It is long known that if two sensations occur within a few milliseconds of each other, the brain generally considers them to be a single event. But if two sensations are detected around 0.025 second apart in time (slightly different cutoffs for visual, audio, and physical sensation) the brain records the two as distinct separate events. The premise here is that a physiologically longer or slower signal path to the brain might cause a single event to be detected twice by the brain's analysis system. If the first event (possibly the image seen by one eye) had enough time to have been actually recorded in neurons, the second sensation (possibly the image as was seen by the other eye), only a brief fraction of a second later, might seem to be a new and distinct experience, as sensed in Déjà vu. This might provide an explanation why most people do not seem to have Déjà vu experiences but where others do.
For many years, psychologists have known of the phenomenon of Déjà Vu, where a patient is absolutely convinced that a first visit to an area seemed like a place already familiar and known. (Déjà vu is different from various similar phenomena such as Precognition [where a person has a premonition of some future event] or Clairvoyance [where a person comes to know about some simultaneous event a long distance away] or assorted other unusual phenomena.) Modern science does not have adequate explanations for any of these apparent phenomena. I am only directly considering Déjà vu here!
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This last part effectively eliminates credible Déjà Vu from occurring in any place that the person has already been! The problem is that your mind already has countless thousands of memories in it of all the days of all the previous years that you have lived, and, simply to maintain your sanity, your brain "forgets" most of them, even though they are still recorded somewhere in your brain. These "forgotten memories" are a well-known phenomena in all of us. So, if you are in a familiar environment, and you get a feeling that you "had experienced this before" the reality might be that you actually had! When your brain sees a pattern in an experience, it seems to have the ability to "suddenly remember" forgotten memories which happened to have a very similar pattern in them. This can therefore SEEM like it is a Déjà vu experience, of that spooky familiarity, but where the explanation is very mundane, simply a forgotten thought from three years earlier. Because forgotten memories are so common in us, then IF you are in a familiar environment when you get a sensation that you think might be Déjà vu, it is actually far more likely that it was simply a forgotten memory instead. Therefore, the credibility of a Déjà vu as being valid generally hinges on it being in an environment or situation that you HAVE NEVER POSSIBLY EXPERIENCED EVER BEFORE. Thus the described requirement of a new place. Yes, a Déjà vu COULD also occur in a familiar situation, but there is so strong a possibility that it would be a forgotten memory that any credibility as an actual Déjà vu must generally be dismissed, or certainly not provable.
Now, YOU certainly believe that you can remember ALL the experiences you have ever had, and that there could not possibly be any forgotten memories in you! You are probably wrong about that! You may be familiar with Oprah Winphrey's situation. For many years on her TV program, she had conversations with girls and women who had been raped, and she often expressed her feeling that she could not possibly know what they had gone through. But eventually, Oprah had had forgotten memories re-appear to her, and with the assistance of a talented hypnotherapist, she came to learn that SHE had been raped (repeatedly, as I recall) as a child! She found it astounding that she had not ever known that had happened to her! The most traumatic event that could ever happen to a young girl, and she had had absolutely no (conscious) memory that it had ever happened to her! In such extreme cases, the human mind seems to have the ability of CREATING a hysterical amnesia, so the person is able to proceed with life without having to be constantly destroyed by such memories. There are many thousands of well-documented cases of such blanked-out memories, of war-time experiences, of rapes, of incidents where the person had accidentally caused serious injury or death of a dear relative or friend.
So our minds are definitely CAPABLE of absolutely eliminating some memories from our consciousness. But what I am more directly addressing here is that our minds also USUALLY find it desirable to forget MOST of the mundane activities of our daily lives! We are all chock full of forgotten memories! You have several memory processes in your mind, the most commonly used of which only retains the memory for something like 28 seconds! It is only if your mind feels something is worth remembering that the memory gets copied into a longer-term memory area of the brain. A couple minutes after a TV program has returned, ask everyone present WHAT the half-dozen commercials that were just aired were about. Not "a car company" but WHICH one and WHICH product was being presented to you. It truly is extremely difficult to do! Those companies spend millions of dollars to air their commercials, and we don't even remember them! RARE exceptions exist, like the Coca Cola polar bear family, but that was so interesting that it got transferred to your longer term memory, which is why you remember it.
Here is another potential example of what an actual Déjà vu might be. You are driving cross-country, and have never been to Utah before. You stop for gas, and need to use their restroom. As you enter, you find a full-size fireplace INSIDE THE PUBLIC BATHROOM! Now, no one expects to see a large fireplace inside a public bathroom, so it would be an experience that you probably had never experienced in any OTHER bathroom! And you had certainly never been to THIS one. And yet, immediately AFTER this experience, you have the weird sensation that you had "been there before". THAT would likely be a Déjà vu. Notice that you did not "predict" seeing anything unusual, EVEN A SECOND AHEAD, and that you only had the Déjà vu sensation AFTER actually seeing it. And, unfortunately, that you could not possibly convince anyone that you had previously experienced that, because any listener would insist it was impossible. (If you had ANY pre-knowledge, even a second earlier, it could not actually be a Déjà vu, and would probably be some sort of Precognition).
In order for it to be a credible Déjà vu experience, it needs to be some experience that is clearly different from any forgotten memory you might have had, which generally also means something truly surprising. (Our brains have millions of such forgotten memories, like of smells or songs or old friends, which seem to be able to get triggered sometimes, and that is NOT Déjà vu.)
Also, since, by definition, there can be no external confirmation of a Déjà vu experience, no one else could possible know and there is no actual evidence, it turns out that "credible" Déjà vu experiences have only been believed when the witness had a character that was beyond any question. If that person had EVER been known to have told a lie, or even bent the truth, it is likely that no one would believe any claim of a Déjà vu experience!
Because of all this, CREDIBLE Déjà vu is actually a LOT more rare than everyone seems to think it is! When people casually say that they have many Déjà vus every day, or even several each week, their credibility pretty much goes to zero as to regarding ACTUAL Déjà vus! (It is certainly true that movies and the news seem to describe Déjà vu as something rather different than it actually is!) They may certainly be describing LOTS OF Precognitions, and probably nearly always are. In the event that there HAS been anyone who has actually had a lot of Déjà vu experiences, that very quantity tends to cause the person's claims to have very little credibility! Of the billions of people who have ever lived, only a few handful may have actually had experiences that are credibly true Déjà vus! And I am not aware of ANYONE who has ever credibly claimed to have had more than two Déjà Vus in their entire life. Interestingly, some e-mailers then inform me that I am completely wrong! They apparently think that they are authorities on Déjà vu! Interesting! I tend to doubt it though, if they cannot even get their definitions of phenomena straight!
Note Received from a Lady in Nov 2008I couldn't find anything that quite described what I've always thought of as Déjà vu, so I figured I may as well ask you what you think it is seeing as you seem interested. :-)
This was triggered by me idly picking off nail polish from my fingernails. I had a professional manicure a few days ago for the first (and last) time ever. I was sitting here picking off the nail polish thinking slightly cynically that the only difference between cheap nail polish and expensive nail polish was that expensive stuff came off in nice big chunks instead of annoying little chips. The very moment this thought began to arrive in my head, I got the strong sense that I had sat at this very same desk in the very same position picking off nail polish and thinking the very same thing before. I really haven't, because this is the first time I've even had expensive nail polish on and the first time I can remember even considering the difference between cheap and expensive nail polishes.
I am trying to think if perhaps I have had this thought before, but now I'm confused because I felt like I had, which was part of this feeling of Déjà vu, and now I don't know if I have or not. I can only say I think it very unlikely I have had this thought before.
