Changing Planet

9/11 and Global Consciousness

By Patrick J. Kiger

Chances are, you probably remember exactly what you were doing on the morning of September 11, 2001, at the moment when you first learned about the attack on the World Trade Center.  And if you were one of the millions who stared in horror at the television images of smoke billowing from the crippled towers, you undoubtedly can recall the intense, excruciatingly painful surge of grief and anger and sadness that you felt.

You may be surprised, however, to learn that Princeton University researchers believe that so many people around the world were affected in the same way that their collective mental energy actually altered the operation of computers.

Those findings, which have aroused some controversy in the scientific world, were produced by Princeton’s  Global Consciousness Project, whose goal is to determine whether, and if so to what extent, human consciousness—that is, our minds’ awareness of the world in which we exist—can synchronize and act coherently.

“I think the data are pretty much indisputably in support of that we do interconnect, we interact, we’re not isolated,” the project’s director, Roger Nelson, explains in this video on the organization’s website. “My consciousness, inside my skull, and yours, extend out into the world, and they intermix. We’re a little like neurons, in a giant brain, that we know nothing about.”

 

 

Since the 1990s, the Princeton researchers have been trying to measure this hypothetical giant, humanity-encompassing hive mind, by tracking the effect of events on a network of computers around the world that are set to churn out random strings of numbers. But the world paid relatively little attention to their efforts, until Nelson published this paper,  “Coherent Consciousness and Reduced Randomness: Correlations on September 11, 2001,” in the Journal of Scientific Exploration in 2002. It reported that the traumatic terrorist attack, which caused a powerful  outpouring of emotions across the planet, had a measurable effect upon the network’s computers that was extremely unlikely to have been caused by chance.

“The September 11 event is widely known as one of the things that is kind of emblematic of the global consciousness project,” Nelson explains in the video. “It’s in some respects, the biggest event that we’ve looked at. It turns out, in fact, it manifested the potential to change the world. We did an awful lot of analysis on that. Some of that analysis is just striking in how the data looks. There are some odd features.”

 

On the National Geographic Channel: Inside 9/11 — War on America

 

 

 

The REG data gathered on September 11 is an example of this effect. The researchers looked at a period beginning 10 minutes after American Airlines Flight 11 crashed into the North Tower at 8:46 a.m.,  and ending four hours afterward. To visualize the data, they plotted the cumulative deviation of a Chi-square test from chance expectations. If the data collected in such an experiment doesn’t show an effect, it will draw a random path around the horizontal line of expectation, with no clear trend. (In probability and statistics lingo, this is called a “drunkard’s walk.”)

Instead,  according to Nelson’s paper, researchers found  “a fluctuating deviation throughout the moments of the five major events, during which ever-increasing numbers of people around the world are hearing the news and watching in stunned disbelief.” He calculated that the odds against happening by chance 35 to one.

To validate their results, the researchers compared their findings to pseudo-data that they generated for September 11, and plotted in the same format. The simulated results, in contrast to the real ones, showed no long sustained periods of strong deviation from the expectation.

The researchers found an even more unsettling peculiarity  in the data. “One of those measures started changing four or five hours before the first plane hit,” Nelson explains in the video.

That might seem to suggest the possibility that humans possess not just a collective consciousness, but also some degree of precognition–an even more controversial hypothesis, if that is possible. (From the National Geographic Channel’s Mysterious Science blog, here’s a post from earlier this year on the work of retired Cornell University psychologist Darryl J. Bem, who published this provocative scientific journal article on his experimental findings that humans have some ability to predict events before they occur.)

Just as Bem’s work came under withering attack, some also have dismissed the Princeton researchers’ findings about collective consciousness and the September 11 attacks. Here, for example, is a critique:

“Was There Evidence of Global Consciousness on September 11, 2001?” written by Jeffrey D. Scargle, a scientist at NASA’s Ames Research Center in California.  “I personally disagree with the [Princeton scientists’] conclusion that anomalous effects have been unequivocally established,” he writes.

