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Hi, Michael very interesting, I cam across today two article first one it was about astronomers that they found a great nothingness in the universe the void.

The second one is another article on out of body experiences http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/health/6960612.stm

I wonder what your opinion is all these Michael my opinion is that the space they found is not empty but filled up with matter and the second article they ignore the teh accurate out of body experiences and ones also in the blind.

One of the claims of close encouner and abduction investigators is that certain characteristics of reports such as sounds of ufo's and aspects of abudctions which are not made public are consistent among reports. This would make hoaxing by eye whitnesses unlikely but doesn't rule out hoaxing by authors.

This is, in my opinion, the weakest link many areas. When you have many people from all walks of life with nothing to gain and much to lose from publicity, it is hard to accept that they are making things up.

http://www.ufoabduction.com/faq1.htm#q4

"The abduction phenomenon appears to cut across all class, educational, geographic, intellectual, economic, racial, ethnic, and political lines."

On the other hand, the average person has to take the word of the authors of books on the subject.


Regarding the comment which brings up the news report of induced obe's - It seems like the hype is based on comparing apples and oranges - using the term obe to describe two different things. Just because you can create an illusion in the mind doesn't prove all perceptions of that situation are illusions. Using video cameras and vitrual reality goggles I can make someone feel like they are in Paris while they are really in London, that doesn't mean they can't go to Paris and see the same things. The ingenuine reports are just like saying Paris is an illusion because virtual reality can reproduce a trip to Paris in the lab.

Furthermore, the illusion explanation fails to account for reports that experiencers obtain information only available from a different location. This is a common flaw in many skeptical arguments: they ignore the full spectrum of reports on the phenomena.

I think the will-to-disbelieve can be as great as the will-to-believe. Moreover, I think there is a polarization effect with all this. In his reports on his 11 sittings with Eusapia Palladino, Everard Fielding, who headed up a three-man team, including Hereward Carrington,for the Society for Psychical Research, writes:

"The first two seances had in fact left no eduring mark upon us. They had astonished us, puzzled us, vexed us. They had shown us that the problem presented by Eusapia's phenomena was not the simple matter which, before we witnessed them, we had, in the invincible conceit of every new critic of such things, supposed it. Conviction is, after all, an emotional and not an intellectual process; and the impression left by the first two seances was purely intellectual. The ordinary effect of the sudden confrontation of a fairly balanced mind with a merely bizarre fact, the stronger the reaction.....And so it was with ourselves. Tables, we know, or thought we knew, do not go into the air by themselves; curtains do not bulge out without some mechanical agency; and although we saw them do so, we still refused to believe that they did. We preferred to believe that we had been deceived in some way way unknown, that he had been hallucinated, or had wrongly observed. We doubted our senses rather than our experience; were guided, in fact, by our emotions rather than our observations. Hence, at this seance, we hailed with a kind of relief the fact that Eusapia had been caught substituting one hand for the other, and we regarded all the incidents that followed through the atmosphere of suspicion which this discovery had fortified. The result was that not only did we colour up certain possible quite innocent actions into almost clear evidence of fraud, but certain other interesting and indeed inexplicable phenomena....

Carrington agreed. "...I wish to say that I am now disposed to retract and repent my earlier critical, indeed hostile attitude; and think that we should all have obtained better and more conclusive phenomena had we been less severe with the medium, and known better how to conduct her seances. When one is convinced of the reality of the phenomena, the fascinating study of their causes, nature, and conditions becomes possible. That is the point from which I should now study the facts, were I again to observe them."

It seems to me that Victor Zammit is now doing what Carrington was advocating. He has moved beyond being a sit-on-the-fence scientific observer to being a propagandist (and I use that word in its true sense, i.e., one who promotes something with zeal). Lodge, Hyslop, Doyle, and other esteemed researchers were labeled propagandists after they had the courage to leave the comfortable perch on the fence. Meanwhile, those who don't have first-hand experience or observation, are where Fielding and Carrington were early in the game with Eusapia. It remains beyond their boggle threshold and so they continue to doubt. And that might not be such a bad thing.

It appears that there is some kind of Divine Plan that does not permit us to have absolute truth, if there is such a thing, in these matters. So let Victor Zammit take the positive pole and counter the negative charges of James Randi in this polarized matter. Certainly, the sit-on-the-fence researchers aren't doing it. It's getting late here in Hawaii and I'm not even sure what I just wrote, but I'll post it anyway.

I think Sir Arthur Conan Doyle was using my fingers on that last post.

>I wonder what your opinion is all these Michael my opinion is that the space they found is not empty but filled up with matter and the second article they ignore the teh accurate out of body experiences and ones also in the blind.

Regarding the OBE thing, I agree with the comments left by nf283gwvi82gb.

I don't have an opinion on the "empty space" discovery. I'll leave that one to the experts.

>It seems to me that Victor Zammit is now doing what Carrington was advocating.

The difference is that Carrington's investigation of Palladino was carried out in a highly professional manner, and all reasonable precautions against fraud were taken. This has not been true of Victor Zammit's investigation of David Thompson. In fact, many obvious precautions have not been taken, and when they have been suggested, the suggestions have been ignored or, sometimes, angrily repudiated. I was reminded of this when I read about Budd Hopkins' refusal to properly investigate the Napolitano case, and his hostility and "panic" when pressed on the point. I suspect that the psychological dynamics in both situations are quite similar - though I could, of course, be wrong.

>So let Victor Zammit take the positive pole and counter the negative charges of James Randi in this polarized matter.

This is where I disagree with Michael Tymn. I don't think we can balance one brand of extremism with another brand of extremism. That gets us nowhere. I do agree that "fence-sitting" gets tiresome, but it's possible to make a positive case for the afterlife without coming across as a fanatic or a zealot. Here's one blog that does this very well.

"This is where I disagree with Michael Tymn. I don't think we can balance one brand of extremism with another brand of extremism. That gets us nowhere. I do agree that "fence-sitting" gets tiresome, but it's possible to make a positive case for the afterlife without coming across as a fanatic or a zealot. Here's one blog that does this very well."

Good point. I don't understand why anybody has the need to proselytize other people or even attempt to convince them of anything. If the evidence is compelling for you, then what does it matter what other people think? I think it reveals deep insecurities when people exhibit such missionary zeal. It seems that deep down they feel that their opinions and beliefs are due to self delusion unless they are accepted by the status quo.

A good example of people with deep insecurities:

http://www.centerforinquiry.net/

<<<>>

To a much lesser degree, I am also a propagandist. Almost daily, I ask myself why. Is it some insecurity within myself? Maybe I am deluding myself, but I don't think I am. If it is self-delusion, it is not a selfish one, although it can be argued that everything we do, even loving and serving others, is selfish.

It bothers me when I encounter people who are convinced that they are "marching toward nothingness." I know a number of such people -- most my age (70) or older -- and for the most part they are not happy campers. They escape as much as possible into mundane things or numb their senses with alcohol or drugs, or they spend the day escaping into television programs. Beyond who wins tomorrow's football game, life is meaningless for them. In spite of polls that say 70-80 percent of Americans believe in "heaven," whatever they think that is, I don't think that there is really such a "belief." My parents were good Catholics, but they still feared death and went out struggling and resisting it. They figured they were going to "burn in purgatory" for a few centuries before they got to "heaven." So they were not much better off than the non-believers. If whatever I can put out at my blog or elsewhere will get people thinking that there is something positive on the other side of death, I'd like to believe that it will help a few people and that I'm not self-deluding myself. I suspect Victor's intentions are much the same.

Michael Tymn,

There is nothing wrong with putting information out in the public sphere. I just object to zealous missionaries like Dawkins, Hitchens, Pat Robertson, Victor Zammit, etc. I've been to Zammit's site and I can't take the guy seriously. While he does have some credible sources, his book reads like a tabloid. I hate being manipulated in such a manner. When I'm reading about research, I want a sober account of the facts. I don't want to hear sensational language like, "GUARANTEED: A WORLD SHATTERING TELEVISION EXPERIENCE!"

Someone forgot to turn off the italics. I just did it for you!

Great post, Michael.

Agree Alex but who knows maybe the seances with David Thompson are genuine now if they aren't it won't be a surprise because it is being done in the dark however if it is genuine then the implications are indeed huge.

i personally can't make a judgement on Victor Zammit because i was not there at the seances but I can make a critical judgement on Richard Dawkins because he has been all over the media to me he is a closed-minded proganist, hypocrite, liar, cast the wool over peoples eyes.

So I agree with you on Richard Dawkins

A well argued parallel between the Napolitano Case and Zammit/Thompson. Both could be seen as very unfortunate by those who are interested in gaining an insight into whatever is the nature of these seemingly separate phenomena. Michael rightly points out that, in both cases, people with a sincere interest in investigating life-after-death and abduction have been moved to support these specific cases as much out of a desire to defend an entire area of inquiry as any merit to the cases themselves. The emotional responses of Hopkins and Zammit are certainly as understandably human as could be expected in such circumstances, and the two situations taken as a whole haven't dissuaded me in thinking that there is genuine mystery and potential for learning in these (possibly related) phenomena. Both of these phenomena can be traced back in history for millenia (see Vallee & Plato, for openers), both have a compendium of various forms of evidence, and both, it can be argued, relate directly to the mysterious nature of consciousness. It seems that, no matter what the topic, we seem always to return to the crux of the matter, the mind in existence. I guess this would also include Janeane Garafalo (sorry, Michael).

The old time researchers seem to often have assumed that they were reporting things in a manner that the reader could understand. However, after having read numerous reports on Eusapia Palladino, I still do not have a clear picture on what "tricks" Eusapia pulled off when she supposedly cheated. They talk about her freeing her hands or a foot here and there, but they don't explain how a free hand or foot can accomplish the phenomena they are otherwise talking about. They don't explain what she did with the free hand or foot. It often seems that just because she freed her hand or foot -- possibly just for comfort reasons -- that they suspected fraud. Not one of the reports I have read really explains it well. I think many things are obvious to the researchers that are not made clear to the readers of the report.
This may be the problem in Victor's reports. They are very obvious to him, but the reader of his reports doesn't grasp them.
Moreover, there are various degrees of darkness. In Eusapia's case, the the best phenomena usually took place in darkness but it was light enough most of the time for the researchers to see each other and to see Eusapia. I get the impression from Victor's reports that it is not "pitch" dark with Thompson and they are able to observe much, but I may have misread the reports wrong in this respect.

>they don't explain how a free hand or foot can accomplish the phenomena they are otherwise talking about.

A skeptical article called "Eusapia Palladino's Sapient Foot" by Polidoro and Rinaldi claims that she could have manipulated various objects with her foot. The beginning of the article is here. The rest of it, which was transcribed by Vitor Moura, can be read in the comments section of this post.

I do not find the sapient foot thesis persuasive, for reasons I discuss in the comments thread linked above, but this is presumably the kind of thing the researchers were worried about.

"It should be no surprise that the simplest reality tests of the Napolitano story were not made. Hopkins' failure to search for witnesses actually makes sense in this context...."

Actually, he did look for other witnesses and supposedly, more were found. Guy needs to get his facts straight. The supporter link MP listed notes those alleged witnesses. Or, you can read Hopkins' book.

>Actually, he did look for other witnesses and supposedly, more were found. Guy needs to get his facts straight. The supporter link MP listed notes those alleged witnesses.

Hopkins didn't search for the witnesses cited on the linked page. They came forward of their own volition. Two of them are "Richard" and "Dan," whom Hopkins never met and who probably never even existed except as characters in Linda's story. Another is Janet Kimble, who is discussed in Hansen's book (I couldn't quote everything). A fourth is Javier Perez de Cuellar, UN secretary general, who publicly denied any UFO sighting or abduction. (We are asked to take Hopkins' word that de Cuellar privately said the opposite.) Then there are a couple of unnamed witnesses.

I believe this case has been thoroughly debunked.

About Eusapia:

THE Journal of the American Society for Psychical Research for August, 1910, contains a detailed and instructive report by Mr. W. S. Davis of two sittings with Eusapia, held on April 17th and 24th, 1910, at the house of Professor Lord, of Columbia University. Professor Jastrow's brief account of these sittings was quoted in our Journal for July (pp. 335-342), and we would recommend those of our readers who are interested in the details of the case to study Mr. Davis's article.
Another of the sitters concerned in the exposure, Mr. James L. Kellogg, writes to us to supplement Mr. Davis's report as follows :

NEW YORK, July 15th, 1910.

He discusses the question from the viewpoint of conscious imposture, whereas a number of students consider Eusapia a hysteric and an irresponsible person. We all consider her a conscious trickster, for the following reasons: When she entered Professor Lord's house from the street, she greeted us cordially, shook hands with us, talked with us in a most sensible and businesslike way, thiough an interpreter, Mr. Livingston, and was in a perfectly normal condition. I called her attention to a table we had which was of approximately the same dimensions as her own, but which had a top of one inch boards instead of one-half inch, as had the table she brought with her in the automobile. She took my hand and led me to her table, rapped it on the top and it resounded something like a drum. She then led me back to the table we had offered and rapped on this, showing that it had a much deader sound. This, and all the other things which she did, indicated that she was exceedingly conscious and knew exactly what she was doing. While in full possession of her mental faculties she took her seat at the séance table, and when we also were seated she deliberately proceeded to secure certain reprehensible advantages which were to facilitate all the trickery which was to follow. She laid her plans to deceive us within a very few minutes after she entered the house and before there were any pretensions of hysteria or trance. "Jockeying" for the foot substitution was one of the first things Eusapia did, and she certainly knew what she was doing it for. The "phenomena" which occurred later, when she was in the so-called hysterical condition, were all. dependent upon traps which she set shortly after she entered the house. Her preliminary manoeuvring while in her normal condition not only required skill, but she. was cautious in making up her mind whether it would be safe to proceed with the "phenomena," as was shown by the way she questioned us in order to discover whether we were likely to seriously interfere with her methods.

The production of " phenomena " ran on smoothly on the two occasions mentioned for over an hour without any indication of an abnormal condition, and not until after the lights were lowered did she feign hysteria.

Her table is built exclusively for trick purposes. The weight, length, breadth, depth, etc., must be in accordance with her specifications, and the whole thing is devised for the very tricks which she performs. In fact, it would be rather ruinous to her performance to use a table of any other make, and this table is demanded by Eusapia when she is engaged and when she knows what she is doing and when she is full of business shrewdness. Likewise the curtains are demanded at the same time, and she certainly knows what she proposes to do with them.

Again, trance and hysteria usually constitute a part of the stock in trade of all physical mediums, and I see no reason why we should assume genuineness in the case of Eusapia and only pretence in others.

I purposely managed to feel Eusapia's wrist several times throughout the evening, and often could distinctly feel the pulse beat. I could not detect the slightest acceleration or nervousness on her part, and I doubt if there was a person in the room who had cooler nerves or was more self-possessed than the performer who was entertaining us.

Another point is this : Those here who accept Eusapia, insist that we should not have permitted her to perpetrate fraud, for we could have obtained genuine phenomena had \ve demanded them. The fact that we had another séance a week later, when we did not allow her to perpetrate fraud, makes no impression upon their minds. Moreover, Prof. Miller states that at séances previously attended by him he noticed that the volume of phenomena appeared to depend upon the amount of liberty which Eusapia was able to secure, and that when she was held in check, manifestations proportionately lessened. {1}

{1} CL the Naples Beport, Proceedings, Vol. XXIII., pp. 323 and 327, where the investigators explicitly state that this did not occur in their experience.--ED.

I also want to make it clear that we did not deliberately invite fraud at the séance of April 17. We simply obeyed Eusapia and accepted the conditions imposed upon us. It should also be noted that at the second séance we were exceedingly gentle with the medium, and made it a special point not to give her any excuse for claiming that we were severe. All of the ladies and gentlemen in our party will testify that we merely replaced Eusapia's hand and foot whenever she undertook to secretly slip either away.

Our séances were preceded by eight others, which were attended by Prof. Miller, and no evidence of anything supernormal was obtained, though a very great amount of evidence of imposture was secured. In addition to these evidences of actual fraud, it was also clearly shown that as to her " hysteria," she had a perfect knowledge of all that transpired while under its influence, and she seldom loses an opportunity to make every point count in her favor. . . . She also makes careful preparation, as outlined above, for her trickery when she is in her normal mental condition, even though the phenomena may not be presented until her professed hysteria.

In view of all the facts, I think that Prof. Jastrow's rather severe article on Palladino in the American Review of Reviews for July, 1910, was entirely logical, and hence justifiable. . .

Michael Prescott: Just letting you know I started my own Blog Spot on Paranormal Research...

http://eteponge.blogspot.com/

My most recent blog topic deals indepth with the "Scientists Claim To Recreate OBEs" news story that has been inaccurately reported lately.

It appears that there is some kind of Divine Plan that does not permit us to have absolute truth, if there is such a thing, in these matters. - Michael Tymm
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

We may never be allowed to know absolutely 100% for certain that there is life after death because the death of someone we love is the ultimate lesson in separation, which I believe has everything to do with with "why we are here." If we knew absolutely for certain that one day we were going to be reunited with our loved ones in the Spiritual Universe it would reduce the level of emotion we feel when someone we love dies. The more emotional the experience the more powerful and long lasting the memories it creates. Death of a loved one is the ultimate separation experience. Many people who have NDE's remark on the overwhelming feelings of oneness and connectedness they felt on the other side. I believe it may not be possible to fully become a separate, unique, individual in Heaven. It may be obligatory to first spend time in the Physical Universe and experience enough separation, over and over again until it is thouroughly imprinted on the soul what it means and how it feels to be separate. God may not allow us to know absolutely for certain that there is life after death - because death of a loved one is the #1 most powerful lesson anyone has to suffer while on this earth. We are spiritual beings having a physical experience and from the moment we are born and we separate from our mothers life is a never ending lesson in experiencing separation.

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