Survival After Death as a Branch of Physics

Jeff Rense Program - March 18, 2003 - Transcript (edited)
Note: This transcript may contain some errors.
Discussing photographs of materialisations taken by Sir William Crookes (and others)

Talking to Jeff Rense:
Michael Roll, Peter Wadhams, John Samson
JR: And welcome back, glad you're with us tonight. This is going to be another memorable program. We have done several in the past, of course, on the issue of survival after death. The most notable, I think, without question have been those with Gary Schwartz and Ron Pearson, and Michael Roll.

Back with us tonight: Michael Roll.
And Professor Peter Wadhams.
We're very honoured to have Peter back, he, of course, of Cambridge University.
He's a remarkable man.
John Samson will be joining us later on as well.

Michael Roll has been involved with several sterling visits to this program over the last several years.
He, along with Ron Pearson have really been standing up and pushing back the darkness to try to open up the issue, at least for discussion, in quarters that won't usually discuss this issue of Survival After Death as a Branch of - not Metaphysics or the "Paranormal"- but Physics.

Survival After Death as a Branch of Physics.

Need to keep that in mind.

I hope you're online tonight, because we're going to be looking at a lot of very interesting pictures that came out of the early part of the last century, having to do with the work of Sir William Crookes and others. It is an extraordinary field, these are extraordinary guests we have on the program tonight. And, of course, it may be the biggest question of all to most of you:

What happens when we die?

Do we really die?

Or is it just like your car finally breaks down, and you get out and you keep right on moving ahead?

Michael Roll welcome back.

MR: Hello, Jeff. Good to hear you again.

JR: Thank you, it's very nice to have you on the phone. Here's the question I always ask my UK guests: Did you stay up or did you get up?

MR: No, I set my alarm.

JR: You're tough. It's 3am in the UK right now, middle of the night. Isn't that always the easiest time to work?
Michael is here and always holds forth brilliantly.

Welcome, Professor Peter Wadhams, he's with us right now. Are you there, Peter?

PW: Yes

JR: Nice to have you back.

PW: Yes, thanks very much. Nice to be here.

JR: Did you set your alarm as well, sir?

PW: Yes

JR: Michael, let's go back to you first and let me ask just a couple of generic questions. In general terms, you have been fighting with everything you have for rather a long time. How goes the war against the establishment, the entrenched who would rather not let this question see the light of day?

MR: Yes, I've only been fighting to present the case, as you know. And, thanks to the Jeff Rense Program going across the world and the Internet, the fight is over. The feedback tells me that I no longer have to fight. It's just gaining its own momentum, so to speak. You only have to tell people about the proof of survival. The same as the round-earthers only had to present their case and it was goodnight, the flat-earthers. Once people had both cases in front of them, the round earth and the flat earth, they all go with the round earth.
Once they have access to it.

JR: This is really a question that would be embraced by everyone with great vigour. It is certainly underlying everything we do on this planet, on this plane. The evidence as you and Ron Pearson and certainly Professor Wadhams have presented on this program and in other venues is not only overwhelming, but it is, I think, liberating in the greatest possible cosmic sense of it all. It makes things in a way much more tolerable, and Lord knows, the world has descended several notches, Michael, since you and I first talked.

MR: Oh yes, it's quite incredible what is happening. It seems to be all meant. I think people need this shake-up to make them take notice of what's going on.
And don't listen to the propaganda!

All they have to do is just look at our websites and everything is there. They're going to have to do a bit of study. You can't just listen to a broadcast and Bob's your uncle, sort of thing, you've got to follow up what we're saying and look at the references that we're giving.

JR: Look at the evidence and when you do that, all of a sudden lights start coming on, all over the place.

Michael, one other question for you, then we'll get to Professor Wadhams. The Queen Mother, now late Queen Mother, had a great deal of interest in this field. Would you tell me a little bit about her and her affections toward this issue of continuing life.

MR: The whole of the Royal Family, because of the work that Queen Victoria did.
Queen Victoria was absolutely devastated when she lost Prince Albert and she decided - of course, it was in Victorian times when Sir William Crookes first came on the scene - she ordered the finest medium in the country - a chap called Lees to come to her palace and this Lees fellow made contact immediately with Prince Albert.

JR: Was this at Buckingham?

MR: Yes, or one of the palaces anyway, and he made contact immediately with Prince Albert. It proved to Queen Victoria that it was definitely her husband by giving her crushing personal things that only they knew together. And she said: Right, Mr Lees, you've got to pack up and move into the palace. I want you here all the time. And Lees said: No, they're telling me from the next world, there's no need for me to do that because on your staff, you have a medium who is just as good as me, and he can make contact with Prince Albert.
Her gillie, whom we all know about, John Brown.
And that's why all these rumours about the Queen having an affair with John Brown came about. She was locked away in rooms with him. He was only making contact with her husband, you see.

JR: Far more exciting than an otherwise illicit liaison, I would think.

MR: That's right. Anyway, she passed this knowledge down to the whole of the Royal Family, and most of them have contacted mediums. And the Queen Mother did, Lillian Bailey made contact with her husband, King George VI.
So, they've been reading the subject.
They don't BELIEVE in it any more than I do, they accepted it, you see.

JR: I understand very well.

MR: You can't accept or reject something, as you know Jeff, unless you make a study of something. And people haven't had access to the proof of survival.
I'm not giving evidence - I'm only interested in presenting the PROOF: repeatable experiments under laboratory conditions, backed up with the mathematical theory.

And that's what's blocked. Evidence is being allowed through all over the world now. That wonderful American medium John Edwards is giving wonderful personal evidence to people. He's a mental medium, they give evidence, but there are materialisation mediums that give the crushing proof: repeatable experiments.

JR: It was about, well I guess a little over a hundred years ago, Professor Peter Wadhams, that in England the issue of studying this field really came into its own. It was very popular, especially in the parlours, not necessarily in mainstream science, and all of that - we'll get to that in a minute - but there was a very big movement of people who were fascinated with the idea of what they used to call then the "paranormal".

PW: Yes, it started off really as a popular thing, actually in America in 1848 with the Fox sisters. This very rapidly transferred to Britain as well, and did become a popular pastime, using a ouija board or to have a séance and try to contact your dead loved ones.

JR: They were very much into it, there was no television or radio back then, they had parlour get-togethers. This was very seriously approached recreation, as it were.

PW: Yes, I think because it started out that way, it was shunned somewhat by scientists, because it was a popular parlour pastime. So it took a while before scientists started to address it seriously. Of course, that's a problem that the subject itself has suffered from ever since, as it were.

JR: Indeed.
The issue of Professor Peter Wadhams getting involved with this field... Professionally, a lot of people would shy away from it, Peter, although you've stood very tall and been forthright about your association, your interest in this field.
How has it been professionally for you?

PW: I haven't been as involved professionally as many people. I do a different job as a scientist.

JR: With respect to your peers, perhaps snickering at you, or any of that kind of thing.

PW: In a way, I suppose there's an advantage in being in a place like Cambridge, because it does have a tradition of people in it being interested in psychical research because it was where the Society for Psychical Research itself was founded - in 1882. Most of the people who founded it were scientists from Cambridge. So, it has a tradition of at least tolerating people who do psychical research, whereas in many academic institutions, people like ??? are not even tolerated. They're forced out by a sort of inquisition, I suppose.

JR: Well, indeed. I didn't know that the roots of psychical research went back to Cambridge, at least to some degree. That's interesting.

PW: Yes, I think many of the most famous physicists of the late 19th century were interested in the subject, and in fact were members, if not active members of the Society when it was first founded.
If you look at the early issues of the proceedings of the Society for Psychical Research, which always had membership lists, they included the most famous scientists of the time.
So those people had at least prepared to take
??journal and lead the results of research, even if they weren't involved themselves in doing any research.
So that was a time - which passed, unfortunately - when it was regarded as a very respectable field of science.

JR: What is it that shut the door on that whole discipline?
Was there any one event or any one thing, a time in the early 20th century when things became uncomfortable for people?

PW: No, in fact, I think things got worse in the late 20th century. The early research of the scientists from the Society for Psychical Research was tremendous. Within about 20 years, they really established the existence of all the psychical phenomena that we recognise today:
telepathy, clairvoyance, and telekenesis, freak emission

They did research on these, they'd written books, they had assembled cases, they had done laboratory experiments.
The subject was nearly advanced by about 1900 - 1910 as it is today. That period, those heady days...
What the subject turned into was really statistical research, card guessing experiments. That became focused again in the United States, with the work of Rhine and so on at Duke University.
That was very very important research because it established statistically very very high levels of significance that these phenomena exist. And you would have thought that that would have given the subject respectability, but somehow it didn't seem to. It was the very fact that the phenomena had been shown to exist very demonstrably that put the conventional scientists off.

JR: They worked against it.

PW: You had to force them to confront the issue, and they didn't want to confront it.

