Material trance and physical sitting.

Physical sitting is a trusted and special assembly of heart and spirit.  It is when we sit for a circle that we can ask and examine spiritual evidence.  Attended the Northdown trance and physical sitting on the 23rd April 2012.  It is for this circle, the question was put forward silently, and just prior to the arranged sitting spirit was asked about ectoplasms; its nature and reasons.  This was an important question and integral to spiritualism.  It is with this form of material physical that spirit are seen at times to materialise.  It is also as a result of ectoplasms that spirit can form a bridge between the spirit world and that of our own.

The circle was started in darkness; the only source of light coming from the red box.  The opening words were stated and with members assembled and the required needed objects checked, the sitting was opened.  It was in the first few minutes that physical began.  For it is when this first part took place that an odd sensation rushed round circle, that of small running feet touching and brushing past the legs of the gathered sitters.  It was extraordinary.  On looking out, one of the mediums noticed, a small pair of eyes blinking in the darkness.  It was that of a small dog.  A dachshund.  Long and lithe in its body, it was light brown.  The circle was told of this and then almost two minutes later a second dog, a bright Westie with the name Mergatroid, popped up and wished to be remembered for agility.  At once one of the members claimed her and the sitting continued…

It came through information and sighting, a spirit, known to a member who claimed the dachshund and the information pertaining to it.

A healing energy was sent to one of the member’s relatives, and it was doing this that a picture of a man and his hooded presence confirmed that spirit were near, next voice was given to the circle.  One of the medium’s spoke, but this male energy; he was clear and with his voice coming from the medium said that “Brother your wishes have been received and we endeavour to bring this soul back to its natural elements of water and health.”  It was after this was said, the sitter in question, who knew that the ill health was suffered by someone who loved the Sea felt the energy and healing.  Taps were heard around the room as the healing was sent.  Another medium, first sat up, then words flew from their mouth, “Wish to be known as Great Bear”  He said and then “There is much in the state which has left people unhappy, and grudging, in their acceptance of ruling and law; it is we feel a sad state that has left so much apathy and unhappiness.”  The spirit was eager to address everyone.  “We are aware, and we try to help with showing how much can be learnt from the Spirit World.”  Thanking for the occasion to speak he went on to say that people needed patience for the evolution which was taking place and that things may not be easy but that learning as joy would come forward. 

The room felt cold.  Whilst this was taking place it is also important to write that certain members felt a notable breeze.  Tickling sensations could also be felt on the face.  It was around this time that a funny light substance was also seen forming in the room.  It was around one member, who was sitting to one side of the room, first it could all be shown as just mist then it started to spark.  The little lights would flash and it was only then colours were seen.  This was being taken note of; because this was the relative link to the question which had been asked.  To find out about ectoplasms it was being shown by spirit, that this was not just one method nor was it one substance or colours.  It was next that another spirit spoke, from the corner of the room; a William addressed the circle: We would like to talk to you about the progression of spirit, he said, it is long thought that spirit just evolves, he took breath and talked on, it is a process and just as the spirit before said (indicating the first spirit to speak to circle) we acknowledge sadness and the need to find oneself.  It is probably arguably the most difficult phase in an individual’s cycle to find their true being.  Spirit seek to portray the levels of transience, progression and being.  There is a need for negative as well as joyfulness as this helps learning.  To elaborate, we feel, as if it is necessary for the spectrum to be shown.  You feel, just as we do spirit side the wave of existence and all the mood and relative emotion it delivers.  The spirit was pleased to speak, and on thanking the circle, retired.  It was then, figures were seen, amongst an experience of shaking in the chairs…

It was clear at first the physical was starting to shape; figures were seen.  It was one in particular that was wearing a moustache and recognisable facial expression, he stood behind one of the chairs, and on being seen it became clear that this was one Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.  The mist in the room was hazy.  It was a result that the circle looked cloudy and there were parts of the room where although the red light reached there was a luminous glow of a different kind.

The sitters were aware of shadows.  These additional sitters in the room which should not have been counted as actual bodies.  Their entities manifested through light.  Next, it was the lady and figure of her, which came through.  Taps and bumps were cracking along the perimeters of the circle.  The sitter on that side of the circle asked if something else could happen; it was as this was stated, a female voice came out and exclaimed “the spirit is willing but without the physical body we put in double the effort.”  After stating this once more she disappeared.  The room was cold; but there was waves of temperature which seemed to radiate according to who was present.  For instance, next as some relative drew close, the temperature would plummet or it would feel as if the sitter was bathing in water.

