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Unlock The Orb of Chatham and witness its mystery ...

You MUST hold 'The Orb of Chatham' in your hands to FULLY access these features.

LEARN more about 'The Chatham Five' witnesses
READ news accounts of 'The Orb of Chatham' mystery
LISTEN to audio interviews recalling the events of 1935
SEE amateur video of Orb sightings
WITNESS postcards and photos that offer clues about the Orb
BLOG with other 'Orb of Chatham' readers
STUDY a map showing where the Orb may hide in Chatham's waters

To BUY the book, please click here

Email your friends about 'The Orb Of Chatham' web site! Just Click Here


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Home I Sneak Peek I The Chatham Five I Buy The Book I FAQs I Unlock The Orb Code I About The Author I The Art I Behind The Scenes I Press & Media I Book Signings & Events I Contact I Links I About Chatham I Blog I The Orb Store I About Chatham I Walking Tour I Help

"A strange noir mystery that is truly baffling, yet curiously entertaining."
-- Tim Wood, The Cape Cod Chronicle
'Middle-of-the-night black, moonlight white and cold gray have never been so eerily orchestrated as they are in Staake's superb drawings for his chilling tale, 'The Orb of Chatham'. Your eyes will feast and your skin will crawl."
-- Michael Keegan, The Washington Post
"A taut tale of ghostly suspense -- a clever mystery with a solid mythology."
-- CapeCodToday.com

Email your friends about 'The Orb Of Chatham' web site! Just Click Here


Frequently Asked Questions


You REALLY are curious, aren't you?

Hey, That's A GOOD Thing, So Read On!

Needless to say, 'The Orb Of Chatham' has been causing quite a buzz -- first in Chatham. Massachusetts, and now spreading everywhere else.

To further shed light on the mysterious story, we have taken the time to answer some of the more common questions surrounding the book, the story, and the artwork.

If you have a question you would like answered, we suggest you participate in 'The Orb Of Chatham' blog. To access our blog, you must first Unlock The Orb Code. This requires that you be holding the book in your hands.

In the meantime, please feel free to browse this FAQ page. It is possible that we already answer your question below.

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+ Take A Sneak Peek At 'The Orb Of Chatham' NOW

+ Unlock The Orb Code (To do so, you must hold the book in your hands to solve the clues found in the artwork)

+ Buy The Book

+ Email your friends about 'The Orb Of Chatham' web site! Just Click Here

Written and illustrated by Bob Staake, 'The Orb Of Chatham' is unlike any other of his more than 35 books.

A hauntingly eery tale that meanders through this mysterious New England town, 'The Orb Of Chatham' fascinates and mesmerizes readers both young and old. Take a peek at the book


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Is 'The Orb of Chatham' story real?

This is the number one question posed to the author /illustrator -- and he always responds the same way:

"I absolutely believe in the story", says Bob Staake, "but I'm more interested in how readers perceive it. To me, 'The Orb Of Chatham' is one of those truly democratic stories that empowers the reader -- and makes them a critical part of the experience. Without a reader becoming engaged, a book like this simply wilts."


Did the local Cape Cod newspapers carry any news items regarding 'The Orb of Chatham' story?

A man in Eastham, Massachusetts emailed us a scan of a news item in the November 12, 1935 edition of the Chatham Monitor -- but we have no way of corrobating its accuracy.


How was the art for the book created?

The digital illustrations were produced in Photoshop 3.0.


Why is all the art in black and white?

To evoke the right 'mood' and to suggest a 1935-era, the artist elected to create all the illustrations as grayscale illustartions. Lighting plays a very important part in the story of 'The Orb of Chatham', and the drama of the shadows and highlights are accentuated by their reduced-down black and white tones.


Are the scenes in the actual locations within Chatham, Massachusetts?

Yes. The author/illustrator used his memory of the scenes to create his moody illustrations, though on occasion he drew pencil studies of scenes to keep them accurate. For example, in the 'Main Street' scene, specific houses are depicted. On the other hand, the palatial home on the 'mansion' page is a combination of two well-known Shore Road residences.


Is the author's home depicted within 'The Orb of Chatham'?

Yes, it is.


Can you tell us which one it is?

No, we can't.


Is the inn depicted the Chatham Bars Inn?

No. The model for the inn scene is the Chatham Wayside Inn on Main Street. The exterior of the inn and grounds have been altered over the years, but the author/illustrator based his art on research showing how the building generally looked in 1935.


Where did the Orb likely make landfall in Chatham?

The logical assumption is that it came aground along South Beach, though some believe it landed near Hardings Lane (off Main Street). People who believe either scenario also must believe that the Orb arrived in Chatham by sea, though others suggest that the Orb traveed to Chatham by air. This remains a major mystery in the book, and by pieceing together the information found on OrbOfChatham.com, we're confident many readers of the book will formulate additional theories.


Is the scene along the 'Salt Marsh' based on Oyster Pond?

No. It is actually a view of Mill Pond -- slightly north of the landing at Eliphamets Lane. There are fewer (and smaller) homes represented in the scene to approximate the view one might have found in 1935.


