Pro Factoids

     The Sony Corporation is funding ESP research, according to Peter Landers of the Associated Press, as reported in the Eugene Register-Guard, October 25.

     While Japan is currently in a recession and many companies are laying off workers, ESP research at Sony is not scheduled for cuts. It has been funded directly on approval from Akio Morita and Masaru Ibuka, the company’s founders. The special ESP research division has been directed for the last four years by senior researcher, Yoichiro Sako, a Tokyo University graduate. Sako takes the research seriously, calling it “a new technological revolution.” He believes some people can bend spoons by rubbing them and can determine the contents of sealed containers when the “atmosphere is right.” According to Landers, “Sako says modern science, with its insistence on repeatable experiments and so forth, isn’t getting at the things that really matter - like emotion and ‘spirit’.”

     Sony’s “traditional scientists,” brushed off by Sako, built the Walkman and invented CD players.

     The research is controversial in Japan, which is still reeling from the Tokyo subway attacks by the Aum Shinri Kyo cult. The cult claimed, among other supernatural powers, the ability to levitate. “I’m furious at Sony, absolutely furious ... Sony might as well be denying that its products can be trusted,” said one physicist from Waseda University.

     Sako does not yet have any ideas for marketable products from his research, but Mika Ishida, the company’s spokeswoman, said Sony believes Sako’s research has potential, as indicated by “the fact that it is being budgeted.”

     UFOs have moved from making crop circles to making carpet circles, according to Joe Barron, MUFON’s chief investigator for the Pensacola area. Philip Klass reports in the July 1995 SUN that Barron discovered “mysterious tiny circular depressions in the carpet of his house - seemingly made by tiny UFOs which land in his house.” Barron reported finding “two seven-inch diameter circles in the carpet around 6 A.M. on April 7, after hearing a very loud noise. When he inspected other rooms, he discovered three more identical rings on the carpet of a small bedroom ... none of which had been there on the previous day when he vacuumed the house.” Barron concluded, “As a result of the loud noise and finding the rings, contact was established with me by some entity which, at this moment, is a mystery to me.” Barron’s report appeared in the May 1995 MUFON UFO Journal.

     UFO-mania seems to be hitting South America and reports of sightings are trickling in. The Argentine news agency, Telam, reported that a television cameraman filmed a saucer shaped UFO over La Puerta on October 5, according to an Argentine internet news source. Gerado Ferrero shot 15 minutes of “high quality footage” before he ran out of tape and UFO flew away. According to the report, Ferrero said the object pulsed violet, green and red and through his telephoto lens he could see small windows in it as it spun and moved up and down. When he digitally enhanced the photos he could see the saucer spinning.

     In a July UFO sighting in Bariloche, Argentina, three-foot deep circular “footprints” and a gelatin-like substance were reportedly found on the flight path coming into the city’s airport. Chile was also said to have a number of sightings near Santiago. According to the Telam report, Chile’s armed forces had issued a security alert and were “taking the UFO invasion seriously.”

     The Psychic Fair, September 23 and 24 in Corvallis, featured, among others, the “Tarot Gypsy” of Spirit Lake, Idaho who gave readings under a pyramid and “intuitive consultant,” Jack Potticary.

     According to the September 24 Corvallis Gazette-Times, Potticary, a psychic with 15 years experience, predicted a woman would replace Bob Packwood in the Senate. When asked if the Beavers would win a Pac-10 game this year, Potticary hedged, saying, “I don’t feel a lot of success around this year ... It almost feels like a team that keeps running into itself. They don’t have the intuitional feel that allows them to work as unitary whole.” And finally, Potticary predicted the rains would begin in three weeks: “a lot of rain, about two inches,” followed by a cool dry fall and a cold December.

     We will need to wait and see about the Senate race and how the Beavers do; the rain, however, began the following day!

     Millions of Hindus rushed to temples in India bearing teaspoons of milk for the elephant-headed god, Ganesha. Rumors had spread overnight on September 21 that a miracle was occurring: The statues were drinking milk. Despite demonstrations that the milk was trickling down the marble statues as a thin invisible film, crowds fought their way into temples. Milk shortages were reported and Calcutta restaurants stopped serving milk with tea, instead selling it by the teaspoon at highly inflated prices, according to Associated Press reports of September 22.

     One KEX DJ wondered why, if they wanted to know the truth in the OJ Simpson case, the investigators hadn’t hired a psychic to help them. The other commentator agreed, adding that police did that a lot nowadays.

     In fact, one psychic had fondled an autograph of OJ’s and declared him guilty.

     Irrationality also affects bears. Conservation officers recently seized 84 bear paws from a Vancouver, B.C. home. According to The Oregonian, the paws were estimated to be worth $17,000 because they are the primary ingredient in a soup. Conservation officer Mark Hayden said, “It is a very expensive dish. The belief is that by eating it, it gives the person the power of the bear, the essence of the bear.”

     KXL radio offered the following mental health tip for their listeners. In view of the fact that Friday the 13th is considered by many to be unlucky, dangerous or frightening, KXL consulted a psychologist about how people should deal with these fears. The psychologist suggested that carrying a rabbit’s foot or four-leaf clover may make them feel better.

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