Sunday, October 12, 2014


Hello, folks. I didn't want to do this, but with the coming moving to the new location, and all the packing up [and fretting about things not going smoothly all the time] and upgrading my current residence for the chance at a decently quick sale, I just can't concentrate on writing something worth writing about at the moment.

Since I won't just toss trivial non-think at you, I've got to just "retire" until this move settles down. So, I'm putting up the "Gone Fishin'" sign in the store window. This hiatus will be at least a month and probably more --- I don't want to just move boxes over there and let them rot. I really want my library [and my active life] to get functional again. I'm tired of the chaos both in environment and in mind.

So, blessings to you all as we near the three great holidays of Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas. Each of them is necessary to our souls. Maybe after the completion of our current trip around the Sun I'll be able to "create" again. Peace.

Hmmmm.... don't let the "bad things" get you.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014


Hello, folks.

Just a note to mention that the "third annual" get-together of the UFO History Group took place at my house this last weekend. People with sharp eyes and wide UFO group experience will note Bill Murphy, Tom Tulien, Jan Aldrich, Rob Swiatek, Linda Murphy, Don Schmitt, Eddie Bullard, and my Kzoo friend Will Matthews circling counterclockwise around the table from the top left. Sue Swiatek had mysteriously vanished when I took the picture {maybe she's standing behind me}.

We talked about many things, all in great humor and camaraderie. In fact the main reason for these get-togethers is to create a collegial small community of friendly and data-sharing UFO researchers, who can make plans and cooperate on big projects. For those who think that this is impossible, see our book,   UFOs and Government. 

Some of what we're contemplating is the distribution of our somewhat unique research files to ourselves and close UFO friends, then the wider UFO research community of people who we think are responsible, and finally to allow universal access {after we think through what issues might reside there.} I have scanned around 50+ gigs of my own files to begin this project. Other things include: Research trips to targeted archives and researcher files, a website, researcher workshops, a second book [probably focussing on the phenomenology], and anything that we can do for data location, scanning, and preservation.

Other than those who were able to make it this time, core individuals include Robert Powell, Steve Purcell, Mark Rodeghier, Richard Thieme, Barry Greenwood, Jerry Clark, Bill Jones [hopefully his health gets better, as we also hope for Jerry], and with any luck Fran Ridge --- I'm probably winging this too rapidly and forgetting someone. Our good Aussie buddy Bill Chalker is surely included in absentia. We hope to grow this alliance into a "UFOlogy" separate from the endless howling embarrassments of the UFOriacs, and the non-sharing non-collegial egomaniacs. We welcome friends, but toxic persons need not inquire.

This group is a bunch of friendly folks who believe that it is possible to make some progress in this tough field without being idiots or megalomaniacs. If you must have a hard-to-work "hobby", why not at least enjoy the time and your companions? The picture above is, by the way, Rob and Sue trying to get their picture taken with Don. The reason that they and Bill and Jan are laughing is that their chosen photographer, the esteemed Dr. Bullard, was once again repeatedly losing a battle with modern technology. Several pictures of the floor and his own nose were preserved for future mystification.

I will probably attempt to host these get-togethers twice a year in the future [perhaps May and September-ish]. We'll accomplish things, particularly in digging out and preserving UFO information, and making it available in several forms. Hopefully there are some of you out there who might want to be part of such a "lofty" goal.

.... looks like a pleasant path into the future to me.


Wednesday, October 1, 2014


Before getting into the topic, the news: my new house extension is rolling structurally right now and, though that's a good thing, it's a distraction from the blog. Yesterday we moved 60-70 boxes of mainly UFO files/resources over there as a temporary staging move. This frees up basement footprint space so I can stack new boxes of such stuff --- of which there will be a bunch. This too is a good thing, but a further elimination of blog writing time. ... and there is such a thing as ordinary life. I'll do what I can squeeze in here.

As to poltergeists: this topic arose because I was tossing out redundant "extra" materials for which no space will exist at the new house extension. Some of those were FATE magazines. I have a complete set up to about 1990, and SITU had a complete set up to about early 1980s. Therefore extras from the seventies and sixties needed to go. {I know everyone's horrified}. Instead of simple recycling, and because I couldn't go through the time/effort of boxing anythings up and shipping them out, I decided to "rip" them and include articles interesting to me in proper dedicated, already existing topical folders or three-ring notebooks. {My style of research sources}.

