The Machine Did it

Many of us have trouble from time to time with our machines. The digital world surrounds us and with each new spectacular innovation we become more and more dependent on them. Of course, it wasn’t always that way. Recently, I edited an old novel of mine from 1992, called The Fifth Essence, that was never published. I was actually offered an advance , but I turned it down after my agent at the time assured me that she could do better. She didn’t and the novel went into the closet and vanished for years. I considered updating the story, but decided against it. I liked that private investigator Nicholas Pierce (Crystal Skull) didn’t have a cell phone. He stops at a restaurant at one point to use a pay phone. Try to find one now. Somewhere there must be a vast pay phone booth graveyard.

In Stephen King’s 11/22/63, a time travel novel recently adapted into an 8-part mini-series, Jake Epping, a high school teacher played by James Franco, has a chance to travel into the past to change history. At one point, his new girlfriend who is initially skeptical about his claim that he’s from the 21st century, quizzes him about the future. Epping says, “Everybody carries their telephone around with them all day long and keep looking at.” The girlfriend finds that hilarious and thinks he’s joking. How the world has changed.

So, considering all that, how crazy is this next story from Russia in which we are supposed to believe that a computer was accused of intentionally killing a man? Allegedly, a Soviet supercomputer electrocuted a man who beat it in a chess game. According to the story, which Dean Rabin relates in The Conscious Universe, the supercomputer was ordered to stand trial for the murder of a chess champion who was electrocuted when he touched the metal board that he and the machine were playing on. Soviet police inspector Alexis Shainev reportedly told reporters in Moscow, “This was no accident – it was cold-blooded murder.”

Shainev supposedly said: “The computer was programmed to win at chess, and when it couldn’t do that legitimately, it killed its opponent.” He added: “It might sound ridiculous to bring a machine to trail for murder, but a machine that can solve problems and think faster than any human must be held accountable for its actions.”

The story sounds like something out of Weekly World News or The Onion. Or maybe a Russian fake news outlet. The dead chess player is only identified as Gudkov. Radin, in fact, calls the story ridiculous, but uses it to make a point about our close relationship with machines and how they are acting more and more like humans, though much smarter in many ways. Which leads me to wonder if computers might soon be capable of creating fake news stories of their own volition. Now that’s a scary idea!

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Tracy’s Awesome Travel Synchro


When we travel, synchronicities seem to find us, perhaps because we’re out of our normal routines and open to the currents of the road. This was certainly the case for Tracy Wilhelm.

Several years ago, she experienced a cluster of synchronicities while traveling through California with a family for whom she provided child care. She had been contemplating a move back to her hometown of Hazelton, in northern British Colombia and had brought along 7 Secrets of Synchronicity to read on the trip.

From Tracy:

In my quiet moments I was reading the book and my question was Should I move back to Hazelton?’ Throughout our vacation we went to Lego Land, San Diego Zoo, and Sea World. When we were at Sea World we crossed paths with a woman who had a skier’s tan…you know what I mean? Super tanned face but around the eyes weren’t as tanned. We had been walking across her path and stopped to let her pass.

So no big deal….we go on with our day. Two days later we were traveling up the coast to head to L.A to catch our flight home. We stopped in a McDonald’s for lunch and there in the restaurant was this woman with the skier’s tan. This was in Huntington Beach. So we travel along and get to L.A and the next day was our flight back to Canada. As we were boarding our flight, I again noticed the same woman.

We had a layover in Vancouver and had to collect our luggage and take it through customs. This same woman was standing at my luggage claim and the mom of the family I am with recognized her from McDonald’s the day before and commented on that. Then I piped up that I had seen her two days before – at Sea World or Legoland, I forget which- and she said yes, she had been there. She asked where we were headed and we said Edmonton. I asked where she was she was headed and she said Prince Rupert, which is near the area where I grew up.

“Cool!” I remarked. “I’m from Hazelton””

“I’m originally from Hazelton!” she replied.

We thought it was cool and crazy and bizarre and then went along our way….right?!

I get home and am unpacking my suitcase and retelling the story to my kids and then I stopped in my tracks. “Ahhhhhh wait a second….I got my answer”. And then I just started to laugh.


