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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.


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:


Aliens & UFO's

A spectacular video shows a “cylindrical object that expels a puff of smoke” on the moon

The images presented in the August 2003 issue of Electric Space Craft, a scientific journal, have aroused enormous interest. The publication contained an extraordinary series of frames taken from NASA images included in the TV program, NOVA: To the Moon. The meaning of the images had only recently been noticed.

While Apollo 8 orbited 70 miles (113 km) above the lunar surface, with the Earth in the background, it took pictures of the ground below. At some point in the NOVA program, a small black object, tall and cylindrical, seems to protrude from the moon.

in a frame of the Apollo 8 video visible in the NOVA documentary below, you can see a small dark object on the lunar surface

In fact, just as it seems that the Apollo 8 camera is about to pass, the strange object seems to release a cloud in the form of a jet. It can be described as a funnel that expels a puff of smoke. The “cloud” moves to the right and then dissipates. Although the black object appears small on the screen, it should be hundreds or thousands of feet tall if it were actually seen from such a high altitude.

From the still images taken from the Apollo 8 video, you can see the anomaly that appears first near the center of the frame, then descends towards the lower left corner while the camera moves forward. Additional color images have been sent to us from the scientific publication.

Electric Space Craft has increased the sharpness and contrast of black and white images to clarify the scene for printing (however, you can see for yourself the real movie if you watch the documentary NOVA: To the Moon, on YouTube, (or DVD). The executive director of the magazine (and former engineer Apollo), Charles A. Yost, said that the anomaly is clearer on the VHS version due to digital compression for the DVD.

When enlarging the images, or rather the frames of the APOLLO 8 video that last 3 – 4 seconds, you can notice a puff of black smoke coming out of the cylindrical black object. Is it a funnel of a mining facility?

The object appears on the screen for two seconds (at minute 47.50) but was not mentioned in the NOVA program. Apparently it was not noticed until it was identified by the Electric Space Craft staff. At first glance, the anomaly does not seem to be dirt (dust) on the film because it can be seen in many frames, it changes when the perspective of the camera is changed and produces the inexplicable cloud-like shape that drift and vanishes. (see video below Nova: To the Moon- minute 47.50)

According to NASA, they did not have a color camera with a zoom on the Apollo 8 mission. The image in question shows clear evidence of a zoom. Therefore, unless there was an integrated camera that NASA kept secret, this zoom effect should not be seen. There are people who claim that NASA had a lot of secret cameras on board, but if so, then why did this “secret” footage fall into NOVA’s hands? It is curious that zooming on a photograph would create such a strange anomaly and we would like to hear thoughts about what the anomaly could be.

In the Kepler Crater, mysterious structures are visible that suggest mining activities

The strange thing is that the Russians have noticed this anomaly by declaring that they had seen smoke coming out of the lunar surface during the Apollo 8 orbital journey. But then NASA had denied it. The chimney visible in the NOVA video is more than 300 meters high. The UFO researchers are wondering if this structure is part of an extraterrestrial mining industrial complex located in the Kepler Crater.

Below is the documentary Aliens On The Moon, where from minute 35.02, the images of this mysterious alien structure appear like a real “chimney”. 

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Aliens & UFO's

A Private UFO Enthusiast Donated Thousands of Government UFO Reports to the General Public

A collection of 30,000 documents was donated to the University of Manitoba in Canada by a private UFO enthusiast.

The skies of northern Canada are UFO hotspots, with many mysterious phenomena being reported. Now, alien truth seekers may have a busy winter ahead of them at the University of Manitoba in Winnipeg, thanks to the recent donation of over 30,000 UFO-related files to the school’s archives, courtesy of Chris Rutkowski.

Rutkowski is a Canadian science writer and prolific ufologist. His collection includes over 20,000 UFO reports documented over the past 30 years and over 10,000 UFO-related files from the Canadian government. Several of these files concern an infamous Falcon Lake incident, a UFO encounter that Rutkowski considers Canada’s best-documented UFO case.

For Rutkowski, the Falcon Lake incident even beats Roswell because the U.S. still does not recognize that anything happened over New Mexico. Meanwhile, the Falcon Lake incident struck both Canadian and U.S. officials as unexplainable and unusual.

The incident happened on May 20, 1967, when amateur geologist Stefan Michalak was looking for quartz near Falcon Lake in Manitoba, a Canadian province that starts over above North Dakota and stretches almost 800 miles into the frigid north. A flock of agitated geese swopping past him startled Michalak. The geese were reportedly fleeing from two glowing, cigar-shaped objects flying in the sky. One of the objects eventually flew off, and the other landed nearby on a rocky terrace.

Michalak’s sketch

Michalak decided to spend some time sketching the strange craft, and those sketches are now part of the University of Manitoba’s collection. After drawing, Michalak came closer to it. He felt the warm air and smelled sulfur and heard the whirrs and hisses of the craft. Michalak then touched the craft, but it was so hot that it burned the tips of his gloves. He seemed to hear voices coming from within.

Michalak looked into the craft through an open door, expecting to see a team of American military pilots. However, he saw little more than a panel of blinking lights before the door closed. The craft then rotated, and a grid-like pattern of small holes in the exterior of the ship sprayed his abdomen with scorching-hot gas.

Michalak’s shirt and hat were on fire because of the attack, which left him with first-degree burns on his stomach that looked similar to the ship’s grid-like pattern. His injuries were treated in a hospital in Winnipeg. They were later rose into welts, and he experienced headaches, blackouts, and diarrhea for a couple of weeks. Michalak reported the incident to both Canadian and U.S. authorities and eventually completed a psychological and physical evaluation at the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota, which determined him to be of sound mind and not hallucinating.

Years after the incident, a twisted piece of metal was reportedly recovered from the Falcon Lake landing site. The metal was found to be highly radioactive in several tests. Until today, neither the U.S. nor the Canadian military has been able to explain the event.

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Aliens & UFO's

‘Area 51’ among 2019’s most searched terms

Area 51 generated a great deal of interest this year.

Google has revealed the events, people and things that were searched for the most over the last 12 months.

As the year draws to a close, search giant Google has released a breakdown of its most searched terms – some of which being relatively predictable and others not so much.

Interestingly, the infamous ‘Storm Area 51’ event from back in September managed to attract so much attention that the term ‘Area 51 raid’ made it to 4th place on Google’s news search service.

The search phrase ‘what is Area 51 ?’ also managed to rank #1 for ‘what is’ questions, while the phrase ‘where is Area 51?’ ranked #3 for ‘where is’ questions.

It’s interesting that what started out as something distinctly tongue-in-cheek ended up generating one of the most talked about subjects of the year and thrust the secretive base firmly into the limelight.

Overall, Google’s top 10 general search terms for 2019 were as follows:

  1. Disney Plus
  2. Cameron Boyce
  3. Nipsey Hussle
  4. Hurricane Dorian
  5. Antonio Brown
  6. Luke Perry
  7. Avengers: Endgame
  8. Game of Thrones
  9. iPhone 11
  10. Jussie Smollett

Source: ABC news

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