NLPRS

Northern Lights Paranormal Research Society is headquartered in Marinette County, Wisconsin, and is dedicated to seeking out the truth in all things. Our mission is simple: to discover the truth, no matter where it may lie.
 
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 Conducting an Investigation

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Posts : 265
Join date : 2013-04-11
Age : 45
Location : Marinette County, Wisconsin

PostSubject: Conducting an Investigation   Wed Mar 26 2014, 10:59

With NLPRS gaining more and more attention, I thought that it would be best for me to publicly post our procedures and guidelines in conducting an investigation, so that anyone who is wishing to contact us will have an understanding of what to expect.  This all may look a little intimidating, but it really isn't.

This guideline is indicative of an ideal situation.  NLPRS understands that there may need to be some adjustments made; we are willing to work with the client to make them as comfortable as possible, while at the same time allowing us the ability to be as complete as possible.

This opening post covers procedures for privately owned property, whether it be a residence, business, or private land.


Initial Contact

After having contacted NLPRS, we will begin things with a short telephone interview so that we can ascertain the situation.  This helps us better understand what is going on and to get a foundation for the investigation itself.  Typical questions asked would be the nature of the event, frequency, if the caller is the property owner (and if not, if they are able to speak on their behalf).  Under no circumstances will NLPRS conduct an on-site investigation with permission from the owner, or someone authorized to act on the owner's behalf.

In addition, we will try to schedule with the caller and / or property owner a face-to-face meeting, preferably at the location in question (explained in the next paragraph), and hopefully any witnesses.  If not, no problem, as we can easily meet in a safe and neutral area, such as a restaurant or coffee shop, the ultimate choice being that of the client.  NLPRS will usually have two representatives present, never more than that.  This is done for two reasons.  The first is so the client can get a better feel for us; you can read all of our posts you like, but words on the screen is just that, words on the screen.  As founder and lead investigator, I want you to be as comfortable with us as possible.  After all, you're inviting us into your home or business, why wouldn't you want to know us?  Secondly, this is so we can conduct a more thorough interview.  We'll be asking a series of questions regarding the property and the event, as well as any history, thoughts or opinions on the event, and what it is you would like from us in these regards.  If a witness is unable to attend, we will supply a copy of the questionnaire.  That person can then either email us the answers, or mail us the report; envelop and postage is provided by us.

At that point, if you are comfortable with us proceeding, we would ask for a tour of the location.  We want to see where the event(s) have occurred and where witnesses were.  We will be taking pictures and mapping the area (measuring distances and locations) so we can make a representation of the area.  This helps us to not only determine the best locations to place cameras or other equipment, but also allows us to look at the area from different perspectives, and the ability to come back to it later.  Think of it like this: we are conducting a field investigation, and need to reconstruct (in essence) a crime scene.

The client and NLPRS will set-up or arrange a date or series of dates to conduct an investigation, depending on the nature of the event and the client's wishes or needs.  In order to best replicate the circumstances, NLPRS will ask to perform an intial investigation of the area around the same time as the event, or at a time that best matches repeated encounters or history.  This initial investigation primarily consists of observations, monitoring meters, and whatever may be geared towards that specific case.

Once the calendar is set, we have one more step to go: the ever fun paperwork.  NLPRS has a few forms to be signed by the property owner (or representative).  These forms include a Confidentiality Agreement, Permission to Investigate, and Assumption of Risk.


  • Confidentiality Agreement - NLPRS agrees not to reveal any names or specific addresses / locations that might otherwise be used to identify the client in any of their online posts unless first agreed upon with the client
  • Permission to Investigate - this gives NLPRS permission to be on site and to conduct an investigation for a determined time frame, and allows the investigative team the use of electricity or facilities (if applicable).  This also makes NLPRS liable for any damage incurred during the investigation, as well as the client for any tampering of equipment left on the premise.
  • Assumption of Risk - Any information collected is joint property of both the client and NLPRS, and information will not be used in a negative or malevolent manner against either NLPRS or the client.  Furthermore, all parties agree that the client is not responsible for any physical harm or injury that may occur.


Depending on the nature of the event and the size of the area covered, this meeting can take at least an hour to complete.


Investigation

Prior to the onsite investigation, NLPRS will conduct research of the area to see if there is any historical or documented accounts that might be related to the client's event.

NLPRS will arrive on site at the time requested by the client to set up monitoring devices and other equipment, in as unobtrusive a manner as possible.  We understand and realize that we are guests on your property, and will take measures to honor and respect your property as if it were our own or how we would want others to treat ours.  Prior to equipment set up, we will conduct a walk through of the areas being investigated, visually recording everything; this is being done to document where items are located and the condition of the property.

