UFO Conjecture(s)

Friday, December 06, 2013

Mind-Meld (or Telepathy)

This is an item from the January/February 2014 issue of Discover magazine [Page 25]:


  • Part 1.


    I can see that the telepathy issue has tickled your interest. I was also a bit dismayed that many of those making comments on the subject in previous posts seemed to be relatively unaware that the topic actually has a long history. It has been the subject of scientific study since the late 1800s and a fair amount is known about it.

    The article from Discover magazine that you reference is another example of the suggestion that telepathy is simply a hidden form of information transfer via exchange of electromagnetic radiation. Mark Twain made this suggestion in his 1891 book, “Mental Telegraphy”:

    “…I once made a great discovery: the discovery that certain sorts of thing which, from the beginning of the world, had always been regarded as merely "curious coincidences" - that is to say, accidents - were no more accidental than is the sending and receiving of a telegram an accident. I made this discovery sixteen or seventeen years ago, and gave it a name - "Mental Telegraphy." It is the same thing around the outer edges of which the Psychical Society of England began to group (and play with) four or five years ago, and which they named "Telepathy."

    In the more than 100 years that the subject has been studied, the telepathy-as-electromagnetic-radiation explanation has been considered and discarded repeatedly. For example, this was one of the very first hypotheses that the CIA/DIA Remote Viewing program of the 1970s tested. Many people don’t realize it but, between them, the CIA and DIA spent about 1 million dollars per year from about 1975 to 1995 on Top Secret, Special Access R&D programs (i.e., STAR GATE, GRILL FLAME) to understand and exploit psychic phenomena. I have to think that that was probably the largest single parapsychology R&D program on the planet, ever (outside of the Soviet Union). Initially, the Stanford Research Institute (SRI) was contracted to run the program and Hal Puthoff and Russell Targ were the Co-Principal Investigators (PIs). After about 10 years, the contract was taken from SRI and given to another “beltway bandit” contractor, the Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC). Under SAIC, Ed May was the PI, until the program was very publicly killed in 1995 by the CIA, in a manner very reminiscent of the Condon Committee’s killing of the USAF’s UFO study.

    By Blogger Larry, at Saturday, December 07, 2013  

  • Part 2.

    I know Hal, Russ, and Ed personally and professionally; they are all very intelligent, Ph.D. physicists with very high standards of scientific conduct. If you want an authoritative and comprehensive overview of what was learned during those 20+ years, you couldn’t do better than to read their writings. For example, Targ and Puthoff’s “Mind-Reach” published in 1977 is basically a sanitized, or unclassified version of the results they were reporting to the CIA during the first few years of the program. I read it as soon as it came out, and was able to replicate some of their results, myself. For an insider’s report on how the CIA killed the program, read Ed May’s commentary on the STAR GATE program:

    The upshot of all the CIA/DIA R&D is: The ability of the human mind to obtain information through unconventional (i.e., “psychic”) channels is real. On the average, the channel has a low signal-to-noise ratio—a fact which presents itself as a low overall data rate through the channel. The overall quality of the information coming through the channel can be (and is, in field operations) enhanced by all the standard signal processing strategies used for that purpose, such as redundant channels and signal averaging. The basic ability is presumably intrinsic to the human mind, because it can occur inadvertently and spontaneously. Most people can access the channel some of the time consciously and deliberately if they try, but the talent is not distributed evenly throughout the population. A small fraction of the population can’t seem to connect no matter what, and a very small fraction of the population are “super stars”. In the CIA/DIA programs, these stars were people like Ingo Swann and Pat Price. Whatever an individual’s level of intrinsic talent, performance can be improved with training and practice. Information in the channel does not fall off with distance nor is it blocked by Faraday cage or other shielding; for these reasons, the premise that electromagnetic radiation was the vector of transmission was rejected. More puzzling is the fact that information transfer through this channel does not seem to obey “common sense” laws of causality; information can come “back from the future”. This characteristic bears at least a superficial similarity to certain interpretations of quantum theory, which likewise ignore “common sense” laws. It is as if—in the words of quantum physicist Erwin Schroedinger—“Multiplicity is only apparent, in truth, there is only one mind…..”

    By Blogger Larry, at Saturday, December 07, 2013  

  • Thank you, Larry...

    I don't have an inordinate affection for the telepathy topic, but only wanted to correct CDA's errant comments that the subject was not grist for science, and irrelevant.

    Also, I disliked the comments that tried to abridge Bragalia's Twining post because he included the note that Twining said he had communicated, telepathically, with a Roswell alien.

    Skeptics always seem to find a controversial nugget upon which they build what they think is a prima facie case that negates one's mustering of material about UFOs or Roswell they dislike.

    (CDA tried to use "telepathy" but it didn't work because of your input and such items as the Discover notice above.)

    I've marginalized, here, some of that erroneous and ignorant skepticism (much from French skeptic Gilles Fernandez) and shall continue to try and keep such stupidity submerged, at least in this venue.


    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Saturday, December 07, 2013  

  • The smart way to keep people passive and obedient is to strictly limit the spectrum of acceptable opinion, but allow very lively debate within that spectrum....”
    ― Noam Chomsky, The Common Good

    By Blogger Bruce Duensing, at Sunday, December 08, 2013  

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