Sunday, 17 February 2013


Chris Halton 
It is interesting that in debate with `orb` deniers, they invariably pull up a supposed scientific report written for Para Science, a collective of `hard nosed` researchers of the paranormal.

This report entitled, `Orbs, or a load of balls` (snigger) attempts to dismiss beyond all reasonable doubt that the phenomenon of digitally captured light anomalies called, `orbs`, can all be explained away as either, dust motes, water vapour, hair fibre, and so on.


Accordingly, the writer claims that `Para Science has also observed and recorded these Orbs and over the past 5 years have extensively studied the phenomenon in order to try and understand exactly what it is that they represent`.

Sounds very grand, so let`s look at this `report`, and find out what tests were performed, where they were performed, and the nature in how they were obtained.
Simple, but relevant concerns that would lead one to think that this indeed has been scientifically researched report., and with provable facts, and not opinions.

However, reading further raised the ire of suspicion that this `report` relies more on personal opinions, and throwaway remarks designed to denigrate believers of this phenomena as something akin to what I interpreted as `fruit loops` and weirdo`s, which of course would imply that the author or authors are right, and the believers are easily led fools.

The report then tries to set the table straight by discussing the history and development of digital still cameras. Here the author has thrown in some `techno-babble` to assure the reader that he or she knows what they are talking about when it comes to cameras.

Without going through the minutia of all it contains - as these are merely general facts and do not focus directly into the contention that orbs are all explainable anomalies.
But there are `facts` claimed by the author, which are highly questionable, which suggests the author may not be so technically correct as he/she or they would like you to believe.

It is claimed, (quote), `Digital cameras currently have up to 14 million pixels. That may sound a lot and it certainly offers fantastic picture quality but to put it into perspective a single 35mm film frame on the cheapest disposable camera has the equivalent of more than 30 million pixels!`

I must admit, I was truly staggered by that claim, and have often heard that 35mm film is far superior to digital because of the quality of the film. And of course, to `orb haters`, they represent a positive boon to their argument, as 35mm film rarely show orbs because it is a higher pixel (quality) camera.

However, research via professional photographic sources reveals that the claim of 30 million pixels isn`t quite as wonderful as the writer claims, as this statement implies that 35mm is intrinsically far superior as it shoots at 30 megapixel. But the statement is deceptive, as I will show below.

I found this piece from a now defunct web site which can still be accessed by Archive.Org.


`From testing image detail, I have derived the following empirical equations that relate film resolution to the equivalent number of pixels a digital camera would need. The digital camera equivalent applies to a monochrome (Bayer) sensor that is common in consumer and pro digital cameras currently on the market. In the following equations lpm1.6 refers to the published film resolution in line pairs per millimeter with a target with a contrast of 1.6.

digital megapixel equivalent (35 mm film) = 10 * (lpm1.6 / 80 lpm)2             (eqn 1)

digital megapixel equivalent (6x4.5 cm film) = 31 * (lpm1.6 / 80 lpm)2             (eqn 2)

digital megapixel equivalent (4x5 film) = 150 * (lpm1.6 / 80 lpm)2             (eqn 3)

digital megapixel equivalent (8x10 film) = 600 * (lpm1.6 / 80 lpm)2             (eqn 4)

Further, for color film, digital Bayer sensors record one color per sensor element (pixel), thus color detail is less and one needs higher numbers of pixels to match the color resolution of film. My research shows about 1.6 times more pixels are needed to record the color detail of film.

Fujichrome Velvia has an lpm1.6 = 80 lpm. Equation 1 gives 10 megapixels for intensity detail, but color detail would require 16 megapixels.`

Hardly 30 megapixel, is it? And I have researched other sites who more or less give the same equations from comparative research. Whilst I may be accused of `splitting hairs`, I`m actually putting this `report` into it`s truly inaccurate perspective. So let`s continue further.

`The Early Orbs`

Well from here on in, the report becomes confusing and quite contradictory.

Let me explain why.

This early orbs section deals with orb anomalies (or `light balls`) being captured on their camera equipment following a reaction triggered by an EMF (Electro Magnetic Field) meter.

They couldn`t understand why this was so, and apparently had used their own devised software to analyse these images without any result that could dismiss them as explainable.

They even captured on camcorders moving `light balls` at the time the EMF was triggered, and discovered they reflected light. They even go further by stating, (quote) :

`The pictures and a full description of the events were sent to Sony UK for their comments and they confirmed that the camera was not at fault - these 'Lightballs' as we christened them could not be easily explained`.

In all that they have described and examined, there seems to be some quite conclusive data that `light balls` may well be of a paranormal nature.

But in reality, they are attempting to set the stage for their `scientific` dismissal of these anomalies further into the report. After all, you have to be seen as being firm and fair in all events, which (hopefully for them) will convince the world of paranormal investigators that orbs are well, rubbish, and should be dismissed out of hand.

`Orbs, The Next Generation`

Here the writer(s) launch their first salvo of insults at those, like me who believe `orbs` to be significant of paranormal research.

