Wednesday, April 30, 2008

JSE Archive Online

A few days ago, I reported that the Society for Scientific Exploration had made two recent volumes of their journal available online. It looks like that was just the tip of the iceberg, because the entire archive of the Journal of Scientific Exploration (1987 - 2006) can now be found at their website.

You can support the SSE by becoming a member, and receive 2007 issues in the mail. It's only $35 a year for students and $75 a year for associates. Any person who supports the goals of the society can become an associate.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

SSE 27th Annual Meeting

At the end of June, scientists and scholars from across the world will gather in Boulder for their annual national conference to discuss UFOs, ESP, consciousness, healing, and other topics on the frontiers of science. This will be the 27th annual meeting of The Society for Scientific Exploration (SSE), an international multi-disciplinary professional organization of scientists and scholars committed to the rigorous study of unusual and unexplained phenomena that cross traditional scientific boundaries and may be ignored or inadequately studied within mainstream science. The public is invited to join which, if past meetings are a guide, will be a lively event.

Science has yet to provide all the answers to all the questions that life on this planet raises. However, not many scientists are willing to look for the answers when the search defies conventional scientific methods. "The Society offers scientists a forum to exchange ideas on how to create new scientific methodologies to measure and assess these phenomena while adhering to objective and rigorous research designs. New paradigms need to be discovered in order for science to make a significant shift into the future", said meeting organizer, Dr. Dominique Surel.

Consider the work of Dr. William Bengston, a specialist in energy medicine at St. Joseph’s College in New York, who will present his research that shows lab mice bred for cancer research can be cured of tumors with daily hands-on, “intentional” healing as the sole method of treatment. When graduate students were trained to touch the mice for the purpose of healing via bioenergy, tumors shrank in 88 percent of the cases.

Speakers will include neurobiologist, Dr. Thomas Dykstra on “Protein Semiconductors in Relation to Insect Olfaction.” Dr. Dean Radin, Senior Scientist at the Institute of Noetic Sciences, will present “Gazing at the Mind's Eye” and discuss an experiment using the mind's eye to perceive a beam of photons, and an ongoing experiment to test if the mind's eye can influence the speed of light. Other topics will include remote viewing with Dr. Courtney Brown, Professor at Emory University and Director of The Farsight Institute, will present his research about Wheeler's delayed-choice experiment that demonstrates observation can influence macro behavior backward in time in the same manner as the behavior of quantum phenomena.

Dr. Joie Jones, physicist and Professor of Radiological Sciences at the University of California Irvine, specializes in medical imaging and ultrasound technology in the area of alternative and subtle energy medicine. He will be presenting: The Imaging of Acupuncture Points and the Characterization of Signal Pathways Using fMRI and Quantitative Ultrasonic Methods" with Dr. Young Bae who is also a physicist with formal training in Eastern medicine.

Other scientists will present research in the area of UFOs. Dr. Robert Wood, an Aeronautical Engineer and Physicist from Cornell will discuss the “Evaluation of Two Original-paper ‘Leaked’ UFO Documents.” Dr. Claude Swanson a physicist from MIT and Princeton will focus on out-of-body experience, time travel (both in consciousness and physical), levitation, telepathic communication, psychokinesis, and experiences in higher dimensions with lessons about the soul and reincarnation. Many of these phenomena cannot be explained by current physics, and call for a reconsideration of some of its foundational assumptions.

"This Meeting is a unique opportunity for scholars and the general public to meet and discover what research is being conducted at the edge of science. The history of scientific inquiry repeatedly demonstrates how many of the unexplained anomalies are now scientifically proven models and concepts from which new unexplained anomalies emerge and need to be explored", said Dominique.

Dr. Urban-Lurain, Director of Instructional Technology Research and Development at the MSU College of Natural Science adds that "SSE members are true-sceptics, pushing the limits of scientific inquiry, and even questioning science's own assumptions. Is it the edge or is it the fringe? It's a fine line."

The SSE is professional organization with 800 members in 45 countries. It publishes a peer- reviewed journal: The Journal of Scientific Exploration.

The conference is open to the public. Registration fee is $170 and $80 for students. There is a special SSE hotel rate of $99 if reservations are made before May 27. For additional information please visit

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Special JSE Issue Released

Peer reviewed scientific journals rarely devote an entire issue to the work or memory of one person. Ian Stevenson has been twice honored in this manner. In 1977 most of an issue of The Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease was devoted to his work. This month an entire issue of the Journal of Scientific Exploration has been devoted to his memory.

Ian Stevenson (1918-2007) was a distinguished scientist, professor, and chairman of the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Virginia, who is best known for his pioneering work in the scientific study of reincarnation, having collected and meticulously researched thousands of cases of children who, on their own, seemed to recall a past life. “Stevenson,” write psychologists Emily Kelley and Carlos Alvarado in their introduction to this issue, “was an extraordinary human being who put all of his immense capacities and energies to work on the most important question a person can ask: Who and what are we?”

