Reichean disciples, restless statues – brief news items on paranormal activities around the world

Robert Sheaffer

Paranormal events continue to shape the news in unseen ways. According to a number of on-line UFOlogists scattered across the Internet, there is a very good reason that the Bosnian peace talks were held in the unlikely location of Wright-Patterson Air Force Base near Dayton, Ohio. That, they say, is where the famous “Hangar 18” is, containing the bodies of the “little gray men” recovered from saucer crashes. Some say the United States wanted to intimidate the warring factions by revealing to them the awesome extraterrestrial findings that we have at our disposal, suggesting a level of technological prowess that would be futile to resist.

Reichean critic Joel Carlinsky notes that James Nichols, accused in 1995 (charges were late dropped) of storing and detonating bombs on his Decker, Michigan, farm, kept a “cloud buster” there. James Nichols reportedly discussed with an FBI informant in 1988 ways to “level” the Federal Building in Oklahoma City, a crime for which his brother Terry Nichols now stands indicted. Wilhelm Reich, psychiatrist and biophysicist, and inventor of the cloud buster, believed, as do his disciples now, that droughts are caused by dangerous levels of “deadly orgone radiation” building up in the clouds, so the disciples build these implausible contraptions, which they point at the sky, trying to zap the drought away. Typically one or more of the Reicheans will claim credit whenever a drought ends, although none has yet owned up to being responsible for a destructive flood. The disciples of Reich keep each other in a perpetual state of froth, endlessly deploring the Food and Drug Administrations heavy-handed actions during the 1950s against Reich for his quack cancer cures, painting him as a latter-day Galileo, hounded and destroyed by fanatical inquisitors.

At the October 16, 1995, Million Man March in Washington, the controversial Nation of Islam minister Louis Farrakhan delivered a long oration that included a confusing harangue on the numerological significance of the number nineteen. “When you have a nine you have a womb that is pregnant,” Farrakhan explained, “and when you have a one standing by the nine, it means that there is something secret that has to be unfolded.” He said the nearby statues of Lincoln and Jefferson are nineteen feet high; Jefferson was the third president and Lincoln was the sixteenth – add them together, and you get nineteen. Truly astonishing! Those with a long memory will recall Farrakhan’s earlier claim to have been whisked up in a vision to a wheel-shaped UFO while in Mexico in 1985 (Psychic Vibrations, SI, Summer 1990, p. 360). While on board he said he received advance warning of the impending United States air raid against Libyan targets, and he claims that the UFO occupants (who are on his side) caused electromagnetic interference with a United States aircraft carrier.

In the predictions department, Jeane Dixon’s crystal ball is as cloudy as ever. She foresaw in the Star that “solar-powered lawn mowers will run clean and quiet – and be extremely popular.” Even more interesting, her other Star predictions for 1995 included: “Pope John Paul II will have a hand in liberating Cuba from Castro” (Dixon has predicted Castro’s downfall practically every year since Castro came to power); and “A whole new world of dinosaurs will be discovered in Central Asia.”

Other prognosticators did equally well. The Washington Post noted (September 2, 1995) that the prominent Japanese newsweekly Aera was reporting that two astrologers credited with forecasting the extremely destructive Kobe earthquake in early 1995 were warning that Tokyo would be struck on September 9, 1995; the “most dangerous time” was said to be thirty-seven minutes after midnight, at which time nothing at all happened. And some interesting second-half-of-the-year predictions from the National Enquirer (June 20, 1995) were: Prince Charles will become king when his mother steps down (Laura Steele); a billionaire who thinks that our doom is near will lead a cult following to a secret underwater city (Leah Lusher); and “ER hunk George Clooney will be saved from a fiery death – by his pet pig!” (Barbara Donchess). In the rival tabloid the Examiner (January 3, 1995), Gary Spivey predicted that the ghost of Jackie Kennedy would appear to Hillary Clinton, urging her to run for president in 1996. Ron Mangum predicted that Liz Taylor would have a close call when stricken by the “flesh-eating virus” (actually a bacterium); and Linda Georgian, host of the Psychic Friends Network infomercial, predicted that after experiencing a vision of the Virgin Mary, Hollywood madam Heidi Fleiss would convert to Catholicism and become a nun.

Meanwhile, something seems to have gotten into the world’s statues to make them exceedingly restless during 1995. First, at least a dozen of Italy’s statues of the Madonna started weeping tears of blood, according to a New York Times News Service story of April 1995. Some of these miraculous tears were discovered to be paint, others tinted olive oil.

Then, in September 1995, in India, statues of Ganesh, the Elephant God, developed a thirst for drinking milk. The faithful offer them milk on a teaspoon, which the statue appears to consume, in miraculous fashion. James “The Amazing” Randi said that some of these statues, those made of plaster or ceramic, are simply soaking up the milk via capillary attraction, and he recommends offering them a teaspoon of ink to see if the statues can consume it as eagerly, while remaining unstained. Statues made of marble have milk slowly trickling down their front side which is not easy to see. Some statues made of metal seem to be capable of consuming several liters of milk. The self-described psychic Uri Geller, asked to comment on the phenomenon by British television, said “Miracles are very strange . . . almost paranormal.” However, a Belfast newspaper noted that “priests at the temples would not allow anyone to inspect the statues for any devices that could consume the milk.”

COPYRIGHT 1996 Committee for the Scientific Investigation of Claims of the Paranormal

COPYRIGHT 2004 Gale Group

You May Also Like

Who Are the Outstanding Skeptics of the Century?

Who Are the Outstanding Skeptics of the Century? – Brief Article There are many heroes of the skeptical movement, past and present. As th…

Benjamin Franklin’s enlightenment deism: Benjamin Franklin early-on adapted a creed that would last the rest of his life: a virtuous, morally fortified, and pragmatic version of deism. He fit squarely into the tradition—indeed, was the

Benjamin Franklin’s enlightenment deism: Benjamin Franklin early-on adapted a creed that would last the rest of his life: a virtuous, morally fo…

Science and the unknowable

Science and the unknowable Martin Gardner Existence, the preposterous miracle of existence! To whom has the world of opening day nev…

On Ear Cones and Candles

On Ear Cones and Candles – Brief Article Philip Kaushall Three experiments by the authors melt a New Age claim of ear wax extractio…