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Interview with Dustyn McCormick



 
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Dr Van Helsing

Here is a great interview with the President of the Paranormal Investigators of America conducted by bad_kitty and our advertising specialist Heather Celano. He provides wonderful answers to their questions and commented to me that it was the best interview he has ever given because of the questions that were asked. Please enjoy.
January 10, 2009 08:41 pm

Dr Van Helsing

1. Are you affiliated with any research or academic organization? No we are
not. I can't speak for the rest of the world but in the United States there
are no reputable research or academic organizations that currently align
with groups such as mine. Back in the seventies Duke University had a
paranormal department but that has been disbanded for many years. There is
a University in Britain that now has a paranormal department, but I have no
idea what kind of standards they set.

2. What is your educational background? As far as formal education goes I
currently have an Associates of Science and will soon be working on a
Bachelor's in Psychology. Informally I have been mostly self taught. I do
a lot of reading on such topics as anthropology, sociology, theology, and
history. Beyond that is my first hand experience and a lot of trial and
error.

3. How long does it take you to prepare for an investigation? What is
involved in preparation? Preparation time for an investigation is varied
depending on the case. To prep for a case I interview the client to get as
much detailed information on the case as I possibly can. This is everything
from type of activity witnessed, how many witnesses, personal psychological
history, possible drug or alcohol abuse etc. That initial interview usually
takes a couple of hours. After I have all of that information I will put a
team together that usually consists of four investigators. I usually will
not share any of the interview information with the other investigators
because I don't want their perceptions to be tainted with the information I
have gathered. Depending on our case load we can usually do the
investigation within two weeks of first contact.

4. What was your first paranormal encounter? My first paranormal encounter
was when I was a young kid. My grandmother was babysitting me and my
grandfather had passed away shortly before. I was taking a nap in the
bedroom that was my grandfather's and he came into the room and laid down
beside me.

5. Do you see yourself doing this for the rest of your life? With any luck.
I intend to do this for as long as I am mentally and physically capable of
doing it. Though I think at some point the role of a paranormal
investigator will change. Once unquestionable proof has been discovered the
entire field will change and we will have to focus more on what to do with
the proof, attaining more of it, and doing more in-depth studies. Right now
we barely scratch the surface of what could be out there.

6. How many investigations have you done? That's actually hard to say. At
this point in time I would say it's well over a hundred. We've been doing
this now for about five and a half years. Our first couple of years had
maybe a dozen investigations each, the past couple we've been a lot busier
since we're getting more well known and so the number of investigations has
really jumped.

7. What would you personally consider to be the definitive proof that ghosts
are real? Right now I would say there is no definitive proof that ghosts
are real. Statistically speaking more than 80% of adults in the United
States believe in ghosts. There are quite literally hundreds of thousands
of pictures of supposed ghosts, and thousands of hours of video of ghosts.
The problem is all of it can be questioned by anyone that was not present
when the video was filmed, or the picture taken. So if there was to be any
definitive proof that would have to be experience. Most people don't
question what they experience on repeated occasions. The first time they
see a shadow in the corner of their eye they may write it off. If it keeps
happening it becomes harder to question.

8. How do you document your investigations? Our investigations are
documented through photography always and sometimes also video. I also keep
thorough written records of what goes on and all of my investigators submit
reports on each investigation so that I can write up a final report for our
client.

9. If you could investigate your "Dream Haunted Hot Spot" where would it be?
That is difficult to say. If The Amityville Horror wasn't just a hoax I
would say that would be the perfect house to investigate. As for a real
location I would have to say the Auschwitz concentration camp in Germany. I
don't know of any reports of it being haunted but given it's history I would
be surprised if it wasn't. Though at the same time you are almost
guaranteed a negative experience there. I would also enjoy investigating
the site of the Massacre at Wounded Knee.

10. What is your most favored paranormal phenomena or subject? Truthfully my
favorite paranormal subject is Cryptozoology. I enjoy my work with spirits
but I really look forward to the day we can branch out into Cryptozoology
and look for such fascinating creatures as Bigfoot, Nessie, and El
Chupacabra. I think you could also list Vampires and classic examples of
Werewolves in this category as well.

11. How did you become the founder of paranormal investigators of America?
That's quite a long story. It started when I was injured at work and was
unable to work due to the injury. I had to take over my wife's role as stay
at home parent and it drove me nuts. I don't like staying at home all the
time. So I had this interest in the paranormal that's been with me for
longer than I've been able to say the word paranormal. I started looking
for a group to join and was completely unsuccessful. Through my search
though I found another person that had the same interest that knew a few
other interested people in the same area and they decided that since it was
my idea I was the leader. Since then they have all left the group or been
removed due to unethical behavior or a difference in opinion on the
direction of the group. A lot of people get into doing this as a hobby and
they don't work out well in a group that is professional in their approach.

