Earlier this year, we talked about the possibility that it might be categorically impossible to tell you’re being lied to—and that lie detectors, even those that rely on neuroscience, might prove unreliable. A recent study is unlikely to change our minds much, but just as a traditional lie detector test can at least detect nervousness, neurological imagining may soon be able to tell us whether someone is actively in the process of recalling memories rather than constructing a new narrative.
That’s in part because we understand the neuroscience of perception and sensation, including the neuroscience of recalled perception and sensation, better than we understand almost any other kind of neuroscience. If a memory comes from recalled perception or sensation, it’s coming from a fairly familiar place. ……
Fans of “Monty Python’s Spamalot” will remember the scene where Lancelot tries to give Robin the body of a man who keeps saying and singing he’s “not dead yet.” That should be the motto of a woman in England who claims she’s had over 1,000 near-death experiences in her lifetime and is still alive and still having them
Beverley Gilmour lives (so far) in St. Annes, is 49 and says she’s been having a near-death experience (NDE) three times a month since 1987. By near-death experience, she means that she lies down, goes into a trance, feels her heart stop, leaves her body, sees her body and hears everything that’s going on around her. The NDE can last up to four hours before she returns back to her body feeling sore, stiff and sometimes so exhausted that she stays in bed for four more days.
I was terrified at first, because I didn’t know what was happening. I asked a friend about it because I was quite panicky and she said it sounded like a near death experience. I started researching it and I am now in the process of writing a book, as I’ve been writing down my experiences for years.
Beverley’s experiences may be related to her constant headaches and the large number of medications she takes, including heart tablets, blood tablets and sleeping tablets. Because the NDE can come at any time, she can’t work and is cared for by her two sons……
Ghosts already have a scary appearance, frigid breath, loud noises and levitation in their bag of tricks. Do they really need to knock people over to get their attention? That may be the case as the number of videos of persons appearing to be knocked over by seen or unseen spirits is on the rise.
Charlene Hood of Bridgend, Wales, recently took this video of her one-year-old daughter Lexi playing peek-a-boo with her father, Gareth. It shows Lexi, who her parents describe as being “sturdy on her feet,” appear to be knocked over by an invisible force. They heard her say “naughty boy” as if she had seen who or what pushed her down. Naughty is too kind – what kind of ghost knocks down little girls? Since this happened, the Hoods report hearing creaking sounds in their house.
This security footage from late December 2014 shows Cecilia Carrasco appear to be violently pushed over in her lawyer’s office in Santiago, Chile. Cecilia reported feeling invisible hands push her down so hard that she had to be taken to the hospital where she was treated for head injuries. She says she now believes in ghosts and is afraid to leave her house.
If you could push a button, flip a switch, or utter a simple command and have all of the vast knowledge of the human race suddenly embedded in your memory. Would you?
Imagine it. A sudden flash and you can recite Shakespeare on a whim, do calculus in your sleep, build a nuclear reactor in your back yard, and speak every language on the planet. Like Neo and his flash drive brain having an expertise in Kung-Fu uploaded through a dial up internet connection.
Seriously, would you do it? I would. Without hesitation. Though I’ve asked around and there are some who wouldn’t. I put together an impromptu poll asking this question and I floated it around my various social media accounts and the results weren’t really surprising. The poll is still open, but of the respondents at the time of writing, more than 75% answered in the affirmative (either an unconditional yes, or a conditional yes depending on what subjects would be covered). As I said, that’s not surprising. What is surprising – at least to me – is that a small percentage of even the few who answered the poll indicated that they wouldn’t want to have knowledge effortlessly implanted by technological means.
Was this the result of my poorly thought out poll answers? Or are there people who really don’t want to know what exists beyond their small circle? This, to me, is a bizarre idea, but I’m sure they have their reasons. Off the top of my head, I think those reasons might stem from a mistrust of the process – whatever that may be (see below) – or a mistrust of those administering it. I’d like to think that those people might change their minds if those trust issues didn’t exist. But I can’t speak for them.
This is all hypothetical fantasy though, isn’t it? It’s Hollywood, Keanu Reeves, superhero stuff, right? Well, not really. What we’re talking about is creating new memories in the brain containing whatever information we want to upload, so to speak. Think of a computer, with bytes of information being used by the operating system. In this case, replace bytes with memories, and the operating system with your consciousness, and voila! You’ve got yourself an insta-learning gizmo.
