The Ganzfield Experiment

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The Metetherial Encyclopaedia

The Ganzfield Experiment

What is it?

Used in the field of parapsychology to test people for extra-sensory perception (ESP), the Ganzfield Experiment (German for “entire field”) uses homogeneous and unpatterned sensory stimulation to produce a kind of sensory deprivation.

Parapsychologists Dean Radin and Daryl Bem have said that Ganzfield Experiments have given results which deviate to a significant degree from random results, that they present strong evidence for the existence of telepathy. However, some critics such as Susan Blackmore and Ray Hyman have stated that these results are inconclusive calling for further study before they can be scientifically accepted. Such is the norm in the paranormal field though!

Here is a Little History

Wolfgang Metzger devised the technique back in the 1930’s during his investigation into the Gestalt theory. Then later in the 1970’s Charles Honorton decided to use the Ganzfield method to achieve a state of sensory deprivation in which it is believed that psi can work.

Since Honorton and Harper published the first full experiment in the Journal of the American Society for Psychical Research in 1974, the experiment remained a big part of Parapsychological research.

A Rough Outline of a Typical Method

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The Ganzfield Experiment

A ‘receiver’ is left in a room relaxed in comfort, with halved ping-pong balls (yes I am serious) over their eyes, with a red light shone on them. They also wear headphones playing white noise. In this state the ‘receiver’ is in the state of mild sensory deprivation for half an hour. At this time the ‘sender’ observes a randomly selected target (perhaps a photo) and tries to mentally send the information to the ‘receiver’. The ‘receiver’ speaks out loud during the half hour, describing what they see. This is recorded by someone who is unaware of the target. Following this the ‘receiver’ is taken out of the Ganzfield state and given a set of targets, from which they must identify the one the ‘sender’ communicated to them.

My Experience with the Ganzfield Experiment

As soon as I began overnight investigation of certain locations I wanted to bring some of my own research into these investigations. The Ganzfield Experiment was something I had been aware of for a while and had read quite a bit about, but as I began my own investigations I saw the opportunity to bring this lab based experiment out into the field somehow. Given the scenario of an overnight investigation I always knew that the success of this was limited as a key element was the ability for the ‘receiver’ to reach a relaxed state, which could be difficult in the midst of an investigation. However I continued to try it several times at various investigations with different people and approaches. The most successful of which occurred when I took a team to Royston to investigate a building there. We set up the ‘receiver’ in a room on the first floor in the sensory deprivation state outlined above, then the ‘sender’ sat in the HQ for the investigation and thought of simple things to draw. What was interesting was during this experiment I listened live to the ‘receiver’ as she said out loud the things that came to mind. At one point she said the word ‘boot’ as the ‘sender’ was half way through drawing a ‘boot’, which was remarkable. The ‘sender’ couldn’t hear what the ‘receiver’ was sending. What’s interesting is that both in this experiment were good friends and worked together, so there was a lot of time spent together building the probable telepathic connection. However the question then became which one was the true ‘sender’ or ‘receiver’.

I hope to continue to do further experiments using the Ganzfield Experiment or similar approaches.

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The Ganzfield Experiment

An Explanation

Used in the field of parapsychology to test people for extra-sensory perception (ESP), the Ganzfield Experiment (German for “entire field”) is uses homogeneous and unpatterned sensory stimulation to produce a kind of sensory deprivation.

Parapsychologists Dean Radin and Daryl Bem have said that Ganzfield Experiments have given results which deviate to a significant degree from random results, that they present strong evidence for the existence of telepathy. However, some critics such as Susan Blackmore and Ray Hyman have stated that these results are inconclusive calling for further study before they can be scientifically accepted. Such is the norm in the paranormal field though!

Little History First

Wolfgang Metzger devised the technique back in the 1930’s during his investigation into the Gestalt theory. Then later in the 1970’s Charles Honorton decided to use the Ganzfield method to achieve a state of sensory deprivation in which it is believed that psi can work.

Since Honorton and Harper published the first full experiment in the Journal of the American Society for Psychical Research in 1974, the experiment remained a big part of Parapsychological research.

