Share your paranormal and psychic experiences here. Do you have any stories of how you came to realize that there were other dimensions or levels of reality? NO SKEPTICS ALLOWED!
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Here is an incredible account of psychic experiences someone named Andy shared with me on another board. They are truly fascinating and sound very sincere. Since they are and detailed, I will separate them into different posts.
I had many odd experiences when I was a child that today would be called "paranormal" though I ignored them as coincidences or simply odd and unexplainable events at the time. I was an atheist, and wanted to be a scientist. I held to what I learned in school, did well, and started college when I was 15. I was out at 19 (though I did well, it was without a degree due to money problems that forced me to drop out early). About that time, I met a woman that uncannily resembled someone I'd seen in a dream two years before. In the dream, we had already been married for a number of years. For the first few years we dated, it didn't look like we'd ever get married, but we did, and are still together after 21 years.
The dream of her happened to accurately predict a number of things, not the least of which was that the first date I ever had, and the only woman I have ever dated, would be my wife. At the time I met her though, I again denied the dream. I thought it was an odd coincidence. The same thing goes for when I dreamed of my cat accusing me of allowing him to be killed, and then finding out later that at the same time my father did have him "killed" (put down) due to feline leukemia, on the vet's advice. I dreamed of being mugged and killed in Amsterdam, two weeks later, in circumstances eerily similar to the dream, two men did try to mug me in Amsterdam, but because of the dream I decided to try and escape, which I did. I dreamed of winning lottery numbers in NYC, and of the Ramstein airshow disaster. I had a premonition of suicide of a person I didn't know and hadn't ever seen. I ignored all of these things.
I used the same set of skeptics' arguments to deny these things that you list in your articles. I denied, not things that had no evidence of any kind, but things that had no support in what I thought of as the established scientific community. That is the only reason. These experiences differed from what my Science teachers led me to expect. Math teachers loved talking about how statistics predict that eventually odd coincidences will occur, and given even more time, they will happen in series to one person. I accepted these theories for a long time, on faith.
However, By the time I was in my early twenties, I had had too many experiences of this type to completely ignore them any longer. Until then, I didn't write them down, though I had started mentioning dreams to my wife, so that I would have a witness. After I started writing down these events, and they were not limited to precognitive dreams, I assure you, but some truly odd events while wide awake and in public, I couldn't deny these things anymore. From there, I suddenly discovered that my friends suddenly thought I was less intelligent and less reliable than before, though the only difference is I had taken the trouble to study something slightly more carefully than previously, and they hadn't bothered to look at all.
Admittedly, having a psychic experience is a great deal different from having someone explain it to you, even when the person has contemporaneous witness statements (as I do, for some things) to back up the story. Despite this though, I am amazed at how difficult it is to make any headway whatsoever in a conversation on the topic with almost anyone. The irony is that with non-skeptics, it is sometimes even worse because they can not only believe everything uncritically, but then make all sorts of extrapolations that make no sense.
The problem is, when you have had a lifetime chock-full of psychic experiences, as I have, it has a tendency to change your world-view. This in turn affects how you answer even the most innocuous questions. I have, more than I would like, suddenly been drawn into conversations about my psychic experiences, not because I wanted to discuss them, but because the skeptical worldview is so different than my own that even discussing movies or some other innocuous thing will cause me to react in such a way that my psychic experiences come out as the reason I don't see things the same way. For instance, I dislike most movies about supernatural subjects because the ones I've seen appear to be written by skeptics due to the wild inconsistencies in the scripts. This has gotten me into trouble at work (I used to work in Hollywood in the VFX industry), where my explanation of the inconsistencies were viewed in a highly suspect fashion, to say the least.
Because I am basing my reactions on my own experiences which I have taken great care to record and test against alternative explanations, I am not particularly flexible in these conversations, but with much greater justification than someone who not only lacks any comparable experience, but also lacks any knowledge of a comparable experience.
The last straw, I suppose, is that my psychic experiences eventually led me to deduce that God had to exist (for reasons that would take too long to explain right now) and then to certain knowledge that all material things are authored by God. So now, I not only believe in the paranormal, but God also. I understand this would reduce my credibility to a low level with any skeptically minded person, and yet...
I have a good friend, a research physicist, who it turns out was affianced to the young lady whose suicide I had a premonition of. He has witnessed a number of odd things around me, and knows me pretty well. He also happens to have studied Uri Geller when he was a graduate student, and came to the same conclusion as his professor, that because they were able to "duplicate" Geller's effects, that he must have been faking, though they never saw him actually do what they hypothesized he was doing. He also became a friendly correspondent with the Amazing Randi, and had more than one occasion to discuss me, as he has told me. The end of that correspondence (unless it has started again) came when I had a dream of my friend's wife giving birth to twins prematurely a few thousand miles away from where I lived and about the same time as it actually happened. I immediately on waking sent a congratulatory email that arrived just before he returned home from the hospital. This incident, though not all that spectacular in my mind (very ordinary actually, as these things go), happened to be the one incident that my friend and Randi couldn't come up with an explanation for that didn't involve some level of deception, like hiring spies to stake out the hospital, a ridiculous, weird, and profitless thing to do.
