Plasma Life Forms?

Recently a thought-provoking report prepared by a so-called “plasma metaphysics” researcher named Jay Alfred, the author of Our Invisible Bodies, has been posted on the Internet and generating interest and speculation. This paper explores the intriguing life-like qualities of plasma. Here are key excerpts from Alfred’s presentation that best describe his speculations and interpretations of this controversial and fascinating notion:

“Bohm, a leading expert in twentieth century plasma physics, observed in amazement that once electrons were in plasma, they stopped behaving like individuals and started behaving as if they were a part of a larger and interconnected whole. Although the individual movements of each electron appeared to be random, vast numbers of electrons were able to produce collective effects that were surprisingly well organized and appeared to behave like a life form. The plasma constantly regenerated itself and enclosed impurities in a wall in the same way that a biological organism, like the unicellular amoeba, might encase a foreign substance in a cyst. So amazed was Bohm by these life-like qualities that he later remarked that he frequently had the impression that the electron sea was ‘alive’ and that plasma possessed some of the traits of living things. The debate on the existence of plasma-based life forms has been going on for more than 20 years ever since some models showed that plasma can mimic the functions of a primitive cell.”

“An international scientific team has discovered that under the right conditions, particles of inorganic dust can become organized into helical structures which can interact with each other in ways that are usually associated with organic life. Using a computer model of molecular dynamics, V.N. Tsytovich and his colleagues of the Russian Academy of Science showed that particles in plasma can undergo self-organization as electric charges become separated and the plasma becomes polarized╔.. Tsytovich’s computer simulations suggest that in the gravity-free environment of space, the plasma particles will bead together to form string-like filaments which will then twist into helical strands resembling DNA that are electrically charged and are attracted to each other.”

“He adds that the ionized conditions needed to form these helical structures are common in outer space. If that is so, then it will mean that plasma life forms are the most common life form in the universe, given that plasma makes up more than 99% of our universe which is almost everywhere ionized. ╔.Tsytovich pointed out that plasma life forms can develop under more down to Earth conditions such as at the point of a lightning strike. The researchers hint to perhaps a plasma form of life emerged on the primordial Earth which had a highly ionized atmosphere, which then acted as the template for the more familiar organic molecules we know today. A plasma bubble could form at the end of a lightning strike and act as a mould for chemicals to conform with to form a primitive biological cell.”

“In 2003, physicists; Erzilia Lozneanu and Mircea Sanduloviciu of Cuza University, Romania, described in their research paper Minimal Cell System created in Laboratory by Self-Organization (published in Chaos, Solitons & Fractals, volume 18, page 335), how they created plasma spheres in the laboratory that can grow, replicate and communicate, fulfilling most of the traditional requirements for biological cells. They are convinced that these plasma spheres offer a radically new explanation of how life began and proposed that they were precursors to biological evolution.”

“According to Sanduloviciu, these plasma spheres were the first cells on Earth, arising within electrical storms, and he believes that the emergence of such spheres is a prerequisite for the evolution of biological cells.”

“Paranormal analyst, Allan Danelek (in his book, The Case for Ghosts) says, ‘One could think of orbs as ‘tiny ghosts’ moving around a room, their essence being contained within a tiny sphere of pure energy, like air inside a bubble.’ This description matches the description of life-like pulsating plasma spheres generated in the laboratory by Lozneanu and Sanduloviciu. According to the paranormal literature ‘orbs’ are light anomalies that appear on photographs and video as spherical balls of light but as flashes of light to the naked eye because of their rapid speed of motion.”

T. “Lee” Baumann, M.D., the author of God at the Speed of Light [said to have helped inspire TV’s “Joan of Arcadia”] and The Akashic Light, an author/researcher who uses hard science and quantum physics to argue that God and physical light are more than metaphorical comparisons, offered these thoughts on Jay Alfred’s presentation:

I find the concepts described by Jay Alfred fascinating. The ideas certainly strike a fond and familiar chord with my own writings, yet I remain reservedly skeptical. Let me explain.

A plasma is unusual in that it is defined as being a fourth state of matter (in addition to the solid, liquid, and gas states). However, it is my na´ve view that a plasma may almost be perceived as an intermediary state between pure matter and pure energy. It appears to share many characteristics of both.

