CNERIC Research in France

21 May

At the beginning of May, Sonia Barkallah from S17 Productions in France came to visit me along with Corinne Musitelli who is her translator. We discussed ways of working together which I am very excited about. I have a lot to report so I will put a few postings in the coming weeks about my future work with Sonia. I will and also give more details about Sonia’s excellent DVD called Untimely Departure, keep following the blog for more details of this.

Sonia brought a short DVD recording of the CNERIC research protocol which has been conducted in France by Dr Jean-Pierre Postel. I was previously unaware of this research so I thought I’d mention it to the followers of the blog.

The Protocol

An IPAD is placed in a sealed box (there is a small hole big enough for the electric cable to plug in the IPAD). No one can see inside the box and, once sealed, hologram stickers are placed over the sides to ensure that the box is not tampered with thus preventing the possibility of fraud. The box is gift wrapped and the IPAD is plugged into the mains power supply.

Secret messages generated randomly from a database appear on the screen of the IPAD. These messages are displayed for an hour. The message is then deleted and replaced with another message and this is repeated every hour until the experiment is completed. The messages along with the time and date they were displayed are all logged and retrieved from a desktop computer.

All medical and nursing staff present at the time of any resuscitation are asked to complete a questionnaire in order to verify if the report of the NDE / OBE is correct.

The reason that the IPAD is in a sealed box if because, approximately 3 years ago, Dr Jean-Pierre Jourdan, who is president of IANDS, France, encountered a patient in his care who reported an OBE / NDE. The patient reported actually being inside the machine that was at his bedside. The patient believed that he was able to see inside the machine and described the different electrical components he could see from inside.

According to Sonia, computer scientist Remi Andre had the idea for this research protocol.

In previously documented cases of NDEs / OBEs some people have described seeing by transparency. Apparently, it has been reported that approximately 18% of people who had OBEs had reported being able to see through objects in their line of vision (however, I am unsure as to who published this report). This was reported by Patient 10 in my study – he believed that he was higher then the ceiling and it’s as if the ceiling had disappeared. So it is good to see this research exploring another aspect of the OBE.

This research has already been conducted by Dr Postel in one small hospital, with only one resuscitation room. Unfortunately, the research was brought to a premature end as hospital staff were concerned from a health and safety perspective that leaving the IPAD plugged in continuously could have been a fire hazard. There was also a question of funding and more money is needed to proceed with the research and continue with it in more hospitals. There has been no publication from this study so far.

Having looked at the protocol in more depth I was very impressed and believe it is probably the most thorough protocol that I have seen so far. Most importantly, it has taken into account previous research and it has built on the previous prospective studies and made improvements. I particularly like the way the box is sealed and hologram stickers are in place to prevent fraud. It has come a long way from the A4 laminated symbols that were hidden behind cardboard ridges on tops of the cardiac monitors that I used in my research! This is one of the great things about our technological advances, this technology allows the messages to randomly change every hour and no one has to spend lots of time and energy climbing up on ladders to damp dust the hidden images then rotating the images to different monitors every week!

I’m sure there will be further technological advancements that would overcome the issue with keeping the IPAD being plugged in. Let’s hope there is more funding to continue this very important research.


11 Responses to “CNERIC Research in France”

  1. Max_B May 21, 2013 at 6:20 pm #

    Thanks Penny, have you any idea if the experience of the patient who believed he saw the inside of a machine have been written up any where?

    • Dr Penny Sartori May 22, 2013 at 8:46 am #

      Hi Max, no as far as I am aware the case was not published. If I hear anymore I’ll let you know.

  2. Tony May 21, 2013 at 11:37 pm #

    Interesting Penny. Curious, why take this approach as opposed to leaving an iPad unsealed on a table top or on a cabinet? Is the main concern to ensure that none of the staff will know the image (keeping it blind)? Also, monitors such as on an ipad do burn on the screen if the same image stays on too long. Its the reason we have screen savers. Hopefully they rotate the images frequently. 🙂

    • Dr Penny Sartori May 22, 2013 at 8:52 am #

      Hi Tony, I think they want to specifically investigate the possibility of transparency and being able to view the image despite it being concealed in a box. Good point about the ipad burning the screen if the image stays on too long . The images change every hour so I think they’ve probably taken this into account but I’ll mention it to Sonia in case it is an oversight.

  3. rudyink May 22, 2013 at 9:19 pm #

    Hi Penny, An interesting aspect of the patient perceiving from inside the machine is that that person may not actually sense what is being displayed/played on the screen. Is this not a mechanical replication of the reports of the NDEr having knowlegde of people in remote locations, whether out of the room or even in a distant location? Pax, Rudy

    • Dr Penny Sartori May 23, 2013 at 2:05 pm #

      Hi Rudy, yes this is a really unusual aspect of the OBE to research. It will be really interesting to see what kind of results there will be. I guess it could be considered to be a mechanical replication.

      • Stuart July 4, 2013 at 6:55 pm #

        Hi Penny,

        Been quiet on the blog recently. Just wondering any updates on this or indeed any other research. Also wondering as both Dr Postal and Dr Jean-Jacques Charbonier are from France is their any cross studies between them. Or is there any other massive research studies been done that you maybe aware of fin the non English speaking world? Also read that Dr Eben Alexanders book may be not foolproof and may have been imagined with important aspects been left out. I suppose it is different from other medical studies in that the medical individual was the case study as opposed to studying cases and it appears to me that other stuidies have been more controlled (such as those done by yourself, Parnia, Van Lommel amongst others) and tells us the importance of doing the research into NDEs as meticulously as possible. Finally, any update on the release of your book. Thanks


      • Dr Penny Sartori July 8, 2013 at 1:13 pm #

        Hi Stuart, I’ve been really busy and haven’t had chance to post anything for a while.

        I’m not sure if Dr Postal or Dr Jean-Jacques Charbonier have done any cross studies between them. I haven’t heard of any other massive research in a non-English speaking part of the world but this may just be because the researchers are keeping quiet about it to ensure any media coverage doesn’t have an influence regarding patient’s expectation when they go into hospital.

        One of the reasons that I’ve been busy is that I’ve been working on the final version of my book with the editor. The book will be out in February and I’ll be posting a comment soon with further information.

  4. Stuart July 9, 2013 at 12:50 am #

    Thanks Penny

  5. Stuart September 26, 2013 at 8:33 pm #

    Hi Penny,

    Just thinking there that yourself, Parnia & the AWARE team and the CNREIC team and that Greyson in Virgina amongst others I am sure are carring out the OBE element part of the NDE with hidden targets. Is however another approach by placing a number of video cameras into an operating room etc or if there is already ones there accessing them and seeing do the times match with what the NDER saw or would there be ethical and montery issues with this appraoch?


    • Dr Penny Sartori September 27, 2013 at 3:41 pm #

      Hi Stuart, the use of cameras would be very helpful indeed. Unfortunately, this is not possible due to issues of patient privacy as you have rightly pointed out. This may possibly change in the future (although I would think this unlikely).

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