Across the Great Divide

March 1st, 2012

“Hey Can You Look at This?!”

I am contacted periodically by people and asked my opinion on a variety of paranormal “evidence.” While it really sparks my interest and imagination to find a valid photo, recording, or other bit of data that can lend credence to the field, the sad truth is that these incidents are few and far between. I’ve fallen victim to the excitement myself while on an investigation or training exercise and ‘chimped’ about like a fool thinking I caught something when, in fact, it was unwarranted. Nothing is more disheartening than to present “evidence” to the scientific community only to be laughed out of the room.

There’s nothing wrong with that. Quite the contrary, it sharpens your skills as an investigator and you’ll know what to recognize and what to look out for the next time. What doesn’t kill us makes us stronger, right?

Sometimes a person is so convinced that what they hold is worth its weight in gold that they’ll try anything to get you to see their point of view with an endless array of “but… but…buts.” L

It breaks my heart to disappoint these folks, but it happens to me more often than I’d like to admit when I am shown print after print of dust that a person is positive is an “orb.” Ah…the dreaded orb factor. My only advice is to clean your living room more often.

I’ve said it before, and as of late it bears repeating- 99.9% of these so-called “orbs” are dust or other debris being reflected back into the camera. If it is transparent in the slightest measure, then it is dust. Period. If it is generating its own light or energy, is moving in patterns that can’t be explained through chaotic motion, and is solid, then you might have something.

Recordings are a beast unto themselves and are really difficult for me to be conclusive on for a variety of reasons. First of all, I was not present when these were captured so I have no way of knowing who was there, what the environmental conditions were, or many more x factors than I can even comprehend at this time. I have to take all informatio9n at the word of the presenter. That’s why it takes me a long time to properly analyze recordings. I have to backup the originals (remember, you should only work with copies), run them through various filters and analytics to clean up the sound, get consensus and thoughts from my other team members, and sometimes even send them out to third-party forensic labs for clarification.

I’m working on just such a case right now and will be getting the results to the client next week. I’m excited because while one recording was a bust, another did produce something substantial. Once I get the client’s take, I’ll be able to present it on our group’s site and Facebook page.

Speaking of which, last month at a Super Bowl party I was shown an image from someone’s phone of a bonfire in October, 2011. The person admitted that they used some type of filter effect on the iPhone to produce it, so if any iOS users out there can help me with what exactly they did, I’d be much appreciative. I posted the image on our Facebook page to get the public’s take on it. It definitely made me raise an eyebrow, plus I thought it was a damn cool picture.

It would appear that there are humanoid figures in the flames. Call them elementals, demons, what have you, the frustrating part is that the truth may never be known. According to claims it was near, or on, old Native American land- let’s face facts- anywhere you go was once Native American land, but I digress…

After asking, I was not able to get this exact photo in an unaltered state, but I was given another image from that same night and it helped shed a little insight into the situation.

So, what does this tell us?

For one thing, depending on the position of the camera, any of the items in and around the campfire could produce the paranormal effects. Notice the structure in the background to the right of the image. Depending on how the flames and smoke were coming off of the fire and relative to its position, it could cause the odd-shaped humanoid figure present in the first image.

This brings up another point. I was told from the start that the first image was enhanced with what I can only speculate is some kind of spectral color filter.

Okay, take a look again at the figure on the left side of photo #1, then compare that to the smoke just barely present in the same area of photo #2. If color or heat filters where used it would force the smoke to show up in various shades of color depending on the temperature of the smoke. Voila! Instant ghost photo!

So, dear readers, what do you think? Fact or Fiction? The floor is yours.

© 2012 R. Wolf Baldassarro/Deep Forest Productions

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