Nature of Reality News ArticlesExcerpts of Key Nature of Reality News Articles in Media
Professor Ian Stevenson, who died on February 8 aged 88, was the world's foremost scientific authority on the study of reincarnation. The founder and director of the Division of Personality Studies at the University of Virginia, Stevenson spent more than 40 years travelling the world, accumulating more than 3,000 cases of children who appeared to have memories of previous lives. Stevenson's studies were informed by an encyclopaedic knowledge of history, philosophy and the natural sciences but characterised above all by an empirical rigour. He would travel vast distances to interview the children and their current and "previous" families, meticulously noting corroborative and conflicting statements in their accounts, and cross-checking official records, and police and autopsy reports. In 1960 he published his first paper on the subject ... which caught the attention of Chester Carlson, the inventor of the Xerox machine. In 1963 Carlson collapsed in a cinema and died. When his will was read, Stevenson was astonished to learn that Carlson had left $1 million to endow a chair at the University of Virginia, and a further $1 million for Stevenson himself to continue his researches into reincarnation. Carlson's bequest enabled Stevenson to set up the Division of Personality Studies, the only academic department in the world dedicated to the study of previous life memories, near-death experiences and other paranormal phenomena.
Note: For great video clips by Fox and ABC News of the amazing case of a young boy who remembered not only his past life as a WWII pilot, but also the name of his aircraft carrier and shipmates, all clearly verfied later, click here. For more inspiring information on life after death, click here.
Yale University researchers say their study that used lasers to create remote-controlled fruit flies could lead to a better understanding of overeating and violence in humans. Using the lasers to stimulate specific brain cells, researchers say they were able to make the flies jump, walk, flap their wings and fly. Even headless flies took flight when researchers stimulated the correct neurons. Gero Miesenbock, associate professor of cell biology at Yale, said if the process could be duplicated on mice, researchers might be able to better understand the cellular activity that leads to certain behavior.
Ronald McRae, a former investigative reporter [tells of] the military's forays into parapsychology, the quasi-science that studies the interaction of mind and matter. According to McRae, who is skeptical of psychic claims, the Department of Defense has spent $6 million annually in recent years to research such phenomena as extrasensory perception (E.S.P.) and mental telepathy. The Pentagon denies any interest in parapsychology. But in an interview with the New York Times, retired Lieut. General Daniel O. Graham, former head of the Defense Intelligence Agency, indicated that the military had unquestionably been involved in psychic research. While he considered McRae's $6 million budget figure an exaggeration, he said, "I wouldn't be surprised if the intelligence community were following this. They would be remiss if they didn't." Back in December 1980, Military Review, a journal of the U.S. Army, carried a cover story titled "The New Mental Battlefield" [in which] Lieut. Colonel John B. Alexander wrote that "there are weapons systems that operate on the power of the mind and whose lethal capacity has already been demonstrated." He ... urged the U.S. to step up its research in the field. "I know the Government's involved," says Physicist Russell Targ. "I did the work," he contends. He maintains that there was a "multimillion-dollar" project, part of which focused on "remote viewing" experiments. On a visit to the U.S.S.R. in October, Targ found that the Soviets had replicated some of the experiments he and his colleagues had reported in scientific journals. Says Targ: "In the Soviet Union, psychic research is taken seriously at the highest levels."
Note: For those interested in the military's use of "psyops" (psychological operations), you can view all 170 pages of the official U.S. Army psyops manual from April 2005, available here. Remote viewing has been used extensively in the military, intelligence, and police communities. For an excellent 50-minute video covering this most fascinating topic, click here.
Marilu Henner had her last bite of cheese 39 years and one day ago. “I celebrated my health birthday yesterday,” said Ms. Henner ... as - inevitably - the details began flooding back. “August 15, 1979, I gave up dairy products. It was a Wednesday. The weather that day was beautiful. And I went to see a doctor who told me, ‘You have to give up dairy products. You’re not going to be healthy unless you give up dairy.’” Ms. Henner is famous for playing the cabby Elaine Nardo in the 1970s sitcom “Taxi.” She has also written 10 books (mostly about health and well-being); starred in another TV series, “Evening Shade”; and appeared in several movies and Broadway shows. But thanks to a “60 Minutes” segment in 2010, Ms. Henner has become famous for what neuroscientists call highly superior autobiographical memory — the ability to recall past life experiences, including day of the week and date, with remarkably vivid detail. “You don’t know for how many years people have been talking about my memory,” Ms. Henner said. “And then they’ll ask me about something from two weeks ago and I tell them, ‘You can go a little further back than that.’” Back, say, to when she learned about being cast in “Taxi.” It was June 4, 1978, a Sunday.
