By Hazel Courteney
Tens of thousands of ordinary people around the globe are reporting
mysterious spheres of light known as ORBS, which have started
appearing on their digital photographs. A few scientists are taking
this phenomenon seriously and incredibly claim to have found
evidence of beings from other dimensions..
The world's first
conference on the Orbs Phenomenon recently took place in Sedona,
Arizona - where several scientists controversially stated that
orbs, spherical or circular objects that are appearing on digital
pictures - demonstrate good evidence of 'other worldly' life
forms. Their conclusions, if correct, could have huge implications
for the way we view our universe and our part in it.
Klaus Heinemann, a former research professor at Stanford University and
researcher in materials science for NASA, the American space agency
says ' There is no doubt in my mind that the Orbs may well be one of
the most significant 'outside of this reality' phenomena mankind at
large has ever witnessed'.
fascination with Orbs began in September 2004, when he noticed a
pale but clearly defined small circle of light on several pictures
that his wife had taken at a gathering of spiritual healers
When I first saw the spheres, like thousands of people I presumed
they were due to dust particles, flash anomalies, water particles and
so on. But I was sufficiently intrigued, that I quickly returned to
the room in which the pictures were taken in the hope of finding a
rational explanation. None was forthcoming. '
As a scientist
with considerable experience in sophisticated microscope techniques
which examine down to atomic levels of optical resolution,
Heinemann decided to try and discover the cause of the mysterious
circles. He and his wife began taking hundreds of digital photographs
at random events to see what happened. Apparently, high definition
digital technology can enhance the appearance of something that would
otherwise at very low contrast, not previously have appeared on
older type cameras hence why Heinemann states that we are now
witnessing this new phenomenon. Absurd though it may sound, Heinemann
quickly realised that if he asked the orbs to appear on his pictures,
he claims they appeared more regularly especially at spiritual
But surely such anomalies are a regular occurrence
in digital photography? After all, if for instance you move a camera
while a picture is being taken, especially in dim light you can easily
get a double image.
'Of course you can.' agreed Heineman.
'When you attempt to photograph orbs, it's a question of trial and
error. We were quickly able to eliminate the common problems
associated with photography such as dust particles, water droplets,
reflections and a host of other likely causes and can now easily
differentiate between photographic anomalies and real orb pictures. For
the novice, discerning fake orbs takes time, practise and diligence.
The more photographs you take, the more easily you will eventually be
able to distinguish orb-like features from real orbs.'
set up dozens of experiments using two cameras on static tripods under
controlled conditions. His early experiments found that Orbs can move
very fast, up to 500mph or more, so in order for him to obtain clear
pictures the orbs needed to remain still, which at times they did.
This fact alone, claims Heinemann, implies some level of conscious
Although remaining sceptical at the possibility
of such a conclusion, incredulously Heinemann also found that
during his numerous dual camera experiments, a single orb shape
would often appear, but only in one of the two images
simultaneously taken from two separate cameras – again implying
intelligence and intention. As the orbs literally chose which camera
to appear on, or whether to appear at all .
Heinemann concluded that he was witnessing intelligences from other
realties adding ' Until now there has been a huge amount of anecdotal
evidence that the spirit world exists, and I believe it's no longer
anecdotal as thanks to digital technology we can now see it. We are
dealing with a non-physical- albeit real - phenomena'.
may wonder would an accredited scientist make such outlandish
statements which some scientists have dismissed as 'utter flaky
To help answer this question, Professor William
Tiller, a theoretical physicist who spent 35 years researching
consciousness and matter at Stanford University in California
reminded us that what we see with our physical eyes comprises less
then 10 percent of the universe. This is because human vision operates
only within a limited range of the electromagnetic spectrum. For
instance, we cannot see radio waves which carry huge amounts of
information – yet we know they exist.
Miceal Ledwith, a
former professor of Theology, who for ten years was President of
Maynooth College, at the University of Ireland reminds the sceptics
that in 1861 when Dr Ignaz Semmelweis demonstrated that when
physicians went from performing autopsies to delivering babies, without
washing their hands , there was a high rate of infant mortality. His
mainstream colleagues ridiculed him. Yet he had found evidence of
what later became known as bacteria which at that time were unknown.
great discoveries throughout history have been initially ridiculed. To
my mind, there is no doubt that The Orb phenomenon is real and deserves
to be taken seriously. There are not just a few pictures of orbs,
which could easily be faked, but hundreds of thousands from all over
a theologian with 30 years experience did not join this debate lightly
saying 'I first heard about Orbs in 2002 when I attended a
spiritual school in America as part of my ongoing research into the
thousands of doctrines, beliefs and religions currently practised.
The orbs quickly became a fascinating scientific study .'
date Ledwith, who was also a member of the International
Theological commission at the Vatican has a collection of over 100,000
'They come in all shapes and sizes ranging from a
few inches to several feet across. Sometimes they appear alone and at
others I have photographed hundreds of them in colours ranging from
white, to blue, green, rose and even gold. Over time I realised that
a flash seemed to be essential, even in daylight because I believe
we see the orbs through the process known in physics as fluorescence.
