Take 5 with Jennifer Hosel
Do you believe?
Jennifer Hosel is technical manager for the Alameda Paranormal Researchers team. She is skeptical by nature, but is extremely enthusiastic and committed to learning all that she can about what just might be out there.
1. Tell me about your organization.
We are a paranormal investigative group that was founded in 2010 by our wonderful leader, Sommer Carter. Our goal is to interact with the history of whatever location we’re investigating. We’re curious about what’s out there and are open to what might present itself. The place we investigate the most is the USS Hornet. We help run tours and raise funds for their educational programs.
2. What does it mean to be technical manager?
I get to acquire, build, set up, and operate the equipment that we use, and I train team members in using the equipment as well. What we use are specially modified cameras that are able to see in darkness using different parts of the light spectrum. We use infrared lights, and these enable us to see a pitch-black room as if it is daylight. Our cameras can see without light, which allows us to investigate in the dark.
3. I’m assuming you believe in spirits?
I’m skeptical, but many of the members in the group have had personal experiences that make them believers. I’m in it for the process. There isn’t a way to scientifically measure paranormal events, but we use scientific methods and instruments to help us disprove and validate our experiences with unexplained phenomena.
4. Just talking about this work appears to make you giddy.
It does. There’s great satisfaction in wandering in the dark with buddies trying to interact with the past. I’ve been on investigations where we’ve heard voices and seen things that we could not explain. We’ve had electrical phenomena happen like a sudden battery drain or malfunction. It’s very rewarding when that one thing happens after you’ve been sitting in the dark for hours. As a giant history buff and a psychology major in college, I have a love of connecting with the stories and people of the past. Being a tech geek on top of that makes studying paranormal activity the trifecta of awesomeness for me, and doing it definitely causes me to get a little giddy.
5. As Halloween approaches, are you ghost hunting more than usual?
October is by far our busiest month. Ghost hunting isn’t really spooky, but it does require silence and stillness. You have to trust the people you work with as well as your equipment, and you have to be careful when you are wandering around in the dark (safety first). If you are lucky, you may have some exciting interactions, and if spirits don’t interact with you, it still gives you a great opportunity to meet people and learn some history. Paranormal research is both mysterious and exhausting but also equally energizing. As far as spookiness goes, I’ll take ghost hunting over a scary movie any day.