Conversations with a Paranormal Investigator ... Mike from PINK Paranormal
I have met Mike on Twitter a little while ago. He has some really interesting theories in relation to EVP based on the work he has done with it in the past. He is a part of a paranormal group PINK Paranormal. What stood out to me was not that fabulous name (as pink is my favourite colour), but the work that they do mainly with private cases. Most groups focus on running events, and while they do this, their main focus is private cases. What is particulary interesting is their approach to private cases which is a little different to some of the other ways I have seen private cases handled. Here is Mike to give you his perspective on the paranormal.
Please provide a short bio of who you are and what you do in the paranormal field:
My name is Mike Palmer. I am the founder of Paranormal Investigators of Northern Kentucky, or PINK for short. I wear a lot of hats in the organization. I'm usually the first point of contact for perspective clients, I conduct our presentations at libraries, schools, and even the occasional university. I don't like the term lead investigator, but I do direct the team while on investigations. I also conduct the client reveals. More than anything, while in the field, I am the observer. I watch the environment, I watch how people react, I listen to every sound.
How did you get started in the paranormal field?
The original plan was to write a book about people who lived in haunted houses. I'd started noticing that stories began to repeat themselves in different books. There didn't seem to be a lot of new true tales being written about. Now keep in mind, this was during the time before the paranormal reality show boom. There simply wasn't the plethora of new material that we have today. The question being, how do you track down these people, how do they find you? That is when the plan went into motion to become a paranormal investigator. Maybe people would let me share their story and let me investigate their property as well. However, I soon learned that people in these situations are looking for answers and more often than not, they are looking for help. I put my goal of writing a book far back on the burner and focused on what I can do to make people's lives better and maybe help a few spirits as well.
What is it that draws you to the paranormal?
Some of my earliest memories, and fondest ones as well revolve around telling ghost stories when I was a child. There was a thrill to it. When I found out that some of my family members had true first hand stories, I guess you could say the trap was set. The desire and love for this unknown thing that we call the paranormal can be traced back to when I was a third grader when I received a book called Haunted Houses by Larry Kettlekamp. I would read the stories in this book late at night until I was too scared to sleep. I've been drawn to the paranormal my entire life. It's just the way I'm wired.
Do any members of your family research/investigate the paranormal as well? (Does it run in the family?)
My wife used to. We met by investigating together. She stopped after our son was born, but I am looking forward to when she can start up again.
What is your area of expertise in the paranormal?
You know, some people are the techies, some have a third eye insight, I don't know if I have an expertise. Does leadership count? Maybe my expertise is compassion. I have great compassion and empathy from the clients involved to any lingering spirits that need help.
What do you believe a ‘ghost’ is? Do you believe in ghosts/spirits?
To me a 'ghost' is the representation of a once living person whose conscience and personality transcended to a co-existing plane but exist within a frequency that is outside of every day human perception. I want to say that I believe in the possibility of ghosts/spirits, that's the neutral politically correct response. However, in the thirteen years that I've been investigating the paranormal I have been touched, scratched and pushed by unseen hands. I have seen mists/cloud like entities moving freely. I have heard voices out loud that belonged to no one. I have recorded voices that can't be explained. I can doubt myself all I want, but at the end of the day, the answer is yes. As objective as I want to be, I am a harsh skeptic when it comes to evidence, stories and the like. Deep down I know what I've experienced to be true, and so I do believe.
What approach do you take in researching/investigating the paranormal? Spiritual, technical, theoretical etc
Everything is fair game. I don't think anyone should box themselves into one perspective and not entertain the possibility that answers could be found elsewhere. We use technical equipment for empirical data, we use metaphysical items such as dowsing rods and pendulums. When you use both sides together, the results can be surprising at times. We are often asked to clear a home after we present our findings. That is where the spiritual side really comes into play. How do you go about it? What is the clients belief system? What is yours? How do you put it into context with a spirit you think is there to help all parties?
How did you start your paranormal group?
The team was originally founded with a group of friends who all had an interest. We had to come up with a name. Our geographic location served up the perfect choice. Next up, we needed a web presence so people could find us. Once a person finds us, what can we offer in return for their trust? How do we prove we are the one up and up? That is when the team adopted its Articles of Incorporation and registered with the state and established a board of directors. From there, we registered with the IRS for our Employee Identification Number (for banking purposes), and registered our website, its content, name and acronym with the US Library of Congress Copyright Office. Now that we established all of that, it made it easier for clients to invite strangers into their home.
What are the benefits of being a part of a paranormal group?
