To Light The Way Forward: Luminous Anomaly Analysis Within A Paramagnetic Environment
There have been many luminous anomaly photos captured by paranormal researchers since the Society For Psychical Research was founded in 1882 related to the subject of ghosts, apparitions and poltergeist activity. Most are, at best, intriguing and inexplicable, but never really serve to improve our knowledge of the forces at work in such events.
Then comes the recent photo taken by Tara Mead at David Oman’s house in August of 2014. This most incredible photo might help parapsychologists to better understand what is really transpiring in such environments.
But let’s begin with the way that real science, which parapsychology is, works to clinically study phenomena.
It’s begins with the Ockham’s Razor principle, which simply stated, says that all things being equal, you start with the most simplistic explanation of a given phenomenon and then slowly work your way to the most unlikely cause. Sort of deductive reasoning.
What this means is that before we assume that an event is truly paranormal in nature, we must first rule out every other possible explanation. This takes time, scientific research and analysis, and the careful collection of data within experiments conducted under controlled laboratory conditions. But as some aspects of parapsychology cannot be lured into a lab for closer scrutiny, we must therefore resort to the only other method available to us for studying such events; collecting observational data over a very long period of time in the hope of discovering longitudinal patterns in such data.
When investigating haunted houses, other than measuring the localized EMF environment and the people’s medical and psychological condition at the heart of the case, this is all that’s really left for us to do other than hoping to encounter something of interest that can be documented and recorded with scientific instruments (And by the way, there is no machine on earth that can measure a ghost or spirit. If we don’t know what these things are, how can we build machines to measure them (read Ghost In The Machine, on this site for more details on this)? Instruments are designed to measure only what we know of, and there is no scientific evidence even suggesting that such phenomena emit EMFs, nuclear or gravitational forces.
However, in some cases, like in this one, we see how nature truly does abhor a vacuum, as there is a meeting of the minds, or sciences, in that there is blatant evidence that the forces we do know of, electromagnetism in this case, are hard at work triggering phenomena we currently call paranormal. And by keeping meticulous track of how the energies we do know of affect the energies we don’t know of, the better our understanding of both will be in the end.
But that being said, there is ample evidence that neither electromagnetism, nuclear or gravitational forces are the causal agents of paranormal events of any type, from ESP and remote viewing all the way to RSPK and apparitions, but they can and do seem to mediate them. And it is this mediation process to which I am referring to here. If the right person is in the right EMF environment, paranormal phenomena is more likely to occur than if they are not in such a location.
To start out with a bang, let me make my intentions perfectly clear here. In my personal and professional opinion, Tara Mead’s photo and the enhancements I’ve done to it, may turn out to be some of the most significant and relevant photos ever captured in the field of parapsychology, and the reasons behind my thinking are discussed in detail below.
But before we can get into the photo, I again must make some direct and blanket statements about the ongoing phenomena at David Oman’s house.
I firmly believe that David’s house is haunted, but that’s a very generic term which covers a lot of ground, sort of like saying that a machine flies through the air without ever understanding anything about what makes and allows a plane to fly, such as thrust, lift, drag and aerodynamics in general, let alone lighter-than-air ships.
There are definitive and demonstrable reasons that David’s house is “haunted”, and they are as plain as the nose on one’s face if one bothers to look. But at the same time, I do not for even a nanosecond believe that the disembodied spirits of Sharon Tate, Jay Sebring and the like, are floating around David’s house having conversations with him, anyone else, or are responsible for the various paranormal events occurring there. From what I’ve encountered, recorded and learned on my own and through other investigators who have visited this location, they are very real, scientific reasons for the paranormal phenomena occurring there that do not in any way suggest that ghosts are present and accounted for. But those reason may finally help clarify the reasons underlying such occurrences.
David’s house sits up at near the top of Cielo Drive in Benedict Canyon (northern Beverly Hills) which just happens to be a United States Geological Survey (USGS) geomagnetic anomaly site, meaning that the geomagnetic field there has a substantially higher amplitude and perhaps even some frequency oscillation that is different than normal, surrounding terrain does. And if that wasn’t enough, the actual construction of David’s house likely serves to dramatically strengthen the already existing high-amplitude geomagnetic field.
As I briefly discussed on Zak Bagan’s Ghost Adventures Aftershocks show of March 28, 2015, when this house was built they had to sink heavy iron girders into the side of the hill upon which house sits. These metal girders are obviously ferromagnetic, meaning they conduct electromagnetic fields and act for the most part like giant, capacitive-discharge antennae. These girders are both vertical and horizontal in terms of their placement into the hillside.
The earth’s magnetic field runs parallel to the earth’s surface, while the electric field is perpendicular to it. By sinking the iron girders into the ground at numerous different angles into the hillside, the high-amplitude geomagnetic field is now being emitted both paralleling and perpendicular to the earth’s surface, a situation that might easily affect the central nervous systems of people who are hypersensitive to EMFs (like myself and many others).
Therefore, we have very powerful magnetic fields flowing in every possible direction simultaneously, which is contrary to the way they normally exist on earth. This is why we have repeatedly seen compass needles spin within David’s house. which are indicative of a quadrapole, which supposedly does not exist in nature, and this is part of the reason why so many people get physically while there for extended amount of time.
In point of fact, over the course of the year I investigated the Oman case (2005-6), I kept a medical log on the case once I observed how this location made me and many others ill just by being there (there further details of this at the blog entitled Cielo Drive Convergence: The Ultimate Field Laboratory elsewhere on this site).
As it turns out, I recorded data on sixty-one (61) people who had visited the house while I was investigating it. And as it turns out, forty-two (42) of them, that’s 68.9%, became severely ill just by spending several hours within David’s house. Even given what I already knew about the effects EMFs can have on people, almost 70% is an astounding percentage. I expected a number somewhere between 5 and 15%, not 68.9%.
This unique magnetic location might very well be toxic to some, and as I told Zak Bagans on the two of his shows I appeared in, there is no amount of cash incentive to make me return to David Oman’s house. What good is money if you’re crippled or dead? What good is a Porsche 918 if you can no longer drive or are in a pine box six feet beneath the ground?
When dealing with such paranormal activity, it’s vital that we realize that such is the result of a confluence, that is, a concert of different variables working together to trigger and generate the phenomenon in question. Moreover, if one is hypersensitive to EMFs and are either seizure prone or epileptic, then being in close proximity to powerful EMFs can serve as triggers by stimulating your brain and central nervous system. This is part of how we define a poltergeist agent today.
I have the sneaking suspicion that certain people act as biological operational amplifiers, waveguides and focal planes. These terms are all common nomenclature used in physics, electronics and engineering, as are discussed in much greater depth in my book Aliens Above, Ghosts Below: Explorations of the Unknown.
These variables at work are the following: 1) Location (electromagnetic/geomagnetic anomalies present), 2) Hypersensitivity to EMFs (even close proximity to high level 60 Hz. fields, 3) Being either seizure prone or epileptic, 4) the inductive resonance at the location is able to couple with your brain and central nervous system (which is very subjective and varies from one person to the next), and 5) poor emotional coping mechanism for stress of the individuals within said environment.
However, while it appears to be true that most poltergeist agents are either seizure prone or epileptic, most people suffering from epilepsy or just being seizure prone, are not poltergeist agents. This means that the linkage here is unilateral, not bilateral in nature. Obviously, there are some missing or unknown variables in the middle that are not yet known. Most likely, it’s the individuals inability to cope with emotional stress and their heightened sensitivity to EMFs. And sometimes, the neurological end of things is as simple as the person having neuro-muscular spasms which prevents them from sleeping, and are prescribed and anti-convulsant medication, which stops the spasms as well as the RSPK activity.
Now that I’ve set the stage, let me proceed to explain what makes Tara Mead’s photo so unique.
This first photo is the original one taken by Tara on that August night last year, and it clearly shows what appears to be a rather intense luminous anomaly that was not visible to the naked eye at the time. The reason this photo was taken was that Tara noticed that the subject, Scottie Megelin, seemed to be having an adverse reaction to being in the very bottom room of David’s home. Like a wise photographer, rather than asking Scottie what was going on with her, Tara simply snapped off a photo.
The photo was a one in-a-billion chance shot that just happened to coincide with the way the high-amplitude geomagnetic field was inductively coupling with Scottie’s brain and central nervous system. If I had to make a bet, I’d guess that Scottie was right on the edge of having a very low-level convulsion or seizure due to the inductive resonance coupling with the high-amplitude geomagnetic field and her brain and central nervous system.
Thankfully for Scottie, this effect was not as pronounced as the way this house has affected others who’ve visited David’s house. The first time I spent more than an hour there in July of 2005, I suddenly turned beet red while at the base of the circular stairwell at the back of house and then passed out. No seizure, I just lost consciousness. Thankfully, Steve Rubin (read the blog entitled Cielo Drive Convergence: The Ultimate Field Laboratory elsewhere on this site to discover who Steven is) who was next to me, prevented my collapsing onto the floor.
It took 21 hours at the computer subjecting the original photograph to what’s called hyperspectral image enhancement. It’s important to understand that the use of the hyperspectral nomenclature used here is not in any way associated with the paranormal. It’s a specific type of image enhancement where you can focus on certain specific wavelengths of light to enhance some aspects of the photo, while diminishing others. This form of image enhancement is used on orbiting satellites for everything from weather analysis, crop growth, water saturation on earth and on other planets as well. And of course, it’s used in surveillance satellites looking down upon our enemies to track their activity.
Attached are four photos. The first, at the left here, is the original photo taken by Tara Viosca Mead in early August of 2014 at this house, and depicts some type of luminous anomaly that was not visible to the naked eye, but appeared in the photo. Also notice on camera left, to the lady’s right, there’s a reflection of this anomaly in the glass pane covering something hanging on the wall.
The second, third and fourth photos are ones that I subjected to hyperspectral image enhancement to get more detail out of them. Again, please understand that the term hyperspectral has absolutely nothing whatsoever to do with the paranormal, it’s simply the nomenclature used to describe a specific type of image enhancement.
In the second photo you see here at the left was the first hyperspectral image enhancement pass to reduce background noise clutter so as to brighten the anomaly over the woman’s face. Once again, please take note of the reflected image middle of camera left.
The next photo seen here at the left, is another hyperspectral enhancement pass to further sharpen and clarify the anomaly. There appears to be heightened degree of clarity in terms of the relative heat signature assigned to the pass, as the closer the anomaly was to the Scottie’s head, the hotter it appeared to be in the enhancement. Please also note the extraordinary configuration at the extreme upper left of the anomaly, like an upside down goblet with a broken crooked stem. I would even put forth a guess as to what that is.
Even more startling are the seeming, horizontal bands of energy circling around Scottie’s head. These appear to depict a cyclonic rotation that’s possibly depicting the intense coupling between the localized, high amplitude geomagnetic field and Scottie’s brain. What we might be seeing here for the very first time outside a medical imaged Positron Emission Tomography (PET) is an optical analog of the interaction of the paramagnetic environment and the lady in the photo. This photo might be one of the most relevant photos ever captured in this field.
The final photo is the most enhanced and displays what appears to be very distinctive boundaries associated with the relative heat index linked to the enhancement, when all the background clutter is removed. If I had to make a guess as to what’s being depicted here, it’s that Scottie was experiencing some form of mild convulsion or very petite seizure due to her brain’s inductively coupling with the high-amplitude geomagnetic field present in the house.
Also, note the same, odd little “fixture” a the extreme upper left of the anomaly that looks like upside-down goblet attached to a crooked stem, which in reality doesn’t exist. With each level of enhancement, the image becomes stranger and stranger.
The real question here is, “Why wasn’t this luminous anomaly visible to the naked eye when it was reflecting off glass a few feet away?” Perhaps because it occurred for such a short amount of time, say about 1,000th of-a-second. Our eye and brain are not designed to detect such rapid bursts of light, and Tara took her photo in that very split second when this incredible luminous anomaly appeared. This photo could be one of the most significant pictures ever taken in the history of parapsychology.
Adding to the mystery here, there appears to have been numerous sources of light present when this photo was taken. In fact, there may be as many as three different sources including the flash of Tara’s camera. This in and of itself, suggests the possibility that what’s being seen here is somewhat equivalent to an interference pattern generated when subject and reference light sources converge during the creation of holograms. But this is only a theory at present, as coherent light sources were certainly not in use in that house at any time. As I was not present that night at Oman’s house, I cannot ever really know what the details of the artificial illumination sources were at that instant, as no one kept any records of things.
In closing, it’s very important to understand that such events do not simply happen on their own, as there are a multitude of factors that end up creating and mediating what we call paranormal activity. Many of these are now understood only in the most cursory of ways, yet there’s much more to learn about how the physical world we all live in ends up triggering and manipulating such events.
This whole matter is far more complicated than we ever imagined. So much so, that if I went back in time to 46 years ago when I started my research and told my young self what we know today, my young self would tell my older self, that he was nuts. What we expected to learn we did not, what we never expected to learn ended up staring us right in our face.
Bottom line, if one do not really understand how the physical world around them works, how then can they even begin to speculate or theorize on what might exist beyond its boundaries?
US Government Psychic Super Computer? The Ultimate High Strangeness
Every morning, hundreds of meteorologists wake, fill their coffee mugs, and take one bold look at the sky. What will tomorrow bring? Rain, sun, snow? Hurricane? Polar vortex? These are the predictions that meteorologists make every day.
Now imagine using the same idea to foresee the next cyberattack.
The US government is hoping to develop a computer which would do just that. The intelligence community is opening a contest to software engineers to see who can develop the technology.
Known as the Cyber-attack Automated Unconventional Sensor Environment, or CAUSE, the project was conceived by the Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity (IARPA) as a four-year race to develop the software. Whoever does so first will receive an as-yet undetermined financial prize.
Nearly 150 competitors from the private sector and academia have expressed interest.
“[This is] an industry that has invested heavily in analyzing the effects or the symptoms of cyberattacks instead of analyzing and mitigating the – cause – of cyberattacks,” IARPA program manager Rob Rahmer told Nextgov. “Instead of reporting relevant events that happen today or in previous days, decision makers will benefit from knowing what is likely to happen tomorrow.”
The idea is to analyze data that floats in the social media sphere, as well as other sources in the deep web, to detect a broader pattern.
“If you were able to look at every single Facebook post and you processed everything and ran it through some filter, through the conversations and the little day-to-day things people do, you could actually start to see larger patterns and you could imagine that is a ton of data,” David Burke, research lead for machine learning at computer science research firm Galois, told Nextgov. “You would need some sort of big data technology that you’d have to bring to bear to be able to digest all that.”
It’s a big job. Only a computer could be capable of sorting through the millions of daily Facebook posts, everything from political outrage, to prom selfies, to slightly disgruntled grandfathers posting breadstick complaints to the page of a Hyattsville Olive Garden.
But that kind of massive data collection isn’t exactly a popular notion, given the current climate surrounding the revelations of Edward Snowden about NSA spying.
“Currently, CAUSE is planned to be an unclassified program,” Rahmer said.
But that only applies to its current, contest stage of development. While contest participants will not be given access to the National Security Agency intel, it is unclear how this technology could blend with the surveillance apparatus once completed.
Earlier this month, the Obama administration announced the formation of a new cybersecurity agency called the Cyber Threat Intelligence Integration Center. That agency’s goal is to “connect the dots between various cyber threats in as close as real time as possible,” according to an anonymous White House officials speaking to the Washington Post.
“The internet cannot be protected by the government, because the government will never permit a system that it can’t zero into,” Judge Andrew Napolitano told Fox Business. “Any government agency that is big enough to protect us, is big enough to surveil us.”
While the “real-time” aspect of the CTIIC’s mission statement may worry privacy advocates, so-called psychic computers may present even graver concerns, potentially allowing the government to twist its way even deeper into Americans’ digital lives.
Precognition: The Shape Of Things To Come?
What if a terrible truth awaits us at the end of the paranormal research road? What if what we learn forever alters our current perspective on birth, life and death, as well as the belief in free will versus determinism? The most important questions pondered by the human condition are; Who are we? Where did we come from, and where are we going? Are we totally free to venture forth in any direction we choose, or are there subtle, yet powerful forces at work that unconsciously guide us through time and space to a fixed future reality? Are we all but performers in a massive, cosmic play that we live in, or do we write the script every day when we set forth on our life’s trek? A line from The Time Machine (MGM, 1960) uttered by the late Rod Taylor playing H.G. Wells, speaks quite eloquently on this matter; “Can man control his destiny, can he change the shape of things to come?” What if we discover that the future is as immutable as the past is? Then what?
What you’re about to read are some stories excerpted from my book, Aliens Above, Ghosts Below: Explorations of the Unknown, that discuss intriguing instances of precognition that are certainly interpretable by each person who reads them, but as a whole, they suggest that the reality we live in is far stranger and more complex than we ever imagined.
It was early 1961 and the newly elected President Kennedy was being sworn into office, where our future looked positive and productive at the hands of the youngest president our nation ever had. But this didn’t stop the disturbing images that raced through my head while watching the ceremonies.
What I kept feeling, hearing and knowing was that JFK would be killed right around Thanksgiving of 1963, it was like someone kept saying that to me over and over again in my head. No matter what I did or tried to do, the feelings persisted. In fact, they grew so intense, that I told my parents who already thought I was a very strange.
My mother didn’t even want to hear what I was saying as it was very upsetting to her, but my father somewhat listened, and to prove me wrong, he bet me $50, a lot to a child of thirteen in those days. So I accepted the bet just to stop my parents looking at me like I was an alien dropped into their home.
As time move forward, my parents pretty much forgot the incident, but I did not, and when we arrived at November 22, 1963, my parents gave me the strangest look I ever saw; one of absolute distance and fear, like they didn’t even know who I was anymore. In fact, it got so strained and weird after this, the my parents really didn’t speak to me for almost three weeks, as they fearful and confused.
As a senior in college (1970) I met a beautiful girl in one of my classes named Sharon, who bared a striking resemblance to the contemporary actress Jane Krakowski. We began dating and everything seemed just fine. In many ways, Sharon was one of the better relationships I’ve ever had. She was one of the few blond women I’ve ever dated. We were compatible in almost every way and shared many interests. But then came the dreams.
In these dreams I had about Sharon, I always found myself in the backseat of a late-model car. Sharon was in the passenger seat and although I did not see myself behind the wheel, I assumed that I was the driver even though I was unable to even distinguish the car’s dashboard layout, let alone determine who was behind the wheel.
We turned down the street Sharon lived on in Northridge, and as we approached the cul-de-sac upon which her home rested, a speeding car came out of nowhere and hit us head on. The impact was extremely violent.
All I remembered about the other vehicle was that it was dark in color and medium-sized. The car Sharon and I were in suffered extensive damage, leaving Sharon’s broken and bloody body lying motionless before me.
The recurring nature of this dream was very disturbing for obvious reasons. After these recurring nightmares, I finally broached the subject with Sharon and, as expected, she was not pleased. But not for the reasons one might expect.
Unfortunately, Sharon believed that I was fabricating this dream simply as a cheap way of ending our relationship. She felt that as I lived in West Los Angeles and she lived all the way out in the northwestern San Fernando Valley, I simply didn’t want to drive all that distance to see her.
In those days, the price of gasoline here in Los Angeles was around twenty-eight cents ($0.28) per gallon for high-octane (I know, depressing, isn’t it?), so the cost of fuel was not a concern. What was of concern was Sharon’s well being as well as my own.
As this matter dragged on, Sharon became so upset that she just walked away from the relationship for what she felt were very obvious reasons. I really couldn’t blame her, could I? What would I have done if the situation were reversed? Would I have believed her any more than she believed me? Probably not.
A short time later, Sharon began dating someone else, and the dream I had did, in fact, occur, with one significant exception; I was not in he car during the accident. Sharon was badly injured and has required continuous medical care throughout her life. Her date on that evening, the driver of the car she was in, unfortunately did not survive the violent collision.
Apparently, my ego and logic put me in the driver’s seat during my dream. I foolishly believed that by no longer dating Sharon I would change the course of the future, thereby preventing the accident.
All that really occurred was that I incorrectly interpreted the precognized event. A very hard dose of reality to swallow at such a young age. So much for changing the shape of things to come!
This particular event somewhat reminds me of one of the original Twilight Zone episodes (CBS, 1959-1964) wherein Russell Johnson (the professor from Gillian’s Island) travels back in time and attempts to prevent the assassination of President Abraham Lincoln in April of 1865. Johnson’s character discovers that his inadequate recall of the assassination’s specifics stops him from saving Lincoln’s life at Ford’s theater.
The conclusion of this particular Twilight Zone episode, that of Rod Serling’s closing narration, is that some aspects of time are open to change while others are not. What if, in the end, we discover that future events are no different from those in the past, and that we have no more power to control our destiny than we can alter events of the past? It would be interesting to learn how such foreknowledge would alter the ways in which we currently live our lives? I wonder what we might do different or as to whether we would stubbornly attempt to alter what as to be?
While staying over my girlfriend Darlene’s apartment in West Los Angeles in 1975, I had a very disturbing dream. In my dream I’m piloting a TWA 747. The way I recognized this specific carrier was by the aircraft’s color scheme…red and white, and of course the letters TWA helped a lot.
I’m in the cockpit looking out where I was able to observe that we were starting our descent and approach for landing in South Africa. As the cruising altitude of airliners is way too low to observe such graphic continental features, it’s intriguing that I somehow knew we were approaching South Africa.
Suddenly, the drone of the four large turbofan engines ceased. The flight controls were dead and all the instruments were dark. The aircraft was losing altitude very rapidly, dropping like a stone.
I went through all the normal procedures to re-start the engines, but to no avail. Suddenly, the aircraft impacted the ground with tremendous force. The violent explosion blew the aircraft apart. The crash and resulting fire was so fierce that it figuratively and literally blew me out of bed, taking Darlene to the floor with me. I was covered in sweat.
After I told Darlene about the dream, I could immediately see the look on her face; that of worry, concern and puzzlement. When I calmed down, I did a little research and discovered that a 747 had, in fact, never before crashed as they had a perfect service record. Remember, this was 1975 and Boeing 747’s were in commercial service for only several years.
The problem from my perspective was that I had no information whatsoever as to when said crash would occur. Would it occur within days, weeks or months, and on what particular day at what time? Therefore, attempting to contact the FAA or TWA about my dream would prove to be futile and foolish, if not insane.
Five days later, the first 747 did, in fact, crash. It was a TWA and it crashed approaching South Africa. Talk about feeling helpless and overwhelmed by the forces around you. What’s the point of knowing such things if one cannot intervene to prevent them?
Can you imagine the response of the FAA or one of major airlines if such a call was placed today in the aftermath of 911? How soon to do think it would be before the FBI would be at my door with guns drawn? I wonder if such a precognitive event as this will ever be put to the test in today’s homeland security environment? How would such an event be played out given the current, overly paranoid concerns (and perhaps for good reason) of our government?
Another, even more extraordinary precognitive incident occurred in 1978 during the course of one of our psi training groups held at UCLA on Wednesday nights. These training groups, which began in 1971, applied positive feedback and reinforcement incorporating a free-verbal response (FVR) as opposed to forced-choice method, as a learning paradigm to enhance paranormal perception.
In those halcyon times, these perceptions were referred to as telepathy, clairvoyance, precognition and retrocognition, as opposed to the all-encompassing “remote viewing” nomenclature of today. A rose by any other name.
As we had been conducting these groups for seven years, even the continued positive results we were achieving were now boring. You know, that been there, done that, sort of feeling. More specifically, the ability of reaching into another’s mind or observing things at a distance, we now perceived as somewhat commonplace and ordinary. Hard to believe, I know. However, when there is high degree of success and continuity with such extraordinary research efforts, one tends to become jaded. I guess that this attitude is just part of being human?
In an effort to make things more interesting, we decided to attempt our first precognitive effort with this group.
We turned off the lights in the Neuropsychiatric Institutes’s C-floor observation/conference room and went through our normal progressive muscular relaxation procedure. Once we had attained this hypo-metabolic state, we mentally focused on the “target” person of the next week’s first session.
In a way, the verbal reinforcements given during this part of this session were similar to what Christopher Reeve as Richard Collier in Somewhere In Time (Universal, 1980) verbalized when attempting to physically transport himself back through time. Except of course, we didn’t expect to physically travel in time, and obviously we weren’t producing a fantasy film at the time either.
We began describing the “target” person as a tall, beautifully statuesque, blue-eyed blond girl dressed in a tan business suit. We continued our verbalizations into the centrally placed, amplified, microphone within the otherwise sensory-deprived room as we clearly saw the specific number on the chair in which she was sitting (there were twenty-four chairs in this conference room, each of which was numbered).
As the session continued, we “saw” a very large mansion-like home, within which was a large baby-grand piano. Numerous bits of varying types of personal information continued to flow from our mouths for quite some time. And then, silence.
Vocally piercing the darkened conference room, we all abruptly began describing a tall man wearing all black, with a black hat, black mask, a flowing black cape and an imposing sword. I remember thinking, what kind of crap are we uttering? The session ended and we didn’t give much thought to what we had just said because it wasn’t relevant yet.
It was now one week later and another group was about to begin. However, on this particular evening, no guest member from the prior week was allowed to bring a visitor. Any new participants on this night could only arrive through third parties who had not been in attendance for the last several weeks, i.e., through independent means.
When each new person arrived they were handed a sealed envelope with a number from one through twelve written on a piece of paper within it. Once in the conference room, we rolled the dice and then asked all new visitors to open their sealed envelopes. Whichever person’s number fit the dice roll was the randomly chosen target person for the first session.
We had all pretty much forgotten what we had said a week earlier, so when a statuesque blue-eyed, blond girl’s number matched the dice roll, we didn’t give it second thought.
I asked this stunning 19-yr old woman, named Toni, to replay the audiotape from the week before and if she heard any statements that directly related to her, stop the tape and comment on them. If the statements were incorrect, let the tape run without interruption. Toni didn’t immediately understand what I just said, forcing me clarify this protocol again.
Toni listens, as voices clearly describe her appearance and clothing in detail as well as the exact number of the chair she is seated in. Her look is one of astonishment, although the best was yet to come. When she hears the specific description of the mansion in the hills with the baby grand piano, her eyes open even wider, as those data points were also correct. But those could have been coincidence, couldn’t they?
However, then came what I believe to be one of the most fascinating pieces of precognized information that has ever been documented? Let’s see if you agree.
When we finished our discourse on the black costumed man with the mask and sword, Toni let out a somewhat muffled scream. There was hesitation in her voice and for good reason.
Toni looked at me and said: “How do you know who I am?” My immediate response was to look at her while shrugging my shoulders, “What do you mean, who you are?” Toni tells our group that her full name is “Toni Williams”. We all looked at Toni with blank, expressionless faces, as we did not understand what she was referring to. Who was Toni Williams?
Realizing that our group really didn’t know who “Toni Williams” was, she connected the dots for us. Apparently, Toni knew all too well exactly who the masked, darkly dressed, swordsman was. In fact, she knew him for her entire life.
The ornately costumed man turned out to be her father, Guy Williams, the actor who played Zorro in the Disney television series from the late fifties and early sixties. You might better remember Guy Williams from another TV series in the mid-sixties, where he played Professor John Robinson in CBS’s Lost In Space.
Toni was speechless and just a little frightened. She looked at all of us as though we were beings from another reality. She sheepishly asked when this tape was made and we told her exactly one week earlier. However, Toni did not even know of, or that she was even coming to our group until several hours earlier that very day!
Toni’s question was a simple one. How could we have so accurately described her and her surroundings seven days earlier when she wasn’t even aware of us, or of our group?
Indeed, how could we have perceived such an event unless the information pertaining to it already existed? What are the odds of us accurately describing such state specific information about an event one hundred and sixty-eight hours before it occurred?