And Tracy moved back to her home town for two years.

Shortly after 7 Secrets and the Synchronicity Journal were published, we invited readers to send us their synchro stories and we would pick the best stories and send copies of the books to the winners. Tracy was one of the winners! I’d forgotten all about that until we reconnected on Facebook.

She now lives in Edmonton and works as a library manager. She has also created a workshop series using vision boards and journaling exercises and is currently creating an oracle deck. And she still pays close attention to the synchros she experiences.



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Headed for Dictatorship?

Let’s take a look at the facts.

Tonight, July 19, Trump told the NY Times that he wouldn’t have appointed Jeff Sessions as attorney general if he’d known that Sessions would recuse himself from anything connected to the Russian investigation. What Sessions did “wasn’t fair to the president.” (Trump speaking of himself in the 3rd person).

Trump threatened to fire independent prosecutor Robert Mueller if he looks into the trump family finances. And this threat comes on the heels of his firing FBI director James Comey, who was in charge of the Russian investigation. He also threatened to fire Rodney Rosenstein, the deputy attorney general in the Department of Justice.

Trump also said the next attorney general – the head of the Department of Justice – should report directly to him, effectively wiping out the judicial branch of the government. Go back to basics. In the U.S., there are 3 distinct branches of government – executive (the prez), legislative (senate and house) and the judicial (supreme court and lower courts).

This is how dictatorships begin. It’s what Maduro in Venezuela is trying to do by rewriting the Venezuela constitution so that the executive branch has unlimited power. It’s what Batista and, later, Castro, did in Cuba, what Franco did in Spain, what Pinochet did in Chile, what Hitler did in Germany, what Putin has done in Russia. Dictators and wannabe dictators have an M.O. Appoint yourself as supreme leader, make sure you have a military that will back you up, get rid of the free press, cozy up to other dictators, jail your opponents.

We believe the U.S. is a country of laws and you constantly hear how no one – not even the president – is above the law. Yet, in the six months of this presidency, trump has managed to lie his way out of everything, and the republican house and senate are so intimidated by him and so wrapped up in their own power hungry agendas, they haven’t done anything to stop him.

We no longer have a government. We have chaos that deepens daily with trump’s twitter storms, new allegations about him and his family’s collusion with Russians, his threats to fire this person and that, and now he’s using the old Nixon play book – I don’t remember. He’s claiming he doesn’t remember asking anyone to leave the oval office when he had his little chat with Comey about dropping the investigation of Michael Flynn, his former National Security advisor – a clear obstruction of justice.

If Trump actually does fire Sessions and Mueller and Rosenstein and appoints an attorney general and FBI director who report to him, what then? Will republicans just look the other way, as they’ve been doing? If so, then who’s going to stop this madman from appointing himself dictator? Son-in-law Jared? Son Don Jr? Oh, maybe Ivanka?

Where are the coal jobs trump promised? Where is the repeal and replace of Obamacare that he promised so there would be “great health care for all”? Where is the Make America Great again when his own daughter’s clothing line is made overseas? Where’s the silly wall he kept harping about? And the tax cuts?

In six months, with republicans owning congress and the white house, not a single piece of meaningful legislation has been passed because the Art of the Deal dude has been too busy tweeting attacks on the media, the U.S. allies, enriching his family’s coffers, and cozying up to dictators. If we come through this with trump getting dumped – and tweeting from prison that he actually won the popular vote- the republican party will have gone the way of the Dodo bird and we’ll be a third world country – if we still exist at all. The sooner he’s gone, the better off we’ll be.

P.S. As of today,  July 21, Sessions doesn’t plan on resigning.

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Coast to Coast and Beyond the Bermuda Triangle

We hope you’ll join Rob and Bruce Gernon on Coast to Coast on July 19 and 20 (depending on where you live) when they’ll be talking with host George Noory about their newest book. And there are some mind-blowing stories in this one!

The show airs from 10 p.m. to 2 a.m. PDT. For those of you on the east coast, that’s 1 a.m. to 5 a.m. EDT, on July 20. Rob and Bruce will be on the show in the first half, from 1 a.m.- 3 a.m.

