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Investigation Tips


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Ian Topham's picture
Ian Topham
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Joined: 22 Jul 2008

I thought it would be nice to have a topic where we can share tips, notes on pieces of interesting kit, natural explanations you have discovered for reported experiences, bits of advise, suggested books and theories to read etc.

Anything that may be useful for an investigator in the field....or in his armchair :)

Agricola's picture
Agricola
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I was wondering if anyone on

I was wondering if anyone on here has actually experienced battery drain on an investigation. I've heard of it happening to less scientific investigators, but is it something which is known to happen at sites or do the less reputables fail to check their batteries before they venture out?

Ian Topham's picture
Ian Topham
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I think we've all been

I think we've all been guilty of not checking the batteries :).  Can't overcharging sometimes make them drain quicker?  I also heard that they don't work as well in cold temperatures.

Mysteryshopper
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With batteries you need to

With batteries you need to drain them properly before recharging. Otherwise they carry less charge in future cycles. Modern chargers turn off when the batteries are fully charged, so 'overcharging' is not a problem now. Batteries (rechargeable and 'normal') lose charge all the time, even if they're not used. Don't just check batteries before a vigil. You should use new normal ones or fully discharge and then recharge rechargeables. Yes, batteries have less charge in low temperatures. All those stories of batteries mysteriously running out are probably due to not observing such precautions.

Ian Topham's picture
Ian Topham
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Try to avoid using

Try to avoid using pseudoscience to investigate a case.  Avoid the likes of mediums, dowsing, oui ja boards, orb catching, seances and spirit calling.

BaronIveagh's picture
BaronIveagh
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Advice

1) Always try to conduct investigations under the tightest controlled circumstances as possible. This way, any positive evidence you collect is harder to discredit.

2) Document thoroughly and extensively. Leave NOTHING unrecorded if possible.

3) Don't jump to conclusions if you do see 'something'. Try to disprove it yourself first.

4) Remember that decreases in temperature can drain batteries. On cold days they do not last as long in general. (Oddly enough, learned this from a member of the bomb squad)

5) When talking to witnesses, be skeptical, not cynical. Try to be as calm and pleasant as possible, as some people have a hard time discussing what they saw with others.

6) Be professional.

7) Be aware of local customs and superstitions when investigating outside your home area.

Summum Nec Metuam Diem Nec Optima

Agricola's picture
Agricola
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Surely when questioning

Surely when questioning witnesses, you should be open minded and try not to form any judgements in advance?

Ian Topham's picture
Ian Topham
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Agricola wrote: Surely when
Agricola wrote:

Surely when questioning witnesses, you should be open minded and try not to form any judgements in advance?

I think where Baron qualifies it as not cynical, I take that as a good healthy skepticism.  I think you have to be careful not to impose you views on the witness whilst interviewing them or ask leading questions.

Mysteryshopper
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You should have no

You should have no 'attitude' (skeptical or believing) towards witnesses or their reports at all when interviewing them. Such an 'attitude' can affect your questions and the answers. Your job is to get as full a description as possible of what the witness experienced in their words. What you think about it is neither here nor there and any bias may alter the evidence.

BaronIveagh's picture
BaronIveagh
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That is exactly what I ment,

That is exactly what I ment, Ian.  MS is taking a bit harder line to bait me.   Listen to your witnesses, and examine their testimony, but don't take it at face value or as gospel truth.  Perception can alter their recollections of what they saw or think they saw. 

MS, I hate to break it to you, but the ideal of the uninvolved impartial investigator doesn't exist.

Even by asking questions you can alter things to a degree.  Re: Heisenberg.

Summum Nec Metuam Diem Nec Optima

Mysteryshopper
User offline. Last seen 3 years 28 weeks ago. Offline
Joined: 15 Oct 2008
Yes there are people who

Yes there are people who allow their attitudes to interfere with interviews but that does nobody any good. Investigators can be as biased personally as they like but the important thing is to find out what the witness experienced, whatever you think of it.

It is perfectly possible to obtain a statement in a neutral way by concentrating on what the witness is saying and not your own agenda. You may not believe a word of it but you must never allow the witness to realise that or they may stop talking. Equally you may believe it entirely and start asking questions in such a way that you encourage the witness to back up your own theories, even when they are not relevant.

Interviewing is somerthing that requires training and practice. It is not something you can pick up by watching a TV cop show.



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