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Physicist Recalls Intriguing Physical Mediumship

Posted on 16 August 2021, 8:58

When psychical researchers of the late 1920s and early ‘30s became frustrated at not being able to agree on the genuineness of various physical phenomena produced by several mediums, most notably, Mina Crandon, (aka “Margery”), George Valiantine, and Rudi Schneider, several of them formed a new field, called parapsychology.  Its focus was on extra-sensory perception and psychokinesis and away from anything even alluding to spirits of the dead or life after death. To even mention spirits or survival of the consciousness at death was to invite professional disdain and discourage any funding for research.  Nevertheless, physical mediumship continued here and there. We simply didn’t hear much about it and there was very little formal research in succeeding decades up to the present. 

All that didn’t stop Dr. Jan Vandersande, a physicist, from taking an interest in the matter. In his 2008 book, Life After Death: Some of the Best Evidence, Vandersande explores some of the most interesting cases of physical phenomena reported in the annals of psychical research while also reporting on his own observations of some genuine physical mediums. His interest began while teaching physics at the University of Witwatersrand in South Africa, during the 1970s, when he and his wife were invited to attend a séance with mediums Mickey and Sara Wolf. “We experienced trance mediumship, direct voice and trumpets flying around the dark room,” Vandersande said when I interviewed him in 2008, adding that they then sat with the two mediums every two or three weeks for about eight years. “Every time we sat with them their main guide (control), Brian, would speak through either Sara, who was in trance, or through the direct voice. His characteristic voice was always the same and easily recognizable. Also, the trumpet, with luminous paint spots on it, flew around the totally dark room quite rapidly, up to the ceiling then to the walls and then it would slow down and gently touch each of the sitters (usually between four and eight) on the knee or on the head.  Special sittings were held before Christmas, and ectoplasmic spirit children played musical toys that had been placed in the center of the circle and also unwrapped presents (which were also in the center of the circle). Then the children would touch the sitters who could feel their small fingers and hands.”

vandt
Vandersande & Thompson

Maintaining an interest in the subject over the years, Vandersande arranged for Australian trance medium David Thompson and his partner, Christine Morgan, also a medium, to visit them in Southern California in 2012 and again during January 2014, giving three demonstrations each time.  Because darkness is required, precautions were taken to rule out fraud, including a thorough search of Thompson before binding him to chair with leather straps and zip-lock ties, as well as gagging him so that he could not talk. All of the sitters, including Morgan, were required to hold hands, and Morgan wore a luminous broach which Vandersande, sitting across from her, could see, just in case someone claimed she was the real trickster.

“David has a band of spirit entities many of whom regularly materialize at his séances,” Vandersande’s notes read. “His main spirit control is William Cadwell, who materializes first at all his séances and appears to control what happens during the séance. After materializing, William started talking to the sitters while walking around. He spoke loudly and in a distinctive British accent that I found difficult to understand at times. William stepped on the piece of plywood (two feet by two feet), that we had placed at the center of the circle, making a distinct sound indicating that he was wearing heavy-soled boots (meanwhile David was wearing sneakers). He then started to answer questions of a general nature about the spirit world and about life.  After answering each question he would most of the time walk over to the sitter who had asked the question and ask if he could touch them. After the sitter said that he could, he put his hand on their head. The sitters who had that experience (from four to seven per sitting) described a very large hand (meanwhile David has very small hands). After he had answered a number of questions in each of the three sittings he walked back to the cabinet.”

Vandersande noted that as Cadwell got back to the cabinet, a red flash light was turned on so that the sitters could see Thompson still securely tied in his chair in the cabinet.  “This unexpected event clearly shows that it was not David pretending to be William, walking around the room and answering questions as some skeptics have maintained,” Vandersande explains in his notes.  “There is no way David, if he had been walking around, could have rushed back to the cabinet and re-tied himself in such a brief period of time. Also, the only way he could have seen in the dark would have been with night vision goggles and they were definitely not in the room (I checked that myself, as did the independent checkers).”

Next, an entity known as Timmy (Timothy Booth, who died in 1902) materialized and spoke with a very young, Cockney voice. Timmy then gave a demonstration in which the trumpets (with luminous paint on them), flew around the sitters. He explained that he had manipulated the ectoplasm exuded by Thompson to move the trumpets.  “The trumpets (two in the first séance, three in the second séance and only their single trumpet in the third séance) flew at great speed and with considerable precision, performing aerobatic patterns such as large and small circles, flying to the ceiling (from 10 to 12 feet high in a hotel conference room), the corners, all around the room and tapping each other in mid-air while I had the CD player play an Irish jig,” Vandersande’s report continues. “…Never at any time did the trumpets bump into any sitter or anything else in the room. There is absolutely no way any human, assuming they could see in total darkness, could move a trumpet in those random patterns, that fast and at that those heights, as all the sitters observed in the three séances.”

As the three trumpets were flying around the conference room during the second séance, Vandersande heard a thud to his left and leaves were touching his head. That was followed by a thud in front of him and then one to his right. As he was to discover, Timmy had moved three artificial trees, each about five-feet tall and in pots weighing 6-8 pounds, from three different places in the room to in front of him. “One tree was originally behind a large table so the table had to be moved by him in order to bring the tree to me,” Vandersande explains. “The other two trees were originally in two different corners of the room. Some sitters in the circle actually heard something fly over their heads. My two trumpets ended up in one of the trees between the branches… This phenomenon of moving heavier objects using ectoplasm is extremely impressive and in no way could have been done by anyone in the room in the pitch dark…”

Louis Armstrong, the famous musician known for his trumpet playing who died in 1971,  materialized in all three séances. “His voice sounded exactly like the very characteristic voice so often heard when he was alive on earth (a deep distinctive gravelly voice),” Vandersande notes, adding that he then played a harmonica for several minutes.  “You could hear him take a deep breath occasionally while playing. After that he left. I always get skeptical and nervous when famous people materialize but I now have a better understanding why they do it. To prove survival after death it makes more sense that someone who is well-known, has a characteristic voice and/or mannerisms, that just about everyone can recognize, materializes rather than an anonymous person.”

Timmy was followed in the third sitting by a Native American named White Soaring Bird, said to be Thompson’s gate-keeper or protector, who materialized and gave a blessing to the sitters, first speaking in his native tongue and then in English. 

Much more was reported by Vandersande, but space does not permit it here.  As mentioned in the prior blog about levitations, near the end of the second sitting, Vandersande and the others present heard a loud thud.  Thompson had been lifted over the sitters in his chair and deposited outside the circle, a distance of 15- to 20-feet from where he had been sitting. “The red flashlight was turned on and the tape on the door was removed and the door opened,” Vandersande’s report continues. “We all saw David sitting in his chair, tied up exactly as he was at the beginning of the séance except for the fact that his cardigan had been reversed. The cardigan was still buttoned and the five zip-ties were still in place exactly as when we placed them there. There is no way that David could have reversed the cardigan. [This] shows that the spirit entities have tremendous strength (using ectoplasm from David and likely the sitters as well). While the reversal/removal of the cardigan shows a de-materialization/re-materialization capability (or whatever technology the spirits used) that is way beyond the current laws of physics as we know them. It was truly an amazing phenomenon to have observed.”

Vandersande stresses that he carefully examined how Thompson was tied to the chair and is absolutely certain there was no way to remove himself, carry out the various phenomena, then return to the chair and tie himself back to the chair.

Victor and Wendy Zammit, authors of A Lawyer Presents the Evidence for the Afterlife,  estimate that they sat with Thompson at least 300 times between 2005 and 2014, before Thompson moved from Australia to New Zealand.  “In relation to his being levitated, it happened with David still unconscious at the end of every public séance,” Wendy informed me in a recent email. “He’s not the only one though – I’ve seen it happen with several other physical mediums. It seems that the spirit teams like to use up any remaining energy that way.”

Wendy Zammit mentioned that, according to Ron Gilkes at Jenny’s Sanctuary in the UK, Thompson was turned upside down in the chair while being levitated. The “spirits” then moved the chair so that Thompson’s head was in Gilkes’s lap before turning him right side up and depositing him some distance away.  “We were also present on at least two occasions where they levitated David, conscious and strapped into his chair, so that his head was almost touching the ceiling,” Wendy further explained, adding that, although it was dark, Victor was able to confirm the levitation, at the request of David, by reaching up and feeling the four chair legs and David’s feet.

Vandersande recalled that one of the women in attendance at the 2012 sittings happened to be a clairvoyant medium and refused to believe it was real, apparently not understanding that whatever is required for her kind of mediumship is not the same as that required for physical mediumship. I recall talking with a clairvoyant at a conference some years ago and she reacted in much the same way.  As she saw it, all that physical mediumship of yesteryear was just so much bunk.  It brings to mind the reaction of Sir David Brewster, a renowned British physicist, who observed D. D. Home being levitated.  Although seemingly quite impressed at the time, he later concluded that the only explanation was a trick he did not understand, or a delusion. “Spirit is the last thing I will give in to,” he was quoted.  Such a mindset continues to exist. 

Michael Tymn is the author of The Afterlife Revealed: What Happens After We Die, Resurrecting Leonora Piper: How Science Discovered the Afterlife, and Dead Men Talking: Afterlife Communication from World War I.
His latest book, No One Really Dies: 25 Reasons to Believe in an Afterlife is published by White Crow books

Next blog post:  August 30


 


Comments

Concerning my comment a few hours ago about Merle Oberon, I was curious as to what I had read and where, so I searched my books and found it in an article by British journalist Hannen Swaffer, in a 1950 book “Into the Unknown.” 

Swaffer said that Merle Oberon was in grave distress after seeing her Italian fiance killed at her feet by a fall from an aeroplane several weeks earlier. Swaffer then arranged for Oberon to sit with medium Lilian Bailey at the home of Douglas Fairbanks.  Swaffer was careful not to mention to Bailey who would be sitting with her that night, although he says nothing about the possibility Bailey could have recognized her. Swaffer reported:

“Within a few minutes, despite the attempt of her spirit guide, Bill Wootton, who did not want his medium upset by a strange control, to stop him, the dead fiance entranced the medium, embraced Merle Oberon in a joy of reunion and assured her that she need not fear that he had felt any suffering, because he died instantly.”

Oberon was skeptical and wondered if Swaffer had informed Bailey who she was and what her concern was. He assured her that he had not. She had a second sitting with Bailey and apparently was perfectly satisfied that her fiance “had survived the grave.”

