Research Report: Sarasota Physical Mediumship Séances
By Donna Smith-Moncrieffe, BSc., CrimDip, MSc.
Director, Metaphysics Research
This research report provides an account of 3 new experiments that took place during the 5 séances conducted by David Thompson and his spirit team[i]. This report will share the methods and conclusions in regards to the specific physical phenomena assessed.
The overall goal of attending and observing the David Thompson séances was to experience and determine the authenticity of full-body materialization and reunions in the 21st Century. Some of the larger[ii] study’s objectives included:
- To further expand our understanding of metaphysics and the nature of the universe;
- To develop a standard set of criteria that could be used to determine the authenticity of physical mediumship;
- To identify a comprehensive list of factors that contribute to outcomes produced in physical mediumship;
- To make a definitive conclusion about the authenticity of materialization in the 21st century séance room.
The present study’s objective focuses on objective no.4 related to making a definitive conclusion about the authenticity of materlization.
The chapel where the séances were held in Sarasota was said to have been planned by spirits approximately one hundred and fifty years ago. Built in 1973, the chapel was designed to be light proof and maintain cool enough temperatures to sustain the ectoplasm—the substance used to allow discarnates to materialize in the physical realm. A few individuals attending the séances mentioned that they believed that the room was built over a portal that would enhance the phenomena. The séance room fit approximately 30 people and there were no windows and just one door which made it easier to ensure that unpermitted light could not enter the room.
While strict protocol was always being followed to guard the safety of the medium and to enhance the evidential nature of the process, the feelings of camaraderie and the principles of spiritualism formed the basis for the proceedings. For the most part, although the process was open to the public, due to space limitations, word of the séances with David Thompson’s visit to the United States seemed to spread to people who were already part of the spiritualist community from all over the United States.
Approximately 20% of the sitters had observed Thompson previously and 50% had already participated in some type of physical mediumship séance. One-third of the group were newcomers who despite their inexperience with physical phenomena still seemed to have an open mind that the possibility of physical mediumship was authentic. If there were any closed minded skeptics in the crowd, they did not share their perspectives.
Typical Séance Phenomena
Although this particular research report does not analyze all of the phenomena that took place during the séances, a comprehensive analysis will be shared in a book publication in 2015. To provide a context for the 3 experiments that will be described in this report, a brief review of the typical phenomena is necessary.
Each séance starts with the typical protocol check, prayer and selected music to facilitate the deep trance state necessary for materialization.
William, Thompson’s control from spirit greets the sitters and checks in with the circle leader to ensure that all protocols have been implemented. William who usually materializes into full form and demonstrates his solid structure in a variety of ways provides several platitudes and responds to philosophical type questions. Other members of Thompson’s spirit team materialize to share important messages and aim to demonstrate survival of consciousness. Over the period of 5 séances, typical members of the spirit team who materialized in full form included: William, Timmy, Dr. Slavinski, Quentin Crisp and Louis Armstrong.
During 4 of the 5 séances, a total of 10 past loved ones materialized to reunite with sitters who were able to later reiterate what aspects of these reunions were validating.
Over the 5 séances, a total of 15 full bodied regular members of the spirit team and past loved ones known to the sitter materialized and interacted intelligently with sitters in the séance room. Their physical presence and identities were validated as past loved ones shared personal information no one but the sitter could know. Spirit team members and materialized past loved ones touched the sitters and spoke in recognizable voices. A total of 15 different voices[iii] and 7 different sized and textured hands were felt or seen using the luminous plaque.
Demonstrations of trumpet movement by Timmy, a young child-like character with a strong Cockney accent who transitioned to spirit prematurely with a fever, demonstrated the rapid and paranormal type movements of the trumpet. The illuminated trumpet scraped the 8 ft. ceiling creating sparks and moved at inhuman speeds[iv]. Timmy’s development of ectoplasmic rods combined with his thoughts were used to move the trumpet at lightening speeds covering the 29’ long room—sometimes gently touching the sitters to demonstrate precision despite this occurring in darkness.
At the end of each séance the spirit team always levitated Thompson and the chair he was seated in from the cabinet into the middle of the room covering a distance of approximately 18 ft. Since it is not physically possible for someone to drag the chair and Thompson 18 ft. unnoticed or lift and throw him 18 ft., even the skeptic is left to question what other explanation is left. To further validate survival of consciousness evidence, once the lights are turned on and Thompson is out of trance, it is apparent to all sitters that the sweater he was wearing and the ties were reversed front to back. Again the skeptic is left to wonder how anyone in the room could have removed 5 plastic ties, remove the sweater, use 5 additional plastics ties and maneuver this in darkness. The spirit team explained that such a demonstration can enhance knowledge about dematerializing and rematerializing matter[v].
This context is shared to ensure that the research findings are applied to this specific medium within this context. Factors related to: the high level of cohesion between the sitters, the groups moderate to high level of belief in the continuity of life, and the location of the séance are factors to consider when assessing this phenomenon. When these factors vary and are combined with mediumistic ability, the findings and conclusion of physical mediumship phenomenon could vary.
All séances were recorded[vi] and held in darkness except for the use of a luminous trumpet (megaphone shape) and plaque that were used to provide visual demonstrations of materialization. Normal light was introduced into the room in Séance no. 3 at the permission of William, the control.
Direct observations of the séance, participation in the independent checker process, follow-up interviews with key informants and sitters, and a literature review on physical mediumship formed the basis of the methods used for this research report. A qualitative content analysis of the full phenomena was completed for the larger study.
To be able to substantiate survival of consciousness evidence, you would first have to be sure that the appropriate protocol and minimal “authenticity criteria” are met. Given that the séances are held in full darkness it is necessary to use the highest level of authenticity criteria. The following criteria were used to assess the 3 experiments selected for this report:
- All of the protocols were implemented to reduce any possibility of fraud; and
- The phenomenon could not be explained by any physical cause (i.e. could not be produced by a human or anything in the physical world);
- At least one physical change could be attributed to the healing intervention; and
- A physical effect was experienced during the healing (i.e. heat, tingling, or movement in the body)
If these criteria are met, this supports the conclusion that the source of the phenomenon is from the spirit world, contributing to the strength of the survival of consciousness evidence.
The information collected from séance no. 3 was from a follow-up with various sitters so the information for 1 of the 5 séances was not received through direct experience. After speaking to approximately 50% of the sitters about séance no.3, the triangulation of their information produced repetitive themes that enhanced the inter-rater reliability of the information. This further mitigated the limitations of secondary self-reported information.
Given the level of cohesion between the sitters and the homogeneous nature of the group (geographically and spiritually), one cannot generalize the findings beyond these contexts. This type of phenomenon varies by mediumistic ability, geographical location, nature of cohesion of the group, levels of belief, and stage of grief being potentially experienced by sitters. Further research into all the factors and how much they contribute to the type and quality of the phenomenon is part of the larger ongoing study.
Despite the perception that darkness limits the ability to produce sound evidential research on physical mediumship, several validations were still achieved (See Appendix A). The luminous tools used during the séance provided adequate visibility for specific experiments and some of the phenomena demonstrated became more valid given the precision and capability of the materialized visitors despite darkness. The darkness factor is also minimized by the sitter’s ability to hear distinct voices and feel various parts of the materialized forms.
In general, the pre-protocol activities for every séance were extremely rigorous. This seems to be driven by William, Thompson’s control who goes to great lengths to ensure that not only is the medium safe but that the sitters are not left wondering if the phenomenon is produced via fraudulent means. The following outlines the rigor used to protect the safety of the medium and to enhance the authenticity of the experiments:
Independent Checkers: Safety for the Medium
There are no electrical outlets in the room to be covered as the room is light proof. Only the flash light was left in the room to be able to hand the materialized forms the luminous plaque and trumpet as requested. This is particularly important to ensure that light is only permitted into the room as granted by the spirit team. This would ensure that the ectoplasm would not withdraw rapidly into the medium’s body and cause physical harm
Independent Checkers: Ensuring Authenticity of the Phenomenon
Two independent checkers are randomly selected to check anything and anywhere they deem appropriate. During each séance, these were always different people selected who were usually individuals that had never sat with Thompson in prior séances. These individuals would check the medium, the séance items (i.e. trumpet), the cabinet, and the medium’s chair. This checking process was conducted in front of all the sitters and checkers were asked to report on their levels of satisfaction each time.
All 10 checkers during the 5 séances reported that the room was appropriate and void of any unexplained items—only a cabinet to house the medium, a curtain, chairs and typical séance items were present. I was also invited to shadow the checkers in one séance where I double checked bindings, inspected the cabinet, checked the medium’s chair thoroughly and inspected all of the séance items permitted into the room. In one of the séances, one of the sitters was a trained military professional who conducted an extremely thorough room and body check of the medium.
Body Search: Safety for the Medium
Any metal on the sitters could create problems for the medium’s physical state if these metals are also carried with the ectoplasm back into the medium’s body. Therefore, all sitters are patted down prior to entering the séance room. Unpermitted recording devices would affect the calculation of energy and could create interference.
Body Search: Ensuring Authenticity of the Phenomenon
Body checks are completed on the medium, the circle leader and the medium’s partner to ensure there are no props used to produce the phenomena. If an apport were to be produced, no one could propose that it was from one of the sitters as all objects are kept outside of the séance room.
Doors Secured: Safety for the Medium
Securing the door with duct tape and a door cover ensures that no one can easily come in or leave the room as unpermitted movement can interrupt or affect the ectoplasmic force field in the centre of the room causing harm to the medium. Sitters were also asked not to stretch legs beyond their chair as this could inadvertently interfere with the force field created in the centre of the semi-circle formation.
Doors Secured: Ensuring the Authenticity of the Phenomenon
If the doors are sealed at all times, one cannot question the phenomenon produced in the room. For example, if a child materializes in the séance room and the door is heavily secured, that only leaves one conclusion—the phenomenon produced is coming from the spirit world as children are not permitted into the séance room.
Hand Chain: Safety for the Medium
Everyone was instructed to hold hands 95% of the time during the séances. Hand chains were broken if the circle leader was asked to provide an instrument. The hand chain was enacted as soon as a materialized form was present and then the hand chain was released once the activity desisted and the entity dematerialized. If a sitter attempt to touch the phenomenon and breaks the hand chain this could harm the medium.
Hand Chain: Ensuring Authenticity of the Phenomenon
Being in a hand chain for a majority of the séance ensures that no one in the room is corroborating with the medium to act as the materialized forms. Sitters were instructed to speak out if someone beside them broke the chain. No one ever spoke out about the chain being broken during any of the séances I attended.
Binding the medium: Safety of the Medium
The medium’s legs and hands are bound to protect him from following the materialized visitors from spirt and inadvertently hurting himself while in trance.
Binding the medium: Ensuring the Authenticity of the Phenomenon
The medium’s legs and hands are bound tightly and checked to ensure sitters have no doubt the materialized phenomena are authentic. A handkerchief is placed around the mouth and knotted behind the head. A tie is fastened around the knot to ensure that it is impossible to remove. This is to assure the sitters that the voices they hear are directly coming from the spirit world and not from the medium[vii] . The chair in this séance room had heavy legs straps—after these were tightly bound around the legs, these knots were also secured by additional plastic ties. While some may be disturbed by this practice, one has to consider that to make any type of conclusive statement about the authenticity of materialization, the appropriate controls need to be put in place. Thompson and his spirit team consent and support this process of binding.
One-hundred percent of the protocol to ensure the medium’s safety and enhance the authenticity of the phenomenon was implemented during all 5 séances. In particular, during 2 of the 5 séances, William requested that the cabinet curtain be opened to demonstrate that the medium was still bound and in trance. The opening of the curtain was done after hearing and feeling William, reducing any doubts that the medium was parading as William. William explained that this type of validation could only be done when the energy is high and stable enough, as opening the curtain reduces the build-up of ectoplasm and energy needed to produce the phenomena.
Given that all of the authenticity sub-criteria were met during each séance, this allows one to observe the séance proceedings knowing that if perinormal[viii] phenomenon are produced, they are unlikely to be produced either by fraud via the medium or corroborating sitters.
Three New Experiments
In the full study, all of the activities in the 5 séances were assessed and will be shared in an upcoming book being written by the author. For this research report, the focus is on 3 new experiments that the spirit team indicated had been rarely attempted over the past 10 years in a public[ix]demonstration of this size:
Séance no.2 started off like any normal séance. William, Thompson’s control came out to greet everyone. Before doing the usual question and answer period, William cut his greetings short to ask, “Is there a lady writing about physical mediumship?” After a delay I responded, “Yes” and with that response, William had moved closer to me. He wanted to know about what I was writing and indicated that both he and “young David” would be happy to help with any questions. He asked if I had a question at that time. I was grateful as I had been wondering where the ectoplasm was. In another séance with the aid of red light I had actually seen the ectoplasm coming out of the medium’s mouth, moving and then forming into a hand structure. I asked, “William, I know that former scientists like Dr. Richet have been able to examine and validate ectoplasm. I don’t see the ectoplasm here so how would we examine it now?” To this he responded, “Young lady, I have a treat for you.” He asked the circle leader Rev. Tom Newman for the square luminous plaque. It was about 10 feet to walk over to Newman but with almost inhuman speeds, he took the plaque and then returned to me. I could assess the speed as William now had this luminous plaque that provided a visual aid of the phenomenon.
Within 10 inches of my face, in clear luminescent light, I first saw a translucent type of substance undulating in waves, clearly moving and floating above the cardboard plate. I first perceived it to be like a flowing translucent napkin.
Then it became cloudy like mist. William then asked me if I could see his hand materializing. Sure enough as the ectoplasm began to solidify, I saw a dark rod type feature form (2nd finger) and then the third finger started to form (I did not see the thumb or the other fingers at the time of my viewing). When I reflected on what I saw, it seemed as if he was demonstrating the process of materialization of the hand.
He then asked me if I wanted him to touch me so that I could get a sense of his physical presence. He placed his hand on my head and then moved it to the side of my face clearly demonstrating that his very large hand[x] was warm and felt like any hand would in the physical world. His knee went toward my knee and then a large type boot stepped on my left foot. While I felt the physical pressure on my foot it did not hurt but was clearly a demonstration of William’s physical presence. William proceeded to show the other approximately 30 people in the semi-circle the ectoplasm for all to see. During the end of the séance, William explained that they would not be able to continue much longer as this demonstration of the materialization of his hand in the luminescent light took quite a bit of energy. William explained that the process of showing the hand materializing was a first for Thompson and his team.
This experiment passes the authentic test criteria indicated in the methods section of this report. The ectoplasm on top of the plaque was moving and changing with clear visuals in front of me. Showing the formation of the hand within the changing ectoplasm could not be created by someone in the séance room. The inhuman and rapid movement of William as he crossed the room with the plaque and his ability to demonstrate his solid structure further augmented this evidential experience.
During séance no.3, sitters thought they would experience the typical séance activities as described earlier in this report. Usually there are no more than three reunions during each séance as materializing the loved ones in spirit uses up a great deal of energy and ectoplasm.
On this night, William asked if the sitters wanted to forego the reunions as they were going to try to have Dr. Slavinski[xi] work through Thompson to conduct healings. Everyone agreed that the healings would be more favorable at this time. Rev. Newman, the circle leader used his intuition to choose 6 of the sitters to participate. William shared that this would be the first time during a cabinet séance that Thompson’s bindings would be removed, the light would be turned on and the door would be opened to bring in a healing table.
The spirit team instructed Thompson to be unbound and ungagged but he would remain in trance. When Thompson walked out of the cabinet everyone who participated in the key informant interviews after the séance noted that although it was Thompson, someone else had fully taken over. Thompson walked like an old man with limited mobility and was hunched over. Some even commented how pointed his ears had become. The process of indirect voice was used where Thompson spoke with a Polish accent completely losing the clearly evident Australian accent. The outcome of both the experiences during and after the healing are noted. All the information was collected within twenty-one days of the séance. As well, the recordings were reviewed and this validated key informant follow-up responses.
For those unfamiliar with the concept of energy healing, Dr. Slavinski who took over the medium’s body did explain the process while he was treating one of the sitters. He explained that he did not need to touch the affected area. Holding the hand near the head chakra area allows the energy to be distributed to the affected area. He further explained that he energetically stimulated the brain and the lymphatic system to aid the transport of this energy to areas of the body most in need.
In the present study, two simple criteria have been used to validate the existence that an energy healing occurred. Having a physical effect during the healing provides evidence that a non-localized energy is creating change in the physical body and produces evidence that something is occurring. Second, if the sitter notes any physical or emotional health change after the healing, this is evidence that some form of healing occurred.
[i] Five séances were held at the Sarasota Centre of Light September 18-27, 2014.
[ii] The overall study will be published in the book: Medium9: Harnessing the Power of Spiritual Energy in March 2015
[iii] It should be noted that the loved ones who materialized did not have as clear a voice as the regular spirit team members. Loved ones are often new to using ectoplasm and need to use memory and thoughts to recreate the appearance and sensations they once had when they donned a physical body. Follow-up with sitters validated that either the knowledge shared by the loved one, voice recognition and the size or texture of the loved one’s hand aided with validation.
[iv] There is no human that could move the trumpet at these speeds and make patterns and movements towards the sitters with such precision.
[v] William explained that dematerializing and materializing natural material such as David’s wool sweater is much easier than dematerializing and materializing synthetic fabric.
[vi] Despite recording all of the séances, only 3 of the 5 recordings were actually audible.
[vii] David has channelled William outside of the cabinet environment using indirect voice but this was not the case during these 5 séances.
[viii] The term perinormal is used here to define a concept that was once considered paranormal but has been substantiated as fact. We have 150 years of evidence that the afterlife exists.
[ix] Researchers Dr. Victor Zammit and Wendy Zammit did indicate that much of this phenomenon and more had been demonstrated in Thompson’s home circle where the energy levels, and context are different.