The report here appears to be based at the time that digital cameras became much better and more affordable, and at a hunch I would say in the early years of the 21st century.
Reference is made to a number of theories by believers, that the report appears to delight at quoting.

As a quoted example:

`Many believed that they were direct evidence for ghostly manifestations, the first stage of the appearance of a ghost. Some thought them to be a visualisation of Poltergeist activity. Others believed them to be Angels and could even tell the sex of them by looking at the colour of the Orb - naturally, Pink for a Girl and blue for a Boy! Faces were seen in the Orbs and they moved about in a controlled and intelligent way responding to the investigators requests for them to perform! `

The first part and the latter part are clearly digs aimed at serious researchers who have spent many hours within  provably `haunted` locations, and recording and interacting experiences with these anomalies. I would not disagree that some believers have some rather fanciful interpretations of what they could be, but then so do supposed serious men and women of science who attempt to discredit anything that they cannot answer empirically  and `orbs` are an area that they find uncomfortable to deal with. I will answer this further into this article and in detail.

I personally have never believed that colours have any relevance, and some in the past believed that colours denote moods. I have no evidence of that. But I have hours of footage and examples that show evidence that completely contradicts this report. Again, I will deal with this at the end of this article.

Again the report resorts to more throwaway comments which dilutes any credibility that it craves.

Here in the report, we arrive at the most interesting and hotly contested part of the case against `orbs` - the comparative substances test.

They detail experiments using a variety of mediums to replicate `orbs` on camera.
All kinds of powder, dust and even water moisture caused `orbs`, and in the case of moisture, lots of them.
And now in the minds of the author(s) they can sense the scent of their quarry as they attempt to chase it to ground.  `Orbs` can be explained!!

After going through some more `techno-babble` which I have shown is highly questionable for complete and provable accuracy, we arrive at a penultimate statement:

`So, that was that - Orbs were nothing more than microscopic dust and water vapour droplets reflecting back the light of the flash that was often too close to the lens axis - Orbs were in fact dust and water suffering with Red Eye, like those pictures of a Demonic Auntie Nellie with her glowing red eyes and purple hair!`

Again, more sarcasm follows through the dubious `techno-babble`, and in their minds the phenomenon is truly laid to rest.. `Orb` followers on digital still cameras are stupid, Para Science wins through proven intellect.

And on the back of their self-serving congratulations with still cameras, they launch a full offensive on video camcorders.

Here they opine that `intelligent` or as I call them, reactive anomalies, are really nothing more than bugs. They postulate this opinion on what they claim as `bugs` that exist all year around in buildings that have heating, or, surviving in very mild winters in unheated ones.

If that statement wasn`t farcical enough, their follow-up is even more deserving of derision, (quote) `An evening spent in a haunted building with some flypaper and a UV Insect acuter soon proved they existed`,

As a researcher and investigator of all things `paranormal`, and more importantly as a former Police Intelligence Officer and a Detective, who was taught professionally in analytical crime and intelligence procedures, these statements are so woefully inaccurate. And here is why.

Weather scenarios and some conclusions.

I personally have captured winter `orb` activity in buildings that are open to the elements, have no heating whatsoever, and in all types of weather conditions - and no freeze enduring `bugs`.
From well below `0` degrees Celsius  to overbearingly hot evenings, the same anomalies have been seen and captured on camera. And of course regular investigators know fully well what bugs look like!

Much of my research was split between my own home (which arguably would be warm all year around) to former WW2 Nissen huts bereft of windows and doors, and also a concrete WW2 command bunker at the same location.

Another point - which Para Science have omitted in their opinion biased report, is that often inside draughty buildings, `orbs` have moved into a room or location AGAINST the draught.
Also, they have failed to take on-board (in this report) just exactly how these `insect acuter` bugs actually move.
Insects fly in a swaggering side by side motion. Genuine `orbs` do not, and as far as I am aware, have never done so. A `fact` worthy one would think, of reporting.

Before responding with a full defence to this palpably poorly written and researched `report`, I note that at the end they add a caveat by stating:

`So, perhaps after all, there really is a phenomenon that can be seen by the digital camera that may ultimately have a cause that cannot be explained and thus will be paranormal, if there is it is extremely rare - less than 0.01% of all the Orb pictures we've looked at over the years - we still only have less than a dozen examples on record and all in places where ghostly activity has been reported. If there is a genuine Paranormal Orb it was very nearly lost and buried forever under a mountain of lookalikes caused by microscopic dust and water vapour droplets.`

I find this `orbs in terms of percentages` quite amusing, as this was the self-same `crime` they accused some websites of who supported `orbs`. And here is what Steve Parsons wrote in another piece, gloatingly claiming a victory in the `orb` debate: Link:

`Many paranormal investigators now prefer to try and steer a middle ground through the orb problem - accepting that dust, flying insects, water vapour and other airborne particles are the likely cause of most orbs they find on their digital pictures and acknowledging the likelihood that the majority of orbs can be explained. All too often, they then go on to state that there remains a number of orbs, a figure of around 1% or 2% is usually favoured, that cannot be explained and so must therefore be paranormal. This small percentage are usually to be found on pictures they have taken! I also wonder how they achieve their statistical probability?`

Probably from the same source you claim yours Mr Parsons! Such self-assured arrogance.