But the Princeton researchers’ case is bolstered by the data that they’ve amassed on other traumatic events in the decade that followed the September 11 attacks, including the July 22, 2011 terror bombing and shooting spree in Norway that killed 87 people, and the July 23 high speed train crash in Wenzhou, China, that took 40 lives and evoked widespread sorrow and outrage after allegations of railroad corruption and unsafe equipment surfaced.  In both of those events, researchers found a slight but verifiable statistical effect that they could attribute to consciousness synchronization.

Forty years in U.S., UK, and South African media gives David Braun global perspective and experience across multiple storytelling platforms. His coverage of science, nature, politics, and technology has been published/broadcast by the BBC, CNN, NPR, AP, UPI, National Geographic, TechWeb, De Telegraaf, Travel World, and Argus South African Newspapers. He has published two books and won several journalism awards. He has 120,000 followers on social media. David Braun edits the National Geographic Society blog, hosting a global discussion on issues resonating with the Society's mission and initiatives. He also directs the Society side of the Fulbright-National Geographic Digital Storytelling Fellowship, awarded to Americans seeking the opportunity to spend nine months abroad, engaging local communities and sharing stories from the field with a global audience. Follow David on Facebook  Twitter  LinkedIn
  • Ben

    Maybe someone should be isolated from world news events but only have access to the incoming data and then *predict* whether a major event had happened. This way you avoid looking for patterns where you want them to show up.

  • Eric

    How do we know that the anomolous effects – especially those in the realm of precognition – originate from human beings rather than perhaps the animal kingdom? After all, even though we don’t understand the science underlying it, it’s pretty well documented that animals seem aware of earthquakes and the like often well before they actually happen. Couldn’t it be that the predictive anomolies identified by Roger Nelson and his colleagues are originating from that source?

  • Clark

    While I find this topic very interesting, especially in regards to the events surrounding 9/11, I can only wonder how the data sets from each “egg” are transmitted for analysis. The reason I question this is simple: It is well known that when a major global event such as 9/11 occurs, telecommunications systems are stressed. If data was being transmitted via Internet, or any other means that using common telecommunications systems, is there a possibility that said systems and the stress being placed on them caused the deviations noted in the patterns?

  • Betty

    Because a 10 minute to 4 hour span of time varies as to the location of events, the hypothesis falls apart. I do remember where I was but in different time zones, (was that considered) someone else had not heard the news yet. We were stunned into near paralysis, unable to do anything. And we were at work, so our reactions had to wait.

    “The REG data gathered on September 11 is an example of this effect. The researchers looked at a period beginning 10 minutes after American Airlines Flight 11 crashed into the North Tower at 8:46 a.m., and ending four hours afterward. To visualize the data, they plotted the cumulative deviation of a Chi-square test from chance expectations. If the data collected in such an experiment doesn’t show an effect, it will draw a random path around the horizontal line of expectation, with no clear trend. (In probability and statistics lingo, this is called a “drunkard’s walk.”)”

  • Jen

    Response to Betty and Clark – there’s a link to the full paper in this story. If you read it you would see that both the issues you raise are accounted for in the analysis.

  • TheOpenSource.TV

    It’s to do with cumulative resonant electro-magnetic fields thinking the same thoughts as each other, or emitting the same frequency. The more people do it together, the more probable an outcome will be. We all have magnetic fields, same as planets and stars and pretty much everything else in the Universe. Magnetic fields are used inside computers to transmit data. Our magnetic fields extend far beyond our bodies, just like planets magnetic fields.
    Add to that the fact that the Suns magnetic field, the Heliosphere, stretches beyond Pluto, encompassing all planets in our solar system so there are at least 9 large moving magnetic fields inside the Suns magnetic field.
    We create electricity by moving two magnetic fields against each other, what do 9 magnetic fields moving inside a giant magnetic field create? 3D reality by the looks of it! Sounds like we’re inside a giant holographic computer.
    If this is the case, then we should be able to measure the numbers of people thinking the same thought or emitting a similar frequency. The Global Consciousness Project is kind of tapping into this and proving that this might be true and if so, then the Body IS Electric and so is the whole Universe and in turn… the planets magnetic fields DO influence life on this planet and other planets, no matter how subtle.
    The world is about to become a much nicer place to be very soon 🙂

