George Nugent Merle Tyrrell

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
George Nugent Merle Tyrrell
George Nugent Merle Tyrrell.jpg
DiedOctober 29, 1952
OccupationMathematician, Parapsychologist

George Nugent Merle Tyrrell (1879 - October 29, 1952), most well known as G. N. M. Tyrrell was a British mathematician, physicist, radio engineer and parapsychologist.[1][2]


Tyrrell was a student of Guglielmo Marconi and a pioneer in the development of radio.[1][3] In 1908 he joined the Society for Psychical Research. He conducted numerous experiments in telepathy and was interested in apparitional experiences. He attempted to explain ghosts by a psychological theory.[4]

Tyrrell proposed that ghosts are a hallucination of the subconscious mind of a person, to explain collective hallucinations for more than one person, he proposed it as a telepathic mechanism.[2][5] Tyrrell was the president of the Society for Psychical Research 1945-1946.[1]

Although a believer in telepathy, Tyrrell was a critic of physical mediumship. He stated that it has been the "happy hunting ground of tricksters and charlatans."[6]

Tyrrell created the term out-of-body experience in his book Apparitions.[7]

A review in Nature for Science and Psychical Phenomena praised Tyrrell for his "obvious sincerity" but suggested the book was "full of flaws" which aroused suspicion of Tyrrell's critical faculties.[8]

Published works[edit]

  • Grades of Significance (1931)[9]
  • Science and Psychical Phenomena (1938)
  • Apparitions (1943)
  • The Personality of Man (1946)[10]
  • Homo Faber: A Study of Man's Mental Evolution (1951)
  • Man the Maker: A Study of Man's Mental Evolution (1952)

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c "Past Presidents of the Society for Physical Research". Archived from the original on 28 March 2016. Retrieved 6 May 2016.
  2. ^ a b Blom, Jan Dirk (2009). A Dictionary of Hallucinations. New York: Springer. pp. 109. ISBN 1441912223.
  3. ^ "George Nugent Merle Tyrrell". Encyclopedia of Occultism and Parapsychology.
  4. ^ Drury, Nevill (2004). The Dictionary of the Esoteric: 3000 Entries on the Mystical and Occult Traditions. United Kingdom: Motilal Banarsidass. p. 314. ISBN 8120819896.
  5. ^ Willin, Melvyn (2005). Music, Witchcraft and the Paranormal. United Kingdom: Melrose Books. p. 99. ISBN 1905226187.
  6. ^ Tyrrell, G. N. M. (1954). Physical Mediumship: Is there Anything Besides Fraud in the Physical Séance Room? In The Personality Of Man. Penguin Books. p. 217
  7. ^ Tyrrell, George (1943). Apparitions. London: Gerald Duckworth and Co. Ltd. p. 149. ISBN 9781446358269.
  8. ^ Anonymous. (1939). Academic Psychical Research. Nature 143 (3615): 223.
  9. ^ Russell, L. J. (1931). Review of G. N. M. Tyrrell Grades of Significance. Philosophy 6: 273-273.
  10. ^ Finger, Frank. (1948). Reviewed Work: The Personality of Man: New Facts and Their Significance by G. N. M. Tyrrell. The Quarterly Review of Biology 23 (1): 93-93.