Article Number 7
Percussive and Musical Phenomena at Scole
This article deals with the wide variety of Percussive Physical Phenomena that occurred throughout the five years of ‘The Scole Experiment’, together with the amazing range of Musical Phenomena that we were privileged to witness in different locations during our private sessions and public demonstrations.
Some of the very earliest phenomena in every developing group or circle involved with physical psychic phenomena – whether or not the group is working in the ‘ectoplasmic-based’ or the ‘energy-based’ way – is the presence of spirit ‘raps’, ‘taps’, ‘pings’ and ‘thumps’ during sittings. The Scole Experimental Group was no exception to this observation, in that from the very first sitting of the new Scole group on September 21st 1992, we experienced some audible phenomena. There were just three of us present: Sandra, me and Mimi Salisbury (a local French business lady from Diss – who owned a Marine Engineering company in South Wales).
I played a background tape of songs during this sitting, and one of the songs we listened to was the signature tune of comedians Morecambe and Wise – ‘Bring Me Sunshine’. Eric Morecambe himself had passed into Spirit by this time. To our utter amazement, whilst this tune was playing, the sound of three distinct sets of clicks was heard from mid-air. These sounded precisely like the clockwork metal false teeth that Eric Morecambe had used in his stage and TV act before he ‘died’. It sounded so hilarious when we recognised the similarity of sound that all three of us burst into uncontrolled laughter at our unexpected ‘result’.
Following this sitting, we suddenly started to notice physical psychic activity building up around the house between group sessions. This mostly happened in our bedroom at night – where we experienced constant raps and taps on walls, doors, ceiling, light bulbs and even the headboard of the bed itself!! It seemed then that the psychic energies were being gathered together in preparation for the work that would one day be done through the Scole Experimental Group.
This activity continued during group sessions once we had gathered together all the original seven members of the Scole Experimental Group. I recorded (regarding our session on May 3rd 1993) that we had heard a number of ‘clicks’, ‘whistles’, and ‘raps on the walls and ceiling’ during the sitting. Later that year, as the different phenomena (starting with ‘apports’ in October 1993) continued to build up, we were delighted to hear, on December 13th, the set of cowbells – that we had hung from the very high ceiling – being rung three times in the session by our spirit friends (we referred to as our ‘Spirit Team’).
On December 27th 1993 – during our regular experimental session, as well as the ringing of the string of cowbells (which happened frequently thereafter too), we heard a sound which sounded very much like the dragging of a pencil over the vaulted brick roof of the ‘Scolehole’ Cellar where our sessions took place. This sound persisted for several minutes before one of our Spirit Team explained that – in order for them to work in an ‘energy-based’ way to produce physical phenomena for us – it was necessary for them to create an energy ‘Canopy’ rather like an umbrella above us in the room, so that phenomena could be produced underneath it within the room. At a later date, we were even permitted to take a photograph of the ‘Energy Canopy’.
At this same sitting, we experienced many loud ‘thumps’ and ‘thwacks’ that were made by the Spirit Team on the cellar walls and spare chairs in the room. Furthermore, there was a long series of loud raps on the central table that sounded as though they were being made by drum sticks (although there were no physical drum sticks in the room at any stage of the evening) – beating out a ‘tattoo’! Many other ‘raps’, ‘taps’ and sporadic ‘cracks’ in the air were also heard that night. This percussive phenomena became a regular part of our sessions from then on.
During a sitting on January 3rd 1994 (in addition to the non-related event when sitters were sprinkled with drops of water) the much longer drawn-out period of ‘drumming’ (apparently by non-existent drum sticks) was interspersed by the rattling of what sounded like Chinese ‘Chopsticks’; a much lighter noise than that created by the apparent ‘Drum Sticks’. A few sessions later, a tambourine (which one of our group members had placed in the room) was levitated and played in time to the background music. At one sitting, the internal handle of the locked cellar door was ‘rattled’ heavily.
It was apparent that our Spirit Team were able to duplicate and produce almost any sound they wanted (that we might recognise from our daily lives), and it was not long before their sense of humour made itself known through these sounds. For instance, we were told that they were going to give Sandra a ‘Haircut’ on her Birthday in 1995, followed immediately by the sound of a comb and scissors working noisily and ‘snipping away’. Needless to say, there was no comb or set of scissors in the room!!
