Reality Checking with Brent Raynes

Resistance of Things Psychic:

A Personal Story

One evening back around 1972, I was invited by a relative to visit an old house near Gardiner, Maine. This relative of mine had a friend who wanted me to help them conduct a seance in her home. At that time, I was fairly active as an investigator of haunted houses in that area. I never claimed any real experience with conducting a seance, but as the local “expert” in matters supernatural I was asked to see if we could pull it off. Being young and adventurous I said something like, “Yeah, why not!”

Well, we came to sit around a table in a darkened second story room, hoping something truly supernatural would manifest itself. I tried to give the best guidance and instructions I knew how, but as the minutes slowly ticked on by and nothing out of the ordinary happened I feared that my reputation as an “expert” was on the line. Sooo. Since I had just read a book that explained about performing something called “psychometry,” how it was easy and fun (and I figured we at least needed fun!) I re-directed our activities.

Psychometry is based on the principle of mentally picking up psychic vibrations (impressions, flashes, images, feelings) and then almost immediately verbalizing what it is that you seemingly see or sense. Usually in psychometry you hold some object in your hands, trying to get impressions off of it, but I recall how soon I was simply looking at objects and giving my impressions. Unexpectedly (and to my own complete and utter surprise) I was examining antique items (I am not into antiques) and I correctly (I was told) provided accurate information on their background that I could not have possibly known!

Before long the word was out (before I even had a chance to really reflect and analyze what had happened). One evening one of my substitute high school teachers even called and wondered if we could get together and I could give him like a psychic reading or something. Another evening I returned to this house again and I was introduced to a man and woman who told me an interesting and personal ghost story, and then having heard about the successful psychometry experiment requested a reading. Again I was bumbfuzzled when I gave them information that they assured me was very accurate.

Over the years UFOs have been my main interest, but certainly not my only one. Practically all reports of strange and unexplained occurrences interest me. So when I became very involved in investigating some possible Bigfoot activity near Manchester, Maine around 1976-77, and I also learned from the people in this case details of supernatural, haunting type events, I again experimented with psychometry. Again I was told that my impressions were very accurate. This time though the situation got really kind of spooky. I began telling the people my psychic impressions about the activity, and at one point I told people to go outside, look in a certain part of the sky at a certain time, and we would see a UFO manifestation. We did see unexplained shafts of light, in the direction I said, but also other directions as well. One time one of the people told me how if I were to tell one of the women in the group that I was Jesus Christ she would probably believe it. I laughed at that and figured he was joking, but at the same time he was serious that I had greatly impressed her with the accuracy of the readings.

But then I gave a reading for someone where it seemed like everything I said was wrong! This person and I had earlier had some tension between us (whether or not that may have affected the outcome), and in a way I believe I wanted to prove to him that I had more of an open mind than he believed I did. (I believe he felt I was something of a skeptic because when I investigated his family’s UFO claims a colleague and I had dismissed some of the sightings as stars and planets) At any rate, one evening one of the people from Manchester was standing in the driveway of my parents home talking with me about all of this. I was explaining that I just didn’t know about this psychometry, and that if I really had any power or ability then I could make something happen like this, and I pointed south of our location, at which point a bright flash appeared right where I was pointing! We got in a car and drove over to that area. A tree limb had fallen onto some power lines. My reaction was, “See, it was natural.” My friend replied something like, “But what broke the tree limb!?”

At any rate, because it was obviously very difficult for me to maintain accuracy consistently in all situations, in looking back it does intrigue me now that my highest rates of accuracy were achieved in the presence of people allegedly having psychic or supernatural experiences. Over the years, I have often heard of how people around psychics, haunted locations, or sacred sites, suddenly and unexpectedly have had their own experiences or developed temporary psychic sensitivity.

In a way to prove it to myself, over the years I have kept a journal of my own dreams and possible psychic experiences (which haven’t been that many). But there have been enough episodes that in a number of instances I was pretty certain that genuine psychic functioning was behind it. Especially intriguing are dreams that appear to be of a precognitive nature.

Speaking of looking toward the future, hindsight is always better than foresight. I recall a time I strangely felt a UFO was going to appear in the sky. This was back around 1968, a time when I hadn’t been in the UFO field for very long. I even sat at a window and watched the sky off to the west for several minutes. I finally figured that my behavior was too strange, and I think my parents were beginning to wonder about me. Next day though there it was in the newspaper, a brilliant fireball seen from Maine to New York. As I learned later, if I had just kept looking my quest would have payed off. I figured I hadn’t missed seeing the “fireball” myself but by possibly only a few minutes or so. My impression was right, the direction was right. But, alas, I brushed it off as “coincidence.”

In looking back I feel like I had missed opportunities. I had a good number of odd, synchronistic “coincidences,” but I had no real idea what to do with them. Context is always important to any investigative endeavor. Initially as a “ufologist” I functioned within a rather limited context that was ill-prepared to deal with matters of the so-called “paranormal.” Years later, however, being more familiar with the writings and ideas of Dr. Jung, Keel, Prof. Vallee, Dr. Schwarz, and our own Dr. Little, the context is greatly expanded and the possible meaning and significance seems clearer. Wyoming psychologist Dr. R. Leo Sprinkle, a noted UFO researcher and hypnotherapist, has over the years actively experimented in hundreds of instances in trying to give his clients (many of them UFO experiencers) “psychic” readings–something he calls “psychological resonance.” Details are provided in his 1999 book Soul Samples, Personal Explorations In Reincarnation and UFO Experiences.

Of course, the frustrating thing as I and so many others have learned and experienced is that these “meaningful coincidences” (synchronicities) and so forth most generally happen “out of the blue,” and that when you consciously try to direct apparent psychic processes absolute control is unfortunately absent. Many people try and work around the perceived conscious obstacles by using cards, tea leaves, pendulums, and other techniques to hopefully access areas of the presumed subconscious mind wherein such abilities may reside. Studies thus far do seem to point to increased right brain activity in connection with psychic functioning–the side of the brain more commonly associated with daydreaming and artistic modes of thinking. Perhaps someday scientists will be able to specifically focus on psychic functions using brain scan technology. Already they’re working on such technology to experimentally “read” people’s conscious thoughts–to figure out what’s going on in their minds based on brain scan imagery.

In the meantime, we must continue to roll up our sleeves and keep recording our dreams, impressions, and spontaneous experiences with the paranormal, and when possible experimenting with these processes. Then maybe one fine day we’ll come to possess the knowledge and know-how wherein we can address these matters much more directly–with no more guess work. But for now there is still much grassroots work to be done. We’re obviously not there yet!