"Sleep researchers say they have established that many of the visions of angels and other religious encounters described in the Bible were likely "the products of spontaneous lucid dreams."
In a sleep study by the Out-Of-Body Experience Research Center in Los Angeles, 30 volunteers were instructed to perform a series of mental steps upon waking up or becoming lucid during the night that might lead them to have out-of-body experiences culminating in perceived encounters with an angel. Half of them succeeded, the researchers said.
Raduga, whose organization is partly funded by sales of his "practical guide" books on lucid dreaming, designed the experiment to test his theory that many reports of miraculous encounters are actually instances of people experiencing this vibrant, lifelike dream state. If he could coach people to dream a realistic religious encounter, he said, that could prove that many historical accounts of such encounters — such as Elijah's vision in the Bible — are really just products of people's imaginations."
Livescience.com, 21 December 2011