Camaraderie. Being able to work with professionals in other fields, making friendships and working towards a common goal is a definite plus. If you work with a well established team, who knows what locations lay ahead. I tell everyone who joins PINK, the only thing I can offer you is opportunity. And we are lucky, because we get a lot of them.
What sets your group apart from all the others out in the field?
This is a tricky question. On one hand we all seemingly do the same thing when you get right down to it. I guess what we do that I don't see a lot of others doing is counseling the folks on the other side. Let's say you're saging a house. The belief is that it clears the energy/spirits. Well what happens to that spirit once you kick it out? Let's say it's a farmhouse, built by and lived in by one person. All they know is this house. Then they die, and for whatever reason they stick around to the only place they have ever known. A new family moves in and notices things are off, you know, strange sights, sounds, smells, whatever makes one believe a place is haunted. Eventually someone does a sage clearing trying to get rid of the poor guy. What we do is try to talk to them one on one and try convince them to cross over and be straight with them in that if they don't cross they may well be kicked out of the place they're in and we don't to not have a place to be.
The other thing that sets us apart from peers (at least in our area) is that PINK doesn't chase fame. We're not here to be famous. That doesn't mean we haven't gotten a chance to shine in the public eye, because we have, but those opportunities come to us. We don't seek them out. We're regular people, down to Earth, and here to help.
How often do you investigate out in the field?
We usually schedule two cases a month. That way we have a week in between investigations. However, If we are starting to schedule too far out, we'll do back to back weeks. This past August 2018 we had something scheduled every week. The fall and winter months are busier times for us, with the summer being slower, but our average is 2 or 3 times a month.
What sort of equipment do you like to use on an investigation?
My favorite piece of equipment is my audio recorder. We have just about everything you would expect. SLS, spirit box portal, OVILUS, 5 types of EMF meters, DVR camera's, FLIR, etc. Even with all of this, things can be so subjective. But, you get that one good clear EVP, that is a lot harder to refute.
Do you research before an investigation, or do you go in blind?
As far as property history, it depends on time constraints, but I will Google Map the location and check out the street view and the overall area. We always have a full account of what kind of activity claims though.
You work a lot of private cases, how do you decide which cases to take on?
We take everyone that we can. There have been a couple of times where the person contacting you becomes uncommunicative and it doesn't end up working out or someone is an extreme distance away. Then there is the one case request we received about a year ago. The person emailed us three times within an hour, now I hadn't checked the email yet that morning and they were becoming belligerent because we hadn't responded yet. I replied to them and got a really bad feeling. Something was off. I googled the address and the person who contacted us. What I found out was this person was recently released from jail for theft and armed robbery. He said he was writing on behalf of his girlfriend who owned the house and that he didn't live there. We only deal with the actual property owner or in case of a rental, the person on the lease. He didn't want to give her contact information or involve her at all. At that point, given his jail conviction, I declined. There were too many red flags. We try to accommodate everyone who contacts us though.
Tell us about the public events and fundraisers you organise:
Right now we are partnering with National Ghost Hunting Day for the Worlds Largest Ghost Hunt. We are selling tickets to raise money for the historical restoration of the property we will be investigating that night. Last year we sold tickets to investigate Poatstown Elementary in Middletown, Ohio. The owner was on the verge of losing the property and the paranormal community in the area held different events there to save it.
We also hold free events during the year. PINK conducts presentations at local libraries where we discuss the method we use during investigations and showcase our best evidence. We then have a great open discussion with the audience and learn from their point of view as well. We work with local historical societies for Ghost Walks in historic areas during the Halloween season.
If you retired from the field tomorrow, what legacy would you want to be remembered for? (Achievement, Tours, theory, experiments, attitude etc)
If I left tomorrow, hmmm. Would my team team carry on? It is certainly set up to do so. I would hope that PINK would keep going. In our metropolitan area, being the Cincinnati, Ohio market, there are at least a dozen paranormal teams. I think my legacy would be, I started the team that gave credibility to the field in our community. We opened a lot of doors that other investigators benefit from to this day. Over the years there have been two other groups who tried using a variation of our name and even now there is someone out there trying to drum up business claiming they work for us. I also commissioned a Championship Belt with our logo on it. I might be the paranormal pioneer in this regard, lol.
What advice would you give to someone starting out in the field?
Be honest with yourself and everyone you work with. This field requires dedication, time and patience. It can be fun, but it should always be treated seriously.
If you could educate your peers or pass on knowledge, what would it be?
I would want people to focus on frequency. What frequency is the bulk of EVP coming through on? Is it a certain one? Can we dial in on it exclusively? What kind of energy is needed to generate a sound wave on that frequency, where does that energy come from? How does it all fit together? These are the things that I think about, hopefully others will too.
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