by Albert Budden, B.Ed.
Extracted from NEXUS Magazine, Volume 4, #1
(Dec '96 - Jan 1997)
Poltergeist effects may be as much the result of electromagnetic
anomalies as the workings of mischievous discarnate spirits, as
inventor John Hutchison has been able to demonstrate in his
About the Author:
Albert Budden, B.Ed., is an investigator
specializing in the
scientific study of the paranormal as well as
electromagnetics and health. He is the author of several
books, including Allergies and Aliens: The Visitation
Experience-An Environmental Health Issue (Discovery Times
Press, 1994), UFOs: Psychic Close Encounters- The
Electromagnetic Indictment (Blandford, 1995), and The
Poltergeist Machine: The Hutchison Effect-A Lift and
Disruption System (Discovery Times Press, 1996). He is a
member of the Environmental Medicine Foundation.
I have always been impressed by the Statement of Purpose published
in each and every issue of NEXUS, to make available 'hidden
knowledge', otherwise known as 'gnosis', in order to assist people
cope with the changes that the planet is going through.
paranormal may not have the serious consequences for people as war
or environmental concerns, it would be difficult to state with any
psychic phenomena and
the UFO issue have not engaged
public attention on a grand scale. The reasons for this boom are
obscure, except that it could be said that people are looking for
something that makes their lives meaningful.
As for myself, I have been an investigator of anomalies for almost
16 years and have certainly found a rich source of fascinating
material - and, recently, an inventor who has helped me make sense
of one of the prime mysteries of our time: poltergeists.
It is the amazing discoveries of this man, one
John Hutchison, from
British Columbia, Canada, that I would like to share with you here.
The general public has been treated to big-budget, special-effects
movies on poltergeist activity and has been led to regard it as
consisting of spectacular phenomena involving spirits from other
dimensions who enter our domestic world and wreak havoc.
that few film-goers realize that there is a reality behind this
movie mythology, where furniture does move, objects do levitate and
sail round the room, fires do start behind locked doors and in
impossibly enclosed places, water does mysteriously vanish, objects
do appear to arrive from nowhere and seem to vanish just as
strangely, iron bars are found twisted and broken, and mirrors
Probably most bemusing, however, are the effects on electronic
devices and electrical equipment, causing them to perform strange
feats. Television sets switch themselves on and off, repeated
telephone connections are made which engineers consider
'impossible', and computers show programs that have not been
installed by anyone or information that is inaccessible through
What causes these weird and unnerving effects, and what
do they have to do with an inventor in Canada?
Cases come my way through contact with people who know of my
interest in anomalies (I have had three books published), and each
case brings its own surprises. I was certainly not ready for the
situation I met when I arrived at the 'haunted' home of a
middle-aged couple in Welyn Garden City in Hertfordshire, UK.
a small tape recorder for interviews, and as we settled down in
their comfortable lounge I was startled by the noise of a loud crack
which seemed to come from the wall opposite me. Neither Jane nor
David, as I shall call them, reacted with any degree of surprise.
"That happens all the time," they told me casually.
distracted, I fiddled with my tape recorder, setting it down on the
low table before me, beside a cup of coffee.
noises were commonplace in this household, including some heavy,
plodding footsteps along an upper passage during the small hours of
Jane and David then regaled me with accounts of light bulbs which
constantly popped, a video recorder which refused to work on some
days, vases of flowers that sailed into the air before dashing
themselves on the carpet, matches which caught fire spontaneously
inside their box inside a drawer, water taps which turned themselves
on and off, the doorbell which chimed as they stood at the open door
with nobody pressing the button, dressing-table mirrors which
cracked increasingly almost every night, a stone statue on the patio
which caught fire and explosively lost its arms, legs and head (all
of which were found several yards away down the garden), and most
disturbing, considering the amounts of energy involved, a large
heavy hardwood table which overturned itself overnight on a regular
basis (about twice a week).
