Scary Hoaxes

As is the case for most things on the web, a link led to a link which then led to some forums with an interesting story. The initial post consisted of a short explination and a series of unusual images. The author had found a digital camera in the woods near his house and recovered the photos from the camera. The images displayed were all pretty spooky to begin with, but some appeared to have shadowy figures and shapes. I read the story and I examined the images and I wasn’t sure what to make of it. Was this real, coincidence, or a clever hoax? The pages that followed the post were all discussing the exact same ideas at length. Some people were outright rejecting the concept and images, others were defending the images as authentic and real.

None of these people (even the original poster) had witnessed any of the evidence first-hand. One of the posters was even saying that the authenticity of the images was being checked by a friend who was an expert at digital photo manipulation to discover if these were real. For a while, his friend had found nothing and this was offered as proof of the images being “real”. For some people, the fact that you couldn’t prove the images were false, meant that they had to be genuine. Others did their best to convince people that the images were obviously fake. And some people just made jokes. It is the internet after all.

What surprised me the most, was my indifference over the images. They were good. They had a good creepy vibe and a good story to go along with them. But, the real interesting part were people’s reactions to them. It was a puzzle with a lot of missing pieces and this forced people to honestly try to put forth ideas that would solve the puzzle. There were mysteries and most people felt there was a genuine need to get to the bottom of it all. There were skeptics who refused to believe anything in the images was real without more proof. A few people latched onto these images as evidence of aliens on Earth or the supernatural. When the facts became known, everyone backed out of any conviction of what truth the photos revealed to them.

Ignoring the cursory beliefs of some of the people involved, the struggle for the underlying truth of the situation was very interesting. The lack of logic and understanding was a bit depressing. But, that’s pretty par for the course on a forum.