Friday, October 30, 2009

Freaky Halloween post

Last March, Mrs. Pool Bar went to Italy with her friend June. While there, they toured Rome, Pompeii, Florence, and a bunch of other places I'm still jealous over not seeing. They traveled with June's ex, Rick, and his wife (not at all awkward) and made the obligatory stop at St. Peter's Basilica in Rome. At the end of the trip, Rick burned the pictures to CDs for June and my wife to bring home.

Tonight, seven months later, June was flipping through the pictures on her computer and saw something that startled her. She called Rick and told him to look through the pictures from St. Peter's and look for one with an "angel or ghost" in it. When Rick saw the image above, he called me, and since we were out of the house, I told him to e-mail it so I could see it on my BlackBerry. Mrs. Pool Bar and I were sure that both Rick and June were putting one over on us.

So, when we got home we pulled out my wife's copy of the disc and sure enough, there was the same image on the picture. There were several other pictures of the same scene taken at the same time, and none of them showed the ghostly image you see in this one. I opened up the picture and zoomed in 400x and to my untrained eye, I could see no evidence that it was photoshopped into the original.

I post the image here in the hope that someone with expertise in image manipulation might be able to take a look and tell me if the photo has been doctored in anyway.

Despite the timing, this is NOT a Halloween prank. The only thing I myself have done to the image is to rotate it 90 degrees for proper orientation.

You can grab a copy of the picture by clicking on it, then right clicking on the full-size image, and then select save. EXIF data will be intact.

Update: As I promised in the comments, here are a couple more shots of the same subject, without anything weird. Check the EXIF data to confirm the times they were taken.

Update 2: But wait...something's fishy here. The file size of the picture with the "ghost" is four times the size of the pictures without. I'm calling BS. I know jack about Photoshop. Do such alterations usually significantly increase the file size like that?

Update 3: Back to the drawing board. I found the CD with the original files my wife brought home from Italy. All the files are of similar size. I guess some compression occurred when I uploaded from my wife's computer to my blog, then downloaded the images from my blog to my computer. Bottom line, the source of the "ghost" is still a mystery, and I can't get hold of Rick until tomorrow. Working strictly from the original files on the CD, I can't find any evidence of tampering. Rather than try to clean up this post with the images directly from the disc, I'll put up a new post with all three.

See update to this post here.


Mark said...

I believe in a lot of things... but that's likely a case on very nice looking lens flare.

Of course, you could all ways submit it to and see what they think.

Mark said...

Ugh - that should be "a case of"...

Eric said...

This picture was one of around half a dozen all taken at the same time, with the same camera, of the same subject. They were also all taken at about the same angle and distance. None of the others shows a hint of anything out of the ordinary. I'll post a few of them in an update from my wife's computer, since that's where they're stored.

Anonymous said...


Eric said...

Um, OK. Pretty lame "debunking" if you ask me.