2014, August 21 (pre): The Zushi Shoes

On August 21, 2014, a Reddit user called 'Obiaruf' posted up a strange picture with an even stranger story, and asked for opinions and ideas that might explain the situation. According to Obiaruf, a friend of his had recently visited Japan, and had taken pictures of his daughter playing at a beachside in Zushi, in the Kanagawa Prefecture. Several pictures were taken in about a two minute span (she kept making faces at the camera, so Obiaruf's friend kept trying to get a good picture), but in one of these shots something appeared that didn't make sense. See it? (The girl's face was blurred by Obiaruf to protect her privacy.)

Shoes 1

        There were other people at the beach, but they were not near the father and daughter -- for example, there's a man on the beach off to the right of the picture. So there is no logical reason that a pair of black boots should appear behind the girl in just a single shot out of the sequence. Click Here to open a larger view of the picture above... and here's the largest detail I can find just of the anomaly in question:


        The black objects are very obviously not rocks; they are shoes with what appears to be legs... but no view of an upper body behind the girl except for a small bit of blue material that doesn't appear to be part of her outfit. Other photos taken in the short time frame show no one else in the shot, and no other view of the shoes. Here are the published pictures in the sequence, ordered by the distance of the girl from the photographer.



Shoes 1

Shoes 2

        Put in order this way, the odd picture appears to have been between the second and fourth pictures above, assuming the girl walked up the hill and had pictures taken as she came progressively closer to her father... so it would have been impossible for someone to have snuck behind her and away in a matter of seconds without either her or her father noticing. It also appears that her father was slowly approaching her as well as he took pictures.

        Obiaruf didn't suggest any opinion on what could be the cause of the strange appearance of the shoes, but did assert he believed his friend wasn't lying -- Obiaruf stated his friend was freaked out by his discovery of the shoes -- and that the pictures were not created with a photo editing software... which may be true, depending on a vaguary that needs to noted.

        Look at the sequence of pictures above again: one with the strange shoes, and three released to demonstrate that the shoes were not in other pictures in the set. Clearly, all the pictures were taken on the same day and around the same time; but not in the order above, which is based on the girl's position in the shots. Note that in the first, second, and fourth shots, the tracks on the beach to the girl's left are all lined up in about the same spot; but in the third shot, the one with the shoes, the tracks on the beach are in a different position. This means the picture with the anomaly was taken either before or after the other three shots, with the photographer in a different position... so there was opportunity to place the boots and pose the shot!

        So this picture falls into the same category most spooky pictures like this do; it depends on if you believe the story told about how the picture was taken or not. Perhaps Obiaruf can get some more pictures in the sequence, and demonstrate there was little time for a posed shot; but until he does, it's up to you to decide what to think of the picture!

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