USS Trepang UFOs.

An Analysis of USS Trepang Encounter.

USS Trepang Launch

Trepang being launched at Groton, Connecticut, on 27 September 1969.


Early in 1971, following local operations out of her home port in Connecticut, the USS Trepang submarine set sail for the Arctic. From February 22 to March 22 she operated beneath the polar ice cap. Whilst conducting extensive tests for her weapons systems and scientific experiments on the Rear Admiral Dean Reynolds Sackett cap itself, it is alleged she ‘accidently’ encountered several anomalous objects somewhere between Jan Mayen Island and Iceland. During the course of the encounter several photographs were taken through her periscope, recording the unfolding events. The Commanding Officer at the time of the said sighting was Admiral Dean Reynolds Sackett Jr. He was commissioned as the Commanding Officer of the Trepang (SSN-674) on August 14 1970 to December 7 1973.


I have attempted to make some chronological sense of the sequence of  events from the images below which are said to have been taken during March 1971. The photos are taken from case files and are the original high resolution images sent to Alex Mistretta, Investigator/Researcher, at

fig 1

 Official Trepang UFO image1

[There is nothing in the file metadata that indicates this file has been edited.]
As  you can see from the above caption, I have conducted a scan of the image and looked for signs of editing.  The file metadata showed nothing untoward. A visual inspection of the photo was equally unforthcoming. The image appears genuine. The question arises as to what the huge object actually represents. Is it an extra-terrestrial “mothership”, as some have claimed, or something entirely different?
Seeing this image reminded me of another photographic analysis case I had worked on. As it transpired, that single photo case turned out to have a rational explanation as, I believe, the above image does.


Red circle = Jan Mayen. Red arrow = Iceland.
As you will recall from the background details of this sighting the Trepang was situated between Jan Mayen Island and Iceland at the time of the encounter. it’s my contention that the above photograph shows an inverted superior mirage of the island itself. The following flipped, cleaned up and cropped  image  shows the object in an entirely different light. In it you will note what appears very much like shoreline breakers, and sparse vegetation (possibly tree canopies?).


A comparison example of a superior mirage

superior mirage

Please note the cut off line at the top of the mirage element of the ship, and that the whole vessel isn’t visible.  Superior mirages are quite common in polar regions. A superior mirage can be right-side up or upside down, depending on the distance of the true object and the temperature gradient. Often the image appears as a distorted mixture of up and down parts.


Superior mirages can have a striking effect due to the Earth’s curvature. Were the Earth flat, light rays that bend down would soon hit the ground and only nearby objects would be affected. Since Earth is round, if their downward bending curve is about the same as the curvature of the Earth, light rays can travel large distances, even from beyond the horizon.
Moving on to the next image in my imagined sequence of events brings us to fig. 2. Here we see a cylindrical object low on the horizon. The attendant caption describes what was uncovered after a scan of the image.


offical trepang ufo 2
Pixels only match software editors, showing that it has most probably been altered.
A visual inspection of fig 2 shows disturbances in the pixilation pattern, suggesting  the image has been tampered with. The vertical crosshair ‘ghosting’ in this image is most probably due to the submarine’s analog camera creating a double exposure. Multiple exposures are photographs in which two or more images are superimposed in a single frame (see fig 6 crosshairs).

fig. 3

offical trepang ufo4 - Copy

Based on the pixels, this image could have been created with one of several software editors.
In fig. 3 we see what appears to be a triangular craft (possibly an early prototype stealth fighter). It is difficult to determine whether it is heading towards the sub or away from it in a nose dive toward the ocean. A visual inspection of the image shows no signs of it being photo shopped. The faint vertical periscope crosshair intersecting the object doesn’t show any signs of warping as it would had the object  been added to the image, as the image below demonstrates.

Warping effect

In figure 4 we see the object in what appears to be a manoeuvre that would suggest it is vectoring away from the sub. Note the lack of periscope crosshairs in the image. This may be due to it having been cropped.

offical trepang 5 - Copy

Cleaned up image
Original image/ fig 4

offical trepang 5

Pixels only match software editors
fig 5

official trepang ufo 10

There is nothing in the file metadata that indicates this file has been edited.
You will note in fig. 5 that the object appears to have a tail fin unlike that of fig 2, which suggests they are not the same object.
fig 6

official trepang uof7

There is nothing in the file metadata that indicates this file has been edited.
The above image (fig 6) shows the stricken object crashing into the ocean. To it’s left is a smaller object. It’s triangular configuration would suggest it is the aircraft seen in figures 3 and 4. Note the angle and orientation of the cylindrical object as it strikes the water.
fig. 7

official trepang ufo6

There is nothing in the file metadata that indicates this file has been edited.
The change in the viewing perspective of figures 6 and 7 has changed dramatically. The tiny triangular object seen above the cylinder in fig 7 may be the aircraft mentioned earlier. If so, this image was taken from an entirely different view point, probably another submarine.

