A Synchro with Aliens in the Backyard

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Synchronicity has a way of bringing people back into your life who you haven’t seen or heard from in years but played some pivotal part in your past. This happened recently for us and concerns one of the first – perhaps THE first- abductee we ever met, Don Estrella.

Don retained partial memories of an abduction that occurred one Halloween while he was wearing a pirate’s costume and his companion was dressed as a clown. We wrote about his abduction in Aliens in the Backyard:

 It was the mid-1980s and Don was essentially lost and homeless. We were intrigued by his colorful background. He had worked as an assistant to author John Keel at the time Keel was delving into the chilling Mothman saga in West Virginia, which later became a book, Mothman, and in 2002 a movie, The Mothman Prophecies, starring Richard Gere.

Estrella reveled in telling stories related to the giant red-eyed flying beast. He had also worked in a clerical position at the United Nations, where he started a UFO club. He recalled that then-UN secretary-General U Thant had sent someone from his office to attend the initial meeting.

Curious about his abduction experience, we persuaded Estrella to undergo a hypnotic regression with psychiatrist Dr. Bethhold Schwarz, of Vero Beach, Florida. The author of UFO Dynamics, Schwarz had interviewed or regressed hundreds of contactees or ‘UFO observers,’ as he often called them.

During the session, Estrella recalled a bizarre scene in which he was abducted on a North Virginia highway on a Halloween night, while he was wearing a pirate’s costume and his companion was dressed as a clown. They never made it to the Halloween party. The engine in their car died and wouldn’t start. That’s when three small beings appeared and escorted them to a waiting circular craft. They joined seven or eight other abductees standing in line in an obvious stupor.

 Estrella sobbed throughout the regression as he described being taken aboard, placed naked on a table, examined and probed. While those procedures are now common descriptions by abductees, Estrella also recalled seeing strange symbols on the interior wall of the craft. During hypnosis, he drew several of the alien symbols.

While Estrella was haunted for more than two decades by his experience and seemed lost because of it, author, researcher and Harvard psychiatrist John E Mack pointed out that some abductees have experienced physical healings and spiritual transformations as a result of their abductions. Estrella apparently developed psychic abilities in the aftermath of his experience and, as we recall, was happiest sitting in a restaurant with a cup of coffee and a cigarette and giving free readings to the waitresses. He was fairly talented at tuning into near-future events and reading a person’s past.

Over the years, we wondered what had happened to Don. Then last week, we received an email from Raum, a writer and UFO researcher in Massachusetts, who had experienced a synchronicity that had prompted him to write us. In the subject heading of his email were the words: Don Estrella.

Hello Rob and Trish,

Synchronicity abounds!  A couple of weeks ago my significant other (Ruth) and I had been discussing Don’s condition as he’d recently been hospitalized.  That evening I picked up my Kindle and I happened to be reading “Aliens in the Backyard” when I exclaimed to Ruth, “Hey, these ‘synchno’ writers are writing about Don!”  Was a complete surprise. 

I read the three or four pages of you reiterating what you remember of his case.  There were a few, more or less, insignificant errors but I was bowled over seeing his name out there with what I know about the man. I’d love to hear Schwartz’s tape of their session.  Before Schwartz died Don wrote and asked him for a copy of the tape, to which I understand he complied, but I never did hear it myself.

I was fortunate enough to have Don as a close friend until he dropped out of our lives a few years back.  Ruth liked and understood him, now visits in the nursing home daily as he named her as his proxy.  She today mentioned your names to him and he remembered you.  His mind is confused and groggy but old memories die hard as I’m sure you know.

We’ve traded a number of emails with Raum and learned that Don had helped Ruth uncover her memories of repeated abductions since age 10. We also discovered that Don was actually in hospice and wasn’t expected to live very long. We sent Raum a copy of Aliens in the Backyard to give to Don. Then, on November 18, we received another email from Raum:

Hello Trish, As I just wrote to Rob, Don passed on at 4:03 this afternoon.  Ruth was there holding his hand —she was in hospice with him as she has been since early yesterday with hardly a break.  For me, her selflessness to Don is for him being our friend—but more than that, a fellow abductee,  a man of love and peace. He’s a reminder there are good people in the world.  With him we saw other realities.

The book we’d sent him arrived the day after Don  died.

In a subsequent email from Raum, he nailed the synchros  beautifully:

Hi Trish,

The more one thinks on it, the more incredible this ‘meaningful coincidence.’  A ‘syncho couple’ (you) receives the very thing that you have written two books about.  A researcher (me) happens to be reading a book on UFOs that you wrote several years ago which included a story about a ‘psychic experiencer'( Don ) who, because of his UFO experiences, becomes the focus of this ‘serendipitous coincidence’.  Unfortunately this also involves his last act before leaving this plane of existence permanently.  His proxy, the researcher’s ‘other half’ who is herself an abductee, had been brought through hypnosis into this UFO realization (among others) years ago by ‘the psychic experiencer (Don).    The ‘braiding’ is exquisite.

RIP, Don. Many thanks for all the fascinating insights you shared!

 

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Accidental awareness

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The taboo in mainstream science against the study of UFOs and alien encounters has been on-going for more than 50 years. It’s well known that the fear of ridicule and the label of charlatan has kept scientists who might otherwise take an interest in the subject from actively pursuing it.

However, if your intent is to assume alien abductions don’t exist, it’s apparently acceptable to create poorly researched studies to explain away the phenomenon. One example of such biased science and questionable science journalism appeared November 11, 2014 on the Scientific American website.

The article  suggests that alien abductions might be the result of trauma related to ‘accidental awareness.’ That’s a term for patients who wake up during surgery and are aware of what’s happening to them. Those patients sometimes experience various psychological problems in the aftermath of their experiences during surgery.

So why are alien abductions linked to poorly administered anesthesia? It’s because the bright lights and the masked medical team working over the patient supposedly look similar to what abductees experience when aliens perform mysterious procedures on their bodies. A study on the subject was published in a psychiatry journal in 2008 by David V. Forrest, a Columbia University psychoanalyst.

Scientific American picked up on the subject because of a recently released report on accidental awareness by the Royal College of Anaesthetists. The report documents the potential for lasting, perhaps permanent, psychological damage to afflicted patients. However, when the Royal College inquired about alien abduction, none of the hundreds of patients interviewed said they had any such experiences.

Yes, none.

Amazingly, Scientific American reported that fact, but continued on about the supposed link between accidental awareness and alien abductions.

The article’s contention, based on David Forrest’s study, hangs on the thinnest thread of so-called evidence. Here it is: Barney Hill, who along with his wife Betty are considered the first modern abductees, mentioned in an interview that the experience he underwent while on the alien craft reminded him of the time he had his tonsils removed. That’s it. No mention of any previous surgeries for Betty, who also was subjected to alien medical procedures.

Beyond the lack of supportive evidence for the claim, there’s also the assumption that alien abductions aren’t real. So much for the scientific method. To quote from the article: “Assuming Barney Hill wasn’t actually brought aboard a spaceship that night in 1961, he may have experienced a flashback to his tonsillectomy.”

Since such research eliminates the possibility of actual alien abductions,  then they must be something else: fantasies, hoaxes, and hidden memories of traumas, such as sexual abuse or now accidental awareness.

In other words, anything but a real alien abduction. Our take: When it comes to alien abductions, don’t assume anything.

 

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Spiritual Capitalism & Angel Investors

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If capitalism to you is synonymous with greed, then spiritual capitalism might sound like an oxymoron. But there are actually benevolent capitalists who are willing to use their wealth to help others. I’m not just talking about donating money to causes with the intent of getting a tax break, but applying spiritual principles to their work.

According to an article in ODE Magazine, spiritual capitalism is based on the recognition that every businessperson–whether you’re the CEO of a major multinational or the head of your own small firm–is in the service industry, and the services rendered must benefit not just yourself and your shareholders, but the planet and other people as well. The first commandment of the growing spiritual-capitalism movement is: Taking care of business means taking care of others.

I was surprised to discover that a book called Spiritual Capital, by Michael E. Hendren, was published in 2007. Hendren lays out ‘ten commandments ‘of spiritual capitalism. Here they are:

# l Define Business as a Spiritual Experience

#2 Don’t Shrink or Play Small in this World

#3 Dare to Love and the Numbers Will Follow

#4 Embrace Leadership as a Sacred Responsibility

#5 Develop Management into an Art

#6 Empower Them with Ownership

#7 Transcend to the Higher Level

#8 Don’t Take It All So Seriously

#9 Count Your Blessings

#10 The Truth Will Set You Free

The concept of spiritual capitalism attracts ‘angel investors,’ who help small start-up companies that show potential, and usually are out of the mainstream – ones that would have a difficult time getting money from traditional sources. A small but increasing number of angel investors organize themselves into ‘angel groups’ or ‘angel networks’ to share research and pool their investment capital, as well as to provide advice to their portfolio companies

It’s easy for cynics to trash the idea of spiritual capitalism and angel investors as concepts to allow rich people to feel good about themselves. Yet, if there’s anything that’s needed in the world now it’s benevolent investors and capitalists who are willing to try to spread the wealth in a time when the rich are getting richer and the rest of us are mucking along.