Once the equipment is set up and checked for working order, we will begin the investigation.  Team members will begin to check the area with meters, take extensive amounts of photographs, and whatever else may be required to that type or specific nature of event.  Remote cameras or sensors will be recording throughout this portion of the investigation, and will remain running throughout the duration.  Please note, this is a generalized procedure.  Your procedure may be different depending on the circumstances.

When the hands-on portion of the investigation is complete, the NLPRS team will hold a second walk-through to document the property condition as well as equipment placement, as certain pieces of equipment may be left behind to continue recording.  This equipment will be present for a predetermined amount of time, as agreed upon by the client, to be removed from the property by an NLPRS member at the appropriate time, along with a final recorded walk-through.

A hands-on investigation may take up to a few hours.  This is because we want to be as thorough as possible; we want to conduct various sweeps of the area with different members in the hopes that some might catch something where others had not.


Completion

Review of the photographs, readings, and video takes a fair amount of time.  It stands to reason that the more there is to go through, the longer the review will take.  We ask the client for patience in this matter.

All evidence found will be brought before the entire NLPRS staff in an attempt to get a variety of opinions and thoughts, or to see if perhaps someone may recognize what was captured, before being brought to the client so that we can present the evidence from all perspectives.

When the review is completed, we will contact the client to arrange a meeting where we may show and discuss our findings.  A final document will be signed to indicate that the client is satisfied with the condition of the property.  The client will also be presented with a copy of all the paperwork as well as a disc containing all the images and findings.
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PostSubject: Re: Conducting an Investigation   Wed Mar 26 2014, 11:46

The procedures from private to public really aren't that different; there's just less paperwork involved, while at the same time there's a greater amount of research.  Also, a public investigation tends to be a bit more pricey, as there are additional costs above and beyond gas.

Our team goes through a variety of websites, books, or reports in the hopes of finding something "interesting" on public property to investigate.  This does not mean that there is something proven at that site, there just has to be something that validates us going out.  This could mean that a previous team has been there and found something or that there's a collection of reports and accounts.  Depending on the event reported, we may even check on things brought to our attention by others.

Regardless of where the source comes from, we will begin by researching the area, to try to get as much information as possible and to see if there are any collaborating reports.  I've found that the internet does not contain all information, so trips to libraries are also in order.  Likewise, I've found that numerous websites will post the same story... word for word; while having an article is good, having the exact same article from numerous sources is bad, especially if that is the only article found.  It doesn't rule out conducting an investigation, it just tends to create a negative tone.

If a setting is found that might hold some interest (whether good or bad), we then determine the best course of action, or the logistics.  This usually entails checking to see if there are any restrictions on the property; for instance, there might be a time of operations posted, or to look into accessibility.  Depending on the location, we may then check into lodgings.  This can either involve camping or staying at a motel; personally, I prefer camping, as it saves money (I've already got all the gear we could need), but sometimes you just want to relax.  Work and home schedules are checked and compared between team members to see who can best attend and when.  Then there's the gathering of supplies...

History is researched, a date is set, lodgings are picked, and supplies are purchased and set aside (or funds are saved).  Where do we go from there?

We follow the rules and guidelines set forth by the public entity that operates that particular area.  Everything we do as an organization is a reflection on our group.  As such, we leave the area in the same or better condition as we found it.  We respect the rules ans sign postings: if asked to check out by 11a, have the room cleaned and organized and vacated by 10a (the same for camp grounds); if the posted hours of operation states that the park closes at 10p, be out of the park before that time; pay all required park passes, leave no garbage behind, don't damage anything.  Be the perfect tenant or camper or visitor.

A lot of what we do may draw the attention of others, and that's good... if we conduct ourselves in a professional and courteous manner.  We should answer questions and always strive to be friendly, open and honest.  This doesn't mean we allow others to touch, play with, or use our equipment, but rather it means that we take that opportunity to educate.  

Then there will be those times where someone might approach us in a negative manner, someone who seems to be going out of there way to either get a rise out of us or to belittle what it is we are doing.  For them, the best course of action is to always be better than they, to be the better person.  Take the opportunity to educate that person, to demonstrate an open mind, and to show others that NLPRS is better than that.  If possible, document this either with video or in a report, because if anything negative comes back to NLPRS, we can show what happened; chances are the opponent won't be prepared for this.

Always remember that we are in a public setting.  We can't quarantine an area off, we cannot bar people from entering something or crossing through.  We can only hope that people will see us working and show us some mutual respect.
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