Journal of Anomalistics
Zeitschrift für Anomalistik

JAnom / ZfA 21-2

ZfA 21-1




Gerhard Mayer
Bigelow, BIAL, and the Funding of Parapsychological Research  (354–359)
Bigelow, BIAL und die Förderung parapsychologischer Forschung  (359 –366)



Main Articles / Hauptbeiträge


Heiner Schwenke
Past-Life Experiences: Re-living One’s Own Past Lives or Participation in the Lives of Others?  (367–397)
In past-life experiences (PLEs) subjects identify with a person from the past. PLEs are often considered to be memories of the subjects’ past lives, and thus as evidence of reincarnation. In the introductory sections, I argue for the use of a personal concept of reincarnation and reject various non-personal reincarnation concepts on logical-semantic grounds. I proceed to reject the widespread notion that the occurrence of personal reincarnation can be investigated by scientific means. I suggest that memories in the sense of re-experiencing are the primary access to a person’s past. The experiential perspective of PLEs often does not fit the assumption that PLEs are such memories. This applies to PLE passages where the subject takes the outside perspective or (sometimes voluntarily) switches between different perspectives. Such passages are neither demarcated from passages experienced from the first-person perspective nor do they seem to differ from the latter phenomenologically or in terms of their closeness to reality. Therefore, I propose that PLEs as a whole are not memories in the sense of re-experiencing, and, consequently, not evidence of reincarnation. The overlap between the lives that seem to be experienced in the PLE and the current lives of the experiencers, (the extent of which has been underestimated) also speaks against the reincarnation interpretation because overlap cases do not seem to differ from non-overlap cases in other respects. As an alternative interpretation, I propose to understand PLEs (if they actually revive an earlier experience and are not due to prior knowledge) not as memories, but as direct participation in the past experiences of others. Examples of direct participation in other people’s experiences that are phenomenologically similar to PLEs can be found in the context of life reviews of near-death experiences, telepathic and mediumistic experiences, and animal communication. Four explanations of PLEs as participation in experiences of others are discussed: ESP, possession, other kinds of influence of deceased persons on the experiencer, and the expansion of consciousness.

Comments / Kommentare  (398–422) PDF
James G. MatlockPersonal Survival and Reincarnation PDF
Michael NahmWhat is Science? PDF
Masayuki OhkadoThe “Reincarnation Interpretation” Still Seems to Be a Likely Possibility PDF
KM WehrsteinSchwenke’s Model and the Reality of Reincarnation Cases PDF
Dieter HasslerIst die Reinkarnationshypothese widerlegt? PDF

The author replies  (423–436)
Heiner Schwenke“There is no Greater Impediment to the Advancement of Knowledge ...” 
On Conceptual Problems and Other Issues in Reincarnation Research

Renaud Evrard
“Everybody Knows Parapsychology Is Not a Real Science” – Public Understanding of Parapsychology  (437–462)
Despite over a hundred years of associated research effort, the status of parapsychology is disputed. Taking the perspective of “public understanding of science,” this situation seems quite general as many people perceive the study of human behavior as unscientific.
Methods: A small survey was conducted through a French-language social-media network on a non-representative population (n = 89). Inspired by the Knowledge-Attitudes-Practices paradigm, the questionnaire has 28 Likert 5 items assessing attitudes towards parapsychology and 10 open items assessing key knowledge about parapsychology.
Results: On average, participants have an adequate representation of the perimeters of parapsychology but do not recognize it as a full scientific discipline. A split between participants claiming familiarity (n = 53) or unfamiliarity (n = 35) with parapsychology shows the effect of a  “level of knowledge” variable: Individuals familiar with the topic are better able to recognize parapsychology as a science and score more highly on key knowledge items than participants unfamiliar with the topic or than participants overall. A second split in the familiar group between those who recognize parapsychologists as genuine scientists (Proponents, n = 26) and those who do not (Skeptics, n = 26) shows strong attitude differences and better scores in almost all key knowledge items for Proponents.
Discussion of results: While the common representation of parapsychology is that it is not a real science, two factors seem to influence the answers: the “self-assessed level of knowledge” and the “prejudice against parapsychologists’ scientificity”. This is discussed in relation to other works showing biases against parapsychology in populations of students and researchers populations.
Conclusion: The public understanding of parapsychology draws us into the realm of “reflexive
anomalistics”. More research addressing social representations of parapsychology in the general
population is expected..

Michael Nahm
Introductory Comments to “Luminous Phenomena at Death: The Case of the Monk Family”  (463–465)

Carlos S. Alvarado, Michael Nahm
Luminous Phenomena at Death: The Case of the Monk Family  (466–479)
Over the years there have been reports of perceptions of mists, lights and spirit bodies floating over or coming out of dying persons. This paper contains a reprint of the account of a case published by a lady called Dorothy Monk in 1922 in Light. Monk reported collective perceptions of lights and mists around the body of her mother. The case is discussed in terms of the features it presents and in relation to other reports. While impressive, the case, like so many of this type, lacks the presentation of independent testimony to support collective percipience. It is argued that, in addition to carefully collected testimony, future studies should collect information about the psychological profile and previous psychic experiences of percipients.

