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bluegray (August 05, 2008, 18:55:32 PM):
There does seem to be a hand there, but it could be anything. Most probably a double exposure. Can you maybe scan a larger picture to see better?
Tweefo (August 06, 2008, 18:44:47 PM):
Here it is. I scanned less of the picture but at a slightly higher resolution. Don't know much about photography but I think Bluegray is right - a double exposure
Mefiante (August 06, 2008, 19:49:48 PM):
It’s difficult to tell from the scan exactly what produced the effect, a difficulty that is aggravated by the pixellation from the CMYB colour separation that newspapers require for printing photographic images. Does the report say whether the original picture was taken with a digital or an ordinary film camera?

Other possible explanations include a dirty lens, an emulsion smear, old and/or damaged film and/or print paper, or perhaps an unusual lens flare, maybe even a hoax, whether deliberately or accidentally arrived at. The effect resembles a human hand, but one can even make out the faint upper half of a person’s “face” further up in the wispy part of the effect. One shouldn’t point this out to the newspaper, of course, because those who already see one ghost might be frightened witless by the thought of two in the same photo.

Tweefo (August 06, 2008, 20:05:20 PM):
No, it does not mention the type of camera. Thanks for the explanations, I'll pass it on to the paper but of course they will not print it. News of a ghost (with picture!) is a story - debunking of a ghost (no picture) is not.
Mefiante (August 07, 2008, 15:13:34 PM):
I neglected to mention that if the picture was taken with a digital camera, the effect may have been produced by a damaged CCD unit. Not so long ago, one of our (early-model, 1.7MP) digital cameras started taking strange photos with odd and mysterious-looking distortions and smudges, produced by a malfunctioning CCD. It was fun until the camera gave up the, er … uhm, ghost completely… ;)



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