Overview and Mission of FREE
The Foundation for Research into Extraterrestrial and Extraordinary Encounters, FREE
Mission & Philosophy
We are honored to publicly introduce the Dr. Edgar Mitchell Foundation for Research into Extraterrestrial Encounters (FREE) — a Not for Profit co-founded by the late Dr. Edgar Mitchell (Apollo 14 Astronaut), Dr. Rudy Schild (Emeritus Professor of Astrophysics at Harvard University), researcher Mary Rodwell from Australia, and Rey Hernandez an Attorney and Experiencer. Before his death, Dr. Edgar Mitchell, in a video recording, expressly gave his permission to allow FREE to be named in his legacy.
FREE was formally incorporated as a not for profit academic research research institute on July 15, 2015 by various retired Ph.D. Physicists, Ph.D. Scientists, Ph.D. Psychologists, Ph.D. Neuroscientists and lay researchers. FREE is a focused on researching “What is Consciousness” by undertaking cross comparative research on individuals that are having various types of “Contact with Non-Human Intelligence”.
FREE’s Mission will focus on “Research, Education and Support” but we will primarily focus on scientific investigation, through surveys and interviews, on individuals who have had UFO related contact experiences with non-human intelligent beings and eventually to compare this UFO related contact group with individuals that have had other types of paranormal contact experiences through the following “Contact Modalities”: NDE contact, OBE contact, Shamanic Hallucinogenic contact, Mystical Meditation contact, Channeling, Lucid Dreaming Contact, Remote Viewing contact, and other types of human encounters with non-human intelligence, and related paranormal contact experiences.
The majority of our FREE Board of Directors, including Dr. Rudy Schild and Dr. Edgar Mitchell, hypothesize that all of these diverse “Paranormal Contact Modalities” (NDEs, OBEs, UFO visitations, Remote Viewing, ESP, Channeling, Spirit Interactions, etc) are interconnected through what is commonly called “CONSCIOUSNESS” and that advanced physics, in particular, the Quantum Hologram Theory of Physics and Consciousness, as developed by Dr. Mitchell and Dr. Schild, can begin to describe the possibility of how all of these diverse “Paranormal Contact Modalities” are indeed interrelated, including the UFO Contact Phenomenon.
Both Dr. Rudy Schild, Dr. Edgar Mitchell, and several of our FREE physicists have published a series of academic papers on topics of the Physics of Consciousness and the Contact Modalities. FREE will begin, through the contributions of the five Ph.D. physicists associated with FREE, and other diverse scientists associated with FREE, to bring into our “Experiencer Research Study”, the latest findings from advanced physics that might begin to explain the quantum nature of anomalous contact experiences, including UFO related contact with non-human intelligence. To this end, FREE’s website, http://www.experiencer.org/ , has two separate menus (The Contact Modalities & The Science of Consciousness) that contain over 50 articles, many written by Ph.D. physicists and other academics, that present these topics in an easy to read format for the non-scientific audience.
The majority of our FREE Board of Directors also endorse the Post-Materialist Paradigm of what is “Consciousness”, promulgated by Dr. Edgar Mitchell since the early 1970s who was a pioneer in the study of “consciousness” by serving as the founder of the Institute of Noetic Sciences (IONS) — one of the world’s leading institutes that studies the science of consciousness. Dr. Michell, through a series of publications, established a paradigm that firmly believes that consciousness is non-local and independent of the brain. This view of non-local consciousness might allow us to possibly explain a wide variety of special states of consciousness and many of the so called “paranormal” contact phenomena, including UFO related contact experience with non-human intelligence.
Dr Mitchell’s and Dr. Schild’s Quantum Hologram (QH) Theory of Physics and Consciousness is an extremely complex and flexible model derived from quantum physics, that just like modern physics “String Theory”, is an attempt to explain the true nature of our reality through advanced physics. Our two FREE co-founders have stated that this theory has the potential to help us explain the phenomenon “Contact” with non-human intelligence, a phenomenon that is now relegated to the “paranormal”, or seeming to defy known physical laws. The QH Theory is also a proposed framework in modern physics that can encompass the physical as well as the “metaphysical” aspects of our reality than can reveal insights into a spiritual and “paranormal” aspects of our reality that suggests the possibility that we live in a “matrix reality” that is being guided by a “Universal Creator”. FREE’s Experiencer Research Study has shown very strong correlations between the Near Death Experience phenomenon and the UFO related contact with non-human intelligence and both phenomenon once again reflects back to the QH Theory of a multi-dimensional matrix type of reality with a possible “Universal Creator” at its core.
