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5 Minute Debunk – Ghost Lab, Tombstone AZ ‘shadow person’

Posted on : Oct-17-2009 | By : maggie | In : Blog Post, skepticism


5 minute debunkDiscovery Channel has unleashed yet another ghost chasing show into the, apparently ghost-filled, wilds of television. The supposed twist in this show is that the two leads, the brothers Klinge, have a mobile ‘lab’ and are touted as being ‘scientific’ in their methods. Boy did that notion fall apart mere minutes into the show… The only science on this show seems to be that which went into creating the gadgets they fill their mobile lab with. Gadgets they then go on to use poorly including, sadly, what’s probably the most potentially useful of all their tools and one whose properties are so very well understood, the camera.

One of the shows most excited moments involved a ‘hit’ from an image they captured during the night in Tombstone, Arizona. The image, according to their gleeful cries, contains what they call a “shadow person”. Before I go on, I want to point out something that, had truly scientific methods been employed, would have been important but, given how sloppy this was, is now only marginally interesting. That is the fact that the original shot and the recreation were done with different cameras with different focal lengths. As I said, this doesn’t matter in the end as you’ll see, but it will help you understand why the original image looks so ‘flat’ and how far away objects look so much closer. (A quick primer on focal length at Wikipedia.)

But now, let’s let the pictures do the talking (click each image to open larger version). The 5 Minute Debunk of the Ghost Lab shadow person:

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Comments (18)

My impression, live blogging the pilot episode, was that these guys somehow managed to be even more amateurish than the Ghost Hunters, while making even more obnoxious claims to being scientific. Jerks.

Also, this took far less than five minutes to read. I demand a refund.

They also seemed rather more consciously phony to me. I can’t prove malice, of course, but it’s awfully convenient that their recreator person wound up directly in front of the actual object that caused the sighting.

Then there’s the fact that they (though I mostly noticed this with Ghost Hunters) never seem to have more than one camera angle for any given “hit”, which is fishy…

haha I considered putting a 5th image just to pad out the time!

Yeah, I got the same vibe off them, as well… that “I. Let us. Stand. Over here. For teh science. Nothing to hide.”

Awesome format, and very nicely done!

Ow. That’s so stupid I can almost hear my neurons dying in response. I really hope you are correct that this was done deliberately because the level of idiocy that would be required otherwise… wow.

I thought it was interesting up to the point that they pussied out and didn’t show them cutting the wire that went into the floor/ceiling for that speaker. If they had have done that, and the noise persisted it could have been something. It would have been more so if they filmed one of the investigators holding a decible meter. I am not a scientist but that my first thought would have been cut the wire, make the bastard communicate sans wire. ha ha ha

The saddest part is that they roped Mike Rowe into narrating that stupid show. With spectacularly good shows like Dirty Jobs and Deadliest Catch on his resume, did he REALLY need the paycheck?!

Um, didn’t they actually take a SERIES of photos, the rest of which didn’t have the shadow ‘legs’ in them? I think they were only there in one shot.

Honestly, I don’t see your debunking as scientific either? And, I don’t get it.. I don’t see how you debunked this b/c i don’t see how you can conclude that the ‘stand in’ was standing in front of the object that created the image? How did you come up with that sugggestion? But, I also wouldn’t agree that this is Paranormal either.. Maybe i’m missing something but your 5 minute debunking isn’t any better. you weren’t there so you have no idea if measurements weren’t taken and what happened “off camera”.. I’m sure they try and be as scientifc as possible.. and they sure do seem alot more credible than all the other “Ghost hunting” shows..

again, I don’t know how you can conclude he’s standing in front of the object that caused this image.. supposedly this ‘image’ was only there ONCE and not again in any of the other shots or images.. so how can you explain that? (if that indeed did happen).. not that I believe this is paranormal but sometimes “Skeptics” claims are more outrageous than “paranormal claims” b/c ‘skeptics’ usual disagree that ‘paranormal’ exists so they will always conclude otherwise.. and conclude all these show are fake and conclude every piece of evidence of EVP’s, Photos and Videos are ALL faked or trick of the eye and Finally Conclude that each and every person who says they claimed to see a ghost has indeed Lied b/c that would make the rest of them crazy. So that means, every claim of Paranormal activity is either a Lie or a Mistake! I just don’t find that as the only two possibilities.. I’m not saying you or anyone apart of this site does either.. its just skeptics have a tendency to do so..

