Forum Search Engine Issues (2018 Onward)

Ringo

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I just can't make the search function work! I've tried searching via the field at the top right of the screen and via the Forum/Search Forums page. No matter what I try I never get valid results. I have searched for terms and words that I know I have read (or that I have even written) and I can't find what I'm looking for.

This doesn't bode well as I'm embarking on a very ambitious project which will require a lot of digging and research. I was hoping to use this place as a starting block because we have such a wealth of knowledge. But it's useless if I can't find anything.

For example, I have read numerous references to a case of coincidence (and the most recent was only last week) about a wife accidentally calling her husbands social security number instead of phone number. It rings a payphone which he just happens to be walking passed. He picks it up and speaks to her.

I've searched and can't find anything even though I know it's here. So, Enola, you're a devil at finding stuff. How do you do it? Are there specific search or queury terms which I should be using?
 

stu neville

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What are the terms you're searching for, Ringo?
 

EnolaGaia

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... For example, I have read numerous references to a case of coincidence (and the most recent was only last week) about a wife accidentally calling her husbands social security number instead of phone number. It rings a payphone which he just happens to be walking passed. He picks it up and speaks to her. ...
Let me address your specific example as an illustrative exercise first, then I'll try to deal with the more general issue of how to effectively search the forum ...

The first problem in tracking down a particular post you remember being on the forum is the problem of your own memory (details; Mandela Effect; etc.).

As Penn & Teller would put it: "Is this your card?"

https://forums.forteana.org/index.php?threads/phantom-phone-calls.7889/post-181511

Check the post and report back whether or not it's what you were seeking.

Another fav is the oen shown on some BBC programme about 10 years back whereby a guy passing a ringing payphone answers it to be addressed by his union rep who engages him on a topic as if he had rang him at home. Puzzled, he enquired as to how his rep had known to ring that particular pay phone at that time. It turned out that he had accidentally rang his union number, which corresponded exactly with the pay phone number! High weirdness or what!?!
 

Ringo

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What are the terms you're searching for, Ringo?
Well in this case I was searching for terms "phonecall" "payphone" wife" "social security" in various combinations and various spellings.

Let me address your specific example as an illustrative exercise first, then I'll try to deal with the more general issue of how to effectively search the forum ...

The first problem in tracking down a particular post you remember being on the forum is the problem of your own memory (details; Mandela Effect; etc.).

As Penn & Teller would put it: "Is this your card?"

https://forums.forteana.org/index.php?threads/phantom-phone-calls.7889/post-181511

Check the post and report back whether or not it's what you were seeking.

Well it's the same storyframe but the version I have read before and saw only a week or so ago was his wife who called his social security number. On the thread a poster gave a smilar reworking of the story to which another poster replied that they had it slightly wrong and it was in fact his wife who called his social security number.

Either that or I am now officially putting the mental into mentalist.
 

EnolaGaia

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Ringo:

Here's another candidate ... Is this your card?

https://forums.forteana.org/index.php?threads/phone-boxes-ring-when-i-pass-them.5131/post-95744

This reminds me of one of my favourite coincidence stories told by the two people who experienced it on BBC2's Weird Night years ago (at least, I think it was).

There were two work colleagues, one male, one female, the female was working in the office, whilst the male was out and about doing whatever it was he did (roving repairman for the company or whatever). Anyway, as he was passing a phone box it began to ring. For some reason, although he didn't usually, he felt compelled to pick it up. It was his female colleague who then started to ask him about something as if she'd called him at home.
The man asked "hang on, how did you get this number?"
The woman was confused for a moment, then noticed that on the contact details she'd used, she'd mistakenly dialled his employee number rather than his phone number. And it just happened to be the number of the phone box he was walking past at that moment.
 

Ringo

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Ringo:

Here's another candidate ... Is this your card?

https://forums.forteana.org/index.php?threads/phone-boxes-ring-when-i-pass-them.5131/post-95744

This reminds me of one of my favourite coincidence stories told by the two people who experienced it on BBC2's Weird Night years ago (at least, I think it was).

Right we're almost there. Again this is not the story O saw a week or so ago however, I have seen enough of these now to know that it must be an UL. I've seen the story as Employee number, Social Security number, National Insurance number and Union number. The whol epoint of me finding the post was to maybe find a link toa news report or similar to veryofy the amazing coincidence. But is seems, all, as if it is an UL. Still puzzled as to which thread I saw it on. The fact that I saw it only recently (and it popped up in New posts, I wasn't digging) is what made me think of this example as a reference in the first place. How odd.
 

EnolaGaia

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... . The fact that I saw it only recently (and it popped up in New posts, I wasn't digging) is what made me think of this example as a reference in the first place. How odd.
How long ago was it? Yesterday? Three days ago? Or ... ?
 

