Feb 23, 2007
Last year, many people responded to reports of strange light orbs appearing at Haltom City's Riverwalk Fellowship Church. One year later, more evidence has come to light, this time with international implications.
Riverwalk Church is lead by Senior Pastor Steve Solomon, a Messianic Jew. A Messianic Jew is a Jew who believes that Jesus is the messiah.
The orbs appeared while people worshiped inside the church. "Almost everyone would just take a picture, and these orbs of light would show up," Solomon said.
In the interest of fair and balanced science, a CBS 11 News photographer took a new photo inside the church. Just like last year, a large blue orb of light appeared. The photo was taken to physics professor Dr. Randall Scalise at Southern Methodist University. Dr. Scalise teaches a class on recognizing pseudoscience.
After careful analysis, Dr. Scalise said, "It appears that the smaller of the two is a reflection of the larger one inside the camera elements." In other words, the smaller orbs could be seen around the bright blue one due to a reflection.
Background lighting, the flash on a digital camera and particles of dust in the air all played a role in tricking the eye, he said. This was all easily explained by science.
This may have explained the photo, but what about video taken at the church? The video had been taken by a teenage boy. An orb of light appears to be traveling from a woman's feet, through her body and out of her head.
Many of the photography and paranormal experts who viewed the video also found it interesting. Last year, the evidence was taken to the Office of Paranormal Investigations in Berkeley, California. There paranormal psychologist Lloyd Auerbach said it appeared, "energy from the person or energy between the people, if it's a healing situation, affected the film." In other words, the orb represented psychokinetic energy.
"Just because you can't explain something, does not entitle you to invoke the paranormal," warned Dr. Scalise. He says all related phenomena should be approached with equal parts of skepticism and fact.
Dr. Scalise then put a plastic blade on top of a retractable lead pencil. He moved his hands in a circular motion above the blade and it rotated. When someone else tried to make the blade move, it would not rotate.
"It is not paranormal. It is not telekinesis. It is just physics," Dr. Scalise said about the magic trick. In order to find out if the orb of light is a camera trick or spiritual occurrence, he explained, two different cameras would be needed. The cameras would have to take the picture simultaneously in the dark with no flash.
Pastor Solomon proposed another challenge for science to explain. Since 2003, Kenya has been suffering from a catastrophic drought. In January 2006, Solomon went to Kenya prophesying rain. In a video taken from his trip, he prophesized the drought's end.
Thousands of people in Kenya prayed every day. They waved their hands and yelled out their pain. The sounds went from whispers to loud cries. They prayed on a promise from Solomon, "The day that I leave, the deluge will start."
The day Solomon and his mission team left Kenya, the thunder and lightning arrived. It rained every day for more than a year until January 2007.
Kenyan native and now Texas resident Steve Mathuku and his 75-year-old father were there when the rains began. "He had never seen so much rain in his lifetime," Mathuku said about his father. "It was just amazing."
Now, Mathuku said, Kenyans no longer refer to Solomon as Pastor Steve Solomon. They call him Solomon the prophet.