Gilbert Sanctuary

Article Number 14
Article Number 11 (Part 2): Psychic Photography at Scole on New and Unwrapped 35mm Films in Total Darkness.

I mentioned at the end of my previous article the generous donation of films and Equipment to us – the ‘Scole Experimental Group’ – by Polaroid UK. These films, which consisted of different varieties of 35mm Polaroid films, plus a number of cassettes of flat Polaroid films (used in Land Cameras), and an expensive Development and Processing Unit actually arrived at Scole on Monday 7th November 1994 in two very large boxes. This was also the day of the session following the first Seminar and Demonstration of our work we had ever held away from Scole – at Felixstowe.

During our sitting that night, after the films arrived, we were spoken to by ‘Paxton’, an evolved member of the ‘Council of Communion’ who ‘oversaw’ our Scole experimental work. he told us that it should not have come as any surprise to us for us to learn that our Spirit Team had been aware for some time of the likelihood that we would receive a measure of backing from Polaroid. I asked Paxton if there was therefore any possibility of the founder of the Polaroid Corporation – Doctor Land – working from within our Spirit Team on the photographic side. I was told that this had not been ruled out for the future, but that we did actually have an English Spirit Scientist working with us already – who had been researching and developing the concept of instant films himself (with a considerable amount of success) at the same time as Dr Land. We learned that the work of this member of the Scole Spirit Team was itself well documented in the scientific world.

At our session on November 14th, ‘Raji’ came to discuss the photographic experiments. We had not put out a Polaroid 35mm film – as we were waiting for the Spirit Team’s instructions regarding our new Polaroid films, but we did put out 2 flat Polaroid films in the usual way. The results on these flat films was good. One print showed a yellow background – and the other a background in yellow and brown. Each picture, however, depicted a green ‘mist’ or energy build-up. Part way through the session, one of the group members had had one of these flat Polaroid films handed to him by a solid Spirit personality. We were asked to start using the Polaroid 35mm films at the next sitting, but to ensure that for the time being we ensured that the types of Polaroid 35mm film we used were the same type and ASA each week. Polaroid had – in fact – supplied us with three different types of 35mm film, each with a different ASA. Again on November 18th, there was no result on the 35mm film, but we did have two excellent prints on the flat Polaroid films – showing energy formations in greens, yellows and browns.

The real breakthrough on the 35mm Polaroid film came during our session on November 21st. We put a black-and white 35mm 125 ASA slide film (in its sealed plastic container) on the central table during that session. When we developed this afterwards in the special processing unit, it was shown to contain just one definite shot – of a Chinese idol, which we immediately mounted into a slide and projected so that we could examine it closer. The clarity of this image was not fantastic, but the content was easily discernible – and the result was very much a FIRST for us!!! There was further progress too on the three flat Polaroid films we had put on the table whilst we sat. Two of these showed excellent results – depicting coloured, swirling energy with one almost as good as a popular abstract painting – whilst the third had clearly not been affected at all, and emerged totally black (by way of a ‘control’ picture) which, logically speaking is how all of the pictures should have appeared!!

On November 25th, the black and white 35mm Polaroid film was found to have on it lots of blobs, lights and ‘swirling energies’. Two of the three flat Polaroid films had been affected – with a mass of coloured shapes and apparent energy on them. The third had once again been left alone, and was totally black. There were similar results three days later, with interesting and colourful images on the flat Polaroid films, together with numerous lights and misty patches throughout the whole of the black and white 35mm film. On December 2nd, no work was done by the Spirit Team on the 35mm film, but one of the three flat Polaroids turned out to be superb. On it was a mixture of black and yellow, and there appeared to be some words on it too, although we could not make out exactly what they said. There had now been a number of attempts by the ‘Photographic Department’ of the ‘Spirit Team’ to achieve some clear results. The first positive indication and breakthrough on 35mm Polaroid film had produced a picture of a ‘Chinese Idol’.

On December 9th 1994, the results progressed further. We were told at the start that this would be a short session, as most of the available energies were needed for the Spirit Team to concentrate on the Photographic Work. ‘Raji’ gave us a running commentary on what was going on in that direction, explaining to us that he expected us to see some writing on one of the films, with a second ‘shot’ depicting a group of men. This was an interesting prediction from ‘Raji’. After all, the 35mm film was still sealed in its light-proof plastic ‘tub’, as supplied by Polaroid, and had never been exposed to light! Surely it was evidential, therefore, that ‘Raji’s’ prediction turned out to be 100% accurate!! When the 35mm film was developed afterwards, we discovered that it contained two extremely clear images. The first showed part of the elaborate title page of an old fashioned piece of Sheet Music – entitled “When We’re Together”. We had never heard of this piece of music before, and our enquiries to find its composer and origin drew a total Blank.

