paranormal faith: puffs of pride

by Art Chantry:

i love hoaxed paranormal images. ghost photos and flying saucers and bigfoot. so many of them are fake that it staggers the imagination. the hoaxes are so easy that some of these photos become “evidence of existence”. sometimes, even after they are proven to be frauds. people want to believe so badly that they will believe it and deny the truth. this is how religions operate. it’s called “faith.”

i saw a documentary film crew that went out ot explore that famous bigfoot film – the one that nobody can ‘disprove’ – you know the one (the patterson-gimlin footage). it’s the most “famous” bigfoot footage of all time. well, they researched the guy who took the film, his story, his trappings, his motives. everything. they finally concluded it was a fake. in fact, they even point out the zipper in the bigfoot costume on-screen. now that’s all i can see – that zipper. then they went so far as to track down and secretly film the friend of that film maker who was the guy IN the suit. his stride, his lanky limbs, even the way he swung his arms was identical to the bigfoot in the film. and that guy walked STRANGE. how many times can you match up something like that so exactly? it was undeniably the same – identical. yet, that film is still being dragged out as ‘real.

that famous footage of some little lights creating a crop circle RIGHT THERE! in front of your eyes! on camera! was always intended to be a fake. it was announced as a piece of animation that showed ‘how it could possibly be done’. yet, every crop circle show i see that footage is shown as actual evidence of the reality behind the circles (not doug and dave. NEVER!)

i was watching a show about those triangular ufos down in california, when my girlfriend (sitting next to me) said, “i used to live down there. i know exactly what those are. they’re nightime hang-gliders.” did that possibility ever show up in the ‘expose’ tv show ever during it’s entire airing? nope. but it was obvious once it was pointed out.

oh, and that famous ‘triangle ufo over belgium photo’ – the one from virtually directly beneath showing the three big red lights (and the glowing light in the center)? it’s always trotted out as one of the ‘best pieces of evidence ever caught on film’? fake. the guy recently admitted he faked the whole thing. i’ll bet that image never goes away.

this lovely memorable image of the legendary loch ness monster was studied in minute detail for literally decades. even the most knowledageble and sophisticated scientists and photogapahy experts just could not put the lie to this image. most of my life (the photo pre-dates my birth) i thought of this image as one of those “good’ns” – basically one of those photos too solid to denounce – therefore “proof”, right?

well a few years back, the guy who took this image (and concocted the entire story around it) was literally on his deathbed, dying of old age, when he set the record straight. it’s actually a cardboard cut-out of a head and neck glued to a small toy submarine floating a few feet off the shoreline. now that it’s pointed out as a toy sub, it’s all you can see. the ripples are all wrong and the stiffness is silly. it just looks utterly phony. he made the whole thing himself. for fun.

but for decades, this was a the real deal. no contest. it’s the image the die-hard ‘nessie heads’ drag out out over and over and say “well, how about THIS!?!” and then puff up with pride. they’re all deflated, now.

fake photos of the fantastic have always been with us. in fact, virtually all newsphotos throughout most of history have been posed. bonnie and clyde, lee harvey oswald in his back yard, all those images of

nklin roosevelt behind the podium, all sorts of things were just set-ups to fool people.

when it comes to the paranormal, the fact that we so believe in the photogrpahic image as reality, we accept anything presented. it’s now our accepted standard for ‘real’. but, especially in a age of photoshop, nothing is ever ‘real’ again (not that it ever was). all those ‘reality’ shows you watch (for your new ‘reality’) are staged and scripted and fake. no ghosthunters. no alien autopsies. no monsterquest. no ufo files. all bogus carefully crafted stuff to make up a tv show (to sell ad space).

i have an old pal whose job it was to digitally alter video for tv. he got hired to add more blood to things like those ‘when animals attack’ shows. he was a terrible guy to watch tv with. if new ufo footage came on the screen, he’d say, “i did that.” poof! game over.

crop circles? chupacabra? blessed virgin marys? sea monsters? cities on mars? uh-huh. sure. show me the photos. and i’ll show you illusion. never trust a photo. it’s just silver molecules on paper. or, now, it’s just pixels.

us graphic designers are dangerous people.

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