Scientists teleport object into space for first time…

VIA

Scientists have successfully teleported an object from Earth to space for the first time, paving the way for more ambitious and futuristic breakthroughs.

A team of researchers in China sent a photon from the ground to an orbiting satellite more than 300 miles above through a process known as quantum entanglement, according to MIT Technology Review. It’s the farthest distance tested so far in teleportation experiments, the researchers said. Their work was published online on the open access site arXiv.

For about a month, the scientists beamed up millions of photons from their ground station in Tibet to the low-orbiting satellite. They were successful in more than 900 cases.

“This work establishes the first ground-to-satellite up-link for faithful and ultra-long-distance quantum teleportation, an essential step toward global-scale quantum Internet,” the team said in a statement, according to MIT Technology Review.

The MIT-owned magazine described quantum entanglement as a “strange phenomenon” that occurs “when two quantum objects, such as photons, form at the same instant and point in space and so share the same existence.” “In technical terms, they are described by the same wave function,” it said.

The latest development comes almost a year after physicists successfully conducted the world’s first quantum teleportation outside of a laboratory. Scientists at that time determined quantum teleportation, which is often depicted as a futuristic tool in science-fiction films, is in fact possible.

Groundbreaking UFO video released by Chile’s Navy…

VIA

The first one shows the object in motion. The camera captured this for about eight minutes prior to the spectacular display in the next video:

This clip shows the first expulsion of the hot material from the object and the object’s movement away from the plume:

The second expulsion occurred at the end of the video:

Here is the full ten minute video of the sighting:

Messages about UFO’s appear in hacked Clinton emails…

Via

Amidst the plethora of hacked Clinton campaign emails posted on Wikileaks over the last few days are a handful of curious messages from prominent individuals concerning UFOs.

Remarkably, there are a pair of 2015 emails from Apollo astronaut Edgar Mitchell to Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta.

In the first email, from January of that year, Mitchell declares to Podesta that “it is urgent that we agree on a date and time to meet to discuss Disclosure and Zero Point Energy.”

The second message, which was sent by Mitchell about eight months later, alludes to a planned Skype conversation with Podesta and includes a number of remarkable statements made by the astronaut.

Mitchell tells Podesta that “our nonviolent ETI from the contiguous universe are helping us bring zero point energy to Earth” and that “they will not tolerate any forms of military violence on Earth or in space.”

While the tone of the emails is rather friendly and suggests that perhaps the two men may have had some kind of offline correspondence, a colleague of Mitchell’s told the website GeekWire that the pair never actually met.

Beyond the Mitchell messages are tantalizing emails regarding UFOs that were sent by Tom DeLonge of Blink 182.

In those emails, DeLonge notes that he had interviewed Podesta for a documentary, presumably concerning UFOs, and wants to introduce him to two mysterious individuals who purportedly had inside information regarding the phenomenon.

DeLonge tells Podesta that “they were principal leadership relating to our sensitive topic. Both were in charge of most fragile divisions, as it relates to Classified Science and DOD topics. Other words, these are A-Level officials.”

A subsequent message from DeLonge about four months later mentions a potential whistleblower, named General McCasland, who was allegedly in charge of the secret lab which housed the Roswell wreckage at Wright Patterson Air Force Base.

It is unknown at this time whether DeLonge was successful in arranging any meetings between Podesta and the UFO insiders that the musician has assembled around him.

While the emails serve to confirm Podesta’s longstanding interest in the UFO phenomenon, they offer precious little insight into his own thinking concerning the issue, only what he was being told by Mitchell and DeLonge.

In fact, the leaked messages should actually be a bit disconcerting to UFO disclosure activists in the sense that sensitive names may spill out into the public and potentially scare off any future whistleblowers afraid of being exposed.

To that end, there are no doubt numerous UFO researchers trying to find out everything they can about General McCasland and what he might know about the phenomenon.

Scientists investigating mysterious signal from deep space…

“The unusual signal was originally detected on May 15, 2015.. but was kept secret from the international community”

An international team of scientists from the Search For Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI) are investigating mysterious signal spikes emitting from a 65 billion year-old star in the constellation Hercules–95 light years away from Earth. The implications are extraordinary and point to the possibility of a civilization far more advanced than our own.

