Friday, November 29, 2013

Using Hate to Hurt Others

I felt compelled to write the following statement:

Most people involved in some facet of the paranormal will occasionally experience 'haters' or receive venom from those who feel obligated to cause trouble. These annoyances are usually benign and not worth any mention. But in some instances, parties will play a dangerous game in order to extract vengeance. Simply stated...the involvement of innocent others.

For the past few days, I have been mulling over an exploit, by a supposed spirit advocate, to deliberately frighten one of my clients. The action was very electronic message that read "I think you and your sister need to contact me very soon for your own sakes..."

Upon receiving the message, my clients responded "is everything OK?". The answer was "can't talk at the moment girls, am in a meeting but can you go on Skype tomorrow about 5 your time?" This spirit advocate had previously worked with my clients, so they knew who this person was.

I was immediately contacted by the frantic victims. The cryptic message was enough to send my clients, who have been preyed upon by a malevolent entity for several years, into a familiar emotional panic. This time they were being preyed upon by the living.

I attempted to alleviate their fear, but the damage had already been done. Someone had intentionally used my clients as pawns...delivering their twisted version of retribution in order to somehow injure me.

How does someone react to such brutality? I expressed my disgust by email and electronic message...but never received an answer. I ask can anyone feel justified by taking out their frustrations on blameless others? Lon

“Hate, it has caused a lot of problems in the world, but has not solved one yet.” ― Maya Angelou

Using Hate to Hurt Others - Phantoms & Monsters

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Grace Sherwood: The Witch of Pungo

More than 300 years ago, a series of strange events struck old Princess Anne County, Va. farmers.

Cotton plants withered. Cows' milk dried up. Husbands' eyes wandered from their wives.

Who was to blame? According to the local women, Grace Sherwood.

The farmer's wife knew a little too much about herbs, was a little too pretty and wore clothing that was a little too tight, according to local historians. So they accused her of witchcraft.

A judge ordered Sherwood to be tried by ducking. So on July 10, 1706, with her thumbs tied to her big toes, Sherwood was ducked in the Lynnhaven River.

The street leading to her ducking spot now carries her legend as Witchduck Road.

"It's named after Grace Sherwood's ducking," said local historian Deni Norred, who co- wrote "Ghosts, Witches and Weird Tales of Virginia Beach." "She was the first person tried by water in Virginia for witchcraft."

Sherwood escaped her bonds and swam to safety, which the court considered proof of her devilish dealings. The day's wisdom dictated that an innocent woman would have sunk, Norred said.

Sherwood served several years in jail before returning to her three sons. She lived to be nearly 80 and died at her farm in Pungo around 1740.

Witchduck Road isn't the only landmark named after Sherwood or her trial. There's also Witch Duck Bay, Witch Duck Point, Witch Point Trail and Sherwood Lane.

Eight years ago, Gov. Timothy M. Kaine exonerated Sherwood. A bronze statue at Sentara Bayside Hospital, located on the corner of Independence Boulevard and North Witchduck Road, honors her legend.

But according to local stories, that legend isn't quite over. Some say Sherwood returns to visit her ducking spot every July and can be seen as a spot of light dancing on Witch Duck Bay.


Grace Sherwood's Story

Early court records tell the tale of Grace Sherwood, who was tried in 1706 as Virginia Beach's first witch. Unfortunately, there are no existing images of Grace. Her story is perhaps the most fascinating of the folklore in the history of Tidewater. Witchcraft was a very serious and real thing to the colonists. The cult was believed to be a threat to the Christian Church, and everyone during the early 1700's was on the lookout for witches, who could be recognized by so-called unusual or mysterious behaviors.

Grace lived her entire life in the Pungo area of Virginia Beach (named for Indian chief Machiopungo), and married James Sherwood with whom she had three sons. She was said to be strikingly attractive, string-willed, and a non-conformist by nature. These traits were resented by her neighbors, who began spreading rumors about her witch-like behavior. She was accused of blighting gardens, causing livestock to die, and influencing the weather.

After eight years of constant slander and bickering by her neighbors, Grace was formally charged with suspicions of witchcraft. A jury of women were ordered to search her body for suspicious or unusual markings, thought to be brands of the devil himself, and naturally the jury found, "marks not like theirs or like those of any other women." However, neither the local court nor the Attorney General in Williamsburg, would pass judgment on declaring her a witch. It was finally decided that Grace, "by her own consent, be tried in the water by Ducking, (dunking)." Water was considered to be the purest element and the theory was that it would reject anything of an evil nature. Based on this theory, the accused was tied up and thrown into the water. If the person drowned, he was declared innocent of witchcraft; if he could stay afloat until he could free himself, he was declared a witch.

On July 10, 1706, Grace was marched from the jail (which located near the present day site of Old Donation Church) down the dirt road (now Witch Duck Road) to the Lynnhaven River. This portion of the river has since been named Witch Duck Bay in memory of the occasion. This being a big event, hoards of people from all over the colony flocked to the scene as news of the Ducking had spread throughout the Commonwealth.

Grace Sherwood was tied crossbound with the thumb of her right hand to the big toe of her left foot, and the thumb of her left hand to the big toe of her right foot, and thrown into the water. As predicted by her accusers, Grace managed to stay afloat until she could free herself and swim to shore. She was jailed and awaiting trial for witchcraft for nearly eight years, when the charges against her were dropped due to the softening of her accusers hearts, and she was set free. She moved back to her Pungo home and lived there until her death at the age of 80.

Many stories have been told and retold over the years about this most remarkable woman. One of the many tall tales that have been handed down from generation to generation has to do with the day of her ducking. When they led Grace Sherwood through the crowd that had turned out to see her put into the water she told them, "All right, all of you po' white trash, you've worn out your shoes traipsin' here to see me ducked, but before you'll get back home again you are goin' to get the duckin' of your life." When they put Grace into the water the sky was as bright blue as a bird's wing, but immediately afterward it grew pitch black, the thunder rolled and the lightning flashed all across the heavens. The terrified people started for home, only to be washed off the roads and into the ditches by a regular cloudburst. - / /


ca. 1660 - Grace White is born to John White, a carpenter, and his wife, Susan. Though the exact location of her birth is unknown, it is likely in the Virginia Beach area.

ca. 1680 - Grace White marries James Sherwood, a farmer. They will have three sons: John, James, and Richard. John White, Grace's father, gives his son-in-law fifty acres of land.

May 11, 1681 - The will of John White, father of Grace Sherwood, is proved. White leaves all of his land to his son-in-law James Sherwood.

1698 - James and Grace Sherwood sue John and Jane Gisburne and Anthony and Elizabeth Barnes for defamation and slander. The Sherwoods allege that both couples accused Grace Sherwood of practicing witchcraft.

September 1701 - By this time, James Sherwood has died. His wife, Grace, never remarries.

December 12, 1705 - Grace Sherwood sues Luke and Elizabeth Hill for assault and battery. Sherwood wins the case and is awarded twenty pounds sterling.

January 1706 - Luke Hill formally charges Grace Sherwood with witchcraft.

March 1706 - In response to Luke Hill's charge of witchcraft against Grace Sherwood, the Princess Anne County Court impanels a jury of women, including Elizabeth Barnes, to search Sherwood's body for witch's marks. The jury finds two marks, and Sherwood is ordered to jail to await trial.

July 10, 1706 - Grace Sherwood undergoes a water test to determine whether she is guilty of the charge of witchcraft. Sherwood floats, indicating her guilt, and once ashore is examined for witch's marks. A jury of women finds two marks. Sherwood is imprisoned and ordered to undergo another trial. It is unclear whether the second trial ever occurred.

September 1, 1708 - Grace Sherwood pays a debt of 600 pounds of tobacco to another colonist.

1714 - Grace Sherwood petitions the secretary of the colony for restoration of her property to her. He grants her the 144 acres that the Sherwoods inherited from Grace's father, John White, in 1681.

October 1, 1740 - Grace Sherwood's will is proved. Her son John Sherwood is the executor of her will and inherits most of her land and her belongings.

