O RLY?

A ghost was caught on film in a British museum. Methinks there is pseudoscientific paranormal investigations afoot. Let’s take a look at the story.

Headline: Mystery figure shocks camera man.

I hope he was eventually found and charged with assault. I don’t think civvies are supposed to use tasers… Oooh, haha, I see. What a hilarious misunderstanding.

What this headline should have read: Area camera man has never heard of pareidolia.

“BBC journalist Chris Sandys has said he is at a loss to explain a mystery apparition that appeared on a photo.”

Then you didn’t try hard enough, Chris. I have an explanation. Camera man goes into reportedly haunted building (read: is primed to see strange things), takes a picture of a dusty old sunlit doorway, sees this:

"ghost"

Rly? He’s at a loss to explain a hazy cloud of dust next to a sunny window in an old attic? Maybe it’s the pixelation talking, but you’ve gotta be kidding me. I’m guessing this guy is not National Geographic material based on that criterion alone.

“It was a bizarre formation of light showing a mystery figure in a doorway,” he said. “I am sure it was not caused by sunlight or dust in the air.”

Oh, I was wrong. He’s sure. Obviously the presence of both sunlight and dust in the picture has nothing to do with the ghost, because inexplicably he is sure that they have nothing to do with it. Well, I certainly didn’t look at it from that perspective. Mia culpa.

“I checked again and looked in the doorway but I could see nothing.” He went on: “As a BBC employee I wouldn’t dare doctor an image or I would lose my job.

See, the thing is though, the image doesn’t have to be doctored for Chris’ interpretation to be wrong because he could just be kinda dumb without there really being anything there. Also, if it were sunlight and dust, it’s reasonable that the image would not appear the same way twice (as the dust is constantly moving due to air currents) and that it would not appear to him if he went up to the doorway (as the angle of the light shining on the dust would be different). In fact, it would be more convincing if it were still there despite those things. I don’t know how the apparition disappearing is evidence.

Museum director Sarah Parker said: “We are truly flabbergasted by the image. … We have always thought of the ‘ghosts’ as being metaphoric, but maybe we need to think again.”

facepalm

You know what would flabberghast me? An actual picture of a ghost. That would be frigging awesome. This, however, is a picture of dust and no reason to give up healthy skepticism about ghosts. Well, except for the expert camera man testimony that he is “sure” that it is not dust, which I guess crushes my entire argument into little tiny pieces stripped of their dignity and self-respect…

There are other explanations for this picture that are 1) reasonable and 2) don’t require 100 other assumptions just to make it possible. I am not being cynical, I am evaluating this one picture on its (lack of) merits. This is a picture of dust and a great example of pareidolia. If ghosts were a thing, that would be pretty neat. I’d come back and haunt VenomFangX for a few years and then fool a tribe into worshipping me as god. I wonder how many goats I can get them to sacrifice… Anyway, and if I posed for pictures, I would make sure that it wasn’t a wispy sunglint in a dusty old attic so that my existence didn’t rest on the ironclad evidence that the camera man who took the picture was “sure it wasn’t dust”.

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