The Spring 2008 issue of the Journal of Scientific Exploration features contributions on Stevenson and his work by a parade of philosophers, psychologists, and physicists whose lives were touched by this remarkable scholar. It also includes reminiscences by friends, colleagues, and a journalist, Tom Shroder of the Washington Post, who accompanied Stevenson on two of his last journeys in search of children claiming previous lives and who wrote a book on the experience called Old Souls. “Neither self-delusion, intentional fraud, peer pressure, nor coincidence,” writes Shroder, “could explain how the children Ian investigated could have known all that they knew about strangers who’d died before they were born.”

Ian Stevenson was born and raised in Canada, and studied at St. Andrews University in Scotland and at McGill University in Montreal, where he received an M.D. in 1943. He became an assistant professor of psychiatry at Tulane University in 1950, the head of the department of psychiatry at the University of Virginia in 1957, and the Director of the Division of Parapsychology (later renamed the Division of Personality Studies and then the Division of Perceptual Studies) in 1967. Before concentrating on the work for which he became best known, he carried out extensive studies of spontaneous telepathic experiences, on what would become known as cases of near-death experiences, as well as on cryptoamnesia, cases of apparent xenoglossy, “maternal impressions,” and certain types of mediumistic communications.

Stevenson’s first paper on reincarnation, published in 1960, came to the attention of Chester Carlson, the inventor of Xerox, who provided funds for further research on reincarnation and eventually endowed a chair for him at the University of Virginia. This allowed Stevenson and his colleagues to conduct field research on reincarnation in Africa, Alaska, British Columbia, Burma, India, South America, Lebanon, Turkey, among other places. Over a period of 45 years, he amassed reports of 2,600 individuals who recounted memories of places, experiences, events, circumstances, and individuals that provided evidence for “cases of the reincarnation type,” as he carefully referred to them. The children studied usually started recalling their past lives between the ages of two and four but would forget them by the age of seven or eight. Many had clear memories of their previous death, which was often violent. Stevenson published more than 200 articles and several books on his research, his magnum opus being the two-volume Reincarnation and Biology, which featured more than 200 cases in which children displayed often strikingly unusual birthmarks or birth defects that corresponded to wounds or injuries that killed the person whose life the child claimed to remember.

Stevenson, who retired in 2002, was a founding member of the Society for Scientific Exploration and exemplified the kind of scientist the Society was founded (in 1982) to encourage. The Society for Scientific Exploration is a multi-disciplinary professional organization of scientists and other scholars committed to the rigorous study of unusual and unexplained phenomena that cross traditional scientific boundaries and tend to be ignored or inadequately studied within mainstream science. Its peer-reviewed journal, the Journal of Scientific Exploration, is now in its 22nd year of publication.

To obtain a copy of this issue, contact Dominique Surel at

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Free JSE Volumes

The Society for Scientific Exploration has made available the complete volumes 19 and 20 (years 2005 and 2006) of their Journal for Scientific Exploration as free downloadable pdf's on their website. The JSE provides a professional forum for the presentation, scrutiny and criticism of scientific research on topics outside the established disciplines of mainstream science. These volumes contain many articles on parapsychological topics, as well as a number of book reviews (some of them written by myself). Thanks to Greg at The Daily Grail for the heads up.

2008 Joint PA and SPR Convention

The Parapsychological Association and the Society for Psychical Research will jointly hold their annual conventions on August 13-17, 2008 at West Downs Centre of The University of Winchester, Winchester, UK.

Registration begins on Wednesday evening (Aug 13) and the convention proceedings start promptly Thursday morning and continue through Sunday lunchtime. PA and SPR conventions feature papers and symposia on a wide range of experimental, theoretical and historical topics related to parapsychology, psychical research and the study of consciousness.

The banquet address (Saturday) will be given by Max Velmans, Emeritus Professor of Psychology at Goldsmiths, University of London.

PA President Roger Nelson, director of the Global Consciousness Project, will deliver the presidential address.

The convention venue is in one of Britain's most popular tourist destinations, the historic cathedral city of Winchester, England's ancient capital and former seat of King Alfred the Great. It is easily accessible by road, rail and air (via coach and rail links). Southampton airport is only minutes away by rail.

This convention will be the 51st annual convention of the Parapsychological Association, an international professional organization of scientists and scholars engaged in the study of 'psychic' experiences, such as telepathy, clairvoyance, psychokinesis, psychic healing, and precognition and is affiliated with the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

The Society for Psychical research, founded in 1882, is among the world's oldest scholarly societies and was the first established to examine allegedly paranormal phenomena using scientific principles.

For further information please visit or phone +44 (0) 207 9378984 (SPR).

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Redesigned KPU Site

The Koestler Parapsychology Unit at the University of Edinburgh has redesigned their website with updated information about their students, staff, and projects. Coming soon, the Unit will be hosting an online introductory course on parapsychology. There's lots of great information at the site, so check it out.

PhD Opportunity in Parapsychology

The Center for Research on Consciousness and Anomalous Psychology at Lund University is advertising a doctoral program in parapsychology under the direction of Dr. Etzel CardeƱa. Visit a description of the Center's projects at the PA website, where you can also download an application for the PhD program.