Q&A WITH THE MEDIUM CRAIG HAMILTON-PARKER
What are orbs?
CRAIG'S COMMENT ABOUT ORBS:
In most instances I believe ORBS have an earthly explanation. The diodes in old digital cameras are prone to misfire which results in some of the unusual orbs that can look like faces and so on. Digital cameras also have a short focal length which means that particles of dust and rain droplets that are very close to the lens can be captured on the camera. Although not seen by the naked eye these can appear like balls of light to the camera. This effect is exaggerated further when a flash is used. But this does not explain why ORBS can also appear in situations such as around a healers hands when they are projecting their energy or surrounding a medium when they are demonstrating. In Spiritualist circles we prefer to use the term 'spirit lights' for this type of phenomena.
What do ORBS look like?
One of the most commonplace "real ghost pictures" that are sent to me for analysis are of what psychics call orbs. Orbs are usually circular balls of light. Most are usually white orbs though often orbs are red and many other colours. Some orbs appear to have images and faces within them. The orb can be a paranormal phenomenon but most of the orbs caught on cameras may have an earthly explanation.
What is the cause of real Orbs?
One popular orbs theory is that the orb is the energy being transferred from a source such as power lines, heat, batteries and so on. Energy like a globule of water in zero gravity is drawn together to form a sphere. Orbs may also have something to do with human bio energy and may be an effect of the energy of the aura. I have certainly seen orbs around people's heads when I am making a spirit link. There is one instance that I have described in detail in my book "Protecting the Soul" in which Jane and I saw a brilliant ball of light -an orb about the size of a football- appear in the middle of the room. It was astonishing and in this instance we believe that it may have been a protective spirit. The difference between this spirit light phenomena and orbs caught on camera is that spirit lights can be seen with the naked eye and by everyone present.
ORBS in graveyardWhat are the Orbs we see in ghost photos?
Found on a standard photograph these can be caused by crystals in the developing fluid that leave a ring on the picture. They can also be caused by the refraction of the light in the camera lens in both digital and in a standard film camera- particularly if you are filming directly into a light source or towards a reflective surface. Dust floating close to the lens will also catch sunlight and appear to be a ball of light. Digital camera have a short focal length so captures dust particles and droplets of rain close to the lens. These appear as brilliant balls of light and because of their varied size give the illusion that they are in perspective and a part of the scene photographed rather than happening close to the camera. This is particularly the case if the background is dark and the light source is from the side or when a flash has been used. Older digital cameras will misfire their diodes in low light to produce orbs in the final image. This is most likely to happen in low light such as in graveyards, dark haunted houses and inside tombs.
What about the orbs we see on TV programs?
We've seen the same effects appear on some of my own ghost hunts- a strange ball seems to float across the picture. Now it is quite possible that this is a paranormal phenomenon but it is probably more likely to be dust. Similarly if someone is smoking nearby then the smoke may well appear to look like spooks. I have spoken in the past to a camera man from the programme Most Haunted who claimed that the supposed phenomena on the programme simply mislead people and took advantage of camera effects known to most cameramen.
Is there such a thing as a real orb?
In some rare instances the orbs that appear on camera are hard to explain. For example why do orbs appear when a healer extends their powers but are absent when they stop healing. Why too do photographs of mediums working also result in photographs of orbs. And why do large numbers of orbs appear at spiritually significant events under conditions that would normally not allow for orbs to be created by dust, moisture or faulty cameras?