In the 1970's, a group of Canadian parapsychologists wanted to attempt an experiment to create a ghost, proving their theory that the human mind can produce spirits through expectation, imagination, and visualization.
The actual experiment took place in Toronto, Canada, in 1972, under the direction of the world-renown expert on poltergeists, Dr. A. R. G. Owen.
The members of the experiment proposed an idea... by using extreme and prolonged concentration, they could create their ghost through a collective thought form: Non-physical entities which exist in either the mental or astral plane. In order to create this ghost and make it as 'real' as possible, it needed a life story, a background in which the ghost could 'relate' to.
They named the ghost they were attempting to bring into focus "Philip Aylesford" and created a tragic story, explaining to the fullest and in great detail, his life, and the few actions that lead to his tragic death.
Step two was contacting Philip. In September 1972 the group began their "sittings" and after some initial problems, the group attempted to duplicate the atmosphere of a classic spiritualist séance. They dimmed the room's lights, sat around a table and surrounded themselves with pictures of the type of castle they imagined Philip would have lived in, as well as objects from that time period.
Within a few weeks, Philip made contact. Although he did not manifest in spiritual form, appearing as an apparition or ghost, he did make contact through a brief rap on the group's table. "Philip" answered questions that were consistent with his fictitious history, but was unable to provide any information beyond that which the group had conceived. However, "Philip" did give other historically accurate information about real events and people. The Owen group theorized that this latter information came from their collective unconsciousness.
The sessions took off from there, producing a range of phenomena that could not be explained scientifically. His "spirit" was able to move the table, sliding it from side to side. On more than one occasion, the table chased someone across the room. In some of these incidents, all hands were clear of the table when this occurred. One session was held in front of a live audience of fifty people and which was videotaped and shown on television. The levitation and movement of a table were recorded on film in 1974.
In the 'Philip' experiment, questions were asked aloud, that would mean that the spirit was able to hear and/or understand a spoken language. Since the team could not hear directly the answers of the spirit (although sometimes a soft whispering was noticeable), the replies came as knocks and raps from the table. In conclusion, the experimenters were never able to prove the 'how' and the 'why' behind Philip's manifestation. Was Philip a direct result of the group's collective subconscious or perhaps did they conjure an actual entity that simply latched onto the story?
Whatever caused the manifestation it seems that it adapted itself to the expectation of the audience, playing the role of the spirit they intended to contact. Since all was based on fiction it could not be the spirit of Philip so what else could it be?
The Philip Experiment - Conclusion and observations
To proof the unprovable we need to stop rejecting the proof we already have.
The Philip experiment has been very extraordinary, to say the least. It indicates that séances can indeed create the type of manifestations that we have long known about as reported by participants of these activities. It confirms what we have always known but what has been actively discredited and consequently not further explored by mainstream science.
Since ghosts and spirits are generally believed to belong to dead persons, the invented ghost experiment should not have had any success, but it did. The experiment has been successful in proving that manifestations do happen and can occur under certain circumstances. The participants were convinced that some kind of interaction was going on. With knocks and rasps they heard coming from the table, the group's questions were answered and eventually the table moved, danced and reacted to the presence of the group. If this would happen in any ordinary séance it would definitely cause anxiety, fear, excitement and would easily contribute in having people believe in ghosts, spirits, demons and non-physical intellectual entities that are capable of communicating with us. It also seems that the manifestation adapted itself to the expectation of the audience, “playing” the role of the spirit they intended to contact.
A communication based on 'raps and knocks' is far from a real interactive discussion. The manifestations in the 'Philip' experiment proved that something was manipulating the table and impersonated the “ghost of Philip” which of course in its own right is amazing. However, a real exchange of information like in a discussion did not take place.
The ‘Philip’ experiment also showed that the participants were not in control. Especially in the video (still available on YouTube), it shows that the table moves uncontrollable and the participants have difficulties to keep their hands on the table. The table and the participants slide towards another group of people as being moved by an invisible force. We have known about such manifestations, but what sets the Philip experiment apart is that it has been very well documented and even filmed.
We can conclude from this experiment that manifestations do occur, they are intelligently controlled and the participants of séances are not in control of who is their communication partner. This is consistent with the thousands of stories that have been recorded through history.
Mainstream science is ill-equipped to understand or explain manifestations like the ones observed during the Phillip experiment as science is obsessed with the physical world and the strict abiding to its self-imposed rules. The manifestations seen during séances seem to operate beyond the realm in which science operates. As a consequence science discredits these manifestations and instead of advancing our knowledge, science has become a roadblock for understanding anything new that defies logic. This gives us a very serious disadvantage as it means that science does not help humanity to move beyond the current paradigm but instead is holding us back. To move forward we need to start accepting information as derived from the “Philip” experiment as proof and follow up on this information and let it take us to where it leads, no matter whether we like it or not.
In medieval times the church blocked science progress by imposing strict religious rules on scientific theories. In our current society, science has taken over that policing role and is now blocking progress by imposing its own rigid rules on any new theory. Anything that indicates a violation of the laws of physics is immediately disqualified. This is the same type of arrogance as seen from the church in medieval times, as it presumes that science knows it all.
The existence of manifestations and events that do not fit the accepted paradigm are indications that our understanding is incomplete and possibly wrong. We should use these events to further explore and push the boundaries of our knowledge leading to new opportunities and discoveries. Since that is not the approach available by science it has disqualified itself to be the arbiter in these cases. Science and its institutes have increasingly become tools to improve existing technology and fine existing knowledge but it has stopped being useful pushing the boundaries of human knowledge. In the same way that you should not use science to investigate the tricks of a magician, science is not well suited for investigating any non-natural events. Its rigid belief system makes it the wrong tool to discover the truth about non-physical existences, artificial and non-natural occurrences.
Moving forward the Philip experiment should be used as the basis for many more experiments of a similar nature. It should be repeated and extended. Universities should make this one of their staple investigations and the public should be informed with clear documented reports like the Philip Experiment.