As rips proceeded, I noticed clusters of subjects. One was "FAFROTSKIES" {Sanderson's nickname for Falls From The Skies.} One was "APPARITIONS" and what grew on me as a similar topic "TIMESLIPS". A third was "POLTERGEISTS". There were of course hills of UFO-related matters, but being burnt out on that at the moment, they've been consigned to a "to do" pile. What I'm hoping to do Blog-wise is to get three entries out of this, and the first one = poltergeists.

Veteran readers will recognize the "style" above: it's my way of logging multiple experiences which I intuit might be related somehow, and get a crude characterization of each thumbnailed and easier to remember/collate. The "C" is the UFO-like designator for facts leading towards an estimation of "Credibility". And the "SIGMA+" is the second UFO-like designator for the"Strangeness" in the claims. I found a dozen encounters which were either "traditional" poltergeist-like situations, or things that my erratic Out Proctor mind said "include these."

I found all of these cases interesting. Most of them claimed very many witnesses, usually not only of a single family, and often with police or press or investigator involvement. The three single-witness cases each had a reason to assess a likely credible judgement by me [One, one course, stems from my being a Catholic, and another from my spending so much time as an academic, but what can I say?]. I included two things not usually seen in such a list [a ringing of a broken bell at a time of a significant death, and a physical action called upon by some Ouija gamers], but abnormally included or not, I say: what exactly is the phenomenological difference? All of these things seem to be anomalous physical manifestations which are clearly closely witnessed by stunned humans, who see no normal cause.

Spread about this set are also many of the traditional poltergeist phenomena: footfalls, moving furniture, falling objects, raps in walls or on doors and windows, but interspersed there are many other things which "personalize" each case {shades of UFOlogy}. There are two "rockthrowers". Normally [having been a semi-neanderthalic teenage boy once myself], my "favored hypothesis" would be obvious. But both cases had very long durations, repetitiveness, and police involvement. Some stuff just seems unintelligent and random, and some seems [nervously] person-directed. The Ouija case where the girls specifically asked for the piano to play something is the most blunt [and creepy] case of that, but others like rockthrowers, premonitionary footfalls and sounds of a father returning home, and the wall-knockings which led to a hidden letter addressed to the wife's husband [knockings which stopped upon the finding], seem VERY human-directed as well.

A few particularly odd aspects: a). the stones in one rockthrower case being seen to move too slowly and not in proper "gravitation-controlled" arcs; b). two instances which regularly had events in them which were violent towards humans --- some folks say that there are a lot of poltergeists like this [rather dangerously violent] but that has not been anywhere near the norm in my readings elsewhere; c). several cases where the activity was in its different ways apparently responsive to the humans; and d). my favorite, where the family dog seems to fight a Spirit Dog, but not a friendly Pookha, but one more like those "English" Spirit Dogs with mean dispositions. An apparition of this thing signals the end of the poltergeist effects.

I, just as you, have many thoughts go through my head as I read these things. But I'm no expert, so I'm going to quote a few people [from another FATE article] who are.

The article was "The Nature of Poltergeist Intelligence" in the August 1965 number, written by Raymond Bayless. Bayless was not the leading poltergeist expert of the early-to-mid 20th century, but he wasn't bad. FATE, no doubt, was happy to have him.

One of the fellows who Bayless quotes is Sir William Barrett [who I have found to be quite scholarly on a variety of paranormal matters]. That is Barrett to our left. He states:

"They {the poltergeist entities} appear to have some intelligence behind them... the intelligence is, therefore, in some way related to our intelligence, and moreover is occasionally in telepathic rapport with our minds."

Hmmmm..... despite my predilection to credit psi in many forms, I hadn't related poltergeist phenomena to it. The physical events, the sounds, the responses, ... all that stuff seemed to happen, in a weird sense, "normally", in the real physical world. Could some of this stuff, like happens with the sensory events during exorcisms, "happen" NOT AT ALL physically, but "merely" psychically perceived? I still can't see that, as the vast majority of poltergeist claims find objects actually moved, crockery actually broken, rocks actually "in hand", unlike the exorcist who finds that he has been ducking psychic phantoms.

