As I go about my day I am asked, very often, by people to check out “ghost” photos. I truly appreciate that they care about my opinion and I encourage people to continue sending me any strange images, video or audio they think they may have captured. The following images are shown as examples of photographs that can teach those interested in paranormal phenomena how difficult and sometimes frustrating the field of research can be. These photos, and others like them, take up the most valuable resource an investigator has…time. Even people who have captured “strange” images, who have no knowledge, or very little understanding, of supernatural occurrences should use a common sense approach when submitted photos to any researcher. As researchers, in a field that many ridicule, we must demand that the “evidence” we expose to larger audiences is not only startling or shocking but at a minimum at least not laughable. (click on the photos for larger versions)
1. What am I looking at?
Many times photos are submitted to me with a request to explain the “weird” image that has appeared in the photo. Often, it is never explained what I am supposed to be looking at. I’m sure the person who took the photo can see the anomalous shape but if I cannot see it how can I explain it. Which brings us to our next photo.
2. Pointing it out
You’ll see photographs on many websites where the photographer has circled the “ghost” in the photo. If you need to point out the “bizarre” shape or form then the photo might not be great evidence. We must strive for the most inarguable pieces of evidence and if you need to circle and/or use an arrow to draw attention to something in your picture you may want to rethink how unimpressive the photo might be to most people.
3. Not even trying
Some people just like to play with Photoshop or other image editing programs. Luckily, these photos don’t take a lot of time to investigate but they do clog up your email. I have seen some really good fakes but a lot of the time it looks like people aren’t even trying to make the photo look real.
“This photo has a face in it. Do you see it?”
Really, that is the kind of subject line in emails that I receive from people. Sure, okay I see the face it’s in the grass to the right near the bottom. Now what? When was the photo taken? What kind of camera was used? If there is a face where is the body? If the face is so “clear” why is there no body? Could I see an original of the photo that hasn’t been cropped? I know it sounds like a hassle but we must demand from ourselves that we ask any and every question we have about a photograph that is given to us from the public as evidence of a paranatural happening. When someone is unwilling to provide you with answers to simple questions how are you supposed to honestly comment on difficult evidence?
5. Oh, come on!
There are 2 “orbs” in this photo and probably 25 pixels. This photo looks as if it was shot on a digital camera that was on sale for three dollars next to the energy shots on the counter of the liquor store near my house. There is little, to nothing, anyone can do with this photo as evidence of anything other than that the camera which took the photo was terrible. Can you imagine anyone submitting this photo as part of a proposal to get a research grant? No.
I’ve posted these photos in the hopes that new researchers to the field will not only begin to understand the demand for better evidence but also in the hope that eyewitnesses will strive to provide us with more credible data. If our technology and understanding is truly getting better then our evidence must become better too.