This week [Sept. 20th 2013] I spent a fascinating evening with Bob Jahn and Brenda Dunne of the former Princeton Engineering Anomalies Research (PEAR) laboratory, who are now running the International Consciousness Research Laboratories (ICRL). Bob Jahn is Emeritus Professor of Aerospace Sciences and Dean Emeritus of the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences of Princeton University. He was founder and director of PEAR from its inception in 1979 until its closing in 2007, with Brenda serving as its laboratory manager. Bob is now Chairman of ICRL and Brenda serves as its President.
Bob and Brenda over 28 years investigated psi from an engineering point of view. That is, the primary subject of their human/machine experiments was not the human, but the machine. This shift in emphasis required different experimental designs based on the accumulation of very large databases from a relatively small group of human operators, manipulation of physical variables rather than psychological ones, and data processing and statistical techniques drawn from engineering practice.
The way we pose our questions can frequently affect the answers we get.
PEAR experiments involved many different types of Random Event Generators. For our discussion here I assume the REG is based on the decay of a radioactive element. It is impossible to know when a radioactive particle will be emitted from a mass. The unpredictably of this emission form a random event that is coupled into a logic system to record such events.
Lets assume we have a simple apparatus of three bins in which a collection of balls can accumulate. The bin on the left is called the 'low-side', middle bin the 'baseline' and the bin on the right is called the 'high-side'.
The Random Event Generator determines which of the three bins the balls will fall into. Over a long enough period of time, without any outside influences, the three bins will accumulate the same number of balls.
Now the fascinating part to me is that untrained operators (that is people that claim no special abilities of any kind) can influence which bin gets the most balls. It gets even more interesting that the device can be influenced remotely from the present, past or future! Time and distance are a construction of our current physical understanding of the world, however they are not a requirement of Nature. In their studies they did determine that this is a wave-based phenomenon and not particle based.
What I found strangest of all (as if this all isn't strange enough) is that the influence on the devices were gender specific. Males who could see the device had the best outcomes of getting the balls to fall into the bins of their choosing. Females regardless of their choice tended to have the balls fall into the 'high' bin. Bonded couples (that is dating or married heterosexual couples) had a seven fold increase in the balls falling into the bin of their choosing. Pairs of males or pairs of females had no better outcomes than an individual operator of the same gender.
PEAR accumulated billions of bits of data from the REGs of many types and found the same outcomes over 28 years of study.
So what do we do with this knowledge? At this point I have no idea. However maybe the next time the customer complains that something was not working perhaps we should ask them what they were thinking at the time of the anomaly...