Typical Method

A ‘receiver’ is left in a room relaxed in comfort, with halved ping-pong balls (yes I am serious) over their eyes, with a red light shone on them. They also wear headphones playing white noise. In this state the ‘receiver’ is in the state of mild sensory deprivation for half an hour. At this time the ‘sender’ observes a randomly selected target and tries to mentally send the information to the ‘receiver’. The ‘receiver’ speaks out loud during the half hour, describing what they see. This is recorded by someone who is unaware of the target. Following this the ‘receiver’ is taken out of the Ganzfield state and given a set of targets, from which they must identify the one the ‘sender’ communicated to them.

Lab to Field Experiment

This is obviously a Lab based experiment built on a set environment with conditions that can be repeated to ensure it fits to the usual regime of science. However, as I am a paranormal investigator, I wish to change that slightly, probably incur some criticism and adapt it for paranormal field investigation. We are all familiar with the use of mediums on investigations or even those in your team who in your experience have tended to be slightly more sensitive to the locations you investigate. Well my aim is to adapt the Ganzfield Experiment to do just that within your investigation. Making one of your team a ‘receiver’, but this time hopefully from you and possibly spirits. Of course I am not claiming this is so, but just thought it would be an interesting experiment for paranormal teams to try. After all I could try it, but would have to repeat it many many times to assess it properly. Whereas if many teams try it an submit their results we can document it and see where it takes us. Its for us all to try !

What You Will Need

Right to ensure we are all doing this the same way you will need the following:-

  1. Halved Ping Pong Balls for your eyes, yes you will look silly and of course you can use a marker to draw pupils on the outside, so you look like that guy from ‘Who Framed Roger Rabbit?’
  2. Head phones, connected to a device like an iPod (I use one, it works well) playing White Noise.
  3. Lamp with red light bulb, use to fill the room with red light, focus it on the ‘receiver’.
  4. Two Digital Voice Recorders – ensure that the date/time stamp matches on both.
  5. Two Video Camera – again making sure the date/time stamp is matching on both.
  6. A comfortable place for the receiver within the location you are investigating. A cold dungeon probably wont do although it would be quite atmospheric!
The Farsight Field Method

This is how I want to perform this experiment in the field whilst investigating a location, use it as one of your vigils I will!

  1. The ‘receiver’ is sat alone in a room/place at the location selected by the team which is comfortable within reason. The ‘receiver’ has halved ping pong balls over their eyes, ear phones playing white noise on and a red lamp shone in their face. They should relax alone in the room.
  2. At the ‘receivers’ location a digital voice recorder records close to them and a video camera records them visually.
  3. The rest of the team setup in another room as far away from the ‘receiver’ as possible to avoid any audio seepage.
  4. The rest of the team select one individual to call and ask questions, this person is the ‘sender’.
  5. A digital voice recorder is setup close to the ‘sender’ to record what they say.
  6. A video camera covers the groups movements. If you have more than one that would help to prove all are present and correct.
  7. Once settled and ready to go, the ‘sender’ starts by asking a series of questions directed at the ‘receiver’, asking them to answer. These questions should be simple like EVP questions, but in no particular order, so the ‘receiver’ is unaware of which questions are being asked!
  8. Then the ‘sender’ should utilise a photo from a selection of photo’s and try and mentally send the image to the ‘receiver’.
  9. Lastly, the ‘sender’ should ask any spirits present to communicate their answers to some basic EVP questions (asked by ‘sender’) to the ‘receiver’.
  10. If at any time during the experiment the ‘receiver’ feels they have some information in their head, no matter how random, they should say it out loud for the digital voice recorder and video camera to record.
Looking at the Results

This part is simple, you just compare the questions to the answers as they were recorded on the devices. Hence the time stamp being so important. What we are looking for is anything that seems to match up questions and answer wise. In addition any information the ‘receiver’ may get that can be supported some how. We have to bear in mind that they may pick up on things a bit like a medium and thus must be researched for supporting evidence.

I am interested in all of your results, so please let me know how you get on good or bad, and if you do get some odd results please please let me know.

Please post your comments, thoughts or results below so we may see how you get on.We look forward to hearing from you all..

Lastly, I don’t expect overnight results on this one, so it will be ongoing now until the end of 2010. I hope for Farsight PRS to put it to the test at our next investigation in October.

Remember though, Farsight Files is not just about the paranormal, its about those that investigate it…

Categories: Experiments, Farsight PRS Research, Research, The Ganzfield Experiment | Leave a comment

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