The relationship between energy, matter, consciousness, spirituality, and life is obviously a complex and profound one, and I do not admit to having many of life’s answers. However, quantum physics does offer a logical explanation for linking the vast electromagnetic spectrum (the pure energies of visible and non-visible light) to our nebulous understanding of consciousness, human and otherwise. Specifically, my own research suggests that light is omnipresent, omniscient, omnipotent, and conscious. The first three characteristics (the three omni’s) are the result of the cessation of time for particles (matter)/waves (energy) traveling at the speed of light. In the absence of time, the photon can be theoretically everywhere in the universe at once. If you could be everywhere at one time, you would also know everything that is happening in the universe at that particular time (omniscience). Further, if time does not exist for the photon, an inevitable extension is that the past = present = future, and, hence, you are omniscient for the future as well as the present and past. What is so amazing is that this cessation of time for the photon is a well-accepted and proven fact derived from Einstein’s famous special theory of relativity. Lastly, the trait of "consciousness" is a term coined by physicists (not Lee Baumann) to describe light’s implausible and almost human-like behavior in the double-slit, quantum eraser, and related physics experiments. From these observations, it is not hard to see how I would be supportive of the conclusions drawn by Jay Alfred.

However ╔ I am also a supporter of the scientific method. Personally, I would love to believe the numerous hypotheses detailed by Alfred, but I am skeptical. To start, there are a few points that I would contest. The statement that "plasma makes up more than 99% of our universe" is at odds with the current approximation by astronomers that approximately 25% of the universe is made up of dark matter and a larger 70% by dark energy (see http://science.hq.nasa.gov/universe/science/dark_energy.html). Although it is true that we do not know what makes up dark matter/energy, I am not aware of any evidence that either consists of plasma. It is more likely that Mr. Alfred meant to state that plasmas make up more than 99% of our visible universe (and < 5% of the total universe).

I am also skeptical of the statements regarding the "orbs" or "balls of light." I have had digital photos of myself taken with hovering and "moving" BOLs, and I was initially mystified and hopeful that these orbs might be true guiding spirits or guardian angels watching over me. However, if you go to the following website, http://www.fujifilm.com/products/digital_cameras/contents/shooting_tips/reflect/, a logical argument is made that the BOLs are reproducible and explicable by reflective dust particles in front of the camera’s flash (a sample photo is included on the website). I fully recognize that exceptions may well exist to the FujiFilm.com explanation and that videos also exist that cannot be explained by this argument. However, I remain to be convinced that these exceptions are due to paranormal phenomena.

Having made the above observations, that leaves Mr. Alfred’s astonishing comparisons between living organisms and the plasmas he describes. I must first offer a disclaimer that I am by no means an expert on plasma physics. However, my superficial knowledge of plasmas would indicate that many comparisons made by the author do appear to have some basis in fact. Not to be overly simplistic, I believe plasma research is still in its early phases, and it is far too early to draw the astonishing conclusions made by Mr. Alfred. At the same time, I think his comparisons are intriguing, and, if proven valid, they would certainly complement the findings of my own research. I will read with great interest as research in this relatively recent field of physics continues to progress.

Co-editor Dr. Gregory Little, offered these thoughtful comments:

“Since 1990, I have argued that plasmas have intelligence. In People of the Web (1990), Grand Illusions (1994), and in a series of articles in Alternate Perceptions (when we were a printed magazine) I listed the characteristics of plasma forms noting that they show interactive, intelligent behavior. Many UFO sightings, reports of some ghost lights, and flaps such as the Yakima Reservation [Washington state] sightings in the 1970s and ‘80s are plasma forms. This idea is, I believe, the least popular in ufology, but it remains the most viable one.”

“A plasma typically lasts less than a second, but evidence from reliable witnesses exists showing that some plasmas can last much, much longer (hours),” Greg wrote in Grand Illusions. “They are very difficult to observe in the daytime. In addition, plasmas tend to emerge from the same places on the earth over time. Plasmas have a very powerful magnetic field surrounding them.”

Canadian neuropsychologist Dr. Michael Persinger has made a strong case for a plasma/geomagnetic basis to the UFO phenomenon. In his Canadian lab, Persinger has subjected volunteers to electromagnetic fields that stimulate certain temporal lobe brain structures, particularly the amygdala, causing altered states of consciousness that seem to mimic effects and sensations similar to reported out-of-body excursions, a spirit presence, and alien abduction perceptions. “Persinger doesn’t believe that it’s a spiritual realm he’s tapping,” Greg explained in an earlier conversation with me. “Personally, I think it is a spiritual realm.” In Alternate Perceptions (Winter 1996, No. 33) Greg explained why. “The plasma-induced EM-brain interaction fits this evidence perfectly,” he wrote. “This could be the entire explanation of ufology and other paranormal sciences were it not for a few additional confounding facts and observations. These facts and observations tell us that the plasmas and geomagnetic energies frequently assume an intelligent form and shape, and display an interactive intelligence with their observers.” Besides that, Greg went on to cite the famous Marian/Virgin Mary apparitional events of Zeitoun, Egypt and Fatima, Portugal where thousands observed the apparitions, and in the case of the Zeitoun appearances “intelligent forms” were recorded and authenticated photographically. “In addition, we know that countless ‘prophecies’ told to those who had a special and unique relationship with the forms have come to pass,” Greg added.