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Phantasms, Time-Slips and the Oz Factor

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posted on Oct, 24 2018 @ 05:23 AM
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The Marching Damned...




An interesting concept we see in ufology is known as the Oz Factor. It was coined by the English researcher, Jenny Randles, and highlighted a common feature of reported close encounters – silence. She wrote, 'the sensation of being isolated, or transported from the real world into a different environmental framework. . . . I call this the 'Oz Factor,' after the fairytale land of Oz.' It’s generally considered a UFO-related idea, but it also links in with other extraordinary reports which may involve time slips, ghosts, sea monsters and Fortean curiosities. The ever excellent Dr Michael Swords wrote about old sea serpent reports and highlighted how several specifically noted how unusually flat and quiet the sea had become.


I posted a thread about three lost boys (Time Slips and Olde England...maybe?) that included a notable silence and possibly ties in to the report further below. The Naval cadets somehow found themselves in what looked like a Dark Ages abandoned village complete with rotting meat in a butcher's window. Here’s how the boys described their odd experience:


Looking back, the really strange thing was the silence. The way the church bells stopped ringing as the little group of naval cadets neared the village. The way even the ducks stood quiet and motionless by the shallow stream that ran across the road where the main street began.

And, when the boys thought about it afterward, they recalled that even the autumn birdsong faded as they neared the first houses. The wind had dropped to nothing, too.

Not a leaf stirred on the trees they passed. And the trees appeared to cast no shadows.
When Three British Boys Traveled to Medieval England (Or Did They?)

Randles, Swords, Dash and Fort are people I’ve long admired for their originality and willingness to speculate with boots firmly on the ground. Frank Podmore was a similar character who wrote extensively on such things in the late 19th and early 20th Century. In his book, Studies in Psychical Research (page 273), there's a very early example of the Oz factor and a genuinely enchanting scene.

Three ladies on the way home from church drifted into the boundary lands between time and reality.





***











What a beautiful and mysterious thing to experience! It parallels the naval cadets both in its silence and its time out of joint eeriness. It also strongly reminds me of Charles Fort’s comment on Fortean events: Battalions of the accursed, captained by pallid data that I have exhumed, will march. You'll read them—or they'll march. Some of them livid and some of them fiery and some of them rotten.


The report was supported by one of the other ladies sending a letter of affirmation to the Society for Psychical Research. We’re looking at a highly detailed report involving three people all seeing the same things at the same time. Isn’t it fascinating?

In the linked article, Dash argues that cases like these are expressions of derealisation. This is a psychological disconnect whereby someone suddenly, or gradually, feels as though they’re outside of consensus reality. It’s largely associated with mental disorders and we’ll never know what state of mind the ladies were in and can only speculate. Podmore favoured a ‘collective hallucination on the basis of illusory perception.' I wonder how charismatic Mrs E.F. was and if perhaps she convinced the others of what she was seeing? Likewise, if there was a folie à deux situation, it wouldn't be apparent in the letter which is really a tip of the iceberg.

I think the issue with derealisation is explaining how three individuals could simultaneously experience it. A problem with the collective hallucination is they reportedly saw the same things. Interestingly, it also seems they were very rational and objective to test each other’s perceptions and confirm what they saw. This in itself could point to a collective dissociative state and yet there’s an element of fear in play which suggests a natural emotional connection to the theatre before them. The letter isn't enough to take us further than speculation and it's neutral enough to invite any explanation that suits us.



The clothes of the figures were outdated and we can guess Mrs E. F’s reference to ‘high bonnets’ could describe clothes from the early 19th Century when her mother was young. The figures were very short and described as ‘dwarf-like’ which is quite a twist considering people weren’t so short in the 1820s. The tall man is reminiscent of the folkloric gentleman devil and the final two ‘hideous’ men have echoes of lost souls. As experiences go, I'm not sure if I'd appreciate this one or not. There's a Halloween element in terms of the ghoulish male faces and the detail of 'sparks round their faces' is quite evocative too. Electrical effects?

