Syllabus for Exceptional People: What’s the Norm?
Fall 2, 2016 extending into Spring 1, 2017
Facilitator, Robert C. Krieckhaus
This is a listing of the video clips I intend to show in the order I intend to show them. The running times are given following the title and, usually, some explanatory material. Sometimes a lot. File locations are for me in case I need them. I give websites with these videos where I can. Please notice that you can access those websites yourself if you call up this page on the internet. You just click on the links (which will have a distinctive color) and your browser should take you there. The URL for this page is this:
But you only have to type in “olli.bobnotes.org/page24.html”. It may be easier, however, to just type in “bobnotes.org” and click on the OLLI icon that you will see and then navigate from the page that comes up to the Syllabus page. That’s how I do it.
Returning to the plan — I also intend to go with the classroom flow, perhaps omitting some of these items and perhaps introducing others as class attention and interest indicate. Participants, please feel free to email me suggestions at any time, and include links where possible. (firstname.lastname@example.org)
I hope we will not just watch these video clips one after another, but pause and reflect together on what they bring to mind for us. I’ve arranged them in pretty obvious groupings in what I think of as a progression. It’s a progression from easier to harder to believe. For most of us. The exceptional people eventually become extraordinary people.
From my experience with this class two earlier times, I know that we will be unable to finish all the items in this list in only six weeks of Mondays together. So I’ve arranged for a continuation of the course, I hope to the same time and place in the next term. That will be Spring 1, beginning January 30, 2017. I regret that I missed the deadline for the OLLI catalog for this term, Fall 2; thus this information was not in the course description and some of you may be distressed at this prospect. With good reason.
For me it’s the lesser of two evils, a situation in which we all find ourselves from time to time. So I’m going to stick with my plan. If any of you are enough troubled by this, I can make special arrangements for showings over the long break between Fall 2 and Spring 1.
So here’s the plan at present writing.
1-Amira Willighagen - O Mio Babbino Caro (Holland's Got Talent TV show) (Sweet, beautiful 9-year-old opens mouth and out comes Maria Callas. Self-taught from YouTube, but has a musical family.)
C:\Users\Bob Krieckhaus\Portable here hp\OLLI course files\01-Amira Willighagen - O Mio Babbino Caro - for English-speaking viewers 7M.mp4
Also, but 8 months later, with André Rieu in a grand setting:
She’s 12 now. Here’s her Facebook page: link. She’s still singing, of course. But in this link, from May of 2016, she and her brother show off their turtles for Turtle Day, in English.
1.01, 1.02, 1.03-Debbie Wald’s Poem contrasted with those of the kids in Miss Smyth’s class at Emerson Elementary School, Berkeley, CA. (Debbie was 9 when she wrote her poem. Miss Smyth’s class combines 4th and 5th grade students. Link to Debbie’s poem. Link to the original poem by the unnamed boy in Miss Smyth’s class. Note: the boy at the end reads Gwendolyn Brooks’ well-known (adult) poem, “We real cool.” Unfortunately, he drops syllables here and there and the kids don’t seem to get it. Link to her poem.)
8 minutes altogether
M:\OLLI course files\01.2-Debbie Wald poem 30sec.mp4
M:\OLLI course files\01.3-Debbie Wald poem context 2M.mp4
C:\Users\Bob Krieckhaus\Portable here hp\OLLI course files\01.1=Emerson 4-5 grade poetry slam 5M.mp4 Et seq.
2-Superior Autobiographical Memory (60 Minutes, Lesley Stahl) (Leslie interviews half a dozen people who can effortlessly scroll through their memories to find, for instance, what they had for lunch on June 6th, 1994. With whom, where. She finds astonishing ways, thanks to our TV culture, to confirm one person’s claim with video footage.)
G:\OLLI course files\02-Superior Autobiographical Memory 60 Min Lesley Stahl 26M.mp4
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2zTkBgHNsWM (part 1)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1th1fVIc8Vo (part 2)
3-Foreign Accent Syndrome (Australian 60 Minutes, 14 October 2012) (Three women fall ill one way or another and recover with unshakable foreign accents.)
G:\OLLI course files\03-Foreign Accent Syndrome 13M.mp4
4-Jill Bolte Taylor's Ted Talk (“My Stroke of Insight,” also her book title. Harvard neuroscientist, healthy at 37, has a devastating stroke that takes her into a strange super-sensual world of mystical union with her shower stall walls and the like. Also leaves her without speech or much usual understanding. Recovers fully and tells her story with humor and lots of insight. Her message is that it can be good for us all to find a way to that mystical union place.)
