|Eileen Garret (center), The Hinchliffes and R101 Airship.|
This article presents passages from transcripts included in John G. Fuller's paranormal case study The Airmen Who Would Not Die (1979). The 1928 Eileen Garrett trance sessions were conducted for Emilie Hinchliffe, the widow of Captain W. G. R. Hinchliffe who made his transition to the ascended realm of human existence along with his copilot—heiress, actress and socialite Elsie Mackay—when they attempted to cross the Atlantic Ocean from England in a 32-foot long Stinson Detroiter monoplane in March 1928. Emilie Hinchliffe was personally able to transcribe the sessions as during her career she had been the executive secretary to the general manager of the Royal Dutch Airlines. She had met Captain Walter Raymond Hinchliffe when he was Chief Pilot for the company. The sessions were conducted at the London Spiritual Alliance.
Also presented in this article are the first and last of seven session transcripts recorded by Major Oliver G. G. Villiers, a British Air Ministry officer in 1930 who also personally wrote down the discourses he witnessed. He was an experienced note taker and journalist whom in 1977 was interviewed by John Fuller. Villiers was pleased that these complete transcripts were being published in The Airmen Who Would Not Die. The Captain of the R101 was Flight Lieutenant Herbert Carmichael Irwin and among those who also made the transition to 'the Other Side' due to the Crash include Sir Sefton Brancker, Director of Civil Aviation; Reginald Colmore, Director of Airship Development; E. L. Johnston, Navigator; and N. G. Atherstone, First Officer.
A profile article about the book is "'Trance Mediumship' Session Accounts Pertaining to the Continuance of Individual Personality Beyond Earth Life". The article is part of a series profiling the Fullers' autobiographical books about their metaphysical research and experiences that expanded their understanding of life. For more information about Eileen Garrett, see the Mediums and Psychics articles index page. For comparing other transcendental communication perspectives of 'The Other Side' see the Afterlife articles index page.
Excerpt No. 1 of Emilie Hinchliffe's Trance Session Transcripts
What I want to tell you is what very few people understand: how it feels to go out of the body; what I personally have been doing ever since the realization of the fact came to me; and finally to acquaint you with the impressions I have gained in the new life here since.
Transition from the physical body to the ethereal body occupies only a matter of moments. There is no pain in the severance of the two, and so alike are they, that it is some while—probably in some cases, days—before this transition from one state to the other is noticed. In my case, it was noticed quickly, because I had been conscious of facing death for many hours before actually passing.
As you can imagine yourself, when I found myself high and dry in another country, I began to think. What had happened? Only one of two things could have happened. Either I had been rescued whilst unconscious and taken to a land I knew nothing of — or I had died.
It was the latter. If therefore the waking up in my case was attended with so little change registered in my mind, you will understand what an easy process passing from one life to another is.
Actually, I feel no different. Nothing angelic, nothing ethereal, nothing one would think of as being connected with Heaven or the Hereafter.
My actual experience is that I am as real in the life as I have been to you, and that all growth towards that great happiness and that great Heaven they talk of, must be a slower process than most people believe.
Milly, people will not agree that this is true, but it is my firm belief that I am right. The soul or ego is such a delicate structure, that no quick change can take place without shocking that soul and, for a moment, putting the while thing into a disorganized state.
If you ask me where I am, what I am, and what I see, I have to tell you that in the first instance, I found myself in a grey, damp, and most disagreeable country that looked to me barren, almost like the wastes of Belgium I used to fly over. Imagine such a country, with here and there groups of three or four badly grown, distorted trees visible under a grey fog, and I think you will get an idea as to what I awoke to.
You should know why I should want to get out of such a state — one in which many people dwell for years. . . .
I cannot understand why humans say that after death all is happiness, all joy, all rest, all cheerfulness, all brightness. Surely they should be brought to the realization that as they have lived on Earth, and worked, and done the right thing, so shall their reward be in the hereafter. For though here physical suffering is not, mental suffering is much more severe than it can ever be on Earth.
People will say: Why? Because here you are more awake, more alert, more able to perceive things by virtue of possessing a much freer mind, housed in a much finer body, which does not bind you as much.
Altogether, you are in a refining process, and not until you have passed through very scrap of refining process there is in every state of life here, are you permitted into the brighter state.
This brighter side exists, but at first you are only allowed to see it for moments. . . .
I passed over holding no thought of the future, like the average young man of my age. And as on Earth, I wanted to get out of the mess as soon as possible on finding myself in it, so here did I determine to get out of the dreary, dreary country I found myself in when I first realized I had passed over. . . .
