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The Orb Phenomenon

Not So "Out There" Anymore

by Courtney Dunham

Míceál Ledwith, D.D., LL.D., knows that some will perceive his comparison of the existence of Orbs to Christopher Columbus’ discovery of America as "a bit out there." But then again, he remembers that many thought that making a phone call from his homeland of Ireland to Los Angeles in the 1960s was a bit crazy too. The same goes for television, the Internet and text messages that can reach someone across the world in a second. None of these seemingly unthinkable features seemed possible until we had the capable instruments to do it. Now all you need is a digital camera to capture Orbs, which many believe are proof of another realm of existence.

Chances are, you’ve seen one—a digital photo with what appears to be one or many balls of light. Are they dust particles, water droplets, lens flare…or something more? In The Orb Project, two leading experts in the study of the Orb phenomenon, Ledwith and Klaus Heinemann, Ph.D., combine their knowledge and expertise and seemingly reach the same conclusions—that Orbs are messengers from the beyond.

The authors show various examples of Orbs in more than 64 pages of stunning, full-color photographs and explain how to discern which are real and which are not. They also provide detailed instructions on how to enhance your chances of capturing Orbs in digital photos as well as how to communicate with these mysterious objects from the beyond.

They define Orbs as spherical objects that people often started to see in their photographs once point-and-shoot digital cameras became common. Digital cameras are more sensitive to the infrared part of the electromagnetic spectrum, where many Orbs seem to occur, than ordinary film cameras are.

Ledwith says the study of Orbs is as yet in its infancy, but research so far reveals that Orbs are beings composed of levels of energy that live in a frequency outside of what we can normally see. "Basically, they are what we would be if we lost our physical body. Some Orbs can be presumed to have lived previously in a physical incarnation, and others can be presumed never to have incarnated in the physical in any form of body at all, human or otherwise," he says.

Ledwith, theologian and former college president and adviser to the pope, has studied Orbs since 2001 and has more than 150,000 images of them. His fascination with the Orb phenomenon has spurred some criticism from those who have called his association with other believers a cult. He says that couldn’t be further from the truth, and that understanding the Orb phenomenon is something he has always searched for in his academic and theologian career. "This is a logical extension to what I was already doing for years," he says. "I’m finding out more about reality and logical answers to it."

Ledwith believes that reality is frequency based and that Orbs are tremendous, powerful proof of that. "Now we can control reality by changing our own frequency. This is fabulous news," he says. "If you are even semi-conscious and willing to take on the responsibility of your own frequency, you can truly make your life what you want. When you change your frequency, look for wisdom, not blaming others for what went wrong in your life."

By changing our frequency, Ledwith says, we can be open to seeing things that weren’t possible before. People think they can’t see Orbs with the naked eye, but that is not the case. They are actually seeing them, but their brain filters them out. "Our brain only lets in what we need every day to function—paying our mortgage, going to work and eating our meals. But once you bombard your brain with Orbs and open up your mind, you will see them more and more," he says.

The Orbs are more vivid when we are in a relaxed, focused mental state. This is why dogs and children see them more; their brains haven’t filtered them out yet or told them that it’s too "out there" to believe.

It’s not uncommon for dozens of Orbs to appear in a photograph where there is a happy or healing event taking place. Ledwith says that Orbs will be drawn to people and places for a reason and that the more we control our brain and lower our frequency, the better chance they will choose to be seen.

An important tip when shooting Orbs is to be patient and to take pictures in the same place every night. It’s not something to do on commercial breaks while you’re watching a show, for instance. The more you’re distracted, the less chance you’ll have of seeing them. You should be in a relaxed mental state with little outside interference.

"Don’t get frustrated if you don’t see any at first," Ledwith says. "We live in an instant gratification society, but if you are willing to invest time and focus, you can relate to these beings."

We’ve likely all seen them and didn’t know what they were unless you knew what to look for. Ledwith compares it to a new car. Once you buy one, you start to notice all of them on the road, after never giving any thought to them before.

