Observations placeholder

Williams, Nicholas – Experiments bending latch keys placed around a house using no touch

Identifier

026923

Type of Spiritual Experience

Background

A description of the experience

From “The Metal-Benders” by Professor John B. Hasted
Simultaneous strains: the ‘surface of action’

There have been many reports by families of several metal objects being found bent at the same time. Of course it is difficult to observe two widely separated objects actually bending at the same moment, since the eyes cannot subtend a wide field of view; but occasionally there are good reasons to suppose that two or more bendings may have taken place simultaneously. We are forced to pose the questions: Did these involve simultaneous strain pulses, and if so, how extensive was the region of action? Were any strains experienced elsewhere, and where was the subject at the time? Does his location affect the strains,: and can he direct his ‘powers’ at several objects at the same moment? Is there conceivably a terrestrial effect a preferred orientation for signals?

A physicist might suppose that some sort of wave-front issues from the subject, like ripples from a stone dropped in water. If this were so, objects equidistant from him would receive signals at the same instant. Does this occur?
We have investigated these questions using the strain gauge equipment described in the previous chapter. Synchronized chart-records and independent strain gauges, bridges, amplifiers and batteries were used.
The first studies with two, and later with three, independent strain gauges were undertaken in thirteen sessions with Nicholas Williams during the first half of 1976. At first he simply attempted to influence both chart-records while the two metal specimens were about a foot apart; his own position was not fixed during the session. We found that signals did appear on both chart-records, sometimes simultaneously, and therefore it was possible to proceed to more controlled experiments.

Since it was necessary that Nicholas should be in one location during the entire session, a suitable occupation had to be found for him. He was already an experienced builder of model aircraft and ships, using commercial assembly kits, glue and paint. He was asked to do this at a work surface in the open-plan ground-floor living-area of his house; individual latchkeys, each containing its own strain gauge, were arranged in suitable locations, suspended from their own electrical connections, so as to minimize mechanical coupling between them. A plan of the area is shown in Picture 5.1; the circle S represents Nicholas’s location, but that of the observer (myself) is not shown. It varied between the lounge sofa, the kitchen and even the stairs; and sometimes I would have to move to the apparatus to make adjustments. As far as possible, other observers were excluded from these sessions, but on some few occasions the presence of Nicholas’s father, Dr Terry Williams, Dr Miller and one or two family friends was recorded.
Figure 5.1 Plan of ground floor of Nicholas Williams’s house, in which sessions with two and three strain gauges were conducted.
S. the subject, Nicholas Williams; 1EH,2EH, two strain gauges in the equidistant horizontal configuration; 1RH,2RH, two strain gauges in the radial horizontal configuration; 1OH,2OH, two strain gauges in the opposite horizontal configuration; RHV, two strain gauges in the vertical configuration, or in the radial-horizontal vertical configuration (with RH).
L, lounge; D, dining area; K, kitchen.

My own position was on the lounge sofa, in the kitchen, or occasionally watching from the stairs.
The routine was as follows: I would arrive around noon and set up the equipment. It was then allowed to run quietly in the empty house for as long as possible, with Nicholas out of the house for as much as two hours. When we returned, the chart-records were found to be free from artefacts. The afternoons were used for exposures of about two hours each. On several afternoons the suspended latchkeys spontaneously bent to and fro, and ultimately fractured.

The latchkeys were suspended in various configurations with respect to Nicholas, as described in the caption to Figure 5.1. There were four configurations with two latchkeys: equidistant horizontal, signified by the caption EH; radial horizontal, signified by RH (here the two keys were on a horizontal line stretching radially from Nicholas); opposite horizontal, OH (in which they were horizontal and at directly opposite sides of Nicholas); and vertical, V, in which one latchkey was directly above the other, at the position shown.

When three latchkeys were used they were mounted in the radial-horizontal-vertical configuration, RHV. The three keys defined a vertical plane stretching radially outward from Nicholas.

For the most rigorous experimentation it would be necessary to change from one configuration to another in a random way, possibly after every signal event or even at randomly selected times. Such procedures would cause considerable disturbance in the living-area and of course could not be concealed from Nicholas. I decided that he should know what the configurations were; no attempt would be made to screen the sensors from view; but the decisions as to when to change the configurations would be made by me, usually after a small number of events. This would not be a completely random procedure, but regularity in the changes was carefully avoided.

