Dr. T. Glen Hamilton

Intention and Survival
Publisher: MacMillian
Published: 1942
Pages: 216

Chapter 8: The "Doyle" Face Miniatures

 - T. Glen Hamilton -

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Section 1

          AS Walter had forecast on October 27, 1929, The Gladstone and Raymond teleplasms were the last of the miniatures for some time.

We will discuss in Chapters 10 and 11 certain differentiated and imitative plasms of late 1930 and 1931, whose distinctive feature was a separation in distance from Dawn's body, and which involved the co-operative activities of three trance personalities working through three separate mediums.

We continue our plan of presenting experiments which displayed intentional activity centred in and around a group of related masses, and we now consider those which appeared in the spring and summer of 1932.

Early in March 1932, Dr. Hamilton was absent from Winnipeg for a few days on medical business, leaving Dr. Bruce Chown in full charge of the sťances. On March 6, 1932 - the two hundred and eighty-sixth sťance of the materialization series - an excellent differentiated mass was recorded. Shortly after the sťance had begun, Walter-Dawn had asked that Mercedes sit at Dawn's left, that is, between Dawn and Mr. Cooper. While Mercedes was still normal, she had examined Dawn, as had Mr. John MacDonald, seated on Dawn's right. This excerpt from the notes gives the details:

"Ewan becomes entranced.

Walter-Ewan: 'Mercedes, sit on the other side of the cabinet beside Dawn. Don't let go of Dawn's hands.'

Mercedes, fully conscious, seats herself in the cabinet. The next half-hour is taken up with nonsense talk between Dr. Chown and an Ewan trance-personality. The cameras have been ready since before the sťance began. At 9.30 Walter asks Dr. Chown if he is ready to take a picture. At 9.31 Dawn stands bows three times, raises her right hand, folds it over her breast and speaks in a deep voice in the quiet deliberate manner characteristic of the control Black Hawk.

B.H.-Dawn: 'Good evening, friends. Pale Face (Walter) has been with you and is still here. He is doing something for you and hopes that conditions will be satisfactory. I have just been asked to make the medium stand on her feet. She will be seated as soon as you get the message. I think from what I can see that it will not be long... ' The entity ceases to dominate the medium.

"At 9.43 Dawn (entranced) very quietly says: 'One, two, three, four!'

Flash is fired on the fourth count. The exposure seems to have a very marked effect on her for she breathes very heavily. At 9.47 she again counts up to four; she repeats the count.

Dr. Chown: 'Sorry, we are ready for only one flash.'

Walter-Dawn: 'Oh, I thought you were to be ready for two. Place the medium on the floor, please. (Ewan is placed on the floor.) Thank you. How long would it take you to get ready?'

Dr. Chown: 'Sorry, I can't get ready tonight. We would have to get new plates. The doctor loaded the cameras before he left, and I don't know about it.'

Walter-Dawn: 'Well, we can hold the other picture.'

Dr. Chown: 'If we get one good exposure we will be very grateful.'

John MacDonald: 'Before the picture was taken my hand was raised over the medium's face, forehead, temple, hair, ears, and under her chin. Nothing was there.'

Katie-Mercedes: 'You will question Mercedes when she is normal.'

Walter-Dawn: 'I intended you to get two faces ... one ... think ...' (This was not clear. Waiter seemed to be excited.)

After the sťance Mercedes stated in the group's presence that immediately before the exposure, Dawn entranced took Mercedes' left hand and drew it over Dawn's face; she felt nothing. Mercedes stated that she herself was normal when this was done. Mr. MacDonald also stated that during this examination his hand had encountered Mercedes' hand when he was examining Dawn's face."

Plate 23 (left): Mass of March 6, 1932. Claimed to be Walter's eyes.

Plate 23a (right) - Walter Stinson in life. For comparison with eyes in Plate 23.

Plate 23 pictures the mass of March 6, 1932. The upper portion reveals two excellently formed eyes, showing through a manipulated over-covering. The lower portion discloses a smaller face surrounded by a mass of what appears to be wavy hair. Intentional activity is well supported along the usual lines: provision was made for Dawn's examination; Dr. Chown was cautioned that a mass was ready for exposure; Walter signalled for two exposures. Walter again showed his ability to control and to adjust details of sťance procedure, such as his interruption of the signal for the second exposure to ask that Ewan be placed on the floor, presumably to have him in a more relaxed position.

