A SALE man is helping to pioneer a scientific approach to the world of paranormal investigation.

John Slater, aged 53, of Broad Road, is the co-founder of the Manchester based Paraquest Paranormal Investigators group.

The group - that seeks to unlock the doors of the unknown' - celebrated its fifth anniversary in 2005.

John, who works as an engineer during the day, says he was keen to break away from the normal 'Ghostbusters' perception for a more scientific approach to the study of anomalous phenomena.

John - whose investigator' equipment includes: infra-red lighting, a digital camera, thermometers, barometers and a heat detector - explained: "The fascination with the subject makes us want to get to the truth. We just want to add to the body of knowledge on the subject and point scientists in the right direction.

"We have devised a number of experiments that we conduct at our investigations and many other groups around the world are now started to adopt some of these experiments too."

He added: "Paraquest investigate all types of paranormal phenomena and find that the majority of cases reported to us are those concerning ghosts, poltergeists, UFOs and peoples claims of ESP powers.

"But unlike other groups I think we're more scientifically based - we're highly sceptical and focused on experimental work. We don't use mediums, we want to prove things rather than have a belief."

Paraquest has more than 30 members who meet at the Friends Meeting House, on Mount Street, in Manchester on the first Thursday of each month.

The group are involved in a number of research projects up and down the country - including investigations in houses, factories, haunted pubs and theatres.

John explains: "The main aim was to get involved in some bigger investigations. Previously I had been more localised in Manchester typically investigating houses or pubs - but there wasn't enough activity to keep us busy.

"We wanted to widen our research to bigger sites like castles and other areas like ESP and UFOs."

Some of Paraquest's high profile cases include: Chillingham Castle in Northumberland, Stanley Palace in Chester, Ham House in London and Highcliffe Castle in Dorset.

Closer to home the group have been involved in numerous cases of alleged paranormal activity such as Brannigans in Manchester city centre and The Old Man and Scythe public house in Bolton.

And finally John says he is particularly keen to investigate a UFO phenomenon in Trafford.

He explains: "There has been a lot of reported UFO activity in Carrington. I've never seen it myself but over the years scores of people have reported seeing a green glow' in the sky."

For further information on the group click on the link below.