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The band “The Grateful Dead” has become well-known throughout the decades for its classic rock sound and concerts at Winterland, with its status and recognition becoming even more elevated with the passing of band member Jerry Garcia. Probably less known about The Grateful Dead is that the band had once participated in a dream ESP experiment in the early 1970s.
The dream ESP experiment with The Grateful Dead was among those contained in the database that Child looked at. The purpose of that particular experiment was to look at how the dream ESP experience of the receiver was affected if the number of senders was multiplied by about 2,000. In other words, would dream ESP improve if more than one sender was used; in this case, nearly 2,000 senders? The band members of The Grateful Dead, having visited the Maimonides sleep lab and learned about the dream ESP research going on there, agreed to try a dream ESP experiment with their audience during a series of six concerts they were giving in early 1971 (Krippner, Honorton, & Ullman, 1973).
The experiment was focused on dream telepathy, with the senders being the audience of “Deadheads” and the receiver being English psychic subject Malcolm Bessent, who had scored well in previous ESP experiments, particularly in those testing for precognition. Each night in the sleep lab at Maimonides, Bessent would go to bed early so that he would be asleep by 11:30 PM, when the experiment would begin. At that same time, the audience in attendance at The Grateful Dead concert would be shown a series of six slides that were being projected onto a large screen above the stage.