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Paranormal

The Naturalisation of the ‘Poltergeist’

By sciencehistorian

An example of the historical continuity of scientific interest in unorthodox questions concerns ‘poltergeist’ phenomena, i.e. the very epitome of ‘things that go bump in the night’.

Probably coined by Martin Luther (a professed poltergeist victim) in sixteenth-century Germany, ‘Poltergeist’ means ‘rumbling spirit’. There is a vast number of historical records of dramatic poltergeist outbreaks afflicting people from all walks of life, not infrequently resulting in interventions by state authorities, which in turn have produced some of the most detailed records. Among the bizarre but apparently robust features of alleged poltergeist phenomena over time are:

  • The centre of events is usually a specific person, often an adolescent.
  • Unexplained recurring sounds are heard, ranging from raps from within walls or furniture to deafening blows.
  • Sounds are sometimes responsive.
  • Household objects of all sizes and weights are observed to move, sometimes slowly and appearing as if carried.
  • Moved objects appear to penetrate closed windows or walls without causing damage, and they are often reported to be hot.
  • Stones are thrown from without, sometimes from a considerable distance.
  • If thrown objects approach a person, they often appear to recoil before the impact and drop to the floor.
  • Large quantities of water suddenly appear and disappear, and fires ignite spontaneously.
  • Persons may be hurled out of bed, slapped or beaten as if by invisible hands, and bitten.
  • Writings and drawings appear on walls or in closed spaces.
  • Apparitions are perceived, sometimes simultaneously by more than one witness.
  • Pets and animals panic or behave unusually.
  • In post-industrial times, disturbances correspond with malfunctions or unusual behaviour of electronic equipment.
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Robert Boyle

Traditionally, poltergeists were believed to be demons, elementals, or spirits of deceased evil humans, and their activities have often been associated with witchcraft and black magic. Far from being condemned as folly or superstition, such views were held by figureheads of the Scientific Revolution, such as Francis Bacon and later Robert Boyle. While Bacon submitted bills for the penalisation of witchcraft, Boyle sponsored the English edition of The Devil of Mascon, a classical French poltergeist case, for which he wrote the preface. Boyle (who investigated cases of miraculous healings, premonitions and other supposedly supernatural events) also supported colleagues at the Royal Society such as Joseph Glanvill and Henry More who compiled natural histories of poltergeist disturbances and witchcraft. Historians of science have argued that these investigations were inspired by deep worries of religious deviance (such as popular atheism, animism, hylozoism and pantheism), which were perceived to undermine regulative moral functions of Christian belief in the reward and punishment of the soul in the afterlife.

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Gotthold Ephraim Lessing

During the Enlightenment the respectability of the ‘supernatural’  declined dramatically on the backdrop of religiously motivated political unrest, clerical corruption and the horrors of the witch crazes. However, rather than natural philosophers or medics it was religious and political writers such as Joseph Addison who began to treat the ‘occult’ as an object of ridicule and shorthand for irrationality and backwardness. Addison’s play The Drummer, for instance, was a caricature of the ‘Drummer of Tedworth’, a poltergeist case investigated by Joseph Glanville, poking fun of ghost beliefs as well as of atheistic free-thinkers. However, not all Enlightenment savants agreed that reports of ‘things that go bump in the night’ were necessarily to be treated with contempt. G. E. Lessing in Germany, for instance, openly opposed the fashionable wholesale rejection of reports of apparitional experiences and poltergeist phenomena. (According to the German historian Carl Kiesewetter, this was shortly after Lessing became involved in an incident in Dibbesdorf near Braunschweig, where members of a working-class family afflicted by a prolonged poltergeist outbreak were, without further ado, imprisoned for breach of the peace.)

