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Interspecies Communication

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"Lots of people talk to animals," 
Said Pooh
"Not that many listen though."
"That's the problem."  -  Tao of Pooh 
 
Interspecies Communication: Slam Dunk for Cetaceans?
                 Orca Project     Indigenous and Ancient Knowledge of Dolphins and Whales Back

What would wake up civilized humanity and connect it to nature?  Put an end to killing of dolphins and whales?
Alter the way humanity views the non-human world and the absolute importance of protecting the viability of the oceans?
-Millions of angels descending on the earth and introducing us to the nature spirits? 

-Friendly ETs suddenly appearing on every TV station in the world and revealing possible futures: disaster if we don't   connect,  salvation if we do?

I am convinced that the most likely slam dunk would be conducting demonstrable conversations with orcas, dolphins
or belugas

The approach to interspecies communication with dolphins taken by John Lilly and Lou Herman missed the mark. If anything it indicates that dolphins are intelligent enough to figure out how we communicate or want them to communicate, but so far we have not been intelligent enough to fathom the nature of their language.
 

The Evolution of Dolphin Language
 

In The Orca Project: A Meeting of Nations I proposed that language in toothed whales evolved from sonar echoes. A widely accepted theory for the origin of human language is onomatopoeia. The word for wolf comes from the sound the wolf makes: we say "wolf" to communicate about the wolf. Applying this concept to the toothed whales that use sonar to accurately monitor their world, perhaps they communicate with one another by imitating the sonar echoes they receive.

All the toothed whales emit sonar clicks and all communicate with one another using clicks. Some species also employ squeaks and whistles which may communicate individual identities and group affiliations. Perhaps they also communicate
emotions somewhat like song does among humans. But some species never whistle or squeak.  The consistent element of communication among all the species of toothed whales is clicking.

The language of toothed whales may be non-linear. Many sounds they make extend over a great frequency range, some up to 250,000 cycles per second. The interpretation of biophysicists is that dolphins and orcas can transmit extreme amounts of information instantaneously.
 

The Superman Theory

It gets more elegant when you consider that their sonar penetrates objects and allows them to “see” inside bodies including
ours and other members of their species, the equivalent of X-ray vision. Vision is our primary sensory modality which
relies on superficial reflection of light which we then attempt to communicate about in a different modality – speech. Human language is linear: it takes a long time for us to attempt to describe in words what our eyes perceive in a moment, and even then spoken language falls terribly short. Which is why we say “a picture is worth a thousand words.”


Now imagine you are Superman able to see through objects, a quantum leap beyond human vision. Now imagine that
you could look into Superwoman’s eyes and transmit everything you’ve just seen with X-ray vision directly into her eyes.
That would constitute the most efficient communication system known and it holds immense implications for the
evolution of mind and society.

That is what I believe the dolphins and orcas may achieve with sound holography derived from sonar.

Dolphins, orcas and belugas have made frequent efforts to communicate with us in all sorts of ways, often successfully. Dolphins are master mimics of human postures and gestures, and dolphins, orcas and belugas have imitated human speech and other sounds including music and motor boats even spontaneously. To decipher the language of an alien lifeform that has developed an advanced communication system over millions of years the problem is not as simple as devising
appropriate technology.  We need to start the process with a common basis for communication and we need
their cooperation.

Have Orcas Confirmed the Prediction of Exobiology?

For decades now we have broadcast into outer space the radio-frequency of the Hydrogen atom supposedly because intelligent life out there would recognize it as an effort to communicate and so would respond in an appropriate way indicating that, “We know you are trying to communicate with us and we’d like to communicate with you.” That’s the
prediction.

In the mid-70s, the same experiment was conducted in B.C. by Erich Hoyt, the sound engineer aboard a sailboat where a film crew was making the first documentary about orcas. In his book, Orca: A Whale Called Killer, Hoyt says that he assumed that the one sound he heard most often from the resident orcas might be a greeting call. He went to work with the synthesizer on board to produce an imitation of the call, but even the crew could distinguish the imitation from the real sound.

Not only that, we discovered in the late 1970s with the help of the Applied Physics Lab at the University of Washington that audible orca sounds including whistles like the one Hoyt thought was a greeting call go to extremely high frequencies, more than ten times higher than our upper hearing range. The upper frequency that humans can detect is about 20,000 cycles per second, but the orca sounds we recorded with the world’s leading technology at that time went up to 250,000 c.p.s., the implication being that orcas emit enormous amounts of information in a small period of time.

So Hoyt broadcast his imitation from underwater to the orcas coming down Johnstone Strait. Keep in mind that the human ear could detect the imitation, and that the actual sound made by the orcas extends far above the capacity of his synthesizer. According to Hoyt, the orcas swam directly to the boat’s hydrophone and made a “perfect imitation” of his imitation.

Hoyt’s experiment confirms the prediction of exobiology: if there is intelligent life out there they will perceive the intent of our broadcast and respond in such a way that confirms they perceive our effort to communicate and they would like to
communicate with us.

In the late 70s I wrote a letter about Hoyt’s experiment and submitted it to the A.A.A.S. journal Science, precisely because it demonstrates that orcas are intelligent lifeforms and that we may be able to communicate with them. The letter was returned, rejected without comment. Perhaps there is intelligent life only in the sea.