The unusual signal was originally detected on May 15, 2015 by the Russian Academy of Science-operated RATAN-600 radio telescope in Zelenchukskaya, Russia but was kept secret from the international community. Interstellar space reporter Paul Gilster broke the story after the researchers quietly circulated a paper announcing the detection of “a strong signal in the direction of HD164595.”

The mysterious star’s designation is HD164595 and it’s considered to be sun-like in nature with a nearly identical metallic composition to our own star. So far, a single Neptune-like (but warmer) planet has been discovered in its orbit–HD 164595 b. But as Gilster explained, “there could, of course, be other planets still undetected in this system.”

Decorated Italian SETI researcher and mathematician Claudio Maccone along with Russia’s Nikolai Bursov of the Special Astrophysical Observatory are the principal scientists working on the apparent discovery. They claim that “permanent monitoring of this target is needed.”

“The signal conceivably fits the profile for an intentional transmission from an extraterrestrial source,” says Alan Boyle, author of “The Case for Pluto” who reported the story for Geekwire. “ In any case, the blip is interesting enough to merit discussion by those who specialize in the search for extraterrestrial intelligence, or SETI.”

The signal’s strength indicates that if it in-fact came from a isotropic beacon, the power source would have to be built by a Kardashev Type II civilization (The Kardashev scale is used to determine the progress of a civilization’s technological development by measuring how much energy was used to transmit an interstellar message.) An ‘Isotropic’ beacon means a communication source emitting a signal with equal power in all directions while promoting signal strength throughout travel.

In his acclaimed work “Transmission of Information by Extraterrestrial Civilizations,” Soviet Astronomer Nikolai Kardashev explained that a Type II civilization would be able to harness the energy of their entire host star. The most common hypothetical example of this would be a Dyson Sphere–which is a massive artificial structure that could completely encapsulate a star and transfer the energy to a nearby planet.

Basically, if the signal was beamed out into the galaxy without aim or direction, that would require an enormous amount of power to actually be detected. But what if the signal was beamed specifically at our solar system? Well, that would require less energy and could indicate the presence of a Kardashev Type I civilization–meaning that it could be a highly-technological, contemporary society that harnesses the solar energy emitted by its local star, much like our planet does with solar panels. This particular civilization’s social structure is theorized to be completely globalized and interconnected.

“The signal is provocative enough that the RATAN-600 researchers are calling for permanent monitoring of this target,” said Gilster. And that’s exactly what is transpiring. As of last night, the SETI institute is diverting its Allen Telescope Array in northern California to investigate while their counterparts at METI International (Messaging Extraterrestrial Intelligence) will utilize Panama’s Boquete Optical Observatory.

The detection of the mysterious signal and the ensuing investigations will be discussed at the IAA SETI Permanent Committee during the 67th International Astronautical Congress in Guadalajara, Mexico, on September 27th–the same day and location where Elon Musk will reveal his plans to colonize Mars . The Observer will be following up on both these stories from the Congress.

“I did support the Star Gate program, as did Senator Robert Byrd and other members of the committee. There seemed to be a small segment of people who were able to key into a different level of consciousness”

Dr. Edwin May, remote-viewing, and U.S. intelligence agencies

Dr. Edwin ‘Star-Gate’ Mays

Steps from the Hayward Executive Airport in Northern California, a brunette in jeans and hiking boots scans her surroundings for police. She’s carrying a 13-pound canister of liquid nitrogen in her hand. She unclasps the lid and dumps the colorless, minus-320-degree liquid into a beer cooler packed with 2,000 tiny aluminum balls. A thick white cloud erupts below the airport’s control tower, a witch’s brew that crackles and pops. Undetected, she darts back to her SUV and is gone.Over the past two years, the same intruder has performed this clandestine ritual three dozen times across the San Francisco Bay Area. Without warning or permission, she’s released nitrogen gas clouds in front of a fire station, a busy Catholic church, a water tower and a government center. She’s smoke-bombed her way from Palo Alto to Alameda, spewing her cryogenic concoction in popular city parks and near lakes, highways and Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) subway lines.She’s not a Satanic cultist or an incompetent terrorist. Arguably, her mission is even more improbable. It’s all part of an experiment run by a former Pentagon scientist to prove the existence of extrasensory perception, or ESP.