One such angel investor is a wealthy Chinese woman who you probably never heard of. Her name is Katherine Yip. She was born in China and moved to the U.S. as a baby. She grew up in America and went to Harvard. Then she moved to Hong Kong and took on the challenge of being a woman in a sector of the Asian business world dominated by men.

Katherine is best known for co-founding two of the largest investment firms in the Asia Pacific region, VinaCapital Group and Pacific Alliance Group (known as PAG Asia). She’s involved in private equity, the same financial territory as Mitt Romney. Private equity deals, especially those involving the forced take-over of companies, are all about vulture capitalism. Possibly as a counter to such criticism, Katherine Yip has gone out of her way to help small companies with good ideas, as well as supporting a variety of worthy causes, such as sponsoring a scholarship program.

We learned about Katherine from a friend in publishing.  To our surprise there was very little about her on the Internet and she had only recently given her first ever TV interview to Bloomberg News. That’s amazing for someone in her position. Our research about her broadened our knowledge about the better side of the financial industry—the realm of the angel investors and spiritual capitalism.

 

 

 

 

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Spiritual Socialism

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I’d never heard that phrase – spiritual socialism. But that was what came to mind after I finished a meditation one recent morning. I’d been concerned about finances and focusing on abundance. So what was that term telling me?

Did it mean there’ll be pie in the sky when I die? That’s a line from an old socialist folk song from the 1930s called The Ballad of Joe Hill. The idea of the song was that religion is a tool of the rich, another way of oppressing workers.

But maybe  you don’t have to wait until you die to get the benefits of spiritual socialism.

But is there really any such thing? How does it work? Is it like a government program on the other side? How do I sign up?

Are some beings on the other side against it? Do they see it as another big heavenly program that will cost them in the long run? And why should we help those physical beings, anyhow? They’re not like us. I suppose if there’s spiritual socialism, there’s also probably a spiritual Tea Party carrying on their routine. But if heaven has many dimensions, I suspect those spirits are on one of the lower planes.

But let’s get back to the question, how do we sign up for this program if we need it? And really, what evidence is there that it even exists?

I look to the lives that Trish and I have led over the past three decades when we decided to quit our jobs as teacher and journalist for a freelance life.

Over the years, we’ve always been provided for. One way or another we’d always paid the mortgage, and lived a good life. We still do. But things have gotten tougher and we attributed it to changes in the publishing industry that were making it more difficult for people like us. Publishers were baffled by the emergence of the digital world in their industry and found the old ways weren’t making it any more and they better clean house.

Part of the housecleaning involved dumping writers they’d supported, especially ones with high ‘returns.’ Returns in the publishing industry doesn’t mean profits. It means the opposite…returned books from the bookstores. Fifty percent returns is not a good omen for writers who want to keep getting published by mainstream publishers. Of course, the failure of giant bookstores, like Borders, comes into play as well.

With all that happening, we began scrambling for new options in the digital world, e-books. But without advances the game changes. That led to my meditation on abundance.

And the answer…spiritual socialism. Here’s how I think it works. It’s more like social security than a giveaway program. You need to work for your benefits.

Here’s how:  1) Consider all that you have in your life. Be grateful. Be grateful every day, every hour. 2) Don’t focus on lack. Stay positive. 3) Don’t feel sorry for yourself. 4) Don’t get angry at others who have what you want. 5) Instead, imagine over and over that you already have your dream. 6) Create that new reality firmly in your mind in the present. Don’t think of it as coming, but as already here. 7) Wish others well. Send them light and happiness. 8) Expect help from higher sources, count on it. 9) Nurture your dream with appropriate actions that might appear as unexpected opportunities. 10) And, of course, watch for synchronicities showing you the way.

Okay, you might say these ideas are not new. They’re not. But there they are, the tenets of spiritualism socialism. Well being for all.

Coming next: Spiritual Capitalism

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Not a Wild Guess

Derren Brown is the new Uri Geller. He’s amazing…but is this synchronicity? How does he do it? He claims it’s all logical perception, but it certainly seems that there’s definitely a psychic element here.

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Bump to the Bumper Sticker

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Several months ago when we were visiting our daughter in Orlando, we picked up some bumper stickers at a bookstore that read: If anything can go well, it will! In other words, the opposite of Murphy’s law. Rob wrote up a post about an experience he had with one of our cars and this bumper sticker, now here’s another story about this bumper sticker on our other car.

We were on our way out of the neighborhood the other evening to go to dinner. The road outside the neighborhood is usually fairly empty of cars, except during the winter season, when the tourists and horse people are here. There’s no stop light, just a stop sign, and you really have to lean forward and check both lanes of traffic before pulling out.

This evening, there was quite a bit of traffic on the road and Rob started to pull out, then saw a car coming in the opposite direction and stopped. Suddenly, we were struck from behind, a loud crash, and I heard the crunch and thought, Aw, c’mon. Rob and I got out of our car and the driver of the truck exited his vehicle and came right over.

“Oh, wow, man, I’m so sorry. I thought you were going to turn and then I got distracted and wasn’t watching.” He handed Rob his insurance card.

We debated about whether to call the police, but the driver – Phil – said he was clearly at fault. And in Florida, if you rear end a car, the law says you’re at fault. So Rob jotted down his insurance info, we talked some more, and it turned out he lives in our neighborhood. In the end, we didn’t call the police or the insurance company. We agreed to get two estimates on the damage and Phil said he would pay cash for the repairs. That way, his insurance rates won’t go up.

I stared at the trunk of my car, where the bumper sticker has ridden for so many months. The beginning of it was squashed in and it occurred to me that the trickster was laughing. I snapped a photo of it. (See where the bumper sticker appears to lift up?) Phil apparently thought I was taking the photo as evidence and asked if I wanted to take a picture of his insurance card, too. I laughed and pointed at the bumper sticker.

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“Just photographing the irony,” I said.

And actually, it could have been much worse. We could have rear-ended someone. Or the driver of the truck could have been moving at fifty miles an hour and the trunk and back seat could have been shoved into our laps. So, trickster, chuckle away. We drove on to dinner and had a wonderful evening!

PS Today, we got a call from the garage that had done the work on the car. The total was around $2,200 and change. Rob called Phil, and he drove over to the garage and paid for it, just as he’d said he would. A decent guy, a man of his word. I like that, and am grateful for it. If we were going to be rear-ended by anyone, Phil was the guy to do it!

So in the end, the bumper sticker proved true: If anything can go well, it will!

 

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Net Neutrality

Net Neutrality is a phrase that is being tossed around quite a bit these days. The FCC is supposedly going to rule on  this soon.President Obama recently came out with a forceful statement that the Internet should be considered a public utility – equal playing field for all. However, the man he appointed to head the FCC – Tom Wheeler – is a former lobbyist for cable companies. Scratching your head over that one?

In a nutshell, should Internet providers be able to create a two-tier system for Internet traffic? Those who pay – big corporations like Netflix, for instance – would be in a hyper-fast download lane. Smaller companies – and websites and blogs that are run by ordinary people like us – would be in the, well, VERY SLOW download lane.

Here are two incredibly different takes on the issue – the first by the head of a Tea Party organization that says all websites should NOT be handled equally, and the second by HBO’s very funny John Oliver, who actually explains the issue well.

And now, the other side of the issue, with John Oliver of HBO:

 

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Serendipity, Synchronicity, Scientific American, & Scorpio

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Recently, someone on Facebook, I think it was, mentioned that the current issue of Scientific American had a cover story on the neuroscience of meditation. I figured this would be a great resource for Rob, who teaches meditation, so I looked for the issue at Walgreens, then at our local Barnes & Noble, but couldn’t find it. This afternoon, I had to be in a town south of us for a hair  appointment and stopped by the B&N there. And found the issue.

The article on meditation is terrific and delves into the actual brain changes that come about as a result of meditation. It makes the case for why everyone should meditate daily- an altered volume of tissue in some areas of the brain, beneficial psychological effects, a faster reaction to stimuli and becoming less prone to various forms of stress. And that’s just for starters.

I was delighted to find several other articles that were informative. The first was on rooftop solar panels, which are proliferating in Arizona and California, and should be abundant in Florida. But the power companies are balking because they stand to lose a lot of customers – and, therefore, revenue – if these panels become the norm.

Then there was an article called Pluto and Beyond. This one caught my attention because I’m working on a book now for Page Street Publishing  called Unlocking the Secret to Scorpio. Pluto is the planet that rules Scorpio. While I didn’t expect Scientific American to delve into the astrological aspects of Pluto, I thought there might be something in the article I could use in the book. Sure enough, there is.

A little background first.

Every astrological sign is ruled by a planet and some signs, like Scorpio, also have a co-ruler. These rulers are associated with mythological gods and goddesses whose lives and personalities match the tone and texture of a particular sign. Before the discovery of Pluto in 1930, Mars was assigned as Scorpio’s planetary ruler.