In fact, it was only two years ago in 2012 that someone who had read my book actually traced a copy of that sheet music for sale, which I naturally ‘snapped up’!! I discovered that the music had been written by Emerson James, with words by Clifton Bingham in 1908. The front page of this music we received on the photograph was identical to the original. The clarity of the second photograph on the 35mm film was superb. It showed a picture of three men standing in front of a World War 1 monoplane. Judging by their uniforms (particularly their kepis), two of the men appeared to be French. The third man was scruffily dressed in the style of the military pilots of the day (open cockpit aeroplanes of this early nature were prone to cover their pilots in dirt, grease and oil). There were 8 more images on this film, but they were more obscure, and did not display the clarity and detail of the two main pictures. One thing was now certain – the second phase of our photographic experiments – working with Polaroid Films without a camera – was now well under way!!! Once again, the two flat Polaroid films had both been influenced by the Spirit Team and showed interesting multi-coloured images – which we took to be a representation of some of the ‘Creative Energy’ that had been present during our sitting.

At our sittings on December 27th and 30th, the results on the 35mm Polaroid films were disappointing, but we continued to get very good results on the two or three flat Polaroid films we used. These depicted various aspects of coloured energy. One had ‘depth’ to it so it resembled a crater on another planet. The next ‘breakthrough’ we had with regard to the photographic work came at our session on Friday 13th January 1995. There were no results at all during that session on the flat Polaroid films but – on the 35mm film, there were two pictures of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (one included here). One of these was very clear, with the other more blurred, and taken from a different angle. Additionally, another frame showed a very clear photograph of the signature of Ivor Novello. When we compared this with an example of his signature during his lifetime (which we discovered later) it was almost identical!! Finally, there was a clear handwritten message in Romanised Sanscrit (included here) that proved to be a verse from the sacred book known as the ‘Scrimad Bhagavatam’.

Towards the end of January 1995, we were given the go-ahead by the Spirit Team to invite two representatives of Polaroid UK to join us as guests at an experimental session in the near future. We were still using black and white 35mm Polaroid films at that stage but – when we sat on February 3rd, we were asked (next time we sat) to put out one of the 35mm colour Polaroid films – as usual, sealed into its original plastic ‘tub’. This needed to be as close to the centre of the table as possible. We did have some interesting results on the 3rd as well. On the black and white 35mm film we had used, there were several very clear pictures that seemed extremely unusual. They resembled nothing that we had previously seen in our photographic experiments, and we were told by the Spirit Team that they were actually showing ‘Areas of Existence and Communication’ within the Spirit World. (example included here).

As requested by the Spirit Team, we used a colour 35mm Polaroid film at our next sitting (sealed in its tub) on Monday February 6th. This sitting provided yet another breakthrough with regard to the photographic work when we received no less than 15 breathtaking colour slides on the 35mm film (whilst there were no results at all on the flat Polaroids). These – like the previous black and white results – also depicted ‘Areas of Existence and Communication’ within the Spirit World (example included here). The images were excellent, and quite unique, with a surprising depth of colour to them. Another 35mm Polaroid colour slide film was put out when we sat on February 12th 1995. Again, this film resulted in 14 clear and colourful frames showing the ‘areas of existence’ in the Spirit World. On March 6th the results on the black and white 35mm Polaroid film were disappointing. just one frame affected, showing an image that resembled ‘moons’ in outer space. For the first time in several weeks, however, we did have a positive result on one of the two flat Polaroids. This contained a yellow and brown combination of ‘speckled energy’. The Spirit Team explained that they were working up to the visit of the Polaroid People with the photographic experiments. Once their visit had taken place, there would not be so much emphasis on the film work in the immediate future.

The emphasis of the work during our session on March 10th was once again on Spirit Photography. At the end of the sitting we discovered that the results on the 35mm Polaroid Polapan film which had been left on the table were good. Firstly, there was a picture of a good-looking young man who was named by the Spirit Team as Kingsley Fairbridge. There were also three pictures – all in different directions on the film – of another verse from the ‘Scrimad Bhagavatam’. This was handwritten in a childish hand, and so untidy it looked as though a spider had written it whilst crawling across the page!! (picture included here). Finally, there was a picture of a diagram of what seemed like an unusual device that reminded us of an Aqualung with pistons. The image seemed to represent a page from a scientist’s notes, as it also contained faint writing. However, after discussing this picture with a number of scientists with whom we were in correspondence, we did eventually learn that it was – in fact – a drawing of a Western Standard Cell, used for the purposes of calibration.

