Contributors

Carlos S Alvarado   Carlos S Alvarado has a PhD in Psychology from the University of Edinburgh. He is a Research Fellow at the Parapsychology Foundation, an Associate Editor of the Journal of Scientific Exploration, and a past President of the Parapsychological Association. Alvarado’s work has centered on survey research (on out-of-body experiences and other psychic experiences) and studies about the history of psychical research. He is the recipient of the 2010 Parapsychological Association’s Outstanding Contribution Award . Alvarado is one of the editors of Research in Parapsychology 1993 (1998) and has authored over 280 papers in history, psychology, psychiatry, and parapsychology journals.

 

Mary Rose Barrington  Mary Rose graduated from ghost stories to Lodge's Survival of Man while at school, and later took a turn as President of the Oxford University Society for Psychical Research. She joined the SPR in 1957, becoming a Council member in 1962.  She has participated in many investigations and experiments, and has served on the Spontaneous Cases Committee since its inception. Before retirement she was a lawyer and charity administrator, and in the voluntary sector engaged actively in the causes of animal protection and voluntary euthanasia.  In 1995 she was elected as Vice-President of the Society.  Her most substantial publication is A World in a Grain of Sand: The Clairvoyance of Stefan Ossowiecki, written jointly with Ian Stevenson and Zofia Weaver (McFarland, 2005).

 

Stephen Braude  Stephen E Braude is Emeritus Professor and former Chair of Philosophy at the University of Maryland Baltimore County, and Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Scientific Exploration. His earliest research was in logic and the philosophies of language and time. After that, he moved on to the philosophy of mind and the philosophy of science, hypnosis and multiple personality, writing extensively on the unity of consciousness, psychopathology, and the nature of mediumship or ‘channeling’. Prof. Braude is Past President of the Parapsychological Association. He has published nearly 100 philosophical essays in philosophical and scientific journals. His books include ESP and Psychokinesis: A Philosophical Examination, Immortal Remains: The Evidence for Life After Death, and Crimes of Reason: On Mind, Nature, and the Paranormal.  

 

Richard Broughton  Richard Broughton gained a PhD in psychology at the University of Edinburgh, where he studied under John Beloff.  Following appointments at the University of Utrecht and the State University of New York, he joined the Institute for Parapsychology (successor to the Duke University Parapsychology Laboratory and now known as the Rhine Research Center) in Durham, North Carolina, where he eventually served as director for five years. In 2000, he left to establish Intuition Laboratories, Inc., but eventually returned to the UK and to academia, joining the psychology division of The University of Northampton in 2004. He is the author of numerous scientific papers and a critically acclaimed popular book Parapsychology: The Controversial Science (1991). He is a twice past president and former long-time board member of the Parapsychological Association, and has served on the SPR Council since 2004, most recently as president, currently as treasurer.

 

Nancy Evans Bush  Nancy Evans Bush, MA, President Emerita of the International Association for Near-Death Studies (IANDS), has for almost forty years been a voice for the substantial minority of near-death experiencers whose NDEs feature fear, guilt, and even terror rather than heavenly realms. A long-time editor of the IANDS magazine, Vital Signs, she is author of the first study of children’s NDEs and numerous articles for the Journal of Near-Death Studies and other publications. Her books are Dancing Past the Dark: Distressing Near-Death Experiences and The Buddha in Hell and Other Alarms: Distressing and Hellish Near-Death Experience in Perspective. Now semi-retired, she lives in coastal North Carolina, USA. 

 

Etzel Cardena  Etzel Cardeña, the Thorsen Professor of Psychology at Lund University, Sweden, obtained his Ph. D. at UC Davis, and was a postdoctoral fellow and visiting scholar at Stanford University. Elected fellow of APA and APS, his research, theoretical and pedagogical contributions have received multiple awards. He has more than 300 professional publications, some in top journals in psychology and psychiatry, dealing with alterations of consciousness and anomalous experiences (including ostensible psi), the neurophysiology of hypnosis, and dissociation and trauma.

 

Bernard Carr  Bernard Carr is Professor of Mathematics and Astronomy at Queen Mary University of London. His professional area of expertise is cosmology and astrophysics and includes such topics as the early universe, black holes, dark matter and the anthropic principle. He is also very interested in the role of consciousness in physics and is developing a new psycho-physical paradigm which links matter and mind. He has a long-standing interest in psychical research, which he sees as playing a vital role in that paradigm. He has been a member of the SPR since 1974, was President in 2000-2004 and is currently Chairman of the Education and Publicity Committee. 