official trepang ufo8

There is nothing in the file metadata that indicates this file has been edited.
In images 7 and 8 you will note the dark, small funnel-like cloud that appears on the left of the photos. This would imply that both images belong to the same batch. In image 6 it is not visible. Nor is the heavy cloud cover from which it is projecting. This could be due to the possibility that the image was taken from a different angle in which the overcast is not visible i.e. from a different submarine.
fig 9

trepang ufo 10

Photo edited with GD graphics.
Of all the above images this one is highly suspect. The image quality is far superior to the others and the pixilation pattern is not consistent throughout the image, particularly around the object. Note also there are no indications of the periscope crosshairs or range finder lines. Also, just above the ocean’s surface on the left is what appears to be an island landscape. It is unlikely to be Jan Mayen Island because as we learnt in image 2 the island was below the horizon and was only visible as a superior mirage.
We have seen from the foregoing that the Trepang was conducting not only a survey of the polar icecap but was also engaged in a weapons testing exercise. Research shows that it was common practice at the time for the military to use decommissioned balloons/Zeppelins as targets after stripping them of any external superstructures such as gondolas, etc. It is quite probable that the cylindrical object(s) seen in these images are of decommissioned balloons.
Triangular stealth aircraftGiven that they were testing “new weapons systems” at the time may account for what appears to be a stealth fighter. It is conceivable that images 3 and 4  could be that of an early prototype  fighter being tested. Its design certainly fits in with many modern triangular-like stealth aircraft we know of today.


There are 9 images in total. Of those 9, five show signs of digital manipulation to one degree or another. They are figures 2, 3, 4, and 9, the remaining showing no signs of manipulation whatsoever. Of those, figures 6, 7and 8 appear to have been taken from a different vantage point, possibly another submarine. Approximately one month earlier the submarine USS Skate was in the same region. Might images 6, 7 and 8 have been taken at that time by the USS Skate and subsequently added to the mix by some hoaxer? My recent research into the Skates whereabouts at the time would suggest it wasn’t in the Arctic at the time as the deployment list link above shows.
The so-called Trepang images themselves are contentious. When Admiral Sacket was approached by Steve Murillo, head of the UFO and Paranormal Research Society, he steered away from the UFO question saying, “I only saw ice” It could be argued, however, that he said that so as not to fall foul of his security oath.

David v Goliath.

How often have we heard or read about the superior technology employed by our extra-terrestrial visitors. Our fastest Jets can’t outrun them, and when and if they do manage to lock on to them with their weapons systems they are immediately shut down or the UFO becomes invisible, both on radar and to the naked eye. To suggest that these images show a bona fide extra-terrestrial craft being shot down using inferior terrestrial weaponry is about as believable as David killing Goliath with a stone. For this author, given the inconsistencies pointed out in this analysis, I find it more credible that an elaborate hoax was perpetrated by person or persons unknown.
 © David Calvert 2016

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“Proof of Aliens.”

“Proof of Aliens”

An analysis by David Calvert

‘UFO hunters claim mysterious ‘floating cigar’ hovering in the sky behind snowboarder is proof of aliens.’
Location: Unknown.
Footage: Originally filmed in 2013.

images (5)