1973 - Louisa Venable Kyle publishes a children's book, The Witch of Pungo. Her short story of the same name revives Grace Sherwood's popularity in southeastern Virginia.

July 10, 2006 - Three hundred years after Grace Sherwood was found guilty of witchcraft by water trial, Governor Timothy Kaine pardons her. During an annual reenactment of Sherwood's trial, Virginia Beach mayor Meyera E. Oberndorf declares July 10 to be celebrated henceforth as Grace Sherwood Day.

2007 - A bronze statue of Grace Sherwood, sculpted by Robert G. Cunningham, is placed in front of Sentara Bayside Hospital in Virginia Beach. -

Witchcraft Myths in American Culture

Mysteries and Legends of Virginia: True Stories of the Unsolved and Unexplained (Myths and Mysteries Series)

The Witch of Pungo and other historical stories of the early colonies

Monday, November 25, 2013

Living With 'Shadow People'

Here are a few anecdotes I've received over the years that reference 'shadow people' and related entities. My brief synopsis of these beings is that, for the most part, these are malevolent spiritual entities who seek out the living...especially the weak and the vulnerable. I once thought that they were strictly earthbound, but there may be instances where these entities have moved within our earth plane and other dimensions. They are described has human shaped, sometimes wearing a hat ('Hatman' entity), and are rarely seen except for fleeting moments. They usually make themselves known to children, especially at night, while watching them sleep. These entities CAN KILL. They possess the ability to excrete the 'life force' from the living over an extended period of time. Please read the following experiences and take heed...if you are encountering these beings, seek help!

Hello Lon - My experiences took place in the early 80's in Toronto, Canada, and just like the fellow writing of his experiences on your site, mine also took place in a very old house. The house then was at least 75 yrs old and has since been razed to the ground and a brand new structure built in its place. When my family moved in there we experienced the same sort of events, arguments, abusive situations, strange phenomena but not to the point where we all noticed it right away. In fact my younger brother was a skeptic up to the point where things began happening to him as well. I think he took this attitude to allay the fears he must have had. Our father moved out of the house after the first year and away to another part of the country so just the three of us were left. At one point we had family come and live with us before they too departed.

My experiences began with an event I will never forget when I was 16. It was summer and I had difficulty sleeping. This went on for one month approximately. Then one night I had fallen into a light sleep when I was violently awakened. I recall hearing a sound that I thought was an explosion and thinking that our stove must have exploded in the kitchen below me. I opened my eyes and looked around the room in the darkness but saw nothing to indicate anything was happening. Suddenly my bed began to shake violently up and down and it felt as though I was being electrocuted through my solar plexus. I couldn't move but I could see my feet moving as the bed was jumping up and down. Some objects rose up off my dresser and shot towards the bed I thought they would hit me as they approached with such speed. In fact they stopped suddenly and began to swirl around in a counter clockwise direction above me and from the center of this swirl a bright white light appeared and some voices which were like high pitched shrieks or nails on a black board said quite clearly. "The message we bring is to tell the people he is still alive." And then everything stopped suddenly. I was terrified and basically thought I would end up in a nut house. I remember shaking from fear so much I could barely get out of bed. I made my way to my mom's room to tell her about it at which point she assured me I was having nightmares. Say your prayers and go back to sleep she said. I returned to my room after an hour or more but I couldn't sleep. It was a long time before I could sleep there in fact.

The next event happened the following January. I was coming home very late one night and decided to take the short cut through the alley way by our street. I passed a parked van with windows all around and I saw a movement in the van which made me feel somehow by its shape, size and response that it was doberman someone had left outside in their van. I kept walking but the thought pestered me that someone should leave their dog out in mid winter in the night. So I went back to the van cautiously peering in but there was nothing at all. Not even a cushion or anything hanging from the ceiling. Ok I thought I guess I imagined it. I happily kept walking home and when I was in the alley I suddenly heard footsteps behind me in the snow. I got a little freaked out and when I turned my head I didn't see anyone there. As I got to the end of the alleyway and turned onto my street I looked back to the entrance to see if anyone was following me. What I saw shocked and terrified me. There was a streetlight right at the corner and in the pool of its light was standing this enormous creature. It was at least 8 feet tall and huge. What struck me was that its form was completely black, there were no reflective surfaces on it whatsoever. In fact the light was shining directly on it and it seemed to absorb that light. It had large things on its head which I took to be horns or ears and its fingers ended in points like claws and the feet as well. Its eyes were red completely and staring right at me. I don't think my feet touched the ground I ran so fast.

After that experience I had a few others with the same creature. Another night I came home late again and I fell onto my bed after shutting the door just wanting to fall asleep. My cat was in the bed with me when we both heard a voice laughing in the room. A masculine voice. My cat freaked out and ran to the door scratching and miaowing loudly to get out ,I opened the door and she took off. I just didn't want to believe anything was in there with me so I pointedly turned my back to the rest of the room and went to sleep. Another night I turned over and opened my eyes early in the morning and there was the same creature , smaller though, standing in front of my closet staring at me. I recall I got really mad and told it to eff off and turned around and went back to sleep. Meanwhile my brother had seen the exact same creature but his had yellow eyes. He confided the story to me years later when we had left the house and had no knowledge of my experiences. He told me he had awakened early one morning and found that he had left the light on in his room, thinking that he should get up and turn it off he turned onto his back and opened his eyes and there sitting on his bed's headboard was the same creature, talons on feet and hands, completely black with no reflective surfaces, but his was he said about 4 ft tall and squatting on the headboard staring at him with yellow eyes. He said he was terrified and decided not to turn off the light after all. I don't remember if he said it vanished quickly or if he shut his eyes and when he opened them it was gone. He said he never saw it again but had other strange experiences in that house.

One day we decided that we should trade rooms. So I moved all my stuff out to his room and vice versa. I teased him and said he'd have to share my room with a visitor but he was disbelieving. After I had moved to his room I had my last experience in that house that was in the shadow people realm. I woke up one night to a sound in my room like rustling. I was wide awake because I thought it might be a mouse. I switched on my lamp and looked toward the other end of the room but seeing and hearing nothing I lay down again with the light still on. I turned to look at the clock and saw that it was 2:20 am then I saw these two large globes of light beyond my night stand. I was frozen up on one elbow because I had been about to turn out my light again. They moved in a way that reminded me of balloons falling. The larger of the two was golden yellow in colour and the smaller was blue. They looked like spheres lit from within and emanating a misty light from their forms. I somehow could sense that they were intelligent. They knew that I was looking at them and they wanted me to see. The larger golden one floated almost majestically to the door whereupon it flattened to a pancake shape in under half a second and slipped under the door. The second smaller one followed along and did the same. I was very nervous and scared at that point but only because I had to go to the bathroom and this meant I had to go out into the hallway where they had vanished to. Our hallway was very dark and without a proper light as the house was old and not renovated very well. I waited for as long as I could which was about 15 minutes and then I cautiously opened my door and went. The hallway was pitch black so my plan was to inch my way to the bathroom with my back to the wall so nothing could sneak up on me and once I got there I could turn on the bathroom light to illuminate the hallway. I followed my plan through and as it turned out when I turned on the bathroom light it shone down onto the stairs and the first landing. In the light were two shadow people. I've only ever thought of them that way because there was no other way to describe them. They looked like shadows, only they were in the light. They didn't look like the other creatures I had seen, in fact they looked like people in the sense that they had a head and arms and legs and torso and hands. They threw up their hands as though in surprise, like I'd caught them unexpectedly and then they flew down the stairs without a sound. It took me a long time to come out of that bathroom as I didn't want to encounter any of these things again.

Unlike your other poster, these creatures never touched me, at least to my knowledge and never tried to hurt me. Although they did scare the dickens out of me. I recall telling these stories to people years later in other parts of the world and hearing similar tales and wondering just what they could be. Somehow we don't seem that much closer to knowing. I would conjecture though that as is the case with plant and insect life here we certainly haven't got all the facts in yet. Perhaps these creatures share the world we live in but in a different way and we have learned to ignore them or pretend they don't exist. Maybe they are trying to tell us they do exist. Perhaps like us there are those with good intenetions and those with not so good intentions. Its my opinion that we are getting closer to the truth everyday.

