From skeptical point-of-view an Out-of-body experience is a fascinating topic. The idea that we can leave our physical body and allow our consciousness to roam free on a non-physical plane of existence is liberating for some, scary for others, and just plain impossible to believe for the rest of us. But is out-of-body experience genuine? Can it be scientifically proven?

I recently learned of a group at investigating out-of body experiences (O.B.E.s) from an objective point of view. They were using tightly controlled experiments to discover whether out-of-body travel is really possible and whether it might be useful in alleviating grief for the bereaved. Here’s what they did, and what they found.
The experiment began in January 2009 with Marilynn Hughes, an authority on out-of-body travel who claimed to be able to leave her body on a regular basis. The first hurdle was determining how a controlled experiment on something so intangible could be approached.

Marilynn told investigators she often encountered people who have passed away during her OBEs. She also claimed to receive messages for grieving families and friends — most often from those who died leaving unresolved issues for themselves and their families. The investigators decided to test this claim.
They designed an out-of-body experiment modeled after the work of researchers, Dr. Gary Schwartz and, Dr. Julie Beischel, at the University of Arizona. The experiment was simple…