To the ancient Greeks, he was Ares, a savage god who was little more than a thirsty SOB. In the Illiad, Zeus says it as he sees it, that he finds Ares, his son, completely odious because his primary enjoyments are nothing but “strife, war, and battle.” On Olympus, Ares was disliked for his blind violence and brutality. He was all about aggression, physicality, survival.

The ancient Romans looked upon Mars more kindly. They called him by the name we know him and he was first and foremost the god of agriculture, the protector of cattle and the preserver of corn. As the husband of Rhea Silvia, a vestal virgin, he fathered Romulus and Remus, who were suckled by a wolf.

The connection between Mars and sex probably came because of Ares’s affair with the goddess Aphrodite. At the time, she was married to a cripple, Hephaestus, and compared to him, Ares was a dashing suitor, handsome, utterly fearless, all the things the Olympians looked for in a mate. Ares, naturally, too advantage of the situation. Their lustful encounters were eventually discovered by all the other gods when Hephaestus ensnared the adulterous couple in an invisible net.

These ancient mythological gods had strange and dramatic lives, fraught with all the sexual and emotional tension of soap operas, and Mars/Ares certainly had his share. He was assigned as the ruler of Scorpio until the discovery of Pluto in 1930 by a young astronomer named Clyde Tombaugh.

Tombaugh and his fellow astronomers were certain he had discovered the long suspected ninth planet in the solar system, the mysterious Planet X. In classical mythology, Pluto governed the underworld – or Hades as it was known when referring to an actual place. For the Greeks, Pluto was seen as more benefic than the ruler of hell; he was the god who reigned over the afterlife. Like all these mythological gods, his life was tumultuous and he is probably best known as the dude who abducted Persephone and took her to the underworld. Hardly a stunning endorsement of his character. That said, though, he apparently turned into a loving husband for Persephone.

Pluto’s underworld and afterlife connections fit well with Scorpio’s ability to delve into the unseen, the unknown, the mysterious, and also fits Scorpio’s natural home, the eighth house in a horoscope, which governs death, the afterlife, reincarnation, and the occult. So, eventually, Pluto became the modern ruler of Scorpio.

Then, in 2006, Pluto was demoted as a planet and astrologers were thrown into something of a quandary. Did that mean Pluto no longer counted in astrological configurations?

The Scientific American article explained why Pluto had been demoted. It isn’t as dense as originally calculated and by 1992, astronomers began discovering objects that rivaled Pluto in size – around 1500 to date – but which add up to only a tenth of the mass of Earth. All of these objects are in the Kuiper belt – a band of billions of icy asteroids beyond Neptune described as “nearly pristine examples of the solar system’s ingredients.” Astronomers have been studying this belt ever since.

In 2005, Michael E. Brown, an astronomer at the California Institute of Technology, discovered a Pluto-size Kuiper belt object – Erin – and this discovery led to Pluto’s demotion the following year from planet to “dwarf planet.” Pluto is the largest object in the belt and in July 2015, NASA’s New Horizon probe will end its nine-year journey with a close flyby of Pluto and its five known moons.

Ironically, when New Horizon was launched, Pluto was still a planet.

One goal of the flyby, says SA, will be to “seek signs of a subsurface ocean… The idea that life could exist inside Pluto it utterly speculative – but because liquid water is considered a necessary ingredient for biology as we know it, its discovery would at least make such speculation legitimate.”

So, I’m not sure if this is a synchronicity since someone had told me about the meditation article that prompted me to buy the magazine. But the fact that I found information relevant to the book I’m writing, info I could actually use, may be serendipity or a form of the library angel. I’ll have to ask psychiatrist Bernard Beitman what he thinks, from a medical/scientific standpoint.

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Bernard  said it was a form of the library angel synchro. But because of the information available on the internet, he is now calling it an information angel.

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Interstellar

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Interstellar is one of those rare movies that will stick with me years from now. Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey, released in 1968, is still vivid in memory. So is the 1997 movie Contact.

Interstellar combines elements of both of those movies, but may surpass both.

Writer and director Christopher Nolan (Memento, Dark Knight Rises, Inception) is a master of non-linear storytelling. He does this, in part, by keeping the story tightly focused on the characters, who come across as completely genuine, the kind of people you or I might know. But it’s the relationship between single parent Cooper (Matthew McConaughey) and his daughter, Murph (MacKenzie Murph at age 10; Jessica Chastain in her 30s) and Ellen Burstyn (old age) that seizes the emotional center of this film and pivots the plot again and again.

Here’s a plot summary from IMDB:

In the near future Earth has been devastated by drought and famine, causing a scarcity in food and extreme changes in climate. When humanity is facing extinction, a mysterious rip in the space-time continuum is discovered, giving mankind the opportunity to widen their lifespan. A group of explorers must travel beyond our solar system in search of a planet that can sustain life. The crew of the Endurance are required to think bigger and go further than any human in history as they embark on an interstellar voyage, into the unknown. Coop, the pilot of the Endurance, must decide between seeing his children again and the future of the human race.

One element of great storytelling is to have a small subplot of some sort that threads throughout the story, often some odd human quality or experience. Then, by the end of the story, you suddenly realize it was never small, that it’s the very thing on which the story hinges. Nolan does this with Murph, the daughter, and Cooper.

Murph is convinced that a ghost is communicating with her, sending her a message of some sort. She keeps a journal filled with lot of weird lines that she’s convinced contain the message. Sometimes in their library, books fall off shelves for no apparent reason. Her dad tells her there’s no such things as ghosts and it’s not a poltergeist or anything else that’s supernatural. It’s science – gravity.

I don’t want to spoil the film for anyone who hasn’t seen it, so you’ll have to see it to find out how pivotal this is to the story, the nature of space/time, wormholes, the quest Cooper undertakes, and how it figures into the final moments of the film. I hope McConaughey is nominated for an Oscar for Interstellar. His emotions spill into the theater. When he’s choked up, so are you. When he cries, so do you. You don’t just feel what he feels, you experience it.

Anne Hathaway plays Brand, a scientist who works with her father, Michael Caine, Professor Brand, in a secret NASA facility. Like McConaughey, she’s a Scorpio and her emotions are nearly as intense as his.

The archetypal themes in the movie are classic. The father/daughter relationship is especially powerful and propels the film. The other theme that is so prevalent is that of self-preservation versus personal sacrifice to save humanity. And then there’s the supernatural element, which turns out not to be supernatural in the way we think of it but a product of messing around with space/time.

Rob and I had had two minor irritatants about the film. Food and nearly everything else is scarce in this near-future world. But people are driving trucks and cars. Where does the gas come from? We never see anyone filling up.

The other point is more subtle. Throughout the film, there are references to Murph’s “ghost” and also to “they,” the people or entities who are responsible for the wormhole that has appeared just when humanity is desperate for options. One of the characters refers to they as humanity’s protectors.

Who are they? In the universes on the other side of this wormhole, are there other species? Other beings? Other inhabited planets?

It’s one of two central questions in this intelligent, spectacular movie. And, yes, there’s synchronicity! And a line straight out of one of our recent blog posts about how a parent should never outlive his/her child.

 

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Loss & Synchronicity

- fro deviantart.com Loss_by_vkacademy

from deviantart.com

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Nancy Atkinson sent the following story.  She and her husband, Rob, Megan, and I met in 2009 in Oregon when Rob and I were working on our first synchro book. At that time, we’d been blogging for four or five months. Nancy and I had gotten to know each other through e-mails and the lunch was like a continuation of where we’d left off with our last written communication. It was great to actually meet a fellow blogger with whom I felt an immediate kinship.

In the five years since that lunch, we have continued to correspond. Nancy divides her time between Lake Tahoe, Portland, and Hawaii. She has two daughters who certainly understand what synchronicity is and, as you’ll see in this story, that understanding may have saved a young boy’s life.

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My daughter, Jill, is a special education teacher and has children with a variety of needs. One cute little guy needs a small, close, place to “hide” during the day to decompress. He had been showing up to the nurse’s office on a regular basis during a class that was especially hard for him.

The nurse, office staff, and my daughter were trying to figure our where he could go for some quiet time when it was suggested that the file room would be a good place. It’s quiet and they thought maybe they could put a box or something in the room for him to curl up in for the needed “time out.” His father had offered to build a box.

As soon as Jill saw the room filled with fling cabinets she freaked out. Her best friend when she was eight was a tiny little girl, who after a fight with her mother, crawled into a file cabinet at their place of business to hide. The file cabinet was fireproof. By the time they found her several hours later, she was gone. It was horrible. The mother and I were Girl Scout leaders together and she lost her little girl. It was beyond devastating.

Jill believes that had she not had that experience the file room would have been the obvious choice for this little guy to go- a small child that likes to hide from the world in small, tight places. Even Jill realized it was a synchro and, needless, to say, they found another place for the boy.

While the girl was missing, her mother had called me and asked me to watch for her to come home. Police were combing the woods and the river area behind their business. They thought she had fled into the woods and that somehow she may have made her way home. She was a really smart little girl.

So even though it was a long shot, I was watching for her in the neighborhood.   Their business was far away from our neighborhood. She was only eight, after all. Then the next call was that they had found her, and she was dead.