What’s the probability of our precisely describing the Zorro character as related to his daughter one week prior to her random appearance and selection as a target in our group? A million-to-one? A billion-to-one? A trillion-to-one? Okay, let’s just say astronomical and leave it at that! Does this event sound like we were randomly guessing as to the shape of things to come? Believe it or not, there have been those individuals over the decades that actually believed that we somehow deduced or logically inferred the information described herein. What do you think?
Needless to say, Toni never again returned to participate in one of our research groups, as her one experience with us was more than enough. I can certainly understand how unsettling such an unusual experience can be. But then, as I think about it, maybe I can’t.
As we were all very impressed with our first foray into the future, we attempted to replicate our results several months later, little knowing what the full emotional effects of such accurately precognized information would have on some of us.
During this second attempt things went very differently though. All any of us could “sense” was fire, and more fire. We didn’t know why this was, but it certainly wasn’t worth getting all that upset over. Well, at least, not until the next day.
On that following Thursday, while up in the lab on 2-South of the NPI, I heard the arrival of many fire engines. Racing down to the C-Floor, I discovered that our conference room had apparently caught fire due to a shorting socket that sparked the drapes covering the room’s west-facing wall. What a coincidence and shock (oops, there’s another pun). And no, I did not start the fire myself to produce a self-fulfilling prophecy.
After these two successful treks into the future, several of our regular group members became depressed and starting having anxiety attacks about the possibility that the future is as immutable as the past, and that free will may be little more than an illusion.
My response to these reactions was simple, “Who cares! We’re still going to live out our lives making daily judgments and choices without knowing the shape of things to come whether the future is random and open to change or predestined.” For some reason, my attitude regarding such matters doesn’t seem to be shared by many others. Why is that?
For some reason, I cannot as yet fathom the belief that reality is random and chaotic. To me personally, my experiences and research strongly suggest that reality is finely ordered and predetermined, and this belief gives me a sense of inner peace.
Maybe I just can’t accept the notion that anything as vast and extraordinarily intricate and complex as the universe could be the result of random, chaotic energy. No way! Or perhaps, I’ve had way too many precognitive experiences growing up, both in and out of the lab environment to believe otherwise?
In this regard, there is another precognitive event from my past at the UCLA lab that I believe is worthy of consideration.
In early 1978 and I had a very vivid dream about the parapsychology lab I worked in at UCLA. In this dream, we’re all at the lab, Dr. Moss, Kerry, John and Francis as well as this author.
Suddenly, the head of the NPI, Dr. West, walked in and began talking about his dislike of the work we were doing. In the midst of his ranting, the entire room began to violently shake, as though we were suffering a major earthquake.
As the shaking continued, the room felt as though it was falling and the entire building was collapsing beneath us. We all attempted to grab onto something in response. Then, the shaking and falling sensations abruptly ceased. These motions were now replaced by others, that of moving horizontally.
All of our attention was immediately drawn to the lab’s windows facing west. We were indeed moving horizontally. However, there was an odd wooden plank of sorts upon which sat the rotted corpse of a woman. To her right, was the rotted and mangled corpse of a large German Shepard.
Upon seeing these bizarre “corpses”, Dr. West let out a loud scream. He told us that the woman sitting upon the plank was his dead sister and that the dog was her old German Shepard that was also dead.
Then the room’s motion entirely ceased. I opened the only door the lab had and stepped out into what should have been the hallway. Surprise! No hallway, no building.
The image we were presented with was right out a horror movie. We were now outdoors. Under a brilliant full moon, the ground appeared as moist, dark, freshly turned earth, with a subtle shrouding of fog hanging over it. Immediately before me were crude wooden steps that led down towards the ground.
Once upon the ground, I turned back and was shocked to discover that our lab’s room had turned into a early to mid 19th century funeral coach with glass walls with candled lights at each corner. Sitting atop the driver’s bench was the rotted corpse-like woman with the mangled German Shepard.
I asked our “corpse driver” what all this was. She or it, immediately answered, “I’ve brought you here to bury you because you’re dead.” How nice of her to inform me of such.
I immediately awoke covered in sweat with a feeling that my heart was about to explode out of chest. Can you say high anxiety night terror?
Words cannot convey my emotional reaction to this dream. It goes without saying that my first thought was that perhaps there would be a major earthquake and the entire NPI would collapse causing all of our deaths. Not a pleasant thought.
After I had some time to logically and rationally think about the dream, there was a far more likely possibility that what I perceived was a horror-laden, melodramatic metaphor of our lab dying.
Of course, I had no way of knowing which of these interpretations was correct, although the second one seemed more likely. I discussed my dream with Thelma, and she too thought it was little more than my insecurities about the lab’s future producing a fearful dream.
While this may have been partially correct, all of us in the lab were well aware of how Dr. West, the NPI’s officials and UCLA’ administrators in general, felt about our work.
Even in those early years, there was the formal, academic concern over political correctness. Therefore, we all knew that we, and the lab, were living on borrowed time so to speak, as we had access to all the facilities and services of a conventional lab without any funding whatsoever.
I did not totally subscribe to Thelma’s belief that my dream was nothing more than my subconscious fears regarding the lab’s inevitable demise, as it was common knowledge to all concerned that the lab’s days were numbered. The possibility of our lab’s imminent death was no more on my mind at that moment in time that at any other.
After the passage of several days and then weeks, I pretty much forgot about this bizarre dream, and perhaps for good reason. Several weeks’ later Dr. West made an unexpected visit to the lab. I’ll bet you can guess what happened next?
Dr. West proceeded to tell us that our lab would be shut down and its space given to others who had funding available that would pay for the requisite facilities and services we were getting free of charge. Well, I guess nothing lasts forever, does it?
As Dr. West was leaving the lab I asked him if I could speak with him for a moment and he agreed. I do not know what gave me the courage to ask Dr. West if he has a sister, but I did. His reply was very enlightening.
Apparently, he did have a sister. Naturally, given the content of my dream, I had to ask, “What do you mean, did? He said that she died some time ago. My immediate follow up to his reply was, “May I inquire as to what caused her death?” “She suffered a protracted death from cancer which wasted most of her body”, the doctor said. My immediate reply to Dr. West was to give my condolences. He thanked me, but then asked why I asked about his sister and I told him that someone had mentioned it to me some time ago and I was curious.
As I might never again have an opportunity to speak with Dr. West in such a casual manner, I quickly asked him one last question. “Did your sister have a dog?” West looked at me very strangely, cocking his head to one side, probably trying to figure out why I was asking such obscure questions of him.
He thought for a moment, finally answering. “Why yes, she used to have a dog.” I immediately followed up with, “What breed of dog?”, “A German Shepard, he responded. “What happened to that dog?” I asked. Again, Dr. West looked at me as though I was a police detective conducting an intense interrogation of a suspect.
However, the good doctor answered my final question in saying that his sister’s German Shepard was killed in a violent auto accident many years before she herself passed.
I thanked Dr. West for his time and he walked away, never suspecting the real reason I asked such bizarre questions of a literal stranger. Had I told him of my dream, he very likely would have thought that I belonged in the NPI as an inpatient, as he was extremely skeptical about such matters.
Having learned what I just did, it was obvious that my dream had a very common form of distortion called “primary process”. In laymen’s terms, this is a method by which our subconscious mind colors or modifies information going to our conscious mind that might otherwise be too painful or difficult to deal with. Primary process distortion could be looked at as the noise as related to the signal.
Obviously, the thought of our lab closing was one that was far too painful for my conscious mind to deal with, so my unconscious cleverly cloaked it with the melodrama of a low-budget, Roger Corman horror movie. This is certainly preferable to dying during an earthquake while in the lab, isn’t it? This type of distortion is extremely common when dealing with paranormal perception. In fact, it’s very rare when such does not occur.
So in the end, how many coincidences make a fact? Hundreds, thousands, millions, or none at all?
Do we live in a closed, predetermined reality where we are all simply acting out our daily lives in some gigantic play, or are all these precognitions no more than coincidences or synchronicities? Or is it a combination of both, or neither? Is free will real or an illusion? In the end, we may never know because we’re in the middle of it all. Or could it be that we can think anything we please, but once we act upon it, it becomes real?
And in closing it’s important that we remember that the only real. viable theory of psi and consciousness has distinctive holonomic aspects to it, strongly suggesting that all information is equally distributed throughout space and time. Therefore, the past’s information still exists and the future’s information already exists, as does information remote from your brain and body, hence the term remote viewing.
The more we learn and the more data that is collected on this matter, the less we seem to grasp and understand. But it’s always been most difficult to examine one’s own reality by looking from the inside out. We really need to be on the outside looking in. The problem here is how to achieve such.
Ghost In The Box? NOT
TESTING THE VALIDITY OF THE GHOST BOX AS A TOOL FOR PARANORMAL INVESTIGATION
February 21, 2015
ABSTRACT: The Ghost Box is a widely used device for paranormal investigating. We question the level of objectivity by those using this device. Respondents were sent a one minute recording from a Shack Hack Ghost Box and asked to respond to a questionnaire. We analyzed the results and explored the workings of these devices. The findings tell us that the interpretation of results by those who use this tool is very biased and subjective. The results collected in the field should not be put forth as evidence of paranormal activity.
As a modern and portable version of the Frank’s Box by Frank Sumption (developed in 2002 for spirit communication ), the Ghost Box (also known as a Spirit Box) has been the center of debate for many years among ghost hunters and paranormal investigators. It debuted in the market somewhere around 2006 through TV show exposure; several designs have been developed since. Basically it is a portable battery operated radio which has been altered to scan the spectrum of radio frequencies within the range capable of the unit’s specifications. Early versions were an easy “hack” and more recent versions have added features such as an adjustable sweep speed and built in recorder. All in all they all do the same thing it was originally designed for, receiving radio broadcasts.
We will be conducting a series of experiments and research projects covering many of the tools that the typical paranormal investigator relies on for results. Here we seek to test out the viability of the Ghost Box and report our interpretation of the findings. We believe that the level of bias in the interpretation of responses from the ghost box is high and subjective to the point that it cannot offer objective and useful data in an investigation.
For this experiment we created a survey to seek feedback from an actual recording made with a Ghost Box. The request for participants was published on social media asking for help with a ghost box study. No details were provided at the time. Ninety eight (98) respondents were sent a questionnaire (Figure 1) to seek feedback from a one minute long Ghost Box recording (Link: http://nyackparanormal.com/GB/QuesAM.mp3 ). These respondents were randomly separated into two groups based on order of response.
The recording was made using a “Shack Hack” (Radio Shack Digital AM/FM Pocket Radio Catalog # 12-469: Figure 2) connected to a digital voice recorder (RCA Model VR5320R-A). The audio file was transferred to PC and converted to MP3 to match the original raw file, no manipulation or noise reduction was used. A one minute segment was captured for this experiment.
Group A would hear the one minute recording and Group B would hear the same recording with an additional three seconds of audio at the beginning that included the question: “What is your occupation?” There was no other manipulation to the recording or difference between the two sample recordings.
FIGURE 1- Survey Form
Photo: M. Silverstein
Group A had 19 completed responses out of 49 (39%) and group B had 17 responses out of 49 (35%).
The results of the survey were compiled into a spreadsheet (see Appendix) with the perceived words mapped out to their time stamp along with the survey answers.
We found that there were consistent words and/or sounds across the respondents reporting results. Table 1 shows the words and/or sounds with two or more like responses located within 4 seconds of their timestamps.
TABLE 1- Words from multiple responses
Of all responders/36 Responders hearing words/18
1-4 sec will, we’ll, well, wheels (8/36=22%). 44%
4-5 voice, sports, porch (4/36=11%) 22%
20-22 problem, problems (9/36=25%) 50%
25 mom (2/36=6%) 12%
26-27 polka, OK, hey look (3/36=8%) 16%
35-37 cyst, sis or sit (10/36=28%} 56%
39-40 snow or no (5/36=14%) 28%
52-55 backward, Blackburn, actor (6/36=17%) 34%
56-59 What if, what is, when it, etc (8/36=22%) 44%
Of these responses we noted:
Group A- those noting a response (n=10): Mean 6.6 responses each were noted.
Group B- those noting a response (n=8): Mean 3.6 responses each were noted.
The mean number of responses from each group was run through a t-test  to see if the results are considered statistically significant. The average number of words heard for each group was put through the calculation (Table 2); Group A heard an average of almost twice as many words (174%) as Group B but the difference is not statistically significant solely because of the small sample size (as an exercise, we increased the total number of respondents yet kept the same ratio of words heard and the results were statistically significant).
Table 2- Statistical calculator based on the T-test at 0.05 Level of Significance.
Testing for Statistical Significance in Controlled Experiments
Group A- # people reporting responses vs no responses
10 out of 19 53%
Group B- # people reporting responses vs no responses
9 out of 18 50%
We found this interesting that both groups are about even in value. These show the groups were well sorted by random distribution.
One participant deemed the Ghost Box as an effective tool for investigating=3%. 61% stated it is ineffective and 36% are undecided of the responses to this question (Table 3).
Table 3- Survey Responses
E/I/U= Effective, Ineffective, undecided
Group A E I U n= 19 (one (1) no response to this question) 18
1 10 7
Group B E I U n= 18 (three (3) with no response to this question) 15
0 10 5
Overall E I U n=37 (33 responses)
1 20 12
3% 61% 36%
Generally the use of the Ghost box in paranormal investigation is inherently subjective and the units are flawed in design.
We did see a trend that showed bias towards seeking a specific response based on the question asked of the “spirits.” The difference can be attributed to confirmation bias . Group B that was posed the question would have been specifically listening for a response that would fit the question. They may not report words that did not fit the suspected answer besides the most obvious. This coincides with our hypothesis but the sample size is too small to lend statistical significance to these findings.
Only one respondent stated the ghost box is considered an effective tool. 36% are undecided as to the effectiveness of the ghost box as a tool and the rest, more than half at 61%, stated it was ineffective. There seems to be little confidence in this sampling that any results of value can be obtained.
The divergence between some of the sets of sound-alike words is interesting to note; it illustrates how responses may be open to interpretation. Table 5 shows the sets of words and phrases that were heard at the same time by multiple participants.
Table 5- Word Sets
1. Voice, sports, porch, course, boy.
2. Wheels, will, we all, we’ll keep, well, we’ll.
3. Wiccan, breaking, Courtney, court case.
4. Trouble, problem, problems, cobblestone, hobbit soup.
5. Polka, OK, hey look.
6. Sit, assist, upstairs, sis, cyst.
7. Snow, no.
8. Backwards, whatever, blackburn, actor.
9. Wooden, what if, when it, one of, what is.
Apart from the contents of Table 5, and even more interesting, we were able to find four random words with no sound-alike words whatsoever. Three of these words were heard during the recording without the question (Group A); “Jennifer,” “recall,” and “key.” The fact that it was a name, Jennifer; a quasi-command, recall; and something mysterious, like a key; was interesting because it was as if their subconscious mind was trying to form something that might have meaning to the investigator or to the spirit, possibly out of nothing. One random word was heard during the recording with the question (Group B), “What is your occupation?”, the word “end,” which could be seen as pertaining to the state of one’s employment. Hearing the question resulted in a word that was possibly drawn from the imagination and not hearing the question caused the mind to grasp for words of meaning in general.
Additionally, in regards to all other responses, being influenced by the question could cause a word that sounds like “backwards” to sound like “actor.” Many more responses were heard in general when the ears of the participants were not specifically listening for the answer to a question.
Many words did come out clearly from the recording, likely a strong radio broadcast signal. Also, several were two syllables showing that even a quick scan allows many full words to be heard. We were curious as to how multiple words or phrases have been reported from the use of these instruments so we also tested what we call the frequency overlap, where a broadcast station is strong enough, and the receiver is of the level of quality, to pick up the same broadcast on the adjoining frequencies both lower and higher on the dial.
A manual scan one station at a time was done with the Shack Hack and the very popular P-SB7 (Table 4). For the Shack Hack it was noted that the FM station at 107.1 was also coming through rather clear at 106.9 and 107.3. Due to strict broadcasting regulations we can assume it is the nature of the radio tuner possibly coupled with atmospheric conditions that may cause this. The target frequencies were typically stronger than the cohorts. More stations with the same effect were found at approximately FM MHz: 90.5-90.7-90.9; 92.7-92.9; 94.1-94.3-94.5; 96.5-96.7-96.9; 97.1-97.3; 98.1-98.3-98.5; 99.5-99.7; 100.5-100.7-100.9; 106.3-106.5
AM KHz: 540-550; 570-580; 660-670-680; 770-780; 880-890; 970-980; 1010-1020; 1050-1060; 1130-1140; 1220-1230-1240; 1550-1560-1570
Figure 3- The P-SB7
With the P-SB7, there was no noticeable overlap along the AM dial, however, with FM, every station broadcast received overlapped with the frequency immediately before & after the designated frequency: 88.5, 89.3, 89.5, 89.7, 90.1, 90.5, 90.9, 91.7, 92.5, 93.3, 93.7, 94.1, 94.5, 95.7, 96.5, 96.9, 97.1, 97.5, 98.1, 98.9, 99.5, 100.3, 100.7, 101.1, 101.5, 102.1, 102.5, 102.9, 103.3, 103.9, 104.5, 105.3, 106.1, 106.9, 107.9
The stronger signals came in on either side of the target frequency almost as clear as the target frequency, easily allowing several syllables and multiple words to be heard at times, depending on the “Sweep Rate” setting.
Table 4- The description of the popular P-SB7
P-SB7 “ITC Research Device” (as printed on the device)
Eight buttons are provided on the front;
Sweep Rate – Allows the speed to which the device sweeps/scans through frequencies to be adjusted. Sweep rates of 100 ms to 350 ms are available for FM, and 200 ms to 500 ms are available for AM. Both adjust in 50 ms increments.
Back Light – Provides a blue backlight for the LCD screen.
Sweep FWD – Starts the device sweeping through frequencies from lowest to highest. Also allows user to cycle through frequencies manually.
Sweep REV – Starts the devices sweeping through frequencies from highest to lowest. Also allows user to cycle through frequencies manually.
Vol. “+” – Increases volume (Level 30)
Vol. “-“ – Decreases volume
AM/FM – Switches device between receiving AM (KHz) and FM (MHz) frequencies. Available AM frequencies are between 530 KHz and 1710 KHz (119 frequencies). Available FM frequencies are between 76.0 MHz and 108.0 MHz (311 frequencies).
The frequency overlap effectively increases the exposure of any of these radio stations to the scan process.
We also tested this with an unmodified Radio Shack Multi-band Radio Catalog # 20-230. FM frequencies showed much of the same overlapping of frequencies: 90.5-90.7-90.9; 94.1-94.3-94.5; 96.5-96.7-96.9; 97.1-97.3; 98.1-98.3-98.5; 106.3-106.5, however, none of the AM band showed this characteristic, similar to the P-SB7. It does seem this is much a function of the quality of the tuner in the radio. The different models of the ghost box should be checked for these patterns. It seems the ‘cheaper’ radios may have less frequency accuracy. This would expose the Ghost Box listener to a much longer listen at broadcast frequencies increasing the chance of catching longer, clearer words or phrases.
Although using the AM band may mitigate frequency overlap typical of the FM band, AM broadcasts are generally more news and talk shows which increase the chances of catching a spoken word. Both bands have their disadvantages with little or no advantage over the other especially if the unit only provides single band access. These units should have a way to record the frequency at which these words are perceived so one can go back to those stations and review the context of their broadcast.
Coupled with the findings from the frequency overlap, the speed of the scan can make a difference in the interpretation of responses. The newest models of the Ghost Box claim the scan speed can be set to a faster rate than words can be formed or spoken.
According to our findings, the Shack Hack scans at 5 frequencies per second or 200ms (Figure 4) and two syllable words were easily understood. Either the word(s) spanned 200ms (1/5 of a second) or it spanned two or more adjoining frequencies (up to 600ms or more).
Figure 4- Audio file showing peaks designating the scan rate for the Shack Hack
From Scientific American- “When we speak rapidly we are verbalizing at about six syllables per second. That hyperactive radio announcer spewing fine print at the end of a commercial jabbers at 10 syllables per second, the absolute limit of comprehension for sighted people.” Blind people have been found in the same study to be able to comprehend up to 19 syllables/second.
From Wiki: Speakers vary their speed of speaking according to contextual and physical factors. A typical speaking rate for English is 4 syllables per second, but in different emotional or social contexts the rate may vary, one study reporting a range between 3.3 and 5.9 syl/sec, Another study found significant differences in speaking rate between story-telling and taking part in an interview.
These studies and measures show there is a strong possibility and supporting evidence that single and multiple syllables could be heard from the scanning process. Even the faster scanning units available (down to 50ms) can capture discernible syllables and with frequency overlap, coincidence of context to neighboring broadcasts and a biased ear, words and phrases will be heard. Those investigators claiming longer sentences or phrases must scrutinize the source of their findings in great detail.
We have also heard many investigators state that there are little or no radio signals in the area they are investigating so any response from the ghost box must be a spirit. In most cases the investigation takes place at night. AM frequencies travel much greater distances due to the bouncing off of the ionosphere in the evening and night time hours. This has led to stricter standards for radio broadcasters with powerful transmitters to reduce power during these hours. There are still distant signals that travel farther during the high point of use for the ghost box.  FM signals are effectively stronger and lower to the ground and carry better through buildings. Due to the nature of the wave it holds up much better than AM against noise and interference making words come through more clearly. As an unscientific attempt to see how strong radio signals are at night, we placed the ghost box inside a totally stainless steel dishwasher in an attempt to reduce the reception on the radio but we still picked up most stations with little or no reduction in reception quality.
Although a larger sampling of participants would strengthen the support of our hypothesis, we conclude there is enough information to state the Ghost Box is not a proper research tool for paranormal investigating due to the strong bias involved in the use and interpretation of the responses in the field. The intended use of the Ghost Box lends little or no control over the many inherent variables and it solely relies on subjective opinions as to what results are considered valid. The units are flawed in the sense that it will generate syllables by default which guarantees a user with belief in the device will interpret it as a spirit response. We do not present this research to suggest to people what to believe in, we merely support the facts and evidence that perceived results from the ghost box should remain a personal experience and should not be presented as supporting evidence of paranormal activity nor be included in any scientific methodology. Those presenting evidence based on Ghost Box recordings will bear the burden of proof that their findings support their beliefs.
2. Statistical Significance Calculator By Rags Srinivasan
5. Cruttenden, A. (2014). Gimson’s Pronunciation of English. Routledge. p. 54.
6. Arnfield, S.; Roach, Setter, Greasley and Horton (1995). “Emotional stress and speech tempo variability”. Proceedings of the ESCA/NATO Workshop on Speech Under Stress: 13–15.
7. Kowal, S.; Wiese and O’Donnell (1983). “The use of time in storytelling”. Language and Speech 26.4: 377–392.
APPENDIX- Distribution of responses by responder.
The Aristocratic Poltergeist Agent: A Hidden Story From Decades Past
When it comes to poltergeist agents, they come in all shapes, sizes, genders and colors. Some are tall, some short, some thin, some not-so-thin, some young, some not so young, some male and some female, although females appear to be far more common than males. But generally speaking, it’s indeed a rare day when they come from parents who were celebrities in their respective fields of work. Especially from parents who went to great lengths not to disclose the existence of their newborn daughter. Parent’s whose lives would have been forever tainted and tarnished by the birth of an illegitimate child with paranormal proclivities, as they were married, but not to each other. The scandal over this would have been horrendous for sure. It is with this backdrop, that I describe the following case.
The case I am about to discuss, has never been made public before, not in my book, anywhere else on this site, nor in any of my lectures, as there were way too many problematic elements associated with it. Until recently, I felt somewhat compelled not to discuss any details of this case for fear of legal repercussions against the woman who is the focus this article and myself .
But as the woman of which I speak has now very likely passed away (more on this later), as have her biological and adoptive parents long ago, some of those concerns are less threatening than they once were. Yet I still cannot fully divulge who her biological parents were, as they were part of the upper social strata within modern 20th century America that wouldn’t care to be linked the paranormal in any way whatsoever, where the mother was a famous actress within the industry, and the father was associated with one of the best known financial and political families on earth. Needless to say, they discreetly put their little baby girl up for adoption more than sixty-seven years ago.
This case began in early February of 1976 when a girl named Susan called the old UCLA parapsychology lab in search of answers to the ongoing psychokinetic maelstroms in her home. If memory serves me correct after almost four decades, it was Dr. Thelma Moss who actually took the call, as Susan called very late in the afternoon or early evening, after I had left for the day. It wasn’t until the next morning that I found the note left for me by the phone that Susan had called, not having any idea of who Susan was in terms of my past.
At that time, Susan lived with two other girls in a quaint, little, three bedroom house in the North Hollywood region of the San Fernando Valley here in Southern California. Upon meeting Susan, the diminutive blond looked very familiar to me, but I couldn’t quite place her. The reason she looked so familiar was that she grew up near my cousins in West Los Angeles, and they kept trying to set us up on dates, which never occurred. Susan was way too weird and mousey, even for me. But Susan instantly recognized me, and I was really amazed to see what she grew into.
The passing of time was very good to Susan in most ways, as the more mature woman was far more attractive than the scrawny 16 year-old I knew way back when; a stunning green-eyed blond, who was attractive even if you weren’t attracted to blonds, like myself. During that new encounter of thirty-nine years ago, I learned that Susan had become quite the histrionic hypochondriac, having little or no emotional coping mechanism, where the smallest amount of emotional or physical stress knocked her off her feet and into bed, where she complained of various ills that were anything but somatic. Moreover, she used her morbid depression to manipulate others into getting her way.
But far and away, the most relevant piece of the puzzle here was that Susan had been diagnosed to suffer from temporal lobe epilepsy, which she learned of while still a teenager, and was therefore unable to hold a California driver’s license. Wow, like what else is new? Back in those days of forty years past, no one in their right mind even suggested that there was a causal link between one’s neurophysiology/electro-chemistry and poltergeist activity, while today it appears to be the most common somatic correlate to RSPK.
But even given all of this, there was something really off about her, something that made me keep my distance, knowing full well that her bizarre psyche and personality might raise up its ugly head to create even greater chaos than she was already in. What immediately follows is a small example of what I’m referring to.
Even when very young, Susan really believed that she was a cauldron stirring, broom-riding witch, who could cast spells and curses through incantations on those who did her wrong, conjure love potions for those she found to be emotionally appealing, or to summon the minions of the devil himself to help her seek revenge. The only craft she learned over time, was the one that started with name “witch”, if you get my drift. To me, even as a teenager, such bizarre rituals were better left to Roger Corman horror movies than in my reality. To me, Susan was indeed “a couple fries short of a happy meal”.
So when Susan reminded me of who she was, I was not totally shocked to learn that she had already been twice married and divorced by the time she was 28 years old. But given that I knew how unusual she was, that didn’t come as any real surprise to me. But what I didn’t expect was how Susan transitioned from heterosexual orientation to homosexual, where only women now caught and held her eye, heart and mind.
The result of all this was the three women living in a love stew if you will, where they shunned men in favor of each other, but there was a strong sense of competition between the other women for Susan’s attention, as she stood out like a sore thumb around the taller, slightly older and darker-haired women.
There were strong feelings of envy here, as Susan was far more attractive in every way than the other women living with her were. They weren’t ugly in any sense of the word, but compared to Susan’s level of beauty, they were anything but eye-catching. Making her even more appealing to them was the fact that Susan had never been medically diagnosed as having any serious psychiatric disorder (other than being a histrionic hypochondriac, or what would be labeled today as Histrionic Personality Disorder [HPD]), but she wasn’t formally diagnosed with such, it was in plain sight for everyone to see), while the other two had. In fact, one of them was diagnosed as a paranoid schizophrenic and they both had what’s now referred to as Intermittent Explosive Disorder. Although Susan knew that she was epileptic, we did not know if she informed her roommates of her disability, and even if she had done so, we never questioned anyone regarding such matters so long ago.