In later sessions I made efforts to induce Nicholas to learn to induce synchronous signals in each configuration; when he achieved success, the configuration would be changed; ultimately a change would take place after every three events. These procedures were followed because of my increasing certainty that the configurations were matters to which Nicholas would probably react differently at each session; at first he did not express much interest in what configuration was being offered; but in the end he was motivated to try as hard as he could to produce the maximum ‘control’ over the sensors in each configuration. This ‘control’ was understood to be the production of synchronized signals on more than one sensor.

 

Table 5.1 Classification of events in Nicholas Williams sessions A-G
Configurations: EH, equidistant horizontal; RH, radial horizontal; V, vertical; RHV three sensors, radial horizontal and vertical with two vertical sensors closest to subject; 30°, inclination of subject to line joining two horizontal sensors (90° would represent EH); Up, subject upstairs, sensors downstairs; OH, opposite horizontal; RHS, radial horizontal with one sensor screened; OHS, opposite horizontal with perspex screen over fine sensor.
Synchronization classifications: U1, 2, signal unique on 1 or 2; S. synchronous; NS, non-synchronous; SS, signals on one sensor suppressed (small magnitude), but still synchronous.

Session

Date (1976)

Designation

Configuration

Synchronization

Range (mV)

Remarks

A

9 Mar

1

~EH

U1

0.1

 

 

 

2

~EH

NS

0.1

 

 

 

3

~EH

S

0.1

 

 

 

4

~EH

S

0.1

 

B

18 Mar

1

30°

S

0.1

 

 

 

2

30°

NS

0.1

 

 

 

3

30°

NS

0.1

 

 

 

4

30°

S

0.1

 

 

 

5

30°

U2

0.1

 

 

 

6

30°

S

0.1

 

 

 

7

30°

NS

0.1

 

 

 

8

Up

S

0.1

 

 

 

8a

30°

U2

0.1

 

 

 

9

30°

S

0.1

 

 

 

10

30°

S

0.1

 

 

 

11

EH

NS

0.1

 

 

 

12

30°

NS

0.1

 

 

 

13

RH

S

0.1

 

 

 

14

30°

U2

0.1

 

C

23 Mar

1

RH

S

0.1

 

 

 

2

RH

S

0.1

 

 

 

3

RH

S

0.1

 

 

 

4

RHS

NS

0.1

Screening by kitchen foil

 

 

5

RHS

NS

0.1

Screening by kitchen foil

 

 

6

EH

NS

0.1

 

 

 

7

EH

NS

1

 

 

 

8

EH

NS

1

 

 

 

9

EH

NS

1

 

 

 

10

EH

NS

1

 

 

 

11

EH

NS

1

 

C1

23 Mar

1

EH

S

0.1

 

 

 

2

EH

S

0.1

 

 

 

3

EH

NS

0.1

 

 

 

4

RH

S

0.1

 

 

 

5

RH

S

0.1

 

 

 

6

RH

NS

0.1

 

D

9 Apl

1

RH

S

0.1

 

 

 

2

RHS

NS

0.1

Glass screen

 

 

3

RHS

NS

0.1

Glass screen

 

 

4

RHS

U1

0.1

Brass screen on key 1 which bent to 70°

 

 

5

RHS

NS

l

Steel screen on key 1 which bent to 135°

 

 

6

RHS

NS

1

Steel screen on key 2, which bent to 60°

 

 

7

RH

NS

1

Key 1 fractures, key 2 bent at 60°

 

 

8

RH

NS

1

Key 2 bent to 80°

 

 

9

EH

NS

1

Key 2 bent to 85°

 

 

10

EH

NS

10

Key 2 partially fractured

 

 

11

EH

U

10

Key 2 fractured

E

15 Apl

1

OH

U1

0.1

Fracture of table spoon with sensor

 

 

2

OHS

NS

0.1

Perspex screen on eutectic alloy specimen

 

 

3

OHS

NS

0.1

ditto

 

 

4

OHS

NS

0.1

ditto

 

 

5

OH

NS

0.1

 

 

 

6

0H

S

0.1

 

 

 

7

OH

U1

0.1

 

 

 

8

OH

S

0.1

 

 

 

9

OH

S

0.1

 

 

 

10

0H

U1

0.1

Intended key 1 only

 

 

11

OH

U2

0.1

Intended key 1 only

1

23 Apl

1

V

S

0.1

Unwitnessed alleged paranormal shooting of piece of metal from tube

 

 

2

V

S

0.1

 

 

 

3

V

S

0.1

 

 

 

4

V

SS

0.1

25° bend on key 1 Failure of chart pen

 

