For a Thanksgiving Day treat, here's one of the best afterlife communication cases ever documented: the chess match between a living grandmaster and (purportedly) a deceased one!
As with my last post, I'm not going to summarize the case, since Miles Edward Allen has already done so (PDF). I'll just point out the two most striking features of this experiment.
First, of course, there's the fact that a living grandmaster ranked third in the world could find himself struggling to win a match against a channeled opponent. The medium knew only the rudiments of chess, while the researcher who organized the experiment was a good player but nowhere near the grandmaster level. So where did the channeled chess moves come from? As Allen observes,
Mind reading, even on a grand scale, can’t explain things.... Picking up impressions may be common, and discerning an occasional message from another’s mind is not unheard of, but no one has ever demonstrated an ability to learn a complex skill via telepathy.
Indeed, I'm unaware of any documented case in which a person was able to learn a difficult new skill through ESP. And the channeled chess moves were not merely of grandmaster quality; they were consistent with the style of play from the deceased player's heyday, a style that had become somewhat dated by the time the experiment was done.
Second, there's the wealth of personal information apparently communicated by the deceased. 85 verifiable items were recorded. Some of them were available in public records, but others could be confirmed only by combing through obscure archives or interviewing relatives. 70 hours of research on the part of an independent historian (who knew nothing of the paranormal aspects of the case) were required to track down these data. At the end, only two items (both trivial) were proved wrong; the rest were correct -- a success rate of more than 97%. And all these facts were relayed by the communicator in a single afternoon and evening.
Most impressive perhaps was the communicator's insistence that one of his opponents was named Romih, when all known records spelled the name Romi. Only by obtaining a program from the 1930 tournament was it established that, at that date, the player did in fact spell his name Romih (he later dropped the "h").
The combination of a powerful skill -- chess play at the grandmaster level - and a mass of verified personal information makes this case anything but a Thanksgiving turkey!