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In the mid-nineteenth century the poltergeist started to be domesticated in Hydesville, USA, when modern spiritualism emerged as a significant global movement from a case featuring a responsive poltergeist who claimed to be a dead merchant. Eminent men of science such as Alfred Russel Wallace, William Crookes, J. J. Thomson and Alexandr Butlerov investigated spiritualist mediums and became convinced of the reality of its phenomena. When the Leipzig astrophysicist Johann F. Zöllner tested his theory of a fourth dimension of space by having a medium experimentally reproduce poltergeist-style phenomena, this became an explosive political issue during the infancy of modern professionalised psychology in Germany. Zöllner, who was supported by physicists like Gustav Theodor Fechner, was publicly attacked by Wilhelm Wundt, Fechner’s disciple and the founder of the first German laboratory of experimental psychology. Wundt’s main worry was that scientific interest in the phenomena of spiritualism threatened the social and religious foundations of civilisation.

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Carl du Prel

Unlike Wundt, his American counterpart William James advocated scientific interest in spiritualism as legitimate, and he became highly active in the investigation of trance mediumship and ‘veridical hallucinations’ (apparitions of the living and the dead that seemed to convey information not known to percipients). Research by James and other psychologists in hypnotism, mediumship and veridical hallucinations spawned important late-nineteenth century concepts of the unconscious. Two major theorists of subliminal cognition were Carl du Prel in Germany and Frederic W. H. Myers in England. Juxtaposing conventional sleep-walking with apparitions of the living, they concluded that both seemed caused by fixed ideas, and they suggested an unusual psychological explanation for apparitions of the dead: Myers proposed that “the behaviour of phantasms of the living suggests dreams dreamt by the living persons whose phantoms appear. And similarly the behaviour of phantasms of the dead suggests dreams dreamt by the deceased persons whose phantasms appear”. Likewise, du Prel believed “If super-sensory capacities are possible without the use of the body, they must be possible without occupancy of it”.

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Eugen Bleuler

In the twentieth century, Oliver Lodge, Charles Richet, Cesare Lombroso, Filippo Bottazzi, Camille Flammarion, Henri Bergson, Marie and Pierre Curie, the third and fourth Lords Rayleigh and many less known scientists, medics and philosophers tried to reproduce poltergeist-style phenomena under controlled conditions. After authors like du Prel and Myers were eclipsed by psychoanalysis, mental health professionals like Carl Gustav Jung, Eugen Bleuler, Enrico Morselli and the sexologist Albert von Schrenck-Notzing continued to study poltergeist phenomena in the field and in the laboratory. However, they categorically dismissed theories involving the agency of discarnate spirits and advocated a strictly psychodynamic approach. As Schrenck-Notzing put it: “In certain cases, emotionally charged complexes of representations, which have become autonomous and dissociated, seem to press for discharge and realisation through haunting phenomena. Hence, the so-called haunting occurs in place of a neurosis”. Holding that once possibilities of fraud were practically eliminated, they proposed that poltergeist phenomena were to be explained in terms of emotional conflicts unconsciously acted out by individuals with a ‘telekinetic’ disposition, a view which was adopted by psychoanalysts like Alfred von Winterstein and Nandor Fodor.

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Wolfgang Pauli

Scientific interest in poltergeist phenomena persisted in the most unlikely places. Members of the Vienna Circle of Positivism such as Rudolf Carnap and Hans Hahn (who became vice-president of the Austrian Society for Psychical Research) eagerly followed Schrenck-Notzing’s experimental and field investigations. Hahn’s most eminent student, Kurt Gödel, likewise attended experimental séances. The theoretical physicist Wolfgang Pauli believed in the intrinsic interconnectedness of mind and matter even on a macroscopic level and was banned from the Hamburg lab of his friend Otto Stern because Pauli’s presence was believed to reliably wreak havoc on lab equipment and apparatuses. Pauli corresponded extensively with Jung, and along with spontaneous and experimental poltergeist phenomena, examples of the “Pauli effect” informed Jung’s concept of synchronicity. Pauli also corresponded with the Freiburg psychologist Hans Bender, who continued a psychodynamic-synchronistic approach to ‘occult’ phenomena and investigated the ‘Rosenheim case’, a violent poltergeist outbreak in a Bavarian law firm, which parapsychological researchers consider as one of the most thoroughly documented modern cases of ‘recurrent spontaneous psychokinesis’ (or RSPK).

