Association for the Scientific Study of Anomalous Phenomena

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Association for the Scientific Study of Anomalous Phenomena
Logo of The Association for the Scientific Study of Anomalous Phenomena.jpg
Founded 10 June 1981 (1981-06-10)
Founder Dr Hugh Pincott
Dr Vernon Harrison
Bob Rickard
Jenny Randles
Hilary Evans
Location
Area served
United Kingdom
Key people
Dave Wood[1]
Rev. Lionel Fanthorpe[2]
Matt Hicks[3]
Revenue
£11,943
Volunteers
500
Mission Investigate paranormal phenomenon
Website www.assap.org

The Association for the Scientific Study of Anomalous Phenomena (ASSAP) is a UK-based education and research charity,[4] dedicated to scientifically investigate alleged paranormal and anomalous phenomena, with a view to approaching the subject in its entirety rather than looking into the psychology of individual phenomenon.[5] The charity also incorporates various smaller groups, providing support during investigations. Paranormal Awakening and the Midlands Ghost Research Society belong to this category.[6][7] They also hold training days for would-be investigators and provide research grants.[8][9]

The charity also has sub-committees such as the Circles Research Program, who investigate crop circles.[10] On average they hold 1,000 investigations a year.[11]

ASSAP's refusal to accept populist explanations for ghosts and its focus on recording of experience rather than phenomena has garnered cautious praise from skeptics.[12] The first part of their investigative process, which is used to detect obvious fraud, is kept a secret from the public.[13]

History[edit]

The ASSAP was founded on 10 June 1981 by Council members of the Society for Psychical Research who were modernisers;[14] its current president is Lionel Fanthorpe. The previous president was Michael Bentine who had a long-term interest in the subject of the paranormal.[15]

Founding members included well-known authors Hilary Evans and Jenny Randles as well as Fortean Times editor Bob Rickard, Dr Vernon Harrison and Dr Hugh Pincott (previously secretary and treasurer of the Society for Psychical Research) [5][16]

Current activities[edit]

Though the charity still analyses ghostly photographs, in 2011 it ceased to study smartphone pictures, as apps became available for the specific purpose of faking ghostly figures.[17] The charity asked members to send before and after pictures using the applications to help weed out fakes.[17]

In 2013 the organisation staged a one-day "Summit on the Future of Ufology", stating that a possible crisis in the world of UFO researchers, as well as recent sightings, required examination.[18] They held a similar conference in 2012 at the University of Worcester.[1] They had earlier hosted the Paranormal Olympics at the University of London.[19]

They currently hold up to 1,600 books on the paranormal which are available for members.[20] Since 2006 the charity launched Project Albion, creating a database with the goal of recording every fortean event in the country.[21]

Affiliate organizations[edit]

Coventry Paranormal Investigators[edit]

Coventry Paranormal Investigators
Formation 2002
Type Paranormal Investigators
Location
Official language
English
Founders
Martin Higginson
Amanda Higginson
Affiliations ASSAP
Staff
7
Website www.cpiteam.co.uk

The Coventry Paranormal Investigators (or Midlands Ghost Research Society) is a paranormal investigation group founded in 2002 by Martin and Amanda Higginson. The group is affiliated with the Association for the Scientific Study of Anomalous Phenomena.[22]

Martin said he was inspired to start the group after seeing his grandmother's ghost when he was eight years old.[22] They group serves the entire UK with the Higginson's frequently travelling to investigate paranormal claims. The group has conducted over 22 investigations. They have captured numerous 'ghostly' phenomenon including orbs and magnetic fluctuations.[22] Their most famous investigation was of St. Mary's Great Hall.[23]

The group's aim is to prove the existence of ghosts and to this end they carry out investigations using an array of scientific equipment; from infra-red cameras to electromagnetic frequency metres.[22] They also perform vigils to look out for ghosts. The vigils are limited to twenty investigators at one time.[22]

The Ghost Research Society has taken part in numerous charity drives including one for Children in Need[24] and another where they raised £1,500 for cerebral palsy research.[25] For all of their charity drives they perform 'lock-ins', where the group is sponsored to lock themselves in a 'haunted' building overnight.[26]

