Tiffany Hahn, December 2018

I started working for a Law Firm as a teenager out of necessity. After being there for about a year, I started working for a Private Investigator. I had questions about the law, about various procedures and practices, and I was always full of ideas when it came to working cases. It had a “behind the scenes” aspect to it that I loved. Man’s laws seemed like the code that made society work. In the State of California, it takes 6,000 hours of apprenticeship and passing a comprehensive test to obtain a Private Investigator’s license. I did my time and passed my test in September 2004.

From 2006-2008, I went back to school and studied Computer Science, with a little graphic design and website building on the side. The idea of code answered more of my questions. This time, it was computer C++ and HTML. I could look at the CSS and JavaScript and HTML, and I could see the end product. It just made sense to me.

I looked down at my iPhone. What made it work? How could I make it work better? Most people would have watched some YouTube videos or purchased a book. I turned to Apple and declared – teach me. A short time later, I was an Apple Certified iOS Technician.

In the last few years, I became interested in code on a much larger scale. What if the world had source code like a webpage or my iPhone? I saw a few paths before me. Science – biology, physics, anatomy… But there are very educated, very passionate people tinkering with this code. I realized I could spend my life dedicated to science and still not have the answers I was looking for. Instead of studying and defining the code that displayed reality, I decided to look into the exceptions. What breaks the code? In what real-world application might I see an error?

I began compiling notes on a few missing persons and unexplained death cases. I kept seeing that word – unexplained. Everything up to that point had been based in observation and documentation. As an insurance investigator, I noted that the truth – how the accident actually happened – existed independently from those who observed it. One person had sun in their eyes. Another person was looking down, and only saw the aftermath after they heard the collision. Both drivers thought they had a green light. I pulled signal timing charts and confirmed the signals were working properly on that day, and there’s no way they both had the green light. Eventually, after interviewing witnesses, drivers, passengers, and pedestrians, I had a pretty good picture of what probably occurred. But what if the story had no logical conclusion?

I am a skeptic.

I base my life and my beliefs around what I can observe and replicate. What I really needed to find was something that existed outside of those rules. And in this “I can’t believe I’m looking into this” moment, I started looking at videos of what were believed to be ghosts. Most were blurry or grainy. Some could have been a shadow or the wind. But I found enough information on the internet about these unexplained cases that my interest was piqued. This. This was the error in the code I was looking for. 

But it’s not enough to observe and document. I wanted to share. I picked up photography as a means of documenting and sharing things that mattered to me. And I started creating graphics to explain what I was thinking or feeling.

I am a licensed Private Investigator with an interest in iPhone optimization and unusual research. I’m fascinated by the code and mechanics that make things work. Share this path with me. Maybe I can help you find a piece of information or a lost relative. Maybe we can shred a bad video or sit in awe while watching a good video for the 93rd time. Maybe you like a photo I took, or a graphic I made hit home.

However you got here, welcome.