Welcome to the ASSAP paranormal blog! Though this blog is aimed at anyone interested in the paranormal, it will be of particular interest to the paranormal research community. Updated frequently, but not regularly (don't expect something new every day!), it covers any paranormal topic, as well as highlighting recent changes to the ASSAP website. You may not notice it but this site changes on an almost daily basis.
Whenever new information becomes available on a subject ASSAP covers, it is added to the relevant pages of the website straight away. So, just because you've read a page, don't assume it will still be exactly the same when you next look. That way the ASSAP website remains an up to date research resource.
The photo (above right, pic by Val Hope) is the ASSAP blogger himself, out looking for anomalies wherever they are to be found, so that you can read about them here. To contact the ASSAP blog, email here.
Important note: If anything in this blog does not make sense, try following the links in text! If it still doesn't make sense, that's probably my fault ...
Previous blog pages ... (including ghosts, UFOs, poltergeists, flying rods, miracles, orbs, hypnotic regression, big cats, vampires, near sleep experiences, premonitions, shadow ghosts, paranormal photos, auras, river monsters and dozens of other subjects)
ASSAP @ 30: A series of posts summarising what we have learned through thirty years of ASSAP, whose anniversary was 10 June. See here!
NB: WDTHDWP = 'what does this have to do with the paranormal'
6 December: Why did I look away from the ghostly hand?
I glanced around and noticed a huge ghostly white glowing hand hovering above the rock concert audience. Strangely, I then looked away! Belatedly realizing I'd seen something truly weird, I quickly looked back but it had gone.
I have reported before how I once saw a ghost on stage at a rock concert. This, much more recent sighting, was in a similar situation. I was at the back of an audience in a darkened room at a concert with only the stage illuminated strongly. Unlike on the previous occasion, I had the presence of mind this time to try to analyze what I'd just seen at the time.
Firstly, looking again, I concluded that the 'hand' was almost certainly on the wall, rather than hovering over the audience. Secondly, I only saw the hand in one short glance, making it likely to be a 'glance misperception' of some kind. It may have been a deliberate lighting effect but, since it only happened once, I suspect not. That the 'hand' was white was interesting (and the same as in the incident linked above) given that most lighting at the concert was every colour except white! This suggests that it may have been a reflection of the white spotlight used to illuminate the artist on stage. Regular concert goers will be familiar with the experience of being momentarily dazzled by reflections off guitars! Maybe this was one, playing on the wall.
But why did I only glance at this extraordinary thing, whose cause was far from immediately obvious, and then look away? I've heard this sort of thing before in reports of anomalous phenomena. It can take a second or two for someone to register the fact that they've just seen something truly weird. And by then, it may well have gone, as in this case. Had the sight been alarming, rather than simply bizarre, I'm sure I would not have taken my eyes off it. So maybe that is why some witnesses continue to gaze at something weird while others don't. It may all come down to whether the object is perceived as any kind of threat.
It is, perhaps, unsurprising that we see odd things in darkened rooms filled with unusual lighting, typical of rock concerts. Most people probably dismiss anything odd they see in such situations as a deliberate lighting effect, given that they are watching a performance ('just part of the show'). If a ghost wanted to walk unnoticed through a crowd of people, a rock concert would be the perfect place to do so.
5 December: Where is that strange sound coming from?
I heard the characteristic chattering call of a Magpie and looked up, as I do when I hear one of my favourite birds. On this occasion I could not see it. I was walking along a street lined by terraced houses, so it wasn't surprising. The bird sounded like it was on a roof on one side of the street but there was nothing there. So I looked round in all directions.
Why would I do that, you might ask? Because sounds are strongly reflected by walls and, in my experience, if you can't see the bird straight away, you are probably hearing a reflected sound. That means the bird could be in almost any direction, depending on the layout of the house walls nearby.
I walked further along the street until there was another terrace-lined street leading off to one side. Now the direction of the still-calling bird seemed to change, appearing to be coming from the side street. But a quick look showed that it wasn't there either. Finally, I looked behind me and there was the Magpie. It was on a tall tree, down an alleyway, behind the street I'd been walking along. Now that I could see it, the sound obviously came from the direction of the bird.
The difficulties of locating the origin of a sound in buildings, on ghost vigils for instance, are well known (see here). But, as this incident illustrates, there are also problems outdoors, especially in the vicinity of buildings or rock faces. . When investing anomalous phenomena outside you should consider that, just because you hear a sound from a particular direction, it doesn't necessarily mean its origin is that way. Sometimes odd noises are attributed to something invisible (and possibly paranormal) when, in reality, what you can hear is just not where you think it is.