  • […] Graph Going Crazy, Like Before 9/11 | USAHM Conspiracy News Formal Analysis, September 11 2001 9/11 and Global Consciousness – News Watch Global Consciousness Project | Projects | Research | Institute of Noetic Sciences […]

  • […] the bad karmic humans were responsible…. http://noosphere.princeton.edu/dean/wtc0921.html 9/11 and Global Consciousness – News Watch GLOBAL CONSCIOUSNESS PROJECT: The Silver Lining of 9/11 | Beth Lapides Global Consciousness […]

  • nick

    “Betty
    Pacific Northwest
    October 18, 2012, 3:17 pm

    Because a 10 minute to 4 hour span of time varies as to the location of events, the hypothesis falls apart. I do remember where I was but in different time zones, (was that considered) someone else had not heard the news yet. We were stunned into near paralysis, unable to do anything. And we were at work, so our reactions had to wait.”

    Betty that is really not very though out huh? Time zones change the time on your watch but it is still happening at the same time. Say I am on the east coast and it happened at 9am according to my watch, someone who lives an hour west would be in the central time zone and it would have happened at 8am according to their watch. It is still the same exact moment even though our watches say different things. Wow people blow my mind with the ignorant things they say.

  • Susie

    I have seen electronic communications fail here in the 2003 Firestorm covering S California and making tens of thousands homeless, and some killed. But how would that same failure happen in an event from China in the USA?
    And why is there no egg in San Diego County? I believe this place is dynamite; heat, economics, crowding, closed Fed. & St. Parks, Job issues, expensive housing, illegals with unknown backgrounds, water shortages, taxes, Fire protection problems and more.
    Perhaps more locations with NO electronic communications, that can be compared later would be more accurate? And what can one do to prevent a problem? Perhaps leaders that look into problems as the above and DO something about it… not just push papers around.. and make speeches? But personal problems seem the most influential… eventually the bigger issues will effect families.

  • sean

    35-1 is by no means a conclusive result. I once guessed the outcome of a coin toss 8 times in a row. That’s 256-1. Does that mean i am psychic? Nope.

    Each day similar times around the world, millions of muslims pray facing the qibla. Is their conscious direction measured through this method?

    What about other events like the World Cup Final which holds 1/3 of the world captive before their television sets. Does this register any change?

    Until you can get a greater variation than 35-1, which in the grand scheme of things represents nothing short of a particularly insignificant anomaly, there is nothing see here.

    My personal interest piques around the demostrable relationship between observer and the observed. I hope for my interests sake that a relationship can be demostrated between observers and the observed but the evidence shown here is negligable for me, at best.

    Good luck, thanks 🙂

  • Norm

    I was in an elevator in Cedar Rapids, IA the morning of 9/11, and experienced a massive panic attack the likes of which I’d never known, and haven’t since. I looked down at my phone and the time was 8:46am (ET). It lasted less than a second.

  • jesse w.

    I am wondering if the mass electronics communication between people telling and being told of the event could have added to the magnetic signature at the time…comm between individuals that day would have been larger than a non-event day would have been.

  • Bob

    From time to time, I will have had a thought about something and then later, see my thought manifested in the real world. It’s difficult to explain, but it could involve anything animate or inanimate. I have tried to be more aware of certain thoughts, but I cannot predict that the thought I had in the morning will actually manifest in the afternoon. Sometimes it does, but I did not put anymore value on the thought than any other thought so it seems useless in the present. It’s only later when I see or hear something that I think back, “I thought about that several hours ago. What does this mean?” We have all read about how putting our intentions out into the world can help bring us what we thought about and my experiences have been similar to this idea (DR. Wayne Dyer wrote about this). I can have more control over my intentions than having a random thought manifest in the future. And to what extent is prayer connected to this discussion? Sorry for the rambling, but I believe there is something at play here and I’m happy to know that it is being talked about and researched scientifically.