A side note here: I read a book a year ago called 'Initiation' by Elizabeth Haich in which she distinctly mentions the shadow people and the effects they caused in the lives of people she knew including her own son prior to WWII. If this is true then perhaps these are beings who've been with us for a very long time. Then again if they are time travellers then all things are possible.

Sincerely, Pema


Hi, Lon, just wanted to tell you what I saw recently. I was out in my back yard, sitting a little bit off my back porch. It was warm, but there was a really nice breeze that night. I had shut off our outside security light, and I was just sitting in a lawn chair, enjoying the breeze. It was around 11:30 at night. Our next door neighbors are on vacation, and I've been watching their house for them. They live on the corner, and there is a street light at the edge of their property that lights up their yard really well. The only part that is mostly dark is the side of their detached garage. The streetlight is so bright that even with my security light off, it lights up half of our property. (We have a double lot.)

I was looking at the sky, when I noticed something moving out of the corner of my eye. I saw what I thought was a person squatting down, then getting up and moving around my neighbors trash cans that are on the dark side of the garage, towards my home. I watched for a few minutes as what I thought was a person kept moving around. I had my cell phone, and I pulled up the number of the local police department so I could call them if this person looked like they were out to rob my neighbors. The shadow began moving, and it went past the garage into the light I realized with horror that there was no person attached to the shadow, it was just a big black shadow. It was much larger than a real man would be, around 7-8 feet tall. (Our neighbor is 6'6, and I see how tall he is up against his garage, and whatever this was was at least a foot taller than him, maybe a bit bigger.)

I gasped out loud, and it turned towards me. I was so scared that I couldn't even move. The shadow suddenly started lurching through the neighbor's yard, like it was coming for me. I jumped up off the chair, got tangled in it and fell. I glanced over at this thing as I tried to get up. It seemed as if the noise stopped it for a second. I jumped up and ran right into the house. Our door has a window, and as I was shutting the door, this shadow thing appeared in the yard right next to the overturned chair. It stood there for a few moments, and I swear it was actually looking at me, even though it had no facial features. Then it suddenly took off, and vanished from the part of the yard I could see. My husband died 4 years ago, and I live with my 14 and 19 year old daughters. They were watching TV, so I snuck past them upstairs and looked out all the windows. I didn't see this thing anywhere in the yard. I stayed upstairs for a while because I knew by looking in the mirror that I looked like a crazy woman and I didn't want to scare my daughters. I didn't tell them what I saw, because I didn't want them to be scared too. I didn't sleep much that night, nor Saturday or last night either! I don't know what this was, but it scared the heck out of me! Terry


Hi...For a couple of years now I've been experiencing some strange things. For the last eight years I've lived in Cape Town, South Africa. The last three years, I shared a flat with my then girlfriend until she moved out and I was left all by myself. I had a feeling that the flat was haunted as I kept getting these weird feelings that we were not alone.

One night I was convinced that I heard someone walking through the flat, my ex didn't hear anything, although you are able to hear the people putting the switches on and off downstairs in their flat, you can tell the difference between walking and the switching off lights on and off. One day I had a friend over for dinner and she was standing in the doorway, and told that she had just seen a woman floating through the lounge through the wall leading to the bedroom, I never saw her. Then two nights in a row at midnight, my TV came on all by itself on a channel I don't watch and the volume was on 30, which is to loud too watch. I checked the timer and the it wasn't set as I never set the timer on the TV.

I'm now living in Mauritius, married and happy, but two years ago my step-father passed away, and I'm seeing more and more Shadow People. I don't why and the thing is I don't feel scared at all, even with the earlier experiences that I have mentioned. But one night, I was sitting at the PC surfing the net, and put everything off, in the doorway leading outside I saw the shape of something, a partial white outline of something in the doorway. It was definitely not a reflection, that was the first thing I checked, then I went to the lounge and was standing behind the couch and heard this voice whisper something in my ear. I couldn't make out whose voice it was, I turned but there was no one there except me.

After turning everything off I started going upstairs and felt this cool breeze brush past my leg, I looked down and nothing. Another time I had a fight with mother, and went to surf the internet, now I'm positive that in the corner of my eye I saw someone walk up to me, I just ignored it, and carried on staring at the PC. A bit later I turned around and there was no one there, all that time I thought it was my mother.

In all the things that have happened 9 to 10 times I'm not scared at all, but definitely curious. I have also found out that there are some haunted houses around where I stay, so I will try and investigate and let you know what I get, pictures and video footage if possible.

Regards, Paul


Hello - Shadow people are some of the most menacing and frightening entities around. I believe they are of a demonic nature. Not only do these dark shadowy figures cause anxiety and terror but often enjoy terrorizing people in their beds. Most shadow people are not alone but have partners in crime. The shadows that terrorized me were never alone. Sometimes my bedroom would be filled with dozens, big and small. Some could touch me. These shadows would pinch me. It wasn't till I was maybe about age 9 that I finally told my parents about these entities and it caused quite a stir in my family. As usual my parents thought I was suffering from nightmares and suggested I eat less before bed time.

Without fail these Shadows returned every night. It wasn't until one night I couldn't stand hearing their laughter that I resisted their powers to make people catatonic or in a paralyzed state that the reality of the situation was no longer a joke to my Mother as my bed began to shake violently as if a giant hand was shaking it. I jumped out of bed and ran so fast that I don't even remember running to my Mom's room. I jumped on her bed in the dark and her bed started shaking too. She held me in her arms as she prayed out loud to God and slowly the shaking resided. By the end of the month we moved out of that home.

Now this is what I gathered from that experience. One; That house was extremely old. I don't know if that had anything to do with it. But there was a bad vibe there from day one. A lot of crazy things happened there with my family fighting all the time. Never in the history of my family had there been so many arguments and cases of domestic violence and abuse. Two; besides fights and arguments there was a vibe of mischievousness. When I played in that house it was almost as if all of us were in some kind of altered state, like some kind of dimensional trance. A good example of this was the movie ET where the kid gets aroused in the class room and he starts releasing the frogs. Yeah! I can't remember the whole thing. Let's just put it this way, I guess I went through intense puberty there. I remember having bad thoughts all the time. I remember my best friend Diana flirting with me and acting mature, but only in the house. When we played outside she was a normal kid. I swear this house had some effect on people's feelings and whatnot. The strange thing is that I don't remember much of my childhood in the house as I remembered most of my childhood in school or playing outside. I remember being cruel to my pets. I was never like that but I became a bad kid in the house. Outside I was quite normal.

The strange thing is that we moved about 5 blocks away from that house into a new apartment and I thought things were back to being normal for almost half a year with no incidents. No fights between Mom and Dad, when we all got together it was fun again. I noticed it right away the vibe change. I noticed that the old house was really dark inside. Half a year passed when I had my last incident one night.

It was early, maybe 2:30am I had woke up to use the restroom and I was maybe about 10 years old. I remember laying down in the bed and getting comfortable when I felt my bed got shoved from one side. At first I stood still as I thought maybe it was an earthquake. It passed and I played it off as just my imagination. As I began to fall asleep I had the sensation of being cold and clammy so I covered up. I felt feverish and I felt a small pinch on one of my toes. I became frightened as I looked around in the dark and saw 3 black outlines around my bed. The Shadows were back!

I became paralyzed as I screamed for help, I'm still not sure if I did try but nothing came out or if I imagined screaming out. The point is, I was freaking screaming! I felt some cold weight on my chest as I became face to face with one of these entities. Still paralyzed it looked me right in the eye and this is what I saw. It's eyes were black as black velvet and evil looking, but the outside rim of it's eyes was black line yellow line, black line yellow line all around the outside perimeter of it's eye in a pattern and it moved counter clockwise motion. It's two other Shadow friends had red and the other full yellow eyes. It was unreal as they all burst out in this wicked laughter and vanished and never bothered me like that again.