Interestingly, the OED (third edition, updated in September 2006) still exclusively relies on early modern theological notions by defining the poltergeist as “a ghost or other supernatural being supposedly responsible for physical disturbances such as making loud noises and throwing objects about”. This narrow and ahistorical definition strikingly obscures the strong pluralism of empirical and conceptual approaches to the ‘poltergeist’ as a shorthand for a variety of questions regarding the human mind, its place in nature, and, not least, the power of belief and disbelief.

[This text is loosely based on my talk Exorcising the ghost from the machine. Affect, emotion, and the enlightened naturalisation of the ‘poltergeist’, delivered on 10 October 2012 at the Society for the Social History of Medicine Conference, Queen Mary University, London].

Select Bibliography

Bender, Hans (1968). Der Rosenheimer Spuk – ein Fall spontaner Psychokinese. Zeitschrift für Parapsychologie und Grenzgebiete der Psychologie, 11, 104-112.

Bleuler, Eugen (1930). Vom Okkultismus und seinen Kritiken. Zeitschrift für Parapsychologie, 5, 654-680.

Carnap, Rudolf (1993). Mein Weg in die Philosophie. Stuttgart: Reclam (first published in 1963).

du Prel, Carl (1888). Die monistische Seelenlehre. Ein Beitrag zur Lösung des Menschenrätsels. Leipzig: Ernst Günther.

Enz, Charles P. (2002). No Time to be Brief: A Scientific Biography of Wolfgang Pauli. New York: Oxford University Press.

Flammarion, Camille (1923). Les maisons hantées. Paris: Ernest Flammarion.

Gauld, Alan, & Cornell, A. D. (1979). Poltergeists. London: Routledge & Kegan Paul.

Hunter, Michael (1985). The problem of ‘atheism’ in early modern England. Transactions of the Royal Historical Society, 35, 135-157.

Jung, Carl Gustav (1950). Vorrede. In Fanny Moser, Spuk. Irrglaube oder Wahrglaube? Eine Frage der Menschheit (pp. 9-12). Baden: Gyr.

Kiesewetter, Carl (1890). Klopfgeister vor dem Jahre 1848. Sphinx, 10, 224-232.

Lessing, Gotthold Ephraim (1827). Hamburgische Dramaturgie. Erster Theil. Elftes Stück. In Gotthold Ephraim Lessing’s sämmtliche Schriften (Vol. 24, pp. 82-88). Berlin: Vossische Buchhandlung (first published in 1767).

Meier, C. A. (Ed.). (2001). Atom and Archetype: The Pauli/Jung Letters, 1932-1958. Princeton: Princeton University Press.

Myers, Frederic W. H. (1889). On recognised apparitions occurring more than a year after death. Proceedings of the Society for Psychical Research, 6, 13-65.

Perrault, François (1658). The Devil of Mascon. Or, A true Relation of the Chiefe Things which an Uncleane Spirit did, and said at Mascon in Burgundy, in the House of Mr Francis Pereaud, Minister of the Reformed Church in the same Towne. Oxford: Hen, Hall, Rich & Davis (originally published in 1653).

Porter, Roy (1999). Witchcraft and magic in Enlightenment, Romantic and liberal thought. In B. Ankarloo & S. Clark (Eds.), Witchcraft and Magic in Europe. The Eighteenth and Nineteenth Centuries (pp. 191-282). Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press.

Schrenck-Notzing, Albert von (1928). Richtlinien zur Beurteilung medialer Spukvorgänge. Zeitschrift für Parapsychologie, 3, 513-521.

Shapin, Steven, & Schaffer, Simon (1985). Leviathan and the Air-Pump. Hobbes, Boyle and the Experimental Life. Princeton: Princeton University Press.

Winterstein, Alfred von (1926). Psychoanalytische Bemerkungen zum Thema Spuk. Zeitschrift für Parapsychologie, 1, 548-553.

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Paranormal

Self Proclaimed ‘Time-traveller’ claiming to be from 2030 PASSED lie detector test –

A ‘time-traveller’ who says he is from the future has passed a lie detector test after claiming Donald Trump will be re-elected and Artificial Intelligence will take over.

In a startling YouTube video posted by Apex TV the man, whose face and voice have been distorted to hide his identity, claims he has risked his life to travel back in time.

Apex TV says it is ‘one of the biggest voices of paranormal content on YouTube’, with over 56 million views and 100,000 subscribers.

His mission, he says, is to tell those alive now what the world has in store.

Among his predictions is the claim that Google Glass-style robotics will spread across the globe.

Technology will also have developed to the point where it will be able to independently run a home.

Bitcoin will be increasingly popular but pennies and cents will still be in use.

In 2030 he says the US president is a mysterious figure called Ilana Remikee.

He also suggests global warming has caused temperatures in North America to increase while Europe has cooled.

Humans will reach Mars in 2028 and, the same year, time travel will be discovered.

He states that electric cars will be able to travel as fast as diesel and petrol ones (despite many already being able to do so) and many forms of cancer have been cured.

In a previous interview with Paranormal Elite, Noah said he had anorexia and is in fact 50-years-old, but that he had taken an age rejuvenation drug which had transformed him into a 25-year-old.

Of course, his claims have attracted scepticism. In response, he agreed to take a lie detector test on camera.

In the footage from ApexTV the would-be oracle is seen sitting on a chair with what appears to be a polygraph lie detector wrapped around his bicep.

He is asked to predict some of the future’s major events – and confirm he really is who he says he is.

The interview begins and Noah is asked a simple question: ‘Are you an actual time traveller from the year 2030?’

He responds with a yes and ‘TRUE’ appears in large green letters superimposed on the video. However, the results on the machine are not shown.

Noah then claims he has ‘hard evidence’ to back up his predictions but isn’t sure that he can say what that it because it might cause a paradox.

Once again, the word ‘TRUE’ appears on screen again.

Read More On This At:http://www.dailymail.co.uk/

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Paranormal

The Top 5 Scariest Places in the Philippines

Discover the top 5 scariest places in the Philippines and learn the truth about them. If you’re looking for spine-chilling places to explore while staying in the Philippines for vacation, then let me walk you through the top 5 scariest places in the Pearl of the Orient Seas.

Haunted places like streets, buildings, and houses usually have a rich history of bloody past. Most of the paranormal activities that are happening in these places came from morbid and tragic events in the old times. Some scary stories take root in legends and mythical characters that people talked about for many years.

In the Philippines, where history and culture mostly developed because of its rich antiquities during the war era and invasion period, many haunted places now were remnants of the past. While other spooky places were brought by tragic events from unfortunate accidents.

In this article, let me take you to the scariest places in the Philippines that will surely raise your curiosity if you’re into ghostly and eerie adventures. Check them out below.

List of Top 5 Scariest Places in the Philippines

Balete Drive

First on our list of top 5 scariest places in the Philippines is one of the most famous ghost area in Manila, the Balete Drive. Located in New Manila, Balete drive is said to be haunted by a white lady (a popular ghost in the Philippines, which means a female soul or spirit dressed in white. According to commuters and drivers specifically taxi drivers, at around 12 midnight and 3 am, a bloody white lady shows up to either ask for help or look for her murderer.

Back in the past, it was said that a female student was raped and murdered in Balete Drive. During those days, Balete trees surrounded Balete Drive. This is the main reason the street was called Balete Drive. The alleged murderer was said to be a taxi driver and according to the reports, that woman was buried under a Balete tree. In addition, according to folklore, Balete is housed with mysterious creatures and this contributes to the already haunted street of Balete Drive.

Clark Airbase Hospital

Hospitals are the common lounge of spirits and abandoned hospitals are even worse. In Angeles City, Pampanga, an abandoned hospital was featured in the horror documentary; “I wouldn’t Go in There” of National Geographic back in 2013 and this was the Clark Airbase Hospital. In the past, it was a refuge site to soldiers during World War II and the Vietnam War.

According to the Ghost Hunters International group, Clark Airbase Hospital was one of the most haunted places in the world because the spirits who are residing here are reported as violent and rude to visitors. Based on some personal accounts of explorers and paranormal investigators, spirits and the unknown threw rocks and other objects to them when they visited the place. Paranormal activities like screams, howls, and apparitions are also common in this hospital.

