A forgotten adventure with a telepathic tribe

7 Replies, 1901 Views

http://www.nationalgeographic.com/magazi...tographer/
(This post was last modified: 2017-10-01, 02:45 PM by Roberta.)
[-] The following 6 users Like Roberta's post:
  • Brian, nbtruthman, Laird, tim, E. Flowers, Ninshub
Thanks - that sounds very interesting. I snapped up a secondhand copy of the book for £2.75. Plenty more at a similar price at Abebooks, at least in the UK.
I remember posting about this at Skeptiko, my POV remains that Loren had nothing to gain by including telepathy in his book. He had an established career with a respectable academic institution and had no reason to risk it.

One question remains in my mind, however... Have members of this particular tribe been recruited for psi experiments? I'm inclined to think that the answer is "no", so that's a venue of exploration that is still open, staring back at us and pointing at NatGeo's lack of interest in anything that ventures too far from the orthodox.
"Deep into that darkness peering, long I stood there, wondering, fearing, doubting, dreaming dreams no mortal ever dared to dream before..."
(This post was last modified: 2017-10-02, 07:51 PM by E. Flowers.)
[-] The following 2 users Like E. Flowers's post:
  • Roberta, tim
I've finally read this book - or at least the part of it dealing with the allegedly telepathic tribe.

I think it should be borne in mind that Loren McIntyre's original encounter with the tribe took place in 1969. In 1977 he returned to the region and met again one of the men he'd seen before. But it wasn't until about a decade after that, that McIntyre told Petru Popescu about his experiences. Popescu published his account of them in 1991, under the title "Amazon Beaming". 

What had happened in 1969 was that through bad luck McIntyre had been stranded among a tribe called the Mayoruna (or Matses) with whom he shared no common language. While he was with them, he believed he was able to experience telepathically the thoughts of the headman, whom he called Barnacle (because he had warts like barnacles on his legs). McIntyre believed that Barnacle had communicated his decision that the tribe, under pressure from developers, needed to destroy its possessions and return to "the beginning", a process that McIntyre was afraid might amount to collective suicide.  

The narrative indicates that at times McIntyre was unsure whether these apparently telepathic communications might simply have been reflections of his own imagination. But later the group he was with joined others of the same tribe, including a man (Cambio) who spoke Portguese. Cambio appeared to confirm McIntyre's impressions by explaining that the tribe was returning to its "Nascente" (a word meaning the source of a river). When McIntyre explained that Barnacle had already told him this, Cambio speculated that he might have used a form of wordless communication he knew as the "outra lingua" (the other language) or else the "lingua velha" (the old language). After this, through Cambio as an interpreter, McIntyre was able to have more conventional discussions with Barnacle and the other elders about the meaning of the "beginning", and the tribe's philosophical conception of time. But, after a drug-fuelled ceremony which apparently represented the beginning, torrential rains came and McIntyre was swept away on a raft. Because he perceived no more telepathic communications, he became convinced that Barnacle had been killed by the floods. When he met Cambio again eight years later, he discovered this was true.

As for what's said in the book about the telepathic communication, most of it concerns McIntyre picking up Barnacle's thoughts within his head. The thoughts are said to have manifested themselves non-verbally (though a play on words, with "the face of time" interpreted as indicating a clock-face, suggests otherwise). Feelings were communicated as well as thoughts. There was no confusion about identity, and McIntyre was able to tune the signal out and adjust the "volume" of the communication at will. Later, when Barnacle is told through an interpreter that McIntyre knows about the "beginning", he seems surprised - so there is a hint that the "sender" may be unaware his thoughts are being read.

Cambio told McIntyre that he didn't know the "old language" himself, but that it was supposed to be used by the elders - though never by woman, as far as he'd heard. When asked how people learned it, Cambio said they "remembered". Later, McIntyre thought that Barnacle was teaching his son to communicate telepathically.

Although Barnacle is the only person whose thoughts McIntyre could read, he did pick up from the tribe as a whole fragments that seemed personal, and an overall "rumour" like the blurred sound produced by a crowd. And at the climactic point, following the drug-fuelled ceremony, McIntyre received a "gigantic beam" from the source of the river, which Barnacle indicated telepathically was the "beginning".
[-] The following 4 users Like Guest's post:
  • Sciborg_S_Patel, berkelon, E. Flowers, Typoz
According to Wikipedia, the Mayoruna/Matses also use psychoactive snuff:
"A Matsés man administers the prepared snuff by blowing the powder through a bamboo tube into the recipient's nostril. Under the effects of the drug, the recipient has visions of the location of game (such as peccary) in the surrounding rainforest."
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nu-nu

Evidently this is the same as one of the drugs used in the climactic ceremony described in "Amazon Beaming" (the other was a secretion produced by frogs, which some of the tribesmen licked from their skin Sick ). According to the account, after taking the snuff the men found themselves in a forest and saw visions of snakes, jaguars, rodents, bats and caimans, and also experienced plants growing in their bodies. From the animals, they selected the ones to be hunted and killed later, and did deals with their spirits - the animal would not seek revenge against the hunter if, in the meantime, the hunter while sleeping changed places with the animal and protected it from predators.
[-] The following 1 user Likes Guest's post:
  • E. Flowers
Mysterious Universe has longish article by Brent Swancer about McIntyre's adventure with the Mayoruna, in case anyone is interested in reading more but doesn't want to read the whole book:
https://mysteriousuniverse.org/2019/07/a...hic-tribe/
[-] The following 2 users Like Guest's post:
  • Sciborg_S_Patel, Ninshub
(2019-07-27, 07:05 AM)Chris Wrote: Mysterious Universe has longish article by Brent Swancer about McIntyre's adventure with the Mayoruna, in case anyone is interested in reading more but doesn't want to read the whole book:
https://mysteriousuniverse.org/2019/07/a...hic-tribe/
Fascinating. Thanks Chris.
[-] The following 2 users Like Obiwan's post:
  • Sciborg_S_Patel, Oleo
(2018-04-10, 10:02 PM)Chris Wrote: According to Wikipedia, the Mayoruna/Matses also use psychoactive snuff:
"A Matsés man administers the prepared snuff by blowing the powder through a bamboo tube into the recipient's nostril. Under the effects of the drug, the recipient has visions of the location of game (such as peccary) in the surrounding rainforest."
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nu-nu

Evidently this is the same as one of the drugs used in the climactic ceremony described in "Amazon Beaming" (the other was a secretion produced by frogs, which some of the tribesmen licked from their skin Sick ). ...

Interesting to read - courtesy of the Daily Grail - that a form of DMT secreted by the Colorado River toad is now being used as a psychedelic drug (though online sources deny that licking the toad has any effect). It seems it's also traditionally believed to be an aphrodisiac in China. Sadly the toad has to be killed to get the drug, and "conservation issues exist" with it:
https://www.forbes.com/sites/davidcarpen...79c03a38a1
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Colorado_R...genic_uses

  • View a Printable Version
Forum Jump:


Users browsing this thread: 1 Guest(s)