The book goes on sale July 24. It’s available for pre-order from Amazon.

And from my purely unbiased point of view (ha!) it’s an awesome book!


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The awesome moon synchro

The next total lunar eclipse won’t be for about six months – January 31, 2018 – but there’s an on-going mysterious synchronicity regarding the moon.

Actually, we’re not sure whether this is just a strange coincidence or a synchronicity. I guess it depends how meaningful you find it. Whatever you call it, it’s both visual and mathematical. The visual part is that during a full eclipse, the moon fits perfectly over the sun. That’s because it is 400 times smaller than the sun and is also 1/400th distance between the earth and the sun.

Isaac Asimov regarded this odd alignment as “the most unlikely coincidence imaginable.” You can find out other ‘coincidental’ ratios and mysterious matters related to the moon in a book entitled: Who Built the Moon, by Christopher Knight and Alan Butler.

I first read about this concept that the moon is an artificial body moved into place by advanced beings to make earth a viable environment for intelligent life – or maybe any kind of life – in a novel called, The Bone Labyrinth, by James Rollins, a prolific novelist who combines investigations into unknown mysteries with action/adventure. No one went to the moon in the novel so that mystery remained unsolved.

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Nika & Noah, a Love Story

Our daugher’s dog, Nika, has been staying with us since early June, when Megan got her cast for a broken ankle. Since she wasn’t allowed to put any weight on her foot, she was using a knee scooter and it just seemed easier to bring Nika to our house, which delighted Noah, of course. This is the longest time they have been together since Megan adopted Nika in 2011, when she lived with us for about six months and Noah presumably taught her everything he knew about being a dog and living with the MacGregors.

They have a distinct language in their barks and what we think of as words seem to be expressed in the tone, texture, speed, and pitch of the barks. For instance, when both dogs get a marrow bone, Nika immediately takes hers elsewhere in the house or outside, where she hides it. There’s deliberate intent about her actions and Noah’s reactions that suggest neither of them live entirely in the moment, as I thought for years. Dogs, cats, and other animals plan, project, remember.

After Nika has hidden her bone, she then trots back into the house and barks at Noah, a certain bark that is the same every time and seems to translate as, Dude, share your bone, okay? Most of the time, Nika ends up working away at two marrow bones because Noah has given her his.

They also have games that are like competitions. This one seemed to be about who could dig the deepest hole and bury the Frisbee under mounds of dirt so the other can’t find it. Each day at the dog park, the hole got deeper.

Then there’s the game about who gets the Frisbee or the ball. Nika looks fierce in this photo, like she’s about to bite Noah’s nose off, but it’s mostly bluster.

Every day around 4 PM, we take the dogs to our dog park. And they know when it’s time. If we’re a few minutes late, both dogs start pacing, barking, run back and forth to the door. They spend a few minutes sniffing butts with other dogs, but generally trot off together to hunt for squirrels, happy to be together.

During many of these afternoons at the park, I follow them around at a distance, curious about what intrigues them – a particular scent, a bird, squirrel, ball, Frisbee, a hole. At these times, they really are completely immersed in the moment – a sensory moment that pulls them in completely.

Their memories of other dogs and people are astounding and it’s not just the smell of either one, but the voice (human or canine), the movement, the presence. The other dog or human may not have been around for months, but the recognition happens regardless. Hey, there, where’ve you been? What’s up? What’s going on?

 They also recognize places. On occasions when we have visited Megan and the car pulls to a stop at her cub, Noah leaps out of the open window to greet Nika before she comes racing out the front door. When Nika visits us after a long hiatus and we pull into the dog park, she whines and barks, her excitement so palpable it’s obvious she knows where she is and can’t wait to get out and run.

On one occasion, after Nika had visited and left, Noah sank into what can only be called a depression; he didn’t eat for 3 days.

It feels like these two have known each other in past lives, that they are soul mates, and perhaps that’s the synchronicity, that they would meet again through us. Both are rescues.  Accuse me of anthropomorphism, but hey, there is great love here. You can feel it when you’re with them. And at the end of the day, Nika and Noah are rarely very far apart.


