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While John Michell has a brief break from this page, another living legend will be taking his place. Biologist Rupert Sheldrake is world renowned for exploring the hidden powers that so many of us don't even realise we have been born blessed with. Jonathan Cainer

Archive for Thursday 13th November 2003 - Is someone watching you? by Rupert Sheldrake

Rupert Sheldrake image In the Second World War, RAF fighter pilots were advised not to stare at an enemy pilot when preparing to shoot him down. The intensity of gaze had been known to make the pilots look straight round at their attackers.

When she was about eight years old, Emma Clarke was walking homewards across an isolated field. For no apparent reason, she stopped and looked behind, and fear struck. "I saw a man towards the other end of the field looking at me. He dodged behind a tree. I ran the rest of the way home."

The sense of being stared at is particularly memorable in frightening situations like these, but common in everyday life. Most people have experienced it. Surveys in Britain and in the United States show that over 90 percent say they had sensed they were being looked at from behind. Also, most people have found that when they stare at someone from behind, that person may turn around.

I have carried out thousands of experimental tests to see if the sense of being stared at really exists, and the results show that it does. You can do a test for yourself on my website,

The sense of being stared at even works through binoculars and telescopes. Some of Britain's leading celebrity photographers are convinced that some people can sense their looks even when they are hidden, and looking through a telescopic lens from half a mile away. Apparently Princess Diana was especially sensitive.

I am now doing research on whether animals can feel when they are being looked at. Some hunters are convinced they can, and so are many wildlife photographers. Some people say they can wake up their sleeping dog or cat just by staring at it.

Perhaps the origins of this ability lie far back in our evolutionary ancestry. If an animal could tell when a hidden predator was looking at it, this could help it to escape.

I would be grateful to hear from readers about their experiences of the power of looks with animals or other people. Email Rupert Sheldrake with subject heading: Rupert Sheldrake

Rupert Sheldrake

Read the book - The Sense of Being Stared at: And Other Aspects of the Extended Mind

John Michell would love to hear about your experience of any unusual or unexplained phenomena.
If you have a favourite mystery subject - from spontaneous human combustion to ancient Celtic ritual sites, write to John, suggesting a theme. And if you have any answers or theories about the mysteries John will be highlighting, he would particularly like to hear from you.

Email with subject heading: John Michell
Please note, we regret that due to time restrictions personal replies may not be available.

John Michell is a prolific author. Below are just two of John's books which might interest you:

The Rough Guide to Unexplained Phenomena
John Michell and Bob Rickard - A fascinating collection. Look up anything from urban legends to recorded unexplained phenomena - to the existance of ghosts. All presented in an organised, easy to follow manner, in related categories. A complete index and accompanying pictures with each entry. Excellent reference - excellent read.
Who Wrote Shakespeare?
Was the most famous poet and writer of all time a fraud and a plagiarist? Was Shakespeare the "upstart crow" described by Greene as strutting in borrowed feathers, or Jonson's "Poet-Ape" who patched plays together from others' work? John Michell's witty investigation of the theories and claims reads like a series of detective stories. By the end of the book even the most faithful disciples of the Bard will find themselves asking, "Who Wrote Shakespeare?"

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