Tuesday, November 21, 2017 
 
Home Whats New Forums Our Team Contact Us  
Username:

Password:


Lost Password
Register Free!

Main Menu

Facebook

SJB Partners

See all partners...

Polls

Do you believe in spirit guides?
Yes
No
Maybe
Undecided (please comment)

Mediums - Do you think they are genuine?
Yes - I have seen many mediums and they have all seem excellent
Maybe - Some I have seen are good....other not so!
No - Been to loads of mediums. None of them have ever been correct
Unknown - I dont know.....I reserve judgement for the time being

Ads

Welcome

Welcome to the Hampshire Ghost Club - registration is FREE so come on in and take a seat and meet our community.

A Brief History.

We were formed in 2001 by experienced paranormal investigator, author and TV presenter David Scanlan and rapidly become one of the UK's leading investigation groups, A title we are proud to still have after 8 years of group investigations.

We have visited and investigated numerous sites over the years including Portchester Castle, Levens Hall, Dudley Castle, Wymering Manor, Beaulieu Abbey, Netley Abbey, Michelham Priory, Ancient Ram Inn, Chingle Hall, and many more, there are some sites that we cannot name due to their ownership being in the hands of the Royal Navy and a member of the British Aristocracy.

The Hampshire Ghost Club has also been featured highlighting our work numerous times in the media including Most Haunted, BBC Radio, Net Talk Radio, Power FM, ITV, Meridian, Portsmouth TV, Paranormal Magazine, Beyond Magazine, plus many others.

We are a friendly and dedicated group of individuals and we are always on the look out for new members to compliment our existing team

So....if your interested in finding out what really happens on a Ghost Hunt why not drop us a line in our forums or via our contact forms enquiring about our membership availability

Need Help With The Website?

If you experience any problems with the website, please review our help desk, if there is no solution there then please open a support ticket @ http://support.sjbowers.co.uk (This is only for technical support, all other HGC queries should be done through the resources available on this site)

General : Somerset Healer Found Hanged

Posted by Founder on 23-Apr-2008 15:30 (4246 reads)

16:53 - 22 April 2008

A Cheddar Valley village and a community of friends and spiritualists were left saddened today (Tuesday) when news broke of a popular character's death. (Click Read More below)

Rating: 0.00 (0 votes) - Rate this News - Read More... | 1164 bytes more | 5 comments

General : Bar staff spooked by saucy ghost!

Posted by Founder on 20-Apr-2008 22:21 (2248 reads)

Sightings of cloaked ladies, freezing rooms in warm weather, and someone touching you, are just some of the spooky stories suggesting a supernatural presence in Amersham Old Town.
Bar staff at the 15th century Boot and Slipper pub in Rickmansworth Road, Amersham, are convinced a resident ghost brushes past them, mutters to itself and puts its hand on their shoulders.

Bar assistant Simon Kemp said: "Staff are too scared to go down to the cellar as there has been times when they feel something brush past and one guy felt a hand on his shoulder."

Such experiences appear to be happening on a regular basis in the Old Town.

Chris Hanscomb, the manager at the 500-year-old Chequers pub, in London Road West, Amersham, said he heard rumours about a ghost in his pub.

He said: "I haven't actually seen anything yet but I have woken up one evening when it was absolutely freezing in the room but warm outside. People have said they have seen it, I'm not sure what I would do. I'd probably order it a drink."

Landlady Sylvia Shippey is adamant the Elephant and Castle in Amersham Old Town is haunted. She said she had just moved to Amersham after living at the Queens Head in Chesham for 21 years, where she used to hear footsteps.

She said: "We had a sighting of the ghost before Christmas, my son saw it. He saw someone upstairs in the flat. The neighbour has seen it in her kitchen twice. The woman glides in top to toe in black, and must walk through the walls in to her kitchen."

Sylvia believes it's a saucy ex-publican as previous barmaids have complained of their bottoms being pinched down the cellar. She added: "We reckon it could be a lesbian ghost."