The above still and caption headline is taken from the ‘Mirror’ online newspaper, published on 29th January 2016. It purports to show a cylindrical UFO which was captured on the snowboarders Go Pro video camera. You can see it clearly over his left shoulder. The video was forwarded to my Facebook page by Sheila Dawson Wilson, who thought it was ‘impressive’ enough to send it to me.
Before I address my image analysis conclusions, I’d like to cover an issue regarding the statement that the sighting is ‘proof of aliens’.
Witnessing an anomalous dark mass in the sky, is certainly not proof of aliens. How on earth the UFO enthusiasts can claim that the footage has captured proof of aliens is beyond me. Since the acronym UFO means UNIDENTIFIED Flying Object how could they conclude that it is of extra-terrestrial origin? The operative word here is “Unidentified”. At face value it looks very impressive, but then again there a countless faked videos which are equally as impressive. The cylindrical anomaly certainly bares many characteristics associated with the cigar-shaped UFOs witnessed throughout human history. It even appears to have an energy field surrounding it, which theoretical physicists have hypothesised could be due to the propulsion systems employed. But is this irrefutable proof of aliens?
Inference and Analysis.
‘Inferences are based on evidence. To infer, we must collect evidence. And evidence is collected by the process of analysis.
Analysis is a particular form of investigation. In general usage, analysis refers to any close, careful, or systematic examination. In the discussion here, the term “analysis“ is used in its more technical meaning. Analysis is a process of investigating something by breaking it into parts for closer examination. Complex topics are broken down into simpler ones. Intricate patterns are broken down into less complicated elements. A problem is simplified by limiting the amount that must be examined at any one time.
The goal of analysis is not simply to discover parts within the whole, but to understand the whole. Once the parts are identified, analysis then seeks to determine how those parts are related. From a recognition of the nature of the parts, and the relationships between the parts.’
So where is the relationship between the anomaly and alien’s in this case? Their is no tangible evidence to connect the two.
Analysis and Conclusion.
I conducted a visual analysis of the 3 “stills” from the video, and noted the pixilation pattern surrounding the anomaly was different to those of the overall image which indicated the images had been edited, particularly image 1 (above).  I sent off the images to an independent analyst who corroborated my findings that the images showed distinctive signs of having been tampered with.
images (5) - Copy

Best seen at 800% magnification.


Following the independent analysis it was concluded the images could have been created with either of the following:

software: IJG Library

software: GIMP

software: IrfanView

software: idImager

software: FastStone Image Viewer

software: NeatImage

software: Paint.NET

software: Photomatix

software: XnView

© David Calvert 2016

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Australian UFO Hoax.


fig 1

Figure 1  shows the UFO image, purportedly taken in Australia. It was posted on my Facebook page on 18, January 2016 by my son who wanted to know my take on it. The image has been shared widely on-line and is the subject of much speculation.
Because Facebook strips the EXIF data when photos are uploaded I began by searching out the original image so as to examine the data, an analysis of which showed nothing untoward. However, a good editor can cover his tracks with the right software to make it appear as if the data is untouched so I conducted a visual inspection of the photo. Here’s what I uncovered:
  • The ‘UFO’ is not reflected in the waters of the lake as it should be if it was a genuine solid object.
  • The pixelation pattern around the so-called UFO is different to that of the surrounding imagery, showing that some tampering has taken place. The clouds, I suspect have been photoshopped in areas in front of the object in an attempt to hide certain motif-like features around the “UFO”s rim. It also adds to the perspective illusion of distance and size.
  • On the far shoreline, there is a small anomalous rectangular light reflection. I believe this image was taken through a window and that the ufo and accompanying rectangle are nothing but internal reflections of objects within a room.
Further research into this image has revealed that it wasn’t taken in Australia, but in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. Fig 2 shows the treeline matches the original image, though from a different perspective.

Fig 2

Fig 3 shows the interior of one of the lodges on the shore of the lake. Note the resemblance of the ceiling light fixture to the alleged UFO. Note also the small wall lamp to its left. Might the latter be the source of the small rectangular light source in Fig 1 ?


Note: On the date the picture was supposedly taken in Australia there was an actual thunderstorm that weekend in Jackson Hole, Wyoming.

Evidence-based conclusion: Hoax

© David Calvert 2016

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Reflections of Monte Carlo

The Monaco UFOs

Case file #116121

Witness Statement.

“During a trip to Monaco last year with my mother, we took some pictures while touring the palace grounds and surrounding areas. Upon inspection, we noticed some strange lights in the pictures. I was using the ‘sports’ mode in my camera then and it captured a series of pictures in one click. The lights in the pictures could be seen in different angles and at different times. We stayed at the Fairmont Hotel then and the hotel manager suggested that we send the pictures to the press which were later published on their Facebook page (link: We have many more of these pictures. We also showed these pictures while in Monaco to the police and they were equally puzzled. One of them pointed out that they could have been caused by the street lights (?!). It has been a year since we took these pictures but have yet to receive a decent explanation. Any input is much appreciated”


lens flares 1

Image #1

Having looked at the images in detail I was able to ascertain  that the light anomaly in this photo is caused by lens flare.

Flare is particularly caused by a very bright light source in an image – which produces the visible artifacts witnessed in image one. Lenses with large numbers of elements such as zooms tend to exhibit greater lens flare, as they contain multiple surfaces at which unwanted internal light scattering occurs.