Barely taking all this in, but knowing that I had it all on tape, I
reached for the coffee in front of me on the table - but it was
swirling around in the cup like a mini-whirlpool. I looked at Jane
and David who just shrugged in unison. The whirlpool effect stopped
suddenly, but I had lost interest in drinking my coffee.
Readers in the UK, USA and Australia who have read my books may
realize that I am no longer puzzled as to the causes of such
phenomena, as I feel sure, after 16 years, that I know what they
One of the instruments that I always take on any investigation is a
field meter which measures the levels of electromagnetic pollution
at a location. Jane and David allowed me to wander around their home
with the meter, and it soon became clear to me as I went from room
to room that the place was subject to sudden and powerful power
I could have foreseen this, even if I had not developed the
electromagnetic pollution approach (for which I am known) for the
understanding of anomalies, as there was a 40-foot-tall radio mast,
for transmitting line-of-sight microwave signals, erected just five
feet away from the outside wall. Apparently, as the planning and
safety authorities do not regard sitting power lines over residential
properties as hazardous to health, a microwave tower is thought of
as nothing to be concerned about.
Jane and David's health problems were typical of people who have
spent a prolonged period close to a source of electromagnetic
fields. Their problems included masked food allergies, chemical
sensitivities, electrical hypersensitivity, and photophobia
(hypersensitivity to light) which forced both of them to wear tinted
spectacles. Their condition was not helped by their having been
radio hams for several years; this only added to their exposure
The readings in several rooms exceeded 100 milligauss per meter as a
magnetic field density; between 25 to 35 kilovolts electric field;
and over 0.5 milliwatts per square centimeter intermittently in the
RF scale. None of the fields was constant, but they would suddenly
surge through the house.
Even before I had taken any readings, I was aware of the typical
signs and symptoms that I feel when exposed to a strong field
source. I felt a tingling sensation on the backs of my hands, the
hairs on my arms stood out, and throughout my visit I battled with a
thunderous headache which came on seconds after entering the house
and lifted 10 minutes or so after leaving it. I have not found one
case of 'poltergeist' activity which did not happen in an
It was a deep-in-thought investigator who took the train home to
London, and I could not resist listening to the recording I had
made. However, not really to my surprise, the tape was blank.
Instead, I thought of the implications of these weird field effects
and realized that to anyone with a layman's knowledge of
electromagnetic fields they must appear as an extremely unlikely
energy source to produce the movement of objects and materials that
did not have ferrous content (i.e., ceramics, water, stone, concrete
and wood). Anyone who has experimented with magnets soon finds out
that only iron is affected.
It was little wonder that
or PK was thought to be involved, but I regarded this as a
distinctly different process from apparent poltergeist activity.
From a scientific point of view, how could all of the strange
effects reported by Jane and David be understood?
Let us take them
one at a time:
Light bulbs constantly 'pop'.
A power surge will supply power to a circuit through the atmosphere
and through the glass of a bulb, subjecting the tungsten filament to
increased levels of electricity. These repeated 'boosts' to a
filament will create a small movement each time, especially when the
filament is hot and more flexible when the bulb is on. It will not
be long before this repeated movement induces metal fatigue, and
soon, when the light is switched on, the filament will break with
that familiar 'ping'.
The video machine malfunctions on some occasions but works on
A magnetic field can affect the electronic circuitry, causing it to
malfunction by inducing what are known as magnetostrictive effects.
That is to say, a magnetic field will cause the microscopic ferrite
components to deform so that critical contacts are lost - in turn,
inducing the circuitry to fail. When the field drops, the ferrite
components resume their normal dimensions, contacts are regained and
the circuitry functions normally.
Loud snapping 'clicks' and heavy, plodding footsteps are heard.
When iron or steel is magnetized by a field which then abruptly
drops, an auditory sound wave is produced by a mechanism called
magneto-strictive acoustics, also known as the Page Effect.
Deep-sounding 'thuds' or high-pitched 'cracks' will be heard
depending on the thickness and length of the metal and how it is
held in place in a building.
