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Altered States and the Expansion of Awareness

Growing up in the rural countryside of Western North Carolina, it’s not uncommon to see a variety of different kinds of wildlife. Deer, wild turkeys, black bear, and a host of other creatures that are common only to those who look for them abound, and yet are often overlooked by those whose eyes aren’t trained to spot them along roadways, at the edges of forests, and around farmland where food for many of these animals grows in abundance.

Once I reached my teenage years, I recall being amused at how many of my friends seemed unaware of these animals that typically were all around us at any given time. As we’d go careening off down a country road somewhere, I was always the one that would spot a skittish doe as she foraged along the edge of the treeline nearby. Other times, I would chuckle at the flocks of turkeys that could be seen flapping about in cornfields in broad daylight of mid-afternoon. What was often funnier to me, however, was that my friends almost never saw these animals.

“You mean to tell me you didn’t see that turkey we just drove past?” I might remark something along these lines about one of the stray hens my friends in the car would always miss. Altogether, it seemed evident to me from a fairly early age that there were a lot of things in the world that, in order to be seen, really had to have somebody that was willing to look for them.

If we apply this manner of thinking to other subjects, it might stand to reason that there are a variety of things about our world, and perhaps reality in general, which require more active participation in order to be observed. Recently, a friend and listener of my podcast, The Gralien Report, wrote in with a story along these lines, in which he felt that experimentation over the years with psilocybin–the active hallucinogen within “magic mushrooms”–had expanded his awareness of the world in such a way that he and his friends who had done the same experienced things in reality which others did not.

James, the listener in question, told me a story about an unusual experience that occurred during a camping trip many years ago with his friend, who he calls “Jack.” While gathering firewood in preparation for that night, the two men observed three golden spheres, which they judged to each be roughly the size of a softball, hovering in the sky in a triangular formation. Up until that time, neither of the men had ever observed anything they would liken to a UFO.

“We stood there for a solid two minutes before we said anything, and the spheres didn’t budge,” James remembered. “I had the sensation we were being watched like the spheres knew we were there. Jack was freaked, but he composed himself and did his best to hide his fear.”

Sometime later, James returned back to the field to look for the spheres, which remained precisely where they had been earlier, hovering in a perfect triangular formation. At this point, James felt an overwhelming sensation that he was being watched and began to grow uneasy.

“Even though this was a time we were experimenting with hallucinogens, we were stone sober when we spotted the spheres,” James said. Later that evening, the two men decided that taking a small number of mushrooms might calm their nerves, which did work up until around the time they went to sleep. However, after laying down in his tent, James began to feel the same overpowering sensation of being watched again. Later that night, he awoke to the sound of footsteps outside his tent, which he recalled being unmistakably human, or belonging to some other bipedal animal.

“I always wondered if our experimentation with hallucinogens had anything to do with our sighting that evening, and now with further reading and research, I heavily suspect the two were connected.” James further noted that after the experience while camping, he and his friend Jack “never touched mushrooms again.”

It’s anybody’s guess whether the use of mind-expanding substances like this could make an individual more prone to having experiences that fall outside the ordinary. Modern science would tell us that such experiences–if occurring while in a state where reality is augmented (such as the case with hallucinogens)–would inherently make the narrative less reliable.

Alternatively, could it be that some people who have undergone the mind-altering effects of hallucinogens are in some ways more capable of perceiving unusual things, whether or not due to a sort of “heightened” or expanded awareness? Again, the thought comes back to mind of one having more or less experience growing up around wild animals, and hence possessing a greater ability to spot them in their natural habitat.

Whether or not one is seeking to have an experience that some might call “paranormal”, there is at least some degree of precedent for the idea that controlled use of mind-altering substances can lead to positive changes in a person’s perception of reality. Studies conducted over the years at John Hopkins University have shown that psilocybin administered to patients during studies had the capacity to affect their outlook on life, and improve their attitude, especially when going through periods of stress or doubt.

