Psi in the News


The Rhine Research Center announces new courses for 2013, Steve Volk discusses his path to Fringe-ology, the Global Consciousness Project releases a 14 overview of the study with provocative results, the Felix Experimental Group releases more photographs of reported ectoplasmic phenomena, and we go back to 1973 with Mike Wallace and 60 Minutes to look at the state of psychical resarch in the early 70’s, in this ‘stuffed with holiday leftovers’ edition of psi in the news. 

  • The Rhine Research Center has begun posting their 2013 course offerings. One of the first up is a special course in professional ghost hunting. Noted parapsychologist Lloyd Auerbach will be offering a seminar entitled Investigating Apparitions, Hauntings, and Poltergeists which will broadcast every Wednesday January 30th –  March 20th. Check out the Rhine Education Center page for more details: http://www.rhineeducationcenter.org 
  • Linda Forshaw provides further insight into pursuing a career in exploring anomalous human experience, with an article on the “Academic Route to Parapsychology.” (Mind Reader
  • A new trial registry has been started by the Koestler Parapsychology Unit (KPU) at the University of Edinburgh which will help organize research initiatives and provide the groundwork for better collaboration and replication. (Parapsychological Association
  •  "Where Will Parapsychology Be in the Next 25 Years?" A special 75th Anniversary issue of the Journal of Parapsychology brings 32 leading parapsychologists together to offer up their insights into the next quarter century of research into anomalous human experience. (Society for Psychical Research)
  • Presenting at TEDxAmericanRiviera Lissa Rankin, MD discusses the evidence in support of self healing and spontaneous remission.  (TEDxTalks
  • The Global Consciouness Project has released a 14 year overview of their research, and the initial analysis seems to indicate a positive correlation for a conscious field effect during events of global significance. (Who Forted)
  • Reality Sandwich recently published an excerpt from Russell Targ’s latest book, The Reality of ESP: A Physicist’s Proof of Psychic Abilities, that discusses some of the congruence between today’s understanding of psi and Dharma traditions.  (Reality Sandwich)
  • The Subversive Thinking Blog has a round up of YouTube videos featuring Dr. Dean Radin, Institute of Noetic Sciences, and Dr. Julie Beischel, Windbridge Institute for Applied Human Potential, discussing various aspects of conscious survival after death. (Subversive Thinking
  • The Felix Experimental Group has released photos of some of the ectoplasmic phenomena they report attending their exploration of physical mediumship, a selection is provided to demonstrate the ‘mysterious symbolism of psychic structures.’ (Felix Circle)
  • In an article from the Bulletin of the History of Medicine, Rhodri Hayward traces the conflict between demonology and psychiatry in Edwardian Britain, and shows how Spiritualism provided the foil for the justification of psychiatry as a science. (Early Modern England)  
  • Courtney Brown, Ph.D. , Director, The Farsight Institute, and social scientist at Emory University, has revised and reissued his call for mainstream science to address the reality of Remote Viewing. (Esoteric Otherworlds)
  • On March 3rd Richard Wiseman will conjure up a refutation of the 73% of Americans who report having had a paranormal experience in a talk at the Brighton Science Festival. (Brighton Science Festival
  • Daniel Loxton digs into the history of the Skeptic slogan “Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence,’ and discovers Joseph L. Rinn, a close friend of Houdini, and critical investigator of ‘wonderful phenomena’.  (Skeptic Blog
  • Parapsychologist Dr. Barry Taff discussed his difficulties with the producers of paranormal television shows in his article Psi Circus Side Show, and it seems that issues exist on the skeptical side of things as well.  Ben Radford had a brief conversation with a tv producer that seems strangely similar to Dr. Taff’s. (Center for Inquiry
  • On the Disinfocast, Matt Staggs recently spoke with Dr. Rupert Sheldrake about the publication of his latest book, Science Set Free. (Disinfo)
  • Alex Tsakiris provides an overview and introduction to the Trialogue dialogue audio recordings which feature a series of discussions between Rupert Sheldrake, Terence McKenna and Ralph Abraham. (Skeptiko
  • Para-physicist James E. Beichler, PhD has a new site, Neurocosmology, which explores the outer edges of scientific inquiry: http://www.neurocosmology.net/
  • Volume 2, Issue 1 of Bent Spoon Magazine is out, featuring “Ghost Box failures, TAPS trickery, Identified Flying Objects, Reader questions answered, and more…” (Bent Spoon Magazine)