For example, thick metal girders
embedded along a floor will produce a series of progressive 'thuds'
as the field moves along them, giving the impression of footsteps,
whereas a thin iron conduit carrying wiring embedded in a wall will
produce a sharp 'snap'.
So far, these phenomena can be understood by identifying them in the
Handbook of Magnetic Phenomena by Harry E. Burke.1 The fires inside
matchboxes which are inside drawers could certainly be ignited by
the thermal effects of microwaves, and I have personally seen
flash-bulbs blown at a distance by the diathermy effect induced by a
The chiming doorbells could easily be induced by
power surges activating the circuitry, just as car alarms can be set
off in this way. One would not have thought that taps could be
turned by magnetic fields because of the levels of mechanical force
needed, but it was pointed out to me that a whole range of seemingly
mysterious events, including doors locking, windows flying open and
taps turning, can be typical indicators of imminent Earth tremors.
Such reports are collected by seismologists and are known as
These revelations have shown me that not everything
can be understood from a commonsense, everyday logic point of view
and that 'hidden knowledge' can be found through a disciplined
tradition of repeated mental exercises, commonly known as education!
However, as we work our way down the list of 'poltergeist'
phenomena, it becomes clear that there is a point where the laws of
physics cannot help us and we venture into the realms of the
unknown, the unclassified and the purely experimental. How do
objects, some of them quite heavy, levitate when they are not made
of iron or have any iron content? (The heavy table must have moved
for it to have overturned.)
How does stone and/or concrete shatter
and/or catch fire? How does mirror-glass crack? And how did
electromagnetic fields make my coffee turn into a mini-whirlpool
before my eyes? I had a problem.
I knew that poltergeist activity
took place in electromagnetic hot-spots, but what were the physical
mechanisms involved in generating these effects?
This is where the experimental findings of John Hutchison, the electromagnetics pioneer in British Columbia, Canada, enter our
arena of understanding - up to a point, that is. For what he has
fortuitously discovered shows without a doubt that poltergeist
activity is electromagnetic in nature. His research opens doors
which lead to more questions than answers.
So what is it that Hutchison found that made the national television
news in three different countries (the USA, Japan and Canada)?
Basically, what Hutchison did was cram into a single room a variety
of devices which emit electromagnetic fields (such as
van de Graaff generators, RF transmitters, signal generators, etc.).
He found that after they had been running for a while, effects began
to occur that were identical to what have come to be regarded as
Objects of any material levitated into the
air and hovered there, or moved about and then fell; fires started
in unlikely places around the building; a mirror smashed at a
distance of 80 feet away; metal distorted and broke; water
spontaneously swirled in containers; lights appeared in the air and
then vanished; metal became white-hot but did not burn any
surrounding materials; and so on.
Everything that psychical researchers have been documenting for
decades as poltergeist activity - and that priests have been called
in to exorcise - eventually turned up in the laboratory where John
Hutchison's device operated.
Although it was made up of different
parts, it operated as a single entity, and phenomena occurred in the
same unpredictable way as reported poltergeists: you could be there
for days and nothing would happen, then suddenly coins would flip
and fly, water would swirl and a transformer would blow. And this
brings me to an unfortunate aspect of the device: it has a tendency
to destroy itself. It is worth recalling at this point that
psychical researchers have in fact dubbed poltergeist activity as
Therefore, I was vindicated in that it was clear that classical
poltergeist phenomena are generated by EM field effects - but how?
These were not conventional magnetic phenomena or those of ordinary
static electricity which can disturb non-ferrous materials. And
there were other unusual aspects that had to be taken into account:
the effects that occurred were all at low power and at a distance.
On one video recording a 19-pound bronze cylinder is seen to rise
majestically into the air, at a distance of 80 feet from the centre
of the device, but, incredibly, Hutchison tells us:
"The source power was 110 volts AC. One side of the AC line had a
power factor capacitor (60 cycles, 250 volts) and a 100-amp current
On another occasion, when Hutchison's layout of apparatus and
equipment was reproduced by an electrical engineering company
interested in this device, he explained:
"All components are powered from a single 15-amp, 110-volt, 60-Hz
ELECTROMAGNETIC POWER TO THE PEOPLE
Before we examine aspects of Hutchison's device in more detail, let
us remember that the aim of this article is to assist people around
the world adapt to an accelerating transformation. As we can see
from the recent increase in interest in the paranormal,
understanding the implications of poltergeist phenomena would
certainly qualify as a valuable goal.
