Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Is there a concerted effort to suppress evidence of the paranormal?

In my studies of the paranormal I have noticed what seems to be an effort by some to obscure, hide, or debunk the most convincing evidence.  I'm not talking about Men in Black silencing people that have UFO encounters; I'm talking about supposed "skeptics" making attempts to debunk evidence for things that they are ideologically opposed to, whether it be UFOs or ESP.

One example might be the controversies surrounding the Mars Effect.  Another example might be the extensive debate surrounding the results of the ganzfeld and auto-ganzfeld ESP experiments.  Perhaps the best examples of this kind of bias against evidence for the paranormal would be "rational skeptics" and the endless attempt to debunk anything and everything that may lend validity to the field of the paranormal.  The James Randi Million Dollar Paranormal Challenge is a component of this effort (but not the extent of it) and it should be noted that not just anyone can participate in the Challenge.

Of the rules listed in the application for the Million Dollar Paranormal Challenge I find number twelve to be particularly suspicious.  The "media presence" aspect is what I find suspicious and Randi has a history of going after prominent paranormal performers.  Going after public figures and exposing their fraud is commendable, but not when that is taken as some kind of strike against the paranormal as a whole.  I think that Randi wishes to draw out challengers and then publicly humiliate them in an effort to support his anti-paranormal agenda.

But is there a concerted effort to suppress evidence of the paranormal?  I don't think that it's a "concerted" effort.  I don't think there's a huge conspiracy to keep people from knowing the truth.  I think that the reason why most people aren't aware of the significant evidence for the paranormal is because most people don't like to read academic papers and to a lot of people the paranormal is seen as taboo.  When it comes to academics, it seems that any suggestion that there may be truth to paranormal claims is met with harsh criticism.  When no evidence of fraud or methodological error is found, those that cannot accept that precognition may be a reality, or find the idea of psychokinesis to be absurd, will often resort to simply ignoring it or attempting to discredit the researcher(s).  Worse still is the halfhearted attempt at replication that doesn't use the original protocol but claims negative results that bear on the validity of the original experiment.

My opinion is that these people are just trying to preserve their worldview.  It's really no different than creationists doing everything they can to cling to their belief.  If one has a totally materialistic and secular view of reality then something like ESP can really shake things up.  They really can't be blamed in this sense as everyone participates in this kind of behavior whether we admit it or not.  Does this mean that I like this kind of pseudo-skepticism?  Not at all.  I do, however, accept that the reasons for it don't seem to be any more sinister than simple fear of what we don't understand.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Mystery Boom in Georgia

Mystery boom still confounding officials

This sound would fall into the category of strange phenomena called brontides that Charles Fort had an interest in.  That this mystery boom was a brontide seems like a simple enough explanation but there is also the possibility that it was a top secret aircraft like the Aurora performing a test run.  If it is a secret aircraft then the owners will most likely never admit responsibility for the boom.

Personally, I have no idea what it could have been.  The more probable explanation is that it was a supersonic aircraft of some kind, but it would have to have been a secret craft as flying at high speed isn't permitted over that part of Georgia.  It could have been an extraterrestrial craft for all we know.  Until the experts can determine some mundane cause for the sound we're left to wonder.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

The latest Nessie sighting.

Loch Ness monster: new pictures and sighting of Nessie

It looks like waves to me.  That said, it has been a while since there's been a Nessie sighting.  Maybe enough public interest will get another expedition out on the lake to look for the creature.  I happen to be a fan of the "Nessie is a dinosaur's ghost," hypothesis.  Hopefully someday we will know for sure what's going on out in Loch Ness.

The Mars Effect - More evidence in favor of astrology?

The Mars Effect is the purported statistical correlation between certain positions of Mars at the time of birth and athletic prowess or aptitude.  It was first reported by Michel Gauquelin, a French psychologist and statistician, in 1955.  As you can imagine, this was highly controversial and people immediately set out to examine the claims.

As seems to typically occur, attempts to debunk the Mars Effect were made and when the initial replication (begun in 1956) was a success it was suggested that it was an artifact of unspecified demographic errors.  In a second attempt at replication (done in 1975 at the behest of the Committee for the Scientific Investigation of Claims of the Paranormal, or CSICOP) the original data was called into question when the results came out in Gauquelin's favor.  This "questioning" consisted of splitting up sample groups to the point of making a comparison pointless.  There was even internal protest against this fudging of the numbers within CSICOP, seen as nothing more than shifting the subject of the experiment in order to appear in favor of CSICOP's investigation.  Naturally, the detractor was booted from the committee in a less-than-transparent vote.  A concurrent study of US athletes came up negative for the Mars Effect, but the study was carried out with seemingly no regard for the specifics of the effect as found in Gauquelin's initial study.

The above examples are just the first of the attempts to strike down Gauquelin's results.  There seems to be something inborn that is opposed to the notion of the stars having any sway on human events at all.  This probably hearkens to the idea of free will and one having control of their destiny (and free will, or the lack thereof, is a completely different discussion in itself).  The idea of astrology is very threatening to so-called free thinkers because it might mean that they aren't as free as they think.  In my experience, most people that are so ferociously opposed to the idea of astrology usually have the least understanding of the practice.

Enough of my ranting though; take a look at the Wikipedia page for the Mars Effect if you want all the gory details.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

What's under Denver International Airport?

Much has been written about the strangeness surrounding the Denver International Airport so I'm not going to go into that.  Instead I'll provide a link to an article on the Mystery Surrounding Denver International Airport.  No, in this post I'm going to give my ideas on what I think could be underneath DIA.