I was the first person the mother called with that news. It was horrible. Jill still calls the mother every year to reach out on that day. The mother and I had months of long walks as I tried to keep her from going over the edge and committing suicide. Years later, she told a mutual acquaintance that I had kept her sane during that time.

All I know is that it took everything I had to help hold her up. Long talks on the nature of life and death. My belief was and is that we never really die – that we just move on, go “home.” I related all the near death experiences I knew about at that time and I think that really helped her. She did make it – a divorce – but she is doing okay now.

Could another synchro have been that I was in the picture? I mean, it was 1995 and not many people believed in life after death. She was not someone who had any interest in that kind of stuff. My beliefs were really different from my friends (still are) at that time. Maybe she needed me to tell her everything I knew about life after death to keep her going. I guess we’ll never know.

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This story may actually have elements of spirit communication to it. Is it possible that Jill’s friend from so many years before reached out across time and space and death to remind her of the devastating results of that filing cabinet?

One of the things I’ve learned from more than five years of blogging is that parents who have experienced the deaths of their children are made of much stronger stuff than I am. No parent is supposed to outlive a child. Our friend Mike Perry and his wife, Karin, of the UK  lost a daughter. Debra Page whose story we included in at least one of our synchronicity books, lost her daughter to a rare genetic mutation.  DJan Stewart, who hosts two blogs, lost two sons.  How does any parent continue after that kind of devastating loss?

I suggested to Nancy Atkinson that her friend might benefit from a past life regression with Carol Bowman.  Carol has done a number of regressions for parents who have lost children. Her books, Children’s Past Lives and Return from Heaven are classics, and her philosophy is that past life regressions are healing. Nancy said that the next time she sees her friend, she’s going to suggest a regression with Carol.

 

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Synchro Workshop in Italy

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David Peat, author of The Bridge Between Matter and Mind, will hold a four day seminar on synchronicity, June 12-16, 2015 at the Pari Center for New Learning in Pari, Italy, where Peat resides. The name of the seminar appropriately is The Bridge Between Matter and Mind.

We’ve corresponded in years past with David Peat, and when The Seven Secrets of Synchronicity came out, he invited us to speak at the Pari Center. We haven’t made it there yet. But maybe some of our readers will journey there next June…and, who knows, maybe we’ll see you there.

Here is how David describes synchronicity:

Synchronicities are those mysterious and inexplicable coincidences that occasionally erupt in one’s life. At times we may feel that those around us are confined to a narrow world of logic and physical law, a world that admits no hint of mystery. This can give rise to a feeling of isolation within an indifferent universe and in an increasing complex society whose members are reduced to ciphers. Synchronicities, by contrast, open a doorway into a very different world: a world that also has resonances with the deep insights that have been revealed by the new sciences.

True synchronicities are more than mere chance occurrences. They are characterized by a sense of meaning and numinousness. They provide a bridge between inner and outer worlds, between our private thoughts and external, objective realities. Within a synchronicity, patterns of external events mirror an inner experience; likewise dreams and fantasies may seem to flood over into the external world. To distinguish synchronicities from mere chance occurrences Carl Jung stressed that they must always involve “meaningful coincidence” that lie beyond any explanation involving causal links and connections. They reveal to us an underlying world of patterns, forms and connections that transcend any division between the mental and the material.

Of course, attending this seminar is also about a trip to Italy, unless that’s where you live. Pari sounds like a very interesting place to visit.

Here’s from the Pari Center website:

The medieval village of Pari, located some 25 km south of Siena is a particularly appropriate center from which to consider the future. The village is located on a hill top and surrounded by magnificent views of the heavily wooded Tuscan countryside. The surrounding area is given over to olive groves and grape vines and small-scale farming. In winter wild boar are hunted in these woods.

The surrounding area has been occupied for well over 2000 years. The Etruscans certainly made use of the curative properties of the sulfur hot spring located below the village. In addition to burial areas close to Pari the remains of a major Etruscan town can be visited at Roselle some 40 km away.

One thousand years ago Pari had become a walled town of several hundred persons grouped around the central castle, the residence of the Counts of Ardengheschi. By the 14th century the region had come under the government of the Sienese.

Until the 1950s life in Pari had continued unchanged over the centuries. Moreover it was totally self-sufficient for its food, heat, furniture, shoes and clothing. Wool, for example, was made from the fleece of the local sheep and a form of very durable linen was made from the local ginestra plant. Mulberry trees surrounding the village attest to the use of silk. Very little money circulated in the village and its economy was based on a system of exchange and barter for goods and services. What little money did enter the village came from the sale of its wine and, later, though the contraband smuggling of tobacco and salt (for preserving meat).

Here is how David describes Pari today:

The village of Pari is slowly becoming a community of the Arts. First there was the Pari Center with its strong commitment to artists—we’ve had visiting writers, painters, photographers, musicians, composers—staying in the village working on projects or simply taking much needed time out before embarking on new work.Then Ferdinando Lucchesi, a local painter, retired from teaching and formed a cultural association, Le Belle Arte. He fixed up a cantina (a large room at street level below the living quarters that is used to store oil, wine, produce, firewood, etc.) and, as you can see from the photographs, he’s done a beautiful job. Since its opening last summer he’s had exhibits of paintings, jazz and classical music concerts with performances from young musicians from the conservatory in Florence, poetry and literature readings. At the moment he’s hosting an exhibition of African art and artifacts (we had African drumming at the opening).
Next was Otto Alexander Jahrreiss, a German filmmaker who bought a house in Pari a couple of years ago. He too opened a cantina and put on his first exhibit to coincide with Pari’s sagra a few weeks ago. His main interest is in contemporary art and art installations and photography. He has also produced an enormous collage from the hundreds of black and white photographs that he took at the 2012 sagra.
We also have Paolo Chionio living in Pari, a painter and writer who has published Volume I of an ‘alternative’ Italian dictionary based on his life of sogni, pensiri, fantasie e ricordi (dreams, thoughts, fantasies and memories). If you read Italian then it’s a very original and amusing view of the world. Part II is now ready for publication. Paolo opens up the entrance hall to his house every Christmas so that people can drop in and see his crèche or Nativity scene. He has dozens of figures that he places in a different background and setting each year. We’ll post a photo at Christmas time.
Within walking distance of Pari is the house of filmmakers Paul and Bernadette Howard who own Imagine Films based in Dublin. Their intention is to spend more time here now that their children are grown up and to become active in the community. They have a number of ideas as to how Pari, which is situated in a particularly depressed area of Italy, can be developed without being spoiled. One of Paul’s ideas is to bring his post-production work to Pari and train any of the young people who might be interested in this type of employment. Wouldn’t that be great!
We should also mention Andrea Barbieri, a graphic artist and animator, who of course is called on every time the village needs a notice or a poster and always very generously provides his skills.
pari

 

 

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The Voodoo priestess & the hurricane

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Amazingly, the Weather Channel is taking tips from the History Channel and now has a program on Sundays called American Supernatural, a blend of the paranormal and – what else? – weather. Of course, it’s the Weather Channel.

One of their first programs was about small Louisiana town along the banks of the Mississippi River, named Frenier. Don’t look for it on a map. It no longer exists and some folks say the reason the town vanished was that a voodoo priestess named Julia Brown said over and over that the town would die  when she died. Amazingly, she was right.

In the early evenings, Julia would sit on her front porch singing and playing her guitar. One song that she sang over and over again, day after day, had these strange lyrics:  “One day I’m gonna die, and I’m gonna take all of you with me.”

On Sept. 28, 1915, Julia died and the next day all the town folk were gathered at the wake for Julia. That was when a devastating hurricane struck, wiping out the town and killing all but two or three people, who lived to tell the eerie tale of Julia Brown.

Good going, Weather Channel. Who would’ve figured that mediums and meteorologists would mingle together on that channel.

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Dear President Obama

Dear President Obama,

The election results of November 4 were undoubtedly depressing for you. With the Republicans now controlling the entire congress, it means you’ll be much grayer by 2016. It means you will be using executive veto more often. It means you’re being blamed for events and circumstances over which you had little or no control.

This is the first time that a sitting president’s hometown governor has lost since 1892.

In 2008, my husband and I waited three hours outside a Fort Lauderdale venue to hear you and Joe Biden speak. Your audience was hungry for change. We were blown away.

By 2012, when you were re-elected, when we voted for you again, we were disappointed that many of the changes you had promised had not panned out. You set the bar too low for health care coverage. Instead of setting the bar at Medicare for all, you included the insurance companies by making health care mandatory. The insurance companies salivated at the opportunity to sign up 50 million new clients. Gitmo remains open to this day. Yes, you got us out of Iraq – sort of – and are supposedly going to get us out of Afghanistan. But you were too conciliatory with the Republicans, too willing to engage them, and all they did was stonewall you and everything you stand for.

The media pundits are calling the Republican wins tonight “a wave,” as in a tsunami. It’s going to be a wave, all right, a wave of utter disaster for the middle class, for health care, for any hope of a raise in the minimum wage, for more tax loopholes for corporations, for more of the middle class descending into poverty, for more war, more of the U.S. as the world cop, for more stonewalling on climate change. It’s going to be a tsunami for the unborn, who will claim “personhood” even though they are no larger than a comma in a womb. Well, you know all of this.

