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Telepathy and intuitive superpowers of animals
Telepathy and intuitive superpowers of animals

Over the years, animal trainers, pet owners, and naturalists have reported various types of animal discernment indicating that they have telepathic powers. Surprisingly, little research has been done on these phenomena. Biologists have a taboo on "paranormal", and researchers and parapsychologists have focused (with rare exceptions) their attention on humans.

According to sample surveys in England and the United States, many pet owners believe that their pets sometimes communicate with them telepathically. On average, 48% of dog owners and a third of cat owners say their pets respond to their thoughts and silent commands. Many horse trainers and riders believe that horses are capable of telepathically understanding their intentions.

Some pets even seem to be able to tell when a particular person is dialing a number before the phone rings. For example, when the phone rang at the home of a famous professor at the University of California at Berkeley, his wife knew that her husband was on the other end of the line because Wiskins, their silver tabby cat, rushed to the phone and scraped the machine.

“When I pick up the phone, the cat emits an expressive meow that my husband can hear well in the phone,” she said. - If someone else calls, then Vinskins does not respond. The cat meowed even when her husband called home from Africa or South America."

Since 1994, with the help of hundreds of trainers, herders, blind people with guide dogs, veterinarians and pet owners, I have explored some of these unexplained animal abilities. There are three main categories of seemingly mysterious insight, namely telepathy, sense of direction, and apprehension.


A common form of supposedly telepathic response is anticipating the return of its masters; cats disappear when their owners are about to take them to the vet, dogs know when their owners are planning to take them for a walk, and animals freak out when their owner calls the phone before even answering the call.

As skeptics rightly point out, some of these responses can be attributed to common expectations, subtle sensory cues, coincidences, and selective memory or the imagination of caring pet owners. These are reasonable hypotheses, but should not be accepted in the absence of any evidence. Experiments are needed to test these possibilities.

My colleagues and I have focused on studying the ability of dogs to know when their owners are coming home. Many pet owners report that their pets can sense the arrival of a family member, often 10 minutes or more in advance.

Animals usually wait at a door, window or gate. In sample household surveys in England and America, an average of 51% of dog owners and 30% of cat owners said they noticed this behavior.

I watched a terrier named Jayty, which belongs to Pam Smart from Ramsbatom, near Manchester, England. Pam took Jatie from a dog shelter in Manchester in 1989 when he was a puppy and the two developed a close bond.

In 1991, when Pam was working as a secretary at a school in Manchester, she left Jayty with her parents, who noticed that the dog came to the window almost every weekday at 4:30 pm, around this time Pam went home, and the dog waited until the hostess did not come home in about 45 minutes. The girl worked during normal office hours, so the family assumed that Jayty's behavior depended on some sense of timing.

In 1993, Pam quit her job and became unemployed, not tied to any pattern in time. Her parents usually didn't know when she was coming home, but Jayty still had a premonition of her return.

In 1994, Pam read an article about my research and volunteered to participate in an experiment. In over 100 experiments, we have videotaped the behavior of Jaytie, who was waiting for Pam.

Jayty reacted not only to the sound of Pam's car or the cars of other family members, he expected her arrival, even if she came by other means of transport: bicycle, train, taxi.

We also conducted experiments in which Pam returned home completely unexpectedly, right after leaving home. In these experiences, Jayty was still waiting by the window, around the time Pam arrived home, although no one knew she would return.

Evidence shows that Jayty reacted to Pam's intention to return home when she was miles away. Telepathy seems to be the only hypothesis that can explain these facts.

Other types of animal telepathy can also be investigated experimentally, for example, the apparent ability of dogs to know when they will be taken out for a walk. In these experiments, the dogs were kept in a separate room or outbuilding, and the video was recorded continuously. Their owners, at a random time, think about walking with them, and then after 5 minutes they do it.

Our preliminary experiments showed that dogs show obvious excitement when their owner thinks about taking them outside, although they could not have known this using normal sensory means. Other times they have not shown such excitement. The most notable case of animal telepathy that I have encountered is the African gray parrot Nikisi, which has 1,400 words in its vocabulary - more than any other animal in the world. Nikishi uses language consciously and speaks in sentences.

Its owner, Aimee Morgana, was primarily interested in studying his linguistic abilities, but noticed that he often replies to what she thought. Aimi and I ran a control test with random photographs in a sealed envelope. In a series of video recordings of the tests, Aimi opened the envelope and silently looked at the picture for 2 minutes, while Nikishi was in another room, on another floor, which was filmed by a video camera.

In many trials, he uttered words that matched the image that Aimi was looking at. This effect was statistically significant.

There is great potential for further research into animal telepathy. And if pets communicate telepathically with their owners, then it seems highly likely that animals have telepathic connections with each other and that this plays an important role in the wild. Some scientists have already suggested that the coordination of a flock of birds and a herd of animals may involve something like telepathy.

Sense of direction

Homing pigeons can find their way back to their attic hundreds of miles away in unfamiliar terrain. Migrating European swallows travel thousands of kilometers to find food in Africa, and in the spring they return to their native places, in the same buildings where they previously nested. Some dogs, cats, horses and other pets also have a good sense of direction and can make their way home from unfamiliar terrain many miles away.

Most of the research on animal navigation has been done with carrier pigeons, and these studies have served to deepen the problem of understanding their bearing ability over the decades. Navigation is purposeful and assumes that animals know where their home is, even if they are in an unfamiliar place and are forced to traverse unfamiliar terrain.

The pigeons returned home even if they rode roundabout routes in closed vans, as did the birds that were anesthetized or transported in rotating drums. They are not guided by the sun, as the pigeons were able to find a home on cloudy days and even at night. However, they can use the sun as a simple compass to keep their course.

Although they use landmarks in familiar terrain, they may return home from an unfamiliar place hundreds of kilometers from home, where there are no familiar landmarks. They cannot smell their home hundreds of miles away, especially when it is downwind, although smell can play a role in their homing ability when they are close to familiar territory. The pigeons, deprived of their sense of smell by scientists, were still able to find their homes.

Some biologists hope that the phenomenon of homing in pigeons can be explained in terms of magnetic sense. But even if pigeons have a sensory compass, this cannot explain their ability to navigate. If you were in an unknown direction with a compass, you would know where north is, not the direction of your home.

The failure of conventional attempts to explain the navigation of homing pigeons and many other animal species suggests a sense of direction, but this has not yet been recognized by science. This could have profound implications for understanding animal migration and shed light on a sense of human direction, much more developed among traditional peoples, such as the Bushmen in the Kalahari Desert or Polynesian seafarers, than among modern city dwellers.


Very little research has been done on animal foreboding, even in the case of earthquakes and tsunamis, where such warning can be very helpful.

Some forebodings can be explained in terms of physical phenomena, such as electrical changes before earthquakes and hurricanes. Other premonitions are more mysterious, such as the premonition of air raids during World War II long before animals could hear enemy planes approaching or worry about unforeseen catastrophes. Here foresight or foreboding can be explained either by the ability to go back in time, or by blurring the distinctions between future, present and past.

All three types of discernment - telepathy, sense of direction, and foreboding - are better developed in dogs than in humans. We have a lot to learn from our pets and from animals in nature.

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