12. What originally got you interested in the paranormal? Well, like I said
I've been interested for as long as I can remember. I can't pick out any
one specific childhood memory that led me in this direction. I had an Aunt
that loved telling my sister and I ghost stories to scare us, so that played
a part in it, but I've really always been curious about what is beyond our
usual perception of reality. I've never been able to accept that what we
see and experience on a daily basis is all there is.

13. What paranormal experiences have you personally had? What was the
weirdest? Coolest? Hardest to investigate or draw any conclusions from? I've
had all sorts of paranormal experiences. I've seen the ghost of my
grandfather, I've seen the ghost of my father. I've seen what I believe to
be UFO's. I've seen shadows, orbs, and heard voices that had no physical
source. My experiences really run the whole gamut of what you would expect
from someone in this field. My weirdest experience was when I was a child.
I was staying the night at a friends house and we watched this stuff Koala
bear he had open it's arms and tilt it's head at us then return to a
position with it's arms crossed. The coolest I've ever had was when we took
part in an investigation at the battle site in Fredericksburg, VA. The
entire experience was cool. We saw shadows in the woods. I had an
experience that I can only describe as being shot by a ghost bullet, we
smelled gun powder in the air, heard groans of frustration, drum cadences.
It was really like being transported back to the battle. That, I think,
will always remain one of my favorite memories. It was also the hardest to
document and obtain any proof from because it was raining exceptionally hard
during the investigation and so we were unable to bring out our equipment
without ruining it. As is I had a camera get ruined by the rain soaking
through it's case.

14. What types of paranormal activity do you investigate? We do all types.
At this time it mostly focuses on spiritual activity. We've had everything
from knocking noises to objects flying across the room. We've also had
people that just wanted attention and some that were a little mentally
unstable.

15. What advances in technology have helped your paranormal investigations?
Digital photography is excellent because it makes analysis of photographs
much easier. The same with digital voice recorders because it's easier to
put the recordings on the computer where you can turn the volume up much
higher than the recorder will usually go. At the same time digital
technology makes it much easier for people to create fake evidence as well.

16. How in depth are your investigations? They are pretty in depth. We
usually end up with photos of every inch of the building we are
investigating and hours of voice recording to listen to. We also have a
sensitive that records her impression and then we do historical research to
see if we can back up what the sensitive says, what we have on the
recordings, and what we have in the photographs.

17. Who hires you and what all is involved in your investigations? Ex
poltergeist type investigations, haunting in general etc? We really aren't
hired in the normal sense. We don't charge for what we do and I actually
tell people to shy away from groups that do charge doing investigations. We
have had a few cases that was mostly poltergeist activity and with that we
tend to recommend therapy or improving the home environment. When that's
done usually the poltergeist activity will then go away. Mostly though it's
just general haunting. Everything that you typically hear in stories. I
haven't yet had a case surprise me in what activity is reported.

18.Because this is being posted on a role playing game site, our players
will want to know which character type you would choose? Vampire, Slayer,
Werewolf, Witch, or Angel? The funny part about this question is that I
actually do LARP. I used to play the White Wolf, Werewolf game, and
currently I play a Vampire in a troupe game that has characters from almost
all of the White Wolf games. That aside though I would say that I would
choose to play a Vampire. I've always been fascinated by vampires, went
through a Goth phase in high school where I tried to fashion myself after a
Vampire. I have read endless books on Vampires, fiction and supposed
non-fiction. I have also played more than a few RPGs as a Vampire character
and have always enjoyed. I think that Vampires give you a chance to make a
more in-depth character. You can have someone that is hundreds of years old
and play off things they could have experience long before other characters
were even alive. It really allows you to round out their personalities and
add some interesting twists. So yeah, I would choose a Vampire character.

Dustyn McCormick
Paranormal Investigators of America
www.paranormalamerica.org
Investigator
Founder
785-845-3576
PIofAmer@cox.net
January 10, 2009 08:42 pm

bad_kitty

I think the interview turned out great! I am honored that Dustyn thought it was the best interview he has ever given. I enjoyed coming up with the questions and hope to do more in the future. January 12, 2009 03:22 pm

Stalker

I thought you did a fantastic job, and he was very forthcoming. Great read. January 24, 2009 07:23 pm

-Agustus-

If anyone would like updates i would be more than happy to field questions and things September 13, 2009 01:07 am
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