Shadow people can move objects and touch people. I believe they can physically hurt people. There are theories that Shadow people are alien beings. Some claim they are travelers from a different dimensional plane. Professor Stephen W. Hawkings has talked about shadow people being a real possible phenomena. Millions of people have had similar experiences and even video footage, photos of this phenomena. You are not alone, but the best we can do is share our experience and hope to learn as much as we can about this. I'm sorry about the sloppiness of my writing and spelling but hope that you can have a heads up to this strange phenomena. Good luck..Carlos

Darkness Walks: The Shadow People Among Us

Encyclopedia of the Unseen World: The Ultimate Guide to Apparitions, Death Bed Visions, Mediums, Shadow People, Wandering Spirits, and Much, Much More

Shadow People Who are they and where do they come from?

Saturday, November 23, 2013

In Search Of Ultraterrestrials

A portion of the Dead Sea Scrolls and the Book of Enoch

Our perception of subspace beings does not begin and end on our planet or in our plane of existance. It can include those unknown entities, either non-corporeal or of solid matter, that we describe and refer to as alien beings.

On October 30, 1938 the global uneasiness with alien beings began. That was the day Orson Welles narrated his adaptation of H.G. Wells’ novel ‘War of the Worlds’ over the Columbia Broadcasting System radio network. The ‘news bulletin’ style simulation created a panic so widespread that nearly 2 million listeners believed it to be factual. Later in 1947 there would be a reported, later denied, crash of an unknown craft in the New Mexico desert. Then the USAF started ‘Project Blue Book’, a bit of ‘window dressing’ that would possibly ease the public uncertainty as well as coax the Soviets into thinking that U.S. spy planes were actually UFOs. Thousands of sighting reports and science fiction films later, the public fascination with alien beings had been heightened to the point where people are demanding that governments disclose all information in reference to UFOs and the non-human entities that fly these craft.

I may have asked this question more than I would admit but “why do people think that these unidentified flying objects are of such concern?” The answers I generally receive are that these may be precursors to an invasion or that the aliens are arriving in small groups in order to gather information before they take over the planet. Most times, I just nod in agreement and change the subject...not that I total disagree with their assessments but more concerned that they aren’t seeing the big picture.

Over the years I have been fortunate to have investigated individuals’ claims of alien entity abduction and infestation. Some of those cases have been documented on my 'Phantoms & Monsters' blog, especially when evidence suggested some validity to the claims. In almost all cases the witnesses want to remain anonymous, at least at the initiation of the inquiry. Despite what most people think, I have not met one witness who wanted to cash in on their experience. There may have been some consideration later but that is usually because producers of paranormal television programming hound witnesses until they relent...then the final product is rarely factual. But that’s another story.

The word ‘extraterrestrial’ simply means ‘not of or belonging to Earth.’ In that context, it can be defined as any life form or inanimate object that is not from our planet. In the modern vernacular it is simply understood to represent life forms that do not originate from Earth. So I guess the next question is “have the extraterrestrials ever come to Earth?” I think it’s safe to assume that alien life forms have found their way to Earth but I truly doubt they arrived by space craft. For the most part I agree with much of the ancient astronaut theories until the argument centers around mode of transportation.

It’s very difficult to determine when these early beings arrived on Earth but there is some evidence to suggest that it has been a process that has continued for many thousands of years. I suppose the earliest testimony of these non-humans making contact with man have come from the Hebrew Bible and, in particular, the Book of Enoch. The first part of Book of Enoch describes the fall of the 'Watchers', the angels who fathered the Nephilim. The first section of the book depicts the interaction of the fallen angels with mankind. The fallen angel Sêmîazâz, of apocryphal Jewish and Christian tradition that ranked in the heavenly hierarchy as one of the Grigori, compels the other 199 fallen angels to take human wives to "beget us children.”

"And Semjâzâ, who was their leader, said unto them: 'I fear ye will not indeed agree to do this deed, and I alone shall have to pay the penalty of a great sin.' And they all answered him and said: 'Let us all swear an oath, and all bind ourselves by mutual imprecations not to abandon this plan but to do this thing.'. Then sware they all together and bound themselves by mutual imprecations upon it. And they were in all two hundred; who descended in the days of Jared on the summit of Mount Hermon, and they called it Mount Hermon, because they had sworn and bound themselves by mutual imprecations upon it."

This results in the creation of the Nephilim:

"And they became pregnant, and they bare great giants, whose height was three thousand ells: Who consumed all the acquisitions of men. And when men could no longer sustain them, the giants turned against them and devoured mankind. And they began to sin against birds, and beasts, and reptiles, and fish, and to devour one another's flesh, and drink the blood."
"And Azâzêl taught men to make swords, and knives, and shields, and breastplates, and made known to them the metals of the earth and the art of working them, and bracelets, and ornaments, and the use of antimony, and the beautifying of the eyelids, and all kinds of costly stones, and all colouring tinctures. And there arose much godlessness, and they committed fornication, and they were led astray, and became corrupt in all their ways. Semjâzâ taught enchantments, and root-cuttings, Armârôs the resolving of enchantments, Barâqîjâl, taught astrology, Kôkabêl the constellations, Ezêqêêl the knowledge of the clouds, Araqiêl the signs of the earth, Shamsiêl the signs of the sun, and Sariêl the course of the moon."

Michael, Uriel, Raphael, and Gabriel appeal to God to judge the inhabitants of the world and the fallen angels. Uriel is then sent by God to tell Noah of the coming apocalypse and what he needs to do. After this, God then commands Raphael to imprison Azâzêl:

"Then said the Most High, the Holy and Great One spoke, and sent Uriel to the son of Lamech, and said to him: Go to Noah and tell him in my name "Hide thyself!" and reveal to him the end that is approaching: that the whole earth will be destroyed, and a deluge is about to come upon the whole earth, and will destroy all that is on it. And now instruct him that he may escape and his seed may be preserved for all the generations of the world."
"the Lord said to Raphael: 'Bind Azâzêl hand and foot, and cast him into the darkness: and make an opening in the desert, which is in Dûdâêl (Gods Kettle/Crucible/Cauldron), and cast him therein. And place upon him rough and jagged rocks, and cover him with darkness, and let him abide there for ever, and cover his face that he may not see light. And on the day of the great judgement he shall be cast into the fire. And heal the earth which the angels have corrupted, and proclaim the healing of the earth, that they may heal the plague, and that all the children of men may not perish through all the secret things that the Watchers have disclosed and have taught their sons. And the whole earth has been corrupted through the works that were taught by Azâzêl: to him ascribe all sin."

A Grigori 'Watcher'

God gave Gabriel instructions concerning the Nephilim and the imprisonment of the fallen angels…then commands Michael to bind the fallen angels:

"And to Gabriel said the Lord: 'Proceed against the biters and the reprobates, and against the children of fornication: and destroy [the children of fornication and] the children of the Watchers from amongst men [and cause them to go forth]: send them one against the other that they may destroy each other in battle"
"And the Lord said unto Michael: 'Go, bind Semjâzâ and his associates who have united themselves with women so as to have defiled themselves with them in all their uncleanness. 12. And when their sons have slain one another, and they have seen the destruction of their beloved ones, bind them fast for seventy generations in the valleys of the earth, till the day of their judgement and of their consummation, till the judgement that is for ever and ever is consummated. 13. In those days they shall be led off to the abyss of fire: (and) to the torment and the prison in which they shall be confined for ever. And whosoever shall be condemned and destroyed will from thenceforth be bound together with them to the end of all generations."

These fallen angels, according to the text, were sent to Earth as ‘Watchers’ or ‘Watchmen’ in order to observe and protect mankind. Instead, these ‘Watchers’ corrupt and impregnate their charges resulting in hybrid offspring. The situation results in a war instigated by the Archangels and fought between the ‘Watchers’ and their offspring. The ‘Watchers’ are then imprisoned for a specific period of time...then led off to the underworld.

