Next step – Memory Edits?  Total Recall?

Every memory leaves its own imprint in the brain, and researchers are starting to work out what one looks like.

Source: How to see a memory (link and image from

A fascinating article from (see link above).  As scientists move ever closes to an understaning of how the brain stores memories, including how to manipulate the system, then the potential scienci-fiction dreams, or nightmares, are certainly closer to reality.

How long before we can upload memories to a server?  The possibility to implant memories, as shown in ‘Total Recall’, may also lead to the ability to simply ‘upload’ knowledge into the brain.  Such would do away with the need for schools and education systems as they stand — we would only require an education of ‘how to think’ for all knowledge would be readily imparted.

With such possibilities however, we again veer towards a Kantian nightmare: how can we know that our memories are real?  If our memories are fallable, then we have no means by which to assert what we deem to be real.  All that would remain, once again, is the notion of cogito ergo sum.

Exciting, yet frightening times.


The Black Monk of Pontefract is caught on camera?   No, but I am beginning to doubt that such a spectre exists.

Has the ever-popular Black Monk of Pontefract been caught on camera?  That is the supposition of the story published by the Pontefract & Castleford Express (Link and image below):

Has this ghost hunter captured a glimpse of the infamous Black Monk of Pontefract?

Source: VIDEO: Has the infamous Black Monk poltergeist been caught on camera? – Pontefract and Castleford Express


The image was produced, intentionally, by taking a photograph of a mirror.  The reasoning for such is that ‘apparitions’ appear in mirrors with a supposed greater ease than in the atmosphere.  Despite the assertions by a fellow ‘ghost hunter’ that the image captured by Kyle Thompson is a genuine image of the Black Monk, such is far from the case.

  1. As evident in the video, uploaded as part of the linked story above, the image is clearly genuine in intent and devoid of any purposeful attempt to create such.
  2. The investigators have chosen to fall victim to pareidolia — they hoped to see the Black Monk, and so they have done so.
  3. The investigators evidently fail to understand how a mirror works.  Further, they have made no effort to account for the actions of the intense flash of light upon the mirrors reflective surfaces in a dark environment.
  4. The cause of the image, puportedly in the lower right-hand side of the image above, is thus an internal reflection of the mirror.  The intense light of the camera flash has been distorted by dirt, grease, and internal flaws of the mirrors surfaces.  The light has then reflected three-times:
    1. from the glass surface.
    2. from the internal mirrored surface.
    3. a final double reflection from the mirrored plane onto the inner surface of the glass.  This has then reflected back onto the mirror once again, before finally leaving the internal surfaces of the mirror where it is captured as a distorted and refracted image

The effect of the triple reflection is thus a distorted image which is the product of the combined effects of the bright flash, the dirt upon the mirror, and the failure of the camera lens and CCD chip to cope with and process the resultant reflected image and light.


Verdict:  No paranormal phenomena — this is the result of taking a photograph of a mirror whilst using a flash in a dark room, coupled with the desire to see a ghostly image.

Ghost caught on camera in Bodmin jail?

Source: ‘Ghost of last man hanged in Cornwall’ captured on video by ghost hunter – can you see it? – Cornwall Live

Cornwall Live is reporting on a video, taken by Tony Ferguson and his partner, which reputedly shows the ghost of the last man hanged at the jail – William Hampton.

My thoughts on the video and the instance are thus:

  1. It is claimed that the couple ensured that they were the only people in the jail for the investigation.  Has this been verified?  How did they arrange access to the site whilst it is closed at night without any representative of the attraction present?  Surely there is a security guard or site manager present?  It is thus possible that it is this employee of the site that is caught on the camera.
  2. The reaction when the lights go out is calm and considered.  Such suggests that either the issue was of no surprise, or that the investigators have prior experience of lights switching off and leaving them in a dark, unfamiliar location.
  3. The calm manner in which the camera operative switches the viewfinder angle in order to make use of the camera’s IR vision suggests that the operative was prepared for such an instance.
  4. That the investigators are heard discussing how they failed to bring a torch suggests a degree of poor preparation.  In such circumstances, it is reasonable to then expect some shock or surprise at a sudden loss of lighting when in a strange location without a torch.
  5. The sudden change in light levels may have momentarily confused the CCD chip on the camera.  Although the camera was in IR mode, the loss of practical lighting would create a momentary issue for the sensor.
  6. The distance at which the apparition passes in front of the camera is at the limits of the IR sensitivity for the camera.  Accordingly, if the figure is that of a security guard, then the detail would be insufficient to reveal such.

Verditct:  No paranormal phenomena.  The ‘apparition’ is likely a security operative or site employee.  It is possible that such an individual either switched off the lights (as part of a routine), or that they were making their way to a point where they could reactivate the lighting.

The Wizard & the Witches – my new study into the witches of Pendle & Salem, with the revelation of John Dee’s role in historic events is OUT NOW!

The witch-trials which took place in both Pendle and Salem are infamous.

There are many theories as to the causative factors of both trials.  Few draw any comparison between events and seek any link between the two towns.  In my new work, I present a study which asks the questions that others are afraid of: what linked the two towns during the seventeenth century?  Were any of the accused witches?  What is it about Lancashire and Massachusetts which attracted such individuals and contributed to events?  Why was John Dee in Lancashire?  What role did Dee have?

Through a series of historic investigations, undertaken with a depth of occult expertise unrivalled in other historic studies, I probe deep into the mysteries of Pendle, Salem, and John Dee and reveal answers that others are afraid to consider.

