Friday, October 7, 2011
Dig That Psychic Archaeology!
In yesterday's blog posting (well, one of them, anyway), we talked about The Mystery of the Buried Crosses, by Hamlin Garland. In keeping with this theme, we next examine how some archaeologists have used psychics to locate ancient lost artifacts.
In 1973 Dr. J. Norman Emerson, professor emeritus of anthropology at the University of Toronto, who was commonly acknowledged as the "father" of Canadian archaeology, shocked his archaeological colleagues by publicly presenting the results of his research into "intuitive archaeology." Emerson had begun using the services of several psychics who had achieved statistically significant levels of non-sensory awareness of unknown archaeological finds that were later confirmed through traditional excavation techniques. Chance, fraud, and prior knowledge were each ruled out as possible explanations.
The psychics used a technique called psychometry, in which each psychic was given an unidentified artifact, the origins of which Emerson or his colleagues already knew (or thought they knew) through traditional archaeological methods, and the psychic gave his/her mental impressions about the object. In their "mind's eye," they perceived visual, tactile, olfactory, and auditory information about the artifacts that they could not possibly have deduced from the objects' physical characteristics. They could pinpoint approximate age and location where the artifacts were found.
The psychics could also walk across an unexcavated archaeological site and indicate where to dig for particular structures or objects. They could apparently reconstruct the site as it had looked at sometime in the distant past.
Emerson worked with several psychics, but one of his exceptional "sensitives" was George McMullen, who also worked with archaeologist Stephan A. Schwartz (in Alexandria, Egypt) and several law enforcement agencies (to solve crimes). McMullen published a book, One White Crow (Norfolk, VA : Hampton Roads, 1994) (ISBN 1-57174-007-4), which presented many of Emerson's papers and research, and which also provided insights in the ways McMullen was able to psychometrize objects and places.
Other scientists, such as Stephan A. Schwartz and David E. Jones, had used psychics in archaeological experiments. Like Emerson, Schwartz and Jones obtained highly successful, statistically significant results for which chance was not a viable explanation. Both Schwartz and Jones published books about their experimental findings, both of which were discussed in our book trailer (above).
Although Emerson, Schwartz, and Jones were continuing important research into psychometry, they were not the first. As parapsychological writer Colin Wilson wrote in his book, The Psychic Detectives (London: Pan Books, 1984) (ISBN 0-330-28119-4), geologist William Denton published his psychometry research findings in 1863 in his book, The Soul of Things, which Wilson republished in his "Library of the Paranormal" series (Wellingborough, Northamptonshire: Aquarian Press, 1988) (ISBN 0-85030-707-4). Dr. T. D'Aute-Hooper analyzed apparent mediumistic communications "through a Welsh woman" in his book, Spirit-Psychometry and Trance Communications by Unseen Agencies (London: William Rider & Son, 1914). Others have studied psychometry during the 19th and 20th centuries [e.g., S. G. J.Ouseley, A Guide to Telepathy and Psychometry (London: L. N. Fowler & Co., republished in 2003 by Kessinger Reprints, ISBN 0-7661-3001-0)].
Each of these works presents a fascinating world in which extraordinary perceptions are revealed. These abilities could revolutionize the fields of archaeology and criminology, to give just two examples, provided that the scientific establishment would encourage, and accept the factual information from, unbiased, objective scientific research in this area of the paranormal.
If you happen to read any of these titles (particularly Schwartz's and Jones' books featured in the book trailer), you should also consider Schwartz's The Alexandria Project (1983, reprinted 2001--ISBN 0-595-18348-4).
It Pays to Know Where to Dig,
Cauli Le Chat
MPL Roving Reporter
Psychic Science News Beat
P.S. Any discussion of archaeology conjures ancient Egyptians, which, naturally, reminded me of "King Tut," by Steve Martin, shown here in a live stage performance (1979).