People whose presence turns off streetlights: the Washington Post gets into the act

Your mom must be attractive :stuck_out_tongue:

But can you do it whenEVER you want? I’ll bet not. See- streetlights go on & off quite a bit. But off course- if you’re not looking at them, you don’t see them go off. Thus, the only time you see them go off- is when you are looking at them- thus you assume you’re the cause. Not so.

If someone set up an unattended video cam aimed at a streetlight that someone said “sometimes goes off when I go by” - they would see it go off & on even when no one was around.

I live in an apt overlooking a busy city street. Every so often, even when no one is near, I’ll see one of the lights go out- then go back on later.

Thus, yes- the lights do go on & off when you pass. And also when you don’t pass.

Ooop= forgot to add.

Rememebr that film “the Fisher King” with Robin Williams? OK, in it, he say that if you lie on you back, and concentrate on a cloud- you can make it dissolve. And, yes, in a sky with a few scattered clouds this works. Lie on your back- concentrate on a cloud- and viola it dissolves under your powerful gaze! :cool:

But I am sorry to say that clouds dissolve & reform constantly- Mother Nature doesn’t need the help of your “special powers”. :dubious: :rolleyes:

Since 1984, somewhere on my driven route a streetlamp goes out. It doesn’t matter if I drive my own block only, or a short trip to the grocery, or a cross country trip.

I can’t control it, can’t predict which light will go out when, but it happens without fail.

I first noticed in 1984 while driving down the road sobbing my heart out over the failure of my first marrige, wondering if God even cared about how hard I’d struggled to make it work. I saw my deceased grandfather on a billboard reaching his arms out to me and at the same time the streetlight blew out. Since that time, a streetlight always goes out, even if I only drive down the block (residential neighborhood). I prefer to think of this coincidence as a sign between my grandfather and I that he’s still watching out for me.

Now you all know how wierd I am :smiley:

A cheap device to study a magnetic field? It’s called a compass. You know, those things that point to magnetic north. It won’t determine the strength of the field precisely, but it will certainly show where a field exists.

Has anyone conducted an actual scientific study on this “phenomenon”? I assume it’s probably crap, but I’d like to see the results of a real scientific investigation.

Has anybody yet mentioned the idea that simple vibrations from someone driving or even walking by a light can make it blink on or off. It doesn’t take much when you have a loose connection. (In the light, that is; not the people who think they have special powers. :wink: ) I have a string of clear “Christmas” lights in my bedroom. The filaments in some of the bulbs are broken, but not burnt out. It doesn’t take much to get those bulbs to blink on or off; move my bed, brush the doorframe, close my closet door. I’m sure I don’t have superpowers. :wink:


Seeing how the brain is a big bundle of electric responses, wouldn’t there be EMR to consider? I’ve read a few articles on mapping the HEF (human energy field) as well as some interesting articles about people being able to effect a random number generator. Basically whichever number they were focusing on, the bell curve would shift that direction. (they were in some books I have to dig up, quick google found some sites if you’re interested).


As for the computer example cited, I have the opposite effect. I can come and do the same thing someone has been doing for hours and it just ‘works’. This effect is also seen in laboratories where there are those people who just foul up every piece of equipment they seem to be near.

Streetlights on the other hand… I used to experiment with a particular street light on my way home from work everyday. Turned out that when I TRIED to turn it off, it never went off. The only time it went off was when I was deep in thought about something. I would check it daily and that was almost an maxim. My friend who drove with me even went and checked out the light on his own for a while and didn’t see it go off once. /shrug

I don’t know, I guess that I feel there is a lot of ancient ‘knowledge’ that is rejected due to our lack of perception or equipment and don’t like to reject anything completely out of hand.

First of all, there’s no possible way that the ability to turn off streetlights is “ancient knowledge”, since streetlights themselves aren’t ancient. Secondly, the equipment to perceive this phenomenon does exist, and is, in fact, ancient. All you need is a guy with a piece of paper and a pencil (or parchment and a quill, or heck, a slab of clay and a cuineform stylus). The guy with the pencil has you walk back and forth past the streetlight many times, and counts how many times the light goes off. Then, he has someone else who does not report having this happen walk back and forth the same number of times, and counts then, too. And finally, he watches the streetlight for the same amount of time without anybody walking past. If it goes off significantly more often with you going past than in the other two cases, then bang, it’s been perceived.

As for the electric fields from human neural activity, they’re so weak that they’re only just barely detectable, and only with electrodes in direct contact with the body. If these fields can produce gross physical effects in a device as simple and unrelated as a streetlight, at a distance of tens of meters, then why does an electroencephalograph specifically designed to pick up these signals need to be in contact with the subject?

Not just in contact with the person, but with excellent electrical contact – skin cleaned & even abraded, conductive paste applied, and with no external electrical influences. Fluorescent lights, electrically conductive beds, even fans and radios can degrade the ability of the EEG to detect human signals.

As for Darcke’s mom, I’d suspect that the effect is caused by either 1) static electricity; or 2) an external electromagnetic field being attenuated by or transmitted through her.

Does mom have problems with static electricity? Wear several different clothing articles made from man-made fibers? Live in a low humidity area, or was this during the heating season? The friend who affects computers could have static electricity issues, too.

Was your mom standing next to the microwave when you tried your little experiment? Some other appliance? Are you near high-voltage power lines, cell phone towers, or radio antennae?

I think it’s not unreasonable to rule out any possible physical causes for odd phenomena before attributing some new, unknown causitive agent, whether that be humans affecting street lights or UFO sightings.

Time to go visit “The Amazing James Randi” and get him to cough up his $1MM reward! (Just don’t hold your breath)

I once took a series of computer courses . . . it was explained to us that the reason there were chains attached to the work chairs and touching the floor is because so many women “exude” more magnetic energy than men, and that the college couldn’t afford to be constantly dealing with crashes and glitches!

Now, my question is: WHY would this be so? :confused:

Women wore more wool then, thus more static.

I can get my husbands G-Shock watch to run backwards in 3 weeks of wearing it constantly, other battery operated watches I have had have die within 48 hours of wearing them [and replacing a battery never revived them=(] so I wear a self winding watch, and have no trouble with it [i keep forgetting to wind regular watches=)]

What kind of chopper? I have a friend who just retired last year who flew CH53Gs =)

[or do you mean motorcycle chopper?]

Why is it impossible for a wrist watch to be effected by the energy produced in the human body. It is basically an electrode itself. A magnetic/electrical finely tuned instrument that relies on precision. I’m not sure that I understand why this concept is so hard to grasp. Because it’s not something you have experienced yourself. It’s not something predictable enough to measure. There are many scientific theories postulated…and accepted in some cases that are not observable. They are based on hypothesis that can be tested. As in this case, we could purchase an “average” wrist watch. Several of them in fact. We could then run a series of experiments in which we subject these watches to a range of electrical and/or magnetic charges. We could then find at what point IF ANY do these charges show an effect on the watches. If and when any stop, take note.
What are the levels and frequencies of these forces and are they within normal ranges found in the human body.
I would guess not. BUT how close are they. I’d guess close enough that some people on some days would be capable of producing enough to influence some watches.

Oh and the street light thing. Some are set up to go off as you pass by them. Some just need new bulbs. Some just like to fuck w/ your head. :wink: