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orbs, are they dust motes or ghosts?


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#31 Grim Undertakings

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Posted 27 March 2006 - 07:56 PM




Sorry. I was just being sceptical. Is this not the right forum for it?



Stating that we are all here to sell Jeff's books is not exactly what this particular forum in Ghostvillage was set up for.

While you are certainly welcome to express a skeptical point of view regarding any paranormal phenomena, from pictures, to encounters, to whatever, and you are certainly welcome to engage in a debate in a mature and intelligent manner, and welcome to express doubts and/or share a personal theory or a theory that makes sense to you, making little digs is just not nice at all and is totally uncalled for.

So let's all play nice, shall we?

Back to the discussion at hand. That being, what are we to make of orbs that cannot be attributed to dust, pollen, floating hairs, moisture, etc, etc.

OK.

What orbs? What phenomena?

What body of evidence is there to suggest that this was a common phenomena 10 or 20 years ago?

It seems to me that it's sprung up recently, and in tandem with lots of people with cameras. Rather than being something that only now can be recorded, it appears to be something that is recorded, by cameras.

I'm not a young man and I live in a densely populated country that has been so for a thousand years or so, never, until coming here, had I heard of orbs. Ghost stories we have a plenty, but not orbs. Will 'o' the Wisps perhaps but not commonly sighted and mostly associated with marshes.



"Orb" is just a new name for them. They are thought to be the same as "Will-'o-the-wisps", etc. As for them being caught on film and video, very few appear to be genuine. Photography and videography has moved foreward in the past 20 years so maybe our equipment is better at catching them. They're are also lots of people who have recounted seeing them with the naked eye, too.
And just because you haven't heard of something, that doesn't mean that they don't exist. They're lots of things I've probably never heard of that exist.

Okay this sounds like a good question...When did orbs first come into play for ghost hunters? Now what I mean by that is who first called them orbs and have they always appeared this way? In the very early days of ghost hunting such as all the "famous" pictures of ghosts have they ever showed anything with bright circles in the pictures? Maybe years ago they felt the same way about orbs in pictures and dismissed them just as most skeptics feel they are nothing special. I myself don't think they are but I do agree with Grim we can't dismiss them entirely until we do know for sure what they are. If that day ever comes that is.


This was already discussed in an earlier thread. As soon as I figure out how to link the thread here I will. Unless one of you great moderators can help me out! :angry:

#32 Ruf

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Posted 27 March 2006 - 08:03 PM

"Orb" is just a new name for them. They are thought to be the same as "Will-'o-the-wisps", etc. As for them being caught on film and video, very few appear to be genuine. Photography and videography has moved foreward in the past 20 years so maybe our equipment is better at catching them. They're are also lots of people who have recounted seeing them with the naked eye, too.
And just because you haven't heard of something, that doesn't mean that they don't exist. They're lots of things I've probably never heard of that exist.

Dear Grim,

Where are these naked eye accounts? I know what you're saying about things you've never heard of existing, but I think it's valid to ask why it appears that this phenomenon seems so recent. I think it's reasonable to expect that, given the number of sightings there seems to be on here, I would have at least heard of it before now. For an outsider these sightings seem to be:

- Technology specific
- Geographically specific
- Chronologically specific

That, as a sceptic, makes me very suspicious.

#33 Vampchick21

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Posted 27 March 2006 - 08:13 PM

I myself have heard of people seeing something that they would describe as orbs or flashing lights to which they cannot attribute to a natural cause. It comes up in several personal encounters. You just have to actually READ them to find them. :ghost:

Technology specific, I can see the point in casting doubt there, since as has been pointed out, many orbs are as simple as dust motes, insects or water droplets, and can be shown as such under scrutiny. Any proper investigator will tell you that. Most of them are easy to figure out, especially if you've spent a great deal of time studying these kinds of pictures. The question comes in when even a photographic expert will look and shrug their shoulders.

However, I do fail to see why a sighting that is geographically specific would cause doubt. Could you expand on that? Are you refering to a location with a known haunting (such as, say.....the Tower of London off the top of my head) or are you refering to something else altogether? ANd if you are refering to a location that has a history of haunting, why therefore is that suspicious? Do you mean with regards to power of suggestion, as in, X number of people have seen something, so I should too?

