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To all new contacts...

A First-Hand Account of Materialisation Mediumship

Materialised Figures Appear at Home Circle

A Stewart Alexander Séance - Alan Crossley Returns

Alan Cleaver's Report

Rose's Reunion

Daughter Vouches for Helen Duncan's Séance Voice

Lord Dowding Returns

Killing Mediums is a Heinous Crime Against Humanity

It is no Longer a Sin to Contact the Deceased Through a Medium

© The Campaign for Philosophical Freedom

An edited version of this article was published in FATE, August 1998, and AG-PILOT INTERNATIONAL, August 1999.


By J. J. Snyder

In the summer of 1940, the men and aircraft of the British Royal Air Force Fighter Command won the Battle of Britain. Fighting against overwhelming odds, they saved their country from Nazi domination by defeating the German Luftwaffe in a series of hard-fought air engagements over the threatened island. If German air superiority had been achieved, it is doubtful if the outnumbered and demoralized British Army could have successfully defended the country against a massive ground assault.

Historians generally agree that if Britain had been conquered, it would have been extremely difficult, if not impossible, for the remaining forces of the British Commonwealth to rally together and carry on the war. Without total control of British airspace however, which the RAF fighters prevented the Luftwaffe from achieving, Hitler wisely refused to launch an invasion force from occupied France.

The head of Fighter Command during those desperate times was Air Chief Marshal Hugh Dowding, a long-time pilot and brilliant air combat strategist. Dowding was one of Britain's earliest airmen. He had begun flying in 1913 and was a veteran of First World War combat missions, one on which he was wounded.

Throughout the 1930's, he was a strong proponent of rearmament to defend Britain against the growing threat of Hitler's Germany. Money was scarce however, and politicians were reluctant to fund military spending. While lobbying in Parliament to obtain the best equipment possible for the small Royal Air Force Fighter Command, Dowding made the statement "if Chicago gangsters can have bulletproof glass in their limousines, I want to know why I can't have it for my fighter aircraft!"

During the Battle of France, it was Dowding who faced down Winston Churchill and, after a heated argument, persuaded the prime minister not to send the few remaining fighter aircraft of the RAF to that country in what would have been a fruitless attempt to reinforce the British Expeditionary Force. It was obvious to the Air Chief Marshal that the small additional number of Hurricanes and Spitfires would be unable to turn the overwhelming tide of Nazi ground and air victories. The airplanes would have been destroyed and their pilots lost without benefiting the hard-pressed BEF, which was evacuated at Dunkirk soon afterward. Dowding argued that any further loss of pilots and aircraft was unacceptable. He made it clear to Churchill that every airman and machine would be needed to defend the home island during the coming air blitz which he knew the Nazis were even then planning.

As the summer drew to a close, it proved fortunate for both Britain and the free world that Dowding had prevailed in the controversy. The Air Marshal's ingenious deployment of fighter wings and groups to the best advantage of the outnumbered force, and his adherence to tried and proven tactics in combating the vastly superior numbers of Nazi fighters and bombers were vital factors in assuring the final victory of the "The Few."

Even though the RAF prevailed in the series of decisive air battles, Churchill still held bitter feelings toward the Air Chief Marshal. Soon after the Nazi air blitz faltered, the prime minister, in consort with several of Dowding's subordinates who found fault with his air combat strategies, even though they had proven successful, saw to it that he was removed from his post. He was thus forced into retirement at a time when his talents and abilities were sorely needed by the beleaguered nation. Although later recognized for his exemplary service by being named Lord Dowding of Bentley Priory, his pivotal role in the salvation of his country, and possibly the free world, has not been widely acknowledged, especially outside of Britain.

Dowding was disappointed that ill-conceived political animosity had removed any further opportunity of serving his country, but he bore Churchill and the others no ill will. In retirement, he turned to exploring and writing on a subject which had long been of interest to him.

This little-known, but highly meaningful aspect of Dowding's life was his dedication to communicating with the so-called "dead"—those who have departed this mortal plane of existence and now reside on etheric levels. He was especially drawn to making contact with "his boys"—RAF pilots and aircrew who had made the supreme sacrifice for king and country.

Dowding's two books, MANY MANSIONS and LYCHGATE, which describe his belief in the continuity of all life while presenting hard evidence of its existence, are classics of survivalist literature. During and after the war, he traveled throughout the country, speaking about his many contacts with those in the astral realms. In these appearances, he offered what he considered irrefutable proof of ongoing existence beyond this physical life.

At each appearance, Dowding cautioned his audience not to accept the evidence he presented solely on the basis of his being a famous personage. He told them to instead employ their own reason and intellect when examining the pros and cons of life beyond physical death. He felt that any rational person who held an unbiased attitude regarding this aspect of existence would come to perceive the truth on the verifiable facts alone.

In 1970, after a long and distinguished mortal life, Lord Dowding transitioned to the etheric world he knew so well. Since his passing, he has communicated several times with the physical level he left behind. His most recent contact, on 15 September 1996, is perhaps the most evidential.

That date is important, for it marked the culmination of the 1940 Nazi air assault against Britain. It was on this day that the forces of Fighter Command were stretched to their thinnest and in greatest danger of defeat. If they had not prevailed, and turned back the attacking German air fleets, world history might well have been written much differently. September 15 is celebrated throughout the United Kingdom as "Battle of Britain Day." It is surely no coincidence that Dowding chose to appear on that same date 56 years later at a session conducted by the Noah's Ark Society.