I think that there's something strange underneath the airport and I think that it is perhaps a continuity of government facility.  In the event of catastrophe, the top members of the United States government would be moved to a COG facility in order to maintain some government in the face of disaster.  COG facilities aren't that unusual in themselves, but all of the New World Order imagery in the above airport makes it seem a little more sinister.

I think that the airport was built where it was built because of it's relative remoteness to Denver, or anything else for that matter.  In a widespread disaster, the government officials (or the NWO, Illuminati, etc.) could fly into DIA from anywhere in the world and then go immediately to the bunkers deep below.  I've also heard that Denver (and Colorado for that matter) sits on a very resilient portion of the Earth's crust.  The airport (or rather, the facility beneath it) is thus isolated and stable, protecting it from man-made as well as natural disasters.

I do not think that it is a secret research facility.  My reasoning for this is that there are too many civilians buzzing around the place all the time.  Having an international airport makes sense if you have survival bunkers underneath, but it really would serve no purpose for a secret research facility other than to perhaps hide it in plain sight.  If that's the case though, why bother building the airport at all?  Everything is already hidden underground.  All of the imagery and the peculiar circumstances surrounding the construction have only served to bring more scrutiny upon DIA as well.

I think the bigger question here is why build the facility at all?  There are perfectly good COG facilities already in existence.  Why the need to build a new one under such strange circumstances and in that particular location?  Does the government (or the New World Order) know something about the future that we don't?  Something to think about.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Alien abduction or sleep paralysis?

There has been a big push in recent years to explain away cases of alien abduction as instances of sleep paralysis.  I am not opposed to this explanation in the cases to which it applies.  No doubt some people do experience sleep paralysis and it can seem to mimic the popular imagery of the alien abduction.  However, some people manage to bring back souvenirs from their "hallucinations."

Most prominently you have people that come back with strange markings and scars on their bodies.  These alone are perhaps not that convincing as someone could scratch themselves in their sleep or notice a scar they hadn't noticed before.  Still, this can qualify as physical evidence of an abduction despite it's ambiguity.  It's hard to convince others of this though.

The most convincing evidence, for me, is when a person actually has an implant.  There is a Dr. Roger Leir that specializes in removing these strange objects from people.  Appearing outwardly to be lumps of metal, some of these implants possess truly strange properties and behaviors such as emitting electromagnetic radiation or even moving away from the instrument when an attempt is made to extract them.  This is no doubt the best evidence for the phenomenon short of actually catching ET in the act of kidnapping someone.

And then one has to wonder if the sleep paralysis explanation isn't something put out in an attempt to discredit those that are genuine abductees.  Disinformation and debunking are common practices you encounter in the study of UFOs and extraterrestrials.  Which is a more convincing explanation for abduction to the average person:  sleep paralysis or aliens?  Most people would pick sleep paralysis, I think.

Here is a link to Dr. Leir's website, Alien Scalpel.
Here is a survey to help you determine if you have ever been abducted.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Infrasound as an explanation for hauntings?

I've been seeing some opinions lately that infrasound (sound below 20Hz, the "normal" limit of human hearing) is the explanation for cases of hauntings.  This whole thing apparently goes back to a paper written by Vic Tandy and Tony R. Lawrence who found that infrasound is capable of causing sensory phenomena suggestive of ghostly activity under certain circumstances.  Infrasound is apparently capable of producing feelings of unease or fear in humans and can cause visual anomalies at the right frequency.  The concept of infrasound affecting people has been expanded since with less specific emphasis on ghostly phenomena.

It's obvious to me that under certain circumstances just about anything can emulate a genuine haunting.  The issue here is that just demonstrating that it's possible has seemed to morph into a kind of "all hauntings are infrasound" attitude among some people.  This isn't really accurate and there has been some work that shows no difference between groups that were exposed to infrasound and those that were not, as regards "ghostly" feelings or experiences.  That work can be found here.  (If you'd rather not read all five parts you can skip to Part 5 which gives an explanation of the results.)

With this in mind, I think it's premature to declare all hauntings and ghostly phenomena as the result of infrasound, especially given the specific conditions required to produce the effect in the first place.  If you would like to read more about infrasound, including Vic Tandy's experience, then please see the Wikipedia article on infrasound.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Why couldn't extraterrestrials be visiting Earth?

While few people seem to doubt the possibility of extraterrestrial life in some form, a far more contentious topic is that of extraterrestrials actually visiting Earth.  The primary argument against extraterrestrial visitation seems to stem from what we know about the vastness of the universe and the limitations imposed by physics.  What I'll present here are a few ideas that may have you thinking again about whether or not ET could visit us.

If we assume that every star in the sky has a planet just brimming with life, some of it intelligent, then those beings are going to have to travel for hundreds or even thousands of years if their technology is equivalent to ours.  Even moving at the speed of light it would take them quite a while, depending on which star they were coming from.  There are a few counters to this though.  If the civilization is older than ours (and it need not be drastically older) then it may have discovered the secrets of faster-than-light travel or perhaps even instantaneous travel between two points in space.  We tend to fall into the trap of thinking we know everything about the universe and how it works when we're actually just scratching the surface.

These beings may also not be biological at all; they may have advanced to a point that they have merged with machines.  This would make time of travel less of an issue for them.  Even cryogenics could make it less of an issue, depending on distances.  Take into account the time dilation present when traveling near the speed of light and they buy themselves even more time so they could actually make the journey (and possibly the journey back) within their lifetimes.  Or these beings could live and die on an entirely different time scale than we do.  They could have lifespans on the scale of thousands or tens of thousands of years (or more).