A sitter on the other facing side of the room spoke out as a spirit figure of Navy and a sailor walked in.  His clothes betrayed the fact he was from a while ago and served in a Royal navy with clothes suiting his roles.  Then, a Scottish theme came ringing through to circle.  First with the name of Spirit Union, then Helen, the female shape came through as present and seen in circle.  Her outline was clear with clothing and then indicated the tall slim presence of Albert.  Albert Stewart, who after research and information gathered, was one control spiritual being of Helen Duncan.  The being was shown as standing behind one of the other sitters, just as this was highlighted a ringing echo and sound came from the wall.  The sense of adrenalin rose, a little girl figure was also seen.  Beautiful dress and polite, shyly she ran round the central table.  Helen Duncan, herself mentioned, John (who was shown to be like son) a Spirit Union and the nameDumfries.  It is believed this indication referenced John, who was a son-in-law and who was involved in spiritualism and circle, also research has shown that the Psychic Union was the centre which gave a diploma to Mrs. Duncan and thatDumfries appears to be the birthplace of one of her children.  Isabella was also shown, the name of the child, and an event pertaining to her childhood.  Helen Duncan herself was happy and keen for physical, her demonstration making evident the fact that Albert and a little girl were with her through spirit; it was during the WWII that Helen was in demand for spirit contacts, this was from relatives who were inquiring after the health of loved ones, serving members of the army and war front who wanted to relay information, pertaining to the Royal navy image which spirit showed one of the sitters; one of the sittings took place in a private house in the homeport of Britain’s Navy fleet; the name Portsmouth was said in circle and this is the location of the Royal Naval Fleet.  On January 19 in 1944, a sitting was held in a risky setting, it was the German Luftwaffe’s intention to destroyPortsmouth, but there was also prominent danger in the fact that even in that special circle there was corruption in the form of a masked sitter.  Once more it must be noted that here, at this point spirit were endeavouring, to answer the question set at the start of circle in regards to ectoplasmatic matter.  As it was at this particular séance, that Helen Duncan, was interrupted and a plain clothes policeman tried to make a grab for the ectoplasm which spirit had produced.  It was fortunate that spirit were too quick for the hands and it was taken back behind the veil.

Is this all the information, as in regards to the query, which had been made by the sitter, it was clear that spirit wanted to indicate not only the incident which could highlight ectoplasm and the importance of this presence but yet still they went further to explain. The other medium who was sat in his seat kept talking of this sailor.  He was referencing and indication the man who was seen by Helen in 1943 at a séance where upon a sighting of him and his connected sinking on HMS Barham would lead to so much controversy in spiritualism.  At the heart, something which is not known and was not known by certain members of the circle, was ectoplasms.  It was only uncovered after looking into, that this ectoplasms, was the cause of an investigation and further query into the case that this substance was proved

Further research shows, that Winston Churchill, this Sir Churchill was also staunch in his belief that spiritualism was prudent and vital in its existence.  His support of Helen Duncan only further laid claim to his own psychic experience.  He explained in an autobiographical account that he was ” guided by some form of mental planchette (a Spiritualist tool) to the only house in a 30 mile radius that was sympathetic to the British cause”.  If he had knocked on the back door of any other house he would have been arrested and returned to the Boer commanders to be shot as an escaping prisoner of war. He was a part of the Druids.  Prior to this he had been ordained as a member of Grand Ancient order of Druid. Apparently there were many times where Sir Winston Churchill’s psychic ability saved him.

Churchill was exceeding in his angry sense of injustice, when the Helen Duncan case began. He penned an irate ministerial note to the Home Secretary, ” Give me a report of the 1735 Witchcraft Act. What was the cost of a trial to the State in which the Recorder (junior magistrate) was kept busy with all this obsolete tomfoolery to the detriment of the necessary work in the courts?” But his own civil servants were over-ridden through the all -powerful intelligence community. D-Day was coming and their levels of paranoia was too much. It had reached an all time level and even a Prime Minister’s anger was to be set aside. Helen Duncan, mother of nine and part time bleach factory employee was considered a risk and they wanted her out of the way when the Allies struck. Her case was a transparent conspiracy to frame her ‘ in the interests of national security’

Mary Martin, this name was mentioned by Helen, and it is by this connective link that we can say Mary is Helen Duncan’s granddaughter.  Mary lives in Edinburgh.

As exclaimed, spirit endeavoured to do their best, in their effort to answer the circle member’s query.  In relation to ectoplasmatic physical, they not only evidenced an account through Helen Duncan’s presence and the sighting of the sailor séance through several members that evening, but also helped to highlight evidence which was given by Hannen Swaffer, someone who is particularly special in spiritualism, and someone who gave evidence and particular answers in Helen Duncan’s case and now known also regarded his information pertinent as sighting ectomplasms.  This next information not only answers but intriguingly sites how ectoplasms is used:

Hannen Swaffer, This man not only was relied on to give answers at Helen’s trial but also helps to show ectoplasm and its form.

These were his words:
In the fifth year of our war for freedom! – Orthodoxy was to arrest Helen Duncan, our best materialising medium, after submitting her to a physical examination that was indecent, refuse her a doctor until morning, ill with diabetes and suffering with shock though she was – and to invoke the Witchcraft Act of 1735.

Orthodoxy was back to broomsticks!

While she was giving a séance at Portsmouth, a whistle was blown. Policemen rushed into the room, took part in a sort of Rugby scrum, and, because they could not find the white “sheet “- that is what they called the ectoplasm the medium had exuded – were childish enough to believe that she had swallowed it, or else that the sitters, who demanded in vain that they should be searched, had secreted it on their persons.

Baron Schrenck-Notzing, who spent many years on psychical research, had analysed ectoplasm. Dr. W. J. Crawford, of Queen’s University, Belfast, had weighed it, traced its flow – and even certified that one medium, while exuding it, lost 54 lbs. of weight!

Thousands of Spiritualists all over the globe knew it to be living matter, out of which they had seen built up solid spirit forms that walked about the room, talked with their earth relatives, had been photographed – Sir William Crookes took lots of photographs of a materialised “Katie King” which a member of his family
destroyed after his funeral, although some of the pictures still survive – and played musical instruments.

But the Portsmouth police said it was a sheet! More, the Public Prosecutor’s department bought cheese-cloth – and just because Harry Price, who had apparently forgotten that he once brought me a piece of ectoplasm which he said was cut from Mrs. Duncan’s body and which he had analysed, declared that her materialisations were cheese-cloth which she had regurgitated.

Well, I told the Court that for over 20 years I had investigated psychic phenomena of every kind and type, and in many countries, and that the purpose of my investigation was: “It is my duty to tell people the truth about the survival of their beloved dead.” Then, saying how I had sat perhaps half a dozen times with Mrs. Duncan under test conditions, I explained to legal high-ups who thought ectoplasm was a piece of cheesecloth that it was exuded from mediums through the mucous membranes, the solar plexus, the ears and the nostrils, that it appeared to be a living substance, that I had seen it perhaps 50 times and that, in the case of Helen Duncan, it resembled “living snow.”

In the circle several members felt a tugging at their ears.  Their was a sense of a tie or stringy pull and one member’s earrings were pulled about to the point they were swinging.

Hannen Swaffer went on to say;The point of this was that, between Portsmouth and the Old Bailey, we had made a rigid test of Helen Duncan’s powers and that the results were so extraordinary that C. B. Loseby, who was present, said at the end, “I am so impressed that I will tell the Court I am willing to allow the medium to demonstrate her powers in open court, and in broad daylight.”

Yet the Recorder decided that all evidence about this test must be ruled out “since it would be under a cloud.”

Before this test sitting, two women took Mrs. Duncan into a room, stripped her stark naked, dressed her only in a loose black garment – the reason for this was that the ectoplasm was white – and then brought her, in our sight, into the séance room. There she went into a trance in a red light in which we could see everything that happened.

Albert, her guide, began: “Something has been said about a sheet. I will show it to you.” Immediately we saw a large mass of ectoplasm, probably eight feet long and six feet wide. This was what the police had called a sheet!