Ringo

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How long ago was it? Yesterday? Three days ago? Or ... ?
It must have been within the past week or so but I haven't a clue where I saw it. Maybe not the past 3 or 4 days but 3 or 4 weeks ago either.

EDIT: The only post I can find which references a social security number and a telephone number is one by Ulalume on the Minor Strangeness thred but that was from years ago. I honestly don't know what to think now. I think I may have had some sort of breakdown. Wibble.
 
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EnolaGaia

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There are too few solid clues and too many variables for me to get a handle on this case (other than the two examples I've already posted).

In addition, there's always the chance you followed a link from here on this forum and saw the story you're seeking elsewhere.
 

EnolaGaia

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Is it this one? It mentions a payroll number. It was posted a few weeks ago but the thread was then posted on on April 4th so you may have actually read the post then. I just searched for "phone weirdness" thread
https://forums.forteana.org/index.php?threads/phone-weirdness.39013/page-9#post-1937131
On 2 March Tin posted a response on the story's appearance in FT. I've now posted there (Phone Weirdness thread) to quote a published version of the story matching Tin's description:

https://forums.forteana.org/index.php?threads/phone-weirdness.39013/post-1956360
 

Ringo

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Is it this one? It mentions a payroll number. It was posted a few weeks ago but the thread was then posted on on April 4th so you may have actually read the post then. I just searched for "phone weirdness" thread

https://forums.forteana.org/index.php?threads/phone-weirdness.39013/page-9#post-1937131
That was the one. I had conflated it with reading an old post, probably somehow that older one of Ulalume's about the social security number being the same as a phone number. Thank you.

On 2 March Tin posted a response on the story's appearance in FT. I've now posted there (Phone Weirdness thread) to quote a published version of the story matching Tin's description:

https://forums.forteana.org/index.php?threads/phone-weirdness.39013/post-1956360
Thanks for that, Enola. I'll dig around and see if there is anything else about Jason Pegler's story.
 

Min Bannister

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That was the one. I had conflated it with reading an old post, probably somehow that older one of Ulalume's about the social security number being the same as a phone number. Thank you.
Yay, glad you are not going crazy after all. :headspinner:
 

EnolaGaia

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I may have found the original version of the Pegler (version of this particular ... ) story. It appeared in a December 1994 review of BBC2's Weird Night, published in The Independent.
Review : Weird scenes inside the goldmine

Monday 19 December 1994 01:02

Let me tell you a strange story. One day Jason Pegler, an AA man, was walking down an unfamiliar street when he heard a public phone ringing. He picked it up, slightly reluctantly, and was startled to hear the voice of a colleague, apologising for disturbing him on his day off and asking for advice about how to work the office fax machine. He had great difficulty in persuading her of what had happened - until she looked down at her desk and realised that she had dialled his staff number by mistak e. It just happened to be the number of the call box he just happened to be walking past.

You might use this little tale as a sort of litmus paper, a diagnostic test. If you think it is simply enjoyable, a delightful demonstration of the oddities of chance, then you are probably immune to the contagions of the weird. But if you think it is significant, evidence of arcane machinery at work, then you may be in trouble. You test positive for inflamed credulity and if you watched BBC2's "Weird Night", an entire evening of programmes devoted to the bizarre, you may be on your way to a padded roomby now. ...
FULL STORY: https://www.independent.co.uk/arts-...weird-scenes-inside-the-goldmine-1388058.html
 

Ringo

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Yay, glad you are not going crazy after all. :headspinner:
Well let's not jump to hasty conclusions but thanks for the vote of confidence. :bpals:

I may have found the original version of the Pegler (version of this particular ... ) story. It appeared in a December 1994 review of BBC2's Weird Night, published in The Independent.


FULL STORY: https://www.independent.co.uk/arts-...weird-scenes-inside-the-goldmine-1388058.html
That's brilliant. I think @JamesWhitehead or @James_H mentioned in a post years ago that this story was in one of Derren Brown's books. James, can you confirm that?
 

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When searching for the 'strange deaths' thread earlier, i typed in 'strange deaths' selected 'search titles' and the 'strange deaths' thread was 5th snd ladt on the search results, am i doing something wrong?

Screenshot_20210223-083357.jpgScreenshot_20210223-083403.jpg
 

gordonrutter

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When searching for the 'strange deaths' thread earlier, i typed in 'strange deaths' selected 'search titles' and the 'strange deaths' thread was 5th snd ladt on the search results, am i doing something wrong?

View attachment 35754View attachment 35755
Nope. The search engine doesn't know which Strange Deaths you want so it is returning every instancce of Strange Deaths in the title field.

