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Teleportation, ESP & Time Travel: 10 Tales of Superpowers


Science & Tech  (tags: folk lore, science fiction )

Kit
- 451 days ago - livescience.com
The idea of people with superpowers is one that has long captivated audiences. Modern-day movies, graphic novels, TV shows and video games are full of fictional stories involving people who have acquired extraordinary and seemingly impossible abilities



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Kit B. (277)
Sunday April 28, 2013, 9:42 am
Image Credit: Live Science Magazine



Teleportation and Other Fantastic Claims

The idea of people with superpowers is one that has long captivated audiences. Modern-day movies, graphic novels, TV shows and video games are full of fictional stories involving people who have acquired extraordinary and seemingly impossible abilities. The real world has plenty of fantastic claims as well spurring on debate and study.

One person who made fantastic claims was Pedro Ruiz Calderón, a Catholic priest who was brought to trial in Mexico City in 1540. Calderón claimed that he could teleport between continents, make himself invisible, predict the future, make women fall in love with him, find buried treasure, summon and exorcise demons among other abilities. Research by John Chuchiak IV, a professor at Missouri State University, sheds light on his trial.

LiveScience takes a look at superpowers throughout history. Some of them appear impossible while scientists are working on others to make them a reality.

Psychokinesis

Psychokinesis (PK) is the ability to move or otherwise manipulate objects using the human mind. There are two types of psychokinesis, the "macro" and "micro" level. Many have claimed macro abilities — to be able to manipulate of large objects — throughout history. A 19th-century example was Eusapia Palladino who, in an 1892 photograph taken in Milan, and shown here, supposedly levitated a table while researcher Alexandr Aksakov checked for fraud.

The micro level involves the manipulation of random events using the human mind. Between 1979 and 2007 the PEAR (Princeton Engineering Anomalies Research) lab in New Jersey studied this phenomenon running detailed statistical analysis. Its researchers found that the human mind has a very slight ability to manipulate random events, a finding that is controversial and debated among scientists.

Time Travel

Time Travel is an ability which is often featured in science fiction. Through time dilation it is theoretically possible to travel forward in time although the effect wouldn't be significant unless you traveled a vast distance on a very fast spacecraft.

Moving backwards in time is more difficult and scientists are still uncertain as to whether it is even theoretically possible.

There have been claims of people having encounters, of sorts, with the past. On August 4, 1951 two English women on holiday near Dieppe claimed to hear the sounds of the famous World War II battle throughout the night while in their hotel room. They took careful notes and an article describing their case was published in the May-June 1952 edition of the Journal of the Society for Psychical Research

Reincarnation

Reincarnation is the belief that when someone dies they are reborn. It's featured in several religions including Hinduism, Jainism and Buddhism.

There have been cases where young children recall information which some believe to be from past lives they lived. The late Dr. Ian Stevenson, a medical doctor who was head of the Division of Perceptual Studies at the University of Virginia, documented and published an estimated 3,000 cases of this over a period of 40 years. He tried to match up these claimed experiences with people who actually died.

Extra Sensory Perception (ESP)

Extra Sensory Perception, or ESP, is the ability to obtain information through means other than the five senses. Examples of it include telepathy or “mind reading,” as it’s more popularly known. Precognition is another form and involves knowing of a future event ahead of time. Another form is remote viewing, seeing a distant place through paranormal means.

The U.S. military and CIA did research exploring the military and intelligence applications of ESP, particularly remote viewing. Project "Stargate" was a $20-million study started during the Cold War. It was spurred on by reports that the Soviet Union was investigating ESP. Although some claim that there were successful instances of remote viewing the project was shut down in 1995.

Dowsing

The practice of "dowsing" or "divining" often features a person using twigs or a rod to find a water source. It can, however, be used for other things as well. Pedro Ruiz Calderón, the 16th-century priest, claimed to have been able to find buried treasure using supernatural means, and made a good amount of money selling his abilities. Needless to say modern-day scientists are skeptical that dowsing can actually be done.

Predicting the Future

In many ways predicting the future is not a supernatural power. Economists, climatologists, demographers, all use scientific (or semi-scientific) methods to try to predict the future.

The use of supernatural powers to predict the future, however, has a much longer history. The use of horoscopic astrology, though not based in science, dates back more than 2,000 years and is tailored to the individual.

An ancient astrologer would determine the positions of the planets, sun and moon at the time their client was born. They would then use the information to determine their future. Researchers reconstructed and published in 2012 the oldest known astrologer's board, found in a cave in Croatia.

Astral Projection

In many ways predicting the future is not a supernatural power. Economists, climatologists, demographers, all use scientific (or semi-scientific) methods to try to predict the future.

The use of supernatural powers to predict the future, however, has a much longer history. The use of horoscopic astrology, though not based in science, dates back more than 2,000 years and is tailored to the individual.

