Seance in a Plane Conan Doyle Speaks

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Seance in a Plane Conan Doyle Speaks

Post by Admin on Fri Nov 11, 2011 1:58 am

Examiner, Launceston, Tas.: Saturday 22 June 1935

SPEAKING WITH THE DEAD
STRANGE STORY OF SPIRIT VOICES IN 'PLANE


A writer in an English newspaper has published his version of a séance held in an aeroplane over New York, at which it is claimed the spirits of Conan Doyle, Lincoln Beachey, a pioneer flier, Floyd Bennett. Roald Amundsen and Horace Greeley spoke in recognisable voices.

...."The Examiner" expresses no opinion on the matter but reproduces parts of the article of the writer, John Goldstrom, as of general interest.
AT the outset Mr. Goldstrom explains how, when he interviewed Conan Doyle 12 years ago, he suggested that it might be worthwhile experimenting with a séance in an aero plane "high above earthly distractions."

Nothing was done at the time, but early this year Mr. Goldstrom, himself no spiritualist, was invited to attend a séance by a medium through whom it was claimed the voice of Conan Doyle had been manifested. He accepted, and as a result says he not only recognised Conan Doyle's voice, but discussed with him the possibility of carrying out the aeroplane séance mentioned years before.

Finally arrangements were made. We continue the story in Mr. Goldstrom's own words: "Passengers in the 'plane besides Miss Tafe, the medium, and Ford. Brits, Dr. Webster, Hill, the Hayes's, and Bailey, were the, Princess Lora Rospiglioso, Mrs. Chauncey Olcott, Ned Biddison and Mrs. Biddison, Jacob Padawer (attorney), Mrs. Clara Goldstrom and myself. The pilots were John D. Deater and Charles Marie.

In the 'Plane

"In the four centre seats sat Miss Tafe, Ford, Hill, and myself. Two small trumpets rested on the floor of the aisle, on either side of which were seven seats. A crystal-glass bowl half filled with water was on the floor be side the medium. Moisture is said to aid conductivity of the communications.

"Dr. Webster and the Associated Press representative were asked to hold the upper ends of the trumpets until the séance got under way, and to let them go if they began to move of their own volition.

As Hill found it impracticable to do this and at the same time take notes, he requested me to hold his trumpet. There were no other accessories. Careful Inspection was made before the flight began.

"At half-past eight, the great silver winged 'plane swung into the air, climbed in a circle over the field, and headed for Manhattan. The cabin was pitch dark. An eerie atmosphere pervaded the darkness of the cabin. Someone began to sing, "It's a long, long trail." Others joined in." Another song was sung, and another. I was beginning to feel that the experiment might draw a blank-this sometimes happens to mediums in normal séances -when a voice came through:-

"'Mack! Mack! Are you here? Where is Mack,'"

the singing stopped, and there was a moment during which no one spoke. There was no 'Mack' present 'Maybe it's for Mackenzie,' suggested the Press representative.

"I Am Doyle"

"'Yes, yes, that's it-Mackenzie,' said the voice.

There was a note of excitement in it, and as it increased in volume it became clear to me that this was the voice which had announced itself as that of Conan Doyle at my first séance.

'Mackenzie could not come for the flight,' I answered.

"'Goldstrom! Is that Goldstrom speaking? Good evening. Others are with me here in the 'plane who also want to speak to you.' "

'Is this Conan Doyle?' I asked.”

“'Yes. I am Conan Doyle. I want to congratulate you on having arranged this experiment. This is an epoch-making flight. This is an adventure more fantastic than death itself! To think that we are all together here, flying high above the night lights of your great Now York City. It is quite wonderful.' "

Soon the voice trailed off. Almost immediately another voice came from near the roof of the cabin, slightly to the rear of its centre. It was strong, assertive:

"'This is Beachey-Lincoln Beachey. Do you remember me?' "

Beachey, it will be recalled, was one of the pioneer exhibition flyers: perhaps the most daring and skilful of all who flew the old 'pushers,' in the early days of aviation. My first flight as a passenger was made in one of them a quarter of a century ago.

"I replied that I did indeed remember Beachey. He was killed in a night flight with fireworks when he fell into San Francisco Bay.

They Didn't Speak

"'This is a great Improvement, this big, fast transport, over the old pushers, isn't it? . . . Wilbur Wright is here with me, and Floyd Bennett, and others who pioneered aviation and have passed over. Your brother Bill and your father are here also, Goldstrom."

' Will they speak?'

"'I don't know. There are so many here, who want to speak. This cabin is crowded with them.' (Wright, my father, and my brother did not speak.)