I've had lots of experiences like this. I would say it happens maybe once a month or so. Usually it's a conversation or a thought triggered by me being in a particular position saying or thinking a particular thing. I have had conversations where the sense of Déjà vu just kept going and going so that I felt a bit out of sync, convinced that as I was saying something I had already said it and as the other person was replying, we had had this exact same conversation in the same place and I may as well stop now. I know we haven't because I can't say what either of us will say next, I just know that when we say it I am convinced we are having a conversation we have already had.
My ResponseYour description of the nail polish incident sounds credible as a Déjà vu.
A curiously IMPORTANT part of it is that "you are not really sure" regarding almost anything about it. From a scientist's viewpoint, there is a horrible lack of information ever available!
Science wants to have FACTS, and there never are any! Worse, people who INSIST that they have had Déjà vus are usually clearly wrong, that they usually had some variation of Precognition. But the people who (may) have had valid Déjà vu experiences, tend to have more UNCERTAINTIES than certainties about what they feel they experienced.
Her FollowupYes, it is troublesome. Most of the time when I get a sense of Déjà vu I dismiss it as a forgotten memory. Who can say when I might have been sitting in a room I sit in everyday and spoke to a workmate I see almost everyday and have it all be similar enough to my current situation that my brain thinks it sees a pattern and tells me we've done it all before.
Anyway, my point is, a lot of stuff happens in brains without us being consciously aware of it, which is not news to you. Perhaps to varying degrees, brains are trained or are naturally adept at finding patterns and identifying what they mean. I think I get more "Déjà vu" moments now than I did before doing my science degree, and sometimes I wonder if my brain is so trained to find patterns in the environment around me that it gives me false positives whenever it finds a few criteria that match. For example, if I'm sitting in a particular position in the lunch room facing a particular direction and speaking to a particular person my brain might subconsciously find a memory of me sitting in that same position facing the same way and speaking to the same person and then it tells me the whole situation is the same rather than just aspects of it and thus I end up with a feeling of familiarity. Or alternatively, my brain is adding this experience to the subconscious "bank" of similar experiences and there's just some weird crosswire thing going on where I am consciously aware of it and it's messing with my perception of what I'm actually experiencing.
Unfortunately, the more I think about whether I have experienced something like this before the more unsure I am. I think getting the sense of Déjà vu in itself kind of damages the credibility of the experience. If you feel so strongly that you've done it before, than how can you be sure you haven't? I know for certain I've never had a professional nail job before, but I'm not certain I didn't at some point in the last few days of having it think expensive nail polish chips in bigger bits. I can't see a reason why I would think that considering I didn't actually see it until yesterday when I had the Déjà vu experience, but once I'd felt the strong sense of familiarity it became difficult to rule out never having had a remotely similar experience before. :-)
Please note that this is distinctly different from when you go up to a vending machine and you somehow "know" that a pop can will get jammed or will be dented or something (which is probably Precognition). Also note that ANY experience that involves more than a fraction of a second cannot be Déjà Vu (and is likely to be Precognition or Clairvoyance). For clarification purposes, here are some generalized comments about several paranormal phenomena.
However, from a scientific perspective, there is usually very little "data", evidence or documentation, to confirm that a Precognition had taken place. If a person learns about some disaster and THEN tells people that he/she had foreseen it the day before, that may or may not be true, because there is usually no corroborative confirmation of what the person claims. There are certainly notable exceptions. Around 2001, I think, a woman who had become known for such insights was being interviewed on a live radio call-in talk show, when she suddenly got a Precognition regarding an airliner crash. On the air, live, she described a number of details that she saw. I believe that around six hours later, an airliner crashed in a manner extremely similar to what she had described. From a scientific perspective, THAT represents a documentable event, and it is valuable toward some future understanding of the phenomenon. (If she had been able to see an actual identifying number on the aircraft's tail, it would have been even more impressive!)
When an individual puts money in a vending machine and the pop can comes out upside down, and he/she then tells friends that he/she had "seen" that was going to happen in a dream, it has virtually no scientific value toward understanding the phenomena. About the only way it would, would be if the person woke up from the dream, wrote down specific details seen in the dream, signed and dated the notes, and immediately gave a copy of the notes to some respected person (NOT a family member or friend!) (like maybe a Doctor or a Lawyer or a Police Officer) to also sign and date upon acceptance. THEN, if the events later came true, there would be some credible confirmation that a Precognition had occurred. All this is pretty involved, and busy respected people would quickly tire of being given such notes several times each day! But, otherwise, the only "evidence" that would exist would be the word of the person who had the dream or daydream. In scientific terms, that is called "anecdotal evidence", un-corroborated statements that something had occurred, and it is considered to be of virtually zero scientific value.
There have been many "somewhat documented" examples of Clairvoyance. In many cases, close relatives, particularly twins, seem to be sometimes capable of an awareness that science has not yet figured out. An example would be where a twin in Ohio might get an instantaneous sensation of sadness, and might even feel that something terrible has happened, only to learn two days later that the other twin had been in a serious car accident in Italy, essentially at the exact same moment of the sensation or vision. Since the person having such a sensation often has hours or days to worry about such a possibility, it is relatively common to mention it to others, which represents a certain level of documentation (for scientific purposes). For true scientific value, writing notes, signing and dating them, and immediately giving the notes to a respected person, like above, would really be the only really valuable scientific evidence, because that would represent corroboration of the otherwise anecdotal evidence.
There was a very impressive example of a pretty well documented case of Clairvoyance. And it was somewhat accidental! In August 1883, a Byron Somes worked as a Reporter for the Boston Globe newspaper, in Boston, Massachusetts. He was sleeping in his office at the newspaper (after heavy drinking) on a Sunday night (the 26th). He woke up due to a terrifying dream that he just had. It was such an unusual dream, and he was a reporter, so he wrote down all the details that he had seen in it. The dream/nightmare was about a horrendous scene of explosions, earthquakes and screams of countless dying people. Somes wrote the word IMPORTANT on his notes and left them on his desk and went home to sleep off his drunk. He did not report for work the next day, Monday, or even the day after that, still suffering from the heavy drinking.
In 1883, there was not yet any radio or television, and news traveled fairly slowly around the world, only due to telegraph, which also was a relatively new invention. Geological people (there were not really yet any experts) were puzzled by a seismological disturbance that had just been recorded, which was identified as being on the other side of the Earth, in the Straits of Sunda. It would be days before survivors would get to telegraph offices which had not been destroyed, to tell the world what had happened.
Someone at the newspaper apparently found the notes on Somes' desk, and the word IMPORTANT, and assumed that it was a report on that seismological disturbance. With Somes still recovering from his drunken spree, he had no knowledge what the newspaper was about to do! So, in the August 29, 1883, morning issue, the Boston Globe ran an excellent story regarding the earthquake which was then identified by scientists as having been Krakatoa, based essentialy on the details of those notes of Somes. Other newspapers across the country picked up the Globe story and almost immediately, the entire country "knew" of what had happened to Krakatoa, a volcano that erupted so violently that an entire island disappeared in the process! Among other things, the explosion of Krakatoa was certainly the loudest event in recorded history, being heard 6,000 miles away in South America!
The management of the Boston Globe wanted more information on this remarkable, and very popular, story, which was selling a lot of newspapers! So they found Somes, wanting more details. Somes soon admitted that it was not a news story at all but merely notes on a terrible nightmare. He was fired immediately. The Boston Globe was preparing to issue a public confession that the story was not true, that it was a mistake, just a dream. But as they were about to do that, huge tsunamis (incorrectly called tidal waves) started hitting the California coast, and actual news of the disaster began to arrive as survivors of the disaster got to cities with telegraph stations that had not been destroyed. Somes was re-hired as the incoming (real) news was amazingly identical to what Somes had written down in his nightmare notes.
Other newspapers were curious as to how the Boston Globe could have scooped them so remarkably. The Boston Globe declined to admit the actual truth, and made up several stories to try to explain their unusual access to information that they obviously couldn't have gotten!
Somes had his nightmare late on Sunday (the 26th) night in Boston. Because of time zones and the International Date Line, it was actually Monday morning (the 27th) at Krakatoa at that time, essentially the identical time that was later confirmed as when the volcano had the most extreme eruption (of a series of eruptions during the 26th and 27th). Since that story (accidentally) got published Nationally before any actual evidence was even available, it represents an excellent example of the sort of documentation that is valuable for scientific research regarding Clairvoyance.
That story had a number of DETAILS that Researchers LOVE to find! For example, during his nightmare, Somes heard the word Pralape said a number of times during the nightmare, a word which was unfamiliar to him or anyone else he knew. Several years later, someone discovered that an obsolete name for Krakatoa was Pralape! In science, we see such things as powerful evidence! Somes had NO incentive to refer to a word which he did not understand, and no one else seemed to know what it might mean either. After all, it was MERELY in a DREAM! But the fact that YEARS LATER, it was learned the importance of that word, seems to confirm that Somes could not have "made up" the story.
I obviously noted that I was more than a mile away, in a different town, and so they clearly could not have heard or seen my car. But they certainly were extremely consistent in sensing SOMETHING about my upcoming visit. Again, as a scientist, I then occasionally altered my driving, to see if there were any effects. Such as driving to just four blocks from the house and simply stopping for ten minutes before proceeding to the house. I was attempting to distinguish between Clairvoyance (knowledge at a distance, which I interpreted to mean around one mile radius) and Precognition (where they instead sensed that two minutes later I would arrive).
Millions of people who are extremely close to their dog or dogs have certainly experienced these same effects. Those people can easily duplicate my somewhat simplistic experiments just described, to try to determine whether their own dog might be specifically Clairvoyant or Precognative.
In general, my two dogs seemed to be primarily Precognative. They seemed to be aware of my visit to occur in two minutes, and they would start their jumping and barking and getting on the couch to look out the window. My mother confirmed that neither dog generally ever got up on the couch at any other time, as they both knew it was not allowed.
Eventually, the other deer had figured this all out and they came along. But by then the skinny deer often looked like it had a bowling ball inside it, and its body weight increased enough that I had confidence that he had a chance of survival through the winter.
NOW was the more interesting part! It seemed clear to me that the skinny deer must have been from a different mother, which might have died. Without any way of learning where food was or water or other deer issues, maybe it started following the other nine around. My hope was that he might be allowed to sleep in the pile of fawns in the middle of the adult mothers on intensely cold nights. I believe the matriarch made sure that happened. But there was one of the other fawns that was extremely mean. It would attack (mostly kicking and chasing) all the other fawns, but especially that littlest one. In fact, the Bully (my name for it) made sure to always chase my favorite (the littlest one) immediately when any possibility of food was present. If I would throw some corn toward the little one, the Bully would immediately run over to chase it away and then eat the corn.
I got to know each of the ten deer, and their unique personalities. Some were aggressive, like the Bully and his mother, and some were very passive. They each always stood in the same position, which seemed really interesting. But one day, when the littlest one came close up to the fence in the hopes of getting a few kernels of corn, the Bully immediately came up and viciously kicked him.
INSIDE MY HEAD, I felt extreme anger at the Bully at that instant. However, I did not physically react, or move, or say or do anything. After all, I was on the other side of a six-foot chain link fence from them! YET, ALL TEN DEER instantly jumped and ran away! (They came back a few minutes later.) In following days, I discovered that the ten deer were generally very comfortable with my presence, on the other side of the fence, and I could look at any or all of them without ever causing any effect. However, in my efforts at scientific experiments, I would sometimes make a point to look at the Bully, and intentionally generate mean-spirited thoughts about the Bully. EVERY TIME I did that, INSTANTLY, all ten freaked out and ran away!
I interpret this as meaning that MY mind was capable of sending the sorts of mental signals that they were alert to, and that they could immediately detect any such thoughts that suggested any danger to any one of them. Apparently, my thoughts were not specific enough to identify only the Bully! But it makes sense for the survival of a species like deer that they be extremely alert to ANY potential danger.
I learned that I could NOT move in the slightest, even regarding breathing, not make any sound, not even blink my eyes, and yet whenever I would try to generate mean thoughts regarding the Bully, they ALWAYS immediately seemed to detect that thought.
I do not know what that means! Except that our common assumption that animals seem far more sensitive to many such events than we are seems to be true, and being deer, it makes sense that they are about as sensitive as any animal might be.
I find it fascinating that modern science and technology has absolutely no way to detect any of these phenomena, while deer seem to be spectacularly effective at detecting them!
I am personally only aware of one incident that seems to qualify as a Déjà vu event. My half-brother grew up in the Midwest, near Chicago. When he enlisted in the Marines, he was shipped to Camp Pendleton in southern California. He had never been anywhere in California before. When he got a three-day pass, he drove north into central California just to explore that area. In one of the small towns there, he stopped for gasoline. As he looked around the town, he KNEW that he had been there before! But, of course, he couldn't have been! He sensed a real familiarity with the town and where stores were and even small details.
If you think about it, you can see how impossible it is to document such Déjà vu experiences to be of value to any scientific investigation. He did not know that something surprising was about to happen, so he could not even have written down any notes, as might be possible for Precognition or Clairvoyance. And no other person could even confirm the "feeling" of familiarity he had, so there is no way to advance such an experience beyond merely being anecdotal evidence. As a result, there is virtually nothing of scientific value to even confirm that the phenomenon of Déjà vu even exists! Except from the words of those people who have experienced it! And, my acceptance of that as being a "real" experience is very dependent on the fact that I had great respect for him as being my "big brother"!
What is generally called Reincarnation sometimes seems to be too selective to me. There are modern people who are convinced that they are reincarnated Civil War soldiers, and some of them seem to know details about the death of some Civil War soldier that would not easily be learned. That certainly suggests that some paranormal phenomena is at work. But if it was actually a Reincarnation, why doesn't the modern person remember what the soldier had for lunch that day? Or the names and descriptions of brothers and sisters and parents? The entire basis for a claim of Reincarnation seems to be some bits of very specific knowledge about events associated with the MOMENT of the death of the soldier. I am tempted to think that these cases might actually be examples of a combination of Clairvoyance and Precognition (or, actually, Post-cognition, or Retro-cognition) and probably not actually evidence of anything like Reincarnation.
There definitely have been some remarkable cases that seem to suggest Reincarnation. The most famous is Shanti Devi, a girl who was born in Delhi, India in 1926. As a very young child, she concerned her mother by constantly seeming confused and bewildered. When she was seven years old, she told her mother than she had lived before, in a distant town called Muttra, and she described the house and people of that life. Her parents were very concerned about such strange statements, and they took her to a Physician, who carefully interviewed her. The Doctor did not provide any answers, and merely recommended that the father write down her various statements.
She never changed her story. Her parents sadly concluded that she was mentally defective, and had little hope for her. When she was nine, in 1935, she told her parents that she had lived in Muttra, been married, and had three children. She described the children, including their names, and said that her own earlier name had been Ludgi. Her parents humored her, but did nothing.
One evening, during meal preparation, there was a knock at the door, and Shanti went to answer it. Her mother soon found her staring at the stranger on the steps, who she claimed was the cousin of her previous husband! And that she knew that he lived in Muttra, the same town she claimed to previously live in. The man DID live in Muttra, but he had merely come to talk business with Shanti's father. He did not recognize the little girl Shanti, but he told her parents that he had a cousin whose wife, named Ludgi, had died in childbirth around ten years earlier.
Her parents then described the stories Shanti had long told, and the stranger agreed to get his cousin to come to Delhi to see if Shanti could recognize him. Shanti knew nothing of this plan, but when the new stranger arrived, she immediately threw herself in his arms and cried! The man was obviously very confused! Soon, the government of India appointed a special committee of scientists to investigate the whole matter, and suddenly, a little nine-year-old girl became very famous in India!
The scientists took Shanti to the town of Muttra. She immediately pointed out and named many people. Interestingly, she spoke to them in a dialect that was local to Muttra, and which she would not have learned in Delhi (where she only understood and spoke Hindustani). Shanti demonstrated to the scientists that she was completely familiar with the town, many of the people, and many of the houses and stores.
There is FAR more remarkable documentation regarding Shanti Devi, and many books have been written about her. No one yet has any answers or explanations, although lots of people make guesses, and Reincarnation is the primary hypothesis. Given all the evidence, it is hard to argue against! But the jury is still out, until some day science understands how such things could occur. My point of including Shanti Devi here is to demonstrate the sort of documentation that is of great value to science. She had made very specific statements for several years, and her parents and a Doctor had been witnesses to those statements. Later, a team of scientists also witnessed and documented many amazing things regarding her.
One additional incident that might qualify as paranormal has long intrigued me! A man named David Lang lived with his family near Gallatin, Tennessee in 1880. He was a respected and known man. On a bright sunny afternoon of September 23, 1880, he was walking across his front yard, in clear view of his wife and two young children. In addition, a carriage was arriving, of a friend, noted Judge August Peck. David turned around to return to the house to greet his guest, and after a few steps, just vanished! Five people witnessed this event, the Judge, his driver, Mrs. Lang and the two children. His wife screamed.
All five immediately ran to the place where Mr. Lang had just disappeared, in the middle of a normal lawn, with no trees nearby and no holes to have fallen into. The adults searched and searched and found no clue. Mrs. Lang became hysterical. Neighbors soon joined the search and dozens of people were soon looking for David Lang.
Afterwards, Mrs. Lang never really recovered, and all but one of the household servants soon left. The county Surveyor carefully examined the field. Interestingly, the following Spring, a circle of yellowed grass around 15 feet in diameter had formed where Mr. Lang had disappeared, and on a quiet evening in April 1881, the two children were playing nearby when they heard what they said was their father's voice, faintly calling for help, over and over, until it faded away.
No one has the slightest clue about what happened regarding David Lang! Even good guesses are hard to come by! He was apparently never seen again by anyone. Since he had seemed to have been a happy and successful person, and with a wife and children, it hard to imagine that he would have just "run away" and even if he did, how could he have done it? It represents to me another example of a type of event that is currently still beyond our understanding. But which appears to have a number of eyewitnesses and some rather specific facts.
Going under the assumptions that it is exclusively a visual phenomenon, that it only seems to occur to certain people, and that there must be a physiological cause for the phenomenon, we consider the following possible explanation:
Psychological experimentation has solidly established that the human brain can only distinguish two individual visual events, with respect to time, if they occur more than about 25 milliseconds (0.025 second) apart. Since, in normal people, the signals from the eyes, through the two optic nerves, arrive at the brain and are processed well within this time interval, the brain interprets them (properly) as two slightly different views of the same scene, giving us the impression of a single event, which includes depth perception.
Let's consider if a person had a physiological impairment in one optical signal path, such that one optic signal arrived at the brain more than the 0.025 second after the other. The brain would not necessarily know it to be the same scene and might interpret it as the Déjà vu phenomenon. An alternative way this could occur would be that the optic processing centers of part of the brain had a flaw or temporary impairment (maybe electrolyte imbalance or other biochemical deviation) that caused a delay in processing one of the signal trains.
Such an impairment could be a congenital condition, in either the optic nerve or the brain. It could also be a temporary condition due to a viral infection or an injury effect or from any other cause.
The brain's processing of optic information is actually far more complicated than this, but the basic premise can still apply. The terminal ends of the optic nerves arrive at the optic chiasma, where half of the fibers from each eye cross over to the other hemisphere. The thalamus is then involved to get the signals to the primary visual cortex in the occipital lobe. However, the premise of a signal delay in either optic nerve, or in the brain hemisphere's processing of the signals it has to work with, or in the corpus callosum, is still valid. Whether the 'raw' data in the optic nerve is delayed or the brain's processed image is delayed, the result would be two separate images arriving at the memory, at slightly different times. If that time differential is great enough, the only noticeable result could be a Déjà vu experience.
His research has indicated that the thalamus-centered pathway mentioned above is the standard processing method that our brains use today. However, he has found that there is a second, much more "primitive" processing method for visual information in the brain. He interprets this brainstem-centered as an earlier evolutionary stage of vision, which has largely been overshadowed by the newer thalamus-centered pathway.
I find his research into blind-sight quite interesting, but I see an additional possibility. IF the newer thalamus-centered pathway has taken over because of higher efficiency (a seemingly reasonable conjecture) in order to better react to more complex and changing environments that humans found themselves in, then it seems possible that this suggested higher efficiency might be associated with a quicker processing time for the visual information.
This could easily then imply that the newer thalamus-centered pathway might be more than 0.025 second faster in processing time than the older brainstem-centered pathway. Thus, in individuals where the older pathway is still relatively active, the brain could then receive two images of a scene, which it would interpret as separate experiences, as described above.
In this case, individuals who have substantial functional activity in the brainstem-centered pathway could very regularly experience the Déjà vu phenomenon. Individuals with lesser functionality of that pathway might only experience rare Déjà vu events. This would imply that most individuals probably have very well developed thalamus-centered pathways, where the brainstem-centered pathway has greatly degraded due to lack of use, and they would never experience Déjà vu.
A slight variation of this could involve the timing delay involved. If, in most individuals, both pathways were well functional, but where the two sets of visual information arrives at the cortex within the 0.025 second time interval, the brain would perceive it as a single event, and everything would seem normal. If such individuals had slightly longer time differentials, say 0.026 second, they could have a vague awareness of Déjà vu type sensations, while individuals who had longer still time differentials could conceivably almost continuously experience Déjà vu. For such individuals, and possibly for the rest of us as well, it seems likely that as very small children, if such confusing situations initially existed, the baby's brain would soon establish that "time-window" of 0.025 second or whatever else was necessary in order to allow the world to appear logical. And so, there are probably no (surviving!) individuals who continuously experience Déjà vu, but such people with unusually long time differentials might be especially subject to having occasional Déjà vu experiences, especially in moments of emotion or rapid activity.
One time as I approached this tower, I happened to notice an interesting looking bird flying across the sky in front of the tower. As I panned across, focused on and watching the bird fly across, the strobe light flashed. I was aware of the sensation of two distinct flashes! Since I knew that this was physically impossible for the strobe light to do, I was puzzled for quite some time. I later tried to duplicate the experiment. At other times of the day or night, there was minimal success, but at dusk, the phenomenon was often easily repeatable and noticeable.
