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No. 13: Winter 1981

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A Mentally Created Reality

M. Schatzman, an American psychiatrist, has conducted extensive psychological experiments with a subject named Ruth. Ruth is perfectly sane but is apparently able to create vivid hallucinations at will. Neither the experimenters nor photographic film detect these apparitions, but they are very real to Ruth. Just how real was determined by tests during which Ruth was instructed to create the image of her daughter between herself and a TV screen. The TV screen displayed a reversing checkerboard pattern that normally shows up very distinctly on a subject's electroencephalogram (EEG) -- the so-called visual evoked response. Ruth's EEG did not show the visual evoked response when the apparition of her daughter was in the way, although it was normal when she was not hallucinating.

Ruth also had the talent for age regression during memory trances. The Stroop Test, administered when Ruth had regressed to the age of three, confirmed that she had lost the ability to read under these conditions.

(Schatzman, Morton; "Evocations of Unreality," New Scientist, 87:935, 1980.)

Comment. This apparent ability of Ruth to distort her own reality has an occult flavor, but perhaps through experiments such as these scientists can get a handle on UFOs, Bigfoot, and similar phenomena. Incidentally, the Stroop Test evokes an involuntary response, making it impossible for the subject being tested to fake a lack of reading ability.

From Science Frontiers #13, Winter 1981. 1981-2000 William R. Corliss

Science Frontiers Sourcebook Project Reviewed in:


  • "A sourcebook of unexplained phenomena is therefore a valuable addition to a collection of scientific literature. William R. Corliss has provided this in the past with his source books of scientific anomalies in several subjects, and now he has provided it for astronomy. He has done an excellent job of collecting and editing a large amount of material, taken in part from scientific journals and in part from scientific reporting in the popular or semi-scientific press." -- "The Mysterious Universe: A Handbook of Astronomical Anomalies", reviwed by Thomas Gold, Cornell University, in Icarus, vol.41, 1980

  • "An interesting, systematic presentation of unusual weather [..] This book is recommended for a general audience" --"Corliss, William R., Tornados, Dark Days, Anomalous Precipitation, and Related Weather Phenomena, Sourcebook Project, 1983.", revieweed in Choice, September 1983
  • "..the science is necessarily somewhat speculative, but Corliss's symthesis is based on reputable sources." -- "Corliss, William R. (Compiler). Lightning, Auroras, Nocturnal Lights, and Related Luminous Phenomena" reviwed by Joseph M. Moran, Univ. of Wisconsin in Science Books and Films, Sep/Oct 1983

  • "Before opening the book, I set certain standards that a volume which treads into dangerous grounds grounds like this must meet. The author scrupulously met, or even exceeded those standards. Each phenomenon is exhaustively documented, with references to scientific journals [..] and extensive quotations" -- "Book Review: The moon and planets: a catalog of astronomical anomalies", The Sourcebook Project, 1985., Corliss, W. R., Journal of the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada, Vol. 81, no. 1 (1987), p. 24., 02/1987