Tuesday, 27 September 2016

Shadow ghost

ShadowMy attention was recently drawn to a curious phenomenon. It was early morning, barely light. i could not see what had been described to me at first and thought I'd missed it. But then, there it was! It was a shadow moving slowly, in a roughly circular path, across the surface of a road. The shadow was roughly circular in shape with indistinct edges. It was, perhaps, half a metre in diameter. My first thought was that it might be a shadow thrown by a moth, or a tree branch, near the street light illuminating that section of road. However, there were no trees anywhere near the street light. Also, the shadow was moving too slowly to be a moth, nor was there any hint of flickering that you expect from its wings. So, a shadow ghost then!     

I was incredibly lucky to have a pair of binoculars to hand, so I turned them on the street light. At first I could see nothing unusual. Then I saw it - a large insect walking across the refractor (the transparent cover below the bulb) of the street lamp. The insect was maybe close in size to a dragonfly but I'm not sure what species it was (possibly a large crane fly). The fact that it was walking (rather than flying) over the refractor explained how it could move slowly without any fluttering.

Without binoculars I could never have identified the source of this shadow ghost phenomenon with any certainty. Before looking through the binoculars I hadn't considered the idea of a walking insect. And that is a central problem with so many reports on anomalous phenomena. When witnesses only have a brief naked eye view of something strange, it is highly likely to remain a mystery simply through lack of relevant informatio

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