A Rational Scientific Explanation For So-Called Psychic Phenomena

By Michael Roll
This article was published in Issue 32 of The Paranormal Review pp 21-23 (October, 2004)
Professors Richard Wiseman and Chris French are constantly appearing on television programmes putting forward the scientific case for oblivion, that the mind and brain are the same. So far no qualified scientists have been allowed to challenge this theory in the United Kingdom before millions of people.

Hardly anybody knows that there is another school of scientific thought that is diametrically opposed to the parapsychologists arguments that death is the end of everything (1). Until quite recently it was against the Broadcasting Act to talk about survival after death in a serious scientific manner in Great Britain. Following many complaints the Chairman of the Radio Authority (2), Lord Chalfont and his committee, have now removed these restrictive clauses and at last the scientific case for survival after death - against oblivion - is being presented on radio stations throughout the country.

On 24th December 2003 BBC Radio 4 featured a factual report of experiments that were carried out with a materialisation medium called Minnie Harrison. It was repeated on New Year's Day. What was unusual about this programme that gave convincing evidence that we all survive the death of our physical bodies, and that the invisible part of the universe is teeming with life, is that we were spared the usual hatchet job from parapsychologists masquerading as experts on the subject. Instead the psychologist who was invited to comment on the programme was Professor David Fontana, a former President of the Society for Psychical Research. A scientist with a good track record of balancing the arguments of "experts" that until now have monopolised media and educational outlets whenever the subject of survival after death cropped up.

Paradoxically, now that we are allowed a balance on radio programmes this does not apply to television programmes in the UK. Following the phenomenal success of the Living TV channel, featuring mediums giving hope and comfort to bereaved people, the Independent Television Commission (ITC) has recently strengthened its guidelines regarding what information the public are allowed to receive. A scientific balance is only allowed on radio programmes in the UK when the subject of survival after death is discussed, not on television programmes!

The Experimental Proof of Survival After Death

For over 100 years we have had the experimental scientific proof that we all survive the death of our physical bodies, that the living mind separates from the dead brain. Refer to the repeatable experiments under laboratory conditions that were carried out by Sir William Crookes (3), holder of The Order of Merit and President of the Royal Society. His results were published in The Quarterly Journal of Science in 1874. These experiments proving survival were subsequently repeated by international teams of scientists - The Nobel Laureate for Medical Science, Professor Charles Richet (4) (French team), Professor von Schrenck Notzing (5) (German team), Dr. Glen Hamilton (6) (Canadian team) and Dr. W.J. Crawford (7) (Irish team). There are two reasons why this revolutionary discovery in physics failed to have the impact that it should have done.

1.These experiments lacked the mathematical theory to back up what was being observed. The Nobel Laureate for physics, Professor Richard Feynman (8), makes it clear how important this is:
"If your mathematical theories do not match the experiment, then they are wrong."
2.The "dead" person Katie King, who materialised from the etheric world, had died so long ago that Sir William Crookes was unable to get living friends and relations to take part in his repeatable experiments.

Thanks to recent exciting discoveries in subatomic physics, the study of the invisible part of the universe, and the published work of Ronald Pearson (9), we now have the missing mathematical theory that matches the pioneering experiments. The reports of Jesus physically appearing in front of his disciples after he was killed are no longer to be considered as supernatural - above or beyond the laws of nature. At last we now know exactly where the so-called next world is. It is all around us, the life force that drives our physical bodies carries on operating on another wavelength at what we call death. This part of the universe that is normally out of range of our five physical senses. It never crossed the mind of Sir William Crookes (10) that he was witnessing anything other than natural and normal forces. This is because he was the pioneer of subatomic physics. For confirmation of this statement look up x-rays in the encyclopaedia and on the Internet.

Contemporary Experiments

Following contemporary experiments with materialisation mediums we have been able to provide what was missing from Sir William Crookes's experiments. Recently deceased people have been physically reunited with friends and relations who are still on Earth. Ever since the death of the materialisation medium Helen Duncan (11) in 1956 following a police raid, every scientist reading the subject of survival after death as a branch of physics has been eagerly waiting for another first class medium like her to come on the scene. This is because it's now essential to repeat the pioneering experiments using the sophisticated recording equipment that we now have available to us.