Washington’s Most Expensive Psychics

Twenty years ago this month, the CIA released a report with the unassuming title, “An Evaluation of Remote Viewing: Research and Applications.” The 183-page white paper was more like a white flag—it was the CIA’s public admission, after years of speculation, that U.S. government agencies had been using a type of ESP called “remote viewing” for more than two decades to help collect military and intelligence secrets. At a cost of about $20 million, the program had employed psychics to visualize hidden extremist training sites in Libya, describe new Soviet submarine designs and pinpoint the locations of U.S. hostages held by foreign kidnappers.But the report, conducted for the CIA by the independent American Institutes for Research, did much more than confirm the existence of the highly classified program. It declared that the psychic-spy operation, code-named Star Gate, had been a bust. Yes, the CIA researchers had validated some Star Gate trials, finding that “hits occur more often than chance” and that “something beyond odd statistical hiccups is taking place.” But the report declared that ESP was next to worthless for military use because the tips provided are too “vague and ambiguous” to produce actionable intelligence.

Like a Ouija board, the resulting news headlines seemed to write themselves. “End of Aura for CIA Mystics,” The Guardian quipped. “Spooks See No Future for Pentagon Psychics,” a Scottish paper reported. “Putting the ‘ESP’ Back Into Espionage,” BusinessWeek added.

ABC News’s Nightline also joined the fray, hosting a face-off between Robert Gates, the former CIA director, and Edwin May, the scientist who had been running the government’s ESP research program. Gates struck first. “I don’t know of a single instance where it is documented that this kind of activity contributed in any significant way to a policy decision, or even to informing policy makers about important information,” he said. May fought back, citing “dramatic cases in the laboratory” in which Pentagon psychics had accurately sketched a target thousands of miles away that they had never actually seen.That wasn’t good enough, however. Already embarrassed and under pressure for the disclosure that one of their own, Aldrich Ames, had been spying for the Russians for a decade, the CIA officially shut down the psychic spies program. Star Gate had fizzled out.

It was November 1995, and May was out of a job. His life’s work had been discredited by the CIA, and he had been humbled on national television. At 55, the trained scientist might have retreated to academia or simply walked away. Instead, he doubled down on ESP.

A Jewish Hungarian Cowboy

As a boy, May always seemed to stand out. Born in Boston, the Navy brat moved frequently, finally settling with his family after World War II on a ranch outside Tucson. “I grew up as a Jewish Hungarian cowboy in Arizona,” he says, while digging into a plate of country ham at a tavern in Virginia. Fascinated with the Russian language, he taught himself the Cyrillic alphabet. He fell in love with physics at a local private boarding school and headed to college in New York. “I had a letter sweater in calf roping,” he says. “The only guy at the University of Rochester with that.”May graduated in 1962 and began pursuing a doctoral degree. It didn’t last long. “I flunked out of my first graduate school,” he says. “Fell in with a bunch of fast nurses and learned to play a bagpipe.”His timing was unfortunate. The Vietnam War was ramping up, and the U.S. Army came calling. “It was more than a wakeup call. It straightened out my life,” May says of nearly getting drafted. He enrolled at the University of Pittsburgh and buckled down, earning a Ph.D. in nuclear physics in four years. By 1968, with the counterculture movement raging, May had gone legit, authoring a thesis titled, “Nuclear Reaction Studies via the (Proton, Proton Neutron) Reaction on Light Nuclei and the (Deuteron, Proton Neutron) Reaction on Medium to Heavy Nuclei.”May found post-doc work at the University of California, Davis, conducting tests with cyclotrons, but life outside the physics lab began exerting its own magnetic pull. “I moved to San Francisco,” he recalls proudly. “As a professional hippie.” In the Bay Area, May dropped out, attending trippy lectures on parapsychological research and experimenting with drugs. With the standard-issue beard and ponytail in place, he took off for India in search of the miraculous. May expected to “make Nobel Prize–winning discoveries of mind over matter,” but he came home empty-handed. “I was unable to find a single psychic, whether street fakir or holy guru, who was able or willing to fit into my scientific framework,” he wrote in Psychic magazine upon his return.