JR: We're back.
Michael Roll, of course, "hangs out", as it were, at the website, which has been quite a beacon to a lot of researchers and people interested in this field. The Campaign for Philosophical Freedom

We're going to take a look at some photos in a little bit, and get some comments from Michael and Peter, and later on John Samson as well.

These are very interesting photographs. We'll talk more about them in a few minutes.

Sir William Crookes - we have talked about him and spoke of his work in the past, Michael. We need to start out from the place that would help most people understand who Sir William was and how important he was on the scene.
He was, in some descriptions, almost the Einstein of his day - he was a giant in his field. Tell us more about Sir William, if you would.

MR: I'd rather you went to Professor Wadhams for that.

JR: I wanted to get both of you, so...

MR: How I came across Sir William Crookes: My mother showed me this work right from birth, so I knew what a great scientist he was.

And Sir William Crookes came in to make a careful study of it, and that satisfied orthodox scientists because they thought: right, we'll get rid of this nonsense once and for all.
Luckily for us and for posterity, he came across a materialisation medium. Now, these are the mediums that can actually prove survival by repeatable experiments under laboratory conditions.

A young medium he came across was Florrie Cook. Every time Florrie went into a trance in the corner of the room, a few feet away from her materialised a person from the invisible part of the universe, called Katie King.
And he did these extraordinary experiments over and over again. And after a long time of doing repeatable experiments, he felt he could now publish, which he did. He published in the Quarterly Journal of Science, and of course, it really threw a spanner in the works, because orthodox scientists were expecting him to rubbish the whole thing. There he is, with these revolutionary photographs and reports.
This is the genuine phenomenon.

JR: We need to make a point that Sir William Crookes was not only the President of the Royal Society, but he was the pioneer of subatomic physics in his day. He was truly a giant in his time. He was there in the room when these photographs of so many cases were taken. He wasn't just handed photographs and he didn't bite on a hoax. He was there when the pictures were taken. That's really important.

MR: Yes, he invited his close scientists in to witness what was being produced. This is what is so exciting about it. And, as I say, he published in the Quarterly Journal of Science and it's still on record. Anybody can check it out, any time they like...

JR: That's amazing.

---BREAK--- (16:01)
JR: Peter, Sir William Crookes.
A giant, as I mentioned, in his time. Give us a little bit more on how this man's genius impacted science, and how much he stood to lose if it had been disclosed that he was involved with just one hoaxed photograph.

PW: He was one of the very great experimental scientists of the late Victorian era. There were really giants of science in those days, like Faraday, Lord Rayleigh, JJ Thompson, Kelvin, Oliver Lodge...
They were great people, they ranged across a wide range of fields. They weren't as confined as to narrow specialities as scientists are today. He was one of the greatest, he discovered the element Thallium, he was a Fellow of The Royal Society, he did a lot of the original research on cathode rays. We talk about the "Crookes Dark Space" in a discharge tube, which is actually where the discharge is actually due to electrons. He didn't quite discover the electron - that was later done by JJ Thompson - but he came very close to that, and he did some of the original research there.

He worked on radiation, you had the "Crookes Radiometer", as an instrument there.

He worked in a variety of fields: physics and chemistry, and was a great experimental scientist. You find his scientific papers are written in that wonderful way that late Victorian scientists so carefully described their experiments in great detail so that anybody reading the paper could repeat the experiment. Modern scientists often don't so that. And you could just see what a very fine and very meticulous, careful experimenter he was.

JR: Now I like the way you talk about scientists then being wide-ranging. They were multi-disciplinarians and I think above and beyond that, they were humanists. They were real human beings and they never lost sight of the fact that they were talking to the masses. They weren't just speaking amongst themselves in a cloistered little group of academicians and scientists in societies and so forth.

PW: Yes, they believed in the importance of what they were doing. they felt it was important for the progress of mankind that we should understand nature and the universe, our environment, and they felt that was a moral duty, that is was a noble cause. And also, it wasn't so much a career as it is now. Only very few scientists actually had proper financial support. Many of them were people of private means. Where today, it's a career and so people pursue that career in a fairly selfish way - as everybody does who has to earn a living - and to some extent, that's made a difference in that science is no longer regarded so much as a calling, or vocation, and more as a career, which is slightly reduces people with an uplifting moral view of what you're doing as a scientist.

JR: Michael Roll, let's set the stage for some of the photos we're going to be looking at now, if you would.
Tell us about this site, which is called "".

MR: Yes, Tom Jones, a 20 year old when he first contacted me. He came across my work and came to Bristol to see me, and was so thrilled with what I was presenting, he started to make a very careful study of it, and set up his own website. And he has managed to put many of the missing books on his website, and especially these photographs that we are talking about now.

I think Sir William Crookes took about 40 of these photographs during his studies with Florrie Cook and Katie King, and I expect you'll see the one there where he's got one of he famous surgeons of the day, actually taking pulse rates of the materialised person.

JR: We shall take a look at all these pictures one by one.
I think it is important to go back and revisit what I said a few minutes ago.
Even if one photograph that Crookes was involved with had been shown to be a hoax, the man's life and career would have been dashed on the rocks to a large degree.

MR: Indeed, and what most people don't know about because the experts that have crawled in to rubbish Sir William Crookes, which is what they do, nobody who support Crookes, like Professor Wadhams and myself, are allowed on media outlets in this country. But what people don't know is that after he published this work in 1874, then international teams of scientists repeated the same experiments with their own materialisation mediums.

That's the classic proof of survival.

But as you know, Jeff, the reason it didn't really break through, was they were nowhere near having the mathematical theory to back up such revolutionary experiments - People fully materialising in solid form from the invisible part of the universe - there's got to be a rational explanation to account for it.

JR: And that's where we point to the work of your colleague and friend, Ron Pearson.

MR: Indeed, yes. It was very much in its infancy, subatomic physics then, And also, I want people to look up X-rays in the encyclopaedia. And you can just confirm what Professor Wadhams has just said about the work that Sir William Crookes did on X-rays. It's all subatomic physics and Sir William Crookes.

JR: Peter, you've seen these photographs many times, so what we'll do, let's bring up the first one.
The first photograph, I'll try to describe it for those of you who are not online: They are black and white photographs. The year and time frame again, of these photographs, Michael.

MR: He published in 1874, so it's just before that date.

JR: The first photograph is a picture, let me just read a little bit from the left of the photograph:

"This photograph, taken by the eminent physicist and chemist, Sir William Crookes, using magnesium light, is perhaps the most crucial. Sceptics often attempt to explain away the materialisations by claiming the medium and the materialised form are one and the same person, ie the medium somehow play-acts the whole thing by impersonating different individuals, using an array of costumes, accents, and so forth. This photograph proves otherwise. Both the medium and the materialised figure can be seen at the same time, proving they were two separate entities."

Peter, what about this photograph?

PW: These are actually extraordinary photographs. You can see why most scientists would recoil in horror because it exceeds most people's thresholds of their minds being boggled because they do show somebody that looks like a perfectly normal person in appearance, but according to the accounts of Crookes and of other scientists who attended these kind of materialisation séances, this figure appeared and formed out of this substance that was exuded by the medium and became a separate figure that for all intents and purposes looked like a normal living person. Now, obviously, the immediate thing you'd say is: this would be easy to fake because either the medium herself doing some trickery, because it was all done in a darkened room or the medium has an accomplice who appears. And, of course, this has happened a lot, as a fraud, in public mediumship displays because that was a way of making money and there were many exposures of fake mediums.

JR: So there are always hucksters and frauds to jump on anything to try and turn a buck, sure.

PW: But this particular case looks like one of those, but it wasn't because it was all done in Crookes own home, under very careful control, and there were other scientists present.
So, although we hate to, reading the accounts that Crookes gives in the same way he writes his papers on physics, you find the accounts of the appearance of this figure ... you have to say either he himself was a fraud, or this is real and is a real phenomenon that is just absolutely extraordinary and ought to be investigated much more.

William Crookes
Photograph #1

"This photograph, taken by the eminent physicist and chemist, Sir William Crookes, using magnesium light, is perhaps the most crucial. Sceptics often attempt to explain away the materialisations by claiming the medium and the materialised form are one and the same person, ie the medium somehow play-acts the whole thing by impersonating different individuals, using an array of costumes, accents, and so forth. This photograph proves otherwise. Both the medium and the materialised figure can be seen at the same time, proving they were two separate entities."
---BREAK--- (25:27)
JR: We're talking about the biggest issue of them all... What happens when our bodies break down to the extent that we can no longer use them.
The answer seems to be... in black and white.

No pun intended, we're looking at some black and white photographs...

We're on the first photograph.

Michael Roll, this photograph is amazing.
When you read what Crookes said, next to the photograph it says Sir William Crookes said in his work "Researches into the Phenomena of Modern Spiritualism":

"It was a common thing for seven or eight of us in the laboratory to see Miss Cook and Katie at the same time under the full blaze of the electric light."