Until now, the general public has been led to think of poltergeists
as spectacular fiction, and, for many decades, status quo psychical
researchers have done little better by regarding this phenomenon as
the activity of spirits of the dead or intelligences from the astral
plane. At this stage of my career as an investigator of the
paranormal, and at this stage in our developing awareness, which is
an integral part of the generalized transformation, people are
hungry for answers.
They have had enough of regarding strange
phenomena as permanent mysteries and want to move forward. We are at
the crossroads. We can continue along the road where mysteries
remain unknown and are kept as such by the traditional psychical
research establishments (I cannot name them for fear of litigation),
or we can seriously examine fresh alternatives which begin new
directions that give some real hope for answers and understanding.
Many people in the UK and USA already know of my environmental
causation approach to the paranormal and anomalies in general, by
the movement I have launched in my books. If I were to encapsulate
my case in a single general statement, I would say this:
that in the
understanding of the paranormal, electromagnetics are as fundamental
as genetics are to biology.
However, as we will now see in the
exploration of the
Hutchison device, this certainly does not mean
that if we identify poltergeists as electromagnetic in nature, we
can all pack up and go home, mystery solved. In fact, the situation
is the reverse as we can now enter realms of real scientific
possibilities, although they do begin to sound like science fiction!
That is to say, some very strange doors begin to open...
For example, part of the Hutchison effect literally rips half-inch
square steel bars apart and actually shreds the shattered ends (all
at low power and at a distance, remember). Tremendous energies come
from somewhere, and in his experiments with the disruption of metal
masses in the laboratory, Hutchison has developed his own ideas. He
wonders if somehow the fabric of space-time is actually breached.
he puts it:
"The idea is to excite the surface skin of the masses and their
atoms to create an unstable space-time situation. This might allow
the fields from the Tesla coils and RF-generation equipment to lock
up in a local space-time situation. My thought is that now a small
amount of energy is released from the vast reservoir in space-time
at the sub-atomic level to create a disruptive or movement effect."
Suddenly we are considering the atomic physics of poltergeist
There are few things more exciting than to realize
connections between areas that were previously thought to be
entirely unconnected. We could eventually move on and devise
experiments to test the limits of poltergeist activity - and then,
the floodgates are open! We are moving through strange landscapes
that everyone had previously thought of as only vague possibilities.
Modern psychical researchers who regard themselves as insightful and
progressive now say,
"You know, in the future, what we now think of
as the paranormal will be commonplace, and not only understood but
actually used in our everyday lives; for example, to dematerialize
objects in one location and rematerialize them in another."
"future" has to begin somewhere, and it would appear that
application of electromagnetics to poltergeist activity is in fact
this early beginning.
However, it is ironic that this discovery was not originated in
state-of-the-art government physics laboratories by a highly
qualified and experienced scientist, but by someone who is the
classic individual experimenter and self-made physicist. John
Hutchison began his personalized journey through electromagnetics at
an early age and, by accident, discovered the unusual effects
But let us continue by considering in more detail the
phenomena his device can generate.
HUTCHISON EFFECT - A LIFT, DISRUPTION AND LUMINOUS ENERGY SYSTEM
The original way that Hutchison set out his range of apparatus was,
by industrial standards, primitive and crowded, with poor
connections and hand-wound coils.
But it was with this layout with
its erratic standards that he obtained most of the best examples of
objects levitating, despite the fact that the maximum power drawn
was 1.5 kilowatts, and this from the ordinary power sockets of the
The Hutchison device produces effects which can basically be divided
into two categories, propulsive and energetic. It can induce lift in
objects made of any material and also propel them laterally. It has
been noted that there are four types of trajectory that affect
objects weighing a few pounds, and all of these upward movements
begin with a twisting spiral movement.
Also, there has to be a
particular geometry in relation to the direction of gravity, i.e.,
downwards of these objects, for them to be affected in this way.
Some objects will not take off if you turn them on their sides, but
will if you stand them on their ends. It is evident, therefore, that
the relationship of their physical forms to the fields which swirl
invisibly around them is important.
Returning to the four modes of trajectory,
first, there is the
looping arc, where objects take off relatively slowly over a period
of seconds, loop in the air and fall back to earth
then there is
the ballistic take-off where objects shoot upwards suddenly, hit the
ceiling and fall back down
a third type of trajectory is a powered
one where there appears to be a continuous lifting force
fourth is where an object moves upwards and just hovers for some
As mentioned, these objects can be of any material whatsoever
- wood, plastics, copper, zinc, styrofoam, etc. It must be mentioned
that 99 per cent of the time the objects do nothing at all, and one
can wait for days before anything happens, but it is just this
erratic unpredictability that one finds when investigating
Another major area of activity is the disruptive phenomenon where
materials are destroyed. Hutchison has a collection of metal samples
which have been broken and/or deformed, indicating that high energy
levels are involved, as mentioned before.
As one may imagine, this device has attracted intense interest from
a variety of professional, academic and industrial sources, not to
mention covert military attention.
In the USA, a respected and well-qualified electrical engineer,
George Hathaway, has taken on the research and development of the
device. As explained, although the device has many interrelated
parts, it acts as a single entity.
Of the disruptive effects on
metals and other materials he relates:
"The disruption part of this... system has produced confirmatory
physical samples that include water, aluminum, iron, steel,
molybdenum, wood, copper, bronze, etc... We have tested various
pieces that have broken apart, for hardness, ductility, etc. We have
used optical and electron microscopes.
"Two samples of aluminum... one of which is twisted up in a
left-handed spiral... and another which was blown into little fibres... molybdenum
rods which are supposed to withstand temperatures of about 5,000
degrees F... We watched these things wiggle back and forth... In
general, a collection of pieces of metal shows that they have been
blasted apart or twisted..."
In domestic settings where 'poltergeist' activity is usually
observed, metal-bending and deformities take place with less vigor
- which is to be expected due to the accidental field configurations
produced as electromagnetic pollution from power lines, radio
transmitters, civilian radar, etc., interacts with Earth energies -
otherwise known as geomagnetic and geoelectric fields - at locations
inadvertently built over fault lines.
The following example taken from a well-known case in the UK - the
Enfield poltergeist - shows a typical instance of metal-bending:
"It was 10.15 am on 6 December 1977. Janet was leaning on the
kitchen worktop, and her mother was sitting down. Both were out of
reach of the stove. Suddenly, they both heard a noise coming from
the teapot - the same metal one that Grosse had seen rocking in
front of his eyes. Mrs Harper picked up the pot and found that its
stout metal lid had arched upwards, just as the spoons had done,
bending right out of shape so that it no longer fitted the pot. I
took the lid in both hands, and even using considerable force I was
unable to bend it back."
Hathaway, in his descriptions of metal deformity, clearly gives the
impression of intense energies at work:
"The largest piece [of metal] is about 12-13 inches long. It's two
inches in diameter, of regular mild steel, and a 3/8 of an inch long
part was blasted off the end and crumbled like a cookie."
However, even the domestic 'poltergeist' displays phenomena where
extremely high energy levels are involved, although in the following
example, also from the Enfield case, we get the impression that more
conventional high-magnetic-field densities are involved:
"Mr Playfair... was already on his feet and standing in the doorway
of their bedroom, wondering if he was seeing things.
"The entire iron frame of the gas fire had been wrenched out of the
wall, and was standing at an angle on the floor, still attached to
the half-inch-diameter brass pipe that connected it to the mains.