The mouth appears to be the mass' point of exit; the plasm hangs down some eight to ten inches. The upper portion of the thin white material has two rents, indicating manipulation to form openings for the two well formed and evenly matched eyes. Under slight magnification the pupils of these life-like eyes are somewhat dilated. Highlights can be seen in each eye. The margin of the white material is well defined at the level of the left eyebrow, whereas the margin of the substance at the right eyebrow is broken by a small promontory which casts a shadow on to the outer corner of the right eye.

In the lower section of the mass there is a small fore-shortened face with relatively abundant hair. Clinging to it are bits of amorphous plasm, lending further support to the assumption that unorganized teleplasm is adhesive to the 'hair' and consequently is difficult to manipulate when the amorphous and the differentiated materials are in contact. On the right side of the tiny head the 'hair' is faintly visible beneath the plasm. The contour of this portion, and of the lower extremity of the plasm, are in complementary agreement, suggesting that the plasm had been folded downward; but the manipulation to expose both faces appears to have been only partially successful.

Less than a month later there was a still more remarkable extrusion. Dr. Chown's notes of April 4, 1932, cover the main points:

"Dawn, Ewan, Mercedes were in deep trance.

X-Ewan: 'I am glad to tell you that it is all complete... We are waiting... Walter will give you the signal.' Ewan demonstrates by stamping the floor three times and calling 'Fire!' on the fourth.

Walter-Dawn remarks that that was a good demonstration. He asks John MacDonald to examine Dawn's face and neck. He reports nothing abnormal. Walter-Dawn urges the sitters to keep talking to Ewan 'to keep him where he is ... so that he doesn't go back'. Presumably this was a device or technique to keep the normal Ewan-consciousness subdued and the trance state firmly entrenched. T.G.H. and X-Ewan have a nonsense conversation about the weather, flowers, the moon, lunacy and 'bats in the belfry'. Conversation on this subject is bandied about freely, with Walter-Dawn sharing in it. X-Ewan jokingly says that Walter would put one of the 'bats' across Dawn's face.

9.30 X-Ewan: 'We are going to take sequences of three please relax. You are going to get a photo... All you have to do is sit and look pretty ... I am using everybody... There is a big bat with a good spread of wings across the face of the medium.' He continues to tease about 'bats in the belfry'.

Walter-Ewan: 'Now I am going to take control of Ewan. I will not be with Dawn henceforth. The signal will be given, not by me, but by Dawn.'

10.09 Dawn gives the signal and the first exposure is made.

Walter-Ewan: 'Can you change the cameras quickly? I will count to twenty.' He does so slowly while T.G.H. closes the cameras. At the count of twenty T.G.H. sits down and waits. In a few seconds Dawn says: 'Fire!' (Second flash at 10.12)

Walter-Ewan: 'Again! I can't wait any longer! Hurry up! Fire! Fire! (Flash fired at 10.13) That will do.'

Immediately following the close of the sitting, T.G.H. and J.A.H. with Reed developed one plate exposed on the third flash. While they were developing, I (Chown) interrogated the other members of the group. Elizabeth M. and Mr. Cooper both stated that they had seen Walter clairvoyantly prior to the flash. John MacDonald stated that one minute before the third flash the entranced Dawn had lifted his left hand up, under her chin, and that he had felt something cool, moist and light, like whipped cream. He stated that he had also noticed a peculiar odour about the medium which he had never noticed before. I suggested that this smell was ozone, but he didn't think so. It was then suggested that it was a cadaverous odour, and with this he half agreed, although he was unable to be definite.

Dr. Hamilton then reported that there was nothing on the first plate developed (the third exposure). In the presence of Mr. Reed and myself he then developed two plates, one from the first flash, one from the second. On the first plate there was a large mass of teleplasm extending from the region of the medium's mouth in a shape suggesting a dog's face. On the second plate there was a small mass of teleplasm extruding from the corner of the medium's mouth with a thin connecting isthmus."

