Chad Lewis, things that go bump in the night keep him
awake until all hours, but not because he's cowering
under the covers.
is a paranormal investigator, a ghost-buster of sorts,
and researching unexplained phenomena has consumed a
great deal of his free time for the past decade.
who calls himself a healthy skeptic, has traveled
around the United States and the world performing
investigations of unexplained occurrences. Among
his travels are visits to Loch Ness, Transylvania, the
reportedly haunted tunnels of London and castles of
of the situations Lewis investigates come with a tale
of tragedy or natural phenomenon that supposedly are
the instigator of strange happenings. Whether
stories of murders, accidents or strange gravitational
forces, Lewis said most of the time he ends up
debunking the story that goes along with the activity.
he cannot debunk, Lewis said, is that sometimes
strange things happen to people, and the quest to
explain or even identify those things is a never
sophisticated equipment, Lewis will often measure the
atmospheric conditions present in an area where people
have reported strange phenomena. While he can't tell
you definitively what causes it, he can say with
certainty sometimes things aren't exactly as they
should be. "We are sometimes able to
measure phenomena that can't be explained," he
said. "We are picking up atmospheric
conditions often associated with paranormal activity
and we believe there is a correlation."
acknowledged that sometimes imaginations come into
play on reports of paranormal activity, particularly
if there is a tale of intrigue attached to the
sometimes, he said, imaginations appear to have little
to do with it. "In many cases we find
people are legitimately experiencing some unknown
phenomena. Sometimes there are just too many
people experiencing it to blame it on
imagination" he said.
the haunting-type of phenomena is just one of the many
areas Lewis studies. Another is the occurrence
of crop circles, which may be closer to home than some
to Lewis, many crop circles have been discovered in
Minnesota and Wisconsin with little fanfare in the
public eye. "They are appearing literally
in our own back yard," the Eau Claire man said.
a surge of crop circles discovered in Great Britain
followed by the confession of a couple of men who said
they made them, Lewis said the public may be less
inclined to believe the local circles are anything but
some may very well be hoaxes, Lewis said.
sometimes, he said, investigators turn up data that is
impossible to fake. "We take soil samples
and crop samples and look for differences between them
and a controlled sample," Lewis said, "and
we do find differences."
researchers cannot explain why, Lewis said some
samples will definitely have chemical or compositional
differences from the controlled sample.
it is a UFO correlation or some other earth force,
Lewis does not know, but he believes some of the
circles he has encountered are not caused by two guys
with boards on ropes.
does do a considerable amount of investigation into
claims of UFO sightings and sometimes abductions, as
well as research on reports of a Bigfoot-type creature
spotted in Northern Wisconsin.
trained with a master's degree in applied psychology,
said he goes into each investigation with an
analytical yet open mind. He neither assumes a
report is true nor untrue and lets the facts of each
situation speak for themselves.
investigative services are all volunteer, Lewis said,
and he is skeptical of anyone in the business who
charges for them. "Most researchers are
happy to do it because they are advancing the field
with research," he explained. "Most
have outside jobs, because this is not really a career
option. There's no money in it; I do it for
science and curiosity.
will be one of the presenters at a Strange Phenomena
Conference scheduled for Saturday, October 2, at the
Winona Art Center.
conference is sponsored by the Weird Winonans, a
paranormal discussion group that meets weekly in
other presenter will be Craig Lang, senior field
investigator the the Minnesota Mutual UFO Network.
Lewis said, both men will present research from a
variety of unexplained phenomena, including regional
happenings, crop circles, anomalous animal reports and
presentation is geared toward those who may not know
if they believe in such phenomena but are curious
about it, Lewis said, and he strives to present
good facts in and entertaining way.
conference is from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. and admission is