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Orbs & Paranormal Activity
The term 'orb' as used in this context describes a spherical shaped image of light or plasma that
varies in size and mass. Orbs are commonly identified in photographs and can appear in various
environmental conditions including daylight. There is the belief that orbs are naturally occurring
plasma phenomena that become photographable when exposed to a large number of photons
(light) such as from a camera flash.
In the paranormal community one theory regarding an orb is that it is energy being transferred
from some nearby source (heat energy, power lines, batteries, person, etc.) so that an entity
can manifest itself in the form of a sphere or ball. The shape of a sphere or ball is governed by
the laws of physics and may not be an intentional result of a manifestation. However, if energy
can be captured by means of a digital picture it is the belief that it would more likely appear solid
and seem to emit inward out in intensity.
The are many plausible explanations for images of orbs. Some of which are listed below:
- Lens flare or other camera anomaly.
- Pollen, dust particles, or debris in the air.
- Light reflections or light artifacts.
- Insects or bugs.
- Moisture in the air (especially humidity which is not visible to the unaided eye). If a picture is
taken outside and it contains multiple orbs chances are they are not orbs at all but moisture in
the air represented as humidity.
Picture of orbs outside? Conventional wisdom
would seem to point to moisture in the air (humidity).
- Care should also be taken when reviewing a digital image so as not to interpret the placement
of an 'orb' three dimensionally in a two dimension medium. An 'orb' that may appear on or near a
subject in the digital picture may actually be a reflection showing up on the camera lens.
With this said it is apparent that many (if not most) of the images that appear to contain orbs
are nothing more than the result of natural occurrences. However this does not discount totally
the potential relationship between a true orb and possible paranormal activity. In situations
where paranormal activity is suspected it is important to see the existence of an orb as one leg
of a three legged stool. By itself it cannot support the existence of paranormal activity. But if
other factors such as collaborating evidence and personal experiences exist in conjunction with
the orb presence, there may be enough conditions present to support a paranormal conclusion.
Old Town Paranormal Investigations will present images of orbs only in conjunction with other
possible evidence. Examination of potential orb images include enhancing their size to determine
mass & transparency, comparing before and after photographs in which an orb is present,
determining the orb location/quadrant position in sequential photographs, and determining the
existence of other contributing factors or environmental conditions contained in a photograph.
We also employ a technique where a negative version of the digital image is made. The negative
version of the image causes surfaces that reflect light to appear as black areas in the digital
photograph. This allows the evidence analyst to determine if the 'orb' is actually a light
reflection or artifact.
The procedures and techniques referenced are those that have been proven to work for
Old Town Paranormal Investigations. They are provided as a guide only and should not be
inferred as the only protocol possible. We believe that you may be able to use what has
been presented when determining what works for your own research and investigations.
Normal digital photograph taken with a flash
Same digital photograph converted to a
negative image. Notice how the areas that
reflect light show up darker or even black.