If no bird was present, the phenomenon while panning across was also often easily obvious, but there might be a mundane explanation for that situation. It is easily reasonable that without a specific focus of attention, while panning, the two eyes might not be directed in the same direction (They might not track together). If that were the case, it could appear that a single actual flash might appear as though there were two discrete flashes (not at different times, but in different apparent locations) due to the eyes being momentarily pointed in different directions. When a bird was present, I believe this possible explanation is eliminated. The existence of the bird certainly causes both eyes to register together on it. Since both eyes are then looking in the exact same direction, the only apparently remaining explanation for the apparent appearance of two flashes where only one could have actually occurred seems to be by the process described above, where the two optic pathways to and in the brain have different response times, thereby slightly delaying the processing of the optic information received by one of the eyes (or the brainstem-centered pathway) until the head had panned to a different location. The strobe could not actually have flashed twice, and this seems to be the only remaining explanation for the sensation of two flashes.
Several possible follow-up studies seem to be available.
If any one-eyed people experienced Déjà vu, that would seem to imply that the second (thalamus vs. brainstem) premise would apply instead.
(Note: October 2005. A person who has long had a permanent physical flaw in one eye has described what seem to be valid Déjà vu experiences. He has described having MANY of them, which has never otherwise been credibly claimed, so I am not completely sure about this. The fact that Déjà vu experiences can never be confirmed or proven false by anyone other than the person experiencing them, is a real complication in such cases. But if he is correct, then my theory would have to be wrong, as there are not two separate optical paths operating in him.
From the volunteer's perspective (in the plane of that motion), the light will appear to move horizontally back and forth. As the radius arm crosses the point nearest the volunteer, it triggers a switch that flashes a fixed position strobe light a few inches below where the small moving light then happens to be.
In one experiment, related to the first premise, the volunteer would wear a pair of glasses similar to one type of 3-D glasses, where one lens (RIGHT) is red and the other (LEFT) is green.
This is how the experiment would be performed. The volunteer would follow the movement of the moving dim light, usually by "panning" the head back and forth. When the strobe flashes, the volunteer's brain will receive two images of the strobe, one reddish and one greenish. If the two signal paths are identical, to within about 0.001 second, the brain will receive both images simultaneously and the light will be perceived as a single white (red + green) light. However, if either optical signal path is delayed in the optic nerve (as compared to the other), the observer would see two separated images, one red and one green. If the delay was about the 0.025 second mentioned earlier, the two images would appear to be around 4" apart (because the viewer's center of attention is panning at one inch during each 0.0065 second). The observer would see two images, somewhat duplicating the effect I witnessed with that strobe tower and the bird.
The explanation is as follows. The brain knows that the two eyes are registering together, because of following the dim moving light. The actual light entering the lenses of the eyes, strikes specific rods or cones, identical to how the system works every moment of every day. However, while the 'slower' processing is still occurring (after the 'faster' signal has been processed, the volunteer's head will have rotated due to the fast panning action. Now, if there were background guides or patterns or benchmarks, the brain would recognize the similarity of the two images and laterally adjust the images to align, during the processing action. Again, this occurs all the time for us, in the instant before our eyes can adjust their tracking of moving scenes at different distances from us. But, without such necessary background clues (a plain background), the brain has no way to make such a 'software' adjustment. The result is that the vision's attention remains following the moving light (bird) yet the brain knew which rods or cones were stimulated, and it knows what direction those rods or cones NOW represent (after the slight turning of the head), so the delayed image seems to appear in a location shifted horizontally from where it actually should appear. The amount of that horizontal shift is directly proportional to the difference of time or signal processing for the two eyes and also directly proportional to the rate of panning of the head.
The dim moving light in the experimental apparatus establishes and defines the panning rate, so the horizontal shift would be exactly proportional to the processing time difference we seek. The horizontal shift would be identified by the volunteer seeing two separate strobe flashes (one red and one green) which appeared to be a certain distance apart. If the red and green flashes appeared to be one inch apart, that would imply a differential time of 0.0065 second (with the apparatus as described above). They appear to seem simultaneous, but they are separated in distance due to the panning of the head. If the red and green images appeared four inches apart, that would represent 0.025 second, approximately the time distinction threshold of the brain. This might then be implied as a method of distinguishing people who could have the Déjà vu phenomenon and those who could not.
This simple experiment also has value regarding the second premise. If the effect should be due to a thalamus vs. brainstem time differential, our observer with the colored glasses would always see white images, but still possibly two. Now, the apparent separation of the two would represent the time differential between the two processing pathways in the brain. Again, the premise here is that, by the time the second set of information is received into cortical memory, with no obvious background identifying information, the brain would use the direction of visual attention AT THAT INSTANT (actually due to the other processing pathway!) to try to determine exactly where it actually was, and so it would appear shifted off to the side, as before.
This experiment has additional value. If two flashes are seen but they are not necessarily red and green, but nearly white, this still supports this premise of explanation for the Déjà vu phenomenon, but it might imply that much of the delay occurred in the brain processing. Since each hemisphere of the brain receives optic signals from both eyes, a delay here would delay both the red and green image processing (in that hemisphere) resulting in a basically white image that is shifted from the white image from the faster hemisphere. In other words, slightly tinted red and green images might suggest the first premise, and even suggest the proportion of delay attributable to the optic pate and the brain processing. (The second premise should always cause completely white images.)
In the first premise, if experimental results show that the two 'whitish' images could be distinguished somehow by the volunteer (maybe by colored fringes on the leading and trailing edges), another area of knowledge could be gained. If the image processed by the right hemisphere is always behind that processed by the left hemisphere (in right-handed people), that also supports the general concept suggested here but also implies that there might be a specific mechanism responsible for the delay, and might be associated with the corpus callosum. Such a consistent pattern would be different from that seen due to individual differences in the optic nerves (or diseases they might experience) [distinctly red and green images] or in the visual cortex [white identical images]. Such a preference would seem to only be possible if a major part of the recorded delay is due to the passage of the processed signal from the visual cortex in the non-preferred hemisphere, through the corpus callosum, to the preferred hemisphere. If such a pattern of results is noted, an analysis might establish the actual signal transfer speed between the hemispheres through the corpus callosum. (I am not familiar with any research that has examined that.) On the other hand, if the results show no such preference pattern, the implication is that the corpus callosum processing is faster than the error factor of the experiment.
I am now wondering if Déjà vu might be a "sub-set" of Precognition!
Traditionally, Precognition has only been considered potentially valid for visions or dreams that were MONTHS, DAYS, or HOURS BEFORE some incident occurred, and also where the incident was large enough and significant enough where a lot of people were aware of it, such as airplane crashes or sudden deaths.
Precognition certainly can occur with shorter time intervals before such an incident. MOST people seem to occasionally experience such short-term Precognition events, where they think the phone will ring or someone will knock on the door or other such mundane incidents.
So what if we extend that logic even further? What if we conceive of a Precognition which is only 1/3 second before some incident? The mind would be very confused by this, KNOWING that there seemed to have been foreknowledge of some incident, but with such a small interval of lead-time, understanding it might be extremely difficult. The sensation might then seem EXACTLY like what people call Déjà vu.
Especially if the Precognition is even less ahead of the incident. What if it only occurred 0.02 second before the incident happened? That interval is shorter than the brain can distinguish in time. But the effect might then be that the Precognition FIRST arrived in the brain, and was recorded in memory, and then 0.02 second later, the actual incident occurs. There would then be the Déjà vu experience of having the feeling that you had already experienced something before that you know could not have happened.
