I liken my paranormal research to solving one of those picture puzzles where you’re not told what the final picture will be. You can have lots of pieces of the puzzle that make up some image that is sort of recognisable, but without all of the pieces of the puzzle it is nearly impossible to say for sure what the final picture looks like. In this analogy the picture puzzle is the case of phenomena being investigated, the final picture is the rational conclusion, and the missing pieces of the puzzle are the bits of information that I, as an investigator, have to try and find in order to work out the rational conclusion to the case.
Nine times out of ten, when it comes to ghosts, monsters or UFOs, quite a few pieces of the puzzle are missing, and it’s because eye-witness testimony is lacking due to the limited view the eye-witness had to what was happening 360 degrees around them. In a lot of cases with just eye-witness testimony to work with a researcher can only speculate because of the limited information they have (but this isn’t always so.)
“The 360 solution” is a phrase I coined early on in my time as skeptical paranormal researcher to refer to those times that a missing piece of information that could possibly solve a case would be provided if someone was watching from a birds-eye-view when the strange happening was witnessed. People watching from a birds-eye view is always very unlikely, but more often than not by asking myself what they would have seen if they had been in such a position I can work out what took place. This can be a great way to solve what happened when you have just eye-witness testimony to work with (though it can be difficult to get all of the information you need to build up that picture.) It’s also useful even in those cases where you have video and photos to work with. Remember: the camera is also not getting a birds-eye view of what is happening and is also limiting.
A great example of this can be seen in the recently released video filmed from a dashboard camera that it is claimed shows a Russian Ghost Car causing an accident at a traffic junction. The car seems to appear out of nowhere in front of other traffic, and the footage has spread across the internet rapidly.
However, when you apply the 360 Solution to it you start to see what may have occurred in the video. My personal conclusion is that the car came from an area that isn’t seen by the camera because other cars are in a position on the road ahead that blocks it. I’ve illustrated my thoughts below to make it easier to understand. Click either image to see it full size.
Below I have included a still frame shot of the footage to show just how little the dashboard camera is actually seeing. The red line demonstrates the area in which it sees the least, which happens to coincide with where the “ghost car” appears. If we had footage from the bus or the truck seen travelling in the other direction we’d probably see things a lot more clearly…
Finally, this gif (found on Imgur) demonstrates how the Ghost Car could be a traffic jumper by tracking its potential (obscured) route. These solutions are all more likely than the idea that a ghost car is the cause.