Sir Hubert Wilkins was one of leading historical heroes of the Hallett area, and I am currently bringing some of his achievements together in a small dedicated room here at the gallery. From the psychological perspective here was a man well ahead of his time, which can be both a burden and a sign of someone who is fully self-actualised. The image contains some information about some lesser known aspects of his exceptional life.
Always a scientist in his approach to his achievements, through his work with Harold Sherman in 'Thoughts Through Space', he joins those other courageous scientists like Hans Eysenk, who developed the IQ test and had a fascination with sensory perception, Carl Sargent, Allan Wolfe and William Tiller who developed psychoenergetics, who dared to step outside the academic-comfort square and into the realm of Bohm's quantum psychology.
UPDATE: Uri Geller tries to repeat Wilkins & Sherman's ex[eriment
excerpt from Uri Geller's blog available at
http://www.uri-geller.com/map.htmThoughts through space
In April, BBC Radio 2 invited me (at rather short notice) to come into the studio for a chat with Lynn Parsons about an item that had appeared in the independent (April 17) headed, "Arctic explorer tries to be a mind reader. It described how arctic explorer David Mills just set off from somewhere in Canada in an attempt to break the record for solo walk to the north pole. which meant that he would have to cover 420 miles in 55 days, arriving around mid-June.
It was not to be an entirely normal expedition. Mr. Mill, who studied psychology at London University, is also interested in parapsychology (the branch of science that reaches the other parts that scientists cannot reach). he planned to while away some of the time he would spend tramping over the ice and snow in a series of attempts to record images being transmitted to him - not by radio, but by telepathy, from an unnamed team somewhere in the U.K
At the end of the experiment, Dr. Caroline Watt, a research fellow at the Koestler parasychology unit at Edinburgh University would study the results. She would assess whther Mr. Mills impressions matched the images beamed to him at a significant degree, ir of nothing more than chance/guesswork was involved.
Dr. Watt mentioned that the experiment hoped to repeat that of the famous explorer Sir Hubert Wilkins in the 1930's, who did indeed seem able to communicate mind to mind with a friend in New York.
Now as it happens, I met a friend briefly soon after I arrived in The U.S.A in the seventies, and did not know much about who was who in the psychic world.
His name was Harold Sherman, a successful writer who also had remarkable abilities in the area of telepathy and clairvoyance. He had just published his ESP manual (1972), one of the best practical guides to expanding the mind I know of.
One of his dozen or so books was Thoughts through space (1942) in which he tells the whole story of what has to be the most remarkable series of experiments of their kind ever recorded.
It all began when Wilkins was chewing the fat with his friend and fellow club member in New York about his forthcoming plan to search for a russian aeroplane missing on a flight from Moscow over the Arctic Ocean. He knew that communication was going to be difficult- susnspot activity in 1937 was the highest nearly recorded for nearly 70 years, meaning that his radio link would be very unreliable. It was in fact frequently knocked out altogether. So, Sherman, suggested, why don't we see if teleppathy gets through when radio doesn't ?
Wilkins liked the idea. He remembered from his boyhood in Australia that the Aborigines made regular use of telepathy and precognition, so he knew it could be done. Sherman was equally convinced by his many years of experience of psi phenomena. They agreed on a routine: Wilkins would keep a diary, sending it when he could in installments to a third party for witnessing, and Sherman would note down his impressions picked up at prearranged times. These would also be witnesses as they were made, so nobody could accuse either man of fiddling with data after the event.
Wilkins headed north on 25th October 1937, and over the next five months Sherman was able to record a total of 68 reports containing nearly 300 specific statements.
The results were astonishing. As Wilkins himself concluded "You seem to get all the very strong thoughts and sense the vivid conditions". Not surprisingly, I got a lot about ice, snow, and cold, but some of his impressions seemed quite out of place. One evening, for example he wrote "You in company, men in miitary attire....evening dress, important people....You appear to be in evening dress yourself."
Who would imagine that an Arctic explorer would be in evening dress? However, on the evening in question Wilkins had been invited to an armistice Ball attended the local top brass - and yes, Wilkins was wearing (borrowed) evening dress suit.
Soon after that direct hit, Sherman scored another. "Some kind of banquet...seem to see it held in church..connection school, standing in front of the blackboard, chalk in hand, you give short talk". At the time, Wilkins was attending a banquet in Missionaires' House, Point Barrow- about 4000 miles from New York- and that day he had given a short talk to the school children. Yet another coincidence of course.
So it went on and on. Sherman made notes about a fire, a funeral, a ladder, and a diamond mine. Wilkins had seen both a fire and a funeral, had nedde to use a ladder, and did have toothache. Infact, the only time when psi-communication seemed to go adrift was when they were doing some card guessing. Wilkins found this tedious and clearly did not try very hard and results were close to chance.
This is just what Mt. Mill and his team is doing right as I write this (in May) and I would not be surprised if they got the same result, as I told Lyn Parsons in April. Wilkins succeeded because his survival was at stake and he had worked out a code for emergency signals which luckily he never had to use whereas Mr. Mills team seem to be merely carrying out an academic exercise. And Telepathy usually only works when it has to work."