In 1975, May’s career found him. A friend recommended him for a job at the prestigious Stanford Research Institute, now called SRI International, in Menlo Park. May would be conducting psychokinesis experiments. Unknown to him at the time, many of the projects were top secret and funded by the CIA.Three years earlier, spooked by the Soviet Union’s growing interest in parapsychology, the CIA had embraced ESP. At first, the Cold War–era tests were low-key, with CIA officials clumsily hiding objects in a box and asking a psychic to describe the contents. Soon the CIA got serious and ordered a $50,000 pilot study at the SRI, determined to see if psychics could use their remote-viewing skills to visualize and sketch large target sites in and around San Francisco.Harold Puthoff, a laser physicist with a Ph.D. from Stanford University, was the program’s first director. The CIA, he wrote, “watchful for possible chicanery, participated as remote viewers themselves in order to critique the protocols.” The CIA officials drew seven sketches “of striking quality,” Puthoff recalled, and “performed well under controlled laboratory conditions.” Later, a psychic sitting in California visualized inside a secret National Security Agency listening post in West Virginia, right down to the words on file folders, according to Puthoff and a CIA official.The CIA project director described the NSA-visualization results as “mixed” because the psychic nailed the code name for the site and its physical layout but botched the names of people working at the site. Nonetheless, interest from the U.S. intelligence community spiked. And when that same remote viewer—provided with only map coordinates and an atlas—described new buildings and a massive construction crane hidden at a secret Soviet nuclear weapons facility (but got most other details wrong), multiple U.S. agencies began signing up for ESP studies.A few years later, two psychologists at a New Zealand university had a premonition about Puthoff: They called him a bit of a rube. Writing in the journal Nature, the psychologists revealed that they had obtained transcripts of the original CIA experiments. The psychic who had seen deep inside the NSA outpost and the Soviet nuclear site had been fed “a large number of cues” from the judges over the years, they reported, and it was impossible to duplicate the uncanny results of his ESP testing. “Our own experiments on remote viewing under cue-free conditions have consistently failed to replicate the effect,” the psychologists concluded. Puthoff, who would also famously declare that spoon-bender and magician Uri Geller possessed psychic powers, disputed the psychologists’ findings and kept running the ESP program until 1985.Although the CIA stopped funding ESP research in 1977, the Air Force, Army and Defense Intelligence Agency kept writing checks. The Army’s Fort Meade base in Maryland became the program’s secret operational home. In 1995, when Congress directed the CIA to evaluate remote viewing and either take over the program or cancel it for good, the DIA was at the helm. Congress bankrolled and protected the program for years. Well-known defenders included Rhode Island Senator Claiborne Pell and North Carolina Representative Charlie Rose, who once told an interviewer that “if the Russians have remote viewing, and we don’t, we’re in trouble.”A lesser-known supporter: Maine Senator William Cohen, who would later become the Secretary of Defense under President Bill Clinton. “I was impressed with the concept of remote viewing,” he tells Newsweek in an email. “The results may not have been consistent enough to constitute ‘actionable intelligence,’ but exploration of the power of the mind was and remains an important endeavor.”To May, that’s an understatement.

‘I believed it then, and I believe it now’

To his admirers, May is a legitimate parapsychologist. To his critics, that phrase is the ultimate oxymoron. From 1985 to 1995, May served as the California-based research director of the Pentagon’s ESP program. A proton-probing scientist by training and a paranormal prophet by choosing, May was that rare specimen—a full-time ESP researcher with a salary and 401(k) plan courtesy of the U.S. government.Thick of waist now with a shiny pate and white beard, he could pass for aging folk star Peter Yarrow. May has never met an aside he didn’t like. Conversations come loaded with amusing chestnuts (“We’d answer the phone, ‘Hello, Division of Parapsychology. May we tell you who’s calling?’”), Washington gossip (“You know the Energy Department is run by Mormons?”) and TMI (“I hung out with the Wicca community for a while”). But when the talk turns to nonbelievers who dismiss remote viewing as voodoo without examining the evidence, May is short-tempered. “I’m not going to deal with a skeptic who has no fucking idea about what he’s talking about. Because he’s just making it up. That’s bad science. I’m a scientist.” And May has even less time for all the former Star Gate psychics who peddle mood-ring junk science online, some warning paying customers about flying saucers and the coming apocalypse. “They are ripping people off, and I have to undo that when I try to sell this to mainstream scientists,” he says.So what is his scientific evidence? In 1995, when the CIA began preparing its program review, May provided the review team with results of 10 experiments he felt provided “the strongest evidence” to support “the remote-viewing phenomenon.” The tests, with names like “AC lucid dream, pilot” and “ERD EEG investigation” detail the success rate of each experiment. One of the CIA reviewers, while clearly in the minority, was sold. “It is clear to this author that [ESP] is possible and has been demonstrated,” she wrote in the agency’s report. “This conclusion is not based on belief, but rather on commonly accepted scientific criteria.”

