The Metetherial Encyclopaedia – Electronic Voice Phenomena (EVP)

The Metetherial Encyclopaedia – Electronic Voice Phenomena (EVP)

What is it?

For many that have been in the paranormal field a while or even a moment the term EVP   (Electronic Voice Phenomena) has become common place. If you’ve taken the time to watch a paranormal TV show or two, then it’s likely that at some point you would have heard the investigators throw the term about whilst playing around with a Digital Voice Recorder.

When I first started overnight investigation I’m pretty sure it was one of the first pieces of paranormal jargon that I came to know. Especially as it would seem that the attempt to capture an EVP, is something that many investigators do on every investigation.

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EVP’s are considered to be the voices of spirits recorded on media either intentionally or in some cases unintentionally. In reality they are sounds that are discovered within electronic recordings. These sounds can often then be interpreted to be similar to simple responses to questions or indeed random phrases.

Although EVP’s have reached great popularity over the years with additional promotion from the many TV shows, they remain a phenomena that holds a lot of question among parapsychologists. The reason being is that they argue that EVP’s are often recorded with significant background or static noise, this then generates a certain misunderstanding in interpreting these sounds. That is if you listen hard enough you’ll hear the answer to your question or if someone suggests what they believe it to be, then you’ll often hear that word to phrase yourself. This is what our parapsychology friends may refer to as auditory pareidolia. More on pareidolia in a future post.

Suffice to say there does still remain significant interest in EVP’s and I have in the past recorded a relatively ‘crystal clear’ one of my own which keeps the subject open for me too. Check out that EVP here.

Oddly for me these days the question of EVP’s doesn’t necessarily link to them being auditory pareidolia or not, but if they are genuine EVP’s then their source is more important. I’ll explain a little on that later.

A Little History

I won’t go into excessive detail regarding the history of Electronic Voice Phenomena as it’s likely to be enough to write a book on. Now there’s an idea for the future!

So, here’s my quick tour of EVP history.

Whilst the spiritualist movement dominated potential communication with spirits in the late 1800’s, as technology became more available so did the idea of incorporating it into paranormal investigation. Thomas Edison was once asked to during an interview with Scientific America, I believe, of the possibility of his inventions being able to communicate with the dead for example. Interestingly enough, during the 1990’s the Scole Experimental Team believe they received the design for such a device from Edison himself, which can be seen below.

As sound recording became more widespread the idea of attempting to record spirit communication developed and the concept of EVP began.

Over the years many picked up the idea and experimented with it. Attila von Szalay worked with Raymond Bayless and published their work in the Journal of the American Society for Psychical Research in 1959. Bayless also co-wrote a book called ‘Phone Calls from the Dead’ in 1979.

In the 1960’s and 70’s Konstantin Raudive, who was a Latvian psychologist conducted numerous experiments in EVP. He made over 100,000 recordings with Jürgenson and even used RF-screened laboratory’s during their work. Raudive believed these to be discarnate voices and invited people to listen to the recordings and interpret them. Raudive’s work continues to be quoted in the field today.

In the 1980’s William O’Neil brought us a device called ‘Spiritcom’, which he claimed originated from a design he received psychically. This in my opinion began a new era for EVP, which related to ITC directly and took us on a new journey. These devices would lay claim to allow ‘two way communication’, but whether that was true or not is still something that remains as mysterious as the filed itself.

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Around 2002 Frank Sumption gave the paranormal world ‘Franks Box’ , which has also been known as ‘Ghost Box’ and ‘Spirit Box’ too. Fundamentally the device uses a mix of a white noise generator and a circuit which sweeps through radio bands. Again this has received criticism for the results being rather subjective and again possibly based back on auditory pareidolia.

EVP Today

These days EVP work ranges from using the old fashion approaches all the way through to the use of ITC via the many Apps available on various mobile technology and laptops. However it’s not all high-tech, many that are passionate about EVP claim that older media types like tapes or even reel-to-reel give far better results.