Another expert quoted is one of my favorites: Herbert Thurston, SJ. In his book, Ghosts and Poltergeists, Thurston reported on a case {"An Indian Poltergeist"} wherein the events included fire-starting, injuries, an apparition which evinced hostility. The family was Catholic and tried an exorcism. The Church "magic" struck out totally on this one as the ghost became filled with "increased violence and fury."

This sort of thing encouraged Bayless to make a fairly strong stand that the majority of cases were negative in the extreme.

" It may be well to mention here a rather popular belief --- that the poltergeist is a friendly, playful, childish spirit which indulges in activity of a teasing nature. This is a naive view. The poltergeist force is almost always indicative of a psychological rather than a spiritistic origin and the phenomenon is most certainly not playful." 

Well, I guess that I can understand why Bayless would say that --- he's fired up for the then-new idea of William Roll that all of this is due to unconscious psychokinetic forces projected by [usually] teenagers with raging hormones and unsettled self-images and confidence. I confess that I've never liked the theory. There are too many incidents which are geographically-grounded in a "spot" not a person. And, as to the malignant nature of these things, I must say, generally, balderdash. The picture of the fine old house above is of my brother and sister-in-laws' home, which is a poltergeist house, inhabited by an entirely playful teasing childish spirit named "Kenny". To give Bayless a road out of this disagreement, he makes a [somewhat mysterious-to-me] distinction between "poltergeists" and "hauntings". I'm willing to entertain that there might well be two or more different sorts of agencies behind all this, but how, at this stage, does one feel comfortable making the sorting? I'd rather not just make the distinction after-the-fact by saying "if it's nasty it's a poltergeist; if it's friendly or neutral, it's a haunting."

There were other weird things going on in FATE as well. There were two instances where the witness described something as a levitation by an unseen force. Once it was a bed with a sleeping kid raised off the floor, and once it was a series of levitating/floating/sliding plates on a luncheon table. The latter witness was boggled but somewhat cooly experimental about trying to move them back where they belonged and sensing how much force had to be applied. This was not related to poltergeists. But why not? Where's the dividing line? What's the criterion?

Another triplicate of reports involved what we've been calling here "Trickster" phenomena. All cases had different atmospheres about tham. One involved the sudden appearance of small change moneys which hung around but other money would occasionally disappear --- always leaving the family with a "profit-margin" in the exchange. Then when the father tried to scheme this anomalous largesse, the giving phenomenon stopped altogether and there was an actual loss. {This just screams Old-Celtic-Style "Don't mess with the Little People" to me, despite its occurrence in British Columbia in 1961}.

Another case involved a more "ordinary" Trickster incident where a billfold disappeared and despite severe and long searching was given up for lost, then reappeared SIX MONTHS LATER neatly sitting on top of items in a clothes drawer. The third report was of some earrings which vanished until they were prayed for. Soon after the prayers, and entirely by accident, they were discovered in a box which hadn't been seen for years --- really weird. Again these things were not reported as poltergeist phenomena. Again, why not?

There was a post-death phenomenon reported where the relative of a deceased father, who had promised to try to find a way to give a sign, reported raps on the table just as the father would do, but more stunningly, the playing of his violin by "no one." Raps on tables, levitations, and playing musical instruments also give me creepy returns to thoughts of 19th century "physical mediums", who I had conveniently discarded into the rubbish bin of my non-beliefs [mainly due to how embarrassing some of the debunking had been.] .... groan .... do I have to put them back on the tilting table?

And, is it possible that all of this ( poltergeists, hauntings, post-death signs, apports, tricksters,  help--even Faerie?} is part of One Thing?

Well, I know who I need to get hold of [double-entendre ENTIRELY conscious]. And don't try to talk me out of it.

..... heck. I don't care whether she really knows anything about ghosts or not.

C'mon people. I'm 74 years old --- sadly harmless.


Monday, September 1, 2014

Something I've Not Thought About For A Long Time

"And now for something completely different".....

I won't tease you. This post is about something that I think has very little chance of being real, at least in the terms which have been applied to it. It's about the alleged "pyramid energy" and its claims to do all manner of unexpected things. But before I "reveal all" as to my "brilliant" insights on this, here's why I'm posting.

