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Riordan Mansion, Flagstaff, AZ
#1
Just for the record here, I have what I think constitutes a logical explanation for what this photo is and how it's done... but I wanted to post it as a good example of how things aren't always what they seem on the camera.

Just a little background on the location and photos. I was in Flagstaff, AZ at the Riordan family mansion on May 25, 2014-- when these photos were taken. (I know because I date them.) I just noticed the following images about a week ago (I'm so on the ball) and decided to post them to see if UNR could figure out what would cause this effect.

The mansion is the home of the family who was influential in the founding of Flagstaff-- the Riordan (pronounced Rear-Den) family brothers were lumber tycoons, so to speak. The lumber trade is huge in Flagstaff. Two brothers each built a really gorgeous art-deco house. The brothers then connected their homes-- creating one very large home with two mirror-image wings. The house stayed in the family for years and years, before the owners donated the house and several of the family heirlooms (artifacts/antiques/old family "stuff") to the State of Arizona. It now functions as a state historic park.

The house is supposedly haunted by former residents (members of the Riorden family)... I've been there twice and haven't really noticed anything unusual.

As I was walking around the outside of the home (photography is prohibited in almost every room of the interior, and where it is okay, it's too dark to get a good photo with a point-and-click camera, which is what I use)... as I walked around the building, taking pictures, for kicks, I randomly shot photos of some of the windows. In one of the photos, I appear to have caught something unusual...

... so here's the part where I share those photos....

A caveat-- these are not the original images. I've altered the scale of both images, and cropped the second photo and saved low-resolution internet copies. Besides that, these are original photos-- if you don't trust me, too bad. I rarely share full-sized images for copyright purposes (easier to prove I own the copyright if I have the high-res version).

The first image is one side of one of the houses. We're looking at that large picture window on the ground floor....

[Image: 2014--05-25-Riordan-053_zpsnxtupnmv.jpg]

See anything? If you don't, that's okay because I have a close-up of that window.

[Image: 2014--05-25-Riordan-052_zpsf8qeyzak.jpg]

See anything now?

What do you see? What do you think it is?

Rather than lead the discussion, I'll leave this open for comment for a week or so... and then I'll give my thoughts on this image.
All Posted Photos Shared Under Creative Commons
Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 Unported
Attribute by linking to a thread originally posted by me, Jadewik. Thanks.
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#2
a mannequin, maybe?
The hero is brave in deeds as well as words - Aesop

Please all, and you will please none - Aesop
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#3
It looks like an old Babushka wearing a cloak of mourning.
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#4
I have let this sit long enough.

As I mentioned before, the mansion functions as a state park and museum. Some of the exhibits include period, heirloom clothing. Some of you have already picked up on what is in the photo-- a men's suit on a dress form. There were no suggestions as to how it was accomplished.

Has anyone here heard of Pepper's Ghost? This effect is used in theater productions, museums, and haunted houses to create the illusion of something by projecting an image of something real onto a transparent and reflective material. Anyone wonder how Disney does a lot of the ghosts in the haunted mansion? Pepper's Ghost. The elements in my photo are arranged in such a way that the window functions as the reflective surface and the lighting elements are positioned perfectly for this effect to work.

Paying attention to your surroundings during an investigation is important. Are there any reflective surfaces? What are the lighting conditions like? Is there a rational explanation for what you photographed?

Too many times I've seen possible ghostly photos presented that have lens flare or glare or poor lighting conditions. Many of those photos also have reflective surfaces somewhere near the alleged ghost. As you can see here, there may be a perfectly scientific explanation for what you saw.

For more information on Pepper's Ghost, I encourage you to do some research on the internet.
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