The ‘Musical’ phenomena as such really started during a sitting on the Island of Ibiza on June 28th 1996. By this time, there were just the four permanent members of the Scole Experimental Group: the mediums Alan and Diana Bennett, Sandra and me. Our host – Hans Schaer (a Swiss businessman) – was the other person present at the session, which was held in his holiday home and Finca on the Island, whilst a lady friend of his relaxed by the swimming pool outside.
Hans was especially keen on collecting musical instruments, which he kept in a special ‘Music Cellar’ at his main home in Zurich, Switzerland as he had – in the past – been a trumpet-playing member of a Jazz Band, and he liked to bring one of his trumpets on holiday with him to Ibiza, so he could play it for relaxation purposes. Just prior to this particular sitting in Ibiza, Hans had asked me if he might be allowed to bring his musical trumpet into the session with him. I had suggested that this would be OK if he placed the trumpet beside his chair, then asked the Spirit Team for their permission to put it on the table in front of him.
This he did and – shortly afterwards – our Spirit Team spokesperson Emily Bradshaw did ask him to put his trumpet on the table so that our Spirit Friends could have a look at it. Hans did as he was asked; placing the trumpet on the circular central table in such a way that it was lying on its side, pointing towards the centre of the table. The mouthpiece, however, was at the edge of the table – just a couple of inches away from where Hans himself was sitting. He had put it there on purpose, so that none of us Scole Group members could possibly have had access to the mouthpiece! It would have been physically impossible for any of us to have fitted into the short space between Hans and the trumpet mouthpiece without him immediately knowing about it. In any case, none of us was actually capable of playing a trumpet!!!
Not long afterwards, we all heard a noise on the table – indicating the fact that the valves (pistons) on the trumpet were being manipulated. Then we heard a sound as though the mouthpiece was being blown into (at this stage, Hans felt psychic breezes around his face). Finally, there was a very loud full-blown note that came from the trumpet, which was followed by three or four other notes!! We still have a recording of this amazing phenomena, which was so loud that it was clearly heard by the lady who was sitting by the pool!!
On July 1st, we had a second sitting in Hans’ Finca – again with just the five of us there. There was no way – as a musician – that Hans was going to miss this second opportunity of repeating his successful musical experiment of 3 days earlier. Hans therefore placed the trumpet in the same position it had occupied previously on the central table. Not long into the session, we all heard tapping sounds on the trumpet, and ‘blowing’ sounds in the air. After this, a small but bright Spirit Light travelled along the trumpet to show us that it was still in its original position, whilst the sound of a trumpet being blown loudly came from mid-air immediately afterwards. Then we heard constant drumming on the central table (and another one further away) which sounded as though it was being made by either wooden or metal drum sticks (although there were none of these physically in the room). This ‘drumming’ built to an amazing ‘crescendo’, with the spirit ‘drummer’ demonstrating his skills well. Loud ‘raps’ also occurred on the back and bottom of Sandra’s chair.
A trumpet was then once again blown loudly – apparently in mid-air – with many different sequences of notes. At one point, it was moved right to the other end of the 30 foot long room instantly before sounding. Hans was of the opinion that the player could have been a military bugler, as some of the sequences sounded like known bugle calls. Whilst the trumpet was being ‘blown’, the three of us who were conscious (the two mediums were, of course, in deep trance) made a point of all talking together at the same time – in order to prove that it could not have been any of us blowing the trumpet. At one stage, I was informed by an ‘energy voice’ that a trumpet was pointing directly at me and – shortly afterwards – there was a blast so loud in my direction, that I feared for the safety of my eardrums!!!
Another instrument sounded a little later on. This time – from its tone – the instrument sounded like a trombone according to Hans, and yet (as we already knew) there was no physical trombone in the room. Then we were told by Emily Bradshaw that the instruments that were being played were only the ‘spiritual counterparts’ of physical instruments.
