Zeitschrift für Anomalistik Band 18 (2018) Nr. 3

Zeitschrift für Anomalistik 18 (2018), No. 3, pp. 214–231
DOI: 10.23793/zfa.2018.214

Amplifying Precognition: Four Experiments with Roulette

Wilfried Kugel


Abstract – The starting point of our investigation is the well-known fact that subjects asked to produce random decisions are not able to do so, but do show characteristic patterns in their choices. This behavior influences the results of statistical experiments in extra-sensory perception (ESP) (here, precognition). A computer program using a model of Information Theory was prepared to recognize such patterns and match them with the outcome of the subjects’ precognition trials. The program was able to make its own bets on certain trials when the appropriate statistical criteria were met. The program’s bets were not necessarily the same as the subjects’ bets. Four precognition studies were completed between 1980 and 1999. To motivate the subjects, the experiments were performed as roulette games. Comparing the subjects’ hit rates with those of the program, the program performed considerably better in “amplifying” precognition. The overall score of the amplifying program resulted in a highly significant z-value of +3.27 (p = 0.0006), where the subjects scored below chance.

Keywords: precognition – psychokinesis – roulette – parapsychological research

Zeitschrift für Anomalistik 18 (2018), No. 3, pp. 232–247
DOI: 10.23793/zfa.2018.232

Experimenter as Participant: What can we learn from the experimenter effect?

Chris A. Roe


Abstract – In the field of experimental parapsychological research, some researchers are particularly successful, while others hardly succeed in proving Psi in their experiments. This differential performance is known as the experimenter effect, and has been recognized as an important characteristic of parapsychological findings. This article explores the question of what distinguishes successful and less successful investigators and how these differences can be explained. Scientific findings on the role of expectations and the style of interaction with participants are presented. These conventional experimenter effects are discussed as an alternative or supplement to the experimenter psi hypothesis, according to which existing psi abilities of the experimenter are held responsible for the occurrence of psi effects in the experiments.

Keywords: experimenter effect – replication problem – interaction style – experimenter’s expectation

Zeitschrift für Anomalistik 18 (2018), No. 3, pp. 248–276
DOI: 10.23793/zfa.2018.248

Sudden and unusually rapid whitening of hair: An overview of 212 case reports from the medical literature of the last 200 years

Michael Nahm


Abstract – For a long time, it has been reported that some people’s hair had turned grey or white very quickly, often overnight or within a few days, especially after emotionally traumatising experiences. However, because developed hair has no metabolism, such “sudden” or at least unusually rapid whitening or greying of hair shafts is generally considered impossible. In order to examine the validity of such reports about bleached hair, I examined the medical literature of the last ca. 200 years regarding case descriptions of unusually rapid bleaching of hair. This survey resulted in the finding of 212 cases, 46 of which were personally observed by the treating physicians (authenticated cases). In a further 94 cases, the authors saw the patients only after the supposed discoloration of their hair, often the following day (non-authenticated cases), and 39 cases were reported to the authors only by third parties, who were mostly medical colleagues (anecdotal cases). In 33 cases, the exact circumstances of the reporting remained unclear. The literature compiled in this survey contains several apparently very well documented cases according to which discoloration of developed hair shafts had actually occurred. Therefore, a non-causal model is presented that provides a possible explanatory frame for such hair whitening. In order to put this bleaching in a broader biological context, also other bodily development processes are presented that are triggered by mental states or impulses, and that so far elude a purely physicochemical causal explanation as well.

Keywords: Sudden whitening of hair – Canities subita – Poliosis – Alopecia

Zeitschrift für Anomalistik 18 (2018), No. 3, pp. 277–303
DOI: 10.23793/zfa.2018.277

Unusual animal observations in the Rio Genil

Peter Ehret, Ulrich Magin


Abstract – In 1955 and 1958, several Spanish newspapers reported on observations of unusual water animals in the Rio Genil, a tributary of the Guadalquivir. These stories sound incredible and at first glance appear unexplainable in conventional terms. However, a large-scale literature and on-site research provided possible non-anomalous explanations, which – in one case – were confirmed by relatives of the witness.

Keywords: water monster – cryptozoology – Genil – Spain – otter – sturgeon

Zeitschrift für Anomalistik 18 (2018), No. 3, pp. 304–319
DOI: 10.23793/zfa.2018.304

Faces without end… Material analyses of the “Faces of Bélmez” and some notes on further developments

Gerhard Mayer, Pilar Ramiro de Pano


Abstract – After a detailed reconstruction of the historical circumstances, the media reactions, and their effects on the reception and development of the Faces-of-Bélmez case provided in the last issue of the Zeitschrift für Anomalistik (Mayer, 2018), this supplementary article will give an overview of materials analyses carried out with the images. Despite some deficiencies in the reports the overall view provides a quite uniform picture. The two conventional explanations of the occurrence of the faces, which are most often mentioned, particularly their production by applying a solution containing silver salts, or a color substance, are not supported. In addition to the presentation of the materials analyses, the more recent developments in Bélmez were reported as well as some comments made about José-Luis Jordán who played a significant, even though discreditable, role for the historical development of the case.

Keywords: Bélmez faces – José-Luis Jordán – materials analysis – RSPK – skeptics

Zeitschrift für Anomalistik 18 (2018), No. 3, pp. 320–328
DOI: 10.23793/zfa.2018.320

Continued Discussions on Previous Papers

Re the paper The Bélmez Faces: An Investigation of a Supposedly Strong Case by Gerhard Mayer, Zeitschrift für Anomalistik 18 (2018), pp. 104–132:

  • Ulrich Magin: Remarks on José Luis Jordán Peña

Re the paper Shift in interpretation of paranormal experiences through the influence of new media by Sarah Pohl, Zeitschrift für Anomalistik 18 (2018), pp. 143–161:

  • Danny Ammon: Influences of digitisation on research and advice on exceptional experiences – confirmation and additions

Zeitschrift für Anomalistik 18 (2018), No. 3, pp. 329–340
DOI: 10.23793/zfa.2018.329

Looking onwards, thinking outside the box: Conference Report on the 61st Annual Convention of the Parapsychological Association (August 2–5, 2018, EarthRise Retreat Center, Petaluma, USA)

Gerhard Mayer

Zeitschrift für Anomalistik 18 (2018), Np. 3, pp. 341–366
DOI: 10.23793/zfa.2018.341

Book Reviews

  • Illobrand von Ludwiger (2018). Feurige Zeichen: Kugelblitze, Orbs, spontane Feuer und eingebrannte Hände
    Reviewer: Ingbert Jüdt
  • Ulrich Magin (2015). Magischer Mittelrhein: Mystische Orte und unheimliche Ereignisse am Rhein zwischen Mainz und Köln
    Reviewer: Andreas Trottmann
  • Jack Hunter (Hrsg.) (2016). Damned Facts: Fortean essays on religion, folklore and the paranormal
    Reviewer: Gerhard Mayer
  • Joshua Cutchin (2018). Thieves in the night: A brief history of supernatural child abductions
    Reviewer: Ingbert Jüdt
  • Roger D. Nelson & Georg Kindel (2018). Der Welt-Geist: Wie wir alle miteinander verbunden sind
    Reviewer: Gerhard Mayer
  • Fotini Pallikari (Hrsg.) (2017). Angelos Tanagras: My Memoirs – A Collection of Short Stories
    Reviewer: Uwe Schellinger
  • Romeo Grünfelder (Hrsg.) (2016). Ted Serios: Serien
    Reviewer: Eberhard Bauer

Zeitschrift für Anomalistik 18 (2018), No. 3, pp. 367–373

Abstract Service

Gerhard Mayer