Monday, July 16, 2007

Santa Fe Ghost: Less than Meets the Eye

I was listening to a recent episode of Skepticality (another great podcast I heartily recommend) in which Derek and Swoopy interview Benjamin Radford about his investigation of the Santa Fe Courthouse ghost video. The original footage of an orange blob moving across the field of a courthouse security camera achieved insta-fame on YouTube, where it garnered over 100,000 hits in its first month online. The only problem is that the shape looks more like a small spider crawling on the camera lens than anything paranormal. It has tiny little legs and moves from one edge of the frame to the other without disappearing or flickering.

Instead of casually dismissing the footage (as I just did in the above paragraph), Benjamin Radford decided to test the "bug" theory by replicating the same effect on the same camera at the same time of day. He used a ladybug (which required him to obtain and bring tons of the critters), and replicated the footage quite convincingly. Now that's what I call an investigation.

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