The spatial distribution of the lens flare typically manifests as several starbursts, rings, or circles in a row across the image or view. Lens flare patterns typically spread widely across the scene and change location with the camera’s movement relative to light sources, as appears to be the case in images 1 and 2.

lens flare 2

Image #2

In image 3, the spatial distribution of the flare would suggest that the bright light source on the left of the archway is the cause for it.

lens flare 3

Image #3

The colouration of the flares being different to the primary light source is due to chromatic aberration. Anti reflective lens coatings are meant to reduce the reflection levels of unwanted flare effects. However, they cannot eliminate it entirely. Lens flares often appear as hues of yellow, green, blue-gray, red, and violet and can appear quite ethereal in dramatic photos such as in this case.

You will also note that not only is the colour of the flare the same in all the pictures above, but that it also has the same shape. This is due to the shape of the camera’s diaphragm – which are often polygonal. It is the shape of the internal diaphragm which determines how the flare will appear in the photo.

If you look closely at the comparison image below of a known lens flare you will see the remarkable similarities.

monte carlo ufo comparison image

Based off the evidence, I have no hesitation in declaring the Monaco photos as a lens flare phenomenon.

© David Calvert 2013

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The UFO Bug

An Analysis by David Calvert.

Denton UFO Sighting / Case: #114779

Witness Statement.

Got back from the pool hall around 9:45. Took my dog out for frisbee around 10:00.  About 15-20 minutes later I noticed an odd orange star in the treeline. Stared for a moment and went back to play. A minute later I noticed its speed increase and then three then a fourth one followed. I couldn’t believe my eyes. They almost looked like paper lanterns except a cold front was blowing southeast. It couldn’t be.  Air traffic going to DFW airport usually travel southwest or east. I snapped one shot on my iPhone and filmed the blinking three that stopped above and south from me. The lead light continued toward the roofline of my house. It was interesting to see them pulse and blink. The bottom light approached another light and it began to pulsate and dim out like an incandescent bulb. Eventually  the others blinked out, leaving the lead orb travelling west over 1-35. I ran to the other side of my house but lost it. These were no lanterns or aircraft. Please reply back. Somebody had to have seen this too.  Excuse the audio ( on video). I was awestruck and on weed. Thank you for your time “M”.

Link to videos (2):

After conducting some analysis work on the images I’ve come to the conclusion that what the witness saw was not UFOs, but IFOs (identified flying objects). My reasoning is borne out by the following facts:

The objects are not distant as appears in the video clip but are actually relatively close to the observer. Under high magnification you can clearly see they are between the trees and the observer and are not obscured by the branches in any way. The opposite would be true if they were beyond the trees and more distant.

denton fireflies 1


Under the same level of magnification you can see quite clearly that they have wings (green arrow) and are bioluminescent insects/bugs which bear the same morphology as one another. I believe them to be fireflies/lightning bugs.

In the witness’ full report he mentions how they ‘pulsed’, ‘blinked’, and ‘dimmed’. This is highly characteristic of fireflies. The primary purpose for a fireflies flash is to act as a signal to attract others. Attractiveness is proportional to their brightness, and for any two fireflies, the less brighter one will be attracted by (and thus move to) the brighter one, as appears to occur in the video. The brightness, of course, decreases the further they are from the observer. This he also mentions in his report.

That the objects appear to move randomly at times is also consistent with firefly behaviour. If there are no fireflies brighter than a given firefly, it will move randomly.

Interestingly, the chemically produced light given of by fireflies may be yellow, green, or pale red. Two of these colours are evidenced in the still images.

I looked at the final ‘still’ image, which shows a telegraph pole with a light, with the levels auto fix on. From this I was able to determine that the winged object at its 10 o’clock position was giving off a faint glow, further strengthening the idea of a bioluminescent insect.

denton firefly

Conclusion: is that he witnessed a swarm of fireflies, and the reason as to why he didn’t recognise them for what they were is readily obvious at the end of his report.

© David Calvert 2013

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Gill Finlayson Orbs.

Mind Over Matter

David Calvert.

A Brief History.

edinburgh_st_andrews_1St. Andrew’s and St. George’s Church, Scotland, was the setting, in 1843, for one of the most significant events in 19th-century Scotland – the ‘Disruption’.  Fuelled by increasing concern and resentment about the Civil Courts’ infringements on the liberties of the Church of Scotland, around one third of he Ministers present at the annual General Assembly walked out, cheered by onlookers outside, and constituted the Free Church of Scotland. (Wiki).

