Skip to main content

Ashby Ponds Resident Hosts Course on the Paranormal

February 23, 2015

Bill Stoney, formerly with NASA, offers an 8-week course on the paranormal to fellow residents at the Ashburn retirement community

[[{"fid":"163636","view_mode":"default","fields":{"format":"default","field_file_image_alt_text[und][0][value]":"","field_file_image_title_text[und][0][value]":"","field_slideshow_link[und][0][title]":"","field_slideshow_link[und][0][url]":"","field_wrapper_link[und][0][title]":"","field_wrapper_link[und][0][url]":""},"type":"media","attributes":{"style":"width: 500px; height: 333px; border-width: 2px; border-style: solid; margin: 2px; float: right;","class":"media-element file-default"}}]](Ashburn, Va.) – Ashby Ponds resident Bill Stoney spent more than 30 years working as an aerospace engineer with NASA.  In this position, he became accustomed to using mathematics and science to provide reasoning and explanation for various matters of the world.  Over the years, Stoney became drawn to the study of the paranormal perhaps because experiences involving the paranormal cannot be explained.  Now, at Ashby Ponds retirement community, he is offering his neighbors an opportunity to learn more about the unexplained in an eight-week course entitled "Science and the Paranormal."

Throughout his career with NASA, Stoney worked with the Landsat program, which is a series of satellites that take photos around the world; he noted that Landsat provides the basis for Google Maps.  According to the NASA website, the Landsat program began in the 1970s and "offers the longest continuous global record of the Earth's surface."  Never during his career working with Landsat did Stoney see anything out of the ordinary from the photos; nonetheless, he does believe in the existence of UFOs.  "I can't explain any of it," said Stoney.  "It doesn't make any sense physically or any other way, but I believe people have seen UFOs."

One of Stoney's classes focuses on UFOs and UFO sightings; in fact, residents in the course have suggested that they themselves have witnessed UFOs.  Other classes in the course focus on near death experiences, ghost sightings and poltergeists, out-of-body experiences, telepathic communications, and past-life memories.  Studies on past-life memories provide significant evidence supporting reincarnation, according to Stoney.

Stoney's interest in the paranormal began in the 1950s with a book.  While perusing a book store, he accidentally picked up the book entitled "There is a Psychic World" by Horace Westwood and purchased it.  The book detailed the development of Westwood's teenage daughter from simple practice with a Ouija board to becoming a voice medium.  Many years later he met Westwood's son in Houston, Texas, who personally confirmed a variety of unexplainable events detailed throughout the book. 

Stoney admits he's never had a paranormal experience himself, but still very much believes in their existence.  At one point, he did host a spoon-bending party with his family; while members of his family were successfully able to bend spoons with their minds, Stoney was not. 

"It's good for people to know about this stuff," said Stoney, in response to why he is offering the course at Ashby Ponds.  The course will continue to be offered to residents of Ashby Ponds until mid-March. 

Stoney grew up in Brooklyn, N.Y. and received a bachelor's degree from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in aeronautical engineering as well as master's degrees from the University of Virginia (UVA) in aeronautical engineering and industrial management.  He lived in Piscataway, Md. prior to moving to Ashby Ponds in 2014. 

About Ashby Ponds: Ashby Ponds, one of 18 retirement communities managed by Erickson Living, is situated on a scenic 132-acre campus in Ashburn, Virginia (approximately 30 miles west of Washington, D.C.). The community is home to over 850 residents and has over 120 resident-run and resident-driven clubs and groups, an indoor pool, a fitness club, transportation services, 24-hour security, and flexible dining options. More information about Ashby Ponds can be found at