The barmaid at the pub, Michelle Rogers, said she was startled when she felt her bottom pinched but saw no-one around her.

She said: "I went down in to the cellar to get some drinks and then I felt my bottom being pinched. I had heard stories about it before I came to work here and I just dropped the bottles and ran out. I was a bit shocked."

Ghost expert Ciaran O'Keeffe, who was called in last year to search for the spirit of Henry VIII's fifth wife Catherine Howard at Hampton Court Palace, is well aware of Amersham's ghostly reputation.

He said: "The Chequers is reported to be haunted by a white hooded figure and there has been reports of cold spots and doors opening. A medium has investigated and said the ghost was called 'Auden' and he was around in the early 1500s before the pub was built.

"People used to be locked up there before they were taken to the Martyrs in Amersham to be burnt on the stake."

He added: "There are a lot of ghosts in Bucks. There are lots of villages and old houses, which still exist. A lot of ghost sightings occur, it could sometimes be that they think they have seen something because it is old and from the stories that surround it."

Housekeeper Margaret Wingrove, has worked at the Crown Hotel, Amersham, for three years. She said the hotel has five ghosts and gained another two when an extension was built.

She said: "I don't like all of them. One of the new ones shouts "Get out now" almost through the wall. The feeling is mutual, I just run.

"In room 16 we have an old Victorian housekeeper. She tucks young men into their beds.

"You get men at three in the morning running down the stairs. It is quite funny. She only appears around Eastertime, it is probably because most hotels are seasonal."

"I live in Penn Street and we have our own collection of ghosts and I can see and hear them. I have seen them since the age of five. Most children collected pets - I collected ghosts."

Mr O'Keeffe said that the Crown Hotel used to house the rich and famous like Dirk Bogarde and Oliver Cromwell, and people who stayed in the oldest bedrooms would wake up suddenly with an electric shock passing through them.

Rating: 0.00 (0 votes) - Rate this News - Comments?

General : EVP from USA

Posted by Founder on 31-Mar-2008 15:30 (2031 reads)

"Recently I started watching Ghost Hunters and Paranormal State," says Cynthia Wantanabe. "I became intrigued with the EVPs they made, so I decided to try one of my own. My father passed away last April 4, 2007 and both my sister and I still are depressed or unsettled with it. So I tried to contact him. One thing that bothered me the most after his passing -- and something I would constantly say to my husband or cousin -- is that I would never get to feel him hug me again or hear him say, 'I love you.' That bothered me a lot. In this recording, you hear me say, '...and I miss you.' Then you hear my little son say, 'Ok' ... then my father. He's saying, 'Love you.' I know it's him because I know his voice."

http://paranormal.about.com/library ... ve-you.mp3

Rating: 0.00 (0 votes) - Rate this News - Comments?

General : The Gravestone Path

Posted by Founder on 29-Mar-2008 14:01 (1658 reads)

The winter was a long and hard one in the Britain of 1970, before the days of global warming, January would signify cold weather right across the country.

Early one morning I had cleared a patch of snow in my tiny garden to put down food for the wildlife, an urgent knocking on my door showed and anxious looking old lady with a tiny Yorkshire terrier held tightly within her coat, and demanding to see the Exorcist.

Inviting her into the warm, and asking her over a welcome hot cup of tea for her story, she began to pour out a most curious tale.. Her son was a parish gravedigger, these are a special breed of men, who are often shunned for the work they do, yet their knowledge of the outdoors, the changing seasons and who lives below ground in their graveyards, can be priceless to ghost hunters.

The old lady told me that the little churchyard, where her son worked had sold off a part of the large old graveyard for a road widening scheme and for a small housing development.

As the old defunct gravestones were cleared away, he had brought a load home and laid them down as her garden path, and on a visit there sure enough, you could read all the names of the long deceased all down the garden path to her washing line, the trouble was when you move these things about, you can disturb the dead, and they were expressing their anger in very strange ways.

Since the laying of the pathway with the now obsolete gravestones, she would hear strange noises, things would get moved and Trixie the Yorkshire terrier would just sit barking in the garden at nothing, and be very unsettled at night.

