|William Hope (Crewe,
Annual Meeting of the Society for the Study of Supernormal Pictures
(Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and Lady Doyle in the center row, left)
Silver Print, 3 x 5 inches, before 1922
The S.S.S.P. was launched in 1918 in London and by May of 1920 issued a statement declaring:
The members here present desire to place on record the fact that after many tests and the examination of thousands of pictures, they are unanimously of the opinion that results have been obtained supernormally on sensitive photographic plates under reliable test conditions. At present the members do not undertake to explain how the results have been obtained, but they assert that they have undoubtedly been secured under conditions excluding the possibility of fraud.
|A view of the unidentified spirit "extra" in the S.S.S.P. photograph|
... The Crewe Circle was a spiritualist photography group based in Crewe, England in the latter half of the 19th century. The group was founded by William Hope and its photography was investigated by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. Doyle later went on to write the book The Case for Spirit Photography based on his investigation. In later years many of the photographs were found to be confirmed as fraudulent double-exposures.The paranormal investigator Massimo Polidoro wrote that Harry Price and his colleagues in 1922 from the Society for Psychical Research gave William Hope a glass plate they secretly marked with an X-ray. When Price received back the glass plate it no longer had the X-ray on the glass, which led them to claim that Hope had switched the glass slide. Instead of accepting the fraud, the spiritualist Arthur Conan Doyle accused Price of framing Hope to discredit him. In 1932 Fred Barlow who had worked with Hope gave a lecture exposing the methods the Crewe Circle used to fake spirit photography. Regarding Conan Doyle and the Crewe Circle, Polidoro wrote it is "practically impossible (and futile) to try to convince someone who wants to believe even in the face of quite convincing contrary evidence."
!!!! As a young man Hope was employed as a carpenter, but he quickly came to prominence in paranormal circles after claiming to be able to capture images of spirits on camera. Hope produced his first spirit image in 1905. Soon afterwards he formed the Crewe Circle Spiritualist group, with himself as the leader.
In 1906, Hope managed to dupe William Crookes with a fake spirit photograph of his wife. Oliver Lodge revealed there had been obvious signs of double exposure-the picture of Lady Crookes had been copied from a wedding anniversary photograph. However, Crookes was a convinced spiritualist and claimed it was genuine evidence for spirit photography.
On 4 February 1922, the Society for Psychical Research and the paranormal investigator Harry Price with James Seymour, Eric Dingwall and William Marriott had proven Hope was a fraud during tests at the British College of Psychic Science. Price wrote in his report "William Hope has been found guilty of deliberately substituting his own plates for those of a sitter... It implies that the medium brings to the sitting a duplicate slide and faked plates for fraudulent purposes."
Price secretly marked Hope's photographic plates, and provided him with a packet of additional plates that had been covertly etched with the brand image of the Imperial Dry Plate Co. Ltd. in the knowledge that the logo would be transferred to any images created with them. Unaware that Price had tampered with his supplies, Hope then attempted to produce a number of Spirit photographs. Although Hope produced several images of spirits, none of his materials contained the Imperial Dry Plate Co. Ltd logo, or the marks that Price had put on Hope's original equipment, showing that he had exchanged prepared materials containing fake spirit images for the provided materials.
Price later re-published the Society's experiment in a pamphlet of his own called Cold Light on Spiritualistic "Phenomena" - An Experiment with the Crewe Circle. Due to the exposure of Hope and other fraudulent spiritualists, Arthur Conan Doyle led a mass resignation of eighty-four members of the Society for Psychical Research, as they believed the Society was opposed to spiritualism.
In 1932, Fred Barlow, a former friend and supporter of Hope's work and also the former Secretary of the Society for the Study of Supernormal Pictures, along with Major W. Rampling-Rose, gave a joint lecture to the Society for Psychical Research to present findings gleaned from an extensive series of tests on the methods Hope used to produce his spirit photographs.
Barlow and Rampling-Rose concluded that the "spirit extras" that appeared in Hope's photographs were produced fraudulently. The pair would later present their case in depth in the Proceedings of the Society for Psychical Research.
Despite Price's findings, Hope still retained a noted following, including author and spiritualist Sir Arthur Conan Doyle who refused to accept any evidence that Hope was a fraud and went to great lengths to clear his name, going so far as to write a book supporting spirit photography, The Case for Spirit Photography, in response to Price's claims of fraud and trying to convince Price to withdraw his story.
|...fizzy SAMHAIN dear followers !!!|