Association for the Scientific Study of Anomalous Phenomena
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|Founded||10 June 1981|
|Founder||Dr Hugh Pincott|
Dr Vernon Harrison
Rev. Lionel Fanthorpe
The Association for the Scientific Study of Anomalous Phenomena (ASSAP) is a UK-based education and research charity, 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. The charity also incorporates various smaller groups, providing support during investigations. Paranormal Awakening and the Midlands Ghost Research Society belong to this category. They also hold training days for would-be investigators and provide research grants.
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. The first part of their investigative process, which is used to detect obvious fraud, is kept a secret from the public.
The ASSAP was founded on 10 June 1981 by Council members of the Society for Psychical Research who were modernisers; its current president is Lionel Fanthorpe. The previous president was Michael Bentine who had a long-term interest in the subject of the paranormal.
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) 
Carrie Searley explained to paranormal researcher Ben Radford that '"fake ghost photography is in the minority, however, it does occur... It is purely down to us to educate ourselves with the up and coming new photo apps that are being offered on the market'". And ASSAP asked the public for its help to catalog the known fake images for smartphones. 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.The charity asked members to send before and after pictures using the applications to help weed out fakes.
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. They held a similar conference in 2012 at the University of Worcester. They had earlier hosted the Paranormal Olympics at the University of London.
They currently hold up to 1,600 books on the paranormal which are available for members. Since 2006 the charity launched Project Albion, creating a database with the goal of recording every fortean event in the country.
Coventry Paranormal Investigators
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.
Martin said he was inspired to start the group after seeing his grandmother's ghost when he was eight years old. 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. Their most famous investigation was of St. Mary's Great Hall.
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. They also perform vigils to look out for ghosts. The vigils are limited to twenty investigators at one time.
The Ghost Research Society has taken part in numerous charity drives including one for Children in Need and another where they raised £1,500 for cerebral palsy research. For all of their charity drives they perform 'lock-ins', where the group is sponsored to lock themselves in a 'haunted' building overnight.
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- Charity Commission website
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- "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. 20 November 2003.
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