Friday 17th March was the day when we were visited by the two Polaroid guests, who sat with us. Pat Wallace, who we had already met, was very open to psychic work and – we discovered – had, at one time in a circle for a short period. Her partner (introduced only as ‘Rudy’) was a different kettle of fish! He turned out to be strongly religious and somewhat of a closed sceptic, although he was primarily a Physicist at Polaroid. Our visitors picked out two black and white 35mm films at random from the batch they had brought with them. Since they had not brought any colour films, they picked out two at random from our existing stock. One of the black and white films, and one of the colour films were then chosen by them randomly to be used as ‘control’ films and without touching these – the two chosen films were labelled accordingly and Placed in Pat’s handbag for the duration of the session. the cellar was searched by our guests before ‘Rudy’ took the two 35mm films to be used in the experiment down to the cellar. These he placed about 4 inches apart at the middle of our central table in the cellar. Pat Wallace placed two flat packs of Polaroid film on the table, which they had brought with them.

When the session got under way, ‘Manu’ welcomed the guests, and hoped Pat would like the small token they were bringing for her. A soft ‘plop’ was heard shortly afterwards on the central table. This turned out the be the apport of a small teddy-bear. None of us knew that Pat was indeed a collector of teddy-bears!
Our Spirit Scientist friend ‘William’ spoke to the guests of some of the difficulties the Spirit Team had encountered whilst working with the Polaroid colour films. William discussed the complicated make-up of the colour films is a scientific and 100% accurate way (which was well beyond our own understanding). ‘Emily Bradshaw’ went on to give both guests some very accurate evidence from their own relatives and loved ones before the end of the sitting.

Immediately after the session, Pat and Rudy took the two 35mm experimental films that had been used upstairs with them and developed them in the special processing unit. Both the black and white film and the colour film had each produced 15 interesting slides (30 pictures in all). The colours on the one film were extremely vivid, with quite amazing results. During the session, ‘Emily’ had referred to cats, and it later transpired that Pat was a cat lover with many cats at home. We were not aware of this love of her life, but a number of clear cats’ faces in brilliant colour were evident on the film. The black and white film had a number of clear and human faces on it but – although none of these were recognised at the time, the images of these faces was good enough for someone who had known them in life to positively identify them. There had been no work at all done on the flat films or the ‘control’ films, which all came out totally blank when developed. An invitation was given to both guests to sit with us again but, unfortunately, and perhaps owing to Rudy’s strong religious views they declined our invitation in a letter we later received.

For almost 11 months, very little else occurred with psychic photography. We had continued to put out two flat Polaroid films at each session, which had occasional results – always showing a mixture of different coloured energies in various patterns. Over this period, however, there had been no more experiments with 35mm Polaroid films. We had met the 3 SPR scientists who wanted to sit with us regularly, and had experienced our first sitting with them as guests. The six members of the Scole Experimental group had become four, and we had met two German friends – Walter and Karin Schnittger – who the Spirit Team had agreed could sit with us perhaps once every two weeks. It was at a session with Walter and Karin on February 9th 1996, that a new phase of Photographic work with the 35mm films began in earnest. When the black and white 35mm film was developed after this session, there were no less than 10 clear and amazing images on it – all along the film.

When the three SPR investigators joined us on February 23rd, they brought their own 35mm Polaroid colour film with them, and this – in its ‘plastic ‘tub’ was placed on the central table during the sitting. When the film was developed afterwards, there were 4 colour frames on the film that had been influenced by Spirit. These contained what appeared to be some dark (apparently Greek) lettering on a green background. Further work was done with the 35mm Polaroid films when Prof. Arthur Ellison; Prof. David Fontana and Monty Keen from the SPR sat with us again on April 13th. The 35mm ‘Polablue’ film they brought with them, and which had remained sealed in its plastic ‘tub’ throughout the session (with their seals and signatures over the tub for security) again showed some Greek letters on one frame, with another phrase in French. The remainder of the film had 5 lines of writing running right across it. This writing appeared to be in verse (included here), and was accompanied by two signatures which appeared in what is known as ‘mirror writing’. In other words, they needed to be held up to a mirror in order for them to be read.