And the picture itself shows the materialisation medium, Florence Cook, slumped on a chair. She's on the floor next to it, her head and shoulder are leaning to her left on the seat of the chair, and behind her is a figure, wrapped in what appears to be white. The top of the picture, as you'll notice, looks rather fuzzy and almost out of focus, more like ectoplasm does. The bottom of it is much more severely in focus. It's an interesting fade-in, so to speak.
The picture is described by Tom Jones as: "The towering ectoplasm shape behind her is just beginning to compress into a fully materialised form. That form called herself Katie King."

Michael Roll?

MR: Of course, he only had the one person materialising, Katie King, every time he did his experiments, but as you know, Jeff, I am across a medium that was far superior to Florrie Cook, Rita Goold. She had as many as six recently deceased people fully materialising. We've carried on the experiments of Crookes by reuniting these people with their dead loved ones. And as you know, you've had them on, the mothers of these children...

JR: Extraordinary, yes.

MR: We've progressed since then, and I'd give my right arm for you and Professor Wadhams to take part in these experiments. And as you know, Professor Gary Schwartz of the University of Arizona is all set now to go ahead. He's got the funding, he got the time, and when we get one of these materialisation mediums to come forward, we can repeat these experiments by Sir William Crookes, with all the modern sophisticated recording equipment we now have available to us.

JR: Indeed. Just for our listeners who weren't with us earlier in our prior visits, what happened to Rita Goold?

MR: As soon as I witnessed this revolutionary experiment, I knew it was what we were looking for, because all we have to do then is get a scientist like Professor Gary Schwartz to carry out repeatable experiments, get it all on film, and the whole world can see people being reunited with their loved ones. In 1983 I witnessed this, and I was very naive that I didn't realise how dangerous it was to the establishment itself. We're talking about the religious and scientific establishment who... the scientific establishment especially starts everything from "when you're dead, you're dead" - the mind and brain are the same. All the time Rita Goold was demonstrating to Spiritualists (who weren't paying any money, she was just doing it out of the kindness of her heart), she was no danger to the establishment, because they were going along and treating it like going to the Bingo instead of the greatest scientific experiment in history.

But as soon as I witnessed it, I realised that we had to repeat the experiments of Sir William Crookes, so I managed to get a professor of Astrophysics, Professor Archie Roy, to go in with the infrared cameras and record it all. But as soon as the establishment heard about this, that she was no longer just demonstrating to Spiritualists, she was going to get it all on a scientific basis, all hell broke loose. Her life was threatened if she went ahead with the experiments, and terrible lies were being floated about her. And then she backed out, she said: I can't stand this any longer, I'm not going to go ahead. So we've now got to get another of these mediums come forward and if we can do that - across the Internet - now and assure the mediums that our number one priority will always be the safety of the mediums.

JR: Indeed.

MR: It's scientists who are on your side who will be working with you, who have already committed themselves to a separate mind and brain. They have nothing to lose from the experiments. And it will all be done in secret, because like a fool, I gave publicity to the fact that the scientists were going in to film this, and that's how the establishment found out. So, as soon as one of these mediums comes forward and Professor Gary Schwartz starts his experiments, we shall clam up, and the first we will know is when Professor Schwartz publishes.

JR: What is Rita Goold doing now, do we know?

MR: We don't know. No, she disappeared. She was so disgusted with the attack on her.

JR: Understandably.

MR: And she wasn't charging one penny for this incredible inconvenience she was putting herself to.

JR: Alright, let's take a look at our second photo, and go back to Professor Peter Wadhams of Cambridge University. This photo is number two.

"Photography" said Sir William Crookes, "is as inadequate to depict the perfect beauty of Katie's face as words are powerless to describe her charms of manner. Photography may indeed give a map of her countenance, but how can it reproduce the brilliant purity of her complexion or the ever varying expression of her most noble features?"

Peter, tell us about this picture in your estimation. For those of you not online, it's a woman standing, facing the camera, one eye looks as though it's almost closed, the eyelid looks at half-mast, the other eyelid is open... it looks like she is blue-eyed, she is wearing a white scarf or something, almost like a nun's habit, over the top of her head, her hands are crossed across her chest, her arms are bare from the elbows down and she is wearing white.


PW: All this sequence of photographs shows a very extraordinary figure because in one sense she is real, she human size.
In fact, Crookes drew attention to the fact that she was a different height from the medium, and therefore could not have been the medium in disguise, but she has a very strange appearance of stiffness, and she is always posed in almost the same way.

There is something very very interesting about the photographs, not in the sense that there is anything wrong with them, but in the sense that this figure does have a different sort of look and feel from somebody who was a normal human. But in every other respect, it looks like a normal human and yet, when you read the description of how this figure appeared, it appeared out of this enclosed area where the medium was sitting. And there are many reports during these experiments of the figure actually forming and then dissipating, so there are some intermediate stages, which weren't captured in these photographs, but were captured in other photographs of similar things with other mediums, where you have the apparition of the materialised person actually disintegrating before the camera. So that it is something which appears temporarily seems to have a solid existence and moves and even talks in the case of this figure and yet then completely disintegrates.

This is the absolutely extraordinary thing about this figure: that it was a temporary appearance,it was solid, people could touch it, and yet then, it just disintegrated and disappeared. It's completely inexplicable and there are very very few, very precious people who are able to achieve this.

William Crookes
Photograph #2

"Photography" said Sir William Crookes, "is as inadequate to depict the perfect beauty of Katie's face as words are powerless to describe her charms of manner. Photography may indeed give a map of her countenance, but how can it reproduce the brilliant purity of her complexion or the ever varying expression of her most noble features?"
---BREAK--- (33:59)
JR: And we're back... live from the UK where it's 4am now.
We're looking at some really remarkable photographs from the 19th century. There have been people who have tried to, over the years, Michael Roll, debunk these photos, but given the circumstances and the caliber of people involved with actually making them, it's a little difficult for me to imagine anyone being very successful at it.

MR: The debunking?

JR: Exactly.

MR: Yes, but these people have had access to the media, and the supporters of Sir William Crookes and all the other scientists have been denied the balance. This is why I've been so angry.
And now, at last, we are getting a balance because of the Internet. We haven't been allowed to do what we're doing now in the United Kingdom to come on and put the balance for what these so-called scientists have been saying.
Dr Richard Wiseman - whenever he comes on television, he's always introduced as the expert on the subject, and he just rips Sir William Crookes apart.
And he's been funded £150,000 he got from the Perrott-Warrick scholarship that was set up to look into these subjects.
And then the other one, Dr Susan Blackmore, who was given £60,000 and nobody has been allowed to balance them. This is what has made me so angry.

JR: Understandable.

MR: When we say Sir William Crookes carried out the experiments, actually all he did was to observe and report. The actual experiments are done by the scientists in the etheric world. They have the technology to set up this work. They have to take this ectoplasm from the medium to make a temporary sort of space suit and they can then teleport people from their etheric world back to the physical world for recognition purposes. Now that, in 1874, was in its infancy, it's rather like comparing a crystal set with the radio that we have today. Of course, I worked with a contemporary medium, Rita Goold, who was far in advance of Florrie Cook, in as much as six recently deceased people were walking around the room as solid as you and me.

JR: You told us about that a couple of years ago, and I'll never forget it, it's an amazing experience.

MR: When we get a medium, it will be totally different. That ectoplasm that's taken, the heavy ectoplasm, is what actually killed the great medium Helen Duncan.
You see, Helen Duncan fully materialised at the experiments that I took part in, and I asked her about this and she said: yes, ever since I was killed in 1956 by that police raid, the scientists over here have been refining the ectoplasm that's taken. In other words, they've been working on the chemistry involved. And she says, now when you film it, I was allowed to touch her, she says, you can't feel there's any covering around me... because they have refined the ectoplasm. We're totally different now. And they were as solid and as natural as we are all the time they had been teleported back to Earth.

JR: Do the people that come back here take on an appearance of their choosing or are they represented as they were when they passed.

MR: Absolutely like they were when they passed. They're able to reproduce their old physical bodies. They have the "blueprint", obviously, in the etheric world, and that's what they can do, they can teleport them back in a reproduction of the old physical body, for recognition purposes.

JR: The third photograph, Professor Peter Wadhams, this photograph, I'm going to read from it now for those of you not able to see it.

"This photograph was taken by the president of the Royal Society, Sir William Crookes, himself, and shows the surgeon, Dr James M Gully, recording the pulse of Katie King. The experiments were held under strict test conditions, imposed by Crookes himself who recorded the physical differences in complexion, hair colouring, height, heartbeat, blisters, skin type, face and finger sizes, plus manners and ways of expression between the materialised figure, Katie King, and the medium, Florence Cook. All physical comparisons were different, proving they were two separate entities."

This is a mind-blowing picture. Here you have the materialised Katie King, having her pulse taken by obviously a well-known doctor of the time.

PW: Yes, it's a serious looking surgeon there, and it's an extraordinary picture.

As you said, Crookes drew attention to the fact that there was no similarity at all between the materialised Katie King and Florence Cook, including details like: Florence Cook had a birthmark on her neck, and Katie King didn't.

