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From the Editor
Apparitions at Fort Fairfield Middle/High School Gym?
By: David Deschesne
Editor/Publisher, Fort Fairfield Journal
February 5, 2014
Last June I attended the Fort Fairfield Junior/Senior prom to take pictures for this newspaper.
The photo at left was published on the front page of the subsequent
issue of Fort Fairfield Journal. I
didn’t notice the purported “apparitions” in the photo until a few days
after the paper went out. Let me
help you with more data on the pictures, and photography process in general so
you can better understand what it is you’re seeing here.
I can assure you I have employed no camera tricks or “photoshop”
here. I have other things to do
with my limited time.
A note about my camera. I
do not use a cheap, department store camera.
I use a digital Nikon D300 with a Nikon lens.
For those of you who know photography equipment, you will know that is
a fairly decent, upper-end camera. For
those of you who don’t, let’s just say it is a Cadillac in the camera
world. As you can see above, it
takes excellent low-light pictures without a flash, with very little pixel
Here are the specs on the picture, for those who understand
Date: June 7, 2013 8:38 p.m.
Dimensions (pixels): 3635x2588
Resolution: 300 dpi
Bit depth: 24
Exposure time: 1/3 second
ISO speed: ISO 6400
Exposure bias: +1.7
Focal length: 18mm
Flash mode: No Flash
I used a very sensitive 6400 ISO, with a fairly long shutter speed in
order to get the picture exposed as well as it was without a flash.
Those who were at the prom will remember the gym was quite dark.
From my vantage point, it was too dark to even read a book.
Now, a discussion of the images.
The first thing that comes to mind is motion blur. Motion blur occurs when an object is moving while the shutter is open and causes the image to blur from its start position when the shutter opens to its finish position when the shutter closes. A photo taken at the prom the same evening as the picture above, with the same camera settings, shows what motion blur looks like with the 1/3 second shutter speed I was using at the time. It looks like this:
guy happened to be moving toward the D.J. booth at the time and clearly shows
what motion blur would look like under the conditions I was shooting at.
As you will see in the following pictures of the “apparitions” there was some motion blur, but also portions where the image has definite outlines and also areas where it fades away to nothing, becoming transparent.
A careful examination of all the other pictures I took shows there are
similarly-clothed people in the room, but that does not explain the apparent
transparency of the apparitions. The photo of the apparitions above is the
only one I got of them out of nearly two dozen taken.
Now, for the close-ups. Remember,
the room was very dark, with only ambient lighting and the camera was on a
very high light sensitivity setting.
apparition appears to be female so I will refer to in in the feminine.
Her body exhibits no motion blur. One of her legs appears partly solid, while the other fades into transparency, showing the floor and a black, cushioned folding chair outlined against the far wall around the position of where her upper thigh should be. There is no motion blur of her legs. Her torso area appears fuzzy and translucent, but does not show definite blur characteristics as in the previous photo of the guy moving toward the D.J. booth. Her face begins to resolve itself, but remains undefined.
Interestingly, her arm that she appears to be waving is neatly cut into two distinct pieces and shows no motion blur. It appears to be actually cut obliquely at the elbow and the piece on the left could fit into the piece on the right since the cross sections seem to match.
Here is a close-up of her arm:
This apparition appears to be male, so I will refer to it in the masculine.
The first thing we see is a clearly defined, yet translucent, torso.
As the image is walking, the trailing leg is not motion blurred, rather
it’s more of an undefined whispy image in comparison to the leading leg that
seems to manifest itself as solid the closer it gets to what appears to be a
very large, bulky work boot with no image blur at all.
This apparition was near the center court Tiger logo and is judged to
be nearly seven feet tall.
There does appear to be an arm lightly showing on this apparition, but
a head is noticeably absent. While
there was another person there with a similar striped shirt in the background
(I think it was Heather Cassidy) the two images are distinct and separate from
each other. Also, Heather was not
wearing what appears to be the size 16 work boot the apparition is, which is
shown enlarged below. Are
these an unwitting trick of lighting, ghosts, or partially collapsed waveforms
of entities from a parallel universe? I don’t know.
I’m open to any reasonable explanation.
©2014 David R. Deschesne, All Rights Reserved