It’s a great story….but how much of it can be considered as truth? One might inquire as to the identity of ‘God’ in the Book of Enoch. Is there an ultraterrestrial supreme being who can be everywhere and see everything at all times? It’s an interesting concept…it certainly would answer a lot of questions. Did this same supreme being also create mankind as prescribed in Genesis as well as manifest on Mt. Sinai? Is it possible that we are children of an ultraterrestrial? I’m not saying that we should or should not consider the Hebrew Bible or the Book of Enoch as trustworthy but I do think that there may be a connection that is conceivably accurate.

The early Babylonians and Egyptians depicted and worshiped supernatural winged beings that ascended to Earth. The Greeks and Hebrews called these winged beings ‘messengers of God’. Eventually the combination of Old English and French resulted in the word ‘angel’. These angels have been depicted in the modern religions as winged human-like entities who delivery the word of God to his children on Earth. Well, the angels may be delivering messages but it’s not by the power of winged flight….that’s if you believe in the Bible. The Bible never describes angels with wings…or any other means of transportation.

Now, let’s get back to the discussion of alien beings. Though much of the evidence is anecdotal, word of mouth, ancient text, etc., a sensible argument can be made for the existence of an ultraterrestrial entity presence. When I state ‘ultraterrestrial’ I refer to those beings who have been here, who continue to reside here and who can easily manifest here without the use of flying craft. There is a multidimensional condition to these ultraterrestrial currently transpires and will continue to commence in the future.

How can I prove this theory? I can’t...and I’ll be the first to admit it. The ultraterrestrial hypothesis has been proffered by paranormal researchers for several years and seems to be the most plausible and persuasive argument that encompasses all known reported cases of high strangeness. The only suggestions I can offer are those I have posted above and, more importantly, those perceptions within my heart, conscience and intellect.

The Authentic Book Of Ultra-Terrestrial Contacts: From The Secret Alien Files of UFO Researcher Timothy Green Beckley
Ultraterrestrial Contact: A Paranormal Investigator's Explorations into the Hidden Abduction Epidemic
OPERATION TROJAN HORSE: The Classic Breakthrough Study of UFOs
The Lure of the Edge: Scientific Passions, Religious Beliefs, and the Pursuit of UFOs
Personal Witness Accounts

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Why Do We Have Paranormal Experiences?

My impression as a reasonably well-educated, well-read and thoughtful person is that one of the main forces by which human beings have been driven throughout our relatively short tenure on planet Earth is – sheer curiosity.

Trying to enlarge our perspective to encompass that which we do not understand, or know how to use – eg fire, so that it can become an aid to our survival and/or an addition to the joys of living – has led us to the complex, sophisticated and comfortable way of life to which those of us living in the West have grown accustomed. We are now going to have to channel our curiosity in the direction of surviving the consequences for our planet of that very lifestyle, which has begun to consume us all….

From this perspective, it may be that the purpose of paranormal experiences – since the eighteenth century dawn of the Age of Reason – is to challenge our curiosity to take us beyond the world of the evidence of the five senses, which conventional science tells us is the only world that exists, into an understanding and appreciation that reality, whatever it may be, is vaster, richer and more complex than our Earth-bound brains are probably ever capable of comprehending.

Some paranormal experiences can be deliberately induced by going into meditative or trance-like states. For example, whether one believes or not that mediums relay information from the ‘Other Side’ via the communicative spirits of those who have died, there is no doubt that the phenomenon of mediumship exists, through which information can be transmitted paranormally. This has been comprehensively researched and thoroughly documented for well over a century.

However, even the best mediums have occasions when, try as they might, the ‘Other Side’ is simply not co-operating. Even although humans can induce states favourable to the paranormal manifesting itself, there is no guarantee that it will.

Other paranormal experiences simply descend without warning. This has been the case, for example, with every single one I have ever had. Far from trying to induce such occurrences, had I known how to block them I certainly would have done so! Life in its ‘ordinary’ register is quite complicated enough, in my view, without seeking to make it more so….

There is undoubtedly a ‘tricksterish’, tantalising, highly unpredictable element to paranormal manifestations across the board. This is one of the many reasons why the measured, sensible, thorough and logical procedures of reductionist science simply cannot fully come to grips with the paranormal.

Furthermore, although such experiences are common enough to be provocative of a range of responses from outright credulity to outright, rage-filled denial, vast swathes of the population across the world have never been troubled by such occurrences. I am sure not to be the only person to think at times that, as Shakespeare so memorably put it in King Lear:

“As flies to wanton boys are we to the gods…” 21

Provoking our curiosity by tormenting our species, unpredictably but persistently, with experiences clearly outwith our current common consensus of what reality is, strikes me as a pretty good way of enabling the evolution of human consciousness at this stage in our development. Whether one considers that this provocation is driven by blind chance, or by some form of divine teleology, is a matter of opinion or belief. How could one ever prove it, one way or the other?

From a personal point of view, the drive to understand why we are here and what our lives are for, allied to a profound curiosity about just about everything, has certainly powered my journey through life. I am basically a rational pragmatist in my approach. But I got to my fifties, a time when anyone with any reflective capacity begins to look back at their life experiences and patterns, in an attempt to make some sense of it all.

I had to face the fact that a series of experiences had accumulated over the course of thirty years which I had largely kept to myself. Why? Because they did not fit the parameters of what our culture defines as normal. But memories of these experiences did not go away because I had tried to ignore their existence. They simply lurked, permanently provoked by my refusal to attend to them.

Furthermore, a career I had never aspired to in my wildest dreams, ie that of being a professional astrologer, had been correctly predicted for me in my twenties – following a chance encounter with a complete stranger – when I was not at all receptive to, or welcoming of, that type of information.

My first Horoscope
Through my studies of astrology I discovered a universe replete with correspondences, and saturated with meaning. I embarked on those studies for one major reason: the notion that you could read the significant patterns of a person’s life from marks on a piece of paper set my innate curiosity, and my rational pragmatism, a challenge I simply could not resist.

By deciding properly to investigate a subject which I couldn’t believe could have any value, but which in practical terms had demonstrated great accuracy about me and my life, I opened up a great adventure for myself and for many students and clients who joined me on the road. Dismissing the whole thing, with the kind of closed minded fundamentalist prejudice which gives true science a bad name, would have closed the adventure down before it ever began.

The conclusion I came to, long before my 2001 health collapse stopped my career in its tracks, was that astrology is another form of physics, revealing as quantum physics does the dance of universal energies of which we are all part. But astrology causes grave offence to conventional minds, by moving from mapping the movement of patterns of energy through space/time within our solar system – via mathematical calculations no astronomer could fault – to ascribing meaning to those patterns….

Another reason for psi/paranormal experiences may be that, especially in some cases, they compellingly demonstrate the relationship between the micro world of individual humans and the macro energy field of which we are all part.

The intuitive experience of mystics through the ages and the experimental data of contemporary scientists converges in the understanding that all things are connected, each tiny particle part of and interacting with the One, – or the Quantum Vacuum / Zero Point Field if you prefer the terms of quantum physics.

On surveying all my paranormal experiences, there are three which stand out as the most powerful.

These are the first, in July 1970 when I was visiting my paternal grandparents’ grave for the first time. From this arose an experience of universal grief at the pain of the human condition, channelling through the personal.

Then there was the mystical experience I had in autumn 1971, newly in love and responding to the timeless sound of the pipes in a beautiful natural setting at dusk, making me feel a blissful, fearless part of all Creation.

And most recently, in September 1999 the seeming attempt by my mother-in-law’s spirit to communicate something of great urgency for her to my husband, startled me even more by giving rise to the collective ‘babble’ of apparent spirit voices attempting to use me as their channel.

Their collective nature is what makes those three so striking. 22

At the time one is too caught up in the power, drama and sheer unexpectedness of such events to have any perspective at all. It is only on reflection – and I have reflected on those episodes intermittently for a very long time – that the full impact of their very strange, alien and disturbing nature registers, and the ‘why me?’ question arises. The only answer I can come up with after thirty years is ‘why not me?’.

(My horoscope provides me with a very clear answer, symbolically. But you wouldn’t want to know about that, now, would you?!)

