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).