My friend Nadira likes to clip interesting newspaper articles, put two or three of them into an envelope and send them to me. Often they are about horrible things that very sick men in the Middle East do to women in the name of Islam (Nowhere in the Koran does it say that you must cut a woman’s feet off if her shoes make too much noise. I’ve checked.), sometimes they are interesting animal stories about tiny kangaroos called bilbys or a cat that rides a bus in England everyday. Almost never are there clippings about UFOs.
I am a person who has the nasty habit of jotting down notes on the backs of envelopes that people and businesses send me, causing me to retain a paper mess sometimes. Several days ago I was looking through some of my voluminous papers replete with odd notes featuring telephone numbers of forgotten people with no names attached and appointment times without a reference to whom I was supposed to meet or why. When I find a note that is still important and decipherable I jot it into a spiral bound note-book and then the envelope is recycled.
Among these envelopes I found one from Nadira postmarked 11 OCT 2011. I had read the articles within the envelope nearly 3 years ago so the contents were familiar but vague. There was an article about voodoo in the boroughs of New York and another about how children think, but the third article really caught my attention. It was titled: A Secret to Long Life: UFOs by Ralph Gardner Jr in the Wall Street Journal April 28, 2011. This article was about then 108 year old Dr. Alexander Imich. And it made my blood boil. Imich seems like a very interesting fellow with interests that parallel mine. He practices the fairly well proven theory that a calorie restrictive diet can lengthen life. Imich has a Ph.D. in zoology and worked in the area of chemistry, yet the author Gardner, seemed to make light of that caloric restriction idea which has many science-based studies that agree. But it was Gardner’s words about UFOs and parapsychology that really bugged me.
He wrote, “I don’t believe in parapsychology or UFOs, another of the centenarian’s interests,…” This statement bothered me on so many levels. It is insultingly dismissive. Using the word “believe” equates an accredited scientific inquiry, parapsychology, with some unprovable religious dogma which must be accepted on faith. I advise Mr. Gardner to read Supernormal by Dean Radin Ph.D. or The Reality of ESP: A Physicist’s Proof of Psychic Abilities by Russell Targ to glean how provable psi is. As far as “believing” in UFOs, I refer to my recent blog piece U is For Unidentified! wherein I explain that UFOs are UNIDENTIFIED objects or lights in the sky and not necessarily star ships from Zeta Reticuli. I posit that Gardner was expressing his lack of “belief” or interest (probably subconsciously) in these subjects to please his corporate overlords (Rupert Murdoch) and to assure his stock market readers (WSJ) that he is a loyal adherent of the 19th Century mechanistic, materialistic worldview, a paradigm that faded first from 20th Century physics (through Quantum Mechanics etc.) and is currently losing ground in the minds of 21st Century mankind.
OK, my rant is over. and I will end my efforts to play young Dr. Freud with this writer and focus more on Dr. Imich. So after I found the old article about Dr. Imich in my envelope, I decided to check him out on the internet and discovered to my delight that he had just been named the oldest man (male human) on Earth by the Guinness Book of World Records! It had been suspected that he probably was the oldest man after the former record holder Italian Arturo Licata passed away April 24 at age 111 years and 357 days. The synchronicity of this caused me to write this post. Incidentally 66 women in the world are older than Imich.
The facts that this gentleman is living in Manhattan and is the world’s oldest male human is enough to spark my curiosity, but his being a paranormal investigator and a ufologist put me over the top. Since he lives close by me I might actually be able to meet and speak with him. He was born in 1903 in the current country of Poland and escaped the Nazis but was captured by the Russians and spent some time in a Russian prison camp. After that he moved to Samarkand, an intriguing place on the steppes of Asia that I’d like to visit someday soon.
He has written numerous papers for para-psychological journals. He gave out the Imich prize for parapsychology research for several years. He edited a book, Incredible Tales of the Paranormal in 1995 which now sells for $74+ on Amazon and started the Anomalous Phenomena Research Center in 1999, trying to find a way to demonstrate the reality of paranormal phenomena to mainstream scientists and the general public.