Anomalies

 

Sadly, too many scientists are quick to dismiss reports of anomalous phenomena - 'damned' data as Charles Fort called them - from high quality sources . It is from such 'signals in the noise' that major paradigm shifts might result if scientists and academics were free from psychological, institutional or commercial and economic constraints.

"It is clear, then, that the idea of a fixed method, or of a fixed theory of rationality, rests on too naive a view of man and his social surroundings. To those who look at the rich material provided by history, and who are not intent on impoverishing it in order to please their lower instincts, their craving for intellectual security in the form of clarity, precision, 'objectivity', 'truth', it will become clear that there is only one principle that can be defended under all circumstances and in all stages of human development. It is the principle: anything goes."

Paul K. Feyerabend, Against Method: Outline of an Anarchistic Theory of Knowledge (1975), 27-8.

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Books & Articles (PDF & RTF formats)

Mirabilis Annus Secundus Anon

1662 "..being a true and impartial collection of many strange signes and apparitions, which have this last year been seen in the heavens, and in the earth, and in the waters : together with many remarkable accidents and judgements befalling divers persons, according to the most exact information that could be procured from the best hands, and now published as a warning to all men speedily to repent, and to prepare to meet the Lord, who gives us these signs of His coming." (From the Title Page)

 

 
The Certainty Of The Worlds Of Spirits Richard Baxter

1691. "The certainty of the worlds of spirits, and consequently, of the immortality of souls. of the malice and misery of the devils, and the damned. And of the blessedness of the justified, : fully evinced by unquestionable histories of apparitions, operations, witchcrafts, voices, &c..." (From the Title Page)

 

 

 

 
 
An essay on demonology, ghosts and apparitions, and popular superstitions James Thatcher

1831. There are mysteries even in nature, which we cannot investigate, paradoxes which we can never resolve. (From the title page)

 

 

 

 

 
The Night Side of Nature: Or, Ghosts and Ghost Seers V1 Catherine Crowe

The Night Side of Nature: Or, Ghosts and Ghost Seers V2 Catherine Crowe

1848. Examines numerous kind of parapsychological phenomena including dreams and premonitions, wraiths, haunted houses and apparitions and argues that such events do occur. (Google Books)

 

 

 

 

 
Cock Lane and Common-Sense Andrew Lang  

Written by folklorist Andrew Lang (1844–1912), this 1894 publication examines the ambivalent relationship the living have attempted to forge with the dead throughout history. Nicknamed 'the Wizard of St Andrews', this prolific polymath also worked as an anthropologist, classicist, historian, poet, mythologist, essayist and journalist, producing over a hundred publications in his lifetime. Largely ignored by scholarship, this book suggests expanding the study of folklore to include contemporary narratives of supernatural events. Taking its title from the legends of the notorious Cock Lane ghost, the work considers the survival of ancient beliefs such as hauntings, clairvoyance, and other phenomena believed to transcend the laws of nature, and how such beliefs have persisted through great social upheaval and change. It includes chapters on savage and ancient spiritualism, comparative psychical research, haunted houses, second sight, crystal gazing, and Presbyterian ghost hunters, among others.

Cambridge University Press book review

 
Human Personality and Its Survival of Bodily Death Frederic W. H. Myers

1907. A major classic of early psychical research and indeed of psychology in general. Although it was published two years after Myers's death, most of it had been finished and was ready for publication at the time of his passing. The book consists of 10 chapters plus lengthy appendices that present empirical data and case reports supporting the primary material. Myers begins by outlining his overall purposes and introducing his unifying conception of the nature of human personality—the Subliminal Self. Chapters 2 and 3 begin fleshing out this theory by discussing hysteria and genius, two seemingly different phenomena that Myers believed are closely related psychologically. Chapters 4 and 5 discuss the emergence of subliminal functioning in sleep and hypnosis. Chapters 6 through 9 present a wide variety of evidence, both spontaneous and experimental, for psychological automatisms, conceived as messages sent up to everyday consciousness by the subliminal consciousness in sensory or motor form. The final chapter is an epilogue assembled by the editors from some of Myers's more speculative writings, consisting largely of a "Provisional Sketch of a Religious Synthesis" and several related appendices in which Myers outlines his hope and belief that science and religion will ultimately come together so that the methods of science can be applied to the great questions of life that the religions alone have thus far asked.

Esalen Center for Theory and Research

 

 

 

 

 

Fairies and their Kin Bob Trubshaw

A short comparative study of fairies, ghosts and other apparitional forms, earthlights and abductions. He adopts a phenomenological approach - i.e. he accepts that the experiences that people have had of these forms are genuine and proceeds to enquire into what might be the possible causes.