 

Matt Colborn  Matthew Colborn received an MSc. in cognitive science from Birmingham University in 1977, and a DPhil. in experimental psychology from the University of Sussex in 2001. Having pursued independent research in areas of controversial science and consciousness studies, he is currently a freelance writer, lecturer and consultant. 

 

Barrie Colvin  Dr Barrie Colvin is a specialist the chemistry and physics of polymers, having graduated with a doctorate degree from the University of Manchester. He worked as a senior research scientist for Shell Chemicals and now runs his own company. Barrie has been involved with the physical aspects of psychical research for over forty years. He has been active in the investigation of mental and physical mediums, including direct-voice, transfiguration and materialisation mediumship. Other projects have included include haunted houses, the human aura, and the evaluation of evidence in psychic detection cases. His principal interest recently has been the physics of poltergeist activity: he has developed new instruments to aid investigation and carried out a study of the acoustic properties of unexplained rapping sounds.

 

Callum Cooper  Callum E Cooper is a Chartered Psychologist with the British Psychological Society and a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy, holding degrees in psychology and social science research methods. He is a PhD candidate at the University of Northampton where he also lectures on Parapsychology, Thanatology, and Human Sexual Behaviour. He has appeared on UK and USA radio and TV shows as a representative for parapsychology. Full biography

 

John Fraser  John Fraser gained a BA Hons in Philosophy and Economics from Keele University. He is the author of Ghost Hunting: A Survivors Guide published by the History Press in 2010. In 2015 he completed a detailed witness study involving alleged paranormal phenomena at The Cage in St Osyth.   He has been an investigator with The Ghost Club, and is currently  a Council member of the Society for Psychical Research, and member of its Spontaneous Cases committee. 

 

Trevor Hamilton  Trevor Hamilton has degrees from Oxford, London and Sussex Universities. He retired as Director of the Centre for Learning and Teaching at the University College of St Mark and St John, Plymouth ( at the end of December 2006. He is the author of two books: Immortal Longings: FWH Myers and the Victorian Search for Life after Death (Exeter: Imprint Academic 2009) and Tell My Mother I’m Not Dead. A Case Study in Mediumship Research (Exeter: Imprint Academic 2012). His new book   Arthur Balfour’s Ghosts: An Edwardian Elite and the Cross-Correspondence Automatic Writings  will be published in the first part of 2017. He is currently  doing research on the mediums Gladys Osborne Leonard and Geraldine Cummins.

 

Guy Hayward  Dr Guy Hayward read music as an undergraduate at Trinity College, Cambridge. He stayed there to complete his MPhil in musicology, and then a PhD on the psychology/anthropology of communal singing traditions around the world. During his PhD, Guy was introduced to psychical research via Rupert Sheldrake’s work on morphic fields, which provided him a new perspective on group singing. Guy now works as an experimental and research assistant for Rupert Sheldrake. He is currently studying classical singing at Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music & Dance, and sings with his satirical jazz duo Bounder & Cad. He is also the co-founder of websites promoting Choral Evensong and British Pilgrimage.

 

Jack Hunter  Jack Hunter is a PhD candidate in the Department of Archaeology and Anthropology at the University of Bristol. His research takes the form of an ethnographic study of contemporary trance and physical mediumship in Bristol, focusing on themes of personhood, performance, altered states of consciousness and anomalous experience. In 2010, he established Paranthropology: Journal of Anthropological Approaches to the Paranormal (www.paranthropology.co.uk), as a means to promote an interdisciplinary dialogue on issues relating to paranormal beliefs, experiences and phenomena. He is the author of Why People Believe in Spirits, Gods and Magic (2012), a beginner's introduction to the anthropology of the supernatural, and co-editor with Dr David Luke of Talking With the Spirits: Ethnographies from Between the Worlds (2014).

 

Hannah Jenkins  Hannah Jenkins studied at the University of Sydney, and completed a PhD in analytical philosophy at the University of Tasmania, studying the evidence for psi in relation to explanation history and theory. She is founder and director of Quality Investigative Psi Projects (QIPP), which aims to develop ways of making psi understood within mainstream science.  http://www.qipp.com.au/

 

David Luke  Dr David Luke, PhD, BSc, completed his doctoral thesis on the psychology of luck in 2007, and is now Senior Lecturer in Psychology at the University of Greenwich, where he teaches an undergraduate course on the Psychology of Exceptional Human Experience. 