Added to Dr. Chown's notes is this observation made by Mrs. Hamilton:

"After the flashes were over, a control through Mercedes said that Doyle was present, who said that we had got a photograph of the 'Hound of the Baskervilles'. Doubtless Dr. Chown failed to hear his reference to one of the well-known Sherlock Holmes stories because of the low and subdued trance voice."

Here we note two different references to the shape of the imitative teleplasm. The description using the term 'bat' could doubtless be related to the nonsense conversation and to a still partially dominant Ewan consciousness, which at that point had not yet been wholly subjugated by the trance personality.

Plate 24: The imitative teleplasm of April 3, 1932 (1st exposure).

Plate 24 pictures a simulacrum obviously much more representative of a dog's head than of a bat. Co-operation between Walter-Dawn and X-Ewan was good. Ewan stated that Dawn would give the signals; this was so for the first two exposures. Conditions unknown to the group made it necessary for X-Ewan to give the third signal.

The material appears to be well compacted, and somewhat thicker at the centre than at the outer portions. The black material which forms the 'eyes' is quite without parallel in the Hamilton experiments. The left 'eye' shows a highlight, indicating that the substance reflects light. The white portions adjacent to the 'eyes' do not appear as part of the main mass, but seem to belong more properly to the black material. The white portion surrounding the right 'eye' is vitreous, not fibrous, in appearance. The right 'eye' projects out of the mass, confirmed by the distinct conical shadow which that portion throws on the plasm directly beneath the 'eye'. A side view taken by one of the other cameras (not shown here) establishes the projection of the right 'eye'.

Section 3

The dog-like plasm was named "The Hound of the Baskervilles" by a trance personality claiming to be Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, who is remembered as a fearless and militant exponent of spiritualism. As did other Dawn communicators, the Doyle trance entity voiced the same continuing and active interest in the problems and the proofs of survival. It is not surprising that Doyle became a trance personality regularly engaged in intentional activity in teleplasm during April, May and June of 1932.

The first positive indication of Doyle's active participation came on April 17, 1932, in a deep-trance script through Mercedes:

"I am watching your progress. Your methods are different from mine, but perhaps they are better. I will put my picture through if your control will consent. Splendid work! Splendid! Good mediums! My life's work! Carry on! Keep the banner waving. Good night. A.C.D."

Walter and the other functioning trance entities remained noncommittal concerning any plan for a Doyle teleplasm. However, they insisted on a number of special sittings with certain selected group members, claiming that these were necessary for the completion of a teleplasm. Thus a small group met on April 20 with Dawn; on April 22 with Ewan; and the full group on April 24. On April 27 the 'hand' simulacrum (already discussed in Chapter 4) was recorded.

On May 1, 1932, a large face-bearing mass was obtained. Here are excerpts from Mrs. Hamilton's notes of that date:

"At about 10.00 Walter spoke in a bantering tone and suddenly asked T.G.H. if he would like to take a photograph. T.G.H. replied that he would. Walter immediately said: 'Fire!'

Katie-Mercedes chatted with Reed and T.G.H. while they changed the plates in the cameras. She told them not to be excited but to be as quick as they could. She said that Dawn would give the next flash signal by three taps of the foot. In a few moments Dawn did, and the second exposure was made.

Katie continued to talk in the same semi-serious vein. She said that the signal would again be given by taps of the foot. In about three minutes Dawn's foot was faintly heard tapping for the third exposure. No hint was given as to the nature of the phenomenon, if any, which had been recorded. Ewan was entranced when the photos were taken."

The first exposure showed the medium's face to be entirely free of any teleplasm; the third exposure showed a very small remnant receding into her mouth. The second exposure shows a remarkable differentiated mass.

Plate 25: Face-bearing teleplasm of May 1, 1932, said to be in the likeness of Arthur Conan Doyle.

