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Bioluminescence 1974-2010

4,876 words







Richard Alan Miller, c1974 and c2010

Northwest Regional Director

Mankind Research Unlimited, Inc.



Presented at the Academy of Religion and Psychical Research. Spring Symposium, Claremont, California, Saturday, April 20th, 1974





The rising costs of medical care provide an impetus for the investigation of any feasible means of keeping those costs in check; and even with the considerable size of medical research funding today, the cost/effectiveness function is still highly elastic in an economic sense.  Among the several approaches that present themselves for application are the following:


  1. Decreasing the cost of patient care.
  2. Reducing the amount of care given to the patient.
  3. Improving the technology of diagnostics and care.
  4. Improving hygienic and preventive techniques.


The first seems unlikely in a society with strong inflationary trends and increasing knowledge in how to treat diseases; and the second is unacceptable in a moral and ethical sense.  It appears that the best returns can be gained from investments in the last two; it is to that end that we are now aiming.


The overriding goal of our work, then, is:  To provide early diagnostic techniques that can sense impending pathology before its manifestation has caused conditions within the biosystem requiring extensive and expensive treatments.





Current diagnostics operate on a system of accumulating patient historical data, evaluating both the patients’ description of symptoms and the diagnostician’s observations, and having performed various diagnostic routines of a radiological mechanical and biological nature.


Proposed improvements to this system, upon which work has been done by others, include use of a programmed and automated method of obtaining the historical data and the patients’ description of symptoms.  This improvement still relies upon wet tests and hardware sub-diagnostic routines to complete the diagnostics; and more objectionably, requires the patient to suffer symptomatic signs of enough significance for him to realize that diagnostic inquiry is needed.  It is to this last point that we direct our efforts.


The concept upon which the proposed RSMDD is based involves a somewhat revolutionary approach to the understanding of life processes.  At present, the human organism is usually regarded as a complex arrangement of chemical elements and compounds.  The quality and structure of these variables are the reference points for states of health. 


An equally valid approach is to regard the human organism as an aggregation of electromagnetic fields which are constantly interacting and changing as are their biochemical equivalents.  These fields are indicative of energy states and the functioning of life processes (and thus of health states).  They are primary to the physical body and their informational content precedes measurable symptoms of a physical nature.


The approach of our work is to diagnose health states (slide 22) from a quantum mechanical point of view instead of the present method of complex biochemical analysis.  Such an approach takes a holistic view of body processes and underscores the interconnectedness of body functions.  It is felt that an understanding of electromagnetic field dynamics will ultimately result in medical diagnostics that are highly accurate, simply accessed, and comparably inexpensive.


The problem, therefore, becomes one objectifying the content of these body fields and relating this content to the presence of identifiable pathologies, existing or impending.


Various devices and techniques are available that can make such measurements in localized areas of the body; but no single instrument has yet been demonstrated and documented that can analyze the whole body at once, and no collection of instruments have been assembled that can perform this function in a reasonable and cost effective manner.  In addition field emission studies have only been relative to health states on a generalized level at present.





The problem statement developed earlier in this presentation requires objectifying the content of body fields and relating that content to specific pathologies either existing or impending.  This statement of presupposes: 


  1. That such body fields exist.
  2. That such body fields can be measured and objectified.
  3. That such body fields relate to conditions within the body that may give definition to the state of health.
  4. That the objectified content of such fields by a RSMDD can be related to the conditions in c.
  5. That the RSMDD system can provide information usable by a diagnostic physician.



The existence of body fields may be described from two approaches; the first is evidential, the second is subjective.


                        A1:  The first approach concerns the electrodynamic theory of life:  the concept that the pattern or organization of any biological system is established by a complex electrodynamic field which is in part determined by its atomic physiochemical components and which in part determines the behavior and orientation of those components.  This relatedness was postulated from a number of scientific studies carried out by Northrup and Burr, at Yale, in the 1930s.  Burr was abler to measure electromagnetic fields emitted by organisms though use of sensitive electronic measuring equipment.


