Precognition: The Shape Of Things To Come?

 

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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.

 

 

Learned Psi: Training To Be Psychic

 

 

Is it possible to take normal, healthy, emotionally stable people who do not think they’re psychic, and haven’t really had any prior experiences to their knowledge, and train them to become functionally, reliable psychics?

YES and NO.

That is, it appears that everyone may have some latent psychic potential that can be developed and honed with the right type of positive feedback and reinforcement.

However, it’s crucial that such feedback occur very close in time to when the person makes a correct or incorrect statement, otherwise it will have little, if any, effect.  In order for this learning paradigm to function properly, a person must slowly come to recognize what internal feelings and sensations are associated with accurate paranormal information (signal) access as opposed to inaccurate information, a.k.a. primary process distortion and fantasy (noise).

I suspect that only a very small percentage of the population, maybe between five and ten percent, possess such inherent faculties that are consistently demonstrable.

This is somewhat comparable to sports in that most people can occasionally participate in some kind of sport when young, but few have the strength, stamina, endurance, reflexes and coordination necessary to become a professional athlete in any given sport.

As I’m really into motorsports like Formula 1 and American Le Mans road racing, let’s just look at that particular event for a direct analog.

While everyone can essentially drive a car, few could tolerate the extremely high g-loading forces on the neck and arms, where your body would suddenly feel like it weighs four to five times it’s weight.  Even fewer would have the stamina, endurance, depth perception, reflexes and hand, eye, foot coordination to be competitive in such a grueling physical sport.  But this doesn’t mean that one cannot learn things to improve their driving skills on the road.

Our psi training groups were held at UCLA’s Neuropsychiatric Institute (NPI) [now the Semel Institute] on Wednesday nights from 1971 through 1980.  These training groups, applied positive feedback and reinforcement incorporating a free-verbal response (FVR) as opposed to forced-choice method, as a learning paradigm to enhance and train paranormal perception.

Put more simply, we were attempting to teach people how to differentiate and distinguish between normal fantasy and/or cognitively processed thoughts and informational input from sources that are non-localized from them in space and time, e.g. ESP.

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.

Over the first few years, we had numerous recurring visitors from the CIA, Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA), Office of Naval Research (ONR), Office of Naval Intelligence (ONI), the National Security Agency (NSA), National Reconnaissance Office (NRO), Defense Language Institute (DLI) and the Defense Advanced Research Project’s Agency (DARPA) as they became very interested in what we were doing and had already achieved.

Initially, we had no knowledge whatsoever of who these recurring visitors were or where they were from until the sessions were completed (a single blind condition).

On one particular early visit, our group was simply given the first name of a man.  We suddenly began describing very specific details of a new nuclear ballistic missile submarine and it’s new, highly accurate, long-range missiles.

When the feedback part of this session was reached and the room lights we turned back on, we were witness to several men sitting there with their collective mouths hanging open with ashen white faces.  What in the hell was going on?

Of what they could reveal, our comments very accurately described many of the details for the new Trident ballistic missile submarine (a boomer) and its ten-MIRV’D, D-5 missile.   This was all highly classified, sensitive data that we could not have known or had access to.

I guess these visitors were impressed by what we did, as these military intelligence officers immediately demanded the surrender of the audio tape from that session and that we all sign national security oaths.  Needless to say, we complied.

Representatives of the various intelligence groups made repeated visits to our group over time to assure themselves that our success on that first night was not a coincidence or a trick.

After we demonstrated that what we were doing was real, demonstrable and reproducible, the various intelligence groups asked that we work with and for them in several capacities.

Sounded like an interesting and compelling proposition?

However, there was one unanticipated and insurmountable obstacle regarding this; UCLA.

Apparently, both UCLA and the NPI itself, were horrified at the thought of being formally, publicly and professionally linked to parapsychology, which was thought of at the time as pseudo-science and quackery by mainstream science, but especially by behavioral science.  Such an alliance could have been political suicide for a university dependent on public perception and regular endowments?