And honestly, I haven't a clue as to what you mean by Chronologically specific. Does not compute.

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#34 Grim Undertakings

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Posted 27 March 2006 - 08:21 PM

And you are welcome to your suspicion. I suspected, after my post, that you would respond with "Give me proof!!".
Since I'm not offering you my thesis for my doctorate, nor am I trying to prove anything (personally, I don't care if you believe in ghosts or not) I'm not going to going meandering all over the internet looking for "naked eye orb accounts".
If you want to though, that's cool.

Oh look, a spelling mistake. The second "going" is supposed to be "go".

#35 Ruf

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Posted 27 March 2006 - 08:29 PM

I myself have heard of people seeing something that they would describe as orbs or flashing lights to which they cannot attribute to a natural cause. It comes up in several personal encounters. You just have to actually READ them to find them. :ghost:

Technology specific, I can see the point in casting doubt there, since as has been pointed out, many orbs are as simple as dust motes, insects or water droplets, and can be shown as such under scrutiny. Any proper investigator will tell you that. Most of them are easy to figure out, especially if you've spent a great deal of time studying these kinds of pictures. The question comes in when even a photographic expert will look and shrug their shoulders.

However, I do fail to see why a sighting that is geographically specific would cause doubt. Could you expand on that? Are you refering to a location with a known haunting (such as, say.....the Tower of London off the top of my head) or are you refering to something else altogether? ANd if you are refering to a location that has a history of haunting, why therefore is that suspicious? Do you mean with regards to power of suggestion, as in, X number of people have seen something, so I should too?

And honestly, I haven't a clue as to what you mean by Chronologically specific. Does not compute.

Dear Vampchick,

When you say 'read' do you mean on here? I was thinking of something rather more credible and, yes, less recent, which is partly what I mean by 'chronologically specific'.

Photographic experts will of course occasionally shrug their shoulders. There are marks on my rug I can't explain, but their inexplicability is not necessarily cause to look for a paranormal explanantion.

By geographically specific I mean: in the location of the majority of your members. ie. the USA.

By chronologically specific I mean in the last 10-20 years, as earlier specified. There are plenty of locations here with a history of hauntings, but no orbs.

When you add them all together it's my feeling that what you have here is a technology influenced phenomena which is firing the imaginations of a localised group of people at a specific time.

And you are welcome to your suspicion. I suspected, after my post, that you would respond with "Give me proof!!".
Since I'm not offering you my thesis for my doctorate, nor am I trying to prove anything (personally, I don't care if you believe in ghosts or not) I'm not going to going meandering all over the internet looking for "naked eye orb accounts".
If you want to though, that's cool.

Oh look, a spelling mistake. The second "going" is supposed to be "go".

I'm not asking for proof. Just evidence that this was a common phenomenon before photography.

If you're not prepared to try and discuss this in the sceptics forum then I'm not really sure why you're here.

*goes off to google for orbs*

#36 Grim Undertakings

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Posted 27 March 2006 - 08:31 PM

I responded to your post regarding chronology earlier in this thread. You've never heard of orbs, and you seem to only think that people in the USA are aware of them. Did you research anything about ghosts before you came here? That's not a dig, I'm just curious. Orbs and other ghostly phenomena is a world wide phenomena.
And why would spots on a carpet be paranormal? I, personally, would never claim that. I don't know many who would.

#37 Ruf

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Posted 27 March 2006 - 08:37 PM

I responded to your post regarding chronology earlier in this thread. You've never heard of orbs, and you seem to only think that people in the USA are aware of them. Did you research anything about ghosts before you came here? That's not a dig, I'm just curious. Orbs and other ghostly phenomena is a world wide phenomena.
And why would spots on a carpet be paranormal? I, personally, would never claim that. I don't know many who would.

Of course. You might think it's a worldwide phenomena, but 99% of the 'evidence' seems to be coming from one place and I can't find much to support it being common until recently.

