I recently saw a small animal disappear behind a car. I only saw it for a second or so before it vanished from view. Intrigued, I waited to see it emerge from behind the vehicle. I waited a long time but it never reappeared. In the end I realised the object had not really looked that much like an animal. There was a strong gusty wind at the time and I concluded that I'd actually seen a wind-blown bit of litter which had dropped to the floor behind the car. Sadly, I was not actually able to check this but the lack of any reappearance pretty much rules out an animal. I believe instead it was a glance misperception.
Glance misperceptions are objects misinterpreted when only seen briefly. I've noticed a lot of them in the last few months, more than usual. I think the increase is due to the virus crisis. I have had a heightened state of awareness of my surroundings of late. I have frequently seen briefly-viewed objects as something else, particularly as human figures. And not only actual objects - sometimes moving shadows or even after-images. And most of these observations have been at night. My heightened attention seems to be linked particularly to moving objects. That fits with most observations happening at night when we mainly use the rods in our eyes that are more attuned to movement than cones. It is possible that the virus crisis may produce more reports of ghosts, and other anomalous phenomena, seen only briefly.
Author :© Maurice Townsend 2020
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