Of course, the skeptical mind can easily reject that one, suggesting perhaps that Bailey recognized Oberon and had read about the accident.

Michael Tymn, Sat 28 Aug, 01:56

Newton,

Thanks for sharing those quotes.  As Sir Oliver Lodge said, it is not one case or one phenomenon in particular that convinced him of survival, it was the “cumulative evidence.”

I had another synchronicity of sorts take place within the last few waking hours. Last night, I was looking for something in one of my books and I came upon a few paragraphs about movie actress Merle Oberon and some seances she attended which were very evidential. Although I remembered her name, I could not picture her as I can a number of other old-time actors. The story about her sitting was interesting enough that I intended to put her name into a Google search when I had finished my search in order to refresh my memory on her and see if there was any reference to her mediumship experiences, but by the time I finished my search of a dozen or so books I forgot about it.

Then, this morning, I was searching for a baseball channel when I happened to come upon a 1938 movie starring Gary Cooper.  The lead actress did not look familiar and I wondered who she was. I was curious enough to press the info button to find out it was Merle Oberon. I don’t know why I was curious in the first place, and I’m pretty sure my conscious mind did not relate it to my curiosity about Merle Oberlon hours earlier.  I find it strange that I would be reading about Merle Oberon’s experiences with a medium one night, then seeing her on my TV within a few waking hours later and curious enough to stop my search for the baseball game and see who the actress was. I don’t know why I cared to find out who the actress was. Generally, I wouldn’t care. I’m fairly certain I did not have Merle Oberon in mind when I decided to press the info button and identify her.

Now I don’t remember which book it was in that I read about her experiences. Perhaps just a coincidence, but I wonder if there is some meaning to it.

Michael Tymn, Fri 27 Aug, 23:33

I’ve been revisiting an extremely intriguing book I read years ago (which interrelates quantum physics and NDEs), read before Michael introduced me to spiritualism. I wanted to share a couple of quotes I came across this morning from two separate NDErs concerning one of the things they learned while out-of-body: (1) “I realized what a gift life is and that I was surrounded by loving spiritual beings who were always around me even when I did not know it;” and (2) “Perhaps it sounds strange, but I truly believe that this whole time on earth, all sorts of spirits that are simply invisible to us surround us.” It was Michael’s post on Dr. Greyson that prompted me to dive back into NDEs after the plunge into spiritualism. It’s definitely the deep end of the pool in both cases.

Newton E. Finn, Fri 27 Aug, 18:29

Yes, Chris, your points are well taken. All arrogance must be avoided if we are to BEGIN to get any kind of fragile handle on spirit communications, and we must do everything in our power to avoid “sinning against the light” by forming overly-hasty judgments about phenomena like the Elaine/Jonathan communications. So far, I’ve heard nothing from Jonathan but expressions of love and wisdom—not NEW explanations or revelations concerning them, but also nothing which contradicts older spirit communications. My principal issue here is the same one I have with “channeling” in general; i.e., how smoothly it seems to flow from the spirit world to ours. I contrast this with the extreme difficulty in ferreting out the bosh and dreamlike confusion in the trance communications of Leonora Piper, which so bedeviled William James (and Michael as related in his book about her). And yet, and yet, there is Patience Worth, in whom I put great stock, spinning out flawlessly over decades the threads of piercing and profound observation; indeed, authoring voluminous literature, some of the highest quality. So who knows what’s really going on, the constraints and variables involved, when those in the afterlife attempt to speak with us? I’ve got no answers and probably never will.

Newton E. Finn, Thu 26 Aug, 14:56

Michael,

I heartily agree with your comment to Chris. I don’t think that ‘Jonathan’ is a higher- level spirit or a ‘Group Soul’ speaking through Elaine.  He may be an earth-bound spirit still trying to find his way home.  I didn’t take much note of Jonathan predicting the future. He seemed to me to be like any other person shooting-the-bull with friends over a cup of coffee at Starbucks who says, ” I’ll tell you what is going to happen if things continue as they are now.” All of us are probably doing that, considering the current world situation.

Jonathan may have given himself a position of authority which may not be earned but may be a kind of role-playing as a spirit with superior knowledge.  He does, in my opinion make good sense in matters of psychology giving good advice as to how to live a good life but that could be just coming from Elaine’s subconscious mind based upon years of her own study of self-help books. .  - AOD

P.S.  I thought I heard Elaine say in one of her videos that her father was a physical medium.  I wonder who he was?

Amos Oliver Doyle, Thu 26 Aug, 14:35

Chris,

It is my understanding that “low-level spirits” does not necessarily mean an evil or deceptive spirits. It can refer to a well-meaning spirit who doesn’t realize how little he/she really knows.  This low-level but well-meaning spirit might carry over the same beliefs he had when he died and not be advanced enough to know that some of his beliefs are incorrect, if there is such a thing as “correct” or “truth.” I’m not saying that is the case with Jonathan. He may very well be an advanced spirit, whatever “advanced” is taken to mean or what degree of advancement it suggests. I just found it strange that he would be telling of the future, when others have said that they don’t know the future or can’t reveal it. He sounded like he belongs to the Edgar Cayce group soul, which might be a good thing, but that is based on watching and listening to just one video. Jonathan might very well be having tea with Imperator and Cayce at this time. smile

The way I see thing happening today, Cayce was right, but it is a matter of how long it takes to play out, whether a few years or another hundred or more.

Back to the voice matter mentioned by Amos: An interesting reference on this and other aspects of physical phenomena is “The Facts of Psychic Science” by A. Campbell Holms.

Holms tells of a sitting he had with Etta Wriedt. He was surprised to hear from the father of his brother-in-law, and said that the tone of his voice was not recognizable but the manner of his speaking was.  Holms then heard from his mother, but her voice was very faint and difficult to understand. He had to continually ask her to repeat what she was saying. What convinced him that it was his mother was that she mentioned Holm’s daughter by a pet name, one that he was certain the medium and others present could not have known without a thorough background investigation.

It was Holm’s understanding that the spirits couldn’t always draw enough power from the medium to speak and therefore had to draw from some of the sitters, the result being that the voice could carry some of the habits of the sitter from whom it borrowed power. But that has to do with the direct voice, not necessarily the trance voice.  It gets very complicated. Holms does a good job of explaining all the complexities, especially the complexities that had many genuine mediums written off as frauds. It is easy to understand why the spirit world pretty much gave up on offering physical mediumship.

Michael Tymn, Thu 26 Aug, 09:44

Dear Chris de Cat,

I do believe you are right. Your view seems so reasonable. But I think one would make sure that one placed one’s trust firmly in the highest Being of them all, and stated that to that Being. Then, I believe, one would receive both protection from low spirits who wish to mislead or play flippant tricks, and would also benefit from the direct help (seen or unseen) of the true servants of the Great Being, ie those beings who have usually been called angels, and are said in the Bible to be “ministering spirits sent forth to minister to those who shall be heirs of salvation”. (I think I’ve got that wording right - though I am no slave of verbal formulae but rather perceive realities wordlessly, holistically). I think protection and help are realities gladly given by the ‘All-Being’.

I hope I am right. The ‘God’ I believe in is totally honest and reliable, and caring for her/his creatures, via the helpful willing service of beings who are higher than us, far higher and more reliable than the tricksters. But our trust should be in the Highest, Who then delegates the dispensation of the help we need to trustworthy servants.

Eric Franklin

Eric Franklin, Thu 26 Aug, 09:15

I agree that you avoid the maleficent spirits who try to take yuo to the dark side en honor egoism and selfishness, but are we going to exclude the less advanced spirits who are also beneficial and speak about love and connection on a simple less complicated way. Most of the spirits of Ken Hanson admit that they are still learning a lot and many times they say that they don’t know the answers and even learn from us. Not everybody is as enlighted as the people that follow this blog for many years. Maybe those who just found their spiritual selfs during lockdown are better able to understand those simple but honest advices. Many ‘higher’ spirits said the truth also evolves along the capacity of understanding of mankind: it would be useless to talk about relativity to people during the middle ages for example. So spirits will adapt there messages to that what we are able to understand.
So my advice, don’t exclude the ‘good guys’ or we are no better than what some people do in some countries with there fellowmen to prevent them for talking and share their opinion. Our common sense has to deal with what we should accept and what not, aren’t we doing that on this location all the time?

Chris De Cat, Thu 26 Aug, 07:23

That’s my point, Amos. We need to take notice of the highest spirits we can hear from, true servants of the All-Being we call ‘God’, not allow low spirits to spin us the kind of lies they uttered when in the physical, and so mislead us.

Eric Franklin

Eric Franklin, Wed 25 Aug, 20:25

Where did the idea come from that ‘spirits’ know everything about everything—-that they are omniscient and god-like?  What is the basis for that belief?  I think run-of-the-mill spirits that are able to communicate through mediums are not different from what they were when they inhabited a physical form.  They were once people living on earth or other planets in various forms.  It is we who expect them to know everything including the future.  Why is that the expectation?
 

Most educated people today would have an opinion of what will happen in the future, especially the near future and could expound upon that opinion in general terms.  Those of a particular narcissistic and egotistic bent are prone to do this with gusto.  Nostradamus did this hundreds of years ago in the 1500s and wrote about his predictions in vague terms, leaving himself an out if his predictions did not come to pass.  If the prediction happens to be correct then it is touted as precognition. If it is not correct then it is just forgotten.  At times people do somersaults to make the prediction fit the circumstances they see evolving.  Perhaps on the skein of time, spirit entities can see into the future but it may be that what they see are ‘possibilities’, possible circumstances to be acted upon by the free will of those who are in physical form.  Whether or not such visions come to pass is entirely dependent upon individual choices made by each person living a physical life. In most cases the future is not chiseled in stone.- AOD

Amos Oliver Doyle, Wed 25 Aug, 18:50

Dear Amos,

When sound and vision signals travel via separate channels the non-synchronisation is inevitable, but can be corrected if you know what to do (I don’t, but two of my sons would). The delay of the one channel relative to the other is known as ‘latency’, and a delay of milliseconds in the flow of the earlier sequence of data can be arranged to bring the sounds and the visible lip movements into synchrony. But that is mere technology. I have sometimes risked experiencing the problem when editing music recordings and lecture video recordings. So what is YOUR point? My point is that spirits making utterances in the hearing of humans have to prove themselves trustworthy or never be granted our trust. “Test the spirits.” The whole matter of our future lives is too important for each of us to entrust ourselves to spirit-tricksters: better play safe and not play with fire: it is the question of which dwelling place in the Father’s house we shall be sent to when we escape the “vile body”.