  • A new journal has just been published, the Journal of Nonlocality, with the provocative mission statement of bringing together  physics, parapsychology and neuroscience to “(forge) unholy tools in search of the quantum enigma.” (Journal of Non-Locality
  • David Taylor reviews the Paranthropology Journal Anthology for Anomaly: Journal of Research into the Paranormal (Paranthropology
  • Peter Rogerson provides a thorough review of  Roger Clarke recent publication from Particular Books, A Natural History of Ghosts: 500 Years of Hunting for Proof. Particular. (Magonia Blog & Review of Books
  • Archie Roy, Emeritus Professor and honorary senior research fellow in the department of physics and astronomy at Glasgow University, has passed away. He was known as the “Glasgow Ghostbuster” for his critical interest in parapsychology.  Roy was the  Society for Psychical Research’s 2004 Myers Memorial Medal recipient for outstanding contributions to psychical research, ,founder of the Scottish Society for Psychical Research and a past president of the London based Society. (Scotland TV)
  • The BBC also has an obituary for Archie Roy remembering his contributions to both astronomy and psychical research. (BBC)
  • Over at Atlantic University, Scholar in Residence, Carlos Alvarado reflects on the past year, and recaps some of his work exploring the history of psychical research, including a list of links to the excellent essays on the topics that he has written in 2012. (Atlantic University)
  • Does Dr. Oz’ recent support of “Long Island Medium” Theresa Caputo represent his final descent into irrelevance? One skeptical blogger things so. (Science Blogs)
  • Alcoholism, drug addiction, internet addiction…what about addicition to psychic readings? A new 12 Step program has been developed for “psychic junkies.” (Skeptic Blog)
  • Boundless.com has published a (very) brief overview of ESP research. (Boundless
  • Allen Roland, writing for Veterans Today, gives us a wonderful overview of Dr. Stanley Krippner’s career, in honor of his 80th birthday. (Veterans Today
  • The December issue of the Journal of Neuroquantology has an article authored by Stanley Krippner, Daniel B. Pitchford, Jeannine A. Davies, and Kishor Adhikari which examines rethinking the “contextual formation of culture and the fundamentals intricate to the search for universal values.” (Journal of Neuroquantology)  
  • Dr. Barry Taff recently wrote a provocative article, Psi and Psychosis: Be Afraid, Be Very Afraid, which has been drawing a lot of attention especially in skeptical circles where his candor has taken some by surprise. Here is Sharon Hill’s, of Doubtful News, take on Dr. Taff’s insights.  (Doubtful News
  • Javier Ortega, writing from the pro-parapsychology side, also feels that Dr. Taff’s insights are valuable for those thinking about researching the outer edges of human experience. (Ghost Theory)
  • In another blog post, the topic of schizophrenia and parapsychology is addressed through the author’s personal reflections of being a caregiver for a woman whose delusions at times seemed to border on rational. (Subtilizer
  • Psychological Anthropologist Tanya Luhrmann  has been studying charismatic Christian religion on the west coast of the United States, and as she reports in this recent article for CNN, she has come to some interesting conclusions regarding the experience of hearing discarnate voices. (CNN
  • Dr Kathleen Riach, of the Essex Business School (EBS) at the University of Essex, and Dr Simon Kelly, of Bradford University School of Management are currently conducting a study that looks at the effects alleged hauntings have on the workplace environment.  (EADT 4)
  • The noted Near Death Researcher Nancy Evans Bush has published a link to an article on children’s experiences with NDE’s, to help provide some context  for how children experience, and interpret, being close to death, and important issue after the recent school shooting in Newtown. (Dancing Past the Dark)
  • Rose Marks, a commerical psychic on trial in Florida for a 28 count indictment, including numerous accusations of fraud, comes forward to defend her claims of having a “God given gift.” (Sun Sentinel)
  • Academy for Spiritual and Consciousness Studies, Inc. (ASCSI) has announced its 1st annual competition for the Franck C. Tribbe Memorial Award for the best paper on the subject: "Exploring the Non-Locality of Consciousness.” $500 will go to the Best Paper, with $100, and $50 going to the second and 3rd runners up. Deadline for the competition is March 1, 2013 (ASPI.org
