an intelligent haunting and the most widely accepted kind of ghost activity, but it’s not really as common as one might think. Most intelligent spirits will manifest themselves in physical ways in an attempt to interact with those present at the location, such as slamming doors, windows opening and closing, and even cold chills and a strong presence. On rare occasions, the spirit will be seen and when it is, it will most likely look as it did when alive. There are three other main types of ghosts: the residual ghost, the paranormal ghost; and the portal ghost; but the intelligent ghost is the most common.

Ghosts are usually found in many places such as homes, cemeteries, theaters, churches, schools and colleges, hotels, battlefields and crime scenes, and hospital and nursing homes. On some occasions, however, such buildings can still offer hours of research after they have closed down. There are many cases of these abandoned buildings where the spirits still linger behind. Some would say that the former residents have left an impression behind, especially in cases of mental disturbance or extreme tragedy, when both residual impressions and conscious entities can leave an indelible mark.

        Just about everyone has a story to tell about an encounter that they cannot explain. If it did not happen to them, then it happened to a friend, neighbor or a relative. So are ghosts real? Well, I guess if you’re the “curious George” type then you might just start some sort of ghost hunt. Other than that, no scientist can really say that these paranormal events are real but just simple figments of our imagination. It’s really up to you whether you believe in them or not.

         Our hypothesis was that there would be more people who did not believe in the paranormal then there were people who do. The way we figure this is because we believe that not many people believe in it due to some sort of beliefs, including religious beliefs, culture (i.e. Navajo culture) and also because they are the hard headed type who think there is a logical explanation for everything that goes on. Unfortunately I have many team members who are like that, but once in a while they believe that something is really there.

         In short, we asked many people in our school and outside of our school to share their paranormal experience. That is how we came to the hypothesis that there are more people who do not believe in the paranormal phenomena than there are people who do believe in it.

There are three types of models that we used to represent a mathematical model of our data. The three types of models are a pie graph, a line graph, and a two bar graph. Each model has its own purpose based on data we have gathered.

    This graph gives a brief explanation for the times of which the paranormal experiences have occurred. According to the graph, the most occurrences happened in the late afternoon and early mornings.

In this pie graph it shows that there are more females than males who have experienced a paranormal phenomena.

DATE Mar-99 Oct-01 Oct-01 Dec-01 Oct-02 Oct-02 Sep-02
TIME 3:00 p.m. 4:00 a.m 3:00 a.m. 7:00 p.m. 8:25 a.m. 12:40 p.m. 2:30 a.m.
LOCATION House The Pit The Pit Classroom Classroom  House Home
CITY Shiprock Shiprock Shiprock Shiprock Shiprock Shiprock Shiprock
WEATHER Cold and Windy Warm Warm N/A Warm Cool  Raining
DAY/NIGHT Day night night night day  night day
STATE OF MIND Calm Sleeping Calm Calm Calm Calm Scared
CROWD OF PEOPLE Yes Yes  Yes No Yes Yes  No
GENDER Female male male Female Female Female Female

Here is our data from the surveys that are participants did.

         We are studying the beliefs that people have about paranormals. We want to determine if more people believe in ghosts and if they had some encounter with them in the past. It seems like right now, there are more and more sites of ghost encounters. There are many types of ghosts that can be determined, but there are far too many to study and we only have one school year to finish this project. We decided to do a project dealing with the spiritual encounters among people living in our area, because man has been fascinated with the elusive and the unexplained for so long. We found that man communicated with spirits for centuries and that spirits could and did communicate with the living. The belief of this activity was that life existed after death and spirits existed beyond the body. The activities are unbelievable because it completely contradicts all of the standard and existing scientific theories. In times past, these strange happenings are given a superstitious meaning, taken as signs from the gods, curses and visitations from mysterious creatures. It is significant because we want to prove that anything that you may hear or see may actually be an encounter with the spirits. Some scientists choose to treat the paranormal with scorn, but that does not mean it could not be studied. One main theory in science is events can be tested by anyone at any time. Unfortunately, according to the Navajo culture, the Navajos are not supposed to talk about or study anything that is mystical or not real in a way. Of course, not many people practice the Navajo tradition. So with that last thought our project is about whether or not people believe in the paranormal. Using a file system or a code, we are gathering all are data and inputting it into the computer. It is sort of a way to keep our data organized so we would not have to look for it.

