Back to the ‘Lilly’ Pond: Flotation Tank Experiments
From historical re-evaluations and current experiments, this issue of the Paranormal Review brings a wide range of psychical research topics to your attention. The Society’s President, Prof. John Poynton, continues his philosopher-president series with a re-examination of Hans Driesch. Dr Peter Hewitt of the Museum of Witchcraft and Magic returns with another fascinating object from the Museum’s collection. Brandon Hodge continues his search for missing Spiritualist devices as he scours the present for traces of the past.
The Psi Society column makes a return this issue and I have re-branded an item that has appeared before, Spontaneous Activity. Last year, I was delighted to be accepted onto the Spontaneous Cases Committee and this occasional column aims to publish some of the reports received as a matter of public record. It was one of the complaints against the Society during the First World War, for example, that it did not do enough to document people’s experiences, especially at a time when so many were reported, and this column, in its own small way, aims to redress the current turn to the laboratory. However, that attempt is entirely dependent on readers sending in their own accounts. As always, the email address is firstname.lastname@example.org. Anonymity can be requested, so please do not be shy.
I am also delighted to welcome Ashley Knibb to the magazine as our new Events Reporter. He begins with an account of the last Study Day, Psi in Nature, and I look forward to reading more about the Society’s many fantastic lectures and events from him.
In the next issue, a new columnist will be joining us – you will have to wait to find out more. I will also be launching the 2018 Paranormal Review Photography Competition. Those of you who would like to jump the gun and send in their images (see the requirements given for 2017) are most welcome to do so. ψ
Dr Leo Ruickbie
Editor, Paranormal Review
Contents for Paranormal Review, 85 (Winter 2018)
4 President’s Letter
The current President of the Society, Prof. John Poynton, considers the work of philosopher-president, Hans Driesch.
6 Psi Society
In the news: Prof. Chris Roe, Dr David Vernon, Dr Annekatrin Puhle, Prof. Adrian Parker-Reed, Dr Nancy Zingrone, Dr Carlos Alvarado, Robert McLuhan and Dr Callum Cooper.
7 Permanent Paranormal Object
Dr Peter Hewitt exhumes another curious exhibit from the Museum of Witchcraft and Magic in Cornwall: the ‘Black Egg Experiment’, a supposedly magical ritual item created by the Museum’s founder Cecil Williamson.
8 Back to the ‘Lilly’ Pond
Dr Callum Cooper immerses himself in the theory and practice of using flotation tanks in parapsychological research, with some interesting results.
12 Are Electronic Spirit Messages Real?
Dr Sean Richards reports on The Greetings Project, a major experimental attempt in the field of EVP/ITC research to record anomalous sounds and imagery.
14 Trauma and Spirit
A near-fatal shooting opens Raymond Spencer to what he believes are spirit contacts.
18 A Rare Case of Mediumistic Xenoglossy
Prof. Erlendur Haraldsson presents an unusual conversation between the medium Hafsteinn Björnsson and Prof. Svend Frederiksen.
20 Nec mysteria quae*non occulta est
Filip Andjelkovic traces the role of the unconscious in occult phenomena from Myers to Freud.
24 The Meaning of Ecstasy
Richard Squires tells of the time he experienced an out-of-body state during a theatrical production and considers what this may tell us about the origins of theatre.
28 Ghosts in the Machines
Brandon Hodge is once again on the trail of lost Spiritualist artefacts, this time Francis J. Lippitt’s ‘Psychic Stand and Detector’.
31 Spontaneous Activity
Dr Leo Ruickbie begins a new occasional series to publish reports of anomalous experiences received from*SPR members and members*of the public.
32 Psi in Nature
What is the evidence for ESP and PK in zoology? Ashley Knibb reports on SPR Study Day No. 74 with Prof. John Poynton, Dr Rupert Sheldrake, Dr Callum Cooper and Dr Charmaine Sonnex.
Dr Mark J. Porrovecchio*and Dr Fotini Pallikari.
Moving Forward: Preserving the Historical Collections of Parapsychology 2018