Then, to prove the genuineness of the ectoplasm, the medium moved half across the room, the living substance becoming a sort of rope which lengthened as she moved further away.

Yet all this was ruled out, as, later, was every scrap of evidence sworn to by witnesses who had sat with Mrs. Duncan all over the country. Nor was she allowed to give a test in court. “That would be in the nature of a trial by ordeal,” said the Recorder.

“Could the ectoplasm be mistaken for butter-muslin?” Loseby asked me.

“Anyone who described it as butter-muslin would be a child,” I replied. “Besides, under red light, butter-muslin would turn yellow or pink. How could a red light make that kind of material take on a living whiteness?

Then I had to explain to a Recorder ignorant of ectoplasm, how it reacted to light, how the actinic qualities of light which retard photographic processes also affect ectoplasm. More, I had to tell how, the first time I sat with Mrs. Duncan, someone foolishly shone a light on the medium with the result that the séance had to be stopped and that then we discovered the medium was bleeding furiously at the nose.

I also produced a document signed by four magicians after I had taken them along to test Mrs. Duncan They had tied her up with 40 yards of sash-cord, they said in their agreed statement, handcuffed her, and tied her two thumbs so close together with thick thread that it cut into the flesh. Although it had taken eight minutes for Will Goldston, a professional magician, to tie
up the medium, her guide freed her from the cord, the thread and the handcuffs in three minutes.

As a dramatic critic I ridiculed, in the witness-box, the idea that Mrs. Duncan could impersonate Albert, her guide.

Yet, in his summing-up, the only thing said by the Recorder about my evidence was: “All that Mr. Swaffer said was to contradict some of the others, not altogether to be wondered at.”

I did not contradict any of the others, for I was talking of séances at which they had not been present, and they were talking of sittings which I had not attended.

Besides, the Recorder seemed to have forgotten that I so smashed the case for the cheese-cloth theory that never again, after I left the box, was it held up or referred to.

I remembered how I could have killed the regurgitation theory, had the evidence been allowed, by producing a doctor’s certificate that Mrs. Duncan had a normal stomach and so could not regurgitate, and also X-Ray photographs proving that her stomach was normal. These, I held up in vain. These were not “evidence.”

In consequence, Morrison went so far as to say – and this was only a few weeks after he denied that we suffered any – that he understood our grievances, and that it should not be found impossible, when Parliament had time, to get through a non-controversial Bill guaranteeing Spiritualists their religious

It was during this appearance of Albert, the little girl and Helen Duncan; it was here that a message came via Albert that the circle would be given a first account experience.  It was with joy and excitement that circle was witness to the next step, a spirit body, which is believed relying on ectoplams came through as a figure.  Stooped over it was a female and she stood on one side of the table with position to be roughly what is thought as normal in height and posture.  The being was said to be Margaret.  It was seen by all members facing the figure, some say it was a grey colour and others a light outline.  It was also recognisable as Margaret as the lady some in the circle had seen in life knew her to have a stoop.  There was also clairscentience as this smell permiated around the room.

Mickey flashed in.  A little boy with sense of significant laughter.  He strode up to one of the sitters.  Then Ernest Hemingway, the name was only familliar.  Yet it is only after looking into this that it can be seen he was a regular at Stein’s salon, Hemingway met influential painters such as Pablo Picasso, Joan Miró, and Juan Gris.  Pablo Picasso has also made an appearance once previous in circle.

Ernest Miller Hemingway (July 21, 1899 – July 2, 1961) was an American author and journalist. His economical and understated style had a strong influence on 20th-century fiction, while his life of adventure and his public image influenced later generations. Hemingway produced most of his work between the mid-1920s and the mid-1950s, and won the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1954. He published seven novels, six short story collections and two non-fiction works. Three novels, four collections of short stories and three non-fiction works were published posthumously. Many of these are considered classics of American literature.

This theme of army and particular front combat is one which links Hemingway with Tony Hart who also made an appearance that evening.  Hemingway was raised in Oak Park, Illinois. After high school he reported for a few months for The Kansas City Star, before leaving for the Italian front to enlist with the World War I ambulance drivers. In 1918, he was seriously wounded and returned home. His wartime experiences formed the basis for his novel A Farewell to Arms. In 1922, he married Hadley Richardson, the first of his four wives. The couple moved to Paris, where he worked as a foreign correspondent, and fell under the influence of the modernist writers and artists of the 1920s “Lost Generation” expatriate community. The Sun Also Rises, Hemingway’s first novel, was published in 1926.

