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 SNAPS Apparition Photo Debunked

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Registration date : 2009-05-17

PostSubject: SNAPS Apparition Photo Debunked   Tue Aug 02, 2011 2:15 am

SNAPS Apparition Photo Debunked
Method of Analysis: Image Overlay
By Gina Vega, Photo Analysis, Paranormal Investigator, Sketch Artist
Distributed by Paul Dale Roberts, HPI General Manager

Special Note:
Thank you to Super Natural and Paranormal Seekers (SNAPS) for allowing their apparition photo to be fully analyzed by an expert! This shows their determination to seek out the truth.

Gina Vega dissects the photo:


When I saw this photograph, it looked very amazing, but I still had my doubts. Now that I have a professional photo analyst on the team, I would feel more comfortable if she would look at it. If she confirms that it is truly an apparition photo, then Ben and Rhonda Hall have the holy grail of ghostly photos, if not, then everyone did their job in analyzing the photo and finally debunking it. I became more skeptical, when I was told that the apparition was 3 feet high, because if you look at the photo, it looks like a full grown woman. I have never heard of an apparition, taking on a miniature size, I have always heard stories that they take on the size of their former human selves. Ben was telling me that the apparition could have been further out, making it appear small. Enough of the debate, it was now time to hand over the raw photo to Gina Vega for her analysis, this is what she came up with.

Special Note:
The photo was taken at a public place in Sacramento.

"This was pretty easy to figure out. Originally we tried to see the picture on Paulís computer but the image appeared too dark with no details. It is very important to make sure your computer monitor is calibrated correctly for color, brightness and gamma when studying pictures.

When I got home I loaded the picture on my computer and more details were seen. First step though I opened the picture up in a free program called jpegsnoop I found on the internet months ago. This program tells you many things about the picture, but most importantly the camera used and if the picture was edited. It does this because all cameras and program software like Photoshop have algorithm signatures. So in this, it is able to find any coding instantly if the image has been manipulated on any software. This program works best with camera pictures only. As I said, most importantly you want to know what kind of camera was used. Pictures from cell phone cameras are too compressed and most likely will appear as edited. If jpegsnoop showed the source camera as a cell phone I would not attempt to validate it. Why? For one thing cell phone cameras are too low in resolution, and there are many programs out on the market to add ghostly figures in your cell phone pictures.

Bottom line on what jpegsnoop found in the picture in question; a Cannon Powershot A410 was used, and this is a legitimate camera. Only the camera is an older camera so no algorithm signatures are available on my database. I suppose it would take a great deal of time to get the camera information from the developers of jpegsnoop. I couldnít tell if the picture was manipulated through software detection. Also this particular camera was too low in resolution and comparable to a cell phone compression. In seeing this, the next step could be hard, only because with a resolution that low the picture will always be very grainy. Details will be lost when zoomed in or enlarged because lines and edges will become pixilated. All cameras use dots of information so when the picture is enlarged, the dots become larger. This is called pixilation and is another lesson in itself. Just know in the digital industry itís as bad as being blinded by light. The warning here is that the mega pixel count of your camera is very important when you are trying to capture pictures that need to be validated later on. Today the standard is 12 to 20 megapixels and the Cannon Powershot is 3.2 megapixels.

Iíll move on to the second step with this thought, it is easier to make a fake picture than to detect one. Being a digital artist almost half of my life makes this true. Although this particular picture was easy to figure out because it was accompanied by another day time shot that gave away an obvious clue. But for many other pictures, I can pretty much unroll any clues as if I was backing up in making a fake image. There are many tricks in making a good phony picture. Professional Photoshop makes this easy and fun because it has many features that can do this in many ways. To be brief, features like overlaying images and tools like the smudge tool, Gaussian blurs, fake lighting and adjusting the curves and levels in the photo. You can even use filter and plugins that make it easy to create a ghost image. So with my professional experience in using Professional Photoshop and with good old fashion common sense Iíll conjure out any clues.

In this step letís start with the common sense. First, I considered the source, who gave me the picture? Seeing that the picture was from a reliable source (SNAPS) I can feel comfortable knowing that there is no manipulation. The picture was thought to have a ghost of a full bodied woman in the window. At first I thought it was a doorway but it was later explained as being a window. So logically ask any questions about whatís in any picture if it isnít clear. Determine the scale and size of the objects in the picture. Even a full bodied apparition standing in a doorway would have to be seven feet tall. Another thing to check for is if there are any lights besides your camera flash that could be sneaking in? Or if there are any objects that can possible cast light reflections. If so, in what direction is the light reflecting? Proportion, perspective, and light direction are dead giveaways to a trained eye in detecting a fake photo. In this photo, could there be any perspective instances involved? How big is the window? Three feet tallÖPerspective-wise a full bodied apparition would have to be pretty far off in the horizon to see through a window of this scale. Does the building go that far back to apply proper viewpoint laws? No. Now, I have not really dealt with any ghostly pictures in my life so I asked Paul. Has anyone ever seen a ghost in miniature? His reply ďNone that I know of.Ē The only thing left that would allow this phenomenon would be a reflection of some sort bouncing from a mirror to a window. But even with this the window would have to be very polished and lighting and camera would have to be pretty damn good to capture something like this. So with this and the camera used to capture the photo, chances are that it is not likely to be a full bodied apparition. So what is it?


I pulled it up using Photoshop Professional CS4. It was very grainy so I applied a small amount of light and contrast then changed the photo mode to gray scale. This pulled out all color information that can make lines unclear and also show a better absorption of reflecting light. Then I took the daylight photo and dropped it in as a semi transparent overlay. The daylight photo has a mark that is so apparent and illuminate when placed over the image you will find matching lines with a few extra reflection. The extra reflections are probably reflecting from the visors on the stage lights since they have similar geometrical shapes. Case solved in five minutes.

Special note on how the mind works: We all pass by many objects in our daily lives that our mind so quickly processes. We pass by a desk, no need to think or process it further, itís a deskÖbut when we capture something unexplainable our mind continues to process the unknown, digging deep into our minds, you will find file cabinets of recognizable objects and our minds are busy trying to make a match. The mind keeps matching up objects until the mystery is solved by a process of elimination or even by logic. In the world today we have technology to help us, and this technology keeps getting better. Itís best to keep up-to-date with technology because just as there is technology out there to help us, it is also there to allow others to trick us.

So, case of the miniature Geisha woman is solved.


If we were to reach the edge of the universe, you will find a large void of nothingness. As you continue through this void, you may just discover another universe, henceforth a Multiverse of many universes. Also, if the universe started with a big bang, you may also discover that there was a universe before our universe, that faded away and another universe took its place. They universe may recycle itself over and over again.

Judy Raderchak's Photos of the Preparation of the Vampire Ball 2011:

Pat Vargas! Tina Kowalski, from Ghost Chasers of Michigan;x.php

Lamont Greer II Photos of the Preparation of the Vampire Ball 2011:

HPI Paranormal Investigator Beatrice Esquival and her 2 Sisters

Paul Dale Roberts, HPI Paradoxical Sleuth
aka The Demon Warrior
Shannon McCabe's Haunted and Paranormal Investigations International
Managed by Staci Butler, HPI Twitter Account Manager/HPI Senior Lead Investigator
My Bio Link at Ceri Clark's All Destiny Magazine!
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Cellular Paranormal Hotline Investigation or Advice: 916 203 7503
If you have a possible investigation call: 1-888-709-4HPI

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