uring the year 2000, famous mediums were tested under controlled conditions by Dr. Gary Schwartz of the Human Energy Systems Laboratory at the University of Arizona (http://www.openmindsciences.com/
), which revealed some astonishing results. The experiments involved a group of mediums and sitters who were not told each other’s identities beforehand. Separated by a cloth screen, the mediums were only allowed to ask a few yes or no questions before giving their readings. Their readings turned out to average between a 70 to 90 percent accuracy rate, far above the chance level of 33 percent! The odds of this happening by chance, according to Dr. Schwartz, are one in trillions! Even more astonishing, in the second experiment involving a different group of mediums and sitters, the mediums were not allowed to ask anything at all, yet they STILL retained the same level of accuracy as the mediums in the first experiment! A report on these experiments was published in the January 2001 issue of the Journal of the Society for Psychical Research
. The report, Accuracy and Replicability of Anomalous After-Death Communication Across Highly Skilled Mediums
, which you can obtain by emailing Dr. Schwartz himself at GSchwart@u.arizona.edu
, contains the following key excerpts:
“In a replication and extension experiment, medium’s average accuracy an initial ten minute period that did not allow yes-no questioning was 77%."
"The data suggest that highly skilled mediums are able to obtain accurate (p less than one in ten million) and replicable information. Since factors of fraud, error, and statistical coincidence can not explain the present findings, other possible mechanisms should be considered in future research. These include telepathy, super psi, and survival of consciousness after-death."
"It can be seen that the mediums varied in the number of total items they obtained and the number of questions they asked. Medium 1, in particular, generated over 130 specific pieces of information yet asked only 5 questions, 4 of which (80%) were answered yes."
"Medium 1, who obtained the lowest score (80%), only asked a total of five questions. Hence, it is impossible to claim that medium 1’s percent accuracy ratings (see below) were due to "cold reading" and "fishing for information.""
"Though names were rated least accurately, the magnitude of the accuracy was still surprisingly high (67% for sitter one and 76% for sitter two). Initials received higher percent accuracy scores (90% for sitter one and 100% for sitter two). Personal temperament information was very accurately reported (95% for sitter one and 93% for sitter two)."
"For the first ten minutes, the mediums were instructed to receive whatever information they could about the deceased and share this information out loud. They were not allowed to ask any questions of the sitters. The sitters were instructed to remain silent................. The content of these two readings was dramatic. Information about the deceased son and dog were again replicated by both mediums. However, both mediums also received information about the recently deceased husband. Medium 2 reported being confused, saying "I keep hearing Michael times two, Michael times two." The father’s name was Michael, the son’s name was Michael, Jr."
"The two right bars display the percent + accuracy ratings for the silent and questioning periods, combining the data for mediums 1 and 2. The average accuracy for the silent periods was 77% and for the questioning period, 85%. The total number of items received during the silent period was 64, the total during the questioning period was 157. The difference between the silent and questioning periods in percent accuracy was not statistically significant."
"The accuracy of mediums 1 and 2 was replicated, including during a ten minute silent period when no questioning was allowed. New information about the deceased husband was received by both mediums. More information was obtained during the questioning period than the silent period, and the accuracy ratings were somewhat higher. However, detailed information was obtained during the silent periods when no "cold reading" was possible."
"These two experiments provide quantitative data that are consistent with the hypothesis that some form of anomalous information retrieval was occurring in these skilled mediums. Traditional hypotheses of fraud, subtle cueing, and statistical coincidence, are improbable explanations of the total set of observations reported here."
"The present findings do not speak directly to the mechanism (s) of anomalous information retrieval observed. However, the apparent desynchrony of the medium’s ECG’s with the sitter’s ECG during the reading periods compared to the baseline periods is inconsistent with a "telepathy with the sitter" interpretation of the findings."
"...........However, it is important to mention that the mediums spoke remarkably quickly and generated a surprisingly large number of specific facts."
"For the first sitter, all five mediums obtained information about a deceased son. Three of the five mediums heard the initial M for the son, one said the name Michael. None gave a false initial or name for the son. Also, none obtained information about a deceased daughter (her son did die, her daughter was alive)."
"Qualitative Example II: Receiving accurate information days before the readings
One of the mediums purportedly received communication from the deceased mother of one of the sitters a few days before traveling to Tucson. The mother purportedly conveyed to the medium a favorite prayer that she had regularly recited to her daughter as a child. Moreover, according to the deceased mother, the daughter was secretly continuing to offer this prayer for her. An assistant to the medium was instructed to locate the prayer, have it laminated, and gift wrapped.
When the reading was about to begin with the sitter, the medium unexpectedly reported to the experimenters that he had forgotten to bring into the laboratory a present he had brought for this sitter from her deceased mother. Surprised by the claim of such a gift, we instructed the medium that he could have his assistant bring it in after the reading had officially ended and the formal data had been collected.
The gift was brought into the laboratory at the end of the session and passed around the screen to the sitter. Upon opening the present, the sitter, in tears, confirmed that this was a special prayer her mother had taught her as a child. Moreover, she shared that she silently continued to say this prayer for her deceased mother.
Since the medium purportedly did not know who the sitters were ahead of time, and also did not know who was behind the screen, the observation of the medium receiving anomalous communication three days before the experiment and giving this particular sitter this particular gift raises challenging questions......."