IMG_0569
Blog powered by Typepad

« Book review: Hell House | Main | Guest post: A message from mom »

Comments

This is great news, Michael (the book project). I think you're one of the few people with the right mix of writing skills, critical thinking and background knowledge to make this turn out very well. I have long thought that if you were to do it right, such a book may end up being among your greatest commercial successes. Good luck to you!

Yes, the Runolfsson case seems like a pretty good one, albeit a little old.

What a phenomenal coincidence. I went to Iceland in October to make a Youtube video on the Runki case and completed the production in the second week of October. There were delays related to obtaining some photographs of Ludvik Gudmundsson and the bone in its coffin - photos I have still, unfortunately, not managed to obtain. So I decided cut the delay short and publish my video anyway. It is currently being uploaded to Youtube, and the link will be available possibly later this week. My video is called 'The Strange Case of Runki's Leg' and covers the life of Runki, the locations he lived in, where the bone was found, and the seances of Hafstein Bjornsson.

Regards,

Keith Parsons

It’s intriguing isn’t it? Like a lot of this kind of material I guess. IIRC wasn’t there also something about Runki being quite tall and the femur was of a tall person?

Thanks Michael for the link to the Journal of the ASPR. It is always preferable to go back to the original documents if possible. - AOD

You’re correct, Paul. The femur was long, indicative of a tall person, and Runki was tall; the communicator said so, and his grandson later confirmed it. I left out that detail, among others (for instance, this same medium, while in a trance, once conversed in the Eskimo language with a sitter, even though the medium did not ordinarily know any Eskimo words).

Keith, please give us the YouTube link to your documentary when it’s available.

Eric, I don’t expect commercial success with this project, but I feel that it may help me to clarify my own thinking by forcing me to present a case for survival in a structured way. Thanks for the kind words!

Michael,

I look forward to reading the book! I agree with Eric that you have ability and knowledge to approach this material in a really fresh and effective way.

The case definitely sounds like a good one. I think the way that skeptics approach such cases, however, is hinted at by Eric's phrase "albeit an old one." They will simply say, "Well, that was a long time ago, and who knows what really happened?" Simply wait long enough, and any evidence, no matter how strong, can be dealt with in this manner...

Incidentally, if anyone hasn’t seen Keith’s videos - I recommend them,

True, Matt. I should probably address that point in the book. But only briefly, because the focus isn’t on combatting diehard Skepticism. Other books, like Randi's Prize by Robert McLuhan, already have that focus.

My new movie, 'The Strange Case of Runki's Leg' has just been launched on Youtube at the link below.

https://youtu.be/38v3urapiqk

In case your readers are not aware of my work, I have made twenty afterlife evidence docs with over 550,000 views so far. You can find these by inputting to Youtube - Keith Parsons Afterlife. I particularly recommend The Rosemary Brown Mystery, and Sensational Stead and the Spirit World but they are all reasonably interesting.

Michael, are you familiar with Eric Wargo‘s (quite unique) analysis of the case? http://thenightshirt.com/?p=3874?
He makes a case for a ESP-based explanation. I don’t think it is convincing but he makes one point that needs to be discussed further: The medium makes a mistake concerning Runki‘s age at death. This mistake is identical with what the church records say (they apparently were incorrect, too). This mistake would make little sense if the information came directly from the deceased, yet, could be explained by the medium drawing the information via ESP from the records. While I don’t think that ESP is a sufficient explanation for this case in its entirety this one aspect deserves some deep thoughts...

Runki said he was 52 years old when he died. Documentation, if correct, indicated he was just shy of his 51st birthday when he died but he would have been two months into this 52nd year when his bones were found. I don’t think this is a big issue or a “mistake” of any kind. People sometimes generalize about their age exactly the way that Runki did saying that they were an age indicating the year of life they were currently living rather than the number of years they have lived. For example I would be in my first year of life before I had celebrated my first birthday after which I would be considered 1 year old but after that birthday I would be in my 2nd year. Depending on the circumstances some people might want to advance their age for some reason, especially if they were close to their birthday and wanted to appear older by advancing to the year of life they were in. I don't think this is a lie or a mistake of any kind but just something that people sometimes do for various reasons. - AOD

I was recently asked my age, and I almost said 58. Then I realized I was still 57, though my birthday is coming up pretty soon. In general I find that I anticipate my birthday by a month or two — that is, I start thinking of myself as already a year older.