 

 

 

 

 
 
Wizards or Charlatans - Doctors or Herbalists? Richard C. Allen

An Appraisal of the "Cunning Men" of Cwrt Y Cadno, Camarthenshire

 

 

 

 

 
The Book of the Damned Charles Fort

Time travel, UFOs, mysterious planets, stigmata, rock-throwing poltergeists, huge footprints, bizarre rains of fish and frogs-nearly a century after Charles Fort's Book of the Damned was originally published, the strange phenomenon presented in this book remains largely unexplained by modern science. Through painstaking research and a witty, sarcastic style, Fort captures the imagination while exposing the flaws of popular scientific explanations. Virtually all of his material was compiled and documented from reports published in reputable journals, newspapers and periodicals because he was an avid collector. Charles Fort was somewhat of a recluse who spent most of his spare time researching these strange events and collected these reports from publications sent to him from around the globe. This was the first of a series of books he created on unusual and unexplained events and to this day it remains the most popular.

Goodreads

 
 
Lo! Charles Fort

Charles Fort's parade of scientific anomalies frames the larger anomaly that is human existence. Lo! is a book with the capacity to rewire brains and sculpt new lenses for seeing the unexpected, the unexplained - and perhaps for glimpsing our own role in Fort's mystifying cosmic scheme.

Google Books


 
New Lands Charles Fort

New Lands was the second nonfiction book of the author Charles Fort, written in 1925. It deals primarily with astronomical anomalies. Fort expands in this book on his theory about the Super-Sargasso Sea - a place where earthly things supposedly materialize in order to rain down on Earth - as well as developing an idea that there are continents above the skies of Earth. As evidence, he cites a number of anomalous phenomena, including strange "mirages" of land masses, groups of people, and animals in the skies. He also continues his attacks on scientific dogma, citing a number of mysterious stars and planets that scientists failed to account for.

Goodreads

 
Wild Talents Charles Fort

Wild Talents captures Charles Fort at his finest, most thought provoking, and wittiest. Containing accounts of - among numerous other bizarre topics - strange coincidences, vampires, werewolves, talking dogs, poltergeist activity, teleportation, witchcraft, vanishing people, spontaneous human combustion, and the escapades of the 'mad bats of Trinidad, ' the book is essential reading for anyone wanting to learn about the early years of research into the myriad mysteries of this world and beyond.

Goodreads

 

The Strange Properties Of Psychokinesis Helmut Schmidt

This paper, in Mind Science Foundation, discusses evidence for a psychokinetic effect acting on chance events.

 

 

 

 

   
 

A NeuroQuantologic Approach to How Human Thought Might Affect the Universe Michael A. Persinger, Stanley A. Koren and Ghislaine F. Lafreniere

A speculative but serious attempt to understand how quantum and neuro-physiological processes might help explain how thought might interact with the universe.

 

 

 

 

 
Tarot and Physics Jane English

After using Tarot cards daily for several years as part of a meditation and self-reflection practice, Jane English, a Ph.D. physicist felt both personal and scientific need to reconcile her Tarot experience with her scientific worldview. Statistical analysis of cards chosen daily in meditation for three years from 1978 to 1981 (one card for “body,” one for “mind” and one for “spirit”) shows 99.97% probability of their being non-random ...

 

 

 
 

Daimonic Reality Patrick Harpur

A well-documented, scholarly work on one level, and an extremely entertaining collection of folklore, ghost stories, monsters, myths, visions, Blessed Virgins, stigmata, sacred places and UFO encounters on an equally engrossing other level.

 

 

 
 
Dimensions Jacques Vallee

Vallee, a trained astrophysicist holding a doctorate in computer science, has reviewed the evidence supporting UFO sightings & has concluded that "alien" visitations are neither figments of the imagination, nor are they coming from other planets or galaxies.

 

 

 

 
Investigations of Anomalous Aerial Phenomena and an Encounter with an Elf-like Humanoid (1974 to 1994) Denis Martin

As a physics teacher beginning in 1974 I soon began to hear reports from students who claimed they they had seen UFOs, so I took it upon myself to undertake some very basic investigation and interviewed them in what I believe was an impartial and unbiased way. I also began to receive reports from other people. I did not normally seek out witnesses of these phenomena but acted only when individuals, or a mutual friend, came to me because they knew of my interest.