Royal palaces are naturally sites of a fair share of strange and mysterious happenings throughout their years of service, owing to the deep lineages of their inhabitants and the momentous events that occur within their walls. The latest royal haunting story comes from Sweden, after members of the Swedish royal family recently claimed in televised interviews that their own royal residence is haunted.
Swedish public broadcasting firm SVTinterviewed the royal family about their home, the 16th-century sprawling mansion known as Drottningholm Palace. In the televised segment, Queen Silvia Renate Sommerlath told interviewers that along with a storied history, the palace is home to several ghosts:
There’s a lot of history here. There are also little friends… the ghosts. They’re all very friendly, but you sometimes feel like you aren’t alone. Come and feel it for yourself, go around here when it is dark and the like. It’s very exciting,
Even King Carl XVI Gustaf’s sister, Princess Cristina, told interviewers that she likewise believes the palace to be haunted:
Of course it is. There are ghosts in all old houses. Definitely. There’s a lot of energy in that house and it would be strange if it didn’t express itself in the form of sounds and shapes.
It certainly would. The palace’s most famous ghost is the “White Lady,” reported to be the spirit of Agnes of Orlamünde, a 13th-century German noblewoman who haunts other European royal homes in her spare time. Another notable ghost is the “Grey Man,” who has been seen prowling the castle since its original 13th-century incarnation……
Horrific disasters have long proven to draw to themselves stories of the eternally restless souls of the tragically killed. It seems that such a massive number of deaths dealt within the blink of an eye and the torment that roils about such events imbue these areas with a dark presence that settles in amongst the rubble of what once was. Indeed some of the most intensely haunted spots on earth lie firmly upon the locations of terrific displays of nature’s wrath, warfare, or mass carnage. One area of Japan has not gone unscathed by such grim stories, and in the aftermath of one of history’s greatest disasters, out of the twisted wreckage left behind have spawned countless bizarre stories of wandering dead souls, spooky hauntings, and supernatural horror.
In March of 2011, tragedy struck Japan. A massive magnitude-9 earthquake tore through, generating a devastating tsunami that battered the coastal Tohoku region of the country’s eastern coast and left death and destruction in its wake. As if the potent quake and resulting wave weren’t bad enough, the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant was so badly damaged that it went into a nuclear meltdown that was to be one of the worst in history, poisoning the environment, it’s animals, it’s people, and causing lasting ripples that reverberate to this day. The event was especially frightening to this writer, as I live in Japan and was here at the time, although I was safely out of harm’s way in Tokyo as the breathtaking horrors of the disaster flashed across the TV screen. It felt like a surreal nightmare being viewed through the lens of sleep, as it it couldn’t possibly be happening, but it was……
The Internet can be a spooky place. Here strange tales and secrets pass to the masses and infest every dark corner of the web, and the lines between fact and fiction, reality and fantasy become blurred as stories are passed on and evolve to take on a life of their own. This wilderness we know of as the Internet is crawling with all manner of the bizarre, the unsettling, the creepy, and indeed inscrutable creatures and entities that lurk in its shadowy recesses. With the help of the Internet at times a piece of this dark, spooky lore can truly catch on with the public consciousness and dig its tendrils deep, pulling itself out of cyber space to slither and ooze into the real world, in a sense to move out from the shadows of its cyber habitat and into the shadows of our reality. These phantoms move out to influence us and take shape beyond anything their humble beginnings may have suggested, and show just how much of a potent force the web has become.
By far the most well-known and widespread tale of a phantom born from the Internet is none other than the very creepy, very unsettling Slenderman. This mysterious entity is most often depicted as a tall, unnaturally thin figure with a vaguely humanoid shape, freakishly long arms, and a face usually described as blank and featureless, all typically garbed in a dark suit and tie. The lore says that Slenderman can shorten or extend his arms at will, and can also produce a variety of physical effects such as nausea, dizziness, memory loss, paranoia, nosebleeds, and intense coughing fits. Other abilities often attributed to it are teleportation and mind reading, and photographs or video of it are said to turn out distorted or warped.