G:\OLLI course files\04-Jill Bolte Taylor's stroke of insight 20M.mp4
Dr Jill’s website: http://drjilltaylor.com/index.html
Her book-centered website: http://mystrokeofinsight.com/
A transcript of this talk can be found here.
05.1-Derek Paravicini on 60 Min with Leslie Stahl (60Min’s second treatment of Derek, blind from premature birth issues, mentally deeply limited except for brilliant and also incredible piano virtuosity. The appealing warmth of his human relations is also shown.)
G:\OLLI course files\05.1-Derek Paravicini 60 Min 2nd time 14M.mp4
In the Key of Genius: The Extraordinary Life of Derek Paravicini by Adam Ockleford, Derek’s teacher.
5.2-Musical Savant Tony Cicoria (An extract from a NOVA program on recently deceased Oliver Sacks’ book Musicophilia. This is a quick picture of Dr. Cicoria’s experience painted in terms of Dr. Sacks’ benevolent materialism. We get much more detail in the next videos from Dr. Cicoria himself.)
"C:\Users\BoB Krieckhaus\Portable here hp\OLLI course files\05.2-Tony Cicoria on NOVA 7M.mp4"
05.3-Tony himself on What Happened (Opening of the ITTV YouTube interview linked below in next entry.) (Dr. Cicoria himself speaks at length to an interlocutor who is highly receptive to the doctor’s spiritual-paranormal understanding of his experience. A long, slow and detailed accounting of what happened. That includes an out-of-body experience that turns him slowly into an orb of blue energy and takes him to the oft-reported fields of ineffable love. He reflects on the philosophical implications of this experience.)
G:\OLLI course files\05.3-Tony himself What Happened 17M.mp4
05.4-Tony on Where the music comes from (same interview, later) (About three-months after the lightning experience, which led him to purchase a piano, listen intently to a Chopin collection and begin teaching himself to play, Dr. Cicoria has a dream of watching himself play piano in a concert hall. He realizes that he is playing his own music. The next morning, when he sits down at the piano, the same music plays in his head. Finally soliciting the help of a teacher, Tony learns both to play the piano and write down the music he continues to hear in his head. At 8 minutes into my edited video he says that all the great composers and many not so well-known say that the music comes from the aether or the collective unconscious or from God. He has found that he “can tune into a frequency where the music exists.” This music often just plays in his head. The piano music comes in blocks. About a symphony he says, “It felt like an entire file had been downloaded into my head.” He shares some philosophical reflections again.)
G:\OLLI course files\05.4-Tony on Where the music comes from 14M.mp4
https://youtu.be/ceEAe7s6zrM (part 1 of the 7=part ITTV interview; parts 2-7 available at this site as well)
6-Musical Savant Derek Amato (Smile TV, I Am Savant) (Derek at 40 is horsing around with his buddies and bonks his head in the swimming pool. Five days later he sees a keyboard in a friend’s flat and feels drawn to touch it. He does this and finds he can play it well. But he has never played the piano before this. He hears a symphony wherever he goes. This is original music. And he sees black and white squares moving through his consciousness from left to right. His fingers attempt to keep up with this. He plays several other instruments now and has devoted his life to charitable endeavors.}
G:\OLLI course files\06-Derek Amato I Am Savant 12M.mp4
A news story on Derek:
7-Math Savant Daniel Tammet (British TV docu, The Boy with the Incredible Brain) (Daniel had seizures when young, showing moderate autism of the Asperger’s sort and rapidly developing into a math and language savant. His story is fascinating and flabbergasting. For me the fact that he sees numbers as colorful shapes is the central idea of interest. He now lives a normal life (if that makes sense for one with such powerful gifts) and can explain what goes on in his consciousness as he, say, learns Icelandic in a week or recites Pi to twenty some odd thousand digits. Or multiplies large numbers and finds primes. He does this as effortlessly as the Superior Autobiographic Memory people find the past or the musical savants hear music — he doesn’t memorize Pi to any number of digits; he just watches it roll by in his mind’s eye and calls the digits out. This film includes a lovely encounter between Daniel and Kim Peek (the Rainman himself) in Salt Lake City.)