For me EVP still holds a valid interest within my own paranormal research and investigation. However I am not sure entirely whether I could lay claim that it provides proof of spirit communication. Although I have captured that crystal clear EVP I mentioned earlier, which without doubt for me came from somewhere other than those present. Well, when I say it didn’t come from us, I mean none of us spoke the phrase out loud. More recent experiments that I have tried like the Psychic Projection Experiment have presented results exactly the same as EVP ones. The difference here though is that in those experiments the phrase was projected psychically by the group and heard as a recording. Which raises the very important question to me; are EVP’s of probable spirit communication actually projected psychically onto the devices by those investigating? Something that is most definitely worth further investigation and indeed experimental research too.

EVP remains a prominent part of paranormal research and investigation today, which is something that doesn’t appear to be likely to change any time soon.

Moving forward I think we all do need to take EVP out of the box it’s ended up in and begin to experiment with it in as many ways possible. There’s a couple of examples below to get you started.

The Psychic Projection Experiment

The Triple Approach EVP Experiment

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The Metetherial Encyclopaedia – Instrumental Transcommunication

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Instrumental Transcommunication (ITC)

What is it?

Instrumental Transcommunication or ITC as its more commonly referred to is the term given to the various methods used to communicate with supposed spirits using electronic means. This includes the capture of images possibly related to spirits and also Electronic Voice Phenomena (EVP).

ITC can utilise an abundance of technology including tape recorders, TV’s, radios, computers, phones, and much more.

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ITC

These days as technology has now become the norm within paranormal investigation there is an abundance ITC devices and even apps out there for use. As with anything in the field there are useful tools and not so useful tools, but often it’s not so much the tool itself as the investigator themselves. That is, like many things in the paranormal you need to experiment a little with them, understand how they work and find the one which works best for you.

My advice would be to start with the free phone and tablet apps to gain an understanding of ITC apps to see if they are for you, before moving on to the paid apps. Then after the apps you could invest in the more pricey devices out there.

A Little History

I believe that the German physicist Professor Ernst Senkowski first used the term Instrumental Transcommunication to describe the use of electronic devices to communicate with spirits. However the actual use pre-dates this greatly and has in reality been mentioned as long as modern communication devices have been available.

Even some of the great inventors have been associated with it like Thomas Edison and Nikola Tesla. There is even a little mystery that relates to Edison and he’s ‘telephone to the dead’. Something that was considered a tall tale for many years, perhaps until the Scole Experiment believed they made contact with Edison’s spirit. Which they believed communicated the design for the Trans Dimensional Communication device.

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Design Communicated to the Scole Group by Edison Perhaps?
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Trans Dimensional Communication Device

 

ITC Today

More recently and ITC has become highly used within the paranormal field with teams using ghost hunting gadgets such as Spirit Boxes, ghost boxes, tablet apps and more to attempt to communicate with probable spirits.

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Franks Box

In fact I might as far to say as ITC has now become a massive part of the paranormal investigators kit bag. The devices of course vary from those that record to those that simply output something, with most of those being an audio output.

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ITC Device Trio

There are now an abundance of ITC Devices available out there to the modern Ghost Hunter for the right price. I’m a little old school I’m afraid, so prefer to observe and make notes, but I’m not adverse to modern approaches to the field. So, hopefully there will be some posts coming on various ITC Devices and Apps.

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iOvilus iPhone App

If you’re reading this and off on a paranormal investigation soon, it’s likely that you or your team will use an ITC device or app. If you do please let me know which your favourite and most successful ones are?

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Paranormal Evidence Review 

A Little on Evidence

Over the years I’ve heard the term ‘evidence’ thrown around in relation to the paranormal on many occasions, I’ve even used it a few times myself in the past. Although these days I’m more inclined to believe that perhaps ‘evidence’ might be a little bit of a step too far and equally could be the reason said suggested ‘evidence’ receives such backlash on social media.

You see the term evidence in simple form means; the available body of facts or information indicating whether a belief or proposition is true or valid. That’s true or valid, which is important. In my opinion this very concept suggests that evidence is absolute as true has no grey area.