Note: Explore more on this unusual woman in this ABC News article. Watch an excellent 14-minute segment from Australia's 60 Minutes on numerous individuals with the gift of perfect memory. How is this possible?
One of the very pillars of physics and Einstein's theory of relativity — that nothing can go faster than the speed of light — was [challenged] by new findings from one of the world's foremost laboratories. European researchers said they clocked [a] subatomic particle called a neutrino going faster than the [speed of light]. The researchers themselves are not ready to proclaim a discovery and are asking other physicists to independently try to verify their findings. "The feeling that most people have is this can't be right, this can't be real," said James Gillies, a spokesman for the European Organization for Nuclear Research, or CERN, which provided the particle accelerator that sent neutrinos on their breakneck 454-mile trip underground from Geneva to Italy. CERN reported that a neutrino beam fired from a particle accelerator near Geneva to a lab 454 miles (730 kilometers) away in Italy traveled 60 nanoseconds faster than the speed of light. Scientists calculated the margin of error at just 10 nanoseconds, making the difference statistically significant. Given the enormous implications of the find, the researchers spent months checking and rechecking their results to make sure there were no flaws in the experiment.
Note: This article fails to mention that the speed of light barrier was broken and seriously questioned several decades ago. To read more on this fascinating development, click here.
Clusters of up to 100 mysterious objects, bright white lights and strange, triangular shaped objects are just some of a huge surge in UFO sightings reported to the Ministry of Defence last year. The ministry has opened up its own "X-Files" for 2007, revealing 135 UFO sightings from across the UK. The number of sightings has shot up since 97 were reported in 2006. In Duxford, Cambridgeshire on April 12, a witness reported seeing fifty objects, each with an orange light, assembling in the sky before ascending. Two pilots in different planes above Alderney in the Channel Islands reported the same UFOs on April 23. They saw one bright orange craft, then a gap, followed by an identical object. In the West Midlands in December, one witness got a shock when a UFO shone a light into her window. Hilary Porter, from the British Earth and Aerial Mysteries Society (BEAMS) said sightings were becoming increasingly common. She said: "There has been a huge influx of UFOs. Absolutely enormous. There [have] been these huge formations that have been coming. We have had call after call after call, from business people right down to ordinary folk in their cars. There have been some very close encounters that have been quite unnerving for the people involved. We have had other people reporting orb sightings." A spokeswoman said the ministry does not investigate each and every report. "We only investigate if there have been any objects in British air space that may be military," she said. "Unless there's evidence of a potential threat we don't investigate to try to identify it."
Note: For a succinct summary of first-hand reports of UFO sightings by highly credible former government and military officials, click here.
When Nigeria's education minister faced an audience of 1,000 schoolchildren, she expected to hear complaints of crowded classrooms and lack of equipment. Instead, girl after girl spoke up about being pressured for sex by teachers in exchange for better grades. One girl was just 11 years old. "I was shocked," said the minister, Obiageli Ezekwesili. "I asked, was it that prevalent? And they all chorused 'yes.'" For years, sexual harassment has been rampant in Nigeria's universities, but until recently very little was done about it. From Associated Press interviews with officials and 12 female college students, a pattern emerges of women being held back and denied passing grades for rebuffing teachers' advances, and of being advised by other teachers to give in quietly. Most victims are college students such as Chioma, a slim, quiet 22-year-old with a B average, who repeatedly failed political science after refusing her teacher's explicit demands for sex. She said he was a pastor and old enough to be her grandfather. In a recent survey ... 80 percent of over 300 women questioned at four universities said sexual harassment was their no. 1 concern. But with a strong African tradition of respecting one's elders, families or teachers, harassed students can rarely expect support, even when repeated complaints are made against one individual. Yet attitudes are slowly changing. Ezekwesili, the education minister, says she wants to set up complaints programs and join forces with women's organizations. "We are going to take punitive measures against these teachers and give a voice to students," she promised.