But making matters even more problematic is that the other two women living with Susan had to be regularly medicated and tranquilized, as they’d both been diagnosed as bipolar, once called manic-depression, and without such medication, they turned extremely irritable and violent. I dared not even ask how Susan came to meet and hook up with these most unusual ladies, who had also claimed to have had long histories of paranormal encounters similar to what was currently going on around them, while Susan had precognitive and clairvoyant experiences with occasional RSPK outbreaks. But as the other two women were far less open to questions about their past than Susan was, there isn’t much more detail to add about them here.
The reason Susan had called the lab was because of the growing number of poltergeist type events transpiring around her and her two lovers. Everything from blood dripping from the shower head in Susan’s bathroom and the fireplace in the living room, soap being thrown at the other two girls, books repeatedly and singularly flying off shelves, shoes being thrown at them, feeling as if someone was patting on their buttocks, crotch and breasts, to Susan’s guitar being violently torn from her grasp as she played it and then gently lowered onto the floor. Doors were opened and then violently slammed shut on their own, and various faucets in the house kept turning themselves on, along with toilets flushing themselves, disembodied footsteps and the sound of keys jangling together. There were also numerous occasions where strange, luminous fogs that were visually observed and actually photographed (unfortunately, these photos cannot be displayed here for fear of placing the two other women in jeopardy). Yet all of this is really quite common as far as poltergeist outbreaks were concerned.
And as it turned out, according to Susan, the last owner/tenant, also a female, had experienced similar phenomena while living there for seven years. If there only had been the small, portable instruments that we use today, as I’d be willing to bet there was either geomagnetic or electromagnetic anomalies associated with that property that triggered such recurring psychokinetic events. But unfortunately, they wouldn’t exist for several more decades.
For the most part, these events generally seemed to be centered around Susan, though the other girls were clearly having their own encounters as
well. These events became so common that they were accepted as normal, except when they took on visual luminous anomalies that appeared in numerous photos taken within the house. At the entrance to the hallway connecting the bedrooms a glowing mist was seen, a large, luminous “claw” in front of where Susan and one her roommates were opening Christmas presents, to a horrific photonic noose that appeared over the head of one of the others girls while she opened her Christmas present, it just kept occurring.
The photo at left is the only known remaining photo of Susan (no enhancement as been done on this image as of yet). Take note of the luminous anomaly in front of her as she was opening her Christmas gifts. These most interesting images were not seen, only photographed by a 35 mm. camera.
Given all the attention Susan was now getting from me and my colleagues, the other two women felt that they were ignored and left out of everything, especially when Susan and I finally became closer friends. Predictably, this served to demonstrably change the nature of the psychokinetic events.
Susan began attending my psi development group at UCLA (see “Learned Psi: Training To Be Psychic”, elsewhere on this site), but as she felt very uncomfortable within the sensory deprived environment of it, she only participated once or two twice. Susan also accompanied me to several other investigations (Holly Mont case, elsewhere on this site as “The Holly Mont Haunting: As Good As It Gets”) and lectures I gave during that period. In fact, it was Susan who arranged for me to speak before a group of professional group known as California’s Association of Licensed Investigators (CALI) (private investigators, P.I’s., not paranormal investigators) in Beverly Hills, as she knew the founder of the organization. The reason I was asked to speak before them was that Susan told the head of group about the work we had done for various law enforcement agencies over the years looking for missing people and attempting to assist law enforcement in solving open cases.
While it certainly was interesting getting to know Susan in a way I never really did when younger, our spending so much time together started irritating the two woman she lived with, as they became jealous. In fact, there was a feeble attempt where it appeared as if Susan wanted to start a real relationship with me, but the ongoing sexual tension within her home was far too great for her to endure, as was her smoking for me. She had been in poor health most of her young life and yet smoked about 3-4 packs of cigarettes a day to boot. I repeatedly told her that I do not allow smoking in my car, nor would I even date a woman who smoked at all, as I didn’t want that noxious odor anywhere near me. I also told Susan that I sensed that she had an enlarged heart, and that smoking was perhaps one of the worst things could do to her body. Susan didn’t seem to believe me or care one way or the other.
The two women living with Susan were becoming more and more uncomfortable at the notion of Susan and I doing anything together, even talking on the phone. As these emotions built to a critical level, the psychodynamics within the house totally changed in the most negative of ways. The RSPK events seemed to be now focused only on Susan, but now started taking on a belligerent tone, where her guitar was not only pulled from her grip as it was before, but it now hit the wall with such force that it was shattered in many pieces, and Susan began feeling something painfully scratching her breasts, butt and crotch areas, while flying shoes were now actually striking her as opposed to just being observed from a distance. The motives behind this change were somewhat obvious, albeit at an subconscious level, and the tensions grew within their home.
During a séance at Susan’s home around this time, some really incredible events occurred. So strange were they, that even today, I cannot even guess as to how they occurred and what they might have represented.
The first thing was that Susan dropped off into a trance of sorts where her diminutive body starting doing things that didn’t make any sense, not in the mid-1970’s, or now. One of her hands became so hot that it actually felt like fire when touched. At the same time, her other hand became so cold, that it too burned, as if made of dry ice, but a burn related to extreme cold versus heat. What the hell was this?
But wait, there’s more.
As if her body simultaneously demonstrating extremely exothermic and endothermic reactions wasn’t sufficient, came the next level of high strangeness. Still deep in a trance, water began flowing out of Susan’s nostrils like a high pressure hose was attached to her ears and mouth. We collected samples of this biological water and it proved to be anything but normal. In fact, it proved to be pure water, not saline, but fresh water.
Now the problem with this occurrence is that fresh water does not exist within the human body, only saline.
So where did the water come from?
We may never know.
Then one of the other girl’s dropped into a trance of sorts where she began screaming at the top of her lungs in a non-existent language, that no one’s ever heard before. So was this more evidence that this other woman was also severely disturbed or was she simply attempting to distract our attention away from Susan? As she quite stoic otherwise and refrained from responding to our questions when she came out of it, we’ll never know.
Not long thereafter, Susan and her romantic roommates split up and went their separate ways, where their whereabouts were unknown to me.
Another ten years passed before I again heard from Susan, where she had already been married two more times, divorced once more, and heading in that direction with her new husband as well. But most importantly for Susan, the poltergeist activity ceased once she and her roommates each went in their own directions.
More years passed and Susan get divorced again, and was then with a new man who would soon become her next husband, which I predicted, even to where they would end up living out-of-state. After that, there was a very long silence, where Susan once again vanished in the outer realms of reality.
There is then a news blackout from her until the spring of 2008, where Susan again contacted me to inform me saying she had gotten divorced again and was now living in northern California with another friend, but a male one, not a female one, but it as all platonic. At this point, who cares.
I also learned that my diagnosis of her long ago was very accurate, as her enlarged heart starting failing to the point to where she required a bi-ventricular pacemaker and valve replacement due to the abuse that heavy smoking took upon her small and delicate frame.
This was just after the time when Susan finally discovered who her biological parents were as her real father tracked her down and brought all the legal proof needed to demonstrated who he was and who Susan’s famous mother was, but she had died many years earlier. She also wondered if this was why she could never stay with one man for a very long time, as her mother was exactly the same. Who knows?
Susan was in total shock, even though she knew she was adopted, she had no idea as to who gave birth to her and why her parents went to such great lengths to cover it up.
Susan did her own due diligence and was able to verify and confirm everything her father had told her.
Then Susan abruptly moved again, but to god knows where this time, with no forwarding address or phone number, and given how psychosomatic Susan was even before her health really turned south, the stress associated with this last move might have finished her.
Now what makes this case unique, is the rather extraordinary heritage Susan had, which if fully revealed, would send shock waves through certain aristocratic parts of our western culture, which makes one wonder if there is a genetic predisposition to any of these occurrences. And as the other two women had prior, solitary RSPK incidents in their lives before living with Susan, we must consider the possibility that this whole matter was the result of a confluence occurring in the right place at the right time, where all three of these young ladies were responsible for what occurred some forty years ago.
Had we only had the high-end, portable, EMF sensors we current use and armed with knowing what questions to ask regarding neurophysiological health aspects, this case might have made history in many ways.
UCLA Student Traumatized By CE-IV and Poltergeist Events
Excerpted from “Aliens Above, Ghosts Below: Explorations of the Unknown”
In late November of 1986, before I learned to turn my telephone’s ringers off and my answering machine on with its volume control turned all the way down when I went to sleep every night, I was blown out of a deep sleep when the phone rang at 2:30 a.m. On the other end of the line, I heard two women, apparently hysterical, screaming something about a direct confrontation with what sounds like extraterrestrial humanoids. After they calmed down we agreed to meet that afternoon.
Teri (not her real name), a 20-year old UCLA student, lived at home with her parents in the elegant Bel-Air sector of West Los Angeles. The story they told to me began when Teri awoke from what she assumed was a dream, where she had been within a metallic-walled room with small, humanoid creatures that were examining her with various instruments, including intravenous needles placed in both of her arms. As she reached full waking consciousness and opened her eyes, she saw small, humanoid creatures standing on either side of her, withdrawing needles from her arms.
The young woman began screaming at the top of her lungs, which caused her dog to run into the room where it encountered the two humanoids. The dog growled as it started to approach one of the creatures, who, suddenly thrust his four-fingered hand out toward him. The dog whimpered back in fear and ran from the room howling. Every time Teri screamed, the other humanoid would place its hand over her forehead, attempting to tranquilizing her. By this time, Teri’s mother overheard the commotion.
Upon entering her daughter’s bedroom, the mother also witnessed the creatures. Both Teri and her mother described the two humanoids as approximately 4 feet tall, with reptilian textured greyish skin and heads massively disproportional to their bodies. Deeply set within their hairless heads were large, almond-shaped black eyes, angled upwards.
The mother immediately began screaming in fear, which caused the two humanoids to jump back as if startled and touch a circulating hemisphere of light attached to what appeared to be belts on some kind of uniform they were wearing. They then allegedly lit up in a flash of bright light and literally “blinked out.”
Trying to recover from what they had just experienced, Teri’s mother tried turning the bedroom lights on. They then noticed that the power in the house was out. Simultaneously, they noticed what appeared to be a large, reddish-orange ovoid object through the picture window in the bedroom. It was silently hovering up above the edge of the house, causing it to vibrate in resonance. They watched the strange craft as it slowly departed.
Needless to say, the mother and daughter were terrified and confused by the whole experience. Once calmed, however, the mother attempted to rationalize the event as a possible practical joke played on her daughter by one of her many friends. I casually asked the mother if any of her daughter’s friends resembled the entities she observed or knew how to vanish in a flash of light.
After careful thought she answered, “no,” but that did not rule out the possibility in her mind! Whatever the origin of the event, both women were prescribed mild tranquilizers by their physician to overcome their anxiety.
During the next ten days, other strange events transpired. Furniture began moving around the house by itself, the front doorbell would ring incessantly at 3 a.m., even after it was electrically disconnected. After more than a week of this poltergeist-type activity, Teri awoke early in the morning to see the humanoids back in her bedroom.
However, on this occasion they had no apparent interest in her, but instead were carefully examining her books, furnishings and the pet snake she kept in a large glass cage in her bedroom. The creatures displayed particular fascination with the reptile. Perhaps they thought it was a distant relative?
Finally gaining her senses, Teri began screaming. Her mother and father–he had been out of town at the time of the first encounter—came running into the bedroom. Both terrified parents observed the two diminutive humanoids. The father yelled out while the mother began screaming, and the entities responded as they had before–by touching the center of their belts and disappearing in a flash of light.
The parents thought that this “joke” had gone far enough. Neither would accept the possibility that what they saw and experienced really was what it appeared to be. They took their badly traumatized daughter to a psychiatrist, who automatically assumed that the whole affair was nothing more than a shared hallucination that time and therapy (with the proper compensation, of course) would easily resolve.
This abrupt, but all too predictable psychiatric evaluation did not resolve the fact that Teri did, in fact, have bruises and wounds indicative of a crude physical examination by someone not totally familiar with human anatomy and physiology, or else just plain crude.
With no evidence of drug usage, Teri was scarred with inexplicable puncture marks. After the first encounter, she had bled from her uterus, and yet was not menstruating at the time. Since these events, which took place in late 1986 and early 1987, Teri has packed all her belongings, closed her bank accounts, shut off her phone and left, leaving no notice of her destination. Although there is no evidence of foul play, she has not been heard from since. As her parents did not in any way cooperate in any follow-up with this author, her condition or location remains unknown.
Retroactive Terror: Your Past Might Come Back To Haunt You
There is a dark, dank, insidiously foreboding side to the paranormal that is not discussed anywhere for good reason. This life threatening aspect of the dystopian paranormal reality is far more dangerous than any theoretical demon, entity, ghost or spirit one could ever imagine. This terrifying side of this crazy field, possesses the ability to stop you dead in your tracks, where the only place before you might be a poorly lit wet alley on a cold winter night, or a pine box that rests six feet beneath the earth.
Before deciding to embark upon a professional career in parapsychology or simply doing paranormal research with friends, you should be aware of what the toxic fallout from such might be if your efforts attract strong media interest. What you are about to read is only the tip of a very large iceberg that is never discussed because of embarrassment and humiliation. But at my age, I am well beyond that point in my life now, so it doesn’t really matter. I will start with the most recent incident and work backwards in time to where it all began.
In the last week of February I was contacted by a gentleman who claimed to be part of a new parapsychology lab called the “Theoretical and Applied Neurocausality Laboratory” (TANC Lab) being established at the University of California at Santa Barbara (UCSB), where they wanted to hire me to be on their board of directors and to head up their research program in precognition. It all sounded very interesting, until I discovered what the funding source was: Department of Defense (DOD), Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) and Northrop Grumman (builders of the B2 Spirit Bomber). The only focus of said lab would be in precognition, as opposed to anything else. It all seems like a great fit for me and possibly several other parapsychologists I had in mind to join this new facility. Then reality set in.
About a week later, I received a rather shocking email from them informing me that I could not be hired because I’ve written and spoken on ufology as well as poltergeists and ghosts: “Your having a formal affiliation with our lab would be politically difficult, if not impossible, as we are attempting to break into mainstream academia. It is our belief that we must focus on presentiment research (professional nomenclature for precognition), and cannot afford to be associated with the high risk your presence and participation would represent. Unfortunately, your public interest and beliefs on the topics of UFOs, ghosts and poltergeists presents an insurmountable level of political and reputational risk both in academia and for DOD/DARPA. You’re association with our lab would result in embarrassment and humiliation on many levels that would not only inhibit, but prevent our efforts from succeeding in an academic environment.”
Didn’t these clowns even look at the title of my book before contacting me? Didn’t they read the many blogs on my website related to ufology, ghosts and poltergeists? It sounds like their right hand didn’t know what their left hand was doing? Typical government stupidity. What’s wrong with this picture? And yet they think that by cleverly masking the definition of what precognition is, that they will somehow overcome one hundred and thirty-three years of skepticism and prejudice at the academic level? Yeah right. What a relief it was to learn that in all the decades since I was first associated with the intelligence and military community that nothing’s really changed. They’re just as stupid, ignorant and disorganized as when I first dealt with them more than forty years ago.
But what’s really odd here is that this labs formal title is indicative not of precognition, but of psychokinesis, which suggests that this entire matter might be one of disinformation and misinformation. Perhaps these people think that using such exotic nomenclature will throw most people off as to what they’re really trying to do here? But hey, it’s the government, and the one thing they can trusted to do is LIE. It’s nice to know that some things never change.
After some due diligence of my own into the background of the people who solicited my employment at this UCSB facility, it appears that this lab is to be nothing other than a massive disinformational effort to convince academia and the public that remote, paranormal informational access is nothing more than dissociative and delusional forms of perception. Moreover, an electrochemical short-circuit within the brain, causing people to misjudge and misinterpret what’s really going on in terms of normal perception, making it appear to be paranormal, when in reality, it is not. How deceptively disgusting!
Several weeks ago, a friend from the mid-1970’s reappeared to allegedly get reacquainted. I knew John, who came from a very wealthy Beverly Hills family when UCLA’s old parapsychology lab was up and running. John is now a multi-millionaire property owner in his own right who suddenly wants to become a movie writer/producer any way he can.
After several lunches and a dinner where I met his wife and children, the real reason for John’s sudden appearance was disclosed. This old “friend”, asked me to sign away my life rights regarding my book, website, patents, etc. for zero dollars, and then actually had the nerve to ask me to help him promote the movies he’s going to make about my life’s work, where I wouldn’t see a penny off the back-end, let alone the front.
He said “If you sign the life rights agreement in front of you, at least your name will be out there supporting what you’ve done and what I’ve made, If not, I’ll just claim that it was all my research and the world will never even know that you did the investigations on these cases that led to these movies.” Wow, and this from a friend, or as some might call him, a sociopathic opportunist, who has total disdain for everyone and everything that isn’t at or above his level of financial success. A flowering example of humanity at its worst. I wonder who put this bug into his head? I have my suspicions about this.
The reason behind John’s insane offer was that he assumes that all of my life’s work is now in the public domain, where anyone can make use of it. Apparently, this poor excuse for a friend or even a human, perceives copyright law and public domain law quite differently than the rest of the legal and entertainment world does.
John erroneously claims that because I’ve been doing so many media appearances over the last four and-a-half decades discussing my work, that it’s rendered everything I own into the public domain, and thus free for anyone to use, especially him. He argues that all the stories contained in my book and on this website, are free for anyone to use in any way they please without compensation and/or credit to me.
The only reason he wanted my life rights signed over to him, was to use my name, background and experience to help promote the films he’s going to make, but I wouldn’t have made a dime off any of that, for all monies I have received would belong to John. This sounds like someone in the industry misinformed John about how such intellectual property laws really work, and that in order for him to make many films based on my life’s work, he’d have to trick me into signing a life rights agreement for no money. Then, and only then, could a production company/studio or distributor give him a contract for a multi-picture deal.
After hearing all this from him the other day I simply said; “Why don’t you just take out a gun shoot me between the eyes right now, it’s much easier?”
You cannot imagine how it felt for an acquaintance to reappear after almost 40 years and then threaten to destroy my life and prevent me from earning a living from it. When I asked him how I was supposed to survive if he steals all my work, his immediate response was; “hey, you’ve got social security, don’t you”, which he kept saying over and over again, “I’m offering you something really great here, why not take advantage of it?” John even bragged about what he intends to do to me right in front of his wife and children I had just met, as if to demonstrate how powerful and detached he is. What kind of monster is this, when in his next breath he asks if I’d like to occasionally get together over lunch or for a barbecue at his massive Hollywood Hills estate? This is a true sociopath with a messianic complex, where because of his extreme wealth that he was born into and maintains, he figures that he can do anything he wants and there’s nothing I can do about it because I’m not rich and cannot afford good attorneys to fight him.
But wait, there’s more.
The last thing John mentioned before I walked out on our lunch meeting of last Wednesday when all this was revealed, was that if I didn’t sign away my life rights for nothing, he would make sure that the people who own my building were made aware of what kind of work I do and what my background is in terms of the paranormal, for he knew exactly how they might react to such knowledge being old and very closed-minded; they’d surely try to evict me if for no other reason than fear, even though such might not be a legally valid cause.
OMG, a direct threat.
My next words to John were; “Do you know what the words “extortion” and “blackmail” mean?” “Those are criminal offenses, not civil ones.” He had now crossed the line between sociopath and criminal.
John just looked into my face without saying a word or budging.
Only time will tell what becomes of this miscreant’s threats, as to whether he actually starts producing out movies based upon my work with his name on them. But I have a sneaking suspicion that his movie deals are in some way contingent of having me under contract, as John has no background in doing such research.
If and when I learn of John’s criminal actions, I will make sure that everyone online and in the industry knows precisely who he is and what he’s done. I’ve already told him in no uncertain terms what I will do if he starts stealing my life’s work to profit from while leaving me in the dust.
Think this first story is just a little upsetting? Wait until you read what follows.
Several years ago, a close friend and colleague, also a parapsychologist, a professor at an east coast university, suddenly found himself unemployed when new administrators took over the facility, reviewing the records of all those working/teaching there. They eventually came across my colleague’s background in parapsychology, and even though he was tenured and never had a single complaint filed against him, they terminated his job of more than twenty years. They told him that they do not believe in the paranormal, and that his very presence at the university was in insult to academia and their institution, especially as such research is nothing other than the devil’s own handiwork (oh please, not this nonsense again?).
Think that this type of reaction is odd or uncommon? Think again.
Several years earlier, I personally ran into a situation that bared a striking resemblance to what you just read. Back in 2011, several of my associates and I submitted our business plan, which dealt with high-tech instrumentation not in any way related to parapsychology, to a European-based, multi-national corporation that specializes in such technology. After the company’s head of development read our plan and was very impressed by it, he immediately forwarded it with his favorable comments to the head of the company. His suggestion was for the company to immediately implement the development of three of our five patented devices. In today’s tech market, one cannot ask for more than that.
After about six months, we were concerned as to why we never heard back from this company. We made some initial inquiries, but never received a reply. After three more months. we again contacted them in search of answers.
I was about to have a direct encounter with what much of the real world, especially the financial one, thinks of people who spend too much time dabbling in, and become publicly linked to anything paranormal, regardless of how scientific their work is or what their academic credentials are. I was about to get a lesson in what cognitive dissonance, ignorance, dogma and religious zealotry can do to even the most educated and successful people. A new form of prejudice, if you will.
Several weeks later I was able to actually speak with the head of this company, and his reaction to our plan was unlike anything I had ever heard before from anyone who had read it. This man told me that our plan showed no evidence whatsoever that any real clinical development work had even been done at all, and that our patents were literally indecipherable. What? What was this man talking about?
Over time, we had heard different comments regarding our business plan, but nothing on the level of what this man had just said to me. It was then quite obvious that this individual was blatantly lying, as he had not read one word of our business plan or of our patents.
My next words to this man on the phone were. “All right, stop lying and just tell me the truth here, as it’s obvious you haven’t read one word of our plan or patents”. There was a brief moment of silence where I thought that the man on the other end of the line had simply hung up, but I was wrong. Then finally came the truth, or at least the truth as he saw it.
“You want the truth, I’ll tell you the truth. I looked you up online and found out why no one has ever invested any money into what you’re doing”. “Your ghosts, UFO’s, aliens, ESP, it’s all bullshit, and so is your plan and patents”. “After learning who and what you really are, I immediately threw your business plan and patents into the garbage, as they’re as real as the paranormal and you are.” “You’re just another con-artist and snake oil salesman.” That was followed by the man immediately hanging up on me. Shortly thereafter, the VP of product development, the one who had initially read our plan and patents and wrote the glowing commentary, suddenly found himself unemployed, as he was supposed to do the kind of due diligence that the head of the company did, which he failed to do.
Well, at least the head of this company finally spoke the truth?
To expose this hideous element to the light of day, we must first journey back some forty years in time to when I finished my education. It was an exciting moment in my life, where I sent out over one hundred applications for employment for assistant professor positions all over the world, portending a wonderful future of research and teaching in the field I was formally educated in (not parapsychology).
As this was long before the advent of the personal computer and the internet, all such applications were done by ordinary mail, what is now referred to as “snail mail”, due to how long it took conventional mail to reach its intended destination. I had the greatest hope that I would find employment at any one of several universities or research facilities around the world. What I didn’t expect, was for the world to come crashing down around me like a massive earthquake.
As weeks and then months went by, I was disappointed by the utter lack of response to my employment applications. I assumed that my applications were simply rejected and that the lack of response was their way of saying no. For the most part, I was correct, but the limited reactions to my queries were even stranger than I could have ever imagined. The few places that did respond were shocked that I even had the nerve to contact them for job. What?
Apparently, my reputation and background in parapsychology were already well established by the mid-’70’s, even without computers and social media. Much of this is discussed in detail within Legacy’s End, elsewhere on this site, and pretty much helped seal my fate when it came to immediate employment based on my education.
The very notion of hiring someone who’s worked in a fringe science and obtained substantial media publicity for it might create a hostile work environment, where they might distract, frighten or even intimidate other employees if ever speaking about such work. I’ve been looked upon as a wave-maker, not a cog in a wheel, as in innovator and free-thinker, as one who challenges the norm in search of scientific progress and technological evolution, opposed to a robot who shows up every weekday to work and leaves everyday only after completing his work. Apparently, I am not what good employees are made of.
Moreover, I was politically incorrect then, and I’m still incorrect now. Isn’t it amazing how human ignorance, fear and dogma never change? And then we wonder why our technology has developed beyond the level it has. In the end, we’ve got no one to blame but ourselves.
Most of what I’ve discussed here is only the tip of a very large iceberg, because the real working world shuns those who dare enter and remain within the wild and crazy paranormal landscape.
To drive home a point, I will close with a very guarded and cryptic account regarding what happened to several, highly educated scientists, who spent considerable time doing funded, clinical, parapsychological research for the government.
Once the program ended and their contracts had expired, these two gentleman suddenly found themselves out of job for the first time in their adult life, where even their multiple doctorate’s in various scientific disciplines and superb employment history was insufficient for them to gain further work. They were essentially blacklisted by science and expelled from the real-world workforce because they dared to do formal, laboratory based, parapsychological research.
Is there an echo in here, or is this deja vu?
Anti-gravity and Hyperspace Propulsion: One Step Closer To Star Trek
March 17th, 2006
From issue 2533 of New Scientist magazine, 05 January 2006, page 24
EVERY year, the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics awards prizes for the best papers presented at its annual conference. Last year’s winner in the nuclear and future flight category went to a paper calling for experimental tests of an astonishing new type of engine. According to the paper, this hyperdrive motor would propel a craft through another dimension at enormous speeds. It could leave Earth at lunchtime and get to the moon in time for dinner. There’s just one catch: the idea relies on an obscure and largely unrecognized kind of physics. Can they possibly be serious?
The AIAA is certainly not embarrassed. What’s more, the US military has begun to cast its eyes over the hyperdrive concept, and a space propulsion researcher at the US Department of Energy’s Sandia National Laboratories has said he would be interested in putting the idea to the test. And despite the bafflement of most physicists at the theory that supposedly underpins it, Pavlos Mikellides, an aerospace engineer at the Arizona State University in Tempe who reviewed the winning paper, stands by the committee’s choice. “Even though such features have been explored before, this particular approach is quite unique,” he says.
Unique it certainly is. If the experiment gets the go-ahead and works, it could reveal new interactions between the fundamental forces of nature that would change the future of space travel. Forget spending six months or more holed up in a rocket on the way to Mars, a round trip on the hyperdrive could take as little as 5 hours. All our worries about astronauts’ muscles wasting away or their DNA being irreparably damaged by cosmic radiation would disappear overnight. What’s more the device would put travel to the stars within reach for the first time. But can the hyperdrive really get off the ground?
”œA hyperdrive craft would put the stars within reach for the first time”
The answer to that question hinges on the work of a little-known German physicist. Burkhard Heim began to explore the hyperdrive propulsion concept in the 1950s as a spin-off from his attempts to heal the biggest divide in physics: the rift between quantum mechanics and Einstein’s general theory of relativity.
Quantum theory describes the realm of the very small – atoms, electrons and elementary particles – while general relativity deals with gravity. The two theories are immensely successful in their separate spheres. The clash arises when it comes to describing the basic structure of space. In general relativity, space-time is an active, malleable fabric. It has four dimensions – three of space and one of time – that deform when masses are placed in them. In Einstein’s formulation, the force of gravity is a result of the deformation of these dimensions. Quantum theory, on the other hand, demands that space is a fixed and passive stage, something simply there for particles to exist on. It also suggests that space itself must somehow be made up of discrete, quantum elements.
