Friday, 15 April 2016

Strange animal?

not snakeThe photo (right) shows what appears to a strange-looking animal. Is it a large lizard or even a huge snake? I suggest it is large because it towers over the ground vegetation (including clumps of grass) in the background. Given that the photo was taken in the UK, where there are no large lizards, it would have to be something incredibly rare and unlikely, maybe an escape from a zoo or collection or even an alien animal of some kind.

I took this photo because the object looked like something interesting but I could put my finger on what it was at the time. Looking at it later, I deliberately made the image darker and suddenly I could see what it suggested - a huge green lizard, of course. I then cropped the picture to further emphasize the lizard look. I don't think everyone will see it as a lizard but some will.

Now, suppose someone else had taken a photo of this object but in low light conditions. They might well have seen it as a large lizard on the resulting picture and reported it as such. Any photo they took of the object would look like a lizard without any editing at all.

I did all this to illustrate what happens how important context is to anomaly reports. I'm sure that a lot of important contextual information is routinely missing from paranormal reports and anomalous photos. If such contextual information was available to anomaly investigators it could easily point them towards a xenonormal explanation in many cases.

The next picture contains a larger crop of the (otherwise unedited) original photo. It is now obvious that the 'lizard' is actually a moss-covered log. Or is it? I still think the object suggests some sort of animal even in its original form. I know it is a log because I examined it closely when I took the photo.

Moss on logSo how can paranormal investigators obtain this hugely useful contextual information? In the case of anomalous photos, it is extremely useful to examine any other photos taken of the same scene at the same time, if available. With witnessed events, it is understandable if the people present only paid attention to the weird phenomenon itself. So they may well have not noticed a lot of useful information. Some contextual information can be gleaned from site visits by investigators after the event. However, things might well have changed since the original incident. Statements from any additional witnesses present might contain useful extra information. Sadly, with events where there is no photographic or instrumental record, it is highly likely that much important contextual information will be missing.

PS: Half way through month and no famous people yet (see here) ... starting to get nervous!

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