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Sunday, April 11, 2010

Ghosts or Illusions of Ghosts


I do not believe that everything that is seen in a ghost investigation is an optical illusion. To believe that would be a form of unhealthy skepticism which rejects the evidence which is being produced by investigations all over the world. I do believe that the human perceptual system is subject to illusions and consider that to be an established fact which must be taken into serious consideration during an investigation.
So what is the role of illusions during investigations, and can some of the experiences which have been reported be due to either visual or auditory illusions? I do believe illusions can account for a significant number of personal experiences and that anyone investigating the paranormal must deal with them.

The Investigation Visual Field (IVF)
Most investigations take place in the dark. They take place at night with lights turned off. This produces a low intensity background. That is to say, the background visual field is low contrast, low luminosity, and low color. It is obvious that under such conditions, objects in the background can become ambiguous, out of clear focus, and with little spatial orientation. At the same time, the investigators use flashlights or lights mounted on cameras to navigate and inspect the background. The area covered by the light tends to be limited, but is high in contrast, high in brightness, and colorful. So the typical IVF consists of a low intensity background in which there is an embedded high intensity foreground which moves and changes position. It is this combination of a low intensity background and a high intensity foreground which is fertile ground for visual illusions.

Illusion Generators
An illusion generator is an optical pattern designed to produce an illusion. While you will not find an exact duplicate of an illusion generator during an investigation, you will find that the conditions by which the illusion generator produces an illusion can occur in the IVF. Unfortunately, this blog format cannot handle the illusion generators which I want to use to show you how illusions can take place during an investigation. So I had to write several web pages, off-blog, which can show you how illusions can be generated and their possible application in an investigation. The first web page contains an interesting article about illusions and the paranormal. This article is followed by five pages of illusion generators. There are navigation buttons on the bottom of each page, and to return to this blog click on the button which says "Blog". At this point you can either go to the illusion web-pages, and then return to the Blog to read the conclusions section below, or read the conclusions section and then go to the web pages. To go to the illusion pages click HERE.

Most investigators will dismiss orbs as being out of focus dust caught in the flash of the camera. In the same spirit of skepticism, most peripheral vision images, or objects produced by Pareidolia should be rejected as being paranormal unless there is clear supporting evidence from measures not subject to illusion. In order to deal with or eliminate the possible effect of illusions, every attempt should be made to identify how an illusion could occur in the environment. Remember, certain illusions cannot be tested with photographs or video recordings. The illusion can take place by looking at the photograph or video, since it really takes place in the mind of the observer.

Pastor Jochem’s book “The Spirit Universe: A Christian View” is available in the Amazon Bookstore. His book is an invaluable resource to have on hand if you are interested in general information needed for investigating the paranormal, deliverance ministry, or counseling those hypersensitive to the spirit universe or those who are dealing with the occult and negative spirits. The book contains reorganized content from the blog, expanded information, and new content which will not be published in this blog. For more information and to order the book, click Here

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