- uploaded: Jun 2, 2007
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MIDDLETOWN, Ohio -- An Ohio couple said they are baffled by a strange image captured in a photograph.
"We noticed something on the picture and couldn't explain it," said Beverly Johnson, who snapped the picture last month during a fundraiser for Paul Clifford, a Middletown man who was dying of cancer.
Although friends had hoped Clifford would make it to the April 29 fundraiser, he was too sick to attend.
But Johnson and her husband, Ron, said their friend was there in spirit -- and they believe they may have photographic proof.
An image in a snapshot taken at the fundraiser appears to rise out of Ron's water bottle and float above his head.
"Ron was saying he thought it was his friend with him, because we know in spirit he wanted to be there so bad," said Johnson.
Skeptics have laughed at the notion, but one local spiritual advisor said that the cloudy, white image represents a good spirit. And when the photo is turned sideways, explained the advisor, the image resembles the form of a dove.
"That's why I say he was right with us," said Ron Johnson. "His spirit came out of a bottle."
The Johnsons claim a strong faith, but even so, they checked the negative of the photograph and said nothing had been spilled on it, and the mysterious image does not appear in any of the other pictures on the roll.
Clifford died May 17 after a long battle with liver cancer, but the Johnsons said his spirit still intrigues people.
They have had a number of requests for copies of the mysterious photo.