G:\OLLI course files\07-The Boy with the Incredible Brain Daniel Tammet 47M.mp4
8-Jaytee -- a dog who knew when his owner was coming home. (We watch an Austrian State Television kind of NOVA that shows Jaytee getting up and going to the door to wait for Pam Smart, his owner, as she is told by the TV folks some miles away that it’s time to go home now. But the dog has been the subject of hundreds of tests of this sort by his owner and Rupert Sheldrake. This is a nice illustration of what Jaytee, now passed on, used to do quite regularly. Many people report pets that do something like this.)
G:\OLLI course files\08-Jaytee A dog who knew when his owner was coming home 6M.mp4
There is a public dispute over this dog that I give extensive treatment to in links provided in item 8 of the Supplemental Materials page.
9-N'Kisi reads his owner’s mind and converses with Jane Goodall. (As she walks in the door, N’Kisi, who has never seen her before except in books and videos, says,“ Hi Jane. Got a chimp?” Then to make clear what he means, he does a very good imitation of chimpanzee talk. This parrot uses correct grammar and, really, reads his owner’s mind. You’ll see.)
G:\OLLI course files\09-N'Kisi Jane Goodall Sheldrake 8M.mp4
Additional materials on this Sheldrake page.
10-The Animal Communicator The Animal Communicator is a film narrated and edited by Swati Thiyagarajan of India about Anna Breytenbach, a well-known animal communicator from South Africa. It also prominently features John Young, a master tracker from the US, and Jurg Olsen, an ex-policeman turned conservationist and caretaker of the Jukani Predator Park in South Africa.
We see Anna walk among difficult, even dangerous baboons who accept her as one of the family even though she is unknown to them. They stroke her hair and kiss her eyes. She visits a special zoo and correctly states information about a parrot and a monkey that she could only know via collusion with the film makers or the zoo staff. Or perhaps by telepathy with the animals themselves. But that isn’t it. It’s the lovely spirit of this woman as she connects with the animals in natural settings beautifully captured by the film makers. OK, the mind reading is important, too. There is a scene with John Young on tracking that intersperses scenes of native Africans and Americans talking about tracking. And then there is the black leopard at the end who would like to know what happened to the two cubs who were confined with him in the zoo where he was caged before this, and wants his name changed.
Anna says, “I’ve studied the ancient skills and I’m so passionate about awakening a sense of communicating with animals in us modern humans. I’m dedicating my life to this because I believe that humanity is suffering from a great separation sickness.” The film manifests the health that arises in nature especially around Anna’s open, loving presence, but also that of John the tracker and Jurg the caretaker. Keep hankie handy.
G:\OLLI course files\10.0 -The Animal Communicator 52M.mp4
Link to the full documentary on YouTube.
10.1- Dr. MacGregor’s Hutton's Vireo (From Dr. MacGregor’s presentation at the Tucson Final Transition Conference in 2016. Following the death of first her mother and then, shortly afterwards, her father, Dr. McGregor is visited at her window by a Hutton’s Vireo. The bird flutters up and down her bedroom window, “every morning for five months,” trying to get in. She, the doctor, decides to visit an animal communicator. Wouldn’t you?)
C:\Users\BoB Krieckhaus\Portable here hp\OLLI course files\10.1 - Dr Betsy MacGregor Hutton's Vireo Story 8M.mp4
https://vimeo.com/ondemand/finaltransition/149943706 (rental for her entire speech)
10.2-Energy Healing Wolf The wolf is called Apricot and lives at Earthfire Institute wildlife sanctuary & retreat center. They call in an energy healer to work on an incurable neurological disorder, an inflamed spine of unknown cause. This returns us to the themes of Anna Breytenbach.
E:\Portable\OLLI course files\10.2-Energy Healing Wolf 6M.mp4
11-A dog with a special talent Fox News clip (The dog is more than blind; its eyes have been removed. You’d never know it.)
G:\OLLI course files\11-A dog w a special talent Fox News clip 2M.mp4
12-Blindsight (This short video is available as part of a Dutch medical study linked below.) “In 2003, a patient known as TN lost use of his primary visual cortex, area V1. He had two successive strokes, which knocked out the region in both his left and right hemisphere. After his strokes, ordinary tests of TN’s sight turned up nothing. He could not even detect large objects moving right in front of his eyes.” (Wikipedia, linked below.) Interestingly, the patient (a Nigerian doctor) reacted in appropriate visceral ways to photographs of ugly, horrifying scenes placed directly in front of him. (Turning away in disgust.) It is also of great interest to realize that the blind doctor, who had not been told he was being given an obstacle test when he was asked to walk down the hallway, “after navigating through the hallway… reported that he was just walking the way he wanted to, not because he knew anything was there.”)
