Thursday, April 29, 2010

Orbs, A Definitive Answer?

We all know the various camps surrounding orb phenomena in photos. One point of view believes that orbs are the physical manifestation of spirit. Another believes them to be a naturally occurring phenomena that can or cannot be seen with the naked eye. Still others ascribe orbs to being merely particulate matter in the air too close to the camera when a photo is taken and the flash causes this photographic anomaly. Wherever you sit in the debate, it has always been my belief that until we can definitively rule something out as not being significant to our work, we should keep an open mind about it. You should never throw out anything that might be evidence, that is just good investigative procedure. But now, we have a small body of work that might bring the controversy to an end once and for all.
Steve Parsons of ParaScience has conducted his own experiment on orbs using a 3D camera. Admittedly, Steve is no fan of orbs and we cannot be sure of the method he used in his experiment but as with all things, until we can determine his method, we can at least look at his work and examine its validity in the debate. Using a Fuji W1 3D camera, Steve took 1,870 pairs of images. Of those, 630 pairs had orbs in them. Of the 630 stereo orb photos, 491 photos had orbs in either the right or left image but not both while 139 images contained orbs in both photos but not in the same position. What does that tell us? Well if we examine the evidence as presented, it would indicate that orbs ARE NOT naturally occurring nor are they proof of a physical manifestation of spirit.
Throw into the mix the recent investigation of Poveglia Island in Italy by the guys from Ghost Adventures. Immediately, some might dismiss the work of Zak, Aaron and Nick as the worst kind of tripe and made for t.v. garbage. But let's not be so hasty. In their investigation of the grounds on Poveglia, Zak reportedly got a measurement on an orb that was seen by the crew. If this was in fact the case, this whole debate might just have become even more murky and hard to decipher than before. Then too is the case of a woman here in the United States who actually witnessed orbs going through a screen door of her home. When the screen was removed and sent in for a metallurgic analysis, it was found that the composition of the metal in the screen had somehow been changed and that there was a slight trace of minuscule radiation to the sample.
Then too is the case where one investigation group reportedly was able to create orbs in a test experiment and related the creation to an energy source and its interaction with plasma in the atmosphere at the time of the orb creation.
Whatever the case may be, dust, real or something we can't just understand at this point in our knowledge of the world around us, we owe it to ourselves and to the field of paranormal investigation and anomalous research to not dismiss something out of hand and to not support something as fact when there simply isn't enough evidence to support that contention. We need to, in my opinion, keep the file open on orbs until we have a definitive, concrete and well documented body of evidence that will answer the question once and for all. If we throw them out as being non essential, we may well have to do what science has always done and that is to go back, re-examine the data and reverse our position. We might do well to consider an old maxim used by carpenters in this debate. Measure twice and cut once.

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