Jack Webber, John Boaden,
Medium Jack Webber. Wales. UK.
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John Boaden Medium or Jack Webber Medium, Wales. UK.
1907 - March 9th, 1940
Invariably, there is a gulf of either
geography or a considerable period of time, when reading about most of the
notable Physical Mediums. However, this is not the case with Jack Webber, a
British Medium who was still active in the last war.
A Welsh ex-miner, Jack Webber was born in 1907 into a Christian family, but was introduced to Spiritualism through his wife's acceptance of this. He discovered his mediumistic abilities when attending a Home Circle, and messages began to flow through table-tipping; in time, he developed trance, and following his guide's instructions, 'development came quickly and levitation of the trumpets and objects followed soon after'.(1) Subsequently, he developed healing faculties. His mediumship continued to develop until a stage when communicators' voices not only spoke through the trumpets, but independently of them, and there were also materializations. As a number of other Physical Mediums, he was accompanied by noises, object movement and voices when he was not conducting a seance, and his presence also affected nearby electrical apparatus.
Jack Webber demonstrated his mediumistic abilities throughout this country in home circles, and in public demonstrations to as many as five hundred persons; shortly before his passing, he gave up to two hundred demonstrations per year. He declined the use of a cabinet and insisted on being secured during a demonstration as he was conscious of the possibility that accusations of fraud could be made against him.
Maurice Barbanell was one person who testified to what he witnessed during a seance with Jack Webber as the Medium; in this, infra-red photography was permitted and high quality photographs were taken of trumpets, levitated by the ectoplasm originating from the Medium, and of table levitation. Barbanell also detailed how the Medium was secured to a chair and in fourteen seconds his jacket was both removed and replaced, the stages of this event also being photographed. He concluded that while this was not actual evidence of survival, it nevertheless clearly demonstrated the presence of other-worldly intelligence that was not only active, but fully capable of reasoning.(2) Linda Williamson reports how the voices spoke to sitters in their own language, and the trumpets were frequently still moving when the guide requested that the area be lighted. She also records how the highly-sceptical journalist, Cassandra, witnessed Jack Webber's mediumship and conceded, 'I went there to scoff, but the laugh is sliding slowly round to the other side of my face'. Another person who witnessed a demonstration, testified that it 'Was overwhelming. You couldn't be frightened and you couldn't have any doubts about it'.(3)
Bernard Gray, a journalist, submitted an affidavit concerning a seance with Jack Webber, and other sitters that included such persons as a police officer, an engineer and the healer, Harry Edwards. In this, Gray recorded how he witnessed a materialization together with trumpets 'shooting about the room three at a time, with the speed and accuracy of swallows in flight.' One next-world visitor, apparently retaining an adventurous sense of humour decided to tie Gray and Harry Edwards together by their own hair. Gray concluded his testimony by saying 'Although many of my friends will think I've gone crazy - I say again: I saw it happen'.(4)
After Colin Evans, B.A., attended a seance in 1939 as 'a sceptical investigator', he reported how subsequent to carefully examining Jack Webber's bonds, he saw the trumpets rising and moving about the room, each being some distance from the other. There was the levitation of other objects and then the materialization of a sitter's 'dead' child who spoke; the child had not materialized on any previous occasion, and the other sitters nor the Medium knew of her. Evans recorded how, by direct voice, two 'dead' friends spoke to him, and 'other sitters also received through direct voice what they accepted as good personal evidence. Voices and accents were well differentiated'.(5)
As will be gathered, seances with Jack Webber were highly eventful, e.g. the movement of trumpets occurred at remarkable speed that resulted in the luminous area appearing to be a straight line of light. It was also noted that when the trumpets returned to Jack Webber, this happened with tremendous force, but despite this, there was never any sign of the slightest injury, or even a mark on him. The seances also included apports: during a gathering at a London location in November 1938, Paddy, one of Jack Webber's guides, announced that he wanted to produce an apport; he chose a bird made of brass, situated in another room. As on many other occasions, another of Jack Webber's guides advised when a photograph should be taken; this instruction was followed, after which there was the noise of an object falling to the floor, and once the light was restored, the brass bird was found in the seance room. When the photograph was developed, this showed the bird had not only been transported from one room to another, but had passed through the Medium's body assisted by ectoplasm that was necessary to complete the process.
