Psi in the News

Russell Targ talks Remote Viewing and the reality of ESP,  Daniel Loxton tackles the question of “Why is there a Skeptical movement?”, Radford University students build a psychomanteum to contact the dead, and Steve Parsons discusses how social media has changed psychical research, in this edition of psi in the news.  

This edition of psi in the news is also dedicated to Ingo Swann, who passed away on February 1st, 2013.  Swann, was instrumental in the Stanford Research Institute’s development of Remote Viewing, as well as being an artist, author and all around interesting fellow. 

The following sites feature reflections on Swann’s life:  

  • Russell Targ, who worked with Ingo Swann at SRI, was recently featured in an interview discussing the inception of Remote Viewing and his latest book, The Reality of ESP. (Red Ice Radio

  • A few news items from the Parapsychological Association. (Public Parapsychology

  • Exploring the Extraordinary will hold their 5th conference on the 20th-22nd September, 2013 in York, England. There is currently a call for papers for those interested in presenting at the conference. (Exploring the Extraordinary

  • Christopher Laursen has updated his interview with John Savoie on the “Making of the Blue Ghost Tunnel” to include a free download link to a pdf of Savoie’s book which details the creation of a contemporary urban legend. (Extraordinarium

  • Psychical researcher Steve Parsons discusses his observations of how social media has affected investigations of anomalous phenomena. (Silent Voices

  • Ben Radford interprets the scientific reality of ghosts in a piece that is surprising in its lack of citations of scientific investigations of apparitions, hauntings or poltergeist phenomena. (

  • The Universty of Kent, Canterbury will host the Ghosts in the Flesh conference on the 24th and 25th of May, 2013. There is currently a call for papers for those interested in presenting at the conference. (Skepsi

  • Lee Spiegel discusses the prevalence of Americans who believe in ghosts based on a number of polls that have been conducted, and puts this into perspective by interviewing people involved in anomalous investigation. (Huffington Post

  • Radford University students get a rare after-hours educational treat, their very own, on-site, psychomanteum chamber designed to replicate similar chambers used in ancient times to contact the dead. (The Monroe Institute)

  • Thomas Nagel’s book Mind and Cosmos is stirring up more scientists to openly discuss the faults in theories based on an uncritical scientific materialism. (Scientific American)

  • Mark Twain was a great storyteller, and some stories surrounding his death hint that he might have been a bit psychic as well. (

    The Electric Universe 2013 Conference was held in Albuquerque, New Mexico in January.  A number of speakers relevant to the study of psi were present, including: 

  • Rupert Sheldrake, discussing his recent book Science Set Free - 10 Paths to New Discovery: Part 1 and Part 2  

  • Dean Radin, discussing some of the concepts that will be found in his upcoming book Supernormal, due for publication in July. (Electric Universe

  • Paul Devereux mentioned Dr. Michael Persinger’s work in a recent article published on Reality Sandwich, and Persinger’s Neuroscience Research Group at Laurentian University has just released a new paper outlining results from some of their recent research into non-locality and consciousness. (11 Prompt)    

  • Dr. Kirsten A. Thorne discusses her experience with a very clumsy, fraudulent psychic guide. (Professor Paranormal

  • Loyd Auerbach will be presenting an upcoming, free, webinar on Tuesday, February 12th, with  Patryk and Kasia Wezowski, Founders of the Center for Body Language on “The Truth about Body Language Myths,” and discussing the nature of cold reading, and psychic fraud. (Micro Expressions

  • Medical intuitive Anita Ikonen is the guest on the inaugural episode of the Be Reasonable podcast hosted by the Merseyside Skeptics Society. Ikonen failed tests of her abilities performed by the James Randi Education Foundation and the Independent Investigations Group. (Merseyside Skeptics)
  • Alex Tsakiris, host of the Skeptiko podcast, reflects on 200 episodes. (Skeptiko)
  • Greg Taylor, founder of The Daily Grail, discusses the latest updates from the  AWARE (AWAreness during REsuscitation) study which has been testing for veridical evidence of Near Death Experiences. (The Daily Grail)
  • Near Death Experience researcher Nancy Evans Bush discusses the role of developmental stages in the NDE phenomena. (Dancing Past the Dark

