PARANORMAL PHENOMENA RESEARCH
PO Box 84, Upper Sturt, 5156, South
revised June 2009
This website describes
some 25 year’s of scientific investigations into the enigma of the purported
existence of paranormal phenomena, in particular Extrasensory Perception and
Psychokinesis, but also some others.
It deals with the question whether such phenomena are verifiable by
the same scientific methodology that is used extensively in the life and
Much of the work was
initially carried out at the University of Adelaide, and later at the
Paranormal Phenomena Research Foundation, both located in South Australia.
Some of the
investigations yielded exceptionally high statistical significance, strongly
suggesting the existence of paranormal abilities in a relatively small
fraction of the population. These
investigations are described in a book by the title
“An Excursion into the Paranormal”
The full text of this
book is available on this website. It
is a revised second edition published in 2009.
It has essentially the same scientific content as the first edition
of 2003, but with improved explanatory text that hopefully would improve
The book is not
intended to be accessible to scientists only, but also to members of the
public who have some scientific background, or who are willing to acquire
the necessary background as described in Chapters 2, 3, and 6.
Copies of the book are
available from the Paranormal
Phenomena Research Foundation Inc.,
PO Box 84, Upper Sturt, 5156,
“paranormal phenomena” refers to phenomena that can be shown to exist by
accepted orthodox scientific methodology, but for which currently no
scientific explanations can be offered.
To investigate the reality of the existence of paranormal
phenomena, to try to ascertain the characteristic properties
of such phenomena by scientifically acceptable means, and to
attempt to find scientific explanations for such phenomena.
To promote research into paranormal phenomena by fostering
cooperation between the Foundation and interested
individuals, or other research institutions dealing with
To render assistance to members of the public with problems
arising out of perceived
To disseminate information on paranormal phenomena through
into paranormal phenomena are possible only with the cooperation of people
possessing paranormal abilities. The
investigations of the Foundation relied on the participation of around 50
such people, most of whom were the residents of Adelaide in South Australia.
phenomena dealt with by the foundation fall into three main categories,
Extrasensory Perception, a term referring to the acquisition
of information by the human mind without reliance on any of
the five senses, or on inferences, or on any other currently
available scientifically explainable means.
Psychokinesis, a term signifying the ability of the human
mind to exercise direct influence on physical processes,
without relying on any currently known scientifically
Survival Related Phenomena, which involve scientifically
acceptable investigations into a range of phenomena
suggestive of the survival of the human mind beyond the
death of the human body.
have also been carried out into the Human Aura that some people claim to be
able to see, and Corona Discharge (Kirlian) Photography which some people
believe to yield pictures of the aura. Further,
since paranormal abilities are often exhibited by people when in Altered
States of Consciousness, such states were also investigated, mostly via
bioelectric variables, including attempts to enhance paranormal abilities
The reality of
the existence of the first two categories of these phenomena, namely
Extrasensory Perception and Psychokinesis, may be verified by the same
statistical methods orthodox science employs in inexact areas, such as
Biology, Psychology, and Medicine.
science finds some results for which 100% validity cannot be claimed, but
the calculated probability for the results having come about by chance is 1%
or less, then orthodox science calls such results “highly significant”,
meaning that the results should be recognised as valid, even though there is
a 1% probability or less, for the results having come about by chance, and
so be invalid.
way of stating that the probability is 1% or less, is by saying that the
probability is 1 in 100 or more.
Some of the
results obtained by the Foundation yielded probability figures of the order
of one in a million or more in Extrasensory Perception, and one in a
thousand million or more in Psychokinesis. Such
results would not be challengeable in orthodox areas of science, but when it
comes to paranormal phenomena, the endlessly repeated notion is: “We know
that such phenomena cannot exist, and therefore the results must be false.”
At the dawn of
the 20th century Guglielmo Marconi endeavoured to transmit radio waves
across the Atlantic. Prevailing
science of the day claimed this to be impossible, as radio waves were known
to travel in straight lines, and so they could not conceivably follow the
curvature of the earth’s surface. But
then in 1901 Marconi’s radio signals, transmitted from Cornwall in England,
were picked up across the Atlantic in Newfoundland.
At that time, science knew nothing
of an ionosphere surrounding the earth in the upper atmosphere, which was
able to reflect radio waves back to earth. It
seems that orthodox science has learnt little from the Marconi incident, or
from many others like it, and still insists that what is not explainable in
terms of currently accepted principles cannot exist.
A More Detailed
Description of the Foundation’s Work:
Perception and Psychokinesis:
Extensive tests for extrasensory perception (telepathy, clairvoyance,
precognition) and psychokinesis were carried out mostly by electronic means.
During some 25 years a number of
individuals were found who were able to produce statistically highly
significant results under strictly controlled conditions, in both
extrasensory perception and psychokinesis. Also,
spontaneous psychokinetic phenomena in the presence of some psychics were
observed at times in the laboratory.
Individuals exhibiting psychic abilities usually do so while in
altered states of consciousness, often involving activities by individuals
who are not consciously aware of being responsible for such activities.