In the case of the levitation that occurred during the seances, this necessitated strong ectoplasmic rods; these were seen by sitters during instances when the seances were not held in absolute darkness, or luminous articles supplied the required illumination. In respect of the voices manifested, photographs were taken where it could be seen that an ectoplasmic form had been produced that facilitated speech from the communicators. It was also observed that on occasions, more than one voice was heard, i.e. not only a guide speaking through Jack Webber, but a communicator, and these occurred simultaneously.
There were even instances of three voices when a guide was heard speaking, and two communicators were present and spoke some distance from the Medium; again, all simultaneously. There was also the occasion when Paddy, and Reuben, another guide, both sang, and each clearly had very different voices. In fact, Reuben's singing of hymns was so pleasing that Decca Record Company made a recording of this. The fact that the communications originated from actual persons was demonstrated by conversations through the trumpet, these being conducted in different languages such as French, Swedish and Portuguese. Harry Edwards pointed out that Jack Webber 'was an unlettered man' who rarely read a book and 'in fact, his only reading matter was the newspapers and children's comics'.(6)
Materializations at Jack Webber's seances were recognized 'very many times' by sitters, and different ones were seen at the same time, and as many as six different forms were observed at a single seance. In the record of a seance in February 1940, one of Jack Webber's guides requested that the floor area be covered in white powder; materializations appeared, and on then examining the floor, it was found that the powder had not been touched.
One of the most wonderful displays of Jack Webber's mediumship was that of 'the astral head'. A photograph was taken of the medium that displayed a duplicate head. At first sight this could be interpreted as no more than double exposure, but the manner in which the photograph was taken and what would have been involved renders the hypothesis of double exposure untenable. A guide advised that the duplicate was part of the medium's astral body that had gone beyond the physical body. This aspect is actually extremely important; many philosophers have rejected the concept of survival as they maintain that meaningful existence without a physical body, i.e. in a wholly disembodied state, is impossible. Although the notion of the astral body is not an idea that has found much favour in the West, it is nevertheless a belief of Spiritualists, and an important one, as it adequately overcomes the philosophers' objection. In addition to there being sight of the Medium's astral body, there were also occurrences of parts of his physical body dematerializing; Harry Edwards notes how on the first occurrence, Jack Webber's wife was 'rather alarmed' to see that much of her husband had disappeared.(7)
Jack Webber passed over in 1940, after a short illness, at the age of thirty-three; it should come as no surprise that after only a day, he made his presence known to various Mediums, e.g. Bertha Harris, Harold Evans and Harold Sharp. A short time later, Jack Webber's father, who was not an ardent Spiritualist, saw his son and instinctively shook his hand, only then realizing what the situation was. He remarked that he 'saw his son as if he were "really there", and felt his hand as he shook hands'.(8)
There can be little doubt that the phenomena generated by Physical Mediums such as Jack Webber were not only spectacular, but the means by which attention was drawn to the proclamation that life continues beyond physical death. The references to Jack Webber's mediumship in Two Worlds and Psychic News during 1939 is a clear attestation to this.(9)
It is indisputable that since 1940, interest in Spiritualism has declined, for a number of very different reasons;(10) even though these no longer exist, if there is to be a successful return to those halcyon days, despite the hostility towards physical mediumship and the apprehension that prevails, physical mediumship must be revived, encouraged, defended, and returned to the mainstream of Spiritualism. Physical mediumship, as demonstrated decades ago by such Mediums as Jack Webber, and now made available through the NAS, is intrinsically the lifeblood of Spiritualism.