Because my friend knew I wouldn't do something like that, he suddenly noticed that Randi's arguments were emotional and denied some of the facts that he had been given. Then Randi told him he'd been bamboozled. This was classic argument from a skeptic, and the exact reason why, when my friend wanted me to go after Randi's million-dollar prize, I said no. There is no way (I think) to sway a truly die-hard skeptic other than first-hand experience, probably in large quantities as opposed to an isolated incident.
So, why does the subject now interest me to a degree that has me trolling the Internet now and then, despite a very busy work schedule? Because it is amazing to me how antagonistic the world can be to the simple act of hearing a faithful description of a paranormal event. When I see that this simple act has the power to so completely change a person's impression of someone else, while simultaneously hardening that person's unjustifiable resistance to the information, I get curious why. In church, pastors don't like the idea that my dreams don't match their expectations (they tend to match what a Jewish person would expect more than a Christian, though I am neither), non-religious people just don't like the fact that something psychic is involved, and for everyone else, there's always something to complain about.
Once, I thought I'd made a mistake on some art I'd made for the Atlantic Monthly Magazine. The only way to correct it was to have the package diverted in mid-delivery between Boston and Wisconsin to my place in New Jersey, with no way to ask anyone for help to do it. I worried about this for a couple hours, repeatedly saying to my wife that the package had to arrive at my door the next morning so it could be fixed, and then I'd call the magazine and find out where it was meant to go. The next morning, just a few hours after asking for it to happen, for the first time in the 80-year publishing history of the magazine, their entire issue was diverted on its way to the printers and landed at my apartment, despite not having an airbill or any address information at all on the package. Some Christians I met didn't like this, because I hadn't kneeled and prayed, "Our father who art in Heaven..." but instead just said what I wanted and got it (not the first or last time btw).
Another time, I predicted an exact 20-number sequence of dice rolls all at once. This was the only time I ever tried it, and was correct. Odds against are 6 to the power of 20, or about 3.6 quadrillion to one, or over a hundred million times less likely than winning the lottery. Math inclined friends have told me flatly that, "it didn't happen." They are wrong, it was witnessed by me and my wife, and we were both quite surprised at the time, enough to remember and record it accurately at the time. Improbability alone is evidence of exactly nothing. Because they think this is an impossible event, then suddenly honesty becomes an issue, and that really annoys me because I take great pains to be honest, more, I think, than most everyone I've ever met, including the skeptical types who tell me that something I saw and did did not occur. The arrogance of making such a statement still astonishes me.
I've had dreams of God, dreams of angels, dreams of the future, and dreams of movies that I haven't seen yet. I've dreamed of reincarnation, people in other places, and all sorts of other things. The experiences have definitely changed me, and I guess I wish more people could have these experiences also because it is frustrating to have to tear down this wall of disbelief every time I meet someone, especially because it is ordinarily a fruitless task anyway, for reasons you've taken care to describe here.
For the record, I currently make a living as a lecturer, artist, and to a smaller extent, writer on technical subjects related to art. I have been vegan since 1984, and am politically conservative.
“Devotion to the truth is the hallmark of morality; there is no greater, nobler, more heroic form of devotion than the act of a man who assumes the responsibility of thinking.” - Ayn Rand, Atlas Shrugged
Next response from Andy:
You've asked a few questions here, I'll answer them briefly (I was up until 4 am writing this post and one other):
1) Because he is a friend, I don't want to identify him too exactly without his permission, but he is a high energy physicist working through a grant at UC Davis since about 1988 that has him frequently flying to Geneva to work at the LHC/CERN facility, and for a few years put him at Tsukuba, Japan to work at their collider. He got to know Randi when Uri Geller sued Randi and Randi published an open call for scientists who had contact with Geller to contact him for his legal defense. Because my friend had participated in a study of Geller when he was a student (I think at Rutgers) he responded. In the correspondence I read, Randi seemed to be trying to get my friend to commit perjury because he wanted him to assert information that was only known to his professor, but he was dead and the information was unknown. He told Randi this, but Randi persisted anyway for a little while before giving up. Afterwards, they stayed in touch and had occasion from time to time to discuss me.
To be fair to Randi, it is clear from the way he wrote the emails that he doesn't realize that he is asking for perjury, or doesn't think he is, instead he comes across as so zealous that he has no idea what he's just asked. My friend on the other hand, though he balked and ultimately refused, when I asked about this, he didn't see what was improper about Randi's request either.
We're not talking about an attempt by Randi to get him to remember a bit more clearly, but rather, he was trying to get him to say something as if he knew it for a fact, when he could only at best suppose it based on his evaluation of events related to the experiment.
It's been a couple years since I last looked at the pages, but I think it had something to do with Randi having said publicly that Geller had defrauded people by getting them to believe false things. Geller sued him for libel on that charge (and more as well, I think), so to defend himself, Randi wanted some scientist to come forward and admit to having been persuaded to believe a false thing by Geller. This professor in question was apparently impressed by the Geller experiment, at least initially, and Randi wanted my friend to say he'd been bamboozled and knew it. He couldn't get the professor to say it, because he was dead and hadn't ever said it publicly. My friend wasn't sure he could honestly say that of this other man, so he declined.
The funny thing is that another friend of mine became very friendly with Uri Geller for a couple years when he was living in London. I think he wanted me to meet him for a while, but then he moved and I didn't hear any more about Geller.
