Paranormal Investigator Profile: Derek Bartlett, Founder of Cape and Islands Paranormal Research Society
Name: Derek Bartlett
Organization: Cape And Islands Paranormal Research Society (CAIPRS)
When was your organization founded?
Cape And Islands Paranormal Research Society
PO Box 294
W. Barnstable, MA 02668
Web site: www.caiprs.com
What geographic regions do you serve?
The East Coast. We are located on Cape Cod, but have traveled throughout the U.S.
What is your day job?
Business Development for a Technology Company
What first got you interested in paranormal research?
I grew up listening to ghost stories from my mother and watched every television show that dealt with the paranormal. I didn’t get into research until 2000, when I took a photograph that I could not explain. I sent it to a team in Massachusetts (now disbanded) and they placed it on their Web site and claimed it as their own. This upset me. So I started my search on what it took to become a paranormal investigator, and here I am.
What was your first ghost investigation like?
Very long. We were working on a residential case and we ended up chasing dust all night with our video cameras. I watch that video once and awhile and laugh very hard. When it came to ghost hunting back in the day, you could say that we were not experienced.
What is one of your funnier moments during an investigation?
Hmmm, there are many when it comes to CAIPRS. If investigating the paranormal wasn’t fun, I wouldn’t be doing it. I tell this one story the most: The team was on a case and we were wrapping up for the evening. We had a team member who gets very nervous when paranormal things happen. He was heading up a flight of stairs and positioning himself in the middle of the team. On the stairs, there is a hole about knee-high, and I was in the room below the stairs. As he passed by this hole I grabbed at his shorts. I was pulled through the hole (almost ripping my arm off) as he ran up those stairs passing everyone in front of him. All the team members knew I was going to do this. We laughed for the two-hour ride home. I have to say that this is not the last time he has been on the receiving end of a prank. We always laugh when we are in cemeteries as we are chased off by skunks or huge raccoons.
What is your three most critical pieces of investigation equipment and why?
This all depends on who you talk to, but for me I have to say the first one is the Investigator. Without the person who is looking for any strange events then where would we be? I feel the investigator brings the most to an investigation with their skepticism, awareness, and an open mind. The next one for me would be any recording device such as video camera. If you see/feel/smell something, you can go tell anyone you want, but without evidence of what you went through, they might question you. By showing a video of what you went through, people can get a sense of what happened. They can also see something that you might have missed such as a light, or a plant brushing against you. People tend to be skeptical until they have exhausted all their own theories about what had happened. The last piece of equipment would be Trifield meter (or any similar device) that detects fluctuations in the electrical and magnetic fields as well as radio and microwaves. I have found where paranormal events have happened that there is a higher field of one or more of these areas. In the past this piece of equipment has detected fluctuation in the environment when the team is experiencing a paranormal event.
Does your group utilize psychics? How do you use them?
We have what we call sensitives on the team. They have abilities that branch out more than most of the other investigators. Our sensitives are investigators first, they know how to use all the equipment in our arsenal. We let them get the “feel” of the building and then they write down what they feel/experience. We then take the notes and see if there is any correlation between what the client has experienced and what the sensitive has come up with. We are paranormal investigators, sensitives are "paranormal," and we actually investigate them and their findings to see how accurate their abilities are.
Your group is actually a registered non-profit organization. What are the benefits to groups like yours to becoming a non-profit?
We are recognized by the federal government as a 501(c)(3) corporation. I wanted CAIPRS to be taken seriously. Ghost hunting has had some bad apples that have given the field a comical/non-serious appearance. There are many benefits of becoming a non-profit. We can receive donations from organizations, personal charitable foundations, and the government. It also allows you free advertising in newspapers and the radio.
How many cases is your group currently managing?
We do not loose contact with any of our cases that we have done. If you are counting the ones we are currently working such as investigation, interviews, or research we have nine going at the present time.
Where do you see the field of paranormal research going in the future?
The team sees it as moving forward slowly. I see it at a standstill right now. There are no new inventions/devices being made for the field, and the research is the same stuff over and over. I am hoping that one of my team members makes a breakthrough. If not them, then someone else. I feel there is a lot more about the scientific understanding of the paranormal that we have to figure out. If we do not, then the field will just be stagnant.