Lest we conclude there is something spooky going on here, the New York Times wants us to know there is a perfectly materialist explanation:
Scientists have long known that the brain digests what comes through the eyes using two sets of circuits. Cells in the retina project not only to the visual cortex — the destroyed regions in this man — but also to subcortical areas, which in T. N. were intact. These include the superior colliculus, which is crucial in eye movements and may have other sensory functions; and, probably, circuits running through the amygdala, which registers emotion. (NYT Article below linked.)
G:\OLLI course files\12-Blindsight - Blind man can see and avoid obstacles 1M.mp4
13.0-Third-Eye Girl (I should provide pads and blindfolds for us to try out.) (Another nine-year-old girl, Yogamaatha, from India. She has studied at rather great expense in a program run by a very popular Indian guru, how to activate her third eye. I’ve watched (some of) a video of some of his (all young) students passing a test reading blindfolded on a stage with the master and a number of other brightly-dressed and confusingly non-Western people as judges and assistants. The ever-smiling master looks on benevolently from the side. It appears to be a kind of graduation. There was only one blindfold used and a lot of cranking the head back. But Yogamaatha may be the real deal.)
G:\OLLI course files\13.0-Third-Eye Girl 9M.mp4
Another case of Yogamaatha reading, this time a computer screen and various hand-held devices: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zScEEKk73w4
Report from a different source (New Zealand) and a different girl. http://www.nzherald.co.nz/rotorua-daily-post/news/article.cfm?c_id=1503438&objectid=11488248
13.5-In the Beginning There Was Light (This is a study of inedia, the condition of living on nothing but air – no food, no water or other liquids. Despite appearing to contradict the law of conservation of energy/matter, the film is very persuasive and comes highly recommended by three people for whom I have the highest respect and regard. (Rupert Sheldrake, Amit Goswami and Dean Radin.) The topic is treated in some depth with references to scientific sources in Rupert Sheldrake’s book, Science Set Free on pages 77-80.
The film was produced by an Austrian, PA Straubinger, who documents his study of people going foodless (not always without water though) in Switzerland, Australia, Austria, Germany and, most dramatically, in India. In Germany he finds and interviews a medical doctor who is still practicing inedia and has permitted two different hospitals to study his practice under experimental conditions, always on the condition that the results of their studies be published. Oddly, both hospitals refused to live up to their promise after he successfully demonstrated his radical fasting practice. After being challenged, one of them eventually relented and published a paper.
The Indian practitioner is subject to another hospital scrutiny, which he also passes with flying colors. In his case, having been advised by a goddess as a child to undertake inedia, he claims to have been doing without food or liquids for about 70 years. Relatives confirm his story and he is widely honored by local people for his devotion to the goddess.)
C:\Users\BoB Krieckhaus\Portable here hp\OLLI course files\13.5-In the Beginning There Was Light 90M.mp4
14-Remote Viewing section of Renée Scheltema's docu Something Unknown Is Doing We Don’t Know What (I’ve extracted 15 minutes from this very professionally produced documentary that feature the topic of remote viewing. They begin with Nancy Meyer (who in another interview I found on YouTube states that she has assisted police in 775 murder cases) telling how she helped police capture a couple who kidnapped an infant. She sits at home and looks and listens through the eyes of the child.
After this comes Hal Puthoff, a notable physicist presently at UT Austin. He narrates his early 1970’s experience at the Stanford Research Institute where, after some initial successes in remote viewing with the psychic and artist Ingo Swann, the CIA suddenly appeared at his doorstep and initiated with SRI their (SRI’s) well-known work on the Stargate project. Basically, this used remote viewing to spy on the Russians. Plenty of stunning details here.
This selection from SUIDWDNW ends with another well-known researcher into remote viewing, Stephen Schwartz, who recalls an effort by a college class he taught to view Sadam Hussein as he would be when found by American forces.)