New Science of Animal Telepathy

Like many people I have had a number of telepathic experiences, but my interest in telepathy with animals began when
orcas communicated with me telepathically two weeks after I started studying them in Puget Sound. I was not a John Lilly fan nor an acid head, but a linear-thinking scientist who had his world turned upside down by the event. I went on to have telepathic experiences with Haida, the orca at Sea Land of Victoria, and conducted a successful telepathic experiment with Skana at the Vancouver Aquarium.  (See my article, Cetacean Classroom, in the inaugural issue.)

Then I discovered from Frank Robson that he used telepathy to train dolphins in New Zealand without rewards or voice
commands. He simply held a mental picture of what he wanted the dolphins to do and they did it. There is a very extensive body of anecdotal evidence for telepathy between wild and captive dolphins and humans in which dolphins have responded appropriately to human thoughts before words were spoken. Though scientists dismiss anecdotes, a leading animal behaviorist, Marc Bekoff, reminds us that a series of anecdotes = data.

For those who are still living in the shadow of scientific doctrine, see Rupert Sheldrake's book, Dogs that Know When Their
Owners Are Coming Home
. He has been described as the Darwin-Einstein of our time for his theory of morphic resonance.
An internationally known experimental scientist Sheldrake has demonstrated telepathy between humans and dogs as
well as other species. (Look for an interview of Sheldrake in the first issue of The Dolphin and Whale Magazine.)

Shedrake also has examined telepathy among humans most of whom say they have had the experience. Mothers especially
report telepathy with their children.

Sheldrake’s research offers a model of how we could proceed. In the delightful video of his lecture to Schumaker
College (visit www.sheldrake.org) he shares with his audience split screen images of a woman away from her dog and
the dog at home.  At a time that Sheldrake's assistant tells her it is now time to start back home, the woman stands up,
takes a few steps toward her car and the dog at home stands up and walks to the door and waits for her arrival ten
minutes later.

Half of the hundreds of dogs Sheldrake has studied are telepathic with one of more humans to which they are bonded. It should be possible to apply his experimental model to dolphins and their trainers at swim programs in Mexico, the Bahamas and Florida because, like dogs and their owners, most dolphins are bonded to their trainers and anticipate their return. Like Sheldrake we can alter the times that trainers return, and for controls, recruit the help of visitors who have not yet  interacted with the dolphins. It is likely to work too with belugas and orcas if we can get aquariums
to cooperate.

A similar approach is possible with wild, friendly dolphins who are bonded with certain people such as those who take people out on boats to swim with dolphins.

I encourage you to read Long's book, the classic in the field of animal telepathy, How Animals Talk (get the Inner Traditions edition with preface and foreword by Marc Bekoff and Sheldrake who got it republished).


Indigenous Insights

The mechanisms for telepathy are unknown; however, in Chapter 3 of my book on rites of passage, From Boys to Men of Heart, there is a discussion of “Spirit Tracking” which presents the consensus of great tracking cultures including the Apache, Abos, Akamba and Kalahari Bushman. They track game following energy trails which can be seen only with peripheral vision.

The Bushman say they use these same “ropes” to communicate with one another long distance which has been accurately documented, for example, a hunter sending a message back to the distant camp that an eland or kudu has been killed. When the hunters arrive the women and kids have built a bonfire and are dancing and singing the eland or kudu song. The Bushman also say they heal one another by sending energy across the ropes to certain individuals. The impressive Huna tradition of Polynesia describes the same phenomenon as "aka" cords.

Bradford Keeney wrote two books about Bushman spiritual life: Ropes to God and Bushman Shaman. He was the first
white man to whom the Bushman revealed their tradition because they recognize him as a Bushman shaman. I am
suggesting that ropes may be some form of etheric energy connection between dogs and their owners which serve as
transmission lines for telepathic communication, and I expect the same is possible between dolphins and people with whom
they are bonded.
 

Science as Culture
 

We well may ask why there is resistance to telepathy among most scientists. On the one hand science is a powerful problem solving tool. But on the other it is the great myth of Western man, which is to say we live in a scientific culture. When asked where babies come from most people in the civilized world will spout the scientific answer, a sperm, egg and embryo story though very few actually have observed it. Likewise, we speak confidently about atoms and electrons, ignorant that no one has ever seen them. Which is to say that we no longer think science, it thinks us.

The problem is that what can not be measured or tested is ignored or rejected by science. As a consequence significant
phenomena are not part of the cultural conversation. Yet how many students taking a college biology class are told that the
structure of DNA, among the greatest scientific breakthroughs of all time, was discovered not in the lab but in a dream? Where science begins we already have been; where it ends we do not.

The point is simple enough: there are many ways of knowing. With life on earth threatened, it is essential that we move beyond dogmatic scientific doctrine and dare to find creative solutions which could help us work with the cetaceans to
serve life – their life, our life, all life. The clock is ticking.


We invite you to support this important project with your donations and by volunteering and participating in the research.
 TDWS is assembling a world-class team of experts in communication, scientists and people who have extensive non-verbal communication with dolphins and whales.

 

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