I really know what I saw!

I really know what I saw!

In the photo (right) I see a figure wearing a tricorn hat (not everyone will see it). There was no such figure seen at the time of exposure so one interpretation might be that it is a ghost. However, I know it isn’t a ghost because a zoomed version of the photo shows the ‘figure’ to be a reed. However, when I look at this photo I see a figure in a hat even though I KNOW there isn’t one there. It is a misperception. Such misperceptions usually break down because you get more sensory information about the object as you look at it. But this is not  possible with a photo which has a fixed amount of visual information in it. You can’t approach the object in a photo or look at it from a different angle or improve the lighting. Note that for the purposes of this analysis I’m assuming in this situation that you don't enhance or edit the photo itself in any way

So here is what is interesting about this: unconscious sensory information is automatically overriding conscious knowledge in this situation. This is clearly important when considering reports of anomalous phenomena. It is not what the witness consciously believes they are seeing that is important. It is how their unconscious sensory process interprets what it is seeing that matters.

So if a witness misperceives a poorly-seen bush as a human figure, that is what they see even if it is not physically present. The witness will believe their senses’ interpretation of what they saw even if it was a misperception. From my personal experience, documented in this blog, I think many reports of anomalous phenomena are actually misperception, hallucination or coincidences. But I understand why some witnesses disagree because what they saw was utterly real to them. They didn’t imagine anything they really saw it but 'it' may not have been physically present.

Author :© Maurice Townsend 2022

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