Skip to main content

Debunked: Shadow Person over Zambia Mall



The crack staff of paranormal "experts" over at Coast to Coast AM are up to it again. Last week they posted grainy video footage of a "goblin" in Argentina that led us to conclude that it was the least spectacular monster ever caught on video, and now they're touting the alleged sighting of an anomalous figure over a mall in Zambia as being that of a "shadow person" (or perhaps a weird-looking cloud).

Coast to Coast writes:

Shoppers at a mall in the African nation of Zambia were taken aback when they spotted a strange anomaly in the sky that bore a striking resemblance to a shadow person. 

The eerie figure, which sports a distinct head and body along with wispy arms and legs, is believed to have measured more than 300 feet long, based on a comparison to the shops below it. 

According to witnesses, the haunting sight lingered over the shopping center for about a half hour before disappearing. 

Although the oddity was likely just a vivid cloud formation, some observers were not as easy to dismiss the event and purportedly began praying to the spirit. 

Others opted for a different reaction and decided to flee the area out of fear that the 'figure' was an ominous sign. 

Unfortunately, news of this "shadow person" appeared on countless websites over the weekend, from the UK's moderately credible Daily Mail to a slew of well-known paranormal websites.

The truth, however, is that the shadow person in question is neither supernatural like a shadow person nor natural like a cloud formation. And it most certainly isn't a sign from God. What the picture shows is a kite.

A "spirit man" kite, to be exact.








While many kitemakers sell this particular style of kite, one of the leading manufacturers is Martin Lester Kites, which provides the following product description:

Floating like a friendly ghost, the Spirit’s legs swim as if it’s propelling itself aloft. A soft kite with nothing to assemble or break, it stuffs into a 8" x 10" sack. Crafted of nylon sailcloth by Martin Lester himself this 20-ft long figure soars gracefully in surprisingly light winds. Great for night flying when its spookiness really comes alive. 2-ft. spinning drogue tail included. Wind range 4 to 24 mph. Use 100-lb. Dacron line. 


Run for cover, it's the Apocalypse!


Even a person without any knowledge of kites should have been able to tell that this "shadow person" story was full of wind (pun intended). It's difficult to believe that an apparition appearing over a busy shopping center, making itself visible to numerous witnesses, was only captured by one unnamed witness. Nobody else had a phone handy? Nobody bothered to interview one of the many Zambian locals who (as the Daily Mail put it) "ran away in terror when they saw a strange human-like figure appear in the clouds"?

Unfortunately, the most amazing aspect of this story is just how gullible certain "paranormal researchers" are. We've seen this particular story peddled by several popular, well-known paranormal outlets that claim to be an authority on all things supernatural. We've said it before and we'll say it again-- you haven't earned the right to label yourself as a researcher until you do some actual, well, research.





Popular posts from this blog

The Incest Capital of the World?

At the far eastern edge of Kentucky, nestled in Appalachia, resides Letcher County. In spite of its isolation and poverty (approximately 30% of the county's population lives below the poverty line), Letcher County has managed to grow at an impressive rate, from a population of just 9,172 in 1900 to a present-day population of nearly 25,000. However, even if Letcher County tripled or quadrupled its present population, there's still a pretty good chance that virtually all of the county's inhabitants would be related to each other-- thanks to one particularly fertile family whose astounding rate of reproduction can put even the friskiest rabbit to shame.

Around the year 1900, Letcher County was the home of a man by the name of Jason L. Webb, who made national headlines for having the one of the largest families in the world. According to newspaper reports of the era, Jason had 19 children, 175 grandchildren, and 100 great-grandchildren. Perhaps even more impressive was his b…

Black Eyed Children Finally Explained!

Last month, we received an email from a reader in Michigan, in response to our article debunking the "black eyed children" phenomenon, which links these so-called "paranormal" entities to recreational drug use.  The reader, whom we will call Onizuka in order to protect his identity, claims that not only is he familiar with BEKs- but that he was one.  "Onizuka" agreed to speak with JOTB via Yahoo instant messenger.  Ironically, this conversation took place on 4/20, a date which is embraced by those who are part of the drug culture.


JOTB:Thanks for taking the time to speak with us.  In one of your previous emails, you stated that you were a "black eyed kid".  What did you mean by that?

Onizuka:  Last November I was driving late at night at turned on the radio and came across an episode of Coast to Coast AM and the topic of the show was black eyed children.  It convinced me to do some research on the topic, and that's how I found your article.  A…

Remembering the ill-fated voyage of the Aerowagon

From 1917 to 1922, the Bolshevik-led Red Army battled the anti-Communist White Army during the Russian Civil War.  By the end of 1919 the Bolsheviks had taken the cities of Omsk and Kiev, and had successfully repelled the White Russian siege of Petrograd.  However, the Bolshevik's momentum would be short-lived as the White Army, after retreating across the Baikal, regrouped and joined forces with Gigory Semyonov's Transbaikal Cossacks.  As the Red Army's losses began to mount, especially in Poland, the Bolsheviks attempted to gain a competitive advantage by embracing new technologies, sometimes with disastrous results.  Such is the sad tale of young inventor Valerian Abakovsky and his Aerowagon.

Abakovsky was a Latvian-born inventor who earned his living as a chauffeur for Cheka, the state security organization created by Lenin.  His position granted him access to many high-ranking Soviets and, although details are scarce, Abakovsky most likely used his influence within t…