In the early 1950s, Heim began to rewrite the equations of general relativity in a quantum framework. He drew on Einstein’s idea that the gravitational force emerges from the dimensions of space and time, but suggested that all fundamental forces, including electromagnetism, might emerge from a new, different set of dimensions. Originally he had four extra dimensions, but he discarded two of them believing that they did not produce any forces, and settled for adding a new two-dimensional “sub-space” onto Einstein’s four-dimensional space-time.
In Heim’s six-dimensional world, the forces of gravity and electromagnetism are coupled together. Even in our familiar four-dimensional world, we can see a link between the two forces through the behaviour of fundamental particles such as the electron. An electron has both mass and charge. When an electron falls under the pull of gravity its moving electric charge creates a magnetic field. And if you use an electromagnetic field to accelerate an electron you move the gravitational field associated with its mass. But in the four dimensions we know, you cannot change the strength of gravity simply by cranking up the electromagnetic field.
In Heim’s view of space and time, this limitation disappears. He claimed it is possible to convert electromagnetic energy into gravitational and back again, and speculated that a rotating magnetic field could reduce the influence of gravity on a spacecraft enough for it to take off.
When he presented his idea in public in 1957, he became an instant celebrity. Wernher von Braun, the German engineer who at the time was leading the Saturn rocket programme that later launched astronauts to the moon, approached Heim about his work and asked whether the expensive Saturn rockets were worthwhile. And in a letter in 1964, the German relativity theorist Pascual Jordan, who had worked with the distinguished physicists Max Born and Werner Heisenberg and was a member of the Nobel committee, told Heim that his plan was so important “that its successful experimental treatment would without doubt make the researcher a candidate for the Nobel prize”.
But all this attention only led Heim to retreat from the public eye. This was partly because of his severe multiple disabilities, caused by a lab accident when he was still in his teens. But Heim was also reluctant to disclose his theory without an experiment to prove it. He never learned English because he did not want his work to leave the country. As a result, very few people knew about his work and no one came up with the necessary research funding. In 1958 the aerospace company BÃ¶lkow did offer some money, but not enough to do the proposed experiment.
While Heim waited for more money to come in, the company’s director, Ludwig BÃ¶lkow, encouraged him to develop his theory further. Heim took his advice, and one of the results was a theorem that led to a series of formulae for calculating the masses of the fundamental particles – something conventional theories have conspicuously failed to achieve. He outlined this work in 1977 in the Max Planck Institute’s journal Zeitschrift fÃ¼r Naturforschung, his only peer-reviewed paper. In an abstruse way that few physicists even claim to understand, the formulae work out a particle’s mass starting from physical characteristics, such as its charge and angular momentum.
Yet the theorem has proved surprisingly powerful. The standard model of physics, which is generally accepted as the best available theory of elementary particles, is incapable of predicting a particle’s mass. Even the accepted means of estimating mass theoretically, known as lattice quantum chromodynamics, only gets to between 1 and 10 per cent of the experimental values.
But in 1982, when researchers at the German Electron Synchrotron (DESY) in Hamburg implemented Heim’s mass theorem in a computer program, it predicted masses of fundamental particles that matched the measured values to within the accuracy of experimental error. If they are let down by anything, it is the precision to which we know the values of the fundamental constants. Two years after Heim’s death in 2001, his long-term collaborator Illobrand von Ludwiger calculated the mass formula using a more accurate gravitational constant. “The masses came out even more precise,” he says.
After publishing the mass formulae, Heim never really looked at hyperspace propulsion again. Instead, in response to requests for more information about the theory behind the mass predictions, he spent all his time detailing his ideas in three books published in German. It was only in 1980, when the first of his books came to the attention of a retired Austrian patent officer called Walter DrÃ¶scher, that the hyperspace propulsion idea came back to life. DrÃ¶scher looked again at Heim’s ideas and produced an “extended” version, resurrecting the dimensions that Heim originally discarded. The result is “Heim-DrÃ¶scher space”, a mathematical description of an eight-dimensional universe.
From this, DrÃ¶scher claims, you can derive the four forces known in physics: the gravitational and electromagnetic forces, and the strong and weak nuclear forces. But there’s more to it than that. “If Heim’s picture is to make sense,” DrÃ¶scher says, “we are forced to postulate two more fundamental forces.” These are, DrÃ¶scher claims, related to the familiar gravitational force: one is a repulsive anti-gravity similar to the dark energy that appears to be causing the universe’s expansion to accelerate. And the other might be used to accelerate a spacecraft without any rocket fuel.
This force is a result of the interaction of Heim’s fifth and sixth dimensions and the extra dimensions that DrÃ¶scher introduced. It produces pairs of “gravitophotons”, particles that mediate the interconversion of electromagnetic and gravitational energy. DrÃ¶scher teamed up with Jochem HÃ¤user, a physicist and professor of computer science at the University of Applied Sciences in Salzgitter, Germany, to turn the theoretical framework into a proposal for an experimental test. The paper they produced, “Guidelines for a space propulsion device based on Heim’s quantum theory”, is what won the AIAA’s award last year.
Claims of the possibility of “gravity reduction” or “anti-gravity” induced by magnetic fields have been investigated by NASA before (New Scientist, 12 January 2002, p 24). But this one, DrÃ¶scher insists, is different. “Our theory is not about anti-gravity. It’s about completely new fields with new properties,” he says. And he and HÃ¤user have suggested an experiment to prove it.
This will require a huge rotating ring placed above a superconducting coil to create an intense magnetic field. With a large enough current in the coil, and a large enough magnetic field, DrÃ¶scher claims the electromagnetic force can reduce the gravitational pull on the ring to the point where it floats free. DrÃ¶scher and HÃ¤user say that to completely counter Earth’s pull on a 150-tonne spacecraft a magnetic field of around 25 tesla would be needed. While that’s 500,000 times the strength of Earth’s magnetic field, pulsed magnets briefly reach field strengths up to 80 tesla. And DrÃ¶scher and HÃ¤user go further. With a faster-spinning ring and an even stronger magnetic field, gravitophotons would interact with conventional gravity to produce a repulsive anti-gravity force, they suggest.
”œA spinning ring and a strong magnetic field could produce a repulsive anti-gravity force”
DrÃ¶scher is hazy about the details, but he suggests that a spacecraft fitted with a coil and ring could be propelled into a multidimensional hyperspace. Here the constants of nature could be different, and even the speed of light could be several times faster than we experience. If this happens, it would be possible to reach Mars in less than 3 hours and a star 11 light years away in only 80 days, DrÃ¶scher and HÃ¤user say.
So is this all fanciful nonsense, or a revolution in the making? The majority of physicists have never heard of Heim theory, and most of those contacted by New Scientist said they couldn’t make sense of DrÃ¶scher and HÃ¤user’s description of the theory behind their proposed experiment. Following Heim theory is hard work even without DrÃ¶scher’s extension, says Markus PÃ¶ssel, a theoretical physicist at the Max Planck Institute for Gravitational Physics in Potsdam, Germany. Several years ago, while an undergraduate at the University of Hamburg, he took a careful look at Heim theory. He says he finds it “largely incomprehensible”, and difficult to tie in with today’s physics. “What is needed is a step-by-step introduction, beginning at modern physical concepts,” he says.
The general consensus seems to be that DrÃ¶scher and HÃ¤user’s theory is incomplete at best, and certainly extremely difficult to follow. And it has not passed any normal form of peer review, a fact that surprised the AIAA prize reviewers when they made their decision. “It seemed to be quite developed and ready for such publication,” Mikellides told New Scientist.
At the moment, the main reason for taking the proposal seriously must be Heim theory’s uncannily successful prediction of particle masses. Maybe, just maybe, Heim theory really does have something to contribute to modern physics. “As far as I understand it, Heim theory is ingenious,” says Hans Theodor Auerbach, a theoretical physicist at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich who worked with Heim. “I think that physics will take this direction in the future.”
It may be a long while before we find out if he’s right. In its present design, DrÃ¶scher and HÃ¤user’s experiment requires a magnetic coil several metres in diameter capable of sustaining an enormous current density. Most engineers say that this is not feasible with existing materials and technology, but Roger Lenard, a space propulsion researcher at Sandia National Laboratories in New Mexico thinks it might just be possible. Sandia runs an X-ray generator known as the Z machine which “could probably generate the necessary field intensities and gradients”.
For now, though, Lenard considers the theory too shaky to justify the use of the Z machine. “I would be very interested in getting Sandia interested if we could get a more perspicacious introduction to the mathematics behind the proposed experiment,” he says. “Even if the results are negative, that, in my mind, is a successful experiment.”
From issue 2533 of New Scientist magazine, 05 January 2006, page 24
UFOs and the CIA: A Close Encounter Of The Wrong Kind
CIA’s Role in the Study of UFOs, 1947-90
A Die-Hard Issue
WARNING: Before reading this lengthy commentary, be aware of the fact that this is but one of many, well-developed methods the CIA and the rest of the intelligence community uses via social media to disseminate its own disinformation, where they continuously lie in an effort to dissuade the public from believing that UFOs are real. What’s so even more interesting, is how the intelligence community in general has trouble keeping their own lies straight, where they appear to continuously contradict themselves. This is now a well-oiled machine, that is regularly reinforced by the media. I find it most interesting how the CIA places propaganda on their own servers. Do they really think that anyone with even half a brain will be stupid enough to believe that the CIA’s own “alleged cover-up” is an accurate one? Give me a break!
An extraordinary 95 percent of all Americans have at least heard or read something about Unidentified Flying Objects (UFOs), and 57 percent believe they are real. (1) Former US Presidents Carter and Reagan claim to have seen a UFO. UFOlogists–a neologism for UFO buffs–and private UFO organizations are found throughout the United States. Many are convinced that the US Government, and particularly CIA, are engaged in a massive conspiracy and coverup of the issue. The idea that CIA has secretly concealed its research into UFOs has been a major theme of UFO buffs since the modern UFO phenomena emerged in the late 1940s. (2)
In late 1993, after being pressured by UFOlogists for the release of additional CIA information on UFOs, (3) DCI R. James Woolsey ordered another review of all Agency files on UFOs. Using CIA records compiled from that review, this study traces CIA interest and involvement in the UFO controversy from the late 1940s to 1990. It chronologically examines the Agency’s efforts to solve the mystery of UFOs, its programs that had an impact on UFO sightings, and its attempts to conceal CIA involvement in the entire UFO issue. What emerges from this examination is that, while Agency concern over UFOs was substantial until the early 1950s, CIA has since paid only limited and peripheral attention to the phenomena.
The emergence in 1947 of the Cold War confrontation between the United States and the Soviet Union also saw the first wave of UFO sightings. The first report of a “flying saucer” over the United States came on 24 June 1947, when Kenneth Arnold, a private pilot and reputable businessman, while looking for a downed plane sighted nine disk-shaped objects near Mt. Rainier, Washington, traveling at an estimated speed of over 1,000 mph. Arnold’s report was followed by a flood of additional sightings, including reports from military and civilian pilots and air traffic controllers all over the United States. (4) In 1948, Air Force Gen. Nathan Twining, head of the Air Technical Service Command, established Project SIGN (initially named Project SAUCER) to collect, collate, evaluate, and distribute within the government all information relating to such sightings, on the premise that UFOs might be real and of national security concern. (5)
The Technical Intelligence Division of the Air Material Command (AMC) at Wright Field (later Wright-Patterson Air Force Base) in Dayton, Ohio, assumed control of Project SIGN and began its work on 23 January 1948. Although at first fearful that the objects might be Soviet secret weapons, the Air Force soon concluded that UFOs were real but easily explained and not extraordinary. The Air Force report found that almost all sightings stemmed from one or more of three causes: mass hysteria and hallucination, hoax, or misinterpretation of known objects. Nevertheless, the report recommended continued military intelligence control over the investigation of all sightings and did not rule out the possibility of extraterrestrial phenomena. (6)
Amid mounting UFO sightings, the Air Force continued to collect and evaluate UFO data in the late 1940s under a new project, GRUDGE, which tried to alleviate public anxiety over UFOs via a public relations campaign designed to persuade the public that UFOs constituted nothing unusual or extraordinary. UFO sightings were explained as balloons, conventional aircraft, planets, meteors, optical illusions, solar reflections, or even “large hailstones.” GRUDGE officials found no evidence in UFO sightings of advanced foreign weapons design or development, and they concluded that UFOs did not threaten US security. They recommended that the project be reduced in scope because the very existence of Air Force official interest encouraged people to believe in UFOs and contributed to a “war hysteria” atmosphere. On 27 December 1949, the Air Force announced the project’s termination. (7)
With increased Cold War tensions, the Korean war, and continued UFO sightings, USAF Director of Intelligence Maj. Gen. Charles P. Cabell ordered a new UFO project in 1952. Project BLUE BOOK became the major Air Force effort to study the UFO phenomenon throughout the 1950s and 1960s. (8) The task of identifying and explaining UFOs continued to fall on the Air Material Command at Wright-Patterson. With a small staff, the Air Technical Intelligence Center (ATIC) tried to persuade the public that UFOs were not extraordinary. (9) Projects SIGN, GRUDGE, and BLUE BOOK set the tone for the official US Government position regarding UFOs for the next 30 years.
Early CIA Concerns, 1947-52
CIA closely monitored the Air Force effort, aware of the mounting number of sightings and increasingly concerned that UFOs might pose a potential security threat. (10) Given the distribution of the sightings, CIA officials in 1952 questioned whether they might reflect “midsummer madness.” (11) Agency officials accepted the Air Force’s conclusions about UFO reports, although they concluded that “since there is a remote possibility that they may be interplanetary aircraft, it is necessary to investigate each sighting.” (12)
A massive buildup of sightings over the United States in 1952, especially in July, alarmed the Truman administration. On 19 and 20 July, radar scopes at Washington National Airport and Andrews Air Force Base tracked mysterious blips. On 27 July, the blips reappeared. The Air Force scrambled interceptor aircraft to investigate, but they found nothing. The incidents, however, caused headlines across the country. The White House wanted to know what was happening, and the Air Force quickly offered the explanation that the radar blips might be the result of “temperature inversions.” Later, a Civil Aeronautics Administration investigation confirmed that such radar blips were quite common and were caused by temperature inversions. (13)
Although it had monitored UFO reports for at least three years, CIA reacted to the new rash of sightings by forming a special study group within the Office of Scientific Intelligence (OSI) and the Office of Current Intelligence (OCI) to review the situation. (14) Edward Tauss, acting chief of OSI’s Weapons and Equipment Division, reported for the group that most UFO sightings could be easily explained. Nevertheless, he recommended that the Agency continue monitoring the problem, in coordination with ATIC. He also urged that CIA conceal its interest from the media and the public, “in view of their probable alarmist tendencies” to accept such interest as confirming the existence of UFOs. (15)
Upon receiving the report, Deputy Director for Intelligence (DDI) Robert Amory, Jr. assigned responsibility for the UFO investigations to OSI’s Physics and Electronics Division, with A. Ray Gordon as the officer in charge. (16) Each branch in the division was to contribute to the investigation, and Gordon was to coordinate closely with ATIC. Amory, who asked the group to focus on the national security implications of UFOs, was relaying DCI Walter Bedell Smith’s concerns. (17) Smith wanted to know whether or not the Air Force investigation of flying saucers was sufficiently objective and how much more money and manpower would be necessary to determine the cause of the small percentage of unexplained flying saucers. Smith believed “there was only one chance in 10,000 that the phenomenon posed a threat to the security of the country, but even that chance could not be taken.” According to Smith, it was CIA’s responsibility by statute to coordinate the intelligence effort required to solve the problem. Smith also wanted to know what use could be made of the UFO phenomenon in connection with US psychological warfare efforts. (18)
Led by Gordon, the CIA Study Group met with Air Force officials at Wright-Patterson and reviewed their data and findings. The Air Force claimed that 90 percent of the reported sightings were easily accounted for. The other 10 percent were characterized as “a number of incredible reports from credible observers.” The Air Force rejected the theories that the sightings involved US or Soviet secret weapons development or that they involved “men from Mars”; there was no evidence to support these concepts. The Air Force briefers sought to explain these UFO reports as the misinterpretation of known objects or little understood natural phenomena. (19) Air Force and CIA officials agreed that outside knowledge of Agency interest in UFOs would make the problem more serious. (20) This concealment of CIA interest contributed greatly to later charges of a CIA conspiracy and coverup.
Amateur photographs of alleged UFOs
The CIA Study Group also searched the Soviet press for UFO reports, but found none, causing the group to conclude that the absence of reports had to have been the result of deliberate Soviet Government policy. The group also envisioned the USSR’s possible use of UFOs as a psychological warfare tool. In addition, they worried that, if the US air warning system should be deliberately overloaded by UFO sightings, the Soviets might gain a surprise advantage in any nuclear attack. (21)
Because of the tense Cold War situation and increased Soviet capabilities, the CIA Study Group saw serious national security concerns in the flying saucer situation. The group believed that the Soviets could use UFO reports to touch off mass hysteria and panic in the United States. The group also believed that the Soviets might use UFO sightings to overload the US air warning system so that it could not distinguish real targets from phantom UFOs. H. Marshall Chadwell, Assistant Director of OSI, added that he considered the problem of such importance “that it should be brought to the attention of the National Security Council, in order that a communitywide coordinated effort towards it solution may be initiated.” (22)
Chadwell briefed DCI Smith on the subject of UFOs in December 1952. He urged action because he was convinced that “something was going on that must have immediate attention” and that “sightings of unexplained objects at great altitudes and traveling at high speeds in the vicinity of major US defense installations are of such nature that they are not attributable to natural phenomena or known types of aerial vehicles.” He drafted a memorandum from the DCI to the National Security Council (NSC) and a proposed NSC Directive establishing the investigation of UFOs as a priority project throughout the intelligence and the defense research and development community. (23) Chadwell also urged Smith to establish an external research project of top-level scientists to study the problem of UFOs. (24) After this briefing, Smith directed DDI Amory to prepare a NSC Intelligence Directive (NSCID) for submission to the NSC on the need to continue the investigation of UFOs and to coordinate such investigations with the Air Force. (25)
The Robertson Panel, 1952-53
On 4 December 1952, the Intelligence Advisory Committee (IAC) took up the issue of UFOs. (26) Amory, as acting chairman, presented DCI Smith’s request to the committee that it informally discuss the subject of UFOs. Chadwell then briefly reviewed the situation and the active program of the ATIC relating to UFOs. The committee agreed that the DCI should “enlist the services of selected scientists to review and appraise the available evidence in the light of pertinent scientific theories” and draft an NSCID on the subject. (27) Maj. Gen. John A. Samford, Director of Air Force Intelligence, offered full cooperation. (28)
At the same time, Chadwell looked into British efforts in this area. He learned the British also were active in studying the UFO phenomena. An eminent British scientist, R. V. Jones, headed a standing committee created in June 1951 on flying saucers. Jones’ and his committee’s conclusions on UFOs were similar to those of Agency officials: the sightings were not enemy aircraft but misrepresentations of natural phenomena. The British noted, however, that during a recent air show RAF pilots and senior military officials had observed a “perfect flying saucer.” Given the press response, according to the officer, Jones was having a most difficult time trying to correct public opinion regarding UFOs. The public was convinced they were real. (29)
In January 1953, Chadwell and H. P. Robertson, a noted physicist from the California Institute of Technology, put together a distinguished panel of nonmilitary scientists to study the UFO issue. It included Robertson as chairman; Samuel A. Goudsmit, a nuclear physicist from the Brookhaven National Laboratories; Luis Alvarez, a high-energy physicist; Thornton Page, the deputy director of the Johns Hopkins Operations Research Office and an expert on radar and electronics; and Lloyd Berkner, a director of the Brookhaven National Laboratories and a specialist in geophysics. (30)
The charge to the panel was to review the available evidence on UFOs and to consider the possible dangers of the phenomena to US national security. The panel met from 14 to 17 January 1953. It reviewed Air Force data on UFO case histories and, after spending 12 hours studying the phenomena, declared that reasonable explanations could be suggested for most, if not all, sightings. For example, after reviewing motion-picture film taken of a UFO sighting near Tremonton, Utah, on 2 July 1952 and one near Great Falls, Montana, on 15 August 1950, the panel concluded that the images on the Tremonton film were caused by sunlight reflecting off seagulls and that the images at Great Falls were sunlight reflecting off the surface of two Air Force interceptors. (31)
The panel concluded unanimously that there was no evidence of a direct threat to national security in the UFO sightings. Nor could the panel find any evidence that the objects sighted might be extraterrestrials. It did find that continued emphasis on UFO reporting might threaten “the orderly functioning” of the government by clogging the channels of communication with irrelevant reports and by inducing “hysterical mass behavior” harmful to constituted authority. The panel also worried that potential enemies contemplating an attack on the United States might exploit the UFO phenomena and use them to disrupt US air defenses. (32)
To meet these problems, the panel recommended that the National Security Council debunk UFO reports and institute a policy of public education to reassure the public of the lack of evidence behind UFOs. It suggested using the mass media, advertising, business clubs, schools, and even the Disney corporation to get the message across. Reporting at the height of McCarthyism, the panel also recommended that such private UFO groups as the Civilian Flying Saucer Investigators in Los Angeles and the Aerial Phenomena Research Organization in Wisconsin be monitored for subversive activities. (33)
The Robertson panel’s conclusions were strikingly similar to those of the earlier Air Force project reports on SIGN and GRUDGE and to those of the CIA’s own OSI Study Group. All investigative groups found that UFO reports indicated no direct threat to national security and no evidence of visits by extraterrestrials.
Following the Robertson panel findings, the Agency abandoned efforts to draft an NSCID on UFOs. (34) The Scientific Advisory Panel on UFOs (the Robertson panel) submitted its report to the IAC, the Secretary of Defense, the Director of the Federal Civil Defense Administration, and the Chairman of the National Security Resources Board. CIA officials said no further consideration of the subject appeared warranted, although they continued to monitor sightings in the interest of national security. Philip Strong and Fred Durant from OSI also briefed the Office of National Estimates on the findings. (35) CIA officials wanted knowledge of any Agency interest in the subject of flying saucers carefully restricted, noting not only that the Robertson panel report was classified but also that any mention of CIA sponsorship of the panel was forbidden. This attitude would later cause the Agency major problems relating to its credibility. (36)
The 1950s: Fading CIA Interest in UFOs
After the report of the Robertson panel, Agency officials put the entire issue of UFOs on the back burner. In May 1953, Chadwell transferred chief responsibility for keeping abreast of UFOs to OSI’s Physics and Electronic Division, while the Applied Science Division continued to provide any necessary support. (37) Todos M. Odarenko, chief of the Physics and Electronics Division, did not want to take on the problem, contending that it would require too much of his division’s analytic and clerical time. Given the findings of the Robertson panel, he proposed to consider the project “inactive” and to devote only one analyst part-time and a file clerk to maintain a reference file of the activities of the Air Force and other agencies on UFOs. Neither the Navy nor the Army showed much interest in UFOs, according to Odarenko. (38)
A nonbeliever in UFOs, Odarenko sought to have his division relieved of the responsibility for monitoring UFO reports. In 1955, for example, he recommended that the entire project be terminated because no new information concerning UFOs had surfaced. Besides, he argued, his division was facing a serious budget reduction and could not spare the resources. (39) Chadwell and other Agency officials, however, continued to worry about UFOs. Of special concern were overseas reports of UFO sightings and claims that German engineers held by the Soviets were developing a “flying saucer” as a future weapon of war. (40)
To most US political and military leaders, the Soviet Union by the mid-1950s had become a dangerous opponent. Soviet progress in nuclear weapons and guided missiles was particularly alarming. In the summer of 1949, the USSR had detonated an atomic bomb. In August 1953, only nine months after the United States tested a hydrogen bomb, the Soviets detonated one. In the spring of 1953, a top secret RAND Corporation study also pointed out the vulnerability of SAC bases to a surprise attack by Soviet long-range bombers. Concern over the danger of a Soviet attack on the United States continued to grow, and UFO sightings added to the uneasiness of US policymakers.
Mounting reports of UFOs over eastern Europe and Afghanistan also prompted concern that the Soviets were making rapid progress in this area. CIA officials knew that the British and Canadians were already experimenting with “flying saucers.” Project Y was a Canadian-British-US developmental operation to produce a nonconventional flying-saucer-type aircraft, and Agency officials feared the Soviets were testing similar devices. (41)
Adding to the concern was a flying saucer sighting by US Senator Richard Russell and his party while traveling on a train in the USSR in October 1955. After extensive interviews of Russell and his group, however, CIA officials concluded that Russell’s sighting did not support the theory that the Soviets had developed saucerlike or unconventional aircraft. Herbert Scoville, Jr., the Assistant Director of OSI, wrote that the objects observed probably were normal jet aircraft in a steep climb. (42)
Wilton E. Lexow, head of the CIA’s Applied Sciences Division, was also skeptical. He questioned why the Soviets were continuing to develop conventional-type aircraft if they had a “flying saucer.” (43) Scoville asked Lexow to assume responsibility for fully assessing the capabilities and limitations of nonconventional aircraft and to maintain the OSI central file on the subject of UFOs.
CIA’s U-2 and OXCART as UFOs
In November 1954, CIA had entered into the world of high technology with its U-2 overhead reconnaissance project. Working with Lockheed’s Advanced Development facility in Burbank, California, known as the Skunk Works, and Kelly Johnson, an eminent aeronautical engineer, the Agency by August 1955 was testing a high-altitude experimental aircraft–the U-2. It could fly at 60,000 feet; in the mid-1950s, most commercial airliners flew between 10,000 feet and 20,000 feet. Consequently, once the U-2 started test flights, commercial pilots and air traffic controllers began reporting a large increase in UFO sightings. (44) (U)
The early U-2s were silver (they were later painted black) and reflected the rays from the sun, especially at sunrise and sunset. They often appeared as fiery objects to observers below. Air Force BLUE BOOK investigators aware of the secret U-2 flights tried to explain away such sightings by linking them to natural phenomena such as ice crystals and temperature inversions. By checking with the Agency’s U-2 Project Staff in Washington, BLUE BOOK investigators were able to attribute many UFO sightings to U-2 flights. They were careful, however, not to reveal the true cause of the sighting to the public.