Gill Finlayson’s (edited) post to Ghosts, Hauntings and the Paranormal Group.

‘Just wanted an opinion or two on this photograph which was taken in St. Andew’s & St. George’s Church, George Street, Edinburgh – a beautiful Georgian church with a pervasive atmosphere of chaos.

I am rather keen about taking pics of doors so, seeing this open box pew, I snapped a photo with a regular Nikon Coolpix digital camera. Obviously, the automatic flash activated.  I was wearing a coat without cuffs, and was gloveless.’

Image Analysis.

church orbs

Red arrow notations read:

‘This brightly lit amorphous blob may be the result of a cluster of dust particles being in extreme proximity to the flash when it was triggered. The resultant reflection would therefore be very much brighter, ‘washing out their circular appearance, making it appear as a single form due to the albedo effect.’

“Albedo effect”

The fraction of incident electromagnetic radiation reflected by a surface.

Triple line text reads:

‘Small dust particles near to the lens, showing up as individual blurred circles. Probable cause of dust is the carpet.’

dust orbs

Dust orbs are relatively common features in images and are often mistaken as balls of light or some other paranormal phenomenon such as ghosts and UFOs. If one looks closely at the fainter images in the above selection you can make out internal features to some of them. But why do they always appear to be circular? The reason for this is down to the camera.

In optics, a circle of confusion is an optical spot caused by a cone of light rays from a lens not coming to a perfect focus when imaging a point source. It is also known as disk of confusion, circle of indistinctness, blur circle, or blur spot.

Defocused object points are imaged as blur spots rather than points; the greater the distance an object is from the plane of focus, the greater the size of the blur spot. Such a blur spot has the same shape as the lens aperture, but for simplicity, is usually treated as if it were circular. The circles seen in Gill’s photo fit the criteria for dust particles.

Conclusion: Camera artefacts.

Whilst my interpretation would stand up to the rigours of scientific scrutiny, this is not the last word on this subject. Karen Han of Ghosts, Hauntings, and the Paranormal came up with an elegant summary, managing to create an harmonious relationship between science, psychology, and spirituality. Here are her thoughts on the matter:

‘I tend to take a more ‘Jungian’ perspective, and I think it is related to the Collective Unconsciousness. ” Apparitions/visions” are produced by the psyche or subconscious; that is, they can’t announce their presence unless they “manifest” in the physical realm through visual symbols in our environment, with the aid of suggestion, or in your [Gill’s] case, through “Tribal Memory”. The dust particles (manifesting as orbs), in a sense, are helping to make the presence of your ancestors known; that is, it doesn’t negate the fact that this was a significant personal experience a journey to find the soul, so to speak.’

Charles Finlayson, Gill’s grandfather, was married in the 1850s in the very same church where the photo was taken, hence the Jungian ‘Tribal Memory’ allusion  made by Karen.

© David Calvert 2012

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Singapore Ghost.

Ghost Sighting at Orchard Road

David Calvert

A video, purportedly taken on a mobile phone and showing the figure of a female apparition, was posted to me by Karen Han from Ghosts, Hauntings and the Paranormal. The video clip was taken in the heart of Singapore’s shopping district , behind the Takashimaya shopping mall. To see video click on link below.

So what’s your take on this clip: real or fake?  To find out what my take is, read my analysis below Jan’s Testimony.

Jan’s Testimony

[October 5, 2011]

“I was walking home with my girlfriends afer a late supper and chat at  Orchard Road at about 1 am when suddenly witness a lady in white across the road.

She was next to a tree when we saw her. She disappeared then mysteriously appeared ahead a few metres and seemed to be crossing the road but when a passing taxi looks like it was going to hit her… she disappeared again!

We were all so frightened that we couldn’t help but scream and run away. Does anyone know if there was a hit and run accident near the empty plot of land behind Takashimaya in the past during this date?? I thought the Chinese ghost month was already over!  It all happened so fast but our friend caught it on her iPhone and we had to slow down the video to see the ghostly images. I am still shaking as I post this.”

Evidence-Based Conclusion: 

After analysing the image I came to the conclusion that it is a probable fake and here’s why:

  • Throughout the entire sequence there is strong evidence of motion blurring, due to the camera phone being hand-held and yet the “ghost” is completely unaffected by the blurring effect. This is impossible if the apparition was real.
  • Jan said they saw a “woman in white” , but no matter how closely I looked I still couldn’t make out enough detail to determine its gender. This of course could be due to the poor image resolution of the camera phone.
  •  She also said that it looked like the taxi was going to hit the ghost, suggesting the apparition had stepped out in front of it, yet I see no evidence in the film to suggest the apparition stepped onto the road.