Along with my assaults on the extra FATE magazine piles [etc] which must "go" prior to the ultimate move to the new house, another casualty has been the slide collection. This thing once upon a time [when the technology of the age was oriented to such antiquities] was pretty extensive and impressive. Lots of good talks and "prof's lectures" embedded there. But that's all passe, so to the trash it goes.

In the doing so, I looked at every slide to see if any had unique or near unique information on them [surprisingly some did.] [95% were booted, and some saved just because they were "pretty" or dramatic.] Of the unique ones were several pictures of a plant growth "pyramid energy" test.

The photography isn't stellar here, folks, but it's good enough to get the gist of this.

Once upon a time, far back in the Ancient 1970s, I was teaching a course called "Science and Parascience" --- a dammed good course regardless of what the chemists and physicists thought about it. The course required a student to demonstrate that they understood the scientific method, could dump their biases, and think about a controversial topic like a scientist. Normally students HATE things like scientific methodology, but because this was heavily chocolate-coated with subjects that many students would nearly kill to get a chance to study, it was wildly popular. AND, wonders of wonders, almost all of the students over the 15 years of the course's existence, behaved and gave it honest tries.

One of my best [I had MANY SUPER students in this class] decided to take on "pyramid power" as her topic. Kathy [I'm not telling you her last name as I'm sure she's leading a happy successful life with no need for "strange" internet followers] was a very bright, and very cute and energetic co-ed who insisted that I allow her to do some project which was more than a literature survey --- in other words she wanted something to experiment upon and gain her own data. ... Prof's Dream.

I had purchased two identical planting boxes with a metal [copper] open-work pyramid which fit into the grooves so it was stable above one of them. You see the rig above. Kathy did as I expected --- somewhat obsessively measuring out soil, water, growth medium, and seeds. She was a gem --- sure she wanted to get a "positive" result, but she knew that if she didn't give the experiment an honest base, she'd have wasted her time and learnt nothing. By the way, although you will see the planter boxes always in the same orientation in these pictures, Kathy regularly [on a timed agenda] moved the boxes into one another's position to equate as best she could the different sunlight [if any] or the different heat quantity [if any] relative to the two positions. She took pictures when the boxes were in similar positions just to make the visual comparison easy [ Like I say... a gem.]

Whereas the first two pictures above were at "day zero"/planting, and day 5/ 1st sprouting [these were bean plants], things began to get lively at day 7. Though you can't see it too well, Kathy noticed, she thought, a small increase in robustness in the pyramid plants already.

The pictures above are day thirteen. Kathy was pretty sure that somehow the experiment was "working". The plants in the pyramid box --- some of them anyway --- were noticeably taller.

Day sixteen. Weirdly, the pyramid-ed plants seemed to be striving to fill a more pyramidally-shaped space.

Day nineteen. Kathy at the end of the experiment checked the thought that comes up at this time: were the non-pyramid-ed plants just "lazier" and not standing up as straight for some reason. She weighed their relative masses and the pyramid-ed plants had significantly more "bulk".

Day twenty-four: last day before the culling and the measuring [stalks and roots were also longer.] My Good Girl had run a proper scientific test [as much as a dorm room would allow] and was all smiles. She also was never a fool, and knew that she would need to do this many times [repeatability of results] and under better "lab" conditions [control of variables], but all-in-all this was a success.


I mean, really.... I ran a few growth experiments myself with these planter boxes and got [if I remember correctly {40 years ago, folks}] two no results and one positive. But still... what was going on? No "energy" has ever been reliably measured inside the open-work space, just as you'd expect.

I'm flummoxed, I'll admit. My "theory" is that neither Kathy nor myself [on my one "success"] were witnessing the result of some mysterious but unmeasurable power. Nor do I think that she was just lucky [and certainly not hoaxing]. I think that Kathy "did it herself".

There was a study done by the reverend Franklin Loehr which got published as The Power of Prayer on Plants which looks quite like Kathy's results when Loehr prayed for one batch of plants but not another. Normally one would take this with tablespoons of salt, but Loehr blew the science boys at NOVA away when he demonstrated the same effect for them with corn plants in a locked terrarium planter with their cameras as witnesses.

Still, what was going on? I refuse to buy into a hypothesis that God cares about relative rates of corn growth. But I DO think that we human beings can influence [sometimes] the external world by our intentions. And here we return full circle to the last post about JB Rhine and Psi and Bob Jahn's final proof that we all demonstrate at least low levels of psychokinesis.

