Scole Experiments(religion, spiritualism, and occult)
The central figure of the Scole Experiments is Robin Foy, a specialist in the paper industry. For more than twenty-five years he has dedicated himself to reviving the near-extinct practice of physical mediumship. He and his wife Sandra started a small research group in 1993. They met in the large basement of a rented house in Scole, Norfolk, England. In their sittings, they were contacted by a group of spirits led by an entity named Manu. Others in the group of spirits were John Paxton, Patrick McHenna, Raji, Edward Matthews, and Mrs. Emily Bradshaw. Communication was through Foy and his wife. As mediums, they would go into deep trance for the séances. These would last for two or three hours.
Near the end of 1994, word of the experiments became known outside the operating group. At that time the team of six people had started a newsletter titled the New Spiritual Scientist, to give details of what they were accomplishing. By 1995, the Society for Psychical Research (SPR) had become interested and began an investigation of the group and of the results so far obtained. These included direct voice communication, apports, and various spirit photographs, some taken by the members of the group, some by the spirits themselves, and some made without a camera.
The SPR investigators were Professor Arthur Ellison, Ralph Noyes (later replaced by Professor David Fontana, President of the society), and Montague Keen. It was quickly established that the spirit personalities were quite separate and distinct from the personalities of the mediums. There were constant demonstrations of floating lights or orbs, which “whirled around the room performing various manoeuvres. Occasionally, these lights would throw out beams, as well as pass through solid objects,” and a striking example of the materialization and dematerialization of a crystal. There were also spirit hands that moved and touched people, floating semi-transparent figures, and apports. Included in the apports were original copies of newspapers from 1944 and 1945. Sittings continued for more than two years, convincing the investigators that there was no fraud taking place. One of the precautions taken was to use luminous Velcro wrist straps on every person present in the room, so that any and every movement of the hands could be seen. To attempt to remove the wrist straps would have entailed the use of both hands and, no matter how slowly and carefully done, would have been heard.
The principle instrument was in the films. There were fifteen in all created during our investigation. Nearly all were attended by slightly different protocols. Most of the films were rolls of 35mm Polaroid which could be developed on the spot via an electrical development machine using chemical cartridges; some were Kodachrome, developed at Kodak’s plant in Wimbledon. Normally films were bought and handled throughout by the investigators, sometimes sealed in a plastic security bag, which the spirit communicators found it difficult but not impossible to penetrate; more often in a padlocked box placed on the séance room table or held in an investigator’s hand. Almost invariably the films remained untouched in their original tubes until taken out for development. The experiments were not always successful. Those which worked proved spectacular, the images being spread over most of the length of the roll. Some were deliberately aimed at setting us puzzles, and linking the message on the film with the preceding and succeeding discussions with the communicating “Team.”
Among the first images was a clearly printed stanza of a poem by Frederick W. H. Myers along with references, in French and Greek, to his obituary notice by Sir Oliver Lodge. Results were so amazing that other investigators wanted to experience them. Dr. Hans Schaer, Dr. Ernst Senkowski, Piers Eggett, Keith Mcquin Roberts, Dr. Rupert Sheldrake, and Professor Ivor Grattan-Guiness were some of them. All had many years experience investigating the paranormal. In the United States, sessions were attended by scientists from NASA, the Institute of Noetic Sciences, and representatives from Stanford University. It is reported that some fifteen scientists from the NASA group later formed their own psychic group to communicate with the spirits.
A 300-page scientific report was prepared for the Society for Psychical Research, validating the phenomena. According to Montague Keen, “None of our critics has been able to point to a single example of fraud or deception.”