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130 Years of Parapsychology

This article was first published in Kindred Spirit magazine in February, 2012.

Matt Dennis – A gifted psychic medium taking part in The Shoreditch Experiments, conducted by Rupert Sheldrake and Graham Nicholls in 2009.

In his book The History of Spiritualism, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle describes how in January 1882 a meeting took place that would, a month later, lead to the founding of the Society for Psychical Research (SPR). The SPR would become the first organisation in the world dedicated to scientifically exploring psychic abilities and the question of survival after physical death. The 1880s was a time when scientific discoveries of all kinds were challenging many of the assumptions of religion. Materialism was and still is central to much of science, yet into this mix arose the Spiritualist movement. The early Spiritualists thought that their beliefs were a way for science and religion to be reconciled. In fact the British National Association of Spiritualists, founded in 1874, aligned itself with science from the beginning, one of their stated goals being ‘carrying out and publicising carefully documented scientific research into Spiritualist phenomena.’

It was from this atmosphere of support for science mixed with a sense that materialism was incomplete or too reductionist that the SPR and the field of psychical research as a whole arose.However, the evidence for these Spiritualist claims was not easily obtained and many of those investigated at the time turned out to be frauds, although some investigators considered a few of the mediums to be genuine. This kind of controversy has changed little over the years and ghosts, spirits and poltergeists divide researchers and the public alike. A case investigated by the SPR that has recently regained interest, due to new research and a major film in production, took place in Enfield in the 70s.

The Enfield Poltergeist Guy Lyon Playfair, a journalist and psychical researcher, who at the time had just returned from Brazil, offered to help another researcher named Morris Gross with the case. Sadly, Morris Gross passed away in 2007, but I was able to speak with Guy Lyon Playfair, who remains convinced to this day that the case was genuine and involved objects moving by themselves, including a large heavy armchair when no-one was around. He also witnessed his own notebook fly off the end of the bed while no-one was anywhere near it. Other witnesses attest to the many occurrences at the house, including a police woman who signed a statement to that effect. Just last year, more than 30 years after the case, Dr. Barrie Colvin analysed the rapping sounds recorded at the time inside the council house in Green Street, and concluded that the paranormal sounds had different qualities to normally-produced knocking sounds. Playfair described them as having a pattern more in keeping with earthquake sounds, as if arising from within the walls themselves. Playfair eventually documented his experiences in the book, This House is Haunted.

Cases like Enfield seem so improbable that many in the psychic field sought to distance themselves from these kinds of investigations. Today Guy Lyon Playfair and parapsychology have mostly moved towards other areas of research, such as telepathy.

Telepathy

Frederic Myers (by William Clarke Wontner)

It was Frederic Myers, one of the founders of the SPR who originally coined the term telepathy, from ‘tele’, meaning distant or far off, and ‘pathy’ meaning feeling or perception. Since Myers’ time, telepathy has gained controversial yet widespread attention for demonstrating consistent, repeatable results. Over many years, Rupert Sheldrake, a biologist and psi researcher, has found rates of success with members of the public of between 53% and 65%, when only 25% would be expected by chance.

Sheldrake invited me to help him organise some experiments, which would involve finding a suitable venue and subjects to take part. We needed somewhere in which no signals from phones or other devices could be received to avoid any possibility of cheating. I located an underground basement in Shoreditch, London, where once the door was closed there was no reception. Just to be sure I also secretly placed a device in the basement room that stopped any signals coming in or out. Over the days of the trials we had a range of people, from those with claimed psychic abilities through to a journalist with no previous experience. They were all taken to the room and given a piece of paper with numbers representing close friends or members of their family. They would have to guess who was calling on a landline telephone placed in front of them by pressing the relevant number on the phone’s keypad. The phone rang at randomised times and a computerised system asked for their guess; they were then put through to their friend or relative for a minute to see if they were correct.