Eric Franklin

Eric Franklin, Wed 25 Aug, 07:10

I was finally able to get some audio on one of the Thorpe videos.  It was very interesting and seemingly realistic. If “Jonathan” is in fact a spirit guide, the question then becomes whether he is an advanced spirit or a low-level one, one pretending to know much more than he does.  My recollection is that other “advanced” spirits have said they can’t see the future or if they can, they are not permitted to reveal it.  Yet, Jonathan seems to have no reservation or inability in that regard, even though it is a very general forecast with no time aspect to it.

Michael Tymn, Wed 25 Aug, 04:44

Amos Oliver Doyle, 24 Aug, 20:04:

You are pointing out technical and mechanical problems with the Thorpe videos.  What is your point?

You pointed out technical and mechanical problems with her videos:

Regarding your sound problem.  It probably is not your computer or speakers.  Elaine Thorpe’s videos are amateurish and some of them have poor sound.

Maybe it isn’t a big deal. I don’t think transmission problems negate the possibility that trance personalities are who they claim to be. Mediums, including the best, seem to alter the message in various ways.

The voice of Arthur Conan Doyle, as delivered by Leslie Flint, is noticeably different from his earthly voice in a sound film. That bothered me when I discovered it, but I have little idea of how spirits bring their voices into our world, so anomalies in “downloading” their speech are hardly deal breakers.

But it does wind me up a little when people so easily and quickly dismiss spirits speaking in vocabulary and accent different from what might be expected based on their purported incarnate history.

I understand the skepticism about drawing any firm conclusions from this. Maybe a trance-personality spirit who bangs on about “carbon dioxide in the atmosphere and the ozone layer” has been watching PBS or BBC television programs in the afterlife, or following modern controversies in some other way. Maybe spirits, after a while in the astral or other planes, lose their accents and the speech characteristics they once had. But where do they get the new accents they manifest with? (Interesting sidelight: they never seem to forget which sex they were.)

But explanations for apparent voice anomalies are speculative. I know of nothing that offers evidence for them. They are assumptions, just like the assumption that a spirit should talk in the mode of his or her time and place.

We are like the detective in a mystery novel. Inspector Le Conte starts by considering anything and everything that might be a clue. Unless something shows that the clue is false or irrelevant, he doesn’t put it aside. He will not investigate only the evidence that fits his preconceptions or is more comfortable to him.

Rick Darby, Tue 24 Aug, 22:49

Jonathan Hunter combines the mass exodus with the mass awakening that is taking place. His emphasis lies on trust,positivity and go within yourself. And the covid19 period gave everybody the chance to do that. Out of the negative will come the positive. Not only humans, but also animals,plants,our cels and the earth are animated.Consciousness is energy. His main message is ‘be positive’.
Maybe not entirely new, but is that necessary?

What is the most important thing: the way it is presented or the messages itself? If you don’t like them, you don’t have to follow them, there is free will and everybody chooses his own path…only give everyone the chance to follow the path they choose without any obligation or compulsion. You and they can give us advice and messages but YOU can do with it what you like. That’s a fair deal I suppose.(last remark is my own opinion)

Chris De Cat, Tue 24 Aug, 21:36

I am thinking that the interviewer of Elaine Thorpe in “A Victorian Gentleman’ was Richard Cox of “Skeptiko Community. Here is the link.  Interesting comments on that blog. 

https://www.skeptiko-forum.com/threads/interview-with-a-trance-medium.4457/

Amos Oliver Doyle, Tue 24 Aug, 21:15

Rick,
I think you guess was correct, Elaine Thorpe apparently lives in Thannington, England. AOD

Amos Oliver Doyle, Tue 24 Aug, 20:39

Rick,
You are pointing out technical and mechanical problems with the Thorpe videos.  What is your point? - AOD

Amos Oliver Doyle, Tue 24 Aug, 20:04

Amos Oliver Doyle, 24 Aug, 13:56:

Regarding your sound problem.  It probably is not your computer or speakers.  Elaine Thorpe’s videos are amateurish and some of them have poor sound.

For the record, I sent the Victorian gentleman video to the TV monitor and the sound through exterior equipment and headphones, and had no trouble hearing Elaine/Hunter. But the lack of synchronization between her moving lips and the voice is bizarre. Yes, AOD, her recording is amateurish and as I noted upthread makes no sense: the same tape contains the video and audio. If the recording were more professional one would almost suspect Elaine and Jonathan Hunter’s speech to be voice-overs not quite succeeding at matching the image.

The segments showing the unnamed questioner, who seems to have also been the producer, are clear. He knows his way around audio/video. He is in a different location, but could he not have made sure Elaine’s recording equipment was up to par?

There may have been a reason why he couldn’t, such as being distant from Elaine (his accent suggests northern England, probably Yorkshire, and she sounds like she is, or was raised, in the south). But why not a few words of introduction from the questioner/producer explaining the methodology and any problems that arose?

Maybe more is revealed in the other videos, which I haven’t had time to watch. But for the Victorian gentleman session, facts that might help us to understand or evaluate are thin on the ground.

Rick Darby, Tue 24 Aug, 19:03

Newton,
I am sure you have heard from somewhere, that there is nothing new under the sun!  I would ask you why do you expect Elaine and Jonathan to provide information that is new to YOU? I think Jonathan provides information and guidance for those who do not read Frederic Myers, Imperator or Patience Worth.  I for one am touched by Jonathan’s guidance even though I may have heard it from other sources. How many ministers shoot-off the same old hackneyed arrows over and over year after year expecting, I guess, that they will finally find their targets.  Jonathan seems to be able to condense his message to its essentials without a lot of superfluous verbiage.  Just take it for what it is.  Some people will like the taste of the brew while others will find it bitter. - AOD

Amos Oliver Doyle, Tue 24 Aug, 18:30

For AOD, Chris, and others who have listened to more of Jonathan/Elaine than I have (although I’ve listened to a fair share): What specifically NEW information or guidance have been given us here that have not been given us in innumerable prior mediumistic communications? Even with regard to the pandemic, has not the exodus/awakening scenario been on the lips of many, apart from any paranormal influence?

Newton E. Finn, Tue 24 Aug, 15:35

I don’t know Michael.  When I had my very first hard-cover book about Patience Worth, it disappeared too.  At that time I didn’t have a lot of books but it was gone.  I had to buy another copy.  Now it would be easy for me to have trouble finding a book in the house.  I have multiple books strewn about in every room, at least 10 or 12 half read books opened on the floor by my bed.  I always have trouble finding anything now.  I too have an image of the cover of the book in my mind so that helps me to find it.  It may be more likely that lower level (I won’t say “evil”) spirits play games with us or intentionally try to prevent us from pursuing things they don’t like or are not in our best interests.  (I sometimes think that my whole life has been overshadowed by a lower-level spirit.)  It is kind of like the synchronicity thing where the universe is watching what we do all the time. But my inclination would be that the new “Walter’ is an imposter and shouldn’t be trusted.

Regarding your sound problem.  It probably is not your computer or speakers.  Elaine Thorpe’s videos are amateurish and some of them have poor sound.  That is why I previously suggested that she needed a good promoter, someone who could clean up her web site and get a book published for her.  You probably recall that Jane Roberts had written many books before she came upon Seth.  She knew the publishing business well I think and how to go about promoting herself.  Elaine Thorpe in contrast is naive to the publishing world, (at least she seems so). In one video she commented that she was not a very out-going person and preferred her privacy.  She seems to be a rather simple, low-energy, trusting, shy soul to me.  - AOD

Amos Oliver Doyle, Tue 24 Aug, 13:56

Dear Mike Tymn (I think it is your comment about low volume in the recordings of trance utterances, but your name does not appear until the response appears on the blog itself),

I found the same. I had to turn the volume up to maximum and it was still too quiet. I think the problem is not in your or anyone’s computer. The recordings are simply not skilfully made - the volume is too low. I still have reasonably adequate hearing, but there must be many elderly who cannot hear what the medium is saying.

Test the spirits, whether they be of God. One can rationally wonder about the source when one sees incompetence. Surely the Great Being is master of that merely technological matter.

Eric Franklin

Eric Franklin, Tue 24 Aug, 13:43

Dear Newton, but also all,

It is surely very important to avoid low, dishonest spirits, giving them as much attention as a personal call from Microsoft about our computers’ “error messages”. (Do you get them too?)

I think, for what my opinion may be worth, that your personal intention, Newton, to live by trust and by your individual sense of ethics is far more reliable than the self-guidance of those who try to seek a perfect understanding of truth, convincing themselves that their opinion is knowledge, for that must always fail. No man can by seeking find out God, Who encompasses the universes, and dwells in thick darkness, ie totally invisible to human eye and human understanding, despite being the Being within Whom we all live. We should cast all our care upon the Great Being, believing that that Great all-embracing, all encompassing Being cares for our individual consciousnesses, and notes with acceptance our efforts to act with integrity. What is human, uncertain, continually-seeking-but-never-finding ‘knowledge’ worth alongside THAT?

Eric Franklin

Eric Franklin, Tue 24 Aug, 11:46

Amos,

Thanks for the interesting report on Elaine Thorpe. I tried watching and listening earlier today and went to 100% on the audio but really strained to hear what she was saying, so much of a strain that I finally gave up after about 10 minutes. The audio was out completely for about six months, but I got new speakers a few weeks ago and it seemed to be working OK. I’m not sure what the problem is, but you’ve made me curious and I will give it a try on my wife’s computer tomorrow.

