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Observations placeholder

Swann, Ingo - Affecting distant objects



Type of Spiritual Experience


A description of the experience

From Ingo Swann – to Kiss the Earth Goodbye
Narrated by Gertrude Schmeidler

 ….Some weeks later I was surprised and pleased when Ingo Swann telephoned me at my office. He had an offer to make that - I do research with him. He wanted the research done under careful conditions, which I could specify, in order to learn about an ability that he had begun to think he possessed an ability so striking, (if it truly existed) as to boggle the mind. He thought he had found, in informal tests, that he could change the temperature of distant objects.

… A psychic who asks for strict controls is a rare bird, and few of us are willing to let a rare bird go away unobserved. As for the impossibility of what he asked me to investigate, long exposure to parapsychology had left me inclined to think well of the advice of Lewis Carroll that Oxford mathematician and philosopher of the absurd, who told us to believe three impossible things before breakfast.

You may want to be able to visualize us. In all but one of our sessions Ingo sat in front of the polygraph so he could watch the readout. Quiet and relaxed, he made almost no movements. At his left, several feet away was the thermistor he was trying to change. At his right I sat, stop watch in hand, telling him when to rest, when to try to make it hotter, when to try to make it colder.

Between me and the polygraph was a colleague, Larry Lewis, who made sure that the machine ran properly and recorded the timing. It was a quiet scene. Almost the only activity was the machine's, with paper rolling through it and its needles jiggling slightly as they traced the changes that 'should not’ have occurred.

ln later [experiments] the thermistor was sealed into a thermos bottle so it was insulated from the air, To make sure that my instructions did not merely anticipate temperature changes that occurred naturally, all instructional periods were equally long (forty-five seconds) and every series followed a preset, counterbalanced order (rest, hotter, rest, colder, rest, colder, rest, hotter, rest, colder, rest, hotter, rest, hotter, rest, colder) for one of the two series in each session  and its mirror image (rest, colder, rest, hotter, etc) for the other. This order was arranged so that progressive changes or simple cycles of change would not distort the hotter versus colder comparisons.

And before our eyes the "impossible" happened. Both visual inspection of the record and careful statistical analysis showed that again and again (in seven of our ten series) there was a significant correspondence between what I told Ingo  to do and what the record traced.

For each of five of the series the difference between the record of rising temperatures in the "make it hotter" periods and of falling temperatures in the "make it colder" periods was so great that it would be expected to happen by chance only one time in a thousand.

To have such changes even once, in a thermistor insulated in a thermos that was twenty-five feet away from Ingo would be a strong indication of paranormal ability; to have it happen so consistently seems conclusive evidence. It is true that the temperature differences were small (seldom showing a change of one degree in the period of forty-five seconds) and the changes were not uniformly in the instructed direction, but the overall pattern was unequivocal.

 It seems to me that the only possible interpretation of this project  is that Ingo by his psychic ability changed the temperature  of a distant insulated object - or else, and just as striking, that by his psychic ability Ingo changed the electric current or the pen's motion so that the record showed the desired temperature change.

The source of the experience

Swann, Ingo

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