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Experiments in telepathy

These unusual drawings were the result of an experiment in telepathy. The notebook from which they came was owned by Joseph Sinel (1844 – 1929). The subject of the experiments was Elfleda, the only child of his friend Samuel Dancaster. She was around 11 years of age at the time. Sinel drew a picture, and Elfleda drew what she thought he was thinking. The two pictures were often remarkably similar. As a scientist Sinel concluded that this was not supernatural but was an ability that humans had lost in the process of evolution.

Research in related fields led Sinel to publish a book in 1927, The Sixth Sense: a physical explanation of clairvoyance, telepathy, hypnotism, dreams, and other phenomena usually considered occult. Forty years of study, observation and experiment. A description of the experiments with Elfleda appears in the final section 'Notes on Plates'.

Joseph Sinel was very active in the field of natural history and with his son-in-law James Hornell built a biological station at Havre des Pas, Jersey. The station featured an aquarium which facilitated the study of marine biology. A man of many interests, Sinel was also involved with archaeological projects, and held the post of Curator of the Jersey Museum for 22 years until his death. He was a prominent member of the Société Jersiaise who commissioned a portrait of him which now hangs in the staircase of 7 Pier Road.

References:

Experiments in clairvoyance with Miss Elphie Dancaster. Société Jersiaise Library. MS SCI/P/2

Sinel, Joseph, The Sixth Sense: a physical explanation of clairvoyance, telepathy, hypnotism, dreams, and other phenomena usually considered occult. Forty years of study, observation and experiment.  London: Werner, 1927.

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