Even under such controlled conditions, the findings were consistent with Rupert Sheldrake’s other work. All of the data was recorded in a database and formed part of Sheldrake’s work as director of the PerrottWarrick project administered by Trinity College, Cambridge. If we look at the whole area of telepathy research we find overwhelming evidence, especially in a form of telepathy experiments known as Ganzfeld, whereby mild sensory deprivation is used to bring about heightened sensitivity in experiments. In his book Entangled Minds, Dean Radin, a psi researcher from the US, conducted a meta-analysis of all research using the Ganzfeld method; the analysis produced odds against the results being due to chance of 29 quintillion to 1.

Near Death Experiences Near death experiences (NDEs) are one area of parapsychology that has become prominent because medical approaches such as resuscitation now bring people back from the point of death far more than was the case in the past. Now we have a whole new form of evidence for the possibility of consciousness surviving physical death. For example, Janice Holden, an American expert on the subject has shown that in documented cases, some 92% are totally veridical, or objectively accurate.This conclusion is supported by my own observations through my exploration of out-of-body experiences (OBEs). I had had a few OBEs around the age of 12, which led me to read some parapsychological research by Janet Lee Mitchell, supporting the idea that they are real and objective. So I practised for six months until I felt a surge of energy rush through my body and I found myself floating around five feet over my physical body. This first experience didn’t last long, but it initiated a journey into the whole area of research into the out-of-body state.

I have now had hundreds of OBEs, and I’ve developed methods for inducing them. In 1998 I built a structure that suspended a participant above the ground, before taking them through a hypnotic induction designed to put them into an altered state or allow them to have an OBE. I have now refined this into other projects including a large-scale virtual reality installation at London’s Science Museum in 2004. By learning to have out-of-body perceptions, we can gain the most direct evidence that consciousness is more than a mechanistic illusion of the brain. This area for many parapsychologists is also the most challenging to the dominance of the reductionist paradigm that brain equals mind and that consciousness cannot function in other forms.

Towards the Future Parapsychology and the work of the SPR remains of importance for their focus on exploring ethereal experiences in a scientific way and suggesting that consciousness might be a missing element within physics, and even move us to the long sought-after ‘theory of everything.’

The SPR and organisations like it continue to probe these unexplained areas of human experience, often in the face of hostility. Yet beyond these philosophical aspects of research, parapsychology acts as an avenue for people like me, who have experienced the otherworldly and want to gain understanding in a rational and honest way. The final words goes to Dr. Richard Broughton, the SPR’s current President: ‘I believe we will eventually come to a unified understanding of human consciousness that bridges both the human experience of consciousness and the physical world, or the realm of physics.’

If you would like to find out more about the ongoing work of The Society for Psychical Research or become a member you can visit their website at: http://www.spr.ac.uk/

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Aliens & UFO's

Full Disclosure: Navy Commander Details His Bizarre UFO Encounter

A retired Navy Commander released his official statement about that one time he had a UFO encounter, witnessing a bizarre craft rising out of the ocean and flying past his plane.

On February 10, 1951, Navy pilot and officer Graham Bethune, along with his crew, was flying in a mission from Iceland to Newfoundland.

While finishing the mission, they experienced something rather inexplicable. This event marked the whole life of the ex-Navy commander and the rest of the crew as well.

Namely, the members of the mission noticed a bizarre light on the ocean’s watery surface around 300 miles from Newfoundland.

These lights were so eminent and scattered throughout a large area hence the men felt like they were flying over a city.

During the Disclosure Project Conference in Washington DC in 2001, ex-commander Bethune explained his weird  UFO encounter.

“As we approached this glow it turned to a monstrous circle of white lights on the water. Then we saw a yellow halo, small, much smaller than whatever it was launched from, about fifteen miles away.”

In only a matter of seconds, the gleaming UFO equaled their altitude. Thus, Bethune had to free the autopilot and draw the plane’s nose down in order to dodge a crash. But soon, the object shifted going towards them.

Bethune’s drawing of the UFO encounter

“As the UFO approached my plane and flew alongside it, we could see the domed craft which had a corona discharge,” he said.

At the same time, certain plane instruments started failing due to the powerful electromagnetic disruptions the UFO generated.

The plane had 31 passengers, a psychiatrist and of course, the crew aboard. All of them watched as the event was unrolling.

