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 characters.

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 factors.

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 (evenings)
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