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:
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
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?
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.
the Orb likely make landfall in Chatham?
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
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.
an Orb that large actually enter one of the mansions on Shore
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 it was thought to be, how could it Orb roll "in complete
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.
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.
Chatham can I find the location of the bridge scene?
The bridge can
be found on Bridge Street -- near Stage Harbor.
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.
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
Yes, it was.
any hidden clues within the artwork that could shed some light
on the mystery behind 'The Orb of Chatham'?
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.
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'?
click here for details. (link to be added)