Thursday, January 8, 2009
Some Research From Scotland
The news is from Scotland.The Green Beer is Irish.Just realized..cute though.
WHILE visiting a friend in hospital, a woman suddenly finds herself transported to a beautiful garden where she is surrounded by friendly people and the sound of happy laughter, in an apparent near-death experience.
A poltergeist takes up residence in a suburban home terrifying the family who move in there, while a man foresees the mortal danger facing his young son just in time to avert a terrible accident.
It all sounds like the stuff of Hollywood psychological horror films – the kind of thing most of us would probably scoff at if we were told it was happening next door.
But these stories do not come from the imagination of a fiction writer, they are real cases which are being investigated at Edinburgh University.
Each of these stories has been told, perfectly sincerely, to one researcher based at the famous Koestler Parapsychology Unit in recent months, by people who you would otherwise regard as absolutely "normal", sane and healthy.
There, French clinical psychologist Thomas Rabeyron, 27, is undertaking a year's research attempting to trace the roots of paranormal experiences.
During the last six months he's interviewed more than 160 people from across Edinburgh and the Lothians, hearing their tales of everything from telepathy and psychic healing, to ghosts and alien abductions.
"One of the most striking things to note," he begins, "is that most of these people are not crazy.
"They genuinely believe that these things have happened to them, are often very traumatised by these experiences and are struggling to understand them.
"As a clinical psychologist it's very important to me to understand these phenomena, as the ultimate aim of this research is to provide a counselling service for people coping with unexplained experiences."
Thomas – a skeptic when it comes to belief in an afterlife, although more open minded about unexplained phenomena such as ESP (extra-sensory perception) – is fascinated by how these apparent experiences can defy all regular logic.
Some people who say they have been abducted by aliens display symptoms of post traumatic stress disorder, he points out, and there are many examples of people once seen as incredibly rational who come to believe they are communing with the dead.
"One of the first cases I encountered was a woman with a very firm scientific background," he explains. "She was an engineer who had never given any consideration to the paranormal until she experienced something like a near-death experience while visiting a friend in hospital. She wasn't actually near death, but she said she was spontaneously transported to a beautiful garden with a lot of people and laughter all around.
"When the doctors snapped her out of it, she became very angry with them because she was so at peace.
"She didn't give it much more thought until a couple of years later when a child close to her died. After that, she began reading up on the afterlife and began interpreting her experience as a near-death experience and soon she started to perceive that she was communing with the child from the afterlife."
Thomas came to attribute the roots of the initial incident to a traumatic hospital experience from the engineer's childhood, but could find no way to explain how this once rational woman had suddenly started believing she was communing with the dead.
Jan 7, 2009 - 9:51:41 AM
By MARK McLAUGHLIN