Is Loehr's work not like "faith healing"? He thought of it that way... a "laying on of hands" on the corn plants, without touching them? Was Kathy so joyfully hoping that the pyramid covered bean sprouts would grow tall, that, bless her, they actually did? If I ever had a student upbeat and full-of-life enough to transfer something into her experiment it would have been her.

As far as the pyramids having "magic" in their shapes, who knows --- the Big Ones certainly do. But... I don't think that their power is too mysterious --- just awesome.

And the other stuff --- too Out Proctor for me...

.... or maybe ... 

No... I'm outta here..... 

Thursday, August 28, 2014

"Is There Anything Non-physical About Man?" : J.B.Rhine.

{ This is little bit more an "intellectual" blogpost than most, and I am temporarily blogged out on the UFO subject, so off I go into other regions of the Mystery Land of Out Proctor..... }

This entry is about J B Rhine, who most readers rightly know as the founder of Parapsychology as an academic field. {It is occasioned by my non-profound need to get rid of excess materials prior to the "October" transition to the new house [rising as we speak]. One action, which will elicit horror from some readers, is the elimination of certain copies of FATE magazine which were unproductively eating linear shelf space. Before people go bananas, these were excess copies in the SITU archives [which has a complete set up till its demise], and I also have a complete set personally --- so triplicates were not needed. I came across the FATE article by Rhine [July 1963] and got a bit inspired.}


Stage One: c. 1917-1918. J.B. Rhine is a conservative young man, studying for the ministry at a college in northern Ohio. He, therefore, had the sense of spirituality lain into the foundations of his being, and, because he was never one to go at things half-way, he was going for the Gold Ring of learning to be a minister of spiritual matters for his good and that of others.

BUT, something happened to burst this happy state.

Rhine had a class in Psychology which contained a serious look at the writings/ideas of the great philosopher/ psychologist William James. James among many other things had focussed upon the conundrum placed before many current intellectuals concerning the Freedom of the Will. James, no opponent of spiritual concepts, admitted that the concept of "freedom" of the Will was posing a serious difficulty for scientists, and that some were saying that the claim was a "quite unsupported and even mistaken notion."

Rhine took this as a hammerblow to the foundation of his spiritual view of the world. Always the bright fellow, he realized that unless there was freedom of the Will, there was no means whereby "science", or any form of exploration, could see evidence of anything associated with human nature which went beyond mere materialist reductionism, to say nothing of voiding any profound meaning which might be attached to the existence of any individual human's life. {some person's might wish to claim that some case might be made for "meaning" at the Darwinist or Survival/Thrival of Species level --- a claim quite disputable as to its profundity itself, but in a materialistic non-free Darwinist world, little can be said to attempt to maintain that individual species' "units" [i.e. persons] have importance.}

Rhine was so disturbed by this that he gave up the ministry.

Stage 2: c. 1922-1923. Rhine tries to make the best of it. He shifts his exploratory mind to Biology, hoping to learn as much as possible about what makes up living things [he is studying Plant Physiology, and picking up general information about "Life", doubtless edging him along paths to try to understand the brain better as he went]. He is now a graduate student at the University of Chicago, where he meets his to-be-wife, Louisa.

Once again his "complacent" intellectual world went "boom."

Rhine had, probably while not even noticing it, begun to be mentally programmed by the "Commandments of The Tribe" [in this case academic Biology] to not only reject the sorts of things that Religion stood for, but things such as those which interested A Conan Doyle as well. In short he was becoming one of the vast tribal sheepdom of academic reductionists from which come debunkers and CSICOPians. {Since the middle of the 1800s they have always been with us.}  But into town came A Conan Doyle and Rhine Mental Sea changed again.

I don't know where Doyle spoke but it could easily have been on campus [I am almost sure that this is where I had the privilege in the 70s of listening to Rhine, ironically, give a lecture on the Duke Parapsychology Lab statistical work.] Wherever it was, Rhine attended Doyle's talk. His feelings during the talk were ridicule, outrage, and scorn. What Doyle said could not be true --- a priori --- it violated everything in the Tribal Reductionist Creed. But something stuck in his craw.

