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Other Experiences with the 'paranormal'?

Discussion in 'General' started by Zabuza, 6 Mar 2011.

  1. Zabuza

    Zabuza New Member

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    I did a search and found a similar thread on this but it had derailed a bit so thought I'd make a new one.

    Anyone had any experiences that they can't explain or spooked them?

    The reason I ask is because I read this thread today: http://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/c...he_creepiest_thing_that_youve_ever/?limit=500

    (All the stories in the thread aren't about ghosts.)

    I found these stories very interesting even though I don't believe in ghosts and the like, never experienced anything like it myself but I think I'd like to.
     
  2. boiled_elephant

    boiled_elephant Whitelist Bit-Tech in your adblock!

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    I have an experience I can't explain that spooks me all the time: dreaming. I doubt any of us here have any idea precisely how dreaming works or understand what's happening to us when we dream, but we happily accept it as normal because we are familiarized with dreaming by how often it happens. We have no idea how our own brains work, how reliable they are or what can happen when they malfunction, but we confidently assert that unverifiable, solitary, scientifically nonsensical experiences that we have are the result of something in the world, rather than something in our brains.

    When I was sick with food poisoning for several hours straight once, I became delirious through the sheer amount and duration of pain and saw an angel. It was in fact a member of the college staff; I returned the next day and didn't recognise her, though I confirmed that it had been her sitting where I'd seen an angel (as clearly as I see anything, ever). Fact: your brain is a shitty, unreliable box of tangled wires that takes any of a number of excuses to screw itself over.

    It's not a case of the supernatural being inconceivable or beyond consideration. I do consider it as a possibility. But in every case ever, you've ultimately got to weigh up two mutually incompatible possibilities: either (1) the supernatural is real, and all known science is deeply flawed and mistaken, or (2) every supernatural phenomenon has some logical explanation behind it, other than the supernatural being real, and science works.

    These are mutually exclusive for the simple reason that scientific experiment, known physics and recorded empirical data all fail to verify or accomodate the supernatural. It is unsubstantiated, never once confirmed by an experiment, reliably recorded by verifiable sources or implied by any existing theories of physics, matter and reality.

    It's not that there's just big gaps that science can't probe and that the supernatural lies undiscovered in - if the supernatural is real, it is actively hiding from, thwarting and contradicting all existing scientific enquiry. This places it on the same level of credibility as creationism: actively opposed to all available evidence and research.


    More on-topic, though: yes, I'd love to have a 'supernatural' experience, too. I've had a couple in the past. Knowing that it's just your brain dicking around with your perception of reality doesn't make it any less interesting - I place it in the same category as drug trips, albeit less harmful and risky than those.

    Disclaimer: re-reading this, it sounds like I'm being a dick towards your post. I'm not. I didn't overlook the fact that you already stated your lack of belief in the supernatural. This post is just pre-emptive, an early foot in the door and a response in advance to those who do believe in the supernatural. There is a very stark divide on bit-tech on this issue and I wanted to get my word in early, to give defendants of the supernatural an initial position to work against; it wasn't a personal retalliation against your original post.
     
    Last edited: 8 Mar 2011
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  3. omicron

    omicron Baud.

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    I've never had an experience that couldn't be logically explained.
    Experiences of the supernatural hinge on whether you categorize that which you do not understand as paranormal events or simply events to which you do not have all the facts.
     
  4. outlawaol

    outlawaol Geeked since 1982

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    I didnt observe this, but both my dad and brother did and told us the tale (my first question was, WHY DIDNT YOU GO GRAB A CAMERA!?!)

    They got home one evening and said there was an odd light in the field adjacent to the house (at the time it was growing hay, so it was easy to walk in). They said it was not in the upper atmosphere but was hovering very very low, nearly right over them. They said they laid down in the hay and watched it for 20-30 minutes before it dissipated. *queue creepy music*

    One experience was more than likely my own imagination, but its one of those instances where it still gives me a creepy feeling when thinking about.

    My parents live in a 100+ year old farmhouse out in the country (that alone is enough, lol) And on the far end of the house upstairs it had this room that had an octogon cubby with windows going around (a total of 4, so half mooned). I had always had an uneasy feeling with this room and really didnt like it. Well I had just moved into the room because someone moved out (or something) and I wanted it. I figured I would overcome my fear of it by staying in it. So the first night I am laying in bed and I look over at one of the windows, it had semi transparent blinds and there was a yard light so some ambient light was coming through. I could have sworn that an outline I seen was a small creature thing, it didnt move the entire time I stared at it, but it freaked me out. It looked kinda like an owl outline. I finally got up the courage and booked it outta there. Years later I had my computer in the same cubby and got over my irrational fear of shadows... ;)

    Paranormal stuff does intrigue me, but at the same time kinda freaks me out.... :worried:
     
  5. adidan

    adidan Guesswork is still work

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    Quite a few. Most things can be explained though.