Ledwith explains in The Orb Project that Orbs are not seen by reflected light, but from light that comes from what is known in physics as fluorescence. Fluorescence occurs in Orb photography when the photons from the camera flash strike the Orbs. The photons are then changed to electrons and augment the electrons that already make up the Orb and cause the Orb to slightly "swell." When the stimulus of the photons from the flash ceases, the Orbs shrink back to close to their original size—somewhat like a balloon starting to deflate. The surplus electrons, for which there is now no more room in the shrinking Orb, are expelled from the Orb and become light photons that reach the camera lens and the digital recording plate.

So the Orb images in a normal photograph would therefore seem to be recorded slightly later than the images of the people, cats, dogs, mountains and trees in the picture. These are recorded by reflected light, not by fluorescent light. This fact has a large number of important implications for our understanding of what Orbs are, and Ledwith found it was the most useful tool he devised in an effort to understand their true nature. For example, it is apparent that Orbs are physical, though in a greatly different sense from the realms of the physical we know, and are therefore not to be explained in terms such as ectoplasm that were often in the past to describe similar phenomena.

Ledwith says that many attempts have been made to dismiss the Orb phenomena as nothing more than reflections of dust particles, pollen or raindrops in the atmosphere. "The extensive research we have carried out concludes that the Orb phenomenon is real and cannot be explained away by these suggestions," he says.

The main advantage of the study of the Orb phenomenon lies not just in collecting dramatic photographs of these entities but also in what the study can tell us about the nature of reality and our place in it.

"Our traditional understandings of the paranormal, the supernatural, the spirit world and the ghostly, are seen now to stand in sore need of redefinition. Orbs can transmute themselves into or out of cloudy or foggy forms instantly, and sometimes these clouds can take on shapes of persons or objects," he says. "My belief is that seeing this phenomenon in the past is what gave rise to the widespread belief in ghosts throughout all of recorded history."

Ledwith is very passionate about not keeping people in the dark about this discovery. He says it is a tragedy that when people die, they realize all the things that were indeed true and possible, but they weren’t open to learning about them in life. He believes that the sooner we can break down barriers between theology and science, the better off we’ll be as a society.

Saying that, he won’t be shoving it down anyone’s throat because that would defeat the whole purpose, he says. You can do with the information what you want. After all, you are in constant control of your reality and are open to many concepts previously perceived impossible.

What would have been regarded as paranormal a century or so ago, such as television or radio, we regard differently now. That advance in knowledge has brought us much more profound understandings of reality, as well as enormous skills in how we can use it to our advantage.

Ledwith acknowledges that he and Heinemann are only pioneers, novices of this discovery, and adds that he has no doubt that communication will be possible with Orbs in the future with more advanced technology.

"This is just the beginning—just like the first pictures of the Moon were and then we landed on it," he says.


The Orb Project has been released in conjunction with Orbs: The Veil is Lifting, a feature film with noted visionaries who discuss both the scientific and spiritual ramifications of the Orb experience. The film debuted on the East Coast in November 2007.



Míceál Ledwith, D.D., LL.D., was a professor of theology for 16 years at Maynooth College in Ireland and subsequently the university’s president for 10 years. During the course of his academic career, he lectured extensively around the world. Ledwith was also a member of the International Theological Commission, a small group of theologians of international standing, charged with advising the Holy See (the pope) on theological matters. He also served as chairman of the Committee of Heads of the Irish Universities and as a member of the governing bureau of the Conference of European University Presidents (CRE). Ledwith has appeared in the movies What the Bleep Do We Know!?, What the Bleep!?: Down the Rabbit Hole and Orbs: The Veil is Lifting. His DVD on Orbs: Exploring the World of Orbs: A Pictorial Adventure with Commentary is scheduled for release at the end of November 2007. For a list of his DVDs and forthcoming books, visit his website at www.hamburgeruniverse.com. For more information on The Orb Project, Orbs: The Veil is Lifting, visit www.orbprojectbook.com.


Courtney Dunham has been a professional journalist for 12 years. Before joining Beyond Words Publishing as the Publicity Director in the fall of 2007, she worked as a freelance writer and columnist for several publications. She lives in Oregon with her two dogs, Sammy and Bella.

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