A general change in attitude or perception, in other words, might indeed have an effect on one’s experiences in life. Whether or not such things played a causal role in people’s experiences with unusual phenomenon (i.e. UFOs, etc), it could certainly be the case that a person who, after experiencing the lasting effect of an induced altered state, would have an outlook on reality that is more open to having such experiences. 

The question of whether altered states of consciousness may have a relationship to people’s experiences with the unexplained has often been raised by researchers–academic and laymen alike–over the years. Maybe understanding that relationship, and the potentials it has for teaching us new things about consciousness, makes it a worthwhile endeavor for future study.



Paranormal Records in Danger with World’s Largest Dreamcatcher and Ouija Board

The Guinness World Records committee has never been shy of judging weird activities, but it has now joined the paranormal world with its involvement in determining if a giant Ouija board in Salem, Massachusetts, and a huge dreamcatcher in Russia are of world record sizes. Are they? Will they attract world record demons and spirits? Will Guinness be there to measure them?

“On October 12, 2019, Rick “Ormortis” Schreck, vice president and director for the Talking Board Historical Society, will unleash the beast, crushing the current Guinness world record set on October 28, 2016 by almost two-and-a-half times the size. To put this in perspective, because “size matters”, the finished board is as long as a 72-foot brontosaurus, weighs more than a six-ton elephant, and is large enough to park five eighteen-wheelers on it!”

For those not quick with truck-to-square-feet or elephant-to-pound conversions, the Ouija board created by Rick Ormortis (get it?) weighs about 9,000 pounds, covers 3,168 square feet, is made of 99 individual sheets of plywood and is coated with over 20 gallons of wood stain. (Photos of it can be seen here.) While those are impressive measurements for the appropriately-named Ouijazilla, the planchette (the small platform used to move around the board) deserves special attention. Even though it’s 15.5 feet long, 10 feet wide and weighs about 400 pounds, the giant planchette can easily be moved around the board by one person … or one giant spirit or demon.

Schreck is a Ouija board collector and maker from New Jersey, so he knows about the alleged powers of the boards. He’s been working on Ouijazilla since June 2018, two years after the Guinness people named a board painted on the roof of the Grand Midway Hotel in Windber, Pennsylvania, as the world’s largest at around 1,302 square feet. You can do the math yourself and see why Ripley’s Believe It or Not named Ouijazilla the new world record holder. Some sites are reporting that Guinness agrees, although its website still lists the one in Pennsylvania as the biggest. As for giant spirits and demons, there have been no sightings yet, but this is Salem – it’s only a matter of time.

“I want the world to really start changing. There are a lot of angry people now. It’s an attempt for the people to come together for good.”

Meanwhile in Russia, Bibigul Mamaeva, a Kazakh shaman who claims to be a “direct descendent” of Genghis Khan (a 2003 study found evidence that Genghis Khan’s DNA is present in about 16 million men alive today), made an attempt to regain her Guinness-recognized record for the world’s largest dreamcatcher with her new brushwood circle which measures 12.63 meters (41.43 feet) in diameter. Mamaeva claims she held the record until 2016 when it was broken by Lithuanian artist Vladimir Panarin, whose ring measured 10.14 meters (33 ft 3.21 in) in diameter and weighed 156 kg (343.9 lb). Mamaeva’s may be a bit lighter due to the use of brushwood and yarn decorated with beads and feathers. (Watch a video of her building it here.) While she expects Guinness to recognize her record, there’s been no official word yet.

Can we hang one over Washington, Moscow and Beijing?

As for catching giant Russian spirits, the video and photo on show Mamaeva’s dreamcatcher still on the ground – not the prime location for plucking demons from the sky before they land on a sleeping child – the most common use for the spirit devices. Will it fulfill her goal of getting “people to come together for good”? That depends on how small the hole in the center of the dreamcatcher is to prevent certain world leaders from making it through.

Giant Ouija boards and huge dreamcatchers. Do we need more signs that the world is worried?