Now old people who live alone can report all these things, and they are actually more normal than paranormal, but in this instance I felt some examination was necessary, and was glad I did, because there were indeed memory traces and psychic residues from some long dead personalities, who were unhappy to have been disturbed, both in the garden and now in the home. The first thing was to call out a list of the names on the stones in prayer, consecrate the new ground for the stones, and to call for Gods blessings.

This used to be called "a holding at bay ceremony" Electrical problems have been documented in psychic movement right back to the complete system failures in Cairo at the death of Lord Caernarvon, but here were some baffling phenomena such as lights coming on and off all through the night, Music coming from the player, the heating packing up, the doorbell ringing when no one was there, odd noises downstairs at night and her reading glasses going missing and being found all over the house, when she sat alone Trixie would be right at her feet in "protective mode".

She said this was all driving her potty.

The next door neighbour's said she was batty anyway, so it was difficult to assess how much was genuine, but I believe the general thrust of what she said, and asked if I could bring in a few spiritual colleagues in what is called a "rescue circle" and round up these lost souls and help them to their proper place, this is expert work and must not be attempted without expert training.

But in the meantime however she went to the church and told the Vicar there about the ghostly goings on, and he was furious she had sought help from someone outside the church.

In the old days people who thought for themselves were murdered by the Christian hierarchy, and even today freelance exorcists were not seen in a pleasant light, But the need for them has only been because of Church attitude that only regular church goers can get church help or use church facilities.

The Vicar was not very knowledgeable or helpful and kept insisting that
"This would not have happened if she had kept up her regular church going and bible reading class" but did pray with her in the house.

Over the coming weeks the strange phenomena did die down,
And Trixie the terrier went back to sleeping in her basket, but I am convinced the situation existed which could have got a lot worse, with the souls of the dead getting increasingly angry.

Flash photographs taken at night show several streaks and shapes which could possibly be spirit, and I accept this is open to interpretation. But for me there really were a lot of dead people in that house, who I am pleased to say are now back at rest, and so is Trixie the hero of this tale,

Rating: 8.00 (1 vote) - Rate this News - Comments?

General : EVP from USA

Posted by Founder on 17-Mar-2008 16:35 (2403 reads)

I am an amateur ghost hunter living in Memphis. I wanted to share an EVP that I recorded spring of 2006 at Fort Pillow an old Civil War battleground in West Tennessee about 45 miles north of Memphis. I was accompanied to Fort Pillow by a reporter and a cameraman from the Memphis newspaper The Commercial Appeal; they were doing a series of articles on things to do in Tennessee along the Mississippi River. We went to Fort Pillow on a warm spring afternoon and I attempted to show them what a ghost hunter does on an investigation. That can be a little tricky to do on a sunny afternoon outside when a ghost hunter usually works in the dark. We collected several very good EVP recordings on our outing. This EVP was recorded at the site where some cabins and tents housing wounded soldiers after the battle had been set afire, killing most of those soldiers. The cameraman was standing beside me holding a big camera with a very long lens. Consider what a camera looked like in the Civil War times versus today's newspaper cameraman's camera and lenses with almost a gun-like appearance. I call out to any ghost who might be there, "Can you give us a sign? Can you fly by, ah, move by this camera?" Then you'll hear a very distinct voice ask, [Edited by HGC. We would like get peoples opinions on what they can hear]


The EVP can be heard by visiting http://paranormal.about.com/library ... bullet.mp3

Rating: 0.00 (0 votes) - Rate this News - Read More... | 1 comment

General : Phantom Marksman

Posted by Founder on 11-Mar-2008 17:42 (2580 reads)

On March 17, 1952, the window of a trolley car in Philadelphia shattered for no apparent reason.

In Great Britain in May of 1952, something shattered the windshield of a car driven by a girl applying for her driver's license, on the Scunthorpe-Doncaster road in Linconshire England. No pellet or anything else was ever found that could have caused the damage.

On that same English road on May 5, the windshield of a truck was suddenly shattered. No pellet, stone, or culprit was discovered.

On the next day, a window exploded on a schoolbus filled with children on that same road. Fortunately, none of the children were injured.

On May 9, 1952, on a road between Esher and Cobham in Surrey, a motorist named Eric Sykes had his windshield shattered.

Journalists quoted police officials as saying: "There have been about 20 incidents of this kind along here in the last 18 months, and we are completely mystified."

One of the greatest enigmas inherent in exploring the boundaries of Shadow World is confronting the very real possibility that dwellers from other dimensions have found a way to enter our world and to create temporary portals in our Space-Time continuum. The motives of such dimension-hoppers are difficult to assess. Are they our guardian angels come to subtly guide and direct us? Are they our "devils" come to harass and confuse us? Or are they actually quite indifferent to our eventual fate and merely come over from time to time to check up on our intellectual progress?

On some occasions, it appears, some of their number may behave toward us rather like mischievous, nasty boys hurling rocks at frogs in a pond or stones through the windows of old deserted houses. Only these pranksters chose to shatter perfectly good windows on automobiles, homes, and places of business. And, on too many occasions, they take potshots at humans.

On June 6, 1952, a Pittsburgh woman was wounded in the hip as she held the ladder for her husband while he tightened a shutter on the second story of their home. Her injury was attributed to a "spent bullet," but there was no indication of whether or not a pellet was found in her hip or who had fired the "spent bullet.”

A "stray bullet" was held responsible for wounding a seven-year-old boy in Swissvale, Pennsylvania on June 20. Again, the official account neglected to mention whether or not that "stray bullet" had been found.

Five miles from Newbury in the Berkshires, a motorist reported having his windshield pierced by a bullet on June 12. Police there said that they, too, had had other reports of shots being fired at motorists on that stretch of road. No one, however, had ever found any evidence of the phantom marksmen, not even a spent bullet in some motorist's seat cushion.

Back on the Portsmouth Road between Esher and Cobham, one incident mentioned a hole that had penetrated the automobile's metal door. Still no pellet could be found, and official statistics showed that twenty-two windshields had been shattered on that road within the past fifteen months.

The next day after the release of those statistics, a motorist reported that he had just become the owner of windshield number twenty-three. A feature story in the Evening News claimed that their statistics indicated a more accurate total of thirty windshields shattered on the haunted road.

By September, the phantom marksmen had decided to seek new shooting galleries in the United States. By Thursday of the week of September 22, 1952, fifty businessmen in the city of Kokomo, Indiana, had complained that someone was shooting holes in their plate glass windows.

Captain of Detectives C.C. Unger had found that the mysterious perforations were all similar--a small opening through the glass, too small to have come from a B-B shot or an air gun pellet, with a crater smashed on the inside of the glass at the point of impact. The damaged area was about the size of a quarter, and was at eye level or a bit above. It was apparent to the police ballistics experts that the holes had all been made by the same type of missile, but there was not a spent pellet to be found in any of the business places.

Captain Unger ordered extensive tests with all types of air rifles in an attempt to come up with the particular kind of gun that might be responsible for the damage to the downtown business district. With dismay the police investigator learned that no make of rifle available to the crime lab had caused the holes.

Police Chief Don Scott issued a front page appeal in the Kokomo Tribune, beseeching anyone who might have any knowledge pertaining to the steadily rising damage to the business district to step forward and declare himself.

No member of the citizenry came forward to perform his civic duty. Everyone was as baffled by the mystery holes as were the police.

Captain Unger grew increasingly frustrated. It seemed impossible that a phantom marksman could travel over central Kokomo shooting out windows over a sixty-block area without being seen by someone. Furthermore, it seemed equally impossible to accomplish the shattering of all those windows without leaving at least one pellet somewhere on the inside of the glass.

To complicate the case, the phantom rifleman paid a brief visit to Peru, Indiana, a city some twenty-one miles north of Kokomo during that same week in September. Apparently the invisible sharpshooter had found targets more to his liking in Kokomo, for he had only picked off six windows in Peru.

