MIDDLE TENNESSEE SKEPTICS
Giving Common Sense a Chance
Newspapers around the world exclaimed that a genuine poltergeist phenomenon was being witnessed in the presence of Tina Resch, a fourteen year old girl from Columbus, Ohio.(1) The newspaper the Col-umbus Dispatch told of flying telephones, loud explo-sions, and moving and falling lamps. The para-psycholo-gist, William Roll, who specializes in poltergeist investigations attested to its authenticity.
The excitement continued until a video camera from a visiting TV crew was inadvertently left on and caught Tina pulling over lamps and displacing objects when she thought she was being unobserved. The other dramatic occurrences were discovered to have been the inventions of the press or highly exagger-ated descriptions of quite explainable events.
Upon further investigation it was uncovered that Tina was adopted and wanted to discover her true par-ents. she used the media attention as an instru-ment to that end. When her mischief was discovered her case faded from the public. An obviously dis-turbed mind, in 1994 she was sentenced to life imprisonment for murdering her three year old daughter.
Matthew Manning, a U.K. imitator of Uri Geller, performs spoon bending, tricks of healing, and lectures internationally on the paranormal. In HIS book "The Link, the Poltergeist Experience", he reports of disturbance which began in 1967 when he was eleven years old. Small objects, such as chairs, ashtrays, plates, a light coffetable were found moved. The house in which he lived produced erratic and unsuspected taps and creaks. The noises varied from dull knocking to a stone thrown through a window. They occurred both day and night.
Dr. A.R.G. Owen, secretary of the Cambridge Psychial Research Society (2) was brought in by Manning's father to investigate. He set up his equip- ment to observe the activity, but nothing was ever recorded. It only occurred when and where Owen was not present. He did determine that the incidents only happened when Matthew was present.
In HIS book Matthew reported (unsubstanti-ated) of all kinds of strange happenings: rooms being ransacked, tables and chairs piled on each other, items mysteri- ously disappearing, items flying through the air. He continued to document that as he got older he learned to control and rechannel the poltergeist energy. As a result he developed pyschic abilities in ESP, PK, and automatic writing as the poltergeist phenomenon gradually diminished. (3)
1) Randi, J. "Columbus Poltergeist," An Encyclopedia of Claims, Frauds, and Hoaxes of the Occult and Supernatural, published by St. Martin's Griffin, 1995, p 52.
2) The Cambridge Psychial Reseach Society has the mission to promote the existence of psychic pheno- menon. It would have been more meaningful to seek some organization would have done REAL research as to the source of the disturbance.
3) More likely as he Matthew got older he learned how naive most people were and how easy it was to deceive, as long as you show them what they WANTED and expected to see. Why is it that those who want to see ghosts do while those skeptics never do?