Thursday, May 29, 2008


I love the movie Ghostbusters. I was a junior in high school and it was the fun summer movie of 1984. It has some of my all time favorite movie lines in it. If I could pick a character to play in the movie, I would have been Dr. Peter Venkman. A smart alec that tosses around zingers...

Once, when I was about 7, I slept over at a friend's house and I swear to this day, I heard a ghost. There were only three of us in the house at the time and my friend's grandmother had died there a few months before. My friend and his older sister told me they had a ghost, but I didn't believe them. The house was old and it was the kind of house where you could always hear where everyone was when they moved. We went to bed, and in the attic above us, we heard something being slowly dragged across the floor. It completely freaked me out. I know, I was young and probably very easily fooled, but at the time I was terrified, and I have never forgotten that night.

As I have aged, I have become much more skeptical. I want real scientific evidence about anything that is out of the ordinary. Aliens, ghosts, and cryptozoological specimens all interest me, but I can't help wondering about the motives of people involved in extraordinary claims and can not provide any real evidence.

On the other side of that, I believe it is terribly important to have an open mind at all times. I know there are things we don't understand and maybe never will. I like life being mysterious and full of surprises.

However, the combination ideas can leave me confused.

A couple of weeks ago I went camping with my son. We did many of the normal boy scout camping things, one of which was to take a hike. The difference between me and the other hikers was that I was carrying a GPS that I was playing with, a digital camera, and my cell phone that does a little of everything (like post a continuous stream of Twitter updates). As we were walking along a small lake I decided to quickly whip out my camera and take a photo. This is always hard when the group keeps moving and yells for you to keep up, but it is even more difficult when you are juggling three different breakable electronic gadgets while stumbling along a path.

So at this one spot I felt moved to take a picture. I could barely make out the picture in the viewfinder because of the light, and I thought I better take a couple of more if my camera could hurry up and do its job. This is the first shot-

Here is a larger version. Flickr Photo. If you look at the largest view you can clearly see two fuzzy, translucent circles. The larger of the two circles looks like it is glowing.

This is the second picture in the series. Same spot just seconds later.

And a larger version of the second picture. Flickr Photo.

This is the third picture. Same spot.

And a larger version of the third picture. Flickr Photo.

All three pictures were taken in less than 1 minute on auto setting, by an HP Photosmart R927 camera. I have taken tens of thousands of digital pictures (most of them terrible shots- I am not a professional photographer) and I have never taken a picture with the effect seen in picture number one.
I do have Photoshop, and I do know how to use it, but these pictures have not been altered. I didn't even download them until a week after the trip was over.

So, what are the two glowing things in the first picture? The Ghost Hunters might say they were orbs. Skeptics would say it was just a messed up picture. What do you think?

All I really wanted was a picture of bigfoot.

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