Isn’t it interesting that more than four decades later, and nothing’s really changed, has it?  Perhaps the fact that the NPI was already associated with psycho-surgery and orbital undercutting, was all the negative press it could tolerate?

Due to our unavailability dictated by university politics and damage control, the government’s focus shifted northward to Menlo Park, California.

After having conducted 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 anothers 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 that we begin taking things for granted.

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 NPI’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.

Guy Williams as "Zorro"
Guy Williams as “Zorro”

 

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?

Guy Williams
Guy Williams

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.  Give me a break?

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 impact 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 finitely 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.

Another fascinating incident occurred several years earlier when a semi-regular to our group, Janet, decided to act as a target for the first time, something she had always refused to do.   The room lights were extinguished, the microphones were turned on and target was given as a man’s first name, and the rest followed in short order.

Many of us started describing a large, expensive home in a very rustic and seemingly lush, forested area.  The home had very large, walls made of glass looking out into what seemed like trees and shrubs.  The kitchen was lined, quite oddly, with empty jars of Bac-O -Bits.   We then began trying to phonetically articulate this man’s last name.   While I am unable to provide his name due to privacy concerns as he was and still is quite famous,  our vocalizations were within about 98% of accuracy even though it’s a rather peculiar last name.

But that was nothing compared to what was about to come forth from our collective mouths.  We began vividly describing this man being brutally mugged by several people, it was quite horrible in its ferocity.   As we were quite sickened by what we just saw in our mind’s eye, we decided to stop the session at that point.  Turning the lights back on, we handed Janet the recorder controls and told her to play back the tape and respond accordingly.

This man was someone that Janet had been dating at the time, and he lived in a house almost identical to what we had just described, even down to the point of the empty jars of Bac-O-Bits lining the lower, exposed shelves in the kitchen.   When we learned of this man’s last name, it was truly astounding as to how close our pronunciations of it were.   But when Janet hit the part of her friend being mugged and she was emphatic that such an event had never occurred to either him or her.  At least that what she believed.

Several days later I received a rather frantic call from Janet while in the lab.  She informed me that on the very night she was participating in our group, her friend was up in the San Francisco Bay area, and was being viciously mugged at the exact time her session was transpiring in our lab.

But wait, if Janet did not know what was happening to her friend hundreds of miles away, then what was the source of our accurate psychic perceptions?

Several years later, one of our regulars, a director by the name of Steve (and no, not Spielberg), who bore a striking resemblance to an older, thicker featured Christopher Reeve, brought a female friend to our group by the name of Roberta.  She also volunteered to be a target.  Other than her first name we had no idea who she was or what type of unsettling event was about to occur.

Roberta simply gave us the name Al, and that was it.  We had no way to knowing who Al was or who he was related to Roberta.

In our sensory deprived room, we began describing him as being around 6’2″, rather stocky, with reddish-brown hair and blue eyes.  We went on to discuss that he had a very unusual voice and was extremely volatile and violent, where we saw him repeatedly beating Roberta and his eventually killing her.  As our comments were getting more and more disturbing in nature, we thought that it was best that we stop the session at that point.

With the lights on, Roberta took the recorder control and started playing the tape back.  She was visibly upset, and for good reason.

Roberta told us that Al was her husband, the actor named Albert Salmi, who was always cast as the heavy or villain.  If you’ve watched TV during the

Albert Salmi

last sixty years, you’ve certainly seen him in everything from Cheyenne, Bonanza, Alfred Hitchcock to three appearances on the original Twilight Zone series, two of the half-hour shows and one hour-long episode.

Remember the show entitled “Execution” (1960), where a man named Joe Caswell, is about to be hanged for murder in the wild west when he suddenly disappears from the hangman’s noose and appears within a time machine at the laboratory of Russel Johnson (the professor from Gilligans Island) in 1960?  Johnson utters one of the all-time great one liners “I know this isn’t very scientific, but I don’t like his looks”.

