“It’s me.” The voice, though barely more than a whisper, sounds clear enough. It was recorded in a pitch-dark basement by Fly By Night, a trio of paranormal investigators from Omaha. None of the three, Kevin Turner, Angela Bowing, and Stephen Gardner, knows for sure who the voice belongs to. Nobody else was in the room.
Fly By Night came to the Morton-James Public Library on June 29 to talk about “things you can’t explain,” which is how Turner defines the term “paranormal.”
A dozen tweens and a few parents listened in fascination as he and his colleagues related their experiences with the supernatural, playing videos and recordings and demonstrating some of the equipment they use in their explorations of unexplained  phenomena.
Turner asked the audience members about their own experiences with the paranormal. One boy described often glimpsing white-faced people hovering in the room. Another sees a floating brick every year on his birthday. One mom recalled battery-operated toys that turned themselves on when nobody was around.
The trio has experienced some perplexing things while investigating reports of unexplained phenomena. Bowing described feeling a hand touch her backside as she and Gardner were leaving the basement of an abandoned asylum in Edinburgh, Iowa, one dark night. Gardner was several steps ahead of her ascending the stairs. “I definitely felt five digits squeeze me,” said Bowing—the five fingers of a hand.
Another time, a video shows Turner bang once on a metal locker in a “haunted” school in Farrar, Iowa. “Can you do that?” Turner asks what he believes is an unseen spirit in the room. Almost immediately, there is an even louder thump on another locker five feet away.
Despite the tendency some might have to fear the unknown world of paranormal events, “We have never felt in any danger” while on a case, said Turner. Fly By Night has gathered recordings of furniture moving by itself; mysterious voices in the Mayhew Cabin, an Underground Railroad site in Nebraska City; and weird goings-on at the Squirrel Cage Jail in Council Bluffs.
They have also visited the Morton-James  several times and, among other things, once heard books falling off the shelves in the otherwise unoccupied library.
When dealing with paranormal events—strange noises, disembodied figures appearing in the dark, and so on— the difference between objective and subjective knowledge is important to keep in mind, said Turner.
“Objective” knowledge means a thing is real apart from one’s experience of it; “subjective” knowledge introduces emotional interpretations into one’s perceptions. The tendency to “find what you want to find” in an experience is called “confirmation bias.”
A commercial version of confirmation bias is what drew Turner and Gardner to pursue paranormal investigation in the first place. About ten years ago, as they watched television shows like “Ghost Hunters” and “Ghost Adventures,” they realized that such programs had to find something to report.  
If there were no ghosts, then the shows had to invent them in order to stay on the air. But Fly By Night can be more objective “because we do not make a living from it,” and therefore there is no need to invent anything, said Turner.
He showed the audience some of the tools used to measure electrical energy when on an investigation. “Most hauntings are energy-based things,” said Turner. “We are electrical beings. If you believe in ghosts, you believe the energy field doesn’t end when the body dies.”
Such fields can be measured, and Fly By Night uses a number of  different devices to gather data during their exploits. There are EMF (electromagnetic field) meters, a full-spectrum camera that can “see” beyond the light wavelengths visible to the naked eye, audio and video recorders, and  a radio scanner nicknamed the “spirit box.”
The gadgets were spread on a table for patrons to peruse after the talk. Several of the younger, technologically savvy members of the audience wasted no time.