Today, May says ESP has “already been proved,” and defends it like an impatient school teacher explaining gravity. He quickly offers a barrage of evidence and anecdotes to make his case. In a recent interview, May references an obscure presentation that the military’s own remote-viewing project manager wrote in 1984 for his Army superiors. According to the now-declassified “secret” briefing, available online, the Army’s Intelligence and Security Command had conducted “100 collection projects” using ESP since 1979 for a slew of government agencies including the CIA, NSA, FBI and Secret Service. Several of the projects involved the use of Army psychics to help locate Americans taken hostage by Iran in 1979. “Over 85% of our operational missions have produced accurate target information,” states the briefing. “Even more significant, approximately 50% of the 760 missions produced usable intelligence.” May sees the Army report as confirmation that Gates was protecting the CIA when he declared on Nightline that remote viewing had never “contributed in any significant way” to U.S. intelligence efforts. “Gates lied,” he tells Newsweek. “What more can I say?” Gates, now a partner in the RiceHadleyGates consulting firm, wouldn’t comment. But the author of the Army’s 1984 report did. Brian Buzby was an Army lieutenant colonel when he briefly ran the Pentagon’s ESP program in the 1980s. He’s retired in Alabama now and has never spoken to the media before. He stands by his remote-viewing report. “I believed in it then, and I believe in it now,” Buzby says. “It was a real thing, and it worked.” Buzby says the program was just one low-cost tool that provided an additional source of intel for military and civilian analysts to weigh. When he learned the CIA had shut down the program, “I was disappointed that somebody wouldn’t pick up the banner.” For May, further proof of the program’s many wonders is Star Gate’s legendary “Agent 001.” The first psychic to work directly for the Pentagon, then–Army Chief Warrant Officer Joseph McMoneagle began remote viewing for the government in 1978. As a child, McMoneagle recalls sharing thoughts telepathically with his twin sister, and says he honed his ESP abilities as a soldier avoiding deadly attacks in Vietnam. May says McMoneagle could correctly identify a target “just under 50 percent” of the time when presented with five possible options. Using chance alone, he says the best outcome would be just 20 percent.

May cites one intriguing example. It was 1979, and the National Security Council wanted help in “seeing” inside an unidentified industrial building near the Arctic Circle in Russia. McMoneagle began imagining himself “drifting down into the building” and had “an overwhelming sense” that he could see a submarine, “a really big one, with twin hulls.” He made detailed drawings of the giant sub for the NSC. Only later, McMoneagle wrote in his 2002 memoir, did U.S. satellite photographs confirm the existence at the Soviet’s secret Severodvinsk shipyard of a massive double-hulled Typhoon submarine, which constituted a new threat to American national security.Upon retirement from the Army in 1984, McMoneagle was awarded the Legion of Merit. Given for exceptionally meritorious conduct, his award states that he served in a “unique intelligence project that is revolutionizing the intelligence community.” It adds that he produced “critical intelligence unavailable from any other source” for the Joint Chiefs of Staff, DIA, NSA, CIA and Secret Service.