Unquestioning belief is the TRUE skepticism, why do skeptics hate America?

You are claiming that the fence pole is the cause of the shadow person, but as stated above none of the other pictures the team took had that shadow person in it, plus if it was caused by the fence pole like you stated wouldn’t you see the rest of the fence as well? Also in picture 4 where you are highlighting the shadow man’s legs and the fence pole you are highlighting more space than the pole actually takes up, and finally your pole explanation does even talk about why you can see an upper body.

“Where’s the KABOOM? there is supposed to be an Earth-shattering KABOOM!” – Marvin the Martian

I watched this show for the first time last week and picked up the deception straight away! I love me a good ghost show; and I had high hopes for this show, but after watching it I was extremely disappointed. I’m not a skeptic– but you’d need to blind to not see the truth here. That’s why I personally think they are intentionally hiding it. You’re telling me that of the people reviewing the photos, nobody noticed? Please. These are supposed to be scientists. And that’s worst part of this show, and the real let down for me– is the cover of being ‘scientific’ when I think they are even more unscrupulous than the rest.

To the believers:

The photo recreation in debunk pic #2 isn’t where the ghost photo was taken– do you see how far away the tree is? The tree was closer in the shadow photo, and the angle of the photo is off in the recreation. It’s a small tree, and those crosses are actually really small, but in the shadow photo, both the tree and the headstone are HUGE compared to the shadow person! So either it’s a tiny person, or it’s because it’s the bottom of the fence post.

In the debunk pic #4 — in the shadow photo you can see the bars of the fence clearly, extending to the left and right of the shadow person– the lines of the fence look very close together, almost like a grille, because of the angle of the photo. But in the ‘proof’ photo, the bars spacing of the fence are wide– not close together, which proves the angle is different. You can also clearly see in the other photo that the fenced area is done in such a way that only the legs of the corner posts of the fenced part hit the ground– the corner posts fork out onto the ground while the bar parts of the fence are higher.

To prove it were a ghost, you would need to take the same exact photo at the same exact spot in the day, and see if the same thing comes up. I can guarantee you if you went to Tombstone and took the same pic, you’d see the same thing, day or night.

As for the ‘well how come they took dozens and nothing was in those photos,’ well, you’re taking their word on that. They don’t show the other photos. I bet if we were able to review ALL the photos they took that night, we’d also come to a different conclusion. It might be more obviously a fence post in the other photos, and maybe this one is the only one even close to ambiguous. And ‘their word’ doesn’t mean much, since they are lying about the angle of the photo. Why? If they had nothing to hide, and were truly scientific–we would have seen a similar pic in the daylight, same spot, same tree in the way, no shadow person. That proof would be irrefutable. But they don’t do that, they kinda just take a pic ‘sorta near’ where it was. So, if they’re lying about the photo and where it was taken, why would they tell the truth about the other pics being blank? And personally if it were a true ghost, you’d probably see it in other pics– he was snapping pics a plenty, and so was she, at the same exact time, but it only showed on one split second pic on his camera? I don’t buy the ‘ghosts appear selectively for miliseconds only on certain cameras’ theory. There were two cameras and two people taking pics of the same area, and an apparition should have shown on hers and his since they were taking pics of the same area at the same time. It shouldn’t be ‘blink or you’ll miss it’– that’s too convenient.

i like to hear paranormal stuffs because it stirs my excitement and imagination`~-

I can recall some unexplained things happening to me as a kid, but now I question if they were supernatural or created by youthful ignorance.

Anyhow,here’s a rather provocative and hilarious article my friend wrote about Ghost Hunting:

lol lots of of the remarks many people post make me laugh, normally i ask myself if they actually read the content articles and items before writing or whether they only read over the subject of the post and write the first idea that drifts into their minds. anyway, it really is relaxing to browse sensible commentary from time to time rather than the same, old post vomit which i usually notice on the web have a pleasant day

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