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Athletes & the Paranormal

Date: 03-14-09
Host: Ian Punnett
Guests: Maria Coffey

Author and adventurer Maria Coffey shared stories about the profound paranormal and spiritual experiences of extreme athletes. Several of Coffey's anecdotes involved mountaineers who encountered spirits or other unexplainable phenomena during their climb. In one account, American climber Lou Whittaker is said to have seen a mysterious elderly Tibetan woman in his tent at the base of Kangchenjunga, third highest mountain in the world. Stranger still is that the old woman also appeared to Whittaker's wife, Ingrid, when she was laid up in the tent from a bout of altitude sickness.

Coffey recounted an astonishing story about twin climbers, Adrian and Alan Burgess, who were scaling a mountain when Adrian's rope dislodged some rocks. As a large chunk of stone fell toward Alan, Adrian claims it suddenly seemed to float then shift and gently land on his brother's backpack. Mexican climber Carlos Carsolio insists he too has had similar moments of "extended reality." During a terrible snow storm on K2, Carsolio claims to have been guided to safety by spirits of the mountains, Coffey said.

Sailors on solo trips have also reported sensing the presence of another person on the boat with them. Sometimes this feeling is so intense that they have prepared food for their invisible guests, Coffey pointed out. Some encounter evil entities during their intense activities, Coffey said. On a long-distance solo flight, Aerospace engineer Burt Rutan recalled seeing an elf-like creature riding on his wing and telling him to go to sleep. Coffey thinks extreme athletes have these experiences because they open themselves to the environment and the energy around them. Channels open that would be closed in regular life, she explained.

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