The Aura Mill

Discussion in 'General Forteana' started by brianellwood, Feb 18, 2004.

  1. brianellwood

    brianellwood Abominable Snowman

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    mrpercussion44
    Has anyone heard of the aura mill? I think I read about it in a book of parlour tricks and experiments years ago. Recently a friend of mine has really refined this device. He cuts a circle out of cooking foil, then scores the radial lines with a pointed object without cutting through the foil which now becomes an 'umbrella' shape , however before mounting the device on a needle point he takes a tiny piece of plastic, cuts a circular recess with the point of penknife blade into it then glues the plastic onto the umbrella underneath. The point being that this acts as an almost frictionless bearing that the needle point can rest in. To demonstrate its operation he curls his hand around the umbrella as if keeping the wind off a lighted candle. In no time the thing is merrily whirling round! He maintains that the gadget detects the human aura, explained by him as em radiation passing down to the fingertips. Sometimes the wind mill will rotate in the other direction, such as when you change hands and so sides. He also maintains that someone he knows can change the direction at will when asked! Now that would be interesting...but I have yet to see this. My question is where did this gadget originate from and has anyone else tried this 'trick'. Also, what makes it rotate, in your opinion?
     
  2. Anonymous

    Anonymous Guest

    Well, if it's em radiation then we have more sophisticated ways of detecting (and imaging) that, and as we don't image auras on a daily basis, my guess is that we're not detecting an "aura".

    Two possible things come to mind. The first is weak convection currents due to the warmth of the hand. This doesn't seem too likely, however, as they are weak, and the gadget doesn't sound quite right for a propellor.

    Second idea is that what we are seeing is effectively a pendulum. We are now in the realms of the same phenomena that cause pendulums to spin in the hands of a dowser. (My bet is on ideomotor effects, etc. :) )
     
  3. Stormkhan

    Stormkhan Justified & Ancient

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    Combination of body-heat (concentrated by the cupping pose) and natural air current (ditto)?
     
  4. lordborealmark2

    lordborealmark2 Devoted Cultist

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    I used to do this as a party trick, although it's quicker and easier to do it with a cork, a needle and paper.

    Basically it is the heat from the hands that causes the movement, and it's amazing how many people are taken in by this ;)
     
  5. brianellwood

    brianellwood Abominable Snowman

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    Interesting. It may well be convection currents, except that several of us have tried this, and sometimes the mill rotates one way and sometimes the other, and I have seen it change rotation when the 'subject' or 'operator' has not moved their hand at all. Some friends have not been able to make it work, whilst others have had to make several attempts to get it to work. Once working, changeing hands invariably makes it rotate in the opposite direction. The shape of the rotor isn't aerodynamic like a propellor which would guarantee rotation from convection currents. Maybe chaos bifurcation theory comes into this, in that it can start to rotate in either direction, and when the heat reaches a certain level, reverse?
    Any ideas how we can remove the effects of convection current from the experiment?
    If someone could demonstrate control over the rotation then it would be fascinating! Because there's no physical contact between the operator and the indicator I can't see an ideomotor response being in operation
     
  6. Anonymous

    Anonymous Guest

    Just for clarification, is the user physically holding the base/support? (If not, then another possibility is that the guy is actually blowing the thing around. Saw something like this on that Friday night "psychic secrets revealed" show on C5 with some guy called Alistair something or other.)
     
  7. lordborealmark2

    lordborealmark2 Devoted Cultist

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    Had a quick look through my bookshelf, and I found a reference to this in one of the "Bumper Book Of The Unknown" type thingeys. It's mentioned by Colin Wilson :rolleyes: who states that the idea for the experiemnt was sent to him by Robert Leftwich, a water diviner and cloudbuster.

    I didn't see the C5 show, but was that about the guy from the 70's who used to turn over the pages of books just using his mind, when really he was just very sneakily blowing the pages over?

    If you're cupping the mill in your hands that would suggest that you would be close enough to influence the motion using your breath, even just the exhalation from your nostrils. I'll make up one of these things later and have a play around again as it's been many years since I last did it.

    If someone were to put the mill in a position where they could not physically influence it though, it would be an excellent was of testing psychokenisis as such a thing would be very sensitive to even the slightest pressure. Ideally, the mill should be on a sturdy table and be encased by a glass bowl or something similar.
     
  8. brianellwood

    brianellwood Abominable Snowman

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    I've tried his mill and held my breath, and also put it on a plastic chopping board on the floor and it still works, so it doesn't seem to be convection currents or electrostatic charges or vibration. Vibration can cause things to rotate, as I remember a similar trick we used to do with our kids using a stick with notches cut on it and a 'propellor' pinned to the end of the stick. Rubbing anything like a pencil across the notches caused the prop to rotate. But I digress....
    You cup your hand about 5cm from the side of the mill and hold it steady - only one hand at a time, using both cancels it out. Some friends have tried it without success and eventually given up, others it worked for first time. As you say, what I could do with is an old fashioned gold fish bowl!
     
  9. brianellwood

    brianellwood Abominable Snowman

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    Since starting the thread I have made two mills, the first disc was cut from the bottom of a pie dish and proved to have too much inertia to start spinning easily, the second was made from thin cooking foil which was difficult to handle but proved very sensitive.After a couple of attempts the disc was soon spinning merrily whenever I cupped a hand around it as in the foto, although it was erratic in that on some occasions it would not spin and on others only with the right and not the left hand. Direction of rotation was not always the same either. Now for the experiments:
    Holding an electrostatically charged plastic rod towards the disc simply attracted it and did not make it spin.
    Holding my tape head de-magnetizer over half of the disc sent it spinning fast, as in an electricity meter.
    Driven by "hand" the speed of rotation varied according to where it was placed in the room, being fastest on the floor.
    It would sometimes stop or speed up.
    No amount of "willing" by mental thought affected the disc having tested myself and two other people.
    Once the disc was covered by a glass ( a thin pint pot of course!), the rotation stopped and then would not start again till the cover was removed.
    Surrounding the disc by a curved sheet of paper in roughly the same shape and size as a hand caused it to spin if the hand had also done just before.
    My conclusion is that minute convection currents of air directed by the hand drive the disc's rotation and not aura energy, though it's inconsistancies in performance appear duly Fortean!
    I shall continue experiments trying to move it whilst covered by a glass and would welcome results of any tests by other board members.
     
  10. Anonymous

    Anonymous Guest

    There's your answer. You don't even need a sustained force to make this thing whizz round like a carousel. Just an involuntary movement by the hand (or any other object near the wheel) will send a tiny air current enough to move it, and keep it moving for some time.
     
  11. Anonymous

    Anonymous Guest

    Aura Mill

    On one of my travels back to the 1920s, I do remember reading about an experiment very similar to this in "THE LANCET". Yes, THE LANCET.

    Trouble is I can't remember whether it was 1925, or 1926, or was it 1927, 1924? Well it was one of those years.
     
  12. EnolaGaia

    EnolaGaia I knew the job was dangerous when I took it ... Staff Member

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  13. Coal

    Coal Polymath Renaissance Man

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    I made a similar thing to a the paper 'aura mill' and put it under a goldfish bowl in my room at uni. Everyone was invited to spin the paper by force of mind. It never moved, not once, not ever...so much for telekinesis.
     

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