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The Nightmare

I feel sorry for Donald Trump Jr. I think he’s getting thrown under the bus to take the fall for his brother-in-law, Jared, for his dad, The Donald, and for everyone else in the administration who has met with the Russians during the campaign and after. He’s collateral damage.

Donald Jr. isn’t part of the administration, but is connected to it by blood. You know he has issues with trump as his dad. He’s supposedly holding the family business interests together while his dad alienates every ally we have on the planet, his sister Ivanka sits in on high security meetings, and his brother-in-law Jared smirks all the way to the bank. Now he, too, has hired his own attorneys. It seems to me that the only people profiting from this administration are the trumps and attorneys. We, the people, certainly aren’t getting much out of this administration.

Congress is fixated on repealing Obamacare – which they’ve tried to repeal how many times now? Are we pushing 70 attempts yet? – but still don’t have a replacement for it that can pass the Senate. These republicans have a lot of legislation on their wish lists, but can’t seem to get to any of it because every day there’s a new scandal, new revelations, new twitter storms from the boss.

One thing the boss did do – make travel to Cuba more difficult again for Americans. Once more, the only way you can get there is through Mexico or by traveling with “an educational group,” that is approved and sanction by the U.S. government, of course. That means the trip will cost you plenty. After all, we can’t have Americans just sipping mojitos on Cuban beaches.

Yet, we Americans can fly to China, North Korea, even Russia without being questioned or placed under suspicion. So why can’t we travel as freely to Cuba? Did Florida senator Marco Rubio make some nefarious deal with trump about this? Seems to me that trump and Rubio are playing to a small bunch of viejecitos – old bitter refugees playing dominoes in Little Havana’s parks – who are living in the past and are part of trump’s alleged base.

Who constitutes this base of trump’s? Who can actually still support this schizoid two-year-old? In West Virginia, a state that went for trump by a huge percentage, there are no new coal jobs. If Medicaid is vastly diminished under the repug’s proposed health care bill, that will toss a whole bunch of West Virginians into the street, with no coverage at all. But West Virginia is just one state out of 50. Google the rest of the 49 states. The picture isn’t pretty.

Bottom line? In a country that considers itself morally superior to most others in the world, we have a repug majority that doesn’t give a crap about the poor, the disabled, the sick, the elderly, or even about kids who depend on school lunches as their only meal of the day. We have a president who pulls out of the G-20 in terms of the Paris accord about climate change, an administration that hopes to rob 24 million or more of their health care, that would love to cut Medicare and privatize Social Security, so that the very wealthy- that one or two percent that Bernie Sanders talks about – can get a tax cut.

For the repugs, you are valuable only as long as you are a fetus; once you’re born, you’re on your own, sorry. For the repugs, if you are poor, elderly, sick, disabled, hungry, or a kid who depends on your school breakfast or lunches, well, sorry, you’re outta luck. For the repugs, the Russian hacking of the 2016 election is “fake news.” For nearly three years now, since the presidential campaign started, the media has given trump so much coverage that I’m tired of seeing his orange hair, tired of listening to his stupidity, tired of his 140 character Twitter feed that instantly becomes news.

Please. May this nightmare end.


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These guys start their lives as tadpoles, a rather strange life that takes about 12 weeks to make the transition from tadpole to frog. Somewhere between six and nine weeks, the tadpole starts sprouting little legs, the head becomes more distinct, the body elongates. Around nine weeks the tadpole looks like a tiny frog.

Understand, though, that a frog emerges from one of 4,000 eggs laid by the mother in a jellylike substance where it develops into a tadpole. Most tadpoles are consumed by predators before they’ve fully metamorphosed into frogs at 12 to 14 weeks of age. The half-dozen or so of the tadpoles from the original 4,000 eggs that survive to adulthood might live 5 to 8 years in the wild.

Esoterically, frogs – like butterflies – are considered to messengers of transformation. And for us over the years, they have proven to be symbols of dire transformation or of incredibly fortunate transformation, depending on the health of the frog and where it’s found.

In 1997, for instance, we returned from a trip and in our family room, found a dead Cuban tree frog. Our daughter, Megan, who was only eight at the time, saw it, and murmured, “Uh-oh, this can’t be good.”