[x] David Thompson shows the size of his hand to the sitters prior to the séance. William has a very large hand that further validates that it is not Thompson moving around the séance room touching the sitters.
[xi] Dr. Slavinski has not provided details about where and when he worked as a doctor on the physical plane. Interested sitters have attempted to search for information on the internet with no information being found. Some of the materialized entities are not always forthcoming with details about who they were on the physical plane as that is their personal preference.
Table 1: During and After Healing Experiences
|Patient’s prior illness||Experience During Healing||Experiences within 21 days of the Healing[xi]||Conclusion|
|Patient #1 Nineteen years of back pain||
||Both healing related criteria were achieved.|
|Patient 2 Stage 4 Cancer||
||Both healing related criteria were achieved|
|Patient 3 Mobility Issues, specifically difficulty walking||
||Both healing related criteria were achieved|
|Patient 4 Chronic neck pain||
||No change in pain in the neck||One related healing criteria was achieved|
|Patient 5Herniated Disc||
||Both healing related criteria were achieved|
|Patient 6Not able to participate in the follow-up||Not Available||Not Available||Not Available|
|Note: The order of patients presented in the table was not necessarily in the order of healing that took place September 23, 2014. The positive findings in this report should not be construed as a recommendation to replace or avoid formal medical treatment. All of the cases interviewed shared that they had exhausted all available traditional medical treatments with no success. Energy healing should be considered to be complementary to traditional medical practice.|
Out of the six healings, five were measured in the follow-up as sitter 6 could not be contacted. Of the 5, all of the patients actually felt some physical tingling, heat or sensation in the body during the healing. Eighty percent or 4 of the 5 sitters had at least one physical change up to the time of their follow-up interview. Some of these physical changes were significant in that one patient’s pain reduction was close to miraculous despite his struggle with daily pain medication and high levels of pain for nineteen years prior to the healing.
Experiment # 3
During séance no.5, everyone had a choice between experiencing full body materializations for the purpose of reuniting with past loved ones and experiencing a new experiment. It was unanimous; everyone wanted to experience a new experiment. William did caution us that they were not sure their proposed experiment would work[i]. No one was told prior to the séance what the experiment would be as William did not want our expectations to affect the actual outcome.
When Quentin Crisp materialized as he had done for every séance I attended, he answered a few philosophical questions. In the 1960’s Quentin was an advocate for gay rights and shares the important message that after he transitioned into the spirit world, he never went to “hell” as we call it. He reminded us that when we judge and persecute we end up experiencing more judgement and persecution when we transition to spirit. After these platitudes were shared, he announced that by using the luminous plaque also used in experiment no.1, he would attempt to materialize his face. Using the luminous plaque, he moved towards sitters to attest to this manifestation. The first sitter saw a circular glow in front of him but no face. After about a minute, another sitter said, “Yes, I see the chin and mouth.” There was disappointment in Quentin’s voice as he thought his face was fully materialized. Everyone encouraged him to keep trying. Quentin came to our side and he tried again, I clearly saw his forehead and his hair line. I asked if his hair was currently black as I could see the stark contrast of his skin color and his hair. He replied, “Yes.”
Shortly after, Quentin indicated that he was going to try another experiment where we might be able to touch him. Normally, many of the full body materialized spirit team or loved ones touch the sitters on the head, foot or face after the ectoplasm coating is prepared[ii]. They can touch the sitters as they are able to cover themselves with the ectoplasm and maintain the phenomenon. Quinten indicated that the energy was now stabilizing and he would attempt to see if his hands could be seen and touched by some of the sitters. Seeing the hands was more typical as Timmy was also able to materialize his short child-like hands on the luminous plaque during séance no.4 but no one was permitted to touch them.
Still using the luminous plaque, Crisp put his four fingers on the plaque and showed me first. I could clearly see four fingers and nails. The thumb was likely curled under the plaque to hold it. He said, “Young lady would you like to touch my fingers?” The fingers were long, thin, warm, and I could feel the nails were hard. The few that were permitted to touch the hand were surprised about the nails and the hair on the fingers. Quentin was surprised by our comments and intelligently responded, “Why would I materialize my hands without nails!” He allowed approximately four others to try this but explained that by us touching them, this diminished the ectoplasm and shortly after this experiment, the séance was completed. One sitter was asked if she wanted to touch his blouse. She described it as being silky—this of course would have been consistent with his former flamboyant dressing.
I took note of a few key points. Quentin’s hands were very different than Thompson’s as they were long and thin. Another sitter who met Crisp before he transitioned to spirit stated that his hands felt the same as when he shook them in New York. Silky attire was not worn by any of the sitters in the séance room given the informal nature of the event and the doors were not opened to allow this material to enter into the room at any point during the séance—hence these hands and the material worn by Quentin were materialized into the room. Finally Quentin’s inability to fully materialize his face was ironically evidential. There were two distinct areas of the face seen, yet other parts were invisible—partial materialization of a face is not possible in the physical world.
The following table provides the results based on the indicators that were used to determine the authenticity of the three unique experiments assessed.
Table 2 Assessing the Authenticity of the Phenomenon in the 3 Experiments
|All of the protocols were implemented to reduce the possibility fraud;
|All of the protocols were implemented prior to and during all 5 séances.|
|The phenomenon could not be explained by any physical cause (i.e. could not be produced by a human or anything in the physical world);
|At least one physical change could be attributed to the healing intervention (this criteria was developed specifically to assess the healing aspect of the phenomenon); and
A physical effect was experienced during the healing (i.e. heat, tingling, or movement in the body
[i] Researchers should take note of this point. The spirit world is experimenting with the group of sitters and they are not certain of the outcome—they seem to also be learning about the possibilities of spirit-earth communication.
[ii] Whenever an entity was about to materialize, you could always hear the slurping sound both before and after the materialization. This sound could also be heard when they were preparing to touch the sitter.
While the claims of full body materialization and reunions between past loved ones from spirit may be extraordinary, the findings based on the criteria suggest that materialization within a certain context is authentic phenomenon. As indicated in the research limitations section, there are many factors that contribute to the replicability and quality of the phenomenon and these should always be considered when researching this subject.
The primary intent of Thompson’s spirit team is to demonstrate survival of consciousness. Given the findings, they do provide strong evidence of the continuity of life. As table 2 indicates, among the 3 experiments, 7 unique validations were noted. Further analysis of all of the phenomenon experienced in the 5 séances indicated that seventeen validations were evident (See Appendix A). Given that these validations were assessed against stringent criteria, were repeatable and were performed in front of many witnesses, this suggests that the phenomena assessed are authentic.
This type of knowledge can give hope and help mankind achieve a better understanding of the purpose and the true nature of existence. Many of the platitudes shared by the various materialized visitors can enlighten those seeking answers about the universe. For example, a theme repeatedly shared during all the séances was that our current activities, beliefs and treatment of others creates the foundation for one’s experiences once the transition to spirit has commenced.
Although materializations and reunions of loved ones is described and more closely examined in the larger study, it is useful to note here that the impact I saw from the ten reunions occurring during the period of observation was palpable.
In addition to strengthening knowledge and reuniting with loved ones who have transitioned, experiencing an energy healing with positive impact has been significant for those directly involved. For other sitters observing, it was encouraging for them to learn that a complementary approach to healing is available, affordable and effective.
From a human perspective, those who are able to experience a séance of this calibre can feel privileged to have co-collaborated in experiments that can put them on a spiritual journey to awareness and potential peace. From a research perspective, this examination and its conclusion is a call to universities and researchers to invest more time and effort to understand the metaphysical processes that underlie these phenomena. How does our universe truly work? How can reunions with past loved ones enhance wellness for the living? What platitudes can we learn from the spirit team to help raise consciousness and make positive changes for the planet? What standards can be implemented to ensure these practices are both safe for the medium and always credible for the public? What can materialized visitors teach us about activities in the afterlife to help us better prepare for our transition?
Engaging in credible research in this area can enhance knowledge and create greater understanding and peace for the whole planet.
About the Author
Donna Smith-Moncrieffe is a professional researcher with twenty years of evaluation and research experience and currently works with the federal government in the area of crime prevention research which uses rigorous methods to determine what interventions are best used to reduce youth involvement in the criminal justice system. Smith-Moncrieffe founded Metaphysics Research (www.medium7.com) in 2010 to apply her scientific background to systematically study mental and physical mediumship, energy healing, past life regression and other areas of study that enhances our understanding of survival of consciousness and the true nature of reality. Full coverage and analyses of the David Thompson séances will be part of her upcoming book: Medium9: Harnessing the Power of Spiritual Energy, iUniverse-Penguin Random House Company, March 2015.
 Five séances were held at the Sarasota Centre of Light September 18-27, 2014.
 The overall study will be published in the book: Medium9: Harnessing the Power of Spiritual Energy in March 2015
 It should be noted that the loved ones who materialized did not have as clear a voice as the regular spirit team members. Loved ones are often new to using ectoplasm and need to use memory and thoughts to recreate the appearance and sensations they once had when they donned a physical body. Follow-up with sitters validated that either the knowledge shared by the loved one, voice recognition and the size or texture of the loved one’s hand aided with validation.
 There is no human that could move the trumpet at these speeds and make patterns and movements towards the sitters with such precision.
 William explained that dematerializing and materializing natural material such as David’s wool sweater is much easier than dematerializing and materializing synthetic fabric.
 Despite recording all of the séances, only 3 of the 5 recordings were actually audible.
 David has channelled William outside of the cabinet environment using indirect voice but this was not the case during these 5 séances.
 The term perinormal is used here to define a concept that was once considered paranormal but has been substantiated as fact. We have 150 years of evidence that the afterlife exists.
 Researchers Dr. Victor Zammit and Wendy Zammit did indicate that much of this phenomenon and more had been demonstrated in Thompson’s home circle where the energy levels, and context are different.
 David Thompson shows the size of his hand to the sitters prior to the séance. William has a very large hand that further validates that it is not Thompson moving around the séance room touching the sitters.
 Dr. Slavinski has not provided details about where and when he worked as a doctor on the physical plane. Interested sitters have attempted to search for information on the internet with no information being found. Some of the materialized entities are not always forthcoming with details about who they were on the physical plane as that is their personal preference.
 The words of the sitters have been used to describe their outcomes so not to exaggerate or reduce their claims.
 Researchers should take note of this point. The spirit world is experimenting with the group of sitters and they are not certain of the outcome—they seem to also be learning about the possibilities of spirit-earth communication.
 Whenever an entity was about to materialize, you could always hear the slurping sound both before and after the materialization. This sound could also be heard when they were preparing to touch the sitter.
APPENDIX A: List of Validations for All of the Physical Mediumship Phenomenon
|PM Phenomenon||Rationale for Why this Phenomena is Authentic|
|Validation by Visual Senses
|Trumpet with luminous bands||
|Luminous Plaque to view hands and facial features||
|Permitted use of Natural Light (flashlight)||
|Validation by Hearing
Validation by Feeling
|Donna Smith-Moncrieffe, 2014: David Thompson Séances, Sarasota Centre of Light|
R. Craig Hogan, Ph.D.
Observation of Two David Thompson Séances, November 4 and 5, 2011
Sarasota Center of Life, Florida
Prepared for the American Society for Standards in Mediumship and Psychical Investigation
January 15, 2012
Dr. Hogan is the author of Your Eternal Self and co-author of two books: Induced After-Death Communication: A New Therapy for Healing Grief and Trauma and Guided Afterlife Connections: They Come to Change Lives. He is director of the Center for Spiritual Understanding, owner of Greater Reality Publications, on the boards of the Academy of Spiritual and Paranormal Studies, Association for Evaluation and Communication of Evidence for Survival, and American Society for Standards in Mediumship and Psychical Investigation. Dr. Hogan is a business communications professor who has taught at two universities and now owns an online business writing school.
The Tradition of Rigorous Investigations of Mediums
The history of Spiritualism and mediumship in general is replete with rigorous investigations of mediums by all manner of researchers using a plethora of inventive controls to ensure that the activities in séances genuinely originate from the discarnates, not the medium or sitters. Investigators have included members of the Society for Psychical Research, members of the American Society for Psychical Research, physicians, psychologists, attorneys, judges, magicians, engineers, scientists of all disciplines, and a host of avowed skeptics. The tradition has been and continues to be that all involved in communication with people living on the other planes of eternal life must be open to having their activities investigated and validated using tightly controlled testing methods that will certainly discover fraud and testify to the veracity of genuine mediumship activity. David Thompson has consistently been open and willing to permit such controlled investigations of his mediumship. This investigation is one of them.
David Thompson has been demonstrating his mediumship abilities for twenty-nine years and is one of two physical mediums publically demonstrating his ability today. David’s abilities include mental mediumship, physical or materialization mediumship with ectoplasm, deep trance mediumship, and spiritual healing. His Circle of the Silver Cord in Sydney, Australia, originated in 2004.
Séance Friday, November 4, 2011, Sarasota Center of Light, Sarasota, Florida
This séance was hosted by the Sarasota Center of Light, Sarasota, Florida, November 4, 2011. There were 34 sitters, including three staff of the Sarasota Center of Light. In addition, Christine Morgan, organizer for David Thompson’s circle, was present, coordinating the activities of the séance.
I was permitted to be one of the two “checkers” who would inspect the environment and David Thompson before and after the séance. Prior to the séance, sitters were asked to empty their pockets of all items and take off belts, shoes, or other articles they were wearing that were not clothing. No one was to bring wallets, handbags, or other objects into the room. All sitters were patted down by staff of the Sarasota Center of Light before entering the séance room. I then patted down the three male staff of the Sarasota Center of Light while the other checker, a female, patted down Christine Morgan. I patted down David Thompson. He wore a buttoned cardigan, shirt, and khaki pants. His shoes were light gym shoes with pliable rubber soles.
David Thompson moved a hand wand that uses electromagnetic waves to detect metal across every person’s body to ensure no metal objects had been undetected during the patting down. We were satisfied that none of those present had any device on them during the séance. The séance room was approximately 20 feet by 35 feet, with a single door and no windows. The cabinet with three wooden sides and an open front was toward one end of the room, approximately a foot out from the wall. A 4 x 8 piece of plywood lay in the center of the room. Off of the plywood in the center of the room, was a small, three-legged table with luminescent tape strips on it. In a corner at the cabinet end of the room, approximately two feet away from the cabinet, was a table with a glass inlaid top, approximately one foot wide, five feet long, and four feet high. On the table was an assortment of bells. The sole source of light in the room was a pole lamp.
The participants were seated close together around three walls of the room in a horseshoe shape. The cabinet was before the fourth wall.
As the female checker and I checked the room, we reported what we saw and felt to the assembled participants while they observed from their seats. I was able to walk around the cabinet, inspect and tap on the walls, and inspect the floor. There were no seams in the carpeting or hollow areas around the cabinet. The back wall was solid. A curtain with bathroom-curtain style rings was suspended from a rod at the single open end of the cabinet. A metal chair with welded seams was inside the cabinet. The chair’s parts had no connections that could be parted.
David hung a digital recorder from a hook on the wall behind the row of seats in which I was sitting. He turned it on.
The female checker and I were each given an unopened package of standard zip ties (“cable ties”). Following Christine’s instructions, we opened the packages and took out eight zip ties apiece. We inspected them and tested them, revealing that they functioned as intended. When the pointed end of a zip tie is inserted into the ratchet casing at the other end and pulled through, the ratchet casing tightly secures the zip tie so it cannot be withdrawn from the casing. To free anything bound by the zip tie, the zip tie must be cut off.
David was wearing a button-down cardigan. We pushed four zip ties through one side of the front of the cardigan and out the other side so the buttoned front panels of the cardigan were securely zip tied together. David sat in the chair inside the cabinet. I stood just inside the cabinet to observe how the ties were applied. The other checker stood on the other side. The chair had straps with buckles secured to the arms. David’s arms were secured to the arms of the chair with the straps over the fabric of the cardigan. The buckles were secured tightly. We inserted zip ties through the eyes of the buckles and zipped them tightly so the straps could not be loosened without cutting off the zip ties. With the fabric of the cardigan, fabric of his shirt, and tight fit of the buckled straps, he could not slide his arms out to free them.
We then secured David’s legs to the legs of the metal chair with zip ties. Christine rolled a gag from material rather like a scarf and inserted the center of its length into David’s mouth. She pulled the two ends of the material around to the back of his head and secured the gag by tying the ends together in a granny knot. We inserted a zip tie through the two ends of the fabric that were in the granny knot and zipped the tie to secure the gag. When asked whether he was comfortable, David could manage only a muffled response.
Christine snipped off the loose ends of the ties, making them even more difficult to grip. When she finished, she gave the wire cutters to me to put into my pocket until the end of the séance. The other checker and I, along with all participants witnessing the checking, were satisfied that David was immobilized and incapable of speaking intelligibly. Christine pulled the curtain across the front of the cabinet and we took our seats.
I was seated in the second chair from the end of the line of chairs that extended to the left of David as he sat in the cabinet. Christine Morgan sat to my right after the arrangements were finished. To her right was an empty space and the glass-topped table against the wall. Beside Christine, on the floor, were a trumpet with luminescent tape strips on it, drumsticks, and other items.
Directly opposite us, seated at the end of the row of chairs there, Tim, a Center staff member, sat controlling the music that would play to aid David as he went into trance and emerged from trance after the séance.
Christine walked to the door, taking the pole lamp out of the room. She turned off the light outside of the room, walked back in the room, closed the door, and locked it. The room was pitch dark. Christine felt her way along sitters’ knees until she came to her chair to my right. During the séance, all of the sitters held hands when any materializations were occurring. Christine kept both of her hands on my hand to ensure that I knew where she was. However, I could hear her voice coordinating the events during the entire séance, so I knew her location.
