Sunday, November 30, 2008

Red Eyes in the Darkness

Two red lights stare at Chris Black's motion-controlled camera from an impossible vantage point. Click on the picture to get a closer look. The lights are in the upper center part of the photograph.

Dry brown leaves cover the floor of deer hunter Chris Black’s wooded property near Park Hills in Southeast Missouri. Black keeps a small camper there during deer and turkey seasons and, while he sleeps in the camper to get an early start, motion-controlled digital cameras strapped to trees take photographs of, hopefully, deer.

He captured lights on those cameras in 2006, lights that shouldn’t have been on his property miles away from roads. He captured more this year.

Black thinks something highly strange is happening on his property.

“The same property, right before deer season, and more strange lights,” he said. “This time with three deer in the photo and these lights are fire red.”

A daytime photograph (above) shows two deer, one grazing and one apparently startled, maybe by the noise from the camera. Behind the deer is a plain of dead leaves and young trees. All normal.

Then there’s the night picture.

Three deer, one in the foreground, stand looking at the camera, their eyes shining with the flash reflection. But about 10 feet off the ground are two red lights set apart like eyes.

“They aren’t that hard to see,” Black said. “Right above the deers’ heads, they look like two red eyeballs without a face.”

Taillights? No. The trees in the night picture match the trees in the day picture. There’s no room for taillights in these images and the lights are much higher than any truck. But Black sees more than just the lights.

“There are a number of things in this photo which disturb me,” he said. “The first thing is the odd-looking expressions on the deer themselves. They look as if someone just screamed, ‘hey.’”

All three deer in this picture are looking directly at the camera.

“And they all looked at the camera at once,” he said. “None of the other photos taken during this three-day time frame show all the deer in the background looking in the direction of the camera at the same time.”

Black’s camera took 65 pictures, many of which have multiple deer in a frame.

“Usually, there will be one or two with their heads down feeding, and maybe one looking in the general direction of the camera, but never directly into it,” he said. “To me it looks like they are all focused on one thing and sort of mesmerized by it.”

After Black downloaded the photographs onto his computer, he took a closer look at the red lights – that one frame the only one with the red lights – and didn’t like what he found.

“When you zoom in on the red light on the left; now this is going to sound off the chart, but I swear when I zoomed in on it, I can see a face in the light,” he said. “It’s not at all hard to see. Plain as day there is a little face inside the glow. To me it resembles (a) little devil face.”

Black and his father stayed in the camper most of the first week of deer season, Black’s brother came the fourth day. That night Black’s brother slept in a bed against the far edge of the camper next to the canvas wall. The next morning, something was bothering Black’s brother.

During the night, something happened. While Black’s brother slept with his arms above his head against the canvas, he something touched his arm.

“He said he didn’t move because he thought it might be a deer’s nose pushing against the canvas of the camper,” Black said. “He said he wasn’t asleep but he felt something solid touching or pushing against the canvas and against his arm. He said it moved from one side of his arm, towards his head, then back along his arm.”

The brother froze, not wanting to startle whatever was outside.

“Then he fell back to sleep,” Black said. “It was only then that I told him about capturing the lights on my trail camera. I just think it’s awful strange that he would experience something weird like that in the same weekend that I captured more weird (stuff) on my camera.”

But Black wouldn’t have considered a paranormal explanation for the two red eyes staring at his deer camera if it wasn’t for the lights he captured two years ago.

“It seems like there are just too many things to pass off as imagination, or coincidence,” he said. “I’m convinced that this property is haunted. In some way, by something, but I don’t know what. But when it gets caught on camera that’s hard evidence that I’m not seeing things.

Copyright 2008 by Jason Offutt

Got a scary story? Ever played with a Ouija board, heard voices, seen a ghost, UFO or a creature you couldn’t identify? Let Jason know about it: Jason Offutt c/o The Examiner, 410 S. Liberty, Independence, Mo. 64050, or Your story might make an upcoming installment of “From the Shadows.”

