Online Bibliography

This is the bibliography for my paranormal novella, Chasing Omega. It includes specific sources used for factual claims, as well as other resources for people who wish to explore these issues further. 


The errors of experts 

Meteors: The resistance of the scientific establishment to “stones falling from the sky” is discussed here

Germ theory: Opposition to Pasteur’s theory is well documented. As one article notes, “Pasteur was vilified in public … The medical establishment ridiculed him.” 

Continental drift: The decades-long opposition to continental drift theory is discussed here

A new Ice Age: Though some climatologists worried about global warming in the 1970s, others raised the alarm over an Ice Age; a list of popular news articles on global cooling can be found here

The atom cannot be split: Pioneering physicist John Dalton argued that the atom was indivisible, a position that went unchallenged for decades. 

Flying machines: Lord Kelvin wrote, “I have not the smallest molecule of faith in aerial navigation other than ballooning.”  


Psychic phenomena (general)

The literature on psychic phenomena is vast. Some of the better books I’ve read are: 

Science and Psychic Phenomena, by Chris Carter; 

The End of Materialism, by Charles Tart; 

The Conscious Universe and Entangled Minds, both by Dean Radin;

The Sense of Being Stared At, by Rupert Sheldrake; 

and The Secret Vaults of Time, by Stephan A. Schwartz.

For a detailed examination of organized skepticism, see Robert McLuhan’s Randi’s Prize. McLuhan also maintains a first-rate blog, Paranormalia

For a debate between skeptics and proponents of the paranormal, see Debating Psychic Experience, edited by Stanley C. Krippner, PhD, and Harris L. Friedman. 

For a philosophical overview, see Michael Grosso’s The Final Choice and Kenneth Ring’s The Omega Project (no relation to the Omega program in my story!). 


Stargate Project 

The Stargate Project was very real. See this overview at the Psi Explorer website. This section of the RemoteViewed website presents many original documents from Stargate. 

The books Psychic Wars, by Elmar R. Gruber, and The Stargate Chronicles, by Joe McMoneagle, go into detail about the program.

For background on the recovery of a Soviet plane in Zaire, see the article “CIA-Initiated Remote Viewing at Stanford Research Institute,” by H.E. Puthoff.


Afterlife (general)

Empirical evidence for life after death is remarkably abundant. Most people have little idea of how much serious work has been done in this area. Besides mediumship, the main avenues of investigation are near-death experiences, deathbed visions, apparitions, hauntings, after-death communications, and past-life memories. 

The best overviews include:

Stop Worrying! There Probably Is an Afterlife, by Greg Taylor; 

Science and the Near-Death Experience and Science and the Afterlife Experience, both by Chris Carter; 

Immortal Remains, by Stephen E. Braude; 

Science and the Paranormal, by Arthur Ellison; 

Robert Crookall’s Intimations of Immortality and The Supreme Adventure

David Fontana’s Is There an Afterlife?; 

F.W.H. Myers’ turn-of-the-century classic Human Personality and Its Survival of Bodily Death

and its contemporary follow-up, Irreducible Mind, by Edward F. Kelly et al. 

The AECES Top 40 site compiles summaries of the strongest cases. 

A site called Spiritual Development presents a good survey of the evidence. 


Mediumship (general) 

The early years of the scientific study of mediums are covered in:

Ghost Hunters, by Deborah Blum, 

Natural and Supernatural, by Brian Ingliss, 

and The Articulate Dead, by Michael Tymn. Michael Tymn’s excellent blog is worth bookmarking.

The theory that mediumship and other phenomena suggestive of life after death can be explained by unusually robust ESP is called “super-ESP” or “super-psi.” See:

Braude’s Immortal Remains

Alan Gauld’s Mediumship and Survival, 

and Carter’s Science and the Afterlife Experience

Contemporary scientific study of mediums is carried out by The Windbridge Institute in Tucson, Arizona. Julie Beischel’s Among Mediums discusses the institute’s work. Sadly, Windbridge does not enjoy anything close to the financial resources of the Omega program. 


Methods of testing mediums

Proxy sittings are covered at the Spiritual Development site. 

Experiments in which the medium is physically separated from the sitter, and communication between the two is handled by an intermediary, are discussed in The Afterlife Experiments, by Gary E. Schwartz. 

Experiments in which the medium and the sitter are connected only by a muted telephone line are covered in “The Reincarnation of Mediumship Research,” by Julie Beischel. 

Mrs. Piper was followed by detectives, taken to England where she knew no one, and subjected to many other tests. See Deborah Blum’s Ghost Hunters and Michael Tymn’s Resurrecting Leonora Piper.


Mediumship (specific cases) 

The Jacqui Poole case is discussed in my blog post, “The Murder of Jacqui Poole.” 

For a good biography of Mrs. Piper, see Resurrecting Leonora Piper, by Michael Tymn. For George Pellew’s recognition of the people he’d known in life, see this article from the AECES site. 

For information on Gladys Osborne Leonard and the Bobbie Newlove case, see An Amazing Experiment, by Charles Drayton Thomas (complete text online). 

