Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Survey of Parapsychologist’s Opinions: A Brief Literature Review


In a recent article psychologist Harvey J. Irwin reported the results of a survey of parapsychologists’ opinions: “The Views of Parapsychologists: A Survey of Members of the Parapsychological Association” (Journal of the Society for Psychical Research, 2014, 78, 85-101).

Here is the abstract:

“The popular stereotype of a parapsychologist may well be a negative one, based in large part as it is on the characterization of parapsychologists’ views by skeptical commentators and in the popular media. On the other hand there is little empirical information from which to infer the real views of contemporary parapsychologists. An online survey of members of the Parapsychological Association was therefore undertaken to ascertain some of their background characteristics and their views on diverse topical issues in parapsychology. A sample of 114 people participated in the survey. Some issues, such as the reality of psi and the importance of specialist training in parapsychology, attracted substantial consensus, but a disparity of views was evident on other issues (e.g., the unity of ESP and PK); somewhat surprisingly, developments in anomalistic psychology and mainstream concerns over probabilistic evaluation of hypotheses appear to be of limited interest to parapsychologists. The findings of the project are presented primarily as a matter of information, but they also raise a few policy implications.”

10 Alleged Exorcisms And Demonic Possessions

There are numerous accounts of demonic possession in history, many of which end either in the violent death of the individual or a church-sanctioned exorcism—the forceful eviction of the demon back to the netherworld. Interestingly, the age-old ritual of exorcism has made a huge comeback in the 20th century, and the ’60s and ’70s saw a 50 percent rise in the number of exorcisms performed. Is it all media hype? Are there malevolent beings that can force themselves into a human and take control over their body, or is the whole idea of demonic possession simply a myth perpetuated by hoaxes and overactive imaginations?
10. The Perron Family

In 1971, the Perron family moved into their new home in rural Burrillville, Rhode Island, a sweeping farmhouse built in the 18th century. It was to be the start of a new life for the Perrons and their five young daughters; and it was, but not in the way they expected. After only a few nights in the house, Carolyn Perron, the mother, awoke to the specter of an old woman hung by the neck from her bedroom ceiling. Over the next few weeks, strange sounds emanated from the crawlspaces and cellar of the house, doors would open themselves and slam shut, food would sweat blood.

With the help of paranormal investigators, the Perrons discovered that a witch practicing in the 18th century had supposedly sacrificed her own child to Satan, opened the house to the devil, and then hung herself. The Perrons came to believe that the witch’s ghost—as well as a myriad of demons and the ghosts of further suicides on the property—were haunting them. One of the daughters, Andrea Perron, now in her fifties, still maintains that the story is completely true, and that her mother even became possessed at one point. She says, “The only time I was truly terrified in that house was the night I thought I saw my mother die. She spoke in a voice we had never heard before, and a power not of this world threw her 20 feet into another room.”

The Perron story is the inspiration for the film The Conjuring, but the film doesn’t tell the whole story—after Mrs. Perron was possessed, the family stayed in the house for about nine more years, and just sort of “learned to live” with the spirits.

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

10 Creepy Stories Involving Hitchhiking

These days, it’s common knowledge that hitchhiking or picking up hitchhikers can be a very dangerous and risky practice. However, while it’s heavily discouraged now, there was once a time when hitchhiking was very common, and people had few qualms about using it as a form of travel.

Unfortunately, creepy tales like these are the reason people are now more aware of the dangers of hitchhiking. These stories wound up ending in tragic murders, mysterious disappearances, and even brushes with the supernatural.
10. The Orange Sock Murders

It takes a very brazen killer to abduct and murder two separate women at two separate locations at two separate times on the same night, but that’s exactly what happened in 1982 near the town of Breckenridge, Colorado. At the time, Breckenridge was known as a safe community, so hitchhiking was pretty much a daily occurrence for many of its residents. On the evening of January 6, 29-year-old Bobbie Jo Oberholtzer phoned her husband, Jeff, to let him know she was hanging out with friends at a local pub and would get a ride home. Bobbie never arrived. Jeff went searching for her the next morning and eventually found his wife’s body in a remote field. Bobbie had been shot to death. Curiously, an orange sock that did not belong to her was found nearby.