If I can speculate for a moment, it strikes me that percipients and experiencers of these unusual events tend to see what they can relate to. Podmore was talking about telepathy as some kind of medium which would perhaps explain a few incidents. It's no good explaining unknowns with unknowns, but in his day telepathy was a real possibility and newish concept.

There's also long been a debate about possibilities of external agents causing the Oz Factor. In that scenario something from Elsewhere detaches one or more people from our reality and drops them into what seems like a different one. Another perspective is the external agent interacts with the percipients on a psychological level using their own reference points. This is why I pointed out the comparison to Mrs E.F's mother. In the same way our subconscious communicates with our conscious minds using deeply symbolic imagery (dreams) we can't assume something from Elsewhere would 'speak' to our limited, conscious minds. Perhaps information is relayed in the subconscious depths?

Another interesting explanation is the three ladies somehow slipped time and entered the threshold of another world. Imagine if missing people are simply lost to other worlds? It's not an idea I rate highly despite it being like fuel for my imagination...and many short story authors. Or, as it's Halloween, maybe they caught a glimpse of the souls of the damned being marched through the fog of time by the Devil himself.

edit on 10.24.2018 by Kandinsky because: Fixed formatting...a bit.




posted on Oct, 24 2018 @ 06:05 AM
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a reply to: Kandinsky

What a beautiful thread


To some it might seem like "psychological" might describe anything, but to me the mystery remains: what triggered it? Our brain is truly a miracle machine. Especially if it's more than one describing the exact same thing. Does our mind really influence others that heavily? Or is that only happening at places with telepathic fields?

So many questions.



posted on Oct, 24 2018 @ 06:18 AM
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a reply to: Peeple

It's been tucked away in a folder for nearly six years. I'm glad you enjoyed it; you're one of maybe half a dozen who I thought would like it.


What triggers these events is foremost in my mind too. As mentioned, external or internal? Podmore wrote a lot about telepathy and, in his way, was exploring the same areas as ufologists do now. He was working out the extent of consciousness with a late 19th century vocabulary and wooden ruler.



posted on Oct, 24 2018 @ 06:24 AM
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a reply to: Kandinsky

What was the ruler for? Haha these 19th century freaks. We can't even agree on what consciousness is, so maybe I shouldn't laugh to loudly...
I believe it's triggered by something. Gas maybe? But then more people walking there would see fancy things. Truly a mystery. Toxoplasma gondii? Everything I don't know is toxoplasma. A cloud of gas. Or some intoxication of whatever kind.



posted on Oct, 24 2018 @ 06:35 AM
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a reply to: Peeple

Toxoplasma gondii? It's a real tough case to explain isn't it? It can't be the popular ghost of CIA experiments though...for a welcome change.

The woman reads like a sceptical person who will have wanted a rational explanation imo. I was struck by them looking at a figure and then asking what each other was seeing. It's not the sound of an hysterical personality or someone who sees ghosts everywhere. A rational reporter fwiw.

Believe it or not, fog turns out to be a good conductor of electrical energy. It struck me they were immersed in a thick fog and something BOLesque fritzed their brains and they started having visions of memories from childhood. A stretch, but it's enjoyable playing with ideas.
edit on 10.24.2018 by Kandinsky because: (no reason given)



posted on Oct, 24 2018 @ 06:53 AM
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a reply to: Kandinsky

There is always electrical over land lines or fog, so it might be like with the god helmet, just a fried brain?



posted on Oct, 24 2018 @ 07:07 AM
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originally posted by: Peeple
a reply to: Kandinsky

There is always electrical over land lines or fog, so it might be like with the god helmet, just a fried brain?


Testable. Stand in a steamy bathroom with jump leads and a car battery. Who goes first?


It seems like they were all seeing the same thing so their minds were firing fairly normally. The three presumably had something stimulating their optical cortex, tickling the retinas and firing the synapses. It's hard to accept all of that and not regard it as a 'reality' they were all three sharing.