For info on Eileen Garrett and the R-101 case, see my essay “R-101” or John Fuller’s The Airmen Who Would Not Die

The Maroczy-Korchnoi chess match is treated in detail in Carter’s Science and the Afterlife Experience. It is also written up as a report on the AECES site. 


Physical and materialization mediumship 

Two valuable books on this topic are The Limits of Influence, by Stephen E. Braude, and Sittings with Eusapia Palladino, by Everard Feilding. For the most part, I don’t find physical and materialization mediumship very compelling, but some cases appear to be genuine. 


Scientists, academics, and political figures interested in mediumship

Charles Richet, a pioneering medical researcher who won a Nobel Prize in Medicine in 1913, extensively investigated mediums as a sideline. 

William James studied Leonora Piper and was active in the American branch of the Society for Psychical Research. See Blum’s Ghost Hunters

Alfred Russel Wallace became convinced of life after death and wrote a book about it, Miracles and Modern Spiritualism (complete text online). 

Oliver Lodge also became convinced of an afterlife and wrote Raymond, or Life and Death (complete text online). 

The claim that President Lincoln was encouraged to issue the Emancipation Proclamation by a trance medium is made in Was Abraham Lincoln a Spiritualist? by Nettie Colburn (complete text online). Since the author is the medium herself, her account is open to doubt, though the book’s publisher insists he made strenuous efforts to verify it. Mary Todd Lincoln arranged seances in the White House, which her husband sometimes attended. His attitude toward the proceedings is still debated. 


Literary figures interested in mediumship 

Pulitzer Prize-winning poet James Merrill used a Ouija board.

Sylvia Plath also used a Ouija board.

Victor Hugo used a planchette (similar to a Ouija board) while in political exile. John Chambers’ The Secret Life of Genius covers Hugo’s channeling sessions and the spiritual and paranormal interests of other historical figures.

Elizabeth Barrett Browning was deeply impressed with medium Daniel Dunglas Home–so much so, that her skeptical and possibly jealous husband, Robert Browning, wrote a long satirical poem, “Mr. Sludge, ‘The Medium,’” about Home. The poem implies that Home (represented by Mr. Sludge) was caught in fraud, but in actuality he never was. 

Arthur Conan Doyle’s fascination with mediums and spiritualism is well known. 

Mark Twain believed he’d had precognitive dreams and other paranormal experiences, and joined the American chapter of the Society for Psychical Research. 

Pearl Curran, channeling “Patience Worth,” produced reams of written material on demand, including several novels highly acclaimed in their day. 


Near-death experiences 

Raymond Moody, M.D., coined the term “near-death experience” in his groundbreaking 1975 study Life After Life. 

A few years later, Michael B. Sabom, M.D., published Recollections of Death, which includes the famous Pam Reynolds case. 

The Reynolds case is also discussed in Carter’s Science and the Near-Death Experience, pages 220-229. 

The case of Brad Barrows, a man born blind who saw snow for the first time while having an NDE, is summarized on pages 391-2 of Fontana’s Is There an Afterlife? and presented in greater detail in Mindsight, by Kenneth Ring and Sharon Cooper, which includes other such cases. 

Other important books by Kenneth Ring include Life at Death and Lessons from the Light (with Evelyn Elsaesser Valarino). 

For the dentures case, see “Corroboration of the Dentures Anecdote Involving Veridical Perception in a Near-Death Experience,” by Rudolf H. Smit. The case is also covered in Carter’s Science and the Near-Death Experience, pages 217-219. 

For the case of Maria’s shoe, see my essay “Who Will Watch the Watchers?”, especially the addendum presenting excerpts from Kimberly Clark Sharp’s article on the case. 

For the plaid shoelaces case, see the entry under “Joyce Harmon” on this page of the website Near-Death.com. The same page offers many similar examples of veridical perception during an NDE. 

The movie to which Brand makes reference is Flatliners (1990), starring Kiefer Sutherland.


Visions of the dying 

The last words of Thomas Edison and Steve Jobs have been reported in many sources, including this one. (There is some dispute about whether Edison’s statement was made just before his death or a couple of days earlier.) 

The fascinating subject of deathbed visions, which sometimes include information that the dying person had no normal way of knowing, was first broached by William Barrett in his classic Death Bed Visions (complete text online). A more recent study is At the Hour of Death, by Karlis Osis and Eriendur Haraldsson. 


Apparitions 

The crisis apparition described in the story may be found on page 45 of Fontana’s Is There an Afterlife? and on pages 118-120 of in Carter’s Science and the Afterlife Experience. Please note that the person in “crisis” in such cases is the one whose apparition is seen – not the percipient, who is usually quite relaxed.

Though not covered in Chasing Omega, recent history’s most famous apparitional episode may be the Chaffin will case, which is found in Fontana’s book, in Carter’s Science and the Afterlife Experience (pages 120-124), and at the AECES site. The story of Dante’s appearance in his son’s dream is recounted in Carter’s Science and the Afterlife Experience, page 120. 