Vows of celibacy weren't always required [for Catholic] priests. The church's absolute celibacy dogma is relatively recent, a mere half-millennium old in the grand span of Catholic history. So why has the church maintained this curious anachronism that disallows priests from marriage and a family? Ask St. Paul. "The unmarried man is anxious about the affairs of the Lord, how to please the Lord; but the married man is anxious about worldly affairs, how to please his wife, and his interests are divided," he wrote. On the other hand, St. Peter, the first pope, that revered rock upon which the church was built, was a husband. Close Bible readers know this because St. Mark's gospel makes elliptical reference to the apostle's mother-in-law. For 1,700 years, priests often married. The 43rd decree of the Council of Elvira in the fourth century, for instance, stated that any priest who slept with his wife the night before celebrating mass would lose his job. By the sixth century, the vow of celibacy had actually loosened further. Pope Pelagius II instituted a policy in 580 of allowing priests to marry as long as they did not transfer property to wives or children. Not until the Council of Trent in 1563 ... did the Vatican gavel fall resoundingly in favor of absolute celibacy.
No longer a gleam in the Pentagon's eye, ray guns — or radiofrequency (RF) weapons, to be exact — officially have arrived. As troops are increasingly forced to serve as an ad hoc police force, nonlethal weapons have become a priority for the military. The Department of Defense is currently testing the Active Denial System (ADS), which fires pain-inducing beams of 95-GHz radio waves, for deployment on ground vehicles. This surface heating doesn't actually burn the target, but is painful enough to force a retreat. While the military continues to investigate the safety of RF-based weapons, defense contractor Raytheon has released Silent Guardian, a stripped-down version of the ADS, marketed to law enforcement and security providers as well as to the military. Using a joystick and a targeting screen, operators can induce pain from over 250 yards away, as opposed to more than 500 yards with the ADS. Unlike its longer-ranged counterpart, Silent Guardian is available now. As futuristic — and frightening — as the ADS "pain ray" sounds, the Air Force Office of Scientific Research is funding an even more ambitious use of RF energy. Researchers at the University of Nevada are investigating the feasibility of a method that would immobilize targets without causing pain. Rather than heating the subject's skin, this approach would use microwaves at 0.75 to 6 GHz to affect skeletal muscle contractions. This project is still in the beginning stages. The ADS, on the other hand, is already a painful reality.
Note: For lots more concerning information on non-lethal weapons, click here.
As many as one in 300 HIV patients never get sick and never suffer damage to their immune systems and AIDS experts said on Wednesday they want to know why. Most have gone unnoticed by the top researchers, because they are well, do not need treatment and do not want attention, said Dr. Bruce Walker of Harvard Medical School. But Walker and colleagues want to study these so-called "elite" patients in the hope that their cases can help in the search for a vaccine or treatments. So far Walker and colleagues have not been able to find out why certain people can live for 15 years and longer with the virus and never get ill. The AIDS virus usually kills patients within two years if they are not treated. Walker has tracked down 200 elite patients and has now joined up with other prominent AIDS researchers to find at least 1,000 "elites" in North America and as many as possible globally.
First Star Wars. Now Star Gate. That is the real code name ... of a secret program that spent $20 million in the past 10 years to employ psychics in pursuit of the unknown. What the Pentagon's ultra-secret Defense Intelligence Agency [DIA] hoped it might get from the paranormal was a real advantage in the world of military intelligence. Last week ... the CIA (which spent $750,000 on psychic research from 1972 to 1977) determined that the program was a waste of money and moved to shut it down. Congress had ordered the agency to take over Star Gate last year and conduct a study of its effectiveness. "There's no documented evidence it had any value to the intelligence community," says David Goslin, of the American Institute for Research, which the CIA hired to do the study. So the three full-time psychics still operating on a $500,000-a-year budget out of Fort Meade, Maryland, will soon close up shop. At least a few powerful Senators on the Appropriations Committee will miss them. Senators Daniel Inouye and Robert Byrd, intrigued by stories of psychic successes, pushed hard during many years to keep Star Gate going. Tales of the effectiveness of psychics as spies have long been circulated. DIA credited psychics with creating accurate pictures of Soviet submarine construction hidden from U.S. spy satellites, and a 1993 Pentagon report said psychics had correctly drawn 20 tunnels being built in North Korea near the demilitarized zone.
