Sunday, February 04, 2007

An Interesting Thing.

I have more work to do before I make too much of this, but I can’t find a reason for it yet so here it is. That doesn’t mean I won’t find a natural explanation, just that I don’t have one now.

When I visited the churchyard yesterday to photograph those Pictish stones, I had my infrared filter with me. I thought I’d just take a few photos for fun, since I’d heard no reports of ghosts at the site.

The camera is digital. It’s a Sony H5. I had to be wary of the direction of sunlight since any dust on the filter produces orbs if the sun catches it. What I found wasn’t dust though.

What I like about this camera is that it has a ‘program auto’ mode. This means I can set it up to use the infrared but let the camera decide on the exposure. All I need to do to switch from infrared to normal is slide the filter out of its holder and turn a dial. I can therefore take a normal photo and an infrared of the same scene, seconds apart.

I originally planned to take photos only in infrared. No ‘normal’ controls, since I didn’t expect to find anything. I changed my mind when I saw, through the viewfinder, something glowing brightly and moving. It took only a glance to see what it was, so I took a normal photo of the scene also.

So that nobody gets needlessly excited, here’s the normal photo first.

The ringed area is where I saw the glowing thing. Here’s an enlargement.

It’s just someone walking around. A live one. What this person looked like through my infrared filter was this (he's in the same place but changed position between shots):

And enlarged…

Now, aside from the impressive difference in the scene when using infrared, the pictures show how, in sunlight, people reflect infrared to the point where they glow. I tried it with a few other passers-by but didn’t photograph them in case they objected. Each time, the person looked luminous through the viewfinder.

Well, I’ve wondered about this in the past, and concluded that a ghost wouldn’t glow like that in the infrared. Since ghosts are often associated with reduced temperatures, I’d expect them to absorb infrared, not reflect or emit it. They’d look like a shadow rather than the bright images living people give, especially in daylight.

I took a few more photos and set off home to load them up onto the computer. Many were useless because the infrared filter cuts out so much light that the camera is operating on a very slow shutter speed. Camera shake spoiled a lot of the photos. Next time I’ll take a tripod.

Among the usable photos was this one:

I enlarged the shadow in the middle of this picture, and here it is:

The figure is human shaped and human sized. It can’t be a living person because there’s no infrared glow at all. Unfortunately I didn’t notice it at the time so I didn’t take a normal photo of that scene.

There were long shadows, but there’s no shadow leading up to this figure. If it’s a shadow, then it’s a shadow of something hanging in the air behind me. Not the top of a tree- or headstone-shadow.

The area where the figure is standing is outside the graveyard. So it’s not a headstone. I’m left with the possibility that this shape is formed by some infrared-absorbent patch of material that just happens to be human-shaped and human-sized. I can’t say for sure until I get back there at the same time of day, in sunshine, and check.

There’s one other possibility, of course.

I’ll have to wait for another sunny day to check this. If the same shape appears in the same place at the same time of day, then it’s probably something natural. If it’s moved, or gone, well…

I’ll take a video camera and voice recorder along too. Just in case.


Added Extra:

Here's the photo again with the enlarged section marked.

The original image files are huge, but I have to shrink them to get them on here. Then they shrink some more. I can Email it to anyone who wants it - but beware, it's about 3 Mb in size!


heyjude said...

please circle that shadow on the bigger pic - I don't find it

Romulus Crowe said...

I've added it at the bottom of the post. I'm going to have to set up a site to show these oddities properly - but first I'll have to be sure there's no natural efect at work here.

heyjude said...

email it - you know where.

I can't see why that one is any dif than any other shadows along there but if you email it maybe I can play around with it. In the spare time that I really have none of!!!

heyjude said...

Thanks. I have DSL now. it came right in and took about 4 sec to download from email to file.

OK I blew it up - and sharpened it and cropped it, etc and the only thing I see is that there's a bit less foreground grass in front of the indicated part.
Now if you are going to claim the rounded portion is a head - then what about the 2 shorter ones behind it? and maybe a less distinct short one in front of the tall one?
Nah! take away the foreground grass and you'd have one large dark section like to the right of that.
I can't figure out a way to add the 'enhanced' photo I emailed you.
Perhaps you could post it?

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