Six months later, the body of another missing woman, 21-year-old Annette Kay Schnee, was discovered in a wooded area, 21 kilometers (13 mi) from where Bobbie was found. Annette had been sexually assaulted and shot to death. She also happened to be wearing the matching orange sock from Bobbie’s murder scene. It’s believed that the same perpetrator had picked up Bobbie and Annette at different points throughout the evening while they were hitchhiking and murdered them. Annette’s orange sock was likely left behind in the killer’s vehicle and somehow fell out at the location Bobbie was murdered. Jeff Oberholtzer was initially considered a suspect, since his business card was found in Annette’s wallet. However, this turned out to be an odd coincidence: Jeff had picked up Annette hitchhiking on a previous occasion and given her his card. Years later, Jeff was officially cleared as a suspect, but the “Orange Sock Murders” remain unsolved.

Come Fly the Haunted Skies!

When people think of ghosts, many are perhaps likely to conjure up thoughts of dilapidated old houses, crumbling buildings with darkened windows, and spooky, desolate country roads. Places such as these have long been the staple of scary ghost stories and horror movies, but perhaps one of the creepiest and most extensively documented cases of ghostly encounters did not originate in any of these typical haunted locales, but rather in the sky over our heads. It seems when it comes to inexplicable ghostly phenomena, the sky really is the limit, for as we are about to see airplanes are also not exempt from becoming the haunts of mysterious spirits from beyond the land of the living.

The story begins with the ill-fated Eastern Air Lines Flight 401, which was a Lockheed L-1011-1 Tristar jet piloted by pilot Bob Loft, a veteran with over 30 years of flight experience, who was accompanied by First Officer Albert John Stockstill, flight engineer Donald Louis ‘Don’ Repo, and 10 flight attendants. On December 29, 1972, Flight 401 was en route to Miami International Airport after departing from John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York at 9:20 PM with 163 passengers on what was a seemingly problem free and routine flight, when the horrific nightmare began just as the plane was approaching its final destination.

Attend A Rave At Bangkok's Outrageous Ghost-Themed Shopping Mall

Mansion 7 is a ghost-themed mall in Bangkok. It contains a haunted house called the Dark Mansion, which is supposedly haunted by the owner's daughter and all the black-magic beasties he unleashed trying to raise her from the dead. And it hosts insane-looking parties. We wanna go!

Also contained therein: a "neglected garden;" "a large fairground space lit by a blood-red moon;" and bars and restaurants, including an eatery whose name translates to "Sacrificial Offerings," that serves only black-noodle dishes, and another that serves squid ink-dyed black hamburgers. Goth cuisine at its finest.

This being a mall, there are also places to shop, though everything seems to be targeted toward the amusement-park audience the space is designed to attract. (There's a magic shop, for instance.)


Were Jesus and Buddha Aliens?

A program aired on the British Broadcasting Corporation recently held a discussion as to whether or not major religious figures like Jesus Christ and the Buddha were from other planets.

In a religion-focused series titled "The Big Questions", host Nicky Campbell oversaw a discussion asking the query, "Have beings from other planets guided our religions?"

"Last month NASA's Kepler space telescope identified another planet that might have the right conditions for life," said Campbell.

"It will be no surprise to the followers of those religions who've long believed that life - possibly not as we know it - exists elsewhere in the galaxy. Life which has possibly exerted its influence here on planet Earth. Have beings from other planets guided our religions?"

The segment featured two groups, the Aetherius Society and the British Union Of Spiritist Societies, which advocated for the theory that various religious figures, including Jesus, were aliens.

"We believe that various religious leaders from history have an inter-planetary origin," said Mark Bennett of the Aetherius Society.

"We believe that Jesus and Buddha came from Venus, that Sri Krishna came from Saturn, that Saint Peter came from Mars, and so on."

Man With Sleep Paralysis Captures Shadow Person Apparition

A man that is said to suffering from a phenomenon called sleep paralysis captured something sinister while he was asleep. The camera he was using was able to capture an unusual figure that’s shadow-like hovering over him.

“Sleep paralysis is a phenomenon in which a person, either falling asleep or awakening, temporarily experiences an inability to move, speak or react. It is a transitional state between wakefulness and sleep, characterized by complete muscle atonia(muscle weakness). It is often accompanied by terrifying hallucinations (such as an intruder in the room) to which one is unable to react due to paralysis, and physical experiences (such as strong current running through the upper body). One hypothesis is that it results from disrupted REM sleep, which normally induces complete muscle atonia to prevent sleepers from acting out their dreams.” – wikipedia

Monday, March 2, 2015

Madness and UFOs: Is there a link?