The pipe had been bent through an angle of thirty-two degrees. This
was a major demolition job, for the thing was cemented into the
brickwork, and it was out of the question to suggest that one of the
children could have wrenched it out. When we finally dismantled the
whole apparatus, we found it quite a job even to move. It must have
weighed at least fifty pounds." 3
We may ask ourselves what new directions for investigation into
'poltergeists' are open to us in the light of the Hutchison Effect.
Startling as it may seem, an answer is there ready-made for us in
the almost matter-of-fact information that Hathaway supplies:
"Fragments have been analyzed and found to have an anomalously high
silicon content, although the original material was not silicon
steel... a standing piece is 5-6 inches tall, 1 and 1/4 inches in
diameter and is a piece of case-hardened steel... The case-hardening
has been blown off at the top and about 3/4 of an inch of it
vaporized during an experiment... a piece of iron was analyzed for
composition which showed anomalously high amounts of copper... wood
particles were also found inside a piece of aluminium..."
Evidently, the energies involved are able to
reorganize materials in
a way that is virtually impossible by any other means, but we are
now provided with a previously unheard-of perspective. From the
Hutchison experiments, it is clear that an analysis of the
composition of metals at the 'poltergeist' site, in order to detect
similar mixture-anomalies, is an essential investigative procedure.
Although we may shelve theories of psychokinesis and separate them
out from 'poltergeist' activity as belonging to dice-throwing
experiments or the spoon-bending of Uri Geller, the weird physical
antics of the mixing and matching fields of the
provide us with something far stranger.
This underscores the point
made earlier that although it sounds as if the enigma of the
'poltergeist' is being diminished by identifying it as
electromagnetic field activity, in actual fact the mystery is merely
Physicists and electrical engineers should now reconsider the nature
of severely modulated electromagnetic fields, for there are
evidently previously unrealized potentials. The energies involved in
the Hutchison Effect are clearly the same ones at work during
'poltergeist' activity, and it is only the ignorance and entrenched
positions of the psychical research fraternity that prevent them
from accepting these insights into electromagnetic energy
These energies include weird thermal effects.
experiments, flames have been produced and emitted from blocks of
concrete, and fires have broken out in different parts of the
building where the device was housed. Again, these effects are
typical of 'poltergeist' reports. On one occasion, a steel file was
held in place against a wooden board by two plywood struts, to
prevent it taking off. The file glowed white-hot, but the board when
examined afterwards was not even singed.
Such mischievous thermal
antics of 'phantom arsonists' have been attributed to the 'spirit
energy of the poltergeist', whatever that may be, but Hathaway's
warnings are more to do with effective safety practices in the
"From time to time there are scorch marks on the boards from other
experiments. The apparatus makes fire spontaneously in parts of the
lab, if you're not careful."
The device can also induce unusual aurora-like lighting effects in
Once when Hutchison was filming in 1981, a sheet of
iridescence suddenly descended between the camera and some of the
hardware being used. It had a strange pinkish centre to it, and
after it hovered there for a short period it vanished just as
suddenly as it had appeared. Hutchison actually thought he had been
hallucinating, but when the film was developed it transpired that
there had actually been something objective there.
Once again, the Enfield case provides us with comparable examples of
strange, luminous phenomena in a domestic setting, and in this
extract they are accompanied by other typical phenomena also
explainable within the Hutchison Effect:
"The Harpers hoped to find some peace and quiet in the Burcombes'
house, but it was not to be. From the kitchen Sylvie suddenly let
out a piercing scream and dropped the kettle she was holding.
some time before she could calm down enough to describe what had
'I was just pouring the water from the kettle into the
teapot,' she said, 'when something appeared right in front of my
eyes and then dropped onto the kitchen unit top, and bounced once.'
It was a plastic rod, about six inches long, from one of the
children's toy sets.
'I sort of looked down, opened my eyes, and
this thing was in front of me,' she told Grosse when he arrived
shortly afterwards. 'I screamed, shouted and jumped back, and after
I jumped back I saw the thing jump and come up again.'
