Squatch Hunter: Inside the Mind of a Paranormal Intelligence Agent

Jan 17, 2014 at 12:03 PM ET

Jack Cary is in the business of mystery solving, but he’s no regular detective. As the founding director of the Paranormal Investigative Agency (PIA), the 40-year-old has dedicated his life to cracking some of the world’s most bizarre cases.

The “agency,” which consists of Cary and 15 investigators across the United States, is privately funded and not affiliated with any other organizations, government or otherwise. To some extent, it works like a real intelligence agency, gathering intel and monitoring event patterns to form educated hypotheses. But the PIA focuses most of its investigative powers on life’s big mysteries, like Sasquatch (he’s real), UFO sightings (happen all the time), animal mutilations (possible government agency doing this), werewolves (their existence is still under investigation), and sudden, world-changing incidents known as “black swan” events (9/11, catastrophic solar flares).

In one recent report on his website, Cary speculates that the newly launched Chinese moon rover might discover the secret U.S. military base on the moon. (Remote viewers have already detected both people and buildings on Mars, FYI.)

Because paranormal activity is so unpredictable, Cary is always on call, ready to dispatch an investigator or rush to the scene himself. In addition to his 15 years of experience investigating the paranormal, Cary says he has a background in the U.S. Navy working on special operations intelligence on a submarine, with top-secret security clearance. We chatted with Cary about the PIA, meeting his first ghost, “cryptid” animals (species studied in the field of cryptozoology), and his views on the apparently astronomical amount of cattle mutilations happening these days. Spoiler: Vampires aren’t real. Sorry, girls.

So what’s going on right now at the PIA?

There are recent cattle mutilations [usually drained of bodily fluids or surgically killed with no signs of blood around the wound] occurring in Colorado, and we’re about to deploy new technology allowing us to catch the culprit. It’s our intention to go to the San Luis Valley [oft-described as the Disneyland of the Paranormal, with unexplained animal deathsUFO sightings and cryptid-animal sightings occurring with great regularity], where we will be planting clandestine cameras in fake rocks. They are equipped with GPS, record to their own DVR and have their own power supply inside the rock. We’re going to leave them running for weeks on end until we find something.

What constitutes good evidence?

The trick to really getting good evidence for our investigations is filming the thing from three different angles, from three separate cameras. If you can do that, you can prove in a scientific way that the event was not a hoax.

Tell us more about cattle mutilation.

Many victims of cattle mutilation say before they find a dead cow there are silent, black unmarked helicopters flying around their property. That brought the UFO researchers to the conclusion that these were UFOs somehow masking themselves as helicopters. But as we found out with the killing of Osama Bin Laden, that technology does exist. The SEAL team was using a completely silent helicopter, something our cattle mutilation victims have been telling us for about 10 years.

What are some other paranormal events you investigate?

Were trying to do more on actual physical mysteries that are going on. There are plenty of cryptid animals that don’t get the press that Big Foot gets. UFOs are nonstop, so that’s one of our biggest things. We are also investigating something that might be a Breakaway Civilization, a population that has funding and access to alien technology.

Are there any that you would debunk right away?

There are a lot of cryptid animals that just have no evidence. For instance, there is Sheepsquatch in Appalachia. People actually believe that this thing is half man and half sheep. Eyewitnesses report this all the time, and I can say with certainty that that’s false. Some people have reported so-called Lizard Man, also in Appalachia. Eyewitnesses reported a three-toed footprint, like that of a lizard. I’m pretty sure that’s not real either. There’s a lot of stuff out there about vampires and things like that; we’re pretty sure none of that is real.

Vampires aren’t real?! You just broke the heart of every teenage girl in America. Do you believe in ghosts?

I do, actually. I grew up in a pre-Civil War mansion in Oklahoma, and it had a ghost in it. The ghost was fond of breaking all of my mother’s dishes at night without making a sound. We’d come down to the kitchen and all the cabinets would be open and all the dishes would be smashed on the floor, and none of us would have woken up throughout the night.

One night, I was walking up the stairs, and at the top of the staircase I peered into my sister’s room and there was a shadow figure there. A fully formed black mass that was human-shaped. And it turned its head and looked at me and then walked across the room. It scared me so bad that I didn’t sleep for weeks after that. I had a few instances in high school where I would wake up and look over and see a shadow walking across the room.

We don’t focus on ghost activity because to us there’s undeniable proof that ghosts are real. What we’re trying to do is ask the deeper questions, like how come not everyone becomes a ghost? It’s very strange that we live in a reality whereby you have this mock trap mechanism that creates these ghosts that aren’t able to move on for some reason. And the deeper question of do we have a moral responsibility to try to help these people move on? A number of these paranormal groups go into a haunted house, and they take an electronic voice phenomenon [unintentional sound on an electronic recording], and the ghost will ask them for help but no help is ever given. This seems to us a very cruel thing to do.

Can you walk me through an investigation? What’s the process? 

