Scientific Scrutiny

Taken from the book 'The Scole Experiment'

Those who were experimenting, investigating and reviewing, whether champions, critics or dispassionate observers, were all limited by a lack of common vocabulary and past experience with which to assess the new spiritual science phenomena. The new energy-based experiments were unique and, as such, there were no procedural precedents. Apparently rational criticisms, such as requests by reviewers for body searches, may illustrate a less-than-complete understanding of the innovative nature of the work undertaken at Scole.

To a certain extent of course, we are all scientists, examining any evidence of `reality' which life sends our way. We have various natural and man-made instruments as well as accumulated knowledge and experience at our disposal. However, 'public opinion' is generally more swayed by the findings of scientifically trained (and thus 'qualified') people. Most of us require such qualified people to investigate on our behalf. It was therefore important to the SEG that the independent investigators implemented acceptable scientific procedures so that the Scole Experiment would be taken seriously by both the scientific and lay communities alike.

Initially, the main aim of the investigators was to establish control over certain parameters of the experiments, especially the timing and method of production of the photographic films. Montague Keen explained their intentions:

We were first out to see whether the phenomena, in the conditions in which they were produced, could have been accounted for by `natural' man-made means. If not, we then wanted to ascertain whether any apparent paranormal force was derived from the group's psyches or from discarnate entities.

The 'discarnate entities' explanation would, of course, support the notion of survival, titlehough in theory these entities could still be beings who had never lived on Earth but enjoyed some other type of existence. All in all, though, if every other explanation could be defeated by the thoroughness of the procedures adopted, some might say that this was an important step towards proving that the images on the films must be evidence of survival.

Sceptics who do not want to accept any evidence of survival have attempted to infer that the evidence is not paranormal. If all the unique phenomena that the investigators came into contact with at the Scole Experiment were 'normal', then it would imply that the Scole group were performing an elaborate hoax and deliberately lying to the huge number of people who attended sessions and the experts who came to verify what was occurring. So far, the investigators have been unable to produce any evidence of fraud. The Scole Report attempts to answer any criticisms in full.

In the absence of a permanent paranormal object (due to the spirit team having their own itinerary), the investigators (and, it would appear, the team) judged that, of all the phenomena produced at Scole, the photographs constituted the best repeatable physical - and potentially 'cast-iron' - evidence available for their scientific scrutiny.

Piers Eggett wrote an article on the question of acceptable evidence.