Michael Tymn, Tue 24 Aug, 11:13

Amos,

If you are right, my spirit guide must have deported a book from the spare bedroom I call my library.  A friend reminded me that Walter, Margery’s deceased brother and control, is currently speaking at seances given by Stewart Alexander in England and that he (Walter) claims that the infamous fingerprint of Walter that turned out to be that of Margery’s dentist, was indeed fraud.  I went looking for the Alexander book in my library and it has disappeared. I recall seeing it about a year ago and can still picture the cover.  I’m certain I didn’t throw it out or give it to someone, so there are two possibilities: 1) It’s there, but I somehow missed it in my thorough search —actually two long searches.  2) My spirit guide deported it because the current Walter is an impostor and shouldn’t be quoted.  What do you think? wink

Michael Tymn, Tue 24 Aug, 05:08

I am continuing to watch the Elaine Thorpe/Jonathan Hunter videos.  What can I say?  I am astounded at the content of what Jonathan Hunter says.  Michael Tymn knows me well enough to know that I am not easily persuaded by all of this so-called “woo-woo” stuff but I have to say that I have been totally taken in by Elaine and Jonathan.  After watching one of her latest videos (July 2021) I have a few comments.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ctz2pIZcTv8


First, I have to agree with Jon Beecher about the male voice produced by Elaine and how unusual it is for a woman to produce a voice like that. (This video is a good example of that change.)  I have spent many years practicing singing and placement of my voice to produce a pleasant sound and I can tell you that it is not easy (and it may be impossible) to change the innate timbre of one’s voice the way Elaine does.  Jonathan places the voice in the frontal bones and nasal turbinates in a way that is very different from the placement of Elaine’s voice.  Most people cannot easily do that!  I just don’t think that a female with Elaine’s bone structure could do that, if at all, without years of training and practice.  It just seems to come naturally to her/him and he/she maintains it for more than an hour. Jane Roberts tried this with Seth but Jane’s Seth seemed somewhat contrived to me and Jane seemed somewhat spooky and distant while Elaine’s Jonathan seems to just flow naturally from her in an approachable way and is very believable to me; maybe without a London Victorian accent that Rick was looking for but still, I was very impressed by Jonathan’s voice placement. The delivery was quite different from Elaine’s delivery which was reserved and she seemed quiet, soft and shy while Jonathan was very out-spoken and self-assured but not in a feigned way.

In other videos Jonathan has a very masculine posture with legs spread apart and gesticulating freely from side to side and slapping his knees at times.  That seems very unusual for a woman to keep that up for almost an hour. (Mark Twain addressed this in one of his novels about Huck Finn—-Newton’s cousin—-and Tom sawyer (I forget which one) where Huck I think dressed as a woman and as he sat with legs apart under a dress someone tossed something into his lap.  The thought was that a man would clap his legs together to try to catch whatever was thrown at him while a girl or woman would not, just letting the object fall into her skirt on her lap. I think Huck clapped his legs together so he was discovered to be in disguise. Maybe someone should try this with Elaine/Jonathan.

This one video and Jonathan’s advice as how to live one’s life in my opinion could replace almost every visit to a psychiatrist or psychologist at $300 an hour and only one visit needed.  It was excellent advice to live a peaceful, loving life in which one learns to prepare for the spiritual realm. I found great resonance in what he addressed e.g., spirts of plants, cells and animals, people on other planets, reincarnation.


I am inclined to think that Elaine Thorpe is an authentic medium who is actually channeling a spirit from the beyond.  If one compares Elaine with Leonora Piper one notices the times they were entering a trance and especially the times they were coming out of a trance.  Mrs. Piper modified her behaviors over the years during these periods.  I found it interesting that Elaine Thorpe addressed the coming out of trance as a somewhat disoriented time for her similar to Leonora Piper’s description and behavior during her later seances.

Elaine Thorpe needs a good promoter to clean up her web presence.  The e-book she proposes just will not do it for her in terms in getting wide-spread recognition.  She could be another Jane Roberts and Seth.  She needs a good publisher though. (Jon?) - AOD

Amos Oliver Doyle, Mon 23 Aug, 23:48

Nice to hear your voice, Eric, and your wise admonition that we take this afterlife business reverentially. Schweitzer tells a story about his teaching of elemental Christianity to young men soon shipped off to fight WWI. His message to them was not to view Christianity as a religion that explained everything, but rather one which tried to situate us, cast into the ocean of life, within the warm flowing Gulf Stream of God’s love. After the war, some of these young men told him that this teaching was the only thing that allowed them not to despair of their religion, having come face to face in the trenches with the inexplicable. I have come to have a similar view with regard to the afterlife, to the effect that our task (at least my task) is NOT to figure it out but rather to embrace its existence and live THIS LIFE accordingly. Frankly, I don’t need much more of a description of the afterlife than that provided by Myers from this side of the veil, supplemented by Imperator from the other side. Nevertheless, Eric, I will follow your suggestion and spend some time with Seth, but not to fill in more of the blanks in a futile attempt to comprehend the incomprehensible. I will seek only to learn more from him of love and wisdom.

Newton E. Finn, Mon 23 Aug, 16:21

Michael,
I think your tete-a-tete synchronicity may have been a little more than that.  I think perhaps it might have been your spirit guide helping you out in your quest to verify the definition of tete-a-tete.  You are a writer and most likely your assigned guide would be interested in word usage too.  It may have been all in a day’s work for your guide as he probably helped you many times in the past to find just the right word when you were composing something.  He probably thought that you really wanted to know.  Noblesse oblige!

Amos Oliver Doyle, Mon 23 Aug, 13:39

Michael,
the video where Jonathan Hunter talks about the exodus of the masses by virusses you can find on Elaines website (link given by Newton on 17 aug.)
Eric, you are correct, even more… spirit teaching of Kryon says that almost everything is relative and he says that even the velocity of the light is relative. I do not understand it altogether because as I said earlier I have not the scientific background and there is also the lanuage barrier. Maybe you can read the Q&A from the Kryon site…he seems to be very scientific in some of his explanations.

Chris De Cat, Mon 23 Aug, 13:02

Dear all,

Some interesting comments are being made and I will not waste your time waffling approvingly.

Notifications of new comments are NOT being sent automatically to my inbox. I don’t know why, and perhaps Jon can remedy that if it is not in my computer but at the blog’s end of the electronics, perhaps not. I hope you will investigate, Jon.

I agree strongly with Newton that what is conspicuously lacking in the investigations of physical and other phenomena currently being dealt with is any awareness that what we are dealing with is a matter that concerns the Great Being, to Whom, surely?, we have an overriding responsibility to be reverent, not just curious. Our own wellbeing and our own ‘self-preserving’ instincts also invoke that responsibility, do they not? It is not just a matter of idle curiosity or even of the most serious and open-minded scientific investigation, but of our personal relationship with ‘God’. Having a partner who is likely to make her transition into another universe in the very foreseeable future I cannot be unaware of the seriousness of the subject. We all need to be aware.

Talking of other universes, there was a lot of disinterest, even scorn, over the past months regarding the view that Relativity Theory is HIGHLY relevant to the phenomena. On the basis of much that I am reading which strongly confirms its relevance I repeat that claim. Those with no understanding of Relativity will not see this, of course, and may still mock, but it is indubitably true, so PLEASE take notice without thinking I have a one-track mind.

Quite another line of thought, another track, is this: I am increasingly of the opinion that what Stainton Moses’ automatic writing showed for HIS age, the similarly provided writings of Seth provide for a later, more scientific age - our own. Each reveals as much as the minds of that age, and of our own, can encompass, just as Imperator repeatedly said. The difference in character of the two sets of writing clearly shows the differences in the minds being addressed by the spirit speaker. Does anyone else have that same impression?

Eric Franklin

Eric Franklin, Mon 23 Aug, 11:02

Newton, please give Fred my regards. I hope to have coffee with him in the not too distant future, but I’m not sure he’ll be able to travel down to my level. I still haven’t found the video in which “Thorpe” talks about the virus, but I’ll keep looking for it.

Amos mentioned synchronicities earlier. I just had a somewhat unusual one. While working on a biography of Mina Crandon, aka Margery, I came upon a comment by Dr. T. Glen Hamilton about a tete-a-tete (accents not included) he had with Margery and her husband.  I couldn’t recall having heard that word in years, probably decades, and while I had a general idea of the meaning, I told myself I have to look it up later for an exact definition. I forgot about it, but then, less than two hours later, it came up in my email as the “word of the day.”  Maybe the two-hour time difference means it was not a synchronicity, but it was close enough.

I’ll often be reading a book while my wife watches TV.  Two or three times a month, I’ll pass by a word in the book that I hear at the exact same time on the TV.  However, I have been able to find no meaning in them.

Michael Tymn, Sun 22 Aug, 20:57

I saw a few video’s of Elaine Thorpe now and in one she shows a recording of the earlier sessions with Jonathan Hunter where he is learning to use his medium. He sounds robotic as Elaine him describes.
In another video (lightworker festival 53.10min.) he explains the process somehow among other very interesting subjects.

Chris De Cat, Sun 22 Aug, 19:56

The soaring genius of Frederic Myers, with whom I communed this morning via “Human Personality,” has a contribution to make to this offshoot discussion of a particular spirit possession of a particular trance medium; i.e., a CONTEXT. “We are here actually witnessing the central mystery of human life, unrolling itself under novel conditions, and open to closer observation than ever before. WE ARE SEEING A MIND USE A BRAIN (my caps). The human brain is in its last analysis an arrangement of matter expressly adapted to being acted upon by a spirit; but so long as the accustomed spirit acts upon it the working is generally too smooth to allow us a glimpse of the mechanism. Now, however, we can watch an unaccustomed spirit, new to the instrument, installing itself and feeling its way.” Perhaps, following Frederic, we should all cut Jonathan Hunter (or whoever he is) some appropriate slack as he (apparently) is learning to speak his mind not only through Elaine Thorpe’s voice box, but through her brain. Ain’t easy, to say the least.

Newton E. Finn, Sun 22 Aug, 16:22

Seems like a little of PW rubbed off on (or crept into) AOD. Thanks, Amos, for the delicately beautiful, bittersweet poem.

Newton E. Finn, Sun 22 Aug, 01:00

I am not at all concerned if a spirit manifests an exact copy or not of their appearance as in physical form.  Neither do I care if the spirit sounds like they did while alive in form. Michael has noted the reasons why, several times in past blogs and I agree with him.  I couldn’t begin to duplicate my voice or appearance no matter what the substance was that I was working in. Very few of us could from memory draw or paint a portrait of our self and even if we looked in a mirror most of us would fail to make an exact likeness. depending on our skill in drawing or painting.  It is the same with spirits trying to produce a representation of their latest incarnation.  Some may be more skillful than others. There is a distinction between a projected image and the real thing so one has to keep in mind that the apparition or direct voice is really not the person himself but only a facsimile of a person like a projected hologram.

