I’m going to take you on a extraordinary journey, to a fantastic planet filled with strange, never before described creatures. But first, I have to ask you a question. If ESP and telekinesis really does exist, why don’t we see these forces everywhere in nature? Proponents of the paranormal believe animals often sense impending disasters. If that’s the case, shouldn’t there be an entire family of animals that make their living primarily through ESP and telekinesis? To answer this, let me spin you a fantastic yarn, one in which nature uses all the benefits that ESP and telekinesis would offer, if those skills really did exist. I would like to take you on a voyage to another planet. Strap yourselves in. We are traveling to the planet of Damocles 7.  

As our space ship enters the atmosphere, one of the odd characteristics you notice about Damocles is that, although there are many species of animals visible on the planet’s surface, there doesn’t seem to be a lot of movement. On this planet, animals aren’t running around chasing each other. Why should they? A cheetah expends a lot of calories running down a gazelle. These animals don’t have to go to all that trouble. On Damocles 7, it’s not about speed; it’s about power.  

We see a variety of species on this strange world. There are the grazers, big fat cow-like animals, barely aware of their own existence, yet with a highly evolved mastery of ESP. These animals do nothing all day but chew cud and scan the surrounding area with their precognitive ability. The moment these “psychic cows” sense a predator heading in their general direction, these animals just nonchalantly walk in the other direction. It is the perfect defense, and because of it, herds of these beasts cover the planet, like the buffalo once blanketed America. Genetically speaking, these animals have hit the lottery. Slow, listless, these animals are like great, overstuffed sofas. But it’s not like these animals were fortunate enough to have achieved some evolutionary leap. On Earth animals supposedly have been dabbling in this precognition stuff for as long as people have been telling stories. Really, all evolution needs is a few mutations in the right direction and, BOOM, like a Cambrian explosion, the sky’s the limit.  

As we set down on the surface, these blubbery beasts grudgingly shuffle out of the way of our ship’s landing gear. Their ESP gives them the ability to know just how few steps they have to take to avoid being crushed by the starship’s massive steel struts. As the doors to the spaceship open the next thing that happens is completely unexpected. Because they know we mean them no harm, as we take a few steps down the gangplank, hundreds of psychic cows roll over onto their backs hoping to have their stomachs rubbed. We oblige.  

But all is not serene on this planet, for there are also predators lurking in this world. Some of these predators use their abilities to move things with their minds. They get within range of their prey, then use telekinesis to pick up nearby rocks or tree branches and whack their future meal over the head. Because of this, most the animals on this planet have a strong aversion to standing under trees.  

You will also notice that most animals on this planet are large. Volkswagen size and up is the norm here. This is another defensive evolutionary trait. You see, if an animal is small, like a mouse or rabbit, a predator doesn’t have to drop a rock on it to kill it. The predator simply uses its telekinetic ability to pick the little animal up and float that helpless creature though the air straight into the predators waiting jaws. To see one of these killers eat, is like watching Caesar, surrounded by slave girls, tossing grapes into his mouth.  

There are animals that project false images into the minds of their victims, to confuse them, before attacking. And there is a beast that directs large pulses of energy (psychic blasts) that can disable its prey from a hundred yards. There is even an animal that uses its mind to reach into the chest of its victim and stop its heart. The wolf-like pack hunters on this planet are particularly efficient. With the ability to communicate psychically, the circle they create, to surround their victim, is nearly mathematical in its precision.  

Now, lest you think there are no defenses for all these mind attacks, numerous animals have developed countermeasures. Sure why not? I’m making this all up anyway. There are animals, looking like plated rhinos that have evolved craniums composed mostly of lead to protect them from detection by other predators. I think lead stops ESP, or is that kryptonite? And, there is an animal that protects itself from attackers by projecting a psychic dampening shield around itself, much the way Skeptics on Earth do when approaching Uri Geller.  

With all this ESP energy flying about, vegetables have even gotten into the act. The same way plants on earth convert light into food, there are many species of plants that absorb loose ESP waves and convert them into nutrients. Many trees use naturally formed dowsing sticks to find the most elusive water under the ground. One species of lichen actually grows on the heads of the rhino beasts. Why let all that tasty ESP energy go to waste?  

But by far the most feared of all the inhabitants on Damocles 7, are the animals known as the Premonition Squirrels. Woe be the traveler who, taking a pleasant stroll on this strange planet, spots these squirrels. These small creatures do not get their food by causing any harm to other creatures. They are not predators. The Squirrels of Damocles are technically nothing more than scavengers. They just happen to know beforehand when a fellow animal is going to drop dead. One minute you could be taking a walk, thinking “what a beautiful day.” And “Hey look at those squirrels over there. My, they look rather somber, don’t they?” The next minute, POW, heart attack! And honestly, the squirrels didn’t have anything to do with it.   They just know the right place to be at the right time. And there is nothing you can do about that. If you see them, as sure as shooting, it means there is something bad heading your way. Be it a nasty fall, falling meteorite or sudden case of old age, you’re a goner. Once you’re dead then they scurry in. They can strip a carcass to the bone in under two minutes.  

Now, why describe all these fantastic creatures? Because nothing like them exists on earth. Not even remotely, and that’s the point. If ESP was real, nature would be taking full advantage of this skill. Like the nine thousand different species of birds that have all evolved to exploit the gift of flight, or the forty thousand different species of fish that breathe under the sea, there should be a huge variety of ESP animals. Hell, there are thirty seven thousand different types of spiders alone. Of course, there would be no Premonition Squirrels, but there would be something like them. There would be some percentage of animals that would use ESP to its fullest potential. And that number would be huge. If ESP and telekinesis is such a powerful tool, animals would be exploiting it right and left, but we see none of this. Why? Because ESP does not exist. It’s imaginary. End of tale.  

After all this, if you still believe ESP exists, than let me leave you with this cautionary postscript. Damocles 7 is in orbit around an old star, one that will soon go supernova. The creatures of Damocles have foreseen the destruction of their world. Long ago these animals, whenever they could, began secretly stowing away inside cargo bays of the visiting spacecraft from other planets. Not with any knowledge of what a supernova was or what space travel was all about. Just because they felt it would be better for them and their descendants, to be on those ships the days they took off. These animals had no idea what they were doing, only that they felt it was a matter of survival. It was easy for them, with their ESP abilities. They would know exactly where and when a space ship would be landing and these ESP animals would be there.   And so the animals of Damocles have spread throughout the universe. On every planet, these animals have prospered. So, if you really believe that ESP exists then remember this. If you ever find yourself walking alone on a sunny day in a secluded field, and you hear some rustling in the trees, think back about what I said. Of course you should stop, look up, watch the sky, but more importantly, I implore you, with all earnestness, please, keep an eye on the squirrels.


Nick Farrantello is a member of the Orlando Skeptics.