Article Number: 03SR08-01






Sharon M. Raines



You are out in the dark, late at night, walking through an area that should be full of paranormal activity (at least in your estimation), looking for anything out of the ordinary. Perhaps you have your electronic equipment and are distracted from emotional thoughts by the need to monitor for electromagnetic field variances, temperature changes, EPVs, or infrared disturbances. Or maybe you’re just carrying several cameras and taking shots where your intuition points you. Perhaps you’ve brought along a medium to point out the hot spots. At any rate, if you are using both conventional and digital cameras, you will be checking your digital images for results. Sometimes, but not too often, you will see small, bright traces of light in the pictures where there was no light visible to the human eye when you were pointing and clicking. Excitement can lead to the wrong conclusions so, before you publish your pictures, take that extra step; go home and process everything, then take a very careful, non-biased inspection of your results. Once you’ve ruled out passing vehicles, low flying aircraft, nearby lights, reflectors on fences, etc., and your heart starts to speed up again, take another really big, calming breath and say, “Not yet!” You’re ghost just might turn out to be flux.

Flux is not necessarily a bad thing. Your job is to determine if the cause of the flux is natural or manmade. If manmade, you must discount your evidence. If natural and from a known source, you must discount your evidence. However, is there is not cause evident and the event seems to be spontaneous, perhaps you have seen a ghost or evidence of paranormal activity.


Aside from an archaic term used to indicate septicemia, flux is the movement of energy. In physics it is defined as the rate of flow of fluid, particles or energy through any given surface, or the lines of force of an electric or magnetic field.

Almost all primary school children have been given the “magnet and iron filings” experiment. This is a way to make those invisible lines of force visible. The funny thing about energy in an electromagnetic field is that, under the right circumstances and from the right perspectives it can become visible. While you may not see it with the naked eye, sometimes the camera will pick up the occurrence. If you happen to have an EMF detector pointed in that direction as well, you will probably get a reading.

Now, if you happen to be one of those radical persons who are touting the ‘Free Energy’ solution to all of the world’s energy needs, you have probably seen where this is leading. (Yes, sometimes micro-energy flux does occur naturally, but only in favorable conditions.) If not, don’t despair, just bear with the additional physics lecture a little longer.

Energy in a field moves either in a big loop from emitting dipole to receiving dipole, as with our magnet and iron filings example, or in a straight line through the designated surface between 2 dipoles. Before one says, “AHA!! There were no dipoles in that cemetery!” one needs to consider what a dipole may be composed of and how common or uncommon its occurrence is in nature. Here is the first obvious hint: Lighting is an energy flux between the negatively charged earth (emitting dipole) and the positively charged atmosphere (receiving dipole).

A dipole is any matter that can carry an energy charge directionally due to proximity and opposite charge, i.e. positive and negative. A car battery contains positive and negative posts which are dipoles. Energy can be and often is static between these two dipoles until something interrupts the balance. A good example, keeping to the lightning example, is the simple water molecule. The moisture in the air acts as a conductor to encourage the exchange of energy due to the arrangement of the water molecule, which results in a positive/negative sidedness.

On a much smaller scale is a demonstration of flux that has been a cheap thrill for kids for years. Buy a pack of wintergreen lifesavers and go into a room with a mirror, which can be made completely dark, such as an interior bathroom. Place a piece of candy in your mouth, turn out the lights, face the mirror, open your mouth wide so you can see what happens, and bite down on the candy. Bet you didn’t know you could make fireworks in your mouth! This trick works in a similar to fashion to the creation of lightning in the vicinity of shifting fault lines. Because wintergreen oil is volatile and the sugar forms a crystalline structure in the candy, when you bite the candy the shearing force breaks the crystalline bonds and releases a minute amount of energy with the volatile oils. The minute energy created from this combines with the oil molecules to create a brief flash. (Any real physicists/chemists are more than welcome to correct my poor memory regarding the complete chemical explanation of this event.)

In general, we don’t perceive energy flux at the subatomic level without special tools and the active search to create it, (otherwise known as an electromagnetic accelerator, linear or otherwise). Paranormal researchers believe that these smaller occurrences of energy flux, in all areas of the photon field of energy from radio to gamma waves, may indicate the presence of something when found outside the normal range and area of their expected existence.

