Dr. Barry Taff: A Veteran Of The Psychic Wars

By

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 “targetsand 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.”

[Dr. Barry Taff is the author of the book “Aliens Above, Ghosts Below.” The website for CERO International is at www.cerointernational.com  Sean Casteel has a website at www.seancasteel.com]

The Real Entity Case

 

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Contrary to what many people believe, the case of Doris Bither, that later became the novel and motion picture The Entity, was not, in my professional opinion, the result of spectral rape, .a.k.a. spectrophilia, but a rather disturbingly real poltergeist outbreak.   Unfortunately, the amassed data on the case does not in any way support ghostly sex, but back in the mid-1970’s in my mid-20’s, such a notion was intriguing to say the least.

The passage of almost four decades and the experience of thousands of more cases, have provided this author with a rather unique perspective regarding such experiences and claims.  Remember, extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence, and while there was plenty of evidence that we were dealing with real paranormal phenomena, it very likely had nothing whatsoever to do with incorporeal sex, except in the minds of Doris and her children.

Doris was very evasive and somewhat cryptic regarding her background, so much so that she refused to even tell us her age, which we knew was older than ours, but not by how many years.  Had we pushed Doris hard to reveal more about her hellish past, such efforts on our part might have pushed us right off the case.

Had we even attempted to secure the type of background information we currently collect, such as medical, psychological, family psychodynamics, prescribed medications (names of meds, dosage and duration) as well as recreational drugs and alcohol usage, Doris would surely have shown us the door from the outset.  We had no way of knowing just how utterly disturbing of a life she really had led: disowned by her family as a young teenager and cast out to fend for herself.

It’s fascinating the way time has a way of providing answers to those who wait.  Some years ago, I was contacted by Javier Ortega from Ghost Theory.com to interview me on The Entity case.  Somewhat later, Javier also interviewed one of Doris Bither’s sons, Brian Harris.

Brian spoke to Javier of how his mother was banished by her family while still a teenage due to her rambunctious lifestyle and rebellious nature.  How his mom started playing with Ouija Boards and séances at very early age, finally mixing such with drugs and alcohol to quell the irritable psyche within her.

Brian’s interview was disturbing at many levels in that he continuously contradicted himself in terms of his responses to all questions asked of him, certainly damaging his credibility as a witness.  It was not until Javier interviewed Doris’s other two sons that he learned that Brian was a chip off the old mother’s block in terms of drinking and drugs.  However, some of his statements were supported by corroborative testimony by his brothers.

According to Doris’s other sons, there were subtle amounts of paranormal phenomena present long before she moved onto Braddock Drive in Culver City, California.  They spoke of some psychokinetic events and even the occasional apparition, although I would never refer to such an occurrence as subtle.

However, not long after Doris moved from Santa Monica to Culver City, a strange Hispanic woman appeared at her door warning that her house was a bad or evil dwelling.  When Doris asked what the lady was talking about, the mysterious lady simply walked away without further explanation.  Shortly thereafter, Doris was beset with the paranormal attacks.  Was there a connection, in that the unknown lady knew something ugly about that particular ramshackle tinderbox Doris now lived in, or was this just a coincidence?  We’ll never really know unless we find that woman, some thirty-seven years later.

Currently, Javier is in the final stages of writing a book about Doris Bither and The Entity case from the perspective of her three male children, which begins long before we made her acquaintance in the summer of 1974.  Such detailed information may help us further clarify exactly what occurred and why, some 37 years ago.  Although, as it appears that Doris is not available to further study, we must deal with the somewhat fragmented memories of her children.

Doris Bither (The Entity case) framed by a luminous anomaly (1974)

According to Doris’s son’s, she passed away in 1999 at the tender young age of 58 from respiratory failure, and as such we’ll never really know if Doris fit the longitudinal pattern that has emerged in this type of parapsychological research strongly indicating a link between poltergeist activity and epilepsy/seizure prone individuals coupled with anomalous electromagnetic/geomagnetic environments.

It would have been really interesting to have given Doris a full neurophysiological medical workup combined with taking environmental electromagnetic and geomagnetic measurements.  Odds are, that such data collection would have revealed the true nature of what was really going on here.

Due to the fame or infamy this case gathered over time, there’s an incredible amount of misinformation and disinformation circulating about what did and did not actually occur back in 1974-5.  There has even been erroneous scuttlebutt pertaining to when Doris died, to the point where many mistook the death of Barry Conrad’s ex-girlfriend, Lisa McIntosh in 2006, as that of Doris Bither.

There have also been many people who have claimed that they were part of our lab and were also part of our investigation of this case.  There were only three names formally associated with this case, one being Kerry Gaynor, my associate at the time, Dr. Thelma Moss, the head of our former UCLA parapsychology lab (who only visited the site on one occasion), and yours truly.

During the last three decades I can think of at least ten different people who’ve claimed to have worked with us on this case.  Some of them I’ve never even met and would not even know if standing next to in a room.  Over those many years, people in other states have even claimed that The Entity case occurred in their own backyard, not here in a suburb of Los Angeles.  Put simply, they’re all lying or emotionally disturbed.

In recent years. several others have surfaced, who were even more blatant and deceptive in the claims.  One of them has recently been boasting to have worked in our lab, where we were allegedly training him as a medium to work for the U.S. government when he was well under eighteen years of age at the time.  This man is either a seriously disgusting opportunist, delusional or just psychotic.

