At the moment our Alabama team consists of 9 members. Even though we all share some of the same abilities each one of us also have our own unique abilities that another member may not share, we compliment each other and in looking for new team members this is also something we look for.
Our team tends to disagree with some about the certification process. While they are right in the fact that it is not mandatory or regulated and there is no formal state recognized certification, a group that has been together for many years, has already learned and practiced all the ins and outs, been on many different types of investigations, been in many different situations, knows proper technique, knows their equipment and is willing to teach that to new groups can give their own certifications. We believe that it is a way to show that a new group or investigator is serious and has taken the time to learn, has practiced with an experienced group and knows the protocols of investigating. While some prefer to use "Professional" and some prefer to use "Certified", if you have years of investigations under your belt and have taken the time to learn the protocols, your equipment, safety, etc. then by all means use whatever term you like.
Our team encourages new ghost investigating groups to form and are always willing to talk to them about it. But at the same time we don't want an inexperienced investigator, let alone a whole group of them to go on professional or private investigations. It's not as simple as showing up with some fancy equipment and finding ghosts. You need to know about the different spirit types you may deal with, you need to know your equipment and each team member needs to be able to use all of the equipment, you need to learn how to respect the property, you need to get proper permissions, you need to learn about confidentiality with private clients, you need to make sure copyright is fully understood on any images, video or audio that you gather, you need to know the proper clothing to wear that won't interfer with your sound equipment, you need to learn that wearing any scent can confuse a Medium who is sensitive to odors, you need to know about liability, our group has everything written out in contract form and all is signed before we enter any property (this of course refers to private home and business investigations and does not include our "just for fun", or testing new equipment out investigations in local cemeteries, or in the woods on public property). There is a lot to learn and a lot of boring stuff we have to do before an investigation. It accomplishes nothing to have a bunch of people investigate if they have never done it before or learned how to read any information they gather. I couldn't tell you how many EVP's are nothing more than someone's jewelry jingling, pant legs rubbing together or my personal favorite their own breathing. As with anything else there is a right way to do it and a wrong way to do it and until you have the experience and have taken the time to learn then you need to hook up with a group that has long standing and can take the time to teach you. Make sure the group you invite into your home has experience.
While we appreciate and enjoy the "urban legend" and "camp fire" stories as much as everyone else we don't investigate them for the simple reason that they are simply that, urban legend's and camp fire stories and a waste of our time. If it can be explained, has been a major movie hit or a teenage story passed down for years we are not interested. Really, do you think if you stand in front of a mirror, make three turns and say "Candy Man" he is going to show up? I personally only believe in one local urban legend in North Carolina, and that is because I have seen it for myself. Maybe someday I will tell you about it.
Dylan Belk, CPI
Cameron Alexander, CPI
Joshua Smith, CPI
Elliot Russo, CPI
Josh Byrom, CPI
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