Deep in the basement of a dusty old library in Edinburgh lies a small black box that churns out random numbers. At first glance the box looks profoundly dull, but it is, in fact, the ï¿½??eye’ of a machine that appears capable of peering into the future.
The machine apparently sensed the September 11th attacks on the World Trade Centre four hours before they happened, and appeared to forewarn of the Asian Tsunami.
“It’s Earth shattering stuff,” says Dr Roger Nelson, Emeritus researcher at Princeton University in the USA. “But unfortunately we don’t have a box for predicting the future that we can sell to the CIA. We’re very early on in the process of trying to figure out what’s going on here. At the moment we’re stabbing in the dark.”
Dr Nelson’s Global Consciousness Project - originally hosted by Princeton University - is one of the most extraordinary experiments of all time. It aims to ï¿½??sense’ whether all of humanity shares a single unconscious mind that we all tap into without realising it. Some might refer to it as the mind of God. But the machine has also thrown up another tantalising possibility: that scientists may have unwittingly discovered a way of predicting the future.
Although many would consider the project’s aims to be little more than fools’ gold, it has still attracted a roster of 75 respected scientists from 41 different nations. Researchers from Princeton - where Einstein spent much of his career - work alongside scientists from universities in Britain, Holland, Switzerland and Germany. The project is also the most rigorous and longest running investigation ever into the paranormal.
“Very often paranormal phenomena evaporate if you study them for long enough,” says physicist Dick Bierman of the University of Amsterdam. “But this is not happening with the Global Consciousness Project. The effect is real. The only dispute is about what it means.”