MARCH AIR RESERVE BASE, Calif. --
(This is the second in a four-part series on things that go bump in the night.)
Senior Airman Mathieu Beaulieu is an active duty, aircraft mechanic assigned to the 912th Air Refueling Squadron at March Air Reserve Base, Calif. He is also a paranormal investigator.
He has always been curious about the paranormal and enjoys watching shows about ghost adventures on TV, he said. This year, his curiosity peaked enough that he decided to find out for himself if this paranormal stuff was for real.
"I researched the Internet and read a book about ghost hunting," Beaulieu said. "The book was helpful, in that it gave me a foundation, but there is no textbook on paranormal investigating. You've just got to go out there and do it."
His research led him to the equipment he needed to get started; a digital recorder and a K-2 meter, originally built for electricians, that measures the strength of electromagnetic fields (EMFs) or energy fields. He also picked up a 'ghost box,' which is a modified radio that continuously scans through stations, creating white noise. The theory is that spirits can manipulate the white noise to speak using electronic voice phenomena (EVP).
"I began doing ghost box sessions in my house in March. I was getting responses, so I started filming them (the audio sessions) with my phone and posting them to YouTube, Beaulieu said." "I believe animals and kids are sensitive to paranormal activity, but I'm not. I have to rely strictly on the equipment."
His kids were woken up last month, crying, because they said someone was saying 'come here' in their ears, which Beaulieu admitted was pretty scary.
"I think that happened because I invited something in by starting the 'ghost box' sessions in my house. I may have opened up a doorway or vortex, or whatever you want to call it, to allow spirits in my house."
Wearing his crucifix necklace during investigations is a must for Beaulieu because, although he claims to have never come across demonic activities, he believes it protects him.
Wanting to expand his investigations and work with others, he found many groups that wanted money from him to take a ghost tour, but his interests were doing investigations, not in touring, he said. That's when Beaulieu came across Synergy Paranormal and applied to work with them. He hit it off with the Synergy team, and his first investigation with them was at the March Field Air Museum this summer. He continues his work there about once a month with them.
"I am the camera man during the investigations," he said. "I set up the DVR (digital video recorder) cameras in what are considered hot spots for paranormal activity and use my full spectrum camera, which can see beyond what our eyes can see."
After the cameras are set up and focused, they go 'lights out' and refocus as needed. Monitors, DVRs and some other pieces of equipment are set in place also, he said.
Before they begin the investigation Beaulieu said they do a walk-around with their equipment to make sure they know where any false indications might be. For example, underground wiring can set off a K-2 meter. Beaulieu and the rest of the team try every avenue they can think of to debunk sounds or noises to see if they are man-made, contamination or truly paranormal, he said.
"I plan on continuing my work with Synergy. I like being the camera guy because I love the visual evidence," Beaulieu said. "I like EVPs and sounds too, but nothing gets my adrenaline pumping more than the visual, like orbs (a spirit trying to manifest) or apparitions," he said.
According to Beaulieu, you can distinguish orbs from dust particles by the shape and the way they move. Dust will always follow the wind and resemble snow flurries. Orbs will have a distinct movement and may be different colors, he said.
Because of his paranormal investigations, Beaulieu was contacted by Senior Airman Jose Mora, 752nd Aerospace Medicine Squadron, March ARB, who does his own investigations. The two exchanged emails and phone calls before meeting for their first co-investigation at the historic base.
"I like buildings with a lot of history that have been there for some time," Beaulieu said. "I don't think new buildings have had many bad or traumatic things happen in them, which are what, I believe, must happen for a good investigation."
That first investigation together gave Beaulieu the thing he said was his goal in paranormal investigating-- to capture visual evidence; to capture apparitions.
"I got lucky and captured two in the same frame on camera," he said. "I thought about putting it on YouTube but I think it's just for my own personal satisfaction and files."
They were investigating a basement in an old building on base, not expecting anything, he said. He was already recording when he walked into the room, panning the camera right and then left. None of the six people on the investigation saw anything while there, he said.
Later, when he slowed down the footage to view it, he saw two apparitions, Beaulieu said.
"I had Joe (Mora) and the rest of the people who were there when the video was shot take a look at it. I also had my Synergy teammates look at it," he said. "I've gotten some really good EVPs with the new digital recorder that I have. "The clearest of the EVPs, saying 'here', is on the Synergy website, but those (apparitions) are the most amazing things I have ever caught."
Based on stories he has heard, investigations he has done, evidence he has captured, things he has felt and things that have happened to his equipment during investigations, Beaulieu believes that paranormal activities are very active here at historic March Field.
"Concerning paranormal investigation, I would say that it's for real. It's not a joke. The stuff that I've captured, heard and felt is all real," he said. "I've never faked any evidence. I will not fake any evidence. What you see is what you get."
(The third in this series will focus on Senior Airman Jose Mora.)