Is there evidence for psychic phenomena?
It turns out there might be. Although it’s a class of scientific research often shied away from due to a lack of traditional funding and the fear of destroying any chance of a career, there are several scientists around the globe carrying out extensive studies and collecting masses of data on the subject.
Many of the scientific methods in place today were developed to test and account for the possibility of psychic effects. Thomas Welton Stanford, the brother of the founder of Stanford University even donated 20,000 to Stanford “to a fund which shall be known as the psychic fund.” This was to be used “exclusively and wholly for the investigation and advancement of the knowledge of psychic phenomena and the occult sciences.” When he died 20 years later, he left an additional 526,000 (about 10million in 2005) to this fund.
Did some people witness 9/11 before it happened?
Dean Radin, one of the most recent and extensive researchers on the topic, designed a series of online exercises to test psychic abilities online. One test on the site assesses precognitive ability. It tests how well a user can describe a photo that the computer will randomly select after the user enters a description of the photo. The description can be entered as written words, and sometimes as check boxes indicating whether the user thinks the photo will be indoors or outdoors for example. When he examined the data for the period of 9/11, he found some spooky accounts. He checked the data from the period of September 9 through the morning of September 11, 2001.
The data he portioned included approximately 900 trials.
Sunday, September 9, 2001, between 8:48 and 8:57am Eastern Daylight Time, two days before the incident, a user named Sean wrote the following impressions in a series of three successive trials:
Airliner (seen from left-rear) against stormy cloud backdrop, flashes of streaky cloud, ovoids, two person firstly a dragonfly? Then a log [or] branch suggestive of everglades, then a fast dynamic scene of falling between two tall buildings, past checkered patterns of windows first tall structure like an industrial chimney, then flashes of rounded crenelated form-peacock-like headdress of American Indian Woman? Then surface like volcanic ash plume or cauliflower. 1
While this description may have failed to match the randomly generated photo (the photos tended to be of landscapes, people, animals, and other pleasant scenes), it did appear to create a possible link to something else.
Another user reported in two successive trials:
It is of something falling; it will be a chaotic scene.
Alone, these accounts don’t amount to much. They are a small, selective sample of a large batch of data. But what if there were more cases related to the same event?
Dr. MacGregor reported a strange experience during her flight on September 10, 2001. For the full account be sure to check out the book Entangled Minds.
On a fairly empty flight Dr. MacGregor decided to find an empty row to lay down on her return flight home. As she tried to drift off to sleep something didn’t feel right. She couldn’t seem to relax. She focused her attention of the hum of the engines and lay there, more awake than ever. A strange feeling began to overcome her. At first, she noticed how still she was, but as she tried to move, to her surprise, she couldn’t. The more she tried, the more resistance she noticed. Then it became clear, she was completely encased in concrete. She began to feel it crushing her, completely imprisoned under its weight.
Then the pain began. It grew until it filled her whole body. The concrete was moving and pressing in on her, tighter and tighter.
It was clear to her, there was no escape. “in another instant my life would be over.” She recalled.
When She finally arrived home, physically unharmed around 6:00am pacific time on the morning of September 11, 2001, she headed upstairs and found safety and well needed rest in her bed. Three thousand miles away, the north tower of the World Trade Center was bursting into flames.
There are many incredible account of this ‘precognition’ and this particular event is perhaps one of the best studied. It seems as though time is not quite what it seems, and some part of ourselves — our consciousness — is entangled with this conundrum. Perhaps quantum physics will shed some light on this baffling idea for those still very skeptical about the idea.
The Observer Effect
A famous term in the physics realm. At its base, it relates to the idea that light can behave as both a particle and a wave depending on whether it is being observed. We somehow can play a role in the way reality constructs itself.
Thomas Young carried out what’s known as the double slit experiment. In this experiment you have a screen with two tiny slits and on the other side of the screen you have a photographic plate. If you fire a stream of photons through a single slit (one slit remains closed) then the photons behave as expected; they appear as a smooth distribution as you would expect from particles. With two slits open, you would expect to now see two separate smooth distributions as each photon or particle has to go one of the slits. But this is not what happens.
They actually create an interference pattern with varying bands of intensity (imagine the surface of a disturbed ocean). This is what you would expect from a wave. And what’s weirder? If you slow down the rate of photons and send a single photon at a time, eventually you’ll end up with the same interference pattern. Why doesn’t that make sense? Because it means that each individual photons is going through both slits at the same time! Also, we never actually observe any atomic object such as a photon as a wave, it simply behaves that way when we aren’t looking!
Now after that lengthy (and hopefully understandable) explanation, we’re gonna get weirder. I know, right?
To further experiment, Thomas Young used a controlled shutter to open or close the slits after the photon had passed through but before it hit the photographic plate. He found that even though the decision was made after the photon had already gone through one or both slits, it would behave based on the position of the slits after it had passed through; behaving based on future actions. Somehow the photon ‘knew’ they would change!
Researcher Dean Radin carried out a study on skin conductivity in response to image. Some images would create a rise and some would create a fall, depending on the content of the image. But what was so bizarre, was that the skin would measure the correct response a full 3 seconds before the image was displayed. That’s right… before.
Nobel laureate Kay Mullis participated in the experiment. When speaking live on air on NPR he stated that “I could see 3 seconds into the future,”.
Something about time is not all as it seems.
1. Dean Radin, Ph.D., Entangled Minds, Paraview Pocket Books, ISBN: 1416516778