The Book

About the author

Ian Webb has an extensive background in Psychology and holds a research degree. He is currently working in local government in the UK. After hearing several “strange stories” around people experiencing unusual phenomena, Ian went back to academic research to see if he could explain these stories. After extensively researching the paranormal literature, this is the book what I wanted to read before I started researching paranormal. Hence, The Quantum Mind: Can Science explain Paranormal Phenomena? was created.

Chapter 1– Introduction to the Paranormal

The first chapter covers the foundations of paranormal research. It will include a discussion on the definition of paranormal and a basic overview of research methodology (which consists of an evaluation scale of research into the paranormal). The final part of the chapter looks to answer a fundamental question: Are paranormal beliefs and experiences common in the general population.
The reader will come away from this chapter with
(1) A brief overview of paranormal topics.
(2) An understanding of the strengths and limitations of the paranormal definition.
(3) Oversight into crucial concepts in paranormal research designs (including an evaluation scale that can be applied to all paranormal research).
(4) How many people believe in paranormal and limitations of research around beliefs.
(5) What proportion of the population reported paranormal experiences.

Chapter 2– Theoretical Basis to the Paranormal

This chapter builds upon the end of chapter 1 to focus on a possible theoretical basis to paranormal phenomena. The first section examines how we perceive the world and evidence from eye witness testimonies. It forms the basis of standard explanations for paranormal phenomena. The rest of the chapter focuses on a possible theoretical basis for paranormal phenomena. It will include a look at consciousness and the foundations of quantum mechanics. It will consist of two quantum mechanics phenomena (observer and entanglement theories) that have similarities with the paranormal phenomena. The final part of the chapter concludes with some studies demonstrating the human ability to influence the environment around themselves by none normal means. The chapter sets up the rest of the book to examine paranormal phenomena.
The reader will come away from this chapter with:
(1) An understanding of how the brain misinterprets the environment (which can explain some witness accounts of paranormal phenomena).
(2) An opinion that humans shouldn’t assume that our sense of reality is complete.
(3) The different types of alternate states of consciousness.
(4) The commonalities between Quantum Mechanics research and Paranormal research.
(5) Some experiments and case studies are showing how humans can influence the environment by non-normal means.

Chapter 3 – Near Death Experiences

The first major paranormal topic covered in this book is Near Death Experiences (NDE). An NDE is when people are close to death/ technically dead who are later revived and report similar experiences. Most of the chapter describes people’s accounts of their NDE giving an overview of the 1000’s of documented cases. A small part of the chapter examines witness accounts around someone’s death, including witness testimony from hospital/hospice staff. The final part of the section explores the similarities between NDEs and Out of Body Experiences (OBE).
The reader will come away from this chapter with:
(1) Similarities in reported experiences in NDEs.
(2) The prevalence rate of NDEs in populations with the high mortality rate, i.e., hospices/hospitals, etc.
(3) Strengths and limitations of research methodologies into NDEs.
(4) Understand theories to explain NDEs, which will allow the reader (s) to make their mind’s up.

Chapter 4 – Mediums

Mediums are people who claim to be able to contact the spirit world and communicate with deceased people. I have taken two approaches in the book; (1) documenting cases studies of mediums and séance groups who claim to have evidence of communication with spirits and (2) laboratory research evidence into mediumship. There is a wealth of documentation in medium research, which this book explores.
The reader will come away from this chapter with:
(1) Understanding of what is a medium and some case studies of famous mediums.
(2) Understanding of how fake mediums work.
(3) Protocols into laboratory mediumship research.
(4) Laboratory research into mediums.
(5) Being able to understand debates around mediumship research to allow the reader to come to a conclusion about whether mediums have a special ability.

