The Curious Case of Orbs

IN THIS ISSUE JUNE/JULY 2009

An Exploration of the Orb Phenomenon with Miceal Ledwith and Klaus Heinemann

Photographer: ©Miceal F. Ledwith 2009

An excerpt from The Orb Project by Miceal Ledwith and Klaus Heinemann Simon and Schuster, 2007 Reprinted by permission of the author.

What are the limits to our knowledge about nature? How much more is there to learn about what we currently classify as the “natural world?" As technology continues to evolve, will our understanding of nature expand to incorporate phenomena of which we were previously unaware?

For more articles about “Knowledge”, Click Here

The Curious Case of Orbs - An Exploration of the Orb Phenomenon with Miceal Ledwith and Klaus Heinemann

The Viennese obstetrician Dr. Ignaz Semmelweis is a famous case. In 1861, he showed conclusively that there was a connection between the many fatalities due to childbirth fever and physicians not washing their hands between conducting autopsies and delivering babies. Since the technology to detect germs did not exist at that time, most mainstream physicians ridiculed him for proposing that there were invisible agents of potentially fatal diseases.

Since point-and-shoot digital cameras have become common, mysterious objects of a spherical or circular shape not visible to the naked eye began to appear in pictures taken in all sorts of situations. Once I was more aware of them, orbs became a fascinating subject for photography and became even more so for me after a sustained focus on them. I believe that, as with any subject, I could learn more about orbs by continued study.

The Curious Case of Orbs - An Exploration of the Orb Phenomenon with Miceal Ledwith and Klaus Heinemann

I eventually collected well in excess of 100,000 orb images. In the beginning, after only a few months of taking orb photographs, I noticed that in the first ten pictures or so that I shot each night, few if any orbs were present, and I found that very curious. As time passed, and more pictures were taken, the number of orbs appearing in the photos began to increase quite remarkably. Eventually, taking two maybe three hundred photos every night, then looking at the pictures for a few hours more on the computer, I observed a great variety of orbs: Red, brown, white, blue and pink in color, plasmoid fields of different colors, veils resembling graceful drapes of fine cloth, energy spheres much larger than the average orb, red giants, the very rare “rocket orbs”, skeletals (orbs that appear to have holes or segments missing), vortices and torsion field formations, carnival lights, observational orbs, tricolor orbs, and images within orbs.

Do dimensions exist altogether beyond the material ones we know, and what would the implications of that be for how we understand ourselves?

It is regrettable that so much of the discussion around the orb phenomenon has occurred in the investigation of the “paranormal” and the “supernatural” or in the examination of places that have a reputation for being haunted. Our culture and history have slotted these phenomena into the categories of the “ghostly” and the “occult,” but we will do much better in these investigations – and be much less frightened, cold, and damp in the process – if we remember that orbs and the realms they inhabit are fundamentally not a matter of faith but of physics.

The Curious Case of Orbs - An Exploration of the Orb Phenomenon with Miceal Ledwith and Klaus Heinemann

However, a new kind of prejudice that may impede fairness of treatment for the orb phenomenon has recently come our way. According to a 1998 study in the journal Nature that asked members of the National Academy of Sciences about their spiritual beliefs, about seventytwo percent expressed disbelief in the existence of a personal god. Many of our leading scientific thinkers, turned off by secondhand mythologies about a secondhand God that have nothing to do with the real thing, have concluded that there is no such thing as survival after the death of the physical body or any form of existence except the physical version we know.

We will do much better in these investigations if we remember that orbs and the realms they inhabit are fundamentally not a matter of faith but of physics.

Nothing can substitute for a rigorous scientific attitude in any investigation. But a contemptuous attitude toward anything that will not readily fit into a test tube, pot, or pan does not meet the qualifications of rigor, objectivity, and open-mindedness required for the scientific study of any subject. I am hopeful that the study of orbs will not be lumped in uncritically with the tradition of the paranormal where they do not belong. If they were to be so relegated, a fascinating area of discovery would suffer significant damage. I am also hopeful that this new study would not continue to be dismissed uncritically by those who would nevertheless claim to have objective and scientific minds.

The Curious Case of Orbs - An Exploration of the Orb Phenomenon with Miceal Ledwith and Klaus Heinemann

This category of people seems to be totally skeptical of anything that might provide evidence of what lies beyond the everyday world that we know through the senses. These individuals maintain, for example, that all orb pictures can be explained away as due to moisture particles, spots on the lens, dust or pollen particles rising from the unpaved roads or grass we have just walked over, stains coming from film processing, flaws in digital camera technology, optical lens flares, or bokeh (a Japanese word meaning “blur,” referring to a picture’s out-of-focus areas). Most of the published literature is neither friendly nor scientific.

As time passed, and more pictures were taken, the number of orbs appearing in the photos began to increase quite remarkably.

There is no doubt that dust particles, pollen, or moisture droplets in the air can produce images that may in some respects resemble true orb photographs, and care must be taken to assess the evidence. It is likewise true that some camera mechanisms in certain circumstances will produce false pictures of orbs. But it takes very little experience to be able to clearly distinguish the false from the real.

The Curious Case of Orbs - An Exploration of the Orb Phenomenon with Miceal Ledwith and<br />
            Klaus Heinemann
Underwater orb photos captured by cetacean researcher Joan Ocean effectively negate claims that orbs are merely dust particles, moisture or light streaks.

The orb phenomenon poses an entirely new question for us, and this I believe to be the main area of interest. Do dimensions exist altogether beyond the material ones we know, and what would the implications of that be for how we understand ourselves? Just four hundred years ago Giordano Bruno was burned to death in Rome by the Inquisition for suggesting there might be intelligent life outside this earth. In terms of affront to diehard orthodoxy, religious or secular, the emergence of this new question may well turn Giordano Bruno’s offense into a peccadillo. For indeed it does seem that we have never yet fully realized the import of Shakespeare’s famous dictum, “There are more things in heaven and earth … than are dreamt of in your philosophy.” The orb phenomenon may turn out to be one of the most remarkable things we have met so far, not just for what it may be in itself, but more important, for what light it might shed on the human race’s attempts to understand itself and where it fits into the cosmos. It may have devastating implications for the traditional ways in which we picture many central religious beliefs, including our understanding of the “beyond.” But it can teach us an enormous amount about the nature of reality beyond what we call “this world” and what we need to realize about ourselves and our world to fit into that new framework of understanding.

Orb realities can be experienced and evaluated repeatedly by anyone. Every person who has a simple digital or even a film camera, and some time and patience, can do the same. They can then evaluate their own pictures without having to take any “experts” words for anything.

Miceal Ledwith, L.Ph., L.D., D.D., LLD (h.c.) is co-author of The Orb Project (Simon and Schuster/Beyond Words, November 2007) and author of three DVDs so far, The Hamburger Universe,(2005), How Jesus Became a Christ, (2006) and Orbs: Clues to a More Exciting Universe (February 2008.) He is at present writing a three volume work Forbidden Truth which deals with fundamental areas related to human destiny and the mechanics of spiritual evolution. The first volume will be entitled “The Other Side of Jesus.” For more information visit his website at www.hamburgeruniverse.com

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