Sunday, April 01, 2007

Pareidolia: part n + 5

Of all places you'd expect to see a holy visage St. Peter's Basilica is a pretty good one. After all, millions of people flock here, so if you want a grand entrance, that'd be a very nice place to do it.

This image was taken during a trip by retired police man, Andy Key. It appears to show a strange angel like figure floating over the heads of the people present.

The article claims that photo experts can offer no explanations for the spectre. By looking carefully you can see that the "head" is just another part of what was an elongated shape, offset due to being projected onto a foreground pillar.

Since the pillar is curved, we know that the light source cannot be to the left of the pillar (since the light is on the right), and there's a wall to the right, so the most likely place for the light to be coming from is from roughly in front of the camera. If that's the case, then there should be quite a bit of light on the heads of the people near the bottom of the image. Is there? Let's take a look!

Looks like the mystery is solved! There's something in that general area that's reflecting light onto the wall. What it is, we can't say because the photographer only got the very tips of people's heads and there's big fat one right in the middle of what we need to see.

So while I'll agree that we can't say precisely what object caused this, it's nothing amazing. But it seems that some people, when presented with a lack of evidence, will automatically conclude it's supernatural.

However, what I really want to know, is that if there were hundreds of people there, why did not a single person notice this supposedly divine presence until afterwards, when the image was downloaded to computer?

It would seem that angels need to work on their PR department.


Stephen said...

experts can offer no explanations.

This is technically true - as there isn't enough info in the image, as you pointed out. Newspaper headlines often work this way. Outrageous headline, followed by an explanation. Except in the grocery store, where, often, the outrageous headline (Elvis spotted shaking hands with JFK and aliens), is supported by an article and photos. I think it's being so close to all that candy that makes these papers so crazy.

I've actually met a guardian angel. She cautioned me not to step in from the that truck. Nothing supernatural. But it would have been really nasty had i continued on my course. By the time i collected myself, she was gone. Again, nothing supernatural. Boston is a busy place, and she had other people to save, i'm sure. I've also been an angel, in a similar way. Made me feel better all day, as i recall.

Susannah Anderson said...


Sorry about the mistake on my blog. I knew better; I'd been reading your blog for some time, specifically linking to your pareidolia series several times. So I knew your name.

I've edited the post.

Thanks for the heads-up.

irishblogs said...

Is it just me or does it looks like the head under the right most arrow has goat horns? 0_o