Doyle had spoken of the researches/ explorations of William Crookes [to our left] and Oliver Lodge. Both were elite, capital E elite, physicists, and both "Sir-ed" by the British Crown. They were heavyweights of Science, but they claimed "outrageous" "ridiculous" observations.

Lodge was particularly interested in testing and collecting information about telepathy, but Crookes' claims were FAR more mind-boggling. Crookes had gotten deeply intrigued by the claims of "apport" trance mediums, and their assertions that material objects could be transported from place to place and that even "physical" or at least apparently physical things could be materialized at the trance site. This would, of course, not only violate all of the reductionist "laws of Nature" as currently understood, but, because they seemed to require a "ghostly" agent, pointed to something spiritual ignored by the scientific cant.

Crookes' most astounding claims, perhaps, came from his sitting in [sometimes even under the sitting seance table] for mediumistic sessions, of which he was particularly impressed by the phenomena presented by Florence Cook. Frankly, I'm similarly boggled, and wish I'd made a deep study of the Florence Cook/ "Katie King" mediumship so I could speak about where the flaws might lie, but I can't so I won't. Crookes required Florence Cook to come alone to his own home and "sit" for just himself and his close personally-chosen friends. The sitting environment was also of his own choosing. There [he reported] was manifested an apparently substantial physical form of the "person"/Wraith? "Katie King." She materialized to Crookes complete satisfaction as a true observable fact. If true, of course, Rhine's new scientific world was again in need of housekeeping.

These pictures were allegedly taken of Katie King at a William Crookes seance/sitting.

Interlude: 1923-1927. Rhine can't get the Doyle talk out of his head and raids the library for writings by Crookes, Lodge, Alfred Russell Wallace. He also discovers the writings of American psychologist William McDougall, sympathetic to the study of these paranormal claims.

Rhine wanted more, of course, than sitting in a prof-like easy chair reading claims. He begin attempting to sit in on medium sessions himself. Hardly convinced of any veridicality in them, he entered into this phase with hostility.

In 1926 or 1927 Rhine attended a seance/sitting by the famous medium Mina Crandon, who is known in the paranormal literature as "Marjery." Hardly impressed, Rhine ripped Marjery apart in an article in the press. The previous year, A Conan Doyle and his colleagues had presented Marjery with an honorarium [a cup] in recognition of her courage in braving bigots in her study to aid the pursuit of the truth. Doyle was not happy with JB.

Doyle, with his recognition, was able to publish a scathing rebuttal in the New York Times. Characterizing the Rhines as stone-cold assassins, he accused them of "colossal impertinence" to believe that as a result of a single sitting they could describe Marjery and her husband as senseless fraudsters, and their audiences as "incompetent dupes." Doyle lauded Marjery and her husband's efforts to continually adapt the conditions of the sittings to deal with the stream of objections which skeptics tossed at them.

Whoever is right about Marjery, this press cannot have comforted the Rhines. It is possible that their experiences with these grosser spontaneous paranormal claims drove them to avoid such person-specific situations in their later work, and concentrate on testing controls wherein the producing agent played as small a part as possible.

Stage 3: c. 1928-1932.

The Rhines took their leave of Chicago and went hunting for William McDougall [here looking a bit like a gray-headed "Professor Snape" without the Hogwarts cape.] McDougall had formed a psychology department at Duke. The Rhines were there to spend a half-year/semester's sabbatical --- a sabbatical which grew into a lifetime's work.

McDougall was a prominent rejector of reductionist mechanistic behaviorism. He defined himself as NOT being a Dualist, but because he viewed the Mind and the Brain as separate entities with a non-physical means of interacting [involving some vision of a "life" principle inherent in matter] it was difficult to clearly see his view as not allowing some type of dual make-up of humanity. More importantly for Rhine, he was already convinced that the phenomenon of telepathy not only existed but had strong scientific evidence.

The Rhines began their association with McDougall as students during this semester sabbatical, and stayed on as instructors in his psychology department thereafter. Five years later, they had decided that parapsychology was clearly a field which could be studied in the laboratory.

Stage 4: 1933-1938.