To this end, FREE will also upholds the views established by the field of “Transpersonal Psychology” that investigates the “Spiritual” aspects of our reality with openness and to help others who have had direct personal contact experiences to integrate these experiences into their daily lives and possibly into their spiritual practice. To this end, FREE will continue to support all “Experiencers” of paranormal experiences through the FREE “Peer to Peer Support Program” and other support services — a program that has assisted over 450 Experiencers of UFO related contact experiences since September of 2015.
FREE also addresses the historic field of Parapsychology which has failed to introduce the topic of UFO related contact experiences with non-human intelligence into its formal research. Parapsychologists have conducted research and have accepted almost all of the other previously stated “Modalities of Contact” but they have ignored the “pink elephant in the room” — the fact that humans are being “visited” in our space/time by UFOs and related contact with non-human intelligent beings. Our FREE Experiencer Research Study is an attempt to bridge this gap and to introduce into the field of Parapsychology an academic study of UFO related contact experience. Three of our FREE Board of Directors, the late Dr. Edgar Mitchell, retired academic, Dr. Jon Klimo, and lay researcher Rosemary Ellen Guilley, are pioneers in the field of Parapsychology and the “Paranormal”.
UFO related Contact Experiencers are not only ignored by the field of Parapsychology but also within the field of Ufology until very recently. Even today, UFO related Contact is not prominently featured in the numerous yearly Ufology conferences and events. Many of the older “nuts and bolts” researchers in Ufology are now just starting to accept the fact that there are actually conscious living entities operating these crafts and that there are in fact “Experiencers” of said contact with these entities. This was not a commonly accepted viewpoint 30 years ago.
Another important factor that might explain the ignorance of the UFO related Contact phenomenon is that no one has every undertaken a comprehensive scientific evidence-based academic research, through extensive surveys and interviews, on “Experiencers of UFO related Contact”. Most prior research in this field, while informative, has been anecdotal in nature rather than comprised of systematic scientific evaluation. The few previous studies of “Experiencers” have had very small sample populations and have focused on limited topic areas. Most have involved samples of less than 50 individuals. In addition, almost all of the previous research has focused solely on “Abductions”, the action or an instance of forcibly taking someone away against their will by non human intelligent beings.
Today, all of the academics and researchers in our FREE Board of Directors recognize that focusing solely on “abduction” cases eliminates the majority of UFO related contact experiences with non human intelligent beings. The preliminary findings of our Phase 1 and Phase 2 Surveys support this initial hypothesis by revealing that of the 600 respondents what have had an “Abduction” only 32% of the individuals who have had “UFO related contact experiences with non-human intelligent beings.” Thus, the position of our FREE Board of Directors is that we know very little about this phenomenon and in fact what is readily perceived by the public, or the field of Ufology, might be totally misunderstood and misguided.
Because of the limitations of the entire body of previous research in this field, there clearly is a need for a scientific research study, using a large population sample, in many diverse languages to be administered worldwide, applying both a comprehensive and diverse large number of quantitative and qualitative structured survey questions and structured interviews. A proposed research study should also incorporate individuals that have had both UFO related “abduction” experiences and those that have had non abduction related UFO contact experiences. In addition, a study should incorporate a diverse and large population not only derived from mainstream Ufology organizations but also a population sample derived from many other types of diverse organizations, for example from paranormal organizations, that might have Experiencers of all types of UFO related contact experiences.
Because we know so little about the phenomenon of UFO related contact with non-human intelligence, and because no one has ever undertaken a comprehensive quantitative and qualitative research in this field, FREE is developing the first comprehensive multilingual academic research study on individuals that have had UFO related contact experiences with non-human intelligence. What follows is a detailed discussion of our FREE Experiencer Research Study.
Dr. Jon Klimo, a recently retired tenured professor who has worked in the fields of Parapsychology and Transpersonal Psychology for over 40 years, will serve as Co-Chair of the FREE Experiencer Research Study. Dr. Klimo developed the research methodology with assistance from a panel of 10 researchers and academics with previous experience in this field of research. Dr. Klimo is perfect for this task because he has chaired over 250 Ph.D. dissertations and has taught “Research Methodology” for approximately 40 years. Dr. Klimo has also researched Experiencers of UFO related Contact and other paranormal contact phenomena for many years and has published various academic papers and books on these topics.