    One that sticks in my head was dreaming about a friend being in my bedroom and hearing a lad and lass arguing in the passageway outside. I woke up and saw it was just gone 4 in the morning.

    Spoke to my friend later that day just saying I'd had a weird dream (without the details) and she said she woke up just after 4 after having a dream she was in my bedroom and could hear an argument outside in the passageway.

    Psychic projection was worked on by the US and USSR militaries back in the day, there may be something to that and telepathy but I believe most 'paranormal' activities are psychological.
     
  6. Canon

    Canon Reformed

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    Blushing, art. Both paranormal by definition, happens everyday :D
     
  7. Cthippo

    Cthippo Can't mod my way out of a paper bag

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    I dated an incredibly powerful psychic for a while and it was sometimes off-putting what she could do. For example, when you can walk into a room to ask her where something is and before you can say a word she hands it to you or when she can describe the object you're looking at despite the fact that she's 1500 miles away and talking to you on the phone. Good person to know when you lose your keys though :)

    I have some pre-cognitive ability myself, but it's nowhere near as good as hers was. Sometimes I know things are going to happen before they do, but it's not always reliable.

    As for boiled_elephant's post, I don't think that's quite true. There has been a fair bit of work done that validates some psychic phenomenon, even if it can't explain it. Also, something is only supernatural until you do explain it, then it's just science. Lots of things have been poo-pooed by mainstream science until one day someone manages to document the phenomenon and then suddenly it's not supernatural anymore. Red sprites and blue jets were an example of this, the Coelacanth was another. In both cases people reported these things and were told "you're wrong, it;s not real" until one day evidence arrived.

    The lesson here, IMHO anyway, is that absence of evidence is not necessarily evidence of absence.
     
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  8. boiled_elephant

    boiled_elephant Whitelist Bit-Tech in your adblock!

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    I have an uneasy feeling just reading your description of it. Are your parents vampires or something?

    On a slightly-related note, I had a conversation about this a while ago and it was universally agreed that large, empty houses are just goddamn creepy. I'm not sure why. But Kuberick knew it:

    [​IMG]

    edit-
    As a philosophy student, you've got me by the balls there. But I tend to respond to that maxim with "but it does leave the ball in the far court". Absence of evidence means the onus is on supernatural speculators to provide evidence, not on the skeptics to continue providing objections. Most importantly, though, I'd point out that if something is unexplained, it's bad practice to say anything other than that it's unexplained: people going "unexplained phenomena, therefore ghosts/psychic abilities/spiritual dimensions" are making an unwarranted leap. To quote Dara O'Briain (sorry, I know it was only a matter of time before someone did):
    Evidence that there's some things going on that we don't yet have a scientific explanation for? Very high. Evidence that humans have an enduring soul, that the dead continue to exist after death, that structures can be haunted by the dead, that people have genuine telepathic abilities? None. What gets passed off as evidence in this regard is usually badly-researched and misunderstood work by unqualified people that fails to recur when investigated properly with valid methods - but people forget about the disproving subsequent research and just remember the initial corroborating work. Confirmation bias.
     
    Last edited: 9 Mar 2011
  9. adidan

    adidan Guesswork is still work

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    Yeah, well, religious types have been avoiding that for thousands of years.
     
  10. Malvolio

    Malvolio .

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    No.

    Since 1964 James Randi and the JREF have been offering a prize to any person the world over that could demonstrate any modicum of psychic or paranormal prowess to any degree at all. The prize was initially just one thousand dollars, but was raised to one million later through a large donation. Not a single person has ever been able to complete a simple double-blind test, as designed by both the JREF and the applicant, any better than as if they were doing it by chance. I'm going to go out on a limb here and say that if there were psychic powers prevalent within the world today, somebody would have claimed the prize within the past forty six years. Here is the website for the JREF and their challenge.

    However, if you do know of any specific studies showing the existence of the paranormal (however you want to define that), then please post the article from a peer-reviewed journal. If not, then I call shenanigans.
     
  11. Jumeira_Johnny

    Jumeira_Johnny 16032 - High plains drifter

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    Awesome. thank you thank you thank you.

    That being said, my mother makes a very good living as a medium. Well established and an educated, returning clientele. With out bashing her, I am a born skeptic. But then again, she has her moments that take even my wife and I aback.
     
  12. Cthippo

    Cthippo Can't mod my way out of a paper bag

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    The study i recall had to do with psychic influence on computers. That a computer program picking a random outcome could apparently be influenced by thinking at it. I'll have to root around and see if I can find it again.