According to later estimates from CIA officials who worked on the U-2 project and the OXCART (SR-71, or Blackbird) project, over half of all UFO reports from the late 1950s through the 1960s were accounted for by manned reconnaissance flights (namely the U-2) over the United States. (45) This led the Air Force to make misleading and deceptive statements to the public in order to allay public fears and to protect an extraordinarily sensitive national security project. While perhaps justified, this deception added fuel to the later conspiracy theories and the coverup controversy of the 1970s. The percentage of what the Air Force considered unexplained UFO sightings fell to 5.9 percent in 1955 and to 4 percent in 1956. (46)
At the same time, pressure was building for the release of the Robertson panel report on UFOs. In 1956, Edward Ruppelt, former head of the Air Force BLUE BOOK project, publicly revealed the existence of the panel. A best-selling book by UFOlogist Donald Keyhoe, a retired Marine Corps major, advocated release of all government information relating to UFOs. Civilian UFO groups such as the National Investigations Committee on Aerial Phenomena (NICAP) and the Aerial Phenomena Research Organization (APRO) immediately pushed for release of the Robertson panel report. (47) Under pressure, the Air Force approached CIA for permission to declassify and release the report. Despite such pressure, Philip Strong, Deputy Assistant Director of OSI, refused to declassify the report and declined to disclose CIA sponsorship of the panel. As an alternative, the Agency prepared a sanitized version of the report which deleted any reference to CIA and avoided mention of any psychological warfare potential in the UFO controversy. (48)
The demands, however, for more government information about UFOs did not let up. On 8 March 1958, Keyhoe, in an interview with Mike Wallace of CBS, claimed deep CIA involvement with UFOs and Agency sponsorship of the Robertson panel. This prompted a series of letters to the Agency from Keyhoe and Dr. Leon Davidson, a chemical engineer and UFOlogist. They demanded the release of the full Robertson panel report and confirmation of CIA involvement in the UFO issue. Davidson had convinced himself that the Agency, not the Air Force, carried most of the responsibility for UFO analysis and that “the activities of the US Government are responsible for the flying saucer sightings of the last decade.” Indeed, because of the undisclosed U-2 and OXCART flights, Davidson was closer to the truth than he suspected. CI, nevertheless held firm to its policy of not revealing its role in UFO investigations and refused to declassify the full Robertson panel report. (49)
In a meeting with Air Force representatives to discuss how to handle future inquires such as Keyhoe’s and Davidson’s, Agency officials confirmed their opposition to the declassification of the full report and worried that Keyhoe had the ear of former DCI VAdm. Roscoe Hillenkoetter, who served on the board of governors of NICAP. They debated whether to have CIA General Counsel Lawrence R. Houston show Hillenkoetter the report as a possible way to defuse the situation. CIA officer Frank Chapin also hinted that Davidson might have ulterior motives, “some of them perhaps not in the best interest of this country,” and suggested bringing in the FBI to investigate. (50) Although the record is unclear whether the FBI ever instituted an investigation of Davidson or Keyhoe, or whether Houston ever saw Hillenkoetter about the Robertson report, Hillenkoetter did resign from the NICAP in 1962. (51)
The Agency was also involved with Davidson and Keyhoe in two rather famous UFO cases in the 1950s, which helped contribute to a growing sense of public distrust of CIA with regard to UFOs. One focused on what was reported to have been a tape recording of a radio signal from a flying saucer; the other on reported photographs of a flying saucer. The “radio code” incident began innocently enough in 1955, when two elderly sisters in Chicago, Mildred and Marie Maier, reported in the Journal of Space Flight their experiences with UFOs, including the recording of a radio program in which an unidentified code was reportedly heard. The sisters taped the program and other ham radio operators also claimed to have heard the “space message.” OSI became interested and asked the Scientific Contact Branch to obtain a copy of the recording. (52)
Field officers from the Contact Division (CD), one of whom was Dewelt Walker, made contact with the Maier sisters, who were “thrilled that the government was interested,” and set up a time to meet with them. (53) In trying to secure the tape recording, the Agency officers reported that they had stumbled upon a scene from Arsenic and Old Lace. “The only thing lacking was the elderberry wine,” Walker cabled Headquarters. After reviewing the sisters’ scrapbook of clippings from their days on the stage, the officers secured a copy of the recording. (54) OSI analyzed the tape and found it was nothing more than Morse code from a US radio station.
The matter rested there until UFOlogist Leon Davidson talked with the Maier sisters in 1957. The sisters remembered they had talked with a Mr. Walker who said he was from the US Air Force. Davidson then wrote to a Mr. Walker, believing him to be a US Air Force Intelligence Officer from Wright-Patterson, to ask if the tape had been analyzed at ATIC. Dewelt Walker replied to Davidson that the tape had been forwarded to proper authorities for evaluation, and no information was available concerning the results. Not satisfied, and suspecting that Walker was really a CIA officer, Davidson next wrote DCI Allen Dulles demanding to learn what the coded message revealed and who Mr. Walker was. (55) The Agency, wanting to keep Walker’s identity as a CIA employee secret, replied that another agency of the government had analyzed the tape in question and that Davidson would be hearing from the Air Force. (56) On 5 August, the Air Force wrote Davidson saying that Walker “was and is an Air Force Officer” and that the tape “was analyzed by another government organization.” The Air Force letter confirmed that the recording contained only identifiable Morse code which came from a known US-licensed radio station. (57)
Davidson wrote Dulles again. This time he wanted to know the identity of the Morse operator and of the agency that had conducted the analysis. CIA and the Air Force were now in a quandary. The Agency had previously denied that it had actually analyzed the tape. The Air Force had also denied analyzing the tape and claimed that Walker was an Air Force officer. CIA officers, under cover, contacted Davidson in Chicago and promised to get the code translation and the identification of the transmitter, if possible. (58)
In another attempt to pacify Davidson, a CIA officer, again under cover and wearing his Air Force uniform, contacted Davidson in New York City. The CIA officer explained that there was no super agency involved and that Air Force policy was not to disclose who was doing what. While seeming to accept this argument, Davidson nevertheless pressed for disclosure of the recording message and the source. The officer agreed to see what he could do. (59) After checking with Headquarters, the CIA officer phoned Davidson to report that a thorough check had been made and, because the signal was of known US origin, the tape and the notes made at the time had been destroyed to conserve file space. (60)
Incensed over what he perceived was a runaround, Davidson told the CIA officer that “he and his agency, whichever it was, were acting like Jimmy Hoffa and the Teamster Union in destroying records which might indict them.” (61) Believing that any more contact with Davidson would only encourage more speculation, the Contact Division washed its hands of the issue by reporting to the DCI and to ATIC that it would not respond to or try to contact Davidson again. (62) Thus, a minor, rather bizarre incident, handled poorly by both CIA and the Air Force, turned into a major flap that added fuel to the growing mystery surrounding UFOs and CIA’s role in their investigation.
Another minor flap a few months later added to the growing questions surrounding the Agency’s true role with regard to flying saucers. CIA’s concern over secrecy again made matters worse. In 1958, Major Keyhoe charged that the Agency was deliberately asking eyewitnesses of UFOs not to make their sightings public. (63)
The incident stemmed from a November 1957 request from OSI to the CD to obtain from Ralph C. Mayher, a photographer for KYW-TV in Cleveland, Ohio, certain photographs he took in 1952 of an unidentified flying object. Harry Real, a CD officer, contacted Mayher and obtained copies of the photographs for analysis. On 12 December 1957, John Hazen, another CD officer, returned the five photographs of the alleged UFO to Mayher without comment. Mayher asked Hazen for the Agency’s evaluation of the photos, explaining that he was trying to organize a TV program to brief the public on UFOs. He wanted to mention on the show that a US intelligence organization had viewed the photographs and thought them of interest. Although he advised Mayher not to take this approach, Hazen stated that Mayher was a US citizen and would have to make his own decision as to what to do. (64)
Keyhoe later contacted Mayher, who told him his story of CIA and the photographs. Keyhoe then asked the Agency to confirm Hazen’s employment in writing, in an effort to expose CIA’s role in UFO investigations. The Agency refused, despite the fact that CD field representatives were normally overt and carried credentials identifying their Agency association. DCI Dulles’s aide, John S. Earman, merely sent Keyhoe a noncommittal letter noting that, because UFOs were of primary concern to the Department of the Air Force, the Agency had referred his letter to the Air Force for an appropriate response. Like the response to Davidson, the Agency reply to Keyhoe only fueled the speculation that the Agency was deeply involved in UFO sightings. Pressure for release of CIA information on UFOs continued to grow. (65)
Although CIA had a declining interest in UFO cases, it continued to monitor UFO sightings. Agency officials felt the need to keep informed on UFOs if only to alert the DCI to the more sensational UFO reports and flaps. (66)
The 1960s: Declining CIA Involvement and Mounting Controversy
In the early 1960s, Keyhoe, Davidson, and other UFOlogists maintained their assault on the Agency for release of UFO information. Davidson now claimed that CIA “was solely responsible for creating the Flying Saucer furor as a tool for cold war psychological warfare since 1951.” Despite calls for Congressional hearings and the release of all materials relating to UFOs, little changed. (67)
In 1964, however, following high-level White House discussions on what to do if an alien intelligence was discovered in space and a new outbreak of UFO reports and sightings, DCI John McCone asked for an updated CIA evaluation of UFOs. Responding to McCone’s request, OSI asked the CD to obtain various recent samples and reports of UFO sightings from NICAP. With Keyhoe, one of the founders, no longer active in the organization, CIA officers met with Richard H. Hall, the acting director. Hall gave the officers samples from the NICAP database on the most recent sightings. (68)
After OSI officers had reviewed the material, Donald F. Chamberlain, OSI Assistant Director, assured McCone that little had changed since the early 1950s. There was still no evidence that UFOs were a threat to the security of the United States or that they were of “foreign origin.” Chamberlain told McCone that OSI still monitored UFO reports, including the official Air Force investigation, Project BLUE BOOK. (69)
At the same time that CIA was conducting this latest internal review of UFOs, public pressure forced the Air Force to establish a special ad hoc committee to review BLUE BOOK. Chaired by Dr. Brian O’Brien, a member of the Air Force Scientific Advisory Board, the panel included Carl Sagan, the famous astronomer from Cornell University. Its report offered nothing new. It declared that UFOs did not threaten the national security and that it could find “no UFO case which represented technological or scientific advances outside of a terrestrial framework.” The committee did recommend that UFOs be studied intensively, with a leading university acting as a coordinator for the project, to settle the issue conclusively. (70)
The House Armed Services Committee also held brief hearings on UFOs in 1966 that produced similar results. Secretary of the Air Force Harold Brown assured the committee that most sightings were easily explained and that there was no evidence that “strangers from outer space” had been visiting Earth. He told the committee members, however, that the Air Force would keep an open mind and continue to investigate all UFO reports. (71)
Following the report of its O’Brien Committee, the House hearings on UFOs, and Dr. Robertson’s disclosure on a CBS Reports program that CIA indeed had been involved in UFO analysis, the Air Force in July 1966 again approached the Agency for declassification of the entire Robertson panel report of 1953 and the full Durant report on the Robertson panel deliberations and findings. The Agency again refused to budge. Karl H. Weber, Deputy Director of OSI, wrote the Air Force that “We are most anxious that further publicity not be given to the information that the panel was sponsored by the CIA.” Weber noted that there was already a sanitized version available to the public. (72) Weber’s response was rather shortsighted and ill considered. It only drew more attention to the 13-year-old Robertson panel report and CIA’s role in the investigation of UFOs. The science editor of The Saturday Review drew nationwide attention to the CIA’s role in investigating UFOs when he published an article criticizing the “sanitized version” of the 1953 Robertson panel report and called for release of the entire document. (73)
Unknown to CIA officials, Dr. James E. McDonald, a noted atmospheric physicist from the University of Arizona, had already seen the Durant report on the Robertson panel proceedings at Wright-Patterson on 6 June 1966. When McDonald returned to Wright-Patterson on 30 June to copy the report, however, the Air Force refused to let him see it again, stating that it was a CIA classified document. Emerging as a UFO authority, McDonald publicly claimed that the CIA was behind the Air Force secrecy policies and coverup. He demanded the release of the full Robertson panel report and the Durant report. (74)
Bowing to public pressure and the recommendation of its own O’Brien Committee, the Air Force announced in August 1966 that it was seeking a contract with a leading university to undertake a program of intensive investigations of UFO sightings. The new program was designed to blunt continuing charges that the US Government had concealed what it knew about UFOs. On 7 October, the University of Colorado accepted a $325,000 contract with the Air Force for an 18-month study of flying saucers. Dr. Edward U. Condon, a physicist at Colorado and a former Director of the National Bureau of Standards, agreed to head the program. Pronouncing himself an “agnostic” on the subject of UFOs, Condon observed that he had an open mind on the question and thought that possible extraterritorial origins were “improbable but not impossible.” (75) Brig. Gen. Edward Giller, USAF, and Dr. Thomas Ratchford from the Air Force Research and Development Office became the Air Force coordinators for the project.
In February 1967, Giller contacted Arthur C. Lundahl, Director of CIA’s National Photographic Interpretation Center (NPIC), and proposed an informal liaison through which NPIC could provide the Condon Committee with technical advice and services in examining photographs of alleged UFOs. Lundahl and DDI R. Jack Smith approved the arrangement as a way of “preserving a window” on the new effort. They wanted the CIA and NPIC to maintain a low profile, however, and to take no part in writing any conclusions for the committee. No work done for the committee by NPIC was to be formally acknowledged. (76)
Ratchford next requested that Condon and his committee be allowed to visit NPIC to discuss the technical aspects of the problem and to view the special equipment NPIC had for photoanalysis. On 20 February 1967, Condon and four members of his committee visited NPIC. Lundahl emphasized to the group that any NPIC work to assist the committee must not be identified as CIA work. Moreover, work performed by NPIC would be strictly of a technical nature. After receiving these guidelines, the group heard a series of briefings on the services and equipment not available elsewhere that CIA had used in its analysis of some UFO photography furnished by Ratchford. Condon and his committee were impressed. (77)
Condon and the same group met again in May 1967 at NPIC to hear an analysis of UFO photographs taken at Zanesville, Ohio. The analysis debunked that sighting. The committee was again impressed with the technical work performed, and Condon remarked that for the first time a scientific analysis of a UFO would stand up to investigation. (78) The group also discussed the committee’s plans to call on US citizens for additional photographs and to issue guidelines for taking useful UFO photographs. In addition, CIA officials agreed that the Condon Committee could release the full Durant report with only minor deletions.
In April 1969, Condon and his committee released their report on UFOs. The report concluded that little, if anything, had come from the study of UFOs in the past 21 years and that further extensive study of UFO sightings was unwarranted. It also recommended that the Air Force special unit, Project BLUE BOOK, be discontinued. It did not mention CIA participation in the Condon committee’s investigation. (79) A special panel established by the National Academy of Sciences reviewed the Condon report and concurred with its conclusion that “no high priority in UFO investigations is warranted by data of the past two decades.” It concluded its review by declaring, “On the basis of present knowledge, the least likely explanation of UFOs is the hypothesis of extraterrestrial visitations by intelligent beings.” Following the recommendations of the Condon Committee and the National Academy of Sciences, the Secretary of the Air Force, Robert C. Seamans, Jr., announced on 17 December 1969 the termination of BLUE BOOK. (80)
The 1970s and 1980s: The UFO Issue Refuses To Die
The Condon report did not satisfy many UFOlogists, who considered it a coverup for CIA activities in UFO research. Additional sightings in the early 1970s fueled beliefs that the CIA was somehow involved in a vast conspiracy. On 7 June 1975, William Spaulding, head of a small UFO group, Ground Saucer Watch (GSW), wrote to CIA requesting a copy of the Robertson panel report and all records relating to UFOs. (81) Spaulding was convinced that the Agency was withholding major files on UFOs. Agency officials provided Spaulding with a copy of the Robertson panel report and of the Durant report. (82)
On 14 July 1975, Spaulding again wrote the Agency questioning the authenticity of the reports he had received and alleging a CIA coverup of its UFO activities. Gene Wilson, CIA’s Information and Privacy Coordinator, replied in an attempt to satisfy Spaulding, “At no time prior to the formation of the Robertson Panel and subsequent to the issuance of the panel’s report has CIA engaged in the study of the UFO phenomena.” The Robertson panel report, according to Wilson, was “the summation of Agency interest and involvement in UFOs.” Wilson also inferred that there were no additional documents in CIA’s possession that related to UFOs. Wilson was ill informed. (83)
In September 1977, Spaulding and GSW, unconvinced by Wilson’s response, filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit against the Agency that specifically requested all UFO documents in CIA’s possession. Deluged by similar FOIA requests for Agency information on UFOs, CIA officials agreed, after much legal maneuvering, to conduct a “reasonable search” of CIA files for UFO materials. (84) Despite an Agency-wide unsympathetic attitude toward the suit, Agency officials, led by Launie Ziebell from the Office of General Counsel, conducted a thorough search for records pertaining to UFOs. Persistent, demanding, and even threatening at times, Ziebell and his group scoured the Agency. They even turned up an old UFO file under a secretary’s desk. The search finally produced 355 documents totaling approximately 900 pages. On 14 December 1978, the Agency released all but 57 documents of about 100 pages to GSW. It withheld these 57 documents on national security grounds and to protect sources and methods. (85)
Although the released documents produced no smoking gun and revealed only a low-level Agency interest in the UFO phenomena after the Robertson panel report of 1953, the press treated the release in a sensational manner. The New York Times, for example, claimed that the declassified documents confirmed intensive government concern over UFOs and that the Agency was secretly involved in the surveillance of UFOs. (86) GSW then sued for the release of the withheld documents, claiming that the Agency was still holding out key information. (87) It was much like the John F. Kennedy assassination issue. No matter how much material the Agency released and no matter how dull and prosaic the information, people continued to believe in a Agency coverup and conspiracy.
DCI Stansfield Turner was so upset when he read The New York Times article that he asked his senior officers, “Are we in UFOs?” After reviewing the records, Don Wortman, Deputy Director for Administration, reported to Turner that there was “no organized Agency effort to do research in connection with UFO phenomena nor has there been an organized effort to collect intelligence on UFOs since the 1950s.” Wortman assured Turner that the Agency records held only “sporadic instances of correspondence dealing with the subject,” including various kinds of reports of UFO sightings. There was no Agency program to collect actively information on UFOs, and the material released to GSW had few deletions. (88) Thus assured, Turner had the General Counsel press for a summary judgment against the new lawsuit by GSW. In May 1980, the courts dismissed the lawsuit, finding that the Agency had conducted a thorough and adequate search in good faith. (89)
During the late 1970s and 1980s, the Agency continued its low-key interest in UFOs and UFO sightings. While most scientists now dismissed flying saucers reports as a quaint part of the 1950s and 1960s, some in the Agency and in the Intelligence Community shifted their interest to studying parapsychology and psychic phenomena associated with UFO sightings. CIA officials also looked at the UFO problem to determine what UFO sightings might tell them about Soviet progress in rockets and missiles and reviewed its counterintelligence aspects. Agency analysts from the Life Science Division of OSI and OSWR officially devoted a small amount of their time to issues relating to UFOs. These included counterintelligence concerns that the Soviets and the KGB were using US citizens and UFO groups to obtain information on sensitive US weapons development programs (such as the Stealth aircraft), the vulnerability of the US air-defense network to penetration by foreign missiles mimicking UFOs, and evidence of Soviet advanced technology associated with UFO sightings.
CIA also maintained Intelligence Community coordination with other agencies regarding their work in parapsychology, psychic phenomena, and “remote viewing” experiments. In general, the Agency took a conservative scientific view of these unconventional scientific issues. There was no formal or official UFO project within the Agency in the 1980s, and Agency officials purposely kept files on UFOs to a minimum to avoid creating records that might mislead the public if released. (90)
The 1980s also produced renewed charges that the Agency was still withholding documents relating to the 1947 Roswell incident, in which a flying saucer supposedly crashed in New Mexico, and the surfacing of documents which purportedly revealed the existence of a top secret US research and development intelligence operation responsible only to the President on UFOs in the late 1940s and early 1950s. UFOlogists had long argued that, following a flying saucer crash in New Mexico in 1947, the government not only recovered debris from the crashed saucer but also four or five alien bodies. According to some UFOlogists, the government clamped tight security around the project and has refused to divulge its investigation results and research ever since. (91) In September 1994, the US Air Force released a new report on the Roswell incident that concluded that the debris found in New Mexico in 1947 probably came from a once top secret balloon operation, Project MOGUL, designed to monitor the atmosphere for evidence of Soviet nuclear tests. (92)
Circa 1984, a series of documents surfaced which some UFOlogists said proved that President Truman created a top secret committee in 1947, Majestic-12, to secure the recovery of UFO wreckage from Roswell and any other UFO crash sight for scientific study and to examine any alien bodies recovered from such sites. Most if not all of these documents have proved to be fabrications. Yet the controversy persists. (93)
Like the JFK assassination conspiracy theories, the UFO issue probably will not go away soon, no matter what the Agency does or says. The belief that we are not alone in the universe is too emotionally appealing and the distrust of our government is too pervasive to make the issue amenable to traditional scientific studies of rational explanation and evidence.
(1) See the 1973 Gallup Poll results printed in The New York Times, 29 November 1973, p. 45 and Philip J. Klass, UFOs: The Public Deceived (New York: Prometheus Books, 1983), p. 3.
(2) See Klass, UFOs, p. 3; James S. Gordon, “The UFO Experience,” Atlantic Monthly (August 1991), pp. 82-92; David Michael Jacobs, The UFO Controversy in America (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1975); Howard Blum, Out There: The Government’s Secret Quest for Extraterrestrials (New York: Simon and Schuster, 1990); Timothy Good, Above Top Secret: The Worldwide UFO Cover-Up (New York: William Morrow, 1987); and Whitley Strieber, Communion: The True Story (New York: Morrow, 1987).
(3) In September 1993 John Peterson, an acquaintance of Woolsey’s, first approached the DCI with a package of heavily sanitized CIA material on UFOs released to UFOlogist Stanton T. Friedman. Peterson and Friedman wanted to know the reasons for the redactions. Woolsey agreed to look into the matter. See Richard J. Warshaw, Executive Assistant, note to author, 1 November 1994; Warshaw, note to John H. Wright, Information and Privacy Coordinator, 31 January 1994; and Wright, memorandum to Executive Secretariat, 2 March 1994. (Except where noted, all citations to CIA records in this article are to the records collected for the 1994 Agency-wide search that are held by the Executive Assistant to the DCI).
(4) See Hector Quintanilla, Jr., “The Investigation of UFOs,” Vol. 10, No. 4, Studies in Intelligence (fall 1966): pp.95-110 and CIA, unsigned memorandum, “Flying Saucers,” 14 August 1952. See also Good, Above Top Secret, p. 253. During World War II, US pilots reported “foo fighters” (bright lights trailing US aircraft). Fearing they might be Japanese or German secret weapons, OSS investigated but could find no concrete evidence of enemy weapons and often filed such reports in the “crackpot” category. The OSS also investigated possible sightings of German V-1 and V-2 rockets before their operational use during the war. See Jacobs, UFO Controversy, p. 33. The Central Intelligence Group, the predecessor of the CIA, also monitored reports of “ghost rockets” in Sweden in 1946. See CIG, Intelligence Report, 9 April 1947.
(5) Jacobs, The UFO Controversy, p. 156 and Quintanilla, “The Investigation of UFOs,” p. 97.
(6) See US Air Force, Air Material Command, “Unidentified Aerial Objects: Project SIGN, no. F-TR 2274, IA, February 1949, Records of the US Air Force Commands, Activities and Organizations, Record Group 341, National Archives, Washington, DC.
(7) See US Air Force, Projects GRUDGE and BLUEBOOK Reports 1- 12 (Washington, DC; National Investigations Committee on Aerial Phenomena, 1968) and Jacobs, The UFO Controversy, pp. 50-54.
(8) See Cabell, memorandum to Commanding Generals Major Air Commands, “Reporting of Information on Unconventional Aircraft,” 8 September 1950 and Jacobs, The UFO Controversy, p. 65.
(9) See Air Force, Projects GRUDGE and BLUE BOOK and Jacobs, The UFO Controversy, p. 67.
(10) See Edward Tauss, memorandum for Deputy Assistant Director, SI, “Flying Saucers,” 1 August 1952. See also United Kingdom, Report by the “Flying Saucer” Working Party, “Unidentified Flying Objects,” no date (approximately 1950).
(11) See Dr. Stone, OSI, memorandum to Dr. Willard Machle, OSI, 15 March 1949 and Ralph L. Clark, Acting Assistant Director, OSI, memorandum for DDI, “Recent Sightings of Unexplained Objects,” 29 July 1952.
(12) Stone, memorandum to Machle. See also Clark, memorandum for DDI, 29 July 1952.
(13) See Klass, UFOs, p. 15. For a brief review of the Washington sightings see Good, Above Top Secret, pp. 269-271.
(14) See Ralph L. Clark, Acting Assistant Director, OSI, memorandum to DDI Robert Amory, Jr., 29 July 1952. OSI and OCI were in the Directorate of Intelligence. Established in 1948, OSI served as the CIA’s focal point for the analysis of foreign scientific and technological developments. In 1980, OSI was merged into the Office of Science and Weapons Research. The Office of Current Intelligence (OCI), established on 15 January 1951 was to provide all-source current intelligence to the President and the National Security Council.
(15) Tauss, memorandum for Deputy Assistant Director, SI (Philip Strong), 1 August 1952.
(16) On 2 January 1952, DCI Walter Bedell Smith created a Deputy Directorate for Intelligence (DDI) composed of six overt CIA organizations–OSI, OCI, Office of Collection and Dissemination, Office National Estimates, Office of Research and Reports, and the Office of Intelligence Coordination–to produce intelligence analysis for US policymakers.
(17) See Minutes of Branch Chief’s Meeting, 11 August 1952.
(18) Smith expressed his opinions at a meeting in the DCI Conference Room attended by his top officers. See Deputy Chief, Requirements Staff, FI, memorandum for Deputy Director, Plans, “Flying Saucers,” 20 August 1952, Directorate of Operations Records, Information Management Staff, Job 86-00538R, Box 1.
(19) See CIA memorandum, unsigned, “Flying Saucers,” 11 August 1952.
(20) See CIA, memorandum, unsigned, “Flying Saucers,” 14 August 1952.
(21) See CIA, memorandum, unsigned, “Flying Saucers,” 19 August 1952.
(22) See Chadwell, memorandum for Smith, 17 September 1952 and 24 September 1952, “Flying Saucers.” See also Chadwell, memorandum for DCI Smith, 2 October 1952 and Klass, UFOs, pp. 23-26.
(23) Chadwell, memorandum for DCI with attachments, 2 December 1952. See also Klass, UFOs, pp. 26-27 and Chadwell, memorandum, 25 November 1952.
(24) See Chadwell, memorandum, 25 November 1952 and Chadwell, memorandum, “Approval in Principle – External Research Project Concerned with Unidentified Flying Objects,” no date. See also Philip G. Strong, OSI, memorandum for the record, “Meeting with Dr. Julius A. Stratton, Executive Vice President and Provost, MIT and Dr. Max Millikan, Director of CENIS.” Strong believed that in order to undertake such a review they would need the full backing and support of DCI Smith.
(25) See Chadwell, memorandum for DCI, “”Unidentified Flying Objects,” 2 December 1952. See also Chadwell, memorandum for Amory, DDI, “Approval in Principle – External Research Project Concerned with Unidentified Flying Objects,” no date.
(26) The IAC was created in 1947 to serve as a coordinating body in establishing intelligence requirements. Chaired by the DCI, the IAC included representatives from the Department of State, the Army, the Air Force, the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the FBI, and the AEC.
(27) See Klass, UFOs, p. 27.
(28) See Richard D. Drain, Acting Secretary, IAC, “Minutes of Meeting held in Director’s Conference Room, Administration Building, CIA,” 4 December 1952.
(29) See Chadwell, memorandum for the record, “British Activity in the Field of UFOs,” 18 December 1952.
(30) See Chadwell, memorandum for DCI, “Consultants for Advisory Panel on Unidentified Flying Objects,” 9 January 1953; Curtis Peebles, Watch the Skies! A Chronicle of the Flying Saucer Myth (Washington, DC: Smithsonian Institution Press, 1994). pp. 73-90; and Jacobs, The UFO Controversy, pp. 91-92.
(31) See Fred C. Durant III, Report on the Robertson Panel Meeting, January 1953. Durant, on contract with OSI and a past president of the American Rocket Society, attended the Robertson panel meetings and wrote a summary of the proceedings.
(32) See Report of the Scientific Panel on Unidentified Flying Objects (the Robertson Report), 17 January 1953 and the Durant report on the panel discussions.
(33) See Robertson Report and Durant Report. See also Good, Above Top Secret, pp. 337-38, Jacobs, The UFO Controversy, p. 95, and Klass, UFO’s, pp. 28-29.
(34) See Reber, memorandum to IAC, 18 February 1953.
(35) See Chadwell, memorandum for DDI, “Unidentified Flying Objects,” 10 February 1953; Chadwell, letter to Robertson, 28 January 1953; and Reber, memorandum for IAC, “Unidentified Flying Objects,” 18 February 1953. On briefing the ONE, see Durant, memorandum for the record, “Briefing of ONE Board on Unidentified Flying Objects,” 30 January 1953 and CIA Summary disseminated to the field, “Unidentified Flying Objects,” 6 February 1953.
