Observations of Anomalous Transparency:
The Faile Effect

10 March 1999

Nicholas Reiter


   In 1997 and early 1998, Dr. S.P. Faile, a semi-retired materials
research engineer and scientist, began recording observations of a curious
effect witnessed by him around his home.  The effect seemed to consist of
occasional circumstances where common, normally opaque objects ranging
from one's forearm, to sheet metal, to furniture, would appear to turn
partially transparent.  More distant objects seemed to be visible through
these structures, even to the extent of such details as printed

   The effect was first noticed by SPF in dimly lit work-room conditions,
where he has been conducting experiments in New Energy for several years.
Dr. Faile at first, in scientific fashion, evaluated whether or not the
transparency effect was a specialized optical illusion.  He began to doubt
that this was the case, however, after many hours of painstaking viewing,
and after receiving the corroboration of several other associates located
away from his hometown of Cincinnati. 

   At present it seems to be a phenomenon in search of a definition or
methodology!  One model would place the effect into the realm of anomalous
human talent, such as clairvoyance or remote viewing.  However, because
other individuals, with only a minimum of technique description have been
able to confirm the effect, and because a number of "real world" factors
such as lighting, location, and certain material structures can greatly
affect it's magnitude, it seems to more properly belong in the realm of
optics, and may invoke quantum principles. 

Qualities of the Faile Effect:

   The observation of anomalous transparency seems to be possible in a
very wide range of environments.  The first hints of the effect were
noticed in low level diffused monochromatic light, indoors.  SPF would
observe his right forearm, whilst moving solid metallic objects such as
screwdrivers or steel rods behind it with the left hand.  With proper dim
lighting, and the focusing of eyes to a point in space beyond the right
arm, the basic moving outline of the selected metal piece could be seen
through the arm!  An illusion where the mind fills in suspected detail? 
If observations would have remained at this "parlour trick" level, the
argument might hold more merit.  However, SPF was eventually able to view
details of objects completely obscured by the arm, or larger structures. 

   Transparency viewing was then moved outdoors, with surprising results. 
Once again, Dr. Faile repeatedly witnessed the "virtual transparency"
effect, however new examples could be found with walls, boulders, fences,
and tree limbs. 

   We should note at this point that the effect described is NOT the old
children's pastime of holding one's fingers out, and de-focusing the eyes,
thus allowing a transparent double image to form. 

   Technical correspondents and associates of Dr. Faile in Utah, Florida,
and in several regions of Ohio were kept informed about the effect, and
attempts were made by all to replicate the original observations.  The
conclusion arrived at was that the transparency effect COULD be discerned
by others, and did seem to be related in it's magnitude to a number of

   If one were to evaluate the appearance of the typical viewed anomalous
transparency in comparison to a known arrangement of filters or optical
attenuators, one would say that it is a neutral density effect, and
resembles an optical transmission of perhaps 2 to 3% at most.  Hints of
outlines, or faint definition of regions of high contrast comprise most of
the effect, although Dr. Faile has compiled a "gallery" of preferential
viewing examples at his home.  Some of these structure / light source
combinations have been claimed by a number of visitors / volunteers to
produce almost spooky levels of seemingly real transparency! 

   The logical question which arises here is " have these effects been
captured on film?"  To this we answer, "apparently so^" 

   Both Dr. Faile and NR have taken 35mm photos, in colour and BW around
their respective lab work areas.  In many of these shots, faint outlines
and silhouettes which resemble those seen by eye SEEM to be visible! 

   If the whole affair is an optical illusion, some sort of imaginal ray
tracing, we question if this same effect would carry over to the viewing
of photos.  Yet on the other hand, one would think that if bright light
sources such as lasers were used, anomalous transparency could be brought
up to a vividly and commonly observed level.  Clearly, this is not so;
thus we are left with a paradox. 


   Partial transparency of normally opaque objects, even if very rare,
should be a topic of note and discussion in the annals of Alternate
Science!  Yet we have been able to find very little published precedent on
the effect!  We have viewed a recent internet posted still photo taken
near a ghost town in California, which seems to show a VERY transparent
tombstone in a cemetery.  Additionally, a very curious photograph
published by T. Bearden dates from the 1930's, and shows a couple sitting
on a park bench.  However, the curiosity lies in the fact that one easily
notices that the male of the couple is virtually invisible from the waist
down!  Dr. Bearden points out that the couple in the photo were sitting on
a park bench under an old fashioned arc lamp, and hypothesizes that
emissions or field effects from the lamp were inducing invisibility. 

   We have also been told that in the Fusor experiments of Farnsworth,
components made of stainless steel began to exhibit transparency. 

   We admit that old photographs of unknown pedigree are scientifically
suspect, as accidental or intentional double exposures can make people and
objects look transparent. 

   Perhaps the effect, regardless of it's origin, remains obscure because
few individuals think to look for it, or even suspect it! 

Current Efforts:

   At the present time, our main objective is to catalog and document as
many observations of apparent transparency as possible.  We have
considered a number of theoretical models for such a phenomenon, such as
coherence of short to medium length wormhole pairs in the quantum foam of
space.  However, the Faile Effect, as we have come to call it, requires
far greater definition and characterization than exists currently. 

   Because of this, we are actively seeking scientific correspondence and
data sharing with amateur or professional scientists on this matter. 
Specifically, we would like to hear from any other parties who have come
across anomalous transparency in their research or even everyday life!

   Our opinion is that Faile Effect presents a genuine anomaly, perhaps a
field of study in itself.  It may extend into a number of alternate
science topics, and seems to bridge a gap between human optical response
and perceptions, and unknown physical properties. 

   We also believe that there does exist a currently not understood factor
which holds the key to the Faile Effect.  Understanding and control of
this factor might permit dramatic technological developments! 

   If you, the reader, have experienced anomalous transparency, or if you
are working on this topic from a theoretical angle, we encourage you to
contact us!  Contact may be made with: 

Nick Reiter
541 W. Stone St.
Gibsonburg, Ohio 43431
(419) 637-2659   
Created and maintained by Bill Beaty. Mail me at: .