The prevalence of apparitions of people who died violently is discussed in Science and the Afterlife Experience, page 80. Incidentally, children who remember past lives will disproportionately recall lives that ended through violence or acute illness, perhaps suggesting that an abrupt, wrenching transition is more likely to lead to attempts to finish up earthly business as an apparition or via reincarnation. 


Electronic Voice Phenomena 

Electronic voice phenomena, or EVP, are a new and controversial area of parapsychology; much of this material is dicey, but some cases may be legitimate. The incident at the bus depot was inspired by D. Scott Rogo’s Phone Calls from the Deadnot Rogo’s best, but the title alone makes it worth having! 


Reincarnation 

Reincarnation is not explicitly mentioned in my story, but there is a good deal of evidence for it, especially in cases where young children spontaneously report memories of a previous life. Twenty Cases Suggestive of Reincarnation, by Ian Stevenson, M.D., is the classic work in the field. 

Because Stevenson’s writing style is rather dry, many people prefer to learn about his work from popularized books like Old Souls, by Thomas Shroder, and Life Before Life, by Jim B. Tucker, M.D. 

Some hypnotherapists have allegedly retrieved past-life memories from their patients, though these cases don’t always hold up to scrutiny, as D. Scott Rogo shows in The Search for Yesterday

One of the more intriguing books of this type is Journey of Souls, by Michael Newton, PhD, which focuses on the “between-lives” memories of deeply hypnotized persons. 


Afterlife (channeled material) 

There’s a rich literature of channeled material describing conditions in the next world. As you would expect, the quality varies dramatically, from the sublime to the (occasionally) ridiculous. Among the earliest examples are the writings of Emanuel Swedenborg, such as Heaven and Hell. Other books include:

Oliver Lodge’s Raymond, or Life and Death (complete text online), 

Geraldine Cummins’ The Road to Immortality (complete text online), 

and Helen Greaves’ Testimony of Light

Michael Tymn in The Afterlife Revealed quotes extensively from channeled sources, as does Stafford Betty in The Afterlife Unveiled

Jane Roberts’ Seth books, such as Seth Speaks, and Stewart Edward White’s books, such as The Unobstructed Universe, are among the more intellectually challenging efforts. 

Geraldine Cummins’ Swan on a BlackSea is often cited as the most evidential channeled manuscript. 

Channeled material partly formed the basis of Richard Matheson’s novel What Dreams May Come


Psychomanteum/Eleusinian Mysteries

Mirror gazing, or scrying, is an ancient esoteric practice recently revived by Raymond Moody, who built his own psychomanteum and described the results in Reunions

For a scholarly overview of “The Eleusinian Mysteries,” see the linked article by Edward A. Beach. There’s no reason to think that a psychomanteum played any role in these rites; this is my invention.


Virtual-reality universe theory

Is the universe “the digital output of a nonphysical quantum network”? Computer scientist Brian Whitworth thinks it may be. See his papers: 

The Emergence of the Physical World from Information Processing,” 

Simulating Space and Time,”

The Light of Existence,”

and “The Matter Glitch.”  

Aspects of the VR approach are fleshed out step by step at The Bottom Layer

A variety of essays on the subject can be found at The Information Philosopher

Related ideas are considered in Norman Friedman’s The Hidden Domain and Michael Talbot’s The Holographic Universe and Mysticism and the New Physics

Other physics-oriented perspectives on spirituality are found in James Beichler’s To Die For and Amit Goswami’s The Self-Aware Universe and The Physics of the Soul

Robert Lanza’s Biocentrism offers an interesting outlook merging biology, consciousness, and quantum physics.

For my own speculations on the role of consciousness in the system, see my essays:

N-Space, M-Space, and Consciousness,” 

The Diamond,” 

and “Slices of Life.”

A must-read for anyone trying to imagine a higher-dimensional reality is Edwin A. Abbott’s classic Flatland (complete text online). 

The idea of the brain as a receiver of the “signal” of consciousness is known as the “transmission theory” and is credited to William James, who introduces it in his lecture “Human Immortality” (complete text online). 

For a contemporary version of this theory, which sees the brain as a transceiver dynamically interacting with consciousness, see Bruce H. Lipton’s The Biology of Belief.

The inspiration for the AR visor came, in part, from real-life work done by neuroscientist Michael Persinger, inventor of the so-called “God Helmet.” 


Philosophical and religious issues

Zeno’s paradox of the arrow is an old philosophical conundrum. 

The pearl of great price” (Matthew 13:45-46) is, of course, one of Jesus’ parables. The idea is that a man would give up everything he owns for this one incomparable treasure, which symbolizes “the kingdom of heaven.” 

I would suggest that “the kingdom of heaven” refers to the experience of “cosmic consciousness” achieved by rare individuals throughout history, as documented in Richard Maurice Bucke’s Cosmic Consciousness

The slaughter of the naviim (or nevi’im) is discussed in Julian Jaynes’ The Origin of Consciousness in the Breakdown of the Bicameral Mind.  


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