Saturday, March 29, 2014

Revisiting the Scole Experiments

By Claire Salmons via Normal Paranormal, 20 March 2014

In 1993, four psychic researchers embarked on a series of experiments that would produce what some believe to be the strongest evidence supporting the existence of an afterlife. For five years, Alan and Diana Bennett, two of Britain’s most accomplished mediums, along with psychic researchers Robin and Sandra Foy, carried out more than 500 experiments and engaged in over a thousand hours of spirit communication in the Norfolk village of Scole, England. The subsequent events, which later became known as the Scole Experiments, were so extraordinary that senior members of the prestigious Society for Psychical Research, were asked to observe, record and test what took place.

The Intent

In 1993, Robin Foy along with members of an established psychic circle in Scole, Norfolk, were given a message from spiritual entities that they were to embark on an extended experimental project that would provide the public, or more specifically members of the scientific or philosophical community, with irrefutable proof of the spirit world.

Foy and his group were instructed to hold sittings at which they were told intelligent forces would be present to provide durable firsthand experiences and physical evidence.

The Experiments

The majority of experiments were conducted in the dark cellar of the Foy home. It was here that Alan and Diana Bennett would go into a psychic trance through which they would convey messages from members of their spirit team, a collaborative group of spirit communicators from the so-called "other side."

The attending members of the Scole Group would then follow the instructions presented to them by the spirit team. What they claim to have experienced and documented is so remarkable and extreme that many find it to be unbelievable.

The Evidence

The experiments produced photographs, voice recordings, disembodied voices, levitating objects, full-bodied apparitions and much more.

During some of the experiments, luminous spheres were reported to dance around the room in an intelligent manner. Human and extraterrestrial-like figures were caught on camera and over 70 apports were documented.

Images, poems, hieroglyphics and other written messages appeared on 35mm films strips that were unopened and secured in a locked container.

In addition to photographic evidence, the group engaged in over a thousand hours worth of spirit communication.

Various spirit personalities were reported to come through during each sitting. Individual personalities were consistent, intelligent and unique in conveying their own characteristics, mannerisms and dialect.

Perhaps the most intriguing and thought-provoking evidence occurred when the spirits demonstrated to the group what happens to the physical body after death. According to the reports, Professor Arthur Ellison, a professor of engineering at the City University in London and one of the SPR members investigating the Scole Experiments, was asked to pick up a crystal that had levitated onto the table in front of him.

Ellison was able to hold the psychical object in his hand. The spirit then instructed Ellison to place the object back on the surface and pick it up again. This time he found that his fingers went through the object.

According to Foy, this was used a metaphor to explain what happens after death — the human essence remains although the physical body has been removed.

The Witnesses

The Scole Experiments began in Norfolk and extended to the United States, Ireland and Spain. Sittings were open to many outsiders and other paranormal groups.

The SPR was present at 37 of these sittings and deployed an investigative team to oversee these experiments. In the United States, scientists from NASA, the Institute of Noetic Sciences and the University of Stanford attended various experiments.

James Webster, a professional magician with over 40 years of experience, also attended. No attendee was ever able to find any notion of fraud and no one was ever able to reproduce the phenomena that was captured.

The Support & The Skepticism

While many believe the Scole Experiments provided some of the most convincing evidence of life after death, skeptics claim there were some serious investigative failings.  Those skeptical of the evidence produced by the experiments believe that there was a serious lack of control or restrictions placed upon the mediums by the investigators.

One major criticism is that the majority of experiments were conducted in the basement of the Foy home. This has caused many skeptics to believe that there was ample room for trickery and fraud. However, supporters would point out that experiments were also conducted across the globe in United States, Spain, Switzerland and Ireland. Evidence was experienced and documented in all locations.

Another criticism of the experiments revolves around the secured container or box that held the undeveloped roles of film. Many skeptics believe that this box could have been easily tampered with, as it was provided by the medium. Supports would argue that other boxes were allowed and used throughout the experiments.  However, none appeared to be as effective.

Throughout the five years that the experiments took place, the group openly invited any skeptic, medium, scientist or magician to observe or attempt to replicate the events that occurred. To date, no one has ever been able to convincingly replicate the same level of success the Scole Group had accomplished.

The Experiments Today

The Scole Experiments ended in 1998. The phenomenon begun again in 2005 under the direction of the Norfolk Experimental Group, which is headed by Alan and Diana Bennett.

Having been discussed for years by skeptics and supporters alike, the phenomena and experiments that took place in Scole are well-known and well-documented. The mediums, investigators, observers and skeptics of the Scole Experiments, have never been able to fully explain nor disprove the events that occurred.

For many, the phenomena presented will forever be, as SPR member, Tom Ruffles puts it "impossible to accept all of it, difficult to reject some of it."

1 comment:

~V~ said...

I had never heard of this before. As w/many of your posts here, it warrants further reading/investigating. Thanks for posting/sharing! :)