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Observations placeholder

The Matching abacus test



Type of Spiritual Experience


A description of the experience

Andrija Puharich – The Sacred Mushroom

Research at the Round Table Foundation for the past six years has shown that under special environmental conditions many sensitives demonstrate an increase in accuracy and in the amount of intelligence collected by means of telepathy over that found under normal room conditions.

The special environmental conditions are created by placing the sensitive inside of a cubical metal enclosure, or room, called a Faraday Cage.

The Faraday Cage is a copper enclosure whose walls prevent electromagnetic waves and electrostatic effects from passing this metal barrier to the inside. If a radio is taken inside the Faraday Cage it would continue to play as long as the door of the cage is open. But as soon as the door of the Faraday Cage is closed, and providing there is no electric wire passing through the walls, the radio will be completely cut off from the broadcasting station. The radio waves are stopped by the copper wall, and cannot penetrate to the interior of the Faraday Cage.

Likewise, if an electric charge is placed on the walls of the Faraday Cage a person inside will feel no electricity - even if he touches the inside walls of the cage.

The increase in the telepathic prowess of a sensitive was measured by rigidly statistical standards. The method used to measure increase or decrease of telepathic ability was a matching problem test. A familiar example of a matching problem is tossing a coin in the air and calling out whether it will land heads or tails. In other words, in order to be correct one's call must always match the coin face that turns up.

This principle is used in almost all tests for ESP. We utilized such a test which is called the Matching Abacus Test, MAT for short.  It consists of two matching sets of ten different pictures. Each set of pictures is placed in a row. Both rows of pictures are shuffled, and the trial matching of ten pictures is called a run. The pictures are placed under an opaque screen so that the sensitive (the receiver in telepathy) can handle them but cannot see them. The receiver is also blindfolded, so that he cannot see either the pictures or the sender. The pictures are placed in clear plastic boxes so that the receiver cannot touch the surface of the picture, but the sender can clearly see each one.

The receiver places his left hand on one picture in the row closest to him. The sender now knows the picture that the receiver will seek in the other row. The receiver then passes his right hand over the other row of pictures and attempts to find the mate to the picture under his left hand. The sender, by telepathy alone, tries to influence the receiver to pick up the correct picture. When the receiver makes his choice he picks up the plastic box and places it opposite the one under his left hand. Each such matching decision is called a trial. If the two pictures correctly match it is called a hit. A complete experiment consists of five runs, or 50 trial matches. The chance score for a telepathy MAT experiment is six hits out of fifty trials (6/50).

The score significant for telepathic ESP is 11/50 (P= .01 or odds that such a score could result by chance once in a hundred such experiments).

A number of different telepathic teams averaged 12/50 hits under normal room conditions (P=.006, or odds that such a score could occur by chance six times out of every thousand experiments). Such a score is considered significant evidence for telepathy.

lnside the Faraday Cage

The same telepathic teams were then placed inside of the specially constructed Faraday Cages. These had no electrical charge on them, and the cage in which the two subjects sat was grounded to earth.

The average score of the telepathic teams jumped to 25/50 correct matches. This represents a statistical probability of 1.29341 x 10 to the power of minus 10, or odds that such a score could occur by chance approximately once in ten billion experiments. This is a highly significant increase in ESP test scores, and indicates an increase in the telepathic interaction.

There was a question that the ESP test scores might have increased because of the psychological stimulation afforded by working in a novel environment. In order to rule out this psychological factor the subjects were placed in the cage as before, and it was found that if the wire connection between the cage and earth was broken by a switch the ESP test scores dropped to the level found for normal room conditions. Many tests of a similar nature proved that it was not a psychological factor that was responsible for the increase noted in telepathic ESP test scores.

It is important to record that, under the conditions cited above (associated with scores significant for telepathy), while the receiver correctly matched two pictures, he rarely knew what the picture was.

In other words, if he correctly matched two pictures of a ship, he did not know consciously what the picture was. Such manual matching, without knowing which picture was being matched, means that no intelligence was gained from this kind of telepathic process. The correct acts were carried out at an unconscious level of mind.

When the subjects performed inside of the same Faraday Cage but now carrying an electrical charge of twenty thousand volts direct current negative on the outer walls, the scores jumped to an average of 43/50 hits (P=10 to the minus 26). This is a highly significant increase in ESP test scores over those obtained in a Faraday Cage grounded to earth and carrying no electrical charge on its outer walls. But more important than this increase in ESP test scores was the fact that the two subjects were suddenly able to transmit and receive symbolic intelligence.

This means that not only could they match the pictures correctly, but they were able accurately to name or describe the picture. Furthermore, they were able for the first time to read each other's thoughts. The subjects retained this latter ability when placed in separate Faraday Cages 0.3 miles apart. The content and acuity of intelligence gained by psychometry from photos or handwriting was also increased by working inside the charged Faraday Cage.

It must be pointed out that when both subjects are in one cage separated four feet from each other across a table there is a good probability of sensory clue exchange. But the control tests with an ungrounded, or floating Faraday Cage (where the scores averaged 12/50 hits) showed that such sensory leakage was not serious. It was obvious that if the subjects were placed in separate rooms, or in separate buildings, there could be no sensory leakage. But such a separation would also eliminate the precise synchronization of the sender's telepathic "signal" with the receiver's hand when it was over the correct matching picture.

Under the conditions of such separation each subject had only one row of the MAT pictures. The receiver was to rearrange the pictures in his row in the order in which he thought the sender had arranged his row (or the order in which the investigator had arranged them for the sender). Under these test conditions, and when each subject was working under normal room conditions, the scores averaged 6/ 50, or pure chance-expectation. However, as long as one subject (acting as receiver) was in an electrically charged Faraday Cage he averaged 14/50hits (P=4.71 x 10 to the minus 4 or odds that such a result could occur by chance four times in 10,000 experiments).

This score is significant for telepathy. The drop in scoring level is attributed primarily to the loss of precise synchronization between the sending and receiving of telepathic signals. When both subjects were in separate charged Faraday Cages at a distance of 0.3 miles from each other the scores rose to an average of 36/50 hits-showing an increase in telepathy.

Such stabilization of telepathic communication under rigid test conditions made it possible to demonstrate publicly extrasensory perception.  An investigating committee of the Psychic Research Society, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, witnessed a telepathic experiment at the Round Table Laboratory. With elaborate precautions against fraud or error the telepathic team of Hurkos and Stone achieved an ESP test score of 18/50 hits (P=4.or x 10-6, or odds that such a score could occur by chance four times in a million experiments).

This represents solid evidence for the reality of telepathic communication between these two men. It must be emphasized again that in our experience and under such stringent test standards, significant scores are possible on demand only when one or both of the sensitives is inside of an electrically charged Faraday Cage.



The source of the experience

Ordinary person

Concepts, symbols and science items


Science Items

Activities and commonsteps



Faraday cage