Ernest was also seen through the sitting with planes and bombings.  The name Luxembour g was flashed by spirit.  This evidenced his link both to the place, Luxembourg and his close love of it personally.

After his 1927 divorce from Hadley Richardson, Hemingway married Pauline Pfeiffer. They divorced after he returned from the Spanish Civil War where he had acted as a journalist, and after which he wrote For Whom the Bell Tolls. Martha Gellhorn became his third wife in 1940. They separated when he met Mary Welsh in London during World War II; during which he was present at the Normandy Landings and liberation of Paris.

The Charge of the Light Brigade, this not only was shown by spirit but connects the individuals, Tony Hart, Norman Wisdom, Arthur C. Clarke and Ernest Hemingway.  These people are not likely to be connected but through research it can be seen they all had close connection with war; not only this but the word Crimson Tide was shown both to reference the blood, loss of life, and the front stage reporting that was done by all these individuals.  The Charge of the Light Brigade, was a charge of British cavalry led by Lord Cardigan against Russian forces during the Battle of Balaclava on 25 October 1854 in the Crimean Warr. The charge was the result of a miscommunication in such a way that the brigade attempted a much more difficult objective than intended by the overall commander Lord Raglan. Blame for the miscommunication has remained controversial, as the original order itself was vague. The charge produced no decisive gains and resulted in very high casualties, and is best remembered as the subject of the poem “The Charge of the Light Brigade” by Alfred, Lord Tennyson, whose lines emphasize the valour of the cavalry in carrying out their orders, even “tho’ the soldier knew / Some one had blunder’d”.

Joyce Irene Grenfell Born in London, this Joyce was very active that evening.  Seen along with Albert, when her name was mentioned; the red light and taps could be seen and heard.  Joyce was the daughter of architect Paul Phipps (1880–1953), (the grandson of Charles Paul Phipps and a second cousin of Ruth Draper), and an eccentric American mother, Nora Langhorne (1889–1955), the daughter of Chiswell Langhorne, an American railroad millionaire. Nancy Astor, née Nancy Langhorne, was her mother’s sister and Grenfell often visited her at Astor’s home, Cliveden.

Joyce Phipps grew up around money and privilege. She had a Londonchildhood and considered herself a “townie”. Joyce attended the Francis Holland School in Central London, and the Christian Science School, Clearview, in South Norwood, and then she was “finished” inParis where she attended Mlle. Ozanne’s finishing school at the age of 17.

It was not only this, but the fact that Norman Wisdom, made a show in circle, he drew her close, in 1927, she met Reginald Pascoe Grenfell (1903–1993); they were married two years later at St. Margaret’s, Westminster; they remained married for 50 years (until her death).

She made her stage debut in 1939 in the Little Revue. In 1942 she wrote what became her signature song, “I’m Going to See You Today.”

During World War II, Grenfell toured North Africa, Southern Italy, the Middle East and Indiawith her pianist Viola Tunnard performing for British troops.  Viola was also mentioned in circle.  In 1989, her wartime journals were published under the title The Time of My Life: Entertaining the Troops. Her singing and comedic talents on stage led to offers to appear in motion picture comedies. Although she performed in a number of films, she continued with her musical recording career, producing a number of humorous albums as well as books; she also connects in spirit with the war.  Also in her experience s.

Her connection to comedy is important.  As a writer at the BBC during and just after the war, she collaborated with Stephen Potter in writing the “How” series of 30 satirical programmes from How to Talk to Children to How to Listen. During the 1950s she made her name as a sidekick to such comedy greats as Alastair Sim and Margaret Rutherford in films such as The Happiest Days of Your Life (1950) and the St Trinian’s series. She was also a member of the influential Pilkington Committee on Broadcasting from 1960 to 1962. Her fame reached as far as the U.S.A. and she appeared on The Ed Sullivan Show alongside Elvis Presley.

