He doesn’t believe in ghosts, but he’s willing to change his mind.
Marco Mazariegos and three other students started the Research and Investigation of the Paranormal club at Central Oregon Community College to find out for themselves if paranormal activity is real.
Out of four founding members, two are believers and two are skeptics, according to Mazariegos.
“You watch Ghost Hunters and you can’t tell if those people are acting,” said Mazariegos. “Well, one way to know is to find out ourselves.”
But RIP isn’t just looking for ghosts: On their investigation list is such phenomena as UFO sightings and cryptozoology, which refers to such creatures as Bigfoot and the Loch Ness Monster. They will be trying to capture proof of these phenomena as scientifically as possible, according to Mazariegos.
“In the constitution, first priority is fact-based research,” said Mazariegos, “and second is fun.”
RIP intends to investigate using thermal and night vision cameras, laser-grid cameras for motion sensing, high density audio recorders, and electromagnetic field detectors, said Josh Pardee, one of the founding members. Pardee is the “tech guy” of the club.
“I’ve recorded things you simply cannot explain,” said Pardee.
On Feb. 2, the club had its first investigation at Pilot Butte Cemetery, which was “very intense,” said Lauren Fellows, a member of the club.
“We had one definite EVP [Electronic Voice Phenomenon],” said Fellows. “I said ‘I’m sorry if all these people wandering around the cemetery are bothering you’ and [on the recording] you can hear ‘Uh-huh’ clear as day.”
Fellows described seeing an apparition and being touched on the shoulder at one point as well that same night.
Mazariegos is happy to see people of many perspectives join the group.
“I want clashing opinions,” said Mazariegos, “I want different perspectives. …The more perspectives we can see, the more we can accomplish.”
The club has become very popular, with 12 people at the first meeting on Jan. 25 and 30 people at the second on Feb. 1, according to Mazariegos.
“The fact that we have 12 people who are dedicated and work so well together is awesome,” said Mazariegos after the first meeting. “I want it to explode.”