Dead frog, family room: it was obvious. The next day, Rob’s mother called to tell him his father had died.

In 2003, Trish came across a beautiful Cuban tree frog in the kitchen, caught it, and released it outside. Two days later, she was told her novels, Out of Sight, had been nominated for an Edgar Allan Poe Award from the Mystery Writers of America. Kitchen: sustenance. Good health: excellent prognosis. Several months later, she won the award.

Over the years, many animals have acted as messengers in just this way. We look at their life cycles for hints about timing, where they’re found for hints about their meaning, and their health (or lack of) for a hint about whether the message is positive, negative, or somewhere in between. Although we have a lot of frogs that are drawn to the windows of our offices because the lights are on, which attract insects, it’s been awhile since a frog has been found inside the house.

Around June 12-13 last month, I found a dead frog in the house at the entrance to the family room from the porch. I didn’t mention it to Rob or anyone else. The frog had been dead for awhile, its body as flat as a postage stamp. Two days later, we learned that Rob’s mother had died and shortly afterward, we left for Minnesota to help settle her affairs.

Today, July 1, I was taking a shower and noticed something near the drain. I’m nearsighted and don’t wear contacts, so there I was in the shower, squinting and crouching to find out what this thing was.

It was a Cuban tree frog!

I turned off the shower, found my glasses, and took a closer look. The frog had been enjoying all that water, was mid-size, and in no particular hurry to move. I got dressed, opened the door to the backyard, and shouted for Rob. “Hey, there’s frog in here in really good shape! Come look!”

He came running in, picked up the frog in a towel, and freed it.

Then, late tonight, another encounter. Rob was headed to bed, I was still at my computer, and heard him call, “Hey, a baby Cuban tree frog!”

I ran out into the living room hallway, where this really small tree frog was hopping around close to the front door. Our cat, Simba, was nearby, watching it with great interest. It was tough to catch, but Rob finally nabbed it and let it outside.

So. We have frog in shower (cleansing) and frog at front door (opportunity knocking?). Is a third frog sighting in the house imminent? If so, that will be the telling.


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Channeling an alien


We recently received some channeled material, supposedly from an alien source. Like many people, I (Rob) am feel some resistance at the idea that some person is  speaking or writing the message of an advanced being from elsewhere. I was getting prepared to tell the sender as much, but then I read the material and found quite a bit that I could resonate with. Yet, to me, it’s a dumbed down version. And done so with the intent of avoiding a message that might generate fear, which could result if we were told the bigger picture of forces in the universe. As above, so below.

As for the source, we don’t know who it is. Or at least there was no attribution. But I would say that it is probably a regular person, not a world leader. And I think that is a good thing. Who wants the pope or Trump or Obama or whoever to have the key to the universe. That’s exactly the problem, which ‘they’ point out. Those in power have had the knowledge and they’ve done everything they can to hide it. Imagine if there is really free energy available – a wonderful thing, except for power brokers in the oil industry and elsewhere, who would see their world collapse.

So such cosmic info is being disseminated to regular folks, which is a good thing. Maybe we’re not quite ready to accept it—as my initial reaction suggested—but we’re on our way. I’ve noticed that local media outlets, particularly local TV stations, are willing to report UFO sightings and related stories. We don’t see that at the national level, unless it’s a debunking report or something in a humorous vein. But there are people in all walks of life who are knowledgeable on these matters, in one degree or another, and they are pushing in their own ways. Who knows when we’ll reach the tipping point.

With that introduction, here is the material. It seems to pick up in mid-thought. I don’t know what came before this part…

“However, we are very pleased to see that more and more humans are holding less and less fear about “off-world/Galactic realities.” In the 1950’s, which were one of the times in which we were ready to land, the Illuminati started a huge fear campaign of “horror movies” of terrifying ETs coming to “take over Earth” or “abduct humans.”

“It is true that the Zetas did abduct humans, as stated in the X File shows, but that activity stopped long ago. Also, they had no desire at all to harm humanity, in fact they greatly educated those that were aboard their Ship to “share their DNA” with the Zeta’s who were in dire need of fresh DNA.