If we had found evidence of the paranormal then we would have proof that was undeniable.

Now a few reading this may indeed argue that we in the paranormal may not have concrete proof of the paranormal, but we do collect various facts, information, etc which should be considered evidence in that they are each pieces of the greater puzzle.

So, I’m not going to say we should stop using the term because it’s all a bit wrong, but perhaps we could start working better to understand those smaller pieces of evidence to ensure they are taking us in the right direction.

Peer Review Perhaps

With all this in mind I have decided to add to the Metetherial Project a section for peer review of probable paranormal evidence. However this will be based on cooperation of the individual who has originally submitted the piece of evidence to the public domain in the first place. Basically, I’m not about to go hunting the internet for pictures, video and audio then writing posts on them stating how I think their fake! After all I think social media has this pretty well covered.

If I stumble on something that is within the public domain though I may politely ask its originator if they would like to submit it for peer review by me and whom ever else I can rope into the review. That way we can objectively look at the ‘evidence’ and hopefully generate a report on it, which could be posted on my website.

My First Evidence Review

With all this in mind I actually did stumble on such a piece of evidence that made its way from social media to the newspapers. This was a photograph captured by Claire Cowell at 30 East Drive of the Black Monk of Pontefract. Straight away such a claim based on only a photo would no doubt generate mixed feelings of its contents. So, here is the photo..

 

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Claire Cowell’s Photo

Once I located Claire I asked her if she would be willing to submit her photo for review by myself and a few others. Of course with many in the paranormal, Claire was more than happy for me to look into the photo and open to probable explanations.

I continued to chat with Claire in order to gather some additional information around this photo and the circumstance it was taken in. I also advised Claire of my intention and approach for the review, which would be to analyse the photo and also seek the opinion of a few others in the field.

First Impressions of the Photo

Of course like anyone looking at a photo like this we establish our first impressions quite early on and often they can be influenced by a great number of things too. It’s important to see the review through and cover off as much as possible, especially when you’re dealing with a field where there are many possibilities out there.

My own first impression was that a member of the team had moved from the living room and gone upstairs, Claire’s photo had caught this without realising it. Then perhaps seen it later not realising what had occurred at the time it was taken.

This is a common mistake and to be honest one I have made at one point, where the lack of a consistent timeline means that in review we can often mistake normal things for something paranormal. However in this photo’s case Claire is sure that she  reviewed the picture directly after it was taken and is very certain that it wasn’t one of the team. In fact there was a sequence of events that lead to her taking the picture which included hearing something being thrown. There’s obviously much more to this story, which I will include in the evidence review, so keep an eye out for it right here.

This Is Where You Come In

If you’ve got a piece of ‘evidence’ that you would like me to review with the help of various members of the field, please don’t hesitate to contact me using info@ashleyknibb.com

Also, if you would like to get involved and help add to reviews, please contact me with your details.

At the end of the day moving the field forward is all about cooperation in a respectful manner to others. Hopefully this will be a little step in the right direction.

Thank you to Claire Cowell for allowing me use your photo as the first piece of evidence to be reviewed.

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The Metetherial Encyclopaedia – Reincarnation

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The Metetherial Encyclopaedia 

Reincarnation

What is it?

The very concept of reincarnation which suggests that the soul or spirit may, after physical death, pass to another body, is in fact an extremely ancient idea. It can be found in the teachings of the ancient Egyptians religion, Greek philosophy, Buddhism, Hinduism, Jainism, theosophy, not to mention the philosophies of Plato and Pythagoras. 

Of course in many cases the belief in reincarnation may require a belief in the soul or spirit itself and that it is housed within the human body. As an extension from that the possibility that it may also leave somehow the body at the point of death and transfer to another. 

Obviously reincarnation pops up in all manner of religions in various ways, so I am not going to delve to deeply into the religious examples out there. I’m more concerned with those interesting cases which appear to support its existence. 

What is extremely interesting is that the concept has arisen within many different groups of people across the planet that have not been connected or able to pass the idea on. C G Jung had an theory on this called collective unconscious, which was like a shared pool of memories inherited from their ancestors. That way there maybe a possible link between our memories collectively, which could be related to reincarnation.