The question arose whether
bioelectric variables correlated with the alterations in the states of
consciousness. Investigated variables included brain waves, muscle tension,
heart signal, galvanic skin response, and respiration.
It appears from these investigations
that alterations in the states of consciousness are primarily mental
processes correlating with biological variables to a minor extent only.
Bioelectric variables monitored while subjects were in altered states
of consciousness were fed back to the subjects in the form of light, sound,
electric and magnetic fields in the hope of enhancing the altered states,
and associated psychic abilities. These
attempts yielded minimal results only.
Following the ideas and suggestions of earlier investigators, it was
found that the human aura is not electromagnetic radiation (visible light,
ultraviolet or infrared); that psychics do not have extended vision
frequency-wise or intensity-wise; and that the aura is not due to detectable
particles emitted from the skin absorbing or reflecting light. However, the
skin does, in fact, radiate visible light, but such radiation is three
orders of magnitude below the threshold of human vision.
It seems that the aura is seen the
same way as apparitions are seen, the image being created by the mind and
brain of the observer in response to extrasensory signals exchanged between
the subject and the observer.
It was found that the spectra of corona discharges from inanimate
objects and biological sources (including plant leaves and the fingertips of
normal and psychic subjects) are the same, and are almost solely due to
nitrogen spectral lines, predominantly in the ultra-violet region.
Photography greatly distorts these
spectra, yielding intriguing, often beautiful, but largely useless pictures.
The many bright spots in some
pictures are likely to be points of high conductance. Attempts to replicate
the phantom leaf effect, that is small cutaway portions of a plant leaf
still showing in the corona discharge photograph, were unsuccessful.
The Foundation possesses electronic test facilities for extrasensory
perception and psychokinesis; test facilities for the determination of the
intensity and spectral distribution of very low level radiation (visible,
ultraviolet, infrared); facilities for the analysis of bioelectric
variables, in particular the spectra of brain waves; and also facilities for
the detection of physical variables, including electric fields, magnetic
fields, and minute changes in temperature.
The primary needs for research into paranormal phenomena are psychic
individuals willing to participate in experiments and undertake tests, in
the hope of securing more statistically significant and scientifically
defensible results. Cooperation from hypnotherapists for attempts to enhance
psychic abilities by hypnosis could be helpful.
There is also a need for updating
equipment, often difficult as the cost for some items runs into tens of
thousands of dollars.
account of the investigations carried out by the Paranormal Phenomena
Research Foundation Inc., over a period spanning around 25 years, is
described in a book titled "An
Excursion into the Paranormal". The
book was published by the Paranormal Phenomena Research Foundation Inc., in
Adelaide, South Australia, in 2003 and revised in 2009.
It consists of an introduction,
thirteen chapters, and appendices to five chapters, on 285 pages.
The work of the Foundation was
carried out by the book’s author with occasional help from associates.
Much of the work was done at the University of Adelaide, where the author lectured in
Electrical Engineering for over 30 years, and after the retirement of the
author from that university, the work was continued at the Paranormal
Phenomena Research Foundation Inc.
results must be quantitative, the deduction of which could be unfamiliar to
some readers. The author attempted
to maximise the readability of the text partly by keeping the essential
mathematics as simple as possible, and partly by devoting Chapters 2, 3, and
6, to providing the necessary scientific background in the simplest possible
terms. Hopefully, this will enable most readers to judge the results for
themselves, without having to rely on orthodox scientific opinion.
Copies of the book are available
from the Paranormal Phenomena Research Foundation Inc., PO Box 84, Upper
Sturt, South Australia, 5156.
The full text of
the book may be accessed free of charge on this website:
To view the text
of the book on this website, the Adobe Acrobat reader must be installed in
the system. If the Adobe Acrobat is
already installed, please ignore this paragraph.
If the Adobe Acrobat reader is not
yet installed, it needs to be downloaded from the Adobe website first (click
here to download).
To view the
complete book, (approximately 4 Mb), please
This will open the Adobe Acrobat inside the browser window, after which
the book can be read on line, page by page.
Alternatively, the entire book may be downloaded to the hard drive
before reading it. This may take
considerable time. To do so,
here, and choose: “Save Target As…”. Having completed the
downloading, the book may be read off line. Some relevant information about
the book is:
INTO THE PARANORMAL
The Paranormal Phenomena Research Foundation
PO Box 84, Upper Sturt, 5156, South Australia
First published in
2003, revised in 2009
Printed in Australia by Peacock Publications
ISBN 1 921008 83 0
Introduction and Acknowledgements
Chapter 1 – The Ancients
Chapter 2 –
Fields and Particles
Chapter 3 –
Chapter 4 –
In Pursuit of the Human Aura
Chapter 5 –
Corona Discharge Photography
Chapter 6 –
The Exact and the Probable
Chapter 7 –
The Normal and the Paranormal
Chapter 8 –
Chapter 9 –
Chapter 10 –
Bioelectric Phenomena - Biofeedback
Chapter 11 –
Survival Related Phenomena
Chapter 12 –
Chapter 13 –
Epilogue - Moral Issues
to Chapter 13
Any part of the contents of this book may be copied
for personal use, provided that the source is acknowledged.