As soon as the plane landed, the witnesses were questioned and pressured on signing a non-disclosure form. Their testimonies, however, were upheld by radar data from an Air Force station in Goose Bay, Labrador.

Do you believe Mr. Bethune and his crew really experienced a true UFO encounter? Tell us your opinion.

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Aliens & UFO's

Will Vladimir Putin Disclose Alien Presence?

A couple of major news outlets today tossed up headlines saying Vladimir Putin is about to disclose the reality of alien presence on earth. A potential Putin UFO disclosure statement would be world-changing.

The claim comes from the Paradigm Research Group founder, Stephen Bassett. Bassett is a US lobbyist on the issue of alien disclosure (he’s the only one).

If I had two minutes with Putin, my only question would be why do you not tell people about the ET presence. I believe Vladimir Putin is well aware of the ET presence. ~Stephen Bassett in a Russian Network TV interview.

Essentially, Bassett believes a global gag order keeps world leaders from disclosing the truth about aliens and UFOs.

Where’s the Evidence?

I went over all the news articles I could find regarding this revelation and there’s not as much interesting to it as I’d hoped.

Bassett traveled to Russia hoping to convince Putin to disclose what he knows, if anything, about aliens. He never actually got to speak to Putin though. He only had an interview with a Russian television network where he explained his beliefs.

Unfortunately, regardless of what Vladimir Putin knows, there’s nothing in Bassett’s interview to suggest he might be considering any type of UFO disclosure.

Putin UFO Disclosure?

So what might Putin know about UFOs?

Well, he sure as hell knows more about what’s going on than I do. The Russian interest in possible extraterrestrial technology is unquestioned. If there was anything going on, Putin would be one of the first to be grabbing the intel.

I believe Vladimir Putin is well aware of the ET presence. ~Bassett

Whether it happens or not, once one leader spills the beans it’s likely that more will follow. I’d love for Putin or Trump to come out and say, “yes aliens are visiting us and here’s proof.” It’s highly unlikely though. There’s always the possibility that our world leaders don’t even have proof.
putin ufo disclosure pixabay

Perhaps one day this will be the image with the headline: “Vladimir Putin provides proof of alien involvement on Earth”

Conclusion

The articles I found touting the Putin UFO disclosure seem to really be reporting the beliefs of a specific researcher. But it turns out, he doesn’t have any real information about Putin’s intentions.

I would still be cool though if he said something. It’s fun to think about. I’ll keep hoping that one day it happens.

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Aliens & UFO's

Mysterious underwater object link to ‘Tic Tac’ UFO sighting

© YouTube

Chris Mahon
Outer Places

Remember that undated report on the Nimitz UFO incident discovered by a news team in Las Vegas?

Not only did it detail the capabilities of the supposed alien craft, it also hinted at another mysterious object encountered by a different pilot during the training exercises: Something huge and submerged beneath the waves encountered by a Navy fighter pilot.

The details are vague, but they certainly deepen the mystery of what happened off the coast of San Diego.

According to the report (turn to page 6), a Lt. Col. was doing a Function Test Flight (a test to see if the plane was fully functional after being repaired) when he was asked to go check out an “unidentified airborne contact,” along with two other pilots.

He was asked if he had any ordnance (weapons) on board, to which he replied no.

Officials say this was a strange question; no air controller had ever asked him that when dealing with an unknown contact situation.

Soon after, he came close to the coordinates of the unknown object and was told to “skip it” and head back by the controller.

Instead, the Lt. Col. decided to go check it out.

What he found was a “disturbance” in the water between 50 and 100 meters in diameter that was close to a round shape.

It created a large area of frothing white water, and reminded the pilot of “something rapidly submerging from the surface like a submarine or a ship sinking.”

Soon after, he looked toward the area again and found no trace of the disturbance or any craft near the spot.

According to the report, the disturbance may have been caused by an AAV that was ‘cloaked’ or ‘invisible to the human eye.’

The report came to light roughly a month ago when it was published by I-Team, a Las Vegas investigative news team that covers everything from crime to local events.

It’s still unclear whether the document is authentic, but if it is, it’s one of the most persuasive pieces of evidence for modern UFOs.

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