As much as I like to wonder about external agents and internal stimuli, the coherent narratives puzzle me. It suggests a separate, or imposed, reality and raises all the questions about what reality is. They'd be interesting to interview for sure and I wonder if they lost any time on the walk home that night? Another passing thought is the experience lasted more than seconds as they walked from church to home. If it was many minutes, I'm back to favouring an hallucinatory explanation.

Sincerely puzzled.


ETA - I posted this in another thread and it seems to fit in here too.

edit on 10.24.2018 by Kandinsky because: (no reason given)



posted on Oct, 24 2018 @ 08:41 AM
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posted on Oct, 24 2018 @ 09:19 AM
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Most excellent reading for Halloween, Kandy, thank you for the treat.


I found the men with "sparks all round their faces" a fascinating detail. Very visual. For me it added to the overall feel that this was a legitimate experience for the letter writer. It also accentuates the other hints--ubiquitous to high-strangeness--of our own physiological electrical systems as somehow involved in such experiences.

Glad to see a tip of your hat to Ms. Randles. I also find her one of the very sharpest in the phenomenology/Fortean realm.



posted on Oct, 24 2018 @ 01:24 PM
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a reply to: The GUT



I found the men with "sparks all round their faces" a fascinating detail. Very visual. For me it added to the overall feel that this was a legitimate experience for the letter writer.


It's almost timeless in the quality of its parts. The 'sparks' stand out even more given the incident reportedly happened in 1870/72. The little detail is quite original and eye catching. The letter possibly remained in my thoughts all these years because it seems lost in the book. It's in the ghosts chapter and, like you mention, has a 'high strangeness' quality rather than a ghosties anecdote.


Podmore was a great thinker and somewhat like Vallee et al in trying to identify what lies beyond the experiences. It's a thoughtful book and well worth browsing for his thoughts on the wealth of reports.



posted on Oct, 24 2018 @ 01:43 PM
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originally posted by: Kandinsky
It seems like they were all seeing the same thing so their minds were firing fairly normally. The three presumably had something stimulating their optical cortex, tickling the retinas and firing the synapses. It's hard to accept all of that and not regard it as a 'reality' they were all three sharing.



Or a story that they had composed together as a "jape"? The police get suspicious when the testimonies of witnesses are too alike for good reason.

It is though a lovely story from the SPR annals, and having been treated so kindly when I visited them, finding them to be incredibly sincere gentlemen (if there were ladies I didn't meet any), I won't have a word said against them but...

In 1882 the English speaking world was completely obsessed, or perhaps mesmerised is a better choice, with all things psychical. Podmore himself, with Frederick Myers, was the subject of a hoax with his experiments in Brighton with telepathic communication, despite the magicians involved coming clean, Podmore and Myers refused to believe them.

Given that mesmerism was so popular at the time, practically everyone was at it, Charles Warren used self-hypnosis to treat his pain after an injury, there is hardly a memoir of that time that doesn't refer to the powers of hypnosis it would seem more likely, to me, that the three ladies had been "mesmerised" into believing they had stepped into another world.

I am willing to forget that I said all that and instead just appreciate the story for what it is - timely for halloween.



Thanks.



posted on Oct, 24 2018 @ 02:06 PM
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a reply to: KilgoreTrout

A lot of what you say is accurate and mesmerism was a popular topic then. Seances, mesmerism, poltergeists and more. With regards to the letter, there's no reference to telepathy or mesmerism. It's a stand-alone missive with intriguing elements and I'm cool if you disagree.


'Japes' are always a possibility. It's the same in our time with extraordinary encounters. If we can't explain them, we can brush them off as hoaxes and japes. The existence of hoaxers doesn't persuade me that all claimants are hoaxers. Likewise, being hoaxed doesn't inevitably downgrade the victim to inconsequential status. Again, you could disagree and I'm still cool.