Unfortunately hardly any scientific work was carried out with Helen Duncan. However, we do have the report that was submitted by a team of magicians headed by William Goldston, the founder of the Magician's Club. They were astounded when their "dead" magician friend, The Great Lafayette, materialised and spoke to them. Goldston sent a report to Psychic News confirming that Helen Duncan's mediumship was absolutely genuine and that no magician could possibly duplicate the phenomena that he and his fellow magicians had witnessed.Andrew Collins in his book The Circlemakers (ABC Books 1992) tells the story of how in 1982 the journalist Alan Cleaver carried out the scientific exercise of getting Helen Duncan's daughter, Gena Brealey, to witness an experiment that was being carried out with a materialisation medium from the Midlands. The "dead" Scottish medium was materialising on a regular basis. There is no way a daughter could be taken in by an impostor impersonating her mother. Gena came away from this meeting fully convinced that the medium was not a fraud and that she had indeed been talking to her "dead" mother for an hour. A complete account of this meeting between "dead" mother and daughter is given in Issue 3 of Anomaly the journal of the Association of the Scientific Study of Anomalous Phenomena (ASSAP) in March 1987.

A great deal more important preliminary scientific work has been carried out with this contemporary materialisation medium. Researchers were first alerted to the fact that another fully developed physical medium was operating in England following a front page report in Psychic News on 26 February 1983. This was written by Alan E. Crossley, arguably the world's foremost expert on this type of mediumship, friend and biographer of Helen Duncan.

Parents Reunited With Their "Dead" Children

By the time I witnessed the mediumship of Rita Goold (12) in March and April 1983 more experiments had been carried out reuniting families with their "dead" loved ones. All these experiments took place in the house of Barry and Pat Jeffery. They have been physically reunited with their "dead" 16 year old son in the course of hundreds of repeatable experiments. Michael Jeffery died in a motorcycle accident.

The same thing has happened to Gwen and Alf Byrne. They have been physically reunited with their "dead" son Russell on scores of occasions. He had died of cancer at the age of nine, 20 years before he first appeared at this experiment. Gwen tells her wonderful story in her book "Russell" (13) which is giving great hope and comfort to grieving parents all over the world.

In 1983 Professor Archie Roy (14) and other members of the Society for Psychical Research made a determined effort to capture on film all these experiments in order to share this proof of survival after death with as many people as possible. Sadly these researchers were thwarted by the medium withdrawing her services just as the team were about to go in with the infra-red cameras.

The medium Rita Goold was on the receiving end of frightening anonymous telephone threats warning her of dire consequences if she went ahead with the scientific experiments. Vicious lies were also being spread to discredit and blacken her character. Rita was deeply hurt because she had dedicated her gift to bringing enlightenment to humanity. She had flatly refused to take one penny for the incredible inconvenience that she was subjected to. In fact she and her hosts, Barry and Pat Jeffery, were out of pocket every time a demonstration took place, all the visitors were fed. Everything now rests on another fully developed materialisation medium coming forward and letting scientists of the calibre of Professor Archie Roy complete their experiments.

Subatomic Physics - the Study of the Invisible Part of the Universe

We now know that what has been known as psychic phenomena and the religion of Spiritualism is in fact a branch of physics that should be called "subatomic phenomena". The first principal of Birmingham University, Sir Oliver Lodge (15), said to the outstanding medium Bertha Harris, "Cut out the Spiritualist jargon." He then published his paper The Mode of Future Existence linking the subject of survival after death with subatomic physics in The Queen's Hospital Annual in 1933 (Birmingham).

We are all going to die and we have all lost loved ones, therefore everybody in the world is entitled to have access to this secular scientific case for survival, to accept or reject as the case may be. Let's hope in the future all television producers will feature qualified scientists like doctors Sam Parnia and Peter Fenwick or professors Archie Roy, David Fontana and Peter Wadhams (16) who have started from the base that the mind and brain are separate. Surely a balance on all media and educational outlets is not too much to ask whenever there is a programme about survival after death? This will fall in line with Article 19 of The United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights:
"Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression: this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference, and to seek, receive, and impart information and ideas through any media, and regardless of frontiers."


