George Valiantine

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George Valiantine (born 1874) was an American direct voice medium.[1]

Biography[edit]

Valiantine was born in Williamsport, Pennsylvania. He worked as a manufacturer before he discovered mediumship. He gave séances in America and Europe.[2] Valiantine predicted in the 1920s that aliens would visit earth.[3] He also claimed contact with spirit guides known as Hawk Chief and Kokum.[4]

Fraud[edit]

The British spiritualist author Herbert Dennis Bradley defended Valiantine and wrote three books about his mediumship.[5] However, Bradley also admitted he caught Valiantine cheating.[6] According to a report by the Society for Psychical Research Valiantine was "repeatedly exposed in faking the physical phenomena at his seances".[7]

Voices were heard in the séances of Valiantine and he always used a trumpet but denied that he had spoken through it. The psychical researcher Ernest Palmer had investigated the trumpet after a séance and discovered "a good deal of moisture" inside the mouth piece, which indicated that it been spoken into by an ordinary human and not a spirit.[8]

Valiantine entered for the Scientific American prize of $2,500, to be awarded to any medium producing spiritualist phenomenon under test conditions. In the test Valiantine produced movement of a trumpet in the dark séance room, however, an electrical connection had been rigged to his chair which was connected to a light in an adjoining room which revealed that all the trumpet activity coincided with when he left his chair.[9] Valiantine had not known his chair was wired.[10] The psychical researcher Harry Price described the test séance:

Valiantine did not collect the award as he had cheated and was pronounced a fraud by the Scientific American committee.[12]

In 1925 Harry Price investigated the "direct voice" mediumship of Valiantine in London. In the séance Valiantine claimed to have contacted the "spirit" of the composer Luigi Arditi who spoke Italian. Price wrote down every word that was attributed to Arditi and they were found to be word-for-word matches in an Italian phrase-book.[13] In 1931 Valiantine was exposed as a fraud in the séance room as he produced fraudulent "spirit" fingerprints in wax. The "spirit" thumbprint that Valiantine claimed belonged to Arthur Conan Doyle was revealed to be the print of his big toe on his right foot. It was also revealed that Valiantine made some of the prints with his elbow.[14]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Rodger Anderson. (2006). Psychics, Sensitives and Somnambules. McFarland & Company. p. 178. ISBN 978-0786427703
  2. ^ Lewis Spence. (2011). Encyclopedia of Occultism and Parapsychology. Kessinger Publishing. p. 957. ISBN 978-0766128170
  3. ^ Robert Baker. (1996). Hidden Memories: Voices and Visions from Within. Prometheus Books. p. 118. ISBN 978-1573920940
  4. ^ Raymond Buckland. (2005). The Spirit Book: The Encyclopedia of Clairvoyance, Channeling, and Spirit Communication. Visible Ink Press. p. 426. ISBN 978-1578592135
  5. ^ Herbert Dennis Bradley. Towards the Stars, The Wisdom of the Gods, And After (T. Werner Laurie Limited. 1924, 1925, 1931)
  6. ^ Montague Summers. (2010). Physical Phenomena of Mysticism. Kessinger Publishing. p. 114. ISBN 978-1161363654
  7. ^ Journal of the Society for Psychical Research. (1989). Volumes 55-56. p. 429
  8. ^ E. Clephan Palmer. (2003). Riddle of Spiritualism. Kessinger Publishing. p. 78. ISBN 978-0766179318
  9. ^ William Kalush, Larry Sloman. (2007). The Secret Life of Houdini: The Making of America's First Superhero. Atria Books. p. 413. ISBN 978-0743272087
  10. ^ Milbourne Christopher. (1998). Houdini: A Pictorial Biography, Including More Than 250 Illustrations. Random House Value Publishing. p. 127. ISBN 978-0756775735
  11. ^ Harry Price. (1939). Chapter The Mechanics of Spiritualism in Fifty Years of Psychical Research. Kessinger Publishing. ISBN 978-0766142428
  12. ^ Gordon Stein. (1996). The Encyclopedia of the Paranormal. Prometheus Books. p. 395. ISBN 978-1573920216
  13. ^ Harry Price. (1942). Search For Truth: My Life For Psychical Research. Collins. p. 203
  14. ^ Julian Franklyn. (2003). A Survey of the Occult. pp. 263-395. Kessinger Publishing. ISBN 978-0766130074

Further reading[edit]