I think Randi has almost certainly met a "true psychic", though I think his personality is more likely to attract frauds than the real McCoy. Put out one type of food, maybe you'll get a lion, a different type, and you'll have flies, and I think that's what Randi gets most of the time. He's a bit like Jerry Springer. Who are these people who are willing to abase themselves on his show just to be on TV? Going to Randi to humbly request his attention is about as demeaning and for no good purpose.
The Michael Prescott link you posted was quite interesting. I especially liked his link to the Auschwitz case, where a Jewish man whose mother and sisters were gassed at Auschwitz, proved to a court that this was an undeniable fact. By doing so, he won a case against a Nazi hate group that had offered a bogus $50,000 prize to anyone that could prove that some element of the Holocaust was true. This man had presented his information to the Nazis (or whatever they were), and they denied him. The court decided the contest was fraudulent, and awarded the man his $50k and another $40k for emotional suffering.
That is what should happen to Randi because his "contest", while a legitimate publicity stunt, is not a legitimate contest. According to its published rules, it creates not just opportunity to fraudulently withhold winnings, but just about guarantees it. The friend I mentioned doesn't believe this, but he's letting his scientific reserve cover Randi without appropriate justification.
2) I don't mind if you quote bits from my post, nor would I mind seeing in what way it is quoted.
3) That Lottery canard drives me crazy. It's like saying, "If you can go so fast in that car, let's see you drive from Florida to Australia." It just doesn't work that way. Because you asked another Lottery question separately, I will deal with it separately btw, but don't need that example to explain this.
Here is how it works: I have (for instance) a dream. Later, something happens that reminds me of it. This is called "deja vu". It reminds me of a specific dream, so I go to my journal and only check that one dream. Most of the time there are strong correlations. Sometimes there aren't. Point being, I don't have conscious control of this.
Here is another example (and this type is really weird when it happens): I make an offhand comment about something I'd like to see happen, and it immediately occurs. When I make the comment, I don't expect it to happen, nor am I even considering it might. It just does. That might be a bit tough to visualize, so here is a considerably compressed example from about 1989: I was in an art gallery with my wife when I asked if she liked a certain painting that was leaning against a shelf. She said she liked it, and I responded, "Then I think you should have it." It immediately flew up into the air and landed in her arms, about four or five feet away. The dealer saw it happen and was white as a sheet (it was a $10,000 watercolor by the artist Stephen Fox). He said it looked like "a ghost picked it up and dropped it on her". I just saw a blur in my peripheral vision and then it was in her arms. She said it looked like it jumped on her and she caught it to prevent it being damaged. None of the other paintings in the rack were disturbed, there was no earthquake, but as soon as I finished with my statement, bang, it was in her arms. [For the record, I will point out that while my wife and I remember this well, when I recently contacted the dealer in question for confirmation, while he remembered that "something odd" had happened, and agreed that he wouldn't contest the anecdote as I've described it here but with some more detail, he no longer remembered the event well enough to bring it to mind in any degree of clarity]
The point of that example is that, again, I am not making any conscious effort to control this, and am just as surprised as anyone else when it happens, even though it has happened enough times now that I can kind of expect it to continue happening from time to time throughout my life.
One thing that I think I might be able to kind of control, strangely enough, is telepathy. I'm not sure about this, so if you quote this statement, please also include that I'm not sure. I have had a number of pretty clear experiences of the telepathic type, but it was on a drive home from Death Valley with my daughter that I suddenly thought I could hear her thoughts.
The funny thing is, I recognized the feeling from other times, when I thought it was just my own thoughts, but because of the situation, and the potential embarrassment if I was wrong, I didn't ask. But with my six-year old daughter, I decided to ask. It turned out I was right. We continued testing this for ten or fifteen minutes, with her thinking of random things and me telling her my impressions. If I recall correctly, I got the first ten in a row, but after that was mentally fatigued and so we just gave up. For a little while after that, I tried to "exercise" by practicing on both my daughter and wife, and did pretty well, but work demands eventually called a halt to the fun (because it distracted my attention) and I stopped doing it.
Another area where I may have some control, is in games of chance. Not like the Lottery, but dice and cards. I say this only because I've noticed that when I really care about winning, not a manufacturable emotion by the way, I start getting very strong, and very accurate, hunches about what is going to happen in the game. Sometimes they lead to bizarre predictions, but I'll leave that for another time because it is too complex to explain right now. This is the area my friend from UC Davis wanted to explore in a Randi challenge, but there were a couple things that worked against it.
The first is that I believed (and still do) that the Randi challenge is fraudulent, so I never took the first practice run seriously, but did it grudgingly to satisfy my friend. Secondly, because I couldn't have cared less, and it wasn't any fun to play backgammon with the camera running, there was no way for me to concentrate properly. This might sound like I chickened out, but that is not correct. I knew what it felt like to get the urge to make a prediction in a game and then to see it happen. I wasn't feeling that at all. I had no idea exactly what made me get that feeling in the first place, but whatever it was, it was absent in the context of "performing" for the purpose of evidence-gathering.
