Mod+ Can you make a cloud disappear? An informal Skeptiko experiment.

#1
I hope this post complies with the intent of this topic - I think it does, and I think many may find it interesting because it's something you can try yourself. If you do, please post your results - I'm genuinely curious about this. I'd be grateful if we could approach this with the agreement that, for our narrow purposes here, there is great deal of evidence that PK is real and we're just considering one possible example of that; if you believe PK is not real, that's a different discussion but please still consider doing the experiment.

In Bill Bengston's book "The Energy Cure," he mentions that his psychic friend Ben seemed to be able to make clouds disappear. This struck me as quite plausible under the right conditions. If you go out on a nice blue-sky day with, say, 30% scattered white clouds and no particular trend to the weather, I would think that any given cloud would be in a state of quasi-equilibrium, with many droplets evaporating while many others are forming. Thus, we have a quasi-random process without a discernible trend, which is the sweet spot for PK experiments.

Now, full disclosure, I've never had any personal experience that would suggest psi is real - my opinions are pretty much based on book learnin', (of which I do have a lot in this field:eek:). But I couldn't get this experiment out of my mind - it was tempting, yet it made me nervous. What if it works? What if it doesn't?

One day late last spring, while walking my dog in the foothills of the Cascades where I live, I picked a small cloud that was similar to other small clouds in that area of the sky, relatively close (probably within about a half mile, I think), opaque, and about the size of my thumb at arm's length or a bit bigger. If you do the math that makes the cloud roughly 200 feet long, so it wasn't insignificant. I stopped walking and intended the cloud to disappear. I stood there for five minutes feeling foolish but hopeful, intending, but nothing major happened so, having a short attention (intention;)) span, I deemed the experiment a failure and started walking again.

A couple of minutes later I looked up and saw that the same cloud had dwindled to about half its original size while neighboring clouds hadn't changed noticeably. I stopped walking again and, after I stopped laughing, continued with my intention. The cloud dwindled and, maybe 10-12 minutes after the start of the experiment it was a barely visible wisp, which by my rules, which I made up on the spot, counted as a success (remember, short attention span).

It was a month or more before I tried the experiment again - I hesitated because now I had something to lose - I didn't want to disabuse myself of the possibility that I have a tiny psychic bone, or at least tendon, in my body after all. Finally, I tried again and... scored another success, within ten minutes, which I now set as my time goal (I mean, what wuss would give up after five minutes?)

Without belaboring this any further, I have tried the experiment a dozen times to date, with nine successes, all within about ten minutes, and three failures, i.e., no significant change noticeable after ten minutes. Realistically, you have to set a time limit because on any given day if you watch the minor clouds for an hour, a lot of changes will happen. For that same reason, I will probably never be certain I'm causing the clouds to disappear (I'm really not certain of anything - I'm not smart enough:eek:), but the odds supporting that hypothesis are growing. By the way, some readers will already have considered the possibility that precognition could conceivably accomplish the same goal, by causing one to select the next cloud that is going to disappear due to natural processes; this seems less parsimonious though.

Please let us know if you try it, win or lose. Also, it would help if you'd also give your feelings about the reality of psi - the sheep/goat effect, you know. Confirmed skeptics may find their selected cloud turning into a thunderhead!:)
 

Paul C. Anagnostopoulos

Nap, interrupted.
Member
#2
One day late last spring, while walking my dog in the foothills of the Cascades where I live, I picked a small cloud that was similar to other small clouds in that area of the sky, relatively close (probably within about a half mile, I think), opaque, and about the size of my thumb at arm's length or a bit bigger. If you do the math that makes the cloud roughly 200 feet long, so it wasn't insignificant.
Can you show the math? I have no idea how you knew the distance from you to the cloud.

A couple of minutes later I looked up and saw that the same cloud had dwindled to about half its original size while neighboring clouds hadn't changed noticeably. I stopped walking again and, after I stopped laughing, continued with my intention. The cloud dwindled and, maybe 10-12 minutes after the start of the experiment it was a barely visible wisp, which by my rules, which I made up on the spot, counted as a success (remember, short attention span).
May I recommend that you select some clouds and see how long they take to disperse without intending that they do?

