Archive for September, 2006

For the record, I’ve experienced “Telephone Telepathy” on many occasions. While I think it could be explained as people using logic and inductive reasoning, there were many times that I didn’t use the problem-solving side of my brain at all — the person just popped into my head as the phone rang.

That said, I find it odd that this story is called “Scientists angered by telephone telepathy study.” How do you get angry at a study? Well, I guess it happens when the study reveals something that you’d rather not contend with/believe in.

Many people report experiences in which they were thinking of a friend or relative who happened to phone them at that moment. Most scientists regard this as coincidence, reinforced by forgetting the many times we think of friends who never ring, but Dr Sheldrake has tried to test whether it is actually down to genine telepathy.

He asked 63 volunteers to select four friends, one of whom would then be selected at random to ring them at a pre-arranged time. On picking up the phone, the subject would say who he thought was calling.

By chance alone, people should get the right friend 25 per cent of the time, but Dr Sheldrake found that they actually did much better than this, with a success rate of 40 per cent in 571 tries. Callers were often several miles away, sometimes thousands of miles away, and distance did not affect the outcome.

In a follow-up trial, the participants were videotaped to ensure they were not getting messages from their callers. The four subjects tested in this way did even better, picking the right caller 45 per cent of the time.

Dr Sheldrake claims the results as good evidence for genuine telepathy, at least between some people who know each other well. “The odds of this being a chance effect are 1,000 billion to one,” he said.

You’ll note that he used people who are friends with each other. This is a good way to tease out a measurable respone. People wishing to sabotage the idea of psychic abilities could easily choose strangers and then point out that nobody was able to indentify who was calling them. I think the ability has something to do with being “on the same wavelength” with certain people. It might not have anything to do with “psychic abilities” — it could be a subtle vibrational similarity that people are picking up on unconsciously. But words like “paranormal” are grab-bags for all sorts of con-artists as well as legitimate phenomena that haven’t been adequately explained/measured.

The so-called “skeptics” out there who casually dismiss anything that gets labelled as “paranormal” are fools. We need rigorous testing before we can logically assess the truth behind the claims. Rejecting something out of hand just because it was labelled a certain way by certain people is not science — it’s bigotry. Look at their pathetic and delusional rationalizations for the results of this study:

It was also possible that people got clues from the time of the call. “If the subject knows four people well, they will know who tends to be on time, who tends to be late and who early,” said Richard Wiseman, Professor of Psychology at the University of Hertfordshire. “If they call me at 11.02 not 11, I’d likely guess it was going to be my late friend.”

Um, yeah. Your “late friend” only calls when it’s not a round number? What the fuck is he talking about? He’s grasping at straws here folks, and it’s kind of sad to see. What a loser. Just wake the fuck up and do some tests you idiot! Oh I forgot, he’ll be able to sabotage his results using little tricks like I described above.

The second study reported yesterday was led by Peter Fenwick, a consultant neuropsychiatrist who is interested in near-death experiences and “end of life experiences” that occur when people die. He thinks these may provide evidence for an afterlife.

Though his work is not yet published, he has collected data in hospices on apparently paranormal phenomena that occur at death. He says that many dying people experience visions of dead friends and relatives welcoming them to an afterlife, and that the living relatives of dying people are “visited” by them at the moment of death, reporting that they are dying but that all will be well.

Dr Fenwick has also documented uncanny events such as clocks stopping and bright lights at the moment of death. “One of commonest forms is a luminous object, composed of light and love, which hangs above the body. This is often interpreted as the soul leaving the body.”

Again, sceptics reject this all as nothing but anecdote, hallucination and pure coincidence.

Again, skeptics reveal themselves as unwilling to accept the idea of an afterlife or of observable phenomena that are not easily explainable in conventional terms. They have stuck their fingers in their ears and they’ve closed their eyes and they’re screaming, “Lalalalalaaaahh!! I can’t hear you!”

Of course you can’t…. and you seem to have no idea why.

