~ Written By Pattyhap1863 ~

On our quest for the truth of the paranormal, we interviewed five paranormal investigators to learn a bit about how hard they work in the field and how much they contribute to paranormal research. These men and women don’t have a TV show and are not paid for what they do. They are fueled by love and passion for the unexplained and a desire to find irrefutable evidence of the existence of the after-life.
Here, without further ado, is the long-awaited Part Five of the Not So Famous interviews.

Meet Jari Mikkola. Jari is the co-founder of ParaNexus, a paranormal site that is dedicated to the serious study and debunking of evidence of paranormal phenomena. Jari has also managed to publish a new paranormal ezine called “The Journal of Anomalous Sciences” which I encourage you to check out for yourself as it is a high quality online magazine of all things paranormal (check out the link at the end of this interview).

How many years have you been in the field?
I have to say that I’ve been involved with the paranormal since I was five. But as an active investigator of paranormal phenomena for about the last twenty-five years, during which the first twenty were pretty much as a ‘ghost hunter’ not an investigator. I define the difference as: A ghost hunter attempts to see, or capture on media, apparitions at locations that already known to be paranormally active. However, a paranormal investigator (and researcher) is a person who attempts to determine if paranormal phenomena is present at a site that is unexplored, yet purportedly haunted, and establish why it may be through research into the phenomena being reported and the site itself.

What are your accomplishments?
During the twenty five years, mostly personal satisfaction. However, most recently it would be the formation of ParaNexus with a friend and colleague Doug Kelley. We first met when I wanted to establish the difference between fact and fallacy regarding the paranormal with a team of newbies (my first official group called In the Shadows Paranormal Project). Thus I decided to train them by providing a knowledge transfer training course based on my many lessons and experiences in the field over the years, from all over the world. Where I travel globally with my work I’ve investigated many locations. I happened to stumble across Doug’s website, to find a course he had just published, that included the philosophy that I used, the importance of the ‘human condition’ in understanding the phenomena.

While discussing his course, we soon became fast friends. It wasn’t long before we realized how well we shared information and data about our cases, which was unusual in lieu of today’s successful popular television programming sprouting up paranormal groups all around the world. These groups are unwilling to share data, concepts, or information amongst other groups. Thus ParaNexus became a search to find others that felt strongly about it as a science. In ten months, we have an international following of over two hundred members that feel the same way, and have established standards and methods as guidelines, not mandates, to promote the science.

Which investigation do you remember the most and why?
It was one conducted several years ago after having been contacted by a friend in London about needing an empath with a lot of experience for an investigation in Ireland, and not one that feels demons and angels everywhere they go. I built my reputation on the fact that the truth is always the truth and the truth is in the evidence. However, the lack of evidence, does not qualify as truth.

I believe that an empath’s gift should only be used to help find out information when all other means have failed. But since it is quite subjective information, and in itself is not evidence, but a tool to locate the evidence. My success ratio for pointing research in the correct direction is about 50-60 percent. An investigation I did several years ago at Leap Castle in Northern Ireland, was one of the most memorable. Almost an hour and a half into the investigation everything that could go wrong did. We were assembled from all over Europe because when the castle was being renovated by the owners, the workers on the construction crews began to complain of weird things happening, and feeling a presence hanging over them that didn’t want them there. They later came to believe that an elemental was responsible for many of the mishaps occurring there.

Leap Castle has a tragic history surrounded by death as many people lost their lives being cast into a pit that was lined with wooden spikes, impaling them when they landed on them. It was in that pit, that also led to some inner chambers that we encountered after one of our team was thrown off a ladder as he descended into the pit. He began screaming when he said something picked him up and threw him back down. As soon as the ladder was repositioned, he quickly ran up to safety. A fast wind came from the bowels of the pit on this otherwise still night. We decided it was best to leave our equipment and call it a night. We did however; get some pretty good photographs on film that were quite compelling.

The worse part of investigating a location is:
I think it’s the weather in outside locations or buildings. Recently, a well known Dutch team called Haunted-Holland from Rotterdam and myself went on an investigation in the IJMuiden Castle Fortress just west of Amsterdam. It was an early fall night and already cold. When the team returned on Halloween Night for their annual ‘Ghost Tours’ to raise money for the team’s equipment and traveling expenses, it was quite bitter, cold and damp.

The best part of investigating a location is:
Is the comradery I have built up over the years and the enjoyment of learning new things. This includes the history of certain areas, buildings, and people, and also camera techniques for night photography, infra-red or low-light, photographic forensics in the analysis of potential frauds (and it happens all the time, some quite good), investigating, and meeting new people.

