Chicks’ distant psychokinesis (23 kilometres)




80 groups of 7 chicks were used to test their ability to influence the trajectory of a robot bearing a candle as the unique source of light in the room. The robot is driven, via telephone line, by a random generator located 23 kilometres away. When chicks are present, the robot moves preferentially into their direction (66.25% out of 80 trials). This is significantly different from the non specific displacement of the machine in the absence of chicks and observer (p<0.00001). The random generator being the source of movements, this result suggests that chicks are able to influence it over a long distance.



In previous work (Péoc’h, 1986), we have shown that chicks aged 1 to 7 days were able to influence the trajectory of the "Tychoscope", a robot driven by a random generator (Janin’s model). The chicks were first conditioned to recognise it as being a maternal substitute. For that purpose, they were regularly put into contact with the robot during several days (see the work from the Nobel Price Konrad Lorenz about the imprinting phenomenon). Then they were placed in a transparent cage at distance of the visible and randomly moving Tychoscope, and its trajectory was measured. The results showed that the robot was moving 2.5 times more often in the direction of the imprinted chicks than in the direction of non-imprinted animals or of an empty cage (p<0.001). This suggested that the imprinting, the "psychological links", was responsible for the observed psychokinetic-like effect.

In another experiment the ability of chicks to influence a bigger and slower robot (Tychoscope II; Péoc’h, 1994) was further investigated. During daytime, chicks hate to be in the dark. 15 non imprinted chicks were then placed in a transparent cage, in a room with a candle put on Tychoscope II as the unique source of light. In 71.25% of 80 trials, the robot was significantly moving towards the chicks (p<0.01) further suggesting a psychokinetic influence of the animals on the robot.

In this experiment, we have tested the possibility for long distance psychokinesis using the "candle protocol". The difference with the former experiment relies in the fact that the random generator is located 23 kilometres away from the robot, both being connected via telephone line.




. Chicks

Male and female WARREN ISSA chicks, aged 12 hours, born during the night in an incubator were used. Grouped by 7 in cardboard boxes (20x21x13cm) correctly oxygenated, at 28°C, and submitted to natural daylight cycle, they were kept from seeing the Tychoscope during 7 days so that they cannot imprint to it. Then, each group is running once the following protocol : chicks are placed in a transparent glass cage (30x18cm) situated on the border of a rectangular arena, at mid distance of its ends (Fig.1). The cage is elevated in such a way that chicks a re at the same height as the flame of the candle. The flame is about 4cm high and the candle (3cm in diameter, at least 10cm high) is placed on the Tychoscope.

. Method

The Tychoscope used in this experiment and its settings are the same as previously described ("Human influence on the Tychoscope", Ö). Briefly, the robot is set to randomly move for 20 minutes at 7cm/sec on the plane rectangular arena (1x1.6m), its centre being the starting point. It is radio-guided by a computer placed in the same room (PC1) which is itself controlled, via telephone line, by another computer (PC2) directly connected to the random generator. Both PC2 and the random generator are located 23 kilometres away from PC1. The direction and length of each move is determined by the random generator.

. Recordings

The coordinates of the centre of the arena are X0=0 and Y0=0. It is the departure point for the robot. The X axis is perpendicular to the border containing the cage and the Y axis is parallel to it (Fig.1). Each time the robot is rotating or is drawing a straight line, its X and Y coordinates are measured by PC1. At the end of the 20 minutes experiment, the mean value for X and Y at the rotation points are calculated. A positive value for X indicates that the Tychoscope preferentially moved in the direction of the animals.

At the same time, PC1 and PC2 are recording the trajectory decided by the random generator, and the online displacement of the robot is drawn on a paper thanks to a pencil fixed in its centre. The 3 recordings are identical.




80 experiments were realised with 80 groups of 7 chicks in the cage and 100 control experiments were done without any chicks or observer in the room.

In 53/80 experiments with chicks (66.25% of the cases), the mean value for X is positive and the machine is preferentially moving towards the animals (Fig.2). On the contrary, there are about as much control experiments with a positive mean value for X (48/100) than control experiments with a negative value (52/100). Applying the ≤ test (chick : 53/80 positive – 27/80 negative versus control : 48/100 positive – 52/100 negative) proved the results of the chicks group to be significantly different from the ones of the control group (≤=6.01; df=1; p<0.02).

In addition, the mean of the mean value for X of the control group is Xcont=+3.005. It is not different from 0, suggesting a random trajectory of the Tychoscope when chicks are absent. On the opposite, the mean of the mean value for X of the chick group is large (Xchicks=+88.757) suggesting an influence of the animals on the robot. These means are statistically different one from the other (E=2.47; p<0.015).

Finally, the mean value for X of both the chicks and control groups were transformed as series. The arena is divided in units corresponding to 100 engine pitches done by the robot (Tab.1). The Mann & Whitney test used to compare both series shows that the distributions are significantly different (Z>4.5; p<0.00001).




As clearly shown in this experiment, chicks are able to influence the trajectory of a robot (p<0.00001). This effect seems to depend on the mental state of the animal and on the significance of the target rather than on the presence of the chicks alone. Effectively, if the same experiment is run in clear daylight without any candle on the Tychoscope, the random trajectory of the machine is not deviated by the animals (p<0.8, data not shown). The psychological state of the chicks and / or the importance attached to the target are thus the key points for this effect to take place.

It is also interesting to note that even though the random generator is 23 kilometres away from the robot and that the chicks do not know its localisation, they are able to influence its trajectory. Because it is very likely that this influence directly affects the random generator, the phenomenon shown is probably long distance psychokinesis.

An important issue in parapsychology is to determine the nature of psi. A strategy commonly used to answer that question is to try to block psi. Here, we showed that distance is not a valid parameter to block it. However, our apparatus could prove to be useful to address that question because the random generator is physically disconnected from the driving computer (PC1). In future experiments, we are planning to try to block the psychokinetic effect by isolating the random generator in a Faraday cage, a lead cage or with a 1 meter column of water for example. Each of these materials proved efficient to block certain waves. Another advantage of our model is the use of chicks. Rhine’s "psi missing" effect (1952), leading human beings to do the contrary of what they are supposed to do, is, if it exists, probably less pronounced in animals due to their lack of known preconceptions.

Beside the interest of our model, the present results raise important questions. For example, the fact that psychokinesis can occur independently of distance or of the localisation of the target is of great importance. Among other things, it suggests that psi can have a very wide range of action over matter. Does psi really need the knowledge of what it is influencing to have an influence on it ? This looks a little bit similar to what is happening in the brain, when we are able to select the appropriate neurones to move a given muscle without explicitly knowing their exact localisation. These experiments lead us to the frontier with the metaphysical field.



Fig.1 : Schematic representation of the apparatus. The robot is initially placed in the centre of the arena (O) and its trajectory is described with the X and Y value at the end of each movements. The chicks (P) are placed on a border of the arena.

Fig.2 : Histogram representing the mean value for X for each of the 80 experiments involving chicks. Note the clear tendency for X to be directed toward the chicks.

Fig.3 : Histogram representing the mean value for X for each of the 100 control experiments. Note the homogenous distribution of the Xs.

Fig. 4 : Example of an experiment where the Tychoscope clearly moved towards the chicks (Xmean=+440).

Tab.1 : Mean values for X of the chicks and control groups respectively, expressed as a function of the number of engine pitches done by the robot. The distribution of the X for the chicks group is significantly shifted towards the animals (p<0.00001; see text).