I should also point out that I am a bit superstitious about this. At some time in my life I developed the impression that these occasional glimpses into the future that I received are not meant for money-making. On a logical level, it is pretty easy to argue it would be unethical to do so. The reason is that in a game of "chance", if I know what the outcome is, then I am not gambling as my opponents are, but am just taking money. That offends my sense of fair play.
When I play cards, it is Pokemon, not poker, and not for money. When I play backgammon, it is for points, and also not for money. If I play "for points" in an experiment designed to earn money, that is not quite the same as gambling, but it is in this respect: in Randi's case, for instance, he offers a million dollars because he is confident that no one could possibly ever claim it. He is gambling a million dollars from a position of insufficient knowledge. Any person who would manage to prove this, would have taken a sucker, and at that point, it is gambling no matter how often Randi says he'd be happy to see someone take his money. He says it only because he believes it is impossible. Taking it then, if one were so cruel as to do so, is like taking candy from an ignorant baby.
A couple more examples on this theme before we get to the real Lottery dream:
In 1989 or 1990, I had a dream where all I could remember was that I was supposed to call my mother. I didn't want to because it seemed silly, but I decided to do it anyway. She wasn't home, so I left a message, "Mom, I had a dream that I was supposed to call you. That's it. Bye" and hung up. Since I didn't have anything better to do that day, I wandered into the kitchen where I found a pile of books my wife had just checked out of the library. I picked one up, a huge monograph on the photographer Michael Satterwhite, and sat down on the couch to look at it. While I was engaged thus, the phone rang. It was my mother returning my call. She said she'd had a dream of me also that morning, and in the dream she was told that she was supposed to call me and tell me about it. She didn't want to because she didn't understand the message, and had decided she wouldn't call, but then she got my message. The message from her dream was pretty simple, "look at the first dream in your dream journal."
I asked if she meant the current one or an older one, but she didn't know. So I went upstairs and grabbed the current journal, flipped to the first day with entries, and there on the page were drawings and descriptions of the photos that were lying open from the Satterwhite book when I set it down to answer the phone.
That series of events might not have anything to do with life or death, money or romance, but to me it was one of the more interesting event groups I'd witnessed up until then. The reason is that there were so many elements that had to fit into place. The dream with the drawings was over a month old, my wife had to get the books from the library, my mom had to have her dream and I had to have mine. Not only that, she had to be out when I called, and then I had to find that one book more interesting than others, and then had to be on that exact page when my mom called back. The level of what felt like behind the scenes cooperation there was pretty remarkable, because the only possible purpose I could see for it was to prove to me that that sort of thing happened. No money was made, but I witnessed something that many people would have paid a lot of money to witness themselves.
Now, after all this, "it's not for money" talk, I will point out that there are times I genuinely needed money, and did get it in very odd ways. "Need" is very different from what amounts to a curiosity in another context however, and that difference is important.
I did once engage in a frivolous experiment to test my ability to get things by simply asking for them out loud, and wound up with a $40,000 painting. It turned into a real financial problem for me because it was expensive to move and insure, plus it was so big that it meant I couldn't rent apartments smaller than a certain size, etc. I recently sold it at Sotheby's for a huge loss ($15k) but am glad I don't have to deal with it anymore, though I always liked the painting.
So, why don't I just clean up at the lottery? a) so far as I know, I have no appreciable level of control over this, b) I don't gamble (because I don't like to and because I think it would be unfair), c) that just isn't the way this kind of thing works.
My sister likes my paintings and once said to me that they were so good, I should go to flea markets and sell drawings of unicorns for $25 apiece. At the time, I was a professional illustrator and made much more money than that, and in a more dignified manner. That was her level of understanding regarding what art was and what artists did. It was a childish error made by an ill-informed person. This silly request that psychics should all go out and win the Lottery is just as childish and ill-informed. Maybe that is what some would want to do given the ability, and maybe that's why they don't have it. Do you remember the Kevin Bacon movie, The Invisible Man? He acquires the power of invisibility and uses it to become a thief and a peeping Tom (mostly a peeping Tom). This is a fundamental misunderstanding of the value of that ability and is very much like these Lottery requests.
You may have noticed that the examples I've given so far are from the mid to late eighties, as is the Lottery example I'm about to give. There is a reason for this. It is because around 1990, I decided that I'd seen enough to prove the phenomenon I was trying to document occurred, and that I had sufficient documentation to convince anyone who wasn't completely adverse to the idea (though exactly how many people would prove to be adverse surprised me quite a bit). Therefore, although I didn't completely cease recording these events, I did stop recording a lot of them. After a while, I really just didn't care to bother checking up on and getting documentation for some dream about a mundane event in my life, my mother's, or that of a friend.
I decided I would only write down things that were special in some way, but as my career started to involve me more and more heavily, I gradually stopped recording everything. This changed in about 1999, when I started recording things again, but I had a different standard; it had to be pretty interesting, and dreams that appeared to be precognitive, on that basis alone, were not interesting enough to bother recording. The same goes for any weird telepathic communications, OOBE's, etc.
This did create a problem though, because the more detail I recorded every night had the tendency to improve my recall the next night. This meant that by not recording things, my memory faded faster and I probably missed quite a few interesting dreams. For that reason, I occasionally would "exercise" by writing everything, then would coast for awhile on the highlights before getting back into shape by writing everything.