More recently, Aleksandr Presman has developed the theory from his work that electromagnetic fields normally serve as conveyors of information from the environment to the organism. Within the organism, and among organisms


Albert Szent-Gyorgi in his studies in submolecular biology has given the explanations for biological processes from a quantum mechanical point of view with energy and function being transferred through electron movement.


It appears that life and the components of life can be viewed as an aggregation of waves and particles and can be measured as a complexity of interacting fields.


This concept is best expressed and supported in the paper “The Holographic Concept of Reality,” by Miller, Webb, and Dickson, which will appear soon in Dr. Stanley Krippner’s new journal, Pyscho-energetic Systems.


`                       A2.  The second approach is based on subjective reports from religious and mystical traditions that are common to most, if not all, cultures.  There is a universal idea that man is surrounded by n atomospher4e or aura; that a life force comes through man and emanates from him.  Eastern writings are quite explicit in the existence of that auric field and subdivide it into a number of levels which relate from the physical body.


Auras are reportedly seen by extremely sensitive or “gifted” individuals.  They are described as varying as to size, shape, color, structure, and density.  Auras are also said to react to magnetic and electrical influences.  Often psychics are able to determine health and emotional states from the information contained in the auric body or emission.  All ESP information is a hallucination.


This auric body appears to be related to another mystical concept, that of the astral body:  a substance or field type of body that is primary to the physical body and can actually separate from the physical body.  This is the mobile center of consciousness of the yogis and shamans as studied by Puharich.


The Huna religion of Polynesia expressed belief in aka bodies which were non-material envelopes or connected invisible bodies that could move through space and time separate from the physical body.


The Chinese base their work in acupuncture on a flow of life force which is quite distinct from the anatomy of the physical body.


Another related concept is that of chakra points mentioned in both Eastern and Western occult tradition.  There are thought to be seven centers in the body through which various types of energy flow.  These points show correspondence to nerve centers for endocrine glands, but in the teachings are said to exist on other levels than jus the physical.  Psychic powers and ESP abilities are thought to rely on use and control of chakra points and their related fields.


Arcane sources provide a wealth of subjective knowledge on the existence of body fields.  If anything, these sources point to a very deep and rich phenomenon; the scientific knowledge of which will hold a great potential for mankind.




Burr, in his work at Yale, developed instrumentation that measured body fields through minute fluctuations in voltage.  His device was a very sensitive electrometer that was able to record variations at a distance from an emitting organism.  Ravitz, a student, also did some very fine work in this area.


The most promising method for extensive analysis of body fields is the technique of electrophotography, which is becoming popularly known as Kirlian Photography.  This process consists of photographing the discharge radiations of an object placed in a high voltage electric field.  The resulting image appears as a luminescence around the object and has often been compared to the better known corona discharge phenomena.  However, when working with organisms, this stimulated luminescence is seen to vary with the living (or health) state of the organism.


The luminescence of the Kirlian Process is indicative of the energy state of the organism.  But, what is the mechanism responsible?  Following are several of the theories that have been proposed to explain Kirlian Electrophotography:


1.      The process is a form of corona discharge, or cold emission of electrons.  It is thought that such an emission could provide pertinent information about the nature of living organism.


2.      The process is related to the bio-plasmic states of living organisms.  There is a bio-plasmic or energy body primary to the physical body which is being photographed by the Kirlian technique.  Or, the electromagnetic radiations being recorded are but the output of a much deeper life structure of a plasmic nature.


3.      The process is the ionization of gas emissions given off by the organism.  The high frequency electrostatic field excites the electrons of the gaseous field and the result is a luminescence.  Gas emission varies with the state of the organism and serves as an information carrier and source (as studies on pheromones have shown) with gypsy moths and the like.




Russian research in Kirlian Photography has shown that pathological changes in an organism are reflected in changes in the quality and quantity of the luminescence.  It was even found that evidence of disease according to field fluctuations occurred before disease symptoms became evident through physical examination.


Recent research by Moss and Johnson at UCLA has shown on a preliminary basis that physiological and emotional states correlate with emission intensities.  Studies done on psychic healers have given implications that the emissions can be controlled and directed.


