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  • On the trail of Captain Quentin C. A. Craufurd (and his fairies) June 24, 2012

    Author: Beach Combing | in : Contemporary , trackback

    Dedicated to a Splendid Chap

    Splendid Chap sent in an article by one of Beach’s chief interests in life, the enigmatic Capt Quentin Craufurd, founder of the Fairy Investigation Society: yes, that’s his picture! Beachcombing doesn’t put this up because the article is particularly inspiring: it reads like post theosophy c. 1950. He has put it up because anything about Quentin Craufurd might take us closer to the holy fount: the moment, sometime in the 1920s (?), when a number of middle-class Britons founded the FIS in an upstairs room.

    The article appeared in Prediction in 1948: hoping that the gods of Copyright will not be looking Beach tapped it out this morning. Anything about Quentin Craufurd would always be welcome: drbeachcombing AT yahoo DOT com

    We are beginning to understand a little more about clairvoyance and other strange senses which seem so ridiculous to the ordinary man or woman that the very idea of them is just brushed aside as silly. .

    Some people see auras, some the spirits of the departed, others see fairies and others again see ghosts.

    It used to be the fashion to put these things down to imagination and on that account ridicule them as having no existence.

    Now imagination is a very useful quality when we come to examine it because it is the scaffolding on which all our sensations have to be built, for the essential meaning of imagination is the power of forming images that can appeal to the mind, where before there was chaos or else just blank.

    The advent of the Radar as a product of scientific application has made this clear. Radar is not new to the world of nature – it has been used for countless ages as a matter of course, by creatures of instinct, (as for instance the bat), and certain insects as well as fishes; and it would have been diverted from it by the slow process of progressive thought. In other words, we humans have, for the most part, relied upon reason to help us out of our difficulties while the animal world, so far as we can see, takes the more passive way of doing what it feels inclined to do without seeking for a cause.

    For the present let us consider the work of Dr Hamilton Hartridge as it was presented by E. S. Grew in the Illustrated London News recently with photographs of bats.

    Bats have perfected for their own use two systems of sensing, rather than seeing, in the dark. Both these systems are echo systems. The one makes use of supersonic air waves while the other, like our eyes, makes use of electro-magnetic waves or radiation.

    The chief difference between our methods and that of the bat lies in the fact that while we rely upon our reflection of light from the sun for our creation of images, the bat sends out its own searchlight on a mission of enquiry and receives back the echo from surrounding objects. The advantage of this method of building up images within the mind is that they are entirely related to one’s particular interest in the world about one.

    The bat need not trouble about the general scenery or with things that do not concern him. He is interested in night-flying insects and in objects in his immediate vicinity which have to be avoided. He turns his two searching senses in the direction of these. While, therefore, one sense is telling him what his food is doing and whether he is overtaking it, his other sense is warning him of obstacles in his path.

    What sort of image does the bat mind build up? Probably a very simple one, a sort of mosaic of black and white, the black repelling while the white attracts. We could best understand this by looking at cloud formations. The bat picks his way through clouds, he is not concerned with colours but rather with light and shade and open spaces and it is in these open spaces he can sense his prey. He probably sees as we see in dreams which do not need the light of reason.

    In order to produce this kind of second sight he uses special organs.

    What if we possessed these senses? Most of us are on the quest for money with which to buy our daily bread and if we could send out a desire for money and see the answer reflected in our mind exclusive of all else, what great financiers should we be! But consider what our minds would lose. Our images are so complicated in design that we actually register and observe far more that we are capable of taking-in at the moment. If the image is a visual one it is an electro-magnetic symphony played upon the nerve endings of the optic nerve.

    The actual interpretation takes the form of a coloured picture-image of the surrounding world.

    The elector-magnetic symphony is not, in itself, any picture at all – it is a mere echo of radiation from near and distant objects. The human mind arranges these into a picture and so also does the mind of an animal. So far is this the case that we are accustomed to assume that our horse and dog see much the same kind of world as we do.

    Closer observation reveals the fact that these creatures see much that we do not.

    Why is this? The reason seems to be that the picture need not be a purely visual one. Dogs and horses point their ears to make the picture reasonable and very often the final touch is put in by smell.

    The image may not be visual but one built up to correspond to recollection of sound impacts arranging themselves into the conception of a tune, or again the image may be built up on no outside stimulus and be merely an idea.

    In the visual image one may postulate that there are many things outside the limits of the visual spectrum but within the power of the mind to create an image – if they could be revealed by a suitable form of stimulus.

    If on occasion, some of us give out, bat-like, our own particular brand of light, we may either be able to receive and translate the echo or, in our presence, the unseen image may impress itself on a photographic plate.

    Something of this kind must occur sometimes in order to account for the psychic photographs which have excited so much controversy.

    We come back to the subject of clairvoyance and the fairy problem. In those who are able to tune-in to the possibility of seeing fairies it may well be that by what we may crudely refer to as some kind of ‘radar’ projection, actual living fairies are revealed.