  • If the ghost was visible to the girls and visible sufficiently enough to be caught on film then how did the taxi driver not see it and take steps to avoid a collision with it?

In order to learn the technicalities of how such a hoax might be perpetrated I contacted  Their reply was very informative and corroborated my suspicions. Here’s what they had to say:

“Most mobile phones can export the video and be converted also to popular formats and edited… and replayed and re-recorded with the editing and put back into the phone. The most popular way is to film it on a conventional HD video camera, play it on an HD television (plasma or LED) and record it playing with the phone video. Of course the conventional video footage can be manipulated with all the popular software but, when re-recorded with a mobile phone video it will look even more convincing.”

The email they sent me shortly thereafter simply read:

“Hi David …. definitely a fake …. Thanks.”

© David Calvert 2011

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The Marquand UFO, 1951.

Riverside Resident.

David Calvert.


marquand ufo 2This grainy photograph was taken only 2-3 months after the now famous ‘Lubbock Lights’ incident in Texas had occurred . Within the space of a year the UFO phenomenon, in all its manifestations, had become a global phenomenon. People from just about every walk of life were seeing strange lights and unusual craft in their skies.

The picture was taken by Guy B. Marquand Jr. on November 23 1951 on a mountain road near Riverside, California. He claimed the object near the skyline was a “flying saucer.” However, a closer inspection of this image has shown certain features which suggest an entirely different explanation.



Facts gleaned from visual analysis of above image:

Large head.

large beak.

Large crop.

large wings.

Trailing legs

By now it will have become clear to the reader that this object is actually a bird of some description. But what bird could possibly fit the observations above?  Well, there are one or two other clues that may give you some idea, and they come from the place names of the area as well as business addresses. They are:

  • Pelican Woodworks.
  • Pelican Hill Court.
  • Pelican Hill Wedding Photographs Studios.
  • Pelican Point.
  • etc., etc, etc..

CONCLUSION: Misidentified sighting of indigenous bird. 

© David Calvert 2011

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Ectoplasm in Old Changi Hospital, Singapore.

Changi Ectoplasm.

A Case Analysis by David Calvert.

 Foreword to Old Changi Hospital Analysis.

During the Japanese occupation of Singapore in WWII, Old Changi Hospital was used as an interrogation center and torture camp. Many who were incarcerated there died. It is hardly surprising  therefore that the derelict building is said to be haunted by those who suffered and died within its walls.

changi-hospital 3

Image One

changi1This shows the top of the staircase,under relatively normal lighting conditions, where the ‘ectoplasm’ was witnessed. It was photographed in close proximity to the security tape from the foot of the staircase.


Image Two

Here is the same area photographed from the foot of the stairs looking up.

changi 2

According to the testimony of the individual who took this photo (a member of a ghost hunting team) the picture was taken in complete darkness. He claims that they felt they were being followed by something and so turned around and snapped off this shot without using the flash.

Post-Analysis Comments.

If this photo was indeed taken in complete darkness, how can one account for the shadow cast by the handrail onto the wall? Furthermore, the security tape seen in image one shows how dangerous this area is, so who in their right mind would go wandering about in an unfamiliar and unsafe environment without the aid of a torch – which brings me to my next comment.

You will note the shape of the so-called ‘ectoplasm’ is elliptical. It looks very reminiscent of a torch beam being shone onto the wall at an angle. Don’t believe me? Try it for yourself. Note also the bannister rail, behind which the anomaly appears, is partially lightened at the front by the back reflection off the wall. This suggests to me that a torch may have been used to accomplish this ‘anomalous’ image.

Look at the light source directional arrow. At first I thought this was the direction and angle the light source had to have come from in order for it to attain its elliptical shape. My initial suspicion was wrong. For it to be true, the tear drop shape would have to be the other way around. The light is actually being projected from the left (as we view it). If one looks at the first staircase image, there doesn’t appear to be any viable way this could be achieved.

Might this be a photo of another stairwell? There is that possibility. However, what lends credence to it being the same stairwell is the security tape hanging from the raiI in both images. Look carefully at the upper portion of the  directional arrow on the annotated image and you can just about make out the shadow of the security tape seen in image one.

Given the reflective qualities and shape of the light would certainly suggest a torch beam hypothesis. How this effect was achieved however is open to speculation.

What do you think?

© David Calvert 2011

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