Monday, 16 November 2009

Physical Mediumship – Part 5

A few years ago a Russian ironclad mysteriously disappeared. No clue as to how or where could be discovered. It happened on a calm, clear autumn night. Before dark she was seen steaming steadily on within sight of land; at daybreak she was gone. Anxiety, suspicion, and speculation were rife, as it was reported that the vessel carried many important and valuable documents on board. It was also assumed that the Russian Government would give a great reward to recover them.

I happened to be in Finland at the time, and one of my friends, an officer of rank, possibly anxious to distinguish himself, said he would ask the help of the spirits to enable him to discover the fate of the vessel. A séance was arranged, and ‘Walter’ was consulted. He promised to assist, or to try to assist. A great friendship had been struck up between ‘Walter’ and the General.

On the following evening the usual meeting took place, at which some fifteen to eighteen persons were present. The report of the Committee (chosen by the circle) and published in several different papers, read as follows. I have translated it into English:-

Within a few minutes after settling ourselves quietly in our places, ‘Walter’ announced he had found someone who could help us. After this announcement, we waited with ill-controlled excitement and impatience for some time, when the curtains of the cabinet were opened and the figure of a rather tall, broad-shouldered man walked out to where the medium was sitting before the curtains. He was a stranger to us; we had not seen him at any previous séances. He stooped over the medium and took the paper and pencil she had on her knee Going back a step or two, he held the paper against the side wall of the screen which formed the cabinet, and began to draw something on it.

It was too dark to distinguish his features, but his every movement was clearly discernible. We were naturally excited and curious, and addressed ourselves constantly to the medium, as she was in the best position to see and report on the man’s proceedings. She told us from time to time what she saw, but could not see what he was writing. Then she requested us to sing, as our excitement was evidently interfering with, or would communicate itself to, the spirit and hinder its work. When we started however, the song broke down. On this she turned to Professor S. and said he had better play something, and the others she ordered to keep quiet, or they would spoil everything. While she was speaking the man placed the pencil again on her knee, together with one blank sheet of paper. The other he handed to captain T., and then retired behind the curtains of the cabinet.

The paper was examined, and on it was found a map of the portion of the Finnish coast between Abo and Helsingfors. The positions of two lighthouses, and a shoal of some twenty five miles to the south, were marked; between them a cross was placed, and the words in Finnish: “Here you will find the Russalka.” On further examination the chart was found true to scale, and was without doubt the work of one familiar with maritime charts, and also well acquainted with the Finnish coast.

I may here draw attention to the fact that while the materialised spirit was engaged in a work requiring care, thought and intelligence, the whole of the medium’s attention was divided between taking notes of his movements and preserving the calm amongst the sitters which was so absolutely necessary for success. I may also add that, as the medium was myself, she was in a very bad humour at the difficulty in keeping order.

It may, perhaps, be interesting to some to hear that the drawing was shown to the Governor of Finland, and he decided to act upon the information. A steamer was fitted up with the necessary machinery and appliances, divers were engaged, and the expedition about to repair to the spot pointed out, when peremptory orders were issued from St Petersburg forbidding the expedition, and ordering all search for the missing vessel to be abandoned.

The Russian Government probably knew its own business best, but its decree caused a good deal of disappointment to those who were desirous of testing the information given by the strange materialised spirit.

What a great pity that the governmental desire for secrecy above all else, prevented the search for this vessel taking place, or that no-one so far as I know, has thought of searching in that area since. This is one of those rare instances where the well known adage was reversed and; “Spirit proposed but man disposed!” Lionel

That concludes, for the timebeing, the extracts from Madame D'Esperance's talk about her mediumship.

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