Full details of this sitting will be found recorded, with photographs, in the JOURNAL of the American Society for Psychical Research. The other result was on November 11, 1922, on the occasion of the Great Silence, on Armistice Day, in Whitehall, when in a photograph of the immense concourse of people gathered in the vicinity of the Cenotaph many spirit faces are discernible, and a number of them were recognized. This was repeated on three successive years.
Modern researches have proved that these psychic results are not obtained, in some instances at least, through the lens of the camera. On many occasions, under test conditions, these supernormal pictures have been secured from an unopened box of plates, held between the hands of the sitter or sitters. Also, when the experiment has been tried of using two cameras, if any "extra" appears, it is found in one camera, not in both. A theory held is that the image is precipitated on the photographic plate, or that a psychic screen is applied to the plate.
The author may perhaps say a few words upon his own personal experience, which has been chiefly with the Crewe Circle and with Mrs. Deane. In the case of the latter there have always been results, but in no case were the "extras" recognized. The author is well aware of Mrs. Deane's psychic power, which has been conspicuously shown during the long series of experiments held by Mr. Warrick under every possible test condition, and fully reported in PSYCHIC SCIENCE.* His own experiences have, however, never been evidential, and if he relied only upon them he could not speak with any certainty. He used Mrs. Deane's own plates, and he has a strong feeling that the faces may be precipitated upon them during the days of preparation when she carries the packet upon her person. She is under the impression that she can facilitate her results in this way, but she is probably quite mistaken, for the Cushman case was extempore. It is also on record that a trick was once played upon her at the Psychic College, her own packet being taken away and another substituted. In spite of this "extras" were obtained. She would be well advised, therefore, if she abandoned methods which make her results, however genuine, so vulnerable to attack.
* July, 1925.
It is otherwise with Mr. Hope. On the various occasions when the author has sat with him he has always brought his own plates, has marked them in the dark room, and has handled and developed them himself.
Since writing the above, the author has tested the medium with his own plates, marked and developed by himself. He obtained six psychic results in eight experiments. In nearly every case an "extra" has been obtained, that "extra"-though there has never yet been a clear recognition-has certainly been abnormal in its production. Mr. Hope has endured the usual attacks from ignorance or malice to which every medium is exposed, but he has emerged from them with his honour unblemished.
Some mention should be made of the remarkable results of Mr. Staveley Bulford, a talented psychic student, who has produced most excellent genuine psychic photographs. No one can look over his scrapbook and note the gradual development of his gift from mere blotches of light to very perfect faces without being convinced of the reality of the process.
The subject is still obscure, and all the author's personal experience goes to support the view that in a certain number of cases nothing external is ever built up, but the effect is produced by a sort of ray carrying a picture upon it which can penetrate solids, such as the wall of the dark slide, and imprint its effect upon the plate. The experiment, already cited, where two cameras have been trained simultaneously, with the medium midway between them, appears to be conclusive, since it showed a result on one plate and not on the other. The author has obtained results on plates which never left the dark slide, quite as vivid as any which have been exposed to light. It is probable that if Hope never took the cap off the lens his results would often be the same.