Sleep Paralysis Nightmares Recreated By Photographer

Nicolas Bruno sleep paralysis hypnogogic hynpogogia photography art

For years, photographer Nicolas Bruno has suffered hypnogogic sleep paralysis. His mind is awake, but his body feels completely paralysed. Unable to move, Bruno is assaulted by hyper-realistic visions of malevolent presences, screaming disembodied heads, demonic creatures crushing his chest, and other nightmares. So real are the experiences, Nicolas began to think he was possessed by demons.

I would go to bed and I would wake up immediately right into one of those dreams. I wouldn't sleep for two days at a time because I was so afraid to go to bed.

Soon, insomnia and suicidal depression became worse than the sleep paralysis. A conversation with a high school teacher changed his life, and Nicolas began to recreate his hypnogogic hallucinations through photographic art. His work is both fascinating and frightening.

“For people who haven’t experienced it, and say they want to – they really don’t. You’ve never woken up being choked out by shadow hands. You’ve never had a looming figure floating above your bed, screaming into your ear.”

Nicolas's art has reached out to other sufferers, and he's now working on a virtual reality project. You can find more of Nicolas Bruno's photography on his website, and by following him on Facebook and Instagram.

Nicolas Bruno

Quote sources: 1, 2.

If you're curious to know more about sleep paralysis, a phenomenon experienced worldwide and since ancient history, I highly recommend Sleep Paralysis: A Guide to Hypnagogic Visions and Visitors of the Night by Ryan Hurd, an in-depth and practical exploration. Australian sleep paralysis experiencer Louis Proud approaches the phenomenon from a perspective a la Colin Wilson and Whitley Strieber in Dark Intrusions: An Investigation into the Paranormal Nature of Sleep Paralysis Experiences. The Terror That Comes In The Night is a scholarly investigation by David Hufford, with historical accounts.

  • Sleep Paralysis: A Guide to Hypnagogic Visions by Ryan Hurd
    Amazon US/Kindle
    Amazon UK/Kindle

  • Dark Intrusions by Louis Proud
    Amazon US/Kindle
    Amazon UK/Kindle

  • The Terror That Comes in the Night by David Hufford
    Amazon US/Kindle

  • News Briefs 17-02-2017

    “One of us is obviously mistaken.”

    Quote of the Day:

    “Genius is play, and man's capacity for achieving genius is infinite, and many may achieve genius only through play.”

    W. Saroyan

    News Briefs 16-02-2017

    How time flies. One year ago I was enjoying a Mexican dinner with my pal Greg Bishop in Phoenix. This year he's one of the speakers at the International UFO Conference --save one of those Güero Canelo hotdogs for me, vato!!

    • 'Huge flashing UFO' purportedly filmed over Normandy --AND Texas-- was nothing but a huge hoax.
    • In 1939 Winston Churchill wrote an essay about the possibility on alien life --which is probably the reason he ordered a UFO coverup in the 1950s.
    • NASA is studying whether or not to light their new big-ass candle with The Right Stuff on board --and if you don't understand that reference, well I only have THIS to say…
    • Here are the winners of NASA's Space Poop Challenge --because there are no gas stations between here and Mars!
    • First Star Trek gave us flip cell phones, now comes Geordi's headset that will let the legally blind to see again.
    • A giant galaxy orbiting our own just appeared out of nowhere. Great! Maybe now all my left socks will also reappear.
    • The Paranormal Activity franchise is moving to the next frontier of mass entertainment: VR.
    • Brain scans can detect autism long before symptoms start to manifest.
    • Robert Kennedy Jr. and De Niro say they'll give $100K to anyone who can prove to them 'vaccines are safe.' Oh boy…
    • The federal Patent and Trademark office ruled against the true inventors of CRISPr.
    • Sorry, you can't hunt for Bigfoot --or Pokemons-- on public taxpayers' money.
    • Revisiting the mystery of the Wollaton Park gnomes.
    • Grill Flame was the name of the CIA operation which used psychics to try to spy on Iran during the hostage crisis.
    • The Teachings of OA: Was the Netflix series inspired by Carlos Castañeda's Tensegrity techniques?
    • Red Pill of the Day: Stealing cars to have a 'joy ride' of the most EXTREME kind...

