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13 March 2006

Photo Feature by Al & Patt Harris

Orbs — Ghosts, or Science?
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Note from Al: Here are some authentic "orb" photos taken near the historic Civil War section of the Jacksonville Cemetery recently. I have no idea what causes an orb to appear in a photo. I know there were no bugs, rain drops, or anything else visible to the naked eye. Some attribute orbs to "ball lightning" and various other interesting theories. However, after chatting with several friends on the faculty, the cause is simply unknown. I shot these in the cemetery for dramatic "atmosphere" but am no "ghost hunter" by any stretch of the imagination. Because of severe neck problems that prevent lifting, I used a new, eight-ounce Canon Powershot A620 set to automatic. I checked the camera in advance and am sure that it was working properly. (Copyright Al & Patt Harris)

No trick photography was involved. The photos were cropped and sized to fit this page. Here, several "orbs" hovered around an angel grave marker.

Three orbs are visible from this different vantage point. Photo was enlarged and cropped but no enhancements were added.

Multiple orbs "hover" in and around a bush in the graveyard. I came away with more than 50 good photos.

My wife Patt snapped this interesting shot near the center of the cemetery. As shown here, you should point your camera toward dark areas that have no street lights or other man-made illumination.

A slight enlargement from the original, unedited frame. Nearly all the orbs in our photos have a solid, three-dimensional appearance with a surface that looks pocked like a golf ball.

The Camera Was Tested....
The new Canon Powershot A620 tested perfectly -- no tricks or flaws led to the "orbs" you see here. See test shots below.

A few test shots made about an hour before the "orbs" were photographed.

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