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The Exorcist

Cooper Falling Body photo

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The Exorcist

I don't know if this has been posted on UM before, but if it has, I can't find the post.

Anyway, I'm interested in your views on this photo.

familygathering.jpg

This is what is known about it (+ my opinion in points 3 - 6):

1. The first evidence of this being posted online is from 2009, where it was posted as "Family Gathering" - http://www.ligotti.n...ndex.php?n=2112 - the file name itself is "familywithhangingman".

2. More recently the story of the Cooper (or sometimes Copper) family became associated with it - the story goes that the Cooper family from Texas had just moved into their new home in the 1950s, when the husband took the photo of his wife, children and the granny. After they developed the photo, they saw the figure of a falling man in it (and became scared ****less). Another version goes that an actual body fell when the photo was being taken, but the family realised this only just after the snap was taken.

Now this above story actually became associated with the photo a few years after it was posted in 2009, and was not a story originally tagged to the picture.

The photo really became popular online starting from 2013 - so probably this is when the "story" was fabricated. In reality, we still don't really know anything certain about the image. It might have been a fake created in 2009 (likely), although I think the actual photo (without the man) is genuinely from the 1950/60s - the crockery, curtains and their attire and hairstyles certainly look very 1950ish.

3. Many people mention the fact that the family are not in the centre of the photo, and that there is a convenient "empty space" where the man is shown falling. This by some is seen as evidence for the photo being a fake. However, there isn't actually an empty space - there are candles shown on the table - so the photographer may have been trying to fit those candles in the photo, to show the atmosphere of the room. Or he may have just been a lousy photographer.

4. None of the above points to the image being genuine, nor to it being fake. So this remains to be proven by analysis of the image, etc. What we do know as being likely is that the "story" was made up later, and does not necessarily really have anything to do with the real story of the image.

5. What I find suspicious about the photo is that none of the people seem to notice anything weird - I mean, by the time that the man would have fallen enough of a distance for his whole torso to be visible, somebody would have realised and looked in shock to their top right. So I find it unlikely that something physical actually fell as the body was falling. What is also strange is the location and direction the body is falling from - it seems to be neither falling to behind the table, nor to on the table (the candles are not disturbed), nor to the forefront of the table (it doesn't look like it's close enough to the photographer to fall right in front of him). This leaves the possibility of either a fake, or an apparition showing up after the photo's development.

The vignette of the image has also been said by many to look like it was done with an image-editing programme. Others said it may be genuine.

6. What is that black shape in front of the boy's legs to the left of the table (our right)? It's certainly not the woman's skirt, as it somehow seems to be covering parts of the boy's legs. If you zoom into the photo to a massive degree, you will also notice that most of the this shape remains smooth and does not looks pixelated like the rest of the photo. Can this mean it was added after the photo was taken? But why? What's the point?

Edited by The Exorcist
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The Exorcist

This is the cropped image rotated upside down.

post-91400-0-88656400-1422714913_thumb.j

To me it looks like a man standing, with both hands raised in the air, and his head slightly raise and rotated to his right, while still looking at the camera. I don't know what the white object in the top centre of his shirt is - it looks like a zipper hanging upside down.

Edited by The Exorcist

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Skep B

Regardless, a cool spooky picture.

I'm not a photography guy, but there's enough suspect to the picture to say it's probably not a genuine image.

But like I said, it's a well done spooky image.

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Still Waters

After searching Google -

So, in summary, my best guess is that the photo was created around 2009 as a piece of horror art. But it soon was mistaken for an actual vintage photo, and eventually a fake story involving the "Cooper family of Texas" was invented to provide some creepy contextual details.

http://hoaxes.org/we...ling_body_photo

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The Exorcist

After searching Google -

http://hoaxes.org/we...ling_body_photo

Yes many 'cite' the explanation on that website - but in reality that is just another opinion - the only factual thing there is that it links to the 2009 'original' posting, which is the oldest source we can find. Some have said that they saw the photo a number of years before 2009, with even 2000 being mentioned. Even if it was first posted in 2009, it doesn't necessarily mean it's a fake. I do happen to think it's faked (and very effective), but the evidence for that should not be the hoaxes.org website post, which is just another personal view.

Edited by The Exorcist

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Imaginarynumber1

Ph-ph-ph-photoshop!!!

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Still Waters

but the evidence for that should not be the hoaxes.org website post, which is just another personal view.

I posted that because the article included some information about the picture which I thought you might be interested in, regardless of it being classed as a hoax by them.

Truth is from what I can gather this is a well known picture that nobody has been able to find the original source to, so any opinions can only be guess work and points of view. The article I linked to made some interesting and informative points I thought. Like this for example -

the shadow of the falling body falls the wrong way in relationship to the main light source in the photo. This suggests either that the body has been digitally inserted into the photo, or that it got there as a result of a double exposure.