         The results of our java code would enable us to gather our data together and to keep it organized. The reason why would be because we wouldn’t have to sort thru our data to look for something specific. The way we got our program to work out was ask the program a question and then it gives us the answers.

        We had a few errors but were somewhat fixed. Other than that our results were pretty good and accurate.

         Both aspects of our hypothesis proved to be correct. We predicted that more people would not believe in the paranormal. Almost eighty-five percent of the participants did not believe in ghosts and about twenty percent did believe in them. Through our data it did show that they had some sort of paranormal phenomena happen around them or seen one. The only thingis that they still didn’t believe in it because they were kind of hard headed and thought that there had to be some logical explanation for what was happening to them.

         According to the graphs, most of our participants were female and only a few were male. According to some research we did, they say that females and children are the ones who usually see or have some sort of paranormal experience happen to them.

         On another graph, it shows what times these paranormal occurrences had happened and according to the graph, most of the times were early in the morning or late in the evening. The last graph shows whether the occurrences happened in the daytime or at night. Again, these occurrences had an equal effect. When we totaled up the data, it seems that the occurrences happened in equal amounts of times.

         We would like to thank Eric Ovaska for helping us with the Java programming and giving us a great understanding into a program about which we knew nothing. We would also like to thank the Star Logo director, James Taylor, for our session in the Star Logo program and giving us a completely new view on the many fascinating things computers can do. There is also our mentor and doctor of psychology, Mrs. Sue Schmedinghoff, who we received much help from in this subject matter.

         Our faculty sponsors, Mrs. Noble, Mrs. Hines, and Mrs. Johnson, have been supportive of all our efforts, providing us with their own expertise and advice about our subject matter and other things that have to do with Super Computing.

 Thanks to all of our participants who were so helpful and nice to spare us some of their time for our surveys. Thanks to all of our team members in helping us have an equal hand in our project (WORK HARD!!)

1. The Shadowlands. [online] Available January 2003

2. The Ghost Hunters Guidebook, The Essential handbook for ghost research. Author: Troy Taylor; copyright: 2001 by Whitechapel Productions Press

3. Paranormal Phenomena [online] Available February 2003

4. Paranormal World [online] Available February 2003

5. Surveys from the students and the participants

6. Independent Newspaper, [ newspaper] World of Wonder By: the association of educational publishers

import UserInput;

public class Supernatural Occurrences

        public static void main (String args[])
        {       int Supernatural Occurences;
                 double month and time samples;

                 Supernatural Occurences = UserInput.getInt("Does the supernatural really exist?");

                 Time and Month Occurences = UserInput.get("What month and time did these occurences really occur?");
                 ("What is the time of occurence in March 1999?")
                          System.out.println(March 1999 3:00 p.m.)
                 ("What is the time of occurence in October 2001?");
                          System.out.println(October 2001 4:00 a.m.);
                 ("What is the time of occurence on October 2001?");
                          System.out.println(October 2001 3:00 a.m.);
                 ("What is the time of occurence on December 2001?");
                          System.out.println(December 2001 7:00 p.m.);
                 ("What is the time of occurence on October 2002?");
                          System.out.println(October 2002 8:25 a.m);
                 ("What is the time of occurence on October 2002?");


                          System.out.println(October 2002 12:40 p.m.);

                 ("What is the time of occurence on September 2002?");
                          System.out.println(September 2002 2:30 a.m.);
                 ("What is the total number of occurences in 1999, 2001, and 2002?");
                          System.out.println(one in 1999, three in 2001, and three in 2002);
                 ("Out of all the occurences, how much percent are male and female?");
                          System.out.println(29% male and 71% female);
                 ("Did the occurences occur more in the day or night?");
                          System.out.println(More in the night and less in the day)