Christopher Chacon is a world-renowned Anomalist and regarded as one of the world’s foremost authorities on the scientific exploration of paranormal, supernatural and anomalous phenomena, as well as the occult/metaphysics and mysticism. For nearly thirty years, Christopher has traveled the world extensively investigating and researching thousands of cases dealing with every type of phenomena imaginable, including; possessions/exorcisms, all manner of psychic phenomena, haunts/poltergeists, UFO/alien close encounters and encounters with unknown life-forms, just to name a few. He has additionally participated on countless international expeditions involving ancient mysticism, the occult and archaeological discoveries relating to the supernatural.
Christophers past experience includes decades of Parapsychological research, as well as a background of being a professional illusionist/magician. Christopher is also a former veteran investigator/researcher with the Anomalistics Division of The Office of Scientific Investigation and Research, a private scientific think-tank that was in operation until 2000.
He continues to internationally consult for private organizations, religious and academic institutions, government agencies and corporations in dealing with phenomena and situations that often defy the known laws of nature and physics. Because of Christopher’s vast knowledge and extraordinary first-hand experiences, he is frequently sought after by those in the entertainment industry who are in need of a credible expert in these subjects to lend authenticity and a one-of-a-kind creative perspective to Movies and TV series. His incomparable reputation in this field has resulted in being featured on countless international TV and radio shows, popular documentaries and numerous publications. With “Paranormal Activity 4″ now in theatres, and a fifth chapter recently announced, Media Mikes sought out Mr. Chacon to talk about the things we can’t easily explain.
Mike Smith: What sparked your interest in investigating the world of the paranormal?
Christopher Chacon: Wow! That’s going way back. I would have to say, initially, it was originally in college. My background is in magic and illusion. I’m a performer. People would approach me and tell me they were having a haunting or some other type of unusual circumstance. From an illusionist standpoint you can easily see how people can often misunderstand certain circumstances and how they can be tricked. So in a lot of these situations I would observe and then tell them “this is what’s really happening.” They were just misperceived. It wasn’t a ghost…it wasn’t a close encounter. And then at some point I began working with a para-psychologist and we started doing research on a larger bulk of cases. It was at about that time that I was exposed to a poltergeist case where the phenomenon could not be dismissed. It kind of defied the laws of nature and physics. It was the case that told me that I had to embrace the fact that there’s more out there then you could learn at any college, university or in academia. That continued for a good 12 years and then I began working for a scientific organization…a think tank…that basically adopted the method of approaching phenomena as anomalies, using a very unbiased and objective point of view. We investigated thousands of cases all over the world. After I left I still kept being contacted by people who had unexplained phenomena…whether it was a priest who was doing an exorcism and phenomena was happening in the atmosphere that he couldn’t explain or someone who’s experiencing extreme poltergeist activity in their building when there is no environmental explanation for it. I would go and consult and assess these situations.
MS: Does the fact that you have a theatrical background…performing…help you when you’re investigating? Do you look at something and think, “well, if I was going to do THIS I would start by doing THAT?”
CC: Not in respect to trying to reach a conclusion skepticism wise. When I was with the scientific group they actually tried to re-train us…they wanted us to approach each phenomena objectively. There is something called the “Observer Effect,” which means that when you walk into an environment you actually bring your pre-dispositions with you. So your observations may be tainted. Somebody who believes in ghosts and goes to investigate a phenomena may not be objective while the person who is extremely skeptical is on the other side of the spectrum. So when I go to investigate I try not to walk in with any preconceived bias. I’m open to the possibility of what the phenomenon is…how things can be misinterpreted. People have had what they thought was a poltergeist case only to have it turn out to be an alien abduction case or something like that effect. It’s not always a good thing to try to come to a conclusion too quickly. My background in magic and illusion, of course, assists the fact that when I get a phone call from somebody who says they’re experiencing something and they want me to come out there I insist before I head out there that they have to rule out rationale explanations first. They do so and in 70 – 80% of the cases they find another explanation. I explain to them that, in a psychological arena, things can be misperceived. Whether it be due to their own psychosis over what’s going on or just circumstantial events. So 70 – 80% have rational explanations in that category. But keep in mind there’s another 20 – 30% that, even after you’ve gone through all of the categories, you’re still left with something that truly defies the laws of nature and physics. It’s an anomaly.
MS: Have you ever truly feared for your safety while observing a phenomenon?
CC: I’ve never feared for my life, so to speak, but I’ve definitely been startled. When things pop out at you when you don’t expect them, especially when you’re focused on a phenomenon or an environment. When something jumps out at you or moves, especially when it’s volatile…it does startle you. There’s no question about that. In the thousands of cases I’ve been on…and I’m talking the most volatile ones…I’ve had my nose broken twice. I’ve had my hair burned off three times. I’ve been asphyxiated several times and had my ribs broken. I’m not saying this was done by a creature or a poltergeist or a possession. There are just some kinds of severe phenomenon that are unexplainable.
MS: There are quite a few “reality” shows on television now dealing with the paranormal. Do you watch any of them? And have you ever questioned their findings?
CC: Well, I do understand how the process works for entertainment, especially for television. And the need to ramp something up to something more sensational than came before…with so many television stations they have to keep trying to outdo each other. 20-30 years ago you had a handful of shows. Things like “Unexplained Mysteries.” Things then were more scientific. The integrity level was very high. To answer the first part of the question, no. I really don’t watch. Mostly it’s becase I don’t have the time.
MS: Finally, do you have a favorite experience from all of your years of working?
CC: A favorite experience? (laughs) Wow. There have beem literally thousands of cases of unexplained phenomenon. The most disturbing, obviously, is one where someone is traumatized. I’ve worked hundreds of cases where the victims suffer from PTSD, usually as a result of the experience. Post traumatic stress disorder takes over. This usually happens with possession-type cases. Those are the worse one to get involved with. As for poltergeists, again the cases that come to me are the most volatile in nature so it’s difficult to say which is the most fascinating. I will say that there are cases where you actually observe the phenomenon. You understand the basic laws, like gravity, and when they’re being defied they’re pretty fascinating. It’s extraordinary to see it happening. In the case I’m currently working on…in the center of the house…there’s a phenomenon where all light seems to be absorbed. When you’re in the area you can hear whispers in it…dogs stay away from it. If you put light into it spectrophotometers show that the light is being abnormally observed in this one area then in any other part of the house. To encounter those kind of things is really quite extraordinary!