  • Nick

    Being a night person I was asleep that morning and awoke for no apparent reason. I went to make a cup of tea wondering why the hell I am awake. I tuned in the radio and heard the news of the first plane strike, turned on cnn and saw the second plane strike live. I believe it is no random coincidence that these things happen. As research in quantum mechanics progresses I’m certain that these phenomena and more will become clearer.

  • Jumpa

    I believe the only thing that affected computers on September 11th 2001 was the same thing that affected the Earth’s magnetic field and it was what they now refer to as a Direct Energy weapon

  • […] island, the events of 9/11 did of course take place and the destruction of the Twin Towers is a globally documented event. What has to be immediately noted, though, is that 9/11 is only directly mentioned once, in […]

  • […] global consciousness and mankind's ability to impact its environment, take this September 2011 National Geographic article on the subject, entitled, "9/11 and Global […]

  • […] Le Global Consciousness Project (Projet Conscience Globale) est une expérience parapsychologique débutée en 1998 à l’Université de Princeton dans le New Jersey. Utilisant des appareils électroniques situés dans divers endroits du monde, cette expérience cherche à mesurer d’éventuelles anomalies dans la génération de nombres aléatoires, qui seraient corrélées avec d’importantes émotions collectives lors d’événements mondiaux. […]

  • […] Instead,  according to Nelson’s paper, researchers found  “a fluctuating deviation throughout the moments of the five major events, during which ever-increasing numbers of people around the world are hearing the news and watching in stunned disbelief.” He calculated that the odds against happening by chance 35 to one. From <https://voices.nationalgeographic.org/2011/09/06/9-11-and-global-consciousness/&gt; […]

  • Jen Harris

    I dreamt the night before Sept 11th morning that I was being attacked by an unseen force over and over again- I couldn’t escape it and it kept coming out of nowhere – It was horrible and I couldn’t get out of it- I wonder if I was picking up on something?

  • Daniel S

    When I was in school (2003) and taking a writing class, I outlined a story where the main characters were hive minds, but I didn’t write it, as it was too risky that my instructor would not have liked it.
    In my story a hive mind can exist with a small number of human minds, but does much better with hundreds. But if they fall to only seven minds for any longish period of time, they can “die”. (This has a profoundly bad effect on the humans who become dull and slow.)
    There are also hive bird minds in my story, (they require at least eight minds) and the remarkable thing about them is they can be incredibly old. Much older than the human hive minds, only a few of which are incredibly old.
    Hive minds don’t use words to talk, but a rather ancient method of communication which in the story is called “knowing”. There are different levels to a hive mind, that corresponds to the complexity that they can perceive. Most parts of a hive mind, don’t give a crap about anything we might say, as they lack the specialization to understand human language. However, you can speak to them directly, by “knowing.”
    The difference between birds and humans in my story is that wild birds get that they are part of a hive mind, but most humans don’t.
    If you travel by car for many miles, then in my story, you can discern when you “changed minds” because it feels so different to be in one local than the next. Something people notice, but don’t usually bring to their stream of thoughts. But of course, in the story they do.
    Inter species hive minds can communicate with each other, and the species of their cells does change what they are. A hive bird mind that is a billion years old is not to be trifled with. (They are mostly at the beaches where birds can live such long intervals without being wiped out.)
    Anyway, it was a fun story to outline, but I didn’t think my instructor would be interested in it enough to give me a good grade. Though I could have played up the role of the humans that are aware of the other hive minds. (A human cannot ever directly perceive its own hive mind, but can perceive the hive mind of others.)

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