The origins of the creature can be traced to June 8th, 2009, when a blogger calling himself “Victor Surge,” who would eventually be identified as a Florida resident by the name of Eric Knudsen, posted a pair of images he had created onto a thread for the website Something Awful. The name of the thread was “Create Paranormal Images,” and was designed to have contributors photoshop pictures in order to make them appear eery and paranormal, in order to see who could make the best new supernatural creature that could be convincingly passed off as genuine on the Internet. It was in essence a hoax contest. The images that Kudsen posted were two black and white pictures showing groups of children and teenagers with the chilling sight of the Slenderman lurking behind them……
Her name might sound somewhat comical, but there is nothing to laugh about when it comes to a certain supernatural entity that haunts a particular part of San Antonio, Texas. We are talking about the so-called Donkey Lady, as she is known locally. For decades, she has provoked both fear and intrigue in the residents of the city and its surroundings. Which is hardly surprising, as you will now come to appreciate.
The story of the ghostly woman dates back to the 1800s, and specifically to an area of the city called Elm Creek. It was on the creek, legend says, that a woman lived with her husband and two children, and earned a living from farming. In fact, it was barely a living, something which ensured the family lived in poverty and at near-starvation levels.
As fate would unfortunately have it, on one particular day a man on horseback appeared near the family’s property. He was a young man, the son of a rich landowner in the area, and someone with a cruel propensity for torturing animals. And, when he saw the family’s solitary mule standing all alone in a particular field, he decided to embark on a bit of what he, in his warped state, termed fun. That’s to say, he proceeded to violently beat the poor, defenseless animal…..
Recently I have become quite interested in what has come to be known as the “Mandela Effect,” which is basically a mass misremembering of details or facts that don’t line up with reality as it really is. I have written a few article on this in recent weeks, and there is a constant flow of reports of such odd discrepancies between what is real and what we think is real. It has been pointed out to me on more than one occasion that these are mostly concerned with pop culture, but this is not always so. Indeed, the history that you know, read about, and are sure is set in stone may not be so at all, and there seem to be alternate mysterious timelines of history that exist side by side with our memories and the reality we think we know.
When looking at the Mandela Effect we might as well start with the phenomenon’s namesake, and that lies with the great South African anti-apartheid revolutionary, political leader, and philanthropist, Nelson Mandela. It seems that a good portion of the population believes that Mandela died while languishing in prison in the 1980s while serving a 27-year sentence on charges of conspiracy to overthrow the state. In fact, while he did serve his time in prison he was eventually released, and he played a big role in world events up until he died in 2013 at his home from complications of a respiratory infection. Yet this is not how many people strongly remember it at all, and there are those who are adamant that he did in fact die in that prison, and that they had even read of it in history books and seen it on the news. It was when paranormal researcher Fiona Broome voiced this jolting discrepancy online that plenty of people chimed in to say they seemingly misremembered the exact same thing, and from there countless other examples came to the fore, earning the phenomenon of mass false memories the “Mandela Effect,” also often known as the “Mass Memory Discrepancy Effect.”
As with Mandela, world leaders and political powerhouses seem to draw this phenomenon to them. On November 22, 1963, then president of the United States, John K. Kennedy, was riding in a motorcade in Dallas, Texas, along with his wife, Jacqueline Kennedy, Texas governor John Connally, and Connally’s wife, Nellie, when the president was assassinated by a former U.S. Marine and communist by the name of Lee Harvey Oswald, who would himself be assassinated later by a Jack Ruby. At least that is the official, commonly accepted scenario, but the Kennedy assassination has grown into a morass of conspiracy theories and mysteries that I do not intend to fully get into here…..
There are numerous forms of ghosts in the world, and these can take a vast variety of forms. There are the wandering wraiths, the poltergeists, the revenants, shadows, ghouls, and specters, all subject to the cultural influences thrust upon them. In Japan there is one very curious and unique form of spirit, and that is of the eternally hungry, ravenous ghosts.
One of the more well known of the hungry ghosts of Japan are what are known as the Hidarugami, which roughly translates to “Hungry God.” These are said to be the souls of those who have fallen due to starvation while wandering the remote mountain trails of Japan, dying alone and without any sort of grave or marker for where they fell. Also alternatively called the Hidarutami, the Darashi, and the Daru, depending on the region, in this unfortunate state of affairs these specters are said to have been cursed to seek out others with whom to share their agony and strife in their eternal hunger.
There have long been tales of travelers navigating remote, lonely mountain paths who have found themselves suddenly and overwhelmingly overcome with an insatiable hunger the likes of which they have never experienced. The sensation is reportedly absolutely overwhelming, with the traveler completely incapacitated by an intense hunger they cannot understand. This is often accompanied by an inexplicable fatigue and numbness of the limbs, causing the victim to collapse upon the ground without really comprehending what is going on. If not stopped, these episodes will supposedly almost certainly lead to death or insanity……