I think that spirits are satisfied if they can just manifest in anything at all. And maybe they use memories of images and sounds stored in the minds of the sitters or the medium.  It isn’t surprising that they don’t always look or sound recognizable.  Maybe they are just not meeting OUR expectations. Even in the physical it is difficult to remember in exact detail what a loved one who has passed on really sounded like or looked like without a picture or a recorded voice to help


When I hear my voice on tape I have come to recognize it as me but when I first heard it I wouldn’t have recognized it if I hadn’t known before hand that that was going to be my recorded voice.  And, although I don’t shave my face regularly I often am appalled at the face staring back at me in a mirror.  Who is that old man, anyway?  I am beginning to get detached from my image now and still expect to see a face 50 years younger.

.
Those who are ‘Spiritists’, meaning those who believe in reincarnation, would have another possible explanation.  If one had lived many lives, which one would be chosen to appear in?  Maybe they all would blend into some mishmash of a generic person. - AOD

Amos Oliver Doyle, Sat 21 Aug, 17:50

Thanks Rick for your additional comments.

The truck thing I know seemed strange but the business that owned the truck was a refrigerator company and the message on the truck , “It’s time to let me go!” was to encourage people to get rid of their old refrigerator I think.  That kind of takes something away from the story doesn’t it!


Language interests me even though I don’t spend a lot of time researching it other that for purposes of validation of Patience Worth.  I have memorized the prologue to Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales and believe that I have a good pronunciation and vocalization of that small section of the story.  (Thanks to my high school English teacher, Miss Elizabeth Graham)  But at the same time I do try to use the English of modern Americans in an educated way and this blog affords me a limited opportunity to keep my brain intact for a little more time.  Thanks to Michael Tymn he has allowed me to do this for many many years even before he went with White Crow books and that’s been 11 or 12 years ago.


I suspected that Jonathan Hunter probably did not meet the standard of speech for a Victorian gentleman but I don’t know what that would be so I just skipped that consideration .  If one listens to Leslie Flint’s tape recordings of direct voices, some or many of them sound nothing like their real life counterparts e.g., Marilyn Monroe, Herbert Hoover, Chopin and many more.  Thanks to people like you your contribution and assessment of this case adds a great deal to figuring out the puzzle .  I guess I rationalize away the lack of accent in Jonathan’s speech but I don’t know enough of Victorian speech of London to notice it is missing.  I could say that Leslie Flint and his ectoplasm voice box could not produce identifiable idiosyncratic voices either so why would that be expected of Elaine Thorpe if it was not expected of Leslie Flint.

A case of Jung’s synchrony occurred when I was courting my wife and we were lying in a hammock under the willow trees near our pond.  I was reciting a poem I had written called “The Fawn”  which I thought might be somewhat appropriate to my wife’s current circumstances at that time.  When I had finished the recitation we looked up and there in front of us was a mother deer with her fawn drinking out of the pond. That is more than coincidence I think; more like Jung’s synchrony.  I know!  I know!  What is the point of synchronicity.  I don’t know, other than suggesting perhaps that the universe or someone maybe is listening to what I am saying or doing. It is just something weird; a coincidence that is not a coincidence.

I like to play with language.  When my wife was in deep mourning at the death of a close relative, I wrote the following poem in the style of Patience Worth or maybe Patience Worth wrote the poem through me.  Who knows!


Wherefore dost thou mourn, Oh, Little One;
Wherefore dost thou mourn.

For each hello, must needs good-by
And each embrace a parting.
At each caress a thousand tears
Across a face astarting.

Grieve not upon a journey ending
‘Tis but a fork, a road abending.
And tears are but a soul amelting
From a love afilled.

- AOD

Amos Oliver Doyle, Sat 21 Aug, 01:28

Amos, keep in mind that the evidence, although not yet accepted by orthodox science, suggests that the appearance and voice of spirit do not necessarily match those he or she had in the earth life. 

For example, if I die before you and try to appear to you from the other side, I have to project an image of what I remember myself looking like when alive.  I likely will not project the image I saw of myself in the mirror when I shaved a few minutes ago. That one shocks me.  I’ll probably choose one of a portrait from 50 or more years ago.

When I call home and nobody answers, I get the voice recording of my own voice on the answering machine and I sometimes ask myself if that is what I sound like to others.  It doesn’t exactly match what my voice sounds like to me.

Also, there is some indication that the medium’s voice characteristics can interfere with the transmission or be blended in with the spirit entity’s voice. 

It was often argued that Katy King, the spirit who materialized with medium Florence Cook for Sir William Crookes, looked very much like Florence. There are a couple of possible explanations for this, including the possibility that Katy couldn’t remember what she looked like (she lived before photography) and therefore borrowed from Florence, even though she was four or five inches taller than Florence, or somehow the DNA of Florence carried over in the ectoplasm producing Katy and affected the appearance. It seems a little far-fetched, but so much of all this seems far-fetched.

If I am able to appear to you after my death, look for a more handsome guy than the 84-year-old communicating with you now and don’t necessarily expect my voice to sound the same. I may remember and project a more sophisticated voice at that time than the one I actually have.

Michael Tymn, Fri 20 Aug, 23:56

AOD 20 Aug, 17:38:

I appreciate your thoughts about my comment on Elaine/Jonathan.

What kind of a truck has the message, “It is time to let me go”?

My sympathies about Woody. I know how hard it is to euthanize an animal companion. (“Animal companion” is the only politically correct term I ever use.)

I don’t understand the concept of synchronicity. Things “arise together” or whatever the Jungian jargon is? What makes them arise together? I think it was Colin Wilson who called synchronicity “a coincidence that isn’t a coincidence.” Maybe it isn’t a coincidence, but saying that doesn’t help our understanding.

We must differ about the speech patterns of proclaimed spirits. You say, “I came to understand how difficult it is to pinpoint a given speech example as coming from a particular time or place. If you are an American just try to pick out one example to represent American speech.  I believe that there is not just one example that represents American speech especially if one is looking for grammatically correct speech.” True, but my skepticism on this point is not about regional variations or speech habits carried forward from earlier generations.

I simply do not hear an accent in Jonathan’s voice that sounds gentlemanly (educated, upper class), especially from the 19th century. No one denies that almost all English accents today differ from those in previous eras. On my visits to England I have occasionally heard old people speak very differently from today’s pronunciation. Even in the 1930s, Aldous Huxley made fun of the accents of some people among the older generation of his time, who were raised in the late Victorian era. (Example: “myah paulitics” for “mere politics.”)

To repeat, Jonathan sounds something like a 21st century TV personality.

I believe you are right when you say (in a different comment), “There was a tinge of ‘wokeness’ about Jonathan Hunter when he started talking about carbon dioxide in the atmosphere and the ozone layer. As I recall one comment he said bordered on the unscientific.” I don’t remember that, but I noticed several times he sounded borderline “woke.” Never underestimate the power of the UK’s cultural Marxist regime. It penetrates to the afterlife.

Rick Darby, Fri 20 Aug, 21:37

Newton,

I think I am 100% in agreement with you, but I will confess that the new stuff doesn’t really interest me all that much.  ‘Res Judicata’ on the pre-1930 research.  With Covid and limited socializing, no real travel, etc., what else is there to do?  Unfortunately, for me, the baseball season is winding down. I may turn to scrabble with my wife after the World Series is over, but she beats me nine times out of 10.  I’m looking for some other Philistine activity, but haven’t been successful so far.

Michael Tymn, Fri 20 Aug, 20:55

Amos,

Prince, McDougall, and Rhine definitely contributed to the demise of Margery, as did Houdini.

On the other side supporting her were Richardson, Hamilton, and Garland, all of whom had considerably more experience with physical mediumship than the first three. Also, Bird and Tillyard were on her side. I’ve discussed the case before, but I may do another blog on it in the future.

I need to look at those you-tubes of Thorpe today.

Michael Tymn, Fri 20 Aug, 20:15

What am I looking for, what draws me in, when I spend time watching videos like those of Elaine Thorpe or Matt Fraser?  As I’ve previously said, I came to spiritualism late in life, having found firm religious ground for decades in a personalized, unorthodox version of liberal Protestant Christianity. I had long ago come to a confidence in the afterlife, the existence of a personal God, and the role of Jesus as the model we are to follow. In spiritualist literature, I found some extension/elaboration of these basic beliefs in terms of a clearer conception of the afterlife, an increased awareness of the crucial role of angels, a new openness to reincarnation for souls who need or desire it, etc. Essentially, however, I was largely on board with the substance of Imperator and Patience Worth (among other spirit communicators) before I had the great joy of encountering them. Since spiritualism has primarily served to strengthen my prior religious foundation (a rare gift I was given by family, church, college, seminary, life’s challenges and trials, etc.), what AM I looking for, at this point, in these videos, what draws me to them? Nearing my earthly demise, knowing (as most all of you do) that growth in love and wisdom is what ultimately matters, I suppose I’m seeking to do just that—to find new avenues, new vehicles, new voices which might take me further in these directions. We never arrive at the end of this process, says Imperator, not here or hereafter, at least as far as we can see. “There is no finality—NONE!” So bring on the next video or book or blog post, I say to myself, and let me see if it takes me anywhere I haven’t yet been. There’s a whole universe out there—Eric says more than one!—awaiting exploration, and I’ve still got quite a distance to go before I become the man God intended me to be.

Newton E. Finn, Fri 20 Aug, 19:32

Here are some smaller video’s of Elaine Thorpe. It is interesting to see how she goes into trance and come out of it. I think that the issue of synchronicity like Amos told is correct. Why do we always have doubts? Jonathan Hunter brings messages of positiveness and love….is that the wrong message?
https://m.youtube.com/c/ElaineThorpe/videos

Chris De Cat, Fri 20 Aug, 19:24

Rick,
Thank you for that invaluable link to London accents from the 14th to the 21st century.  How very very interesting.  I think most people do not acknowledge the changes that occur in languages over a relatively short period of time.  Whenever I hear people claim that a language used by a spirit was not an authentic language of the time in which they claim they lived, I can’t help think that that person does not know very much about the development of languages over time. And how very difficult it is to authenticate an ‘archaic’ language and these were “London” accents.  Just think how difficult it is to research language from all of the Shires of England spoken on the highways and byways of rural England during the 1600s, the time of Patience Worth.- AOD

(To be honest Rick, sometimes I can’t even understand modern day British accents on television shows and movies and I have to turn on the captions to get an idea of what they are saying. It might as well be a foreign language for me.) - AOD

Amos Oliver Doyle, Fri 20 Aug, 18:42

Rick,
You bring several good points to ponder.
You comment that Elaine Thorpe, “[S]saw a truck with the word Jonathan covering its side. As she entered London, she spotted a tower with the word Hunter.”  You note that these are common words and suggest that if one is looking for them, they would be easy to spot.  Well, I suppose that is true.  I have no disagreement with that.


