Monday, May 28, 2012

Maltese archeological site seems designed to shift brainwaves

Archeologists are beginning to think that certain ancient sites were designed to conduct and manipulate sound in order to shift people’s brainwaves and, thus, their consciousness (; thanks to Institute of Noetic Sciences newsletter for the find).

One fascinating example is the 6,000-year-old Hal Saflieni Hypogeum, the only prehistoric underground temple in the world, which is found on Malta.  This World Heritage site was discovered “by accident” in 1902.  Only 80 people a day are allowed entry.  It consists of three subterranean levels.  Some rooms are naturally-occurring caves that have been extended.  Some of the chambers have curved walls.

The temple was “created through the removal of an estimated 2,000 tons of stone carved out with stone hammers and antler picks. Low voices within its walls create eerie, reverberating echoes, and a sound made or words spoken in certain places can be clearly heard throughout all of its three levels”  (

Malta temple expert Linda Eneix of the Old Temples Study Foundation reported that EEGs were done on volunteers listening to different sound frequencies while in the Hypogeum.  "The findings indicated that at 110 Hz the patterns of activity over the prefrontal cortex abruptly shifted, resulting in a relative deactivation of the language center and a temporary shifting from left to right-sided dominance related to emotional processing and creativity. This shifting did not occur at 90 Hz or 130 Hz......In addition to stimulating their more creative sides, it appears that an atmosphere of resonant sound in the frequency of 110 or 111 Hz would have been “switching on” an area of the brain that bio-behavioral scientists believe relates to mood, empathy and social behavior” (

Similar observations have been made at archeological sites in Ireland, Turkey, and Peru.

Sound scientist Prof. Daniel Talma of the University of Malta explains: “At certain frequencies you have standing waves that emphasize each and other waves that de-emphasize each other. The idea that it was used thousands of years ago to create a certain trance – that’s what fascinates me” (

The Mediterranean Institute of Ancient Civilizations is conducting further research in archeoacoustics at the site (

In 1996, Prof. Robert Jahn of the Princeton Engineering Anomalies Research Lab and colleagues studied six ancient UK sites, and found that “each sustained a strong resonance at a frequency between 95 and 120 Hz, despite major differences in chamber shapes and sizes….Since the resonance frequencies are well within the adult male voice range, one may speculate that some forms of human chanting, enhanced by the cavity resonance, were invoked for ritual purposes” (Jahn et al., 1996).

I found the curved walls in the Hal Saflieni photos a little unsettling, but I am currently hypersensitive from neuro damage.  But, get a flashlight and look at your tonsils and the back of your throat.  It bears an uncanny resemblance to this architecture, which may have been intuitively or analytically shaped to maximize the shaping and projection of sound.

During the research for this essay, Google had a Doodle in honor of the Moog synthesizer, and mentioned subtractive synthesis.  The idea of subtractive synthesis is that a sound that is rich in harmonics can be shaped into a more specific sound by changing the shape of the “filter” (eg the human mouth and throat, or a proscenium), which subtracts some of the harmonics (Wiki).

The evidence that prehistoric temple builders were intentionally trying to control sound is further supported by Jahn et al.’s observation that:  “The resonant modal patterns all featured strong antinodes [the point of maximum amplitude of a sound wave] at the outer walls, with appropriately configured nodes [the point of minimum amplitude of a sound wave] and antinodes interspersed toward the central source. In some cases, interior and exterior rock drawings resembled these acoustical patterns” (Jahn et al., 1996)

In the 1980s, psychologist Howard Gardner argued that the prevailing IQ tests were only capturing a certain style of intelligence, and were missing many different types of intelligence that exist.  He proposed that there were several, relatively independent types of intelligence.  Three of the types he proposed may be particularly relevant to the acoustic discoveries at Hal Saflieni – intrapersonal intelligence, interpersonal intelligence, and musical intelligence.

Intrapersonal intelligence is the capacity to access one’s own feeling life, to discriminate among feelings, label them, utilize them in a symbolic way, and make meaning of them (Gardner, p. 239).