Tim turned on the music David normally needs to enter trance. After approximately four songs, we could hear William Charles Cadwell, David’s teacher and friend, greeting us. We all returned a warm greeting to him. Tim turned off the music and Christine instructed us to hold hands. We then heard William’s solidly heeled boots clomping across the plywood in the middle of the room. He spoke for a moment. We could then hear him walking across the floor to stand before me. He asked if he could touch me. I replied that I would be delighted to have him touch me. He placed his hand across the top of my head. It was a large, masculine hand that stretched from my forehead to the back of my head. I could feel the solid fingers distinctly. He asked, “Did I have any trouble placing my hand directly onto your head.” I replied, “No.” As he left me, he gently gripped my left shoulder. I could again feel his large hand.
William walked around the room addressing people and touching their heads. They all had the same reaction to his hand that I had. He traversed the length of the room, walking around the perimeter greeting people. He answered questions from the sitters. After a while, we could hear him walking back to the cabinet. He informed us that he would be withdrawing for a while.
The next voice we heard was the youthful voice of Timothy Booth, whom we knew to be the whimsical, fun-loving guide who would bring through loved ones to communicate with the sitters. After bantering light heartedly with the participants for a short time, we could hear his voice coming nearer to me and Christine. Christine knew that he wanted the trumpet that was on the floor beside her. She kept one hand on my hand while rising from her chair to place the trumpet out onto the floor in front of us. She sat back down and Tim, the staff member managing the music player, played a lively Irish jig. We could see the luminescent tape on the trumpet fly rapidly around the room, all along the length, up to the ceiling and down to the floor at a pace that would have been impossible for any human to have accomplished. The trumpet banged on the ceiling, beat on the table, and darted around the room. We then could see from the luminescent tape on the small table that the table had levitated and was moving rapidly around the room as well. It was hitting the ceiling and floor alternately. Several times, we could hear the trumpet hitting the table.
The Irish jig ended, and we heard the voice of someone coming into the room from the direction of the cabinet. The voice approached the sitters at the far end of the room from the cabinet. He identified himself as Raymond, the father of a 26-year old young man sitting with his wife at that end of the room. He had passed into spirit in a car accident six months before the séance. He reassured his son, “I didn’t suffer.” His son was obviously moved by the encounter, and they spoke of their love for each other. He told his son how proud he was of him and to pass on his love to the young man’s mother, his wife, and to his other children. It sounded as though the young man’s father touched or embraced him.
The father withdrew and someone else came from the area of the cabinet. He approached one of the sitters and spoke with him. It was the sitter’s grandfather who had passed into spirit 50 years before. He had had a strong influence on his grandson. The two exchanged greetings and spoke about times they had spent together.
The grandfather left, and Timothy announced that he was leaving. After a brief moment, we all heard a voice identified as Quentin Crisp, the English writer who became a gay icon in the 1970s after the publication of his memoirs, The Naked Civil Servant. Quentin is a regular visitor to David Thompson’s séances, speaking with a gay affectation. He approached me and asked if he could touch me. I replied that I would like him to, and he placed his hand on my head. It was a quite distinctively much smaller hand than William’s hand.
Quentin strolled around the room, exchanging quips and humorously bantering with the sitters. He particularly commented on the hairspray some of the ladies were wearing.
After a while, Quentin withdrew and we heard the familiar voice of Louis Armstrong. Tim turned on the Hello Dolly music and we listened as Louis sang Hello Dolly. He tap danced on the plywood in tune with his singing. We all joined in singing the familiar lyrics.
After Louis Armstrong withdrew, William returned and closed the séance. Tim turned on the music David needed to leave the trance state. During the songs, we heard a loud thud on the plywood, as of someone dropping a heavy piece of furniture.
When Christine felt that David had sufficiently come out of trance, she asked him if he was OK. He replied that he was. Christine made her way through the darkness to the door, opened the door, and retrieved the pole lamp. She turned it on and walked into the room with it. David, securely strapped to the chair, had been transported to the middle of the plywood eight feet or so from the cabinet. That accounted for the loud thud we had heard. His cardigan sweater was reversed so that the buttons were at his back.
The other checker and I went to David, who was still groggy from coming out of trance. We inspected all of the zip ties and straps. All were tightly secured as we had seen them before the séance. We inspected the gag and zip tie. They were still secured. David could be released from the zip ties only by Christine’s cutting them off using the wire cutters I had in my pocket during the séance. I can say with certainty that David Thompson was immobilized and unable to speak during the séance.
Séance Saturday, November 5, 2011, Sarasota Center of Light, Sarasota, Florida
The séance on Saturday, November 5, 2011, proceeded in the same way as the séance the previous evening. David was thoroughly secured prior to the séance. I was seated at the far end of the séance room this time, giving me another distinctive perspective on the séance.
When the light was extinguished and Christine had taken her seat, Tim turned on the music. After around four songs, William greeted the sitters and all responded enthusiastically. William again walked around the room greeting individuals and answering questions.
William withdrew and Timothy Booth entered. He joked with the sitters for a few minutes. Then, with the Irish jig playing, we watched the luminescent tape on the trumpet zip around the entire expanse of the room, rising and falling, beating on the ceiling and the floor. Then we saw the luminescent tape on the table darting around the room. The table stopped in front of me, with its top facing me, remaining there for a moment. Then Timothy asked for the drumsticks. He began to drum on the table, the floor, and the metal sides of the trumpet.
After the music stopped, we heard a voice coming before sitters on one side of the room. He identified himself as Albert Stewart, the control for the renowned Scottish medium, Helen Duncan. One of the sitters in the séance was Helen’s granddaughter. He spoke with her for a moment. Then we heard the voice of Helen Duncan herself, speaking with her granddaughter. Helen was from Scotland and was one of the world’s most famous physical mediums. She specialized in materialization and underwent a great deal of persecution from law enforcement because of her mediumship.
Helen Duncan retired and Harry Edwards, the famous English healer, entered and approached one of the sitters, named Lisa. Lisa used to sit in his healing classes in England. She now performs healing at the Sarasota Center of Light. He said that he has been helping Lisa with her healing at the Center and that her ability will continue to grow stronger. He then went around the room and gave healing to four people, placing his hands on them. His energy was described by those receiving the healing as being very powerful.
Harry Edwards retired and Timothy said he was going to withdraw. After Timothy left, Quentin Crisp entered the room. He greeted everyone and exchanged quips. The sitters greatly enjoyed the exchange and filled the room with laughter. At the end of his visit, he walked to a position just before the cabinet and recited a beautiful poem he had written.
Quentin Crisp withdrew and Louie Armstrong entered. Tim, the staff member controlling the music, played Hello Dolly and Louie sang with his unmistakable gravelly voice. He did a tap dance on the plywood.
Louie Armstrong retired and William closed the séance for the evening.
Christine instructed Tim to turn on the music for David to come out of trance. As the music played, we heard the distinct sound of something being dragged across the floor, followed by a loud thud. When Christine was assured that David was sufficiently out of trance to turn on the lights, she went out of the room and brought in the light. We saw that the heavy, five foot by one foot, four foot high glass-topped table that was originally at the far end of the room had been moved to three feet in front of me. Several feet from that table was the small table that had been in the middle of the room. On it was the trumpet disassembled into two parts, with the drumsticks protruding from the trumpet. The bells that had been on the glass-topped table were piled on the small table. Between the two tables, David sat, still secured to his chair. His cardigan was backwards, with the buttons in the back.
The checkers examined David. All ties were secure. We all agreed that he could not have moved from the chair or spoken during the séance.
The activities in the séance room could only have been instigated by discarnates who materialized using ectoplasm from David Thompson and moved around the room. The careful examinations of the room by me, three other checkers, and the other sitters confirmed that David Thompson could not have acted or spoken during the séance. Our holding hands during the materializations ensured that we knew the locations of the others in the room.
The fleeting movements of the trumpet and table about in the room from one end to the other would have been impossible for any human to have accomplished. The glass-topped table and David’s chair with him in it could only have been moved by two or three strong individuals, who would have had to have navigated in pitch darkness around the table in the middle of the room, avoiding the plywood, and not touching any of the sitters. It would have been impossible for any person to have accomplished those feats.
The séances were demonstrations of discarnates materializing to give evidence of the reality of eternal life and of our ability to communicate with people living on the next planes of life. It also demonstrated their commitment to continuing to demonstrate the reality of life after the transition from the Earth plane.
The David Thompson Investigation Literature
David Thompson’s mediumship activities have been evaluated by other researchers:
Alexander, S. (2003.) A David Thompson séance reported by renowned physical medium.
From the bibliography, Montague Keen, Materialisations at the David Thompson Séance. No further information was available.
Eccles. V. (2002.) David Thompson gives a séance at Tumbetin in Australia. Psychic News, Sept 21.
Foy, R. (2011.) First Festival of Physical Mediumship in Spain, August 22, 2011. http://circleofthesilvercord.net/?page_id=579
Harrison, A. (2011.) A Festival of Physical Mediumship, August 21-26, 2011. http://circleofthesilvercord.net/?page_id=608
Keen, M. (ND.) Materialisations at the David Thompson Séance. http://circleofthesilvercord.net/?page_id=81
Pearman, R. (2002.) A star-studied evening with Physical Medium David Thompson. Psychic News, Dec 21-28.
Pearson, R. (1991.) A Sitting with the “Circle of the Silver Cord.” http://circleofthesilvercord.net/?page_id=62.
Zammit, V. (2002.) A Lawyer Presents the Case for the Afterlife. Gammell Pty., Ltd.
Video testimonials by experiencers of David Thompson Seances are at http://circleofthesilvercord.net/?page_id=10
Dr Fiona Bowie BA (Hon) Research Fellow.
University of Bristol, UK
This demonstration of David Thompson`s trance/physical mediumship at Jenny`s Sanctuary was not only the first of David`s demonstration of materialization mediumship I had attended, it was also the first séance of any type. Indeed, my experience of mental or physical mediumship is very limited, although my reading around the topic has convinced me of that of the possible explanations of the type of phenomena David and other highly respected mediums produce, fraud is the least likely. I did not come seeking the proof of survival of consciousness nor of the ability of those in spirit to communicate with the living under certain conditions, but out of intellectual curiosity to see a gifted medium at work. I was not disappointed. After some very useful preparatory talks by David Thompson and Christine Morgan (David`s partner, medium and `master’ of ceremonies on the physical side during the séance) we were treated to some very clear, unambiguous appearances by several members of David`s regular spirit team (William, Timmy, Quentin Crisp and May) as well as by two other `regulars’ including jazz musician Louis Armstrong, who sang, spoke, tap danced and played the harmonica – for me the high point of the evening. There were also materializations of relatives of some of the sitters, including Jack, a grandfather of one of those present, who held a conversation lasting several minutes that included evidential information, such as the name of his dog and of one of his granddaughter`s hairdressing clients who had died. The conversation and detailed information Jack gave certainly convinced his granddaughter that he was who he claimed to be.
As the séance was conducted in total darkness the only thing I saw was a phosphorescent glowing band attached to a trumpet that Timmy whirled and spun through the air while an Irish jig played on the tape recorder. The voices, however, came from the centre of the room and sometimes moved around. They were loud and clear, with accents and tones that were consistent with their supposed identity. The medium was sitting to the back of the room in a chair, gagged and bound in a cabinet, and the sitters were all around the walls holding hands during the materializations. Other explanations for these voices, such as collective suggestibility or the manifestation of group expectations and energies, seem less likely than the ostensible one, that these were spirits materializing using ectoplasm produced by the medium. They were sometimes accompanied by footsteps and by hands laid on sitters (with their permission). When this happened those involved were asked to say out loud what was happening and what they felt. There was generally a tone of surprise in people’s voices at the weight and solidity of these physical contacts.
The hope is expressed by the spirits that David Thompson is able to develop his mediumship, in collaboration with his spirit team, to the extent that what sounded and felt like pretty solid ectoplasmic materializations can be seen as well as heard and felt. The Circle of the Silver Cord website does have photographs taken during séances in red light, but apparently the spirits are experimenting with producing light without any external physical source. If proof were needed that something out of the ordinary had taken place the séance ended, as is apparently often the case, with the mediums chair, with David attached to it, being lifted out of the cabinet and dropped rather heavily onto the floor in the middle of the room several yards away.
David’s cardigan, which had been tied on with cable ties, with straps over the sleeves, had been reversed, so that as David came out of trance and the lights were slowly turned on it was clearly seen to be buttoned down the back.
I have seen some extraordinarily impressive stage magicians whose antics far exceeded those of David Thompson, but they were working with elaborate props, accomplices, a well-prepared stage and numerous means of distraction in the form of lights and movements to direct the audience’s attention away from whatever they were not supposed to see.
There was no evidence of any of these criteria being fulfilled before during or after David Thompson`s séances, and as the entry fee was modest I cannot see any financial or other likely motivation to deceive those present. The claim sometimes made that fraud might be involved unconsciously seems nonsensical in the face of actual events – the medium was certainly unconscious, in deep trance, but the phenomena produced were real enough.
Robert McLuhan in his recent book, Randi`s Prize: What sceptics say about the paranormal, why they are wrong and why it matters (2010:263), makes the point that those who dismiss parapsychological phenomena out of hand usually do so on the basis of claims rather than experience. I for one am delighted to have had the opportunity to experience David`s mediumship first-hand, rather than just rely on the testimony of others, and look forward to another opportunity to do so again in the future.
Ron Pearson B,Sc.Eng.(Hons)*C.Eng.M.I.Mech.E.
A Sitting with the “Circle of the Silver Cord”
Featuring the Materialisation Medium David Thompson.
Location: Stafford, UK. – Date of sitting: 8th October 2007
- Ron Pearson
By Ronald D.Pearson with additional comments by Rory Macquisten
We, that is Rory Macquisten and myself, were kindly invited, by The Circle of the Silver Cord, to witness a materialisation experiment. The circle leader requested a testimonial regarding
the quality of the phenomenon. This is that testimonial. It was made clear to us at the outset that this was to be an experimental session. For the first time, an attempt would be made to photograph the materialised face of David Thompson’s guide called William. This was to be carried out using dim red light in conjunction with a very sensitive camera. No guarantees could be offered that other communication would be achieved; we had to accept what outcome emerged. This seemed very reasonable. Anyone who has been involved in psychic development soon become aware of the fickle nature of psychic phenomena: they cannot be called in on request.
The sitting began at 8pm starting with very careful precautions for safeguarding the medium. All sitters had to remove any metal objects and be subjected to a whole body search before entering the blacked out séance room and this was then kept locked for the duration of the experiment. David Thompson, the materialisation medium, was seated in an armchair in one corner of the room that had also been fitted with a curtain to provide a cabinet enclosure for the medium, He was made to wear a woollen jacket that was not only buttoned: it was sealed with plastic ties. This meant that it would be impossible for him to remove this jacket. His legs were bound to the chair legs and his wrists clamped to the arms of the chair by leather belts and buckles. To make sure nothing could be removed all these ties were sealed by plastic ties. He was also subjected to a mouth gag by a black cloth tied at the back of his head. Rory and I were requested to carefully check all these procedures at each stage. It did seem impossible for the medium to move from his chair. The wrist straps, for example seemed too tight for it to be possible for either hand to be squeezed out. Walls and floor were checked to ensure that there could be no other access. The session began with loud chamber music to raise vibrations and condition the sitters to a non-reasoning mental state (The logical side of the brain interferes with the mind’s ability to encourage psychic effects) Soon the voice of William came through in what Rory said later sounded like an 18th century accent. To me being rather hard of hearing this communication seemed very intermittent and difficult to decipher. However, I did realise he was giving instructions about using the camera. He would only allow the dim red light to be switched on for two seconds. This seemed to have reduced the power of communication quite drastically and so a further blast of loud music followed to build up the power again before making the next attempt. William was clearly in charge and gave further instructions for new attempts, increasing the exposure time slightly from test to test. Several such attempts were made. At each attempt some sitters including Rory were dimly able to see ectoplasm or a materialised face but I was unable to confirm this.
Then a new and totally different male voice came through which was far more fluent and easy to understand. This person was introduced by William as Arthur Conan Doyle. He addressed “Ron Pearson” telling me that when on Earth he had tried hard to work out some theory able to relate paranormal phenomena to existing physics but had failed to do so. He congratulated me on having achieved something he had not managed to do and said he thought this was correct. He also made another most surprising statement. He said Isaac Newton had accepted some ideas I had originated for modifying his mechanics and that he was working with me! Mow this did seem extraordinary. How could I possibly tell our most famous scientist anything he did not already know? This seems very flattering but difficult to accept. However, that is what the man said. What was also correct was that I had had to make an extension to Newtonian mechanics in my theory and it appears that this remark was referring to this. Validation on both sides seemed apparent. He also asked how he could help. I answered that what was most pressing was to find a way of selling my book on the subject. (A trilogy devoted to extending physics to encompass the paranormal including survival of consciousness is in preparation and PART I and PART II of “CREATION SOLVED?” are already being sold. Unfortunately they are only going at a rate of one per week and this will nowhere near cover investment in the first advert) His response was to offer a deal. He would help in the selling provided it was only for books on the survival topics, showing physics could be extended to give it support. Of course I was only too willing to agree: I have no plans to write any other kind of book.
After winding up the session Rory and I were requested to inspect David Thompson again. He was still gagged and bound to the chair with all ties and seals intact exactly as at the start of the séance except for one thing: his jacket had been reversed! The buttons and ties that had been at the front were now sprouting from about where his backbone lay. This was most extraordinary. Later the recording was displayed on a desktop computer screen. The experiment had succeeded in producing the image of a face. These images were at the same time as the 3 seconds of the red light that had been put on for the benefit of the new image intensifying camera. In a few of the frames a face could clearly be seen to emerge from out of the white ectoplasm, look around, and then return. Greater definition is needed. It was of course a first attempt. However, this caused great excitement among all sitters. All present considered the experiment a success.
