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LOCAL SIDEREAL TIME, GLOBAL GEOMAGNETIC FIELD FLUCTUATIONS, AND TRAFFIC ACCIDENTS.

The authors would like to acknowledge the financial support of John Bjorkheim Memorial Foundation.

ABSTRACT: The basis of the present study was findings by Spottiswoode (1997a, 1997b) showing that Anomalous Cognition (AC) effect size appears to be associated with Local Sidereal Time (LST) and that correlations between AC effect size and Global Geomagnetic Field (GMF) fluctuations appear to vary with LST. It was argued that, if these findings could be replicated, a parapsychological breakthrough could be expected. Since the amount of AC data available is seriously restricted, it was suggested that data from nonparapsychological databases could be used in order to shed some light on Spottiswoode's findings. AC could, presumably, be used as a tool for avoiding traffic accidents, and it was therefore expected that the number of traffic accidents should be related to LST and GMF fluctuations in a similar way as effect sizes from AC experiments. Positive findings, it was further argued, would even be informative if they were caused by purely psychological states, because they would refute the possibility that Sp ottiswoode's findings can be attributed to random fluctuations.

A database of 567,362 traffic accidents in Sweden during the years 1985-1996 was examined for effects of LST and GMF fluctuations. The database was divided into two equal halves: "initial data" and "validation data." For all types of analyses, good agreement between the two data sets was obtained. A 200% increase in the number of accidents involving animals was observed at about 19h LST. It was also observed, however, that for the first half of the year in Sweden, 19h LST coincides with the time of the sunrise, and for the second half of the year with the time of the sunset. The increase in number of animal accidents at 19h LST was therefore suggested to be due to increased mobility on the part of the animals during sunset and sunrise. Using epoch analysis, the correlation pattern between number of accidents and the ap geomagnetic index (a measure of GMF fluctuations) was, for different types of accidents, invariably found to converge at the time of the accident, or shortly before. When relating correlations between number of accidents and apindex to LST, the correlations appeared to vary systematically with LST. The most pronounced curve was observed for animal accidents, with unusually strong positive correlations around 6h - 7h LST and around 17h - 19h LST, and with unusually strong negative correlations around 12h - 13h LST. This finding was nearly the opposite of what was predicted from Spottiswoode's (1997b) results.

Since interaction effects between time of day and time of year, unrelated to LST, were found for the number of accidents, the results from the present study with respect to LST are not conclusive. In future studies, all main effects from time of day and time of year, as well as all existing interaction effects between time of day and time of year that are not related to LST, will be eliminated from the data or reduced before relating them to LST and GMF fluctuations.
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Author:WESTERLUND, JOAKIM; DALKVIST, JAN
Publication:The Journal of Parapsychology
Date:Sep 1, 1999
Words:504
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