  • Robert Richardson puts the ones on William James for the current concept of “spiritual, not religious,” in a podcast exploring the influence of James’ thought on contemporary culture. (To the Best of Our Knowledge)
  • Simon  Hardison has created a short YouTube video that uses archival footage of J.B. Rhine to highlight the importance of studying anomalous human experiences. (YouTube)
  •  "Where Will Parapsychology Be in the Next 25 Years?" A special 75th Anniversary issue of the Journal of Parapsychology brings 32 leading parapsychologists together to offer up their insights into the next quarter century of research into anomalous human experience. (Society for Psychical Research)
  • Something of a surprise from El Modena High School in Orange, California, their school newspaper featured an overview of Spiritualism in the Reviewing Religions section. (El Modena High School Frontline)
  • A mother whose  5 year old son survived the Sand Hook school shooting is saying that psychic intuition may have had a hand in saving his life. (Hollywood Life)  
  • Benjamin Radford takes a critical look at the Sandy Hook story, and offers some alternative explanations for the supposed psychic intuition. (Discovery
  • Steven Novella continues the critique on the Neurologica Blog (Neurologica
  • Makini Brice, writing for Medical Daily, gives a further analysis of the claimed psychic experience prior to the Sandy Hook shooting.  (Medical Daily)
  • Does economic stress lead to anomalous experiences? BBC Radio 4 has a short piece on some of the common social factors that surround reports of poltergeist activity, and other haunting phenomena. (BBC Radio 4)
  • Neuroscientist, psychiatrist and author Dr. Diane Powell discusses her book, The ESP Enigma: The Scientific Case for Psychic Phenomena, with Alex Tsarkis on a recent Skeptiko Podcast. (Skeptiko)
  • Author and paranormal investigator Geoff Holder discusses poltergeist phenomena with Jim Harold on the Paranormal Podcast. (Geoff Holder.com
  • Mike Wallace, reporting for 60 Minutes, gives us a fascinating taste of psychical experimentation circa 1973 in this  short segment from the CBS News archives. (CBS News
  • Jenna Wolfe heads to Cassadaga, Florida for the Today Show to report on the “psychic capital of the world.” (MSNBC
  • Journalist Steve Volk reflects on what lead to write Fringe-ology, and how the journey helped solidify for him the reality that there is more to our potential experience than is normally allowed for by the conventional worldview. (SteveVolk.com
  • Steve Volk also joined the Joe Rogan podcast recently for a discussion of Fringe-ology, and his experience with lucid dreaming. (Joe Rogan Experience
  • As a fitting follow up to his appearance on the Joe Rogan Experience, Volk provides a refutation of the James Randi Challenge, and explains why it is a poor measure for critically engaging the scientific study of anomalous phenomena. (SteveVolk.com
  • Dr. James Carpenter joins Dr. Vanessa Anseloni on Kardec Radio to discuss his First Sight Theory of psi, and the publication of his recent book First Sight: ESP & Parapsychology in Everyday Life. (Kardec Radio)
  • Henry Paterson gives us a nice history of ‘Thoughtography,’ a phenomena where it is apparently possible to project mental images onto film and video. (Ghost Theory)
  • Chris Jensen Romer provides a brief history of the “Red Barn Murder,” a 19th century crime that was reported to have been uncovered due to premonitory dreams.  (And Sometimes He’s So Nameless
  • Are Near Death Experiences evidence of Heaven, or are they what we use as evidence for Heaven? Lloyd Glauberman, Phd. takes “An Upside-Down Look at Heaven and Near-Death Experience.” (Huffington Post)
  • From a Colorado cowboy to a Hawaiian Kahuna, Charles Spillar reports on one man’s journey to come to terms with his Near Death Experience. (Tucson Citizen
  • Christian Scientist Eric Nelson draws parallels between It’s a Wonderful Life and Dr. Eben Alexander’s Near Death Experience. (Washington Times
  • Richard Gunderman responds to Oliver Sacks recent Atlantic article that cast a critical eye on transcendental understandings of experiences such as NDEs. (The Atlantic)
  • Pakistani columnist Humayun Gauhar discusses Near Death Experiences, and some of the additional anecdotes that he has been hearing from those affected by Dr. Eben Alexander’s forthright exploration of his NDE. (Gauhar.com
  • Dr. Eben Alexander saw Heaven, and Sen. Mark Kirk (R-Ill.) is reporting that he saw three angels when he came out of a stroke induced coma. ( Politico
Note: Special thanks to Tom Ruffles, Soc. for Psychical Research, Jack Hunter, Paranthropology Journal, Iona Miller, and Matt Staggs, Editor at Disinfo.com, for a number of links included in this edition of Reality Sandwich’s Psi-in-the-News.