"Grosse questioned Mrs Burcombe very carefully about this incident,
which seemed to be a genuine case of one of the rarest of all
psychic phenomena: materialization. The plastic rod had definitely
not been thrown at her, she insisted. It had just appeared in front
of her eyes and dropped down... But he had already seen too much, in
both his own and his sister's homes. He had watched open-mouthed as
a lamp slowly slid across a table and fell to the floor, vibrating
He had seen a drawer open by itself. He had felt an
invisible force stop him closing his own bedroom door, which simply
stuck half-closed though it normally swung shut on its own. And he
had seen something far more alarming as he stood one day at the
bottom of the Harper's staircase, looking up it.
'I saw this light,'
he said. 'It was the equivalent, I should say, of twelve inches
vertical. It looked like a fluorescent light behind frosted glass,
which burned fiercely and gradually faded away'..."4
With the insights gained from what is possible during operation of
the Hutchison device, coupled with my own findings that
'poltergeist' activity takes place at locations that are
electromagnetic hot-spots, we can begin to understand what is going
on in such cases.
Unusual light phenomena can occur, and on
consulting Burke's Handbook of Magnetic Phenomena we find several
mechanisms documented where magnetic fields interact with light to
produce specific optical effects that are predictable in laboratory
conditions, but are obviously most startling when they occur
spontaneously in domestic settings. Having stated this, however, the
sheet of iridescent light which appeared during Hutchison's
experiments also came as an unexpected and surprising phenomenon.
In the extract given above, it is not difficult to rethink the
apparent materialization of the plastic rod as a typical trajectory
of the Hutchison Effect, observed many times and recorded on video.
Likewise, the lamp slowly sliding across the table and vibrating
could have come straight out of the catalogue of effects similarly
induced. In fact, compared with the extreme effects that Hutchison
can obtain with his device, domestic 'poltergeist' phenomena which
previously seemed so dramatic, now seem quite tame.
But as already
noted, this lessening of effect is consistent with the fact that the
Hutchison device involves a concentrated collection of devices which
appear to act as a single entity, whereas an electromagnetic
hot-spot occurs by the chance juxtaposition of freak environmental
Unfortunately, the investigators present during the 'poltergeist'
activity at Green Street, Enfield, England, in the late 1970s, did
not carry out a thorough field survey or identify the field sources
involved, despite the fact that a magnetometer registered distinct
deflections as objects were 'thrown' across the room.
In fact, there
is the distinct impression that, for them, electromagnetic fields
were not a welcome explanation for the phenomena they witnessed, as
the Playfair book relates how they discontinued use of the
magnetometer once it showed that power surges occurred in
conjunction with physical phenomena:
"When everybody was settled into bed, we switched on both tape
recorders, Eduardo's being connected to the signal from the
magnetometer, and left the room, since I had told him that nothing
would happen if we both stayed there. From the landing we could keep
an eye on the dial of the machine, and in the following forty
minutes Janet's pillow was twice thrown across the room just as it
had been the previous evening in my presence.
This time, of course,
I could not see Janet, although Mrs Harper assured me at once that
she had not thrown it. And each time the needle on the magnetometer
did indeed deflect, though Eduardo thought this might have been
caused by creaking bedsprings."5
It is difficult to understand how bedsprings could cause power
surges strong enough to register on a magnetometer (I, myself, have
used many types of these instruments during investigations), and
even more difficult to understand how they could induce deflections
which happened to coincide with the movements of objects.
a wonder the investigators did not eliminate this as an option, if
they thought it was possible, by simply moving the instrument away
from the bedsprings.
Magnetometers are of course designed to
withstand the effects of magnetic fields, and so it is even more
puzzling why the following reasoning and actions were employed:
"I was a little worried that he might have to go back to his
university and report that the expensive instrument he had borrowed
without permission had broken down, so we called off the experiment
once we were satisfied that it seemed possible that there was some
link between poltergeist activity and anomalous behavior of the
surrounding magnetic field."6
One of the primary investigators of the
Green Street 'poltergeist'
in Enfield, North London, was Maurice Grosse, who has given many
lectures on his experiences and is now regarded as one of the
leading authorities on this kind of phenomenon.