The huge, 280,000-word study is available in its complete form, or as separate parts I, II, & III. Paperbacks are available from Amazon in all markets:

The Complete Study:

Amazon US:        $34,99

Amazon UK:   £26,99

Part I: the Witches of Pendle

Amazon US:          $17,99

Amazon UK:    £13,99

Part II: the Witches of Salem

Amazon US:          $22,99

Amazon UK:    £17,99

Part III: the Wizard John Dee

Amazon US:          $17,99

Amazon UK:  £13,99


Another instance of spontaneous human combustion in England?

Emergency services were called to Thanet Road just after 8pm on Wednesday night

Article linked with image from the Hull Daily Mail:

Source: ‘I felt sheer panic and rushed to help’: Dad’s desperate efforts to save man on fire in Hull street – Hull Daily Mail


Following the previous post about a possible instance of spontaneous human combustion, the newspapers in the UK have reported another such case — although this is some distance from London.

This story could become interesting for a number of reasons:  Is there some technical glitch on a mobile which is causing the issue?  Are atmospheric conditions to blame?  Is there a sudden surge in spontanous combustion cases?  Or, as seems likely, are the newspapers reporting any and all such similar instances as a means to sell papers?

My instincts suggest the latter — these instances have a mundane explanation and the newspapers are simply attempting to sensationalise unlinked events.

Spontaneous Combustion on a London Steet

A fascinating story of spontaneous combustion with multiple witnesses.  Brief and link from the London Evening Standard site:


Police today appealed for witnesses after a man died after catching fire as he walked down a street in north London  Passers-by saw John Nolan, 70, ablaze in a street in Haringey in the middle of the day and attempted to put out the flames before calling police and fire crews. The former construction worker, who was originally from County Mayo in Ireland, was taken to a specialist hospital but died later.

Source: Man bursts into flames and dies in front of horrified onlookers while walking down London street | London Evening Standard


The classic cases of spontaneous combustion have produced many theories.  The advances of the modern era provide an ever increasing number of variables which further obscure the causation for the phenomena.  Aside from the accumulation and focus of internal energies within the human body (such as heat, electrical charge, and a focal discharge of chi/prana), there are often the possible causes of friction induced charges and other mundane means by which the ignition could occur.  Contemporary living adds the presence of electronic gadgets, mobile phone signals, and the vapors from electronic cigarettes to the realm of possibilities.  Any of these, singularly or in combination, could be at cause in this case.  Further still, we are yet unable to eliminate the influence of preternatural phenomena upon such instances.

V erdict: unsolved.

There is no such thing as instantaneous wisdom… so stop asking and start working!

We live in an instant world.  With the advances of the information age, everything is about speed.  Shops are in decline as customers take advantage of home deliveries.  Cinema attendance is down as on-demand services take over (although the quality of films has also declined and as has such contributed to the decline in cinema audiences).

Every aspect of modern life has become how fast an individual can obtain that which they seek.

Well, it is time for a reality check.

Knowledge, real knowledge, is never acquired in such a manner.  To learn anything of real value and power, then it takes time and effort.  There is no simple plug-in system which imparts knowledge — this is not the Matrix and you are nothing like Neo.   In a world where people think that the first answer given by Google reveals the entirity of wisdom on a subject, those same people think that they can become occult masters by watching a video, reading a book, and paying a membership fee to a society.  A perusal of forums on the occult mysteries rapidly reveals the vain hope for instant occult knowledge: ‘What ritual do you have that will unlock the secrets of…’; ‘What does this system reveal about…?’; ‘Will this group make me a…?’.

To answer those questions, and all forms of such: Nothing.  This group/book/ritual will teach you nothing.  You expect instant knowledge and there is no such thing.  The occult arts are like training to fly a high-end stealth bomber with a nuclear pay-load.  The answers are in the manuals, yet you need some practical experience before that manuals make sense.  To acquire such knowledge as you seek takes effort and devotion.  A master can utter the most profound wisdom  in only a few words, yet such is only discernable to those attuned to it — to the plebian, it is mere words.  When you seek instant adepthood and mastery, you are both blind and deaf to all wisdom.

Occult societies have, in the most part, carefully constructed systems which allow the initiate to gradually reveal the wisdom that they knew all along — they simple had no awareness of it.  Every ounce of occult knowledge is widely available — you simply have to see it.  In  order to acquire wisdom of any kind, especially in the occult, you have to work at it.  It takes effort and time.  It is a process for which there is no search engine result.  If you are unprepared to put in the work and prove to your masters your worthiness of such knowledge, then why would they hand you the keys to the stealth bomber?  Think about that the next time you are searching for instant answers and empowerment.

Likewise however, there is no guaranteee that an experienced individual has acquired a degree of mastery.  All too often, individuals are dismissed as having only years of experience in the occult, whilst purported masters claim decades.    Someone with five years of experience can have more wisdom and mastery than an idiot with thirty-years of dabbling.  When stumbling in a dark room — some people find the light-switch sooner than others.

So what is the answer?  Well, judge for yourself as to who knows anything which resembles the knowledge you aspire to.  Select the sources of your education carefully — learn from an array of masters and teachers.  Ultimately though, only you can attain wisdom.  Others can educate and guide you as to the processes and components, but it is up to you to construct the results and such takes work.  You can give the parts of an engine to both pigs and engineers — only one group is likely to build an engine.  It is up to you to ensure that you are up to the task.  Train yourself: physically, mentally, emotionally.  When you are ready, you may attain mastery.