    Ask and you shall receive :)

    http://www.dbem.ws/Does Psi Exist?.pdf
    http://dbem.ws/FeelingFuture.pdf

    What's interesting is the response to these articles, especially the last one. Many researchers have pillored the journal for publishing it and even questioned the whole peer review process, but his methodology appears sound. Basically their point is "This can't be true no matter what evidence you show for it".
     
    Last edited: 9 Mar 2011
  13. boiled_elephant

    boiled_elephant Whitelist Bit-Tech in your adblock!

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    To say there's no physical/metaphysical truth to the ideas behind it isn't to say it's no skill or talent. Psychic work does involve a lot of intuition, understanding, cold reading, psychology, and so on. I often wonder how well psychics actually understand what they're doing (my instinct is that many of them don't, since many appear to be mad and stupid) but there is certainly something to it. My claim is just that the 'something' behind it involves a complex set of human skills rather than something spiritual or supernatural.
     
  14. Malvolio

    Malvolio .

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    What you posted was a study on the Ganzfeld Effect, which I did a bit of reading on today at work (only a couple hours, mind you) and it does seem to have something to it. Though I do personally question the veracity of a ten-percent change in result between that and the control, it is still something, and definitely worth investigating (though how we go about that nobody knows).

    If twenty-five percent is the expected random guess rate, then tests of the Ganzfeld Effect garners in the range of thirty to thirty eight percent correct most of the time. However, these results only seem to come from aggregate studies of multitudes of such experiments, as no one experimental run has ever provided a clear-cut result, since it does bounce about quite a bit. I'm not saying it's nonsense, just that it may be such a minor thing as to be considered not all that much different from chance due to how we have to get to the statistically significant numbers.

    Thanks for the link, but this doesn't change my opinion on the typical hallucination that seems to typify the normal paranormal experience, nor does it change my opinion on cold-reading mediums or psychics. Maybe next time I'm in a sensory deprivation tank and an image flashes in my mind I could be convinced that there was a very slight chance of it being "pushed" there by somebody else, maybe.
     
  15. boiled_elephant

    boiled_elephant Whitelist Bit-Tech in your adblock!

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    Note that ESP and the supernatural are very different things, in any event. I take the supernatural to encompass ghosts, life after death, premonitions of the future, and so on. I maintain that if there is something to ESP at all, it must have a physical mechanism that can and will be accounted for and quantified by scientific enquiry - and that if this happened, it would have no bearing, or would actually work to discredit, the ghost stories that make up most supernatural reports. (Discredit because the existence of ESP would provide a non-spiritual explanation for many experiences of ghosts.)
     
  16. DeadP1xels

    DeadP1xels Music Enthusiast

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    I can remeber being younger and i was always a little scared of the dark.... i did'nt like to look out into the darkness just one of those things

    One night i turned the lights out and i could'nt sleep i just sat there for 20 minutes and hurt these footsteps.... freaked me out because it sounded like it was on wood flooring and we had no wood flooring in the house especially in my room!?!?!

    So i pulled the duvet up over my head and the creepiest thing happened, i felt hand prints on the duvet like pressing down as if someone was crawling up from the foot of the bed they were quite light pressing but it was defiantely there.

    Never slept that night
     
  17. G0UDG

    G0UDG helping others costs nothing

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    We breath oxygen we cannot see must we therefore dismiss the existence of it because we cannot see it,scientists always dismiss anything they cannot explain or does not conform to our current understanding of how things work.
     
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  18. BRAWL

    BRAWL Well-Known Member

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    Thats your mind making images and filling in blanks mate.

    If you've ever played Silent Hill thats how that game works majorly aswell. Your mind is the biggest instiller of fear. Say for example... you watch a film about spiders, then you walk out into your house/flat and it's dark, your mind automatically fills in the blanks to make you see spiders etc... or whatever it is you fear most.

    As you can tell I'm scared of spiders, no idea why but I've got the most irrational fear of them! But i'm fine with my pet scorpion? Go figure. Anyway... never really had a paranormal experience... De Ja Vu doesn't count, I get that a butt tonne.
     
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  19. julianmartin

    julianmartin resident cyborg.

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    LOL

    You made my morning.
     
  20. Fizzban

    Fizzban Man of Many Typos

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    Not exactly. I've never seen a ghost or an Angel or anything like that.

    I did about 3 or 4 years ago see a U.F.O during a beautiful summers day. Don't get me wrong on this, I don't think it was aliens as the distances involved and the time it takes to travel them makes it near impossible. But it was in the sky, it was a silver...thing and it was like nothing I have ever seen humans pilot. Made my day really.
     

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