Caswell eventually kills Johnson’s character and ends up being strangled with a window-shade cord by a contemporary burglar.  The burglar then ends up wandering into the time machine which he accidentally activates, sending him back to the past where he end’s up materializing in the same hangman’s noose that Caswell began the show in.

Our physical description of Salmi was perfect, as were many other details of his life and living conditions.  Finally, Roberta gets to the end where we commented on Salmi’s volatile/violent nature.

Very reluctantly, she admitted that Al’s been chronically beating her for years and she fears that one day he will kill her.  As if this happened yesterday, we told here to leave Albert ASAP.  She looked at us as if to say “What, leave Al?”

More than twelve years later, on April of 1990, Albert Salmi, then 62, first shot his wife Roberta, then 55,  and then himself.

Back at our groups in the late ’70’s, Steve brings yet another guest to our group.   This time, it’s well known character actor who’s worked in both movies and television for decades.  You’d recognize his face and voice in a heartbeat.  Due to privacy concerns, his name will not be mentioned here, but let’s call him Robert.

Robert volunteers to be the target.  The protocols are followed and we begin uttering some very strange things in the pitch black room.  While we were clearly given the name of a woman, several of us simultaneously start commenting on the fact that this woman, was actually a man, a transsexual.

When we finished with the session, Robert began his commentary on our words as if nothing we said was at all relevant.  As Robert began verifying one thing after another, the tape finally came to the part where we discussed the altered sexuality of Robert’s friend, whom he lived with.

Once Robert heard what we had said, he turned red in the face, rapidly stood up from his chair and abruptly left the room, never to return.

Steve later informed us about Robert’s transsexual girlfriend, which then explained his rapid departure from our room.  This was probably the last thing that Robert ever expected us to pick up, which is why it occurred.

In what was now well known to us, the more deeply buried something was within the target person’s mind, the more likely it was to show up in our comments.  And, as part of the introduction to new group participants was to not censor yourself when verbalizing your thoughts, we freely spoke whatever thoughts entered our heads, and it was all too often quite accurate.

Perhaps the most unexpected and astonishing moments of this psi training program was when a girl by the name of Paula visited our group in late 1979.  Paula was a rather intense poltergeist agent who is discussed in my book Aliens Above, Ghosts Below: Explorations of the Unknown.  While her session was unremarkable in terms of its informational content, it’s visual component was most memorable.

While seated in our pitch-black room, a very large, bright red, luminous anomaly was emitted by her petite form.

This amazing visual display was about the size of an average human head and almost perfectly spherical in shape.  It rapidly shot out across the rather larger room and then just disappeared as if someone had turned off a light bulb.

Our entire group jumped in almost perfect unison upon witnessing this incredible fireworks-like manifestation, and several of us responded with a loud vocal reaction.

We immediately turned the lights on to find Paula crouched down and cowering in her chair, like a terrified 8-year old child.   She immediately got up and ran out of the room and the NPI, immediately driving herself home.  She never returned to the group, and I do not blame her.

Our psi training groups ran from 1971 through 1980 at the NPI.  Once the lab closed, we moved the groups to various off-campus office complexes in the Westwood area for several years and then into the home of one of our regular members.

The program finally ended in 1987, with over 3,200 separate sessions being conducted.   The qualitative and quantitative data collected was truly extraordinary and the evidence was overwhelming in terms of demonstrating a highly reproducible paranormal event on demand.

That’s why all the various government agencies were so damn interested in what we were doing.  We witnessed meteorological effects, tidal effects, as well as the far more subtle, yet pronounced, emotional ones.

I seriously doubt if I’ll ever again experience such a consistent level of controlled paranormal experimental results.

Those were the days.

What was learned and accomplished from this program was truly amazing.   That psi is both space-like and time-like, which in layman’s terms means that it is not affected by distance or time, in that it is indeed possible to access information regarding people and events that are not local to you in both time and space.