 

5

V

SS

0.1

45° bend on key 1, 25° bend on key 2

 

 

6

V

NS

0.1

Some misalignment of configuration; 35° bend on key 1, 25° on key 2

 

 

7

V

SS

0.1

Some misalignment of configuration

 

 

8

V

SS

0.1

10° bend on key 1; 45° on key 2

 

 

9

V

SS

0.1

10° bend on key 1; 45° on key 2

 

 

10

V

S

0.1

 

 

 

11

V

NS

0.1

Intended delay, 135° bend on key l; 45° on key 2

 

 

12

V

S

0.1

Key 1 fractured

 

 

13

EH

NS

0.1

 

 

 

14

EH

SS

0.1

Some misalignment of configuration

 

 

15

EH

S

0.1

 

 

 

16

V

SS

0.1

 

 

 

17

V

NS

0.1

 

 

 

18

V

S

0.1

 

 

 

19

EH

SS

0.1

 

 

 

20

EH

S

0.1

 

 

 

20a

EH

S

0.1

 

 

 

21

V

S

0.1

 

 

 

22

EH

S

0.1

 

 

 

23

RH

S

0.1

 

 

 

24

RH

S

0.1

 

G

30 Apl

1

RHV

S

0.1

 

 

 

2

RHV

S

0.1

 

 

 

3

RHV

S

0.1

 

 

 

4

RHV

S

0.1

 

 

 

5

RHV

S

0.1

 

 

 

6

RHV

S

0.1

 

H

27 May

1

Single

 

0.1

All viewed on television monitor

 

 

2

Single

 

0.1

 

 

 

3

Single

 

0.l

 

 

 

4

Single

 

0.1

 

 

 

5

Single

 

0.1

 


In some events there are signals on one sensor only. In some, both traces display signals, but one is obviously in advance of the other. But in some the signals appear, within the accuracy of the equipment (0.2 see), to be recorded at identical times. The signals are not of the same magnitude, or even in the same sense, but their time structures are very similar; they are, basically, synchronous signals.


The classification of the data from all these sessions into synchronous and non-synchronous signals is clearly a valuable exercise. Usually it is as simple as has appeared from the above example, but there are a few signals in which the classification is doubtful, and these have not been included. Table 5.1 lists the classification, which can be summarized as indicated.

Configuration

Synchronous signals

Non-synchronous and unique signals

Radial horizontal

9

3

Vertical

6

3

Radial-horizontal-vertical

6

0

Opposite horizontal

3

1

Equidistant horizontal

4 (+ 6 in session F)

13


It appears that synchronism is most characteristic of the radial horizontal, the vertical and the radial-horizontal-vertical configurations. But it is not characteristic of the equidistant horizontal configuration, apart from the very successful ‘learning’ of session F. If the situation were reversed, one might seriously consider the possibility of a circular or spherical wave-front proceeding outwards from the subject. The very existence of large numbers of synchronous signals makes it necessary to consider what might be causing them. The experiments establish that essentially simultaneous strainings take place, and that most commonly they take place on a vertical plane passing through the location of the subject.


It could be that synchronous paranormal action was taking place elsewhere as well, but we had at that time no evidence for this; the minimum hypothesis is that it took place on a surface which is not necessarily planar but is sufficiently so for three widely separated points on it to lie on a vertical plane. Let us propose the following physical model: that there can exist, in the neighbourhood of a subject, a ‘surface of action’, at points on which strain occurs on objects. We do not know that all points on the surface are so affected, we have information about only three (and more usually, only two; but in the further experiments with Stephen North with as many as six strain gauges, the results described below are essentially similar); nevertheless, strain throughout the surface of action is the simplest assumption. We can then discuss the phenomenon in terms of the extent, the configuration and the movement of the surface of action. This surface might plausibly be regarded as a sort of invisible extension of the human body, perhaps even of the human arm or the haptic system.

The surface is considered to move slowly about the room, presumably under the influence of the unconscious mind of the subject. When one strain gauge displays a signal in advance of the other, it is because the surface has moved from one to the other. Although we do not know that it has moved directly, or at uniform speed, we might estimate from the data that if we did assume these things, the speed of the motion of the surface would be typically 1100 cm/sec.

………………………………

The source of the experience

Williams, Nicholas

Concepts, symbols and science items

Concepts

Symbols

Activities and commonsteps

Activities

Suppressions

Being a child
Biofeedback

Commonsteps

Spoon bending

References