Source: Mysterious Universe

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TV with no plug turns itself on inside an abandoned military building

Shocking footage captured a TV allegedly turning itself on in a powerless derelict house that once belonged to a serviceman.

Zenith Chien, a self-proclaimed seeker of paranormal activities often streams his adventures on Facebook under the online persona Yao Yao.

However, in his latest video, Zenith got more than he bargained for while exploring the home of a former Republic of China military man.

His late-night adventures took him to an abandoned residence in Daliao District on 29th September in Taiwan’s southwestern port city of Kaohsiung, where there is a large concentration of military dependents’ villages.

Mr Chien’s live stream, which lasted over 27 minutes, shows him exploring one of the homes last occupied by the widowed owner who herself passed away in 2016.

Most of the house’s furniture, appliances and even kitchen utensils had been left in their places.

He then comes across a switched-on TV, but it soon gets very creepy.

“F**k! Why is the TV on? No, really? Why did the TV turn on by itself? It turned on by itself.

“How is there even electricity in a place like this? There is no electricity!” he says, testing the light switches.

After walking over to the TV, he realises the plug to the has been removed.

The spooky happenings quickly heard Zenith saying: “Sorry, sir.

“You watch your TV. I’m leaving.”

He then ends the live stream by announcing: “That’s it. That’s all for today.”

How the television managed to turn on by itself despite the apparent lack of power is still a mystery.

Mr Chien said the incident severely traumatised him and left him with unusual red-eye for several hours.

He said he went to pray at his local temple after the scare.

The villages known in Chinese as ‘juancun’ were built by the Republic of China military in the late 1940s and 1950s as provisional housing for members of the armed forces and their dependents following defeat to Chairman Mao’s Red Army and the nationalist government’s retreat to the island in 1949.

As many of the former servicemen have now died, their former homes remain abandoned and often neglected by their descendants who see no value in maintaining the properties.

Source: Daily Star

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Levitating stones near the crystal mine were filmed on camera

A small private quartz crystal mine called Board Camp Crystal Mine is located in Arkansas, near the town of Mena Where Levitating stones were captured on camera

It was opened in 2008, and work on the extraction of quartz in it began in 2012. The owner of the mine is Orville Murphy, who lives in the city of Mena with his wife Cherill.

Everything went fine, but in 2017, strange things began to happen in the mine and next to it, which Murphy himself and his workers and visitors to the mine noticed – there are also guided tours.

Mostly, strange flashes of light were noticed, but there were reports of incomprehensible shadows and even about UFOs.

Quartz from Murphy's Cave Levitating stones
Levitating stones

Murphy decided to install a CCTV camera at the entrance to the mine, which reacted to the movement and took pictures every time something moved in the frame. And the camera captured something truly extraordinary.

The first inclusion of the camera recorded a stone hanging not very high above the ground, an ordinary stone that in many lay on the ground near the mine. The second inclusion of the camera occurred at the moment when this stone finally fell to the ground.

Quartz from Murphy's Cave Levitating stones
Levitating stones

And then it got even weirder, whence a bright light started to flash from above and it was so intense that at some point the camera simply could not stand it and stopped working.

When Murphy uploaded the video to the network, he was interested in ufologists from the organization MUFON. They even decided to come to the Murphy mine and personally inspect everything there. For their sake, Murphy closed the mine for a while and all work stopped there.

“They told us that our video falls under 3% of real evidence of something unusual, while 97% of all messages that come to them on the site, as a rule, have neither photos nor video confirmations,” Murphy said.

It should also be answered that Orville Murphy is a Catholic believer and was disturbed by unusual occurrences in the mine. He was afraid to be ridiculed or ostracized by local residents only for the assumption that his mine attracted aliens or ghosts.

Therefore, since 2017, Murphy has “sunk to the bottom.” His mine works as before, but now the owner avoids any talk of paranormal phenomena as if nothing had happened here.

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