CASE #1: ASHTRAY POLTERGEIST
James Colburn, a bar owner in Humble, Texas was closing up one night when an ashtray exploded and was caught on the bar's surveillance cameras. He and his employees have often felt a paranormal presence, so Ben and the team think his situation merits investigation.
FALLING OBJECT TEST
A rack of glasses hangs directly above the spot where the ashtray lay - could it be that a screw or bolt dislodged from the rack and fell on the ashtray? Devin tries dropping a screw on the ashtray, but it doesn't even make a scratch. Next, he tries a steel ball, which nails the explosion, but the ball is clearly seen in the experiment video, while no foreign object is visible in the original.
THERMAL SHOCK TEST
If a cold piece of glass is suddenly exposed to heat, it may explode. If a bartender had set the ashtray on the tub of ice nearby, then someone put their cigarette in the ashtray, it could be a natural explanation for this event.
After chilling the ashtray, Devin places a hot coal inside, but nothing happens - so they take a blowtorch to it, which works like a charm. But clearly, no one was nearby in the original to hold a blowtorch. It's looking more and more like this was a hoax.
PYROTECHNIC HOAX TEST
If someone were able to rig what's called a glass popper, it could have looked like paranormal activity, and, after further examination, the investigators notice a dark object in the tray. The test goes really well, but given the reports of paranormal activity, they feel they should do a nighttime investigation.
Devin examines the bar for unusual heat signatures and finds a hot spot right where the ashtray exploded. Moments later, a glass flies from the rack above and crashes at their feet.
It seems clear that the explosion could've been caused by a glass popper, but paranormal causes can't be ruled out. The case remains open.
CASE # 2: MEXICAN BRUJA
Locals in Calacoaya, Mexico have reported sightings of witches, and when a local investigator caught what he claims is a floating human, it becomes a huge Internet phenomenon. Jael, Austin and Bill decide to uncover the truth.
Spotted owls are known to live in the area, so mistaken identity is a possible explanation for the video. But when the team brings in a bird handler to direct an owl in the path seen in the original, the results are hugely different.
Austin sees a path by which he can run up the side of the hill and mimic the movement seen in the video. He uses the French technique of urban maneuvering, parkour, to do so, and while impressive, he doesn't manage the eerie floating moment that the original object has.
If they rig a dummy to a system of pulleys, they may be able to launch the form in a way that looks like a person floating, then flying away. Jael lines up the shot while Ben and Austin man the pulley and bingo - they get a perfect match.
The whole team feels pretty confident that the flying form was no witch, but a dummy, and believe that the videographer was lying about his experience. This case is closed.
Devin gets more than just a cake as his birthday surprise from the Fact or Faked crew.
Ben and the team deliver twice the investigative action with a special two-hour season finale!
New videos continues to surface, so the team is hard at work. Fact or Faked: Paranormal Files returns in 2012.