As many of you may already know, the Scole Experimental Group were at the forefront of experiments with paranormal photography, and obtained outstanding results using standard 35mm Polaroid slide films. In this article we will continue with the amazing story of how the development of this phenomenon progressed and talk about some of the psi produced photographic images that were obtained.
We were, (until April, 1996) receiving what can only be described as 'individual' or 'separate' images, that appeared at intervals along the length of the films. These images were extremely diverse in content, some from many different areas of our planet and some from what has been described as other areas of existence or other dimensions of life! Perhaps an afterlife?
To me, the important thing here is, although these early images were a type of communication in themselves (and of course a very important one) you always had the feeling that 'they' were showing us what could be achieved, sometimes giving us glimpses into another world. The communication itself seemed to be limited to some extent to a pictorial and sometimes abstract form, in other words, mainly pictures and seldom words. This is in no way a criticism, but an observation of what was happening, up until this point in time.
It was, to our astonishment, during a session in April 1996 that all that changed. That particular experimental session was in itself very different to our normal sessions, as we had three eminent gentlemen from the S.P.R. (Society for Psychical Research) as our guests.
There were other experiments in Progress at that time (some experiments are over a period more than one session) and we had of course hoped for a successful result on the Polaroid film, but none of us were prepared for what occurred on that occasion.
At that time, for security purposes we were sealing the films in their containers and asking our guests to sign over the seals. Some would even place secret marks of their own on the seals without telling us, something in fact we welcomed in the desire for greater evidentiality.
After this memorable session the seals were checked and the container opened by one of our guests, the film remaining in their possession from then on. The processor was prepared and checked and the film placed in position ready to be developed. The unit was then closed and processing took place, this usually only takes about two minutes after which the unit bleeps on completion.
When this film was removed from the processor and examined, it would be a gross understatement to say that a tremendous amount of excitement broke out, as everyone wanted to see what had occurred. On closer inspection it became obvious that due to the quantity of information on this film, that notes should be taken, in detail for research purposes, prior to having the film sent away to a photographic laboratory for copying and enlarging. (It is our policy now to have all films copied as quickly as possible due to the fragile nature of these Polaroid films).
As everyone studied the film hoping to understand, even if only a small part of what had been written on the film, one of our distinguished guests commented "I think this is history in the making".
I'm sure you can all imagine the excitement that evening. None of us there, I am sure, will ever forget it. The film used was a Polaroid Polapan slide film, which has produced white (lettering) on a blue background. The affected area covers approximately 13 inches (330mm) in length and is more or less covered in writing over this area. The words (all legible) are written length-ways, not across the film.
Here it is, in order as it appears on the film;
a) A quotation in French;‘Ce n'est que le premier pas qui coute’. (It is but the first step that counts)
b) An eight character word in Greek about 1 1/4 inches (32mm) long
c) A six-line poem about 8 inches(203mm) long. This refers to the planets, Earth and the Sun
d) Greek characters (22) approx. 2 1/4 inches (54mm) long
e) A signature, written in reverse and yet still it could be authenticated
f) Another signature, again in reverse but as yet not identified
This film became known as the 'Diotima' film.
Little did we realise that what we had witnessed on that occasion what was to be the first of many attempts to bring us writings along the length of films, some of them under very strict test conditions.
Many of these were to be received in many other languages, including Chinese and even ancient characters (glyphs) as yet not translated. Some of the writings were signed and after extensive research, appear to be written in the actual handwriting of that person. Again, certain ‘protocols’ prevent me from naming these but I can say that they were very well known in their time as they are now, for their great works.
Some of the material written cannot be traced, in fact it may not exist here, being, perhaps something produced for these experiments alone. The example here was received in July 1996 showing the Greek letters Alpha and Omega (Fig. 3). The area affected on the film is quite long, about 14 inches (355mm), and is in full colour.
This very different technique of obtaining psychic photographic phenomena, i.e. an image produced along the length of a film, did at first pose the problem of getting the film reproduced and enlarged, something far beyond the capabilities of the average photographic processing shop. After a great deal of leg work and numerous telephone calls, we found a photographic laboratory that specialised in 'one-offs' and customers’ special requirements, but I doubt very much if they fully understood just what we meant by 'special'. They have, as you can imagine, shown a great deal of interest in what has been happening. The length of the affected area does vary considerably from film to film and indeed from experiment to experiment.
Some of the results were obtained on an entirely new film to us, and were in fact 36 exposure films instead of our usual 12 frame Polaroid. On one of these films we had a result that measures over 48 inches (l220mm) in length! That is the actual area of film that has been affected. These 36 frame films are Kodachrome slide films and could only be processed by Kodak in their laboratories, which was another form of strict control requested by the researchers working with us.
I think it is worth explaining here the strict protocols that were adhered to during these experimental sessions when we used these Kodachrome films, as none of us in the Group came in contact with the film throughout the experiment. I shall explain how this is done.
The films were purchased by a researcher/investigator who was working with us during these experiments. The films were ordered by him and sent directly to a third party, who is not involved in the experimental sessions. The films remained with the third party until required. Just prior to a photographic experiment, a film was obtained by another researcher and placed immediately into a solid wooden security box (figs. 1 & 2). This box was then locked using a sophisticated combination lock or a large brass padlock. The keys for the box padlock were then locked into another guest’s car for good measure! If the combination lock was used, the combination numbers were only known by yet another third party. The box (still untouched by anyone in the Group) was then placed upon the table and the experiment started.
On more than one occasion, guests were able to hold the box for the duration of the session, with a successful result. After the session had finished, the box still remained in the possession of the researchers at all times, and was sometimes taken to the processing laboratory still locked, and opened there in front of witnesses.
These strict protocols may to some of you, seem far-fetched, but we all know they are essential, in an attempt to avoid any doubts in the minds of those more sceptical. If we are going to help prove that the human personality survives bodily death, we must make these experiments as water tight as we possibly can. Then perhaps, these doubts will be eliminated. Let us hope so.
THE SCOLE EXPERIMENT
The SCole Experiment: Book, REport, Diary, and Documentary
FIND OUT MORE ABOUT THE SCOLE EXPERIMENT VIA THE BOOK, REPORT, DIARY AND DOCUMENTARY
For many people, this website or the 86-minute film documentary, The Afterlife Investigations, are the first time they encounter The Scole Experiment.
In addition to the film documentary, three books - with images, descriptions, and analysis - provide a comprehensive overview of this 'important to science' 5-year experiment.
The Scole Experiment: Scientific Evidence for Life After Death introduces all 5 years and the key experiments and concepts for the general reader.