Grenfell is now best remembered for her one-woman shows and monologues, in which she invented roles including a harassed nursery teacher (“George – don’t do that”). She gained additional popularity as a result of her frequent appearances on the BBC’s classical music quiz show, Face the Music. Although her humour appeared light and frilly on the surface, there was always a surprisingly dark undertone.

Much of the music for Grenfell’s revues and shows was the result of a collaboration with the composers and pianists Richard Addinsell and William Blezard. From 1954 to 1974, Blezard composed Grenfell’s songs and spoof operettas such as Freda and Eric. They performed on stage and television all overBritain, America and Australia.

Grenfell was a member of the Church of Christ, Scientist, a religious organisation based on Christianity and spiritual healing.  This was not known, as all the other information, her draw on funny moments seemed to work with the energy of Norman Wisdom and Mickey.

The Isle of Man, was then seen, then up against Norman Wisdom.  His form was seen but with him tripping and nearly falling in one of the sitter’s laps.  It made us laugh.  His wave and the name Pitkin connected him to a show he once performed in.  His parting words drew a smile and grin to the circle; evidential that spirit keeps its personality even after passing.

Sir Harry Donald Secombe, CBE (8 September 1921 – 11 April 2001), this was the next comedy individual.  He was a Welsh entertainer with a talent for comedy and a noted fine tenor singing voice. He is best known for playing Neddie Seagoon, the central character in the BBC radio comedy series The Goon Show (1951–60). He also appeared in musicals and, in his later years, was a prominent presenter of television shows incorporating hymns and other devotional songs.  Now, intriguingly, the only link one member knew and saw was Oliver the name and then more… this phrase can I have some more?  It is now known this same man was in the film Oliver and notable for this scene.

“To Know him was to love him.”  Princess Margaret and the Duke of Kent all visited his funeral.

Norman Antony “Tony” Hart (15 October 1925 – 18 January 2009) was an English artist and children’s television presenter.  He was next to flash, a face seen in circle, and the name.  He was famous for television shows such as Vision On, Playbox, Take Hart and Hartbeat.  Tetorial Army was his connective link to the fighting, which so much of the sitting threw up, and his link to Blue Peter; not only as an artistic logo on TV but as the evidential Naval connection. 

Sir Arthur Charles Clarke, CBE, FRAS, Sri Lankabhimanya, (16 December 1917 – 19 March 2008) was a British science fiction author, inventor, and futurist, famous for his short stories and novels, among them 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968), and as a host and commentator in the British television series Mysterious World.   He came through towards the end of circle.  For many years, Robert A. Heinlein, Isaac Asimov, and Clarke were known as the “Big Three” of science fiction.

Clarke served in the Royal Air Force as a radar instructor and technician from 1941–1946. He proposed a satellite communication system in 1945 which won him the Franklin Institute Stuart Ballantine Gold Medal in 1963. He was the chairman of the British Interplanetary Society from 1947–1950 and again in 1953.  Once again he had seen fighting.  Also, it is known that this might be a humerous link, from spirit but an alien head was seen in circle.  Not only does it reference the science element but also comedy. The circle seemed to be shown a link from spirit, one that instigated the common pursuit.

Clarke emigrated to Sri Lanka in 1956 largely to pursue his interest in scuba diving: that year, he discovered the underwater ruins of the ancient Koneswaram temple in Trincomalee. He lived in Sri Lanka until his death. He was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II in 1998, and was awarded Sri Lanka’s highest civil honour, Sri Lankabhimanya, in 2005. 

It was a most engaging and wonderful circle.  The persons present were keen to talk of literary and war connection.  The ectoplasms questioning and link was well taken care of by spirit.  Not only were we treated to seeing a form with this substance, this counted for the practical but also we were finding out info as to how it can be shown in substance and colour.  The theme of the Royal Navy and Airforce threw up connections of which no one was aware.  It was reliable and reassuring to know how influential and evidential spiit were being. 

It should also be noted that Peter O’Tool was mentioned by spirit.

The circle was drawn down to a finish as the energy drew back.  It was much later than thought.

It was exceptional and touching to see Helen Duncan take such an active role. 

Hannen Swaffer’s account As published by Zerdini on:

Pics taken from online source.  Pics are of Ernest Hemingway, Joyce Grenfell, Harry Seacombe, Charles A. Clarke and Mickey (in portrait.)