1. Roll, Michael. "The Scientific Proof of Survival After Death"
2.Psychic News February 26, 1994 Front page report. Survival to be given fair hearing on radio. Radio Authority sends memo to every station.
3.Medhurst, Dr. R.G."Crookes and the Spirit World" 1972 (Souvenir) ISBN 0 285 62037 1Roller, Gilbert. Voice From Beyond 1975 (Popular Library, New York)
4.Richet, Prof. Charles. Nobel Laureate for Medical Science. "Thirty Years of Psychical Research" 1923 (W. Collins & Son).
5.Notzing, Prof. Baron von Schrenck. "Phenomena of Materialisations" 1923 (Kegan Paul. Trench Trubner).
6.Hamilton, Dr. T. Glen. "Intention and Survival". 1942 (Regency Press)
7.Crawford, Dr. W.J. "The Reality of Psychical Phenomena" 1918 (E.P. Dutton & Co)
8.Feynman, Prof. Richard P. "QED" 1985 (Princeton University Press) ISBN 0 691 02417 0
9.Pearson, R.D. "An Alternative to Relativity Including Quantum Gravitation" Peer-refereed and published by The Russian Academy of Sciences, St. Petersburg 1993Pearson, R.D. "Quantum Gravitation and the Structured Ether" 1994. The Russian Academy of Sciences, St. Petersburg.
Consciousness as a Sub-quantum Phenomenon - Ronald Pearson's paper
Published in the journal Frontier Perspectives, Temple University, Philadelphia, USA. Volume 6. No. 2, Spring/Summer 1997 (pp70-78). ISSN: 1062-4767
Pearson, R.D. Intelligence Behind The Universe 1990 (The Headquarters Publishing Co. Ltd.) ISBN 0 947823 21 2
10.Crookes, Sir William. "Experimental Investigation of a New Force" July 1st, 1871 Quarterly Journal of Science.
11.Crossley, Alan E. "The Story of Helen Duncan" 1975 (Arthur H. Stockwell) ISBN 7223 0840-X Cassirer, Manfred. "Medium on Trial" 1996 (PN Publishing)Barbanell, Maurice. "The Case of Helen Duncan" 1945 (Psychic Book Club)
12.Roll, Michael. "The Rita Goold Report" - Families Physically Reunited After Death. Article published in Psychic News 12th September, 1992
13.Byrne, Gwen. "Russell" 1994
14.Recording the Proof of Survival - Letter from Prof. Archie Roy to Michael Roll (August 22, 1983)
15.Meek, George W. "From Séance to Science" 1973 (Regency Press)
16. Wadhams, Prof. Peter. (Ocean Physics) Cambridge University, Radio Broadcast with Jeff Rense
The Jeff Rense Program - Survival After Death as a Branch of Physics
Broadcast on March 18, 2003, Michael Roll, Prof. Peter Wadhams, and John Samson discussed photographs of materialisation phenomena taken by Sir William Crookes and others.

Other References for Researchers

Findlay, Arthur. "On the Edge of the Etheric" 1931.
Essen, Dr. Louis D.Sc. FRS. OBE. Relativity - Joke or Swindle? (Electronics & Wireless World). This criticism of Einstein's Theory of Relativity by the inventor of the atomic clock is censored in all mainstream scientific publications. It was Rutherford who thought Einstein's Theory of Relativity was a joke!
Crookes, Sir William. "Specialist of Specialists" Article in Quarterly Journal of Science defending himself after an anonymous attack was published in the Quarterly Review by a biologist from London University Prof W. B Carpenter.
Baird, John Logie. "Sermons, Soap and Television" 1988 (Royal Television Society) The inventor of television tells how fingerprints taken at a materialisation experiment matched the prints on the dead physical body. ISBN 1 8715 27 007
Milton, Richard. "Forbidden Science" 1994 (Fourth Estate Ltd.)
Lodge, Sir Oliver FRS. "Ether and Reality" 1925 (Hodder & Stoughton)
Lodge, Sir Oliver FRS. "Psychic Science" contribution to the encyclopaedia The Outline of Science Volume 2 (George Newnes Ltd. London)
Alan Pemberton's Video - The Science of Eternity (1 hour, 1994) - New Scientific and Personal Evidence that the Subject of Life After Death is a Branch of Physics. Tom Harrison covers what was said on BBC Radio 4' "Christmas Spirits" (broadcast in December 2003); Gwen and Alf Byrne tell how they have physically met their "dead" son Russell on many occasions; Ronald Pearson talked about the scientific backup.