Rory and I discussed the possibility of conjuring tricks. Stage magicians do the most amazing things that seem quite impossible. Could David have slipped out of the jacket in some conjuring trick way and faked the materialisation? Could he have removed gag and faked the voices? How could he slip out of the jacket without breaking the seals and put it back on again the wrong way round? This deception would only have been possible if he had been able to slide his hands out of the belts holding them to the chair and these had seemed too tight for that. The alternative explanation is that spirit people have mastered technology of the “apport” My theory suggests this is achieved by copying out the wave-function or plan of an object so that the position of every atom recorded in the i-theric memory banks. Then a new location is selected and its co-ordinates specified. The pan is copied out at the new place. The double wave – plan, now existing, allows the i-ther to permit every atom two locations. Each is apparently making instantaneous jumps between the two allowed positions. Then the code of the original position is deleted leaving the object in the new place. I know apports happen since I witnessed one about once a year or so. Furthermore, the verbal communication seems to fit in with my previous experience. So I will now relate this in order to give the reader more evidence on which to make judgement.
Support from Mental Mediumship
As far as the communication is concerned it fits in with others received, this time from mental mediums. The most convincing of these I will now place on record. In May 2000 I received a call from Christian Passey in Cheltenham: somebody I had never heard of before. She said she was a medium and had been instructed by a deceased scientist to come to give me a reading. She came on 14/05/00 and I will copy the script she wrote after the reading, omitting sections that came through from my Uncle Sam who seemed to butt in now and then. She listed them by number and I quote verbatim from the list.
1. Meeting coming up – information a bombshell to some people – trying to change their perception. (Your lecture) will not be a total success, or a total failure. Some people will not be sufficiently far-sighted as to take it on board. 2. A man whose name begins with Y will contact you. (I remember her saying he would be ringing me in about two days to try and help.) 3. A superior from a past work situation will help. A Prof? 4. Remember to lock your door at night: sometimes you forget. (very true) 5. Ron could do with a change of scenery. (no comment) 6. You will get more ideas when out walking. (I always do think about new ideas when walking the dog) 9. You are a great seer – book will make money. (This must be wrong as in no way am I a seer. This confusion seems to be associated with my thinking at that time. I was then trying to write a novel “Inventions of the future that saved the planet” by Ron D, Clarke. It was set in the future looking back to present. Two top graduates, one male one female were competing with ideas for new inventions and gained top positions in research institutes. They continue to vie with one another bringing out new inventions to control global warming, create artificial wood from sargassum to save the rain forests and operate an oil-free economy. They never become friends but together succeed in saving the planet. I had hoped it might trigger new research on the proposal made as Arthur C. Clark managed to do. Unfortunately friends who read bits of the script told me “my character did not live” so I gave it up) 12. Your ideas in physics will take root after your death: – you will have the satisfaction of observing them from the spirit world. 14. Give Margaret a cuddle. (Implying I do not give the affection my wife needs) 16. Bath University – connection (Future help?) 19. Your work is “superb wonderful” – 8/9 out of 10 20. Please make papers easy to read. 21. Revisions of past work important. 22. You need to make a leap of intuition and will do so soon. 23. Sir Isaac Newton – “well done my boy” and “I used to keep very careful notebooks”. (She had said that I did not keep adequate notebooks during the reading and this was true) End of Communication.
Consequences following the mental mediumship
Item 9 – Two days afterwards walking the dog to the style leading into woods I saw a chicken wire fence blocking the way the dog had to use since the style was too narrow. On approaching the chicken wire just vanished! I worried about having hallucinations. Two days later the same thing happened except that this time the chicken wire was real. I had seen it before it had been put into position as if to confirm that I was able to see in the future. (I do not claim that I can)
Item 2 – Then a man called Steve Yabsley rang from BBC Bristol inviting me to come along to advertise the lecture I would be giving to the Bath Royal Literary and Scientific Institution the following week.
Item 1 – The lecture was well attended. Indeed the lecture hall overflowed. The subject was my exact mechanics for replacing Einstein’s flawed relativity theories. It seemed to be going well and I knew I was being understood. Then 20 minutes before the end one Victor Sushar, the leading member of the society and a scientist, broke in without warning giving a lecture of his own without waiting for discussion time. This made everybody very angry. People were telling him to shut up – we have not come to hear you – one put his coat on to leave. But Suchar pressed on regardless in an attempt to discredit everything I had said and the chairman did nothing to stop him. It ruined the lecture since I was unable to finish with 20 minutes taken away. I had been warned in item 1 but was not prepared for this action.
Item 3 – Professor Wallace who had been my superior at Bath University invited me to give a lecture to a group of intellectuals regarding, my new mechanics that provides an alternative to Einstein’s relativity theories.
So the predictions given during the reading were well substantiated (except for my being a seer, which seems to have been the only error). The rest all gives strong support to me that the communicator, by David Thompson’s mediumship, was Conan Doyle who he said he was, since he confirmed what I had already been told by Newton.
However, several people in our group have been critical of failure to incorporate passive infrared camera since these can in no way affect the ectoplasm. The evidence would have carried total conviction if one had been deployed.
The pursuit of full materialisation in normal light, such that good video evidence could be attained, seemed to also be a worthy goal in order to establish final proof for the majority of Scientist.
Montague Keen – Council of the SPR for 55 years.
Materialisations at the David Thompson Séance
- Montague Keen
Date November 8 2003 This is a (draft) account of an unusual séance at which a variety of movements and touches, noises and voices were experienced in circumstances which appeared to preclude fraud. I give in considerable detail the precautions taken before and during the séance and conclude, despite reasonable familiarity with the past history of comparable demonstrations, that the effects were genuine.
The location and set-up
The sitting took place in the home of Denzil Fairbairn (DF) in Chalgrove, Oxfordshire on Saturday October 25th, 2003. My attendance was consequent on a personal introduction, supported by a good personal relationship of trust with Mr Fairbairn, following his important evidential contribution to the Scole Report (Keen et al, 1999). Together with my wife and myself, and Mr Fairbairn, it was attended by Paul, the séance leader, David Thompson the medium, his wife Bianca and about ten or twelve others.
The room was in a small block a few feet from Mr Fairbairn’s bungalow, and was entered via an anteroom where all those attending were asked to leave behind loose jewellery, handbags, watches, pens, wallets, money: indeed anything which could be detached. For this purpose everyone was searched, although I was allowed to bring in a notebook and pen, which was left under the chair of my immediate neighbour, Paul, until he had an opportunity during the séance to ask whether permission would be granted by Spirit for me to use it during the séance (it was duly granted, but the pen could not easily be found in the darkness; so the idea was abandoned). I searched David Thompson and ascertained there was nothing in any trousers pocket or concealed on his singlet, over which he wore a cardigan which I searched separately before he replaced it. I also checked his trainer-type shoes to ascertain that the heels and soles were normal and unified.
There was only one door into the séance room, which had no windows, was perfectly rectangular except for a recess at one end of the room (4’0″x 2’0″x7’0″ high) which formed the back half of the cabinet and devoid of ornaments or recesses. It measured roughly 15’0″x9’6″x7’0” in height, and at one end carried a rectangular ceiling rail from which three floor- length black curtains were suspended by Velcro straps of curtaining material, so that the curtains could be opened and closed from both sides. This, along with the recess, constituted the cabinet. The room was seamlessly carpeted throughout. Apart from the entrance door from the anteroom, there were no detectable orifices beyond five small vents in the ceiling and three low level vents along one wall, vented to the outside. Moulded plastic seats were placed around all the walls save the cabinet end. Two of the seats were immediately in front of the entrance door, one of which was occupied by my wife..
Binding and gagging the medium
The chair (owned by Mr Fairbairn) in which the medium sat was an old-fashioned heavy, wooden construction which I examined carefully, having regard to a claim by the magician Ian Rowland, when commenting on television on Thompson’s reputed feats, that the ends of the arms were not securely connected to the posts, enabling the medium to raise his arms from the post and slip the cable ties off his arms: a suggestion I examine later. I could find no loose connections, and was unable to move the arms or see or feel anything abnormal underneath the chair.
The chair was placed inside the open cabinet, and the medium was strapped into it by means of plastic tree ties. This was effected by Bianca under my close supervision. I was invited to examine the ties which were already permanently fixed to the legs and arms of the chair, both before and after the fixing. The straps were placed through these permanent fixings, and pulled tight, and then secured with thin plastic ties with the ends trimmed off, so that the only way to release the bond was to cut it. The straps were so tightly pulled that I was unable to intrude even a finger. Indeed, the medium subsequently was heard to complain that his wife had been so enthusiastic as to cause him discomfort. Bianca tied a black gag securely round the medium’s head through his open mouth, thereby preventing recognisable speech. I examined the gag and the knot behind the head. Finally the several buttons on the front of medium’s cardigan were tied into the buttonholes with thin black strips of plastic. These are one-way (self-locking) cable ties, incapable of being untied. They have to be cut before a button can be released.
Instruments and equipment
On the floor a few feet in front of the medium there was a black coated piece of board, about 3’6” by 2’. After I had checked underneath (prompted by Mr. Fairbairn) to satisfy myself that nothing was concealed below it, the following items were placed on it: a cardboard trumpet, the end of which was coated with luminous paint; a mouth organ; a rattle, and two drum sticks, all of which were to play a part in the séance. In addition there was a pair of pliers which were employed by Bianca to cut the ties to release her husband after the sitting, and two wooden rings which were brought into the room from the anteroom at the medium’s request by Mr Fairbairn after my wife had taken a number of photographs.
A microphone (Optimus 33-3013) was suspended from the wall near the door, the other end being connected to a tape recorder (Sony – personal recorder) located on a small table next to DF – the machine was switched on by him and the cassette tape turned over after it had automatically switched off on reaching the end of one side. Copies of the tape recording were freely available to any participant requesting it by sending a blank tape to Mr. Fairbairn. The only other equipment was a small flexible table lamp with a red bulb and fixed shade. It was placed on a small table in the corner on the medium’s left, outside the curtain, together with a glass of water. In the opposite corner was a large a tape recorder playing music. The light was controlled by Paul who sat alongside me, while the music player was the responsibility of Bianca, who had to make frequent changes in the music played and the volume requested, at the behest of spirit communicators. Both Paul’s hands held my right hand throughout the séance, save for about five minutes when they were needed to switch on and manoeuvre the light during the brief period when ectoplasmic extrusions were being shown.
Before the séance, when all participants were seated on cushioned chairs against the three walls, Paul enjoined everyone to remain still, not to grasp at anything unless permission was sought and granted. He explained the dangers to which the medium was exposed should anyone make an unauthorised grab at any ectoplasmic extension, and emphasised the importance of keeping our arms still: advice echoed and amplified by communicators in response to questions later. The lights were then dimmed to disappearance. The light switch knob was removed from the wall mounted dimmer switch and the remainder of the box was taped over by Mr. Fairbairn.
The séance began with a short prayer offered by one of the sitters. This was followed not by normally rousing music but, rather to my surprise, by Pachebel’s canon, to which we were invited to sing along, and then, no less surprisingly, by the distinctly menacing dance of the courtiers from Prokofiev’s Romeo and Juliet. Thereafter more popular music was played, but frequently altered in volume at the behest of one or other communicator.
At the end of the sitting, following the withdrawal of the final communicator, Mr Fairbairn stripped the sealer tape from the light switch and restored the dimmer switch knob to enable the light to be slowly turned up. It revealed David Thompson still tied to his chair, and gagged, in the middle of the room, some seven or eight feet from its original position inside the cabinet. It had been moved over the top of the black board and its several instruments. When the medium had recovered sufficiently to face the light, and the gag had been removed and retied to shield his eyes from the flashes, my wife took a number of post-sitting photographs. These included one showing the cardigan reversed. Having checked that the ties were still in place, I watched as Bianca used the pliers to cut each of the ties fixing the buttons to the buttonholes, and examined the arm and leg bindings as she cut the ties before the straps could be unfastened.
The main physical phenomena
I now summarise the physical events which I personally experienced, or else witnessed with the rest of the participants:
- The translocation to a different part of the room of the medium bound in his chair.
- The reversal of the medium’s cardigan, with the plastic ties still unbroken.
- The appearance some time during the séance of a cut on the lower side of the base of my right thumb. It was made without my knowledge or awareness, and was some 2cm in length with congealed blood along the line of what would have normally been considered to be a scratch. My wife’s pre-séance picture shows no sign of any cut on my hand, whereas that taken immediately after the sitting does. My hand was held firmly by my immediate neighbour, Paul, throughout the sitting, normally with both hands, save for the few minutes required for him to adjust the red light. The scar was still faintly visible twelve days later.
- The trumpet, the luminous large end of which was seen to be performing a variety of patterns and aerobic adornments in the air, was operated at great speed and with considerable precision, and was pressed quite hard against my chest at one stage
- My head was tapped sharply several times. (with the trumpet?)
- I was vigorously slapped on both knees as an introduction to the first supposedly materialised entity.
- My tie was unknotted, ripped off, and thrust with great precision in the narrow space between the chairs on which my wife and I were sitting. It was later found on the carpet beneath the chairs.
- The two rings of equal dimensions but different woods were found on the left arm of Alan, sitting opposite me and alongside Bianca. Towards the end of the séance he had reported that someone was trying to force the rings over his wrist. When I tried to pull them over his hand to remove them he complained that it was painful, although later succeeded in doing so. He contrasted this with the relatively gentle pressure experienced when the rings had been were pushed over his wrist during the séance.
- While holding my wife’s right hand with my left, leaving my index finger protruding, we were both touched by a warm, soft and seemingly human hand for about fifteen seconds.
- There was tap dancing of an apparently expert kind, as well as drumming, extremely fast.
- A tie pin surmounted by a cat was apported as a gift to Bianca, purportedly through the mouth of the medium as it extruded ectoplasm.
- The very clear, loud and distinctive series of four voices we heard, all of which answered questions intelligently, could not have come from the gagged medium. The only other “regulars” on whom suspicion might rest were Bianca his wife, Paul the leader who was seated next to me, and whose voice and location would have clearly identified him, and DF, the host, who was seated at the opposite end of the room from the medium. Any such suspicion would be defeated by listening to the tape recording.
The séance highlights
The evening was notable for the clarity and fluency of the two principal communicators, who introduced themselves as William Charles Cadwell, (died 1897) and Sir William Crookes (OM, FRS) both of whom invited and answered questions. Two other voices familiar to the regular participants also came through: a cockney youth named Timothy Booth, and Louis Armstrong. Both had very distinctive features and claimed to have materialised. Timothy was responsible for the widespread reports of touches and boisterous noises, as well as the delicate management of the ectoplasm and the ordering of the correct degree of red light to enable us to see the medium but not harm him. I produce below an edited account of the entire séance for the record. Despite its necessary length, each virtually verbatim account, based on a tape recording, highlights interesting aspects of mediumship phenomena and ontological issues. I have omitted such phrases as “my dear friends,” “of course” and suchlike adornments.
How voices are created
Cadwell, who came through very soon after the introductory music stopped, and who talked in a clear, elderly and precise voice, not dissimilar to that of Crookes (apart from the impediment Cadwell had in not easily being able to roll his R’s?) who spoke much later, described himself as a guide and mentor to “young David here” and expressed an interest in me as “some would say, an understanding scientist” (I expressed modest gratification). They (his spirit associates) would “endeavour to prove to you that life exists beyond death”. He urged us all to follow Paul’s guidelines for the protection of the medium and of the circle itself. He invited questions. When Paul sought permission for me to use my notepad, he gave approval provided I held the notebook neatly against my torso; then he withdrew into the cabinet for a few moments, accompanied by a whooshing sound, and then proceeded to invite questions.
I asked how the voice was produced, and how far it used the medium’s larynx, or how far it was direct voice. “Well, I could describe it to you now that I myself am partly materialised. The ectoplasm is exuded from the medium’s body by various orifices and is moulded around the young man’s voice box to create a larynx effect, but of course I myself am speaking to you with my own voice: placing myself within the ectoplasm exuded from the medium’s body by means of coating the ethereal body of the ectoplasm, you understand?” [Yes] “And I am then able to speak. There is at some point during the séance when the materialisation of form is not taking place and it is merely that of independent direct voice. You understand?” [Yes] ”But I myself partly materialise.” [Thank you very much]. Q: Do you feel you have moved into the room, or are you still at your point of departure? A: I hope that I am in the room; otherwise I’m in the wrong place [Laughter]. Q: You feel that you have moved? A: Yes my friend: I feel as solid as solid can be [Thank you] … So many people; so few questions…. MK: Well, perhaps I could ask again. You say you feel solid, but you are in fact a creation of your own mind: is that not the case? A: If I could describe to you this: due to the vibration of young David that is emanating from his physical body, I am able to interpenetrate that of the earth’s vibration by means of my etheric body vibration changes. I am then able to coat myself into a physical ectoplasmic form; then I am able to be here within the earth environment; but when the energy depletes it is much more difficult for materialisation and communication to take place, so the need is for the energy to be produced, so often by yourselves, to help the energy of the young man within the chair: to substantiate1 the energy levels and keep them at such a level that I myself and others are able to commune. You understand? … MK: In so far as any such communication can make sense of our limited capacity to envisage a different world, and a different means of communications, as it does – it is very difficult …. A: As it is for me to describe absolutely what is taking place: it is quite a process that is more than what I have explained, of course: you understand
The voice then urged us to hold hands for a moment “I shall show you something. What is your name, sir? MK: Mine? Montague. A: Good evening (pause) [I was then I was slapped vigorously on my right knee.]. MK: I was heartily slapped on my … oh again [on my left knee] with a very solid feeling. Thank you! A: You may now release hands. Now you see how …..materialisation within the earth’s vibration by means of ectoplasm? [Indeed] Q: Why, when we held hands there, did that make it easier for you to demonstrate that? A: It helps the energy to be built up to greater levels, but also it is for the safety of the medium and the ectoplasmic structure . Quite often when people are touched they feel the need to touch back or flee from whatever: so it may be safety as well, you understand. Q: You mentioned the energy being heightened by holding hands. Is that what would have possibly enabled Mr Webber2 to work without a cabinet during his mediumship, because I think they held hands throughout the whole séance. A: Yes, that is correct. Q: So it is possible to work without a cabinet ….? A: May be in time to come, when young David is more developed in his physical mediumship we aim to dispense with the cabinet, and there have been times in the past when this would have been possible, but you must understand that any emotional or psychological change within the medium has an affect upon the energy levels and also affects that of the physical manifestation. [Right] Q So that, therefore, it would be beneficial for those in development to sit within a cabinet rather than …? A: Yes, of course, in the early stages. The cabinet is used to allow us to keep the energy close to the medium, but also for the ectoplasm to be manipulated far more easily for materialisation to take place. Q: Is it going to be possible for the medium here to actually produce physical phenomena in some sort of light? A: Recently photographs of ectoplasm have been taken in red light. We don’t wish to disappoint Mr Fairbairn, but we do understand that may there is a little concern with him (?) regarding the use of other venues in the area, so Denzil can you hear me? [I can] We shall endeavour this evening to produce ectoplasm that can be seen in red light. This will be the first time it has been done, outside the environment where the home circle is normally conducted.3. So it will be a first: it will be your sanctuary where we wish to do this. DF: An honour and a privilege, William; thank you.
