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Demystifying the "Ghost Orb"

orb ghost paranormal evidence dust

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#1    ColoradoParanormal

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Posted 15 May 2013 - 05:37 AM

Hey all, it's been a while since I've actually started a topic, but the subject of which I'm about to discuss seems to be running more and more rampant as time progresses and with an unfortunate outcome. I had written and authored this exact topic in the past only to have it closed by the Mods for unknown reasons. So, i'm going to come at this from a different angle and with the hopes of actually receiving some great discussion and education!

Demystifying the "Ghost Orb"

I've discussed this at great lengths and more times than I actually would like to admit in the hundreds upon hundreds of threads regarding the "evidence" people gather during their "investigations" showing orbs all over the images/video. I am not here to decide whether or not Orbs are real. What I am trying to convey is, from a scientific methodolgy for investigation, Orbs simply and factually cannot be considered as evidence of the Paranormal. (MODS: As I said, I'm not debating if Orbs are real or not, I'm explaining why they are not viable evidence for the paranormal.)

The first reason is simple:
Due to the over abundance of variables that can create orbs in photographs/video's.
For Example:
  - Dust
  - Moisture
  - Hair
  - Other Particulates

All of the above mentioned will create what seem to be "Orbs" in your medium of capture. (video/pictures) Common arguments of particulates being orbs is their "flight" paths. I have heard 'investigators,' the most famous being the Ghost Adventures crew, state that because their orb seems to fly on it's own path, up - down - sideways - and in strange formations that it simply "cannot be dust" because the "laws of gravity state that the dust must fall downwards."

Anyone whom has an IQ higher than 30 would know this to be a falacy! What you need to understand is that the particulates your camera is picking up are so light in weight that the slightest draft of air from anywhere, even a subtle breath, moving your arms/legs, would cause these particulates to fly in irregular patterns, even against gravity! :w00t:

Second:
If you truly are a scientific based investigation group, then you have scientific method you MUST follow. For a refresher this Scientific Method is "To be termed scientific, a method of inquiry must be based on empirical and measurable evidence subject to specific principles of reasoning." If you're investigating the paranormal to gather actual, factual evidence that will hold up to main stream science (and all investigation groups SHOULD seek to do so) then you MUST follow the Scientifc Methodology for Evidential Gathering.

This creates a major conflict with the use of "Orbs" as evidence. Due to the LARGE amount of variables that can create an "orb" (as mentioned in #1) you simply cannot create a base line to test against.

The only way to accomplish a true investigation of whether you are receiving actual "Ghost Orbs" would be to create a complete 'Particulate Free' environment. This would entail setting up a clean room style area in your location of which there is absolutely NO particulate possibilities to contaminate your research. Think Big White Vacuum Airlocked room where to enter you have to get into a space type suit that has to be decontaminated before entering the clean zone. Then this room also could have absolutely NO air movement as this could create the possibility of a Particulate moving "on it's own."

I'm going to stop here as I feel I've given enough information for the start of this topic. I will continue to add more reasoning as the topic grows. I hope you see and understand simply why Orbs are not viable candidates to be counted as "evidence" of the Paranormal.

The biggest issue with Orbs and the proclamation of them being "Evidence of the Paranormal" is the DEGRADATION this causes for field of Scientifc Paranormal Research. As I said, I'm not debating if Orbs are Real or Not, what I'm trying to get across, educate the masses and really hoping to accomplish, is that proclaiming Orbs in their pictures/videos as evidence really hurts this field. I've given hard facts as to why we cannot call them evidence, but I'm also conveying that when a group does this they are actually hurting the entire field of Paranormal Research and degrading the credibility of the Paranormal Research Groups whom actually follow the Scientifc Method and are trying to bring this field into the mainstream and bring credibility to the field.

Thanks everyone! :tu:


#2    Godofcats

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Posted 16 May 2013 - 12:32 AM

Nice breakdown of orbs. I'm not a fan of orbs either there's just little to no evidence that paranormal investigators bring that would suggest ghost are to blame. The ball of energy idea is laughable


#3    Inn Spectre

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Posted 16 May 2013 - 03:34 AM

Airborne particles very close to the camera lens reflecting the light from the flash or the illuminator.
Any such body will be so out-of-focus that its image will be circular.
Shield the area near the lens from the flash and you should eliminate the effect.


