“Out of this World” did a good take on the Wem Town Hall “ghost” that we mentioned as an impressive example of pareidolia. They present videos of the actual fire, present the case and myth, and the latest information I had that analysis by Vernon Harrison on the negatives didn’t find any evidence of tampering. Thus, it seemed it was either a real ghost or a simulacrum.
But they went further and had the negative examined at the National Museum of Photography, Film and Television in Bradford. Keep reading to watch the second part and their surprising finds.
Will Stapp found that the highly detailed face of the girl has a series of horizontal lines, that are not seen elsewhere in the image. That clearly suggests some kind of photo trickery was used to insert the face, which was not captured in the same way as the rest of the scenery. Stapp suggests those horizontal lines are actually TV scan lines – the face was captured by photographing a TV set.
Indeed, even in the bad quality Youtube video version it’s possible to realize those horizontal lines that seem to be present only in the girl’s face. I captured a frame and enhanced the contrast to make it easier to see:
Note how the horizontal lines are not in the rails or in the door (?) on the left. I couldn’t see them, but they are there in the girl’s face.
A fellow had already told me before he thought the Wem Town Hall ghost photo was a hoax because there seems to be a bright spot on the left of the girl’s face, evidence of a botched manipulation, but as I read that analysis of the negatives by a serious photo expert didn’t find trickery, I thought it may have been just a coincidence and favored the pareidolia hypothesis.
“Out of this World” showed the original negatives and interviewed the original photographer, thus attributing these horizontal lines to bad prints or some Men in Black tampering with the image (as one famous Swiss contactee often claims when clear evidence of hoax is found in his photos) doesn’t seem very reasonable.
The photographer denied having hoaxed the image, and looked very nervous when confronted with the accusation. Of course, if he didn’t hoax it he would also have looked that way, I guess. Fact is, it seems there’s some damning evidence that the photo was somehow manipulated. Exactly how, by whom, and why, at least to me doesn’t matter that much. The photographer, if it was him, should be punished, but it’s been more than ten years now. The important thing would be to publicize these findings.
Could the best pareidolia image ever also be a hoax? In retrospect, and as some at the time noted, it could be. As far as I know it’s only an electronic image sent to the fellows at paranormal.about.com, and it could have been manipulated.
Even if it was a hoax, and contrary to the Wem Town Hall ghost/pareidolia/hoax, that one would have been a damn good job and impressive anyway.
[via Phantoms & Monsters]
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