Sidereal Time and Psychic Phenomena

By Tom and Lisa Butler

From the article:

Apparent Association Between Effect Size In Free Response Anomalous Cognition Experiments And Local Sidereal Time, by S. James P. Spottiswoode, Cognitive Sciences Laboratory, Palo Alto, CA 94301. Published in The Journal of Scientific Exploration, Vol, 11, No. 2, 1997 (


Nothing is known about the physical mechanism of anomalous cognition (AC), or ESP. A first step towards generating focused hypotheses would be the discovery of a physical parameter which clearly modulated AC performance. In this paper, an association between the local sidereal time (LST) at which a trial occurs and the resulting effect size is described. In an existing database of 1,468 free response trials, the effect size increased 340% for trials within 1 hour of 13.5 h LST (p = 0.001). A independent database of 1,015 similar trials was subsequently obtained in which trials within 1 hour of 13.5 h LST showed an effect size increase of 450% (p = 0.05) providing confirmation of the effect. Possible artifacts due to the non-uniform distribution of trials in clock time and variations of effect size with experiment are discussed and rejected as explanations. Assuming that some unknown systematic bias is not present in the data, it appears that AC performance is strongly dependent upon the LST at which the trial occurs. This is evidence of a causal connection between performance and the orientation of the receiver (i.e., a term for subject or participant), the earth and the fixed stars.

This article described what may be an important discovery about nonphysical phenomena, especially as it relates to transcommunication. In the study, Spottiswoode examined the rather large collection of psychic ability experiments he had conducted over the years to see if they pointed to a relationship between sidereal time and the psychic proficiency of his subjects.  There was a direct relationship!  He then asked colleagues to conduct a new set of experiments to confirm his conclusions.  The results, and therefore the phenomena, were verified.

Sidereal time is star time and a sidereal day is approximately 3 minutes, 56 seconds shorter than a solar day.  Thus, Local Sidereal Time (LST) moves backward in solar time about four minutes a day, two hours a month and one day a year. Anywhere you are on the planet, at the same LST you will see the same stars overhead as anyone anywhere else will at that time.

The essence of the article we are referring to is that scientists have found a direct correlation between the sidereal time of day and success in psychic ability experiments.  The graph shown on this page is from Spottiswoode’s article and depicts “Effect Size” on the vertical axis and “Local Sidereal Time” on the horizontal axis.  “Effect Size” is the amount of deviation more or less than the expected normal for chance.  The horizontal line between 0.1 and 0.2 represents the average of the graph curve.  The line at 0.0 represents what would be expected with guessing.  We have added a vertical, dotted line at 13.5 hours and near 19.0 hours.

To quote the report, “Evidence has been given to support a relationship between the local sidereal time at which an anomalous cognition experiment occurs and the resulting effect size.  The primary association is an approximately four-fold enhancement in AC effect size at 13.5 h LST.  [Anomalous Cognition (AC)” seems to be a new term for Extra Sensory Perception (ESP)—Editor]  This association was found in one large data set and confirmed in another, each set comprising AC experiments with a range of free response protocols, from different laboratories and investigators.  It is likely that the increase of effect size for AC trials occurring at 13.5 h LST is real, replicable across different laboratories and occurs in the diverse protocols of the ganzfeld and remote viewing experiments.”

Psi functioning seems to be a real human ability, but while it is often reported anecdotally, there has been considerable difficulty proving under controlled conditions. It may be that this difficulty has been due to the fact that researchers have been conducting experiments at different sidereal times of day.  Almost a six-fold difference in performance of a psychic between 13.5 h and 18.9 h LST is substantial.  And remember, 13.5 hours LST changes in solar time each day.

techniques_evp6The evidence suggests that there is something near or beyond the edge of the Solar System that is influencing our psychic ability.  Of course, experiments will need to be conducted to see if this influence affects EVP collection in the same way as psychic ability.  But, we have good reason to believe that there is a mediumistic relationship in EVP between the experimenter and the communicating entity.  And of course, mediumship is psychic ability turned toward spirit communications.

Besides explaining why psychic phenomena is so hard to prove, the reason the discovery of this relationship may be important to the study of transcommunication is that it points to an external influence on psychic ability.  It should be just a matter of time before someone figures out what that influence is and what in the human brain it is influencing.  Once that has been accomplished, it should be possible to enhance psychic ability with technology.

You can use an online Sidereal Time Calculator and a good downloadable clock for your computer at

Source, Apparent Association between Effect Size in Free Response Anomalous Cognition Experiments and Local Sidereal Time, by S. James P. Spottiswoode, published in the Journal of Scientific Exploration, Vol. II, No. 2, 1997.  You can find it at

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