The fact that the Kirlian phenomenon is a form of luminescence is also an important point.  Luminescence, as described by Szent-Gyorgyi, is an indicator of life processes.  It has been used as a diagnostic tool for bacteria levels at the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center.  White blood cells show luminescence when producing a bacteria destroying chemical.


Body fields have already been used on a limited basis for health diagnosis.  J.W. Kilner, a London doctor around the turn of the century, devised a method for sensitizing his eyes to the ultraviolet region through the use of dye filled screens.  He was then able to visually record body fields as depicted by ultraviolet emissions (these appear to be the same emissions that are being intensified by the Kirlian technique).  Kilner found that the fields fluctuated according to health states and he became quite successful in making diagnoses and determining treatments with this method.


Available evidence indicates that body fields, especially as recorded by the Kirlian process, are indeed closely related to health states.





In the study of body fields it is felt that the electromagnetic emissions may be but the output of some greater life factors operating through the body.  This concept will be kept in mind during research and theory development.  However, present technology and necessary scope limitations require that the proposed research be directed primarily at the study of the electromagnetic emissions – determining possible mechanisms, objectifying content, and making applications to medical diagnostics.  This in itself will represent a giant step ahead in knowledge and understanding life processes.






1. Miller, Webb, Dickson; “Holographic Concept of Reality,” OAK Press, 1200 Alki SW, Seattle, WA.  1973


2. The Aura, A Compilation, Health Research, Mokelumne Hill, CA   1955, pp. 15-17


3. Puharich, Beyond Telepathy, DeVorss & Co., San Monica, CA 1962


4. Long, The Secret Science Behind Miracles, DeVorss & Co., Santa Monica, CA 1948.


5. Mann, Acupuncture, Random House, NY 1963.


6. Leadbeater, Chakras, Theosophical Publishing House, Wheaton IL 1927


7. Russell, Design For Destiny, Ballantine Books, NYC, 1971, pp. 30-36


8. Krippner and Rubin, Galaxies of Life, Gordon and Breach, NYC, 1973


9. Ibid (8)


10. Ibid (8)


11. Ibid (8)


12. Miller and Elmendorff, The Physical Mechanisms in Kirlian Photography, OAK Press, 1200 Alki SW, Seattle, WA.  1973


13. Bleibtreu, The Parable of the Beast, The Macmillan Company, Toronto, Canada, 1968, pp. 166-176


14. Ibid (8)


15. Ibid (8)


16. Ibid (8)


17. Ibid (8)


18. Allen, White Cell Luminescence, Science News, Vol. 104, No. 10, 143-160, p. 104, 09-08-73.


19. Kilner, The Aura, Samuel Weiser, NY, 1911.


20. Cobine, Gaseous Conductors, Dover Publications, NY, 1941.





Allen, White Cell Luminescence, Science News, Vol. 104, No. 10, 143-160, p. 104, 09-08-73.


The Aura, A Compilation, Health Research, Mokelumne Hill, CA   1955, pp. 15-17


Bleibtreu, The Parable of the Beast, The Macmillan Company, Toronto, Canada, 1968, pp. 166-176


Boyers and Tiller, On Corona Discharge, Department of Materials Science and Engineering, Stanford University, December, 1972.


Cobine, Gaseous Conductors, Dover Publications, NY, 1941.


Dakin, High Voltage Supply for Corona Discharge Photography, Dakin Publications, 300 Broadway, No. 59, San Francisco, CA  May, 1973


Leadbeater, Chakras, Theosophical Publishing House, Wheaton IL 1927


Long, The Secret Science Behind Miracles, DeVorss & Co., Santa Monica, CA 1948.


Kilner, The Aura, Samuel Weiser, NY, 1911.


Kirlian Electrophotography, Mankind Research Unlimited, Washington, DC 1973.  Richard Alan Miller, ed.