Use of infra-red photography
MK: May I ask another question: this anticipates some of the inevitable queries by my more sceptical colleagues who are always insistent that, despite the elaborate precautions taken to avoid any form of deception, they would still like to have infra-red photography through a video: we have never quite understood what the technical objections are to this. Would you be prepared to elaborate? A: I understand: any form of electrical equipment that is used for infra-red photographic images of any sort does exude a type of ray, I believe the right word is, but of what consistency I do not know, but this type of ray that is exuded from the photographical equipment has a burning sensation upon the ectoplasm. It is a little like placing the hand in sulphuric acid. But as mediumship progresses in time there will be no need for infra-red photography because all will be seen in spirit-induced light or that of red light if possible so that, as sceptical as your colleagues may be, they cannot be sceptical when the medium is firmly strapped in the chair and a materialised form is seen to be standing in the room. MK If I may say so, with great respect, you’d be surprised how far scepticism is sometimes taken. A: Of course, there will always be those whom you cannot prove to them no matter what you do. Within your field you will always have those who believe or wish to believe, and those who do not. This is a fact of life. A: Unfortunately this is too true.
Fear of death
[Veronica then asked whether there was anything she could tell her sister to help her when she was so frightened of dying.] A: Convey to her this: to pass into the spirit vibration is a glorious reunion of souls that have passed before. It is nothing for your sister to be frightened of: it is a changing of vibrations – that from the earth to those of the spirit vibrations. Quite often people are retarded because of their religious belief that they are going to some place of eternal sleep but, of course, in the initial stages of entering that of the spirit dimension they themselves might feel the necessity to sleep, and quite often these people wake up and wonder what they are doing when they have no physical body to sustain them any more; and when this occurs it is quite often that clergyman of their chosen religion will go visit them and speak to them and explain that there was certainly …?? eternal sleep. Now if I remember right Mr Leslie Flint, who was a direct voice medium, there was a tape produced by Dr Cosmo Lang who was the Archbishop of Canterbury, and who returned and said, ‘Of course life goes on, and I was wrong in my assumptions whilst I was here upon the physical plane’. My great friend Dr Theobald Slawinsky who is a cardio-vascular surgeon and works with young David in the state of trance for the purpose of healing and psychic surgery, would be more than happy to visit your dear sister, and if he is able to help, of course he will [Thank you very much]. Be assured there is nothing to fear.
The reincarnation issue
Q: There some schools of thought who say that the earth plane is a plane of individualisation., I was trying to sort out in my mind whether this individuality once established on the earth plane: does it remain in the person’s consciousness once they are in spirit? A: It depends whether you believe in reincarnation, and David is open-minded as you may know. I myself wholeheartedly believe in the fact of reincarnation. I believe this: this is just my interpretation, that when we pass to the world of spirit we obviously still retain our personality, and upon the transition through the spheres of living within the world of spirit you start to lose that identity of the earth’s environment and the consciousness that you had, but it cannot be totally eradicated, and when the time of reincarnation takes place, there is always an essence of that of what you were, and this is quite often how, when some people are regressed, they are able to bring forward that of past memories. It would be, and it is, quite foolhardy of me to say this: that all thoughts are eradicated, but you must understand that like young David, who is open-minded about the fact of reincarnation, he himself would find it very difficult under a state of hypnosis to bring forward that of any past life experience. This is due to himself being open-minded, but more so of the fact of being disbelieving of the fact of reincarnation. So it could be firmly embedded in his sub-conscious mind that it would be detrimental to his thoughts and his emotions — if you can imagine: quite often people who have had difficult-like childhoods — they hide from every fact within the recesses of the subconscious mind, do they not? So much for past life experiences . No matter how hard you try, you are unable to bring forward that what it is. I hope that answers your question. [Thank you, chorus] I must go now. A pleasure to have been speaking to you; may be I’ll speak to some more people at another time. Good evening to you. [Good evening]
Energetic spirit dancing
Music: all join in singing “Jerusalem” after a squeaky voice is heard. This was followed by an Irish jig, accompanied by clapping sticks in strict time to the music; then a more vigorous jig to which something appeared to be dancing and clapping materialised hands. “Banging on the ceiling” said one sitter, amid much noise. The trumpet’s luminous tip was flashing around the room and periodically touching sitters. When the music ceased, amid cries of “well done”, another less energetic tune followed, and a small voice said “Turn it off”, at which point Bianca switched the music off, and Tim introduced himself. After some light-hearted badinage with DF, Tim explained in a high pitched, artificially babylike voice that it was his job to make the ectoplasm come out 4. He asked whether he should materialise, which he was encouraged to do. Then he said he needed a bit more ectoplasm, and urged us to hold on. There was a whooshing sound of a strangulated type, and a sudden scream of childish laughter. DF said he had missed the board [with his jump from the cabinet]. Tim complained that it had been put a long way away (from the medium) 5. Paul commented “ Just testing you”, DF: mind you don’t twist your ankle. Tim: No need to test me, Buzzy Boy. DF: Timothy, when you had the trumpet up, it would seem that separate from that – I don’t know whether anyone else noticed – but I did see quite a few sort of flashes. Is that something you were experimenting with? Tim: They were spirit lights we were hoping to bring, eventually. Did everybody see them? [No]. You must be blind, then! [General laughter accompanied by a high-pitched cackle from Tim.] DF: It was very quick and subtle, rather like a glow of energy rather than a pinpoint of light, but it was definitely separate from the trumpet. Tim: D’you know what we’re going to do tonight? You’ve got choices. If you want to see ectoplasm in red light we wont be able to bring in any loved ones. We haven’t quite mastered doing both. [The consensus of opinion was sought by Paul. Tim assured us that he could always come again and bring through loved ones. Red light had it.] Tim commented: “We can do most things but we can’t work miracles” – another cackle. He asked whether anyone was frightened. Was my companion my wife? I confirmed this, and said she was nervous only when he laughed. He urged her not to be frightened and assured her she would not be hurt – may be a little bit [more laughter]. He then asked everyone to listen because he had fully materialised. There were sounds of something walking about; Veronica let out a short scream as she was touched on the knee. Then both her right and my left hand, holding one another, were fondled for several seconds by what seemed to be a small hand, quite soft and warm. Paul, on my left, confirmed that both his hands were holding my right hand, and the man on Veronica’s left confirmed that he had been holding her left hand throughout, all the more tightly because she was clearly nervous. Tim asked whether we had heard his footsteps: “You see, I materialised partly, then”. When he complained that we were a very quiet lot tonight, I commented that we were awestruck, and Tim remarked that oars were used for boats [cackle]. He appeared to require more ectoplasm and said we could release hands for the moment. DF said he could see a fairly bright light in front of him, but it seemed to have gone. It stayed in the same place even when he moved his head. Tim explained that they were creating an energy field around the room. Tim then addressed “Mrs Monty” and asked whether she had a camera – a new-fangled one. Veronica said she had, and Tim confirmed that, at the end of the sitting but before the medium was cut out of the chair, she could take a couple of photographs, if that was all right with Paul. Paul sought further guidance and suggested it would be better if the pictures were taken when the medium had been released and had been given some water, but Tim said it ought to be done when he was still bound. The medium would say when he was awake
Origin of a purloined apport
Tim then announced that he would bring an apport for Bianca. She promised she would wear it all the time. Veronica asked where he got the apports from. He said he would have to seek permission to tell her. There was a short pause, then he announced that he had been given permission. He said there was a stall half way down the Portobello Road that sold curios: he thought it was called Jan or Jane’s Curios – or something like that. “We borrowed it off of her” [Laughter] “We asked her mum in the spirit world if she would mind and she said she won’t even miss it – but she did, you know: she was looking for it to try and find it!” [cackle] “And just to make it more interesting, when we switch the red light on, we’ll try and materialise it: we’ll apport it out of his mouth shall we?” [Chorus of assent]. “We’ll materialise it in the ectoplasm and try bringing it out of his mouth.” When DF pointed out that David had a gag in his mouth, and implied that this might make things difficult, Tim said: “You’d be surprised. He’s got a big mouth” [Laughter and cackle] He said they might need music to enable them to do what they had to do. He would let us know when he was ready.
After a brief interrogation about the curtains and lights, and whether the music should be played throughout, Tim promised to make a bang when they were ready. He didn’t want the red light too low or too high because they (the spirits) had never attempted this before…. They might see the medium’s face contorted a little. He was asked whether he could knock three times to ensure that we knew when he was ready, to which he responded, amid laughter by singing Knock three Times on the Ceiling if you Want me.” Music was re-started. We joined in singing An Alien in New York. Paul then asked for the music to stop and everyone to remain absolutely quiet. I was asked to turn on the wall switch governing the red lamp. There followed much manoeuvring while the curtain on my side was opened and the light, pointing downwards to avoid shining in the medium’s face, was adjusted. Bianca checked to ensure everyone could then see the medium. We then saw a white sheet-like substance stretching from the medium’s face to his lap. After approximately 30 seconds had elapsed Tim then asked for the light to be turned off at the main. The music resumed. Tim explained that the music and singing were needed to generate the energy, a lot of which was needed for this sort of demonstration. He asked DF when was the last time he had seen ectoplasm. DF replied that it was about three years ago in a sitting with Stewart Alexander. Since then there had been some 300 people attending his séances.
Addressing me as “Uncle Monty” Tim asked for my reactions. I wondered what had become of the ectoplasm. Tim said it had been dematerialised: it was dangerous when the ectoplasm was out of the medium. He had kept a little bit for himself to enable him to talk to us. This was the first time they had brought through an apport via the ectoplasm with the red light on: it was dangerous. Veronica described a light she saw in front of her. DF said it was the same as the light he saw. Tim asked me whether my wife usually saw such things. I said she did, but I did not. Tim observed amid laughter that if “your missus sees things it’s got to be true” – followed by another cackle. He called for music. It was switched on. I did not see the apport being produced, but it was on the floor near Bianca when the séance ended. (which side of the cabinet curtain? was it obscured from Bianca?)
After one song, the music played a Louis Armstrong song, Wonderful World. Armstrong’s voice was heard on the music, and then a voice apparently identical to Armstrong’s accompanied it. It was quite clear. This was followed by the voice introducing himself thus: “How are all you fine people here this evening? May I introduce myself? My name is Louis Armstrong [Expressions of welcome], known by many as Satchmo. I’ve got to say this is very difficult speaking through this here voice box [Murmurs of sympathy and encouragement]. Bianca sought permission to pose a question “Yes you can ask me a question if you wish, my dear.” She said she had lost a tape with Satchmo singing with a lady, and she could not find it .“Well my dear you’ve got the record at home”. Bianca expressed gratification. “So you didn’t have to look that far did you? I’m just going to materialise.” There followed a whooshing noise followed by the sound of a minor collision. I commented that he’d tripped over something. “No I haven’t my friend’. I’m just showing you I’ve materialised.” There followed several knocks and bangs, and it became clear it was some sort of soft shoe shuffle. “There you are my friends, and I bid you good night”. The voice was loud, clear and highly idiosyncratic, immediately recognisable as Satchmo’s uniquely guttural pronunciation.
After a pause, we heard some heavy breathing sounds, and a very croaky voice, which shortly became firmer, addressed us: We welcomed him. We were asked to keep talking to help the vibrations. Paul greeted him, and the voice asked everyone to sit still. “I wish to fully materialise…. He introduced himself as Sir William Crookes. “Some of you may know me from my scientific research, but some of you by means of my communication and friendship with the physical medium Florence Cook. At no time was there any doubt in my mind of any fraud or of Miss Cook. [Comment from Denzil: There are quite a few photographs showing Florence and Katie (King) separately. “There are two reasons why I came to this gathering this evening. One was purely to make my presence felt here and to commune with people of like minds. One was also because of my interest in this young man’s mediumship. As you have seen this evening, ectoplasm was exuded from this young man in red light and seen, and as you know I myself witnessed full materialisation in light, that of the materialised form of Kate King. Are you all familiar with this [general assent]? I shall endeavour to move further into the room. Now I am sure there are those amongst you who may have questions of me. Please feel free to ask and I shall endeavour to answer.”
I asked whether those guilty of unfair opposition and criticism during his lifetime had now recanted in the afterlife. He replied: “I would not say they have recanted. I would say their minds have been firmly changed.” He asked my name, and I told him “Ah, so you’re Keen are you? I have heard words of you I can tell you, dear boy. I understand you are going to endeavour to continue some of the work that I started. [We are] Well carry on the good work, dear boy. I commented “Your work was an inspiration to us and many others”. He replied: “I was not swayed, dear friend, by any means.” I then quoted his words “I did not say that it was possible; I simply said that it happened.”
At this point I felt my tie being unknotted. I commented on this, saying that the hands unknotting it were firm. “My tie is now being pulled out and I think undone by firm hands. Thank you. Both my hands are being held and – ah! My tie is being taken off! I hope it won’t dematerialise”. “As you can see, my friend, anything is possible”, the voice resumed. “Let me explain something in regard to external energies being brought into the séance room. Some of you may know I myself was a party to developing vacuum tubes which were part of X-ray tubes, you understand. Do you know of this Keen [I do Sir]Well you will know that X-ray is something which exudes energy, does it not?, which can sometimes be detrimental to that of the patient in large degrees. Well, within the séance room the energy is in heightened state, and bringing into the séance room any form of electricity other than that that is compensated for, which sometimes prove to be quite difficult to work with, can have a disastrous effect on the mediumship of the individual within the chair. When I witnessed the materialisation of Katie King, that was the most thought-provoking change in my life. It was at that time that the reality of life after death really touched my soul. Then there was no going back. Then I had to bring to the world the truth of the continuity of life. Now I would say this to you: put away your electrical equipment of infra-red status for through this young man and other physical mediums, manifestations will be seen again in that sort of light produced either by the spirit vibrations or by that of your own means, if we allow it in the séance room. That is all I have to say.” Q: When working with the medium you worked with, did you witness her materialise from nothing, or from scratch basically to full form, or did you just witness her coming out of the cabinet? A: At one time I was privileged to see ectoplasm exuding from the medium’s body by means of the mouth and solar plexus, and from this even what seemed to be ectoplasm on the floor in front of the medium the materialised form began to arise until there was a full form materialisation before my very eyes. Q: How long did the process take? Q: About five minutes from nothing to full materialisation Q: Do you have a laboratory of some sort now? A: There is not necessarily a need for a laboratory where I am in the spirit dimension, but I do quite often visit chemists and such that work in laboratory environments on this earth vibration to learn new skills. I must go now. It has been a pleasurable experience to be able to speak to you good people.
MK: Something fell or was pushed between my left arm and Veronica’s right. Veronica also said she felt it. Music followed, accompanied by bangs, clashes, rattle-swinging, drumsticks etc. Without relevance to the music, and amid a good deal of reports of touches, interspersed with the occasional mild scream from Veronica. Almost everyone appeared to report touches or minor knocks. Immediately the music stopped, Alan reported that two rings were over his wrists. Tim asked for the music to be changed. A nice uplifting one – the energy was becoming a bit thin. Bianca expressed renewed gratitude for her apport. There followed a reprise of I’m an Englishman” and a loud farewell from Tim. Then another song, unaccompanied this time. The music faded out, and the séance ended as the red light was slowly restored amid some heavy breathing. The sound of sealing tape being ripped off the light switch was accompanied by instructions from Paul to remain completely quiet while Veronica retrieved her camera from the anteroom. The medium’s eyes were protected from the flashlight for the four or five pictures taken by Veronica, showing the medium strapped to his chair in the centre of the room. When the medium’s blindfold, which had been used as a gag was removed Paul drew attention to the remnants of ectoplasm still on the material.
