Joe Nickell is a prominent American skeptical investigator of the paranormal. He also works as an historical document consultant and has helped expose such famous forgeries as the purported diary of Jack the Ripper. In 2002 he was one of a number of experts asked by scholar Henry Louis Gates, Jr. to evaluate for authenticity the manuscript of Hannah Crafts’ The Bondwoman’s Narrative (1853–1860), possibly the first novel by an African-Americanwoman.