Then the mysterious sniping stopped altogether, with no official any closer to a workable theory than one put forward by a British magazine that a ghost fond of firing his dueling pistols had been responsible for the "bullet holes” in the windshields on that afflicted road in England.

If the phantom marksmen really were interdimensional beings out for a bit of tasteless sport at Earthlings' expense, they must have wearied of the game until April of 1954. This time, the windows in Bellingham, Washington"seemed to be the most inviting.

In one week, the newspapers reported that an unidentified "someone" had cracked more than 1,500 windshields.

Life magazine carried an account of the Bellingham windshield seige in its April 2, 1954 issue: "With ghastly regularity the tiny pellets flew through the air and glass cracked, sometimes as cars were in motion," recounted Life. "But drivers failed to see how the deed was done. The phantom respected no one. Jagged, ugly scars appeared in the windshields of police cars. Angry businessmen stalked one another, but glass kept breaking."

Once again, in spite of numerous theories, no one found a single pellet on the inside of the splintered glass.

On April 15, the perforating pranksters aimed their sights at the city of Seattle. The Seattle Daily Times carried a front page story lambasting the "windshield peppering hoodlums" who had cracked hundreds of windows in one night. Police Chief H.J. Lawrence was quoted as stating that he had called a conference of police officials in a cooperative effort to stem the situation that had spread from Bellingham to Seattle and other communities to the north.

"It would take 200 people to do the damage being done in Seattle,” he said. "It seems a physical impossibility for any group to have done this damage. It would take a carload of whatever material is being used to do the damage already inflicted in Seattle."

Chief Lawrence and his busy officers were as unable to duplicate the perforations in their ballistics department as had any of the other beleaguered police across the nation. Nor did any of his men find a single B-B or pellet.

On April 17, three counties in Northern Ohio were struck by the invisible marauders.

Then the phantom marksmen seemed to go on a real rampage--reports of suddenly shattered glass came from Los Angeles, Chicago, Kentucky, Cleveland, New England, and a dozen cities in Canada.

At last, in Portland, Oregon, someone saw something -- tiny. round, blackish pellets about one thirty-second of an inch in diameter. One woman claimed that she saw some hit a windshield of an automobile and eat right through it in a kind of "bubbling action."

A newspaper reporter in Cleveland, Robert Cubbedge, did not claim to have seen any pellets, but he did serve as eye-witness to craters appearing on ninety windshields in a used car lot.

Cubbedge described the phenomenon as "some kind of transformation talking place" while he watched. He wrote that there was no gravel, sand, or pellets falling on the clean windshields, but he stated firmly that he had "... watched the mysterious something that pockmarks automobile windshields develop before my eyes."

In King County, Washington, two sheriff’s deputies watched the same thing happening to truckdriver Robert M. Noble's windshield. When they went back to their patrol car to radio in their report, they found that their own windshield had been pitted.

Mr. and Mrs. Gary May of Port Weller, Canada, were sitting in the family car when they heard sharp pinging sounds on their windshield. Mrs. May put her hand out. side and quickly withdrew it, with a sharp, stinging pain in her right thumb. She was later treated for a small, burn-like welt.

A man in Binghamton, New York, was also struck by one of the hot, invisible pellets and was treated for a small flesh wound on his arm.

Manuel Careaga, a well-known attorney and realtor of Ensenada, British Columbia, heard a thud against the rear window of his car. When he stopped to investigate, he found no pellet of any kind, but as he watched, his rear window “melted like snow."

Sooner or later, people always demand that their experts and authorities announce a solution to such a mystery--especially when the enigma is a costly one. By the same token, experts and authorities usually feel compelled to provide the citizenry with comfortable and logical explanations for all mysteries--regardless of whether or not the explanations may suit the facts.

The Pittsburgh Plate Glass Company attributed all the handiwork of the phantom marksmen to pitting caused by flying sand, gravel, or the chemicals used to de-ice highways.

