Can the Human Mind leave ‘footprints’ in Reality?

For almost as long as we, as a species, have existed on this fragile oasis called Earth, we have maintained the belief that we possess the powers of clairvoyance, precognition and the ability to feel the presence of, or even communicate with, the souls of the departed. But what is the reality of these beliefs?

One of the problems with the paranormal in general, is that most of the notions that constitute its body of ‘knowledge’ are based upon ideas that have remained largely unchallenged & untested for millennia. When alleged paranormal effects are merely ‘labelled’, and not thoroughly investigated, they begin to form the shaky foundations upon which equally shaky ideas are subsequently placed, resulting in a ‘house’ that no sane person would want to inhabit. Because of this, science has more or less passed the paranormal world by without even a backwards glance.

In the absence of any real scientific interest, it becomes the duty of any serious paranormal investigator to attempt to unravel this mess of mysteries in order to sort out the wheat from the chaff. This can only be achieved by taking an objective, no-nonsense approach and by critically testing these long believed notions in order to see if there is anything tangible in them.

Recently, I decided to look once more at a phenomena called Remote Viewing, which is the modern ‘sanitised’ name for clairvoyance, given to the phenomena purely to make it look more attractive to science. Remote Viewing (RV) was researched by both the USA and the Soviet Union during the cold war, in the hope that they could develop psychic spies who could find out each other’s secrets by mind power alone. Despite billions of dollars and Rubles being pumped into these psychic spy programmes, they were eventually dropped because of the mixed results that were obtained. Although the USA and the Soviet Union proved to their own satisfaction that RV was a real effect, it’s use as an intelligence gathering tool was found to be limited and problematic. After the cold war ended, the methods developed by both the East and the West started to filter out into the general public, and RV research became fair game for anyone who wanted to delve a little deeper.

For the past ten years I, along with colleagues from my own group Para-Projects and members of Liverpool based group Eximius, have been experimenting with Remote Viewing, and have conducted hundreds of informal experiments with the general public whilst running our psi workshops. We have had some very good results, but we need to stress that, although we are satisfied with what we have found, our basic methods would probably not stand up to the rigorous procedures undertaken in parapsychology labs around the world, which are done to eliminate the possibility of either fraud or misinterpretation. This is due to the simple fact that we simply do not have the funding, ie a fat research grant, with which to pay for the beefing up of both testing facilities and procedures.

Does this invalidate the results that we obtained? Yes and no. If we were trying to set out to prove definitively that RV is a reality, then yes, the results would be completely invalidated. However, our goal was to see if there was something worthy of further and more rigorous study. In this, we feel that we have succeeded.

Over our ten years of study, we have conducted many variations on the basic RV experiments, using both still and moving images, basic symbols, inanimate objects and pictures containing high emotional content, in order to determine what, if any, type of information is conveyed, and which is conveyed the best. We have found that moving images work better than stills, and that if the images have emotional content then the results are far more impressive than if we use random (emotionless) symbols. We also discovered that the person’s state of mind was also key to the success of the RV session. It appears that the more relaxed and informal the test was, the better the results. But none of this will come as much of a surprise to anyone, I’m sure.

In 2008, whilst planning the talks and activities we intended to include in that years Paranormal Week (a week long series of talks and workshops about all things paranormal, co-run by Halton Libraries, Eximius and Para-Projects), I got to wondering about ‘Imprinting’ (AKA Stone Tape Theory or Residual Hauntings). For those unfamiliar with the term ‘Imprinting’, it is one of the many phenomena that comes under the ‘ghost’ umbrella, where independent witnesses report seeing the same ‘ghost’ perform the same actions at the same location time and again, which leads some researchers to reason that what is actually being seen is not a ‘ghost’ but a ‘recording’ of a person or an event that has somehow become imprinted into the fabric of a building or location. According to this theory, the imprinting is done whilst the person is alive.

I wondered if it would be possible test this out, and more importantly, would it be detectable by tangible (non spiritual) means. So I devised an experiment that we decided to try with the people attending that particular Paranormal Week.

We split the audience into two groups. One group went outside into the car park and formed a close-knit circle. They then concentrated for around 5 minutes in an attempt to ‘impregnate’ the circle with an impression of their presence. We called this a ‘paranormal hotspot’.

The group inside could not see the group in the car park, and therefore could not see where they had decided to locate the ‘hotspot’. Once the ‘imprinting’ group had returned, we sent the other group outside armed with dowsing rods. Within minutes, every member of the search group successfully located the ‘hotspot’ left there just minutes earlier by the ‘imprinters’.

We have subsequently repeated this experiment around 15 times and have always got a positive result. It appears that we may really be capable of imprinting part of ourselves into our immediate environment which is detectable, by dowsing rods at least.

Now back to Remote Viewing…….

Much research has been done on the receiving end of RV experiments, as in comparing RV targets with what people eventually perceive, but no-one seems to have wondered if anything unusual ever occurs at the location of the target at the time that the Remote Viewing is being attempted.

Recently, I used Facebook to gather informal volunteers from my friends lists and invited everyone to join in with a week’s worth of RV experiments. Unbeknown to all the people taking part, the RV part of the test, although still a valid experiment, was not the real objective of the exercise.

At the target area, I set up a wooden table in the middle of a room away from obvious sources of electromagnetic radiation. I then performed a ‘baseline sweep’ with an EMF meter and took temperature, pressure and humidity readings to record the conditions at the table prior to the RV session. These would be used later to compare against the readings taken during the experiment. I then set up a basic weather station, a K2 EMF meter, a clock and a compass on the table along with the target picture.

On the first experiment, I was astounded to see a slight deflection on the compass needle at the EXACT TIME that the RVers attempted to ascertain what the target was. At this point I kicked myself for not setting up a video camera, an oversight caused by me running late that evening and not charging the device’s battery up sufficiently. But I personally witnessed a result!

On the second night, I set the camera up, took baseline readings again and waited for the allotted start time. At precisely five minutes before the experiment was due to start, the compass needle moved slightly again before settling back down to it’s resting position (North/South). Unfortunately, I had not switched on the camcorder, which I was going to turn on about a minute before the start of the experiment (in order to save memory space and keep file sizes small). As soon as I gathered my wits, I turned it on with all speed, but the compass needle did not budge throughout the rest of the experiment. For this particular experiment, I had asked all participants to do five minutes worth of relaxation just prior to starting the Remote Viewing.

For the rest of the experiments, I was recording and monitoring ten minutes before and after the experiments run time, but did not get any further results with the compass. However, by the third experiment, the number of participants had dropped dramatically. It would seem that to get any effect, the number of participants needs to be in double figures. Although I failed to record the compass needle moving on camera, I am sufficiently satisfied that there is something here worthy of more in-depth and rigorous study.

I urge complete caution with these findings as they currently stand, as all experiments were informal and not conducted with any real rigour, and there is so much more that needs to be done in order to assess all possible rational explanations before we reach for supernatural causes. However, if the result can be repeated and if it is found that the needle movement does indeed occur as a direct consequence of a group of people merely concentrating on a particular location, what else are we capable of achieving with our minds? This together with the dowsing hotspot experiment seems to infer that the human mind may very well be capable of leaving ‘footprints’ in reality.

Mark Rosney

~ by markrosney on August 28, 2010.

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