Joe Nickell is one of the world’s most prominent skeptical investigators of the paranormal. He has researched numerous historical, paranormal, and forensic mysteries, myths and hoaxes, including hauntings, crop circles, UFOs, psychic claims, the Shroud of Turin, and the purported diary of Jack the Ripper.
Joe is a Senior Research Fellow for the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry and writes the Investigative Files column for Skeptical Inquirer magazine. He is the author of many books, such as Real-Life X-Files: Investigating the Paranormal, Secrets of the Sideshows and Real or Fake: Studies in Authentication.
In this interview with Karen Stollznow, Joe discusses his areas of expertise, and why investigation is an important and necessary part of skepticism. He talks about whether anyone can investigate the paranormal, and shares some of the mistakes made by investigators; not only paranormal investigators, but also skeptical paranormal investigators. Joe mentions some advances in the area of investigation, and the pros and cons of recreating paranormal claims versus trying to capture paranormal phenomena.
Most people know Joe as an investigator, however, there are many surprising sides to him. He speaks about his many careers, and how he infuses skepticism into all of his roles.