~~ Paul
 
#3
May I recommend that you select some clouds and see how long they take to disperse without intending that they do?

~~ Paul
That's a good experimental proposal, Paul. However, since this is a collective experiment, please let us know the results of your proposed experiment!:)

Regarding the size of the cloud: (the size of your thumb) is to (the distance of your thumb from your eye) as (the size of the cloud) is to (the distance of the cloud from your eye). At least, that's how I hope it works!:eek:
 
#4
I'm going to go ahead and add one more wrinkle to consider because I think this information could be useful in thinking about this. The most recent time I tried the disappearing cloud experiment I was, as it happened, successful. Flushed with that success, it occurred to me to try a variation, thinking, shouldn't it be just as easy to make a cloud appear as to make one disappear? If we're right about the quasi-equilibrium, quasi-random test conditions, that would seem to follow.

When my selected cloud was down to a faint wisp, within the roughly ten minute time frame (I generally don't use a watch:eek:), I picked another similar faint wisp a couple of fists (at arms-length) away in the sky and intended it to grow into a cloud similar to the one I had originally tried to make disappear (and succeeded(?)). Gratifyingly, and rather to my amazement, that did happen, within the usual ten minute time frame. However, just to keep me from feeling overly omnipotent (which was beginning to become a genuine danger:)) and to give me something interesting to chew on, the cloud that I had originally turned into a wisp also returned to its earlier robust cloud state, more or less, in the same ten minutes.

To be clear:
  • First ten minute period: [Cloud A becomes Wisp A]
  • Next ten minute period: [Wisp B becomes Cloud B] & [Wisp A becomes Cloud A2]

I don't draw any conclusions from this but it seems worth pursuing.
 
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#5
I hope this post complies with the intent of this topic - I think it does, and I think many may find it interesting because it's something you can try yourself. If you do, please post your results - I'm genuinely curious about this. I'd be grateful if we could approach this with the agreement that, for our narrow purposes here, there is great deal of evidence that PK is real and we're just considering one possible example of that; if you believe PK is not real, that's a different discussion but please still consider doing the experiment.

In Bill Bengston's book "The Energy Cure," he mentions that his psychic friend Ben seemed to be able to make clouds disappear. This struck me as quite plausible under the right conditions. If you go out on a nice blue-sky day with, say, 30% scattered white clouds and no particular trend to the weather, I would think that any given cloud would be in a state of quasi-equilibrium, with many droplets evaporating while many others are forming. Thus, we have a quasi-random process without a discernible trend, which is the sweet spot for PK experiments.

Now, full disclosure, I've never had any personal experience that would suggest psi is real - my opinions are pretty much based on book learnin', (of which I do have a lot in this field:eek:). But I couldn't get this experiment out of my mind - it was tempting, yet it made me nervous. What if it works? What if it doesn't?

One day late last spring, while walking my dog in the foothills of the Cascades where I live, I picked a small cloud that was similar to other small clouds in that area of the sky, relatively close (probably within about a half mile, I think), opaque, and about the size of my thumb at arm's length or a bit bigger. If you do the math that makes the cloud roughly 200 feet long, so it wasn't insignificant. I stopped walking and intended the cloud to disappear. I stood there for five minutes feeling foolish but hopeful, intending, but nothing major happened so, having a short attention (intention;)) span, I deemed the experiment a failure and started walking again.

A couple of minutes later I looked up and saw that the same cloud had dwindled to about half its original size while neighboring clouds hadn't changed noticeably. I stopped walking again and, after I stopped laughing, continued with my intention. The cloud dwindled and, maybe 10-12 minutes after the start of the experiment it was a barely visible wisp, which by my rules, which I made up on the spot, counted as a success (remember, short attention span).

It was a month or more before I tried the experiment again - I hesitated because now I had something to lose - I didn't want to disabuse myself of the possibility that I have a tiny psychic bone, or at least tendon, in my body after all. Finally, I tried again and... scored another success, within ten minutes, which I now set as my time goal (I mean, what wuss would give up after five minutes?)