    Look at is this way. Somebody quite unsophisticated, like a child, sends out the right kind of rays to attract like-minded little creatures into their vicinity. The rays produce an echo from the fairy tribe and one or more come into focus, so that the echo can produce a definite image superimposed upon the surroundings; this echo is the more obvious in so far as it engages the attention of the observer. (It may not engage any attention at all, in which case it will not be visible.)

    Try the experiment of looking through one of those nets which surround a tennis court. If one is intent upon the game one may not have realised the presence of the intervening net yet by paying attention to the net itself one notices the meshes. If one was accustomed to always looking through a net it would become invisible. Or again one may look through a glass window and simply not notice the dim reflection that is always thrown back by a window but is only obvious when the light within is stronger that the light without. In trying to look into the night from an ordinary railway carriage, one is overwhelmed by echoes from the interior, for a looking-glass reflection is a light echo. As the interior light is dimmed the reflecting surface becomes more transparent until finally one might suppose that the glass window had no real existence.

    It is probably our interior light that has been dimmed until we have no clairvoyant – we who have been schooled to trust only to the light of reason.

    You see, we have got to account for the fact that a dog will recognise his master or mistress in any dress or cloak, that a bird will do the same and even a reptile such as toad or tortoise will react to a friendly aura.

    The outward eye is not necessary – as those of us who dream often know well.

    And I think the kind of image that an animal sees must be vastly different from our own.

    No picture that I have ever heard of is capable of attracting an animal by its likeness to the object painted, nor have I found that a tame jackdaw is attracted by my image in the looking glass. His reflected image seems to have lost something of reality – the glass does not reproduce the personality.

    Is it then that we, in common with other animals, give out a radiating aura? May we enquire of the night-flying humble bat in order to see how this aura may be used? The bat has taught us how to make a flying robot that will seek out an enemy by means of echoes and finally to explode. How much better will it be when he has taught us how to seek out new frontiers with the light that is inherent in ourselves! We have discovered new kinds of light that will penetrate the fog and clouds and which are able to create new images on screens. Let us send out our questing rays into the invisible Universe to make known to us those things that have hitherto been relegated to the mysterious and have failed to create any image, so far, that could be brought into relation with one [our?] everyday experience.

    By the end of this Beachcombing was ready to shoot every damn bat from the sky: too much typing. Far more interesting is QC’s biography.

    Capt. Craufurd was the original inventor of the wireless telephone [a man who has a lot to answer for…]. For a long time, there appeared no solution to the difficulty of transmitting the human voice, but this was overcome by Capt. Craufurd’s invention. The idea came to him in a dream and it was this factor which brought him into the arena of Psychic Research. He has ever since been engaged in researches with wireless waves and their application to various forms of communication, even experimenting with devices to get into touch with the Unseen World. Some of these experiments have already been published [where?!??!?] – others are in course of preparation.

    Capt. Craufurd believes that Inspiration and many forms of instinct are produced by the impact of the sensitive brain of waves which, if they can form a pattern, become a communicated idea.  


    First up Splendid Chap writes: I’m fairly sure this article is a condensed version of “Experiences of Thought Communication with Animals” which appeared in ‘New Frontiers’ in 1947, a magazine that folded after only two issues apparently. But QCA must have been well respected since all the other contributors to the two editions were ‘heavyweights’ of the time like SGJ Ouseley who wrote lots about auras and colour meditations.’ Then a stunning observation for another FIS veteran. ‘I’ve turned up a couple of other things on Marjorie Johnson, one from the ‘Psychic Observer’ in 1956, and the other from ‘The Miami News’ in 1960, both of which are attached. I also discovered that Marjorie may still be alive as she celebrated her 100th birthday last year, and seems to still be living at the same address in Carlton! Can anyone put Beach in touch with Marjorie? He’ll buy a plane ticket and polish his interview recorder. Wade writes, meanwhile:  Note commissioned and warrant officers 1897-1900.   Note contributions to New Frontier Vol, # 1 & 2 (1947) I found an eBay listing for both issues (I think that’s all there were) for 40£.  I couldn’t find either issue online. I was hoping for a PDF.  Long page that mentions Craufurd as founder of the FIS. Also, lots of other fairy lore, including good, clear images of the Cottingley Fairy photos.  Blackwood’s Magazine vol. 221 (1927) A Hunt for Treasure in the Pacific, a true yarn, by Craufurd.   Lists Craufurd as midshipman of screw cruiser, 3rd class, Tourmaline. 1894? I am not sure, but these (1) and (2) may be among the referenced articles mentioned in his bio in your post.     Invisible rounds off this important list with something from the forteana blog and something from efanzines.   Then what about: The Consciousness of Flowers (rprnt Anti- Vivisection & Humanitarian Review) — QCA Craufurd 1932! He’s in the index of Patents for inventions: Abridgments of specifications, Patent Office of Great Brtain listed as ” ’96  26,656, which I assume is the date and patent number. Here are a couple more patents in his name (1) and (2):  There is also this curious reference.  Thanks Invisibile, Wade and Splendid Chap! The hunt continues!!