Miller, Webb, Dickson; The Holographic Concept of Reality, OAK Press, 1200 Alki SW, Seattle, WA.  1973


Miller and Elmendorff, The Physical Mechanisms in Kirlian Photography, OAK Press, 1200 Alki SW, Seattle, WA.  1973


Presman, Electromagnetic Fields and Life, Plenum Press, NY   1970


Puharich, Beyond Telepathy, DeVorss & Co., Santa Monica, CA 1962


Russell, Design For Destiny, Ballantine Books, NYC, 1971, pp. 30-36


Szent-Gyorgyi, Introduction to Submolecular Biology, Academic Press, NY, 1960






Kirlian photography, originally developed in the Soviet Union, has recently been of considerable interest for scientific study in the United States.  To date, there have been no real satisfactory physical explanations for the phenomenon; however some studies indicate wide potential application in both the fields of Physiology and Medicine.  It is for this reason a study was made in an attempt to understand the physical mechanisms involved with Kirlian photography.  Once the mechanisms were understood, a clearer picture could be formed for the direction of study for application.





Kirlian photography techniques generally use one of two methods for creating a corona discharge (slide 6).  The most common type referred to in the literature is a form of Colpitts oscillator.  The other is called an Oudin circuit.  This form was chosen for our work because of its capacity for varying the frequency.  The primary circuit used was similar to the Lakhovsky Multi-Wave Oscillator (US Patent No. 1,962,565).


The techniques were employed in photographic leaves.  The first had one side of the secondary tied to the primary.  This gave a stable ground.  The other side of the secondary was attached to a rounded square of aluminum foil (slide 7).  This allowed the secondary electrode to act as a radiating antenna (Figure 2.).  Any piece of material (organ ic or inorgan ic) brought near this antenna gave off classical Kirlian photography phenomenon, visible to the unaided eye.  The lead in slide 8 is a typical example.  Slide 9 is a double exposure including the leaf image in a lit room.  This allows us to see what points on the lead appear to emit the lines of light.






The first step in our work with Kirlian photography was to determine the physics involved with the observed phenomenon.  Since preliminary data indicated a corona type of discharge, the first experiment was to test this as a hypothesis.  To accomplish this, one side of the secondary was attached to the aluminum plate as per Slide 10.


This sets up a control on the geometry for studying the radiation field.  The resulting pattern shown in Slide 11 indicates a form of classical field lines.  Calculations have been made showing this radiation to be a classical field of electron motion.  Considering the geometry, the radius of curvature of radiation from the curved surface of the leaf to the plate indicates a form of electron motion (Slides 12, 13, 14, 15, and 16).


This data, in part, indicates that Kirlian photography is simply a technique for ionizing gases about the object within its field to make them radiate light in a visible region.


Preliminary tests are now being conducted under controlled environments to study the classical gas-pressure curves for ionization.  The data with that above will be conclusive in our understanding of the physical mechanisms involved with Kirlian photography.






The Soviets and other in this country have reported an interesting phenomenon which is not congruous with the results of Experiment Number One (Slide 17).  In the case of a lead, if 20 percent or less is cut from the lead, the resulting Kirlian photography will show the missing piece of the leaf as a type of ghost image.


As per Slide 18, a leaf was cut with a 90 degree edge and set up in a state similar to that described in Experiment Number One.  Slide 19 is the resulting photograph.  As indicated, there are no ghosts.  The lines of light curve from the cut edge to the plate as per classical expectations.  Density readings of the emitted light were also made.  The intensity of light was found to fall off at a rate similar to the intensity of an e-field under similar geometry.


After some experimentation, we were able to duplicate the results of the so-called “ghost-image” phenomenon.  The physical mechanism involved is very reminiscent of the Xerox process.  The secondary of the Tesla coil is fastened to an aluminum plate.  The other side of the secondary (ground side) is attached to another plate about six inches above the first plate.


A leaf was placed on top of the lower plate.  The Kirlian device was then turned on for about one second.  This deposited a layer of charge on the lower plate.  Since the migration or dissipation of charge is low, the charge remained on the plate for some time.  The leaf was then cut without disturbing the position of the lead.  Polaroid film was then placed on top of the cut leaf and the Kirlian device was turned on for one second.  The resulting photograph had the described “ghost-image.”