Meeting a Millionaire

For years after the government shut down its ESP program, May and McMoneagle tried to bring it back from the dead. They approached friendlies inside the U.S. agencies that had once funded them, “and they fled from us like you wouldn’t believe,” May says. He was “getting desperate, out of money,” and then he met a millionaire.The third-generation owner of a pharmaceutical empire, Luís Portela, was in a unique position to help. In 1924, Portela’s grandfather opened a modest laboratory above the pharmacy where he worked in Porto, Portugal. Today, that business is called Bial, and it’s the largest pharmaceutical manufacturer in Portugal. Its products are sold in more than 50 countries on four continents. From an early age, Portela has been spellbound by the paranormal. In an email, he says he’s always tried to understand why humanity and religion “accepted too easily some phenomena, so-called mysteries or miracles,” while scientists “denied those phenomena, claiming that they did not exist.” So in 1994, Portela set up the nonprofit Bial Foundation to study ESP and “the human being from both the physical and spiritual perspectives.”It’s a radical concept for such a conservative industry. Imagine Johnson & Johnson financing crystal healing. The Bial Foundation has funded more than 500 projects in 25 countries, including dozens of ESP studies and even research into ghost sightings and belief in UFOs. May has been a frequent Bial recipient, collecting about $400,000 in research funds for nine ESP-related projects. In the process, Portela has become a fanboy, believing the controversial scientist has helped “foster the understanding of the human being.”

Funded by the Bial Foundation at a cost of $45,000, May’s latest ESP study “is probably the best experiment in the history of the field,” the Star Gate researcher says. The goal: to test whether “changes of thermodynamic entropy at a remote natural site enhance the quality of the anomalous cognition.” That’s a two-dollar way of asking whether a sudden release of thermal energy, like a rocket launch or a liquid nitrogen eruption in a beer cooler, can improve a psychic’s ability to perceive what’s happening at the site from thousands of miles away. “This wasn’t something that we just pulled out of our rear ends,” May explains. “It was really all the spying stuff we did for the government, where we discovered that when targets involve large changes of thermodynamic entropy, like underground nukes, accelerators, electromagnetic pulse devices and so on, they work much better” in signaling remote viewers.To conduct the ESP-improvement experiment, May reassembled his old A-team. Out of rural Virginia, there’s McMoneagle, the former Army intelligence officer who won the Legion of Merit. Then there’s Nevin Lantz, a former Star Gate researcher who works today as a Palo Alto psychotherapist and “authentic happiness coach.” And finally there’s Angela Dellafiora Ford, a former Star Gate psychic and DIA intelligence analyst from Maryland who markets herself as a “medium that can help people connect with their spirit guides as well as communicate with their loved ones on the other side.”Ford was one of only a half-dozen women who worked as psychics for the government’s program. Some of her military colleagues derided her because three “spirit guides” would possess her mind during Star Gate remote-viewing sessions and guide her observations. One was a fat cherub, another a boy-like angel and the last a 17th-century British professor who spoke through her, Ford says. In an interview, she also says she once saw a UFO outside her suburban home in 2010. “It reminded me of something like they call the mother ship,” she says. “It was not moving. It was hovering…and then it sort of disappeared.”

Regardless of her unorthodox methods and beliefs, Ford also has her admirers. One of them is Cohen, the former senator and secretary of defense. He first got to know Ford when he was on the Senate Select Intelligence Committee, which helped fund Star Gate even when the Defense Department lost interest. Ford conducted psychic readings for Cohen when was he was a senator, and he remains a true believer. “I did support the Star Gate program, as did Senator Robert Byrd and other members of the committee,” Cohen says in an email. “There seemed to be a small segment of people who were able to key into a different level of consciousness. Angela Ford was one of them. It doesn’t mean that she or any of the others in the Star Gate program possessed psychic powers that could predict the future or peer into the past and retrieve lost information. But there were a number of remote-viewing tests conducted that I found impressive.”With Ford, Lantz and McMoneagle back on the job, May began work on his ESP 2.0 experiment. The first step was to design protocols and choose 22 distinct Bay Area outdoor locations near his private Cognitive Sciences Laboratory in Palo Alto. Sites included the Hayward Executive Airport, a BART overpass in Union City, the Palo Alto Duck Pond and the Pulgas Ridge Preserve in Redwood City. Next, May would fire up his Sony Vaio laptop and ask the computer to randomly select one of the target sites. May and the remote viewers would not know the result. The computer would also generate a text message to inform May’s assistant—the mysterious brunette, a former waitress named Lory Hawley—where to drive and whether she would create a mini liquid nitrogen eruption. Again, May and the psychics were not told the result.May worked with the psychics, one at a time, in a quiet room. He placed a blindfold over each psychic’s eyes and then said: “Please access and describe the first thing you see when we remove the blindfold” in a half-hour or so. After getting into a relaxed or trance-like state, the remote viewer then described exactly what he or she “saw” at the Bay Area location. May then entered the psychic’s descriptions into his laptop, assigning a number value for each water feature, man-made structure and other physical element described. Finally, the computer determined the accuracy of each remote-viewing session.For these tests in California, May drove the psychics to the site the computer had selected and then told them to remove their blindfolds. But many other times, May conducted the experiment using locations thousands of miles away, in Maryland or Virginia, in hotel rooms or McMoneagle’s den. In those cases, May held up a photo of the correct target site for the psychic to see once they had described their vision.