(36) See Chadwell, letter to Julius A. Stratton, Provost MIT, 27 January 1953.
(37) See Chadwell, memorandum for Chief, Physics and Electronics Division/OSI (Todos M. Odarenko), “Unidentified Flying Objects,” 27 May 1953.
(38) See Odarenko, memorandum to Chadwell, “Unidentified Flying Objects,” 3 July 1953. See also Odarenko, memorandum to Chadwell, “Current Status of Unidentified Flying Objects (UFOB) Project,” 17 December 1953.
(39) See Odarenko, memorandum, “Unidentified Flying Objects,” 8 August 1955.
(40) See FBIS, report, “Military Unconventional Aircraft,” 18 August 1953 and various reports, “Military-Air, Unconventional Aircraft,” 1953, 1954, 1955.
(41) Developed by the Canadian affiliate of Britain’s A. V. Roe, Ltd., Project Y did produce a small-scale model that hovered a few feet off the ground. See Odarenko, memorandum to Chadwell, “Flying Saucer Type of Planes” 25 May 1954; Frederic C. E. Oder, memorandum to Odarenko, “USAF Project Y,” 21 May 1954; and Odarenko, T. M. Nordbeck, Ops/SI, and Sidney Graybeal, ASD/SI, memorandum for the record, “Intelligence Responsibilities for Non-Conventional Types of Air Vehicles,” 14 June 1954.
(42) See Reuben Efron, memorandum, “Observation of Flying Object Near Baku,” 13 October 1955; Scoville, memorandum for the record, “Interview with Senator Richard B. Russell,” 27 October 1955; and Wilton E. Lexow, memorandum for information, “Reported Sighting of Unconventional Aircraft,” 19 October 1955.
(43) See Lexow, memorandum for information, “Reported Sighting of Unconventional Aircraft,” 19 October 1955. See also Frank C. Bolser, memorandum for George C. Miller, Deputy Chief, SAD/SI, “Possible Soviet Flying Saucers, Check On;” Lexow, memorandum, “Possible Soviet Flying Saucers, Follow Up On,” 17 December 1954; Lexow, memorandum, “Possible Soviet Flying Saucers,” 1 December 1954; and A. H. Sullivan, Jr., memorandum, “Possible Soviet Flying Saucers,” 24 November 1954.
(44) See Gregory W. Pedlow and Donald E. Welzenbach, The Central Intelligence Agency and Overhead Reconnaissance: The U-2 and OXCART Programs, 1954-1974 (Washington, DC: CIA History Staff, 1992), pp. 72-73.
(45) See Pedlow and Welzenbach, Overhead Reconnaissance, pp. 72-73. This also was confirmed in a telephone interview between the author and John Parongosky, 26 July 1994. Parongosky oversaw the day-to-day affairs of the OXCART program.
(46) See Jacobs, The UFO Controversy, p. 135.
(47) See Peebles, Watch the Skies, pp. 128-146; Ruppelt, The Report on Unidentified Flying Objects (New York: Doubleday, 1956); Keyhoe, The Flying Saucer Conspiracy (New York: Holt, 1955); and Jacobs, The UFO Controversy, pp. 347-49.
(48) See Strong, letter to Lloyd W. Berkner; Strong, letter to Thorton Page; Strong, letter to Robertson; Strong, letter to Samuel Goudsmit; Strong, letter to Luis Alvarez, 20 December 1957; and Strong, memorandum for Major James F. Byrne, Assistant Chief of Staff, Intelligence Department of the Air Force, “Declassification of the `Report of the Scientific Panel on Unidentified Flying Objects,'” 20 December 1957. See also Berkner, letter to Strong, 20 November 1957 and Page, letter to Strong, 4 December 1957. The panel members were also reluctant to have their association with the Agency released.
(49) See Wilton E. Lexow, memorandum for the record, “Comments on Letters Dealing with Unidentified Flying Objects,” 4 April 1958; J. S. Earman, letter to Major Lawrence J. Tacker, Office of the Secretary of the Air Force, Information Service, 4 April 1958; Davidson, letter to Berkner, 8 April 1958; Berkner, letter to Davidson, 18 April 1958; Berkner, letter to Strong, 21 April 1958; Davidson, letter to Tacker, 27 April 1958; Davidson, letter to Allen Dulles, 27 April 1958; Ruppelt, letter to Davidson, 7 May 1958; Strong, letter to Berkner, 8 May 1958; Davidson, letter to Berkner, 8 May 1958; Davidson, letter to Earman, 16 May 1958; Davidson, letter to Goudsmit, 18 May 1958; Davidson, letter to Page, 18 May 1958; and Tacker, letter to Davidson, 20 May 1958.
(50) See Lexow, memorandum for Chapin, 28 July 1958.
(51) See Good, Above Top Secret, pp. 346-47; Lexow, memorandum for the record, “Meeting with the Air Force Personnel Concerning Scientific Advisory Panel Report on Unidentified Flying Objects, dated 17 January 1953 (S),” 16 May 1958. See also La Rae L. Teel, Deputy Division Chief, ASD, memorandum for the record, “Meeting with Mr. Chapin on Replying to Leon Davidson’s UFO Letter and Subsequent Telephone Conversation with Major Thacker, [sic]” 22 May 1958.
(52) See Edwin M. Ashcraft, Chief, Contact Division (Scientific), memorandum to Chief, Chicago Office, “Radio Code Recording,” 4 March 1955 and Ashcraft, memorandum to Chief, Support Branch, OSI, 17 March 1955.
(53) The Contact Division was created to collect foreign intelligence information from sources within the United States. See the Directorate of Intelligence Historical Series, The Origin and Development of Contact Division, 11 July 19461 July 1965 (Washington, DC; CIA Historical Staff, June 1969).
(54) See George O. Forrest, Chief, Chicago Office, memorandum to Chief, Contact Division for Science, 11 March 1955.
(55) See Support Division (Connell), memorandum to Dewelt E. Walker, 25 April 1957.
(56) See J. Arnold Shaw, Assistant to the Director, letter to Davidson, 10 May 1957.
(57) See Support (Connell) memorandum to Lt. Col. V. Skakich, 27 August 1957 and Lamountain, memorandum to Support (Connell), 20 December 1957.
(58) See Lamountain, cable to Support (Connell), 31 July 1958.
(59) See Support (Connell) cable to Skakich, 3 October 1957 and Skakich, cable to Connell, 9 October 1957.
(60) See Skakich, cable to Connell, 9 October 1957.
(61) See R. P. B. Lohmann, memorandum for Chief, Contact Division, DO, 9 January 1958.
(62) See Support, cable to Skakich, 20 February 1958 and Connell (Support) cable to Lamountain, 19 December 1957.
(63) See Edwin M. Ashcraft, Chief, Contact Division, Office of Operations, memorandum for Austin Bricker, Jr., Assistant to the Director, “Inquiry by Major Donald E. Keyhoe on John Hazen’s Association with the Agency,” 22 January 1959.
(64) See John T. Hazen, memorandum to Chief, Contact Division, 12 December 1957. See also Ashcraft, memorandum to Cleveland Resident Agent, “Ralph E. Mayher,” 20 December 1957. According to this memorandum, the photographs were viewed at “a high level and returned to us without comment.” The Air Force held the original negatives. The CIA records were probably destroyed.
(65) The issue would resurface in the 1970s with the GSW FOIA court case.
(66) See Robert Amory, Jr., DDI, memorandum for Assistant Director/Scientific Intelligence, “Flying Saucers,” 26 March 1956. See also Wallace R. Lamphire, Office of the Director, Planning and Coordination Staff, memorandum for Richard M. Bissell, Jr., “Unidentified Flying Saucers (UFO),” 11 June 1957; Philip Strong, memorandum for the Director, NPIC, “Reported Photography of Unidentified Flying Objects,” 27 October 1958; Scoville, memorandum to Lawrence Houston, Legislative Counsel, “Reply to Honorable Joseph E. Garth,” 12 July 1961; and Houston, letter to Garth, 13 July 1961.
(67) See, for example, Davidson, letter to Congressman Joseph Garth, 26 June 1961 and Carl Vinson, Chairman, House Committee on Armed Services, letter to Rep. Robert A. Everett, 2 September 1964.
(68) See Maxwell W. Hunter, staff member, National Aeronautics and Space Council, Executive Office of the President, memorandum for Robert F. Parkard, Office of International Scientific Affairs, Department of State, “Thoughts on the Space Alien Race Question,” 18 July 1963, File SP 16, Records of the Department of State, Record Group 59, National Archives. See also F. J. Sheridan, Chief, Washington Office, memorandum to Chief, Contact Division, “National Investigation Committee on Aerial Phenomena (NICAP),” 25 January 1965.
(69) Chamberlain, memorandum for DCI, “Evaluation of UFOs,” 26 January 1965.
(70) See Jacobs, The UFO Controversy, p. 199 and US Air Force, Scientific Advisory Board, Ad Hoc Committee (O’Brien Committee) to Review Project BLUE BOOK, Special Report (Washington, DC: 1966). See also The New York Times, 14 August 1966, p. 70.
(71) See “Congress Reassured on Space Visits,” The New York Times, 6 April 1966.
(72) Weber, letter to Col. Gerald E. Jorgensen, Chief, Community Relations Division, Office of Information, US Air Force, 15 August 1966. The Durant report was a detailed summary of the Robertson panel proceedings.
(73) See John Lear, “The Disputed CIA Document on UFOs,” Saturday Review (September 3, 1966), p. 45. The Lear article was otherwise unsympathetic to UFO sightings and the possibility that extraterritorials were involved. The Air Force had been eager to provide Lear with the full report. See Walter L. Mackey, Executive Officer, memorandum for DCI, “Air Force Request to Declassify CIA Material on Unidentified Flying Objects (UFO),” 1 September 1966.
(74) See Klass, UFOs, p. 40, Jacobs, The UFO Controversy, p. 214 and Everet Clark, “Physicist Scores `Saucer Status,'” The New York Times, 21 October 1966. See also James E. McDonald, “Statement on Unidentified Flying Objects,” submitted to the House Committee on Science and Astronautics, 29 July 1968.
(75) Condon is quoted in Walter Sullivan, “3 Aides Selected in Saucer Inquiry,” The New York Times, 8 October 1966. See also “An Outspoken Scientist, Edward Uhler Condon,” The New York Times, 8 October 1966. Condon, an outgoing, gruff scientist, had earlier become embroiled in a controversy with the House Unamerican Activities Committee that claimed Condon was “one of the weakest links in our atomic security.” See also Peebles, Watch the Skies, pp. 169-195.
(76) See Lundahl, memorandum for DDI, 7 February 1967.
(77) See memorandum for the record, “Visit of Dr. Condon to NPIC, 20 February 1967,” 23 February 1967. See also the analysis of the photographs in memorandum for Lundahl, “Photo Analysis of UFO Photography,” 17 February 1967.
(78) See memorandum for the record, “UFO Briefing for Dr. Edward Condon, 5 May 1967,” 8 May 1967 and attached “Guidelines to UFO Photographers and UFO Photographic Information Sheet.” See also Condon Committee, Press Release, 1 May 1967 and Klass, UFOs, p. 41. The Zaneville photographs turned out to be a hoax.
(79) See Edward U. Condon, Scientific Study of Unidentified Flying Objects (New York: Bantam Books, 1969) and Klass, UFOs, p. 41. The report contained the Durant report with only minor deletions.
(80) See Office of Assistant Secretary of Defense, News Release, “Air Force to Terminate Project BLUEBOOK,” 17 December 1969. The Air Force retired BLUEBOOK records to the USAF Archives at Maxwell Air Force Base in Alabama. In 1976 the Air Force turned over all BLUEBOOK files to the National Archives and Records Administration, which made them available to the public without major restrictions. Some names have been withheld from the documents. See Klass, UFOs, p. 6.
(81) GSW was a small group of UFO buffs based in Phoenix, Arizona, and headed by William H. Spaulding.
(82) See Klass, UFOs, p. 8.
(83) See Wilson, letter to Spaulding, 26 March 1976 and GSW v. CIA Civil Action Case 78-859.
(84) GSW v. CIA Civil Action Case 78-859, p. 2.
(85) Author interview with Launie Ziebell, 23 June 1994 and author interview with OSI analyst, 21 July 1994. See also affidavits of George Owens, CIA Information and Privacy Act Coordinator; Karl H. Weber, OSI; Sidney D. Stembridge, Office of Security; and Rutledge P. Hazzard, DS&T; GSW v. CIA Civil Action Case 78-859 and Sayre Stevens, Deputy Director for National Foreign Assessment, memorandum for Thomas H. White, Assistant for Information, Information Review Committee, “FOIA Litigation Ground Saucer Watch,” no date.
(86) See “CIA Papers Detail UFO Surveillance,” The New York Times, 13 January 1979; Patrick Huyghe, “UFO Files: The Untold Story,” The New York Times Magazine, 14 October 1979, p. 106; and Jerome Clark, “UFO Update,” UFO Report, August 1979.
(87) Jerome Clark, “Latest UFO News Briefs From Around the World,” UFO Update, August 1979 and GSW v. CIA Civil Action No. 78-859.
(88) See Wortman, memorandum for DCI Turner, “Your Question, `Are we in UFOs?’ Annotated to The New York Times News Release Article,” 18 January 1979.
(89) See GSW v. CIA Civil Action 78-859. See also Klass, UFOs, pp. 10-12.
(90) See John Brennan, memorandum for Richard Warshaw, Executive Assistant, DCI, “Requested Information on UFOs,” 30 September 1993; Author interviews with OSWR analyst, 14 June 1994 and OSI analyst, 21 July 1994. This author found almost no documentation on Agency involvement with UFOs in the 1980s.
There is a DIA Psychic Center and the NSA studies parapsychology, that branch of psychology that deals with the investigation of such psychic phenomena as clairvoyance, extrasensory perception, and telepathy. The CIA reportedly is also a member of an Incident Response Team to investigate UFO landings, if one should occur. This team has never met. The lack of solid CIA documentation on Agency UFO-related activities in the 1980s leaves the entire issue somewhat murky for this period.
Much of the UFO literature presently focuses on contactees and abductees. See John E. Mack, Abduction, Human Encounters with Aliens (New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1994) and Howard Blum, Out There (New York: Simon and Schuster, 1990).
(91) See Charles Berlitz and William L. Moore, The Roswell Incident (New York: Berkeley Books, 1988); Moore, “The Roswell Incident: New Evidence in the Search for a Crashed UFO,” (Burbank, California: Fair Witness Project, 1982), Publication Number 1201; and Klass, UFOs, pp. 280-281. In 1994 Congressman Steven H. Schiff (R-NM) called for an official study of the Roswell incident. The GAO is conducting a separate investigation of the incident. The CIA is not involved in the investigation. See Klass, UFOs, pp. 279-281; John H. Wright, Information and Privacy Coordinator, letter to Derek Skreen, 20 September 1993; and OSWR analyst interview. See also the made-for-TV film, Roswell, which appeared on cable TV on 31 July 1994 and Peebles, Watch the Skies, pp. 245-251.
(92) See John Diamond, “Air Force Probes 1947 UFO Claim Findings Are Down to Earth,” 9 September 1994, Associated Press release; William J. Broad, “Wreckage of a `Spaceship': Of This Earth (and U.S.),” The New York Times, 18 September 1994, p. 1; and USAF Col. Richard L. Weaver and 1st Lt. James McAndrew, The Roswell Report, Fact Versus Fiction in New Mexico Desert (Washington, DC: GPO, 1995).
(93) See Good, Above Top Secret; Moore and S. T. Friedman, “Philip Klass and MJ-12: What are the Facts,” (Burbank California: Fair-Witness Project, 1988), Publication Number 1290; Klass, “New Evidence of MJ-12 Hoax,” Skeptical Inquirer, vol. 14 (Winter 1990); and Moore and Jaime H. Shandera, The MJ-12 Documents: An Analytical Report (Burbank, California: Fair-Witness Project, 1990), Publication Number 1500. Walter Bedell Smith supposedly replaced Forrestal on 1 August 1950 following Forrestal’s death. All members listed were deceased when the MJ-12 “documents” surfaced in 1984. See Peebles, Watch the Skies, pp. 258-268.
Dr. Larry Bland, editor of The George C. Marshall Papers, discovered that one of the so-called Majestic-12 documents was a complete fraud. It contained the exact same language as a letter from Marshall to Presidential candidate Thomas Dewey regarding the “Magic” intercepts in 1944. The dates and names had been altered and “Magic” changed to “Majic.” Moreover, it was a photocopy, not an original. No original MJ-12 documents have ever surfaced. Telephone conversation between the author and Bland, 29 August 1994.
Gerald K. Haines is the National Reconnaissance Office historian.
Demystifying The Paranormal. Dr. Barry Taff Unravels the Poltergeist Mystery
As Published In:
It’s cheesy, and certainly doesn’t speak to the man’s work, but take the three original Ghostbusters. Imagine the pithy sarcasm of Peter Venkman, the uncompromising shrewdness of Egon Spengler, top it with the zealous, stocky stature of occult-buff Ray Stanz, and you can more or less paint a picture of parapsychologist Dr. Barry E. Taff.
If you’re not familiar with the man, maybe you’re familiar with the 1983 film The Entity starring Barbara Hershey, an eerie psychological horror where the female protagonist is repeatedly raped by some malevolent presence. If you’re not familiar with either, then you’re not clued in on the stranger side of poltergeist phenomena (yes, it gets much stranger).
It’s a film that sparked notoriety in paranormal circles, and even placed at #4 in Martin Scorsese’s “11 Scariest Horror Films of All Time”. http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2009/10/28/martin-scorseses-top-11-horror-films-of-all-time.html. It was based on a real 1974 investigation that would mark the beginning of, and ultimately define, Dr. Taff’s long, polarizing, and rather illuminating career in parapsychology.
If Los Angeles has any local legends, The Entity Case is definitely one of them.
During the summer of ‘74, Doris Bither (Carla Moran in the film) and her four children were being terrorized by unseen forces in their new, and rather shabby, home in Culver City, California. As research assistants at UCLA’s now-nonexistent Parapsychology Lab (I’ll get to that later), it was business as usual for Dr. Taff and his colleague Kerry Gaynor when they interviewed Doris at her home. She described some typical, ghostly disturbances since her family moved in, but it wasn’t long before she dropped a bombshell.
“I’ve been raped,” she told them. The men’s faces turned white. “There were three of them. Two held me down, and a big one attacked me.” It was at that point Dr. Taff and Gaynor referred Doris to a clinical psychologist on staff at UCLA and shortly after departed.
It was almost two weeks later that they agreed to return to Doris’ house… now there were witnesses. They arrived, this time met with the smell of rotting flesh, extreme drops in temperature (during a hot L.A. summer), and a frying pan that flew out of a cabinet and tossed itself across the kitchen floor.
What followed was a weeks-long investigation which peaked with the appearance of a full-fledge apparition. In front of Doris, Dr. Taff, and the two dozen research assistants and techies buzzing around the house, strange ‘corpuscular masses of light’ coalesced and formed into the upper torso of a large humanoid figure. It looked around at the room full of shocked onlookers before it vanished suddenly.
Doris eventually moved, only to have the activity follow her. So, she moved again, and then again, and then again. Dr. Taff eventually lost touch with her, and was left with more questions than answers. For more of the story: http://www.dailymotion.com/video/x1534e9_dr-barry-taff-the-entity-files creation.
That was forty years ago. Though a landmark case, Doris Bither’s is only 1 in over 4,000 that Dr. Taff has personally investigated. With a Ph.D in Psychophysiology and a minor in Biomedical Engineering, his life’s work in the paranormal field has essentially led him to this: “There is no such thing as the paranormal,” he says flatly, “it’s a misnomer.”
Taff posits that we’ve been calling ‘paranormal’ is actually more normal than we may think. I’m not sure if that’s supposed to make you feel better, but, essentially, the problem could have less to do with dead people floating around, and more to do with the psychogenic nature of the human subconscious.
I mentioned the UCLA Parapsychology Lab earlier, Dr. Taff’s old stomping grounds. And no, it isn’t the subject of another horror film. Taff was mentored during a time when there was widespread interest in parapsychology. At UCLA’s Neuropsychiatric Institute (NPI), now the Semel Institute, the lab operated from 1969-1978, headed by Dr. Thelma Moss. The lab functioned on two fronts:
Firstly, it facilitated ‘psi-training research groups’ in which average individuals were aided in developing their extra-sensory perception (ESP), recording the accuracy of nonlocal observation long before Remote Viewing became a household phrase. The lab’s psi results were uncanny, and to test subjects, startling. The success rates transcended the odds of mere coincidence. “It was intriguing, but also boring,” he recalls, “because it became easy to replicate.” In addition to being covered by The L.A. Times and local news, the experiments attracted the attention of the CIA, NSA, ONI, DLI, DIA, DARPA, the FBI, and even the CHP and LAPD, all of whom paid numerous visits to the lab, often in civilian clothing.
Secondly, the lab investigated haunted houses and sites all over Southern California. Among them was the infamous Holly Mont Drive case in 1976, where a once grandiose Mediterranean home now sits rotting, http://la.curbed.com/archives/2013/02/lovely_but_wrecked_mediterranean_in_the_hills_needs_a_miracle.php still nestled in the old Hollywood Hills above Franklin Village. In fact, it’s one of the few cases Taff considers to be a genuine ‘haunting’, as opposed to poltergeist phenomena they typically encountered.
The university quickly became wary of the lab’s work, and its end was looming. Being that the lab was a non-sanctioned entity, and with its prospects of attracting federal grant money, new NPI chairman Dr. Louis Jolyon West shut it down. UCLA didn’t want an embarrassing PR scandal on their hands. As disappointed as Dr. Taff was, he didn’t blame the university for its outlook, as the stigma attached to parapsychology was palpable even in 1978. Read more in detail here http://www.teemingbrain.com/2012/11/15/legacys-end-the-rise-and-fall-of-the-ucla-parapsychology-lab/. Asking the university for information about the lab will yield a stonewall denial of its existence, despite articles like this one still being published to this day. http://dailybruin.com/2010/10/26/ucla_lab_researched_parapsychology_in_the_70s/
Though survival-after-death is yet to be proved or disproved, a compelling theory surfaced for Dr. Taff after thousands of investigations and decades of collected data. According to him, what we imagine as ‘ghosts’ is actually stemming from very real, and very alive people. Taff refers to these people as Poltergeist Agents, who unknowingly act as ‘biological waveguides’ when they enter a specific environment. I know, stay with me.
Essentially, Taff lists three variables that act together in concert to produce the physical manifestations of a good old-fashioned haunting: 1) The haunted site is located in an electromagnetically (EMF) anomalous environment 2) The poltergeist agent is usually prone to seizures or epileptic, and their biomagnetic field emits well over one million times the amplitude compared to the average person and 3) The poltergeist agent is neurologically wired in a way, usually an inability to cope with stress, that enables their nervous system to hyper-react to said environment and wreak paranormal havoc.
“Once these conditions are met, all bets are off,” Dr. Taff bluntly assures, “anything could occur.” So, if you’d like to, imagine all your deep-seated, psychological frustrations and anxieties literally coming to life, as it were, and going bump in the night…
There’s more. Poltergeist phenomena, according to Taff, can also behave like a virus, following the agent from house to house, infected the site, leaving it saturated with its residual energy for another potential agent to come along, move in, and pick it up. “The places and faces may change, but the phenomena does not.” And you thought Ebola was scary.
Such intrepid and rarely discussed theories are not unlike the theories of those like Jacques Vallee (The Invisible College), D. Rogo Scott (The Haunted Universe), and John Keel (The Mothman Prophecies). They all too, in their own way, came to the conclusion that there is an underlying connection between all the seemingly ‘separate’ aspects of the paranormal. Consciousness, it seems, plays a pivotal and cunning role.
But it’s a long road to the kind of scientific discovery Dr. Taff is after. There’s a big hindrance to the pursuit of understanding the paranormal: Being eclipsed by its perpetual mystification at the hands of charlatans and science fiction.
“As there are no academic credentials required for anyone to go out and investigate the paranormal,” Dr. Taff says, as matter-of-factly as any scientist could, “every new age groupie is out there looking for demons, emulating the garbage they’ve seen on cable TV paranormal shows. To fully comprehend the possibility that a living person’s subconscious mind can involuntarily generate such power as to manifest luminous anomalies, apparitions, and macroscopic psychokinetic events, is for me, far more compelling than if a discarnate intelligence was responsible.”
The ranting of an acerbic old man, or the long-due condemnation coming from a hardened researcher? While you decide, here’s Nick Kroll’s “Ghost Bouncers” for your viewing pleasure. http://youtu.be/2LBPoxMnfzc
Whatever the case may be, it certainly begs the question: Is pop culture, and its increasing saturation in the media, hindering the scientific pursuit of demystifying the paranormal?
Even horror films pre-slasher-80’s held a general air of sophistication in regards to research. Recall the 1973 Roddy McDowall classic Legend of Hell House, based on the book by the late Richard Matheson, in which the rational physicist played by Clive Revill asserts that the Hell House hauntings are merely the result of unfocused electromagnetic energy, and nothing that suggests survival after death; a theory that is tested to untimely ends.
Jump forward to The Innkeepers, a 2010 indie darling written and directed by Ti West. The frumpy male character Luke, played by Pat Healy, is nothing more than an amateur (and, spoiler alert: phoney) ghost hunter hoping to get hits on his blog and score points with Claire, played by Sara Paxton, also a mere ghost hunting enthusiast. Nothing in the story comes to revelation, as it turns out creepy ghost brides are simply creepy ghost brides. Or how about the anti-climactic reveal in 2013’s The Conjuring, when it turns out creepy, satanic ghost witches are simply creepy, satanic ghost witches?
Not that anyone’s putting recent film-making efforts down, but it’s the culture itself that may have an impairment—pigeon-holing investigations as ‘ghost hunts’ and reducing its aims to nothing beyond a reality TV market in a culture that continues to shout, “Show me the money (not so much the data)!”
It’s these very reasons Dr. Taff doesn’t bother preaching to the choir. He blames the fact that the paranormal arena is ignored by mainstream science and psychologists on the fact that it attracts droves of mentally and emotionally unstable people. http://barrytaff.net/2012/12/psi-and-psychosis-be-afraid-be-very-afraid/
It becomes a catch-22—without the funding and research, it becomes difficult to properly differentiate between what’s parapsychological and what’s psychotic. Suffice to say Taff received a bit of backlash from the paranormal community, and was put down for what was construed as an attack on the mentally ill.
Although blunt, even curt, his conclusions and ongoing theories are made clear, steered by observational data. In our rational and mechanistic culture of the West, Dr. Taff is a lone voice in bringing a scientific framework to a phenomenon we have credulous language for, if any language at all—scrubbed from the pages of Wikipedia, purged from the annals of academia.
For the first time in his lengthy career, he published a book chronicling his case studies. Aliens Above, Ghosts Below: Explorations of the Unknown (Cosmic Pantheon Press) is a healthy mix of spine-tingling chills, dry analysis, and rather candid personal insight. There’s a lot to geek out to, everything from haunted houses to alien abduction to warp drives to alternative means of energy. There’s almost too much to consider. What you’re getting is the vanguard of rationale for strange albeit everyday phenomena that continues to dazzle the public, and frustrate mainstream science.
A remake of The Entity has been in the works for quite some time now (director Hideo Nakata was attached at one point), which would resemble more closely the events of the actual case. The 1983 version was based on the novel by Frank De Felitta, who was present during the investigation. If you’ve read this far, I imagine your interest is piqued. So, for your eerie pleasure, I’ve included segments of a phone interview I had with Dr. Taff this past Day of the Dead:
It’s been a long time since ‘The Entity’, a film that continues terrifying its audience. Do you think the remake can have the same effect, or are its aims completely different?