  • We’ve heard from a number of different religious traditions on the topic of Near Death Experiences since Dr. Eben Alexander’s book stirred up the public conversation on the subject. This week we have a panel discussing the Mormon take on NDE’s, hosted by Dan Wotherspoon at the Mormon Matters podcast. (Mormon Matters

  • In stressful moments of the collective culture do NDE’s bring solace to a distressed populace, and are publishers banking on it? (

  • It’s a widely reported finding, but does the brain really produce DMT naturally? A number of specialists say, no. (Fortean Squirrel

  •  The Mind Science Foundation has issued their Tom Slick Research Awards in Consciousness to Steven Laureys, M.D., Ph.D. for a study of Consciousness after coma, Olga Louchakova, Ph.D., for a study of Meditation, spiritual fulfillment and well-being, and John Beggs, Ph.D., for a study of whether cascading “Neuronal Avalanches “ produce consciousness. (Mind Science Foundation

  • Ross Dunseath, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Research with The Division of Perceptual Studies (DOPS), a unit of the Psychiatry and Neurobehavorial Sciences of the University of Virginia's Health System, is collaborating with the Monroe Institute to collect data on psycho-kinesis during their MC Squared programs. (The Monroe Institute)

  • Exploring the Extraordinary will hold their 5th conference on the 20th-22nd September, 2013 in York, England. There is currently a call for papers for those interested in presenting at the conference. (Exploring the Extraordinary

  • A team of Japanese researchers have published a time-lapsed video of a “thought being formed” in the brain of a zebrafish. (Gizmodo)
  • Dr. Michael Sword’s reflects on the strange conclusions come to by those who suggest we have some sort of closure when it comes to our understanding of the nature of reality. (The Big Study

  • An interesting new paper from Dr. Andreas Sommer, who put on the recent Psychical Research and Parapsychology in the History of Medicine and the Sciences at the University College London, explores the historical process of normalizing the paranormal. (History of Behavioral Sciences

  • Daniel Loxton tackles the question, “Why is there a Skeptical Movement?” (Skeptic Magazine

  • In another recent piece for Skeptic Magazine, Loxton gives us an overview of the life of Joseph F. Rinn, a friend of Houdini’s, and an important figure in the early skeptic movement. (Skeptic Magazine)

  • The Bad Thinking blog provides us with a long rumination on skeptics, logic and probability. (Bad Thinking

  • Robert Searle presents an excerpt from A Tale of Two Sciences: Memoirs of a Dissident Scientist by Peter Sturrock, PhD, emeritus professor of applied physics and emeritus director of the Center for Space Science and Astrophysics at Stanford University, which discusses the value in a more open, and flexible, view of science which allows for dealing with evidence as it becomes available, rather than rigid theories which call for dismissing data which may be relevant to our understanding of the world. (Esoteric Other Worlds

  • Betty J. Eadie’s Embraced by the Light, a best selling book in the 1990’s, was an early examples of Near Death Experience literature that parallel Dr. Eben Alexander’s account of a Christian experience in his recent book, Proof of Heaven. (PJ Media)

  • With an increasing openness to discussion of areas of anomalous experience, it’s interesting to see this recent student profile of Indiana University South Bend psychology major Dusten Lyvers, and his open profession of mediumship capabilities. (IUSB Preface

  • Scientists have discovered that cancer cells and dying cells display an unknown form of communication between them, which is initially being reported as “non-physical.” (
  • Leslie Price discusses the recent republication of Geraldine Cummins: An Appreciation by Charles Fryer.  Cummins was a prolific ‘automist,’ or someone who used automatic writing as a form of channeling, who was active during the late 19th and through the mid-20th centuries. (White Crow Books

  • The electronic group Mindful features Uri Geller in their latest music video for the song Bend and Melt. (Del Sol Recordings

  • A review of Dr. Jim Carpenter’s book First Sight: ESP and Parapsychology in Everyday Life from Donald T. Saposnek, PhD. (First Sight

  • Anthony Sadler provides a review of Dr. Rupert Sheldrake’s latest book Science Set Free: 10 Paths to New Discovery (Washington Times)  
    Note: Special thanks to Jean-Michel Abrassart, Iona Miller, Stephan Schwartz, Tom Ruffles, Soc. for Psychical Research, Jack Hunter, Editor at Paranthropology Journal,  Jerry L. Martin, and Matt Staggs, Editor at, for a number of links included in this edition of Reality Sandwich’s Psi-in-the-News.