An ancient astrologer would determine the positions of the planets, sun and moon at the time their client was born. They would then use the information to determine their future. Researchers reconstructed and published in 2012 the oldest known astrologer's board, found in a cave in Croatia.
****Also about Astral Projection:

Astral projection (or astral travel) is an esoteric interpretation of the out of body experience assuming the existence of a spirit.

The symptoms are much the same as an OBE: feelings of floating out of your body, meeting other entities, and experiencing the physical world from an ethereal perspective (ie, being able to float through walls and teleport instantly around the universe).

However, the expectation principle can cause the experience of astral projection to take on a highly spiritual form. Believers in the afterlife expect to see angels, deceased spirits and even gods - and so that is what they do see.

Invisibility

From HG Wells 1897 novel "The Invisible Man" to Harry Potter's invisibility cloak, the ability to make yourself invisible is one that has long fascinated science fiction writers.

Pedro Ruiz Calderón, the Catholic priest put on trial in 1540, claimed to be able to turn invisible. He said that the ability came in handy when he snuck in and out of the bedrooms of his mistresses.

Although the power seems fantastic scientists are working on technologies that may one day be able to render large objects partly or entirely invisible. Using artificial metamaterials they are developing techniques to bend light. Another effort, published in 2011 in the journal Nature Communications, uses calcite to block off red and green lasers and ordinary white light.

Love Spells

The ability to use supernatural abilities to make someone fall in love with you has ancient origins.

Archaeology Magazinereported on a case from Roman Egypt in which two wax figurines were found in an "erotic embrace." They contained an inscription which read in part "seize Euphemia and lead her to me Theon, loving me with mad desire, and bind her with unloosable shackles, strong ones of adamantine, for the love of me..."

Although modern-day scientists don't believe in love spells some substances, like strawberries, are said to act as an aphrodisiac, increasing sexual desire.

Teleportation

Teleportation was made famous by the series "Star Trek." People, aliens included, could beam from the fictional starship Enterprise to the surface of a planet in one piece (although transporter malfunctions were occasionally used as a plot device).

In real life Pedro Ruiz Calderón, the priest who went on trial in 1540, claimed to be able to teleport from Mexico to Europe and back again. His claim was laughable since, if he could do that, he could have easily escaped his trial!

Today scientists working in the field of quantum physics are working on teleporting light, with some success. Whether we will ever be able to teleport spaceship crewmembers or warlock priests is another matter.
*****

By: Own Jarus | Contributor Live Science Magazine |
 

Darren Woolsey (57)
Sunday April 28, 2013, 9:49 am
Thanks for sharing this... one thing of substance is, memory acts as a kind of time traveller for us, at least to observe fragments of experience/s from a different time. I've seen no "official science" that comes close to discounted in any way Extra Sensory Perception. Teleportation is a little trickier, as it involves one's physical and mental body traveling through space. I'm of the view that one shouldn't really discount anything, simply because Orthodox Science claims it cannot happen. Even logic and reason are bound by limitations, given that humankind don't actually act very logically a lot of the time, and our experiences are also not really bound by reason.
 

Bryna Pizzo (139)
Sunday April 28, 2013, 10:13 am
Thank you for the post!
 

Theodore Shayne (56)
Sunday April 28, 2013, 10:19 am
Anyone searching for a guru or a black magic specialist; astrologer who can cure all your ills then look no further than Care2.
 

JL A. (272)
Sunday April 28, 2013, 10:42 am
No object is mysterious.
The mystery is in your eye.
Elizabeth Bowen

The universe is full of magical things patiently
waiting for our wits to grow sharper.
Eden Phillpotts

One (practitioner of science) is the educated
man who still has a controlled sense of wonder
before the universal mystery, whether
it hides in a snail's eye or within the light
that impinges on that delicate organ.
Loren Eiseley

The most beautiful thing we can experience is
the mysterious. It is the source of all true art
and science. He to whom this emotion is
a stranger, who can no longer pause to
wonder and stand rapt in awe, is as good
as dead: his eyes are closed.
Albert Einstein

 

Russell R. (87)
Sunday April 28, 2013, 12:33 pm
Beam Me Up, Scotty!
 

Elizabeth M. (66)
Sunday April 28, 2013, 12:43 pm
Noted and Read this article. Thank You Kit.
 

Yvonne White (231)
Sunday April 28, 2013, 4:11 pm
Any sufficiently advanced science can appear to be magic.. ;) But I do so love Science Fiction!:) From Dr. Who to Star Trek in all manifestations..and Occult/Fantasy from Twilight Zone to Lost Girl to Terry Pratchett Disc World novels!:) I believe the human mind is a doorway to all dimensions/times/possibilities - I only wish CONservative minds could be opened to good instead of evil!;)
 

Jennifer C. (172)
Sunday April 28, 2013, 5:29 pm
Thank you.
 

pam w. (191)
Sunday April 28, 2013, 7:05 pm
WHAT FUN! I've always wanted time travel so I could visit interesting historical times. (Of course, inherent in that ability is LANGUAGE! I want to meet and spend time with Hatshepsut, the first female Pharaoh, for example and I want to spend some time with some of those Chinese Empresses and Genghis Khan, not to mention Anne Bolyn and Henry 8th!)

