I really dislike adding this article to our ghosts & hauntings section simply because it implies that the theory of orbs = ghosts is correct - no one has presented hard evidence that this is absolutely true, in fact the contrary is the case. However, the issue of orbs is one that needed to be addressed as we receive numerous submissions in regards.
First off, our organization is made up of many members whom have differing belief systems and thoughts on the “orb” phenomena. Included here are my own, as well as our organization’s policies.
Para-Researchers Of Ontario asks that due to overwhelming submissions of late (and we thank all of those who took the time to contact us), before a photographer send us pics of “orbs” that they check to see that it fits the following criteria.
- the orb must be partially obscured by an identifiable object in the foreground. the obscuring object in the foreground must be darker than the orb with no change of color where it obscures the orb. If the "obscuring" object is brighter, it will appear to be closer to the camera even when experimental evidence at the time the picture was taken demonstrates that it is really further away from the camera and therefore behind the orb it appears to obscure. Regardless of relative distance, the brighter the image, the closer it appears.
- there must also be an identifiable object depicted in the background in order to determine distance and apparent size of the “orb.”
- we prefer photos taken with a 35mm camera, no flash used, and definitely an “orb” sighted with the naked eye prior to taking the photo (these we are particularly interested in).
Orb photos, including there cousins, vortices, mists etc are easily duplicated and no controls exist that can rule out natural causation with 100 % certainty. Therefore despite differing schools of thought the above criteria is the accepted standard throughout our organization for the full examination of an “orb” photo.
Personally, I believe there may be “something” to the phenomena. I have seen one, literally out of thousands that might conform to the above criteria. Again one out of thousands! The photo is part of study being conducted in Michigan USA -the findings of which we hope to also publish on our website.
Our personal thank you and appreciation goes to Dr Charles Lietzau for making this photo available to our readers. All inquiries, comments, and/or constructive criticism should be made directly to Dr. Lietzau.
This photo is copyrighted and may not be used in any format whatsoever without the express written permission of Dr Lietzau. To do so otherwise would be in direct violation of international copyright law.
With that said I will also caution that whether or not there are some genuine “orb” anomalies - stating that they are proof positive of ghosts and/or hauntings is wrong and is not a leap of faith I am willing to make. It is my duty as a researcher/investigator to seek the truth even when that truth goes against my own personal thoughts and feelings.
For more information on this topic we recommend Dr. Bruce Maccabee’s paper on the subject. Dr Maccabee is a physicist with an interest in paranormal topics.
Please also read Matthew Didier's article The Final Orb which explains virtually all orb photos
As of 2008 we are no longer accepting orb photos. Virtually all of the credible researchers around the globe now reject orb photos as anything more than dust, and other airborne particles that are caught reflected in light, which is why people only see them after they view the image, and not with the naked eye.