Lucas Friedrich
Gefährliche Idiotie: Von der irrationalen Rationalität der Verschwörungstheoretiker  (480–508)
Seit dem Ausbruch der Coronapandemie sind Verschwörungstheorien in aller Munde. Dieses Phänomen wird von einem weitgehend kritischen öffentlichen Diskurs begleitet. Der vorliegende Aufsatz unternimmt dagegen den Versuch, die Verschwörungstheorie neutral und das dazugehörige Verschwörungstheorisieren als mitunter rational zu erfassen. Dafür wird die Verschwörungstheorie aus ihren Teilelementen Theorie und Verschwörung synthetisiert. Zunächst wird der Theoriebegriff wissenschaftstheoretisch diskutiert. Im Anschluss wird auf der Basis des verschwörungstheoretischen Partikularismus ein begrifflich differenziertes Drei-Achsen-Modell der Verschwörung entwickelt. Auf den Achsen werden das Niveau der Illegalität des Ziels, das Machtniveau der Verschwörer und das Niveau der Geheimhaltung abgebildet. Um das Argument dieses Modells zu stärken, werden daran anschließend die wesentlichen generalistischen Verschwörungstheorie-Theorien auf deren Widersprüche untersucht. Dabei wird auf den bisher wenig beachteten Aspekt der angeblichen Komplexitätsreduzierung durch Verschwörungstheorien fokussiert. Eine Zusammenfassung der Ergebnisse beschließt den Beitrag.



Continued discussions on previous contributions / Fortgesetzte Diskussionen zu früheren Beiträgen


Zum Aufsatz „Metamorphosen der Bête du Gévaudan – oder vom Reiz des Ungewöhnlichen und Unbekannten“ von Meret Fehlmann, Zeitschrift für Anomalistik, 18 (2018), 35–66.

Karl-Hans Taake: Löwe und Gans - Reales und Fiktives über die Bestie des Gévaudan (509-513)



Obituaries / Nachrufe


Peter Mulacz
Carlos S. Alvarado (1955–2021)  (514–517)

Friederike Schriever
Carlos Alvarado – ein unermüdlicher „Netzwerker“ und Freund  (518–520)

Patric Giesler
Reflections on Carlos Alvarado: Joyous Friend, Master Colleague, and the Early Years at JFKU  (521–530)



Book Reviews / Rezensionen


Andreas Anton, Alan Schink (2021). Der Kampf um die Wahrheit.  Verschwörungstheorien zwischen Fake, Fiktion und Fakten

Rezensentin: Gabriele Lademann-Priemer  (302)

Brigitte Frizzoni (Hrsg.) (2020). Verschwörungserzählungen

Rezensent: André Kramer  (534–537)

Michael Blume (2020). Verschwörungsmythen. Woher sie kommen, was sie anrichten,  wie wir ihnen begegnen können

Rezensent: Alan Schink  (538–544)

Ehler Voss (Hrsg.) (2020). Mediality on Trial. Testing and Contesting Trance and other Media Techniques

Rezensentin: Nicole Maria Bauer. (545–548)

Dieter Hassler (2020). Nah-Tod-Erfahrungen und mehr … Indizienbeweise für ein Leben nach dem Tod und die Wiedergeburt / Band 3: Nah-Tod-Erfahrungen,  Mediale Kommunikation mit Verstorbenen, Träume, Flashbacks, Déjà-vus, Spuk, Erscheinungen, Instrumentelle Transkommunikation

Rezensent: Dieter Tscheulin  (549–552)

Karel James Bouse (2019). Neo-Shamanism and Mental Health

Rezensent: Gerhard Mayer  (553–557)

Timothy J. Burbery (2021). Geomythology: How Common Stories Reflect Earth Events

Rezensentin: Meret Fehlmann  (558–562)

Andreas Müller (2021). Deutschlands UFO-Akten: Über den politischen Umgang mit dem UFO-Phänomen in Deutschland … mit Betrachtungen auch zu Österreich und der Schweiz

Rezensent: Jochen Ickinger  (563–570)

Walter Andritzky (2020). Pilotensichtungen und UFO-Detektion im cislunaren Raum. Mit den Ergebnissen einer Pilotenbefragung

Rezensent: Ingbert Jüdt  (571–573)

Tanner F. Boyle (2021). The Fortean Influence on Science Fiction: Charles Fort and the Evolution of the Genre

Rezensent: Gerhard Mayer  (574–578)



Abstracts-Dienst / Literaturspiegel


Frauke Schmitz-Gropengießer, Gerhard Mayer  (579–588)







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