From Great Britain came word that the more than one hundred windshields that had eventually been shattered on the stretch of highway between Esher and Cobham had all been caused by one or more of five contributing factors: stress caused by ill-fitting glass; frame distortion; vibrations from unequal road surface; changes of temperature; sound waves from the exhausts of passing vehicles.

The phantom marksmen went laughing back into their own dimension, once again chortling about what fools those mortals can be. They lay quiet until August of 1961 when they paid an evening's visit to Springfield, Massachusetts, and shattered the rear windows of one hundred randomly selected automobiles.

That seems to have been the end of that particular perverse pastime, however. After all, a fun thing like smashing glass can become boring after so long--even for phantoms from another dimension.

Rating: 6.00 (1 vote) - Rate this News - Comments?

General : Clapham Woods

Posted by GingaBish on 05-Feb-2008 08:23 (7470 reads)

I live near Clapham Woods-Basically 5 minutes away from my house by car.I go there regulary with my close friends.Many scary & paranormal things have happened to me when i have gone there.I have been going to Clapham Woods for about 2 years now.I can tell you a few things that have happened to me while i have been there...Well the most recent ones as they have been the worst!Friday 18th January 2008-(Me,Abbie,Sinead,Neil) It was my birthday & i fancied a birthday scare-so we went up to Clapham Woods.The time was ruffly 11/12pm.We gathered our torches & tools & set off up the path to the church.We approached the churched & things didnt seem right to me and neil.Abbie & Sinead didnt take any notice as it was their 1st time there.We stopped in front of the church & stayed there for a bit-heard lots of unexplainable noises.So i thought that we better start moving on.Walked through the Church yard & 1st field.Got to the brink of the 1st bit of trees-we flashed the torches in & climbed over the sty.We walked through & we could hear someone/something following us so we stopped & stood there for a while.We couldnt hear anything but saw things running past and saw tiny bright lights in the bushes so we carried on walking quickly.Got to the big field entrance & climbed over sty & went & stood in the middle.At this point we could see black figures running around us & headin towards us from all directions.Abbie then started going all dizzy & couldn't stand up & feel to the floor-she looked as though she was having a fit as her eyes were rolling & her eyelids were flickering.Sinead,Myself and Neil therefore panicked & picked her up and got her to come around eventually.We dicided that we couldnt handle all this anymore & started to head back to the car.Climbed over the sty into the 1st bit of trees again & started walking-me & sinead were holding up abbie at this point & neil was behind us telling us to move faster as he could see something black following us & it was gettin quicker.We all saw it & so we started to panic and moved on briskily.Came to the 1st field & basically jumped the sty & lifted abbie over it.Neil was at the back & as he got half way over something was touching him & so he told us to run-so we did!We got to the church yard & waited for neil.He caught up for us & was really pale in the face & looked as though he had been hit round the face as he had a red mark.We walked through the church yard & stood there for a while as we felt safest there.After 15mins abbie was back to normal as though nothing had happened to her.Neil was still worried an caucious.Me & Sinead were scared out our wits. We then headed to the car and went home.Ever since this night me,abbie and neil have been experiencing really bad dajavu's and dreams.I havnt gone back up there since as im worried that things might get worse next time!
We now say the black things we see are called the faceless.I have heard chains being dragged along the floor as we have sat next to the altar tree before-loud breathing going past my ear and being blown in my face.Loud thumps to the ground and then dragging noises.Tiny bright lights in the bushes that appear and dissapearSeeing things running around us.When i go there during the day i hear no birds and its just to quite for my liking! Please can you write back to me and tell me your experiences that have happened to you! thankyou...

Rating: 6.00 (3 votes) - Rate this News - Read More... | 2 comments

General : HGC News Annouces An Extra Special Issue!

Posted by editor on 16-Jan-2008 10:52 (3887 reads)



Hi Guys,

As the editor of the Hampshire Ghost Club's Newsletter. I would like to announce to you that we have managed to get an extra special interview for issue 9 of HGC News, which is due for release in February.

Derek Acorah has agreed to do an interview for the next issue. This is great news.

Please feel free to let me know your thoughts and opinions on this matter by leaving a comment.