Pindangan Ruins

Third on our list of top 5 scariest places in the Philippines is the Pindangan ruins, in San Juan City, La Union. This place is the remnant of an old church that was built in 1786. In the past, it was a place for unity between two villages (San Vicente de Balanac Village and Guillermo de Dalagdang Village) under the protection of Father Jose Torres. Now, the place is full of spirits and the most popular spirit was said to be the headless stabbed priest who was allegedly seen searching and calling for his lost head.

Moreover, this place is also haunted by spirits that are called “Pasatsat” which comes from the word “satsat” that means, “to stab.” They were the people who died in World War II when coffin and graveyards were too expensive so people wrapped their dead in reed mats. According to locals, these spirits will haunt you and in order to stop them, you have to stab open their makeshift caskets and cut it in half.

Ozone Disco

One of the terrifying fire accidents in the Philippines took place in Ozone Disco in Quezon City. On March 18, 1996, a massive fire engulfed the small nightclub. The disco was approved for occupancy of only 35 people, but during that time, around 350 patrons and 40 club employees were said to be enjoying the night in the Ozone disco. Based on the accounts of the surviving victims, light sparked flying inside the disc’s jockey booth and shortly after that smoke followed and people thought it was just a party plan. To their horror, the electrical system shut down and flame erupted.

According to the court, 162 people died in the Ozone disco and most victims were graduating students from Universities. These days the disco is already an abandoned place but many ghostly sightings were reported within the area especially at night. Some locals said that they could hear music and see disco lights. Others claimed seeing silhouettes of dancing people and hearing screams and moaning. Moreover, families of the victims were occasionally seen in the place with spirit mediums to contact their dead loved ones. In one occasion, a spirit of a boy named “Ed” was contacted and according to the reports, he wanted to say goodbye to his family.

Diplomat Hotel

In the popular city of Pines, Baguio, there is this haunted place called the Diplomat Hotel or also known as Dominican Hill Retreat House. This structure was built in 1911 for the American Friars of the Dominican Order. It was originally constructed as a retreat house for relaxation, a monastery, and a school all-in-one. In the height of the World War II, the Japanese attacked the hotel and many people were ruthlessly killed. This includes ordinary children, priests, nuns, families and even babies.

The Diplomat Hotels, Inc., revived the place in 1973 and according to the staff of the hotel; the place is indeed haunted and scary. Years later, the owner died and the hotel stopped operating.

Many ghost sightings have been reported in the area. Some claimed that headless priests and nuns, who were victims of the World War II, haunt the Diplomat Hotel. Others heard moaning and crying of babies at night. Moreover, paranormal activities like the banging of doors, screaming people in pain and ghostly apparitions were said to occur in this haunted hotel.

If you’re brave enough to visit these places, then I suggest you don’t go alone. You may encounter bad spirits or ghosts that can harm you. Alternatively, If you’re scared and couldn’t imagine yourself traveling these scariest places, then I suggest you focus on exploring the wonders of the Philippines.

Interesting Links:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ozone_Disco_Club_fire

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clark_Air_Base

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_haunted_locations_in_the_Philippines

https://www.buzzfeed.com/isabellelaureta/haunted-places-philippines?utm_term=.stYMVQ1gm#.xcAaKXAVM

http://business.inquirer.net/238610/haunted-structures

https://philnews.ph/2017/10/31/top-10-terrifying-scariest-places-philippines/

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How Scientists Found “Paranormal Perception” Channels Within Human Beings

In 1976, a presentation was given at the Institute of Electrical & Electronics Engineers (IEEE) on a paper published by the Institute on behalf of Hal Puthoff (now part of the To The Stars initiative that received and released the recent UFO Pentagon footage) and Russell Targ.

The paper was titled “A Perceptual Channel For Information Transfer Over Kilometer Distances: Historical Perspectives and Recent Research.”

Puthoff, who held a PhD in electrical engineering from Stanford, at the time was commissioned by the CIA/DIA and Stanford Research Institute to direct the Stargate project, which was one of many secret government programs that remained hidden from public knowledge for more than 20 years.