Interpersonal intelligence refers to the ability to observe and make distinctions about the moods, temperaments, motivations, and intentions of others (Gardner, p. 239).

Musical intelligence he defines as the ability to discriminate pitch, rhythm, and timbre, as well as skill at recognizing what constitutes a well-structured phrase or section of music (Gardner, pp. 104-105, 107-108)

One of the ways that Gardner defended his model was to collect evidence that there appeared to be faculties that could be destroyed or spared in isolation when there was brain injury.  In other words, these faculties seemed relatively autonomous (Gardner, p. 63).  Since the early 1980s, we have developed our understanding of brain function (less modular, more neural networks), and consciousness (not only in the head or body), but there is still some usefulness to these insights based on localization.

Here’s the interesting thing that may pertain to Hal Saflieni – The study of brain injuries suggested that intrapersonal, interpersonal, and musical intelligence are all strongly localized in the right hemisphere and in the frontal lobes (Gardner, pp. 118, 260-267). 

As Ms. Eneix noted above, the acoustics at Hal Saflieni appear to shift prefrontal cortical activity, deemphasizing language centers, shifting hemispheric dominance to the right, and activating areas associated with emotional processing, creativity, mood, empathy, and social behavior (

So, sound could have been used at Hal Saflieni to increase people’s emotional and social intelligence, as well as to increase their ability to utilize the sound itself.  All these competencies would benefit from a right hemisphere, frontal shift.

Furthermore, repeated, ongoing exposure to this effect would go beyond shifting your state for a moment.  It would re-wire you to be a certain way via neuroplasticity.  A comparable effect to what we are hypothesizing for the congregants at Hal Saflieni has been observed in various recent studies of people who have had a prayer or meditation practice of many years duration.  Some studies suggest that, during prayer or meditation, experienced practitioners’ parietal lobes go dark – this lobe processes sensory information – and their frontal lobes light up – signifying focused attention…and perhaps signifying the activation of the personal and musical strengths mentioned above.  Other studies suggest that long-term practice sculpts the brain and creates systematic, enduring changes (Hagerty, NPR, 20 May 09).

“The church was packed to such an extent that the organ did not sound quite so grand as it did when the sanctuary was empty.  People, after all, absorb a great deal of sound.”

                        -- Graham Landrum, The Famous DAR Murder Mystery, p. 102

Thanks to Barbara Croner, MFT, for her contributions to this essay.


Gardner, H.  (1985).  Frames of mind:  The theory of multiple intelligences.  Basic Books.

Hagerty, B.B.  (2009).  Prayer may reshape your brain….and your reality.  All Things Considered, NPR, 20 May 09.

Jahn, R., Devereux, P., & Ibison, M.  (1996).  Acoustical resonances of assorted ancient structures.  J. Acoust. Soc. Am., 99, 649-658.

Landrum, G.  (1992).  The famous DAR murder mystery.  NY:  St. Martin’s Press.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Elephants demonstrate extra-sensory connection with their human champion

This is re-posted from Rob Kerby, Senior Editor, --

Author and legendary conservationist Lawrence Anthony died March 2. His family tells of a solemn procession of Elephants that defies human explanation.

For 12 hours, two herds of wild South African elephants slowly made their way through the Zululand bush until they reached the house of late author Lawrence Anthony, the conservationist who saved their lives.

The formerly violent, rogue elephants, destined to be shot a few years ago as pests, were rescued and rehabilitated by Anthony, who had grown up in the bush and was known as the “Elephant Whisperer.”

For two days the herds loitered at Anthony’s rural compound on the vast Thula Thula game reserve in the South African KwaZulu – to say good-bye to the man they loved. But how did they know he had died?

Photo of the elephants, posted by the family --

Known for his unique ability to calm traumatized elephants, Anthony had become a legend. He is the author of three books, Babylon Ark, detailing his efforts to rescue the animals at Baghdad Zoo during the Iraqi war, the forthcoming The Last Rhinos, and his bestselling The Elephant Whisperer.