I personally didn’t like the film. The director rewrote a lot of it, and it was lambasted in the press. I remember Barbara Hershey pleaded with the production company to be in the movie, as did Ron Silver, but they hated it after it was torn apart in the media. If [the remake] was made today, and was the same thing as it was then, it might be a little hokey. But if it’s more serious and follows what really transpired, it could be more frightening. A lot of it simply depends on who’s writing, directing, and acting in it.
In the field, you’ve witnessed objects, even people, being tossed across rooms by unseen forces. If restless dead people aren’t the culprit, what then is at work here?
I don’t, for one second, believe this is the work of dead people throwing living people around. The evidence and collected data suggests these effects are the result of what’s called Recurrent Spontaneous Psychokinesis (RSPK).
There’s two types of psychokinesis (moving physical objects around without physical means). There’s microscopic, which works on very small scales, things like affecting random number generators, random event generators, and moving subatomic particles around. It’s usually electrostatic-based, fatigue in the individual is shown, as it’s done on a conscious level. And then there’s macroscopic, what we call ‘poltergeist,’ and that’s a whole different ball of wax. We’re talking about the ability of moving very massive objects, hundreds of pounds easily. It’s done on a subconscious level, as there is no fatigue seen in the person at the core of it. Like the microscopic type, it’s believed that the phenomena are generated by a living human agency.
So, it’s our subconscious minds, then, that have the ability to hurl household objects around?
It’s more complicated than that. It seems to be that there are several overlapping variables at work. One is the location—either a geomagnetic or an electromagnetic anomaly site—where there’s some strong form of energy that we know of affecting the individual at the core of the phenomenon. The second variable is that the individual is usually seizure-prone or epileptic, sometimes without knowing it. Lastly, they also suffer from ineffective coping mechanisms and problems dealing with stress. If those three variables work in the right relationship with one another, you get phenomena.
The way the electromagnetic environment affects these people is stressful. It alters their body in some way. The mechanism is called ‘inductive resonance coupling’. So, even if you’re in the right environment and you’re seizure-prone or epileptic, if the field doesn’t resonate with yours…nothing happens. And that may be based more on your emotions than anything else. What’s also curious is that most seizure-prone or epileptic people are not poltergeist agents. It’s unilateral, not bilateral, and we don’t know what the missing variable is. This is why, with every case we approach, on top of everything else we do a medical background check of the individual and ask a lot of personal questions that, seemingly, have little to do with what’s going on.
If mainstream science pursued the understanding this phenomena, what kind of consequences would it have on the current paradigm?
My gut is telling me is that if we find out what this energy is, it could take us to the stars. This is energy that does work without heat! There’s only four forms of energy that we basically deal with: electromagnetism, strong and weak nuclear, and gravitational. Well, it can’t be gravitational because the mass is insufficient. It can’t be nuclear because the individual would be dead due to ionization long before any RSPK occurred. Is it electromagnetic? When you see a 215-pound man being picked up and thrown across a room, his clothing and everything else should burst into flame by the liberated heat of the force doing it. Second law of thermodynamics. But it doesn’t get hot, it gets cold! What are we being shown here? Call it Zero Point Energy, call it whatever you want, but whatever it is explains much, if not all, of the paranormal—from ESP all the way to OBE’s (out-of-body experiences) and NDE’s (near-death experiences). However, the way this energy couples to us is almost assuredly magnetic in nature. The problem is we can’t simulate these conditions and test it in a lab yet. For one, it would be very, very costly, and more importantly, it would also put the test subjects at risk—you might fry them.
A Wikipedia search for Remote Viewing tells us there is no credible scientific evidence that RV works, and that it failed to produce any useful intelligence information. What are your thoughts?
Well, I’m curious as to who wrote and posted the entry. Anyways, yes, there is an overwhelming amount of data, it’s been replicated thousands of times. We ran the research at UCLA long before there was work at SRI [Stanford Research Institute], and it ran until ’78 when the lab closed. After that, we went into offices in the Westwood area and ran it through 1987, and then everyone went in their own direction and that was that. It’s real. It’s demonstrable. It doesn’t work with everyone, if it did we would understand it. And even when it does work with a lot of people, we still don’t understand the mechanism. The reason our government didn’t do anything with remote viewing is because 1) they couldn’t weaponize it 2) they couldn’t profit from it and 3) they were skeptical of it because we couldn’t explain the mechanism, even though it worked. So, if you can’t kill anybody with it, and if you can’t explain it, then either it’s useless or it must be the Devil.
What do you think we can we do to reintroduce science into the paranormal?
First of all, get rid of the crap on television. One of the biggest negative factors dealing with this subject matter is, basically, all of these paranormal reality shows being fraudulent. In my opinion, they’ve set the field back at least three quarters of a century. The shows are all fake, everyone knows that. A lot of people don’t even care. There isn’t a legitimate paranormal reality show on TV because it can’t count on something happening, you have to make it happen, and that means you’re faking it. But if you’re a producer, you’ve got to have a show, you can’t just have talking heads for forty-two minutes. It’s this kind of market that has attached a stigma to the paranormal. If you go into this field there’s a good chance, academically, you’ll never work. You won’t have a job. I can testify to that.
So your work in this field has alienated you from other professional endeavors? What sort of prejudice have you experienced?
For example, I do a lot of normal things, I have a company that develops a number of medical patents, not involving the paranormal. But since my name is in these [business] plans, potential investors have looked me up and instantly think I’m nuts because, well… “You’re doing all this crazy stuff.” See, if you’re already wealthy, or you’ve made a lot of money turning investments into big profits, then you’re “eccentric,” and they don’t care what you’re doing. But if you’re not financially lucrative, or successful doing anything with someone else’s money, then you’re “crazy.”
I confronted an investor about it recently. It was a big multinational electronics company, you’ve probably heard of them. They initially approved to develop three out of five of our patents. It went to the head of development, they thought our work was great, we’re given a green light. Okay, great. But then months go by, and we don’t hear from them. So, we send an inquiry. The head of the company gets back to us, and starts going off on how the patents are bullshit, the research is bullshit, and on and on. And we’re going, “What? Where did this come from?” So, I asked him, “Look, tell me the truth. Drop the bullshit, and just tell me the truth.” And after a long pause he says, “Okay, you want to know the truth? I looked you up and the minute I found out who are you and what you do, I threw it away. You’re crazy. No one’s giving you money, no one will ever give you money, they’ll think you’re crazy, and you are. End of story.” So, this has happened at least six to eight times that we know of, and it’s because of my background in parapsychology. Since then, we’ve changed a lot of our plans, omitted my name, we changed the name of the company, I don’t even know what it is anymore, nor do I want to know. I’m completely removed from it. So, getting into this professionally, you’ll eventually discover you can’t get a job. “Sorry, position’s already full.” That kind of thing. It’s looked at as a pseudoscience, it’s looked at as a fringe science. If you can’t make a lot of money with it, and if you can’t kill people with it, no one cares. It has no use in the western world. So that’s, you ’know, where things are.
It’s interesting that hauntings could be more of a mental health issue than, say, a spiritual one. If people find themselves in a ‘haunted’ home, what can they do about it (short of running to their favorite television network)?
Well, first of all, the probability of something literally harming people is the chance of you getting hit with a meteorite in the next five minutes. It’s not going to happen. And since most people don’t even want to read what the real research has indicated, it’s a dead end. Until we get to the point where we understand the mechanism behind these things, nothing will ever change. This kind of phenomena has been around forever. Our ancestors believed this stuff was the result of dead people floating around. Now we know different. I have a little over 4,500 cases in my file, and I’d say more than 99% have been poltergeists. Very few, if any, have been what we call ‘hauntings,’ and even those are suspect. You go where the data takes you. If you can’t replicate something in a laboratory under controlled conditions, like we can with remote viewing, you’re basically left with noticing patterns—longitudinal patterns—in the data you collect. And it’s there. It’s kind of a joke almost. As I always emphasize: the places and faces may change, but the events do not. So you see the same thing, over and over, over and over. And you keep getting the same stories, the same measurements, the same readings, and the same answers to all the medical and psychological background questions. So the question becomes: How many times do you have to be hit in the head with this stuff before you realize, “Oh my god, this is amazing?!”
In terms of having an interest in this subject matter, I’ve gotten the most useful information attending your lectures. How often do you speak publicly?
Well, in the ‘70s, ‘80s, and ‘90s I was lecturing a lot. But it’s very infrequently now. If I lecture a couple times a year, I’m amazed. The only thing I’ve done recently, funny enough, was film for a TV show, “Ghost Adventures: Aftershocks” on the Travel Channel.
So paranormal reality shows aren’t entirely off the table for you?
The only reason I agree to do certain shows is because they don’t ask me to lie about myself or the work. I’m not conducting any field research, but they are featuring a recent update from my Cielo Drive case in the Benedict Canyon area. We’ve got this incredible photo. The woman pictured was having a mini seizure, and directly next to her head is a strange, luminous anomaly that wasn’t seen by anyone present at the time. I think what we’re seeing here is the optical analog of what the energy is doing to her: the very potent geomagnetic field was literally cooking her brain, and she was convulsing because of it.
Wow, so that’ll be featured on ‘Ghost Adventures: Aftershocks’ on the Travel Channel?
Yes, it’s supposed to air in February.
The Lockheed Martin TR-3B
A friend said, he would never forget the sight of the alien looking TR-3B based at Papoose. The pitch black, triangular shaped TR-3B was rarely mentioned–and then, only in hushed whispers–at the Groom Lake facility where he worked. The craft had flown over the Groom Lake runway in complete silence and magically stopped above Area S-4. It hovered silently in the same position, for some 10 minutes, before gently settling vertically to the tarmac. At times a corona of silver blue light glowed around the circumference of the massive TR-3B. The operational model is 600 feet across.
Okay, admittedly the physics discussed in the video above is just speculation, speculation based on “Known” physics, primarily inside the box.
Could it be something more exotic? of course, something far more refined than mercury vapor at hundreds of thousands of atmospheres of pressure spinning at ridiculous speeds? yes.
Something like harnessing energy from the vacuum, complete localized control of gravity and inertia.
The bigger question is how could they keep this a secret for so long? for some answers and compelling thought on this question see the video below which discusses UFO’s and the national security state, how extensively important the deepest parts of the government consider this technology and the UFO issue to be despite their continued denial of being interested or having any knowledge at all, all the while having perfected gravity control since 1955 or 56.
NOTE: In 1965 the NSA had Computers with a clock speed of MHz, computer technology of that level was not available commercially until 2000, 35 years later!
NOTE: Some key aspects of Maxwell’s Equations were wrong!
If this is true as it seems to be, a good deal of the physics people use to discredit the possibility of these technologies may be rendered invalid!
The TR-3B vehicles outer coating is highly reactive to radar stimulation and can change it’s reflectiveness, absorption coefficient, and color (electro-chromic?). This polymer skin, when used in conjunction with the TR-3B’s electronic Counter Measures and (ECM), can make the vehicle look like a small aircraft, or a flying cylinder, or even trick radar receivers into falsely detecting a variety of aircraft, no aircraft, or several aircraft at various locations. A circular, plasma filled accelerator ring called the Magnetic Field Disruptor (MFD), surrounds the rotational crew compartment and is far ahead of any imaginable technology.
Sandia and Livermore laboratories developed the reverse engineered MFD technology. The government will go to any lengths to protect this technology. The plasma, mercury based, is pressurized at 250,000 atmospheres at a temperature of 150 degrees Kelvin and accelerated to 50,000 rpm to create a super-conductive plasma with the resulting gravity disruption. The MFD generates a magnetic vortex field, which disrupts or neutralizes the effects of gravity on mass within proximity, by 89 percent. Do not misunderstand. This is not anti-gravity. Anti-gravity provides a repulsive force that can be used for propulsion. The MFD creates a disruption of the Earth’s gravitational field upon the mass within the circular accelerator. The mass of the circular accelerator and all mass within the accelerator, such as that within the cockpit, avionics, MFD systems, fuels, crew environmental systems, and the nuclear reactor, are reduced by 89%. This causes the effect of making the vehicle extremely light and able to outperform and outmaneuver any craft yet constructed–except, of course, those UFOs we did not build.
The TR-3B is a high-altitude, stealth, reconnaissance platform with an indefinite loiter time. Once you get it up there at speed, it doesn’t take much propulsion to maintain altitude. At Groom Lake there have been whispered rumors of a new element that acts as a catalyst to the plasma. With the vehicle mass reduced by 89%, the craft can travel at Mach 9, vertically or horizontally. My sources say the performance is limited only the stresses that the human pilots can endure. Which is a lot, really, considering along with the 89% reduction in mass, the g-loading forces are also reduced by 89%.
The TR-3Bs propulsion is provided by 3 multi-mode thrusters mounted at each bottom corner of the triangular platform. The TR-3 is a sub-Mach 9 vehicle until it reaches altitudes above 120,000 feet, then god knows how fast it can go! The 3 multi-mode rocket engines mounted under each corner of the craft use hydrogen or methane and oxygen as a propellant. In a liquid oxygen/hydrogen rocket system, 85% of the propellant mass is oxygen. The nuclear thermal rocket engine uses a hydrogen propellant, augmented with oxygen for additional thrust. The reactor heats the liquid hydrogen and injects liquid oxygen in the supersonic nozzle, so that the hydrogen burns concurrently in the liquid oxygen afterburner. The multi-mode propulsion system can; operate in the atmosphere, with thrust provided by the nuclear reactor, in the upper atmosphere, with hydrogen propulsion, and in orbit, with the combined hydrogen\ oxygen propulsion.
What you have to remember is, that the 3 rocket engines only have to propel 11 percent of the mass of the Top Secret TR-3B. The engines are reportedly built by Rockwell. Many sightings of triangular UFOs are not alien vehicles but the top-secret TR-3B. The NSA, NRO, CIA, and USAF have been playing a shell game with aircraft nomenclature – creating the TR-3, modified to the TR-3A, the TR-3B, and the Teir 2, 3, and 4, with suffixes like “Plus” or “Minus” added on to confuse further the fact that each of these designators is a different aircraft and not the same aerospace vehicle. A TR-3B is as different from a TR-3A as a banana is from a grape. Some of these vehicles are manned and others are unmanned.
A Poltergeist Case To Remember
What you’re about to read below is a detailed chronicle of this most extraordinary poltergeist case that affected the lives of the late Lisa McIntosh, Barry Conrad, myself and many others. While this chronicle is almost a blow-by-blow account of what happened, even more background detail can be found in chapter seven, “An Irreplaceable Loss: The Life and Death of A Poltergeist Agent”, of my book Aliens Above, Ghosts Below: Explorations Of The Unknown.
While the majority of these events transpired at Barry Conrad’s house in Glendale, CA, there were a number of events that occurred outside Conrad’s house as related to Lisa. But what’s most important to remember here is that Lisa claimed that as she was growing up, her parent’s moved from one haunted house to another, which is equivalent to winning the Power Ball Lottery at the billion dollar level five times in a row. For a greater understanding of how this type of case fits into the lengthy history of such phenomena, read other blogs on this site entitled “Looking A Gift Ghost In The Mouth: The Science of Poltergeists” and “Hazardous Hauntings: The Enemy Within”.
One last item of note here. Barry Conrad moved into his Glendale home in 1997, and there were no poltergeist incidents until Lisa McIntosh moved in during the early summer of 2001, and after she had accompanied Conrad and I out on a case in the evening of October 12, 2001.
10/13/01: 8:30-11A.M.: Lisa MacIntosh’s hair dryer turns itself on in upstairs bathroom.
10/15/01: 12-3 P.M.: Lisa on computer when it shuts down spontaneously.10/17/01: 7-8 P.M. Conrad & Lisa observe blinding blue-white flash of light from no apparent source, while in entrance way of house.
October? After 1 A.M. Conrad and Lisa were upstairs asleep when the explosive sounds of heavy furniture crashing came form downstairs. Conrad runs downstairs thinking his home entertainment center has been destroyed, but finds absolutely nothing to account for the sounds. Once upstairs and back in bed and almost asleep once again, the loud sound once again emanated from the first floor. Again Conrad runs down expecting the worse and finds nothing.
10/26/01: 1 A.M.: While Conrad’s out-of-town on a shoot. Lisa is up in the master bedroom and begins to feel pressure around her head. The dog (Bo) starts to jump up into bed as it usually does. In mid-jump, Bo hits “invisible” wall and is violently repelled backwards into wall beneath window by unseen force. Dog is momentarily stunned, shakes, moans, etc. Then starts visually tracking something unseen while growling/barking at “it”. Interestingly, Lisa was harboring strong negative emotions towards Bo who was frequently jumping into bed. In fact, Lisa had Conrad put the dog out every night after that due to her disgust at dog’s aggressive/territorial behavior.
11/01/01: 2:30 A.M.: As Conrad and Lisa are about to go to bed there is an extremely loud sound within the bedroom. The high decibel sound of cracking wood (perhaps high voltage discharge?) Event lasts maybe 3-4 seconds. The sound appears to be coming from right next to them. Lisa is terrified and starts to shake and cry. Interestingly, the dog dives under the bed as if to hide just prior to event, as if in anticipation.
11/05/01: 11:15 A.M.: Conrad & Lisa in bed. Lisa’s calf is repeatedly touched/tapped by invisible fingers. She jumps out of bed terrified.
11/28/01: 1 A.M. : Conrad hears very loud pounding coming from ceiling of living room (3-4 bangs) while watching TV (like that of very big sledge hammer being slammed into the bedroom floor). When he goes upstairs to investigate, Lisa is sound asleep and heard nothing.
11/28/01: 8 P.M. : Lisa observes can of empty dog food that Bo dragged into entrance hall move of its own accord across carpet.
12/02/01: 5:20 P.M.: While Lisa & Conrad are lying in bed in main bedroom, they hear something approach the door. Doorknob turns and door opens. This event was preceded by both Conrad & Lisa feeling the same pressure around their head, which gave Conrad a headache.
12/16/01: 10:45 P.M.: While Taff was sitting in one of the lounge chairs in living room with Lisa & Conrad watching Bob Schott’s videos, something unseen struck his chair twice.
12/17/01: Approx. 7:30 P.M.: Lisa puts Pyrex cooking pan into oven to cook herself some dinner as Conrad is not home. Before the oven is even warm, the Pyrex pan explodes in many shards within the oven.
12/17/01: 1 A.M.: Sounds of coins falling & hitting the nightstand in main bedroom are clearly heard by both Conrad & Lisa. No coins were found.
2/14/02: 7 P.M. (approx.): While at the bottom of stairs Conrad and dog heard what sounded like Lisa walking down stairs. They both looked up in response. However, Lisa was, in fact, in the bathroom preparing to leave and nowhere near the stairs.
2/16/02: No time indicated. Conrad & Lisa in his office discussing his mother’s untimely death and the lawsuit she and Don Gebhart launched against Conrad. Immediately after that conversation, the bar lamp over the computer started flickering, going out and coming on again. According to them, this has not occurred before.
2/18/02: 11 P.M.: Lisa heard disembodied voices “counting down” while upstairs in bedroom.
2/19/02: 10:30 A.M.: Lisa’s hair was pulled very hard while in bathroom.
2/19/02: 10 A.M. (approx.) Phones ring incessantly for about one hour, but no one is onr was calling.
2/23/02: 8 P.M. Best Buy Store in Burbank, CA. Conrad & Lisa at store scouring through DVD’s. Lisa is alone in aisle searching through DVDs. Suddenly, she feels a hand stroking her hair from behind. She abruptly turns expecting to see Conrad behind her pulling a prank. However, no one was in the aisle at all.
2/27/02: NOON: Conrad & Lisa in living room hear a disembodied female voice move across room in front of entertainment center while system is off. No DVD, VHS or TV is on. Voice appeared to move from left wall and exit through the glass wall where dog sleeps. Vocalization unintelligible.
3/16/02: 6:30 A.M.: Downstairs hallway door before bathroom, next to table, violently slams shut. No door or window open to the outside is open.
3/17/02: 10:20 A.M. Lisa & Conrad in kitchen when they both felt a cold wind blowing through the area although the doors & windows are closed & heat is on.
3/17/02: Time:? The sounds of pipes loudly clanging from main bedroom upstairs.
4/3/02: 10:30 A.M.: As Conrad walks by dresser in upstairs bedroom, Christmas lights strung over the back of the dresser suddenly and seemingly inexplicably, fall off to the ground. May have conventional explanation of vibrations caused by his movement and lights being too close to back of furniture.
4/3/02: 4:15 P.M.: Taff hears sounds of women in garbled conversation outside but nothing is discovered to account for it. Sense of overpressure throughout house felt by Taff.
4/18-19/02 No time indicated. On the way to do interview with Kym Dumas in San Diego with Conrad and Lisa, an odd ringing sound began occurring in the van. While eating dinner at the Hungry Tiger Restaurant in Temecula, the same unusual ringing was continuously heard at our booth by us, by other patrons and the waitress. The ringing, always three successive rings, appeared to come from around Lisa, then next to me and then in the wall to my right in the booth. Must have rung at least a dozen times or more. It was clearly not Conrad’s cell phone or pager as they each make a very distinctive sound, which we were not hearing. Nothing unusual occurred while at Kym’s house.
We left Kym’s home at around 11:40 p.m.. During the 2.5 hr. ride back to Conrad’s house, the ringing began again. No discernable pattern or interval period could be determined in the ringing. Jokingly, Taff began taunting it and surprisingly it appeared to respond. Again the sets of three rings, and not from Conrad’s cell phone, pager or walkie-talkies, the sound emanated from the front dash area.
When Taff asked the ringing if it was not a random function of nature, it immediately rang in response. When Taff asked if it were the poltergeist attached to Lisa Macintosh, it immediately rang in response. When Taff asked if it were non-corporeal in nature, it immediately rang in response. The ringing also indicated that it was from the past?
As we approached Conrad’s house the frequency of ringing significantly diminished as did it’s seeming willingness to answer questions. The last ringing occurred at approximately 1:46 a.m. We pulled into Conrad’s driveway at approximately 2:04 a.m. Lisa’s fear response to the ringing increased steadily. Conrad became so upset the he lost control of the van at least three times.
However, as the ringing diminished in frequency, Lisa fell asleep, which given her heightened state of anxiety was very unusual, except for the fact that the hour was very late. Interesting side note here is that both Lisa & Conrad recalled that earlier that day (that morning to be specific), “something” turned off the ringer on Conrad’s downstairs phone. This is something that Conrad never does, nor does Lisa.
5/29/02: 11 A.M.: While Lisa was upstairs, she hears Conrad calling her. She yells down that she’ll be there in a second. However, when she comes downstairs she discovers that Conrad has been on the phone during that time and did not call her.
6/11/02: 3 P.M. (approx.) Conrad & Lisa hugging in garage when back door of house that opens into garage violently slams shut on its own accord without any wind.
7/12/02: Tippie Hedren’s photo in frame flies off table in dinning room and lands several feet away (4-6 ft.) by stone wall. Conrad, Lisa & Buster were not downstairs at the time. Occurred somewhere between midnight of prior day and 10 A.M. that morning.
7/27/02: 7 P.M.: Lisa hears what she believes is Conrad calling to her name as he comes home and rushes downstairs to meet him. He’s not there.
7/27/02: 8 P.M.: Lisa hears several knockings on the walls in the walk-in close adjacent to the upstairs bedroom.
8/07/02: 5 P.M. Lisa’s upstairs in office making copies of “California’s Most Haunted for Conrad. Suddenly, the computer which was on MS Word started generating its own text in the middle of the screen. The letters “cu” and “et” mysteriously appeared on their own without any prompting at the keyboard.
8/07/02 8:45 P.M.: While Lisa was taking a shower upstairs, the power suddenly went out in the house, requiring Lisa to find her way downstairs in the dark to the breakers to reset them. This power crashing has never happened before at Conrad’s house although there have been blackouts in the area affecting much more than just his home.
8/11/02: 3 A.M.: While Conrad is upstairs, unable to sleep, he is working in his office when he hears the sound of heavy footsteps coming up his staircase, which is followed by the distinct feeling of being watched while sitting at his desk.
8/30/02 9:15 P.M.: Lisa hears footsteps approaching upstairs bathroom and panics.
9/3/02: Late P.M.: While Conrad is upstairs in office he hears what he believes to be someone or something running around the house and the garage making a great deal of noise. When he investigates he find nothing. Earlier in the day, Conrad hears what he thinks is Lisa calling to him only to later realize that she did not.
11/4/02: 10:45 A.M. While Lisa is in upstairs bathroom combing her hair, the shower curtains begin to move as if blown by a strong wind. However, the window was not open and the heat was not on.
5/13/03: 5:45-6 A.M. Barry & Lisa are asleep in bed. They hear several loud knocks (pounds) apparently coming from the walls perhaps from outside the house. It abruptly wakes them up. Over an estimated five (5) minute period, they hear repeated volleys of three loud knocks coming form outside, perhaps above the bedroom. Barry gets up and knocks upon the wall attempting to get the knocks to respond. It does not respond.
5/26/03: Late evening, no specific time. Both Conrad & Lisa observe dark, amorphous image (apparition) in kitchen that resembles a distorted “M” at about 9:30 p.m.
11:30 P.M. Barry’s watching TV, Lisa is upstairs getting ready for bed when Conrad hears that sound of loud shattering glass from the kitchen area. Upon investigation, nothing is found to account for sound.
5/27/03: 9 A.M.: The blade out of Conrad’s razor mysteriously disappears. No explanation.
5/31/03: 9-10 A.M.: Hallway (by downstairs bathroom) cabinet door violently swings open with enough force to shake the house while Barry & Lisa were watching TV in living room.
7/28/03: 11 P.M.: Conrad & Lisa up in their office when “a warm hand” touches her right ribcage area and causes her to jump.
8/28/03: No time indicated. Out of the blue, Conrad tells Taff that he believes that Los Angeles will soon experience a major UFO flap or wave. Given that L.A. has never, to my knowledge, even had a minor such event, I pegged the likelihood as astronomical at best. However, days later what appears to be a UFO flap in Montebello and Monterey Park has apparently begun. KNBC News showed videos shot of glowing red plasmas surrounding 30+ ft. diameter saucers witnessed by many including the police. Whether this event is in any way related to the aforementioned events is unknown. But it is worth mentioning.
Just prior to this precognitive event, Conrad tells Lisa that he believes that his father will soon become very ill and perhaps die. Within less than five days, his father falls gravely ill due to kidney failure as a result of diabetes and eating lots of sugar. He’s found unconscious laying in his Ohio home with 107 degree fever by Conrad’s brother. Coincidence or another indication that Conrad is one hell of a psychic.
10/05/03 Approx. 6:30 A.M.: Picture of flowers over fireplace in main bedroom starts being producing sounds as if it’s being tapped by unseen hands. Then the dog “Buster”, violently reacts as if something either startled him or stepped on his foot. This woke Lisa up but not Conrad.
10/18/03, No time indicated, Knocking sounds are heard in upper bedroom by Lisa in early morning.
11/17-18 10 A.M.. Lisa clearly hears Conrad’s voice calling to her while she is upstairs, and mistakenly believes that he’s returned to pick up something he’s forgot. In reality, he’s not there at all.
1/24/04 5:40 P.M.. Lisa puts chicken into oven within a Pyrex glass pan that violently explodes when she opens the oven door after just five minutes of heating. Glass is intensely propelled out of the oven missing Lisa only because she was off to the side of the door rather than in front of it. This is the second such event, as the first one of this kind occurred on 12/17/01. Oddly though, the chicken itself barely moved given the fierceness of the glass’s explosion. Although the glass might have just blown out laterally beneath the chicken!
4/24/04: 7:55 P.M.: Buster awakens from his slumber in the downstairs bedroom and begins barking at the staircase. Backs up and continues barking while staring at the overhead light. Conrad goes up stairs and suddenly observes a bright blue flash of light outside in the direction of the neighbor’s house whose power immediately goes out. However, Conrad also notices that a framed picture of him that has originally on the bookshelf was now on the floor. He places it back on the bookshelf only to later find it again on the floor.