That there’s really no fundamental difference between telepathy, clairvoyance, precognition or retrocognition.   What we call such remotely accessed information entirely depends on where we are at the time we perceive it and where it appears to come from.  That is, if it comes from our past, we call such information retrocognition. If it comes from our future, we describe such perception as precognition.  If the information stems from a human mind at any distance, it’s classified as telepathic, and if such remotely accessed information is spatially displaced from us without the mediation of another mind, we call that clairvoyance.  In the end, it’s all little more than than remote accessing of information from our bodies without working through our normal sensory systems.

But most importantly, was that it is indeed possible to “train” some people to become psychic.  However, there is a major qualifier here.

Just as it is possible to improve anyone’s golfing score or auto racing skills, few will become professionals athletes in either sport.  Everyone comes to the party with an inherent or latent psychic potential.

On one side side of the bell curve are those people who with some training will become psychic superstars in the purist sense of the word.

On the other side of the curve are those people who are totally immune to any type of learning methods as their psychic potential is extremely low or non-existent.

In the middle of the curve, are those people who have occasional encounters with paranormal perception, but it’s almost random and mostly totally dependent on the specific situation, where emotionally stressful events are the trigger and mediator.

Additionally, each person who does positively respond to these methods seems to develop along different lines.  That is, our psychic perception is attracted to and repelled from information just as our conscious mind is.  This is a very subjective, need-relevant based mechanism, where we pay attention to those things that are very important to us and we’re attracted to, or repulsed from.  You could almost refer to this process as being related to the approach-avoidance mechanism spoken of in psychology.

One final word of caution here though.

We did have those situations wherein once someone’s consciousness was opened up to this data acquisition method, they began having problems mediating the process and turning it off.  And all too often, information was perceived that was very upsetting, unnerving and anxiety producing, especially if it dealt with matters that were out of the control of the recipient.

When this occurred, individuals would have severe anxiety or panic attacks, that occasionally resulted in serious emotional scarring.  I could write another entire book, based purely on the fallout experienced due to the lack of any proper coping mechanism such people had to this alteration of their perceptual abilities.  From developing a messianic complex, to religious zealotry, delusions of grandeur, paranoid schizophrenia, dissociative thinking and borderline personalities.   It’s was all there, and they were not that uncommon of a reaction to this process.

URGENT:  THE CONSCIOUSNESS ALTERING PROCESS BRIEFLY DESCRIBED HEREIN IS NOT A JOKE OR TO BE TAKEN LIGHTLY.  IT IS A FUNDAMENTAL RESTRUCTURING OF THE WAY WE PROCESS INFORMATION BOTH WITHIN AND WITHOUT OF OURSELVES.  THIS CAN DRAMATICALLY ALTER ONES LIFE AND NOT ALWAYS IN THE MOST POSITIVE WAYS. 

IN WAYS FAR TOO DETAILED AND LENGTHY TO EXPLAIN HERE, SUCH SUDDEN AND PERHAPS UNFORESEEN CONSCIOUSNESS DEVELOPMENT CAN BE A TRAP, WHEREIN ONE PAYS MORE ATTENTION TO WHAT’S GOING ON INSIDE THEIR HEAD AS OPPOSED TO WHAT’S TRANSPIRING AROUND THEM IN THE REAL, PHYSICAL WORLD.  ADDITIONALLY,  THERE IS ALWAYS THE INHERENT PRIMARY PROCESS (NOISE) WHICH WILL CREATE DISTORTION, AS WELL AS AN ELEMENT OF REFABRICATION AND DENIAL. 

IN LAYMAN’S TERMS, THIS MEANS THAT THIS MECHANISM IS FLAWED WITH A RELATIVELY LOW SIGNAL-TO-NOISE RATIO IN MOST CASES AND DOES NOT WORK PERFECTLY.  FACTORS SUCH AS MOTIVATION, STIMULATION, FATIGUE, BOREDOM, ANXIETY AND PROACTIVE INHIBITION ARE ALL MEDIATING VARIABLES GENERALLY NOT UNDER ONES CONTROL THAT WILL INEVITABLY AFFECT ONE’S PERFORMANCE IN THIS REGARD.

THEREFORE, ENTER THIS REALM AT YOUR OWN WELL-INFORMED RISK.