Since Crookes took the photographs himself, one response to it is either this was a complete fraud perpetrated by Crookes, or it's genuine. In Victorian times, there were many spirit photographs taken, and they were often faked for money, and today it's blatantly obvious that they were faked. The trouble with these photographs is that you think this must be a fraud, and if this photograph was just reproduced and somebody said: I took this photograph, you would immediately think this is some kind of fraud and fake. But the fact is that the photograph was taken by one of the most distinguished scientists of the 19th century, somebody who did extraordinary work in other fields. So, you're left with only the response that Crookes was a fraud.

And he had so much to lose by any of that, but it's impossible to think that he was. And also: all the other people who took part in the séances, including this famous doctor in this photograph, will also have to have been frauds.
So, you're left with having to say, this was real, and this means that there is something absolutely extraordinary going on, which science should be focusing its attention on instead of turning away from.

JR: What was Florence Cook doing? You can see her, I believe, on the left there in the background. She would have been, I guess, in a trance-like state.

PW: Yes, she would be in a trance, and if the séance went badly, if there was any real disturbance when the figure appeared or when it was disappearing again, she would often be physically affected and would really be in a very bad state when she came out of the trance. This production of ectoplasm was something that was very dangerous for the medium and is something, of course, we don't have any understanding of what it is or how it works.

Interestingly, Michael said that this would be for observation and, in fact, because they weren't experiments, he was observing how this phenomenon happened under conditions, which he could control in the laboratory. But he also did experiments on other mediums who had some sort of intermediate powers between those of Florence Cook and the sort of subject in ESP experiments who have very small, only slightly detectable powers. One of the most well known people he worked on was a medium called Daniel Dunglas Home. And there, he did actual experiments with this medium and at the same time observed materialisations, but not of the same calibre. A little hand would appear, and he would see this hand appear and play an accordion. But at the same time, he did careful experiments where he had lots of papers in the Quarterly Journal of Science, showing apparatus he constructed to measure very small forces where he would get the medium just to touch it - or even not to touch it - just to concentrate on it, and he would find that this spring balance on the lever would record some enormous force that was being exerted on a piece of wood that was used as the experimental object - several pounds. And he would record this on a primitive recording system with an indicator moving over a glass plate - very nice ingenious Victorian apparatus. He was recording and observing large forces, which he called "psychic force". He thought this is just a new force in physics that this person is able to exert, and: let's study it.

So he could find a medium who could exert physical forces on objects and also could do materialisation of a less dramatic kind. So there is a continuum between the very few and very valuable mediums who could produce these full apparitions, others who could not, but could produce very strong physical effects that could easily be detected in a laboratory, and then right down to the much larger number of people who are able to achieve statistically significant effects in ESP tests, but can't do any of these physical things.
There is a complete continuum and it is one phenomenon that most people don't have the ability to manifest in a such a dramatically detectable way.

JR: I understand. Ok, let's pause on that note. Michael Roll, a real quick question, within 10 seconds: Were Cook and King actually connected physically with ectoplasm and flesh.

MR: No, they were totally separate.

JR: Ok, they did separate, right.
William Crookes
Photograph #3

"This photograph was taken by the president of the Royal Society, Sir William Crookes, himself, and shows the surgeon, Dr James M Gully, recording the pulse of Katie King. The experiments were held under strict test conditions, imposed by Crookes himself who recorded the physical differences in complexion, hair colouring, height, heartbeat, blisters, skin type, face and finger sizes, plus manners and ways of expression between the materialised figure, Katie King, and the medium, Florence Cook. All physical comparisons were different, proving they were two separate entities."
William Crookes
Photograph #4

"I pass on to a séance held last night at Hackney, London. Katie never appeared to greater perfection. And for nearly two hours, she walked about the room, conversing familiarly with those present. On several occasions, she took my arm when walking and the impression conveyed to my mind was that it was a living woman by my side instead of a visitor from the other world."
---BREAK--- (44:16)
JR: Michael Roll, let's go to photograph no. 4 now. A lot of people are going to say. Ah! No way!
This photograph, taken March 29, 1874.
Let me just quote from William Crookes himself:

"I pass on to a séance held last night at Hackney, London. Katie never appeared to greater perfection. And for nearly two hours, she walked about the room, conversing familiarly with those present. On several occasions, she took my arm when walking and the impression conveyed to my mind was that it was a living woman by my side instead of a visitor from the other world."

So here's a picture of Crookes and Katie King with her arm looped into his left arm and they're both facing - looks like a wedding portrait of sorts.

MR: That's right, and that is exactly the type of thing that I did with the Rita Goold experiment. I was allowed to catch hold of the people who materialised.

JR: Were they warm?

MR: Exactly the same as touching us. No difference whatsoever. And this, of course, Jeff, opens up the whole thing because nothing happened yesterday - in the laws of physics - that doesn't happen today. our ancestors witnessed what Crookes and I have witnessed - in the past. Take the story of Jesus: this proves it's perfectly natural for Jesus to come back, like this, and prove to his disciples that he had survived death.

Even though I'm a secularist (non-religious), [this is] giving hope to all these people who follow religion - they are right.

It's only the materialists who have started form the base of "when you're dead - you're dead" who are going to be made to look silly when this really gets out among everybody. I think it's right to give hope to so many people who count on religion - we're giving proof to the basis of these religions.
They were seen again by their pals after they were killed - and, of course, they thought something "supernatural" had happened. Now we know nothing is supernatural. if something happens, then there has to be a rational scientific explanation to account for it.

JR: Let's go to photograph number 6. This one is again with the noted surgeon, Dr James M Gully. This photograph was taken by Sir William Crookes, using electric light. Seated to the right of Katie King, who is standing up, apparently, in her typical white outfit, is Dr Gully. The quote from Crookes book:

"One evening I timed - …"

actually I guess this is a quote from James Gully, the surgeon

"One evening I timed Katie's pulse - it beat steadily at 75, whilst Miss Cook's pulse a little time after was going at its usual rate of 90. On applying my ear to Katie's chest, I heard a heart beating rhythmically inside and pulsating even more steadily than did Miss Cook's heart. When she allowed me to try a similar experiment after the séance. Tested in the same way, Katie's lungs were found to be sounder than her medium's. At the time I tried my experiment, Miss Cook was under medical treatment for a severe cough."

I'm assuming, Peter, that was a quote from Dr Gully himself.

PW: Well, yes, and this is absolutely extraordinary because the materialisation was complete in every respect. It seemed in every way like a living human being. Many materialisations that one sees reported were like a simulacrum of a human - a sheet of this mysterious ectoplasm would form itself into a human-like shape, but it wouldn't be something that was a full body that was moving about the room and seeming in every way, when examined by a doctor, to be like a living human being.

So this was an absolutely extraordinary spectrum of phenomena and, of course, you could see why it's such a challenge to scientists to accept that this could have happened.

JR: I should say.

PW: ... or for anybody to accept that this could have happened, and your immediate reaction was: this was all a fraud. But given the people that were involved and the number of people involved, their calibre and their they did in science, it really wasn't a fraud. These were genuine reports of something that they really observed and these photographs are very very important.

JR: This, of course, was certainly in the infancy of photography as a technology. We all remember the civil war here and the early pictures then. Photography, I guess, Michael Roll - there were different kinds of light used, and so forth, back in those days, but it was a dependable medium.

MR: Yes, they were remarkably good photographs, considering how it was in its infancy. I'm staggered by them.
William Crookes
Photograph #6
(Photograph #5 was not discussed in the broadcast)

"One evening I timed Katie's pulse - it beat steadily at 75, whilst Miss Cook's pulse a little time after was going at its usual rate of 90. On applying my ear to Katie's chest, I heard a heart beating rhythmically inside and pulsating even more steadily than did Miss Cook's heart. When she allowed me to try a similar experiment after the séance. Tested in the same way, Katie's lungs were found to be sounder than her medium's. At the time I tried my experiment, Miss Cook was under medical treatment for a severe cough."
William Crookes
Photograph #7

"Before concluding this article, I wish to give some of the points of difference which I have observed between Miss Cook and Katie. Katie's height varies. In my house, I have seen her six inches taller than Miss Cook. Last night, with bare feet, and not tip-toeing, she was 4.5" taller than Miss Cook. Katie's neck was bare last night, the skin was perfectly smooth, both to touch and sight, whilst on Miss Cook's neck is a large blister (Cook, if you joined us late, is the materialising medium.), which under similar circumstances is distinctly visible and rough to the touch. Katie's ears are unpierced, whilst Miss Cook habitually wears earrings. Katie's complexion is very fair, while that of Miss Cook is very dark. Katie's fingers are much longer than Miss Cook's and her face is also larger. In manners and ways of expression, there are also many decided differences."
---BREAK--- (50:08)
JR: Look at photograph no. 7. This again is a quote, I'll read it to you, from Sir William Crookes:

"Before concluding this article, I wish to give some of the points of difference which I have observed between Miss Cook and Katie. Katie's height varies. In my house, I have seen her six inches taller than Miss Cook. Last night, with bare feet, and not tip-toeing, she was 4.5" taller than Miss Cook. Katie's neck was bare last night, the skin was perfectly smooth, both to touch and sight, whilst on Miss Cook's neck is a large blister (Cook, if you joined us late, is the materialising medium.), which under similar circumstances is distinctly visible and rough to the touch. Katie's ears are unpierced, whilst Miss Cook habitually wears earrings. Katie's complexion is very fair, while that of Miss Cook is very dark. Katie's fingers are much longer than Miss Cook's and her face is also larger. In manners and ways of expression, there are also many decided differences."

