Thursday, 15 May 2014

Anomalies through gaps

Boundary rocksIt seems there is yet more stuff to consider when examining witness evidence. Specifically, was the witness looking through a window or some other restricted aperture, like a gap in trees? If so, they may be 'remembering' more than they actually saw. Welcome to the world of boundary extension.

Boundary extension is a very common type of false memory whereby people recall seeing things beyond the edge of a restricted view. Though experiments on boundary extension often use photographs, the effect works with real life scenes as well. It could occur, for instance, if someone saw a scene through a window or gaps in foliage.

So, paranormal researchers should consider the possibility that this effect may occur whenever a witness has a view of an incident restricted by some kind of aperture. It is also possible that such an aperture may be temporary. A witness could see an anomaly between a pair of parked cars, for instance. So, it's important to find out if any objects were restricting the witness's view at the time of the sighting.

Boundary rocksIn many cases, the details witnesses 'remember' of bits of the scene they cannot physically have seen are very similar to what was really there. So why does it matter? Well, suppose someone was looking at the framed photo here (above right). They may later 'recall' more rocks outside that view. But, as the wider version of the photo (right) shows, things may be different to what they unconsciously expected to see beyond the framed view. In this case, there is a large bush to left of the framed view and a dark recess to the right. So the witness recall would be significantly in error. And, as I've discovered when investigating my own odd sightings, things a little away from the observed anomaly can often provide important clues to a xenonormal explanation.

It is, therefore, important, to consider if a witness had a restricted view when they saw something anomalous. It is entirely possible that they may not even remember that they were seeing a scene through any kind of aperture. I have come across anomalous photos clearly taken through a window even though the photographer is sure they were not! At least, unlike other false memories, this one requires quite specific circumstances and produces known effects.

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