So, while greedy capitalism is going to flourish, when trickle down economics will resurge, the planet will drown, the economy will shrink, the Republicans will cut Medicare and Social Security, the elderly and the poor and the young will stagger. As one of my writer friends emailed me tonight: “I will never understand this country. If I didn’t already feel half dead, I’d hang myself.”

I know what he means. In the next two years, we may find ourselves living in a Philip K. Dick novel like Blade Runner. It’s one of the grimmest Dystopian novels ever written, where corporations are the true kings and the rest of us are as disposable as Kleenex.

The media pundits are calling this a “rejection of the president and his policies.” But as a Republican strategist said, “The Republicans don’t really have an agenda except to reject everything that Obama wants.”

We are pretty much screwed for the next two years. The old paradigm, it seems, is not going out with a whimper. And unless the Democrats run a powerful candidate in 2016 – Elizabeth Warren instead of Hillary Clinton, for instance – we’ll have four more years of Republican policies that benefit the one percent. And in the end, the one percent will be the only ones who can afford bunkers they’ll run to when the oceans rise, when the planet rebels, when the poor and the disenfranchised take to the streets. It will be the opening paragraphs of The Road, a Dystopian novel by Cormac McCarthy that won the Pulitzer prize and that might be more depressing than Blade Runner.

 If I could afford to move to another country, I would.

Best,

Trish MacGregor

P.S. I apologize for the tone of this email. Tomorrow when the sun rises, when the perfect Florida weather dominates, I hope it will be easier to look at the bright side.

 

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Midterm Elections 2014

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It’s election day in the U.S. – midterm elections. Typically, fewer people turn out to vote for midterm elections than for presidential elections and yet, there’s a lot at stake with this one – whether the Republicans will take over the senate and control the congress.

In recent history, this has happened three times with two-term presidents – under Reagan, Clinton, and Bush. During Republican Reagan’s second term as prez, the midterm elections turned the tide and the Democrats won enough votes to control congress. During Democrat Clinton’s second term, the Repubs took the congress. Under Repub Bush’s second term, the Dems took the congress. Now Dem Obama, in his second term, faces the possibility that the Repubs will take the senate and control congress. The Repubs expect to win and are already fighting over who will be majority leader.

If history repeats itself, I suspect the top priorities of the Repub congress will be to:

1) Impeach Obama – but for what? The conspiratorial suspicion that he was born in Kenya?

2) Overturn the Affordable Care Act – so that 10 million people or so lose their health care

3) Overturn the federal minimum wage increase to $10.10 an hour. Do the math on that one. Can a family live on $404 a week? And that’s before taxes and social security are taken out.

4) Overturn anything and everything that helps people.

5) Vote to make marriage between one man and woman the law of the land

6) Declare that personhood begins at conception

7) Try to institute more draconian laws concerning the right of women to govern their own bodies in terms of birth control and abortion. Give these mostly white men enough power, and they’ll hurl the country back to the Dark Ages.

Rob and I voted on Sunday, the last day of early voting in our county. It was held at our local library and there seemed to be a lot of hoops you had to jump through to do this. First, you had to fill out a form with your name, address, precinct number. Then you sat in front of one of perhaps ten poll workers, who asked for your driver’s license or voter registration card. Your name was run through a device and when it showed up on the screen, you signed your name and were directed to one of the printers, where your ballot was printed out.

Now: the ballot. Since the 2000 voting debacle in Palm Beach County that ended up in the Supreme Court, the county has redesigned their ballots several times. Now we’re back to paper ballots and a pen. A felt tip pen. Next to your candidate choice, you use the pin to darken the line between a broken arrow. It sounds ridiculous. It IS ridiculous. But, hey, okay. We get it. The Diebold voting machines used in 2004 were rigged and that election was stolen. When I punched in John Kerry’s name, Bush’s name came up. Not once but three times before my vote registered for Kerry.

At stake for Floridians is the governor spot. Our current governor, Rick Scott,  was convicted of Medicare fraud some years back, has been against everything that might benefit the state –Medicaid expansion, which would enable more Floridians to get health insurance for a reasonable price; the restoration of the Everglades, and job creation. The man is a jerk with a big dopey smile.

Charlie Crist, the Democratic challenger, has been governor of Florida before, as a moderate Republican, who was socially liberal, and was actually a decent governor. He was on the short list for VP when McCain ran for the prez, got raked over the coals by the party, and eventually changed his party affiliation. Flip-flopper in that regard, but the alternative would be much worse.

One of the amendments on the ballot was for the legalization of medical marijuana. Rob and I voted yes on that one. Twenty-three states have now legalized pot for medical use. There’s plenty of evidence that it helps mitigate nausea in chemo patients, relieves pain from glaucoma, nerve pain, headaches, helps in the treatment of seizure disorders and in the treatment of Crohn’s disease. Colorado and Washington have made it legal for recreational use, and I suspect that’s going to happen in even more states. It shouldn’t be classified in the same category as a drug like heroin.

In Colorado, the first state to legalize weed for recreation use, the crime rate is down more than ten percent from 2013, with a drop of more than five percent in violent crime. That pretty much shoots a hole in the argument that legalizing pot would spell the end of the civilized world.

But if the Repubs sweep the senate and control congress, you can bet they’ll try to overturn all these state laws. In their worldview:

1) Pot leads to the use of heroin and oxycontin- but hey, alcohol and guns are just fine.

2) Women are too stupid or hormonal to make decisions for themselves

3) Minorities shouldn’t have the right to vote

4) All immigrants should be denied the right to become citizens

5) Climate change is NOT happening

6) Corporations are gods

This list is actually pretty long, but I’ll end it here. You get the idea. If you live in the U.S., please vote in this election for the party that actually speaks for the people, for the party that instituted Medicare, Social Security, the minimum wage and just about every other law that actually helps people. For us, but especially for our kids and grandkids, the stakes have never been higher.

Obama hasn’t been a perfect president, hasn’t been the agent of sweeping change we had hoped for. But can you imagine where we’d be if McCain/Palin (wink, wink) had won? Or Romney?

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Weird Synchro Trip to Barnes & Noble

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This afternoon, after working for several hours, I asked Rob if he felt like going to Barnes & Noble. I was hoping to find the newest edition of Mountain Astrologer and to peruse the current releases.

When we walked into the store, there was a guy sitting at a table to the right, a bunch of books stacked in front of him. When I first saw him, I thought his eyes were shut, that he was actually snoozing. Then I realized he was an author doing a signing that consisted of: We’ll give you a table near the door, you stack you books on it, and sell whatever you can sell.

 Rob and I stopped at the table and the author said, “Interested in buying some great books?”

Let’s call the author John Smith. In the late 1990s, he sold an unusual novel for which he was reportedly paid a million bucks. The only reason he registered on my radar was because at one time, we shared the same publisher – Pinnacle (Kensington) Books and he and Rob had had some sort of email interaction in the past. “We’re also authors,” Rob said, and introduced us.

No response from John. He has these large, dark eyes that stare and stare, but seem empty of almost everything, like he’s shell shocked or suffering from PTSD- which is what many authors are suffering from these days. He obviously didn’t remember the email exchange he’d had with Rob, in which he eventually tried to convince Rob to buy into his wife’s Acai juice pyramid thing.

“Who was your editor at Kensington?” I asked.

He named an editor whom I had met.

“Nice guy,” I remarked.

No response from John.

“My editor at Kensington died,” I said. That was Kate Duffy. I did 12 books with her.

”Who’re you with now?” he asked.

“Not them,” I replied. What I should have said, what he would have understood, was that my last three books were with TOR/Forge.

“We’re at Crossroad, a small, independent publisher,” Rob said.

I tapped the table. “This is depressing work.” Meaning that signings like this were depressing work.

John’s smile was quick – there and gone. “Yeah, it is.” Yeah, it really is.

 I hurried off to the magazine section, remembering one of the first signings I ever did at a Walden’s book in a mall. Four excruciating hours at a table, people coming over, picking up my novel, reading the back cover, asking how long it had taken me to write the book. I sold two copies. I never did another signing like that.

I never found my magazine, either, but did buy Russell Brand’s book, Revolution, and returned to the table where Rob was still talking to John. I flashed the cover of Revolution. “Love this guy.”

“Did you see him on Howard Stern?” John asked.

“Nope. On MSNBC.”

I stood there for a few minutes afterward, listening to Rob trying to engage this guy in a conversation. But John’s face was a blank. He seemed shell-shocked, as if he’d been through a war. I think he has realized he isn’t Stephen King, JK Rowling, John Grisham, or any of the other bestselling authors displayed on the shelves at B&N. He has realized that he doesn’t have a movie platform like King, Meyers, Rowling, and all the other author whose books are so prominently at B&N, that his million dollar advance nearly 20 years ago was a fluke, that he is just another writer with a story to tell that may or may not find an audience.