The NAS is a British organization dedicated to spreading the message that all life survives the death of its physical body. To help confirm this, the Society has sponsored numerous experiments aimed at facilitating and verifying communication between the physical and etheric planes of life. Lord Dowding's materialization at the NAS seminar in Cardiff, Wales, was surely one of the most well-documented in the history of these events. He made his appearance through Colin Fry, a celebrated and gifted psychic medium.

Although voice, and at times even visual contacts with inhabitants of astral regions made through mediums are rather common, full physical materialization of these same entities, during which mortals are able to touch and feel the etherians, is a relatively rare event. Even so, it has been studied extensively and factually verified by a number of eminent and respected scientists, including Sir William Crookes, Professor Charles Richet, and Sir John Logie Baird. Modern researchers are currently conducting experiments to learn more about this phenomenon.

Reports submitted by all the scientists who have investigated these events indicate that full materialization is usually accomplished through a specially talented medium—one who has the unique ability (or more accurately, the gift) of enabling the finer sub-atomic structure and higher frequencies of the discarnates to coalesce into the coarser vibrations of this mortal plane. When this occurs, the etherian becomes visible, and is able to be touched and communicated with by those present. At times, usually when those involved have been close to one another in physical life, or when triggered by extremely strong emotions on either or both planes, spontaneous materializations, without the intervention of a medium, have been recorded.

Although the NAS proceedings were held in total darkness, (a condition some mediums feel is more conducive to materializations than a lighted room), Dowding reportedly was seen, touched, and spoken with by a large number of persons.

During the entire session, Colin Fry remained securely tied and strapped to his chair, which was located in a cabinet constructed of black cloth. Tying and strapping the medium is a common practice in materialization experiments, which, especially when conducted in total darkness, can be open to charges of fraud and deceit. Binding the medium tightly, while noting and photographing the position and type of knots and straps, both before and after the session, is done to provide evidence that he or she has not moved during the manifestation phenomenon.

An audiotaping of the session was made by the NAS. At its beginning, Dowding is heard uttering the words "jolly nice" a number of times. Although he was in his late eighties when he transitioned, his voice has the tone and timbre of a middle-aged man.

After touching several of the participants, Dowding taps and rattles the two microphones placed on either side of the medium. He then does an imitation of Lord Haw Haw (the notorious English traitor whose propaganda broadcasts were transmitted to Britain during the war), repeating "Germany calling, Germany calling," several times. These were the opening words of Haw Haw's daily broadcasts.

Those in the audience are as yet unaware that the personality that has just manifested is Lord Dowding. When asked his identity, he at first declines to say what his name on this physical level had been, mentioning that he would rather not reveal it. Urged to make himself known, he finally says "probably some of you know of me....Dowding," and continues with the handshaking.

When told that he may write a message on a piece of paper which had been placed on the floor, he declares that the last time he wrote on the floor was at the age of three, when he drew pictures of birds in flight. He then states that "to learn to soar in the skies, to be free like a bird, is an honorable thing. But the only things that birds drop on us don't blow people to pieces....and that is my shame." With these words, he seems to express regret for his part in a war in which so many lives, both combatant and non-combatant, were lost to aerial bombardment.

Dowding is then questioned as to whether those who caused him to be removed from his post as Chief of Fighter Command, many of whom are now presumably discarnate, have become aware of what they had done. His answer is that "they probably are, but it doesn't make a damn bit of difference now. Offended sensibilities are in the end only bloody arrogance. If you can behave better towards those who are at fault, it makes you a better person, doesn't it? Above all else have honor. If you behave honorably towards other people, it really doesn't matter how they behave toward you."

He continues moving through the crowd, touching those present and shaking hands. He recognizes one woman and notes that he has spoken with her many times before. She had known Dowding during the war, and so was able to confirm his presence in a unique manner. She said that, after shaking her hand, and while engaged with her in a short discussion of those times, which does not come through clearly on the tape, he displayed his keen sense of humor, of which she had first-hand knowledge.

Her statement is important, since only those who were close to Lord Dowding are aware of this facet of his personality. Although his public image was that of a stiff and correct military officer (his RAF nickname was "Stuffy"), his friends knew and appreciated his quick and dry wit. Upon parting with the lady, Dowding kissed her hand, the sound being was clearly audible to the gathering.

In his closing words, Dowding once again voices deep regret for the horror and tragedy of the Second World War. His concluding statement is "don't look to past victories. Pain, suffering, and unnecessary bloodshed, even one drop of blood or one life lost to our side of life is no victory—just awful hideous defeat. I'm sorry that I couldn't touch you all, but I hope that I can touch you with my heart." In answer to a "God bless you" from a member of the audience, he replies, "no, God bless you my friends, you are the ones still in the battle. I would have rather played a more valuable role in a more honorable game." He then says good-bye and leaves.

One of the many present who shook hands with Lord Dowding was NAS Committee member Geoff Hughes, who noted that the etheric air marshal shook his hand "quite hard." In addition to shaking hands, Dowding also walked behind the back row and patted a number of persons on the shoulder as he passed.

The large number of witnesses who observed this remarkable event, and the essential agreement of each of their separate accounts of what occurred, as well as the audiotape recording, seem to make it one of the most evidential materializations on record. It is hoped that Lord Dowding will see fit to soon return to this material level, and perhaps next time will be able to appear in the light, and allow himself to be photographed and videotaped. If this takes place, and the tapes and photos match witnesses' testimony, it will be a massive and telling refutation of those who deny the ongoing continuity of life.

Related material on this site:

Psychical Research Involving Selected Mediums (PRISM) - Letter from Michael Roll to John Samson, member of The Society for Psychical Research, (July 11, 2001)

Noah's Ark Society - E-mail from Michael Roll to an Inquirer (September 27, 2002)

Science Confirms Survival - an article by J. J. Snyder