Obviously the spots on my carpet aren't paranormal. The point I was trying to make is that not knowing where something has come from is a poor excuse for deciding it's paranormal.

#38 Vampchick21

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Posted 27 March 2006 - 08:41 PM

When you say 'read' do you mean on here? I was thinking of something rather more credible and, yes, less recent, which is partly what I mean by 'chronologically specific'.


No. I was referring to personal encounters that you can read anywhere. Books for example. Although I perosnally think that several of the encounters by members of GV to be just as valid as those recorded in books.

Photographic experts will of course occasionally shrug their shoulders. There are marks on my rug I can't explain, but their inexplicability is not necessarily cause to look for a paranormal explanantion.

Apples and oranges. A mark on your rug is so very different that I'm afraid you'll have to use another example to make your point.

By geographically specific I mean: in the location of the majority of your members. ie. the USA.


So.....therefore....us North Americans are to be doubted as opposed to Europeans? Pray tell us why?

By chronologically specific I mean in the last 10-20 years, as earlier specified. There are plenty of locations here with a history of hauntings, but no orbs.

So...therefore, someone visually sighting an orb yesterday is to be doubted automatically? And can you show me each and every single haunting tale from England (as I understand that's where you are located) has absolutely NO visual sightings of orbs or flashing lights in the locations that have a long history of haunting? I do have several books on hauntings in England, Scotland, Wales and Ireland, it's just a matter of my re-reading them for a few days you know.

When you add them all together it's my feeling that what you have here is a technology influenced phenomena which is firing the imaginations of a localised group of people at a specific time.


Again, therefore, in your mind, someone in New York State sighting orbs or flashing lights on a civil war battlefield is to be automatically doubted?

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#39 Grim Undertakings

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Posted 27 March 2006 - 08:47 PM

[quote name='Grim Undertakings' post='309209' date='Mar 28 2006, 02:21 AM']And you are welcome to your suspicion. I suspected, after my post, that you would respond with "Give me proof!!".
Since I'm not offering you my thesis for my doctorate, nor am I trying to prove anything (personally, I don't care if you believe in ghosts or not) I'm not going to going meandering all over the internet looking for "naked eye orb accounts".
If you want to though, that's cool.

Oh look, a spelling mistake. The second "going" is supposed to be "go".[/quote]
I'm not asking for proof. Just evidence that this was a common phenomenon before photography.

If you're not prepared to try and discuss this in the sceptics forum then I'm not really sure why you're here.

*goes off to google for orbs*
[/quote]

I know you're not asking for proof, because from reading some of your other posts, I think you've already made up your mind. That makes it hard to discuss something. I find it usually turns into arguing. If I wanted to argue (which I don't) I'd go to "Arguevillage". There's things I don't believe in, like vampires for example. That's why I'm not at "Vampirevillage". There are also things I do believe in, like moss for example, but I'm not interested in discussing it. This is why I'm not at "Mossvillage".
Like I said, if you don't believe in ghosts and the possibility that some orbs might be related to them, that's okay with me. I've done enough research in the past for years (solely on ghosts because that is the only paranormal topic that interests me) to know that there is something strange going on regarding these "orbs".
My apologies, Ruf, for the sarcasm. It was not my intention to sound disrespectful. :ghost:

#40 seakla

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Posted 27 March 2006 - 08:52 PM

I personally do not believe in orbs at all, I think they are moisture, dust, reflections or bugs. The reason I feel this is that if they were real, why do we only see them in the camera? Why don't we see orbs revolving around? I have heard of balls of light but these are not the same as orbs. If we don't see them with the naked eye and only on camera it stands to reason that is because the camerea flash reflects on the whatever and creates the orb effect. Someone might say that this logic doesn't make sense because we don't always see spirits and they show up on camera, but hte point is that there are eye-witness accounts of people seeing spirits with the naked eye, but not orbs.

I personally get super-disappointed when I click on a spirit photo and it is just a photo of an orb.
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#41 Grim Undertakings

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Posted 27 March 2006 - 08:54 PM


I responded to your post regarding chronology earlier in this thread. You've never heard of orbs, and you seem to only think that people in the USA are aware of them. Did you research anything about ghosts before you came here? That's not a dig, I'm just curious. Orbs and other ghostly phenomena is a world wide phenomena.
And why would spots on a carpet be paranormal? I, personally, would never claim that. I don't know many who would.

