Unless you spent the last decade in alien captivity, you must have noticed the resurgence of public interest in paranormal phenomena. It’s unavoidable, really – from supermarket tabloids to Emmy Award winning TV-series, the new millennia marked a distinct departure from realistic fiction to magic realism and fantasy. Anne of Green Gables was discarded for a newer (role-) model: Buffy of Green Sunnydale.
By and large, it seems that modern day society is growing more and more fascinated by the idea that there’s something more to reality than meets the eye. In fact, in a recent report published by The Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life, it is stated that “roughly three-in-ten Americans (29%) say they have felt in touch with someone who has died. Nearly one-in-five say they have been in the presence of a ghost (18%), while 15% say they have consulted a fortuneteller or a psychic”.
Associate Professor of Sociology Gregory Elliott locates our obsession with the supernatural in our desire to make sense of our surroundings and impose order on an otherwise random world. Typically, a turn to the paranormal occurs when other forms of knowledge fail to account for pressing and troubling questions. “When your ordinary sources aren’t working for you anymore”, explains Elliott, maybe it’s time to consult some extraordinary ones.”
This is exactly where WAPS (Washington State Paranormal Society) steps into the picture, a small group dedicated to proving that ghosts and other unexplained phenomena actually exist. Using Paranormal Research Tools like DVRs, Infrared cameras and EMF detectors, they investigate locations where suspected paranormal activity has been reported and publish their findings on their website for the community to read and respond to.
We’ve asked WAPS’ founder, Nathan (‘Nate’) Aupperle, a few questions:
I saw WASP recently conducted an investigation on the USS Turner Joy. How did you conduct the investigation?
– NA – The investigation started around 10:00pm and lasted until 2:00am. We used electromagnetic field meters, infrared cameras, thermometers, and audio recorders to document any activity. Using the scientific approach by documenting any sudden surge of electromagnetic field spikes and temperature changes, we hope to one day prove that something exists outside of the human eye. The U.S.S. Turner Joy surely opened our eyes. All of our evidence can be found on our homepage in the “Investigations” section along with a detailed history of the location and investigation report. WAPS hopes to return to this ship in the near future.
Do you conduct investigations about people who are still alive? Let’s say I noticed that some of the stuff I keep stored in the basement went missing or is constantly and mysteriously misplaced. Will you look into ‘real-life’ possibilities (such as a kleptomaniac roommate) before pursuing the case as a paranormal investigation?
– NA – We would definitely conduct investigations about people who are still alive. As for a kleptomaniac roommate for example, we would ask each person living in the house about the strange occurrences they have had and if they suspect that it could possibly be a roommate misplacing things. WAPS now owns 8 InfraRed cameras that hook up to a DVR system that records video onto the hard drive. If anything does move, we will surely document it on video.
Do you cooperate with other paranormal organizations and societies in the States? Is there a shared database paranormal detectives can consult?
– NA – WAPS currently does not conduct group investigations with other paranormal organizations. However, some paranormal groups will work together when investigating locations due to the size of the location. As for a shared database of paranormal organizations, there is a good website that lists all the paranormal groups in that specific state.
Do you get calls from people who wish to communicate with their deceased loved ones?
– NA – WAPS has never received an email or a phone call regarding someone who would want to communicate with their deceased loved one, although if it did happen, we would be more than willing to help the client in any way possible.
Were you ever contacted by the FBI? Would you have liked to conduct investigations for them?
– NA – We have never been contacted by the FBI but if we were, we would gladly perform an investigation for them!
Why are WAPS’s Services free? Will they remain free?
– NA – WAPS services will always be 100% free. Our purpose is to one day document and prove that something exists after this life. Our main goal is to help each and every client that we come across. We are always here to help.