H. F. Saltmarsh

     BRITISH PSYCHICAL researcher. A businessman forced into early retirement because of poor health, he turned to the study of philosophical subjects that in turn led him into psychical research and his important contributions to the field.

In two of his writings on the problem of time and causation (1938, 1934) he surveyed the evidence for and advanced a theory for precognition which attracted him inexorably. It seemed to him "one of the most puzzling, the most mysterious of all the mysteries which are presented to the psychical researcher. That a human being, conditioned in space and time, should be able under certain rather rare and exceptional circumstances to acquire knowledge of future events raised problems of the utmost important..." (1934:49).

A second philosophical problem - human survival and personal identity after death - produced three important writings. One dealt with the types of phenomena examined by psychical researchers in connection with the survival question and whether these phenomena are proof of survival (1932), a second dealt with experiments he conducted to see if the results of sittings could be attributed to chance (1929) and a third examined and explained the complicated scholarly cross-correspondences in terms laymen, who are not classical scholars, can understand (1938).

Saltmarsh, who joined the Society for Psychical Research in 1921 and was on its council, was also a key figure in the administration of its affairs until his death.

Selected Writings: Foreknowledge, 1938; Evidence of Personal Survival from Cross-Correspondence, 1938; 1934. "Report on Cases of Apparent Precognition." PSPR 37:49; 1932. "Is Proof of Survival Possible?" Proceedings of the SPR 40:105; 1929. "Report on the Investigation of Some Sittings with Mrs. Warren Elliott." Proceedings of the SPR 39:47.

Source: The Encyclopedia of Parapsychology and Psychical Research by Arthur S. Berger and Joyce Berger (New York: Paragon House, 1991).


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