I am left with the somewhat unsettling sensation that my small person, for reasons entirely beyond my ken, functioned briefly in those episodes as some kind of collective instrument. Despite the unnerving nature of two out of the three, and their disturbing effect, they also left me over time, especially through the mystical experience which was a great comfort and inspiration, feeling clearly that I was a tiny but unique part of something vast.

This feeling, despite all my struggles with a naturally sceptical bent, has never left me. I have thus been able to draw on it for comfort in some very bleak and painful times in my life. It has also helped me to come to terms with one of the central paradoxes of all our lives : “I am special, and I am not.” At every level in nature, the minute can provide us with glimpses of the vast – in which everything, no matter how small, has its unique part to play.

Those experiences, which I have come to regard as precious, have shown me that, as journalist Lynne McTaggart, author of The Field: The Quest for the Secret Force of the Universe puts it:

“We are not isolated beings living desperate lives on a lonely planet in an indifferent universe. What we do and say is critical in creating our world. You are and always were part of a larger whole.” 23


21 Act 4 scene 1, line 36

22 These three are the only ones so far which I have submitted for publication: all have been published in the UK and the USA.

23 Lynne Mc Taggart’s ‘Living the Field’ course – on cutting edge science and spirituality – Lesson One p 4

© Anne Whitaker 2010 - Reprint permission granted to Phantoms & Monsters / Astral Perceptions

Sunday, November 17, 2013

What Causes Paranormal Experiences?

It is important to emphasise that I was what one might call sound in body and mind at all times when those experiences occurred!

I had no mental health problems, and was leading a productive life, holding down responsible jobs and earning a steady living, with normal relationships and friendships.

It would thus be inconsistent with the overall conditions of my life to put any of my paranormal experiences down to mental health difficulties, which can produce delusions or psychotic episodes. For five years during the 1980s, I worked in psychiatric hospitals as part of a mental health team, so am conversant with the conditions which can trigger mental illness and what its manifestations can be.

I do not know the primary cause of paranormal experience any more than anyone else does. But I have come to some conclusions regarding the more obvious, immediate triggers by reflecting on my own thirty-seven experiences and finding that almost all of them, and in particular the most dramatic, had clearly identifiable common factors.

Those were that I was in transitional states in my life and/or away from home in the UK, or abroad in unfamiliar environments. In Part Five: Mediumship – Lagos, Portugal 1992 and Funchal, Madeira 1999 - I had additionally been under considerable stress prior to departing on holiday.

Intriguingly, eighteen of them, and the vast majority of the ones I experienced as the most powerful, occurred in the autumn. Perhaps as the light of day recedes in the Northern hemisphere, the light of rational consciousness weakens, making the intrusion of other types of consciousness into one’s ‘normal’ reality more possible….?

Under these circumstances in which my ‘normal’ context was disrupted, it would appear that I was therefore more susceptible to ‘jumping’ or eliding from one state of consciousness to another, where I crossed ‘normal’ boundaries and experienced states or events which according to the canon of reductionist science, could not have happened.

It is interesting to note that of those manifestations which could not have happened, over half of them were witnessed or shared by my husband Ian, one of the most reasonable and rational people one could imagine.

In reflecting on what consciousness, apparently capable of level and shape-shifting, could possibly be – not a question which the best minds in history have ever answered either! – I have come to the view, based on reading and experience, that consciousness is a property not of the human brain, but of the universe as a whole:

Physicists spot shape-shifting neutrinos

and there are, as Stuart Holroyd so succinctly puts it:

“...different experiential realities...accessible to different states of consciousness”(16)

The whole of our history past, present and future is in some way which we do not yet fully grasp, part of this universal consciousness. Quoting Ervin Laszlo again:

“...At the cutting edge of the sciences, a new concept of the world is emerging. In this concept all things in the world are recorded and all things inform one another. This gives us the most encompassing vision we have ever had of nature, life and consciousness...”(17)

The ancient concept of the Akashic Record states that there is a “cosmic reservoir of information and memories”(18) storing records of everything that has ever occurred, which can supposedly be accessed by gifted psychics, for example Edgar Cayce, the ‘sleeping prophet’.

Technological sophistication has now evolved to the point where anyone on Earth with a computer and a phone line, broadband or WiFi can very easily, via search engines, access a vast range of information which is being added to with every second that passes, all over the world.

We cannot see, taste, touch, smell or hear the specific energies which hold this information, or perceive its location. But it is there, and ‘real’, albeit within a non-sensually detectable reality.

As our consciousness slowly evolves and our technological capacity widens and deepens, we have historically created metaphors and paradigms through which our perceptions of higher realities can become more sophisticated and comprehensible.

Perhaps the computer and internet revolution of the last decade or so has provided us with a tiny ‘chip’ as it were, upon which the light of developing scientific consciousness can be focused to provide us with a more up to date view of the vast hologram which is our universe and/or Multiverse?

Many other people have also realised the similarities which exist between the paranormal concept of the Akashic Record, and the scientific fact of the internet information bank, easily accessed with the right apparatus.

Within this large context, the human brain can be seen as functioning as a kind of radio, tuning in to different levels and states of consciousness. What we by common consensus call ‘reality’ is the level to which our brains are tuned in the ordinary course of things on planet Earth.

But there are times, in my case usually caused by disruption to my ‘normal’ life pattern, when the tuning ‘jumps’ or elides into a level or levels which connect us with those kinds of experience which are regarded as impossible from the perspective of the prevailing materialist paradigm.

A wonderful example of this type was featured in the journal Self & Society in 2002. It occurs in a fascinating article titled “A RELUCTANT MYSTIC: God-Consciousness not Guru Worship” by John Wren-Lewis. The author describes how, at the age of nearly sixty, retired and with a distinguished career as a scientist behind him, he had spiritual consciousness “thrust upon me...without working for it, desiring it, or even believing in it.(19)

It was 1983. The author was in Thailand, in a hospital bed, hovering between life and death, having eaten a poisoned sweet given to him by a would-be thief. What happened next, a ‘near death experience’(NDE), he describes as follows:

“I simply entered – or rather, was – a timeless, spaceless void which in some indescribable way was total aliveness – an almost palpable blackness that was yet somehow radiant.”

His return to life, as the medical staff gradually won their battle to save him, was not in any way accompanied by the typical NDE’s classic sense of regret or loss at having to go back to the world of the everyday. It was, in fact, “nothing like a return….more like an act of creation whereby the timeless, spaceless Dark budded out into manifestation”. Furthermore, the experience was “indescribably wonderful.”

Moreover, this heightened awareness did not leave him. A permanent shift, without any effort at all, into what he calls “God-consciousness” caused him to do further reading and research beyond accounts of NDEs into the “once-despised world of mystical literature and spiritual movements”.

But he rejects the notion held by experts in many religious traditions that the path to God-consciousness, or Enlightenment, or Nirvana, or Oneness requires years or even lifetimes of intensive spiritual effort. After all, he’d been handed “the pearl of great price on a plate” without ever seeking it, and found God-consciousness to be quintessentially ordinary and obvious – a feature emphasised by many mystics.

In his case, as in my own, his ‘normal’ life was disrupted at the time of that experience. He had just retired, was abroad, and was poisoned to the point of death.

This intriguing case shows that even atheistic scientists can be pitched from the only reality they think exists, into a dimension outwith ‘normal’ space and time whose eternal existence the mystics of the world have affirmed and documented orally or in written form for milennia.

As the atomic physicist J. Robert Oppenheimer wisely puts it:

“These two ways of thinking, the ways of time and history and the way of eternity and timelessness, are both part of man’s efforts to comprehend the world in which he lives. Neither is comprehended in the other or reducible to it. They are, as we have learned to say in physics, complementary views, each supplementing the other, neither telling the whole story.”(20)


16 The Arkana Dictionary of New Perspectives

17 Science and the Akashic Field: An Integral Theory of Everything

18 The Arkana Dictionary of New Perspectives

19 Self & Society Vol 29 - Number 6 - Feb-March 2002 Issue, pp 22-24

20 Stuart Holroyd ‘The Arkana Dictionary of New Perspectives’ published by Arkana (Penguin Books Ltd) 1989, p 154, quoting from Lawrence LeShan’s book The Medium, the Mystic, and the Physicist: Toward a General Theory of the Paranormal

© Anne Whitaker 2010 - Reprint permission granted to Phantoms & Monsters / Astral Perceptions

Friday, November 15, 2013

Paranormal Experiences: Where Do They Come From?

