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“There is no doubt in my mind that the orbs may well be one of the most
significant 'outside of this reality' phenomena mankind has ever witnessed.”

Klaus Heinemann, Ph.D.


first, it seemed no more than a curious coincidence. Professor Klaus Heinemann,
a former researcher for NASA, the U.S. space agency, was studying a collection
of photographs his wife had taken at a gathering of spiritual healers when he
noticed that many of them featured the same pale but clearly defined circle of
light, like a miniature moon, hovering above some of the subjects.


Like most rational people, he assumed that the pictures were faulty. ‘I presumed
the circles were due to dust particles, flash anomalies, water particles and so
on,’ says Prof Heinemann.


‘But I was sufficiently intrigued that I returned to the room in which the
pictures were taken, in the hope of finding an explanation – like a mirror in
the background. None was forthcoming.’


could he find any faults with his wife’s camera. And as a scientist with
considerable experience in sophisticated microscope techniques – examining
matter down to atomic levels of optical resolution – his methods were nothing if
not rigorous.


Still puzzled, Heinemann set out to discover what else might have caused the
mysterious circles. He and his wife began taking hundreds of digital photographs
at random events to see whether they could recreate the mysterious effect.


answer was that they could make these shimmering ‘orbs’ appear again, but only –
absurd as it may sound – if they ‘asked’ the apparitions to make themselves
visible to the camera. And they found this method worked particularly well when
the couple photographed spiritual gatherings.


What on earth was going on? Again, a maverick technical glitch seemed the
obvious answer. Such anomalies happen frequently in digital photography. If you
accidentally jog a camera while a picture is being taken, especially in dim
light, you can easily get a double image.


again, Prof Heinemann ruled out a technical fault. ‘We were quickly able to
eliminate the common problems associated with photography – such as dust
particles, water droplets, reflections and a host of other likely causes.’


the orbs still kept appearing. And the more images he took, the more he was able
to study the bizarre properties of these shimmering lights.


Heinemann set up dozens of experiments using two cameras on static tripods under
controlled conditions. His early experiments found that orbs can move very fast,
up to 500mph or more.


Heinemann also found that during his numerous dual camera experiments, when he
used twin cameras to capture an object from two different angles, a single orb
shape would often appear – but only in one of the two images taken


was as if the orbs somehow chose which camera to appear on, or whether to appear
at all.


Eventually, Heinemann was left with only one conclusion: that he was witnessing
some form of paranormal intelligence.


‘There is no doubt in my mind that the orbs may well be one of the most
significant “outside of this reality” phenomena mankind has ever witnessed,’
says Professor Heinemann.


‘Until now, there has been a huge amount of anecdotal evidence that the spirit
world exists. I believe it’s no longer anecdotal. Thanks to digital technology,
we can see it for the first time. We are dealing with a non-physical – albeit
real – phenomenon.’


temptation, of course, is to dismiss such claims as bunkum.


yet a growing number of respectable scientists refuse to write off the
possibility that these orbs, which are starting to appear on cameras around the
world, just might offer a fascinating glimpse into the unknown.


Earlier this year, the world’s first conference on orbs took place in Sedona,
Arizona, where several scientists controversially stated that they believed orbs
were indeed a genuine paranormal phenomenon.


Their conclusions, if correct, could have huge implications on the way we view
the universe and our part in it. The experts say that just because something has
not yet been scientifically proven, it doesn’t mean that it is not real.


Professor William Tiller, a theoretical physicist who spent 35 years researching
consciousness and matter at Stanford University in California, reminded the
conference that what we see with our physical eyes comprises less then 10 per
cent of the known universe.


This is because human vision operates only within a limited range of the
electromagnetic spectrum. For instance, we cannot see radio waves, which carry
huge amounts of information, yet we know they exist.


Similarly, Miceal Ledwith, a former professor of Theology, who for ten years was
President of Maynooth College at the National University of Ireland, reminded
the sceptics that when, in 1861, Dr Ignaz Semmelweis had claimed there might be
some unseen link between surgeons who didn’t wash their hands and the high rate
of infection in childbirth, his mainstream colleagues ridiculed him.


he had found the first evidence of what was later to become known as bacteria.


‘Most great discoveries throughout history have been initially ridiculed,’
Ledwith told the orbs conference. ‘To my mind, there is no doubt that the orb
phenomenon is real and deserves to be taken seriously. There are not just a few
pictures of orbs, which could easily be faked, but hundreds of thousands from
all over the world.’


date, Ledwith, who was also a member of the International Theological Commission
at the Vatican, has a collection of more than 100,000 orb pictures.