Not sure why it is giving you the first entry which matches just with Deaths, it doesn't give any other hits where it matches with just a single word. Other than the reason Peripart gave of course :)
 

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When searching for the 'strange deaths' thread earlier, i typed in 'strange deaths' selected 'search titles' and the 'strange deaths' thread was 5th snd ladt on the search results, am i doing something wrong?

View attachment 35754View attachment 35755
Use Google search instead by typing in Forteana forum strange deaths .. that normally finds correct threads for me here a lot faster than the search engine here.
 

EnolaGaia

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When searching for the 'strange deaths' thread earlier, i typed in 'strange deaths' selected 'search titles' and the 'strange deaths' thread was 5th snd ladt on the search results, am i doing something wrong? ...
No, you're not doing anything wrong.

Four of the hits you received have 'strange' and 'deaths' in the title. The fifth doesn't, but is tagged with the 'strange deaths' tag.

Search results are listed in descending order of origin time (i.e., newest to oldest). The Strange Deaths thread's position at the end of the listing means it was the earliest thread to either include the search terms in its title or be tagged to match the search criteria.
 

Yithian

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When searching for the 'strange deaths' thread earlier, i typed in 'strange deaths' selected 'search titles' and the 'strange deaths' thread was 5th snd ladt on the search results, am i doing something wrong?

View attachment 35754View attachment 35755
No, you're not doing anything wrong.

Four of the hits you received have 'strange' and 'deaths' in the title. The fifth doesn't, but is tagged with the 'strange deaths' tag.

Search results are listed in descending order of origin time (i.e., newest to oldest). The Strange Deaths thread's position at the end of the listing means it was the earliest thread to either include the search terms in its title or be tagged to match the search criteria.
The alternative is to SEARCH here:

https://forums.forteana.org/index.php?search/&type=post

And order by 'most replies'.

This will rank major threads higher than minor ones.
 

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The search function doesn’t work. I’ve tried a few times lately with no success. I have to go through my own messages to find the relevant thread.

On the other points, pardon me for contributing. I’ll be far less inclined to post now.
 

Yithian

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The search function doesn’t work. I’ve tried a few times lately with no success. I have to go through my own messages to find the relevant thread.
We use it regularly, and while it isn't perfect, it works pretty well as long as you narrow the search parameters. There are a host of ways of doing this.

I'll ask the other mods for input on how they handle this and one of us will come back with some hints.
 

Trevp666

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I regularly use the search function and have no issues with it.
I find that it doesn't return a result if I use a word that is too short, or not spelt the same as the target I'm looking for.
But that is user error really.
Sometimes I remember the thing I am looking for but can't recall the title of the thread, so I will post in a similar thread and mention what else I was looking for, and somebody else will point me in the right direction.
 

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I regularly use the search function and have no issues with it.
I find that it doesn't return a result if I use a word that is too short, or not spelt the same as the target I'm looking for.
But that is user error really.
Sometimes I remember the thing I am looking for but can't recall the title of the thread, so I will post in a similar thread and mention what else I was looking for, and somebody else will point me in the right direction.
If i cant remember what thread i posted a particular comment on or it i cant remember the specific name of a thread, i usually type in a word i know i have used in a post on that thread and search for posts by myself including that word.
 

Peripart

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On the subject of the search function, I find it very hit and miss. I can't remember the details now, but the other day, I searched for a word of 6 or 7 letters which I knew appeared in the title of a thread I was looking for. The search was fruitless, and I ended up finding the thread long-hand.

As it happens, a certain resident of The Town That Shall Not Be Named has recommended using Google to search within the forum, and to be fair, whenever I have remembered that tip, it's almost faultless.
 
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Frideswide

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EnolaGaia

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On the subject of the search function, I find it very hit and miss. I can't remember the details now, but the other day, I searched for a word of 6 or 7 letters which I knew appeared in the title of a thread I was looking for. The search was fruitless, and I ended up finding the thread long-hand.
Just for the record ...

(1) Were you using the "Search titles only" option?

If you think you can find what you're seeking by title alone, using this option can greatly reduce both the number of hits you're given and the odds of missing / overlooking the right one when scanning the returned results.

(2) Were you correct in believing the 6 / 7 letter word was actually in the title - as a discrete word?

The current (built-in; basic) search function is not guaranteed to get hits when searching on substrings of acceptable hits, and it definitely will not acknowledge hits for words that are shorter than the search term you specified. For example ...

If you enter a title search on the search term "ghost" you will be given hits on "ghost" and you *might* also receive some hits on "ghosts."

If you enter a title search on the search term "ghosts" you won't get any hits on "ghost."
 
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