 

John Newton  John Newton undertook postgraduate research into sixteenth- and seventeenth-century beliefs about ghosts at the University of Durham and the University of Oxford. He received his doctorate from the former in 2004 for his thesis exploring the relationship of the period’s literature to both the official theology and folklore of appearances of the dead. A member of both the Society for Psychical Research and the Churches’ Fellowship for Psychical and Spiritual Studies, he was on the editorial board that relaunched The Christian Parapsychologist in 2009 and has sat on the SPR’s Spontaneous Cases Committee for over a decade. He currently works in the Press and Information office of an overseas charity and also acts as an editorial consultant.

 

Robert McLuhan  Robert McLuhan studied English Literature at Oxford, then worked as a foreign correspondent for the Guardian in Spain and Portugal. He now works as a freelance journalist. He has been a member of the Society for Psychical Research since 1993, blogging and lecturing on paranormal topics. His 2010 book Randi’s Prize is a critique of sceptical arguments against psychical research. In 2014, he was appointed to run the SPR’s Buckmaster Publications Projects, which include the creation of the Psi Encyclopedia.

  

Patricia Pearson  Patricia Pearson is an award-winning journalist and author whose work has appeared in The New Yorker, New York Times, Huffington Post and Businessweek. Her most recent book, A Brief History of Anxiety – Yours and Mine, challenged the notion that mood disorders are purely brain-based with no relation to culture and personal circumstance. She is based in Toronto. 

 

Guy Lyon Playfair  Guy Lyon Playfair joined the SPR in 1974 and is currently a member of the Library, Survival and Image, Publicity and Publications committees. A graduate of Cambridge University, he has been a freelance journalist and photographer since 1963. He spent 14 years in Brazil where he collected material for the first two of his twelve books, the most recent of which are Twin Telepathy (2002) and New Clothes for Old Souls (2006).  His research activities have included collaboration with Maurice Grosse on the Enfield poltergeist case of 1977-78 and with Montague Keen on the Jacqueline Poole murder case (2004). He is a regular contributor to the SPR Journal. His Mediawatch  column, featuring criticism of extreme scepticism, appeared in 32 consecutive issues of the Paranormal Review from 1996 to 2004, and now appears regularly on the website skepticalinvestigations.org.

 

Michael Potts  Michael Potts is Professor of Philosophy at Methodist University in Fayetteville, North Carolina. His Ph.D. is from The University of Georgia. He is the co-editor of Beyond Brain Death: The Case against Brain-Based Criteria for Human Death (Kluwer, 2000), and has authored numerous articles and book reviews for academic journals as well as making over fifty conference presentations. He is the author of a novel, End of Summer (WordCrafts Press, 2011) and an award-winning poetry chapbook, From Field to Thicket. His philosophical interests are in medical and applied ethics, the philosophy of religion, medieval philosophy, and philosophy and parapsychology. 

 

John Poynton  John Poynton is Professor Emeritus of biology at the University of Natal, South Africa, a research associate of the Natural History Museum, London, and a scientific fellow of the Zoological Society of London.  His main research has been in African zoology and biogeography; he has also published in the philosophy of science and in psychical research.  He served on the council of the South African Society for Psychical Research, and subsequently served on the council of the Society for Psychical Research in London, where he was the Hon. Secretary from 1997 to his election as President in 2004.  On standing down as President in 2007 he resumed the post of Hon. Secretary, and in 2015 was elected for a second term as President.

 

Leslie Price  Leslie Price is an associate editor of the quarterly journal Theosophical History which he founded in 1985.  He has served on the SPR Council and library committee, and was secretary of the first SPR international conference in 1977. He is also the founder editor of  The Christian Parapsychologist in 1975, and of  the electronic journal Psypioneer (2004). He is the author of  Madame Blavatsky Unveiled? (1986) and of many book reviews and historical papers. He is archivist of the College of Psychic Studies in London. 

 

Dean Radin  Dean Radin, PhD, is Chief Scientist at the Institute of Noetic Sciences (IONS). Before joining the research staff at IONS in 2001, he held appointments at AT&T Bell Labs, Princeton University, University of Edinburgh, and SRI International. He is author or coauthor of over 250 technical and popular articles, three dozen book chapters, and three books including the award-winning The Conscious Universe (HarperOne, 1997), Entangled Minds (Simon & Schuster, 2006), and the 2014 Silver Nautilus Book Award winner, Supernormal (Random House, 2013).