We tend to think of our solar system as being pretty barren with the exception of Earth.  What if ETs are coming from other planets in our solar system though?  Then the technology doesn't have to be nearly as advanced.  There could be civilizations hiding out on the Moon, Mars, Venus, and possibly the moons of the outer planets, potentially in those underground bases we hear so much about.  Their origins aside, if they are coming from some place close then it doesn't seem that improbable anymore.

With all of these ideas thrown out there, some people might ask "Why would they come here at all?"  Why wouldn't they come here?  If they're anything like us then they're probably very curious.  We can't really pretend to know the motives of extraterrestrials though as they are most likely very different from us.  The question of "Why?" might have to remain unanswered until we can ask them ourselves.

Left-Hand vs. Right-Hand

In the present occult community it seems that those classified as "left-handers" get a bad rap.  It should be noted that the distinctions of "left-hand path" and "right-hand path" depend largely on interpretation.  The terms originate from Tantra and were brought to the West by Madame Blavatsky.  In its original sense, the left-hand path connotes the breaking of societal taboos as a part of spiritual practice; things like sex in ritual or drinking alcohol.  The right-hand path refers to spiritual practices that conform to society's standards and generally keep with established doctrine.

In the current community the two seem to be divided into a kind of "black magic" and "white magic."  The left-handers are seen as lacking morals, using magic for selfish or malicious ends, and are usually seen as stereotypical "satanists."  The right-handers are the "love and light" types that are perhaps viewed most often as the stereotypical New Agers.  I happen to think that this dichotomy only serves to divide people that could be working together.

My personal view is that the left-hand path is more about utilizing personal power and emotional release whereas the right-hand path is more about devotion to higher powers and the petitioning of those powers.  It is much more complex than simple "good vs. evil."  I don't see the left-hand path as being necessarily evil at all and there are many right-handers that are guilty of some pretty bad behavior.  I think that left and right are just two different ways of accomplishing what is essentially the same thing, like the original meaning of the left and right-hand paths in Tantra.  It could even be said that both are necessary to form a complete practice.

The overall point that I'm trying to get at is that there's no need for a "vs." at all.  Magical practice doesn't have any intrinsic morality; it's the person practicing that determines whether a path is "good" or "evil."  I don't think that the divisiveness that can erupt in magical communities over this is something to be stamped out just because of ideological differences.  If we take the time we can often learn from people that see things in a different way than we do.

Left-Hand Path and Right-Hand Path

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Strange Artifacts

The 10 Most Puzzling Ancient Artifacts

There are lots of examples of strange artifacts.  Fossils that shouldn't exist, man-made objects found in rock that predates humanity, and even messages from stranded extraterrestrials preserved in stone.  To me, these types of things always stir up images of an advanced distant past that flourished before some kind of fall from grace.  Whether or not there actually were advanced ancient civilizations, these types of artifacts are certainly something to think about.

I find the most compelling cases of these artifacts to be obviously man-made or intelligently designed objects that are found in prehistoric rock.  With these we have to assume that either our understanding of rock formation is flawed, our dating methods are flawed, or these objects were made by some civilization from the distant past.  There is another possibility though; one that I'm sure Charles Fort would be a fan of.

What if the same teleportation force I discussed in my post on the Super-Sargasso Sea is responsible for depositing these artifacts in ancient rock?  If there is some force capable of moving animals and objects from place to place in such a fantastic manner, why couldn't it deposit something inside a solid object?  The idea of teleporting inside of a solid object has been mentioned in science fiction for years, but what if these artifacts are examples of that very thing?  Could this force even transport objects through time, removing the need to place them inside of solid rock and, instead, just dropping them in the mud that would later form rock?

Advanced prehistoric civilization or impersonal teleportation force?  We may never know.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Can psychic abilities be learned?

Psychic abilities are typically thought of as gifts that are bestowed on a person, usually at birth.  This is what makes them special and able to use ESP and other similar abilities, at least in the popular view.  What if it's not just about being born with it, but what if psychic abilities can be learned?

My personal opinion on the matter is that everyone has the potential to be psychic; most people just don't tap that potential.  I think that some people are probably more predisposed to psychic functioning than others just as some people are born predisposed to being better at math or sports or art.  Does this mean that only those born with the predisposition can have psychic abilities?  No more than it means those with the predisposition for math or sports or art are the only ones that can learn those things.

This just means that some people will have to work harder to attain the same level of skill.  This also assumes that they even want that skill in the first place.  If you don't have the desire to have the skill or to be good at it then there's really no getting it unless you've been gifted with it from the start.  Even then, with a predisposition, if you choose not to use that ability then it will atrophy and you may as well not have it at all.

Then we have different areas of psychic ability.  Most people are probably better suited to some areas more than others, just like with anything in life.  Someone may be really good with the perceptive aspects but have no skill at all with more active abilities like psychokinesis.  Some people may be better suited to experiencing things visually while others may be better suited to sensing through feeling or intuition.  Again, predispositions come into play with this.  This is the view that Pete A. Sanders, Jr. takes in his book You Are Psychic!  I highly recommend this book to anyone looking to tap into their own psychic abilities.

I think we also have to take into consideration our society and the overall worldview towards things like psychic abilities.  Children are said to have more psychic experiences than adults.  The reasoning behind this is that children are still experiencing the world in a fresh way.  They haven't had a particular paradigm imposed on them yet so they are more open to whatever may come.  As they grow up they are told that things like magic and auras are not real, but just pretend.  As they start to believe this then it becomes true to them and they ignore and close off abilities that were natural and effortless to them.  That's the popular reasoning anyway.

