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Animal Intelligence and Telepathy

by Kenneth W. Behrendt

I was a young child when I had my first experience with an "intelligent" animal. It happened on one of several weekend sleepover visits that my parents would take me along on when they visited an aunt of mine that lived in a neighboring state. She owned a most remarkable male collie who was named "Duke" or, more affectionately, was just called "Dukie". I always looked forward to those visits to my aunt's home because I loved playing with her dog. The reason was that he had a most unusual ability which I have never seen any other dogs display. Dukie apparently understood English to a degree which almost made him seem human!

For example, if I told Dukie to follow me, he would and remain within a few feet of me at all times. If I told him to go up or down the stairs, he would. And, if he was anywhere in the house and I called him, he would immediately be at my side. His ability to understand English became most apparent when he was instructed to fetch an item. I could tell him to bring me a ball, slipper, or paper and he would. If he brought the wrong item and I said "No, that's not right", he would immediately return it to its original location and continue to select other items until he got it right.

I remember one incident, in particular, when I noticed that he seemed to have a limitation. While he could discern differences between the sizes and shapes of objects, he could not tell the difference between their colors. Once, there were two sponge rubber balls that I had brought with me. One was red and the other blue in color. Dukie seemed unable to tell the difference between them when he was asked to fetch one of a particular color. It was only in later life that I finally learned why. The reason was that dogs, for some strange reason, lack the structures in their eyes that allow them to perceive colors. It is thought that this may stem from their evolution as nocturnal hunters whose vision must be more devoted to seeing in low light levels rather than distinguishing between colors.

I believe that much of Dukie's remarkable, almost human abilities, were due to the fact that my aunt raised him from a puppy and that he lived, unrestrained, in the house with her. Each night he would sleep at the foot of her bed. He had little interaction with other dogs and probably considered himself to be human!

Dukie had a long life and provided my aunt with many years of companionship. Eventually, as he grew feeble and incapacitated from age, it became necessary to have him put to sleep. He died in my aunt's arms while organ music was played in the background and his passing was something that deeply affected all of us for many months afterwards.

As I grew up I heard of other collies which also displayed unusual intelligence. Of course, as a child I always watched the TV show "Lassie" whose canine star reminded me a lot of Dukie. I also remember that during the late 1980's there was yet another collie who was featured in a television commercial for some fast food restaurant chain. This dog had the quite unusual ability to mimic human speech with enough clarity to be understood! For example, in the commercial, his owner proclaims that nothing was impossible because he had just taught his dog to say "I love you"! The collie then says those words and they are clearly recognizable. For a dog to be able to mimic human speech like that requires a HIGH degree of intelligence. He must be able to recognize when the sounds he makes differ from those of his trainer and be able to modify them to get them as close to those of the trainer as possible. This task is akin to a human trying to repeat words in a foreign language without actually understanding the meaning of the words.

I have, over the years, heard or read of many other interesting cases of canine intelligence. For example, the recent tragic tsunami that claimed hundreds of thousands of lives in the countries surrounding the Indian Ocean produced many interesting stories of animal intelligence and, perhaps, precognition. One involved a small dog who, on the morning of the disaster, began barking excitedly. This dog began nipping at the feet of a young boy who was still asleep in an effort to awaken him. Once awake, the dog literally tugged the boy out of bed and began dragging him toward the door of their dwelling. Once outside, the dog pulled the boy in the direction of high ground until both were tens of feet above their previous elevation. Only a minute of so after this, the house that the boy and dog had occupied was swept away by a twenty foot wall of water!

It is interesting to note that, despite the enormous loss of human life, very few animals were killed by the tsunami. Somehow they sensed the approaching water and took immediate evasive action. Elephants kept for labor were breaking their chains and moving inland as fast as they could. Rather than telepathy or remote viewing, these cases of animal precognition are, most likely, due to their ability to sense the low frequency ground waves that reach their locations from the undersea earthquake that creates a tsunami. Thus, they have the most advanced warning possible when such a disaster is about to occur.

There are, of course, many tales of animal telepathy that I have picked up over the years. One involves the actions of wolves when traveling in packs.

It has been noted through observation on many occasions that the she-wolf apparently has strong telepathic abilities. If one of her cubs should break away from a traveling pack and be too far off for the mother to quickly reach it, the mother she-wolf will stand rock still and stare intently and the distant cub. The cub will invariably also freeze in its tracks and immediately return to the pack. This strange behavior has also been noted for several other canine species.

In such cases, we have evidence that telepathic commands can be transmitted over considerable distances and that the process involves the use of the sender's EYES. In past writings, I have hypothesized that telepathy involves the conversion of mental images into coded pulses of extreme low frequency electromagnetic radiation that are generated by the rectus muscles that move the sender's eyeballs. This radiation is then condensed or focused by the fluids of sender's eyeballs and emitted in bursts that move along a fairly narrow beam. The receiver's eye sockets can then pick up these incoming bursts of electromagnetic pulses and focus them onto the corresponding rectus muscles of the receiver's eyeballs. The receiver's rectus muscles then convert the incoming pulse trains into neural impulses that travel into the visual cortex of the receiver's brain. The result is that the mental images in the sender's mind are almost immediately reconstructed in the mind of the receiver.

The process, as in the transmission and reception of radio waves, becomes far more efficient when the two minds involved are "attuned" to each other. The proper tuning is most likely to exist between close relatives within a single species, but can also exist between unrelated individuals by chance. This accounts for the she-wolf's ability to call her own cub, but not another mother's cub and prevents a predator from using telepathy to lure prey of a different species into a situation where it could be attacked. And, as many humans have joyfully discovered, such telepathic communication also seems to exist when they finally find their "soul mate".

Even animals with brains much smaller than canines can demonstrate astonishing levels of intelligence. Recently, I saw a televised story that came out of England. It concerned research done with common crows that indicated that they were the Einsteins of the bird world.

In a college anthropology couse, I was told that only humans and a few of the other "higher" primates had enough intelligence to use tools to accomplish tasks. As a demonstration of this, our class saw a film showing how a chimpanzee in a cage eventually figured out how to use a stick to extend his reach and then pull a banana outside of the cage toward him which he ordinariy would not have been able to reach. However, the above mentioned story about crow intelligence was far more impressive.

In the news story, a video clip of a crow was shown. He was in a cage that had a variety of small items scattered about its floor. In the center of the case was a clear plastic cylinder, one end of which was firmly attached to the floor of the cage. The plastic cylinder stood upright and at the bottom of it was placed a tiny basket containing a tasty nut that the hungry crow wanted to consume. The basket had a little handle attached to it and the crow made several futile attempts to insert his beak through the open up end of the plastic cylinder in an effort to grab the handle of the basket and pull the basket and its contents up and out of the cylinder. However, the diameter of the cylinder had been carefully sized so that it was physically impossible for the crow's beak to reach the handle no matter how hard he tried.

After a few attempts the crow stopped sticking his beak in the cylinder and began looking around at the small objects scattered on the floor of his cage. He eventually found a small length of wire and picked in up in his beak. He then inserted the other end of the wire into a small hole in one of the other objects in the cage and bent this end of the wire until it was shaped like a small hook. Next, he returned to the plastic cylinder in the center of the cage and, using his beak to hold the still straight end of the piece of wire, he inserted the hooked end of the wire down into the cylinder. This was used to snare the handle on the basket and then lift the basket up and out of the cylinder! He then immediately consumed the nut as a reward for his effort.

When I saw this little demonstration, I was totally dumbfounded. The speed with which he recovered the nut indicated a very high degree of intelligence in terms of judging distances, the properties of materials, and the logical steps needed to accomplish a complex task.

With such obvious intelligence, one wonders if birds, especially crows, can also display telepathic abilities. Interestingly, I also encountered one story presented on another television show devoted to strange phenomenon that indicated crows, and perhaps most birds, do have very powerful telepathic abilities.

The story involved a woman who billed herself as a "pet detective". She would help people in her neighborhood with various problems related to their pets. However, she did not work alone and was assisted by her pet parrot who just happened to be highly intelligent AND telepathic!

To prove the psychic powers of her parrot, the lady demonstrated how the bird could literally read her mind. She was told to concentrate on one of her fingers by the people video taping her and the parrot would then pick which one of her outstretched fingers she was concentrating on. The bird was able to do this correctly 100% of the time. At no time when her fingers were outstretched did they shake or twitch in the slightest, so the possibility that the parrot was only "body reading" her was eliminated.

One day, another lady in the neigborhood came to the lady pet detective and was in a desperate state. Her pet cat had been missing for several days and she was hoping that the pet detective could locate the lost animal. The client was told not to worry about the cat which the detective would try to locate a quickly as possible and return it to her.