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Kaikou

Pareidolia!

(Just kidding)

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Podo

Seems likely that it was just made in order to scare people online. I'd never noticed the positioning that OP pointed out, but now that I see it I tend to agree that it is not clear where the body seems to be falling. Photoshop seems the most plausible answer.

Or, it's Slenderman. Either way.

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theotherguy

Falling Dude appears to be in several places at the same time. Enough of his arm overlaps the shadow on the curtain to suggest that he is right next to the curtain. The problem with that is, his torso would be huge compared to the women. The perspective, in my eyes at least, is totally wrong. I suspect the hanging/falling guy was never part of the original scene.

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Junior Chubb

Spooky image TE, I hadn't seen it before so thanks for posting.

Ph-ph-ph-photoshop!!!

Its only Photoshop if it includes a raptor... :tu:

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Imaginarynumber1

Spooky image TE, I hadn't seen it before so thanks for posting.

Its only Photoshop if it includes a raptor... :tu:

That can be arranged.

Damn... I have to get photoshop again....

Edited by Imaginarynumber1
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Crabby Kitten

If it's faked, who did it? The family or photoshop?

If it was family, how come none of them look at the figure? In the 50's people acted more with theatrics, so if they planned to fake a spook picture, they would've put on faked expressions of shock and surprise. If they didn't fake it, the father wanted to take a picture including the nice candles and crockery.

Photoshop made the figure of the hanging man look so blurry and fakes of that would've been making an effort to be clear.

No I don't think it's fake at all.

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theotherguy

If it's faked, who did it? The family or photoshop?

If it was family, how come none of them look at the figure? In the 50's people acted more with theatrics, so if they planned to fake a spook picture, they would've put on faked expressions of shock and surprise. If they didn't fake it, the father wanted to take a picture including the nice candles and crockery.

Photoshop made the figure of the hanging man look so blurry and fakes of that would've been making an effort to be clear.

No I don't think it's fake at all.

I believe it is a 2000's addition to a 1950's photograph. The original shows no shock and surprise because it was a legitimate picture of family at the table. The hanging man is out of focus, whereas everything else is in focus.

The website in the link appears to be a horror art website, not a ghost photography website or something similar.

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Skeptic Chicken

That photo never fails to spook me...

A thought: the second version of the story - about it being a real body - it baffles me. If it fell through the roof, surely someone would have heard a creek/smashing sound (creeking if it was just sitting up there and happened to crash the party, the floor shouldn't soundlessly collapse within an instant; smashing if someone dropped it from a ways up, it's got it's arms down so if it fell through the roof its body must be made of iron).

So if it's real, I don't think it was a real body.

Edited by Skeptic Chicken

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The Exorcist

Just an update on this topic I had posted. In May 2015 this photo was debunked, by none other than one of the people in the photos - one of the little boys, who claimed the whole story of the falling body was fabricated. The post which led to the debunking is here: https://www.metabunk...6/#post-153637. One of the boys in the photos proved he was really who he claimed he was by posting other photos of himself from the time period, which are also displayed on that linked website (see the last post by website owner Mick West at the very bottom of page 1). The whole thing was a fake.

The whole topic contains a lot of info on how the photo might have originated - the first instance of the photo found online through Google has confirmed that he wasn't the creator of the Photoshopped imaged, but there is evidence that someone on Something Awful might have originally made the photoshop.

Edited by The Exorcist
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ShadowSot

Good follow up, thank you.

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Patient Zero

Just an update on this topic I had posted. In May 2015 this photo was debunked, by none other than one of the people in the photos - one of the little boys, who claimed the whole story of the falling body was fabricated. The post which led to the debunking is here: https://www.metabunk...6/#post-153637. One of the boys in the photos proved he was really who he claimed he was by posting other photos of himself from the time period, which are also displayed on that linked website (see the last post by website owner Mick West at the very bottom of page 1). The whole thing was a fake.

The whole topic contains a lot of info on how the photo might have originated - the first instance of the photo found online through Google has confirmed that he wasn't the creator of the Photoshopped imaged, but there is evidence that someone on Something Awful might have originally made the photoshop.

Bravo to you sir for doing the leg work on this one.

Still a cool image. The fabricator(s) at least made it unique.

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McFakename

Photobomb champion of all time

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khazarkhum

The whole topic contains a lot of info on how the photo might have originated - the first instance of the photo found online through Google has confirmed that he wasn't the creator of the Photoshopped imaged, but there is evidence that someone on Something Awful might have originally made the photoshop.

The Something Awful Goons are pretty good at photoshops. They have all kinds of photoshop contests.

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