There are two elephant herds at Thula Thula. According to his son Dylan, both arrived at the Anthony family compound shortly after Anthony’s death.

“They had not visited the house for a year and a half and it must have taken them about 12 hours to make the journey,” Dylan is quoted in various local news accounts. “The first herd arrived on Sunday and the second herd, a day later. They all hung around for about two days before making their way back into the bush.”

Elephants have long been known to mourn their dead. In India, baby elephants often are raised with a boy who will be their lifelong “mahout.” The pair develop legendary bonds – and it is not uncommon for one to waste away without a will to live after the death of the other.

But these are wild elephants in the 21st century, not some Rudyard Kipling novel.

The first herd to arrive at Thula Thula several years ago were violent. They hated humans. Anthony found himself fighting a desperate battle for their survival and their trust, which he detailed in The Elephant Whisperer:

“It was 4:45 a.m. and I was standing in front of Nana, an enraged wild elephant, pleading with her in desperation. Both our lives depended on it. The only thing separating us was an 8,000-volt electric fence that she was preparing to flatten and make her escape.

“Nana, the matriarch of her herd, tensed her enormous frame and flared her ears.

“’Don’t do it, Nana,’ I said, as calmly as I could. She stood there, motionless but tense. The rest of the herd froze.

“’This is your home now,’ I continued. ‘Please don’t do it, girl.’

I felt her eyes boring into me.

“’They’ll kill you all if you break out. This is your home now. You have no need to run any more.’

“Suddenly, the absurdity of the situation struck me,” Anthony writes. “Here I was in pitch darkness, talking to a wild female elephant with a baby, the most dangerous possible combination, as if we were having a friendly chat. But I meant every word. ‘You will all die if you go. Stay here. I will be here with you and it’s a good place.’

“She took another step forward. I could see her tense up again, preparing to snap the electric wire and be out, the rest of the herd smashing after her in a flash.

“I was in their path, and would only have seconds to scramble out of their way and climb the nearest tree. I wondered if I would be fast enough to avoid being trampled. Possibly not.

“Then something happened between Nana and me, some tiny spark of recognition, flaring for the briefest of moments. Then it was gone. Nana turned and melted into the bush. The rest of the herd followed. I couldn’t explain what had happened between us, but it gave me the first glimmer of hope since the elephants had first thundered into my life.”

It had all started several weeks earlier with a phone call from an elephant welfare organization. Would Anthony be interested in adopting a problem herd of wild elephants? They lived on a game reserve 600 miles away and were “troublesome,” recalled Anthony.

“They had a tendency to break out of reserves and the owners wanted to get rid of them fast. If we didn’t take them, they would be shot.

“The woman explained, ‘The matriarch is an amazing escape artist and has worked out how to break through electric fences. She just twists the wire around her tusks until it snaps, or takes the pain and smashes through.’

“’Why me?’ I asked.“’I’ve heard you have a way with animals. You’re right for them. Or maybe they’re right for you.’

”What followed was heart-breaking. One of the females and her baby were shot and killed in the round-up, trying to evade capture.

“When they arrived, they were thumping the inside of the trailer like a gigantic drum. We sedated them with a pole-sized syringe, and once they had calmed down, the door slid open and the matriarch emerged, followed by her baby bull, three females and an 11-year-old bull.”

Last off was the 15-year-old son of the dead mother. “He stared at us,” writes Anthony, “flared his ears and with a trumpet of rage, charged, pulling up just short of the fence in front of us.

“His mother and baby sister had been shot before his eyes, and here he was, just a teenager, defending his herd. David, my head ranger, named him Mnumzane, which in Zulu means ‘Sir.’ We christened the matriarch Nana, and the second female-in-command, the most feisty, Frankie, after my wife.

“We had erected a giant enclosure within the reserve to keep them safe until they became calm enough to move out into the reserve proper.