Neither our lab, nor the U.S. government, has ever trained anyone as mediums, and we were not even allowed to work with anyone under the age of eighteen due to the university’s Human Use Committee regulations.  Such people should at least check their historical facts before pontificating.

More recently, a psychopathic woman has appeared on the scene who has been attempting to take credit for every case on the book, such as the one mentioned in chapter three (“A Hazardous Haunting”) of my book as well as The Entity case.  You can read more about this criminally insane excuse of a human female on this site at “A Demon’s Lair”.  This is one seriously frightening person to be around.  If one needs to chase a demon, there’s one just waiting for you in La Crescenta.  But beware; your valuables might mysteriously disappear while in her presence.  Trust me on this, as this paranormal predator has stolen very large sums of money from her her benefactor (the man she lives with).  Spend time with her at your own risk.  This is not a joke.

As there are no academic credentials required for anyone to go out and investigate the paranormal as they try emulating the garbage they’ve seen on cable TV paranormal reality shows, every uneducated and ignorant new age groupie is out there looking for demons.  Like I just said, there’s one in La Crescenta waiting to be captured and disposed of.  What are you waiting for?

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.

My assessment and conclusions are fully discussed within Chapter 2 (The Real Life Entity Case) of my book Aliens Above, Ghosts Below: Explorations of the Unknown.

The following is written by GhostTheory.com’s Javier Ortega:

I never imagined being in the place in which I stand today. For years, I’ve read about the Doris Bither case and thought that such claims as “spectral rape” were of the most absurd things that I’ve ever heard.

Although I was highly skeptical about this case, something inside of me was always terrified when I would read over the case details just for fun. What I never imagined was I being involved in such manner with this case.

A case that officially began in 1974, but has a much longer and darker history to it. Four years before my birth, a single mother of four, living under dire circumstances, battled unseen forces that physically assaulted her and her children in a small house in Culver City, California.

Thirty-seven years later, I find myself believing that Doris did suffer some paranormal assaults against her body. Assaults from unseen forces in which Doris was, and always had been, the catalyst to.

There are three journals sitting on my desk that are full of notes. These notes are my prized possession. It took me years to catalog in a chronological order the major events in Doris’ life. With the help of Doris’ eldest son, I managed to get an insight to the life of Doris Bither.

A life full of abandonment, abuse and a very deep and dark void.  As I sometimes glance through my journals, I can’t help but feel that Doris’ psychodynamics with her family, started her off in a wrong direction in life.

It only became worse, after an adolescent Doris Bither got mixed up with the dark side of seances.  Something that at first seemed like bar trick to impress her friends, became an obsession that quickly spun out of control.  Sending Doris in a hellish ride that continued on until the final moments of her life.

Although there is much more to Doris’ life and haunting that I can mention in this article, I can tell you that all the evidence leads up to this being a case of extraordinary psychokinetic powers.

Or at least that’s how I see things.

Dr. Barry Taff is correct when he stated that Brian Harris seemed to contradict himself when I interviewed him.

Although this is evident in the interview, I don’t believe this was done with intent.

As I recall, when talking with Brian for a few hours over the phone, he seemed extremely agitated and very emotional over the fact that some things that were written about his mother were not true.

He was so emotional that it was apparent how jumbled his thoughts were at the moment. Mr. Harris just wanted to get the facts out there about his mother. He is the middle child and remembers a few things quite clearly.

“She was no drunk. Sure she liked to drink every now and then, but not the way they [investigators] painted her.”

I listened intently as the sound of his voice cracked a little.

“And all that stuff about her manifesting these entities because of there being three young males in the house that created this ‘tension’ is all crap! These things were real! I saw them and they saw us.”

I do believe Mr. Harris experienced things that his other brothers did not.

There was a time when one of the children was slapped by an unseen hand during the middle of the night. Another story involves one of the boys bumping into an invisible person in the hallway.

The boys all experienced and saw different things throughout the years, but the bottom-line is that they ALL experienced something in that house. Something that was paranormal.

I had mention to Dr. Taff when we first met that Doris was visited by an old Mexican lady when she had first moved in to the house in Braddock drive.

She received a knock at the front door and was surprised to see an old Mexican woman standing there. Possibly in her 70s or 80s, the woman seemed somber and was there to delivery a chilling message:

“You need to get out! I used to live here in this old house, back when it was just a farm and I was a little girl. There is something very evil here. This place is haunted and you need to get out!”

The old Mexican woman left without saying another word. This warning unnerved both Doris and her eldest son. It was only a few months after that dire warning that the attacks began.

The life of Doris is plagued with demons both literally and figuratively speaking. Because of the vast amount of information that I was privileged to have, Doris eldest son and I have been talking about converting his memories of the time spent on Braddock drive into a book.

A book that I’ve been working on for some time and expect to finish soon. The book contains major events in Doris’ life in a chronological order. From the day she abandoned her family in Illinois, to her final days.

Doris Bither passed away alone in a room, a room from which her son reported seeing balls of light appear just like they did back in the early 70s. You see, Doris died a haunted woman.

The book is a project in the works and I expect to have it complete late this year.

This will be a first-hand account of Doris’s eldest son.

The dark past he knew about his mother, his experiences during the time spent on Braddock drive and his adult life with his mother.

This is a non-fiction piece, based on meticulous research into the case.

With the help from the good folks over at the Los Angeles County Hall of Records and Doris’ family, I piece together the history of one of the greatest cases in the annals of the paranormal.

Javier Ortega
August, 6, 2011
Los Angeles, CA