The Wilber-Strysky Incident

Early in 2001 in a Los Angeles mental hospital, Dr Katherine O’Malley noticed similar behaviour among two patients. Both were undergoing solitary isolation therapy in soundproofed, completely separate rubber containment rooms. Geoff Wilber claimed a fellow patient called Strysky in the next room, was making too much noise, keeping him awake all night and asked O’Malley to tell him to shut up so he could get some sleep.

Randy Strysky made the same claim when Katherine went to see him. "He won’t stop arguing with me about religion, I just can’t sleep because of it."

"I can’t hear anything" replied the Doctor. "He knows you are here so he’s quiet." said Strysky. He then added in a whisper, "he knows what is going on up here" tapping the side of his head significantly.

The similar nature of the paranoid schizophrenics mutual complaints seemed unusual enough to Dr O’Malley that on impulse she decided to conduct an experiment telling both to record their conversation as they heard it by speaking it out into the wall mike, as evidence she told them, saying she would get the other moved (the fact they were actually located on either side of a large hospital complex full of similar rooms didn’t seem worth mentioning). Dr O’Malley felt it would be interesting to see a record of the imaginary conversations, perhaps suggesting a new line of treatment for a pair of cases that were widely regarded as hopeless.

She had a shock the next day. The transcripts of the tapes were virtually identical. The tapes themselves agreed absolutely with perfect timing (O’Malley had instructed both to speak out the other’s conversation. Where they did it fitted. The conversation was clearly a dialogue between the two, even if it covered some bizarre discussions).

The facts of the total soundproofing of the cells and their exclusive locations led Dr O’Malley to write a report suggesting the possibility of a direct link between telepathy and mental illness. The case became of considerable interest in scientific circles and was on the verge of becoming perhaps the most famous psychology case study in American medical history, at least before the Pentagon decided to take a direct interest. Strysky and Wilber disappeared soon after but the news had already broke, a link had been made and soon other Governments began to realise the potential implications...

from "Future Fantastic" by Joe Middleton