There are unexplained things seen in the skies of Earth, and then there are odd incidents on the ground, associated with flying saucers or the UFO phenomenon.
The mixing of the two distinct kinds of “UFO observations” causes an irrational interpretation of both.
But one is open to physical investigation and the other is only open to psychological or neurological interpretation.
The first may be exampled by the 1952 Washington D.C. event(s) or the so-called Phoenix lights sightings or maybe the 2006 O’Hare airport sighting.

Could the 'Thunderbird' be a real creature?

Legends of a huge bird have been an integral part of American Midwest culture for centuries.

Myths and tales of a massive eagle-like bird in North America have persisted not just in the centuries-old stories of Native American tribes but in far more recent accounts as well.

On July 25th 1977 at around 8:30pm, two boys, Travis Goodwin and Marlon Lowe, had been playing hide-and-seek in their back yard in Lawndale, Illinois when two huge birds suddenly swooped down out of nowhere, narrowly missing them.

When the two creatures swung around and swooped down a second time one of them managed to grab Marlon in its claws, lifting him 3ft in to the air for several seconds before dropping him again.

Four adults including the boy's parents and two other visiting friends witnessed the incident.

Is the CIA developing weather weapons?

A senior US scientist has expressed concern over the use of climate data by US intelligence agencies.

Climate scientist Alan Robock of Rutgers University in New Jersey has called on government agencies to open up about the real reasons behind their interest in funding both climate change research and the development of geoengineering techniques.

At least one of these methods, which involves the release of stratospheric aerosols in to the atmosphere to bring about an overall cooling effect, has the potential to be turned in to a potentially destructive weather weapon.

10 Unsolved Mysteries From Early 20th-Century Organized Crime

From the turn of the century through Prohibition and into the 1950s was a time of elegantly dressed men, even more elegant women, and a blatant disregard for the law in the United States. Organized crime reached a new high. Even today, there are plenty of mysteries about what went on behind the scenes and in the shadows—we only saw the bodies, the fallout, and the executions.
10. The Barrel Murder

On April 14, 1903, a grisly discovery was made on a New York City street corner. Sealed in a wooden shipping barrel was the nearly decapitated corpse of a man. He had been killed ultimately by a knife cut to the jugular, but not before 18 other stab wounds had been administered to his neck.

Police and Secret Service remembered seeing him in the company of members of the Morello gang. The day after the body was discovered, eight members of the gang were picked up and arrested. The writing on the barrel gave some more clues about what had happened to the unfortunate man—it was identical to other barrels found at a local bakery. The man who had placed the order for the sugar once shipped in the barrel was among those arrested. Part of the problem, though, was the unidentified status of the victim. It wasn’t until police received an anonymous letter than indicated the murder victim was a counterfeiter from Buffalo that he was identified as Benedetto Madonia.

By now, the police were out of time. They couldn’t hold their prisoners any longer without charging them, and they didn’t really have any concrete evidence. The suspects were released, but soon re-arrested on other charges like counterfeiting and perjury. This gave police time to connect Madonia to the Morello gang and officially charge Tommaso Petto with murder—a charge that was largely based on Petto’s pawning of a watch confirmed to have been owned by Madonia.

From there, the case got confusing. The district attorney claimed that the man on trial wasn’t actually Petto, but someone named Peccararo; Peccararo had been carrying Petto’s pistol permit, so he had gone along with the mistaken identity. And even though police were able to trace Madonia’s whereabouts leading up to his murder, they still weren’t able to come up with any more concrete evidence of what had happened to him.

Eventually, Morello gang members that had been arrested in connection with the murder were released, and the man who may or may not have been Tommaso Petto was also released because of a lack of evidence. Police had been basing their case on the potential of one of the other gang members ratting on their associates, but that never happened. Petto was later killed outside his Pennsylvania home in 1905, and no one was ever brought to justice in the grisly Barrel Murder.

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Eerie figure frequents haunted Boston pub

Unexplained noises and an unwanted presence have spooked staff members at the city's Robin Hood pub.

The historic building, which was once a coaching inn, has already seen its fair share of ghost stories over the years but now current landlord Rob Hancock, who is himself a skeptic, has experienced several peculiar incidents that he cannot explain.

Many of these have involved instances of sudden loud noises and doors slamming by themselves, but most of the activity at the pub has centered around sightings by several different staff members of a tall mysterious figure wearing a long coat.

In one case a man visiting the pub with his dog reported witnessing the apparition in the lounge.