Thursday, 16 May 2013

The wall mystery!

This event really happened! Maybe not quite as described but ... Anyway, a piece of mounting putty was discovered one morning attached low down on a wall. No one had stuck it there! Everything else in the room appeared completely undisturbed. There was no obvious, or unobvious, way in which this putty could have attached itself to the wall! The only clue was a mysterious bang heard a few hours earlier from the room. Based on these facts alone, a paranormal cause might appear more likely than some of the bizarre natural alternatives that might be readily imagined.

This is just the sort of mystery that paranormal investigators are often faced with when they arrive to examine a case. The central problem is that vital clues are missing, though this may not always be obvious. In the real example here, the missing clue is the previously unheard testimony of the secondary witness who removed a fallen picture from the floor before the primary witnesses arrived. Without that testimony a site examination might, or might not, have revealed a crucial clue that a picture was missing from the wall. But even then, there would be no reason to think the picture had gone missing recently!

An investigator in possession of these additional vital facts could then piece together what almost certainly happened. And here is the conclusion. A picture, attached to a wall with mounting putty, fell from the wall, hence the mysterious bang as it hit the floor. It was then removed, by the secondary witness, from its position at the bottom of the wall, unknown to the primary witnesses. However, while the picture was leaning against the foot of the wall, a piece of the mounting putty, which had come unstuck, was wedged between the two objects. When the picture was removed, the putty remained stuck to the wall, rather than the picture, a fact unnoticed by the person moving it. Hence the position of the putty on the wall, not far from the floor! Later, the primary witnesses came across the putty and could find no obvious reason for its presence.

Unlikely? Well it happened, pretty much exactly as described. The odds against such an occurrence happening by chance must be quite high. But that doesn't make it impossible, merely a very rare occurrence. In those cases where the investigator cannot find all the required information, such occurrences will remain mysterious. The moral of this story is not to stop digging around for clues too quickly or easil

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