A Facebook friend knows we, as part of the SIPI group, did an all night investigation at WNIN on Saturday. I can't say what evidence I obtained yet, because I haven't reviewed it yet, but I can say what it is like, or try to.
The shows you watch make you think it goes something like this: they go in, stuff happens, they get evidence right away, they leave, and go who knows where.....a long drive home perhaps????? They have evidence right away and present it to the client.
Reality- You go in and set up. It isn't "hard", but sometimes it is challenging. Where to put the cameras, where is the power, the best angle, the most activity???? Make sure the IR cameras won't face each other. Can we use tape on this? No it is an antique...not even painter's tape. Who has a compass to set the MESA camera? Where can we put the table for the monitors out of the way? Wait, I just heard voices...darn we don't have our recorders running yet. Hurry up, it is getting dark. Computer won't work. Some outsiders are in places they shouldn't be, time to ride herd on them, then get back to work.
Then it is hours of silence in some cases. Either that or something already took your camera and faced it to the wall. And you wait and wait and wait....and get hungry , and have to find the bathroom (where stuff usually happens when you are alone and can't verify it). Yet when things happen, it is always exciting. It is always fun regardless.
There are usually personal experiences. There are discussions of what happened last time , and where to sit or what to say.
It is an all night vigil. Around 6-7 AM, as the sun starts to rise, you have to pack it all up. You look at the wires, cases, and cameras and sigh. You have to pack it all well, and carefully. You have to move furniture, fold up tables and make sure all is back where it started. Then you have to carry it back to the car (and sometimes, like on this most recent investigation, in the rain), all on zero sleep. You start to remember the injury that made that part sore, and the old age that made this part stiff. You find sore parts you never had before. Your eyes feel like someone dumped sand in them, and all you want to do is sleep.
You get home somehow....sometimes you get to rest first, sometimes not. But then it is hard to sleep. Your internal clock says....HEY WAKE UP! Your body says , "if don't sleep we are going to drop on the floor". You get a restless sleep, and have to get up soon, or you will sleep all day and be up all night...and the viscous circle begins!
You do a zombie day, shuffling around, and then that night. SLEEP! The next day you realize....I have to listen to 12 hours of audio, and watch 4 cameras for even longer, maybe 15 hours. Can I do it? Not in one day. It is impossible.
An all night investigation actually takes at least 3-4 days. When you have things to do and have to go to work, it takes longer on calendar time because the review starts and stops. You can't breeze through it, you will miss something. You have to note times and places in the evidence. RElisten, and look at it again. Is it a real phenomenon or a trick of the light? Save it and send it to the cloud. Release it to the group or client, and then you are done. Ah.
This isn't a job for the sleepy people, it is great for insomniacs! It is also great for people who like to pay attention to detail, and have never done stupid things in their life like fall off of a ski lift (oh yes I did). The little aches or huge pains, remind you well after being up all night.
This isn't as easy as it looks on TV, not if you are doing it right. We STRIVE to do it right. We need to make sure that the owner's property is safeguarded and left as we found it. We have a lot of responsibility while we are investigating. That doesn't even include a night when things are intense and people are getting hurt (scratching seems to be a favorite). Part of my "ghost hunting briefcase" is a first aid kit. All fun and games? Not for a minute.
So what is it really like? A lot of fun, but a pile of work on top of it. The fun lasts hours, the work.....days. Yet, I wouldn't stop for a minute, the fun far outweighs the work and sleepiness for me.
(C)2012 Dr R M Wolf. May not be used, copied or reproduced without prior written permission.