Then came another voice, quiet and restrained, as it was in life:

"'This is Floyd Bennett, I don't suppose you can see it from the cabin, but we are now flying ever the field that was named for me after passing, It is a great experience, and this is a fine ship. Amundsen is here and wants to talk to you,' "

I had known Amundsen in life, shortly after his discovery of the South Pole I had helped to manage his lecture at Carnegie Mall, in Pittsburgh. Now, through the hum of the motors of a 'plane in which such a flight would have been comparatively easy, came another voice:

Amundsen's Death

"'Roald Amundsen is speaking. I have recently been down in the Antarctic with Byrd and other good friends of mine in his expedition. 'They have been doing fine work, and I have tried to help them.' "

The mystery of Amundsen’s death in the Arctic has never been fully solved, 'How did you and your' companions die in the Arctic?' I asked.

"'We became lost in fog, over a trackless waste of ice, and crashed in the sea, I was sorry for my companions, who were young, but it was best for me. My work was finished.'

"Then Conan Doyle returned. ’Ford, Ford. Is Ford here?' "

'Yes, Sir Arthur, I am here,' responded Ford.

"'Good evening, Ford, This is a marvellous experience, isn't it? You and this splendid medium are to be heartily congratulated upon your part in making it possible,' "

'Sir Arthur, may I ask you a test question?'

"'By all means, my dear fellow.' "

'Where did I last speak to you, and who was present?'

"'I remember very well. At lunch, the last day of the Cantion trial, at my hotel. David Gow was among those present,'"

'That is right. Thank you, Sir Arthur,'

The next voice was emphatic. It spoke in aggressive, decisive tones and very clearly.

'Thls is Greeley-Horace Greeley, This is a great story- Goldstrom -a front-page scoop.'

Greeley was the first American editor to defend psychic research.

Electric Vibrations

"Neither Dr. Webster nor myself felt any decided movement of the trumpets, although from time to time I felt slight electrical vibrations in the one which I held. All the communications were in the direct voice.' "At the end of the séance, the voice of Conan Doyle returned again and sent a message to his wife. The séance over, the curtains were withdrawn from the windows. Miss Tate showed signs of exhaustion, but quickly recovered."

Close
Wonderful piece from the archives of a Tamanian paper based in Launceston


Last edited by Admin on Fri Nov 11, 2011 11:02 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Re: Seance in a Plane Conan Doyle Speaks

Post by Admin on Fri Nov 11, 2011 2:13 am

Of course it also made the news in the USA

The Paris Evening News, Paris Texas Friday March 22 1935

Spiritualists Listen To Voices Of Late Great In Seance High Above New York

Eerie voices of undetermined origin, wafting through the inky blackness of a darkened cabin plane as it soared 4,000 feet above New York, gave spiritualists a topic of paramount interest Friday.

The voices identified themselves as belonging to the spirits of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, famed creator of Sherlock Holmes and a firm disciple of spiritualism; Roald Amundsen, explorer: Horace Greeley, crusading newspaper editor of a past era, and Lincoln Beachey and Floyd Bennett, aviators.
Attempted for the first time so far as the participants knew, the airplane seance took place Thursday night through efforts of a group of New York spiritualists to overcome "interference,"

The interference, they explained, sometimes handicaps their attempts to contact the spirit world.

Fourteen spiritualists were in the plane, from which all light had been shut by newspapers tacked across the windows.

After the liner was in the air, Miss Maina Tafe, the medium, suggested "everybody sing." All did.

Soon an unearthly and thin voice (the source as yet undetermined) came from one of the two aluminium trumpets in the aisle. It said it was Sir Arthur, and described the experience of talking with persons in an airplane as "more fantastic than death itself."

"Floyd Bennett" was heard as the plane roared over the Brooklyn airport named in his honor. The next voice, ascribed to Lincoln Beachey, said the spirit of Wilbur Wright was standing beside him.

Arthur Ford, a friend of the late Sir Arthur, said after the séance he was sure "that was Sir Arthurs voice”

The voice which claimed to be that of Amundsen came through without much trace of an accent, although Amundsen's voice was marked by his early years in Norway.

This voice, in answer to a question, told how Amundsen met death on a rescue flight in the Arctic, a tragedy still unexplained by history.

"We became lost in the fog over trackless wastes of ice," intoned the weird voice. "It was just as well that I went when I did. My work was done. I have been down with Byrd in Little America, watching over him."

The séance ended, the spiritualists, who included some of the most widely known believers in New York, ripped the newspapers from the windows. Moonlight streamed brightly into the cabin.

At the airport, the spiritualists, with John Goldstrom as their spokesman, termed the venture a "complete success."
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