Sunday, January 22, 2012

#281: Edgar Mitchell

A legend among nutjobs, Edgar Mitchell is a former Apollo astronaut who has actually walked on the moon. He is just as famous for being an UFO conspiracy loon, and is of course a hero among the UFO nutters because Mitchell must obviously have some insider info.

To undermine the last shreds of his credibility, Mitchell founded the Institute of Noetic Sciences (current president Marilyn Schlitz should be considered indicted by this entry as well). Noetic science is basically medical woo peppered with postmodernism (i.e. word-salads, reason and evidence are Western tools for oppressing other insights, and so on): “Noetic sciences are explorations into the nature and potentials of consciousness using multiple ways of knowing – including intuition, feeling, reason, and the senses. Noetic sciences explore the ‘inner cosmos’ of the mind (consciousness, soul, spirit) and how it relates to the ‘outer cosmos’ of the physical world.” His institute has unsurprisingly made it to Quackwatch. Among people associated with the Institute, special mention should go to DeanRadin.

Apparently Mitchell tried to conduct private ESP experiments with his friends on Earth during the Apollo flight, and he claims to have had his purported kidney cancer purportedly distance-healed by Adam“Dreamhealer” McLeod. Mitchell is also fond of (and may have been the inventor of) the Quantum Hologram (though the idea is old), the property of all physical things only accessible to psychics (i.e. Mitchell has no clue about quantum mechanics). According to Mitchell, the quantum hologram theory has explanatory power – it can explain RupertSheldrake’s morphic field theory, for instance. Not much else can do that.

Mitchell is sure that UFOs visit Earth and have been the “subject of disinformation in order to deflect attention and to create confusion so the truth doesn't come out” (like UFO-conspiracy nuts, Mitchell has no coherent story about exactly why the truth must be kept hidden). Apparently the evidence for such alien contact is “very strong” and “classified” by governments, who are covering up visitations and the existence of alien beings' bodies in places such as Roswell (i.e. the evidence is very strong, but Mitchell hasn’t actually seen any of it). UFOs have also provided “sonic engineering secrets” that have been helpful to the U.S. government.

Apparently Mitchell’s condition has declined over time (interview here). Currently the tenor is: “I happen to have been privileged enough to be in on the fact that we've been visited on this planet, and the UFO phenomenon is real.” He knows this since he has talked to people who were at Roswell back then, but who are conveniently dead at present. You can watch him call for the government to stop hiding the truth here.

This is an interesting description of Mitchell’s spectacular failure to experimentally prove ESP; it’s worth the read for the staggering methodological problems with the experiment – and Mitchell still didn’t get significant results (though he presented them as such).

Diagnosis: Wackaloon. He has a lot of followers (at least among the UFOers); whether he can really be considered particularly dangerous is a different matter.

1 comment:

  1. One of my favorite entries: on the UFO front I hope you don't pass up Stanton T Friedman since you're getting close to the Fs again.