    Thanks to those awesome ice-cream sodas at McAlpine's.

    Quote of the Day:

    "I am different from Washington; I have a higher, grander standard of principle. Washington could not lie. I can lie, but I won't."

    ~Mark Twain

    Researchers Say We Should Check for Alien Messages in Neutrinos

    Radio telescopes

    Researchers from Purdue University have proposed a new search for alien messages, not by scanning radio frequencies, but by looking for artificial patterns of neutrino pulses ('NU-SETI'). They note that since neutrinos are weakly interacting, any signal carried by a neutrino beam is "less likely to be distorted en route to Earth than would be the case for an electromagnetic signal":

    In searching for SETI signals carried by neutrinos, there are at least two classes of signals that might be accessible to us. We start by recognizing that we already have the capability of generating pulsed neutrino beams at Fermilab, starting from pulsed proton beams. Specifically a pulsed beam was sent over a distance of 0.66 miles at an effective bit rate of 0.1 bits/sec, and was received with a detection accuracy of 99%. If we assume an advanced civilization can do somewhat better, then we can search for “universal” strings of pulses, say, those characterizing prime numbers 1,2,3,5,7,… The other class of signals would be those specific neutrino signals associated with an advanced civilization running exclusively on fission or fusion sources all of which produce characteristic neutrino signals.

    It's all well and good to propose these things, but how viable is the search in real life given the equipment and time required? The researchers note that their proposed NU-SETI system would be "a scalable array of individual sites spread over the world", each looking for the signature decay rate of specific radioactive sources; each of those sites would cost approximately $20,000 to set up, so 1000 worldwide sites would cost $20million.

    While this sounds like a non-starter based on the costs alone - especially considering how difficult it has been for regular SETI to raise funds over the years - the researchers involved point out that NU-SETI might happily be funded by "sectors sensitive to the effects of solar storms such as electric power companies and the military", as the data collected could simultaneously be used to predict solar storms and thus mitigate their effects. In that case, $20million seems like a bargain (as compared to, say, losing a satellite to an unexpected solar storm).

    Link: "NU-SETI: A proposal to detect extraterrestrial signals carried by neutrinos" (PDF)


    News Briefs 15-02-2017

    Grab some popcorn and pull up a grassy knoll - the new season of 'America' is about to get exciting....

    Quote of the Day:

    Life isn’t divided into genres. It’s a horrifying, romantic, tragic, comical, science-fiction cowboy detective novel. You know, with a bit of pornography if you're lucky.

    Alan Moore

    Life (2017): Because ET's Are Still a Big NOPE

    Space: The final blockbuster frontier. By the looks of this upcoming film, it seems Hollywood hasn't given up on scaring the crap out of us with the prospect of learning we're not alone in the Universe

    Life tells the story of the six-member crew of the International Space Station that is on the cutting edge of one of the most important discoveries in human history: the first evidence of extraterrestrial life on Mars. As the crew begins to conduct research, their methods end up having unintended consequences and the life form proves more intelligent than anyone ever expected.

    Don't get me wrong. I love me some Ryan Reynolds as much as the next bro, and wouldn't mind laughing at his jokes about how the ISS smells like ass because of Jake Gyllenhaal's lack of hygiene. But there's just something that's really bugging me about this apparent thriller concoction that seems 1 part Alien, 2 parts Gravity, one table-spoon of Mission to Mars with a pinch of Lovecraft to add a bit of tentacled flavor.

    That brew seems just too bland to swallow. Not after seeing how Hollywood is capable of serving us masterpieces like Arrival, and exploring the discussion of life outside of Earth in much more interesting ways than your typical space-based thriller. Here's what *I* would like to see for a change: A Sci-Fi story in which humanity finds extraterrestrial life and feels deeply threatened by it, but NOT because ETs want to either eat/enslave/assimilate us, but because their very nature and existence proves Mankind is irrelevant in the larger picture of the Cosmos. Think about it: If we humans and everything we can see, touch and smell all around us amounts to less than 5% of the observable universe, then that means we're basically cosmic dandruff.