The old Star Gate psychics recently completed 72 trials, with May’s assistant pouring liquid nitrogen 36 times. In his final report to Bial, May declared victory, finding “a significant effect supporting the study hypothesis (zdiff = 1.80, p = .036, ES = 0.425 ± 0.236).” Translation: Liquid nitrogen works. The sudden release of energy acts as a flare in the dark, May believes, helping psychics to see across the country and even into the future. “I think it’s very important,” he says of this unpublished study. “If it holds up, it will be a breakthrough.”

You Can’t Bullshit a Bullshitter

Chances are, Ray Hyman won’t see it that way. A professor emeritus of psychology at the University of Oregon, Hyman is one of the nation’s leading skeptics about the paranormal. Along with his friend James Randi, aka the Amazing Randi, he’s a founding member of the Committee for the Scientific Investigation of Claims of the Paranormal, now known as the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry, whose mission is to promote “the use of reason in examining controversial and extraordinary claims.” As a scientist and former magician and mentalist, he’s a living embodiment of the “You can’t bullshit a bullshitter” maxim. Hyman and his skeptic kin are deeply suspicious of parapsychology and other phenomena they can’t prove, including man’s ability to walk through walls, become invisible, stop animal hearts through intense staring or any of the other wacky ideas embraced by Pentagon officials in the ’70s and ’80s and lampooned in the book and movie The Men Who Stare at Goats .Hyman and May first met at the SRI in the 1970s, and originally the skeptic was encouraged. Sent by the Defense Department’s Advanced Research Projects Agency to the institute to observe illusionist Geller—“just a charming con artist” — Hyman grew to respect May’s scientific rigor and ethics. They agreed that the early SRI research was “crap,” Hyman says, providing way too many clues to the psychics and fudging the results.

But when May began running the ESP program, Hyman says, he also created protocol problems. May became the only arbiter of whether a psychic had accurately described a target. “The only judge who could make it work was Ed May,” Hyman says. “That’s a no-no.”So in 1995, when the CIA selected Hyman to help evaluate the Star Gate program, the automatic writing was on the wall. Although the famous debunker was paired with a known ESP proponent, Hyman’s views prevailed. The final CIA report chastised May for serving as both judge and jury on virtually all the ESP tests. “The use of the same judge across experiments further compounds the problem of non-independence of the experiments,” the report concluded.Reached recently at his Oregon home, Hyman expresses a begrudging respect for his old adversary. “Smart guy, no question about it—he’s talented,” he says. The 87-year-old professor says that well-meaning researchers like May are trying to bring respect to a field burdened by strip-mall palm readers, 1-800 psychics and Star Gate alums on the Internet who now charge top dollar to purportedly game the stock market, discover the lost city of Atlantis and uncover the truth behind the Kennedy assassination. Yet Hyman believes even the most sincere and sophisticated efforts to prove the existence of ESP have all failed: “Having the window dressing of statistics, controls, double-blind, all that kind of stuff,” he says, “doesn’t make it science.”

An Interview With a Psychic Foot Soldier

A few months ago at McMoneagle’s home near Charlottesville, Virginia, May volunteers to conduct a live remote-viewing test for me, with his ace psychic at his side. “Joe, please access and describe a photograph you will see in about one or two minutes from now,” May says.McMoneagle sits still for 30 seconds and then begins sketching on a pad. From the comfort of his brown recliner, McMoneagle describes his drawing. “These squares are representative of buildings,” he says. “And these buildings are kind of just scattered through here. So they’re like embedded in a hillside. The roads are not very good roads; they’re more like paths.”May asks for more. “Float up in the air a thousand feet—it’s safe—whirl around 360 degrees and tell me what the gestalt of the area is like,” he says.“OK, you’ve got a large body of water. This is probably an island of some kind. Mountains up in here because the river goes up into the mountains. You’ve got a couple of bridges. This is a small village,” McMoneagle adds.Then May’s laptop randomly selects two photographs and labels them Targets A and B. May flips a coin, and it comes up heads, which my teenage daughter had secretly decided beforehand would represent Target A.

