Exposed: ‘Angel’ photo a hoax

2011-10-03 00:00

IT appears to be a sick joke. The Witness can reveal that the photo of a ghostly image hovering over Friday’s horror accident scene in which 15 people died is a fake.

A local resident, who asked not to be named, confessed yesterday that the photo was a prank he played on his sister.

“My friend edited the photo using his iPhone. I don’t know how, but he did it very quickly. I didn’t mean for the photo to spread as it did. I only sent it to my sister and she freaked out and sent it to all her friends without me knowing.”

The image, which appears to show the form of a pale-skinned child, wearing a long white dress hanging above the chaotic scene, caused a huge stir and The Witness received calls and visits from fascinated members of the public yesterday all expressing their own opinions.

Many believed that the little girl in the image was the angel of death.

One resident said, “I am not a religious person, but I believe that the image is of the angel of death. There are a lot of people talking about the photo and it is going around the area. People are shocked. They can’t believe that things like this exist.”

It even had a paranormal expert gobsmacked, who said, “Amazing picture! I have never seen anything like it in my 15 years of involvement in the paranormal research.

“As it was taken from a cellphone, it would be almost impossible to edit. Especially as you can see it is not a top-of-the-range phone that was used. The pixel differentiation is not very high. Also the said image blends in naturally with the rest of the background.”

The photo was taken with a Nokia 6710 Navigator from a back yard in Helston Road at around 8 am.

“I think it was the fogginess of the photo that helped the picture blend in so well,” the local resident said.

The accident made a profound effect on many residents.

Hilton van Hoek, a tow truck driver who attended the accident scene, said that after the accident had been dealt with, for the first time ever in his experience, a prayer was said.

“They gathered us together and some people expressed their thanks to those on the scene. A man from the fire department said a prayer and encouraged us to seek counselling.”

Van Hoek said there were a “whole lot of emotions” going through his mind at the accident scene.

“We were trying to get our work done and assisted getting a guy out.

“We were trying to console people at the scene. Paramedics were dealing with having to lose their patients. When the man prayed, it brought a sense of comfort.”

Asked what he thought of the picture, he said, “I don’t know. If it’s a joke, it’s a sick joke.”

However, the local man who insists he took the photo said there is no trickery involved and that the photo has not been manipulated at all.

Craig Padayachee (20) said he took the photo of the accident scene from a vantage point at his home in Capricorn Heights at about 9 am on Friday.

Speaking to The Witness yesterday, Padayachee said that when he later looked at the image on his cellphone, he realised there was something strange about it.

“I saw there was something in the sky over the accident scene. I am not playing the fool,” he insisted.

Padayachee, who is a Christian, firmly believes the image is the “Angel of Death”.

Padayachee said he went to the accident scene and showed the image on his phone to paramedics on scene. “They said I was trying to play the fool.”

Despite repeated assurances that he would come to The Witness yesterday and show us the original photo, he failed to arrive and hung up when called.

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