G:\OLLI course files\14-SU-2 Clairvoyance 15M.mp4
15-Joe McMoneagle interview (cut from What If It Really Works? video interview by Chuck and Karen Robinson) (McMoneagle is one of the best-known military remote viewers. He worked directly for the Army, not for SRI. I provide this monologue filled with detail to emphasize the strange fact that remote viewing as done by SRI, the Army and others that I have checked into, is done without the remote viewer knowing what the target is that he is viewing. However, in the clip just before this, we will have noticed that Stephen Schwartz and his class knew their target (Sadam Hussein) when they went to work on it. So did Nancy Meyer, of course. However, in the work at SRI described by Hal Puthoff, it was the other way around. The remote viewers did not know their targets. Neither did the assistants who recorded their viewing sessions.)
9.40 (using only 3 minutes of this)
G:\OLLI course files\15-Joe Moneagle 10 min of interview 10M.mp4
16-The Moment JFK Died Remote Viewing the Afterlife (From Courtney Brown’s Farsight Institute in Atlanta. Dr. Brown is a professor of applied mathematics in the Department of Political Science at Emory University. He has written scientific papers and one book on how remote viewing may be understood in terms of modern physics, and he has established this non-profit institute for training remote viewers and producing a wide selection of both popular and scientific remote viewings. He works out of the original SRI tradition, strictly double-blinded projects in which the remote viewer is entirely ignorant of the target he or she is viewing.
This particular selection was produced by one of the two main viewers used by the Farsight Institute, Daz Smith. It serves to explain this kind of remote viewing (and advertise the Institute) and to highlight a particular portion of the commercial Farsight project (The JFK Assassination) that was omitted in final production. In this portion of that original work, Daz finds himself following the consciousness of JFK from his state of happiness in the limousine directly into the afterlife. This was a first for Daz.
This production strives to be persuasive by being (to me) rather boringly inclusive of all the viewing that Daz speaks and draws on a whiteboard live before a video camera set up in his home in England. However, by doing this, he does give us a very good feeling for how remote viewing works in practice. And, of course, we get the whole context of his reading and do not feel that cherry-picking is going on.
Of special interest is the very organized and specific manner in which Daz works. You will see that he is following a procedure that requires him to use abstractions to describe events (terms like “energy/motion, explosive here” instead of “gunshot to the head”) and it takes him painfully long to conclude “death event” instead of just saying something like, “Golly! This is the JFK assassination!” He explains at the opening of this video why he does this, and why they teach their remote viewers to do it. This is, to paraphrase, to keep their mind in its special open mode rather than let it fall into our usual mode of ego-based conclusion drawing. It seems to be something like the effort to keep monkey mind away in meditation practice.
C:\Users\BoB Krieckhaus\Portable here hp\OLLI course files\16-The Moment JFK Died
17-Opening and Telepathy section of SUIDWDKW (See my Something Unknown synopsis on line here: http://olli.bobnotes.org/page9.html. I should also print this out for the class.)
G:\OLLI course files\17-SU-1 Open Various 29M.mp4
18-Psychokinesis section of SUIDWDKW
G:\OLLI course files\18-SU-3 Psychokinesis 20M.mp4
19.01-Psychic Healing section of SUIDWDKW
G:\OLLI course files\19-SU-4 Healing 18M.mp4
19.1-Laurin Bellg’s story: Until I Met Warren
C:\Users\BoB Krieckhaus\Portable here hp\OLLI course files\19.1-Laurin Bellg - Until I met Warren 6M.mp4
(The above link is to the entire 55 minute talk Dr. Bellg gave at the Monroe Institute in February of 2014. I have extracted the “Until I Met Warren” from it.)
Dr. Bellg is an ICU/critical care physician from Wisconsin who began asking her patients after operations and other traumas, when she was finished with the usual interview procedures, if they had anything else interesting to report. She has an excellent blog here and has just published a collection of her patients’ tales of near death as Near Death in the ICU.
19.2-Dr. Raymond Moody on the shared death experience
C:\Users\BoB Krieckhaus\Portable here hp\OLLI course files\19.2-Shared Death Experiences - Raymond Moody, MD, PhD.mp4
Dr. Moody speaks at a Buddhist retreat center about the shared death experience and his early encounters as a medical student and resident with other medical health workers and their experiences at the side of the dying. This was in the 70’s when best practice was to shield close family members and friends from the actual moments of their loved ones’ death.
I use this short video as a transition to the following material, which confronts us pretty much directly with the afterlife itself. It gives me an opportunity to let Lee Ridgway of our class share an extraordinary photograph made by a friend of hers at the moment of her husband's passing.