Many in the field consider the intensity of the photograph to be of significance.  A new leaf was cut with pinking shears, to give it a many pointed surface.  Slide 20 is the resulting photograph.  It is evident from the figure that the intensity of radiation is at the points, exactly where charges would collect as per classical; mechanics of corona discharge.


It is therefore concluded that the variation in intensity is only significant in that it contains information regarding structures.





The emission off the body was also studied spectrographically using a diffraction grating technique.  Preliminary observations indicate gases are being emitted from the skin at discrete points.  These points app0ear to be meridian sights described in acupuncture.  The gases so far identified are helium, argon, nitrogen, carbon dioxide, oxygen, and water vapor.  The quantities of discharge appear to be greater than those described in the permeability literature.  There will be more studies conducted in the near future in this and several related areas.





It is our theory that the “aura” is, at least in part, a form of gas emission or discharge at discrete points on the surface of the skin.  This may be related to how animals are able to “smell” fear.  This may also account for the so-called “law of territory” and the use of special clothing to change the so-called “odor regions.”


Kirlian photography is a form of corona discharge.  It is ionizing gases which are being emitted from the surface which surround the object.






The problem of detection of electromagnetic fields in biological and medical investigations involved three main questions:


1.      What physical quantities should be chosen for the evaluation of the intensity of electromagnetic fields in relation to the conditions and aim of investigation?


2.      What is the relation between the intensity of the electromagnetic field measured in the medium surrounding the living object and the “biologically effective” intensity acting directly on the object?


3.      What techniques and instruments can be used to measure the intensity of the electromagnetic fields acting on man and in experiments with animals?


Considerations dealing with the size, shape, density, and composition of the biological specimen are extremely important in the determination of the proper detection system.  The tables below indicate experimental findings of importance to this research.




Coefficients of Reflection From Interfaces

Between Tissues at Different Frequencies


Frequency in MHz.


















































Depth of Penetration of Electromagnet Waves into

Various Tissues in Centimeters


Frequency in MHz




















Bone m


















Eye lens






















































(These tables are based on research reported in Electromagnetic Fields and Life, by A.A. Presman, Plenum Press, and c1970)


The information contained in these tables will be used to select the proper frequency and intensity for investigation of specific biological structures.


Other factors which must be considered include the formation of standing waves at tissue interfaces the thermal effects of the radiation, resonance absorption by proteins and many other aspects of electromagnetic field behavior.


Upon completion of a literature search covering the type of data in the tables above, work will proceed in the selection of specific tissues, electrodes, frequencies and methods aimed at validation of the experimental data and eventual development to specific experiments dealing with specific pathological conditions in specific internal structures.





Bioluminescence is the emission of photons of light produced when certain energized e4lectrons drop to a lower or ground state.


Biochemical interpretation:  The work of W.D. McElroy showed bioluminescence to be the release of energy formerly held in chemical bonds.  In biological organisms the basic reaction involves ATP (adenosintriphosphate), luciferin, oxygen, and the enzyme luciferase.  ATP was shown to be the critical or controlling compound.  In the reaction ATP is transformed into AMP (adenosine-monophosphate); this is the part of the reaction that produces light.  The breaking (or oxidation) of the ATP bond yields energy that is initially expressed by the presence of excited electrons in AMP molecules.  These excited electrons then drop to lower energy state and in so doing release their energy in the form of light photons (ref. 3).


Quantum mechanical interpretation:  Albert Szent-Gyorgyi places ATP in a much larger schema.  Photons from the sun excite electrons and this high energy state is transformed in the high energy phosphate bond of ATP through the process of photosynthesis.  ATP is then available to provide the energy or fuel; for life.  From a quantum mechanical point of view, the breakdown of ATP becomes the transfer of electrons between molecules in a downward cascading fashion top lower energy states – this action produces the electric current that produces the motion that we call life.  ATP is used not only in bioluminescence, but also in such functions as muscle contraction (ref. 4).