Peter, this is again an extraordinary picture. She is standing there, materialised, putting her hand on someone's shoulder.

PW: Yes, she's resting her arm on the sitter, and the sitter is presumably feeling the pressure of this arm, so in every respect this materialised entity is behaving and acting as if it were a living being. The challenge to science, once you go beyond the challenge of actually accepting that this was real and not fake, is: what is this?

In one sense, we know it's not a person, it's materialised out of some sort of material that has come out of the medium and then returns or dissipates after an hour or two - and yet in other respects, it's acting as if it were a person, a recognisable person who is the same person each time. You have several sittings and each time the same apparent person materialises. So the challenge is to understand: what is this? Is it, if you accept that it is real, the true representation of a person who was once alive? Or is it something else? We don't know - is it something that the medium is producing, a material being, where all the attributes for that person are perhaps coming from the medium in some way? It looks as if it's conclusive proof of life after death, but, as in the case of mental mediums, there's always a contending hypothesis that somehow, it's coming from the medium by some extraordinary form of telepathy or other psychical occurrence.

JR: Sure, sure.

PW: But certainly there's something real here and something absolutely extraordinary, which is a challenge to understand. It's because it's physical rather than mental, that we see there's even more of a challenge. If you have a mental medium who gives some information, apparently from a dead person, which nobody else could have known, this is an extraordinary thing, and inexplicable, but it's easier to just ignore it. Yet one shouldn't ignore it, one shouldn't ignore reports of experiences with mediums where information is transmitted, which nobody else could have known except the dead person.
That's a challenge, but somehow or other, because it's simply a message, it can be ignored, but in this case, because it's an apparently living, moving, physical entity, you either have to accept it or reject it with forethought, but you can't ignore it.
That's what's so extraordinary about these photographs because they force you to confront the reality of this phenomenon. And then, the challenge is to try to understand what it is and what it means.

JR: Michael Roll, photograph no. 9. Again of Crookes and King.
Now, when did he die?

MR: He died in 1919.

JR: Ok, so we're talking, I think this was 1874.

MR: 1874, yes.

JR: 1874, so ... that's a long time he had ahead of him to really achieve many of his greatest accomplishments in the field of science. So he carried this for a long time.

MR: After he published this work, he was knighted, he was made president of the Royal Society and the King gave him the Order of Merit, the highest decoration there is. So that's the sort of man we're talking about here.

Don't forget, when these people materialised, they're not dummies, they talk as easily as I'm talking to you now, Jeff. So we fire in all the questions: what's it like in the next world and everything like that. And it's very exciting.
But that then becomes hearsay.

The exciting thing is, they've proved survival by materialising.

JR: We're all sitting and waiting for a medium to come forth, and once we have that person in hand, Professor Gary Schwartz at the University of Arizona - into the lab and on tape, preserved and that's it...

MR: Yes, just confirming the experiments that have already been done.
William Crookes
Photograph #9
(Photograph #8 was not discussed in the broadcast)

"One of the most interesting of the pictures is one in which I am standing by the side of Katie; she has her bare foot upon a particular part of the floor. Afterwards I dressed Miss Cook like Katie, placed her and myself in exactly the same position, and we were photographed by the same cameras, placed exactly as in the other experiment, and illuminated by the same light. When these two pictures are placed over each other, the two photographs of myself coincide exactly as regards stature, etc., but Katie is half a head taller than Miss Cook, and looks a big woman in comparison with her. In the breadth of her face, in many of the pictures, she differs essentially in size from her medium, and the photographs show several other points of difference."

From The Last of Katie King
---BREAK--- (56:25) (NEXT: Daniel Dunglas Home…)
JR: Ok, we're back. Tell me about Mr Home, Michael Roll. He's a fascinating character - we could actually do a whole program on him at some point. He was a big celebrity...

MR: Yes, what really impressed me about the experiments with Home, is that this accordion that Sir William Crookes put inside a Faraday cage - and the accordion played on its own. Ask Professor Wadhams exactly what a Faraday cage is.

JR: Sure. A lot of us know, but what an amazing thing to do to prove that something unusual was afoot.

PW: It's a cage that's made of closely spaced electrical wires. The idea is that it wouldn't allow any electromagnetic radiation to pass through. And so, in one of these experiments, Crookes put the accordion in the cage and allowed Home just to touch the top of it, and it then played - this wasn't an accordion that Home could have "fixed", it was one that Crookes bought himself.

JR: You have to pick those up and make the bellows work to get sound - are you saying that an accordion actually opened and closed to produce the bellows velocity necessary to make sound?

PW: It played itself.

What happened was: Home was allowed to just hold it at one end - the end that doesn't have any of the keys - and inside the cage the accordion played itself, it moved in and out and the keys played and it played a tune. The extraordinary thing is this continued when Crookes put an electrical current through the wires of the cage as well. He was trying to see if somehow some kind of radiation coming from the medium was allowing him to do this. But there wasn't, but that was one of his tests.
The extraordinary thing was, of course, that Home was able to produce a physical effect on this accordion, only touching one end.

Now, it sounds like a kind of Uri Geller thing, but there were lots of other experiments that Crookes did with Home that were of a similar kind, where Home was able to produce a powerful physical effect. For instance, affecting the weight of an object, say exerting a force on a spring balance. All of which were done by Crookes in the proper traditional Victorian way with some very nicely designed apparatus, and he reported the results, the same as if it was an experiment in physics or chemistry, which to him, it was. It's just that the results are absolutely extraordinary and unexplained. Home had so many abilities: there were reports of him being able to levitate. And this is really the same sort of thing. He was exerting a physical effect on himself and reducing his own weight.

So these large-scale, what we would now call psychokinesis effects, were things which in modern laboratories very tiny forces can be detected, like effects on random number generators, but in those days there were very few people with extremely powerful abilities where you could take them into a laboratory and get effects that were easily detectable. Home was one of those, and Crookes had the opportunity to work with him.

Of course, it would be so wonderful if there were more such people around who could be experimented on, but with the subject attracting such opprobrium, people who have those abilities no longer make them public or exert them. They can feel them, and so we never know that such people exist any more.

MR: Yes, could I come in there?
What with this Faraday cage business, this proves to me how the etheric people can override our know laws of physics. When I took part in this experiment, one of the etheric people showed me how they could put physical objects through physical objects. It was absolutely staggering. He took a drumstick and tapped it on the table, he said: right, you watch, Mike.
Then he put the physical drumstick straight through the table.

I though: thank goodness I'm on their side and not fighting against them, because they're mighty powerful people.
That's concentrated the mind quite considerably, as you can imagine.

JR: Yeah, I should say.

MR: We'll be able to see all this if Professor Schwartz can get hold of one of these mediums and he'll be able to cover all this in his experiments.

JR: Peter, how many mediums do you think are out there who might be able to do this kind of thing now, materialisation mediums? How common are they? 1 in ten million, one in 100 million?

PW: I think it may be more than that because the abilities seem to be ones which have to be cultivated and practiced. The mediums who became very famous, like Florence Cook, they started off as mental mediums and then developed these mediumship powers by virtue of actually being practicing mediums. And later, after Katie King, various other materialisation effects occurred, she produced other entities, but then after the furore of these results being published, she retired to Wales and never did any more. And presumably, these things didn't happen spontaneously, she didn't while living in retirement spontaneously have these kinds of experiences. So, they have to be practiced, and it's possible that there are more people than you think who have these powers, but because they never think to actually develop them, you don't know that they exist.

It has to be an atmosphere that is conducive to mediumship for people who have some extraordinary abilities to both come forward, rather than conceal their powers, and actually to develop them further by the practice of mediumship.

There's something of a tragedy today in that because we're a materialistic society and because this subject has been poo-pooed so much and doesn't form an acceptable part of the scientific world, then people who feel themselves to have some extraordinary ability and power would tend to conceal it and not develop it rather than do something with it. So, the supply of such mediums has sort of dried up. But it doesn't mean they're not there, it means they're not doing anything with their abilities, they're concealing them.

MR: Yes, when I was with Rita Goold... she must have been born with this sort of chemistry in her make-up. When she'd be washing up at the sink, you'd see a cup rise up and just move about and when she was driving me in the car, the recorder started playing. This type of thing happens all around her when she's not in trance.

JR: When did you have your encounters with Rita Goold?

