The U.S. Air Force paid out $25,000 for a report titled Teleportation Physics StudyPDF File in which the author ends up recommending that and additional $7.5M to study psychic teleportation should be made available.
In the report, author Eric Davis says psychic teleportation, moving yourself from location to location through mind powers, is “quite real and can be controlled.”
Needless to say, the author’s conclusion that Psychic Teleportation is a reality has not sat well with other physicists.
“It is in large part crackpot physics,” says physicist Lawrence Krauss of Case Western Reserve University, author of The Physics of Star Trek, a book detailing the physical limits that prevent teleportation. He describes the Air Force report as “some things adapted from reasonable theoretical studies, and other things from nonsensical ones.”
Some experts have long criticized what they see as a military sweet tooth for junk science. A “remote viewing” project, for example, undertaken by defense intelligence services and declassified in 1994, sought to see whether psychic powers could be employed to spy on the Soviet Union. The teleportation report “raises questions of scientific quality control at the Air Force,” the FAS’ Steven Aftergood says.
Davis is reportedly a physicist himself and the report does a pretty good job of summarizing the various theories and research into teleportation via other mechanisms that have been undertaken, but devolves into nonsense once it gets to the section dealing with so-called psychic teleportation. At times it reads as a veritable who’s who of famous psychic hucksters, including the infamous Uri Geller and his magical spoon bending ability, as well as various scientists who have bought into their own flawed experiments. If you’ve kept up on these folks then you’ll probably recognize a lot of names, some of whom we’ve discussed here in the past. As part of its claims for legitimate consideration of this supposed phenomena the report mentions the fact that the U.S. Government through various agencies funded The Remote Viewing program for over 22 years in which various psychics attempt to use precognition and clairvoyance to conduct espionage on behalf of the government. What the report doesn’t bother to mention is that after 22 years there wasn’t a single useful bit of information to come out of the Remote Viewing program or the fact that it only lasted 22 years because every time one agency abandoned it as a failure another one would come along and pick it up for awhile. In the end the only real result of that program was to waste a lot of taxpayer dollars on a pipe dream.
In fact, this section of the report spends a lot of time citing various programs and studies conducted here and abroad—most of which have long been discredited—as opposed to actually discussing anything in the way of theories on how, exactly such a phenomena is possible let alone plausible. It is full of statements such as this:
Psychotronics and remote viewing provide capabilities that have obvious intelligence applications. The Soviets and their Warsaw Pact allies invested millions of dollars in psychotronics R&D because they understood this, and saw the potential payoff for military and intelligence applications.
And we all know how well that investment has benefited them, eh Comrade? It’s not long after this that Davis launches into his pitch for further exploration of p-Teleportation as he refers to it:
There is a wealth of factual scientific research data from around the world attesting to the physical reality of p-Teleportation and related anomalous psi phenomena (Mitchell, 1974b; Targ and Puthoff, 1977; Nash, 1978; Radin, 1997; Tart et al., 2002). The skeptical reader should not be so quick to dismiss the subject matter in this chapter, because one must remain open-minded about this subject and consider p-Teleportation as worthy of further scientific exploration. The psychotronics topic is controversial within the western scientific community. The debate among scientists and scientific philosophers is highly charged at times, and becomes acrimonious to the point where reputable skeptical scientists cease being impartial by refusing to examine the experimental data or theories, and they prefer to bypass rational discourse by engaging in ad hominem attacks and irrational “armchair” arguments.
The topic remains controversial because many aspects of the concept violate well established physical principles using experiments that any half-way decent magician could overcome. Ironically after charging that the skeptics are engaging in ad hominem attacks Davis turns around and quotes an ad hominem against the skeptics:
P-Teleportation and related phenomena are truly anomalous, and they challenge accepted modern scientific paradigm. Lightman and Gingerich (1991) wrote, “Scientists are reluctant to change paradigms for the purely psychological reasons that the familiar is often more comfortable than the unfamiliar and that inconsistencies in belief are uncomfortable.”
Seems to me that the better scientists are more than happy to shift a few paradigms when the evidence is there to support such movements and they should require a bit more evidence than cute parlor tricks from the likes of Uri Gellar or failed government programs that produced not a single bit of useful information before they’re willing to start tossing paradigms around. While Davis doesn’t attempt to provide a theory that would explain how these phenomena are even possible, he does get around to offering his hypothesis which appears to rely heavily on the idea of a 4th spatial dimension which the mind is somehow aware of and capable of moving other objects through bypassing the barriers present in the other three dimensions. Though, again, he doesn’t provide any details on how this would be possible or what the mechanism involved is likely to be. It’s a pretty amusing read, actually.
Clearly Davis is big on the idea of psychic phenomena and his enthusiasm is reflected in a number of statements that raise the art of stating the obvious to entirely new heights: “P-Teleportation, if verified, would represent a phenomenon that could offer potential high-payoff [in] military, intelligence and commercial applications.” (Well, duh.) Ultimately the report ends up being a big sales pitch for more taxpayer funding for studies of questionable (at best) claims in pursuit of yet more daydreams. Granted it’s cheap in comparison to some of the nonsense the government engages in, but one would hope that the Air Force will find more worthwhile research to support before resorting to this silliness.
Story and link originally submitted by B. Woods. Expanded upon by yours truly.