Psi in the News

Ghost hunting, psychic challenges, the intricacies of OOBE, and reflections on the iconography of sleep paralysis, in this edition of Reality Sandwich’s Psi in the News. 

  • What makes people think popular ‘ghost hunting’ shows have any credibility? A study by Paul Brewer, professor of communication at the University of Delaware, indicates scientific jargon may have a lot to do with it. (University of Delaware Daily)

  • An interview with Richard T. Cooke, founder of the World Ghost Convention, provides insight into the experiential factors that lead some people to begin investigating anomalous phenomena. (The Independent)

  • Craig Turner brings up one of the nagging questions of NDE’s, if we do exist beyond our physical bodies, what are the implications of suicide? (Providence Journal)

  • Franklin & Marshall College anthropology professor Misty Bastian discusses her nightside life of ghost hunting and paranormal investigation. (Lancaster Online)–Paranormal-researcher-explains-why-she-loves-field.html

  • A ghost by any other name, is still a ghost. Michael Newton reviews Roger Clarke’s new book A Natural History of Ghosts. (Guardian UK)

  • Fiona Bowie, co-founder of the Afterlife Research Centre in the U.K., reflects on some recent recognition from George Hansen, and discusses the current state of research into exceptional human experience.  (Afterlife Research Centre)

  • What do you get when you cross a forward thinking anesthesiologist and one of the world’s most celebrated mathematical physicists? A new theory of consciousness that might explain for NDE’s, OOBE’s, and other anomalous phenomenological curiosities. (Huffington Post)

  • More on the collaboration between Dr Stuart Hameroff, Professor Emeritus at the Departments of Anesthesiology and Psychology and the Director of the Centre of Consciousness Studies at the University of Arizona, and Sir Roger Penrose, Emeritus Rouse Ball Professor of Mathematics at the Mathematical Institute of the University of Oxford, on their orchestrated objective reduction (Orch-OR) theory of consciousness. (Daily Mail)

  • Leading Neo-Atheist and skeptic, Dr. Victor Stenger joins Alex Tsarkis on Skeptiko to discussing his new book, God and the Folly of Faith, and the science of consciousness and near-death experience. (Skeptiko)

  • Two professional mediums failed a ‘psychic challenge’ experiment, designed by Chris French, head of the Anomalistic Psychology Research Unit at Goldsmiths. (BBC)
  • Chris French provides a more detailed analysis of the ‘psychic challenge,’ and provides some of the anecdotal results. (Guardian UK)

  • Stanford scholar Laura Wittman traces the evolution of near-death experiences in modern culture. (Stanford News)

  • In a guest post on dream researcher Ryan Hurd’s website, Matt Cardin, of The Teeming Brain, discusses the iconography of sleep paralysis, and the lasting influence of a 1790 version of Fuseli’s iconic painting “The Nightmare.” (Dream Studies)

  • Ryan Hurd will be giving a presentation on sleep paralysis and lucid dreaming on November 16th at the Rhine Research Center in Durham, North Carolina, titled: Angels, Aliens and Ancestors: Transformative Encounters with Sleep Paralysis, Night-Mares and Lucid Dreaming (Rhine Research Center)

  • Rather than testing psychic mediums, psychologist Leonard George, Capilano University, decided to try it out for himself with some training and mentorship from the Lily Dale Spiritualist community. (Vancouver Sun)

  • Karen Abbott gives an overview of the history of the Spiritualist movement, focusing on the Fox sisters, and their influence on popularizing mediumship in the 19th century. (Smithsonian Magazine)

  • Scott Pierce interviews parapsychologist Loyd Auerbach on paranormal media and the scientific study of hauntings. (CNN)

  • Founder of the U.S. Army’s Remote Viewing program, and President of the Monroe Institute, Captain Fred ‘Skip’ Atwater, has announced that he is retiring from TMI.  (The Monroe Institute)

  • NDE researcher Nancy Evans Bush, who specializes in negative NDE experiences, discusses the “Christian fantasty of Hell,” and how preconceptions about the afterlife can affect our experience of liminal states of consciousness. (Dancing Past the Dark)

  • Andrew Brown, editor of the Guardian UK’s Comment is Free – Belief column, discusses the intricacies of Out of Body Experiences. (Guardian UK)

    Special thanks to Cindy Nigro, of the Rhine Research Center, for pointing out the Vancouver Sun story on Leonard George’s mediumship experiments.