It seems apposite to conclude by citing Harry Edwards' own conclusion to his record of Jack Webber's physical mediumship; in this he says that through Spirit activity, we can be sure 'that there is no "death", but a new phase of individual existence, greater than any we can now conceive'.(11)
There was many a time that the press were
allowed to come into his seances and record what was going on BUT under strict
conditions which they all seemed to abide by. A lot
of photographs were taken by them
(1)Harry Edwards, The Mediumship of Jack Webber (London: Rider and Co., 1940), p.19.
(2)Maurice Barbanell, This is Spiritualism (London: Spiritualist Press, 1959), pp.178-179.
(3)Linda Williamson, Mediums and the Afterlife (London: Robert Hale, 1992), pp.61,62.
(4)Harry Edwards, Op. Cit., pp.36,39,41.
(5)Harry Edwards, Ibid., pp.47,48.
(6)Harry Edwards, Ibid., p.87.
(7)Harry Edwards, Ibid., p.68.
(8)Harry Edwards, Ibid., p.116.
(9)e.g. Psychic News, 8/7/1939; Two Worlds, 3/3/1939.
(10)G. K. Nelson, Spiritualism and Society (London: Routledge and Keegan Paul, 1969), pp.162-164.
(11)Harry Edwards, Op. Cit., p.119.
Source with sight alterations http://www.fortunecity.com/roswell/seance/78/webr.htm
Jack Webber was a Welsh ex-miner, born
into a Christian family in Loughor, South Wales, who went on to develop deep
trance physical mediumship which included the levitation of objects, the
production of Spirit voices and materialised forms, the transmission of
spiritual healing powers, and the presentation of Spirit Gifts - known as
apports - to his sitters: these apports were often small ornaments or sacred
In his Psychic Circles, Spirit Voices spoke to their loved ones through a number of seance trumpets (conical aluminium structures), and the Spirit People also spoke independently of the trumpets, addressing their relatives in their own languages. On occasions, three separate voices were to speak simultaneously.
In Mr Webber's presence these trumpets flew around the room at great speed and travelled way up to the ceiling, always moving with remarkable accuracy and never harming anyone.
Although Jack Webber worked mainly in private British Home Circles, on occasions he also demonstrated his abilities at some remarkable meetings in public halls to audiences of up to five hundred people.
Working in deep trance, and declining the use of any seance cabinet or curtained-off area, he was always securely tied to his chair before a seance started, in order to satisfy the sceptical investigators who were often present in his Circles. (See photographs) .
Many infra-red flashlight photographs were taken of his phenomena; and a series of these shows the Medium's coat being supernormally removed by the Spirit People, who would dematerialise it through the tightly-secured ropes, and then throw into the room. This normally impossible task clearly indicated the presence of invisible intelligences at work - and therefore pointed to an existence of the soul after death.
Photographs in the seances were taken by
an Infra red flash with the permission of Mr Webber's
Spirit Guides: Black Cloud
(a Mohawk Indian), Reuben (a South American schoolmaster), and Paddy (a young
Other 'behind the scenes' Spirit Guides of Mr Webber's were: Malodar, a healer; Talgar; Revd John Boaden, a great-uncle to the Medium; and Dr Millar and Professor Dale, whose work was mainly concerned with building up the materialisations.
Jack Webber in a seance, when in trance and with the help of the Spirit World is levitating the Table, the sitters are holding hands at first to build up the energy, then when the phenomena happens, still hold each others hands to keep the energy within that seance or Circle.
Infra-red photograph taken by Leon Isaacs.
Spirit are holding the trumpet close to the mouth of Jack by means of an
ectoplasmic arm, while his legs and arms are tied to the Carver chair or Windsor
chair, and one
trumpet is levitating. In many of his seances there were more than one
Infra-red photograph taken by Leon Isaacs.
