Strange barrel photo
Wider area around barrels
Mirage on airport runway
The photo on the left shows some barrels in a basement. The photo below (taken at the same time) is a more general view.
Looking back at the first photo you will see, in front of the barrels, what looks like a strange 'projection' (in the air!) of the floor bricks below. It is at an acute angle to the floor. The sun is illuminating part of it, just as it would if it were physically there. There was no digital trickery involved and nothing odd was seen at the time of the exposure.
There are also, in the first photo, some wispy streaks rising from the barrels that could be optical flare. It looks as though no flash was used. The second photo contains a classic, though very faint, dust orb. Flash certainly seems to have been used on this photo.
No one is claiming that there is anything paranormal going on. More likely it is a rare optical effect. It could still be described as an anomalous photo, though, and the exact explanation remains obscure.
If you were taking a paranormal interpretation, you could see it is as the ghostly former floor at a different level to the current one in the building. There have been other photos with figures or objects that were not there at the time of the exposure. However, there IS a likely natural explanation for this and other such photos (see theory 3, right).
Photos: Val Hope (except island mirage below)!
Runway mirage (detail)
Island mirage - apparently floating over the sea (not a ghost ship or the Flying Dutchman)!
Theory 1: Projection
Could it be a projection onto a dusty atmosphere (like pictures projected onto clouds)? It is possible but difficult to see exactly how it would work.
Theory 2: Mirage
Mirages don't just happen in deserts. You've probably seen one yourself. If you are traveling along a straight, flat road on a hot day you might see what appears to be silvery pools of water ahead on the road, sometimes even hanging just above the ground. There is no water there as you discover when you get there.
The bottom photo (left) appears to show the sea flooding an airport runway! In fact, the entire runway is about 30 metres above the sea and completely dry. The 'flood' is a mirage.
All you need for a mirage is a layer of air at a different temperature (and so density) to the surrounding air. This can refract images to appear in mid-air.
It looked like the best bet until the third theory, below, came along which looks like the true answer!
Theory 3: Slow shutter
See here for details!
© Maurice Townsend 2007