This is becoming my favorite explanation! That (valid) Déjà vu is simply a Precognition that only occurs maybe 0.02 second ahead of time.
I am leaning this direction because there have been so many people describe "NEAR Déjà vu" experiences, where they have the sensation of KNOWING A SECOND AHEAD OF TIME that something was ABOUT TO HAPPEN. By definition, that is a Precognition. But there seems to be a continuous spectrum of time intervals that occur.
When people have those "one-second Precognitions", they ALL believe they had Déjà vus instead. What if there was not actually any distinct differences between the two phenomena, except regarding whether the Precognition was more or less ahead of the 0.025 second capability of the brain to distinguish two distinct events?
Now, no one yet has any clue as to HOW either Precognitions or Déjà vus might actually work! But if somehow they are actually the same thing, this might be a useful fact! The reason is that MILLIONS OF PEOPLE seem to have those short-term Precognitions, and maybe everyone does! Sensing that the phone is about to ring might not be as weird as we have generally assumed! But if data could somehow be collected as to the exact circumstances of such experiences, we might be able to learn a lot! Like, what if that only happens when there is loud music playing? Or, what if only when it is raining outside? Or sunny? Or the person is calm, or angry, or happy, or sad, or whatever? What if only when the person is sleepy, or really alert?
See the point? MAYBE, if someone collected millions of "environmental conditions reports" regarding "short-term Precognitions", we might learn that there are specific things that must apply, and we might then narrow down whatever the actual process is.
There is a peculiar thing in my own experience that is not Déjà Vu,
but nor does it seem to be any other phenomenon that I have ever
heard of. I guess it might qualify for an odd version of a Precognition.|
I am open to any assistance to locate what should be really easy to find evidence!
George W. Bush became President in January 2001. I didn't think he seemed especially smart but otherwise I had no opinion of him good or bad. But then on June 14, 2001 I was with a couple friends visiting while a TV was on. There was a TV interview of George W Bush, in itself a rather rare incident. In THAT conversation with Göran Persson, the Prime Minister of Sweden, on a National Network, we all heard Bush say regarding Saddam "He tried to kill my daddy!" I immediately said "My God! We are going to go to war and attack Iraq!" And then all three of us laughed about a President referring to his "daddy" as really a strange thing to say in that way.
Notice that this was THREE MONTHS BEFORE the 9/11 attacks. Within a few days of 9/11, Cheney and Bush were already referring to invading Iraq, and reporters would ask, "Did Iraq even have anything to do with the 9/11 attacks?" Of course, they didn't.
OK. None of this should seem strange, right?
But the three of us SAW BUSH SAY IT TO PERSSON ON LIVE TV!
EXCEPT for the fact that news reports of more than a year later (Sept 26, 2002) are the first ones that seem to be findable on the Internet, which refer to a slightly different wording of the "daddy" comment, and they were given by Bush while standing behind a Podium at a Press Conference.
SO! Did my friends and I see some event on LIVE TV that never actually happened on June 14, 2001? It seems inconceivable that the Internet would not have both a transcript and the actual Network video of something as rare as a televised News Interview of President Bush. Don't Networks keep Archives of everything they air? They CLAIM to! I don't see how such an important videotape could have gotten DELETED from all records! I am not a Sociologist, but if it can be seen that Bush had that terrifying expression (6/14/01) as he mentioned the daddy comment and other amazing personal hatred for Saddam, and then less than three months later (9/11/01), he and Cheney were publicly talking about invading Iraq to get rid of Saddam, it sure seems TO ME to be a direct causal connection!
I could easily imagine that the Bush people would have wanted to cause all records of that comment to be deleted, but it seems kind of but I cannot imagine any of the News Networks agreeing to do that. How could Bush 'delete important history' which was centrally about the important Kyōto Protocol (regarding global warming, which Bush denied was actually occurring), and also an important Kyōto Conference for the legacy of Göran Persson? Is ANYBODY so powerful such that they could 'revise history' just to keep the world from learning about a truly stupid comment he had made on LIVE TV?
It seems fairly certain that the interview we watched was aired, LIVE, on either ABC News, NBC News, CBS News or FOX, as I don't think I watched any other networks at the time. (I later added the BBC News to my interest.) (I admit that someone else might have turned on that TV and it may have been some other network.)
Now, I KNOW that interview occurred, and so do my friends! But IF that interview occurred, how could it be possible that no one else (in the world?) seems to be aware of it? There couldn't have been ten Presidential Interviews in all of 2001! But, IF such an interview had not really ever happened, how could the three of us have discussed it? And how could I/we have already known when the comment was repeated more than a year later, on Sep 26, 2002?
How could I even know that Bush was to the right on the screen and Prime Minister Persson was to the left of him, and that they were both sitting next to each other?
(For the record, in the years that these comments have been on the Internet, at least thirty different people have e-mailed to inform me that they also had seen the chilling comment we three had watched on live TV. Several of them have expressed even more impressive reactions than I had upon seeing it, and all added their own comments regarding the terrifying look on Bush's face as he said it.)
In late 2013, I learned that a Reporter for the New York Times, a Frank Bruni, did a story regarding that event, where he referred to Bush continuing to talk after he thought the cameras were turned off. But Bruni's article does not mention the 'daddy' comment but mentions some other personal comments he made to Persson.
There is a special reason why that scene was so momentous. The expression on Bush's face and the matter-of-factly way he made the statement was bone-chilling! I have only ever once before seen that expression on any person. It was a Syndicate Mobster who had just been caught by the Police. He clearly knew that he was going to soon be released, and was unconcerned. But he made a statement to a Reporter that was virtually identical to Bush's comment. The Mobster very calmly mentioned to that Reporter that a Gangster from a different Family had recently killed his sister. HIS EXPRESSION was like Bush's! In seeing the Mobster make that cold and definitive statement, there was NO doubt that the offending Mobster would very soon be killed, which was in the news a few days later. That was the ONLY time I have ever seen ANY person have that expression that Bush had when he made the (June 14, 2001) Daddy comment. It was almost as though he was stating that he was going to murder Saddam, exactly like the Mobster who made the similar statement. People really need to SEE that videotape!!! And, concurrently, they need to HEAR Bush implicitly make clear that he was going to use the Presidency to murder Saddam Hussein! I realize that you do not believe my impression, and it is CRITICAL that you see and hear it yourself. It wasn't that Bush could have been convicted of murder for that statement, but it sure seemed very close!
I guess I might have also seen Charles Bronson have that expression when delivering similar news about his dead wife or son in some movie, but I cannot say for sure. It is such a definitive expression and way of making a statement, that there is NO possible doubt as to what the speaker means. Does that mean that Bush was already planning pre-meditated murder? I am not sure we could go that far, but when you see that videotape, I assure you that you will certainly consider that thought!
I suppose this is not a world-shaking problem! However, IF that interview actually took place, the implications are incredible. The fact that comment was made BEFORE 9/11 really made extremely clear to me that Bush really was hoping for some excuse to invade Iraq, and 9/11 then just happened to provide it. However, if my memory was totally wrong (which, for a research Nuclear Physicist would be rather unusual!), and the findable references were correct, then Bush (in late 2002) seemed to just be adding to an existing (alleged) WMD issue with his personal feelings a year afterward. That is incredibly different!
So, if there is anyone who can figure out how to find any record of a rather rare Presidential Interview on June 14, 2001 on a major Network, I feel that I can guarantee that that interview contains the exact sentence, rather casually said: "He tried to kill my daddy." The comment was NOT made toward the camera, but only after having leaned over to apparently make a personal comment to Prime Minister Persson. I also remember that the other person had a rather surprised expression, while Bush had essentially none, except that strange smile he usually has. It was terrifying to watch, somewhat resembling the interviews with caught mass murderers who seem to have a very strange expression on their faces.