Medium Jack Webber in trance. Spirit are holding the trumpet close to the mouth of Jack by means of an ectoplasmic arm, while his legs and arms are tied to the Carver chair or Windsor chair, and one trumpet is levitating. In many of his seances there were more than one levitating object.
Often in the Jack Webber seances, there were two trumpets levitating at the same time and being used by two independent Spirit People talking to two different people at the same instant.
NOTICE PLEASE. The Medium can be seen clearly in the photograph and is not scared to be shown to the whole world. He is not worried about showing what is happening in his genuine Physical Seances or Physical Circles.
HOW MANY OF THE PHYSICAL MEDIUMS ON THE BRITISH CIRCUIT [or in any other country] ALLOW THIS SORT OF PHOTOGRAPHIC SCRUTINY this day and age.
COME ON YOU MEDIUMISTIC PEOPLE LETS BE OPEN WITH YOUR FOLLOWERS.
Infra red photograph.
Physical Medium Jack Webber while tied to the chair is being used by the Spirit World. They are using ectoplasm to form an Etheric Amplifier below his chin that is in turn connected through the ectoplasm to the trumpet [BUT not always] to bring forth the voice of a person in the Spirit world while the trumpet is being levitated and directed at the sitter they wish to communicate with. In the photograph on the right there is also a tambourine being levitated at the same time. All the sitters in the Circle are holding hands, but in this seance are not touching the Medium.
Breaking of the chair.
A downward force completely breaks a substantial Windsor armchair. The seat was broken cleanly across in two places. Legs, arms, and struts were also broken. No uncomfortable feeling of downward pressure was felt by the Medium Jack Webber at the time of downward force being applied.
In a Physical Seance, Jack Webber in a trance state is producing thick ectoplasm from his nose and mouth area. The ectoplasm is going over his head and up to the wall at the back of him, where it is forming what looks like an etheric amplifier for the Spirit World to use to speak to the sitters in the Circle.
ANOTHER VIEW OF THE SEANCE BUT AT A DIFFERENT ANGLE
Jack Webber sitting in a dark seance tied to the chair to prove to others it is not him that is manipulating anything in the locked seance room. Jack is in a trance state and the Spirit World are producing Ectoplasm to form a stiffened structure that is going upwards from his mouth across his face and head. The photograph was taken with an infra red camera because the seance was done in the complete darkness. Spirit generally produces a luminosity to the structure that is formed in the dark for the benefit of the sitters, or the Circle can use the luminous plaque, which is generally placed with the other aids in the middle of the Circle to show the happenings in any Physical Circle.
Below are two photographs using an infra red lamp, taken by the marvelous Physical and Healing Medium Harry Edwards.
Physical Medium Jack Webber who is in a deep trance state being used as a catalyst, with the help of the Spirit World is producing ectoplasm. AFTER the Spirit World gave permission to the sitters to hold ectoplasm they feel the texture. [It is highly dangerous to touch the ectoplasm without permission as it is part of the Physical Medium's life force] read about the details on the pages ECTOPLASM and PHYSICAL MEDIUMSHIP].
The close up of the infra red photograph using an infra red flash lamp and film, taken by the Healing Medium Harry Edwards.
Jack Webber in trance and with Spirit's permission given to sitters, they hold ectoplasm.
Infra red photograph taken by Leon Isaacs.
Medium Jack Webber while bound by his legs and arms to a chair, his coat, which had all the front previously sewn up so it could not be undone, is passing through the body, proof of matter through matter.
REMOVAL OF THE COAT
The coat sleeves have been removed from the body and the coat is being drawn over the head while the arms and legs of the Medium Jack Webber are still tied to the chair.
THE REMOVAL OF THE COAT.
The coat, entirely removed, is in front of the body of Jack Webber the Medium.
Note the unruffled hair, the stitching of the coat and the roping of the legs and arms tied to the chair at the elbows.
Photograph by the Daily Mirror Photographer.
Coat removed completely from the Mediums body, while his hands are being held by the two editors of the South London Press.
Photograph by Harry Edwards.
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