In addition, ALL of the limited prior research in this field incorporated data from individuals that have had hypnotic regressions or information acquired through lucid dreaming. This type of data can bias a study because of the problems associated with data collection via hypnotic regressions and through a dream state. Even though hypnotic regression, in the hands of a trained mental health clinician, can be a viable tool, the regression field is very diverse, using training from a few days to a trained clinician who has had years of training, and thus this field is subject to much scrutiny.
Therefore, FREE’s data collection is based solely on what is commonly called “CONSCIOUS EXPLICIT MEMORY”, which is the conscious, intentional recollection of previous experiences and information and NOT on memory from hypnotic regression, lucid dreaming, or other type of non-conscious memory recollection. People use explicit memory throughout the day, such as remembering the time of an appointment or recollecting an event from years ago. Explicit memory involves conscious recollection, compared with “Implicit Memory”, such as memories from hypnotic regressions or a lucid dream, which is a memory from an unintentional form of memory.
In addition, a research study needs to incorporate an automated survey collection instrument, such as Survey Monkey, to facilitate the systematic collection of a large amount of survey data. Finally, if UFO related contact is occurring, we need to acquire data, via the same instrument, but in different languages, because this phenomenon is not related solely to the English speaking audience. Thus, there is a need for a survey instrument and a formal interview process that should be administered in as many diverse languages as possible. Clearly, there is a need for a new research methodology and research paradigm to properly research the diversity of UFO related Contact Experiences in a multilingual and multinational format. Our FREE Experiencer Research Study attempts to address this void and this need.
Our FREE Experiencer Research Study is also easily distinguished from previously stated research studies. First, it is comprised of 2 surveys, totaling over 600 questions. Phase 3 which involves written submissions to 70 open-ended questions. Phase 4 will involve formal one-on-one Interviews with high profile Experiencer participants. Both the participant and the interviewer’s identity will not be revealed to each other, thus maintaining the goal of complete Anonymity for our research study. Finally, our survey data collector software is “Survey Monkey”, one of the world’s leading survey collection companies whose services are used by most major research institutions worldwide.
Finally, unlike other previous limited research studies in this field, almost all of them with self-described “Abductees” and candidates previously identified by UFOLOGY organizations, our Research Study sought out possible candidates by circulating this information to a mailing list of over 2,500 individuals and organizations who self registered with the FREE website and to the majority of authors in Ufology, the Paranormal, Ufology and Paranormal radio stations, and authors of Experiencer related books. We also circulated the survey to over 500 Facebook sites focusing on the following areas: Ufology, MUFON groups, Paranormal, Parapsychology, Exopolitics, Consciousness, ETs/Aliens, Ancient Aliens, New Age Groups, CE-5 Groups, etc.
In addition, we sent emails to all the State and International directors and administrators of the Mutual UFO Network, a list containing approximately 100 MUFON directors nationally and internationally (MUFON is the largest Ufology organization in the world). We also sent our request to take our Phase 1 survey to all of the known Ufology, Abduction and Experiencer organizations worldwide and to the top researchers and authors in these fields. Finally, all radio stations focusing in these fields were also informed of our research study. Thus, no one has attempted this diversity of public dissemination and unlike all of the previous research studies who have focused solely on “Abductions”, our public outreach was focused on informing as many individuals, organizations and websites that might have knowledge of the diversity of Experiencers of UFO related Contact.
This comprehensive outreach to ALL possible “Experiencers of ALL types of UFO related Contact” has never been undertaken before using both an extensive and comprehensive quantitative and qualitative scientific based approach, in a multilingual and multinational format, and with the diverse publicity to such a diverse potential sample pool.
The result is that as of August 1, 2016, FREE has received responses from over 95 different countries. Our survey in the English language has resulted in over 2,600 responses and our Spanish language survey has resulted in over 500 responses. In September of 2016 FREE will be launching our Phase 1 and 2 surveys in the French and German languages.
In summary, FREE is NOT a “Ufology” organization. Instead, FREE is an organization that is focusing on how the Quantum Hologram Theory of Consciousness and Physics can attempt to explain all of the “Contact Modalities”, including UFO related contact with non-human intelligence.