Using Regression to Find Your Past Lives

Past Lives are often another way explaining an individuals links to their previous existences. There are a few ways of accessing these past lives, but the most common is regression through hypnosis. 

The subject is placed in a state of relaxation and then hypnotised. Once under, the hypnotist will then encourage the subject to ‘go back’ taking them deeper. They will then be asked to describe what they see or feel. Although this isn’t seen as a scientific approach, it is widely accepted the world over. In fact many people visit regression experts to discover information on their past lives. 

Questions is; are these actually past lives that these individuals are accessing or are they simply obtaining information from their imagination or unconscious mind? 

Stevenson’s Reincarnation Research

I read about the research of Dr Ian Stevenson a few years back, but was instantly taken back he’s work in the field. Stevenson spent around 40 years travelling the world and investigating 3,000 cases of reincarnation in children. These cases showed some good evidence that information from past lives like illness, injury, etc may be passed to another future life. 

I believe there may have even been some extremes cases where the children recognised people, places and even recalled information relevant to their past lives. All of which has added greatly to the possibility of reincarnation. 

Here is some further information on Stevenson’s work – http://www.near-death.com/reincarnation/research/ian-stevenson.html

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The Metetherial Encyclopaedia – The Stone Tape Theory

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The Metetherial Encyclopaedia

The Stone Tape Theory

What is it?

For many that have been involved in the paranormal field for even just a short while, one of the most recognised and possibly accepted theories is that of the Stone Tape Theory. It’s a concept that many are familiar with and is widely accepted too.

Just in case you were wondering though I thought it might be worth adding a short little piece on the Stone Tape Theory to the Metetherial Encyclopaedia.

Fundamentally the theory outlines the possibility that the phenomena related to ghosts and hauntings is similar to a tape recording, which is possibly stored in the localised environment. These days we relate this kind of activity to what many call Residual Hauntings. The ‘Stone Tape Theory’ attempts to explain a relationship between the environment, be it the water in the area or the geology of the area as a medium for recording the emotional energy of an event. Given the right circumstances the stored energy as a recording interacts and that’s when we experience a number of phenomena; from emotional connections to the observation of full blown apparitions.

Simple right? Okay, there’s slightly more to the theory than just that.

A Little History

The idea was first proposed by British archaeologist and parapsychologist Thomas Charles Lethbridge in 1961. Actually that’s not entirely true, you see this one often seems to present itself as a little grey in its actual origins.

Sir William Barrett, Physicist and an early member of the Society for Psychical Research, for example suggested a similar idea in the late 19th century.  Referencing the ‘imprint’ locally that may occur in cases of apparitions and hauntings, on the material of structures or places.

The term ‘Stone Tape’ appears to have been first utilised in a BBC television play of the same name, which was first aired in 1972. The play written by Nigel Kneale follows a scientist looking for a new method of recording and the cast end up in a gothic mansion.

Of course these days ‘Stone Tape’ is thrown around all the time and is common place in explaining paranormal activity. I’ve heard many an investigator refer to it and I have too, but it’s still only a theory and one that still needs further work.

Rocks and Water

If indeed the Stone Theory has validity then the explanation will be found within the rocks and water at a location that could contain the probable ‘recording’. Interestingly enough there have been other theories in the world of science that have started to investigate the probability of whether or not rocks and water do in fact have the ability to record data of some description.

Logically speaking we do use these in the creation of the very technology we use to record data. So, perhaps there’s a possible reality of such to this theory.

I’ve seen some YouTube videos online regarding various research into water having a memory and capable of storing data in some form. In fact Nobelist Luc Montagnier has conducted extensive research into water memory in relation to carrying information via the electromagnetic imprint from DNA. So, the concept of ‘the memory of water’ is a real thing under investigation by scientist.

Of course water is everywhere, so the possibility of that water in the environment holding information that could relate to an event which then becomes our residual haunting, becomes a little more possible.