If you wish to subscribe to HGC News, please feel free to e-mail me at hgcnews@yahoo.com or e-mail HGC's founder, David Scanlan at founder@hampshireghostclub.net. With the word "newsletter" in the subject.

Regards,

Matt Cutting
HGC News Editor

Rating: 0.00 (0 votes) - Rate this News - Read More... | 3 comments

General : The all time best ghost web site

Posted by Founder on 09-Dec-2007 18:08 (2261 reads)

As you all well know the www is filled with different paranormal and ghost hunting group websites.

I have set about a challenge to find the best one out there....if thats possible

If your willing to participate please reply to founder@hampshireghostclub.net with the url for the best ghost website out there

I know we wont cover all clubs going but I am sure we will get a good selection.

You can suggest your own club, a friends or perhaps one you found simply by surfing.

There will then be a poll placed on the HGC website and everyone is free to vote for their all time best site.

Not only will this allow us to see some of the best sites out there its also a good bit of fun and a good way to share information and ideas.

Rating: 0.00 (0 votes) - Rate this News - Read More... | 1 comment

General : Science and The paranormal

Posted by Founder on 26-Nov-2007 16:41 (2479 reads)

We are all aware of science and what it means to the modern world, but how many really know the central reasons behind science, its overall methodology, or how it came about? In this post, I’ll attempt to offer a glimmer of light.
But in doing so, I want to highlight something else. Namely, science, today, is arriving at concepts that seem to invalidate the very processes of science itself. The discipline remains uneasy with this – perhaps because it would open up ‘truths’ about the paranormal.

EARLY IDEAS

The first awareness of science in a modern, western sense came from the ancient Greeks. Imbued with a curiosity about the world separate from the machinations of gods, a methodolgy was finally devised by Aristotle in the 4th century BC. To him, we should understand the world by a process of experience and observation separate to the old accepted ways of belief.
Europe was to lose touch with Classical knowledge, with Christianity rising as the only, belief-based, system. Science proper was carried on by the Islamic world. However, the 11th century Reconquest of Spain caused a rediscovery of Classical texts as western minds began to study the libraries left behind as Islam retreated.
Such alternative knowledge to the Bible put pressure on Christian intellectuals. Hence, when it was realised that Aristotelian cosmology agreed with the Bible on certain factors - a stationary Earth at the centre of the universe, for instance - some theologians attempted to place Classical knowledge within a Christian system.
Such intellectualism came to a head with St Thomas Aquinas, who theorised that there were two ways to understand God’s Creation. We can work with revealed or natural theology. The former was our belief in God; the latter became the first official acceptance that man’s mind could work alongside God to understand the world.

PHILOSOPHY

This attempt to allow a degree of science into the Medieval world was to prove a can of worms. For once an idea is out, it is hard to put back or hold at bay. Hence, by the 13th century the monk, Roger Bacon, began to argue that science could best understand the world through experimentation.
By the early 14th century, the need to use man’s mind to understand the world was fighting for acceptance. Principal to the process was William of Occam, arguing for less secular power in the hands of the Church.
He even dared to moot such ideas as democracy. But of most importance to science was his invention of ‘Occam’s Razor’. Stated simply, he argued that the simplest form of statement is superior to endless hypotheses. It was the beginning of reductionism, where a simple answer becomes more sensible than the more complex.

DEFINING PARAMETERS

Such a methodology became the rockbed of scientific methodology. And it was to find further acceptance at the beginning of the 17th century with Francis Bacon. Arguing against belief, he said that if a man begins with certainties, he will end with doubts. Yet, if we were to begin with doubts, we shall end in certainties.
This reversal of knowledge was vital to a world beginning to feel confident with itself intellectually. Bacon had reversed belief in favour of science. And the stakes were high.
It was about what constituted knowledge. And Bacon understood very well that knowledge is power. But whilst the basics of a scientific methodology were being put in place, it still required a master-stroke to validate science above all doubt. This came with the father of modern philosophy, Rene Descartes.