Regardless of how, I had plenty to come that were far more interesting than anything I'd dreamed before, and the waking experiences didn't stop either. For the record then, at this point in my life, I consider the various phenomenon discussed so far to be proven from my own personal experience, and my primary interest is the large catalog of spiritual and religious dreams I've had, none of which I took seriously until one day in 2003 or so, when I suddenly realized I had a huge number of really amazing dreams that totally outclassed all the rest for interest, even if they weren't of plane crashes, Time covers, and other things like that.
4) Okay, the Lottery. I did dream of the Lottery, and it is one of two dreams that year that made me seriously wonder whether something paranormal was going on. to be very brief, because to explain this in detail requires more time than I want to spend right now, I dreamed that I lost, but in a highly specific way that happened to include information on both winning and losing numbers. I dreamed that I had ten tickets, all losers, and all with the same three winning numbers on them, out of a possible six. I did see the complete list of winning numbers on a piece of paper, and at the same time realized I was dreaming about the future.
I tried to remember the numbers from the list, but by the time I woke up, I could only remember the three winning numbers from the ten losing tickets. I told my wife of the dream and she talked me into buying some Lottery tickets. I didn't want to because I thought it was idiotic, so I didn't buy ten, but five.
When the draw happened, the three numbers that showed up on all five of my cards (I guessed on all the other numbers) were correct, and the rest were losers. Then my wife surprised me by pulling out five cards of her own, where she'd done the same thing, but I think she got one of them wrong, so there were the same three winning numbers on almost all of them, but on one she'd guessed four instead of three. So we lost, but in a way that validated every element of the dream (I still have most, but not all, of those tickets lying around somewhere).
So there is the NY Lottery dream. It got my attention, but I didn't get any money.
Here is a last note I'd like to tack on the end here, for what it is worth:
There was a period in my life when, through no fault of my own, I was unemployed and seemed totally helpless to rectify the situation. This went on for four years. At first it was okay because I had been earning good money and was still owed some significant amounts from past work, but eventually it dwindled and was gone. By the end of the third year, we were barely scraping by, and lived almost entirely on charity from friends, family, and our church.
Then I had a dream where everywhere I went, good things were happening to me financially. It seemed like money or things of value were just cascading towards me. As I wandered through this landscape of positive financial news, I couldn't help but wonder, "Why, after all these years of destitution, is all this money coming now, and why was there none before, when I really needed it?" As soon as this question was asked, an angel appeared in the dream and answered me. She said (and my apologies to people whose religion tells them that all angels are either definitively male or sexless), "Because when God withholds his favor from someone, there is nothing that can be done to receive those favors. When He decides to bestow favor on someone, nothing can prevent it from being received."
After writing down the dream, I checked my email and found that I had a job offer. I got a call with another potential offer later in the day. The next day I found out that I owed about $10,000 less than I thought on my truck and paid it off. I then sold all of my comic book art to one customer, and some other people bought some paintings. Basically, starting the moment I woke up that morning, my entire financial picture reversed itself, and did so much more quickly than I thought possible. I haven't been made completely whole yet, but can definitely see a light at the end of the tunnel.
This is an example of how I think things do work: the supernatural is a part of our lives, whether we acknowledge it or not, but the purpose of both those supernatural intersections with our everyday life, and the everyday life itself, is directed by forces that are so alien to our own way of thinking that they just aren't predictable or even controllable. When I predicted the 20-roll sequence I mentioned earlier, and I did it before the first die was rolled btw, I can't honestly say it was pk. what happened was I felt inspired to make this very weird prediction, almost as if I heard someone say, "If you make this prediction, it will happen". So I tried it, because I was curious, and it did happen. Because the sequence had a rigid symmetrical pattern, I think it is fair to say the dice were controlled, but not be me. Why did it happen? I think it was meant to get my attention, nothing more.
“Devotion to the truth is the hallmark of morality; there is no greater, nobler, more heroic form of devotion than the act of a man who assumes the responsibility of thinking.” - Ayn Rand, Atlas Shrugged
Next response from Andy:
I forgot to answer another of your questions; yes, I'd be happy to be a member of the paranormal forum.
I would also like to take the opportunity to mention that after reading some of the information about the truly amazing Randi, Richard Dawkins, and other skeptics, I am profoundly disappointed in them. My own impression of Randi was never good, but I did charitably grant the possibility that he didn't know any better. Even when I had the correspondence between him and my friend that appeared to show him making an attempt to suborn perjury, I interpreted it in a benign light.
The two examples that come to mind are the story of one of the posters on a different forum, seen here: http://www.skepticalinvestigations.org/ ... lenge.html and another that can be found on the same site: http://www.skepticalinvestigations.org/ ... wkins.html. In the first example, Randi is clearly guilty of purposeful deception, and in the other example, provided by Rupert Sheldrake, Richard Dawkins appears to have done the same thing, though with more panache. The two men are flat out dishonest.
I have taken great pains in my life to live it honestly. Because I know that skeptical persons such as Randi, etc, say they would like to see "evidence" of paranormal claims, I have taken some pains to keep records of my own personal psi experiences, thinking that someday these records might come in handy. After reading these last two articles, I don't see why anyone would ever considering even speaking to a person like Randi or Dawkins, or any other person of their ilk, who disingenuously requests all manner of work at the same time as they commit fraud, lie, and deceive others. They are not worthy.