The Problem with the Stone Tape

The original theory or at least concept, often explains to us that the information becomes imprinted on the environment during an emotional event. This is usually associated with negative events such as murder, rape, fights, injury, etc. The belief being that those negative emotional events carry lots of human emotional energy which then allows the environment to be imprinted.

My immediate issue with this is that not all probable residual activity is negative as such and some isn’t even related to a death or injury. I believe it was Ghost Hunter Andrew Green that documented an event whereas residual activity was witnessed, but later discovered that th ‘ghosts’ in this event were actually still alive and used to live at the location where it occurred.

So, my issue then becomes the probability of information actually being localised to a location, as in actually recorded there. The explanation for the mechanism of how the recording may occur is lacking in my opinion. We need more on how the information generated during an event of any kind may become imprinted at a location and how it is stored exactly. This would require the successful repeated experimentation showing information imprinted to a location and then retrieved by an individual.

Another Angle on the Stone Tape

Personally through my own work I have a very different take on how this may work, but equally need to do more work on my own theory too. I believe its a likely example of telepathic interaction utilising the location as a trigger for connection to a collective consciousness. I know, my approach almost sounds even more far fetched right? Hear me out though!

If the location itself was enough for our unconscious mind to search the collective unconscious for that information. It acts as a trigger, but what’s important to mention is that all locations everywhere you go does this. Not special places, sorry. However some places have more out there in the collective unconscious than others. Especially if there are known pieces of information out there regarding the history.

The problem is as this information is received in an odd way as ‘memories’ say, it presents itself through our senses. Hence we see, feel, hear, steel, etc the information and our brain thinks the information is from our senses not the collective unconscious. Hence we believe we experience a residual haunting at the location.

Like I said it still needs a lot of work, but food for thought perhaps.

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The Metetherial Encyclopaedia – Ghost Ships

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Ghost Ships

What Ghost Ship Means To Most

Ask practically anyone what comes to mind when they think about the term ‘ghost ship’ and the answer generally takes one of two forms; a) the Mary Celeste, and b) the Flying Dutchman.

I asked a few actual people, including my parents and the top answer seemed to be the Mary Celeste. Which incidentally is rather interesting because in the case of the Mary Celeste there wasn’t a ‘ghost ship’ of such. In fact there wasn’t even a recording of a ghost sailor aboard the Mary Celeste. So, this raised the question regarding what a ghost ship was and possibly why it was.

The Mary Celeste

I’m not going to go into detail about the Mary Celeste case as that could be a post for another time perhaps. Suffice to say there have been many cases similar to that of the Mary Celeste whereby the ship was discovered with its crew missing.

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The Mary Celeste

The Mary Celeste left New York City on November 7th, 1872 under the command of Captain Benjamin Spooner Briggs bound for Genoa, Italy. However on the 5th December the British brig Dei Gratia spotted a ship adrift 400 miles east of Azores, which was later identified as the Mary Celeste. Captain David Morehouse was shocked to discover that the vessel was the Mary Celeste as it had left eight days ahead of him. On boarding the ship it soon became apparent that the crew were nowhere to be found. What added to this strange discovery was that the last log entry made by the Captain was on the 25th November at 5am close to the Azores. Whilst the Mary Celeste was discovered 400 miles east of the Azores ten days later.

The story of the Mary Celeste was soon picked up the world over and even Arthur Conan Doyle wrote a short story that probably added to the sensationalism of the case. It’s a mystery that inspires many even in more modern times.

However in the terms of a ghost the Mary Celeste just doesn’t quite fit. Granted it’s a mystery to which there are several theories, but the ship itself was very real and simply missing a crew. Yet we adopt this perception of the Mary Celeste as a ghost ship due to the mystery that is associated with it. Is it possible that this concept could be equally related to haunted buildings and objects?