My advice for (re)awakening your own psychic abilities is to listen to your intuition and take note of how it feels when something is right.  Practice the more active abilities.  Work out your psychic muscles so they'll grow.  Like any skill worth learning, it's going to take some practice to get the hang of it.  You can use the Quick ESP Test gadget at the bottom of the page to see how your skills are coming along.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Nazi UFOs

There has always been talk of the Nazis developing flying saucers toward the end of World War II and there is even some evidence that shows they were interested in this type of craft.  While there are pictures and stories to support the idea, the Nazis were defeated before their wonder weapon could be utilized.

After the war the United States and the Soviet Union began a grab for Nazi scientists and technology which ultimately resulted in the Cold War.  We know that the Nazi scientists contributed a lot to the science of rocketry so it makes you wonder what else they had breakthroughs in.  Could it be that UFOs are just top secret military craft derived from Nazi research?

If the Nazis were so close to having actual flying saucers then at what point would that technology be at after sixty years of development and refinement?  Would it have the capabilities of the UFOs reported that possess abilities considered beyond human engineering and technical know-how?  I think that there's a possibility that unexplained UFOs could be top secret military craft being tested or used for operations.  When you think about it, what better cover for that could there be other than extraterrestrials and spacecraft from another solar system?  There's no need to lie about it when everyone already assumes that it's little green men.

Here's an article that discusses Nazi flying saucers in more detail:  Nazi spaceship film sparks UFO debate.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Destroy your sigils or save them?

When I see people explaining how sigil magick works and how to do it, I often see destruction of the sigil as one of the final steps in the working.  This works well when each sigil is created for a very specific, one-time use.  What about if you want to have a collection of sigils that you can flip through to find the appropriate one, then charge it for use?

The setback I see in this is that it may be hard for you to let go of the sigil once it is charged and fired off.  If you dwell on it consciously then it might not work properly because you're not allowing the subconscious to do its job.  On the other hand, wouldn't using the same sigil over and over eventually make it more powerful?  Wouldn't it be similar to the traditional magickal figures of the pentagram, hexagram, etc.?  These are simple figures, highly symbolic, and some would argue that they are so powerful because they've been used so much.

So, which is better?  Do you destroy the sigil to allow it to do its thing or do you keep it so you can use it again?  I don't have an answer to that.  I suspect it depends on individual skill and what you feel most comfortable with.  Personally, I'm fond of the idea of having a collection of sigils and symbols that can be consulted and utilized for specific purposes.  Whether my subconscious would agree isn't something I can tell you.

Then there's the practice of keeping the sigil until the desire has manifested and then destroying it to release the energy.  As you can see, there are very few hard-and-fast rules for this type of magick and I think that's one of its major advantages.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Internet Demons

I've talked a little bit about demons before but I thought I would discuss the idea of demons on the Internet for a bit.  It seems logical to me that with more and more of humanity migrating onto the Internet for various reasons that demons (in the neutral non-human spirit sense and in the malevolent entity sense) would follow.  Indeed, the Internet has become a realm of its own.

So, what if there are demons on the Internet?  This provides some new ground for exploration in the dated study that is demonology as well as some new opportunity for magickians.  Maybe it even provides new opportunity for the sciences now that technology is inherently involved with the demonic activity.

This idea could even be spread to cover those strange electronic gremlins that each of us gets from time to time.  I'm sure I'm not the only one that has had a computer do something incredibly strange and then never do it again.  Could this be the hi-jinks of an Internet demon trying to upset me and feed on my emotion or is it attributable to the fickle nature of modern technology?  Hard to say really.

I think that this is a neat idea, as neat as the idea that the Internet is its own living entity, and it could be expanded on greatly.  I'll leave that for others to do though.  I think the big question is:  Have our demons followed us online?  There probably is no definitive answer to that but the link below gives a short, somewhat disturbing, account of the ramifications.

Demons in the 'Net

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

It doesn't look good when the government has a website for debunking conspiracy theories.

Conspiracy Theories and Misinformation - America.gov

The fact that the government has a website devoted to debunking conspiracy theories only proves the conspiracy, right?  No doubt there are many conspiracy theories that don't have a leg to stand on, but there are a few that persist precisely because there is reason to be suspicious of what's going on.  It should be noted that even if there is no conspiracy, the act of debunking it makes it look like there's something to hide.

There is also plenty of reason for not being very trusting when one considers what the government has done in the past.  Project MKULTRA and the Tuskegee experiment are just a couple of examples.  It really does make one wonder what "they" could be up to right now that we won't find out about for decades, or ever.

Merely labeling something as a "conspiracy theory" has the effect of discrediting it these days.  There is probably a reason for that lack of being taken seriously though.  I've noticed that a lot of conspiracy theorists don't apply enough critical thinking to what they're saying and many rely on vague connections to support their arguments.  All of this only helps "them" stay out of the light, assuming that "they" even exist in the first place.  The truthers now perpetuate any conspiracy that may exist through the act of drawing attention to it.  Ironic, huh?

Wikipedia on the Tuskegee experiment.
Wikipedia on Project MKULTRA.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Some surprising evidence in favor of astrology.

Astrology is commonly seen as a fun-and-games sort of practice.  Most people only know about astrology of the Sun-sign, newspaper horoscopes variety.  Astrology is a much, much deeper subject than that.  Several in-depth books have been written on the intricacies and subtle nuances of astrology so I'm not going to attempt to explain that here.  Instead, I'm going to remind you of the primary principle of astrology:  The heavenly bodies are capable of having effects on earthly substances.  This would include everything from the animals to the plants to the minerals of this planet.