The camera flash sparks this fluorescence process that makes the orbs
visible to the camera. It's also more effective to take pictures in
the same place every day and with the same camera.'
lectures on Orbs, Ledwith has been approached by people who state they
are communicating telepathically with the spirits within the spheres,
but says there is no validation as yet for such claims.
cautions: 'To say the orbs are spirits of the deceased is an
oversimplification and far more research needs to be done. I believe
they could be many things. Indeed, they may turn out to be the
spirits of those who have passed on; or, as some spiritual teachers
state, they might be spirits waiting to be born into a physical
body. They may also be, or represent a host of other intelligences,
from nature spirits, to beings of pure energy that have never
incarnated in a physical form. There are literally hundreds of types
The scientists at the conference believe that the
orbs are plasma like balls of energy - but an energy that can be
detected by physical means. Apparently orbs also have the ability to
swirl into various shapes such as vortices of energy that look like
mini tornados. In many cases, Heinemann and Ledwith state that
photographic enlargements of the orbs reveal an interior structure that
appears to be unique to the particular orb or spirit.
also noted that orbs can change size and shape very quickly and they
emit a specific type of light known as coherent light. Basically this
means they emit laser like light in very specific directions which he
says could only occur if the orbs choose to do this, and re-iterated
they are intelligent.
But, not everyone is so convinced about
this phenomenon. Gary Schwartz Professor of Psychiatry along with
optical scientist Katherine Creath, at the University of Arizona,
conducted experiments into Orbs during 2005 and Schwartz remains
sceptical saying 'We feel that a large majority of so called Orb
pictures are too readily attributed to some form of paranormal
phenomena when in fact stray reflections in uncontrolled environments
often produce orb like images.'
Heinemann and Ledwith agree this
can happen, but both categorically state there is abundant evidence
to conclude that genuine orb phenomenon does exist. They also argue
that a large number of orb pictures have been taken in the ocean,
especially around whales and dolphins, in which stray reflections and
other possibilities have been ruled out due to the conditions at the
time each picture was taken.
What are us mere mortals to make of all this ?
Flockhart, a psychotherapist based in Edinburgh saw her first Orb on a
Viviennne Westwood tee shirt worn by a friend. 'I asked her what the
sphere was and she said 'Its an orb.'
I had never heard of an
orb and quickly forgot about this incident until weeks later when I
received an email from a travel agent who had booked my upcoming
holiday in Sedona. As part of the 'What's on', it mentioned the
conference on orbs and out of curiosity I booked a ticket. '
the first speaker Professor Alberto Villoldo, a medical
anthropologist who had worked at San Francisco State University,
showed us this amazing picture of a huge Orb which he claimed was a
group soul orb picture taken during an ancient ceremony in the Amazon,
I honestly thought this was going to be a 'new agers, off the wall'
type event. '
'But the scientists were very matter of fact and
I saw hundreds of orb pictures taken by people from all walks of life
from 16 countries. When we were invited to ask the orbs to appear and
simply start taking pictures- I thought 'what the hell'. Much to my
surprise there were orbs in practically every picture.'
of my friends think it's all weird, until we start taking pictures.
We have all noticed they appear more at happy gatherings. '
and Ledwith agree saying ' The orbs definitely seem drawn to
spiritual type gatherings and we regularly see orbs near healers hands
or heads. Perhaps they assist in the spiritual healing process. But
they most frequently appear at happy, positive occasions such as
parties, christenings and weddings.'
Apart from appearing in
thousands of pictures, what you may ask are the Orbs here for? What's
their purpose? And can they harm us?
Terri Caldwell, a healer
from Belbroughton in Worcestershire who has been seeing orbs in
pictures for several years says ' To my mind the orbs are the spirit
world simply going about their business, they are definitely attracted
to locations where people are learning or happy. I believe, we are
all spirits having a physical experience and when we die our energy
field which carries all the information about us continues on. Orbs are
certainly are not to be feared'.
Heinemann concurs, but noted that on extremely rare occasions when he has photographed dark orbs at sights of reported
he found that dark orbs absorb light, whereas the coloured orbs
emit light . ' Globally there has been a huge increase in the
incidence of light emitting orbs, whilst dark ones are very rare.
Therefore, one might conclude that dark spirits do not feel welcome
near the light emitting orbs.'
Darth Vader had obviously better watch out !
to their purpose, Ledwith commented that audiences regularly ask 'What
are the orbs here to do for us?' and says this shows an egocentric
attitude. 'The orbs have always been here and are an everyday part of
reality as much as we are. Their world may be as real as ours, but
simply exists on higher frequencies. If you change your TV Channel
you switch to different frequencies, which contain different
information. It's illogical to think that what we cannot see is not
real, because the human eye is only able to receive such a very narrow
part of the light spectrum. Horses and dogs for instance can see
spectra of light that are invisible to us. We have tended to dismiss
anything we cannot see as paranormal- ghostly or whatever, which is
Heinemann summarised: 'Research into orbs is in its
infancy but the photographs of these spirit emanations offer evidence
– as close to scientific proof as we have ever come, in proving the
existence of the spiritual reality.'
Klaus Heinmenan PhD and Miceal Ledwith PhD have collaborated on a
new The Orb Project, featuring hundreds of pictures and their
research. Available from Simon & Schuster/ Beyond Words