As Rob and I later walked into the coffee shop to buy a couple of cappuccinos, I said, “He’s a brick wall.”

Rob shrugged. “He doesn’t want to reveal anything about himself.”

“No, he’s traumatized.”

I had wanted to go to B&N to find my astrology magazine but had encountered, instead, my mirrored self from three or four years ago when I stopped by B&N to see how many copies they carried of Esperanza, or maybe it was of Ghost Key. I felt these novels were the best I’d written, complex characters with a mythological backdrop, paranormal and yet real in the spectrum of human emotions. B&N carried two copies of Esperanza and zero of Ghost Key.

When we left the store, I glanced toward John and waved. And I have to say, he’s more courageous than I am, sitting there at that table, hoping that readers stop by and actually buy his books. It’s demeaning that so many of the people who generate the stories, the people who are the fuel for agents, publishers, and bookstores, for an entire industry, go home from a signing like this feeling like crap.

But it is what it is. One way or another, writers write, storytellers tell their stories, and every day new, independent publishers find ways to sell books and promote their authors.

The publishing paradigm is shifting, for sure.

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Analyzing the ‘library angel’

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Bernard Beitman is a visiting professor at the University of Virginia and former chair of the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Missouri-Columbia. He attended Yale Medical School and completed his psychiatric residency at Stanford. He took a look at me  library angel post from a couple of days ago, dissected it, making some interesting points.

We’ve written about Dr. Beitman on a few occasions because he is one of the few academics who not only takes synchronicity— meaningful coincidences—seriously, but is developing an interdisciplinary study of coincidences.

“I am a kind of invisible father of coincidence studies,” Beitman told a reporter for Epoch Times.

Part of what that means is that he categorizes coincidences. Initially, Beitman divided coincidences in the following five categories:

  • Synchronicity – when a thought is mirrored by a meaningful exterior event;
  • Serendipity coincidences – finding what you need right when you need it;
  • Seriality – a string of similar events that are noted
  • Simulpathity – feeling another’s distress at a distance
  • Instrument – synchronicities or serendipities that motivate you to make a change or changes that work out to your benefit.

Now he has a different means of grouping coincidences.

Form:  Most come in pairs, usually a mental event surprisingly matches an event that is taking place in the environmental. Some come in a series of three or more like a string of butterflies.

Process: Or how they happen. Like “sitting down next to a stranger”, or “doing something different” or through public and personal media  or through encounters with nature.

Explanation:  Many people think they are caused by God. Others believe they are nothing more than random events.  I have noticed that some coincidences are unknowingly created by the person or persons involved. Better classification will produce specific explanations for the various types instead of broad generalizations.

Use:  Coincidences can help with decision making, psychological understanding, interpersonal relationships, creativity, spiritual development, employment, scientific discovery and health. They can also be funny, or inconsequential. They can also lead to negative consequences.

When Dr. Beitman read my ‘library angel’ synchronicity, he took an interest in it because the library angel phenomenon is something that he has experienced himself. It’s not surprising, though, that he also went about categorizing the two coincidences in a series of e-mails.

Essentially, he took away the angel’s wings! Here’s why.

“I’m thinking about this-Rob’s two synchros are more mind-matter matches (synchronicity) than library angel, to me. Your Ecuador time travel find is more library angel–finding needed information rather than matching mind with book.

Later…

“I have thought  about it more. It is a perfect example in the range of the problem of similarity between mind and context. He got an exact match. The trouble with some coincidences is that the similarity is stretched, more in the mind of the beholder than actual.

Still later…

“There is more to Rob’s coincidences.

1) the smarty pants was psi like.
 
2) the second was influenced by his having a book of the same name. So he more readily could pick it out. Why you had it in your book shelves, etc., is another question.”
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I had considered these two synchros as ‘library angels,’ because they both involved books. But Beitman seems to be suggesting that a library angel synchro is one where you are actively researching a matter and the appropriate book falls off the shelf at your feet, or some similar unlikely situation. But wouldn’t that be also be serendipity?
That’s the problem I have with categorizing coincidences. There seems to be a lot of possibly overlaps among categories. That’s why Jung lumped all psi phenomena under the  umbrella of synchronicity. For example, incidents of telepathy or precognition can also be seen as meaningful coincidences. That said, I think it’s great that Dr. Beitman is attempting to shift synchronicity into an accepted academic study.
As followup,  Beitman said he agrees that there are cross-overs in categories with coincidences. Some of them fit all of the categories.
He also notes: “The reason for library angel is related to the meaning of angel as a messenger. Maybe Rob is right to call each of his synchros library angel if there is a message for him in them. Not sure what the smarty pants message was and i think the second one was more a confirmation than information.
I appreciate Bernard’s perspective, especially since most academics might say something like: “It was bound to happen sooner or later. Chance events.”

 

 

 

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A Bump for BUMP…

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Tonight, Saturday, Nov. 1,  I’ll be on Coast to Coast again to talk about BUMP IN THE NIGHT. Actually, it will be early Nov. 2 for me – 1-3 a.m., since Florida is three hours later than Oregon, the site of the broadcast. Coast to Coast is the largest late night paranormal talk show. It’s also available on the Internet at the Coast to Coast site.

This will be the third time in less than two years that I’ve been interviewed for C2C, once with Trish for Aliens in the Backyard, once with Bruce Gernon, my co-author of The Fog. We talked about the lost Malaysian Airline Flight 370. Oddly enough, I had written Dave Schrader, host of Darkness Radio in Minneapolis, about BUMP, not the producer at C2C. It turns out Dave was scheduled to sub as host there Saturday and invited me to join him.

Here’s the kind of story I’ll be talking about on the air, and the kind you can read about in the book.

During the making of “Ghost Rider: The Spirit of Vengeance,” Nicholas Cage supposedly got so into character that he decided to spend a night in Transylvania’s infamous Bran Castle, aka, Dracula’s Castle. In the movie, stunt motorcyclist Johnny Blaze (Cage) hides out in Eastern Europe where he is called upon to stop the devil, who is attempted to take human form.

“We were shooting in Romania, Transylvania, and he just went up there to spend the night,” recalls costar Idris Elba. “True story.”

When Elba asked Cage about it the following morning, he told her he’d stayed in the castle to ‘channel the energy’ in preparation for filming the movie.

It’s not the first time Cage has been associated with the paranormal. In 2011, a photograph of a man from the American Civil War era went viral on the internet because the man looked nearly identical to Cage. Bloggers speculated that Cage was a time traveler or even possibly a vampire. Supposedly, the original of the photo was offered for sale on eBay for $1 million.

Between 2007 and 2009, Cage lived in a haunted house that he had bought, hoping the ghosts would inspire his efforts to write a horror novel. The house had once belonged to Madame Lalaurie, an infamous 19th century socialite, who was notorious for murdering her slaves.

Apparently, there wasn’t much ghostly encouragement for his creative endeavor. In spite of the estate’s eerie past, Cage admitted that he didn’t get very far with the book. Hm, possibly he needs a ghost writer!

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BUMP has a surprise at the end, a lengthy chapter of a future book called Alien Light: The Better Side of Contact. The chapter describes in depth the story of  ‘Sandy,’ a retired vet who has experienced alien and spirit contact much of her life.

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From Trish: I’ll be serving coffee and Cuban pastries. Do stop by!

 

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Adele’s High Strangeness

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This story certainly fits the spirit of Halloween!

We recently put up a doppelgänger story and one of the comments,by Adele Aldridge,  was so intriguing we told her we would like to bring it forward as a post. Her story seems to underscore how little we actually know about the nature of reality.

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I never experienced a doppelgänger for myself but had a most interesting experience with what seems like one.

At the time I was emotionally and psychically obsessed with a man who was unattainable for a variety of reasons. The connection was powerful which would be a long long story in itself. The man never left my mind and sometimes I felt it like a buzzing in the center of my forehead, where the third eye is supposed to be located.

One time I had a meeting with him for a day. He lived in another state. The next day I had a dinner date with an old beau. I’ll call him Joe which was not his name. Joe knew me well. We had our love affair that had ended badly and then eventually became friends. Seeing him now as a friend was easy for me because my mind was occupied all the time with this other soul connection that made me feel crazy. I could not discuss this with anyone.

Joe and I went out for dinner, had a very good time, came back to my place. All of a sudden Joe looked startled and said, “I just saw someone sitting in that chair.” I looked at the chair which was quite obviously empty. Joe continued to stare at the chair. Joe does not remember his dreams, did not have psychic experiences, was not interested in any of the subjects you write about here on this blog. In other words, Joe was not prone to even thinking about such a thing as a doppelgänger or any such related far out subject.

My mind was still buzzing with the soul mate connection that I could not be with and not talk about. I asked Joe to describe what he was seeing. What did the man look like? What was he wearing?

I was wondering if Joe maybe just had too much to drink or smoke so was surprised when he responded with a clear answer that described the other man, including how he sat and the hat he was wearing. After a pause, while I listened in astonishment, knowing exactly who Joe was describing, he said to me, “Adele you go to far! You go too far with this psychic stuff. YOU GO TOO FAR!” Joe was very shaken by seeing this ghostly image in my living room.