I'm talking about something that goes far beyond the known (but little understood) force of gravity.  I'm talking about something on the archetypal level.  According to the Doctrine of Correspondences, everything on Earth has a metaphysical connection to it's ruling planet(s) above.  Everyone knows of astrology's alleged sway on human events, but what about the effects on mineral substances?

Enter Lily Kolisko and her work with chemical substances containing archetypal metals.  The metal solutions she used are tied via correspondence to specific astrological planets.  She discovered that these substances behaved differently depending on what their ruling bodies were doing in the heavens.  You can find a link to some of her work below.

Working With The Stars In Earthly Substances

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Parapsychology going mainstream?

Can science prove we're psychic?

I haven't found time to read the paper that this article is about, but I hope to soon enough.  Judging from the article though, I'd say that this is going to encounter the same stumbling blocks that most parapsychology studies finding positive results encounter.

It seems that already people are trying to shrug the study off because it doesn't provide a working theory.  I'm not a science historian, but it seems to me that most often we discover the phenomenon first and then work out the theory afterward.  Expecting a theory before an objective phenomenon is taken seriously seems like a very backwards way of doing things to me.

Then we have the problem of replicability.  Not everyone agrees on what counts as replicability in the first place, but for now let's focus on the people that have attempted a replication and got negative results.  Going solely by the article, it doesn't seem that they really attempted a replication as they didn't follow the exact procedure of the original experiment.  How can this be called a failure to replicate when they weren't even copying the original experiment?

Lastly, I suspect that as soon as conventional explanations for the positive results run dry then the cries of fraud will go up.  Never mind that an accusation of fraud requires evidence to prove it; it was surely a trick all along!  Some people just don't want ESP or psychic abilities to be demonstrated as a reality.  It would topple their worldview.

I have a hard time understanding the ferocious opposition to the idea of ESP and psychic abilities in the age of quantum strangeness.  There are plenty of things that we can't explain; why ignore ESP when there is evidence that it is a real phenomenon?  This is by no means the first study to show results in favor of ESP, though it could turn out to be one of the best known.  It could even be the study that makes people stand up and take notice, if it's replicated.  Call me a pessimist, but I don't think it will be that simple or easy to get this taken seriously.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Scientists are finally doing the obvious thing when it comes to near-death experiences.

Seeking Proof in Near-Death Claims

Placing pictures near the ceiling of critical care areas seems like a logical thing to do if you want to determine whether NDEs are objective phenomena or just the brain acting funny in the throes of death.  Hopefully this will provide some kind of answers about survival beyond death.

More on near-death experiences from The Body Odd.

Thursday, November 11, 2010


Dowsing is the use of a Y-shaped stick, two L-shaped rods, a pendulum, or even your own body to discover hidden items or information.  There are probably many other variations on the technique of dowsing; these are just the ones that I'm most familiar with.  Personally, I prefer the L-shaped rods as they are easy to use, easy to read, and don't require a lot of effort or material to make a basic set to practice with.

I've had mixed results with dowsing rods though, to be honest, and I've yet to do a thorough test of my dowsing ability.  It is my opinion that the rods only amplify the unconscious motions of the individual and these motions can carry information from the subconscious mind, hence acting as a kind of psychic amplifier.  This explanation depends on the belief that the subconscious mind has access to abilities and information that the conscious mind does not.

Historically, dowsing has been used to find water under the ground or to find minerals.  "Water witches" were used to determine where a well should be dug.  Allegedly, some people still use dowsing to find buried water pipes when maps are unreliable.  I've never seriously tried to find something that was underground as I usually have little desire to dig holes in search of things, but if I find that my dowsing ability is pretty good I may change my mind and go looking for buried treasure or something.

Dowsing can apparently be used to find a lot more than water and minerals.  As long as the dowser can focus on what they're trying to find then it seems like the rods will amplify that signal.  This has been my experience.  Recently I used my rods to try to find a missing cat.  I seemed to have problems from "interference" at first as the rods kept leading me back to the cat that isn't missing.  Once I was able to break away from that it became a matter of what about the cat I was specifically focusing on.  I didn't find the missing cat because the rods were leading me onto an adjoining property and it was getting dark, so I decided to call off the search for the day.  However, I think I may have some idea of where to look now.

Honestly, I'm hoping the cat just comes back on its own.  Dowsing for cats is one of the more absurd things I've ever heard of.  Here's the Wikipedia page on dowsing.

Trolling as a magickal tool.

The idea hit me earlier that maybe the time-honored tradition of Internet trolling could be used in magickal practice.  It would, of course, probably be better suited to those of a "left-hand" path as it could be morally dubious and it also utilizes strong emotion.  I believe the difficulty might be in channeling all of that Internet rage into your work, but using a computer in your working shouldn't be that complicated for those with enough ingenuity.

This is essentially co-opted group focus, in a sense, similar to an ordinary magickal group working.  Instead of having a group focusing on your magickal goal, they are focusing their strong emotions towards you.  Your job then is to channel all of that attention being given to you into your working.  Since I'm becoming so fond of sigils I'll use that as an example.

You would need to prepare your sigil (or ritual, etc.) beforehand.  Once you have everything set up then you can begin co-opting the energy you need to make your sigil particularly potent.  I figure that there are two ways of charging a sigil in this way.  The first one would be to use your sigil as your avatar or display picture in a forum or chatroom so that the energy is flowing directly to it.  The second way would be to devise some method of channeling the energy into your working such as keeping the sigil on your computer or using your computer in the ritual (if you're taking the ritual path).  This is where your ingenuity comes in.