 

Serena Roney-Dougal  Serena Roney-Dougal gained a PhD in parapsychology at the University of Surrey (one of around fifty people in Britain who have this qualification). She has over forty years of study and experience in scientific, magical and spiritual explorations of the psyche, and has lectured and taught courses, seminars and workshops in America, India, Japan, Britain and Europe. She has written numerous articles, both technical and popular, and two books: Where Science and Magic Meet, which has been  translated into four languages, and is now in its third revised edition, and The Faery Faith: An Integration of Science with Spirit.

 

Penny Sartori  Dr Penny Sartori worked as an intensive care staff nurse for 17 years. She undertook the UK’s largest and first long term prospective study of near-death experiences (NDEs) under the supervision of Dr Peter Fenwick and Professor Paul Badham and was awarded a PhD for her research in 2005. She is uniquely qualified as not only has she worked daily with dying patients for many years but she also has the benefit of undertaking doctoral research into NDEs.  Her second book,The Wisdom of Near-Death Experiences: How Understanding NDEs Can Help Us Live More Fully was published by Watkins Books in 2014. She currently works at Swansea University where she teaches and continues to research NDEs. She lectures nationally and internationally on NDEs. Publications.

 

David Saunders  David Saunders is a psychology lecturer and PhD candidate at the University of Northampton working within the Centre for the Study of Anomalous Psychological Processes (CSAPP). His research interests include lucid dreaming, the function of dreams, the psi and survival hypotheses, motor-learning, mental-Imagery, consciousness and cognitive neuropsychology, and the neuropsychology of anomalous experiences. 

 

Rupert Sheldrake  Rupert Sheldrake is a biologist and author of more than 80 scientific papers and 14 books (seven of them in collaboration with other authors). He was among the top 100 Global Thought Leaders for 2013, as ranked by the Duttweiler Institute, Zurich, Switzerland's leading think tank.1 Sheldrake is known both for pioneering research in plant biology (on the plant hormone auxin and apoptosis), and for his unconventional scientific hypotheses. He is especially known for his theories and research on ‘morphic resonance’ and morphogenetic fields, unexplained abilities of animals and humans, and for discussions of science, philosophy, parapsychology, religion and spirituality. His work has focused on broadening the research agendas of today’s natural sciences, and enabling constructive dialogues between these different fields. See Rupert Sheldrake

 

Andreas Sommer  Dr Andreas Sommer is a historian of the human sciences at Churchill College and the Department of History and Philosophy of Science, University of Cambridge. He published various journal articles and book chapters, recently guest-edited a special section on psychical research in the journal Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences, and he runs forbiddenhistories.com, a history blog on science and the occult. His current main project is a book reconstructing the links between psychical research and modern psychology in late-nineteenth century Europe and the US, which is scheduled to be published in 2017 by Stanford University Press.

 

Charmaine Sonnex  Charmaine Sonnex is an Associate Lecturer in Psychology at the University of Northampton and is in the final stages of her PhD. Her research interests include Transpersonal Psychology, non-contact healing, Paganism, and the psychology of religion and spirituality. Charmaine’s thesis includes a comprehensive meta-analysis of the current empirical research into various form of non-contact healing, explores Pagan ritual workings through a psychological lens, and seeks to establish the efficacy of Pagan healing practices through a randomised controlled trial (RCT). 

 

Lance Storm  Lance Storm earned a B.A. (Honours) in psychology (1998) and a Ph.D. in parapsychology (2002) at the University of Adelaide, South Australia. He has published in Psychological Bulletin, the Journal of Parapsychology, Journal of Scientific Exploration, the Jungian journal Quadrant, and elsewhere. He is a full member of the Australian Institute of Parapsychological Research, Inc., of whose journal the Australian Journal of Parapsychology, he is chief editor. In 2003, he was awarded the Gertrude R. Schmeidler Student of the Year Award by the Parapsychology Association for work in parapsychology, and in 2007 the Parapsychology Foundation awarded him the Frances P. Bolton Fellowship. In 2012, he was awarded the Outstanding Contribution Award by the Parapsychology Association. As a Research Fellow, he conducts parapsychological research in the Brain and Cognition Centre in the School of Psychology, University of Adelaide.

