The August seminars at the comfortable
Cardiff Moat House Hotel have now become a regular and popular event in The
Noah's Ark calendar. Once again we experienced a very full and interesting
weekend and my threat to swim in the hotel's indoor pool never materialised due
to lack of time! However, what materialised at the two seances was far more
important! Mediums Stewart Alexander and Colin Fry provided the physical
mediumship for the two seances. It was with great joy that we welcomed back
Stewart as illness prevented him attending the Burton-on-Trent seminar earlier
The seminar commenced after dinner on the Friday evening with the 'Welcome and Introductions' followed by Scottish medium Mary Armour's talk entitled 'Raise the Titanic - The Story of W T Stead' (tape number: Cardiff 8.98.1). This talk was a new venture for Mary as her speciality is the history of Helen Duncan, on which she is a leading expert. Anyway, she had certainly done her homework on W T Stead. The play on words of the title derives from the fact that Stead drowned when the Titanic went down in April 1912. Why he chose to make that sea journey is a mystery. As Mary pointed out, he received many warnings from the Spirit World before setting out. We found out from Mary that Stead was a very gifted man with eclectic talents and interests. His psychic abilities included that of automatic writing.
Saturday's schedule commenced early with a
9.15am start to 'The Great Days of Physical Mediumship' by Professor David
Fontana (Cardiff 8.98. 2), the period referred to being the first 50 years
existence of The Society for Psychical Research. During this period (up to 1932)
many eminent men from the worlds of politics, philosophy and science studied
seance room phenomena and vouched for the authenticity. It was fascinating to
hear the accounts of materialised forms in broad daylight, some of which would
even walk out into the garden! David also pointed out that in spite of the
claims so often made by sceptics (and recently repeated on TV), fraudulent
mediumship was in fact quite rare.
The morning was rounded off with an
illustrated talk by Riley Heagerty from the USA on the mediumship of the Bangs
sisters (Cardiff 8.98.4). This talk went with a bang as well due to the mirror
on the overhead projector suddenly exploding near the end of his talk! The
mirror disintegrated into several pieces with nobody standing near it - most
Saturday afternoon gave delegates the
option to attend a trance workshop with Colin Fry, ask Stewart Alexander
questions on physical mediumship (Cardiff 8.98.5) or to receive spiritual
healing. Late Saturday afternoon was time for the usual 'Instructions for
sitting' by George Cranley. This is a compulsory session for those attending the
seances to ensure participants know how to conduct themselves during the seance.
The Society takes its responsibility of ensuring the mediums' safety very
seriously and sitters must behave to a strict code of conduct.
Freda Johnson came next and spoke of how
difficult the conditions were compared with Stewart's home circle (no doubt due
to the problem of harmonising the energies of the nearly fifty sitters present).
She said that it didn't matter how much love was sent out it was still
difficult. Freda also relayed evidential messages to two sitters and encouraged
everyone to speak to others to advance the great work being done to draw the two
The table previously mentioned played a part in the next experiment when Walter requested a lady by the name of Blanche to sit next to the table. She and others nearby were able to see a hand materialise on the glass table top which was illuminated from below with a dull red light for this experiment. They could discern four fingers slowly forming. From where I was sitting in the second row only the general shape of a hand was discernible due to the low light level (like many older people my eyesight is not so good in low light conditions). Blanche was then asked to put her hand down on the table top. She saw and felt her hand being stroked and finally patted by the materialised hand which Walter said was his hand. After a lady received a short message from her mother and a relative called Jack, the final communication came from Noah Zerdin via Walter who sent his best wishes to us all. So the Society's namesake is still keeping an interest in what is going on.
Another 9.15am start on Sunday produced
some sleepy heads by those who had stayed up to gone 3am in the bar! However,
the early start was well worth it to hear 'A Fresh Look at the Mediumship of
Jack Webber' by David E. Edwards (Cardiff 8.98.7). David gave us a wealth of
interesting detail about Jack and his background. For instance, Jack married
into a family of mediums and it was not unknown in the home circle to have two
mediums in trance simultaneously. Furthermore, guides had been known to converse
to one another in a foreign language! David projected several photos showing
ectoplasm taken from Harry Edwards' book The Mediumship of Jack Webber.
Harry, by the way, was Jack's manager after Jack's father reluctantly
relinquished the job in the early days of Jack's mediumship due to ill health.
Our old friend, the slightly outrageous
female impersonator called Dolly, came through next and chattered to several
present. He established a link from a Dorothy to a David in the seance room.
Dorothy then was able to communicate directly and gave much family detail which
the recipient will have to verify as most of the facts conveyed were unknown to
him. If he can verify this information as correct what excellent proof this will
be. Of the other contacts made, the most evidential was perhaps that by Mona Van
der Watt who held George Cranley's hand whilst communicating. George said the
contact was extremely evidential and that her hand was just as he remembered it
to be 'much more slender than the regular male communicators or, for that
matter, to that of the medium's hand.
NB. This article appeared in the December 1997 NAS Newsletter.
(C) Noah's Ark Society
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