20.0-James Leininger (James III) (An ABC Primetime treatment of one of the most persuasive cases of reincarnation. There is a book on him that the parents published, Soul Survivor, with many more details. There are also many other videos of him on YouTube. Reincarnation is my bridge to the next section, on life after death. )
G:\OLLI course files\20.0-Reincarnation - Airplane Boy (ABC Primetime) 14M.mp4
20.1-The Extraordinary Gwen McDonald Reincarnation Case (I got to this YouTube from the Afterlife Report of Victor and Wendy Zammit, June 3rd 2016. The Zammits state this about the case:
Psychologist Peter Ramster says he was able to hypnotically regress Gwen Mcdonald to more than eleven previous lives. One memory, of a life in Somerset England around 1770, was particularly vivid. Dr. Ramster asked Gwen to accompany his film crew to England where she was taken blindfolded to the area she claimed to remember.
G:\OLLI course files\20.1-THE EXTRAORDINARY Gwen McDonald Reincarnation Case.mp4
21-The Afterlife Investigations at Scole (See my synopsis of the docu online at http://olli.bobnotes.org/page10.html. I wrote up the following detailed expansion of materials in the docu after reading The Scole Experiment by Grant and Jane Solomon. The film itself goes so quickly through so much, it is easy to come out of a little more dazed than informed.
A documentary from UFOTV on a five-year-long series of about 500 separate sessions lasting several hours each and conducted in Scole, England. Although many people visited the sessions from time to time (including scientists from the Society for Psychical Research over a two-year stretch) they were consistently maintained by two trance mediums and two long-time psychic investigators. These are Diana and Alan Bennett, the mediums, and Robin and Sandra Foy, the investigators in the basement of whose home these proceedings usually took place. However, the spirit team that the four are working with requests that they take their show on the road from time to time, and they go as the foursome to Germany, Italy, Spain, Switzerland and the US during their five years. There, and in towns in England as well, the Scole group lets the spirit team demonstrate their various manifestations for the purpose of persuading the audiences that the spirit world is real. This is the stated purpose of the spirit team, not of the Scole group.
The manifestations include
• verification-enabling information for visitors in the cellar or the public spaces
• levitation of small objects (but sometimes larger)
• appearances of many light-emitting orbs that dash about the darkened spaces rather like sparklers on a Fourth of July night
• bouncing these orbs off tables and then passing them through tables, entering and leaving the bodies of some sitters and sometimes effecting healing
• causing a glass bowl to become transparent to the hands of one of the group and then returning the bowl to its normal impermeable state
• speaking for months and even years as consistent personalities with a consistent voice and verbal mannerisms via the mediums in trance
• doing the same as voices in the room not via the mediums directly
• appearing as hands and sometimes whole arms that touch, pinch and poke the sitters in the cellar or in public settings
• appearing (rarely) as whole bodies
• carrying on sustained and sensible conversations with those present, including with scientists about their specialized knowledge
• calling for specific experiments to be conducted, experiments that they (the spirit team, the ghosts) vary from session to session in order to gain better control over their results
(The experiments include several with still cameras, video cameras, and film unopened in its original packaging. New film in the package is developed immediately after a session in special instant developing machines donated by Polaroid Land. It shows extensive markings that include poems in German and English unknown to anyone in the room at the time, phrases in Greek, Sanskrit, Chinese and other languages, photographs of famous people and unknown people, strange shapes and colors without any representational significance, electrical diagrams for improving certain experiments, initials and signatures that match originals in libraries, and variants on a particular William Wordsworth poem that can only be verified as such by visits to original manuscripts in a library at Yale University.)
• causing an angel to appear of the usual Christian variety, complete with wings and flowing robes
• manifesting a small UFO whizzing about in the cellar
• dropping over a hundred different apports out of the dark onto the table or floor. (These include fifty-year-old London papers, papers from the war time that should be yellowed and dried almost beyond reading by now, but are fresh like new papers. A specialized laboratory confirms the chemical constitution to be that of the 40’s.)
The Scole group (meaning the four regular humans mentioned earlier) invite the Society for Psychical Research to investigate their happenings, and the SPR sends over several scientists to study them. The SPR works with the spirit team for two years and concludes that the manifestations are real and not man-made.
This short documentary cannot begin to do justice to the complexities of a five-year experiment, and I found on first viewing that I missed the rather stunning fact that the five-years of investigations involved an ongoing intercourse between the four humans and a team of ghosts. The spirit team has a consistent composition of four or five people/spirits who become good friends with the Bennetts and the Foys. (Perhaps more the Foys since the Bennetts are in trance most of the sessions and come out of trance with no recollection of what has transpired.) At the same time, the spirit team talks with and sometimes brings to meeting a considerable variety of other spirits. There is, for instance, a spirit camera team.