Example 1
Example 2



Energy flux in the visible light spectrum can be caused by many of the same things that will give false readings on the EMF detectors. Primary suspects are both overhead and buried power cables and lines, buried or overhead phone or fiber-optic cable lines, microwave transmitters, radio transmitters, television transmitters, satellite uplink transmitters, electrified fences, electronic locks on doors and gates, electric generators and generation systems of any kind and, to a lesser extent solar and battery operated systems for emergency or security lighting, detection and surveillance, and vehicle engines and electrical systems. Furthermore, energy flux is a normal result of geological activity and natural magnetic mineral deposits, solar flare and cosmic ray intensity and it’s effects on the earth’s magnetic field, as well as flowing water either above or below the surface. (As an aside, dowsing works on the same principles of the detection of these fields.) In fact, some of the skeptics base their position of disbelief on the fact that we live in a world, which is bombarded with so much man-made and natural energy fields that in some combinations, it may affect the human brain and cause hallucinogenic-type reactions.


Before publishing your work, it would be to your benefit to return to the site for further investigation. Ideally, you will have already made both day and night studies of the area and noted all visible possible sources of manmade or natural EMF. Although not always possible, gridding the area in question and taking precise location measurements (USGS-maps or sat-locators) for comparative purposes is also advisable where practical.

It will be necessary for you to rule out all of normal possible sources of the flux, such as manmade and natural sources of EMF, reflection of the flash from surfaces such as a pool of water, polished stone, metal, reflectors placed on fences and marker posts, metallic debris nearby (tin cans and car bumpers, etc.), your own vehicles windows, body parts, and reflective tail and side lights.

If you have been very lucky, you may have caught the light from more than one observation point. Say Jane A. is at the eastern corner of the area you are observing with her EMF meters, while you are in the center southern point looking directly north when you snap the picture. Jane would see your flash and possibly a second flash at a distance from you if the camera flash was the energy that set off the flux. However, if she were not looking, she would only record an EMF surge. Or Jane might have noticed that your flash was reflected from something symmetrical from her point of view. In this case, further inspection could reveal an unnoticed highly polished stone or memorial, which was at the perfect angle to create a reflection of the camera flash. (By the way, the flash can reflect from considerable distances and don’t rule out animals caught watching.) But, what if Jane saw the same irregular flash you did and further research turned up no reflective objects?

Always bear in mind that things are not exactly as they seem. The human mind looks to create symmetry and form where there may be none. There are constellations of creatures in the heavens because of this ability to imagine and create. In the case of energy flux, this can be seen as a tendency to try and give it a shape, size, or direction of travel from the viewed evidence. Without multiple simultaneous observances, it is impossible to ascertain direction of travel or time of existence or symmetry. This is especially true in the case of flux because of the extremely brief duration of the event, generally fractions of a second, which is why it is not generally seen by the naked eye. If you can readily give it a shape, and everyone viewing the photo can also, it is probably not flux!

Also remember that the more observations with different tools that can made simultaneously, the better the odds that there is something there besides air. Flux will set off EMF detectors. If it is of a high enough charge, it will be audible as radio static on recorders. And if it is a very high charge it will affect equipment, vehicles, and the power grid. (Of course, if this happens, it’s more likely the beginning of WWIII or a UFO invasion.)

Once you have ruled out the above possibilities, you can safely place your picture and the reports and studies into the possibilities file. Even though you haven’t proven what caused the flash that you didn’t see but which the camera film recorded, having proven that it wasn’t something known and understood places your picture into a position of being a possible paranormal event. It didn’t just occur out of thin air; it has a creation in common physical and quantum laws and mechanics. But, because there is no explanation for how it came to be there, it is now possible to hypothesis a paranormal incident.


Everything stated above is common knowledge, available in the library or on the internet from physics texts and workbooks. Flux is the movement of energy. Whether in an electromagnetic field reaction or as the result of release from a higher state to a lower state, it is movement. It occurs from radio waves through the visible spectrum into gamma particles.

The job of the paranormal researcher is to determine whether or not the flux he/she has observed is the result of manmade or natural phenomena, or whether it occurs out of context with expected normal energy emanations of an area. Only when all other possibilities have been ruled out should the researcher classify his/her report as containing paranormal evidence.


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