These were the years that the Duke parapsychology laboratory began to function intensely, and with greater and greater methodological precision. They were also [partly] years when Rhine and the others were blessed with the best volunteer test subject anyone could hope for: Eileen Garrett. {I have written about Eileen Garrett elsewhere on this blog, and will risk the statement that through all the reading that I've done about her, I believe that she is one of the rare people who really had "The Gift".}

Rhine, along with J Gaither Pratt, were the privileged lead researchers with Mrs. Garrett. She was reported by Rhine to be completely cooperative about all laboratory requirements, and in fact had no demands at all which would in any way complicate the testing. It was Rhine's tests with Garrett which convinced him finally that ESP existed and was testable in the lab. These tests were both of Telepathy and Clairvoyance, although Rhine already realized that it was extremely difficult to totally distinguish the two.

Testing occurred while Mrs. Garrett was in normal consciousness, and while she was in her trance state, and the acting agent allegedly her "trance control" Uvani at the time. Rhine wasn't sure what to make of Uvani, but since "he" scored very much like Eileen herself, Rhine tended to regard Uvani as some state of consciousness [I'm not sure of the term he would have used back then] of Mrs Garrett herself, but one "honestly" projected by her --- i.e. she wasn't shamming it, and in fact she didn't know what to make of that part of the phenomenon herself.

Stage 5: 1939 onwards.

These years saw the Rhine group become more famous among the general public and more infamous among academics. Whereas intense amounts of efforts were made to eliminate a never-ending stream of objections by debunkers, the testing became tighter but more statistical-analysis driven in time. Thus it, and parapsychology altogether, began to lose touch with the spectacular "personal" elements which actually fascinated people, and required a reader to be a sophisticated statistician to understand any significance in the results, if they any longer cared.

Rhine and his group of course understood and cared a great deal. His "colleagues" in the psych department [above right] understood something different. He was a threat to them. They feared what he was doing to their reputations among the Tribe. The majority of the five colleagues pictured about [Rhine himself is in near "psychological isolation" on the left] undertook a stealth action to get him fired and/or his lab disbanded. Oh Great Is The Desire In The Academic Mind For Truth!!

Rhine's Reflections on Human Nature:

The Rhines survived it, ultimately moving the lab to a semi-formal relationship with the University, and continuing their studies. In the FATE article of 1963, what did Rhine think that he had learned?

He felt that the work of the lab had delved deeply into "thought<=>brain" interactions, but that unless pretty substantial breakthroughs occurred in areas of neurological science, pursuit of the physical side of these mechanisms would remain obscure. Nevertheless, it felt that he had firmly shown that mind-to-mind content transfer was a reality. This seemed to lead nowhere but the idea that some sort of transfer occurred "non-physically" as we currently understand Physics.

He went on to state that further assurance that the ESP process is not bounded by current understanding of material laws, was seen in that the ESP effect was not hindered by spatial distances --- i.e. there was no fall-off of ESP scoring due to distance, as is true of all the famous "one over R-squared laws" in the textbooks.

"The outstanding characteristic of ESP phenomena is their failure to conform to the type of lawfulness expected of physical processes. There appear to be no physical media of stimulation that can account for them. The conditions seem to defy the space-time properties on which the science of physics is based. In other words, here in the counterhypothesis itself is the kind of evidence that mankind has been seeking in the investigation of spirit communications --- evidence of another order of causality but one that is none-the-less real for all its defiance of physical explanation." 

J B Rhine had begun this long odyssey because his ministerial psychology class had challenged his basic visions of duality and freewill to the point of casting him into anger and a bit of despair. [as it should all of us if we decide to follow that dead-end reductionist path, and as it has several elite scientists once they became "thoughtful" about their reductionist world late in life.] But Rhine, by a wavy path uncharted towards any such goal, ended up finding the missing piece of the Universe and humanity in the "forbidden" laboratory.

"If there is a spiritual function in man, and if it does in some way transcend the physical system of his body and the environment, it could very well give him certain free leverage by means of its transcendence of space-time. Moreover, this other side of man has its own natural, lawful system, and therefore it can be studied, understood, influenced, and educated. So the idea of a validated morality is possible and even makes sense. The government of men is, as our heritage testifies, verifiably more than the engineering of material robots; life and personality are more than elaborate mechanics." 