I wasn’t DOING anything. I thought Mr. Mystery man, if anything, was going too far. After that experience I stopped worrying about the buzzing in my head – or whatever was going on. All this remains a mystery to me to this day which was years ago. All I know is that when we have an unexplainable experience that sounds unbelievable it doesn’t matter because no one can erase the experience no matter how illogical it sounds to the so called “normal” people. And no, this never happened to me again.

As you might imagine, that story has more story behind it. There has to be a lot of two-way energy going on to have an experience like that. Long before that happened I had been invaded by the sense of the presence of this ghost man who was very much alive but miles away. We did not write or talk on the phone.

I constantly questioned if I was losing my mind. This was something beyond love as well as inclusive of love. But when Joe saw this ghost image of the other man, he was freaked out, while I stopped thinking I was crazy and accepted the fact for what it was. If another person saw what I had been feeling for months, that was fabulous. I never told Joe who the man was.

This event just proved to me that our energy does go out and perhaps some of us have more energy than others and more at different times and for sure, a lot more with a few special people.

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Lauren Raines commented in Adele’s post and her comment is also fascinating:

I completely believe Adele’s story, because I had something similar, in that there was a time in my life when I was “in love” with a married man, and he also was obsessed with me. Our connection was so inexplicable, and I came to the conclusion we must have a lot of past lives together or something………We worked together, as did his wife, and we never openly talked about it or became physical. The situation did not lend itself to any kind of discussion. But a number of times I felt him next to me in bed. It was very disturbing, and I since have met half a dozen women who had a strong emotional/sexual issue with a man and had the same kind of experience.

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Supposedly, something similar can develop through deep meditation, in which a being created by the mind manifests into temporary reality, seemingly as a physical entity. Monks in Tibet have called these beings Tulpas.

 

 

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Aliens, Fallen Angels & Demons

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I received an e-mail recently from Charles Fontaine, the Quebecois man who I wrote about here in the Quebec Encounters series here that later formed the heart of Aliens in the Backyard. Essentially, Charles has concluded that aliens are demons from the spirit world. His comments, which I’ve included in a slightly edited version below, compelled me (Rob) to consider the question of what lies at the root of the alien encounter experience, and about aliens, in general.

I think there is a connection between aliens and the spirit world. They seem to have access to it in ways we don’t comprehend. But I also think aliens are physical beings. Though some may have the ability to be both physical and non-physical.

I don’t know what aliens are or where they’re from, but I firmly believe they are not all the same—not physically, not mentally, and definitely not of the same intentions. They can’t all be lumped as either benevolent or evil. The same goes for humans, of course. And the same goes for human races and nationalities. Categorizing with specific attributes, whether positive or negative, only goes so far before such ideas start to unravel.

To say that all aliens are various forms of lower spirit beings – demons or Satan or fallen angels – then we are essentially saying there are no aliens. There are only lower, under-evolved demonic beings that appear as aliens.

It’s an interesting premise and the opposite of the ancient alien theme that implies all spirit beings and their revelations are cases of mistaken identity. It’s all aliens and no spirits. (I won’t even go into the skeptical/debunker perspective, which nullifies both possibilities!)

I think it’s much more complicated than either viewpoint – all aliens vs. all demons.

So here’s Charlie’s perspective. He makes references to people involved in his story, such as the pharmacist, the medium, and the ufologist (Jean Casault). Although I don’t agree with Charles, I think it’s worthwhile allowing him to express his thoughts and feelings, which are closely linked.

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Remember what the medium told me when I’ve asked: Why me? He said they (the spirits) were telling him to tell me that I should give myself time and I would understand,  because I’m well grounded to the earth.

They (aliens) were and are no good and here is how I’ve found out:

The third time that I met with the Pharmacist, I asked him: How did you find out that something related to aliens was going on with me and how could you point out exactly what was going on? How could you? He was amazed and confused for a moment and said: I thought that you had told me.

The same with the neighbors…. and the same with the medium with the dog’s left paw. All the strangers starting a discussion directly related to the subject.

Then there was the bang on the woodstove and the loud screaming coming out of the stove at 3:00 AM, and the black shadows.

Think of it this way: it is all the same, they want us to believe in different things such as, Bigfoot, Aliens, Vampires … you name them all… I believe they are all the same and Evil…SATAN

They possessed all the people coming to me. They used them to communicate with me. Tell me why the Pharmacist would not remember that he had asked the question directly?

They want us to believe they are good. Remember the medium had told me that they were good. But they talked through him to lie to me about their identity.

We (my wife and I) have lived through a horror movie. Why would they be connected with my visit to the graveyard?

Demons can make themselves appear in multiple images. They use people around their target to communicate. They probably took me to the book store so I would connect with you as well, because this is what they wanted.

I haven’t lost my senses. On the contrary, I realized as time went by that they are here to steal our souls.

Casault is wrong. He is saying that people such as me are cowards, and that we should not be afraid. The aliens are good. The problem is that Casault is saying openly that God does not exist. This is exactly the message that they – ALIENS (EVIL ONES) want us to tell throughout the community.

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The 5th Wave

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A couple of weeks ago, I dropped by Barnes and Noble to cruise the shelves and find out what new books were on the market. I usually make note of them and then check out the e-book version, which is always less expensive. But for some reason, on this particular day, I picked up The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey and read the back cover:

They know how we think

They know how to kill us.

They’ve taken everything worth living for.

Now they’ve come to take the things worth dying for.

I opened the book to a quote by Stephen Hawking: “If aliens ever visit us, I think the outcome would be as when Christopher Columbus first landed in America, which didn’t turn out very well for the Native Americans.”

Next page:

THE 1ST WAVE: Lights Out

THE 2ND WAVE: Surf’s Up

THE 3RD WAVE: Pestilence

THE 4TH WAVE: Silencer

Then I read the first page and knew I was going to love this book, that Rob would love it, that Megan would devour it. I was right. This book and its sequel- The Infinite Sea – went to the Florida Keys with us and after Megan got her hands on it, I never saw the hardcover again, so I downloaded the e-book and its sequel and Rob and I read it on our iPads.

Granted, I enjoy Dystopian novels, but The 5th Wave is probably the best novel – Dystopian or otherwise – I’ve read in the last 20 years. The story is riveting and the structure and pacing of the story are impeccable. It’s the kind of story that sticks with you even when you aren’t reading it. You can’t help but think, What if? As one writer friend put it, The 5th Wave is a sophisticated version of Invasion of the Body Snatchers. It’s actually a lot more than that.

In essence, an alien race takes over the planet by implanting the consciousness of their individual citizens into the bodies of human fetuses. The alien consciousness lies dormant in humans until the early teens and then co-exists with the human until the 1st wave occurs – lights out.

But it’s not just the electrical power grid that goes down. Nothing electrical or mechanical works- cars, iPads, cell phones, computers, planes, boats, nada. Back to the Dark Ages. This part of the story is told through the perspective of 16-year-old Cassie, who loses her entire family – except for her younger brother, Sam, who is eventually taken away in a bus by military types to Wright Patterson Air Force base. She’s a compelling, complex character.

Another perspective in the story is that of Evan Walker, who looks human but isn’t. He rescues Cassie at one point and falls in love with her, definitely not a component of the alien agenda. Walker may be one of the most intriguing characters in the novel.

Then there’s the perspective of Ben Parrish, a high school kid on whom Cassie had a crush when the world was normal. He is inducted into the 5th wave army at Wright Patterson, where children as young as five are trained to kill the “intruders.”

To say more than this would give away some essential plot elements that are so deftly crafted you anxiously turn pages just to find out what happens. As Megan remarked when she finished the book, “This story is a mind trip. The author leads you in one direction and suddenly you realize the direction is something else entirely.”

Yancey has done his homework – or has experienced something himself. He knows about the importance of owls in abduction scenarios. He knows about utter terror of the unknown. He understands the human psyche, the human soul.

As a writer, I came away from this novel with a deep appreciation for how important it is for a novelist to write the story as you envision it. Yes, an agent and editor can help to fine-tune the idea, can urge you to dig deeper within yourself to find the elements that transform the book from ordinary to extraordinary.

But in the end, a story is between you, the writer, and the characters you create. If you try to force the characters to do something that isn’t in their nature to do, they resist, dig in their heels, and your story falls apart. At no point in The 5th Wave does the story fall apart. You, the reader, have questions and all of them aren’t answered in the first book. But enough of the questions are answered so that you buy the sequel.

Not surprisingly, The 5th Wave has already been optioned as a film. I can’t wait to see how this shakes out as a movie. It’s an epic fated for the big screen.

ow I’m halfway through The Infinite Sea.

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Library Angels Again

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As authors, we’re surrounded by books. So it’s not too surprising that some of our synchros relate to the world of literature. Fiction and non-fiction. However, it’s a bit unusual to experience two such synchronicities within a couple of hours, which is what happened to me (Rob) today.