Why do you do this?
I consider myself a skeptical believer. This means that first of all I totally believe that there is something to the paranormal that I would like answers for. But I am skeptical at the claims many people make. About 95% of the time nothing happens, or fraud is attempted by the client (to which I quickly leave and call an end to the investigation). BUT it’s that 5%, when it happens, that can make it ALL WORTH WHILE! To have water faucets come on or off while you’re watching, lights turn on by themselves, toys move by themselves, books fly across the room…oh yeah! That’s worth waiting for.

What is your favorite tool when investigating and why?
Will I have lots of toys adding up to thousands of dollars…much of it quite high-tech. But if I could take just three things into the field it would be:
No. 1 – My digital audio recorders with external microphones. They’re compact w/USB ports for easy downloading, stereo tracks, and can record up to 120 hours each. In my opinion, the EVP is the most convincing form of evidence and is the most difficult to ‘debunk.’ Especially when I am there!
No. 2 – My digital ambient thermometer…it gives quick readings of the air temperature and humidity, which can be helpful when you encounter a dramatic temperature change, often attributed to a paranormal event. Once you remove the obvious reasons, like air conditioning, drafts, etc…it can be logged as information leading to an encounter.
No. 3 – My Canon EOS DSLR camera. With this I can take time exposures, flash, timed, night shot, etc…and get great pictures in both RAW formats and JPG, in 12.5 megapixel resolution allowing me to magnify deep into the detail of a suspected photograph. But with such wonderful digital editing tool software available today that is not only affordable, but easy to use; it is too easy to alter photographs. Therefore, any serious photographer should not trust photographs alone. And NEVER an orb! When in doubt, I throw it out!

When did you first encounter something paranormal in your life?
I was five years old…and my grandmother caught me talking to an empty chair on her porch. When she asked me who I was speaking to, I gave her the name of a neighbor that recently died. One I had never met, because we were visiting from another state. I gave her a message he had for his wife that led her to a milk can buried in the back yard containing over five thousand dollars. Do I remember the conversation…no. I believed my grandmother, because that kind of stuff still happens to me…but mostly when I least expect it to. It’s not something I can do on demand.

Have you ever had an unpleasant encounter with either an inhuman entity or evil spirit? If so, what was it?
Honestly no. The dead can’t hurt you, it’s the living you need to worry about. I would love to be able to have a knock down, drag-em out confrontation with one to see just how bad-ass they can be. I’ve sensed inhuman presence, but it’s been always benign. We’ve all had that little voice tell us of people to be leery of, and I listen to that inner voice…and usually they know when they’ve been busted, and stay clear for some reason.

What advice would you give newcomers in the field?
First don’t go out spending thousands of dollars on equipment only to later find out it’s not what you thought it was. If you have the three basic tools I mentioned above, you can have a great experience. Also learn all you can about the subject from reputable people…don’t fall for the week-end ghost hunter, who believes in demons and angels in every corner. Learn the proper terminologies and trust your instinct…if it sounds like crap, smells like crap, guess what? It is!

What would you improve in the paranormal field and why?
I am currently active with an organization a friend and paranormal colleague started called ParaNexus, concentrating on the ParaNexus Research Foundation. ParaNexus promotes the history and legends behind the world of the paranormal and sets a precedent for the process of accurate and methodic documentation of the findings. It is fast becoming a group of international professionals in an association comprised of progressive paranormal investigators and researchers, parapsychologists, cryptozoologists, ufologists, psychically gifted individuals, and enthusiasts focused on understanding the human condition through the scientific study of anomalous and psychical phenomena, its reality, its reach, and its impact on humanity. It was formed to get people that are serious about the science to share and contribute information to learn from collectively. Everyone holds a puzzle piece to the mystery of the paranormal world. By putting those pieces together, maybe we can begin to make sense of what life has dealt us when it’s time for us to cross over and discover it firsthand.

What do you do in your spare time?
I feel like answering this one as my grandson does… Duh! The paranormal is no longer a hobby, it has become a passion and way of life for me. BUT a word of warning…Don’t bore your friends with it! I draw the line there, if they have questions, I’ll answer them, but I’m not like the missionary that knocks on your door every month to try to proselytize you into the cult! Besides, it adds a little mystery about myself!

Visit ParaNexus:

Visit The Journal of Anomalous Sciences: http://viewer.zmags.com/publication/013d3167#/013d3167/1

To read the first four interviews, please check our Articles section by clicking on the following link: