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THIS WEEK IN ROSS-ON-WYE
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Issue No. 62 [Back Issues]
20th September 2005

This Week - [Strange Miscellanies h. Art - Welcome Back Linton Village Fete]
[Sarah Jones Tour - Photos on CD? - Topical Photography First Day at School]
[National Sheepdog Trials in Ross - MOD Exercise 'Fast Moving' - RNLI Salty Dog Walk - Tony Griffiths 50 - Nature Watch]

[Civic Sunday and New Mayoral Chain - Ross Rugby High Score]
[Article - Things that go Bump in the Night?]

[Classified Advertisements] [What's On?] [A to Z Site Map] [Property]

Things that go bump in the night?

During the five years that I have been taking photographs for this web site, I have taken over sixty thousand shots of local people, local landscapes and historic buildings. Like everybody else, I have made the odd mistake, such as forgetting to switch the flash on or using the wrong exposure setting but on just four of them, something unexpected has appeared when everything has been set up correctly. These photographs have all been published before but I thought I would show them here collectively. Before I begin however, I would like to stress that I do not necessarily think I have photographed anything paranormal and I shall not be sending for the 'Most Haunted' team, although like anybody else, they are welcome if they would like to visit Ross-on-Wye, the 'Gateway to the Wye Valley'.

The photographs below are simply some which have picked up something I cannot personally explain. All I can say for definite is that, whatever it is they do show, they are all absolutely genuine. I know this because I was there at the time. They are almost certainly not camera anomalies. The cameras used were an Olympus E-10 and a Nikon D100, both of which are extremely high quality, professional cameras.

Continued . . .


Olympus E-10 with standard Olympus lens and built in flash.

I took the photograph above in the dungeon of Goodrich Castle back in February 2003 and this is the most puzzling one of all to me, showing a white haze inside the sandstone building. The shots either side of the above photo were absolutely crystal clear, showing a perfect view of the inside of an empty dungeon, with no haze whatsoever.

The dungeon was absolutely pitch dark at the time of the photograph, so dark that I could not see a finger held within a few inches of my eyes. I neither felt nor saw anything unusual whilst I was there.

It was not until I got home and downloaded the day's photographs that I noticed the misty haze on just one shot. The mist was not caused by my breath condensing in the cold air as I used a tripod to take the shot and stood well back from the camera. The haze actually appears about ten feet in front of where the camera was positioned. Neither I, nor anybody with me was smoking at the time and there are no hidden windows toward the back of the dungeon - I went back exactly one week later to check, and to try to repeat the photograph - every shot turned out crystal clear, with not even a hint of the haze.

Continued . . .


Nikon D100 with 18 - 35mm Nikon Lens and Nikon Speed Light.

I took the photograph above at 11:29 pm on 5th July 2004 in the woods by King Arthur's Cave. Just right and above centre there is a white blob. I took other shots of the same place, which do not show the spot. Below is a crop from the same photograph. This is not an enlargement - it is simply a 700 pixel crop from the original, which has not been reduced in size to fit the web page. As you can see, it shows a rather 'fairy' like pattern inside a ghostly, white orb.

Again, I have not suddenly become a believer in elves and fairies. My guess is that it is a moth or other insect which got caught by the light of the flash, or my own reflection in a droplet of water but I am not at all sure. Other photos I took that evening, whilst I was there looking for bats and owls with Tina and my son, Chris show fainter and less obvious white orbs.

Continued . . .


Nikon D100 with 18 - 35mm Nikon Lens and Nikon Speed Light.

Olympus E-10 with standard Olympus lens and built in flash.

The photograph above was again taken in the woods between King Arthur's Cave and the Seven Sisters Rocks, on 9th October 2002. I actually saw this happen at the time. As I went to take the photo, I saw three fast moving small objects but the camera only picked up the one.

As can be seen, the branches in the closer crop below are clearly in focus, it is a spherical object, heading in my general direction. Behind the trees is a long, sheer drop down to the River Wye. I was alone at the time of taking this as Tina and Chris had gone off to investigate a cave. Again, my guess is insects but the fact that the object is so perfectly spherical is a little puzzling.

Continued . . .


Olympus E-10 with standard Olympus lens and built in flash.

Nikon D100 with 18 - 35mm Nikon Lens and Nikon Speed Light.

The photographs above and below were taken literally within a split second of each other in a series of three I took at a football presentation on 2nd July 2005. The reason I took three photos of the same thing is because I always take three photos in rapid succession when photographing a group of people, to get over the problem of those who blink at the flash. With three shots, I can choose the one which shows most people with their eyes open.

It was a hot and sunny day with low humidity on the day of the tournament and presentation, so the white orb is not moisture. It only appeared on the third shot, as can be seen from the photo below, which is the second in the group of three and shows nothing unusual.

I have to be honest here and say that this one did spook me, though not in a frightening way. In a way, it helped me feel comfort at a very difficult time of my life. My mother, who supported me with my Wyenot.com venture and was always concerned whether or not I had enough paid work, had died just three weeks prior to the day of the tournament. When I got home and noticed the white blob on viewing the photo on screen, I jokingly said to Tina, 'Maybe it was Mum, coming to check up on me'.

'Funny you should say that,' she replied.

Continued . . .


Nikon D100 with 18 - 35mm Nikon Lens and Nikon Speed Light.

I do believe in ghosts, but not necessarily that they are the souls of dead people. The fact that people report seeing ghostly objects, such as 'ghost trains' makes the 'souls of dead people' theory less likely for me.

As for ghostly orbs - most film I have seen of these on television looks to me very much like moving dust, caught in the infra red light used by Zero LUX video cameras. Most digital photos I have seen showing 'ghostly orbs' look like there was not enough power in the flash to fill all of the pixels on the camera's CCD chip.

The universe is a very strange place with many amazing things going on which the human race does not yet fully understand. Time is not a constant, as are distance and the speed of light. E=MC² proves this. Light arrives at a speed of 186,282 miles per second, no matter how fast the observer or the source of that light are travelling, either towards or away from each other. As the speed of light is a constant and so is distance, this means that the only thing left to give in the equation is time itself. The faster you travel, the more time slows down until, at the speed of light, time stands still and mass becomes infinite. As mass becomes infinite, only something with zero mass to begin with can ever possibly be accelerated to the speed of light - electromagnetic waves. I personally believe that it may be possible for windows through time to exist, which occasionally allow light from the past through - just like broadcasting a television picture.

The photograph in Goodrich Castle Dungeon is definitely a strange one. As for the others - I personally think insects, reflections in water droplets or possibly even a falling bird poop, lit by the flash. There does still remain however, just the slightest possibility that ghostly visitors are not explainable by any known science.

Over to those who know about these things. Can a 'genuine' ghostly orb appear on the edge of a football field on a hot and sunny afternoon in July?

A.J.W.


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