The pet detective then telepathically told her parrot of the situation and the parrot supposedly telepathically responded by saying he would relay the request to find the cat to a group of crows that inhabited some nearby trees and that they, in turn, would pass it along to all of the other crows in the neighborhood. Thus, in a short time all of the crows in the area would be on the lookout for the missing cat and, once it was located, they would help lead it back to its home.

About two days after the request was made, the pet detective received a telephone call from the client. She was now overjoyed that her cat was home safe and sound, but the cat's sudden arrival had been a little strange. Its owner had heard the small flap used by the animal at the bottom of her kitchen door open the night that the cat returned and, after welcoming the cat back with a bowl of warm milk, decided to look around her yard. In the yard there was a tree and perched in it were several crows! Apparently, they had found her cat and managed to lead it back to its owner.

Next, let us turn our attention to animals with considerably larger brains than humans and see what strange intellectual and telepathic powers they possess.

Another psychic lady whose story appeared several years ago on a strange phenomena television show claimed to also be able to establish telepathic communication with animals. Her specialty, however, was larger animals such as horses and creatures kept in zoos.

One day, this psychic lady received a call from the operators of a local zoo. They were desperate for a solution to a mysterious "illness" that had befallen the small group of elephants at the zoo. For almost a month the elephants had barely eaten anything and their health was steadily declining. All of the medical tests given these poor creatures were unable to uncover the nature of the malady. Someone had suggested that the animals had a "psychological" problem of some sort, but that person did not know of any local animal psychologists that could be called into the case. Finally, it was decided to try the psychic because she was known to have had several successes in dealing with animal problems because of her alleged psychic powers. Fortunately, for the zoo keepers, she agreed to try to help the small herd of elephants.

She arrived at the zoo and, with a keeper at her side, moved in among the elephants who were rather wary of this stranger. However, after a few minutes, they adjusted to her presence and began to approach her. Some of the elephants were very weak from not having eaten properly in weeks.

The psychic then walked up to one of the smaller female elephants and began stroking her thrunk while maintaining close eye contact with her. After about a minute of this, the lady psychic turned to the keeper and announced that all of the elephants were not eating because they were GRIEVING! Apparently, about a month earlier, one member of the small herd had died suddenly and the zoo officials had its body promptly removed and buried. The psychic claimed that the female elephant had told her, TELEPATHICALLY, that all of the elephants were VERY sad and depressed that they had not had a chance to say farewell to their deceased friend!

At first hearing of all this, the zoo officials thought the whole idea was ridiculous. However, one of the herd HAD died a month earlier and the lady psychic had not known about it in advance of her session with the elephants.

Over the course of the next few days, the remains of the buried elephant were exhumed and one of its thigh bones was retrieved and brought back to the zoo. The lady psychic then brought the bone in among the elephants and its mere presence seemed to energize them. One by one they picked up the bone and passed it back and forth among themselves while making low pitched mournful sounds. When they were done, the bone was placed in a corner of their pen where they could see and touch it whenever they wanted.

About a week later, the psychic received a phone call from the zoo's director. He was very happy because the mysterious malady that had stricken the elephants was gone and they were rapidly regaining their health and eating normally again.

There is one more interesting story related to elephant intelligence that I remember reading about a few years ago. This one took place on a banana plantation on the island of Sri Lanka which is located close to the southern tip of India.

One day workers on the plantation approached the owner to notify him that, for several nights in a row, someone had been trespassing on his plantation and stealing large quantities of bananas. The owner decided to finally put a stop to the theft and hired armed guards to patrol the perimeters of the large piece of land. However, this proved useless and the thefts continued every night without fail. What made the situation even more mysterious was that none of the guards heard or saw anyone during their nightly patrols of the property's borders.

The owner grew more desperate to put a stop to the nightly thefts of his valuable crop and decided to place armed guard INTO the banana fields themselves. This time, the guards were instructed to hide themselves so that they might catch the thieves in the act.

The plan was successful on the very first night that it was tried. Early in the morning, the guards in one of the fields began to hear the sounds of banana plants being disturbed and they slowly moved toward the source of the sounds. What they found amazed and stunned all of them and the owner was quickly awakened so he could confront the thieves personally.

Huddled together and frightened by the sudden appearance of gun toting, flashlight waving humans was a small group of ELEPHANTS! They belonged to a local man who hired them out to perform various manual labor chores like moving logs or pulling stuck vehicles out of the mud.