Without belaboring this any further, I have tried the experiment a dozen times to date, with nine successes, all within about ten minutes, and three failures, i.e., no significant change noticeable after ten minutes. Realistically, you have to set a time limit because on any given day if you watch the minor clouds for an hour, a lot of changes will happen. For that same reason, I will probably never be certain I'm causing the clouds to disappear (I'm really not certain of anything - I'm not smart enough:eek:), but the odds supporting that hypothesis are growing. By the way, some readers will already have considered the possibility that precognition could conceivably accomplish the same goal, by causing one to select the next cloud that is going to disappear due to natural processes; this seems less parsimonious though.

Please let us know if you try it, win or lose. Also, it would help if you'd also give your feelings about the reality of psi - the sheep/goat effect, you know. Confirmed skeptics may find their selected cloud turning into a thunderhead!:)
What an interesting experiment . . . I'm gonna try it when the weather conditions are right.
 
#6
John, have you thought about asking a friend to select the cloud for you--just in case you are unconsciously selecting cloud types that are likely to change? Also, have you tried it on different cloud types and sizes?

It's an interesting point about the cloud being in a state of quasi-equilibrium. I can't help but be reminded of QM, and of the cloud being in a state of potential to grow or fade away: I mean, it's not like a fully solid or crystalized object. I suppose to be properly scientific, one would need to observe clouds with no intention to change them (maybe using time-lapse photography?) and determine the likelihood of any given cloud changing within a given time scale. I must admit, ten minutes seems like a pretty short time scale to me, but I haven't observed the rates at which clouds normally change.

It's an interesting experiment and I might try it myself, though it's possibly the wrong time of the year right now. Maybe next summer...
 

Paul C. Anagnostopoulos

Nap, interrupted.
Member
#7
That's a good experimental proposal, Paul. However, since this is a collective experiment, please let us know the results of your proposed experiment!:)
But that means I'm simply selecting a cloud, reading a book for awhile, and then checking if it has dispersed. Some will and some won't. It's the person with the ability that has to run the controls, so that you are selecting the same kinds of clouds under the same conditions.

Regarding the size of the cloud: (the size of your thumb) is to (the distance of your thumb from your eye) as (the size of the cloud) is to (the distance of the cloud from your eye). At least, that's how I hope it works!:eek:
Unfortunately, the ratio of the size of a cloud to its distance does not fix the numerator or denominator of the fraction. It could be a small, close cloud or a large, far cloud.

~~ Paul
 
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#8
John, have you thought about asking a friend to select the cloud for you--just in case you are unconsciously selecting cloud types that are likely to change? Also, have you tried it on different cloud types and sizes?

...I suppose to be properly scientific, one would need to observe clouds with no intention to change them (maybe using time-lapse photography?) and determine the likelihood of any given cloud changing within a given time scale. I must admit, ten minutes seems like a pretty short time scale to me, but I haven't observed the rates at which clouds normally change.
To date, I've just done clouds like those I described, rather small but opaque. On the right kind of day, you'll likely have your choice of several. You pick one and the others automatically become an informal control group. To date I haven't had any cloud disappear, or even dwindle substantially, other than my selected experimental subject - I was looking for that. However, as I mentioned in an earlier post, when I tried to make a cloud form, two formed:eek:.

Regarding larger clouds my thought was, if you pick a large cloud, the time required to cause it to evaporate (if, in fact this, is a real effect!) would have to be commensurately large and, or course, at large time scales clouds do all kinds of things. Also, from the beginning I've had the vague thought that the cloud you pick should not be prominent so that others looking up in the region might notice and think it odd that one cloud is going away - like, in an extreme case, a beautiful thunderhead or a cloud playing an important role in a striking sunset. I can't justify that thought rationally, it's just based on what I've learned about the seemingly furtive:) effects of psi. Well, perhaps I can justify it in a crude way. If it happens that several people are looking even vaguely at "your" cloud and enjoying its role in the sky, that would seem to form an expectation of continuity that may have an effect. Just a thought.