Excerpt No. 1 of Emilie Hinchliffe's Trance Session Transcripts
The organized thought starts here, travels around the spiritual states, gathering strength as it does, and eventually finds it[s] final capacity for work through its human receiver.
None of this destroys free will. Rather, it helps you who are still on the earth I have so lately left, to realize your affinity with those who have gone on, to realize their very great humanity and interest to you. Instead of taking anything away from the beauty of the picture, does it not add to it that your day of usefulness is only dawning when you come over here?
I have not found any evil here. I have found many people, I assure you, who are ignorant of every law, but that does not constitute evil. I have nothing to say about the man who is an atheist. So long as he truly believes what he professes, he stands as great a chance as the man who is bound up in his religion. Each one of us has an absolutely straight chance of working out his own salvation.
There are hells and there are heavens just as we have been taught to believe. There are weak people, dissolute people, vicious people, all seeking to still take part in the life they once knew, rather than enter fully into this new life. The man who takes a risk is the fellow you find in the higher states here. Each of these states has to be reached by man's own endeavor.
There are laboratories full of youth, full of life, all working for good, just as there are others whose energies are mistaken ones. Really there are no evil spirits. There are ignorant ones, interfering ones, malicious ones, and blind ones—that is blind to our own faults—and these constitute the so-called evil here, just as they are the pests of your life.
I work all the time mentally and in a sense physically, in the things that interest me. One does work. I revel in it, because here in this state, I find myself free, alert and decisive, my energies no longer curtailed or held down by all the pains, ills and depressions.
What do we work at? We work mentally, and rejoice in so doing — except at making money. Only now one desires to possess the gifts for the soul, and the gift of knowledge, and the gift to enable one to see more clearly, to understand and to realize the greatness of the universe.
Do we eat and drink? That's another question many people often ask. Certainly not in the way you sit down in your lavish restaurants. Such a pity, because I liked doing it. This ethereal body, so like our earthly body, has still some of the physical structure about it, and it is therefore not perfected yet. It must retain something that is very akin to the physical state. We take food in what would seem to you a compressed or compounded form.
Do we use our senses in the same way? Yes, we do. After a while we begin to drop our earthly need for speech, and begin to use thought transference by sending and projecting our thoughts from mind to mind.
Such a lot of nonsense is being told. I assure you this is all the truth. It may upset some people, for few have the courage to tell the truth of their experiences.
Transcript No. 1
Oliver G. G.Villiers Trance Session Transcripts
31.10.30 7 p.m.
C. Control Spirit. X. Visitor. C.I. Irwin talking through Control Spirit.
From 7 to 7.30 many individuals made their presence known to the Control Spirit but nobody that I knew or had any interest in whatsoever.
C. I am so distressed that I have not made contact with any person who wishes to be put in touch with you. I am so distressed and I fear it is no good my staying any longer.
There was a pause and then a faint voice was heard from afar. About 7.30 p.m.
C.I. "Irwey, Irwey" louder, "Urwin, Irwin, don't go please, stay I must speak."
X. Don't worry old boy. I am so glad you have come.
C. I see a slim fellow resting with his arm across your shoulder and his head resting against you, rather exhausted.
C.I. Oh dear, we feel like damned murderers, oh its awful, old man, awful. We ought to have said no.
X. Now old boy, don't view the matter in this light. All that matters is this. You and others had a choice to make, when you are faced with a choice again such as this remember, results don't matter. Just do what is right and that's all. Keep your mind on this point. Who are the "we" you mention?
C.I. Johnnie, Scottie and I.
X. Now try and tell me all that happened on the Saturday and Sunday.
C.I. She was too heavy by several tons, too amateurish in construction, envelope and girders not of sufficiently sound material.
X. Wait a moment, old boy. Let's start at the beginning.
C.I. Well, during the afternoon before starting I noticed that the gas indicator was going up and down which showed there was a leakage or escape which I could not stop or rectify at any time around the valves.
X. Try to explain a bit more, I don't quite understand.
C.I. The gold beater skins (he used the word gas skins) are too porous and not strong enough and the constant movement of the gas bags acting like bellows is constantly causing internal pressure of the gas which causes a leakage at the valves. I told the chief engineer of this.
I then knew we were almost doomed. Then later on the meteorological charts came in and Scottie and Johnnie and I had a consultation. Owing to the trouble of the gas we knew that our only chance was to leave on scheduled time. The weather forecast was not good, but we decided that we might cross the Channel and tie up at Le Bourget before the bad weather came.
We three were absolutely scared stiff and Scottie said to us: "Now look here, we are in for it, but for God's sake let's smile like damned Cheshire cats as we go on board and leave England with a clean pair of heels."
