Over the years, I have read about and seen on TV people reviewing paranormal evidence in groups. This has always seemed weird to me because 1) who has time to spend 8 hours with your teammates reviewing evidence and 2) how does anyone stay focused long enough to get through everything? But being the ever curious investigator that I am, I had to give it a shot.
I recently asked a few of my teammates if they might be interested in doing a 2-3 hour evidence review session. I envisioned we would spend some time silently reviewing evidence and take breaks to discuss anything we found. I also figured we would get side tracked by random stories that people wanted to tell about the investigation being reviewed and little would get accomplished. Several team members agreed that it would be interesting to try. So, we scheduled a three and a half hour meeting on a Friday night because clearly this was our idea of a kicken’ Friday night party.
We spent the first hour discussing investigation locations for the next year (which was already slated to be discussed in a meeting the following week but clearly needed double discussion). We then reviewed the format for the evening, 20 minutes of silent review followed by a short discussion period, repeated multiple times through the meeting. The first 20 minutes passed and we broke for snacks and discussed why you can’t show any orbs (even really interesting ones) on the internet. The break lasted longer than I would have liked but this was a trial so after about 40 minutes, we set the timer again. Our discussion was shorter after the second round of review and people seemed to be getting used to the format. During the final 20 minutes, I could see my teammates starting to get antsy. Most of them hadn’t spent this much time quietly and deliberately reviewing evidence in a good long time and it was showing.
During the final debrief, we discussed how everyone felt it went and overall the consensus was positive. I estimated that our three 20 minute sessions netted us around 6 hours of evidence review which could put a nice dent in an investigation if we were focused. People liked being able to quickly ask others to listen to something and get their take on “evidence.” They also thought it would be good to focus on specific locations so a plan could be developed for future visits to the locations. Two members were new at reviewing evidence and they stated an appreciation for being able to ask questions about the process. All in all, I was quite happy with how it went and would recommend teams try it for themselves. Granted, I don’t think I could wrangle my team to do a full day of review but a couple hours at least gets everyone started and talking.
Have you ever done a group evidence review? If so, how did it go and what was your process? Since we are new to this idea, my team is open to exploring ideas and trying out ways to have more efficient but meaningful review sessions. Feel free to post your thoughts below in the comments or comment on this post on my Facebook page.
Until next time, Happy Hunting!