My view is that we exist as ‘droplets on the wave’ of a vast sea of universal energy which is present everywhere always. Humans could be envisaged as minute packets of energy flashing in and out of existence, contained within the universal matrix. Space, time, matter and energy which allow us to conceptualise our world according to the five physical senses, are features of the dimension in which we think we have our total existence. But this material level is one thin slice of a much more complex multi-dimensional reality.

How complex, has just been theoretically revised yet again! The latest thinking from physics, via M-theory, had been that there may be up to eleven dimensions in all. However, since March 2007, things have taken a newer twist, as mathematicians have revealed, for the first time, the internal secrets of one of the most complicated symmetrical structures ever studied. This 57-dimensional shape, known as E8, has long intrigued academics since it was first devised in the 19th Century. It is suspected that its symmetrical properties might be intimately linked to underlying patterns in creation in some way.

As reported in the UK’s Sunday Times on November 18th 2007, independent physicist Garrett Lisi “astonished the scientific world” two weeks earlier when he announced he might have found an answer, via contemplation of the newly revealed mathematics of E8, to the great problem which has defeated scientists including Albert Einstein: that of creating a grand theory of everything. It appears that Lisi’s theories are being taken seriously by the heavyweights of the scientific community. As the Sunday Times’ Steve Farrar so eloquently put it:

“If Lisi’s calculations are correct, the intimidating beauty of E8 could be the key to uniting all of the fundamental forces and particles in the universe. Science would have an overarching explanation for why the cosmos is the way it is for the first time.”

(Much is made in the article of 39 year old Lisi’s informal career as a surfer and snowboarder. He lives in Lake Tahoe, where California and Nevada meet in the beautiful Sierra Nevada Mountains. It is clear that the beauty and grandeur of Nature inspires his tireless scientific efforts.)

So there you have it! We may have between eleven and fifty-seven dimensions to play with – which, to quote William James again,

“...must contain experiences which have a meaning for our life also; …. although in the main their experiences and those of this world keep discrete, yet the two become continuous at certain points……the total expression of human experience, as I view it objectively, invincibly urges me beyond the narrow ‘scientific‘ bounds.“ (15) (my emphases)

My long time view has been that since paranormal phenomena undoubtedly exist, but cannot be encompassed by the terms of reference of ‘ordinary’ reality, they must take place somewhere, in some space created by the intersecting – for reasons and by mechanisms at present unknown to us – of other levels or dimensions of reality with the material plane on which we live, move and have our being for most ordinary purposes most of the time. I found it hugely helpful to hear Professor Carr express this as his view in his 2007 lecture. Ordinary reality, as he put it, is “a mere slice of a higher dimensional Reality”.

15 The Varieties Of Religious Experience: A Study In Human Nature

© Anne Whitaker 2010 - Reprint permission granted to Phantoms & Monsters / Astral Perceptions

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Paranormal Experiences: The Cost of Openness

In November 2007 I attended a lecture by David Lorimer, Director of the Scientific and Medical Network, a leading figure in the growing movement toward reconciliation of the perspectives of science with those of religion and spirituality. He talked about the challenges of “going public with private knowing” regarding experiences of a paranormal nature and what the cost of such disclosure can be, especially in the field of mainstream science, eg losing credibility amongst your peers or getting your research funding cut off.

But he also talked about the cost of keeping such knowledge private – thereby “cutting oneself off from a key way of knowing.”

Both those statements struck a powerful chord with me; via this serialised memoir I have been acting upon the first, and have found in relation to the second that making peace with my ‘Other’ side has certainly, in recent years, given me access to interior levels of inspiration and assistance when I have needed all the help I could get in coming through a prolonged and at times frightening ordeal reasonably intact.

I hope at some appropriate future point to write about the inner experiences I had during the years 2001-6 (after which they largely ceased) which – this time around! – I recorded in detail at the time they were occurring.

In the meantime, back to the questions raised in the introduction to my account of thirty years’ worth of intermittent and unpredictable paranormal experiences about which you have just been reading in this serial. Where do they come from? What causes them? Why do we have them? What, if anything, do they mean? Are they of any value?

Human beings have been asking – and attempting to answer – these questions ever since the evolution of our consciousness, our social development, and the flowering of spoken language and especially writing led to the capacity to perceive ourselves as distinct from the natural world of which we are part. This separation – underpinning the whole of western civilization – has led us to levels of intellectual and technological achievement which have revealed, especially in recent years with the voyages of the Hubble telescope, the staggering immensity and grandeur of the Multiverse we may well inhabit.(12)

It is truly astonishing that such minute creatures as humans, on such a tiny and apparently insignificant planet as Earth, should have achieved this. But the cost of this achievement is now being spelled out daily both in print and in observed reality right across the globe, as we wrestle with what our options may be in the face of apparently accelerating planetary disaster.

However, there are still indigenous cultures remaining sufficiently intact, despite the depredations of western materialist society, that they retain their sense of ‘unbroken wholeness’ with the natural world to such a degree that it wouldn’t occur to them to ask those questions.

A good example is offered in scientist Lyall Watson’s book Gifts of Unknown Things: A True Story of Nature, Healing, and Initiation from Indonesia's Dancing Island in which he describes with eloquence and humility his time spent on one of the thirteen thousand islands in the Indonesian Archipelago to which he gave a fictitious name – Nus Tarian – in order to protect the islanders’ way of life. These people have the ability, astonishing to us but normal to them, to communicate with one another in ways which we would call paranormal.

Against this background of the same questions having been asked over centuries, and of those for whom such questions are irrelevant, I feel almost silenced. Leading me to speak out is my conviction that each individual’s honest witness to their unique experience is still a worthwhile, however small, contribution to the slowly evolving process of consciousness during the particular time in which they are living.

Science as it develops should be able eventually to come up with a paradigm which contains and explains many levels from the mundane to what is currently described as the paranormal. This is a view shared by many, including influential people like the physicist Bernard Carr who is Professor of Mathematics and Astronomy at London University and a recent past President of the Society for Psychical Research of which he has been a member for some thirty years. In researching a context within which to set my own wide spectrum of psi experiences, (13) I have found his perspective particularly helpful.


In a November 2007 lecture given to the Scottish Society for Psychical Research at Glasgow University called “Can science accommodate psychic experience? ” his answer to that question is a qualified “Yes ”. But he considers that there is a major barrier to be overcome: those who consider only experimental evidence, conducted under strict laboratory conditions, to be valid, clash with others who find well-researched experiential evidence to be of at least equal worth.

His view is that psi/the paranormal links those two poles, being part of a whole spectrum of well reported and documented human experience ranging from our fairly common ‘gut feelings’, through telepathy and clairvoyance, all the way out to the uncommon oceanic experience of mystical union with the Divine. This experiential range is seen as being outwith the remit of experiment-based materialist science, belonging more to the realms of parapsychology and transpersonal psychology.

I am with Professor Carr, and others like him, in considering it simply not good enough to dismiss a vast range and depth of human experience, by now extensively and meticulously recorded by people of integrity (and – often – prominence in other fields) over several centuries, simply because it does not fit into the reductionist model and therefore cannot be proved by its experimental methods.

This dismissive approach is not consistent with either open-mindedness or humility. Besides, I for one have found it enormously helpful and supportive over the years to read reputable, well researched and documented accounts in which other people have had similarly disturbing and unsettling events happen in their lives. These accounts made me feel less alone – and less peculiar!

Regarding questions concerning the cause, meaning and purpose of my own paranormal experiences, I am very aware of the limitations of a personal memoir – not the place in which to embark upon a greatly detailed discussion. However, it has been a very useful exercise to write up those thirty-seven episodes. Having done so has enabled me to consider them in a more focused way than I ever could when they were sitting, awkwardly, in a dusty corner of my memory banks.