Rhine was on the right path to a 21st century expanded image of human nature. His intuition about the possibility that the transcendence of these ESP effects might give us "a certain free leverage" is astoundingly intuitive. He was feeling for the connection between the mind and the physical world through "intention" operating at the level of Quantum. That we might intend that something at that level [say electrons in our brains] might "do" one choice of things rather than another.

What a joy for him it would have been to see Robert Jahn and the Princeton PEAR lab group prove exactly that in the 1980s and 1990s. Rhine ploughed a difficult path out of reductionism and towards a "spiritual" willful means of transferring content. Bob Jahn showed that any of us can demonstrate that free-willfulness in the lab.

And Academe officially hates and ignores them for it.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

This One Is Particularly Odd: Coincidence?

This "entry" into the list of "coincidences" could be one of the most significant. {I thought that I had reported on this not terribly long ago, but I can't find it, so here we go.}

11:16pm, Delaware, OH, August 15, 1977. Professor Jerry Ehman of Franklin University, Columbus, OH was taking the night shift at the Ohio State University Radiotelescope {"The Big Ear"}. Something odd happened.

This telescope, for its time, was a fine instrument. More than three football fields in size [this is their quoted remark], it was easily capable of detecting weak radio signals from space, and the possibility that one could be from "alien intelligences" was, of course, the most "romantic" of its creators' dreams. That evening that hope just might have come true.

The famous WOW signal received and noted by Dr. Ehman that evening is pictured above. It has been described as a "72-second long blast" equivalent to a "noise" {signal} 30 times larger than the background levels. This was completely out of the norm. MANY checks of the telescope were done over the following days, finding nothing wrong. MANY hypotheses were floated to attempt to debunk or normalize the signal, but none worked. MANY revisitings of that area of space {where the Big Ear was surveying at that 72-second moment} were done, but no hint of another signal ever materialized. Someone [rather stupidly] said that if this signal was sent by other-worldly intelligences, then surely they'd repeat it, only to be reminded that we've sent unique signals which we never repeated ourselves.

The data stands as a great mystery. So what's the coincidence?

In Mt. Vernon, IN a talented "amateur" [so talented that it's ridiculous to lay that label on him, but he had no "affiliation" and his devices were "home-grown", so amateur it will be] had built a complex of machines that he hoped might give him not only raw data but early notice of UFO events. That's Fran Ridge above sitting with his equipment way back in 1977.

Fran called his system "MADAR" { Multiple Anomaly Detection and Automatic Recording"}. It detected [as far as I understand it] both radiation anomalies and magnetic field anomalies, then it must have looked for instances where such correlated.

August 15, 1977, Mt. Vernon, IN. I don't believe that Fran was sitting in front of his recorders at the time --- the whole point of automatic recording is so you don't have to --- but something happened that evening. MADAR had recorded several disturbances that summer, but this one was odd. It lasted 209 seconds and was easily distinguished from the background noise. But WHEN exactly did it occur?

The time on the recording says 10:15pm, one hour off. But at the time Mt Vernon was an hour behind Delaware OH, so "it's a coincidence." With MADAR lasting 209 seconds starting approximately one minute before WOW, these signals significantly overlapped --- in fact WOW might have been temporally "nested" within MADAR.

So, what does it mean? Delaware, OH, {at the teardrop} and Mt Vernon, IN {at the orange ring} are about 300 miles apart. The MADAR system was too simple to allow a determination of directionality but it was roughly north-ish. The WOW signal came out of the direction of Sagittarius which I believe [let's not "go to court" on this one] is SSW in Delaware OH's viewing angle in August. The two detection devices might have been looking in a compatible direction for the "coincidence".

What might that mean? It COULD mean that WOW and MADAR had detected a high flying technological device in the skies somewhere over Indiana and Ohio that evening. It then could mean that this device produced radio, magnetic, and radiation "signals". Does that tell us anything about UFOs when they are cruising about perhaps not on some sort of agenda? Should we scour the UFO report literature to see if anyone reported a "light-in-the-sky" over central Indiana that evening? I'd say that that was a very good idea.

Things like Fran's MADAR research aren't going to give us final answers to the UFO mystery, but it sure would help if there were [and had been] a lot more stations like his operating. And this is why Fran Ridge will go down as one of UFOlogy's unsung heroes when folks look back 100 tears from now.

Thanks old timer. We old folks need some appreciation now and then.


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