I have over the years, and with video evidence to back up most of my findings, noted many aspects of `orb` related activity.

Firstly, I will agree and state unequivocally, that `orbs` mostly captured on digital still camera cannot be proven empirically as being entirely paranormal. And so the focus of much of my research has been on `orbs` captured on video camcorder.

The one notable exception was one late evening at the WW2 site - a former USAAF and RAF bomber base in Essex.

I was taking digital still photographs from the entrance area of the bunker and into the permanently dark operations room. Each flash reflected an anomaly of irregular shape which I could see quite naturally. This was one rare occasion where a `spiritual` mass took on solid form. I took a sequence of three photographs where the object moved back and away from the camcorder and towards another doorway. Each flash reflected back a white solid mass with a rather curious blue light on top.

Importantly, the object wasn`t `orb` shaped, it was irregular, as many of these anomalies are.

I was with a colleague who noted my report on camcorder, but sadly did not experience this event on film.
The camera used was checked and found to have recorded the three shots which are replicated below:

The initial shot - Very bright reflected white and blue light.

The object still reflected white and blue light but was slowly dissolving.
By now it had dissolved into `orb` shaped anomalies.

You`ll note four important observations, which contradicts the `Para Science Report`.

1) It temporarily had solid mass
2) It moved away from the photographer - check relative positions
3) They look nothing like, `dust, water vapour, bugs`, et al.
4) They were not initially `orb` shaped, but devolved into them.

My view on `Orbs`.

I am a full time researcher on all types of paranormal activity. Apart from being intelligence trained and analytical in my work, I have undertaken `orb` research primarily from my own experiences, and also from that experienced by others.

For me to believe in anything paranormal, I have to experience it, and if I haven`t experienced it personally, I remain open minded to the possibility.

Being wary of `orbs` being dust, etc, I always allow a few minutes before filming for any dust raked up by feet, etc, to settle naturally. Dust particulates or hair fibre caught on camcorder is heavier than air, and soon returns back to the ground after being kicked up by feet. And on camcorder, dust motes are relatively easy to spot as they move very quickly and haphazardly before returning to the ground. So whilst that may remain a good argument for still images, it is easily spotted and dismissed on video investigations.

The atmosphere in virtually all buildings contain literally millions of dust particulates which are so tiny that they do not generally show up on camera - either still or digital, but if you hold a flashlight/torch illuminated in the dark, and in an upright position you will see millions of them.

When shooting in my own home I have noticed that before an `orb` event, a tiny orb shoots out first, and then is followed by the main anomaly. These anomalies aren`t orb shaped, but quite irregular.

In my home there is a deltoid or crescent light anomaly which has appeared time and time again over the years, and always retaining a similar shape. It has also appeared on request. Again, if this was explainable in terms that only Para Science could comprehend, why has it retained a similar form, and why does it come towards the videographer, AGAINST a door draught, and often on request?

These are valid observations, which have not been addressed in the `report`. Para Science self admittedly came onto something with the apparent connection between `orbs` and EMF reactions, but failed to follow it through and were instead easily persuaded by the dust argument. Any serious researcher would realise that such a link is symbolic, but of course is outside of their `dust` mandate. That is a very unprofessional admission.

Please review video links and then continue further down the page for more revelations. These are three videos sharing the same anomaly. There are many others covering a 5 year period.

Another point of contention echoed by  `non believers`, is the fact that I claim to be able to see anomalous activity in total darkness and without the aid of a light or camcorder. As an indication as to how narrow minded and unprofessional some `professional sceptics` are, I was accused of having my eyes `lasered` to see in the dark!
And another, having failed to satisfactorily offer a suitable explanation to fit within their `orb` theory, then accused of me of being a `charlatan`.

I am not sorry to say I can see them, and in my eyes they are either a mass of tiny red or blue light dots, or I see them as a grey or white energy mass.

In daylight I see only those that appear as red or yellow flashes. I cannot apologise for this ability, it is there along with other abilities that I can use to sense activity. I believe that we can all do this, but it requires faith and a belief in one`s own ability to sense and feel this energy.

My reputation as an investigator and researcher is built on trust and proven results from my detailed investigations, anything less is not within my remit. If I can see these anomalies, then clearly, there is much room for further and serious research into this phenomena. You will note on the next video I report that I couldn`t see a bug in darkness, so that seriously contends the `bug theory`.

From a professional stand-point I am very concerned about individuals who write a `report` that clearly leaves more questions than answers, and actually ignores much material either through their own sources or others such as myself. I am not a fool, neither am I easily led or persuaded with anything.

Yet a lot of their argument against `orbs` is characterising believers as fools.

Like them or hate them, `orbs` are part and parcel of what is contained in this crazy world of the paranormal. To dismiss it with a badly written and biased report and expect others to follow that belief rather than to encourage others to experiment and finding out for themselves,  is simply another form of censorship through peer pressure.

Author: Chris Halton - aka (apparently) `The Dust Whisperer`

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