Invisibility would be grand, too! I could travel FREE and play wonderful pranks on people....just imagine!

 

Kit B. (277)
Sunday April 28, 2013, 7:13 pm

I think the invisibility is the key. I would love to do the same. Go back to many different periods of history and be the invisible visitor. I could observe what actually happened and not what others have assumed must have happened.
 

Laurie H. (689)
Sunday April 28, 2013, 8:32 pm
The idea of time travel possibilities, always held great interest for me. I love science fiction and believe there are so many paths that are only a heartbeat away from happening. Enjoyed this posting very much Kit=Thanks!!!
 

Dale O. (189)
Sunday April 28, 2013, 8:58 pm
Always fascinating and intriguing. A good idea is to travel back in time and send Monsanto to the prehistoric era where it will wander aimlessly before it is eaten up by a hungry T-rex, never to appear in the future. Wouldn't that be fabulous, no GMO.
 

Eternal Gardener (702)
Sunday April 28, 2013, 10:46 pm
Yep... dr. Who and his Tardis(Time and relative dimensions in space)!
 

BMutiny TCorporationsEvil (467)
Monday April 29, 2013, 3:12 am
Japanese Ninjas were supposed to be able to make themselves "Invisible". The human eye and mind, is pre-disposed to seeing MOTION - therefore, being able to be perfectly motionless {while wearing some dark or neutral or blending-in camouflage}, would be the equivalent of being Invisible. Or else looking so "ordinary" that no-one would guess you were a Ninja, there to spy or to steal or to assassinate!
==
I have some small, often unnerving ability to foretell the future a bit in advance. It is slightly disconcerting to me, when I'm right. I think it is based on, as Macbeth says in the play, being able to "look into the Seeds of Time, and see which ones will grow." McB asked the witches if they could do this. It feels more like Common Sense than like Magic - but the results are much the same!
====
In quantum physics, the fact that you are observing, actually changes things on the level of the minutest particles... So, you CAN alter things on the material plane, with your Mind! Whether you know it or not...
==
I hold 2 precepts as true:
#1 is Hamlet's, "There are more things in Heaven and Earth, Horatio,
Than are dreamt of in your Philosophy."
The other is,
#2, by Arthur C. Clarke: "The Universe is not only stranger than we know,
It is stranger than we CAN know."
======
If I could go back to just ONE moment in Time - I decided long ago, I would just LOVE to see Opening Night {or daytime performance!} for the first-ever performance of Hamlet... maybe it wasn't even a Big Deal at the time! but still...
====
The U.S. Army was interested for a time, in what we would call "occult" experiments.
There is a book, and a movie based on the book - the book is Fact, the movie is a Fictional story because, frankly, people wouldn't believe or accept the book as factual, which as far as I can tell, it IS.
The name of the book, and the movie, both, is "The Men Who Stare At Goats".
Soldiers were supposed to learn to be able to KILL goats, merely by staring at them long and hard enough. In the movie the whole thing is mostly treated as farce. But it actually does follow the book's facts.

The U.S. was doing this sort of thing, because during the Cold War, it was believed that the Russians were doing such research.
Then the Russians got wind of what the U.S. was doing - and, they actually did NOT have such a program, but they then instituted one... to keep up with the U.S.!
Big mis-understandings all around. At least, according to the movie.
The movie had a very short run, but it is funny, worth seeing, and it does have its serious side.

This program, unfortunately, morphed into the horrible psy-ops programs and psychological tortures we use to dis-orient prisoners at Guantanamo, Abu Ghraib and other places. Para-psychological researches were scrapped in favor of "practical" psychology used in torture and humiliation and deliberately dis-integrating prisoners' personalities...
 

BMutiny TCorporationsEvil (467)
Monday April 29, 2013, 3:21 am
In regards to ESP:
There are too many stories of, for example, parents just KNOWING when their child is in danger, or people KNOWING when somebody in their family has just died, for that to be ignored.
Stories of the parents rushing into another room, just in time to get the child out of some danger...
Or telling somebody that somebody is dead, when they had no way of knowing {no modern communication devices!}...
Almost everyone has SOME experience of this. But people in our culture, don't like to talk about it.
I have. And I don't feel like talking about it.....
 

Gloria picchetti (287)
Monday April 29, 2013, 8:23 am
It reminds me when we were girls camping. We had a paperback of Ripley Believe It or Not stories. Even though the tent was only in a back yard we were terrified.
 

Veronica C. (42)
Thursday June 20, 2013, 8:56 pm
There's a few of these that I wish I could do.
 
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