Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Valentown Ghost Footage

If you go looking for ghost videos on YouTube, here's a tip.

Pause the video as soon as it starts. Read the comments. If it's one of those idiotic 'jump-out-at-you' spoofs, move on.

This is not. This is one of the best I've found. If it was faked, I can't see how it was done.

9 comments:

ThatGreenyFlower said...

Funny. The figure stood there for a long while before exiting the premises.

Romulus Crowe said...

It does indeed have some of the hallmarks of a put-up job, but that doesn't mean it is one. It might be, might not be. There's no way to tell from a clip on YouTube.

They insist they had the video checked: it hadn't been tampered with or double-exposed.

This could be done by reflection in high quality glass, but it wouldn't be cheap or easy. Since they won't make any money out of this, it's hard to justify making a fake.

The video is in the infrared. Things reflect differently in infrared, in that objects that don't reflect visible light can act as mirrors. So it could be a reflection - but then the figure has a very distinctive gait. Overweight and walks with a stick. If that matched anyone on the team, they'd be suspicious.

I took a look at the websites connected to this - wnyparanormal.org and supernaturalparanormal.com - and they seem genuine enough to me. They didn't fake this, I'm sure. What's on the video is what the camera saw.

Whether it's a ghost - well, that remains to be determined. It does look interesting though.

Side note - on one of those ghost videos I spoke of last time, a respectable physicist insisted that video cameras have the same range as the human eye, so if something is on camera it must have been visible.

Really, a physicist of all people should know better than that! Videos see into the infrared and the ultraviolet, well outside the range of the human eye. So it is possible to catch something on video that wasn't visible at the time.

If you have a video camera (a phone camera should do), try this: Pick up your TV remote, look at the end of it and press a button. You see nothing. Look at it through your video/digital camera and press a button.

The camera sees more than all, sometimes.

ThatGreenyFlower said...

The typed word falls so short sometimes. Where's my baseball bat?

No, Rom, I wasn't implying that it was fake. I am the LAST one to challenge YOU about authenticity of ghost video footage. I merely observed that the figure stood there for quite awhile before gimping out of camera range. As if it were observing the scene, or seeing if it was safe to leave.

Romulus Crowe said...

Greeny, I didn't mean to imply that you were implying... this could go on for some time!

The first thing I do with any kind of evidence is look for any possibility of fakery. There's an awful lot of it out there. Sorting out the few good ones among the deliberate frauds, the jokes, the misunderstood natural phenomena - the paradox of this kind of research is that it takes a cynical eye to spot the real thing.

I've come across a few really good joke videos, I'll admit.

The figure does observe for a while, perhaps wondering what the strange phantasms are. We might look as ethereal to them as they do to us. We don't know yet.

That figure could have been a counterpart paranormal-investigator from the other side. You never know!

ThatGreenyFlower said...

Now THAT is fascinating--a counterpart paranormal investigator from the other side! I love it!

Southern Writer said...

Hey! I knew that guy!

Just kidding. You KNOW I believe, but I have to say here with some pride, actually, that you've got me thinking like you.

I watched the video several times before I came to read the comments. About the second time, I stopped it at 00:44:49 because I thought I saw a reflection of the woman right by the ghostly figure, and I thought, okay, they could have done this with glass. The glass would have to be behind her, and the walking figure would have to be on this side of the camera. A reflection of the guy in glass would have made him "transparent."

But as you said, it would have to be a pretty elaborate and expensive setup. Unlike you, however, I think there are people who would go to that much trouble and expense to do it because they get it into their heads that "proof" will make them rich and famous. All that aside, I haven't been able to stop the tape in the exact same place in order to find that reflection again, and I know the eye can play many tricks when I'm looking too closely at something. For instance at that same 00:44:49 spot, I can make out a still face nearby, and I'm fairly certain it's just an illusion.

In the end, I don't think this is a hoax. If it is, it's a very good one. Now I'm going to go watch it some more.

Romulus Crowe said...

It's in infrared, so it's grainy. Faces appear in grainy images all the time - it's the brain's attempt to make some order from the background fuzz. Real faces can be hard to pick out, but the 'grain' faces usually disappear when the image is enlarged, while real ones don't.

I've been trying to find out about the infrared properties of glass, and whether a reflection would work at those wavelengths. I'll post whatever I find.

Dikkii said...

Meh. If it's legit, they would have sent it in to James Randi by now. That's USD 1 million with their names on it. I'm not buying it.

Romulus Crowe said...

Dikkii - it's not proof. It might be genuine, it might be faked.

The problem is, it could be faked. There are ways to do it. As long as that possibility exists, it's not proof.

I don't know anything about the people who made this video so I can't say one way or the other. But that's not the point anyway.

It is possible, with modern video techniques, to rig up a fake video which would look exactly like this one. Whether this one is real or not, if it's possible to fake it, then it's not proof.

That's why I don't like digital cameras. I can make a fake ghost photo in a matter of minutes with a JPG file, then put it back on the camera. I can even fake the file's date stamp. No digital image will ever stand up as proof, not even if you photographed the ghost of Admiral Nelson flashing his buttocks.

Film is harder to tamper with without leaving evidence. However, I have a camera which allows multiple exposures. I could do it - although a decent technician will spot the double-exposure on the negative unless the camera is utterly still, and not so much as a whisper of a breeze disturbs anything in shot. It would be very, very difficult to get away with such a fake. But not impossible.

Finding proof, I suspect, depends on multiple methods. A photo, a whisper on a tape, a video such as this one can be counted as evidence.

But not proof. That's going to be hard to find, which is what makes it interesting.

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