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Surgery & the Supernatural

Retired NASA astronaut Ron Garan is also a highly decorated fighter pilot as well as an explorer, entrepreneur, and humanitarian who believes that appropriately designed and targeted social enterprise can solve many of the problems facing our world. In the first half, he discussed his transformative experiences working aboard the International Space Station.

In the latter half, medical sociologist Robert E. Bartholomew, PhD shared his latest work uncovering the little-known scientific evidence underlying supposed hauntings, immortalized in familiar Hollywood films including The Exorcist, Poltergeist and The Conjuring.

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Surgery & the Supernatural

Show Archive
Date: Sunday - June 14, 2009
Host: Ian Punnett
Guests: Dr. Allan J. Hamilton

Ian Punnett welcomed Harvard educated brain surgeon Dr. Allan Hamilton for a discussion about his experiences with spirituality and the supernatural, and how they manifested themselves in the lives of medical patients. Reflecting on the many anomalous events he has observed over the course of his career, Hamilton said, "it's pervasive throughout medicine and yet we've sort of held the lid on it."

Hamilton talked about sometimes having the unsettling ability to know that a patient is dangerously close to death because they would take on a "yellow, waxy color." He first noticed this while working as an assistant to a veterinarian and would see it appear on dying animals' faces. Later in his career as a surgeon, he recognized the hue again on the faces of his patients who either went on to die or came precipitously close to death. While he dismissed the notion that this was an absolute means of determining a patient's viability, he did say that "more than once" he has ordered tests on a patient after observing the troubling color.

He also shared an amazing story of a seemingly separate form of consciousness which he said was "about as close as I'll get to the holy grail of the soul in this life." A recovering brain surgery patient remembered the doctors' operating room conversation and described it with remarkable detail. However, due to the nature of the surgery, her brain had no electrical activity at the time and the creation of memories should have been impossible. Hamilton mused, "there's no way this brain can make memories ... and yet, those memories were made somewhere."

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Ian Punnett's Blog

Check out Ian's latest musings and insights at his blog site.

A New Kind of Cloud?

A meteorological movement has emerged, calling for recognition of a new cloud type, something which hasn't happened since 1951. Spotted sporadically over the last few years, the unique weather effect has confounded some experts who contend that it is worthy of its own place in the cloud hierarchy. That said, not all weather watchers are in agreement and the debate over the mystery cloud may not disperse for quite some time. More on the story here.

Bumper Music

Bumper music from Sunday June 14, 2009

  • Moms
    A Tribe Called Quest