Do Better, Travel Channel: The Orb that Didn’t Transform into a Ghost
Travel Channel is undermining the paranormal community. The new series Paranormal Caught on Camera is a prime example how. The series debuted last week. There were serious errors and omissions in the researching for that episode. This week the misrepresentations continue in Episode 3. Travel Channel televises some truly compelling paranormal shows. Unfortunately, Paranormal Caught on Camera in not one of them.
Case in point: The video of an orb transforming into a face in a 2016 video. Elaine Hamer, mid-fifties, sought to capture a meteor shower around October 2016 at her Blackwood, South Wales, UK home. She was testing her camera phone at 1 AM on a Saturday morning. Her sister was assisting in the recording. Elaine noticed an orb floating in her dining room. She continued filming as the orb moved throughout the room. The orb transformed into a blurry mist and then appeared to rush the two women. The women scream; the video stopped shortly thereafter.
Elaine’s son-in-law, Jason Hughes, and self-professed Spiritualist uploaded the video to his YouTube channel. (Watch it here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YxJjfh4FgTU) The story was picked up by a local newspaper and was covered for a hot minute. Some 90,000 views (and 91 thumbs up versus 41 thumbs down) later, the video is now the property of a licensing company.
The video clip was briefly profiled in Episode 3. Afterwards certain people in the paranormal field attested to its authenticity and proclaimed it real and undisputable proof of a ghost. Jason was interviewed via video link to corroborate the proclamations. Sadly, it’s not undisputable.
First, at least one expert based her assessment on the erroneous fact that the video was shot in the daytime, stating that capturing orbs in the daytime is so difficult, thus it must be proof. The video was shot at 1 AM in the morning. At night. In a house. The orb could have easily been a flying bug or dust. Without a proper investigation, no one will know for certain.
Next, the segment fails to specify that the video was shot on a camera phone. Instead, the producers lead the audience to believe it was a digital camera by using the word “camera” instead of “camera phone.” Arguably, this is an important distinction. For one reason, it casts doubt on the story that the then 56-year old woman needed help using the video function on her phone. (Yes, it’s plausible, yet somehow not really)
Finally, the producers and Jason don’t disclose that Jason is a Spiritualist. He’s a believer. There’s nothing wrong with that. The issue is that everything he says will be biased toward his belief that the video is real and that the video captured a ghost. At no point is the video debunked. It is taken at face value, which is not criticism or assessment. It’s going along with the script in order to be on a T.V. show.
I’ve no doubt that the video is real. Yes, a real person videoed on her camera phone what appears to be a white circle moving across a room. That’s not the point. The point is whether or not the orb was an orb (meaning spiritual being taking the form of a ball of light) which transformed into a ghost. After watching the video online a few more times, I’m more convinced that the “ghost” was a reflection. At one point, it looks like a reflection from car lights entering through a window. Without knowing all the circumstances pertaining to the video and conducting subsequent investigations, no one will know for sure. Therefore, it is extremely premature for the experts and the producers to claim this is absolute proof of a ghost. It’s not. Not even close.