Our Spirit Team at Scole had long ago confirmed that Dr. Hans Schaer was to be regarded as an ‘honorary member’ of the Scole Experimental Group, and the amazing experiments we witnessed with ‘Musical Phenomena’ were orchestrated by our Spirit Team with just Hans Schaer in mind. In total, there were only four experimental sessions where ‘Musical Phenomena’ was demonstrated by the Spirit Team. I have described the two we enjoyed at Hans’ holiday home in Ibiza. The other two took place in the special ‘Music Cellar’ (which housed his extensive collection of musical instruments) at his main home in Kusnacht – just outside Zurich in Switzerland – and proved to be even more fantastic than the previous two sessions.
The first of these was held on May 9th 1997, and there were again only 5 sitters: Hans Schaer and the 4 members of the Scole Experimental Group. Since the Spirit Team were – by this time – were quite familiar with Hans’ personal spiritual energies, everything started to happen very early after the session had begun. We had purchased three Swiss cowbells that very day, and hung them up in the cellar. They were heard to ring after just a few minutes, and we could all see their movements as they had been fitted with luminous tape. After a short ‘peal’ of the cowbells, we observed them still swaying backwards and forwards as though they were ringing – but there was no noise!! It was as though the ‘bell clappers’ had been removed!!
Hans had been happy to give permission to the Spirit Team (when they courteously asked him) for them to touch any of his musical instruments (some of which were quite valuable), but they assured him that nothing would be harmed. After the incident with the cowbells, we heard some ‘dragging noises’ which were obviously coming from one of the two professional drum kits he had in the room. This suggested that it might have been put into place for it to be played.
Over the next 45 minutes or so, we were treated to a wonderful display of drumming – with several of the individual drums being played, together with cymbals, woodblock and even two drum sticks being played by being struck together. At the same time as this was going on, several other musical instruments in different parts of the room were played too – one at a time. This included two or three different trumpets; even Hans’ own (Ibiza holiday) trumpet that had been ‘played’ before at his Finca. It was discovered after the sitting that this particular trumpet (which had started out on a table at the end of the room) had moved to another position. A cornet (which had been on top of the piano at the beginning of the session) was played, and then also moved across the room – where it was found on the table which had originally been occupied by the ‘Ibiza’ trumpet. Another small trumpet was taken out of its case – played – and then put back in the case upside down, in such a way that it had wedged the case open!
The woodblock (part of the drum kit) which had been played, was found on the settee afterwards, and two single drum sticks were placed neatly together on one of the snare drums. Two further ‘muffled’ drum sticks were placed tidily on a large drum. A key (used for tightening the drum skin on one of the drums) had been taken from its original position (connected to the side of the drum) and placed on the arm of a settee. A very large horn (sitting on a substantial stand behind the table) was also played, together with a trombone and a saxophone. Later on, when the ‘Musical Phenomena’ had died down, Spirit Team Member Emily Bradshaw told us that Charlie Parker (the famous saxophonist) had been present at this session.
Two days later, on May 11th 1997 we experienced the ‘Musical Phenomena’ for the final time. This time, there were 15 sitters in total, with 10 personal friends and guests of Hans present, as well as the five of us. Several other regular types of ‘Scole Phenomena’ were demonstrated first for everybody present and then – once again – there was a fine display of drumming (definitely by someone who was a practised drummer) using a snare drum. A large ‘tom’ was played with ‘padded sticks’, then just ‘sticks’ together; a wood block; cymbals and small ‘toms’. From the sounds, it soon became obvious that not just one – but two professional ‘Spirit Drummers’ were playing two separate drum kits at the same time!! This was confirmed later by Emily Bradshaw.
Hans’ ‘Ibiza’ trumpet also gave off a few notes, and one of the very large horns behind Hans was played too. Afterwards, it was discovered that Hans’ trumpet (which had been standing up on the table) was then lying down. The two small ‘toms’ (which had been upright on one of the drum kits) were tilt6ed backwards when the sitting finished, and the small trumpet in the open case (which had been moved at the previous session) was once again in a different position in its case. A tremendous amount of ‘creative energy’ seemed to have been expended on the drumming, so that the other phenomena which occurred in the sitting – although quite intense – was fairly short in its duration.
© Gilbert Sanctuary 2016 .