While the Doyle personality claimed that this face was a representation of him in his younger days, we had no way of verifying this statement. Plate 25 shows the miniature face surrounded by several layers of material; in the lower part the layers appear to consist of many strands having a 'woven' texture. While one is tempted to seek indications that the lower part of the plasm covered the face area, there is no obvious correspondence between the upper and the lower contours to justify such an assumption. On the other hand one might assume that the over-covering plasm had been split across the face and the halves manipulated both upward and downward. If the indentation on the right contour (at the neck line of the medium's dress) and the corresponding indentation on the upper left contour were regarded as the hinge line about which the plasm was turned, then the lower contour would lie across the forehead of the miniature. The outlines of the face are somewhat indistinct due to a very thin over-cover of the amorphous substance.

As in the earlier representations, here too the amorphous substance clings to the moustache, eyebrows and hairline of the miniature.

The black patch over the mouth has no parallel in the other plasms.

On May 5, 1932, Doyle-Dawn expressed great disappointment with the results of the May 1 experiment:

"It is a pity it wasn't complete. Walter has some other plans for the future. He says it is rotten! (A typical Walter-expression!) It is of great value in proclaiming and promoting the truth I have produced for you. It is necessary that you proclaim it. He is very anxious that my photograph be published because of what I stood for, and because these things were not believed by many..."

On May 15, 1932, Doyle-Mercedes hinted that he might at some future time give evidence that could be put alongside the picture. On May 18 an amorphous teleplasm was recorded, and on May 22 a mass containing a crude mask-like face and a well formed tiny hand(1).

On June 1, 1932, Walter-Dawn issued instructions about the seating order for the next sťance:

"I am not promising you anything ... but it will be an improvement on the last picture. I want to get Mercedes in good condition for this, and we will require much power from your side, as there is not much available for this purpose of ours. A happy frame of mind makes a great deal of difference. Remember, and give me all you can. No discussion, no contention. Try to be early. If we don't succeed, try, try again! Both Dawn and Mercedes will come. Be ready for anything ... I wish to establish the boy's (Ewan) confidence in himself. I don't see why he goes about saying it is all nonsense. At times I can put things through him that indicate clearly, control is possible..."

As events turned out, the single most significant remark was "Dawn will come." Come she did, but only under the strongest coercion.

As was said earlier, Dawn often objected to giving so much of her time to a work which frequently was simply a gap in her consciousness. She had given in to Walter's insistence on extra sittings in 1928 and 1929 only under protest. Now, in 1932, she became adamant in her refusal to attend more sťances. The June 5 sťance had been negative. Dawn was tired and said she wanted to be free to use the summer weekends for holidays. She agreed most reluctantly to one more sitting, and stipulated that if no mass appeared, she would not return until the autumn; and that this decision was final.

She had not reckoned on Walter's determination, this decision was by no means final to him. On June 12, which was to be her last sitting Walter wrote:

"Mary Marshall, I want you to come here Sunday the 14th of June as it is very important. This picture will not hold longer than a few hours. I can help you in another way if you come to me. W.S.S"

But Dawn was adamant. As far as the group was concerned the sittings were to be discontinued for the summer. That was that. However, unknown to any of the Hamilton group, a few days later Dawn had attended a sťance at the home of a Mrs. Taylor, who had no connection with Dr. Hamilton's work. There Dawn had been entranced by Walter, who spoke and demanded that the Hamilton group re-assemble. He said that "they" (the communicators and controls) were going to try to put through another representation of Doyle because of the failure of their previous attempts". Mrs. Taylor repeated these words to Dawn. So impressed by Walter's determination, Dawn reconsidered, informed Dr. Hamilton of her change of mind, and agreed to attend the extra sittings, June 19, 26, and 27, when the second Doyle mass was obtained.

Doyle's statement that he would again "attempt to give evidence", Walter's plea. and his definite forecast of the nature of the teleplasm at the Taylor sťance, showed the lengths to which the trance entities had gone to achieve their expressed intention in teleplasm.

At the final sťance Walter-Dawn, Katie-Mercedes, and Walter-Ewan demonstrated shared intention. Walter-Dawn asked for the examination of the medium; Katie-Mercedes gave the signal for the exposure. After it had been made Walter-Dawn indicated what would be on the plate:

"I have given you a picture which will be shown to you in a locket - a lady. I borrowed her head and side-face..."