I'm reminded of Conan Doyle. His propensity to being conned means I don't take him seriously. Podmore is someone I respect and it's nigh on impossible to avoid falling for the occasional hoax.



posted on Oct, 24 2018 @ 03:26 PM
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Being hoaxed doesn't prove anything, but continuing to believe the hoax after it is revealed does suggest a lack of objectivity.


originally posted by: KilgoreTrout
Podmore himself, with Frederick Myers, was the subject of a hoax with his experiments in Brighton with telepathic communication, despite the magicians involved coming clean, Podmore and Myers refused to believe them.


Do you have a reference for those experiments and the magicians' names? I couldn't find any.

Myers was far more credulous than Podmore.



posted on Oct, 24 2018 @ 08:00 PM
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a reply to: Kandinsky
Thank you for the departure from "reality". I don't know if mods can applaud each other, so APPLAUSE!

This discussion reminds me of a scene from Battlestar Galactica...

It's a crappy video, but it makes the point.

I am fascinated that we as humans of the 21rst century seem to know there is so much more to the universe than we can perceive with our "5" senses. We even create machines to translate those things into a form we can experience, such as the recent NASA release of sounds of the planets...

Soaring to the depths of our universe, gallant spacecraft roam the cosmos, snapping images of celestial wonders. Some spacecraft have instruments capable of capturing radio emissions. When scientists convert these to sound waves, the results are eerie to hear.

Spooky Space Sounds

...or an infrared camera. Yet, on the other hand we consistently skepticize what is possible. We willfully limit our own perceptions, and therefore potential experiences. Whatever can't be quantified doesn't exist, until it does. Who's to say what these ladies actually experienced, but the idea that one or more individuals could experience a (possibly distorted) moment in time doesn't sound so "derealistic" to me considering we live in a universe that is ever in flux, and all that we don't know about it. Just a thought...or two.


BTW, the Oz factor sounds a little like something one might experience if the "stone tape theory" holds any water.
edit on 10/24/2018 by Klassified because: too much



posted on Oct, 25 2018 @ 01:51 AM
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a reply to: Klassified

Man, that's a great video link and fresh because I haven't seen the show at all. The concepts it expressed were pretty cool and thoughtful. Sci-fi has been on the up in recent years because they've got new vocabulary and concepts to work with.



I agree with your points as well as sharing in your feeling of wonder for the unknown. It's not for everyone, is it? I don't know what happened with the women, it's the familiar factors that caught my eye and imagination. It would have been cool if there'd been a follow-up to see if they could offer more details and if anything else happened in subsequent days.



Yet, on the other hand we consistently skepticize what is possible. We willfully limit our own perceptions, and therefore potential experiences.


Last week I had a dream about someone I worked with 12 years ago and haven't had any contact in 8 years. I dreamt he was in my workplace and I was introducing him to others. Next morning there's an email saying he's visiting on the 15th November and guess who'll be introducing him to others?

Coincidence is the first explanation and the sheer unlikelihood of the dream and email occurring at the same time makes it stand out and seem special. When such things happen, it makes the mind go up a few revs and try to make sense. In this case, it's quite a banal thing with presumably little or no effect on anyone else but me. I suspect these occur frequently and people tell a friend or loved one and forget about them.
edit on 10.25.2018 by Kandinsky because: (no reason given)



posted on Oct, 25 2018 @ 05:03 AM
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a reply to: Kandinsky

There is valid religious tradition involved in terms of liminal places and experiences of ascent and descent, take for example Merkaba tradition and the Doctrine of the Heavenly Palace;


These four worlds are spiritual, Heavenly realms in a descending chain, although the lowest world of Assiah has both a spiritual and a physical aspect. The physical level of Assiah is our physical finite realm, including the cosmological Universe studied by Science. Consequently, as Kabbalah is a metaphysical study, its reference to Ohr ("light") is a metaphor for Divine emanation, and the terms "higher" and "lower" are metaphors for closer and further from Divine consciousness and revelation.


Merkaba tradition

That's highly influential in Masonic tradition were the allegorical Temple of Solomon is such a liminal place reconstructed in the Lodge, a supposed place of ascent, there are variations on this in other traditions as its the basis for any Temple complex.