If you want to get a better grasp of what is going on in this film, it will help to read The Scole Experiment by Grant and Jane Solomon. In their book they quote fairly extensively from the tape-recorded conversations between the spirit team and the Scole group. Of course, they also detail many more strange happenings in the cellar and abroad. Robin Foy has now published his long personal account of the five years called Witnessing the Impossible, but it is not easily available on Amazon, at least, where only two used copies at high prices could be found on 5-18-2016. He speaks of his intentions in writing the book and also summarizes the five years from his perspective at this webpage: http://www.survivalafterdeath.info/articles/foy/scole.htm
I don’t see how it is humanly possible for this five-year experiment as reported in the film and the book to be hoaxed. It may have small inaccuracies here and there (although I am not aware of any) but I am unable to imagine a conspiracy of any number of normal human beings on Earth that could produce these events in their entirety at all. This is not just a séance with a table levitating in the dark. Consider the scope, variety and consistency of it all.
It looks like we are confronted with (at least) two sets of humans, one here on Earth and the other in some other place or dimension after their normal time on Earth expired. The spirit team is relentlessly attempting to persuade the normal humans on Earth that their spirit realm is real and that we normal humans are headed there when we die. It is not easy for them to do what they are doing. In the Solomon book you can read that their chief reason for undertaking this work is their desire to help us down here live happier and more lovingly responsible lives. They think we would shape up if we knew the shape of things to come.
Unmentioned in the film is why the spirit team stopped working with the Scole group. It can be found in Chapter Eleven of the Solomon book. Briefly:
Then, late in the evening of Monday 23 November 1998, some five years after the Scole Experiment began, Robin phoned us [the authors, Grant and Jane Solomon]:
I have some troubling news. The team has told us we have to shut down operations with immediate effect. A personality from the future is interfering with the interdimensional doorway every time we open it. He is experimenting with a crystalline time-probe and his motives are not entirely benevolent. The [spirit] team has made efforts to overcome this problem, even to the extent of consulting specialists in time and space in the other realms. They have not been successful and are therefore under pressure to close the doorway. All the work will cease for the time being.
Solomon, Grant; Solomon, Jane. The Scole Experiment: Scientific Evidence for Life After Death (Kindle Locations 3489-3496). Campion Books. Kindle Edition.
G:\OLLI course files\21-THE AFTERLIFE INVESTIGATIONS The Scole Experiments - FEATURE.mp4
22-Calling Earth (One of the producers of the Scole Report, Dan Drasin, went on to make this very thorough investigation of the wide variety of after-death communications using human devices such as TVs, cell phones, cameras and audio recorders, and called instrumental trans-communication or ITC. It is available to stream without charge on Vimeo (see link below). I have removed the last part of it because it repeats material from the Scole Experiment documentary.)
C:\Users\BoB Krieckhaus\Portable here hp\OLLI course files\22 - Calling Earth minus Scole 1H26M.mp4
23-The Life After Death Project (A personal film study by Hollywood film writer and director Paul Davids of the after death communications he receives when his long-time friend, mentor and inspiration, Forrest J Ackerman, dies. (No period after the “J.”) Ackerman was a legendary Hollywood figure who centered his life around movie monsters and science fiction. He, like Davids, was strongly atheist in his religious views. Both appear to have changed their views now.
Davids, as a film maker himself, has plenty of video equipment in his home to start using when he notices strange intrusions into his personal life – like the appearance of a printed page on his bed when he comes back from taking a shower in his home. That’s with no one there but him, and the house locked. Furthermore, the particular page printed out for him has a name highlighted in such a way as to suggest the typical punning humor of Ackerman. Thus begins a fascinating series of ADCs (after death communications) that Davids and others receive from his friend Ackerman, three or four of which he manages to catch live on camera. As they happen, that is.)
I don’t find this one on line as a video, but here is an audio interview with Alex Tsakiris “on how Forrest Ackerman continues to communicate after death”: link.
Paul Davids (with scientist Gary Schwartz) has published a detailed book on the topic as well, An Atheist in Heaven.
Time permitting, I may bring in any number of similar materials. We’ll see. We also want to allow time for sharing personal experiences.