6/2/04: Approx. 11:50 P.M.: While Lisa & Conrad are watching TV in the main upstairs bedroom, something slams into the side of the door of the cabinet holding the TV making a loud crack startling them.
6/24/04: Approx. 6 A.M. While Conrad & Lisa were asleep in bed at Conrad’s father’s house in Ohio when the bedroom door begins to violently shake which lasts for about 6-10 seconds. When Barry goes into the basement in order to shower the power repeatedly short-circuits and blows out. Neither of these events has ever occurred at this house whether Barry was there or not.
7/5/04 1 A.M.: Morning after 4th of July barbecue. Paul Clemens, Conrad & Lisa at outdoor table talking when Conrad walks back into house and discovers that a large, heavy poster that had been leaning against the wall was now several feet away on the floor. After extinguishing the Tiki torches around the pool, Lisa discovered that one of them mysteriously reignited.
10/4/04 3 A.M. & 9 A.M. Both Conrad & Lisa hear a woman’s voice seemingly coming from the downstairs area. When they investigate, there’s no one there. This occurs more than once.
12/4/04: 10 P.M. While Conrad is walking up the staircase he hears something hit the wall and discovers that his manual toothbrush is lying beneath the stairwell next to the wall. Lisa’s diagnosed with Multiple Myeloma!
1/1/05 5:45 A.M.: Lisa & Conrad hear loud explosion as if something crashed to the floor. Investigation revealed nothing. Buster wouldn’t go downstairs.
7/19/05, Lisa,Conrad and Taff go to the Cielo Drive house, from 7:30 p.m. to 12:30 a.m. Lisa has an intense neurophysiological response to house. That night, Lisa has terrible dreams, feelings of nausea, vertigo, and general malaise. Within weeks it appears that Lisa begins to relapse. Conrad has odd sexual dreams and is irritable as was Taff. Neither Lisa, or Conrad, ever return to Cielo, and for good reason. (Read another blog on this site entitled, “Cielo Drive Convergence: The Ultimate Field Laboratory”, for more details on this.
9/26/05 12-Mid-night. Conrad & Lisa going to sleep. Loud rapping sounds are heard throughout the house, waking them up. Buster goes nuts thinking someone is at the door. It suddenly ceases. At approximately 3 A.M., there are loud sounds of footsteps coming up the stairs, Buster again goes wild. Lisa has been very sick last several days with symptoms suggesting that her Multiple Myeloma may be returning.
6/1/06 . No phenomena for some time now. Lisa has unfortunately relapsed for a third time, with severe weight loss, fatigue and numerous bodily tumors. She is about to begin radiation therapy.
7/16/06 Approximately 11 p.m. – Mid-night. A loud explosion is heard by Barry out where the pool is. Investigating the area for a possible source reveals nothing!
7/25/06 Lisa dies at 1:50 a.m., which was immediately followed by a door opening on its own, patio/pool lights flickering on and off as well as several lamps turning themselves on in the bedrooms. Approximately one half-hour prior to Lisa’s passing, Buster (the dog) began to intensely bark at the bottom of the stairwell, looking upwards as if someone or something was physically there but unseen to the eye. Buster’s barking abruptly stopped when Lisa died.
7/29/06 1:50 a.m. While Conrad is talking with Natalie’s (Lisa’s daughter) boyfriend in the kitchen, an ice cube apports right into the space between them and falls to the floor, Barry is amazed and the boyfriend freaks out and immediately leaves. Later that morning, when Conrad goes into his office, all the tapes from the Kelly, KY segment of his new show are pushed up against the door blocking his entrance.
8/1/06. No time indicated. Strange, whistling sounds of wind in house by Conrad.
9/10/07, 4 A.M. While alone upstairs Conrad’s new girlfriend was awakened by the sound of someone breathing very. It appeared to be coming from the closet. Overcoming his fear and getting up to investigate, he finds nothing to explain the sound.
5/10/08 Barry and his new girlfriend are in bed when he hears the sound of footsteps emanating from the attic and/or roof. Oh no, not another attic! But then again, maybe the new squeeze should have ventured forth to determine that cause of the noises and she would be really hanged in the attic!
5/21/08: Around 7:50 P.M.. Barry comes home with Buster to discover his blender is on within the kitchen. The “on” button was depressed and he had not used the blender for quite some time. At around 8:10 p.m. Barry hears some odd sounds in his living room and goes to investigate. He observes a candle within its glass casing, which rests on top of one of the large speakers, rapidly accelerates vertically and slams into the ceiling where it bursts into many pieces. The pieces and shards fall to the floor.
10/21/08, Evening. Taff at Conrad’s house to do a shoot on The Entity case for a production company and TV in Spain. Fortunately, the new woman wasn’t present. It was only Barry, Buster and myself. Around 7:30 P.M. I’m in the living room watching Thriller DVD’s while the sounds of chaotic footsteps were clearly discernable from the master bedroom above. I told Barry about it and he said that he frequently hears such sounds. About an hour later, the footfalls were so pronounced that it became a significant distraction while watching TV.
I turned the DVD off and spoke aloud to whatever the source of the sounds were overhead, assuming that they were perhaps those of Lisa’s. I first announced my name to Lisa as if she were actually present. I next said that I would knock three times upon the end table to the side of the couch and requested that if it was Lisa McIntosh, she should reply with three loud knocks as opposed to the continuing footfalls. I knocked on the table three times, and almost instantly, the frenetic footfalls ceased to be rapidly replaced three, loud knocks from the ceiling above.
10/21/08 10:15 P.M. – 10:40 P.M. While driving home from Conrad’s while doing about 140 mph on the 2-South, the interior of my car lights up as though someone hid a flash or strobe under the front of my passenger seat. Color was pure white. Nearly jumped out of the car. There were no cars in front of me, beside me or behind me. There was absolutely no opposing traffic whatsoever. Quickly scanning my gauges showed no problem, nor was there any smell of something burning.
As I continued onto the transition to the 134-N at around 110 mph, there was a second, identical flash of light. I finally exited the 134-N at Forrest Lawn Drive and continued to Barham Drive and turned left onto Cahuenga/Highland Ave. Just before I reached the Hollywood Bowl, there was a third flash of light from the same direction in my car.
10/25/08 LATE EVENING, SPECIFIC TIME NOT KNOWN, Conrad’s eating dinner alone in the dining room when a portion of a curtain rod, a “finiel” went flying across the room from no apparent source.
5/14-15/09, Early in the morning Barry’s up walking towards kitchen when he hears a loud bang coming from the laundry room. He investigated and found nothing to explain it.
Is this evidence that we can see the future?
Extraordinary claims don’t come much more extraordinary than this: events that haven’t yet happened can influence our behaviour.
Parapsychologists have made outlandish claims about precognition – knowledge of unpredictable future events – for years. But the fringe phenomenon is about to get a mainstream airing: a paper providing evidence for its existence has been accepted for publication by the leading social psychology journal.
What’s more, skeptical psychologists who have pored over a preprint of the paper say they can’t find any significant flaws. “My personal view is that this is ridiculous and can’t be true,” says Joachim Krueger of Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island, who has blogged about the work on the Psychology Today website. “Going after the methodology and the experimental design is the first line of attack. But frankly, I didn’t see anything. Everything seemed to be in good order.”
The paper, due to appear in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology before the end of the year, is the culmination of eight years’ work by Daryl Bem of Cornell University in Ithaca, New York. “I purposely waited until I thought there was a critical mass that wasn’t a statistical fluke,” he says.
It describes a series of experiments involving more than 1000 student volunteers. In most of the tests, Bem took well-studied psychological phenomena and simply reversed the sequence, so that the event generally interpreted as the cause happened after the tested behaviour rather than before it.
In one experiment, students were shown a list of words and then asked to recall words from it, after which they were told to type words that were randomly selected from the same list. Spookily, the students were better at recalling words that they would later type.
In another study, Bem adapted research on “priming” – the effect of a subliminally presented word on a person’s response to an image. For instance, if someone is momentarily flashed the word “ugly”, it will take them longer to decide that a picture of a kitten is pleasant than if “beautiful” had been flashed. Running the experiment back-to-front, Bem found that the priming effect seemed to work backwards in time as well as forwards.
‘Stroke of genius’
Exploring time-reversed versions of established psychological phenomena was “a stroke of genius”, says the skeptical Krueger. Previous research in parapsychology has used idiosyncratic set-ups such as Ganzfeld experiments, in which volunteers listen to white noise and are presented with a uniform visual field to create a state allegedly conducive to effects including clairvoyance and telepathy. By contrast, Bem set out to provide tests that mainstream psychologists could readily evaluate.
The effects he recorded were small but statistically significant. In another test, for instance, volunteers were told that an erotic image was going to appear on a computer screen in one of two positions, and asked to guess in advance which position that would be. The image’s eventual position was selected at random, but volunteers guessed correctly 53.1 per cent of the time.
|For a more detailed commentary on what’s being discussed here, check out chapters 13 & 14 within Aliens Above, Ghosts Below: Explorations of the Unknown” on Amazon.com, Barnes & Nobel.com and at www.cosmicpantheon.com.|
That may sound unimpressive – truly random guesses would have been right 50 per cent of the time, after all. But well-established phenomena such as the ability of low-dose aspirin to prevent heart attacks are based on similarly small effects, notes Melissa Burkley of Oklahoma State University in Stillwater, who has also blogged about Bem’s work at Psychology Today.
Respect for a maverick
So far, the paper has held up to scrutiny. “This paper went through a series of reviews from some of our most trusted reviewers,” says Charles Judd of the University of Colorado at Boulder, who heads the section of the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology editorial board that handled the paper.
Indeed, although Bem is a self-described “maverick” with a long-standing interest in paranormal phenomena, he is also a respected psychologist with a reputation for running careful experiments. He is best known for the theory of self-perception, which argues that people infer their attitudes from their own behaviour in much the same way as they assess the attitudes of others.
Bem says his paper was reviewed by four experts who proposed amendments, but still recommended publication. Still, the journal will publish a sceptical editorial commentary alongside the paper, says Judd. “We hope it spurs people to try to replicate these effects.”
One failed attempt at replication has already been posted online. In this study, Jeff Galak of Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and Leif Nelson of the University of California, Berkeley, employed an online panel called Consumer Behavior Lab in an effort to repeat Bem’s findings on the recall of words.
Bem argues that online surveys are inconclusive, because it’s impossible to know whether volunteers have paid sufficient attention to the task. Galak concedes that this is a limitation of the initial study, but says he is now planning a follow-up involving student volunteers that will more closely repeat the design of Bem’s word-recall experiment.
This seems certain to be just the first exchange in a lively debate: Bem says that dozens of researchers have already contacted him requesting details of the work.
RANDI’S CHALLENGE: A Big “So What!”
Loyd Auerbach, M.S.
Note: This essay was published as the majority of my “Psychic Frontiers” column in the February 2004 issue of FATE magazine.
I might actually title this essay “Why I no longer care about Randi’s One Million Dollar Challenge,” but honestly, “So What!” sums up my feelings these days.
Over the last several years, I’ve been somewhat outspoken about the specific details of the rules of Randi’s Challenge (http://www.randi.org/research/index.html). But recently, when being harassed by yet another disbelieving type about the test, some kind of light – an epiphany of sorts – went on in my head. The individual made a statement, with a question, that I often hear in variations from self-described Skeptics (actually disbelievers): “The Amazing Randi offers one million dollars for anyone who can demonstrate something paranormal. If psychic abilities are real, why has no one won the prize?”
Rather than responding as I have in the past with a discourse as to why I don’t believe anyone will win that money, I spontaneously switched gears.
The following is just an approximation of the conversation, with (yes, I admit it) a little dramatic license thrown in.
“What would that prove?” I asked.
“Huh?” said the Skeptic.
“Why is Randi offering the money?” I asked.
“For anyone who can prove something paranormal,” said the Skeptic.
“If someone did win the million, what would that actually prove?” I asked.
“Huh?” said the Skeptic.
“I mean, if a psychic won the million dollars, other than the psychic walking away one million dollars richer, what would that prove to the skeptical community or to Science?” I asked.
“That someone could do something psychic,” said the Skeptic with some confusion in his voice.
“Would it? If someone won Randi’s million dollars, would YOU accept that psychic abilities are real? Or even just possible?” I asked.
“Huh?” said the Skeptic.
“Would mainstream Science accept the probability of psi, if not the reality, if some psychic won Randi’s million?” I asked.
“Uh … uh … huh?” said the Skeptic.
“Would the organized Skeptics accept that psi is real, or would they be more likely to believe that Randi was simply fooled, scammed out of his million? Would you?” I asked.
I received a blank stare from the Skeptic, then saw confusion appearing on his face.
I continued to push at him. “The fact is that people who do not accept the laboratory and other evidence for psi that already exists are unlikely to change their minds or their beliefs simply because someone beats Randi’s challenge and wins Randi’s money. In the name of Science, many keep raising the issue of parsimony, of Occam’s Razor where psi is concerned. In this case, wouldn’t the simpler explanation as far as the Skeptics are concerned be that Randi was scammed out of the money? In the name of Science, many raise the issue of repeatability. If someone beat Randi’s Challenge once, how does this meet the criteria of repeatability? What does this prove?”
The Skeptic was silent, confusion and frustration (and a little anger) continuing on his face.
I finished with “If you can honestly tell me – I mean look me in the eye and tell me honestly – that you would be open to psi’s existence if a psychic won Randi’s money, I’ll give you 20 dollars** right here and now. It’s not a million, but to be honest, your opinion isn’t worth that much to me.”
He walked away (okay, he stormed off).
**[Note: Okay, I didn’t really offer the 20 bucks when this first happened. I only thought of it afterwards. But now, I often do!]
I’ve since used this argument on a few others, whenever Randi’s Challenge is raised like a weapon against the field of Parapsychology, and against the existence (real or just potential) of psi.
To recap: If someone wins Randi’s million, he/she will be one million dollars richer. However, as far as Science and the Skeptics are concerned, the simpler answer to this conundrum is that Randi (or his chosen panel of judges) was fooled.
In other words, So What if someone wins the money. It won’t change the prevailing attitudes towards parapsychology, or the prevailing beliefs of most who waiver to the disbelieving side of the center where psi is concerned.
As this is the case (go ahead…prove me wrong, somebody…please!), we waste our time even giving Randi’s Challenge the time of day (though I am somewhat in his corner where Sylvia Browne is concerned. – see his website at www.randi.org).
I respect the position of true skeptics, and even the beliefs and opinions of debunkers if they’re honest about their beliefs and opinions. But holding forth Randi’s Challenge as the benchmark for proof of the paranormal is as silly as someone telling Randi to “prove it does not exist.”
It’s not a benchmark for Science, or even for skepticism. So, why should we care?
“So What!” I say.
Let me finish with another observation.
In the September 19, 2003 issue of SWIFT, Online Newsletter of the JREF (James Randi Educational Foundation) entitled “Yellow Bamboo Surprise, Fear of Technology, and Answering Montague Keen…” (http://www.randi.org/jr/091903.html), Randi responds to comments by researcher Montague Keen, who (Keen) mentions me and FATE in his discussion of Randi’s Challenge. Randi had this to say about FATE:
“For those unfamiliar with Fate Magazine, from their own web page we see that they publish stories on ‘alien abductions, angels, archaeological hotspots, fringe science, ghosts, hauntings, life after death, monsters, paranormal investigations, psychic pets, psychics, readers’ personal mystic experiences, reports of the strange and unknown, spirit animals, spiritualists, and UFOs’ — to only begin. Not recognized as a scholarly journal, in my opinion.”
Randi’s correct. In no way could FATE be labeled a “scholarly journal.” It is a publication for the general public. While I’m not sure where on FATE’s website Randi got the quote from (as with many websites, FATE’s changes from time to time), what Randi lists is in fact a good description for FATE’s content coverage.
However, this could easily be a description of the contents of THE SKEPTICAL INQUIRER and THE SKEPTIC magazines, neither of which is recognized as a “scholarly journal.” Of course, that’s my opinion.
Dr. Barry Taff: A Veteran Of The Psychic Wars
Sean Casteel and John Weigle
Dr. Barry Taff has been on the forefront of the academic study of psychic phenomena for decades and has long documented the connection between psi events and UFOs. His own psychic experiences began in childhood, and he has no doubt of the reality of some form of coupling between human consciousness and a field of energy that we do not as yet understand.
Taff spoke on March 9, 2013, at a meeting of the Close Encounter Research Organization, which earlier this year added the word “international” to its name and is seeking to branch out worldwide in the dissemination of UFO and alien abduction information. The meeting was held in Thousand Oaks, California, a city located just north of Los Angeles.
Taff opened his lecture by reciting part of a poem by T.S. Elliot that Taff felt eloquently expressed the fluid nature of time and the human mind:
“Time present and time past,” the poem reads, in part, “Are both perhaps present in time future. And time future contained in time past. If all time is eternally present, All time is unredeemable. What might have been is an abstraction, Remaining a perpetual possibility.”
Taff moved on to declare, “There is no paranormal. It’s normal.” He said that long-term memories are not stored in our brains, they’re kept in a remote source outside of us, which relates to the T.S. Elliot poem and his grappling with the nature of memory and time.
From there, Taff began to recount his own history of psychic experiences, beginning with an incident that happened when he was ten years old. In grade school, a young girl approached him and he asked her what the weird bag was that she was wearing. He didn’t know at that age that such a bag was used after a colostomy. The young girl screamed and told the principal, who called Taff into his office and asked if he had looked under the girl’s dress or sneaked into the girls’ bathroom. Taff told the principal he had x-ray vision and pointed out that he could see that the principal had unhealed keloid scar tissue himself. The principal then called Taff’s parents, and they said, “Don’t ask.”
Taff joked that if he had a dollar for every one of his psychic experiences, he would be a whole lot wealthier.
As a child, Taff predicted the assassination of John Kennedy to his parents a couple of years before the event. His parents insisted on making a bet in the belief that young Taff would be proven wrong. They didn’t speak to Taff for ten days, he said, after the prediction came true.
In 1968, Taff was visiting a girlfriend at her house when he decided he wanted some iced tea, which his girlfriend didn’t keep around. At that same moment, Taff’s father saw Taff enter the house, go to the refrigerator and drink iced tea from the pitcher. But Taff had never left his girlfriend’s house. Although his parents never drank iced tea, the pitcher was partially empty the next morning, as though someone had drank from it prior to Taff’s seeing the pitcher of tea the next day.
It was difficult to photograph Taff as a child, he said, and once, when he and a colleague were visiting a TV show producer, a photograph was taken of Taff and his colleague in which the other person showed up perfectly but where Taff had been standing the photo showed only a flash of light.
With this strange history behind him, Taff became a researcher of psychic phenomena in an academic setting, eventually earning a doctorate in psychophysiology with a minor in biomedical engineering from UCLA in 1975. From 1970 to 1987, he was involved in the study of remote viewing.
“What we saw blew us away,” he said.
When using the techniques of remote viewing, according to Taff, both past and future information are available, and it is possible to see information from a great distance. The evidence suggests that our brain, consciousness and space-time work in the same way. As part of the testing of remote viewing, Taff and his associates were given remote viewing “targets” and when they reported what they saw, they provided information on Trident submarines. The tape recordings made of the remote viewing experiments were later confiscated by representatives of an unnamed intelligence agency because of the classified details contained therein. Taff and his group later performed additional work for intelligence agencies with mixed results.
Unfortunately, Taff said, when understanding the implications of remote viewing and the nature of time, one is forced to conclude that there is no such thing as free will. He offered a story by way of example. In college, he was working with a girl in the psych lab when he had a dream of her going home and being involved in a car accident. In the dream, he saw a driver he thought was himself, so he broke off the relationship in the hope that he could change the future. The girl got involved with another man, and he was the driver in the accident that occurred. Nothing could alter the fulfillment of the precognitive dream, and thus the will of the participants was not free.
“I’ve lost a lot of friends and colleagues because of my work in this field,” Taff lamented, because they were frightened or put off by what he said or things that occurred in his presence.
Taff’s work on the case that became the novel “The Entity” brought him some degree of fame. In August 1974, he and some of his colleagues in parapsychology met a woman who said her house was haunted and that she had been repeatedly raped by ghosts. Taff wrote a big “P” on her report form, meaning he considered it a psychiatric case. Then the woman’s neighbors started seeing things. A skillet flew out of a cupboard. The bedroom felt like it was refrigerated, but it wasn’t. There was an odor of decaying matter. A green light double the size of Taff’s fist appeared and slowly turned into the form of an upper torso. When it disappeared, two of Taff’s assistants passed out.
The team later sealed off the rooms to prevent any light from coming in and prepared a grid on the walls so they could pinpoint any strange things that happened. They shot hundreds of frames of film that showed nothing unusual, but everyone saw things in the room during the filming. The team members wrote down their observations before conferring together and found that their stories matched when they discussed them.
Taff helped write the eventual novel “The Entity,” saying that not everything in the book actually happened. He appears as the slightly fictionalized character “Gene Kraft.” A movie starring Barbara Hershey and Ron Silver was released in 1983. A capsule recounting of the plot is included in “Leonard Maltin’s Movie Guide” that reads, in part, “A woman is raped repeatedly by a giant, invisible mass. Her psychiatrist thinks it’s all in the mind until parapsychologists set a trap for the critter.”
There is an article posted on Taff’s website at http://barrytaff.net entitled “The Psi-UFO Connection: What On Earth Is Going On?” In it, Taff writes of a rather fascinating yet obscure relationship between paranormal experiences and UFO encounters.
“Why is it that many CE-III’s and IV’s have paranormal fallout following the event?” he asks. “Why is it that certain people who have frequent paranormal experiences are more likely to experience a UFO encounter?”
Taff goes on to say that it is obviously not scientifically valid to try to explain one phenomenon by recourse to the other, but there is a “longitudinal continuity” between the two kinds of events that may one day help to explain them both.
In his lecture to CERO International, he offered the case history of Judy, another woman with whom he was romantically involved. There is a more detailed version of the story in the aforementioned article on his website.
“I met a beautiful girl on Valentine’s Day (1977) while investigating a case in the mid-Wilshire district of Los Angeles,” Taff writes. “This girl was so physically stunning to me that it was impossible to stop staring at her.”
The case he was investigating was a very weak one and no follow up work was done. But he and Judy ended up in a very intense relationship. As time passed, there were repeated episodes of RSPK (Recurrent Spontaneous Psycho-Kinesis) activity culminating in “a large glowing sphere of light emerging from the lumbar region of her back” while Taff was giving her a massage. The clocks in Judy’s condo would all frequently “desynchronize” and run at different speeds.
“All of this paranormal activity was kind of an added bonus to being in a relationship with her,” Taff writes. “At least I thought it was. Boy, was I wrong.”
Taff writes that they both felt it was a perfect relationship and that Judy turned out to be a gifted psychic who also worked with the psi training groups at the UCLA lab as well as on missing persons cases. Taff expected that he and Judy would be engaged within six months, but “fate had something else in mind.” He began to have repeated precognitive dreams in which he was given the message that their romance would end on July 22, 1977. The reasons for the split were never provided in the dreams.
He never told Judy about the dreams because she might misinterpret what he said as expressing a desire to leave her. The dreams stopped, and his happiness was restored. When July 22 came around, he had almost forgotten the dreams entirely. He awoke to find Judy beside him in bed, sobbing and shivering under the covers. She asked Taff why he hadn’t helped her the previous night.
When Taff asked her what she meant, she told him that she “had awakened to find the room brilliantly lit, but the lights were not on. She was levitated up out of the bed, eventually finding herself in a round, metallic-walled room where she was strapped to a metallic table around her wrists, neck, ankles and abdomen. There were tiny men who had skin like a snake or reptile and a face without ears or noses, with large black eyes, who were poking and prodding her everywhere, but especially in every bodily orifice.”
Judy could hear the little men speaking though their lipless mouths were not moving.
“They kept saying that they weren’t going to hurt her, even though that’s exactly what they were doing. The next thing she remembered was waking up in bed with me soundly sleeping next to her.”
Taff writes that he asked her if she knew anything about UFO abductions, which she did not. Although she was very interested in the paranormal, UFOs held no interest for her. Taff finally coaxed her out from beneath the covers and was shocked to find that Judy had bruises at her neck, waist, wrists, abdomen and ankles – consistent with her claim that she had been restrained on the metallic table. And she was bleeding from every orifice, bearing out her story that she had been poked and prodded in those same locations.
Judy subsequently had a complete breakdown, “becoming almost totally delusional with overt signs of dissociation. She never sought any help from anyone and she never, even marginally, recovered. She became a religious zealot, but of a very unusual type. Needless to say, our relationship ended on that day, just as my dream had predicted. From occasional contact with her over the subsequent years, she claims to have been re-abducted many times. It’s one thing to lose a potential mate, but not to something like this.”
At the CERO International lecture, Taff touched on another case that he also writes about in the same online article. He received a phone call in the mid-1970s from a local television network executive who complained about poltergeist activity in his home. Over time, he reported occasional luminous anomalies, disembodied voices, banging noises and problems with electrical items in the house. Both the executive and his family seemed “quite grounded, normal, stable and well-adjusted.” Eventually the man’s calls ceased. Then one night, while the man and his wife were on a road trip in northern California, they saw what they thought was a small, burning plane about to crash into the hills to their right.
“They drove up to where they assumed the plane had crashed,” Taff writes, “and after rounding a bend, they ran into a very unexpected sight. A shocking and terrifying visage to say the least. Sitting on the ground in front of them was a classic flying saucer, maybe 30 to 50 feet in diameter. And if that wasn’t difficult to enough to absorb, there were several diminutive humanoids in tight-fitting flight suits moving around the area around the saucer, as if looking for something. The beings were about four feet tall with grayish-brown skin, large, black almond-shaped eyes with no apparent nose or outer ears. Classic grays in every respect.”
Suddenly, several of the humanoids became aware of the man and his wife sitting in their car observing the scene. One of the creatures pointed a tubular-shaped object at the couple that emitted a bright light. The next thing the pair remembered was being back on the highway many miles away and several hours later.
After experiencing this classic abduction scenario, the two began to have disturbing dreams about their missing time, most of which they were reluctant to discuss with anyone. They sought psychological counseling but were assumed by mental health workers to have both had a psychotic break, for which medication was recommended. The abduction experience was little known in the mid-1970s, so this response from the mental health community is not surprising, Taff writes.
The man and his wife began to experience strong emotional mood swings, indicative of dramatically altered personalities. They eventually divorced, with the husband becoming particularly volatile and erratic, which led to his leaving his lucrative job in television in a newfound state of anxiety, anger and bitterness. What had begun as poltergeist activity had progressed to an alien UFO abduction and left great misery in its wake.
“We’re dealing with something far more advanced than we are,” Taff added during his lecture, “and technology that is like magic to us.”
But change is not the goal in physical science, he said, pointing to the fact that hardly anyone in mainstream science takes these issues seriously. There exists an inverse correlation between belief and whether new ideas will work, he said. What the scientists say won’t work will and what they say will work won’t. Imagine what would happen if a vehicle was unveiled tomorrow that used an entirely new form of energy. We need what Taff called “a change in the way we perceive normality.”
UFOs are the most classified information the government has, he continued. Add gray aliens to the mix of our own racial and ethnic problems, and one can imagine the results. We should not fear an alien invasion so much as the problems we’ve created for ourselves.
Both psychic phenomena and UFO contact involve an energy of a type we don’t understand, Taff said toward the end of his lecture. Most people are not sensitive to it and can live a long time without ever having any experiences with it. Others are sensitive to it.
“It’s there,” Taff said. “It’s real. We are always a (central) part of the equation.”