The year begins with the sad news of the death of Gerd H. Hövelmann. A long-standing member of the Society for Psychical Research, Editor of the Zeitschrift für Anomalistik and a prolific author, he was one of the leading experts in parapsychology and will be greatly missed. As well as a profound thinker, he was also a witty conversationalist – talking to him was always as amusing as it was instructive. His friend and colleague, Dr Gerhard Mayer, chairman of the Gesellschaft für Anomalistik, has written a moving obituary for this issue and later this year we will be able to publish an interview Hövelmann gave for the Paranormal Review.
In our regular features, Prof. John Poynton concludes his two-part discussion of Henry Sidgwick; Dr Peter Hewitt takes on the Permanent Paranormal Object challenge for this issue, introducing us to an unusual WWI-era exhibit from the Museum of Witchcraft and Magic in Boscastle, Cornwall; and Brandon Hodge presents Pine’s Spiritual Telegraph from 1874.
Prior to publishing my first issue of the Paranormal Review in July 2014 on the theme of WWI, I had an interesting experience in the shape of a WWI postcard appearing apparently out of nowhere. According to Mary Rose Barrington, objects that mysteriously appear, or disappear and re-appear, often dismissed as ‘Just One of Those Things’, may hold the secret to the problem of psi.
Ann de Jersey’s experience was less easy to dismiss, but also involved a leap of faith in trusting apparently paranormal evidence. Prof. Adrian Parker talks to Brian Millar in the first of a two-part interview. New research by Wim Kramer and Iris van der Knaap inspired by an earlier issue of the Paranormal Review has unearthed some secrets of the past. Robert Charman joins us again, this time to look at the phenomenon of ‘telesomatic twins’.
In this issue we also launch the Paranormal Review’s first photography competition to capture the ‘spirit’ of the paranormal. With a high-powered judging panel and a fantastic prize from Olympus, plus the opportunity to have your photograph on the cover of the Paranormal Review, this is a competition to get your flashbulbs firing.
Finally, just as the magazine was about to go to press we were fortunate to get confirmation from Prof. Bernard Carr of the line-up for the next SPR Study Day on 29 April 2017. The full details are given [in this issue]. I hope to see many of you there. Ψ
Dr Leo Ruickbie
WHATS IN ISSUE 81
4 President’s Letter
The President of the SPR, Prof. John Poynton, concludes his two-part article on the SPR’s first president, Henry Sidgwick.
Dr Gerhard Mayer pays tribute to the late Gerd H. Hövelmann.
7 Permanent Paranormal Object
Dr Peter Hewitt presents an unusual exhibit from the Museum of Witchcraft and Magic in Cornwall: a piece of chocolate with a history.
8 From Jott to Cosmic Control
Mary Rose Barrington asks whether ‘Just One of Those Things’ could solve the problem of psi and paranormalize our understanding of ‘normal’.
11 The Occult Life of an Extraordinary Ex-Parapsychologist
In the first of a two-part interview, Prof. Adrian Parker talks to Brian Millar about his interrupted career as a parapsychologist.
16 It Happens When You Least Expect It
Ann de Jersey describes the time a mysterious, perhaps paranormal, communication saved the life of a friend.
19 Photography Competition
Find out how to enter the Paranormal Review’s first photography competition for a chance to win a great prize from Olympus and the opportunity to have your picture on the cover of the magazine.
20 Dutch Members of the SPR in 1915
Wim Kramer and Iris van der Knaap present the results of their research into the SPR’s Dutch members in 1915 and discover interesting new historical evidence.
22 Telesomatic Twins
Robert Charman analyzes the research on telesomatic experiences reported by twins.
26 Lucid in Leeds
Dr Leo Ruickbie reports on the SPR’s 40th conference at the University of Leeds last year, including an impromptu ‘lucid light’ demonstration.
32 Ghosts in the Machines
Brandon Hodge presents Pine’s Spiritual Telegraph.
Dr Fotini Pallikari
The group photograph from the SPR’s 40th conference in 2016.
36 Help Build Your Society
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The Society for Psychical Research
The SPR was the first organisation established to examine allegedly paranormal phenomena using scientific principles. Our aim is to learn more about events and abilities commonly described as ‘psychic’ or ‘paranormal’ by supporting research, sharing information and encouraging debate. The SPR is a Registered Charity, established in 1882.