Note: Though this article largely debunks remote viewing, it does reveal some key facts. Before 1995 the government consistently denied such a program ever existed. Former participants in remote viewing programs, many of them respected scientists, have spoken openly about their involvement. Many of these scientists believe that the program was not shut down, but rather all civilians were terminated from the program in order to take it to a higher level of secrecy. For an excellent 50-minute video on this program, click here.
After studying the classics at Princeton, I trained in psychiatry at Yale and in psychoanalysis at Columbia. That background is why a Catholic priest had asked my professional opinion ... about whether [a self-styled Satanic high priestess] was suffering from a mental disorder. My subject’s behavior exceeded what I could explain with my training. She knew how individuals she’d never known had died, including my mother and her fatal case of ovarian cancer. Six people later vouched to me that, during her exorcisms, they heard her speaking multiple languages, including Latin, completely unfamiliar to her outside of her trances. This was not psychosis; it was what I can only describe as paranormal ability. I concluded that she was possessed. Much later, she permitted me to tell her story. For the past two-and-a-half decades and over several hundred consultations, I’ve helped clergy from multiple denominations and faiths to filter episodes of mental illness - which represent the overwhelming majority of cases - from, literally, the devil’s work. Questions about how a scientifically trained physician can believe “such outdated and unscientific nonsense,” as I’ve been asked, have a simple answer. I honestly weigh the evidence. Those who dismiss these cases unwittingly prevent patients from receiving the help they desperately require, either by failing to recommend them for psychiatric treatment (which most clearly need) or by not informing their ... ministers that something beyond a mental or other illness seems to be the issue.
Note: The above was written by board-certified psychiatrist Dr. Richard Gallagher. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on the mysterious nature of reality.
Initial DNA analysis of one of the 3,000-year-old elongated skulls found in Paracas, Peru, has revealed that they may not have been come from humans but from a completely new species, according to Paracas Museum assistant director Brien Foerster. A geneticist who tested skull samples has found that they contain mutated DNA that does not match any known genetic DNA information in GenBank, an open-access sequence database of all the known genetic data in the world. The unidentified geneticist told Foerster: "It had mtDNA (mitochondrial DNA) with mutations unknown in any human, primate, or animal known so far. But a few fragments I was able to sequence from this sample indicate that if these mutations will hold we are dealing with a new human-like creature, very distant from Homo sapiens, Neanderthals and Denisovans. I am not sure it will even fit into the known evolutionary tree." According to Foerster, the geneticist in question, who apparently does contract work for the US government, is willing to go public, but does not want to come forward until the tests prove the theory conclusively. Peruvian archaeologist Julio Tello discovered the skulls in 1928 ... on the south coast of Peru. There are still many more tests that need to be carried out to verify what the DNA is. With the help of interested individuals over the last two years, Foerster has so far raised $7,000 (Ł4,260, €5,120) to do the initial DNA testing, but a full genome study to completely verify the theory would cost at least $100,000,
In 2006, researchers at Duke unveiled the world's first "invisibility cloak," which used metamaterials to hide a small object from microwaves. While it didn't hide things from human view, keeping it hidden from microwaves was an important first step to pushing the technology of cloaking forward. But while it worked, it wasn't perfect. It left small reflections, which prevented it from completely hiding an object. Fast forward to six years later to Duke grad student Nathan Landy, and it looks like that problem has been solved. Landy worked with David R. Smith, one of the researchers on the original Duke cloaking device, to create a "perfect" cloaking device. “We built the cloak, and it worked,” he said in a press release. “It split light into two waves which traveled around an object in the center and re-emerged as the single wave minimal loss due to reflections.” The next step is working to build a clocking device that can hide bigger objects in three-dimensions. The Duke researchers aren't the only team pursuing cloaking devices, either. Last year, an international team of researchers used a "carpet cloak" to hide an object from the visible spectrum, and another team from Cornell dispersed light to hide an event in time. One constant so far, though, is that all of the objects being hidden are stationary and very, very small. [Don't] count on having your own invisibility cloak anytime soon.
Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on the mysterious nature of reality from reliable major media sources.
It’s one of the great assumptions underlying modern democracy that an informed citizenry is preferable to an uninformed one. Maybe not. Recently, a few political scientists have begun to discover a human tendency deeply discouraging to anyone with faith in the power of information. It’s this: Facts don’t necessarily have the power to change our minds. In fact, quite the opposite. In a series of studies in 2005 and 2006, researchers at the University of Michigan found that when misinformed people, particularly political partisans, were exposed to corrected facts in news stories, they rarely changed their minds. In fact, they often became even more strongly set in their beliefs. “The general idea is that it’s absolutely threatening to admit you’re wrong,” says political scientist Brendan Nyhan, the lead researcher on the Michigan study. The phenomenon — known as “backfire” — is “a natural defense mechanism to avoid that cognitive dissonance.” There is a substantial body of psychological research showing that people tend to interpret information with an eye toward reinforcing their preexisting views. If we believe something about the world, we are more likely to passively accept as truth any information that confirms our beliefs, and actively dismiss information that doesn’t. This is known as “motivated reasoning.”
A cat [named Oscar] with an uncanny ability to detect when nursing home patients are about to die has proven itself in around 50 cases by curling up with them in their final hours, according to a new book. Dr. David Dosa, a geriatrician and assistant professor at Brown University, said that five years of records showed Oscar rarely erring, sometimes proving medical staff at the New England nursing home wrong in their predictions over which patients were close to death. Dr Dosa first publicised Oscar's gift in an article in the New England Journal of Medicine in 2007. Since then, the cat has gone on to double the number of imminent deaths it has sensed and convinced the geriatrician that it is no fluke. When nurses once placed the cat on the bed of a patient they thought close to death, Oscar "charged out" and went to sit beside someone in another room. The cat's judgement was better than that of the nurses: the second patient died that evening, while the first lived for two more days. Far from recoiling from Oscar's presence, now they know its significance, relatives and friends of patients have been comforted and sometimes praised the cat in newspaper death notices and eulogies, said Dr Dosa. "People were actually taking great comfort in this idea, that this animal was there and might be there when their loved ones eventually pass. He was there when they couldn't be," he said.
A two-day event in San Francisco's Cowell Theater [was] billed as the first scientific conference on the afterlife for a general audience. [Loyd] Auerbach holds a master's degree in parapsychology, [and] has written seven books on the subject. He - and several other speakers at the conference, titled Investigations of Consciousness and the Unseen World: Proof of an Afterlife - exist in a strange professional realm that encompasses rigorous academic training, spiritualism and sometimes fraud. There was Dean Radin, who began his career in electrical engineering and cybernetics at the University of Illinois before moving on to psychic phenomena. Also [there] were Gary E. Schwartz ... who now teaches psychiatry, psychology, medicine, neurology and surgery at the University of Arizona, and University of Virginia Division of Perceptual Studies researchers Dr. Jim Tucker and Dr. Bruce Greyson. These academics take their paranormal work seriously; they also risk ridicule on campus and struggle to find sources of funding to investigate what happens after we die. One of the issues they face is whether an afterlife is provable by scientific method. Julie Beischel, who co-founded Arizona's Windbridge Institute for Applied Research in Human Potential, [thinks] it is. "This is how science works," Beischel said. "There's a question and science investigates it. You can't draw a line and say, no, that's outside of science. Science doesn't have any boundaries in what it can investigate." The conference topics ... were designed to explore the disconnect between the "mind" and the "brain." If one could be shown to operate without the other ... then a case could be made for consciousness existing outside of the physical body.