THINKING RIGHT

In his 1637 ‘Discourse on Method’, Descartes laid the foundations for the modern intellectual mind. Introducing Radical Doubt, he argued that we should deny everything. Only with absolute scepticism can we look at the world and realise how it works. And to do that, man needed a frame of mind by which he could discover.
Discounting belief, discounting everything about him, at the basis of man’s mind was the ability to think. In his famous dictum, ‘I think, therefore I am’, he placed man’s mind as central to how he discovers the world.

EMPIRICISM

As the 17th century was coming to a close, one vitally important essay appeared - ‘An Essay Concerning Human Understanding’. Written by the philosopher John Locke, it was the final piece in the scientific methodology that was soon to rise supreme.
Validating empiricism, Locke argued that man is born with a mentally clean slate. There is nothing in the mind until impressions enter it from experience of the outside world. Only through experience could we know things. And mentation itself was simply reflection upon the sensations we experience.
The method of science was complete. Today, science is accepted as a process by which we observe and experiment. In this way, we collect data. And from analysis of this data, we put forward theories.
Once the theory is in place, further experiment and observation goes on to prove or invalidate the theory, nudging science forever onwards. It is a process that led to the modern world, confirming our sciences as the path to knowledge.

RETURN TO DOUBT

This, then, is the story of how science became what it is. And whilst I would never deny the vital importance of the process, the whole system presents some severe difficulties, today, regarding knowledge, and the paranormal in particular.
First of all, science was created to understand a material world, working in predictable and mechanistic ways. Unfortunately, though, science itself has now gone a long way to invalidating these processes.
Typically, quantum theory has shown that, at a fundamental level, the universe is anything but mechanistic, or probabilistic. Rather, the universe is a state of flux which somehow produces the world we think of as material.

PARTICULAR IMPROBABILITY

Essential to what we perceive as the material world is, it seems, consciousness. We can come to this conclusion by realizing that when a measurement is made in the world of particles, to carry out the test, the particles must be bombarded with light.
Light is, itself, made up of particles. Hence, in ‘looking’ into the quantum world, we are actually affecting it in terms of a collision. Until this point, a particle can be in any probable state it could be in.
Only in ‘observing’ does a definite, hard reality present itself. But the problem is, that reality is essentially a result of our observation, rather than its true state. Hence, an essential element of ‘reality’ is our ability to observe it.

ROLE OF THE MIND

This places consciousness at the heart of our ability to observe and experiment with the universe, and everything in it. Descartes’ dictum – I think, therefore I am – is suddenly not only a process of methodology, but of creation.
The problem of the role of mind in the world is made even more difficult when we think of Locke, and his idea of the mind being a ‘mentally clean slate’. As the world has history before we are able to conceive it, how can we not have something in the mind that gives reality its validity?
To go even deeper into this paradox, if a conscious observer is essential to creating the world we experience in the first place, who was viewing the universe before life existed?
As the universe is said to have existed right back to the Big Bang, then consciousness must also have existed for this to occur.

VALIDATING THE PARANORMAL

This all suggests that science, as understood today, is alien to how the universe really is. Rather, the universe must hold, within itself, a form of connective consciousness with everything in the universe.
Such a view holds vital importance for the paranormal, for such a connective consciousness would permit the free-flow of information throughout the universe, and allow mind an ability to affect matter.
Further, such a consciousness would be eternal, giving a hint of credence to the existence of ‘entities’ existing before our time, probabilities of ‘time’ yet to come, and the troubling possibility of ‘consciousness’ surviving death.

IN CONCLUSION

Of course, at this stage in our understanding of the universe, such concepts must remain basically supernatural, with no rational way of conceiving them. Similarly, science must go on in the way it has been conceived to exist.
But maybe it is time for a slight change in the ‘over-view’ of the scientific mind. For whilst it is slowly drawing back the veil of this enigmatic universe, it could peak intellectually over the horizon and accept the material world may not be all there is.

© Anthony North, November 2007

Rating: 0.00 (0 votes) - Rate this News - Comments?