MR: This is 1983. Then, just like Florrie Cook, she disappeared off the scene. I expect Florrie Cook got the same hammering that Rita Goold got, you see.

JR: They used to burn people at the stake for things...

MR: Not long before... Hundreds of thousands were burnt at the stake, drowned, or tortured to death.

JR: Peter Wadhams, what happened in Crookes' later years? did he continue working in this field or did he get to a point where he had his proof, he had made his statement and that was it...?

PW: To some extent, he retired hurt, because he published all of this work in 1871 to 1874. He was doing it in the late 1860s, he was already a fellow of The Royal Society, and when he turned to investigate Spiritualism and investigate these phenomena, he was already a very famous scientist. So, people were pleased that a great scientist at last was going to address these phenomena. But then, they were displeased when he declared that [these phenomena] were real. They were hoping he would say...

JR: It had to have been an international shock to a lot of people...

PW: Yes, but because it was only Crookes - I mean he was a very great scientist, but there was just him doing it at that point - he became slightly isolated. he continued to say this was real, but he didn't do any more of that kind of research. But that was because, very soon afterwards, the Society for Psychical Research was founded, and with another very enthusiastic group of distinguished scientists who took the work forward from then in 1882 until the early 20th century. So, in a sense, Crookes was validated by the people who came soon after him and carried on the work in greater numbers. So, he didn't have to carry it on in this kind of thankless isolated - he was the pioneer, then he passed it on to others to carry on.

JR: Interesting. We're at the end of this hour, I'm going to say goodnight to you, or good morning to you, Peter, and thank you once again for being up in the middle of the night and bringing your amazing expertise and your opinions about all of this to share. Thank you.

PW: It's been a real pleasure, Jeff, thank you very much.
---BREAK--- (1:06:20) (John Samson joins)
JR: Ok, we're back...

Michael Roll has been here, Professor Peter Wadhams has retired for the evening, it's very early in the morning over there, and we thank him for being with us tonight. Michael, I'll let you introduce our next guest who will be joining us for this hour, if you would...

MR: This is John Samson, he is a member of the Society for Psychical Research, and he's been helping me for a number of years now, to present our case, our secular scientific case for survival to everybody in the world.

JR: Hello, John.

JS: Hello, Jeff. Good evening to you.

JR: Now, if I had a voice like you had, I'd be real famous.

JS: Well, we can always dream. I spend a lot of time broadcasting for the BBC...

JR: When John Samson speaks, I listen, immediately.

JS: How very kind of you.

JR: Trying to wake John up. John has been up all night. John didn't have - apparently - the luxury of setting his alarm clock. It's been a long evening, has it not?

JS: Yes, it has. I was expecting a little pause slightly earlier, but there we are, that's the way it goes.

JR: Just remember that both Blair and Bush are listening, so you'd better be good.

JS: Yes, right!

JR: John, tell us a little bit about yourself and your background into the whole field of psychical research.

JS: My background is basically theatre, but I've gone into broadcasting, and I'm a teacher, examiner, and a writer as well. What happened was that 25 years ago, I saw an advertisement in a local newspaper for a "spiritual and psychic truth society". Now, I'd always had something in the back of my mind that this was a subject that should be investigated some time. Anyway, I went along to this particular evening's meeting, and I didn't know whether I was going to find myself in a room full of fruithoops or not. Nobody knew me, and I didn't know anybody there, and I thought: well, I'll position myself at the back of this room, and I thought I'd just observe the proceedings. The chairman there, a very good down-to-earth chap, who introduced a guy who he described as a medium and he's come from Yorkshire. So that was that. He stood up and he began to give a general talk about psychical matters and Spiritualism and so on and so forth. He was clairvoyant and clairaudient. He then began to talk to individual members of the audience. Again, a very matter-of-fact, down-to-earth way. And, the audience seemed to respond to what he was saying...

Then he said, just before he sat down, I need to come to someone right at the back of the room.

Now, you see, I'd positioned myself right in the corner, and there was three chaps sitting next to me. And the fellow two away from me said: "Do you mean me?" And he said: no. And the one next to him said: "Do you mean me?" And he said: no.

I began to gulp, and I thought: Oh dear.

And then, he came to the one next to me and the chap next to me said: "Do you mean me?"


So, I was the only one left.

JR: Trapped.

JS: Trapped.

I kind of croaked, and said: "Do you mean me?"

"Yes" he said immediately.

He began talking to me about what I was thinking, really, and what my sort of state of mind was, and what my kind of philosophy was, and why I was there that evening. And he was fairly accurate, it was quite impressive, but it was generalised stuff.
After the meeting closed, I thought I'd have a word with this guy, so I went up and had a chat with him. I said:

"Look, I'm interested, because I positioned myself in such a way that you couldn't even see me, so how did you know anyone was there?"

And he said: "Well, I work with a light."

"What do you mean, a light?"

"I just have this clairvoyance, I see a light over the person I have to speak to, and I knew there was someone there although I couldn't see you."

...which I thought was pretty impressive.

After that, I spoke to the chairman, and I said: "Can you recommend anything to read on the subject? I am interested."

He said there's quite an imposing volume called "A History of Psychic Science and Philosophy" - I can't remember the author at the moment, but he lent me this. It was written by a guy whose only other book was on shipbuilding. I thought: He's got to by a fairly pragmatic fellow. So I read this book, and I was very impressed by the detail of it. It seemed very well researched, and it opened my eyes to many things in the world of the psychic and Spiritualism, mediumship, and so on and so forth.

And really, that was the genesis of my interest. From that moment on, I read more and sat with several mediums and the interest developed from there. I had no idea that it was such an enormous subject. It tends to be marginalised and thought of really as a branch of entertainment, downgraded in many ways, but this was a real eye-opener.

And that's where it all began.

Subsequently, I became a member of the College of Psychic Studies in London, which was founded in 1884. They had a library of 12,000 books, some of them written by very eminent men in their own field.

And, after that, the Society for Psychical Research, as you mentioned. i am also a member of that.

That's really the background to it.

Then, in the course of my reading, I stumbled on Michael Roll's work, and thought this made a great deal of sense, because the secular approach seemed to be very very important, and take some of the religious associations out of it.
So I read further, that's really what happened...

I then met Ron Pearson, I was very impressed by Ron Pearson.

Mind you, I have to say I'm not a mathematician, and actually, as an aside to this, years ago, I met a medium who was pretty good, and he said something to me which made me laugh at the time - I thought this is really rib-cracking - because he said: "You know, John, one day you're going to be interested in the subject from the point of view of physics."

I said: What?

My old maths teacher will laugh himself sick to hear that.

JR: I can understand, sure.

JS: But, what happened, years later, I find Michael's work and, there you are... subatomic physics. That was pretty prescient of this guy, he spotted that.

JR: You've been at this over a quarter of a century now, and as you look back on the progression, have you ever run into an impediment or has it been one continually enlarging field of awareness and discovery for you?

JS: They say about this subject there's a great deal of fraudulence and charlatanism etc.

In my experience, I've discovered more self-delusion, I think, than conscious fraud. I think there are a lot of people out there who say "I'm a psychic" and in fact they may have a gift to some extent, but it's very undeveloped.

JR: A lot of people do, but, as you say, they don't develop it. It's just a little thing they pull out from time to time or it sneaks up and presents itself to them, and in a way, that's unfortunate because a lot of people, I think, had they the ability, the foresight and the wisdom, to develop this ability, there would be, I think, a lot more people doing some remarkable work now, but be that as it may...

We'll be right back with Michael Roll and John Samson in just a couple of minutes...
Professor Albert Baron von Schrenck-Notzing
Photograph #10

"Here we see the materialisation medium, Eva C, producing ectoplasm, or "teleplasm" as it is often referred to, under controlled test conditions. Those present at this experiment, carried out 13 March 1911, included Mme. Bisson, Bisson's sister, Professor Charles Richet, Madame de Fontenary and Professor Schrenck-Notzing."
---BREAK--- (1:14:47)
JR: We shall continue. Michael Roll is here, John Samson is here, and I'm negotiating with John to rent his voice for at least a week when he's on vacation.
Is that ok with you, John?

JS: Absolutely fine...

JR: Could you imagine if I could speak with such grandeur and such articulated intelligence... Nothing like an English accent.

JS: You're very complimentary.

JR: Michael Roll, let's go back and look at some more pictures.
There are several interesting pictures further on down.
This is a great name - Baron von Schrenck-Notzing.
Do we know much about him?

MR: He was a professor. He wrote a book "Phenomena of Materialisation", published in 1923. If you see his book, it has hundreds of photographs that he's taken. And, of course, he had a German scientific team, like Crookes had an English team.

JR: There was a parallel effort going on...

MR: Absolutely, and then Professor Charles Richet, the Nobel Laureate for Medical Science, he published his book "Thirty Years of Psychical Research" and this Nobel Laureate for Medical Science said that there is ample proof that experimental materialisations should take definite rank as a scientific fact.
This is wonderful stuff.

JR: Now this is a Nobel Prize winner...

MR: Yes, 1917 Nobel Laureate for Medical Science. These are top scientists. And then there's the Canadian team, Dr Glen Hamilton, "Intention and Survival", published in 1942.
He set up a battery of about 15 cameras, photographing materialisation.
And incidentally, Tom Jones has got this on his web site, he's got the full book there of Glen Hamilton.

JR: It's all there, and all of you can visit any time. If you're not online now, just remember:

Now, John Samson, you've looked at these photographs many times, these are again, Professor Albert Baron von Schrenck-Notzing's photographs, photograph no. one. I'll just read for you, who are not online, what it's about: it's a black and white photographs, it shows a woman sitting in a chair, she's wearing all what appears to be black or a dark color. Her left hand and right hand are stretched out from her, they're draped over the arms of the chair, a kind of an easy chair, and her hands are clearly being held by a person on either side of her. You can't see who they are, but you see her, facing the camera, physically, but her head is turned to her right, and we're seeing the side of her face, which is in rather a grimace, and she's not laughing, let's put it that way. She's obviously working hard doing something. And what that something is is bizarre, and the photograph description reads:

"Here we see the materialisation medium, Eva C, producing ectoplasm, or "teleplasm" as it is often referred to, under controlled test conditions. Those present at this experiment, carried out 13 March 1911, included Mme. Bisson, Bisson's sister, Professor Charles Richet, Madame de Fontenary and Professor Schrenck-Notzing."

They're all there.

Sceptics often complain that genuine psychic phenomena have not been repeated in any laboratory anywhere in the world. Therefore science cannot accept it. However, the vast majority are completely unaware that in Professor Schrenck-Notzing's book "Phenomena of Materialisation", there are some, as you heard Michael Roll say, 225 ectoplasm photographs, all performed under strict controlled test conditions.

This does not include the experiments carried out by scientists such as Dr Charles Richet, Sir William Crookes, Dr Glen Hamilton, Gustave Geley and W J Crawford, to name just a few.

In this photograph below, Eva C's left hand is being held by Dr Charles Richet, and her right by Professor Schrenck-Notzing himself.

So, John Samson, describe this photograph for us, would you?

JS: (chuckles) I haven't got it in front of me, I'm afraid.

JR: It's a woman in a trance, she's straining and there's clearly ectoplasm coming around the left shoulder over the top, down across the right side of her chest and draping across her lap.
Do you remember that photograph?

JS: Yes, I do indeed.

Of course, the interesting thing here is that Charles Richet - you may have been told this already - was the one who in fact gave the name ectoplasm. He was the one who coined the term "ectoplasm" and indeed he, I think, at one point managed to secure some of it and analyse it as well, which was quite a difficult thing to do.

It's interesting, the way that energy which comes out of the medium - and also comes out of the sitters to some extent - and is chemically transformed into this substance, to which he gave the name "ectoplasm", and can be formed with a clothing to the communicator or whoever it is who wants to come through.
It is - I learned this very early on in my investigation - materialisation is the rarest form of mediumship, and for a long time really had just passed out of the subject because there was no one around to do it. No one seemed to be able to do this kind of mediumship, because it can be dangerous and it can be very exhausting for the medium.

That's why, I think, mediums nowadays are very reticent about putting themselves on the line or allowing investigators in because they are very very vulnerable.

In fact, I sat with a medium just a few weeks ago, who I think will be a very good materialisation medium, and I sat in a circle and - it wasn't difficult, it was a dark-room séance - and one could hear people walking around. All the people sitting there joined their hands together, not for any reason other than to make sure that nobody was moving. So everyone knew where everyone was. There was no way anyone else could get up and start prancing around. In this particular séance, one could hear children - the sound of feet moving around - and voices, young voices.

The medium was in a curtained-off cabinet, and strapped down. I checked the ties myself to make sure this medium was absolutely immobilized - couldn't move at all.

Then these children were heard moving around, and one came up to me and took my hand - It was a small hand, and it was warm, just as a child's hand would be - and introduced himself, he was a Cockney who'd died about 1900.
Interestingly enough, the phrase he used was "It's nice to meet you, mister."

Now that's not a phrase people would use nowadays.

"It's nice to meet you, mister."

JR: Interesting. Stand by, right there, John, we have a break...
---BREAK--- (1:22:39)
JR: Ok, we're back with John Samson and Michael Roll.

Now you're in the séance, John...

Is it standard operating procedure for séances to be held in the dark or nearly in the dark?

And if so, why?

JS: Yes, that's one of the first questions I asked when I first went into this subject. It was explained to me that white light has a deleterious effect on the phenomena. It's the same principle as if you try and develope a photograph in daylight. You have to develop a photograph in the dark. It's just one of those things. And it gives rise, quite naturally, to an awful lot of suspicion and questioning.

But that's basically the reason for it. But some mediums, if they're strong enough, can perform in soft light or red light, and you can actually see.
In fact, while you were just there for a moment offline, I looked up some photographs, which I have here. It's a sequence of six photographs, actually seven photographs:

"This and the following sequence of seven photographs depicts the whole process of materialising a spirit form. They were taken in about 30 minutes. An assistant holds the curtain to reveal the entranced medium, Ethel Post-Parrish of Pennsylvania, USA. A cloudy pillar of ectoplasm slowly builds from the medium to the height of a full-grown woman. Gradually the ectoplasm solidifies until finally, the full figure emerges completely materialised. This is Silver Belle, an Indian girl, said to be the medium's spirit guide."

These photographs, like the ones you have in front of you, are quite spectacular. You can see the cloud, slowly forming itself, into a figure, but it's very trick to take photographs of this kind, which is why infra-red is now being put forward as a solution to the problem, but that also had its difficulties, I believe, from the medium's point of view.

JR: They have to use a flash, and that may interfere.

JS: What happens is, if there is a sudden burst of light, what tends to happen is the ectoplasm goes rushing back into the medium, which can cause a great deal of physical damage. This is why they are now so wary of allowing cameras in.

JR: Well, that's what happened to Helen Duncan.

JS: That's what happened to Helen Duncan, also because the séance was disrupted by a police raid and torchlight, and that caused a great deal of trouble. But there is also a further element: I don't know whether you know of the Scole Report - which caused quite a stir in this country - which was conducted by senior members of the Society for Psychical Research.

JR: Tell us a little bit about that...

JS: It was a group in Norfolk, and two mediums there and two others had been exploring the possibility of developing a kind of energy which was not ectoplasmic. If you analyse ectoplasm, the chemical constituents of ectoplasm are all human, they're all found in the human body. And because this can cause damage to the medium, the Scole group was trying to find - or rather their communicants from the other side - were trying to develop a form of pure energy, which could be used to produce phenomena without endangering the medium in any way.

They got so far with it and then the group had to break up and it wasn't able to proceed any further. So really, ectoplasm is the traditional way of doing it, but it does have its dangers and its problems.

And also the fact that so much of the phenomena has to be in darkness.
So ??best
they could find a way of recording this, photographing this, without causing any damage to the medium.

The séance I attended in January, although you couldn't see, you could certainly feel. A man approached me and seized my hand and shook it, and it was a gnarled, burly sort of hand...

JR: He lifted your hand up and shook it.

JS: A working man's hand. And he pumped it vigorously, and spoke to me, introduced himself.

JR: Was there room in front of you for someone to be standing?

JS: Oh yes. It was not an enormous room, it was a timber structure, about 20ft by 15, I guess... but there was plenty of room for the guy to be in front of me.

JR: Could you hear him walking?

JS: Yes, you could hear him walk about, and his voice came towards you, so had he been the medium, faking this, it would have been very difficult...

JR: So there was a definite directional sense to the voice. I mean, he was right in front of you.

JS: That's right. And he came right up to me, and indeed the boy came right up. Another interesting thing that happened here was: they put writing paper on the floor before the séance began.

We could all hear this being ruffled at one point, and the sound of a pencil over it. And then, shortly afterwards, I was aware of a small hand pulling my jumper - I had a polo-neck jumper - pulled the jumper forward, with the neck forward, and paper being stuffed down the front of my sweater.

And I thought: Wonder what that's about...

So, the séance went on and then it came to an end. What happened at the end was there was a great crash, and the lights went out and the medium and the chair in which he was sitting had suddenly been transported from the cabinet curtain into the middle of the room, and the cardigan he was wearing had been completely reversed. And that had been tied in such a way, it could not be done without undoing all his fastenings.

It had been completely reversed; it was just a demonstration of their powers and their facility... what they can do.
Then subsequently, I remembered this paper in my sweater, pulled it out, and opened it up - it had been folded into four - and there, in childlike handwriting, was the name "A C Doyle".

Arthur Conan Doyle.

As you know, his was a great interest in the subject.
Now what that signified - I don't know.

JR: What a strange communication. Now, this crash you heard, are we to believe that that was the sound of the medium - and his chair - being set down in front of you in the room - bang!

JS: What happened is it came from the corner of the room, flies through the air and crashes down in the middle of the room. Without hurting the medium at all. It's enormous strength, of course, required to do this, but ectoplasmic energy can be extraordinarily powerful if used in that way.

