The Girl That Wasn't There—Or Was She?

Ermintruder

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#1
http://ghostclub.org.uk

Excerpt of original article by Kathy Gearing which appeared in the Spring 2006 Newsletter. Photograph: provided by Lee Moynes and taken by his friend Joan.

Girl and Pony.jpg
This photograph was taken on a wet, drizzly day on Dartmoor on the 14th June 2002. The photographer had been sitting in the car watching the ponies with her partner and decided to take a picture of them before they went home. They were totally baffled when they saw the little girl who appears to be petting the pony, as they are absolutely sure there was nobody else around at the time. Joan says, "the little girl was not wearing appropriate clothing for that cold, wet day and she was "brighter" than she would have been in the flesh - so to speak". It does seem very unlikely that a young girl would be out on Dartmoor, miles from anywhere on her own. Joan adds, "also those ponies do not stand still to let anyone touch them. The only person we saw, apart from the cars which drove by, was a man driving a tractor coming off the moor to get on to the road".
Having seen how skittish Dartmoor ponies can be, the provenance of this picture intrigues me.

However, if we accept it at face-value as having been an unseen apparition in the classic style, there are a few odd factors.

The dark disks below her ear might be large round hoops, but these would of course normally be opened-through, not closed. I'm almost reminded of hair-bangs, coils.

A hand may be perspective-distorted, upon the pony's back. But it looks oddly....big. The absence of any legs/body could simply be due to placement and screening.

Therefore: is this what it claims to be? Or a standard picture of a skilled country girl that's being purposefully or accidentally misrepresented.

(I tried to get a higher-resolution picture, without success)
 

Ermintruder

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#3
Well-spotted! And might that grey triangle under the mane / just in front of the shoulder be the corner of her jacket??

Wish this was a clear a picture as the Cumberland Space Mum....
 

Shady

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#5
I don't think that is a hand on the pony's back, it may be her shoulder, i see, what looks like a frill on the top of said shoulder, maybe part of a top, her arm seems to be stretching towards the mouth part of the pony
 

EnolaGaia

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#6
... A hand may be perspective-distorted, upon the pony's back. But it looks oddly....big. The absence of any legs/body could simply be due to placement and screening. ...
My first impression is that I don't think that's her hand. I think it's her shoulder, peripherally obscured by a tuft of hair on the pony's back so as to insinuate a division between thumb and fingers.

Unless the pony happens to have a mane hanging all the way down to the ground, the dark mass visible behind the pony's forelegs represents the young lady's lower extremities. My default interpretation is a long dark skirt.

The bright blob Frideswide noted aligns with the light-colored stick (?) lying in the background, so I can't claim it's the girl's shoe. However, I think the dark blob below it (with a lighter upper portion) may well be the tip of a shoe or boot the girl's wearing.
 

INT21

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#8
The hand seems to me to be in proportion. That she appears to be waring some item of clothing that has white 'shoulder-pads' or a white blouse makes it appear that her hand is too large.

Difficult to make out the two dark spots, but they appear to be a bit too far forward to be dangling ear rings.

INT21.
 

EnolaGaia

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#10
The photograph needn't be faked, I'd look in the first instance at the Photographer's claim there was nobody around when the picture was taken.
A failure to recognize or remember other people in the scene is a common issue in photos that seem strange days or years later.

I suspect some such situations arise because the person who took the photo never seems to remember the time between deciding to take a shot and taking it - i.e., the time during which he / she is futzing with whatever camera is being used. This delay / distraction was a persistent issue in using film-based cameras, and the transition to digital devices hasn't really done much to change things.

Also ... The photographer was sitting inside a car, so it's not like he / she was fully engaged within the scene or able to reliably see anything / everything in the surroundings.

Finally ... The posted photo appears to be an excerpt cropped from a wider shot. We can't tell if the pony was the only equine target present, or whether it happened to be the one of many the photographer aimed at when taking the shot before driving off.
 

Ermintruder

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#12
That vertical line has made me realise that there's an odd compression effect from 'Gef' inwards, associated with the horse's hindquarters: a straightness that does not look natural, tapering down to an impossibly-slender hoof. Probably just poor image processing or camera movement

And also....what is that odd non-natural circular object, to the left of the simacu-skull, immediately below the head of the arrow?
 

maximus otter

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#14
...how skittish Dartmoor ponies can be...
We were told this on a visit to the area a couple of years back. We went for a drive across the moor, and saw some in a layby, so we pulled over. Before l had managed to wind the car window down fully, one of the ponies had its head inside the car, looking for treats.

l exited the car to take some pictures and was swarmed by about five of the ponies, all nuzzling and headbutting me. My wife was nearly hooting with laughter, and distinctly remembers me gently chiding one of the “skittish” ponies: “Please stop eating my trousers...”

As to the photo, we are faced with a binary choice. Either:

a) The photographer has proved the existence of life after death, or;

b) He didn’t notice a little girl behind a large pony.

Disappointing though it is for a Fortean, I’m going with (b).

maximus otter
 
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Frideswide

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#15
I think that the paler patch on the pony's back is where a saddle has been - it seems to have a saddle cut? Which would cut acro

The pale ?oval patch on the pony's head is, I think an id tag. Which makes more sense if it's a wild herd pony.
 

Carl Grove

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#17
My main worry is the mismatch between the dull, diffuse lighting on the pony and the surroundings, and that on the girl, who would look more natural in a landscape with bright sunshine. Of course I agree with all the comments about how easy it is to miss things when taking pictures (usually trees growing from peoples' heads).
 

Ermintruder

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#18
My main worry is the mismatch between the dull, diffuse lighting on the pony and the surroundings, and that on the girl, who would look more natural in a landscape with bright sunshine
I agree (and that's noted by the original contributor). At that level of natural sunlight, I'd expect to see shadows cast by the pony- surely?

It would be great to find a better version of this picture...
 

Min Bannister

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#19
I don' t see any difficulty with the light. The pony is dark and she is fair. Cameras do not see light in the same way our eyes do and with contrasting subjects like that, one is going to look over or under-exposed.
 

Shady

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#24
:O Spoilsport, you know something, dont you, you are trying to move us away from the truth, YOU ARE THE DECIEVER* :O




*Bit over the top? :p
 
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