Feb 2009 - Orbs, Light and Circles

A presentation at North Hill Village Hall by Alan Neal

In the spring of 2002, a small group of people met in the front room of a house in Launceston, to discuss their newly-acquired skill of dowsing. In the spring of 2009, that group, taught and inspired by Alan Neal, turned out in force to hear his latest thoughts on some of the areas that dowsers are now investigating.

With nearly 60 Tamar Dowsers, friends and members of the public present, it is apparent that the TDs have morphed into a more substantial community - but while we were developing steadily, Alan has been moving on too.

Alan bases his view of unusual phenomena on the concept of Ockham’s Razor - the law that states that one should make as few assumptions as possible and that the most likely explanation to a problem is probably the most simple and straightforward one. This does not preclude the validity of esoteric or seemingly farfetched conclusions, but at least he always starts from a practical and scientific standpoint.

In relation to the now mainstream topic of crop circles, Alan examined the known history and various well-versed theories about the annual appearance of these high-tech, high-art creations in the wheatfields of Wiltshire and elsewhere.

Having discounted the most obvious theories on grounds of sheer implausibility, he postulated a train of thought that led from the appearance of brief bursts of light often associated with the arrival of the formations. Could a downward pressure of energy, which could also generate light-related phenomena, help us to understand the origin of the manifestation?

It has long been part of Alan’s worldview that concentrated consciousness can have demonstrably physical repercussions. There is now much investigation concerning the practical impact of meditation, prayer and telepathy - not to mention the work being undertaken into the matter - energy - plasma - consciousness continuum. Could it really be that some crop formations are actually ‘thought’ in place? I’m not too sure what the 14th Century William of Ockham would have made of it, but in terms of the increasing confluence of spiritual philosophy and sub-atomic physics, such ideas are creeping onto the radar. Even the hardcore crop circle sceptic Prof. Terry Meaden now seems to acknowledge that electromagnetic energy may be involved in their creation. Crop circles may yet be shoehorned into a scientific explanation, but the scientific paradigm is going to have to warp quite a bit more yet to let them in.

Crop circles and sacred places have long been associated with a range of unexplained lighting effects in the atmosphere - but it is now being realised that light phenomena may also be associated with deep-seated geological faults, which may in turn give rise to some aspects of what dowsers term ‘earth energy’. It could well be that one of the missing links that connects the physical and spiritual world can be hiding in a deeper understanding of how all of these are connected through the medium of light.

Light is also a by-product of a range of natural activities such as the spiralling powerhouse of a tornado. People of old may have attributed such occasional displays of eerie light to the work of the supernatural. Given their practical knowledge of non-physical energies and their scripturally-defined philosophy of the time, that would be a reasonably logical conclusion - which may ultimately, given a certain amount of textual tweaking and re-interpretation, prove to be not too far from the mark!

The latter part of Alan’s talk concentrated on the hot topic of Orbs. Orbs are small, usually round or elliptical, transparent balls of light that have been making an increasingly frequent appearance on photographs. Originally dismissed as dust or water on the lens, or slight imperfections on the film, the persistence of Orbs into the world of high resolution optics and digital picture storage has presented an enigma.

Orbs seem to be particularly common in photos of sacred spaces or earth energy rich environments, but they also pop up from time to time on a range of domestic snaps. They are especially prevalent at places with strong energy associations, such as cascading water (hence the first explanation of their appearance), but also in churches such as the one at Launcells nr Bude, hillforts (eg Cadsonbury) and promontories (eg St Michael’s Mount) - even appearing underground on pictures of South Crofty Tin Mine. They are to be seen on daylight photos as well as those taken using flash. Alan’s large collection of orb pictures showed the range of locations and circumstances where they have appeared, both in his own experience and that of his immediate colleagues.

Orbs can appear and disappear from the camera’s eye in a few seconds. Sometimes they appear singly, whilst on other occasions they manifest as dense clusters of . . . something.

Deeper investigation of photographs containing orb images shows them to have considerable internal structure, which a distinct meniscus or ‘aura’.

Work is currently being carried out by Miceal Ledwith, Klaus Heinemann and others into the nature of Orbs, but for the present time they remain unexplained. The most controversial lines of research are looking at the possibility that they could be remnants or representations of organic auras - or at least in some way related to inter-active conscious activity.

An excellent and stimulating presentation + good company and a lively debate + a welcoming hall + hard working organisers and refreshment providers = a thoroughly enjoyable and thought provoking afternoon for all concerned. Ockham’s Razor in a nutshell.

Over the years, Alan Neal has progressed from being an enthusiastic amateur, whose drive and energy rubbed off on others, to an accomplished professional presenter and investigator in his own right. Many thanks as ever to Alan for taking time away from his busy schedule to talk to us.

Nigel Twinn Tamar Dowsers

February 2009