I would really appreciate if anyone can confirm this either way! If it can be confirmed that Bush gave NO interviews on June 14, 2001, I guess I would have to accept it. Except I and others SAW it!
(Oct 2007). A wonderful person in Ireland apparently saw the same televised interview, and he did extensive research in actually identifying it! It HAPPENED! It occurred on the afternoon of June 14, 2001, in Gothenburg, Sweden. A mutual Press Conference of Mr. Bush and the Prime Minister of Sweden, Göran Persson had just concluded, and it had been aired on live TV, apparently world-wide. Prime Minister Persson was then the President of the European Union. The Press Conference was about a number of subjects, centrally including the Kyōto Protocol (which Bush would not agree to and was violently against.) When the Press Conference was done, Mr. Bush apparently thought that the cameras had been turned off, but they were still running and their signal was still being sent around the world in real-time. Bush then leaned over and made that amazing personal comment to Mr. Persson regarding Saddam Hussein: "But he tried to kill my daddy", which therefore went out on live TV and US network feeds (which is what we saw).
As a scientist, this now brings up all sorts of NEW issues! First, the Official White House Transcript of that day does NOT contain that statement by the President! (Isn't an Official Transcript supposed to include ALL events that happened? Most even refer to coughs, sneezes and pauses!) Second, clearly, such an amazing, and strange, statement by the President of the United States, was certainly immediately shared with countless television Networks around the world, and so they should NOW all have copies of it in their Archives. However, it appears that there is NO videotape copy now in existence! Or even any REFERENCE to the event even having happened! How is that possible? I cannot even discover what Network's camera was still rolling when Mr. Bush made that comment! There are virtually NO records or references to that comment anywhere! A search on the Internet certainly has MANY references to nearly the same comment made on Sept 26, 2002, but the implications of him having said it BEFORE 9/11 seem to suggest the possibility that Bush was even then already looking for some excuse to attack and kill Saddam, and that 9/11 was simply seen by Bush and his administration as the perfect excuse for invading Iraq. Doesn't that essentially qualify as premeditated murder? Even though Iraq had absolutely nothing to do with the events of 9/11, Bush and his group insisted that it was URGENT that they attack Iraq! Now, with that video, it makes more sense WHY they did that! It was personal! We had over 4,000 Servicemen die and we spent over a trillion dollars, apparently because a kid wanted revenge on someone who had threatened his father. And when you are President of the United States, it appears that you can obtain your vengeance.
EIN News (apparently of Sweden) might have been responsible for the cameras that day, as they seem to have kept daily coverage of Mr. Persson, but I have been unable to find if they have any Archives of videotapes. I have seen references where EIN News carefully amasses every bit of media content which is related to Göran Persson, as they intend to some day publish an Official Memoir of his time as Prime Minister of Sweden. So, a LOT of media archives SHOULD contain copies of the events of June 14, 2001 in Gothenburg, Sweden, but EIN News seems certain to have saved it.
This is all VERY weird, especially since it has now been confirmed that we DID see the President make that strange comment THREE MONTHS BEFORE the 9/11 attacks!
Now, I want even more to actually see some Transcript of that portion of that meeting, and also actually see the videotape. As I noted above, the expression on Mr. Bush's face was incredibly chilling, as THAT was the reason I realized at that moment that he intended to attack Iraq.
HEY! Someone located a copy of a video! I received this e-mail late in Sept 2009:
I found that clip. My buddy bet me a $1000.00 it was never said. He lost! I KNEW I saw that speech, it bothered me deeply. I saw the whole speech, and it was pretty clear he had it out for him. Regardless of 911. Shortly afterwards I quit the Republican Party and became an Independent.
They have 3 0r 4 different players to see watch it on.
We also have this (Sept 26, 2002) videotape here.
Unfortunately, this videotape that he found was the one which occurred on Sept 26, 2002, in Texas, where Bush was standing alone at a Podium, long AFTER the 9/11/01 attacks. Also, in this tape, which is of a (standing) speech, Bush is in a high-spirited mood, somewhat smiling and light-hearted about the matter. That is in incredible contrast with the 6/14/01 comment, where he had been seated and his expression was the most spectacular aspect of the comment. Deadly serious appearing, with the full impression that he intended to somehow wreak personal revenge, which the 9/11/01 attacks provided for him as an excuse. (This man's comments, regarding being extremely emotionally affected by seeing the comment, indicates that he may have also actually saw the same one I saw, the one on 6/14/01 and not the light-hearted one of this videotape.)
So it still appears that there may be NO EXISTING COPY of the live telecast which I personally saw on 6/14/01! The mystery continues. And IF some viewer happened to have had a VCR going to capture a copy of it on that day, that will then center a focus on all the TV Networks that certainly USED TO HAVE a copy of that video but now they would need to explain why their Archives seem to no longer contain that video. Maybe if ONE Network would lose a video, but when ABC-Chicago and ABC-New York and ABC-Los Angeles and all the others each aired it, along with the other networks, how could they ALL have lost such an important videotape? Even Networks that did not air it that day, would have received a satellite-feed of that videotape, such that they might consider airing it or excerpting it for their News broadcasts. Logically, there should be at least 50 Archives in the US that should have recorded and saved that video, as they do ALL news segments! There is NO logical explanation for how ALL of them could now not have it, except for an intentional action on the part of the Bush government to force them all to delete it. I can imagine that the reasoning might have been that the President looked really bad, but can the (US) government actually force all the TV networks to dispose of what would now be an immensely important videotape? Isn't America supposed to be different from that?
It might be appropriate to note that the Bush government later DECIDED to destroy more than 90 videotapes of waterboarding (torture) when they realized that they would look very bad if anyone ever saw those tapes. So ethics and principles seem not to have had much importance. I still do not see how supposedly INDEPENDENT businesses, television networks, would have ever agreed to dispose of an important videotape, just because it made the President look like a jerk. Would they all have done that? If so, it is terrifying for a Fourth Estate reason!
I guess while I am on this sort of thing, there is another thing I saw that I guarantee that I actually saw! Nothing weird here, just a little bothersome. And it has absolutely NOTHING to do with Déjà vu! There is a product that started being advertised for men to grow hair, called Rogaine, in the early 1990s. It achieved some success (and is still being sold). Late in April, 1996, Upjohn (the manufacturer) decided to start advertising to women, to try to sell even more products. Here's the interesting part. They started broadcasting DIFFERENT commercials for men and for women. For maybe a little over a month (May 1996), the new TV ads to women included a statement where women were losing hair BECAUSE OF THE STRENGTH OF MODERN SHAMPOOS. I remember thinking, wow, the shampoo industry can NOT be pleased with that! But I think they were actually noting that long ago, virtually no woman lost her hair, that virtually all women still had their hair in extremely old age. It was even CALLED "male pattern baldness" because it only happened to men!
Well, now, that concept was quite interesting! Clearly, Upjohn would only have invested hundreds of thousands of dollars to MAKE such commercials and more hundreds of thousands of dollars to air the new advertising toward women, if they KNEW that there was a large enough market, that is, that millions of women were now losing their hair! One would think that Upjohn would have had experts make very certain that every statement in a NEW commercial was solidly truthful and accurate.
