Psychic Phenomenon and History Clairvoyance Part 4

About the psychic phenomenon clairvoyance also known as ESP or astral projection, history and cases of the gift of second sight.




The establishment of clairvoyance as a distinct category of ESP was the result of numerous experiments conducted by Dr. J. B. Rhine and his associates at the Parapsychology Laboratory of Duke University, beginning in the 1930s. Card tests (using five different black-on-white sybols) were used to demonstrate clairvoyant ability. These served as the laboratory extension and elaboration of anecdotal reports received by Dr. Louisa E. Rhine, such as the one from the woman whose rings turned up in an ice tray. The ESP cards were turned over without the experimenter glancing at them so as to eliminate telepathy and isolate clairvoyance as distinctly as possible.

At the same time, ESP researchers throughout the world continued to receive individual reports that claimed extrasensory visions of events at the time they were happening. These usually came in letters from those who had had these experiences, but could hardly ever be confirmed. They nevertheless showed either a psychocultural inclination toward such experiences or imaginings, or distinct individual abilities to practice clairvoyance, no matter how haphazardly. A 1965 Broadway musical by Alan Jay Lerner and Burton Lane featured the theme of clairvoyance in its title and theme song: "On a Clear Day You Can See Forever."

The most elaborate recent experiments were those undertaken by Puthoff and Targ at the Stanford Research Institute, beginning with Swann and later including other subjects and covering greater distances. In a paper entitled "A Perceptual Channel for Information Transfer over Kilometer Distances: Historical Perspective and Recent Research," the two experimenters recalled that their experiments began with a pilot study "in which a series of targets from around the globe were supplied by SRI personnel to experimenters on a double-blind basis." They noted Swann's "apparent ability to describe correctly details of building, roads, bridges, and the like." This suggested that "mental imagery" might gain access to and describe "randomly chosen geographical sites located several miles from the subject's position and demarcated by some appropriate means."

In all, Targ and Puthoff used six subjects to engage in "remote-viewing" of targets in the San Francisco Bay area, "so that several independent judges could visit the sites to establish documentation." As they described their procedure, they closeted the subject with an experimenter at SRI and "at an agreed-upon time" asked the subject for "a description of an undisclosed remote site being visited by a target team." They chose spots within a 30-minute driving time from SRI, but the target location selected "was kept blind from subject and experimenter." They took their pick from more than 100 locations, "chosen from a target-rich environment."

In addition to Swann, the experimenters used the late Pat Price, a former California police commissioner; Mrs. Hella Hammid, a professional photographer; and several others. While emphasis was placed on statistically acceptable findings, some of the targets and their identification dramatically illustrate the Puthoff-Targ technique. They found that subjects were much better at simply describing a target than at speculating on its nature or function. Price came up with a startling hit. He actually named the Hoover Tower of Stanford University, Palo Alto, after giving an accurate description of it.

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