Along with Ben Hansen, Jael De Pardo is also a Fact or Faked: Paranormal Files personality. I recently participated in a Q&A with Jael and you can read all about it in the below interview. It was thanks to that Q&A along with my discussion with Ben that got me hooked on the show. Jael is an amazing woman so keep reading, plus there are pictures and a video too.
It was a complete pleasure to get the chance to be involved in a Q&A featuring Fact or Faked: Paranormal Files’s Jael De Pardo. The show is great and if you haven’t seen Jael in action on it then you really need to check it out, now to the interview.
Q: Have you found that some of these sightings are just people’s eyes playing tricks on them, some type of technical glitch?
Jael: Absolutely. I mean, there’s definitely times where there’s a case of mistaken identity. And, some of these people that are out there shooting these videos, they’re out there looking for UFOs, or ghosts, or what have you. And sometimes when they see something strange, because they’re looking for it, they specifically want to believe that that’s what they’ve found.
Q: Depending on the type of paranormal file you’re following, is it harder to stay unbiased if it happens to be something you really want to believe in?
Jael: Sometimes there are cases that you’re really enthusiastic about and that you want to definitely go there hoping that it’s real. But nonetheless, we approach things with the scientific method. So with all our experiments, it’s sort of a process of elimination. I don’t know that every time we’re going to get a concrete answer but what that does is just get us closer to an answer. Anything with a scientific approach, you’re gathering a hypothesis but it doesn’t necessarily mean that you can come up with a concrete conclusion all the time. For us what ultimately makes us go out there and choose one case sometimes has to do with the credibility of the witness. How many people saw this thing? How popular is this video? How many people are hoping to get an answer for this? So all those things combined help us choose sometimes too. And then of course, our opinion, like looking at it and thinking, “Okay. This looks like CG,” or this looks like it could be something real, something of a strange phenomena.
Q: Have you ever come across someone who told you something that you proved to be false but no matter what you said they wouldn’t believe you and just couldn’t accept it?
Jael: Yes. There has been. I think one of the best parts about the show is actually getting the real answer, and a lot of people want to know that this stuff is real. But when we figure out something is a hoax, then I think we’ve answered a lot of questions. But there are a lot of con artists out there, and some of them have put themselves behind this story for years. And so once you come to them and you tell them, “Look. I know that you’ve faked this,” they’re not going to budge. They’re not going to change all of the sudden because it would be difficult for them to be exposed that way.
Q: Can you talk about how you not only got started with the show, but also how you got started in your chosen field and how it kind of led to that?
Jael: I have a journalist’s background, which I think provides a very strong background in this because both are quests for the truth. As a journalist, you gather evidence, you’re evaluating the credibility of a witness, you’re researching, and those are some of the same skills that I’m using on Fact or Faked to evaluate the credibility of some of the supernatural phenomena. Another additional element that’s particularly important as a journalist, I’m often interviewing people that have some kind of agenda. So, you have to have a fine antenna for when people are telling the truth or not. And with years of experience with interviews, I can usually tell if somebody’s trying to pull something over on someone. So, I think that those skills can transfer really well to the paranormal.
Q: There was an episode of Fact or Faked: The Paranormal Files, it was the unwanted visitor (unintelligible) sighting with the bizarre bipedal creature in Fresno, California, was that as creepy as it seemed?
Jael: It really was, and it’s funny that you would mention that one, because that’s actually my favorite from the first half of the season. That case still boggles me. We left there and we still have not come to any sort of concrete conclusion as to what these creatures may have been. It is definitely possible that these could’ve been some kind of indigenous creature that hasn’t been discovered yet in that area, because there were two sightings that we found out about while we were investigating that. So, it was really interesting. And it was creepy because when we did our night investigation, we definitely felt some kind of presence that was there with us, and Bill can attest to that as well. Larry was with us and it sort of felt like we were chasing something in the woods, but at the end of the night, it almost felt like it was chasing us. We left definitely quite spooked. And I’ve been a skeptic when it comes to aliens and UFOs, but that really turned my thinking in a different direction and opened me up to believing a bit more.
Q: Are there any locations or investigations that one of you would like to return to?
Jael: I actually have one that we haven’t investigated that I’d like to investigate. There’s a place called the Winchester Mystery House in Northern California, and it was owned by the widow of a man that made the Winchester Rifle. And supposedly, it’s inhabited by all the souls who were killed by the Winchester Rifles. So, I’m sometimes fascinated by the morbid, and I think I’d like to check that one out.
Q: There are some rumors that you might be going and returning to Destination Truth. Can you confirm?
Jael: I’m actually really excited to say that I will be joining the team during the season that is in production right now. I’ve been invited to do a guest appearance for two episodes in Africa. So yes, Josh Gates has invited me to come and use my journalism skills to help them out, and I’m really excited because I will be reunited with (Rex) who’s also back. And it’s going to be great. I love the old team, and it’s definitely an honor to go back, so I’m very, very excited.
Q: What are the differences or similarities to the team dynamics between the two shows?