“The Zetas were no longer able to replicate themselves via procreation, and needed to “create new forms” from the DNA they gathered from the humans. This gathering of DNA was done with full permission of the governments who received higher technology in exchange.

“Did these governments share this technology with their people? NO, they kept the technology for themselves so that they could “make money.” What those trapped in the third and lower fourth dimensional consciousness do not realize, is that there is no need for any form of money or bartering in the fourth and fifth dimensions of reality.

“In the fourth dimension, and even more so in the fifth dimension, humans are able to create anything they need with their own thoughts and emotions. You do notice that the above information is not visible in your newspapers or easily found on the Internet.

“The reason for this is that the “power over others” groups are very frightened that their reign of “power over” is coming to a conclusion. They are seeing that more and more of humanity is raising their consciousness into the higher fourth and fifth dimensional frequencies of reality.

“Then, even though humans may still be “wearing an earth vessel” they do not allow that fact to limit them any more than “wearing a sweater” would limit them. Of course, you can easily take off a sweater, whereas you cannot yet easily take off and put back on your earth vessel—YET.

“Of course you may leave your earth vessel safely stored on Earth when you visit the fourth dimension during sleep, dreams, deeply meditate, are under anesthetic, or engaged in deep creativity. In fact, many of you have remembered how to keep enough of your essence within your physical earth vessel, just as you may keep someone on your boat while you go on shore.

“In fact, more and more of you have remembered how to use your “Ship to Shore Communicator” so that you can communicate with your Higher SELF as easily as you would “call a friend on your cell phone.” It is for the above reason that we are sending our “inter-dimensional message” through many of our grounded, but fully awakened, expression of SELF.

“In fact, more and more members of our Galactic Family have sent a representative of our fifth dimensional and beyond SELF down to Gaia to wear a third dimensional earth vessel to create a relay system so that humanity’s fifth dimensional and beyond family could speak with YOU, our brave “away team to Earth.”

“We are here today to thank all of you who have remembered to connect your Inter-Dimensional Communication Systems with your third/fourth dimensional Brain, High Heart, and Third Eye. We suggest that you first connect your High Heart for within your High Heart is your Three Fold Flame of Divine Wisdom, Multidimensional Power and Unconditional Love.

“Also, within the Atma of your High Heart is your multidimensional circuitry, which runs infinitely via the power of your Galactic Wisdom, Multidimensional Power, and Unconditional Love.

“Also, within the Atma of your High Heart are the first 8 cells of your physical form. These first 8 cells go from incarnation to incarnation to connect you to your true, Multidimensional SELF who lives happily on our Starships.

“We, your Galactic Family, want to remind you that you are never alone, and that you are always supported by us. We also wish to remind you that our “Galactic Family” includes your own higher dimensional expression of SELF.

“Blessings to you all! We greatly enjoy touching in with our brave volunteers who took an earth vessel to assist Gaia with Her planetary ascension.

“The Arcturians and your Galactic Family”

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Ordinary People Who Experience Extraordinary Things

Join us tonight at Darkness Radio with Dave Schraeder, 10 PM EDT, 9 PM central

When ordinary people experience something extraordinary that defies what we are told is possible and true, something beyond strange, what’s actually going on? What’s the larger picture?

Take the experience of John Murphy, who in 1964 experienced the inexplicable and believes he walked 300 years into the past with a young woman he had just met. Not only did John and Barbara both feel an uncanny sense that they already knew each other, but during a walk they encountered a small 18th century British village with a church dominating the village square where they felt certain they’d lived before. They even recalled their lives as young married couple with children. Yet, when John returned to this location alone two days later, the village was gone. He later learned the village had been wiped out in a hurricane in the late 18th century.

It’s easy to dismiss this kind of story as factual. Even the person who experiences something like this eventually begins to doubt it when confronted with a consensus reality that insists time travel isn’t possible, except in fiction. We’ve been taught to discount the validity of our own experiences. Rather than face ridicule and derision from family and friends, who roll their eyes or laugh or shake their heads when we recount what happened, we keep the experience to ourselves. And yet, the experience haunts us. For John Murphy and Barbara, the emotional reality of that experience has persisted for decades.