Last night we went to dinner with a couple that I met in my yoga class. Dwayne is a graphic artist and Rose works for pharmaceutical company. She’s politically active, volunteering for campaigns and liberal causes. She also likes to read political biographies and passes them onto us when she and Dwayne are done with them. That works for us, since the books she gives us usually are not ones we would pick up on our own. Such was the case last night when after dinner she handed us A Fighting Chance, by Elizabeth Warren.

Warren is the senior senator from Massachusetts, and one of the most progressive members of Congress. Trish is always saying that she would love to see Warren take on Hilary Clinton in a Democratic primary fight in the 2016 presidential campaign. Considering the timing of her biography, it could happen.

I like Sen. Warren as well, but wonder if she might be more effective as a senator. Once in the presidency, there seems to be little time for pursuing innovative ideas. Pressure comes from all sides and such ideas are watered down, ie. the Affordable Care Act, which was a compromise, actually originally a Republican concept to keep private enterprise at the center of health care.

All that said, I was curious about Warren’s book, but hadn’t cracked it open yet this afternoon, even though it was on the kitchen table within reach. I pointed at the book and commented to Trish that Elizabeth Warren was a smarty pants, a phrase that she said she’d never heard me use to describe anyone. I wasn’t sure why I said it, except I know Warren is very bright.

As Trish walked away, I reached for the book and opened it at random, turning to page 213. Here’s the first thing I read: I have two master’s degrees. I’m smart. A smarty pants, I thought. Synchronicity.

Well sort of. Actually, when I looked at the context of the comment, I realized that Warren wasn’t talking about herself, but was referring to someone else who had approached her. Still, it was another example of the library angel coming into play. You’re looking for a smarty pants. Well, here’s one. It just wasn’t a direct reference to Warren.

I moved on to my office and went back to work on a novel, one that I’ve been writing and re-writing for several years. I’m in the third version of the story, and this time it feels right. A while later, I got up from my desk, walked into the family room, which doubles as our library since the walls are covered with bookcases. My back was bothering me from some yard work I’d done so I went into a common yoga pose, a standing forward bend, letting my upper body hang, in order to stretch out my lower back.

As I hung there, a book on the bottom shelf of the nearest bookcase caught my attention. The title on the spine was upside down, so it took a moment to figure out what it said. It was just one word: DOMINION. I’d never noticed that book, even though it has the exact same title as my novel. I picked it off the shelf, and realized it was non-fiction. The sub-title is: The Power of Man, the Suffering of Animals, and the Call to Mercy. Definitely one of Trish’s books, I thought.

So again I opened it at random and jabbed my index finger at the page on the right. Here’s what I pointed at: “Dominica wouldn’t have any business as a member of this political organization.”

Wow! That too is a synchro. Dominica is the name of the antagonist in Trish’s last three novels: Esperanza, Ghost Key, and Apparition. Since a script of Ghost Key is now circulating, I hope that little synchro was a nudge in the right direction.

If you want to read more about the library angel, type that phrase into the search box at the right, and three or more stories will appear.

 

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Revolution & Russell Brand

I think we come into life with an agenda, a checkist, if you will, of things we would like to achieve, experience, and do during our time on the planet in this life.

Some of us choose to work on personal issues – the evolution of our creativity, our spirituality, our ability to nurture and be nurtured, our craft. Other people choose to be born into this time and space to usher in monumental change. To help bring about a paradigm shift.

Russel Brand may be one of the latter. After seeing him on MSNBC with Lawrence O’Donnell, and hearing that he has teamed up with Naomi Klein, another revolutionary, I intend to buy his new book, Revolution. Brand’s premise is whether we should “ditch capitalism and save the planet or ditch the planet and save capitalism.” Why? Think about this for a moment: The combined wealth of the 300 wealthiest Americans is greater than that of the poorest 85 million.

That’s a depressing – and empowering – statistic.

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More Doppelgangers

One evening in 1885, French author Guy de Maupassant was experiencing what many writers do at some point in their careers – writer’s block.  He was working on a short story that refused to come together.

Suddenly, a figure appeared in the doorway of his office, strolled across the room, and sat down across from him. The writer was astonished that anyone had gotten into his study and even more shocked when the intruder proceeded to dictate what he’d written so far on the story. And right then, Guy de Maupassant realized the intruder was a doppelganger – his own double.

When the double vanished, Maupassant continued writing the story as it had been dictated – the tale of an invisible, evil spirit that lives within a man, yet independent from him. The story, The Horla is thought to be a harbinger of Maupassant’s subsequent madness and death.

Maupassant’s experience was unusual in that not many Doppelgangers provide information, much less dictate an entire short story!

Doppelgangers – doubles – have been reported for centuries throughout a variety of cultures, and probably date back to pagan times. In some cultures, the doppelganger was thought to be a manifestation of the soul.  Among ancient Egyptians, a ka was a spirit double. In Norse mythology, a vardøger  is a kind of ghostly double who, when seen, is performing its counterpart’s actions in advance. But could some Doppelgangers be astral projections?

A colleague of Harvard professor William James, a fellow professor, confided in James that one evening in late 1883 or early 1884, he tried an experiment in astral projection. The man apparently felt comfortable telling James about the experiment, but wanted to remain otherwise anonymous for fear that his more conservative colleagues would find the experiment frivolous.

Apparently the professor had been seeing a female friend quite often, “A,” and they shared an interest in the possibility of astral bodies. So on the particular evening of his experiment, he sat in the dark by an open window that faced her house, which lay about half a mile. The professor told James that he tried as hard as he could to “wish” himself in A’s presence. This state of wishing” lasted for about ten minutes. But he reported that nothing unusual had happened.

Yet, the next day, A reported that during the previous evening, while she’d been having dinner with someone, she’d seen the professor through the door. She told her companion about it. But the professor’s projection retreated and was never seen by A’s friend. She was convinced about the reality of the event.

We’ve written about Doppelgangers before  and about some of the famous people who have experienced them.  But every time I run across another story, I’m newly intrigued. Our blogging friend Mike Perry has experienced Doppelgangers several times.  Has anyone else?

 

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Ode to Joy

I came across this on Laure Raines’ blog, Threads of the Spiderwoman, which is like visiting an artist’s rendition of Joseph Campbell:

 

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The Afterlife Exhibit

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Today, we went to a local science museum for the opening day of an Egyptian afterlife exhibit. This intriguing exhibit has been seen by more than 4.5 million people worldwide since it first came to the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York in 2004.

According to the Palm Beach Post, the exhibit was revamped in 2010 and now has more than 200 new artifacts, some of which are at least 5,000 years old and came from several British museums. The updated exhibit was most recently in Taipei, Taiwan, where nearly a million and a half people waited up to six hours to see it.

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I’m happy to say that we didn’t have to wait at all. Rob, Lynn and Bruce Gernon and I breezed right in. The celebrity of the exhibit is a 3,000-year-old mummy believed to be the son of Ramses II, the Egyptian pharaoh known as Ramses the Great. Now here’s the interesting thing about Ramses. Museums that have housed the mummy all claim to have had “some sort of unexplained phenomena,” as the Post put it.

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In Taipei, sixty seconds after the mummy was placed at its location, an earthquake hit Taipei that knocked out all the lights in the museum- except the one shining down on Ramses’ son. The young woman who was telling visitors about the mummy mentioned this story, so I asked her if anything had happened since the mummy had arrived at the science museum.

She lowered her voice and said, “Actually, yes, there have been some strange reports.” The night after the exhibit had arrived, two employees had returned to the museum after hours and were gathering up their belongings when they heard moaning. “The museum was closed, okay? No visitors were here, no employees except them.”

“What’d they do?” I asked.

“One of them said, ‘Do you hear that? I think the moaning is coming from the exhibit. The moment he said that word, moaning, the sound stopped.”

“Has anything else happened?” Lynn asked.

“Some visitors have reported that the mummy’s eyes move.”

By then, Lynn and I had our phones out, with our Ghost Radar apps up and running. Anomalies kept appearing on the screen and every so often a word appeared on her screen or mine that seemed connected to what we were doing. Pretty soon, a couple more employees came over to take a look at our apps and wanted to know what it was called and was it a free download? We were probably the oddest group of visitors today!

The other mummy that intrigued us was that of a young girl who was supposedly between four and eight when she died. But the mummy was so small – maybe two feet long – that we were confused about her supposed age. The girl’s mummy recently had a CT scan at a local children’s hospital to determine her cause of death. That will be revealed on October 16. When we used our ghost radar apps around the container in which she lay, our screens really lit up.

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The mummies were laid out in a room that supposedly resembled a burial chamber. They are inside plastic cases that are regulated for temperature and humidity in order to preserve the mummies. And they travel in these cases I asked the young woman who had told us about the male mummy if the images on the walls were the original ones. She said the images had been replicated by archeologists – a daunting task that certainly looks like it could have taken decades to do!

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We even saw pets and animals that had been preserved. Here, a falcon:

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Here, an alligator or crocodile and cow’s eyes…Not sure why those would be preserved.

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It was a fascinating exhibit and somehow, when you see something as old as these mummies and artifacts, you can’t help but feel a sense of wonderment and awe. And I’m sure some of the employees will be downloading the Ghost Radar app to use after dark, when the museum is empty of visitors.

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