Jael: Well, I think when you’re traveling with a group and you’re in such proximity for such a long time, you definitely get to know each other really well. So at some point everybody has their differences and you definitely disagree on certain things. You definitely come together as a team and you realize that you have to back each other up in every aspect. On Destination Truth, because we’re out in these really exotic places a lot of the times, and very foreign lands, and we have to abide by different kinds of protocol, it’s a different dynamic of why you’re looking for your co-worker’s back, looking out for them.And I think the differences between the two shows is that one is more of a hunt and one is more of a process of elimination. And so, one causes a lively debate, which I would say Fact or Faked, and the other one is more like, “Run for your life!”
Q: Which is more stressful to you?
Jael: They’re both tiring. One is a little bit more physical and one is mental. So either way, I come home and I need to sleep for awhile.
Q: Do you have a personal history that drives you to the paranormal?
Jael: I have a very curious personality. I have been a journalist for the past six years, and I’ve always been interested in a lot of different things, different areas of all sorts of things. And so, my curiosity is what drives me. I’ve actually loved the SyFy Channel for a long, long time, and I have an affinity toward the paranormal and that kind of thing. So when I was invited to use my journalism skills on Destination Truth, I was all for it because I was able to take my skills and adapt them into something else that I found very interesting. And then, that gave me sort of the hard experience in that field that has allowed me to propel into what I’m doing now with Fact or Faked.
Q: Was there a part of the show, whether it was like a test you did or just part of the investigation, that because of your the lack of time that you’ve had to cut, that you really wished that fans could’ve seen?
Jael: There always is, if you think about it at the end of the day, we go out on these shoots and we’re here and we’re shooting hours, and hours, and hours of tape, and then at the end of it we’re cutting it down to an 18 or 20 minute show – whatever it is, because then you add commercials and all this stuff. So a lot of it ends up on the cutting room floor. However we’re hoping that some of those really important moments we can actually take and put online on the SyFy Web site so that people can see some of those other important moments.
Q: While doing the show do you guys ever try to prank each other?
Jael: Luckily with the Fact or Faked team, I haven’t had to deal with that yet, but, there are definitely some behind the scenes moments where the guys will start to get silly and they’ll try to do some pranks. I definitely got a little bit of that on Destination Truth. Because by the time it’s 5:00 am, everybody’s starting to get a little punchy and silly, and then all of the sudden we’ll have a couple jokes going around, and they’ll always take the easiest target. And, they always thought it was me. And they were like, “Oh, Jael’s going to get really scared, so we’re going to try and spook her out.” But they learned their lesson. I have to tell you, they have – they learned their lesson. I’m not that girl.
Q: I read you dressed as a mermaid and then you swam like that can you talk a little bit about that?
Jael: One of our cases is investigating a mermaid sighting. And of course as you’ve seen with our show, we have to replicate what the original footage is. And so, one of our experiments, they put me in a mermaid suit and we’re out at the Great Barrier Reef in Cannes, Australia, and they made me jump into the ocean with the suit on. And of course, the whole production crew was freaking me out the night before, because it was a suit that was made to fit me and it had a mono-fin at the bottom. And they’re like, “Oh, well your legs are going to be strapped together. You’re just going to sink to the bottom. It’s going to be really hard. You might just sink, so we’ll have a life preserver.” I’m like, “You guys, this is the Great Barrier Reef, and it’s going to be really deep. We’re maybe 40, 50 feet. And, I – what? Are you kidding me? You’re just going to throw me in the ocean with my legs strapped together? What’s going to happen?” my heart is palpitating, because I have to put on this thing that sort of feels very restricting. It’s – like imagine having your legs tied together and then being thrown into this deep ocean. Nonetheless, they’re telling me, “Oh, there’s sharks in here,” and this and that. And I’m like, “Well, I’m going to swim away?” But luckily, I’m a really strong swimmer and it didn’t turn out as bad as I had anticipated. And, I’ll leave it at that because I want you to see it, and it’s a beautiful episode and I think you guys will enjoy the backdrop.
Q: Have you had a case that spoke to you the most or for some reason sort of stuck with you.
Jael: As I was mentioning before, our Night Crawlers case in Fresno still boggles me. And, I feel like it’s one of those cases that we left and we’re just still at odds as to what these creatures may have been, and I still think about it. It definitely changed my way of thinking as to what kind of creatures could be out there that might be extraterrestrial, or I’m not really sure what they are. So that’s a case that if we had the chance, I would love to revisit, definitely because Bill and I had such strange experiences when we had our night investigation. Also, I think there was a case that Ben and I did in Indiana with the ghost cemetery, that was interesting. We had some really strange experiences in the cemetery, of course a dark and spooky night. We definitely had the right setting for it in the middle of a haunted cemetery. And then also, I think this mermaid case, which hasn’t aired yet. Like I said before; sometimes you have to go to some really strange places to find answers, like the bottom of the ocean, so those are some of my favorites. One other thing I will say though is that somehow, I’ve ended up doing more UFO cases I feel, I don’t know, maybe this is just me. I haven’t really kept count, but I feel like I’ve done more UFO cases on Fact or Faked than ghost cases, so I’m hoping that I get sent out on some fun ghost hunts in some kind of mansion or something like that. It definitely piques my interest.
I told you she was great didn’t I. I hope you enjoyed reading Jael De Pardo, Fact or Faked: Paranormal Files personality interview as much I as I enjoyed being a part of it. There is a below video clip from the last week’s premiere episode for you to check out and be sure to tune in tonight at 10PM EST on SyFy or an all new episode.