Monday, December 25, 2006

Sorry; orbs aren't enough

I've always loved ghost stories and the folklore of hauntings, and the parapsychology buffs who lug equipment into old cemeteries and prisons and manor houses for overnight "investigations" amuse me no end -- though I'm generally annoyed by the wholly uncritical coverage given such expeditions by local newspapers and TV and radio stations, and I invariably marvel over the lame "evidence" these folks bring back. To me, extraordinary claims demand extraordinary evidence, and simple photographs of "orbs" -- the anomalies that can be caused in any photograph, especially nighttime photographs, by dust, pollen, precipitation, etc. -- simply don't count, unless you're already a true believer. I was beginning to think I was alone in my anti-orb grumpiness, but now Stephen Wagner, the Paranormal Phenomena editor at (whose news roundups I recommend), states the case very well in a column titled "Enough With the Orbs Already":
So at this point I am willing to dismiss all orb photos as non-paranormal anomalies. There seems to be no compelling reason to consider them as anything but dust and such. ... Let’s not waste any more speculation on orbs. Enough already.

No comments: