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I think the only thing I really have to add here is that I think Rogo maybe correct in that UFOs may not be a material phenomenon (as in involving mechanical spaceships and biological aliens) but something immaterial. Whether they are a projection of the mind or something else is the mystery I think.

I know famed UFO researcher Jacques Vallee and at least two of his other contemporary peers (who's names escape me now) initially started with the idea of UFOs being physical objects but came to the conclusion that it didn't make much sense (I know Vallee has actually published in a parapsychology journal arguing against the ET hypothesis). The arguments from these UFO researchers do make sense; Why would extraterrestrials spend so much time and resources (fuel, etc.) to come all the way here just to disrupt traffic and make crop circles? How come these aliens never seem to wear space suits considering how their biology may not be adapted for Earth's environment? How come these UFOs defy currently know logic?

"As for physical mediums, virtually all of them insist that spirits are working through them to produce the effects. Perhaps they are all mistaken, but one would think that the testimony of the people who actually exhibit these powers might be worth at least as much as the speculation of "experts" who have no such abilities."

Michael, I have thought this very same thing myself so many times while encountering PSI-only interpretations of anomalous events. Recently, I was listening to the audiobook version of "Unbelievable" by Stacy Horn and I got increasingly flustered while hearing about J.B. Rhine working with Eileen Garrett and not at all taking her interpretation of her experience seriously. I mean, maybe behind the scenes he was willing to entertain the notion that she was genuinely working with spirits, but Horn presents the guy as being hell-bent on reducing all anomalous capacities and effects as ESP and tossing everything else out the window.

As you've mentioned (in a roundabout way) before, a major part of exploring this stuff is simply determining what it means to us personally and creating some sense of detachment from the "official consensus." I recently got through Braude's The Gold Leaf Lady and encountered that idea of spirits being a "defense mechanism for mediums" idea you mentioned here as well. I tend to side on your interpretation - that a lack of belief in spirits stops them from being able to come through.

Then again, all of this stuff is really slippery. If it weren't, we'd have it figured out already - always enough evidence to believe and always enough to doubt at the same time. Ugh.

As Rogo is now on the Other Side, and has been for twenty years, he knows the truth of his speculations and theories. Nothing like experience to change one's mind!

Off topic: By the way, Michael, did you know that Professor David Fontana passed away on the 18th October 2010 according to reports on other forums?

Psychologist and author of 45 books including "Is there an Afterlife?" Fontana was a past President of the SPR.

Zerdini, I was unaware of David Fontana's passing. Thanks for letting me know.

His book "Is There an Afterlife?" is a very good, and fairly comprehensive, introduction to this subject.

James Jeans said "The universe begins to look more like a great thought than a great machine." Niels Bohr said, "Everything we call real is made of things that cannot be regarded as real."

Sub atomic particles are more like swirling eddys than anything we've come to associate as being "real." What we really perceive are the electro-magnetic bonds between the particles and not the particles themselves.

Michael Talbot makes pretty much the same assumption in his book the Holographic Universe, that apparitions, marian visions, UFO's, etc. are holographic projections from the collection unconscious. Add to that list, leprechauns, fairies, gnomes, trolls, etc.

or as J. B. S. Haldane says, "The world is not only stranger than we imagine, it is stranger than we can imagine."

Zerdini, can you provide a link to a source?

I found nothing about Fontana being dead, but I don't question what you are writing.

Very sad. I hope he's doing well where he is now. Maybe he will meet Ian Stevenson and Montague Keen? That would be amazing. :-)

Henry Holt, in a preface to his volumes "cosmic relations", thanks , amongst others, Professor W.Romaine Newbold, who read both volumes in manuscript.
I have found, in Popular Science archives, about 12 essays by Newbold. Some titles are: "Spirit writing", "Illusions", "Suggestiblity"
.(Beginning in Dec. 1895)
He acknowledges, in his final essay (Feb.1897.p.507) that his previous essays conformed mostly to the standard (materialistic) view of his day; but expanded his own views in this essay.
The URL for this essay is:

http://books.google.com/books?id=0iIDAAAAMBAJ&dq=solar+energy&as_pt=MAGAZINES&rview=1&source=gbs_all_issues_r&cad=1

The following URL makes it easy to access the archives by year and month:

http://books.google.com/books?id=4ODjVe3M21QC&dq=solar+energy&as_pt=MAGAZINES&rview=1&source=gbs_navlinks_s


Tibetan Buddhists also believe the same thing, that mind can project objects perceptible to others.

It may be that some UFOs are real objects and others are projections, that there isn't a single explanation that accounts for all anomalous phenomenon, or even that what appear to be two cases of like phenomenon really are the same. Then there's things like Bigfoot, or the Mothman.

"It may be that some UFOs are real objects and others are projections" - dmduncan
------------------------------------

It's the same thing. Everything is a projection. A hologram embedded in a hologram. What we call "matter" isn't made of matter.

"For if the concreteness of the world is but a secondary reality and what is "there" is actually a holographic blur of frequencies, and if the brain is also a hologram and only selects some of the frequencies out of this blur and mathematically transforms them into sensory perceptions, what becomes of objective reality? Put quite simply, it ceases to exist. As the religions of the East have long upheld, the material world is Maya, an illusion, and although we may think we are physical beings moving through a physical world, this too is an illusion." - excerpt from The Universe as a hologram, http://www.earthportals.com/hologram.html

The only reason we consider such phenomenon to by based on mental projections is the psychological revolution of the 19th century, with Freud and Jung's ideas being accepted of hand by the intellegencia, who were happy to adopt Freuds notions that nothing was ever their fault.

The amount of eyewitness evidence for ufos and ghosts and apparitions and near death experiences does not allow for simple illusioanry explanations. Only people who wish it to be the case will connect the dots in that way. It's a theory for people who don't like the idea of an after life or some reality out of there control or understanding.

Also, I would like to add a but about poltergeists. How in the world can we assume that they are caused by adolescent psychic angst? One person comes up with the theory and others bounce it around in the paranormal community and it becomes fact, like some urban legend turned common knowledge.

It really is sad to watch parasychologists struggle to make the paranormal fit into the contemporary science community. Its like the kid who wants the others on the playground to think he's cool, but the more he tries to fit it, the more they laugh.

"It's the same thing. Everything is a projection. A hologram embedded in a hologram. What we call 'matter' isn't made of matter."

Yes Art, but some "projections" may be harder than others.

I am with Art, and then I am with Duncan. I was thinking of "maya" too, but then I saw that Art beat me to it.

Some spiritual and UFO phenomena do seem to be illusory, or the product of what might be called "background intelligence" (analogous to the background radiation of the physical universe).

Other phenomena, however, clearly seem to be the product of "real" spirits and not the product of currently living humans.

And it seems that you can have a phenomenon anywhere on the spectrum, from the product of the Divine on down to the product of barely intelligent spiritual detritus.

That is how UFO's are able to defy the laws of physics, appear and disappear, etc. They are made out of light. I seem to recall that there is something about UFO's in The Holographic Universe by Michael Talbot.

I am interested in the phenomenon of channeling but am annoyed by the many contradictory statements in different channeled messages. A book which I found very interesting is "Communication with the spirit world" by Johannes Greber, a former catholic priest. (http://www.tiptopwebsite.com/custommusic/xellers1.pdf). Some chapters of this book are devoted to physical mediumism. He explains these phenomena with the concept of “Odic Force” (p. 75) which seems to be related to the oldfashioned theory of vitalism. I would be very interested what you think about this explanation.

Sometimes I think that psychical research's greatest handicap today is not archskeptics, but parapsychologists.

What is a "parapsychologist"?

1. Someone who is afraid of the term "psychical research" and refuses to be associated with it.

2. Very likely, someone who works for an academic institution and must constantly work to sound "reasonable" to the technicians around him.

3. Someone who shies away from the issues that matter, such as postmortem survival, and concentrates on micro-phenomena.

4. Someone who will always hypothesize an alternative explanation to spirits for any paranormal phenomenon -- unconscious projection being the current favorite.

5. Someone who is unfamiliar with the vast body of psychical research, conducted by real scientists who didn't feel the need to twist the evidence to support a materialistic or purely psychological basis for the paranormal.

The academic stranglehold on psychical research must be resisted, or better yet, ignored.

Not exactly on point, but I just recently came across this interesting observation in a 1930 book, "Enchanted Boundary," by Walter Franklin Prince. It goes to the convoluted complexity of all psychical research and parapsychology.

“If spirits are attempting to get their thoughts through to us they must by this time be bewildered by the difficulties of telling us anything that, in case we are ingenious in imagining hypotheses, will be regarded as at all satisfactory. If they tell us what we are at the moment thinking of, we pronounce it telepathy under the very conditions by which we appear to have had successful results between the living; if they tell us what we are not at the moment thinking of, we say that the medium has read our subconscious mind.

“If what they declare we cannot remember ever to have known but find by inquiry it is true, we say that our latent memories have been explored; if it proves that we never knew what is declared, but Grandfather Robinson in Missouri knows one item of it, Aunt Dorinda in New Hampshire knows another item and Cousin Gladys in Saskatchewan knows a third, we say that something has traveled from the medium to these widely separated relatives, dug out the facts from their memories while they were busy about their occupations, and brought them back, or that something has attracted these memories like a magnet and brought them to the experiment room from Missouri, New Hampshire, and Saskatchewan.

“If no living person to whom it was of any concern knew of the matter, but a man in Iceland or Timbuctu may have read it in a book of which he has the sole surviving copy, we say that the telepathic current found its way to that man; and all else failing, there are those of us who will say that it is a case of memory ‘embryolgically’ transmitted from dead and gone generations, or else the medium has been angling in the Cosmic Reservoir.”

Roy Stemman's tribute to David Fontana:

http://paranormalreview.com/articles/20101021

I wonder why it is so much easier to believe in telepathy than survival? I find it easier, at least when I'm referring to my experiences after they've occurred.

When I'm having an experience I just take it at face value (ie. talking to a dead guy). It's much simpler to do it that way then it is to wonder about a shopping list of convoluted mechanisms.

But when I refer to the experiences afterwards, I'm quick to label the ghosts as imaginary friends with bits of psi added into to make them realistic or as projections of information from another person. For some reason, that seems just a little less crazy then talking to a dead guy is.

Would you consider it a form of Ockam's Razor in a sense, Sandy? The simplest explanation is the best one? Of course, despite that, do you think there are aspects of your experiences that may point that you are not using a form of PSI to dig out information on the deceased but rather you are talking to them?

The one thing I've noticed that suggests my ghosts could be discarnate entities is that they have different skill sets when it comes to communicating. They are all unique; they seem to get better at communicating with practise and they learn from their experiences.

Selassie wrote:

Zerdini, can you provide a link to a source?

I found nothing about Fontana being dead, but I don't question what you are writing.

Very sad. I hope he's doing well where he is now. Maybe he will meet Ian Stevenson and Montague Keen? That would be amazing. :-)

Sorry for the delay in replying but I have been dealing with a personal bereavement. No doubt you have read elsewhere of Fontana's passing.

I don't doubt that he will meet up with his SPR colleagues as well as members of his family but whether he or his colleagues will be able to communicate their findings is open to question.The calibre of present-day mediums, and mediumship generally, is very disappointing.

I'm sure most of the people here already read Dean Radin's blog, but in case you missed it, this is really interesting:

http://deanradin.blogspot.com/2010/10/retrocausation-in-psychology-today.html

Thanks Jane. Good article and goes along with my theory that free will is an illusion. I am very suspicious of free will and lean heavily towards fate and predestination.

In control? Think again. Our ideas of brain and human nature are myths

http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2009/aug/23/brain-society-politics

Can This Black Box See Into the Future?

http://www.redorbit.com/news/science/126649/can_this_black_box_see_into_the_future/

Is this REALLY proof that man can see into the future?

http://www.thisislondon.co.uk/news/article-23395112-details/Is%20this%20REALLY%20proof%20that%20man%20can%20see%20into%20the%20future/article.do

excerpt from Carl Turner's experience:
"I had the realization that I was everywhere at the same time...and I mean everywhere. I knew that everything is perfect and happening according to some divine plan, regardless of all the things we see as wrong with the world."
http://www.beyondreligion.com/su_personal/dreamsvisions-kundalini.htm


I dreamed of a bowl of slithering black eels and two nights later I was watching a program about Rome on the history channel and they were talking about one of the Ceasars who would cut up his enemies and feed them to eels and on the program they showed a bowl of slithering black eels just like the one in my dream.

Another time I dreamed about this huge swordfish and then a couple of nights later I was watching The Perfect Storm on TV and they showed them catching these huge swordfish that looked exactly like the ones in my dream.

I dreamed about the space shuttle crashing into our back yard and the pieces were everywhere and in my dream I was looking for my camera so I could take pictures of it but the Feds came too fast and picked up the pieces before I could take a picture and then the next week one of the space shuttles exploded and pieces were landing in people's backyards and the Feds told them not to touch the debris because it was contaminated.

Another time I dreamed about two guys who were trying to blow up a dam and in the morning when I woke up I called the FBI office in Knoxville and said to them "you might think I'm crazy but I've had dreams before that came true and last night I dreamed about terrorists trying to blow up a dam." The FBI agent thanked me and told me he didn't think I was crazy - then the next week a park ranger at Norris Dam which was close to where we lived caught two Egyptian guys out on Norris Dam at 5:30 am and they were taking pictures. It turned out that both of the guys were in the country illegally and had fake I.D.s.

true story - I called the FBI office the week before this happened and told them about my dream:

TENN: Feds Investigate Suspicious Activity at Norris Dam (Middle ...
"The manager of the Norris Dam marina, Steve Pemberton, ... Both men were from Cairo, Egypt. The fake documents charges were filed against"
http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/856263/posts

I've had quite a few other "precognitive dreams" that have come true. I think it might happen to me because I have sleep apnea probably because I'm fat. 6' tall and 300 lbs.

Dr. Andrew Sullivan points out in his book "Ghost Detective" that the PK human agent theory does not seem to expain cases where other phenomena is reported along with object movement. The mystery that PK solves everything paranormal kind of falls flat.

I have been a paranormal investigator since 2004 and I had a experience where something invisible to my eye walked right by me in an old schoolhouse built in the 1880's that was barely standing. I had my recorder on and captured it on audio. I could not debunk it. It never happened again on any case after that either. Did I create that through PK? Possibly, but since I have not been able to recreate it, I doubt it now.

We have investigated one active house where we have captured over 30 different EVP ( Electronic Voice Phenomena)voices in the span of 5 investigations and we even captured the clients dead cat meowing during the investigation reveal. Yet, after the last investigation at the location I did not capture another EVP for almost a year of investigating private cases. I used to think that someone on our team was imprinting EVP's on audio recorders using PK or it could have been myself doing it without knowing it, but know now I have to reject that theory too.

While PK can explain some paranormal events I think it can't scratch the surface of others.


James

James, if the ghosts are affecting electronic equipment (such as imprinting EVPs), wouldn't they be using pk to do so?

Or,

Some other force we do not understand or even know about.

James

I stated Dr. Andrew Sullivan wrote "Ghost Detective" but it was Dr. Andrew Nichols. Everyone interested in PK should pick it up.


James

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