Last year I shipped my luminator off to Italy, to my friend and colleague Amleto Iansante. It was a very difficult decision involving three years of dialog.
I bought the luminator in 1999 for about $15,000 and used it for about a decade to get lots of spirit faces when using Polaroid 600 film and cameras that were being sold at the time. I’d stand with subjects near the luminator as it was running, and I’d take their pictures… and very often we found spirit faces in the pictures when they developed. Polaroid was the only photographic technology that seemed to work. Digital and 35mm photos and video rarely got spirit faces.
So it was always the magic formula of luminator + Polaroid film = spirit faces.
Polaroid stopped making its film and cameras in 2009, so shortly after that I stopped taking spirit face photos.
Amleto contacted me originally in 2014, fascinated by the spirit faces and wanting very much to acquire a luminator. He was deeply interested in the afterlife. His wife had died a few years earlier, and in 2011 he started hosting an annual afterlife conference in L’Aquila, a small town that had been destroyed in 2009 by an earthquake, with 300 lives lost.
I was very reluctant to sell the luminator because of the historic photos it had produced, and also because of the rather amazing energy field it generated in and around our home. It seemed to weaken the “veil” between our physical world and the spirit realms that are all around us. With the luminator running, my spirit group was somehow able to draw upon the life energies (ectoplasm?) of the people in the room and to make their spirit bodies dense enough for a few moments to be caught clearly on film. At least, that is the scenario that I’ve come to believe, quite strongly, was playing out during those photo sessions with the luminator and Polaroid film.
I was also reluctant to sell the luminator because Polaroid had stopped making its film. I didn’t want Amleto to buy a device that didn’t produce the spirit face photographs he wanted.
So we discussed it by email for three years. Amleto wanted to try many new techniques, such as various photographic devices (including Fuji’s version of the Polaroid film) and various lighting conditions, including infrared and ultraviolet.
Well, last year (2017) Polaroid started to make a new generation of film and cameras. I was no longer using the luminator, and so I set up a special lease-to-buy arrangement in which I’d ship the luminator to Italy, and Amleto would make small monthly payments toward the purchase of the device. If he liked the luminator, he could keep using it as long as he wished and eventually pay it off. If not, he could send it back to me at any time.
So Amleto has been busy using the luminator for the past several months with encouraging results (some photographic anomalies) but not the frequent spirit faces that I and some of my colleagues, such as Jack Stucki had received with our luminators while using the old Polaroid technologies.
We’re hoping that it’s just a matter of time before Amleto’s spirit group (including his late wife) will master the new process and begin to make meaningful contacts.
Meanwhile, at the end of this month (September 30), once he’s gotten familiar with the luminator and the process (lighting, film, cameras….), I’ll send him the old Polaroid cameras and film I still have in the basement. I still have about a half-dozen packs of the old film. The film is long past its shelf life, but it’s my experience that the old film stays in working condition for a long time. (Years ago I visited my wife at her counseling office, found an old Polaroid camera and some old film in a drawer, took some pictures, and they came out fine. We even got what looked like a spirit face in one of the pictures, without the presence of the luminator.)
So, we’re hoping that Amleto, with his boundless enthusiasm, afterlife interest, and very good heart, will soon be providing the world with a new generation of great spirit face photos… with the help of his dedicated, competent spirit group, of course.