Or take the experience that Priscilla had in the Florida Keys in the 1990s, when she was driving from Big Pine Key to Islamorada. Her car was surrounded by a thick fog through which she traveled for about a mile. As she came over a bridge and saw the hotel on Big Pine where she, her husband, and son were staying, she was terrified. She realized she had traveled the 58 miles between the two keys in less than 15 minutes.   

Fearing ridicule, Priscilla has rarely spoken about this experience outside of her family. And yet, the emotional reality of what happened has remained with her. Who are we to doubt that it happened?

Many facets of the paranormal – spirit communication, alien abduction, telekinesis, telepathy, remote viewing, precognition, hearing voices, take your pick – are viewed with suspicion and skepticism. Yet, the emotional reality of the experiences persist for the people who had them.

Perhaps these things happen to people whose consciousness isn’t as constrained by this consensus view that insists reality is simply what we experience with our five senses. Maybe that’s why synchronicity manifests itself so strongly in these incidents.

Throughout the years of our research into the nature of the phenomenon, we have found that emotions play a powerful role. Was John Murphy feeling a need for confirmation that he had lived before when he met Barbara? After all, what are the odds that he would meet this woman during his four days of leave in Bermuda? What are the odds that she, one of four student nurses in the US Navy Nurse Corps, would also be there? Synchronicities often involve great odds.

And what about Priscilla’s time-traveling episode? Are there some areas on the planet, like the Bermuda Triangle, where the convergence of energies create climates more conducive to this type of experience? And do these “climates” attract certain individuals?

And what about people who communicate with the dead? Or interact with aliens? Or sense the future? Or are telekinetic? Are they all nuts? Nobel prize winner Wolfgang Pauli wouldn’t think so about telekinesis. Equipment broke down so often in his presence that his scientific colleagues started referring to it as “The Pauli Effect,” and some of them forbade him from entering the lab.

Every day, ordinary people from a spectrum of cultures, beliefs, and ethnic backgrounds experience things that are beyond strange. Perhaps they are the true pioneers of the 21st century, the ones who are busting through existing paradigms about the nature of reality. It’s important that we listen to them and try to understand their experiences.


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Betty Dangers

During our recent trip to Minneapolis, we met up with Rabbit (Rob Larson), one of Rob’s oldest friends, for dinner at a place called Betty Danger’s Country Club. On their website, they tout it as “the country club for the 99%.” It’s definitely not a country club with rolling hills and golf courses, but is smack in the middle of a neighborhood.

When Rob told me there was a Ferris wheel at the place, I envisioned some little Ferris wheel for kids. Well, surprise! This Ferris wheel was shipped in from Italy, is full scale, and is the centerpiece of the restaurant. Most of the outside tables are arranged around it. For six bucks, you get five revolutions on the wheel, can take your dinner and a drink with you, and the view at the top is fantastic.

When you’re at the top of this gigantic thing at sunset, the city in the distance looks like something out of a fairy tale and everything below looks utterly magical. We could see the Mississippi River, one of the unusual bridges that crosses it, and numerous neighborhoods partially shrouded by trees. Those five revolutions take at least 20 or 30 minutes because the wheel moves very slowly, with numerous stops. There was a breeze that evening, and during our stops at the top of the Ferris wheel, our gondola swayed.

We got a kick out of the sign posted in our gondola:

The woman who owns Betty Dangers also owns another restaurant/bar down the street called Psycho Suzi’s Motor Lodge. I suppose it’s a motor lodge for the 99%!

Betty Dangers reminded me of something that might be a place where the world of the living and the dead intersect. So I used it in my new novel, Water Dancers, as exactly that sort of place.

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Our Trump Prediction – Flopped!

We’ve posted a number of things about trump on this blog and several of them concerned when he would be GONE. Rob predicted June 23. A tarot reading in May seemed to back up that it would be SOON. We were wrong. But I’m hopeful about the prediction from astrologer  Alex Miller.