Russell Targ is a physicist and author, originally known for his work pioneering the development of the laser and laser applications, and a co-founder of the Stanford Research Institute’s (SRI) investigation of psychic abilities in the 1970s and 1980s.

The Stargate Project examined human psychic abilities; today it’s known as the study of parapsychology.

The paper was the first and only publication of this program before it became classified in the late 70s, and it presented scientific evidence for the existence of a perceptual capacity channel whereby certain individuals are able to perceive and describe remote data not perceivable to any known sense.

In fact, by 1975 the funding clients had agreed that this subtle perception channel existed in both experienced and inexperienced individuals. (source, a lecture from Ingo Swann, one of 500 highly skilled participants within the program).

In the program, participants were able to successfully identify buildings, roads, and laboratory apparatus, but more than two decades later, parts of the program were declassified and we found out that it was much more than just that.

This is outlined in a statement made by Puthoff from a paper published after the declassification in 1995:

“To summarize, over the years, the back-and-forth criticism of protocols, refinement of methods, and successful replication of this type of remote viewing in independent laboratories has yielded considerable scientific evidence for the reality of the [remote viewing] phenomenon. Adding to the strength of these results was the discovery that a growing number of individuals could be found to demonstrate high-quality remote viewing, often to their own surprise. . . . The development of this capability at SRI has evolved to the point where visiting CIA personnel with no previous exposure to such concepts have performed well under controlled laboratory conditions.” (source)(source)

Participants in the program were able to remote view objects in other rooms, to buildings, and places all over the world.

For example, a Soviet Tu-22 bomber, one that was outfitted as a reconnaissance aircraft and lost in Zaire in 1979, was located by an Air Force remote viewer. President Jimmy Carter was aware of this, admitting to national press that the CIA, without his knowledge, once consulted a psychic to locate a missing government plane. According to CNN, he told students at Emory University that the “special U.S. plane” crashed somewhere in Zaire. The only thing is that it was a Russian, not American plan.

According to Carter, “the woman went into a trance and gave some latitude and longitude figures. We focused our satellite cameras on that point and the plane was there.”  (source)

According to Paul H. Smith, PhD, and one of the participants in the Stargate project (now a retired U.S. army major), gives us more detail from his book that is sourced below:

In March 1979, a young Air Force enlisted woman named Rosemary Smith was handed a map of the entire continent of Africa. She was told only that sometime in the past few days a Soviet Tu-22 bomber outfitted as a spy plane had crashed somewhere in the continent.  The United States desperately wanted to recover the top secret Russian codes and equipment the Tu-22 carried. Using their remote viewing skills, she pinpointed the wreckage, even though it had been completely swallowed by the jungle canopy into which the jet had plunged nose first. (source, pg. 31)

Another example would be the rings around Jupiter. Prior to the flyby of Jupiter by Pioneer 10, a spacecraft launched in 1972 and the first to fly directly through the asteroid belt and make observations of Jupiter, a gentleman by the name of Ingo Swann was able to successfully describe and view a ring around Jupiter, which scientists had no idea even existed. This took place precisely before NASA’s Pioneer 10 spacecraft flyby, which confirmed that the ring did actually exist. These results were published and they are linked earlier in this article.

“To determine whether it was necessary to have a ‘beacon’ individual at the target site, Swann suggested carrying out an experiment to remote view the planet Jupiter before the upcoming NASA Pioneer 10 flyby. In that case, much to his chagrin (and ours) he found a ring around Jupiter, and wondered if perhaps he had remote viewed Saturn by mistake. Our colleagues in astronomy were quite unimpressed as well, until the flyby revealed that an unanticipated ring did in fact exist.” (source)

Pretty fascinating, isn’t it? Swann went on to write about the Moon, and other strange factors that are associated with space that we have yet to become aware of.  You can access those books here.

The shutdown of the program was fishy. According to Ingo, human telepathy came into play and that’s when the men in suits walked in and shut the program down.

Below is one of many talks given by Russell Targ talking about the program more.

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