My new policy regarding skeptics is to assume they are lying, stupid, scoundrels unless they can prove otherwise. Maybe we should set up a million dollar challenge for Randi, backed by bonds, to see if he is willing to submit to one week's worth of honesty testing. He'd never take it, he'd never succeed, and the fact he was unable to beat the challenge would, by his logic, be proof of his dishonesty. Not that any such cheap grandstanding stunt would be necessary. Ample evidence of his utter lack of the most important trait any man can ever hope to acquire: the ability to speak the truth, seems to be abundantly available.
Until I read those articles, and I am having a hard time getting over this, I really thought he was honestly mistaken as opposed to consciously behaving in a fraudulent manner. Ptui.
And best regards to everyone else.
“Devotion to the truth is the hallmark of morality; there is no greater, nobler, more heroic form of devotion than the act of a man who assumes the responsibility of thinking.” - Ayn Rand, Atlas Shrugged
Next response from Andy:
Thanks for the suggestion, though I've already read the book many years ago. As for the idea of participating in a forum, sounds fun, so where do I sign up?
BTW: This morning I was looking around for the correspondence between my friend Richard and the Amazing Randi when I ran across something far more interesting that I hadn't seen in years. In 1990 I was participating in an informal precognition experiment with Dr. David Ryback, an author who had written a book about precognition. The experiment lasted for a couple of months, during which time I recorded my dreams (like I always did) and then photocopied them and mailed them to him in sealed envelopes with a code on the outside so that we would know what was inside without being forced to break the seal. If anything interesting happened, we'd break the seal after first having it notarized (we weren't exactly spending money on this experiment, apart from the cost of postage).
Anyway, although many of the dreams in the experiment were precognitive, none were terribly exciting. Then, a little over ten years later, one of them proved to correlate very well with a huge event. I contacted Ryback about the letters, but he told me he'd moved and lost all but one of them several years earlier. When he gave me the code for the dream, I was disappointed that not only was it not the dream I wanted, but it was from the day after, just one day, arg. That dream was also precognitive and had to do with the second Gulf War, but is much more symbolic and more susceptible to complaints.
And there the story ended, or so I thought. I still had my copies of the journal entries of course, but it would have been great fun if someone else did also. It was one of about a hundred that I published on the web back in about 1998 (before the event in question occurred), and I know several people who read it then, but still...that isn't as nice documentation-wise as an old postmarked envelope. So that was disappointing. Ryback gave me the other sealed envelope, which sits on my shelf just two meters from where I sit right now, as a reminder of what was lost in that experiment.
Then, this morning, I ran across something I'd forgotten about. At the same time I was conducting the experiment with Ryback, I was conducting a shorter duration experiment with Kreskin. That one concluded in just a week or two's time, and I had always thought of it as mostly a failure. So what I found this morning was a copy of a letter to Kreskin from that experiment, a letter that references the May 17, 1990 dream in question as "probably precognitive" and enclosed in the letter. So Kreskin got a copy also. I just sent an email to his agent, hoping that he can determine if he still has it.
The event in question is the World Trade Center attacks.
Here is a fuller account:
May 17, 1990,
The power is still on shortly after another disaster that is like an earthquake. The word "earthquake" is used, but like this, "It was like an earthquake - so those were explosions?"
I witness most of the action in this dream from the perspective of a small group of ragged persons who at first seemed to be bad guys because I felt like I was being held captive. Now that I think of it, none of these people seem aware of my presence, so I'm not a hostage, but I am thinking that hostages, or captives of some kind are involved somehow. The room feels like a disaster relief command center. I think it is midtown on the West side.
They are all discussing the same thing, a disaster that recently happened in Manhattan, the second of two that happened one after the other, which I assumed to be an earthquake at the time based on the type of damage. The problem is, people in the dream said it wasn't an earthquake, but that it was caused by bad people, explosions were involved, and there were captives or hostages somewhere. None of this made any sense to me, so I stuck to the idea that it was an earthquake.
At the time of the meeting, I am aware of the following having already happened: 1) A disaster like an earthquake follows another similar disaster, 2) Disaster status extended to the city, 3) Friends and relatives pour into the city to try and get their loved ones out if they can be found.
The people in the meeting seem to think that something has gone terribly wrong and are trying to figure out what to do about it when I interject, "You mean it wasn't an earthquake? So those were explosions? It sure seemed like an earthquake to me, that's amazing how you were able to create that effect, how did you do it?" They don't answer, so I am left to my confused ruminations.
Next, I am on the street outside at the site of the disaster, which is well below Forty-Second Street. Many buildings are only partially intact on the lower floors. There is a tremendous amount of wreckage all over from fallen buildings, crushed cars, and just about anything else you can think of. Streetlights aren't working, only a few cars are in working order, and the roads appear to be buckled from all the debris.
I am near two men who discuss an engineering problem related to the disaster. Many of the neighboring shops are damaged and I can see frightened people clustered inside them. Many of the city's residents are now buried under some former skyscrapers. I don't see any intact windows near me, all having been shattered in the disaster. While the two men talk, the older one is suddenly alarmed and yells to the other one a warning of a massive wave of water and debris coming from the West.