FREE Board of Directors
- RUDY SCHILD: Dr. Schild is one of the Co-Founders and the current Executive Director of FREE. Rudy is an Emeritus Professor of Astrophysics at the Harvard/Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics and published over 400 academic peer reviewed publications on the topics of Dark Matter, Black Holes, the fluid mechanical origins of Cosmic Structure and the Physics of Information. Because of his long association with Dr. John Mack and Dr. Edgar Mitchell, Rudy became interested in the formulation of a coherent understanding of the nature of space-time in the Universe, and is a champion of the Edgar Mitchell Quantum Hologram formulation of the nature of existence and reality. As Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Cosmology he has dedicated several editions of his Journal to the topic of the Physics of Consciousness and has attempted to broaden the scope of scientific inquiry to include the nature of consciousness and the Universe of Universes.
- EDGAR MITCHELL: Dr. Mitchell was one of the 4 Co-Founders of FREE and a very active member of the FREE Board of Director. Our beloved Edgar passed away on February 4, 2016. Edgar was a member of the Apollo 14 mission which was NASA’s third manned lunar landing and he was the 6th man to walk on the moon. Dr. Mitchell has a Doctor of Science in Aeronautics and Astronautics from MIT and has received many awards and honors including the Presidential Medal of Freedom. After retiring from the Navy in 1972, Dr. Mitchell founded the Institute of Noetic Sciences. He has authored “Psychic Exploration,” in 1974 and “The Way of the Explorer,” in 1996, (Third edition, 2006) as well as dozens of articles, including articles on the Quantum Hologram Theory of Consciousness, in both professional and popular periodicals. He has devoted the last 40 years to studying human consciousness and psychic and paranormal phenomena in the search for a common ground between science and spirit.
- Jon Klimo: Dr. Klimo is the Co-Chair of the FREE Experiencer Research Project and a member of its Board of Director. Dr. Klimo has taught qualitative research methodology for over 40 years as a Full Professor in the clinical program at the San Francisco Bay Area campus of The American Schools of Professional Psychology, Argosy University. Jon has also chaired approximately 250 academic doctoral dissertations since starting as a professor at Rutgers University in 1974. Of these, approximately 75 have completely or primarily involved topics of parapsychology, the paranormal, consciousness studies, spiritual/transpersonal studies, “new paradigm” science, and in the area of the otherworldly/Ufology/Extraterrestriology. He has also lectured at over 100 conference and has appeared on more than 120 different radio and 20 different television programs. Jon has published 3 academic books, “Channeling: Investigations on Receiving Information from Paranormal Sources”, “Handbook to the Afterlife”, and “Suicide: What Really Happens in the Afterlife?” and many dozens of peer-reviewed articles and papers. His website is: www.jonklimo.com/index.html Dr. Klimo resides in Oakland, CA.
- Claude Swanson: Claude Swanson was educated as a physicist at MIT and Princeton University. During those years he worked at the MIT Science Teaching Center, Brookhaven National Laboratory and a Virginia cyclotron in the summer. At Princeton he received the National Science Foundation Fellowship and Putnam Fellowship. For the last fifteen years, interspersed with his conventional professional career in applied physics, Dr. Swanson has pursued investigations into “unconventional physics.” His principal interest has been unified field theory, the so-called “Theory of Everything” which could explain the universe at the deepest possible level. At the same time, thousands of out-of-body and near-death experiences show that other dimensions and other realities do exist. Science is discovering that, in the words of the pioneer Robert Monroe, “we are far more than our physical bodies.” Dr. Swanson is the author of “The Synchronized Universe” and “Science of the Afterlife”.
- Mary Rodwell: Mary Rodwell is one of the 4 Co-Founders of FREE and a member of FREE’s Board of Directors. She is a counselor, hypnotherapist, ufologist researcher, metaphysician, former registered nurse and midwife in the UK. Mary is also the founder and Principal of ACERN (Australian Close Encounter Resource Network) and is recognized internationally, as one of the leading researchers in the UFO and Contact phenomenon. She has personally researched and has assisted over 3,000 Contact Experiencers. She has lectured in the USA, Canada, Hawaii, UK and New Zealand and appears regularly in national and international media news programs. She is the author of numerous articles and a book entitled “Awakening: How Extraterrestrial Contact Can Transform Your Life”. Her website is: acern.com.au/ . Mary resides in Agnes Water, Queensland, Australia.