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Anonymous said...

I played around with the image in my photo program. The lights seem to be just that,lights. I couldn't see any facial structure. And the red light to the left seems either bigger,compared to the one on the right, or it's closer to the camera.

Anonymous said...

The red lights are the same distance apart as the centers of the closest deer's eyes. They are a reflection within the lens.

Anonymous said...

I also came to the same conclusion after playing with the image in an editor. The overexposure of the closest deer's eyes are causing an internal reflection in the trail camera's optics.

Anonymous said...

I think it's time you set up some remote flashes off to the side of the camera. Maybe next time you'll SEE if there's anything there.

Anonymous said...

In the daytime shot there are two remaining leaves to the left of the foremost tree, at almost exactly the same height and equally spaced as the red lights in the night shot. It's possible it's a reflection from the flash off those leaves, particularly if they were wet.

Unknown said...

Here's a pic with the red spots superimposed as a partial transparency over the deer's eyes:

As the second poster said, the spots are just an internal reflection of the deer's eyes.

Anonymous said...

I'm the one who captured the pics. I can dispell some of the confusion. If you could only see what I see when I zoom in tight to the pics. My brother noticed something that I didn't. They red light on the right side (which is smaller than the one on the left) is actually leaving a glow on the tree limb just behind the lights. We both agreed that because it left a red glow on the tree limb it means two things. One, it is illuminated and not a reflection. There is nothing there for it to reflect off of. Two, they are in front of the tree limb and not on it. Also indicating its not a reflection. One last thing, there wasn't any precipitation that night. Cool, and calm, but no rain or even frost.

Anonymous said...

I welcome the comments, and I would like to find some answers to the phenomena I've been able to capture on this property. I'm actually my own worst skeptic and critic. I try to de-bunk every weird photo that I get, and have done so sucessfully with many of them. But every now and then something like this pops up and I analyze it every which way I can, and show it to my brothers and anyone else who cares to look at them (like Jason) and I end up with nothing. I go through every possible scenario and cannot come up with a good explanation. I'm not trying to say what "It" is, rather what I know "It" isn't.

Camera specs: 4mpx digital trail cam-Moultrie Game Spy; Set on 2 picture burst mode, with 1min. delay. High resolution, auto flash, camera is motion activated, and infared or heat activated.

Unknown said...

It's not a reflection from something out near the trees. It's an internal reflection, completely inside the camera. In this case, it appears to be a reflection from the CCD chip itself, back to the inside surface of a flat lens cover, and back into the CCD. The reason I say that is because the reflection is almost directly across from the center of the image. Here's an image with a mirrored and flipped copy set as a 50% transparant layer:

(It isn't *exactly* mirrored on the center of the image, but that would be because the CCD and the lens cover are not exactly parallel.)

This sort of mirrored and flipped reflection happens a lot with pictures of the moon when a flat filter is used, because of the bright light against a dark background. I saw some posted on Flickr recently when there was a conjunction of Venus and Jupiter on December 1, and I found many more with the same effect by searching for "moon internal reflection." Here are a few:

(You can also find more info by searching Google for "internal reflection.")

Litcritter said...

As far as all the deer looking at the camera, if you can only see the deer by the reflection of their eyes, then it's not that all of the deer are looking at the camera, it's that all of the deer which you can see are looking at the camera. And since you can only see the ones looking at the camera, it's normal.

Anonymous said...

Chris, are you still around? Do you now agree that it's an internal reflection?

Kurt said...

a member of a board i visit, posted a link to your photo. It is a interesting photo. I played with it in a photo edit program and i have to admit, very unusual. While i can see the claims of reflection, i can also see the claims of luminating so i'm at a loss there.. but if you look at the photos i lightend , very odd shape around the lights. Espicaly the right side going to the tree..

Light and contrast adjustments



Not sure what to make of it, but it is unusual
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