Monday, July 06, 2009

Thriller reprise?

(Thanks to Southern Writer for the tip-off).

The video here claims to show Michael Jackson's ghost at his Neverland ranch. What we actually see is a human-shaped shadow at the end of the corridor, crossing from left to right.

There are a number of possibilities.

It could have been added by a clever editor. It's clear that the presenter saw nothing and there's no suggestion that the cameraman noticed anything at the time. It's certainly possible to fake a video like that. That does not prove it's a fake. It's just one possibility and one that must always be considered.

The camera is looking along the corridor at a brightly lit room. It's daytime so it's safe to assume that the light is coming through the windows. The shadow could be that of someone walking past a window and casting their shadow on the wall. The walker would be out of sight, but the light could cast their shadow across the wall and make it appear to move across the screen. This could be easily tested if we knew what time the film was taken, because the sun would have to be at the right angle to produce the right height of shadow. There's also the possibility of light reflected from a mirror so we'd need to know the layout of that room as well as the time of day.

It could be internal reflection in the camera lens, picking up movement from one side of the camera as a shadow, but I would hope that TV cameras would have good enough quality lenses to avoid that.

It could be a ghost, of course. If so, that doesn't mean it's Michael Jackson. All we have is a shadow.

A very interesting video nonetheless, although I doubt any ghosthunter can be persuasive enough to run an investigation in Neverland so we'll probably never know.


Southern Writer said...

I wish they hadn't added the freaky music. That screams "hoax" even if it's not. Idjits.

There's also this one where the narrator "explains" why this is not a ghost:

"Edited to show it is a shadow, displaying that the object seen in this video is ON the fireplace mantle and not in front, or a see-through object. It goes along the very shape of the fire-place."

Is that true? Would you help me understand that, please? Also, I'm curious about the floor. It appears we have a set of three rooms: the one where the people were talking about the locks on the door; another in the center, about the size of a corridor; and the third, with the fireplace and the sighting in question. Watch the floor in the video. The movement reaches all the way across the corridor and into the room closest to the camera. Ghost or shadow, either way, how does that happen?

btw, this one makes it official: "Actually" is the most over-used word in the English language. This guy uses it three times in thirty seconds. It's a useless word to begin with, now it's a redundant useless word.

Here’s a helpful slo-mo version.

And here’s a different one easily explainable, but eerie nonetheless. This one was probably intentionally faked by CNN to grab back some of the attention from whatevr channel Larry King appears on, because CNN is waaaaaay behind on most things.

Ver: pedul

Ooooh. I'm not touching that one.

Romulus Crowe said...

Sorry to take so long to reply. I'm fuming at the rain here. It's supposed to be summer!

The 'embossed' application is rubbish. The camera sees with one eye. It does not see 3-D. Embossing is a pretty video trick and nothing more. It proves nothing more than that Photoshop can find edges.

I think it might be a shadow too but it cannot be proved from that video. It can't be disproved either.

If it's a shadow, it could be easily reproduced. That still wouldn't prove the original was a shadow but it would lend weight to the shadow theory.

It's still open in my book but it would take a seriously determined investigator to follow that one up.

Southern Writer said...

What do you mean by "embossed?"

Romulus Crowe said...

It's a trick of paint shop programs that makes the image look as if it was pressed from a 3D mould.

Embossing won't separate that shape from the fireplace behind, whether it's a shadow or a ghost, because the fireplace is visible through the figure. Cameras can't do three dimensional images with a single lens.

That's why I prefer, wherever possible, to have two video cameras recording the same scene from different directions. A shadow on the wall will show up only on one camera whereas a transparent figure passing between them will show on both, and will also allow an estimate of where in the room the figure was.

Once you have a photo or a film, it's two dimensional. You can enhance it to bring out details but there's no way to make it three dimensional again.

It could be a shadow, but no enhancement will prove it.

Unfortunately, no enhancement will prove it's a ghost either.

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