Of course. You might think it's a worldwide phenomena, but 99% of the 'evidence' seems to be coming from one place and I can't find much to support it being common until recently.

Obviously the spots on my carpet aren't paranormal. The point I was trying to make is that not knowing where something has come from is a poor excuse for deciding it's paranormal.


Paranormal is a word that encompasses many things strange. I'm only interested in ghosts so I don't use the word alot. People have mentioned in the past, that if one believes in ghosts, then one must believe in everything unexplained. I would never think a spot on a carpet, or something else strange, must be a ghost. That would just be silly.

#42 Ruf

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Posted 27 March 2006 - 08:59 PM


When you say 'read' do you mean on here? I was thinking of something rather more credible and, yes, less recent, which is partly what I mean by 'chronologically specific'.


No. I was referring to personal encounters that you can read anywhere. Books for example. Although I perosnally think that several of the encounters by members of GV to be just as valid as those recorded in books.

Photographic experts will of course occasionally shrug their shoulders. There are marks on my rug I can't explain, but their inexplicability is not necessarily cause to look for a paranormal explanantion.

Apples and oranges. A mark on your rug is so very different that I'm afraid you'll have to use another example to make your point.

By geographically specific I mean: in the location of the majority of your members. ie. the USA.


So.....therefore....us North Americans are to be doubted as opposed to Europeans? Pray tell us why?

By chronologically specific I mean in the last 10-20 years, as earlier specified. There are plenty of locations here with a history of hauntings, but no orbs.

So...therefore, someone visually sighting an orb yesterday is to be doubted automatically? And can you show me each and every single haunting tale from England (as I understand that's where you are located) has absolutely NO visual sightings of orbs or flashing lights in the locations that have a long history of haunting? I do have several books on hauntings in England, Scotland, Wales and Ireland, it's just a matter of my re-reading them for a few days you know.

When you add them all together it's my feeling that what you have here is a technology influenced phenomena which is firing the imaginations of a localised group of people at a specific time.


Again, therefore, in your mind, someone in New York State sighting orbs or flashing lights on a civil war battlefield is to be automatically doubted?

I think you have the wrong end of the stick. It's not where it is that matters, just that it's fairly specific to one place, a particular mindset if you will.

And, yes, each of your objections to each individual point has a certain validity, but it's them in combination that draws me to my opinion.

A culture with lots of spare time, with enough people that are interested in the paranormal, that have access to a technology that produces visual anomalies, suddenly seem to be producing tons of 'evidence' of paranormal activity. Do you understand my scepticism?

By way of a postscript; I do not wish to cast aspersions on the personal testimony of your GV members. I'd just like to see more evidence that this isn't a fairly recent thing. Get your books out love. Given the number of orb sightings on here as opposed to just plain ole ghosts I'd expect you to be able to overwhelm me with accounts from the last thousand years or so.


I know you're not asking for proof, because from reading some of your other posts, I think you've already made up your mind. That makes it hard to discuss something. I find it usually turns into arguing. If I wanted to argue (which I don't) I'd go to "Arguevillage". There's things I don't believe in, like vampires for example. That's why I'm not at "Vampirevillage". There are also things I do believe in, like moss for example, but I'm not interested in discussing it. This is why I'm not at "Mossvillage".
Like I said, if you don't believe in ghosts and the possibility that some orbs might be related to them, that's okay with me. I've done enough research in the past for years (solely on ghosts because that is the only paranormal topic that interests me) to know that there is something strange going on regarding these "orbs".
My apologies, Ruf, for the sarcasm. It was not my intention to sound disrespectful. :ghost:

Don't apologise mate. I don't mind a bit of sarcasm.

Allow me to voice a sceptical view in the sceptics forum though. From where I sit it feels like everyone else has made their mind up too.

