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Curious Cases of the Paranormal

Date: 11-18-08
Host: George Noory
Guests: Stephen E. Braude, Dr. Roger Leir

Philosopher and parapsychologist Stephen E. Braude discussed his study of the paranormal, including psychokinesis, mediums, and the evidence for the survival of death. One of the most intriguing cases he looked into was that of the 'Gold Leaf Lady--' a Florida psychic named Katie who has spontaneous episodes in which a metallic foil substance appears on her skin. No definitive explanations have arisen as to how this material (found to be made of brass) materializes on Katie, though he proposed one possibility-- it could be a kind of 'apport,' in which an object is psychically transferred from one location to another.

Braude said a number of other paranormal cases he investigated were found to involve fraud or some type of sabotage. However, he suggested that the heyday of mediumship & spiritualism (1865-1930) offers more compelling examples of parapsychology than the more modern era of laboratory experimentation. For example, massive table levitations were reported, and the great medium D.D. Home was able to make an accordion play melodies by itself. Though studied by scientists, Home was never proven to be fraudulent.

Braude also talked about organ transplant cases in which recipients of a heart or lung sometimes took on characteristics of the donor. In one case, not unlike a haunting, a boy was said to experience "Jerry" (the deceased donor) take over his body. This suggests to him that consciousness has the ability to hover around organs. He also touched on reincarnation cases, citing an incident where a child wept profoundly at meeting his "former family."

Surgery Awakenings

Appearing during the first half-hour, Dr. Roger Leir reacted to a report about a woman waking up during surgery, and feeling the cuts of the surgeon's blade. Such incidents are often the fault of the anesthesiologist, he said.

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