This was an obvious reference to one of the figures in the plasm. Finally Walter-Ewan stated that he had at last done what he had promised - a miniature likeness of the late Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.

Plate 27: Sections of Plates 25 (middle) and 26 (right), comparing the Doyle miniature faces with a portrait of Arthur Conan Doyle (left).

The centre photo in Plate 27 is a copy of a portrait of Doyle in life placed between the two plasmic miniatures obtained through Dawn.

In Plate 26 the upper face is undeniably Doyle. But what is the meaning of the rather crude woman's profile, - to which Walter had already referred - the tiny skull, and the small face (later found to be an exact copy of a photograph of C. H. Spurgeon, taken in his younger days when he was known as the "boy preacher")?

Walter hinted that the entire phenomenon could be considered as a pictorial allegory. We explain it in this fashion: the face of the young woman represents immature humanity looking at the skull, the symbol of death. The boy preacher between them is the source of spiritual sustenance. Surmounting all this, at the top of the plasm is the miniature smiling Doyle, epitomizing the truth of his teaching of the reality of life after death, and manifesting his joy in helping to enlighten the world of this great truth.

In this plasm there has been demonstrated conclusively a mastery of three distinct types of representation - one, a vital form of a person who has survived death; one - a mechanical form of a drawing or mould; one - a copy of a photograph already in existence. Walter made no attempt to explain how he had been able to do these things; but then he never explained any of his operations, leaving the observer to try to reconstruct if possible the methods and the mechanisms for himself.

The teleplasm itself is most interesting. The medium's nose appears to have been the principal point of emergence, and the mass hangs down from the region of the mouth about twelve inches. The portion directly around the differentiated face is relatively thick and amorphous, while the lower parts are very thin, showing a network structure.

If a horizontal line is drawn just below the chin of the tiny skull and the material below this line is folded upwards (see Figure 1)(ISS: Figure 1 is currently unavailable), one can readily see that the lower portion would cover the uppermost face very neatly. Following the left contour downward from this suggested hinge-line we find that it curves inward to an indentation. The thick roll of the contour crosses the isthmus which connects the lowest part with the rest of the mass. Supposing this isthmus were to be folded upward, it would then be seen to be contiguous to the roll of teleplasm which lies immediately below and to the right of the Doyle miniature. On the right contour there are three major promontories formed by three indentations. The first of these likely covered the crude sketch of the woman's head, the second lay directly over the boy's face, while the third and lowest likely covered the Doyle face.

It seems reasonable to assume that this manner of uncovering the inner phenomena was the most efficient which could be used. Certainly it would be more efficient than having separate coverings for each representation. That method would have required four manipulations. Assuming that each plasmic representation had reached its optimum condition for exposure at the same moment, the one manipulation would have served to reveal all four.

The second Doyle face, the forty-fifth plasm in the series which had started in 1929, was the final one of high quality. No further plasms appeared in the second half of 1932. In 1933 and the first four months of 1934 came eight teleplasms and four residues; the last four differentiated plasms were inferior in feature-delineation and offered nothing new concerning development and morphology. It is not clear why there was this decline in the excellence of the phenomena, but no doubt there were several reasons for this. Elizabeth M.'s retirement in September 1933 deprived Dr. Hamilton of a medium who, the controls insisted, had contributed greatly to the success of the total effort. A re-arrangement of the group personnel may also have caused an unbalanced condition in the biological adjustment which (as we have seen) exists between the group members; such an unbalanced condition would undoubtedly inhibit teleplasmic production.

The inferiority of these later teleplasms may also have been due to a change in the programme and distribution of sťance time. After the Doyle series of 1932, the trance controls shifted emphasis on to producing deep-trance writings and drawings, all done in darkness, and all of a philosophical nature. These matters lie outside the scope of this report, and are not discussed here(2).


(1) Margaret Lillian Hamilton, "Is Survival a Fact?" (Psychic Press, 23 Great Queen Street, London, WC2B 5BB, 1970) Appendix, pp. 155-160. Back

(2) Margaret Lillian Hamilton, "Is Survival a Fact?" (Psychic Press). This book gives full details of the deep-trance drawings and scripts of the Hamilton work, 1932-34,1942-44. Back



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