Apparently, the creatures had not been properly fed and decided to solve the problem themselves. Every night for several weeks they had been letting themselves out of an enclosure they were kept in and would walk, single file, down to a small stream. There they would take a refreshing drink and then carefully stuff mud from the stream's banks into the bells they wore around their necks so that these could no longer sound their presence and movement. Finally, they would slowly make their way to the plantation for their nightly snack.

The story has a happy ending. The elephants were not harmed, their owner paid for the damage they had done, and their meal sizes were substantially increased. Also, greater attention was paid to the security of their enclosure to prevent them from making any more nocturnal visits to the neighboring plantation.

No article on animal intelligence and telepathy would be complete without some mention of horses. Of course, we are all familiar with Roy Rodger's famous horse "Trigger" who could be summoned with a whistle by Roger when he needed him. This horse, like my aunt's collie, could also respond to verbal commands and seemed almost human at times.

I remember seeing a video taped segment on some show a few years ago about a woman who kept an adult horse as a pet. She had turned a large room in her home into a stable for the animal and had arranged the construction of the stable so that a window over her kitchen sink opened into the stable.

As she began cleaning the dishes after her family's dinner, the window over the sink suddenly opened up and the horse stuck his head into the kitchen. He wore a large floppy hat and took one of the scrubber that was attached to a stick from the lady. He held this in his teeth and proceeded to scrub out one of the soaped up pots in the sink! Apparently, he considered himself one of the memebers of the family and wanted to pitch in and help with the dishes after dinner.

Outside the house, the horse could run free over the entire property, but would immediately come running if the lady called to him. Toward the end of the video segment, an incident happened which caught my attention.

The lady approached the horse who she had just summoned and began petting his nose. He liked this very much. Then, the lady wrapped her arms around his neck and proceeded to hug him. He responded by using his chin on the lady's back to gently pull her toward him. It seemed to me that he wanted to return her embrace, but realized that he could not use his front legs to do so. Instead he used his chin and carefully adjusted the force so as to not injure his owner. To act in such a manner demonstrated to me just how highly intelligent this creature was.

As a final story about horse intelligence, I want to mention the case of "Clever Hans". He was owned by a retired German school teacher named Wilhelm von Osten who, in the 1880's, was convinced that he had been able to teach the horse to perform mathematical calculations.

During public demonstrations, Hans the horse could add and subtract two digit numbers and even calculate the squares of numbers. Von Osten would verbally ask Hans to solve a math problem and the horse would respond by tapping out the number in the answer by using his front hoof. He rarely made a mistake in these demonstrations. Hans could also provide word answers to questions by laboriously tapping out the letters in words of the answser. For example, for the letter "A" he would tap once. For the letter "B" he would tap twice. For the letter "C" he would tap three times and so on for the remaining letters of the alphabet.

As Hans' fame slowly spread throughout Europe, it was not long before he began to attract the attention of the scientific community. At first, only individual scientists, mainly early psychologists, examined the horse and most left convinced that he really could perform simple mathematical computations. Much debate began to swirl around the issue of whether the horse was actually performing math calculations or whether he was somehow being cued to provide the right answers by his owner so that a fradulent profit could be made off of his exhibitions.

Finally, a commission of distinquished scientists was assembled whose goal was to determine, once and for all, if Hans was really as clever as he was promoted to be. The commission set to work testing the horse and it was immediately realized that he provided correct answers even when his owner, von Osten, was not present! This eliminated the owner as a source of any fraud. However, then, quite by chance, an interesting observation was made.

It became apparent that Hans could not give accurate answers to math problems when NOBODY present in the room he was in knew the answer! In one test, the numbers from 0 to 9 were written on large cards and positioned so that only Hans could see them on the ground. The witnesses then asked him to solve a simple addition problem by tapping on the card with the answer. In every case, he performed no better on this test then random chance. However, when any witness in the room was positioned so that he could also see the cards, Hans was again able to select the right answer with 100% accuracy!

Tests like these (and there were many others) proved beyond a shadow of a doubt that Hans' math ability was very poor, but his ability to "body read" the scientists working with his was excellent. Apparently, after being asked to solve a math problem, he would slowly begin tapping out an answer and would carefully observe the subtle, unconscious reactions of the person who had asked the question. As he approached the right answer, the human might suddenly stiffen his posture a bit or stop blinking and then Hans would know that he had the right answer and stop tapping. The horse did this neat little trick so smoothly that he managed to fool some of the top people in psychology of his day.