Assessment and comments
It is almost an article of faith among many psychical researchers that unless physical phenomena are capable of being clearly witnessed, or alternatively that infra-red video recording is available, no persuasive evidence of anything paranormal is possible. Although the spirit portrayed as Sir William Crookes explained why the infra-red video cameras might be damaging to the medium at his present stage of development, the general rule of evidentially may be broken if the other security measures justify an unambiguous assertion that deception on the part of the medium was impossible. The nature of the ties would have prevented the medium, no matter how strong or agile, from escaping his bonds without first managing to cut the ties. Even had he been able to do so, he could not have regained his seat and retied the knots unaided, employing a new set of uncut ties, unless he had been helped by someone able to work deftly, accurately and swiftly in pitch dark. No-one in the séance room could have attempted that without ready detection. Moreover my careful examination of the chair showed no sign of any movable join. Finally, the reversal of the medium’s cardigan while he was still bonded to his seat defies normal explanation. The precautions here were superior even to those employed by Schrenck Notzing on Eva C, who was sewn into a single garment, or on the physical medium Jack Webber, where less sophisticated tying methods, and materials, were used.
During the brief time when the red light was switched on, we could all see, the medium draped with a white cloth-like substance, presumably ectoplasm, albeit not with great clarity in some cases. It corresponded in appearance with many of the photographs showing ectoplasmic emissions from past mediums; but the facilities for overt examination of it contrasted rather strikingly with these available to Harry Edwards in his supervision of Webber, who was extensively photographed by flashlight in various stages of ectoplasmic production, apparently without injury to the medium (Edwards. 1961). For this apparent anomaly I was given two reasons: Webber may well have been more strongly developed as a medium; the photographs were all taken with the consent of the spirit guardians, who had an opportunity to withdraw the vulnerable animation spirit from the ectoplasm before photographs were taken. There are also the very large number of flashlight photographs taken by or on behalf of Schrenck Notzing, and reproduced, albeit poorly, in The Phenomena of Materialization (Schrenck Notzing, 1923).
Feasibility of deception Although much of what occurred was expected, save for the use (for the first time, we were told, in a non-domestic circle setting) of red light to enable ectoplasmic extrusion to be seen, and in accordance with reports which had appeared in the Spiritualist press (e.g. Alexander, 2003, Eccles, 2002, Fairbairn, 2002, Fairbairn, 2003 Hunt, 2000 (and Pearman, 2002), I have listed above some other remarkable physical phenomena which have little or no dependence on subjective attestation.
Montague Keen __________________________________________________________
References: Alexander, S. 2003. A David Thompson séance reported by renowned physical medium Stewart Alexander. Psychic News, January 4. Eccles. V. 2002. David Thompson gives a séance at Tumbetin in Australia. Psychic News, Sept 21. Edwards, H. 1961 The Mediumship of Jack Webber, The Healer Publishing Co. Fairbairn, D. 2002, A physical Séance Report. Psychic News. May 11 Fairbairn, D., 2003: description of fifth and final séance promoted by the newspaper. Psychic News, July 12 Hunt, H. and C. 2001, Report on a physical séance held at Crawley. Psychic News. October 6. Keen, M. Fontana D and Ellison A 1999, The Scole Report, Proceedings of the Society for Psychical Research, Vol.58, pt 220) Pearman, R. 2002 A star-studied evening with Physical Medium David Thompson, Psychic News, Dec 21-28. Schrenck-Notzing, B. von , 1923 The Phenomena of Materialisation, tr. Fournier d’Albe 1st English Edition, Kegan Paul, Trubner.
___________________________________________________________ Footnotes: 1.“Substantiate” is used in a strictly accurate, but today unaccustomed, sense here. 2. Jack Webber, who died aged 32 in 1940, was a prominent physical medium and was befriended by the celebrated healer Harry Edwards, who published many photographed showing Webber, without a cabinet, with apparent ectoplasmic emissions from and around him. 3. This was a semi-public séance as distinct from one where regular sitters meet privately in a domestic or home circle. 4. It is not unknown for ostensible children to perform quite adult functions in séances. Mrs Osborne Leonard’s principal control was Freda, whose childish mispronunciation and temperament was allied to considerable intelligence, as here. 5. There appears to be a direct relationship between the “strength” or vitality of the ectoplasm and its distance from the medium
Robin Foy – Psychic Researcher & Investigator.
First Festival of Physical Mediumship in Spain
Monday 22nd August 2011
This First historic Festival of Physical Mediumship in Spain is now over; but what a wonderful and fully international success it was!!!
An amazing build-up of love and harmony amongst delegates and organisers alike (who attended from many countries including the USA, the UK, Norway, Sweden and Denmark as well as Spain) was noticed by all from Day one, culminating in three superb and evidential séances by Australian Physical Medium David Thompson, ably assisted by his efficient partner and Circle leader Christine Morgan.
I intend to cover each séance in a separate blog, to create the maximum impact within readers. Every séance took place in a purpose-built séance room at the Acacia Centre in Los Molino’s, Murcia, Spain (Situated close to the village of Balsicas). In order to preserve the safety of the medium’s health (He works in an ectoplasmic-based way for the production of physical phenomena as opposed to the energy-based format) strict security protocols were observed, that necessitated the removal of shoes, jewellery, belts, scent and all metal objects, together with the contents of delegates pockets, save for a tissue, delegates’ glasses and hearing aids. Tight rings were simply covered with black tape for the séance. All light bulbs were removed from the séance room.
All participants, including the medium and circle leader were physically searched by volunteers prior to the sitting, and scanned using a metal detector. Before each sitting, two independent ‘checkers’ who had no connection at all to the medium, circle leader and/or the Circle of the Silver Cord were selected from the delegates to oversee and check every aspect of the preparations for each séance, including the physical restraints applied to the medium for the whole of the séance duration. At this first séance the chosen checkers were Dawn and Paul. I was asked to oversee the whole of this operation at each of the three séances, and to declare myself completely satisfied that for each séance it would be impossible for the medium to move from his chair – or to speak normally through the ‘gag’ that was placed uncomfortably into his mouth for the whole sitting, and secured by tight plastic ‘cable ties’ behind his neck throughout.
The chair that was used for each sitting was actually one that Sandra and I own; a very basic chair, but one which allowed for a battery of very secure cable ties and straps that totally transfixed the medium’s arms and legs to the chair and completely prevented him from moving off the chair at all times. The medium and all of his clothing were carefully examined by the independent checkers and by me as we declared ourselves to be completely satisfied with the bonds and with all aspects of the séance room. An old black cardigan was worn by the medium over his clothing, and was likewise secured at the front by four plastic cable ties.
I was also invited (as were the ‘checkers’) to thoroughly check the trainers the medium wore on his feet. I did so, and made a point of carefully checking the softness of the soles. It was pointed out that the shoes with soft soles were important for the safety of the medium as a frequent finale of the séance was to levitate the medium and chair out of the cabinet, and for chair and medium to be dropped heavily onto the floor at that time. Since the medium was generally still in a deep trance state at that time, the shoes were a necessity to cushion the impact and prevent injury as the medium’s feet hit the floor. This explanation was not only a logical precaution, but – as we later witnessed – the shoes were extremely efficient in the protection they afforded. Please note that the soles of these shoes were soft in every sense and – if the medium had moved away from his chair – could not in any sense have replicated the sound of ‘boots’ as they travelled across the floor!
The ‘checkers’ searched the séance room efficiently, including every part of the simple cabinet (top too!!!) and séance equipment – trumpet; drum sticks; harmonica and horn. These two latter were played and blown by the checkers, together with their examination of the black bag into which the trumpet was stored until needed. Even the underside of every one of the delegates’ chairs was checked to ensure everything was open and ‘above board’. The recording device used to record the séance (and hanging from a light fitting) was checked too, together with the CD player used for the playing of background music. There were 35 sitters plus the medium at this first séance.
Finally, with the delegates all seated, the medium was secured into his chair, and placed into the cabinet. The wire cutters used to release the medium at the end of the séance were handed to one of the independent ‘Checkers’ to keep in his pocket for the duration of the séance. The electric standard lamp used during the preparations was removed from the séance room, together with the torch used for the final checks. The séance room was then locked, and the key given to the other independent ‘checker’ for safety. Finally, the séance room door was sealed with black tape to prevent the introduction of any light during the sitting.
Sarah, a member of the Silver Cord Circle (now living in Canberra, Australia) was in charge of the background music. Four pieces were played loudly to get the séance under way. After the fourth piece of music – ‘Over the Rainbow’, David’s principal spirit control – William Cadwell – announced his presence and greeted the sitters in a loud and clearly audible independent voice (that remained totally consistent throughout this and subsequent séances); completely different from and unlike the normal voice of the medium. At this point, we were asked to hold hands around the room to prevent any of the delegates from reaching out in their enthusiasm to touch the spirit forms and/or the ectoplasm, which would have had a disastrous effect on the medium.
Immediately afterwards, William could be clearly heard walking (in heavy shoes or boots) across and around the room (itself some 20 feet square). The delegates’ chairs formed a ‘U’ shape around three sides of the room. William interacted with several of the sitters. To begin with, he came over to the independent checker close to me; thanked her for the role she was playing. He courteously asked her if he might approach her, and again if he might touch her. When he placed his very large hand on her head, she was able to confirm that it was a ‘very large hand’, totally different from that of the medium, who has rather small hands. William stated that he had been 6ft 2inches or 6ft 3 inches tall himself when he had lived on earth.
William then repeated this approach to Paul, the other independent checker; to Robert and Barbara McLernon; to Sandra and I, and to those people who subsequently asked him a question. On each occasion, he approached the person he wanted to speak to quite unerringly and accurately in the pitch darkness. All he touched after receiving their permission (including me) were able to testify to the fact that his hands were unusually large; they felt fully animated; warm and human in their touch. Each time William left the person he had been speaking to, his voice was heard seconds later in another totally different part of the room. Each time he requested permission to approach a sitter and touch then, there was a distinct sound of regurgitating ectoplasm as he rematerialized his hands prior to touching them. Several people were also able to feel his feet and shoes/boots as he gently touched their own feet.
William invited and took a number of questions from delegates; answering them honestly, swiftly and intelligently every time, without pause or confusion in his manner. After a while, he retired back to the cabinet to make way for the child guide ‘Timmy’. Like William, Timmy interacted with many of the delegates, moving slowly around the whole of the room whilst humming softly to himself. His childish voice and humorous tones encouraged laughter amongst sitters, which helped to raise the energy for the next part of the sitting.
Timmy asked Christine Morgan for the trumpet, which she then took out of its black bag and placed just in front of the cabinet, whilst still holding the hand of the sitter next to her. A jolly piece of music was played, with Timmy manipulating the trumpet in an amazing aerobatic display which covered vast distances (up to 20 feet) within the séance room in a split second. Floor; high ceiling, occasionally a soft touch to a sitter’s body – nowhere in that room escaped the presence of the clearly visible ‘demon trumpet’. What was obvious to anybody there was the fact that it would have been totally impossible for any human agency to have manipulated the trumpet in a similar way (vast distances in a split second) – or at the ‘supersonic’ speed by which it was manipulated by the young spirit – Timmy!!!
Timmy’s other function in the Silver Cord Circle, is to assist personal spirits to ‘come through’ and speak to their loved ones. To begin with, he told Ann Harrison that he had two people coming for her. The first of these was her well-known husband Tom, who passed just last October. He materialised and spoke with Ann, greeting her in a way known only to the two of them; He kissed her, and then came across the room to speak to Rob McLernon, and to me. Both of us were able to recognise his distinctive voice. As he made his exit, ‘Sunrise’ – guide of the Minnie Harrison Circle (The Saturday Night Club) during Tom’s involvement in that circle – also greeted Ann in a way she recognised (referring to her as ‘little sister’).
Lynne, another delegate, had the opportunity to speak to her father. It was an emotional reunion, with evidential information about a pet rabbit she had as a young girl. Her father was able to kiss her. Quentin Crisp – a regular communicator at the Silver Cord Circle – materialised and chatted happily with us all. He helped to bring through Rob McLernon’s own guide George (a transvestite who created much laughter as he told Rob he wished to be called ‘Georgina’ in the future). This contact was very evidential for Rob, as the medium had no idea whatsoever of the identity of any of Rob’s own guides.
Louis Armstrong materialised and addressed us all in his very distinctive voice, before singing along to his own hit record ‘Hello Dolly’. He sang and danced in what were – quite obviously – heavy boots.
The final materialisation was Emma Hardinge Britten – one of the main pioneers of Spiritualism. She was most certainly a well-spoken Victorian lady, with a gentle, clear and precise voice. Emma explained that she was communicating to say ‘thank you’ to friends who she knew had participated and been involved in the restoration of her gravestone in its original place. Also she wanted to say ‘thank you’ for the placing of a memorial stone to her in the grounds of Stansted College, to create the ‘Emma Hardinge Britten Memorial Walk’ there. She asked Christine Morgan to personally thank Mrs. Mavis Pittilla.
William Cadwell returned to announce the end of the séance, which had lasted for just over one and a half hours. He said goodnight to us, and shortly afterwards there was a massive ‘bang’ some distance away from the cabinet. Sarah was asked to play the ‘coming-out’ music which she did, whilst the medium David Thompson slowly returned to full consciousness from his trance. The key to the séance room was given back by the one independent checker to Rob McLernon, who unsealed the door and retrieved a torch at first from outside. This was used to show the independent checkers that firstly, David and the chair had been levitated out of the cabinet for a distance of about 12 feet. He was still facing the same way as he had been facing in the cabinet, and the checkers were able to confirm that every single one of his bonds, including the gag, were still firmly fastened. The only difference was the fact that the cardigan he had worn (secured to his body before the séance by cable ties) was now ‘back to front’ on his body, with the buttons at the back. The cable ties securing the cardigan, however, were still firmly in place!!!
At this point, the wire cutters were returned by the checker who had looked after them throughout the séance. A dim standard lamp was brought in from outside and David was carefully released from his bonds and taken out for a reviving cup of tea and ‘chocolate fix’ before coming back later to converse with delegates.
This first séance of the Festival had been extremely successful – and the other two just simply got better and better as the week continued.
Wednesday 24th August 2011
I hope you have all by now read my blog of the first séance (Monday 22nd August), and taken on board just how exciting it was for all participants. If not, please do read it as soon as possible in conjunction with this blog, as it contains much of the basic information about the Festival venue (Robert and Barbara McLernon’s Acacia Centre) in Los Molino’s, Murcia, Spain. In addition, I wrote extensively about the security protocols involved; size and description of the séance room, medium’s cabinet and chair used for the séances (this chair belongs to Sandra and I). I will not repeat all of the information about protocols, venue etc. in this blog, as it remains essentially the same for all three séances. If anybody has any pressing queries about details I have left out in the final two blogs, please feel free to pose your questions through PM4U or my two email addresses: firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com and I will do my best to answer those queries for you.
The second sitting was on Wednesday August 24th. Some of the participants were the same as those who sat on the Monday, but not all. As previously, there were 35 sitters plus the medium present. Just as for the first séance, some of these delegates had never previously sat in a séance for physical phenomena before. Prior to every séance, the ectoplasmic-based medium David Thompson explains at length in a simple way exactly what people might experience during the séance and outlines the strict protocols that apply to all sitters – before handing over to Christine Morgan (efficient and capable leader of the Silver Cord Circle) so she can complete the pre-séance instructions for every sitter who is present to follow to the letter. Christine always stresses to new sitters the acute danger to David’s health he faces every time he demonstrates materialisation mediumship. This is why security precautions have to be so strict prior to each and every séance.
A high level of excitement and compatible harmony had built up steadily during the day amongst delegates, as they listened to a talk by David outlining his role and experiences as an ectoplasm-based physical medium; and a further testimonial talk by Christine regarding her many séance attendances as a permanent member and leader of the Silver Cord Circle.
The two different independent ‘checkers’ were chosen ready for the séance. This time, it was another gentleman called Paul and a lady called Donna. Sitters were searched thoroughly beforehand and then led by volunteers (including Rob and Barbara McLernon plus Sandra and me) over to the purpose-built 20 foot square séance room, where they were finally scanned by a metal detector and allocated suitable seating around three walls of the séance room.
The independent ‘checkers’ and I then searched and examined the room thoroughly; the chair, the cabinet (inside, outside and top); delegates seats; floor, ceiling, recording device (which hung from a light fitting) CD player; medium’s trainers and clothes. As I explained in my blog of the first sitting, the medium’s soft-soled shoes he wears are important to cushion a severe impact to his feet and prevent injury when the group’s spirit team levitate the chair and medium together at the end of a séance, and drop both heavily to the floor – some distance away from the cabinet. The very soft soles of the medium’s shoes when he is moving are totally different from the sound of heavy boots and shoes moving around the room when materialised spirit personalities are present.
Likewise the few items of séance room equipment were examined and checked at this stage. These consisted of two drumsticks (each equipped with a small piece of luminous tape so they could be seen in the darkness); A trumpet with luminous tape round its larger end; a small luminous plaque (the trumpet and plaque were placed in a black bag which was examined by the independent checkers and by me); a mouth organ and small horn. These last two instruments were examined and blown by the ‘checkers’ who were very thorough in their duties.
Finally, in front of all the participants, the medium – David Thompson – was secured thoroughly to the chair by means of plastic cable ties and straps on both his arms and legs. Once secured, the straps were further tied together by means of more cable ties. The independent ‘checkers’ and I were able to declare with total confidence that there was no way the medium could possibly leave his seat during the séance. The gag was fitted into David’s mouth and secured tightly at the back of his neck by cable ties. It would have been impossible for David to have removed the gag during a séance, and when he attempted to talk with the gag in place, he could not produce a clear and/or normal voice. Again, the ensemble was finished off by a black woollen cardigan David wore on top of his other séance clothes. The buttons were fastened, then themselves thoroughly secured by four more cable ties. Once fastened, the spare ends of the cable ties were cut off, and the tightness of the bonds checked by the ‘independent checkers’. David, plus chair, was then placed in the cabinet…
Once again, Sarah – a member of the Silver Cord Circle (now living in Canberra instead of Sydney where Christine and David live) undertook the playing of appropriate music on the CD player that was used. Rob McLernon moved the small standard lamp and torch out of the séance room and locked the door. The door key was handed to independent checker Donna, who was sitting close to the door, to look after until the end of the séance. The other independent checker – Paul – situated the other side of the cabinet (away from the door) was given the wire cutters to look after till the séance was finished, and the cutters were required to release the medium from his bonds.
