Orbs have always been such a big part of the paranormal realm with so many people on each side of the argument of if they represent paranormal activity or not. The debate has been going on for years and many different photographs from multiple cameras capturing the same “phenomenon.” N.A.P.S., along with fellow investigators and researchers, have delved into this subject to try and determine what exactly is and is not real regarding orbs. Experiments have been tested time and time again and have proven that orbs that appear in photographs are most commonly a flash or ambient light reflecting off dust, particles, insects, hair strands, or moisture droplets in the air in front of the camera where the lens is unable to focus. Later in this paper, we will show two experiments that can be done in order to prove the “orb” theory, one for investigators who have a camera that uses the infrared setting and one for the non-investigator, who does not have access to that level of technology. The objectives we wish to cover in this paper are the different colors of orbs, what causes an orb in a photo, the flight path of an orb, and the question of why can’t we see them with our naked eyes.
I realize that even with the following paper, there are many out there who simply will not believe what is shown or even attempt the experiments as it will destroy their hope of their photos containing ghostly orbs. In the beginning, I and my co-founder, Shawn, were also victims of the “orb phenomenon.” We were just starting out in the actual investigation aspect of things and on one of the first investigations of a purportedly haunted location, we snapped pictures every which way in hopes of capturing an image of a ghost or spirit. That night we caught a picture of a big bright orb with what looked like a small blue ring around the edge. Shawn and I were ecstatic and believed that we had captured what we had set out to find. Upon further research, it was determined that the “orb” captured in the photograph was not a spirit but a piece of dust that had popped up close to the lens of my camera which reflected the light of the flash. Since it was close to the camera, it appeared large on the photograph, tricking us into thinking that we had caught a piece of paranormal activity.
Many people are fooled by the same thing every day when they investigate. They believe that since they cannot see orbs with the naked eye, why expect them to show up in a photograph. This brings us to the first experiment. This experiment will show that orbs can in fact be seen by the naked eye as well as show that there is no definitive flight path of a piece of dust. This experiment is referenced in a book by Kenny Biddle entitled “Orbs or Dust? A Practical Guide to False-Positive Evidence.” The experiment is as follows:
“Experiment – I mentioned above something about a sunny day. Here’s the deal; wait for one of those wonderful, clear days to come along…the kind where the sun is shining through every window. Get the room dark by turning off all the lights, pulling down all the shades and closing the curtains. Allow the curtains on one window to remain open, so that you get a nice sunbeam streaking in through the glass. All you need to do is sit yourself down beside that sunbeam and watch. You will see dust particles floating through the air as gently as can be. You will be able to watch as they swirl about, change direction and even speed past other particles. Get up and walk through the area, then turn to see how much dust has kicked up. I suggest taking a close look at this for a few minutes, really get an idea of how they move around.”
By now, I’m sure some of you have read this far and are rolling your eyes and saying that we don’t know what we’re talking about. Have you tried the experiment? Have you tried the other experiment in this paper to verify anything? As a paranormal investigator, I have set up night vision cameras throughout many different locations, old and new, and every time you will see the same thing, dust particles floating back and forth across the screen, reflecting the light from the infrared camera back into the lens, making the dust appear to “glow.” This brings me to the next experiment for you to test out. This experiment also comes from the book, “Orbs or Dust? A Practical Guide to False-Positive Evidence.” by Kenny Biddle. The experiment is as follows: Tools required – A video camera capable of using infrared or “night-vision.”
“Experiment – Set up your night-vision video camera on a tripod in a place you know is dusty (This will ensure that you get the desired effect without having to wait a while.) Turn off the lights and turn the N.V. on. Go about walking around in front of the camera; watch what happens when you bang on the ceiling or pat down a sofa cushion. You will be able to see how dust particles appear on film…just like the “orbs” many claim to be paranormal. Some will be out of focus, others may appear small, white (or with a green tint when using night-vision) anomalies. They will fly here and there, some fast while others take their time.”
Now, we have given examples and experiments to show that it is very possible to capture dust on film and have them resembled “paranormal orbs.” So, let us go further and talk about the different colors of orbs. You will see many different pictures with “orbs” being red, blue, brown, white, an array of different colors. Many people in the paranormal believe that these colors represent how the spirit is feeling. Red to mean they are angry, because apparently spirits act like mood rings. This is not the case, however. In most cases that we have seen and tested, colors can be reflected off of dust and the light from the camera will pick up that color and have it appear to be that color in the photo. “How can that be?” You may be asking. Well, if a piece of dust just happens to be floating by a colored wall, perhaps red paint, that camera flash will light up the red and cause it to reflect within the dust orb as well which will give the orb the appearance of emitting a reddish hue. Reflection is key when studying photos of orbs. Most “orbs” are white in photos because they reflect the camera flash itself back to the lens.
When looking at the pictures where you see these “orbs” captured, it’s always very important to look at the surrounding areas of that anomaly to really understand what could be causing the color imprinted on the particle itself. Most times, you will see something that matches that color in the same picture. For example, there was a picture someone took on a paranormal tour and then exclaimed passionately that they had “captured a spirit on camera and it must be one of the slaves of the plantation.” They claimed this because, and I kid you not, it was a “brown orb” in the photo. This photo was taken outdoors and there was a lot of people moving about, this kicks up debris from the ground itself, such as loose dirt particles that fly up into the air that people can’t really see, especially in the dark. So, when the camera flashes, the dirt particle already had that color from being on the ground and the flash lit up and reflected that color brightly.
Another example of an orb that was harder to debunk was from a photo that Shawn had taken. The picture was taken without a flash yet a pinkish/purple colored orb appeared in the photo and didn’t seem to have a definite shape, it wasn’t fully round nor oval. For a good while we believed that we had caught an actual orb on camera. Then we dug further and found out that the direction of the picture was taken towards the tv and cable box. The cable box was emitting an IR signal and the IR was picked up on the camera when the picture was taken. So, there you have it, a natural thing made to think it was paranormal before further research and investigating it. We cannot stress enough that you should research as much as you can to debunk your own evidence before putting out there as paranormal evidence. Orbs are by far the biggest culprit of this as many people just jump to believe they have captured something paranormal when in reality, it’s something very normal and can be explained.
“I caught one! I caught one! “