March 7, 2021

R T Bigelow Institute for Consciousness Studies – BICS

From about a year ago, rumors were circulating that Las Vegas businessman Robert T. Bigelow was about to launch a new venture focused on Consciousness Studies. Some people thought he was going to announce a new UAP project; while others wondered if it would concern some other area of his diverse interests. Now, thanks to Las Vegas investigative journalist George Knapp , and the New York Times, we know exactly what it is about.

Back on 18 May 2020, Bigelow’s agent, Rickie L. Golightly, registered a business entity with the Secretary of State for Nevada, named ” R T Bigelow Institute for Consciousness Studies LLC.” The business entity (Nevada ID NV20201782540) “officer” was listed as Robert T. Bigelow.

Recently, George Knapp conducted, then published, a lengthy interview with Robert Bigelow, which may be viewed on the website “Mystery Wire.


During the interview with George Knapp, Robert Bigelow announced the existence of a new organization, named “Bigelow Institute for Consciousness Studies” – BICS for short. He mentioned that a website for the organization would soon be available. Shortly, afterwards I found the website online. I quote from that site:

“BICS was founded in June 2020 by aerospace entrepreneur Robert T. Bigelow to support research into both the survival of human consciousness after physical death and, based on data from such studies, the nature of the afterlife. Robert Bigelow is the founder of Bigelow Aerospace. For decades he has also supported serious investigations into consciousness and manifestations of unusual phenomena that are not yet understood by science.

Despite intriguing evidence, the number of research groups and funding devoted to investigating the survival of human consciousness beyond death is shockingly small in the Western world. Even though all 7.8 billion humans on planet Earth will eventually die, very little high quality research is being conducted on perhaps the most important and fundamental question facing our species.

There are almost no significant conferences or symposia on this question which could appeal to scientists, academics and others with advanced training. This is partly because such research is not taken seriously by the current scientific paradigm. It is probably time to end this close-minded approach. We at BICS believe that the only way to do so is to appeal to qualified professionals who have the power to create change.

The purpose of BICS is to raise awareness among the public and within the scientific community of the importance and relevance of such an investigation. BICS hopes to provide a public service by drawing increasing attention to, and encouraging research into, this fundamental and timeless topic. We are seeking hard evidence “beyond a reasonable doubt” that takes us beyond religion or philosophy and provides a body of knowledge to be brought widely into the public arena that could be unifying in its impact on human awareness and culture.”

BICS Board of Directors

Apart from Robert T. Bigelow the Board of Directors is:

Leslie Kean, journalist and author.

Christopher C. Green, MD, PhD.

Harold Puthoff, PhD, theoretical physicist.

Brian Weiss, MD.

Jeffrey Kripal, Rice University Professor of Philosophy and Religious Thought.

Jessica Utts, PhD, University of California Irvine Professor of Statistics.

Colm A. Kelleher, PhD, molecular biologist.

A number of the above individuals were on the Science Advisory Board of Robert Bigelow’s National Institute for Discovery Science (1996-2004) namely, Green, Puthoff, and  Utts. Kelleher was an employee of NIDS.

Essay Competition

The first announced project from the Institute is an essay competition, with prize monies. Again, from the BICS website:

“The purpose  of the BICS essay awards is to raise the public awareness for the Survival of Human Consciousness topic and to stimulate research. The goal of the essay contest is to award  contestants for writing papers that summarize the best evidence available for the survival of human consciousness after permanent bodily death.”

One can submit  a paper, of up to 25,000 words excluding references and footnotes, to the competition only if you meet certain criteria. Registration of accepted individuals closes 28 February 2021. Papers need to be submitted by 1 August 2021 and then  “five renowned experts,” acting as competition judges will announce the result on 1 November 2021.

What has consciousness research got to do with UAP?