Decades of intermittent reading, discussion and reflection, inspiration provided by the books I have read in the last five years and included in the booklist, combined with personal experience and observation, have all created the perspective which follows: for what it is worth, here are my thoughts!

However, I should preface them with the wise words of philosopher, scientist and nominee for the 2004 Nobel Peace Prize, Ervin Laszlo:

“….Nearly two-and-a-half thousand years ago Plato recognised that in regard to ultimate questions there can be no certainty; the best we can do is find the most likely story….” (14)

12 The multiverse (or meta-universe) is the hypothetical set of multiple possible universes, including ours, which together comprise all of reality. The different universes within the multiverse are sometimes called parallel universes. Multiverses have been hypothesized in cosmology, physics, astronomy, philosophy, transpersonal psychology and fiction, particularly in science fiction and fantasy. The specific term “multiverse,” was coined in 1895 by psychologist William James. from Wikipedia.

13 psi : umbrella term used to designate a range of paranormal phenomena both mental and physical.

14 Science and the Akashic Field: An Integral Theory of Everything

© Anne Whitaker 2010 - Reprint permission granted to Phantoms & Monsters / Astral Perceptions

Sunday, November 10, 2013

A Grandmother's Love

In the autumn of 1978, a friend asked me and a few of his acquaintances to help move furniture and other items out of his deceased grandmother’s home near Reading, Pa. He was planning to lease out the house until he could find a buyer. The house had been on the market for 3 years but nothing was ever finalized though there were several interested parties that backed out for various reasons. He finally decided to sell the contents to help pay for the taxes and upkeep.

I arrived in the mid-morning and was immediately stunned by the size of the house. It was a Spanish style dwelling with large closed balconies and awnings along with an ample sized wrap-around porch. My friend Bill and a few other people had already started to move items into a truck and were taking a break. We greeted each other and sat down to talk a bit. Bill asked if I would help him look at some of the insulation in the attic and basement as well as check the plumbing later when we were done moving. I agreed and we began to load the truck.

It took us about 5 hours to finish removing the contents of the house. When we were finished, the other people left while Bill and I stayed to inspect the structure. It was starting to get dark but the electricity was still connected so there was plenty of light for us to get around. We first checked the outside plumbing to make sure everything was in working order then went into the kitchen. There was a small leak under the sink, so we worked on that.

Bill was telling me that he spent the previous night in the house and heard some rustling noise in the attic and thought that squirrels may be getting in. Since there were several oak trees on the premises I concurred that may be a possibility. After we finished in the kitchen we walked upstairs to the second floor. We entered the large master bathroom, opened a narrow door and ascended to the attic. As soon as we got to the top step I immediately felt light-headed and dizzy. I leaned against the wall trying to regain my bearings. Bill noticed my discomfort and asked what was wrong. I explained that I sensed a spirit energy was present, though I didn't understand why I was disoriented.

Then suddenly, hovering in the middle of the attic, we noticed a smoky gray apparition that seemed to glow. After a bit, I realized it was a young girl who would change into an adult then back to a child within seconds. She was motioning with her right hand to follow her to the window then she would change into a larger adult being. The girl was dressed in a light-colored smock and barefoot then she would change into a dark colored billowy dress with shoes and a small pillbox shaped hat. Her facial expression was always pleasant and I was sure that it was the same person changing from child to adult. After 20 seconds or so the presence faded and I felt fine, though somewhat unnerved by the experience. Bill hadn't said a word throughout the encounter and suggested we go downstairs. I was surprised how calm he was.

We walked outside and sat down on the porch steps. I asked Bill if he had any knowledge of a spirit in the house. He stated that his grandmother had never mentioned anything but that his mother had told him years previously that she felt that the house had ghosts. She had grown up there and had always been aware of something but could never give a definitive description. She had also mentioned that his grandmother would laugh when she asked her about the subject. We decided to leave and that we’d talk later.

Many years had passed...Bill and I had gone our separate ways. In the summer of 1998, I received an email from Bill. He had moved to Florida and we hadn’t communicated for several years. He got my email address from another friend. Here is the content of the correspondence.

“………remember the incident in the attic at my grandmother’s house? Well, to make a long story short, I finally managed to sell the house a year or so later. It was purchased by a young mother who had 2 daughters. She restored the attic into a play area for one of the daughters. A few days ago, I received a phone call from the buyer. She explained that her daughter had mentioned to her that she had a ‘playmate’ in the attic for many years. One day her ‘playmate’ directed her to a notch near the window. Yesterday, her daughter who is now grown gave her mother a note she retrieved from that notch many years previously. It read “Billy, know that my heart will always be with you, Grams”. I can’t explain why my grandmother placed that note in the notch but there must have been a reason………”

I’m positive the apparition we witnessed that day was Bill’s grandmother and that she simply wanted him to know that she was fine. I'm sure he somehow realized it was her as well, which explains his calm demeanor during the encounter. Her spirit was strong enough to interact with others. I have no doubt she has crossed over and reunited with many of those souls she loved in life.

Friday, November 8, 2013

She Was Saying Goodbye...

The following is a true personal experience:

In 1977, it was confirmed that my Great-Aunt Lydie was suffering from lung cancer. The prognosis was not good and the doctors stated that she had very little time to live despite the fact that her illness didn't slow her down. After a stint in the hospital, she returned home and continued her normal routine.

Lydie was my mother's aunt, my grandfather's sister and would always open her home and kitchen to the family. The fact is that she practically raised my mother since my grandparents both worked. Her and my uncle owned a well-kept home in the south central Pennsylvania countryside that was surrounded by cornfields and woodlands. When I was a boy, I would take long hikes along the dirt roads as well as hunt for squirrel and deer in their woods. When I'd return to the house, my aunt would have a big hug and food on the table. I was very close to my Aunt Lydie.

I had been married to my first wife about a year and was living in Sykesville, MD. My mother also lived in Maryland but about 10 miles from me. The family kept daily contact with Lydie and we all continued to visit her to make sure the house was maintained even though we lived an hour away. Lydie seemed resilient and didn't let her illness get her down.

One late night, my wife and I were in bed asleep when 'something' woke me. I rolled on my back, opened my eyes and noticed that the room seemed to be illuminated somehow. By that time, my wife had also awaken and was wondering aloud as to why the room had lightened.

We sat up and looked around the room in amazement. I was just about to get out of bed to check on my baby daughter when suddenly, a white billowy apparition started to materialize by the foot of the bed. The form was about 5 feet in height and continued to take a distinct form. Little by little, the spectre developed into the likeness of my Aunt Lydie.

As I looked at the apparition's face, I could see the mouth and eyes moving. It looked directly at me as it seemed like it was trying to tell me something. Both arms started to raise as if it wanted to hug me...the same way my Aunt Lydie would do when I'd walk through her kitchen door. My wife was motionless, shocked and scared out of her mind! She jumped out of bed and ran into my daughter's bedroom, slamming the door behind her. By this time, the apparition started to dissipate and was completely gone after a few seconds.

I sat on the bed utterly astonished. Honestly, this wasn't the first ghost or phantom I had seen but it definitely was the most unforgettable. Then it struck Aunt Lydie was dead.

I looked at the alarm clock which read 2:33am. Just then, the telephone on the nightstand started to ring. I picked up the receiver and it was my mother calling.

"Lon...don't get upset. But, did you see Lydie?" I acknowledge to her that I had. She continued, "Well, Mom (my grandmother) called me and said Lydie had come to say goodbye to her and Daddy (my grandfather)."

Well, by this time, I was totally freaked out. The fact that we all lived in separate locations many miles apart and that the spectre of my Aunt Lydie had visited us at the same time was mind least to this, then, 20 year old.

In the morning we were told that my aunt had been rushed to the hospital a little after 2:00am and had died in the emergency room at 2:27am after suffering a massive stroke.

That night is emblazoned in my mind and I'm grateful Aunt Lydie had the opportunity to say goodbye. Lon

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