It’s now July 4, and trump is  still in power, doing his usual twitter storms about CNN as fake news, that an MSNBC host was bleeding from a facelift, that everyone is against him, etc etc. And that’s the whole thing with trump. A huge etc. to be continued in tomorrow’s tweet and the tweet the day after and after and on into who knows when the congress wakes up and even the radical right republicans realize this man is flat-out nuts.

Trump isn’t a president. He’s a joke. A travesty. He’s the ultimate trickster archetype that could turn this country into a dictatorship if he manages to usurp the other branches of government that are supposed to provide checks and balances. But one thing trump does well is to change the narrative by doing or saying something outrageous. I don’t think this happens because he’s particularly intelligent. I think it happens because he has an instinct for media hype.

During the campaign, he didn’t have to spend a dime to get coverage; television obliged him because they didn’t think he could win and hey, he was good for ratings. The Trumpster, doing his silly thing night after night, igniting the pissed off masses. Ha. So silly. But the ratings went up.

And then, gasp, he won, probably because of Russian hacking, but who knows if we’ll ever get the full, true story on any of that. The democrats are not blameless in all this. Once upon a time, they really did represent the people, the conscience of a country. They passed terrific social legislation that actually helped people. But somewhere along the way, they became beholden to their donors, their base, and lost sight of the fact that the 21st century demands a new paradigm.

 For years, I was a registered independent. When Obama ran in 2008, I changed to the Democratic party so I could vote in the primary. Rob and I waited hours to hear him and Biden speak that year. I had watched his speech at the Democratic convention in 2004 and knew he was it, the candidate for 2008. Obama wasn’t perfect. But he was presidential, smart, savvy, and an incredible orator whose words moved me. He governed well for eight years. Our country prospered. Sure, he made mistakes – his health care stuff, for instance,  set the bar too low. He should have gone for Medicare for all. But he was up against an intractable republican congress.

By contrast, when I hear trump speak, I nearly puke.  I can’t stand looking at this orange man with his bulk, his crassness, his corrupt cabinet. This guy belongs in prison. And yet, if he goes and we get Pense, then we may be headed for The Handmaid’s Tale,  based on Margaret Atwood’s brilliant Dystopian novel where a handful of white men in back rooms (SOUND FAMILIAR?) decide the fate of an entire society.

And so, on this 4th of July, symbolic of our country’s independence, I’m left with a weighted heaviness in my heart, that we’re pretty much screwed as a country unless something changes and fast. Where are Will Smith and Bill Pullman and Jeff Goldblum from Independence Day? This invasion of trump and his idiots are as alien as it gets to the concept of democracy and freedom.

Trump’s presidency tests our constitution. Will we survive as a democracy?

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Every so often, I head over to our local Barnes and Noble and cruise the aisles, checking out new books. If the book has an interesting cover,  I pick it up, read the back cover or the inside flap for a synopsis of the story. If this captures my interest, I turn to the first page and read it. If it seizes me, I buy the book. This is true whether I’m familiar with the author or not.

This is what happened with Ian McEwan’s novel Nutshell, published in 2016. I bought the paperback version, which came out in May. Here’s the first line:

So here I am, upside down in a woman. Okay, that seized me. I knew from the back cover copy that the novel was written from a fetus’s point of view. He goes on: Arms patiently crossed, waiting, waiting, and wondering who I’m in, what I’m in for. My eyes close nostalgically when I remember how I once drifted in my translucent water bag, floated dreamily in the bubble of my thoughts through my private ocean in slow motion somersaults, colliding gently against the transparent bounds of my confinement, the confiding membrane that vibrated with, even as it muffled, the voices of conspirators in a vile enterprise.

I already knew from the back cover copy that the fetus’s mother is planning on murdering his father. And this fetus knows it. Nutshell is one of the most unusual novels I’ve ever read. The premise is brilliant, but what’s really startling, though, is that McEwan’s creativity extends beyond his gender, into what it’s like for a woman to be pregnant and what it may be like for that in vitro soul, crammed into this tiny space of the womb.

One of the most innovative scenes and laugh out loud scenes happens when mom imbibes more than 3 glasses of wine and the fetus lets you in on what he knows about  the types of wine. It’s speculative fiction at its best.


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