Dog Walker Catches Rare Weather Phenomenon That Convinces Others He's 'Seen God'
A dog walker caught the moment he was left awe-struck by a giant shadow of himself with a rainbow halo - leaving many believing he had 'seen God'.
Vinny Keenan had been hiking with his puppy last week when fog in front of him and the sun behind him aligned to create the rare phenomenon known as a 'Brocken spectre' with his own shadow.
Photos taken on Peaton Hill near Loch Long, Argyll and Bute, Scotland, show the ghostly silhouette of a giant man in the mist with the vivid rings of colour glowing around his head as if it was a halo. I mean, it's obviously his own silhouette...
However after sharing the powerful images online, which racked up more than 1,800 likes, shares and comments. Many who saw them were mesmerised and branded them 'spiritual' and 'mystic'. Some even believed the apparition could be 'God, Christ or a ghost'.
The 52-year-old claims he didn't have the heart to tell people the real explanation - that the rare vision is a natural phenomenon, an optical illusion caused by perspective of one's own shadow against cloud and water droplets.
Vinny, from Garelochhead in Argyll and Bute, said: "Lots of people were saying it was a sign and is that God or Jesus in the picture. There were all those sorts of things.
"I think a lot of people online on social media are spiritually moved by the picture, but because I knew the background behind it and what it is, I know it's my own shadow.
"I didn't want to say it was my own shadow to everyone because they were all moved by it. I was excited to see it and obviously I recognised it from photos, so I was happy to see it in person.
"In person it's more mesmerising. I was just relieved to actually capture it. It was the first time I've managed to capture it. I've seen it before. When I saw it I knew what it was, but I was quite lucky obviously because I've seen other photographers capture it."
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He continued: "I was out with the dog. That day everybody was using the Peaton Hill which has a viewpoint which overlooks the River Clyde and away out to Arran and you can see all the mountains behind you.
"It was all foggy and basically me and the dog walked up the top into the fog. I was hoping to get a picture of the mountain tops in the distance but there was a blanket inversion, when the cloud comes in and settles on everything.
"I was hoping to be above the clouds and get a photo of the mountaintops surrounded in a blanket of fog. Obviously I noticed the way the sun was coming up behind me.
"I was walking up the top of the edge of the hill and the sun was shining down behind me, and it was illuminating me. I was like, 'oh, that's a wee picture there'."
People commenting on the snap believed that the picture was 'ethereal' and even thought Vinny was 'blessed' for spotting the phenomenon.
One said: "An ethereal picture; maybe this is what out 'Auras' are like." Another added: "Brocken spectre, God, Christ, a ghost... No matter what... it looks very mystic and very inspiring. Looking closer I can see a man with a sword walking towards the sun... Robert Bruce [a 14th century Scottish warrior king]? Don't know but this came to my mind." Think they're looking almost *too* closely.
A third person wrote: "Wow. I believe you are Blessed Vinny," with another commenting: "Looks ethereal the form of a man in a halo, like Christ walking. What a capture! Brilliant."
Vinny, who works as a service engineer, said: "Photography-wise you're always looking for something nice to remember the year. It was a good way to end the year because it was a different way to experience something I've never captured before as well.
"It's a place I visit quite a lot with my dog so to capture it there was amazing. It was a great experience to see it though, especially on the last day of 2019. I had quite a good year photography-wise as well, so it was good to cross that [photograph] off the list.
"It's funny because it's one of the things I had always hoped to see. You always hope to see something different when you're on the hills. Something different from everybody else is always the shot you're looking to get."
Well, he certainly did that.
Featured Image Credit: Kennedy News and Media