 

Jim Tucker  Jim B Tucker, MD is Bonner-Lowry Associate Professor of Psychiatry and Neurobehavioral Sciences at the University of Virginia. He is continuing the work of Ian Stevenson at the UVA Division of Perceptual Studies with children who report memories of previous lives. His first book on the research, Life Before Life: A Scientific Investigation of Children's Memories of Previous Lives,  has been translated into ten languages. He lives in Charlottesville, Virginia, with his family.

 

Michael Tymn  Michael Tymn has contributed more than 1,500 articles to some fifty publications over the past fifty years. Writing assignments have taken him to such diverse places as Bangkok, Panama, Glastonbury, Jerusalem, Hollywood, St. Paul, and Tombstone.  He currently serves as editor of The Journal for Spiritual and Consciousness Studies and The Searchlight, both  quarterly publications of The Academy for Spirituality and  Consciousness Studies.  His metaphysical and paranormal articles have appeared in Atlantis Rising, Fate, Mysteries, Vital Signs, Venture Inward, Nexus, Psychic News, Psychic Times,  Christian Parapsychologist, Two Worlds, Dark Lore, Alternatives, Alternate Perceptions, The Honolulu Advertiser, The Honolulu Star-Bulletin, and The Honolulu Star-Advertiser.  He has authored seven  books: The Articulate Dead,  Running on Third Wind, The Afterlife Revealed, Transcending the Titanic, The Afterlife Explorers, Resurrecting Leonora Piper, and Dead Men Talking: Afterlife Communications from World War I.

 

Caroline Watt  Professor Caroline Watt holds Edinburgh University’s Koestler Chair of Parapsychology and runs the Koestler Parapsychology Unit. Caroline was born in 1962, raised in Perthshire, Scotland, and has two sons. She graduated with an Hons Psychology degree from the University of St Andrews in 1984, and in 1986 was appointed research assistant for the first Koestler Professor, Robert Morris. She obtained her PhD in 1993 under Morris’s supervision. Caroline is a past President of the Parapsychological Association, author of Parapsychology: A Beginner’s Guide, and runs a popular online parapsychology course as well as teaching parapsychology to undergraduate Psychology degree students. She has published many journal articles on topics where psychology and parapsychology overlap, including replication issues. To address replication issues in parapsychology, she and Jim Kennedy run a registry for parapsychological studies. 

 

Karen Wehrstein Karen Wehrstein, BAA (Journalism) is a journalist, novelist and reincarnation researcher.  Her interest in reincarnation dates back to personal experiences both in adulthood and childhood, and she has been a member of the more scientific-minded sector of the online reincarnation community since 2000.  Karen familiarized herself with the reincarnation research of Dr Ian Stevenson and other academic reincarnation researchers, and their techniques, through taking a course by Dr James G Matlock, and undertook her first formal investigation in 2016. Her first two papers, about two adult reincarnation cases with multiple solved past lives, are under submission. The eminent parapsychologist Charles Tart said of Karen: “I think of her as a ‘field explorer,’ as it were, lots of inside perspective on the subject, but also as a leading thinker who really knows this area.”

 

Donald West  Donald West joined the SPR as a teenager and from 1941 to the present has made intermittent contributions to Journal and Proceedings, including two surveys of apparitions and a series of collaborative ESP researches with the late GW Fisk, for which they received jointly the McDougall Award (1958) for disgtinguished work in parapsychology. West was full-time paid Research Officer from 1946 for three years, serving subesquently as Hon Research Officer and in various other capacities since.  His Penguin book Psychical Research Today (1954) was revised in 1962.  He has served for many years as a member of the SPR Grants Committee and the Management Committee of the Perrott-Warrick Fund at Trinity College, Cambridge, and received the Myers Memorial Medal in 1997. 

 

Melvyn Willin  Melvyn Willin was born in St Albans and educated at Francis Bacon Grammar School. He took degrees at several British universities including doctorates in paramusicology (Sheffield) and history (Bristol). He was closely associated with Bob Morris, Koestler Professor Parapsychology at the University of Edinburgh for several years. He is the Honorary Archive Officer to the Society for Psychical Research. His published books include Music, Witchcraft and the Paranormal, Ghosts Caught on Film, and The Paranormal Caught on Film. Dr Willin has contributed chapters to academic encyclopedias and also helped to produce a CD collection of auditory anomalies in collaboration with the Freiburg Institute in Germany. Recent research includes Perrott-Warrick scholarships into the study of auditory near-death experiences, the efficacy of witchcraft spells, and paranormal demonstrations within the martial arts.