It starts with cross-linking events and eyewitness testimony. After ingesting hundreds of books written by seasoned paranormal investigators, it’s actually quite easy to identify when a “happening” fits in with prior documented cases. There is always a thrill when an eyewitness mentions a small, seemingly inconsequential detail that links their experiences with those of other people. We have a saying in the PIA: Once is chance, twice is coincidence, three times is a pattern and demands attention. The cross-linking of events comes from our researchers’ abilities to analyze intelligence as it comes in from thousands of sources every day. After cross-linking information, we send our people to investigate without ever really contacting the witnesses, because we don’t want any cross-contamination between what they’re telling us and what we’re able to actually film. We’ve noticed a number of paranormal cases, especially with cattle mutilation, where the rancher or farmer who actually reported the activity to paranormal researchers would later find listening devices in their homes. Gabe Valdez, for example.

Who do you think is monitoring them?

We’re not really sure. An unknown government agency of some kind that’s actually doing what we think is animal testing of the food supply, or they’re just attempting to determine if there is validity to what these ranchers are saying without them knowing it.

What place would you say has the most frequent incidents for you to investigate?

We’ve done a lot of Big Foot research in southern Oklahoma near the Arkansas borders and in Texas. We’ve done a lot of UFO investigations in Colorado. For some reason Colorado has a pronounced amount of UFO activity.

What’s the most shocking or the most revealing case that you’ve personally investigated?

It would have to be cattle mutilation cases in Colorado. Those are always fascinating because it has a real impact on witnesses’ life because they are often in economic distress because these animals are getting killed. A lot of it is also recorded with UFO activity. In one of the cases a woman kept seeing this floating orange glowing shaped object night after night on her property, so we went out there and tried to film them. Every time she reported it she would find a dead animal the next day. That was probably the most fascinating case I’ve been on, other than being there when we filmed the UFO in Colorado.

How do you recruit your investigators?

Most of them actually approached us. We initially had three investigators, sometimes four. Most approach us online. These are all people that have investigated paranormal events for a long time.

What are some of the requirements to become a PIA investigator?

Normally it takes a lot of knowledge about everything from UFOs to information on cryptid animals like Big Foot and cow mutilation cases. We have a questionnaire, and if they’re able to answer that, then we have a telephone interview and then they start actually doing activities and investigations. They’re all volunteers.

What is your typical response time, and how do you get tips?

We monitor hundreds of paranormal websites and do our own proprietary news searches. When something is recorded that we want to investigate or I think it worthy of the group, we usually send one or two investigators to try to record it. Our response time is actually pretty fast. If it’s in an area where one of our guys can’t get to then I usually go.

What’s in a PIA investigator tool kit? Can you just record with your iPhone?

No! We use handheld thermal technology and telescopes with digital eyepieces that run through laptops so that we’re able to record and pick up targets from miles away. We can actually monitor from miles away. We have long-range surveillance cameras. Most of our technology is infrared and thermal because most of this activity occurs at night.

Why did you decide to move the PIA to South Dakota?

One of the things we do that other groups don’t do is monitor black swan events [a major, unexpected event]. A couple of years ago we came across something very disturbing, what we call a meta pattern of information [many sources pointing to the same thing]. It was given the name Global Coastal Event from Dr. Courtney Brown, director of The Farsight Institute and Clif High’s webbot. It was supposed to be some sort of water displacement event that was going to wipe out the coastline around the world. We cross-linked that with information coming from Dr. Peter Pry, who was head of the Task Force on National and Homeland Security and is director of the United States Nuclear Strategy Forum, an advisory body to Congress on policies to counter Weapons of Mass Destruction. He was giving interviews about how scared they were that the power grid could go down. At that time, there was also a buildup at the Department of Homeland Security of equipment and armament.

That was very interesting to us because this was coming from government-sponsored programs. That compelled me to relocate the PIA to an area of the United States that had a very low population density, because if an event actually occurred like that, you don’t want to be around large metropolitan areas. Then a meteor that exploded over Russia and it really scared us all. We thought maybe we had just dodged a bullet, and that was actually what they were seeing, or it could have been a smaller fragment of a much larger incoming body. We suspended our activities and began preparing for what might have been a really bad situation. The Global Coastal Event didn’t occur. [According to the PIA’s report, this could have been because “enough attention was applied around the world to these predictions that they constitute a species wide observation of the GCE event that then altered the outcome of the event.”]

What is the PIA’s responsibility to the public?

We want to be fully accessible to people who are seeking out the answers to mysteries, because the public has the right to know.

Do you receive a lot of backlash from haters?

Oh, sure. We get emails all the time from people that question our sources and the information on our website. But when you combine all of these different elements that we have come across and put on our website, it’s really hard to argue against any of those mysteries. We do believe that Big Foot, the existence of Sasquatch, is about to be proven to the world. That’s going to be so shocking and so alarming to the public, because if something like that can exist, anything can.