#43 Vampchick21

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Posted 27 March 2006 - 09:13 PM

First off, since you have a membership here, then you too, are a Ghostvillager, however much that drives you mad. Just a technical fact is all, thought I'd point it out to you.

Second, it's highly insulting and unfair, the manner in which you lump North Americans together, and then hold up Europeans as somehow 'superior' insofar as paranormal belief systems and/or tales go. It does not consititute any proof at all for your points, merely illustrates a strange prejudice you have against Canada and the United States. Besides, it's Living TV that came up with Dead Famous and Most Haunted and Derek Acorah's Ghost Towns. Check your listings, that's all in your neck of the woods (as much as I love being entertained by two of those shows), therefore the UK is in just as deep.

Your scepticism seems far more to me like a thing against anything North American as opposed to a genuine effort to get to the bottom of reported paranormal phenomena. A true sceptic asks questions specific to the suspected evidence from an individual case set before them, going case by case, evidence by evidence, rather than shouting down anything and everything, or making it regional/cultural specific. Therefore you would be going picture by picture, video footage by video footage, ruling out dust, snow, moisture, animal hair, insects, etc, etc. Sifting through the chaft to get to the wheat.

As for my reading, well, if you are content to sit back and wait while I go through nearly 100 books total with paranormal subject matter page by page and making notes .....works for me.

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#44 Ruf

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Posted 27 March 2006 - 09:33 PM

First off, since you have a membership here, then you too, are a Ghostvillager, however much that drives you mad. Just a technical fact is all, thought I'd point it out to you.

Second, it's highly insulting and unfair, the manner in which you lump North Americans together, and then hold up Europeans as somehow 'superior' insofar as paranormal belief systems and/or tales go. It does not consititute any proof at all for your points, merely illustrates a strange prejudice you have against Canada and the United States. Besides, it's Living TV that came up with Dead Famous and Most Haunted and Derek Acorah's Ghost Towns. Check your listings, that's all in your neck of the woods (as much as I love being entertained by two of those shows), therefore the UK is in just as deep.

Your scepticism seems far more to me like a thing against anything North American as opposed to a genuine effort to get to the bottom of reported paranormal phenomena. A true sceptic asks questions specific to the suspected evidence from an individual case set before them, going case by case, evidence by evidence, rather than shouting down anything and everything, or making it regional/cultural specific. Therefore you would be going picture by picture, video footage by video footage, ruling out dust, snow, moisture, animal hair, insects, etc, etc. Sifting through the chaft to get to the wheat.

As for my reading, well, if you are content to sit back and wait while I go through nearly 100 books total with paranormal subject matter page by page and making notes .....works for me.

Proof? I don't have any proof. Of course I don't, I'm the sceptic here. And, ironically, my approach is no different to yours, aside from the fact that you like to sift through some of the evidence and discard most of it when it suits you.

Your points make no sense. This is a general thread about orbs, the approach has to be generic, there is a mound of 'evidence' out there, this is not the place to sift all of it. The discusson is general and we are discussing it on that level.

I wish you'd try and answer any of my points rather than deciding I have some kind of axe to grind against North America.

The programmes you mention are considered the lowest of the dross here and are made for about 10p for the gullible.

To reiterate my point is: this phenomenon of orbs has boomed with a willing audience and a technology that produces 'odd' results. The focus of this 'orb' activity seems to be fairly localised and it seems coincidentally recent.

#45 Vampchick21

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Posted 27 March 2006 - 09:56 PM

I did address each and every one of your points. And since you are challenging believers, it's generally recommended that you have your own proof that backs up your points. Stating that your sceptical because it seems to mostly come out of North America isn't that. It's demonstrating an axe to grind with at least two nations that really has no place in this forum.

And my points do indeed make sense when one takes them in the context they come in, mainly, in response to your own points, which honestly wandered way off the topic of orbs in photographs and became an 'I doubt most of it because it comes out of the US'. Reread your own posts and you will see that.

And the programs I mention, while highly entertaining, were only mentioned simply because you seemed to think that that sort of thing only came out of North America.


Since you now seem to have geared yourself up for a ridiculous arguement, I'll just wander off and find something more productive and engaging.

<washes hands>

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