Thursday, March 1, 2012

Light beam caught rising from Mayan pyramid


Special thanks to @MzLunaTx for the tip-off on this story!

It was just another case of electronics going awry in an ancient Mayan city.

A man named Hector Siliezar took his family on vacation to the remains of the Mayan city of Chichen Itza in Mexico back in 2009.  At the time of the visit, there was a thunderstorm manifesting near the temple pyramid in the city.  Siliezar tried to catch the lighting strikes over the Mayan ruins with his iPhone camera.  He took three pictures.

One of the resultant pictures astounded Siliezar and his family.  The picture shows plain as day a solid beam of reddish light reaching from the top of the pyramid into the heavens.  Or is it the other way around?  Siliezar claims that nothing of the sort was visible at the time that the photo was snapped.  Naturally, such a dramatic photo started making the rounds on paranormal sites...though why it's taken this long to do so I'm not sure.  Probably due to the so-called "Mayan prophecy of 2012" and all that rot.  Personally, my first instinct was to call the photo a hoax.  After all, isn't that the pervasive result in this day and age of Photoshop and digital effects?  But it's nothing so devious.

If you click the link above, you'll see that a NASA photo specialist named Jonathon Hill has offered an alembic for Siliezar and identified the supposed beam as a camera artifact.  Camera lenses are imperfect devices.  Even the best of them can be fooled into leaving behind images that weren't there to begin with.  I found this out through personal experience during several years of digital video production.  As Hill explains in the LiveScience article, the "beam" appears only in a photo where there is lightning behind the pyramid.  The flash of light freaks out the camera's CCD sensor and the machinery compensates for it as best it can.  Like I said, I've seen it myself dozens of times.  As stated in the article:

"It's more likely that the "light beam" corresponds to a set of columns of pixels in the camera sensor that are electronically connected to each other, but not to other columns in the sensor, and that this set of connected pixels became oversaturated in the manner described above.
 "That being said," Hill said, "it really is an awesome image!" "

I'll say.  Pretty darned cool if you ask me.  Unfortunately, it is not the result of a power beam from eldritch Mayan gods or a mothership from Zeta Reticuli.  Deflating?  A bit.  Still, I'd rather have the truth.


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