We can probably figure that the shampoo manufacturers must have immediately contacted Upjohn with severe legal threats and those ads quickly disappeared from all TV advertising, and a different reason was put in its place, that of a genetic disposition because a woman's mother had been susceptible to losing her hair. However, this new reason seemed rather silly, as virtually no older women had ever lost much hair, until fairly recently. Those replacement commercials also soon disappeared and a variation of the male pattern baldness reasoning then took over, still used to this day.
SOOOO! Does this mean that their initial ads were correct? That women are now losing hair because the modern hair care products they buy are so strong? Or was Upjohn so incompetent as to spend millions to create a commercial that was not true? If so, shouldn't women be provided with this information? However, we note that the sales of billions of dollars of hair care products would plummet! Are the ethics of modern business so profit-centered that they are willing to cause millions of women to lose their hair just to get greater profits in hair care products? Boy, I hope not, but I wonder!
Specifically, I discovered that there seems to be no record of those early women's TV ads of May 1996 that exist anywhere, nor even any reference to any such thing. There are references to the fact that Upjohn was ABOUT to start such advertising to women at the end of April 1996, but then no references whatever afterwards! There is little doubt that the hair care / shampoo corporations would have tried to delete that from history. Did they succeed? As far as I can tell, they did!
As a side note on this matter, HUNDREDS of people have viciously attacked ME regarding this! They go on and on about ME improperly blaming shampoos and the rest. They apparently do not carefully read the foregoing text, as I personally have absolutely NO opinion either way about the matter! I merely SAW a dozen TV commercials that stated those things that struck me as pretty amazing! Kill the messenger???
An interesting recent addition is that in early 2009, a company is presenting something on TV in infomercials called Wen. These new infomercials keep repeating all the damage that modern shampoos do to hair, to promote their claim of not being a shampoo. It sure sounds a LOT like the claims I heard in those May 1996 Rogaine for Women commercials regarding about how strong and destructive to hair that modern shampoos are! The new Wen infomercials do not directly say that shampoos cause hair to fall out, but they IMPLY the same thing! They refer to the fact that women accept that strong modern detergents cause clothing fibers to disintegrate, and then make a reference to a similar effect of strong modern shampoos. I guess that is not actually saying that shampoos cause hair to fall out, but it sure sounds close!
As near as I can tell, that product Wen and its company quickly disappeared! Don't mess with the giant hair care corporations!
A related matter is that in January 2015, a company called Keranique is running TV commercials that say that there are thirty million American women who are losing their hair! And the implication in those commercials is that a prime culprit are powerful cleaning chemicals in women's shampoos!
In 2015, a LOT of Wen TV commercials have started filling the air,
and they are pretty aggressive about criticizing all women's shampoos.
It is remarkably similar to the commercials I saw twenty years earlier
that initiated my comments above. It seems that it took twenty years
before the women's shampoo industry finally accepted the outrageous
things I saw in 1996 in that brief spat of TV commercials.
OK. One MORE subject to bring up, one that actually might be closer to the nerve signal passage delay of this Déjà vu presentation!
For many years, I have noticed that if I VERY carefully watch any standard TV, I definitely HEAR the words of a "talking head" a fraction of a second BEFORE I see the images of the mouth moving. Not very long, only around 1/10 second.
Logically, it should be the other way around, because the light should get to my eyes virtually instantly while the sound can only travel at the far slower speed of sound.
For most of these years, I had attributed that to some INTENTIONAL plan on the part of broadcasters, although I never could figure out WHY they might do that! IF I was around a hundred feet from the TV set, the (earlier) sound would take around 1/10 second to propagate through the air to get to me, and the picture and sound would then appear to exactly match up. But I have never watched a TV from 100 feet away!
It has recently occurred to me that this experience might instead be due to some flaw IN MY BRAIN. (Other than that one!) What if it is ONLY ME who notices this situation? What if everyone else sees the picture and sound exactly match up, as they clearly should? THAT might suggest an entirely NEW field of research to study! IF it is true that IN ME my "optical path and processing" somehow has a 1/10 second delay over my "aural path and processing", I believe this would be a phenomenon that no one has ever seen before! IF that is the case, then what if other people had different sensory paths and processing that have noticeable delays in them? Could something like that have anything to do with something like epilepsy? Or the fact that some people seem "keyed-up" while others are "low-key"?
Please realize that this effect is pretty subtle, only around 1/10 second. If I was not so fanatical about strict observational skills regarding scientific events, I probably would never even have noticed this very minor effect. If the screen is not a full-face talking head, it seems impossible to notice at all. And it is most obvious when the talking head makes a sudden sound, where it is weird to HEAR the sound BEFORE the image of the mouth moves!
At the moment, I really do not know whether that experience I have noticed for at least 20 years is just something inside me, or whether it is some designed aspect of television broadcasting. So I guess I am interested to learn if others might "very carefully watch TV" to see if they do or do not notice the same thing I have described here. EITHER would be wonderful for me to learn!
WELL, now I know this one! It turns out that it IS a result of the way that TV signal transmission occurs! Some very new and very advanced TVs have a capability of correcting for this problem! It is called an Audio Sync problem! Some new TVs call their correcting software Lip Sync. I still cannot find any information on just how many milliseconds this problem is, so I am still interested in that. But it IS nice to know that I am not entirely crazy! The new TV Lip Sync software has an ADJUSTMENT where I can set the TV for any amount of time delay in the audio, so a TV owner can CORRECT for this effect, to see lips moving at the correct time as the words are heard!
Regarding this premise (of the different optical path lengths for the two eyes), there are two recent additions. There have been three e-mails received that seemed especially interesting. Two of the three said that they were born with just one functioning eye, and the third is the one already mentioned above. Those three people each presented credible descriptions where they feel that they had Déjà vu experiences. If so, then my initial theory must certainly be either wrong or incomplete. However, noting that a truly remarkably few people seem to have ever actually had Déjà vu experiences, I wish there was some way to actually confirm that these three had! It just seems really remarkable that the three of them would have had the experience, while virtually all other humans never have it.
The information from the one-eyed people seem to indicate that my initial hypothesis was wrong, but it seems to leave in place the possibility of the alternate concept that is based on that Doctor's findings, regarding an OLD path for such image information inside the brain and also a NEWER path, which is assumed as faster and more efficient. So the direction of potential future research might be directed more effectively toward that possibility.
There is actually another area that is even more compelling. We noted above that the brain only senses two experiences as distinct if the sensation arrives more than 0.025 second apart. I have not found the specific speed of propagation of optic signals along the optic nerves, but in general, nerve signals travel through our nervous system at around 200 mph or 300 ft/sec. In order for a mechanically different path length to be responsible for a differential of 0.025 second, that path would have to be about 7.5 feet longer for one eye than the other! So a MECHANICALLY different path length is not realistic. However, much of the speed of the passage of a nerve impulse is involved in the chemical events that occur at, around and in the synapse where the signal is transferred from one nerve to the next. If there were still to be any value in my hypothesis, it would have to be in a flaw in the synapse structure related to one eye, where signals could be delayed long enough to account for the 0.025 second. A significantly different local chemical environment might materially speed up or slow down the transmission of such nerve impulses by that amount of time. It could also happen irregularly as the chemical environment might change, maybe even due to specific foods eaten???
DON'T change the Subject line in such a communication, because any message with any other Subject line will immediately be automatically deleted. Again, keep in mind that any messages sent to that address will not be read, so actual messages must be sent to the address below.
Second Premise added: Dec 8, 2001
The discussion regarding the Daddy videotape of Bush has been copied
into a separate presentation at:
He Tried to Kill My Daddy. George W Bush
Carl W. Johnson, Theoretical Physicist, Physics Degree from Univ of Chicago