Does the Government Offer Paranormal Investigation Careers?

Paranormal Activity

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There are certainly a lot of very interesting careers in criminal justice and criminology available today. So interesting, in fact, that television and movies very often feature all sorts of professionals in the criminology fields. 

Some of the most popular of these shows, such as The X-Files and Fringe, delve into the world of paranormal investigations, which may very well seem like some of the most fascinating criminal justice careers imaginable. 

Those shows feature federal special agents assigned to specialty units dedicated to investigating the supernatural. They've undoubtedly inspired countless people to consider jobs in criminology, wondering what you have to do to become a paranormal investigator for the government.

Can You Become a Paranormal Investigative Special Agent?

For all of you aspiring Fox Mulders and Dana Scullys out there, we have some unfortunate news. The United States government does not employ any full-time special units dedicated to investigating supernatural and paranormal occurrences. That is, at least, none that any care to admit or advertise.

Sadly for so many Fringe fans, the chances are slim to none that you'll be spending 40 hours or more a week traveling around the country and earning a great government salary plus per diem to find Bigfoot or finally bring the Jersey Devil to justice.

Thus, there really is no such government job—not officially, anyway—as a special agent assigned to paranormal investigations. Which, in turn, means there's nothing can do to become one, because the job as portrayed on the silver and small screens simply doesn't exist.

Does the Government Investigate the Paranormal?

None of this is to say that the United States government hasn't ever shown an interest in the supernatural. During the mid-1900s U.S. Air Force investigators maintained Project Blue Book, a program that investigated UFO events around the country.

FBI agents, too, found themselves wrapped up in investigations that delved into the paranormal, the 1947 Roswell, New Mexico incident among them. In fact, according to documents recently released by the FBI, the agency even briefly explored the feasibility and efficacy of using extra-sensory perception as an investigative and espionage tool. Alas, they found no scientific basis for the phenomena.

Other government agencies have spent time and resources exploring the heretofore unexplained. As recently as 1995, the CIA and U.S. Army famously hosted a project that explored the possibilities of remote viewing for spying.

These cases aside, the extent to which any government agency may foray into the supernatural is so small that there are simply no career paths that would take a special agent into the world of full-time paranormal investigations.

Stumbling Upon the Unexplained

As unfortunate as this may seem to so many of you who hoped to become the next Special Agent Dana Scully, there's still a chance you could stumble upon a supernatural investigation during the span of your career.

Many correctional officers, special agents, and police have stories of strange and creepy occurrences on the job. And, paranormal or not, there's little denying that jobs in criminal justice and criminology are some of the coolest careers available.