Thursday, October 1, 2009

Quirkology!

I have just finished reading a very unusual book written by one Richard Wiseman titled "Quirkology:the curious science of everyday lives," published by Pan Books, London, 2008. ISBN 978 033 0448 116.

It is the result of 20 plus years of academic research by psychologist Richard Wiseman. It covers a range of topics including "What does your date of birth really say about you?"; "The psychology of lying and deception;" through the search for the world's funniest joke to decision making.

What does this have to do with the subject of my blog? Well, pages 118-127 describe the work of Vic Tandy. Vic had an odd experience at work in 1998 when one night "...he started to feel increasingly uncomfortable and cold. Next, he had the distinct impression of being watched, and looked up to see an indistinct grey figure, slowly emerge in the left side of his peripheral vision. The hair on the back of his neck stood up...to turn and look at the figure. As he did, it faded away and disappeared."

Research by Vic indicated that the room experienced a low-frequency sound wave below human hearing. He located the source to be a newly installed air fan.

Wiseman relates that in the 1960's, NASA found that 'infrasound" could "...vibrate the chest, affect respiration, and cause gagging, headaches and coughing." It appeared that certain frequencies could vibrate eyeballs and cause distorted vision.

Vix went on to suggest that the ghost like effects at some haunted locations might be caused by infrasound.

Wiseman and friends conducted an experiment during two concerts during which infrasound was generated in the venue. Four times during each concert the audience used a questionnaire to note any unusual experiences. "The effect was far from trivial, with people reporting, on average about 22 per cent more unusual experiences with infrasound present." p126. What did they report? The effects included shivering, stomach sensations, and ears fluttering .

One can readily see the possibilities here for haunted locations if infrasound can cause objects to vibrate due to no apparent cause, cause sensations of cold, and generate apparent figures. It could also perhaps why only one person in a group sees a fleeting figure from their side vision.

I wonder if a person waking paralysed at night in a venue where infrasound occurred, could induce an apparent alien abduction? Has anyone carried out research in this area?

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