X. Did Colmore know?
C.I. No, you will understand. We had to make the fatal decision and we felt it was not fair to let him shoulder this decision.
X. Could not Thompson have helped?
C.I. Oh dear. It's awful. You see I told Thompson when he arrived at Cardington that gas had been escaping. Thompson said, "But this is negligible and surely for this small matter you don't contemplate postponement. It's impossible. I am pledged to be back for the Imperial Conference. We must leave according to scheduled time." I disagreed and consulted Scottie, but we decided to go. You know how late we were starting and after crossing the Channel we three knew all was lost. We were desperate.
X. Well now, how exactly did the end come and what was the cause? All evidence seems to show she dived, straightened and dived again, and crashed.
C.I. Yes, that's so. Now I will tell you the truth. One of the struts in the nose collapsed and caused a tear in the cover. Now listen very carefully. It is the same strut that caused the trouble before and they know. The wind was blowing hard and it was raining also. Now you see what happened. The rush of wind caused the first dive and then we straightened again and another gust surging through the hole finished us.
X. Yes, that is quite clear, but what caused the explosion? Was it the electrical installation that fused?
C.I. No, not that. It was the engine.
X. But, old boy, how could an engine cause the explosion?
C.I. It was this way. The diesel engine had been popping or back-firing after crossing the Channel because the oil feed was not right. The oil is of too thick a consistency and has given trouble before. You see the pressure in some of the gas bags was accentuated by the under girders crumpling up and since gas had been escaping the extra pressure pushed the gas out and came out with a rush and at that moment the diesel engine back-fired and ignited the escaping gas. That caused the first explosion and others followed.
X. Before you go, how is dear old Branks?
C.I. Poor Brancker is often very depressed and is worried about his wife and other lady friends and about his unfinished work. You know yourself how some days he was up in the air like a boy and sometimes his temper was short. Soon after we left Cardington he showed how annoyed he was at the delay in starting and did you realise that Brancker was very capable of picking up thoughts? Because soon after leaving he realised that Scottie, Johnnie and I were absolutely scared with fright and what was ahead, and he also took fright, we noticed it. It was he that asked for a bottle of bubbly at dinner to pull himself together (and you know how fond he was of his bottle).
There is one thing you must try and help in. Don't let the other come out and do long journeys. Over here we call her the "Inventor's Nightmare," she is all wrong in construction.
X. Try and explain what really is wrong in the present form of construction.
C.I. The main thing is this — the stress calculations are correct but the forces she can be subjected to in bad weather and wind currents are too strong for the present system of calculations.
C.I. Even supposing we had not lost gas and had encountered worse weather I believe her frame would have buckled owing to the pressure on her bulk size causing her to twist. (Here "C" demonstrated with both hands).
I. If you had suffered no leakage of gas and had had good weather do you think she would have accomplished the journey?
C.I. Yes I think so, but she is no good unless she has the strength to live up to bad weather. Another thing, they are talking of Helium. That is no good because in capacity you want 1 1/2 times as much and the present system of gas bags are not strong enough. More gas, bigger gas bags, more pressure on bags, system of hanging gas bags all wrong now and will be more so if enlarged.
Oh dear, it's dreadful to hear what they are saying, all bosh, and they know it and won't speak the truth. (i.e. this refers to enquiry). No more now. You must come soon as Scottie and Johnnie say they must each come and give you their own story, it helps them. Please come soon and thank you for your thoughts. Come soon, come soon.
Finished about 8.40 p.m.
Transcript No. 7
Oliver G. G.Villiers Trance Session Transcripts
B. Brancker C.C. Colmore J. Johnston A. Atherstone
B. The whole gang are here at your command and Atherstone has been chased around and here he is.
C.C. B. has told me all the news of your S.O.S.
X. Branks were you in my office when I called for your help?
B. Yes, of course. Your description of Colmore's room was good. You certainly "used your intelligence" in sending out that S.O.S. (Note — He then repeated my description accurately).
X. Good old man. Now I know I can get you quickly which is very useful. Now Colmore old chap. Darby says the safe is not there. Can you describe the safe accurately?
C.C. Yes, of course. Don't I know my own room?
X. I know of course you do, but I want to have my evidence for S. absolutely pat.
C.C. Yes of course, you are right. I see your point. The safe is not the ordinary small safe but a lock-up filing cabinet. You have one, we all do, you know how we must keep all secret files and papers locked up.
X. Yes naturally, and in that filing cabinet you kept all your copies of minutes and correspondence?
C.C. Exactly and how could Nick lie and say I never had those books or kept copies of minutes — he's mad.