“Nana gathered her clan, loped up to the fence and stretched out her trunk, touching the electric wires. The 8,000-volt charge sent a jolt shuddering through her bulk. She backed off. Then, with her family in tow, she strode the entire perimeter of the enclosure, pointing her trunk at the wire to check for vibrations from the electric current.

“As I went to bed that night, I noticed the elephants lining up along the fence, facing out towards their former home. It looked ominous. I was woken several hours later by one of the reserve’s rangers, shouting, ‘The elephants have gone! They’ve broken out!’ The two adult elephants had worked as a team to fell a tree, smashing it onto the electric fence and then charging out of the enclosure.

“I scrambled together a search party and we raced to the border of the game reserve, but we were too late. The fence was down and the animals had broken out.

“They had somehow found the generator that powered the electric fence around the reserve. After trampling it like a tin can, they had pulled the concrete-embedded fence posts out of the ground like matchsticks, and headed north.”

The reserve staff chased them – but had competition.

“We met a group of locals carrying large caliber rifles, who claimed the elephants were ‘fair game’ now. On our radios we heard the wildlife authorities were issuing elephant rifles to staff. It was now a simple race against time.”

Anthony managed to get the herd back onto Thula Thula property, but problems had just begun:

“Their bid for freedom had, if anything, increased their resentment at being kept in captivity. Nana watched my every move, hostility seeping from every pore, her family behind her. There was no doubt that sooner or later they were going to make another break for freedom.

“Then, in a flash, came the answer. I would live with the herd. To save their lives, I would stay with them, feed them, talk to them. But, most importantly, be with them day and night. We all had to get to know each other.”

It worked, as the book describes in detail, notes the London Daily Mail newspaper.
Anthony was later offered another troubled elephant – one that was all alone because the rest of her herd had been shot or sold, and which feared humans. He had to start the process all over again.

And as his reputation spread, more “troublesome” elephants were brought to Thula Thula.

So, how after Anthony’s death, did the reserve’s elephants — grazing miles away in distant parts of the park — know?

“A good man died suddenly,” says Rabbi Leila Gal Berner, Ph.D., “and from miles and miles away, two herds of elephants, sensing that they had lost a beloved human friend, moved in a solemn, almost ‘funereal’ procession to make a call on the bereaved family at the deceased man’s home.”

“If there ever were a time, when we can truly sense the wondrous ‘interconnectedness of all beings,’ it is when we reflect on the elephants of Thula Thula. A man’s heart’s stops, and hundreds of elephants’ hearts are grieving. This man’s oh-so-abundantly loving heart offered healing to these elephants, and now, they came to pay loving homage to their friend.”

From South African news report posted on Youtube in Mar 09 –

Over the years, the initially mistrustful matriarch Nana has put her body between Anthony and charging stranger elephants, many times.

And in the interview, Anthony reports that, whenever he goes away on a trip, the day he returns, the elephants are found standing at his house!  (@ 6:00)

From his 8 Mar 12 obituary in The Telegraph –

….In 2003, as Anthony watched television footage of the bombardment of Baghdad, he recalled reading that the city had the largest zoo in the Middle East: “I couldn’t stand the thought of the animals dying in their cages. I contacted the Americans and the British and said, 'You have any contingency plans?’ Nobody was interested.”

Within days he was on the Kuwait-Iraq border, in a hired car packed with veterinary supplies. The Americans refused to let him cross, but Kuwaiti border guards allowed him through and, with two Kuwaiti zoo workers, Anthony joined the tanks and convoys heading to Baghdad.

When he arrived at his destination, in the ruins of the city’s once majestic al-Zawra park, he found a “horror story”. Met by a tearful Husham Hussan, the zoo’s deputy director, Anthony was initially tempted to give up….

Within weeks American and even Iraqi soldiers were putting down their weapons and mucking in: “We had Republican Guard soldiers working with American troops in the zoo two weeks after they were killing each other on the battlefield,” Anthony recalled. Local mullahs instructed their followers that Anthony and his team should be left unmolested…..