It is a strange and harrowing tale. I don’t know that I am ready to write my full thesis on the topic, so let me just start with this recent development in an old, disturbing case.

Johnny Gosch was delivering papers in 1982 when he was kidnapped. Noreen Gosch, his mother, has never stopped searching for what happened to him. In 1997 Johnny returned and revealed that he’d been forced into an elite, criminal pedophilia ring. He didn’t stick around to elaborate. After his disappearance, his mother continued on her indepedent investigation (after finding the FBI and local authorities both inept and dismissive she began her own).

Now, someone has sent her photos of her son, reopening old wounds and begging new questions:

The mother of a boy abducted 24 years ago said she’s bewildered by two photographs left at her front door, apparently showing her son and two other children bound and gagged.

The old photos appear to show 12-year-old Johnny Gosch with his mouth gagged and his hands and feet tied. The boy is wearing the same sweatpants Johnny was wearing when he disappeared while delivering newspapers on the morning of Sept. 5, 1982, his mother said.

“It’s like reliving it,” Noreen Gosch told The Associated Press on Thursday night. “But the bigger picture is, ‘Why are they doing this?’

“Whoever had these photos had them for 24 years. I don’t understand why they would do this now. It must be some kind of message.”

Gosch said investigators confirmed the photos were authentic and likely taken within “hours or days” of the abduction. She said they were checking for fingerprints that could lead them to the source and possibly a breakthrough in a case that has long baffled authorities. The other boys in the photo were unidentified.

Curious. Who would want those photos released? Maybe somebody is trying to help her out by shining a little more light on a dark, dark case.

How dark? Well, I guess you’ll have to wait. I’ll have more on the bizarre connections later.

A married couple were approached by Osama bin Laden’s brothers in 1987. The brothers revealed the plot to destroy the World Trade Center in order to bring the U.S. into a position to invade the Middle East for its copious oil reserves:

The couple, working in the NASA scientific community, said neither of two brothers looked like Osama, but both emphatically said they were the ‘mavericks’ of the family, not wanting to participate with others in helping facilitate corrupt U.S. interests in Saudi Arabia.

The two scientists’ first encounter with the Saudi aristocratic family members came in 1987 when the bin Ladens and others barged their way into the couple’s Sedona Arizona home.

They said the bin Ladens were seeking general information about an advanced brain development project the couple worked on, as well as possibly trying to alert Americans about the U.S. government’s intentions to control the Middle East and blow up the WTC in the process.

“I was shocked and didn’t know what to make of them when they entered. Remember, back then, no one had an idea about 9/11 so I didn’t know what to make of it,” said Rachel Welch. 51, of Albuquerque. “Looking back, I think they thought we may have had a way to alert those inside NASA, sympathetic to Saudi interests, about U.S. intentions to takeover precious resources and oil reserves.”

It’s hard to tell if these people are full of shit or not, but the story it plausible at least. It’s clear to me that 9/11 was nothing but a pretext for war in the Middle East. Look, we’ve got Afghanistan and Iraq and Iran is next on the list. Hell, we’ll get Syria too, while we’re at it. People don’t seem to realize that we’re Germany in 1940. This is ridiculous. We’ve got to stop this imperial madness!

During the first bin Laden encounter, the couple said those showed them sensitive documents and film, revealing the pre-planning for blowing up the WTC and intentions in government for a global takeover.

They said they were told that these sinister and deadly plans included an eventual catastrophic de-population of the world while at the same time taking control of the world’s diminishing natural resources.

Eventually it’s going to come home to roost. We can’t send the world spiraling into suffering and death without reaping our karmic “reward.” Every minute the war continues is a travesty. How have we become the empire? How have we become exactly what we defeated in Europe just over 60 years ago? How did people manage to forget so quickly?

Low-speed blogging

Like I said, slow blogging this week. Luckily things went well at my closing. I now own a house. Scary! I will do some moving this weekend if the weather is decent. There might be long moments of blog-silence as I get everything taken care of. I will be in cable modem limbo for awhile as well. So don’t worry — I’ll get back to normal blogging pace in a week or so.