X. What about the old char?
C.C. What the devil does she know? Would your old char describe details of your room? We never did trust that fellow — I told you before, but I never thought he would blacken our characters like that. I suppose he thinks "dead men tell no tales." Well that's where he is mistaken and he'll damn well know it one day.
B. I never heard such absolute nonsense. Why Johnnie is saying Colmore was so methodical he probably had the time of his bath painted on the bottom of his bath so as to be on time!!
C.C. When that yellow devil left the ship I felt he would tear us to pieces if he could shield himself, provided we didn't come back. Now I know.
X. Well old boy, we must find these books.
C.C. But are you sure they aren't in court?
X. That I don't know, but will discuss with S. Now Colmore, Branks mentioned your last fight to stop date of sailing, was this verbal or in writing and when?
C.C. About 10 days before I recorded my views, and correspondence is, or was, in my filing cabinet between myself and A.M.S.R. and Richmond. Good God, it's awful, if these books and papers have been tampered with.
B. I warned you X. old boy. I had my strong suspicions.
X. Yes I know, but how am I to trace these documents?
B. Well dear boy, don't worry. We are all working hard and will let you know if we get a clue.
X. Before I forget I want Colmore.
C.C. Yes, what is it?
X. Darby said the pigeon holes behind your writing table were also removed. I described them to him.
C.C. Oh dear, you have put him on a wrong scent. Look here, it's a long board divided up into sections — one on top of the other.
X. Oh lor, I see — of course now I know — what we have on the edge of our writing tables to place daily files on.
C.C. Yes exactly, that's what I meant.
X. Then only non-secret papers were there.
C.C. Yes naturally, all secret papers were kept under lock and key.
X. Johnnie old boy, are you still there as I want to ask one or two points about the journey.
J. Fire away, and Scottie and Irving are also here.
X. Well, where about did you "make up ballast"?
J. Just after Dunkirk, just after we crossed the French coast we shifted ballast because owing to the gas bumping against the sides of the bags, and some worse than others, it made steering difficult, but we could help to a certain extent by retrimming her ballast.
X. You are certain you didn't throw out ballast?
J. No, no of course not. We had to keep low to keep lift, and that was difficult enough.
X. Could you have crossed the Channel higher?
J. Well we might, but she was fairly steady at that height, so we just allowed her to trundle herself across and concentrated on plans when reaching France. We knew over the sea we should hit nothing, but over land we had to get up somehow and thank God we got that lift when we did. You know we got into fog off the French coast that didn't help matters.
X. O.K. Johnnie, that's clear. Now Branks, I think I had better read out my draft that S's private secretary had done, so listen very carefully and pull me up if it's not right or clear. (Note — I read it out and Johnnie stopped me because I had not brought out clearly the effect of the movement of gas on the handling of the ship. I pointed out I had when describing over France. All was O.K. except the last sentence about her lying on an even keel. I dictated the actual words which can be seen on my draft when handed back to S's secretary).
X. Now Atherstone, we have never spoken before, but somehow it makes no difference. You know I told Scottie that I had heard on best authority that you had made an entry in a diary voicing your feelings very clearly. In which diary was it? Had you two, because the court has seen one which is "beautiful?"
A. I did not have two, only one.
X. You admit you did write some such words, well where did you? Don't you see I must know the truth as it will be invaluable for S. to see for himself.
A. But I didn't count or cut much ice.
X. That’s not the point Atherstone. Colmore do try and explain why I must know.
A. (After a pause). Well I kept a pocket diary which I gave to my wife before going on board with letters inside, as I somehow knew I might not come back.
X. Thanks very much. Now I don't know your wife, has she a telephone?
X. Well Johnnie, has your wife one and does she know Mrs. Atherstone?
J. Yes certainly, they are friends.
X. Then Johnnie, shall I telephone to your wife and go over and tell her how I must have the book and ask her to take me across to Mrs. Atherstone?
J. Yes, by all means, as Mrs. Atherstone is very shy and may have been warned. So you will have to go very slow and watch your step old boy.
X. Well I will discuss this with S.
B. Yes I think I should.
X. Now Branks, things are going very well and Darby is out to help I am sure. At first I think he was a little uneasy at my demands, but now I am sure he trusts me.
B. Yes things are working well. Who would have believed they would have discussed that Bill. Funny wasn't it?
X. You mean the Medium?
B. Yes, things are working better than we expected.
X. Now, suppose I get S. to agree to my plans.
B. By Jove, that would be splendid and "the boys" are mad keen for you to try. They won't mince matters.
X. Well Branks, I must get back to work, and keep in touch with me and I will tell you the time and place of meeting with S.
B. Yes, you bet we'll be there and listen with all ears and help you all we can. The "boys" send their love and will back you to the hilt.