On July 19th 1996, one frame of a 35mm film was affected when Sandra held the plastic ‘tub’ containing the film in her hand for a while during the session. This showed a very clear picture of what appeared to be a sort of Planet in the Universe. This ‘shot’ became known to us as ‘Sandra’s World’. However, the most dramatic of the photographic experiments with 35mm Polaroid Films and 35mm ordinary films started to happen from July 22nd onwards, when films started to be influenced by the ‘Photographic Department’ of the Spirit Team along their entire length. A further evidential feature was added to our work when (as requested by the Spirit Team) we began to lock (and allow visitors to lock) the 35mm films (still fully wound on their spool and in their plastic ‘tubs’) into a wooden ‘security’ box during sittings (see picture of the box). The result on the 22nd showed a dramatic colour picture of the Greek Letters ‘Alpha’ and ‘Omega’ (included here). On July 26th, when Walter Schnittger was with us, and held the film throughout our session, we discovered when it was developed (and right along its length) a handwritten Poem in an ancient German language, plus images in Chinese/Japanese writing and various symbols (included here).

On November 9th 1996, the three SPR researchers arrived for their sitting with a 35mm ‘Kodachrome’ film they had bought, and this was locked into the wooden box during the session. Neither the box nor the film were touched by any of us in the Scole Experimental Group. A further experimental session had been arranged for Professor David Fontana and his colleague Ingrid Slack two days later. at the end of the first session, The Spirit Team asked David Fontana to take the locked box away with him – still locked and containing the ‘Kodachrome’ film – and to return it during his next sitting two days later. He did this, and the film, still in the locked box, was placed back on the table for the second sitting. Afterwards he took it away with him and delivered it to Kodak, with whom a special arrangement had been made to develop and print the whole film as a single unit. Everybody was amazed when the film was found to contain eleven or twelve handwritten lines of a poem by William Wordsworth called ‘Ruth’. The initialled WW signature was included on the film (see illustration).
On January 11th 1997, we once again sat with three SPR Investigators. They brought their own ‘Kodachrome’ 35mm film with them, and locked it into our wooden security box as usual. None of us in the Scole Group touched either the film or the security box. After the session, the still ‘rolled up’ new film in its plastic tub was taken away by Monty Keen to Kodak Laboratories to be developed according to his ‘special arrangement’ – in its entirety, rather than in the usual ‘frame by frame’ setup. The results were quite amazing. We had been told during the session by ‘Spirit Team’ member ‘Edwin’ that the film would show how the TDC device could be modified to give better results in that advanced method of communication. The film showed a clear and distinctive hand-drawn diagram that set out the exact modifications needed to the germanium-based TDC. This was accompanied by a handwritten note on the film, which was completed with the initialled signature ‘TAE’. Months later, when Monty Keen managed to acquire a photocopy of a memo that Thomas Edison had signed with his initials in 1926, his initialled signature on the memo was almost identical to that on our film – which he had signed psychically from Beyond the Grave!!! (See enclosed photos).
The following Friday, we sat as a group with Karin and Walter Schnittger as guests. They brought with them a colour 35mm Polaroid film (we had long since run out of our own stock of Polaroid 35mm films). This one session produced a fantastic photographic result under ‘Test Conditions’ (picture enclosed here). The film became known as our ‘Dragon’ film. There was a picture of a dragon, lying on its back. There was also an image of a snake on a cross (the Caduceus); a bank of possibly Hebrew writing; a Latin inscription that read ‘Quadrans Muralis’; an image of a triangle (or pyramid); a circle with a cross in the middle; an Ankh; a star of David; the name of an Angel – ‘Cassiel’, and finally – the image of a Queen with Crown and Halo. (See enclosed photos).
On Friday January 24th 1997, there was another photographic experiment when SPR Investigators Monty Keen, Alan Gauld and Professor Donald West (an arch and lifetime sceptic) sat with us as guests. Again they brought their own ‘Kodachrome’ 35mm film with them, and again it was locked into the wooden security box. None of the Scole Group touched the box or the film from the start to the end of the session. Monty took the film personally to the Kodak Laboratory for them to develop. The film seemed to have a sort of ‘Totem Pole’ drawing from end to end, with several symbols within it. It bore the signature of ‘Daguerre’ (a French photographic pioneer). There was also a picture of the moon, with the words ‘Can you see behind the Moon?’ (Pictures enclosed here).

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