How do you incite the strong emotions though?  If you're dealing with Wiccans then point out how Gerald Gardner plagiarized Aleister Crowley (see this previous post for more info).  If you're dealing with followers of Crowley you can call him a deviant drug addict.  Obviously this only works on specific groups.  If you're working with a more eclectic crowd then you'll probably need more general triggers.  I would avoid things like "Magick isn't real," as this could work its way into your own subconscious and potentially subvert your goals.  Anyone that's had much experience in these types of crowds should be able to come up with something to stir emotions.

All of this is morally questionable, perhaps reprehensible, but I thought that it might be interesting to folks even if they never actually try the idea out.  I enjoy thinking of new ways to look at old things and solve problems.  With this much negativity on the Internet, someone may as well try to put it to use, right?  If anyone does try this then please let me know how it turns out.  This is frontier stuff right here, I think.  Exploration and experimentation is encouraged.

I also apologize for the flood of magic(k)-related topics lately.  I know that probably not everyone enjoys reading about this stuff but I've been getting back into it lately and I feel that the best writing comes from personal experience.  So there you go.  I'll try to post about more diverse topics in the future.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Magical Alphabets

I've recently taken an interest in magical alphabets, specifically the Theban alphabet.  Magical alphabets have the advantage of giving something a mystical feel as well as concealing information from those that cannot read the text.  Using a magical alphabet also allows for a deeper level of abstraction and symbolism which can aid in some forms of magic (sigil magic comes to mind).

Most of the popular magical alphabets are quite old and related to us through Agrippa.  These alphabets are usually based on Latin or Hebrew and are little more than substitution ciphers.  As with certain languages, the age could be said to aid in the potency of the alphabets.  This potency is also added to by the effort expended by a person in learning and writing the magical alphabet.  In the case of Enochian, we have a means to communicate with the angels themselves.

Enochian is not merely a magical alphabet though.  Enochian is an entire language, channeled by John Dee and Edward Kelly in the 1500s from the angels themselves.  Through the use of Enochian and the associated magical system one is said to be able to gain secret knowledge.  Obviously, learning an entire language (a complex one at that) takes a lot more effort than learning a new alphabet so it is perhaps not for everyone.  Those not particularly interested in ceremonial magic may have no use for Enochian at all.

If you are interested in incorporating magical alphabets into your own practice then see the links below.

Theban Alphabet
Enochian Alphabet
Enochian Language on Wikipedia

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Demons: Evil or Misunderstood?

In a lot of modern occult circles any talk of demons is generally frowned upon unless it's talk of how to defend yourself from them or exorcise them.  This is interesting as it wasn't always this way.  This is evident in the Keys of Solomon, specifically the Goetia.  The Goetia focuses almost entirely on various demons and their means of summoning.

Demons were not always seen as the malevolent forces that most Westerners view them as now.  In the beginning, demons (or daemons/daimons) where seen as non-human spirits that coexist with mankind.  Just as there are good and evil people there were some spirits seen as good and some spirits seen as evil.  With this in mind, it seems reasonable for a magician to summon a benevolent demon in order to solicit its help in some manner.  No soul-selling or pacts necessary, just the petition to a non-human spirit.

I think that Christianity gets the most credit for the contemporary view of demons as evil beings out to possess your body and damn your soul.  I only bring this up because even though the original concept of demons has been tinged by time and translation, there are still occultists that adamantly insist that one not deal with demons.  It should be said that these people are usually "right handers" or "white witches."  I find it ironic that they would hold to and support a predominantly Christian view of demons with the knowledge that they have been just as demonized for being witches of any kind.  In light of this inaccuracy (largely translation-based in the first place), you would think that these occultists might be more sympathetic to demons.

Just something to think about the next time you see mention of summoning spirits or demons.  For a much deeper view of demons, please see the link below.

Wikipedia on demons.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Scientific Evidence for ESP

Not many people know that subjects like ESP and PK are accumulating scientific evidence in favor of their existence.  The best evidence of psychokinesis is manipulation of random event generators (such as occurred at Princeton's now defunct PEAR lab).  The best evidence for ESP seems to be in the ganzfeld and auto-ganfeld experiments, but there have been many more experimental setups for ESP.

It seems that no matter what the psychic ability being tested is, the effect size is usually very small.  Yet, the effect size appears to remain consistent across studies.  Meta-analysis has been put to great use in parapsychology because of the ability to compare and examine data from multiple studies.  It also allows for small effects to become apparent by putting all of the data into one study.

I could go on and on about parapsychology and the evidence of psychic abilities but I mainly wanted to write this post in order to share with you one of the best papers on the subject I've read.  It's by Jessica Utts who is a professor of statistics at UC Davis.  It's kind of long and gets a little technical, but if you're as interested in the evidence as I am then you may find it worth your time.

Replication and Meta-Analysis in Parapsychology

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Summoning Demons

Recently I've been very interested in sigils and sigil magic.  It just so happens that when browsing some darker areas of the Internet in the wee hours of the morning I stumbled upon an image file containing 99 sigils.  Ninety of these are specific to particular demons, apparently.  The remaining nine have more general purposes.

I don't typically dabble with spirits or demons but I thought this might be relevant to the interests of my readers.  Whether you choose to work with this is up to you.  I thought I recognized some of these names and symbols from somewhere but I've searched my books as well as the Internet and the closest I can turn up is this image, apparently found in a number of places on the Net besides the place I got it from.  Some of these are evocative of the Keys of Solomon, but I can't find any matches.  I haven't studied Solomon's works that closely though.

