Monday, 2 May 2016

A Closer look at the School Hospital Universitario Ghost: Is all fakery equally wrong?

The Daily Mirror tells us today (01/05/16) of a ghost video which is reportedly "baffling" the internet. Allegedly  filmed in the corridors of the School Hospital Universitario, Honduras, the video shows a supposed phantom rather comically poking it's head out of a doorway, before striding part way across the hallway.

Take a look:

The video leaves us with a few unanswered questions:
The first thing that struck me about the clip is that no one is actually coming forward to claim responsibility for it. As a result, there's no backstory at all. The Mirror cites the FB page La Otra DimensiĆ³n as an original source but on inspection of the thread, no single individual or group are claiming responsibility. Why could this be?

Without the original filmmaker's input, all we have is speculation as to where this was actually filmed. The location cited in the article, has been suggested by posters of the aforementioned FB page. One question I'd really like to ask the filmmaker is why they were filming that particular corridor in the first place. Also, I'd question where the time stamp has gone? Is there a reason it's missing or is this intended to just further obscure the origins of the video.

In my opinion, what we are looking at here is fakery using video editing.

Looking closely at the image above and the zoomed version below, you should be able to just see that our "ghost" appears to have a slight halo surrounding it. Watch the video again on full screen and pay particular attention to the zoomed slow motion part at the end.

 Slightly clearer here:

I think the aura represents an area that is more pixelated than it's surroundings. This is most prominent as the ghost pops it's head out of the doorway, the image actually blinking at this point. This could indicate that the video quality that our spectre is shot on is slightly poorer than that of the quality of its surroundings. I'd guess this section of the video is a composite of two separately shot pieces of footage. The empty corridor was shot at one point, then an image of someone popping their head out of the doorway later, possibly in poorer lighting conditions thus the poorer quality, this later footage was then overlayed on the original take.

In the following video, Mike St Clair of Viper Paranormal explain just how easy this is to achieve with common video editing suites and software:

I think that pretty much debunks that one.

The later half of the Mirror piece and a particular image they reproduce shows exactly how lazy the Mirror Journalists are and puts the above video into some perspective. Here's the image created by blatant faker, Andrew Milburn.

The Mirror quotes Andrew about the image, first published in the paper in June 2015:
"Andrew told Mirror Online at the time: "I sent her a picture as I walked to my office. Unbeknown at the time it appears that I captured a ghost figure in the corridors....I have since put this picture on Facebook, it has received thousands of likes and comments and has been shared as far as America.... It has also been shared on to paranormal investigator groups, many of which believe the picture is real."..."
I don't doubt it has, but those "investigator groups" make a mockery of the very word "investigation" as it would've only took them a moment or two to discover this is an outright fake. Here it is on an app selection screen right next to another image that was used by another faker in a Mirror story way back in 2014, which I debunked with the help of a few others here,

And side by side.

As much as I can't abide fakery, at least whoever made the video in question isn't actually claiming it's real, others are doing that for them. Andrew, on the other hand, can't help but crow about what he's created, and how many people it's fooled. Unlike the creator of the video he's actively lying to people and profiting from it too.... and it likely took far less work to produce. It certainly took less time to debunk.

I don't think we should necessarily look favourably on those that produced that video, but one can't accuse them of laziness or arrogance... and I suspect that they actually took pride in what they'd produced.

Give me these people over the glory hounds and profiteers that cynically use apps to extract money from a lazy complacent press any day, insulting the intellegence of us all in the process.

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