‘They come in all sizes, ranging from a few inches to several feet across,’ he
says. ‘Sometimes they appear alone, and at other times hundreds of them, in
colors ranging from white to blue, green, rose and even gold.


‘Over time, I realized that a flash seemed to be essential to capture them, even
in daylight. I believe this is because we can see the orbs only through the
process in physics known as fluorescence. The camera flash sparks this
fluorescence process, making the orbs visible to the camera.’


Ledwith is still uncertain about what these orbs might actually be, but he has
no doubt that they are some sort of paranormal apparition.


believe they could be many things. They may turn out to be the spirits of those
who have passed on; or, as some spiritual teachers state, they might be spirits
waiting to be born into a physical body,’ says Ledwith.


‘They may also be, or represent, a host of other intelligences – from nature
spirits to beings of pure energy that have never been incarnated in a physical
form. There are hundreds of different types of orb.’


Many of the scientists at the conference believe the orbs are plasma-like balls
of energy – but an energy that can be detected by physical means, and which
appears to have some control over its own shape and form.


It’s certainly the case that they can often be photographed best at places of
psychic significance. ‘They definitely seem drawn to spiritual-type gatherings,’
says Ledwith.


regularly see orbs near healers’ hands or heads. Perhaps they assist in the
spiritual healing process.’


Take the case of Anna Donaldson, a freelance photographer who was commissioned
to take pictures of Keith Watson, a medium who had been drafted in to help solve
the disappearance of Sarah Payne, the little girl who was snatched while playing
near her grandparents’ home in West Sussex seven years ago.


shoot took place at the exact spot where Sarah was last seen, because the medium
had suggested that he ‘might pick something up’. Sure enough, when the pictures
were developed, a mysterious glowing dot appeared in one of the crucial images.


didn’t believe in any of this paranormal stuff,’ says Anna, ‘but I couldn’t find
any fault with the camera – if there had been, then all the images would have
been tainted, not just one of them.’


Still skeptical, Anna had the film and images analyzed for technical faults, but
again no one could provide a logical answer – until a member of the Psychic
Institute suggested that the pictures could indeed be evidence of ‘auras’. In
this case, Anna was told that the bluish color of the orb suggested the presence
of a very young soul.


Still intrigued, Anna arranged to photograph Watson again – at the exact spot
from where another young child had disappeared, this time in Greece. To her
astonishment, the photographs again showed the presence of a blue orb.


when Anna repeated the shoot the next day, in a bid to rule out a trick of the
light, she got the same result – only this time it was two orange orbs.


what I now had was pictures of orbs from three different cameras, in two
different countries, on three different days – there’s simply no way that could
be a chance occurrence or a technical fault,’ says Anna.


still don’t know what to think about it, but I suppose because a camera can pick
up an image at a shutter speed of 1/2,000 of a second, it’s possible it can
detect things the naked eye cannot see.’


Could it have been the spirits of the lost children?


Terri Caldwell, a healer from Belbroughton, in Worcestershire, is among those
who are convinced that orbs are a visible manifestation of human spirits.


my mind, the orbs are the spirit world simply going about their business,’ she
says. ‘I believe we are all spirits having a physical experience, and when we
die our energy field which carries all the information about us continues on.’


not everyone is convinced. Gary Schwartz, Professor of Psychiatry at Arizona
University, has conducted many experiments into orbs with the help of optical
scientist Katherine Creath and remains skeptical.


feel that a large majority of so-called orb pictures are too readily attributed
to some form of paranormal phenomena when, in fact, stray reflections in
uncontrolled environments often produce orb-like images,’ he says.


That does not deter those, like Miceal Ledwith, who feel orbs are simply too
widespread to be written off as a misunderstanding. ‘The orbs are an everyday
part of reality, as much as we are,’ he maintains. ‘Their world may be as real
as ours, but exists on higher frequencies.


you change your TV channel, you switch to different frequencies, which contain
different information. It’s illogical to think that what we cannot see is not
real, because the human eye is able to receive only a very narrow part of the
light spectrum. Many animals can see in spectrums invisible to us.’


Professor Heinemann summarized: ‘Research into orbs is only in its infancy. But
the photographs of these spirit emanations offer evidence – as close to
scientific proof as we have ever come – in proving the existence of spiritual


Klaus Heinemann holds a Ph.D. in experimental physics from the University of
Tübingen and has worked for many years in materials science research at NASA,
UCLA, and as a research professor at Stanford University.


October 26-28, 2007.

information go to:


The Orb Project
by Klaus Heinemann and Miceal Ledwith Ph.D. will be released November 6, 2007 by
Simon & Schuster. Go here to learn more about the book:

The Orb Project