The Courthouse Light Blob

Last week a security camera at a New Mexico courthouse caught an image of a mysterious blob of light seeming to float around the parking lot. This has already been posted and discussed in the forum. And for those who haven't yet seen the video, here it is:

The new news about the blob is that Ben Radford of Skeptical Inquirer magazine visited the courthouse today (Wednesday) in an attempt to shed some light on the mystery. reports:
Radford spent more than an hour Wednesday near the back door to the Steve Herrera Judicial Complex on Catron Street taking measurements and performing experiments. He occasionally dipped into his “ghost-busting kit” — a plastic organizer with various compartments containing extra batteries, rope, Velcro and a fingerprint dusting kit. At one point, he used a 3- to 4-foot long section of black, plastic pipe to blow a piece of cotton from a cottonwood tree into the air in front of the camera that caught the ghostly image. Radford also tried to coax a moth to fly in front of the camera, which is mounted about 12 feet off the ground, though the moth was not very cooperative, he said.
The last time I saw Ben was when I visited him at the offices of Skeptical Inquirer in Buffalo, New York. I'm quite jealous that he actually has a ghost-busting kit and is getting to do an on-site investigation of something hoaxy. Why can't these things ever happen in San Diego?

Anyway, Ben concluded that the strange floating light was probably "a piece of tree fluff or a spider or insect crawling across the camera lens." The insect explanation seems like the likeliest one to me.


Posted on Thu Jun 21, 2007


It's an insect. Why use a ghost-buster kit. You can see the legs ALWAYS stay in the same position as it moves across the lens of the camera.
Posted by Christopher  on  Thu Jun 21, 2007  at  06:19 AM
It looks like it's casting a shadow on the ground though, which would rule out anything on the lens. The shadow and object seem to be about 5-6inches, ruling out "tree fluff" like mimosa. I'm thinking it's one of these:

or one of these:

Posted by bboy  on  Thu Jun 21, 2007  at  07:47 AM
It is so obviously a spider crawling over the lens covering and the 'shadow' is a back-reflection image of the spider bouncing from the lens to the lens cover.
Posted by OriginalSim  on  Thu Jun 21, 2007  at  12:31 PM
Ah, but maybe it's a ghost of an insect!!!
Posted by Accipiter  on  Thu Jun 21, 2007  at  12:49 PM
The San Diego Ghost Busters

will give you lots of opportunities to debunk.

Also, see

for the Hotel Coronado ghost.


Posted by nli  on  Thu Jun 21, 2007  at  02:45 PM
We have a light bulb on the ceiling of the court house that's like, 18 feet up, but they've never changed it in 60 years or so, and they never turn it off. I honestly think it might be a spider, but a 40 watt spider at best.
Posted by Hairy Houdini  on  Fri Jun 22, 2007  at  12:19 PM
oh man, I'm sorry... I misread "courthouse light BLOB" as "courthouse light BULB". I feel so stupid. Our blob is old jello. Sorry, again
Posted by Hairy Houdini  on  Fri Jun 22, 2007  at  12:21 PM
It looks vaguely like a tick to me. Or, as someone mention above, maybe it's the ghost of a tick? Definitely not your Ghost Hunters type apparition.
Posted by redraven  on  Fri Jun 22, 2007  at  01:55 PM
It looks like photos I have seen of ball lightning. Unfortunately nobody knows what ball lightning is, so it doesn't give an answer, just another question. <<sigh>>
Posted by Dale Irwin  on  Sat Jun 23, 2007  at  05:57 AM
I was expecting a screamer.
Posted by iflurry  on  Sun Jun 24, 2007  at  01:51 PM
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