You (and Paul A also) mention doing a control experiment without intent. I haven't tried that; so far I've just been playing with this seeming phenomenon. But snapshots of the sky at five minute intervals would seem to be an effective way to put the experiment on a somewhat more robust footing - you could study them at your leisure.

There's one more point I've been mulling. I live about 200 miles from the west coast (US) at an elevation of 4000' on the east slope of a small mountain in the south Cascade Range that is about 7000' high. I do this experiment while hiking in this area. Thus, because in general the winds blow west to east here, especially on the type of day I'm describing, there may be a bias towards evaporation for any cloud passing over the peak (ridge, really), a few miles east of my property. This is based on the general gradient of decreasing relative humidity as the air mass moves east away from the Pacific Ocean. Of course, on average there should be a similar influence on any cloud going over. Ten minutes is such a short time frame that I haven't noticed any trends like that due to my location but I can't rule it out.
 
#9
Unfortunately, the ratio of the size of a cloud to its distance does not fix the numerator or denominator of the fraction. It could be a small, close cloud or a large, far cloud.

~~ Paul
You want the cloud to be as close as you can find because a cloud the size of your thumb-at-arm's-length, say, 10 miles away, would be nearly a mile across, which seems rather formidable for manipulation. Perhaps somebody like Uri Geller (or a confident kid!) could do it!
 

Paul C. Anagnostopoulos

Nap, interrupted.
Member
#10
You want the cloud to be as close as you can find because a cloud the size of your thumb-at-arm's-length, say, 10 miles away, would be nearly a mile across, which seems rather formidable for manipulation. Perhaps somebody like Uri Geller (or a confident kid!) could do it!
That makes sense, but you can't use your thumb to determine the size. Consider the Sun and Moon: They are both the same apparent size, but clearly not the same actual size or distance.

~~ Paul
 
#11
I've tried cloud-busting three times, and it seemed to work, pretty much in the same way as you described John.Sundog.
Don't think one should start with control groups for verification, because you would know if the cloud you picked did bust or not, within reasonable time, say ten minutes.
 

Paul C. Anagnostopoulos

Nap, interrupted.
Member
#12
I've tried cloud-busting three times, and it seemed to work, pretty much in the same way as you described John.Sundog.
Don't think one should start with control groups for verification, because you would know if the cloud you picked did bust or not, within reasonable time, say ten minutes.
But how do you know you busted it, as opposed to it simply dissipating?

~~ Paul
 
#13
I've tried cloud-busting three times........ you would know if the cloud you picked did bust or not, within reasonable time, say ten minutes.
That's been my experience - while you're doing this you can see not only the changes in your selected cloud but also all the other clouds in that sector of the sky. It would be obvious if they all were fading together.

Also, thanks for the hint you gave me by using the term "cloud-busting" to describe this phenomenon. I'd only heard that term applied to rain making a la Wilhelm Reich. I went to YouTube, searched on cloud busting, and found several videos about using intention to make clouds disappear, including this nice little one:


Of course, I wouldn't claim this video proves anything, any more than I would claim my experiences prove anything, and I'd be surprised if anyone reading this is convinced - I hope not. It's just an invitation to investigate for yourself. Of course, even the ability to make small clouds disappear using intention blasts you way outside the physicalist paradigm, so it's a simple experiment with extensive metaphysical ramifications.:eek:
 
#18
Steve001, your post is off-topic as you well know - it has nothing to do with PK or clouds. Would you mind deleting it?
No, I will not delete it. Both devices are useful. If the energy expended emitted by your mind dissipating the water droplets of at least several hundred gallons making up a cloud can do that, then you have enough energy to move a few grams of material in these two devices.
 
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Paul C. Anagnostopoulos

Nap, interrupted.
Member
#19
That's been my experience - while you're doing this you can see not only the changes in your selected cloud but also all the other clouds in that sector of the sky. It would be obvious if they all were fading together.
As in the video you posted, for example.


As soon as he said humans are made of energy fields, I knew we were in for some fun.

~~ Paul
 
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