2 December: Looking closely doesn't always help
I sometimes see anomalous photos which are clearly cropped sections of a larger original. This cropping may be done to protect someone's anonymity. More often, however, the photographer has cropped the photo to show only the anomaly itself. While this might seem a good idea, at first sight, it can affect how the photo is interpreted.
Take the example here! The photo (right) shows some water with some decidedly strange looking translucent blobs apparently floating above it. One blob, on the left, is shaped like a bottle while another, bottom right, resembles a pebble in shape. The other blobs look roughly circular. It's difficult to judge the scale without knowing how high those waves are on the water. If they are big, perhaps at sea, then it is difficult to imagine what those objects might actually be!
If, on the other hand, the waves are small, maybe in a pond or lake, then the blobs might be easier to understand. They could then, for instance, be droplets of water kicked up from a splash. And that is, indeed, what they are! The uncropped version of this photo shows a duck diving, kicking up those droplets, fortuitously captured in midair just as the photo was taken. Obviously, once the full context is available, the objects are no longer mysterious at all.
While this is a trivial example, purely for illustration, I have come across many others which were not. And, in almost every case, when the whole uncropped photo was examined, a natural explanation for something that initially appeared mysterious rapidly emerged. People often crop their anomalous photos to be helpful, concentrating the eye on the central mystery. It is, perhaps, an obvious thing to do, to look most closely at the mystery object itself in order to explain it. However, it is often what is going on elsewhere in the photo that provides the vital clue to solving such photographic mysteries.
PS: Regarding the last blog entry, MA later recalled having seen the 'fox' video at Verbier online with a French commentary! This might explain where the French accent originated.
|For a review of paranormal research in the noughties, see here.
Last month's (November) website figures are an average of 11675 hits per day. This is down on the previous month's 13216 daily average, though October is always high!
Previous blog pages ...
- Nov 2013 (including hearing voices, blurry ghosts, mirrors and ghosts, coincidences, UFOs near airports)
- Oct 2013 (including fairy photo, mist ghost, yeti, premonitions, orbs are NOT dust, how hauntings start)
- Sep 2013 (including moving sticks, targets affecting odds in psi tests, shape shifting, not photographing ghosts)
- Aug 2013 (including ghosts in plain view, mystery photo, seeing faces, ear pointing, shadow presence, time distortion)
- July 2013 (including floating ghosts, on being a ghost, ghost ducks, follow that ghost - yes, ghosts galore)
- June 2013 (including transparent ghosts, distance of UFOs, other stuff going on while witnessing anomalous phenomena)
- May 2013 (including ghost seen AND photographed, time distortion, reproducing anomalous phenomena)
- Apr 2013 (including door ghost moving, UFOs from a train, missing time, reality glitches, EVP without E, weird photos)
- Mar 2013 (including witness credibility, distraction to see ghosts, movie in real life, photo or witness)
- Feb 2013 (including possible orb comeback, OBEs go mainstream, walking ghost, feelings without touch, object movement)
- Jan 2013 (including a big problem with ghost vigils, time distortions, cryptids, snow ghosts and rods, causes of hauntings)
- Dec 2012 (including mysterious injuries, ghosts versus people, voice from nowhere, experimenting with a ghost)
- Nov 2012 (including reflected ghost, isolated EVPs, ghosts talking to each other, invisible presences)
- Oct 2012 (including ghostly presence, shadow ghost, strange pigeons, window ghosts, hallucinations)
- Sep 2012 (including yellow grass, weird waterfalls, vanishing buzzard, ghost vigils, slowing down time)
- Aug 2012 (including seeing unknown animals, glowing lampposts, EMF meters as an accident of history)
- July 2012 (including turning rods into orbs, psychic insight, making insects spell, glowing eyes, haunting hot spots)
- June 2012 (including doppelganger mystery, not expecting ghosts, anecdotal evidence, credible witnesses)