I had a similar experience when my mother lay dying in a nearby town and I was on my way to see her for the last time.  I came to a busy intersection at the edge of town and stopped at the traffic light.  Going in the other direction was a large moving van also stopped at the intersection and to my right.  We both were first in line at the intersection except I was going West and the truck was going North. We were at 90 degrees to each other.  So it was difficult for me to avoid seeing the truck.  It was “in my face” so to speak.  And I wasn’t looking for any special message at that time as I struck out for the nearby town. There was a large painted sign on the entire side of the truck (nothing else was there) that said “It is time to let me go.”  I took that as a message from my mother or someone else telling me that it was time to let my mother go own to her reward. She died the next day at 102 years old.


My most impressive experience, which I have shared before on this blog is one concerning my dog ‘Woody’.  I had to have him euthanized and it was very traumatic for me but on the way home from the vet I came up behind a car with a license plate with the word “WOODY2” on it.  Now I don’t know how common that plate is in Illinois but I thought it unusual that I would come upon a plate like that at that particular time.  I don’t recall that I have come upon another license plate with “WOODY” on it since then.


But, on the one-year anniversary of Woody’s death I foolishly thought that I might find another license plate with the word ‘WOODY” on it.  So I looked all day for one but never saw one. In the evening I went to Lowe’s hardware store and when I was leaving the store, for some reason I turned around and I was face-to-face with a large advertisement hanging on the wall by the exit doors.  The poster was a large, probably 5 X 5-foot sign advertising “Woody’s Hot Dogs”.  The words ‘woody’ and ‘dog’ appeared multiple times on that large poster.
Now I don’t know the significance of these signs but at least these are two examples of synchronicity as discussed by psychiatrist Carl Jung. I think they were much more than that for me personally.  They were meaningless to anyone else but to me they provided significant reassurance that there is more to life than the physical world I live in


You comment that the information was “vague or clichéd at times.” is true of us all I guess and certainly true of most of the conjured-up spirits who pontificate for their audience e.g., Seth.

I commend the interviewer’s demeanor and approach to the spirit.  He asked some excellent questions.  I too was disturbed by the audio portion of a few parts of the video.  It seems that they occurred just at the time when some pertinent information was about to be provided and I got the feeling that someone was intentionally garbling those parts for some reason.

Concerning Jonathon’s speech.  That doesn’t bother me a bit.  I am by no means an expert on English speech patterns, pronunciation and word usage.  I have done a little research on English speech during the 1600s because of my interest in Patience Worth, a period of time in which she purportedly lived.  I came to understand how difficult it is to pinpoint a given speech example as coming from a particular time or place. If you are an American just try to pick out one example to represent American speech.  I believe that there is not just one example that represents American speech especially if one is looking for grammatically correct speech.  This was very true in Patience Worth’s time when she lived at the crossroads of a multitude of colloquial English dialects from many shires where common English was spoken and little was written down.  The spoken language had little in common with written language of the upper class. The same is true today with American speech.  Some individuals even carry with them speech patterns of prior generations handed down to them by parents and grandparents which they may at times incorporate into their daily modern-day speech.


Concerning the drawing on the Web frontispiece of what may be thought to be Jonathon Hunter.  It too reminds me of the “Seth’ drawing done by Robert Butts, Jane Robert’s husband.  I think the drawing of Seth and the drawing of Jonathon are fabrications of the artist who drew them.  No apparitions have appeared to provide a basis for those drawings.  They can be nothing but conjectures and should not be taken as anything but a fanciful depiction of what someone, anyone, living during the reported periods might have looked like. (And obviously they can be inaccurate!)  I think it is misleading to try to depict spirits. e.g., American Indian of Estelle Roberts.  Often mediums or their followers will try to draw what the spirit guide looked like and that only provides fodder for Skeptics to criticize.

While there may be weaknesses in the videos of Elaine Thorpe and Jonathan, I think Elaine and Jonathon are worth following for a while until she discredits herself—-or not! I think Elaine Thorpe would be a good research study for someone   - AOD

Amos Oliver Doyle, Fri 20 Aug, 17:38

Newton.
I think a better comparison of Jonathan Hunter and Elaine Thorpe would be ‘Seth’ and Jane Roberts.  There are YouTube videos of Jane Roberts while in trance and voicing ‘Seth”  I think there is a striking similarity if voice style presentation and pacing and the similarity of the somewhat ‘witchy’ appearance of Jane and Elaine. (Jane wins!) - AOD

Amos Oliver Doyle, Fri 20 Aug, 15:56

Newton,
There was a tinge of “wokeness” about Jonathan Hunter when he started talking about carbon dioxide in the atmosphere and the ozone layer. As I recall one comment he said bordered on the unscientific.  I will have to go back are view the video again. - AOD

Amos Oliver Doyle, Fri 20 Aug, 15:45

Michael,
I wonder if MIna Crandon has gone down in history as a fraud due to in part because of Walter Franklin Prince’s negative report about her?  He was a respected researcher with the SPR.  - AOD

Amos Oliver Doyle, Fri 20 Aug, 15:35

For those readers who don’t have the time or energy to watch a series of often hour-long videos, here’s a short clip of Elaine Thorpe channeling Mr. Hunter. I don’t necessarily disagree with the answers given, but is there anything new, anything specific, anything personally useful for greater understanding and growth, especially at this perilous and pivotal time? I invite those familiar with spiritualist teachings to contrast the quality of the Thorpe/Hunter content with that of Imperator, Cora Scott Hatch, Patience Worth, or other well-known spirit communicators of bygone days. I’m not questioning the authenticity of this Thorpe/Hunter channeling, but I do find myself, the more I watch the videos, questioning their value and significance.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZM-CABHxXus

Newton E. Finn, Fri 20 Aug, 14:50

Jon,

Mina Crandon, aka “Margery,” is said to have had such a voice change when her deceased brother, Walter, spoke through her in the independent voice. She supposedly changed to a hoarse, masculine voice, although I’m pretty sure no tapes exist to verify that.

Speaking of the infamous Margery, one of the strangest levitations was reported with her.
During June 1923, the table in their seance room levitated and then chased Dr. Frederick Caldwell, one of the sitters, around the house, into a bedroom, and then down a flight of stairs. It was said to be Caldwell’s mother controlling the table.  Hard to believe, but Dr. Mark Richardson, a Harvard professor of medicine, is said to have stopped the table from wrecking the house.  Richardson, who is credited with developing a vaccine for typhus, was one of Margery’s biggest supporters and attended numerous sittings with her.  Still, she has gone down in history as a fraud.

Michael Tymn, Fri 20 Aug, 10:31

Newton,

My question is fair simpler. Irrespective of who Jonathan Hunter is or what he/she says, is it possible for a woman to imitate a man’s voice like that?  I can’t think of another example of a woman speaking like a man, not like that.

Jon, Fri 20 Aug, 09:02

Thanks, Newton, for the heads-up about the Elaine Thorpe trance mediumship sessions. I have only watched the one involving the “Victorian gentleman,” Jonathan Hunter.

Elaine gives off pleasing, unpretentious vibes. Further, the producer and interviewer who operates under the handle Deep State Consciousness offers thoughtful questions rather than gushing enthusiasm. My compliments to him. I like the way Elaine tells of struggling to believe in the communications she received. It speaks well for her that she didn’t immediately assume the validity of the connection, but “tested the spirits.”

I’m less impressed with Elaine’s conversion to acceptance. She says she was driving to London, talking with Jonathan and unsure of his real identity, when she saw a truck with the word Jonathan covering its side. As she entered London she spotted a tower with the word Hunter. Elaine took those as confirmation, but both are common English names. With her mind already focused on Jonathan Hunter, it’s likely she was primed to notice them out of the thousands of other names that flew by.

Now we come to the spirit called Jonathan Hunter, whose life dates are reported by the interviewer as 1845-91. Like most personalities speaking from the other side, he is vague or clichéd at times. But overall his message leaves a positive impression and rings no alarm bells, considering his speech is responsive to questions and continues for over an hour.

An odd lack of synchronization between visuals and spoken words can often be noted (in Elaine/Jonathan’s segments; the footage of the interviewer is normal). What to make of this? The visual component also seems to have some speed problems, so maybe her recorder was having a bad day, but you’d think Deep State Consciousness would have made sure the equipment was in good shape and working correctly before the session. Anyway, since the audio and video are recorded on the same tape, I can’t think why they don’t match.

As for Jonathan’s voice: this can be only a judgment call, but he doesn’t sound like how I expect a Victorian gentleman (i.e., upper class person) would speak. The accent as spoken through Elaine’s vocal cords is rounded, somewhat bland, almost mid-Atlantic as shaped by international TV and American tourists. If you want to hear how London pronunciation has shifted over centuries, including one chapter on the pronunciation in 1886, check out language historian Simon Roper’s YouTube video, “A London Accent from the 14th to the 21st Centuries,”
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3lXv3Tt4x20.

I didn’t catch whether the drawing of Jonathan is taken from a mediumistic impression, but his “Percy Dovetonsils” (google Ernie Kovacs) portrayal — wearing an ascot, yet! — is like a parody of an aesthete. Well, at least he’s not sporting a long gray beard and dressed in a white robe.

Rick Darby, Fri 20 Aug, 01:33

Thank you, AOD, for the honest and deeply self-aware answers to my question. Repeated reassurance to address recurrent fear is something that makes perfect sense to me and surely to many others. You do us all a service by saying something, and saying it well, undoubtedly felt by many but often difficult to express. Because I asked the question, I feel like I “owe” you and all who tackle it my own attempt to provide an answer. When I get around to doing that, I hope I do half as well, my friend, as you did.

Newton E. Finn, Thu 19 Aug, 15:13

Mike,

So many instances of extraordinary occurrences! Yet, no interest from the scientific establishment community.

However, we appreciate you sharing this information with us.

Thank you!