If the age difference had been significant, it would raise questions, but as AOD says, even living persons make minor mistakes about their ages. Also, an earthbound discarnate is not necessarily any sharper than he was in life; in fact, given his earthbound state, he is likely to be in a somewhat dreamy, foggy state of mind. See Robert Crookall's book "The Supreme Adventure" for many examples of so-called "Hades" conditions (a foggy mind with a correspondingly foggy, murky environment).

I think that one should use a little discernment when using written documentation of any sort to validate a claim. Just because something is written down in some dusty archive somewhere or if it is from a so-called 'reliable' source does not mean that it is necessarily accurate. I have run across two examples in my own life. When researching the genealogy of my great grandfather Amos Alfred Doyle I found a genealogical history of his rather recent ancestors in which he was included . In the compilation it said that he had been called "Wesley" and that he was born two years prior to the date his wife and family had chiseled on his tombstone. I remember him, and he was never called "Wesley"; he did have a brother Wesley however who died as a child who was born prior to my great grandfather's birth. Perhaps his wife and family were mistaken when they celebrated his birthday, thinking he was two years younger than he really was! (Apparently he didn't know when he was born either but a genealogist in the 20th century knew and documented it in research documents.)

My own father had an incorrect birth date listed in the records of the Latter Day Saints, a supposed reliable document for genealogical information. Additionally in researching the Patience Worth case, I found numerous errors in census data including incorrect spelling of names and incorrect age information.

Written information in official documents only documents what the collector or provider of the information believes to be true. It may be true or it may not be true. It may reflect reality or it may not. For that reason I have come to take with a grain of salt any supposed evidential written documentation that supports or negates information obtained through mediums or other non-physical means.

It is a real dilemma. What to believe! Humans are just not always reliable sources of information. (We live in "The Age of Misinformation". See Wikipedia for numerous examples!) - AOD

It seems to me very difficult to believe, in the fullest sense, any historical documentation of events unless we can see it for ourselves in someway. AFAICS the closest we can realistically get to belief is "probably true" (or not).

The whole exercise is perhaps more of a probability assessment. On its own, getting an age wrong is an error, but it was close. When assessed in the context of all the information, assuming it is correct and accurate, it seems to me difficult to avoid the conclusion that it probably a genuine case of communication.

There are a few ifs and buts of course: If it is accurately reported, if the investigators are to be trusted, if the people reporting to the investigators are to be trusted. Most of us aren't in a position to reach a conclusive opinion.

It seems to me very difficult to believe, in the fullest sense, any historical documentation of events unless we can see it for ourselves in someway. AFAICS the closest we can realistically get to belief is "probably true" (or not).

The whole exercise is perhaps more of a probability assessment. On its own, getting an age wrong is an error, but it was close. When assessed in the context of all the information, assuming it is correct and accurate, it seems to me difficult to avoid the conclusion that it probably a genuine case of communication.

There are a few ifs and buts of course: If it is accurately reported, if the investigators are to be trusted, if the people reporting to the investigators are to be trusted. Most of us aren't in a position to reach a conclusive opinion.

AOD: You're espousing my philosophy of Mabeism!

Oops—I forgot to put quotation marks around the quoted material!

I thought I'd mention that Stephen Braude does cover this case well in his book Immortal Remains. As usual he puts super-ESP to the test. As with other good cases of drop-ins he concludes that they are possibly the most suggestive of survival of individual consciousness cases. I look forward to your book.

Roger,
My dear departed mother had a little ditty she used to say whenever I would come up with some esoteric idea I had read; unfortunately I can not remember one of the lines. Perhaps someone remembers it or maybe we can come up with a good replacement. It went something like this.

"It may be so for all we know
It sounds so very queer
Duh duh, duh duh, duh duh, duh duh
Your bullshit don't go here."

That always shut me down and made me think twice about anything I read that seemed to be far out from mainstream science. Since my mother is not around any more I am able to go as far out as I want now although I may hear about it when we meet up again. - AOD.


@ Roger - you quoted me not AOD :)

Verify your Comment

Previewing your Comment

This is only a preview. Your comment has not yet been posted.

Working...
Your comment could not be posted. Error type:
Your comment has been saved. Comments are moderated and will not appear until approved by the author. Post another comment

The letters and numbers you entered did not match the image. Please try again.

As a final step before posting your comment, enter the letters and numbers you see in the image below. This prevents automated programs from posting comments.

Having trouble reading this image? View an alternate.

Working...

Post a comment

Comments are moderated, and will not appear until the author has approved them.

Your Information

(Name is required. Email address will not be displayed with the comment.)