According to a report on "Good Morning America," "Police in Espanola, New Mexico, are trying to figure out what human-shaped, blurry, translucent figured was captured on camera strolling across a locked area of their station Saturday night. The video shows the figure walking through a chain link fence and slowly walking out again."
Police officer Karl Romero said that at first he assumed that the moving figure in the video was an insect, probably a fly or moth. But when he looked again he saw something that made him change his mind: “Then, I saw the legs … and it was a human,” he concluded. Yet it could not be a real human because it appeared to move effortlessly through a high chain link fence. So it was “not a real human,” he concluded: “No — a ghost.”
He reported the strange sighting to his superiors, who apparently were equally puzzled ("officers cannot explain what it is," and "detectives say the video defies logic," according to "Good Morning America").
The video has gone viral, and thousands of people viewed and commented on the mystery so far. The fact that the video was captured at a police station gave it instant credibility, and no one has suggested that the incident is a prank or a hoax.
A Closer Look
Though the police seem baffled, there is enough information contained in the ghost video and news reports about it to identify the mystery object. A closer look at the video reveals that the ghostly blur doesn't go through the objects in the background as claimed (such as the fence) but instead goes over them — a sign that the "ghost" is close to the camera (such as on the camera lens), not out in the secured police yard.
Furthermore the object's scale is all wrong: Assuming — as people often report and claim — that the "ghost" is human-sized, what appears in the police video is far too small to be human. At one point when it moves over the silhouette of a metal fence post, it appears about the same size — which would be about three inches in diameter.
Because the object is out of focus its edges and exact dimensions can't be measured, but it's clearly a very small ghost — perhaps the spirit of a squirrel. Despite the claim that the object is "human-shaped," it is in fact indistinct but small and oval.
The fact that the object is out of focus is also revealing; the police surveillance camera is set up to record objects in the yard, not on its lens. Anything on the lens would appear out of focus and translucent, exactly like the ghost in the video.
Solving the Mystery
So what was captured on camera at the Espanola police department? All evidence suggests that Officer Romero's first guess about the object's identity was the correct one: it is actually a bug or insect on the camera, not a human ghost in the yard.
Another important clue to solving this mystery can be found in the way the object moves. As Officer Romero noted, the "ghost" does seem to have legs — six or eight of them, not two. The movement of the glowing mystery fuzz is smooth and even, a sign that its weight is being carried and distributed on four or more legs.
In contrast, human movement on two legs creates a distinct vertical bounce with each step as our weight shifts from one leg to another moving forward. Based on the "ghost's" movement alone (and assuming it is a living creature), it's much more likely to be an insect than a human.
There's also something important missing from the video that no one seems to have noticed suggesting its earthy origins: a shadow. The supposedly human-shaped ghost, which is relatively small but appears large and solid enough to be seen at a distance on a surveillance camera, does not cast a shadow on the ground despite floodlights from above. Shadows of other objects, such as the fence that the ghost is claimed to move through, are clearly visible on the concrete, yet the ghost casts no shadow. An insect on the camera lens, of course, would not cast a shadow in the parking lot because it's not in the parking lot.
Ironically, in the very parking lot where the ghost appeared, insects were (accidentally) captured by a local cameraman in footage broadcast on ABC's "Good Morning America" (see the bugs in the bottom left hand corner of the screen around 1:20). When filmed up close, in focus, and in daylight the insect doesn't look strange or mysterious, but it's not hard to see why a blurry, unidentifiable entity seen late at night would appear spooky.
Local ghost stories may have influenced the officers' interpretations of the fuzzy blob; if there is a pre-existing belief in ghosts — and especially if they are said to haunt the police station, as was the case in Espanola — then it's not hard to wonder if just maybe a security camera might have finally captured evidence of local spirits.
Read more at Discovery News