Paranormal Awakening[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ a b Keogh, Kat (17 November 2012). "Ex-Files... Midland UFO sightings vanish". Birmingham Mail. p. 7. 
  2. ^ Byrne, Mike (2 October 2010). "Ghostly new arrivals raise haunting hopes; Two new spooky sightings have raised hopes that the city is still the number one ghost centre in the UK.". Express and Echo (Exeter). p. 3. 
  3. ^ "Searching for the spooks of stoke-on-trent; Matt Hicks has been searching for spooks and hunting down hauntings for years, only to conclude that our area has more than its fair share of ghostly goings on. He talks to John Woodhouse about his work.". The Sentinel (Stoke). 23 November 2009. p. 40. 
  4. ^ Charity Commission website
  5. ^ a b Grossman, Wendy M (17 August 2011). "Obituary: Hilary Evans: Paranormal researcher and co-founder of a famous picture library". The Guardian. p. 37. 
  6. ^ Hambridge, Karen (31 October 2005). "Who Ya Gonna Call? ...Ghost Hunters". Coventry Evening Telegraph. 
  7. ^ "Ghostbusters out on patrol; CANNOCK WOOD: Squad on lookout for strange goings-on". Birmingham Evening Mail. 21 February 2006. p. 18. 
  8. ^ "Out of the orbinary?". Western Daily Press. 7 July 2006. p. 13. 
  9. ^ "Spook watch at Oxford Prison". UK Newsquest Regional Press - This is Oxfordshire. 21 November 2000. 
  10. ^ Dunkley, Peter M. (19 June 1999). "Going round in circles: Debate Still Rages Over Origin of Crop Circles". Calgary Herald (Alberta, Canada). 
  11. ^ Nuttall, Nick (4 September 1996). "From psychic forces to fashionable farces". The Times (London). 
  12. ^ Parnormal Investigator The Skeptics Dictionary
  13. ^ Nuttall, Nick (4 September 1996). "Real-life ghostbusters find a sober way to chase spirits". The Times (London). 
  14. ^ Fraser, J. (2010) Ghost Hunting: A Survivors Guide
  15. ^ Obituary for Michael Bentine, The Independent
  16. ^ Hope, V. & Townsend, M. (1999) The Paranormal Investigator's Handbook.
  17. ^ a b "Calling All Smartphone Users: Paranormal Researchers Need YOUR Help!". The Morton Report. 9 November 2011. 
  18. ^ Pope, Nick (24 February 2013). "2012 - a bumper year for UFOs; Nick Pope used to run the MoD's UFO Project and is now recognised as one of the world's leading FOUR unidentified flying objects were spotted hovering over Sydney's suburbs on the afternoon of May 18, 2012. experts on A photograph captured the four UFOs - which witnesses said hovered in the same spot for more than 10 minutes before disappearing again - from Tom Ugly's Bridge Marina in the city just before 5pm. UFO's and the unexplained. The photographer, local resident Ivan Mikkelsen, told The Daily Telegraph in Australia that he first noticed the objects". The People. pp. 2–3. 
  19. ^ Rickard, Bob (12 April 2003). "The Guest Slot". Daily Record. p. 37. 
  20. ^ "Have you got library room?". Derby Evening Telegraph. 5 December 2006. p. 8. 
  21. ^ Rigley, Stephen (3 February 2006). "The Hauntings; Bid to Record Every Spook, and Supernatural Sighting in the Land". Daily Star. p. 16. 
  22. ^ a b c d e KAREN HAMBRIDGE (October 31, 2005). "WHO YA GONNA CALL? ...GHOST HUNTERS;". Coventry Evening Telegraph. 
  23. ^ DAVID MCGRORY (October 29, 2005). "GHOSTS CAN PUT IN AN APPEARANCE EVERY DAY; NOSTALGIA: TIMETUNNEL: HISTORIAN DAVID MCGRORY GIVES A TIMELY GLIMPSE". Coventry Evening Telegraph. 
  24. ^ "WACKY FUNDRAISING FUN IS ABOUT TO BEGIN; CHILDREN IN NEED RECIPES: Radio presenters Danny Kelly and Annie Othen have contributed to a cookbook; FUN: Terry Wogan will host the TV show". Coventry Evening Telegraph. November 20, 2003. 
  25. ^ News; Other; Others; Pg. 14 (February 24, 2005). "Spirited effort". Nottingham Evening Post. 
  26. ^ First Edition; NEWS; Pg. 22 (January 7, 2005). "GHOSTBUSTERS GET INTO SPIRIT OF FUNDRAISING FOR ORPHANAGE; TSUNAMI DISASTER". Coventry Evening Telegraph.