Bigelow’s long term research has suggested to him, that there is a link between the two topics. In the early 1990’s the Bigelow Foundation studied both UAP and the question of survival of human consciousness after physical death. In the 1996-2004 timeframe, the NIDS Science Advisory Board had a number of researchers on it who investigated the area of consciousness and near-death experiences; as well as others clearly interested in UAP; e.g. Jacques Vallee.

Bigelow’s interest in the Skinwalker ranch in Utah (1996-2016) saw him attempting to communicate with what he called either disincarnate, non-human entities; or extraterrestrials. The methods he employed in this communication, were similar to the methods used by paranormal researchers attempting to communicate with those in the afterlife.

Blog readers may recall that when first formed, one of the original aims of the To The Stars Academy of Arts & Science (TTSA) involved research into consciousness. I wondered what had happened to this aspect of TTSA in an August 2019 blog post.

Notes on the Knapp/Biglow interview

The following are my rough notes taken down while listening to the so far released five video segments of the  Knapp/Bigelow interview.

The question “Are we alone” came first as I considered the experience of my grandparents. At age 12 I committed that as an adult when I got money I would look in to it.

The UFO experience which my grandparents had. I was 10 when my mother told me about what happened to my grandparents, around May 1947. They had a super close encounter. They were good candidates for an abduction. The UFO they saw filled their vehicle’s windscreen. Then it shot off. They got home later than they expected. Shook them up for the rest of their lives. My father began to be interested and bought a few books about the subject.

I had a series of repeated dreams at age 7-8 around 1952. Same dream. Was before TV. I’m in bed on my side – it was a small bedroom. Three “somethings” in monk’s clothing – couldn’t see faces – they were at eye level with me – so they were small. Same dream – half a dozen times. Chalked it up to dreams – still think that.

When I was 18, my father was killed in a plane crash – when I was in college. Plane exploded. Took me ten years to stop having dreams about him – so the seed is planted about survival after death. People need proof. I really want to know. Then got deeply into UFO field. 1980 wife and I lost a son – researching the topic helped me cope. I had visitations with three mediums. My wife saw him as well. I was not very sophisticated about it. Wondered what the other side was about? One medium was dubious. Black lady probably legitimate. Third medium named George. Grandson died – research comforted me. We have horror movies about zombies – excellent to make us scared of death.

BICS – Bigelow Institute for Consciousness Studies – founded to try and conduct research and facilitate research into the possibility of survival of human consciousness beyond death, and explain what the afterlife is about. What should we be preparing for? If consciousness survives, is there a connection between what we do here and the other side?

Dichotomy between brain and mind. Thinking brain ceases – mind no longer exists. How is out consciousness conserved? I believe both time and space are infinite. If brain dies what is out container tor the kind? Leslie Kean has a book and TV series exploring this.

My goal? Curiosity – my own personal curiosity. Then desire to make a difference. Desire has overtaken curiosity. I believe the other side does exist. If people get better information then they are better prepared. I believe there is a connection between the two sides.

[Speaking of evidence for an afterlife.] NDE’s are a very profound experience. Reincarnation cases are evidence. Evidence of apparitions. Poltergeist effects (I’ve had it happen.) Experiences within my family. EVP evidence. Things caught on camera. Efforts to have electronic connection. I have an open mind about physical apparitions where you can touch an apparition.

In the 1830’s to 1930’s there were world class scientists involved in this research. Today, only a few. They fear for their career.

BICS – what can we do to create some energy? Contest prizes $500,000 first – $300,000 second; $150,000 – third. Essays to be produced. Best evidence for establishing the other side is real. Can’t just quote scriptures – that’s not appropriate evidence. Use standard of a court system for evidence. Beyond a reasonable doubt – can’t be 100 % certain. 25,000 words or less. What have you done to prove your case? Entrants could be a priest, rabbi etc. Or a journalist Series of rules and regulations is on our website. Need to have researched the topic. There are five judges. One is a statistician; female who was on the NIDS Science Advisory Board. One fellow is a physicist. Three others very involved in the topic. One fellow is a neurologist and medical doctor. Deadline to apply is 28 February. Papers in by 1 August and the judges have three months to decided winners. Not a field which attracts a massive number of researchers. Papers to go on the website and winners willing to go on interviews and talk about their papers. Honourable mentions to runners up.