The Flying Dutchman

Our second top answer was the ‘Flying Dutchman’, which most will probably remember from the recent movie series ‘the Pirates of the Caribbean’. However, this classical nautical tale refers (possibly) to the phantom vessel often seen in stormy weather off the Cape of Good Hope. Although it has been reported elsewhere too. It’s believed that the ‘Flying Dutchman’ actually refers to the Captain, rather than the ship, but that’s up for debate I’m sure. Legend has it that the crazy Captain threatened to sink his ship and all aboard should they turn around rather than battle the storm ahead and the terrible Cape of Good Hope. He even challenged the wrath of God by swearing an oath. Rather than die there was mutiny aboard, but the Captain killed the leader and threw him overboard. As the body hit the water the storm passed and a ghost appeared on deck. The ghost spoke, telling the Captain he was accursed, condemning him to sail the oceans for eternity with a crew of dead men. They would bring death to all that sighted them and never make port.

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The Flying Dutchman

There have been a few recorded sightings of the ‘Flying Dutchman’ and some even conform to its legend. July 1881 and HMS Bacchante spotted the ‘Flying Dutchman’ near Africa. Soon after the lookout fell from the mast and died. Around 1942 off the coast of Cape Town, four witnesses saw the ‘Flying Dutchman’ sail into Table Bay and then vanish.

The story of the ‘Flying Dutchman’ fits better into the concept of what I believe a ghost ship to be. It’s also a little cool and exciting to think that such a phantom ship could actually exist. Granted the evidence is very circumstantial and it’s more likely a case of Pareidolia than an actual ship being seen. However we must also understand that the story of the ‘Flying Dutchman’ would have acted as a good deterrent for mutiny years ago, but then developed into an excellent yarn years later.

Are Ghost Ships Large Haunted Objects?

Ghost ships are as much a part of the paranormal as haunted buildings and objects, in a way they help to create a link between the two. A ship can be as large as a building, but whilst at sea it’s as free to move as an object can. Perhaps our understanding of what it means to be haunted requires a little re-evaluation?

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The Metetherial Encyclopaedia – The Philip Experiment 

The Metetherial Encyclopaedia – The Philip Experiment 
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The Metetherial Encyclopaedia

The Philip Experiment

What was it all about?

Back in the 1970’s the Toronto Society for Psychical Research began what later became known as the Philip Experiment. The experiment was based on the view of the English researcher Kenneth J. Batcheldor that successful psychokinesis depends on the experimenters sense of belief and expectancy. In order to look into this theory a group of researchers led by Dr A. R. G. Owen and his wife Iris tried to create and communicate with a non-existent ‘Ghost’.

First, the group met up regularly to agree on the details of their ghost for the experiment. They wanted to create a life and back story for the ghost, which they named ‘Philip’. The group decided that he had been an aristocrat of the 17th century, whose mistress had been burnt as a witch, and had committed suicide after her death. One member of the group drew a portrait and another wrote up his biography. The entire group then spent some time memorising these important details.

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‘Philip’ from the Philip Experiment 1970’s

The group then used the classical séance room approach to attempt to communicate with the ghost of Philip. Initially this proved to be relatively unsuccessful.

Philip Starts to Communicate

However when the group approached with a more light-hearted method and a heightened sense of expectancy, things began to occur. At first this was in the form of raps and raps. Which they soon utilised as the standard ‘one rap for yes and two for no’, in order to ask questions.

The group used the addition of singing as a group to increase the physical activity and soon the table was moving, jumping up and down. This physical activity seemed directly related to the belief of the group and on one occasion when a member stated that ‘they made Philip up’ the physical activity ceased there and then.

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The Philip Experiment Group

TV Appearance Marks The End

In 1974 the group even took part in a half hour TV show for Toronto City Television where their table walked up three steps to a platform.

It was shortly after this TV appearance that the experiment was concluded as being successful and then terminated.

What Philip Taught Us!

This particular experiment raises a number of questions about the nature of reality and the implications of the experimenter effect. For me it also highlights the relationship between information, its availability through Telepathic Interaction and how we can manifest it into a form of reality. It also shows the necessity of belief in order to gain greater activity, also how that light-hearted atmosphere and increased sense of expectancy improved the results. Perhaps even our experience of paranormal activity is a manifestation into reality through our own beliefs.

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