However, I do vaguely remember reading about an interesting story connected with the testing of Hans, the veracity of which I can not verify. Apparently, during his early testing by individual scientists, one scientist was allowed to be in a tent with him alone and to ask him questions which he would then answer by slowly tapping out the letters of the alphabet in reply. Supposedly, he was asked the question, "Why don't you speak?". His replay was, "Can not talk, throat no good"! IF this is a true story, then Hans was very intelligent indeed. Perhaps Hans had tried to verbally respond to the questions posed to him, but soon realized that he could not articulate human sounds with his horse's throat. He would, thus, have been aware that he was different from the humans who questioned him.

Of course, the legends of humanity contain many stories of animals that could speak and / or communicate telepathically with human beings. During his travels around the ancient world in an effort to promote early Christianity, St. Paul supposedly encountered a talking lion somewhere in what is now modern Turkey that requested to become a Christian. After Paul had him repent of his sins, he was then baptised into the Christian faith! The legends that Bram Stoker drew upon to create his famous character of Count Dracula claimed that vampires could telepathicaly communicate with and control various animals such as rats, bats, and wolves.

Since I am a firm believer in the reality of telepathic communication, I believe that one day humans will be able to routinely communicate with the animal life that we share this planet with. Such communication is, apparently, already taking place reliably on occasion. However, it may even be possible to allow anybody, via technology, to effectively engage in two-way, mind to mind telepathic communication with any animal mentally equal to or "higher" than perhaps a bird or a mouse.

Since all of the evidence I have managed to gather indicates that the telepathic process uses the emission of extreme low frequency (ELF) pulses that are transmitted between the eyeballs of two individual organisms, we should be able to eventually decode these pulses and use a computer to translate them into visual images with sound. Thus, it might be possible to construct a receiving / transmitting device that would pick up any target animal's telepathic emission and then convert it into telepathic pulses of a type suitable for reception by a particular human's eyes. Once received by the human's eyes, these "translated" pulses would be channeled into the person's mind where they would form strong mental pictures and sounds. Using the device in reverse would allow its human operator to instantly send a meaningful message to the animal in a form that the particular species of animal could receive and understand. Perhaps the device would pick up an analyze some incoming telepathic pulses from the animal and use this information to determine what species of animal was to be the recipient of the human sender's telepathic communication. The device would then automatically adjust itself to facilitate telepathic communication between the human and that particular species of animal.

With the miniaturization possible in electronic equipment, this animal / human telepathic communicator might be made small enough to be housed in an ordinary pair of glasses! The human using it would need only stare at any particular animal and would almost immediately be aware of what was going on in that animal's mind. A scientist working in the field with animals would realize why they were behaving as they did. He would know their wants and fears, their impressions of each other and their environment, and what their reaction to the presence of humans was. A veterinary doctor could query his animal patient about the nature of a disease or injury that the animal acquired and, thereby, obtain a more accurate diagnosis for a more effective treatment.

Imagine the benefits of being able to safely travel through any forest or jungle knowing that one could immediately communicate to the surrounding wildlife that one meant them know harm. One might even be able to enlist the aid of the surrounding animal population in finding food or water or one's bearings if lost. A person who was injured might be able to send an animal messenger such as a bird to the nearest human outpost to seek medical assistance. The animal could give rescue personnel there a precise location for the injured person, his condition, and even lead them back to the person.

Once telepathic communication with the other members of the animal kingdom is routinely established, humans will, I believe, have a new and far more responsible attitude toward the environment of planet Earth. We will realize that, while our actions may not particularly harm human health, they might endanger the health of the intelligent creatures who live in the wild. To meet our responsibility to our fellow lifeforms, we can expect even greater concern for environment protection. All polluting industries will, eventually, have to be replaced with environmentally friendly ones. Gone will be polluting factories and automobiles. Power generation via combustion and nuclear energy will have to go. All products for human consumption will have to come in non-toxic biodegradable containers. And the list of changes necessary only begins here!

Meeting these demands will be an awesome challenge. The consumption of meat will have to give way to a totally vegetarian diet that is free of the contaminants now found in meat and its byproducts. All synthetic materials will have to be replaced with natural products whenever possible. We will all, as a result, have simpler and healthier lives with far, far less disease and disability. The changes will be hard to make, but, I suspect, once they are, humanity will never again return to the present mode of living that it considers "modern".

Will we make these changes? When will the occur? These are very hard questions to answer from the perspective of the early 21st century. However, I think it not unreasonable to expect them sometime during the next several centuries. Indeed, I would be surprised if all of the changes I envision above are not fully in place by the year 2100 AD.

(Note: this article completed February 27th, 2005)