For those of you that might be brave enough to try this, let me know what happens.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Possible human mutilations by extraterrestrials?

I've wanted to write about cattle mutilation for a little while but several people have done a better job than I think I could do.  Instead I'd like to bring your attention to a lesser-known but more disturbing phenomenon.  Cattle aren't the only animals being mutilated by the military or extraterrestrials or whoever is doing these things.  Among the other animals are horses, sheep, buffalo, deer, dogs, and cats.  The most disturbing revelation perhaps is that these mutilations may be happening to human beings.

I became aware of a specific case a few years ago but it seems that still not that many people know about this phenomenon.  That's possibly for the best considering the implications this particular case could have.  The popular theory is that extraterrestrials are doing these mutilations as it is not believed that humanity has the technology.  If this is the case then we should seriously rethink how we view the UFO and abduction phenomenons.  The mundane explanation for this particular case is murder by a drug cartel.  I struggle to believe that the peculiar characteristics could be replicated by human technology.

The summary is that this body was discovered in Brazil in the Guarapiranga Reservoir.  The body bears many similarities to cattle mutilations including removal of organs through peculiar holes, evidence of high heat or laser cutting instruments, the operation appears to have been done with speed, and it appears as if the subject was alive for all of this.  The articles below tell the story better than I can.

WARNING:  The links below have their own warning notices but both contain graphic images of a mutilated human being.  If you are squeamish then I do not recommend viewing the images and probably not the second link at all, just to be safe.  The first link has all of the images at the bottom of the page so you can read the information without viewing the images if you prefer.  The second link has the images interspersed with the text.  View at your own risk.  You have been warned.

This page tells of three human mutilation cases that include the specific case I have talked about above.  There is ample warning before you see any graphic content.

This link focuses on the specific case I've mentioned and asks more questions.  However, the graphic images are interspersed with the text.  View at your own risk.

Friday, November 5, 2010


If you spend enough time researching the paranormal then you come across a lot of hoaxing.  Some of it is very high quality and continues to fool people even after it has been exposed as a hoax.  Other hoaxes are easily identifiable as such.

People that present hoaxes as reality are a huge problem to this field, in my opinion.  This is perhaps the biggest problem in the realm of UFO research.  From my experience, I have to say that I've seen more UFO/alien hoaxes than I have seen hoaxes of anything else in relation to the paranormal, perhaps with the exception of ghosts.  The problem of hoaxing is twofold and it really does do the field an enormous injustice.

The first problem with hoaxing is that it takes time and resources to investigate a hoax.  If someone were to file a false police report then they would be held accountable for the expenses of that investigation.  There are no such laws or rules concerning UFOs or the paranormal, but the fact remains that someone is spending time and resources on looking into this case that was intentionally fabricated to fool people.  It takes resources away from looking at actual anomalies.

The second problem with hoaxing is that it hurts the credibility of the field.  All it takes is for a few well-made hoaxes to be passed off as real to credulous people and then they get incorporated into the public mind.  When eventually exposed as hoaxes they have the effect of making people think that all similar occurrences must be hoaxes.  Even with the existence of legitimately anomalous cases, people will often look at the exposed hoaxes as being a nail in the coffin for the field.

I've focused on the example of UFOs, but ghosts might be a very good example as well.  There are so many hoaxed ghost videos that it has the same effect of people pushing aside even the legitimate cases.  No doubt there is a certain amount of skill and artistry in making videos like that, but the honest thing to do would be to label them for entertainment purposes only.

Perhaps putting a disclaimer at the end wouldn't be enough though.  I come across people to this day that still think Paranormal Activity was the real deal.  The same thing happened with The Blair Witch Project when it was first released.  These were both major movie releases designed to look so real that people actually believed they were recovered footage from real events.

In a perfect world people wouldn't be so dishonest as to pass off a fake as the genuine article.  This isn't a perfect world though, so we have to be vigilant and discerning when it comes to evidence that is "too good to be true," especially when we have people intentionally trying to deceive others for profit.  Let it be noted that deception isn't confined to just UFOs and ghosts.

Creating fake evidence and passing it off as real is dishonest and really does a disservice to those of us that are looking for genuine answers.  Hoaxing evidence is bad enough, but then profiting from deception makes it even worse.  I know I'm not the only one that feels this way.  Remember to keep a healthy amount of skepticism in your search for the truth.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Eastern and Western Monsters Are Surprisingly Similar

In light of this information I would like to pose a question.  Are the monsters of different cultures so different because of some complex psychological aspect of humanity or because these creatures actually existed (or still do exist)?

To the present day there are sightings of Bigfoot-like creatures all over the world, from the United States to Russia to China.  Dragons are another cross-cultural cryptid.  It seems that if Bigfoot/Yeti/Sasquatch is an actual creature then it still exists in remote places, but what about dragons?  Did they exist at one time and went extinct?  Were they just figments of our imaginations?  Maybe the legends of dragons actually come from large lizards left over from the age of the dinosaurs such as the creatures reported in remote parts of the African jungles.

What I’m getting at is that we should consider why such different cultures have such similar monsters.  Are we wired to invent the same creatures or did these things actually terrorize us in the distant past?  Personally, I think it could go either way.  The similarities are definitely eerie.  What do you think?

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Is the Moon inhabited?

Our moon has been an object of fascination for millennia.  Many beliefs developed about it through time and it was a largely mysterious presence in the sky for the majority of our history.  Even though we eventually got to the Moon (or so we're told) there are still a number of mysteries for us to uncover.