Why are there no humans depicted in the book?

The author felt that by including humans, it would detract from the mystery of the book. In certain scenes you'll find lights on in some of the windows, and it is left to the imagination of the reader as to what people might be doing in those residences.


How could an Orb that large actually enter one of the mansions on Shore Road?

This is but many of the unanswered mysteries in the book. What the book does not show is just as revealing as what it does.


As heavy as it was thought to be, how could it Orb roll "in complete silence"?

Given our earthly knowledge of physics, it is indeed hard to imagine the Orb rolling down a paved street without a rumble, but all of the 'Chatham Five' claimed it produced no sound whatsoever. Even when it was observed by Wilfred "Gus" Nickerson "hovering" adjacent to the Methodist church, it seemed to simply "sit" in the air -- completely motionless. Had Eldredge not looked at the church tower to read the time on the clock, he claimed he might not have even noticed the Orb.


Within the mansion, there is a painting on the wall. It looks very much like the final scene of the book. Is it?

Yes, it is. You can learn more about the painting's significance by reading Walter Eldredge's biography.


Where in Chatham can I find the location of the bridge scene?

The bridge can be found on Bridge Street -- near Stage Harbor.


Which cemetary is depicted in the graveyard scene?

It is the Seaside Cemetery at Route 28 and Crowell Road -- across the street from the Chatham Village Market.


Where is the most logical location of the submerged Orb -- if indeed it is still within Chatham.

The final scene of the book is a view of Pleasant Bay looking south towards the Eastward Ho Country Club. Many afficianados believe the Orb rests in these waters at a depth of perhaps 25 feet, though Herbert Eldredge provides some interesting evidence in his biography that could call this theory into question.


In the final scene of the book, an 'orb-like' moon is seen glowing behind the catboat's sail -- and then reflected on the water. Was this intentional symbolism?

Yes, it was.


Are there any hidden clues within the artwork that could shed some light on the mystery behind 'The Orb of Chatham'?

Absolutely. The artwork is loaded with information that may not be apparent at first glance. The more you study the art, the more you'll see.


We're planning a trip to Chatham, Massachusetts. Can we visit the specific sites illustrated in 'The Orb of Chatham'.

Yes. We have a self-guided walking tour of 'The Orb of Chatham' sites that you will be able to download when you Unlock The Orb Code.


Can I purchase art from 'The Orb of Chatham'?

Yes. Please click here for details. (link to be added)







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The Book Is Only The Beginning Of The Orb Of Chatham Story:

Of the five who reported witnessing 'The Orb Of Chatham' in 1935, why would Margaret Snow be the last to file her report with the authorities, while her husband, Walter, was the first? Additional Information on 'The Chatham Five' can be found inside the Orb. Click here to unlock the code and enter Why are so many orb shapes found in Chatham? The mysterious forms are commonly seen decorating gardens, placed in northeast corners of barns, and even used as book ends. Once people have read 'The Orb of Chatham', they report noticing even more Orb shapes within the quaint village. Additional photos of Orbs can be found inside the Orb. Click here to unlock the code and enter What explains that orbs are often found near ship wrecks, particularly those occuring on nights with full moons? Unless you look closely at some of these mysterious photographs, you may not even notice the orbs that almost seem to hide from view. Additional shipwreck photos can be found inside the Orb. Click here to unlock the code and enter

Given the relative shallowness of Chatham's waters, why did divers feel it necessary in 1976 to use a titanium diving suit like this to search the ocean floor of Stage Harbor when lobster traps were discovered being mysteriously "crushed" by something? Additional photos can be found inside the Orb. Click here to unlock the code and enter Why would this novelty song about 'The Orb Of Chatham' have been recorded in 1936 -- but banned from being played on the town's only radio station? Additional product photos can be found inside the Orb. Click here to unlock the code and enter Is there a reason why orb sightings in the Chatham skies increase during the winter months -- even though the town's population drops considerably? And why do so many townspeople insist that 'The Orb of Chatham' events of 1935 never took place? Additional Sighting Photos can be found inside the Orb. Click here to unlock the code and enter


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The Orb Of Chatham and OrbOfChatham.com is Copyright 2005 by Bob Staake - All Rights Reserved. The book was originally published by Commonwealth Editions. The text, images and content on this web site cannot be used without the expressed, written consent of the author. For licensing inquiries, please click here. Any similarity to charcacters living or dead is strictly coincidental Flash animation and music sequence by Ryan Staake -- Melonsoft.

























, the reports were made upon daylight, though local authorities dismissed them a hoax.

Still, the witnesses' independent accounts were virtually identical; the orb appeared to be made of blackened metal, perhaps six feet tall, and traveled in absolute silence by rolling (though one witness reported spotting the orb "hovering" in the air above a local church).

Two months later, all five witnesses vanished -- on the same October evening -- never to be seen again.

Whether 'The Orb Of Chatham' is truth or fiction remains a mystery to this day.