#4    ColoradoParanormal

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Posted 16 May 2013 - 04:49 AM

View PostGodofcats, on 16 May 2013 - 12:32 AM, said:

Nice breakdown of orbs. I'm not a fan of orbs either there's just little to no evidence that paranormal investigators bring that would suggest ghost are to blame. The ball of energy idea is laughable

Yes, and something that is telling about where the "General frame of mind" is for this community on orbs is the fact nobody wants to post here. I can't tell you how many posts I've seen of Orbs on these pages, and when anyone, not just me, posts factual information showing the issues with Orbs, they simply are ignored and/or told they're wrong.

I guess I will NEVER understand how people can be so ignorant to factual information and to receive education. Instead, people would rather scream at the top of their lungs that the "Grass Fairy from the 8th realm was in their bedroom last night and levitated all the furniture in their bedrooms!" Over actually educating themselves and realizing that they are hurting the field of Paranormal Investigation and simply are revealing their little to no knowledge of the field they believe they are "experts" in. lol


#5    JesseCuster

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Posted 16 May 2013 - 04:52 PM

I don't understand the "90% of the pictures you see of orbs can be explained by dust but the other 10% can't be explained naturally!" (insert your own made-up percentages as you see fit) claims.  What photos of orbs can't be explained and why can't they be explained?

Another common theme is people getting an explanation about how cameras create orbs via dust and other particles in pictures and then go on to declare how it doesn't explain their case because they took the photo in a place with no dust.  Unless you're taking photos somewhere like a scientific cleanroom, then there's dust and other particles in the air no matter how fastidious you are at cleaning your home.

"The first principle is that you must not fool yourself and you are the easiest person to fool." - Richard P. Feynman

#6    ColoradoParanormal

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Posted 16 May 2013 - 06:42 PM

View PostArchimedes, on 16 May 2013 - 04:52 PM, said:

I don't understand the "90% of the pictures you see of orbs can be explained by dust but the other 10% can't be explained naturally!" (insert your own made-up percentages as you see fit) claims.  What photos of orbs can't be explained and why can't they be explained?

Another common theme is people getting an explanation about how cameras create orbs via dust and other particles in pictures and then go on to declare how it doesn't explain their case because they took the photo in a place with no dust.  Unless you're taking photos somewhere like a scientific cleanroom, then there's dust and other particles in the air no matter how fastidious you are at cleaning your home.

Are you saying that I've made the claim of 90% and 10%? Because if so, I have to tell you I've NEVER said that, nor do I believe in Orbs in the first place. That wasn't the reason for this though, it was simply to explain why, whether you believe in Orbs or Not, they cannot be used as "evidence."  Please clarify as I'm confused lol A lot of what you said is what my Original Post said.


#7    Child of Bast

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Posted 16 May 2013 - 07:06 PM

Archimedes' statement seems pretty clear to me. There aren't just die-hard believers-of-orbs here. There are some who want to make it seem as though they are straddling the fence and will say: "90% of the pictures you see of orbs can be explained by dust but the other 10% can't be explained naturally". You can change the 90/10% ratios to fit each person's version of the argument and he doesn't understand why there are fence straddlers. He wants to know what it is about that 10% (or whatever percentage) that cannot be explained and why.

For me the paranormal is like politics and religion: the beliefs are so extreme as to put me off any discussion. Despite this I have a paranormal blog that I maintain with three other friends whose views I mostly share. Why? I don't know. I haven't figured that out yet.


Edited by Kasey2601, 16 May 2013 - 07:06 PM.

'A phantom,' said my Uncle Mycroft, who had just materialised, 'is essentially a heteromorphic wave pattern that gains solidity when the apparition converts thermal energy from the surroundings to visible light. It's a fascinating process and I'm amazed no one has thought of harnessing it - a holographic TV that could operate from the heat given off by an average-size guinea pig.' ~ First Among Sequels, Jasper Fforde

#8    JesseCuster

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Posted 16 May 2013 - 11:14 PM

View PostColoradoParanormal, on 16 May 2013 - 06:42 PM, said:

Are you saying that I've made the claim of 90% and 10%? Because if so, I have to tell you I've NEVER said that, nor do I believe in Orbs in the first place. That wasn't the reason for this though, it was simply to explain why, whether you believe in Orbs or Not, they cannot be used as "evidence."  Please clarify as I'm confused lol A lot of what you said is what my Original Post said.
I'm agreeing with your OP, just adding my own random thoughts on the subject. It's others on this forum who have spouted the 90%/10% nonsense.  We're in agreement on the subject of orbs as evidence of ghosts or other paranormal explanations.  Apologies if it sounded otherwise.

Edited by Archimedes, 16 May 2013 - 11:16 PM.

"The first principle is that you must not fool yourself and you are the easiest person to fool." - Richard P. Feynman





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