- May 2012 (including lenticular cloud, ghost encounter, ghost train, weird stuff in a tree, van Gogh, resolution)
- Apr 2012 (including naturalists and ghosts, odd feelings during OBE, wrong kind of sound, voice from nowhere)
- Mar 2012 (including jogging and ghosts, misty ghosts, image noise, full spectrum photography, EVP of machines)
- Feb 2012 (including ghost car, analyzing anomalous photos, ghost at rock concert, OBEs and motion sickness)
- Jan 2012 (including stopping flying rods, photographing fairies, time warp, a ghost tie, ghostly fingers, New Year UFOs)
- Dec 2011 (including missing time, improving ghost vigils, anomalous photos, ghostly faces, seeing fiction)
- Nov 2011 (including OBE video games, EVP and VLF, whatshisname, paranormal misconceptions, invisible ghosts)
- Oct 2011 (including smartphone ghosts, similacrum, smell of ghosts, morphing UFOs, slowing time)
- Sep 2011 (including tidy ghost, MADS, transparent ghost, big announcement, ghost fox, not alone)
- Aug 2011 (including cold spots, spectral hound, triangular UFO, ghost photos, rushing air and being dragged)
- July 2011 (including Hilary Evans, Harry Potter, witness investment, bias in paranormal research, TV detectives)
- June 2011 (including ASSAP @ 30, detecting lies, hyper-vigilence, strange thunder)
- May 2011 (including ASSAP @ 30, lone shoes, flying rods, bias, early memories, strange floating object)
- Apr 2011 (including royal wedding, mirror touch synaesthesia, sleep disorders, new ghost sighting)
- Mar 2011 (including roof heron, Atlantis, first time witnesses, comparing film to digital paranormal photos)
- Feb 2011 (including predicting the future, ghost bird, time slip, weird floor, what do we really know about paranormal)
- Jan 2011 (including the ghost hunting boom, orange UFO, EVP experiment, extreme normality)
- Dec 2010 (including microsleeps and road ghosts, shadow ghost in snow, lack of ghosts in photos, anthropomorphism)
- Nov 2010 (including EMF meters, auras, evidence for precognition, sensitisation, the ghost hunting boom)
- Oct 2010 (including black orbs, UnConvention, mirror visions, levitation, flying rods and orbs)
- Sep 2010 (including a ring tone from the roof, shadow ghost video, time slip explanation, daylight orb video)
- Aug 2010 (including Parisian UFO, sense of presence, SLI, consulting experts, misperception)
- Jul 2010 (including Sherlock Holmes as a paranormal investigator, haunting sounds, what ARE hallucinations)
- Jun 2010 (including the Loch Ness Monster, gorilla video, getting ghost stories the wrong way round)
- May 2010 (including ball lightning, Wem ghost photo, waking up twice, eyewitnesses, Robin Hood)
- Apr 2010 (including causes of road ghosts, new orb evidence, bird UFOs, UFO photo, not quite seeing is believing)
- Mar 2010 (including experiencing hypnagogia, consciousness, belief, prolonged misperception, doppelganger)
- Feb 2010 (including visual continuity errors - AKA ghosts, near sleep experiences on trains, spontaneous OOBEs)
- Jan 2010 (including intelligent oil, SLI, inducing OOBEs, orange UFOs, the bleak midwinter)
- Dec 2009 (including review of research in the noughties, pretty orbs, imperceptions, river monster)
- Nov 2009 (including EVP without a recorder, demons and entities, why only some people see ghosts)
- Oct 2009 (including grey ghost, near sleep experiences, a triangular UFO and seeing David Beckham)
- Sep 2009 (including latent memory, Tufted Puffin, Bermuda Triangle and garden poltergeist)
- Aug 2009 (including official UFO files, partial ghosts, flying rods and miracles)
- Jul 2009 (including garden poltergeist, big cat video, orbs and hypnotic regression)
- Jun 2009 (including thoughts from nowhere, shadow ghosts, premonitions and metallic UFO)
- May 2009 (including analysing paranormal photos, making ghosts and ghost lore)
- Apr 2009 (including phantom bird, choice blindness and grass that gets up and walks away)
- Mar 2009 (including deja vu, ghostly mists, weird UFO photo, white ghosts and naked eye orbs)
- Feb 2009 (including hidden memories, coincidences, auras and window UFOs)
- Jan 2009 (including animals sensing ghosts, vampires, flying rod season and a haunted path)
- Dec 2008
- Nov 2008
- Oct 2008
- Sep 2008
- Aug 2008
- July 2008
- June 2008
- May 2008
- April 2008
- March 2008
- February 2008
- January 2008
- December 2007
- November 2007
- October 2007
- Even older
© Maurice Townsend 2013