Saturday, November 21, 2015

Moving Orb Reappears 25 Times

Photo date: November 19, 2015. Photographer: Mark Mahin.

On this night I took a series of photos that was one of the strangest I have ever taken. The series showed a moving orb that seemed to reappear about 25 different times within a series of 65 photos.

I photograph moving orbs very often, particularly in Grand Central Terminal in New York. But prior to this day, whenever I photographed a moving orb, it would be like a one-shot wonder. I would get a single photo showing what looked like a moving orb, but such an orb would not reappear in the next twenty photos.

On this day, however, something very different was going on. My photos showing what looked like the same moving orb reappearing many different times.  Here is a photo from early in the series, taken at 5:24 PM.  The camera seems to have caught two position states of a moving orb.

moving orb
Here was the next photo, also taken at 5:24 PM.

Here was a photo taken in the next minute, at 5:25 PM. Note that now we seem to see not just two circular orbs within the shape, but three circular orbs.

Two photos later (also at 5:25 PM) I took this photo, showing a blank wall. Now there was no sign of the orb. This is the complete photo, without cropping.

But the next photo (also at 5:25 PM) showed the orb reappearing again.

Most of the next few photos showed no sign of the orb, including this photo of a piece of cardboard in front of the camera, taken at 5:28 PM.  This is the complete photo, without cropping.

But the next photo, taken at 5:29 PM, showed the orb back again.

orb tail
Most of the next photos did not show the orb, including this photo taken of a piece of cardboard at 5:30 PM. This is the complete photo, without cropping.

But the next photo, also taken at 5:30 PM, showed the orb back again.

 There is no way to explain these series of photos through any natural hypothesis that I can think of. Each of the 25 times I photographed this orb within the same hour, it had the same position in the top right corner of the photo area (the orb photos shown here are closeups cropped from larger photos).  No insects were observed when these photos were taken, so we can hardly think that I was repeatedly photographing some insect I couldn't see with my eyes. The orbs look nothing like insects, and if it had been an insect it would have appeared at random positions, rather than always appearing in the top right corner each of 25 times. The same objections apply to a hypothesis of dust. Of course, neither insects nor dust move with even a tenth of the speed that seems to be shown in these photos, which seem to show something moving very fast.

The most workable natural hypothesis (although not a good one) is that there was some kind of smudge on my camera lens. But even that hypothesis fails for two reasons: (1) the "orb streak" does not look the same in each photo (sometimes having two internal circles, and sometimes three); (2) such a hypothesis is ruled out by the intervening photos I took of cardboard and blank walls (shown above), which did not show anything unusual.  A smudge on the lens would have showed up on all of the photos taken between 5:24 and 5:30 PM.

After taking this series of photos, I went to Grand Central Terminal, and took more than 100 photos which showed no such anomaly.

Although I have never before seen this type of reappearance with moving orbs, I have seen equally astonishing reappearances of anomalous objects, as shown in this series of posts, which include posts about reappearing giant purple orbs.

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