Chapter 5 – Remote Viewing

Perhaps the least known paranormal topic in the public arena is remote viewing. Remote viewing is the alleged ability for people to see things at different locations to themselves, often separated by thousands of miles. There are similarities between mediumship and remote viewing as both investigate claims people can see things that are beyond the normal perception. Remote viewing research came into the West’s public focus in the 1970s with a series of articles stating a US government research programme with positive findings for such phenomena. The book reports experimental results and a number of operational results before the programme closed in the 1990s. We also discuss other research around remote viewing in Archaeology and Financial Markets.
The reader will come away from this chapter with:
(1) An understanding of remote viewing.
(2) The debates around remote viewing methodology.
(3) Case studies of remote viewing.
(4) Experimental research into remote viewing.
(5) Theories of remote viewing giving the reader enough information to come to their own decision about whether remote viewing exists or not.

Chapter 6 – Haunting

Chapter 6 focuses on case studies and investigations into haunted locations. Naturally, the starting point is whether there is any evidence that recently deceased persons attempt to contact their loved ones. Most of the chapter focuses on case studies of hauntings where there is more than one independent witness. The chapter discusses the two types of haunting; (1) those interactive with people and (2) those that don’t appear interactive with people. The final part of the chapter focuses on the relationship between haunting and the environment.
The reader will come away from this chapter with:
(1) Prevalence rates of peoples experiences of being contacted by a deceased loved one.
(2) Several cases studies of hauntings (both interactive and non-interactive experiences).
(3) The relationship between environment and hauntings.
(4) Enough information for the reader to determine whether there is such a thing as hauntings.

Chapter 7 – Poltergeist

I present a range of poltergeist cases that have common features. In the vast majority of poltergeist cases, there is a central person that have common elements (such as age, psychological and neurological profile). The chapter concludes that poltergeist phenomena are real and the most likely explanation that it is human-made.
The reader will come away from this chapter with:
(1) An understanding of some case studies demonstrating poltergeist phenomena are real and have happened for hundreds of years.
(2) The characteristic of people at the center of the poltergeist phenomena.
(3) Similar neurological and psychological profiles of people at the center of the poltergeist phenomena.
(4) Cases where medical intervention have reduced/ceased poltergeist phenomena.

Chapter 8 – Extra Sensory Perception (ESP)

In this chapter, we discuss experimental research into ESP. The first part of the chapter examines laboratory research into three common claims of paranormal phenomena in the general public; (1) are twins telepathic? (2) can people predict when someone is about to call? (3) can dogs read human minds? The rest of the chapter focuses on the two main areas of research in ESP laboratory experiments; Telepathy (via the Ganzfeld experiments) and precognition.
The reader will come away from this chapter with:
(1) Understanding of experimental design in ESP research.
(2) Enough information to come away with the view of whether the three common claims are real phenomena.
(3) Understanding of debates around telepathic and precognition research.
(4) The similarities between paranormal and quantum mechanics research.

Chapter 9 – Can People influence People/Objects

Chapter 9 investigates claims that people can affect people/objects beyond normal means (PK). The first topic we begin with is a claim made by the general public that you can feel someone staring at you. The main content of this chapter is research around three PK topics; influencing people’s attention, global consciousness studies and distance healing. The final part of the chapter brings ESP and PK research together to examine the psychological and neurological profile of people who claim to perform such tasks.
The reader will come away from this chapter with:
(1) Understanding whether there is experimental evidence for people sensing been stared at.
(2) The strengths and weakness of PK research.
(3) The similarities between quantum mechanics and paranormal phenomena.
(4) The association between people who can perform ESP/PK with their psychological and neurological profile.
(5) Environmental factors relating to ESP and PK.

Chapter 10 – Past Lives/ Reincarnation

The final topic we discuss is past lives or commonly known as reincarnation. It is the belief that people who die can come back to life as another person in the future. The majority of the chapter focuses on two sections; (1) Case studies of Past Life research and (2) Commonalities between cases in children’s past life memories (such as birthmarks corresponding to how the previous life ended, unusual behavior in the child and phobias relating the previous life). The final part of the chapter discusses cases of Xenoglossy.
The reader will come away from this chapter with:
(1) An understanding of the strengths and limitations of the cases studies into past lives.
(2) Awareness of the common themes in past lives studies.
(3) Knowledge about the debate into past life research to make their minds up about the cases of past lives/ reincarnation.