It is often commented that football players exhibit a deep interconnectedness when playing ‘the beautiful game’. In a recent Netflix documentary, Gary Neville directly described his relationship with David Beckham as ‘telepathic’ when on the pitch. This isn’t unusual, at all. Players often say they are absolutely aware of where their team mates are during play, even when out of sight they are not somehow ‘out of mind’.

From great players with immense mental and physical focus, operating within teams united as one, playing on sacred grounds fuelled by the spirit of those places they call ‘home’ and led by managers with clear vision and intense Will – this is a truly a creative industry that make games of legend. One might conclude that football is enacted spirituality.

Yet… what role might the fans be playing? 🤔

Here is where the rather unexpected players – the parapsychologists enter the game.

Whilst at a conference at Broughton Sanctuary (where Wyrd Experience is housed) Professor Chris Roe (luminary scientist in experimental parapsychology from the University of Northampton) collects not one, not two but THREE ‘Wyrdoscopes’.

He does so to begin a fascinating study aiming to identify moments of deep interconnectedness, ‘collective consciousness’ – of fans during football matches.

Prof. Roe says:

“Scientific research into the nature of consciousness is still in its infancy, but recent advances suggest that it is not helpful to think of it as restricted to an encapsulated brain. We’re more likely to learn something fundamental about the nature of consciousness by focusing on situations in which mind seems to be extended, or intertwined with other minds. The football stadium project focuses on one such situation, and we’re very excited by the prospect that the Wyrdoscope might be able to capture evidence of extended mind.”

Imagine those moments of collective ‘ohhh’ and ‘ahh!’, the combined rage when a red card is raised, and the euphoria (or despair) when a goal is scored or thwarted in a split second of surprise. Such moments share focus, hope and emotion where thousands of individual minds seem to combine as one, in a sense of ‘syntropy’ – nature’s tendency for combining toward life (opposite is entropy, where it diverges toward death).

All of these twists and turns, highs and lows within the timed structure of a football match, create an emotional rollercoaster, one that is shared in real-time by thousands gathered in a special place, for a special purpose. This mass ‘ritual’ offers specialist researchers an exquisite lens of insight into how human consciousness operates as a combined phenomena – especially when sharing in tasks or activities, especially those with intention (i.e. to win).

The study draws upon a century of parapsychological research including 3 decades of data from Princeton Engineering Anomalies Research (P.E.A.R.) laboratory (which is now housed on Broughton Sanctuary as WYRD Experience). This field of investigation has robustly shown, quite clearly, that human consciousness (i.e. our awareness, attention and intention) can directly affect the physical world – ‘mind over matter’ – and can now be detected at very subtle level with the ‘Wyrdoscope’.

In essence, the Wyrdoscope is a ‘syntropy detector’. It is the first device to be manufactured of its kind and operates by comparing real-time events with the outputs of random event generator (REG) technology.

How does it work? It tracks and analyses ‘anomalous correlations’ between two data streams coming simultaneously from two Random Event Generators. Such anomalies cannot be caused by any classical fields, so they must come from a different source – and Wyrd Research propose that this source, is the field of consciousness itself. What this looks like, is at moments of syntropy (combined human focus, emotion, etc) the Wyrdoscope outputs show certain structures in the data, suggesting that consciousness may not be ‘in our heads’ but rather, a shared field through which we are all interconnected.

This study is a collaboration with football business guru Ryan McKnight (Currently the Chief Executive of the North of England Football Academy and owner/Director of Revo Coaching Consultancy).

With regards to the importance of this study, McKnight says:

“Football Fandom is not merely just a hobby, a past time or a habitual activity. It is in fact fundamental in our existence; the requirement we have to be amongst others, to have a relationship with the place we are from, to continue intergenerational traditions.

Those opportunities have sadly waned over recent decades as result of, in my view, a symptom of the homogenised modern incarnation of neo-liberalism that has produced a society suffering from an epidemic of status anxiety where the pursuit of looking good to peers trumps the soul. 

Our research using the Wyrdoscope at its heart attempts to unlock the fundamental meaning and opportunity of football fandom. It represents the last layer of the onion in understanding the governing dynamics of fandom and the game itself and dare I say even life and how we structure societies.

The new devices will play a critical role in this work and we thank Peter, Wolf and their team for their fantastic work.”

With the stakes high for science and sports alike, perhaps it doesn’t matter which team you might be on, as everybody wins when we reconnect with our most ancient community psyches – we honour our physical places, we nurture our team spirit and we support collective growth.

Now that’s a goal we can all agree on.


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