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Category Archives: MI:ST 101

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The Science of Parapsychology has a rich history (beginning with their roots in the Society for Psychical Research) that stretches back for over 125 years.
To this day, the work conducted by Prof. J.B. Rhine during his days as a researcher at Duke University have Never been debunked! In fact, his findings in the field of ESP and Psychokinesis were heralded as “Ground Breaking” by not only other universities – such as Harvard, Columbia, and Cornell- but also by the mainstream.
In fact his work was found to be so thought-provoking and his findings so impressive that his organization, the Parasychological Association, was admitted into the prestigious AMERICAN ASSOCIATION for the ADVANCEMENT of SCIENCE in 1969 and are still members to this very day.

In fact Prof. Loyd Auerbach (who holds a Master’s Degree in Parapsychology) is considered one of the most well respected men in the field today and is often called on for his expertise.

Paranormal research does fall under the blanket of Parapsychology, so therefore it is a science and there are even many scientists connected to the field even to this very day.

Parapsychologists have left us with a rich and full history of experiments and findings as well as a full lexicon of official terminology.

-Parapsychologist Prof. Jessica Utts of the University of California has written work about her time studying remote viewing which was funded by the Central Intelligence Agency and Defense Intelligence Agency, and carried out initially by Stanford Research Institute and subsequently by SAIC.

-Cleve Backster who began his career as an Interrogation Specialist with the CIA, and went on to become Chairman of the Research and Instrument Committee of the Academy for Scientific Interrogation.  Best known for his controversial experiments with biocommunication in plant and animal cells using a polygraph machine in the 1960s which led to his theory of “primary perception.” He is currently director of the Backster School of Lie Detection in San Diego, California.

-Dr Michael Daniels is currently a senior lecturer in Psychology and program leader for the MSc in Consciousness and Transpersonal Psychology at Liverpool John Moores University.  is the author of two books and more than 30 journal articles and book chapters on observational methods, self-actualization theory, moral development, the psychology of the shadow and evil, Jungian psychology, transpersonal theory, mystical experience, parapsychology and poltergeists. He is also the developer of the Watchword Technique of Jungian self-analysis, of the parapsychology and psychical research website psychicscience.org and the transpersonal studies website transpersonalscience.org

-Prof. Erlendur Haraldsson Professor emeritus of psychology at the Faculty of social science at the University of Iceland has published work in various parapsychology journals, and done work with Ian Stevenson and Karlis Osis researching reincarnation.

-Dr. Edwin C. May who Earned his Ph.D. at the University of Pittsburg in 1968, his discipline being Low Energy, Experimental Nuclear Physics. His interests turned inclusively towards the research of parapsychological phenomena, and in 1975 he joined with SRI International and participated in work sponsored by the United States government. By 1985 he was directing the program, and by 1991 he moved on to further government-sponsored parapsychology work with Science Applications International Corporation. His involvement with STAR GATE was brought to closure in 1995 by the US Government, and finally declassified in 1989.

-Dr. Rupert Sheldrake An English biochemist and plant physiologist. He is known for having proposed a non-standard account of morphogenesis and for his research into parapsychology. His books and papers stem from his theory of morphic resonance, and cover topics such as animal and plant development and behaviour, memory, telepathy, perception and cognition in general. His publications include A New Science of Life (1981), Seven Experiments That Could Change the World (1995), and The Sense of Being Stared At (2003).

-Dr. Jim Tucker is the medical director of the Child and Family Psychiatric Clinic, and assistant professor at both the Division of Perceptual Studies and the Division of Child and Family Psychiatry at the University of Virginia. His main academic research interests are children who seem to remember previous lives, and prenatal and birth memories. He is the author of Life Before Life: A Scientific Investigation of Children’s Memories of Previous Lives, which presents an overview of more than 40 years of reincarnation research at the University of Virginia Division of Perceptual Studies. Tucker, a board-certified child psychiatrist, worked for several years on this research with Ian Stevenson before taking over upon Stevenson’s retirement in 2002.

-Dr Matthew Smith an Associate Professor in Psychology at Liverpool Hope University and leads the Parapsychology Research Group. He has recently conducted research on replication issues in parapsychology and psychological variables associated with paranormal belief.
Dr Smith was awarded his PhD on the psychology and parapsychology of luck from the University of Hertfordshire in 1998.

-Prof. Etzel Cardeña Is Thorsen Professor of Psychology (including parapsychology and hypnosis) at Lund University, Sweden where he is Director of the Centre for Research on Consciousness and Anomalous Psychology (CERCAP).
He has advised the World Health Organization in developing guidelines for Mental Health and Psychosocial Support in Emergency Settings. He was President of the Parapsychological Association for the year 2008-2009.
His edited book Varieties of Anomalous Experience: Examining the Scientific Evidence is the first scholarly volume on anomalous experiences to be published by a mainstream publisher (The American Psychological Association).

-Dr. Thelma Moss was an American psychologist and parapsyShe earned her Ph.D. in psychology from UCLA and became a professor at the same institution. For a time in the 1970s she led UCLA’s parapsychology laboratory (when such a place existed). She explored a wide range of specific subjects in parapsychology (hypnosis, ghosts, levitation, alternative medicine), though her research on Kirlian photography was the most significant theme in her work for the remainder of her career. She made several trips to the Soviet Union to explore Russian work in the field, and wrote two books on that and related subjects.chologist, best known for her work on Kirlian photography and the human
aura.

-Dr. Ian Pretyman Stevenson a Canadian biochemist and professor of psychiatry. Until his retirement in 2002, he was head of the Division of Perceptual Studies at the University of Virginia, one of a small number of academic facilities around the world that study the paranormal.  Stevenson was known for his study of reincarnation, which he termed the survival of the personality after death. He traveled extensively for 40 years to investigate 3,000 childhood cases that suggested to him the possibility of past lives. Stevenson saw reincarnation as an explanation for a range of phobias and unusual abilities, although he never suggested a physical process by which a personality might survive death. He studied topics such as near-death experiences and apparitions (death-bed visions), as well as more mainstream topics such as tissue oxidation, psychosomatic medicine, the mind-body dichotomy and psychedelic drugs.
Stevenson was the author of several books, including Reincarnation and Biology: A Contribution to the Etiology of Birthmarks and Birth Defects (1997) and Children Who Remember Previous Lives: A Question of Reincarnation (1987). Stevenson was the subject of Tom Shroder’s Old Souls: The Scientific Evidence for Past Lives (1999).

-Loyd Auerbach professor of parapsychology and a prominent field investigator in psychic phenomena.  He was the Public Information and Media Consultant to the American Society for Psychical Research in 1982-83 and on the Core Faculty of the Graduate Parapsychology Program at John F. Kennedy University. He was a columnist for Fate magazine from 1991 – 2004. He’s currently on the Advisory Board of the Rhine Research Center.

Even Dr. Carl Gustav Jung in his essay “Synchronicity: An Acausal Connecting Principle” (1978c), Carl Jung repeatedly mentioned J. B. Rhine’s experiments and how important they were.


Kirian photography/human auras,
Reincarnation,
Plant/animal psi,
Anomalous human experiences,
the phenomenon of Luck,
Perception and cognition,
Remote sensing,
Observational methods,
Self-actualization theory,
Moral development,
the psychology of the shadow and evil,
Transpersonal theory,
Mystical experience,
Ghost hunting,
Mediumship,
Psychic abilities,
Poltergeist activity,
Psychic phenomena,
and ESP & Psychokinesis.

What more can the science of parapsychology teach a paranormal investigator about?

Below are some GREAT websites to help teach a paranormal investigator what exactly it is he or she really needs to know about the field.
The Parapsychological Association can be found at…
http://www.parapsych.org/index.html

The Rhine Research Center can be found at…
http://www.rhine.org/

The Parapsychological Foundation can be found at…
http://www.parapsychology.org/

The Society for Psychical Research can be found at…
http://www.spr.ac.uk/expcms/index.php?section=1

The American Society for Psychical Research can be found at…
http://www.aspr.com/

The Office of Paranormal Investigations can be found at…
http://www.mindreader.com/opi/

The Paranormal Research Organization can be found at…
http://www.paranormal-research.org/

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A working knowledge of how ESP and Psychokinesis works will give any ghosthunter a better understanding of spirit phenomena.
As the science of parapsychology (and its parent discipline, psychical research) has shown over the past one hundred and twenty five years of clinical research these are the two abilities that apparitions and hauntings use to interact with the world of the living.

Since spirits do not posses a physical body they do not have lungs, a throat, vocal chords, tongue, teeth or mouths that could affect the physical world in a way to produce sound. Instead they use ESP/telepathy to place these “sounds” directly into our minds.
Likewise they use psychokinesis to manipulate recoding equipment, audio as well as video, to leave their “voices” and “images” imprinted on these devices besides the more obvious use of moving objects around in the physical world.

– Nobel Prize laureate Prof. Brian David Josephson of the University of Cambridge,
– Prof. William G. Roll of the Psychology Department of the University of West Georgia in Carrollton, Georgia, in the United States,
– Dr Matthew Smith of Liverpool Hope University who holds a PhD on the psychology and parapsychology,
– Prof. Etzel Cardeña Professor of Psychology (including parapsychology and hypnosis) at Lund University in Sweden – whose book “Varieties of Anomalous Experience: – Examining the Scientific Evidence” is the first scholarly volume on anomalous experiences to be published by a mainstream publisher (The American Psychological Association),
– Loyd Auerbach professor of parapsychology whose currently on the Advisory Board of the Rhine Research Center,
– Prof. Joseph Banks “J.B.” Rhine who founded the parapsychology lab at Duke University, the Journal of Parapsychology, and the Foundation for Research on the Nature of Man. He also initiated the Parapsychological Association and the gentleman who coined the term ESP,
– Prof. Gertrude Schmeidler a true pioneer in the field of ESP best known for her “sheep/goat” experiments…

These are but a few of the seriously minded scientists that have experimented in the field of parapsychology and have tested the science of such abilities as ESP and psychokinesis among others.
It would be wise for any paranormal investigator to know the history of this most interesting field of study.

The Pearce-Pratt tests which began in 1932 under the supervision of Prof. Joseph Banks “J.B.” Rhine (September 29, 1895 – February 20, 1980) have never been debunked.

One of the best results of these experiments involving the student Hubert E. Pearce, Jr who sat in the Duke University over 100 yards away from Prof. J.B. Rhine’s lab assistant who sat in the university’s physics building. Both men sat facing opposite directions from each other.
Pearce and Pratt both synchronized their watches with each other and at prearranged times, with both men under strict observation, Pratt would take the top Zener card, face down and place it on the table without looking at it. It would stay there for one full minute. During this time Pearce would write down his guess as to what the card was. After the minute was up Pratt would repeat the process. When he was finished with the deck Pratt would turn the cards over one by one to record the order before shuffling and starting again. At the end of each session both men would seal their records and independently hand them to Prof. Rhine who would first look at one while he himself was under observation and then compare it to the other one.
To this day the results are astonishing.
Pearce would regularly score as high as thirteen card runs on correct hits and averaged 261 hits out of 750 cards, consistently.
BUT
The most amazing test Pearce did was when at the last moment Rhine told him he would give Pearce $100 per correct hit. In one streak of correct hits alone, Pearce won $2,500 in a twenty-five-card run of correct hits which put that at an odds of 298,023,233,876,953,125 to 1. Almost 3 Zillion to 1! This test only ended when Rhine had run out of the allotted funds put aside for the test.
The only time that Pearce’s guesses would drop to statistical average and slightly below was during a period after his fiancee left him.
After several years of rigorous university tests run by Prof. J.B. Rhine under the supervision of the Duke University Psychology Department he published his findings in a work he called “Extra-Sensory Perception”. He coined this phrase ESP because after all his research he realized that the phenomenon of psi abilities was actually a branch of perception – an already established subject of psychology.
His work was studied by other universities and scholars which they hailed as “Epoch Making” and his findings were examined in minute detail for several years by the American Institute of Mathematical Statistics who finally declared that all of Prof. Rhine’s mathematics were valid.

This work lead directly to Parapsychology Association being accepted into the prestigious American Association for the Advancement of Science.

And lets not forget the work of Prof. Gertrude Schmeidler (1912 – March 9, 2009) a pioneer in the field of ESP best known for her “sheep/goat” experiments where the “sheep” -those who believed in or at least the possibility of psi powers- scored higher on ESP tests than the “goats” -those who did not believe in or the possibility of psi powers. The findings of these tests ran consistently for her and other parapsychologists and still do to this very day.

Nor should we forget the work that parapsychologists have done during the 1960’s with Ted Serios who could place images in the film of cameras. They tested him for years. He would be shown random cameras from random people at random times and -even with the lens caps still on the cameras- cause images that he had seen or looked at to appear on the film. He had even been tested doing this directly to film that was never unwrapped and taken out of their original canisters.

These are all things that are caused by our consciousness.

A spirit is a consciousness with out a physical shell.
If they are non-physical then by definition,they can not affect the physical world through the use of physical force.
This leaves only one possibility, they must be affecting the physical world through non-physical force.
The above tests conducted by university doctors and professors in the field of parapsychology then can not be discounted.

Most orbs captured on film are a result of dust, bugs, or reflections.
Over the years every professional photographer has told me the same thing concerning orbs, they tend to capture them when using lower quality cameras, but never do when using the higher/est end professional cameras.

Recently I was asked about orbs that can be seen by the naked eye.
Unfortunately because one can see an orb with the naked eye does not mean that it has to be spirit activity. These orbs are often piezoelectric effects, also known in some less than scientific circles as “earthlights.”
This is an effect that has been known to geologists for years.
Some can be seen with the naked eye, but not all.

Piezoelectricity is the ability of some materials (notably crystals and certain ceramics, including bone) to generate an electric potential[1] in response to applied mechanical stress. This may take the form of a separation of electric charge across the crystal lattice. If the material is not short-circuited, the applied charge induces a voltage across the material. The word is derived from the Greek piezo or piezein, which means to squeeze or press.

The piezoelectric effect is reversible in that materials exhibiting the direct piezoelectric effect (the production of an electric potential when stress is applied) also exhibit the reverse piezoelectric effect (the production of stress and/or strain when an electric field is applied). For example, lead zirconate titanate crystals will exhibit a maximum shape change of about 0.1% of the original dimension.

The effect finds useful applications such as the production and detection of sound, generation of high voltages, electronic frequency generation, microbalances, and ultra fine focusing of optical assemblies. It is also the basis of a number of scientific instrumental techniques with atomic resolution, the scanning probe microscopies such as STM, AFM, MTA, SNOM etc, and everyday uses such as acting as the ignition source for cigarette lighters and push-start propane barbecues.
Because of this a paranormal investigator will often get a “hit” on his/her EMF detectors while in the presence of such effects.

There are some people who believe that because some orbs captured on video will move in ways that dust never does, it will move more erratically than dust, with no obvious pattern or consideration for the air flow of a room is some sort of proof that it must be a “spirit”.  These people will also tell you that dust (or other particles) must be directly in front of your flash to show up as an orb.  So, if you captured an orb that looks as if its partially hidden behind an object that is in the room, this means that the orb was actually in the room, and it very well could be that real spirit orb that seems to elude so many.
Once again, when we look at how electricity works, flows, ans illuminates we find answers to contradict the above statements claiming that they Must be “Spiritual” in nature and we see that Piezoelectricity is our answer to these claims of “proof of spirit orbs”.

IN FACT, in the over 125 years of Serious Scientific Studies done by the Psychical Research Association, the American Psychical Research Association, the Parapsychological Association, the Rhine Research Center, the Office of Paranormal Investigations, the Paranormal Research Organization, the Parapsychological Foundation, and other professional parapsychologists no evidence has ever been brought to light to hint that orbs are spiritual in nature.

For paranormal researchers who are serious in their intent to conduct professional, scientifically-minded investigations I would urge them to look to the preexisting science of parapsychology.
The standards have been set down before us, its up to each of us to choose to follow those standards or not.
Below are links to several notable parasychological organizations.

The Parapsychological Association can be found at…
http://www.parapsych….

The Rhine Research Center can be found at…
http://www.rhine.org/

The Office of Paranormal Investigations can be found at…
http://www.mindreader

The Paranormal Research Organization can be found at…
http://www.paranormal

The Parapsychological Foundation can be found at…
http://www.parapsycho

The Society for Psychical Research can be found at…
http://www.spr.ac.uk/

The American Society for Psychical Research can be found at…
http://www.aspr.com/

These orbs caught in Inwood Hills Park are a perfect example of Piezoelectricity

Orbs photographed at the Morris-Jumel