May pulls out the Target A photograph for the big reveal…and it’s a close-up of a giant waterfall. There isn’t a building, path, island, mountain, bridge or village in sight. Both men laugh. The test has been a failure. “I’ve never gotten a waterfall in my life,” McMoneagle explains.

But May suggests some alternative theories. “There’s a concept in statistics called nonstationary. What that means is the phenomenon comes and goes in unpredictable ways,” he says. He adds that intention, attention and expectation always affect remote viewing, and “we violated virtually all three things in this particular trial.

”Then Ed May pauses and offers his final explanation: “It was just a demo.”

Mystery object beyond Neptune…

Discovery of a TNO, or Trans-Neptunian Object

“I hope everyone has buckled their seatbelts because the outer solar system just got a lot weirder.” That’s what Michele Bannister, an astronomer at Queens University, Belfast tweeted on Monday.

She was referring to the discovery of a TNO or trans-Neptunian object, something which sits beyond Neptune in the outer solar system. This one is 160,000 times fainter than Neptune, which means the icy world could be less than 200 kilometres in diameter. It’s currently above the plane of the solar system and with every passing day, it’s moving upwards – a fact that makes it an oddity.

The TNO orbits in a plane that’s tilted 110 degrees to the plane of the solar system. What’s more, it swings around the sun backwards unlike most of the other objects in the solar system. With this in mind, the team that discovered the TNO nicknamed it “Niku” after the Chinese adjective for rebellious.

To grasp how truly rebellious it is, remember that a flat plane is the signature of a planetary system, as a star-forming gas cloud creates a flat disk of dust and gas around it. “Angular momentum forces everything to have that one spin direction all the same way,” says Bannister. “It’s the same thing with a spinning top, every particle is spinning the same direction.”

That means anything that doesn’t orbit within the plane of the solar system or spins in the opposite direction must have been knocked off course by something else. “It suggests that there’s more going on in the outer solar system than we’re fully aware of,” says Matthew Holman at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, part of the team that discovered Niku using the Panoramic Survey Telescope and Rapid Response System 1 Survey (Pan-STARRS 1) on Haleakala, Maui.

And it’s the unknown that excites astronomers. “Whenever you have some feature that you can’t explain in the outer solar system, it’s immensely exciting because it’s in some sense foreshadowing a new development,” says Konstantin Batygin at the California Institute of Technology.

Planet Nine

He should know – Batygin was one of two astronomers who earlier this year announced that the presence of another highly inclined group of objects could be pointing toward a large undiscovered world, perhaps 10 times as massive as Earth, lurking even further away – the so-called Planet Nine.

Upon further analysis, the new TNO appears to be part of another group orbiting in a highly inclined plane, so Holman’s team tested to see if their objects could also be attributed to the gravitational pull of Planet Nine.

It turns out Niku is too close to the solar system to be within the suggested world’s sphere of influence, so there must be another explanation. The team also tried to see if an undiscovered dwarf planet, perhaps similar to Pluto, could supply an explanation, but didn’t have any luck. “We don’t know the answer,” says Holman.

Bannister couldn’t be more thrilled. “It’s wonderful that it’s so confusing,” she says. “I’m looking forward to seeing what the theoretical analysists do once they get their hands on this one.”

But Batygin isn’t jumping up and down just yet. “As they say in the paper, what they have right now is a hint,” he says. “If this hint develops into a complete story that would be fantastic.”

The most mysterious star in the universe (Video)

Cue the X-Files theme music

Something massive, with roughly 1,000 times the area of Earth, is blocking the light coming from a distant star known as KIC 8462852, and nobody is quite sure what it is. As astronomer Tabetha Boyajian investigated this perplexing celestial object, a colleague suggested something unusual: Could it be an alien-built megastructure? Such an extraordinary idea would require extraordinary evidence. In this talk, Boyajian gives us a look at how scientists search for and test hypotheses when faced with the unknown.