Additional sources --

Monday, May 14, 2012

Chip Coffey: Growing up psychic

Psychic and medium Chip Coffey has just published his book “Growing up psychic:  My story of not just surviving but thriving – and how others like me can, too.”  In it, he cogently sets forth a kind and intelligent way of helping children who are having psychic openings – usually distressing ones.  Chip Coffey is so relaxing, I wish I could be a psychic kid, so he could be my mentor.

He has also been the heart of the A&E TV series “Psychic Kids:  Children of the Paranormal.”  I think this show is just fantastic.  I cry every episode.  The kids and their parents go from being terrified and miserable to feeling deeply relieved and good about themselves.

Really, Mr. Coffey is doing an incredible service, filling a unique niche.  He’s educating children and parents about how to live a grounded, normal, happy, humanistic life with psychic abilities.  Societally, these abilities are currently teetering on the brink between being seen as evil, deluded, or deformed v. being seen as beneficent, evolved, and desirable.

I so admire his courage in taking up this mission.  Especially as a man.  Our society is becoming more open to psi, but he is still very much in the vanguard.  Our society is also becoming more aware of child abuse, which is a great thing, but it’s going through a phase of being knee-jerk mistrustful of men around children.  So, it’s very brave of him to be a psychic man who mentors children who are having difficulties with psi. 

He says he has some training and experience in psychology and counseling, and it shows.  I had wondered how he came to be so therapeutic with the kids on the TV series.  He has rock solid common sense, a superb set of values about what all children need, a nice sense of humor, and he’s very natural and humble.

One of the purposes of this blog is to defuse the conflation of psi and fear.  This book contributes to that project.  In the vast majority of childhood and teenage psi openings that Mr. Coffey encounters, the kids feel terrified, but there is, in fact, nothing to be afraid of.  Many times, they are being contacted by deceased humans who simply want to get a message through.  On one occasion, the presence that the child was scared of was actually a spirit guide.  There is the rare instance of a more aggressive being contacting a kid, but, even then, it does wonders simply to support the child's development of a healthy entitlement to self-respect, personal power, and boundaries.

Just for fun, here are a couple of the more unusual anecdotes from the book –

One mother reported that she was driving with her nearly non-verbal 11-month-old son in Alabama, when he suddenly started crying, and shouted, “Bad men on the plane!  Buildings going to fall!  Many people hurt!  Help them!” 

She was so shaken by hearing complete sentences from her 11-month-old that she pulled the car over.  The boy was still upset, so she turned the car radio on to find some soothing music.  As you’ve probably guessed by now, what she then heard on the radio was the breaking news of the attack on the World Trade Center.  The date was 11 September 2001.

This boy has since been diagnosed as autistic.  His mother says that he has precognitive, clairvoyant, empathic, and telepathic abilities.  Many people in her family history have had psychic abilities.  (pp. 12-13)

Another anecdote –

A 12-year-old boy was riding his bike, and was seriously injured when hit by a car.  He drifted in and out of consciousness for a bit, then, from his perspective, everything went blank, and he found himself out of body looking down on his body.  Then, he felt himself traveling fast through a white fog and tunnel.

Up ahead, he saw shadowy figures, and eventually drew close enough to see his grandmother.  He felt confused because he knew she had died a year earlier, but he was very happy to see her. 

She smiled, shook her head, and said, “Kylie, you really have to be more careful from now on when you’re riding that bike.”  She wrapped her arms around him, and hugged him close.

Suddenly, he felt a huge pain in his chest, and found himself in the back of an ambulance.

He recovered well, and told his parents about his experience.  It turns out that that the chest pain he had felt coincided with being defibrillated by the paramedics.  And his mother was stunned to hear of her deceased mother hugging her son, because, when she was finally allowed to see her injured son in the ER, she had leaned over to give him a kiss, and had smelled her mother’s perfume on him!

In the decade since his NDE, Kylie describes himself as having occasional precognition and clairsentience. (pp. 85-87)