Yvonne Limoges, Thu 19 Aug, 01:28

Chris de Cat 18 Aug, 19:30:

I was curious about the date of the video and it was uploaded on 8 februari 2020…so at the beginning of the covid pandemic at a moment that nobody knew or could suspect what this virus would bring us.

Yes, in early February 2020 few could have imagined that a virus whose “case” numbers and rates were questionable would bring us an officially sponsored panic; useless and psychologically harmful rules requiring face curtains and social isolation; the near-destruction of the economy, except for a huge boost to Big Pharma; a mad rush to create so-called vaccines that are not vaccines at all but gene modification experimental treatments, with unknown long-term effects, that are already failing after six months; coercion and threats of denial of civil liberties to “non-vaxxers.”

The spirit spoke (almost at the end) of a mass exodus and a mass awakening happening for humankind among other interesting subjects.

I, for one, hope mankind’s mass awakening involves resisting power-hungry governments’ bid for ever-growing social control.

Rick Darby, Wed 18 Aug, 21:11

I just looked to Elaine Thorpes video ‘conversing with a victorian gentleman’ and it was astonishing. The spirit spoke (almost at the end) of a mass exodus and a mass awakening happening for humankind among other interesting subjects. He spoke of pandemics and vaccins in case of the exodus(mass dead of people).I was curious about the date of the video and it was uploaded on 8 februari 2020…so at the beginning of the covid pandemic at a moment that nobody knew or could suspect what this virus would bring us.Amazing!Thank you,Newton for the link.

Chris De Cat, Wed 18 Aug, 19:30

Ian,

Ian, received an email from Jan Vandersande that he agrees with the answers I gave.

Newton, I haven’t had a chance to look at the you-tube links you sent, but I hope to do so today.

Michael Tymn, Wed 18 Aug, 18:07

Newton, I should have added that the bottom-line concerning seeking reassurance is the reduction of fear, a basic emotion of most animals related to their survival,  Fear is behind most psychologically-caused mental illness today as well as in the past. - AOD

Amos Oliver Doyle, Wed 18 Aug, 16:58

Newton,
You ask, “[W]hat are you looking for in internet videos of one current trance medium…or in videos of psychic medium Matt Fraser?”

Interesting question Newton.  Let me think for a minute.

The word ‘reassurance’ pops into my mind.  I suppose that my belief system is so weak that I need constant reassurance that it has some validity.  It is a trait of a person with obsessive compulsive disorder or hypochondria.  Such people are always looking for reassurance that whatever danger they imagine is about to strike them is paused for a moment until doubt eventually creeps in and an additional dose of reassurance is needed.  Additionally, I think that I am also looking for the opposite, that is I am looking for something which would provide evidence that whatever belief system I may have is wrong.  Also, I don’t travel very much so I do not attend seminars or other meetings related to the paranormal or related subjects and as my current contacts with people is very limited, the internet videos provide some contact, admittedly vicarious, with other living human beings. And as a seeker of truth, I use whatever sources are available to me to educate myself about a wide range of subjects.  - AOD

Amos Oliver Doyle, Wed 18 Aug, 16:47

Correction of previous post: Bigelow not Barlow (God, I’m losing it). Question for AOD: Given your immersion for decades in the literature of Patience Worth, and your rather extensive knowledge of spiritualism in general, what are you looking for in internet videos of one current trance medium…or in videos of psychic medium Matt Fraser? I suppose that I, too, am looking for something in these videos because I also watch them, but I’m not sure what I’m seeking. I’m fairly certain it’s not merely additional evidence. I pose the same question to all readers of Michel’s blog.

Newton E. Finn, Wed 18 Aug, 14:45

Ian,

Thank you for the comment. To respond to your first concern, my final question to Dr. Vandersande in my 2008 interview with him was:

“Have you had any difficulty reconciling your observations of paranormal phenomena with your scientific knowledge?”

His response was:

“As a scientist you investigate the natural laws of the universe and I definitely believe we have not discovered all the laws yet. Thus the occurrences of paranormal phenomena don’t worry me; they are just beyond the laws of physics as we know them today. One day we might be able to explain how physical phenomena occur and how ectoplasmic forms come about.  Unfortunately, there seem to be fewer physical mediums than we had several decades ago, so it will be more difficult to investigate the phenomena.”

As for your second concern, I don’t think this was directly addressed, but I inferred from that interview and subsequent conversations with him that he agrees with the generally accepted theory that the ectoplasm produced by the medium, as well as supplementary ectoplasm or energy provided by some sitters, provides the “force” necessary to carry out the levitation, materialization, or other manifestation, whatever it might be. I’ll check with him and let you know if that is not the case.

Michael Tymn, Wed 18 Aug, 08:27

The headline talked about a physicist seeing and hearing these things. What was his conclusion about physics and its connection to further domains?  I see no mention of that.

For example, can these spirits produce their own matter, or do they have to ‘borrow’ material already existing?  An important question for any theory development!

Ian J Thompson, Wed 18 Aug, 05:02

Newton,
Thanks for the link to the videos of Elaine Thorpe.  Most of them are over an hour so I have only watched the first one of them about one and a half hours.  I have a few comments.


At the beginning, my first reaction was to roll my eyes and chalk it all up to just someone wanting attention but I persisted and to the contrary I was very impressed with Elaine Thorpe’s mediumship and manifestation of the spirit Jonathan Hunter.  It was reminiscent of Jane Roberts and Seth.  But better, I think.  Jonathan Hunter was a real person apparently and was more understandable than Seth in my opinion and, wonder of all wonders, agreed with me so of course I would be impressed with what he had to say. (I say this with ‘tongue-in-cheek’ of course.) He provided coherent responses to questions about the interactions of the spirit world with the physical world in an understandable and meaningful way, void of a lot of gobbledygook.
 

I also thought that the man (un-named) who asked the questions was exceptional and on target to get pertinent information from Jonathan about the spirit world and related topics.  I am looking forward to viewing more of the videos.
 

I have to say again, I was very impressed and intend to watch the rest of the videos and investigate further the mediumship of Elaine Thorpe. Thanks for the link Newton!  - AOD

Amos Oliver Doyle, Tue 17 Aug, 18:06

Physical mediumship is not an effective means to convince people of spirits unless one is physically present at the séance to experience it.  And, few people have had the good fortune to be present at such times.  Just hearing or reading about it is just like reading about any phenomena produced by a medium.  It is not any more impressive to those looking for evidence than messages reported to be transmitted by the spirits from the beyond.  If one knows and trusts the one who actually was present during the manifestation then, maybe one can be more accepting that the stories are true, at least believed to be true to the person who experienced them.  But then, one is really believing in the person who is telling the story rather than the story itself.  Direct voice however especially if it is recorded is more accessible to everyone to consider, as if one were actually present at séance at that time. Therefore, all direct-voice seances should always be recorded and made available to the interested public.

As for ectoplasm, how many here have actually seen, touched or otherwise experienced ectoplasm?  Anyone?  Please share your experiences.  Then again, I have not seen, touched or otherwise experienced Antarctica, or much of the rest of the world but based upon what I have read or other people have told me I believe that such places do exist.  (There are good photographs however!)  - AOD

Amos Oliver Doyle, Tue 17 Aug, 17:42

Yes, Michael, ectoplasm does seem to be at the heart of the bigger picture. Perhaps the best term for this mysterious phenomenon was “The Force” made famous by “Star Wars.” And yes, again, physical mediumship may provide the most useful vehicle for coming to understand more about it. Ectoplasm appears to be where the physical and spiritual intersect, that which connects and permits communication between this life and the afterlife. If only mainstream science would undertake this one task (and Barlow should have thrown his money at THIS): to ferret out, with all available tools, the existence and nature of ectoplasm. Of course, many would consider this to be an invitation for science to commit intellectual suicide, when in reality such evidence, even the most scanty and tenuous, would constitute science’s greatest achievement by far.

Newton E. Finn, Tue 17 Aug, 14:11

For AOD and others seeking visual evidence of aspects of (trance) mediumship, here are some videos I discovered c/o the Zammit newsletter:

https://www.elainethorpe.com/videos

Make of them what you will.

Newton E. Finn, Tue 17 Aug, 13:19

Chris, I agree with your last comment, although I gather that distance is not a factor relative to how far the after-world is from our material world. But I’ll leave that to Eric or someone more familiar with quantum mechanics to explain.

As for your first comment about using modern technology in research with today’s physical mediums, consider all the technology used in Instrumental Transcommunication (ITC) since the 1970s by some credible scientists in which many “voices of the dead” have been recorded, and yet mainstream science, the media, and the general public all ignore it or laugh at it. 

That might also address Amos’s comment. There are many tapes of spirits speaking through the direct-voice mediumship of Leslie Flint, but how does the recorder of the voices prove that the voices are those of spirits of the dead?

Michael Tymn, Tue 17 Aug, 10:30

It can be a discussion if spirits or the medium themself create this physical signs, but it is interesting to consider that in both cases those manifestations are made and are visible in our world…so there must but laws of nature in our world that permit it to happen, laws that we still know nothing about. And I agree with Michael that ectoplasm plays an important role in it. Maybe the afterworld is closer to us than we think and has more connection to our material earth than we consider. Everything is connected isn’t it, only we don’t see or don’t want to see that.

Chris De Cat, Tue 17 Aug, 06:36

It just occurred to me that mediums who produce direct voices could set up a microphone attached to a recorder and simply ask the spirit to speak into it.  Would that be too difficult if the voice as reported can come from all parts of the room or through a trumpet.  Just put the trumpet in front of the microphone and let the spirit talk into it. Those recordings would be invaluable; simple to do and very evidential.  Is that too much to ask?- AOD

Amos Oliver Doyle, Tue 17 Aug, 00:18

Interesting Jon; points taken.  But of course, everyone does have ‘skin in the game’ even if they don’t know it.  I surmise that everyone, maybe subconsciously but at times consciously is concerned about—-at least interested in whether or not they will still be conscious after their body dies.  Everyone at some point in their life entertains that thought I think; more so as one grows older and closer to dying and that may be why some materialists switch over to the other side in later life. The fear of extinction is a powerful motivator to consider other alternatives. And belief in an afterlife does reduce the fear of dying in most people.  One does not find many 20-year-olds fussing about the afterlife.

I don’t understand the professional debunkers however, the Skeptics who earn money from their reputation as a debunker.  Probably we all know several of them e.g., Shermer, Randy, Joe Nickell.  Why else should they care if other people believe in an afterlife?  But once they attain a reputation as a contrarian, they probably feel a responsibility to keep the guise going.  It feeds their ego and their reputation, therefore their employability I think.  I don’t spend one second thinking about people who believe in space aliens or homeopathy. I just let them babble on like a little brook.  I have no skin in that game. - AOD

Amos Oliver Doyle, Mon 16 Aug, 21:43

Sorry to bore everyone with more of the physical stuff, but over the past 11+ years, not to mention a blog at another venue before that, I am closing in on 300 different posts.  I haven’t counted, but I don’t think that more than 7-10% of them have been on physical mediumship.  Moreover, understanding physical mediumship can help in better understanding the mental and the overall dynamics of the invisible realms. The last word on levitation will be in the next post here. It will provide the inside dope from an advanced spirit on how levitations are carried out by the spirit world. I doubt I could continue the blog on a fortnightly basis for 11+ years by focusing only on mental mediumship without frequently repeating the material.
I am convinced that understanding ectoplasm is at the core of understanding the bigger picture.  As I see it, ectoplasm is the life force and the key to getting a better handle on the larger life. To understand ectoplasm, or the odic force, you have to examine the physical phenomena.

The best mental mediumship comes from the direct-voice, which is part physical mediumship, part mental. Shouldn’t we attempt to understand the physical to better appreciate the mental?

Michael Tymn, Mon 16 Aug, 21:15

Newton E. Finn, Mon 16 Aug:

Regret, bordering on frustration, is expressed that the spirit group had to resort to physical signs and wonders, largely the domain of less elevated sprits, in order to attract attention to the far more important ethical and spiritual teachings which it was the group’s mission to convey.

The spirits may be frustrated, but arranging physical demonstrations can be considered as paying their dues if they want to influence people.

We on this earth have no end of voices, living or post-mortem, instructing us how to rise above our pitiful selves: gurus, swamis, yoga masters, meditation teachers, all kinds of alleged communicants from the great beyond, authors of self-help books and New Age videos. How can the spirits expect their audience not to want some visual or tactile evidence before they choose who to follow?

Rick Darby, Mon 16 Aug, 21:12

Amos,

Bear in mind, his home circle has been sitting weekly for more than 40 years. He said it started as a sort of weekly get together. They would sit quietly in the dark for an hour or so and when they had finished, have a chat and some food. It was a social thing. Then one day something happened.

I agree about an enquiring mind, but that suggests (to me) an open mind. Being curious and open minded is not what I’m talking about. For example, let’s say I didn’t believe in any kind of extended consciousness realm and I was a diehard materialist (which I used to be). I might read a book or watch a documentary about Patience Worth and find it intriguing, but if I thought it was a fantasy or a hoax, I can’t imagine spending my life or even five minutes trying to debunk Patience or ridiculing and engaging with people who have a different opinion about her. Life’s too short.

If I told you Santa Claus was God and the elves are angels, how much time would you spend reading and writing about it and how long would you spend trying to prove me wrong? I suspect you wouldn’t spend five minutes. To a materialist, physical mediumship or any kind of mediumship is no more real that Santa Claus.

Now, if you’re a professional debunker or you edit a sceptic magazine, for instance, it’s business. Or if you’re religious and think Patience is a demon, you might think you are putting someone on the right path. Or if you’re an academic and you’re researching why people believe what they believe it’s a subject of study, but if you have no skin in the game why would you bother? But people do. I’ve never come across a subject before where people, seemingly with no competing agenda, spend so much time trying to prove psi doesn’t exist.

Jon, Mon 16 Aug, 20:04

Jon,
Once a week for 14 years?  Naw!  That is 728 sittings.  Really?  Imagine that!  I’d be dead by that time. Just turn the voice recorder on and I’d be happy. No light needed.  Maybe I am a skeptic but I like to think of myself as an inquiring scientist.  You know, “Inquiring minds want to know!” I want to know.  Show me the evidence!  I do question what human beings say however—-skeptical perhaps—-so I need more than just hear-say tales of mysterious phenomena.  The times when my skepticism has been shaken were times when very personal but circumstantial situations were placed before me, things which were beyond coincidence, no language involved.  It was more situational, like pieces of a puzzle that I had to put together.  Such revelations were few and far between, coming at times of mental crises—-usually, but pivotal to my belief in the involvement of a ‘spirit world’ in my life.  - AOD

Amos Oliver Doyle, Mon 16 Aug, 17:42

Amos,

The reason for not letting anything in is to prevent fraud and to protect the medium from light (torches, phones, lighters, etc.), which if ectoplasm is present, is supposedly harmful to the medium. People might scoff at that but light affecting ectoplasm and the phenomena itself has been reported since Home’s time and probably before.

Maybe that why things only go bump in the night, as the saying goes.

I can understand why circles sit quietly for decades and never invite outsiders in. The most important thing a circle seems to need is resonance between the sitters and the medium. Stewart Alexander told me that he and his home circle ( a few family members and friends) sat once a week for 14 years before they got any physical phenomena.  Can you imagine doing that? You can understand why they wouldn’t want to upset the equilibrium and risk losing it.

When it comes to sceptics, most of us are sceptics, I know I am, but some of us refuse to believe anything that doesn’t our worldview. Most of the people I’ve met in circles don’t care about sceptics. For me it’s all about repeated personal experience and personal evidence. Prior to that I had no belief in any of this stuff. I paid no attention to any of it. The mystery to me is why people spend any time trying to debunk psychic phenomena if they don’t believe it. I can’t imagine wasting five minutes doing that.

People spend years researching books on a subject they don’t believe exists. Unless they are in it for the money or have a competing agenda, I don’t understand it.

As Martin Luther said, “Every man must do two things alone; he must do his own believing and his own dying.”

Jon, Mon 16 Aug, 16:34

Jon,
I think that materializations, direct voices and levitations are all for show and entertainment.  More important are the validated personal communications from the deceased to their family members and others.  Direct voices are worth scientific focus though.  They apparently have been recorded and scientific study of these recorded voices might provide good evidence of spirit survival.  - AOD

Amos Oliver Doyle, Mon 16 Aug, 15:46

“None of the sitters were allowed to take anything into the Thompson seances, not phones, money, keys, not even loose clothing.”

Well, does that really matter now.  A good photograph or clear recording would negate any reason to be concerned with sitters having a phone, money, keys or loose clothing.  Let’s stop catering to the skeptics and get serious about collecting hard evidence of paranormal activity.  It is time for scientific collection and study of these phenomena.

“. . . ‘people’ have come through at David’s seances speaking Swedish, Hindi, Russian and other languages.”

Yeah that is good evidence Jon.  I would like to hear the recordings. - AOD

Amos Oliver Doyle, Mon 16 Aug, 15:36

Amos, Chris & Newton,

Just to say, the Thompson seances were recorded and available on their website but that was some time ago. Victor Zammit used to post the recordings on his site. I don’t know if they are there now. They also tried to use a camera once in red light (with permission from above!). It did result in an image but I don’t know if it’s online now.

None of the sitters were allowed to take anything into the Thompson seances, not phones, money, keys, not even loose clothing.

Although the Thomson seances were mind boggling, personally, I’m more impressed with the evidence I’ve had from mental mediums over the years because it’s been of a personal nature.

I’ve probably been to around a dozen physical seances and the Thompson and Stewart Alexander were by far the most compelling. Many hundreds of people have had personally evidence at Stewart’s seances over the years and “people” have come through at David’s seances speaking Swedish, Hindi, Russian and other languages.

Jon, Mon 16 Aug, 15:10

By focusing so much on the miracles of physical mediumship (which I have no doubt do occur), are we perhaps falling into a trap described clearly and repeatedly by Imperator & Co. in both “Spirit Teachings” and “More Spirit Teachings?” Regret, bordering on frustration, is expressed that the spirit group had to resort to physical signs and wonders, largely the domain of less elevated sprits, in order to attract attention to the far more important ethical and spiritual teachings which it was the group’s mission to convey. A close reading of the gospels reveals a similar regret/frustration felt by Jesus with regard to his miracles. Is the goal to get people to believe that mediums can be levitated, trumpets can fly around, people who have crossed over can materialize, objects can seemingly appear out of nowhere, etc., etc., etc., or is it to move hearts and minds in the direction of love and wisdom, toward reverence for life? I understand that this is not an either-or, the calling of attention being necessary, but, nevertheless, is this not a crucially important matter of our attention and emphasis?

Newton E. Finn, Mon 16 Aug, 14:47

I’m with you Chris.  Why are there no recordings of these séances?  Anyone can have a battery-powered pocket recorder and iphone camera these days and why not share a recording and photograph of every séance with everybody.  That should be required documentation for every séance if it is expected to be taken seriously.    (Surely there must be some Thompson recordings somewhere!)  I would like to hear these direct voices with a strong British accent that was difficult to understand.  Leslie Flint, Betty Greene and George Woods did it years ago, Why isn’t someone doing it today? With today’s technology a legitimate medium should want to document materializations and voices to validate his or her séances.  Why is there no scientific investigation of these claims?  It is time to stop fooling around and get serious.  Either materializations, levitations and direct voices are real or they are not! That should be easily proved these days.

And I must say that it is getting tiresome to hear about American Indian controls and little Cockney boys who make everybody laugh.  It seems that every medium has to have one or the other, especially non-American mediums.  (I know not every medium has one. I’m exaggerating! And this is no criticism of you Michael. Thanks for the information.)


I appreciate knowing that the Zammits sat with Thompson at least 300 times.  I do trust that Victor and Wendy would be hard to fool, but then again maybe not as they are dyed-in-the-wool believers anyway. - AOD

Amos Oliver Doyle, Mon 16 Aug, 14:08

Interesting as always. I don’t get it that with the technology of today with als sort of sensors and measuring equipment nobody is researching those recent seances and events of physical mediumship. Or is science afraid to measure things that they can’t explain and find proof of what they always have denied?

Chris De Cat, Mon 16 Aug, 09:40


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After Death: Private Dowding in the Wilderness by Wellesley Tudor Pole – In the introduction to "Private Dowding:The personal story of a soldier killed in battle, Wellesley Tudor Pole wrote: On Monday, 12th March 1917, I was walking by the sea when I felt the presence of someone. I looked round, no one was in sight. All that day I felt as if someone were following me, trying to reach my thoughts. Suddenly I said to myself, 'It is a soldier. He has been killed in battle and wants to communicate.' Read here
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