From my own experience imagine a theme park, Palace of Heavenly Purity Forbidden City, that transcends space and time held together by force fields of pure intellect, a meeting place of minds from across the entire Universe that can manifest in any form within such, a great feature for any Universe to have and one were much could be learned but one that maintains certain strictures as per entry and one that certain mystagogues in conjunction with certain institutions and certain governments attempt to gain entry too unsuccessfully, even trying to reproduce the basis of such emanation.

The lower levels are perhaps not as selective as the upper and occasionally will manifest spontaneously in terms of disturbed paranoia and confusion of time and space, a realm of ghosts.



posted on Oct, 25 2018 @ 05:28 AM
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a reply to: Madrusa

Hello Madrusa, you often make thought-provoking posts.




The lower levels are perhaps not as selective as the upper and occasionally will manifest spontaneously in terms of disturbed paranoia and confusion of time and space, a realm of ghosts.


It's an interesting possibility and I suppose these would be more like the 'hungry ghosts' of Buddhist literature? The description of a busy parade of phantasmagoric pedestrians and dogs has the sheen of a glimpse into another world. Who knows? It reminds me of popular depictions of Yomi, the Japanese land of the dead, and also the 'Secret Commonwealth of Elves, Fauns and Fairies' from the 17th Century.

I like your suggestion and any of these other ideas share the notion of a world within a greater world. One would then ask which one are we?



posted on Oct, 25 2018 @ 06:14 AM
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a reply to: Kandinsky

Yes consider a State of Mind in the greater collective sense and the inter-connectedness of all Worlds, most religious traditions with regards to Temple complexes have various precincts of sanctity and entry were the outer is common to all, the inner sanctum the realm of the Divine and of the Immortal.

In theory this physical realm stands higher than that of the Underworld and so descent into such lies with the discretion of the individual, there is no basis for forbidding entry, or it is simply as leaving the outermost precinct of the complex for the wilderness.

To use a modern analogy such as the MMORPG there are servers within servers and it is possible to switch hence the traditional purpose of grades/levels facilitating entry to such, the theory is there and the tradition but understanding and practise is more problematic and the whole thing has fallen into disrepute such that it's all just newbs in the starter zone these days, it's a mental construct.



BTW with regards to elves, they make a great fuss over appropriate foot wear with regards to entering into the inner sanctum, mode of travel involves wearing the right shoes, this also related to walking the shining path of the Immortals.
edit on 25-10-2018 by Madrusa because: (no reason given)



posted on Oct, 25 2018 @ 12:39 PM
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a reply to: Kandinsky

I suppose millions have experienced some sort of oddity from a different world, time or dimension ( I have a few times) but when we leave this Earth then the answers might be hopefully be answered.



posted on Oct, 25 2018 @ 12:57 PM
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a reply to: Kandinsky


Man, that's a great video link and fresh because I haven't seen the show at all. The concepts it expressed were pretty cool and thoughtful. Sci-fi has been on the up in recent years because they've got new vocabulary and concepts to work with.

I think the new BSG is among the best re-boots of a series I have ever seen. It is a layered show. The surface, the philosophical, and the "Easter eggs" for those with the observational ambition to pick them out. This scene with the few minutes before and after being one of them.


I agree with your points as well as sharing in your feeling of wonder for the unknown. It's not for everyone, is it?

Agreed.


Last week I had a dream about someone I worked with 12 years ago and haven't had any contact in 8 years. I dreamt he was in my workplace and I was introducing him to others. Next morning there's an email saying he's visiting on the 15th November and guess who'll be introducing him to others?

Lol. I enjoy experiencing this kind of thing. It's a reminder that I'm not even close to having it all figured out.


Coincidence is the first explanation and the sheer unlikelihood of the dream and email occurring at the same time makes it stand out and seem special. When such things happen, it makes the mind go up a few revs and try to make sense. In this case, it's quite a banal thing with presumably little or no effect on anyone else but me. I suspect these occur frequently and people tell a friend or loved one and forget about them.

Ah, but who knows what epiphanies and/or events may come out of what is now perceived as mundane.




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