At this point the séance got under way. Sarah played 4 pieces of music loudly: ‘Find the hero within yourself’; ‘River Dance Audition’; ‘True Colours’ and ‘Over the Rainbow’. The sitters all enthusiastically either sang or ‘Lah lah’d’ along with the music. As the final strains of the songs died away. The loud and clear Independent voice of William Cadwell (David’s principal guide) was heard greeting everybody. At this point, we were instructed to hold hands around the room to prevent anybody – in their enthusiasm – from mistakenly touching the ectoplasm and/or the materialised spirit people. Immediately afterwards, he could be heard walking from the cabinet into the room. The sounds of his heavy shoes or boots walking over the tiled floor were very distinct, and did not at all resemble the sound of soft-soled trainers such as the medium wore!
Furthermore, as he walked across the room, William then stomped his feet (to draw our attention to his heavy shoes/boots) and simultaneously clapped his hands to demonstrate that he was fully materialised. He approached the two ‘independent checkers’ in turn to thank them for the duties they were performing at this séance. He courteously asked for permission to approach them and to touch them which – of course – he received. Both of them and all subsequent sitters he interacted with were able to confirm the extremely large size of his hands, in contrast to those of the medium, which are comparatively small. William had been over six feet tall during his lifetime.
William approached Geir Svoren – a delegate from Denmark who had sat outside during the first séance, hoping in vain for a standby place in the séance. This, therefore, was his first experience of an ectoplasm-based séance. William spoke to him and touched him. Again, Geir was able to confirm the very large sized of William’s hand. As I stated in the first blog, every time William stood in front of a delegate (and he approached all of those unerringly and speedily in a totally dark room) there was a very distinct sound of ‘regurgitating’ ectoplasm as he dematerialised and rematerialized his hands and feet before physically interacting with each delegate.
Questions were invited from the floor by William; he answered all of these quickly and intelligently to the satisfaction of each questioner. A couple from the Costa Del Sol – David and Dawn Ratcliffe-Fetterston – received some welcome attention from William, who felt that they had great potential for their own development of physical phenomena. He indicated that they had the right type of energy and dedication that made them suitable for this work.
William came back to me for me to pose the final question to him, and I asked if he (and/or spirit) were aware of any current progress in the field of energy-based physical phenomena. He replied that the spirit world regarded the end of the Scole Experimental Group in 1998 as a tragic loss, but went on to say that a number of spirit scientists who were working with the Scole Group then have since begun working with two particular physical mediumship groups/circles to try and use a combination of ectoplasm and energy for the enhancement of these groups work. One of the groups of which he was speaking was named as the Felix Experimental Group in Germany (Medium Kai Muegge); the other was the Circle of the Silver Cord itself (Medium David Thompson). This was an interesting response as far as I was concerned. Sandra and I already believed that the Felix Group was working with a combination of energy-based and ectoplasmic-based phenomena.
As William made way for the next spirit visitor, we were allowed to unclasp our hands for a short time. Then the child guide Timmy made his presence known, and spoke to us. We needed once again to hold hands all round. A very lively piece of music was played at this stage. Timmy asked for the trumpet, and gave the now familiar aerobatic display showing how well he is able to manipulate the trumpet all around the room – at breakneck speeds that are much too fast to be duplicated by any human agency. No part of the room was neglected during this display, bearing in mind that the ceiling is a high one in this room, and the room is about 20 feet square.
Timmy then announced that he was going to show us his fingers. Christine took the small luminous plaque out of its black bag, and Timmy walked slowly around the room holding it (humming softly to himself all the time) with his fingers clearly visible to everybody present.
Timmy than took up his other role – that of helping personal spirit visitors to interact with their loved ones in the séance room. Louisa Livingstone was told that there was someone coming for her. This was her father, who she easily recognised, and conversed with. He referred to her drawings and paintings being beautiful – this was evidential for her, as she had been involved in this activity just the previous week. Further evidence was given regarding the mother of one of her childhood friends. Louisa was then kissed by her father, and was happy to subsequently send a testimony confirming the validity of her message and its evidential nature.
Dawn Ratcliffe-Fetterston’s grandfather came to speak to her, and gave her some very evidential information about horses when she was young, plus accurate memories of her childhood which she confirmed afterwards as very true. She was kissed by her grandfather before he left.
William Davenport (Pioneer American Physical Medium who worked with his brother Ira) came to speak to us, after being invited by his friend William Cadwell. He spoke of his sadness that – whilst the brothers’ physical mediumship WAS 100% GENUINE – the attacks they had faced, particularly from Houdini at the time, really broke his brother Ira, who never recovered from the lies and false accusations. This interesting communicator. W.D then thanked Christine Morgan, who had personally cleaned up his gravestone in Australia for her efforts on his behalf.
One of the sitters had donated a few fresh roses for the séance, which had been placed on a small table beside the cabinet before the sitting started. Next, Quentin Crisp materialised and walked amongst us in his usual flamboyant way, chatting animatedly with many of the sitters. Quentin gave one of the roses to the host, Barbara McLernon, and another to Dawn Ratcliffe-Fetterston.
The communication ended after Louis Armstrong had spoken to us and sung along to ‘Hello Dolly’. He danced and sang, obviously clad in heavy shoes or boots, then finally played the mouth organ for delegates. William Cadwell returned to explain to Christine that the spirit team were going to bring the medium out of trance before his final chairborne levitation; William’s voice was much more muted than usual as this was explained, and we were told that the independent voice at this stage was coming from the medium’s solar plexus, to conserve energy. As the ‘coming-out’ tune was played, and under strict security and the supervision of the ‘independent checkers’, the torch was brought back into the room and the gag was removed, after the checkers confirmed that it was still firmly fixed into his mouth. David was heard to remark ‘I don’t like this’ as the torch was again taken outside and the room returned to darkness.
Just as before, there was an extremely loud bang in the room some distance away from the cabinet. I was personally almost sure that the floor tiles must have been shattered by the force of the chair dropping onto them with David still in it but – in fact – no damage was sustained by either the chair or the floor tiles. Under the scrutiny of the independent checkers, all the bonds were checked and found to be still secured – just as they had been at the beginning of the séance. The wire cutters were produced, and the bonds were carefully cut to release the medium from the chair, from whence he was taken away for a welcome cup of tea and a ‘chocolate fix’.
Once again, we had witnessed a very successful and amazing display of physical communication with the spirit world!!
Friday 26th August 2011
Now we come to the third and final sitting of this Fabulous Festival which – by the way – is to become an annual event, although next year it will be taking place (with David Thompson and Christine Morgan) during the latter part of September………… Anyone interested should make a note in their diaries to watch out for the announcement soon; as we can guarantee that the bookings will come in thick and fast after this year’s event.
In the meantime, there is a two-day workshop on trance and physical mediumship – finishing in a séance, with UK Physical Medium Scott Milligan at the Acacia Centre in Spain on November 11th and 12th this year. Unfortunately, there are only 25 places available (of which 10 are already booked!!). Kai Muegge will also be at the Acacia Centre for a week in February next year.
However, back to the present. For Sandra and I this third sitting provided amazing EVIDENCE!!!! We live about 40 miles away from the Acacia Centre so have been travelling daily to the Festival. Before we left our home in the morning, there were a couple of bits of psychic activity in our apartment. This is nothing new for us, but we noticed it on Friday. Just a plug placed in the bath without our knowledge, and signs of tampering with the receiver box on our television. We put it down at the time to Timmy – David’s child guide, and thought no more about it. We have 4 cats. Three were in the apartment when we left, but the fourth – a very large cat named – yes – ‘Timmy’ was outside, and locked out of the upstairs apartment. When we arrived home after the séance on Friday, there were 4 cats indoors!!!! Timmy had been apported through a wall and locked door into our home!!!!
Once again, I urge you all to read these reports of the three séances in chronological order, as the first two reports contain the most information on the protocols and checks instituted on medium David Thomson, and safety measures amongst all the sitters for his protection during the séances. I will not repeat everything I have already reported on in the other two – just the important points.
Prior to the séance, David Thompson gave his usual preparatory talk to everybody who would be sitting that evening. Eight of the people had not sat previously in any other séance that week. Two new ‘Independent Checkers’ were chosen to observe the preparations for the séance; to search the séance room beforehand – then satisfy themselves that the restraints used to strap David into his chair were totally secure; thus preventing him from any possibility of leaving his seat during the séance. For this séance, the ‘checkers’ were: David Darnborough and a lady called Giulia. I was once again asked to oversee the whole process of preparation for the séance (a duty I had gladly undertaken for the whole of the week), and to lead some of the sitters into the séance room, where they were allocated appropriate seats.
As before, there were 35 sitters, plus the medium, who were all seated around the outer walls of the séance room. All – including Christine and David – were thoroughly searched beforehand by volunteers, as delegates were only allowed to take glasses, hearing aids and a tissue into the room. When the delegates entered, they were finally scanned with a metal detector. The safety of the medium is paramount, and David (as an ectoplasmic-based medium) literally puts his life on the line every time he sits for phenomena.
The room had been thoroughly searched; the medium’s chair (which in this case belonged to Sandra and I); the underside of delegates’ chairs, the cabinet – inside and out, plus the séance equipment. This consisted of séance trumpet and small luminous plaque (which were placed in a black bag until asked for by the spirit guides); two drumsticks (each with a small piece of luminous tape at their ends); a mouth organ and small horn. The CD player, which was used for background music, was also examined carefully. This was to be operated by Sarah (A member of the Silver Cord Circle), and was situated close to me.
A recording device was examined, and hung from a light fitting. One interesting point to make here – which I had previously forgotten – was the fact that during the first (Monday) séance, the microphone on this recording device had not been connected during the séance (a small mistake), but the device nevertheless fully recorded the séance!!! Technically, an impossibility; but it actually happened!!!
As before, David’s clothes and shoes were carefully examined by the ‘independent checkers’, who noted the softness of the soles on his shoes (worn to cushion the hard impact on the unconscious medium’s feet caused when he and the chair were levitated and dropped at the end of the séance). Any sounds that could have been made by the soft soles of these shoes walking across the tiled floor of the séance room could never have been confused with the sounds made by heavier shoes or boots worn by the materialised spirit personalities during the séance.
In front of the seated delegates, David was then thoroughly strapped into the chair by his arms and legs, using a combination of leather straps and cable ties. A gag was fitted into David’s mouth; this was knotted behind his neck and secured with tight cable ties. There was absolutely no way he could have moved from his seat during the séance. I was satisfied that this was the case; the ‘independent checkers’ confirmed that they were satisfied too. Finally, an old woollen cardigan was worn by David over his top. This was buttoned up normally in front of him, with the buttons also being secured by cable ties.
The fastened cable ties themselves could not be removed without a wire cutter. For the duration of the séance, this was kept safe by ‘independent checker’ David Darnborough, who was sitting next to Sandra on one side of the cabinet. A small standard lamp – used for minimum lighting till everybody was settled – was taken out of the room by Rob McLernon, together with the torch that had been used by Christine whilst David was being bound to the chair. The door to the séance room was sealed by Rob; the key given to ‘Independent Checker’ Giulia to keep throughout the séance.
Christine Morgan said an opening prayer and the séance started, with Sarah playing the same 4 pieces of music that had been played at the previous two séances, whilst the delegates sang or lah-lah’d lustily. As the last strains of ‘Over the Rainbow’ died away, we were greeted by the independent voice of William Cadwell – David’s chief guide. All delegates were asked to hold hands at this point – whilst ectoplasm was present and moving round the séance room. William then walked out of the cabinet, and over to David Darnborough, who was seated near the corner to the right of the cabinet. The loud sound made by William’s boots/shoes on the tiled floor was very loud and distinctive; totally unlike the sound made by the trainers worn by the medium.
William thanked David for his cooperation in his role as ‘Independent Checker’. As in previous séances, he asked if David was happy for him to approach and then touch him. Of course, David was happy with this. Just before William materialised his hands fully, there was the now familiar sound of ‘regurgitating ectoplasm’. This was repeated every time William approached another sitter, and when other spirit personalities materialised. William moved away from David, and came to the corner to the left of the cabinet, where ‘Independent Checker’ Giulia was sitting (next but one to me). He thanked her for her temporary duties, and touched her on her head. All sitters who were touched in this way by William were able to confirm that William’s hand was extremely large, whilst the hands of the medium were quite small.
William stated that the grandfather of delegate Katja (who is German) was intending to speak to her tonight – hopefully in her native language. He commented (too much laughter) that ‘Young David doesn’t have much luck with his own language – let alone German’, so he would try and help the German communicator to speak. Several questions were put to William by different sitters. As before, William’s answers were quick, spontaneous and precise. Each time he approached the questioner, he interacted physically with them by touching them, sometimes touching their feet gently with his boots. Never did William have the slightest difficulty in moving around the séance room in the dark. He travelled immediately to those he wanted to speak to. After 38 years of involvement in séances and experimental sittings, I can myself assure everybody exactly how difficult and disorientating it is to navigate accurately in a totally dark room. In fact, at one of the earlier séances, when Rob McLernon attempted to open the séance room door after a sitting, it was discovered he was trying to put the room key into the side of the cabinet instead of the door!!!
As William left, the child guide ‘Timmy’ manifested. He asked for the trumpet and drumsticks, which Christine took out of their bag and placed in front of the cabinet (whilst still holding the hand of the sitter next to her) before returning to her seat. Sarah was asked to play an extremely lively tune. She did as she was asked, and Timmy controlled an amazing display of aerobatics with the trumpet levitating and shooting about the room at supersonic speeds – much faster than could ever have been achieved by a human agency. The distance covered by the trumpet in microseconds was amazing; with the trumpet travelling to every part of the room without exception (bearing in mind that the room was about 20 feet square). Occasionally, the trumpet would lightly touch one of the sitters briefly before shooting off again at great speed.
Timmy continued with a semi-professional display of drumming, using the luminous drumsticks set out by Christine. He was very good at this, and again lightly touched sitters around the room with these musical props. As that ended, he reverted to his ‘other’ job of helping personal communicators to speak to their loved ones. He attempted to bring Katja’s grandfather, but had some difficulty, so had to ask for the help of David’s secondary guide ‘Jack’ Jack came to talk to us and explained that he would help the gentleman, who was then able to communicate with Katja in German. The medium has no knowledge whatsoever of this language, although I do. I can therefore verify that Katja’s grandfather was speaking to her in perfect German.
Timmy left after this communication. Sarah played another song. As the familiar song ‘Jerusalem’ began to fill the air, I had an odd feeling that a friend of ours might appear. How right that was!!!!
A loud and clear voice familiar to millions filled the air: “My name is Winston Churchill, and I want to speak to Robin Foy!” I was – of course – delighted. ‘Winnie’ has been a very dear friend for 38 years!!! Winston addressed Sandra as well, and told us: “Don’t ever think that we would abandon you!!!” He stated that when all of our Scole spirit team had spoken to us in independent ‘energy voices’ in France in 2007 (through Scottish Physical Mediums Tom and Linda Anderson), the information they had given us about our future work had been 100% genuine and 100% correct. This was amazing evidence for Sandra and I. Christine and David (and everybody else who was present at this séance) had no idea about our sittings in France; who had been there or what had been discussed.
Winston walked across the room to where Sandra was sitting, and chatted with her for a while, asking ‘Have you had a row? Why aren’t you together??” As it happens, we had simply sat where instructed, but we had a laugh with Winnie, who also reminded us of the pleasant chats we had with him in the past, saying he missed them. Most certainly, we did as well. It was no surprise to us that Winston could speak so well and so clearly; he has manifested through the use of ectoplasm many times.
The next communicator, however, was not so experienced in the use of ectoplasm. In fact, as a genteel Victorian lady, she would probably have considered the idea of ectoplasm almost distasteful. However – she loved us enough to make the attempt at this séance. This was our own dear guide (and member of our spirit team at Scole) Emily Bradshaw. She managed to say that her name was ‘Emily’, and promised that she would materialise in the light in future. William told us that Emily was frustrated that she was unable to get her voice ‘quite right’ this time. Unfortunately, she was also unable to sustain the communication, as the ectoplasmic-based way was not familiar to her – having concentrated on the energy-based phenomena. Nevertheless, it was wonderful to hear from her on this joyous occasion.
The next spirit visitor was Kenneth Williams, who materialised close to me, and spoke to one of his dearest friends – Carol Hawkins – who was present. He spoke of a couple of ‘Carry On’ films they had appeared in together when he was alive, and joked about one of Timmy’s drumsticks still being stuck in the ectoplasm. Kenneth spoke for a while, and then left. He was followed by the materialised Quentin Crisp, who joked happily with us all. Carol’s partner Martin reminded her of another occasion – with a different physical medium – when Kenny Williams had spoken to her before and – as on this occasion, Kenny had been followed by Quentin Crisp.
Finally, Louis Armstrong came to speak and to sing – once again – his hit song ‘Hello Dolly’ for us; dancing and clapping his hands as he did so. The sound of his boots on the floor was very loud. It was quite obvious to us all that he was NOT wearing trainers!!!
William Cadwell then returned to say farewell. He thanked Barbara and Rob; Sandra and I for our efforts in putting together this very successful ‘Festival of Physical Mediumship’, and confirmed that we would be seeing more of David and Christine at the Acacia centre in the future.