Very quickly all of the people who had been milling about start running east, away from the wave, which is truly huge. I hear many shouts of "Run! Run!" When the two men reach the corner, they see another wave coming up that street from the South. They have to run twice as fast now to get ahead of that wave before it cuts off their escape. The waves collide in the intersection, quelling some of their force, but not enough to prevent them from advancing further up the city's streets.
Many people and many tons of debris are caught up in the waves. I assume that at least some of the people are killed or injured by this devastating force, but pay more attention to survivors than the bodies I sense lying broken in the streets.
Most of the people seem cold and shiver, so I assume that it is winter. I don't see any vapor breath, ice, or snow, nor are the people dressed for cold weather, but it still seems like winter for some reason.
The images from this dream are clear and strong and resemble my skeleton dream from 1989, where a disaster occurs in the Trinity Church section of Manhattan.
Now for the Skeleton dream, even though I didn't send it to you earlier, but for context:
I'm way downtown in Manhattan, near Trinity Church. I can see the Hudson River from where I stand, but the buildings that I thought were here are gone. The very air I breathe is frightening, as if a tingling hypersonic roar still lingers in the breeze. The ground I walk upon is nothing but grave after grave after grave. The gravestones are rubble that cover the bodies of I don't know how many people, all of whom were killed suddenly. I don't know how these bodies came to be here or how these small stones and rubble came to cover them, but I want to be away as fast as possible.
No matter which direction I walk, I must step upon these graves and the people beneath them. I am careful to avoid disturbing the spirits of these victims, but it is completely hopeless to try because every square inch in every direction contains a rock underneath which there is a body. I pick my way carefully, thinking of my impending move to Vermont as I do. The sun shines, but it provides no warmth to me, so great is my dread. I take another step and know that a ghost is chasing me.
With every nerve ending declaring a full on emergency, I see him racing at me. He has the appearance of a skeleton to my eyes, and carries a great flaming sword in his fleshless bones. I assume that I have stepped on the wrong grave and run. I run as fast as I can to get away from this apparition. I put some distance between us when another appears before me. I turn away from him, and run to the left, away from them both. Another of these hideous things appears and I turn again and am once more confronted by a skeletal spirit. I know that the only way to safety is to cross over the Hudson to New Jersey. To get there, I must turn yet again. When I do, I am face to face with another skeleton.
Without any hesitation, and so fast my eyes barely see what is happening, he slashes me in half with his flaming sword. Even after this act of violence, I remain standing, though in a state of extreme confusion. The skeleton then unlocks his jaws and speaks to me in a voice like rusty chains being pulled from a chest. "That was your astral body I cut with my sword," he says, "if you ever return to New York to live, your physical body will die as well, in the same fashion as all these others." The skeleton then glances over to New Jersey and I wake up.
By the year 2001, I worked at a major special effects studio again. I started on the Spider-Man movie, but would transition in late August to a military trainer that my company was making for the U.S. Army. My title on that project was Computer Graphics Supervisor and Art Director.
On August 25, 2001, Kitty and I planned to take Nina to Legoland to celebrate her birthday. I woke in a truly foul mood, like nothing I'd experienced before. I didn't know what was bothering me, but whatever it was didn't make me all that nice to be around. On top of that, I had a headache that was worse than anything I'd experienced before or since. I didn't want to ruin Nina's birthday, so I explained to her and Kitty that they should just ignore me if I didn't seem all that friendly. I expected I would feel better at Legoland, but my mood and the headache only got worse the closer we got.
At Legoland, I could barely stand the pain in my head. I had a couple of Motrin tablets, but they did nothing for me. I did my best to pretend that nothing was wrong, but was not successful. Luckily, Nina was a kid, and as kids often do when presented with new and interesting things, she seemed perfectly capable of enjoying the park despite my mood and headache.
Legoland is an amusement park with rides, like roller coasters and boat trips. What makes it special though, are the many tableaus built with Lego bricks all over the grounds. One section is built to resemble an African jungle. It has amazingly realistic gorillas, giraffes, monkeys, elephants, and other animals, all built out of Lego bricks. One section is a mini recreation of the Bourbon Street section of New Orleans. Another part of the park reproduces major sections of San Francisco, including the Golden Gate Bridge.
By the time we got to the San Francisco part of the park I was ready to call it a day. I wanted to tell Kitty that she could meet me in the car when they were done, whenever that was, because I needed to lie down. I started to tell her this, but then I saw something that stopped me in my tracks, the New York City tableau. As soon as I saw it, I knew that my headache and my mood were related to my skeleton dream from so long ago and my May 17, 1990 dream about a disaster in lower Manhattan.
"Where's the World Trade Center?" One of us asked, because Legoland seemed to have built everything but the World Trade Center. "Maybe it was too big to build it to scale," I suggested. "You know what Kitty?"
"That dream is going to happen soon. I don't know when, but this dread I've been feeling all day, it's coming from New York City, from those dreams."
My headache left me then, and the oppressive feelings I'd had all day were gone. The rest of Nina's birthday went without a hitch. On the way back I said it a couple more times though, for good measure, "Kitty, remind me to look that dream up when we get home, because it's going to happen."
