Eckhard Kruse's Pages
Physical Mediumship
Physical Mediumship: Experiments with Gary Mannion, Techniques and Results
From January 2018 to May 2019, I had the chance to do four series of more than 50 experimental séances with Gary Mannion with numerous tests and measurements. The idea for these experiments came up when I met Inge Crosson in Basel in September 2017. She leads the Wallacia Development Centre in Australia, has invited various mediums to Australia and has organized numerous physical séances at the center. She is circle leader of Gary's home circle and has supported him for many years. In January 2018, we had ten days of testing séances with Gary in Wallacia. Due to the interesting results there was the decision to conduct further experiments, which were done at Parsonage Side Retreat, Bridgwater, Somerset, UK, in September 2018, February 2019 and May 2019.

Various experiments were done, using a number of technical devices and sensors to collect data about the phenomena occurring in Gary's séances. The detailed results are presented in a scientific report (29 page pdf document). It presents the technology and the overall procedure of the investigations; focus is put on measurements with motion sensors and related phenomena. Some of the results I regard as a serious challenge to conventional explanations of fraud or trickery. But also for readers who are convinced that Gary is a fraud, the report should be valuable, as it can be used to test hypotheses about how phenomena could potentially have been faked. In addition, it hopefully inspires new ways to investigate physical mediumship.

As the report is written in a detailed, scientific style, here some overview and background information is given.
Research approach
Before coming to Wallacia it was not clear what types of experiments or measurements could be done. Thus, I prepared a variety of different devices, based on my experience with séance room conditions, phenomena and potential investigations. Later, some additions and changes were done based on results and new ideas, resulting in the following tool box:
  • Audio recorder to capture the whole séance and provide a reference timeline + separate microphones (which sometimes could even be placed inside the cabinet) + software for audio localization.
  • Video camera, including infrared functionality
  • Thermal video camera (+ microcomputer box for recording and handling in the dark)
  • A large variety of battery-powered sensors that record data on local SD cards. They can measure motions, environmental parameters such as temperature, humidity, air pressure, illumination, or body parameters such as heart rate or body weight.
The experiments were discussed with Gary's trance personality and main communicator 'Jimmy'. He claims to have an original identity and also mentioned a more knowledgeable 'team' behind the scenes. Of course, there are different interpretations of the real nature of such communicators, like being a dissociate partial personality of the medium, a true discarnate entity speaking through the medium or simply the play of a fraudulent medium. For the experiments presented here, conversations were done as if talking with a real person and partner in the investigations, i.e. mutual trust and cooperation were an essential prerequisite. However, the authenticity of trance personae is neither a subject for this research nor should it affect the significance of the results, as the focus is entirely on physical phenomena.

'Jimmy' and his 'team' have their own agenda regarding the publication of the results. They gave instructions about what can be published and in what way, even contrary to Gary's obvious interest to have favorable results published soon. It lasted until March 2019 to get the approval for at least a partial publication, with some additions in May 2019. Consequently, some interesting data has not made publicly available yet, such as everything related to the appearance of ectoplasm.
Results - introduction
The presented results focus on physical phenomena, especially motions of the cabinet, while Gary was controlled by motion sensors (in addition to being tied to the chair) which often remained calm throughout the séance while phenomena were observed or even recorded on video. In contrast to other modes of control also the secret removal of the sensors would appear in the data, as well as other motions such as an interesting high-frequency tremor detected during some seances.

The course of a séance (below: 2019/02/15) is visualized as timeline with minutes along the x-axis, and events and conditions indicated as bars. Motion sensor data is shown as diagrams for acceleration/gyroscope as a general measure of motion and the 3D orientation in terms of heading, pitch and roll angles:

Below, sections of videos recorded at two seances (2018/01/30 and 2019/02/15) are shown. In the first part the cabinet (a pop-up shower tent) finally rotated very fast three full turns in six seconds, while the left wrist motion sensor remained calm and the feet could occasionally be seen at their original positions. I tried to reproduce such cabinet motions with both hands, moving freely inside the cabinet, but the motions were less smooth and much slower, with the cabinet almost coming to a stop whenever my hands needed to change positions. And of course, the sensor attached to my arm produced very strong readings in these trials.

The second part of the video was recorded in the séance shown in the above diagram (2019/02/15). Around minute 21 loud chair noises were heard, somewhat later the cabinet revealed that Garys chair had turned to the left by 90 degrees. At the same time both sensors made almost synchronous, identical motions, potentially a sign that Gary was not actively using his hands but was moved as a whole. At minute 22, the cabinet moved, while the sensors showed no further motions, and it revealed almost his complete body, with cable ties and sensors at both wrist perfectly in place. Note, that inside the cabinet there was nothing which could help to somehow grab (e.g. with the mouth) the sleek synthetic cloth.

More experiments and data from the séances and all technical details can be found in the report:

The experiments with Gary will be continued. There was another week of testing in September 2019, not covered in the report; more tests are planned for 2020. I hope the results will stimulate discussions about physical mediumship and are a reminder that the easy answers ('this or that person is a fraud and I do not even bother to look at the data') are not necessarily the best answers for a better understanding of physical mediumship.

I appreciate questions or comments. If other mediums and circles are interested in similar experiments, I am happy to provide information and support. But I also fully understand that every medium has their own point of view regarding testing, including the perfectly legitimate choice to deny any investigations. After all, the past has shown more than once that even the most rigorous and convincing tests did not protect mediums (and mediumship in general) from being accused of fraud. Science alone most likely will not solve this, as so often the human mind is not guided by evidence and reasoning, but by personal beliefs, dogmas or even selfish interests. In any case, I hope that more people are curious to experience physical mediumship, with an open mind and without premature judgement so that we all can learn more about it as the whole area further evolves.