(Investigator 180, 2018 May)

The "psychic"  in the first photo is Pamela Winters, the former wife of Alan Winters who was the assistant editor during Investigator Magazine's first five years. Pamela was not really a psychic but posed as one for the cover of Investigator No. 20.

The second photo shows both editors collating pages for the 48 copies of edition No. 9 in 1989. Mr Winters disappeared in 1994 and went to England. He reappeared about ten years later but was too ill to get re-involved with the magazine.

Investigator has always been at the hobby level, never a commercial venture, and for years operated on a "shoestring" budget of $5 per week. Hence only 48 copies.

To keep Investigator going therefore required that a steady trickle of helpful people show up and voluntarily help in some way.

This could be by contributing articles for publication, becoming subscribers, drawing or otherwise supplying pictures, assisting in investigations, posing for photos, showing the magazine to others, supplying information, and teaching the remaining editor how to get some use out of his computer.

The first subscribers to Investigator included Peter D. Thomas, Gary Schmitt, "Anonymous", Allan Brunt, and members of the South Australian Skeptics such as Allan Lang, Laurie Eddie, and Peter Woolcock.

Members of the SA Skeptics c.1990 Allan Lang, Ron Evans, Laurie Eddie, Peter Woolcock

There followed among others Michael O'Leary, Burjin J. Kotwall, Bob Potter, Jerry Bergman, Kirk Straughen, Harry Edwards and Brian de Kretser, all of whom contributed material for publication (especially Harry Edwards), and others (e.g. Douglas Davies) who were readers only.

The  editors  met  librarian  Andrea Rankin at the "Port Adelaide Writers" group in 1990 where the whole group cooperated to investigate a suspected astrology scam. Andrea has talent in drawing and drew some pictures for publication in Investigator, one of which is sometimes still used to illustrate page 4.

The cat on the cover of #22 to indicate an article about superstitions involving cats, and the girl, possibly a  ballerina, on the cover of #23 to denote the article "Marry A Virgin" were drawn by Andrea. Probably not all ballerinas are virgins, but budget constraints meant utilizing whatever pictures were on hand when deadlines arrived.

Helpful in another way was Neil Bruce of NSW who subscribed from 1990 to 1994. Before his death he donated a box of old books authored by Judge Rutherford.


In February 1996 Burgin J. Kotwall contributed an Investigator article to a Norwegian website and announced:

Feb. 26 , 96. The Investigator is launched into Cyberspace today! (#48, page 4)

       B.J. Kotwall

This pointed the way forward and the editor purchased a computer and laser printer later that year. Purchasing the items was easy but getting some use out of them was another matter. However, up showed Tracy Kong.
The editor went to the Woodville [a suburb of Adelaide] Public Library to try out the Internet on a library computer but "didn't have a clue". At another desk sat a young woman who seemed to know what she was doing so he asked if he could watch.

Ms Kong turned out to be an unemployed teacher of business studies and offered to give free computer lessons. The lessons continued for a year after which Ms Kong became a police constable and the lessons stopped.

The next computer helper was a software writer, Richard Schmidt. With his help Investigator got onto the Internet in November 2000 on a trial and practice basis, and successfully longterm on December 31, ready for Day 1 of the new Millennium.

Computer problems, however, continued especially when acquiring new laptops, new versions of Windows and new software. Danny Di Giacomo, a maintenance technician, appeared in 2009 and solved many problems and setbacks until 2017.

Nowadays thousands of people view Investigator material on the website and hopefully are benefitting, and much of the credit goes to the helpers of the past 30 years.


Phillip Adams Columnist; author. Anonymous B.A. (Philosophy); Th.A.  Jerry Bergman Author; lecturer; three Ph.Ds.  Dr Sydney Bockner Psychological medicine. Jane Brooks UFO Research Inc. Treasurer.  Allan Brunt Meteorologist.  Eric Bruton Retired public servant. John F. Coffey Author; Catholic. Keith Cornish President Atheist Foundation SA.  Brian De Kretser Skeptic in Darwin.  Dean Dowling University physics lecturer.  Laurie Eddie Psychologist.  Harry Edwards Author & skeptic.  Kitty Foth-Regner Author.  Diane Gholson Editor TidbitsJames A. Haught Editor emeritus of The Charleston Gazette-MailJohn Hutchinson Sheep shearing coach.  Carl Olof Jonsson Author in Sweden.  Burjin J. Kotwall Former "vice president" Bank of America.  Allan Lang Industrial chemist.  Vic Lloyd Retail manager.  Jim Luke Dentist; Christadelphian.  Jim Moyers Psychotherapist. Mark Newbrook Linguist; lecturer; author.  Lana Nightingale Author.  Michael O’Leary Astronomer.  Hans Ossa Complementary medicine practitioner.  Bob Potter Ph.D. Psychology.  David Reed Former Jehovah's Witness elder.  Kevin Rogers Masters of Engineering Science; Diploma of Operations Research.  Frank P. Russo Medical & Veterinary Science.  Gary Schmitt Former Jehovah's Witness in Perth.  Bernhard Stett B.Sc. Zoology.  Lance Storm Ph.D. Psychology.  Kirk Straughen Skeptic in Queensland.  Peter D. Thomas Electronics; Journalism; Flying Saucer Research Society.  Carl Wieland Creation Science Foundation.  Barry Williams Former editor of the Skeptic.  John H. Williams Teacher; Honours B.Sc. (Geology).  Alan Winters Skeptics Association member.  Peter Woolcock Philosopher.