Like to get our feet wet. What can we do to help?

Role is facilitating, like at Skinwalker Ranch – government people. I never felt threatened but other people did with what they encountered. I was a caretaker. Had great night’s sleep there. Read lots of books on topic – after w while you will get a consensus of the views expressed in books. Since formed BICS in June, people around us have started to have things happen. Myself, family and staff. Our intention was first to get up to speed with the topic of survival been out of it for years. Didn’t expect anything to happen.

On the face of it communication with something, sounds great. People have tried this for years. All kinds of levels of communications.  Perhaps awareness that there is something there but no message.

Around 1989. Started reading books. Crash retrievals. UFO cases from overseas.  Need to go through the literature first. Still in this mode form consciousness research – read and network with folks. I look at myself as a researcher and facilitator.

I sought out the best of the best researchers. Didn’t want to be a one man band. Going alone is a slower path. Budd [Hopkins] was a great guy, self-made researcher and author. Lots of research topics – specific people. Linda Howe for cattle mutilations to see if high heat or possibly lasers were at work. She pioneered that kind of work. Budd and abductions.  We were involved in two crash retrieval cases – both in New Mexico. Too our satisfaction we verified them. One was in the 60’s. John Mack on abductions. I sponsored a number of free lectures which would engage the audience and challenge them to come up with causes. Why these people were making claims? The audience would run out of gas as to cause.

Note: On 22 Jan 2021 Joe Murgia tweeted a quote from the interview: “We were involved in…a crash retrieval incident and to our satisfaction we verified that that did occur. Stanton Friedman, another crash retrieval incident, we verified that that occurred and both of these were in New Mexico. And the first one wasn’t the Roswell incident.”

[Re funding UFO groups.] I did personally as opposed to NIDS funding them. MUFON, FUFOR and CUFOS. Always territorial and protecting their turf. Handcuffs a lot of people to explore their curiosity. [Was this why you created NIDS?] Could have been. Don’t really remember. NIDS had two pillars, survival after death and UFOs. Tackled both. Bit off more than we could chew. On the consciousness side there were world class people but survival was the more difficult question. It went.

[1996.] I spent time talking to Terry Sherman owner of the ranch. Then bought it. Phenomenal diversity of encounters. I believed the guy – he was a straight shooter. These encounters were real. Cost his wife her job. Terry and I made a deal.

I didn’t know with whom we were communicating. Either disincarnate non-human beings, or ETs. Can’t be 500 miles away and make a request and have that request happen at ranch. They describe it and it is exactly what you requested.

We had spontaneous events – pictures where photons only travelled five feet, background dark. Instance where on a night stand something took off. Looked mechanical – little blurry –wasn’t bird of butterfly. Or taking pictures of tubular rods. Or picture of many orbs around an ill person and then they got better. Things blocking out ambient light.

It’s all about messaging and games. We never had anyone hurt on the property.

Finally, got to – one personally – got little tired or bored – no progress. Could have gone on and on but distracted by something else.

Weren’t having craft materializing on ranch like terry. Two of our people saw something in a tree. Tunnel episode – one saw it one didn’t. Where is it heading? What is the point? Talk to us so that we can understand. We might have been too impatient or not creative enough.

It affected some government people – off the ranch. Next thing I know this buyer comes along.

Lots of similar things happened throughout the area. We interviewed a lot of people in the area. Police had encounters. Neighbors – had lots of incredible stuff happen.

It was rare to have something repeat itself.

[Why there?] Is it people, geology, no-one knows.

[Events at home] Events did happen. To me and my wife. Poltergeist event before we had the ranch. Wife had a full manifestation of a bedroom human form apparition. Torso up. Felt mattress being depressed. Bar of light between pillows. She went to sleep. Heard similar things from other people.