Appendix C is reference 8, Miller and Elmendorff, “Physical Mechanisms in Kirlian Photography,” OAK Press, 1200 Alki Ave. SW., Seattle, Wash.








Present diagnostic techniques in use by the medical profession generally require a series of intricate biochemical assays and time-consuming tests.


Recent research has uncovered new directions which, if pursued, could greatly enhance and expand the capabilities of medical diagnosis.  These new directions take a step beyond the biochemical approach and apply the technology of quantum mechanics to the biological organism.  Under these schemata it may well be possible to develop a rapid scan medical device that would operate with the simplicity and efficiency of present-day x-ray techniques.



The Human Organism


The human organism has usually been regarded as a complex arrangement of chemical elements and compounds.  The quantity and structure of these variables are our reference points for states of health.  This is the area of biochemistry and biochemical analysis.


An equally valid approach is to regard the human organism as an aggregation of electromagnetic fields which are constantly interacting and changing as are their biochemical equivalents (ref. 1).  It has been shown that the human system is an emitter of electromagnetic radiations (ref. 2).  Different emissions correspond to different body structures; an outline of the emission spectrum is provided in Appendix A.


These electromagnetic radiations are of course indicative of the energy state of the organism.  They can also be viewed as health state has been shown by research in the phenomenon of bioluminescence.





Bioluminescence is the emission of photons of light produced when certain energized electrons drop to a lower or ground state.  A common example would be the visible light (or electromagnetic radiation) generated by the firefly.  The importance of this phenomenon is seen by taking a broad view of the life process as we know it:  photons from the sun excite electrons here on Earth; this high energy state is transformed into high energy phosphate bonds by the process of photosynthesis; the release of the energy stored in these bonds is the fuel of life; electrons are transformed between molecules in a downward cascading fashion to lower energy states; this action produces the electric current that produces the motion that we call life. (ref. 3 and 4).


Therefore bioluminescence can be considered an indicator of life activity.  It has been used as a measurement for bacteria levels in urine at the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center (ref. 5).  White blood cells have been shown to luminance when producing a bacteria-destroying chemical (ref. 6).  Bioluminescence seems to be associated with many life processes.


Bioluminescence in nature seems to occur only in the visible range.  However, the variations in frequencies emitted by different organisms leads to some interesting conjectures.  Insects such as the firefly emit light in the region 470-535u (in million million cycles per second).  Crabs, shrimp, and squid of the marine world emit in the 613-632 region.  Some fish go as high as 720u.  Fungi are around 567u and bacterial light is 600-625.  Might the higher or more complex animal follow the sequence and emit their bioluminescence at higher frequency, such as the ultraviolet (UV) region? (ref. 3).


Dr. J.W. Kilner claims to have been able to record a bioluminescence from the human organism in the UV region.  He was able to visually see the emissions through a process that sensitized the human ye to UV emissions.  Dr. Kilner even developed a methodology for diagnosing health conditions according to the quality and variation of emissions.  (ref. 7)


The technique of Kirlian photography has also given evidence for a bioluminescence from the human organism in the UV range.  In simple terms Kirlian photography is the taking of a photograph in an electrostatic field (slide 1).  The resulting exposure shows an auric emission from the skin in the UV region.  At this point it seems that the Kirlian phenomenon occurs when gas emissions from the skin are ionized by the electrostatic field. 


Such excitation means that electrons are being energized from the highest filled orbital to the lowest empty orbital.  The amount of energy necessary is determined by the molecular structure of the compounds involved.  In this case it appears that this amount corresponds to that necessary for the emission of UV light (slide 3).  Thus, Kirlian photography implies that there is a mechanism present that could produce an emission in the UV region.  It also suggest itself as a method to be used in quantifying such bioluminescence in the UV region (ref. 8)


In summary then, research trends have been leading to an understanding of life (slide 4) processes through the emission of electromagnet radiations; the functioning of life processes are an indicator of states of health; the Kirlian technique hold great promise as a measuring device for such emissions and thus as a diagnostic tool in health analysis.