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Talking about the Eager Dead

Michael Tymn has a great feature on his blog, an interview with Dr. Archie E. Roy, professor emeritus of astronomy and honorary research fellow at the University of Glasgow, who is also an investigator of apparent psychic phenomena. Dr Roy recently wrote perhaps the definitive account of the cross-correspondences – regarded by many as the best evidence for contact from beyond the grave – titled The Eager Dead (Amazon US and UK). Head on over to Mike’s blog and read the full thing – below are some highlights.

Dr Roy on investigating a poltergeist case:

One case stands out in my mind. In 1972 I became involved in the Maxwell Park case with my colleague, the Rev. Max Magee, chaplain to the students of Strathclyde University. It was a powerful poltergeist case which had lasted half a year before I was called in. The family members were terrified by the physical manifestations that tormented them…In time some fifty people were witnesses, including cynical journalists, town councilors, doctors, policemen and others, turned from original scepticism to utter conviction that they had witnessed the paranormal. A police officer told me, ‘You know, I had to take some of my men off that case. They were turning in reports like ‘The bed was proceeding in a northerly direction.’

On the influence, and subsequent obscurity, of Fred Myers in the field of psychical research:

Charles Richet said: ‘If Myers was not a mystic, he had all the faith of a mystic and the ardour of an apostle, in conjunction with the sagacity and precision of a savant.’ And yet just a few years ago, a young parapsychologist at the International Conference of the Society for Psychical Research could begin his presentation by referring to him vaguely as ‘Some guy called Myers.’ The audience’s frisson of surprise was akin to that we would expect at a modern physics conference if a young speaker had used the phrase ‘Some guy called Einstein’.

On the evidence for an afterlife:

To me, at the present time, the evidence for the survival of bodily death is of such strength that it is the most parsimonious theory accounting for much more than any other.

Have to say though that I’m not sure about the end of the interview, where Dr Roy claims to be writing a “true detective story” about “a particular event, the deliberate creation of the stellar constellation figures.” Did the trickster just step in the room?

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