As William faded away, there was one more extremely loud bang from the centre of the room, as David (still seated in his chair) was levitated, complete with chair, and dropped onto the tile floor, some 4 metres away from the cabinet. This time, David was still entranced; the chair had been turned round by 180 degrees, and was facing the cabinet. The ‘coming-out music was played by Sarah, and David gradually came out of his deep trance. The ‘independent checkers’ supervised his being cut free from his bonds – which they had previously confirmed were still all tightly in place, including the gag which would have prevented David from speaking coherently at all during the session. For the third time this week, the old cardigan had been reversed so that it was now ‘back to front’, but still securely tied around the buttons. It too had to be cut off!!
Ann Harrison- Psychic Researcher.
A Festival of Physical Mediumship at Acacia Centre, 21st -26th August 2011
This week the Acacia Centre in the Murcia region of Spain held it’s first International Festival of Physical Mediumship and what a great week it has been – full of laughter, friendliness and phenomena – as well as fascinating ‘educational’ sessions on trance, physical and mental mediumship.
People came from across the world, some staying all week, others just 2 days – Circle members came in support, from Australia and England; and there were participants from Brazil, Portugal, Florida and Los Angeles; from Norway and Sweden, Denmark, Switzerland, UK and all over Spain – truly International and with one purpose to touch the Spirit and join the two worlds together. Some were experienced but most were first time sitters.
Firstly, our most profound thanks must go to Robert and Barbara McLernon, whose centre it is, for all the extremely hard work they have put into preparing for this week.
Just less than 2 years ago the whole garden and purpose built séance room were under 2 feet of water as storm water poured down from the adjacent higher orange and lemon groves.
When the water drained away the whole garden and building were coated in stinking mud.
Determined to have not only the building restored but as much of the garden as possible these last few weeks they personally have been reconstructing the inspirational labyrinth and shovelling 13 tons of granite chippings over the old mud coated chippings so the garden was a pleasant place to walk and sit in.
The séance room, thanks to the expertise of a member of their home circle, was completely lined with wood and new doors and entrance added to make it totally light proof. An efficient quiet air conditioning unit was the finishing touch for comfort in the 30+ degree weather.
The swimming pool beside the separate teaching room was sparkling and available for use but most of us just sat with our feet in it to cool down during lunch and tea breaks.
The week started on Sunday afternoon with David and Christine talking about trance and his development. This was followed in the evening session by David being entranced and his guide William answering questions from the audience – some very good answers too.
I noticed particularly when David speaks naturally he has the Londoners’ ‘f’ instead of ‘th’ – like Billy Cotton’s ‘forty fousand feathers on a frush’ – for those old enough to remember it. When William spoke this aberration was absent.
He explained to us that ectoplasm was used to coat David’s vocal cords so that he could speak in his voice but because the ectoplasm was still within the body the light of the room was not affecting its production. A most enjoyable evening with lots of humour.
Monday afternoon saw two speakers relating occurrences in two very different circles. I told them of the development, with photographs, of the ectoplasmic mediumship of Minnie Harrison and it felt at times as though it was Tom telling the stories, – and just as he used to do I also ran out of time. After a short break Robin Foy connected his laptop to the projector and told everyone of the very different energy based phenomena they had in the Scole Circle.
It was a good foundation and probably ‘mind-boggling’ for many who were attending a physical mediumship event for the first time and had never sat in a physical circle before – as they were about to do. The excitement and energy were building and people were bonding together.
At 7pm we all gathered in the teaching room in preparation for the séance. David spoke to us for quite a time before Christine took over to give us instructions as to what was expected of us.
To sing along enthusiastically – even if you don’t know the words –‘lah lah’ it and particularly the second one which is an Irish jig – an audition for River Dance but with the mouth, not hands and feet – no clapping.
To join hands with the person next to you whenever she told us to – which was whenever any phenomena was about to happen and keep hold until it had finished.
Mind you we were so close together our shoulders were touching the people either side of us so you knew that they hadn’t moved out of their seats but by holding hands no-one could grab or swipe at anything that came near, as had happened once, we were told, when a trumpet had come very close to someone’s face and David suffered burns as the ectoplasm retreated rapidly.
To keep as still as possible and feet in close to your chair which is normal in other circles I’ve sat in.
David selected the 2 independent checkers, one man and one woman, who were previously unknown to him (and in fact on both evenings I sat the 2 men had not even been at any of the talks but only arrived for the séance that particular evening).
Their job was to:
1. check the séance room, cabinet and chair and its bindings that secure David’s arms and legs, the length of material that is used as a gag, the ‘trumpet’ and its bag, the luminous plaque, drumsticks, harmonica, and horn.
2. Do a body check on him Christine and the two other circle members who had travelled to be there.
3. Select and check the strength of the cable ties which were to be used to secure the fastenings on the bindings and the gag and the smaller ones which secure the buttonholes of the cardigan once David has buttoned himself into it with the buttons down the front.
Having removed belts and all jewellery, or taped over rings that could not be removed, to reduce any adverse interaction of the energy/ectoplasm with metals, we were all given a body check to make sure we were carrying nothing into the room.
We were taken across in groups to the porch entrance to the séance room where we removed our shoes before stepping inside on to the cool tiled floor where David ran a metal detecting wand over each of us before directing us to a seat. Where two people wanted to sit next to each other this was allowed. There were around 12 chairs down each of three sides of the room and 2 to3 each side of the cabinet but a few feet away. Once we were all in place the independent checkers carried out the checks on David and the circle members. The cardigan was secured and its ties checked.
David was fastened into the chair and each fastening over bound with a cable tie then Christine gagged his mouth tightly and a cable tie was closed over the knot at the back of his neck. Finally the curtains are dropped over the front of the cabinet
This done the checkers took their places, one either side of the cabinet, the man next to Christine at the left of the cabinet (as we look at it) and the woman next to Sarah, the circle member who was controlling the music player, on the right. The other visiting circle member sat amongst the rest of the sitters.
Now all was ready, the stand lamp by which the room had been lit was unplugged and placed outside the door so too was the torch by which the binds had been checked in the cabinet. Robert then locked the door and sealed the blackout so the only light in the room was from the small luminous tabs on the CD player to enable Sarah to find the buttons.
On the Monday evening after we had started it was noticed there was a very faint glow from the covered display panel of the air conditioning but William said it would not cause a problem and on the Wednesday more tape had solved that problem.
The key was handed to Christine to give to the male checker sitting beside her on the opposite side of the cabinet from the door. If the door, the only opening into that room, had been opened daylight would have streamed in, so of necessity it had to be locked.
After an opening prayer Christine called for the music and we sang, hummed, lahlahed – whatever – with gusto to ‘Search for the hero inside yourself’, dodiddo’d to the Irish jig, joined in the bits we knew in ‘True colours’ and ‘Somewhere over the rainbow’. A great feeling of joy and laughter filled the room, at last we were there and we were ready.
We heard a cultured voice speaking and Christine called for us to join hands which we did.
It was William welcoming us all and after speaking for a while he called for questions and when someone asked a question he would ask if he could approach them, walk over to them and stand in front of them then ask if he could touch them and a large hand would be placed on their head – once or twice the person thought it was two hands it was so large. Occasionally a cheek was stroked too. (David’s hands are quite small.)
When he returned to the cabinet we were permitted to release hands, which was a relief as they were getting very sweaty. But in no time Timmy, the young boy, called for the trumpet which Christine placed in front of the cabinet and having joined hands again we were treated to an amazing light display from the luminous band on the large end as the trumpet was manipulated rapidly from one side of the room to the other. Looping and swirling, faster and further than I have witnessed before banging on the top of the cabinet and striking the blades of the overhead fan (stationary) and the ceiling. It came close to knees and heads, sometimes pausing to prod someone in the chest before it was away again – great fun, causing lots of laughter and again raising the vibrations to a new high. Then the trumpet was finished with and it was returned to Christine to be put back into its bag to hide the luminous band.
Timmy also went around the circle touching people and trying to separate their hands, prising apart fingers so they could feel his tiny fingers. Robert described them as being as small as his 5-year-old granddaughter’s fingers and there was certainly no one as small as that in the room that night.
On the Wednesday night we were told that there was more energy than Monday and so they could show his fingers against a luminous plaque. This was carried around the circle so everyone could see tiny slim fingers silhouetted against the top edge of the bright plaque. For the sceptics – if those marks had been on the plaque when it was examined they would surely have been seen by the independent checkers.
But back to Monday. It was now time for personal contacts and to my delight Timmy asked if there was an ‘Ann’. I replied there was and he told me he had two very important people coming for me and one of them was a very big Indian so he couldn’t say no because he was frightened of him.
But first there was another man… I was being told to encourage him to give the vibration for him to be able to draw close and I am familiar with that because of all the years I have sat with Stewart Alexander.
Faintly, I heard a familiar ‘Ann…’ and I called to him so he had my vibration and direction. I heard him walking haltingly towards me, my lovely Tom – just 10 months since he passed over. I believe he found it difficult because of the emotion of being together again as he said to me ‘I always was sensitive.’ – He did easily become emotional especially in ‘Ghost’. He said he had been beside me during the talk. Then, having placed his hands on either side of my head, he kissed me on the forehead.
He released me and walked across the room to speak to Robin and Robert who were sitting directly opposite me. As he went his voice became stronger and more like his own normal voice, so much so that one lady from Switzerland who has watched his video about 5 times said was definitely recognisable as Tom Harrison and this was backed up by Barbara, whom with Robert we have known since 2002 so they know Tom well.
Tom returned to the cabinet and we heard the gurgling sound made as the ectoplasm dematerialises and reforms almost instantly I heard heavy footsteps coming to towards me and felt in front of me a tall pillar of cold energy and from above my head came Sunrise’s special greeting to me. He then went on to say something else but until I can listen to the recording I shall not know what, as by now I was too overcome. It was just too wonderful – to have this special privilege of having my love and our special friend there in front of me. He made his way back to the cabinet and dematerialised.
Timmy then asked for Lynne or Linda There was only a Lynne sitting directly opposite the cabinet. Her father wished to come and speak to her.
This is her report
This was my first experience of sitting in this type of séance. I had been well versed as to what could happen and was looking forward to it.
The checking of the people taking part was thorough as was that of the tie restraints, the clothing, and the chair of our medium David Thompson.
The evening was full of the most amazing spiritual characters. They spoke in varying different voices with intelligence but also with a strong sense of humour.
My own father came through, he reminded me of a rabbit I had when I was young and I instantly remembered it. His voice was like I remembered it, firm but gentle although at first it was a little rasping. He told me that I was his “special little girl” which is what he used to call me when I was very young. He told me that he loved me and was proud of me. He cradled my face in both hands and kissed me on my forehead. I was talking back to him all the time calling him Dad like I used to.
It was without doubt a life changing moment, being made more memorable as my father and I had very little time together when he was alive.
The whole experience was one of total love and energy from every person and spirit present. I will never forget it.
Lynne Jones 24/08/2011
A wonderful harmonious night.
In the Wednesday séance two more ladies had personal encounters. The first had her grandfather and spirit guide build together and both stand in front of her at the same time to speak to her. This was a ‘first’ for the Circle of the Silver Cord.
The second lady had her father come to her and when she couldn’t remember a particular incident he told her that she always was scatterbrained, which she admitted was very evidential, as it was the sort of unjustified remark he would make.
This is part of what she wrote to me:
I was so excited when Tim, who encourages and helps spirits to come through, called my name out saying there was someone for me who seemed to be my father! Before I knew it, I heard my father’s voice about a foot in front of my face, talking to me from ‘thin air’. It was my father’s voice, unmistakeably. It actually sounded just like him! I knew he found it hard to come through and use the ectoplasm which I gather is hard for most people to use for the first time coming from the spirit world, but I kept encouraging him and he did a wonderful job of talking to me – his voice getting stronger and not only that but his character came through so well that he even managed to push one of my ‘buttons’ like he did on this side years ago! He talked to me about three evidential things… one was something way back in my childhood that I eventually remembered though I had wished at the time that he’d asked me something more recent, then he spoke to me about his mother regarding something that was a major hallmark of his whole life and supplied one of the most important missing pieces of a jigsaw for me (too long and personal to describe here) which was also something that I could verify later, independently, and then he told me how much he liked the paintings I’d been creating, also incredibly evidential, because for the week before the séance, in every spare moment I’d had over that previous week, I’d been creating some artwork and it was something I hadn’t done in several years now.. So it was very evidential all round. In fact not to put too fine a point on it, it blew my mind, and along with saying I missed him, and him saying he missed me, I was even more gobsmacked when I felt his two hands take hold of my head and plant an emphatic, real kiss on my forehead with his lips, that the whole séance room must have heard! After that the energy went and he left, to the sound of gurgling ectoplasm which is a hallmark sound of physical séances, leaving me absolutely amazed to have been able to have a one to one talk with my ‘departed’ father. It’s an experience that left me with such certainty about the spirit world and life ongoing there, it was fantastic, specially as I’d not had the opportunity to be around this kind of thing for a very long time. I feel very lucky indeed to have been able to have this experience. I feel truly exhilarated. Almost like having been on the most incredibly ‘holiday’ to another planet – (Louisa Livingstone)
On both of the evenings that I sat Quentin Crisp also came and entertained us with his smooth repartee and walking over to Robert McLernon on the Monday night, told him he had a transvestite friend with him who wanted to speak to Rob. It was, to Rob’s great delight, his guide ‘George’ – a flamboyant transvestite, who asked that he now be called ‘Georgina’. Rob declared it: ‘Brilliant’ – so infrequently does a trance medium have the chance to physically speak to their own guides. Then on the Wednesday evening some long-stemmed roses had been brought by Bill, the other Silver Cord Circle member (whose hand I had the pleasure of holding for most of that evening) to be given to ladies in the séance. Quentin took one from the vase between Christine and the cabinet and gave it to Dawn directly opposite the cabinet and a second rose was placed in the lap of Barbara, our hostess for the week.
Again on both the Monday and Wednesday evenings, the séances closed with the medium and his chair being levitated out of the cabinet and across the room to land some 3 metres in front of the cabinet. It landed with such a crash I thought some of the new tiles might have cracked. On the second occasion they brought David out of trance before they did it. We heard David say from within the cabinet, “I hate it when they do this.” We heard a small thud, which I suspect was David’s head against the cabinet top, before there was a loud crash and a scraping noise and David told us the chair was still moving.
The séance was now closed and the door unlocked for Robert to retrieve the light. Once we had illumination the independent checkers were called to inspect the binds; to note that the cable ties were still in place, over the knot of the gag, the buckles of the arm straps and securing David’s legs to the chair legs. The cardigan was now on back to front with all the ties still in place. The wire cutters which had been in the pocket of the male checker throughout the séance were now swiftly used to cut the ties so that the buckles could be undone and the cardigan removed.
On the Wednesday, of course, the gag was removed from David’s mouth before they brought him out of trance and William asked for this to be done at the time. Christine crossed the room with the key from the checker so that Rob could unlock the door to get the torch. The two checkers stood at the cabinet with the torch, watching as Christine eased the gag from between his lips and left it around his neck. They then returned to their seats, the torch was put outside and the door relocked before David was brought out of trance.
David was still in a very sensitive state, having been more than one and a half hours in trance, and noise was kept to a minimum until he had left the room for a welcome cup of tea. Then you can imagine the chatter that erupted in the room at the wonderful contact we had all had.
The two talks during the day on Wednesday by David and Christine about the Circle of the Silver Cord were entertaining and highly informative with David making use of the available projector to show us various pictures including those of apports and pictures taken of the ectoplasm in the circle.
Thursday saw a day of relaxing, sunbathing and exploring until the evening when David and Christine demonstrated their mental communication skills and a number of very detailed links were given, constrained a little in their flow by the recipients language difficulties.
And, of course, Tom finding he has a good link with Christine, having already made himself known to her in Australia, decided to close the evening by giving her lots of snippets about himself of which she could know nothing – even to the rum we used to put in our hot chocolate every morning, finishing the evening on laughter.
It was a good, if emotional, evening.
Friday started early (too early for me as I overslept) with a session by Christine on mental mediumship and a chance for a few to receive help with their development. One of the centre’s members was ‘persuaded’ to have a go and gave an excellent message whilst being unable to see or hear the recipient.
That evening in the séance having earlier asked a question of William about language in the spirit world her grandfather built and spoke to her in German, her first language.
This is what she wrote to me:
“With the help of another Spirit helper “Jack” my Granddad managed to speak to me in German… He said “mien Libelling” various times which means “my darling” and “das ist wunderbar” which means “this is wonderful” – unfortunately his voice was very quiet and I couldn’t get it all but Spirit Jack took over after my Granddad couldn’t stay any longer and said to me, “Your Grandfather says he is your Geistfuehrer, whatever a Geistfuehrer is, do I know what a Geistfuehrer is,” and he walked away from me mumbling about the word Geistfuehrer….. I then explained that Geistfuehrer simply means “guide” in English…. Later the lady who sat next to me confirmed that she understood German and it was audible to her as well…. Katja Symons
As many have said, with the checks that were in place, that no-one could move without others knowing – we had spirit there in that place and individuals had specific evidence that no one could have known.
The week was alive with love and we can only thank Robin and Sandra Foy for the input they have had in the organization, together with Robert and Barbara for opening their centre to the world, coping with sensitive people, and achieving a dream not only for themselves but for so many to come together from across the world.
Thank you and we look forward to the next
* PS. It wasn’t until Robin posted his account on PM4U that I remembered Emma Hardinge Britten coming through at the sitting on Monday and that beautiful voice. But her thanks must have been going to Linda Smith for all the work she did in raising the funds for the restoration and the memorial although Mavis Pitilla did put in a large effort into the project as well.
Then on Wednesday William Davenport came through in the séance. David had spoken about the work they had done at his grave during the afternoon so it was good to hear from him. And I have no doubts of the genuineness of both communications. Energy follows thought and we know if you think of a person they communicate on this level of life never mind the next where thought is all.