- Kathleen Marden: Kathleen is a well known UFO experiencer researcher, author and lecturer with 23 years experience in the field. She is also MUFON’s International Director of Experiencer Research. She earned a B.A. degree in social work from the University of New Hampshire in 1971, and participated in graduate studies in education while working as a teacher and education services coordinator. Her interest in UFOs dates back to September 20, 1961, when her aunt, Betty Hill phoned her nearby home to report that she and Barney had encountered a flying saucer in New Hampshire’s White Mountains. She is the author of three books, “Captured: The Betty and Barney Hill UFO Experience”, and “Science was Wrong”, with nuclear physicist/ scientific ufologist Stanton T. Friedman, and “The Alien Abduction Files”, with Denise Stoner (May 2013 release). Her chapter “UFO Abductions: Fact or Fiction” appears in “UFOs and Aliens: Is There Anybody Out There?” Her articles have been published in the MUFON UFO Journal, Open Minds magazine and on several websites. Kathy has appeared in television and radio programs in the US, Canada and the UK, and has lectured throughout the United States. She is recognized as the world’s leading expert on the Betty and Barney Hill abduction.
- Giorgio Piacenza: Giorgio was born in Lima, Perú in 1961. At the age of 12, he began to participate in Western esoteric and Indian mystical groups while attempting to maintain a spiritual and critical perspective. After a clear close up UFO group experience in 1975, he began to befriend and participate with several contactees, abductees and contact groups and until the present has consistently researched many aspects the UFO and contactee phenomenon trying to maintain an objective criterion. In 1987 he earned a degree in Sociology from Georgetown University and, in 1990, two business certificates from John F. Kennedy University. In 1991, Giorgio opened an import-export business and for a few years gave some TV and radio interviews in the U.S. and Perú. He continuously tries to educate himself on a variety of subjects. In 2000, Giorgio became one of the original civilian advisors to OIFAA, the Peruvian Air Force’s Office of Investigations of Anomalous Aerial Phenomena. Throughout the years, he has critically delved into a wide-range of interests whose development and integration could have long-term cultural repercussions, interests such as the mind-body problem, rational, intuitive and esoteric metaphysics, cosmology, Andean traditions, exopolitics, and physics. He has been a life-long student of integrative theoretical models including (since1981) that of Ken Wilber. In 2009, Giorgio completed a Certificate in Integral Theory through John F. Kennedy University and has been writing essays on a variety of fields of inquiry which he strives to integrate. In 2011 Giorgio became an advisor to the Exopolitics Institute and from 2013 to 2016, a civilian advisor to DIFAA, the Peruvian Air Force’s Department of Investigations of Anomalous Aerial Phenomena. Giorgio and his family live in Peru.
- Dennis Briefer: Dennis is a former Chair of the Board of the John Mack Institute and is currently a Board Member of the John Mack Institute. (org/) Dennis is also a Board Member of the Mindshift Institute. (www.mindshiftinstitute.org) He is a lifetime member of MUFON and a charter member of New England UFO Research, NEUFOR. Dennis is an Engineer/Physicist and is a Founder and Executive of LVLS LLC, an instrument company and holds 24 US patents mostly related to measuring instruments and additional related international patents. Additional new patent disclosure filed 2013. For over 25 years, Dennis has been investigating new energy devices, including Cold Fusion and Zero Point Energy applications. Similar to all of our Advisory Board members, Dennis is also an “experiencer” and has a deep connection to the Pleiades. Dennis resides in Berlin, MA.
- Reinerio (Rey) Hernandez: Rey is one of the 4 Co-Founders of FREE. Rey and his entire family have had conscious physical contact with non-human intelligence in their family home. All of the family members have also had various contact with large UFOs, one time with a football stadium sized craft that was at a distance of only 30 feet from Rey, his daughter, and 3 adult witnesses. His family has also had numerous paranormal experiences. All of these contact experiences began in March of 2012. Rey is currently employed as an Estate Tax Attorney with the US Dept of Treasury. He previously was an Adjunct Professor for 6 years at the New School for Social Research and the City University of New York. He was also the Director of the Center for a Sustainable Urban Environment at the City University of New York and the Director of the Office of Community Environmental Planning for the City of New York. He graduated with honors from Rutgers College, was an honors student at Cornell University for a Masters Degree and was a Ph.D. Candidate at U.C. Berkeley in City and Regional Planning where he was the recipient of a National Science Foundation Ph.D. Fellowship. Rey resides with his family in Miami, Florida.
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