JR: Did the chair break?

JS: No, it was just that the chair flew out of the cabin and crashed down in the middle of the room. That is what must have happened, there's no other way it could have happened, as everyone else was absolutely immobilized around the sides of the room.

JR: I see.

JS: It's the way they traditionally end this kind of séance.

It's just to show, I think, the extent of the powers that they do have.
I don't know why they do this, but another medium, called Jack Webber who was a famous medium way back in the 1930s, again had his jacket taken off and put back on the wrong way, and everything, and he was tied to the chair, he couldn't do anything.
It's just a demonstration of what they're able to do.

But I'd never seen it before myself, so it was quite interesting to see that...

JR: "A C Doyle..."

JS: "A C Doyle..." and written in large childlike handwriting. It was obviously a child that was doing it, I could tell by the size of the hand that was pushing this into my [sweater]...

JR: You didn't, but had you reached out, what do you think you would have encountered? What would your expectations be?

JS: If I'd reached out towards the child?

JR: Yes.

JS: The arm might have ended half way up, and then become a space.

Or: sometimes, it depends on the level of the power. Sometimes, they can only materialise a part of the body, and sometimes the whole of the body.
For example, I run meetings here in Sussex, and I had a chap who was in his 80s, and he had a lot of experience because his mother was a medium, and someone came back in one of their séances, and it was a relation. And she came, shall we say, from her kneecaps up, but she came back with all that was necessary to manifest properly.

But this is quite usual that only a part of the body is materialised.

JR: Stand by, and we'll continue in just a couple of minutes.
---BREAK--- (1:31:52)
Professor Albert Baron von Schrenck-Notzing
Photograph #11

"Here are four micro-photographs of Eva's hair (first and third from the top) and "Estelle's" hair (second and fourth from the top). 

Prof. Schrenck-Notzing said "While Eva's hair showed altogether a brunette character, the hair taken from the small head ("Estelle") was light blonde. This impression is completely corroborated by the chemical examination and microphotography of the samples of hair of Eva and "Estelle" (the name by which the medium denotes the face photographed), which was made by Dr Steiner in Munich". He goes on to conclude, "It is therefore probable that both samples of hair belong to different individuals." ("Phenomena of Materialisations" Shrenck-Notzing, p133)
JR: Ok, and we're back. Michael Roll, these photographs, the more you look at them, the more intriguing they become. The photographs are - just two up there - from Dr Charles Richet and Baron von Schrenck-Notzing photographs, we've looked at a couple of those. There is even a comparison of the medium's hair and the materialized being's hair. There were hairs taken, it's called physical others, is it not?

MR: Oh, indeed, yes, and also, if you remember, John Logie Baird, in his book, tells how they took the fingerprints of somebody who materialised, and compared them to the fingerprints on the dead body, and they were identical. That's in John Logie Baird's book.
But I'd like to enlarge on what John was saying about the chair leaping out of the cabinet...

JR: Now a lot of people are saying: what does he mean, "cabinet"?

MR: Some materialisation mediums have to go into a cabinet to get the energy concentrated, I take it, that's what they do. But Rita Goold didn't have that, she just sat in a chair.

JR: It's just a wooden box?

MR: Yes, a little box, to concentrate the energy. Some mediums have it, others don't. Rita Goold didn't. At the Rita Goold experiment, the etheric scientists teleported a great big easy chair - with a cat asleep on it - from one room into the room where the people were. And it suddenly materialised in the middle of the room. And the cat was unhurt, it was perfectly alright.

This is the type of thing that Professor Gary Schwartz will be able to get on film. He'll arrange this with the etheric scientists. So, you'll have a whole stack of cameras watching the chair disappear, then they'll have a batch of cameras watching it reappear in another room. This is the type of experiment that can be done, once we get cracking.

I hope John can persuade this medium that he sat with recently, when the medium is fully developed and ready, to fly across to America.
It would be great.

But judging by what John was saying, he's not quite as advanced yet as Rita Goold was, but maybe that will come in the future.

JR: And, as we talked about earlier, maybe there are some people listening right now who have, very quietly, been developing and have kept it private - and that's understandable.
How would you suggest people go about contacting you or Dr Gary Schwartz.

MR: They can contact us at our websites, and we can put them in touch with Gary Schwartz. But please don't waste our time - they must be full materialisation mediums [who can have people] walking around the room, and they must be as solid and as natural as we are, and talking to us as we talk to each other. We're not interested in having to develop mediums. We haven't got the time to do that, the scientists haven't got the time to do that.

JR: The last photographs on this page - Professor Gustav Geley.
Here's an interesting photograph - it's a picture of [him] and Stanley de Brath with someone materializing between them, and then Professor Geley died in a plane crash and came back three weeks later and appeared in a photograph with three of his associates.

MR: Well, this doesn't surprise me. (laughs)

JR: No, you can see his face, right there floating above them.

MR: When you read this subject, death holds no fear whatsoever. It's a tremendous adventure.

JR: John Samson, what about a séance like you just described, with some kind of infra-red cameras at work, would that sit well with the medium?

JS: That seems to be the sticking point; I don't quite know why it is, but I think the low-image intensifiers and infra-red will be a possibility. I'm a bit baffled at the moment as to why they're so wary about this. Except that, talking to the medium after the séance, it's amazing how little can cause damage. He was saying that even the slightest impulse of light can sometimes cause scorches and burns.

JR: Because we can't see infra-red, it doesn't mean others don't see it as well...

JS: No, that's right. But I'm quite sure that - because after all, we have these photographs you've been talking about and the photographs that I have in front of me now - and if they were able to do that then, surely they must be able now with some more sophisticated equipment...

JR: I would think so, and I would also think that in time, it's going to probably come to be a necessary part of any validation. Something has to be done of a technological nature to really put a foundation under these things...

MR: When I called in Professor Archie Roy, the etheric scientists gave him permission to bring in the infra-red cameras. They would never have given permission for that to happen if they thought it would be a danger to the medium. We needn't worry about that. The etheric scientists call the tune - we don't do anything without them saying ok. That protects the medium.

JS: Yes, that's true. Everything has to come from their side, they do have to give the green light on these things. But I'm sure that if a medium develops the gift well enough, it can be done. Certainly, this chap I was with, I'm sure that eventually, he'll get to the stage where this can be done. There's something else, which we haven't spoken about, and perhaps Michael has mentioned this earlier, the trouble with the Society for Psychical Research is they're very clinical and analytical in their approach, and there has been a kind of suspicion that has grown up between mediums and the Society for Psychical Research. And so, that's another reason why they can be a little wary, because quite a few of them can be very sceptical, very negative, and this is seen as hostility. There's something else - another expression which I met very early in my inquiries - and it's called "mental atmosphere", the harmony that is necessary for these kind of things to happen. A circle can sometimes take many many years to develop.

JR: Thoughts are energy, of course...

JS: Exactly so, and you introduce an inquirer or an investigator who is not actually on really a sympathetic wavelength, and it's amazing how disruptive that can be. For example, there are a couple of people I could mention in the Society for Psychical Research at a senior level, when they go to séances which are very successful, their mere presence diminishes the phenomena, because of the atmosphere and attitude they bring with them. It's quite incredible how this can happen. That's another reason, I think...

Someone described to me a long time ago, a very wise
?? teller
described to me what mediumship was like. He said, if you imagine a perfect reflection of a full moon in a completely still lake, that is what mediumship is: not the faintest ripple caused by the lightest breeze to disturb the image.
That's how delicate mediumship is. So if someone comes in who is not totally in sympathy, that is the kind of effect they can have.

JR: Rustles the waters... It makes sense.
John, we just about out of time, thanks so much for sacrificing most of the night's sleep, and I hope you can catch up with some of it.

JS: Thank you very much for inviting me, it's been a pleasure to talk to you, Jeff.

JR: Mine indeed. take care.
And Michael Roll, my thanks to you, on behalf of a lot of people for doing what you do. it's a difficult business, but as you said at the beginning of the program, the tides have turned now, and we're on a different course.

MR: Thanks for what you're doing, Jeff.

JR: It's my pleasure. Take care, my friend.
Professor Geley
Photograph #12

"The portrait of a lady can be seen overshadowing Prof. Geley (left). She was identified as an associate of Stanley De Brath and his wife for seventeen years, who had been deceased for six years at the time the photograph was taken.

In his book Psychical Research, Science and Religion, Stanely De Brath says, "This photograph did not reproduce any existing photograph but was instantly recognised by five persons who had known her well, including her own brother, a non-spiritualist and sceptically disposed". (p41)

De Brath also says, "I certify that this photograph was taken at Crewe by Mr Hope (medium), Nov 1919, on plates bought in London same day, opened by me and signed, not lost sight of during the whole process. Recognised by the lady's brother (non-spiritualist) and by three intimate friends. She "died" Aug, 1913. There is no similar portrait extant. S. De Brath. M.Inst.C.E"