Author and psychologist specializing in the psychology of the paranormal, Richard Wiseman, discussed his twenty years of research into the paranormal and why he takes a somewhat skeptical perspective on phenomena such as ghosts, out-of-body experiences, psychics and mind control. While many people have what they call paranormal experiences, he views them as "very sophisticated and very interesting illusions where for one reason or another we're kidding ourselves about those experiences without realizing it." People, and Americans in particular, are predisposed to believe in the paranormal, as part of their psychological make-up, he added.
The bereaved, he continued, sometimes see ghostly apparitions of their recently departed loved ones, and this may be partially the brain coming to terms with the loss, and making them feel better. Wiseman conducted investigations at haunted sites in the U.K. such as the Hampton Court Palace and determined that people are feeling genuinely odd sensations, but these are brought about by physical phenomena such as infrasound which can cause vibrations in the body. He also studied the case of a dog who supposedly sensed just before his owner was about to return. While parapsychologist Rupert Sheldrake believed the dog had a psychic ability, Wiseman concluded the pet was simply going to the window more and more frequently.
Regarding Ouija boards, Wiseman actually encourages people to play with them. Rather than spirits dictating messages, he suggested it's a subconscious ideomotor action, and when the letters on the board are covered up, the messages turn out to be gibberish. He also spoke about his studies of the luck factor, and "quirkology," in which people's behavior doesn't match up to what they say. Wiseman will be speaking at James Randi's Amaz!ng Meeting, "a celebration of critical thinking and skepticism," later this week in Las Vegas.
First hour guest, earth changes expert Mitch Battros shared updates. Regarding the current spate of extremely hot weather, he commented that such patterns are cyclical and cited heat waves that occurred between 1925-35 in which temperatures soared up to 130 degrees in a number of American states. He also talked about changes in solar activity, with a recent M class flare having the same impact as a larger, X-class flare.
Bumper music from Monday July 11, 2011