Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Many bodies of knowledge exhibit "anomaly gaps" where theory does not explain (or seem to explain) one or more observations. Common examples though are out-of-body experiences, near-death experiences, extrasensory perception, ghosts, UFO's, alien abductions and close encounters.
These concepts are not widely accepted as real by mainstream scientists, some of whom go as far as calling the study of them pseudoscience. Other anomalous phenomena verge into the fringes of what is known as pathological science, such as cold fusion; while there are some serious, competent scientists researching the phenomenon, there are also many less competent, biased cranks, and even cultists.
As the body of knowledge available expands, some anomalies are incorporated into an explanatory framework and lose their standing as anomalies. For instance, while the idea of stones falling from the sky was long ridiculed, meteorites are now acknowledged and well understood.
Often used as a synonym, but actually a subclass are the paranormal phenomena, studied by parapsychology.
Paranormal phenomena can be divided into three main classes:
- Mental phenomena, unusual mental states or abilities, such as telepathy, clairvoyance and precognition
- Physical phenomena, unusual physical occurrences that may be controlled by a consciousness, such as psychokinesis, poltergeists, stigmata or materializations
Charles Fort, in his four works on anomalies, lambasted and ridiculed the scientists of his day for their short-sightedness. Some of the anomalies listed in his work have been explained and incorporated into modern science, while others continue to be unexplained.
William R. Corliss' Science Frontiers has covered reports in the scientific literature regarding anomalies for years. He, through his Sourcebook Project, has published a large body of reports collected in many of the scientific disciplines.
The Fortean Times, a British monthly magazine, continues in the spirit of Fort's work by publishing reports of anomalous phenomena and longer investigative articles.
The Anomalist, edited by Patrick Huyghe and Dennis Stacy, is another magazine/journal devoted to the study of anomalies (which may be called anomalistics).
- Bermuda Triangle
- Conspiracy theory
- Hessdalen light
- Hundredth Monkey
- List of magazines of anomalous phenomena
- Marfa light
- Min Min light
- Oliver Sacks
- Oregon vortex
- Society for Psychical Research
- Spring Heeled Jack
- Unidentified flying object
- Mystery Spot
- Orb (paranormal)
- The Committee for the Scientific Investigation of Claims of the Paranormal
- About.com: Paranormal Phenomena
- The Randi paranormal Challenge
- Boundary Institute
- Ingo Swann's Biomind website
- Fortean Times
- Science Frontiers
- Mr. X's Website
- INFO International Fortean Organization
- A taxonomy of paranormality
- Peet's Paranormal Notebook
- Paranormal Forums
- Pennsylvania Bigfoot Society
- Handbook of Unusual Natural Phenomena:Eyewitness Accounts of Nature's Greatest Mysteries, William R. Corliss, Anchor Press, Doubleday, 1983, trade paperback, 423 pages, ISBN 0-385-14754-6
- Remote Viewing Secrets, Joseph McMoneagle, Hampton Roads, 2000, paperback, 296 pages, ISBN 1-57174-159-3
- The Conscious Universe, Dean Radin PhD, Harper, 1997, hardback, 362 pages, ISBN 0-06-251502-0
- Channeling: Investigations on Receiving Information from Paranormal Sources. John Klimo, St. Martins Press, 1987. ISBN 0874774314
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