    What if aliens haven't made open contact with us because they would find such an idea as ludicrous as ourselves trying to establish relationships with the bacteria inhabiting our large intestine?

    All I'm saying is we deserve more intelligent Sci-Fi narratives, and Life seems just like a flashy mashup of tried-out themes.

    But if you're not dissuaded by my ranting --and in fact you shouldn't and make up your own mind-- then you'll be able to catch it on your nearest cineplex on March 24th.

    News Briefs 14-02-2017

    It was a simpler time...

    Quote of the Day:

    We have made enormous progress in teaching everyone that racism is bad. Where we seem to have dropped the ball…is in teaching people what racism actually is…which allows people to say incredibly racist things while insisting they would never.

    Jon Stewart

    New Research Into the Mystery of Anomalous Meteor Sounds

    Leonid Meteors

    In our most recent Darklore release (Volume 9), I wrote about the history of the scientific anomaly/controversy known as "electrophonic meteors" (my full article, "Rocks In Your Head", is available at the Darklore website). In short, throughout history, people have reported hearing meteors at the same time as seeing them - despite this appearing to be impossible, given any sound originating from meteors should be delayed by a quite long period as they are generally many miles distant.

    For a couple of centuries, respected astronomers rubbished such reports, but in recent decades the phenomenon has become more accepted, with some scientists suggesting that the sounds were caused by radio frequency emissions, possibly from the plasma of the meteor's fireball. Now, a new experiment - published in Nature, no less - has suggested that the mechanism creating the sounds is photoacoustic coupling:

    The meteors of interest typically have initial speeds below 40 km/s and burn durations longer than 2 s. These optical pulse trains, if converted to sound, often have time characteristics consistent with the popping, swishing, or sizzling noises reported by observers1–3. We suggest that each pulse of light can heat the surfaces of natural dielectric transducers. The surfaces rapidly warm and conduct heat into the nearby air, generating pressure waves. A succession of light-pulse-produced pressure waves can then manifest as sound to a nearby observer.

    ...For fireballs, the sound pressure waves track the time history of the illumination, and the amplitude depend on the irradiance. Also important to the generation of sound are the thermal conductivity, specific heat, and density of both the dielectric solid and the air as well as the light penetration depth into the solid.

    ...[T]he most efficient light-to-sound transducer materials have high absorption coefficients, so the light is absorbed near the surface. They also have low thermal inertia characterized by low conductivity, which minimizes heat flow, and low volumetric heat capacity, which maximizes the temperature rise. This combination of properties is found in most dark-colored dielectric materials. Likely candidates for producing photoacoustic sound are dark paint, fine hair, leaves, grass, and dark clothing – all of which we tested.

    Our test setup consisted of a 10 cm square white-light LED array producing a peak flux of E=5W/m2 on the test sample, the sample, and a scientific grade laboratory microphone. The setup was placed inside a plastic dome located in an anechoic chamber. Outside, we located a signal generator and linear amplifier to drive the LEDs and a spectrum analyzer to record the signal from the microphone.

    Their testing was successful in producing sounds via photo-acoustic coupling (see their recording of the song "Greensleeves" being transmitted in this way), leading the researchers to conclude that their "calculations and experiments are consistent with how observers have described the concurrent sounds
    associated with fireballs".

    Paper: Photoacoustic Sounds from Meteors

    Further reading: Rocks In Your Head - The Strange History of a Scientific Anomaly

    News Briefs 13-02-2017

    Natural intelligence seems to be on the wane. And nature abhors a vacuum, so...

    Quote of the Day:

    Pray that there's intelligent life somewhere up in space, 'cause there's bugger all down here on Earth.

    Monty Python, "The Galaxy Song"