On the whole,
'poltergeists' are regarded as discarnate and mischievous entities
who home in on the energies of an adolescent focus and who
unintentionally wreak havoc wherever they go, although particular
locations are usually favored for the most spectacular phenomena.
In the course of my career as an investigator, I have discovered
that 'poltergeist' activity takes place in electromagnetic hot-
spots, and is electromagnetic in nature.
expert' Maurice Grosse takes a different view:
"Albert's enthusiasm for his suppositions does him credit,
but... displays a distinct lack of practical experience of psychic
phenomena... I look forward with great interest to the day when
flying boxes, stones, toys, heavy items of furniture, plus
spontaneous fires and water phenomena, together with the passage of
matter through matter, levitation, metal bending, to name just a few
examples of poltergeist high jinks I have personally experienced,
can be explained by electromagnetic and bio-electromagnetic
Well, Maurice, this is the day you have been waiting for! In fact,
it was "the day" over 15 years ago when Guy Lyon Playfair's book on
the Enfield 'poltergeist' was published in 1981 in the UK, when at
the same time on the other side of the world in British Columbia,
Canada, John Hutchison's device was just getting underway and
generating all of the physical 'poltergeist' activity you were
This is not the place to fully expound my own biological research
into how the human body reacts to prolonged field exposure, except
to say that the body eventually acts as an oscillator and can add to
the electromagnetic mayhem generated at hot spots.
That is to say, I
would add to the Hutchison Effect by including my own findings, as
outlined in my books, which point to 'poltergeists' being
electromagnetic phenomena, and my conclusion that there is a bio-electromagnetic aspect where the human body behaves as another
piece of electrical apparatus or hardware and re-radiates
generalized ambient fields in more beam-like, coherent forms.
is a symptom of an increasingly common clinical condition known as
electromagnetic hypersensitivity (EH), caused by exposure to
electromagnetic pollution from power lines, transmitters, etc. The
condition was the subject for an international conference of medical
specialists and academics at Graz, Austria, in 1994. It is treated
at the Breakspear Hospital in Hertfordshire, England.
However, nobody in psychical research here in England seems to be
aware of EH or the work of John Hutchison, and there are fixed ideas
which are protected with a religious fervor. Freak electromagnetic
field conditions which seem to stretch the laws of physics to almost
breaking point are not a welcome conclusion, although the history of
science is littered with painful upheavals where the established
view is turned on its head, and iconoclasts like myself and,
unwittingly, John Hutchison, threaten the status quo.
Dr John Beloff, the Editor of Anomaly, the respected journal of the
Society of Psychical Research, wrote to me to tell me:
"Whatever the relevance of exposure to EM radiation... it has no
obvious bearing on psychic experiences in general."
Having investigated reports of apparitions and 'poltergeists' in
hot-spot locations for over three years, and measured the fields
present with my trusty field meter, this statement made no sense at
all. Perhaps the reader will have some inkling of the sort of
establishment opposition I am up against, or may even refuse to
believe the Hutchison Effect themselves.
However, it must be remembered that a number of well-known
electrical engineering organizations have been involved. For
example, McDonnell-Douglas Aerospace and the Max Planck Institute in
Germany, both took many photographs, some of which appear here.
I anticipate that there will be a wave of controversy as a result of
this article, if the reactions here in the UK are anything to go by,
and I would be interested in any constructive suggestions that
readers may have.
1. Burke, Harry E., Handbook of
Magnetic Phenomena, Van Nostrand Reinhold Company, NY, 1986.
2. Playfair, Guy Lyon, This House Is Haunted, Sphere Books,
UK, 1981, p. 113.
3. ibid., p. 62.
4. ibid., p. 45.
5. ibid., pp. 77-78.
7. Anomaly, Journal of the Association for the Scientific
Study of Anomalous Phenomena, UK, vol. 17, November 1995.