At home, I pawed through my journals until I found the dream. It was easy to locate because of the distinctive drawings on its pages. One drawing is of a pair of twin skyscrapers that have toppled, leaving only a few jagged walls at their base. Another drawing showed a multi-story wave of debris rushing down the streets. I still didn't know what to make of the dream though. It clearly described an immense disaster, but nothing like it had happened yet.
Late in the day of September 10, 2001, I wrote an email to my supervisor at work, explaining why I thought it was possible that the Army might get a substandard product for their money. The way I saw it, the entertainment industry team working on our simulator didn't have the experience to understand the Army's needs, and would likely build the urban combat trainer to game industry specs instead of an accurate military standard. I didn't like to present such criticism so early, but did think the Army shouldn't be harmed either. If the project is important enough for the Army to hire us, then it's important enough for us to do a good job.
September 11, 2001
A phone incessantly ringing wrestles me out of a dream. It's seven in the morning, a half hour before I want to get up, and the phone is still ringing. "It's probably Debbie," I think, because my sister is always calling me at odd hours, as if we don't live three time zones apart. I dash over to the phone and answer.
"Andy? This is Vivi, you have to turn on your TV, two planes have crashed into the World Trade Center, and another one just crashed into the Pentagon!" Kitty's cousin was primarily concerned about her grandparents in New York, but I reassured her that the World Trade Center was all the way on the other end of town and her grandparents were unlikely to have any business at the bottom of Manhattan Island at that hour of the morning. I roused Kitty from bed, insisting that it was very important she take a look at the TV where a huge disaster was playing out in Manhattan. The first tower fell while she made my breakfast. The second went down while I was in the shower.
Neither one of us could believe what we were seeing. In my case, the moment of recognition hit when the towers fell and great clouds of debris, about thirty story high waves, went racing through the streets. That was the signature scene from the May 17 dream. This also explained the skeleton dream from so long ago; every rock in sight is a grave, and each grave is for someone killed in the same sudden disaster, and all near the Trinity church. The fact that two planes took out two towers, about fifteen minutes apart, explained why I wrote (of the May 17 dream) "…another disaster", because in the dream I was aware that the disaster had happened twice. One shot on the TV gave a possible explanation why I might have died "like all the others," had I stayed; my loft apartment at the time was in the disaster zone, on Reade Street, between Church and West Broadway. I think it survived, but its proximity to the Trade Center meant that I could have been on just about any errand, including talking with someone at the Wall Street Journal about an illustration assignment, and been well within the fatal zone of destruction. Over the next few days, many surrounding buildings collapsed and up to a hundred others were determined to be unstable.
Just before I left for work, I looked up the dream again. It was a closer match than I expected. In addition to the tidal wave full of debris, which was actually a wave of debris, not one of water full of debris, I was aware that others around me referred to the disaster as having been "caused" and that "explosions" were involved. I simply did not believe that the destruction I witnessed in lower Manhattan could have been caused by bombs and so I decided it had to have been the result of an earthquake. I was careful to note that this was my surmise based on what I saw and that this opinion clearly conflicted with what I overheard from others within the dream.
In all, I think that without any knowledge of the planes, my confusion makes sense. The rubble strewn streets in lower Manhattan are far more reminiscent of earthquake damage that what you would expect from explosions. As for the explosions, each plane did explode on impact and have been described in the media as "flying bombs". In addition, the collapse of the buildings was due to fires resulting from the explosion and not from the impact of the planes. I did run across an online reference to the impacts registering as a 2.0 earthquake on the Richter scale. As for the sensation that "hostages" and that a crime was involved, this is certainly true of the hijack and intentional destruction of the buildings. I can easily see the impression of "winter" being derived from the sight of people covered with gray ash, though why I wouldn't misinterpret that as snow, I don't know.
Next response from Andy:
I don't mind being a part of the email list, though I will avoid spending any time answering taunts from pseudo-skeptics (provided I can control my natural inclination to answer all questions). I have concluded that doing so is a total waste of time, so I can have a fun conversation with everyone else, and I guess the skeptics can watch, but that's it. Also, because of their presence, I'll stick to my Inet handle. I once got pretty fired up by a challenge from someone on this subject and sent some information I really regret letting out of my control because I might as well have fed it to a pack of demented trolls. I have a lot of work to do on a book I'm writing (not on this subject, I'm afraid) and can't afford to be distracted by something that isn't pleasant.
as for your card trick; I think we all have these flashes of inspiration, but they are very quiet and we tend to ignore them. In your case you were desperate and that forced you to focus. It is a very tough thing to trust such a weak signal, but that, I think, is precisely what a psychic does (and is what I do as well). This may be irrelevant, but my family and students think I am ridiculously sensitive to other things as well, like sound and smell. I used to wear earplugs and huge expensive headphones to create enough white noise to block out the tinny sound of a pair of headphones worn by a colleague in a different room so that I could work.
I myself experience an odd crying baby noise in an old house that had been experienced by my grand mother on my mother's side of family, but many others heard it too!i simply thought it was a strange noise when i heard it. i don't know how this knowledge of experiencing a ghost of a baby that was drowned in a well a long time ago affects me! I have a difficult time connecting the dots on any side of this argument! I want to keep a real open mind on the subject! i say experience it, log it down, and do enough test to prove it either way, but go on with your life. no real evidence has been show to me to prove or disprove the paranormal including jref!
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