Tom Carey has dedicated the last 16 years of his life to uncovering what exactly happened on July 4, 1947, outside Roswell, N.M. Now, along with coauthor Don Schmitt, [he] has published Witness to Roswell: Unmasking the 60-year Cover-Up, documenting his findings concerning the alleged extraterrestrial event. "The goal was to write a book for those not already initiated in the Roswell case," said Carey, 66. "We wanted to do something that would interest the general public." Though originally rejected by 11 of 12 publishers contacted, the book is in its fourth printing of 10,000 copies. And curiosity continues to grow. After a recent interview on Art Bell's Coast to Coast AM show, Carey said Amazon.com logged 2,000 sales the next day. What has made the book so explosive, Carey said, are two previously unreleased "smoking-gun documents." The new testimony includes the heretofore sealed affidavit of recently deceased First Lieutenant Walter G. Haut attesting to the bizarre debris and bodies recovered from the crash site. The second, a note scribbled by former Roswell Army Air Field base adjutant Patrick Saunders ... appears to confirm the Air Force's coverup of the incident. Carey acknowledges that there are some "kooks" involved in the field of UFOlogy, but his mission has been to use science to take the fiction out of science fiction. "This is a historical mystery that just happens to involve UFOs," he said. A former anthropology student at the University of Toronto, Carey said he has always been more interested in the empirical evidence as opposed to intangibles such as alien abductions and crop circles.
Note: For a succinct summary of powerful testimony on UFOs by military personnel and pilots, click here.
Three days after learning that he won the 2006 Nobel Prize in Physics, George Smoot was talking about the universe. Sitting across from him ... was Saul Perlmutter, a fellow cosmologist. Smoot’s and Perlmutter’s work is part of a revolution that has forced their colleagues to confront a universe wholly unlike any they have ever known, one that is made of only 4 percent of the kind of matter we have always assumed it to be. The rest — 96 percent of the universe — is ... “Dark.” This is not “dark” as in distant or invisible. This is “dark” as in unknown. It lies ... beyond the entire electromagnetic spectrum. The motions of galaxies don’t make sense unless we infer the existence of dark matter. Understanding dark energy ... seems to really require understanding and using both [general relativity and quantum mechanics] theories at the same time. “It’s been so hard that we’re even willing to consider listening to string theorists,” Perlmutter says, referring to work that posits numerous dimensions beyond the traditional (one of time and three of space). According to quantum theory, particles can pop into and out of existence. In that case, maybe the universe itself was born in one such quantum pop. And ... why not many universes? This is just one of a number of theories that have been popping into existence ... in the past few years: parallel universes, intersecting universes or, in the case of Stephen Hawking and Thomas Hertog just last summer, a superposition of universes.
Note: Many scientists today claim that the universe is about 13.7 billion years old with an uncertainty of 200 million years. Yet in the late 1800's, scientists were convinced that the age of the Earth was less than 100 million years old. In the early 1700's, Isaac Newton and his contemporaries believed the universe to be about 6,000 years old plus or minus a few hundred years. So in the last 300 years, the "scientific" age of our universe has increased by billions of years! What will it be in another 100 or 200 years?
A hundred years ago, one of the most ambitious of research projects was launched. Its purpose was to discover whether living humans could talk to dead ones. The scholars involved included William James, the famed American psychologist and philosopher, and Oliver Lodge, the British physicist and radio pioneer. They saw evidence for the supernatural. In one instance they made a request to an American medium while she was in a trance. The request was in Latin, a language the medium did not speak. The instructions included a proposal that she "send" a symbol to a British medium. During her next trance session, the American began asking about whether an "arrow" had been received. During the American's first trance, the English psychic had suddenly begun scribbling arrows. Could any study produce results more provocative? For many, the dismissal of such Victorian research represents a triumph of modern science over superstition. But—and I admit that this is an unusual position for a mainstream science writer—it may instead represent a missed opportunity, a lost chance to better understand ourselves and our world. Curiosity about the supernatural has not diminished. The last few years have, in fact, seen a surge. On the radio, "Coast to Coast AM with George Noory" focuses on supernatural issues and boasts 2.5 million listeners. Paranormal organizations, schools for mediums and practicing psychics flourish. What has diminished is the interest of academic researchers on a par with James and his colleagues. [James] worried about a time when people would become "indifferent to science because science is so callously indifferent to their experiences." He worried that a close-minded community of science could become a kind of cult itself, devoted to its own beliefs and no more.
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