 

 

   
 
Past life memory case studies. In S. Krippner (Ed.), Advances in Parapsychological Research 6 (pp. 184-267) James G. Matlock
This chapter [in Krippner's book] reviews studies of spontaneous past life memory cases, most of which involve young children. Key concepts and terms are introduced in Section 1.2. A typical spontaneous case is summarized in Section 1.3 and other types of reincarnation cases (e.g., hypnotic age regressions and “past life readings”
of sensitives) are considered in Section 1.4.
Section 2 describes methods used in investigating spontaneous past life memory cases and discusses their main features, emphasizing those that appear cross-culturally. Section 3 addresses pattern analyses and is concerned particularly with cultural variation. Section 4 takes up commentary on the research, considering especially methodological criticisms and interpretations of the case material alternative to reincarnation. Sections 2, 3, and 4 conclude with discussions of the bearing of the findings of that section on the two main
lines of interpretation—reincarnation and culturally conditioned fantasy. Section 5 evaluates the current state of research with past life memory cases and makes suggestions for further research.

Links

Skeptical Investigations As a scientific enterprise, anomalistics is normatively skeptical and demands inquiry prior to judgement, but skepticism means doubt rather than denial. While recognizing that a legitimate anomaly may constitute a crisis for conventional theories in science, anomalistics also sees them as an opportunity for progressive change in science. Thus, anomalies are viewed not as nuisances but as welcome discoveries that may lead to the expansion of our scientific understanding.

skepticalinvestigations.org

skeptiko.com This website, hosted by Alex Tsakiris, follows the data in the fields of parapsychology and consciousness research wherever it leads. It explorse the possibility that science-as-we-know-it might be at a tipping point and engages the top thinkers in pointed discussions about the questions that matter most. It treats all guests with respect.

Adapted from the "about" page on the website.

Rupert Sheldrake Online Website of the innovative and controversial biologist Rupert Sheldrake.
Jacques F. Vallee Aerial Phenomena Research: Selected Papers
John E. Mack The UFO Abduction Phenomenon. The author describes how he got into the study of the UFO abduction experience, a bit of the history of the field, the phenomenology of UFO abductions, who the abductees are, his use of non-ordinary states of consciousness in working with them, some of the physical evidence involved, what effect being abducted has on the abductees, and his interpretation of the meaning of the experience.

Experiencers - A documentary by Stephane Allix about the Alien Abduction Phenomenon featuring research by the late John E. Mack, professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School until his death in 2004.

Mack took seriously the accounts of people who claimed to have been abducted by aliens. These 'experiencers' were neither mentally ill nor delusional. His research showed that many experienced a shift in their perception of their own identity, reducing their sense of separateness and precipitating a cosmic perspective.

 

Jacques Vallee, Terrence McKenna, John Mack and Budd Hopkins on UFOs and the Alien Abduction phenomenon This informative and insightful compilation of video extracts provides a clear overview of a more "transcendentalist" than physical "nuts-and-bolts" interpretation of the abduction phenomenon. It reveals the different nuances in the perspectives of the researchers. For example, Budd Hopkins favours the idea that the aliens are actual beings who come in craft powered by technology far more advanced than ours and who perform highly unethical procedures on their victims. Hopkins adopts, as John Mack suggests in the last video, an "anthropocentric humanist" approach which resists and rejects the aliens - as far as is possible - and supports the ongoing recovery, and the psychological and spiritual healing of the abductees. Mack, as Hopkins suggests, is more concerned with understanding the purpose behind the phenomenon and recognizing its transformative potential. Mack is less protective and anthropocentric and feels that the phenomenon has profound implications for humanity. It strikes at the root of human arrogance and "cosmic egoism", and if, however difficult it may be, we embrace the experience it can open the human mind and spirit to other vast orders of reality beyond our immediate physical environment.

 

 

 
 

Scientific Evidence for Reincarnation Whether the skeptics like it or not there is strong evidence for the reality of the phenomenon of past-life recall. The research of the late Professor Ian Stevenson of the Division of Personality Studies at the University of Virginia, for example, using strict scientific protocols, rules out the kinds of "rationalistic" explanations invoked by the skeptics. Aslo, Jim B. Tucker , an associate professor of psychiatry at the University of Virginia Medical Center's Division of Perceptual Studies, has continued the research, again, with startling results. It must be understood that this research does not prove reincarnation, which could have other causes, although they, too, would lie outside the current scientific paradigm. Simply because Tucker invokes quantum mechanics to explain the phenomenon - and this has been rightly criticized by many physicists - it does not invalidate the data obtained.

Dr. Robert Almeder, talking in the first video, is Professor Emeritus of Philosophy at Georgia State University, and is known in particular for his work on the philosophy of science, and has also written on the philosophy of mind, epistemology and ethics.

 

 
 
Fortean Times The magazine dedicated to press reports of anomalous phenomena.

National Archives UFO files released by the Ministry of Defence.

DeanRadin.com Website of the parapsychologist Dean Radin.