Strange lights, clouds, and mists on the surface of the moon have been observed for hundreds of years with no real explanation behind them.  NASA itself has acknowledged these mysteries and has recorded many reports of strange activity on the moon from the age before spacecraft.  Strange lunar phenomena visible from Earth continue to the present.  Strange tracks and objects have also been photographed on the Moon since we've been sending probes there.  There are also the rumors of an extraterrestrial base on the far side of the moon to contend with as well.

Most people are aware of the big fuss that was made over the "Face on Mars" several years ago, but fewer people seem to be aware of the very strange things happening much closer to home.  Perhaps the strangest thing about the Moon is that there is a theory that it is actually artificial and functions as a very large spacecraft.  This theory, called The Spaceship Moon Theory, was developed by two Russians in 1970.  This theory draws together the more interesting lunar anomalies into one theory that makes a scary amount of sense when looked at.  Some of the anomalies that the theory addresses are the bizarre density and mineral composition of the moon as well as how it got into Earth's orbit in the first place.

So, what is up with the Moon?  Is it a giant spaceship?  If so, where is it from?  More importantly, who was operating it and are they still there?  It just doesn't seem like the Moon should remain so mysterious in our day and age when we've actually sent people to its surface.  Are these mysteries largely ignored by science or does someone have the answers and just isn't sharing them?

Here is some additional reading about the mysteries of our moon.

Strange Things on the Moon
The original Spaceship Moon proposal.
Some Say Moon Photos Show Signs of Alien Life

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

At least I'm not the only one.

Why real-life ghost hunters hate "Ghost Hunters"

I've written about this before and it seems the plethora of ghost hunting shows hasn't gone unnoticed by serious parapsychologists either.  It usually is the case that the most popular aspect of any particular subject overshadows and sometimes stigmatizes the whole of the subject.  One bad apple spoils the bunch and all that.  I still can’t bring myself to watch very much of these shows.

Monday, November 1, 2010

The Zombie Apocalypse

I know zombies are popular right now (and have been for a while) but I had an idea while I was watching TV earlier (no, not The Walking Dead; it was actually the first few episodes of a good series called Dead Set). I had the idea to go over some of my thoughts on surviving the Zombie Apocalypse.  I know countless people have done this and some have even written books about it, but I figured it might be fun so here goes.

We first have to take into account what kind of zombies we're dealing with.  If we're dealing with zombies of a supernatural origin then things get complicated depending on the details.  For the sake of this post I'm going to go with the overwhelmingly popular viral outbreak scenario.  There is some kind of virus outbreak that infects people and turns them into zombies.  If you get bitten or otherwise infected by a zombie you will slowly die and then reanimate as a zombie with a hunger for human flesh.  The typical destruction of the brain puts them down permanently.  Pretty simple, right?

Instead of giving a rundown of what I, personally, would do I'm just going to outline a few things that I feel would be very important.

1.  Get out of the population centers as soon as you can.  Take whatever useful supplies and equipment you can get your hands on and get out of there.  Humans will be just as dangerous as zombies during the initial chaos.  Go somewhere that won't be obvious.  It doesn't make sense to flee a population center if the rest of the population is just going to follow after you to an obvious refuge.  Try to keep in mind the geographical isolation of the place, the potential for harvesting natural resources (like food, water, and material), and also how defensible it might be.

2.  Don't try to take everything with you.  Take essentials and take things that have more than one use.  If you have time to cook and properly preserve perishable food before you leave then do so.  The highways might be impassible so be prepared for that and find another way if you can.  If you're already in an isolated area because you live there then you will probably have more time to prepare.  If you are already where you want to be then try to preserve as much perishable food as you can before the power goes out and try to store as much clean water as you can before the water service fails.  Reinforce doors and windows on the ground floor (or everywhere if you can).

3.  Wait out the initial chaos.  It would be best not to go into a population center to rescue someone or to snatch up supplies if you're already out of there but I understand that it isn't human nature to leave friends and family behind in such a situation.  You may even be trapped in a population center and have no choice but to stay.  Everyone is going to have the same idea to make a run on food, water, medicine, etc. so you will probably be better off avoiding supermarkets, superstores, and hospitals (especially hospitals because of infected people going in for treatment).

4.  Try to avoid the infected as much as possible.  Stealth over aggression.  Unnecessarily engaging infected wastes ammunition, opens you up to being infected yourself, and could also attract more infected or humans that want to rob you of your supplies or worse.

5.  Once you have your safe haven established you should strive to be self-sufficient.  Growing food, collecting rain water, reusing and recycling everything.  If you have to go into population centers to scavenge for supplies then I would suggest traveling light and having a plan.  Ideally this wouldn't be until a week or two after the initial chaos; maybe longer.  I highly recommend learning survival skills (including long-term survival skills) and learning the natural foods and medicines of your area.

6.  Remain off the radar.  Don't broadcast your presence to anyone unless there is a definite chance of being rescued by authorities (i.e. you heard it on the radio).  Don't fall for other people trying to take advantage of you though.  Just hole up and wait it out if you can.  Eventually the infected should become incapacitated.  There's a possibility this could take years though depending on the nature of the infected physiology.

This is all just common sense from my perspective.  Then again, I'm a bit of a survivalist so maybe not everyone thinks this way.  I am of the opinion that a zombie outbreak is incredibly unlikely but these same points could apply to a large-scale natural disaster as well.  Even if zombies are incredibly unlikely, it sure is fun to think about.  If you have something to add to this list then leave a comment:  Our survival may depend on it.